Oh, we've had a wonderful time visiting with both Steve and my families! The trip to Boise was so much fun for us, as we got to spend time with Steve's 3 sisters, his parents, and many of the cousins. Steve's sister Janelle was a great hostess, and she planned all sorts of fun things for the kids to do. The big sledding expedition was, unfortunately, cancelled because the roads were really icy and dangerous the day we planned to go, but Hyrum and Eliza were not denied the experience of snow! It snowed the last day we were there, so they were able to go outside and frolic a little bit in the morning before we got on the plane.
They got a huge kick out of eating the snow, as you can probably tell!
The snow was too dry to pack into snowballs, but that didn't stop Hyrum from trying! Despite the frigid temperatures, we had to practically drag them back into the house to get ready to leave for the airport. Isn't it amazing how cold temperatures don't seem to bother little kids when they're having fun? Steve and I have been in climate shock, going from tropical humidity to the crisp, dry, and freezing air of Idaho. I think it's an exhilarating change, but Steve's not so sure - he stayed in the house as much as possible, bundled up in multiple layers of warm clothes to try and maintain some semblance of warmth in his thin blood. :-) Poor guy -he's in for quite a ride on the east coast! Hopefully he'll adjust quickly.
Back in Oregon, we've been staying with my parents out on the farm. The kids got a second Christmas celebration, as they were able to open all the gifts saved for them by Grandma and Grandpa and some of their aunts and uncles. Hyrum was thrilled about this rocket that G &G gave to him, and they spent quite a long time experimenting as to which method of stomping shoots the rocket highest in the air...
Here's Hyrum getting ready for the running leap-and-stomp method...
....and we have lift-off!
Not to be outdone by her brother, Eliza summons all her momentum to catapult her rocket skyward.
And here we have the standing-stomp procedure. Just as effective, but not nearly as much fun for the kids so they quickly abandoned it for the run-and-leap style.
Providing additional entertainment for the day's activities was Rocky the Psycho Dog doing his usual Bite-the-Tree performance. See the puddle below his feet? That's one of the many hollows he has created in the dirt below the traumatized trees in my parents' yard. Here's how he does it: Barking playfully and (in my opinion) rather like a canine possessed, Rocky leaps and spins and leaps again, biting and snapping at any branches unfortunate enough to be within his reach. All the shrubbery surrounding the house is mysteriously groomed and bare for the first 5 feet up from the ground. It's actually quite a funny show - I keep meaning to videotape it and submit it Funniest Home Videos. I think Rocky just might have a chance at winning!
Grandma let the kids try their hand at nailing some 2 x 4 remnants today - they learned what happens to a nail when you hit it at an angle. Hyrum spent most of his time trying to unbend his poor, crooked nail instead of just getting a new one.
Of all our kids, sweet and sensitive Hyrum seems to be the most perfectionistic of the three. Poor guy - what chance does he have with 2 parents who are borderline OCD about certain things being "just so"! (Obviously not every element in my life is that way, or else my house would be a lot cleaner and more organized!)
Hyrum rarely draws a picture without being so discouraged about how it turns out that he crumples it up and/or scribbles all over it. I try hard to encourage him without making him feel pressured, and any drawing that escapes destruction is a prized possession that gains a place of honor on our fridge for awhile. Hopefully he'll grow out of it soon, I want to be able to see him draw and color without so much angst and frustration associated with the process.
Eliza was very excited about the whole nailing thing - it made her feel all grown up. The fun lasted until a frustrated (or bored) Hyrum started pounding dents in Grandma's new deck instead of focusing on the scrap wood (at least that's the story Eliza tells...I had stepped inside for a moment) so that was the end of that.
Okay, it's now after midnight so I really should go to bed...I just wanted to share a few of the fun adventures we've been having in the past week.
Thanks for all your wonderful and supportive comments!! I love hearing from you, and it really is a confidence booster to hear that you enjoy reading and looking at my blog. It gives me the impetus to continue posting, even during this busy time in our lives. Goodnight for now!