Monday, June 30

Ruidoso Family Reunion WARNING!! (LOTS OF PICS!!)

This past weekend we went to Ruidoso, New Mexico for a little surprise party for my grandparents. (Dad's parents) We went to celebrate their 61st wedding anniversary. We had family from Utah AND Arizona there, so it was a really fun get together!

My Nanny and Grandaddy

I just love the Gaines side of the family! They are goofy, loud and SO fun!! Everybody makes fun of everybody and everybody laughs. All. The. Time. It is never a dull moment with these people. Ever. When I leave them, I already look forward to seeing them again. I guess that's the way it is suppose to be, but I really feel blessed because I know not everyone has a family like mine. And it all started with Nanny & Grandaddy. Nanny's laugh is SO contagious. Even if you don't know why she is laughing, you just laugh. It's funny. SHE's funny. Grandaddy is quiet until he thinks of something that turns out to be the funniest thing you've ever heard. Then you can hear us a mile away.


This is the BEFORE picture: 4 generations!!

And this is the AFTER: This is one of my favorite pictures of the weekend. It is the perfect example of how we are as a family. Laughing all the time!!Mine and my dad's face makes me laugh sitting here. You might be thanking me for no sound for this picture. It's just loud and I LOVE it!

We had a surprise dinner for them Saturday night at Cattle Baron.

My dad gave a sweet talk thanking them for how him and my aunts were raised and how they did a great job. It was so neat to hear some of the stories he told. It was really emotional at times. We also got a 30 min. video together with pictures from their childhood on until today's time. It was put to some really fun music - it just turned out great.

Aunt Tamra and Uncle Jim

Aunt Dana and CRAZY Uncle Gene (AKA-Egor)

My Aunt Dana made an autobiography about my Nanny (she already did one about Grandaddy) and gave a copy to everyone. It was really cool to read.

That night when we got home, we all got changed, then not knowing what everyone else was doing we all were reading Nanny's autobiography. Glen thought that was SO funny that he took a picture of us 3.I had NO idea why he was taking a picture, hence the cheezy grin.

Cousin Kailee and Mr. Jude

Bailey and the favorite cousin Ryan!! He is a BIG kid. Seriously. That's why we love him so!

Avery (AKA RED EYES!!!) and Kailee

Trace(AKA Bailey's crush) , Taralee (Isn't she the cutest mom - EVER!!??) and Baby Brody

Miss Danica and her hubster Cody

Parker and Ainsley

Momma and Daddy

Russy Rus and my Daddy (And yes, he did that face on PURPOSE!! He's just a LITTLE goofy! Pretty Par for my family.)

My bro Bradley and and sil Little Debbie

We celebrated Parker's 7th birthday and Brody's 1st there at the cabins. Mom made Parker's cake and it was SO cute. It had a big mirror on it that said, "Look who's turning 7!" Seriously adorable! She is SO creative! She puts me to SHAME!

Birthday boy Brody. He is a GREAT baby!

Parker in her new tutu, bow, and necklace - seriously though, isn't she C.U.T.E!!!???

Aunt Tamra brought a Pinata and the kids had a BLAST smashing it open, or trying to.

Avery's turn

Jude takes a swing. (with a smile of course!)

Birthday girl gets a chance to whack it!

My neice Ainsley was a little slugger

Jude just loved the pinata head!!

THE family we all came from. Grandaddy, Nanny, Daddy (front)
Aunt Dana, Aunt Tamra (back)

My crew

The family portrait of my family - as you can tell, none of us knew we would be taking a family picture. It was a spur of the moment thing. Ha.

All the cousins. We have a picture of a few of us when we were little doing this, but with 7 (mostly adults) doing it - it was FUNNY. I have a "better" picture, but this one is SO funny! We were all cracking up - the people taking the pictures included. Maybe you had to be there.

Of course we HAD to go ride the horses while we were there. It is really just horses that go in a circle, but to Jude - they were horses and he was the cowboy. Nothing makes him happier! Avery and Parker rode too, but I am SO tired of loading pictures.

I can't forget about my AWESOME cousin fixing a HUGE problem with my car, just cause he can. RYAN!! You Rock.

Saturday, June 21

My baby turns 4!!!

We had Jude's 4th birthday party this weekend. The preface to this birthday weekend is that I fell at the pool and hurt my back, AGAIN. mom came in town to save the day and help with the kids and make the birthday. She made the birthday cookie and everything. I don't know what I would do without her.

We had a pool party, but with a cowboy theme, I guess you should say. With my back hurt I really didn't care all that much about the party as bad as that sounds. I was just thankful that we were having a party at all and that I had such great help.

Mom and Dad gave Jude this horse for an early birthday present the night before the party. Jude went upstairs and put his boots on and his cowboy hat. My little cowboy!!

Mom and Jude with his cookie she made. She was so sweet to make the cookie for me. It had a red bandana and his name on it. She is SO creative! Thanks Grammy!!

The whole party clan

Glen waiting to give "five" for blowing all the candles out.

Cindy and Dennis gave him this tool set. He's ready for tool time!!

He got Spirit the movie (his favorite) and a cowboy book. He was in heaven. Can you tell??

All the kids at the party. It was a small group and I was thankful. We only invited 4 kids. So I guess half came. Ha. Thanks Spell kids!!

I truly cannot believe that my baby is now 4. That just blows my mind! Happy Birthday Little Man!

Friday, June 13

Parker's Kidquest

This was the first year that Parker got to go to ACU leadership camps. When you are going into 1st grade, you get to go to Kidquest. Parker has been waiting so long to go. Avery and Bailey have been going since they were her age and it just seems like forever that she had to wait.

She was so excited to have Kimberly Lewis as her counselor. That is who she was hoping for so she lucked out on that one.

She had the best week. Her friends Landry and Kennedy also went that same week. Keep in mind that these girls are the same age. Parker looks 2 years older, at LEAST!

Calling for Willy!!

On Friday they have a little program for the parents. They show us all that learned throughout the week. One of those things was the wildcat warm-up. They call Willy the Wildcat out to lead them in this.

Jude is so scared of Willy. This is where he was while Willy was doing his warm-up. (under his chair)

This is part of the warm-up:

Balance... balance.... (on one leg)

Brush - Brush - Brush (pretending to brush hair)

It is awesome that my girls get to spend a week around good Christian counselors at camp. My kids are blessed by their example and I am thankful!!

Sunday, June 8

Gladiator Breakthrough 2008

This weekend I was SO blessed to be able to be a group leader at our church for a weekend retreat for middle schoolers called Breakthrough. It is really a weekend to allow kids that have finished 5th grade to get to know some middle school kids and what the middle school youth group is all about. You know, breaking through to middle school. I can hear the ahas now. Our theme was becoming Gladiators for Christ. And that we all have "gladiators" in our way of following Him and we have to just keep fighting them. Avery got to go and so I loved getting to "check on her" throughout the weekend.

Me and Suzanne led the group together. She is going to be a Senior this coming up year and reminds me SO much of me at that age. Just goofy and fun and not afraid to make a fool of herself. Ha. No. The kids LOVED her and even though she made fun of me the whole time and told me I was old, I LOVED leading a group with her. She is AWESOME!!

They had us make up names for our groups and I had gotten these blue bandanas for all the girls (to match our Breakthrough shirts). A few of the girls had the bandanas tied around their heads and someone in our group had the BRILLIANT idea to cal us The Blue Unicorns. We turned our bandanas around to make a point with the end of the bandanas, and The Blue Unicorns were born. We thought it was so clever and cute, but needless to say, I'm not sure anyone else did. Ha. But it was SO funny ALL WEEKEND!! My girls LOVED it!

We gave ourselves the most creative group picture for this one. ( I'm serious. All weekend we were SO creative and NOONE gave us the credit, so we just gave it to ourselves.) We rocked it OUT!

Avery got to go and so I loved getting to "check on her" throughout the weekend. Her group leaders were Sylvia and Bailey (not mine of course) and she had a BLAST!

Bethany, Avery, and Sydnie

Part of the weekend was getting to fight some real life Gladiators. They were dressed up in all kinds of outfits. I am sad I didn't get a picture of them, they were awesome. So Avery got to fight on the joust with one of them. One hit and she was DOWN. She got a big strawberry on her foot which she still has a scar from. She was upset and embarrassed, but got up and was fine.