Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Coral Pink Sand Goons

I remember going to these sand dunes when I was a child growing up in Utah. I've been wanting to go back for years, so now was our chance. My enthusiasm about going had rubbed off on Seth so that even before he new what a sand dune was, he kept asking to go to the "sand goons".
Sand angels make a lot more sense for a California boy!
What's better than a sand box?

A really nice guy with kids of his own came over and offered us a ride on his ATV. How nice is that?

After he took the kids out for a nice ride on the dunes he offered a ride to the adults. If you think I hesitated, then you've probably never met me. I was expecting the same fun-looking ride the kids got. Boy was I in for a surprise! He went full throttle from beginning to end. I didn't even have time to breathe between all my sqeals and gasps! At one point I was glad I was wearing my glasses because I was sure my contacts would have blown off! I think that sums it up. Unfortunatley, since Matt had caught the bug earlier that day, he was feeling nauseous and decided not to go. He made a wise choice to stay on the sand, though I can't say I would have done the same if I were in his bare feet.

Bryce Canyon

In the morning we noticed that Kayden was getting pink eye (normally I have those drops in my medicine bag, but of course I didn't for this trip)! So Tom and Laura took him, Katie and Anna down to the doctor and we finished getting ready and took Dylan and Jessie with us. Despite the fact that the boys were semi-sick and Matt was in the throws of it, we managed to make the long but scenic drive to Bryce Canyon. We went slowly for the sick-os and took our time hoping the others would be able to meet up with us after their visit to the doctor. Amazingly, Tom and Laura were able to catch up with us at the Bryce Canyon visitor's center before we went up through the canyon! We were so glad. It's been many years since I had been to Bryce Canyon. It was gorgeous!
Silly cousins!From there it was on to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. We had timed it so we'd be getting there later in the day when it wasn't so hot and it worked out perfectly!

Zion National Park 2008

I love watching Isaac and his cousins interact.

I say leave nature photos to the pros. However, it was pretty irresistable to NOT take pics, with all that beauty around us. We realized after a few photo attempts, though, that it was much nicer to enjoy it with our own eyes and not through a lens.
Skipping rocks.

That was some cold water, but it was a hot day.
Despite the relatively fast current, Seth showed NO fear in crossing it. That's all he wanted to do!

It was right after this photo that Seth threw up and we knew it was the beginning of the end! Time to go back to the cabin.

The Cabin

Our summer vacation couldn't have started in a more beautiful place. We were so lucky to be able to stay at Laura's sister's beautiful cabin in Kolob Canyon just outside of Zion National Park. Thank you! It was so great that we wanted to just relax there the first day. With 2 stories and 4 bedrooms there was plenty of room for the kids to play monster or go "exploring".
I couldn't believe how happy they were! This is a pic of Anna and Isaac aiming at the monster (Dylan) upstairs. (We'll see if dad or my brothers can restore it)The kids had hoped to roast marshmallows the first night, but since that didn't happen, they settled for homemade caramelled popcorn around a lamp on the deck.
Eventually we did roast marshmallows. It was perfect: the joy of roasting marshmallows in the comfort of a cabin. That's the way to do it! (another ruined pic I love!)
The next day we decided to try a trail that Laura's sister's family loves to do right next to the cabin. From above the trail was a neat sneak peak of Zion's glory.
One evening we went for a drive and came across a reservior so we stopped and skipped some rocks.

At Zion we were happy to find a volcanist working at the visitor's center who answered lots of questions that Isaac had about volcanoes (a recent interest of his since Matt and I had discussed volcanoes in southern Utah). She pulled out a topographic map and showed us some of the local "cinder cones". We were thrilled to find out that we had been driving past them on the road to the cabin!
Those two large hills are 100,000 year old volcanoes!

On our way down the mountain we were able to see what we hope was a rescue drill in action. If you look closely at the top of the plateau you can see a tiny dot of what the chopper was carrying.

A little further down the hill we got this picture.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Party Time!

Can't get enough of my caramel popcorn after Su and Dad raced in El Dorado Park!

Fun with cousins


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Isaac's First Year of Preschool

It worked!

My suspicions came to fruition today! Since I was too busy reading Twilight (ridiculous!) I made the Kirkland frozen lasagna for dinner tonight. I didn't feel like making a salad, so I just slathered some orange puree (since I still haven't made any other purees) under a noodle on the ricatta cheese and it worked! It also helped to cool down the lasagna. The texture wasn't much different, since it's a casserole of sorts, but the taste was a little sweeter, like a sweet meat sauce. I think it'll be better with the green puree. My friend, Natalie, made the chicken nuggets tonight and said she could eat them every night. I'm definitely not up for that much work since just frying or baking them would take more time than I'm willing to spend on a meal! For now I'll stick to my carrot ketsup and spinach BBQ sauce for dipping our store-bought nuggets. I'll let you know how those go!

Monday, June 9, 2008


That's Isaac J., by the way. I always thought tagging was a little self-incriminating!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Isaac's Port

I am almost addicted to the Science Channel. How It's Made and Man Made Marvels are two shows I could watch forever. I'm sure there'll be a future blog for that. But for now, we had finished watching Man Made Marvels with Isaac about the Port of Long Beach expansion. Soon after, he turned this construction site into a port.

Below you can see the crane loading a container from the 'port' onto the ship. Once the containers were all loaded onto the boat, it sailed off across the room.

The Pancake Is Now A Square Meal

I was tired and it was late. This was the first time I didn't feel a little guilty serving breakfast for dinner. We had lemon syrup made with a lemon from my dad's tree, pancakes with carrot and sweet potato puree and milk. How square is that? Square enough for me, I tell ya! The kids were begging for more. Today I added the same puree to BBQ sauce and put it in a quesadilla for Isaac. You could taste a difference, but it wasn't bad. Isaac ate more quesadilla than he normally does. I'm wondering if I could add just a carrot puree to ketchup and maybe a different veggie puree for BBC sauce. What do you think?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

June Gloom

Thank heaven for June Gloom!!! Seth is finally sleeping until 7 am again now that the sun isn't waking him up at 6:30 anymore!

Monday, June 2, 2008

When in Long Beach...