Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 9 - Movie and Swimming

We went to see G-Force at the local theater this morning.  The kids enjoyed it, and I even heard Grandpa chuckle a couple of times.  After we had some lunch, we headed over to the Farmington Aquatic Center for some indoor swimming.  It really isn't that hot here.  Most likely the thunderstorms are helping with the heat.  The kids had a blast in the pool for about an hour.  At that point, something was found floating in the pool.  We don't think it was a candy bar and neither did the staff who evacuated the pool.  We headed for home at that point for showers and a yummy dinner.  Michelle and I scrapbooked while the kids watched Matilda.  It was another fun day.
The Aquatic Center

The kids joked around with Uncle Shane before their bedtime movie.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Day 8 - River Fun

The girls love that there is a river that runs right through Farmington.  We love to visit the park along the river.  We made this our first fun outing today.  We got a bit of a late start with the kids playing the Wii and me sleeping in today, but after a quick lunch we headed out.  It was fairly warm and humid, and we could see some storm clouds in the distance.  We stayed just over an hour and then realized that we needed to end our day before the storm got the better of us!  Not only was the rain descending, but a dust cloud as well.  With a promise to return, we dashed off just in time to stay dry.

Rock rearranging is a favorite activity at the river's edge...

Jenna, Heather and Momma

Heather walking the rocks...

Jenna the builder of amazing rock waterfalls...

The rain clouds and dust cloud coming to chase us away...

Day 7 - Destination Farmington

After a morning of yummy country breakfast, some more quad rides, packing and playing in Fort Apache one more time, we said so long to Uncle Chuck and Aunt Kathy and their beautiful mountain home.  We sure had a blast hanging out, playing, eating, laughing and relaxing.  Thank you for such a wonderful visit!

Last summer I mentioned to my girls that the road from Vernon to Farmington was a great visual for words from "This Land Is Your Land."  This isn't the greatest picture, but it was the first time I'd ever seen a "ribbon of highway."  That's what they call any long stretch of road now.  I'm not sure they get it, but it was amazing to me to see the highway ahead of us stretching out for miles in that ribbon-like shape.

As we neared Shiprock, New Mexico, the clouds were giving us a glorious show!

We arrived in Farmington in the evening, and Jenna immediately reacquainted herself with my sister's dogs, Chief and Hunter.

The kids have been way off their schedules and really tired at night.  Jenna was so cute as I found her in the bathroom brushing her teeth.  The toothbrush and toothpaste were "talking" to each other.  "Hello Mr. Toothpaste!  Well hello Mr. Toothbrush!"  I think the overtired nutty brain was kicking in, but it was so cute, I had to snap a photo.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Day 6 - Church in Vernon

Before last Sunday, Vernon had been a branch and had a smaller building.  Today, the girls and I attended Sacrament Meeting with Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck in their new ward in their newly remodeled building.  The building is beautiful and so new.  I was afraid to touch the hymn books because they were so new and beautiful!

Aunt Kathy and Uncle Chuck are serving a 'service mission' for the church at the cannery in Snowflake.  They get to wear their missionary badges every Sunday.  It was nice to take a moment to attend church while we were visiting.

Hanging Out On Sunday

After attending church, we went back to the house to visit with Joanna who was scheduled to go home today, and with Aunt Michelle and Gavin who had just arrived the afternoon before. There was lots of relaxing and having fun with each other.

Aunt Michelle let Jenna drive the quad and apparently Jenna got a little crazy.  Heather hung on for dear life and squoze Aunt Michelle so hard that she couldn't breathe!

The kids sat on the porch steps for a photo.  We haven't done one for a couple of years, and these steps are great.  You can see the storm coming in behind them too.

My sister shot this picture in my Aunt's beautiful back yard.  My aunt and uncle have worked really hard to make their property beautiful.  It is so fun to visit.  I feel like I'm at a bed and breakfast in the mountains!

Aside from a snake sighting and all sorts of bugs, the kids caught a horny toad.  Jenna is holding it for the photo.  I guess after snakes and lizards at the Jurassic Zoo, the horny toad was nothing!

We had another wonderful dinner outdoors.  Michelle and I took a walk after dinner and really enjoyed the sunset.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Day 5 - Outdoor fun!

We played outdoors all day today.  Here are the kids at "Fort Apache", a fun fort that Aunt Kathy inherited from a friend.  The porch and jail are so awesome!

Lunch was served outdoors today as well.  Gotta love the mountain weather!

Everyone took turns riding the quads today.  Jenna learned how to drive!  She is an awesome driver for a seven-year-old!

Heather took rides with her cousins, but she preferred the small quad.  It was just her speed.

We city folk just marvel at how much of the sky you can see up here.  You can see the monsoons coming minutes and/or hours before they get to you.  This cloud was fun to show the kids because after it drenched and boomed thunder at us, we could still see it miles away raining on someone else.  The weather has been beautiful here.  Perhaps I've mentioned that already.  Hee, hee.

Later that night...

Michelle, Aunt Kathy and I made homemade pizza.  Everyone LOVED it.  We discovered later that we had forgotten the pizza sauce!  That's why the kids gobbled it up.  I have to say, I preferred it without the sauce.

Outdoor dining--This kind of looks like a magazine add, no?

The 'adult' table.  There are actually kids here, but who's who is all a blur.

After dinner, we headed to the fire pit for s'mores and some campfire songs.  No one really liked my rendition of "Boom Chicka Boom", but I had fun singing it.

The girls got to take a bubble bath in Aunt Kathy's jacuzzi tub.  They could only do this one night as we discovered the tub took all the hot water in the tank.  Oops!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Day 4 - Vernon, AZ

There is a little town in Arizona that we had never hear of before our cousin married a lovely girl from there.  It's in the White Mountains just 20 minutes outside of Showlow, Arizona. That's where my aunt and uncle built their retirement home.  It's quite the mountain resort. We drove from the desert heat in Gilbert through Payson (where this picture was taken) and onto the cool 68 degree whether in Vernon.  I am happy, and quite cooled off, camper today.

We don't quite get clouds like this at home, at least that we can see in all their majestic beauty.

I believe if I was a card playing gal, I'd understand the name of this town better.  The main drag is called The Deuce of Clubs.  There appears to be a card playing history here.

Here is the dirt road leading to my aunt and uncle's home.

This is a shot of their home from the drive leading up to it.  It is beautiful.

Aunty Kathy always has fun things planned for the kids.  They had colored towel sets in the bathroom and cookies and chocolate in their bedroom.  Here she is helping Kasey and Heather make some homemade ice cream.  The ice cream maker was my moms, and I remember making peach ice cream in it when I was a little girl.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Day 3 - The Pool of All Pools

What do you do in Arizona when it's 100 degrees at 11:00 a.m.?  You go swimming!  Well, after a fun trip to the doughnut shop.  The girls were so excited to visit this new pool in Chandler. Water slides, diving, deep pools, shallow pools, a lazy river, buckets dumping water, misters and a little whirlpool dubbed "the toilet bowl".  What more could a kid ask for??

The lazy river...Joanna is in the hat with Cole in front of her.  Heather and Jenna are the two tubes in front of them with the dark hair and green goggles.

Mom of the year that I am, I made a protesting Jenna try the slide.  She cried a bit, whined, and finally figured out I was going to make her do it, just like all the other slides and roller coasters we've had her try.  What usually happens??  She loves them.  This time was no different.
Heather took the fast slide.  We brought her up properly.

After swimming and chilling out at the house for a few hours, we headed over to Jeff and Susan's for pizza and a little more play time.  The homes out here are so beautiful and such a lovely air-conditioned oasis from the out-of-doors.

Day 2 - Bounce Jungle

Joanna took us to the Bounce Jungle today.  Two large rooms with nothin' but bouncing and sliding and jumping.  The kids were getting quite the workout.  We took a break to play some games in the lobby, but then back they went for some more fun.  They'll sleep well tonight!

I had to try the slide before we left.  Burnt the skin off my elbows, but it was fun.  I'll have oozy scabs to deal with for a couple of weeks.  They should post a warning about dragging your limbs down the slide!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 2 - After Bounce Jungle

After the Bounce Jungle, we grabbed Subway and Panda Express.  I loved the panda pictures on the wall!

Joanna and Heather share Heather's pepperoncinis. 

After lunch, we headed over to the gelato place.  YUM!

Then it was on to Jeff and Susan's to meet baby Easton.  Such a good baby!

We grabbed all the cousins for a group shot.