Sunday, May 25, 2014

Easter 2014

I can't tell you how cute Bennett looked on Easter.  I can't tell you, nor can I show you.  Because this is as good as it got:

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An Easter family picture was not meant to be this year.  We had a wonderful breakfast together then I set off to figure out how to make 50+ rolls with limited baking sheets and church services in the middle of their raising time.  I also needed to get to church and tune my violin to play during sacrament before the organist started up (didn't happen).  Ruthie woke up and blew out all over the Easter dress (and my hands) minutes before I walked up play.  She ended up in a onsie one size too small for the day :)  Then Bennett fell asleep and was super clingy and groggy when he woke up.  Soon after, Abbey got a gnat stuck in and behind her eye and was red and swollen from crying and fishing it out.  I felt so bad for her, I feel queasy just thinking about it.  So…pictures of the kids together…not happening this year.  

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In other news, Hayden dyed her hands blue.  It did not come out.  This is all so funny to me now, we were all sorts of awesome this weekend.

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We spent the day with my friend, Jill, and her family.  I was so thankful she invited us to join their day. She has a lot of family nearby and if it were me, I think I'd want to just be with my parents and siblings.  It meant so much to me that she would make us part of her family and make us feel so welcome.  The finality of this move has made me acutely aware how far my family is from us and each holiday has been hard.  But it helps immensely to have friends like this who always turn into family over time.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Halloween 2013

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The girls wanted to be wizards this year.  I found these awesome LED garden lights that would automatically turn on at night and glow different colors.  What I couldn't figure out was how to make Abbey's hat look more like a wizard and less like the pope's cap (or the Ku Klux Klan hood, yikes!)

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We love the Texas fall!  It was so nice to do Halloween activities without coats and sweaters.  We found a pumpkin patch and corn maze up the road.  I spent most of the time running back and forth trying to find my runaway fireman.

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This is the confident pose of a gal who picked the right path out of the maze when her dad was insisting it was the other way.

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We didn't know the wagon ride was such a popular thing and should have bought tickets as soon as we got there.  I wasn't willing to wait two hours for the next time slot and promised the kids we'd do it next year.  If I would have known how often they would bring it up, I would have just done my time and got on that hay ride!

I think there was an option to pick your own pumpkin from the patch, but the kids were happy to find their favorite from the huge piles already brought in.  I loved having the carving mess outside!

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Halloween Night:

The kids didn't make it nearly as long as I thought they would.  Justin and I were encouraging them to keep going, but they wanted to go home and pass out candy to the other trick-or-treaters.  They liked it so much that they ended up giving away all our candy AND their trick-or-treat candy by the handfuls.   (Nicole, do you see their bags?  Somehow, they've worked out perfectly with their costumes every year since you sent them!)  

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4th of July Bash

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It does not get any better than a 4th of July in Lewiston.  It was so fun to share the holiday with my children the way I spent every 4th growing up as a kid.  First stop is the parade in front of Grandma's (now Uncle Robert's) home:

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My Uncle Gordon is the unofficial MC of the Lewiston parade.  You want to stand near by because he usually draws the candy from the floats!  But also the water from the fire trucks.  

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Then it is off to the carnival across the street.  I'm pretty sure they haven't switched out the performers in a decade or two.

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I could not stop laughing at Bennett on this ride.  His arms were caught under the bar, so when the operator would tell them to put their arms up or touch their toes, he would just stretch his fingers as far as they could go.  He loved it.

You want to know why this was the best day ever?  Whenever there's a holiday or I'm visiting a new city or whatever, I always have this feeling like someone, somewhere is doing something more fun.  And if I only knew, I'd totally be there!

Enter Grandpa Gordon's Hide-a-Way (or something along those lines).  Gordon has always found ways over the years to make the day fun, but he's gone and outdone himself.  He purchased some land a few miles from his home and turned it into the best, no-holding-back, fun-for-everyone gathering place.  Everywhere I looked, people were having such a blast.  The country water slide (with extra soap to make it extra fast), rope swings, grub shack, 4-wheelers/motorcycles and race tracks, segways, zip lines, and the pond to jump/swim/canoe.   I don't think there was anything going on in Cache Valley to top this day, it was the best.  And it's not an exclusive thing!  If you and I are ever there on the same 4th, come along!!!

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(Cute Jana and her pink rifle.)

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I wasn't planning on staying long, but Bennett was so happy, I couldn't pull him away for a nap.

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Abbey preparing for her part in the relay race.  She was pretty serious about it.

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You can pretty much count on a Barlow grandkid sporting the blond hair/blue eyes, but holy moly!  Justin and Jana's youngest had me mesmerized with those peepers.

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Jana reading the results of the relay race--Skyler looks to have an objection :)

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I loved this picture of Abbey and J then happened to notice what was going on behind them:

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Little boys and sling shots.  What could go wrong?  Then I literally turned around and saw this:

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Little boys and gallons of gas.  What could go wrong?

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I loved catching up with my family.  I was on about my fifth or sixth week of being so sick with my pregnancy, so it was nice to have this day to distract and enjoy.  It's putting me in a good mood just to look back over these pictures!