Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy, happy birthday, Grandma Jill!

Grandma Jill turned 60 on October 3.  I'm sure she is delighted that I am announcing it to the world, but I think she has lived 60 years that she can be really proud of.  Every single year of it was hard earned, so 60 is nothing to be ashamed of.  My siblings and I knew that we would have to make her birthday celebration this year spectacular, but we were at a loss as to how to pull that off, since we all live in different states.  We started planning a few months ago.  I decided that for her birthday, we would have to bring her to Washington to have a celebration with us.  On Wednesday, October 16, she flew here.  I picked her up late, and we came back and went to bed.  On Thursday morning, we started our whirlwind of Seattle sightseeing and fun.
We started with Pike Place Market.  The first time I went to Pike Place, I knew my mom would love it.  Jared and Eloise were a little bit hard to keep track of in the throngs, especially since they both insisted on walking much of the time.  A wheel fell off of my trusty two seat stroller as I was getting it out of the car in the parking lot, so having both of them ride was not an option.  We love the artists and musicians at the market.  Jared believed that each musician was performing a personal concert for him.  When we came to the end of the market, Jared and Eloise discovered pigeons.  I guess where we live is not that urban, since we never see pigeons until we go to Seattle.
There was a man sitting in the park tossing peanuts to the pigeons, and he let us take a turn.

Here is the picture of me and B to prove that we were present.
We had a hom bow for lunch from one of the market vendors, and then Jared asked for ice cream.  He remembered getting ice cream last year.  I remembered the ice cream cones last year being really small and expensive, so I suggested looking for a different treat.  Jared noticed a baker's stall as we passed it, and both of the kids picked the least expensive thing in the bakery case of their own volition.  They each ended up with a donut the size of their head for less than the price of one ice cream cone.
The giant donut is the one thing that Eloise remembers about this day.  At bedtime she asks for a story about something that happened each day.  She might want a story about a girl going to a park, or playing with friends.  She has requested stories about eating enormous donuts many times.
We took the kids home for naps, got cleaned up, ate dinner, and headed back to the city to the 5th Avenue Theater to watch "Anything Goes."  It was a really fun evening.
On Friday we took the Bainbridge Island Ferry, which is supposed to be one of the most scenic ferries in the Pacific Northwest.
We didn't get much scenery.  It was a foggy day.  The fun was in the boat ride.
Jared wanted to explore every inch of the ferry.
On Bainbridge Island we went to a children's museum.
Grandmas are big kids, too, right?
We had lunch, did a craft, made patterns in a giant light bright, read stories, and played a lot.
We staggered back onto the ferry exhausted.  Grandma and B napped for the boat ride while Jared and Eloise explored every inch of the return ferry.  When we got home, Grandma helped the kids make sock puppets while I fixed dinner.  Grandma said that she had reached her crafting quota for the year with two crafts in one day.
After dinner, B, Grandma, and I drove down to the airport to see Uncle Fred who had a layover in Seattle on his way home from a business trip in Taiwan.  We hadn't seen him in over a year and a half, which means he hadn't even met B yet, so it was great to see him, even though our meeting was brief.
On Saturday, Grandma and I went to the temple, and then we went out to lunch.  In the afternoon, Grandma and Eloise went out for pedicures.  Here are the end products:
Eloise just got her toenails painted, but she loved getting her toes done with Grandma.  She picked her color, and she kept saying, "Look at that pink! Look at that pink!"
It was nice to have Grandma with us on Sunday, while Todd and I were both teaching at church.  On Sunday afternoon, we broke out the real surprise for Grandma.  We got all of my siblings on a hangout, decorated, and had a birthday party with everyone there.  After we sang, Grandma got to open her present: a book that Cheyenne had put together with pictures and messages from all of her posterity.
She loved it.  Cheyenne did a great job putting it together.  It had a section for each family.  Even the smallest babies had contributed a footprint, and many of us had favorite Mom quotes and words of wisdom to include.  This was the highlight of the visit, I think.  It was nice to have everyone together, at least digitally, to celebrate the big day.  We all had cakes, and our candle count together was something like 60.  We may have been off by a few due to exuberant preschoolers (Aaron) assisting with candle placement.  "Andrew already tried lighting the candles on the cake with a blow torch, so now you all don't have to try that." --Cheyenne
Mama Jill was heading home Monday afternoon, so we had time for one last activity.  She picked the locks and fish ladder.  October turns out not to be prime salmon watching season.  I saw one fish in our two stops at the fish ladder, and the water was murky enough that I don't know if anyone else saw it.
Eloise kept driving Jared in the stroller into the rail as they both screamed with laughter.
We picked up lunch at our favorite little cafe/ fish store by the locks, which now has plenty of seating, unlike last year.  The proprietor must have wanted us to come back.  Then we made our way back across the locks and to the car to drive Grandma to the airport.  
It was a great visit.  No one slept quite enough, but we made some wonderful memories.  Thanks for coming, Grandma Jill!  Happy Birthday!

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