Sunday, July 31, 2016

George's 6th Birthday

George turned six and his big present was a metal detector!  I admit, I pride myself on finding the perfect gifts for George.  It's too much fun to think about what he would like because he has an unusually passionate relationship with his stuff.  For a kid for whom everything is a treasure to be found and kept, a metal detector seemed spot on.  I got $10 in change from the bank, threw it on the front lawn and let him have at it with his metal detector.  Brilliant!
It worked!
That evening George got to go to a birthday party for a friend in the neighborhood with whom he shares the same birthday.  You wouldn't know from looking at the picture, but George is a full year younger than his smaller friend.
Also that night, Abe, Naomi, Greta and I went to Bethany's summer music festival culmination concert up at an outdoor amphitheater in Layton.  They performed with a string trio called Simply Three.  Everything about it was magnificent and enjoyable and impressive and a most enjoyable way to spend a summer evening.  
Bethany had a such a great time all week and we were very happy to have her back.  The music was a Romeo and Juliet theme, ending with West Side Story medley for a final number.  Oh, it was so good.  I could not have enjoyed myself more and was so happy to see her full of enthusiasm for the music.
And it's just a treat to have Naomi with us.  She was feeding Peter grapes just before we left our house to go up to the concert.  She has such a way with him and every child of every age I've ever seen her work with.  Children (and teenagers) adore her!
Sweet little Greta slept or ate for the whole concert.  
My apologies (not really) for oversharing pictures of Greta.  I can't help myself.  I have not intention of stopping.

The Primary Pioneer Parade 2016

Faith is in orange and George is just behind her in the red striped shirt.  For several years now, our Primary hosts a darling Pioneer Day (or around that day) neighborhood parade and then we all meet at the park for treats and playing afterwards.  It is so simple, but the kids really look forward to it and it's a summer highlight.
Cannon was so happy to get to wear his scout shirt and help be a flag carrier.  The Bishop leads the parade in his cool dune buggy (is that what it's called?)
Much to his disappointment, Abe had to work Thursday evening, so I invited Naomi (our English auntie) to join me.  I was grateful for her company and her help with kiddos. 
 Elinor mentioned to me the other day how she thought it would be fun to experience moving.  Not that she didn't like our house or neighborhood, but she just wondered what it would be like to move. 
I told her how funny it was that she, who has pretty much lived in the same place since could remember would wonder what it's like to move.  And as a kid I, moving around all the time, always wondered what it would be like to stay in the same place and know the same people for years and years. 
I didn't mind moving around as a kid, and in many ways I really liked it and was happy for the experiences of living in different places.  But as I look at this picture and think about how long we've known these cute kiddos, I am thankful to be more settled and get to see them grow up. 
Cooling off with a bottle of water.  The heat lately has been OPPRESSIVE!  Supposedly, this isn't quite a record breaking year for days over 100 degrees in July, but it has been HOT.  I enjoy my nightly neighborhood walk-about at about 8:30 pm.  During the day it might as well be winter, in that kids really can't go play outside.  Outdoor play has to wait for the cooler evening hours.

Peter and Greta and A Few Others

We've been tormented all week with pictures of the Fox family up in Spokane living it up at the Fox Family Reunion this week.  This is the first one we've missed and although I am LOVING being home with Greta and the slower paced summer, it does look like everyone is having a marvelous time together up in Spokane.  On Wednesday, Abe and Clark Skyped in to the other brothers for a day of D&D. 
Hey, it's tradition... super geeky tradition... but tradition nonetheless.
It looks like Peter got quite a kick out of being on the screen as well.
While they geeked out downstairs I had an absolutely fabulous morning upstairs visiting with the friends in town for Andrea's wedding.  A little brunch and visiting was just my speed.  Zach and Bella (in the middle) came with their mom and got in a little game of Heroscape.
Cannon has been spending hours working building and programming our EV3 robot.  Clark and a couple of friends decided they want to coach a FIRST Lego League team this year, so the robots are all the rage at our house right now.  I'll be the coach in name, since they have to have an adult in charge, but I'll really be more of a team manager.  The boys will run the show and work with the kids.  Cannon isn't quite old enough to officially be on the team, but Elinor and Faith will be.
Oh my.  She is still quite nearly perfect.  Not sleeping quite as well as the first couple of weeks, but such a delight to us.
This was the morning after the second really bad night of sleep.
All was forgiven.
It is an all day event when the Foxes to the dentist.  And I don't want to brag or anything... but everyone was cavity free!!  I'd like to take some credit, but I'm convinced it doesn't matter too much what kind of dental hygiene you exercise.  It's all in the genes.
Pirate Pete learning to smile.
At least he thinks he is smiling!!  Too, too cute.  I almost hate to admit when Peter is having a better time with life, only because he usually takes a turn for the worse and gets really grouchy right after I say he's doing better.  That being said, he seems to be happier with life lately.  His communication skills are improving and is even saying a few new words-- namely yo-yo, poo-poo, and da-da.  Granted, these are repeated syllables, but we're counting them as two syllable words!
As a lot of my time and energy are devoted to feeding and caring for Greta lately, it has done my heart good to see an increased interest from the other kids in Peter's well being.
I think this picture is funny because Peter looks as if he intends harm, but he was adamant that he hold Greta and so willing to "smile" for a picture with her.  He quite likes her. 
Summer really is a great time to have a baby.  It might make for a less exciting summer for the kids as we are not off adventuring, but I am really enjoying having time to adjust back to life and take it slow.  School will be here before we know it and I'm sure that somehow we'll pull ourselves together and do what must be done.  In the meantime, I can't spend to much time just sitting with her and loving her.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Wedding Day

We had a very enjoyable day yesterday celebrating our good friend Andrea's wedding to James.  Here is our book group picture on the steps of the Salt Lake Temple.
Andrea with just a few of her close girlfriends.
It was Greta's first big day out.  She even wore a little dress for the occasion!
We spent the day there with our oldest and youngest children.  Although our oldest can't really be considered a child anymore.
The wedding dinner was so enjoyable.  Alan and Christine flew in from San Diego and it was so nice to be altogether again.
Alan has always had a way with little ones.  I love this picture!
The day was so hot-- 104 degrees-- but the evening outdoor reception was lovely.
In between the wedding pictures and the dinner, we paid a little visit to my parents at their mission office in the Church Office Building.  We'd never actually seen where they do their mission work and it was great to be there with them.
Grandma seemed pretty happy to be answering a phone call while holding baby Greta.  She was so cute carrying Greta around showing her off.
I didn't go into the temple for the sealing because I was with Greta, but I was happy Abe got to be there.
Steve, Dave, Abe and Alan.
The happy couple coming out of the temple.
I really enjoyed spending the day with such good friends.  It was good for my soul.
 One more of my menfolk, just because it makes me happy.
I'm so happy for Andrea.  She deserves the best and she seems to have found a wonderful companion in James.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Youth Conference and Such

Bethany left this morning for her Lyceum Music Festival orchestra camp.  It is up at the Zermatt Resort in Heber Valley.  Abe drove her up early this morning and I am so happy for her to have this opportunity.  She has a packed next few weeks with Youth Conference (last week), orchestra this week, girls camp next week, and finally EFY the second week of August.  Truthfully, she has had a little bit of a boring summer up until now.  All of her activities were packed together in the latter half of the summer.
She really lucked out in getting an invitation from a fellow orchestra member friend to sleep at her house and get transportation to and from the camp for the week.  This friend lives up Provo Canyon and with the new baby, this invitation really made attending the camp possible. One other gal is doing the same thing as well.
A picture of Faith before church on Sunday.  I love this dress!  It is one of several that my angel neighbor got for her on my miracle birthday.
My mom did love yellow.
  Greta looks pretty cute in yellow too!
It's always expected that the girls will adore a new baby, but the little boys sure love her too and are always anxious to hold her.
Look who has arrived for her annual summer visit!!!  As my children say, "Our English Aunt has arrived!"
She is quite adored in our home.
Everyone just wanted to sit around and talk with her.  Clark was in the room as well, but not in the picture.
Abe and Clark and Bethany had a great time at youth conference.  Abe wasn't able to stay for all of it, but Clark and Beth did.
They were divided up into platoons and the highlight was Friday when they did obstacle courses and repelling. Clark was happy to get to be a platoon leader.
 This just looks painful to me.
Here's Bethany's platoon.
As always, I am so, so thankful for wonderful leaders who sacrifice time with their families and vacation time during the summer to provide these opportunities for my children. 
I have worked with the children and the women in our ward, but not with the youth.  From what I can see, we have really, really great young men and young women.