Sunday, August 21, 2011

We Should Be in a Marching Band

This has become the summer of parades.  As it turns out, we've been in three and watched one this summer -- all for different causes.

My dad suggested we register to walk the parade route for the Grand Floral Parade during the Rose Festival.  If we paid the entry fee (which benefited a center for grieving children), then walked the 4-mile parade route just ahead of the actual parade, we got reserved seats to watch the parade when we finished.  It was a great suggestion and we had a lot of fun doing it with my parents and my brother and his family.  I hope we do it again!

Darling cousins before our walk started.  

 Getting ready to walk the parade route.

 Here we are walking the parade route.  People line the streets early to stake out good spots for the parade so we had "spectators" the whole way.

 Watching the Grand Floral Parade after our walk.

Then in July Sambo's birthmother's mom invited us to walk with her in our town's parade.  She is the Oregon Mother of the Year, so she has been spending the year speaking to groups and making appearances to spread the word about the honor and dignity of motherhood.  G and Buddy sat in the crowd and waved as we walked by.  I walked with Sambo's birthmom and he got to ride in the car and wave at the crowd.  As you can imagine, I got lots of questions about our association with the Mother of the Year, but as you now, I'm always happy to talk adoption!

 Here Sambo is with his birth grandma, Oregon's 2011 mother of the year!

 Buddy and James after the parade holding their haul.  Buddy opted to "watch" the parade rather than participate so he could collect candy.  Smart kid!

This past week we joined a parade to kick off the county fair.  We walked with a few members of our adoption support group.  It's a fun tradition we started a few years ago and I hope we keep it up.  The parade route is short and it's fun to wear our adoption shirts and throw candy.  And then for participating, we get into the fair for free.  My mom joined us and we spent the entire day at the fair.  The weather was perfect, so we took our time wandering around, hanging out listening to music, looking at the animals, eating popcorn and snowcones, and getting free stickers and flyers from the various booths.  The ladies at the "right to life" booth got a HUGE kick out of our adoption shirts, to say the least.  I think we made those women's day/life.

 Me and the boys before the parade.  Notice the boys' sweet new adoption shirts.  Too bad you can't see mine.

 Here is our little group, minus my mom and the girl taking the picture. 

We also watched the 4th of July parade in my parents town.  I LOVE this parade, since I grew up going every year.  And we've gone every year that we've lived her since finishing at BYU (bless G's heart for being a good sport.)  However, after having watched the Grand Floral Parade a few weeks prior, my kids weren't as thrilled as me by the one-float-parade.  When the motorcycle cop finished the parade, Buddy shouted, "Yay!  The parade is about to start!"  We felt bad telling him, sorry, that was actually the end.

Here we are enjoying the parade.  My parents ward was the only "float" in the whole parade. 

G wanted me to point out that they always play "Louis, Louis" at parades.  Anyone know why that is?  Since we are now parade experts, we should know!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Catch Up

I'm bound and determined to get caught up on the ol' blog about the fun we've had this summer.  We have had a great summer although we've definitely had some low points.  Although it's winding down, I'm in denial and refuse to talk about school in a few weeks.  We're still going strong and trying to enjoy every day.  We haven't done anything extravagant and haven't done any big vacations.  But you know how you can tell we've been having fun?  My house is a mess, I haven't been to the gym as much as I'd like, and the blog is neglected.  Something's got to give, right?

However, my yard and garden are in good shape, we've been to the zoo three times, we go to the pool once a week, we've been to the park too many times to count, Sam learned to ride a bike, we've picked berries lots of times, we read constantly, we've played with lots of friends, we go to the library once a week, we've been to Bend, we've been to parades, our friend Ben put a beehive in our backyard, we got a visit from G's sister and family, I went to an adoption conference and the boys held down the fort at home, we've been sad with friends who have been having a hard time, we've reviewed our parenting and learned yesterday our kids are poorly behaved and it's all our fault (long story and I'm only slightly being facetious), we've been to the beach with another trip planned tomorrow, today we went boating, and next week I'm going to start canning. Phew!

A few of our events deserve a separate post, but here are a few recent pictures.

At the zoo with Sambo's birthmom.  She is SO good to both boys.  I love her for that (among lots of other obvious reasons).

Ben put a beehive in our backyard.  He's showing us one of the frames.  We have all been fascinated by our new little pets.  I think he said there are 50,000 bees in the hive. 

4th of July.  Yes, Buddy's head is sweaty from riding his bike for hours.

Eating ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory.  One of our favorite places.

This child loves to climb.  (Loves is an understatement.)

I love this boy.  My love was tested (so to speak) yesterday and I shocked myself with how defensive I became of him.  Love, love, love him.

Jumping off the sand dunes at the beach.

Have I mentioned this child is part monkey?  My littler son is there in the pic too, but not quite as adventurous.  Buddy at the top, Sambo at the bottom, and some other kid in the middle.

Riding the zoo train.  Poor Sambo gets strangled by his brother every time they pose for a picture together.

At the children's museum with our best friends. 

This is Sambo's best friend in the whole world.  They are playing "vet" at the children's museum.  I almost died of cute overload.

Eating a treat in Bend. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Who Am I Now?

Do you remember my Trump or Monkey post concerning Sambo's hair?  Well, we finally found a hairstyle that is super cute and he's been sporting that for a few months now.  It started to get really long in the bangs, although it had grown out to a good length everywhere else.  G took him to get his bangs trimmed today and he came home looking suspiciously like Jim Carrey.  This poor kid can't win!

And for comparison's sake, here's what he looked like before the bangs got trimmed: Oh well, he's still the most adorable brown-eyed boy I've ever seen.