Sunday, July 29, 2012

Queen Grandma

On the evening of the 24th, we met with Andrew's family to celebrate our super special Grandma Flegal a.k.a. Grandma Popcorn. 
After dinner, Grandma was presented with her Popcorn scepter, a certificate certifying how fabulous she really is and two large buckets of popcorn. A few of her Great Grandchildren serenaded her with a special version of "Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree." Eliza re-wrote the song in the Lake Powell in her honor. The new, Eliza-fied, version of the song was distributed.
*Sung to the tune of Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree.

I opened the door and who did I see?
Grandma Popcorn with a big bowl for me
She is so kind to our family
I love her and so does she

I could take my arms and give her a hug
One I know she would surely love
And I'd just like to say, 
each and every day
I love you in every special, single way.
Our family loves Grandma!
 and ice cream. We all love ice cream.

Per tradition, Grandma showered the love back in the form of taffy. She threw it from her deck to her admiring public. 

Due to the drought, the creek in the back of Grandma's yard is a mere trickle this year. It was low and slow enough for the parents to feel comfortable in allowing their small children to wade and play in the water this year. Eliza was one of the first ones in.
And when I say, in... I mean, in! She fell in. And I'm sad to say no one else joined her in the, "I unintentionally face planted it into the creek" club. Poor thing.

 It's all fun and games until someone falls in the creek!
She was distressed, embarrassed and incredibly dramatic following her unplanned dip. Lucky for her, cousin Syrelle provided Eliza with a change of clean clothes.

Fireworks at Nanna and Bubba's concluded our very full day. Our kids were put to bed extremely late that night. Henry slept in until 10:00 a.m. the following morning... setting the summer sleep in record.

It was another Pioneer day to add to the books!

A Parade of Faces

Per my sister Ami's suggestion, we started Pioneer Day off right with a parade in Ogden. Out of respect for our ancestors, we didn't murmur with the arrival of a rain storm. It drizzled off and on, but thankfully it didn't seem to dampen the children's spirit (Ba-dum-CHING!).

The parade was a visual treat. Impressive floats, marching bands, vintage cars, pageant Queens astride horses, over-sized tractors and the occasional toss of candy captured their attention. Despite my claims of the parade's excellence, I'm afraid I don't have much to offer in terms of proof. It would seem that my attention was continually diverted to the faces of my children.   

When given the choice between Mom's lap or a spot next to her brother and sister, Lottie didn't hesitate. For the duration of the parade, she was content up front with the kids. The only use she had for me was to dispose of her candy wrappers.

It's okay though. 
My boyfriend had the day off from work. Thank you, Utah.
Lottie's curls are the real deal, folks. I love them. 
I'm still searching for a Disney Princess tie-in to the celebration of Utah's Pioneers. Despite an obvious link, I am not complaining. We'll take a hug from Belle any day!  
As for Henry, he lit up like a firework when he saw the massive train of John Deere tractors. Wearing his trademark overalls, bright yellow shirt and red hat made him the perfect tractor fan. It's a visual that this Mom will always remember.

Spending time with the Chamberlains was so fun that we decided to keep the party going with an afternoon stop to the Farmington swimming pool. Nana Marie was able to join us which made the afternoon that much more enjoyable.
 Wanting to exhaust our kids further, our evening was spent at a Flegal family reunion. That's up next.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pack, Party, Recover (repeat)

"Did someone say, 'Party'?!"

It's true. We have a party animal on our hands. 

A few minutes after finishing the laundry that accompanied us home from Lake Powell, I found myself on my bedroom floor, surrounded by a mountain of clean laundry, packing up for our next adventure. This time, we were preparing for a trip to the mountains with my side of the family.
Together we fished, explored, boated, swam, played, crafted and got on each others nerves bonded. In all seriousness, it was awesome. I love my family and feel lucky that we've been able to spend a generous slice of our summer with the Flegal and Mays crews. 

Here come the highlights:

Craft time with Nana Marie

Nana planned two activities that the children simply loved. Carrying on from a tradition that she started last year, the children decorated a 2012 table cloth.
 The following day, the kids decorated shirts. My personal favorite was my niece Kaitlyn's shirt that read, "Member of Team Annoying"... In her mind, a deal was struck that she will be wearing her shirt on the first day of school this year. Let us know how that goes down, Aunt Jen!
 Eliza probably spent the most time at the table adding various artistic elements to her shirt. Her middle name is still "Art Enthusiast."
Using Henry's thumb print, we made spiders... cute and clever.
 Lottie supervised her Mother's work.

I SPY....

Moose & Chipmunks (and hummingbirds too) were chief among the wild life we enjoyed watching. Andrew caught five or six chipmunks for observation. It was a thrill each time it happened. Fear not, they were physically unharmed. As for the potential for emotional damage, I can not make any guarantees!
 There were a few fishing excursions that Andrew likewise led. Lottie and I opted out, hence the lack of photo remembrance. Henry and Eliza both came home victorious. Watching Henry's hands expand more and more each time he described the size of his fish proved that he truly is a fisherman in training.
on their way to fish
in Papa's truck
It was unanimous between the kids that the 'wild' ride in the back of Papa's truck was the most exciting, thrilling moment of the entire trip.  

The Private Beach

The water level at Echo Lake is low. When you combine that information with the fact that we were there on a Thursday, you are left with an empty beach.
 It was fabulous. The cloud cover was pretty great too.
 The children took turns riding the tube. It doesn't seem like much, but the kids loved it. Their time on the beach was also very fun.

Meet Joey
 Three months ago, Michael and Sunnee had a baby. His name is Joey and I am totally smitten. 

Joey made a shirt too!
Cousin Love
Birthday boy!

Alpine Slide

I Love These Faces

Even when they are sad.

Final Favorites

 Thank you, Mom and Dad!