Friday, May 30, 2014

a family party

we recently had a cookout--our first cookout of the season--with ross, cyleste, leah, and corbin and whitney, matt, kirsten, and reagan. it was a great time. we cooked hot dogs, had good fresh fruit, some really delicious sun chips, and then roasted marshmallows to have s'mores!

 it was a hot day--so staying in the shade was pretty vital.

 leah with her cute sunglasses on. she just turned 4!

 s being helpful by sweeping.

 kirsten eating her first s'more. i'm not really sure if she liked it. 

the end of the school year

here's a little catch up of some the happenings during the end of the school year.

w has run in a couple of track meets (one was hosted by his school and one was the local hershey track meet). in the first one he ran the 4x100 relay and the 400. his relay team did well, and he won (by a long shot) his heat in the 400, coming in 2nd overall for his grade. at the other track meet, he ran the 200 and the 400. the 200 he did fine, but at the 400 he finished 1st overall for his age group. can i say there are few things that could make me more excited than a good track runner in the family! w discovered that he really likes running the 400, which is a tough race. hopefully, he will choose to do track as he gets older.

 w getting the baton from his friend nathan. w was the anchor leg of the 4x100. 

 w finishing the relay.

 w with about 200 meters left in the 400. he did a really good job of not starting out too fast. that is a difficult skill to learn, but i talked with him about it before his race, and he really took it to heart.

 w with several of his friends.

 w with his good friend hibiki. 

s was in a jack and the beanstalk play at school a few days ago. she played the part of a shepherd. it was obvious her teacher had put a lot of work into the play. the kids all did a wonderful job. 

 s with her daddy before the show.

 two shepherds.

 there was a lot of good singing and choreography in the show.

 s with the lamb in her arms.

 this was b's favorite number. this is where the goose (the girl in the white dress) sang about how she lays golden eggs. b compared this song to a smashing pumpkins song from the airplane flies high box set. as he said himself he was so enchanted by this song!

 the closing number.

 s with some of her school friends after the show.

 s and her favorite teacher ever: mrs. williams.

on the last day of school, we had the end of the year dance program where every grade performs a dance routine. this year, sierra's grade (2nd) did hawaiian dancing--the huki lau and another one. and w's grade (5th) danced to cotton-eye joe. 

 s is in the pink shirt and skirt.

 s was a great dancer.

 w definitely looked the part of a cowboy. he wore his own cowboy shirt and hat. 

 w with some of his class chums. 

 w with his wonderful teacher miss davis.

a mesa verde memorial day weekend

we decided to shake things up a bit this year for memorial day weekend. rather than go to escalante, like we've done for the past five years, we decided to go to mesa verde national park.

we left on friday afternoon and drove straight to the campground at mesa verde. we got there in time to set up our tent and then attend the evening ranger program. unfortunately--for us--it was raining during the ranger program, but we powered through. it quit raining during the night, and we woke up the next morning to sunshine and blue skies!

 we found a little mouse in the woodsy area by cliff palace.

 our first glimpse of cliff palace.

 another cliff dwelling across from cliff palace.

 there were lots of ladders from us to climb up/down to get the cliff dwellings.

 s and w really enjoyed climbing the ladders.

 cliff palace is the biggest cliff dwelling at mesa verde. it was amazing.

 w looking down into a kiva.

 w and s playing on some benches while we waited to go to balcony house.

 look at that sky!


 the 35 foot ladder we climbed to get to balcony house did get my heart pumping pretty hard. i climbed it just fine, but things like that do freak me out a bit.

 balcony house was brian's favorite cliff dwelling we went to.

 original pieces of wood. these are about 800 years old.

 a painted pattern on the wall of the one of the rooms in balcony house.

 sierra using a metate and mano.

 you had to climb through a tunnel to get out of balcony house. this tunnel was built by the ancestral pueblans.

 at spruce house we saw our first covered kiva.

 we all got to climb down into this kiva.

 we went on a hike to see petroglyphs. there were some interesting images.

 the sky turned very dark during the petroglyph hike. 

 a cool carved rock.

 the sky cleared up some by the evening, but it was pretty chilly. it was so cold, in fact, that i almost wimped out of the saturday night ranger program. thankfully, i didn't--it was really interesting. it was on history of the navajo in mesa verde. 

 on sunday, we woke up after 10 hours of raining--it rained all night long. our tent was pretty sloppy wet. poor w and s's sleeping bags were wet. we took down the tent and packed up the car and headed into cortez to go to church. after church, we drove back into mesa verde and went to the seldom-visited part of the park--the wetherill mesa. they have a wild horse population there.

 we rode on a tram that took us around the loop. w and s liked sitting in the front seats. 

 another cool cliff dwelling.

 a pit house--this is older than the cliff dwellings.

 potshards on the ground at step house.

 us leaving the park. 

since all of our stuff got wet, we decided to head home on sunday evening. we drove straight home and got to sleep in our own, dry beds. 

some of the highlights were seeing the museum at the park, the ranger program, (obviously) visiting the cliff dwellings, me getting to see a lazuli bunting (oh man it was gorgeous--the most vivid blue i've ever seen on a bird), s becoming a jr ranger, going to church (and being reminded of why rain is a very good thing for the people who live there--and hearing a prayer in which a woman said how much she enjoyed living in among wonderful people and in a beautiful place--i always love hearing that people enjoy the place they live in), and hanging out together!