A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

A large family, homeschooling, adoption, special needs, whatever strikes my fancy, sort of blog.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Our Week with Little Visitors

Our Little Friends from last year and the year before are staying with us again.

Last week the hair was green...  now it's purple!

It's actually really pretty; variegated with bits of different colors to it.

Brianna talked me into buying a piece of army fleece last time we were at JoAnn's.  I finally cut the selvages off so she could use it as a blanket.

Hannah brought home a Nevada library book from our trip.  I had to explain why that was a bad idea.  Will be mailing that back.

Lots of playing in the playroom this week.  It's always fun to have new kids in the house and see all the "forgotten" toys regain popularity.

I'm so grateful Grammy brings us boxes of toothbrushes.  It leaves us prepared for the unexpected.  Like when Brayden stayed over last week, or with our special guests.  I never have to run out and pick up a spare toothbrush at bedtime.

I took Brianna, Eli, and a friend of Eli's to Color Me Mine this week.  E and friend made mugs.

I made a plate.

Brianna made an adorable tea set with trees from the movie The Lorax.

We went to the park to burn off some energy.  Sorry, no picture of Hannah.  There were little blondies in all the shots I took of her, and I'm too lazy to edit in my very limited computer time.

We need to come back when the library is open.  They have weird hours.  No books this week.

Hannah and Katie mostly watched Kai Lan and Barbie in Mandarin when they were first home, so it's been many years since I've watched Dora.  Jack liked it when he was a wee tyke.  Well, Dora makes good after bath watching for the littles so I can comb out their wet hair.

Katie and the small fries in a rousing game of ring around the rosies.

We're off to Shriners this coming week, plus a couple of dentist appointments for Brianna and Eli, plus picking up our finished ceramics from Color Me Mine.  Hopefully we'll manage a trip to the library and maybe even the pool, as well.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

CaNeUt Day 7 - 4th of July

Hey, it's July 19, and I'm finally writing about July 4.  I'm a little earlier than last year, but not much.

After breakfast, I coerced, cajoled, and threatened everyone into their flag shirts for the annual torture: family pictures.

We started in 1999, and we've hit almost every year since.  (We missed 2 years, not in a row.)

 After pictures, all the teens changed into different shirts, and we set off to watch the parade.

 Hannah and Katie didn't know what to make of people throwing beads and candy at them.  I had to encourage them to get out there and pick some loot up.

My camera died during the parade, so the rest of the pictures were taken on my phone, which I kept expecting to tell me it was full.

 After the parade, the park opened for the town celebration.  There was food and games and gold panning.

I mostly hung out in the shade at our "base camp," the park blanket and circle of chairs we set up upon arrival.

Brianna took Hannah around to the games, and Hannah won this husky stuffed animal.  Bri kinda wanted it, until Hannah got a nosebleed on the way home from the park and got blood all over it.  The air is really dry there.

Yes, my pint size first grader is guzzling her own 12 ounce soda.  :sigh:  I'm pretty sure my first few kids didn't get their own whole soda until they were double digits old.

 And my delicate little lotus blossom is chowing Cheetos like that's a feed bag.

I like to think I've "mellowed out," but maybe I've just gotten old and lazy.  The jury is still out.

Buddy took Katie around to the bouncy houses and such.  Katie had a marvelous time.

The mine usually brings one of the big, big dump trucks for people to ogle, but this year, they brought this 390F CAT excavator instead.

And there's Paul, ogling it.

Miss Hannah takes a moment to snuggle her new husky puppy.

All the miles caught up to me, and I got super tired, so we didn't end up staying as long as we usually do.  Paul and I took Jack and the little girls back to the house to watch movies and play quietly while I caught a nap.

On our way, we noticed another wild fire in the distance, so Paul kept an eye out online for information about that, since, depending on where it was, it had the potential to impact our travel plans for the next day.  However, it ended up not being an issue for us.

After a nap and some more food, we headed back out to watch the fireworks.

Here in California, I'm pretty sure fireworks are governed by county ordinance.  Meaning, at home, we have rules about what we're allowed to purchase, and what we're allowed to set off, based on where we live.

In middle o'nowhere, Nevada, however, you can pretty much set off anything you can get your hands on, so Paul was "safely disposing of" a bucket of contraband fireworks that was unearthed in cleaning out one of the fire stations for demolition.  It's obviously hard to get pictures in the dark, but let's just say a good time was had by all, except maybe the part where Joel got grazed by a flying something or other.

This brings us to the very end of our vacation photos.  The next day's drive home was fairly uneventful, aside from the wildfire we drove past.  Upon arriving home, I immediately set to work on the laundry.  The girls still had plenty of clean clothes in their closet, but pretty much everybody would soon run out of clean underwear without urgent action.

A friend says, "East or West, home is best!" and there's a grain of truth to that.  Coming home, getting everything put away, paying the cat sitter, and going back to ordinary life feels good.  But I still love to see new things, too.  And I know that there are so many more things out there that I have yet to see.  I think if we had limitless resources I would travel more.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

CaNeUt Day 6 - Travel Back to Nevada

Next morning, it was time to head back to the kids.  I didn't want to leave Salt Lake City without stopping at the Great Salt Lake, so that was our first order of business on the way out of town.

There it is.  Great Salt Lake.  Only... it's kind of stinky.  And there's all these gnats flying around.

And then I looked down and noticed all the spider webs.  Go ahead and enlarge the pictures above and below this text.

Shudder.  Okay, I'm good.  I'm done here.  I can say I've been.  Check that off the ol' bucket list.

After a potty stop and a quick browse through the gift shop, we were on the road again.

Okay, so remember when we were at the museum, and I told you to make note of the Bonneville Salt Flats sign?  From the Great Salt Lake, for the next 100 miles, salt and more salt.  It seriously looked like a snowscape.

What's that?  Oh, just another pile of salt at a processing plant.  We also saw a Morton's facility, but I didn't get a picture of that.  We stopped for breakfast in Wendover, and that was the end of the salt.

There's a whole lot of nothingness in Nevada, but I did appreciate the Pony Express artwork and history lesson.  (Maybe not as much as I appreciated the porta potties, but it was still something interesting after miles and miles of not much.)

We've learned about the Pony Express while homeschooling, so, again, I found myself wishing the kids could see what I was seeing.

And what about those kids?  What were they doing while we were off cavorting around Utah?

Well, Buddy took them to the pool.

The little girls practiced their floating skills.

And this guy is getting to be a fish.

And then of course there was SUMMER CAMP!

The camp t-shirts were camo this year, which was just perfect for my little Army girl.

Jack was a great helper at camp, and one of the guys gave him a Leatherman style knife/multi tool.  I'd given him a tiny one in his stocking at Christmas, but he much prefers the man sized one.

Asleep standing up?

The kids had a great time, and when I asked, "Did you miss me?" Jack said, "I didn't really think about you."  Okay then.  

My daddy, my baby sister and I.  We went "out to dinner" just the 3 of us that night.  We snagged deli sandwiches and drinks at the local store and sat at a picnic table at the library and had a great time talking together.

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