Wednesday, June 25, 2008

No More Training Wheels!

Last night, Savannah decided she wanted her training wheels off her bike. This meant that Dad went into training. He ran around the block at least 3 times with her helping her get the hang of riding. She did just great! Once she got the hang of it, she just kept on going. Her legs were pedaling fast and furious and the look of concentration and determination on her face was so funny!
Here is the cheering section.
Just look at that smile! What a victory - and new found independence and freedom! Way to go Savannah. You are awesome! Well, not to be out done, Cooper then wanted his training wheels off his bike, too. Dad had to do more running. (He was exhausted!) Mom had to step in and do some of the running! Coop was just a little shaky and didn't quite have enough confidence to totally ride on his own.But this morning, Grammy went out with him and just had to run up and down the street with him a couple of times. Shoes on the wrong feet, helmet falling in the eyes, and wobbling all over the place, he totally got this "look" on his face - very determined - he said he didn't want any help, and the next thing we knew he had taken off down the street all by himself. He learned to turn very tight circles and use his brakes. Wow! Now both kids are just riding around like they have been doing it forever. Just look at his big smile! I am so glad I was here for this special accomplishment for Savannah and Cooper! I feel like I miss out on so much of my grandkids' lives. It was really fun for me to be here for their bike riding and to take pictures and cheer them on. Way to go guys! I love you!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Swimming for Family Fun

We all went swimming last night for Family Home Evening. The kids had a blast!
Luka loves the water and loved being tossed between mom and dad.
Katie and Becca are showing off hand stands for the kids.
Luka is floating on his back.
Just look at that smile!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Old Friends...

Tom and Sherrie Condie and family - Beckah, Tyler, Kristin, Kylie, and Kelise, came for dinner at Ryan and Katie's house tonight. We met Tom and Sherrie right after they got married and moved to Corcoran, CA. They just celebrated their 20th anniversary. Tom and Sherrie used to stay with a much younger Katie and Julie when their dad and I went out of town. Tom would just shake his head over some of Julie's antics. I would just laugh and say "wait till you have your own kids!" Then they had Tyler... They are an amazing couple and have done a fantastic job with their beautiful family. Beckah just graduated from High School. Tyler is 16, Kristin 13 and the twins are 11. Katie made a fantastic dinner including homemade ice cream. We had such a great time talking and catching up. The kids loved Tyler! He got down on the floor and played with them. There are some huge similarities in Cooper and Tyler. Becca (Clark) and Kristin were best of friends as very little girls and Condies took care of Becca many times when we were out of town working at horse shows. We are so blessed to have such wonderful people in our lives! We share many fond memories and hope they always find the best things in life.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Cherry Hill Fun!

check out that swim suit...
The kids got brave today and ran under the waterfall. This is a first!
Savannah made a big splash under this fountain.
Cooper loves the slide!
Way to go, Ava!
Luka sat up by himself today. It was so cute!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Buzz for Buzzy!

Y' know how Moms do the buzz cuts? Well, Ryan got clippers for Father's Day and he wants Katie to do the hair cuts on him and Cooper. Today was Cooper's maiden voyage in his mom's barber chair.
This was a major pouty face!

Almost done...

For the first time, it wasn't actually too bad. With a customer that was not really happy about the whole thing, she only nicked one ear, and left one white wall just a little higher than the other . . . she said it's a good thing his hair grows fast!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Sod, Chalk Art, Train Games

Saturday, the sod came about 9:00 AM.
Everyone got right to work! We were glad when we got to the shady part.
Luka didn't seem to mind what was happening outside!
Hmmmm - I think we need a pedicure, now!
M-M-M-M! Pizza after all the work was done
I had to take Rod to the airport later in the afternoon. :( But when I got back, we went to the Gateway Mall to the Chalk Art and Family Fun Festival. We had such a great time together!
Coop and Vannah liked this pirate guy.
What a great shot, Cooper!
I don't think I have ever seen so many people out enjoying a beautiful summer day! It was so funny to watch the people playing in the fountain. Cooper hitches a ride on Daddy's shoulders. My mom always would say, " I feel bigger, and much older when I ride on Daddy's shoulder." I used to love to ride like that with my dad.
Savannah takes a turn at the ball shooting.
Can you pose like Spider Man?
The chalk art was colorful and amazing. So much time goes in to these drawings. The artist told us this one took 15 hours. We really enjoyed the festival, had a fun dinner at Rumbi, came home and read stories to the kids and tucked them in to bed. Then Katie, Julie and I played our traditional game. We had a rousing game of "trains." I kicked their butts! Julie is a sore looser!
Julie won the next game. She is also a sore winner!
A very busy, work-filled, fun-filled day. I am so glad to spend this time with my girls and grandkids.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Enhanced Senses

Early Thursday morning, Rod and I hiked up the Muller Park trail again. We went much further than we did on Monday. We decided to go as far as we could in one hour so we could get back to have lunch with Dale and Sherry. I did not take my camera, and wished I had. As I walked along I could not help but be overwhelmed by the incredible gift of our senses. I made a mental list of all the things I had experienced with my senses on this incredible hike and with my family members throughout the day. This is some of what I experienced:
  • Hearing: the birds were singing the whole time we hiked; I could hear the stream rushing through the canyon even though I could not always see it; the wind soughing through the pine boughs; the laughter of baby Luka so free and sweetly given; the chatter of Savannah and Cooper as they busily made pictures for their missionary uncles; the sound of "I love you," spoken by those so dear to me.
  • Sight: the countless shades of green painting all of the trees, grasses, shrubs, and plants; the bluest skies ever, with billowing cloud in shades of gray and white; wild flowers in colors and hues that simply cannot be produced by man; patterns of shade and sun on the trail made by the canopy of branches; inch worms hanging on their silky threads - eeeewwww; baby Luka's toothless, slobbery grin; Luka's chubby legs; Savannah and Cooper's cute hands busy with a project; my husband's loving smile as we shared our day.
  • Smell: pine trees; wind; damp earth; wild flowers; cookies baking; sweaty kids; soap and shampoo; my favorite lotion; food cooking at Chili's; Katie's new house; my new car.
  • Feel: sweat trickling down my back; the breeze making me cold 'cause I was all sweaty; the sun; my muscles working on a steep part of the trail; thirst; joy at the beauties of nature; gratitude to Heavenly Father for my innumerable blessings; love for my family; the comfort of a wonderful hot shower; the touch of a loving hand brush across my shoulder as Rod passed by me; relaxing into bed.
  • Taste: Gatorade - ahhhhhhh; Carmel Fiber One bar - chewy and sweet; chicken tortilla soup - warm and flavorful; salad - always a favorite with all of the colors and textures and flavors; chicken tostada - spicy; Jr. Mints - mmmmmmm.
Wouldn't life be boring without all of the things our senses allow us to enjoy and enhance our lives! I mean we just go on with life everyday and take these things for granted. I am so thankful for the amazing body that Heavenly Father gave to me and how it serves me and makes my life so incredible!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Birthday Hike at Adams Canyon

Today, we hiked up Adams Canyon. There is a beautiful bubbling creek all the way back to the end of the canyon, where there is a gorgeous 40 foot waterfall. This is a shot of the beginning of the trail as it comes near the creek. We had to climb up several sandy switchbacks to reach this point. Part way up, there is a huge boulder in the middle of the stream. There is a small waterfall on the other side, and some of the water runs under the boulder. Julie and Chris are checking out this amazing and beautiful sight. Further up the trail there is a little wooden bridge we had to cross. The creek was still high enough, that the bridge was wet, with water still washing over some of the slats. When we reached the end of the canyon, we had to cross the river in order to see the waterfall nestled back at the end of the canyon. We all got wet feet! The roar of the falls in our ears, and the spray on our faces was exhilarating. Not many folks reach this area, and it well worth going over the rough terrain, steep inclines, and rocky parts of the trail to see the falls.
Julie gives a coy smile. She is just so cute! I am so glad that she came along on this hike today.
The sun sparkled off the river. It was dazzling to the eyes! I was a little nervous as I crossed over, but I did not slip. Just got some wet feet. I could not have asked for a more perfect day, or a more beautiful setting for a hike on my birthday. Thanks, Rod, for taking me here. And thanks Julie and Chris, for coming along. It made it even more special. I know it probably slowed the younger ones down a little to have us oldies leading the way, but it was still fun! I reminded Julie that this birthday makes me TWICE as old as she is right now.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Muller Park

After taking Savannah and Cooper to swimming lessons, we decided to try the trail at Muller Park. It was so LUSH and GREEN compared to the desert terrain to which we have become accustomed.
The grass is so thick and the trees formed a canopy over much of the trail.
There were TONS of flowers. This particular large bloom is a Mule's Ear. (if it's the same kind that grow up in Island Park near Janet's cabin.) There were dandelions everywhere, too.
I have always loved the contrast of the bright green the new growth on the pine trees makes against the older dark green needles. When the canopy of trees would break, we could see the valleys below and hills beyond. AI couldn't believe there was still snow on the highest peaks. The pine trees were so majestic and beautiful. I also love the smell of the pines. The only bad part of the trail was all the gross inch worms hanging down on their silk threads. They got all over us! Gross!
I swear it was so green it just hurt my eyes!
I loved this trail. I would like to do it again, when we have more time so we can go back in further than we went today. We'll have to study up on the trails and see where they go so we know which ones to follow. I have heard there are some old abandoned mines back in there somewhere.