Thursday, June 28, 2012

Adventures in Homelessness

We had two weeks to kill before our house was ready.  Josh couldn't take two weeks off of work, so he worked remotely during the day for the first week we were in UT.  We arrived at my parents' on Friday evening.  Yaks on the way said, "I'm just so excited, there are so many things I'm thinking of that I get to do with Scout (Mom's geriatric dog)!"  Saturday Cath and her family and Tim and his girlfriend Kellie drove up for a yardwork party.  The work parties have become something of a tradition.  We work in the yard and finish up a bunch of projects and then we have a big BBQ before calling it a day.  Josh has gotten used to bringing a pair of work shoes whenever we visit.  Champ.  We got the garage cleaned out, some plants transplanted, some others pulled out, branches trimmed, and weeds pulled.  It's great to see the fleet of strong, able-bodied workers getting it done.  It makes me really proud to be a part of our family.  Sadly, I didn't think to snap a picture, but a good memory, nonetheless, and a farmer tan to boot!

 The next week we headed down to Salt Lake and stayed at Isaac and Megan's house while they were on vacation to California.  Thanks for letting us use your place, guys!  We BBQ'd up the canyon and visited This is the Place Monument.  Angie and her kids volunteer at the Rich Home every Tuesday for the summer and give little tours of the home and tell everyone about it.  We had a lot of fun letting them show us around and then enjoy the rest of the park with us! There was a great Native American dance presentation, and Diddles got to finally go on a REAL horsie-back ride.  HEAVEN!

We did some work on the yard at our Bountiful house, and had a little visit with our neighbor Dell, and talked to our renters about the possibility of selling the house to them.  We had a nice afternoon visit with cousin Sarah, and their best-dog-ever, Carl.  We hiked up to Timpanogos Cave, and we carried Diddles almost the whole way!  1 1/2 mile trail, climbing 1,000ft to 6730 ft above sea level!  (gasp, pant, heave)

Checking out the fossils

1 1/2 mile trail, climbing 1,000ft to 6730 ft above sea level!
(gasp, pant, heave)
We made it!  (Still smiling)

Inside the cave, one arm on Diddles at all times.

Josh taking a work call at the top.  No biggie.

We finished up the week with a visit to Cath's house in Highland, and a visit to our old friends the Brockbanks, who now live in UT!


Holly introducing us to her backyard chickens

Saturday, a group went up Big Cottonwood canyon for a ride.

Abby invited the older kids to go to a wedding reception with her.  Yaks declared he wanted to look really handsome, so this is the outfit we came up with.  Not bad, I say!  Abby did Boo's hair for the occasion.  They had a great time at the chocolate bar!

Sunday after church, we went to Temple Square and took a tour of the Conference Center roof.  It was a beautiful day, and we enjoyed seeing the temple grounds.  Oh, the temple is so close, I can't believe it!  Get to the temple for me, friends!  It's so tough being far away from one!

  We stopped over at that City Creek Center.  Fortunately, everything was closed up for Sunday.  Every store looked really expensive and fragile!  They had fun copying the statues around the grounds.  
Sunday night we had a little family dinner with Josh's family.  Everyone who was in town was able to come, including his maternal grandparents.  Josh grabbed this great photo of them.  Aren't they sweet? 
 We enjoyed some good food and conversation, and Diddles was able to enjoy watching Papa fly his helicopter.  "Pop!  Hogger!"  (Papa's helicopter).  just look at those fascinated faces...
Ben made this little paper replica of Papa's helicopter, complete with remote control, joystick and a laser!

The next few days Josh took the kids on a backpacking trip up Red Pine Trail up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  They packed everything in and slept under the stars!  There was snow up at the top, so their trip was cut a little short, but props to Josh for taking on the excursion.  It allowed Diddles and I a chance to get some shopping done and then head up to spend some quiet time with my parents and Marie.  We did some more yardwork and I helped with some cleaning and other little projects that are easier to do with one child instead of three.  Thanks again to Josh for letting me have that time with my mom.  I have those sweet moments tucked away in my pocket to hold me through till next time.  :)

While the kids were backpacking, Diddles enjoyed being an only-child with me up in Logan.  With her speech delay, we've found that she prefers to be a little more independent.  It's not that she's not a social child, because she is, but imagine what it would be like to have to think so hard of the words to say for each situation and then get those to form in your mouth and then speak them.  Now couple that with the spontaneity that comes with playing with her siblings or other kids and having her toys snatched or "borrowed" or having to negotiate sharing or taking turns.  It's hard!  She is in her element when she can quietly play by herself or with older kids or adults who can let her talk on her own terms.  She had a great time picking strawberries, enjoying Grandma's Beanie Baby collection and having the baby pool and the dog all to herself! Oh!  And did you notice that she got a little haircut?  We took her to our favorite Cookie Cutters and had them give her a little A-line bob with some layers up the back.  It's worked wonders in taming the bird's nest in the back.

Tuesday evening we had a special sealing session at the Logan Temple.  Dad had 70 family names to be sealed.  Josh watched the kids so I could go with Mom, Dad, Tim and Kellie.  Our sealer was wonderful, and there was a great spirit there. 

The next day we hit the road, but first we did some last-minute thinning of the peach tree, and the kids helped to pick up the cast-offs.  Those types of projects are huge helps for mom and dad!  It made the kids feel good to do some service.  W e picked some strawberries for the road and were off! 

 We made it home in one day this time to save some $$ on a hotel.  It makes for a long day.  We took a different route this time, going through Walla Walla.  It was SO nice not to have to deal with carsick kids through windy McCall or Hell's Canyon.  It may have taken us a little longer, but we all got back into town feeling pretty good!  We pulled into our new driveway around 7 or 8pm, spread out some air mattresses and sleeping bags and went to bed on the floor of our empty house. 

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