Thursday, July 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Gardy!

Grandma Ardy's birthday celebration wasn't traditional in any sense. We decided to go to the Smithsonian American History Museum. And the day was off to a great start!
We were able to avoid a lot of the traffic and found a parking spot immediately. It seemed like a sign. And it was...sort of.

I was a little nervous that the kids would be bored at the museum, but there are plenty of hands on exhibits. Here the kids are trying to wring clothes dry the old fashioned way.

I know what it looks like...but it's really just a bucket of wash water. Each bucket holds 21 pounds. I felt very grateful for my washing machine today.

This is one of the original Dumbo carts from the Disney ride.

Hey Bay! These are Dorothy's real ruby slippers. Super cool, huh! My niece loves (or at least used to) the Wizard of Oz.

This is a gunboat from the War of 1812. A 24-pound dumbbell (at least that's what it looked like) did enough damage to sink this ship. Technology - especially the technology of warfare - has come a long way.

Here's Gavin the Riveter. That's hard work! I don't know how all the World War II Rosie's could manage those machines!

Here's a Huey from Vietnam. Gavin was very concerned about the fallen solider. G: "Is he dead, mom?" Me: "No, he's just hurt." G: "Goliath probably looked like that after David got him." Me: "Sure Gav. If you say so."

Yep. That's the original C3PO. Gavin was so excited that he had to take this picture all by himself.
Laynie: "Thomas, he's the cheeky one!" Gavin: "That's not Thomas, that's James!"
Notice how nicely Gavin posed for this picture. Right.

This is actually a really cool story. This light house is from GALVESTON, TEXAS! Read the little blurb below for your history lesson for the day:

Gavin: "Look at the mouse, Mom!"
Me: "Gavin. That's a cat."
Gavin: "No!! It's a mouse. By the train!"
Me: "Gavin, that's a cat....oh, there is a mouse."
Gavin: "Open your eyes mom."
Remember how I told you I thought that the day was going to be perfect? Well...not exactly. As we were walking to the exit, we saw a man step to the side, take off his shoes, and wring out his socks. We thought it was a little weird. Then we noticed the MONSOON that was turning the Mall into a puddle-ridden disaster. But, we HAD to get home. Here's the best picture of the day.....

It's the Smurfs.
Can you see the little fingers peeking through poncho? Laynie was sound asleep in the back so we draped the plastic over the top of the stroller. She stayed nice and dry and slept till we got off the train and headed to our car.

Then we had homemade pizza for dinner (not my mom's favorite food, but she suffered through it for the sake of speed). And had a delicious homemade cake. Don't look too closely. whip cream doesn't make pretty frosting, but it sure was tasty.
We love you Grandma Ardy. And according to Gavin, she's still 30. Funny that she and I are almost the same age.

Happy 24th of July!

Gavin, Laynie and I joined my family in their almost-annual 24th of July celebration at the Salt Lake Bees Baseball game.

It was hotter than Hades, but we had a ton of fun. least till it got to the firework part of the show. Laynie hates fireworks. She screamed hysterically and trembled. I hurried her out to my mom's car and she and I enjoyed them from there. Thanks for a fun evening Valletts and Winks! We love ya'll!

This was pre-firework fake sleeping. Obviously.

Thank Goodness for Thankgiving Point!

Grandma Ardy took the Wee Wallaces to Thanksgiving Point for another Fun Day on the Farm. Joel and MeMe tagged along, but Papa Dave did more manly stuff. He went to Cabelas.
A quick apology for the zillion was so much fun to have my siblings around, that we got some great goofy (blackmail type) shots.

If anyone is interested, you can buy baby chicks and turkey for $4. They don't guarantee the "gender" of the animal. Which really got me thinking how they could tell in the first place?

My mini-milkmaid.

This is the best they could do...honestly.

Check out the beard on this Bad Billy Goat Gruff. I wonder why they don't trim that off when they shear the rest of his coat? Anyone out there have some animal husbandry info? If not, I'll just google.

Such a cute picture of the lovely ladies!

Like I said, good blackmail. Right? Joel is such a blast to have around.

Gavin is quite the mule whisperer. He fed this little guy a dollar's worth of animal feed. And his hand was covered with drool. Awesome. Every little boy's dream come true.

Too bad Lizzy wasn't there!

Laynie and Gavin decided to take a carriage ride rather than ride the ponies. Whatever.
At least we all got to go together. The horse that pulled our carriage was named Annie. She's fourteen-years-old. Gavin was very interested in her age for some reason.

And then we had a MAJOR meltdown. Like the worst public meltdown in the history of Laynie.

Which is why we thought this sign was particularly funny...and appropriate.

Have I mentioned how much fun it is to have Joel and MeMe around? Did I also mention that they do just about anything to get a laugh?

As I was saying...

...they are both so mature for their ages.

I think the kids' favorite activity of the day was crawling through the tunnels at the vegetable growing exhibit. And I got a picture of Gavin's face with a smile. Miracles never cease.

Laynie was still a little miffed and wouldn't give me her cheesy grin. I had to settle for snapping photos when she didn't realize what I was doing.

Souvenirs, huh? Well, I guess that's a nice way to put it.

Hello Mr. Bean

Jen, McCall and their kiddos joined as at the Bean Museum on BYU's campus. Sadly, this is the only picture I took. No one was being very cooperative.
After the reptile show (which no one was all that interested in), we went to the BYU Creamery on ninth. My brother Joel met us there and was entertained by eight children under age 10.
The best part of the whole day was when the old lady at the table behind us walked to another table (with only three children at it, by the way) and complimented the mother on her excellent parenting skills. We all had a good laugh at our own expense. Awesome.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Snowbird in the Sunshine

Snowbird Resort is incredible...even without any snow. The mountains were verdant and lush. My kids love spending time outside, gathering pine cones, chasing ground squirrels, and swimming in the pool.

Oh...and of course, being dangled dangerously over the pond. Joel was trying to convince Laynie that she could catch a fish with her bare hands. Good luck with that.
And then of course there was the Alpine Slide. Laynie is fearless. She screamed, "Wee!" the whole time. When she ran out of air, she took a deep breath and continued shrieking. Aunt MeMe took her down a couple of times, and she's a much faster driver than I am. If that's possible.

Gavin was a little less...enthusiastic...about the Alpine Slide. If I knew how to work my mom's computer, I would crop the pic a little closer so you could see the terror on his face.

And speaking of terror, my fear of heights kicked in on the tram. I was so nervous that I sent Laynie up with my dad. I was afraid she'd fall out, and trusted her safety to my father's burly arms. She had a blast, while I shivered. You can see her bows peeking up over Papa's shoulders.

Draper Days with the kids!

Lizzy and Travis are awesome! They saved seats along the Draper Parade route for us. Travis got something small stuck to him that wouldn't let him go...that something was Laynie.

Liz had a similar problem with Gavin!
Travis didn't get to sit down. Laynie decided to be the "big girl" in his chair.

Gav loved picking up the candy. I took him a few minutes to figure out the concept that people were throwing candy at him and that it was actually okay to pick it up. That whole "don't take candy from strangers" thing doesn't apply to parades.

Here they are with their mouths full. "MMMM!" said Laynie, "This stuff is good!"

Thursday, July 15, 2010

If You Teach a Child To Fish...

The next generation of Vallett (or in this case Wallace) Fisherman is born! My Dad and Uncle Joel took Gavin up American Fork canyon for an awesome fishing trip.

Gav followed all the "rules." He stayed on the path, stayed out of the water and stayed with Uncle Joel and Papa. We should have added one more rule: Don't throw rocks in the water.

The fishing was great...the catching, on the other hand, was not so good. Joel snagged one monster five-incher as they were cleaning up their gear.

Gav is thrilled that we will probably go fishing again this weekend.