Sunday, July 29, 2012

Pioneer Day Celebration

 Our ward had a very fun pioneer day celebration this year.  Tracie Callihan was in charge of it and she went all out! You can count on a great party when you put Tracie in charge :)  Maggie had come over to play so I helped the two girls get ready.  Luckily (and to Hannah's embarrassment I am not sure why?) we have a collection of pioneer clothing on hand for such occasions.  They also dressed up some dolls to take with them.
 There were many fun events planned.  We ground wheat, made butter, played pioneer games, made rope and stamped leather and wove baskets.
 Ethan was excited to see the button game.  He really likes it and has made several, they all have broken.  When he saw it he was happy...but it broke before the night was over. 
 Cute little pioneer Lu getting ready for the watermelon seed spitting contest.  She could spit 7 feet some inches, not the winner but still fun.

We ended with an indoor picnic: beans, corn, bread and butter and jam, watermelon and pies.  It was a fun fun night!

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Thursday night Hannah, Lu and I went to see the Summer stock production of The Wizard of Oz.  It was wonderful.  Lu loved it, she didn't want it to end and wants to be in a play as soon as she can!  The kids who were in it were very talented and we had a great time. 

summers bounty

Today's agenda: make a pie, make a couple loaves of bread, make some beans, have friends over for the kids to play with, do laundry, watch the Olympics, R at work, ward pioneer day celebration.

Last night R and I went on a date.  We went to Chipotle and to see Spiderman 4.  We were deciding between that and Batman.  Either would have been fine and unsurprising.  Spiderman was what I expected: entertaining, fast paced, Uncle Ben dies, Spidey saves the day. 

This past week E was at soccer camp.  Likely to be the best week of his summer.  He had a great time!

We've gone swimming every day.  It's been hot.  By the end of July the kids begin to long for school.  Although it has it's own stresses they are each good students and enjoy the routine, the learning and the something to do each day besides chores with mom.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Idiart Visit

 What a wonderful few days we have had.  It's been so fun to have our cousins visiting.  Hannah spent three days touring in DC with them and really enjoyed it.  She got to see some things we haven't seen so far including an art museum, the Holocaust museum, the library of congress and the capital building.  She got along well with Rachel and Emma and she and Emma went to mutual last night and had a lot of fun doing service and hanging out with friends.
 Yesterday Lu and I joined the tour group as well :) We went to the Jefferson Memorial then walked around the tidal basin and saw the FDR and MLK memorials.  It was tons of fun.  I hadn't seen either of the last two and found them very touching.  The kids were troopers and walked with little complaining, they were fortified by Damian buying ice cream for them.

 lunch break.  Silly Lu made us all laugh.  She is a character!
 We stopped by the American History Museum.  Nina and Lu were thrilled to see another museum :)
 Our last stop of the Bureau of Printing and Engraving.  It was interesting and the children got fun souvenirs (also helpful when trying to rally the troops).

Nina, Rachel, Josh, Hannah, grace, Emma and Ben
Last night the adults went out to dinner while Josh baby sat.  The kids had gone swimming and then settled down to watch a movie.  Josh also had them read scriptures and have prayers so they were all ready for bed when we got home from dinner. 

Today they left :(  We had a great time and were sad sad sad to see them leave.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Today was a fun day.  Katrina and Ben stayed home from all the DC fun and Chels, Eric, Ellie and Jeffrey came over so we had a party!  We went to the pool and had a picnic.  The water was cool as the temperature is more mild today but the kids didn't care.  After we picked E up for soccer camp we all went to Brusters.

Tonight we are watching George and the Dragon and eating popcorn. 

Hannah has been heading into the city and seeing all the sights.  She is very happy for this family time.  Of all the kids she longs most for close family relationships and often laments that we live so far from everyone.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Titanic tube

Ethan's day: woke up, put on his cleats and went to soccer camp. 
Played soccer from 8-3.
Came home with Justin and went to the pool.
Played with the boys at the pool from 3:30-5:45.
Which means jumping in while they threw balls at each other and caught them... or floating on the titanic while they tried to sink each other, or racing across the pool.
Came home did 3 chores.
6:15-7 went to the park and played basketball with the neighborhood boys.

soon we will have dinner, FHE and then bed.
As for the rest of us Han went to DC with the cousins and Lu and I had errands to run, a trip to the library and store.

blueberries, Temple trip, YC

Emma, Hannah, Grace, Ethan, Josh, Ben, Rachel and Nina
Another fun weekend :)  On Saturday I went to youth conference.  We had done a lot of planning and preparing and now the big day was here.  I really hoped that it would go well, that the kids would have  wonderful time and that they would strengthen their testimonies of service and the Savior (not in that order). 
We arrived at the Colonial Farm early and got set up then the rush began as we checked kids in and handed out shirts.  They congregated in little groups and it got noisy as friends greeted each other and more and more youth arrived.  We ended up with about 110 kids and 30ish adults. 
Soon we had everyone suited up and began some getting to know you games.  We divided the youth into "families" w/ a parent couple as ma and pa, they did a few more games and then headed out to work.  The Colonial people were so impressed, they kept telling us how organized we were, how good the kids were, how respectful.  And this was before we even put them to work.  The families were assigned different tasks and all of them did wonderful work.  Some built benches and picnic tables for the park.  Others moved fences and rebuilt them so that the animals could be moved from one grazing area to another, some were assigned to work in the various gardens or to clean brush from the trails and parking lots.  Everyone worked so cheerfully and hard.  Again we got many comments about the caliber of their efforts, some groups actually finished the whole days allotted work before lunch leaving the staff to find more work for them in the afternoon.  I was so proud of them.  I didn't hear a single grumble or see a grouchy face the whole day.
We had a lunch break and some free time followed by more work.  After all the working was done we had a wonderful fireside/testimony meeting under the trees while the smells of dinner cooking wafted our way.  Dinner was DELICIOUS!! and after cleaning up we had the best part (at least according to the youth) the dance!  The music was loud and the kids were full of energy despite, or maybe because of, their day of hard labor.  Everyone danced and had a wonderful time. 
I am giving the activity 5 stars! It was great. 

While I was gone R held down the fort.  Han went with the Martines' to VA to pick blueberries.  She said it was great fun and they had ice cream at the cutest shop.  Lu had a birthday party to go to and enjoyed celebrated with Izzy her special day. 
Hannah, Chelsea and Alexis picking blueberries

Late late Saturday night the Idiarts arrived at our home and Sunday we had lovely pancakes for breakfast then went to church.  After church we drove to the temple and had a picnic and went to a fireside given by Todd Thatcher.  It was good and the kids enjoyed it.  They really enjoyed having cousins to play with!

Now it's Monday morning and the Idiarts + Hannah went to DC.  Ethan is at soccer camp (he's been looking forward to that all summer) and Lu and I are home.  Tomorrow we will join the cousins on another DC day.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


BBQ chicken
frozen yogurt
movie watching
sleeping in
dog sitting
play dates
library reading program
burning car seats and steering wheels
youth conference
hot stormy weather
hot sunny weather

That is it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

random this and that

Our vacation last week was so nice. Really nice.  I can't think of one thing that wasn't nice about it.  Our dog did not get eaten by an alligator, like another vacationer, which really would have made it not nice.  No one got stung by jellies, which is not nice and we hate.  It was super relaxing and wonderful and beautiful and fun.  The only thing that would have made it better is if the big girls and Greg and Tate were with us, but they weren't and I try to be really philosophical about things like that and enjoy who is there and the moment.  I do wish I could fold the space between us and live much closer to my west coast familia.

We had a pleasant drive back.  I was concerned because we had all three kids in one row.  They did great and were cheerful and mostly nice to each other. (Hannah slept the whole way which helped)  We stopped for DQ to rally the troops and they made it until the last 20 minutes without any breakdowns, which I thought was super great.

Sunday was our first day back and it was busy for Han and I.  We went to church early because she had choir practice, then after church we drove up to the Stake Center for a special youth fireside, that was sandwiches between two other meetings that I had.  I had asked her to pack a travel lunch for us that morning but she forgot so we didn't eat until we got home around 9:30.  It was okay.  We were hungry but whatevah.  Anyway I think she probably learned a good lesson about what happens when you don't do what you are asked as hunger is a good motivator.

Monday we vacuumed.  A lot.  Millie is shedder.  The only thing I don't like about her.  Then we met some friends at the Lyon's pool for a swim that turned out to be very torturous as the children were whinny and clingy.  I don't know what that was all about but it was both annoying and embarrassing. 
Then we went to buy E some cleats, because that boy goes through shoes like no one's business.  In the evening he had street soccer and we watched TV. 

Adjusting to being home after a long trip is always difficult.

Friday, July 13, 2012

last day

Last day :( It's been such a nice week, the beach is wonderful~ warm water, nice sand.  The condo is really nice and roomy.  We enjoyed a beach day followed by an late lunch at the Salty Dog and a trip to Ritas.  This cute guy was hanging out at the shopping center. 
I don't think we could have had a more relaxing vacation.  Tomorrow we'll leave bright and early and drive all day back to reality.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

second to last day

I can't believe how fast our vacation is flying by.  This morning Lu and I headed out to the beach, soon Nana joined us and we bobbed around in the water.  It was so nice! 

The menfolk went mini golfing.

In the afternoon we met for lunch & some beach shopping, which turned into old fashioned picture taking, ice cream eating fun.


my new bff, Rupert Grint's movie is called CBGB and is not a horror movie

Lady & Sons

Last night we bought some pizza and settled the children snuggling in the condo under the watchful eye of cousin Jess and biggest sister on the job Hannah.  Then the grown ups headed to Savannah GA for a little celebrity chef adventure.

Paula Deen, who I love because I think she's warm and genuine & who R finds annoying because she is loud and kind of obnoxious but who we both watch from time to time, has her restaurant in Savannah.  Of course we wanted to go try it out.

After a little mishap with the GPS, which lead us squarely through the slums of Savannah we ended up a block from the restaurant and smack dab in the middle of a movie set.  It took some sorting out as they had blocked the street but eventually the car was parked and we were seated.  The movie they were making is called Heebie Jeebie and it was interesting to see all the commotion and equipment and lights and steam that are part of movie making.  It's a horror movie so that scene on the street is the most I am going to ever see of it, still it was fun.  The most exciting part was that we saw "Ron Weasley" from Harry Potter.  He's in it.  Abba snapped this photo of him from the 3rd floor restaurant window.  He is standing by the white tent in the background wearing a black low cut long sleeved tee shirt and a dog collar. 

Anyway, the food was good.  I had the fried chicken which was delish and tried such southern specialties as collared greens, black eyes peas, lima beans and a few others.  A few bites of each were fun to try.  Rob really liked his dinner, he got the peach BBQ grouper.  I'm glad we got to go once, I wouldn't go again, however the filming commotion and "dining experience" was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

more dolphins

petting zoo

Lu and the deer
 After lunch everyone was tired and wanted to nap, except Lu of course :)  So Jess and I took her to a little petting zoo at the Lawson Stables.
riding Romeo
 Lu got to take a pony ride.  She loved it.  We also fed the animals.  They had  lots of goats and sheep, a deer, some chickens, a llama named Jessica, some miniature horses and a Clydesdale.  It was hot but fun.
Jess trying to feed Jessica, the llama

Commander Zodiac

 In this case a picture does not do justice and 1000 words will not do either.  The morning we got up early, well early for vacation time :), and drove to South Beach to catch our 2 hour tour on a zodiac boat.  It was AMAZING!
 Our first stop was Daufuskie Island, which is really a huge sand bar the is visible at low tide.  We did some beach combing and found the best stuff.  We collected quite a few whole sand dollars which was a lot of fun.  More fun was all the living things we saw.  We saw sand dollars, hermit crabs, horseshoe crabs, rays, fish, and the weirdest thing was this strange jelly blog thing that Ethan picked up and then all of a sudden some tentacles wrapped around his fingers.  We don't know what it was but it was coolly strange.  It was so  amazing walking amongst the rays as they swam around.  We had so much fun!
Bub, Lu and I looking for cool things in the water

 Next we went out off the coast of Tybee Island, GA and followed a shrimp boat around.  We were not the only ones, we were joined by 20-30 dolphins.  It was super super AMAZING! and so ...well, AMAZING!  (I think Abba got some better pictures so I will have to get them from him later)
Lu and Nana
Lastly we drove through the marsh and finished our tour.  It was lovely! 

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

beach fun

Today was another beachy day.  We swam until we were crispy, chafed and water logged.  Even then we had to tear ourselves away, love the beach. 

This evening we ate at the Crazy Crab.  It was delicious!  Now we are watching "What Not To Wear" and I am sleepy.

Monday, July 9, 2012

We had a pretty awesome day.  The water was perfect and we spent a long time playing in it.  Ethan has made a friend and they dive into the waves and catch waves for hours.  It's really cute.  Lu is fearless and we have to drag her out of the water.  She is really getting good at catching some waves.  Hannah is having a great time with her cousin Jess and we have all enjoyed having her with us.

We spent a little time in the pool, a little time eating, and a little time applying sunscreen.  We are all getting pink despite lots of applications, which is confusing to me.  Is the sun different here?  our sunscreen inferior?  I don't know. 

This evening after dinner we rode the trolley to Harbour Town and got some ice cream, we browsed the shops and listened to the live music then rode home.  I've had my eye out for alligators and we spotted one in the lake in front of our condo building.  It was big and scary.  It was exciting!

Freckle face beach girl

playing in the water

 Today we played in the water.  It was awesome!  We caught waves, bobbed around, made some beach friends, dug in the sand, and had a great great great day!!

Even I gave it a try :)