Monday, September 29, 2014

Joyful June

June was a good month. School was out, the weather was nice, the boys got to do some fun camps, and I got a lot of things done that needed to get done before we left for the rest of the summer. June is one of my favorite months because I love the beginning of summer!

I take the news reports and studies that warn about the dangers of iPad use in children with a grain of salt. Yes, don't overdo it, put filters on, and monitor their usage, but that's about it. My boys bond and get along well when they have iPad time. If they were on them all the time, that would be a problem, but they're not, so it's not. iPads are just part of a well-rounded life that includes lots of other activities. And I get some of my best candid photo opps of them when they're both using their iPads because they're peacefully occupied (and therefore they don't stick their tongues (or butts) out at me). :-)

Our good friends the Bodilys moved to Idaho in June, and we took care of their kids on their last evening in Iowa while they were at Chad's graduation from dental school. I've had the pleasure of watching their kids grow up, and my kids have so much fun with them. Our families moved to Iowa the same summer, and Annie and I served in the Primary Presidency together for most of our time here. We've had many fun get-togethers over the years. We were sad to see them go and we miss them a lot!  

It's fun pretending I have daughters when Jane and Maylie are over! 

Sam created quite a picnic for some lucky Angry Birds and a snake and helicopter one day.
The helicopter especially enjoyed it.

Sharpening his cutting skills (get it?), which he's quite good at.
It's funny how different kids in the same family can be. John struggled a lot with his fine motor skills, but they're a breeze for Sam.

I have a soft spot for hamburger cakes. My mom made one for my 9th birthday when we had just moved to Layton, Utah and it was the neatest thing and helped me to feel remembered and special in the midst of a big move. Whenever I see hamburger cakes I think of that, that I mattered enough for my mom to make me a unique cake when we were busy moving to a new part of the country. So when I saw one of these at Wal-Mart I had to get it. And it was actually really, really good--nice and moist and not overly sugary since it's not covered in frosting.  

YUM! I ate the majority of it. :-)

Early summer greeness in and around the yard.

Pretty yellow flowers that popped up in part of the landscaping. They looked tropical!

And since I'm on the subject of nature, here are a few pretty sky shots of sunsets that I took in June from the front yard. The sky is often at its most lovely after the rain, which I find symbolic.

Same tree, different sunsets, 
one pink-hued and the other, golden.

Our cutie pups, Yogi and Boo Boo. 

Brody napping on the porch one day, the epitome of naptime bliss. 

Peaceful cows on the neighborhood farm.
Look at the babies on the left! 

Speaking of animals, John can be quite the animal himself. Any guess as to what type?

John never met a tree or a rope that he didn't want to scale. He has always loved climbing and he's really good at it! 

 Sam and I were driving around one day and I looked back when we got to one of our stops and he looked like this. He'd put the hat on like that himself and everything.
 Homey-G Sam in da house! I mean, da car! (I know, I'm a dork. But at least my son is cool!)

And last but not least, I got a great set of owl bookends on clearance from Kohl's!

Some other notable (to me) things that happened in "joyful June":
  • I randomly noticed one day that I had gotten to 10,000 pins on Pinterest! I love Pinterest (obviously).
  • Best new show discovery: The Bletchley Circle on PBS. Really good. I'm bummed that it didn't get renewed for Season 3.

  • Another good TV discovery was The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He's hilarious! Clean-cut, nice, and really, really funny. His thank-you notes crack me up every time. I'm usually not up late enough to watch this show, but when I am, it never fails to make me smile.
  • One more great thing I saw on TV was The Making of a Lady on PBS. This movie was fascinating, creepy, and unlike any period piece I've ever seen before. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days. I watched it in the morning while I worked out and then I watched it again that night. I NEVER do that! Now I want to read the book that it's based on, The Making of a Marchioness by Frances Hodgson Burnett. Meanwhile, the movie is stored away safe and sound in the DVR for my future viewing pleasure.

  • Best movies I saw (in the theater): Maleficent; X-Men: Days of Future Past
  • Worst movie I saw: The Lone Ranger. It was an odd mix of funny and sad. It didn't quite work. The one truly enjoyable part was the final climactic scene with the classic William Tell overture playing.
  • Best book I read: The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green
  • One of my favorite authors, Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project, e-mailed me back in response to a quick e-mail comment I sent to a blog post of hers! The more I read of her writing in her books and on her blog, the more I realize that she and I are like kindred spirits in a lot of ways.
  • Another good discovery: Orchard Green restaurant in Iowa City. Peter and I had dinner there to celebrate our 12th anniversary. It was in a historic, elegant building and the food was delicious. It's one of my new favorite downtown restaurants. 
  • June reminded me of how much I love nectarines because it's the month that they're in season and are at their sweetest, juiciest, and most delicious. I ate lots of nectarines in June. :-)
And those are the random makings of a joyful June 2014!