Saturday, September 25, 2010

Back on the Road Again for Matthew's Baptism and More

A trip to Utah in September to watch Matthew play his first soccer game of the season (Maggie and Becca provided the half time entertainment)....

...and participate in his wonderful baptism brought tremendous joy.

During our short stay, Grandpa Jim was excited to have the opportunity to go kayaking with Brian and the boys....

...while Janene enjoyed some one-on-one time with Becca on the playground.

It was on a return trip a week later to attend meetings and watch beautiful, talented Elly participate in a stake play that a seed was planted. That seed was to bring huge change to our lives.

After a visit to Grandma Jacque in the care center, Jim made an innocent comment about feeling like maybe we should move to Utah.

Monday, September 20, 2010

More Fun Than You Could Shake a Stick At

This was a favorite quote from Grandma W. that I thought would be appropriate to apply to our activities with the rest of the Catmull family when they joined Nathan and Matthew at our home last September. We had a blast!

The brave ones swam in the cool pool.

Maggie demonstrated her amazing roller skating abilities with her new skates.

The big kids went kayaking on the river....

...while the smaller ones kept Grandma company on the bank....

...and at the park.

Some of those who went kayaking had fun trying out the rope swing.

Little Becca kept us all entertained.

We loved watching her play with Grandpa's chickens....

...and share her bread with them.:)

Great times!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Almost Heaven!

One of my best memories of last summer was the September visit of our grandsons, Nathan and Matthew. It was a grand adventure for them! They got to travel by airplane, without any adults, to spend a few days with us during their final summer break from school.

A bit of hot chocolate warmed them up after their arrival. It was a cool evening!
The next morning they jumped into the pool in spite of the fact that the water was about 70 degrees. They didn't seem to mind much. The sled and air bed we found for them to float on kept them mostly out of the water.

We explored Camel's Back park (after a quick picnic) one afternoon.

Nathan and Matthew hiked up the big steep hump....

...and saw some pretty amazing views.

They climbed a tree and played on the playground.

The boys helped Grandpa trap a raccoon. This little critter had killed and partially eaten one of our chickens a couple of weeks earlier. She growled at Matthew as he closed in for a better look. He was taken by surprise and exclaimed, "I didn't know that girls could growl".

We spent an afternoon at Sandy Point Beach.

The water was too cold for Grandma!

The boys didn't do much swimming.

We talked grandpa into taking us camping at Bruneau Dunes. The raccoon got to ride as far as the river and that's where we set him free.

He didn't waste any time getting out of that cage!

We found a great campsite for the camper in a nearly empty campground just as it was getting dark. Grandpa watched the boys built a roaring fire....

...and we roasted marshmallows. Even Matthew loved those Nutella s'mores.

While I fixed breakfast the next morning, Nathan and Matthew explored a nearby dune and discovered a curious critter--an insect?

Unfortunately, Grandpa had to return home but I remained at the park with the boys for the rest of the day. It was a great day filled with adventuring just right for boys with their grandma. Nathan and Matthew climbed and then rolled down the biggest dune in sight.

The heat drove us to the lake where they discovered some really gooey black mud.

They collected flat rocks and practiced skipping them on the water's surface.

We discovered an island!

I set up a chair in the shade to watch the pair but spent little time sitting in it. There were pictures to take!

We finally pulled ourselves away from the lake to explore the trails. We thought it would be fun to climb the giant dune (the tallest single-structured sand dune in North America rising to 470 feet high above the desert). We found the trail that led to it.

Some more interesting creatures crossed our path including a porcupine! Unfortunately, by the time I got my camera out of the bag, the porcupine had disappeared into the brush. I did get some shots of some insects.

We made our way to the base of the giant dune but decided as we struggled to climb it in the heat of the afternoon that we were not having a good time. It was too hot! We turned our attention to a new adventure which involved hiking in the lake around the perimeter to get back to the picnic area and our camper. We stayed cool on our journey but I don't even want to think about what we might have been walking on in our bare feet. The slimy places were a little disconcerting. By the time we reached our destination, the boys had developed a new respect for grandma.

I experienced so much joy in watching those two boys have such a great time during their stay. That, combined with the peace and beauty of our surroundings, left me feeling that I was experiencing just a little bit of heaven with each adventure.