6.26.2011

Yellowstone

This past weekend our family went to Yellowstone. It is seriously one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen. We left around 2:30 or 3pm and drove to Cody, WY. There is a wal-mart there and we just needed a couple of things. After that we went into Yellowstone. I was surprised to see how many burned/dead trees there are in there. I saw hundreds if not thousands. But there were also big&beautiful trees that were ALIVE! Anyway, the drive was great and we arrived at our little place around 6pm. So it didn't take very long at all. We stayed in these little cabin things (we don't have any of our camping gear with us here...it's all in Utah). Anyway, we decided to go on a quick hike before we ate dinner and headed to bed. We went on some little trail (like 2 miles I believe). It was so gorgeous. Here are a few pictures from our hike:
Little William:
Attempt at a Family Picture
Daddy and Baby
Look at how gorgeous!
Some steam coming off the little cliff.

After that we went back to our little cabin and had dinner. We went to this little cafeteria to eat dinner. It was all right. EXPENSIVE. The meals we got were definitely not worth the money we paid. Oh well, we were on vacation right?
After dinner we headed home and tried putting Liam to bed. I told Devin to turn on the heat, but he must have forgotten. We fell asleep and a couple hours later Liam was up and crying. I tried putting him back to bed, but he wouldn't go. So I gave in and nursed him and he fell asleep. But he woke up a couple hours later FREEZING. So I finally turned the heat on. Needless to say, it was a long night....
In the morning we packed up and went to breakfast. We shared an amazing omlette. Then we drove over to Old Faithful. It was beautiful. I forgot to put sunscreen on Liam though, the poor little guy got burnt. I feel SO BAD. (Right when we got home I bought some aloe to put on him so he wasn't in pain). We walked around Old Faithful for a couple hours, watched it go off. It was pretty sweet. I think it's crazy that this natural hot spot is so regular when the water boils up and shoots a hundred feet in the air. It's amazing. Here are some pictures:
Trying to keep Liam out of the sun
Just chilling on the benches waiting for Old Faithful.
This is one of the little hot pots. The water was boiling!
I thought this one was beautiful:
My happy little man
Old Faithful, Family Picture.
Old Faithful! So cool.
The beginning of Old Faithful, before it got huge.
William sitting in the back seat like a big boy!
After Old Faithful we drove to a different spot and went on another hike. Liam was very sleepy, so he fell asleep in the baby bjorn. Like a good boy. This time I put sunscreen on him.
Here is Liam asleep on mommy.
So sweet.

Right after he woke up from his nap, he got to ride on daddy's shoulders.
After our hike we drove back home. Everyone was really tired!
I had one goal for this yellowstone trip: to see a bear. We didn't even see a moose, fox, coyote, wolf, or Bald Eagle like I hoped :) Haha, but we did see some bison, a chipmunk, some marmot, and elk. So, at least we got to see some wildlife. Mostly we saw these things while we were driving.
Here are some pictures that sort of show how beautiful it was there...

I thought this was sooo amazing..
This one was at Old Faithful I believe-
We were super close to this huge buffalo.
Elk
Gorgeous, I think this was on one of our hikes..
Some more buffalo
Beautiful blue water and blue sky. It was breathtaking.

There were little geysers everywhere!
All in all, it was a GREAT trip. It was so beautiful out there. When we got home we wanted to go see Kung Fu Panda 2. But, we were exhausted and Liam was tired of sitting. He wanted to roll around on the floor and play. So we stayed home and got some Redbox movies: True Grit, and Just Go With It. A GREAT WEEKEND! And, we got a season pass to ALL State & National Parks/Forests so we will most definitely be going again!

6.24.2011

Mosquitoes. I hate you.

I've been trying not to "hate" things lately. Ever since hanging out with my niece in Wisconsin, I realized that she watches everything you say. And I didn't like when she said, "I hate ----". BUT, I HATE MOSQUITOES. So here in Lovell we have to pay for our water, sewage, trash, and a mosquito fee. That's right, every month we pay a $2.00 mosquito fee. You think that's why I hate them? No, I hate them because despite the fact that we pay to get rid of them..Devin, Liam, and me all have mosquito bites on our ankles. One of the worst spots if you ask me. And we were only outside for like 30 seconds until we got bit.

On a happier note, I ordered an HTC Evo 4g. Yay. Devin's getting the new 3D one. We are both very excited to be getting our new phones. And we're going to Yellowstone tonight and all day tomorrow. Hopefully we don't get attacked by mosquitoes. Anyone know what to do about Liam and mosquitoes? I don't want to lather him in repellent because his skin is so sensitive, and he sticks his hands in his mouth. That would be bad. What do I do for him ?

6.20.2011

Fathers Day Weekend.

This past weekend has been great! Devin and I went to the movies, we watched the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It was all right. We had to bring Liam with us, but he was actually a really good boy. The HYART is the theatre here in Lovell. It's actually pretty cool. It only plays one movie a week, and only once on Friday and two show-times on Saturday. But it's always a movie that's still out in the expensive theatre. Anyway, it's a great deal. A ticket is only $4 a person. Or you can do "date-night" which is $12. That gives you two tickets, two drinks, and two popcorns (or one jumbo popcorn). What a deal!

Saturday consisted mostly of cleaning up, playing Donkey-Kong on the wii, and our trip to Devil's Canyon Overlook. It's in Montana, but only like 20 minutes away from here. The place was absolutely beautiful. We got to see a ton of wild horses. Really, they look just like normal horses...but they are wild. Which makes them awesome. Anyway, this canyon was incredible. The only way to describe it are with these pictures:
Here is just a quick family picture. Not the best
Devin and me. You can see the canyon below.
Look at how gorgeous! This lake on the inside of the canyon goes on for a loong time.
Wishing I was down there on those boats!
In honor of Fathers day: Daddy and baby.
Here are some wild horses that we saw. They came right onto the road!

And here's another attempt to take a good family picture. It's a little hard...
My beautiful baby boy.
These are some pictures from the ride home. You know me, I can never resist putting up tons of pictures of my little man. So Liam was being sad because I Wouldn't let him play with the camera. Haha it's so sad but so cute. Look at those two teeth! He's getting so big!
And here's a happy face!
My cute laughing baby.
I love his big blue eyes.

After our little adventure we came home and had dinner. We watched this movie on Netflix called "The God's Must be Crazy 2." It was pretty funny, and cute. We liked it. It looks like it was made 40 years ago because the quality isn't that great...but the story is funny. And then Devin played Starcraft (Thanks Ryan...NOT) so I read my book. I've been reading this WW2 Series by Sandra Grey. It's a fictional story. It's LDS, and a love story. What more could I ask for? :)

Then Sunday was Father's Day! Devin got a gun-case for his shotgun. And he got fed. Lol. I made him his favorite- bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns for breakfast. He was grateful. Liam said da-da. Haha, not really but it sounded like it. I tried telling Devin that was Liam's gift for Father's Day. Anyway I just want to say a little bit on how grateful I am for the Father's in my life. I am so grateful for my daddy. I love him so much. I think for the most part, we have the same sense of humor so it's really easy for us to get along. My dad's not much of a talker but he tells me he loves me in words, and in deeds. He's the best dad I could have ever asked for.
I am also so grateful for DEVIN. He's so sweet with Liam. He loves him so much. It's really fun to watch them interact. Devin is the best dad and Liam is so lucky to get someone like Devin to provide for him in many ways.

Well, tonight I think we are going to have Family Night somewhere in the mountains and have a bonfire along with hotdogs and S'MORES!

6.16.2011

The Lake!

Yes...it is 6am. Liam has been thinking lately that it's okay to wake up for the day around 5:30am the past couple of days. I try to convince him against it by pulling him into bed with me and forcing him to sleep. But he's just so happy and awake it doesn't work. Ah the joys of motherhood.
So, Liam had his first real day out in the sun. I've been trying to go outside with him for 20-30 minutes every day just to chill...but i'm paranoid about him getting burnt. So I decided it was finally time. Camee called and invited us to go to the lake with her and her family. So i lathered Liam with sunscreen right before we left. Luckily we found a nice shady spot to stick him in while I was able to lay out in the sun! He sat up and played in the dirt the whole time. It was super cute. I think he had a great time. All though, he did miss his nap so he got a little cranky towards the end. But eventually he passed out for a couple of hours when we got home.

Needless to say, the lake was BEAUTIFUL. The water was completely still. Camee said it's the best secret in the world. It's perfect for water skiing. Hopefully we'll be able to go out there in their boat sometime! Anyway, I need to invest in one of those cute fishing-type hats for Liam. The hat I had for him wasn't cutting it. I also need to invest in some sunglasses for myself. But i probably shouldn't because I just misplace them a couple days after buying them....Here are some pictures. Enjoy!

Here is the lake. It was the perfect spot.
Another picture of the Lake.
Here is Liam, after getting dirt in his mouth, eyes, and every fat crevice...
Liam playing before we left for the Lake.
This is just because he is so cute. Grandma Trena bought this outfit for him about a year ago!

6.12.2011

Just a fun little note. and a cute laugh.

So it's 9:00 pm and I've successfully put the hubby and the baby to bed :) Devin wakes up every morning at 5:15 so he can be to work by 6am. So, he makes sure to go to bed early on the weeknights. But my problem is...it's still LIGHT OUT! This is why I love summer. That and I get to smell fresh cut grass almost every day, go on walks, and actually just be outside. Anyway....

Today in church Devin and I spoke on honoring the flag. They both actually went really well! For some reason speaking in public is horrifying for both of us..but we managed. After church we went to The Nichols house. (Devin's boss Travis and his wife Camee invited us over.) It was wonderful! They have such a fun family...

So these pictures are hilarious to me. William was trying to grab EVERYTHING so finally I gave him this little medicine dropper thing (probably not the safest toy). He was sucking on it like a lolly-pop. I love him.



Lovin' me some big blue baby Liam eyes :)

Here is the video i have been meaning to upload of Liam's laugh. It's the best he has :)

video

6.04.2011

Trip to Africa

I went to Africa. Tanzania. I went with my BYU Capstone group. I flew 24 hours to get there and tried to stay awake most of the plane ride so when I got there at 9pm Tanzania time I would be able to adjust easier. It worked pretty well. The airplane food was good on the way to Amsterdam, but bad on the way to Tanzania because they tried to make it cultural for where we were going. The dessert tasted like rotten milk. Once we landed I was super paranoid about getting bit by mosquitoes because we had to stand outside to get through customs. And it was the evening. Since it's pretty close to the equator it got light and dark at 7am and 7pm every day. By the end of the trip i didn't care about mosquitoes anymore. One of the hotels we were in the mosquitoes were all over the mosquito nets and I had to give up trying to protect myself.

They served us cut up fruit in the morning for breakfast at the hotel. Then we could order something else if we wanted. So I ordered a hard-boiled egg and it was the grossest egg I've ever had. The yolk was translucent. I tried another egg later in the trip and it wasn't so bad. Mine was just a little uncooked in the middle. It was funny because we all were told not to eat fruits and vegetables unless we peeled them ourselves, and so when they came out with our plate of fresh cut up fruit, we all just stared at it and waited for somebody else to try it first. I eventually started eating the pineapple and banana every morning, but refused to eat the watermelon the entire trip.

The first day we were there our goal was to get some parts for our drill while it was being transported to Arusha (the city we were drilling in). One of my favorite things to do was to walk around the market because everybody tried to get you to buy stuff. It was like you were a celebrity the whole time. They would all try to be your best friend because they knew you had money. The first street seller that came up to me was really nice and I thought he was just trying to be friendly. He walked with us for a couple blocks and tried teaching us swahili words. I told him I was going a different way and he pulled out all these paintings and jewelery and asked us to support him. The street vendors would always charge about 10x the price to start. It was fun to try to talk them down because you knew they would go down to a 10th the price if you told them you didn't want it. They would literally follow you around all day in hopes of selling one bracelet to you. One time we tried to get rid of one of them because we were sick of being hounded. He told us "Just let me follow you around. As long as i'm with you no other street vendors will bother you." So we did. All the street vendors work together. They are pretty sneaky.

On Tuesday we traveled to an orphanage that we were going to drill at. Here we met the orphanage leader and asked them if we could do anything to help them before our drill got there. We ended up cleaning their sewer system out. It was some of the most fun I ever had. I gave some little kids fruit snacks. And they were all very shy. By about the third day they would smile and wave at me, hoping I would reach in my pockets for some fruit snacks. There was this one two year old baby named Joseph. We all thought he was pretty cool. So one time I gave him a fruit snack and he finished it pretty quick so I gave him another. I went and told my friend and he said he'd already given him one. Lucky little kid. At the orphanage the kids were all really good at sharing and made sure everybody got some. Later I gave away some fruit snacks in the street and all the little kids would grab it and run. It was interesting that the orphans who didn't have anything were more willing to share.

The next three days we drilled a 20 foot well. 16 feet of that well was dug in four hours. We consistently drilled through rocks for the rest of the 4 feet the next days. All though we were continuing to drill and we were confident that we could get through the rocks, we decided to move to another place where we could get really deep really fast. Our whole purpose in going to Africa was to make sure our drill was successful. We dug another spot 125 feet. Our sponsors were very happy with that. They hope to raise some money to build more drills to take over there. Us drilling a well deep enough to find clean water was critical.

I had the most fun when I was interacting with the people there. There were a lot of people to talk to at the orphanage who knew a little english. A lot of the orphans translated for us. It was nice. I really wanted to play soccer with the natives. It seems like that's something you should do while you're in Africa. The third day at the orphanage I saw a soccer ball and went and started to play with one of the orphans. Soon there were 20 of them all trying to impress me with how good they could juggle. They were at some sort of recess for school so they were all in their uniforms. As soon as their teacher came outside they all scattered. I think they were going to be in trouble for playing soccer in their uniforms. Those kids were good. Little show-offs.

The first day we drilled, we did it all by ourselves. It was a lot of work. At the end of the day our sponsor told us that he thought it would be a really good idea if we hired workers the next day. It cost like 4 to 6 dollars for one worker per day. And we were being generous.

The next drilling location we only interacted with the workers. Which wasn't as fun. The last day we were there I was getting bored, so I brought my slingshot that I bought at the market. The workers saw me shooting it and I Wasn't very good. So one of them asked if he could try. And in a little bit all of them were having a contest to see who was the best. They set up a bottle and tried to knock it over. They tried to include me in the contest but I would always miss so bad that they would laugh. So i just let them play. The problem with the second location was that nobody spoke English. They only spoke Swahili. I wish i could have communicated with more of the people there.

Church there was really slow. They would teach everything in English and then teach it again in Swahili. Churches are already sometimes long for me. I played tick-tack-toe with the little girl next to me who seemed just as bored. It was good to see so many of the members were priesthood holders. My experiences have been in small branches there are mostly women and children. But i think there were more priesthood holders than women and children.

The 8 days that we drilled we woke up at 7 and got home at about 7. It was hard work, but i'm really glad we were able to be successful. By the time we got home it was usually dark. We'd go try to find food and all we could find was fried chicken and chips. For lunch we would sometimes find really good authentic food. So i wasn't starving to death or anything. But the chicken and chips every night was disgusting.

We had some good hotels and bad hotels. We stayed in four total. What made it a good hotel was if it had breakfast, didn't have bugs everywhere, the toilets flushed, and you could see through the water that came out of the shower. The worst hotel we stayed in we only stayed in one day. I just told myself I was camping instead of staying in a hotel , and i had a pretty good time.

The last two days we went on Safari. It was super fun. Most of the pictures I have are from the Safari. I had a really good time in Africa. My favorite thing was interacting with the people there. And the Safari was pretty awesome. It was really interesting to see their different mentalities and perspectives on life. The end. Here are some pictures.

This picture is some lions that were walking in-between the safari vehicles. They had just chased some pumba's and were tired. It was awesome. If you ever go to Africa, watch the lion king first. Everything will remind you of the Lion King.
This is an elephant.
These are nasty baboons. They travel in mobs of about a hundred and raid cars. They are a lot smaller than you think. Like a cocker spaniel size.
Brittany likes this picture. Something interesting I keep telling here is that all of the bikes are the same brand there. And they don't have any gears. And they are junky. And everybody has one. And there's a shop on every corner that fixes bikes. And nobody is ever riding one alone, either there's two people or they are carrying something on it.
This is the drill with our hired help in location #2.
This tree is 2000 years old. Much like the tree in Lion King that Rafiki lives in. This is me standing by the base. It's huge.
I really like this picture. I don't know why. This little bird was stealing our lunch. He was very brave. You can see it by the look in his eye.

PS. What would have made it awesome is if Brittany was with me. Liam could have stayed home. Too many diseases.