Monday, December 5, 2016

Unemployed and Homeless in Paradise

We are so behind but are determined to catch up...eventually. Starting the catch up during the Christmas season is probably not a smart move, so we'll see.
Because of timing with Daddy's old job and knowing we wouldn't receive Daddy's Permanent Residency approval until the fall, the entire month of July we were homeless and Jobless. But because we had some savings and amazingly generous families, we had such an incredible month. Most of it was spent at Ashley Lake, Montana with the exception of flying to northern California for 10 days. Much of the video of our skiing, kneeboarding and wake boarding was on Daddy's go pro so until he gets his butt in gear to organize it, you won't have much video to enjoy.
One new thing at the lake this year was the MSDP or Mark Schlenker Development Plan. It was a reward system for accomplishing specific water sports with no tears. It was a great success and each kid tried new things and did more in the water than usual.
Coop loved to play hockey with whomever was willing and even wore his helmet for a rather long stroller walk.

The whole Smith clan came up from Utah to party with us for a week. This is Jake trying to warm up after a night surf.

A huge highlight for mom was surfing with all 3 of her boys!

Mommy and Daddy celebrated their 10 year wedding anniversary. Grandma and the family offered to watch the boys while mom and dad had a night to themselves in Kalispell. They enjoyed a hike up Columbia Falls Mt, a beautiful old hotel, yummy food and a little shopping.

So we boys have an area behind the cabin where we have built a "fort". One evening we invented something called a dust bomb. Basically, we picked up fine dusty dirt and blew it in each other's faces. These pictures do not do the filth justice. Our parents made us strip and jump in the lake before we were let in doors.

Next it was off to California to visit the Cooper/Wilcock family. During the flight, Cooper discovered the "Frozen Experience"
One morning we caught the commuting ferry from Alameda to San Francisco. We walked pier 49 and ate an amazing sour dough lunch. It was a perfect little excursion.

A's game!

Both sets of cousins have season passes to Six Flags amusement park and the next day just so happened to be a bring-a-friend-free day. So our whole family had a ridiculously fun day at a huge amusement park for free! Both Houston and Damon road their first real roller coasters and loved them (Houston road the new Joker ride and Damon road a log ride with a huge drop into water). Mom and Dad even got some grown up ride time and were exhilarated!

Afterwards we met Grandma and Granddad for dinner and "Finding Dori"

Growing up, Daddy and his family hiked 6 miles through Muir woods to Stinson Beach once a year. Finally this year, we all got to experience it. It was long for us boys but between all of the patient adults we made it! When we arrived, Grandma and Grandpa Cooper had lunch ready for us and afterwards we played in the ocean and on the beach. It was so memorable and we hope to do it again next year! (again most pictures and video were taken on the GOPRO)
This view was amazing- we were above the clouds!

The trips with Granddad to see the USS Hornet Aircraft Carrier never get old. Cooper was finally old enough to really enjoy it this year.

On our last day, we hiked a path in the Oakland hills to a beautiful of the Oakland Temple.

We also got to see some dear friends who live in Alameda. Justin is one of Daddy's best friends from his youth.