Sunday, August 02, 2015

The End of July

Monday we went to Bozeman for blood work (me) and Costco/thrift shopping. Robyn watched Ammon for me and I just took Niles and James. We had a good time, and a yummy quiche dinner and UNO tournament for family night. We still had swimming lessons in the morning and James and Niles were pretty tired every afternoon.
Monday and Tuesday it got kinda cold...during swim lessons Tuesday morning it was like 55 degrees! Cousin Summer came over and hung out for the afternoon. Tuesday evening we had breakfast for dinner with the missionaries and headed over to the church. James had pack meeting and later, the girls and I attended Jordyn Yarborough's bridal shower. 

Heidi took this picture of her crepe at Jordyn's party...the refreshments were a crepe bar

Heidi, Jordyn, and Addie

Wednesday night was a shooting activity at the gun range for the youth. The girls got hold of Rich's camera and ha a selfie fest. Here are Jeanette and Addie and the sun.

Kaitlyn, Jeanette, Addie, and Clara

The dudes figuring stuff out.

Rich is in the middle there taking a shot.

Clara and Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn, Addie and Clara photobombed by Jeanette

Kaitlyn, Izzi, Jeanette, and Clara

Thursday we went to the fair after a long afternoon at the pool. Everyone got to choose one treat or ride. Niles chose a pass to the inflatables. Heidi and James chose Tropical Snow.

Mommy and Ammon had their first (and possibly last) funnel cake.

Friday was the last day of swimming lessons

Hooray for our little fishies! On to Levels 1 & 4!

Saturday we did chores in the morning and floated the river in the afternoon with our Jelli cousins and Grandma. The water is low and the kids had a blast hopping from tube to tube or body floating. Even Ammon came along and ended up napping on Grandma in her tube. We got out at the pavilion and grilled some burgers and dogs.

Cousin Lexi is the best babysitter! Here she is with Ammon, and Simon and Niles.

Another fun, busy week! We are already into August and the calendar is full, right up until school starts. Shortest summer ever!

While Daddy Was At Scout Camp

Ammon loves the window

James and Niles have swimming lessons at 9:45 every morning. Ammon is jealous and cries the whole hour. We tried splash park after swimming lessons but Ammon was a little bit too tired by then to enjoy it. He was mostly mad at the water for bothering him.

Niles' swim class

James' swim class

Tuesday the Jones family met us at the splash park and we had lots of fun. After spashing the kids played on the playground and then climbed the tree and used the picnic blanket to make a fort out of the picnic table. Later the blanket became a Chinese Dragon.

Elanor and James in the tree

Ammon needs a nap

Tuesday night we had chicken gyros for dinner and they were great!

Wednesday was stormy. We had inside playdates with the Jones kids and James' friend, Journey. Here are the girls outside with the umbrellas after playing dress up (they love to swap clothes and make outfits).

Addie and Jeanette

Clara, Jeanette, and Addie


close up!

Wednesday night after the storm, we took cupcakes to Grandpa at the ranch for his birthday. Later I took James to scouts and saw this pretty view as I drove home.

How the porch looked at sunset on Wednesday 7/22

Thursday we went back out to the ranch to visit Rich's Uncle Pat and his daughter and granddaughters. Here are all the kids after lunch.

Silly faces! Addie, Ammon, Niles, Heidi, Illi, Kai, and James

The valley on our way home from the ranch Thursday...I LOVE ALL THE RAIN! Seriously, I kind of hate summer, so it has been so nice to have all this rain so I can pretend it's fall.

On Friday after a busy day, we headed up to Pine Creek for a Pioneer Day picnic with our ward. Here is a typical photo of the van.

Rex and Niles up at Pine Creek

The big kids stayed up at Pine Creek to camp while I took Niles and Ammon home. The road was blocked by a herd of cows, but Niles got up and moo'ed them out of our way. We went to bed and had such a nice sleep...nobody woke up and we were able to make a healthy breakfast, weed the garden, finish the laundry, and straighten up the whole house before Daddy and the big kids arrived home. It was fabulous!

After unpacking and a Saturday nap, Daddy spoiled up with dinner at Five Guys. It was a great relief to have him home and to not have to cook or clean up dinner. I had been feeling sick for a day or two (sinus infection), so it was a welcome break in so many ways. Here are my sillies, Heidi, Dad, and Addie waiting for their burgers.

Niles eating Cajun fries

James loves his Five Guys Hot Dog

Addie made a delicious chocolate cake for Daddy's homecoming.

We ate it on Sunday and it was tasty!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Jelli Melins & Yellowstone

We found a HEIDI COKE & brought it home for Heidi.
 SUNDAY 7.12
Sunday evening dinner at Grandma's with our California cousins.They just arrived on 7/11. This is Cousin Matthew and James. They are exactly 4 weeks apart.

Never get tired of this view at the ranch.
 MONDAY 7.13
Me and my posse heading to Old Faithful on Monday morning.

Addie was so excited to go meet up with her LDS Instagram friend, Shelbie from Arizona. Shelbie's extended family was on vacation in Yellowstone.

The drive was beautiful and the high for the day was 76 degrees.
(you can see my driving reflection I the window in this picture)

Shelbie, Addie and Heidi meeting up at Old Faithful

Shelbie and Addie

Our family just after Old Faithful erupted
(Heidi, James, Mom, Ammon, Niles, and Addie)

We had 25-minute construction stop near Swan Lake south of Mammoth. On the way down we stopped and made sandwiches and went "pee in the weeds" (a highlight for the boys) and on the way back we got ice water and blueberries for a snack and entertained ourselves by throwing berries at an obnoxious crow. The kids also liked watched the weird birds you can see in the field in the middle of this photo.

I snapped this while driving...I wish the camera could capture the vastness and the greenness.

Zoomed in-- Heading up the hill toward Mammoth.

Ammy crashed.

Heidi snapped this photo of her dream car.
I got to tell the girls about "the short bus."

James snapped this photo of an adolescent Elk. They were all just chillin' in Mammoth as usual. There is a beautiful new visitor center at Mammoth but we were waaaay behind schedule so we couldn't stop, so we will take a trip just to Mammoth later this summer.
So I had planned our on our Yellowstone trip taking from, like 8:30am til 3:30 pm. We had invited the Elders over for dinner and also offered to take dinner to the Mills family and I needed to be home to do that. Turned out we didn't leave home until 9am, then we drove an hour to Gardiner (the north gate) and the line to get in the entrance was backed up all the way through Gardiner (I had to slow down at The Flying Pig...and I got out of line at the gas station to use the bathroom cuz I could tell we would be there a while).

We finally got in at 11 am and I remembered why we haven't gone to the park in the summer in 4 years. I feel so sorry for the tourists. Then there was the construction. Then there was mass hysteria about something in the trees. I assumed it was a unicorn judging from the faces on the people running down the highway with their giant cameras. But it was a bison scratching his back on an aspen tree. Which we can see at our nearby bison ranch anytime. So annoying. So we got to the super crowded Old Faithful parking lot at 1pm...two hours later than I thought. We had just enough time to use the rest rooms, change the baby, grab some froyo and watch the eruption. Addie;s friend arrived just after the eruption, so we found her, took some pictures, then headed home at 2:40.

The traffic was so bad that we didn't arrive home until 6:12. Luckily Rich is awesome and he made a huge Breakfast-for-Dinner. The Elders had just arrived and the kids were starving. They sat down to pancakes, sausage, and hash browns. I ran some of the food over to Mills and visited with Sheryl a little bit (bless her heart, chemo is way worse than they warned her it would be and her hair fell out this week--cancer sucks). I came back to crazy kids, overwhelmed dad, and snickering missionaries at 7pm. They gave us a message and went on their way. Rich and I got the kids bathed and into bed and he worked on packing for Scout Camp while I had a bath. PHEW! What a crazy day...but so fun. The kids didn't fight, the baby didn't fuss, even though things didn't go as planned at all. Being a family is pretty awesome.