Monday, June 16, 2014


We had a great trip to Idaho from May 24-30.  Our kids (and dog) were champs in the car for the 12 hour drive.  By the time we left, they were also sleeping at night. Rough nights did not stop us from having a good time.

For the first time since I've been in the family, we stayed at Great Grandpa Jolley's house, instead of Aunt Barbara and Uncle Boyd's.  Their house burned down a few months ago, and is still being rebuilt.  They are living in a single wide trailer until the new house is complete in July.  Grandma and Grandpa Knight came up the same week, and they stayed at Barbara and Boyd's trailer.

None of us could have been happier about all of the grandparent time, outside time, and freedom that we feel on the ranch in Idaho.  The pictures say it better.

 B was in heaven with all of the rocks in the farm yard.  Eloise, who daily requests that Daddy "stay home in his bathrobe," was in heaven with all of the Daddy time.

 We got very dirty throwing rocks in the river ditch.  B thought big cow pies were fun to pick up, until Jared yelled "Oh, gross! Poop!" at him.  After that, B had to circle every cow pie and yell "Poo!" at the top of his lungs, in imitation of his brother.  I don't know why potty humor is so big around here lately.  Oh, yes I do.  I have a four year old boy in the house.

 Grandma and the aunts took it upon themselves to de-junk great grandpa's house while we were there.  They found these hats that Great Grandpa doesn't wear anymore, so Jared and Eloise adopted them.
 We borrowed a pickup to drive up to the upper portion of the ranch, known as "The Upper Place."  This is Todd's favorite part of the ranch.

 B loved the four wheelers.  He cried every time he had to get off, and, if he saw one parked, he would drag me or Todd toward it.

 The family that lived in the trailer before Barbara and Boyd had to move in had turned an old junk dumping area just off the farm yard into a playground.  Eloise was in heaven.  Jared loved it too.

 B's favorite activity was cow watching.  He would stand and look out the kitchen window yelling, "Cow! Cow! Cow! Oooo! Oooo!"  He was very distracted when we sat down to eat at this table.
 Todd was happy to take the kids for four wheeler rides up and down the road.  Shadow got so much exercise following the four wheeler that she was difficult to rouse for a couple of days.
 We spent a bunch of time up the road at Aunt Reah's house.  Most of her grandkids were there for Memorial day, so the house and yard were full of kids.

 Uncle Boyd mentioned the idea of going fishing to Jared, and Jared harassed him until he committed to a time to.  There ended up being a wild wind storm at the time he committed to, but there was no way Jared was going to let him off the hook for something so trivial.  Jared and Eloise spent a long time in the morning digging for worms.  In the evening, we took a picnic to a park in Salmon, and then Uncle Boyd taught Jared and Eloise how to bait a hook and cast.
 B dangled his legs and looked on, until he got tired and started rushing the pond, trying to go swimming.
 Uncle Boyd is one of my favorite people.  He is so kind to our kids.

 Eloise was the only one to catch a fish, and it was too small to keep, but it was really exciting.
 One chilly morning, we went to the Sharkey hot springs.  The 106 degree water was a little too hot for Jared and B.  Eloise had to be dragged out when she got too flushed.  B was content to spend most of the time tossing rocks into the pool, which had to be retrieved and thrown out.
 As soon as Jared heard that we were planning a trip to Idaho, he announced that he was going to have a tractor ride.  Aunt Barbara was happy to oblige, after keeping Jared in suspense for most of the week.  Eloise was not at all interested in riding on a tractor.
 And then Uncle Boyd moved a tractor out to be washed so that Jared could have a second tractor ride.
 The kids had a lot of freedom, so they spent most of the week filthy, but we did have a couple of baths.  Apparently all humans are jungle gyms for Jared.

 Grandpa Jolley and Grandma Pat were so nice to host us, even though it couldn't be easy to have all of the noise in their usually quiet house.  Todd took the opportunity our visit provided to get a video recording of Grandpa Jolley sharing his testimony with our children.  That will be a treasure to them in coming years.
We were all sad to leave, when the time came.  Jared and Todd are lobbying for a return trip before the end of the summer if we can manage it.  
The ride home felt a little longer than the ride out, for some reason.  Going home doesn't ever seem to be quite as exciting as leaving home.  The kids held up well, but B got fussy during the last couple of hours of the drive, so we turned his carseat around and let him ride facing forward.  I know it doesn't show in the picture, but he was giddy with excitement to be able to move his legs and see the video that we had turned on for the other kids.
When we got home, we found everything as we had left it, except that in the absence of Shadow, neighborhood bunnies had laid the garden to waste.  We miss Idaho.  Maybe someday we can stay for a whole summer. 

1.5 years of B

On May 19, B reached the mature old age of one and a half, officially qualifying him to enter our church's nursery program.  Hypothetically, this frees me up to attend my Sunday school without him, but the reality is that I have been spending a lot of time in nursery with him.  His proximity sensor alerts him whenever I exceed my 15 foot allowance, and he immediately starts to cry.  Eloise being in his nursery class with him doesn't seem to comfort him in the slightest.  
 B has his parents mixed up.  Todd spoke in church last week, and B spent much of the talk standing up on my lap screaming, "Mommy! Mommy! Hi!" to get his attention.  He walks around the house calling "Daddy! Where are you!" when he can't find me.  He occasionally seems to get our titles right, but I think those are the odd occasions when he doesn't care which parent comes to his aid.

We went to the temple on May 21 to get some updated portraits of the kids, and take some pictures of the Christensens to give to Rebecca for her birthday.  Here is a typical shot of B, tagging along just behind the older kids,
 and trying to do what they do.
 This spotted "dog" goes with Eloise everywhere.  If anyone (meaning B- no one else would dare) touches it, she jumps to its defense, and I have discovered that putting the dog in time out is more effective discipline than putting Eloise herself in time out.
 B calls his siblings "Jare" and "El-yee."  When he sees letters or numbers, he points to them and starts "reading." He says, "A, E, M, L. . ." or "3, 2, 1, Go!"
At his 18 months checkup, B weighed 25 lbs. 2 oz., and was  32 and 3/4 inches tall.  He is going through a biting phase, but it seems to be ending.  Biting is obviously a more effective way to get a too close sibling to back off than speaking.  The siblings are learning to give him his space, and he is learning that biting leads to time out in his crib, which he hates.  His vocabulary is growing every day, and he is acting older and older.  A neighbor told me that he isn't a baby anymore, and that made me sad.  I'm sorry to lose my sweet, snuggly little B baby, but it is so much fun to watch him grow and learn new skills.

Happy Fathers' Day!

Only a day late, I wanted to wish a happy fathers' day to this handsome guy:
He is seriously, obviously, the best in the world at what he does.