Sunday, July 3, 2016

Doutres take on the Vances

Ondalynn and Gary went to Europe for the first time from May 26-June 5th so Austin and I got to tend the kids while they were gone. Mom was there that first day as Austin and I drove the 6 hours from Moscow and got there around dinner time. The kids were anxiously waiting for us to come (Mom kept texting me where we were).

Let's just the whole 10 day experience was eventful and only somewhat crazy! ;) We survived! I'll try to recap the best I can on what we did together. The three oldest still had school and Isaac had preschool 3x a week so we're trying to keep things as normal as possible while their parents were gone while at the same time trying to do some fun activities. Lucky for us, we had Viv close and Dallin's family came for Memorial day weekend.

Friday, May 27th we kept things low key because of school. We ended up going to the park (after we attempted 3x but it always rained once we were about ready to go-I forgot what this weather was like!) Friday night is movie night so the 2 younger boys and Austin watched Mr. Popper's penguin in another room and the rest of us (Sydney was at a b-day party) watched the first 3 episodes of When Calls the Heart. I didn't realize how much Bryson loves that show. :) After the kids went to bed, Sydney got home and actually stayed up while Austin and I finished Little Dorrit. We watch that mini series every year. We love it!

I learn more and more about Austin. I didn't realize how much he would hate to get spun on the tire swing!
Saturday, May 28th the kids worked hard on their Saturday chores and we went to their elementary school to play wall ball, shoot hoops, and play on their swings. It was so hot that day that we were exhausted afterwards. We ended the night by playing Disney headbandz. Once the boys were in bed, Bryson, Julia, Sydney, Austin, and I played the game Life and ate mounds of popcorn. We had a lot of laughs (especially Julia in wanting her 10 children...long story haha).

Austin got a little creative when we didn't have enough headbands. The glasses have a nice touch to it.
Isaac's face!
Sunday, May 29th, some of us napped while Sydney made cookies for dessert at Mom's that night. Austin made a fly swatter out of a cereal box (they had a fly problem in their house). He also showed the kids the trick of getting up close to a fly and catching it. We went to Mom and Dad's for dinner because Dallin's family was there for the weekend. We had yummy pizza that Dallin made. The kids did some performances to end the evening. It was fun!

Trying to catch a fly. :)
He wanted this one to be sent to his parents. Pretending to read with fake glasses.
Yummy and messy cookies!
Gwen is attached to Grandma at the hip.
The grandkids
Monday, May 30th it was Memorial day we met up at Mom and Dad's so we could all carpool to the Columbia Gorge. It was packed that day as expected. We went up to a new falls we've never been to (can't remember the name) but it was about a mile hike. The hike itself was really pretty but I was scared for my life for those kids. Paxton is a determined independent one who walked the whole way but there were these cliffs that were pretty scary..Bryson later told his parents: "yeah we had fun, almost fell off a cliff..." haha great. ;)

Tuesday, May 31st was my 26th birthday! I woke up to balloons and signs (one of them said, "you're not getting any older, just wiser!") and Sydney made me yummy waffles. Sydney did this all before her 7:30AM school departure. She's so sweet. Did I tell you how helpful she was being the 2nd mom? I might just have her help me with my kids someday. :)
Mom was nice to watch the kids while Austin and I went and hiked up Multnomah Falls. We revisited the place where Austin proposed-almost 4 years ago. We love the Gorge. Nothing quite like it and I have to pinch myself knowing that it's practically the backyard of where I grew up.
After we went to the Gorge, we went into Gresham and got some fro yo at Frenzies. Then we headed to Vancouver area to get Thai food-AMAZING. I was in heaven. We got back in time to have cake that Mom and Sydney made me (from sweet potatoes-my favorite). Yes my birthday was surrounded by food and I loved it! I was so lucky to receive many texts and calls and sweet messages. Austin and I ended the day watching an episode of Lark Rise to Candleford. It was a wonderful day!

The spot where he proposed...and yes he did it with both knees! :)

Taking in the beauty of this place.

Wednesday, June 1st-Thursday, June 2nd we got back into the swing of things of school and such. Austin left Wednesday morning so it was crazy to do this all by myself! I don't know how single moms do it.

On Friday, June 3rd, Isaac and Paxton had a play date in the morning so Viv and I went to go get our nails down and get a bite to eat. It was fun to catch up! Bryson went to Father/sons campout that evening after they jumped on the trampoline with the hose running. That night we had another movie night (boys watched Mr. Incredibles and us girls watched Saving Mr. Banks). Did I mention we loaded on popcorn every chance we got? Their popcorn maker makes so much...makes we want to get one too. Oh yes and I got them all hooked on Lark Rise. You're welcome, Ondalynn. :) We watched an episode every night.

It was crazy hair day for school so this is how Julia does it. :)
Isaac hitting Bryson with the balloon: "Go ahead Bryson, shake your booty!" haha I was dying!

Saturday, June 4th, we did Saturday chores and I surprised them by taking them to go see Zootopia at the Mt. Hood theater with Viv and her kids. They all loved it! Afterwards we crashed at Mom and Dad's, the kids played in the hot tub and we ended the day with root beer floats.

Sunday, June 5th, we were all SO excited for Gary and Ondalynn to get back. We had a tracker on the ipad of where they were on their flight. We looked at it probably every 5 mins. Pretty amazing that you can see that kind of thing. Of course, no one was tired and too excited for them to come that we made signs and posted them all over the house.

He was so excited for his parents to come that he perfected each sign on the wall with more tape so it wouldn't fall off. He has a perfectionist mentality to a T.
Right before they came home-we did it!
I love this family! When I was 18, I watched Sydney and Julia and Bryson (he was just 3 months old) for a whole summer. Then 3 years later, I helped them move across country and they had 4 kids at that time, and now I helped them for 10 days and they had 5 kids. I'm starting to see a pattern here... ;)

When people ask me how it was tending them for 10 days, I say, "it was great! And then Austin left." Which is so true! I was actually really enjoying it and thinking, yeah I could do this someday. And then wham! once he left, I was a mess. There were so many times where I felt like I was the worst person ever and I totally failing at life. Cue into reality check of how hard being a parent is. I told Dad, "I'm sorry but I don't think I'm going to be having kids for a while." :)

When Ondalynn and Gary got back, we ate lots of European chocolate and the kids got their gifts (the boys got wood swords!) then I went home with Mom and Dad that evening. I slept hard. :) Then the next day all I wanted to do was hang out with Mom so we went on a walk on the Springwater trail, we made bread, and we went out to eat at Trufflehunter. We were talking non-stop-to the very moment she dropped me off at the airport. It was EXACTLY what I needed. I love her so much and so grateful for her example.

These are my new favorite pics of my parents!
Mom time is the best time!


  1. 1. oh boy, you had me WIPED out by the end of the post -- I know you handled this bettter than ANYONE could.

    2. LO siento! I thought you were 25$! i would have given you an extra dollar for your amazon gift card ;)

    3. I love reading your posts!

  2. You seriously rock!! I don't know how you did it all!! 👊🏼

  3. What an adventure taking on the Vance's! You did an awesome job. So many funny pictures, too, especially those crazy people at the end of your post. Haha!