Thursday, June 26, 2008

Landscaping Results

Well, this is a little late but here some pictures of the landscaping project. We are so happy with the results - many thanks to Will and his team! They did an awesome job!

This guy did most of the work

Like digging the hole for the tramp (and to think Wes was actually considering digging it by hand!)

The lovely waterfall

The in-ground tramp with the net (the only way this pediatrician would allow a tramp in his yard)

The World's Largest Pack and Play!



We love our wild and natural yard but it is nice to have this great area for the kids to play. Don't worry - there's still plenty of weeds to go around...

Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Bunny Saga

Some may remember my previous posts about our two bunnies - Flopsy and Mopsy. We got these female Netherland Dwarf rabbits for the kids for Easter. It has been a lot of fun for the kids (and for Wes building the hutch and the pen). Well they each had their distinct personalities - Mopsy being mellow and sweet and Flopsy being skitterish and temperamental. Well, Flopsy kept getting more and more aggressive - and eventually started to lunge and grunt at us whenever we tried to pick her up. I started to do a little research on the internet to see if there was anything to be done. I even called the people that sold them to us to find out how sure they were that they were both female. He told us that he was pretty sure - and that he even got a second opinion when he was determining the sex of the bunnies. Anyway - we finally decided to have both bunnies spayed in hopes having calmer and happier pets.

The day arrived and I drove to the vet to pick them up. "I'm here to pick up Flopsy and Mopsy." The lady said "They are ready and by the way - Mopsy was a male and Flopsy was pregnant." Well that explains a lot!

We are three days out of the surgery and the crazy thing is - Mopsy won't leave Flopsy alone! He is constantly chasing her around the cage trying to mate with her (it was never this bad before and at least now we won't be surprised one morning with six baby bunnies)! Go figure. I hope we haven't just made the situation worse.

The bunny saga continues...

Meet Mr. Mopsy
And Miss. Flopsy

Well, I guess they are not Mr. and Miss. anymore...

And by the way, the first thing Isaac said when he found out was, "I finally have a brother!"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Family Reunion 2008

This year our family reunion was held at the Greene House in St. George (named not for the color of the home but for the last name of the family that restored it). This is not the first time we have held family reunions at this historic pioneer home. When I was a child we visited this place almost every summer and I have so many cherished memories of the good times we spent with friends and family.
It is a lovely home that has been restored to be a vacation rental. Not only are there several rooms in the main house, there is a carriage house (sort of like a bunk house) that is prefect for the kids and cousins. It has a private swimming pool, tennis court and hot tub. But I am not trying to advertise for this place - it is purely nostalgic for me. As a child I remember playing with the antique dolls found in the old trunk in the upstairs bedroom, riding the tandem bicycle around town with Amy, playing in the old log cabin playhouse, getting locked out on the front deck naked when I had hung my swimsuit on the railing and it was too hot to walk back to put it back on. I remember having a blast with some high school friends when we spent a couple of days there. And now - as an adult, I love having our family reunions where there are so many memories and thrilled for my children to be making memories of their own.
This year our coming together as a family was especially meaningful and important because my mom has been having health problems. At first we didn't know if she was going to make it down - but she did and even though she wasn't able to be with us during all of the activities - her presence was felt. My mom has been the driving force behind so many family reunions and summers at the Greene House. She was also born in St. George and really feels a special connection to the place - a connection that she has passed on to her children. And so...another summer at the Greene House. Here is what we did:
Amy was in charge of exercise in the morning. It was so cute! Each morning she had a different theme - "just for kids," "chubby hubby," "Tai Bo," and finally "Salsa!" I think most people dragged their feet at first. But it ended up being a ton of fun. Mainly because Amy is so cute and fun!

Here they are doing "The Chicken Dance" and "The Hokey Pokey"

SJ joining in the fun (although sadly she ended up being sick almost the entire week)

The "Chubby Hubby" routine - what good sports!
Even the little ones were dancing the salsa!

The Devotionals: My parents and each sibling was in charge of an evening devotional or meeting. It was really fun to see what everyone came up with. It usually involved some sort of shared thought and then an activity or game. My parents started the week off with their devotional. They presented the theme of the reunion "Bee a Part of a Great Family - Yours!" Each grandchild was given a little bottle of honey and a gold dollar. Each grandchild then gave a talk they prepared on one of President Gordon B. Hinckley's six B's. My parents then had a raffle for several items displayed on a table. They raffled off everything from toys, to collectors' items, to precious heirlooms. It was really special.

Addie spoke about being "true." She talked about being true to our families and the love we share. Then she handed out bracelets she had made with words to remind us to have a great time together.

A few of Isaac's raffle winnings - a staff from Africa, an old army blanket and my grandfather's hat from WWII

Of course there was tons of swimming!
My birthday celebration

More water play

And of course yummy food:

The snow cone man

It was a great reunion. We laughed together and cried together and grew closer as a family. We will hope and pray that we can all be together again next year.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The End of a Legacy

Nancy commented on a previous post I had written about childrens author/illustrator, Tasha Tudor to let me know that she passed away today. She was 92 years old. I will always treasure her books - and pass them along to my daughters. Even though she lived during the modern centuries, her books took us to times long passed - when people appreciated hard work, tradition, family, friends, and nature. In Tudor's books, life moved slowly and there was meaning in the mundane. Children had doll tea parties and puppet shows, adults made quilts and tapped the trees for maple syrup, and the change of the seasons was a celebration for everyone. Tasha's illustrations are enchanting - down to the smallest detail. If you haven't already - take some time to share her books with your children. They are lovely in so many ways.

Her family has set up a memorial website here.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Another Good Read

My book of choice during my recent vacation was These is My Words by Nancy E. Turner. I originally read about this book here on Desperate For a Good Read (which I love by the way!). It was recommended by several people and then my good friend posted about it on her blog and I was even more excited. It did not disappoint! I really liked this book! You can check the links for details but I will just say - great characters, great story, great writing, great landscape, great historical fiction. I was sad to see it end.

Happy 90th!

(I haven't posted for a while because I have been in St. George at a family reunion. I will post more about that later.)
Weston's grandmother celebrated her 90th birthday this last weekend. Can you believe that she is 90 years old? She is in amazingly good health and looks fantastic. We went to her favorite Chinese restaurant and she and her daughter (Weston's mom) both wore their Vietnamese "Ao Dai" (pronounced "Ow Yai") costumes. It was a lovely time. Happy Birthday Eldine!

Eldine and her younger sister

Cute Cate

Eliott, Eldine and Jan

Eldine and Jan

Friday, June 6, 2008

Horsetail Falls

We had heard there was this great hike in the small canyon near our house and yesterday we finally did it! It was a steady uphill 2 miler but definitely worth it. Besides the fact that it was a beautiful, cool, clear day, the canyon and the falls were breathtaking. It was a breeze for our older two and pretty doable for me - although I am feeling it in my legs today.

Here are the kids and their friends on the way up...

I think we have pictures just like this of Wes with every one of our kids in this backpack

You can see Horsetail Falls in the background

The lovely valley