Marriage Retreat at Whistler’s Four Seasons Resort

Over Willie’s birthday weekend we had the opportunity to make our 3rd trip to Whistler with our church. Here are a few pictures…

Lunch on the way up with Kaases and Hawkinsons

Willie and Steph up at Whistler

Back side of the Four Seasons

Lunch with friends

More friends at lunch in Whistler Village

Willie and Keith inhaled an insane amount of nachos (all of it!)

At dinner with long-time friends

With many Olympic sights around Whistler removed, we made our way off the beaten path to the Whistler Sliding Centre.

A view down the luge track from the ending point where the athletes climbed out and did interviews.

Memorial for Georgian luger - along with the wall that was quickly erected to prevent further incidents at this spot.

Official room of some sort

Willie and Steph by the results board up at the end of the race. (The finish line was actually at the bottom of the hill.)

Mariners vs. Yankees 8-15-09

Well, they couldn’t pull out a win for us but it sure was an experience to attend a Yankees game at Safeco Field! Once again, thanks to Starlight Children’s Foundation, we got to take the family to the ballpark for a super fun game. And this time, the Johnson family got to join us.

The beautiful, Safeco Field

The beautiful, Safeco Field

Monopoly money rains down onto the field and into the dugouts when "Pay-Rod" (aka Alex Rodriguez) returns to Seattle.

Monopoly money rains down onto the field and into the dugouts when "Pay-Rod" (aka Alex Rodriguez) returns to Seattle.

This was the first game at Safeco in 10 years which featured former teammates Ken Griffey, Jr. and Alex Rodriguez. The phenoms played together for the M’s for the better part of 5 seasons (1995-1999).

What has caused all this Yankee commotion?

What has caused all this Yankee commotion?

That's right, Jordan!

That's right, Jordan!

Griffey!

Griffey!

Griffey!

Griffey!

Griffey!

Griffey!

Rally caps and cotton candy!

Rally caps and cotton candy!

And this is what it looks like when Griffey strikes out...

And this is what it looks like when Griffey strikes out...

Oh well, we had a ton of fun anyway!

Mommy and Bekah

Mommy and Bekah

Keith and Kim Johnson

Keith and Kim Johnson

The Bodger Girls

The Bodger Girls

Stephanie’s weekend away

The Chorus, on our special island: Steph, Linda, Denna, Cheryl, Sherice, Denise, Shannon & Laurie 

 

The Chorus, on our special island: Steph, Linda, Denna, Cheryl, Sherice, Denise, Shannon & Laurie

Each spring, my accountability group schedules in one weekend away to relax and enjoy one another’s company.

We got more time this year than usual, leaving Friday morning and not returning until 8pm on Sunday. Fun!

Our first stop on the way up to our final destination of Camano Island, was the outlet mall where we spent numerous hours perusing the stores north of Marysville.

Taking it upon ourselves to stimulate the economy.

Taking it upon ourselves to stimulate the economy.

After dinner at Boston Pizza, we traveled the rest of the way to the Island and our friend Laurie’s parents’ “cabin”. Several years ago it actually was a cabin but a couple years ago it was destroyed and a beautiful, new home built in its place.

The Timmerman's Camano Island "cabin"

The Timmerman's Camano Island "cabin"

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Here, Laurie chats with Sherice and Denna.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous. Here, Laurie chats with Sherice and Denna.

After a relaxing morning, some sun bathing, reading and minimal responsibility, a few of us went out (not to Target this time!) and found a couple thrift/antique shops to wander through. As we headed back to the house, we ran across a few signs advertising a dance that night. How memorable would that be?! Now to convince the other half of the group that it was a good idea to go check this event out between the hours of 7 and 10.

Following a yummy dinner of fish tacos, we headed out the door in our shorts, capris, and tees to check out what kind of dance was happening on this lazy, little island. The signs gave us no idea if we were heading to a square dance, formal dance, or something in between. We laughed so hard as we headed to the “Senior and Community Center” of Camano Island.

Unsure of what they'd find, Shannon and Denna head into the Center.

Unsure of what they'd find, Shannon and Linda head into the Center.

It was semi-formal! And $15 per person!

It was semi-formal! And $15 per person! With a live band!

We observed for a little while as it became clear that skilled, partner dancing was NOT something we'd be able to pull off.

We observed for a little while as it became clear that skilled, partner dancing was NOT something we'd be able to pull off.

So, we goofed around. Denna dips Linda.

So, we goofed around. Denna tries to dip Linda.

Figuring we’d invaded as much as we could, we headed back to the house for an evening of encouragement, sharing, and games.

Once

These 3 goofy girls gave Sherice and I a lot to laugh about as we returned to the house!

What a GOOFY bunch!

Sharing the love before we headed home, well, back to the outlet mall. What a GOOFY bunch!

Catching up…

Saturday, April 10th through Tuesday the 14th were crazy busy days. There were events for each of the kids, multiple parties (4 on Saturday alone!), Easter, Mariners preparations, and oh, my birthday, before Opening Day at Safeco Field arrived on Tuesday. It was all very fun, but exhausting when the adrenaline finally could taper off  Wednesday evening.

Bekah at ballet with Sarah Huber - 9th grader from church working on a school project. Aren't they darling?

Bekah at ballet with Sarah Huber - 9th grader from church working on a school project. Aren't they darling?

Easter eggs. These are actually all raw! Willie didn't want the dye to go to waste so he and Ashley colored every egg we had in the house!

Easter eggs. These are actually all raw! Willie didn't want the dye to go to waste so he and Ashley colored every egg we had in the house!

Our annual egg hunt at the Mansfields. These are the kids of the ladies in my Bible Study. Only a few are missing...

Our annual egg hunt at the Mansfields. These are the kids of the ladies in my Bible Study. Only a few are missing...

The kids at church Easter morning. He is risen!

The kids at church Easter morning. He is risen!

Bella & Bekah - too cute not to post.

Bella & Bekah - too cute not to post.

Mariners Opening Day on-field practice session 4/13

Almost time to head onto the field for Mariners Opening Day 2009!! (4/14)

We were really THAT close to the action! Willie with the balloon arch and Keith Johnson to his left.

We were really THAT close to the action! Willie with the balloon arch and Keith Johnson to his left.

I'm on the field, too!

I'm on the field, too!

Done on the field, now way up to our seats.

Done on the field, now way up to our seats.

Now back home at Safeco, Griffey's 1st at-bat. He was all business after this - and even got a hit! So exciting to have him back in Seattle.

Now back home at Safeco, Griffey's 1st at-bat. He was all business after this - and even got a hit! So exciting to have him back in Seattle.

My friend, Ede, even gave me a birthday greeting at the game! What fun!

My friend, Ede, even gave me a birthday greeting at the game! What fun!

Facebook, a stadium full of 50,000 fans, and these screens came together so that my long-time friend who I only run into every now and then & I actually interacted. She knew I was getting a b’day greeting because I’d said so on Facebook, and later in the game, she got on the big screen during the 7th inning stretch dancing time. Even amongst 50,000 people, God has a funny sense of humor to connect people!

Mariner’s Fanfest

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Each year, the Mariners hold an event at Safeco Field called Fanfest. Willie and I have been interested in going for a couple years but each time the cost has been prohibitive. This year, we went! And on January 23 not only did we “go”, we went for free and to the ‘coveted’ Season Ticket holder event from 5-7 pm. The daytime event, open to the public, is attended by thousands and each activity within the park is accompanied by a considerable wait time. Thanks to our church friend, Kent Oliver, we had a blast with friends at this fan-oriented fest.

We had free hot dogs, cookies, pop, water, and Cracker Jacks prior to seeing Mike Blowers interview the new manager. Then we headed to the activities around the park: throwing in the bull-pen, hitting off the tee in the outfield, catching a pop-fly in the outfield, touring the visitor’s clubhouse and hitting in their batting cage, as well as a tour of the M’s clubhouse (posh!). Between the fun activities and the even more fun friends we attended with, it was a ‘date night’ to remember for Willie and I!

Willie & Steph in the dugout - Fun! The benches were heated!!

Willie & Steph in the dugout - Fun! The benches were heated!!

And thanks to Ede Fitch, our friend and Mariner employee, for numerous freebies for not only our family but the Johnsons and Williams’ as well. 

Fred and Brayden Williams with our new team manager!

Fred and Brayden Williams with our new team manager!

Fred gets ready to deliver as a reliever

Fred gets ready to deliver as a reliever

Willie - faster than the speed of light

Willie - faster than the speed of light

Keith and Willie heading onto the field

Keith and Willie heading onto the field

The way they live in the Diamond Club

The way they live in the Diamond Club

Mikayla Johnson

Mikayla Johnson

Brayden Williams

Brayden Williams

Keith, Willie, Fred, Kim

Keith, Willie, Fred, Kim

Kent Oliver

Kent Oliver

Guess who took her eye off the ball?

Guess who took her eye off the ball?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keith hammers one

Keith hammers one

He put one up onto the concourse

He put one up onto the concourse

pop-fly time

pop-fly time

Yep, that's the dugout!

Yep, that's the dugout!

 

 

 

Brayden the peanut dude

Brayden the peanut dude

Peanuts!

Peanuts!

Locker for Beltre

Locker for Beltre

Cool centerpiece

Cool centerpiece

Moosy Mikayla

Moosy Mikayla

Christmas Eve with the Mansfields

Cheers!
Cheers!

The Mansfields came to our house this year  for our annual Christmas Eve celebration. Willie made dinner of Enchiladas, beans, salad, chips, salsa, and smoothies. It was quite a hit with the kids – and the adults, too.

Once dinner was over, we were hoping the kids would put on a 1st Christmas show for us, but we never could talk them into it. Instead, the adults chatted and the kids went and played as they sort of contemplated the show. They got as far as finding a baby Jesus and  manger, but got slightly side-tracked when they turned Katie into a reindeer… Maybe next year.

Rachel, Willie and Ashley just hanging out
Rachel, Willie and Ashley just hanging out
Katie and Bekah
Katie and Bekah
The Boys

The Boys

Jordan and Bekah

Jordan and Bekah

Then it was time to exchange family gifts. This year we did family games…
The Bodger kiddos

The Bodger kiddos

Jordan, Bekah, Ashley, Katie, Rachel and Matthew
Jordan, Bekah, Ashley, Katie, Rachel and Matthew
Silly!
Silly!
Hmmm...

Hmmm...

Mansfield gift
Mansfield gift
Bodger gift

Bodger gift

Pile on Willie
Pile on Willie
Happy Birthday, Jesus
Happy Birthday, Jesus!

Once we’d sung for Jesus and had our dessert, we all settled in to watch Miracle on 34th Street as snow continued to fall. John had to leave early to run media at the Christmas Eve service. When it was time for Sherice and the kids to leave… Sherice, who isn’t a fan of our driveway on a clear day, really experienced the best of it!

Willie went out to check on Sherice and found her spinning her wheels. He grabbed a shovel and started digging.
Willie went out to check on Sherice and found her spinning her wheels. He grabbed a shovel and started digging.
It took about 15 minutes, making church impossible, but eventually they made it out!
It took about 15 minutes, making church impossible, but eventually they made it out!

Merry Christmas!

Annual Christmas Party

We may have had to be picked up by our good friends, the Sessions, in their big truck, but we made it to the annual adults only Christmas party at the Mansfield’s last night. Good food is always a part of the night, as is lots of laughter. This night delivered. Not only did we have fun together, but as the snow continued to fall it felt like we were at a mountain chalet with all our friends and a roaring fire. Absolutely glorious.

Gotta love all those men in the kitchen!

Gotta love all those men in the kitchen!

 This year’s dinner theme was Asian, and everyone brought something to prepare and share.

Willie, Linda, Brent and Sherice all prep their dinners

Willie, Linda, Brent and Sherice all prep their dinners

 Although neither of the next two pictures are great and there are definitely some bad shots a some people, I love that Mick is cracking up over something at the far end of the table in both pictures!

Dinner is served

Dinner is served

No matter where we are, if it's my camera, Willie still can't keep his eyes open. Do I put him to sleep?

No matter where we are, if it's my camera, Willie still can't keep his eyes open. Do I put him to sleep?

After dinner is finished, cleaned up a little and the mixed table arrangement has settled into a girls end and a guys end for some conversation, it’s time for the gift exchange.

Greg tries to decide what to do with his gift. A new cooler!

Greg tries to decide what to do with his gift. A new cooler!

The always-photogenic, Keith & Shannon Sessions

The always-photogenic, Keith & Shannon Sessions

Tenos, Gilberts, Sessions, Mansfields, Bodgers, Beavers, & Michaels. Love these guys!

The gang: Tenos, Gilberts, Sessions, Mansfields, Bodgers, Beavers, & Michaels. Love these guys!

I am sure it is Keith saying something interesting. (Linda, Denna, & Brent)

I am sure it is Keith saying something interesting. (Linda, Denna, & Brent)

Cheryl, Linda and Shannon share some Christmas love

Cheryl, Linda and Shannon share some Christmas love

What greeted us at the end of the party. Just like a mountain retreat!

What greeted us at the end of the party. Just like a mountain retreat!

Thanks for another great year, friends, and for hosting another great party, Mansfields!

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