Friday, July 11, 2008

The "Rio" and a splash-pad

For our last day with Ted's family, we went to Cafe Rio and a park/splash-pad out near Andrea's house. Joni loved it! I plan on taking her out there some more while we're living with mom and dad.

Ava, Kendall, Joni, and Abby having a little girls' time at Cafe Rio. For those of you who may not know, Cafe Rio is my all-time favorite place in the entire universe to eat. I pretty much hate the idea of not being able to get it while in Israel. Tom's boss's wife (who has lived in Jerusalem herself) handed Tom 20 bucks the other day and said, "You take your wife to Cafe Rio before you go. Trust me, you'll regret it if you don't." We don't mind following orders. :)

Tanner with Daniel and Jackson at the splash-pad.

Joni running around, looking adorable in her little swimsuit.

This picture is for Aunt Megan. She wanted to see a picture of Jackson's teeth. He now has three, with about five more bulging underneath his gums.
(Meg-click on it to see the "teefies" up close)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Heritage Park and Gateway

Tom has been home all week because of work, while I've been partying with the fam. Poor Tom. He chuckles when I tell him each day what we're doing. He says, "You know, you guys are taking what your family would normally do in an entire year, and cramming it all into one week while Ted is here." He's right, and it's been fun!

Today we went to Heritage Park (This is the place monument) in Salt Lake. Aside from the monument itself, it has a huge pioneer village. It would take days to really see everything, so we had to pick and choose.

The two Joni's

Joni riding her first horse. It was so stinkin' cute! Daddy would have been proud!

There was a little train that went around a pond. All the little kids loved it. Tanner could sense that I was a little worn out from not having Tom's help, so he kept offering to help out. He took Jackson on the train, and he seemed to enjoy it (minus the tunnel). As they were pulling away, Chelsey pointed out how funny it looked from behind - all these little kids riding away, with all 6'1" of Tanner...okay, maybe you had to be there, but it really was funny.

Above the "ZCMI store" there was a hat shop of pioneer hats. Tanner somehow managed to find a big bee hat that flapped its wings when you pulled the string. Not very pioneer-ish, but funny nonetheless.

While I was off rushing Joni to a nearby ladies' room, someone grabbed my camera and snapped a couple funny ones of Jackson in the hat shop. It relieves me to know that if he ever had to pull the look off of a trapper, he could do it - no prob.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Union Station

We had more fun today playing with Ted's family. We went to historic Union Station in Ogden. They've turned it into a very fun museum, with lots to do and see.

In front of an old caboose. From left to right: Paige, Joni, Chelsey, Lily, Grace, Hyrum, Seth, Malia, Daniel, Kendall, Ava, Adam, Jackson, Ethan, Gabe, and Abby.

The four girls: Abby (Kristin's), Kendall (Ted's), Joni, and Ava (Andrea's).

The boys: Ethan, Hyrum, Adam, Jackson, Seth, Tanner, Daniel, and Gabe.

Out by the fountain in front.

Joni and Abby

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fun week with family

Today was the beginning of a fun week with my oldest brother, Ted, and his family. They live in Portland, so I get pretty excited when they're in town. We ate up at BYU, then went to Bridal Veil Falls to let the kids walk around in the water, and hike up the falls. Peter and his family also came. It was so fun!

A butterfly landed on Tom just as we were leaving, and Joni was thrilled when it would sit on her finger.

Friday, July 4, 2008

4th of July

I love the 4th of July! It's my all-time favorite holiday. I love the parades, the flags everywhere, and the BBQ's. But most of all, I love that it's a chance to appreciate our great country. Pardon me as I feel a need to get on my soap-box here, but one of the hardest things for me has been to see people become so pessimistic and ungrateful for this land that we live in. I hate the media right now, because it has become such a breeding ground for negativity about our country. I wish there was more time and money put into reminding everyone of all that the country IS instead of what it ISN'T. This country is everything to me, and I am deeply grateful for all of those who have served, and are currently serving, this wonderful country we call America.

At least for today, I hope most of us have taken a moment to think about all we have here.

Joni, Abby, and Ava in the Plain City parade. I was in this same parade many times growing up.

The three girls in the backyard at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Stud-muffin, Ethan, barbecuing on the back porch. I love your view, Mom! I'm going to miss it while we're away.

Kristin, Becky, Mom, Andrea, and me on the couch.

Daniel eating dirt for lunch, and Jackson enjoying his cereal just minutes before he threw a complete fit during fireworks. Poor guy - he was terrified! (These are small pics but you can click on them to see them bigger)

The 4th this year felt differently than it ever has before. Knowing that we will be in a different country soon has helped me to start looking at things with a new perspective. Tom and I watched a documentary yesterday about the conflicts over in Israel. It was heart-wrenching to see people talk about losing loved ones in senseless acts of violence. One gentleman, an Israeli, had lost his daughter from a suicide bomber in Tel Aviv. Another gentleman, a Palestinian, had a daughter that died while riding in the car with him one day - an Israeli soldier thought he recognized their car as one that belonged to a wanted Arab, so he opened fire on this man's entire family, killing their 12 year old daughter. There were many other stories like these, and it completely broke my heart. I can see where both sides are coming from, but the violence that occurs over there is so unnecessary. It really helps me see how dramatically different the US is from many other parts of the world. I hope it's safe to assume that living over in the Middle East for a couple of years will only deepen my gratitude for the relative peace and safety we experience here on a day to day basis.

Happy 4th of July everybody...enjoy your independence, peace, and safety.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another one for the books

You've got to love 3 year olds! Last night was Mommy-Jojo Night. We went out, just the two of us, to McDonald's for dinner, then to a couple of stores to go shopping. While in Shopko, we were walking around looking at baby items, when Joni's shoe made a little "toot" noise on the floor. The following conversation ensued:

Joni: What was that?!? (speaking rather loudly)

Me: What was what?

Joni: Did you TOOT?!?

Me: No, did you? (trying to get her to say it was her shoe)

Joni: (yelling out of excitement now) No, YOU tooted, mom!

Me: No, actually, it was your shoe .

Joni: You're silly mom! Shoes don't toot! They don't have bum-bums!!!