Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's been a busy couple of weeks.
Here is an overview of what's been going on around here
(I only have a few minutes)

We've been doing some of this-

A week and a half ago (Sept. 13) we put sod in our backyard.
Thanks go to the twelve or so "extras" that appeared to help us.

I've been doing A LOT of this-

Seventy quarts of golden deliciousness, plus enough peaches in the freezer for about 50 or so pints of peach jam. Yum-O!

We've been doing some of this-

Aaron turned three years old on September 21.
(Happy Birthday to Aunt Sara on that day, too!)
That was the last day of doing peaches so of course the birthday dessert was a peach cobbler.

Josh has been doing a book report. He read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

His book report had to be a diorama so he made a Quidditch Game.

I don't know if you can tell from the picture, but he made little guys on brooms flying around. They were all made from those little twist ties you get with garbage bags sometimes. He twisted them into little people shapes and painted the heads and arms and legs then made them little robes to wear. It was very clever. (If you click on the picture you can see a larger image to see the guys better.)

The reason I only have a few minutes to post today is because my Grandma Ballard died last night. She was born October 9, 1915. She would have been 93 years old in a couple of weeks.
She hasn't been doing well for a long time. She fell the first week in April and broke her hip. She has been in a nursing home ever since. My Grandpa has been living in an assisted living center and going back and forth to be with Grandma everyday. The situation has been hard for them both. Grandma had a hard time remembering things and was in a lot of pain. It is a good thing that she died, but we will all miss her very much. I wish I could have visited them more often over the years, but it just wasn't possible. I am probably leaving tomorrow (Thursday) to go up to Oregon for her funeral on Saturday and will return on Monday. I need to go and make arrangements for the trip and to figure out what to do with my kids while Mike has to work. I hope it all works out. I'll try to post again around the middle of next week.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

On Saturday, September 6, we had the opportunity to attend the baptisms of Mike's nephews, David and Nathan.

Here's their family. I'm pretty sure that left to right it's
David, Keri, Cameron, Shane, then Nathan.
(I'm sure about who they all are, but I may have switched David and Nathan, but I don't think so.)
Anyway, it was the neatest baptismal service I have ever been to. It was their ward baptism, but they were the only ones, so it was just friends and family. Nathan was first. He went right down. The water came to about the middle of his thighs, so it wasn't very deep. His feet came up so he had to be rebaptized. After he was done it was David's turn. David is very afraid of the water. For the past year, at least, they have been talking about baptism and what will happen when you get baptized. When it was David's turn, he had a really hard time overcoming his fear. He cried and cried. He really wanted to be baptized, but he was almost paralyzed with fear over going under water. Finally, he went down on the first step, holding to the railing the whole time. Then the next step. Then the next step. Finally he was standing there next to his Dad. Shane said the prayer, but David couldn't make his legs bend. After a few minutes, Shane said that they would have to try again another time. David said "no" that he wanted to be baptized and could they try again. They finally got some swimming goggles for him to wear and he overcame his fear. I know he will be blessed for giving up his fear and trusting in God so that he could be a member of the Church. Unfortunately, his head didn't go all the way under before his feet came up so he needed to be baptized again. He said he could do it, and he did. It was so neat, and the Spirit was so strong as these boys became members of the Church. We almost decided to not go because we have a lot to do in the yard (we are getting sod for the backyard on Saturday), but we went anyway. I am so glad we did.

Here is a photo of all the grandkids on this side of the family, except Emma. She had just left with Grandma and Grandpa to ride with them to Keri and Shane's house.

Here's a cute picture of my oldest and youngest boys.

While we were down in Utah County, we decided that we needed to stop and see Grandma Kathryn. She just turned 91 a few weeks ago. It has been a couple of years since we have been able to see her, and I'm sure that our chances of spending time with her are few from now on. She enjoyed having us there and meeting Andrew.

Here's a picture of Emma with her namesake.

Mike with his Grandma

She has been such an example to us! I often think of her on days when I would like to sell my kids and wonder how she did it with ten kids. I know that times were different then. She didn't have to battle the video game or the television and things like that, but I'm sure there were things then to tempt her kids and take them away from the things that they were supposed to be doing and learning. We will always love her, and we miss being able to see her and Carolyn more often.

Moving on to other subjects-

Here are some cute pictures of my little guys. Aaron likes to lay on his tummy next to Aaron and play with him and have a talk. I think it's pretty cute!

Kimi was assigned to do a "shapely book report". It is due tomorrow. She was supposed to pick a book on her reading level and make a book report that was in the shape of a major element in the book. She chose to read "The Bridge to Terabithia" by Katherine Paterson. When she was trying to think of how to do the shape, she said,"too bad I can't make it 3-D." I said, "why can't you?" and she said, "yeah, why can't I?" so she did. This is a picture of her finished bridge.

She came up with the idea, and I only helped with figuring out how to make it work. I also punched out the flowers with one of my punches. She did the rest. She also has to attach a summary of the book and a few pictures that she has drawn of some of the things that happen in the book. She has worked really hard on this project for about month, and I am proud of her for her determination to make it a really cool book report.

I took 247 pictures in the month of August, not counting the ones I deleted.
Here are a few of my favorites-

I guess I didn't really take this one. I can't remember who did.

My cute baby!
Little Miss Emma, the fashion model

Sara and Isaac

Angel Baby

Spence and Emma

Emma at the Family Reunion

(Grandma thought kazoos were a good idea. Maybe if they were presented toward the end of the weekend, but they were handed out the first day. Let me tell you, you haven't lived until you've heard the theme song from Indiana Jones played on the kazoo by six young boys one million times in two days. It was fantastic. I'll never hear that song the same way again in my life.)