"So Frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."
***President Thomas S. Monson (Ensign May 1994)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Cone of Shame

Vanilla had a cut on her paw that we couldn't get to heal, so she had to wear "the cone of shame" for a few days. It didn't seem to bother her, but she was running into everything, including our legs! It was really quite funny to watch. The vet said she was so good that she gave her a sticker on her cone. ha ha!

Tower of Cups

When I drove Chad down to Rhode Island McKaylie and Noah kept sending me pictures of the towers they were making. They were pretty impressive. They were also accompanied by texts saying "we're bored" and "we miss you".

Noah's New Bike

Noah's never had any interest in riding a bike. No matter what Chad did or said to get him to ride, he wouldn't do it. He wanted nothing to do with a bike. So, it was surprising that this summer Noah decided that he wanted a bike. We took him to the store and let him pick out the one he wanted (secretly hoping that that would make him want to follow through with it) Noah came home and went straight out to learn to ride it. I don't know if I've ever seen him more determined to do anything in his life. He was going to learn to ride that two-wheeler! With very little help, and I mean very little help, he was off and going. Now he's all over the neighborhood with it. You'd never know he just learned to ride less than a month ago. This is yet another example to me, that Noah will do things in his own time and when he does, he will do it magnificently.

Maine Wildlife Park

When Chad was home in June we also went to the Maine Wildlife Park. We've been there before with Debbie and really enjoyed it then, too. The park is full of animals from around Maine that have been injured or were sick. Here's just a few of our favorite animals we saw.

The moose, of course, the big bull moose was off in the back hiding, though. These little guys are everywhere, but what makes them so fun is their fat little cheeks. They'll gather up the corn, or feed until their little cheeks look like they'll explode! They were so cute! This one hardly cared that any one was around him. He was just too busy! The bears. We fed them dog food and they ate every last little piece we threw. I love the turtles. They were super cute in their little pond. This eagle is beautiful. It makes me sad that he can't fly. This little porcupine was the cutest! He's albino and he was just laying there on this log, legs dangling down, napping---not a care in the world! I love this picture of the kids at the fish hatchery. You had to shade your eyes to see inside and they would look, run to the next door, look some more. Chad and I strolled along behind at our own pace. It was fun to watch them. I don't know how well you can see them, but all those brown spots in the water are fish. It was really cool to feed them. You'd throw the feed and the water would just explode with fish. McKaylie and Noah--humoring mom! It was a fun day. We missed Myshel, though. She chose to stay at home.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Strawberry Season

Yummy, Right!!!! We also picked strawberries while Chad was home and made jam! When I have all my canning stuff out, I always try and do as much with it as I can. That way I don't have to keep getting it out over and over again. So, here's a list of all the jams we (I) made:

10 - pints strawberry jam
5 - pints strawberry syrup
4 - pints and 8 - 1/2 pints strawberry/lemon marmalade
8 - pints strawberry/kiwi jam
8 - 1/2 pints cherry/almond jam
7 - 1/2 pints jalapeno jelly

Makes me tired just thinking about it!

LL Bean

While Chad was home we went to Freeport, Maine and walked around the outlet stores there. We had the most fun in the L.L. Bean stores (yes, there's more than one--there's a whole village really)

McKaylie and Noah enjoying the fish tank The Lodge area was nice, too. (Vance was grumpy all day--go figure) A big bear and a little crazy bear Taking a break in the camping section--it's a big store Had to get a picture with "the boot"

Youth Trek

The youth in our ward went on a trek this year for youth conference. They basically lived and worked as pioneers pushing/pulling handcarts. Unfortunately, our kids got rained on practically non-stop and it was decided to cut it short by about a day. All the mud was getting rather dangerous for the kids to hike in. It was also really cold. Wet and cold aren't so good. I also heard a few kids lost shoes in the mud.

Vance was a little skeptical about going, but ended up having a great time, despite the rain. I think it helped him understand some of the difficulties the pioneers faced and gave him a new appreciation for the comforts he enjoys.

They were divided into "families" with a ma and pa, an adult uncle, and, of course, siblings. Vance said he had the best group, LOVED his ma and pa (I know them, they are awesome!) and he said he had the best food! Here's some pictures.
Here's before he left: And after he got home: (We still haven't gotten the smoky smell out of his hat)This is his pioneer family And this is his ma and pa (before the rain started) Working hard This is Vance and Cameron. They're great buds and some how ended up in the same pioneer family......hmmmm I think they've got some pull somewhere..... It never hurts knowing the Stake YW and YM's presidents!!!

Overall it was a great experience. Every youth should have such an opportunity!

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