Friday, July 29, 2011

Utah/Yosemite Part 2

Since we had the whole family in Yosemite we took the opportunity to take family pictures. The kids cooperated (7 kids under in the age of 7 could have gotten really interesting!) and all in all it was very painless! -love family


Since we had all the Stevens cousins around we decided to have Collin's birthday party a little early. We went to Thanksgiving for a BUG Safari party. Really, it was a tad disappointing for the money---and it wasn't all that was promised--but the kids did have a fun time.

Love my little Capt' America

Everytime we are all together we make it possible for the guys to go out and do something (usually golfing) and then the girls figure out something. This year we did pedicures and went to Sweet Tomatoes. So fun :)

We also made it down to visit Grandma Taylor. She is always so sweet and loved the chance we had to visit with her!

We loved our time in Utah/California. It was JAMMED pack with so much but we enjoyed every minute of it (ok--maybe not the drive there OR the drive back to St. Louis)

Friday, July 15, 2011


Documenting our time in Utah and California is going to take some I've decided to do it in parts. I am working from the end of out trip to the beginning....

For a week in June we spent time in an awesome cabin an hour  (or so) outside of Yosemite National Park. It was great...all the Taylors together for the first time in years. It was the perfect. I'd say one of my favorite kinds of vacations. We had a blasts swimming (ok, so maybe I didn't swim...but everyone else did), talking,reading,playing games(Marissa even brought things to play some "Minute to Win It"),making the Taylor Bunch movie(explanation below), seeing beautiful Yosemite (AMAZING) and attending the Fresno temple all together as a family.


Russell loves to watch the Brady Bunch. One day  (about a year ago) after watching an episode of the Bunch he decided that he wanted his family to reproduce that exact episode and record it---so he got to work. Rosalie said that he would sit at his computer with the episode online and watch it for a second--pause it ---and then type it in WORD. Rosalie would then have to go in and proof read it to make sure that it all made sense, sometimes having to go back and watch some it herself. Russell then assigned all the parts. Rosalie copied it on big paper and then had a script for everyone--highlighting their parts. The kid is AWESOME. He even brought props (of course he had to be limited to one box)
Here is how Russell had it set up for the "read through"---all the scripts. Over the next few days they acted it out and recorded it. Marissa is now editing it. It was pretty great to see everyone act it out--I have to hand it to the actors for being such great sports!
I just have to say that it is an absolute privilege and blessing to know Russell. What an amazing example he is. We are better people for having him in our lives.......

The kids standing out on the deck....beautiful view.

Back in Utah....
Mike flew out the day after we returned from California. He had to begin his orientation. We decided to follow out a week after---to give the kids (and I) a break from driving.

On Collin's actual birthday we thought that we should atleast do something fun even though we had already celebrated his birthday earlier in the month. This little boy loves dinosaurs and loves dinosaur dan (a cute show on pbs). So Hogle Zoo was doing Zoorasic Park-----

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Doesn't Matter the Age

I've come to realize that it doesn't matter how old I become, I will always cry when I have to say goodbye to my mom. Goodbyes are NEVER easy-- and they don't get any easier. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm not only saying goodbye to my mom--but I am also saying goodbye to one of my best friends.
I took my parents to the airport earlier today. They drove the kids and I out here a week ago and stayed to help us get settled. Mike flew out here 2 weeks ago to begin orientation. Let's just say that the list of debts that we owe to them has gotten increasingly longer this past week. My dad worked his tail off making and installing closet shelves in all bedroom closets, figuring out what was wrong with our kitchen sink, hanging my huge (beautiful)pain in the rear mirror, making it so our electric dryer worked in a place wired for a gas dryer, made me a picture frame and did many other little small things that my mom or I needed help with. My mom spent her time helping me unpack, clean, organize, entertain the kids and DECORATE! I actually have things on my wall BEFORE we've been in the home for 6 months. She also sensed when I needed the "Just remember that you didn't necessarily want to move to Ohio and you absolutely loved it there" pep talks.
We are SO grateful for the sacrifice it was for them to come out for the week (especially since my dad leaves again on Tuesday to drive out to California to fix up his mom's house) We are so blessed to have such loving and supportive parents on both sides- parents who continually give and give and give. Thank you