Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sad to see the Korthouse's Leave

Our first true friends we made after moving to the SLC area have been such a blessing to our whole family! When Alyssa first met Debbie while scootering around Pony Express RV Resort, we couldn't have known what a positive impact they would have on our lives!  Through beading, bbqs, good food, & good beer, we have grown rather fond of Billy & Debbie!  It has been such a treat to see our kids enjoy them and to watch them enjoy our kids!  Even though we knew that the day would likely come that Billy's job would send them on their way, we were still bummed when it happened!  Fortunately, they've only moved on to Rock Springs, Wyoming, so they're not too far away.  Unfortunately, Billy found out he has lung cancer just before leaving, and even though he has beaten cancer twice before, our hearts ache for them for the journey that is at the moment.  Billy & Debbie, your kindness, generosity, and zest for life has been such a blessing to our whole family!!  We are so grateful that God orchestrated our meeting & our friendship!  We love & miss you & look forward to seeing you again!

(Note: We forgot to take photos on this day, they are from a previous visit) 
Something was very funny
The little ones were all over Billy; he loved every minute of it.
Billy playing "horsey back"

Friday, July 26, 2013

Our friends the Shipmans Visit

Having the Shipman's was a great birthday present for Steve
Ironically, after having no visitors for the time we've lived here, we had two requests to see us/spend the night over fourth of July weekend when we would be gone for the rally!  Fortunately, we were able to convince both to rearrange slightly!  Friends Steve & I made when we were working summer camp in the early years of our marriage were passing through on their way back from Oregon to Texas.  It's been a few years since we saw Joe & Emily last, as well.  Both of us have more kids than before!

The girls had lots of playtime in the basement
The boys did their best to tear up the bedroom
Although it was a short visit, we packed as much visiting in as we could!  Our crew got along great with their crew.  And once our Jake decided that their Jacob wasn't really a threat, he had an absolute blast with him!  There was much mess-making, mud-making, digging, searching for snail shells, and plenty of giggling!  Even though it was a short stopover, we're so glad you guys popped in for a quick visit, Joe & Emily & crew!

Joe is so hyper that is hard to get a still shot of him
Jacob, Jake, and Isaac

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Our friend Sarah comes for a visit

After having lived here for just shy of a year, we finally had our first houseguest!  Sarah was driving through SLC on her way back to Sacramento, and she kindly changed her plans to wait until we were back from the rally so we could hang out!  I think we had been home ten minutes or less when she drove up!  The awesome thing about Sarah is that no matter how much time has passed, we just pick right up where we left off! much time had passed since we last saw each other since she's been off gallivanting around Egypt & Vermont, that she thought we had five children and one on the way!!  Crazy girl!! ;)  Seriously, I think I was pregnant with number three the last time we saw each other!

Anyway, we're sooo glad she rearranged her plans to spend a few days with us!  It was great catching up! It was a treat to see how much our kids enjoyed her company, and she joined right in with our craziness without skipping a beat!  She joined us for Steve's company picnic/party day at Lagoon amusement/water park, and she came along for a hike to Cecret Lake which included beautiful wildflowers, moose, rain, and a little preschool poop-drama!  Hey, we never said life was boring! :)

Miss you Sarah!!

Jake and Genna had an absolute blast at Lagoon.
Sarah, Steve, Shanan, Alyssa, and Genna got very wet on the Rattlesnake Rapids
The girls on the train, the only 'ride' that Linda was able to go on.
Jake loved Sarah. He still talks about her.
We spent one evening playing Uno and Apples to Apples
We always stop for a photo at this spot. 
Despite the rain, we made it to Cecret lake.  Notice the patches of snow in July.
A cow moose we saw on the drive up. We saw two more after our hike.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

While in town for the Rally, we couldn't pass up an opportunity visit another National Park!  We knew we wouldn't really be doing any hiking at this point, but this park is great for just enjoying the views (though there is hiking available for those that want/have time to).  There are a lot of views (twelve, I think) you can pull off for, but if you're pressed for time, or you just don't enjoy taking the kids in & out of carseats a million times, there's a few great ones to check out.  My personal favorite was Painted Wall.  The view was spectacular, and there was an awesome breeze blowing out of the canyon.

After we were "viewed out" -- at least the kids & I were, we decided to drive down to the river.  It's definitely steep & curvy, but it was a pleasant change.  We found a spot we could pull off & walk down to the river to dip our feet in.  It was cold, bone-chilling actually!  We also found a few wild raspberries to snack on!

This was our first sight of the Black Canyon
This amazing view is just below the visitor center
I think this is called the "Sunset view"  It was one of my favorites.
We even matched that day, although Linda's belly is slightly bigger
We love to gross out the kids :)
This pretty girl loves to pose
Our favorite view: The Painted Wall
We had a great time visiting here, and it wasn't too hard on Linda since it was mostly viewpoints.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fulltime Families Rally in Montrose, Colorado

Family shot before the Luau 
When we discovered the Fulltime Families Rally was being held within driving distance of Salt Lake City, we felt compelled to make the effort to be there.  It's hard to pass up a chance to reconnect with old friends we met while on the road and make new, like-minded friends.  We've found the fulltime community to be unique in that it is typically much easier to achieve authentic community in much less time than in the greater community at large.  There is a recognition that the time you have is right now because you know you'll both be moving on, so there is generally much greater effort to make the most of the time you do have.  So, despite being 33 weeks pregnant, we decided to make the drive for one last hurrah in the rig this summer!

Kimberly hosting the "Not so Newlywed Game"
Kimberly Travaglino, as always, had a fun-filled activity schedule to help make it easy to spend time with others, make new friends, & reconnect with old ones.  Genna adored the craft barn at Jellystone, & I loved the fact that she had ample opportunity to indulge her craftiness, with no mess in the rig!  Jake fell in love with the playground, of course.  We took advantage of the pool, too, since we don't have as many opportunities to swim here in SLC as compared to Texas.

Our girls loved the Mommy pasta makeover
Spaghetti was for dinner for many of the moms that evening
Let's Make a Deal, with Shanan as one of the game show girls.
Shanan won a His/Her watch set :)
Kimberly had quite the line-up of games which provided lots of fun & entertainment.  Steve & I somehow excelled at the Not-so-Newlywed Game & scored the grand prize of a $50 gift certificate to a local sushi restaurant---how did that happen?? :)  Genna scored well in Let's Make a Deal and landed us a $25 gift certificate to a local pizza joint.  Somebody must have been looking out for my pregnant self; it was a treat to get to go out for dinner twice!  The Luau Dance Party was a bit hit---okay, maybe not for the 12 year-old or 2 year-old, but the others enjoyed it immensely!  Love watching my kids enjoying themselves like that!

The Redneck Luau as it was getting started
Clementine and Lewis (who poses for photos as well as Jake)
Mr. Anderson took the red pill
Alyssa discovered that she likes dancing, Shanan not so much
We all had lots of fun at the Luau dance
Daddy/Daughter dance
Genna had fun dancing with Rosalee and the other little girls.  (I don't think Rosalee likes the lei around her neck though)
All in all, we're so glad we made the effort to make it to the Rally this year.  It might have seemed a bit odd because we're not currently full-timing, but this is a community we readily connect with.  We've missed that, so it was great to be a part of it again, even if for a short time!

Linda's belly was only 3/4 of what it was in the end