Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday Amberlee!

I don't really have the ability to write sweet, reflective comments like Amberlee does so don't expect too much.

To my memory, I've never really loved birthdays, at least mine. But I've been realizing lately that birthdays are pretty special days.

When it is one's birthday, people tend to fall somewhere along a spectrum between loathing and shying away from the attention and "eating it up", loving the doting and gifts. This, I think, tends to change with age. But birthdays are as much for the celebrity as they are for the celebrators.

Today, three wonderful children and I (and other people too I'm sure) are celebrating the birth of a beautiful, sweet, loving wife and mother. We couldn't be more blessed to have you in our lives Amberlee.

We love you.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Ever since Owen was born I have been trying my hardest to get some pictures of the kids- but Collin - has not been a fan of pictures- so needless to say we have not had success :)

But I have found the missing ingredient for a successful photo shoot with Collin- ask a beautiful girl to take the pictures! (sorry dad- no offense)

This past week I asked our friend Tamara (who just moved here from Kirksville- yeah!) to help me out. I've always loved her style and I've seen the pictures see takes on her blog- so I asked for her help.
I figured that I could kill two birds with one stone and have her also take some of me with the kids and surprise Mike with them for Father's Day.

here are just a few- in random order

Mike and I laughed so hard at this last one-

Tamara- thank you again- we love what you did!-and now that we know that you are the key "ingredient" in getting our kids to cooperate- we may have to bribe you to take our family one's in the fall !?!

Happy Birthday Collin James

Collin- buddy you finally "turned the number 3" so that you can go to Chuck E Cheese to have your birthday. We love you- we love your bright big blue eyes, your sweet little expressions-and your big heart-
Happy Birthday!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

To the BEST Daddy EVER!

Thank you for making us laugh,
for playing games with us,
for teaching us,
for making us happy,
for loving us,
and most of all for being our daddy!
Happy Father's Day!
Samantha,Collin and Owen
And to the other father's in our lives.....

Grandpa Taylor with Owen on his blessing day

Papa Mower (in his INFAMOUS yellow robe) just relaxing, watching a movie with Collin and Cecily)

My dad (who may not be here now-but is always watching over us)
Thank you for all that you do-
We Love You-
Happy Father's Day

Friday, June 18, 2010

A little more of DC

Our camera died at one point during our DC trip- so Julianne took some for us... here's just s few

Washington Monument
World War 2 monument

THE Ruby Slippers....
Whoa....bright sun!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

PA, DC and NY

Mike had some testing that took place in Philedelphia this past week. Because it was just 2 1/2 hours from his sister Julianne and her family in Virginia, we decided to make it a family affair. The kids and I hung out at the hotel and then at the mall (which was the largest on the east coast- not too fun by myself with 3 little kids...I needed my mom and sisters there!) while Mike was testing. After meeting up with a couple friends who had just gotten into town to test the next day, we drove to Virginia.

We wanted to see a little of Washington DC-on Wed. and then we planned on driving up to Palmyra, New York to see the church sites on Thursday and Friday. (It's funny how a drive to Utah- which took us 2 13-14 hours days makes a 7 hour drive seem like a peice of cake!) .

The east is absolutely beautiful. I love that we have been able to see so much more of this part of the country now that we are in Ohio.

The picture below is the only picture I took in Pennsylvania-
We couldn't believe how thick the trees were. Driving along the freeway- you couldn't see anything beyond the green. It kind of made me feel a tad clausterphobic!


It was so fun to see where Nathan and Julianne lived, and to spend time with them. They were so nice to open up there home to us and make us feel so comfortable- THANK YOU GUYS! It was also the first time we got to meet little Addison, who is seriously a little peanut!- so cute

There is so much to see in DC- so we obviously didn't get to see it all in one day. We did all that the kids and our legs would allow. We only saw the capitol and the White House from afar. Luckily we will have more opportunities to go back and see more.

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial (SO neat)

(As I was posting these pictures, Samantha informed me that I still looked like I had a baby in my stomach.....ouch.... gotta love the honesty of a 5 yr old)

World War 2

Collin was exhausted!-

Love Collin's expression

Harmony Pennsylvania

On our way to New York, we stopped and had a picnic in Harmony Pennsylvania at the site where the Aaronic priesthood was restored-

Cousins- who shockingly enough are just a week apart! -we grow 'em chunky!

The Susquehanna River, where Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry were baptized

Peter Whitmer Farm-- where the church was first organized....

Palmyra New York

Palmyra Temple in the background

Inside the Smith's log home. We are standing in front of the door which leads out to the Sacred Grove. It is also the home where Moroni appeared to Joseph.

The Hill Cumorah

Collin racing to the top

A view of the top- half way up

Samantha wasn't a huge fan of the climb- which was a tad steep at times!

We also had the opportunity to go up to Rochester, New York (SO beautiful) where Mike's best friends parents are serving as mission presidents. It was fun to visit with them.

Mike and I realize that we took this trip at a time when our kids don't fully understand what these places really mean- but we couldn't pass an opportunity like this up. I've learned from past experiences that kids are never too young to begin teaching them about the gospel- or providing them with opportunities to feel the spirit.
It was a wonderful trip. It is hard to fully express what it felt like to be there. The peacefulness and the way it made me feel is indescribable. It was an experience that I will always be grateful that we as a family had the chance to take together.-