Monday, August 29, 2011

"Summer makes me drowsy, Autumn makes me sing..."

Summer in terms of freedom and vacations is over tomorrow, and we're (trying to be) ready again for another two semesters of a school-oriented household.

We finished several books together, including a few by the Yorgason brothers, Hatchet, the Book of Mormon (again), and began Le petit Nicolas. That being said, we've acquired far more books than we've read these last few months. We've also worked on various hobbies and projects, walked just under 200 miles, and tried too many delightful recipes, so all in all it's been a successful, albeit busy, summer.

In just the last two weeks, we ate at Tucano's with some family friends...

Lisa and the Hoffman ladies
...helped two families move in (three if you count Thomas' brother)...

The Grigsby family moved back to Provo after an out-of-state summer internship one traffic ticket (unwarranted (no pun intended) and to be contested)...

...spent an evening with some friends...

The Grigsbys had us over for games and dessert!! Ellie was happy about it!
Shari and David taught us to play Progressive Rummy with Rook cards.
...went to a burger joint named Sammy's Burgers and Fries and another shop called Rocky Mountain Drive-In (for a good shake deal)...

...took some more mugshots of Thomas (among the 700+ photos we've taken this month)...

Thomas has 2 film shoots this week!
...went to the Provo temple for our normal outing, as well as volunteering to help with laundry there one evening...

...went on a few walks...

...did a Day of Service in the community with our ward...

...enjoyed dinner with (and the company of) some of Thomas' friends at La Dulce Vita...

back: Thomas, Stuart, Lucas, Tony, Julie, Kyle, Dan
front: Lisa, Julie, Andy, Heidi
July 2002: Tony, Dan, Thomas, Stuart, Daniel. Can you match some of those faces to the more recent picture?
...not to mention the day-to-day rigours of life, labour, and love.

P.S. We don't usually eat out this, much...

P.P.S. "...Winter's pretty lousy" in Utah, but I really don't mind Spring.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Astoria-Redmond-Seattle Trip (part 2)

In Washington, we stayed at Thomas' brother's new home, and some of the Bradshaw family's dear friends, the Hoffmans, came over for a visit. This is Jeff & Kathleen Bradshaw with Laura and Rich Hoffman.
Elizabeth and Saki
Thomas' brother with his twin girls!
Samuel, Camille, Thomas and Saki in their Middle East getups
The Bradshaw brothers
We all went to the Woodland Park Zoo - what a cool place.

The bears at the zoo eat a balanced diet.
Remember if you go camping in an area with bears to put your food up and away from you-- especially if you have bear-tempting foods like these...!
A sleepy wallaroo
We spent a brief stint at the Pacific Science Center, where they have some cool dinosaurs.
and a tide pool!!
They have a really cool butterfly exhibit.

We stopped by Theno's Dairy, of course...
Theno's iconic cow... and us!
Kiddos climbing the jungle gym
Mere & Ruby: Spider monkeys?!
Glenn & Lydia
We dined at Claim Jumper. Thomas was very disappointed that they've removed their chili in a bread bowl from their menu, but I think we survived anyway ;o)
We got to tour a Google campus. This is a sign there made from Legos!
They have the Google maps pins around the campus
The whole group. It was a little bright out that afternoon
The Seattle temple was also closed for cleaning and maintenance.
We baked stuffed bell peppers for the whole family!
On Thursday, Thomas and I hit the city, just us. First stop: the Space Needle!
For $18 each to go to the top of the space needle, you, too, can have a cheesy photo taken for "free"...
Nearby, we found this drummer guy who was AWESOME with the field-trip kiddies. Those are 5-gallon buckets.
This looked SO much smaller from the space needle than it was in reality!
Afterward, we went back to the PSC to see a 3D IMAX show: Born to be Wild. It was my first 3D experience - and it was so cool!
We also walked to Pike Place Market. There was a lot to see there. The best part for me? The produce stands! At the first one we saw some Slimcados - I had to ask what they were, they were big and looked like papayas except they were bright green. I couldn't pass up some apricots for a snack - they were big and looked tasty. Living in Utah makes me really miss the wide variety of good, fresh, ripe produce found elsewhere (ie, the West Coast). Some of the other ones had peppers- and garlic-bouquets that were really beautiful.
Even though we got a little lost, we did enjoy seeing some of Seattle's cool buildings that we wouldn't have seen otherwise.
At least we didn't have to worry about parking... we'd found a great deal that morning (everywhere else was like... double)!
On Friday we all went up to Snoqualmie Falls for a picnic.
We were joined by Thomas' dad's good friend who happened to be in Seattle for a few days too!
Elizabeth prepared a yummy vegan meal complete with hummus.
Almost everybody pitched in to work on this beautiful quilt for Samuel-- Elizabeth made the design and pieced it together.
On our return flight, we caught a glimpse of Mount Rainier!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Astoria-Redmond-Seattle Trip (part 1)

Thomas' grandparents picked us up from the airport in Portland.
We stopped by the Portland LDS temple, one of the most beautiful temples, but stayed only a few minutes because the temple and grounds were closed for maintenance.
We made friends with Grandma's cat, Penny
We helped Grandma finish up a window display for a local jewelry store.
This is a birthday cake for the 200th anniversary of Astoria, Oregon.
The Peter Iredale shipwreck
The Astoria Column: 164 steps on a spiral staircase up to the top!
We made it! And felt in better shape than some who attempted it!
The views were spectacular.

Thomas' grandparents live near a runway.
Thomas at their cabin-style house
One afternoon we took a short walk to get the newspaper - and on our way back to the house, 4 of these cows had gotten loose! It was funny trying to tell Grandpa, who had been napping - he didn't understand our story until he saw the cows run by his window!