Miraculously enough, I had the kids all ready for church really early on Sunday! I spontaneously decided that we should go walk around the temple. Kami couldn't come because she has to be to church early to play the organ, and Shawn had bishop meetings. I got some great pictures of the rest of the family, though. Made me a little sad to realize that this is what all of our pictures will look like once Kami leaves for college:(
"If you touch the temple, the temple will touch you" President Monson
After we took these pictures we were walking around some more when there was a sudden cloud burst. The little boys found better shelter than the rest of us, LOL:)
I know that I have mentioned my front porch before...but there is just something about a front porch. There's invariably a nice breeze, and we've spent many enjoyable moments together reading, watching wildlife across the pond, napping, talking...
...finding two little boys that are sharing the same seat even though every other chair is empty:
Listening to an almost three year old request that I watch him play over and over again...
I feel like a really lucky girl to have this porch and kids, and in the evenings, a husband to enjoy it with!
I love going home to Oregon! Time just slows down there and everything is so quiet and peaceful. Until the whole extended family is around - then it isn't quiet, but it is still heavenly!
I needed to include some pictures of our quick trip to pick up our girls! This was them in the raspberries on our last day there. We ALL picked that day to make sure we had enough berries to get us through the winter:)
Some of the rows had canes that were double my height! It was a jungle. So fun to talk - and listen to people talk - as we picked.
Of course we went on a long walk the one evening we were there. And my heart thrilled to see these two siblings together. They missed each other so much! They were walking along chattering away to each other and catching up (Isabelle and Nolan):
I got up early the morning we were going to leave and went on a hike. I was about a half mile up the road when I noticed my Aunt Ellen was trying to catch up to me. We had a wonderful visit as we hiked to the reservoir above my house. I love her; she is a complete sweetheart!:
Views from the hike:
A view of the valley from my parent's place:
I love this place so much!
When we arrived, Pace let me know that "Uncle Adam scary. Uncle Adam mean!!" I tried to convince him otherwise - and so did Adam. Adam loves little kids, and gives them a lot of attention, but he IS a big tease and very loud.
He knows the way to a little boy's heart, though, and was able to win Pace over by inviting him on a motorcycle ride that Pace couldn't resist:
When he got off, he promptly said, "Uncle Adam NICE!!" And now he also tells me, frequently, that he wants a motorcycle of his own...
The raspberries came on, and Isabelle and Maddie deserted us, leaving for Oregon to pick. They each pick about two flats each, every morning, and then play with cousins all.day.long. Great times they're having and great memories they are making! All of my kids have loved, so much, having this opportunity to go stay with my parents and do this!! It's a bit hard for Shawn and I to part with them so long, though...
Creative cousins spelling out "Kerns Family"
Nolan took care of the Jonson's dog while they were out of town. I got a kick out of watching my three little boys while they did it. They are all so cute and all at such a little- boy-looking stage. I love it!:
Isabelle, Nolan and Abram took swimming lessons, and on the very last day, Abram came home and jumped into the pond. This has been a HUGE fear of his all year long. He has wanted to jump in and swim with the kids, but just couldn't do it. He was pretty pleased with himself:)
I really like feet. Just had to take a pic of the cute feet (featuring Maddie, Isabelle, Nolan, Abram and Pace) that were surrounding me after scripture reading one morning:
We had our friends, the Riley's over for Sunday dinner.
13 kids = chaos!:
I loved to see the great help Pace was to Shawn with fixing the vaccuum cleaner. Also, have you noticed that whenever Shawn is doing something heroic he is wearing his Captain America shirt? Or maybe he's always doing things that I think are heroic;)
Caged beasts one Sunday morning:
Pace experienced the carousel and decided he liked it as long as Maddie held on to him:
The summer reading program at the local library became our social life and entertainment for a couple of weeks. The kids won free swimming passes, laser tag games, miniature golf and all sorts of treats around town. Plus the free prizes said that they could invite a friend, so they would either invite a friend, each other or cousins, depending on the day.
Here, Pace is attending a class to get another page passed off to get another prize:
Shawn worked LOOOOnnnng hours all week every week and could fall asleep really fast whenever he got the chance:
I kept up with the weeds in my yard and made sure to enjoy time just sitting on my front porch and reading or looking at it at least once a day:) View from the front porch:
Ahhhh.... I love summer and warm air and flowers and working in the dirt. Isabelle snapped a picture of me after a long, sweaty day of weeding. I've got to admit that I looked at it and thought, "whoa! I look like a 40 year old woman!" But then I decided I liked it anyway and sent it to Shawn, who was at a scout camp or high adventure or something like that. He loves hat pictures:)
On a different day, I had to take this pic of Nolan on the front porch, while we were talking, because I loved how his eyes were the same color as this pillow. They didn't look as intensely blue in the picture, but you get the idea. He is a very blue-eyed boy!:
Caden left for a week long NASA camp in Boise and then California and with the two girls in Oregon and Kami working day and evenings, that left me with just the three boys the majority of the time. Shawn and I set up the tent and slept in the backyard with them one weekend. I took them swimming (alone- I thought that was very brave!), to the splash park, we picked lots of raspberries and made jam, walked the green belt to see the IF waterfall per the boy's request (with Shawn), and went on many errands. It was so strange to have such a small family. Especially on Sundays with only four of us on the bench at church.
We even exercised together because I couldn't leave them home alone to go to the gym:
They did all the moves I was doing. It was SOOOOO cute.
We've had a great time with our boys, but we're missing our girls and are excited to see them in a few more days!
After the early morning hike, we came home and got ready for the parade. A parade in Haines, Oregon is Americana at it's best. Lots of rodeo queens, antique tractors, horses, etc. No advertisements, and even some patriotic entries. It's our favorite.
Just about everyone you can see in this picture is family, but I didn't catch them all...:
Nolan, Westley, Jonathan, Abram:
Gideon, Nolan and Westley:
Thomas and Pace:
Shawn and Pace:
After the parade we had a barbecue at mom and dads. I don't even know how many people were there, and failed to take pictures. But here is Kami and Jonathan:
And I found Matt, (with his son David) crashed after our early morning:
Of course, after the sun went down, we headed to Bradfords for a great view of the fireworks! Such a great day!