Monday, January 26, 2009

Girl's Getaway!

A friend with a baby on the way,
makes for a great excuse to get away...

One overnighter in San Francisco with some wonderful friends. It was fabulous!

Even my dear friend Donna from England was on a layover in San Francisco and got to spend the day with us! She and I were best friends when my family lived in England for a year when I was 14. She visited me in Florida for two summers when we were 15 and 16 and we made many amazing, treasured memories. After nearly 10 years we've gotten back in touch and it is as if no time has passed. I love this girl! She is divine and kindred!

the girls

Me and Donna. Isn't she gorgeous?! (be sure to say it with a British accent, it sounds better!)

In front of my new favorite restaurant Le Colonial.
Eating, talking, laughing, and a little bit of shopping...perfection.
I'm so lucky! I feel revived and renewed. Bring on the four kids!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Black Rock Ranch

1 holiday weekend, 3 days, 2 nights, 1 ranch, 8 adults, 14 kids, 1 dog, spur of the moment, 1 big adventure.

The Hales, the Callaways, the Blatters, the Edgrens

We rode four-wheelers and motorcycles...

John and Owen



Hannah and Maren


Jake and John

Me and Owen

John on the mini

Maren and Hannah

Owen dying to go

"motorcycle" is his favorite word
We had kung-fu karate parties (a.k.a let the kids run around and around and get sweaty in the kid's room while the adults peacefully converse with one another)...

We went on several adventures in the mule...

John was the official "Farm Safari" tour guide. We saw mating cows, wild turkeys, a friendly river otter, a little blue bird with a broken wing, and a centipede. It was quite thrilling!

the bull was not very happy that we rained on his parade!

John's "getting-the-mule-out-of-a-difficult-spot" face

Me and Owen enjoying the ride

The ladies turn to take the mule out

Gordy lovin' it
We also hung out at the lake, fishing and canoeing...

Jake put on a show for us--he can really shake those hips!

Kelly and Aden taking us for a ride. They were so in sync with their rowing!

Neve, Owen, and me

It was seriously straight out of a Country Time Lemonade commercial.

Good times!
Any casualities, you ask? Two lake rescues--one was Ben and the yellow four-wheeler. (He was just trying to turn around and slid right in!) The second was Miss Sammie Lou. (Fell right off the dock while fishing and was immediately scooped up by Brad)
Not at all!
If you would have asked me before the trip which two kids would get into a pinch, I would've bet money (if I were a gambling girl) on Ben and Sammie Lou!! They are the most adventurous and spunky of the group!

Again, thanks to Britt for the fabulous photos and the Edgrens for access to the fabulous ranch!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Twin's Baptism Day!

I'm going to post these beautiful pictures by Britt (she's amazing!) and then I'll do a later post with candids and details and memories and the "I can't believe I have 8 year olds" talk. Right now, just enjoy these...



(Oh, how I love his freckles!)

Such an exciting day! 
Thank you, thank you, thank you Britt for capturing these shots. (She had less than 15 minutes to shoot before we had to leave for the church!!) I will cherish these forever as I do our friendship! You are truly amazing!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Nut Tree

On the way home from Tahoe over winter break, John stopped at a shopping center in Vacaville (I think). I'm sound asleep--head back, mouth open, drooling (I'm certain). "Annie! We're here." That was a quick trip home, I think. Oh no, he had other plans. My bleary eyes open to Fenton's, the ice cream parlor! What? Am I dreaming? Who knew there was a second Fenton's in Vacaville and who knew that there was a darling little amusement park behind the shopping center? I didn't. It was a great awakening!

We got our maps and headed into the park. I guess it's been around for ages and used to be a fruit stand on the side of the highway. Now it's a rennovated, beautiful little park. The kids were ecstatic!

Their favorite was the rollercoaster. Owen wasn't tall enough so John and I took turns...

Owen loved the little planes...

Ride 'em cowboy!

Riding on the train was, of course, a thrill...

And everyone found their favorite animal on the merry go round...


(I'm quite proud of this picture, thank you!)

Hannah said, "Mommy, take my picture. I'm the sugar plum fairy with the nutcracker!"
Fun little unexpected stop on the way home. John is full of surprises. One more thing I love about him!