Sunday, July 31, 2011

Great to be Eight!

Last Tuesday, Jenna and I went to DI alone and shopped for an assortment of tea cups, saucers, pitchers, and even scored with a unicorn center piece. We picked out 3 lady-dresses for dress-up and a grab-bag of jewelry. She picked out a curtain that would serve as a tablecloth, and we were ready for a tea party. She invited 3 girls to the party yesterday. They came dressed up. We made fans... very apropos. They also did a headband craft. After that, the girls picked jewels to wear and donned glittery eye shadow and lipstick. They were ready for high tea. They each helped set the table. At this age, they just love that....setting the table, pouring the jelly beans, arranging the strawberries, contributing to the fanciness of it all. They sat to their water, juice or milk and indulged on animal crackers, wafers, jelly bellies (perhaps the favorite), strawberries, raspberries and cake- pinkies up, of course.

 Then Jenna opened her presents and the girls went home. It was fun! They all got along great, they giggled a lot and shared very well. They were just "dawwling, darling!" as they fanned themselves and giggled. I enjoyed Jenna very much, and her friends are such good and fun girls.

Yesterday afternoon, Aunt Lissy wanted to take Jenna to get her ears pierced. When Jenna was a baby, she had her ears pierced, but they grew shut after taking them out. Jenna has talked about getting her ears pierced, but thought that she would be too scared. Aunt Lissy gave her just the courage she needed. Jenna was a bit nervous. She reports that, "yes, it hurt!". After she was done, she cried a little, but only after she smiled at the earrings in the mirror. She is feeling quite fancy now with no complaints! She is quite beautiful if you ask me. Thank you, Aunt Lissy!

Today, was actually Jenna's birthday. We went to Church and she said, "I loved church today!". They, no doubt, sang to her and made her feel special. Then we came home and Steve cooked up her meal request. We all ate well! I am still full. Jenna ate so much shrimp that she was too full to eat her mashed potatoes with gravy, that is a big deal! Later, we had cake and ice cream, and she opened her gifts. This year, the toys she loves are LPS (Littlest Pet Shop, duh!) and Barbie.
 We headed to Grandma Teacups tonight after cake, and they all sang to her and spoiled her there too!
 Jenna seemed to have a great birthday weekend. She was so pleasant and appreciative. I am thankful to be Jenna's mom.
Happy Birthday, Jenna!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Grotto

Last Saturday we went for a hike to this beautiful waterfall. The kids were kids and love to explore and disobey explore some more. I am glad that they love the outdoors and water and rocks and dirt. It was a great shaded hike with this beautiful waterfall at the end. (only 0.3 miles). This is truly a beautiful place to live.
 The water was snow melt and putting your feet in for too long would make your legs ache. It was cold! No wonder the kids wouldn't get under the falls.

 This was an ideal hike, and we are happy to have our second hand kid pack for Gage. It makes it so we can do this stuff.

Blanding for the Fourth

Blanding is THE place to be for the fourth. They have a great celebration there. It's small town America.
We left after I got off work on Friday the 1st at 7:45pm. We crossed our fingers and took the truck for  the 5-6 hour drive. We needed the bed of the truck for bikes, the dog and the cooler. No DVD player and traveling while it is getting dark is risky with little ones. Trev did well to look out the window for "an-muls", but proved to be himself as he fought sleep after 8:30. Even Jenna broke down in tears because she was so tired but couldn't sleep. We stopped off the road and fed Gage that was fussy, and the kids practiced peeing in the bushes. We arrived at 12:45am.Gage and I went to the All-night softball games at 2:45am. The games were entertaining, and apparently the tourney filled up with teams quickly. Gage fell asleep, and then we went back to Steve's parents' house. That was the point of the wee-hour excursion- Get him to sleep.

 Saturday we went to Cottonwood Wash, hoping that there would be some mountain run off, but it was bone dry. It was a nice and short adventure made worthwhile by the nice scenery and the finding of a toad. I was as excited as the kids to find the toad and was too chicken to catch him. Steve caught him for Zac. Zac squeezed the pee out of him several times. No warts noted.
 After lunch, we went to Blanding's new pool The slides are awesome. They have life jackets available, so the big kids explored and had a great time.
That afternoon, Steve's extended family started to trickle in from the Lake Powel trip. That means more good food, games and visiting.
Sunday we did not prepare well for church, and so while others went top church, we went to the 4th reservoir to throw rocks. It's so very pretty out there. The weather was perfect. The dog swam and the kids got their feet wet.
 For lunch, Julene's Navajo friend, Gloria came over and made at least 50 fry-bread. I think that Julene makes great fry bread, but having them authentic was a treat. I thought the bread had a funnel-cake quality, and I loved it. Lunch was great- Navajo tacos.

That afternoon, Julene planned a version of the amazing race. We broke into groups and raced all over town, counting things at different places like, "how many picnic tables are under the pavilion at the North Chapel?". It was fun. Steve  has the advantage of growing up there, and our map of attack worked well. Steve and I won. At least in our minds.  :) That evening we went to the 3rd Reservoir to let the dog swim and we brought the camera this time. After dinner we went on a mountain ride- One if my favorite things to do in Blanding.

Monday was the fourth, and Blanding celebrates the 4th on the fourth. The day started for us with a 5K. Steve has been training/running at the gym for months now. I signed us both up in a moment of delusional thinking. So, yes, I "ran" too. Even though, I am pretty sure I did no exercising in the entire month of June aside from mowing the grass. Steve nearly met his goal for his first 5k, just shy by 42 seconds- if he had a watch on, he would have made it. I finished in 37 minutes and 25 seconds. I was pleased that I finished and wasn't last. It was a good motivator. Steve and I plan on doing another one in October. There were 12 or 14 of Steve's family that ran, some of which did really great.
 After that, we got ready for the parade. Because Liss was home with a new baby, we didn't get the traditional picture with all the grand kids on the couch with their matching shirts... Next year. The parade was fun, but seemed exceptionally hot, maybe because I was more aware with a baby this time.

 We skipped the booths this year, but still had some chicken-on-a-stick that Kevin grabbed for us. Instead, we ate lunch, played corn-hole and listened to Ryan on his banjo, which sparked my desire again to play the guitar. I took the big kids to the pool for an hour or so to let them enjoy free swim, that was shortened by a little guy that caused a pool-evacuation because he vomited. The cousins noted that of all the kids at the busy pool, Zac was the last to get out. I mean that, the very last.
Before dinner, Zac and I ran out to watch the barrel racing. I like that it feels nostalgic, and I think of home. The suppressed country-girl inside of me loves it. Lots of kids raced, and while it is cute, it is not as exciting as the adults racing. We stayed about an hour and went home.

 That night was the fireworks on  the hillside. We go just a bit early, play with glow bracelets, and listen to the band play. The fireworks are always impressive, and just when you think it's the grand finale, there are more! Our kids enjoy the other cousins (they are all actually Steve's cousins). They are so good with the kids!
 Tuesday, Steve was able to go fish with his dad and Kevin. They didn't catch much, but half the fun for Steve is just going. We didn't do much the rest of the day aside from visiting as things settled down. We stopped at Grannie's and she was sweet to give us the blanket that is on her lap that she made years ago. I love afghans. We headed out by about 4pm. On the way home, we stopped at Wingers and ate with Kevin, Anna and Hyke.
 We were again happy to be home that night.