Sunday, August 21, 2011

Too Much Fun

Well, I suppose there's no such thing as too much fun, but there is such a thing as too many pictures. I have tried all week to get photos from last week's trip to Utah organized, and finally decided to just make some videos, the first of which is featured in my previous post (below). I will post more as I finish them, but for now, here is an abbreviated collection to tell the story of the past 10 days or so.

On Wednesday night, we cleaned up and packed up and got ready to say goodbye to our cutie Gram:

Heidi, James, and Addie with their Great-Grandma Elrey

Heidi & Gram

James & Gram

Addie & Gram


Early Thursday morning (August 11th), we started our drive to Utah. We went the West Yellowstone way and took a break at "Potty Springs" and filled our water bottles with ice-cold spring water.

Heidi enjoyed pulling moss off the rocks around the spring

Crazy Heidi action shot

Ew, moss!

Niles enjoyed some time out of his car seat...kisses from Addie!

Addie is such a good big sis!

Posing with Gram at the spring, then back in the car and off to Utah!

We got to our hotel in SLC around 4pm and I took a much-needed shower. Then we went out to the Layton's new house in Tooele for dinner around 6pm. We met my mom and Mark there so they could take Gram back to Eagle Mountain. The kids had a blast jumping on the trampoline and playing "Cars" with Owen, and we enjoyed some delicious tacos made by Kristen.

Nana & Niles

James jumping over Addie, Aunt Abby, and Darrin

Sam graced us with some pipe tunes

James & Owen adore each other and it's really cute!


Moonrise in Tooele


We had a great night at our was incredible comfy with all-cotton bedding and light down comforters. The location turned out to be great (airport Hilton) for all the things we needed to do over the weekend.

Friday the 12th we surprised the kids with a day at Lagoon amusement park.

Here we are walking into the park

We went to Lagoon-a-Beach (the in-park water park) first, from 11-2pm-ish. Toward the end of our water park time, James got really whiny because he wanted to "drive the tiny cars" really bad.

Addie and Daddy went on lots of water slides together. Heidi went on most of them on her own ( including that steep white one on the right of Addie, which I wouldn't even do!)

Later, we went out to the little-kids' part of the park and Heidi and James had a ball on the little rides.

We took a break at the Hollywood Sings show and got a kck out of seeing the guy who plays Young Joseph Smith in "Prophet of the Restoration" gettin' his "Glee" on. After the show, Rich and I decided that I would go back to the hotel and clean up and take care of niles (around 6pm) and come back and pick up Rich & the kids at closing time. It turned out to be a grrreat idea.

Rich & James on the Ferris Wheel

Heidi & Addie on the Ferris Wheel

Addie (right) and Heidi (upper left) on the Turn of the Century swings.

Immitating the Flying Dragon

Here's what they looked like when I picked them up--sunburned, exhausted, a little spoiled, and overjoyed. Mission accomplished.


Saturday August 13th was our "downtown SLC" day. We had a yummy breakfast at Denny's, then met Sam & Kristen & boys at the children's museum at Gateway center. Our memberships to Museum of the Rockies also worked at this place, saving us $43...yay, that.

James, Sam & Owen, busy in the "Beehive" at the museum entrance.

Addie & Heidi making music

Sam & cute little Gavin watch the kids play
Addie & Heidi picking lemons at the "farm"

James & Owen at the water feature

Kristen & I (with Gavin & Niles) watched Owen & James play in the water for quite a while.

Gavin is a sweet, happy boy who looks like his mama and loves his Auntie.

Up on the roof there is a real helicopter which the boys LOVED

James, Uncle Sam, and Owen in the 'copter

After the museum (11-2pm-ish), the kids wanted to play at the fountain, so we went there for a while.

(Addie, James, and Uncle Sam)

Silly girls!

Sam & Owen in the water

Owen was ready for a nap, so the Laytons went home and we went to lunch (Rumbi Island Grill, YUM!) and rode the Trax to Temple Square.

The kids and me near the temple.

James is super-into Joseph Smith right now, so he was THRILLED to see this in the North visitors' center in the ancient-to-modern prophets area (we could have stayed down there for HOURS--it was really great).


That night we took pizza over to Sam & Kristen's house and watched some "Rio." Then we went back to our hotel and CRASHED.


Sunday was my mom's big 60th birthday celebration so we were pretty focused on that (after brunch at IKEA, of course). We were gonna head home on Monday morning--my mom's actual b-day-- but we decided to stay late so I could go to the movies with my mom, Gram, and Jill. We saw a 3pm show of "The Help" and we really enjoyed it. Then around 7 pm we loaded up the car and headed out, thinking the drive would be easier with sleeping kids (and it was--easier and much cheaper). We had dinner adn In-n-Out, then hit the road. We stopped once in Ogden for gas and potty, and after that, the kids were all sound asleep. We got home around 4:30am and slept in til nearly nine. It was sooooo great! Rich went into the office for a few hours, but met us for a matinee--the last dollar movie--of Kung Fu Panda 2. I liked it a lot, and it was a fun ending to our vacation.
The kids took these pix of Niles in his Bumbo watching a Baby Einstein DVD on Tuesday the 16th:

Poor baby, he's getting loved to death. (PS: I am so proud of myself for finally making a brown-eyed baby. He's so awesome).

Nana's 60th Birthday

Nana's 60th Birthday from MelinFamily on Vimeo.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Backpacking and Helena Handbasket

Last Friday (8/5), Rich and his brother Mike took the kids backpacking up Suce Creek while Gram and I stayed home with Niles (we had our own fun time but didn't take pictures). At the trailhead Friday evening

On the trail with Uncle Mike

Setting up camp and roasting dinner

James and Addie bedding down for the night.

Heidi in the creek


Heading Home

Uncle Mike rewarded the hikers with ice-cold sodas...

Heidi's 7-Up

James' root beer

Checking in with mommy on the cell phone

On Sunday night, we ate a potluck dinner at Pine Creek with some mebers of our ward family to say farewwell to Aunt Debbie & the Holm Family.

"See you later, Sisterfriend." We are going to miss Debbie like crazy.


On Tuesday, the kids and I drove Grandma to Helena to see The Postums and Lehmans.

Gram took us to lunch at Chili's, then we hung out at Matt & Amie's farm house. Here are Gram & Niles ith Matt & Emily

Amie & Em

Gram & Niles

Matt & Amie are renting the cutest little farm house while their new house is being built. The cousins had a blast swimming in their little pool out on the farm.

Sam, Jake, and James getting dry

Postums' House

Addie doing a backward dive

Addie & Jared picking on grasshoppers

Amie's pretty sunflowers

Heidi got too much sunscreen on her face, so she put some on Addie's back--hahaha!

We put Niles in his Bumbo chair for the first time on Tuesday night--I think he's gonna love it!

Growing up too fast!


We have had a wonderful time having Grandma Lyn at our house and we are going to miss her terribly. Tomorrow we head down to Utah to return Gram to my mom's for a litte more visit, and to see Sam & Kristen & fam, and to surprise our kids with a super-fun weekend in SLC, culminating in Nana's 60th birthday dinner Sunday (hint: agoonLay and Children's Museum and Temple Square). Can't wait, it's gonna be so fun!


PS: If you're reading this, Daddy Jim, we wish you a speedy recovery & we're grateful your leg surgery was successful. HUGS!


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