Monday, September 28, 2009

Erin and Greg's Party

On Saturday, we went to Erin's new house for a party with her family. She made tasty elk chili with the elk meat Greg brought back from hunting in Colorado. It was VERY hot--around 100 degrees, and we were in the backyard under tents to keep out of the sun.

Nonna and Ella are trying to keep cool.

Ella does this thing where she lifts her chin up in the air, smiles, and looks right at me as if to say, "I'm so cute I know I can get away with anything!

There were some other little boys who were swimming in the baby/dog pool, so Uncle Greg dipped Ella's toes in, and before I knew it, she was having a blast splashing around. Here Aunt Tracey looks on and Ella looks up at her as if to say, "Well, are you coming in?"

Ella didn't realize that the pool doubles as the dog's water dish :)

AHHHH!!! Now I'm cooled off!

Kurt and Heath played Baggo. Heath celebrates his last toss as Kurt demonstrates his intense concentration. Kurt makes it look like the bag weighs 50 pounds!

That's better Kurt! You were going to pull something if you kept that up. Nice follow-through Heath :)

Here Heath and Kurt play while Erin and her dad watch from the gallery.
Here are Tracey and Greg at the other end while Nonna and Ella watch. I think it was Greg and Kurt versus Heath and Tracey.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Ella's 10 Month Birthday

On Sunday night, we hosted a little Sunday night dinner for the family, and it happened to be Ella's 10 month birthday. She hung out with Nonna and Tracey and Heath all night.

Ella wasn't interested in watching the Emmys, so she grabbed her favorite Dr. Seuss book to read.

Later she goofed around with Aunt Tracey and Heath.

She also showed Heath who is boss around our house. Rule #1: don't put anything you don't want grabbed within her arm's reach! Aunt Tracey looks like she is enjoying this a little too much :)

Visit with the Gerbos

Last Saturday night, we traveled to Modesto to visit the Gerbo family. While it was still light, we played in the backyard. Zane got into his mommy's garden and picked some bell peppers for everyone to eat. We had a delicious Mexican dinner in the backyard and had fun hanging out and talking late into the night. Part of the reason we went for the visit was to see little Liam, the new baby, but I didn't get a picture of him!?! What is wrong with me?? He was sooo cute--he was a big smiler even though he's only about 11 weeks old. I wish I had a picture of him!

Here Ella is deciding whether she wants to keep the baseball or trade it for a pepper.

Looks like she went for the pepper!

Zane really enjoyed his peppers--he sat and munched on them, sharing them with everyone.

Ella takes a bite--her first bite out of any fruit or veggie.

Zane shares with Kurt too :)
Sally helps Zane eat his pepper. She was so proud of her little farmer.

Thank you Zane for sharing your harvest with us!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ella's Big Sunday, Part Un

Last Sunday, the Grahls of Yuba City went to visit the Grahls of Roseville and Fenton, MI. We had a lovely lunch and enjoyed an exciting game of Baggo. Colin and I beat Kurt and Uncle Ron 3 games to 2. Ella had fun exploring the new patio, as you can see . . .

A rare sighting of fussy Ella!! I think this was just before we put her down for a nap :)

Aunt Beth played Pat-a-Cake with Ella. Ella knows how to play because Grandma Grahl taught her this past summer.

What beautiful smiles!! Aunt Karen enjoyed listening to Ella's vocalizations.

Ella soaked up some grandpa time with Uncle Ron.

Uncle Ron was smitten with Ella. We had to keep an eye on her because he kept threatening to take her back to Michigan with him :) Ella had fun with Uncle Ron, and she also had fun chewing on one celery stick after another from the veggie tray.

Thank you Colin and Karen for a lovely day!

Ella's Big Sunday, Part Deux

After lunch at the Grahl's (see previous post), we drove over to Wonderful Chinese restaurant for a joint birthday dinner for Aunt Nancy and Uncle Dick. Here is a picture of the crowd minus Uncle Bill who is taking the picture.

Here are the two Great Hunters a few days before their big trip. They went deer hunting in Colorado for two and a half weeks! Everyone wished them good-luck except Aunt Nancy :)

A rare photo of us . . .

Uncle Greg was trying to get Ella to take her first steps. She did not want to let go of the chair!

Then Uncle Greg kept putting his napkin on Ella's head . . .

What a proud papa!

Ella with the matriarchs of the family . . .

Ella shared a sweet little good-bye with Uncle (grandpa) Dick.

Happy Birthday Uncle Dick and Aunt Nancy!!!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Ella's First Trip to the State Fair

Last night, the three of us met Aunt Tracey and Heath at the State Fair. It was hot at first, but as the sun set, the weather was perfect for wandering around Cal Expo and looking at the rides, food, and animals. The big draw was MC Hammer; although, Tainted Love gave the Oaktown boy a run for his money--their set was awesome. We ate giant corn dogs and tri tip sandwiches, and Tracey won a little stuffed animal by popping balloons with darts--I think it cost her $5 :)

Here we are posing with the famous golden bear near the entrance to the fair.

Our little flower Ella was wilting from the heat, so she took refuge on Daddy as we waited for the monorail.

Here is Ella with Heath and Tracey--I think Ella is smiling because they are such a cute couple.

Ella and I are sitting in the magnified garden in the mushroom forest.

Ella and Aunt Tracey pose with the show horses.

Ella enjoyed the baby animals, but at times she was clinging tight to Daddy's shirt. There is a little lamb in the pen.

Here's an example of her firm grip on Dad as she looks at the piglets with their mother.

There is a little goat in the pen, but it's hard to see.

As it got darker, we wandered over to the amusement park section of the fair. There was a man blowing bubbles, which Ella really enjoyed.

Here we are in front of one of the rides from Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. I think somebody was sleepy!

Thank you Aunt Tracey and Heath for sharing your "Poppy Pack"--we had a lot of fun!