Sunday, August 21, 2011

Huckleberry picking

Some friends of ours asked us if we wanted to go huckleberry picking with them. Annabelle is good friends with their son and we thought it would be a nice outing. I must confess that I have never been berry picking and I was intrigued as to where we were going and what a huckleberry looked like. We went into some woods up on a mountain and went to town picking berries. Annabelle and Jillian loved it. Jillian was constantly wanting to find and pick more berries. She loved being around the trees and of course wanted to walk by herself. By the end, she was pretty tired of someone holding her hand to help her walk around on the unsteady terrain. About halfway through, she decided to eat one of the huckleberries and that was that. She absolutely refused to put the berries in the bucket and ate every one she picked and then demanded "more". I think by the end she probably had eaten about 40 berries. Annabelle and Owen, her friend, loved talking while they picked. It was so fun to see them together. It was truly a great evening.


Soon after we returned from Utah, Michael's parents, sister, ad her two kids came to visit. Jillian was obsessed with 6-month old Camden, and Annabelle and 2 1/2 year old Lindley played well together. Michael's sister lives in North Carolina where her husband is a dentist and so we hardly get to ever see her and I was grateful for the time we had to visit. Michael's parents enjoyed spending time with their grandkids and the adults enjoyed some good ping-pong as well. It was sad to say goodbye. We sure love it when they come.

The greatest invention ever...

Sidewalk chalk! It's amazing. I got to get some for the kids. When we were in Utah for Joel's graduation, we stayed with my grandma who brought out the sidewalk chalk one evening. It was such a big hit. I've never seen Jillian stick with the same activity for so long. She absolutely loved it. And Annabelle was getting so creative with her drawings. I can deal with the fact that they get totally dirty and need a bath after. They were both enjoying it so much that we had very little drama between the two of them the whole time they were drawing. (And my girls have lots of drama all the time.)

Thanks for letting us take over your house, Grandma and Marv. We appreciate it.

BYU Graduate

My brother graduated from BYU in mechanical engineering and we went to Provo for his graduation. I'm so proud of him. He worked so hard in college and had a job throughout, so he was super busy. My parents and some of my siblings couldn't make it, but those of us that live somewhat close were to able to come. Joel's wife's family was also there to support him. I had a hard time getting a picture of him initially walking in. (Amber and I couldn't keep the tears from coming. What? We're female!)

After the ceremony, we celebrated even more with a barbecue at Hillary's parents' house (Joel's in-laws). They were so kind to make us lunch and had BYU colors up everywhere: balloons, streamers, and even this really cool plaque for Joel. We got up kind of early to make it from Salt Lake to Provo in time for the graduation, and Jillian, who usually gets about a 2 hour nap around noon, was struggling toward the end of the party. By the time we left to drive home, it was about 4 p.m. and she still hadn't slept. As expected, she fell asleep right away in the car (which goes to show how tired she really was because she doesn't sleep well in the car). I guess Annabelle and my grandma's husband, Marv, were really tired too. Check out Annabelle's awkward position, poor girl. Congratulations, Joel. I should also mention that Michael's brother also graduated that day, so Michael spent the day with his family. Way to go to you too, Drew!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bike riding update

Annabelle has started getting the hang of balancing on her bike. I think if Michael were able to devote 45 minutes every day to helping her, she would already have learned everything and would be riding completely by herself. But, unfortunately, he doesn't have that kind of spare time. He'll be gone this weekend and Annabelle won't be able to practice with him until next week. I hope she remembers what she's learned thus far. Last night, they went out to practice again, and Annabelle was doing really well.

Michael got super sweaty. I don't think the pictures capture how utterly soaked through with sweat he as. It was dripping everywhere!

International Folk Dance Festival

Last week was the annual Folk Dance festival. Dancers from all over the world travel here to perform. It's really neat to see. To start the week, they have a parade where each country does short dances from their native land as they walk down Main street. It had been raining all day, but cleared up somewhat in the late afternoon. The kids and I packed up our stuff and got a decent spot. We had a great time until out of nowhere about halfway through the parade, it started to pour and the wind was so strong. I didn't even have time to pack everything back up before we were pretty much soaked. Annabelle was holding the picnic blanket we had set up over her head, so she was somewhat protected. I put Jillian in the stroller while I cleaned up and tried to cover her as best as I could; however, I didn't know the wind was blowing the rain directly in her face. Finally, I had everything ready to go and we raced back to the car. Jillian was screaming her head off (poor thing was in the direct path of the wind and rain), Annabelle was whimpering and whining, and I was thoroughly drenched. Annabelle didn't want to take the blanket off her head, but she was having trouble running with it and was tripping a lot. There were two different people who took pity on us and tried to help. I'm sure we did look pretty pathetic. We finally made it to the car, and by this time, all three of us were shivering. I really enjoy this parade and was pretty bummed that it was rained out. Oh well. It makes for a pretty good story.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


I try to get my kids interested in books when they're very young. Annabelle never really liked being read to. I would try every night and she would wiggle and squirm and whine until I let her get down off my lap. It wasn't until she was about 3 years old that she started to enjoy and desire being read a story to before she went to bed. Now, it's turned into asking for "just one more" after having read her just one more. She has such a vivid imagination and I've seen how books have just given her more ideas for her many "pretend games".

Annabelle, on the other hand, has loved books for several months now. We read several every night before she goes to bed, and even when she gets up in the morning, the first thing she does is walk over to her closet to pull out a book. I've often caught her sitting in the rocking chair in her room (our "reading" chair- she loves to climb on it all by herself) with a book in her hand babbling away in baby talk as she looks at the pictures. It's so cute.

Here's a video of Annabelle reading to Jillian. Aren't they so cute?! If you haven't figured it out, this was taken before church on Sunday and Annabelle really wanted curly hair.