Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day

My day began by donating blood first thing in the morning. I wanted to have the opportunity once more before I left the country next month. (Because of going to Africa, I will need to wait a year before donating again.)

Pioneer Day is always the 24th of July, and as a member of the Latter Day Saint church it is acknowledged each year to show appreciation to all those Pioneer forefathers that crossed the plains with handcarts or covered wagons to seek out a place for religious refuge.

This year it was 95 degrees here in Portland, Oregon and as I stood over a hot stove canning apple sauce, my thoughts were turned to the pioneers and the hardships they must have gone through just on a day to day living,

How very blessed I am to be in these times to not only enjoy great freedoms, but also to have electricity to accomplish my goal with little complications. Now it would have been even better had we had air conditioning, but considering all it stayed pretty cool. I did feel a bit overwhelmed trying to accomplish this goal by myself. In the past I had at least one of the kids around to help. A couple of years ago both JoAnna and Tony helped. It went so smoothly, but this time I had to call Tony in a panic to rescue me.

How grateful I am for his assistance even for the few hours. Things just run so much smoother with extra hands.

About 4:00pm Tony and I took a break

and went to the Church picnic for dinner.

We met with Marilyn and Dave,

as you can tell Marilyn and I have to put up with a lot with these two special men.

Tony and Dave then went golfing, the game that seems to draw many of the family together.

Marilyn and I went our separate ways, back to our homes.

And then I worked until 10:00 pm to complete my task at hand - which included the clean up, but what a wonderful feeling of satisfaction to look upon 64 jars of yummy applesauce to enjoy through the year. Hopefully the college kids with enjoy our efforts.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Brenna at Play

Watching from a distance.

This trip was the first time we saw so much expression from Brenna.

Last we saw her was once again in Elk, mid March. She has grown so much since then. Not necessarily her size, but changed from a baby to an independent little girl.

Playing with Sadie

Playing in the yard

Caught smelling the pretty flowers.

Showing her teeth

She loves little things, so the Winnie the Pooh characters we brought were a hit.

Great fun!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Grama & Grampa D. Time

This post is mainly pictures of our time in Elk Washington.

The weather was beautiful, and so was the location. It gave us many locations to take pictures, but the main interest was Brenna.

The first time she saw us she pointed and said "D". Which is how she identifies us. Grama and Grampa is still a challenge to her, but she did know who we were.

Tony enjoyed also his father son time.

Which I took advantage of as well. We never seemed to have Randi around to take pictures with her, so we missed that.

Brenna was sharing her snap pea with me, as well as her carrot from the garden.

We would go for walks to see the bears, pick wild flowers, or just on an adventure following Sadie. (The dog)

I was just so grateful that it didn't take the entire time for Brenna to warm up to Tony and I so we could enjoy her from closer up.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Weekend with the Toners

Tony and I made some what of a last minute decision to go to Elk Washington for an extended weekend to see Randi, Brent, & Brenna who were there visiting Randi's family for a few weeks. It was very sweet of Lylia & Randy to send us a special invitation to come and stay at their home. Especially knowing that the other girls with significant others would be there as well, so the house was full. They provided us with the trailer, so we felt right at home.

Most of the time all together was spent around the campfire visiting. There is something about the outdoors, and a campfire that is quite soothing.
There is never too many kisses from, or given to these sweet grand babies.

Randy loved to take the grand-kids out for a walk to the garden, then soon they would come back with a carrot in one hand, and a snap pea in the other, chomping on both at times. The other special time with Papa Toner was going for a ride on the 4-wheeler, but Sadie also loves the rides, so when it is unattended she is very protective and mounts herself in position. No one dared to drive off without her.

I enjoyed watching the girls interact and strengthen the bond one with another. It's always rewarding as a parent to see grown children that like to do things together. I know it meant a lot to Lylia & Randy as well.

Tony and Brent went golfing on Friday, and Saturday, so that was a highlight for Tony to spend time with his son. (No pictures were taken)
I on the other hand enjoyed sitting back and watching everyone, but also enjoying the bonding time with Brenna on Saturday.

While the guys went golfing, Randi and her sisters went into Spokane to have a picture taken together for Lylia. The grama's enjoyed time at home with the two babies. It was a lot of fun, and I must say Brenna seemed to do very well around Chase. She would bring him toys to play with, rather than be upset if he took any of hers.
At one point after Lylia painted her toe nails Brenna was so cute to lift up her foot in front of Chase so he could see her pretty toes.
The little time that we had together was enjoyed watching how well Randi and Brent play with, and parented Brenna. Randi helped Brenna several times to use her words to express herself, rather than scream.This was one of those times of teaching. For being only 16 months she has an amazing vocabulary.

Sunday before we took off to go home I was able to get a family picture, minus Chase who was sleeping at the time. Then the remainder of the family parted ways as well to go home, or off golfing again.

How grateful I am for the time we could spend together, and for the hospitality that was shown to us.