Monday, June 29, 2015

Nieces and Nephews in California

I seriously hate that I live so far away from Braxton and Olivia. Luckily I still seem them a few times a year but I wish my whole family could just live close.....although maybe that would be too much drama, I don't know. I got to kidnap Olivia and Braxton for a few days and spend lots of time with them. It was so fun.

I have decided that when I am in Oroville for the summer I really want to make an effort to visit my friends that maybe don't live right near Oroville. This year I wanted to visit Erica and Sariah. Erica is always so inviting. She let me drag my niece, nephew, and dog to her house.  She lives in a fun place and I am glad for good friends who let me intrude. It was so fun to catch up with her.

We went into the city on Monday night. As you can see the weather cooperated.
 The beach is just magical.
 I didn't get pictures of the whales that were spouting water in the air a ways off the shore. It really was the perfect evening.
We finished the night with dinner and ice cream. Braxton was asleep before we got home. VICTORY!
Sariah ended up having her baby the day I was supposed to visit her. That was a bummer for me so we hung out at Erica's a little bit longer. She made us breakfast and lunch and we got to swim and play in her amazing yard. Moki was in heaven.
Braxton was in heaven also.
  Braxton is obsessed with super heros right now.
 We headed out after lunch and the kids slept in the car. That was awesome. That evening we headed to the movies and watched Inside Out. What a fun movie.
 I am that mean aunt that really tries to limit screen time. Let me just say that it is so hard. I totally get why parents allow screen time, I allow it too but only when it is really hot. Wednesday we woke up and went to the park before 8am.
 Bubba loves the monkey bars. That kid is strong.
Luckily Caleb came too and he could do the monkey bars over and over.

We came home and painted nails. They both wanted to do their own so it was an outside activity.
We went to the river to swim after lunch. I don't have pictures but we had fun. Moki jumps off the dock and chases her toy duck. Braxton and Olivia did some swimming as well.

After dinner it was still hot and Olivia was begging for screen time so we went to the Townsends to swim instead.
 They have a beautiful pool and are so generous to let others swim. It was a great evening. Olivia got brave and even went off the diving board a few times.
 Thursday I took the kids back to Lodi. I love spending time with these cuties. I hope above all else they know they are loved by many. I think of how much meanness and cruelty is in the world and I just hope they always know they are loved! It is always so sad to say goodbye.

I am putting in a couple more beach pictures because they are the best.
Man it makes me wish I lived near the city sometimes.
 It really was the perfect evening.





Sunday, June 28, 2015

Redding

So my aunt Virginia and I are hiking the Swiss Alps in July.......I know the coolest thing ever. We wanted to hike a couple of times together while I was in California. She lives in Redding which is close to Lassen Natoinal Park which has some good hiking. I got to head up to her house for two days so we could hike. I also got to kayak with my cousin Cody. We hiked Lassen Peak.
 Don't worry this picture is after the hike. It was dark when we started. We woke up sooooooo early. They learned I don't smile or talk much at 4:30am. I am also not very happy. Once we finally got hiking and the sun came up I slowly started to let my personality warm-up as well.
It's a 5 mile hike that is semi steep. It was a good little morning workout.
I was awake by the time we got to the top.
There were beautiful views the entire climb. And on the peak we got a view of the gorgeous Mt. Shasta.
Someday I want to summit that mountain!

Redding is very close to a beautiful little reservoir called Whiskey Town. Cody and I kayaked there. The water was amazing.

 These kayaks are not comfortable but they go fast.....the end!

It was fun to be out on the lake. The next morning Virginia and I did a 6.5 mile hike by Whiskey Town. It was a fun hike and Moki got to come. She loved hiking and swimming.

It was so fun to get to spend a couple days in Redding with family.




Family Time

Not only did most of my siblings come home for Caleb we had a lot of extended family stop in as well. It is always a blessing to see so many people when I travel home. Lots of food was consumed and lots of games were played. And the weather was somewhat manaegable.

I don't know why you would ever want to take this picture again but it was important for these guys to do a recreate. We all got to laugh.
 Moki was less than thrilled that she was stuck inside while the kids were swimming.
 Bubba is seriously at the cutest stage ever. If only we could freeze him at his just turned three today phase.
My grandma Brown, Aunt Virginia, and Aunt Janice all came. I meant to get a picture of my grandma and her four kids all playing settlers. It was so fun to watch. Families are the best.
 I tried out these water balloons. They are expensive but awesome.
All the kids had a water balloon fight. It probably lasted 2 minutes.
The kids spent a ton of time in this pool. It made it so nice for the adults.
 We all took turns supervising.
The best way to end a summer day is with ice cream!
The next morning Virginia, Cody, Moki, and I hiked Feather Falls. It's a great little hike kind of close to Oroville.
 Northern California needs rain so bad. Not a lot of water and everything is so brown.
After the hike we floated the Feather River. We just floated from the fish hatchery to Riverbend Park. It is a pretty short distance but it took an hour and a half. The water is really calm and it was so fun to just hang out.
 It's always nice to enjoy each others company and to be cool.
 Moki loves my nephews because they seriously are always feeding him.






Caleb came home

 This time we made sure that we made it to the airport before the missionary. We were early and got to hang out for a few minutes.
I actually brought my nice camera and took a few pictures with it, but I mostly used my phone.
 These kids are getting so big.
 Everyone was in a good mood:)
 Lots of people came home to show Caleb some love!

And then he came. . . . . .
 I was chasing kids around and got an up above view.
 All excited to have him home
Missionaries coming home really is the best.
Peace out airport!

It has been so fun to visit with Caleb and see how his mission changed him. He gave a great report to the high council and also a great homecoming talk. I love to see and hear about the lives he changes and the people he helped come unto Christ. There were challenges and trials but those souls he helped convert will forever be grateful for Caleb Brown. My parents also got a couple of letters from members in the areas Caleb served that talked about the impact he had in their ward. It is always so nice to hear other people praise the ones you love. I am so glad I was able to travel home for this special occasion.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Fast two years!

This kid comes home on Tuesday!!!!!!
I have been so crazy with summer work that I haven't had a chance to get excited, but yesterday it really hit me. Caleb will be home. I love Caleb. I am excited to see how is mission has changed him. I hope that it has helped him learn some lifetime habits that will influence the rest of his life. He served in one area for almost 10 months and the bishop there just sent the nicest letter about Caleb and the difference he made in that ward. Going on a mission is hard. The preparation can be hard and the experience has so many challenges but man the Lord blesses you. Love this kid and I can't wait to see him step off the airplane Tuesday at 4pm!