Thursday, September 22, 2011

Easy on the eyes

In case anyone's eyes are burning from the icky camera-phone pictures I've been posting lately...here are some beauties, that are very pleasing to behold.

My incroyable sister-in-law, Erin, snapped some photos of the kiddos while we were in UT last month.









Yea for people with sweet skills and fancy tools. Thanks tons, Erin.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Garden variety (or garden monotony?)

Guess what we are eating an abundance of these days??



We have let our backyard zucchinis get way too big before we remember to pick them, which means oodles of the stuff shredded into bread, cake, quiche, spaghetti sauce, chili, lasagna, etc. It would have been manageable except that our friends have been steadily sharing their garden's zucs and yellow squash with us.

So with a bounty of those two vegetables, my family is getting pretty weary of squash-a-fied meals. Apparently nothing grows quite as heartily as squash. I've spread some around my neighborhood, but the remaining produce, I feel compelled to implement. My heart wouldn't be full of thanksgiving for this plentiful harvest if I didn't put it all to good use!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ansley's new look



She's got a new accessory, and it's not the pacifier. We recently discovered that the poor girl is quite far-sided, and apparently the thick lenses really do help her see the world more clearly, because she has taken to the glasses very well. I am pretty shocked. I envisioned her ripping them off and twisting or throwing them regularly, but she has graciously accepted them into her life. What a relief!

Of course it helped during the first few days that I allowed the passie (which was supposed to be only for sleeping) when she wore the glasses. The girl is obsessed with her passies, and I am only feeding the obsession. It's been a week with the specs, and she is more attached than ever to her "pass" as she says...but I feel it is worth it for now.

One two-year-old crisis at a time.


...and a celebratory Happy Meal--don't judge me, Meredith!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our Big Summer Trip

I wish one of my talents was taking pictures of the best moments--the ones with everyone in them, ones you want to remember forever, ones that capture the moment, even the simple moments. That is clearly not my talent...but my consolation is that I don't have a good camera right now anyway, so "that moment" I missed wouldn't have turned into the best picture anyway.

What I am trying to say is that the photos I have of our 2-week summer trip (late July to early August) to ID, UT and CO don't thoroughly represent the large amount of fun we had, nor the great number of people we were able to visit. But here's a random representation:

IDAHO
We first went to ID for a reunion with nearly all of Tom's immediate family, and to see his parents after their return from English-teaching in China. It was so fun to see everyone! If any of you have good pictures from that week...I want them!

We toured Yellowstone and enjoyed its mudpots, fumaroles, bison, waterfalls, and of course Old Faithful and ice cream cones from Old Faithful Lodge.

Side note: Tessa kept breathing deeply and saying she loved the smell! Not everyone appreciates sulfur's odor, but apparently she does. I am thinking it reminded her of eggs...and she likes eggs.
Funny.













And fitting for the state we were visiting, Tessa learned to drive a riding lawnmower. She enjoyed the power way too much. Thanks for your trust and your "driver's ed" course, Aunt Jan.



UTAH
We went south to UT and stayed with my sister, Mirien, and her awesome family for a couple days. It was a blast.



We spent a day on the beautiful BYU campus and hit the major landmarks, which included the newish athletic "hall of fame" building and some athlete sitings--very fun, the Tanner Building (old stomping grounds for a Marriott school grad), and the Museum of Art.













Tyler was thoroughly impressed with this mountainous book structure/exhibit.



We spent another day downtown SLC and toured the Conference Center and Temple Square. Always a treat.





I like how not only my 2-year-old, but also my 9-year-old, look like they are considering a dip in the fountain (inside the Conference Center).








We also went on a super fun triple date with my sibs, Mirien and Mitchell, and spouses; sadly we have no photo documentation. But I know that none of us will ever forget that night and the memorable, extra...ordinary? performance we saw. "I am what I am!" ...enough said.

COLORADO
Last stop on our trek back to Iowa was good old CO. We hung out with everyone there--three siblings and spouses and my parents--and had lots of fun. We packed it in for 2 days, and went to a carnival-type place and a quirky, but fun Mexican restaurant--the infamous Casa Bonita.


That smile is because Eden got to drive her own go-kart for the first time.













So much fun that it was sad to return home. I am happy that our kids look so forward to times with their extended fam. Visiting family makes a great vacation...