Wednesday, September 10, 2008

fine, FINE! Here's your stinking post! :)

Ok, sorry, I have been missing in action for a few weeks. Let's just say by the time the kids are in bed, the homework is done and the dishes are done (if I even get to those at all), I just don't have the energy to go get the camera and download the pictures.

But here I am! I did it!

It has been a fun few weeks. Kelly, Ken, the kids and Danica all came in to town for my Grandpa Balcom's 80th birthday party. Oh yeah, and grandpa and Vicki came too. It was really nice to be all together as a family. We made a little memory book for Grandpa and had a nice dinner and listened to him play the harmonica. Since his stroke in April he really isn't all there, but it was fun to see him in his element, playing the harmonica and having such a good time.

Danica was in town for a few days after Grandpa and Vicki left and we did a lot of really fun stuff. Not only did we get our usual canasta fix, but we also played some mean "beach" volleyball (it was actually back yard volleyball, but Luke insisted it was beach volleyball), went mining for fossils in Delta, Utah, did a little shopping, made some great meals, had our first family portraits taken since 1999, and had a big dinner for our cousins and aunts and uncles that were in town.

After Danica left, Kelly and Ken stayed in town for another week. Kelly and I got all crafty and made a tutu for Evelyn, and cute burp clothes and flower head bands for future baby gifts. We all went classic skating and Ryan did awesome! He could do it all by himself after just a little practice. He was almost run over a number of times on the rink since he was much more interested in the disco balls and flashing lights than the traffic flow. But we all had a great time. Kelly treated mom and me to a spa day at Sundance---oh. it was absolutely fantastic. Big shout out to Michael for watching the boys all day. It was pretty much heaven. We did pedicures and massages and I felt like I could just melt into a puddle of joy. We had lunch and had some great time to catch up and talk. It was fabulous. THANK YOU KELLY!!!!

I started my last semester of MBA school on September 2nd. It was so much fun to see all my friends again that had been gone for the summer. I was--suprisingly--really outrageously happy to be back in class with my friends. It made me kind of sad to be graduating early. I will really miss it! My classes this semester look like they are going to be really fun. I'll even get to do some international traveling for a field study class I am in. We'll get to go to Europe to do research on integrating solar energy products into buildings. Sweet!

So, as Michael already mentioned, we went to Yellowstone with Ken and Kelly and their kids for a few days. We had a great time doing hikes, seeing some awesome scenery, and getting up close and personal with some wildlife. A little TOO upclose and personal in some cases (see Michael's post) with the bears, but the Elk, Bison, Bald Eagles and--yes--ground squirrels stayed a comfortable distance away. But it was really cool to get to see them all up close.

The kids were all pretty good, except during nap time when it was getting pretty tough to get all 4 kids to nap at generally the same time. But during the hikes they did well. It was chilly but beautiful. We had a lot of fun, so thanks for thinking of it, Ken and Kelly!

So now our vacation is over and I am back in school. AnnaMarie and Tyler are in Provo for the whole month of September, and AnnaMarie is pretty much a saint. She is watching Ryan and Calvin while I am in class (if you haven't heard about the nanny fiasco, then we probably haven't talked since the beginning of August. Let's just say we're back to the drawing board as soon as AnnaMarie leaves, so if anyone knows of a trustworthy nanny looking for a job, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!!!). AnnaMarie is my hero. She got Ryan to eat carrots, which is a first, and the kids always come home happy. They live close to campus so I can run over there and see my boys in between classes, which is so nice, and when I have a break we go for walks and make homemade soft pretzels. I love it. I'm so glad you guys are here! What do I have to pay you to stay?????

So, that's what has been going on lately around here. I have lots of pictures of the fore-mentioned events but they are scattered on various memory cards, so for now I only have a few of our Yellowstone experience, so here they are:

Ryan jumping off a stump:

Ryan and Michael on a trail:

Remember how I called Calvin the spit bubble king of the world? This is proof:

Our family on a log:


Happy Caroline and a happy Calvin:

That's quite a load. And I am stoically taking the picture...

Happy trails:

Ryan, trying very hard to be just like Luke:

The whole group:

Awww, hugs:

1 comment:

Sharesa Larsen said...

Sounds like you guys had tons of FUN! Thank-you so much for calling, we are doing well, and we all need to get together and catch up! I love the pictures, they are awesome!