Thursday, February 21, 2013

To Grandmother's House We Go, Part 4

Did I mention it was cold in Idaho?  I've become a lightweight when it comes to weather since living in Oregon.  But the frost sure was pretty.

Luckily, there were a few things to keep us active.  Adam was happy to play in the Skyline alumni b-ball tournament, especially since he had the chance to play against his younger brother.

Meanwhile, the girls were busy navigating the murky waters of gender relations (check out that little guy's face...priceless!)  I've asked Claire what they were talking about, and she just said they were fighting about who was younger.  

Henry got some good snuggle time with Grandpa.

And these two just had fun.  

We made another outing to iJump, and Claire was in heaven, of course.

Adam showed no mercy on the dodge ball front.

Henry got some more snuggle time with Grandpa (it was pretty chilly in there).

A pretty great way to spend one's first birthday, right?  But more on that later...

On our last evening there, we spent a lovely time at Grandma and Grandpa Belnaps' home.  The kids were treated to some fun presents, picked specially by their Great-grandma.

Claire got a doll that plays music.

And Henry got this black dog, which he still crawls by and gives a snuggle on a regular basis.

The girls got in some last-minute play time before it was time for us to head out.  It involved spinning each other on this chair.  

Our drive back was pretty clear, but reminders of the crazy snow and slippery roads from the night before were ever-present.  (Can you spot the eagle?)

Unfortunately, there had been a pretty serious bus accident on the mountain pass the morning we left Idaho, and by the time we hit Baker City, the freeway was shut down and we were diverted off the road at about 3pm.  So what to do on a Sunday afternoon with two children in Baker City, OR?  Well, we hung out at the library for as long as we could, which didn't amount to long, since it closed at 4.

We checked the road conditions about every two seconds to see if the roads had been reopened by some miracle, while the kids busied themselves with writing and book dropping.

Then we drove around town for a little while.  After that, we headed to Pizza Hut and discussed the possibility of getting a motel room.  My sister would be flying in the next morning, so I made alternate arrangements to have her picked up in case we needed to spend the night.  But thankfully, the road reopened a little while later.  So we just sat and goofed around before eating our pizza and heading back out on the road.  

We got back on the road and passed that eerie crash site - on completely clear, non-slippery roads- about 7:15 pm.  We got home quite a bit later than planned (around midnight), but thankfully we were safe.  Crazy end to a really fun holiday trip!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

To Grandmother's House We Go, Part 3

We had a white Christmas in Idaho, which made us happy (especially since it only started snowing AFTER we got to Idaho Falls).  Unfortunately, we Oregonians were ill prepared with snow gear to play in the white stuff.  But we made do with what we had.  Claire sure was ready!

Probably the best thing was Bryant's snow machine.  Claire LOVED it.  He gave Adam and Claire a ride around the backyard one night...

as well as the next morning.  By that time, more family was in town to have fun with.  

Adam gave chase to the little girls.

 And then so did Bryant.

Claire was about as happy as can be, riding with Finley.

Adam took a little break to say hi to Henry, who was happily watching inside with me.

All Claire talked about before going to Idaho was making snow angels.  She had never made one before, and she was positive that there would be snow and Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Thankfully things worked out in her favor.  So before she came in the house, she got down on the ground and made her snow angel.  

But as you can see, things got a little problematic in her mid section.

But she only realized it after she stood up.  

A little later, we found an obliging hill to sled down.  Bryant brought the snow machine and graciously drove everyone up the hill so we wouldn't have to hoof it.  He drove the kids up and down probably a dozen times, if not more.  And again, Claire was as happy as could be with her cousin, Finley.  

As I mentioned, I stayed inside with Henry during most of the snow activities.  But that gave him an opportunity to get to know the cousins his age.  He reconnected with Nels.  

And we all got to meet little Gunnar for the first time.  

These little dudes were cute.

I can't wait to see Henry, Nels, and Gunnar a few years from now, running around and playing together!

To Grandmother's House We Go, Part 2

Christmas Eve was a fun day.  Glenda planned a really fun gingerbread house building activity for us, and baked, cut out, and pre-assembled the houses for us, which was great so we didn't have to wait for the structure to dry...we could just get decorating!

Let me tell you, these two girls were perfect partners for each other.  Not only were they pretty much inseparable any time they were together, but they were completely in sync when it came to decorating a gingerbread house.  I still can't figure out how their house didn't just collapse, it was so heavily-laden with candy.

They even managed to decorate the INSIDE of their house.  

This is mine and Adam's creation.

What house is complete without a fire pit and a slide for the kids?

Again, Glenda made a fantastic dinner for Christmas Eve.  For the past few years, she's picked a country linked to their family history to highlight with a night of food and cultural traditions from that country.  She graciously saved Germany for a year that we'd be in Idaho (since I have German heritage too).  

The menu included beef rouladen, homemade spƤtzle, braised carrots, and rotkohl (red cabbage).  Everything was amazingly good.

Henry was on the mend (though his roseola rash showed up, thus giving us the official diagnosis and source of the fever), so he was in better spirits.

Claire got to play the Christkind, and deliver everyone's presents.

And of course there was time to snuggle up with a good book before bed (and SANTA!!).

We kept it pretty simple with presents.  Henry got a wooden boat and car.

And Claire got her My Little Pony castle.  She still tells me that Santa got her the right thing.  

Harper Turns 3!

We sure love this little girl, and we were excited to wish her a happy birthday.  But, of course, this little sassafrass decided to have so...