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Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend

One of the wonderful things about finally living close to our family is that we get to spend holidays with them. All of us were together this Memorial Day weekend, and we had lots of fun together.
 On Saturday, Mom, Katy, and I took the kids to the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center just outside of Baker. Sarah's favorite part was seeing all of the animals.
I know touching the animals is frowned upon, but this should seriously be the cover photo for the Interpretive Center's next advertisement. She just loves the buffalo so much!
 One of the cool things about growing up in a town where your family has lived for over 150 years is that most of your family is buried in the local cemetery. I grew up visiting all of the family graves every Memorial Day and learning about the history of my ancestors. It is cool to be able to do that with my own family now.
 Sarah was paying her respects. Just kidding. She was playing with the fake butterfly in the flower arrangement.
 Monday, we all had some fun at the local park. Sarah has finally conquered her fear of swings as long as someone swings with her. Now we have created a swinging monster. She never wants to stop.
 Enjoying the Memorial Day concert in the park. I noticed that, along with Jeremy's family, were just about the only young people there, which made me feel pretty bad about my generation's level of respect for the meaning of this holiday. It was a great concert. Sarah loved dancing to the music.
 A little more swinging after the concert with Daddy, the cousins, and Uncle Jeremy (who Sarah has dubbed Prince Charming. We have no idea why.)
 We finished up our holiday with a barbecue and homemade ice cream with the family. The kids were all very helpful. Perhaps too helpful on the part of our two-year-olds. 
Enjoying the fruits of their labors. Root beer ice cream! Yum!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Living the Good Life at Grandma & Grandpa's House

Since we didn't have a chance to do any house hunting here in Idaho/Oregon before we moved from Virginia, it will take us a little while to get in to our own home. My parents have generous enough to take us in while we are homeless. Sarah has been in heaven living with her grandparents and having her cousins around almost every day. The first words out of her mouth almost every morning are "Where's Grandma?". Grandma and Grandpa's house is a great place to be.
 An art smock makes a perfect skirt to wear while cooking in the little kitchen.

We took the kids to see the koi at one of the local nurseries. Sarah got to touch one of the fish, which was pretty much one of the most exciting things ever.
Finally willing to lay down in the bath and get her ears wet. Now hair washing doesn't have to feel like World War III! Grandma does have the best bath toys. Maybe that inspired her to be brave.

 Sarah finally figured out how to pedal a tricycle-a big milestone in a kid's life.

 We were ambitious and took all of the kids to the park one day. Of course, it started hailing as soon as we got there. That park trip didn't last very long.
 Sarah and Levi enjoying a sink bath. This is why Grandma has to have a sink with two very deep sides.
 Tucked in together under Anne's special blanket. Cute cousins!
Sarah's sleeping since we left home has been a big challenge. We have had lots of very early mornings and difficult bedtimes. On this particular morning, Sarah had been up since about 4, and I was taking her for a walk around 6 to try to get her to sleep. I was tired and probably a little grumpy, but the view of the sunrise was perfect.
Helping Grandpa plant the garden.
Sarah was very "helpful". Her idea of planting the seeds was to bury the whole packages. She is very efficient.
 We had all of the kids for a few days while Jeremy and Amy were out of town. I got up to look for Sarah after I heard her get out of bed and found Grandma under a whole pile of grandkids. I'm pretty sure this is Grandma's favorite place to be.
 Grandma helping the two princesses be beautiful.
 Sarah was very excited when it got warm enough to get out the pool. Anne was a little concerned about the cold water, but Sarah dove right in.

 Playing "tuck-tuck" with Levi
 Learning the fine art of sneaking the scraps while Grandma is making one of her delicious cakes.
Popcorn-movie night: a regular occurrence here at the Hindman house.

This is only the beginning of many, many wonderful moments at Grandma & Grandpa's house. We are so grateful that we get to be here to make these memories!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

I was very excited to actually get to spend Mother's Day with my mom this year. I am blessed to have one of the best moms in the whole world, and I am always thrilled to have a day to celebrate her.
The day before Mother's Day, Kelson and my dad gave Mom and I a great present by taking Sarah for the whole day while Mom and I went to the Parade of Homes in Boise. I haven't had a day out with just my mom and I in years. We had so much fun!

 We had the whole family together for Mother's Day, so we tried to corral the gang for a picture. We almost got everyone looking at the camera. 
 We also had the blessing of having my Grandpa, Beverly, and her family with us for Mother's Day. It was a fun crowd.
We finished up our Mother's Day with a visit to my Grammy Hindman's grave. I have been so blessed with wonderful examples of motherhood in my life, and I am very grateful for the mothers watching out for me from both sides of the veil. I hope I can be as good a mother as they all are. 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Crossing the Country Day 6: Home at Last!

      Day 6 started with the best hotel breakfast of the whole trip and a monumental wind storm. The wind blew like crazy all night with speeds up to 70-80 miles per hour, and Ogden was a mess by that morning. Our car was rocking back and forth as we were driving down the road. It was a little scary.
      We escaped the wind and stopped in Jerome for church. The chapel was full, so we sat in the hall next to a man who had fallen asleep in his chair and was snoring louder than I have ever heard in my life. It was interesting.
 By the time we got to Boise, Sarah needed to get out and wiggle some more, so we made a quick stop and let her chase the birds around the rest stop. As soon as we left, Sarah fell asleep, and we had a peaceful 2 hour drive to finish our journey. 
Grandma's house at last! My mom had my birthday dinner waiting for me, complete with lasagna and chocolate cake. It took Sarah a few minutes to warm up to everyone, but by the end of the evening she was snuggling with her grandpa on the swing and playing in the playhouse with her cousins. As I watched Sarah spending time with her family and knowing that we wouldn't have to leave in a week or two, I was filled with so much gratitude for this opportunity we have been given. I was afraid that my children would never have the chance to be close to their extended family, and suddenly here we are. We are feeling very blessed right now.