Sunday, October 23, 2011

Potatoes and Pumpkins

A few weeks ago, my very good friends John and Vickie lost their dad.  During our college years and my single days, I spent many a weekend/vacation with all of them, so when the opportunity arose to attend Gary's memorial in Oregon, I went.  Since the memorial was in Burns, OR - or as I like to call it, the middle of nowhere, we flew into Idaho.  This is my best attempt at a self-portrait at the Boise airport with the colorful "teepee" in the background.  I must say that the concentration face is not necessarily my best look.
Lainie and John brought their two beautiful children, Riley and Mykayla.  Vickie, Brent, Nancy, and Mr. Marth made up the rest of the Idaho crew.  We travelled the four hours between Boise and Burns at a very slow pace due to Miss Mykalya's hunger schedule and Riley's potty schedule.  It was a fabulous time.  I loved spending time with all of my pals.  We talked about real stuff and random stuff, and it was so great to have the opportunity to visit with everyone.  Anne, Tobin, Sam, & Lane drove over from Bend, and other than missing my boys, it was a wonderful time with everyone.  This is a self-portrait I took at a mid-mountain potty/feeding spot.  I think it kind of looks like I photoshopped myself in.
While I was gone, Kathy and Jim stepped up and helped Bob with the boys.  Bob told me that poor Kathy was beat after the first day with the kids, but I think she got back in her groove pretty quickly.  When I came home, the house was spotless and there were cupcakes.  The boys played rock band with Daddy (Ryan is obsessed with rock band - luckily, we've been able to convince him that he's playing rock band when there is a band on TV - unfortunately, he's decided that drumming is done best in the nude and definitely must be done shirtless).
One of the big things we were looking forward to was the fall festival/pumpkin patch at the church we've been going to.  Bob had somewhat of a rough morning with the suburban failing to start after a 20 minute jump, moving the carseats from the suburban to the van, sending the grandparents off to the festival, and having to wait for AAA to come rescue him from the driveway.  
From the pictures he sent me, despite the rough start, I'm pretty sure the kids had a great time.  Michael sported his signature hat and admired the multicolored pumpkins.
 James and Ryan check out that fence.  The previous week at church, the boys "helped" put the fence up.
 James goes exploring for pumpkins.
Looks like he found one just his size.  Each of the kids got a small pumpkin of their own, and a little closer to Halloween, we'll get a big one from Wal-Mart to carve.
Grandpa gets in on the hay action.  Nothing like a good hay fight to get the brotherly love going.
Ryan runs amok.  There was a bounce house that James and Michael spent most of their time in.  Ryan chose to play the games and win prizes.  I hear he hauled in some pennies and a little candy, too. 
Grandpa demonstrates the correct way to throw the hay.  Somehow, I wonder whether those grandparents try to teach the kids what they are supposed to do or what they are NOT supposed to do.
 Michael gets up close and personal with the hay.
 Ryan gives Michael a little hay bath.
I'm pretty sure Michael is about to sling some hay of his own.
Armed and ready for action.
My sweet little turkey is such a camera hog.  He loves to watch himself on video chats and is constantly taking pictures and saying "cheese."  He is nothing if not photogenic.  When Bob sent me this picture, it made me feel torn - I had such a good time with my buddies in Oregon, and it was great to hear all those stories about Gary, but I sure did miss my boys.  I spent a large part of my time on my own looking for souvenirs for the kids.  I was surprised how difficult it was to find one good two year old souvenir much less three.  I was so happy to see my babies, and I think they were happy to see me, too (although with video chatting, it certainly made the separation much easier for me).  Maybe next time we can get all of our kids together and watch the fun unfold.

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