Friday, August 4, 2017

Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado

Luke and Jack have been doing the family camping trips with Volunteers for Outdoor Colorado (VOC). Luke gets to do hard/manual labor, while Jack is taken off with other kids for hiking and science projects. Then, at the end of the days everyone meets back up and VOC provides all the food and drinks. The both seem to really enjoy it. There is usually a photographer as part of the group so I always look forward to seeing the photos: 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Outdoors Club

This summer has been full of activities with the Outdoors Club. Each week we have been doing a hike in an attempt to fill our county passport books. 

We have had a Ranger lead several of the hikes

The group at Devil's Backbone

After the hike at Devil's Backbone, we headed to to the annual Windsor Family Campout. This a huge storm rolled in just hours before the campout so the grounds were soggy wet. It didn't stop the kids from having fun...

Here we are at the trailhead for another hike:

One Sunday afternoon we had our own fishing derby in hopes of catching a Tiger Muskie. We fished all day long and caught nothing...

The kids were still able to enjoy themselves

Many great memories & friends made this summer!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

End of summer swim team

The summer swim session has finally come to an end. The last meet of the season was the same weekend Luke and Jack were camping for VOC, so it was just me and the girls

It was a long, exhausting day. We needed lots of sugar to push through...
Josie giving her sister some love before her event

Lily and her teammates

Josie giving Lily pointers before the event

Lily's freestyle. The only 5 year old competing with ages 8+

Monday, July 17, 2017

Trip to California

After coming home from Steamboat Springs, we had just a couple days to recoup and then we were off again.

We left at 4:00am on Sunday morning with the goal of making it to Las Vegas in one day. The kids did awesome and we made great time. We made stops every few hours. One of our last stops was at St. George Utah where we wanted to check out the Pioneer Park. It was over 100 degrees though, so it was a quick stop.

We arrived at the Sunset Station just after 8pm... after spending 16 hours in the car. We got into the room and we started unpacking our bags. I looked up and noticed that Josie was playing with the hotel phone. The next thing we know, there was a loud knock at the door. To our surprise a security guard entered and seemed very agitated. He said that someone had called 911 and said "murder." He told us that the police were on the way up to our room.

We were taken by surprise and assured him that we were all okay. Finally, he left.

It is my only guess that Josie had picked up the phone and somehow managed to press an emergency button. Then, I imagine she said "Hi Meryl" like she does at home when imitating me talking to my friend Meryl. I guess the emergency workers translated "Hi Meryl" into "murder" and sent up the guard to check on us. It was quite the excitement for one night.

The next day we met upwith Luke's grandparents, aunt, cousin and her son Devon. The kids always love playing with Devon!

They spent many hours in the pool!

The next day we headed off again to San Clemente where we had another memorable incident.

After over 6 hours in the car we arrive in San Clemente at lunchtime. We stopped at Pedros tacos and Luke grabbed food to-go. We drove over to San Clemente State beach for a little picnic to eat the food. We had a few tacos and a bag of ice leftover so my plan was to go to the condo and drop the food/ice off, change kids into their bathing suits, and then head down to the beach. Luke went and got the keys to the apartment and talked with some neighbors about whether or not his truck would fit into underground parking. He assumed it would fit.

He came back with the keys and I told him "we'll meet you down there"

I was referring to the underground parking lot where I thought he would park and then we would unload the food and all our bags into the condo.

The kids and I sat by the entrance to the parking lot for an hour. Then we walked around the neighborhood trying to find Luke and his huge truck. We figured he had to drive all the way around the neighborhood to get back to the parking lot since it was a one way street. So we walked the entirety of the neighborhood. Then we went and knocked on a neighbors door. She let us use her phone to call Luke but he didn't answer. Then she even walked the whole neighborhood while i stayed back with the kids.

Almost 2 hours later Luke drives up in his truck. We were both relieved and furious at the same time.

It turns out, he thought that when I said "meet you down there" that we were referring to going to the beach. He thought I was going to walk all three kids down the 100 steps to the beach below where we were having lunch, despite the fact that we had talked to the kids about going to the condo and changing into swimsuits/putting stuff away.

So Luke went to the beach, dragged all our stuff and our canopies out to the sand and waited. And waited. And waited. We never showed up. He was worried that I had fainted or fallen down the 100 stairs and ended up in the ER and that the kids were wandering around with no parent. He was freaked out.

So finally he decided to drag all our stuff back to the truck and then drive back up to the condo where he found us standing curbside flabbergasted.

We were both so mad at each other...

But we were at the beach, everyone was safe so we moved on and made the best of it. We unpacked the truck and changed into bathing suits and good the kids to the beach and had a great time! Now we will forever have an affinity for the saying "meet you down there"

The next day we scheduled a fishing trip for the boys while the girls went whale watching. Jack and Luke had been looking forward to this fishing trip for two years!

It did not disappoint as Jack caught the 2nd largest fish on the trip!

The girls all went on a whale watching boat and although we didn't see any whales, we saw plenty of dolphins

The next day we went to La Jolla cove where we spend the day at the baby beach and went snorkeling. We got to see all sorts of fish and even some rays.

The next day we had to pack up and head to Big Bear. On our way we stopped to meet up with Lukes Great-Aunt Enie at In n Out. 

Then we headed up the mountain to the Big Bear house to celebrate my Grandpa's 80th birthday. It is a beautiful place!

Making breakfast with the family

Hanging with my grandpa

1st time paddle boarding

My dad and his brothers/sister wanted to recreate this photo from their childhood

So we did the best we could...

Then we celebrated my grandpas birthday!

The whole group!

It was a super fun trip, but very also a very quick trip. We had to head home the next day with the hope of making it as far as possible. We didn't end up making it very far since both Luke and I were tired. So we ended up stopping in Colorado City and getting a hotel room. The next day we had to make the final push home. We made it all the way to Fruita before we had to stop for breakfast. Turns out that Fruita is a pretty cool place and had an awesome breakfast cafe
Downtown Fruita

Then we made the final push home. It was a Sunday though, so we hit tons of traffic and it took us several hours longer than it should have. But we made it home safe and sound so that is all that counts. It was an amazing vacation and a great time spent with family.