Thursday, August 28, 2008

Amish Paradise

We had quite a few cousins visit us this summer. Princess gave quite a few cart rides. She's a wonderful pony.

At the end of the last ride one evening, all of the kids hopped on the cart for a picture. One of the cousins said "I feel like I'm on an Amish schoolbus."

See that kid in the yellow shirt? He's a funny kid. He sent me some slideshow type things he put together with pictures from his visit that are meant to be played with 'Amish Paradise' in the background. I wish I could figure out how to post that here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Can't do nothin' right.

Hannah: "Mother, pretend you can't see or hear me, ok?"

Mother: "OK"

H: "Mooother! I said pretend you can't hear me."

M: Pretends she can't hear her.

H: "Mooother! Pretend you can't hear me."

M: Pretends she can't hear her.

H: "MoOOther! I said pretend you can't hear me."

M: Pretends she can't hear her.

H: near tears, "Mother! Why aren't you listening to me?

M: "I'm pretending I can't hear you."

H: "Mother, don't answer! I said to pretend you can't hear me!"

Now I ask you, how was I supposed to win that one?

Monday, August 25, 2008

This post is about a grandma.

Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~Marcy DeMaree

Sure, you can hang with Grandpa.

Grandpas are great at getting burps out.

But they're not grandmas.

The simplest toy, one which even the youngest child can operate, is called a grandparent. ~Sam Levenson

A grandma's name is little less in love than is the doting title of a mother. ~William Shakespeare

Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. ~Alex Haley

It is as grandmothers that our mothers come into the fullness of their grace. ~Christopher Morley

No, there's not much better than a grandma.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Intermittent Reunion

My husband's family has a reunion of sorts for all of his siblings twice a year - summer and winter. Most of the siblings live within three hours of his hometown, so we usually converge there. This year we went camping in some beautiful Wyoming mountains.

We camped a lot growing up. Real camping - backpacks and all. This wasn't real camping. We parked right off the mountain road and half of the families had campers. I was jealous.

Here are nine of the seventeen grandkids - what can I say, we are, for the most part (read: everyone but my children and me), Mormons. There are nine children in my husband's family and it's always a boisterous, fun group. The cousins are a fun group of kids.

After a morning of running around camp, almost everybody went on a four-wheeler/motorbike ride up the mountain. Hannah and one of her cousins stayed behind because they were picking princess flowers. That's very important and can't be interrupted for something as mundane as a four-wheeler ride.

I stayed back in camp with Hannah and Grayson and a few of my sister-in-laws. I got to hold my sister-in-law's brand new baby girl a lot more that way. She's only four weeks old. Grayson looks so big next to her!

After we'd packed up camp, most of us headed up to Intermittent Spring.

We had lots of littles with us, so this was the perfect hike for us.

A ten minute hike up a well-groomed trail along the large stream.

Enough interesting things to keep the kids entertained, not so long that they got too tired, even wild raspberries for them to eat!

OK, so that's not the kids eating the raspberries, but they did pick enough for the kids to eat. You'll have to trust me on that.

Here is the view of the spring running at full power down the mountain. To the left of the spring is where the well-groomed trail ends and the abandon-all-hope-ye-who-would-drag-toddlers-up trail begins. We went up it.

This was us smiling before we remembered we would have to go back down.

Intermittent Spring is a really interesting phenomenon - one of only three known natural intermittent springs in the world. The water gushes out of that hole for fifteen or twenty minutes and then, quite suddenly, the water stops. After another fifteen to twenty minutes, the water slowly starts back up and gradually increases the volume of water until it's gushing down the mountainside again. That's the basic explanation. Here's a more in-depth explanation.

I love this picture. I have a very patient husband. That weary rubbing of his eyes is about as cranky as he gets - with the kids. Matt had just hauled the infant and the toddler up the steep part of the trail and the four-year-old was having a hard time because of the periodic leg pains she gets that had hit her a few minutes before. Ains was tired and cranky (you can see her walking away from him crying) and Gray was wanting out of the carrier, so he was fussing and throwing himself backwards in the carrier.

And because these springs are so rare and I know you wouldn't want to miss an intermittent spring montage, here you go. I'm always thinking of my readers.

See the elbow in the picture above? That's Matt's brother making the decision to stay on the other side of the spring while it starts back up.

See that man? That's Matt's brother trying to figure out how he's going to get back over to where we are without getting wet in the now raging spring. To the left of the picture is a rock face that won't let him join us. To the right is the other side of the spring. He was in a quandary. I can't believe I just said "See that man" and not "See that boy".

The following picture is my favorite picture from the weekend. This is on our way back down the main trail. This is Zee. Cute little bug. She had that bandaid on her forehead for the whole weekend. She's going to have a sweet tan line.

Do you see that little hole beside her? That was on a huge cliff face. She was in front of us on the hike down but we caught up to her because she was sitting by the "baby bear cave". You know, if it had been me doing that at her age, it would have been to get out of walking for a few minutes. I saw a lot of cool rocks, beautiful flowers, interesting bugs, and amazing patterns in the dirt when we went hiking as kids. I got the impression that Zee was actually waiting for the baby bear to make an appearance. She's probably just a much better actor than I was at the same age.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This girl is in a class all her own.



I'm being told to be quiet and go away.

She's made a bed for herself and her baby behind the couch and she's trying to get it to sleep. She can't do that if I'm taking pictures and disturbing her.

The library is amazing!

Hannah: "Daddy, you should come to the library with us today. Oh, it is the most a*maz*ing place! You can get books on monsters. Or there are grown-up books. Or monster books for grown-ups. Or grown-up monster books. Any books you want!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This doesn't happen often. Every time it does I am compelled to capture it on film.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Cute piggies.

I realized that not everyone who reads this blog keeps up with my farming blog also. I'll start referring you if I think that there's something there your kids might want to see.

If you're interested in more cute piggie pictures and a really cute piggie video, head on over to this post.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where the hell is Matt?

Years ago, longer than I care to think about, my older sister told me about this new thing that was all the rage - the internet. I remember so clearly what I said to her - "It's too hard to use. It'll be gone in a year. It's just not useful."

It's more useful in my life than I ever could have imagined. After all, without it, how could I ever have found this website?

This makes my life, no matter how many times I watch it. I think my favorite is when he's dancing with the Bollywood dance troupe in India.

The outtakes are good too.

He's a funny guy. Go to his website and read the "About Matt" and "FAQ". And check out his earlier dancing videos.

You're welcome.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

County Fair

'Tis the season. County fairs are upon us.

The girls had a ton of fun playing with all of the hordes of kids there.

Here are Hannah and one of her friends looking at one of the horses in the 4-H area.

The best part of a fair is having easy access to yummy stuff you don't normally have easy access to.

Hannah ate three of those corn on the cobs each night for three nights.

Matt had two of his lambs entered in the 4-H competition this year. Here's one being shown by the young man in the blue shirt.

And another being shown by the young lady in the red shirt.

Luck wasn't with them. The judge this year favored Hamp/Suffolk crosses, unlike the judge last year and probably next year who will favor Suffolk. Bum deal.

I took Hannah and some of her friends - and her little sister - to see the 4-H poultry exhibit.

Don't ask me why, but the bunnies were smack dab in the center of the poultry.

Ainsley got stuck by the duck exhibit. When I say "the duck exhibit", I mean *the* duck. One and only. Not much competition for that handsome specimen.

But here's what I wanted to show you. My favorite part of the fair.

The army brought in this huge piece of equipment - I have no idea why - and parked it there for kids to play with. If I were more politically minded, I might have an idea about why they would park this machine here with large Army signs around it and no personnel or barriers to keep the children off, deadening them to the real purpose these machines are serving in other countries. But I'm not political. Stepford is my middle name.

Back to why this would be my favorite part of the fair...

This is what I saw when I followed my girls over to this fun magnet. One girl. Swarms of boys. One girl in a pink shirt and boots. In the driver's seat. Refusing to get off for the swarms of boys telling her she's a girl and she shouldn't be driving. Ordering said swarms of boys in their military duties and them listening to her. Made me smile.

My Stepford implant must be on the fritz.

She finally left on errands unknown and some of the boys got a chance to drive. See that boy leaning out the passenger side?

"CRUSH THE TANKS!", he kept yelling, over and over.

But this is all his soldiers had to work with. A dirt scoop won't do much to crush a tank - especially not when it's currently being utilized as a little girl's house. He was disgusted.

Things didn't get better for him when she left. Her sister took her place.

Did I mention that Hannah has an admirer? He watched out for her the whole night.

He's a cutie, in't he?

Can't wait until next year's county fair. Hannah wants to run the barrels on her pony.

Star Wars - the pre-prequel

Have you ever wondered what a Sith Lord looked like as a baby?

So cute, non?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Hannah got an owie.

She was very sad.
And for some reason required band-aids on *all* of her fingers, not just the hurt one. Grandmas have cool band-aids.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On seeing Hannah playing with Grayson, I say "How's he doing?"

Hannah: "He's doing good. He's happy as a worm."

I'll take that as a good thing.