Spider Convention on Spider Island

Story told by: Lainey

We are fortunate to have the Davis family in town for the summer. They used to live here, but moved to California for Eric to be a professor. However, for the next three summers, he has a research partnership with WSU, which means we get lots of time with them!

We met the Davis family at Chief Timothy Campground, which is down on the Snake River, to camp for one night. We got right to playing as soon as we arrived.

Mommy and Daddy worked on dinner first since it was getting late.


Then Eric came over to help Daddy set up the tent.

Brody was a little fussy, so I tried to crawl into the pack ‘n play to cheer him up, but he wasn’t having it.

Henry and I started beautifying the campground.

We also worked long and hard to climb this tree.

At the top!


Micah was determined to run this truck up the tree.

Elliot and Henry are both two-year-old mischief makers. Double trouble when they’re together.

Micah, Riley, and I made a booby trap in the tree to catch Elliot. (Elliot didn’t seem to enjoy playing this game.)

Micah (6 years old) and Riley (4 years old).

What a perfect sunset, or so it seems…. Little did we know that we were camping in the middle of Spider Island while a spider convention was happening. We didn’t notice this until night fall, and then there were spiders EV. ERY. WHERE.

We made the best of it, and still had a campfire, but we were battling the spiders. They were building webs on our chairs, crawling all over our camp stove, and covering our cars, tents, and storage bins in webs.

The Davis’ site wasn’t as inundated with spiders, so that’s where we did our fire. Molly had a fun idea for s’mores in a cone, so we gave it a try.


Before we came out of our tent the next morning, Daddy went out to clear off the spiders. He cleared off over a dozen giant spiders from our table. What. The. Heck?!

Once our friends were awake, we did some bike riding.

And I took this beautiful picture of Mommy and Daddy drinking their morning coffee. (As you can see from the size of her mug, Mommy needs a barrel of coffee each morning.)

After breakfast, the adults played Kubb, a fun lawn game. Molly and Eric won the first two, but Mommy and Daddy came from behind to win the last game.

We sat and cheered them on!

After the game was over, the dads started taking down the tents (with spiders coming out of every crevice, so Mommy and Molly stayed FAR away from the tents), and we played with bubbles.

After de-spidering most of our stuff, we headed over to the river to do some swimming. I’m quite the pack mule.

We had a blast swimming.

Elliot out on the raft with Molly.

After swimming, and then lunch, and then more swimming, we headed home (and found four spiders that had made the ride home with us). It really was a fun night with our friends, but that campground….NEVER AGAIN.

The Fun-Filled Days of Summer

Story told by: Lainey

We had VBS every morning this week at church! Mommy was the M.C., I got to be in the preschool class, and the boys were in the nursery.

Mommy stayed busy with her duties all morning, but she did manage to catch a couple pictures of me during game time.

It was such a fun week! Next year I’ll be in the class for kids entering kindergarten, and Henry will be in the preschool class.

While in the nursery, Henry got to play with Emma (which he LOVED), and read books to her.

On one of the last days of VBS, Mommy called my preschool class up on stage to sign out the weekly verse. We had such a great teacher (Miss Kate) to work on this with us!

On the same day that we started VBS, I also started t-ball that evening. I get to be with several of my friends, including Ivy!

At the same time I got my t-ball mitt, Henry got some new goggles. He loves them!

I started by warming up with Ivy.

And then I was assigned to my team. Time to play ball (which is a phrase to be used very loosely when discussing four-year-old t-ball)!

Learning to catch the ball.

I also am learning to bat, but don’t want to be weighed down by the batting helmet when running.

Henry finds plenty of ways to entertain himself while I’m playing t-ball.

Aniston keeps him company for awhile.

Daddy also entertains Henry by rolling down the hill with him. I have six more weeks of softball, so I’m sure Henry will find plenty of mischief to get into!

Brody is as cute as ever! I like to call him, “Chunky Monkey.”

Of the three of us kids, he’s the best snuggler!

And he loves giving big, wet, slobbery kisses.

He’s really starting to like slides.

Na Na and Ba Ba came to visit this weekend!

We went out to dinner with them on Friday night, and thank goodness our kids’ meals came with ice cream!

Brody tried a lemon, and wasn’t too sure of it.

Na Na, Ba Ba, Uncle Jaron, and Aunt Tiffany were camping on the Snake River, so after dinner, Henry and I got to stay the night with them!

Henry collected sticks to help Uncle Jaron make a fire.

The fire is going!

Our last picture of the night before Mommy went home with Daddy and Brody. We had such a wonderful night of camping!

On Saturday, Daddy, Ba Ba, and Uncle Jaron went to do some ham radio in a national park. We hung out with Na Na and Aunt Tiffany for the morning. Before Mommy came to pick us up, she and Brody did some Costco shopping. Thank goodness it was only Brody because no one else would have fit in that cart!

On Saturday afternoon, we went to a birthday party at Bonkerz for our friend Douglas.

Henry played hide-and-seek with Mommy. Where could he be?

We wrapped up our weekend with a bike ride/walk.

I rode on ahead with Daddy, while Henry took his sweet time exploring everything.

Then we went for ice cream! (And apparently it’s National Ice Cream Day, so it was meant to be!)

After ice cream, we rode back to the car. Another fun week of summer!

4th of July, 2016

Story told by: Henry

We absolutely love the 4th of July!

We started the day with a festive breakfast!

Then we got dressed in our red, white, and blue, and headed to Johnson for the parade. Lainey was very excited to wear her red boots!

We arrived early to get a good spot, so we had time to play before the parade started.

Family picture!

We had lots of friends join us for the parade (although I wasn’t in this picture because I was in someone’s yard pulling all of the leaves off their tree).

I also spent lots of time in their yard jumping across the ditch.

Mommy had her friends Christy and Samm there as well.

And Chelsea and Molly.

I was thrilled to have my buddy, Mya, there. (She was wearing Lainey’s dress from two years ago.)

Samm made red, white, and blue scones to share with our group while we waited for the parade to start.

The start of the parade is getting close!

We got to sit with Ivy and Mac as well.

Here comes the parade!

Go Cougs!

Brody loved the parade!

After the parade, Lainey and I did some sidewalk chalk with Daddy.

During naps, Mommy made her red, white, and blue trifle dish. After we woke up, we went to the Reed’s house for their annual 4th of July BBQ.

Even though there was some amazing food, we took two bites and then spent the rest of the time on their play structure.

After I had a screaming meltdown, we decided it was time to head home to play with our fireworks. We put Brody to bed, and started with some pop-its.

Then I got to try a sparkler for the first time. Lainey was nervous, but I had no problem grabbing a stick that’s on fire and has sparks flying out of it.

After the sparklers, we roasted marshmallows over the campfire for s’mores!

I got a little messy.

Perfect end to a wonderful day! We went to bed with happy tummies. Happy 4th of July!


Oh, and Mommy never got around to posting it a couple of weeks ago, but here’s a fun 4th of July craft we did with our friends Aesy and Ellie.

We’re Loving Summer!

Story told by: Lainey

We’ve had such a great summer so far! (Mommy just realized that it’s the first summer since 2011 that she hasn’t either been really sick from the first trimester of pregnancy or had a new baby. She’s LOVING it!!) Here are some pictures from the last week or so.

We love meeting Daddy after work to go to the park and have a picnic!

Ice cream date with Nora and Lucy!

We had our friends, Emma and Cole (and their mommy, Chelsea), come stay with us for a few days. We had a fun movie night together the first night they were here.

Henry and Cole share a love for trains! (Cole is 3, so he plays well with Henry. Emma is 5, so she plays well with me. Their mommy has another boy due in October, so Brody will soon have a playmate.)

We got in lots of outside time with our friends!

Investigating some bugs on the tree.

We went to the new splash pad at Reaney Park one afternoon.

We had other friends meet us there as well. Henry had fun with Mya.

And so did I!

Daddy was working while we were at the splash pad, so Mya’s daddy was a huge help with Brody!

We had a picnic with all of our friends after the splash pad.

Emma and I got our nails done (and Henry didn’t want to be left out, so Mommy painted one fingernail for him).

We also had some great teamwork for my 48-piece floor puzzle.

All done!

This is what Brody does while Mommy is in the shower. Looks like it’s time to put up the gate!

We met up with friends for bowling and dinner one evening.

Mommy thinks our little bowling shoes are just the cutest!

I’ve been asking to go bowling for the last month, so I’m thrilled that it’s finally happening!

There it goes!

Brody got to bowl for the first time ever!

The kids are cheering on Chelsea, who at six-months pregnant got a strike. Well done!

Molly had to walk down the lane to get a ball that stopped halfway down.

And so did Chelsea. These young kids don’t always have the power to get the ball all the way to the end of the lane.

Brody walked around cheering everyone on.

I was pretty darn excited about my spare!

One weekend afternoon, Henry and I washed our car while Daddy washed his cars. We made a great team!

Later that day we went to see “Finding Dory” (while Brody stayed with a friend). I’ve seen the movie already at a friend’s birthday party, but it was the first time for everyone else.

Making silly faces for the camera.

We loved every moment of the movie (and the popcorn didn’t hurt the experience either)!

This morning our church had its service down on the Snake River. Daddy was a great pack mule for all of our stuff!

Singing worship songs.

We went up with Pastor Terry to listen to a children’s message before he started his sermon.

After a picnic lunch, we went swimming in the river!

The big hit, though, was playing in the sand.

And eating the sand.

Daddy also tried to help us dig a hole to China, but we didn’t quite make it. After hours of swimming, we passed out on the way home. Excited for a fun 4th of July tomorrow!

Swim Lessons with Dede, 2016

Story told by: Lainey

I just finished my swim lessons with Dede! They were every day for two weeks, and I loved every moment!

Mommy was smart enough to work with my friends to get us all into the same class! (From left to right…Hailey (she was the only kid I didn’t know before the class), Ivy, Noah, Evan, Brock, and me!)

And the best thing is that Mommy got to sit with her friends, too! (Since swim lessons were right at nap time, Henry and Brody stayed with a babysitter each day. Mommy got lots of time to relax.)

We started with assistance from Dede as we swam across the pool.

At the end of class each day, we had 15 minutes of free time where Mommy could get in the pool.

We could also go down the slide during free time!

Hanging out with my buddies before swim class one day.

Last Friday we were leaving right after swim lessons to go camping, so Henry, Brody, and Daddy got to come to lessons. Henry waited patiently for free swim.

It was finally time for Henry and Daddy to get in. With some floaties and a pool noodle, Henry started swimming all over the pool.

As soon as Mommy asked Henry to smile for a picture, he started kicking as much as he could. Stinker.

Dede’s rule is that once you go up the slide, you have to come down. Unfortunately Henry got to experience that rule the hard way.

With a tiny bit of assistance from Dede, I swam all the way from the deep end to the shallow end!

On our last day, we had to get a picture of us with Taylor, the babysitter that’s been hanging out with the boys for the last two weeks. (Taylor was in third grade during Mommy’s first year of teaching.) Henry LOVED Taylor, and as soon as he would wake up each day, he would ask when Taylor was going to arrive.

One last picture with Ivy before we start lessons.

Freestyle swimming.

We worked on diving for the last week of lessons. Diving makes me a little nervous, but I still give it a go (and often land right on my belly).

Jumping in and swimming all the way across! Such an improvement in two weeks!

Dede always gives the best lollipops on the last day. Thank you for a great two weeks! I can’t wait until next summer (when Henry gets to be in lessons as well).