Easter on The Ranch



We spent Easter Sunday on the ranch together with just our little family - a rare event coming from big families on both sides! We had intended to go to Easter mass in Fort Jones - even stopped by Saturday to check the time at the adorable little church in town! - but after a late night at the neighbors the girls were all sound asleep at 9am and seemed ambitious to get up, fed, dressed and have pleasant church goers ;)

but the Easter bunny still found us!


and then we had an egg hunt up behind the house


my Ukrainian egg attempts. Not winning any awards here ;)


the girls found them and hid them all again 


JJ in her finest Easter ranch wardrobe


her curls are the best after she actually has a shampoo ;)


and this kid made fast friends with a pet Lizard - carrying it around everywhere and insisted on bringing it home in a Tupperware habitat with straws for air holes. #sorrylizard


and there were many lizard shows. JJ was Francie's loyal assistant (just don't ask her to hold the lizard)


I love my view from the cozy couch in this little cabin :) happy Easter!


and another reason to celebrate - the end of Lent means Heff and I can drink our road trip Diet Cokes again, woohoo! ;)


Emmy's Baptism Day

We celebrated a big day for Emmy on January 18, 2014 - she was baptized a Mormon! It was a special day for Emmy and she had all her biggest supporters there to be a part of it. They'd never seen so many catholics in a Mormon church - whooping and cheering when she got dunked in the font! (I guess that is not the norm ;) Emmy has always been very spiritual and as we all know - a very special soul! She met a friend who is LDS and attended church with her and said "I've never met so many people like me in one place!" We are so happy for her and loved being a part of a really special day.

Getting to the church - the girls rushed out of the car to see their Em

Peas in a pod!

all of our relatives were there - on time even! Aunt Kim gives Francie a squeeze

One happy Em! And dressed beautifully modest of course ;)

Tiny and Gladys - who Maisie said looked "beautiful and not recognizing" all dressed up for Emmy's day. We didn't take any photos during the ceremony but it was a beautiful and very special service. New friends and the missionaries she met with spoke about her and then we went to a different room for the actual baptism in the font of water. The kids were all right in the front and watched her get a full body dunk backwards (followed by the cheering!) but Tiny was SO confused and for the rest of the 45 minutes back in the ceremony room she was yelling "Mem!? Wah-wah!?" (like WHAT just happened?! Emmy went in the water at church?!?!"

Kelly and Lauren after the ceremony pushing the girls in the basketball court - of course Mormon's have basketball courts in their churches?! (funny side note: Francie had been one of Emmy's biggest critiques about converting. The conversation one morning before school went like this:

Francie: "Emmy, why do you want to be a Mormon?"

Emmy: "Well Francie it's important to me and I feel like I belong in the church."

Francie: "Are you sure it's not just because you like hanging out with Stacy?"

Emmy: "Yes Francie I like Stacy but it's more about the church and community."

Francie: "But Emmy, You are a CATHOLIC." (deadpan straight staredown to Emmy.)

Mary - had to jump in: "Francie, it's ok we are welcoming to all religions and it's most important we all believe in God. Emmy can still come to our church too even if she is Mormon."

Francie: "Well. Ok. But... we have donuts at Catholic church." (haha good one France)

(and Emmy under her breath to me "Can I tell her we have a pretty Temple that looks like Disneyland!?"

and after chatting for awhile after the service we invited everyone back to our house to celebrate of course! I was pretty flattered when two of the Mormon boys came up to me as they were leaving and said "THIS was the best after party we've ever been to!" Family specialty.. mormon conversion "after parties" :)

Drew and Jerry

Tiny, probably looking for Em to ask her again about the "wah-wah"

Em and her buds - JP and Will Frimel (who she nanny's for in the afternoons!)

Awesome BFF Maddie who flew down from Gonzaga to surprise Emmy!

Andy and Mimi talking to Jefferson, who baptized Emmy

Em and Scar


the sweet Missionary sisters who helped Emmy prepare for her baptism

James, Uncle Rich (Emmy's Dad - who's Mom was a Mormon and was happy to see her happy in part of her family's roots!) and Heff. (and YES our after party included alcohol since everyone is asking - Catholics are fully supportive as long as they have their celebration drinks too :)

SO proud and happy for you Em.

Lots of supporters - the best :)

and a quilt we made for Emmy with a collection of vintage and new laces and fabrics - everyone there that day choose a muslin heart and pinned it on the quilt to show their love.

These 8 kids are SO LUCKY to get to have Emmy in their lives everyday helping to take good care and be an example for them.

and the Baker girls too!

The big kids all gave a toast to Emmy - it was SO sweet and they each did an awesome job speaking in front of everyone! Francie had asked the night before to give a toast but said she might get too shy. She practiced though and said "Emmy- I am really happy for you that you are being a Mormon now. I know you made a good decision. Even though you are leaving our family church - the church that our WHOLE family goes to - I am still happy for you and I love you." (#catholicguilt?!) Francie was too shy to give that very direct little toast :) but the big guys said "a toast - to Emmy? I got this!"

What a handsome, polite, well-spoken guy!

Francie was in heaven with all the big girls

they all were!

Lots of Love for Emmy

Em and Jefferson

and a lot of ladies who love Emmy

We know Kaky (Emmy's Mom) was looking down from Heaven with a big smile and a kiss with her sisters

thoughtful gifts from the Baker girls!

these two :)

Yes we do

Summer Days with Emmy!


This week Heff was on a fly fishing trip with some buddies and Emmy's other family she works for had kids at sleepaway camp so we got Emmy ALL DAY and overnight!! We are so lucky, and so spoiled. She is really the best. I love that we get to spend so much time together and she is SO good with my girls. The best! These pics are all from Emmy's iPhone Monday and Tuesday - she's amazing!


Morning reading in the sun room. That JJ :)


and a little sunshine and vitamin D in the front yard


we didn't want to have a scheduled summer of activities (Heff and I are trying to figure out how to raise kids without schedules taking over - anti-activity life! I'm sure this won't work once they are older, but we can naively dream :) SO we are doing a homegrown backyard summer camp with neighbors - it's been really fun.


activities and coloring (Mary's Summer Fun Camp flashback :)


as emmy says "everyday moments"


maternal Maisie and her baby "Tessie" ("Can I hold Tessie? Can I hold Tessie" ALL day long from this girl)


and field trip day to Hidden Villa to check out the farm (where we get our Bumble produce!)


Smart Emmy - puts them all in pink jackets (on this random chilly June day) so she can keep track of all three. good work Emmy!


Maisie Moo caught a chicky


and Francie the expert catcher 


Emmy's caption on this one: "Mary had a little Lamb, little lamb...." :)


pretty view for an excursion


love those boots. and those bums!


and later a playdate at the park with Emmie, Will and Ben! tess and emme double trouble style


and JJ always giving us a run for her money. Emmy put her in the "reset" spot and she was trying to talk to anyone who would listen


and last night I had to work late getting ready for Makery opening so Emmy had the kids fed, bathed and in PJs by 7:30pm. She is amazing.


new summer shoes. Thanks Zappos! #mykidsfeetarehuge (yes those are FRANCIE and Maisie)


pretty good summer days so far!


Happy Tess


Crazy JJ




Adventures with Emmy

Lunch date at Spot Pizza! A lady came into Bumble and said "I just saw your crew having lunch - looked like a preschool out front!"

We are sooo lucky to have Emmy!! Not only as a member of the family (I think growing up as cousins, Emmy and I fought with each other like sisters MORE than I did with Baby Ann - we know each other so well we knew how to push each others buttons! Yes I know I was 9 years older :)

Maisie told us for HER birthday she wants a new stroller since "sometimes it's hard for Emmy to push all of us in one stroller." Cute sentiment Maisie but she wasn't sure who was going to push it :)

Love the excitement on Maisie's face hanging out with Janie in her crib when she wakes up

Always lots of fun to be had at PLAY! The girls walk downtown and hit all the hot spots (pet store, treat store, Dreagar's Jelly Belly wall, and of course PLAY!

and lately Emmy gets lots of one-on-one JJ time while the girls are in school!

then they pick up the big girls at school on a stroller ride

Love the look Maise

Doesn't get much better than mornings with Emmy! LOVE YOU EM!!