Friday, July 29, 2016

Henry–11 months

Is he really 11 months?  I am not ready to celebrate a first birthday next month!  It’s been a busy, whirlwind month.  Henry is enjoying taking steps on his own, depending on the flooring.  He is enjoying being at Grandma’s house, playing with Sadie, and exploring the outdoors. 

We added three new states – Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming.  We have taken several trail hikes, including the Delicate Arch in Moab, Utah, and Bunsen Peak in Yellowstone National Park.  Henry had his first dip in the swimming pool, and an experience at the splash pad.  (He wasn’t too fond of either one).

Henry is finally eating regular food, and he quite enjoys feeding himself.  Watermelon, banana, mango, Oreos, and waffles are all new favorites.

Favorites right now include raiding the remote basket (to Grandpa’s dismay), playing with Sadie, climbing in the bathroom cabinet, opening the drawers in the kitchen, eating rocks & gravel, and getting up quite early!

Henry 11 month Portraits_thumb   Henry 11 month Portraits_0001_thumb
He’s so proud of himself every time he stands up!

Henry 11 month Portraits_0002_thumb
{What?  Wet grass!?!}

Henry 11 month Portraits_0003_thumb
The swing…much better!

Henry 11 month Portraits_0004_thumb

Henry 11 month Portraits_0005_thumb
Photo bombed by Libs!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Yellowstone, Day 1

We had the incredible opportunity to visit Yellowstone National Park for three days while traveling from Idaho to Wyoming.  We rented an RV in West Yellowstone, MT for the same price as we could get a hotel room for the days we needed lodging.  It was kinda fun to go “camping.”  After checking into the RV, we headed into the park to see Old Faithful.

The Great Salt Lake
The Great Salt Lake, Salt Lake City, Utah.  They were all excited to go wading in it until they discovered the millions of little flies that feed long the shore line!

Idaho Fields
Idaho mountains and potato fields

Burn Out sections of Yellowstone
This is a section from the 1988 fires that devastated Yellowstone.  It is naturally reseeding itself, and you can see how far the new trees still have to grow!

RV in West Yellowstone, MT
Our RV and picnic lunch!

Yellowstone Elk
Learning to use binoculars to view the wildlife.  I don’t think they ever saw anything through them…but they had fun with Grandpa’s “goggles” as Nehemiah called them!

Old Faithful
Old Faithful…not so faithful anymore!  They say the climate affects her regularity, but she was 17 minutes “late”!  We actually saw it erupt as we were getting close to the parking lot.  We decided to hang around the 70-90 minutes they saw it is between eruptions.  But 7:00 came and went, and she didn’t blow her top until 7:17!  The kids had more fun chasing chipmunks than waiting for the “smelly” geyser to go off!

West Yellowstone, MT Sunset
Beautiful susnset in West Yellowstone, MT on the way back to our RV.

The Delicate Arch

Last January, we were in Grand Junction, CO and we took the opportunity to visit Arches National Park.  Henry was little, and I had a sprained ankle, so we took turns staying in the vehicle and mostly drove through the park.  It also snowed in the afternoon, putting an end to any exploring.

Last week we had a meeting in Moab, UT so we visited Arches again.  The day we arrived it hit 110 degrees, but a stormed moved through that night and cooled everything off nicely.  Since we had some cloud cover and only 85 degrees the next day, we decided to attempt the Delicate Arch hike.  It is 3 miles round trip, and marked as “difficult.”  It is the only hike that lists a recommended amount of water per person.  We added up our water bottles, and came up short…but we thought we would be okay since it wasn’t blazing hot.  (Later we discovered we were missing a water bottle, but we still came out okay!)

There is no shade (or very, very, little) on the hike up.  The trail is a switchback gravel path that leads into slickrock.  I carried Henry in an Ergo.  The hike up was strenuous, but the view was worth it!  We had an apple snack at the top.  Libs set hers down, and it rolled to the bottom of the canyon!

I was proud of my kids – we got a lot of comments from other hikers at the top, who didn’t think we would make it with the kids.  We saw a few kids in backpacks, but no other three year old hikers!  I was also proud of them for standing under the arch, even though it was a little scary.  The teenagers in front of us were crying and shaking because their parents took them under the arch!

After the hike, the kids noticed that many Utah license plates have the Delicate Arch on them.  They started counting, even though we told them that most license plates they would see would be Delicate Arch plates!  They stopped somewhere around 62!

The Delicate Arch
Standing by the trail sign.

The Delicate Arch   The Delicate Arch
We diverted some complaining by finding the trail markers set up on the slickrock trail.  It was a game to see who could find the next marker the first.

The Delicate Arch

The Delicate Arch 
This is the trail going up

The Delicate Arch
The only little shade…poor Libs has fair complexion and was so red the whole time!

Delicate Arch
Daddy and the kids…

Delicate Arch
…a little closer…

Delicate Arch
…and a little closer!

Delicate Arch
Mommy & the kids.  Not quite to the top, but still an accomplishment!

Delicate Arch
We made it!

The Delicate Arch
This narrow path curved to the right and opened at the Delicate Arch.

Delicate Arch
Finally!  The Delicate Arch!

Delicate Arch
That’s us under there!

Delicate Arch
Now you can tell it’s us!  So proud of my kiddos!

Delicate Arch
Beautiful view!

The Delicate Arch
“The Lord is my rock…”

The Delicate Arch

The Delicate Arch
Henry finally fell asleep on the way down when Daddy was carrying him.

The Delicate Arch
Daddy & Henry

The Delicate Arch
Panoramic from the top

The Delicate Arch

Friday, July 1, 2016

Nolan ~ Five Years Old

Today is Nolan’s fifth birthday!  He seems to have grown up a lot over the last couple of months.  He enjoys being helpful and holding doors open.  He is the first one to offer to share or give up something of his to make someone else happy.  He follows right in Elaine’s footsteps and wants to be just like her and do what she does (right down to what she has to drink at each meal and what cereal she picks for breakfast!).  His chores include taking out the trash and locking the bikes on the van each night. 

Nolan Five Year Portraits

Nolan Five Year Portraits

Nolan Five Year Portraits

Nolan Five Year Portraits

Nolan 5 Years jpg

Here are some pictures from his birthday dinner on Monday.

Nolan's Fifth Birthday Cereal
This birthday cereal he picked was actually VERY good!

Nolan's Fifth Birthday
Party time!  We had Mac N Cheese (homemade) and Grilled Cheese for dinner at Nolan’s request.

Nolan's Fifth Birthday

Nolan's Fifth Birthday  Nolan's Fifth Birthday
Legos from Grandma (and two new outfits!)  Elaine was the designated card reader.

Nolan's Fifth Birthday   Nolan's Fifth Birthday
Nolan is a self-proclaimed Mets fan, so we found him a jersey!  He was delighted!

Nolan's Fifth Birthday
We gave him his starter baseball card collection, including a set of all Nolan Ryan cards from the various teams he played on!

Nolan's Fifth Birthday

Nolan's Fifth Birthday  Nolan's Fifth Birthday
Wild Kratts on DVD from Grandma & Grampa Hamilton – now we can watch them in the car!  Nolan and Daddy organized his baseball cards in his binder.

Nolan's Fifth Birthday
We had a Wild Kratts cake in keeping with his theme!

Nolan's Fifth Birthday

Nolan's Fifth Birthday
Trick candles!  He needed some air from Elaine!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY NOLAN!

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