Thursday, June 25, 2009

Antelope Island

I made a great discovery last year. When Yuna Shimizu came back to visit us for her university graduation trip, I was concerned about being able to entertain her for over a month while the kids were in school. It was February/March and she doesn't ski. Hmmm . . . So I had to come up with day trips. One idea I had was to take her to Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. If that is not unique to Utah, what is? I had never been there, but I hoped it would be interesting enough. Tricia Cook and I went off on a day trip and we were all pleasantly surprised by how beautiful and interesting the island was.
So I have wanted to take the kids to see it too. Finally, more than a year later, we made it. I invited Alison to come along with the girls - all trips are more fun with cousins - and Jared happened to have the day off also. So off we went on an absolutely gorgeous, sunny warm day. I did tell the kids to bring swimsuits, but didn't really expect them to want to go in the water. Good thing we were prepared, because, boy, was I surprised. It turned into a fantastic beach day!

This is how the kids spent most of the afternoon, playing in the water, going out as far as they could and building sand castles in the sand bar.

We had our picnic right before heading to the water - well, the kids had already been down to the water before we old people could even make it this far down the beach - and I don't know if you can tell by this picture, but the seagulls made a complete circle around us, a full ring of birds waiting for leftovers or donations to their lunch.

Climbing the rocks around the visitors' center was another highlight of the trip. That was our first stop and we had to bribe the kids off of the rocks with a picnic lunch on the beach. They could have climbed the rocks like mountain goats all day!

When I went to Antelope Island with Tricia and Yuna, the most exciting part of our trip was seeing all the bison. There were even 2 walking along the road with the car as we drove. They were everywhere, up close and personal. This time of year, with it being warmer, I guess they don't wander as far. Here is our buffalo experience this time - not that exciting for the kids. Looks like the herd was taking a siesta a little ways off the road on the side of the hill.
To add a whole different aspect of fun, there is a ranch to explore on the east side of the island. The Fielding Garr ranch was our last stop and we did a quick self-guided tour of the property. We like self-guided tours because you can touch and explore at your own rate. It was a great end to our trip.
All in all it was a wonderful day and we were so excited to discover another of Utah's beauties.

If you can just imagine the sound of waves, it would be just like being at the ocean. :-)

Saturday, June 13, 2009


Never, in my 22 years in Utah, can I remember a spring as wet as this one. It has rained almost every day for the past 2 weeks. I love it!!! Best of all, it has been fantastic for the garden. I know that the long, hot, sunny summer days are coming so I am appreciating every minute of our cool, cloudy, stormy, rainy spring. Here's an update on the garden.

And, of course, we can't forget the pumpkins, which are also loving the rain - except for those in the middle that are actually getting too much water (is that possible in Utah?).

Monday, June 8, 2009

Hip hop Markee

Markee, like most girls, took dance when she was 3. She and her cousin, Tamsyn, were cute as could be as they learned tap and ballet. When she was 6 she decided that she wanted to swim instead and quit dance. Her interest in swimming only lasted one year and after that she just didn't do any more sports or activities. When she started junior high, she rediscovered dance - but in a new form, hip hop. She was hooked. She would shimmy all around the house and was always showing us what she learned in dance. So for her birthday last year we gave her a year of hip hop lessons at a new local studio. She was in heaven. The teen hip hop class consisted of Markee and her friend, Dana Harrell. Another girl joined halfway through the year, to make the three musketeers, and the instructor's daughter joined them sometimes also. Their recital is scheduled for next week, but they were able to have an additional performance at the Pony Express Days festivities in town. It was really windy - of course, it IS Eagle Mountain - but the sun came out and the weather held. The girls did a great job! I videoed the performance, but the file is too big to post here so I am attempting to upload it to facebook. If you are my friend, you should be able to view it. :-)

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Game day

Game day means something different in our family. Game day means, "It's Sunday, break out the board games." After church we often get together with family or friends to enjoy a couple games together. Our children, for the most part have not been too interested. Finally after years and years of declining to play, Peter has decided that some games aren't so bad. So, by his request, last Sunday we pulled out Carcasonne - my favorite - along with EVERY expansion. We made the mother-of-all-game-boards and Marin captured it with the camera. We had to put 2 card tables together to hold all the tiles. The game took over 3 hours, but Jared, Peter, Erik and I had a lot of fun. And I did win. :-)