Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ethan turns 5!!!

Ethan turned 5 on Saturday.  I can hardly believe I have a 5 year old--it has just gone so fast.  We are so lucky to have Ethan in our family.  He is such an obedient, fun boy and so helpful.  He is always helping me out and is so kind to Kailey and Cade.  Here are a couple of pictures from his fun day!
The birthday boy with his banner and hat

Opening his first present--Kailey and Cade are as excited as Ethan!

More presents!

Cade playing with Ethan's new star wars gun (that makes so much noise!!)

Ethan wanted a batman cake and this is what I came up with

We invited some friends over for cake!

Blowing out the candles!

2nd place finish and Cirque Dreams

Cirque Dreams came to the base and performed a free show.  We went and it was amazing!!  We are so lucky to have so many talented performers come and perform at the military bases for free.  Here we are with part of the cast!

I ran in a 5K on Friday and pushed all 3 kids and FINISHED and ended up getting 2nd place in the stroller division (okay there were only like 5 strollers, but they were all only pushing one kid, and I had 3!!)  Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself.  My friend gave me her old jogging stroller and I LOVE it!  Can't wait for it to get warmer so I can use it more.  So Eric's whole command ran the race, and one of the JAG's snapped this picture of us to send to Eric joking that he wasn't man enough to push the kids!  While we were running, Eric came out and took a picture of us!

Here I am in action--the kids were really good, however, a couple of times they asked, "Mommy are you running yet?"  I guess I wasn't running fast enough!!


Two weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go down to Iwakuni, which is about 6 hours away by bullet train, on the southern tip of the island of Honshu, Japan.  I went down with a friend, we had to go for a church conference and the husbands stayed home to watch the kids--it was FANTASTIC!!!  I will say that Eric has a lot more appreciation for motherhood--he told me he never wanted to be a stay at home dad and couldn't wait to go back to work!!  He did have a lot of fun with the kids.  Jessica and I went down a little early and had time to go see this really cool bridge called the "Kintai Bridge."  Originally it was made with  no nails, it was just lashed together--it was pretty amazing.  Here are some pictures from our trip.
Kintai Bridge
We rode a cable car up the mountain to a castle and there were some amazing views.
View of the bridge from the top of the mountain
Looking over Iwakuni
The castle at the top

At night

I thought this was really cool with the reflection

We also had a chance to go to the LDS temple in Fukuoka, about 3 hours south of Iwakuni.  Here we are in front of the temple.

Jessica and I in front of the temple--we had so much fun.

Christmas 2011

We had an amazing Christmas this year.  It was really nice and low-key and the kids totally cleaned up and got TONS of fun presents that are still keeping them busy (the sign of a good toy!!)  Here are a couple of pictures!
Santa came!

Kailey so excited

Batman cave

Cade just chilling!

Cade in his raincoat and Kailey's boots!

So handsome!

New church clothes from Gramps and Granny

Matsumoto's Castle

Our last day in Nagano, we went and saw this really cool castle called Matsumoto's castle!
Kailey modeling her little slippers in our ryokan.
Kailey and I dressed to go to the onsen (hot baths that are inside and outside that you sit in naked--sounds weird, but  so relaxing!)  Kailey and I had so much fun!
Cade hiding in the little door
Cute Cade
View out our ryokan window

Family picture in front of the castle
Our ninja picture

The kids in the castle with our friends 

Snow monkeys!!

The highlight of our Nagano trip was going to see the snow monkeys.  You hike about a mile or so into the forest to find the monkeys hanging out at a natural hot spring and they are EVERYWHERE!!  It was kind of unnerving at first, because they are just roaming everywhere, but then you get past the fact that there are monkeys everywhere and it just becomes the coolest thing ever.  Kailey still talks about how one monkey patted her on her "bum-bum!"  Here are a couple of pictures from our adventure with the snow monkeys!
The start of the trail
Cade and one of his girlfriends, Maggie
Cade trying to pet the monkey

Looking at the monkeys in the hot spring

Kailey growling at the monkeys

Eric and I and Cade with the monkeys

It is amazing at how close you can get to the monkeys and they just don't even pay attention to you!

Looking at the monkey
Monkeys grooming each other

Most of our little group!