Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Douglas Camping Reunion

We had our 1st Annual Douglas Camping reunion last weekend up in Idaho, near Camp Bartlett. It is so beautiful up there. Our campsite is hidden by quakies and pine trees. We camped Friday through Sunday and it was a great break from every day life. Plus, the weather was great and the temperature was nice.

One thing I love about camping up there, is that I can let Cooper roam with his little cousins through the trees and I know they will be safe. He had such a good time going on "adventures" with Porter. In fact they had a little hideout that they would walk to about 20 times a day.

The mosquitoes were the only problem. This year they were really bad. We had to spray ourselves like 4 times a day.


We ate really well while we were there. We had scones (a family tradition), omelette's (which Bryce loves), BBQ ribs, BBQ chicken and Rhodes rolls right out of the dutch oven. The kids had so much fun roasting marshmallows and Cooper enjoyed putting little sticks in the fire.


Bryce was our "grill master". He did alot of the cooking while we were there. I was teasing him that he wouldn't let anyone cook, so I named him the grill master. He didn't like the teasing! He did do a great job, however. He told me that he was cooking so that the women didn't have to , since they cook all the time. He also said that his dad had spent years cooking for them, so Bryce felt like he should do it. What a great guy I have!
My most favorite thing about the camping was our church service on Sunday. We got special permission to bless and pass the sacrament. What a neat experience that was for me. You could feel the Spirit so strongly. In fact, probably more so because we were out in nature. After the sacrament, I was able to give a short talk about finding time to be holy. We talked about the worldly demands and how we need to make sure that we were finding time for those things that will bring us closer to our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. We then had a testimony meeting and it was very touching to hear the testimonies that were given. I really appreciate the comments that were made.

It was really great to have almost everyone up there. It was good to see Darren, Jill, Brayden, Jade, and Easton. It was also alot of fun to spend time with my husband. We enjoyed going on a four wheeler ride up the mountain and just spending quality time with each other. I want to thank everyone for making the effort to come and for the things you did to make it such a fun reunion.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pucker Up Baby!

Annika is Sherrie's youngest little girl and she just turned 2 years old. She absolutely loves Bryce. When we were in Texas for Christmas, she just couldn't get enough of him. Well, this time wasn't any different. She was always hanging on him and trying to get his attention.

We were on our way to the temple and she had that look in her eyes. She wanted to give Bryce a big kiss. It was so fun to watch them interact with each other. Maybe one day Bryce will have a baby daughter of his own that will just adore him like Annika does!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cowboy Up!

I was able to take Cooper out to one of my friends' land to ride some horses. Cooper got to help feed them and then he was able to brush them. It scared me to have him in the stall with the horse so I only let him brush for a second. He got up on a little saddle and he looked so cute sittin' on that horse. When he got up on the horse, he said, "Mom, all I need is a cowboy hat." Well, sure enough, my friend went out and bought him a new one the next day. He's my little cowboy. Little does he know that his mom use to tromp around in her boots and hat while up in Utah with Grandpa Cooper.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

It's Raining, It's Pouring!!




One thing that I love about Texas is the rainfalls. It rains very hard in Texas and it is always warm. As kids, we used to play in the gutters during rain storms. Streets would be filled in minutes and we had so much fun playing in the rain. While we were visiting, there were a couple of rain storms. I made sure Cooper was able to play in one!


In this picture, Cooper is throwing a worm on Wesley. Wesley will pick up dry worms but not the living ones! They had a great time running up and down the street gutters.



video


Coopers Graduation


Cooper graduated from Joy School the end of May. In fact, it was the day before we left for Texas, so I am a little late on this post. We had a graduation program and dinner for the kids.
We just grilled hamburgers and hotdogs and invited all the parents to come for the event. The food was great and so was the company. The kids had a great time playing with each other and they looked so cute in their graduation hats. Each of the parents told something that their child does to bring them "joy". Then we would walk down the stairs instead of across a stage.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Splashtown

When we got down to Texas, the first place we went was to a cool water park in Houston called Splashtown. It happened to fall on the last day of school, which made it nice for us because the lines were short and the pools were not crowded. Everyone was able to come except for Sean and Kellye.

At first, we were not going to take Cooper because we thought that it would be a long day for him. Well, his mom and dad could not leave him home when all his cousins had their swimsuits on and were talking about the park. He melted our hearts when he said, "When can I put on my swimsuit?"
Cooper had so much fun at the water park. In fact, as a family, Bryce, Cooper and I had so much fun spending that time together. Most of the other small cousins went home at midday, but not Cooper. We gave him the options and he said, "I want to stay!" He went down some of the water slides all by himself. He looked so cute in his little swimsuit and life vest.
The water park was really nice and hopefully we can go back there next time we visit Texas. Cooper was in heaven!

Friday, June 20, 2008

My Family

I was just thinking about each of my family members and some of the fun times I had with each while I was down in Texas. I really cherish these moments with my family and I am thankful that we had the opportunity to go to Texas.


Steph and Paul- When they got back from their anniversary trip to Mexico, Sherrie, Paul, Steph and I had a very lengthy discussion about parenting. We talked about how these are hard times to raise our kids in. It's not whether they are going to see bad things or not, because they are, but we need to teach our children to turn their heads, to walk away from these situations that they will face. It was good to be able to visit with them since they have children ranging from ages 3 to 18. We all gave each other good advice and suggestions about our experiences with parenting.


Jocelynn and Kyle- It was fun to watch Cooper interact with Jocie while we were at Sherrie's house. He would lay with her for a few minutes every night and he really looked forward to it. I also enjoyed spending time with Kyle. Kyle loves to tease and he talks nonstop. I loved going to eat at Rudy's with Bryce, Kyle, and Steph. We bonded over great food!


Sherrie- I got to spend the most time with Sherrie and we had a great time together. I introducted Army Wives to Sherrie, so we spent two nights watching it. It is a tradition to always make queso at Sherrie and Brians house. Sherrie and I had a lot of good talks about infertility, parenting, and just life. We also spent time singing Suzy Boguss, which is another tradition we share. I want to thank Sherrie for letting me stay at her house and eat her food. I had a good time and Cooper also felt very comfortable and welcome there.

Shayne- I actually saw Shayne, Jen, and their kids for probably less than 24 hours and it went by way too fast. I enjoy seeing them and their kids. I got to go on a couple of water rides with Shayne and Steph and we talked about how Stephs girls are getting big. Shayne is also very good about calling me and I love to visit with him.


Sean- Again, the first week I was down in Texas, I saw Sean and Kellye for like 5 hours and that was at their luncheon and at the temple and reception. After they got back from their honeymoon, they spent a couple days at mom and dads with us. We went to Taco Cabana at midnight to eat chips and queso. (That is another tradition. In fact, we went there when they had been dating for only 2 weeks) It was really good to visit with them and to see the respect and love that they have for each other. I really enjoyed the time I had with them.


Tyler- I got to mow lawns with Tyler and it was fun to be able to spend that one on one time with him. He is such a good brother and he is a great guy. He is a wonderful example to all of his neices and nephews. It was fun to tease Tyler aobut his girlfriend, Amanda.

Dad- This trip I decided that I should start going on walks with my dad. He walks every night and in the past, he would always ask me if I wanted to go with him and I would say no because of the humidity and because I was lazy. I am glad that I decided go with him this time. We had a chance to talk to each other one on one. I love my dad alot. He is a neat man and I am thankful for him in my life.


Mom- I also got to spend alot of time with my mom. I knew that my mom would be awake when Cooper went downstairs every morning. I could always hear her say, Good morning Cooper. And that says it all...my mom is always there for all of us, no matter the circumstances. Her strength, love and kindness is such an example to us all. My mom never complains, yet she had 8 young grandkids in her house, trying to cook, clean, and do laundry for all of us. And in the meantime, she is trying to get things ready for Sean and Kellye's reception. Mom took me out for a kolache one morning and it was good to spend some time with her. Thanks mom and dad for housing all of us and making us feel so loved in your home. You are awesome parents and grandparents.


I also wanted to say how neat it was to be in the temple for Sean and Kellye's wedding and to have all of my siblings and their spouses there. We are very blessed and I am thankful for each one of you and for your example to Bryce, Cooper and I. Thanks for making our trip so special!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cousins

Cooper had so much fun playing with his cousins while we were in Texas. Here are some cute pictures of some of them.
The boys had a fight with their rocket balloons. Cooper, Wesley, and Ty all snuggled up on the couch after a fun day at Splashtown. What cute kids!Cooper and Annika watching Scooby Doo on the little DVD player. This was one of the few times that they actually played together and got along. Cooper and Annika have personalities where they won't back down and so they fought alot. It was so funny to watch them body up to each other at McDonalds. They kept bumping each other with their stomachs. It was very funny to watch. Annika has so much spunk and she won't take no crap from anyone!! Watch out for her.
Cooper and Addey hanging out at Grandma Hatch's house. Cooper got this cowboy hat from Kathy Anderson. She gave it to him on Sunday at church so he thought he needed to wear it around the church.
Jaden and Cooper spent alot of time together. They had so much fun. It was hard because Jaden and Addey were trying to compete for Coopers friendship. So all week, they kept asking him if he was their friend. And he would say, "I am bof of yor frends." Jaden took him on a tricycle ride at grandma and grandpa's.
Cooper, Wesley, and Jaden in the hot tub. They spent most of their time here. It was so hot and humid that the kids wanted to be in the water as much as possible. I love this picture.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Memories

While I was in Texas, I had so many memories come back to me. It is crazy how things change after you move away.


My high school, A&M Consolidated, definately has changed because they basically remodeled the whole thing and last time I walked through the school, I couldn't find my way to the front offices.

We took the kids to Adamson Lagoon to swim. When I was young, it was called Bee Creek and it was just a big swimming pool. Now, it has slides and all the gadgets. Next to the swimming pool is a softball park where I spent many a night playing slow pitch when I was young and fast pitch when I was older and in high school. I also ran into the fence at the field going for a pop fly and knocked out 4 of my teeth.




I drove down my Old Street (Langford) twice while I was visiting. It was so weird to see different people living there and to see how big the trees had grown. When we were kids, we used to jump over some of those trees. I lived in this house for 19 years of my life!~

Also, last night Tyler needed me to mow lawns with him. I used to mow lawns when I was in high school but I was used to the heat and humidity. I about died last night. I was sweating so bad and my face was really red the rest of the night. It was good though, to spend time with Tyler and make a little extra money! The next night I went to mow with him again and my mom informed me that I needed to be careful and not over do it. She said, "Well, Jennifer, you are not 20 years old any more" Wow, I am getting old!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Sean and Kellye Hatch






My brother, Sean, got married to Kellye Murray on Friday, June 6th in the Houston LDS Temple. The ceremony was beautiful. They were given good counsel, which applies to all of us. They were told to take care of each other and to speak kindly to one another and about one another. They were told to look at their rings often and remember that their marriage is precious like the stones in their rings. Anyway, congratulations you two. We are very excited for you and we love Kellye and are thankful that she is part of our family!

Bryce, Jenn, and Cooper; Paul, Steph, Chelsey, Kylee, Brittney, Shaylee, Jaden, Addey; Jocelynn, Kyle, Tawni, Ty; Sherrie, Brian, Wesley, Micaela, Annika; Shayne, Jen, Ava, Nolan; Sean and Kellye, and Tyler. Stephan and Noralee Hatch

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

You Know You're In Texas When....

We have been in Texas for my brother, Sean's wedding. The whole family was able to come and it has been so much fun to be with everybody. It has been funny to listen to some family members talk about how hot and humid it is here in Texas. You forget how hot it is when you don't live here anymore. But, to beat the heat, we just hit the pool or the best restaurants around. I was taking a cold shower the other night, when I thought about starting this post.






1. you take a cold shower to find relief from the heat

2. you find yourself at Shipleys Donuts every morning..these donuts are so irresistable


3. your brother-in-law (Kyle) is walking around like a gorilla trying to keep all of his body parts from touching to each other


4. you have eaten Rudy's BBcue for lunch and Wings N More for dinner( by the way, we had a good time with Shayne, Jen, Kyle and Tyler when we ate here..the party you eat with his half the fun)




5. when you walk outside you feel like yor in a sauna


6. the ice cream is better because its Blue Bell
7. the barbecue isn't hotdogs and hamburgers


8. the people are friendly...after all, it is the "friendly state"

9. the people pull over on the shoulder of the road to let you pass


10. when it starts raining, it isn't going to get cooler, but it's going to get hotter outside


11. folks actually know what "school pride" is all about(its apparent when about 100,000 people live in College Station and 999,000 of those people are wearing maroon on a daily basis)

12. you are afraid to sit on the grass because of fireants



13. $4 a gallon for gas doesn't stop you from starting your car 10 minutes before you leave to let it cool down.

14. you see the Texas and USA flag flying side by side