Sunday, November 22, 2015

Utah II

After visiting with the Gs, we headed up Mill Creek Canyon with Cheyenne and her kiddos for a picnic, a hike, and some fun.  Jared promptly fell off a fence and split his head open, but it was only a small cut, and it didn't seem deep, even though head cuts bleed forever.  He was soon up and playing again.  I keep looking at pictures of our family and thinking, "Are all of these ours?  Surely there is a cousin mixed in there somewhere." But no.  This is just us.  
 This is a mix of cousins.  Jared, Aaron, McKay, Victoria (asleep on Cheyenne's back), Cheyenne, B, and Eloise.
 We hiked a little, but the trail we picked first was precarious for children.  B spent the whole time clinging to my hand in terror about falling over the cliff's edge.  We soon turned around and started up another trail, only to find that the children were too tired to go far.  They still had energy for some important rock climbing.
 Isn't my sister lovely?  She has a sweet red haired baby, too.
 When we came out of the canyon, we went back to the house where Cheyenne was staying for Sammy and Todd to nap, and for Cheyenne to do some of her online tutoring.

 After some rest, we picked up Grandma Jill and drove into Salt Lake City to ride the train, and to see the church history museum.
 Everyone loved the train.

 The church history museum was pretty cool, too, with lots of hands on exhibits, and a great video about the first vision of the prophet Joseph Smith.
 There was a whole area just for children.  Eloise was in art room heaven.

 Here we are in evening light at the Salt Lake Temple.
 By the time we had eaten and taken the train back to our car, we were pretty tired, but we woke up the next morning ready for a swim.  It is good that Jared brought this swim cap that he had never used before, because his head was still bleeding a little.
 After a swim and packing up the car, we met Cheyenne and my mom in Murray at Wheeler Farm.  Todd had Aaron in stitches when he started singing in rhythm to the pig's shimmy as it scratched its back against the wall.

 I wish we could have had more time with these ladies.
 Aaron and Jared are good buddies.

 We left Wheeler Farm when we got hungry for lunch, and ate in the car on our way home.  We stopped for the night in Boise before driving the rest of the way home.  The last day of our trip was the longest, of course.  Everyone was tired of being in the car.
 They held up tolerably well.

 B picked the last day of our trip to have his potty training reversal, so he ran out of clothes.  It was a warm day, so we let him ride in just his underwear, sitting on a blanket.
It was a great trip, but we were glad to be home, just in time for the autumn rains to start.

Utah (Idaho III)

We left Salmon for Idaho Falls to take Grandma and Grandpa Knight to the airport there for their trip home.  Before they left, though, we had to stop and eat at Grandma's favorite restaurant, Arctic Circle.  The one we found just happened to have a play place for the kids.  
 I had just noticed that B was starting to get thrush in his mouth from an excess of sweets and a shortage of water while we were traveling.  He was not pleased to be excluded from treats for the rest of the trip, but he managed without candy and juice.

 After we said goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa, we went to a park in Idaho Falls for a little while before spending the night with Todd's cousin Becky and her daughters in Shelley, Idaho.  The boys were off on a hunting trip.  The playground in Idaho Falls was really cool, and we were really glad that we got to see Becky.  She is always a lot of fun.

 The next morning we drove to Salt Lake and met Cheyenne and her kids, Aaron, McKay, and Victoria at Liberty Park, which is smaller and more run down than I remember.
 It was very hot out.
 When we were hot and thirsty from all of our play, we checked into our hotel and then picked Grandma Jill up to take her to dinner.  
After a good night's sleep, we went to see my grandparents at their home in Murray.
 Cheyenne suggested that I prepare the kids a little bit for the confusion that my grandparents are experiencing with their dementia, since her boys had been alarmed by it.  B didn't mind.  He and Great Grandma Richards share a love of cuddly, fuzzy toys.
 Grandma was a little confused.  She mistook Sammy for Victoria, asking, "Is this that sweet red headed baby?" But she didn't mind a bit when I explained that it wasn't.  She did seem to know who I was, at least.
 Eloise, on the other hand, might have been a little bit over prepared.  She took one look at my sweet grandma, froze up, and started to sob.  I took her outside to calm down, and then brought her back in to visit, holding her until she was ready to be put down.  Grandpa was more confused than I had ever seen him, telling me the same story three times in the course of our short visit, but he pressed candies into my hand for each of the children.
 I wish I had gotten a picture of Jared with my Gs, but he is so curious and full of energy that it is hard to get him to be still for a picture, and I didn't want him making my Gs nervous.
I'm so glad that we got to see Grandma and Grandpa Richards while we were on our trip, and introduce them to our little Sammy.

Idaho II

Some earlier tenants of the house where Mary and Berrick are living built a playground in the junk area behind the yard.  A lot of it has rotted away by now, but there was enough left for some good exploring and adventuring.  

 None of the kids were convinced that this old fashioned tire swing was safe until Todd demonstrated for them.  B still did not want to do it alone, but that was pretty typical until the last day and a half of our visit.

 Sammy had doubled in size since Grandma and Grandpa saw him last.  Grandma was soaking up the snuggles.

B discovered a child sized tunnel through the round hay bales.
 We went up to the river ditch to throw rocks into the water.  A few cow pies were definitely also thrown.

 Nothing makes kids happy like getting very dirty.
 Eli seemed right at home in the throng of children, especially if his Mimi (Aunt Barb) was around.
 Later we took the four wheeler down the road to Aunt Reah and Uncle Jim's house to play with his pet chickens and turkeys.  The fact that these are pets is an important distinction.  Uncle Jim's beloved flock of birds fattened on table scraps and white bread are not to be eaten.  Every time we come, Jim seems to have one animal or another that is getting his special care.  Once I remember him carrying around a kitten every time we were at his house.
 Sisters in the fall leaves.
 Sammy had a precious nap on Grandpa's lap.
 Uncle Boyd got Jared's letter, and planned to take Jared fishing as requested.  The wind was blowing in true Idaho style when we went to the pond.  With Josh and Uncle Boyd both helping with baiting and casting, all of the kids got more chances to fish, even though it was late in the day.  Here is Jared reeling in the first catch of the day.
 B loved holding the fishing pole.
 Here is Todd looking handsome and windblown as he watches the kids fish.
 Sammy was very tolerant of the wind.
 As you can see, B was warming up to Uncle Boyd.
 Eloise caught the biggest fish.   Here she is holding it, and sporting the necklace she made from beads provided by Aunt Barbara.  She got to be pretty good at casting on her own.
Jared caught the last fish of the day, too.  Josh was laughing because this fish was so tiny.  I've seen bigger goldfish.  Jared still did not want to touch the slimy fish.
 Going on a trip is the perfect time to shake up a baby's routine, right?  Well, probably not, but while we were in Idaho, Sammy decided very emphatically to give up swaddling, which improved his sleep slightly, and he also decided to start eating solid foods, after Grandma fed him jello salad off of her finger.  Eloise captured this picture of Sammy struggling with some rice cereal.  Swallowing solid foods did not come very naturally to him, no matter how hungry he was.
Between fishing, cows, endless dirt, tractors, chickens, golf cart, motorcycle, and four wheeler rides, grandparents galore, delicious meals, ripe apples on the tree, Boyd and Barbara's newly rebuilt house with a huge basement room, beads to string, worms to dig, farm junk to reorganize and build clubhouses with, and endless sunshine, the Jolley ranch is a magical wonderland for children.

Since Mary was home with her new baby, Aunt Reah and Josh were the nursery leaders, solidifying B's attachment to Josh.  For the rest of our time in Idaho, B wanted to do everything with "Joss."  Sammy tries very hard to crawl forward, but he primarily ends up scooting backwards instead, to his chagrin.  He does pivot and roll very efficiently, but he really wants to crawl.  He tries to go forward and pushes himself backward until he gets distracted from his objective or gets smashed into a corner, and then he calls for help.

 Before we left for home we had to get a family picture with Grandpa Jolley.  He said that when he heard that Sammy was born, and named after him (his middle name is Dale for his great grandpa), he had been reading in the Book of Mormon about Samuel the Lamanite.  He found that timing significant.  I hope, even if our Sammy does not have any memories with his great grandfather, that he can carry on his legacy of hard work, spirituality, and deep commitment to Jesus Christ.

 The kids wanted to get a picture with Grandma Pat, too, before we left.  She is just as sweet as she can be, even if she is often confused.
And, with that, we were off on other adventures in Utah.