Monday, August 5, 2013


The week-end after the Ott Reunion was Austin's baptism so we headed down to Tennessee on Thursday.  On the way we stopped in Kentucky to visit my Great Aunt Gladys and her daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Delmar.  We had a pleasant visit with them before continuing on our way.

It was the first time we had seen the Rays new house.  It is very cute and in a nice neighborhood.  I'm very happy for her. 

Friday we met some friends for lunch.  They lived in Edwardsville the same time frame we did.  Alexandra and their daughter Layne met at Kindergarten Orientation and became friends fast.  The continued to be friends despite the fact that they never ended up in the same class after Kindergarten year.  They had moved in the same summer we did, and moved away the same week we did.  Funny thing is Layne's mom, Patti, is also from Ohio.  We loved the Cupp family and it was great to reconnect with them.  Plus, we ate a Chick-Fil-A which is always a bonus since we don't have one near us.  The Cupps are also on their second move since Edwardsville.  They lived in Ohio while we where in Indiana and had just moved to Tennessee the week before we went down.  They only live about 15 mins from my sister.

 We made a late night ice-cream run to Sonic Friday night.  Saturday before the baptism we were able to go to a B-day party for my cousins MayEmma's little boy.  It was nice to see my Aunt and some of my cousins.  Everyone had fun playing with a incredibly ugly mask the Rays have. Here is Xandy:
 Bella gives it a try
 Even Dad got in on the fun
 Bella got this doll before we left.  I was able to score a really good deal on it thanks to Mom and Natalie watching the Today show.  We ended up giving it to her instead of waiting for Christmas or her b-day since they were both so far away.  Plus, her Christmas gift this year was defective, we returned it two times and the third one still didn't work right.  Bella loved it and treats it like a real baby.   If she needs to leave the room, she makes sure someone is there to hold and watch "Emma".  The only times she forgets about her baby is when real babies are around.
 Uncle Alex was able to attend the baptism since he was flying in for the big family vacation.  He's got to win the best uncle awards for actually taking a nap while holding the doll.  Not too many college guys would do that.  But, he'd kill me if he knew I got it on camera :)
We were disappointed we didn't have time for tubing, but there was too much going on that week-end.  The baptism was great.  Katy played prelude and interlude music.  All the cousins sang "When I am Baptized".  Uncle Jared gave the talk on baptism because (in Austin's own words) "he must know a lot about baptism". After playing the piano at 3 baptism this year, I think Katy was a little relieved to find out we were not going to make it to Weston's baptism in September.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Week with Rays and Ott Reunion

The week after The Color Run, we went back home and Austin and Mason came with us.  We took the boys on our favorite hike at Oglebay that leads to the waterfalls.  The kids decided to play IN the waterfall.  I don't usually mind, but I was not prepared that day.  We didn't have any towels or a change of clothes.  I had wanted to stop at the Nature Center on the way home, but obviously that had to be scratched.  I jokingly told Mason he was so wet I was going to tie him to the top of the car to drive home.  He was a little disappointed when I didn't really do that.
Another day we went to Barkcamp State Park to go swimming.  The park is on the Ohio side but less than 1/2 hour away.  We met our friends the Orbans there also.

Austin had a b-day while he was with us.  It was a special b-day too, he turned 8!  I made him Lasagna and Brownies per his request.  Mima and Pop-Pop were able to come down to celebrate his b-day with us.

His loot- he made out pretty good for being away from home.  Mason and I went shopping together which was interesting.  Mason kept trying to get me to buy things that I knew was more his interests than Austin's.  He would get very annoyed when I didn't fall for it.  It was still a fun shopping excursion though and I think Mason enjoyed being the only one who got to go with me.
(Notice the boogie board in the stash?  That gift from Aunt Terra was for a fun upcoming vacation!!)
The next day Uncle Martin and Kelten came into town.   The Ott Reunion was at Salt Fork State Park, also in Ohio but less than an hour away.  The ironic part is it was planned long before we moved here.  It worked out in our favor though.  Some family stayed in hotels not too far from us.  Our pavilion was right by the beach which made it convenient for the kids.  We had so much fun, I forgot to take pictures.  I did snap this one on the way home though.  Proof that we had a blast if they crashed that hard on under one hour drive!
Not sure who took this picture and why, but notice that Mima is about ready to collapse!

Color Run and family fun

The weekend after Philadelphia, Dustin brought Alexandra back up to us.   He also left Austin and Mason with us for a visit.  We were planning on leaving right after church on Sunday to go spend the week with Mima and Pop-Pop.  Sunday ended up being a very long and interesting day.  We did eventually make it to Mima's and Pop-pops but it was much later than planned.  We had gotten a call late in the week asking Jared and I to meet with Stake Leaders early on Sunday at the church.  Jared was given a call to serve as 1st Counselor in the Bishopric.  The kids and I have been travelling so much this summer that we really haven't noticed the impact of the change to his schedule.  The stake president offered to take group pictures.  He said someone took one of the first Bishopric he was in and he's enjoyed looking back at the picture.
with the wives


We did end up making it to Ohio in time to stop by the farewell party for some friends of ours that were moving to Colorado.  And yes, I am the mean mom/aunt that had the kids doing workbook pages over the summer.
 The temperatures were not really warm enough for swimming the week we were in Ohio, but that did not stop the kids from swimming nonstop 24/7.
 We also went to a park about everyday.  Austin got tired of it and asked if we were on "somekind of a park tour or something".  Alexandra's friend, Abby came over after the park one day and swam for awhile.  They had identical swimsuits by coincidence.

We also took the kids to a nature center in Avon.  I had never been to it before but I think it is called Miller Nature Center.  The kids loved the carnivorous plant display they had.


One of the main reasons for our trip to Ohio was for The Color Run.  The girls had begged to do one and the nearest one at that time was Columbus or Cleveland.  Here we are nice and clean in our white shirts.



Katy took off running and left us in her dust.  She eventually found the older sisters of her friend Brooke and ran with them.  I stayed with the girls.  We all had a blast.  Bella's attitude was night and day different from the Superhero Run.  She was super excited and pumped but color and music are her "thing" .  It was funny because every time a color chute was approaching she would take off in a sprint.  We tried to get Jacob to run with us since under 5 was free but there were so many people there he was overwhelmed.  He choose to cling to Mima instead and cheer for us near the first color chute.  Pop-Pop took the Mason and Austin and went farther on the course to cheer us on. 
We did take Jacob into the color bomb at the end.  Although he wasn't fond of all the color dust that made it difficult to breathe and see.  The girls on the other hand couldn't get enough color and joined the color bombs a few times.

We did end up running into our friends the Franklins and the Chattertons after the race.  We knew they were running also but I didn't hold out much hope that we'd see them because there were so many people there.

(we sprayed our shirts with vinegar per instructions to set the color but were disappointed that the majority of the color washed out)

While we were in Ohio we inducted the girls into the Buchkovich Dairy Treat run.  Pop-Pop and I always run when we are going there and try to rope as many others into it as we can.  For many years it was the only ice cream place in Avon.  But in the last few years that has changed but we have remained loyal customers.  However, the girls were not amused that we passed at least 4 other ice cream places on the way.  Mima and the boys drove and met us there.  There wasn't room for all of us in the car going home so I volunteered to run back.  Austin decided to join me.  It was uh....interesting.  Pop-Pop ended up having to pick him up so we wouldn't run out of daylight.  He had no interest in running the 3 miles back.  He was more interested in a slow stroll stopping to look at this and at that.  He cracks me up!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Valley Forge and Fligh 93 Memorial

Sunday afternoon we went to Valley Forge with the Sass Family, Grandma, and Jacob and Brittany.  Afterwards we had a barbeque at the Sass's.  Then my family drove back to Grandma's house to spend the night.  Alexandra had left and driven home with Aunt Christy and Todd so she could spend the week in Tennessee at Tonya's house.  Tonya had flown into Philadelphia for a work function that happened to coincide with the graduation.
Jacob and Jacob
 (My cousin Jacob who I believe was also named after my great-grandfather Jacob Ott)
 Bella's pose fits her personality to a "T"
 Funny Faces

 Can you tell how much little Jacob loves big Jacob?
Monday morning (memorial day) we went on a hike on a trail near Grandma's house.  After that we went to the Flight 93 memorial.  It is less than 1/2 hr from my Grandma's house.  There were special events going on all day in honor of Memorial Day.  We actually found out afterwards that the Vice-President was there later that day.  I must say I was not nearly as disappointed to miss the current VP as I would have been some of the previous ones.  The memorial was neat to see.  I would recommend waiting a few year and then going to see it.  There are some incredible additions planned.  I think it will be amazing when it is all completed.

 This park ranger gave a wonderful presentation on the lives of the passengers and crew.  He also retold the events regarding Flight 93.  All these years later and I still cry every time.
 The white wall shows the line of sight from the cockpit as it crashed

The wall of names.  The girls were very upset when they saw that one of the passengers had been pregnant when it crashed.