Monday, May 23, 2011

two months in Montana, part 1: family

I've seriously got to get these photos uploaded! Shoot fire - Rachel, Cam, Bennett, and David will be here in like 8 hours, and we're fixing to start a whole new bank of memories. So, with minimal commentary (unless I just can't help it), here we are with family over the last couple months.

When we arrived in late March, Rachel and Bennett were here from Portland to greet us, (along with those who live here, also of great importance). DOH. I started right off with commentary. Anyway, it was so cool of R&B to come, and it made our getting-out-of-Texas-and-into-the-northwest all the sweeter. No offense to Texas; you guys have some great turtles and frogs, and homemade salsa and tortillas. Rachel, having inherited a larger portion of the organization-focused DNA, already posted a lot of pics of our time together, so I will just grab a small selection from my camera.
Zoralee and Bennett - a clever People pairing by Rachel

We also had a precious 5 or 6 days with Papa before he headed to North Dakota.

one of my fave pictures of these two - both so gobble up-able (thanks, Heather!)

playing that chicken and pig game on Papa's fancy doodle phone 

ordinary life after the "extras" left - - -

reading Papa a story via Skype

helping Grandpa Larry "feed the forces"
(she still calls them that - we don't get it, but it sure is cute)

pitching hay
Other favorite activities with Grandpa Larry activities include wrestling, joking around at meals, reading, and gathering eggs from the chickens.

Grandma Rena is always up for a reading session, bless her heart.

Zoralee's latest thing is wanting Mom to read pages and pages of regular old novels aloud - like, adult mystery novels with complex plots and no pictures. Very peculiar.

She's pretty well infatuated with Grandma Rena, following her like a puppy all around the house. Sometimes when I enter the room, Z starts fussing, "Don't swipe me away from Grandma!" And she gets quite distraught if Grandpa ever leaves the house without giving her the option to go. It's funny that I don't have many photos of Grandpa Larry and Grandma Rena, but I guess that's the way it is when your daily lives are so entwined. I take more photos when we go in to visit Great-G & G, which we've gotten to do every few days since we've been here.

fiddle and tiny drum

fiddle and tiny fiddle

yet another toy from Grandpa Gene's endless collection of the silly and the strange

Great-Grandpa Gene is a wonder to watch around children. With boundless energy, he finds ways to delight and entertain them. He'll be standing there quietly for a few minutes, observing the child, then he'll disappear into a back room only to bring out some one-of-a-kind nic nac or wind-up false teeth or hat wig, just to see how they'll react. Or he'll suggest a "chore" they can help with, like carrying laundry. He always offers his classic healthy snacks too, Cheetos and gum drops among them. My mom says she remembers his brothers being the same way with kids - gentle, quiet, silly. Isn't that fascinating? How do you raise an entire family to be that way? I don't know, but now I'm reaping the benefits the second time around! 
blueberry art for Z by Grandpa Gene
painting a flower onto a rock

And of course, what good is performance without an audience? Great-Grandma Louise is usually the background person in photos, but that only points to her constant role of supporter, cheer-er, clapper, encourager - all of which she does with sincerity and joy, as though this is the first child she has ever heard singing their ABCs. And she's always good for some dollars to stash into Little Lamb's backpack.

Most of our time with Uncle Luke and Aunt Heather has been at their band's shows, for which I'll do another post. But this, feeding ducks at Woodland Park, was one of our outings together early on. Another was going to frozen yogurt and then the movie, Rio, Z's second-ever "thie-a-day-ter" [theatre] experience. She lasted for half of it, then zonked.


"Back away from the goose."



Shana said...

I just love how you all incorporate skyping in so very well. Awesome! The little fisher price people crack. me. up. And, how awesome that Zoralee DOES get to benefit from your Grandpa.....I remember him, too being around. Let's just face it, your family rocks.

Christi said...

I love your family! I wish I could just go for a week and enmesh myself in the bunch.

lori said...

I love my family too! Of course, I don't blog about our skeletons, grievances, and less than photogenic moments. heh heh. But they are a good bunch.