August Highlights

With just a couple weeks left of summer, we scrambled to fit everything in we could while packing what we needed for the next year abroad.  We spent as much time with family in sunny Chelan as possible, knowing the cold of British winter to come.

We’ve hardly had Tyler home this summer – the start of what’s to be now that he’s getting older.

The little boys had fun with their cousins playing some type of farm game they made up.  After raiding grandma’s garden, they’d make concoctions to sell us.  I’m pretty sure everything was inedible, but they were sure creative and convincing.






Doesn’t this cute girl just ooze personality!  She can sure keep up with the big kids.


Cade was our resident fire builder.





Cade’s practicing his swing – he loves to go out golfing with Lynn lately.



Celebrating Crystal’s birthday with all her sweet girls.


The kid’s know what time the “Lady of the Lake” rides by – a large ferry that makes the best waves to jump.  Lynn loves taking them for a crazy, wild ride.  Not sure why they don’t have their life jackets on in this one – usually mandatory!

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Loving these lazy days of summer.




Sunset is my favorite time of the day here.  The lake is calm and serene.  It’s been so smoky from the fires, though.


It’s the perfect time to fit in one last wakeboard and coast on the paddle board.




The little ones got brave enough to join their older siblings jumping off the dock with no life jackets and swimming.



It’s been a while since Grandma and Grandpa Smith have joined us up at the lake and we were grateful Lynn’s sister and girls visiting from Utah could join us for a few days.



Jace has been dying to reunite with his “bestest buddy and cousin” all year!  These two were inseparable and so fun to watch.


Parasailing is always a blast, even if I hate heights. The panoramic views up so high are actually calming and worth it. Tyler and Cade rode tandem.  I was hoping they’d get dunked a little further, but the driver was too nice.

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It wouldn’t be summer without a sno-cone run. They now have the “Big Kahuna” size which fit with the weekly theme of “Go big or go home!”




Cade kept the little fishing boat running all week with rides for his cousins and brothers.  They caught quite a few fish too.


It’s always a good time around a campfire.  Lynn loves scaring the little ones with ghost stories and grandpa shares childhood memories.




Tyler’s rocking the infant glasses.


For the first time ever, we finally got the majority of my local cousin’s kids together for a picnic in the park.  It’s hard not to feel like I’m looking at their parents at that age!  They are all fantastic soccer players and we had a fun little game together after dinner.


Another birthday celebration – Lynn’s 42


Cade picked out a new suit while school shopping.



The major task of packing the family for another year, getting the house in order and a million other details to pull this extended move off was a bit overwhelming.  Thanks to grandma and grandpa for taking the boys while I tried not to go insane.



Using space bags was a life saver, I just hope they don’t get unsealed along the way or there’s no putting them back together!


Tyler and Cade wanted one more stop at the Rootbeer Store since it’s in scarce supply in England.


Saying goodbye to Lily was another heartbreak for the kids.  She’ll be providing companionship to a senior in college who loves and trains dogs until we return.


It’s hard to believe the summer has come to an end already  Coming home for this time was exactly what we needed, but saying goodbye a second time was harder than the first, especially since we won’t be coming home all year (except for Lynn).  But we’re ready for new experiences and memories to be made across the pond.  And then we’re staying put for a long time!

Family Reunion Photos { July 2014 }

It’s not often the whole Jenkins’ family gets together with everyone spread out across the country, so we took advantage and had a photographer come document the occasion.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to get 33 people to look happy for the camera?!!

I’m so grateful to be connected to this awesome bunch of people.  I love my family so much and had the best week with everyone.  I miss the days when we all lived in Washington, but cherish the time we do have together.


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We tried so hard to get Evan to smile but he wouldn’t budge!  These little look alikes just so happened to have matching outfits.


Isn’t she the cutest?  I love how shy she gets for pictures.


Summer in Seattle { June/July }

Can you tell how anxious we were to get home for the summer?  Lynn had to stay back in London for a couple weeks to finish out the quarter, so once again – I was flying solo with this bunch.  Thank heavens for 10 hours of in-flight entertainment.  There’s no hope they’ll fall asleep at all, so I’ve given up trying.  Makes for a real fun adjustment, let me tell you!


With only two months to fit everything in, we knew it was going to be jam packed, but we’re so excited to see everyone and get summer started a little earlier than usual.

It’s strange living in two worlds simultaneously.  We love London and all our travels, but coming home is the best. Everyone was so happy!

First order of business — reuniting with Lily!  To say they’ve missed her would be an understatement.  Cade was so happy she hadn’t forgotten him. We are so grateful for our sweet friends who took such great care of her.  She was well loved.


Ahh…back to the beautiful, green Pacific Northwest.  Nearly every morning, Lily would have a stand off with a group of deer in the woods behind our yard.  She’s becoming quite protective!


Within days, Tyler was off to Utah for his second year of EFY.  He got to spend Father’s Day weekend with his Grandpa Smith and tons of cousins.  It was extra special to see his two cousins right before they left for their missions.  He had another fantastic year and came home all smiles.



Father’s Day

Coming home and being able to finally hug my dad after his major health ordeals was such a relief. He’s the absolute best dad a girl could ever ask for and each day I’m thankful for the blessing he is in my life.

It wouldn’t have been a true Father’s Day without bringing him his favorite homemade lemon meringue pie.  It felt really strange not having Lynn home for the occasion.  First year we’ve been apart on both Mother and Father’s Day.

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Cade enjoyed being the man of the house for the week.


Yogurtland, Mod Pizza, movies, Mexican food, New York Cupcakes  and time with friends and family were what we’ve been looking forward to most.

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Lake Chelan

It’s funny how familiar scenes can look alive and new when you’ve been away a while.  I’ve forgotten how exquisite the drive is out to Lake Chelan, even though we’ve been a hundred times.  The kids were so anxious to get back to their favorite summer spot.  Stopping at Cafe Rio on the way made for a perfect day.

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We’ve been looking forward to 4th of July week all year – and it’s especially exciting this year with all 5 of my siblings and their kids coming!  Coordinating summer schedules for 33 people is pretty crazy, but I’m so glad this year worked out for the gang to be together.  It was quite the party – I love family time!

The kids were dying to get out on the lake.  Cade helped Grandpa detail the boats and clean the beach of all the washed-up wood.  Every year they find a keeper.  He likes to volunteer to clean the beach just so he can drive the 4-wheeler.


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Tyler loves any chance he gets to drive the boat.  Thankfully he’s a responsible driver after many hours of classes.
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These guys are ready to take out the new Sea Doos.



Another new addition was the tetherball, which the kids loved and the floating dock which has turned into the ultimate “King of the Hill.”

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Put a pair of swim goggles on this boy and he turns into a fish.


Jace became a little obsessed with playing frisbee.  He’s gotten quite good for his age.


We can’t keep the kids out of the hot tub.



Always a boatload of kids.

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Cade’s getting pretty good on the wakeboard.  We’re happy to hand over the reigns of water sports to the kids these days.



Smore’s are always a favorite.  Whoever keeps buying the jumbo marshmallows needs to stop.  However, making them with Lu Little Schoolboy Chocolate Cookies is the best, though we save them just for the adults!

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There’s never a lack of delicious food.  Ryan kept the smoker going with his awesome Texas barbeque.

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This year we had a little homemade ice cream competition.  Nutella, banana, lavender, raspberry, Mexican chocolate and more…yum!  I think Nutella won, but they were all delicious and I hope this becomes a family tradition.

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Instead of taking the daily boat ride out to get snow cones, we’ve opened our own stand – whip cream topped and all.

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Peach/Amaretto and cream – the best!


Grandma got a little carried away with her idea of “Grandma’s store” to reward the kids who help out and keep things clean and organized.  Nathan was obsessed with earning his “bands” to cash in that we actually had to tell him it was time to play!

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The girls slipped away for our favorite breakfast out at Blueberry Hills.  Hot chocolate and blintzes are worth the drive (and calories)!


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4th of July


We love celebrating Independence Day up here.  After a day on the water and activities for the kids, we finish up with a delicious barbecue and fireworks out on the lake.

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We all fought over holding the babies.  Cade wants a baby sister so bad!  Not going to happen, but he can enjoy his cousins all he wants.  She is too cute and so happy.

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It must have been the local fires, but the sunsets this season were so incredible!  It’s been devastating to hear the damage the fires have caused to so many people’s lives.

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Boys and their toys – Jace loved having his boy cousins join him in the sand.

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The new competition is diving through various sized floating rings off the end of the dock.  Tyler’s got a little stuck.  Ha ha!


Another tradition – lighting off rockets over the lake


All 19 cousins – such a cute bunch of kids!  They all got along great – it was so fun to watch them interact all week.


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It was great to have some running buddies for Chelan Man this year, though they left me in the dust!  Time to get back to training after nearly a year off.


Remlinger Farms

Grandpa, Mark, Sara and Everly joined us at Remlinger Farms for a country-fun day of rides and animals.


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Meanwhile, Cade was on the coast for his first scout camp.


Tyler turns 15

It’s been a few years since Tyler’s been home on his birthday – he’s usually camping out somewhere with the scouts.  So this year we let him plan his perfect day.  His grandparents took him to his favorite burger place for lunch, Tipsy Cow. He wanted to spend the day in Seattle and specifically at EMP – the boy loves his music. That night he had a fancy seafood dinner out with just his parents at Sea Star. We finished up with his request of cheesecake and he was thrilled when his new guitar arrived. It was a great day!


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Nathan had another successful year at Cub Scout camp.  He was so proud to get a bulls eye in archery and rifles.



We celebrated our anniversary at one of our favorite waterfront restaurants with the best seafood to share.  Can’t believe it’s been 19 years already!




 More Family Visits

Lynn’s youngest sister came up to Washington and the kids were so excited to see their cousins!

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Tyler’s Peru Experience

Tyler spent two weeks in Peru on a humanitarian expedition with a group of youth.  With limited contact, we were anxious to have him return home – to hear all about his adventures of helping farmers, planting gardens, visiting orphanages, playing with school children, eating unusual things and hiking up Machu Picchu, among many other things.  He was so excited to give his brothers souvenirs which included the creepiest looking stuffed squirrels you’ve ever seen!