Kansas Visit

This is about as good a family portrait as we’re gonna get: Me squinting in the sun, yet refusing to wear sunglasses that are six inches from my eyes; Ryan hunched over by the sheer weight of our diaper/book/toy/food/drink/we-NEED-to bring-whatever-this-thing-is-because-we’ll-be-away-from-civilization-aka-Walmart-for-two-hours bag; Ruthie holding her bag of cheeze-its while longing for Annie’s bag too; and Annie so excited to have her own bag and own stroller that it would take a life size cheeze-it to walk by for her to look up. In fact, really only the monkey had a good take. I’ll have to remember his stance.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJust had a realization. Ryan calls me a silverback every once in a while, and here I thought he was just being rude. He actually was saying I was photogenic! Awww, Ryan. You spoil me.

We’re at the zoo! The Wichita Zoo.

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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhile scrolling through the photos, it seems I took hardly any of Ruthie with live animals. But as soon as we happened upon this fake carcass, my camera apparently lit. up. Yes, Ruthie, go gently pat the exposed ribs and bloody flesh for mommy. That’s a girl.
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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhile in the gorilla sanctuary (aka my homies house, whad up silverbacks!), Annie got really excited about something and pointed.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESJust a fan.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHang on! Just found some photos of Ruthie and animals without flesh wounds.

Oh, nope. They don’t count since she is afraid of them. Of all the animals in the zoo that day, the two that made her scramble for the stroller or our arms? Geese and Sheep.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESYou’ll do fine in the African safari girl. On a farm, though? Good luck.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhen we got home all the kids took a nap. The zoo was just too much excitement for this one:
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThey all woke up to a sunny, warm afternoon, complete with sprinkler-running and doll-playing. A good combo. Just today I said, ‘Ruthie, your feet are so dirty!” “Yeah, I like them dirty.”

Ah, summer.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThe next day we visited Great-grandma and granddad.

Please excuse our awesome family photo again. Where’s that dang monkey.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI¬†walked in on Ruthie getting the royal treatment at the dinner table.¬†SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAfter lunch we went outside. I was gazing at the hollyhocks when I heard Ruthie’s great-grandma ask if they could go for a walk. I followed behind them with my camera like a stalker.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThey walked around the whole house holding hands and discussing flowers.

Ah, here’s a good one! Maybe I’m the bad seed in photos? I refuse to believe it. Not with my primate lineage.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI then felt the urge to snap photos of their backyard. This is how I get at their house inside or out. I get so overcome with the grandma vibe that I need to inspect everything and then kick myself for not doing it more at my own grandmas’ houses.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThey’ve lived in this same house since it was first built in the 50s. I love that.

When this tree was young, they twisted the trunk so now it’s big and twisty.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESWhen the fence was installed (in the 50s too), Ryan’s granddad took snow cone cups and filled it with cement to finish off the posts. Julie got to peel off the paper when it was dried.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI told myself I wouldn’t forget, but now I have. She grew up calling this little flower “bunny ears”? Maybe? When you look at it in a certain way, it looks like a little bunny face with two ears sticking straight up.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt was a beautiful day. But Annie was starting to fuss, so we went home.

After the naps we had dinner outside.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI asked Randy to pick up a bottle of red for sangrias. He asked what kind. Uhh, what? There are kinds? I just buy off the label…. if it intrigues me, I get it. So I told him to do the same.

This is what he brought home.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI guess it ties in the with zebra carcass.

Simple desserts.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESFollowed by soccer.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnd then we stumbled on the mulberry bush. How come Ryan and I’ve been married 8 years and I just now know they have mulberries? Ruthie and I could’ve picked all afternoon.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESShortly after that photo was taken, I walked back to the table to sit down and Ruthie stayed to pick some more. We all looked up and Ruthie had taken off her diaper and shoes and inhibitions and streaked across the yard through the sprinklers.

Once again, ah summer.

The next day we visited their other great-grandma. In her 90s and still kickin’ it! Annie just sat and stared at her for awhile, then loosened up a bit.
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SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESMore family photos. Sigh.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt’s always good to see them.

Randy and Ruthie went down to get the mail together. They didn’t on the way back, but on the way there they held hands. There’s nothing cuter than seeing her hold her grandparents’ hands.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAnnie watched from the house.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHer big toe caught on the door frame. Oh my gosh, I love those little details…this time I just happened to have my camera.

And then this girl and her gypsy outfit. I could’ve sworn she was trying to sell me some lavender.
SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESThey sure do love visiting their grandparents’ house!