One great thing we saw (but I wasn't allowed to photograph...wah) was the National Quilt Museum. It was awesome! I can't get over the creativity and craftsmanship of some people. Mike tolerated the museum quite well. And Zachary...well... although he claims to have enjoyed it, he did spend an inordinate amount of time rolling around on the floor groaning, "Exit...exit...exit!"
But there was certainly plenty for the boys to enjoy on our vacation as well.
We observed marine life up close:
And various other unusual vehicles as well:
We experienced crafts and trades of the 1800s:
We saw Orlando Bloom:
There are of course a lot more photos, but as I doubt anyone is reading even this far... I'll spare you.
Okay, the vacation was a week long, so I had to split this post up a bit. Today I'll share our beach adventures. We spent a few days on St. George Island in Florida, so I got to relax and play Gidget for a while. So fun.
1. My fearless outdoorsy boy heading into the waves. He wanted to spend every moment in the water. (Click on this one to make it bigger. I LOVE this image!)
2. His favorite activity was letting the waves crash into him and knock him down. If they weren't big enough, he knocked himself down.
3. In front of the house we stayed in, right on the beach. That was awesome.
4. The sunset view, obviously. No, nothing is on fire.
5. Mike, blinded by the light, watching Zach's first venture into the ocean.
6. We were trying to stay dry that morning going shelling, but the ocean kept calling Zach's name.
7. And he kept answering the call.
8. Observing hermit crabs we found.
9. Our Family Home Evening lesson was about building our "house on the rock".
10. Heading back to the house for the morning.
11. A sunset view from our backyard.
Stay tuned for a quick summary of what we did in the other seven(!) states we passed through.
"The event had every promise of happiness for her friend. He was a man of exceptional character, easy fortune, suitable age, and pleasant manners...
She had been a friend and companion such as few possessed: intelligent, well-informed, useful, gentle; one to whom she could speak every thought as it arose."
(Anyone recognize the quote? Hint: Later in the book someone asks about the wedding, "Who cried most?" Incidentally, the answer to that question would, without a doubt, be me. I was grateful to have the lens to hide behind.)
Lynne... Tim... wishing you so very happy.
Strange to be tapping the "compose" button on typepad just now. That hasn't happened for a while, eh? How long has it been, you ask? Well... remember my new little nephew from my last post? The little dude just graduated from college. We're so proud.
Okay, put into perspective, I guess it hasn't really been so very long. He is, however, growing to be quite a handsome little devil. And a happy one. We like him.
And speaking of growing up, get a load of this kid...
Eight. No, seriously... eight?! I mean, don't get me wrong. So far it's been a really great year for him. This summer I've seen him becoming a lot more mature... leaps and bounds, really. But eight is the year a child officially becomes a "pre-teen". 100% Big Kid. And I'm not entirely ready for that...
We spent last weekend camping in beautiful Nauvoo. What a great place... lovely scenery, historical sites, and a sweet spirit that always presides.
But for the boys (my son, my husband, and my father-in-law), one of the main highlights would be... the fishing. I thought I'd share a few images I caught at around 6:00 AM on Friday, after a VERY long, sleepless night in a tent.
1. Dawn breaking, with a jetstream that made the sun appear to be smoking.
3. Mike's dad (also named Mike)
4. Zach and Mike
5. Look at the size of the catfish Mike reeled in!
(Okay, so maybe my Photoshop skills came in handy here... this is a fish story, after all! But they really were enormous fish. Mike's luck holds.)
We had our annual Primary Presentation this past Sunday, meaning that the children in our church present the Sunday service through scriptures, music, and talks they wrote themselves. Always a sweet experience... and yes, funny too. Zach read a scripture and did very well all on his own. There were a lot of pauses where he tried to find his place, because he had to look up at the congregation to say every word and phrase, and his tongue stuck out of the corner of his mouth the whole time... but he pulled it off without major incident. And I'll call that a success.
The theme this year was "I Am a Child of God", so I created a silhouette for each child to take home, talking about how each profile was unique, even though it's just a basic outline. It's supposed to remind them that they are each a beloved child of a Heavenly Father who has a plan for each of our lives. I don't know that they'll ever think of that when they see their silhouette, but they did love receiving theirs.
Funny thing... The three of us were making donuts last week, and there turned out to be a crazy lot of them. Mike says, "Now why are we making this many?" And I replied, "Apparently we're a family of gluttons." And Zach quickly and seriously pipes up, "No, we're not! We're a family of Heavenly Father!" Yup.
In other news... some of you have requested pictures of little Rose. Yes... another friend, another baby. Bring 'em on. Especially if they're all as sweet as this one.
I thought I'd share the results of a cute little project that, quite honestly, I've been putting off for some time. And while, yes, I'm still sweeping up beans a week later, it was worth it.
I was remembering these turkeys we used to make every November in grade school, the ones that we glued beans all over to make the feathers. Anyone else remember those? Anyhow, I thought we could use the same method to make any kind of art we chose. So Zach drew a picture on cardboard, we filled in different areas with glue, and then he went to town gluing on one color at a time. I love how his rocket turned out. We may have to make some turkeys, after all.
And, you know, after spending the day looking into this face, I am more sure than ever...
Man, I need a little girl.
Pardon me while I try to recap my entire October, or at least anything mildly Halloweenish.
A few weeks back, Mike and I decided to surprise Zach with breakfast in bed... a whole pumpkin pie and a can of whipped cream. He was pretty excited about that once he woke up enough to enjoy it. He saved most of the pie, and had bites of it at every breakfast for a week.
That same week, we went apple-picking twice at a local farm, and we chose pumpkins for our fall decorating, and one to carve into a jack o'lantern. (Zach's design... he was going for a very scary face.) The animals at the farm were a huge hit with Zachary, as was filling bag after bag with fruit he won't even eat...
What? Don't you consider a blue mohawk to be standard apple orchard attire?! Huh. Maybe my son just has more style than you do.
And speaking of style... I present to you... the costume.
For those of you keen on the details... I shredded a pair of old jeans, hung a chain around his waist, applied a fake tattoo, and painted his face. The hair was done with a thick blue gel, and twisted into spikes that could poke somebody's eye out when they dried. (Yes, we were just practicing the hairdo on the day of the apple orchard.) The dog collar and wrist cuff were both cut from a $2 studded belt I picked up at a thrift store. I cut out a freezer-paper stencil for the shirt (yes, really, it took a few hours), ironed it onto one of Zach's undershirts, and spray-painted the rest of the shirt unevenly to give it a grunge look.
The boy was in seventh heaven, I tell you.
I love that little punk.
Some of you have been quite patient. Others of you have been less-than-subtle in your promptings for me to update the blog. (Kirsten, Jennifer, Karen, Renae... you know who you are. No need to name names.)
I thought I'd take a leaf out of Amanda's book and share ten things that are making me happy lately, in no particular order:
1. The arrival of camping season (and the complete happiness of a little nature-loving boy)
2. Good music running through my head all day
3. Eating right, walking with a good friend, and being already four pounds closer to my pre-baby weight. (Yes, by "baby"... I am referring to my almost-seven-year-old. Give me a break. The time has come.)
4. This commercial about the power of the wind. Hilarious.
5. This little love, my friend Heidi's newest little one
7. Digging through and organizing my craft area (nearly done!)
8. The chance to study nature, literally in our own backyard
9. This fabulous blog, which completely inspires me to document the lives of family and friends with warmth and personality. (Look through the archives, seriously. Amazing stuff.)
10. Listening to quality audiobooks with my son (he's loving the Little House series, yea!!), and knowing that I can go to Kiddie Records Weekly and we'll be knee-deep in great recordings from the 40s and 50s. A couple of clicks and you're wading in nostalgia.
We've had a very nice and relaxing week, and weather so beautiful that we've headed to the zoo twice in the last five days. Always a good time. There are so many gorgeous and majestic creatures in the animal world... and then, there are definitely some oddballs. Here are a few of the ones we like to visit...
And then there were these wild things, which were neither properly labeled nor were they caged. I believe they are called BOY, and they remain one of those mysteries of the animal kingdom...
Our little friend William visited us today. Is he not the sweetest? He and Zach get along well, and it was interesting to hear Zach "big brother-ing" him today... playing along with his games and gently correcting him when he was doing something he shouldn't.
I really have nothing to report today. I'm afraid that I'm mostly only blogging to put off other things, like cooking dinner. But I think I've dragged it out as much as I can. I'll try to be back tomorrow with something of interest...
Yup... there's a new banner up there. I pretty much chose a random photo that I just always liked. I'm the wee one there, with my grandmother.
There's sort of a baby boom going on around here lately, wherein pretty much all of my married friends are having little ones born this year. Pretty soon we'll have babes of all stages at our playdays. My friend Jennifer is the mama of this sweetness... I totally love him. I mean, really... who wouldn't?
Sweet baby Asher...
...why I love the art of photography. It connects us as people. And that's the most important thing in the world.
This is especially close to my heart today. I was logging on to talk about the connection photographs gave us to our families... to those living, to those who have passed away, and even to those from generations past whom we have not met in this life... and I discovered a message from my mother telling me that my grandmother died today. My photographs call back the memories I have of her, as well as giving me a better understanding of who she is... not just my grandma, not just my father's mother, and not just the elderly woman that I am familiar with... but her. And that is truly an amazing gift. Here she is...