Husband and Father

Husband and Father
July 15, 1958 ~ August 25, 2008

Friday, July 30, 2010

The 4th of July

Ben, Lizzy, Amy, and Luke.

The Jacobsens' invited us over for a barbecue, and NSL fireworks on the 3rd of July. Not only did we enjoy fabulous food and company, but we were also at the best location for the festivities. Amy and I just walked through her neighbors backyard to get to the Eaglewood golf course/clubhouse. The kids were entertained for hours with their extraordinary game skills, winning cheesy prizes, bounce houses, and twirling in the tea cups. We had an excellent view of the stunning fireworks from the Jacobsens' backyard. They were spectacular!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sharing At The Gym

Those of you who really know be, know that I am NOT a real "gym junky". Sometimes, I pretend to be, but really, if I don't make it to the gym, no harm done. I do think it is healthy to exercise, in some way, shape, or form, at least 3 times a week, but even then, I can find many excuses why I don't have the time to exercise, or find other things that take priority over exercise.

The other day, was one of those days. I really didn’t want to go to the gym, to subject my body to the tortures of the elliptical, and weights, but went anyway. I hated every minute of it. I just wasn’t in the mood, and hadn’t frequented the gym for awhile, so it was definitely taking it's toll on me.

After forcing myself to finish my cardio routine, I found a cubby to store my valuables in (water bottle, keys, and headphones), and started on the weights. As I ventured from machine to machine torturing myself with the weights, I grabbed my water bottle and began drinking it. I was parched, and drank it through most of my weight routine. When I placed my water bottle on the floor at the last machine on my routine, I realized I had brought a Kirkland brand water bottle, and I was drinking an Arrow head water bottle.

Upon my startling discovery, I quickly gathered my belongings, (which included my Kirkland brand water bottle), and left immediately, hoping that someone wouldn't notice their missing water bottle. I hurried home to find the most potent mouth wash to rid my body of the unknown germs I had ingested.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Invasion of the Chipmunks

Awww……now is that the cutest creature you have ever seen? Looks perfectly innocent to me. In fact, aren’t there movies about adorable, preteen, singing, chipmunks, such as Alvin and The Chipmunks; and Alvin and Chipmunks Squeakquel with Jeanette, Eleanor, and Brittany. I loved those movies, and thought the chipmunks were the cutest things. However, I have been deceived.

Wednesday night we left for our annual Flaming Gorge vacation with Steve’s family. We were camping, (yes I occasionally camp), and boating for 3 days. Mike had spent at least a week packing all our camping necessities. When we set up camp, the girls had the large and spacious tent, the boys the medium size tent, and me, well I was put in the smaller tent, which was really intended exclusively for the food.

My accommodations were not as bad as you may originally believe. Mike had put together a wonderful cot, with two foam pads on top with a heavy duty, flannel lined sleeping bag. My kids took very good care of me. The only thing I couldn't’t figure out, is why I was bunking with the food. Did the kids what me to sacrifice myself to a hungry, wild, bear, that may happen upon our camp? Fortunately, no bears were out those nights.

The first night I lay awake at night, nestled all snug in my sleeping bag listening to what sounded like wild animals circling my tent. I had visions of ravenous animals preying upon on the contents of the tent, which would include me. I slept with my cell phone in my pillow case, just in case I needed to call for help. I was especially happy in the morning when I woke up in one piece.
We went boating early the next morning with our food not only in a secured tent, but in plastic food boxes as well. Well, most of it that was. In my rush I had left one box of food open without a lid. When we came back to camp after a fun, but tiring day on the lake, one of my kids, opened the food tent, jumped back in fright, and began to scream. Chipmunk, he yelled! I came running, determined to get it out of my housing arrangements. I quickly noticed it had eaten through the chip bag, the muffin bag, and anything else, that seemed tasty. The more food I saw ruined, the more determined I was to get rid of this invader. I chased it around my tent with roasting skewers, moving boxes of food, and anything else in my path. I was screaming, my kids were screaming, we opened the tent door and it finally ran out.

Day two wasn’t much better. The girls had a chipmunk in their tent. They were really brave and got it out before it caused too much damage, so they thought. That night, when they were inflating their air mattress, when they realized the mattress wasn’t holding air. Much to their dismay they found holes in the mattress that were chewed by the chipmunks. If that wasn’t enough, it chewed tiny holes in the netting of the tent.

That night I heard what I thought was chipmunks surrounding my tent. I got the umbrella that was in my tent and began banging it on all sides of the tent, to deter the little critters. It seemed to work, no more chipmunks for the night.

The third day, when I woke up I thought all was well, until my kids came in the tent to start packing up food to take on our day on the lake. Much to our surprise, I had been sleeping with a chipmunk! Yikes! We chased it around my tent, until we were finally successful in ridding my tent of the little beast. I began to wonder, had it crawled across my face in the night, or gnawed on my fingers and toes.

The invasion of the chipmunks was finally over, when we packed up our gear, and headed home.

Hopefully, there won’t be another sequel to the Chipmunk movies. I’m not sure I can watch it with the same enthusiasm.

Flaming Gorge 2010

Flaming Gorge is one of my kid's favorite vacations. We camp, boat, share meals, and play night games with all the cousins from Steve's side of the family. This year we had a tower added to our boat and purchased a couple wake boards. The kids couldn't wait to get out on the lake and try out our new gear.
It was a little cold this year, so some days we would slip the boat and head to the "Dam Grill" for some refreshments. They have great "dam burgers", "dam fries", and "dam ice cream". We played games on the boat, or took naps as we would take refuge from the stormy weather. However, there was enough sunshine for lots of tubing, wake boarding, and water skiing.

Lizzy learning to ski on the horseshoe.

Mike wake boarding. Thanks to the generous and helpful Thomas', Mike learned to jump the wake.

Sarah loves skiing, but eventually ventured out on a wake board.

Katelyn skiing, it has been rumored that she learned to wake board on the Thomas' boat.
Each night, we made tasty dutch oven meals. We got a little impatient and started the coals on fire.

Gathering wood, and our campsite.

Relatives, friends, and fun.

Tubing with the cousins.

Allstars 2010

Ben was selected to play on the Allstar A team. He played third base, and was great hitter. He hit 2 home runs in the Allstar season. They played 8 games and won a little over half of them. It was really hot, but fun entertainment.
Ben making a great play to third, and hitting.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Grandma Brown's Out of School Party

Grandma Brown and little James.
Grandma Brown has been having "Out of School Parties" since many of my kids were infants. At her party, you will always find freshly made egg salad sandwiches, and fun water activities that include lots of smiles. The tradition has now been around for so long, that great-grands now delight in the celebration as well. What a tribute it is to Grandma that even the older grand kids want to come . They aren't so hip on the slip and slide anymore, but can't resist socializing, and enjoying Grandmas delish egg salad sandwiches.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Forty Something

Thanks to my wonderful children for spoiling me on my birthday. Mike made me breakfast, the kids decorated my room, made me several posters, and sat me in the birthday chair to open gifts. What sweeties!
Tradition continues as my family had a party for me up Millcreek Canyon. This is a tradition that has started when I was young.
Thank you to my many friends, and family for making my day great!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Last Adventures

Our last, but not least adventures in Kauai including Outback Adventure Tubing, and the Rope Swing.

"TUBING! TUNNELS! TONS OF FUN!" is the description of Kauai's tubing adventure activity. The adventure includes grabbing a headlamp and a tube, and jumping into the gentle flowing waters. Tubers float down the open canals of Kauai, through several amazing tunnels and flumes. Headlamps guide the way through these fascinating tunnels. At the end of your adventure, a picnic is provided as well as a cool dip in the natural swimming hole. There were only 3 spots available, so Quinn, Meagan, and Sarah went. No pictures, just all fun!

This is a picture of Kipu Falls, home of one of the most popular rope swings on Kauai, and close to where the great opening scene from "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was filmed. I have learned (afterwards of course) that it's an illegal trail that leads to the falls, but lots of locals and tourists go there. In rainy conditions it can be highly dangerous. The concierge refused to give us directions on this activity. I asked for hints, received some hints, and we researched it on the Internet to find it. The rope swing is 40ft., and the drop off the falls is about 20 ft. Too scary for me and most of the kids. Meagan jumped off the water fall, and Mike and Quinn jumped off the falls, and the rope swing. Cliff jumping or rope swinging is not for the inhibited.

***Side note*** I have a great video clip, hopefully I can get some technical difficulties resolved and post it here shortly.

Sunset in Kuai
This trip ranks in the top 10 family vacations.
The kids said, "it seems like you have no worries or stress in Hawaii. It feels good."
It can't get much better than that.
Happy Trails