Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two - 2

The month wouldn't be complete without saying a "Happy Birthday" to Megan. This is one busy little girl and she is so much fun. We are glad you are part of our family!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Washington (state)

We just got back from visiting Jeff's brother and family in Washington.

What I liked best was that the kids had a lot of unstructured play time. I cringe when I catch myself barking out a steady stream of orders about "don't do careful...don't get're going to get hurt..." It isn't much fun for them or me. It was nice to pull up to the rocky beaches open the car door and let them go explore. Over the course of the trip these 6 curious kids spent hours and hours on the beach looking for crabs and starfish and anemones, trying to catch fish, skipping rocks, piling up driftwood, and just playing. At the end of each day they were sandy, dirty, and tired but they had had a blast.

Most of the photos come from Joe and Sandi. Thank you we had a great time!

Sandi, Ryland, Joe, Wakely and Bridger

Megan is about one salmon long

This trip to Washington was planned around when the lowest tide would occur because there are some fun things to see!

We took a ferry ride out to Orcas Island and stayed for couple of nights and went whale watching too. Here is a little waterfall we hiked to.

On the island there were always deer hanging around the property where we stayed. The kids would pick apples from the trees and set them out as "bait" and then wait for the deer to show up.

Between the camouflage shirts and the stick horns it makes for a pretty good deer disguise.

Ryland gave his dad one of those fancy spa "hot rock" treatments.

Whale watching with Captain Dan.

The killer whales we saw were from (I think) J Pod. They said the dorsal fin on the males can be up to 6 feet high.

Megan and Uncle Joe

Sunday, July 12, 2009

July is the new June

June is my favorite month. I look forward to it all year. I love the weather, the flowers, the leaves back in their proper place on tree branches, the picnics, parks and Popsicles. This year time seemed to be on fast forward. It went from Memorial Day (blink) to July. Here we are in July and so far it has been every bit as fun, so it is my "new" June.

For the last three weekends we have gone hiking with other families in the neighborhood. If you know of any family friendly hikes pass the word along because we have a lot of summer left. Our first family hike was up Big Cottonwood Canyon. I can't even remember the name of the hike. We had never been on this trail before and the directions we had were along the lines of "Drive 0.4 miles past Silver Fork Lodge. There is a wide shoulder and pull over and park on the side of the road. Look for a boulder which marks the trailhead."

The first part of the trail was uphill then it flattened out winding through aspens. Then the trail came out of the trees into a meadow with a little lake beyond that. About .75 miles each way. This may be my new favorite short hike. We only saw 4 other small groups of people. Which is like having the place to yourself when it comes to hiking along the Wasatch Front.

One obvious need after doing this itty bitty baby hike was the need for hiking poles. I am okay going uphill but coming down is more difficult. This darn atrophy has resulted in terrible balance. I used to run down these types of trails, and now I carefully work my way down. Step by step. Sheesh. At least we are out of the house.

After a quick trip to REI and with my new poles in hand, I was ready for hike #2.

Hike #2 was the very popular Donut Falls. We counted 61 cars in the trailhead parking lot and those parked along the dirt road. 61 cars!

Hike #3 was yesterday and the destination was Stewart Falls which is on the backside of Timpanogos. We ventured down south into cougar country. What I mean is we saw a whole lot of BYU t-shirts, sweatshirts and hats. Jeff and I cheer on our own schools which happen to be UofU and USU, but when it comes down to it we really don't care. If we were more into school rivalries I could have used one of my new hiking poles...discreetly slide it into the trail just a bit as a perky coed ran by and opps! Haha. Okay so that wasn't very nice, time to move on.

Moving on... back to Stewart Falls. Gorgeous trail. Waist high ferns, tall aspen and evergreens. And a fair amount of stinging nettle. We didn't make it all the way, it started to rain and the kids were tired, but still worth the drive.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Blue Chairs

You never know when you are going to find your next treasure. It just so happened that my latest gem came straight out of a dumpster.

I was on a walk by the lake with Jenn and Shelby when we spotted some chairs which had been unceremoniously left in a huge construction dumpster. Shelby climbed up and pulled them out for me. For quite some time I have been wanting chairs for the front porch and it seemed that with a little tlc, these had some potential. It doesn't bother me that they came from a dumpster. I'm trying to do my part for mother earth by removing three less items from going to landfills. It is all about being "green". Okay it was also a little bit about the chairs being free. (Well, they were free until you add in the cost of the paint, plywood, fabric and foam for cushions.) Or maybe it is so I can see peoples expression when they found out where they came from. Whatever the reason, these blue chairs now have a story.

In the simple act of putting chairs on our front porch it is like we have gained a whole new room to our home. I love being outside to enjoy these summer evenings. Nearly every evening Jeff and I are sitting in the chairs either reading a book, playing cribbage or backgammon, or talking.

A great big thank you goes to Jenn, Shelby, Jeff, Russ, Janie, Erik and Claire for helping out in one way or another.
Taking off the original seat.

Picking out fabric.

After painting the chairs we sanded them down so they looked more weathered. Wha-laa...the final product. I love them.