Monday, August 31, 2009

You can't go back, but sometimes...Oh! How I wish I could!

Mid-August I returned from a much-anticipated weekend with my dad FISHING. When I was a little girl, I remember going fishing on a very regular basis. Each summer, Mom bought me a new sun hat (my freckled skin burned so easily) and her a new book. Dad would then spend a couple hours helping me reel in my big catch (in other words, untangling snag after snag) while Mom sat on the shore reading in a lawn chair. Sometimes I got to take a little friend (Alison), but it wasn't necessary...Dad was enough for me. I relished the attention I got from him. I haven't been fishing like that since all those years ago.

Father's Day rolled around and although I could think of several gifts I would like to give him, I couldn't think of any gifts I could see him getting too excited about. So I told him that for Father's Day, I wanted to come back later in the summer, pay for some fishing licenses, and let my children experience with him what I loved to do so dearly twenty-five years ago. On August 13, I drove out with the kids keeping me company from the back seat (Brett had to work) and relished every moment of the three days I spent with my parents in one of my most favorite spots in the world: the mountains above Vernal.
None of us ever knows the length of our stay here on earth, but the memory of that recent weekend will take me, and hopefully my children, through many happy reminiscings to come.
East Park was gorgeous
the light reflecting on the lake,
the crisp air, the lush green of the trees...
I was so proud of the kids.
They jumped right in and helped Grandma set up camp.

It didn't take the boys long before they
were running around enjoying all the open space!

What's more fun: fishing or throwing rocks into the stream?
Halle's big catch: the pine tree.
Poor Mom. She had a book to read but Carson would have none of it.
No rest for the weary...he dragged her around "exploring" every inch of grass.
Finally we got him to sit long enough for a picture.
Then he was off again.
My camera simply doesn't do the view justice.
It took my breath away.
I'm so grateful for God's was truly a masterpiece.
Below is proof that we actually caught something
Actually, our only catch of the day: a 3" ugly sort of creature.
I think it was the only thing left in Soldier Creek!
Wyatt was beside himself with excitement!
(and a little mad we threw his fine-finned friend back.)
My dad shaves every day without fail.
I've always loved hugging him right afterwards,
pressing my cheek against his and
smelling his shaving cream.
It rained for about 14 hours straight.
Lucky for us, it didn't start to pour until after we'd returned
to camp from our fishing excursion.
I can't believe how good and patient the kids were being cooped
up in the camper for that extended period of time!
We played games, danced with Grandma to Glenn Miller, and read books!
I actually enjoyed the opportunity to just sit back and relax.
I found this book for Dad's early birthday gift.
It's called The Bitterroot Trail.
I hope he enjoyed it--he seemed to.
It's no longer in print, so I had to settle for a second-hand
copy on good condition. Why this book, one might ask?
It's was published in the thirties and at the time was
very popular--it's a western novel that takes place in
Idaho. My dad was born and raised much of his
life in Idaho. I hoped that by combining his love of that
area with his love of western-fiction, it may have been a winner.

A spirited game of Uno!
(By the way, I bought those cardholders online for the kids.
They make playing card games with
them so much easier and tons more fun!)
Halle got a new book from Grandma, part of a series I enjoyed
so much as a young girl. It was fun to see her love
The Boxcar Children
as much as I had. She is definitely my little bookworm.
I can't tell you how pleased I am that she
loves to read as much as she does.
Hopefully books will be something that can always bring her great joy!

Carson got his hands on a harmonica.
It was fun to hear him play it,
for the first five minutes.
The next thirty seemed to drag on forever!
He "breathed" with it.
In, Out, In, Out...over and over again!
Fortunately, we had one night with no rain, so s'mores were obviously in order!
Gotta love campfire smoke!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Standing by his side, feeling the mountain breeze through my hair, and listening to the water ripple by, I watched as my children clung to their grandfather's legs in adoration, blossoming under his patient instruction and care.
Thanks, Dad,
for taking me fishing again.

Bill & Hope Kremin
Fishing, mid-80's
Hope Sig1

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

man from snowy river

One night for movie night, we decided we were "done" with kids movies and selfishly put in a movie we loved as children. Imagine our delight when we realized our kids loved it as much as we do!

By the way, if you're also a fan of Jim Craig, here is the poem the movie was based off of--the guy reading is so awesome:

(If you have to ask who "Jim Craig" is, you can't call yourself a fan of the movie to even the teensiest degree.)

And finally, how many of you girls out there that play piano went nuts as a teenager going "ga-ga" over "Jessica's Theme" sheetmusic???????
Hope Sig1

Friday, August 21, 2009

32, practically 40?

Nevermind Brett's birthday candles. I've been giving him a hard time, telling he's practically MID-thirty, which means he's practically FORTY! Anyway, we had a good laugh when it was time to put the candles on...I didn't have a 3 and a 2, but I did have a 4 and an 0, so "40" ended up on the cake!

Grandma was a good sport and joined our little party. We even had her come a couple hours early for dinner. With LaRee there, we knew this party was really gonna be SWINGIN'! Sometimes she gets little wild and we have to calm her down, but it just wouldn't be the same without her. :)
A few nights earlier, we met up with our dear, dear friends, Troy & Chantelle. They went through the MBA program in AZ with us. You just don't survive that sort of thing together and then part ways. They're stuck with us for good! We had a scrumptious dinner at one of Brett's favorites, Market Street Grill, and then headed over to a comedy club. It was fun to do something different, and extra wonderful to be with them.
Thanks, guys!

We celebrated the anniversary of Brett's birth with the kids at Bountiful Bowl.
Look at Wyatt's face here...I think it's safe to say he hit some pins!

Look @ how Wyatt carried the ball. It weighed almost as much as he did. He'd balance it on his shoulder and practically sway like a drunken sailor to the top of the lane.
Halle gave Brett some pointers.
Carson did a happy dance every time he bowled.
Hal didn't want anything to do with "rolling" the ball down the lane.
She opted for just throwing it out there.
How do bowling lane floors remain undented against
children's bowling techniques???

The kids made home-made gifts for Brett. My personal favorite was Wyatt's earmuffs. He told Brett, "Now when we're noisy, you can put these on so you don't have to listen to us." It was hysterical that he thought of this on his own. We think he should put it on the market. Let "Wyatt's Earmuffs" give the Snuggie a run for it's money on the latenight infomercials!

Halle gave Brett fifty cents.

From his own stash of money.

She's always been generous like that... :)
A homemade "telescope" made from rolled up paper.
A maraca made from two cups taped together
and fruit loops inside.

Hope Sig1

craft camp luau

For the second year some neighborhood girlfriends and I have done a rotating "craft camp" to help keep the kids busy and the mom's sane during summer break. It's similar to a joyschool--moms take turns having the children over for 2 hours one day each week, during which time the kids do crafts. Each week has a "theme". For example, one mom did crafts and activities on nutrition, one on Mexico, and one on Bubbles, Balls, and Balloons. I feel so lucky to rub shoulders with these women. They are all three incredibly creative and talented! Last year, we each took one week per month. This year, schedules made it more conducive to have each take three weeks in a row. I wondered how this would be...if we'd get burnt out, but I actually liked it better. You could (pardon the term) "get your turn over with" and enjoy the rest of the summer, plus (and to me this was the best part) if you had a larger theme that encompassed more than you could fit into one day, you could spread it over the three week period of time. I chose HAWAII for my theme. We had a fun three weeks making seashell creatures, tissue paper flowers, "grass" skirts (out of crepe paper), learning the hula, eating Hawaiian foods, and even learning about the ukulele with a special musical guest who came and played for us (thanks, Grandma Dixie!). I also made little workbooks for the kids to fill out and they seemed to enjoy that. It really was a lot of fun. The only thing I would have changed was the crafts...they were awesome craft ideas I found online, but I didn't stop to think about the fact that the younger children (4-5) would need so much one-on-one help with them. Oh, well...lesson learned.

We wrapped up our three weeks with a Craft Family Luau. A couple things didn't go as I'd planned (I actually forgot about TWO of the games I'd planned--DUH..., and you couldn't hear the Hawaiian music outside coming from the indoor speakers, so I was kind of bummed), but in all we had a great time hanging out with these families that we just like SOOO much.
The kids played a couple games and had a hula-hoop contest, and even the dads were good sports with our race to see who could don the grass skirt and coconut bra the fastest (they so did not want to do that, but were nice enough to humor me). The wives had a riot and deep down...I think the men liked it...

We had pulled pork sandwiches, fruit kabobs, mango salsa & chips, corn, chocolate-covered macadamia nuts, and believe it or not, banana bread. (Trusty Wikipedia told me it's a common ingredient to authentic luaus. So it MUST be true, right???)Have I ever mentioned how much I love this guy???
When it was over, the kids got a kick
out of Daddy squirting them with the hose.
I made him clean up the wet clothes afterwards.

Hope Sig1
"The democracy will cease to exist when you TAKE AWAY from those who are willing to work AND GIVE to those who would not."

Thomas Jefferson