Thursday, October 30, 2008

Arizona State Fair

A couple of Fridays ago, we went to the AZ State Fair with our friends the Reese's. We had a lot of fun showing the kids the animals and exhibits.
We love "Uncle Kunkle's," an exhibit that is filled with all sorts of fun farm-themed things for kids to do. They loved the buckin' bronco and milking the cow.

Another favorite was riding the elephant. I thought it was pretty cool, and fun to touch the elephant's tough skin and extremely course hair. Our ride lasted a little longer than the usual, because our elephant stopped to use the bathroom. Let me tell you, it was so stinky! We all thought it was pretty funny.

Sareny's absolute favorite is the ginormous slide. She went down once with me, and then we went to a slightly smaller slide that Isaac was tall enough to ride, and he rode with Daddy. Sareny had to go down by herself. She was crying the whole way down, even though Keith went down at the same time and held her hand. Isaac loved it though!

We also saw a grizzly bear show and enjoyed some classic funnel cake before heading home. Can't wait til next year!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A sweet baby girl

I haven't posted many photos of little Finley Lynn lately, so I thought I would delight you all with these beauties. She has the cutest little grin and smiles like crazy at the slightest bit of encouragement. We call her smiley.

Isaac is such a cute big brother. He rushed over to give his sissy a hug and even smiled at the camera!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Returning home

We left Spokane to make the long journey back to Phoenix a little after 6 in the morning on a Monday. While driving through Montana, we saw some beautiful fields of snow. We stopped at a rest area to "rest" and it was freezing! I was wearing flip-flops and had no jacket, since I had forgotten to pack one for myself. The kids enjoyed it for about 30 seconds, then wanted to get back into the warm van.

We stopped in at Scipio Utah to see my Grandma and Grandpa Q. This was the first time they got to see Finley, so we visited for a while and enjoyed a yummy dinner made by Grandma, before heading back out for the open road.

We made it all the way to Overton, Nevada in the same day, getting there just after midnight. (18 hours after leaving, if you're counting!)
The next morning, we met my mom up at the high school where she and my dad work, for a trip to the school farm to pick out some pumpkins and lunch with my dad. It was lots of fun, even though it was a short visit.

Isaac was carrying his pumpkin about to drop it and saying, "heady." (rhymes with heavy.) It was pretty cute. Anyway, we made it home safe and sound after being gone for 12 days and traveling somewhere around 3000 miles. We had the best trip ever, and were fortunate enough to see lots of family, including all our grandparents and great-grandparents along the way.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Adventures in Spokane

We had such a great time in Spokane earlier this month. We hadn't been up to visit in three years, so it was really nice to visit with family. On Monday the 7th, Keith's mom Nancy invited all the relatives that live in the Spokane area to come up for dinner. We got to see everybody at once! Some people, like Keith's cousin Kylea, had grown up so much since we saw them that I barely recognized them. Anyway, thanks to all the family who came out to see us while we were there!

Most of our time was spent playing games. If you know us very well, then you know that we are game people.
Keith and his dad managed to squeeze in a few games of horseshoes.
This is the only photo I had of Kylea, and obviously Isaac doesn't look so good. But she was such a sweetie and so much fun I had to put her picture on here. She stayed up late with us playing games most nights (I won't tell you how late!), and she loved to hold Finley--she was a big help! Seriously, we would be playing a game and either Keith or I would be holding a crying baby, and Kylea, who was also playing the game, would offer to hold her. So nice!
We played games with lots of family that stopped in to visit-- Tico, Kylea, Robert, Duane, Angela, Holly, Derik, Marla, Richard, Marcie, Glen, Nancy, Gehrig--did I forget anyone? We planned our trip to coincide with Noel and Jewell's visit from Payson, Utah, and it was so great to see Sareny, Katlyn, and Isaac running around together. The kids were outside pretty much all day long, even after dinner when it was dark and really cold (not Arizona cold, I mean really cold) they would try to sneak back outside. Keith's parent's live on a farm in the country, and for the most part, the kids could just run wild outside with their parent's checking on them every so often. What a difference from Phoenix! One of the biggest attractions of the outdoors was the kittens. Katlyn picked out the orange kitty as her favorite, and Sareny was happy with any she could catch.

N0te the way the tail is pointing...

We also had fun wandering around the farm picking blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, plums, and vegetables. The kids also had fun gathering eggs and feeding the goats and emu's.
The evening before a big frost, we went out to harvest as much as we could. I had Finley snug in her sling and was picking blackberries and raspberries until it was too dark to see. I was absolutely loving the cold weather--I just don't like snow and all of the scraping and slipping that comes with it.

The Fallstroms live in an area called Greenbluff, which has a lot of farms. I love visiting in October, becaure they all celebrate Octoberfest. We spent one day driving around and visiting a couple of the different farms. My favorite was the one that featured a large sandbox filled with dried peas instead of sand. The kids had a blast playing in the peas. While taking pictures of them playing, I quickly discovered that peas roll. I'm sure I looked pretty silly.

One day Grandma Nancy made sugar cookies with her grandkids. The only one she gets to see regularly is Jese, (as Sareny likes to point out, "her's a boy." She had never met him before, so before our visit, I had to correct her a couple of times.) so she wanted to spend as much time with them as possible. And speaking of Jese, he is just a couple of months younger than Sareny and this was the first time we got to meet him or his dad Derik. Evidence that we don't get up there nearly enough. We really liked Derik and had fun playing games with him and Holly, Keith's sister and Derik's wife.

It was really sad to come home after having so much fun with family that we so rarely get to see. I think we all gained a few pounds from the yummy food and homemade peach and apple pies we ate. I think the drive home deserves a post of its own, so more on that later.

Friday, October 17, 2008


Okay, so my cousin Gina tagged me while I was on vacation, so this is the earliest I have been able to do it. First I have to post the 4th picture from my 4th folder, so here it is:

This was taken on Mother's Day and shows Sareny modeling the baby sling I made for her. Also featured is my pregnant tummy.

So now I'm supposed to list 6 quirky things about myself, and I don't know if I can come up with that many...I seem pretty ordinary to myself.

1. I am picky about which M&M colors I will eat. My favorites are the brown ones, and blue are also pretty good. Third choice would be yellow. I will eat the green ones, but if all that is left are the red and orange ones, I will leave them in the bowl. I've tried a couple of blind taste tests and so far passed. I only recently realized that most people just reach randomly in and eat whichever one they pull out.
2. Ever since Sareny was born, I have sewn my kids' Halloween costumes. This year, realizing I was short on time, I bought Sareny a costume. However, something in me just won't let her wear that cheap rag, so I am sewing her a costume anyway. Keep in mind this is neither cheaper nor easier.
3. This is kind of yucky and embarrassing, but I sleep with (as Keith puts it) "a nasty old teddy bear." I have had this ragged thing since high school, and it is just more comfortable to sleep with it. I'm not particularly attached to it, but I do sleep with it every single night. I will get out of bed to find it if I have to. I have hinted that I would accept a nice squishy pillow as a substitute, though.
4. Several years ago, I did Nanowrimo--which means national novel writing month. You're supposed to complete an entire novel in the month of November. I did cheat a little though, since my novel was a Trixie Belden fan fiction. I'm the only one who has read this little gem.
5. I have a strong preference to eat with the salad fork and the small spoon. I have even been known to wash a small spoon or fork by hand if they are all dirty.
6. I have eaten Honey Bunches of Oats with Almonds for breakfast every day for many years now. (Except for brief periods during pregnancy.) Somewhere along the line I realized that I liked the last bite of cereal in my bowl the best, and the last bite from the very tail end of the box was the very best. So I have started crushing my cereal into little pieces and I let it sit a couple of minutes after I pour the milk to accomplish this effect with every bite. Yum!
So that's a little about me--I know, pretty normal, right? If you would like to do this post, then I tag you. It was actually pretty fun, although it definitely helps to have your husband or maybe a friend or roommate remind you of the quirky things you do. I will also tag Amy, Amy, Lexi, Vicki, Misty, and Shauntel. Have fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My Grandma turns 80

Were ba-ack! We've been on vacation for the past 12 days, which is the longest I can remember being gone in a long time. We spent time in Nevada, Utah, and Washington, and we did the whole vacation by mini-van with three little kids. Fortunately, everybody was really good and we would even consider doing it again in the future.

The first exciting thing that happened on our trip was a stop in Fillmore, Utah for my grandma's 80th birthday party. This party was the whole reason our trip turned into a driving adventure instead of a plane trip--it was important for us to make it to this event, and since Fillmore is almost half-way to Spokane, we decided to combine the trips into one.

I haven't seen many of my relatives on that side of the family for a couple of years, and it was so fun to see everyone. All of my aunts and uncles and most cousins made it in for the occasion. I really enjoyed just catching up with people and would have loved to have spent several more hours with all of them.

I decided to list some special things about my grandma:

She always had Marigolds planted in a neat row lining her driveway and porch. I can never see a Marigold and not think of grandma and smile.
She loved camping, and as a kid I always looked forward to our yearly trip to Big John's Flat up Beaver mountain. She taught us how to play Rummy, and had to re-teach us every year.
They always had a big garden and I loved to go out and pull up a carrot to eat. I also learned to love rhubarb from her garden.
Their pasture always had sheep and lambs in it. Do you know the song, "Rock-a-bye, don't you cry; we will go to grammie's. Up the hill, behind the mill, to see the little lambies." I was lucky enough that my grandma's house really did have lambies.
Their front yard had a big tree with the best tire swing in the world.
They loved watching their grandchildren play sports, and they made it to at least one game each sports season. This really meant a lot to us.

I grew up living several hours from my grandparents, and going to visit them was the most exciting thing in the world! My grandpa died a year before Sareny was born and I am sad that my children didn't have the chance to know him, but they know my dad, his son, and so they have some of him. Grandma came by herself with my parents to Phoenix when Sareny turned one, and we had a lot of fun showing her some of the sights, including Tombstone and Nogales. I am glad that she has always enjoyed traveling.

Grandma got remarried a couple of years ago, and while we all still miss grandpa, it is nice to see her so happy. We love you grandma!