Our Family

Our Family

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

More pictures from Grandpa's House

Before we left Grandpa's house on Saturday, we took a few more pictures.  I have so many memories of this beautiful place.  It really is one of my most favorite places on earth!

A picture of the front of the house 

Abigail loved running and playing in the backyard.

A view of the garden, barn, and pasture.

Abigail wanted her picture taken on Grandpa's tractor.

As a child, I always loved riding in the trailer behind the tractor while Grandpa was mowing the lawn.  What a treat is was for me to take pictures of my children (and husband) enjoying a ride with Grandpa!  

Grandpa looked like he was having as much fun as Coley, Abigail, and Michael!

We had such a wonderful vacation.  We all loved being with Grandpa Perry and Grandma Joyce.  I am so grateful that Coley, Abby and Michael were able to experience a little bit of this place I love so much!

Feeding the Ducks at the Falls

While we were in Idaho Falls, we drove around the temple and walked along the Snake River to feed the ducks and geese.  It was another beautiful day and we all had a great time.   

A view of the falls in front of the temple

Abigail and Coley feed the ducks some stale bread.   

Michael loved being outside. 

Another view of the temple and the Snake River 

Michael, Tara, and Abigail enjoy the walk along the water.  

Monday, August 29, 2011

Our visit with Grandpa Perry

Last Wednesday, August 24, we left the Salt Lake area and headed north to visit Grandpa in Idaho Falls.  On our way, we stopped at the cemetary in Preston so I could visit my father's grave.  It was the first time I have been back since his funeral.  His headstone is beautiful!  It was an emotional experience, but I am so grateful I was able to be there.

Even though we were traveling with small children and stopped to visit a couple of Coley's friends, we arrived at Grandpa's house by early evening.  I was so excited to visit- especially because Coley, Abby, and Michael had never been to Grandpa's house.

Abby didn't need much encouragement to climb into Grandpa's lap. 

Michael was a little shy around Grandpa at first, but after Grandpa fed him a bottle, they were friends.  He wasn't always sure about being in Grandpa's lap, but he loved to play with Grandpa (while I was holding him). 

The next morning, Abigail helped Grandpa feed the cows.  She learned how much cows like corn cobs and cantaloupe rinds. 

Abigail LOVED the cows.  She stills talks about her "darling cow."  It is the one that has the white face.  She wanted to bring the cow home with us..... 

Michael is squinting in this picture because the sun was so bright, but he really did like playing in the grass.  He also liked eating it!

The next day, Aunt Leslie and Uncle Steve arrived.  It was fun to see them and spend time with them too!

Abigail had a great time riding the tractor with Uncle Steve. 

Even Michael sat on the tractor long enough to get his picture taken.

Grandpa read a bedtime story to Abigail.  How appropriate it was for him to read "When the Cows Come Home." 

Abigail had a great time outside the next day with the sidewalk chalk.

Anyone who knows my grandpa would love this picture.  Grandpa LOVES ketchup!

There are a few more pictures of our trip to Grandpa's house to follow.....

Utah/Idaho Vacation... First Stop

Last week was our family vacation.  We flew to Salt Lake City on Saturday, August 20.  Our plan was to spend a few days in the Salt Lake Valley visiting family, friends, and Church sites.  The rest of the time was reserved for Grandpa Perry in Idaho Falls.

We spent part of Sunday and Monday visiting Temple Square with Abigail and Michael.  The weather was clear and HOT, but we had a great time.

 Coley was very excited to tour the Conference Center.

Coley and Abby at Temple Square 

Salt Lake Temple 

Tara, Michael, Abigail, and Michael enjoy the view of the temple from the reflecting pool.

Abigail loved seeing the temple and walking up to the doors.  She was convinced that this temple is where princesses get married.  She called it both a temple and a castle.

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Strong Museum

Last week, we spent part of the day at the Strong Museum with some friends.  It is such a great place!  Even though it is a children's museum, it is entertaining for "kids" of all ages.  It has become one of our favorite places- especially in the winter when it is so cold outside!
We began our adventure in the butterfly garden.  We only get tickets to go inside every once in awhile mainly because Abigail likes butterflies (and wants to go inside to see them) until they get close to her.  Since this butterfly garden is packed with butterflies and giant moths, we spend quite a bit of our time trying to keep Abby from completely freaking out.  This picture pretty much sums up the reactions of Michael and Abby on our latest visit.  Michael is just chilling and Abby is VERY nervous!

 Abby was completely unaware that this giant moth decided it liked her so much.  We had a bit of an adventure trying to coax it to find another spot.

One of Abby's favorite places to play is in the "Jack and the Beanstalk" area.  She would have been thrilled to play anywhere as long as there were no butterflies around.  The funny thing is, she is already asking about seeing the butterflies again!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Abby's Birthday Party

Because my surgery was scheduled on Abby's birthday, we celebrated a few days later.  She had a party with a few friends from church and dance.  Since it was only 3 days after my surgery and I was supposed to be keeping lots of ice on my eye, we kept things pretty simple.  Everyone seemed to have a great time!

 Abigail wanted a Rapunzel cake.  I knew post-sugery, I wouldn't be able to do anything fancy.  This was my solution.  The writing is slanted, but keep in mind I was decorating this cake with an ice pack strapped to half of my face!

The girls are decorating a 3-D Pascal. 

The bounce house was the other answer for keeping things simple for me.  The girls had a blast! 

I love that face!  Happy birthday Abby!  I can't believe you are four years old!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Our July Birthdays

So... I am a little behind. We celebrated two birthdays at our house in July. Coley's birthday was July 4 and Abigail's birthday was July 27.

Coley wanted Lemon Pound Cake for his birthday.  It was yummy!

 Abigail opened one of her presents right before I left for the hospital to have my eye surgery.  She was excited about the "My Little Pony" books.

That night, after my surgery, we had a small birthday cake for Abby.  (We planned to celebrate her birthday a few days later with her friends.)  She wanted a "pony" cake.  I thought Coley did a great job buying a cake that worked....  He bought a carrot cake (notice the carrots on top of the cake) since ponies like to eat carrots!

Happy birthday Coley and Abby!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Yesterday was my post-op appointment with the ophthalmologist.  The doctor was very pleased with how well my eyelid is healing.  Now all of the ugly black stitches are gone.  Just the clear stitches are left.  Yeah!  No makeup and no swimming for awhile, but I'm thrilled with my quick recovery!

Later in the afternoon, I took Michael to the hospital for his allergy testing.  Coley agreed to meet me so he could hold Michael while he had his blood drawn.  The little guy was such a champ!  He didn't like having his arm immobilized, but he didn't even whimper!  Hopefully we'll hear something soon.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What a Week!

The good news is that as I write this, we are all okay... However, it has been a pretty wild week! 

Last Wednesday, July 27 (Abby's birthday), I had to have surgery on my right lower eyelid.  The doctor had to cut a wedge out of my eyelid to remove squamous cell carcinoma that appeared rather suddenly.  Not knowing how much he was going to need to cut before getting clear margins was scary. I was also a little nervous about how it would look when he was done.  He had to cut more than he originally thought he would because the tumor had a tail, but he was able to get it all the first time.  I had a patch on for one day.  As soon as the patch came off, I started ice packs (20 minutes on, 10 minutes off).  That's a lot of ice!  I have quite the black eye, but it looks like it is going to heal amazingly well!  Tomorrow is my first post-op appointment.  I'm hoping to get rid of a few stitches.... we'll see. :)

Last night, we had to have our dog put down.  Sydney has been my little four-legged companion for a little over nine years, so it was a pretty emotional experience.  I tried (rather unsuccessfully) to limit the tears because my eye is still so sensitive from the surgery.  She was becoming increasingly aggressive.  (We have several stories to tell.)  Then, Saturday night, Abby dropped one of her new birthday toys on the floor.  When Sydney decided to eat it, Abby tried to take it away.  She nipped Abby, leaving marks for several hours.  When Coley tried to pick up Sydney to remove her from the situation, she bit him and drew blood.  Coley talked to the intake coordinator at our local Humane Society and another lady who has a small dog pet rescue for quite awhile to see about the option of trying to rehabilitate her.  Neither person felt like it would be a successful option in Sydney's case.  As much as I love that crazy little animal, I have to think of the safety of my family first.  It was not a "happy" decision, but it was the right one.

So... last night after saying our tearful goodbyes to Sydney, we decided to have some comfort food for dinner.  Coley had to return to the hospital for a meeting while I made waffles for Abby and me.  Michael thought they looked pretty yummy, so I broke some up into little pieces for him to eat.  Not even an hour later, I was calling for an ambulance because he was having an acute allergic reaction (probably to the milk).  His eyes started swelling and it was all red around his lips.  Coley called about that time to say he was on his way home.  When I told him Michael was having a reaction, he calmly asked if his breathing was okay.  As I said, "Yes," Michael started coughing.  Coley asked if Michael was the one coughing and if that cough was new.  When I indicated it was Michael and that it was new, he worried that his airway might close.  At that point, I called 911 to hear, "We are experiencing a high volume of calls....... Please stay on the line....."  I think I waited at least a minute, but it seemed like an eternity.  When I told the dispatcher what was happening, she immediately had the paramedics on their way.  Coley arrived before the police and ambulance, so he was able to take Michael and assess the situation.  By the time paramedics arrived, we thought his airway would be okay, but we all thought it was best to transport him by ambulance.  I rode in the ambulance (my first ambulance ride) with a very frightened baby boy while Coley followed in our vehicle.  Our sweet neighbor kept Abby at home.  We were at the hospital for a couple of hours while they gave him Benadryl and a steroid to calm things down.  By the time they let us go home, Michael was sleeping very comfortably.  His eyes are still pretty red and swollen, but he is doing okay.  I am now armed with an EpiPen and Michael will be doing some allergy testing very soon.  My poor baby!

Here's hoping we have had enough excitement at our house for awhile!