Saturday, October 30, 2010

Down on the Farm

We took a trip with the Lambs to Riley Farm to visit the apple orchard and other fun things they have there.

We got dirty, smelled all the delicious animal aromas (yuck!), and watched the pregnant mama goats waddle around the petting zoo. Abby and I empathized all too easily with them.

The girls made some friends with the horses (and once again were delighted to watch them poop on the ground. What is the fascination?)

This brown one liked Avery a lot.

The girls dragged Joseph through all the raspberry bushes, hunting for the last vestiges of the yummy berries left.

I wish I'd gotten a shot of the mountains in the other direction which were green and absolutely beautiful. The view from up here was amazing. Instead you get brown mountains and a pregnant belly.

The last thing we did while there was make apple cider. It was so much fun and worth the long wait. First we had to load up a crate with apples.

Then we dumped them into the tub to get clean. I think more than just the apples got wet. :)

Then we started putting the apples into the top of the grinder.

Grinding them up was hard work for these little hands, but the kids did great managing to turn the wheel anyway.

Sophie became a grinding champ.

Once they were all ground up, the strong muscular men took over pressing the apples down and squeezing all the yummy juice out of them. We poured the juice into a gallon jug and got to take it home. It was so delicious and the girls couldn't get enough. We had a great time and will have to make this a yearly tradition.

Sea World with Gramma and Grampa Jensen

A month ago or so (I'm still so behind) Joseph's parents came to visit us for the weekend. We had such a great time with them here and the girls loved having one on one time with Gramma and Grampa Jensen.

Bob had mentioned once that she has always wanted to go to Sea World ever since she can remember because her mom went once and used to tell them all about it. So we decided that we had to go to Sea World while they were here. It probably wasn't exactly what she had pictured, but I think she still liked it.

I know the girls sure had fun! These two loved watching the piranhas in this tank. We watched all the major shows: Seal and Otter, Shamu, Pets Rule, and the new Dolphin show, and also saw the penguins, sharks, flamingos, and starfish.

I wish I'd taken more pictures while they were here than this, but I guess we were just having too much fun to pause much for pictures. Thanks again for coming down! We love you!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Our Sophie Girl Turns 4

I like to tease Sophie that she's growing up too fast and had better stop before she gets too big to fit on my lap and such. Her reply is always the same: "Mama, if you don't let me grow up to be a mama, then you won't ever get to hold my babies!" I can't refute that, so I just let her keep on growing.
So Sophie had her special birthday this year and turned four on the fourth of October. She was pretty excited about it, even if it means that now when she has to eat a certain number of bites before her dinner is considered finished, it's now 4 instead of 3. The sacrifices we make to grow up.

Sophie is loving her preschool class and is posing with one of her best friends in it, Tatiana. She got to choose a book to donate to her class with her picture and name inside. I was absolutely shocked when it was a princess book! (not)

She requested pink rice crispy treats for her treat to take to school and enjoyed all the attention from the other girls who wanted to sit by her while they ate.

Later that night we celebrated Sophie's birthday with our favorite Orange County-ites, the Lambs. We were so glad they made the time to come up for Sophie's big day. We went swimming and had pizza for dinner and then it was cake time.

Sophie is obsessed with Ariel right now and wanted an Ariel cake, but I was really not feeling up for making a big, elaborate cake right now, so I talked Sophie into some simple cupcakes. I was so grateful that she agreed and was just so excited about getting to have Ariel on hers that the rest didn't matter.

Avery carefully took mental notes as she watched her big sis blow out the candle.

Then it was time for presents, and Sophie was spoiled by her grandparents and family. I think she definitely got her Ariel fix!

Joseph and I only really got her one gift, a bike. She's never had one before and the poor thing is so deprived that she doesn't even know how to pedal a bike, so we thought it was about time. But it's a little too big for her still and she's not finding it very easy to pedal, so this is going to take some time to figure out I think. But she was very excited about it nonetheless.

We have decided to have family parties every other year for birthdays, so since she had a friend party last year this year was a family party. We just renewed our Disneyland passes so Joseph can take the girls there while he's home on paternity leave for the next couple of months, and we decided to take Joseph's day off on Columbus Day and go to Disneyland. Sophie is now big enough that she can ride a lot of the big rides. Her favorite for the day was by far Soarin' Over California (my favorite too) and I was so glad she didn't get scared at all. But she was also still content to do the littler rides like Buzz Lightyear, Jungle Safari, Monsters Inc., and all the little ones at Bug's Land.

We even met some new friends, these two bears (whose names I have no idea about). The girls weren't too keen on the idea of hugging them, but they were cool with high fives.

I think Sophie had a fun birthday and we sure had fun celebrating with her. We love our bright, funny, serious, silly, stubborn red head! Happy Birthday, Sophie Girl!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Let 'Er Buck

Every year my little hometown of Pendleton, OR puts on a world-famous rodeo called the Pendleton Round-Up. It's a big deal in cowboy world, even if most of you have probably never heard of it.
Our little town of 15,000 swells to 50,000 for that one week, and this year it was even more than that because it was the centennial celebration of the Round-Up. To celebrate, the state built this new addition onto the rodeo grounds, and we trekked all the way to eastern Oregon to visit it.

I was 7 months pregnant, yes, but that didn't stop me from flying alone with the girls to Salt Lake and then driving with my family the 9 hours to P-town. Crazy? That's already been determined. We had fun, though, and the girls were great road trippers. We met up there with everyone from the fam who could make it including Mom, Dad, Jonny, Jamie, Julie, and her "good friend" Leo (not pictured). We missed Joseph, Peter and Abby and boys, Scott, and Geoff.

We were blessed to stay at the home of some friends, the Merrill's, who were gone for the week. (We often left town for that week when we lived there, too.) The girls fell in love with their dog Yogi, and played fetch with him for hours on end.

We made it into town in time for the Westward Ho! parade for our first event. It had more horses in it than any other year I can remember, and the girls were so excited. (Of course that didn't have annnnnything to do with all the candy people threw at them.)

Sophie waved her little American flag and looked adorable in her cowgirl hat.

Avery waved, too, and was cute in her cowgirl shirt, but was mostly enthralled by the horses going poop in the street. Seriously, that's all she could talk about, and I had to stop her more than once from running out to examine it up close. I think it stems from the fact that she's been potty-training and knows that she's not allowed to poop on the ground, so why do the animals get to?

Sophie caught onto the "Yeehaw! Let 'Er Buck!" phrases that everyone can be heard saying in the parade, and she said it over and over the rest of the weekend.

The girls decided they wanted a try at riding something, so we took them over to ride on some ponies. Here's Avery on a little pony named "Rockstar".

Sophie wanted a bigger pony, so she got to ride "Patch".

I think it was love at first ride.

For both of them.

Then we made our way over to the Round-Up stadium for a few hours of rodeo fun. We were on the very front row in the west grandstand, the newly built one. It was very nice, and the girls loved being right near where the horses rode by. We had a great shot of the princesses flying past on their steeds.

The Indian Princesses took the track at a much slower speed. They were beautiful, though.

The girls only got antsy a few times, but all in all did well during the rodeo and really enjoyed it, especially Sophie. Her favorite was watching the bulls and broncos buck their riders. Avery had her first and last taste of beer thanks to the idiot next to us who left it sitting precariously on the edge of the fence while he no doubt visited the bathroom, so of course Avery snuck over and dipped her fingers in for a taste. Remember the bitter beer face commercials? That was Avery to a "T". She didn't go back for seconds.

My parents get very into dressing up for the occasion, even if their daughter is much less zealous in it herself. I think I had one too many years of being forced to wear a cowgirl shirt for a few days growing up that I can only stand to put my little girls into them now.

We didn't get to attend the rodeo on Saturday, too, but these love birds all did. It was obviously a first for both Jamie and Leo and I think they all enjoyed it.

We tried to see as many people as we could while we were in town and were glad the Smiths had a couple minutes free one night to let us drop by and say hi.

We also spent a very fun evening with my parent's best friends, the Neals and the Leonards. We got to watch them in action playing charades and it was hilarious to say the least. They seemed like they were all in their 30's again.

The girls loved spending time with their Gramma and Grampa Lamb.

We spent one morning at the carnival to keep the girls entertained. Sophie loved posing as Ariel as this is her new favorite Disney Princess. It's the hair.

What a cute face. (Can you tell we've got "Cheeeeeeese!" down really well?)

The girls each got to go on 4 rides, and this airplane one was a huge hit.

It's funny how it doesn't matter how many different places the girls have gone on carousels, apparently it never gets old.

They even still choose to do this at Disneyland all the time, even with all the other fun rides to choose from.

I thought they'd get scared on this little roller coaster, but they loved it.

We had a very fun weekend visiting my hometown (and I even got to show the girls the house I grew up in, my high school, and my elementary school where they played on the playground for a while). The Pendleton Round-Up never gets old. Let 'Er Buck!