Sunday, October 31, 2010

Camping at Keyhole Canyon

(FYI - this is not Kelly writing - it's Rinar, the awesome behind the scenes husband).  For the past 5 or 6 weeks, Raef and Zach have asked me to take them camping.  We went this weekend as a "boys weekend getaway" and gave mom some much needed "away from the boys" time.  She had Harry and Julia so it wasn't completely child-free, but from the sound of it, we made her day. Here are some of the highlights and "play by play" details of our trip:

Heading off, we all piled in and posed for the "I'm SOOO excited to go CAMPING!!" picture.  Eli would just salute from the back seat every time I said "smile for the camera".  Carry on people!

We arrived at our campsite as the sun was setting.  What a beautiful sight it was.
Their faces tell it all.  Did I tell you yet that they were excited to go camping?

The campsite.  As you can see, our tent was tucked away between two large rocks.  The kids loved climbing up the side walls and sliding down.  We cooked hotdogs and marshmallows on the open fire (the kids dreams came true).
After a full day they all fell asleep pretty quick and slept through the night (my dreams came true).
In the morning we started to explore.  Zach saw this hillside and repeatedly asked us if we could see the bird on the mountain.  I didn't see any birds and looked for awhile.  He finally said "Are you kidding me?  You mean to tell me you can't see the bird moving all over up there on the mountain?"  Take a close look at the top center of this picture.  That was his bird... okay, give him a break, he didn't have his glasses on, but it sure was funny.

Raef wanted to get in a good picture of the petroglyphs.  They were all over the place.  The one on the top right of this picture Raef said was the Utes from Utah.  Kinda looks like it doesn't it?
Climbing a hill is fun to do, fun to do, to do to do... but I wouldn't recommend doing it with a 2 year old.  We decided to climb this hill - the rock slide - and what would probably have taken 15-20 minutes took a full hour and a half.  Yes - I carried Eli in my arms the whole way up and down.  Each time I would stumble a little bit Eli would say in a very sweet voice, "You okay? You okay?"  It was really cute.  Then about half way down Zach looked to the bottom and said "Dad, hell has got to be a lot farther down than this."  Yes Zach... you're right.
After making it to the top we took in the sights.  It was worth the hike and also worth the few Zachism's we got along the way.  His next came just after this picture was taken..."Dad, I can't believe I just risked my life just to see something beautiful."
One shot all together at the top.

After a long hike, the boys just wanted to keep on exploring.  This place called Keyhole Canyon turned out to be a well kept secret.  Only 40 minutes from my house and everything we could ask for in a boys weekend getaway.

Raef also had a good one liner... "Dad, I see a pumpkin out there!!  Seriously... see - check it out."  In fact, he pointed out one cactus after another that in fact were small and round and had orange and red blossoms (looked a little bit like a pumpkin I guess).  

As you can see we had a great time and don't just take my word for it, the last quote I'll share came from both Raef and Zach while sitting around the campfire - "Dad, this is the best day of my life."  I guess this trip wasn't just for mom to have some time away from the boys but for dad to have some top notch quality time with them as well.  Doesn't that just melt your heart?!  It sure melted mine.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

 We had our ward Halloween Party last week and so the costumes were fresh.  Notice how Mario and Luigi have beards and perfectly clean costumes. Harry is baby Mario and that hat stayed on his head for about 2.4 seconds.  Eli was Toad and he graciously allowed us to take one picture of him with his hat on.  Then it was sayonara, baby.  The outfit really did not make much sense without the hat.

 Of course, Julia had to be a princess.  Can you guess which princess she is?  Princess Peach, of course.  Do you get the theme? Anyone? Anyone?

Tonight we celebrated Halloween with a trunk-or-treat at our friends house, in their very large cul-de-sac. So I took the annual Halloween costume picture on our front porch.

 Yep, no baby Mario this week. I was not up for the battle.  So Harry is a leopard, a costume my visiting teacher gave me. We put it to good use.

 Once again, Eli was thrilled to wear the toad hat.  Ironically, once we got to the party, he kept it on his head the whole night.  What? I don't even know but he was adorable, or course.

 After a week of playing in these costumes, you could tell that they were well loved. They also decided to get a shave because the mustaches were not as well received this week.

There has to be a leopard in the Mario game somewhere, right?

Friday, October 22, 2010

When It Gets Really Quiet

It is the sound all mothers dread. Quiet. Stillness. In a house full of kids, it can definitely be too quiet. That is when you start to worry.  Alas, I was busy with my motherly tasks downstairs when I realized that none of my kids were anywhere to be seen or heard.  Thus, I headed upstairs and this is what I saw: all five kids playing in my bedroom and jumping on the bed.


 Well, that is not true. Harry was exploring the bathroom. He really loves the bathroom, as you can see by the broken door. A little token from our sweet little man.

Boys can be so annoying sometimes...huh, Julia?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Silver State Competition

On Saturday, the boys competed in their first string competition.  It is called Silver State and it was at UNLV.  They were in the 3rd and 4th grade division.  Since they are 3rd graders, it is harder.  There were 11 competitors and the winner was actually Grace, who is a girl that my kids have been friends with since they were two.  That is also probably when she started playing the violin.  She is amazing.  Zach is halfway through Suzuki Book 4 and she is on Book 6, or maybe she finished Book 6.  Oh, who knows? Still she played beautifully.  I was so proud of her.

If I had to rank the kids, I would say that Raef and Zach were #4 and #5.  There were two 4th graders that got 2nd place ribbons.  And since Grace won this year, she can't compete next year so that gives my boys a better chance of placing.  We shall see.

Anyway, Rinar accompanied both of them and did a fabulous job.  So here it is. Enjoy. They worked really hard on these pieces and I think that it shows.  Plus, they finally get to do vibrato and I think it elevates their playing to a whole new level.

And Raef is playing the viola...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Couple of Crazy Kids

My friend Jessi took these pictures for her photography class yesterday.  It is tagged on my facebook page. Aren't these fun?  They were such a mess, just playing in the backyard. Apparently, Jessi needed a couple and this is her couple.  She originally wanted to take pictures of the babies, but they were taking a nap. 

I love it.  Thanks Jessi.

Monday, October 11, 2010

John and Helen, Norma and Kimo

John and Helen came back from St. George on Friday night and stayed until Sunday morning. They caught a flight back to St. Louis. Then we went to church and did our Sunday stuff and in the afternoon, guess who Rinar went and picked up at the airport?

Yep, that is Norma and Kimo. They stayed over for dinner and some games and were taken to the airport Monday morning. Pretty cool, huh? Here is a picture of Norma and Kimo looking at my blog on my computer. I thought that was kind of funny so I had to take a picture and put it on  my blog.  

They say that Salt Lake City is the crossroads of the west, but I think they are wrong. It is right here at my house.  So stop on by. We will pick you up at the airport, feed you dinner, and let you sleep in a comfy bed.  The house may not always be clean but it is loved-in.

I have also been working on a musical number with some women from my ward.  It is going to be fantastic. I am anxious to perform it this coming Sunday. We are going to sing, "How Can I Keep From Singing?", and American folk hymn: 8 ladies and me, Christina, Leanne, Jonna, Rachel, Jen, Keri, Lenore, and Cyntha. It is such a joy to be able to make beautiful music with people. I forget sometimes how much I love it.  By the way, Sally Deford writes gorgeous music and arranges classics and you can get them for free!  If you are looking for a musical number to do for Christmas, Easter, whatever you should take a look at her site. It is fantastic.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Las Vegas Renaissance Festival

 John and Helen stopped by for a visit from St. Louis. It was great to be able to spend time with them.  The kids love them also. It was a fun surprise this week.

On Friday we went to the Renaissance Festival in Las Vegas. It is a big deal and people take it very seriously. I was glad we could go this year because we have been reading about this stuff with our school work and it is nice to see it in action. There are a lot of hands-on activities for the kids. It is definitely not a museum. They could touch the armor and hold a battle ax. They were also able to watch a rope-making demonstration, a joust,  juggling, pugilism, play an over-sized game of Jenga, and lots of other things.

Zach especially liked all of the torture devices. Does anyone know where you can buy a good stockade? I think it would come in very handy at my house.

On the other hand, this festival is a magnet for strange people.  I would call it the land of the geekazoids.  Yes, that is my new word. I thought I would give it a test run on my blog. But seriously...every band nerd you know was at this thing.  Strange, strange people.  But they were enthusiastic, though many were scantily clad. Whoa! That is all I am saying. I am very glad my boys are too young to notice. That may not be the case next year.  Good thing we went this year.

 This is Zach with our friend Xander.  We went with his family to get some pizza at Verrazzano's when we were done with the festival. 3 hours was plenty for me and for Xander's family.


The rack!

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