Hyrum is growing up before my eyes. It's exciting and sad all at the same time. The other day I needed Hyrum to be tired out so we walked down to the park at the corner and let him play on the play ground. We'd been there before and I coaxed him here and coaxed him there and encouraged him down the slide with outstretched hands. Sometimes he'd only consent to it if he was on my lap. I brought my camera to capture his adventures and got more than I bargained for.

This may not seem big to you but he's never gotten off a slide without me helping because I've always been there at the bottom lifting him off . Then he did this...

Yes he climbed up that all by himself. I put a hand on him a few times just for my own sanity but he's perfectly capable of climbing up all by himself.

I'd gone to grab my camera because he was WALKING up the stairs to the big slide instead of crawling and I figured he'd wait for me to get back to go...not so.

Of course the joy is in the journey too. On our way to the park he stopped to smell the neighbors flowers.

And on the way home he insisted on dragging my jacket home. I have no idea why but it reminded me a little of Linus from the Peanuts.

I'd searched, and searched but hadn't ever found a u pick farm in Utah. That is probably due in part to the mini farms that grace the back yards of so many Utahns. But a month ago I was driving home from grocery shopping and saw a sign advertising a u pick raspberry farm in Payson ( which is a small jaunt from here) In my frantic search for the website I came across a u pick farm finder website that I'd previously searched for farms and came up with a big ZERO. But lo and behold this time there were 3 u pick farms listed. So we set a date to go picking raspberries and blackberries.

Hyrum was really excited about the blackberries. They are his favorite right now and has the berry stains to prove it. Believe it or not we'd wiped off his face at least twice by the time I took this picture.

We also picked raspberries. Hyrum wasn't nearly as excited about them and we couldn't figure out why until we got him home and de berryed and found the scratches on his hands, arms and fingers. He discovered that raspberries bite back.
What Hyrum WAS interested in was the little eclectic animal farm next door to the McBrides briar patch. They had everything from chickens roosters and geese to ramming goats, deer and stags.
Do you see the white stag?!? Don't we get a wish if we catch it?
My boys and the goats...the deer are in the back ground.

The berries were big and beautiful. We munched on them all day.

K, I don't know why that blackberry picture is the way it is...it looked normal in my picture file.

But my big plans for the loads of berries we picked was fruit leather!! My mom used to make it all the time when we were young and I loved it. So I mixed some blackberries and raspberries together and made some up.
Sounds like I just threw it together doesn't it. Well unfortunately it was in the oven ALL night.
Someday if I get a dehydrator it will go much faster I'm told but in the meantime this was GREAT! A little seedy but SOO good! And now I have big plans for the apricot nectar my mother in law always sends down to us. :)

My neighbor is a domestic goddess. She has a family of 9 and keeps them fed with homemade and canned salsa all year. She planted over 70 tomato plants this year and her backyard looks like a mini farm. So when tomato harvest came me and my artist friend and budding domestic goddess in her own rite decided to invade my neighbors house for her to give us a refresher course in tomato canning. It was so fun to stand in the kitchen all together and chat while we worked.

We each brought our own tomatoes and helped each other can them. We even helped my neighbor can a batch of salsa.
What I didn't expect was that it went SOO fast when we were working all together and talking as we worked. It was seriously so fun. I took a picture of us all together but I've decided that I'm just not good at all at taking these kinds of pictures. So don't look to carefully because I look a little psycho. My fellow canners look fabulous though!
The finished product!!! Ta DAHHH!
See ya next year!

Tired of my trip already?! I told you there would be some quick fire posting going on! This is the last one about our trip...promise!

On Friday night we went out to the Avery's house and they had a bonfire going when we got there. So we roasted marshmallows and tried to keep Hyrum out of the fire.

Hyrum was ALL ABOUT the marshmallows. He had it EVERYWHERE!!

His cousins were even nice enough to let him ride their bikes.
Of course he didn't go anywhere without them pushing him...he couldn't reach the peddles but he loved it anyway.

The next morning we headed off to the blueberry patch to do some blueberry picking. Thanks again Saroya Jaliegh and Ethan for taking such good care of Hyrum.
Hyrum even got a bucket of his own. It was his first time picking at a U-pick place.

Of course anything that went in that bucket was promptly eaten.
It was Derek's first time at a U pick farm too. He was a much better picker though.
There is something I just LOVE about family farms. They are just so salt of the earth, honest, trusting and personal. And can I also mention CRAZY cheap! LOVE IT!!!

Then after a quick trip to the farmers market that was closing up we were off to the BEACH!!

It was too cold for us to go in Lake Michigan so we spent most of our time on the river between Lake Michigan and Duck lake.
Derek tried his hand at skim boarding and did pretty well.

Hyrum wanted to do it too. He just wants to do everything his dad and cousins do.
As we left to go back to Grand Rapids Ethan raced us to the property line. He gave us a run for our money!!
We miss you all! Can't wait to see you again!

I was really excited for Hyrum to be reacquainted with his grandparents who haven't seen him in the flesh since he was two and a half months old. His great grandmother didn't remember meeting him before too well so this was a great time of getting to know one another.
While great grandma was folding towels she made a little tunnel for Hyrum to walk through. He thought that was great!
While at great grandma's house the deer visited. Hyrum thought this was the coolest thing ever!

He even got to play pat a cake and ring around the rosie with great grandma and great aunt Val.

By the end of our visit they'd bonded enough for Hyrum to give her a big wet kiss before she headed to Montana for an adventure and to meet some more great grandkids.

My dad (Papa) is retired so he was able to spend a lot of time with Hyrum and they had a great time together.
Riding the vacuum cleaner

Climbing into the tree house with Papa at the Frederik Meijer Gardens.
On Sunday afternoon we all went for a walk before we headed back home.
Playing with Mema one last time before we get on the plane to go back home.

Mema, who loves to shop and is always trying to talk us into moving to Michigan, bought Hyrum this outfit.

Don't be mistaken, our family only bleeds BYU blue but this serves the purpose to remind us of our visit and encourages us to come back.

But in the meantime we can't wait until Mema and Papa come out here for Halloween!

While we were playing and running around with the Garricks we were also trying to find airline tickets to get back to Michigan for the funeral of my Grandfather. After much searching and calling we found some that were a good price for last minute tickets. So Sunday and Monday (Labor Day) were spent making the necessary preparations to leave town. On Sunday night we had a down pour and I ran out to secure things and get our car that is usually in the carport a free carwash and got soaked. Hyrum of course was begging to go outside so I scooped him up and took him outside to dance in the rain. We twirled around with up turned faces, as the rain came down. Then Derek noticed that Hyrum's teeth were chattering so we went inside and wrapped him in a blanket to warm up. He thought the whole thing was great fun.
The thought of flying with my very active little boy made me want to throw up and we did everything we could think of to prepare for his wanting to run around the plane and get into things. At the end of the day he did pretty good. He flirt with the flight attendants,

it also helped to have other kids around and LOTS of snacks. Hyrum thinks that if he's sitting he needs to be eating.

While we would have preferred to go back to Michigan for a happier occasion it was wonderful to see people we haven't seen in years, be there to remember my grandfather and support family. Hyrum was also able to get reacquainted with grandparents, great grandparents, aunts uncles and cousins. One person I was really excited for him to get to know better is his second cousin Celia Voller who was born two months after him.
Hyrum is not one to sit very long so I was surprised when he sat with her as long as he did. She isn't walking real good yet and was walking around tentatively clinging to her grandma's fingers but when Hyrum took off across the room she kicked it into high gear.

They got along beautifully even though in her exploration of this handsome new blond boy Celia poked Hyrum in the eye. He still let her cling to his chest in order to stand up. I'm sure he remembers almost pulling pants off other boys when he was in this stage. I hope they can spend more time together as the years go by.
The funeral was beautiful and I was given a greater scope of my grandfather that I didn't feel I knew like my grandmother because he was so quiet and when he did speak, soft spoken. All events of that day were fitting tributes to that great and gentle man. My sister Holly wrote an incredible post about that day and did what we all wanted to do in taking pictures of the military funeral which I hadn't expected to affect me the way it did.

Especially on this day that we reverence patriots. I salute my grandfather who served his country his family and his God. My he have his rest.

Saturday we went down to Provo for the first BYU football game. And Hyrum's first game. It was near 100 degrees that day. Miserable. But in the second half the clouds came and rescued us from some of the heat and the relentless sun. BYU won and it was a fun game. Hyrum had a good time for the most part. He had his moments of nervousness and excitement and the need to run around like a crazy person but all in all a great time. I'll just post pictures and videos that tell the story better than I can.
That smudge on the picture is from little man's sticky little fingers that he loves to smear on the lens of the camera. UHG! He just loves touching things he's not suppose to touch. And no he didn't keep the hat on, nor the other hat we brought to sheild him from the sun.

A little nervous about all the cheers. Too bad Mom was too busy video tapeing to comfort poor chap. He may have been just playing old dad for some ice cream though...

Dancing like a crazy man! Every time I tried to get a video of this he'd stop doing it ...this is the best I could get!
Having a moment with Auntie Nikki. She'd just given him some popcorn...I think he's in love.

Hyrum loved to listen to the band...especially the drums.


The last week or so has been a blur. Soo much has happened. Now that things are coming into clearer view. I'll bring the blog up to date.

The last Thursday of August my sister's family flew into Utah for the home opener of the 08 BYU football season. Friday was spent on campus visiting Legacy Hall and the cougar down by the stadium where me and my sisters had pictures taken when we were kids. It was also spent getting reacquainted with cousins for Hyrum who was only 2 months old when he saw them last. Of course that didn't take any time at all.

It was no time at all until Hyrum was chasing Jackson around. He thought Jackson was great!

Hyrum walked in Legacy Hall and immediately saw the cougar statue and began growling. He has just recently associated the two.

We headed over to the stadium. Across the street the marching band was practicing and Hyrum wanted to watch so we headed across the street to watch.

But eventually we got to the stadium and got a picture of Hyrum solo next to the cougar. Doesn't he look so small?

Hyrum was in heaven with all of his cousins. He loves them and his Aunt Nikki and Uncle Greg! I think they like him too.
Hyrum and Auntie NikkiCousin Reagan Hy and Cousin Jillie
Cousin Kobe Hy and Cousin Jackson

Stay tuned because there will be some rapid fire blog posts to come!

( Nikki if you want copies of any of these pictures let me know and I'll email you full quality pictures.)