Archive for the ‘vacation’ Category

Family Reunion: Picture time…

August 20, 2009

How to document such a thing?

A Family Reunion is like…a box of chocolates….
Wait no.. it’s like stubbing your toe in the dark…
Wait… it’s like a giant hen house of cackling hens with the baby chicks running everywhere…
Or.. more like a zoo? The mess? The monkeys? The FUN!
Heaven… or Hell? Sometimes a little of both.

little boy in sprinkler black and white summer time fun

I come from one of THOSE kinds of families. The really big kind.

Please meet my big fat Mormon Family. 65+cousins on my mom’s side alone… Those 65+ cousins are nearly all grown and have children of their own.. how many you ask?? We lose count at 175+? Some of those cousins already have grand-kids. In fact I am a great aunt 3x over!

We get together every other year, rotating through my mother’s siblings like a roulette wheel. This past summer my mom was the ‘host’. This means everyone was invited back to our homestead in Eastern Utah… where 4Wheelin’ is King and staying dry while river rafting is NOT an option!

Who might you find at this big fat Mormon reunion?

A Dad with his baby… (OMGosh you did NOT just say THAT!)

Dad and baby family reunion

A Grandma…(contemplating the dishes for that many..again!)

grandma at family reunion

A Great-Grandma—My Dad’s Mom, My Dad’s grand-daughter (and my daughter).

great grandma and great grand kid family reunion

And a Happy Couple along with cousins teaching each other how to create earth shattering ARMpit Farts!


And one more for good measure…

It was pointed out to me recently that I’m not in any of the pictures from our recent trip to Utah? Um.. does anyone else have this problem? Where it appears that the whole family went on vacation and LEFT MOM HOME???

Next week.. the anniversary trip.. and I promise I AM in some of the pictures!

Of Summer and Sand…Winds of Change?

June 26, 2009

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You know what I really wanted to capture with these photos on the beach? I wanted a great shot of all three kids working together.. in a non-posed shot. Something I could blow up to a poster sized shot you know? Or even better— hire an artist to use that awesome hoped-for photo to create a nice sized image.

I am really liking the ages of my kids right now. I want to catch them in the act of being kids. Cuz… I am starting to feel the winds of change these days.

Oldest is off to Jr. High this fall.

Youngest starts Kindergarten.

Something is in the air? Can you smell it?

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GNO: Have Van Will Travel

October 20, 2008
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We decided a few years ago…taking a vacation without the kids?

No fun.

Lining up the childcare, making grandma keep up with their schedules, worrying?

It was all a nightmare, and by the second night away? I wished the kids were WITH us. Seeing the ancient volcano, trying out snorkeling, tasting an authentic dish.

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We’ve also learned that the HOTEL POOL is usually more fun than any vacation activities. So we found that staying in a condo with a pool and with a kitchen cuts down on our travel costs. And airfare for 5 is out of the question.. so we find places within a 15 hour drive. The kids are troopers and make it in one shot now.


This is outside our Hotel in Palm Desert last winter.
(That would be near Palm Springs, one town removed).

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We rode the tram, cuz the guide book said it was a no miss. But in our opinion the ridiculously high priced ticket with the snow and cold at the top and the fancy lunch prices NOT fun for kids, and WORTH missing…

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However the awesome walking trails nearby? Oh my gosh, soooo beautiful. The kids had a blast, and it looked like we were walking in an alien forest!
And meeting up with friends from New Jersey in California? Seriously cool.


Whatdya think? Christmas Card worthy?

kids group 1

And outside the children’s museum…
These are vacations WORTH taking the kids along!

How do YOU travel?

Our first ever Guest Tweet for GNO!

Michelle Duffy
(you know her on Twitter as @Wandermom)
And you need to know her from her Terrific Travel Blog:
Wanderlust and Lipstick

Michelle has agreed to be our Guest Expert chatting about….
TRAVEL of course!
Please see Jyl’s feature of Michelle!
(And I hear rumor there is a big giveaway somewhere….)

Where to Travel?
Traveling with kids?
With out kids?
Driving Vacations?
How about Thanksgiving this year?
What are your upcoming plans?

Also announcing…
‘Follow’ The Topic

Share your travel story on your own blog, past, present or future!
We’d like to see it, read it, enjoy it!
Post sometime during this week and link it up on Mr. Linky
Over at our very own GNO Blog!


RSVP your TWITTER Username Here:

Tuesday night Oct. 21st!
6PM Pacific
7PM Mountain
8PM Central
9PM Eastern

Picture Prose Update

July 22, 2008

We were on our way to fancy Sun Valley, Idaho. To the pretty Sawtooth Mountains, cool summer days & cooler nights. Dad had a convention to attend (he was speaking—how cool?) and the fam got to tag along. Spending days at the pool and even ice skating in an outdoor rink! (How do they do that?)

But it was a six hour drive to get there…and big kids or not, the whole—“how much longer, Mom?”—gets old. And let’s not talk about where to stop for 4yrold potty breaks!

To make it more bearable for the kids (and mom) we mapped out Redbox sites! Spiderwick Chronicles to the rescue. There were Redboxes in both of the tiny towns of Burley and Hailey. Who needs beautiful scenery? Not the kids…eh?

(PS. You know you are an addict when the promised WIFI at “the clubhouse” doesn’t exist. And you can’t imagine anything worse. The horrors.)

Hello. My name is Carissa, welcome to Onliners Anonymous.


3 parts children, 1 part giant pool.

(complete with diving board, 4 foot area and plenty of steps in the shallow area for 4yrold to play in)

What do you have? 3 kids playing OUTside the pool begging for snacks and asking “when can we go over to the playground?…can we go to the park now?” Etc…

What gives? They maybe get to play in a pool once a week during the summer—and rarely in the winter? I think if they had one other kid in the mix they could play all day. Sibling crap would fly out the window?

Have you ever taken a vacation with friends? Cuz. I would seriously consider it. Does anyone want to join us at the in-laws cabin? This is what it looks like up there:


Vacation: Day 2

February 19, 2008

This is the girls idea of ‘sneaking’ around to surprise us. They had already made up their own bed and little brother’s too. While we were getting breakfast ready they left this on our bed…I guess they figured we wouldn’t know who really made our bed?

First on our list today? Getting ourselves oriented with the lay of the land with a short drive around the immediate area (even though the kids wanted to get right into the pool at 7:30 AM). We made them wait until about 10AM, and the temperature was officially 70 degrees.Here I am standing!
Here I am standing on my hands!
I like the side of the pool the best.
Are we allowed to jump in? Ah, too late.
But I can swim around away from the edge too.

My new favorite word. Cracks me up every time. I just blurt it out any old random time I feel like it, thank you very much.
The news just never stops! Oh my gosh(!) did you see that some of the American Idol hopefuls this season have done professional work? Like, I’m all so upset! And yes, we all need some serious sunshine on our outer appendages. And we deserve it after the large amount of shoveling the white stuff this year.

The font in picture is Junior and Stinky from

Wally World Here We Come!

February 18, 2008

We made it. Got up at 4AM (turning into my father). 10 hour drive (took us 12 including Diet Coke pee breaks, breakfast and lunch). The kids were amazingly well behaved, even slept some of that early morning part. I have a feeling their happy countenances had something to do with DVD induced comas via cordless headphones. In fact they were so good, I just might relent and let them all drag me along to the despicable D-place. More on that IF we go..
Doing a ‘hook-up’ for the camera, even her eyes are crossed!
He can’t hear me, but he sees the camera and says cheese!
Too busy reading to watch the movie.

Ain’t he sexy, Tom Cruise gots nuthin’ on him?

Frames and embellishments from ShabbyPrincess.