Our Kids' Blog

Yosemite National Park

September 27th, 2015 by Mommy


The back side of Half Dome


The famous valley view with the girls (and Pooh)


A happy Daddy to be showing such cool things to the girls.


Checking out the waterfall

We gave ourselves two days to explore around Yosemite. It was just a taste of future trips. The first day we drove into the valley and looked up a lot. The girls could name the large rock formations and main waterfalls. They even spotted a fox that Mom and Dad missed. That night we camped at Hodgdon Meadow northwest of the valley. The campsite was busy and we had to hike our stuff in a little bit to get to our site. The trees around us gave us great shade and were huge. The next day we introduced the girls to even bigger trees.


The tree by our tent.


The next day we explored Mariposa Grove before we had to head on over the mountains. There is no way to explain how big the Giant Sequoias are. Even when looking at the grove of Sequoias it is hard to value the size until you can walk by or through one. We took a tram ride through the grove to get a better look at the trees. Common sense told us that if the girls had to hike the whole trail, they would miss the wonder because of being tired. We all enjoyed the ride and a short walk. Emily really picked up a lot of facts about the trees and loved being able to walk into one of them. We look forward to a return trip to this natural wonderland to explore further.


We had to work hard to hold this tree up. The middle of the tree is not necessary to bring food to the tree. One reason this tree can be so old and so big.


Just an attempt to show scale.


The trees are unbelievable!

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Mount St Helens

September 23rd, 2015 by Mommy


Mount St Helens was the most anticipated stop on the trip. Emily was very excited to see a volcano that is still active. Some friends from the Seattle area met us, so that we could visit. It was wonderful to reconnect with the adults and for the little people to enjoy getting to know each other.


The diorama showed the different stages of the eruption and the effects to the local landscape. It was very well done and gave a great perspective of how devastating the eruption was. Emily and her new friend learned an amazing amount of information about the mountain. We visited two different viewing sights with museums and overlooks. We also took one hike to another overlook. We spent about three hours visiting the sites (one of the hours was spent in driving to the second viewing area).


We learned that there is a growing glacier in the crater. Pretty cool and pretty cold. Because we were high enough in elevation we had to bundle up.


Our budding readers enjoyed reading each of the signs aloud on the hike. They wanted to read each word to attentive ears. The kids were “helpful” to correct each others mispronounced words. Both kids will be entering 2nd grade come fall.


They competed in running too.


Thanks Stefan for sharing your photos!


After visiting the mountain we camped at a state park nearby. The rangers assured us that the next eruption would give warnings first, so we would be good for a couple of nights at least.

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Playing In the Ocean

March 30th, 2012 by Mommy

The girls and Mama went camping and had some time to play at the beach. The weather was warm, the ocean cool, the breeze pleasant, and the giggles perfect. Thank you Grandma for taking photos so that Mama could just play.

Just some shots from the fun beach play.


No words can say more than Emily’s face already is saying.


So intent, Julia what are you studying?


Dylan being busy. Lots of sand digging – lots of fun!


What a ham! Natalie was SO great with all of the kids.


Everything is so new and fresh for Elizabeth. Even her crying face is cute.

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The Girls Vacation–Camping

April 4th, 2011 by Mommy

The majority of our trip away was spent camping at Florida Caverns in Marianna, Florida. Emily and Julia knew who we were going to visit with and they were very excited. Julia had been nursing a cold so she was shy when we got there, but it did not take her long to feel her freedom and play with the other kids. Our campsite was pretty full, but thankfully we had one of the larger sites. We were able to fit three cars, one camper, two tents, a picnic table shelter, and still have plenty of room for the fire, chairs and play area. Jolie had planned it all out very well.

In total, we had four adults and five kids including one infant. Natalie did a great job of playing with the younger kids and Julia tried to keep up as much as she could with the older kids. It was fun to watch Dylan play with his superhero characters right along side of the camper and tent toys. His superhero toys even had their own sleeping bags just like the dolls for the girls. They all loved coloring in books at the table.

For our activities, we spent time in a field kicking a ball around, some short hikes, and a cave tour. Everyone seemed to do really well in the cave and the darkness didn’t seem to bother the kids. We got to see two bats along with puddles, cool formations, and a few seconds of absolute darkness. Our evening entertainment were owls calling to one another. They were some of the most unusual calls I have heard. They were not distracting enough to keep us awake, but fascinating to listen to. I would call camping a success. Despite some rain, it all worked out and we staying dry and warm. The girls seem ready to try it again.


A scene of Florida


Julia playing with the tent, camper, and family of dolls. All the kids enjoyed these toys a lot. I noticed that Julia would gravitate to it when the other girls were busy doing bigger girl things. She enjoys her solitary play a lot. I was explaining to Emily about how Aunt Jolie’s camper closed up, and she described to me how she would do it. She then told me she knew all about it because of the camper toy. I was impressed, but didn’t let Emily actually help take the camper down.


Happy Baby Mikayla! She got her “floor” time in the pack-n-play so that she wouldn’t eat dirt. She was moving around the play yard pretty well and got the idea about crawling as soon as she got home. Maybe she wanted to be able to move around like those big kids.


Mama time for the little one.


Maybe one of my favorite times and definitely my favorite photo. The girls were bouncing along the trail as much as their hair was. Emily was trying to be a big girl just like Natalie and having a blast. They just look lost in conversation as they spend time together.


After kicking the ball around at the field for a while they decided that the hill needed to be conquered. They decided that they would play Jack and Jill (renamed to Jackie and Jill). They would recite the rhyme at the top of the hill and then roll down. It took Emily a few tries to figure out how to roll down the hill.


They must teach rolling down hills at school, because Natalie was an expert at it. She even perfected a dramatic ending to her roll.


Dylan and Natalie had been getting Superhero tattoos and were showing them off to Jolie.


Coloring was another of the activities that got pulled out a lot to do. Here again, Julia took advantage of a quiet moment when she didn’t have to share the crayons with anyone.


Three strong Nobles women! Thanks for inviting us to join you and hope to do this again in the future.

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The Girls Vacation–Callaway Gardens

April 1st, 2011 by Mommy

The Edwards girls took a Spring Break vacation to visit and camp with Aunt Jolie and the kids. On our way, we stopped and enjoyed a morning at Callaway Gardens. The morning was a little cool, but the sun was shining. Our first stop was at the Butterfly House which is in a greenhouse so the temperature outside wasn’t really an issue. Julia was pretty clingy and sad for the morning so separating her from Mama was a little hard. Despite that, she became interested enough in the butterflies that she ventured away a few times.

The butterflies were everywhere! They put out a few feeding plates with sliced fruit for the butterflies. These made great places to see them up close. There was also a waterfall and fish pond to see. The girls seemed to enjoy looking around and exploring the path.

After walking around inside of the Butterfly House we made a loop around it. They had lots of tulips blooming around the building and a nice walk. Then we drove over to the Azalea Bowl. This is a garden filled with different varieties of azalea bushes. We took a hike around the different trails and found a waterfall and bridge to explore. The blooms were just starting. The garden must be breathtaking when all the bushes are in bloom. Emily walked and Julia snuggled with Mama in the backpack. It was a wonderful way to spend the morning!









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Fall Camping

October 19th, 2010 by Mommy

We were able to fit a camping weekend into our busy fall. We spent a beautiful weekend among falling temperatures and leaves. Our days were warm, but evenings cool. This spring we got a new tent and this was our first chance to use it. The old one was a little small for us since we added a fourth member of our family. This one is tall enough for Robby to stand in.

We all finished the weekend with rosy cheeks from the sunshine.

We were joined on the weekend with friends. The little people loved having friends just one campsite away. Our site was next to a playground and sunny field which made for fun play times. Elena enjoyed mothering Julia. Julia also seemed to like the attention from the big girl. The girls enjoyed a hike, throwing rocks in the river, playing at the playground, afternoon naps, getting dirty, and visiting horses. Our girls didn’t eat real well and were not interested in trying different foods. Fire roasted marshmallow were turned down by our girls, but the hot chocolate was a hit with Emily.

Our nights were near freezing, so I spent the night waking up to re-cover or pull the girls back into their sleeping bags. At some point each night both girls ended up in our sleeping bags with us because of the cold. Julia was the funniest, she woke me up, just as the sun was coming up, with the box with her extra pacifier in it. I gave her the pacifier and then she proceeded to move all of her precious sleeping things from her sleeping bag to our bag. When she was done she was slipped into a warm comfy spot to continue her slumber. When I woke up later, her sweet little face was just resting next to mine at complete peace. So sweet. No more camping this fall for us, but hopefully in the spring we can make another trip.

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