Thursday, August 27, 2009

And the green grass grew all around

While we were away, our yard was not idle- it grew. Although we had spent the last 21 & 1/2 hours in a crowded van, sucking the salt out of sunflower seeds in hopes of not falling asleep at the wheel, Mark decided it was time to mow. Matthew wanted to help. He tries to do whatever his daddy does whenever possible.

One of the characteristics of living things is that they grow. (According to Sesame Street, anyway.) This is a good thing, since the labor & delivery process is already difficult enough with small babies. I love watching how things grow and change over time. Some of our grass was actually knee-length; good thing the HOA gestapo didn't see!

However, with all growth, comes some drawbacks: maintenance work. Eating, sleeping, cutting your hair, trimming your nails, and making sure you aren't growing in the wrong way -out- are all part of being an adult. In addition to those needs, children grow out of shoes, clothes, and beds. They need to learn new skills and appropriate behaviors as they get older. The M's are currently exploring the skill of identifying negative things and keeping it to oneself, as hard as that is at times.

Even as we grow, some things are hard to give up. Katrina's blanky is still the thing she wants when she's sad or sleepy, even though she has (thankfully) mostly dropped the habit of sucking on the corner. Favorite clothes, even to the point where they are unwearable... like the cutoff jeans that Katrina is wearing below-
I must admit, I have a hard time relinquishing things as I outgrow them or they outgrow me, by wearing out. They represent good memories or being comfortable. It seems the best solution is to replace them, but it never seems quite as good as the original. Like my blue and white striped cotton shirt that I wore in high school and college- I have forever been on a quest for a shirt like it since. Trouble is, I no longer like the way I look in horizontal stripes. Have I outgrown them?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Food, Folks & Fun (and a whole lotta pictures)

Hi Liesl!

We made our yearly exodus to Utah to visit friends and family. This year the Hansen family had a family reunion in the mountains behind Heber. We all (mostly) stayed in a giant cabin and had a great time talking, cooking, eating, cleaning, taking care of babies, playing games, swimming, doing crafts, yoga, singing, and even sleeping a little bit. (Well, some of us...)

Mom kicked off the event by hosting a pizza party at the Hansen Homestead in honor of Craig's birthday. He (and several others) didn't actually arrive until the next day, but we played kickball in the street and slurped up every last drop of homeade strawberry ice cream anyway.

Uncow Bwian, bossing as usual from his position pitching. You think this guy's meek and quiet, well just watch him play sports. Look at Kurt, so meekly giving tips to Katrina on 3rd base...

We all met up at the cabin the next day for 3 days of festivities.

Here's Craig on the deck, contemplating being 35..

Scott led us on an orienteering hike. The Boy, Mother, and The Other Boy, looking for the flag...
Talmage and Clyn
Someone's hand in front of Paula's nose. Kristie is appalled, and Martha knows not what to think.
The talent show- always very popular are the sports sketches with the invisible ball. This was the slow-mo part, which is why I was able to photograph 4 of my brothers fighting over a nonexistent ball.
Kurt, Brian, Craig, Kent
Charlie Choo makes his debut as Kurt & Alice (and Charlie) bang out the Peanuts theme.

The little girls, also known as "The Rockin' Cousins," put on a play. Hey, who needs a costumer when you have towels and duct tape? They even made a flag and have a song and a cheer.
Michelle & Bruce always sponsor a morning of various games. Here's Jan, catching some air at the Undokai, Japanese for "The Doughnut Olympics". (Except it was Twinkies this year)

Holly's great at the shot put!

Dad celebrates his victory...over 3 women... in the badminton competition. What me, bitter?

Emma blowing bubbles

Max feeling sheepish

Preparing for the "flag raising ceremony" (The flag was on Jan's sleeve). Note Mindy sticking out her tongue.

Everett taught Max how to "rock it". Soon all the babies were doing it, complete with sound effects.

And a good time was had by all.