Saturday, July 30, 2011

Facial Hair and Camping

On our last night in Ephrata, our family decided to throw simultaneous boys' and girls' nights out.  All the boys decided to grow out their facial hair for a few days and then shave them into mustaches for their camping trip.  My brothers dug a big pit out in the orchards and set up several tents for the night's festivities.  Then they took literally almost all the food from the kitchen and tried different ways cooking it over the fire...their most proud finding: tin foil tater tots.  Little Rulon was planning on sharing a tent with uncle Dallas until his father, Erik, explained what 'snoring' was.  Rulon then decided that he didn't want to sleep with a 'growling tiger.'  The boys had a lot of fun, but grandpa returned home in the middle of the night to use an actual bathroom and didn't quite make it back to the chilly tent.  He's a true camper!

 The men are quite proud of their nasty mustaches!  Needless to say, Dallas was not allowed to keep it (and kiss me) for more than 24 hours.

 The boys were very proud to show off their sleeping arrangements, especially Stuart who made a make-shift lean to with a tarp, tree, and some rope.  Oh how I love the creativity of boy scouts!

Us girls, on the other hand, enjoyed an evening full of coloring large princess posters, watching Tangled, having a dance party, painting toe nails, and eating yummy popcorn and icecream...all while staying nice, warm and COMFY in our PJs and soft beds.

I feel so blessed to have such an amazing family.
I wish we lived closer to be able to see everyone more often.  
Dallas and I had so much fun and can't wait for our next gathering!
Love you guys!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Picture Scavenger Hunt

Mom, Leisha, and I created a picture scavenger hunt for the family.  We thought it would be a fun way to get everyone together and cause some needed embarrassment.  We broke the family up into two teams by pulling people's names out of a hat.  We had two designated drivers and photographers (I was one of the photographers which is why you won't see me in any of these pictures...the curse of always being behind the lens.) 

Here are the two teams...

Each team was given a list of tasks that they had to complete while making sure to capture each activity for evidence.  It was quite the adventure and we definitely had some fun sending everyone all over the farm.  I have to let you all know that I am NOT posting everything that happened...some images are just too graphic for certain eyes!  Just know that we all had a very memorable experience.

Task:  Each team member had to successfully make a basket

Task: Write a creative message to BJ
(Bradley is our youngest brother serving a 2yr mission in Brazil.)

Task: Climb the boxes and take a group picture with at least 7 members of the team inside the boxes.

Task: Build a human pyramid next to row 21 in the Cherry Orchards.  Make sure to have the row number visible in the picture.

Task:  Find the metal bridge and take a group picture; see how many team members you can fit on the bridge.

Task: Most creative team photo in one of the outhouses
(Don't worry they were recently cleaned.)

Task: Trampoline Jumping Picture at the Bair's House

Task: Reenact a proposal in the orchards.
(My older brother, Bryan, and my younger brother, Richard, both proposed to their wives in the orchards.)

Task: Jump off the sawdust pile; most creative photo at the sawdust pile.

Task: Swing on the Tire Swing at Uncle Ken's house

Task: In front of one of the Willow Drive signs, the team needs to do the "Roger Dance"
(Dad is famous for his dancing skills, often done in his sweats hiked up to his chest and his t-shirt tucked is quite the sight and the grand kids LOVE to copy him!)

Task:  Most creative "scary" picture in the warehouse sheds.
Erik was a little too creative with this one!

Task: Our last task was in honor of daddy as well.
Car wash, make sure to clean all the windows!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cherry Picking and Four Wheeling

After our crazy weekend at Ensign Ranch at the end of June, my family drove over the mountains to Ephrata.  Over the next few days there were over 20 people coming and going from my parents house, so needless to say it was a bit chaotic, but I loved every minute of it!  

We were all raised on our families farm, Willow Drive Nursery.  I have so many fun memories running through the orchards, picking fruit off the trees, playing games with all the cousins, etc.  It was fun to see the next generation of kids enjoying the very same thing.  Grandpa had fun taking all the kids on their own four wheeler rides and pretty soon we pulled out the "Mule", a glorified golf cart that Dallas and I took the little ones out on.  We all had fun eating fresh cherries off the trees and feeling the wind in our hair.  I forget how beautiful and peaceful home is sometimes, since it's been years since I've lived there.  This was also Dallas's first time visiting in the summer with everything green and alive, as opposed to Winter for the holidays.  We loved being home and spending so much time with family.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Adams Family Reunion: Ensign Ranch


By the looks of the photo above, our Adams family has grown to be quite large.  We used to get together every year, then every other year, now it's more like every three to four years, mostly in part to how large of a group we are now!  Grandpa Paul and Grandma Vera had six kids and each of those kids had 4-6 kids, and now most of those grandchildren have gotten married and have had kids of their own, which probably explains how hard it is for grandma to remember all of our names!

A couple of my cousins, Jimmy and Gina, decided to take on the daunting task of planning this summer's family reunion.  It was held at the Ensign Ranch in Cle Elum, Washington.  Jimmy had to reserve it a year in advance since the demand is so high.  It had a large main building holding several individual rooms, an enormous kitchen and dining area, and a large gym/meeting room with pool and ping pong tables.  Also on the ranch, there were several individual cabins with a bedroom and an attic area.  I knew in advance that it would be more of a camping feel than a ranch feel, but I have to admit that I have been a bit spoiled lately with accommodations, so Dallas did a lot of consoling and reminding me to "suck it up..."
What a good husband, huh?

Dallas and I unpacked, set up our cabin, and then met up with our nieces and nephews a couple cabins down.  The main building was just far enough away that we ended up driving to and from a few times.  On one of the drives we let Will have a turn at the wheel, since all he talks about is cars.  It about blew his mind to be in the driver's seat!  Don't worry, I don't think the car ever went faster than 5 mph.  Needless to say, Dallas was Will's best friend after this.
It was so much fun to be able to see everyone.  From our immediate family, five of the six of us siblings were able to attend (lil Bradley is serving a mission in Brazil and won't be home til April), four of us are married, and now have 11 children.  Dallas and I get to see Erik's family a lot since we all live in California, but it was so much fun to see Bryan and Richard's families whom all live in Washington.
One of the joys of growing up on our family farm, was being so close to so many cousins.  I remember spending hours playing out in the orchards, climbing boxes, making up crazy adventure games with everyone.  We literally had acres of land for our playground and often found very creative ways to get into trouble and/or cause havoc.  I sometimes forget how lucky we all were to be so close to each other.  I love that some of these cousins now live in the Bay area as well, and we get to see them every so often.
After dinner there would be a program or activity for the whole family.  My favorite was when the five siblings (my dad and his 2 brothers and sisters) were questioned about some of the crazy antics they did while children.  Dallas now knows exactly where our craziness comes from!  Dad and Aunt Pauline got into trouble all the time and were known for their practical jokes.  It was so much fun to hear them and their siblings recount favorite memories.
Dad took Dallas and I on a fun drive through out Ensign Ranch.  There are some gorgeous camping spots, lots of beautiful wildflowers, and a very willing model to help me take human interest shots.  I sure do love my daddy!  After our drive we helped collect firewood for the different cabins and checked out the fun sleeping arrangement all the kids had in the attic.
The next morning, after breakfast, we all congregated for family pictures.  Erik designed our family t-shirts, but I didn't get any shots of the back with the actual design...
I love the picture of Grandma with her kids.  Grandpa passed away in 1996 and Aunt Julie wasn't able to make it to the reunion, so we are missing two in the picture, but I still love it.

After family pictures, we split up into three separate groups to go on hay rides and some rode horses.  It was fun to see all the kids piled into the back of the wagon with Grandpa and Stuart hanging off the back.  After the hayride, Will wanted to pet the horse.  Even Dallas conquered his fear of horses to please little Will!
Canoeing was also available at the ranch.  Dallas and I opted to watch little Will while everyone else went out on the lake, mainly due to the cold wind that was picking up and the unsturdy look of the canoes...not to mention an adorable two year old that wanted our attention.  Bryan was a sweetheart and went with all the girls, Natalie, Katrina, and Ellis.  He ended up rowing by himself for 90% of the time out on the lake, so I'm sure he got a good work out!  Stuart went with Lincoln and Max and Erik and Heather went with Rulon.  The boys got into some trouble when they started to play "bumper cars" with the canoes.  It was pretty fun to watch Erik and Heather squeal at them!

Our last fun activity before leaving the ranch included a MASSIVE water slide.  You could go down on tubes or on your own, but Dallas and I opted again to stay out of the this point it was down right chilly and we were not wanting to risk hypothermia for the cause.  Instead I was the one taking all the pictures :)

The kids loved going down with their Dad or Uncle Bryan, piling the tubes on one another, and jumping into the large puddle that had formed at the bottom of the slide.  I absolutely adore how much all my nieces and nephews love each other and literally count down the days to see each other again.  I am constantly amazed at how blessed Dallas and I are, on both sides--Perkins and Adams, to have such loving and crazy family members!
It was such a fun reunion and we are so grateful for all the hard work put into it by our family members.  We love you all and can't wait for the next time we can all see each other again!

Photo of the Week 26

Moon Jellies at the Bay Aquarium in San Francisco

Monday, July 25, 2011

Neighborhood BBQs

I love summertime.
It tends to bring everyone together.
Whether it's the relaxation of a less hurried schedule, the longer hours of sunlight, heat drawing us to seek local pools, watermelon, the summer always tends to bring the best out of people.
I have been loving this summer and even though I've been traveling for a good portion of it, we have definitely enjoyed time with our neighbors.  Our block is filled with lots of young families, and at nights it is a common occurence to see people start to congregate out behind our apartments, allowing kids to play on the swings and ride bikes while the adults catch up with each other.  A couple of our friends have started a tradition of throwing potluck BBQs, which has been a great excuse to get everyone together.

Our latest gathering was dedicated to Kenzie and Adam.  They moved to Utah over the weekend and we thought it would be fun to all get together to say goodbye before they left.  To be honest, I'm sick of saying goodbyes.  It's been a couple hard months having to say goodbye to some very close friends, and Kenzie was no exception.  Adam got a great job offer back in Utah where they have bought a beautiful home and will be close to family, so I understand their reasoning for leaving.  I guess I just continue to struggle with change and having to say goodbye to good friends.  We have been so blessed to be surrounded by such amazing people in our life.  Johnsons, we love and will miss you, but are excited for you guys and this new step in your lives!  Come back to visit any time!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

Jenny's photoshoot

I got the chance to photograph Jenny before they moved to Southern California and we had a blast!  I can't believe how grown up she is getting.  Jenny is such a gorgeous girl, inside and out.  I miss her and her family like crazy!  

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