Saturday, September 19, 2009

July and August in Ontario

I know the summer is long gone, but I still have two posts I want to do so that I have them documented.

If you remember back the beginning of our summer vacation, we drove from Lubbock to the Grand Canyon, from the Grand Canyon to Utah, and from Utah to McCall. Then I was so busy having fun at my parents' house that I didn't post anything until my water broke and I was in the hospital. So here is a summary, mostly of photos (and there are lots of them), of the time I spent at my parents, both before and after Anna came.

Let's start with the Fourth of July celebration...

All the grandkids on the porch for dinner

My brother Spencer got us all addicted to Rock Band. By the end of the summer, all of the grandkids could sing ALL the words to "Eye of the Tiger" and "Living on a Prayer."

This video is great...check out Paul and Spencer getting into it, Myra and Natali focused at the mike, Val practicing guitar in the background, and Isaac clapping the beat by the drums.

All the grandkids (except Hattie was asleep) enjoying their treat from the treasure hunt

Fireworks of course

There weren't many scheduled activities while in Ontario, just a lot of down time. Four of my siblings live within 40 minutes of my parents, and my sister who lives in Iowa was also there for the whole month. It was wonderful to be constantly surrounded by family. After being in Lubbock for the last year, I had gotten used to being on my own without family support just a few minutes or hours away. At the beginning of my trip, I was afraid that we had scheduled too much time in Oregon and that by the end of the trip, I would have felt like we had overdosed on family time. But at the end of the 8 weeks there, I was extremely sad to leave. I have been blessed with such wonderful parents and great siblings. I find I miss being with them now more than ever. I miss the simple things: watching Laura's kids walk over to Grandma's house every morning for breakfast, Hattie having cousins to play with, my sisters to chat with as our kids play, having pick-up-parties with the kids while singing "Eye of the Tiger," all the kids asking for trips to Grandma's freezer, wandering around my parents' yard with a pool, trees, swing set, and chicken coop. It really was wonderful for Hattie, and for Paul and me.

Hattie enjoyed riding bikes every day

Spencer made root beer and explained the process of sublimation to the kids

Eating lunch with her other two-year old cousins Kate, Ansen, and Jonas

Spencer had never eaten fondue, so we had a party...yum.

Here Hattie is walking out to the tree house. That is where I remember spending my summers when I was a kid...we would play with our neighbor that we had ESP, explore the old abandoned houses, and jump across the ditch. I'm glad that old tree is still there.

My dad with his grandkids: Grace, Andrew, Hattie, Natali, and Myra

Hattie tries her hand at the drums with Dad before he leaves to go to Lubbock

My mom reading stories to Myra, Ansen, James, Grace, and Isaac

Laura's baby Owen. Hattie loves him. Even now this is her favorite picture to look at.

Hattie got her first hair cut...thanks Sharee!

And now it goes much curlier

Hattie and Sophie, who she calles "Ophie." They became best buds.

We had a sister in our ward take some family pictures for us.

I love this shot of Laura with her twins, Ansen and Jonas! It somehow captures a bit of what a feel about the, kids, and time together. I really loved watching Laura with her kids.

My crazy Patters

All 21 grandchildren with Grandma and Grandpa...check out Abby mid-air

The girls: Lisa, Me, Val, Sharee, Kerri, and Laura

All the siblings: Me, Lisa, Laura, Spencer, Val, Mark, and Sharee

Everyone in the family...except for Paul!

She learned to love the trampoline

But she mostly just runs or rolls around...Abby did most of the jumping

On the swing set, smiling at the chickens

A swing addict

We miss our cousins: Sophie, Paul, Andrew, Mack and Isaac

Ice cream with Kate and Claire

Hattie loved to feed the chickens. Every morning we would walk outside and she would want me to open the shed. She knew right where the feed was and would fill up the cup on her own.

Sand box with Jonas, Andrew, Grace and Sam

Spencer's 22nd birthday party. I can't believe my little brother is that old!

A visit from my friend Karli

We tried and tried to get a good picture of Anna before we left. This is the best one out of 20!

I am so grateful for a wonderful family...for siblings who care and parents who sacrifice. I am already looking forward to next summer. We love you and miss you!


Heather said...

Looks fantastic. I sure miss Lisa.

Laura Bernard said...

What great pictures! I love the one of Sophie and Hattie, and so so many others. Love the one of my Owen, too. That is at total Owen look.

I am still so thankful for this summer. Whenever will I ever get to spend that much time with you and any of your kids? I'm pretty sure the answer is never. I feel so blessed.

FYI, Anson is "ANSON" not "EN." Don't worry about going back and correcting it; I don't really care, but just FYI.

Jessie said...

Melanie, it certainly looks like you had a beautiful summer. Hattie looks so happy in all the pictures ... but Hattie is always happy … and very, very busy! :)
You are a very good mother!
I love all the pictures!

They reminded me of my family childhood vacations to Oxford, with chicken eggs to collect, new baby kittens in the barn filled with newly cut hay ... I still love that smell it conjures so many happy memories, watching my uncle milk the cows, and the pigs though they weren't my favorite ... they were always sort of scary to me as a child ... so much for the book "Charlotte's Web" smile!

Thanks for sharing! :)

Can’t wait for a good weekend for us to visit! :)

kerri said...

We miss you, too! We haven't seen the locals much since you & Laura left: the excuse that brought us all together so often! Thanks for sharing some great pictures.

Julianne said...

I know how you feel about living far away! Really enjoyed the pictures of your family.