Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Family Reunion

Yep, another one (actually two!!)

The day after school got out we left to go to California. We first went to my parents house and then to the cabin at Lake Tahoe that we have gone to the past few years. It is so nice with seven bedrooms and seven bathrooms to fit our growing family. We had a fun reunion with my parents, my siblings, and my grandparents.

Seen here is Eli, the newest arrival in our family. He is my sister Sarah's first little baby, and he is six weeks old. Well, he was in this picture. I suppose that means he is older now. :)

One fun thing this year is that we had three babies present. Here my sisters Sarah, Wendy, and I are all nursing our cute little babes. They were such sweet babies- pleasant and happy the whole time.
My sister Heidi made Brenna's day by playing duets with her on the piano. (Yes, the cabin has it all- even a piano!)

My dad and Russ




The weather forecast was not great for the week we were there, but it actually turned out nicer than expected each day. We went to a nice beach one day. It was cool in the morning, but then became just right. Here is Russ with my grandparents. He is sporting an Ohio State jacket, and a BYU hat. Way to represent, Russ!




My beautiful sister wendy and her little babe, Vanessa.

Another day we went to the Donner State Park (is that what it is called) and learned about the Donner Party. Then we took a nature walk around the area and learned about some of the plant and insect life.

The Fun Aunt Heidi and her nieces and nephews.



The happy couple!



Brenna with her cousins Kenneth and Shannon. My parents now have eight grandchildren. (Four are mine!) My sister Wendy has three, and Sarah has one.



Brenna and Shannon are furiously eating M&Ms in this picture.




happy little Russ.



The group on the nature walk.



My brother Steve and Grant on the hike we went on one day.



Sarah and Jeremy and their little Eli.



Seth, Brenna and Kenneth- hiking buddies.




They have a pool in the community area near our cabin so the kids had lots of fun swimming despite the cold.



Russ taking a nap poolside.





My parents had lots of fun with their grandbabies. Thanks, mom, for holding Russ so I could relax in the spa!




Cute little Vanessa.



Saturday morning we left Tahoe and made it to Modesto for my Grandma Stephen's 90th birthday party. Now, this was an AMAZING event. The Stephens family does not have family get togethers. I don't think it has ever happened. But, for the most part, everyone was there to support my grandma. It was a wonderful day with wonderful food cooked by my Aunt Marilyn and her husband and daughters. It was so neat to visit with aunts and cousins that I haven't seen in years.



My mom and my grandma.




My grandma and her children and spouses, and if you look to the left of my mom- my little Brenna's face grinning. Why was she sneaking into the picture?!? Also, where did my mom get her height??



My parents, siblings, and my cousin Kristy (in green) who lived with my parents for eighteen months while she attended school to become a hygienist.




My brother Steve and Russ. After lunch we watched a slide show of old pictures. It was neat to see pictures of my mom when she was younger, and her brother who was just 10 1/2 months older than her but died in an accident on his mission. I have never seen many pictures of him. It was also amazing to see a picture of my uncle that looked EXACTLY like my brother Steve.




A pretty cake for a pretty lady.





My grandma and I.




After we got home, my sister Wendy and her family visited en route to Montana to visit her husband's family. I did not take any pictures when she was here (darn it!) but I am so glad she came! It was fun to show her our life here.

I love my family! It was hard to leave, but tempered by knowing I will see most of them again soon at Seth's baptism coming up. I want to thank my mom and dad for making such fun memories for us.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Graduation

Kindergarten Graduation. I admit I am the first to roll my eyes at that. I mean, come on- it's KINDERGARTEN. Do we really need to make a big huge deal out of it? I was grumbling that I had to pay five bucks so my little five year old could have a tassle to keep and cake after the ceremony.

But then I attended the ceremony. It was really fun and cute and enjoyable. The kids sang several well rehearsed songs and got to walk across the stage and receive a diploma.

The part that got me, though, was when they asked each child what they wanted to be when they grew up. It was neat to think that these kids will someday be contributors to society. There were several who wanted to be policemen and doctors, and also some more entertaining answers such as a princess, a mermaid, and superman. I was curious as to what Brenna would say. I was pretty sure she would say a princess.
As I was listening to the kids I was imagining some of them actually becoming doctors, or scientists that come up with the cure for cancer, or some other great accomplishments. Then the thought came to me that is was a little sad that none of the girls wanted to be a mom. That they didn't consider that to be something to aspire to.
So imagine my pleasure when Brenna answered without hesitation that she wants to be a mom. Wow. Really. Yay Brenna!! I can just see her in the future joining the ranks of Sister Beck's Mother's Who Know. My heart swelled just a tad when she said that. It made me so grateful for my Mother Who Knows that it is an important work to stay at home. Every daughter should have a mom who is their cheerleader like mine is for me. She is always encouraging me in my role.
This afternoon when I was telling Rob about Brenna's answer he said to her, "Well with a mom like yours, who wouldn't want to grow up and be like her." Well... thank you very much honey for that pat on the back!

Now, don't get me wrong! I am all about education and learning and being all you can be. But I do think it is important for moms to be home with their children. And I am just pleased that Brenna thinks that is important, too.

Doesn't she look ready for first grade?