Monday, July 28, 2014

Last of the Summer Company Leaves

Things are much more quiet at my house today than they've been lately. We've had company five of the past six weeks and I was able to see all four of my older sisters and many of my nieces and nephews. I love my family and we've had some great times these past six weeks, but as they say, all good things must come to an end.

My sister Sharon visited in June for my birthday. I guess she just didn't get enough of me, so she decided to come back. Another week of fun with one of my sisters and their kids? Well, if I have to. ;) We didn't do anything spectacular or really anything at all, but I think everyone had fun.

We took some pictures after church. Matt does not like having his picture taken, so it's just the girls in the picture:
Elizabeth and me, and then Sharon and me:
Chandra with Elizabeth and Sarah:
An adorable picture of Sharon
Chandra played Uno with the kids for a long time, and below that is a picture of Matt who had climbed up one of the trees in the backyard:
It was hot so we went to get ice cream one afternoon:
Matt ate his ice cream cone and then was enamored with this pump. Typical boy!
The kids also enjoyed playing in the inflatable pool they brought with them last summer and spent a few afternoons enjoying the water:
Sharon's small town doesn't have the best shopping, so she took her kids shopping for new shoes for school and was able to find a pair for each of them.

We also watched lots of movies, including Gone with the Wind. We watched the four-hour movie with the three oldest girls and they loved it.. Sharon and I also watched the two-hour documentary made in the late 80's for the 50th anniversary of the film. It was really fascinating and it was truly a groundbreaking movie. Even though the movie came out in 1939, I think it's still a great movie and they did a really good job of condensing the 1000+ page book into a movie. (Even though the movie was four hours, there were still a lot of things that had to be left out.)

One thing that was mentioned in the documentary was how Gone with the Wind was the first movie to have a swear word in it. (The classic line at the end of the movie/book, "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn.") What a difference in today's society where movies are riddled with vile language and it's nothing for some movies to have the F-word in them dozens of times.

I'm feeling a little blue now that all of our summer company has come and gone, but I guess that's just a sign that we have lots of fun together. Thankfully, time goes quickly and before I know it they'll be back!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Disaster in the Sky

Last Thursday, July 17, Malaysian flight MH-17 departed from Amsterdam heading for Kuala Lumpur. I'm sure it started out as a routine flight, but it crashed in Ukraine after being shot down by a missile. Everyone on board (283 passengers and 15 crew members) died. This tragedy comes just months after Malaysian flight 370 disappeared on March 8. That plane carried 239 people and has yet to be recovered. That's 537 people between the two flights. Just terrible.

The details as to what exactly happened and why are still sketchy, but the following photos show just how terrible the devastation was.
The following is a map showing the path that flight 17 took. It departed from Amsterdam and then crashed in Donetsk, Ukraine. I'm also including a picture showing the nationalities of the 298 people on board.
If there is a positive outcome to a tragedy like this it's that people––even complete strangers––rally around each other. These sorts of tragedies and disasters are definitely sobering and really put life into perspective. Suddenly all of the little things that seemed so important become really insignificant when you realize that the things that are the most important will not always be there (and may be gone sooner than you think).

Here are a few pictures of some of the memorials in different parts of the world for the victims of flight 17:
I'm not sure when we will know who's responsible for firing the missile that brought down the plane, but I hope that information comes out eventually. So far there has seemed to be quite a bit of resistance from Russia as far as the investigation and investigators haven't been allowed full access to the crash site. It will definitely be interesting to see what evidence turns up as the days, weeks and months go on. I'm sure concrete answers will help bring the victim's families more peace.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Annette's Visit 2014

My sister Annette visited from New York for two weeks. Her husband Joseph could only take a week off of work so Annette and the kids drove here by themselves and then her husband flew here the next week. We didn't do anything super exciting during the week Annette and the kids were here by themselves, but that seemed to be okay with everyone especially since they went on several adventures with Joseph once he arrived.

It was pretty warm the first week they were here, so the kids splashed around in the two dollar wading pool that Annette and then fiancĂ©e Joseph bought for my sister Sharon's kids like 10 years ago (one of the best two dollar purchases ever!).
We celebrated Rebecah's half birthday on July 7 since she has a January birthday and they only visit in the summer. We had a birthday treat and my mom and I each gave her a little gift. (A streamer to use when she dances from my mom and the Frozen Little Golden book from me.)
We got ice cream cones at Bob's Drive-In one afternoon. It was pretty warm and the cold ice cream really hit the spot. I love their ice cream because it's so creamy and smooth.
I thought this picture was funny. Even though Kimball had his own ice cream cone, he was caught eyeing Rebecah's. ;)
Chandra also went to get ice cream with us, but she was behind the camera (as usual) since she is usually the one that takes most of my pictures for me.
I sure love these cuties!
Kimball will turn seven at the end of August, so we celebrated his birthday as well.
Nothing like a little sister to help you blow out your birthday candles. :)

My mom gave Kimball a Lego Hero Factory guy and I gave him the Snakes and Reptiles Magic Treehouse fact tracker book.
My sister Chandra is a wiz with hair and has a natural talent for braiding hair (she makes it look easy!). One of the things my nieces always look forward when they visit is having Aunt Chan do their hair. Rebecah told Chandra she wanted a braid like Elsa from Frozen. I think Chandra did a pretty good job if I do say so myself. I love the color of Rebecah's strawberry blond hair:
The next day Chan did another cute hairstyle:
Unfortunately I didn't get a picture with the entire family, but I did get a picture with Annette (and another with Rebecah):
I gave Annette her baby gift while she was here. I knew I wanted to buy Annette a Willow Tree family ever since I found out she was pregnant. For Mother's Day her husband bought her Willow Tree twins which kind of stole my thunder a little bit, but that's okay. I completed the family with a mom/dad figure and a brother and sister figure to represent Kimball and Rebecah. I think they look precious all together:
Annette kept saying that she felt huge, but the picture above shows how fantastic she looks for being 25 weeks pregnant with twins!! 

Annette and her family left this morning to head back to Syracuse. We had a wonderful two weeks together and I'm glad Annette was willing to drive out with the kids by herself so that we could have an extra long visit. Things will be much different next year when they come since they will have gone from two kids to four! It will sure be exciting to meet the twins (who will be about 8 months old) in person.
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