Saturday, April 28, 2012

Worth Documenting

Clearly Shawn's new tri bike works pretty well, because he conquered Emigration Canyon in 31:55.8.  That's definitely a new personal best for him.  (And so far out of reach for me, that I may just give up trying.)  I think I'll only ride with him if he takes his old bike from now on.
Congratulations Shawn!  That's an awesome time!

Spring Ballet Recital

The little girls have been excited for this day for a long time.  I'm just glad it was in April this year to help alleviate all of the May Madness that comes with the end of the school year.  They wanted to pose for pictures before we left.

(Love the ballerina poses.)
The recital was The Secret Garden.  Duffy was a Rosebud Ballerina.  Of course, the most exciting part was that they got to keep their costumes this year.

Amelia was a Little Lady in the Garden.
As always, one of the best parts is being in ballet class with their cousins.  Amelia and Ellie even got to be partners for their dance.  So fun!

Afterward, they were excited to get flowers.
All the cousins together.

Duffy kept asking for days before whether I thought she would get any flowers.  Phew!  Good thing we remembered, although Shawn did have to run and get them on the way to the recital.  But still, mission accomplished.  (Better than last year when we had to stop by the store after the recital to pick some up because I had forgotten.)
Amelia got to perform in the afternoon recital as well.  She was a "Butterfly Catcher".  She danced with the littlest ballerinas who needed a little help - the Bitty Butterflies.
Amelia and her Bitty Butterfly, Maren.

And then she also did her other dance a second time as well.  It was fun to get to see her dance multiple times.

One more spring performance checked off the list!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Oh My

Ever have those days where you're thinking, "Seriously, I need to clean out this car."  And then you pull into the parking lot next to this car, and realize, "You know, my car's not so bad."
Really, truly, the pictures can't do it justice.  The car was absolutely packed from front to back and side to side with trash.  There was just a spot carved out for the driver to sit in.
It was like watching Hoarders.  I could hardly pull my eyes away.  I just kept walking around the car trying to decide if it was really true.  It was.  I now have the incentive to clean out my car.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Spring Break 2012 Days 6 and 7

The first surprise on Saturday morning was that the Easter Bunny had somehow found us even though we were in a hotel room in the middle of nowhere.

That tricky bunny hid some of those Easter bags outside on the balcony.
Once we got over the excitement of Easter baskets and were on the road again, we saw a sign for the Jolly Green Giant.  Of course, we had to stop.

Woody climbed right up into his boot.  The wind blew his hat off, at which point he said, "I think the wind just took my hat."  It was a little eery how he would occasionally blurt things out without anyone pulling his string - and they were always appropriate for the occasion.

I'm not quite sure why it was set up so that your view looking up would be right up his tunic, but that's how it was.  At least he was wearing his tights.

There were so many great roadside attractions on the way to Mt. Rushmore.  I wish we had had more time to stop and enjoy them all.
Yes, the corn palace is actually a building made almost entirely of corn cobs.  Who knew?
The skeleton man walking his skeleton dinosaur.
Must have still been moving when this picture was taken.  Really sad that we didn't get a chance to stop at Wall Drug.  According to all the signs, that was the place to see, but we were really trying to make it to Mt. Rushmore before the shops and things closed.
And there it is.  I was really excited for this one.  It's been on my bucket list for a long time.
It's pretty incredible to think about what it took to carve that out of the mountainside.
Woody taking an up close and personal look.
This walkway has flags from all 50 states and each state and the date carved into the pillars.
(This sort of behavior was pretty constant throughout the vacation.)

Lots of different views.  (Man I wish I had remembered the real camera!)

Samantha doing a little nose picking.  I'm sure Washington was grateful.

The kids always take pictures of things like this.  I guess they like the lines or textures?
We asked Jonas to take a picture of us, and this is what we got.  He just kept pushing the button and didn't stop.  There are probably about 40 pictures of us standing there.  (That's what you get when you ask a teenager for a favor.)

We tried kissing to gross him out, 

everyone just ended up laughing hysterically.

And he continued to photograph.

It was a good thing we finally got the camera away from him!

We would have loved to stay for the lighting ceremony, but once again decided we needed to get on the road to make it home in a timely manner.

We drove until very late and stopped again for the night, picking up a speeding ticket along the way.  Amelia was asleep when that happened and when Samantha told her about it when she woke up, her response was, "Again?!"  (Clearly speeding tickets are a little too common in our family travels with Shawn.)
As we were driving home on Sunday, we stopped in at Martin's cove.  It was really cool, and someplace we would like to visit again. Always an amazing reminder to see what the pioneers went through - especially the Willy-Martin handcart companies.
Since we weren't home for Easter, it was a nice way to feel a little of the spiritual on that day and to be reminded of sacrifices that were made.
I definitely want to take my kids back when they can have a chance to pull the handcarts and walk the trail a little bit, (no handcart pulling on Sundays) and maybe even stay and camp for a couple of nights.  At least we know Peter could sleep comfortably under the handcart.
By the time we were finished at Martin's Cove, it was time to just push forward and make it home.  One more speeding ticket in Wyoming.  (At least it was a different state.) Everyone was glad to finally be home.  The drive was not nearly the horror that I had imagined it would be.  In fact, I'd say it was kind of fun.  And as Shawn proudly announced when we pulled into the drive way, "No one threw up!"  That in and of itself was monumental considering the length of time in the car.  (We hadn't dared mention the triumph any earlier for fear of jinxing it.)  So that alone made the whole trip a success!  Plus the rest of it was fun and the forced togetherness was alright, too.  I think we could handle another big road trip in the future.  Just have to decide where to go.  West coast is on my list.