Friday, July 28, 2017

Part #2 Arkansas

So we made it back to Arkansas again and we were lucky enough to stay in the Gustafson's house while they were on a trip to Minnesota. We spent our time swimming in the pool and playing with cousins. There was also art and talking and running and golf and sweating, lots of sweating. It was a crazy hot week. We had meals together and the kids were just in heaven. 

The highlight of our trip was Carson's baptism. Our sweet boy made the decision to follow the example of our Savior and was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was such a special day. 

Carson with his grandparents. 

Cory and Delaney made the drive up and Sheppard really loved the baptism. And he really loves Carson. 

These two have such a special bond. Aaron performed the baptism and gave Carson the gift of the Holy Ghost. Carson is lucky to have such a wonderful dad who holds the Priesthood and loves him so much. 

Carson was surrounded by so many people who love him. 5 of Aaron's six siblings and their families were all there, plus his parents. My parents made the drive and Cory and his family came as well. It was such a special day. I was filled with so much love for my Savior and for my family. 

Afterwards we all went to Aaron's parents for dinner and swimming. It was such a perfect night. 

Then Saturday morning we got up, cleaned the house, and started the trek back to Austin. We were beyond happy to get home! After putting the kids straight to bed we unpacked the whole car and bags and then we all crashed. Such a great trip and so many great memories. 

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pierson Family Reunion Part #1

So we headed out with a packed car and four little kids on a trip to the Pierson family reunion in Nauvoo and Arkansas. The kids were so excited for this trip. They were counting down the days and couldn't wait for the long drives in the car. 

Here we are all ready to go, not an inch of room left anywhere in that car. 

Some car crashing. This only happened once. Ha ha. Brooke and Camilla fell asleep a couple of times, Carson 0 and Spencer took a handful of 20 minute naps. It was not our best sleeping road trip. 

On day one we traveled to Little Rock and spent the night at Aaron's parents. We got in around 10:30 on Friday night. 

The next day we got up and drove to Champagne, IL to visit our dear friends, the Williams. Our kids instantly ran off together and we fell right in sync with these great friends. They were so nice and got a cake for my birthday since we were traveling all day on my actual birthday. 

Illinois is a beautiful place. Aaron and I got up early on Sunday morning and enjoyed the sunrise and some time alone before all the kids got up. 

After church and talking all afternoon the girls put on a show for us. The cutest show ever. The kids all got along so well. 

Future super stars. Camilla followed Julia around everywhere she went. 

Then on Monday morning it was time to get up and drive to Nauvoo. Here we met up with all our cousins and went straight to the historic part of Nauvoo and played games that our pioneers played and dressed up like them. 

We visited historic houses and watched a show put on by the performing missionaries. 

We learned all about steel and how they used it. 

That night we had our FHE. This is a tradition of the Piersons. We sing the family songs and this was our loudest and best year yet. 

Camilla and Emmy became good friends this visit. 

Grandma stepped up her game and accompanied us. 

It was a special night. Grandma and Grandpa shared their testimonies of why they choose Nauvoo for the reunion and that they know Joseph Smith was a prophet. Then the siblings gave them a present for their 50th wedding anniversary. It is a painting of their lovely home that they have lived in for almost 40 years. Aaron also wrote them an amazing poem about how they have made their home such a special place to be. Grandma and Grandpa are such good examples of marriage and love. We are lucky to have them in our lives. 

We were also lucky enough to celebrate our girl's 6th birthday. It was a special day. Big breakfast and tons of family wishing her a happy birthday all day. Carson went to Carthage Jail and had a good experience there with his cousins. 

That night we celebrated Camilla's birthday with donut game and the kids had a great time. 

We also had a big water balloon fight. 

And of course a big Happy Birthday serenaded to our girl who loves nothing more than being the center of attention. 

Lots of time spent playing with cousins. 

We stayed in this gigantic bunker house with like 30 bunk beds and huge bathrooms. It was really fun. 

That night we went to the pageant. It was amazing and we all had a great time. 

Camilla ended up crashing on Aaron's shoulder before the show started, kids were so worn out. 

Then the next day it was time to wake up, pack up and hit the road again. 

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Bucket List

We are trying to squeeze in all our last minute summer fun before we go on our big trip because right after we get back, its school! 

More shows, more fun. 

We did some dog sitting and the kids really enjoyed Maisey. 

We went to a fun pool in Cedar Park that we have been wanting to go to all summer. The kids had a lot of fun on the big platform jump and the slide. Camilla passed the swim test so she got to do some of the fun stuff. Brooke and Spencer were busy with the small slides and splashing. 

And a bonus is this pool is five minutes from Bahama Bucks. Win-win

I'm pretty sure everyone finished their entire snow cones which doesn't always happen. 

Carson and Camilla did soccer camp this week. They had a lot of fun. They finished each day swimming in the outdoor pool. I'm so glad they could go together. 

And after two straight days of non-stop laundry, cleaning and packing we are all ready to head off on our road trip - ready or not! We are all very excited. 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fourth of July fun

Some pre-party festivities. Dressing up and making her own crown. 

These 2 love their snuggle time. 

Of course we made our trip to Blue Hole. We all seriously look forward to this all year long. This year our Brookey joined the rope swingers. So proud of what a good swimmer this girl has become this summer. She is seriously a rock star and never afraid. Every once in a while I catch her giving herself a pep talk before she jumps in deep water. "you can do this, you can do this, just go" I am so in love .

Camilla had so much fun swinging and playing in the water with Jane searching for fish. 

And what would a trip to Blue Hole be without watermelon. 

Carson was on the big swing and the small swing a ton. Actually we hardly even saw Carson because he was off with Simon all the time and they had so much fun. He came back to eat when he had to. 

Aaron would catch Brooke on the swing. 

Spencer did pretty good, all things considered. He did get one little nap in and crashed on the drive home. He was not a fan of the cold water. 

These two are BFFs and its adorable. 

And Aaron and I are still getting it done on the rope swing. 

Aaron took the two big kids to see fireworks. They were so excited and talked about it for days after. 

All this summer fun has not been kind to my car. I bribed the kids with lunchables while I got my car detailed. 

And I have a little gardener this summer. This girl loves to just go and spend time in the backyard "working in her garden." If I can't find her for some reason I almost always find her in the backyard, singing and digging. 

And I have to catch the sweet moments between these two who can often be found fighting! But when they are having fun together they have so much fun. 

And I have a little garden gnome in the background. 

A good picture of this boy lately is next to impossible. But man is he handsome in his new suit.