Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Holding on to Autumn. . .

Today was the most perfect fall day.  The weather was crisp, mist was hanging in the air, blue skies were poking through and wood smoke mingled in the freshness.  The rain hasn't set in yet so there is still plenty of fabulous fall color clinging to the trees.  Unfortunately I haven't had time to really capture the beauty this month like I did last month.  Luckily I have a few shots like this one to hold me over. . .


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Leaving Summer Behind. . .

During the autumn everybody gets to hear me profess my love of the season.  The foliage is beautiful, the air is crisp, the morning mist and fog is enchanting, getting the opportunity to wear cute sweaters and jackets, scarves and boots makes me happy, but something else ALWAYS happens. . . I get super busy.  My house work stacks up and my blogs get neglected.  which is sad, because I have plenty to document, and no time to do it.  I still have hoards of summer fun pictures to post and many fall ones.  Even now, I don't have time to do a proper post, but Signe and her little friend had hours of fun playing in the leaves in our backyard two days ago. And of course I stopped what I was doing and ran out to take a few pictures of them.  I thought I'd share my favorite one. . . of each.



And one more! I love this one even though you can barely see the little green frog in her hand.


I need to catch up on my life so I can post more fun fall pictures, and the summer ones too.

Happy Autumn!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Paris Ice Caves

I always wonder why people settle a new area completely unlike the one they came from and then name it the same name. Take Paris, Idaho, for instance.  I don't know if the original settlers were from France, though judging by their names (I googled it) I doubt it.  Paris is lovely--it is a lot of attractive things--but it in no way resembles Paris, France.  But then maybe that's not why they named it Paris.

Anyway, during our stay in Bear Lake, we took the girls up to the Paris Ice Caves.  But of course we didn't pay attention to the fact that it's name actually hinted at what it would be like. . . very cold.  So our hour long, creeping, snail's pace up the mountain roads brought us, ill-equipped, to the lovely--and very cold--ice caves.  We trekked around in there anyway, as far as our tank top clad, flip flop wearing selves could handle in the slippery, rocky, icy interior of the caves.

It was fun, nonetheless, and the girls enjoyed playing in the meadow around the caves picking wild flowers.  So the trip was not a bust, though the trip there and back far outlasted the time spent there.  And really, the drive was entertaining all by itself. The scenery was lovely and the wildlife--or not so wild life--made us stop and stare. . . though mostly because it waltzed into the road and then stopped to stare at us like WE were the show.  I actually had to get out of the car and shoo one off the road on the way down, which put the girls in a slight panic--we had the two oldest in our car and they tend to stress more than the little ones!

I still rate it a success!  Everyone came away with happy, tired smiles and fists full of wildflowers.



















Sunday, September 11, 2011

Bear Lake: The Lake


Traditionally, the Saturday of Rob's family reunion, aka Grandma's Day, is the lake day.  Everyone meets at North Beach and stakes a claim on a bit of waterfront real estate.  Then we set about putting up canopies, chairs and a volleyball net.  This year the water was higher than it had been in 10 years and, consequently, the beach was smaller--nonexistent on some stretches of the lake.  But on close inspection, it was determined that while North Beach was not the vast expanse of sand that stretched far from the road with plenty of space for parking your car, the twenty yards or so of sand was plenty--if you got there early.

But what we were met with upon arrival at Bear Lake was a notice stating that regular testing came back with above acceptable levels of E coli in the water along North Beach.  Lovely.  Luckily, the levels elsewhere were fine.  And since the lake is 20 miles long and 8 miles wide, we figured we'd see where else we could enjoy the water.

The whole family lake day was cancelled and everyone decided to spend the day at Grandma's, but our girls wanted to get wet, so Rob, his dad and his brother-in-law Tim arranged to rent a boat from the marina (which was just below the townhouse Rob's parents had rented for his immediate family), about halfway up the lake.   And apart from one minor incident when the "paparazzi" tube flipped, dumping Hannah and two of her cousins in the water--creating much shrieking and wailing and accusations of "I'm lucky I'm alive!", it was a fabulous morning for our group of six girls and six adults.  Oh, except that the temperature was 46 degrees when we left the house for the marina at 7:45 in the morning.   But the water was clear, calm and empty (and not nearly as cold as we expected), and before long the air lost its crispness and the weather remembered it was almost August.

Here is the evidence that it was indeed a spectacular morning on the lake:
























Monday, August 22, 2011

Bear Lake: The Reunion

Every year Rob's family makes the trip to Bear Lake,Utah/Idaho (the lake itself straddles the border) for Grandma's Day.  His grandma lives in St. Charles and it became a tradition long before I entered the picture to journey to grandma's and do a service project for her--one year they built a deck, another they painted the house and so on--then they would have a huge barbecue and play at the beach on the north end of Bear Lake.  Over the years the work became less of a focus.  Getting together and having fun is what it is was all about. Though this year Rob's dad and uncle did install a new water heater, so tradition had a rebirth!

Every year after we were married, Rob and I (and eventually the girls) would make the trip. . . until we moved to Washington.  The three hour jaunt to the lake became either a two hour plane ride and a three hour drive, OR a 13 hour drive.  We didn't go for three years.  But this year we decided to take one long vacation which included the reunion.  And to make it interesting, we made it a one hour plane ride, then a five hour drive, where we stopped and played for a couple days, then another three hour drive.  But it was worth it!

True to form, I took a gazillion pictures, so I am going to start with pictures from "Grandma's Day," the actual reunion day: documented.

Grandma & Zoey