Monday, July 25, 2011

#25 Visit Nana and Papa Z

I'm so mad at myself for doing such a poor job documenting our trip to my parents' house. We packed so many fun activities into our trip, I just never had the chance to snap any pictures. So, I guess these are better than nothing:

I could not believe how well the kids handled the 5 hour drive to Oregon. We packed a lunch to eat in the car with a few snacks and treats along the way, the boys watched a few movies, and even took a little nap. I had been dreading the drive, expecting the kids to whine and complain the entire way, but they were great and it actually felt like a treat to have some adult conversation with Aaron while the boys enjoyed the drive.

A list of things I did NOT get on camera:
- I got to read a whole book--in peace! without interruptions!
- We took a picnic outdoors
- We went swimming--Hank even allowed me to let go of him and he figured out how to doggie paddle
- We went on a date with Adam and Brittany while Nana and Papa played with the boys
- Haircuts across the board!
- We played at a couple parks
- We fed the ducks
- We hung out at the ward summer party
- During some girl time with my mom and Brittany I remembered why I was never very good at ceramics:)
- We watched a movie and let the boys stay up way past bed time every night
- The boys golfed
- We laughed until it hurt playing Balderdash
- We ate. I never get tired on Mom's cooking.
- We got to attend church together and be there when my Dad was set apart as a bishop
Tell me he doesn't look like a little missionary with that spiffy new haircut?
We checked out the fish ladder and watched all of the salmon swimming upstream.

Aaron took the boys to this fun park while I had a little girl time with my Mom and Brittany.

We were sad when it was time to go home. We had bunched of fun and wished we could stay and play longer. It didn't help that the ride home was a bit more arduous with heavy traffic and squirmy boys.

Thanks for the good time, Nana and Papa Z! We love you bunches! xoxo, the Grovers

#26 Wildlife Safari

While we were at Nana and Papa Z's house, we took a little mini-excursion to the Wildlife Safari. We piled into the van and drove around the safari grounds, spotting various animals in their natural habitats, very up close and personal.

It was fun to play "I-spy" and try and find each of the animals as we travelled through their environments. I loved the kids' commentary. As we passed through the bear exhibit, Max said, "those bears have bum-bums!" Very true.

Max was sitting on my lap in the passenger seat when this ostrich came up to the car and tried to peck our window. Max said, "I don't like that duck!"

After touring the safari, we went into the village and visited the petting zoo, rode a little mini train, and brought a picnic lunch.

#9 Movie in the Park

A weekend or two ago, our little town was showing a family movie in the park, so we popped our popcorn, grabbed our blankets and camping chairs, and joined several other families from our ward for a fun outdoor movie night!

Ben snoozed through the movie and I loved spending the time snuggling with him under a cozy blanket (because, thats right, it was cold and drizzling on this awesome July night).

I don't know how much of the movie Hank watched--he spent most of the time wrestling with his buddies.
I didn't love the movie, but the atmosphere was great. It was so down home, in a good way, to just drive up to the local park, pull out a blanket, join several other families from church, and watch a family movie together. Good times!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ben's BFF

A lot of kids develop an attachment to a comfort object...some kids have binkies, some kids have blankies, some kids have teddy bears....and Ben has his shoe. Yep, a shoe. He plays with it, he chews on it (don't worry, I ran it through the washing machine), he holds onto the velcro straps with a death grip, and he sleeps with it. Why is it that of all of the shiny, flashy, musical, bright toys that we own, he chooses a shoe??

#18 Bonfire

Does this count? I don't know if I would call it a bonfire, but we had a ton of fun getting together with our good friends for FHE and roasting smores in the backyard on Monday night.

Thanks, Wortons! Let's do it again soon!

Practice, practice, practice

Top 5 Signs Your Son is a Future T-Ball M.V.P (as observed at Hank's first T-ball practice):

1. You have to repeatedly remind him to throw the ball "over-hand"
2. All t-ball action comes to a halt when your son announces the sound of a nearby train
3. During a drill to teach identification of the bases, the coach calls out, "first base!" All kids run to first base, only your kid runs straight to...second...base.
4. Your kid puts his glove over his face and asks, "hey, who turned out the lights?"
5. Rounding third base, your kid trips over his own feet and falls on his face, just shy of home plate.

M.V.P. or not, I'll always be your #1 fan, Hank.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pop! Bang! Boom!

In my many years of observing the 4th of July, I have never seen a fireworks display like the one put on by our own neighbors....unreal. Beginning in the early evening and going until well into the night time, our neighbors launched a firework extravaganza that left me in awe...of the beauty of the fireworks, the independence of our country, but mostly the amount of money these crazy neighbors of mine must have spent on their silly fireworks. I feel a little guilty that all we contributed to the fireworks festivities were a few packs of pop-its, a couple ground flowers, and a sparkler or two. Thank you, neighbors! God Bless America!

Go Jump in a Lake

After our hike, we met up with Nana and Papa Grover for a lovely afternoon of barbecuing, swimming, and relaxing at the lake. The picture just doesn't do it justice--it was gorgeous.

The water was freezing cold but Hank wasn't deterred--he splashed and paddled around the lake until his lips were blue and his teeth were chattering.

Land That I Love

In keeping with our 4th of July tradition, we took the boys for beautiful morning hike to explore and enjoy this land that we love.

For some reason Hank has become paranoid about stinging nettle and spent the entire hike pointing to anything green and growing and asking if it was stinging nettle. Is it mean that we found it very useful in keeping Hank from running off ahead by telling him that the growth along the trailside was actually stinging nettle?

Check out those muscles!

We had a lot of fun enjoying nature's playground--pointing out mysterious animal tracks along the trail, hunting for walking sticks (yelling at the boys to stop hitting each other with said walking sticks), poking slugs and keeping an eye out for spider webs, investigating every mound and hole in the dirt, and the boys genuinely concerned that we had gotten lost when our car was within clear sight.

#8 Camping in the Backyard

Over the weekend, Aaron set the tent up in the backyard and had a little backyard campout with the boys. Since we were one sleeping bag shy (darn it!), (and being the selfless mom that I am), I made the sacrifice to let the boys have all the fun sleeping outside in the cold with the dirt and bugs while I made do sleeping inside on my pillowtop mattress and 1200 threadcount sheets.

Ironically, it turns out that I got the short end of the deal since the boys slept like logs (I finally had to wake them up at 7:30!) and Ben decided he was awake and ready to party with me at 5:00am!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

#21 Saltwater State Park

Salt Water State Park is like a hands-on marine biology class with crabs lurking under rocks, clams, shells, and snails hiding in the tidepools, and geoducks squirting little geyers in the sand. I love it! Keeping it real, though, the boys were....well....wimps. They didn't like the sand in their shoes, they were nerveous about the crabs, and didn't care for all of the seaweed and barnicles. They thought the beach was great fun, as long as Dad was the one doing all of the crab hunting, we made sure to wash off their shoes, and they were carried over any puddles. really? Really?!!

Don't worry, no crabs were harmed in the photographing of this event....just tortured slightly before they were released.

The boys were much more comfortable with sand-castle building back on the beach and had a good time digging in the sand with Nana Grover.

Thats How We Roll


Last night Aaron and I decided to break out of our usual dinner-and-a-movie date night box, and went miniature golfing instead! It felt great to be outside, be together, and enjoy a little friendly competition.

Almost looks like Disneyland, right?  

 Guess who was the winner?