Saturday, July 7, 2012

Stars and Stripes and No Fireworks (due to fire hazzard)

This post is a little late because of some camera trauma and also learning how to condense my pictures into a different format so I don't bore you all to tears with my miles of pictures.

So...hope everyone had a happy fourth!
I was so thrilled to get this pieced together before we left for the holiday.
I have been collecting patriotic fabric for years now hoping to do some fun projects.
My mom made this and I just had to copy it :)

It's made using a little tumbler template.
It is smaller than it looks here...I should have put something up next to it to compare to.
My mom's is posted on her blog here.
You can tell better on hers how little it is since the card next to it is business card size.

Anyway, I love how it turned out.  And it actually went together without much trouble at all!
That's an accomplishment for me :)

Saturday afternoon we headed out with a loaded and packed car.
We drove up to Park City...literally dropped the kids off...jumped back in the car and drove down to Salt Lake for a dinner with some other Utah, Dravet parents.
It was presented to me as a "couples" thing but when we arrived at the restaurant Andy was literally the only man there.  When we asked if it was just a Mom thing they said "no" but all their husbands were at home with the kids :)
He was a good sport though and we learned a lot and laughed a lot as we exchanged stories and experiences.
Next time though (this group gets together a few times a year), he will stay home :)

On Sunday we went to church and then celebrated my Father-Law's birthday in grand style.

Andy's sister and family from Tennessee were there making the family complete.
Andy's mom had planned a cowboy/train party...combining Merill's love for westerns and his past career working for Union Pacific.
I love John Wayne wearing the UP hat :)
The kids (Ben especially) enjoyed riding the "four wheeler train" that our brother in law made for Merill a couple of years ago.
Ben's cousin was kind and took him for rides several times throughout the week.
Thanks Lauren!
The night ended with a pleasant visit out on the patio (love that mild P.C. weather!)
and the kids finding a few stray lightning bugs!
(That little speck on Josh's finger in the bottom right picture is one.)

Monday was spent in the water.  Who doesn't love to play in a waterfall?

Or in a hot tub?

(Josh was elsewhere during all of this)

We also went and saw "Brave" that day.
And the kids had to be just that...brave!...with all the action and ferocious bears.

The kids got a little waterlogged on this trip since we went boating the next day.

I was worried that I would have a hard time keeping Ben happy and out of deep waters.  However, I was pleasantly surprised.  He went right into the water with Andy (see the perfect life jacket he's in with the little handle for us to hold on to?  It made it so easy to keep him safe.  Although throughout the few hours that we were there he said "ow" every now and then.  I figured it was something to do with the life jacket so I unbuckled the little buckle that goes underneath between the legs.  Sure enough, when I changed him later that day I found that it had been rubbing against his little leg and gave him quite a sore spot. :( 
He loved the water though!  He always does.  Andy had fun driving the boat and Josh and Abby made sure they had every opportunity to take a ride in the boat.  Matt was happy just doing whatever.
(Abby seems to be the one most absent in these pictures)

We Interrupt This Blog Post for a Seizure Update...
In the middle of writing this post the family was getting ready to go have dinner up at a family camp out.
Ben fell and started having a seizure.  This one didn't stop after a couple of minutes so...6 minutes administered the Diastat...still going...15 minutes called 911...still going.  After the operator dispatched the EMTs he finally stopped at 17 minutes.
When he stopped I told the operator to not have the ambulance come any more...we knew what to do.
She said she was sending them anyway since it had been a long one.  Fine.
The kids excitedly watched for the ambulance as Ben lay on the floor completely exhausted and out of it.
They arrived quickly and started taking all of his stats and asking all of their questions.
8 total professionals gathered in our not too large family room.  Our neighbors from both sides came and checked on us as they usually do...offering help and support.
They gave Ben oxygen but said everything else looked fine.  Consequently, they were okay with us not taking him in.
Initially we were still going to go up and have dinner with my family but Ben's postictal state was a little odd...his muscles in his arms and legs were tightening up and he was in a weird position.  He was a bit grumpy too...who wouldn't be? we decided that I would stay home with him while Andy took the kids up.  Ben's muscles relaxed as soon as he fell asleep in my arms.  When the family left I tried to lay him down on the couch so I could quietly go about doing some things.  He would have none of that.  I sat back down with him and he fell asleep again within minutes.  My good neighbor came over while we were there on the couch and talked to me while she unloaded and loaded my dishwasher and cleaned the stove top!  Then she brought dinner over for me!  She's a keeper :)  Thanks so much LaReen!  You're so sweet.
When Ben woke up he seemed normal...normal for after a seizure like that.
We had an enjoyable rest of the evening just the two of us.

Now, we return you to your regularly scheduled blog post...

 Uncle Dave brought home an interesting box after work that day.
Bacon/Maple donuts!
He opened that box and I could just smell the yummy maple but I have to admit, the bacon kind of ruined it for me.

Not for Matt though!  He loves bacon and so he was happy to gobble these puppies down.
I on the other hand took a piece with the least bacon and secretly took it all off so I could enjoy the yummy maple icing.


 That evening was loads of fun with my sister in law hostessing "Minute to Win it"!
She did a great job and it was so fun to watch everyone doing crazy things.
Thanks Jenny for the fun night!

I'm determined to get a new camera soon.  I'm tired of dark pictures.  My four requirements are...compact, good quality pics, can take stills during a video, and adjusts to lighting automatically.  If any of you out there know cameras and have any suggestions for me I would love it!

 On Wednesday the fourth some of the girls did some little festive fancying up...

I brought some red, white, and blue nail polish (I'm not usually one to paint my nails but I thought this would be fun).  I tried out a technique that has been intriguing to me on Pinterest.
Marbled nails...found here.  I found this tutorial quite helpful.
It was a lot of work but turned out kind of fun.
The younger girls had fun painting their finger and toe nails too.

Adorable star braids courtesy Jenny/Pinterest.  A bunch of little girls were running around with stars in their hair all day...very festive!

The morning was spent making rockets.  Andy had so much fun making Josh's for scouts that he decided to do it with his family.  He stayed up very late one night creating the launcher.  It was fun to see him so excited about something.

It was serious business!

Each family made at least one rocket.
Ben even got into it.

Really, he just enjoyed rolling the rolls of tape back and forth across the table.

While waiting for the rocket launch that afternoon, the kids enjoyed some more water play...

and a silly little game I found on Pinterest involving shaving cream and cheetos :)

Grandpa enjoyed spraying everyone down...

 and Ben enjoyed eating the cheetos off the ground...not a keto friendly activity!

Finally, we were ready for the launch...

The rockets went quite high!  You can see in the middle right hand picture that we had to send out scouts to find them on the mountain after they landed.
We got a kick out of Nancy (bottom right picture) on the mountain with the dishtowel over her shoulder.
She is ever in the kitchen making sure everyone has enough food to eat.  Bless her heart.
Bottom middle picture shows all seven rockets.  Some exhibited some team pride while others showed pride for their country.
The undisputed winner was "Cosmic Cosmo" by Mike and Ty Andrus".

 That rocket shot straight up every time just like an arrow out of a bow.  Well done guys :)

 The rest of us enjoyed spectating...

well...most of us.

Ben had a staring seizure shortly after this pic...

and slept for a long time afterward.

I had spray painted a bunch of awesome frames I found at the D.I.
to do a kind of photo booth thing.
We had to "force" some people to get behind the frames, but we got some good ones.

I thought these two were worthy of their own space...

Look closely to see my brother in law hiding in the trees.
Kind of creepy eh?

In the middle of taking these Ben had a tonic clonic which lasted only about a minute but he fell asleep again so, once again, Jenny came to the rescue and finished taking these for me while I held him.

Later that night the kids put on a talent show.  I missed the first three performances (two of which were my children) because of some going to bed Ben drama (he didn't want to fall asleep since he had already slept so much after his seizures)

I snagged these pictures from Andy's mom.

 Abby sang "Fifty Nifty United States" with some of her cousins...

 Matt looked super cute...

and this picture cracks me up! 
 Josh recited the Pledge of Allegiance in French...a little talent he picked up in 3rd grade from his teacher :) 

The next morning we parted with some group shots.

All 19 grandkids.

What a grand time we had!

(still a super long post even with the condensed version of the pictures :(  Sorry.


  1. From the perfect little flag to the French version of the Pledge--I was smiling and laughing out loud at all the fun (except the seizures). The little train rides, Matt wolfing down the bacon/maple (yikes) donut, Abby in the waterfall, Ben in the water, Minute to win it silliness, rockets, flying, Josh reciting, etc., etc. Almost as fun as Disneyland!
    Sometime you'll have to explain the Cheetos/shaving creme game to me--I think those two items have equal nutritional value. : )

  2. Such a great post, Aimee! I may have to steal some of your pictures to use on my blog... That is, if I ever get caught up! And I also had to laugh when I realized the business card next to your moms awesome American flag project was from The Gathering Place! You know, the quilt shop in Rupert, ID that we were talking about. How funny! It was a fun reunion! Thanks for bringing the frames, taking so many great pictures, organizing the Cheetos game and being such a wonderful sister in law! Sorry to hear about Ben's seizures. The 8 day seizure free streak was great... Let's pray for more breaks like that! We love you guys!!

  3. wow! you guys had so much fun! that is so great that the whole family was able to be there. i loved all the pictures but my favorite was probably ben (not) enjoying spectating. :) that boy has got some faces! and your flag looks great...i really want to make one too. love you!