Friday, July 18, 2014

Friends and Grand Views

One perk of being in Cortez for the summer is that we were only an hour away from one of my old college roomies who I haven't seen in ten years. It's funny, aside from Facebook and instagram we haven't talked much since then, but there is something about being college roommates that bond you for life.  It was kind of a crazy year that we lived together, but it helped make us the people we are today. And let me tell you, this woman is amazing. After catching up on the last ten years I don't think I know a stronger more courageous person and I am blessed to be able to call her my friend.
This is an awful picture of a picture of Sarah and I, circa 2002.

And last week, 12 years and 6 children later.

And I'm so glad we got to visit when we did, because our summer plans changed last week and we decided that the kids and I were going home. Thad had meetings in Bakersfield, and I just felt like we needed to get back for lot's of reasons. So we are home now. But on the way home we had one last adventure and took a small detour on the drive to the grand canyon. It was beautiful, and I'm glad we took the kids, but I'm also glad that I've seen it before so I could chase peter and keep him from falling into it while Thad took pictures and enjoyed the view. Peter is insane and I was mildly panicked the entire time we were there because he just kept darting off and trying to get away from me.
This picture is as good as it gets with Peter. I don't know if he hates the camera, or just being restrained, but most of our pictures of him from this trip look like this.

We also had Flat Stanley along for the ride thanks to cousin Walter, and Thad and the kids had fun getting some adventure shots of Stanley. It's going to be a good story.

It's been a crazy week of packing, cleaning, driving, unpacking, more cleaning, and restocking. But I'm glad we came back, I can't imagine doing this two days before school starts and being remotely ready.  Plus I've already been able to hang out with friends I've missed and the kids are happy to have their own rooms back.
Oh, but Peter decided to begin a new rite of passage as I unpacked.

Ya, that happened. He was so proud of himself and was bouncing around with the marker, until momma went crazy, then he wasn't so proud as you can see. And this piece of art happened after he had found Andi's markers and colored all over his legs earlier in the morning.
We plan to spend the next few weeks hanging out by the pool with friends and maybe decorating the office. I've been staring at blank walls since Thad built the desk 5 months ago. I need to fix that.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Happy 4th of July!

Another fun filled weekend had passed so it is time for an update. Thad brought home sparklers early in the week, the good kind that you can't get in CA, and the kids asked every five minutes if it was time to do fireworks yet. We then got to thinking about our usual 4th of July's, and how we bounce from one ward activity to family party to the next, and how the kids would drive us crazy all day waiting for fireworks if we didn't find something to do to keep them busy. So we headed in to Durango to the children's discovery museum and cool downtown shops. It was beautiful.

 This is the bike path along the river that ran right behind the museum, which is an old converted power building.

This bridge was a little ways up the path and on the other side of the river were some pretty sweet homes.

I've always wanted to rent one of these. We didn't. I still want to.

 Fun stuff inside the Museum. 

 There are a lot more museum pictures, but the kids were running around so crazy that most of them ended up blurry. Proof that it was a good time. After the museum we grabbed some lunch and went to a park to play. Colorado is big on parks, and they are all really nice.We even ventured over to the mall so I could find some board shorts. Mine just died. And even though it was a real mall, it was still pretty sad in comparison to Ca shopping.
After naps at home they were ready for fireworks. We broke out the sparklers, and though they were definitely better than the crappy ones you buy in CA, they were not as great as we remembered. Maybe our batch was a bit of a dud, or maybe our childhood memories over exaggerated the coolness of them. Either way the kids enjoyed them.

The city does a free show at the park right across from our townhouse. So we climbed out on to the roof for a great view. It was a great show, and I'm pretty sure the entire town was there to see it.

Saturday we went to Mesa Verde National Park to see the cliff dwellings. Thad would like to go back without the kids, because we were limited on what we could see with them in tow. But what we did see was really cool.

Inside the spruce tree house. Peter hates being restrained for pictures.

There it is from the top of the trail. Peter is in the "do everything myself" phase,  which means he wanted to walk down the steep hazardous trail all by himself. It was a very stressful walk for Thad and I who were taking turns guarding the cliff side of the trail.

It was a great adventure filled weekend. These pictures are from earlier in the week when Thad took the kids to the climbing wall at the rec center. They did pretty well!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Weekend Update

This has been one of the longest weeks ever. At least it's felt that way. Not in a bad way or anything, but it feels like we've been here a lot longer than a week. We've established a daily routine,  park/errands in the morning, lunch/naps, then off to the rec center for swimming and water slides in the afternoon. It's a tough life we lead. We've also been introducing the kids to movies from our childhood in the evenings. So far Jumanji and Hook have been big hits.

 This weekend we drove up to Telluride for the day and it was lovely.  I rolled the window down to snap some pictures of the scenery and the kids did not know what to do with the cold air that came in. "Why is it cold!?!?!"  Being from Bako, if the sun is shinning it's hot. They could not understand why the mountain air was so chilly. It was cool enough for us Californians to wear sweat jackets all day, which was worth the drive in itself.

 So we parked at Mountain Village and rode the gondola in to Telluride. It covered several miles and the kids thought that was the reason for the drive. Peter doesn't care for posing for pictures.

 Once we got in to town we walked to the museum where the kids got to pan for "gemstones" and "fossils". They loved finding treasures. There was a cool mining exhibit that we played in for a while.

Then we hit the park for some lunch and playground time.

It was such a pretty little town. We rode the gondola back and stopped midway at the nature center, which was a total bust, but the kids were wiped out anyway so we headed home.
Sunday we went to church in a ward that was 90% old people. They had a tiny little primary, and I think it was the outlier ward. Like full of people who live 20-30 minutes out of town. So next week we'll try a different building and hopefully find some kids to play with and teenagers to babysit for us.
Week one down, weekend adventure accomplished!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Let the Adventure Begin

Life got crazy around our house about two weeks ago when Thad came home saying that he would be working on Cortez Colorado for the summer, and we could go with him if we wanted. Um, of course we wanted to. Not that I had any burning desire to see Cortez, but more that I didn't want to spend the entire summer as a single parent. His company offered to rent us a place to stay(including furniture) so we didn't have to move an entire house for the summer. So Thad left for Cortez while I packed up the things we would be bringing and a couple weeks later we are here. As we were deciding if/when the family should go I was torn between a new summer adventure, and leaving our callings and friends and summer traditions at home. It was a harder decision than I thought. So far it's been great. The kids did amazing on the 12.5 hour drive, no meltdowns or fighting or anything. That might be in part to the bigger car the company rented for us, and a little to do with the tablet we bought so they could watch a few shows on the drive. But they really only watched for 2 hours of the 12, and I'm still amazed at how smoothly it went.

Peter chewed on his toes a good portion of the trip, which was weird.

Andi and the Utah (where she was born) sign at four corners.

Cortez is tiny, like 8,500 people tiny, and our little townhouse has no yard. But, there is a huge park and rec center across the street with an indoor water park. We've been everyday. The air here is clear, like you can see through it all the way to the mountains 50 miles away, and the kids haven't coughed or sniffled since we got here. If you live in Bakersfield, you know both of those things are completely novel. The weather is lovely, and we are looking forward to touristy weekend adventures instead of house projects.Adventures and pictures to follow.

The night before we left I was able to dance in one last recital. I know that sounds crazy. Andi didn't dance this year, but the studio put on a tribute for Cathy Correa, and I have been going to dance class for the last couple months learning a couple "secret" dances for the show. It was so much fun to be backstage with the dance girls again, and to actually be on stage with Cathy. Cathy even planned her own surprise dance that we were learning backstage during the show. It was perfect! I have missed that more than I thought, and dancing and Cathy will always hold a special place in my heart. I was having so much fun I didn't think to take pictures, so I stole  these from facebook.

Rap-Tap - originally done in 2002

One singular sensation- Cathy's signature song.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Camping & Memorial Day

Thad & Sammy went on their annual Father & Sons camp-out a few weekends ago with our ward and Sammy had a blast. He was packed and ready to go at 8:30 am, and when he realized Thad had gone to work was ticked. He was not happy that he had to wait till Daddy got home to go camping. Here he is with a few of his buddies.

And the salamander he caught. The first thing he said when he got home was "Mom, there were lot's of salamanders and Aaron caught 15! I only caught one." (grumpy face)

They even got to explore a cave or two on their hike.

Sammy looks forward to this campout every year. I kind of feel guilty that we don't take the kids camping, but then I watch Peter in the backyard for 5 minutes and remember why we don't. When he's a little older and aware of danger/hazards we'll give it a try.
Last weekend we had our usual memorial day festivities. Sammy has finally outgrown his need to take all the flags from the headstones, but he has passed that need down to Peter.

Then we went to G & G Richards for food and swimming. It was a pretty small gathering with no Morgan cousins in attendance, but we still had a good time. Come back from China Ben & Kir!

Peter commandeered the raft for the afternoon. 

You know it was a successful day when this happens on the way home.

Then after dinner we went swimming again at our neighbors, you know, to make sure the kids were completely exhausted. Peter loves their water fall.

We also drug the shaved ice machine around with us that day. As much as I made fun of Thad for buying it, I think it has been well worth it.
Peter has started a new game in the evenings. If Thad is sitting on the ground Peter climbs him. He's pretty sure Thad is a jungle gym.

Today is the last day of school. Hallelujah!