Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Happy 18th Birthday Mari!

Mari's 18th birthday coincided with Father's Day this year. Since Kirk and I had just barely gotten back to town...we waited a few days to celebrate. She wanted to have a nice dinner with her friends. She set the menu, I cooked and then we set a very nice table outside on the patio. Thank goodness the weather cooperated.

Mari's 5th birthday...we had just moved to Jackson!

Mari's 18th birthday!!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


From Port Angeles, we took a ferry over to Canada and docked in Victoria in British Colombia. The ferry was a bit wavy at first, but I got used to it.

The main purpose of coming to Victoria was to go to Butchart Gardens. These gardens were constructed under Jenny Butchart many years ago and are still privately held by her granddaughter today.

The gardens were extensive and incredibly beautiful. Here's Kirk in an area of the japanese garden.

We took the ferry from Sidney, B.C. to the San Juan Islands of Washington State. There are quite a few islands in this area, but only a few are inhabited. We stopped in San Juan Island at Friday Harbor and went and whale watched and visited a very cool lavender farm. Incidentally, this area of Washington grows the most lavender outside of Provance, France!

Here's a not so great photo of the whales...but we were able to watch a pod of like 10-11 whales! So awesome.

After San Juan Island, we stayed overnight on Orcas Island which is probably my favorite. It was also very green and the island had the unusual shape of a narrow horseshoe. It had beautiful lookouts and many hiking trails. From Orcas, we island hopped to Shaw Island...would NOT recommend visiting here....there is only a tiny general store right at the dock and no restaurants! What does that tell you? they don't want you there! Next stop was Lopez Island...I think this was Kirk's favorite island...full of hippies! It was rather interesting....lots of people come here to bike ride cuz it's the flattest terrain of all the San Juan's. Here's a pic of our last ferry ride as we went to Anacortes on Fidalgo Island. From Fidalgo Island, there are bridges to everywhere else.

And the last stop of our road trip was Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It really is a very beautiful area, but it paled compared to what I had already seen! From here, we basically took EVERY scenic road and followed water on our way home to Jackson. So, one week and 2700 miles later we were back in Jackson.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


We arrived at the Oregon coast at dusk and stayed the night in the quaint little town of Seaside, Oregon. Actually it's a tourist destination, particularly in the summer and has a darling downtown (darn it if all the shops were closed!). I'd never been to the coast in Oregon and found it absolutely delightful.

Early the next morning, we drove to Canon Beach, Oregon and found this incredible's called the Haystack. It had an UNBELIEVABLY LOW TIDE this the 2nd time it's ever done this! We were able to walk way out on the beach.

This lump of "stuff" is typically completely submerged and we found it fascinating to observe. You would poke on it and these creatures would suck in and was so cool.

we saw tons of starfish, but this beauty is a sunflower starfish..

We continued heading north up the coast into Washington and entered the Olympic National Park. This is taken at Ruby Beach with this cool rock.

Then we headed inland for a bit and entered the Hoh Rain Forest. This place was AWESOME and absolutely UNBELIEVABLY so GREEN!!! Moss grew everywhere and it was like we were in another world. Obviously, to be this green it has to rain a ton, but we were fortunate and never got rained on!

me in the Hoh rain forest
After the Hoh rain forest, we headed in the direction of Forks, Washington...yes...where Bella lives from Twilight. The guys thought it would be fun for us "gals" to stay in Forks, but I nixed the plan, because, it is literally a dump of a town! We did drive on and stayed in Port Angeles (yes, that's in the Twilight novels as well) and the adventure continues....

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Kirk and I embarked on a road trip with some friends. I know...Kirk and I on the road trip...sounds funny, I know. My kids sure thought we had reverted back to our hippie days. ( maybe Kirk had hippie times, but I was just a baby!) The goal: the northwest. We sort of "knew" where we'd like to go and jogged around here and there on the map. Never knowing where we would spend the night...we drove till we liked a particular place. From Jackson, we drove to Boise, Idaho to drop off our friend's daughter. Then, we headed through Oregon..always heading west. Stopped for lunch in Hood River, Oregon....loved the town! Saw Mount Hood in the distance....several of my kids have been there for ski camps. Below is a photo of Multnomah Falls.

This waterfall is called Horsetail Falls.

This photo is of the Colombia River taken from the vista house. We followed the river for a bit.
Next stop: coast of Oregon.

Monday, June 21, 2010

our UN-invited guest

Kirk and I were on a road trip (more on that to come) when we get a "frantic" call from the girls saying that we have a BEAR in our yard. No, he is not a grizzly bear, but a black bear. He's what you would call a cinnamon-colored black bear. A couple of years ago we had a baby bear roaming around, but this is no baby!

He is trying very hard to get at my bird feeders! They are regulated around here to be 12 feet up in the air. Mine are actually way higher than that.

He takes a break and then heads out for another bird feeder.

this is one determined bear

...uh, maybe I shouldn't go out on that limb!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Mari's Graduation

Mari graduated from high school yesterday. With a new administration, it was short, sweet and to the point---a couple of performances, a couple of speeches and one main speaker. It was great. Way to go Mari--WE LOVE YOU!

This little family (mine babies) came too and they were SO excited to see Mari and her pretty "red necklace".

Each senior is given a "brick" to decorate and it hangs in the school. They used to use the real bricks of the school till they ran out! I know Lea and Kara have a real brick...can't remember if Ty did one?

Check out this used to be my mother's!!! Grandma is 82 years old. She gave it to Mari during our last visit to Utah. We estimate the dress to be at least 50-55 years old! I had to replace the frog closures because the original ones had all but deteriorated, but the dress is in mint condition. What a treasure....and a memory.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Rain, Rain, GO AWAY....

I CAN'T TAKE ANOTHER's driving me crazy, I can't deny....all I wanna do is CRY!! This is what I've looked at for the last couple of weeks...GRAY and OVERCAST and RAINY!

rainy, gloomy should be able to see the mountain...where is it? under the clouds!!!

there are benefits from the rain...gorgeous GREEN everywhere

plus, we get loads of WORMS!!! I only wish I had a little boy who would get joy out of playing with girls just think they are GROSS!

and yes, we've enjoyed plenty of RAINBOWS!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

What are the odds?!

Yes, what are the odds that two of my nephews are serving in the same mission at the same time and that they are companions? It's true...Elder Travis Aldous and Elder Hayden Roney are companions in the Madagascar mission. Travis has been out for about 18 months and Hayden just got to Madagascar. It's a small world in the gospel. We love you guys!