Monday, July 28, 2008

I HATE Blogger....

Man, Blogging is nice, but there is something wrong with the software on this site. I can never seem to get all of my photos to enlarge when I upload them. On out last post, they all enlarged at first, then some of them randomly decided to stop doing it. Anyhow, it's late, I give up, and Blogger now owns my soul.

I'll probably delete this in the morning, but I needed to vent! Grrrrrrrrr!!!!

The Best Trip Ever!!!

Glacier National Park!!

Words cannot express the awesome.

This last week we were lucky enough to get a visit from Aunt Suzanne, Uncle Jim, and our cousin Grant. They flew all the way from New York to visit us and to take a trip to fabulous Glacier National Park. We were overjoyed to see them, as they are some of our favorite people on the planet!
If you have never been to Glacier, I express my condolences. It is absolutely BEAUTIFUL!! This trip was fairly short, but we packed a ton of stuff into those four days. The weather was beautiful, the views were exquisite, the lodgings were comfortable, and even the food we ate was splendid (although we don't recommend the fresh whitefish au blanc beurre at the local diner in West Glacier - the sous chef must have been off that day). Anyhow, I'll let the pics do the talkin'.

Here we are, just outside of Glacier Nat'l Park!! Can you believe they let this ragged bunch through the gates?

Home sweet home!! The "Staggerin' Inn" was a fantastic place to stay, despite the flagrant use of puns exhibited in it's colorful name.

Berry pickin' fools. Grant and Jim decided to reach for the good stuff rather than settling for 'low hanging fruit'. Check out Grant's nimbleness - he actually stood like that for about ten minutes straight. True to form, Jim fell off the fence every 60 seconds.
What could be better than fresh picked berries to sprinkle on your cereal at breakfast time?
The beautiful falls along the Trail of the Cedars

Some ferocious local wildlife along the Trail of the Cedars. Do NOT feed the animals!!After a rousing hike, the group paused for a delicious (and nutritious) lunch by Avalanche Lake. This picture was taken just inches from the spot where we saw an unidentified snake several minutes earlier. Thankfully, the Snake Gods were smiling on us that day, and the snake didn't steal anybody's sandwich.
A magical cascade by the Avalanche Lake. It's so magical that Unicorns come from far and wide to drink from it's crystal clear waters.

Uncle Jim and Amy enjoy a cool, refreshing beverage after a long day of hiking.
On the second day, we got stuck waiting for construction for 25 minutes. However, there's ALWAYS something to climb on around here, so nobody got bored.

This is the place where we got stuck for 25 minutes - it was such a boring, ugly place to be stuck - if you don't believe me just look at the picture we took!!
Here we are hiking up to the Hidden Lake - we hiked in the snow uphill both ways!! You kids have it EASY these days!!

Speaking of kids, we saw the cutest baby mountain goat hanging out with it's momma along the trail to Hidden Lake. It was really cute and fuzzy, and even the burliest lumberjacks among us said, "Ooooooh - isn't he CUTE!!"

The slightly less cute Bighorn sheep.
Behold!! The Majesty of the Hidden Lake!!
Okay, let me just say that Photoshop is AWESOME. This fantastic panoramic view was actually four pictures taken by Amy that we stiched together and color corrected in Photoshop. The program actually has a tool that does this for you and we think it did one heck of a job!!

With all of that Majesty just lying around, we figured we needed to get a group shot next to it.
The Mountain Goat says, "I'll show YOU majestic!"
Further on down the road: An overlook of Saint Mary LakeAnd FINALLY.........
What would a trip to Glacier Nat'l Park be without a picture of a real live glacier? This is a shot of Jackson Glacier, which is, ironically, one of the only actual glaciers you can see from the road.
This trip was the best trip we have been on in many years - thanks again to Uncle Jim, Aunt Suzanne and Grant for coming to see us and making this happen!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Utah Trip in Review - the longest trip EVER!!

Our trip to Utah was tons of fun and we took so many pictures--we may have to do installments or this could be the longest post ever! So here we go.

We planned this trip because Jim's brother Tim and wife Ashley are the new proud parents of baby Ian. In this case however, "proud" also translates to "sleep deprived". Ian is a beautiful healthy baby boy, and he is so cute! We all really enjoyed holding and rocking him during our stay with Tim and Ashley. We look forward to watching Ian grow - he seems to get cuter every day! Congratulations Tim and Ashley!

Ian looking thoughtful
"Hmmm - this example of the canine species appears to exhibit hues and patterns that do not appear commonly appear in the natural world!! Closer study will be necessary!!"

Ian whistling a tune for his father's amusement

Amy with TWO sleeping babies - but thankfully only one is in diapers
(I don't know HOW they got Ian potty trained so fast, but they did!)

Grandma feeds Ian a bottle and plots about the easiest way to
sneak the baby home in her suitcase!

Jim's Mom and Dad drove cross country to visit their new Grandson - now I hear you asking, "That's a long way? Why didn't they just fly?" Well, the reason is because they are really nice parents. We recently bought a car from Jim's grandma, and Jim's parents were kind enough to drive it all the way from New York to Utah for us!! It's not actually a brand new car, but for all the world it looks like one!! We are so thankful to Grandma Muz for selling it to us and we've really enjoyed it!!

Jumping for joy!!

We went shooting twice on our trip - Jim was embarrassed because he hasn't shot at clay pigeons in a while and he missed a lot of good ones. Jim's brother Tim fared much better. We took a picture of the back of his head (lower right corner) because, despite his prowess with a shotgun, he didn't get the looks in the family!! Just kidding!! The truth is that we got the back of his head because standing in frond of someone who is shooting is a bad idea. And often results in a Darwin Award for the photographer.

Amy forgot to wear a hat, so we made her one out of the used shotgun shell boxes!

While we were in Logan, Mom, Dad, Jim, and Amy took a nice hike up in Logan canyon. The trail was supposedly only 1.3 miles long, although we all severely doubted that measurement by the end. What they don't tell you is that there is a fair portion of the trial (not, that's NOT a typo) that seems to go straight up. However, the view was absolutely beautiful and the wind caves (which were actually made by water) were very cool. It's definitely worth the uphill slog!!

The next stop on our weird, wild vacation was a trip down to Nephi, UT where we met up with Amy's side of the family. It was really great because all of Amy's immediate family managed to be there, as well as a few aunts and uncles, and Amy's Grandma. It was great to see everybody, and we had so much fun!! It's always amazing to see how fast the grandkids (ok, nieces and nephews to us) grow up, and this trip was no exception. We also got to see Baby Bailey for the first time - she was only 2 months old, and very cute!!

Amy's dad (Bruce) shows off the guitar that he built from scratch!! It was really amazing to see the finished product - he built all the forms and molds by himself!!
Dirk and Jim worked on a much simpler project - a toy sailboat. Blake had fun playing with his sailboat in the backyard by the little waterfall display.

During the visit, a bunch of us went hiking in Salt Creek canyon !! Dirk and Paige both helped clear the weeds from the trail - Dirk with his "whackin' stick" and Paige by collecting armloads of wildflowers. Does anyone now doubt the inherent internal programming differences between boys and girls?

Amber and Baby Bailey; Blake blowing a dandelion; Paige and Kayle; Blake in a 'logger's chair'

So that was the majority of our trip - we also have a few more pictures to show from the journey home, but those will have to wait for another time!! Phew!! If you made it this far, give yourself a pat on the back. And an ice-cold beverage! You've earned it!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Manito Park

So, I've had the idea to decorate some of the bare walls in our apartment with photos of flowers. I've looked around in the vast selection of home decor stores that the Northwest proudly offers (which is pretty much Target, Kohls and Walmart), and have found pretty much nothing. Which leaves me with my own "talents", so with camera in hand, Jim and I paid a visit to Spokane's very own Manito Park. Can I just say I love this park! It is a 90 acre park with 5 different gardens.

The Rose Garden

The more formal Duncan Garden.

Jim on a bridge
And a bridge of Shrubbery
Anyway. These are the pics that I like best. The colored pics are the originals and the B&Ws, I played with a bit in photoshop.

I'm hoping these are worthy of a frame.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

A recent conversation between Jim and Amy.....

A few nights ago we were sitting watching TV. As the Olympic trials have been televised as of late, they seem to have sparked a few humorous moments as we grasp for the names of obscure sports. The recounting of the following conversation will most likely land me a spot on the Olympic "Sleeping on the Sofa" team.

Amy: "Hey, I have a question."

Jim: "Ok, what?"

Amy: "What is that sport where they go down a hill on skis and then they jump?"

Jim: "Uh, you mean Ski Jumping?"

Maybe this conversation isn't funny to anybody except us, but I got a big kick out of it and I have been teasing my wife unmercifully ever since.

I have to say though, this incident reminds me of my lovely sister April. She's been known to have a few moments like this of her own.... I guess Amy REALLY fits in with our family!