Monday, July 27, 2015

Tahoe 2015

For this summer's family campout Isaiah scored us a boat-in campground at Emerald Bay in Lake Tahoe. Although Emerald Bay is a super touristy place, you have to boat in to the actual campsites, and there are only 20 of them, so it clears out in the evening and things are quiet. Our intent was to have all of Isaiah's family come but we ended up with just his parents and Maya. And we tried to keep food and equipment simple, but, truth be told, we're comfort campers. We like our mattress pads, pillows, extra blankets, and real food. Between the 6 of us and our stuff, it took two trips in the boat to get to the campsite. From the cars to the campsite was about 20 minutes over the bluest water I've ever seen. When we arrived there were a few tricky logistical things to work out. Example 1-carrying all of our supplies from the dock to the campsite. We were glad the campsite had wheelbarrows to help with this process. Example 2-leaving the boat at a marked buoy and then getting back to shore. Isaiah made a strategic friendship with a fellow camper who had a kayak and offered to help retrieve Isaiah after the boat was parked. Finally we set up tents and got to the real fun.

While the kids built sand pies at our "private" beach, Grandpa barbecued hamburgers. A little while later we all sat around the campfire while the dutch oven peach cobbler cooked, and then we put the kiddos to bed once it started to get dark. Evan sang "I am a Child of God" to himself before falling asleep.

We had an early morning (it was hard to stay asleep once the sun was up) but it was relaxed with a nice morning campfire and hot chocolate with cinnamon rolls.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A Few Things of which I'm Proud

1. California does this "May is Bike Month" thing where people are encouraged to save the planet by biking around rather than driving. You can sign up online and log your miles and see how you rank among other bikers. I guess it's a big thing in the work place where different companies compete to have the most miles per employee. We live about 25 minutes (driving time) from Isaiah's workplace, but he is an awesome cyclist and was determined to find a way to bike to work in May. A few days each week in May he woke up early and drove to a place where he could hop on the American River bike trail and take the trail into work, where he could shower and get ready. He also had some extra rides after work or on the weekends. In total, he logged 1,069 miles of biking in May. Isn't he awesome?! His office won 1st place in logged miles in Yolo County.

2. My son is learning to ride a bike. Bike riding is a three-year old skill, you know.

Truth be told, he still kinda stinks at it. BUT--we didn't really think he'd be able to do it at all, and he can actually reach the pedals on his own and even pedal a few times in a row, so I see potential. It looks like Isaiah will have some competition.

3. Isaiah was also in charge of planning our ward Pioneer Day party for July 24. With his co-planners, they decided to make it a "Pie"-oneer Day event, complete with a pie bake-off.

Now I participate in a recipe group each month. I strategically suggested "Pies" to be the theme for July's recipe night (July 9) so I could really practice my pie-making skills and have a chance at winning the ward bake-off.

So I don't really like pies. I'm not a big fan of the slimy pie filling texture or the dry crusts. But I remember my Grandma Garrett making a yummy strawberry rhubarb pie each summer with rhubarb from her garden. It wasn't your typical gelatinous filling and had the perfect combination of sweet and tangy. I emailed her for the recipe and set out to make my first ever pie for the recipe exchange.

It was like a soup. Each "piece" of pie was a scoop of liquidy filling and soggy crust and, needless to say, it did not win any sort of award amongst my recipe enthusiasts. (Though I thought it tasted good and the crumb topping was TO-DIE-FOR)

Not ready to give up on Grandma's strawberry rhubarb pie, I did a little pie research and made a few small adjustments to the recipe (mainly adding instant tapioca to firm up the filling). And I, Jenna Hudson, won 1st place for "Best Pie" in the Judges' Choice category at our ward Pioneer Day pie bake-off!! I've never in my life won anything that requires a talent or skill, so I was completely shocked, though I shouldn't be. It was really Grandma Garrett who won it for me.

4. We just started a Family Home Evening series that aligns with the Primary song, "Follow the Prophet." ( Just two weeks ago we learned about Adam, the first prophet, and how he helped things to grow. Then we planted a little "garden."

Among my list of NOT-talents is gardening. I have the un-greenest thumb of anyone I know. I kill every plant I'm given. So this "garden" is a true test of faith and I'm counting on Evan to help it grow. (AND...I researched the most fool-proof plants.) The first week I sorta didn't water the plants at all and put it in direct sunlight almost all day. Nothing happened. I thought I killed the seeds. But then I moved it to shade and kept watering the dirt and a couple days ago I found some little sprouts! We've got some radishes and beets and maybe the tomatoes will even sprout someday. For Evan's sake I hope these little babies keep growing!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Speech Graduation

When Evan was about 1, and still not babbling or saying any consonants, we started baby sign, which was SUPER helpful for getting his basic needs met and understanding what he was thinking.

One year ago Evan could still say approximately 0 words. Unless you count "aaah" and "dadadadada," which would make a potential two words that represented most every thought in his brain.

Today Evan graduated from speech therapy!

Last week he was assessed and was deemed age appropriate in his speech. Sure, he still has some articulation errors, but until age 3 those are all developmentally appropriate--"normal," if you will. Really, his vocabulary is off the charts and he has always had great receptive language skills. So, for the first time in his life, Evan actually DOESN'T qualify for a therapy service. 

Evan's speech teacher brought over a graduation certificate and present along with some donuts to celebrate. I feel a little nervous about not having this therapy anymore, but I also feel grateful. We've prayed regularly for Evan's speech to develop so we can communicate well with each other. It's definitely been easier to work with him through physical and occupational therapy since he's been able to talk. Congratulations Evan!!

The first two videos are from last summer-ish and are examples of his signs and lack of talking. The last two videos are current examples of how Evan talk-sings. His words are crystal clear to me. Kudos to you if you can identify the songs.