Sunday, October 6, 2019

Great Summer Road Trip Part IV

On July 4 in the morning we got up and went for one last swim in Arizona before driving north.  We needed a break in Kanab, so we went for a little hike in the red dirt in the heat.  
 Whew.  It was HOT and dry.  The red dirt stained Sammy's shorts. 
 Note the red faces on all of these Seattle kids. 
 After a long day driving, we stopped for dinner at Wendy's in Orem.  In one of my favorite moments of the trip so far, B came out of the restaurant bathroom with his pants around his ankles to report that he was having a problem with the toilet paper.  We are so great at keeping things classy. 
Anni was in Orem for fireworks, but, after a long day driving, we didn't really feel like battling traffic.  Todd picked up some sparklers and we did them on Uncle Von and Aunt Patty's driveway.  They got back from a trip to Bear Lake with their grandkids around the same time we arrived. 
 After sparklers we watched "Wall-E," before dozing off in a basement campout. 
 We stopped in Layton for a short visit with these people, who we had just left a few days before.  Isn't Jared cute with Pickle? 
 We played on a slip and slide, did some more sparklers,
 acted totally crazy for a while,
 and tried in vain for a sisters and Mom selfie (it's just as well, since we didn't get this picture while Faith was there). 
 All too soon it was time to go home for real.  We stopped in Boise for the night. 
After 24 hours in the car, I found dozens of pictures like this one of Eloise on my phone.  We were home at last, but the chaosomeness was not nearly over.  I'm starting to feel like it never really ends. 

Great Summer Road Trip Part III

On July 1 we drove a few hours to where our Knight family reunion was, in Heber, Arizona.  The cabin there came complete with foosball and pool tables, a tire swing, a giant checkers game, and a whole bunch of adorable cousins!  
 Let the cousin fun begin! 
 Sleeping the whole family in one cabin was chaos.  Or, as Jared says, "chaosome!" 
 We don't have to plan very much for these kids to have a good time together.  Our second day in Arizona we went to the city park and played games.  It wasn't very hot for the Tucson folks up in the Arizona mountains, but I think it was hotter than they expected it to be. 
 The kids wanted to play in water, so we found a little fishing lake.  It wasn't very well suited to swimming, since there were cows around the edges, making it a bit muddy.  We were undeterred. 
 Todd took some kids out in life jackets and tubes and floated in the middle of the lake for a while, until one of the tubes started to lose air. 
 When we got back to the cabin, I set up some buckets of water and dollar store water squirters.  The girls seem to lack to violent tendencies that the boys have.  Even though I set them up at safe distances for squirting each other without anyone getting squirted in the eye, the girls kept squirting the ground.  Eventually they gave it up to the boys who were content to get each other wet. 
 Our last day in Arizona was our hike day.  We went to Show Low Grandma and Grandpa Knight's old stomping grounds to enjoy hiking in the shade.  This is what making a picnic for eighteen people looks like. 
 Grandma and Grandpa made a stop that the rest of us didn't make, so we were waiting for them.  While we were waiting, I got an email from the University of Arizona.  I was accepted into law school for the 2019-20 school year, and offered a generous scholarship!  That was unexpected.  I applied at the end of a rolling application cycle, so I didn't know if there would be any places left for me.  My LSAT score was fair, but I wasn't really expecting to be given such a generous offer.  Colette and Jacob were celebrating my acceptance and cheering, and Megan (age 4- her birthday was one day away) asked, "What's so great about la-la school?" 
 Even in the trees, Arizona has a big sky. 

 Aaaaaaaaaaaaah! Jared and Rachel are going over the edge!
 After our hike we went back into town for lunch at another park.  Todd got roped into manning the zipline, where we thought the kids would never get tired of taking turns. 
 Kids, and kids at heart. 
 After a much-too-short trip to Arizona, we were on our way home.  Sammy was not okay with leaving.  We said goodbye to the cousins after lunch and made our way back to a hotel in Page for the night.  The pool here was a little warmer than our last hotel in Page.
 We were captivated by the incredible sunset across the street from our hotel. 
 It was a little windy, and Sammy and B like their hair to be long on top. 

You have captured our hearts with your breathtaking beauty, Arizona.  We had a lot of thinking and praying to do, but Sammy in particular was hoping that we would be back soon. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Great Summer Road Trip 2019 Part II

While we were in Utah, Anni turned 30, so we celebrated.  Here Ryan holds Pickle (also known as Jack, but I hope the Pickle nickname Maren gave him sticks) and Faith has Izzy in their 4th of July outfits from Grandma Jill.  
 Todd came!  Doesn't he look sweet with tiny Izzy? 
 Grandpa Michael was in town, so he stopped by to say happy birthday to Anni, and get a picture with all of his grandchildren.
 Grandma Jill had to get her picture, too. 
 Andrew came out for the same week we were there.  He brought a tool and taught me how to get the staple out of Sammy's head.  Apparently removing staples himself is beneath his pay grade now that he is a fully qualified nurse practitioner. 
 We managed to fit in another trip to the splash pad.  B got wet for a minute, but he prefers to dig in the sand near the splash pad.  He is the only Knight child not completely enamored with water. 
 We read some bedtime stories in the tent.  Tent sleeping is hard when it is fully light outside at bedtime. 
 On Sunday we had to say goodbye and leave for the next stretch of our trip.  We stopped in Murray to see Grandma Richards.  I'm not sure she was entirely clear on who we are, but she was delighted to be surrounded by children.  She wanted Eloise to tell her all about second grade, since she used to be a second grade teacher. 
 I was worried that the kids would be nervous with her, but Sammy went right up to her and kissed her on the cheek, and when the other kids saw how happy that made her, they all wanted to kiss her, too. 
 It was a really special visit. 
 We drove down to Page, AZ.  We were on our way to our Knight family reunion. 
 The swimming pool at our hotel was frigid.  It was a short swim. 
We were looking forward to seeing the rest of the cousins in a few hours!

Great Summer Road Trip 2019 Part I

The week after school got out, the adventures began.  Our very last farewell with friends was a birthday party for Price.  One of his guests brought a big bucket of snakes she had collected to the party.  Sammy LOVES holding creepy crawly things.  He spent almost all of the party carrying a snake around.  
 B was also a fan of the snakes. 
 Happy birthday Pricey!  I can't believe the little guy is six!
 And then we were off on our great summer road trip. The kids and I left Todd behind to work while we drove to Utah.  It was rough, but we made it all in one day.  Here we are at a rest stop. 
 We had to go to Utah because Cheyenne was there for a couple of months to help with Anni's kids while she ran camps all summer. Faith also came from New York with her little Isabelle, who we had not met yet.  This was the week Jared went to Engineering Camp, and the rest of us tagged along with Cheyenne and ALL of the rest of the kids (eleven altogether) adventuring around Ogden. 
 Eloise was in heaven with all of the babies. Here she is with baby Pickle (eleven months old). 
 Anni's neighborhood has a great splash pad.  All injuries were superficial. 
 I love this Toady girl. 
 Eloise and Toady had matching Frozen jammies.  As you might imagine, Anni and Ryan's house was bursting at the seams with so many people.  The kids and I slept in a pop-up tent trailer in the driveway until Thursday, when Uncle Paul needed his trailer back for a trip.  Then we moved to a tent in the back yard.  We got the outdoor accommodations because we are the only family without a baby. 
 Isabelle!  We love her cute little face. 
 We went to the giant DI near Anni's house to look for a couple of things.  These are not the things we were looking for.  B was very excited about the hat with a crab on it that said "Washington" on the back.  Nothing is funnier than leaving Washington to go to Utah where you buy a Washington souvenir.
 Eloise wants to know if she is ready to babysit.  Izzy loved her.  She's probably ready. 
 We went on a few long, hot hikes.  B and Sammy were good sports because they heard that there would be some broken cars at the end of this hike. 
 We found one.  It was really hot, so we didn't go all the way to the car graveyard we had heard about. 
 We did some excavating at this cool dinosaur park. 
 It was great to have lots of Grandma Jill time.  During lunch James and Sammy let themselves out of the park through a one way gate.  Sammy wasn't wearing shoes at the time, so that was awesome.  They had to go all the way back to the entrance with Cheyenne while Faith, Grandma, and I played musical babies with the little guys. 
 Look out for the world's most dangerous creature! One of these kids does not belong to us. 
 Pickle got a little tired.  This was an awesome place to run around and see a lot of cool dinosaurs. 
 Jared had a full, exhausting week at Astro Camp.  He came back looking a little dazed from sleep deprivation (they are up until ten and then activities start at seven every morning, so at best two hours less sleep than Jared is accustomed to), but he absolutely wants to go back to the exact same camp next year. 
Our great summer adventure was off to a busy start.