Sunday, August 5, 2012

The Utah Guinns' Visit

During the first week of July we received a special treat, a visit from Paul's twin brother Matt, wife Julie, and their two children Madeleine and Benjamin. We had been talking to Reina weeks leading up to their visit. She was excited to see her cousin Madeleine again. What is so great is that they are nearly the same age (only a couple weeks apart). But of course TWIN brothers had TWO girls nearly the same age.
They got along so well! Probably the most memorable activity these two girlies enjoyed was DRESS-UP! Reina hardly ever touches her dress-up clothes, but boy were they the "it" item this week! I should have bought many pairs of pink high-heels as they were the hot commodity to fight over. I never had any pretty dress-up clothes as a child. For my high-heel I would slide my foot into a Fisher Price train car. I guess it was more like a roller-skate.

We attempted camping with the kids at a nearby campground, Battleground Lake. It was a beautiful campsite! I knew Reina would do great, and imagined Baelor would do fine. He actually did amazingly well. I was more nervous about waking the other campers when he would wake in the night to nurse. We decided Paul and Reina would sleep in the tent while Baelor and myself would sleep in the back of the minivan. Ouch! Uncomfortable for me, but everyone else slept great. It was probably the hardest on Matt and Julie since their boy Benjamin is 1 1/2 and always on the go. It was just a quick overnighter, but we enjoyed chatting around the campfire with the adults including Uncle Steve.

We had a fun little barbecue out back with Paul's family for the 4th. Sadly, Paul had to work for the first time on the 4th. We are hoping all of his hard work will allow him more time with family in the future. That's our intention at least. After enjoying Grandma Guinn's new backyard furniture and scrumptious food, we headed over to my sister Sanni's neighborhood fireworks show. It was big and loud and fun for all.
We also took a quick visit to Uncle Bryan and Aunt Wendy's "farm" in Brush Prarie. We don't get out that way too often, but the kids enjoyed all the space and fun toys like the pools, trampoline and playsets. I think Reina was most interested in the hose though. Kids always seemed to be entertained with simple things like boxes huh?
We love Grandma Guinn! You too, grandpa. Next time we'll tackle you grandpa!
The girls: Lauren, Madeleine, Logan and Reina
Reina with cousin Degan
Aunt Sharon and Aunt Louise (the crazy aunts who live in the pink house)
Cousin Logan and Baelor
It was good to see the Utah Guinns and hope to be able to take a visit in their territory soon. And maybe take a look-sie on BYU campus and see all the changes that have been made since we went there.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

America, the Land that We Love

One of my favorite holidays is Independence Day. It is precious in so many ways. It takes place in the perfect season for barbecues with family and friends and kicking back and "relaxing" during "vacation" (i.e. do we ever REALLY get a vacation with kids?). I love how everyone seems to come together for one great purpose of showing their patriotism. Every year it becomes a little more sentimental to me. Back in the day I would rank the 4th of July as one of my favorite holidays because of the fireworks. I can remember fond memories of watching the "biggest display of fireworks west of the Mississippi" at Fort Vancouver with Neil Diamond singing "God Bless the USA" (still one of my faves) and being completely amazed with each explosion bigger than the previous. Today, I love the 4th for not only the fun parts, but also because I love this country. I value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. I love freedom and that I can choose how I want to live. I believe in the idea of reaping what you sow. I believe that if you work hard you should be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor. I believe in being charitable with time, money, talents, etc., but also that the choice of when/where/who to be charitable with is up to you. I believe that most Americans are good people.
Cousin Riley
I am not going to get into politics in this blog as I have far too much to say and want to keep it on a positive side. But, this is my blog and mostly I'm the one who reads it so I will only say a little. I will say that I see our country heading very rapidly in a different direction than one I would choose. There are a gazillion reasons this is so. There are far better sources out there than myself, so there is no need for me to get detailed here. I fear we are heading to destruction. We have learned that knowledge is power. What baffles me is when people say, "I don't get into politics." WHAT!?! This is like saying, "I want others to pave my life." You don't have to be up-to-date on every tiny scenario that happens in the political world because it can consume you and make you quite angry. But knowing more than what mainstream media is feeding you is necessary if you are at all interested in the integrity of yourself, your family, and their future.
I know these posts are really just a journal for myself and my family, and for the most part feel the way I do about America. I love America and want to preserve what we have had in the past. Too much war and labor has gone into shaping and molding Her; don't let Her be destroyed in a sudden "whirlwind of ideas" that are too fast to make you realize that the decisions made for this country have only lead to the deconstructing of Her. If you haven't made the attempt to learn, please do. The current leaders are banking on listlessness, ignorance, and flat-out lying. Oh, and mainstream stations (i.e. ABC, NBC, CBS, alphabet stations) are obnoxiously biased....but you knew that, right?
I really just meant to add a few cute pictures of my kiddos with Grandma and Grandpa Guinn all decked out in red, white and blue. I love my family and I love America. God bless the USA.

Mummi hula-hooping with homemade PVC pipe...she will do this from dawn to dusk unless you ask to see her splits.

Daddy was working at the Fort Vancouver Fireworks display doing chiropractic scans. We brought him a plate of yummy barbecue we enjoyed and played for a few minutes at Esther Short park. We missed him.