Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Andy makes fun of me that I like yard sales. I think they're awesome. You never know what you'll find. Sure you have to dig through a lot of junk to find a treasure, but I find it oh so therapeutic and enjoyable. Like these bikes I got last summer. Practically brand new at $20 each.

My stake (church area) is doing a mini-triathlon in August that I stupidly signed up for, so we had just pulled out the bikes and dusted them off when we walked into Costco (my sister-in-law Bek calls it "The $100 Store" because you can't leave it without spending 100 bucks) and saw this beauty sitting there. We couldn't resist. The kids love the ride, and I love that I can get a bit of a work out with the kids contained, even when Andy is out of town.

Our first ride started out great, until Autumn tried holding Calvin's hand. He kept screaming at her to stop, and moving as far away from her as he could get in the tiny space. By the time we got home, he was smashed as small as he could get into the corner screeching shrilly with the girl lying on top of him stroking his arm. Ahh, family bonding. 6/26

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fourth of July (Longest Post EVER)

I think the 4th of July should be on Sunday every year. Since I think people were confused about when to celebrate it, there was stuff going on all weekend, and then again on Monday. Loved it. I think I may be getting old and sentimental about liberty and freedom, because this year I decided that I really love the 4th and all it represents. Here are some of the highlights from the weekend:

July 3rd:
My mom's family had a reunion. They're not generally my favorite events, but this time was a lot of fun. We met at a park for breakfast, and then went to this super cool swimming pool that was geared towards young kids, and perfect for Calvin. They have two larger water slides that are for bigger kids, or little kids with a parent and a life jacket. We suited the boy up, and he made Andy go on it with him all afternoon, one time right after another. I was glad Andy was there. The steps felt wobbly to me and there were huge gaps between the stairs. Walking up on my own made me nervous, but walking with my two year old kid who wanted to climb on his own sent me into panic attacks. My mom took pictures, so as soon as I get them from her I'll upload one of the boys and their slide.

All day I tried to get the girl to look at the camera. She was too fascinated with the water.

My brother will kill me for posting this shot. I loved it though.

After swimming we met back at the park for dinner and socializing. Calvin loved it, Andy actually interacted with my cousins, and I didn't hate it. We did find out though that one of my favorite cousins (we were bridesmaids in each others' weddings) who has had lupus for the past several years has had several of her organs fail. She's two months pregnant and they'll decide this week if she'll be able to keep the baby. She's a genuinely great person and we're praying hard for her.

After the reunion, some of us met back at my house and Andy impressed us all with fireworks.

Calvin wore his sunglasses - upside down - the entire show.

Little Buddy was terrified. Grandpa and his mom took turns trying to calm him down.

July 4th:
After church for Sunday dinner, my family threw me a birthday party. My mom made delicious pork burritos with the green verde sauce from the Mexican joint we love. I got lots of presents including pink polka dot rain boots for me to garden in, a piece of plywood for a project I want to do, a few books I've been dying to read, and some DVD's I've wanted. Andy's parents also sent me the best gift of all - cold hard cash. Thank you everyone!

The best part was that it actually kind of sucked - several family drama moments that I won't mention, my niece walked in front of a moving teeter totter and it hit her in the head, knocking her ten feet across the grass, my sister who was flying back home had a cancelled flight and lots of drama getting a rental car to come back to my parents with no luggage (and she had bloody scratches all over her face from her 2 year old that reacted oddly to the motion sickness meds she gave him), and a few other things. So everyone was grumpy. My mom said it was the worst bday party ever, and that we would have a re-do. Thanks Mom, but I don't think I can handle another one...

So back to my special day. Anyway, everyone was grumpy. They started to sing the birthday song and I threw a tantrum. I did NOT want them to sing to me. Now that I'm old, I hate that everyone sings it and just stares at you, watching your reaction. What an awkward tradition. So I had a fit and my mom was upset. She said "but you HAVE to have the birthday song!" She was distraught at the thought of not having it. So my brother-in-law Curtis said, "hey! why don't we whistle it?!" So everyone tried to whistle it, but they were laughing too hard, and then it was hilarious watching everyone try to get through it, and it made me happy. I think whistling the bday song is the perfect tradition and I'm going to ask for it every year instead of the singing. I know - that story was WAY too long.

My dad went on a pioneer trek over the weekend with the youth and he was in charge of the handcarts. My mom wanted us all to get pictures in them.

Carrie with all of the kids. So cute. And then Andy and Jared grabbed the front and took them all for a ride down the street. I've never seen a group of happier kids.

Uncle Andy is always a hit on the trampoline. Here are the kids attacking him.

July 5th:
I generally avoid the 4th of July parade because people are psychotic. They camp out to save spots, everyone is pushy and mean protecting their turf, some bring big nasty dogs that slobber on everyone when I'm sure the dogs wish they were home and couldn't care less about the stupid people parade, and so on. If you don't get there early, you don't get a great seat, and I have no desire to camp out to watch a bunch of marching bands and elected officials in convertibles.

However, this year Mariah and Curtis live a block away from the main street of the parade, so they let us park in their yard. People were quadruple parked in the middle of the road - I kid you not. There was nowhere to leave a car within a mile, so this little setup was awesome. They blocked off their drive with garbage cans, and then let all family cars in like we were celebrities, we loaded up our stuff, walked two minutes, and then sat down in our camping chairs. It made the whole thing much more enjoyable. Calvin loved it, Carrie brought donuts and milk, and all the world was good.

Happy parade faces:

Calvin's favorite things:

A funny picture:
these porta-potties were called "Honey Buckets." I don't know why I find that funny and disturbing.

After the parade we bummed leftover BBQ sandwiches from my parents, and then took a long nap. That evening we went for a bike ride, watched other people's fireworks, and just laid low. It was a nice, relaxing weekend and I was sad to see it go.