My Mom and Dad took Aria and Zade to see the 24th of July parade floats at the convention center. While there, they also had their faces painted.
Aria loved her face painting so much that she wouldn't le me wash it off before bed.
There's nothing quite like having Grandpa Debenham tell stories. Aria was particularly captivated on the evening after the floats.
We've been doing a few crafts during the afternoon hours. On this day, we made bird feeders by covering pinecones in peanut butter and then rolling them in bird seed.
Aria wanted to hang up this bird house that I think my Mom bought more for decoration outside, but since we were hanging up the bird feeders, we thought we might as well hang up the house as well.
One afternoon we made playdough from scratch and then got out lots of kitchen utensils to smash, cut and create.
My Mom has been great about buying lots of toys for the kids. Here's a little fishing game that Aria especially likes to play.
Here's Zade cutting up some plastic fruit with a plastic knife. He still loves playing kitchen. He loved this set so much that he went to bed with the plastic knife and cutting board. That seemed a little strange to me, so I took the knife away, after he went to sleep.
One evening we picked up KFC and had a picnic at the local park. It was cloudly and slightly windy, so it was the perfect temperature.
For the 24th of July, I woke up early and saved seats for the parade. My parents brought the kids a couple of hours later, and we enjoyed watching all of the floats and people.
Aria has been taking swim lessons throughout the summer. Each session goes for two weeks and is four days a week, 30 minutes each lesson. Aria is currently in her second session for the summer, and is in pre-school level 2. Aria seems very comfortable in the water now, and always looks like she is having a lot of fun. In the picutre above, her teacher is helping her swim on her stomach.
While Aria swims, I read Zade stories, or play with him in the splash pad right next to the pool. He screamed and screamed the first time I tried to get him to play in the splash pad, but now he enjoys it.
Here is Grandpa telling Zade a story before bed.
We went to Pioneer Heritage Park last week. Aria's favorite part was pretending to wash cloths the old-fashioned way, by hand. She would scrub the cloths, then lay them out wet on the table and pretend to iron them. Then she would hand the wet cloth to me and I would hang it up. She must have washed at least 15 cloths. She was sad when I told her we needed to go see other things. I think I'll have to take the kids here again.
This train took us all around Heritage park while narrating the history of the different places.
Aria goes on a pony ride.
The kids loved petting the animals. There were even baby pigs.
We purchased some hand-made doughnuts, apparently Brigham Young's favorite.
Here I am with my cousin Heather at La Caille. We are attending my cousin Michael Debenham's wedding. It was a beautiful event, especially fun because Michael is 44 years old and we were all wondering when he would get married.
This was one of the craziest wedding cakes I think I've ever seen.
My Dad had to video the entire event. The table cloths were gorgesous, as were the table decorations and plants.
I never got a very good picture of the bride and groom, but here's the best I could due. This is a picture of their first dance for the evening.
Last night as I was trying to get Aria to say prayers and go to sleep, she began to ask me questions about prayers. "Why do we say, "In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen?" she asked. I tried to explain it to her, although probably not clearly for a 4 year old to comprehend. Aria responded by saying, "Why can't we just say, "Goodbye." " I told her that it was probably fine to also say "Good-bye," and maybe a "I'll talk to you tomorrow" as well. She said that she liked that better. Then she looked thoughtful again and asked, "Why do we say, "Dear Heavenly Father"?" I told her it was because we are trying to be respectful and polite, but she could also include a "hello, are you listening?" if she wanted to. For our prayer, I tried using those more informal words, and it was interesting how it really made me feel more like I was talking to a real, living Being that was listening to me. After I finished the prayer, Aria smiled and said, "Hopefully Heavenly Father is okay with that." I asked her if she thought He was okay with it. She said she didn't know. I said that I thought He was "okay with it."
Aria decided she wanted to teach Zade a knock knock joke. I'm not sure where she learned it (probably from other kids at pre-school), and I'm not much of a fan of the joke itself, but we found this little exchange quite funny. Here's how the joke is supposed to go:
I've been working on my dissertation in Arizona for the past month while Tara, Aria, and Zade have been hanging out in Utah with her family. We decided it would be best if I came to Utah to visit and remind the kids they still have a dad. :)
At the same time, Jenna also came to visit. Tara and the kids had a good time playing with her on a hike.
On the 4th of July we went and had the kids join in the Mill Creek parade, where kids go and throw out candy. Aria hadn't gotten enough sleep the night before, and was pretty grumpy. There was no way she was going to throw out such a lovely stash of candy. :) Zade made a good effort throwing the candy, but wasn't able to put much distance on each throw. We then went over to Tara's aunt Marjorie's house and hung out with their extended family.
Since they had a slip-n-slide, Tara's mom decided to get one too. Aria had a good time on it (until she wiped out.)
We also had a long overdue date night. After having a nice dinner at Olive Garden (courtesy of Shara - thanks!), we hiked Ensign Peak and then went to Red Butte Gardens.
Here's a nice view of the Valley from Ensign Peak. I wonder if this is what Brigham Young saw in vision?
After church today Zade went and grabbed a spatula, stuffed it in the back of his shirt and began wandering around saying he was He-Man. He's then pull out the spatula and wield it as a sword. He's hilarious!