Thursday, May 31, 2012

May 2012 - Busy month!

We did so much in May! I kept having to check the dates on the pictures. It just doesn't seem possible to have done so many things in one month! Poor Charlotte was exhausted before we even got started.
We started the month off by going on an impromptu trip to visit both of my grandmothers and my parents. We buckled up and headed out with Grandma Jane to assist (I am not crazy, I can't take a nursing baby and two kids across the desert by myself!
 As it turns out this would be the last time my kids would see their Great Grandma alive. I'm so grateful we got to go see her. I was also very grateful that Jane was there to watch my kids so I could spend some quality time with my grandma. Each day I went to visit her for an hour or so.
 She asked me to come back at lunch time the next day and asked me to feed her. I felt a lot like I was back at work feeding patients their thickened liquids and puree food. But I was so very grateful to serve her. I love this woman so much, she was an amazing card shark and the fiercest phase 10 player ever. She made perfect rolls and somehow I consumed beets and peas as a child from her productive garden. She also made beautiful quilts and wanted to make sure each of her grandkids (and even most of her great-grandkids) all got handmade quilts for her. Each of my three kids is lucky to have a quilt made with love by their great grandma.
 We stayed at my dad's house in Idaho while we were there and the kids got to test out Papa Rex's awesome karaoke piano. They thought it was a hit. We had the whole downstairs to ourselves and plenty of rooms to sleep in, but these little monkeys still preferred to sleep together.
 We had awesome park days and got to explore a lot (again, Mommy got to run some laps while Grandma Jane kept a closer eye on the kiddos).
 This was a cool park that had facilities for kids of all abilities. It was awesome to see the facilities being used by a lot of kids/teens with specific needs.
 My kids love any park and it was such beautiful weather, we had to take advantage of it as much as we could!

 Both of my Grandmas live within 15 minutes of each other and I'm so glad we got to visit my Dad's mom as well. She was more than happy to show my kids around her house and providing rides with her walker. I love visiting her house and seeing all the things we used to do and play with.
 See? Occasionally we do let Charlotte out of her seat.
 Back at Papa's house we took advantage of the new train track.
 The boys loved the automatic trains and would race the train around the track just in time to make a tunnel for it to go through.
 Grandma Mitchell got lots of visits and lots of exercise pushing these big boys around.
 We let her take a seat sometimes though.
 We love visiting family. I think that's my favorite kind of family trip is going to see family, and exploring the area around them.
 We made sure to get a few shots of Grandma piled high with grandkids.
 I like that you can see my dad and I in the reflection of the mirror trying to get the kids to smile normally.
 After Idaho, we made a detour to Salt Lake City so we could see my mom and so Jane could make a trip to the Family Visitor Center there.
 While Jane was doing her research, my mom and I took the kids to explore all around Temple Square. We went to a children's museum that was church-based play. All the activities had different church themes.
 I think the boys were fishing from the Ark here.
 And clearly, no one would have gone hungry with these mad fisherman.
 They also worked in collaboration to build a Temple.
 And then see a "Modern" Day Temple too.
 We walked along the mall that had a new water feature the boys couldn't resist getting their hands into.
 I loved just walking the ground of the Temple and enjoying the new spring.
 I'm so grateful for my forever family.
 We went to the visitors center to see the huge Christus there. Lincoln was pleased as punch to be there. We had a fabulous trip to Idaho and Utah!
 Shortly after returning home, we got invited to go the Maker's Faire. This is a gathering of people who are inventors/scientists/hippies/geeks of all sorts. 
Our kids loved using the different bikes with different means of propulsion.
 Even John and I got in on the fun, in this picture, you had to hop up and down on the stand to move the bike forward.
 The boys liked the bikes that you had to use your arms to move forward.
 We all and a ton of fun, and only had a few minor crashes. I think the only brakes were with our feet!
 There was a bubble man there, willing to make billions upon billions of bubbles. Our kids stayed so long here, I wasn't sure they would need a bath for the next week.
 We also got to see our friends, the Harrels, there. They are beekeepers and we saw their presentation on how to properly care for bees and even got to participate with harvesting honey!
Charlotte maintained her cuteness throughout the day. What a peach.
We saw the Coke Zero/Mentos performance as well. It did not disappoint! There were Coke Zero geysers 30 feet in the air all set to music. It was awesome! Ethan got to take home a souvenir too in the form of a flat, minty coke zero. He gladly consumed it.
I think John liked it too.
We visited lots of light shows and went through a "forest" of lights.
We also saw a display of masking tape art that was a little overwhelming.
The rest of May was spent taking advantage of our beautiful California weather, eating "mud soup" and general exploration in our skivvies.
We also had a few Evil Keneevil ramps set up.
And abandoned (thank goodness).
And seeping up this cutie-pie.
In May we had to say goodbye to Perona's preschool. This woman is a saint.
All the kids and the moms of Mrs. Perona adore her whole-heartedly. It's pretty amazing. She got 24 4-year-olds to sit still for a program and perform their little hearts out -- did I say single-handedly, yet? Yeah, she's that awesome.
So awesome I signed up all my children that minute, including any future progeny.
We also got to take our Father's Day Picture this month. It was a miracle to get these guys looking in the same direction as their feet. But it was so worth the 100 outtakes. John loved his Father's Day present!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

John's Desert Trip

John has found a kindred spirit in our ward and it's no surprise to me at all that he is old enough to be John's dad. I always tease John that he has an old soul, that is yet another example.
 I really have no personal input at to these photos. I'm pretty sure I got the run down of what is in the pictures, but as for the real stories, these boys kept it to themselves.
 Basically they decided to go to the desert and check out some wildlife.
 They found plenty of it along with a few extra random things.
 For the most part, I believe this was their view.
 All to spy one of these. John loves tortoises. He would take it home if I'd let him.
 Yikes. And they paid a whole lot for the trip. But I'm told it's all worth it.