14 pounds of strawberries!
What was I thinking!! I made jam until I fell over, and still have a million strawberries in my freezer. Making jam is EASY and it is sooooooooooo good!!! It just takes a little time. With some tender love and care, the end result is months and months of scrumptious jam! My family doesn't know how lucky they are!

Mormon Night

Dodger Stadium
Every summer we look forward to celebrating Mormon Night with all our family and friends. We were able to sit with everyone from the Santa Clarita Stake and saw many wonderful people. The girls love to eat goodies and travel around bothering everyone as they try and watch the game. Lauren is always so patient and kind. The girls love hanging our with "cool" Aunt Lauren! I wish I would have taken pictures of so many more people. Well, there is always next year!
John and Angie
Lauren, Ellie and Paige
Emma and Grandpa T!!
Emma with Grandpa and Grandpa Thompson singing, "Take Me Out to the Ball Game!"


July in a Nut Shell

The Parade preparation took some time. We had to butter up each girl with sunscreen, make sure we had plenty of drinks, blankets and chairs. We usually bring a squirt bottle to spray the kids faces because it is smoldering hot!! We were sooooooo lucky this year that Jamie and Aaron were able to save us all a fabulous spot in the coveted shade. It truly saved the day. The girls were excited to start the parade and already sick of getting their pictures taken. I love this picture of my Mom with her grand kids, minus a few!! They love their Nana and are so excited each year when we take the long road trip to Idaho. It was so different this year without our Papa. Nothing is the same although we try to go on just as before. It feels like he is right there with us loading the chairs in the car, making sure everything is packed in its proper place and that we didn't forget anything. It felt like he should be there with his straw hat on holding the girls hands. How will the girls ever know how much their Papa loved them?? The girls stood like this the entire parade. Unless of course they were diving for the million pieces of salt water taffy that was thrown to the crowd! My girls love the horses the best. They think the Rodeo girls with the sparkly hats are just about the coolest ever!! It's so funny to realize how different our lifestyles are from many people from this area until we are actually in their midst. When we first were driving through Idaho, we are looking out the windows and the girls began saying, "look over there, do you see the cows!" "Hey, there are some more!" We even pulled over to let the girls have a look up close. We heard things like, "Wow, Oh, they are so cute." "Look a brown one, a black one! "AAaaaaaaaa", they would scream! "Look at the baby one." With the amount of enthusiasm they would say it, you would have thought they saw a bear walking on the side of the road. We were in Idaho how long? Three weeks! The enthusiasm for the cows remained! My sister Jamie was laughing at us because she sees cows out her back withdow every day. John swims with dolphins when he surfs. I have a feeling that would be pretty foreign to some of these farmers!!:) You gotta love the U.S.A. I love that I captured this one! What would the Rexburg parade be without a John Deer tractor. Gotta love it!!
Emma was so excited when she was able to wrap her little fingers firmly around a piece of candy. It wasn't easy with 50 kids all running for the same 5 pieces! Elle and Paige are always so sweet to Emma and make sure she is taken care of . These two pictures make my heart smile because it shows each of them getting excited for her that she got some candy. What a fun morning to start off a great 4th of July!!!


There is something truly American about a Rodeo. I can't help but feel proud, and get even a little choked up when I see all those beautiful flags waiving. It is a beautiful sight. We love the Rodeo!! It lets me get in touch with my inner cowgirl. Don't tell John, but when I was younger I always thought I would marry a cowboy. There is just something about those chaps and them wanting to conquer a savage beast trying to buck them off. And then risk the trampling of hooves. Very Sexy! :) We had nachos and french fries. Just an hour earlier we swore we would never eat again after an amazing BBQ at my Moms! Wow, I must say, that some of the people that show up for rodeos are some of the same you might see at Walmart past midnight. Scary!!
I have to give all the credit for this next picture to Kate Jones. She obviously has some skills with her camera that I am lacking. She captured this incredible picture of my favorite event!! I have to admit that one of the main reasons I love going to Rodeos is because of my love for this first event called Mutton Bust'n. They just strap these little kids 3,4,5 onto these sheep and let them rock and roll!! They just have to see how long they can hold on. I have never laughed so hard. It's almost the tears coming out laughing!! What are these parents thinking! This little guys face says it all!:)
My Mommy and sweet Elle Belle. She looks so grown up to me in this picture! STOP growing up Ellie!!!
Ok, need I say more. And the class clown is------ Drum roll!!!!!!!!!!
The Rodeo went so long that we didn't even stay for the fireworks. Bummer! But I must say, we had a very extravagant and successful firework show in the street when we got home. You gotta love Idaho. No restrictions or regulations. You just pick up your fireworks right there at Walmart and the rest is history. No cops stopping the fun in Rexburg! Give the kids some sparklers and who could ask for more. We were so exxcited when we heard Jason and Kate Jones with little Lucus of course were in Idaho. They were able to hang out with us on the 4th. It would not have been the same without them and we are truly lucky to have them as friends!

Backyard Fun

The girls spent much of their time in Nana's backyard. If they were eating anything that was sticky or messy, they knew where to go!! They played for hours on the swing set, running around making forts and houses for the ants and bugs. This particular day the slip n slide was in full swing. Dad and Uncle Aaron got creative and added an extra tarp to the end to make it extra long and slippery! :)

S'mores Idaho style

Why is it that men get this crazy smile when they get to play with fire! :) I love this humble little firepit. Mostly because I sat by Alain last year as he put it together. This year John was in charge. Life moves on, this we know, but again there was a void. Aaron and Jamie swore by this kind of modern smores they make that blows the origional out of the water. You just roast a mallow and but it imbetween two Fudge stripped cookies. I can't remeber the name of them. There were definantly no complaints from the kids, and I must admit that they were pretty scrumptious! After much deliberation, John and I decided that we are a little partial to the origional! We called this a great camp fire treat but we didn't know if you could go as far as calling it a smore!! Ha Ha! We love you Jamie and Aaron!
I had to include this beautiful picture I took of my sister Jamie and her little boy Carter. We ate until we were sick and then enjoyed visitng and watching the kids play.

Random favorites

When my Mom and I got home from running errands, I was able to capture this picture. John was able to do many things to help my Mom around the house. It made me so proud to have a husband so willing to help. John is a very hard worker, despite what his sisters may say about his teenage years!! :) I know he did it because he loves her. I hope she can feel that. Mowing the lawn is easy, the problem is it always grows back!
Thank goodness for this play thing!! Hours and hours of fun! It was a boat, a tent, a place to picnic!! Best of all a place for all those kiddos to let out their energy and give us some peace and quiet!! Thank you
Donuts for breakfast! Aren't vacations great!
Cousin sleepover!
We normally don't let the girls have sleepovers but we made a special exception. The girls had so much fun. I think they were more excited about the prospect of having a sleepover, then the actual sleepover itself!! I wish I would have gotten a picture of them all sprawled out on the floor. This is them all cuddled up watching a movie before bed. It is really fun that Jamie lives in Rexburg now and the girls were able to hang out with their cousins almost every day!
I was trying to figure out why I loved this picture so much. My three girls all cuddles up on my Moms bed. Many nights as curfew crept up, I would quietly come in the door, walk up the stairs and always seemed to find my way to my Mom and Alain's bed. I would sit on the edge and talk about my night . The good, the bad and the ugly!! I never felt like they wanted me to go away. I really felt like they cared about me and what I had to say. Whenever I feel sad or overwhelmed or just need my Mom, I wish I could just go sit on the edge of her bed and hold her hand. Instead I have to settle for a phone call. I feel so grateful for those memories. I will cherish them! I miss Alain tonight! :(