Saturday, September 18, 2010

Clarification & other items

I have been meaning to write and explain that the last post was not the entire truth. Everything in it was truthful, but many things were left out. I was tired when writing that post and did not have the stamina to bring up all the stresses that come with a family road trip. Needless to say, if the last post made the family road trip seem like nothing but sunshine and butterflies, it was misrepresented. Overall, I do feel it was fun and a good experience but in order to get that you have to endure the stinky hotel rooms, the ill-timed bathroom trips, the constant "how much longer", the many bad food choices, e. coli-tainted water at the campground, children who think playing with deer skat is fun, family members who over plan or back-seat drive. Writing about the good things is easier on my stomach lining.

ANYWAY, here are a few pictures from the last few weeks. Ryan started kindergarten at the beginning of September. He loves it and is doing very well. Pick-up time comes very early for us. Alison and I are wondering what we used to do together last school year when Ryan was in preschool 3x/week. She has decided that she should be able to watch TV the entire time Ryan is at school. Some mornings, that is very tempting.

On Labor day, we decided to go to Angel Island. We got up early (for a holiday) and took the ferry from Tiburon to Angel Island. I had never been there before. It was a gorgeous day in the Bay. Blue skies all around with no fog. We did not take bicycles (we should probably do that next time) but walked all the way around the island (5 miles!) The boys wanted to go to a beach and it was basically half-way around so we were committed for the whole trip. I had to give Ryan a piggy back for about 3/4 mile and Jacob for ~1/4 but other than that, we made it with little fuss. The first mile was the hardest. "I don't want to walk. I am hot. I am tired. Why are we doing this? Why can't we just go swimming at home? Why did you decide that we had to do this? This is no fun". Amazingly, after we walked the 5 miles and the boys got to swim at the our lunch spot and again at the bay where the ferry came, they both agreed it was super fun. I think they were really proud of themselves for making it all the way around.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Family Reunion and family road trip FUN!

Here are a few more pictures from the Young family road which included an extended family reunion as well as a mini-road trip/reunion with some Stovall families. Overall, we made some fun memories and saw some beautiful places. It was nice to be together. The kids at 12-mile flat in the Manti-LaSal national forest where we had our family reunion. It was beautiful and the only thing I have to complain about was that it rained basically for part of the day, every day. Other than that, we had a good time and enjoyed seeing lots of family. We are glad so many came and braved the primitive camping to be with family.
Singing with some second cousins around the campfire. It was always dry and clear when it came time for campfire. That was nice.

Alison at 12-mile. She was kind enough to remove her binkie from her mouth for the picture (you will see it in her hand). Before we left, I started "leave the binkie in the bed" to transition binkie-usuage to the bed only. That was not a smart thing to do before vacation because I basically relied on the binkie to make my life easier as we traveled around and slept in strange places. So, now that we are home it is back to "binkie in the bed" although I don't think she takes me serious. I've lost some credibility.

A great picture from our trip. Seriously, this is the view from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon. Fog. We were in a cloud and clouds filled the canyon. It was a long 6 hours (3 there and 3 back) for fog which we could have seen on a trip to SF. I guess it gives us a reason to go back sometime.

The Young and the Bardsley kids and dads in front of Bryce Canyon. This was before our awesome hike down into the rocks. It was less than a mile and a half but there was lots of elevation change. Luckily, we decided not to take the stroller and John volunteered to stay back with Alison. That was one of the best decisions of our trip. About half way into the hike the kids were done so we had to motivate them by finding "magic" trees and rocks that they needed to touch to get energy. Good thing there are lots of rocks in Bryce canyon!

This is near the Narrows in Zion National park. We rode the shuttle bus into the valley to the last stop, got off, walked 3 minutes to the river, touched the water and threw some stones, and got back on the shuttle, got in our car, and drove home. Needless to say we will also need to return to Zions to actually get off the bus and see more of the park. The drive home was not bad except for the small issue of traffic out of vegas headed to LA on a Sunday afternoon. Sitting in bumper to bumper traffic in the middle of the dessert in the middle of the day in August is not fun. Ever.

A gaggle of cousins with Grandma and Grandpa at the cool Zions River resort where we stayed for just one night. The kids got to go swimming and loved it. They had been waiting to go swimming the whole vacation and finally, the last night, they got their wish. We thought the rain might come but someone had mercy on these little kids and the rain stayed to the east.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Alison's birthday and other summer events

Here are a few pictures from the last month or so. Alison turned two at the end of July and I think we sang happy birthday to her and had cupcakes at least 3 different times with different family members. Now she thinks it is her birthday all the time. There are also a few pictures from our small roadtrip out to Utah. More about that in our next post.

Hanging out on the lawn in front of the Utah state capital. We needed a place to hang out and eat our vacation lunch (sandwiches and other goodies from the cooler) and the grass here was green and there was shade. It was quite warm in SLC that day, something that we are not used to this summer.

Through my smile I am telling Ryan that if he is doing bunny ears, I am going to hurt him or take away wii for a long time.

Alison enjoying one of her birthday cupcakes. Her new hairbows are from her Aunt Dakin.

We had lots of fun with Luke, Zachary, and Elizabeth while they enjoyed their last few weeks in the USA. This is a favorite picture and one we will look at a lot and think of them in their new home in England.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Is it the middle of summer already?

I am not sure what tone of voice I am asking the question in the title. Some days it is "Isn't it the middle of summer yet? Isn't school going to be starting soon? Please?" and other days I'm freaking out thinking that summer is already half over and we have done only two things on the 101 fun things to do with your kids this summer list. School does not start here until September 1st so there are still more weeks left in summer than we have wasted. Wasted is not a good word. We have been busy and have only had a few days to sit at home and do nothing (except complain about doing nothing and watch TV). Our first two camping trips are over with only one left. The 4th of July with visits from lots of family came and went. We took our annual trip to the fair and bought a funnel cake, just for Katy (even though she was not there. Katy, it really wasn't that good. Really.) John and Dakin's trip across the US is in its final stages and we get to see them a few more times before they leave the country. Alison's second birthday is in two weeks but I am not sure how we are going to celebrate considering that we want to leave on our exciting Utah vacation that day. I am sure we will do something but maybe it will be in Utah. Here are a few pictures from the fun events of the last few weeks. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Signs of summer

After a cold and dreary spring, we are finally having some signs of summer here in Fremont.
Sign #1: End of baseball! Closing day was last Saturday. I will not miss sitting at night freezing during 2 hour games but I will miss watching how much Jacob and Ryan enjoyed playing.
Ryan with his trophy and some teammates

Jacob and his 1st place team

Sign #2: The young berries (blackberries) are in! This is a variety of blackberry that ripens at the end of May. I think because of all the rain this spring, our crop is especially abundant. Alison is sporting some of the juice here on her face.

Sign #3: Messy babies, all the time. Why is summer messier than than the other seasons? It just is. (That is chocolate frosting all over from the most delicious chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes)

Monday, June 7, 2010

24 left to go

iron-on t-shirts that is. Twenty-four gold stars that say "Hirsch 2010 1st grade stars". Luckily the stars are small and only take 45 seconds each to iron-on. The shirts are for our spring program on Tuesday where each grade level does a dance and the whole school sings some songs. Kind of like the May day program at Parkmont except parents put this on instead of teachers. There is even a maypole dance by the 6th graders. I am in charge of 1st grade and we will be dancing to "Liza Jane" (a country-esqe version) in cowboy hats and bandanas. Oh, and the t-shirts. Can't forget the t-shirts. It really hasn't been that bad but after already doing 38, I am starting to hit a wall. So, I decided that I should blog. Donna mentioned that it is time that I update the old blog and I was confused because I knew that I have posted pictures within the last 4 months. That was up to date for me. Apparently, it was not good enough. Kristy has been writing on her blog lately and I have been enjoying those posts. Yes, I am a lurker and generally don't make comments probably because I sneak a peak at blogs late at night or during the day when I am supposed to be watching my kids.

John uploaded some photos to our computer the other day so I will go look for some to put up. Tuesday is the last baseball game for both boys and Saturday is the closing ceremonies. We survived our first year of little league. I am surprised how much the boys liked it and how they never complained even after more than 4 months of practices and games. I thought we would do it one year to see how it went, but it looks like we may have to do it again. I may move Ryan up early so at least we are not on 2 different teams and at the ball field Tues-Sat.

Did I mention that I got a new computer? And printer? Yes, John and I bought our first computer of our marriage last month and now have updated our printer after 10 years. I guess it was time. Now, we just need to buy a new kitchen table and a bed for Alison's room and I think we will be good for the rest of the year. Wait, I forgot about new window coverings for the house. It just doesn't look great when your mini-blind slates start breaking and haning sideways off the window. Not too classy. I think that was going to be my birthday present last year, but I never got around to it. Possibly because we had to replace the garage window and door from the house to the garage. Anyway, we should be good after that purchase until it is time to get a desk for the boys room and update the 30 yr old couches in our living room.

To my siblings: you may be getting strange letters from me in the next few weeks. I was going through a box of my school stuff that mom saved and ran across some items that got filed in the wrong places. There are several pieces of John's second grade (?) art work, a report card of Danny's (I know you want that), as well as a journal entry Kristy wrote on the day she was baptized. Donna, I don't think I have anything of yours, but I might. I will try to get those mailed out soon. I found some awesome projects and papers in my pile and pulled them out to put on the blog and then forgot and put them back in the box and asked John to put the box up in the garage rafters. Then, I remembered the next day that I wanted to type some of them out. Ouch. Guess it will have to wait until we move or something because I don't think there is any chance of John getting up there again anytime soon. Anyway, one thing that I remember was a paper from 2nd grade where I wrote about what I wanted to be when I grow up. I believe that I wanted to be the wife of the President of the United States (feminism hadn't quite reached 2nd grade parkmont yet) or a movie star. I think I also wanted to drive a convertible. Ahh, the dreams of youth.

Well, the iron has been on and it getting quite hot waiting for me to type this so I had better get back. Enjoy the pictures. It was nice talking with y'all.

On a family hike at a windy Coyote Hills. Skin cancer inspires stupid hats.

Ryan (3rd from rt) in the A's dugout

Jacob in his Rays uniform

At Ryan's preschool graduation

The crowded car on our way camping for Memorial day. Front right is a pile of stuff (the car chair was taken out).
Guess it is time for a car-top carrier.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ryan's 5th birthday

Ryan turned 5 on St. Patrick's day. Of course we had green pancakes for dinner and a bright green cake for his birthday. He got a bunch of hot wheel track items and last weekend went to see "how to train a dragon" with Grandma and Grandpa Young (a birthday wish). Ryan also had a pizza lunch with a group of his friends from his preschool. He has a nice group of friends at preschool and we have never had any of them over to play so it was nice to have them over for his birthday. John also had his birthday in March. If you missed his facebook post, he got a wii for his birthday. The boys get to play it sometimes. We had to stress that it was not their wii, but dad's.

Here is a recent family picture. Yes, those are bunny ears. Jacob is in the bunny ear phase. How long does that last?

Winter family visits

The beginning of the year is usually a cold, long, depressing time for me but this year, it went fast since we had a visit from Dakin and her children as well as Grandma. It was really fun to see them here and even have a sleep over! We hope to see them all sometime in the next few months.

We forgot to take pictures until early in the morning on the day everyone was leaving. They were good sports about it even though everyone had just woke up.

With Grandma, after church.

Alison and Elizabeth had some fun times. They both needed to have purses this day.

Whoops, legoland picture from the last post. Oh well.

San Diego Trip

I am finally getting around to post some pictures of 2010. I have given up ever getting our New Year's day trip to Santa Cruz posted (it was a beautiful day, by the way, for all you who were wondering) but I will try to get some of the other events like our family trip, visits from family, and some birtthday put up. I have also almost given up writing on the blog and just posting photos. You will notice the # of pictures have increased while the number of words is decreasing.

San Diego trip summary: Left Thursday before President's day. Returned home the Tuesday after. Went to Legoland, San Diego zoo, and the San Diego Wild Animal park. Vacationed with John's brother and his family (who got us great hotel deals). Overall rating: SUPER AWESOME!

The kids and their cousins.

Baby elephant that was born the day before. Seriously.

Let's just say after this picture was taken, there was a bit of gorilla chase and smack-down. The boys could not believe that John had captured the pinch on camera.

At a park in downtown San Diego.

Studying the map at the San Diego zoo.

Mama and baby panda. We rushed to see this since the baby is only out in the morning.

After a full day at the zoo and spending all their hard-earned money at the gift shop. Jacob and Ryan did jobs for the 6 weeks before the zoo to earn money to spend. They were so excited. We came home with a zoo of stuffed animals.

Alison at Legoland. She was too small to go on a lot of the attractions but luckily she was too young to care. She is having fun at a musical fountain.

Ryan at Legoland.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And after 7 years...

I am finally released from primary (3 years as chorister, 4 years as president - mind you there was a month release in there when we combined wards and our ward was dissolved but then I was recalled the next month). Anyway, it is funny that the Sunday before Alison goes into nursery I am released having never had to sit in the hall outside of Sunday school or relief society with an antsy toddler praying for 18 months to come. John and other ward members had that responsibility for all of our children. Thank you. I started thinking that I missed something but then I realized...I had it every other day besides Sunday!

Seriously, I am not sure I am going to be able to take SITTING for Sunday School and Relief Society. I picture myself jumping up, screaming, and running out of the relief society room due to claustrophobia or other phobias (the room is so small... and we can't wear perfume because of fragrance allergies = problem).

Anyway, I am back to my old calling of RS enrichment leader only it has changed names since the last time I had it (and it had changed names that time from the previous time I had the calling) so anyone out there that loves something their RS does for weekly meetings, please let me know. I think my mom just got the same calling so I'll pass the info on to her as well. Thanks in advance. Part of success in callings is just knowing the right people who have great ideas and borrowing them.

Ryan is here and wants to say something: Monday. I went to school today and I could not believe that everything was changed up. My teachers changed everything up. There was an earthquake when I was at my school. We had one the day before that also. Two in two days. (mom note: they were centered in Milpitas so we felt them pretty good even though they were small). I wanted to see what was up with everybody but not my friends. The school is fun but I had to go. (mom note: I am making him stop now)