Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blackberries at Meemaw's House


I loved growing up in western Washington.  My parents still live there and since we don't get to see them very often I tried to take the kids up every summer to visit. This year my siblings also came so we had a family reunion which was really great.

My parents live on a couple of acres which they've planted with fruit trees, berries, grapes, and a big  garden. The first morning after we got there the kids ran outside in their pjs to pick some blackberries for breakfast. 

When they're older I hope they remember small moments like these.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

First Day of School

kids holding signs on the first day of school



E and Mimi started school last week. E came home happy from the first day of second grade and excitedly told us how his teacher, Mr. Mac, told the kids that they don't have to raise their hand to go get a drink of water OR to go to the bathroom.  The heady privileges of being a second-grader!  :)

Sweet Mimi is attending the same wonderful preschool that she went to last year but now she is going 3 days a week instead of 2.  This year we are carpooling with her best friend Eva and listening to their conversations in the car is turning out to be a real highlight for me.  So adorable!

(Last year's pictures here.)

I'm looking forward to nailing down my schedule and getting into a routine.  We came home from spending a few weeks up in WA with family right before school started so I feel a little bit discombobulated (and behind on laundry, as ever).  But I took a lot of photos while we were out of town and will try to post them soon! 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Girl on Fire




Mimi was enthralled with sparklers and had a wonderful time this year on the fourth of July.

We all had a great time shooting off fireworks with friends and neighbors, except for a brief heart-pounding incident.  I lit a firework that was supposed to shoot several flaming balls into the air one after another but on the first shot the firework knocked itself on its side and then swung around shooting the balls out sideways.  One of them shot into our neighbor's open garage and started a small fire, melting a model helicopter that was on a workbench!  We put out the fire and no one got hurt but I felt badly about it.  I'm not sure what happened; I had set the firework on a flat spot.  Overall it was a fun and exciting evening.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Round-Up Parade

E has been having some adventures of his own this summer.  He got to walk in our town parade!


One of the quirks about living in Utah is how closely involved the Mormon church (which we're members of) is in civic matters. For our town's big summer parade different wards (or congregations) get assigned each year to make parade floats. This year our ward made a Dr. Seuss-themed float. E dressed up as Sam I am from Green Eggs and Ham and walked alongside the float.


I thought our ward did a great job on our float.  It was fun to see what other wards did.  Some of the floats were pretty impressive. 






I still miss a lot of things about living in WA, where I grew up. But I have to admit, aspects of UT are growing on me :)

Friday, July 10, 2015

4th of July: Balloon Festival


A picture of a young girl in a striped tshirt standing in front of a half-inflated rainbow-colored hot air balloon.

The city of Provo hosts a big festival every 4th of July and one of the main events is a hot air balloon launch. I've always wanted to attend but we are really not early-risers if we can help it (especially N) so it never seemed like the right time. But this year our friends and neighbors were going and graciously offered us the two extra seats in their van so Mimi and I rolled out at bed at 5:10am and tagged along.

It was totally worth it :)

A photo of 4 young children looking at a group of hot air balloons.

There were around 12 hot air balloons spread out on the ground in a field behind Provo High School waiting to be inflated.  People sat on blankets and camping chairs hanging out and waiting.  Unfortunately it was too windy for the balloons to launch but the crews still inflated them to show them off to the crowd (and then deflated them).

A photo of a crowd of people in front of a red coca-cola hot air balloon and a green Yoda balloon.

It was fascinating to see the crews inflate the balloons.  It was crowded and people were able to stand close to the balloons as they went up.  The heat coming off the burners was intense; we could feel it on our faces. 

Two people squeezing the air out of a deflating hot air balloon.
A crew squeezing the air out of a deflating balloon.

I didn't mind that much that the balloons couldn't launch since watching them inflate was so interesting but Mimi was a little bummed as you can see in the above picture.  Later that day we were driving on the freeway past some windmills and she indignantly said, "They should have turn off those windmills so the balloons could've taken off!" and cracked us up.


Early morning wake up aside, it was great.  I would definitely attend this or another balloon launch again if I have the chance.  

If you're in Utah the city of Sandy is having a balloon festival on August 7th and 8th, including a "balloon glow" in the evening.   The website says that some of the pilots will need help so if you come early you may be able to volunteer to help crew a balloon--how cool would that be?  

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Disneyland Photos








Our summer is in full swing (last week we went to a rodeo and this Friday E is walking in our town's summer parade!) but I wanted post some photos from our trip to Disneyland back in May before I forget.  It is becoming much easier and enjoyable to travel with the kids now that Mimi is potty trained and doesn't nap. 


  

Monday, June 01, 2015

Disneyland: Residence Inn Anaheim

The kids watching TV in their room
Downtime in the hotel
After talking to friends and literally spending a few hours checking out hotels online (because I like to stress myself out) I booked us at the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove.

I wanted a suite so the kids would have their own room and we would have a fridge for E's food.  Our suite was spacious with two bedrooms, each with their own TVs and adjoining bathrooms, a living room with another TV, a dining table for 4 and a full kitchen (full-sized fridge, dishwasher, stove/oven, and microwave).  Having all that space was great and meant we could easily separate the kids when they got cranky/or when Mimi needed to take a nap.  

Pros
  • Good price for the space (I booked our plane tickets and hotel together and saved money).
  • Friendly and helpful staff (I was trying to find a vending machine with something other than soda in it (which they didn't have) and when I asked the front desk they gave me a couple bottles of Snapple from their break room and wouldn't let me pay or tip them for them)
  • Decent complimentary breakfast with hot items like waffles, eggs, oatmeal, and sausages in addition to bagels, fruit, and cereal.
  • Grocery-shopping service: In the morning you can fill out a card requesting the items you want and they will shop for them and drop them off in your room in the afternoon along with a photocopy of the store receipt.  We had a rental car but were always too tired to go out by the time we got back to the hotel so this was a nice option.
  • It's the first stop of the shuttle going to Disneyland which only stops at one or two other hotels so we always got seats and the ride was fairly short.   
  • Quiet rooms and good water pressure even on the 17th floor.
Cons

  • It's further away from Disneyland than several hotels and walking with kids isn't really an option. (But the shuttle was easy to use).
  • The shuttle stop at Disneyland was out by the street and a long walk from the park gate but it wasn't a huge deal.
  • The hotel is a little older and showing some signs of wear--it didn't really bother me though since then I wasn't worried about my kids damaging things ;-)
  • Housekeeping's routine was to clean our room in the mid-afternoon which was when we were back in our hotel room for some down time so we missed them two days in a row. 
  • There are only 2 elevators so in the morning rush they get crowded.
  • Parking costs about $14 a day and the lot was crowded and the spaces were tight. 
Overall, we really liked the Residence Inn Anaheim Resort Area/Garden Grove.  I think it's a good place to stay if you're going to Disneyland and you don't mind not being able to walk to the park.

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