Wednesday, June 30, 2010

We Didn't Even Mean To...

Last November, I watched the early showing of New Moon (the one BEFORE the midnight show) with two daughters, a friend, and my sister. We sat in the third row in the center, because we came a little too late to get five seats in a row a little further back. This hadn't been the exact group we intended. It is too long of a story to go into right now. It doesn't even matter. It was a fun group, and we loved it...third row and all. (That link has a bunch of stuff from last November, our New Moon picture just being one of those things.) We appreciated the people who made that fun evening possible.

Last night, I watched the early showing of Eclipse (the one BEFORE the midnight show) with two daughters, a friend, and my sister. We sat in the third row in the center, because we came a little too late to get five seats in a row a little further back. This hadn't been the exact group we intended. It is too long of a story to go into right now. It doesn't even matter. It was a fun group, and we loved it....third row and all. We appreciate the people who made the fun evening possible.

This is the picture I took in line outside:


We had a great time!

Friday, June 25, 2010

A Surprise Birthday Celebration....

You might know that I am the oldest of nine children. If you didn't know before, you know now. I have five younger sisters. (I have three younger brothers too, but this post is not about them.) My sisters are beautiful, wonderful and fun.

One of my sisters turned 40 this week. We arranged with her husband to go over and surprise her for her birthday. It was a quick trip, but so worth it. My Oregon sister could not join us, and we missed her terribly!

So, four of us met down the street from the cute LA area home, for the surprise kidnapping. We each wore a bow to demonstrate that we WERE her gifts. I regret that we don't have a picture of the four of us walking down the street to her house! The Birthday sister happened to catch a glimpse of us from her bedroom window before we got to her door. She started screaming at us, "I'm going to kill you guys! I don't understand what is happening!" I'm laughing so hard as I type the phrases. She is hilarious. When our Oregon sister called, the Birthday Girl exclaimed, "I'm covered with witches!"

We caught up with her husband and kids for a little bit while she packed an overnight bag. They have such a great family.




Her oldest son would not pose for a picture.  He is a man now that he is seven, you see.  I love his cute seriousness. 




I got a great pose here, and a tour of the Bendaroo creations.




This sweet one was not so sure he wanted his mom to leave on her birthday.....



The youngest isn't quite two, but she has hair like my kids didn't have until kindergarten.  She also says things like, "Thank you for the wonderful dinner."  Amazing.




We went out to dinner.  This restaurant was so perfect.  The ride to get there wasn't perfect, as we really did it the hard way.  The hard way consists of driving while someone is saying, "No, turn here...I meant there...I don't know what it is called, but there is a lake....now what do we do?.....I think we can turn around here....."  And then we really found it, and it was the best, and worth it.  See how beautiful my sisters are.  The birthday girl is on the right.  Everyone should look so great when she turns 40.




Our party of sisters also included two babies.  They behaved so well.  You can see we were having a little chop stick concert here.....




See that happy little baby face? 




My sister's husband bought a cake to send along with us.  Chocolate orange flavor...to die for.




Here they are, in our hotel room, getting ready to enjoy that cake. 

We laughed a lot, and slept a little.

  The only picture of the next morning that I will share is this:



I sat on the floor in the morning with these two sleepy little girls.  They entertained me well, while one mom showered and the other went to get breakfast.

The party broke up much too soon.  We were all on the road back home before we wanted to be.  The road trip itself went by quickly though.  I had one sister with me, who never lets any conversation go dull.  
I found this surprise at home:




My girls were waiting for me with a nice dinner served on a beautiful table.   Kaitie didn't want to be in the picture, but she did so much of this, and served me too.  I just love all the girls in my life.
(I love the boys too, of course.  Girl time has just dominated my summer so far.)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Dance Recital

Last week was the annual dance show.  This year they performed Snow White.  I really enjoyed it.  Emilee was in four numbers, and Riley was in one. 

This year I was not a room mom for Riley.  By the time I reached the sign up sheet, her class was taken care of.  We talked about how she is seven now, and not four.  She didn't really need me to be there.  It was so EASY not being in a room full of little girls and stressed moms.

Emilee's class still needed a room mom, so I signed up for that.  There was plenty to do, being a room mom for the older girls, but it was fun.  It wasn't a babysitting job....for the most part.

Even when I was Emilee's room mom, I went out into the hallway back stage to see Riley lined up and ready to go on for her dance.  She was so excited.  My stage pictures of Riley didn't turn out well at all, so I am glad I popped out to see her and get this picture anyway.


There was a little down time with Emilee's group.  I thought it was a great time to get a picture or two.


She wasn't as sure about the picture idea.  This is her "really, Mom?" look.


Emilee's stage pictures turned out a little bit.  She is in the center, in the back, in case you couldn't tell. This is the tap dance to "Working in the Coal Mine."  I loved it.




Emilee is at the far left in this one.  It was called "The Chase."  It was the last number in the show.



Em is on the right in this one....





This picture was taken after the last show, on Saturday night.  We had so much to be happy about.  Ally was here.  The show was really well done....and, it was over:)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Third, and Last, Trip Post

This is my third post about our little trip to Utah...

Riley loved visiting Grandma S. in Salt Lake City. Grandma is not the only reason Riley enjoyed her visit.


One of Riley's cousins is living at Grandma's at the moment. (This little one is really the child of Riley's cousin...so she's a second cousin..?.)



There are also a couple of very entertaining cats.  I think the cat was entertained as well.  Riley played like this for a LONG time.





And no trip to Grandma's would be complete without a visit outside to see Blossom.  She is a desert tortoise.  This picture of her is about as good as no picture at all of her!



On Thursday of our trip, Riley and I took Kaitie back to Provo to spend two days staying with her friend.   Riley and I got a hotel right there by BYU campus for the last two nights.





And we continued to have some nice girl time:

(I was amused in the nail salon to find someone there from home!  She had her daughter with her too.  It was funny to catch up a little when we were seven hundred or so miles from home....)


Friday we went back to Salt Lake to visit two more small cousins. 


They had a nice time together, while I had a nice visit with their mom. Soon their dad (my brother) came home too.  I felt fortunate to have them all to myself for a few hours.  The girls cooperated with this picture, but you can see they did not like the interruption.  Aren't they so cute?



These pictures in the car show how I usually see their little faces....




See, on Saturday morning, after I picked up Kaitie and Emilee,  these two joined us for the trip to my parents' house. 

Saturday afternoon, my parents took us to see the deer.  It is a thing we always do when we go there.  Often the deer just run away.  These were particularly friendly.

I took this picture from inside the car.  It was before I knew the deer were going to come and eat an apple out of each hand there.  I wish I had been in the position to get a better picture.  I jumped out of the car after this, but most of the apples were gone by then.


This happens to be Kaitie's hand....




This sweet one started looking at my camera as if to say, "I'd like to sample that one now...."


Sunday morning, we all went to church. 

I love this picture of my parents and the girls. 

After church we got back on the road and drove all day to get home.  We had a nice trip, but I was so glad to be home again.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Trip....Continued

This is a continuation of my last post, about Emilee's trip to EFY, except this part isn't about Emilee at all.  

So, I had dropped Kaitie's BYU friend off at her grandma's house, and left Kaitie with her Roosevelt friend. I was kindly invited to stay at each place, but I didn't feel like I should. I wanted to let people have the visits they wanted to have. It wouldn't have been the same for them if they had to entertain me too.

So Riley and I set out on our own. We drove to Vernal, because it was there. It was another 30 or so miles east. I wanted to see the LDS temple there. I knew it was a hundred year old tabernacle which was converted to a temple in the 1990's. I also thought we might go to see something dinosaurish.






I thought the temple was pretty.  Riley wasn't very excited to walk around there.  I told her if she could look halfway pleasant in a picture we could move on.

By the time we were looking for anything else to do, everything was closed.  We saw some nice dinosaur statues on the main street.  I would have gone to a museum if we had found something open.  We would have ended up with more pictures like the one above though, with Riley smiling just so we could move on.

As I drove back to Roosevelt, I realized I was really tired.  I decided that I needed to figure out where we would stay for the night.  Next, I imagined myself trying to go to sleep while Riley bounced all over the room.  We stopped at a grocery store for emergency supplies.  She ended up picking out a pad of paper, new markers and a box of Club crackers.

Riley did bounce around the motel room for awhile.  She always loves to check out every detail.  Since I knew she wasn't going to settle for awhile, I thought I would find her something on tv.  There was nothing on that was meant for kids.  We finally ended up watching three episodes of "Cake Boss."  I had heard of it, but had never watched it.  As Riley settled in, she broke out the markers and started drawing lots of pictures of flowers, trees, birds.....and cakes. 

Tuesday, we picked up Kaitie, delivered her friend back to Provo, and went on to Salt Lake City.  The activity was about to turn more Riley friendly.  For starters, we stayed with Grandma S.  Tuesday, we were fed well, and just enjoyed visiting.

 Wednesday, we went to the zoo.


Riley so loves spending time with Grandma S.  In this picture, she also wanted to make sure her elephant cup was visible.  Zuri, the new baby elephant, was the star of our visit.




We stopped by this exhibit a couple of times.  What is it about a baby?  She was just fun to watch.  When the mom and baby would interact, Kaitie told me it made her think of Dumbo. 




When Zuri did funny little things like this, Riley just cracked up. 






Kaitie wasn't all that thrilled to go to the zoo.  It wasn't a highlight for her, of course.  She does love animals, and liked it a lot more than she thought she would.








Riley doesn't like animals in the same way Kaitie does.  She gets a lot more nervous.  She actually cried when I tried to get her to look at a snake.  It was through glass!  I told her it was the perfect opportunity to see one.  She would not look.


When we went to the playground, Riley wouldn't even go down this slide as it meant coming out of that mouth. 



It is not that she didn't want to slide.  She enjoyed this non-snake slide very much.





We spent a lot of time looking at this monkey.  He was small, and cute.  I think Riley likes animals with  faces she can relate to.



After our day at the zoo, we stopped at the This is the Place monument.  It is right next to the zoo.  The day was beautiful, and we weren't ready to go home yet.  This is where the pioneers looked out on the Salt Lake Valley, and realized that they had found their new home.  We didn't go to the pioneer village, we just walked around the statues for awhile.   Okay, we also checked out the souvenir store. 


Riley loved this place.  She had me take so many pictures of her. (What a difference from a couple of days before, in Vernal.)



I liked these pictures of Kaitie and Riley, even more than the statue pictures:







If the girls were wishing for a good dinner, these wishes came true.  We wrapped up this day, with Grandma taking us up the canyon to a cute little restaurant.  




My wishes were for happy girls.  Mine came true.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Beginning of Our Trip....

Months ago, Emilee started talking about wanting to go to EFY. Those letters stand for Especially for Youth. It is a week long church activity for teens. These sessions are held all over the country at different college campuses. The kids live in dorms, and spend the week in classes, workshops, service projects and dances. Emilee talked me into it.

Two weeks ago, after church, I packed up my girls plus one friend of Emilee's and took off for Provo Utah. We stopped that night and stayed with my parents. They live in Utah in the summer. 



Here is Riley the next morning.  She thought it was funny that Grandpa and Grandma had lots of tomato plants inside.  Their back porch was like a green house.  Riley didn't get to admire the tomatoes for long.  We had to get back on the road early.....


...so I could drop these two cute girls off for a week of fun on the BYU campus.  And, of course, Emilee had arranged to meet....




....these two cute girls!  What a Fabulous Four this is!


Once I got Emilee settled into her dorm, we said goodbye for the week.  Kaitie and I had some loose plans but nothing exact.  Kaitie had two friends she wanted to visit.  We were going to see her friend who just moved to Roosevelt, Utah.  The plan was, to make that visit at the beginning of the week. Then at the end of the week, Kaitie would stay with a friend in Provo, who attends BYU.  After we dropped Emilee off, Kaitie decided we should at least say hi to the BYU friend while we were there.



We not only said hi, but then kidnapped her to PF Changs for lunch.  The kidnapping didn't stop there.  When she found out we were going to Roosevelt, she said her grandparents and great grandparents lived there.  She came along with us, to have a visit with them.  She added so much fun to our drive:)

I never had been to Roosevelt before.  It is about two hours east of Provo, and I had never had a reason to drive that way.  We needed that fun added to our drive more than we even knew.  There actually aren't all that many reasons for driving that way.  Apparently you just do it out of love for friends...which is what we did.   After dropping off Kaitie's friend with her cute grandma,  we went and found...



.....Kaitie's friend who just moved to Roosevelt.  The girls had a happy reunion!

And that was only Monday.  I guess I will have to write the rest later....