Saturday, February 20, 2010

Epic Oregon

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WOW... this posting has made me realize that I take WAY too many photos. I have had such a hard time narrowing down these photos. But the posting is still just so long... but that just means I will try to cut back on my narration. :)

Aaron Jr. and I went to Oregon again in January. We stayed again for three weeks. It is so much fun being up there with Spencer and Kristi and their kids. We love spending time with them and Aaron Jr gets along with their kids so well... he has a blast. They just bought a house up there a few months ago, so this was our first visit where we got to see their new house. It is beautiful.
And here we go...

Spencer and Aaron Jr.
This is the 'tractor' (riding lawn mower) that Spencer bought after buying the house... he wanted to 'work the land'. :)


Aaron Jr.

The kids eating pizza up top. They were called themselves 'pizza faces'.
The kids coloring down on bottom.

With it being winter and rainy, we would spend a lot of the days in the house and they would get so out of control, one night Spencer finally just told them all to get their shoes on and he took them all outside and told them to run back and forth down the driveway, then back up, then back down... they ran back and forth at least 30 times. They had no idea they were doing this to burn energy... they just thought it was fun.

Every Monday while we were there, we went over to the church for Family Home Evening after we had a little lesson. This time, it took these three kids about 3 minutes to each get into time out for separate acts. I had to get a photo because it was quite funny.

Top photo: lil Spencer, Spencer, Kristi, Luke, Aaron, Lila, Benjamin
Bottom left: Lila ready for me to throw her the ball
Bottom right: Aaron Jr, Leslie

Kristi, lil Spencer, Spencer each shooting their lay ups.

Here I am showing off a bit. I enjoy getting a running start and jumping up onto the stage. Here are a few of my jumps. I am not sure how high up the stage is... but if I had to guess, I would say about 3 1/2 to 4 feet? Does anyone know? I am sure it isn't THAT impressive, but I always think it is fun to do.

We started a basketball game of 2 on 2 and this was the injury I got when Spencer was blocking one of my shots. My fingernail bent back and it pulled away from the skin and bled. It hurt SO much. If you look close, there is a white-ish diagonal line across the middle of the nail. That is where it bent.
The bottom right photo was a week later... that is how much it had healed. It hurt to use that thumb for a long time.

Medord, Oregon Temple. It is right next door to their church house.

In the bottom, you can see the prism that they hung in this window. Every day when the sun would come in through the window and hit the prism, it would make rainbows all over the room. It was so neat. In this photo, Aaron Jr was trying to 'catch' the rainbows on the carpet.

Before I left for Oregon, Kristi asked me to bring a disk with any photos of the Salt Lake Temple that I have taken. She went through them and chose this photo and then we both worked on photo editing it the way we thought it looked great and Kristi had it blown up to 16x20 size and framed it. I loved seeing some a photo of mine up on a wall. :) Exciting.

Spencer reading to the kids.

I thought the hat was so cool, I asked Spencer to pose for me in the window. VERY GQ.

We drove to a little town called Jacksonville one evening. It is such a cute little town. Here are some photos from that town.

Aaron, Spencer, Benny, Luke

Leslie and Aaron Jr.

Kristi and Lila & Spencer and Luke


Kristi, Benny, Lila, Spencer, Spencer

Aaron Jr sure enjoys life. I love taking photos of him.

Below are some close ups I got of each of the kids in order of age. I LOVE close ups of children. Their faces are just so perfect and angelic.



Aaron Jr.




Spencer and Kristi made crepes for lunch for everyone.

Mmm... crepes are so good.

Mmm... good for all ages. :)

Spencer did a magic trick to help entertain the kids while we were transitioning between activities. Aaron volunteered to be his assistant.

Spencer planned a treasure hunt for the kids. He told a made up story about a pirate and his hunt for 'TREASURE'. Every time he said the word 'treasure', he said it in a pirate voice and would make a pirate face ... then would have the kids say it in a pirate voice. The kids were mesmerized by the story. Completely captivated.

Here are a few of the kids saying 'treasure' in their best pirate voice.

The bottom photos are of Luke opening the treasure and studying the map that Spencer had thrown together at the last minute.

Spencer and the kids hunting for the treasure. Each stop on the way had a paper sack with one of the kids names on it... that is what they would keep their treasure in. Bottom right photo is of them finding the treasure in that shed.
FYI: that shed has one of the best smells of any place on earth. It smells musty... but it is one of the greatest musty smells I had ever smelled. I could not get enough. Lisa... you would LOVE it.

Here are the kids with their bags waiting for the treasure to be SHOT from the 'canon'.

Spencer decided it would be fun to shoot the treasure (candy) from this pipe canon he built. He built that thing in that last couple of days before the party. He went to the hardware store and got the parts. It was pretty amazing what he did. He would use a compressor to put compressed air into the bottom part, then he would turn a lever and it would blow the candy up into the air. Very inventive.

Each time he was about to shoot it, he would make the kids say 'treasure' in their pirate voices. They faces and voices got more and more funny as the day went on. Here are Spencer and Kristi in a couple of their best pirate faces saying the word 'treasure'. Anyone who knows Spencer and Kristi would not expect anything less from them... than going all out even when photos are being taken. :)
Good thing they are both attractive people... otherwise I would not have put these photos on here. :)

Here is the group saying 'treasure'.

Here is the FAMILY birthday bash for Luke. The top right photo is of Spencer singing 'Happy Birthday to You' to Luke. He was getting very into it.

Birthday Boy Lukie Pop. 5 years old!

On Luke's birthday, that morning... he decided to cut Benny's hair.
Luke on left, Benny on right. Benny's great hair cut on top.

This is Aaron Jr. I don't know what I was doing... but it sure was fun trying different hair styles. :)

The kids at the park making a birthday cake out of rocks and sticks. Oh to be a kid again.

Darth Vader? or Dark Helmet? Whatever suits your fancy.

Playing Simon Says.

The last full day of our visit, Kristi and I decided to make it a day of indulgence. Kristi mixed up a batch of sugar cookies and we cut them into hearts and frosted them. Mmm... they were good. But also we had planned to watch a Masterpiece Theater version of the movie Emma. So the bottom right corner photo shows how we tried to have some peace and quiet for our movie. I put a blanket over a little table and set up Aaron's portable DVD player and they had a little theater to watch a movie in. It didn't help that much... we still had to pause the movie a lot and 'deal' with the kids... but we still got to watch our movie.

Spencer wrestling all of the kids.

Lithia Park. Always a fun outing when we are in Oregon.

Benny climbed all the way to the top for his first time.

Aaron and Luke were throwing wood chips into the water. They were their 'boats'.

Best of Friends. Aaron and Luke. Luke is 10 months older than Aaron, but he is the closest boy cousin in age to Aaron. They get along really well and have a lot of fun together.

Trying to get a good mom / son photo.

Did we get it?

Spencer, Kristi, Spencer, Luke, Benjamin, Lila
THANKS to you all... we had a blast... AGAIN! We always miss you guys so much after we come home. Plan on seeing us again... sooner than later. Love you all.

"Nooooo". Aaron didn't want to come home either. :)
(he was actually saying something about his 'booooaaat'.

Now you know why my title was EPIC OREGON.
This was so long. Sorry. But it was sure a fun three weeks.

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Tawnie said...

loved it all. Love their family. love your family. great trip!!!

Lisa said...

cute pics. looks like a fun trip. you are so funny. you stress about how you couldn't quite edit down all the pics and then include like 35 of spencer on the mower?!!! hilarious. welcome home!

Leslie said...

i know... but he is holding different kids while riding the mower. :) hahaha. i am such a nerd.

Claire said...

These photos are great. I was wondering if I could hire Spencer out so he can entertain my kids. He looks like he's got a great way with kids.

April said...

Looks like a fun trip! I especially love the pics of you jumping onto the stage with those long legs of yours... very impressive! ;)

Anonymous said...

those pictures are worth a gazillion words!! adorable group of children you have there! glad you and Aaron Jr. had such a delightful time!

Kristi said...

I swear I left a comment. I said something like this: It is so funny to see your posting because just last night I was going through the same pictures and chose many of the same pictures that you did. Our posting will pretty much be the same.
It was so fun having you guys. We wish you were still here. Feel free to come any time.
Love you lots and lots

Jennifer Bowman said...

Looks like you had a blast! You are such a talented photographer!