This Blog is the journal/scrapbook/photo album etc. that is all about my family and our lives together. Here is where family and friends (and anyone else too, I suppose) can keep up on what's happening with us Mannimals! COMMENTS ARE APPRECIATED!! ;) Check back often as we'll respond to comments and make new posts as often as possible!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Adventures in UT

I know it's been just over 3 weeks since we got home and I'm just now getting the pictures up. (There are quite a few here and some really good ones in the mix.) We've been getting back into the groove around here and busy with a few new endeavors as well so I haven't had as much time for posting lately. Things are going well though and we're having a good time.

All of the pictures are in chronological order except the first batch that are of Mat's Birthday trip to Lagoon a couple of days before his Birthday. Athena and I missed the Lagoon trip since we had to change the date due to weather and already had plans to play the folf course up at Solitude with Rod and Tom. Thus the pictures are taken by my Mom and Robert using the stills they could get with our video camera so we could watch video of the event and have a few pics for the blog. Here are the best of them:

My cousin Alisa had her kids there as well that day so Mat had a friend to go on many of the rides with. That is My Mom, Mat, and Alisa's son Gage.

Mat and Gage on the cars. I remember riding those at Mat's age 24 years ago. Damn I'm getting old.

On the airplanes.

On the helicopters.

On the boats. Oh yeah, I definitely remember how it was to be 4 and on these rides.

On the whales. Good job on the photos for us!

The space ships, one of my early favorites.

Gage, Mom, Matrim, and Robert going on one of the new kid rides at Lagoon that I haven't seen yet.

Mat's got himself an adorable little shipmate on this voyage. ;) This one is the last of the Lagoon pictures.

Pre-UT Trip:

These are pictures that were taken in the couple weeks leading up to leaving for UT and I hadn't gotten a chance to get them up until getting home. Here is one of Avi wearing a cute outfit she got from Alisa.

What a fun family to have. :)

Our hardcore little girl loves her new toy she got from Justin and Alisha. She smiles and laughs and bounces around in it.

Its great to see how much they love each other and how good of a time they have playing together already. Mat's a great big brother.

Note the matching beer and shirt. Unintentional, but cool. I really like this picture.

A nice sunset from our back yard.

Aviendha has inherited Mat's crib; here's another cute example of her sleeping.

Hahaha. I took this picture as evidence of who was the most hard core one in the family after Dad. ;) I'm not sure what time this was at exactly but it was late and it ended up only Avi and I finished the show we were watching.

Mat sporting Mom's jacket.

OK, here come the UT pictures!:

Our first afternoon at Craig and Debbie's. Mat likes to water their plants.

On his way back.

Laughing and getting Grandpa with some of the water left.

Avi's not sure about her first time sitting on Grandpa's lap this trip. She just takes a little to warm up. :)

The combo Rod/Steve Birthday Party:

In the old days there were Rod and Kirsten combo birthday parties at Rod's. It was great to see Steve and Kirsten and the family. Mat would have had a great time with the kids but he gets kidnapped from us whenever we get into town.

Avi had fun with them though. :)

It was crazy to get to see our old friend Scott for the first time in years! It was a fun-filled night with a good chance to see many old faces!

Tom, Brian, Rod, and Scott (and the buffet table that was refilled with food all night).

Athena, Avi, Tom, and Brian.

A good one of Rod and Scott and some of the liquor stock for the night.

Joey, Mazzy, and Jory. Apparently Joey isn't as excited to see us as we are her. ;)

Tom, Rosie, Rod, Scott, Jory, Marianne, Sarah, Mazzie, Joey, Athena, and Aviendha.

A good picture of Jory and Tom posing it up with Brian looking on.

Athena, Joey, Mazzie, Michelle, and Michael. It was great to get to see Michael and Michelle again. It's been a few years and they're good people.

Hmm... What's Rod asking Sarah?

Yes, I was fairly faded by Darts time and in trying my hand at an underhand shot I managed to send the dart skidding up the surface of the roof. ;)

Hmm. I'll try the rake rather than drunked climbing on Rod's garage.

Rake is a few inches short and April saves the day. :)

Steve's turn.

Athena gets evidence of Joey using a flash distraction technique to cheat for Jory. (Flash as in camera you pervs.)

Jory with a shot just out of the hand.

Rod's turn.

Scott is up.

This one didn't go on the roof, at least.

Bear Lake Family Party:

Aviendha giving one of her usual beautiful smiles while we're sitting on the beach up at Bear Lake.

Nick taking Matrim out for a boat ride.

"You're on your own."

It was a perfect day up there. The water was warmer than any time I've ever been to Bear Lake in the last 24 years that I can remember. It was a great day on/at/in the water. Athena showing Aviendha the waterline.

Luke had his neighbors come up. Nick and Calli had a good time.

One of Nick and Calli enjoying a beach moment toward the end of the afternoon.

Ben taking Mat out for a ride.

Mat had fun playing with Kendal's (we lived in the same neighborhood in Junior High) kids.

A good picture of my Mom, Luke, Nick, me, Athena, Mat, and Avi.

This is at the BBQ after our day at the beach. My Mom's friend Wendy stopped by with her kids.

Aviendha's first taste of a popsicle. Mat taking a rest while we waited to for our tour into the Minnetonka cave. This cave is on the northwest side of Bear Lake.

The gang waiting at the mouth of the cave. If I remember right the cave has 444 stairs that make 888 round trip. It's several thousand feet round trip.

One of the first rooms with some bigger stalags and here are several more:

Here's another good room. I guess they used to let people tour the cave for free and unguided until too many stalags were broken and stuff stolen. And of course someone probably got lost or something as well.

This room had load of stumpy ones and the ones on the far left are pretty big.

Can you see the large ribbon on the ceiling? They look like bacon when they're backlit.

Haha, this one was marked as picture 666 on our memory card and is one of the last and biggest stalags in the cave. The craziest thing happened on the way out of the cave. So our group was hiking out of the cave and we were just about back to the entrance (I was breathing hard carrying Mat up and down flights of stairs since he wasn't feeling good and had gotten tired on the way in) when it happened. Inside a cave in the middle of nowhere Idaho I hear someone call my name. I looked up from watching my footing and in the dimly lit corridor I realize it's my cousin Tyler! Shocked, I fumbled for something to say since we only had a few seconds before their group went further in and we came out. As I started to ask how he'd been (hadn't had a chance to see him since a family reunion after Mat was born) I noticed that it was not only him but his whole family (Aunt, Uncle, 3 cousins, and some of their families)! What a damn odd encounter to run into a bunch of family I hadn't got to see in years, inside a cave, miles from anywhere, in a state that none of us live in, on opposite direction tours! It was hard to get my mind around it all happened so fast.

Back to town:

Debbie and Avi hanging out on the grass out back of Craig and Debbie's.

Matrim, tuckered out from all the fun is asleep half standing up and half laying on the couch. :)

Avi and Mallie spending time together when we visited Stephanie.

They were very cute together.

Avi wonders why this little girl is closer to crawling. Time to start practicing more. :)

I saw Avi sleeping in the crib all up in the top corner and had to get a picture.

Matrim's Birthday Party: Aviendha and Stephanie Dickerson. It was good to see her and Aurora again.

Jenny brought over her nephew to Mat's birthday party. They had a good time playing in the pool.

That must be lemonade. I don't drink beer.

Ok, there was a slip n slide set up and no one using it. I figured I better show the birthday boy how to use it and have some fun!

Ok, I'm about ready to go.

Of course, Mat for some reason unbelievable to me has no interest in the slip n slide...!

But at least I can still rock it! ;) first try I tried with a shirt on and went about 2 feet and stopped, but I cruised the whole distance this 2nd try. Athena had great timing on this pic.

Aurora playing with Mat's new soccer ball.

Avi and Aurora getting to hang out.

Tony lives just down the road from Craig and Debbie so we had him stop by and hang out with us.

Nick, my Dad, Mat, Aurora, and Jenny's nephew credence.

Matrim blowing out his Birthday cake candles!

Sara and her new baby Cadence.

Matrim picked out the Scooby Doo piece for his slice of his cake.

Mat opening his kite from Jenny and credence.

He got an indoor basketball set from them too.

Lisa, Kristy, Sara and Cadence, Debbie, Craig, credence and Jenny

New clothes from Stephanie.

More new clothes from Grandma Maggie.

Aviendha was being cute while Mat opened his stuff.

A Birthday poem from Grandma Maggie.

And more clothes.

A Scooby Doo watch from his parents.

A hot rod from Kristy and Lisa. He also got one from Jenny, Jordan, and Alex, he has definitely found good use for both of them!!

The clothes he picked out shopping with Grampa D.

Mat put the bow on Avi's head

Some Birthday treasure.

Birthday card.

Mat opening his Cars chair from Jenny, Jordan and Alex.

The last present is a soccer goal with speaking target that Athena and I got him to go with his soccer ball from Craig and Debbie.

***WARNING***: Here is the quick background info on the following 3 pictures (which contain 2 of my favorite pics) before you get to them:

We ended up hanging out at Athena's parent's house for a bit after the party, not really in a hurry to get on the road and this was a little bit before we took off. Debbie and I were in the living room and I turned from talking with her when I heard a commotion entering from the kitchen and discovered a silly-string-shootout commencing with Athena, Craig, and Mat as the participants.

Figuring it for a prime time to bust out the camera, I jumped to grab it out of the case on my side of the couch. Appallingly, the camera was missing.... Somehow Athena had swiped it without my even noticing and was not only armed and shooting a can of string but was armed and shooting with our camera as well (both very successfully!).

So anyway, here are the pictures she took. ;) (And of course the pictures look even cooler viewing the them at their full quality.)

Ok, this one is cute and the first one she took after they had surprised and coated him and he'd shed some. He's learning how to return fire here. The next two are the coolest!

Here Athena either gets a great picture of Mat blasting Craig or she's turned to fire on her own father. :) (Nice shot at the watch and good acting job by Craig of getting blasted!)

And here is an open fire on Mat to coat him up with everything left in the cans. I don't think any of the specks are on the camera. Everything in sight is actually in flight from the onslaught. Look at him smile fearlessly/happily as they hit him with everything. :)

The Birthday party has warn him out and his Grandpa Craig is sharing his chair with him.

He's out cold.

The Hope women.

A mountainside fire we saw from the road on the drive home. I didn't get the camera out in time to see the flames but it was a rager.

Getting close to sunset. It's always cool to see the sun mostly blocked but rays still penetrating through the clouds.

It was cool to see an almost full moon at sunset when we stopped at this rest stop to take care of Avi.

And here's the first picture from back home. Matrim is playing goalie while Athena and I try to kick goals at him. He's a natural and wasn't easy to score on. He's loving his new soccer ball amongst all his other Birthday gifts.