service project…ensign ranch


A little bit of work.


Then a little bit of play.


Equals another McCracken Camping Adventure!! We headed up Snoqualmie Pass to camp and work at one of our church’s camps a couple of weeks ago. We picked up debris on the trails, prepared tee pees and tents for upcoming girls camps, and had a lot of fun with new acquaintances. We are loving camping near rivers and trees. It’s pretty amazing up here. I grew up camping and exploring in the Northwest. And, yet, the beauty and grandeur of this area of the country still blows me away now that I am back…experiencing it through my children’s eyes.

As we speak, the kids are in the backyard playing in a rainstorm. Even though we still get 300 glorious days of sunshine a year, here in Central Washington, we also get plenty of moisture and lovely spring rain, summer thunderstorms, and rain and snow in the winter. A perfect four seasons of balance, if you ask me.  Ezzy and Nikki just came to me and said, “mom, it smells SO good outside. Like real rain.” :) They are loving exploring every bit of their new version of the outdoors.

*And can I get a shout out for camping two weekends in a row while pregnant. Thank you!!

poulsbo, wa….the leas new home


The start of our Memorial Weekend 2013 actually started in Poulsbo, WA. We traveled to see Rob and Jaime’s new home. They were all very gracious allowing us to inundate their home for two nights and taking us around the town. We played in their backyard, found crabs at the beach, went to the aquarium, checked out a local ice cream shop, ate pizza, walked down the pier, went on a date without the kids, and of course, Jaime and I sneaked a lunch in while the guys entertained. :) We packed in as much fun as we could before heading out for camping. We had a great time. And we hope the Leas are happy in Poulsbo for a long time to come so that we have close access to them. They are only a few hours away now. Way better than 17!!!



book bistro, anyone?


Brian’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Dobie, put on a “Book Bistro” for the parents. Brian was our waiter. Adam and I got to order from a “menu” of writings that Brian created, which he then read to us. So cute. There was an appetizer, main menu, and dessert section. The dessert section had pictures and prizes for the kiddos. Loved this idea!!!


memorial day lives on…geocaching 2013

We have celebrated Memorial Day in Zion National Park, UT with friends since 2005. Although we no longer live near Zion, we hope to carry on the camping tradition with our children and friends…new and old…for a long time to come. This year we celebrated near Mt. Rainier. It was wet and green and completely different than what we have grown used to over the years. I missed the warmth of Zion and all of the familiar surroundings. But I also loved being “home” and showing my kids what it was like to camp near real trees. Rob and Jaime joined us, which was awesome.

Instead of hiking on Saturday, the guys took the kids geocaching. They have explored many geocaches all over Las Vegas and its surrounding desert.


They love looking for “treasure.” Adam loves using his GPS. And I love sitting in my camping recliner. So it’s win-win for EVERYONE! :)


We had several cousins join the fun. Everyone had a great time!! Despite being homesick for familiar faces in Las Vegas, I love being home.



family pictures 2012


Thank you Logan, UT for providing non-desertish backdrops. :)

The whole family




The kiddos


The Girls


The Boys

(Daddy, why didn’t you download the picture of you with your sons???)
















Growing. Growing. Growing.

Hopefully, our family will soon grow some more by one or two or maybe more.

Jo Jo gets baptized


Easter Weekend 2012 was also the weekend that Joseph was baptized…by his daddy. In our religion, a child can be baptized at the age of eight. Joseph turned eight in March and decided that he would like to be baptized. He received a warm fuzzy blanket (papa penning) and a teddy bear (mary anne thomas) from different people who spoke to him about the Holy Spirit.




Adam and Brian thought it would be fun to go do carnival rides during Easter Break. Papa and I went along to help herd the 10 children. The cousins had so much fun!!!



Umm, pretty sure the adult men also had fun!!!!!!!!!



the dam tour 2012


We took our parents and family to Hoover Dam this past spring. Yes, I’m playing blog catch up!!! We actually really dislike going out to the dam because it’s always windy and hot. But we also really wanted to walk on the new bridge. Very very impressive! It was fun walking across the top. But the more impressive view is from the bottom looking up…a true engineering feat! Adam decided to take all of the kids on the tour this time. Luckily, I had two under two that allowed me to escape this torturous event. So we headed home for naps while the men and papa took all the cousins on the tour. They had a blast!



I forgot about the picture of me and Gaven. Man, I miss that little guy!

mt. stirling


Adam told me he has a new goal: summit all 50 Las Vegas area peaks with the kids. I slightly chortled and said, “Does Las Vegas even have 50 peaks worth hiking?” He says, “you get what you get, lady.” (what I always say to my kids) I’m thinking, go for it buddy…I’ll be at the spa. Although this time I somehow ended up staying home with a newborn, a two year old, and a seven year old. Hmm, no spa for me. :)


Don’t get me wrong. I love hiking. But I do not love walking-in-the-desert-through-a-wash-and-up-a-hill-to-say-I-hiked kind of hiking.  *northwest snobbery at its finest*



I’ve been dragged on worse desert excursions than these pictures portray. This doesn’t look half bad, trust me! Maybe I’ll try the next one.