off they went...

to conquer the world.
max and nik were so excited to get to school that they would hardly let me take any pictures of them before they raced off on their bikes.
little stinkers.

then there was this one.
whitney has been counting down the days until kindergarten for literally two years.
she's been so excited, and today was her big fat day.

nikki played a really mean trick and told devan she was starting school today too, then i was left to burst devan's bubble and tell her she still had two more years.
i was pretty good dropping whitney off at school.
i didn't cry.
then it hit me about half way through my class at the gym.
kick boxing and runny noses don't mix well.
how is she in kindergarten already?
at least one of us was ready.


look what i did

oh yes i did.  if you've ever seen my girls' hair... on sundays... at church, then you know that anything that involves a brush or a rubber band, or any measure of amateur plaiting is normally well outside the limits of my tress dressing capabilities.
apparently this was no normal day,
because look how gorgeous.
it's a good thing the look is supposed to go a little bit messy.
here is the tutorial.


july took us far and wide: part two

today we have an obscene amount of montana and canada pictures.
as soon as we got home from california we unpacked, did laundry, and promptly repacked and headed off to montana.  after an all night drive, a hit and run (we did NOT do the hitting or the running.  such a bazaar night) a police report, and quite a few "are you falling asleep?"s we made it to montana at 2:30 am and set up camp.  that was kind of funny. trying to be really quiet setting up camp in the pitch black freezing cold.  yeah.  that was funny.

we hiked.

all of the cousins had so much fun together.

see how much she loves her cousins?

this little dab was perfect the entire trip.  she went right along with all of the commotion, just happy to be along and observing it all, never crying or complaining.  i love that baby.

i kept thinking, "if i ever make it to heaven, i really hope this is what it looks like."

if you want to eat really really well while you're camping, then you go with cory and kelly.  they bring the whole grocery and cooking store with them, plus kelly's a master chef.

gwen looooved the beaches.  she'd plunge her fists as deep as she could into the pebbles and sand and whatever she came up with she'd immediately shove into her mouth for further inspection.  it was great.

here wade is asserting his manliness by showing he's perfectly comfortable casting with a barbie fishing pole.  nothing fazes this guy.

whitney kept telling me the whole week, "mom, i love you so  much.  you're the best mom in the whole world.  thank you so much for bringing us here."  i was feeling like a pretty stellar mom...that is, until i turned around to see whitney, on her two-wheeler, hanging on to the ladder of a passing rv hitching a ride.  awesome.  that put me right back in my place.
it also gave all the teenage cousins an idea for a great game.

this guy was not in the mood to be trifled with.  in case you haven't met my girls, they like to trifle.

this is what devan looks like right after she passes out...which is exactly what she did when she saw her uncle's bloody chainsaw-chummed thumb.  she has a thing with blood.  it makes her woozy.

one of the favorite parts of the trip was all the biking.  there were so many great bike paths.  the other favorite part of the trip?  harassing the park rangers, but that goes without saying.

i try to see how many times i can catch wade napping while we're on vacation.  it happens a lot.  i guess that's what vacation is for.

someone found the oreos.  or is that mud?

we slipped up to canada for a day to visit wade's old house and see the parks on the other side of glacier.  they're on their way to check the pasture where they used to keep their horses, right after they checked on the fishing pond.

"i planted these trees!"
they had grown so much.

gwen partaking of her first glorious sip of a canadian slurpee.  they really are so much better.

"look down, kids.  i built these steps.  see those railway ties?  i helped pound those in."
(this is wade talking.  in case you didn't get that.)

getting wet...

and getting dry.

and i had just said, 
"dang, i really wanted to see a bear this trip."  
maybe i should say the things i want out loud more often.

old chief, which stood sentinel over the lodge where wade and his family spent their summers growing up.