Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Laundry day.....

 ...will just have to wait because I can't get anything done with this cutie!  I just find myself talking to her and holding her.  Oh well!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Whirlwind Trip

We left Friday night at 7:30 on our whirlwind 48 hour trip to Montana and back to pick up our new to us van.  My mom came with us so we could have an extra person to help drive our mini van back home.  Our first stop was in Spokane, WA to stay the night. We pulled into the hotel in Spokane around midnight and left the next morning around 7am.  We were on a tight schedule in order to make it to Bozeman, MT by early Saturday afternoon.  From our home to Bozeman, MT is about 11 hour drive.  That's not taking into consideration little ones that need to be fed and have potty breaks. 
Here are the kids in our hotel around 1am!
This was Ila's first hotel stay.  She of course did great.
We drove the 70 miles across BEAUTIFUL Idaho and made it into Montana!!!!!!
Here we are stretching our legs at a rest stop in Montana. 
We made it to the dealership around 2 or 3 pm.  I can't remember because there was an hour time change in there too.  Another neat thing was that between Missoula and Bozeman we crossed the continental divide in Butte, MT.  Both times crossing it I missed my photo opp.  We will just have to go again someday! 
We finally made it to the dealership where our van was.  The owner of the dealership is a collector of classic cars so we got to see some fun cars while we were waiting. Lulu really wanted us to get this car instead of our new red van. 
Here is Levi waiting inside the dealership by a very large guitar.
And here we are ready to go with our new van!  Our mini van has been a great van for us.  It's been on many trips and we bought it when I was pregnant with Lulu.  Two hundred thousand miles later it was time to get something more reliable.  Now we have room for all the grandparents and their neighbors! 
So after Mark was done with all the paper work and we got the keys, we headed out again this time with a destination to Missoula, MT to spend the night with my Aunt Linda.  That's my mom driving in the mini van behind us.
Ila sat on the first bench, Levi was on the second bench and Lulu was on the third.  The forth bench was wide open and I climbed back there a few times to check out the view from there.
Here we are at another rest stop. This time with both vans.  My mom was driving the mini van.  Mark had me drive the red van first off the lot so I could get a feel for it.  It was fun!  I like sitting up so much higher.
Here's Mark driving from the rest stop into Missoula.
We pulled into Missoula around 8:30pm.  My aunt had her apartment set up and all ready for us when we got there.  She had snacks for us all and toys for the kids to enjoy and bring home. She was so hospitable.  This was also her first time meeting Ila. 
Sunday morning we woke up and headed into downtown Missoula.  My aunt Linda showed us her darling town.  If you have never been to Missoula it's worth a trip.  SO DARLING!
We played at the park for a little bit.  This was a must before having the kids sit for another day of traveling.
Here we are on the river walk in down town Missoula. 
Aunt Linda and Lulu.  Aunt Linda is my dad's sister.
Here is my mom with Ila.
 We could have stayed all day exploring Missoula and would have if we had one more day, but we didn't.  We had to get back on the road with a full day of driving ahead of us.  We made it to Idaho and got back on Pacific Standard Time.  We just gained an hour!! 
 Here is sweet little Ila May.  She was such a great traveler.  So happy and content just like normal. 
 We made it back into Washington and stopped in Moses Lake for lunch at Michael's Market and Bistro.   
 The cafe we ate at had a gift shop and the best salads!  We bought some lemon dill dip mix from the gift shop. Yummy!
 After a wonderful lunch we were back on the road.
 My mom and I drove together in the new van for the last leg of the trip.  She entertained the kids and kept me company. 
Here is Mark in the mini van leading the way, crossing the Columbia River into Vantage, WA with only 2.5 hours to go.  We got home around 7:30pm.  Not too bad.  We had a blast, the kids did awesome and my mom was a trooper!  Thank you daddy for sharing your amazing wife with us! We all need to go on a trip together now that we can fit into one van. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Simming Lessons

 Today Lulu had her fist swim lesson.  I was more nervous then she was.  She did excellent!  She didn't have any fears.  She listened to her instructor and did everything she told her to do.  I was very proud of Lulu.  A few days ago Lulu didn't want to do this and was very scared.  After her lesson she told me she can't wait to come back. 
Since I didn't put her hair up fully (new at this) she had to wear a swim hat.  But Lulu didn't mind.  She had a great attitude about it all.  Next week I will do a little bun.  We had a beautiful day for swimming, warm and sunny. 

Our New Bench!

 Our dining room was getting crowded and we needed a better solution for our growing family.  So Mark designed and built us a bench!
Mark and Levi worked on it together. 
 We spent the weekend playing out front while Mark worked on the bench. 
 Viola!  I just love it!
 We need to stain it now.  We are going to stain it a fun color. 
 So now we just pull the table away from the wall when it's time to eat and push it back when we are done. Levi has been in the highchair and that was taking up the most room.  We will be in search of a smaller highchair for Ila. 
 Then when we were all done we went for a walk to Safeway in the wagon for some needed groceries.  It's nice living close to the grocery store (just under a mile).
Then last night we were going to have friends over for dinner.  They had to cancel so we went for another walk in the opposite direction of Safeway to 7-11 for a special treat.  This 7-11 is the one my brother and I used to walk to growing up. Mark and I bought our house 7 blocks from my parents house.  Mary who owns this 7-11 has known my family since I was a baby and she is still working there.  She used to give us free pop corn growing up.  It's neat because now she gets to see my babies.  

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Zoo

 Last week we went to the zoo with my parents.  Mark took the day off and got to go too.
This was the first time visiting the zoo for Lulu, Levi and of course Ila. 
 This big guy was my favorite.  The gorillas were so fun to watch because they were so playful and active.  The hippo was also fun to watch because he was swimming all over the place. 
 I think this was Levi's favorite, the big kitty cat.  Even though if you ask him he says the elephant.