Saturday, August 18, 2012

Billings in June

In June, we finally got up to Billings to visit my Aunt and Uncle and my Grandma. Aunt Cyndi and Uncle Jeff used to live in West Jordan when Tyler and I met and got married, but they moved for work about a year after we got hitched, so we've been missing them! Grandma and Grandpa moved up to Billings about 2 years ago, but we hadn't been able to match up vacation times that worked until now. Unfortunately, Grandpa passed away in February, so we had to settle for visiting his grave. 
We had such a great time (other than 2 barfers) that the kids are BEGGING to go again! (When we left, they were so sad. "But we were barely there any time!" "It wasn't long enough!" "But I really want to play with Hayden and Colleen again"--except that last one was actually Sheridan, who cannot remember ANYONE'S name, so it was more like "But I really want to play with--wait, what were their names again, I can't remember--again!!!")
Aunt Cyndi planned for us to visit Grandpa's grave first thing and even planned to let the kiddos pick out flowers. Except in the store, on the way to get flowers...yup, Sheridan threw up all over the floor. No warning. No symptoms except for the lack of mile-a-minute chatter--but that could be chalked up to a little shyness around newer people. Just vomit all over the main aisle of Safeway. I can't count how many times we had to direct harried shoppers around the puddle. :) Ah, the joys!
Just keepin' it real, folks. I figure if you're still reading this blog after such long posting droughts, you'll be parched for these little details that let you know what life is REALLY like in and around the House of Happiness. :)
Grandpa's headstone was beautiful. And the cemetery was MUCH nicer in June than it was in February. That Montana wind is no joke in the winter!
I was so excited for my kiddos to meet my Grandma. She looked better than she has in years--for the first time in over 5 years, she looks like the Grandma I knew all growing up! (BTW, this is the Grandma that I knew best--she made the tastiest homemade chicken noodle soup, decadent fudge, and was always well-stocked with both homemade and Little Debbie goodies. She was the grandma who sang me lullabies when she visited, who let us borrow her camcorder to make melodramas, and who loved to teach us about the world around us.) While it was hard seeing her dealing with the losses that old age can bring, it was good to introduce my kids to my Grandma!
Jack was enamored with her. He held her hand while she showed us around her home, which is a fabulous assisted living center. I was so proud of my little man, because even though Great Grandma couldn't always hear him or might forget what he told her, he didn't stop loving on her.
 After the nice, long weekend with family we headed back home via Yellowstone. At first it was a pretty, but it got really cool when we started spotting the wildlife! (It is hard to miss the wildlife because that is where the traffic has jammed up with motorists stopping to take pictures. We decided to follow suit!) We saw a mountain goat first, but the young bear beside the road was fantastic!
 This bison was so close, I could have reached out and smacked its tattered behind. We settled for naming it "Brownie" (at least, that's what Sheridan remembers naming it. What? Don't you name the random wildlife you see on the road? Maybe you should.)
Don't forget about the very cool geysers and vents all over the park! Jack was super-bummed that we didn't have time to swing by Old Faithful, but we resolved to go camping there. Someday. When we don't have babies for bears to eat.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Play us a song, you're the Piano Man

This is Jack, nervously clutching his piano performance book before his very first recital (which happened in May. Why yes, I am 3 months late in posting this. Not a big surprise.).
Let's see if I can get the video to load on here. 
Ok, technologically challenged I am. Link is here!

Our Little Graduate

Sheridan successfully graduated from pre-school!
We never really doubted that she would!
Our family (along with our surrogate fam, the Blasers) attended the epic program. I think it lasted 1/2 hour. Tops.
 Sheridan singing Baby Beluga. It's a family favorite, so we weren't surprised that she seemed to know it (and sing it loudly) whereas the other kids made half-hearted attempts--much like their rather sedate Beluga hand actions.
 But, she seemed to know all the other songs as well...and the other kids seemed to feel like deer-in-headlights. She shook it on down to New Orleans, did Hot Butter Hot,  and you'd better believe her Mr. Sun was shining out on me. Whew! Seriously, I don't think we need to teach that kid how to project her voice for stage stuff.
 In fact, the teacher's husband suggested that we get her involved in theater (he's one of those "thespians", so I'll take it as a compliment! Of course, with the thespianatical heritage she has on both sides, we figured she was a shoe-in.
This was our crew, in the back row. No problem hearing her from here!
Sheridan was pretty proud of herself. Her teacher noted that she was her most "dramatic" student--"but in a good way!" Nice cover, teacher, nice. We all remember the fieldtrip in March. That little "performance" when I dropped her off could've earned her an Emmy. 
Preschool was lots of fun, but we're so happy our big girl is ready to move on to elementary school!