Monday, November 9, 2009

The Missing Yosemite Video

This is the video that didn't cooperate from that last long post. If it works . . .

From the Yosemite trip with the Parkers. Special thanks to Brad for perfoming the music. If Davy ever makes it big in the entertainment industry, you'll know at what age he got the hunger for the stage.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Can Survive

The Arizona Summer--it was my nemesis just a few short months ago, but I have now proudly conquered and defeated the foe (thanks to a few short weeks--OK, just over a month, spent on a Utah/California Sabbatical of sorts. I really needed to study some seasonal weather patterns in those regions). So, since there have been several mornings now where I have NOT been turning on the AC while taking the kiddies to school, I'm inclined to declare that the Arizona Fall has officially begun and while we relish these mid 80 temps, I reminisce on Summer '09 for our happy little family.

Spencer and Conner Andrus stayed with us for several days. There is something about colorful blocks and several independently humming children that gladdens the soul.
The backyard hose was immensely popular this summer

We lucked out in June and had one of the coolest on record, and by the time July came, starting at 103 and continuing to even more sweltering high temps, we were in our Pathfinder, laughing at our good fortune and heading for the western coast. We made it there just in time to pack up with the Parker family and enjoy a luxurious trip to the North Pines campsite at Yosemite National Park. I can only describe with pictures. And one short video. And maybe a few quick comments on the pictures and video.

We hiked a doozy of a hike--one that probably should not be attempted with young children. There were no strollers going up this trail (the top of the mist trail). But they did it with only our prodding, Grandpa's promises of ice cream, and occasional adult piggyback rides to spur them on. Here Lindsey and Roxy hike with Kelly and Jason.

Us at the top of a cliff with a huge fall behind us. OK, so the kids may have run out of energy a bit.

A dip in the sand and water were a good pick-me-up for the way back down.

Josh, after (and during) the hike.

Ice cream bars, as promised! Sooooo worth all the physical strain.

All dressed up for church at the Yosemite Chapel.

Looks just like a planned professional picture, right? Except for the fact that none of us had showered.

Kids love group pictures.

Uncle Jason's treasure map was cracked and the sucker treasure was consumed in 5 min flat.

We couldn't decide if Lindsey and Roxy were the dirtiest . . .

or Lindsey and Josh.

Unshaven brothers.

Following the Yosemite trip we lounged and did work via the Parker family loft, while the kids rebonded with cousins and drank loads of Grandma's hand mixed flavored water drinks. For a second time, we took the kids on a walk for miles--this time across The City. And when the 4th of July rolled around we loaded up the Bus and drove a mile or two down to the Marina where we ate vacation-only junk food and watched 24 until the city fireworks started up. The kids even enjoyed a few fireworks brought in from out of state several years ago--nothing has a longer shelf life.

Back at Grandma and pa's house: You can never fit too many kids on a swing.

A rowdy group of Buccaneers with a cannon ball in the center.

Connor turned 2. Can you get any cuter? Can the cake get any cooler? (made by his mom and dad. Who also appreciate a good episode of Ace of Cakes.)

Afton and kids at the SF Sea Lions. You know just where this is, if you've ever been there.

Riding BART to the city.

Brad and Luke at Hard Rock.

And right after we, almost, learned our lesson from the Yosemite hike we marched the children all over SF. Poor kids thought they may get a prize at Chinatown for their labors.

Deej and Afton are totally into the "thumbs up"--international symbol.

Uncle Jason had the kids hanging from the bars on the train ride home.

Uncle Mike shooting at what appears to be an unarmed water-fighter.

4th of July

* A special thanks to my mother-in-law, Barb, for all the pictures. I don't think I took one on the entire trip. I knew she had me covered.

The Bay Area was gorgeous, as always, and very refreshing. The hills surrounding us were the yellowy, bumpy, flaky crust of a cherry pie, and I sat right in the middle, breathing in that sweet smelling air. On jogs, I could run during the middle of the day, with a permanent coastal A/C unit following me around. It was luxurious.
Following California, I successfully persuaded Jared into the necessity of a second leg of the trip: my little hometown, Lindon, Utah. We planned on the stay lasting for just a few days, but more siblings kept showing up and Jared continued to chug away at work, the best he could, sparing the rest of us from the 116 degree battle with my archenemy.

If nothin else is goin on, you can always sit on the back steps by Grandpa E's boots and suck your way through a twin pop.

The late rains and snows made for a greener than green Utah this year--which can't be beat. All that colorful foliage climbing up the steep, towering slopes is breathtaking.

My sister Mary's friends, the Hickson's made it out this year, and a good bunch of us went to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house.

Tibble Fork, AF Canyon. Nothing like snow melt to cool your paws.

Jared demonstrated to the boys some serious skipping skills. On one throw it the rock nearly skipped it's way to the other shore. It is one of Jared's lesser known talents.

Davy and Carmel, sharing a hug amongst bags of laundry. Davy's shirt reads: Lock up your daughters. It's very appropriate--for a number of reasons.

Enjoying some 24th of July fire-work fountains.

and sparklers.

Jared taugh Davy how to dunk and hang on the rim.

At long last, we returned home and found a lot of indoor activities to entertain ourselves with: like eating PB straight out of the jar--no spoon neccesary. We did some more playing in the back yard with the hose and prepped for an early first day of school: the beginning of August!

By the way, I do not condone this. I am just willing to take pictures for evidence purposes.

First day of first grade! Loved it.

Kissed goodbye by Lindsey who anxiously awaited her own first day, which kicked off when school is REALLY supposed to start--after Labor Day.

One more year of preschool, until Aft is swallowed up into the school system and taken away from me forever. We are enjoying her while we still can.