Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Utah Trip - 2010 - Part II: The Green River

I will honestly say that I didn't want to go on this trip. I had just driven from St. George to Syracuse (Utah) to Park City on Friday. I didn't want to go another 3 1/2 hours to the Green River. But the plan was in motion. We had to get up at 4 on Saturday and be packed up. I was not excited about it. The comfort was that we were going to be traveling in Rick and Holly's new RV, which turned out to be a HUGE bus. That is the way to travel!! I slept most of the way. The kids slept. It was perfect. There was a lot of waiting when the guys were getting boats and transporting people down to the river, but once I was there, I knew I had made the right choice and that it was well worth the sacrifice. Oh, and the river is GREEN!! It was spectacular. The cliffs raise straight up from the river. The area is called Flaming Gorge for its red rocks. There was a short but steep trail to take down to the river and here is a view from the top:
Holly and I got such a kick out of this warning sign. I realize that some letters are missing, but you still get the idea. I think they pretty much cover all situations here.
We had to wait for Rick to drop the car off at the end point and hitchhike back to the beginning. The girls sat in Rick's drifter talking and eating all the cookies!!
We went on this trip because Rick and Holly's friends from Norway wanted to do some river rafting. Everyone refers to them as "The Norwegians" but they are Kenneth and Katrine, and their sons Alexander and Deitrich. They manned the raft with the rest of the kids (Autumn, Donie (A's friend), Brooklyn, Maddie, & Preston). Rick, Holly, and I rode the drifter. The kids did take turns riding the drifter, too.
We'd pull out along the way and have snacks and do a little fishing. Here is Maddie and I resting on a rock. Maddie had a great time riding the river. She smiled all day.
The wildlife was friendly and well fed. They came expecting handouts. I would love to make this photo into a card. I am taking suggestions for an inscription!!
Here are the girls at another pull out, waiting for us to catch up!
We did a little fishing along the way. Autumn was thrilled with her catch!
Near the end of the 7 mile run, Rick grilled up ribs, shrimp, and hot dogs. There was potato salad and oreos on the side! It was SO delicious. It got a little stormy at this point and there was a lot of lightning - we saw the resultant brush fires on our way out of the park.

I am so happy that I went along and did this. It was a beautiful day. I love experiencing new things and this was one of those things! The water was like emeralds in the rapids. We went back to the camp ground and the Norwegians had reserved one of the two permanent trailers on site. We spent a long time checking out the gift shop - it was rather interesting with camoflage baby gift sets. Rick got out some fireworks he had along. We spent the night in the RV and I slept like a log!! I fell asleep while people were still up and walking around. I love being that tired - means I was adequately engaged for the day!! Thanks to Rick and Holly for a memorable trip. I definitely want the rest of my family to experience the Green River!!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Utah Trip - 2010 - Part I: The North and the South

About 10 days ago, Maddie and I left for Utah. Rozzie has a dance camp at BYU so we came out here. We made the arrangements for the trip before Rozzie made the dance team and we found out she had her dance team camp at the same time as the beginning of this trip. Roz finished up her camp and flew out to join us. All this travel time has given me knitting opportunities and this is the final product of Rozzie's new socks. I have gotten more comments on these colors than any other sock I have ever knitted. They are just slightly fabulous!
Maddie and I stayed with Dave and Lisa and the kids for a couple days. We had such a nice visit. I loved sitting outside on the back porch in the cool air, watching the kids play. Maddie had a great time getting to know her cousins. On Saturday we picked up Rozzie at the airport and drove up to Park City to spend time with friends up there. Rick and Holly weren't back from their vacation yet, but this was Rozzie's opportunity to see Autumn and they made the most of it!

On Sunday, we drove down to Temple Square to pick up our cousin, Kaitlin, who was going with us to Hurricane. The girls really liked the time at the temple and asked a lot of questions about when Trav and I got married there.
Here is a great picture of all the cousins - Rozzie, Maddie, Sydney, & Kaitlin; Lindsey, Chloe, Austin, & Tyler. Sydney is way into cats (sound like anyone we know?) and I had shown her video of our lost kitten, Duckie. Since then, she has been acting like a kitty and wanting to be called "Duckie."
Monday was drop off day for Rozzie. She was a little nervous about going to a camp where she didn't know anyone. Her roommate is from Hong Kong! Here she is in her room! She has been there for a week now and is having way too much fun: dance classes, dances with boys, hanging out with people, etc. I knew Rozzie would have no trouble making friends and enjoying herself!
Maddie, Kaitlin, and I left BYU campus and drove down to Hurricane to see Grandma and Grandpa. It was sure nice to see them and they were sure happy to see us. We did a lot of fun things: swimming, walking, eating out, seeing Toy Story 3, shopping, etc. Maddie and Kaitlin got used to each other pretty quickly and had a really good time. They really liked the Washington City pool with its lazy river and water slide.While we were there, I knit Kaitlin a pair of "lugies" or slippers. She picked the purple and pink colors.
Maddie and Kaitlin are both big "Twilight" fans and are pretty excited to see the new "Eclipse" movie. On our shopping day at the outlets, I got them both t-shirts. Maddie is on Team Jacob and Kaitlin plays for Team Edward! Here they are with Grandma and Pa before we left. Thanks for hosting us!!

The night before we left, Kori and Claire came through Hurricane and stayed the night. It was really good to see them. We drove back up to Salt Lake and dropped off Kaitlin at home. I'm so glad she came along with us. The two girls got to know each other quite well and had some really fun times. Now I am back up in Park City. Stay tuned for the next installment of Utah Trip - 2010 - Part II: The Green River!

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Past Few Weeks...Beware

It has been a fun few weeks!! School ended and was very busy. The girls and I are so happy to be done with that. I finished a pair of socks for Travis and here they are, hairy legs and all!! They are really nice and will be appropriate for work. They took a little more time than my socks did. Hopefully he likes them and wears them knowing they were made for him with love!!Right as school was ending, my scarlet (or swamp) hibiscus bloomed. This is a natural hibiscus that i have seen growing in the creek and swampy areas in our neighborhood. A friend gave me a cut of this and the flowers are very showy and pretty. They are about 8 inches across. We get a lot of questions with the plant. As you can see in the background of the picture, the leaves of this plant look a little...suspicious. People see it and say, "What do you have growing here?" Yes, it looks like marijuana, but it isn't. Travis is working on his Wood Badge for scouts and so he took the boys in our ward and "the other ward" to the rail yard. Here they are by an auto container. They were able to take a look-see in the cars which were loaded with cars. He also did some other stuff with them inside, teaching them about routing and such. He had such a great time. Maddie finished sixth grade and elementary school. They have a promotion ceremony which is really nice. She had a new dress to wear. She is looking all grown up - or at least well on her way to grown up. These are the church girls finishing 6th grade. She was very busy getting pictures with all sorts of different friends.
This here is the whole reason for my trip to Minnesota. The trip was about 10 days too short. The weather called for severe thunderstorms on the days of both the graduation party and the graduation. Miracles occurred and it didn't rain!! I'm very glad I could be there. Congrats to OJ!!This was another very exciting moment in Minnesota - I got to meet my new nephew, Austin!! He was delightful! Check out the Shoebox Princess to see a picture of all of us together: Sara, Jenni, Jake, Mike, and Dave. The babies got passed around Jimmy's party. They were very good. And adorable!!
While I was in Minnesota, the dance team at home was busy kidnapping the new girls and taking them out for breakfast!! Rozzie is in the pink hair and McCall is her big sister! She was absolutely thrilled with being woken up at 6am and being all dressed up and Saran wrapped. She had the best outfit. Some girls were just wrapped, but these two pictured here got the special treatment!
Meanwhile, at Grandma's house, Annie and Mimi did a lot of stunts for me to see. They love to do "stunts" and they do them quite often.
Steph, Jake, and kids came by a few times. Mimi, Annie, and Maya are getting to know each other quite well and looked just ravishing in the American Girl hats!
No trip to Minnesota is complete without a visit to the Arboretum. This is a new display. It is made of willow branches and is quite something to see and walk around it. There are rooms inside!
I got home and went right to work! I was a driver for the dance team getting them over to Jacksonville University for a camp. Here is the team after doing their first routine. Rozzie and the other freshmen were not involved in this dance as the team has been practicing since April for this and the freshmen were still 8th graders at the junior high. Now it is time for them to be involved!!
Here is Rozzie and McCall in their dorm. They are roommates as McCall is Rozzie's "big sister" for the year. Rozzie reported today that she received "superior" ratings and blue ribbons on all her routines. They are judged individually and she was pretty happy. She is really tired and is now packing to come out to Utah.

Speaking of Utah, that is where Maddie and I are right now. We flew all day long yesterday to get here. We got up at 3am for a 6am flight. But them our flight was delayed. We had the crankiest flight attendant ever on that flight. she rolled her eyes at people and her announcements were given with sullenness and disdain for the customers she served. We flew to Minneapolis, missing our connection to Salt Lake by minutes. We were rerouted to Kansas City which is the grossest airport ever. None of our layovers were longer than 30 minutes, so there wasn't any food time and we arrived in Salt Lake very hungry. We packed sandwiches and bananas, but after such a long day, we needed some refreshment, so we stopped at Cafe Rio. We're are staying at Dave and Lisa's. Maddie has jumped right in for fun with cousins. Pictures will appear in the following days. We are glad to be here and ready for an adventure!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

BEWARE!! Very Cute-cumbers!!

Roz and I went out for a poke around the garden and we found many wonderful things. Look how our garden grew!!

We have our first victim!! We will eat it for dinner tonight and we are all so excited. When Travis saw how big it was he was very surprised.

Not to fear, there are many more cukes on their way to perfection. I think we'll be giving some away. I am just tickled that we have produce!

And there are many, many more of these little tiny guys on their way to maturity.

This is a soy bean plant that is on its way to producing our delicious edamame. Once these guys are a bit bigger, we will have a delicious side dish for any meal.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Trav's Big 48th B-day Celebration!!

Right on the heels of Rozzie's birthday is Travis' birthday. His will be lost in the flurry of graduation for a couple years, but we managed a few festivities anyway! Here he is with his birthday cake. I had made a dinner of chicken parmesan which is not his least favorite.

Then on Saturday night, I made reservations at Buca di Beppo which is an Italian place and we went to dinner with some friends. Travis ordered chicken parm. When it is not your least favorite, you can eat it a lot. The salads were delicious, too.

We were joined by a few friends from the ward and had such a lovely time. Sometimes we get so caught up in the day to day runnings of life and the ward that we forget what good friends we are and so this was a great time. Travis seemed to really enjoy himself!! I'm not generally mushy and gushy, but I do love Travis and am thankful for a great husband to share my life.

Friday night was graduation. Thought I'd post a picture of me walking into the stadium that the girls took of me!! A great night. I get such a feeling of satisfaction watching my students walk up and graduate.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Travis' big birthday question

Today is Travis' birthday!! Happy Birthday Trav!! I made chicken Parmesan for dinner as it is his favorite. We had sauteed cabbage and yellow squash. We had a salad. It was all very good and the house smells delicious. As we were talking about Travis' favorite food, Roz asked the key question:

What is not you least favorite dinner?

I thought we had just discussed that...