Sunday, September 27, 2009

Diabetes Walk

We had a great Saturday. The worst thing that happened was that I walked out the door without the camera. Darn. I had been a busy morning getting the house in order for a showing and everyone out the door on time. At least the camera was the only thing I forgot.

Chad signed us up for the Diabetes Walk in Salt Lake. It was held at This Is the Place Heritage Park. We'd never actually gone into the park and we discovered how fantastic it was. The walk itself ended up being a self-guided tour throughout the village. The kids enjoyed it all. We walked through several homes that had been moved from other areas of Utah and were placed in the park. One home was a tiny one-room home with one double bed. This housed a man, his two wives, and their 10 children. Actually, the first wife had no children, so she elected to have a small lean-to built outside of the home for her to sleep in so the second wife could be indoors with her children. The 3 girls slept on the floor and the 7 boys were in the tight loft. During warmer weather, the kids would all sleep outside.

I walked through there wondering how they all managed to cook their meals and eat in that one house. It made me realize the luxuries we enjoy today. There was never an end to work. No vacations. If you weren't cooking, you were spinning your own wool, cleaning and dying it. You were washing clothes. Doing work in the garden. Sewing clothes. Repairing all sorts of things. It was amazing.

One home we went into had belonged to the Draper family, an ancestor of Chad's.

Up the road were tee pees and mud huts of the Shoshone and Navajo tribes, respectively. Apparently, the park has tried to get other indian tribes to have displays, but there are conflicts between tribes over land and whatnot. So those 2 tribes were the only ones represented. Interesting.

The kids took a sweet little train ride around a lake up against a spectacular view of the Salt Lake Valley. I really wished I'd brought my camera!

After the Village, we headed over to the zoo. Ella was dead-set on seeing a tortoise, for some reason. We kept hearing about it for 45 minutes until we came upon him. Then she was satisfied. Well, until she saw the carousel. Then she pestered us until we did that. Micah wanted to see the penguins. We reminded everyone of the time we brought Colin to see those penguins as a toddler and he threw his blue fishing hat into the water and it had to be fished out. We got to see the new baby elephant. So sweet, there with his mother. There was also a baby giraffe, just as adorable. And a baby croc of some sort. Sweet!

We were totally pooped by the time we left the zoo, dragging ourselves to the car, parked too far away. Stopped to eat at Wendy's. I got taken by a couple of scammers. Addicts, I'm sure. I hate to even recount the situation because I've tried to forget how gullible I was. I overheard (or was meant to overhear ) a man who was in dire straights with his wife's wallet lost, their little girl in Primary Children's, and not enough money for a motel. So I helped them out. Afterward, Chad told me he was surprised I did that because he thought they were scamming. Going over the details again, I realized some of them didn't match up and contradicted each other. I felt sick. Not that I'd lost the money, but that I was taken like that. If I'm going to help someone, I don't want to have to worry about whether they're genuine or not. It just made me sick.

But the evening ended nicely. Chad dropped me off to meet up with some ladies at the Conference Center for the Relief Society General Conference broadcast. We enjoyed ourselves and went out to eat and visit afterward. A lovely end to the day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ella's Non-First Day

Ella actually started preschool a week ago, but she refused to let me take a picture of her that day. I begged, but was denied. She also requested that I please drop her off straight from the car and not walk her up to school. That's my determined girl, right there!
You can see easily in this photo how drastic Mira's haircut is. But it's a cute one of the girls together.
Ella kept giving me these tight-lipped smiles that didn't look at all natural. I finally got some teeth, albeit a little forced.
She just loves wearing dresses from the moment she wakes up until bedtime--and perhaps more than one dress a day. I've had to put a kibosh on certain dresses that are holey and well-loved. But she looks darling in this getup. My favorite part of the outfit are the socks!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Our Little Do-It-Yourselfer

I guess I wasn't getting through raising children scott-free. I thought myself one of those lucky few whose children hadn't butchered their own hair. Mira showed me otherwise. Friday I was out mowing and doing yardwork (getting ready for a showing the next day). I hadn't seen or heard from her in a little while. Every time one of the kids would come running outside I'd ask if they'd seen her. Nope. I kept getting that nagging feeling that I really should go check on her. But I wanted to finish what I'd started and thought the worst that could be happening was Mira was getting into the pantry and there were crunched crackers all over.

Well, I run into the house as soon as I'm finished outside and the first thing that tips me off is the horrific sight of a long clump of blond hair on the couch. Then I see a few more clumps on the couch. I call out, "Mira!!!! Come here!" hoping to stop whatever damage might be in progress. I notice more chunks of hair on the living room floor, down the hall. Mira comes out to meet me and I see what I'd been dreading. I couldn't even be mad. All I said was, "Mira, what did you do to your hair?" I was sooo sad! She just started crying and I held her. When she finally settled down she asked, "You happy Mom?" I replied, "No, I'm not happy. I'm really sad because you cut your hair off." We both went down the hall, following the trail of hair and ended up in my bathroom, where the hair scissors were (along with yet more hair!).

I immediately called the hair salon we go to and made an emergency appointment. The hairdresser, bless her heart, did the best she could with what she had to work with. So Mira got a nice short a-lined bob which happens to have bangs cut to the scalp in the front.

I know, I know, I should've got pictures of the scene I discovered as I found it. I thought about it, but was honestly too traumatized to do it. Mira is definitely aware that she did something to her hair that draws attention. Whenever people start to talk about it in front of her, she looks at me and scoots really close to be comforted. Poor thing. Well, there's more to love of her than just her hair.
Here's a shot where you might be able to see the bangs (or what's left of them).
And the short front plus the right side of her head she whacked.
Now this side of her head looks quite scraggly and thin since there's only a top layer of hair covering her head (I've pulled up that layer so you can see the sections that she cut).

But, still pleased as punch with herself as you can see!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day

Yesterday we went up to North Fork for a nice little hike. The first place we found had a small waterfall, which the kids just thought was the greatest thing ever. They didn't seem to care if we never went anywhere else. There were lots of rocks to climb over and areas to explore. I'm really noticing the boys' ability to do more now. I'm fine with them climbing all around. The girls just wish they could do as much.
I've given up on trying to figure out how to upload pictures in order. So the picture below is after the hike. We went to Pineview Reservoir and attempted fishing. No luck. But the kids each had a turn trying their hand at casting and they all had a blast exploring the lake, rocks, and a tunnel.
Back to the waterfall, here are the boys (homeboy Colin).
Even Ella could do a little rock climbing, and she felt quite proud of herself!
Micah inspecting the moss and calling over his siblings.
There's our big girl!
How cute can they be?
We brought along Chad binoculars and we all really enjoyed using them.
It was a gorgeous day, perfect for a hike. What a beautiful area in which to hike, too!
You may have noticed Mira Catherine's short hair. Now she's kinda 'matchy-matchy' with Ella. Ella's is a little more A-lined, but we're growing out Mira's bangs, too. They're all dolled up for church and look adorable.
I had to snap a shot of this. Colin brought out a few books and invited the girls to sit beside him so he might read to them. What a brother! He has been so wonderful, doing things like this. One morning a couple of days ago, he went into Mira's room right after she'd awakened and read her several books while she sat in her crib. Yesterday I asked if he could help Micah with his piano, which he gladly did. I am so impressed with his ability and willingness to help his siblings. He is a big help to me. It's just wonderful!!
Mira cheesing it for the camera!
She insisted I get a shot of the back of her hair (like I did for Ella when she had her new haircut).