This last weekend my brother in law and niece Reagan came out for a BYU football game and we got to see them while they were here. On Friday they came down to the house to see it and play with Hyrum. They came bearing gifts, a BYU football that sang the fight song when you caught it or hit it, which Hyrum absolutely LOVES! It was great to talk to them and show off our house to them. Quirks and all. Hyrum instantly loved Reagan and insisted that she follow him around and play with him. And Reagan was sweet enough to indulge him.

When Derek got home, they invited us to join them for dinner at Los Hermanos with some returned missionaries that served in the Buffalo area.

It was so nice of them to let us tag along.

When did Hyrum become 5 and Reagan turn 14? On a side note: Would you just look at those curls? No wonder no one ever wants me to cut them. It was a fun time with good food and good company. Thanks again!

On Saturday we met them in Provo to do some pre game festivities and just see them more. Hyrum was begging to play with Reagan all morning and was very excited to see her again. It was in the mid to upper 80's on Saturday so we spent most of our time in the shade near the stadium but we had to take a picture with the cougar.

And Reagan took a picture of us by the cougar as well.

BYU fans will be happy to know that we are never wearing the cursed "Quest" shirts again.

As we sat in the shade of the stadium trees by the cougar club parking we noticed the legendary Lavell Edwards walking toward the stadium. Greg called to him and he was gracious enough to stop to take a picture with Reagan and Hyrum.

If Hyrum wasn't going to be a BYU fan before he's definitely going to be one now. He's taken a picture with the man the stadium was named after.

But I don't think there's much risk of that...

Hyrum and Reagan continued to play before Greg and Reagan headed into the stadium.

Fun times! When they headed into the game we went over to the pregame festivities and got pictures with the Carls Jr star ( Hyrum was confused he thought he was getting CHICKEN stars) and the Gieco Gecko ( which he calls the "alligator") and got a bunch of free stuff.

A great day that ended in a disappointing way but we'll just focus on the good times. Humility is good right?

This week I decided to try canning peaches by myself. I've never done peaches by myself nor had a recent refresher course with anyone to really feel confident in knowing I could do it so I was a little nervous. My mother in law was coming down for the weekend and is a big canner. ( Can I just show you my basement filled with every last thing you would need for canning as well as 14 BOXES of jars ready to be filled?) I felt more confident in knowing she could be there to help me so I made plans to can when she came. Then it was going to be upper 80s and near 90's the day we could do it and in our fans only house that would be a little miserable. So I thought maybe we wouldn't do it. But we picked up a half bushel of peaches anyway. And I gathered my courage. A storm came through the day my in laws left and I ate a peach and it was pretty ripe so I knew I'd need to do it fast if I was going to do it.

Monday morning dawned cool and drizzly so I busted out the newly found Ball Blue Book of Preserving ( aka the canning Bible) and got to it. When I got everything ready I realized that I had to use every last burner on the stove to have everything cooking at the same time.

I hadn't put on the pan for the lids in this picture.

I learned from doing tomatoes that standing on a tile kitchen floor all day really hurts your back so I decided to try wearing some thick fluffy slippers to see if that helped.

As I got started I flipped on the i-tunes and then as my peaches bathed in the boiling water a fitting song came on.

I'm a little worried about Hyrum's rhythm. He seems to get his rhythm from his Dad. Sometimes it's there and sometimes it's not. Please ignore that he's in his jammies with peanut butter on his face from his breakfast toast in early afternoon.

As I peeled off the skin of warm peaches my mind wandered back to doing the same thing all growing up. Most of the time I couldn't resist the heavenly smell of the warm peaches and had to have one. I'd sit with my arms dripping with peach juice and a huge smile on my face. Most of the time I'd make myself sick indulging myself. Later in life I would drop peaches in warm water just to taste the warm heavenly goodness I remembered when canning peaches as a child. This time I was able to muster some restraint and only ate one warm peach...just for old times sake.

Aren't they pretty? When you boil or steam them they loose a bit of their color but I just loved how they looked in the jars before I processed them.

So a half bushel (keeping in mind that we took the biggest most heaping box we could find) of about baseball sized peaches gave me 16 quarts and a pint. I got four peaches in each quart (some of them took a half a peach more). So, that'll last us about a month. Of course I do have that nectarine tree in the back yard with about baseball sized nectarines promising a fabulous harvest but they're still pretty green and hard. I'm getting impatient.

I've been told that you don't take the skin off nectarines or at least you don't have to. I'm not sure how I feel about canning something with skins on. I think I'll try it both ways. I've heard it's not worth it to take off the skins. We'll see. I'll probably still dunk them in the warm water to see if they taste as good. :) If not I'm going to be on the look out for a good canning peach tree.

Last Friday was the gallery opening night for my friend Cristall's Tulip series.

So we dressed up (a little) and headed to the gallery in Provo. It was so fun to be there opening night with the refined excitement and beautiful artwork. It is really a different experience to see artwork in person. There are so many more nuances that can't be captured in pictures. I've been following her art blog for almost two years and it was fun to see some of the work that I was so familiar with in living color.

When we first got to the gallery there were a lot of people from our old ward there to support her. I think it overwelmed them a little. But it was fun to see so many old friends.

One reason for wanting to see the show was a particular piece she'd done. It is entitled "Sunny" And of course I had to get a picture beside it.

And Cristall stood for a picture beside it with me too. I'm telling you this is all going to be worth something someday.

Here's a taste of the show.

Cristall and her hubby Matt working the room. :) They are such a power couple. Amazing people!

At one point in the evening Hyrum chose the woman of the hour as his best friend and wouldn't leave her side. In fact he insisted that she follow him where ever he wanted her to go.

Yeah he's that kind of friend right now. The one who drags his friend around. But thankfully he's nice about it...most of the time. Cristall was so sweet to indulge him. He just loves her.

In this picture he was taking Cristall outside to the show that HE was interested in. The skateboarding and bike trick show that was happening just down the street.

Refinement may take a bit with this one. He doesn't have to like art but he will have to appreciate it. Someday. :)