6 Years Together

Vic & I celebrated our 6th anniversary this week.  This year had lots of time apart & changes for us so it felt like a bumpy ride for awhile.  Once I realized that if Vic could spend more time with us then he would & that he really does the best he can; often being sleep deprived to squeeze in family time &help around the house.  It has made me love him more than ever & am happy he is such a good spouse & provider.  Plus, with all the extra work & stress he's lost 20 pounds & back down to his pre-marriage weight making him fit, cute & young looking as ever!!! :)
I really wanted to be on the beach this anniversary so we decided we'd check out our local beach 2 hours north on Lake Michigan.  Since we don't have family nearby we took the kids with us.  Tommy was pretty excited about his new sand toys & carried them all the way from the car.  I'm used to having to carry him so he looked pretty big hauling his own toys!
They played really cute together int he sand.
Whenever one of us went out in the water we had to be careful as Tommy isn't afraid of chasing us past his reach!
Whitney hated the water.
She does have a love for balls though so that helped her to have fun :)  I really liked this beach because that 4 feet of rock scared away a lot of people so we had the area to ourselves. Then, in the background there was a party going on with a live band so we had seclusion + great music so it made a wonderful evening.
Poor thing had sand all over her face constantly & for a girl who likes to snack a lot, that's not very fun!
Tommy was obsessed with his new shovels & when he got cold he was happy to get buried.
This lasted for about 2 seconds with Whitney.

 This picture right here is what I want heaven to look like.  I am obsessed with beaches & this day the water & the sun were the perfect color.

 Tommy was laughing hysterically & wanted to go higher & higher until pretty late. 
 The next day we drove further north up into Michigan to have all sand beaches.  It was a really nice area, but super clogged with people. By the end of the day there was 4 rows back of people all the way down. Whitney isn't happy in this picture, but I wanted to show how unique the beach line is with the forest right next to it.

 We finally got this girl to like the water at the end so I had to snap a picture of a smile!
 I didn't get as many pictures of Tommy the 2nd day as all he did was play in the sand ALL day!
 We had a blast & we are way excited to have found such a treasure so close to home :)  
As for bad news... my wonderful camera that I carried everywhere got thrown in the pool by a naughty boy (NOT mine) this week so we'll have a whole in pictures for awhile :( 


St. Louis Trip

We went to my brother's house for a nice long weekend of playing games & hanging out.  One of the days we went to Six Flags Theme Park.  Vic was pretty excited & had Tommy watching Bugs Bunny all week so he'd be excited for the characters.  I'm pretty sure he had most the rides memorized before we even went.  I was worried he would be let down as I think Disneyworld is way cooler, but Vic had a blast!  
Here we are on the log ride.  It is funny Tommy looks so scared as all before the drop he kept trying to stand up to see what was coming he was so excited.
On the way to the park Tommy fell asleep. Vic & I had gone off to a ride by ourselves & when we came back Tommy had just woken up & Uncle Ben threw him on a ride.  He was so out of it & love that we got his confused stupor on camera!
 Vic on the train ride. It was pretty lame, but Tommy & Evie really liked it.
 I thought the kids would like the swing ride, but not one of them cracked a smile until Vic showed up to wave to them at the end.  The lady behind me couldn't believe I could handle 5 little kids by myself, but these 5 were all super well behaved so it made my job easy :)
 Tommy really liked this ride.  He is the 2nd one from the left & Evie is to his right. They both look so cute with their big smiles!
 Tommy got distracted from his fun every time he saw a roller coaster & would point & try to drag me there all day.  Sadly there wasn't any small coasters for him to ride.
 Tower drop: my absolute favorite ride out there.  It always has an amazing view at the top & then straight down rush with no sick twists or turns :)
 Close up of our faces: Becky smiling perfectly for the camera, haha!, Me LOVING it, & Vic with his "wow" face.
 Vic opted out of the river raft ride and it's a good thing he did... we all got drenched!!  Tommy got the worst of every wave flying over his head.  He was upset at first, but when I asked him if he wanted to go again he hopped right back on.
 I was surprised they let Tommy sneak on a ride he wasn't big enough for!  All of the kids were crazy about the rides. (except Whitney)
 Cute party cousins!
 We finally found time to go to the temple as well while we were down there.  
The grounds were beautiful as always.
 The main reason we went was for Evie's 2nd birthday party which I didn't get any pictures of besides Tommy playing on the slip & slide with Kara!
 As usual time flew way too fast & I wondered where the day went!  I wish that happened on Vic's long days at work, but life just isn't as fun without extended family around!


New Pictures!

I feel it was a failure, but check out my latest photos of the kids!  CLICK HERE to see my photo blog :)


4th of July

Happy 4th of July!  I have always loved the 4th to celebrate everything great about being an American, but 5 years ago this month we moved home from England & can now FULLY appreciate being true blue Americans & loving all of our freedom, choices, & culture.
Here's Whitney ready to go to the parade.
The parade started off with at least 20 fire trucks followed by a million tractors.
I was starting to wonder if they had actual floats when finally this one pulled up... pulled by a tractor!
The kids loved it.  Whitney was permanently pointing at everything that went by.  The parade people must have loved seeing such a little ones out there because they threw LOTS of candy our way.  
Tommy was in heaven.
I was MELTING the entire time & even the kids just sitting there were dripping with sweat.  I looked up the heat later & it was 100 degrees (a record) with a heat index of 118!  
No wonder I was exhausted when I got home!!!
I had little motivation to be too creative this year so I happily made Vic's favorite: fruit pizza.
We went to a friends party & she had these amazing drinks!
Our kids threw water balloons for the first time & loved it.  They went right through the pile in no time!
All the kids had sparklers so I was surprised that Whitney actually wanted one.  As you can see here she just wanted to touch it & blow it out. (both kids are obsessed with blowing out candles)

Fun little star pinata.  Tommy was by far the most aggressive with his wacks. Surprise!
 It was nice that there was a playground right by the fireworks so we played here right up until time for the fireworks to start.  The humidity was up 87% so although it was down to 95 degrees it still felt like way hotter.  Everyone was walking around dripping with sweat... so weird at 10pm!
 I guess people don't like to sit on the sand because once we saw where the fireworks lit off from we walked right down next to the river & sat immediately across from where they set them off with plenty of space everywhere.  It was really nice!  Tommy loved it & Whitney cried at first, but liked it as long as she had a packet of fruit snacks in her hand. (Glad we happened to have the parade treats still with us!)
 We had a few fireworks left over from last year so we let Tommy do those when we got home & he was begging for more so we'll have to grab some more to do later.


Visit from Family & water play

I forgot to post that 2 days before we moved we had Victor's family in town!  His mom, dad, 2 brother's & family came to stay for a few days.  It was pure madness as goes most Sutherland visits, but packed full of FUN! :)  Here we are on a walk with most of the crew.
Later that night we finally used our fire pit for fun instead of only burning extra branches.  The kids were pretty excited to catch fireflies.
Tommy roasted his first marshmallow. (love that Grandpa is in the background!)
He didn't end up eating it as you can see he found it more fun to drag it around in the ashes.
The next day we went to the park & zoo.  The petting part is Tommy's favorite.
Here is his cousin Autumn helping brush goats.
Yep. All the people in this picture are all part of our crew!!!

I had to snap one of myself to prove that I was there!
Later everyone went up to Chicago to go to a baseball game.  I kept the 5 youngest home so we had a water party w/ icee pops, a movie outside, and nail painting. My niece told me this was the best day of her year! Haha, who knew it'd be so cheap?! :)  Here they are in our tiny kiddy pool with their "party hats" on.
I pulled our bouncer out for their baby, but Tommy & Whitney (who never even liked it much as a baby) decided that it was a great new toy.  Tommy watched an entire movie in this position!

 The kids weren't very interested in this baby slide anymore until I put a pool at the bottom & now they are nuts over it and insist it be part of their daily routine.
 Most of the time Whitney just wants to sit on the side in her favorite chair & watch.
 Whitney loves riding the train, but unfortunately for her Tommy thinks it is great to play bumper car with her & push her around. Poor girl puts up with a lot!
 The last few days Tommy has got excited to get ready for the day by himself & when he's come out of the bathroom from brushing his teeth he did his own hair as well.  Hehe, this kid cracks me up! 
 And here is his hairstyle the next day. (He just found a big flower & shoved it under a headband!)
 Whitney has decided she loves to wear sunglasses inside or outside.
 For playgroup I organized a group to go to our local water park. 
 Whitney isn't a big fan of water so this was her favorite spot. (snacking of course)
 Tommy on the other hand thought he was in Disneyland & cried when we had to leave after a full half day.
 The next day Vic had a business meeting by a fun little lake town so we tagged along.
I thought I'd get a cute picture with Vic & the kids because the sunset was so pretty, but of course Tommy was more interested in dumping sand on everyone. 
 This isn't the best picture, but it's the only one of me on the trip!
 Vic hasn't aged a bit in the last 6 years!
 The kids LOVED chasing the ducks around.
 I love walking pictures as this is our everyday view of each other all the time.
 The kids played until we couldn't see anymore.  They loved playing in the sand. I think this was their first encounter with it.
 The next day while Vic was in meetings I played with the kids in the hotel pool. Whitney only wanted to touch her feet in it once so that made it easy to swim with both of them.  I think Tommy will be easy to teach to swim as he naturally kicks his arms & legs if I hold his belly.
 We ended our trip with a Mexican lunch party. We planned on heading back to the lake, but I wore the kids out too much at the pool that morning so they fell asleep right away.