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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Yellowstone

Two days after returning from California (just enough time to appreciate my bed, get the kids in to the doctor, and do some laundry), we loaded the car back up and drove to Idaho with my parents and three of my siblings. We stayed in a beautiful cabin set in the scenic town of Island Park. The first day there the kids and I stayed behind in an attempt to get well from our coughs and pink eye while the others went hiking. We did take a little time to explore the area surrounding the cabin. It was so peaceful and quiet and cool-- just what the doctor ordered!

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This is the pose Logan gives me 9 times out of 10 when I turn the camera on him. It reminds me of Kurt from Glee. Maybe we should stop letting him watch that show.

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And this is the smile Savannah gives me. What's wrong with my kids?!

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Logan took this picture. I'm not intentionally pointing at anything, I think I was just trying to tell him where the button was.

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We could only fake being well for so long. Eventually our energy would run out and one of us would collapse like this.

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To add insult to injury, Savannah fell off the steps in the cabin and bruised her foot pretty badly. She wouldn't walk on it for a day and a half, but luckily we'd borrowed a backpack for her. She loved hanging out in it and thankfully there were lots of shoulders to carry her so no one had to bear the brunt of her weight the whole time.

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The second day we drove into Yellowstone. We stopped at the first set of geysers we came across-- not fully understanding that we'd see them EVERYWHERE.

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A little ways further we drove into the parking lot of Old Faithful-- just in time for it to finish erupting. 90 minutes of waiting later, we had a front row seat for the next eruption. It was pretty amazing how accurately they could predict the next eruption based on the duration of the previous one.

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A post card I had seen while in the Old Faithful giftshop was the inspiration for another stop at the Lower Falls. They were so beautiful.

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And of course, Yellowstone wouldn't be Yellowstone without the wildlife. We mostly saw the typical animals: bison, deer, elk, and some birds. It was pretty funny when we came across a line of stopped cars taking pictures of a single bison. After waiting through the line, about 100 yards down the road we saw this:

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There were so many bison I couldn't even begin to count them. What was even more amazing than the animals was how close people would get to take pictures! I understand that the wildlife in Yellowstone are used to people, but I still wouldn't want to get too close to one of those suckers!

We also saw some elk-- some females walked right alongside our car as we drove in, and a male on our way out.

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I couldn't get over how beautiful everything was. I couldn't believe I was only a couple of hours from home.

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Of course having these two cuties along helped make the trip that much more enjoyable. Logan picked up a Jr. Ranger animal worksheet early in the day and loved checking the animals off the list. He was a trooper (for the most part) when it came to walking, and even Savannah was more pleasant than usual, despite her hurt foot.

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I have more pictures, but this post is getting awfully long, so I'll save them for another day. :)

Friday, August 27, 2010

Homecoming

A few weeks ago my youngest brother, Curtis, returned from a 2-year mission to India. To welcome him home and spend some time with family, the kids and I drove down to California for a week. The kids battled fevers and coughs the whole week, but we managed to have lots of fun anyway. We spent a beautiful morning at the beach with cousins, soaking up the sun in perfect 70 degree weather. It was such a nice break from the hot yet rainy days we left behind in Utah.

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It seemed like we had our swim suits on nearly every day. First it was the beach, then we went to a splash pad, and we finished off the week with a trip to the waterpark. Logan and his cousin, Dallin, found a slide that was just their size and spent the whole day on it. It made me excited to use the Seven Peaks passes I bought for next summer.

On Friday we met up with Jeff who flew in for the weekend. We redeemed our Disney give-a-day passes for a day at Disneyland before rejoining my family in San Diego. We almost bagged the Disneyland idea when Logan woke up with pink eye the day before, but he claimed he was well enough to go so off we went. We only spend about 5 hours at the park--by far the shortest trip I have ever made to Disneyland--but it was perfect. I didn't feel too badly about it since the only ticket we paid for was Logan's. Logan was tall enough to go on every ride in the park except for Indiana Jones. His favorite ride of the day was Buzz Lightyear, but he was pretty upset that I wouldn't wait in line to meet Buzz himself. I did, however, wait for 30 minutes with Savannah to meet Tinkerbell and Terence while Jeff and Logan rode the Matterhorn. Nothing I could do would get Savannah to pose next to them, though.

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You can't tell in the picture on the left, but Savannah is actually driving the car. I guess there's a reason you have to be tall enough to see over the steering wheel!

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We ended the week by attending Curtis' homecoming address, then loaded up the car and began the long drive home. Despite being sick and tired most of the week, it was worth it to be with family.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Funeral, a Birthday, and a BBQ

I never blogged about Jeff's grandpa's funeral, and although it is still a tender subject, I would be contrite not to remember such a beautiful and touching weekend.

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It was a whirlwind of events, as funerals usually are, that brought every single one of Grandpa's posterity together, including one grandson from China. Every member of the family participated in the service except for the great-grandchildren, but they were able to sing to Grandma at the dinner served afterward.

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Since this all fell the week before my sister-in-law's birthday, we threw together a quick surprise party for her. She was certainly surprised (and perhaps a little embarrassed we hadn't let her change out of her swim attire) but it was all in good fun.

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We took to opportunity with all the family in town to have a BBQ in the park. By that point I was camera-ed out, but I did get this one shot of Logan watching for tadpoles. One of the older great-grandkids had scooped up a whole carton full of tadpoles and was gifting them to the other kids in small cups. Ours, at least, found its way back to the stream before we headed home.

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Will it ever end?

I knew the past month would be busy. We had booked ourselves solid with vacations and family plans, and I was prepared for that. What I wasn't prepared for is that we would be sick the ENTIRE TIME. It started the day after our first family guests arrived. The kids started having runny noses. Within a week, coughs and fevers had set in. From there it was just one thing after another-- and I'm not talking little nuisance sicknesses. At one point Logan was diagnosed with bronchitis, sinusitis, and conjunctivitis all at once. As soon as one kid would improve, the other would get sick, and if both were looking better, Jeff or I would get it. Luckily I was home just long enough between trips to get them both on antibiotics, or we would never have survived. However, the day before my sister-in-law's wedding, when we were all actually on the mend for once, Savannah started throwing up. She spent the day running yet another fever while I prayed as hard as I could that she would be healthy so we could make it to the temple the next day. By some miracle she woke up feeling better, so we had one day of health before the inevitable happened-- I caught her stomach bug. Within a few hours, Logan was throwing up too and Savannah had a relapse. All three of us were sick as dogs - and we still had the reception to go to that night. The reception I was supposed to be taking pictures at. All I could think was, "What have I done to deserve this?"

I'll spare you the details, but suffice it to say we made it through and I finally felt it was safe to say we had reached the end of this long month. That is until this morning, when Jeff woke up feeling nauseous. Now I'm not so sure.

Monday, August 16, 2010

He makes me laugh

So much to blog about and no time to do it in! I probably won't be able to post again for at least a week, but Logan has been so funny lately I have to dedicate this quick post to him.

Last week we were in Yellowstone visiting Old Faithful (more about that later). I took Logan to the restroom and told him I needed him to try and go potty because this was probably the last bathroom we were going to find. He looks at me confused and asks, "In my life?" I started laughing and reassured him it was only going to be the last bathroom before we got home, not the last bathroom EVER.

One of Logan's favorite things to do is type on my phone's keyboard. He's getting pretty good at sounding words out, but most of the time it's just jibberish. Today he showed me the screen and asked if I could read it. This is what he had written:

hshdntnt

"Logan, that doesn't say anything. That's not a word."
"Yes it is! Try it again." I looked harder but still couldn't make out what he was trying to spell.
"Sorry, Logan, I really don't know."
"It says, 'Head, shoulders, knees and toes!'"

I looked closer and laughed in surprise. I was pretty proud of him for putting the "sh" together for shoulders. I can't wait for preschool to start next week. This kid is like a sponge.