Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Something Else that we did this Summer

Every year, Steven's work (MDC Holdings) has some activity that they invite their employees and families to attend. Last year we got to go to the Denver Zoo. This year it was a Rockies game at Coors Field. The Rockies were playing some random team. They lost miserably.  If you want more info about the game itself, Click Here. We didn't really come for the game. We went to be together as a family, to have a new experience, to try the food (we each got $20 of food money with our tickets!).

Our seats were on the west side of the stadium. The hard green plastic seats soaked up the warm sun's rays, but as the afternoon progressed some clouds rolled in and we got some showers to cool things off a bit. We were close enough that we could see the ball if we looked closely. We could see the pitcher throw it, the batter swing and sometimes hit it. We could see the ball flying through the air and usually get caught by someone in the outfield. Then we would watch the ball fly back towards the players at the bases (if there were runners) before it returned to the pitcher to repeat the cycle. What a dizzying experience it must be to be a baseball.

Above us was the food court. Between the six of us we tried nachos, sandwiches, hot dogs and bottomless buckets of popcorn and I don't know what all else. We ate ice cream and drank sodas and water. The food was good, if horrifically over priced. At least we weren't paying for it ourselves! Thank you generous employers!
My first selfie... trying to keep Peter entertained.
We talked to some of the people around us, and some of the other employees from Steven's work. John read the book he had brought with him. (Unfortunately he ran out of pages to read before the game was over.) We sang "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" and occasionally even peered at the scoreboard to figure out which team was up to bat, and how many runs and outs there had been. Occasionally the crowd would roar and we'd look at the field below to figure out what had happened.
When the game was over, we followed the flow of humanity out of the stadium and returned to our car. We had enjoyed being together and experiencing something different from our normal.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Smart Squirrel

The squirrels in John's teacher's quorum advisor's neighborhood have been trained well. I dropped John off for an activity this morning and as I was returning home I saw a squirrel crossing the street -at the crosswalk!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Birthdays (Part 2)

John turned 15 in July. He wanted a raspberry pi for his birthday. (And no, that's not a typo.) Apparently a raspberry pi is a type of tiny computer, and not something to eat. John managed to attach a keyboard to it and use our TV as a monitor, and he has been able to program some things for it. He still wants some buttons that he can attach to it, and i'm not sure what all else.

Hannah made his cake. It was supposed to be a train engine, I think.

Josh's birthday was just a couple weeks ago, and he turned 13.

 What Josh wanted for his birthday was Dungeons and Dragons stuff. He participated in a D&D club last year and was looking forward to school starting again so he could play some more.
 I actually got to make his cake, and yes, it is a lot more boring than Hannah's creations, but it was swirly on the inside.

John is currently serving as president of the Teacher's quorum at church, and Josh was recently called as the Deacon's quorum president. I think it is awesome that they are worthy to hold priesthood keys in our ward.

Summer's End

Today is the first day that all the kids are back in school. The house is quiet. I get to be on the computer again.

It's been a good summer. Besides spending lots of time on the computer (Most of the kids playing Minecraft, and John programming) and watching movies (we've watched a lot of Doctor Who in the last couple months) we've gone to the park to play tennis or just to play and we've gone swimming. We've gone to the library for books to read each week. Peter learned how to bake muffins all by himself. Josh has gone for long bike rides. The kids have all gone to various summer camps, and John even managed to catch a fish. Hannah visited a few colleges in the area. We've played lots of games and made crafts. The summer passed quickly, and it was fun.

Here are a few pictures from our summer.

Hannah's somersault dive 


John's somersault

Josh, John and Hannah having an underwater tea party

Hannah and John at the tennis courts

Steven and Peter

Josh at the lake

Muffins and Peter (Muffins was a late birthday gift from Grandma Kathy, and Peter loves him!)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Moab Vacation June 27-July 1, 2016

Day 1 (Monday)

We camped at Warner Lake, which is about an hours drive east of Moab, up a long, windy, dirt road. It was at a much higher elevation, so it was a lot cooler than down in Moab, and it was really green and very nice. There, we met Steven's mom, Kathy, along with Grandpa John, and Steven's brother Brian's kids. Brian is deployed, so we weren't able to see him, but his wife Kendra joined us the next day.

Warner Lake

Abigail and Peter
 Camping with Grandma Kathy and Grandpa John is different from camping on our own. They tend to bring a lot of "extra" stuff. The kids really liked the quad.

 Why do people like to carve on trees? This graffiti from 1939 was the oldest we came across.
 The first evening, Steven and I took a long hike to Oowah Lake and back. The freakiest things we saw were the staring cows.

Ooh! A lake! (Or Oowah Lake)

 Day 2 (Tuesday)

Hannah slept in a hammock the first night.


Grandpa John


Finn's feet. He rarely wore shoes during the entire week.




 That morning, we went down the hill to Ken's Lake. Grandpa John brought at least three inflatable boat things. Those who weren't in the boats got to rock hop or swim.





 After we left the lake, we drove into Arches National Park to see the cool rock formations. It was hot, and we were tired from swimming, so only a few of us took the short hikes for a closer look.

 Day 3 (Wednesday)

We spent day 3 closer to our camp site. That morning, Steven, John, Abigail and I hiked a trail up into the La Sal Mountains. We crossed a river several times, and even found some snow. (Abigail brought home a snowball to show the folks back in camp.)

The rest of that day was spent playing games and just relaxing there at the camp site.

Day 4 (Thursday)

This day we got out in the morning and when on a hunt for dinosaur tracks. We even found some!

Kendra and Finn

 That afternoon, we went into Moab and went swimming at the Rec Center there. There were cool water slides and a lazy river, and it was a lot of fun. We were hurried on our way home, though, when it started to rain.

Day 5 (Friday)

Friday, after a rainy evening, it was a lot cooler and we decided to go back to Arches and see some more of the cool rock formations.
Abigail and Peter


Hannah and Finn

Hannah and Finn

All the cousins

Kendra, Zoey and Grandma Kathy


 We had lunch at a picnic area at Arches. The biggest attraction there was the rock climbing or "bouldering". The kids all had a blast.
That speck on the top left? That's Hannah!

Abigail caught a lizard.


Steven and Abigail

Steven and Peter

Kendra, Grandpa John, Grandma Kathy, and Joshua

Joshua and the raven


5 cousins in a cave.
(The funnest part was getting them all down again.)

After we left Arches, our family drove out along another road and got to see some pictographs and some more dinosaur tracks. Coming back home through Moab, we stopped to get John a fishing pole and license so he could do some fishing that evening. (He didn't end up catching anything.)

Day 6 (Saturday)

We packed up our stuff and drove home. 

It was a fun trip. We didn't have too much scheduled so it was relaxing. We were camped at a high enough elevation that we could escape the heat, and it rained or was overcast the last couple days which also helped with the heat. It was fun to see family that we haven't seen in a while, too. I got to play with my new camera - I took about 500 pictures! Aren't you glad you only have to look at about a tenth of them?