Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Visitors and National Parks

Hi Everyone

I've been inspired to update the blog having received a letter from Wendy (Allen's Aunt)today saying how much she enjoys reading it.

As usual, we've had a busy couple of weeks. Anne, Pete and Emily were here for 2 weeks. I've included a photo of all the children and one of Abi at the children's museum - we went there on one of our outings with Anne & co. They explored Denver and the surrounding area. I took them to all my favourite places - the zoo, shopping, the parks, Breckenridge and they did quite a bit on their own too. Everyone had a great time and the house seemed very empty when they left. Allen was in Australia for a week of their visit but we didn't miss him that much as we were busy with Emily. I looked after her for an afternoon and it's amazing how you forget what one year olds are like. She was very good for me but I was still knackered by the end of it!

The day they left we packed up the car and drove to Utah to meet up with Carrie, Brian, Jake and Annie. We met at Zion National park to camp for one night. Allen and Brian went off and did a longer hike while Carrie, me and the children had a lovely afternoon playing the the stream, doing a short hike, looking for lizards and enjoying riding the bus that did an entire loop of the park. The scenery was amazing but the best bit was catching up with the Sweatlands and seeing the children getting on so well and really loving being outside all the time. The weather was gorgeous. There was even a peak called Jacob so both the Jacob's were very impressed. I've included a photo of all the children in a river - they came out pretty dirty.

On the Sunday we packed up and went to Bryce Canyon, another National Park about 70 miles from Zion. Bryce had very different scenery and I thought it was more impressive than Zion. We stayed in a lodge and the first thing we did was put all the children in the bath! I've included a photo of us with the breath taking Canyon behind and also a shot of Jacob and Allen coming down the Canyon. Allen and I were most impressed as Jacob and Abi made it all the way down and back up again. It was 1.3 miles but very steep in both directions. Again we had a brilliant night with Carrie & co and it was sad to say goodbye on the Monday. I'm hoping to meet up with Carrie a couple of times over the summer.

We've decided to camp at Bryce Canyon at some point during the summer holidays. Have now booked for DC, after driving non stop for 8 hours with the children we have booked flights to DC. We leave here on July 4th and return on July 26th - our 11th Wedding Anniversary. Before that we have a trip to Seattle and Vancouver to look forward to where we are meeting up with Marion.

Jacob had his eye appointment and surgery is booked for 5th August at 7.30am. I'm worrying already. School finishes next week - looking forward to doing lots with the children but 3 months seems like a long time to me.

Hope all's well with you


Friday, May 2, 2008

Abi's 4th Birthday


I know this is a bit late but, as usual, we've been very busy. Abi had a brilliant 4th birthday. On her actual birthday we went to the zoo and met up with one of her friends and his Dad and that evening the neighbours came around. Everyone had a great time on the trampoline and playing the chocolate game. Abi had her 2nd cake - ballet shoes (1st cake was with the Scottish relatives).

Saturday it was her school friends around for a party. Allen managed to disappear with Jacob to go to soccer and Abi and I prepared for 15 3 and 4 year olds. We had employed our 3 teenage neighbours to come and help for the 2 hours and it was a very good idea. One looked after the craft table, one monitored the trampoline and the other was in charge of the water pistols. So we could actually chat to everyone. We did parcel the parcel and the witches cardigan game - a game I remember my sister doing for me at one of my birthday parties. Both went down brilliantly and everyone left late and happy! Abi had a wonderful time and has had to make 30 thank you cards.

We went to a sci fi convention on the Sunday - very strange but Jacob and Abi loved all the Star Wars things.

Anne, Pete and Emily arrived on Friday so we've been out and about with them. It has been a shock having a one year old around again, you soon forget what it's like! Abi's been very good with her and Emily loves being with my 2. Jacob's not very forgiving though and has had a few trips to the naughty step to remember not to throw and push. He's had another treatment for his skin and I'm hoping only one more will be needed. His important eye appointment is coming up so we'll see what happens then.

Been very busy helping at school and continuing with Arbonne. Allen's been in Australia for a week and we have coped very well. It'll be good to see him on Saturday although we're off out for a meal that night - not sure what time zone he'll be on.

Next trip is camping in Zion with Carrie and co - can't wait, we really miss seeing them. Not sure how the camping will go but I am looking forward to seeing how the children are together and sharing a few beers with Carrie and Brian - and seeing the wonderful scenery of course!

Hope all's well wherever you are