Thursday, June 27, 2013

2nd Birthday Celebration!

While we were in Wyoming little Miss Catherine turned into a sweet, spunky, sassy and stubborn two-year old!  (Actually, she was all those things before, just not 2!)  It's been quite a wild ride into toddlerhood as my fairly easy baby certainly has quite a few opinions of her own!  Here are some of my favorite pics from the past 2 years!
If there was one thing I heard a lot of while we were in Wyoming it was that she was "just like me" but unfortunately in reference to her/my stubbornness and independence.  Right now she is determined to completely buckle her seatbelt by herself and her favorite phrase of the day is "No! I do it!"  She most often wears a smile (unless she just met you) and has the most devilish of grins.  She is developing quite the sense of humor and certainly likes to tease.  And while I hope she gets my sense of independence (maybe not so much my stubbornness) I also hope she develops a love and appreciation of family history and willingness to carry on the family traditions and stories, not because she is the only or oldest girl but because we have instilled in her the importance of these things.  And of course a love of old photos:
Catherine might be the death of me as she isn't afraid of anything and approaches life full speed ahead.  There are no rocks she won't climb, cliffs she won't approach or animals/bugs she won't attempt to pick up.  She has an amazing ability to catch bugs, including but not limited to two live flies in the window of the airport, a cricket that she felt she had to give Amma (much to her dismay) and many, many, ladybugs and roly-polys.  It was her love of bugs in general that inspired her birthday party, but first we had to make our cupcakes.  Catherine was a big help:
I've kinda liked our quiet, Skype birthdays in the past for the kids (especially since Matthew is old enough that this is the year for a "real" party) but with all our family around I figured it was as good an excuse as any to get together.    The kids helped make some decorations:

And then Amma and Papa helped take care of the kiddos while I made some treats and finished up the cupcakes:
Complete with 7-Up/Hawaiian Punch which was an Easter staple at grandma Elsie's house.  Catherine approved I think:
 That face that tells me she is up to something:
 Of course the birthday girl needs a ride:
 And hugs with Papa:
Lots of great family, visiting and fun with near perfect weather:

 Uncle Matt grilled up some great burgers and dogs, but there were some little ones ecstatic about cake. I may have forgotten/lost the candles but matches worked just was well:

 And what good is cake without ice cream!

Then it was time for presents.  I had suggested that it was special enough to get everyone together that no presents were needed, but my family are terrible listeners and/or stubborn, but Catherine didn't minde and we sure do appreciate all the new fun things!  

After seeing the sad state of Boo, Catherine's permanent sidekick, Uncle Matt ordered a New Boo or Boo Two as we call him.  It's amazing the difference 6 months of hanging out in Montana made!
 And Matthew is ecstatic with hand-me-down Boo so it is a win-win.  I had picked up some bug boxes at the dollar store as favors so after presents the kids went hunting for bugs:
 Cousin Jerry found a treasure trove under some old railroad ties.
 Which Catherine had to bring back to show Uncle John and Don.

 One more attempt at a group cousins picture.  Soooo close!
 And I asked Dad to take one of me and the kiddos:

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A little respite!

After a week of sorting through gems like this (there weren't many photos left in the greenhouse but it's always exciting to find a picture you haven't seen before, like this one of my grandparents)
And the less exciting wall 'o' bolts that were literally sorted and passed on to new homes:

It was time for a day off!  Our cousin invited the whole family for a pig roast!  Papa was known for his pig roasts and thus far, every wedding in the Pozun-Majdic clan has included one.  I had forgotten, (as there are no pictures because the process was less that photogenic), apparently even Sharon's mid-winter, sub-zero wedding had one as well.   While James and I were fortunate to get to see Dad's cousins a little more often when we lived in Wyoming, the only times they (we) ALL got together much like many families were for funerals.  I am so, so, so thankful for Jerry's family for taking on the pig roast so we could break that trend.  

As we are still trying to save and hoard James' vacation for long trips to Virginia and a few other things, he didn't join me for the trip.  However, he did some switching around and took a "late" Memorial Day weekend to join us for the pig roast.  We all hung out:

 And don't let this picture fool you, John worked very hard helping with the pig but we convinced him to hang out every once in a while:

 The youngest boys didn't have time for sitting around and had some tough work to  do:
 As did the girls:

More hanging out:

 And finally the moment we were all waiting for:
 JJ was head over heels excited!
 The boys getting ready to carve:
 And our very generous host family
After a delicious dinner where there was no time for photos :-)  James helped me scout locations for a family photo shoot (which weren't ideal due to some harsh sun, but alas) and he's a very compliant model:
 However my entire family are not!  We couldn't get everyone looking at the camera (though looking back unless they were in standard Majdic-stiff-as-a-board pose, this has been a 60+ year problem) but we didn't get a picture of everyone who was there:
Jennie's kids (the 'ons):
 And their progeny:
 And the adopted Pozun, one's of Dad's best friends growing up:
 And just a family pic with my sassy pants girl and cheese face boy!
 It truly was a fantastic evening.  The kids played until well after dark, we kicked a keg of beer, and there was lots, and lots, and lots of reminiscing, catching up and of course, pig.
The next day it was back to work.  I packed up James with a car load of goodies and projects that are currently waiting for me in the garage:
 And the kids "helped" the new owners irrigate:
 Feeling pretty good about our progress we took off one more day for some relaxation and headed to Thermopolis to soak in the pools with the requisite stop at the A&W for lunch.
 After loading the kids up on some diner classics we headed to the pools where Matthew fell in love with this waterslide.   It was just slow enough he felt comfortable by himself and with me, 3 uncles, 1 Teta and 1 Papa at the pool, there was no shortage of arms to catch him at the bottom.
 Catherine even got in on the action going down the slide with Papa:
 After we dragged the kids out of the pool, Uncle Matt insisted we return to A&W for root beer floats.  Little Matt had been telling everyone the recipe all day ("It's just root beer and ICE CREAM!") and he confirmed that A&W not only made them correctly but that they were "delicious".
 Our next phase at the house involved a lot more work and fewer treasures as we cleaned out from under the house and the garage.  It did leave us with quite a bit of scrap metal which we sold to fund dinner out a Svilar's, the infamous steakhouse in little old Hudson, WY.
 The kids hadn't really napped well (which is saying a lot since the entire trip 95% of their naps involved 30 minute car naps) but Teta Sharon was more than happy to help entertain:
 Dinner was great as usual and thankfully hasn't changed much since we moved (or probably since the 'ons have either).  Once the wiggles got to be too much we took the kids across the street to play:
 Yes, the kids:
 While we enjoyed some natural Western hospitality:

And the kiddos said their goodbyes for the day: 

 We didn't have time to head to the Union but I at least wanted to get a picture of mom and dad in front of the bar where they met:

Uncle Matt and I then headed out to settle a small disagreement at the casino (where I won the disagreement and he won the cash for the night).  As we tied up the loose ends at the property I started getting ready for Catherine's 2nd birthday and birthday party, to be blogged soon!

Five on Friday

1.  Look at these winter white legs out enjoying the sunshine at the dino park.  Spring has FINALLY sprung! These boys went from winter di...