Tuesday, November 18, 2014

the rest of b's birthday and some fall time fun

a local market had zapotes on sale for just $2.99/lb. we only got 3 zapotes--but they were big enough that those three still cost a total of $15. but they were worth it. look at that lucious zapote!

 we at the first zapote by just scooping the goodness out. we ate the other two zapotes by making batidas de zapote (zapote smoothies). oh i love those. those were really good too.

 on brian's birthday we went to our favorite mexican restaurant and had burritos. (also note b's cool batik shirt we got in hawaii this summer, and his fun new glasses.)

 two books i ordered from amazon for b. he's already finished "dear committee members" (which is good, i've finished it already too), and he's currently reading "indonesia etc" and enjoying that one.

 the book our friend, joanna, recently published.

 a birthday check from my mom.

 b with sierra's present for her daddy.

 a plate that says jackson hole, wyoming. (notice sierra's stuffed dog, duke, too. she loves that dog.)

 one of b's big presents was that i framed the ohio pawpaw festival posters i got back in 2007 (when i went to the festival). they are now hanging on our wall.

 w's note to b. willie gave b a picture of a river.

 a few other books i found for b at the di.

 and two other books i found at the di.

 b with the family birthday card. for dessert on brian's birthday, he and i had baked brie (and the kids had cake). 

 the weekend after brian's birthday we went to a local pumpkin patch.

 i really like w's big smile, and ray ray's serious look.

 after going to the pumpkin patch, we enjoyed the beautiful weather and went off exploring in the western desert. we found several interesting bones.

 b holding a piece of wood shaped like a "b."

 the following monday, i took the kids (along with my mom, kyle and his family, and ross and his family) up to logan for the day. here we are at the recently updated ogden temple. 

 a fun pic of s and grandma.

 jackson and leah enjoyed running around the fountain.

 all the kiddos except calvin.

 but here are all the kids at the logan temple. this is a great picture.

kyle, mom, me and ross.

 we went to the logan zoo and got to see this beautiful great horned owl. just look at how lovely it is. 

 i hung around the owl for about 30 minutes, which was a bit longer than i think the guy wanted to keep it out. but it was so cool. 

 look at those eyes! i was smitten.

 we also went to the gosner cheese factory and loaded up on cheese, exotic milks, and ice cream. here is jackson eating his ice cream.

 most of the rest of the group. 

 jumping forward, cathy came out to see us all and whitney. she came out a few days before halloween. we dressed up and went with whitney and her family and cathy to a ward halloween/chili cook-off party. 

 a fun picture of a dude relaxing.

 ray ray (being a b), w as a cowboy, and s as a pioneer. 

 me and b dressed up in our "costumes." we are staying away from each other because he had a cold.

 cathy dressed up as honey since her granddaughters were bees and her daughter and son-in-law were beekeepers. 

 on the saturday after halloween, we went on a di run with cathy. while we were north of salt lake (hoping to be able to buy some japanese glass balls from someone), we stopped at a wendy's for lunch. we had some coupons so splurged a bit. notice how b's burger is a double patty. 

sadly, we didn't get the japanese glass balls. but we did have a good day together.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

brian's birthday bonanza!

we kicked off brian's birthday celebrations by going down to zion the weekend before his birthday. our sister-in-law, amy, watched w and s so that we could leave early saturday morning and come back sunday evening. it was a great trip.

 this is a picture of the virgin river at the base of angel's landing. this picture is the inspiration for the watercolor i am working on now.

 our first order of business, after we got into the park, was to go straight to angel's landing. it was a gorgeous day (as you can see). we started on the hike around 11am.

 b found the exact hole that his siblings crowded into on their way up to angel's landing (back when brian was on his mission). he looks like such a crevice creature!

 a look at the switchbacks--the trail is steep going up.

 here we are at scout's lookout--the final place on the trail before the trail starts getting narrow and crazy. honestly, i had been really worried about doing this hike. i wasn't sure if i'd be able to handle the height, the crazy drop-offs, the needing to hold on to a chain so you don't fall to your death. i had been very anxious about it. but, once we got to scout's lookout i told brian "i'm good. let's not stop here and look around--we need to keep going!"

 it is one of the craziest hikes i've ever been on--certainly one that is dangerous--but it wasn't nearly as bad as i had imagined. by the time we got to the top, i thought "is that it? where does the trail get to be only three feet wide?" i had made it all the way without falling to my death or even feeling like it was very scary! it was great.

 i didn't get too close to the edge though. brian took this one.

 i love this one.

 here the woman taking our picture said we should look like "angels landing" (thus the up raised arms). 

 the top peak there is angel's landing.

 oh the virgin river. we really enjoyed looking at it.

 it was so much clearer than we were expecting.

 once we were done with angel's landing, we went on the emerald pools hike. an easy, in the shade hike to some pools of water and waterfalls.

 a cool tree/bush we discovered--half of the wood is a grayish color and the other half is a smooth reddish/brown. very interesting.

 the sun setting in the park.

 a cool picture b took of the lichen. 

 where we ate dinner in springdale. we got elk burgers.

 we found a place to camp outside the park in the next town over from springdale. we were told we could drive out on to a road and camp along the side of the road. we made it out to the road after dark and saw a place that looked promising. we turned off the road and got a bit lost. we were about to head back out on to the road when all of a sudden some headlights appeared in front of us. it turned out that the land we were on was privately owned, but the man who owned it (the one in the car who jumped out to speak to us) let people camp on it. he told us all about the special lights and plants had set up in the "campground," and even the special garden on the island out in the middle of the stream. the lights were out because he was preparing for a special fall harvest festival. after talking up the place for at least 10 minutes--telling us all about it's special qualities and many lights and plants and mentioning that it was the best place in the area to camp--he then told us that it would just be $10/person to camp there. given that we had planned on camping for free, $20 seemed like a lot. but we didn't feel like we could leave, so we paid the loquacious man the money and drove in. we did, indeed, see some of the special lights and plants (although, sadly, we couldn't see the lights out on the island in the stream). we found a spot away from the others who were camping there and settled in. although the experience with the owner was a bit odd, it was a peaceful place to camp. we enjoyed hearing the stream right next to us and not hearing people. 

the next morning, we enjoyed seeing what the area actually looked like and were delighted to find tons of yucca plants. we have always enjoyed them but now are considering planting some in our yard. 

 on sunday morning, we went back into the park and rode the shuttle back in. we saw some wild turkeys.

 we went on the hidden canyon hike, which was lovely. 

 aren't the shadows on the rock walls amazing?

 look at that! how nice.

 be taking a picture of another rock wall--undulating stripes and curves. 

 a really cool mushroom we found.

 me beneath the natural arch inside the narrow hidden canyon. 

 i like this series of pictures of b climbing up this tree. we saw some boys do it--so b thought he'd give it a try.

 a vie on the way down. you can see some of the fall colors. the fall colors didn't seem to be in full force yet, but they were nice on the trees that had changed.

 right as we were leaving the park, b caught a lizard.

we left the park in time to drive to la verkin and go to church there. it was fast sunday, so we attended the testimony meeting, which we enjoyed. then we headed straight back home so we could meet up with my mom, w, and s. they met us at the house, and brian and i had just enough time to shower and unpack the car before we went to a court of honor to watch w get several merit badges. 

it was a busy, jam-packed weekend, but so fun. we had a great time down in zion!