July 14, 2009

Lazy Summer Days

My sister is here visiting from Georgia with her four children (her husband is in Iraq for a 6 month deployment). My kids have been having a great time playing with their cousins who are all the same ages and genders. (Jack and Sam playing Legos)We have been enjoying the most delicious tomatoes from our garden. We gobble up the tiny cherry tomatoes.... they are like candy!
Jack enjoys helping pick them. With the plum tomatoes I made some fabulous bruschetta. For a great alternative to chips and salsa, combine chopped tomatoes with olive oil, lots of fresh garlic, fresh basil, and kosher salt, and scoop it up with pita chips or toasted french bread slices. Yum! My kids were cautious at first because it was new to them, but when they finally tried it they loved it and gobbled it up.

One more photo..... one of those silly things the kids end up doing on a hot, boring summer day.

July 11, 2009

Utah Trip - part 2

After spending three days at Brighton for the reunion, we headed south a little to visit my good friend from college. It was so fun to see her and her family.... it had been years. I wish we lived closer to each other. She has kids the same ages and genders as my kids. They had a blast.

Then we were off to Provo to visit Christian and Stephanie. I hadn't seen Stephanie since she was in the hospital here. It was so great to visit with them. Stephanie looks so good, and gets around so well. She really is a miracle!

I wanted to show my kids where I went to college, so we walked around BYU for a while. We took Claire and Jane with us. We would have taken Oliver too, but he had fallen asleep in the middle of playing with Jack at the house. (Claire took this photo. She did a great job!)We went to the Bookstore, and everyone picked out something from the candy counter. Then we walked around campus eating our candy. Then we ate dinner (after the candy) at the Cougareat. What memories! Campus has changed so much, but it is still so beautiful.Collin has several ASU (Jay's alma mater) shirts that Jay has bought him, so I thought it was only appropriate that we get Collin a BYU shirt. Of course, Mary and Jack wanted one too, so I obliged. Then Jay insisted that I get one for myself. I chose this one in pink. Thanks Jay. I wouldn't have gotten one otherwise, and would have had regrets.Since Oliver didn't get to go to BYU with us, and since our hotel this time had 3 beds instead of two, we invited Ollie to spend the night with us. We went swimming in the hotel pool (the first time my kids had been in an indoor pool.... that was a very foreign concept to them) and stayed up late eating BYU Creamery ice cream and watching TV. The next afternoon we headed back to Arizona, but not home yet. We drove through the corners of Colorado and New Mexico (4 states in one day) to the eastern part of Arizona to the cabin, where we stayed for the next week. Lots of my siblings were there with their families, so there were lots of cousins to play with and fun times. We spent the 4th of July in St. Johns, like we usually do, for all the small town festivities, and watched the fireworks in Show Low from the church lawn... the perfect spot.

It was a fun trip, but it was very long (2 weeks, the longest trip our family has ever taken) and we were ready to come home!

July 10, 2009

Utah Trip - part 1

The day after Mary's musical theatre performance, we started off on our trip to Utah for a family reunion. We decided to just drive half-way the night before, so we stayed at a really cheap (translation: dumpy) motel in Page, AZ. Yuck. The kids were astonished at how old and gross it was.... we had just stayed at a fancy resort the weekend before, so I think they had raised their standards pretty high. They were also pretty disappointed that the three of them had to share a bed. (They are getting kind of big for it, so I don't blame them.) Thankfully it was only one night.

The next day we drove the rest of the way to Brighton sky resort where we stayed with Jay's extended family. His uncle had arranged for wonderful accomodations, but there were LOTS of people, so the kids still had to share a bed. Though it was much better this time. (Mary is going to be pretty embarrassed if she ever sees this photo with her nightgown scrunched up to her waist.)
We had a great time in Brighton, visiting with family we don't see very often, eating lots of good food, taking hikes, and having talent shows. We went on lots of short hikes nearby with the younger kids, but Jay took Collin and an older cousin on a longer hike up to where we could there were patches of snow. Mary and Jack were disappointed that they weren't able to go on that one, so I took them for a walk around the lake. It was beautiful! We saw moose and deer, a family of ducks......... and snow! They were delighted, even though it was disgusting and dirty. (Those little desert rats are easily impressed.)