Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer 2011 Recap, Take 2

Well...the kids are back in school which means summer is "officially" over. It's been a busy, fun-filled summer. I did a bulk post earlier in the summer giving a sort of 'first half' recap of the summer. I always intend to do more frequent posts on each event or even a few times a month so I don't have to do a bulk recap of things...but alas, life gets busy and inevitably I end up playing catch up. So...this is my catch up from July 1 through the end of the summer.

So July started with Independence day festivities. Our community partying started over the weekend. Friday night, we went down to the West Bountiful Park for their little festival (and by little, I mean little...sadly it seems they must've had budget shrinkage or something as there was much less there than we expected).

Saturday I inadvertently ran into the Centerville parade while taking my daughter to the store (I'd forgotten about the parade until we were re-routed around the we stopped and watched). Sunday was fairly low key (except for a little neighborhood service...some neighbors were on vacation but their sprinklers were accidentally left running and flooded their basement, so we went over to help move out furniture, etc and start sucking the water out).

Monday was the 4th...we started with a fun filled neighborhood/church breakfast. There was plenty of tasty food and friends. The kids were stoked to watch/hear the shot from the black powder canon one of our neighbors built. Inside the church they had set up some exhibits including replicas of the Declaration of Independence, info about veterans in our neighborhood/ward and some other historical documents. It was pretty cool.

At that point we split up a little bit and I hung out around the house while Lynette took the kids up to Kaysville to hang with their cousins at the parade and fun up there. Then later that afternoon we lit a few fireworks (or rather, the kids lit the fireworks...they were stoked to be allowed to help with the lighting) and we wrapped up the day.

July also marked a week off from work for me...during which we took a "stay-cation." We'd bought a few discount passes for local attractions from some of those online "daily deal" / "groupon" sites so we had a fun filled week hitting up some of the local fun.

We started with fun at Cherry Hill. The first day we spent splashing around their pools, lazy river, and water slides. It's been years since I'd been in their pool and even longer since I'd gone down their slides. It was tons of fun. At first the kids were a little nervous about the slides, but after a run or two, they were off on their own and having a blast. We didn't quite close down the park, but we spent most of the day there and, after a quick snack from the Pie Pantry, we headed home. The following day, we cruised back to the Hill for some mini-golfing fun. I've always loved their mini-golf course and have some severe nostalgia for the place since we went there nearly every summer when I was a kid.

After the mini-golf, we headed over to Lagoon. It was our church Stake Lagoon day so we had free entrance passes. Because it was late in the day and we were saving money, the kids were okay not getting ride passes. We spent the afternoon wandering around Pioneer Village and looking at the cool exhibits there. We also got our annual family portrait - old time photo style. :)

Our next bit of stay-cation fun became a little exciting. Our next door neighbor boy is a huge horse lover. He does some work down at the "Rockin' E Country Store" in West Bountiful helping around their ranch and barn and their horse shows. He also does work for a number of people in West Bountiful and Woods their barns, caring for their horses, etc. He has a couple of horses that are his own. He's been telling us about them for years and we finally coordinated our schedules to let him take us down and show off his ranch and horses. It was way fun. He was so excited and so were our kids. They all loved seeing each of the horses...petting them, talking to them, etc. Our neighbor even took one of the horses out into the training area and showed how he taught the horse to respect his orders and run/trot/etc. All in all it was a fun time.

Unfortunately, about 20 minutes into our visit, things got a little troublesome for me. I have adult-onset allergies to cats, dogs, dusts/molds, hay, straw, etc. I also (about 15 years ago) had an allergy attack while horseback riding up in the mountains (we weren't sure if it was the horses or some of the plants). Anyway, after hanging out in the barn for a while with the horses, the dust, the dirt, the straw, the barn cats and everything eyes started itching, then started swelling. Eventually, my face and eyes were swelling and my skin was itching all over.

Lynette hooked me up with a quick double dose of Benadryl and we raced home where I quickly showered off all the mess and laid down to try and get things to settle down...with another dose of Benadryl (because the swelling wasn't going down). About 2 hours of rest later, the swelling still hadn't subsided, so we headed for the hospital. The after hours clinic sent me to the ER where they gave me high doses of anti-inflammatories, steroids and Benadryl. After a couple of hours of that, my eyes were back to their normal size (still a little itchy, but not bad). It made for an exciting night...and I apologized to our neighbor but excused myself from any future visits to his ranch.

The next and final day of our stay-cation included a trip out to Salt Lake to go to the Discovery Gateway Children's Museum. That place is a ton of fun for young kids. For older kids, the exhibits stretch their interest a little bit, but they're still pretty good. The kids had a lot of fun. They also had a traveling exhibit called play showing and letting people learn about the social aspects of Play and how it helps us grow as people and communities. It was pretty neat.

After the Children's Museum, we took the kids up to The Pie Pizzeria for some tasty pizza. This underground 'hole in the wall' pizza joint is fabulous fun. It's kind of a dark, dingy college atmosphere but still kid friendly enough (most of the time) that I'm fine taking the whole family there. The kids love the huge tasty pizza and the micro-brew Root Beer. We finished off the week about as tired and with as much fun as if we'd gone somewhere.

July 24th marks our "state day"...or rather Pioneer Days. We had a lot of fun running around the fair at the Bountiful Park. Plenty of fun rides, games, and food. We met up with some friends to hang out and watch the parade down Main Street. Sadly we were on the "sunny side" of the road so it was pretty warm, but we all survived. Then that evening, we went up on the hill to watch the fireworks at Mueller Park. It was faboo.

We also got together with the fam for a fun filled barbecue at my parents' house.  It's always good to get together.  And then on Monday we went back to Cherry Hill to use a couple more items on our passes to do some rock climbing, let the kids play in the ball crawl, and take some swings in the batting cages.

The end of July was Lynette's High school reunion (I won't tell you how many years for fear of retribution later *grin*). Friday night we dropped her off at the school for a student's only social. Meanwhile I took the kids around town...we had dinner at the mall and played on their playground for a while. Then we hit up the famous locally grown "Farr Better Ice Cream." Tasty treats.

Saturday the family split up with half of them going to the HS Reunion picnic while Jason and I went up to the U of U for a day with the Board Gaming club. Turnout was smaller than I'd hoped but we still learned some new games and had a lot of fun. Then that night, Lynette and I went to the student & spouse dinner and show. It was fun mingling around and watching cheesy photo and video from her High School years.

August continued the reunion trend first with a family reunion for my side of the family. It was fun to get together with cousins and relatives we hardly ever see. The kids had fun playing on the park and running around with their cousins.  Jason was also stoked as they let him help do the face painting for the other kids. 

Mid-August, I went up to scout camp with Jason. Because he's only 11, they needed a parent to go with up we went to Christmas Meadows in the Uintas. It's been years since I've been up there (since my own scouting days). It was super relaxing and a ton of fun. Jason had a ball getting to know the older scouts and running around the forest and by the river. We also went up to Mirror Lake and were going to go swimming but the water was so so so super cold that it was called off.

Still, Jason and I waded out into the water a little ways with a couple of the other boys. It was seriously hypothermic but still fun...only about 5-10 minutes was more than enough for me. The camp was great...we have good leaders and good boys and Jason can't wait until he's 12 so he can get with them for all of their activities.

The last week in August, I took another couple of days off and we hung out as a fam...going to play at the pool, heading to Ogden for lunch, hitting the Dinosaur Museum, getting ice cream and slurpees and just having fun.  We also made a stop at the Salt Lake library for a "Matched" party and meeting with author Ally Condie.

The last Saturday before school started, we had another family reunion, this time for Lynette's side of the family.  We all got together at a park up the Provo Canyon and had fun playing in the river, on the park and in the bowery.  There was a fish pond and a couple of scramble for the goodies games (one with candy, money and little toys in a bunch of sawdust and another with money in a tub of water that they had to grab with their toes).  It was a fun filled day. 

Sadly I had to go and make it more dramatic.  As we started cleaning up, I lugged up a bunch of sawdust and other party remains into a tarp and started hauling it away.  I stepped into a hole at the edge of the cement and tumbled down.  As I tried to stand, I felt a couple of pops.  Within seconds, my ankle was swollen to the size of a small grapefruit and my lower leg looked a little misshapen.  Fortunately there's a hospital just up the road out of the canyon.  And even more fortunately it turned out to be just a sprain and not a break.  But it made for an exciting end to a fun summer.

And that's basically our summer. We also went to a bunch of parks and walks around town. We took the kids to the movies a couple of times (which I hope to post and review about later) and to a couple of plays. We didn't do as much yard work and outdoorsy fix up as we maybe should've (Lynette did a great job keeping the yard presentable and working on our little garden), but we had a lot of fun.

Gotta love summertime.

Today's Quote from Quoting Quotes:


1 comment:

Phoenix said...

Hah! I loved reading all about your family's crazy adventures (and I love the pioneer photos, especially the one with the kids aiming guns at each other. Isn't that how siblings make you feel?)

I hope you have just as adventurous a fall, Okie :)