Big Ol' Spider

A few weeks ago, I discovered a spider under the roof of our back porch. I'd seen it's web for a while, but it didn't really bother me that it was there until I saw the actual spider. It's a big 'un.

Here it is in the corner behind it's web, if you can see it.

Shad used an old pickle jar and caught it when it was in the middle of it's web.

Here's the arachnid up close---I think it's shy.

A little more outgoing here.

I hope it doesn't have any friends.


Austin's Birth

My sister Melissa and her husband Landon welcomed their first child into their lives on the morning of September 11, 2008. Austin weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 13 oz., and measured 22 inches long. Now that's a healthy baby! Congratulations Landon and Melissa!

AJ's Blessing

Near the beginning of September, we went down to Salt Lake for the baby blessing of our newest nephew (on Shad's side) AJ. Congratulations again Mandi and Kevin and family!

The boys playing with Sandi while waiting for church.

Drake's amazing, but short-lived, puppet show.

Shad's sister Mandi and bro-in-law Kevin with their cute family.

Proud grandparents.

Sweet AJ.

Avery with her cousin McKenzee (the girls are well out-numbered by the boys).

"Happy" Cousin AJ and Avery--2 months apart in age.

It's always fun to see family!


Ward Campout

Our ward had a campout at a place called Camp Taylor. It was fun to hang out with friends and let the kids do whatever. It was a little cold too.

Shad setting up the tent while I'm in the car feeding Avery.

Drake roasting marshmallows with our neighbor Karlie.

Graham, with his perma-scowl, enjoying breakfast the next morning.

Avery was a gem the whole time.

This was our first camping trip as a family this year... guess we'll have to start a little earlier next year.

The "first" week

During the first week of September (wow, my post is actually from the same month now-- I'm getting closer to being caught up!), while Shad was off hiking in the Sawtooths for the first time, I got to witness a few "firsts" myself.

We signed Drake up for his first season of soccer this fall, and he loves it!

This is Drake, ecstatic before his first practice.

Here is Drake telling the coach how to run things.

This was Drake's first game. He's in the back of the pack--his buddy Parker is the one making the goal.

Drake actually does pretty well, when he's not falling (a frequent occurence).

Here he didn't fall because, well, he decided he didn't need to follow the ball anymore.

Besides soccer, it was also Drake's first week of preschool, which he thoroughly enjoys.

And finally, Avery had some of her first from-the-gut laughs. In this video she has hiccups, but you get the idea. Drake loves to make her laugh.

And there you have the first week of September.


Labor Day Weekend

Busy, but fun.

Friday night, we drove up to Rexburg. Shad and the boys slept outside under the stars.

Drake, sporting his thermals, and excited to sleep outside with Dad.

Because this picture is with the cell phone, there wasn't a flash, but if you can see them, it's the three boys lined up in their sleeping bags on a tarp.

The next day, we test drove a mini van, then Shad went canoeing with his dad and a friend.

While they were off having fun, Drake and Graham were having fun with their second cousins (Dawn's kids). Later that night we went to dinner with the whole crew, and got to meet Dawn's fiancé Brandon, which was really nice. We also test drove another mini van.

Drake also had a good time helping 'Nana' make applesauce.

On Monday, we went on our first hike of the season (now that summer's almost over) to a place called Cherry Springs.

Excited as all get out to go on a hike.

The girls.

The boys.

Graham didn't really hike so much as he just "rode" in Shad's arms.

Drake was our little navigator. He had a compass that he'd pull out of his backpack whenever we came to a spot that presented two paths, and he'd pick which way to go. He loved the hike.

That evening, we went to the East Idaho State Fair. We had to try some of the food, of course.

Drake decided that he really wanted to listen to this group. So he did.

An exercise bike bubble blower.

I like fairs. I could've stayed longer, looking at the photography exhibits, but it was late, and we do have kids, and Shad was getting up early the next morning to go to Rexburg.

So Tuesday, Shad went to Rexburg, and we bought a mini van. Yup, that's right, a mini van. Growing up, I swore I'd never own a mini van. Guess I was wrong. I do have to say though, it's really nice, and much easier than squishing three kids in the back of our little 4-door. Someday, I may actually take a picture of the outside of it.

The rest of that day, Shad hung out with my brother Matt. The next morning, the two of them, along with four of Matt's buddies, left to go backpacking in central Idaho, in the Sawtooths. Shad loved it.

Shad also got our digital camera back while in Rexburg (thanks again Matt for bringing it up for us). So he got to use that while backpacking instead of our cell phone.

Good times.



In August, we took a trip down to Provo, Utah to attend the graduation ceremonies of my brother Nathan and his wife Adrienne. It was nice to get away from our home projects for a weekend and to spend that time hanging out with family.

'Grammie' and Avery in the Marriot Center... yes, she loves her thumb.

The August/December graduates.

Shad, Graham, and a happy graduate.

Adrienne and Nathan - a wonderful couple!

One of the days there, both families went to Kiwanis Park for lunch and fun. It brought back memories for Shad and I because it was where we had part of our very first date (the rest of the date was spent in the back of a Winder Dairy truck).

Here's Landon after retrieving a frisbee off of the pavilion roof.

And here's his sweet landing.

'Grandpa' with Avery. Does she still have that thumb in her mouth?

Saturday, Adrienne's family threw a baby shower for her---she's due next month! This is a shot of the pretty food (was I supposed to take pictures of the people?). And it was at this event that I left our camera...

While the girls were at the baby shower, the boys went on a hike to Stewart Falls.

We stopped by Shad's grandparents' place on our way home, but because I left my camera in Provo, we had to take pictures with our cell phone--I'm glad we at least had that!

Grandpa and Avery

Grandma and Avery

And from there, we drove home.

It was a busy, tiring (for Drake anyway), fun weekend!