Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Facial Accomplishments, Free Food, and Family

We were able to attend a social for our ward's Elders' Quorum. It was held at someone's house who had a pool, and Danny and Jill had a lot of fun swimming. This is exciting, because in the past, Daniel has forced us to hold him in the pool and has gotten very upset at being put in a floatie.

Jeff impressed (and surprised) me when he brought home a package of Oreos after winning a competition. The competition? You had to place an Oreo on your forehead and get it into your mouth to eat without using your hands! Jeff somehow ate three in a minute.

My husband is so talented.

My township held a community event a few weeks ago that was a lot of fun! It was for National Night Out. Many police officers were there, and I think some firefighters, too. All of the food, drinks, and activities were free. Busken was giving away cookies. Everything Bagels was giving away bagels, delicious cream cheese, and cheesecake brownie squares. Meijer provided the hamburgers, hotdogs, chips, drinks, and corn on the cob. (At least I think they were the donators. They had a lot of signs hanging.) Chick-fil-A was handing out coupons. And then there were stands with popcorn and Sno Kones. Yum!

There were clowns making balloon animals, face painting, bounce houses, and games. There were a few trailers that simulated situations for the police officers to teach you how to handle them.

Oh, and The Home Depot had tables set up with the crafts they offer on the first Saturday of each month, so there were lots of kids walking around in orange aprons, and the sound of hammering accompanied the whole evening.

In the middle of the evening, a helicopter landed in a nearby soccer field, and Detective McGruff got out! Now that was a childhood flashback! If we all work together, we can take a "bite out of crime!"

Thanks for a fun, free evening Union Township!

A week and a half ago, I was lucky enough to go pick up my Grandpa Homer for a week's stay. It is always fun to hear his stories and to watch him play with my children, thinking about how it wasn't that long ago that I was the three year old building towers at his feet. I feel very blessed that my children have three great-grandparents with whom they can spend time. I am grateful for every opportunity for my kids to get to know them better.

Near the end of his visit, things became a little less wonderful when we were hit by either food poisoning or the 24-hour flu. Grandpa told my husband that he thought his time had finally come. We were all feeling pretty awful, and many pairs of pajamas were soiled with unwelcome visitors. Poor Jill and Danny. Poor Mama. Poor Grandpa. Jeff went to work the next day, because he had not been hit by the D or the V monsters, but that ended up not having been a good idea. He was hit hard the next day, and he is still suffering from a sore throat.

However, it came and went, and we all survived! We were able to drive to Michigan to spend some time with my family.

Here is Jill with her cousin Emily. (They are four months apart.) Emily is my brother Danny's daughter.  They spent a lot of time having "berry picnics." My parents have blackberry bushes that, in the words of my mother, grow like kudzu! Jill and Emily definitely didn't mind.

I don't think Danny (my son—not my brother) ever figured out what we meant by "No, not the red ones! Only pick the black ones." But he did stop eating them. He would just pick them (ripe and unripe), hold them for a long time, carry them around, and them offer them to someone else to eat. So he definitely figured out that sometimes blackberries (specifically unripe ones!) do not taste very good.

The reason for the visit was meeting my new nephew, William Thomas. I didn't hold him too much, because I was nervous about having been sick so recently, but I did get to appreciate his chubby cuteness. Hard to believe when looking at the picture, but he was only two and a half weeks old!

Also visiting was Aunt Jeanie. She is technically not Jill and Daniel's aunt, but she might as well be. She is Aunt Rachel's twin sister, and we are lucky enough to get to enjoy her company at many family gatherings.

Aunt Amy and her daughters (Hallie, Hanna, and Heather) came the day before we left, and of course much fun was had. (Uncle Devin couldn't make it due to a conference in China. China! How cool.)

We missed Pete, Mindee, Annibelle, and Callie, but if I were that close to my due date, I wouldn't be traveling either!

Conveniently, my brother Daniel's birthday was the day before William's baby blessing, so many of us got to be there to celebrate his birthday.

This is the second year in a row my family has been in Michigan for Danny's birthday. I wonder if we will make it next year? Probably not, because next year the big Boling bonanza will be in July in the Shenandoah Valley, and you can't have too many vacations too close together! (Well, okay, you can't really have too many vacations—especially with family, but Jeff does have a job to go to.)

Baby Heather was born in February and Baby William was born in July, but I swear they are almost the same size. :) Pete and Mindee are going to welcome a new one this September, so 2012 was really the year for us to have babies. I guess I missed that ship! Good thing it's not a competition. :)

My Aunt Ann and Uncle Terry were able to come up for the baby blessing (and birthday party) and many of Rachel and Jeanie's relatives made it as well.

Rachel had a really cute luncheon prepared for after church that was possibly more coordinated and thought-out than my wedding reception . . . ;) She even had clear plastic cups filled with blue jello with orange boats floating on top (the boats were orange slices, not the color orange, with little toothpick flags poking out).
Rachel, Daniel, and William

Emily, Daniel, William, and Rachel

It was a wonderful weekend welcoming William into the family, but for me (and most everyone, I'm sure) it was impossible to look at handsome, healthy William without thinking of beautiful, happy Tabitha. I am not going to try to compare him to his sister his whole life or think of her constantly, but the loss is still fresh. However, we were all grateful for such a happy reason to be together in Michigan.

And this last picture had to be included, because I think it is the best picture I have ever taken of Hanna smiling. When did she grow up so much? Jill is on the left, Hanna in the middle, and Emily's cousin Raelani is on the right.

I hope you're enjoying the end of your summer! Hard to believe school is almost in session again.