Thursday, April 19, 2012

Well, it's about time!

Are you as shocked as I am to see a blog post? :) (Why is this underlining everything I type?)
I'm not sure why this is so hard for me to keep updated. I really want to have this as a journal for my family, but once I get behind it just seems too overwhelming to start up again. But I am going to attempt to do this again. I am just going to do some quick snippets from July 2011 through December 2011 and then hopefully I can blog the happenings from the beginning of this year.


This was the month of mini, family reunions. At the beginning of July we went up to Utah to spend some time with my parents and 3 of my brothers and their families. We played in the backyard a ton, made smores over the fire pit, went swimming, lit off fireworks in the rain, went to the local carnival & rode a few rides, visited temple square and the church children's museum.
At temple square.

Then at the end of July we met some of Kevin's brothers & sisters at the Grand Canyon. This was our first camping trip as a family. The Grand Canyon is amazing & beautiful! We had a great time and my anxiety was sure tested as we hiked and walked along the Grand Canyon. There aren't any real fences or barriers & so I was a little crazy making sure my kids were close by. We had so much fun with family! We cooked over the fire, played at the campsite, hiked, attended a few ranger classes, watched a cool movie, told stories by the campfire, & slept in tents. I love everything about nature, but have decided sleeping in a tent is not my favorite. :)

This picture might be deceiving because the kids are standing in front of cabins, but believe me, we slept in tents. :) This was taken before we hiked down into the Grand Canyon.


I know I took pictures on the first day of school, but can't find them anywhere on my computer. So here are some others taken close to the first day of school (Ashley's picture was the first day).

Katelyn started kindergarten, she goes half day in the mornings. She loves to get there early to make sure she has enough play time on the playground.

Luke started 2nd grade. Started out a little rough with his teacher only being there a week and then having lots of substitutes. Switched to another class about a month in and was the best move. He has a great teacher and loves school!
Ashley started 3 year old preschool with Miss Heather and LOVES it!


We made a quick weekend trip up to Utah for two wonderful family events. My brother, his wife, and daughter were sealed to their baby boy they adopted. It was a wonderful experience to be in the temple and see this special event.
Then on Sunday of that weekend, Kevin's youngest brother reported about his mission. It was great to hear his experiences and testimony. We had a fun time visiting at Grandma Hutchings' house afterward, then it was back to Vegas.

Luke and baby Caleb. This is the only picture I took. I wish I would have taken one of my brother and his family.

While we were there we went to the Up house in Herriman, Utah. Some of the rooms were decorated just like in the movie. It was the coolest house.

Grandma Hutchings with 7 of her 9 kids.

For Halloween this year we had Sleeping Beauty, Alice in Wonderland, & Darth Vader. Quite the combination!

Every other year we go up to Utah to have Thanksgiving with my family. This was the year, so we made another trip up to Utah.
Right before leaving for our trip I found out I was pregnant with baby #4. We didn't tell anyone until Christmas time, but we were sooo excited. We even waited to tell our kids.
Thanksgiving morning we played soccer in my parents big backyard before feasting on a wonderful meal. I didn't take many pictures, but we had a great time.

We were also able to meet up with Kevin's sister and her family at Thanksgiving Point. We had fun feeding all the animals, going on a hayride, and then feeding ourselves at a restaurant for lunch.

Luke had his first piano recital and did a great job. We decorated the house for Christmas, had Christmas Eve dinner and festivities at our house with some of Kevin's family, spent Christmas morning with Grandma Hutchings, and had a nice Christmas break as a family. This year we started the elf tradition. We named our elf, Buddy, and he would be in a new hiding spot each morning. On Christmas Eve, the kids found Buddy with a note telling them that they were going to get a new baby brother or sister in the summer. They were so excited!

Always "hamming" it up.

Cousin gift exchange

All the crazy cousins that were there, we were definitely missing the other crazy cousins. :)
Christmas pjs from Grandma & Grandpa Cottrell

Christmas Aftermath!