Wednesday, December 31, 2014


One of the coolest gifts that Nate and Coop received for Christmas was a simple wooden plank set called "Contraptions."

Alex produced a cool movie of the kids building a creation.

Click here to watch:

Monday, December 29, 2014

Post-Christmas Trip To Corvallis

The day after Christmas we loaded up the car and made our way to Corvallis.  We had a wonderful few days hanging out with Ami and Poppi and Seth and Caroline's family.
One of the first stops was rock climbing at the indoor OSU rock wall.  Chloe was wearing her new Hawaii sundress!
Poppi belaying Chloe
Afternoons were spent playing outside.

Cali and her horse Cooper
Love this lady!
Who would have thought that Seth would grow up to be such a wonderful human?!  Seriously, though he is one of my favoritest!
And now he is just making fun of me wanting pictures of everyone.

We had some really special game time around the dining room table that turned into great conversations learning about how Ami and Poppi met, Ami's decision to go to BYU, etc...  I think we sat around the table until 11 pm just visiting one night with all the kids.
Chloe was inseparable with this dolly that we all grew up with.
On the way home we stopped in Portland at the new Visitor's Center.  
Portland Temple
We took the scenic waterfall side trip home -- it was beautiful and cold!

Wish you were there?

Click here to watch:

Saturday, December 27, 2014

New Member Of The Family

Ami and Poppi won the BEST PRESENT OF THE YEAR Award!!!!  They gave our family a GoPro3 Plus.  I wish we had been recording the whole opening of the gift (Birch and I had no idea either).  The kids were squealing like piggies and jumping into each other's arms.  I think Tyler and Alex were almost crying.

Tyler seems to be good at knowing all the specifics about the GoPro -- how to use it, angles to take videos, etc...  Alex is turning into an incredible video editor.

Here is one of the first video's Alex created:

Click here to watch:

Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Eve and Day

This year's Christmas Eve smorgasbord did not let down!  We dined on shrimp, homemade pizza, hummus and veggies, pickled asparagus wrapped ham, cheese and dips, bbq little smokies, orange chicken, boneless bbq wings, cookies, chips and mango salsa, Italian Sodas, and more.
 We were blessed with having the Finch family and missionaries join us for our evening fun.
 Chloe read us all a book for her talent.  She really is a great reader and I thought it was so creative that she chose that for her talent.
 Alysee MC the night and sang a few songs.
 Alex treated us all to a ukulele number.
 Cooper was really creative in his talent -- he drew us a picture on demand.
 Nate and Tyler did one of their awesome "pretzel" numbers.
 Chloe and Dad sang 
 Next up was reenacting the Nativity.  Chloe was the lucky winner of getting the part of Mary.

 Matthew Finch (Joseph), Chloe (Mary), Alysee (Shepard), Nate, Coop, Alex (Wise men), and Tyler (Angel)
 Decorating our gingerbread house

Tyler made a super thoughtful gift for Alysee - boot socks.  He made them out of a sweater arm and then sewed lace to the top. 
 Coop saved up his money and bought Coop some sweet headphones.
 This Christmas was a little different.  Birch and I decided years ago that we would love to share what we love with our kids.  We were able to make it possible through purchasing a vacation package through the Hilton to share our love for the tropics with the kids.  So for Christmas each of the kids had a large wrapped box that had a new duffle bag, a lei, swimsuit, and a few different things (shorts, sunglasses, snorkel gear, etc...).  We then had all the kids come in the office to watch a little video unveiling where we would be going as a family.
Click here
 HAWAII Baby!!!!
 We always have a yummy breakfast for lunch on Christmas Day.  This year I did it all in a Hawaiian theme.

 We enjoyed dinner with the Andersen family. 
 Italian Sodas, Homemade Rolls, marinated pork tenderloin, delicious mashed potatoes, corn casserole -- it was all delicious and so nice because most of the preparation was done earlier in the week.
Garlic Parmesan Christmas tree rolls
 Going to bed with their new Christmas curlers
Chloe with her new doll (Anya) from Santa

It was a really memorable Christmas!  Birch and I are so excited for March to come and experience the Big Island with our kiddos.  

Saturday, December 20, 2014

18 Years...but who's counting

Since our official anniversary was smack on Thanksgiving this year we decided to postpone the celebration a few weeks.  We were so blessed to be able to staying in my sister-in-law's parents beautiful home near Seattle.
 First stop was to do sealings at the Seattle Temple to remind ourselves of the covenants we made eighteen years ago.  This has been a wonderful tradition for our anniversary!  
I hadn't been to the Seattle Temple since I was in Young Women's so it was extra special!
Saturday morning we enjoyed a matinee movie called "The Theory of Everything."  It was a great movie but also full of emotion.
 Several years ago we took our pictures in a photobooth while in St. Louis.  The photobooth at the movie theater was calling my name.

We had a great get-a-way and enjoyed lots of tasty food and no schedule.  We caught the beginning of the Snowland parade in Portland which helped get me in the Christmas spirit.  

Sure do love this man!!!