Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hiking the Y

Shan took the kids up to the Y right before sunset the other night. It is a pretty steep climb, but they made it after taking plenty 'o breaks. Madeline says next time, she's going to make it all by herself, so we'll have to see about that! I just love looking at the most important people in my life- I love, love, love them, every single one.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fish Lake Reunion

We were able to camp at Fish Lake this year with my extended family and it was so much fun! The children had a blast together hiking, fishing, and making crafts. One such craft was the infamous bamboo stick project (painstakingly brought from NC in the moving truck... much to Shan's delight:). Each child painted their own stick and we ended up with rainbow sticks, lightsabers, and swords. They turned out great and they loved hiking with them.
We decided to do the Calf Creek Falls hike, which is a perfect family hike. It follows a winding river through the bottom of a Canyon in Capitol Reef to it's source. It was hot and it took our caravan a few hours each way, but the children did great! When they tired, we'd just keep giving them Pixie Sticks and they'd perk right up. Hahahaha. They made it all the way!Jen and I

And this is what we saw when we got there! It was so beautiful!!! Cute Emelyse
And sweet baby James
The family shot.This one cracks me up... I am sacrificing an actual picture of me in a bathing suit for you to be able to check out Maddie's goggles.

Nana proved she is tough once again. Suddenly, while we were all munching on our lunches, she stood up and just walked right out there and didn't even yelp when she dove in. Brrrrr.

Can you see me? I thought my heart would stop because the water was sooooo cold. And I couldn't breathe because there was so much water in the air. But Shan made me touch it.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blueberries Galore

Meet Millie. She is so sweet. She and her husband, Peter, have owned this blueberry patch for decades. They are now in their 80s and still going strong! It is so cute to see them walking across the lawn holding hands...and I think they are in such good health because of all the blueberries. Shan used to pick berries for them when he was 12 years old, and every year we go back to get our year's supply. This year, Peg helped us pick and we came away with almost 50 pounds! We loaded up two coolers full and brought them back to Utah. We are now enjoying them by the cupful, on cereal, and in muffins. And I'm waiting for Shan to make me a blueberry cobbler. (hint, hint:)

(p.s. Don't miss reading 'Blueberries For Sal' to your kids. It is the best.)
After we pick the berries, we put them through a sorter to weed out the bad berries and the little stems.

This is a jasmine bush!!! And it makes for the prettiest "restroom" entrance ever. It emits the most amazing fragrance and you can actually smell it from across the yard. Makes me want to use the facilities just because.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Fourth of July Fun

We spent the Fourth of July at Chelsea and Mike's new house in Portland. We had fun playing with cousins and eating a delicious spread.

I thought Peg was so cute in her red bandana headband.

This is Oliver the Great. It was our first time meeting him and he is adorable!


Jade and sweet Eli

happy girl

Chels and Oliver

Cousins in a row. Aren't they adorable?

Seaside and Oswald Beach

One of the great things about our move to Utah is the proximity of our family! We had only been here a few days when we took a trip up to Oregon to visit and we made it out to Seaside, which is one of our favorite vacation spots and we all had so much fun. Shan's parents, sisters and their husbands, and nephews also came, but I have no pictures to prove it. (I decided I'm a terrible event photographer since sometimes I'd just rather enjoy the moment.)
One of the most memorable things on this Seaside trip, I wasn't able to photograph. Shan and I had gone on an early morning run (no camera) on the beach and we came upon two bald eagles feeding on a dead sea lion that had washed up on shore during the night. It was an amazing thing to see them so close and they were HUGE. And so beautiful. We couldn't get enough of them.

Playing at the Sunset Beach just north of Seaside.
The next day, we went to Oswald Beach.
It is more of a local's hangout and a short hike through a gorgeous fern laden forest. It was so beautiful but SO WINDY. It was hard to enjoy it since the wind was so crazy, and the kids pretty much huddled around until we left.

Except Bryce who was very brave!
I think Madeline's favorite part of Seaside was her carousel ride on the Seahorse. This girl dreams of being a mermaid, so it was a perfect fit.
And the rest of the kids loved the bumper cars and arcade.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

She did it!

Do you see Marisa finishing the Provo River 1/2 Marathon? She's the one on the left. I don't contribute much to the blog, but had to post Marisa's 1/2 marathon. She has been preparing diligently for months and was ready for the race. This race had several thousand participants and was along a beautiful stretch through Provo Canyon along the Provo River. She beat her goal by 14 minutes. Way to go Marisa!
Marisa was able to run with her sisters Jen and Amanda. Amanda traveled from San Antonio and has a new baby James who is just a few months old. Jen works nearly full time, takes care of her 3 children and still found time to train. Nice job ladies!

(Addition from Marisa: I couldn't have done it without my incredible sisters who have supported me through this whole process and pushed me on. When we signed up to run the race, I don't think any of us realized how important it would be. We have ironically all had separate struggles this year, but we conquered this and it felt great! Sisters are the best.)

Thursday, August 13, 2009

From Sea to Shining Sea

This was how the kids and I spent most of the first day- tuckered out from all the moving. Thank heavens for Shan and Doug who are steady drivers.
From NC, we went North through West Virginia, Ohio (above), Iowa (below), Nebraska, Wyoming, and finally Utah. I'm serious when I say that I love our cross country drives- the land of the free is absolutely beautiful! It's so neat to see the different places people live and this time I was especially inspired by the tidy farms in Iowa and Nebraska. Three cheers for the farmers there... they feed the nation and do the hardest work there is. Their farms are absolutely gorgeous. I couldn't believe how many hours we could be driving through corn fields! I almost panicked thinking about who was going to eat all of it.
Doug drove the Penske most of the way and the kids took turns riding with him. Ryan ended up riding with him for most of the way. We got out the walkie-talkies and had fun bantering back and forth between vehicles. It helped immensely with the fun factor.

I was happy to see so many windmills along the way. We saw thousands of them, but the kids still got excited every time another one came up. They are so massive, they almost seem like they are from another planet or the future or something.

We took an unexpected stop in Nebraska to see my Aunt Judy and we had the chance to see the Omaha LDS temple and the visitor's center there. It is one of the sites where the Mormon pioneers camped for a very cold and difficult winter during their journey West. We learned about their houses, their wagons, and we got to dress up like them!
This is about the only interesting thing in Wyoming:)

Emma colored the whole way.
finally to the Wasatch Front.
And two months later, we're still unpacking! It's been a busy and fun summer.