Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Road Trip!

Last week we embarked on our annual trek south. And west. To good ol' Cedar City. The land of insane wind and red mountains. Isaac was so excited, he told anybody who would listen all about how we were headed to southern Utah to visit his grandparents. Jon was taken totally by surprise. Amazingly, they were FABULOUS on the 10 hour drive down!
We stopped in Parachute, Colorado, and have decided it is our favorite rest stop - EVER. (We stopped there on the way back too.) The boys ran off some energy, Mark and I blew bubbles for our own enjoyment (the boys weren't paying much attention), and we had a nice little picnic lunch. It was an awesome start to our vacation.
(Insert many more hours of driving through barren land here.)
We stopped again at Ghost Rock, Utah. I'm not sure what the punctuation should be here... We looked everywhere for a sign that told us which one was actually Ghost Rock, but all we got were signs telling us about Butch Cassidy and his gang hiding out in the canyons there. Regardless, we all enjoyed a nice little stretch. As we were getting back in the car, the Navajo woman who was there selling jewelry stopped Isaac to see if he wanted to shake hands with "a real Indian." He was a little nervous, but he did. She proceeded to tell us her life story, which was pretty interesting. I'm pretty sure Isaac will remember her for a LONG time. We wanted to stop by again on our way home and buy some of her jewelry, but it turns out that you can't get to that rest stop from the other side of the highway. *Sigh* I guess it'll have to wait until next year!
We made almost perfect time on our drive and arrived right at dinner time. Everybody was excited to get out and see Grandma and Grandpa - and maybe even Uncle Mike and Uncle Scott. (Just kidding guys - you know we love you!) Jon and Isaac adapted well to their guest beds, but we were all taken by surprise when we realized the sun goes down almost an hour later out there than we're used to. Lucky boys, they got to stay up late! Lucky us, those boys slept in each day!
Aunt Kristi drove down the next morning, and we (Kristi, Mark, the boys, and me) drove out to see the baby sheep. Both boys oohed and aahed over the sheep until Jon FREAKED OUT about not being able to touch them. So, we went and got pizza. (There's not much else to do at that point.)
After everyone else joined us for the day (Grandma and Uncle Mike still had to work, and Uncle Scott had his last day of Maymester class), we had a yummy dinner and went to Golden Spoon, per Isaac's request. I must admit, for frozen yogurt, it was quite good. Isaac was super excited about picking his own toppings. Jon was just excited to have a cold treat.
We headed out to visit Great-Grandma and the Coopers. Isaac got attached to Bryce. Jon got attached to Aunt Terri. We all enjoyed a nice visit. Except maybe Sugar, the dog. She's kind of neurotic, so there's no telling whether she enjoyed it or not. Regardless of the dog, it was wonderful to be with Great-Grandma again.
Next morning, we went bowling. Isaac and Jon hung in there pretty well. They both enjoy the bowling part of going bowling, but the waiting part does get to be a little long. Luckily, there were cheese fries. And we took two cars. So Mark took the boys back for naps and the Wallace family finished out the game - Grandma bowled left handed, S-boy bowled underhanded, Mike bowled right handed, I broke a nail,  Grandpa watched, and Kristi kicked our bums. It was pretty awesome.
That evening, Isaac FLIPPED out. He had realized that he was going to a different ward for church, and that his normal Primary teacher wouldn't be there. It was hard to console him. This was actually very relieving for Mark and me - Isaac has been throwing fits for the last couple months before Primary every week, so it was good to know he really does like his teacher! He decided to give the other teacher a chance.
Before church, we went for a nice little walk. Isaac got stuck in the stroller (only slightly stuck), Jon threw a big fit about being in the stroller, and the rest of us enjoyed the trail. It was WINDY. The whole time we were there, it was WINDY. BUT it was nice to be outside, getting some fresh air.
Church went better than expected. I only had to take Jon out twice, and Mark only had to take Isaac out once. Jon HATED the nursery, and Isaac LOVED Primary (it helped that Grandma introduced him to Cooper before he went to class - it's good to have a friend!). I actually got to go to Relief Society!!! It was so cool! Even better was the fact that I got to sit in between my mom and my sister. Awesome.
We had a barbecue, complete with blackened hot dogs (they tasted WAY better than expected) and Grandma's homemade chocolate. It was much enjoyed. Then, we headed over to see Great-Grandma again. Isaac made himself scarce and went to play with Bryce again. Jon jumped into destructive mode... Mark and I shirked our duties as parents and played a card game called "Spot It" (which, by the way, we HIGHLY recommend - we're still trying to find it, but when we do, you can bet we'll have a game night). Isaac joined for a little while, and he did pretty well. Mark was definitely a proud papa. Great-Grandma had some cute little toys for the boys, which came in pretty handy on the drive home. Thank you Grandma!!!
Before bed, we decided to dig into some watermelon. Jon really DUG into that watermelon. It was all over the floor, the wall, the chair, the table, and his shirt. He was having WAY too much fun to stop him, especially since Grandma was laughing super hard. I'm pretty sure we've got video, but I've got to go through everything before I post it.
The next morning, it was time to head home. We said our tearful goodbyes and drove off into the sun. Or at least east... And north... Things were going pretty well. We stopped at the Salt Wash area, and saw a cool little lizard. Isaac bought himself and me turtle necklaces from the Navajos at the stop. We snacked on Runts candies and Goldfish crackers. THEN we decided the next stop should be Chik-fil-a in Grand Junction. First, the GPS couldn't find Chik-fil-a. Then, when it found it, the roads didn't connect the way the map said. We drove around in circles. Mark and I lost tempers... But we finally made it! We had a yummy lunch, then the boys ran amok in the play place. We watched two girls get kicked out for dragging each other around by the hair. My boys looked like angels. Awesome.
 We made it back out of town just fine, but just as we merged onto the highway, we heard a rather loud popping sound. I'm embarrassed to admit that neither Mark nor I realized what had happened until we'd driven a little further and started hearing more clunking noises. Yup. We'd blown a tire. Luckily, there was an on-ramp right there, and we were able to pull into the little spot between lanes there (there's not really a shoulder on that part of the highway). Mark did an amazing job changing out the spare tire. The boys went a little crazy, but better than expected. We had to drive another 7 miles before we could turn around and head back into Grand Junction. Guess what? Nobody who does tires is open at 6 pm on Memorial Day... Nobody, that it, except Walmart. I've never been so happy to see a Walmart! They changed out our tire and we were back on the road 4 hours after we'd initially left Grand Junction. Needless to say, the rest of the drive was trying (we didn't make it home until after midnight, so we had some grouchy kiddos and TIRED parents). We did see (mostly smell) a building burning down outside of Vail. Isaac made us pull over because his underwear was bunchy (seriously). Jon slept for about 2 hours total. We crawled into bed grateful we made it home safely. And we all took much needed naps the next day. Tired, but glad we went!!!

Mark's first day back at work was today. Guess what? It was also his last day. The company announced a rather large round of layoffs this afternoon. So, if you hear of any positions for a software engineer, let us know! In the meantime, we'll enjoy having more family time. :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

It's About Time, Eh?

Some of these pictures are more than a month old... I'm horribly slow. At least it'll be obvious what I've been doing with my time once you see the photos!

For those who may not know, Isaac has been telling us he wants to go into space pretty much since he could talk. His first sentence was "I see the moon" (which, being the insanely verbal child he is, was said when he was not quite eighteen months). He has an obsession with robots and what they might be able to do in space. When we visit the science museum, he always has to check on Spirit or Opportunity (he changes the name of the model periodically so that they both get some time). Last time we went to the museum, he got to don a full out NASA jumpsuit. He was ecstatic! Here's hoping the space program gets up and going again by the time he finishes his PhD in astrophysics!  

Because these guys hardly ever hold still, all the pictures of the two of them at the museum are blurry... And none have their faces... Why do I keep including them? Just to prove that I really do have two kids who BOTH like the museum.

Jon has started demanding to wear certain clothing. Here's an outfit he wore to church recently: khakis, flip flops, a green-striped button down over a red long-sleeved tee, with a black robot-print bow tie. Awesome.

Isaac has informed me that this is the last batch of Primary pictures he needs me to blog. We'll see how long that lasts.

The weather has not cooperated with my plans and my car schedule lately. In desperation one morning when both boys were bored out of their minds and couldn't go outside, we decided to make Apple Jacks necklaces. Isaac was excited about the prospect of making his own necklace.

He really got into his pattern making. He's started to try to sing rhythms while he makes his patterns. It makes me a proud Momma.

Jon just got into the eating part of things. I'm not sure why he always wants to lay across the table, but he sure does love to eat while laying on his belly. I've decided it's not worth arguing against.

With lack of car, we've started to explore all of the places we can walk to and play. We've worked up to a 3 mile walk every day (the boys have had a hard time sitting in the stroller for anything longer). One of the best places happens to be just around the block though - the green belt between town home complexes. There are tennis courts we throw a ball around in and lots of space to run, and, the best part, TREES! We've climbed in them, hidden in them, and just laid under them and looked at the leaves. It's pretty awesome.

The first garden tomato of the season! Woot! Of course, if we don't finish the drip irrigation pretty quick here, it might be the last too...

Again, a project born of boredom... We took old grocery bags and paper clips and made parachutes for Isaac's Star Wars figurines. Then we had to take turns standing on the steps and tossing it. Both boys thought it was great.

The parachute:

While I was making the parachute, this is what Jonathan did:

And this too (he's fast):

When we have had the car, we try to get out to the park. Everyone is happy to have warm weather again!

Jonathan is so almost-two it hurts. At least he's cute.

Isaac has learned how to roll down hills. Still perfecting going in a straight line, but enjoying the practice.

Had to include this one just because I think this park is gorgeous!

We took Lydia with us, and she ran around trying to pick all the dandelions. The boys thought she was crazy. 

They were busy playing hide-and-seek.

And rolling on the ground because they were both dying of hunger (so Isaac said).

Jon recovered from his near death experience when I mentioned chocolate milk.

We went to the annual Duck Race in Estes Park at the beginning of May. The weather was PERFECT. Seriously. Along the river, we met a horse and mule. Jon got a kick out of feeding them.

The mule was seriously cute. So was the boy.

Isaac was jealous that Jon was getting his picture taken, so he posed down by the river for me.

I pieced a couple quilt blocks. I'm SO not a quilter. I keep thinking maybe I'd like to be, and then I start another quilt. And then I swear off quilting forever because I get so frustrated. And then I wait a month or two. And then I do it all over again. At least I really liked the colors on these blocks.

We've watched Keynan and Gage a lot. Inevitably, the older three boys end up like this: 

Another of Jon's outfits: Isaac's tee, a baseball cap, and no pants.

I keep wanting to make frozen yogurt pops, but this keeps happening to my molds:

Jon got upset that three milk jugs don't fit into our milk box, so he decided that none should be in the box.

Mostly because he wanted to stand on it to ring the doorbell. When he sees the doorbell, he still asks "Doggie?" At least I know he remembers Sammy this way.

Remember what I said about quilting? This is my next top. I was making it for my mom for Mother's Day. Guess what? It's nowhere near done. Sorry Mom! Maybe I'll have it done by Christmas...

I DID get to cross one project off my to-do list though - fixing my flower garden. During last summer's Great Sprinkler Adventure, the garden was trenched. It was looking pretty sad... Isaac helped me out, and we've started a "Fairy Garden" in the part closest to the vegetable garden. (Where the donkey is)

The donkey is somewhat of an obsession of Isaac's. We have some neighbors who have a donkey statue in their front yard, and sometimes we go on walks just to say hi to their donkey. When Isaac saw this one at Hobby Lobby, he was not about to leave without it. Luckily, we were there looking for a garden statue, and it was half off. So, we have our very own donkey to say hi to everyday.

Jon has a new favorite food: yogurt covered pretzels. Enough said...

In addition to all of that, our goings-on have included Stake orchestra, lots of babysitting, losing a combined total of 15 pounds (woot!), harvesting lavender, and not getting anywhere near enough sleep. Lot of big things coming up in the next few weeks, so I'll try to stay on top of blogging the pictures!!!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


Jonathan decided to skip a nap.
Isaac wet the bed.
Both boys played in the sandbox, and then came in the house when I wasn't looking.
Jon opened the storm door and tried to run away while I was in the bathroom. (Isaac stopped him.)
Isaac got into the chips in the pantry and Jon dumped them on the floor and stepped all over them.
Jon found bleach wipes and dumped them in a pile on my carpet, along with all the extra bleach-y stuff at the bottom of the container.
Jon dumped a cup of water on the floor and then rolled around in it.
Isaac didn't spend time alone during "quiet time" - nor was he very quiet, for that matter.

Oh, and Jonathan learned how to open doors with doorknobs.

I think I may have to go on a longer run than usual.