eight is great!

Dylan turned 8 on January 20th and was baptized with much celebration on February 19th. How special it was to be surrounded by family and friends - many who traveled crazy far!!

Dylan was so excited to be baptized and had been talking about this day for a long time.
My favorite thing he said was to his Grandma Motley as they were writing down some memories of his baptism day in his new journal. When asked to describe what it felt like to receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, he said "it felt tingly in my body."

Dad also had to put him under the water twice because he forgot to say "amen" the first time.

My three handsomes

We were thrilled to have Grandma and Grandpa Burnett come from Seattle.

Motley's and Burnett's after the baptism. I love our crazy family!!

And in case you were wondering how we fit everyone in our house for lunch when the weather was rainy and crummy. Thanks to Peg's fab idea, we created a kid/man cave where everyone could eat.

Things we love about Dylan at 8:

How he wakes up happy every morning

His caring heart and how looks out for younger friends and cousins

His awesome baseball and football skills

How he's such a great reader even though he doesn't really like it yet

He's fearless!!!

How he tries so hard to do what's right

Such a good sport and has such a good attitude

He's agreeable and helpful

How free he is with compliments

How he makes everything fun

How lucky we are that Dylan is ours!! We love you, Dyl. Congratulations on your decision to be baptized!


the hostess with the mostess

put together a great adult Christmas dinner this year

with the fanciest table around! I love the cranberries and ornaments in pretty dishes.

A few of us ladies where we hung out all night, around the island where all Jamie's tasty apps and Riley's top-notch selection of bevs were. Dunno what those boys were thinking chilling on the couch.

Dinner was delish - Sarah's awesome brisket, Paige's tasty salad, Camie's bacon-y potatoes and rolls and Brooke's yummy pasta salad.
We had an fabulous white elephant exchange too. Camie got Jamie's infamous sweater from last year's Christmas sweater party. I can't wait to see her rock it at church - she'll be $60 richer from all the bets!!

Jeromy and Matt sharing a good laugh over a coupon book. Don't think I've ever seem Jeromy quite so red!!

And evidently Camie and Jamie love each other.

More highlights:
Paige's gorgeous gold ensemble; Jamie V's "kid" dinner plate; reading Brooke's text at the dinner table about her plumbing fiasco; covering up Matt in the picture with all my vainness; not doing such a good job of hiding that my secret scratcher present was a good one and then working to get it stolen away from Jamie when she stole it away from me; Brad's outfit change after ping pong; Jeromy's Big Hunk; me and Patrick thinking a Michael Bolton CD was way funnier than anyone else did


california part 3: lake tahoe

It had been a few years since we'd been to Lake Tahoe - how could I have forgotten how beautiful it is!! My dad had a friend that let us stay in his cabin for the weekend and what a treat! We went up on a Friday night and went hiking the next day.

Crazy cousins climbing every boulder in sight!

All the hikers minus Grandpa. He had us all posed on these cool stumps.

The end of the hike had this great little waterfall. Of course all shoes must be removed and all heads must be dunked in the freezing water!

The boys found a patch of snow that was still there. And here are the girls.

Nearly finished with cold IBC rootbeer waiting, a hiking tradition. What a gorgeous view!

Some hot tub fun! This picture captures them all so well. What is Kyle doing?

We took our time after dinner and wish we didn't because we went down to the park by the beach and it was a blast! The crazy boys went into the freezing water and swam all the way to the buoys - even Carter! Then of course there was playing catch until it was too dark to see.

Me and my dudes as the sun is getting ready to set. The following day we hit church then had a tasty Sunday dinner before we went home. My dad and brother took the boys to play baseball on a ball field they found and I might've gotten to read on the sunny porch for a couple of hours. Heaven!
Another fun highlight was taking the boys on a little walk while the cars were getting loaded up. I bonded with my nephews and had fun carrying Kyle who thinks that getting carried constitutes a walk. I love the way he says Aunt Nikki. Little boys (and girls, for that matter) melt my heart!
My parents always show us an awesome time. What a great weekend!


california part 2: other fun stuff

When we go to Granite Bay, we pack it all in! This year was no different, although with the shorter time spent there were a few "usuals" that didn't get done. I think I was most sad about not getting to go to San Francisco. Of course, the favorite is lots and lots of pool time. I think the thing they like best is waking up to swim first thing so they can forgo a shower. It counts in the summertime, right?

I don't think my brother and I have enough boys between us. And this picture is even missing Kyle and their new baby on his way!

One fun highlight was getting to go to the California State fair. We hadn't been able to go in forever because they kept holding it in September. They held it early this year and my mom took us on the one ticket per ride day! What a blast!
Cute grandma and the boys

Jake riding the scariest ride known to man, by himself because I'm a wuss! Grandma had this great idea to help them earn ride tickets by how many pages of school work they did and they sure took that seriously! Earned themselves lots and lots of tickets.

Dylan and Carter waiting for their ride to start

3 boys waiting for the swings to start - they loved this ride!

I was able to meet my highschool friend Mimi and her family for yogurt one evening. We hadn't seen each other in years! It was so fun to catch up and her husband and family were so sweet.

One evening Scott and Carrie treated us to a park barbecue and cousing playdate. It's always so fun to get the boys together. They had fun eating hot dogs, playing on the splash pad and getting soccer pointers from Uncle Scott.

Aiming for the impossible - 6 boys looking at the camera!

My dad always has fun taking the boys to the golf course. He took them one afternoon and they got to spend the whole day with Grandpa while my mom and I got some hanging out in. They had a great day! One of the highlights was getting to ride in my dad's friend's Ferrari. My boys have gotten really obsessed with cars lately and when they found out my dad's friend had a Ferrari, they about died! Imagine their surprise when they were able to get a ride! Honestly I think that this is what they talked about most out of all the things they did in California.

What a treat!