Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Idaho Leg

From Utah we drove straight up the family cabin, but not before stopping for "gas," which is to say, we stopped at a 7-11 and I finally got my hands on a Slurpee. There are no Slurpees in all of Tennessee, so this one was a long time coming and it did not disappoint.

But then, yes, we arrived at the cabin. Matt and Esther also came up for the week, so on Monday we naturally had to take the girls to the little park that's at the end of the road.

(This is Faye trying to get Rosie to spit out the dirt she was eating, but I'm pretending it's the other way around and Faye is purposefully feeding Rosie dirt.)

G.I.R.L. spent a fair amount of time being pushed around by her cousins, but I think they both enjoyed it, so, eh.

On Tuesday D.A.R.E. and his dad took their annual fishing trip...

...which left this little girl crying through the screen door.

Tuesday night brother Carp brought his brood up to visit and we had all five grandkids in the same room. I got exactly one picture where they're all in frame.

This of course necessitated another trip to the park, where I got enough pictures of everyone on the swings to make a flip book.

I also got one picture of these two playing nice on the cabin stairs.

On Wednesday night us younger folks headed into West Yellowstone to see Singin' In the Rain at the Playmill, but not before spending a hefty chunk of change at the fudge shop. (I may or may not have set aside a fudge budget for this trip.) The production was great, but I spent a good portion of it out in the lobby feeling woozy because pregnancy is dumb and something about those seats cut off my circulation. Bummer.

Thursday we took the girls and a sack of bread to Big Springs and fed the birds.

Then later that night we made s'mores around the grill.

Friday we high-tailed it out of town and capped off our trip by eating at the deliciously sacred Trail's Inn. Those fries. I dream about them sometimes.

We spent the night in SLC at D.A.R.E.'s aunt's house, and G.I.R.L. got to meet her first dog, Bruiser. Sadly there is no video of their encounter, but trust me, it was priceless. She kept creeping up to him, closer and closer each time, until she finally reached out some wiggly fingers and touched his back like she was playing the piano. Then she'd scream and run away, only to repeat the process approximately 10,000 times. Saturday morning we headed for the airport, where D.A.R.E. caught a plane home and I got on a flight with the in-laws (same row, coincidentally enough) headed to Oregon for the last leg of my trip.

Sunday, July 10, 2016


Summer vacation recaps happening here. Three states, three posts I guess. Here's Utah.

In June we went to Utah for a few days for D.A.R.E.'s grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. We played games, had pictures taken, and just had a good time hanging out with extended family. It was good to see everyone.
Everyone everyone

Just D.A.R.E.'s family

Our family

G.I.R.L. pretending as a hat

We took G.I.R.L. swimming for the first time, and I can't say whether or not she enjoyed it. She insisted on being held by one of us the entire time she was in the pool, but fussed when we eventually took her out. Probably the best we could have hoped for. At least it got her used to wearing sandals, which she now enjoys pointing out whenever she sees them (san-mos!).

We stayed at the Homestead Inn in Midway, but were only there from Friday night to Sunday morning, so I hadn't planned on trying to fit in any visits with my side of the family. Except as we're leaving the resort someone says we're all going to meet up at the McDonald's in Heber for breakfast, and I was like, what?! I know nothing about Utah geography other than that Salt Lake is north of Provo, so I had no idea I was five minutes away from where my oldest sister (First Draft) lives. I called her up real quick, hoping she had late church. I got her at the tail end of Sacrament meeting and she was about to teach Sharing Time in Primary, but she came and met us for four and a half minutes in the Heber McDonald's to say hi and see G.I.R.L. in the flesh. 

And that was the Utah leg of the trip. The best part was probably hanging out with D.A.R.E.'s cousins  in our hotel room playing Fibbage and Drawful. Both are extremely fun games to play with a group. The worst part was dealing with G.I.R.L. on a new schedule. At home she climbs into bed at 8pm and has her meals and milk like clockwork, but on this trip she wouldn't eat or drink or sleep, and it was just stressful. Bleargh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

It sure beats blowing up the kiddie pool

Lately I've been considering building G.I.R.L. a sand box, mostly because she enjoys climbing into our fire pit, and a sand box seems cleaner somehow. Here she is with her new elephant watering can, just chilling in the fire pit, as one does:

Then I thought, maybe she'd just get really dirty and track sand into my already filthy house and I'd have to actually bathe her. I should start small, maybe with a sand table. Then I remembered we live in an oppressively hot state, and jumped from sand table to water table. Yes! A water table would be perfect for the summer. So before I could change my mind I went out and bought a kitchen sink from the ReStore store. I next purchased a bunch of pipes and pipe fittings to build a frame for the sink to rest on at just the right height for an almost-three-year-old. There was much cutting, and measuring, and re-cutting, and a follow-up trip to the hardware store, but it's largely done. Here it is being tested out this morning:

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, but I have to admit to over-engineering it a bit. I got it into my head that it would be neat for the water to drain out the back, which meant fully plumbing the sink. So I installed two sink drains, which connect underneath,

and feed into a drain pipe,
 which runs off the porch and into the yard.

(What I probably should have done was just install the two drains and put buckets underneath to catch the water when I pulled the plugs.)

I actually took a video of this draining, in case, you know, someone out there has never seen water come out of a pipe before, but I'll spare you from having to watch such a fascinating clip. Instead, here's G.I.R.L. with a sponge:

Fishing around in the deep:

And here she is with a puppet she found on the porch (abandoned by one of my day campers), which she greatly enjoyed dunking in the water until it fell apart:

Three things of note: 

1. The frame is made out of pvc pipe, which I cemented together, except for the very bottom portion of the legs. This way I can pull them off and replace them with slightly longer legs as G.I.R.L. gets taller, which, the doctors assure me, will probably happen.

2. Because this water table is on a porch/deck as opposed to a patio, G.I.R.L. slipped and fell down a lot. I'll be purchasing a rubber doormat in the near future.

3. There are four holes at the top of the sink, where a faucet would normally be installed. I have some vague plans to put some pipes there so that fun doo-dads, like water wheels and funnels, can be attached to them.