Friday, July 26, 2013

A Summer in the Life

I can hardly believe we've been home from the Reynolds family reunion for three weeks. The summer is just flying by! Part of me feels sad about it, but another part of me is starting to feel ready for a few quiet hours of alone time every day. It's been a little bananas. Here's a short run-down of the going-ons of the last several weeks, and then I hope to post pictures of the Reynolds Reunion tomorrow. (They're all loaded up and ready to go, just need narration.)

Way back at the beginning of the summer when we still had water in the creek behind our house, the Perry family stayed with us for a night and I took them tubing. First we loaded up on a big, hot breakfast:
Alia and Elizabeth made all the pancakes:
Someone had to blow up all those inner tubes:
After we got back. The water was pretty low and cold so it was a looooong and sometimes muddy ride, but we had a great time:
April was able to round up some of my very favorite Power of Moms board members for a fun night of Cafe Rio and hanging out up in the mountains. (Dawn Wessman, Tiffany Sowby, April, Catherine Arveseth, and Yours Truly.) Dawn gets the award for most devoted since she was preparing to move to Boston THE NEXT DAY:
April also brought me this, an early copy of our book being re-released in September by Familius Publishing:
Rachael aged 3 years when our cute neighbor, Mallory, curled her hair one day:
It would be nice if this girl's mom would do her hair sometime. Seriously! Look how pretty this is: 
Brandon had a little mishap in the car one morning with one of my green smoothies:
What a trip to Costco looks like in the summer with all the kids:
My new summer haircut:
Will trying to roast a raspberry at the dinner table:
One of Kate's "doodles": 
Summer Driver's Ed kind of ate up 2 entire weeks with all the back and forth for classes and driving range. And the homework was unbelievable! Kate had a GROUP VIDEO PROJECT . . .  can we just take it down a notch and focus on the task of teaching these kids how to drive? Don't get me started. Here's a drive-by hidden camera picture taken of the driving range after drop off:
We finally got around to our annual memorabilia clean out/file day. One part fun, one part tedious:
The three younger kids spent almost two entire days playing with nothing but their bed sheets:
These grow all up and down the un-landscaped streets of our neighborhood during the summer. Happy and beautiful:
Evening walk:
We unknowingly let Yuki's hair get matted under her arms and neck, so when I took her in for her regular grooming and haircut I was told matter-of-factly that she would need to have all her hair shaved off! The poor thing was shivering for two days and looked like a naked mole rat for over two weeks. Her hair is just barely starting to grow back in, but in this picture a few weeks ago I think she looks dejected and like she is trying to hide her hideousness. Or at least keep warm:
The weekend we got home from the reunion (two days after the 4th) we finally did the sparklers Elizabeth got from her friend for her birthday back in May. She had been waiting for this:

Will went on a 50-mile backpacking trip with his scout troop and had a blast. Apparently he got the nickname of "Here Boy" since he was always ahead of the group and had to be called after to wait for everyone else. (Unfortunately, I have no pictures!) Brandon's maternal grandfather (the same one we visited here) passed away that same week, and it just so happened that Brandon was already planning to go up the last few days of the hike to be with Will and then try to find the home Grandpa had lived in as a child since it was so close to where they were. So at the end of the week they did that very thing, and after doing a little research at City Hall and even knocking on some doors, they actually found it! (It had been built by Brandon's great grandfather, the son of the first immigrant in the family line from Denmark.) That all of this coincided with the death (or birth--however you want to look at it) of Grandpa Petersen made it all the more meaningful. What a great man! He had such a wonderfully positive influence on Brandon growing up, and on us as a married couple. I hope I can a grandparent like that some day. (More on Grandpa Petersen after we go to Arizona for his Memorial Service next week.)

While William was gone on his backpacking trip, some of our favorite people from La Canada came by for a little lunch visit. Burnett and Nita Facer--love these guys! We sure miss all our California friends:
I took the little girls and a friend to the children's museum one day and got this cool Instagram pic:
I pretended I wasn't sick for about two weeks until it escalated into full blown strep throat and landed me in bed for an entire day. There's nothing quite as bad as being sick when you're the mother, but it didn't feel quite so bad when my little sweetheart Elizabeth brought me THIS:
Beautiful morning walk:

Kate went with a friend to EFY (Especially For Youth) at BYU-Provo the week following Will's backpacking trip, but before she left we got started painting her bedroom. (Finally trying to make it her own now that we've been here for over a year!) She was straight out of the shower and not wanting me to take this picture of her:
I'll post an "after" picture eventually, but these are the best "before" pictures I have:

I took Kate for her first pedicure that weekend before EFY. (It's pretty fun having girls.) Check out the paint on her arms:

Will the Ninja:
The first tomato from our tomato plant. SO SWEET AND DELICIOUS:
Brandon finally got his 40th birthday present 10 days after his birthday. He wanted to wait to open it when all the kids were there, so he opened it the weekend between the backpacking trip and EFY:

When we eventually decide on some deck furniture this will go down on the lawn somewhere, but for now we are enjoying the easy access. I actually slept on it that night. The hour or so before the sun came up and the stars were still out was breathtaking!
Brandon with his cake and his kiddos:

You can guess who's been using it the most:
Beautiful sunset during an evening walk:
Before it got dark:
I actually take pictures of my kitchen counter when it's clean:
Favorite summer dish--southern green beans:
Even after nagging her to death about her EFY packing list, Kate left something at home. We took the opportunity to drive down to Provo, go to the BYU Creamery, and wander around campus a bit:
Brandon and I can hardly believe we have a child old enough to go to EFY since we feel like it wasn't that long ago that we were there ourselves:
She's smiling here, but I could tell she was totally bugged by our presence:
 A screen shot of ANOTHER Power of Moms book coming out soon:
We were sad to see Marc and Emily head back down to Texas after his smashing success directing BYU's spring opera. We had them over for dinner one last time:

I made oyakodon since Marc also served a mission in Japan (Tokyo):
Lots of shaved ice shacks in the summer in Utah! I like Snoasis because they have agave sweetened options, and it's just the best around IMHO:
 Looking cool in the heat of the summer:
I've been trying to go to the temple once a week for awhile now. It's not easy with everything going on, and I usually don't make it that often, but it's worth it every time I do:
Elizabeth has a sudden obsession with sewing, so I signed her up for a class and she's been making stuff left and right. Grandma Reynolds got her this adorable sewing box for her birthday:
Summer mornings and evenings in Utah are so gorgeous, and we even had about a week of some really  good stormy skies:

I kind of love our neighborhood, and while I hope that someday it gets built up and we have more neighbors, part of me also really likes the solitude:
Last weekend I found a ton of funky sodas at a local grocery store, so I bought a bunch to take up the canyon with us for our campfire:

On Instagram I called this "my two favorite things--Reese's s'mores and Brandon" . . .

 I did another segment on Studio 5 this past Tuesday! I'll link to it later because they are having "technical difficulties" and the video isn't even up yet:
 This is how William welcomed me home that morning:
My best friend from college is moving to Oxford, England next Tuesday (waaaaaaah!) because her Finnish husband got his dream job as a full professor at Oxford University. (Could they be any cooler?) Unfortunately, the person who was going to keep her 5th daughter ("Bunny") backed out at the last minute so I offered to give it a shot. We kept her for an overnighter on Wednesday, and while it took a little time, she eventually warmed up to us and Yuki. She'll be coming back for "awhile" on Sunday. Love this picture of us and our little doggies. I don't even know what to say about it! It would take a jillion posts to share all the stories of Amy and I in our college days . . .
 Of course, the baby and dog whisperer of the family won Bunny over first:
But when he went to work in the morning, she hopped up on my bed with me:
I made oyakodon for the second time in as many weeks for the Perry family who came back to stay with us again this past Wednesday. We did a whole Japanese culture night, complete with CHINESE costumes and animals (totally spontaneous moment courtesy of Rachael and Grace): 

Wish I had some pictures, but we took them to Snoasis that night and as we were driving home noticed some fireworks going off in a nearby church parking lot. Since it was Pioneer Day here in Utah (a big state holiday commemorating the arrival of the pioneers in the valley) we weren't surprised to see people setting off fireworks, but I kid you not when I say that this "neighborhood" fireworks show ended up being bigger than any small town fireworks show I have ever seen in my entire life. It was seriously unbelievable, and we were sitting right under it! (Actually surprised none of us had the hair singed off our heads . . .) Needless to say, it was totally unexpected and SO fun.

The very next morning Rachael was scheduled to get her tonsils and adenoids out. She's been having the same persistent throat clearing cough that Kate had when she was about the same age and had hers removed. Turned out both her tonsils and adenoids were in fact abnormal. Here she is right before I woke her up. I wish I could sleep this hard:
She's been SO excited about this surgery, mostly because (as she's been saying) she would get to eat "poxicles" for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and dessert. :D The American Fork hospital where Brandon works made the whole process so nice for her. She loved every minute of it:

 Until she woke up:
 And went promptly back to sleep:
 Daddy stopped by after his own surgery:
Eventually she woke up for good. She has been loving this little doll they gave her to decorate herself, complete with matching arm bandage:
 Still drugged up. Why do I think this is so cute?
She did really great all day yesterday after the surgery, but today she was pretty wiped out and her throat was hurting. She feel asleep spontaneously in the middle of the day while snuggling Yuki in her kennel:

The cute and fun Perry family actually stayed one more bonus night with us, and we had so much fun this morning making a bunch of goofy "you know you're a mom if" videos for the Power of Moms website. I just love April and her family:

About 5 minutes after the Perrys left, Rachael's best buddy stopped by with some Dippin' Dots and coloring/sticker books for her recovery. So cute:
And that, my friends, is as current as I can get. (Other than the other mega post coming "tomorrow" of the family reunion on Brandon's side.) One of these days I hope to just blog a little bit here and there instead of doing these mega-posts, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

Happy last few weeks of summer!

Related Posts with Thumbnails