Wednesday, August 24, 2011

All Good Things Come to an End....

I don't really believe that title, but we were having a REALLY GOOD summer and now it's over!
Today I sent my three girls to school--all of them--all day.
This photo captures all the feelings of the first day, no?

So, it's just me and little Bud at home now. He was pretty weirded out from being abandoned by his little mothers. We filled the day by cleaning his room, going to the library, reading all the books we brought home, and painting with watercolors on giant poster paper. It was only 1 pm and as if on cue, some neighborhood friends showed up to play. It's a great life, I know.

So just to wrap up the summer, here are a few of the other things that have happened.

Kate's team won with 7 goals on their first soccer game. Kate scored 3 of them! She looks so much bigger this season out there on the soccer field. I don't usually yell so much at games but it was so exciting! Coach Dad was pretty proud too.

Dad ran a 5K. He hates running but he makes it look easy. He can just not run ever-- and then show up at a race and take 5th or 6th?? It just reaffirms to people like me (who run faithful as death every other day) that life is not fair.
While we're on the subject, my running partner is out of commission (pregnant.) So, I had to find some new running friends and lucky me-- I found the perfect ones (literally, they're about as close to perfect as you can get)--President Monson, Dieter F. Uchtdorf --the whole gang! They do all the talking and I just listen but that's okay because they have a LOT of gems to share.
It actually makes me excited to get up in the morning and get out there because I can't wait to hear what they have to say! I even find myself running a little longer just so I can finish a talk. Yes, thank goodness for iPods, arm bands, and LDS General Conference downloads.

That spiritual boost had proved perfect timing, because little did I know how much PUTTING in YARD WOULD BE SUCH A TRIAL AND TRIBULATION!! Trying to install a sprinker system has certainly not brought out the best in me.
It takes:
  • patience (uncheck)
  • diligence (uncheck)
  • brawn ( uncheck)
  • brains-- esp. the kind that can look at crude diagrams and figure out what they mean (uncheck)
  • high frustration tolerance (double uncheck)
We tried phase one of sprinkler system for date night and it didn't go well at all!
Thankfully, "NeighborMan"came to the rescue. What I lack in the above character traits was hopefully made up for in GRATITUDE to have someone who knew what they were doing help us out. He had all the above qualities plus a passion for "installing sprinkling systems" (too weird to even make up) PLUS a boundless supply of energy which kept him working and working with Brandon...until midnight. He didn't stop with the sprinklers, he also filled in the trenches and set the timers. My job was the sprinkler heads:) Our whole yard was finished in record time--it's SOD-READY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I couldn't be more excited and grateful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It will be the best birthday ever when the truckload of fresh sod come and party barefoot in our backyard!

Monday, August 15, 2011

On the Road Again

A chance to see cousins always makes for a great weekend getaway. We were excited to meet up with our NJ cousins on their trek out West.

Our first annual marshmallow shooter party. Too bad I couldn't aim for nothin' 'cause it sure looked fun to pop some uncles in the head with those fluffy little pellets. Cannon's tummy was more stocked with ammo. than his gun.

Next on the docket was the parade, and boy it was a HOT one.
A garbage can provided the only scrap of shade around. My favorite float was the one handing out ice cold bottled water.

We don't usually get to join cousins for their birthday parties so it was great to be able to join Anika for hers. It's no wonder she wanted to go skating for her special day--she is really good
and fast on those skates.
Brynn was looking glassy-eyed by the end of the party. She was spiking a temperature of 103 so it was time to pack up and make a quick exit.

I think it's time we stayed home for awhile so the sick one can rest and the rest can work-- on this...

Sunday, August 14, 2011

YeeHaw! You Better See it to Believe it.

It was time, this week, to get on down to the County Fair! I think it's the most exciting event in the county and it's the only time I really want to wear a cowboy hat and ride the daylights out of a horse. (Actually I always want to ride a horse, so just the cowboy hat part.)
We were entertained by a hypnotist, some guys doing some pretty awesome bike stunts on half pipe's, and some hands on farm-activities. We walked around to see all the exhibits and the blue ribbon livestock.Kate won a blue ribbon for her chocolate chip cookies. They really are the best darn cookies you've ever had and I ain't lyin.
Then it was Rodeo time.
When we first moved out here we went to (my) first rodeo. To say it was a culture shock would be an understatement. Maybe I lived a sheltered city life but we certainly never did anything like this. Yeehaw! You better see it to believe it.

I don't know what I was so shocked about?! Now that I have kids of my own of course I'm going to let them get their chance at chasing a wild (domesticated) animal in an arena for a chance at some cash. Brynn's the only one of our girls that wanted to sign up for this year's "Little Cowboy Rodeo" She got down and dirty and got herself ribbon off that cow, worth $1.00.

Brynn also really wanted to try Muttin' Bustin' this year. That there is how you hold on to sheep for dear life. Even though I warned her it was not as easy as it looked (I pretended to know) she was sure she had what it took. Her confidence payed off because she was able to hang on there until the announcer told her it was time to get off. And wouldn't you know she placed in the top 6 of her age group. ( She also came home smellin' like... mutton.)
Well, that's it for this year's county fair folks!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Snowbird in the Summer

My sisters and I gathered from our various locales to join my mom in celebrating her birthday!!!

We loaded up a selection of fruit tarts, cream puffs, tiramisu for the best birthday cake ever from our favorite bakery and headed for our favorite mountain getaway, Snowbird.
Nowhere in UT do the mountains feel bigger than in Little Cottonwood Canyon, with it's staggeringly tall pine covered mountains and giant slabs of granite. Huge drifts of snow remain even in the middle of summer. There are waterfalls cascading down those sheer cliffs and meadows full of wildflowers. You can feel the temperature drop as you drive up the canyon. It was nice to get away from the city heat and escape to the mountain coolness.

Brandon was on-call so he stayed at home with the older two and I took the younger 2with me for the weekend. My sister stayed overnight at Snowbird and we all met her up there to celebrate.
It being a Sunday, we went to to worship at the local LDS branch. We gathered in the main lodge with about 50 other tourists, had a song, prayer, the Sacrament then a 10 minute gospel doctrine lesson and a 10 minute testimony meeting. Bing Bang Boom, all that worshipping pared down to one-hour?! Loved that and I'm gonna be suggesting it to my bishop :)

After church we had brunch in my sister's hotel room and then went exploring. We booked a tram ride which took us all the way up to, what felt like, the top of the world. There was still snow!! Hence, the snowball fight title and you can be sure we had one heck of a fight. We basked in the glory of the view from all sides then hiked down a bit. Adrie and cousin Courtney opted to sled down the snowy short-cut where we made it to a tunnel in the mountains, whichled us to the chairlift, which we took to get us down the rest of the mountain. It was a thrill to ride down the mountain and take in the breeze and breathe in that smell that I remember from childhood--the smell of Snowbird-- wildflowers warmed in the sun with a hint of pine. We spotted 2 moose way down below us which was very exciting even from far away.
Back on land, we got lunch and explored some more. I took Adrie and Bud on a "bear hunt" through the forest to a river and a pond. It was time to wrap up the day when we realized we were very sunburnt!

I think my mom had a great birthday. I sure did! We returned to her home to find dozens of birthday messages on the answering machine, a few little gifties tucked inside the screen door, and a few visitors after that bringing treats. My mom loves her neighbors and they love her. I guess that's what happens when you live in the same neighborhood for 50 years. She really gets to know them and keeps up her tradition of inviting any new family over for Sunday dinner.

Nana feeding the ducks and geese at Sugarhouse Park.We stayed one extra day so we could see cousins from Virginia and we're glad we did!!

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