Saturday, December 15, 2018

The Focus was Pie

I've been walking each morning around Jeff's lakes, even in drizzling weather.  The skies were clear this morning, with Venus as my companion.

Papa and I got a lot of work done before this little guy decided to join us. And even when he did, he wasn't sure about it.

It took us awhile to get to Jeff's.  When we arrived, Ella was eating breakfast.

I commented on how tall Ben had grown since I had seen him last (four months ago), and apparently this is a sore spot with Ella.  Now I see why.  These two siblings are five years apart.

Dave's family arrived last night.  They traveled with lemons, fresh from a neighbor's tree.  We discussed at length what to do with them.  Someone suggested pie.  That idea floated in the air for a few minutes.

In the meantime, Melanie taught many interested people about rocket fuel.  I'd love to tell you more, but it was at this point that I left to take Ella to work.

Sirius was not interested in rocket fuel.

Julia and I were interested in lunch, which was ready when I returned.  Everyone enjoyed chicken nuggets.

I felt I needed peanut butter on my roll.  I was a little blocked in, so Dave jumped up to help out.  But he needed help.  Kate jumped up to get the peanut butter, and then a knife.  Kate seemed to save the day for the next 8 hours.

Carolyn and Kate worked together to make crusts for lemon meringue pie.  Jill just happened to have everything necessary.  Anything we needed, Kate found.

Not everyone was involved with making the pie.  I love watching cousins play together.

Nate's blanket caught my attention.  I made this quilt 20 years ago for Nate's oldest brother.  I guess college kids don't take truck blankets to school.

Jeff and Jill had to leave.  Carolyn stayed home with all the kids except one.  Papa, Dave and I took two animals and Ben for a walk. It seemed like a reasonable balance.

I love Jeff's lakes and never turn down an opportunity to go for a walk.

We spied an abundance of wildlife.

So did Sirius, who was outraged that squirrels were in the trees above us.

While we were all looking up in the trees, Little Ben spied two cormorants.

Ben tired of the scooter, so Dave took it over.  Sirius is such a funny dog.  He was delighted to pull Dave along.  Maybe Dave enjoyed this a little too much.

The lake was filled with birds.  Dave taught me about cormorants.

Lo and behold, Corinne joined us!

Back at the ranch, people were moving in the direction of a piano recital.

Maybe not all of us were moving in that exact direction.  Some people went to a playground.

Julia ended up in the latter group.

Kate ran through her music one last time.

Melanie worked on chemistry homework until it was time to go.

Nate and Luke were teaching Ben the finer points of Minecraft until there was no time left at all.

The pies came out of the oven just before we had to leave.

If the recital hadn't been important, it would have been sacrificed for the pies.

Luke and Jane performed extremely well.

Kate is excellent.  Trust me on this.

Ben said he was nervous, but I couldn't tell at all.

Jeff was a pretty proud dad.  Marcia and two grandsons made a surprise appearance.  Joseph was bored to tears.

The first words out of Ben's mouth when we all met up at the house were, "I want pie."  Those were everyone's exact thoughts.

We all met in the kitchen to eat dessert.  No one spoke.  The kitchen was completely silent.  This pie was that good.

After pie, we went to Jeff's ward Christmas party.  I wondered what Melanie was doing, on her phone, in the middle of an enormous crowd.  Ready?  Finishing her scholarship application, due at midnight.  Let's wish her luck.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Sushi and Brownies for Dinner, with Ice Cream

Many projects were on today's list of activities.  Ben and I sorted books.  One group was for books we kept.  Another group was for books to give away.  Ben knew every single book and wasn't willing to part with even one.

My camera missed Corinne driving a truck, and Papa had his work cut out for him, too.  But at the end of the day, we had a beautiful chair.

Ben and I made brownies.  He's not very good at cracking eggs, but I am.

Papa picked up sushi on his last outing of the day.

Ben had already eaten dinner, but he wanted to eat just the rice and seaweed from our dinner.

Fortunately, we had a good back-up plan.

Guess who is a master at Go Fish!?

The three of us had a wonderful time together.

I had kept my eye on Percy all afternoon.  While we worked, he slept on my coat.  He's still there.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Introducing Joseph

I combed Ben's hair this morning.  He was not especially pleased about it and was delighted to go off to school, maybe before I was finished.

In case I haven't mentioned this before, Confucius is in love with Papa Ben.  She won't give me or anyone else the time of day, but when Papa shows up, she melts.

Percy, on the other hand, likes everyone, including me.

Casper is King of the Castle.  Casper worries that we might starve if he doesn't provide for us, so he brought Jeff a dead mouse before we left tonight.  We had Torchy's for dinner, so actually there was no need for him to concerned at all.

Hank loves Jeff, but he's not concerned about providing for his master.  He was a little annoyed about all the noise this afternoon.

I tended Joseph this afternoon.  I got plenty of help.

It's pretty cute to listen to Ben sing lullabies to Joseph.

When babies fall asleep, my initial reaction is to put them in the crib.  I later learned that this was the first time Joseph has slept in his crib.  Ben is singing to him.

Once Joseph was asleep, Ben sang to Hank.

Joseph is a very happy baby.  I loved spending time with him this afternoon.

Ben gave Joseph super powers using Ninja stars.  It was pretty cute.

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...