Saturday, June 27, 2009

Father's Day - Part One

So I had one of my crazy ideas awhile back. Wouldn't it be fun if I could get the kids all home and surprise Rich for Father's Day. I really didn't say much on Mother's Day this year, but it just didn't feel right not having them all around, almost worse than Christmas. But trying to get 5 of them to coordinate a few days off of their various jobs was just a tad difficult. Even MORE difficult was keeping them quiet about the whole operation. My goodness, they blew it numerous times and I seemed to have to keep telling "little white lies" to cover for them. I so wanted it to be a surprise. I have since repented and been forgiven...just so you know.
On Thursday evening Rich went out to make a visit with one of the missionaries living with us. When he left, Jenny and I headed to the airport to meet the kids. You will notice that Chris is not in the picture. That is not a mistake. He lost his driver's license and therefore wouldn't have gotten through security. He didn't track down a birth certificate in time to get a replacement license. We all felt bad and he felt the worst, I'm sure. Some of us have to learn the hard way. Anyways, this week had been so, so hot in Edwardsville. Well above 90 and super humid. Jenny called her husband and said for them to come to Bobby's Custard for a treat, thinking they'd just be meeting Jenny and I. We were all there before the boys arrived. We all ran up to the jeep and I popped Claire's head through the window for Rich to see. He was VERY surprised. Too fun. Rich loves being around the kids and what better day for such to happen than on Father's Day!
Nauvoo is one of our favorite places to visit. It's about 3 and 1/2 hours up the road from us. The early members of the church lived and built the city of Nauvoo for about 7 years before leaving on their big trek to the Salt Lake Valley. We love being there, especially since the temple has been rebuilt and especially since that is where Katie and Joseph were married. We were able to make connections with a former Bishop that we had in Bellingham. He and his wife (Leo and Pam Liddle) are serving as temple missionaries and they were able to be with us during our temple visit this time. It feels like you are almost in heaven when you're in such a sacred place surrounded by family and dear friends. Doesn't get much better than that! I live for days like this. We had a nice dinner with the Liddles that evening.
Guess what we discovered...Claire LOVES pickles. She seems to go for the sour stuff...pickles and lemons! Yikes. Too funny.
Walking down Main Street in Nauvoo. Yes, you are seeing Katie on Joseph's shoulders, headed for the Nauvoo Fudge Store.
My sweetheart! I'm so glad Rich was surprised, or at least acted like he was. He was such a good sport about it all. I get super nervous when I don't know what's going on. Rich is SO busy at work right now. I wasn't sure if it would even work for him to take a day off, but he had anticipated spending the day with just Sarah. Bonus...he got all of us! The boys did some heavy duty yard work for several hours on both Friday and Saturday. Trees down, weeds killed, mulch spread, and on and on. Sarah and Marshall also agreed to give their dad the gift of a clean garage for Father's Day. Bless their hearts, they picked the hottest two days to go to work on it, but they did a super job and it was so appreciated.

Father's Day - Part 2

One of the things that Sarah and I found at the Galleria in Houston was this darling watermelon outfit for Claire, complete with glasses.
I kind of like watermelon...understatement! And I dearly love watching this little gal when she is sleeping, especially. We were able to time her naps just right as we went back and forth to Nauvoo. She's a good sport about being in her car seat.
As we were weighing the luggage before heading to the airport, Claire headed over to the scale and climbed on. She has to figure everything out! I just laugh when I look at this picture and try to think of the right caption, but I can't decide. She looks guilty..."Who me?", she looks like she's thinking, "I can't possibly weigh that much!", she looks like maybe her diaper weighs too much.
Father's Day...we didn't necessarily plan it, but the girls managed to coordinate their outfits. Lots of blue and white!
Happy, happy Father's Day Rich. It was a great memorable weekend...many sweet memories! We both's pretty much all about family. So fun to see him enjoy sweet baby Claire!

Keep On Catching Up!!

Love this picture of sweet baby Claire. When we went out to be with the kids in May, I took along some of Katie's clothes that I had saved from when she was a little one. This little dress was a perfect fit! My sister Becky gave this to Katie and I think I put it on her when she was very tiny and had her wear it a long was definitely one of my favorites. Anything with smocking on it melts my heart.
And Claire melts my heart...big time!
Yep, you're seeing braces on Lisa. Not too terribly ugly, huh?? I'm hoping that by taking a little dental action now, it will save some major work later on. And maybe the teeth will even straighten out a little. What's two years??
So Lindsay has this incredibly darling picture of Claire right next to a picture of a Cabbage Patch doll. Claire could have been a model! It's too funny! Well, Sarah and I ventured into the Goodwill store not too long ago and look what I found! $4.00! Yahoo! This Cabbage Patch was born in 1986...yep, older than Katie! We brought her home and washed her up really well. We pulled out some of our old doll clothes and I even did a little embroidery. She's not too crazy fond of her yet, but does enjoy playing with her yarn hair.
After Sarah finished her last day of school the three of us caught a plane to Houston. Rich had this crazy idea for a road trip, escorting a picture home that was in his Houston office. So we'd fly to Houston and drive home, picture in tow. Sarah and I had a great day shopping at the Houston Galleria, which is just huge. We did find some great bargains. We also met up for part of the day with our friend Beth, who lives and teaches in Houston. Lots of fun. Beth showed us where this "Wall of Water" is close to the Galleria. It was super neat.
I think something like 11,000 gallons of water a minute "fall" down this wall. The next day we left Houston around 6:30 a.m. and headed for home. We arrived home around midnight. What on earth were we thinking? We are much too old to try and make drives like that in one day!

Seriously So, So Behind!

I'm not quite sure what has happened to the months of May and June...they seem to have disappeared in a rather rapid fashion! The passage of time has not dimmed the fact that I still find myself checking Oreo's chair to see if she is ok. And every time the doorbell rings I can hear her barking, clearly! And then we saw her twin at the pet store today...she had just finished being groomed and looked so much like Oreo. We miss her to say the least.
On May 21st Rich, Sarah, and I headed to Utah for a very, very busy weekend. We woke up early on the 22nd ready to do some serious shopping. Provo is the best place to buy everything a future missionary will need. Rich and Marshall lined up some suits and shoes and a few other necessities. Later that afternoon we were able to accompany Marshall as he went to the Provo Temple. What a wonderful experience to be in such a sacred place surrounded by family.
Love this boy! It was a beautiful evening as we were leaving.
The next day we traveled down to Manti to witness the wedding of our niece Emily to her sweetheart Dave. Manti, Utah is about an hour and half from Provo and there is the most amazing temple there that was built in the late 1800's. The antique furnishings are just a site to behold! I look at the above picture and try to imagine how happy Evalyn, Rich's mom, would feel at this sight. I am quite sure that it would thrill her. Her posterity continues to grow!
This is a picture of a set of first cousins, Nick and Lindsay, and second cousins, Riley Taylor and Claire fun is that??!!
Some more cute, cute first cousins...Katie Brewer and Rachel Nielson. Katie and Rachel are about 3 months apart in age and have enjoyed lots of fun times over the years.
Oh, and this is kind of fun...Chris brought along a new friend for us to meet and we all LOVE her. So happy that Holly and Chris' paths have crossed. She seemed to fit right into the Bowerman mix of crazy and fun personalities. Looking forward to getting to know Holly better!