Thursday, June 26, 2008

Tales from Avonlea and Betsy-Tacy

I just finished watching Tales from Avonlea. It's not just a movie, it is a television series that played in Canada and lasted something like 7 seasons, totalling 91 episodes, each lasting about 45 minutes long on DVD. I cannot recommend this highly enough. I watch stuff like this in place of watching TV. Here's a good example of why. Last night I watched the beginning of a "family" show (it has an 8 yr old kid in it) and got multiple references (bold outright references) to... well nevermind what to, (I'll just say 3 different vices) but about 10 awful lines in the first 5 minutes and I had to shut it off! TV reaks these days. If I had cable I'd be watching the cooking channel that I love, and DIY stuff, but I don't, so Oh Well!

So about Tales from Avonlea...
Pat did some research online and bought the first season for me as a birthday gift, mostly because it said "Avonlea" knowing I'm a big Anne of Green Gables fan. It was so fun I wanted him to buy every season, but that being too expensive, we got Net-Flicks instead. So at my own pace, whenever I finished a DVD, I returned it and got the next one. After several months finally, last night I finished the last DVD, with many tears, it was so fantastic. I would indeed like to own the whole series one day, they are so good! Especially for any of you out there with girls! I watched them pretty much on my own!

It is a spin-off from the Anne of Green Gables movies, and is done so well with most of the same people still in Avonlea (except Anne). Yep! Marilla Cuthbert, Rachel Lynde, and many others! However the story focuses on the King family and through the 7 seasons we watch the children grow up. It was so uplifting, and in all those episodes there were only a few that I'd deem unnecessary. Most were brilliant!!!! I remember loving Little House on the Prairie, and a few years ago I bought the first two seasons of that show, but it went downhill fast. Tales from Avonlea just keeps getting better!!! Always surprising, yet always comforting and sweet to watch and imagine living in such a wonderful place!

If you like Anne of Green Gables, I'd also like to tell you about a book series I just finished. It's called Betsy-Tacy, a series of 10 books by Maud Hart Lovelace. It is nothing like Anne of Green Gables, but if you like her, you'll probably like this. The series starts out with two little girls (Betsy and Tacy) five years old, and takes them through college and marriage in middle America. When I heard that description I wasn't that thrilled initially. I like love stories and don't want to read about 5 year olds. But trust me, it is wonderful and so well written that it makes reading it so fun. In fact I probably enjoyed the younger books slightly better that the older ones because the ideas those girls came up with! What creativity! Anyway it's a lot of fun, but you might have difficulty finding them. Last I heard, they were out of print. But library's might have them.

Yes, it's another wholesome series, but I love things like that!!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Wow Evan!!

Evan, whom you may remember, just turned two last week. Today he went potty and poop in the toilet on his own! I saw him sitting on the toilet like he's done many times before because he wants to be like his brothers. And then before my very eyes, the joyous miracle occurred! You know you're a parent when you are glad to see your children poop. Maybe this is just a sporadic occurrence that won't happen again for some time, but just the same... he knows he can do it!!! I'm already planning on putting in a pool with all the money I'm going to save on diapers!!! Ha Ha.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Reading with the boys

I (Pat) love reading with my boys, especially now that they are getting older and starting to like books that I remember reading and enjoying as a child. We're about to finish "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz", which I probably read twenty times when I was little. Dallas loves the book and goes to bed with it every night, poring over the many wonderful illustrations. I read a large part of the series when I was little (there are 40 books in the official series, 14 by the original author L. Frank Baum). Sam is a little to young to get into this book right now, but will listen to parts of it.

We did recently finish a book that Sam loves, so we bought it and now he carries it around and looks at all the pictures and is always asking me or Karisa to read it to him. That was "My Father's Dragon" by Ruth Stiles Gannett, recommended to us by Aunt Jana. She also recommended "The Cricket in Times Square" by George Seldon, but none of the boys were enjoying it so we put it aside for a little bit. I think the story was a little bit past them, I liked it, but we'll try again in another year or two. We'll probably go and do something a little more serious for our next book. I'll take Dallas to the library and we'll pick out something he wants to learn about, some animal or country and get a picture book about those so we can learn while we read.

Are there any recommendations out there for books that you remember liking as a child? I love reading children's literature and am always looking for books to read with my kids as well.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Karisa and the Girls

Maybe since I don't have any girls, I am assigned to work with them at church. I've been doing it ever since we moved here and they are fantastic girls. I love doing activities with them. We pick activities in their Faith in God guidebooks. We just finished our day camp (3 half days) and here's a few pictures of the fun! We made ice-cream, jam, butter, bisquits and t-shirts, friendship bracelets, played lots of games like ro-sham-bo for prizes, Grunt piggy grunt, and relay dress-up, and to finish we had a great hike today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Trip to Utah I

The police on their motorcycles did all sorts of cool stuff in front of us since we were sitting right across from the parade organizers. It was probably our favorite part. This is them driving away because all my other pictures are blurry!

Some of the cheerleaders who passed us were doing flips up and down the asphalt road with nothing on their hands or heads. I guess a helmet wouldn't be very becoming, but at least gloves or wrist support? Wow. It was pretty neat though.

Look at all the stuff people threw at us! Frisbee's, balls, popsicles, tons of candy, water bottles, bags of popcorn, and a flower for the mom (that's me!).

Captain Hook chasing Peter Pan and Tinkerbell.

It's neat to be so close to a Hot Air Balloon and hear the fire.

Sorry the camera was blurry. This is Sam, Jack, Sean Ryan, and Dallas with cheeks painted.

The best restaurant in Springville. The Trolly (because we're eating in an old train car).

Can I get this in an IV ?

Our personal poll has Elle as the winner!

Looking from the Provo Temple, toward the MTC and Provo, and Utah lake.

The gardeners planted pretty roses everywhere, and cute boys too!

Our favorite pool in Orem. Perfect for little kids.

A sudden feeling that we should go to Utah overcame me, and we planned a trip in less than a week. It was hard on us to leave such good times and good friends as we had while we lived in Provo and Springville, and we wanted the boys to see their little friends since it had almost been two years since we left. Springville where we used to live has their Art City Days which is a fun small town celebration with lots of free entertainment. Kids crafts, hot air balloons, parade, fireworks, etc. I was waiting for Education Week at BYU in August to center our trip around, but I just felt like now was the right time to go. (Can you believe gas is over 4 dollars a gallon? Choke. Choke.) Here's some pictures of our trip. We stopped in to see Papa Scott, Janis and Matthew in SLC. Pat got to visit with his professor and lab friends. It was nice to see our old ward on Sunday, and especially our old neighborhood. We had a neighborhood BBQ and the boys rode their bikes all over the neighborhood (yes we brought them because there are no sidewalks in Edgewood and they missed riding their bikes!) Thanks to the Katherine's family for letting us use their house as home base and for putting it all together! It was fun to see how much everyone's kids had grown!

I also stocked up on food storage stuff I can only find in Utah, and we went to our favorite pool in Orem and had a great time. We miss that pool!! It's hard to find water in New Mexico. I was really looking forward to going to Leatherbys, but it closed down! Sad.

We wished we could have seen all of our family in Utah (sorry Mandy!). I hate the way families are so spread out these days. Next time we go to Utah we'll visit the list of people we didn' t get to see including all my family in the Logan area and Pat's Aunt in Payson and Uncle in Highland. We just didn't have enough time.

p.s. Moab is so neat, fascinating, beautiful. I love the red rock formations and cute town. I wish I had taken pictures for the blog since we drove through it twice!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Evan!

We went to Utah for the last few days and just got home. A red ant bit me to say welcome home to New Mexico, and my toe, foot, leg have been REALLY sore for the last few hours. Today is Evan's birthday, and so we copied Sarah and Jeff's idea and put this together. Happy Birthday Evan! (He's two.) Thanks to Pat as always for all the video work.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Day Hike

Today we hiked up in the mountains near our home. I am looking for a fairly short, fairly easy hike to take my primary girls on in a couple weeks. Today's hike, though beautiful was not that hike. Five hours long, and way to many hills. And way too many hills. And way too many hills. Plus, there were no bathrooms. The boys went five times! I went only once because of the increased difficulty for girls. Evan walked well, but was carried most of the day. Sam only had to be carried a little, and he would hold my hand and be my helper on the big hills. Dallas said, "I think my eyes are melting", because he was sweaty. Sam carried rocks up the hills to get big muscles, he said. Evan just learned how to jump, and so when he was actually walking, he steered towards rocks he could jump off of.

So now Pat has to go out and find a shorter hike for my 8-11 year old girls. Most of these pictures are the trail we took back to the car. The trail we took on the way was all shaded in the thick forest. Very pretty. And when we got to the top there was a beautiful view. Too bad it was too hard, and too too long. I have a headache now, from sun, or elevation, or not drinking enough maybe (I didn't want to have to go again.)

The boys really did great though, and no one got hurt until we got home. Only after we got home did Sam's teeth connect with Evan's forehead making them both bleed, and Dallas slammed his finger in the door making it bleed. I guess being at home is more dangerous than stumbling over rocks and tree roots.

The beginning.
In this picture, I crouched down to be at their level, and they all thought they were supposed to crouch down too.
At the top.

It's de ja vu. Pat keeps saying this is probably the last hill, but then there's another one.

Finally done!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

The Performer (Barbara Ann & Figaro)

Mom and Dallas love being silly. Kinda like a badly dubbed over kung fu movie.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Curious ladies

The ladies are always watching us in our windows. It is pretty funny. We let them out to eat insects around our house, and they do a great job but sometimes they just want to know what we're doing inside the house. In this picture I am sitting on the couch and they just kept standing there trying to see what I'm going to do.

The boys do good with them and Dallas goes out to look for eggs ten times a day. Here's Sam and Dallas going out to fight something, tied together, because of course that is an effective strategy.