Friday, August 24, 2012

Princess Festival 2012

 Mark and I were able to take Ruby and Olivia to the Princess Festival while they were here.
Mark and Christian took Ruby last year, but this was the first time Olivia and I attended.
The Festival is held in the children's garden at Thanksgiving Point. There are princess all around and each princess has a story that is acted out with lessons about service and kindness for the audience to learn about. Last year Ruby was a bit traumatized by the step sisters in the Cinderella play and did not want to go to any of the little plays so we wandered around a little bit. First we looked for the Princess and the frog (who was really good at math problems). We found the princess but no frog...
We found Rapunzel:
   and then something the girls got excited - a horse and carriage
Unfortunately it turned out that a carriage ride was $8.00 per person...  
Ouch! So we just pet the horse instead which the girls were quite happy with. Ruby was not afraid at all and Olivia kept a close eye on the horse. He was a very gentle and mellow, very large horse!

The playground caught Ruby's eye as she is an expert at climbing.
 The day was getting warm so we had a snack in the shade and a big drink of water before drawing chalk pictures with Peter Pan and Wendy
 It took a bit of coaxing but when we showed the girls their pictures on Grandpa's iphone they really liked putting their faces in different pictures.

 Near this bear statue is a cave. It was nice and cool and there were no groups there at the moment. There was a princess and a few friends in the cave and we talked with them and built up a pretend wall with cardboard blocks and knocked it down again. Both girls were brave and crawled through the tunnel in the cave which they thought was quite fun. We stayed in the cave when a group came in and watched the little play. After that we joined a big group activity on a grassy hill. We had some of our picnic lunch, a few otter pops did the hokey pokey, turned our selves around and then did the chicken dance. I thought we had a video but I can't find it. Anyway, it was getting hot and some of us were getting a bit tired. We decided that an ice cream cone on the way home would be a good idea. We took a few pictures on the carriages they had at the exit,

and drove off in search of ice cream. At last we found Arctic circle and got some cones. This may have been the most fun thing we did. Olivia was hilarious, She would take a bite from the top and then take one from the bottom. We kept waiting for the ice cream to drip from the bottom but she was able to eat it fast enough to avoid drips. Ruby also loved her cone and both girls wanted a second one. It was so fun to see them watch each other and giggle and interact. A few days after Ruby went home, Olivia and I were driving in the car. Olivia asked to go see Ruby. I explained that Ruby was at her house and it would take us all day driving in the car to get there. She thought a minute and said, OK. I hope these girls always remain friends and remember that they really are princesses.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Livi lou

Since Olivia moved with her parents to Illinois when she was just a few months old, our opportunities to interact in person are somewhat limited. We were thrilled to be able to have her here for just over three weeks. This series of pictures, taken on the fourth of July, provides insight into Olivia's personality. 

To say we are not big fourth of July party animals is an understatement, however I do enjoy our neighborhood "Cul-de-sac of fire" where neighbors come together and share purchased fireworks. We could hear the sounds of fireworks from around the neighborhood and Olivia, unsettled by the noise, didn't really want to go out to see them. Jennifer and I were able to persuade her to go out in the street with us during a lull in explosions. We looked down the street and could see neighbors a ways off setting off some quieter ones that were just on the ground. We oohed and ahhhed and when Livi thought they were cool we decided to just go on a little walk and see if we could see some more. We ended up in the cul-de-sac (surprise, surprise) and this is kind of how things transpired from there:

She was kind of the same way on the trampoline. She and Ruby tried to bounce together but the unpredictability unnerved Livi and she preferred watching from the ground rolled in the Lighting McQueen blanket. But given the opportunity to bounce by herself and we have:

She was not this way with more familiar things, she LOVED the carousel,  getting ice cream cones, the splash pad - when we left the splash pad she asked if she could swim in one of the fountains (the little swimming pool)... umm probably not.
Olivia also discovered Are You My Mother as well as Robert the Rose Horse,
In fact at random times she would get a big grin on her face and say, "Ker choooooooooooooo"
to which we would reply, "up went Livi, up went Grandpa, up went the puzzle and Auntie Jenn fell down flat! (or a hundred different variations). 

She also proved to be her fathers daughter as we celebrated her mom's birthday a little early.
See the direction of the smoke and which ones went out first?
Olivia is a great helper in lots of ways!

Oliva is a thoughtful, careful child when it comes to things she is not familiar with. Give her a little bit of time and when she understands the situation and knows more what to expect she will, on her own, jump in full throttle. She likes to be in control of herself in new situations and flourishes when you allow her that opportunity - and when you are willing to do that... this little girl is pure joy. 
That's probably one reason she plays so well on her own. 
PS Aaron, a job within a one day drive when you graduate would be sooo nice!
Livi Lou, I love you!

One day Aaron asked her, "Livi, are you being facetious?" to which she smiled and replied,
"Yes, faleetious"

Last segment - "The princess festival" - coming soon!
Then maybe we'll get to our trip to Yellowstone and our upstairs remodel.

Monday, August 20, 2012

A true gem

is my Ruby Lynn.
You always know where you stand with Ruby. She is a very vocal little girl and will let you know if she is feeling happy, worried, excited or upset. Ruby loves to make plans and knows exactly what she wants. Or at least what she thinks she wants. Ruby was so excited to sleep on the top bunk. When they arrived she went straight up to the bunk room, climbed the ladder and checked out every inch of the bed. But when it came right down to sleeping so high up - she felt a little nervous and was relieved when Jennifer traded her for the pop up trundle a little closer to the ground. Ruby had lots she wanted to do while she was here. We played trains and dress up and instruments in the basement - and balls. We missed Uncle Christian throwing them with us but Ruby knew the exact song she wanted to listen to while we played with the balls. And we listened and played - over and over and over...

Ruby was excited for the splash pad but after putting her hand in the water a few times she was content to sit and watch Peter and Olivia get into it.

Ruby knew what animal she wanted to ride on the carousel. She remembered some of the books we had on our shelf and requested them by name... LMNO Peas and Are you my mother? were among the favorites. And Ruby loves the trampoline. She even let Grandpa bounce her really high. Ruby has an amazing imagination and curiosity. She also loves dogs. One afternoon we were in the backyard and heard a little dog barking close to the fence. I told her it was our neighbors dog, Lucy. Ruby wanted to see her, so we went to the back corner of the yard and I held her up so she could see over the fence. Lucy was still a little way off so we moved to the very corner of the yard where the fence posts come together. I first held her up and as she looked over, Lucy saw her, came to the corner and barked at her. Ruby responded, "Oh! you dreamed about me last night?" She continued to have a conversation with Lucy and when I put her down, Ruby discovered that the space between the fence posts was just big enough for her to put her hand through and pet Lucy, both were thrilled. 

It't hard to believe she's getting so big. 
Ruby is already planning the next time we get together.
I can't wait!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

About Kate

Katelyn is my newest grandchild.
Born March 11 2012, she was blessed in our home June 24th.
Amy took some great pictures - you can see more here.
She has the cutest smile and adorable dimples.
If you click your tongue she smiles every time.
She thinks Olivia is hilarious and watches her closely -
then suddenly she just busts up laughing.

 Kate rolled over for the first time while they were here.
Stomach to back and then back to her stomach.

 In the evenings Kate would lay on her blanket and just squeal.
High, long, loud squeals. 
She was not upset but just playing with her voice.
We affectionately called her the "Nazgul".

She was also content to sit on our laps and look at our Rook cards.
Her serious expressions made you wonder if she was trying to figure out what we would play next. 
It was so fun to see her personality begin to emerge.
Sweet Kate!
I am truly blessed.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My favorite thing...

...about having the grandchildren near is being able to spend one on one time with them. I love to let them take the lead and just get to know their personality a little better. Because they live far away and our personal interaction is somewhat limited I am able to see how they have grown and how they are changing. Each child has unique qualities and characteristics that make them who they are and help me know how to interact with each one. 

Let me start with Peter

Peter LOVES his momma 
 The family arrived Saturday night and Amy and Jordan had a wedding reception to go to. We all thought that after a day in the car the kids would be much happier playing here. Amy got them settled and she and Jordan left. I had Peter who quickly realized quickly that his mom was gone and began to cry. 

Before everyone arrived I went to Costco and bought new pj's for the kids to wear in the new bunk room (pictures of the bunk room to come). Ruby and Olivia got similar ones with butterflies on them, and I saw the cutest ones for peter with a fire engine on the front - the only problem what that they only had a size too big. I debated and searched through ALL the pajamas to find just one pair of 2T's but with not luck. I looked around at all the other ones but felt I just HAD to get him the fire engine ones even if they were too big. I brought them home and placed them on their respective beds with Peter's across the rail of the crib. 

I took my crying grandson upstairs and as soon as he saw the fire engine pj's he stopped crying and made a truck sound. Yeah!
 With his fire engine pj's in hand he was ready to play. We read books - his favorites were about cars and trucks and animals - and did puzzles and played with the trains. I also remembered a bin with toy cars that was currently living in the basement and got it out right away. Big smiles - no more tears! While Peter usually likes to be on the move, he was happy to sit in Uncle Aaron's lap and and watch Aaron drive his car game. This boy loves vehicles.

He absolutely LOVED the splash pad. He would put his face right in the stream of water. He did not love the carousel but was OK as long as everyone cheered wildly when he came around. Peter is mellow and content at times and full of energy other times. He loves to explore and see just what he can do. He is a cuddler and such a happy child. He is delighted when he succeeds at something new. He is growing up so fast.

I love my Peter boy!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Amy Michelle...
I loved the name the first time I heard it in college.
I hoped that my future husband would like it as much as I did. 
He did. I love it even more today because of the person that has this name.
What a blessing Amy has been in my life.
Beautiful calm peaceful baby,
happy content child
and now a completely amazing woman, wife and mother.
Parents hope that their children will be better than they are and Amy passed me up a while ago. I feel truly blessed and privileged to be her mom.
Happy Birthday Amy!

I'm a day late and a dollar short...
but there's always next year.

Happy late birthday.
I love you!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

53 years young

This man has blessed my life and the lives of so many...
A wonderful husband, father and grandfather,
great cyclist, professor and servant of the Lord. 
He has incredible integrity, strength, kindness
and just gets better every year.
So glad you were born 53 years ago.
So glad you're mine for eternity.
Happy Birthday Sweetie!