Friday, August 24, 2007

Ben's Graduation

Ben in his masters garb

On August 16th and 17th Ben participated in Graduation ceremonies. Because he is getting his masters he got to wear the hood in addition to the cap and gown. The yellow around his neck is the hood in the front. I wonder about the history behind graduation, you never actually use the hood, but it is there.

For Ben's masters in Marriage and Family Therapy you have 62 credits of course work, a 500 hour practicum, where you actually have 500 hours of face to face counseling time with half of them being individuals and half of the hours being with couples or families, and the third thing is a thesis. Ben has been completely done with course work since the end of April, he finished all of his counseling hours in June, and he is close to finishing his thesis. So he is not officially graduated, but he will probably finish his thesis in October and there is no graduation ceremony in December, and April feels so past the point. Ben will probably have been working at a full time career job for almost 5 months at that point.

Anyway so we were really excited about graduation, but Ben said it did feel a little anti-climatic because he isn't completely done, but all he has left to write is results and discussion. I can't wait for him to be completely done.

Baba Russ with Prairie, while Prairie is looking around during graduation

Autumn bored during graduation

So BYU splits graduation over to days, you have your commencement the first day where you don't actually receive a fake diploma, just get to sit there and listen to boring speeches, and then the second day is convocation in each college where you actually receive your fake diploma and the nice carrying case.

The girls did okay at the graduations. Prairie loved clapping. The commencement was in the Marriott center where they have basketball games. Once Ben was sitting we decided to move because we could sit so that we could see his face. When we moved there, Prairie loved it, she started yelling, yes yelling during the commencement "Daddy, daddy, daddy, daddy" over and over again. It was really cute, she was soooo excited to his her daddy. Autumn got really upset during the speeches because Ben wasn't looking at her the whole time. Prairie loved clapping, she thought it was the best thing ever, she was so happy when everyone started clapping.

Prairie clapping

Prairie and Ben

Autumn and Ben

Ben and his girls (Autumn is so Oviatt, or atleast she is just like Laura and Lindsey, refusing to smile for pictures)

So on the second day when I was trying to get the girls ready for graduation, Autumn got upset because she told me that we already did graduation. She didn't understand why we had to do it again, and honestly neither did I, but we did both days. Ben says if he gets his Phd at BYU he will probably skip the university commencement and just go to the college convocation.

The other day I was on phone and was saying how Ben hasn't officially graduated yet, but he is close to being done. Of course I had no idea that Autumn is actually paying attention to anything I am saying, she yells out "Papi graduated, don't say he didn't, I went!" So there you have it, Ben has graduated according to our family.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The Iowa State Fair

the baby piglets eating

I was really excited because the Iowa State Fair was starting before we left Iowa, and I am sad to admit but for the four years that I lived in Iowa, I never went to the Iowa State fair. So this was a first time to the fair for me, Autumn and Prairie. My favorite parts were the baby animal area, where they had all the pregnant animals that would probably give birth during the dates of the fair, and all the babies that had been born so far. We got to see 1 day old goats (kids), a 2 day old calf, piglets that were born earlier that day. It was a lot of fun to see the animals. Autumn wanted to walk by the baby piglets over and over and over.

My other favorite part was the little hands on the farm. They had all these stations for kids, where they had to plant a pretend seed, harvest plastic vegtables, pick eggs from the hen house, milk a cow, fuel up your john deere tractor and drive it, gather your soy beans and corn, and then at the end they had the market where you sold everything you collected on the farm and then you had some money to buy a treat from their store. It was a lot of fun. It is fun being a parent because I get to enjoy all the kid stuff still.

Autumn in the hen house gathering an egg

Autumn riding the John Deere tractor, she wasn't so sure about doing it, but once she rode it she immediately wanted to do it again

Autumn milking the fake cow, though the udder was spongy and it squirted water out when you squeezed it

You should have seen Autumn's face when I handed her her foot long hotdog, she was really excited, she ate a lot of it and I finished it off for her

Autumn, Prairie and Emily at the fair (Prairie is in our kid pack, Ben got so many comments about having Prairie in the kid pack)

Autumn playing in the wooden train, her Grandpa Tom would be so proud

here is a picture of the whole train, pretty neat, eh?

Autumn and I rode the ride the ? (I can't remember the name), it just takes you for a ride in the air, so you can see the fairgrounds better, and Ben and Prairie walked underneath us and met us at the other end, it was a lot of fun

So we had a really good time at the fair, atleast until it got later, and then I was getting overwhelmed with all the people. Ben and I are so different that way, he gets a real charge being in a big crowd like at the fair, and it just really stresses me out. So we had a good time and think we will probably try to go back to Iowa next year when the fair is going on, hopefully next year we can go with Brenda and Dee.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Time In Des Moines

Me riding on Brenda's scooter in front of the Oviatt's home

We had a really good time hanging out in Des Moines. It was so nice just to have time where me and Ben were together and could just relax, like sleeping in, wathcing movies with Ben's mom, playing in the backyard, just relaxing, no schedule, or anything. Brenda surprised us by letting us drive around her scooter. Ben and I really enjoyed riding the scooter, he got Ben even more excited about the money he has been saving for a scooter.

Autumn sitting in Grandmother's special chair that helps you stand up and Autumn playing with the controller for it. She treated it like an amusement park ride.

Prairie's newest trick was climbing up onto the table, she thought she was all big and bad. It was really cute.


Autumn playing

One day we decided to get out of the house so we set up sprinklers in the backyard and the girls put their swimsuits on. Ben's brother Brian came over to the house and helped me get the sprinklers set up. Well it turns out the girls thought the sprinkler water wasn't warm enough, so we got some buckets and bowl full of water and they both enjoyed that more. We really enjoyed having the fenced backyard right there, because Autumn would go outside and play whenever she felt like it and I could still see her from inside if I didn't feel like going out into the Iowa heat.

Prairie doing her cheesy smile on the porch

Autumn giving the babies baths in the different buckets

Prairie splashing mommy with the water from the bucket

Both of my girls really loved the cats. Prairie would freak out when she saw them, flailing her arms and screaming. She really loved petting them. I am allergic to cats so my parents-in-law are kind enough to keep the cats in the basement so that I can have less of an allergic reaction. Autumn would go down to the basement and spend long periods of time watching and petting the cats. A couple of times she came back crying because one of the cats would try to bite her. Though she always went back to see the cats, so no damage done.

Prairie excited about the cats

While we were in Des Moines it turned out that my uncle Kyle was moving across the country and was driving right through Des Moines, so we met him at a gas station and hung out for a half an hour. Autumn loved it because she got to see Nick, and Nick followed her around the gas station while she ran around because she was so wild.

Emily, Prairie, Kyle, and Malloree at a gas station outside of Des Moines

Prairie and Autumn sitting in Grandmother's chair together, watching a movie and both eating fruit snacks

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Ames Day

So while we were in Iowa we spent two days in Ames. That was so much fun for me and Ben because we haven't visited since we moved two years ago. We think Ames is like the best place to live ever, but don't know if we will ever live there again. We had to go to all of our favorite places like the Ames library, Wheatsfield, Hickory Park, The Cafe, Firehouse Books, Quilting Connection, Iowa State, take a ride on Cyride, see our old places, etc. I feel old because the first apartment that Ben and I lived in after we got married has been torn down and a newer apartment complex had been put up.

Me working on my lego house at the Ames public library, my favorite library

So I did a very Emily thing at the Ames Library. Autumn and me started playing with the legos, but then then I color coordinated all of them, because they had four little boxes to keep the legos in, so each box has one color. Then I spent almost an hour building a house with Autumn. Autumn had wondered off near the end of the completion of the house, but I finished. We left shortly after that, but I was glad because I didnt' want to see the house destroyed.

My completed lego house

Autumn has been really wanting to take a bus ride, but I just haven't done it with her, but when we were in Ames, me and Ben really wanted to ride on Cyride, it just isn't Ames without Cyride. Autumn thought it was great and already asked if we could do it next time we went to Ames. We rode the bus to the Memorial Union and bought new ISU t-shirts for me and Ben and got a window decal for our van, but our tinted windows make it so you can hardly see it.

Ben, Prairie and Autumn on the Cyride bus

Prairie on the bus

Autumn on the bus

Ben, Autumn and Prairie at the Four Seasons fountain in front of the Memorial Union

Prairie, Emily and Autumn at the Four Seasons Fountain

When I went to Iowa State 6 years ago I got a job about two weeks after I moved there working in a USDA-ARS Lab extracting and analyzing corn starch. Sue was my boss for 2 years and I really loved working there. After I stopped working there I helped my sister-in-law Laura get a job there one summer. Anyway we are still really good friends with Sue and her family. She invited us over for dinner and put a full spread for us. Since we moved from Ames she has completely renovated her old corn crib barn on her property and built and incredible restuarant quality kitchen, and also has a dining room for a lot of guests. Sue invited a bunch of people over and we got to eat dinner while the sunset and storms rolled in on to the corn fields surrounding her property. It was the perfect end to our day in Ames and it made me miss Iowa so much.

This is my in my Iowa from the top of Sue and Dan's corn crib

Sue being the "bus driver" for Autumn on their enclosed wrap around deck, dropping her off at one door and then meeting her at the other door

Prairie walking around watching Sue and Autumn playing

Autumn with Ming Tang, she had so much fun playing with him that she wouldn't come to me and started crying when we took her away

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Denver Children's Museum

So the Denver's Children Museum kind of saved family vacations for our family. The girls were doing really well. We spent our first night camping at a state park just outside of Grand Junction, CO. Then the second night we spent it at old friends of mine in Highlands Ranch, Colorado where I lived for 4 years from ages 4 to 8. But then Ben and I had a really bad day. Independently of each other we had decided that family vacations don't work for us and we were never going to do them again. Then Ben decided to take us all to the Children's Museum and it was exactly what our family needed.

The girls had a great time, Ben and I had a great time playing with them. Prairie was actually old enough to have fun at this place and so we divided up for a while, me with Autumn and Ben with Prairie and just let them play for a few hours. Then that night we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park and were so lucky and got the last possible campsite available on a Saturday night. We all loved being at Rocky Mountain National Park. It was very cool at night and very scenic, so after having a really good time at the Museum and our luck and enjoying Rocky Mountain National Park, family vacations were saved.

Prairie in the mini grocery store pushing her cart

Autumn pushing her cart around and seeing how much she can possibly fit into it

This was Autumn's favorite part in the grocery store, being the cashier

This was really fun to watch, seeing our girls playing together, Prairie putting food up there and Autumn checking her food out for her

Me and Autumn with ant hand puppets

Prairie relaxing in the over large nest

Autumn going fishing and me helping the fish on to her pole

Prairie playing in the mini house, with cute mini bunkbeds and a full kitchen

Prairie sitting at the table

Autumn played at this area for a long time, where she got to pretend to be a veterinarian, she really enjoyed it.

Monday, August 13, 2007

the IOWA trip

So we are home from our 2300 mile trip from Provo through Denver, Rocky Mountain National Park, then up to Iowa to stay in Des Moines for 6 days and have day trips to Ames. Then we headed back through Nebraska and Wyoming. The girls really did very well in the car. In some ways I prefer driving in a car to flying because if my kids scream, I know it will stop and I can block it out for a few minutes and now worry that I am ticking everyone off on the plane. The big downside is it takes soooooo much longer, but we spent on gas what we would have spent on one ticket and we would have bought three so financially it is very worth it. We had a really good time, we are already talking about what we are going to to for our trip out to Iowa next year. It is fun to have your family in a place that you are starting to make annual plans. Our trips to Iowa during the summer are going to be an annual event as long as Ben's parents live there.

So I have a number of posts I will be doing over the next few days to cover a lot of the fun things we did, here is a list of some of things that will be covered:

Denver Children's Museum
Ames Pictures
Dinner at Sue's
State Fair
Misc. at Grandmother and Poopa's House

So keep looking because there is going to be a lot more pictures

Thursday, August 02, 2007


We are leaving today for our family vacation. We are making the 1100 mile drive to Iowa to see Ben's family and also attend his 10 year high school reunion. We are so excited to be back in Iowa for a few days, we really miss the Midwest sometimes. I am also really excited to take a few extra days and drive through Colorado and see some places when I lived in the Denver area for 5 years as a child. Ben has never been to the Denver area and I am excited to show it off to him, because the Denver area is gorgeous. We are going to camp as accommodations and I love camping and we are also going to make it to Rocky Mountain National Park, so that should be a blast, so I won't have anything posted until next week, but there should be some pretty good pictures when I do post. So until next time keep your prayers and nice thoughts that are girls will LOVE sitting in our van hours on end, I'm sure we will have a great time :)

It still fits! Even after 3.5 years!

Autumn wearing the purple fleecey thingy for the first time when she is 2 days old