Anna as Queen Elizabeth

So, it's only taken months to get this video off the camcorder and into a format where the grandparents can see it, but it's finally done.  Here is Anna's presentation of her famous person book report for her second grade class.  We were/are so proud of her.


Summer Daze

Is it just me or does the summer seem to be passing by all too quickly?  Anna started her first week of drama camp today.  Lauren starts an outdoorsy camp next week.  By the time they're finished, it will be August.  School starts on the 24th of August.  I need the days to slow down.  I'm just getting into the swing of things.

Swinging on a swing made by PawPaw



 Our little ones love to fish.  They just can't get enough.  The grandparents bought a lot of crickets this trip.  Jacob even caught his first fish this summer.  Will share more shots this coming week.


I'll dream in melody...

The third time must be the charm.  We finally made it to see Alison Krauss and Union Station last night in Tahoe.  We've tried to see them in the past but one show was cancelled due to weather and another because of an illness.  It was so worth the wait.  What amazing talent and my favorite concert in years.  A band called "Good Old War" opened the show.  They were a ton of fun too.  It was a beautiful evening for an outdoor concert and Doug and I had such a great time.


The Arrow and The Song

I shot an arrow into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For, so swiftly it flew, the sight
Could not follow it in its flight.

I breathed a song into the air,
It fell to earth, I knew not where;
For who has sight so keen and strong,
That it can follow the flight of song?

Long, long afterward, in an oak
I found the arrow, still unbroke;
And the song, from beginning to end,
I found again in the heart of a friend.
-Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Lauren and her PawPaw spent a lot of time on the phone making big plans for our Alabama visit.  They planned to wrestle alligators, catch birds and coons, shoot rifles and arrows, and go fishing.  They managed to accomplish pretty much all of it during our stay.  They wrangled an alligator they named Gobbler, caught and released a raccoon, went fishing, shot balloons and soda cans with a BB gun, and spent hour after hour "practicing" with Lauren's very own bow and arrow set PawPaw bought for her.  She seemed to be a real natural and got better and better as the week went on.  No matter how hot it was, or how many mosquitoes there were, PawPaw was right there with her, instructing, monitoring, encouraging, and competing.  He's such a good grandpa and a wonderful father.  He's someone I would want to be friends with even if we weren't related.  The Longfellow poem seemed so appropriate as the time these two spent together placed an unbroken song in Lauren's heart.   She'll always remember this time with her PawPaw.  Who knows?  Maybe she'll be an olympic archer someday.  When we made it back to California, I tried to enroll her in a local archery camp but was told she was too young.  If only they knew our Lauren, they'd see she would have fit right in.  Tomorrow is my dad's birthday.  We wish we could be there to celebrate with him.  We hope he has a wonderful, spectacular day!  XOXO!



Because we're thousands of miles apart, Jacob has only gotten to see his granddads 3 or 4 times in his 2.5 years.  He talks to them on the phone and sees a lot of pictures but he had a hard time getting everyone's names straight in person.  We spent the first two nights of our visit with my mom and stepdad, also known as Nana and Poppy.  We drove to my dad's and stepmom's (AKA PawPaw and Granny) the next day and spent the next week and a half with them.  Jacob called my dad "Poppy" most of the visit.  Every time Jacob would call him "Poppy" instead of "PawPaw", my dad would call him "Fred" in return.  I just had to laugh because I went through something similar with my dad's mom.  She wanted to be called Grandma but I kept calling her "Gahbbie".  Every time I called her "Gahbbie" she would call me "Susie".  I finally got the hang of it and began to call her Grandma.  Jacob, too, started to get the hang of it and would call my dad by the right name...most of the time.  Toward the end of our stay, he walked up to my dad with a balloon and said, "Fill it please, Poppy."  My dad looked at him and said, "What's my  name?"  Without even so much as a moment's hesitation, Jacob replied, "Fred".

This saddle was at my mom's house and belonged to my mom's family when she was little.  They had a shetland pony named "Patsy" and this saddle was just the right size for her.  We have a picture of me when I was young sitting on this same saddle, although I was on an actual horse instead of a log.  I couldn't find a horse so I guess you do what you can!


There was a child

There was a child went forth every day,
And the first object he look'd upon, that object he became,
And that object became part of him for the day or a certain part of the day,
Or for many years or stretching cycles of years.

The early lilacs became part of this child,
And grass and white and red morning glories, and white and red clover,
And the song of the phoebe-bird,
And the Third-month lambs and the sow's pink-faint litter,
And the mare's foal and the cow's calf...
-Walt Whitman

The kids and I are home from a 3-week visit to see the grandparents in Alabama.  We had such a wonderful time and it was hard to say goodbye.  The little ones had room to run and roam, swim and fish, play and enjoy the outdoors.  The grandparents were so good to us and went out of their way to make sure we had a great time.  Lots and lots of pictures to share through the week.
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