Wednesday, June 30, 2010

June 30, 2010: Stuff

I saw three movies in about 24 hours. One for a friend's birthday, then a dollar movie, "How to Train Your Dragon" with the kids, and then the midnight showing of "Eclipse" with my cousin, my niece, and about 40 of my neighbors. My diet has consisted of protein shakes and popcorn so if I look strange and malnourished, that's your answer. I'm also very tired from staying up until 3:00 am, but not as tired as I would think.

I also went to a doTERRA presentation last night, which was cool. I'm pretty interested in what essential oils can do for me these days. I'm looking into it further as a way to have a non-expiring medicine cabinet of sorts.

This morning I got up around 9:30 am. My kids were good and let me sleep for a while, but now they are hollering up a storm and my guess is that they are waking up Ellen, who stayed the night last night. Erin and I made her drink a concoction of apple cider vinegar, honey, cayenne pepper, and oil of oregano. She looked green afterward, but she had a sore throat and that was our best solution.

I thought when I got up that I would be too late in booking our timeshare for the first week of August of 2011, but there was still a spot for us and we will be going to Depoe Bay that week and playing on the beach and eating clam chowder at Devil's Punch Bowl. We haven't been to Oregon since Josh was two and I was pregnant with Clara, so this should be exciting. Too bad we have to wait a year to go!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 29, 2010: Neighborhood Block Party

Every year for the past about five or so years we have started off the summer with a neighborhood block party. We stick to the same schedule - bike parade followed by a bring-your-own-meat and side something BBQ. We roll out the grills and the guys start grilling while the kids ride their bikes and run all over the place and the women sit in the shade and talk and ooh and ahh over whatever new babies have been born. It's awesome, and a tradition that I hope we are still doing 20 years from now.

This year the food was held at my house and the shade was held at Lou's house across the street. We dragged out our awning and with the help of my fabulous next door neighbor, we set up tables and color coordinated the tablecloths. My kids worked on decorating their bikes and scooters with crepe paper and all was well.

Josh and the super-decorated bike
Clara and her bestie, Caitlin
Michelle taking a picture of me taking a picture of her. Her camera is bigger than mine.
Mindy taking a picture of me taking a picture of her.
The starting line for the bike parade. The kids ride around our triangle.
Heidi, Judd and Aliyah
The one shot I got of Josh because he was too fast.
Yeah - no shoes. Awesome.
Lou Lou and Keysha
Jennifer stole Sienna for a snuggle
Scott and Jennifer
Jennifer, Sienna, Barbara, Shelley and Marshall
The newest baby on the block!
Dave the grill master - he wasn't being very social. He said it was too hot.
Light Saber Wars
Greg and Caitlin

One of these days I am going to go through all of my pictures and put together a big book of block parties. Yeah - one of these days. We had a great time, great turnout, and missed those who weren't able to join us this year!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

July 26, 2010: The Round-Up

I love the three weeks of the summer that my cousins come from Fargo to visit. I spent five years of college hanging out with the people in the first picture below, except that Ellen was a baby. We spent every Sunday dinner together, and Eric and Kristen and I hung out on campus at BYU almost daily during lunch in my Uncle Jack's graduate student lab. The first time I met Kristen was at my cousin Mark's funeral almost 20 years ago. A week later she got engaged to my cousin, Sean. But the first time I really talked to her was on a street corner in front of Heritage Halls shortly after school started my Freshman year at BYU. I saw her from about 10 feet away and said, "Um....are you....Kristen?" We stood there on that corner talking for three hours. I'm pretty sure I missed class. We haven't stopped talking since.

When I heard that today was going to be the Round-Up when they bring the cows out to Strawberry to graze, I said, "I'm THERE!" I haven't been out there often, but my kids, especially Clara, are nuts about horses and cows. We packed up a picnic lunch and headed up after saying bye to Ben (we will miss him). It was a gorgeous day, a beautiful drive up the canyon, with cool breezes and sunny skies.

After eating, the kids all hopped in the back of the trucks and headed down to the corral to see the cows. Then they went up to the lake, to the meadow, to the top of the mountain, etc. I didn't want to go, so I made up an excuse that I had to stay behind and keep Kristen company. Kristen made up the excuse that she had to stay behind to keep me company. As a result, Kristen and I had about two solid hours of uninterrupted time to sit and a grove of aspen trees. If that isn't heaven, I don't know what is. With 9 kids between us, that hasn't happened in years. It was peaceful, and made better by the fact that we were left with half a pan of texas sheet cake in our midst.

Kristen, Rachel, Ellen and Eric
Karen and Mason - this was a funny moment. Karen was quizzing Mason on all things Geography. It was quite astonishing how brilliant he was. Ellen made the comment that she is the dumb one of the family and I said, "Well, I've always been that myself so we can hang out together and be the dumb ones."
Clara, Lucy, and Ava sit in their diva chairs and watch the horses in the corral
I can't believe I got this shot of Charlotte between Erin's legs. Too cute.
Ethan and Charlotte - I remember vividly when Ethan was Charlotte's age
Erin and Maile (who reminded me of Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Lovely grown up Ellen
The boys - and by that I mean, literally, the THREE boy cousins. The rest of the kids there were girls and there were 13 of them.
Watching the cows
The crazy kids - notice the one boy
Charlotte fell asleep on the blanket in the sun
I don't know this horse's name, but he/she was sure gorgeous
The old cabin - my cousins, Sean and Mark, lived here during the summers when they were teenagers and worked on the ranch. It's an ideal spot with beautiful views for a picnic.

June 25, 2010: This is the Place

We haven't been able to hang out with the Kirks for a couple of years, so when they told us they were coming to town, we took things seriously. Dave took the day off from work so that we could devote a lot of time to playing, and we met at Red Iguana the moment it opened to start things off right.

After lunch, we headed up to This is the Place Park for a few hours. The first thing we did was hope on the train that isn't a train - as in, it's a series of cars that look like trains, but they are on wheels. It takes you all around the park, but we got off at the Indian Village to check things out and make some crafts.
Jenny, Morgan, Jim, Jamie and Josh
Clara, Corinne, Jamie and Josh in the Hogan
The boys - Dave and Jim - they even dressed alike
Corinne, Jamie and Josh peek through the little tee pee
The Craft: Arrowhead necklaces with beads
A beautiful view of the Salt Lake Valley - the picture doesn't do it justice
Riding the mini train
The kids attempted to pull the handcart but it was chained down.
Clara is gaga over horses and wanted to pet it
Josh was tall enough to do it without being held
Their final event was the pony ride
I think this is universally their favorite activity on the planet
This is the Place Monument with Brigham Young on top
A monument to the first company that arrived on July 24, 1947
My Great-Great-Grandfather was part of that company - Sylvester Henry Earl
He was in good company with Brigham Young

After a while it was just too darn hot, so we headed to the Gateway to play in the fountain. Josh was in heaven. He bounced all over the place trying to find the geysers, and there were tons of kids so I was glad that he was in such a bright swimsuit.
Dancing to the musical fountain
Clara stood on the edge - having nothing to do with it
Josh and Jamie wait for a stream of water
The rules - most of which I saw broken
This definitely cooled him off!

After getting ice cream at the food court, we headed back to our house to relax. We had Kneaders for dinner and then they had to head back home for the night. It was wonderful to have that long to spend with them and the kids had a lot of fun together. We wish they lived closer so they could play more often. Jim was instrumental in getting Dave and me together 8 years ago. Jenny and he got married a few months after we did, and then they had Jamie about six weeks after we had Josh. Clara and Corinne are just a few months apart as well. When Jenny and I were pregnant, we spent the summer at her parents' house swimming and trying to stay cool in the heat and humidity of Virginia. We also ate ate at their house almost every Sunday when we lived there. Good times!