Sunday, July 31, 2016

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Blast from the Past

During a trip to Washington- 2 years ago.

Jr. Jr.: Those are big aspens.
Mommy:  Those aren't aspens.
Jr. Jr.:  What are they?
Mommy:  What are they?
Daddy:  Maybe alders?
Jr. Jr.:  What are they?
Mommy:  Maybe alders?
Jr. Jr.:  Those are big maybe alders.

Jr. Jr.:  What are these trees called?
Daddy:  Douglas firs?
Jr. Jr.:  I've decided to call them aspens.

Friday, July 29, 2016

How Was Your Trip? (Part 3)

Goodbye, Pacific Northwest.  Hello, Idaho.
On our way back to Utah, we stayed a couple days with friends in Idaho.  These were friends we knew before either of us couples got married.  When they got married, they moved into the same apartment complex as us at BYU.  Our firstborn children are only a few months apart, so they just had to be friends.  These are those lifelong friends that you never lose and you visit each other from time to time.
While visiting them, we went to a playground and splash pad and met up with yet another friend from that BYU quad (apartment complex with four buildings surrounding a central grassy area) and her kids.  The kids again had so much fun playing together.
The kids ate lunch together then we all went back to the first friend's house.  More fun.  After the second friend and kids went home, we had some relaxing time and watched a movie.
That evening, we went to their local library for trivia night.  The librarians had set up a trivia game for adults to play.  The four of us played taking turns watching kids.  We substituted a person each round.  The kids had fun playing in the library and had fun afterward at the park across the street.

Once we left Idaho, we stopped at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and let the kids earn Junior Ranger patches.  They got to check out backpacks with gear in them to help the kids do activities to fill out worksheets.  When they finished, they got certificates.  We showed those certificates at the gift shop and got to buy patches for them.
So for those of you who ever want to do that, know you have to buy the patches.  They were only $2 each, though, and we'd been wanting to let the kids do that for some time.  But the certificates are free with doing the activities.  And the activities take some time.  So plan a lot of time.

We made it back late to our overheated home.  Nichole fell asleep on the couch and I went out to take pictures of the moon.
It was a wonderful vacation and hooray!  I finally blogged about it.  So for those that wonder, "How was your trip?" there you go.  It was an adventure.  It had laughter, tears, sickness, injury, birds, fun, family, friends, waterfalls, the ocean, birthdays, celebrations, resting, Duck Tales, and a whole lot of awesomeness.  Ta-Da.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

How Was Your Trip? (Part 2)

To Oregon.
:First, may I just say, ":Thanks a lot," to the candy fairy who gave my 2-year old chocolate and peanut butter candy for the car ride to Oregon.  :That wasn't messy at all.
:I know.  :I know.  :In your defense, he could have had the candy earlier while he was still at Grandma and Grandpa's house, and we parents are really responsible for what we let him eat (or in this case melt all over his fingers and seat) in the van.
Actually it was funny, if messy, to see him like this.  We had to stop for gas anyway, so I took time to start cleaning off his fingers then remembered to get a picture.  So actually the candy fairy was just helping me for the blog.  Thanks, candy fairy.

On the way to visit family in Oregon, we stopped for a few hours to visit friends we went to college with when we were all young(er) and newly married.
The kids had fun playing and we adults had a great time chatting.  Three couples with our children.  So nice.
We had a nice lunch together and they even brought out a Jello brain they had made for the occasion.  Heh heh.

The last few times we visited the Pacific Northwest in the Summer, we didn't get much rain.  This time, we did.  It was so nice.  Both Washington and Oregon gave us rain.
Sometimes it was a nice light rain.
Sometimes it was a heavy rain.
Oh... so... heavy.

We got to visit the coast.  We stopped to see elk... and birds.
We stopped for lunch... and birds.

We stopped to see seals and sea lions... and birds.

We went to a garden to see flowers... and birds.
We went to a beach to see the kids wade in the water... and birds.

When my parents asked what we wanted to do while visiting Oregon, Jeremy and I told them three things.  We wanted to go to Shore Acres (garden and beach), we wanted to go hiking (at a waterfall), and we wanted to go birding.  Oh, yeah.  We also wanted to watch "The Big Year" with my mom (comedy movie about birders).  We watched it and she loved it.

Jeremy and I got an early morning birding trip (several hours again) to a nature park just down the road from where my parents live.  Lovely.
Again we saw some new birds and while I took some time to relax and meditate at one point, Jeremy took that time to chase a belted kingfisher (his first kingfisher- I saw and got pictures and video of one a few years ago in Utah).

We also saw mammals again- this time, nutria, which we don't get in Utah.

We went hiking to a waterfall like we wanted.  All but one of my siblings were there.  Our kids enjoyed seeing three of their cousins and most of their aunts and uncles.  Fun fun.  Picnicking and hiking around the waterfall.  So nice.  And such nice relatives to help our kids with the hiking when Jeremy and I fell a little behind while watching birds.
Lots of birds and lots of animals.
I missed a new life bird that Jeremy saw.  But that's okay.
Gray Jay

We got together with one of my friends from high school and her kids.  Every time we visit Oregon, we get to see her.  Love it.

Besides watching birds, we went out and watched bats a couple nights.  Jeremy had a lot of fun trying to take pictures of them in the dark.

One morning, Jeremy and I got out for a walk together.  In Utah, we have to take turns going for morning walks so this was very relaxing.
When we got back we found that the kids were awake and a couple of the boys were helping with yard work.  Way to go boys.  Way to impress the grandparents.
After a while Lucky got tired of yard work so he and I went around looking for slugs.  We didn't see any banana slugs unfortunately, but we saw plenty of European garden slugs.  Yet another thing we don't get to see in Utah.

Nichole had excitement in Washington with her punctured heel.  Lucky had excitement in Oregon.  His temperature seemed a little warm for a couple days and then he broke out in hives.  He went back and forth between clingy and energetic but with tylenol, benadryl, and time it all went away.  It also meant that he got to sleep with Mommy and Daddy one night and take a nap with Daddy another time. 

Before we left Oregon, we made sure to get a family picture with a beautiful backdrop.  Two of my brothers came out to entertain the kids and get their attention toward the camera and we bribed Lucky with a cookie if he behaved for the picture.
Total number of pictures it took to get one nice looking family picture this time: 1.  That's right.  Quickest family picture ever.
And Lucky got his cookie.