Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A Bit o' Silliness.

Its moments like these that I think, "These kids are turning out even better than I hoped."

Now don't you want to come visit us? The welcoming committee is really up on their game. At least, hopefully they are. Hopefully no one is drinking water out of the toilet (WITH a straw!) or crawling over to bite your toes off. 

It's a box of chocolates. You never know what your gonna get...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

There sure was a lot of killing, cuddling cuteness at the zoo on Saturday. We went with the Huntingtons and that place was hopping - apparently, if you don't go south on Memorial Day weekend, you go to the zoo. It was fun though, and there are some adorable furry families there, no doubt.

Riley almost defected to the Huntingtons - she does love em.

Then we went to these nice people's wedding reception!
 It was so fun to see the Hendricks crowd again, and Dan's wife, Sharlee, is a lovely, sweet, smart girl who chose COLDSTONES CATERING for the reception! Delicious!

Riley made fast friends with the other little babies running around - a second after we walked in she was holding hands with two little girls and dancing around, and found a little boy to high five. Who actually later high-fived her in the face, unfortunately... There was a sweet sibling moment when Riley wanted Joe to join the dance and grabbed his hand and I helped her support him so he could participate and he was sooo happy and all grown up.

Sunday was church, a three hour communal nap - oh sweet sweet naps - and dinner at the Harrelds, followed by the best red velvet cake you are ever going to have. Before we ate it we sang Chris "Happy Graduation Day to YOU," because oh yeah, CHRIS GRADUATED! And he got into the University of Utah for the fall and we are so proud! Go Chris!

Memorial Day: Dave got the day off and we got to spend it with friends and family, hiking in the mountains and barbequing in the yard.

Dry Canyon Trail in Lindon - not a bad hike for the baby train (we had 4 along).
 I wish we could bottle baby-energy - they eat like birds and then are firing on all pistons all day long.
Why yes, that is a dandelion behind Dave's ear - what else is a dad to do with a flower from his daughter?
 Then we took our appetites back home and had a pot luck of a barbecue that was kind of ridiculous. Bratwursts, hamburgers, watermelon, chips, potato salad, baked beans, veggies, lemonade, and s'mores.
Man I love those bratwursts...mmm...also Dave...mmm... ;)
Her first s'mores and turns out she is a natural! That's my girl!
We are already planning reunions with these guys and the other mission buds in years to come.

I have reached that pre-move state where I am saying things like,
"And now a picture on our favorite stump." Oh boy.
Kristy and sweet baby Elaina - some of our lovely neighbors whom we will also really miss.
It's always a good time when the sisters get together. xoxo.

We were all pretty pooped by the end - even those boundless babies! It was the perfect day, and I feel as if summer has officially arrived.

We got to talking and everyone had a grandparent in the armed forces during WWII. It is an amazing legacy they left for us, their grandchildren - the world we live in would be a very different place without brave people willing to fight for what's right. America has a good time on Memorial Day, and I am glad we celebrate and have a good time, but also I'm glad we take time to think about the blessings and the sacrifices and take things a little less for granted.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sisters Saturday

Hatch Family Chocolates: where dreams come true. If what you dream about is the smoothest, most decadent, delicious chocolate you ever ate.

Joe enjoys rasberries on his cheeks a lot more than kisses. It is what it is.

I do enjoy a good sister outing.

Today I took the children to visit their aunties in Salt Lake. We first had a fried chicken picnic (indoors, on Em's floor since it was raining), then headed over to Hatch Family Chocolates so I could put another check on my UT bucket list. TV's favorite chocolate-making little people are famous for their hot cocoa but amazing in the pot de creme and hand-dipped chocolates areas as well, as we found out. These hips don't lie.

Then on to the Living Planet Aquarium. It is a crazy crowd on a Saturday, but we loved it! Pretty fish and penguins and otters and anacondas and paranas, etc. and so forth.

 Em is a little squeamish when it comes to octupussis. As she should be - those things are kind of gross.

Bless my sister's hearts for chasing Riley around the whole time we were there - she was so sugared up and so excited that she just rocketed from room to room, charging head first and windmilling her legs, Charlie Brown style, so that you expect her to fly off the ground at any moment. Joe enjoyed himself as well, but from our arms or shoulders - you could tell by the way he would hyperventilate and smack your head when he saw a bright shiny exhibit.

We are pleasantly tired now. Well, the babies are comatose. I expect we are all in for a good nights sleep.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Rainy day cuddle

3rd post of the day! I believe that is a record. At least, I hope it is. But when I was putting that video up on the last post Riley and Joe were cuddling on my lap and had a cute moment so I flipped on the computer's video camera and got this footage of a silly rainy day cuddle.
Technology is cool - I am glad I can capture sweet little moments like this. They make my job as a full-time mom the best job in the world.

Riley as Kevin James

If you haven't seen "Zookeeper," ya oughta! It has some real nice, long dance scenes that will suck you right in. And if your toddler does insist on participating the whole time, well, it is not a bad work-out.

Highway 12: Day 3

The third and final day of our trip. Happy day! We don't have the stamina for four days like these, let me tell YOU.  Maybe if we flown in. Because they do have this airport....

 I half-think this is more farm humor I don't understand.
We got ourselves checked out by 9:30am and stopped to see Red Rock Canyon on our way out. Full disclosure: for our final "hike" we pulled into the rest stop/visitor's center and went on the leisurely trails off of that. We were all hiked out and wanted to do one that Riley could handle with out toppling into a ravine. She LOVED it.

Dave held her up for the picture and she felt the need to do a split.
Lovely hiking weather.
She is turning into kind of a Daddy's girl these days. It sure was nice to have him all to ourselves for three days.

Our little mountain climber slid down more than once, but she did NOT want help. She sure is persistent though - I was proud of her.

                                             Go team!
Riley's tired face. Mission (to get her to nap going home) accomplished.
More beautiful scenery for our drive home.

Oh those farmers...
...they just kill me
And there you have it! Throw in a pizza lunch break, a raise-havoc in Walmart break, some Cafe Rio, Iron Man 3 and then Mother's Day, and you have had yourself a pretty epic weekend. It is a beautiful world.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Highway 12: Day 2: Bryce and Escalante

Joe woke us up at 5:30am. Sunrise was at 6:24am so we bundled up as best we could with what we brought (not much in the way of warm clothes) and took our selves to Sunrise Point. For about five minutes, then the babies were too cold so Dave took them back to the car and I stayed with the camera, in 30 degree, windy weather, but cozily wedged in between French and Japanese tourists on the lookout over the Amphitheater. It was glorious to watch the sun warm the red sandstone. I was numb by seven so I jogged down a trail to warm up and take some more pictures and let me tell you - it was the prettiest run I have ever been on.

Meanwhile Dave and the babes (sounds like a band name) were having a breakfast of jerky, goldfish and Twizzlers. We took them back to the hotel and allowed Joe a 30 minute power nap while we googled and made a game plan. The game plan: Navajo Trail.

By 9am we were hiking again. I say "hiking" but it was not challenging. It was rather easy, actually, even hauling babies and water and whatnot on our backs.


Dave "poking" Thor's Hammer.
 When we finished Navaho loop we took a lunch/swim break back at the hotel. Then we drove the two hour trek to Escalante.
The Grand Staircase of Escalante. It is MASSIVE - covers almost 2 million acres.
The last half hour was on a dirt road - Dave was in his element. 


To get to the slot canyon of Dry Gulch (a MUST see, seriously), you have to scoot down this hill and slodge through some sand but it was worth it. 


Every step of the canyon was breath-taking. There was a deliciously cool breeze blowing through, and the echoes and the sheer HEIGHT of the rock made you feel like you were in a cathedral. It was incredible and I totally get why those French and Japanese tourists came all this way.

You can see how high the water got in the last flood. Basically, you don't want to get caught in a thunderstorm here.

Stay calm - barring my arm falling off, or forgetting how to step down, we were good!
If God solidified the Red Sea after he parted it, it would have looked like this. This will be hanging on our wall someday.
We ended up wading in anyways. That water was freezing!
Here is where we turned around, but it went on for miles.
Riley loved the canyon - the echoes, dragging her hand on the wall as we walked, eating bits of jerky and nuts...girl knows how to party.
It felt like we were in a western. There was very little sign of civilization (But there WAS a sign; it said, "Road may be impassable - carry extra gas and plenty of water" eek!). But it was beautiful and totally worth the trek.
 We got back to the hotel about 7:30pm and it took Joe about a second to pass out. Riley took 2.