Saturday, July 31, 2010

Family Reunion Photos

So, I got our beautiful family reunion photos from Jessica today.  I am in love with the expressions on Ellie's face!  I am so lucky to be a part of this large and good-natured and loving family.

Friday, July 30, 2010

"The Fourth Nephite"

I just finished an interesting book, The Fourth Nephite by Jeffrey S. Savage.  It reminded me of the Tennis Shoes series, in that there is time travel involved and a teenage protagonist. 

Kaleo Steele is a high school football player who gets busted by his seminary teacher holding a beer.  In return for not telling his parents, the seminary teacher sends Kaleo to talk to his friend Ladan.

Ladan, one of the 3 Nephites (although Kaleo does not know this), sends Kaleo back to Joseph Smith's day.  Kaleo has to decide for himself whether Joseph Smith was telling the truth or was a charlatan.

I enjoyed the story, which moved along at a good pace, and the quality of the writing, which included a lot of humorous moments.  The book is not "preachy" and I found myself just wondering when Kaleo would figure things out.  The only problem I had with the book was trying to figure out how to pronounce "Ladan."  Does it rhyme with Laman and Laban?  Is it a silly Utah name (think LaVell) and it is Lah-Dan?  Is it like Aladdin?  I stumbled over the name for a few pages and then just decided it rhymed with Laman.

The book comes out at the end of August, and I think it is worth reading.  Savage leaves it open for sequels, and I am excited to read them in the future!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Landscaping

There have been a few busy workers at our house for the past couple of days (thanks for the referral, Tanya and Dave), and our landscaping now looks awesome

Big projects = removing the red rocks, putting down weed cloth, and replacing the rocks; pruning the raspberries and digging out all of the migrated grass; general clean-up/weeding of the backyard; installing sprayers in the garden boxes (gardening will be much more fun now that I do not have to remember to water every day); creating a walking path on the side of the house and prepping an area for lilacs and strawberries.  This is a huge project that we have been putting off, and now it is DONE! 

Still on the to-do list = finishing off the top of the fountain with more rocks, and some decorative planting in the rock wall.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Holiday Weekend

Greg had Friday off in honor of the 24th of July.  Thank you, pioneers.  He started the day by getting up at 4 to go golfing with Tammy, Uncle Glenn, and Joe.  Ellie ate at 4:30 and then slept in until 9:30 (which means I did, too).  When Greg got home, we ate lunch and all took an afternoon nap before packing up and heading into the mountains.

We went to meet Greg's parents and Dan in a campground in Woodland.  It was 20 degrees cooler and wonderful!  We set up our tent right next to the RV, and had a nice dinner.  Tanya and Dave were also there, and Andrew is so cute with Ellie.  He says her name so cute: it sounds like Eh-yee.  They kept on stealing toys from each other...  After taking getting a shower in the RV, Ellie was ready for bed and snuggled with Grandma.
Greg put Ellie down for the night and stayed in the tent to make sure she fell asleep.  After about 20 minutes, he came back in the RV and we all stayed up late talking.  Ellie woke up when we went in to the tent (dang those zippers!), but feel back asleep fairly quickly.  Then she woke up, totally disoriented, about 1:15.  I pulled her out of her crib, and she was cold, so I got her covered up and rocked her for a minute.  Then I just laid down and put her under the covers with us.  Ellie went right back to sleep, and I didn't sleep hardly at all - I was too worried about rolling on her.  Ellie loves to sleep right next to the edge of her crib, and she substituted me for the crib.  She kept on pushing into me, and rolling over and snuggling in.  It was pretty sweet.

About 4 a.m., Greg turned on the heater again and let the tent get toasty warm.  Then he tried to put Ellie back in her crib.  She woke up - but after feeding her, she laid right down and went back to sleep.  We left the heater running and all fell asleep (finally!). 

E woke up about 8:30, which was good timing because Mom and Dad had breakfast almost ready.  After eating and getting changed, it was time to load up the truck and head to Jordenelle Reservoir.  Greg got Ellie in her swimsuit, and then we tried on her life jacket to make sure it fit.
Once we were on the water, Dad drove right over to a little arm of the reservoir, and we got out to do a little swimming.  Ellie has loved it every time we have gone to the pool, so we were hoping she would love the lake.  She did pretty well for a minute, and then I think she just got cold, so we pulled her out.
Then it was time for the tubing adventures to begin!  Greg and Dan both had spectacular falls as Dad whipped them around a corner.  (And don't worry - Ellie was not on the tube while it was being pulled - just when the boat was floating and the tube was tied tightly.)
While some more swimming was commencing, Greg was eating a snack, and got Ellie to eat fish crackers with him.  One more food for her repertoire!
Then came the funniest part of the day.  I was giving Ellie sips from a water bottle, and all of a sudden Greg went, "whoa!  Ellie just peed on me."  

I guess her swim diaper was already full, and the rest had to go somewhere...
After a quick change, we headed back to the boat dock.  Mom drove so gently that Ellie fell asleep.
Thanks to Mom and Dad for letting us join them for the night!  It was a great camping adventure.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Peas

Ellie tried peas tonight for the first time (real, whole peas that is).  She quickly put about 5 in her mouth, and then promptly spit them all out.  

We will keep trying....

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baby Doll

I pulled out a baby doll that I had in the closet, and Ellie is fascinated by it.  It talks and cries and laughs and its eyelids open and close.  Ellie does not like it when it cries; she will get this worried look on her face and doesn't quite know what to do about it.  E especially loves to "feed" it because the doll makes sucking noises.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Signing "Eat"

Ellie has started signing more and more, and it is so fun to communicate with her.  She regularly tells me "milk" and "bath," and has started signing "milk" AND "bath" when she wants to take a nap or go to bed.  Ellie also does "eat" and "more" and "please" on a daily basis.  I caught her on camera this morning signing "eat."
P.S. Check out Ellie's curls!  As her hair gets longer, it gets curlier and curlier.  I am so excited about that.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Catching Up

After the family reunion, Pops, Nana, and Nana's granddaughter Calisto came and stayed with us.  We had a couple of relaxing days, hanging around and playing together.  Cali is such a good girl and was so nice to Ellie.  They played together a lot, and wherever Cali went, Ellie was sure to follow.
Thursday night we hosted a dinner, and Amy, Jon, Teri, Gwen, Amber, Bobi, Lyssa, and Adam came.  Ellie was so tired, but Greg wanted to play with her, so he kept her up for a while.  She kept on crawling over to him, putting her head down on him and resting for a minute, before playing some more.
Friday morning, Dad, Pat, and Cali left to go back to Minnesota.  Ellie and I had withdrawals for a while, but after E had a fantastic nap, we headed out to visit Tanya, Andrew, and Emily.  Ellie did better this time and did not seem as jealous.  Andrew was really nice and played well with Ellie, sharing his toys, and teaching her how to climb the stairs.  Ellie went up and down a few times - it was really exciting!
Saturday was Greg's birthday, and we had a few people over for dinner.  Kelly & Leesa and Merrill & Joanna are hilarious and really fed off of each other.  And Tammy just kept it real for us all.
Tonight Ellie and I headed out to Bobi's house for a farewell dinner to Amber (who is going back to her mom's after summer visitation, and then heading with her dance company to New York for a dance convention).  Amy had the great idea to try the grandkids picture again, and I think it turned out better this time.  Not as funny (because Ellie is not screaming), but better.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Squirrel

There are so many things I could and should be blogging about today, but I just want to share one thing.  Ellie crawled over to the door and stood up today (which she does regularly).  I had the camera handy and snapped a picture because she looked so cute.  And then I noticed that she and the pesky squirrel were having a staring contest...

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Emily Ann

Greg's sister Tanya gave birth to the 2nd most adorable baby in the world (Ellie is 1st, of course!) on Saturday at 3:09 a.m.  Emily Ann weighed in at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 18 inches long.  We were able to go and see Emily and Tanya on Monday night after we got back from the reunion.  We were just in time to see Tammy and Mom giving Emily her first bath at home!
I grabbed Emily right after her bath, and she is so light it did not feel like I was holding anything but a blanket!  It is hard to remember Ellie being that small.  Ellie got really jealous that Mama was holding another baby, even though Daddy was holding Elle.  We even tried an experiment - I handed Emily off to Grandma and took Ellie, and then Greg grabbed Emily.  Ellie freaked out again!  It was so funny and cute.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Camp Family Reunion - Days 2 & 3

Sunday morning dawned bright and clear.  Ellie was so happy to be fed and changed and to play in the tent.  She thought the slippery sleeping bags were hilarious.
After relaxing for a while and watching Ellie play, we got ready for the day and headed up to the lodge (where most people were sleeping and all of the meals and activities took place).  Since it was Sunday, we had a "Worship in the Woods" service where some people stood up and mentioned a favorite hymn and then we all sang it.  This was wonderful!  I love singing with the family.
Then Jared and his fancy new camera took pictures of the family groups (since every family was wearing the same colored shirts - Prestwiches/Red, Forsbergs/Green, Camps/Purple, Evans/Dark Blue, Butlers/Light Blue) and we played for a while. 
At the lodge there is an impressive slide that goes from off of the back deck down to the play area.  I thought it would be scary, but it was super fun!  And Greg took Ellie down.  We are not sure if she liked it or not...


Two exciting things happened Sunday afternoon.  First, Ellie climbed the stairs for the very first time.
Second, Jen broke her ankle.  That may have been exciting, but in a SUPER BAD way.  Jen took her 3-year-old daughter Abby down the slide (which is against the rules) and caught her foot somehow, which put just the right pressure to snap her bone.  She had a compound fracture and dislocated her ankle.  Of course, all of the men and her sisters ran right down the stairs, and Bobi donated Lortab, and they gave her a blessing and splinted her up and loaded her in Bryen's van and drove to the hospital in Driggs.  The good thing is that Nate (her husband) is an EMT and Sherri is a nurse, so we had competent medical help.  Once Jen got to Driggs and got a morphine drip, they sent her on to the Rexburg hospital, where she had surgery on her ankle Monday morning.  Dad and Pat stopped to see her on their way down to Utah and she was out of surgery and doing well.  I hope she recovers quickly!

After Jen was whisked away, the rest of us kind of looked at each other for a few minutes in shock, and then continued with the regularly scheduled activities.  We had an auction to raise money for the next family reunion and then had a program celebrating Grandpa and Grandma Camp's lives.  Dad put together an amazing slide show with pictures and Mark Richardson recorded a narration.  Interspersed with the slide show we (can you guess?  well, what else - but we) sang!  Amy played the piano and sang a duet with Uncle Bob.  It was a great program.  After the slide show, the "original" siblings spoke for a few minutes each, bearing testimonies and talking about their parents.

Then we had dinner and played games and talked for the rest of the night.  Greg got Ellie to go to sleep around 9:30 and we put her in her stroller in a dark and quiet room down the hall from where we were playing cards.  We checked on her a few times and she was doing great.  Then, I just felt like I should check on her again (even though I had just checked on her less than 5 minutes before).  I went anyway, and Ellie had tried to roll over and had almost slid out of the stroller.  Luckily, that accident was averted, but as I was rearranging her, she woke up.  Ellie played for about another hour while Greg was finishing up his card game, and then we headed back to the tent for the night.  Since Ellie had gone to sleep the night before so well, I had high hopes for a repeat.

It did not happen.

We had to rock her back to sleep and it seemed to take forever.   Ellie did not go to sleep until after midnight, and then she woke up at 5:20 screaming.  We fed her and changed her, and then she did not want to go back to sleep.  I ended up rocking her for about 30 minutes (because she was so close and she was so tired and I knew she just wanted to be asleep).  Finally, I could not do it anymore and handed Ellie off to Greg.  She was asleep within 2 minutes.

I did all the hard work, right?

After Ellie's rough morning, we were happy to let her sleep as long as she wanted.  She woke up around 9:45, and we got her dressed and headed up to the lodge for breakfast.
After cleaning up the lodge, breaking camp, and some last minute pictures, we were on the road home.  It was a wonderful reunion - a chance to reconnect with my cousins and aunts and uncles - and fun to take Ellie camping for the first time.

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