Saturday, January 28, 2012

Amber going to the Jazz game

Robert likes to go see the Utah Jazz play.  I am not a huge fan of watching sports much so it isn't something we do together much.  I don't really mind going, but I would prefer to stay home and do something like, well maybe catch up on my blog. 

Anyway.... the Jazz had a special for buy one ticket and you get a free ticket to another select game they already selected.  Robert decided it would be fun to go to a game with one of the girls, then take another girl to the other one.  Then he decided that maybe taking 2 girls at a time would be better, then everyone could go but little Sam. 

Tonight was the game.  It was Emily and Amber's turn to go with Robert.  Amber has never been to a Jazz game, or any basketball game for that matter.  When Robert asked her if she wanted to go to a Jazz game she said, "Jazz, that's basketball right?  Well I'll think about it."  Then today she decided she was going to go.  It is a good thing, because we were going to push her into it anyway. 

I was fixing her hair, which she wanted curly again, and this was her conversation.

Me: Are you excited for the game?
Amber: Yeah, will it be loud?
Me: It could be loud at times.  I think you are getting some pizza too.
Amber: Will I be watching Dad play basketball or will I get to play with him?
Me: Dad is not playing basketball, you are both watching the Jazz play.
Amber: Oh, so like we are watching TV then?
Me: No, it won't be on TV, you will watch it from your seat.  You may be on TV. 
Amber: Oh. 

She was cracking me up.  They still aren't home, but I am sure they will be soon, and I am sure she had a good time.  Spending time with Dad is always fun for them. 
This is how her air turned out... she was in love with it.  I must say, it looked pretty cute.  Emily said she looked like Shirley Temple.  I say double bonus, because it should stay in good for church tomorrow too!  Yay!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

July Coastal Road Trip

We headed up the coast, and all those windy, curvy roads put me to sleep.  It was my way to get rid of the car sickness.  So much for me seeing the scenery.  We stopped and had lunch, and Samantha ate a lemon slice... she does it without even making a face.  It is pretty funny.  Of course, then everyone is like, "here eat my lemon," seeing if she can eat it again without squishing up her face like most people.
 We started into the Redwood forest, which were just AMAZING!  I had never been there before, or that I remember anyway.  It was just gorgeous, and breath taking.  What giants those trees are. 

 We walked around a few different times at pull outs, but Lindsey and Lauren were freaked out over the noise as the wind blew.  The trees would kind of cre-e-e-ek, and that was enough to put them in a panic. 

 We found a few drive through trees, which is were we found our car having over heating problems.  That made the rest of the trip a bit stressful for Robert.  He worried about it the rest of our drive.  Being a holiday weekend, that magnified it I am sure too.
 GIANT tree isn't it!
 We found so many fun places to take pictures.  Emily at times wasn't participating for whatever reason.  It would change from time to time.  Other times she was a joy and would be all photo ready.

 Check out these roots!  There was a huge hole in the ground below it where it once was I guess.
 I'm not sure why, but then the girls started making scary faces and growling.  Maybe they were trying to scare Lindsey who was already freaked out by the noise.
 So funny, those little girls are!  Samantha and Amber loved walking around, saying, "take my picture," and "now take my picture."

We spent pretty much one day driving through the redwoods.  The girls kind of got to the point where the girls felt like once we had seen some of the trees, it was all the same from there and they no longer wanted to get out and check out the trees anymore. 

Stay Tuned for the next part of our trip...  from July. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

July pictures part 1, California

Okay, so this is the short version of our July events in parts, with pictures.  The very beginning of July we took off for our almost month long adventures, starting toward California for the funeral of a beloved Uncle.  Occasionally we would give the girls little suckers or something.  Samantha fell asleep with hers.  Poor baby!
 The girls also spotted a dirt devil, and they thought the salf flats were pretty cool too.  I am not sure if they have ever driven this way at all. 
 The rooms were pretty basic and small, but we seemed to make it all work okay.  As soon as we got to our rooms, my parents had already been there but were currently out visiting family.  The girls were excited to see them when they returned.  Amber loved playing "guess who" with Grandma. 
Kelly seemed to get the girls all wound up, teasing them and playing with them.  But most of the time it was in my parents room, so I didn't mind much.  I figured it was their problem. 
 One afternoon, Robert took our girls and went to a movie with them.  I went over to Aunt Phyllis' to visit with family there.  There wasn't much for my little ones to do there, nor was there any other little kids there.  It was so great for him to take them so I could visit and spend time with everyone.  I wouldn't have gone other wise.  Tracy and I rode with my parents, and you can see behind us, Lorri and the rest of the group.
One of my Aunt's who wasn't able to make it to the funeral, sent little cars for the boys (my dad's brothers) to race.  This is them trying to get ready to race their cars...  those boys are so funny!  I am not sure you could ever go wrong spending the afternoon with them!
Aunt Phyllis, Wayne's wife, was the official judge.  The boys some how cheated, so she declared a re-race.  Of course those cheating that won, didn't want to redo it.  So they lined up again to race again. 
 Then the next group was able to race, then the winner of those groups raced each other.  What a crack up it was!  We had such a fun time. 

As we left Aunt Phyllis' Lorri's car was loaded down with probably 3 too many people, but we all made it safe and sound.  It was a bit of a wet ride from the water fight that broke out in the car, but I think it all seemed to be okay.  Nothing like a good inside car wash. 

After we got back home, we walked across the street to eat at some little fast food place.  Amber and Samantha took full advantage of Aunts and Uncles that maybe would give them a ride.
The place we stayed at had a pool, but you had to have the employees unlock it before we could use it.   As Robert and I were heading up to Washington, I got this picture of my sister all ready to go swimming with the gang.  We left before anyone else did, since we had a long drive ahead of us, oh yeah and 5 more kids than anyone else was traveling with.
Most everyone left on Sunday, as did we.  My parents and Kelly stayed behind for the graveside services.   My sisters took this picture below on their way back home. 
We headed for Washington, the long, scenic way, up the coast.  (That will be part 2 coming soon)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Starting of July

Before I start this, I want you to know this will be a ReAlLy lllloooooonnnnngggggg entry, so if you don't have time to read it all, or you just don't like to read long ones, then wait for my next one that will have the highlights and the pictures too. 
July was a super busy month!  Back in June my Uncle Wayne was in poor health and at different times I thought he was going to pass and then he would recover.  My dad stayed most of June with him in California.  It looked as if he was getting better and the medical team decided he was ready for a rehab center and shortly after he got there, his body gave up.

My little family was planning on going to WA for the majority of July anyway, so we were busy getting ready for our trip, but instead our trip took us to California first to meet with other family members for the funeral of Uncle Wayne. 

I know it sounds odd that a funeral was a fun thing or a fun place to go to, but it seems the family I was born into has parties no matter what the occasion is.  They know how to have fun and live life.  It was a very emotional strain as well, I felt much sadness for my dad, losing his sibling and also Uncle Wayne's wife (Phyllis) left to pick up the pieces and move on.  Don't get me wrong, there were many tears shed!  I seemed to have been sitting in the sobbing section, or was that just me sobbing?

I met my parents and most of my siblings in California.  I was the only one there with kids so it made it kind of tricky figuring out what to do with that and how to entertain them and yet still get family time in too.  Robert was wonderful!  One evening as we were at Phyllis' home, Robert took the kids to see a movie so I could visit and spend time with family.  Many of my aunts and uncles were there along with several cousins.  It was great to sit around such wonderful people and enjoy the moment.  I wouldn't have been able to do that if Robert hadn't taken the kids or entertained them for me. 

I am not sure why crazy things happen to us when we get together as a family but they do.  "The Boys" (my dad and his brothers) had car races with little cars, then others were able to race their own cars too.  My aunt Margie who wasn't able to attend sent a care package with all the goodies in it, the cars, dum dum suckers for the "dum dums" who didn't want to race, and a book to record the events of the race and other messages too. 

Following the funeral (the funeral was held on a Friday I think and then because of 4th of July, the graveside wasn't until Tuesday) as the weekend ended most of us all headed back home, or for us Utah Girls that meant starting our trip to WA but now we were making the drive from California up to WA.  My parents and Kelly (brother) stayed for the Graveside services and then would drive back to WA.

We decided to make a fun trip out of it, and take the scenic route along the coast on highway 1, go through the redwoods, see the ocean, stay a few nights and then drop Robert off at the airport in Portland on my way to my parents house.  Unfortately for me, I missed many of the cool scenic things because all those windy roads equals car sickness to me.  I ended up trying to sleep off the nausia and the head ache of it all.  I'm not good at those scenic drives unless I am driving.  I thought I would be okay, but I always think that and I never am. 

Because we were on the road for 4th of July, we really didn't do anything.  No fireworks, no celebration.  I think we might have seen a few fireworks on the beach but instead we polled the girls and a movie and popcorn won the vote.  Kind of boring, but it was so cold and windy that I was okay with staying inside instead of trying to brave the crowds and the winds in a town we were unfamiliar with. 

With all the driving and stopping we did, somehow we ended up with some car problems.  I am normally pretty laid back about things, I figure it will all work itself out, it won't really matter much in the end and it will end up being no big deal.  Robert on the other hand gets a little more upset or worried about it.  It first manifested itself as we were waiting in line at a drive through redwood tree park.  We smelled something really bad like melting rubber and then heard a funny squealing noise too.  We shortly discovered the car heating up but we couldn't really pin point what was happening with things, the cause of it, only that it was happening.  We thought we would get it looked at down the road, but then it was 4th of July.  We decided to say a prayer and chance it and keep going. 

It didn't seem to be much of a problem except for when we were stopped and idling.  As we were driving especially at higher speeds it seemed to cool the engine off naturally and it was no problem.  The problem was that the whole way back from the coast to the airport we were in stop and go traffic the whole time.  The car would over heat, then it would cool off, then it got scary HOT and then we would go and it would cool a bit down.  We even got off a different exit because we saw our exit was backed up and we couldn't sit there at that high of engine tempatures. 

Poor Robert, he was so stressed!  About the car acting up, getting to the airport on time, the traffic we were in, leaving me with a car that was having problems to get up to my parents house.  He was so stressed about it all.  I kept telling him we would be fine and that all would be okay, it would all work out okay. 

We all made it, we got Robert to the airport, he caught his plane on time, I made it to my parents, and all was good.  Well except for the large repair bill we paid as we were on vacation.  All in all, our car did good!   Funny thing, well not really, my sister Lorri, had car trouble coming home from CA too, and I think my parents' did as well. Lorri's car lost the A/C and my parents' lost OD in the automatic transmission. 

We stayed at my parents house then for a few weeks and then Robert came up and ran yet another Ragnar Race.  I was able to hang out with lots of my siblings during the time I spent there.  It was so nice!  My sister Lorri took several days off work to come hang out with me and my girls.  Along with my other sisters who spent lots of time at my parents house. 

It was kind of odd and sad at the same time.  My parents are putting their papers in to go on a mission.  In doing that, they will be selling the house and Pony Poop Farm will no longer exist.  It seemed kind of weird and strange as I looked around at things.  I thought, this will be the last time we do this, or this or go here. 

One day I went out to my dad's shop.... I was immediately overcome with tears and emotions of sadness.   My dad has wanted a shop for as long as I can remember, he finally has one.  As I looked around inside at all the tools and things hung around, I wondered what would it take to keep the house.  What would it take to keep this shop.  My dad's dream was now going to be lost.  I couldn't take it.   I sat in the barn shop, and wept.  As soon as I could get ahold of my emotions I called Robert and tried to see if there was something we could do, anything?  (If only we didn't still have our rental house, that would be enough to take care of my parents house for sure!)

I later talked to some of my sisters about it.  They had all thought about different things too, but nothing really would do it.  Nothing would really make things better or keep the place for my parents.  I couldn't handle it emotionally, how could this happen?  No matter what we could all do within our means, none of us combined could make it work out.  I have since dealt with the idea of it, and am okay with it.  Not that if I wasn't they would change anything.  It is just a house, it is just a place, it is a place where many memories have been made, but those memories are with each of us.  They do not stay there.  They will not fade away as PPF disolves and becomes someone else home. 

I don't mean to make it sound like my parents mission is a bad thing.  It is a wonderful oppurtunity and I am so grateful for their example to me... and especially to my children.  They are trully sacrificing EVERYTHING!  All the things they love, all the things that they have worked hard for, and the things that they have dreamed of, they are giving up or setting aside for 18 months.  From the house that they have lived in for nearly 40 years, the horses, the farm animals, the playground area my Grandpa made, the shop my dad and his brothers built one summer, my mom's dog, her bird, the roses, and not to mention my mom's whole family lives all right there too.  This is a sacrifice for them!  What an example, all the things they are giving up to serve our Heavenly Father.  It seems like such a huge deal, but then when you really think of it, it is just stuff.  (Stuff I am very attached to though.)

I think as this chapter of the book ends, with my parents' place gone, all of us kids are aware of it.  We are aware of what matters most.  Family.  It seems that each of us are a little more aware of each other, a little more motivated to stay in touch and stay close.  My parents will be leaving, and it brings up questions in my mind.  What does that mean to me and our summer vacations for next year?  Will we all still gather at their house when they return?   Will our WA trips be over?   I guess many of these questions have no answers now, but in time they will.  It is kind of the unknown and it is scary.  I think of when my Grandparents left their home in CA, their house was the big gathering place.  When they were gone that was the end of gathering together really.  With the exceptions of funerals, we don't get together.  Our families get bigger and we focus on our own.  It seems strange to me, it seems like I won't be able to lose those bonds with my family, but will I?  As I departed then, it was a little harder to leave, not knowing when I will be back, things feel uncertain, and I get more teary eyed when I leave, it is getting harder to leave my family as this transition is getting closer.  I wonder if my siblings and I will lose touch or have long periods of not seeing each other.

Our journey took us 29 days and 3600+ miles, and many thoughts to think through.  We finally made it home.  I wonder if that will be the last time my children will experience Pony Poop Farm.   I know there will be other adventures in other places, but it makes me a little sad too having our last visit at Pony Poop Farm, or was it?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

June stuff

 I was so happy to see that I already did a post about May birthdays.  You can read about them here.  I feel a little less behind I guess.  I had thought I had saved one to post but then didn't find it.  I guess I posted it after all.  So now on to other things....  

This is some of the events from June:

I had signed up for the 5K Dirty Dash, basically just a mud run with obstacles too.  I signed up for 2.  As the day was approaching, I realized that we had soccer games that day with the girls, and there was no way Robert and I both could do it.  I asked the girls and Lauren was all up for it.  She hadn't been running or anything, so I knew we would be awhile to do it.  She had a blast, she likes doing the races and would like to do more.  We were one muddy mess!  I scratched up my leg pretty good in the last mud pit, got a nice scar now from it.  We asked someone to take our pictures before and after, but somehow, they were taken right, and we didn't end up getting ones.  I also left my purse behind so I didn't have money to pay for the warm showers, so we took freezing cold showers and then changed our clothes.  The picture of our dirty clothes, after our shower is all I have to show for it. 

I can pick out those use to be white socks Lauren wore that day.  They are pretty stained up now. 
Of course June isn't just for the Dirty Dash, it is also for the big Ragnar Race!  It is the race that consumes my hubby the whole year.  Prior to the race, we took a drive after church up on the race path to find some good spots for exchanges during his race.  We had a BBQ lunch at some resevoir or something.  The kids explored while Robert made lunch/dinner, or linner as Emily would call it.  We brough the dog too. 

 It was almost like the beach, all sandy and fun to dig in. 
 There were tons of drift wood type sticks and logs the girls played on. 
 Everyone seemed to have their own sticks.
 Samantha got tired of walking.  She got a ride for awhile.
 The girls found some evidence of some animals....
 But some of the animals seemed to have left parts behind.
I think it was the weekend of the Ragnar Race that I took the kids to the Farm Country.  I love the sign they have out by the entrance.  Pretty funny!
The girls found lots of things to do.  We made ice cream in a bag, played some farm games, got coloring books, stickers, and rode on a wagon ride in addition to petting the animals and riding the horses/ponies.
Samantha was loving the little calf and foal that were eating her skirt and licking her hands.  She could have stayed right there the whole time and not gone any where else.
The girls stood in line for what seemed to be FOREVER to ride the horses and the few ponies they had out there too.  About the time we were getting close, they switched out all the horses for different once including 2 small ponies.  The girls all had their horses picked out and then they put their horses away.
For the most part the girls were delighted to be riding the horses. 
Lots of big smiles and the little girls wanted to do it again.  I think Emily was wishing this was a real ride on a horse not stuck in the little arena.  She would have prefered a trail ride somewhere instead.
For the most part they were pleased and had a good time. 
Both Samantha and Amber gave their horses kisses as they got off and told them Thank you. 
This is a group shot of the group we went with.  We had lots of fun.  We need to go back to farm county again soon!
We left Farm Country, got some dinner and then we went to the Dog Days they had.  They had tons of vendors set up for dog related things and little botiques selling items for dogs like special dog treats along with normal food vendors too.  They had a cool diving dogs demostration where they dogs would dive into a huge pool to get their toy.  But for the most part, the girls enjoyed the giant slides. 

The girls wanted to go back to Dog Days the next day too. 

Monday, January 9, 2012

Time, time, time

I am so far behind again...  on posting all the events of our little family.  I think for the most part I am still back in May.  How did that happen?  I hope this week to get a little more caught up.  My list to do is long, and unfortunately blogging, is towards the bottom of the list.  I hope to get some more done soon, even though the stuff I will post will be pretty much "old stuff" I will feel better getting it down and wierdly, I feel like I can't do anything current until I catch up from where I left off.  Stuff to look forward to hearing more about:

  • 3 yr old birthday
  • 9 yr old double birthday
  • end of school
  • soccer
  • Garden trip
  • WA trip
  • Camping
  • back to school
  • birthday for a 5 yr old
  • halloween
  • Thanksgiving in CA
  • Christmas
  • and more too!
Check back often, I hope you won't be disappointed in all our "old" news.