Sunday, September 29, 2013

Labor Day 2013

Grandma Susie and Grandpa Charles were here this weekend!  But before I skip ahead to tell of our most recent fun, here are a few photos highlighting our Labor Day adventures.

Labor Day was cause for huge celebration because lo and behold, Jason was finally HOME!

Golly gee, I sure missed that impish grin!  That handsome feller had definite mischief up his sleeve.  Before you knew it, our crew looked like this...
And this...

And even THIS!  Talia has some pretty mean rappelling hops.

Of course, safety is top priority so we spend lots of time checking and rechecking all our equipment and knots.

Grandma Susie observed from beneath the comfort of her shade umbrella for a while...

...but eventually pitched herself off a cliff too, along with Grandpa Charles.  I guess insanity is contagious.

Back on solid ground, we took a few family pictures on Sunday afternoon.  Annika seems a bit of an afterthought in this one.

Lining up in height order...

And one more chance to say "cheese."

Thanks for coming, Charles and Susie! We love and appreciate you then, now, and always.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Trek Back Home

After traveling from Omaha to Long Island to Vermont to Niagara to Omaha (again), you'd think our summer adventures would be over.  In a normal family perhaps, but we are far from normal.  Instead, Jason helped drive us out to Logan where we got to spend a few choice days with his family in Hyde Park.  Here we are playing "Ticket to Ride" with Grandma Susie.

Grandpa Charles shared his childhood trains with Eli.  Needless to say, our little engineer loved it!

We took some pictures after church on Sunday in the adorable new dresses and suit from Grandma Susie.

The serious pictures are nice, but the silly pictures are even better.

So crazy!

Brooklyn requested her own eight year-old photo shoot.

A Tree Grows Near Brooklyn

Big or small, they're both my babies.

Rather than request her own photo shoot, Talia preferred to crash ours.

After Logan, we said goodbye to Jason one more time and hopped in the car for our final leg to St. George.  By the time we made it to Cedar City (about an hour from our destination), we'd had enough traveling by car and switched to Conestoga wagon instead.

Here are the kids digging for gold at Cedar City's Frontier Homestead State Park.  (Wish they'd found some...)

Talia loved washing the laundry.

I think I should let her scrub her own clothes at home.

Brooklyn was an expert, having just finished the "Little House" series.

Switching over to stagecoach.

And before you knew it, we were (finally) back home in St. George.  Just in the nick of time too--school started the next morning!
Talia and Brooklyn on the first day of first and third grades.  Just for the record, Talia's teachers at Dixie Sun Elementary are Ms. Berglund and Ms. Barranco.  Brooklyn has Mr. Bowen and Ms. Stansell.  Both kids are very happy.  And we are ALL happy to be back home.

The Last of Omaha (or is it?)

Before heading back to St. George, we passed through Omaha one last time.  (Something tells me it's not that very last time, but more on that later.)  We were glad to see Papa Kay and let Kestutis share the Heartland with his family.

Here's Papa Kay showing the kids around the aquarium at the Henry Doorly Zoo.

It's easy to get swallowed up between so many girls, right Eli?

Eli finds his own path aboard a giant turtle.

Meanwhile Talia and Liepa mount a ferocious saber-toothed tiger.

Liepa and Egle morphed into butterflies and ladybugs at the Omaha Children's Museum.  Annika didn't need costume antennae--her pigtails work just fine.

As our most cautious child, Eli was hesitant to explore the ant farm initially.  There's something wonderful about watching your children stretch beyond their comfort zone and succeed.

Annika was most comfortable in the baby zone where the greatest danger is drool.

As much as we loved exploring the greater Omaha area, the greatest fun could be found right in our backyard.  Everybody say, "Slip-n-Slide!"

Here are Kes and Egle watching as Liepa gets soaked (seen above and below).

Childhood joy!

Here are Brooklyn and Eli hard at play.

One last photo of everyone gathered around NomiAnn for bedtime stories.

They say that the best reward for parenting is becoming a grandparent. I think my folks just might agree. Thanks again for the lovely time in Omaha. We'll be back!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Summer Catch-up Post #83--Fontanelle Forest

Do you see what I see?

It's Callie as a butterfly...

Annika as a frog...

NomiAnn as a turkey...

And Kestutis as a . . . girl!

Here we are all exploring Fontanelle Forest in Omaha, together.  I love how many of the exhibits change.  We've seen dinosaurs, giant bugs...this time we learned all about recycling.

Liepa and Brooklyn loved making music.

Talia entertained us by climbing like a monkey.

Looks like Talia and Liepa have something in mind with those giant sticks...

Focus, focus, focus!

Watch out, lumber coming through!

After an afternoon of fun play, we were all worn out--especially Callie.  :)

Sisters and a niece who all wish they could get together more often.

Thanks for another fun day, Papa Kay.
Keep smiling!