Thursday, July 31, 2008

az road trip IV...

Our drive back to Utah was a lot of fun. My parents decided to drive up with us and spend some time in Utah and in Idaho. On the way home we made it to four national parks! The first was Canyon de Chelly. I don't think I've ever been there and I'm so glad we stopped because it was so beautiful. Right when I saw it I remembered Ansel Adams had taken a photograph there. Of course we couldn't get this close, but it was still amazing. 
Our next stop was Monument Valley.  We actually didn't go into the park but got some great views of it just on the road. I seriously love this landscape. I think growing up in Arizona I always took for granted the beauty of the desert. 

Of course Eleanor was LOVED having everyone in the car. She did amazing on the trip. I think this day we were in the car almost 12 hours and she maybe cried 15 minutes. The key was A LOT of primary songs and Beatles songs.  She also had a fair amount of suckers, fruit snacks and other healthy snacks.

A very typical sight on the reservation. A little road stand and an amazing sky. That is something I love about Arizona and the desert, the sky and clouds are awesome!

We spent the night in Moab and decided to hike to Delicate Arch the next morning and drive through Canyon Lands. This photo cracks me up for two reasons: 1. Check out my dad's hiking attire. Who hikes in a long sleeve dress shirt, slacks and dress shoes? I'm pretty sure, just my dad. 2. Who hikes with a purse?? I guess only my mom.  oh and I or a 3rd... Who hikes with a 22 month child? Only John and I!
I was the lucky one and got to carry Eleanor on my shoulders 90% of the hike. She loved being up on my shoulders and looking for snakes. Every stick we saw was a "pink snake". 
I am so glad we did the hike. It was so beautiful. I was also so proud of my mom for doing it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

az road trip III

Saturday was the parade. I forgot how much I LOVe this parade! I got to see a lot of old friends and I enjoyed watching Eleanor and John catch lots of goodies at the parade!

az road trip II...

We spent the first night of our trip up in Eager, and that morning my Dad took us on a little drive around Round Valley and up into Greer. I've forgotten how much I love Greer. Later that afternoon we met up with my Uncle Rick, Rush, Elicia and Grandpa for lunch at the Blue Bird Cafe. We really enjoyed sitting outside and catching up with everyone. 
After lunch we headed over to St. Johns and over to the park. We spent a few hours letting Eleanor play and I saw a few old friends. After the park we HAD to take John to El Camino. John's been hearing about this little restaurant for close to 7 years. I remember LOVING El Camino and was a little worried it wouldn't be as great as I remembered, but I'm happy to report it's just as good as I remember!!! After dinner we headed over to the rodeo grounds with Ally, Brad, McKell and Preston for some country dancing. I'm almost positive this was John's first time to a country dance, but he surprised me with some killer dance moves. The highlight was watching Preston dancing with the girls and finding boys to dance with McKell

az road trip...I

This year we decided to celebrate the 24th in St. Johns. It has been almost 8 years since I've been to my hometown and this was John's very first visit to St. Johns. Here are a few highlights of day one:

The Grand Canyon North Rim

Driving with Bear. If he wasn't laying on John's shoulder he was up with Eleanor in her car seat.
The Petrified Forest.

Feeding and riding horses with Grandpa Hall

Monday, July 21, 2008

american fork carnival...

Saturday night we decided to make a run down to the American Fork Carnival. Every summer John talks about all his childhood memories at this carnival. While we were walking through it he said that all the rides are the same and are still in the same places. I could not believe how crowded it was.  I planned on going on the ferrius wheel, but the line was redicous. Instead, John and Eleanor got to go on the carrousel. It's amazing how much she LOVES going on carrousels and how she NEVER gets sick of them! Last week I took her to the zoo and had to take her on the carrousel there and I about lost my lunch! I'm just glad John always wants to take her. 
After the carnival we headed up to the temple to watch the fireworks. We waited until 10:20 and finally left. We're not sure if they were cancelled or just REALLY late. Eleanor was pretty upset she didn't get to see fireworks, but she had a good time during all the waiting. We put her legs in the steering wheel and had her sitting there. At first she didn't like it and told us she was going to fall, but then decided she liked it and wanted to sit there all night. 

now thats a week...

Monday- John won tickets at his work to see Jonny Lang at Red Butte Gardens.  It's always nice going to concerts on Goldman Sachs. We get to enjoy VIP parking and sitting. With they way they have redone Red Butte, the VIP seats are in the back but are raised so you have a really good view.  I'd never heard of the opening band, Dusty Rhodes and the River Band, but I actually quite enjoyed them. It was the perfect night for an outdoor concert, it was a little cloudy and it cooled down to a perfect temp. 
Tuesday- John and I went golfing to the new and improved Fox Hollow golf course. We were quite impressed with the new pro shop and all the new landscaping. This was my first time out golfing in two years! I was a little nervous because they paired us up with another twosome. Luckily they were really nice and patient with me. At first I was kind of dreading being out there but by the second hole I was really enjoying it.  John is always so nice to me when we are golfing and gives me a lot of good advice. At one hole I saved John's life. We were off on the side of the green and a ball comes FLYING towards John's head. I yelled to him and he moved and missed the ball by no more then a foot or two. It was kind of funny!!

Wednesday- I was feeling pretty bad for leaving Eleanor Monday night and Tuesday for school and then in the evening, so I decided to take her to the Zoo. I had Lori drop us off on her way to work and John picked us up on his way home. It was a long 4 hours at the Zoo, but Eleanor LOVED it! I bought her two tickets to the carousel and a ticket for the little train. We also watched the bird show. During the middle of the show Eleanor stands up and puts her arm out to the side (the same way the bird trainer has his arm) and yells, "Share. Share. Bird come". It was pretty funny! She wanted the bird to come and sit on her arm. We had perfect seats and all the birds kept flying right over our heads. I had two birds actually hit my head. I was really surprised at how well Eleanor did all day. I let her decide how much time we spent at each exhibit. The last hour she spent dipping her head into the water around the globe. Disgusting I know, but it kept her and everyone else around entertained. By the time John picked us up we were both exhausted!! 

Later that night we spent the evening out in the backyard. By the time we went inside Eleanor had the entire patio covered in chalk. The evenings have been so nice lately and we've been a
able to eat many dinners out there and just enjoy the summer evenings. 
Thursday- Lori, Cassi and I took Evan and Eleanor to the pool. Eleanor and Evan love running around the little kid pool and splashing water at each other. I love taking Eleanor to the pool because she always ends up taking the best naps when we get home!

Later that night my friend Stephanie Woolf was in town for Amber's wedding and we met up for dinner. It was so much fun seeing Stephanie and the other girls. It's always nice 
being able to go out to eat with out a little one! It was so much fun catching up on everything!!
Friday- Friday was quite an adventure!! Tiffany and I took the Traxs and the Front Runner up to Ogden to spend the day with Carrie and Weston. It was a long trip, but was really fun! Eleanor and Addie were great on the trains. We had a such a fun time at Carrie's house. Her home is beautiful and she has a great backyard with goats and chickens. The kids had a good time playing on the swing set and in the dirt. Eleanor and Addie both slept the entire trip back to SLC. Eleanor and I met John up at the U and we headed up to Heber to spend the night at his parent's cabin. We made our traditional stop at Chic's Cafe. At the cabin we had a good time playing games and staying up late talking.

Saturday- We got up early and headed down to Dear Creek to do a little jet skiing. When we first got there John that all three of us could fit on one jet ski but instead we all tipped over. Of course Eleanor was freaking out a little bit and I hit my ankle pretty hard on the jet ski. Once we finally got things situated we had a great time. Eleanor LOVED being on the 'boat' and got to go on a few rides with John and Grandpa. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we had to be in North SLC by 12:30 for a work BBQ.

The work BBQ was a lot of fun and I'm glad we had Eleanor's swimsuit with us so she could go swimming. They had a little kid's pool that was only a foot deep. Poor Eleanor slipped and went underwater for just a second before John got her out. I was afraid she would be a little freake
d out and want out of the water, but it didn't seem to phase her too much. It just made me realize even more how close you have to watch them EVERY second! 

Saturday evening we went to Amber's reception. Of course she looked beautiful!! Again, I got to see some more friends from Ricks and catch up with them. After the reception we headed down to the AF carnival.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

true signs of summer...

Yesterday afternoon I made my first batch of fresh salsa for the season and the best part about it was that I used my very-own-home-grown cilantro! This is our first year at attempting a garden and so far it looks like most everything we planted has not died yet. Our cilantro and swiss chard are doing great! Yesterday was the first time I cut the cilantro and I may have been a little late because there were long stems with flowers among the cilantro leaves. I can't wait for our first pickings from our squash and tomatoes plants. I wish we had a larger and better sun-lit place for our garden. Maybe John's next project can be a greenhouse...
About the was delicious! Two staple foods during the summer months in our household is fresh salsa and watermelon with lime. Yum!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

4th of july and the funnel cake place...

First I have to say the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays. Its right up there with Thanksgiving and Christmas! This year was quite an adventure! We started the holiday bright and early at the Provo parade! Neither Lori nor I had ever been to the Provo parade but we had heard people start saving places the day before and that it got crowded quick. So, we decided we'd get down there Thursday evening, sell for a few hours and then spend the night so we'd have everything ready by 7 am. My good friend, Faustino, let us set up in front of his restaurant, Los 3 Amigos. Thanks to Hope and Derek for coming down on Thursday night and having our VERY first funnel cake and for helping us work through a few kinks. Had we started our business a few months earlier we could have gotten into Freedom Festival, but our location was actually pretty good and provided just enough traffic for what we wanted on our first event. So yeah, Lori, Katie, Aaron and myself all slept out on the street waiting for our big day. (actually, I was the only one who got any sleep, and I only got about 3 hours). Friday morning by 7 am we had things ready and people started coming. John and Eleanor made it down a little after 7 am. We wish we would have thought about taking Eleanor to the hot air balloons. She loved watching the few left in the air. From about 8 am to 11:30 we pretty much had a solid flow of customers. It was great! We figured out a few things along the way. For one, Lori is a MUCH better cake maker then myself and I am better at the lemonade making. We also learned that we definitely need another person working with us. Thanks to John, Ryan, Cassie and Aaron for all your help!! It seriously was a lot of fun and we can't wait for our next event. Thanks to John for taking a few photos of our busy morning!! 

After the parade we all went home and enjoyed a little nap. After our nap we met up with Reed and Allie for our neighborhood BBQ. Hope and I took Eleanor and Aspen to get their face painted. We opted out of the "face" painting and went with the arm instead. Of course Eleanor got a horse and was obsessed with it for the rest of the day. She had a small melt down when the horse got wet and was "broken". We also took the girls down the large blowup slide. Geez, that thing was a beast to climb with a toddler in hand and we had quite the ride down hitting into each other!! 

After the BBQ we all went down to JCW's for some ice-cream then headed over to the Hackings to finish unpacking all of our stuff from earlier. After we finished unpacking Hope and Derek brought over some fireworks and the guys had fun lighting them off. Surprisingly, Eleanor actually enjoyed them this year. Unfortunately she fell asleep before we headed over to the park to watch the fireworks at Thanksgiving point. Overall, I'd say we had a GREAT 4th 
of July!! Looking forward to next years already!

Oh yeah I forgot the funniest part of the day. That night when we were lighting off fireworks I stole a few of those little ones you throw on the floor that snap. When we got home I put a handful under the part of the toilet seat that lifts up. I set the video camera up on the counter and waited for John to come in and sit on the toilet. When he sat down it was priceless!! He claims it didn't scare him...but I've got the video to prove it!!!

eleanor's big trip...

Eleanor did it again, she got to go down to Arizona for a few days without us! Andy flew up on Friday and had to go back home on Sunday until Wednesday and we decided to send Eleanor home with him. We were a little worried how she'd do with Andy ( just because she doesn't know him too well), so we did a little test run. Sunday morning on his way over to Elizabeth's parent's house, we told Eleanor she was leaving to with Andy to Arizona to see Mimi and Grandpa. Andy put her in the car and she started waving to us.She was ready to go and was NOT happy when we took her out of the car! Later that night when Andy and Elizabeth came to pick her up she was ready to go. All day she kept saying, "Mimi Grandpa airplane helicopter". Andy said she did great on the plane, thanks to a pack of lifesavers I sent with them. My mom said she was so excited to see everyone at the airport and got really silly when they pulled up to their house. I guess she was pretty wired that night!
Both John and I missed her so much while she was gone and I was a little jealous of her being down there without me. Here a just a few highlights fr
 her trip:
*A new hair cut from Aunt Sara. Thanks so much Sara,
 I love it!!
*Playing with Jake and Max

*Lunch with Mimi and Grandpa

*A whole new wardrobe. Thanks mom! Everything is so cute! 
*Playing with Ty. Eleanor LOVES Ty and constantly talks about him!

Although we missed her, I am so glad that Eleanor got to spent time with everyone in Arizona. She LOVES going down there and really misses everyone when she comes home. Every since she's been home she'll walk around the house saying, "Tim, Tim, Tim". You know she got that from my mom! Thanks everyone for taking such good care of her!!

lehi parade,roundup and cousins...

This was our first year going to the Lehi Roundup Parade. Yes, Eleanor and I actually went to two parades in less then 24 hours!! This time we weren't able to get front-row seats, and Eleanor was getting so upset because she wasn't getting any candy. John was nice enough to take Eleanor up front and help her get some candy. I wasn't sure who got more excited about g
etting candy, Eleanor or John. After the parade we let Eleanor play on the playground 
before heading to the rodeo. Eleanor LOVES slides and "hanging". It's so funny watching her going down the slides because most of the time she goes fling off the end of the slide. 
After the parade we headed over to the Lehi Roundup. We got tickets with the Martins, Blake and Becky,Ryan and Lori, Brittany and Tiffany, Crystal and Aaron, Reed, Vern and Jensen. Of course it was way too loud to do much talking, but it was fun sitting by everyone.  Thanks to Reed and his complaining, they eventually turned down the speakers enough to hear the person next to you.  I'd have to say the best part of the rodeo was the dirt bike show in the middle and of course the bulls.  Before Eleanor fell asleep, she loved watching all the cows and horses. At one point she was sitting with Blake and telling him all about the cows and how they were "sick". We didn't realize how late it was when we got home and felt bad because Andy, Drew and Timothy were over at our house. Andy was out cold on the couch and Drew and Timothy were watching a movie. I wish I had the video to capture how excited Eleanor got when she saw them. She and Drew stayed up past 1:30 watching Nacho Libre together. They eventually fell asleep and both slept on the couch. 

On Saturday Andy and John spent most of the day working our pergola. I'm sure Andy loved spending his vacation working on our project. But they got a lot of it finished and Eleanor and the boys spent most of the day playing in the sprinklers. It was a lot of fun having them up here...we only wish we lived closer!!