Saturday, July 28, 2012

Sunday Night BBQ

Utah Trip 2012:
After church on the Sunday we were there, everyone (minus Grams and Gramps since they are on a mission) got together to party and have dinner. Cousins make me happy. Our kids are so happy when they are with their cousins, and it's one of the only times where when I lose sight of my kids I know they are still okay because they have cousins that are playing with them and making sure they are alright.
Here we have Grace and Paige:

Here are some quick videos Jake took with his phone:
The first would be Cole when he was finally alone on the trampoline so he could work on his form. We think he was trying to work out how to bounce on your rear and jump back up.
Okay, to give a background to this (which had me laughing for days), Grandma and Grandpa M sent a candy and sticker package to Kelly's so that when we all got together for this we could enjoy a treat from them. The stickers were foam glitter stars. The three little girls (Simone, Tessa, and Grace) enjoyed making "fashions" for everyone else by putting the stickers together and giving them to people to wear. Eventually most of the stickers found their way back to the little girls' clothes and faces, wherein they decided they looked like rockstars. So I'm guessing band practice must have started in the backyard after that. All the adults were in the living room/kitchen chatting away when Tessa came in a couple of times to tell us to be ready for the Rock Star Girls show that was going to happen soon.
A little later the girls came in to give us a show. Tessa lined her two cousins up. Simone and Grace looked like deer in headlights when it got quiet and all eyes were on them. I think they were shocked Tessa was going to make them really go through with it. That, or Tessa had a plan in her head and never really explained it to anyone else. She introduced the band and started the performance.
"Rock star! Rock star girls. Rock star! Rock star girls." --complete with spinning and jazz hands. Simone slowly started to back away while Grace just stood planted and stared. Tessa then spun around,  flung her hand out toward Grace and yelled, "Take it!" Grace stood planted and stared.
When the show she'd envisioned fell apart, Tessa started to as well. "This is not how we practiced!!!" We couldn't help but laugh ...really hard... and encourage them to go out, practice some more, and then come back for another show. As they were going outside, we heard Tessa ask her rock star band mates, "Why didn't you guys say anything!?"
A little later, Tessa came in to tell us that the Rock Star Girls show would be happening at one o'clock (Tessa standard time, I guess) and told us to go outside to see it. So we did. The show took place on the trampoline. It consisted of jumping around and singing "Rock Star Girls!"I believe this was the tail end of it. Cole was not happy....but refused to get off.

After they were finished, Tessa launched into how now that we had taken pictures and videos that they would be on the news. We needed to send it into the news so they could be on the back. We could now tell everyone that they were going to be on the news. I didn't know what to tell her, so I nodded. She told just about everyone we saw on our trip that she was on the news.
Also after the "show", Cole said it was HIS turn. Okay. Go for it, pal! He jumped back and forth repeatedly singing, "Rock Star! If you figure it out!"We burst out laughing again. Jake tried to get him to do it again, but this was as much as we could get on a second go round: 
Kids are awesome.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Into the Canyon

Utah Trip 2012:
After resting in St. George, we trekked up to Jake's sister's house. In the middle of our 3 1/2 hour drive, we came into smoke. The wildfires in Utah this year have been excessive and scary. I have no idea where this particular fire was, but there was a LOT of smoke filling the sky as far as we could see. 
We arrived at Kelly's in time to organize our stuff and get ready to head up American Fork Canyon to have a dinner picnic. I love mountains. I love mountain air. Everyone kept commenting on how hot it was, but honestly, it didn't really phase us. The dry heat made our skin shrivel up, but made for cooler body temps.
Here's my cutest boy:
The big red canoe! Thanks Kelly and Nate's friend for letting us use it! 
Nathan, Ian, Tessa, and Jake:
 Kanon, Joseph, Cole, Jake:
 Grace and Tessa exploring in the mud:
 Jonathan's effervescent smile, Cole, Kel, Tess, Jake, Ian:
 And in this one you can see Kanon, Joseph, and Nathan:
 I sat in one spot on my keister the whole time. Whole time. I never went canoeing. When I'm really tired, I'm pretty much useless. I helped make the food and sat with Paige. I still enjoyed myself and was loving the view and company.
 Cole is giving the place two thumbs up:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Getting There

It's time to start posting our Utah Trip 2012.
I will start with our insane travel plans. I give you these details not only to remind myself what it was like, but also, if you can learn from us, you're welcome.
To save money, we decided to fly to Vegas on a red eye flight via Spirit airlines, rent a car, buy car seats at the local Walmart (we have since learned that you can take your boosters right up to the plane where they pack them for free), drive to St. George (hour and a half away) to stay at Jake's Grandpa McCune's winter trailer home, and then drive up to Salt Lake the next day to hang out with Jake's siblings and family. 
I'll tell you what's wrong with this. Family vacations wear us out. We don't get enough sleep because we only get to see some of our loved ones once a year, and we take full advantage of the time that we can. Well, starting out a vacation already disgustingly tired isn't a good idea. It's one thing if you are flying to a different continent, but it's another when the flight takes two and a half hours. Honestly, the kids did as fabulously as they could have under the circumstances. I stressed and stressed about our travel plans but decided to suck it up and make it happen because we needed to save moolah on this one. We tried it. We know now that we'd rather save for a couple more months so that we can spend those two days we travelled with the loved ones we came to see and feel physically better while doing it!
We did get an upgrade on our rental, which was nice. We headed over to Walmart to buy boosters since it was cheaper to do that than rent them --go figure. (And when we saw families getting their boosters back at the gate without having to pay extra, we decided we'd be taking the new ones home with us.) 
Then, the drive to St. George. Oh. My. I have never been so tired in all my life. Jake told me I couldn't fall asleep or he would too. There is only Mesquite to light up the night between Las Vegas and St. George, so it's black nothingness and canyons. Jake was chewing multiple Altoids at once in an effort to stay awake. They couldn't be "curiously strong" enough that night. I would fall asleep for a split second and dream, then pop back up and start talking about what I saw since I couldn't think of a single other thing to talk to Jake about to keep him awake. Since my speech was slurring, Jake told me that my speaking voice was making him even more tired. Good grief, it was awful. Fiiiiiinally we pulled into St. George and Jake found the key to the trailer. Arrangements had already been made for us to be there, for which we were so thankful. We plopped in bed since we'd worn our pj's on the flight  somewhere around what would have been 5am our time and zonked.
Jake and I switched off getting another hour of sleep in the later morning after the kids were up, but we really had to take off and couldn't waste the whole day sleeping. 
Here are Cole, Jake and Tessa at Grandpa's trailer in St. George:

Cole was such a trooper in the first couple days that I pulled out the camera. After that, it turned into Bribery Nation to get him to sit and smile for a picture.

Monday, July 16, 2012


Jake's aunt posted this photo collage on Facebook, and I quickly saved it to our files. It's Jake's paternal grandfather. Lee. 
We've got the name Lee featured prominently on both sides of the family, so our firstborn carries it as her middle name. 
I never met Lee, or his beautiful wife Phyllis, but I will eventually... and I do know quite a bit about them. 
My kids have some pretty great people they come from.
Aren't these pictures awesome? Thanks, Auntie M!
There's Grandpa M., Jake's dad, as a lil' squib in that bottom middle picture.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Father's Day

This was the picture we sent to the grandpas.
We had a nice day at home with the daddy of our house. We're so grateful for him.
Cole was upset because after throwing a fit in order to obtain the "blue one" he thought the sign should be facing him. Oh the particularities of this age. I find his stubborn attitude in having things done exactly as he thinks they should be usually endearing and sometimes frustrating.
It's funny that his sign says "happy" when he looks anything but. At least the girls were having a good time!