Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Visiting Layne and Anadeane

Over the summer we went to visit our dear friends Layne and Anadeane.  We were able to spend about a week there, including an Independence Day celebrations!
Little backstory.
John was baptized when he was 17.  Layne was his young men's president.  Beyond that Layne and Anadeane let John live with them for a while before he left on a mission.  They became family.
Now they are, in effect, grandparents to our kids.
Okay, more backstory.
Analee is, in part, named for Anadeane.  I spent so much time looking at names that it all became a blur before Analee was born.  I couldn't tell you where her name really came from.  Later, however, we realized something.  Not only do Anadeane and Analee share a syllable, but John's mom's name is Betty Lee.
Anadeane + Betty Lee = Analee
So, in honor of some lovely women, we reverse engineered her name and are even more pleased with it than we were before.

Back to the future.
Analee turned 7 this summer and, for the first time since she was a baby, we visited her namesake!
Layne setting up fireworks




Enjoying the fireworks.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Family Photos

During this summer, before we left for South Dakota, we did the family picture bit.  Of course, we're not usually good at the whole coordinating outfits bit, but this time, well, I forgot.
Yep, forgot about family pictures.  So I scrambled and got the younger three in blue and that's about all I could get.  Once I realized I couldn't get the older two to match I said bag it and John and I didn't even try for John and I.
Oh well.  It's closer to reality this way anyways, right?

This was about as happy as Drake got.  Not sure why, he just didn't feel like smiling much.

In this one Drake actually looks angry, but I promise he wasn't!

This one is pretty true to life as well.  Analee is generally happy and always has a cheesy smile to share for photos.  Bubby is 100% exactly however he feels, right here that's goofy.  Drake typically comes across as quietly mischievous and skeptical.  Gideon is usually a bit more cheery, but is always close on the heels of the older three. So far Benjamin is happy and excited to join in the fun.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

What Does the Fox Say?

It's been a crazy long time.
Crazy Long.

But now that we have an internet connection, well, here we go.

Things didn't pan out in Nebraska.  Maybe someday we'll write down everything that happened, but not now.
What now?  South Dakota.

Yep.  South Dakota.

We live just outside of Hoven.  (That's Northern South Dakota, in case you were wondering.)  And, despite being August, my kids put coats on when they went out to play this morning.  I can't complain too much though.  We've been here almost two weeks and I can already seem improvements on ol' NE.  There is slightly more variance in the landscape.  You know, instead of paper flat it's like blanket flat.  Still flat, but at least you can see things.  I'm also pretty surprised about the wildlife here.  In addition to the to-be-expected deer, we've seen frogs, foxes, turtles and a whole slew of birds, including heron and ducks and seagulls.  Seriously, seagulls.  We've got some marshy areas around plus a lake maybe 15 miles away.  That's our best guess as to why they'd be here.  I wouldn't have guessed that as a good enough reason, but there you go.
But I'm not gonna lie, I think the part that gets me to most are the foxes.  Have you ever heard a fox?  'Cause, despite popular media choices, they don't say "hockey hockey hockey po".  That first night was bizarre.  I had no idea what I was hearing.  That noise sounded like it should be coming out of the mouth of a baby moose.  Don't know what I'm talking about?  Well, this Animal Planet post is pretty good for that.  You can hear different fox calls as well as an explanation for that "hockey po" bit.  I'll let you guess which fox calls I've been hearing.  

But, strangely enough, one of the biggest plusses has been the dirt.  Have you ever been grateful for the dirt?  I realize that farmers think about dirt a lot.  But do the rest of us?  Well, I didn't until Nebraska.  Let me tell you about Nebraska dirt.  It's pretty much a combination of sand and dust (which, as a side note, grows spurs and not grass).  And when it rains that leaves you with a combination of mud and quicksand.  Multiple times we were 'mudded in'.  Traipse up North a bit.  It's just dirt.  Virginia was clay.  Nebraska was sandy dust.  South Dakota has dirt.  Right now we could use some rain, so it's dry, but it's just dirt.  And it grows grass.  The kids were so excited when they could walk outside without being stabbed.  Totally not kidding.

Anyways, sorry I don't have pictures now.  But I'm thinking I need to pull out the camera again.  Every spring I used to go picture happy.  In Virginia at least.  Not in Nebraska.  But maybe in South Dakota.