Memorial Day

We spent Memorial Day weekend at the Barton cabin. It rained/snowed off and on all weekend, but the only thing the weather really spoiled was our plans to go running. Mostly we just relaxed in and around the cabin—reading, playing with toys, finding worms, etc. We did venture into Heber on Saturday when Kristen got pink eye. While she saw a doctor, the kids and I drove by the railroad station to catch a glimpse of Thomas the Train.

Our kids are weird...

...really weird. 
I love this pair of shots. I guess the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. 

What cabin post would be complete without a photo of a random object?

We also drove up to Mirror Lake on Sunday afternoon. As we got further and further up the mountain, the snow got deeper and deeper. We stopped at Provo River Falls along the way to check things out. Of course Eddie just wanted to play in the snow, and informed me that next time we go to the cabin we should bring his snow stuff.

When we got to Mirror Lake, it was snowing fairly heavily, so Kristen and Violet stayed in the car while Eddie I went to check out the lake. Once we felt the cold breeze coming off the water, we quickly turned around. On our way back to the car, Eddie took a detour to tromp through a deep patch of snow. Long story short, he ended up getting stuck up to his waist. When I pulled him out, one of his shoes came off in the snow. So I got to dig that out and carry our snow-covered boy back to the car as Kristen just looked on and laughed.



Dave is a huge slacker lately when it comes to blogging. So today, you get a post of random photos from the last few weeks to show that we are still here.

At the end of April, Dave took his trip to Portland for work. When he got home, I eagerly handed off the children to him while I got some exercise. They mostly just played out on the green court.

Violet doing isometric exercises
That weekend, we took a trip to Logan for the weekend to visit the Bartons. It just happened to be the week that National Parks were offering free admission, so we drove out into the middle of nowhere to see Promontory Point. I had never been there before and I was surprised how far out there it really is. I have now seen parts of Box Elder county that I never knew existed.

It was a cold day, so we didn't spend too much time outside. We were out just long enough for Dave to take some artsy photos of the kids walking on the tracks.

"We're outta here."
We were there the week before they bring the engines out for the season, so we were able to see them inside, but Eddie refused to get his photo taken by the big wheels. We had to sneak out of the tour early because our children were out of control. Then we continued on to Logan.

We didn't do much in Logan aside from eating at our favorite restaurants, but it was relaxing. On Saturday, we had a picnic with the family and the kids enjoyed playing with their cousins.

Eddie and Sarah on the tire swing
In the two weeks since Eddie's birthday party, we have been battling all sorts of illnesses. We've been spending most of our time at home as Violet has dealt with stomach bugs and fevers. I think we're finally all better now (hopefully). While Violet was sick, sometimes the only way to please her was to take her outside.

Riding Eddie's "motorcycle"
Violet finally started to cheer up yesterday. I knew she was feeling better when she ate all her string cheese while contentedly reading a magazine behind the "chouch."


Sharks vs. Superheroes!

Yesterday was Eddie's fourth birthday. We had a bunch of his friends over in the afternoon to celebrate. There were 14 kids total (including Eddie), so it was pretty chaotic. The day turned out typically windy, which put a bit of a damper on the water activities, but the kids still had a lot of fun.

The first activity we did was a big hit. We dumped packets of Kool-Aid onto the kids' papers, then they each used an ice cube to paint. It was incredibly messy, but the kids thought it was great and only stopped when we ran out of powder.

By this time, the kids were dying to get in the kiddie pool, so we started the other activity I had planned. I had blown up silver balloons and drawn shark faces on them. Each kid got a shark balloon, the idea being to "smash" the shark in the pool and pop the balloon. Unfortunately, this did not go as planned. The balloons I bought apparently were too high quality, and only a few of the bigger kids could get theirs to pop. Plus the balloons kept blowing away while the adults took turns chasing them down.

At Eddie's insistence, presents were next. He got a lot of good stuff, including water guns, action figures, LEGOs, Play-doh, bubbles, plastic dinosaurs, a ball, a bug house, and some books.

His favorite present was the one he had been asking for since the first time he heard the word "actionator" a few weeks ago. We got him a transforming Batmobile that has lights, sounds, and little missiles to launch (one of the missiles is already lost). He opened it very first, so it took all our persuasive efforts to convince him to open the rest of his presents. Near the end of the party he actually took the Batmobile into the house to play by himself.

Finally, we passed out party favors and let the kids run wild until it was time for treats. The favors included felt super hero masks for each kid, a can of Shark Repellent (silly string), a water gun, a magic towel, and some candy. The Shark Repellent sure didn't last long.

It was a great party, meaning it completely overstimulated both me and Eddie. I think we'll wait a couple of years before we have another friend party. We are very grateful to all those who came and helped Eddie celebrate his day.


Portland in Spring

Last week, I left my kiddos and insanely jealous wife behind to once again travel northwesterly to the place where flannel shirts never went out of style—Portland.

Here I am at the printing press, posing next to what looks like two giant rolls of toilet paper (well, we did eat a lot of ethnic food).

My previous trips to Portland came in the winter and fall. This time, spring was in full bloom. The climate was just as moderate, the streets still perpetually damp, but there were a lot more flowers to be had.

After we finished our press check, I explored some of the neighborhoods on the east side of the Willamette River. I walked several miles, though not always intentionally since my map was woefully inadequate.

I love the look of the moss on the trees, stairways, etc. However, I am told the locals find the moss to be kind of a nuisance. I would say the grass is always greener, but no, Utah is still kinda brown.

Time to mow that lawn.

I'm a sucker for cool old buildings, train tracks, and dramatic clouds—even more so in combination.

Even though the spring colors were lovely, that's not going to stop me from going black & white for these last few shots.

I was lucky enough to find the Laurelhurst Theater amid my aimless wanderings. We also drove by it again at dusk and witnessed the fully-functioning neon lit up to glorious effect.