July 30, 2010


We just got back from a family reunion in Utah.  Actually we had more going on than a family reunion.  We also had a birthday party for my father-in-law, two baby blessings and a fun trip to see friends.  Where to begin, this gets really overwhelming for me when I am so far behind on blogging.  First of all I do not really look forward to traveling with kids.  Especially my children. They do not travel well and that makes it hard for me to relax.  But nonetheless, we made it and we survived! 
We arrived about 2 am Saturday morning.  Lance had a baseball game that he was so determined to play in on Friday night that started at 7 pm.  So we stayed behind to cheer him on to a win.  The boys had a great time and it was nice to sit and chat with friends.  While we were getting the boys all cleaned up and in their pajamas, Andrew's fingers decided to get slammed in the door of the car, thus smashing all 4 of his fingers. We thought for sure we were going to have a take him to the hospital but in time they got better and he was back up playing around.
Saturday the boys all got up and went out for a fun afternoon planned full of activities for the boys to celebrate dad's birtday.  They had a great time, meanwhile, we (the wives, sisters, and daughters) had manicures and pedicures and ate cinnamon rolls like crazy.  It was nice to be with all of you by the way. I have some amazing sisters-in-law.  Not many can say that but I say it proudly.
Then on Sunday we blessed two of my neices and nephews who were recently born. Brantly Snyder , who lives with us was blessed and also my new niece Janea Elyse was blessed also.
Lance's younger brother John, their son Brantly and wife Carrie.
 I am so sad I don't have a picture of her in her amazing blessing gown.  This gown isn't just any gown either.  This gown was made when my sister-in-law Lesa was born.  Her mother made it and she wore it and then every one of their 4 girls have worn it on their blessing day.  It is absolutely the most beautiful blessing dress I have ever seen.  She looked just like a doll.
Sunday night Andrew got sick and had a high fever.  Not throwing up so that was good. Just really tired and lethargic.  So he slept a lot and then next morning he was ok and then on Tuesday he was sicker than sick.
Then on Mon. came the Ray Family Reunion-
This isn't just any family reunion either.  When the Ray family gets together it is so thoughtfully planned out it is scary.  Let me set a picture for you.  Lance's mother comes from a family of 11 kids.  Each one of those 10 that are still living have had 10+ kids and that makes for a large family.  So on his mom side there are over 100 first cousins and just so you can understand how large they are, Owen, our third child was the 150 great grand child.  Isn't that amazing? I think so,  and the most stunning thing about this family is the legacy that the grandparents have set for each one of them. Each one of us I should say.
We went to Hanna Springs Resort in Hanna, Utah.  We had a good time.  Lance's parents were so generous to let our family have the cabin to sleep in. Which, by the way no one slept. We were all awake trying to help children sleep.
Then Tuesday Great Grandpa Ray's 90th birthday party.  This isn't just some old feeble 90 year old man.  This man in unbelievable. He still drives multiple times a year back and forth between Idaho and Arizona, he works hard and is a fully active member of his ward.  He is an amazing man! I have learned so much from him and he just makes you feel good no matter what. I just love being around him. I have never seen or heard anything negative come from that man.  He is inspiring.
Andrew was still sick and I could tell that he was still out of it.  He kept throwing up and he couldn't keep anything down.  So we headed back down to our cabin and Lance and his father gave him a blessing. I was crossing my fingers that he would get better and it literally happened right before our eyes. He kept his breakfast down and he didn't throw up any more after that and his fever was gone. The Priesthood is real. I know that for a fact. What a blessing it is to have faithful and worthy priesthood holders around to bless my children.
The boys had fun playing games with all the little cousins. There were different booths for the kids to be entertained. I wish I had my camera but it was so hard to carry it all around with me.  Tuesday was full of paddle boat rides on the lake, slingshots that grandpa made, and skipping rocks in the river, bull frog catching and just plain old getting dirty and muddy.  Andrew and Keaton had the time of their lives.  They were off running around with cousins and 100 other different family members.  It was fun just to watch them have fun.

We decided to head home back to Provo on Tuesday night after dinner.  My boys inherited the gene of gettting car sick and pucked all over themselves, their blankets and the car.  We had to go back and do some laundry and clean out the car before the long trek back to Boise.  That is when Owen came down with the same thing Andrew had. It was no fun but I am happy to report now that we are back home and loving sleeping in our own beds. I love routine. I love that my kids love routine and that life is back to normal.
No more traveling for a long time for us.

July 17, 2010

Keaton turns 5

I can't believe that my oldest turned 5.  Keaton's 5th birthday was July 15th.  He was so excited about his birthday.  He reminded us to wish him a happy birthday multiple times during the day.  Since Keaton's birthday is in July, the hotest month in Idaho we decided to have a water party.  We rented this huge inflateable water slide.  It arrived at 9 a.m. that morning and then he was picked up at 10 pm. that night.  It was amazing! The kids had an amazing time and it kept them entertained for the entire day.  Then later that night the adults got on for a few rides.  This slide was extremely large and literally filled our entire back yard.
The boys had so much fun and they were running up and sliding down the entire day!

The cupcakes turned out.  I was looking for a bright polk-a-dot effect with them and I think they turned out ok. Only thing was, we ended up not having enough because half of the kids that said they weren't going to make it ended up coming after all.  Keaton had about 22 friends there.  The awesome result- serious gifts. Almost better than Christmas if you ask me.

Happy Birthday Keaton! I love you!

July 15, 2010

Justin turns 29

July is a really busy month for our family.  Seems like the birthdays are endless and that is what makes this month so much fun.  My brother Justin's birthday is on the 14th and Keaton's is the following day.  I almost had Keaton on the 14th and they could have shared the same special day but they didn't and they each get to celebrate in their own special ways.
I only have one brother and I love him more than he will ever know.  He has always been there for me.  He loves me regardless of my many flaws.  He is the most loving and kind hearted guy you will ever meet.
Thanks Justin for being such an amazing brother, friend, and uncle ever.  Life is so good.  All you have to do is eat it up!

These two boys get to share their special days together. They love each other and they are such great friends. It makes my heart happy to see them this way.

Justin worked pretty much the whole day so in the evening we gathered at my parents home with family for BBQ ribs and mashed potatoes.  Let me tell you my mom goes all out when she cooks that meal.  You ought to come to Idaho just to try them,  simply the best ever.  My boys love Uncle Justin.  Life just would not be the same without him. 
Happy Birthday Justin! We love you!

July 13, 2010


Yes, I turned 31. I can't believe I am getting this old this fast.  I don't feel it so that must be a good thing.  One of the best things about my birthday was getting to sleep in until almost 9a.m. I can't remember the last time I got to sleep in that late without any kids coming in to jump on me, wanting me to fix them breakfast.  It was much needed.
I chilled pretty much the whole day and then my sweet mother made me a big dinner with lots of cake and ice cream.  It was nice to be with family.
Then my mom and sister stole me away to see Eclipse.  It was pretty good.  I guess I can only compare them to the others because it is the better of all 3.  We had a fun evening out.  Thanks girls! That was the best part of the whole day.
Thanks to everyone for your phone calls, letters, emails and texts. I loved them all!

July 5, 2010

The 4th of July

This year was pretty low key.  When Holidays come and land on a Sunday there is not much festivities we can do.  Saturday night we had a BBQ over at our home with family and friends and then we lit off some fireworks.  The kids really enjoyed that.  The neighborhood kids seemed to gather on our back patio where we set them off.  My boys were so excited for sparklers.  Yes, sparklers and colored smoke and all those ridiculously cheep fireworks that they so proudly picked out themselves.  It seems like the older you get the more laid back the holidays seem.  Maybe that is why we have children around to keep it alive and exciting.  That is what it was this year.  Owen didn't see any because he was pretty much crabby the whole weekend.  He goes to bed at 7pm anyways so we were content to put him in his crib and wake away.  He was happy that way too.  He has been teething so it has been no fun for all of us.

Sunday we went over to my parents home with all the extended family for a family dinner.  There were lots of people, lots of food and fun fireworks for everyone. 
Then when everyone was in bed Lance, John and I climbed up onto our roof and watched everyone else light off their fireworks.  The illegal one seem to be the most entertaining.
Hope you had a happy 4th.
Oh and another positive to our 4th, my sister-in-law Lesa just had their 4th little girl. I'm an aunt again.  That makes 3 new nieces and nephews within the last month. Congratulations Paul and Lesa! We love you! Can't wait to meet her when we come to Utah in a few weeks.
(Me holding Brantly)

July 1, 2010


I was searching through some boxes in my garage last night attempting to find a book that I have been wanting to re-read.  Instead of finding my book, I ran across a bunch of old journals I kept on my mission.  There are 4 journals and I wasn't intending on reading those but I was alittle interested to see what the last entry was about on the last journal I wrote in.
This is what I came across and I had completely forgotten about it.  I sat in my garage shifting through old dusty boxes laughing my head off.  Here is what the last journal entry was.  It was dated April 4, 2002.  I had been home from my mission maybe a week.  I drove down to Utah for a mission reunion with Pres. Hadfield. (Mind you, I had two mission presidents on my mission).  I was really excited to go and see some of the missionaires that I served with.  My best friend was there and I was excited just to sit and talk and see them.
(Sorry there are no pictuers of the actual reunion, but here are pics from my mission with my friends.)
President and Hermana Hadfield had all the recently returned missionaries stand up and explain what was happening in the West Mission as far as the number of charlas (discussions) were to be taught, reactivation and etc..  There were probably 5-6 of us that got up and shared with the rest of the retunred missionaries what was going on.
Afterwards I was sittinng at a table visiting with friends when an Elder came up to me and introduced himself.  I remember his name was Elder Whitehead.  He asked me my name and where I was living.  I told him I was still in Idaho but planned to attend BYU in the fall.  I didnt' think much of it until later on when the President wanted each and every single missionary to stand up, introduce themselves by name and also their families, if they had any and any future plans they had.  We were about halfway around the room when the Elder that introduced himself to me stood up, introduced himself as Elder Whitehead and that his future plans were, I quote this too " My future plans are to get to know Melissa Quinn better."  I couldn't believe what I just heard.  I was bright red from head to toe.  Everyone was oohh and aaahhhingn and it was pretty embarrasing.  But it was nice to know that someone thought me attractive.  Aren't sister missionaries suppose to be ackward and ugly?  I was flattered but also embarrassed.  What a way to be welcomed home.  I know some of you reading this were there that day. Do you remember that? Crazy stuff.   There is my flashback for the week.


That was the year I graduated from high school.  I was the second graduating class from the new Eagle High.  I really enjoyed my junior and senior years there.  I made some incredible friends and had a fantastic senior year in the Student Council.
Growing up I had two best friends, Suzanne Kynaston and Tami Perkins.  Whereever one was the others were around close.  My family moved out to Eagle when I was 13 years old.  We moved from Meridian, which was considered the city to Eagle, which was hickville.  My grandfather had recently passed away and my grandmother gave 2 acres to my parents and so they built out there to be closer to her.  It was a fun move.  I don't remember having any difficulty with it.
(Tami Perkins at left, me in the middle and Suzanne to my right)
Suzanne and I were in the same ward and we did everything together.  We took tuns sleeping over at each other's home. Ran around with all the boys together (which by the way, we had an amazing group of guy friends). We laughed until we peed our pants and we just had so many fun times together.  When Eagle High was built I met Tami Perkins. She came from Centennial high just like Suzanne and that is how I met her.   We were always running around non-stop the three of us.  Ask anyone of these girls and a huge smile will come across our faces. 
When I left for collage I was so scared that we would drift apart.  Well that wasn't the case.  Tami was the first to get married.  Then Suzanne followed.  I was not.  I dated and dated and had serious relationships but nothing was looking to bright.  I graduated from Ricks Collage and there was nothing planned.  That is when I decided to serve a mission.  I am so glad I did because it was one of the best decisions of my life.\
Things are different now.  We are all living in different states and married/family life takes us all down a different road.  I still keep in touch with Suzanne.  She has 4 sweet children and living in Utah and Tami.  Well I don't know where she is.  Last I heard she was in Texas and had 3 girls.  I hope that she is doing well.  I had the most amazing friends.  I had a fun time growing up!  So Suzanne or Tami if you are out there,  I hope you know how much I love you!   Thanks for the good ole days!