Our Family Story

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09 November 2013

Burfoot Park, Thurston County in Washington


Hello again Olympic Peninsula!
We joined our cousin/friend and took the kids to Burfoot Park to play at the beach, explore the shores, and collect all sorts of animals.

For more information go here:


Everyone was so happy!

01 November 2013

Lavender Fields in Olympia


I don't know why, but I have always wanted to go to a lavender field.  It just sounds beautiful to me.  Guess what?  There just so happens to be a lavender field 15 minutes from my new place.  We had to call ahead of time to make an appointment, but we made it happen.  


A stop in San Fran to see more family


My little brother is no longer in Utah.  He is also no longer 12 either, which is the age he was when he dressed up like a hotdog for Halloween and the age I remember him the most.  He is actually all grown up with 2 adorable little girls and living in San Fran going to Dental school.  So ... we had to visit him!!

Above is the gang standing at the base of Lombard Street, also known as the winding road.

Family Reunion Fun


LAYTON FAMILY REUNION 2013

Well, we haven't seen these lovely family members for over 2 years.  It was time for a family reunion in San Diego again!  California here we come!

Cesky Krumlove, the Rottenburg of the Czech Republic


This was our last little trip to the Czech Repulic ... I know sad!  I am so glad we made the effort to come, this place was incredible!  It was quite the drive out, but the scenery was beautiful and the town was so fun to explore.


Showing off the hand carved wooden chairs

Coburg and a little bit of family history


A long time ago in Coburg Germany our ancestors once lived.  Before leaving Germany we had to go and see where they lived, maybe walk where they once walked, and maybe just maybe see where they worked even.


Here is the town square.  I love a good German town square.

29 October 2013

Touring Stockholm, Sweden during a marathon


These kids are seriously troopers.  We hauled them around with us almost every single day to a new city filled with walking, walking and more walking.  They were amazing!  Stockholm was filled with a lot of walking due to a marathon taking place and closing down all the trams and buses.  We kind of missed out on being able to tour around in some of the museums because of the marathon but we still got to see a ton of Stockholm.  I think we walked 10 miles that day.



Tallinn, Estonia


I think Tallinn, Estonia had  the coolest doors of our whole trip!  Check these out!  I love them!



Touring Russia for a Day

The first day the kids spent the day in the kids club on the cruise ship.  We decided that the Hermitage probably would be the best place for 5 kids.  Best. Decision. EVER!  On day two the kids had to come with us, they had to experience St. Petersburg.  We drove around in the bus a TON and weren't allowed to get out and take a lot of pictures.  But with the few stops that we did have freedom to walk around we took advantage.

First Stop ... The Church of the Spilled Blood
(my kids know it as the Candy Church because it looks like it has Candy all over it)


Helsinki, Finland


Check out Evan's cheek in the picture on the left.  Do you see the HUGE bite marks?  Guess who did it?  You got it, the little boy in the picture on the right, the one looking all cute and innocent.  Gotta love it.  I remember a neighbor telling me years ago that their little girl was a biter, and right then and there I wished to never have a toddler that was a biter.  Well, my luck ran out and I got myself a biter.


Riga, Latvia


On the side of this church was a huge wooden horse.  We had to climb up and take a million pictures!



The kids love the prayer candles in each church we enter.  I swear, all kids LOVE fire.  


Grandma with my girls


27 October 2013

Klaipeda, Lithuania


This little girl of mine can be a bit crazy, and that is exactly why we love her so much.  "Mom, take a picture of me!"  This happens over and over with all sorts of facial expressions.


Gdansk Poland

Gdańsk, Poland


After we drove in a taxi for 45 minutes from the port of Gdynia we arrived in Gdańsk.  There was some run going on and our taxi driver, with a little help from some random little old lady walking around the city, was able to sidestep a few barricades.  It was awesome!  This little lady just moved the barricade for our driver like it was nothing.  That was when I fell in love with the Polish!

I love these two pictures (above and  below)!  We had just gotten out of the taxi and Emi followed Kenneth to this fountain. This isn't anything 'special', special as in it doesn't show up in the Rick Steves book, and yet it is beautiful and so characteristic of Europe.




A Day Exploring Denmark


Our first port stop was Bornholm Denmark.  This is actually a really important stop for our family and our family history.  On my husbands side, this is where his ancestors were converted to the LDS church and left their homeland in search for American and the prophet Joseph Smith, the leader of their new faith, the first prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

Here are the kids waiting to catch a bus to the small city where our ancestors were baptized and where a lot of family members were supposedly buried, Nyker.


The kids in front of the domed church where our ancestors once lived (not in the church in the town).  The kids are holding onto hooks where people would tie up their horses when attending religious meetings.

23 October 2013

Another Haircut


I don't know which one I like better, the top or the bottom, the before or the after ... at least from these two pictures.   Before his haircut, when his hair was dirt, it kind of looked cool, when it was clean it looked girly.  With this new haircut he looks handsome, sophisticated, and oh so cute (still)!

I love this little boy of mine!


18 October 2013

Our Last Trip to Nuremberg (I think)

We no longer have a car, so we got to ride the train into Nürnberg.
First Stop:  DB Museum ... or the Train Museum
(adults 5 Euro, children (age 6-17) 2,50 Euro)


The kids watching a HUGE train exhibit.


Upstairs in the museum is the kids zone.  I am not exaggerating when I

17 October 2013

Saying Goodbye to our German Friends!!

With the kids in German school we had always planned our vacations around when they had their holiday breaks.  They got a two week break for Easter (that is when we went on our Mediterranean cruise) and then they got a two week break in June.  For the break in June we planned our second cruise: A Baltic cruise.  Sadly, we decided this would be a good ending point for the kids and their school (we would only have a few more weeks after the cruise until we moved).  The kids needed to start saying goodbye to their friends, their music teachers, and their school.  Words cannot express how heart-wrenching this was.  We absolutely LOVE the Germans!  We have LOVED our experiences here!  We feel so blessed to have been able to be welcomed into their lives, country, and culture.



I felt like I had to do something BIG

18 September 2013

Mini Family Photo-shoot ... Just for fun

In Bavaria the rapeseed is beautiful!!  We just had to take advantage of the beautiful yellow and the perfect lighting.  One evening we headed out to get some pictures ... dragging our company along with us, which included my sister with her four kids and grandma and grandpa.



11 September 2013

Last Soccer Game


Fussball (or soccer) in Germany is HUGE.  Everyone plays!!  It is a huge, fun, social gathering whenever there is a practice or a game.  I love that my kids got to be a part of this! 
(I also love how it looks as though my son is wearing a dress with nothing under it, Hah!)

Violin Workshop and Concert


My little girl has been going to Nuremberg (an hour drive) several days in a row, practicing the violin for 8 hours per day, falling asleep in the car on the way there and on the way back, all in the name of preparing for a violin concert.  Her very first violin concert.  Her dad was lucky enough to go but

09 September 2013

Our Anniversary


Last minute we called our AWESOME friends, asked them to watch our older kids (kept the cute little man pictured below), rented a car (since ours was already headed across the ocean) and drove out to the Netherlands to see the tulip festival in Keukenhof.  

We got to stay in this cute bed and breakfast on the border of Holland and Germany (pictured above) and got to spend the weekend of our anniversary together sightseeing.  It was fabulous!!


This little guy was the perfect addition to our afternoon in Keukenhof wandering around the beautiful tulips!  I mean, come on, who wouldn't love that face?!

Last Ludwig Palace and a Over-the-top Rococo Church


Linderhof!!
This is yet another one of Ludwig's Palaces in Bavaria, Germany.  It was actually the one he lived in the most and is completely finished.  I really liked this Palace, I highly recommend going!  I loved the peacock room, all the mirrors, the crystal chandeliers, and the gold paint over everything.  Yeah, I could probably live here too.


When exiting the tour, and the Palace,

13 August 2013

Maibaum (May Pole) in Eschenbach, Germany


The first of May (erster Mai) is a big celebration in Germany.  The kids don't have school and the town gathers together in the center as they raise the May Pole.  It 's a celebration to bring in Spring and a celebration for those who labor (kind of like a Labor Day).   I actually love any reason for my little town in Germany to celebrate while I get to be a part of it and have my kids experience their culture.