Friday, August 28, 2009

My Favorite Things about Summer

So here is the rest of my list. They are in no particular order.

1. Vacations
2. Swimming
3. Flip Flops
4. BBQ-ing (especially Jeff's BBQ--he made some yummy new meals this summer-they will be missed)
5. Sitting on our deck, enjoying the beautiful nights, and talking with family/friends
6. Reading great books
7. Cousin Day (In the summers, we get together every Tuesday with all of Jeff's sisters and their kids. Some of the highlights this year were Gymcats and Cherry Hills.)
8. Spending many nights at our splash park and finding other great parks for the kids
9. The 4th of July and 24th of July (who doesn't love holidays?!)
10. Buying fresh corn on the cob and eating tomatoes fresh from the garden

Saturday, August 22, 2009

1st Favorite Thing About Summer

Since summer is ending all too quickly, I decided to do a top 10 list of my favorite things about summer. I am bummed that the summer is almost over (where has it gone). :( Since having kids it has become my favorite season--hot weather and all! I love it! So my first favorite thing about summer is Bear Lake. We have a tradition of going to Bear Lake over the 24th of July and over Labor Day. I've been going to Bear Lake at least once every summer since I was 10. There are countless good memories from being up there. I look so forward to our Bear Lake trips and am glad the tradition has stuck around. I hope that our kids will love it as much as I did growing up. We always celebrate my grandma's birthday over the 24th of July.

The kids had fun helping to blow out the candles.

We usually spend a couple days at the beach. We stop at the pool on the way back to the cabin and then spend the rest of the night relaxing and playing games--just my thing.

Jaxon's cousin and good buddy, McKay.
It's also a tradition to do a humanitarian project while we are up there and this year we made hygiene kits. Jaxon really got into putting them together while Claire preferred chewing through the bars of soap.

The kids love riding bikes and cars on the long driveway.

The boys were backing up their "truck" to pull the boat.
Jaxon's cousin and other good buddy Ty. Our kids are lucky to have such great cousins right around their own ages to play with and older cousins who are great at entertaining them.
Jeff and I always try and start a new book while we are there. This year I read The Book Thief which was excellent. Jeff read Hunger Games which he said he really liked. We love reading on the deck or the lawn and enjoying the nice view.

Claire was really into giving Dad hugs and kisses. Jaxon was trying to get away to drive the boat.
We had so much fun and it's always hard to leave Bear Lake. You can't help but enjoy it and the time you get to spend with family.

Angel Moroni

Jaxon has been fascinated with the Angel Moroni and how he was struck by lightning. My mom was driving the kids around the Oquirrah Mountain Temple while she was here watching them. When they went by it, Jaxon said, "Grandma, I think the Angel Moroni wasn't holding a trumpet when he got struck by lightning. He was holding a marshmallow stick." That would make more sense to a 3 year old. I cracked up when my mom told me-I thought it was pretty funny and cute!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Alaska Cruise!!

We figured out the picture problem (by we I mean Jeff) and I'm excited to be able to blog again. I have to limit this post because I know it will get out of control long if I'm not careful. Last week, we went on our Alaskan cruise with the adults on Jeff's side of the family. Jeff and I were especially excited since we went there five years ago on our honeymoon. We had such an incredible trip! I'll just put on lots of pictures and explain what we did. This was our first day on the boat with the view of Seattle in the background.

The first day we played games, ate lots of yummy food, and played in a ping pong tournament. Let's just say that the guy I played had an easy time making it to the next round.

The second day was filled with a lot of the same--games and more food. It was also one of our two formal nights. It was fun getting all dressed up and going all out. I loved seeing everyone else dressed up and looking so nice. After dinner we went to a ventriliquist show--which honestly was really horrible. I had to feel sorry for him--he just wasn't funny. At least we were able to use him and his pet dinosaur, Rex, in our pictionary game. And, we did have a funny comedian who provided us with some good shows.

After two days at sea, one of those being a really rough sea day, we arrived in Juneau. It was beautiful! The mountains are incredible--they are so green. The highlights of this stop were the tram ride, the Mendenhall Glacier, and the Twisted Fish Restaurant. At the glacier, we were lucky enough to see a bear walking right below us. Its baby was up in a tree not too far away. We tried to get some pictures but there were so many people watching it that we couldn't get a good shot.

The Twisted Fish was as good as I remembered from our Honeymoon. I had the best salmon tacos and clam chowder--yummy!
The second stop on our cruise was Skagway. It's a beautiful little town with lots of little shops. We bought some of the best fudge I've ever eaten. The train ride had some incredible views. It was fun to look at all the scenery on the way up to the summit and was completely relaxing listening to music on the way back down. It was a great day!

We also got our pictures taken in the old Western outfits which ended up being hilarious because of our camera man. He wasn't going to take our pictures because he was running two other businesses in town at the time, so we decided to start trying on stuff and take our own pics. As soon as we asked if we could take our own, he was suddenly available. Jeff wasn't feeling the costume below and instead opted for a gigantic bear coat which our camera man told us was actually a rug. Jeff managed a great snarl to go with the outfit-it's a classic look and I wish I could post the picture!

We went by Tracy Arm Fjord in our ship. If only it wouldn't have been so early, maybe we would have seen it. Our ship was through it by 8:30. We caught a few ice chunks in the water by the time we got up. During the day we did our own Amazing Race, courtesy of Jeff's dad. Some of the events were speed walking for a mile (which is a lot harder than it looks--we were all sore the next day), searching for pins that were hid around the ship, and searching for books in the library. Those were just a few of the events--Jeff and I didn't do very well and finished last. It was fun anyway! That night was our second formal night. I tried lobster and loved it (but what food didn't I love while we were there). The food was delicious--I ate way too much! Our waiter had to have a few extra people help push his cart to our table because of all the extra appetizers and desserts our table would order. (I'm only slightly exaggerating)

The picture below is a little random and made it in the post mainly because one of my brother-in-laws said,"whos ever going to do anything with this picture"? Jeff, his parents, and his sisters took a picture together and then they made us do an in-law picture. Apparently, Travis was having a lot of fun (he's the one right above me in case you couldn't tell).

Here are the guys doing a dang good job of imitating his face:

Every night when they turn down your bed, they make an animal out of towels. The bat was one of the best.

Our last stop and last day on the ship was in Victoria, Canada. I loved the city--it had a very European feel to it. We took a shuttle bus around town and enjoyed all the towns loveliness. The building below was really cool.

Our last day was one of my faves. We ate at one of my favorite restaurants ever--Chinook's in Seattle. As if I needed more food after a week of completely indulging. :) The salmon and chocolate malt shakes are to die for so of course I couldn't pass it up.

The guys in front of one of the boats from Deadliest Catch.

While we waited for our duck tour to start, we walked around the space needle area. There was a cool fountain that looked like a space ship and spewed out water and steam. I was wishing Jaxon was there to see it-he would have loved it.

Here is our tour guide--doing a fine impression of Peter from Family Guy. He was a good guide and kept us laughing and dancing throughout the tour.

The whistles seemed like a good idea--they were for a few minutes. At least Jaxon is now having fun quacking everywhere!

To finish the day off, we went to see the Mariners play. They lost to the Yankees but it was fun to enjoy a game with Jeff. The field and setting are beautiful. The Ivar's clam chowder wasn't bad either.
That pretty much wraps up our trip. I know it's long, but since this doubles as my journal I wanted it fairly detailed so I can look back on it. By the end of the trip, Jeff and I couldn't wait to see the kids. It was crazy how grown up they seemed after just a week of being away from them. I owe my mom a huge thank you for watching the kids. I didn't worry about the kids at all and it made the trip that much more enjoyable. Thanks mom for all you did and all the time and sleep you gave up that week! :) I am so grateful to Dave and Faye for making this trip possible. They are wonderful in-laws and have an incredible family. I feel lucky to be a part of it. We made so many memories and had so much fun. Thanks for an amazing trip everyone!! Happy Anniversary to you Honey--it was the best week long date ever!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Where I've Been

Well, it's been quite a while since I've blogged and still may be a while more. Our computer is having issues recognizing our camera which equals no pictures on the computer--so frustrating! :) I hate blogging without pictures. So, here's to hoping we can get it figured out and that I can catch up on all our summer fun!