When Derek's family was down here two weeks ago they brought down a little tiller along with everything else to get us a garden spot. Since our backyard is unfinished we decided to use as much of the back yard as we thought possible and make spots in lots of places to know where it would be best to put the garden. I have an idea where I want it but if things don't grow well there then we need another plan.
Digging in! Consider these the BEFORE pictures. As you can see I couldn't be bothered to wait for the tiller to put in my peas, lettuce, carrots, onions and broccoli.
You can also see our random pit in the middle of the yard. We found a window well cover in the yard after the snow melted that fit NONE of our window wells so when we emptied the pit of it's bricks cinder blocks and trash we used it to cover our pit. Lovely! We still haven't decided exactly what to do with it. But we'll probably break down the bricks to a foot or so below the soil and then fill up the remainder of the pit with rocks and then put dirt over it so if it had a purpose (like drainage) then we'll still be ok but when we put grass and sprinkler system in someday it won't be in the way.
We all got to try out the little tiller. It was so fun! It was a very different than the rather harrowing experiance I had with a huge, jerking, drag you all over the yard tiller in school. I think I may need one someday. That way no matter where I go I can always have a garden. :)
Here is my mostly planted garden! ( I also have sunflowers and a pumpkin planted on the other side of the yard) That's four different varieties of corn in the foreground, 15 tomatoes by the white fence, melons and squash over in the square by the wooden fence and 9 peppers between them. Honestly I wish we'd planted more. I think I'll have a lot of sharing, freezing and canning to do this year. I'm going to be a little sad when I don't have the entire yard as my garden. I should have been a farmer.

Since we live less than a mile from the Cemetery where Derek's maternal grandparents uncle and great grandparents are buried, Hy and I walked there to decorate while Derek sprayed Roundup and lawn weed killer. I didn't get pictures of the decorating because we go there so often that I didn't think about it. While there though Hyrum kept wandering off to check out the other decorations. More than once I headed off to search for him only to find him crouched beside a ceramic frog or rabbit or his favorite, PINWHEELS (or round and round as he calls them). We decided that the other set of grandparents needed to have pinwheels. After all the spraying was complete safely free from Hyrum's curiosity we headed off to decorate the Tangren grandparents graves on the way to Tangren cousins for a BBQ.
This was one of his great grandpas that he was named after but he was more interested in watching the pinwheels go round and round. Naturally.
We got to the BBQ at Soren and Rachele's beautiful new house late because we had a hard time finding a way out of the cemetery but everything was DELICIOUS and fabulous company as always.

After eating Mom's and kids headed off to the park while Derek picked his male cousins brains about sprinkler systems and air conditioners.
Brei kept the swings going while I ran around and took pictures
Cousins piled on the slide
Little Aubree enjoying the park too, although towards the end she got a little hungry and decided to try a few wood chips
I have a little adrenaline junkie for a son and he likes to have underdogs on the swings that naturally have developed into space shuttle lift offs. He will start counting "One, two, bibe, tree, bas off" So you count down and when you'd normally say "Underdog!" you say "Blast off" He insisted that Brei be mission control. She's going to kill me for this picture but I love it!And Derek will kill me that I push him so high but in my defense he IS in a baby swing and if you could see his face you would see a HUGE smile on it.
Brei also got in on the swinging action
All too soon it was time to leave the park and head back home
As we were leaving the boys kept talking about keys and decompression valves. I didn't understand all that they were talking about but Derek seemed really excited. Come to find out that another mystery about the sprinkler system was solved.

When we got the mower on the first run through the yard we shredded the cap on a tube that came up in the grass right by the water meter. We could never figure out what it was but it always filled up with water when the sprinkler system was on. Come to find out that down that tube was the ACTUAL water turn on for the sprinkler system. Well there's your problem! And now we don't need the hose AT ALL for the sprinkler system. What would we do with out our cousins? They even sent us home with a window air conditioner to borrow. We owe them big time. And I didn't even remember to make fudgies this time! Next time...promise!!

Ok so I totally intended to to this post before the last post. Oh well. In honor of Hyrum's birthday I'm going to review the ways we've discovered that Hyrum is like each of us.

The ways he's like Derek
Undying passion for the Wii
CHEESE!! Loves cheese, shreds and "in his hand" ( we always try to put it on things he doesn't want to eat in order to get him to eat it)
He's really good about trying everything, but won't eat beans to save his life
He will ask me 50 times a day to watch the space shuttle take off on youtube. He will point out the rockets on his pj's and will count down.

( the drama at the end...yeah that is all from me. Don't you love it..."Rock!" ( head in hands, sucking thumb then peer off to the side to see if it's working. Yeah I've played that before...not falling for it )
He loves to read
He loves big words. I guess that's kinda me too. One day I was commenting to Derek what a cute kid we have and Derek said "Indeed" From somewhere off on the other side of the house we here a little voice screaming "INDEED, INDEED, INDEED" :)

The ways he's like me
He leads me to the pantry at all hours of the day for "cheese" or "roni" ( Macaroni and cheese) and can eat a half a box in one sitting.
Drama, drama, drama
He likes little spaces unless he's sleeping...then he likes the middle of a large bed ( that's more like his dad)
He is such a couch potato and loves to watch TV and movies ( I need to break BOTH of us of this habit)
He's a drooler when he sleeps
He loves making popcorn
This is not a comprehensive list at all and we're learning new ways every day of how he's like each of us and also how he's his own man. We love our little man! We can't wait for many more years of discovering with him.

Actually we've been celebrating for two weeks!(I'm giving you fair warning that this is long) I'm blaming my tardiness on his birthday never ending. He was none the wiser. He just thought it was great that he just kept having fun adventures and parties. So it all started on Monday the 11th of May. Do you remember back that far?

Cue the swirling pictures of memory.

I know it's blurry that's what you get trying not to use a flash with a busy kid. I just love his smile. We'll blame it on the swirling :)

Derek had taken the day off of work to celebrate with us. We didn't have any clue of what we'd do to celebrate but we were determined to do something fun. As you now know Hyrum loves to watch the space shuttle take off and as luck would have it Atlantis was taking off at noon ON HIS BIRTHDAY. We knew we needed to watch that. So we waited around (and Hyrum mowed the lawn- that's becoming a near daily event) until the shuttle took flight. I have to say if you haven't watched a real time lift off in a while I recommend it ( for one they are going to be retiring the space shuttles soon and for two it really is SOOO exciting- I was so surprised just how excited I got) I mean we are sending people into SPACE. I think we've gotten real hum drum about that and it really is amazing if you think about it. After the lift off (and Hyrum said "again" four seconds into the flight) I was thinking how much Hyrum would love to have a toy space shuttle like the space shuttle toy I remember my sister having as a kid. I was trying to think of where we could get one and I said "Remember where we went and saw that 3-D movie? Didn't they have shuttles in the gift shop there?" to which Derek replied "You mean the Planetarium?" Duh! So we decided to take off to the Planetarium for the day.

One of Hyrum's favorite things at the planetarium was this ball rollercoaster ( for lack of a better term)
It was two stories high. Hyurm couldn't get enough of it.

They had exhibits about planets in our solar system, eclipses, solar power, meteorites, weather and more but Hyrum couldn't be pulled away from the rocket section. His favorite videos presentations were "History of rocketry and The fundamental physics of rocket propulsion"....Yeah.
But we were able to briefly tear him away for a little walk on the moon and Mars.

And at the end of the day he did get a little space shuttle for his birthday. We didn't even pay attention and got him Endeavour but I guess that shuttle was on the tarmac too in case Atlantis had damage on lift off. Oh well. :)
It lifted off at our house! On our way home we discovered that Grandma and Grandpa Wadsworth's gift arrived so he was able to get that too on his birthday. I didn't get pictures of him opening it.
As soon as he got it out of the box he climbed right on in and it nearly dumped him out because it didn't have wheels. That startled him but he hopped out and got right to work trying to put the wheels on.

After his walk in the wagon he got his cake before heading to bed after a long day.
Elmo seems to be pleading for mercy huh? It's almost like he knew what was coming.

A good end to a good day.

Fast forward five days later to the 16th of May. Grandma and Grandpa Tangren ( and of course Uncle Dave) came to haul down all of Derek's childhood memories and everything they've had for us and waited till we had a house to give us. We celebrated Mother's day, tilled up garden spots in the back yard (more about that later) and had a party for Hyrum. I'd invited six families and had the potential of 14 kids here. ( I know I'm crazy) But as it turned out we had two families able to make it last minute and only four kids for Hy's party.
We set up the party downstairs since it was warmer and we had a lot of space down there. The first game was a train themed cake walk type game then pin the caboose (or steam for the older kids) on the train. Then cake and ice cream. We also had a game that if anyone heard a train go by the first one to tell me would get a prize. It went pretty fast but I think everyone had fun.
It ended up being a Brinkerhoff party.

He loved all of his gifts but Grandma and Grandpa Tangren's gift was THE gift of the day . This is his reaction to seeing it...

This is what you call a tricked out tricycle! He even gave his buddy a ride on the back.
He was very appreciative of his guests for coming.
Another great day!

Now fast forward another 6 days til the Fri the 22nd. Derek took another day off to take Hyrum out for a day with Thomas!
This was our gift to Hyrum for his birthday. Now call me a cynic but I thought that a they just dressed up the Heber Creeper to look like Thomas but here is proof that they didn't. That would be the Heber Creeper. (and Hyrum thought it was really cool)
Thomas is REAL!! :) There were a lot of things to do. They had all kinds of train sets to play with and look at and a hay maze for kids to wander through.

As you may or may not be able to tell Hyrum is not in the best mood. He wasn't planning on a big trip. We were trying to keep it a surprise but we've discovered that you kinda need to prep little kids for this sort of thing. They got out of the car and immediately Hyrum said he wanted to go home...but he warmed up to the situation a bit as the day went on.

His favorite things of the day would have to be his "Harold" tattoo,
His Monkey balloon,
And the Thomas train ride with Dad.
Some videos from the tracks...

Hyrum didn't know what to think about the conductor. That's who he keeps looking at. He looks a little beady eyed huh? ;)

He wanted nothing to do with Sir Topham Hatt so maybe that's why he was so suspicious.

Another good ending to the last birthday event.

DONE!! Whew!

So this last week I was lamenting how there is so much that is pressing on the house that requires money. One of them being the front water spigot/sprinklers because in this desert you can't depend on weekly rain for very long. I'd looked online to see if there was any direction as to re-installing an exterior spigot and found nothing so I figured that calling a plumber was in order. When telling this to Derek he said "Do you think I could try it before we call a plumber?" I said... "ok" While I was thinking "Oh no" So on Saturday he thought he'd figure out what he'd need when he was out picking up the lawn mower. He came home with everything! I thought he might wait for his brother and Dad who are coming down this coming weekend but he said he wanted to get started while I got the lawn mower together. But he ended up having to help me unload the mower so he got involved in that instead.

While we were waiting for Dad to get back with the lawn mower I remembered the Bubble mower that Hyrum got for his birthday last year that I hadn't even taken out of the box. I decided to let Hyrum play with it in the house while we waited.

He LOVED it!! He did this again and again! He "mowed" the entire house. He loved that it sounded like it had a real motor in it. And it didn't even have the bubbles in it yet!

So when Derek got the big mower out of the box I put bubbles in the little mower for Hy.
He much preferred to "mow" on the sidewalk. It took a few seconds for the bubbles to start going and when they did he stopped and watched them float away, completely confused as to where they came from. He'd start again and they'd come out again and he'd stop and watch them float away.

Then he realized where they were coming from

But still couldn't figure out how they were coming out.

But after awhile he got the hang of it

And both my boys were so excited about their lawn mowers
And after he saw Dad mowing the LAWN Hyrum was more interested in doing the same

After we went to a ward party Derek started on the water spigot

After this heroic pose ( which totally came naturally ) it was all connected and we had THIS!!
TA DAHHH!!! We still have a tiny drip that drips once every four or five minutes but we hope that will be remedied when Derek's dad and brother come down with a blowtorch or some extra muscle.
So no more hoses through the house for this!!!
Hyrum took off his shoes while he was eating and I told him he couldn't go outside but he got outside when Dad was running the sprinklers and he didn't even notice that his socks were wet but we knew everywhere he went afterwards

By the end of the night though he was SOAKED and cold.

But he still gave us a smile!