Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What a Fine Family!

We were thankful for the chance to spend time with all of our children and grandchildren at a quick family reunion in Utah at the end of August. There were a few glitches (so is life) but overall we had a great time. We couldn't even complain about chasing grandchildren and balloons as we tried to eat dinner at Red Robin one evening!

We played at the lake. Nathan was so proud of the fact that he could paddle the inflatable kayak all by himself.

Maggie took her first ride in the kayak. Matthew paddled like a pro.

Becca chased the geese,

jumped off the dock with a little help from Aunt Sariah,

and splashed in the water like a wild thing.

Matthew swam after some ducks. He's fearless with that life jacket!
I saw and felt lots of love.

We laughed, visited, and shared a meal with extended family at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

I got to play with Becca and Maggie on the playground while Grandpa watched Coach Brian, Matthew and team win a game of soccer.

Becca wasn't thrilled with the idea of having strangers help her on the play equipment. Grandma came to the rescue!

Great food, toys and balloons contributed to the festive mood at another family gathering we attended at Gordon and Sandy's home.

We had a memorable visit with Grandma at the care center. She loved seeing so many familiar faces. Owen entertained the residents as he chased balloons, balls and cats.

What a blessing to get to spend time with such a fine family!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Love Those Grandsons!

We had some fun times with Elly's two boys, Nathan and Matthew, when they came to visit in August. The only frustration was having to stop playing to get some work done!

Grandpa greeted the boys when they arrived with a list of chores. The first one: Check out the swimming pool to make sure the water is okay. Nathan took to the water like a fish. Matthew was a little more timid...until he put on the life jacket.

The second chore was to collect the eggs which they did with gusto. The third chore was to gather food from the garden for dinner. Those boys love exploring and making discoveries in Grandpa's garden!

A stray cat that adopted us in the spring was given the name of Whiskers by Matthew, who took to him immediately.

The fourth chore involved packing up the camper for our overnight camping adventure!

It was dark when we arrived at Swan Falls Dam near the Snake River but we managed to find a fire ring and that's where we parked. In spite of the fact that we were inundated with bugs every time we opened the camper door, Grandpa and the boys got a nice fire built. We roasted marshmallows and enjoyed some delicious smores before settling down in our too warm, bug infested camper for whatever sleep we could get. Luckily, no one was interested in getting up early to go fishing the next morning.:) We awoke to a beautiful day.

Grandpa and the boys explored the sage brush and lava rock covered world while I fixed breakfast.

They had a great time climbing the rocks.

The discovery of the day was a "sword" in the stone.

But try as they might, no one could pull it out.

They found their way down to the river.

The call to breakfast brought them quickly back to the camper.

We explored the dam which was built 108 years ago before making our way back home.

A couple of days later, we visited the Western Idaho State Fair.

We saw a real live turkey.

Friend Madeline's chickens were amazing! She even "hypnotized" one of them for us.

Matthew was impressed. After learning that I couldn't raise a chicken for him to show at the fair, the first question Matthew asked his mom when he talked to her later in the day; "Can I raise a chicken?"

We checked out the rest of the farm animals. Matthew bravely fed a few.

He didn't like feeding the buffalo, though.

We didn't leave the fairgrounds until the boys had eaten corn dogs and icees, gone "fishing" to win a prize, and ridden a couple of the rides. We did the whole fair in three hours and left just as the crowds were gathering.

Another highlight of their visit was the float trip down the Boise River. Sariah and Cami joined them in that adventure.

Matthew was a little nervous. He sat behind Grandpa and held on tight. Nathan traded places with Sariah a couple of times and guided one of the single IKs all by himself. He loved going through the "rapids" and sideways down the waterfall.:)

On the way home, we stopped for dinner and ice cream at the Big Bun.

We loved having the chance to add to the "great memories" list with those grandsons!