Monday, August 11, 2014

Museum of Natural Curiosity - Otherwise Known as Kid Paradise

 Why wasn't this museum around when I was five years old? 

We made a plan to visit the Museum of Natural Curiosity at Thanksgiving Point almost a month in advance.  The morning of the planned visit Rocky woke up and puked all over the kitchen floor.  We had to leave her at Oma's and my angel parents took care of her and Rosy while Daisy and I had the time of our life exploring the place. 

 We hung around all afternoon until she got hangry, which in Daisy is a pretty serious malady.  We left around 1:30 but Ethan, Ginny, and Joanna stayed to play until 5 P.M. 
In the end it was a little bit lucky because since Rocky didn't get to be there it means that we will have to go again the next time we are in Utah.

The Aquarium

The aquarium in Draper has grown so much that it is a completely new experience.
 Rosy demanded the complete attention of her grandma and her grandaunt.  Kathy and Janine are such amazing ladies it is not a surprise that she wanted to keep them all to herself.
 Daisy was happy to hang out with Grandpa.  She also got some time in hanging out with Hayden.  She, like all the girls at Layton High, is quite taken with her 17-year-old uncle.
They loved all the fish and sting rays and especially were into the penguins.

Pioneer Day

 The 24th of July is just a regular day in every place except Utah.  How lucky those of us that get to be there are.  I am the only one left in my family that will stick it out with Mom and actually go to the parade.  I feel like missing the parade would be a travesty.  I love the parade more every year.  It is long and kind of boring and hot and that is kind of what makes it so incredible.  Just when you think that you will melt into the sidewalk it ends and you know that you did the right thing in showing up.

Best Picture of the Summer

 Emily is always there to keep things interesting and she made us a delicious lunch afterwards. 
We then spent the afternoon in an interesting conversation with my Dad's brothers.  They were all in town for my cousin Madison's wedding. 

This is where I will put the pictures of the wedding that I don't have right now.  I really want the one of Matt trying to surreptitiously take a photo of Jim's girlfriend and also one of the beautiful bride.

It was great to hang out with them and my cousin Max who I haven't seen for like a hundred years. 

Then we spent the evening with my whole family all together...except Brandon.  I talked to him on the phone.  He was in Oregon which meant that it was just a regular lonely day.  I tried to say that we weren't having fun but the giggles in the background told a different story.  It was one of those picturesque moments that is always used in a montage at the end of a movie.  You know, that last day before everything goes horribly wrong and the final moment when everyone was happy.  So far nothing bad has happened but it makes me a little nervous.  I am also a little nervous whenever Brandon wants to dance with me around our house.  That is also in every movie right before tragedy occurs.  We dance around the place all the time and so far we are all in tact...keep your fingers crossed. 
So anyway, what I really meant was that it was a perfect evening and I loved every second of it.  The only way it could have been better is if Brandon had been with us. 

 It looks like a Congo Line but it was really the makings of a whirlpool.
 Rosy supervised the attack on Jared.  You can tell from his face that her plan went off without a hitch.

 We did some sherbert experimenting.  It turns out that a lime Ricky float is the most refreshing thing possible.  The runner up, tried by nobody but Dad, was a float made by combining mint chip ice cream and Mountain Dew.  Disgusting!  If you know him you aren't surprised at all.
 Daisy takes after her mom in her fear of fireworks.  Opa's ear protectors got her through the night.
 There may be some illegal things here that were leftover from the time that Jill actually got busted by the police.  They may or may not have been lit on this occasion.  One or two of them may have hit the house down the road, but you know what they say, what happens on Pioneer Day...My part in the evening was the same it was when we were teenagers.  My siblings light all kinds of crazy things on fire and I hide under a blanket fearing that we will get in trouble or that we will burn our house down.  Lucky for us all we ended up having a great show without any problems at all.  Moral of the story:  Don't be such an old lady.
 And in case you were wondering, Jared eventually forgave Rosy for her role in the attacks and the two of them made an alliance.  Next time we'll see who is grimacing.

Ladies Lunch

 When Brandon was out of town a few months ago I took the girls out for burgers and shakes.  We called it the Ladies Lunch and it was the start of a tradition.  We don't do it very often and it is always marked as an important event.  Brandon left to head back to Oregon to teach his class and to make ourselves feel better we went to the Union Station for our Ladies Lunch.  The Union Station is such a beautiful building and it has so much charm and history.  Before we ate we took a tour of a few of the old train cars and walked around the building.

 And then it was time to get serious about eating.  The Union Grill is the perfect lunch spot and the food was incredible.

It might seem simple but that afternoon was one of the best moments of the whole trip.

Beware of the Birds

 When we are in O-Town we always like to swing by Beus Pond and check in with our little duck friends.  There are signs all over that say that it is definitely not okay to feed the birds bread but it is legit to feed them seeds and "real bird food".  Since my parents have recently become crazy bird people they have about 400 pounds of birdseed for their feeders.  We dipped into it and headed out on a beautiful night for some bonding with our feathered friends.  Of course the girls love it.
 We quickly learned that the birds also love it.  The geese are the same height as Daisy and they were not afraid to pluck the bag right out of her little hands.  It started out cute and then escalated quickly to terrifying.

 I might be a little sensitive when it comes to this topic because of a poorly advised viewing of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds at a very early age.  I am serious though when I say that my heart was beating and I was more than a little bit afraid.  The girls seemed to handle it well.  They realized that they just needed to get rid of their seeds and then it would all be over.  Once the food was gone the ducks and geese all just went back to their normal passive selves.

All they remember about the outing was that they saw a huge rat, and that Rocky got stung by a bee while trying to do a Ninja Warrior move on the wall.  She was stung 4 times while we were in Utah.  She is a little toughee though and fights her way through the pain.
 Since Rosy's birthday is next month it was time to tie the 2-year quilt.  We went with a bird theme (no surprise...we really have become a whole crazy bird family.) 
 I think I can confidently say that hanging out under a quilt on a lovely summer evening may be one of the best moments of life.

The finished product is as snuggly as can be but according to Oma's rules it cannot be unveiled to Rosy until her actual birthday.


 Apricots are amazing because they ripen earlier than all the other fruits.  It gives them an edge because at this point of the summer we are all so desperate for something fresh.  The trees were dripping with them and we headed out first thing in the morning to beat the heat to haul in our spoils.  Daisy was the only one of the kids that actually picked anything.  Rocky did a good job posing.

 I got a couple of little buckets filled myself, but then I had to take a break because I knew that it was  vitally important that I recorded this moment in photos.  It had nothing to do with the fact that I am terrified at the top of those ladders.  Brandon won the day by climbing right up the middle of the tree.  That is where all the ripe ones were hiding.  Unfortunately Mike was out of town so I didn't get my yearly ulcer freaking out about him standing on top of the most rickety ladder you've ever seen.
 Rosy just ran around and got herself into trouble.  She is pretty good at posing too.  How could that little girl cause any trouble?
 We picked enough fruit to make jam for the entire neighborhood.  Since we are in organic hippie-ville we even tried sugar free.  I never would have believed it but it is actually good.  Now I have a few jars of each.  One for when I am looking for something that tastes like apricots and one for the winter time when I am desperate for a sugar high. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lake Powell

 The pictures of Lake Powell speak for themselves.  It was a great time with wonderful people, amazing scenery and delicious food.