Monday, September 29, 2014


In JUNE we..

found new ways of sleeping,

Went to "touch a truck' and got to play in a bunch of fun vehicles,

 Yep, their first time on a school bus.

Took some swimming lessons,

 Ridge got to play while the others were doing lessons,

Did lots of playing outside,

She turned 6!

She helped decorate her cake.  It was meant to be an underwater scene.

She got roller blades and gear and this was what I came outside to. 

Thursday, September 25, 2014


I forgot to post this photo of my mom and the kids when she came out to watch them in April.  They LOVED having her here so much.  Ridge warmed up really fast and did much better than I expected.  The whole trip was a success!

 Anyway, in April Bret went back to Spain and sadly was there during Easter. 

In MAY Kade took another tae kwon do class,

Landon did t-ball

Mag did t-ball. She has a surprisingly good arm.  I've never been good at throwing :)

She makes a friend wherever she goes

We took some fam photos

And Landon turned 4!  I can't find any photos of the party right now, but this one is a good replacement. Happy their undies. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dominican Republic trip in a nutshell

I have to start somewhere, so I'm going WAY back in time.

In April, Bret and I were able to go to the Dominican Republic together.  Without kids. It was awesome.  Bret had already been there once before for his dissertation data collection and this was his second round of it.  My mom came out and stayed with the kids while we were gone.  It was so nice of her to do that and the kids loved having their grandma around.  As I said before, Bret had gone to the D.R in February and stayed with a great host family.  We stayed with them for this trip as well.  It was wonderful.  We had authentic homemade Dominican food for every meal.  They were such an enjoyable family(and all the friends that came and went throughout the day.)  They were very gracious hosts and it was sad to say goodbye when we left.  

This trip was not your typical get away vacation and stay at a resort type of vaca.  It was very make-shift, but that's actually the part that made it so exciting.  I loved it.  

For the first part of the week we stayed close to the home so we could walk to and from campus everyday.  Bret was collecting data on the study abroad students there so we had to be able to meet with them when they could.  I enjoyed walking down the busy streets with Bret and seeing the sights.  I brought a book and read while he did his interviews.  It was nice and relaxing.

The second half of the week we did a lot of site seeing and traveling.  All I have to say about that is good thing Bret speaks Spanish.  I have no idea how anyone could get around there without being able to communicate! 

Here are some photos to show what we did.

This is walking down a busy street to the host family's house with our luggage when we first got there. They were appalled that we walked and didn't get a taxi.  To be honest this was a low-budget kind of trip AND the walk really wasn't that far.

They had a fun museum in town that we went to.  We also went back there another time with one of our hosts and friend and watched a movie that was made by a Dominican who went with a few others from the D.R. to Mount Everest.  It was the first time any Dominican made it to the top.  It was fun to watch except I couldn't understand a word of it.  Bret translated for me in my ear, but we both got tired  of that about half way through.

This is an outdoor cafe on campus.

We saw a lot of these little lizards.

 The host mom and one of her daughters. 

One of the amazing meals we had at their house.

We did SO much walking, my legs ached every night. 

This was at a market. Boy do they hound you there.  Everywhere we went we were hounded.  I got pretty good at saying no near the end.  We also worked out a system (when trying to bargain) where Bret would turn to me and tell them that I said no to a certain price and wouldn't change my mind. So they would then lower their price.  The funny thing is is it seemed to be apart of their culture.  Everyone was bartering and people were always arguing over prices. Kind of annoying for us, but I guess if you grew up that way and it was completely normal for you it might not be so annoying.

There were fruit stands everywhere.  I would say the main food that the D.R. has going for them it would be the fruit.  They have all sorts of fun fruit and it is all so flavorful.  Although our host family warned us to not buy fruit from just anyone on the street.  Things were not sanitary in most places.  And no one drinks the water.  They all drink bottled water.  There was also a lot of garbage on the streets and sidewalks.

These guys were crazy. They are called  motoconchos.  They are motorcycle taxi's. Whenever we got on or off a bus they were there waiting and wanting you to get on their motorcycles.  They would weave in and out of traffic like crazy people.  Sometime I would see three people on one.  Seems like all ages rode on them, from they old to the very very young. Funny sight.  Also scary.  They all drive crazy there, whether on a motoconcho or a car or bus.  Everyone drove in a way that made me feel like we could die at any turn. We went to church on Sunday and the mission president(?) told us they don't allow the missionaries to drive after it gets dark there.  Interesting side note, it gets dark around 6pm every day, no matter what time of year.

 On a double decker bus.  We sat in the very front on top, right above the driver.  There was a huge glass windshield so we could see everything.  scary.

So my videos refuse to upload.  I've tried a million different things to get them to comply, but they won't.  I wanted to post this video of a place we went.  It's a really cool place where you get a guide and hike up a mountain thing and then go down the river where there are 27 slides or waterfalls you jump off of.  the slides are in the rocks and the whole thing was so so fun.