Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ellis Family Reunion

Now... July is always family reunion month for us... in the space of four weeks we have between 4-5 reunions every year.  I've blogged the Robertson and Harding reunions... this one's the Ellis one... my direct cousins on my moms side.  These are the cousins that I was closest to all growing up.  Whether or not the cousins were my age we were buds anyways... and this reunion had a great turn out.  All of Mark and Carols 6 kids made it, even Joe whose wife gave birth to their second baby girl (Abigal) the morning after... and Sarah who married a Filipino and is living in the Philippines came with her cute little 8 month old!  All of Diane and Marty's kids!  LOVE being with you guys!  And my wonderful parents brought Reid's youngest, Riley, and Lee's youngest, Braxton...  my cute sisters are supposed to be up there today along with my twin niece and nephew... and Beth has bronchitis and pink eye, but her hubby, Son is going up today with Elisha and a second cousin that's been living with them from Texas, Daniel (not to be mixed up with their son Daniel!).  And if they weren't so close to giving birth we probably would have have Tiff and Tim, and Nate and Meri.

I loved the beautiful weather, the calm lake, the wonderful stars and sunsets, the familiar sounds of Bear Lake camping, listening to the kids run around and giggle with their second cousins and cousins, having my baby doted on by the older girls (especially sweet Shelby), listening to Renee conduct a sidewalk chalk race, watching Ada with her "boys" (why is it always boys?)... she especially got along well with Chomper (Will), Jake's second boy.  He called her "My Girl"... and Ada, the one with hair like Rapunzel... and they were always together or he was asking me where his girl was.  Ada going on Rach's wave runners and saying, "I wasn't scared at all!" Sammy coming to me all cover in dirt and mewing like a cat so that I'd pick him up... when I did touch him, his scalp was coated in sand!  The kids loving to see the potguts and birds. Watching Daddy take the kids out in the little yellow raft and drift around... at one point they pretended they were pirates and hijaked the people on the cabin's carpeted raft.  Sammy and Daddy having a power struggle over the oars... Daddy did win, but Sammy was mad that Daddy was playing with his "toy"...  Don't worry, Sam did get a turn on the oars too!  Way fun.

Reasons we left early from this highly anticipated week long camping trip... 4 of the 5 of us went up with colds... 3 of us got worse... and all 5 of us ended up with allergies from the cottonwood trees... to the point that I literally couldn't breath without help from medication... and even then I was miserable.  I felt bad for little Evelyn whose eyes were red and puffy and couldn't breath at night but she never complained... and Sammy who wanted to be held more, and who had dark circles under his eyes so that he looked like a ghost... my hemorrhoids started bleeding because of so much coughing, and I didn't want to live like that for another 3 days.  We got home, showered, slept, and I feel much better!  Sammy's dark circles are gone... still has a yucky nose, but he's not coughing as much... Evelyns eyes are back to normal and she's not sneezing anymore... still a little stuffy, but it's easier to stick her in an shower and clear her out at home... and I don't have to take any medicine to breath!  My throat is still super scratchy from being irritated the last 4 days... but my guess is that by the time Monday rolls around we'll be ready to play with our Nella and the twins! (Janelle brought the twins up from Texas for a 10 day visit on her way home from finishing her Masters degree in Social Work.  Yay Nells! We're way proud of you! And we're excited to play to our hearts content for as long as we can get away with it!  We've missed you!) 

And I feel really repetitive, but I am so thankful for both a husband that's willing to take up the slack when I feel lousy and for parents that both love me and my kids and are willing to watch them while they are vacation too!  I love you three so much!

My parents were willing to keep Ada up there for the rest of the time, but as we were leaving Ada came over and gave me a big hug.  She said, "Mommy, are you sick?"  I told her I was... she said, "I'm sorry.  When you get better will you come back?"  What a cute little girl!  I wish I could go back without getting gross again!  I'll just miss her until she comes home and hope that she has a blast in the mean time!

Sammy, in the seashells at the neighbors' cabin...

Complete with the fabled "Bear Lake Monster"

Beach baby!

Ada and her "boys" (Gabe, Hyrum, Chomper, and James) being guided by cousin Aubrey

Ada and Sammy content to dig...

They were so funny... they were making a birthday cake and singing "Happy Birthday to Grandma!"

Gentlemen!  Raise your noodles! (Tommy and Sam would raise them and drop them in unison... it was pretty funny.  They did it for quite a while actually!)

This is the first time that we've been that Sammy hasn't demanded to be held by someone while in the water... he walked around and gathered floating reeds.. "One, two, three sticks!"

Cutie with her poor swollen eyes and if you really look you can see them watering and red in this picture too...

I just loved how much her ears stick out in this picture!  She has Jeremy/Sharon ears for sure!  LOVE them!

My boys!

Talking to mom.

Ada, Braiden and Maggie all had these tubes around their waist and running around in circles... they'd try to run into each other, and try to fall on the ground in a heap... this one is Ada being smashed by Braiden and just giggling!

Grandma loving her Sammy... Sam wouldn't keep his shoes on... probably because he started to get sores from the sandals and the sand rubbing on them... so he wanted to be carried all over. 

My sweet Sam!  Sorry I look like crud... My eyes were all itchy, my nose rubbed raw from blowing it, and my lymph glands swollen because of allergies... not my best day for pictures.

Taking a mid afternoon nap.  I love you guys!

Random pictures again

I like random pictures... they're my favorite because they're real.  They're silly. And they're mostly of my family.  Here are a couple.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Shameless Advertising

So I'm going to advertise really quick here to all my 10 readers... I'm going to be teaching a mini-fencers class starting in August at the Sport Fencing place on State Street.  It's for ages 4-7 and I'm way excited about it.  I used to teach the beginners class about 10 years ago and I'm glad for an excuse to get back into it!  They're have fun running around and hitting each other with foam swords for a while before they get into actually needing real fencing gear. 

I went to the Jr Olympics for Foil about 10 years ago.  I came in 3rd at the trials for the Utah/Idaho/Colorado area and 50th for the US at the actual competition (honestly... I sucked at the competition, but it was fun)... I sure loved it and I want my kids to have a chance to love it too if they want to. 

Come join us!  We'll have a blast!  Classes will be Weds at 4:30.

next stage

So babies go through their stages fast!  Evelyn has started to smile.  Not often yet, but a few times to each of us... and last night she started to bat at things.  I was cuddling her and reading while I waited for Jer to come to bed and she kept whacking me in the face... it was on purpose and that makes me extremely happy!  It's funny because if either of the other kids hit me in the face with their fists I'd put them in time out... but this was cute!  She'd concentrate on my chin and WHACK!  Not hard of course... but way cute.  I remember when Sammy starting batting at toys and it was a fun stage because their learning to control what they can touch.  I'm actually flattered that she wanted to touch me first... not so dumb old toy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Bubble fun

So I went to Target... they had these bubble wands for $1 each... course I had to buy one since it's a summer must have and Sammy is completely obsessed with bubbles.  Here were the results...

My dads birthday

It was my dads bday the other day... since we're all pretty broke and the only thing he ever asks for now are things for the grandkids to play with when we go visit... we decided to be silly instead.  Ada and Sammy dressed up... yes... both were in dresses.  We taught them how to sing the mysterioso song from The Happiest Millionaire and we put on a show for him.  (My dad says that it's his "favorite song" and that he hates his "favorite song"... so we had to tease him.)  Janelle and Seth recorded some videos for him... which I couldn't make them work during our "show" but he did get to see them once I forwarded the emails my sister had sent with them as attachments.  Happy Birthday Dad!  We're so grateful to have you! (By the way... Evelyn smiled her first "social smile"... first one while she was awake.  She smiled at my dad while he was talking to her and cooing with her. Cutie!)

keep it away from the kids!

Because of Sammy's allergies, and because Sammy friendly cereals are rare and get boring to eat... we have non Sammy cereals for the good of Jeremy and Ada's sakes.  I've started keeping them on our counter because Sammy has discovered that he can get his own cereal out of the cupboard.  Along with the non Sammy cereals, I also put the messy ones too... like Rice Chex and Rice Krispies.  After explaining to Jer that I was putting Sammy's messy cereals up there so that he doesn't spill them and smash them all over the kitchen every morning we decided to have cereal for dinner.  We don't do that often because there are not many cereals that I can have, not many that Sammy can have, and both Ada and Sammy like to eat cereal for breakfast.  I got cereal and milk poured for the kids, Jer brought down the baby and got her settled, made a bowl for himself and I went in search for something for me to eat.  We blessed the food and the baby started crying... put in her binkie... try to eat dinner... Ada asked for more cereal... Sammy asked for more cereal... baby started crying again.  So, I said that the baby would have to wait for a second because I was trying to get Ada some cereal and finish my dinner as fast as I could... which means that I was eating my sandwich with my right hand and trying to pour Ada some Rice Krispies with my left... And I ended up pouring half the box into her lap and onto the floor.  Nice... "Yeah, keep it away from the kids... we might end up with a mess if we don't..." So, trying not to laugh too hard, Jer cleaned up the floor, I cleaned up Ada... who did not cry to her credit... and we finally got to pick up the crying baby.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Harding Family Reunion

I love Bear Lake... I love the sound of the waves in the morning, the bright stars at night, the cotton snowing all around you, the cold water, and most of all... I love to see my family.  The Hardings are my Grandma's brothers and sisters... so most of the people there are my Great-Aunts and Uncles and their posterity.  They are people that I grew up playing with once or twice a year and even if I don't know every detail of what they've been doing or don't like a decision that they've made, they are my family and I love them for being there in my life from the beginning of my life until now...

This year Jer had a conference during the reunion... I wanted to go up anyways, and I probably would have been fine on my own but the whole trip was so much more enjoyable with the help of my parents!  I'm so grateful for your thoughtfulness and willingness! 

As much as I hate pictures of me... I hate pictures of me in a bathing suit 5 weeks after having a baby... but I thought this picture showed the craziness of everything going on...

This is the kids playing duck, duck, goose in the tree house that my dad built up there a couple of years ago.  My favorite part about watching them is that BamBam, who is 5, was the oldest one playing... and the only one playing that knew the rules... so when he tagged someone as goose and everyone would get up and run after him he would say, "I didn't goose you!  I didn't goose you!"


My dad

My mom feeding Evelyn

Grandpa pushing Sammy on the swing

Ada and my cousin's son Braiden (did I spell that right?) They're only months apart in age... and the funny thing is that they both were kind of scared to go in the water without an adult holding their hand or standing right next to them... until they had each other... then they swam out as far as they dared and then back to shore together several times... way cute!

Matching... pretty sweet!  (Braiden was using Aubrey's life jacket)

Sam was a little shy of the water, but after the first freak out session with getting used to the sand... he was as happy as anything digging and throwing dirt.


So earlier today, I was feeding Evelyn on my bed and Sammy came to my door, gave me one of those impish grins, closed the door and then asked from the other side of the closed door if I was, "All done crying?" Which is his way of asking if time out is over.

At this moment

At this moment:  Ada is in time out for peeing in her panties and lying about it twice today... Sammy is in time out for whining (crying under his bedroom door and saying, "I'm all done crying!"), and Jer is bouncing the baby so she stops loosing her binkie and being mad about it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Robertson Family Reunion

 Crazy family time!  Well, of course it's going to be crazy when you have over 60 people in one house (with 3 bathrooms)... and 36 of them are 16 and under.  It's been fun though!  Loud, crazy, everything that you ever get from a family.  Between trying to get my kids to have enough sleep to not break down over the 4 day long reunion, keep Sammy away from all the various yummy foods that he sees (sick Sammy is the last thing I want), trying to keep an eye on the baby (some of the younger kids want to play with her, but don't quite understand about new babies), keep kids out of the pool when I'm not in it, keep them from drowning when I'm in it, play games with nieces and nephews, keep Ada from hitting when she's mad, keep my kids from getting bitten by mosquitos galore, dealing with Ada's finger burns from sparklers, and having both my kids get bitten by one of the two year olds in the crowd... we had our hands, arms, eyes and stomachs full.  It was a blast!  I had fun talking to all the moms, having John and Diane's family stay with us, and having Jacob, Emma, Lizzie, Amber, and Joseph stay the night and play games with us too.  Thanks all for the reunion!  Looking forward to next year... even if it takes me a year to recover from this one!

Loving his baby "Elelyn"

I think they'll be good buddies for sure... Ada will hold her for a total of a couple of seconds at a time... Sammy will hold her until I take her back.

Jer's favorite... getting ready for the pine wood derby. Unfortunately Jer's car didn't work out this year... and I haven't had time to make a car for myself since we had kids... but Ada wanted a horse car and Sammy wanted a train... I did Ada's and Jer did Sammy's.

91 year old Grandpa making his car too.

This years contestants

Yep... it's sideways, and I'm too lazy to turn it... this is Ada's "horse car".  It did pretty good, but definitely not built for speed.

And this picture was just for her expression... Love it!

I tried to get Sammy to show me his train and this is the best I got... but Jer did an awesome job and it got painted blue so that it's like Thomas the Tank Engine.

Grandpa and grandbaby number 33

Me and some of my friends... Ruth (niece), Riley (cousin), and Lizzie (niece)

The sleeping corner...

G-Gma and her name sake Jane Evelyn (91) and Evelyn Joy (1 month)

Gathering the crowd for our talent show

Swimming is always a big part of the reunion... at one point we had between 25-30 people walking the same direction in the pool, we got a current going that was strong enough that if you lifted your feet it would carry you for a while.

Marg and her kid fireworks... she helped them do snaps, snakes and sparklers!  Thanks Marg!  They loved it!

Cousin Amelia! Cutie!

One of the activities was to go hiking... originally we were going to go to Bridal Veil falls... so that's where Jer and I took the kids... and it turned out that they'd decided on Stewart Falls instead... so that's where they went... whoops!  I'm glad we didn't go on that on though... it was pouring rain for a little while and I was carrying Evelyn in my baby pouch. 

Ada was not afraid of just diving in... it was pretty late (8pm) so the water that is usually cold anyways because it's snow run off was colder because of being late and because it started to rain anyways.  (Notice... I'm actually in this picture too... I've got Evelyn in the sling and I'm trying to convice Sammy to walk in the water... as soon as the water went above his water shoes he was done... it was too cold for him.  But he did enjoy throwing rocks, that's a popular option.)

I just loved how the light was reflecting off the water as the sun went down.  Way neat!

She even sat down in the water... what a nut!

Love my family!

This is what Evelyn did the whole time!