Sunday, July 24, 2011

Pioneer Day AKA Neighbor bonding

I believe it was 3 years ago that Kyson got Strep throat over the 24th of July so we had to break our usual plans of going to Bear Lake. Kyson started feeling better and we decided to celebrate the 24th with our neighbors, the Holts. Since that year, it has become a tradition that I look forward to, but maybe not so much George.

This year, we have some new neighbors on the street, the Kou's and so we invited them as well.
Boy I love where I live. We had a simple BBQ in our back yard and the kids were able to play on the play- ground, and the adults were able to chat under our covered patio. The company was perfect. Of course, I didn't know Jerry Kou was such a tease and I fell for everything he said, looking like a gullible idiot. The Kou's have a catering business and small restaurant and oh my goodness, the meat they brought was sooo good. I
was singing their praises when they left us with the left overs. That was a good meal the next day.

After eating and talking, we all broke into our separate houses to get ready for bed. Well the adults didn't, just the kids (in case you didn't put that together). We met back up to have fireworks. Doing fireworks as a group is the best way to get a good show. When everyone pitches in, you get a big show for a lot less money.
We only bought 4 fireworks this year, but they were pretty good. The Holts did something similar to us and only bought 2 - but they were awesome. The Kous saved us by buying a kit with a whole bunch of small ones to make the show last a lot longer. It's so nice to have such amicable neighbors. Now whenever Kyson sees Jerry he says, "That's my friend Jerry." It's pretty cute.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Family Reunion (Reunion #2)

Every year, Kris's family has a family reunion with everyone from his grand- father's side of the family. This reunion includes all of his grandfather's siblings and their posterity. This little family reunion ends up being hundreds of people. This year's reunion was in Vernal, which is a four-hour drive, but because over-nighters in a hotel is even harder than traveling 8 hours in a day, we decided to leave early that morning, and come back that evening. The reunion itself was very nice. Kris's family did a great job and did a lot of work to make it all come together. They had games for the little kids, the typical raffle for adults and children, and lots of food. Kyson had an episode that landed him in the car for a time, but was able to pull it together after that. Kodi is always a difficult one because she won't sleep anywhere but in her crib - not even the car.

I think the raffle was the highlight for everyone. They had so many great things to raffle off this year and Kris's mom gave us money
to put in for Rusty, Amy, and their kids; Carol and Errol; and us. Because we were repre- senting 3 families, we seemed top be winning quite often. Carol even won 2 bikes, that we had a heck of a time fitting into the trunk. It was a good day, and now there is only one reunion left for the month - High School Reunion.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Mission Reunion (Reunion #1)

From March 1999-September 2000, I had the privilege of serving a mission in the Italy, Padova mission. I have been to one "reunion" since I returned, and it was for my president's homecoming. That was an amazing experience. I still remember for a musical number, all of his missionaries went on stage and sang the mission hymn "The Armies of Heleman" in Italian (of course). It was an incredibly powerful experience, and one that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life.

My president, LeGrand Curtis, has been called to be a member of the 1st Quorum of the Seventy and will be serving in Ghana, Africa for a new calling. He and his wife, Jane, or Sorella Curtis as I remember her, decided to have an anniversary reunion to celebrate being home for 10 years before they leave for Africa. I was privileged enough to be able to make it.

Many mission- aries pass through Italy in a three year period so naturally, I didn't know that many people. The ones I did know, however, were so worth seeing. I saw some old companions, others from the same city, and over all, great people who are great examples to me. Seeing different people brought back so many memories of my mission. I'd forgotten how much I'd forgotten. Now I need to take my journals and pictures and make those into a book - hopefully I'll finish it before I die.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Fourth!

As usual, we went out of town for the 4th of July. Last year we went to Vernal to mix it up a bit, but this year we went back to our usual stomping ground of Bear Lake. Not only did we stay the weekend, but we stayed the entire following week, so we were up there July 1-9. We would have stayed until the 10th, but I had to return for a mission reunion on the evening of the 9th. It was such a much needed vacation though, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The Lake is finally back up and it's not a half mile hike to the water. I love going to the Lake, but I think this was the most fun I've had there in years.

The weekend started off with my family coming. I had more cousins with their families up there in probably 5-6 years. We actually had full house in the cabin - that doesn't happen very often. We even had enough kids to use both dorms - that never happens.

There were a lot of kids for Kyson to play with but the first day he chose to play with David, until David got in trouble for throwing rocks, so Kyson couldn't play with him for a little while. Then Josh arrived on Saturday morning. When Josh got there it was like heaven parted its clouds and sent down the perfect playmate for my little boy (and husband).

Kyson was exposed to baseball for the first time, by playing with my uncle and cousins, and we had a killer fireworks show on both the 3rd and 4th of July. I bought $50 worth of fireworks in Evanston and ours were the
lamest of them all. Luckily we had my dad light them off so he looked like the fool instead of us. People would expect it from him so no one thought twice :).

One of my favorite parts was walking with my husband. For about a month, I've been walking 4 miles a day, and I had a goal to continue doing that while on vacation. Kris helped me achieve that goal and it was so wonderful to have an hour away from the kids every day to talk. Sometimes we took Kodi, but she wasn't as disturbing as a talkative toddler.

At one point, my dad suggested we go four-wheeling and I was invited to go. I invited Kyson
to go with us and we set out on a fabulous adventure. When choosing a four-wheeling partner he chose our family friend, Wes - not his mom, not his grandpa. Unfortunately, it started raining. It was the only day it rained up there and we happened to be up in the mountains on the four-wheelers with a 4-year-old. I was worried that Wes would get annoyed if Kyson started crying or complaining, and I was worried Kyson would never want to go four-wheeling again. It was FREEZING! As luck would have it, I was worried for nothing. Kyson loved the rain and was a better sport about it than the adults. By the time we got back to the truck, we all were drenched from head to foot. It took me the entire day to get warm again.

I think there were three reasons why this particular trip to Bear Lake was so enjoyable for me: 1) I went at the beginning of the quarter so I wasn't stressed about schoolwork, and I didn't do any. 2) Because Josh was there, Kris came out and played with us at the water. 3) I got to walk with my husband every day and have an hour of alone time with him. I believe for these three reasons, I'd repeat that trip in a heartbeat - even the less than ideal moments.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


A short time ago, Kyson started talking about a friend named David that we've never met or even heard of. At first, we thought he was referring to David in the clever storybooks No, David, by David Shannon, but when we asked, he said that it wasn't David from the book, it was his friend David. One night we were at my parents' house and he asked if he could go see David. We told him to take my dad to see David and when they came back, my dad said, "There is no David."

Eventually we figured out that David is Kyson's imaginary friend. He wants to take David to Bear Lake with us and I told him that would be fine as long as it was okay with David's mom. Of course David got permission to go with us and he apparently will be riding up with my mother a day early to greet Kyson when he gets there.

I don't know much about imaginary children, but I've heard rumors that it's a sign of intelligence, and I read that children who make-up imaginary friends are able to take on another person's perspective more easily, and tend to be more empathetic. After reading this, an imaginary friend makes sense to me for Kyson. He is one of the most intuitive kids when it comes to emotions of others. Maybe David will be a good thing after all.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Things I Love

Because I'm not able to get every picture that I have into my blog posts, I thought I'd do a post dedicated strictly to the pictures that I love but didn't share previously.

I love spending time with friends:

I love it when Kodi is happy:

I love how Kyson tries to be helpful:

I love my sweet (but annoying) dogs, Franni and Leroy:

I love that my kids love each other and want to be together: