August 31, 2009

That Famous Preston Night Rodeo - Part 2

During our rodeo trip, we of course visited my Grandma and Grandpa Beckstead at their farm. While there, my grandfather (who is one of the world's best storytellers) gave us a tour of his barn that he has been renovating. The tour was complete with many exciting stories of my grandpa's life growing up on the farm, the horses and other animals that lived in the barn, and the history of the barn.

It was very exciting to see all of the amazing work that my grandpa and my uncle have done to renovate the barn. My family has a lot of memories of this barn. My grandpa remembers working in the barn, my mom remembers playing in the barn, and I remember as a child playing in the barn. Here are three of the great-grandchildren (Seth, Annissa, and Ava) making some barn memories of their own.

And here is Ava still looking at the animals.

After the tour of the barn, several of the cousins (Annissa, Luke, Zach, Ava, and Seth) sat on the porch swing for awhile. Zach in particular seemed to have been having a lot of fun!

Ava and Annissa were fascinated by one of the hanging plants.

A few weeks after the rodeo, we headed back up to Idaho for more fun. This time Larry was not away on business and was able to come with us. While there, he and the other boys attended a demolition derby, which they enjoyed so much that they have decided to attend every year. We also went to eat at Deer Cliff Inn, which is a restaurant in the canyons with beautiful views.

Ava loves going to Idaho. She talks about it all of the time and always asks me to take her there. The main reason that she loves it is because when she is there she gets to spend so much time with her best friends—her cousins.

Here Ava and Sophie had been posing for a picture while sort of leaning on one another when they suddenly lost balance and toppled right over...

...and that was the end of that photo op.

August 30, 2009

That Famous Preston Night Rodeo - Part 1

As mentioned in our previous posts, Ava's third and final favorite destination this past summer has been Preston, Idaho. One of our favorite family traditions is attending That Famous Preston Night Rodeo. It is held annually during the last weekend in July. This year, Larry was on business in Costa Rica and was very sad to have missed the rodeo and all of the fun rodeo festivities. So, Ava and I headed up to Preston with Granny O and Freddy O a couple of days early to start the fun. When we first got to Granny O's "farm" (it is not really a farm, Ava just associates Granny O's house with my grandparents farm), Ava wanted to get on the swings right away. She loves to swing very high and very fast. She says she is just like a "bird."
Before the rodeo, there is always the rodeo parade. This has always been one of my favorite parades. You would not believe the amount of candy that gets thrown to the parade watchers. I remember as a child going back to my grandparents house with a huge sack of candy following the parade. Now it is fun to watch as all of my nephews and nieces get so excited as they gather their candy.

Ava, not a big candy fan, was super excited when the chocolate milk truck came by. They always give out the best chocolate and strawberry milk. Chocolate milk, which Ava refers to as a "shake", is one of Ava's very favorite things and will always bring a smile to her face.

Following the parade, Ava took a rest with her fun cousin Sophie. Ava was holding tight to her third chocolate milk, which she had deviously scored from somebody.

Ava, Sophie, and Annissa were too little to go to the actual rodeo, so they headed back to Granny and Freddy O's Idaho house. It was perfect weather and the little girls had so much fun staying up late and playing with the water table.

After playing for awhile at the table, they decided that they wanted to go swimming and determined to fill up the swimming pool one cup (or train) at a time.

The next morning we headed off to church. Here Ava and Sophie pose for a picture.

Ava was very excited to wear her favorite mermaid shirt and her "fin" skirt. She had spotted it at the mall several days earlier and had to have it. Unfortunately, they only had a size 4. She was adamant about wearing it anyway, thus requiring her to hold it up much of the day.

Stay tuned for part 2!

August 25, 2009

Under the Sea

As mentioned in our previous post, another of Ava's favorite places to visit is the the Living Planet Aquarium in Sandy. Ava's first trip to the aquarium was with her cousins Annissa, Zach, and Zoe. Here's Ava anxiously waiting for her cousins to arrive.

Here Annissa waits for Ava to start paddling. Alas, the paddle was bolted to the floor. Oh well.

Ava wanted to go back two days later so that her daddy could see the sea life as well.

Of course she tried picking up the paddle again to no avail.

And then began contemplating how she might convince her parents to let her live at the aquarium.

Here's Ava blinking during a picture with her mommy.

If you haven't been to the Living Planet Aquarium, we highly recommend it. They have a lot of great sea life on display (not that you can tell from our pictures) and a season pass is only $16 (kids 2 and under are free).

August 23, 2009

Back to the Zoo

Hogle Zoo has quickly become one of Ava's favorite places to go (along with the aquarium and Preston, Idaho... but those are future blog posts). She recently went with Granny O, aunts Lauren and Erika, and cousins Zach and Zoe. While Zoe slept for most of the visit, Zach and Ava were out to have some fun. Here Ava rubs the rhino's tusk for good luck, while Zach tries to slide down its head.

Ava was quite fond of this cougar family (that's our little BYU cougarette).

Here she is riding on an elephant trunk like an African queen.

Ava and Zach always love riding the train ride through the zoo to see all the animals.

And of course there is the tradition of seeing how you measure up to the gorillas. Lauren is demonstrating how it's done (she's almost as tall as the male adult gorilla).

Zach has already passed up the infant gorilla.

In case you're wondering, there are real live animals at the zoo as well. And we did see them (Ava's favorites were the penguins, elephants, and baby giraffe). It's just harder to get good pictures of kids next to lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my!

August 12, 2009

Play Time with Zach

I recently spent the weekend up in Preston, Idaho with my mommy and her family. I was so excited to play with my cousin Zach, but there's not too many things a baby can do. First I tried to see if he wanted to play swords with some broomsticks (that seemed like something a little boy would like), but he was too small for that.

Next I tried seeing if he wanted to ride bikes, but he was too small for that too.

Then I had a great idea... we could play in the pool! So, I got my bathing suit on and tried to coax him into the pool, assuring him that the water was warm.

I finally got him to come into the pool by promising him a drink of water.

He dumped his drink all over his belly, but didn't seem to mind. Next I showed him how he could kick his feet to make splashes.

However, Zach only managed to splash himself in the face.

I tried to get Zach to come out from under the shade by pointing out that sun was setting, but he was too worried about getting a sunburn.

I sure don't remember being so finicky as a baby.