Sunday, August 25, 2013

Color Run - I Did It!!!

On a whim, the urging of a few friends,and a little personal dare I signed up for my first 5K race since HS.  As an avid non-runner I knew this was going to be a challenge.  I started out running a block, walking a block, running a block etc. and then collapsing on my couch after a mile.  But then I got up and did it again the next day.  It never got fast but slowly I improved.  Soon I found myself looking forward to my morning runs and the quiet solitude.  A nasty twisted ankle set back my training in May but by then I had the desire.  I picked up my training about 2 weeks before the race but was nervous come race day.  The heat was sweltering and I had to walk one little section, but I completed it.  I loved the feeling of setting a goal and accomplishing it.  Over the summer I kept up my running and relished my quiet solitary runs, never fast but still "I am a runner."
July 6, 2013

Happy Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is Kris's favorite holiday and we like to celebrate it in style.  We all dress up in our red, white and blue to watch the parade from the front lawn of Cal and Cindy Ozaki.  Great seats.
Kris and Abi helped decorate our Stake Float in this years parade.  It looks nice!
What a good looking bunch of Meek's sporting our patriotism.  We all get into it for this holiday.  I am sporting an ankle brace as I heal from a nasty twist in preparation for my race.  Kris was out bright and early Fourth of July morning running the Firecracker Fun Run, maybe next year more of us can join him.  After the parade we picnicked in the Ozaki's backyard catching up with friends old and new.  We then headed for the Menan fourth of July celebration for their parade and party in the park.  The sweltering heat quickly sapped out energy though so we headed back to the Fife's for a little rest and relaxing before the fireworks.
Nana and Papa shared their new favorite spot just behind the City Building where we got front row seats to the display.  We enjoyed the slower pace of the Menan Fireworks and the beauty of each one did not disappoint.
That Friday we gathered at Nana Meek's with our Meek family for out annual firework show.  Every year I think Kris has the most fun, but our kids are catching up quickly as they assume more of the lighting duties.
They really enjoyed these smoke bombs this year.
Eva was a little scared but also fascinated by her sparklers.
Kris, as head lighter, lit each sparkler and then doled the out to the flurry of kids circling around him, hopefully not too dangerously.
Leah is really getting into it this year.
Kris and Co. put on quite a show this year with fountains, ground bloomers, fliers, and even a few Roman Candles and bottle rockets.  But our pack of aerials stole the show.  Pure joy was etched on Kris's (and everyone else's) face.

Story time with Daddy

Nothing is better than freshly washed little girls snuggling up for story-time with Daddy.  Daddy is the favorite, that is why he is reading and I am taking the picture.  Sweet Dreams.
July 3, 2013

Pine Basin is the Best

Abi and her cousin Gabby Howell spent a week at Pine Basin Summer Camp, a sleep away camp owned and operated by our school district, up the Teton Valley from Swan Valley.  Abi loved the week away hiking, playing water games, learning about nature and conservation, taking a field trip to Jackson Hole, staying up late and having fun.  On Thursday night, it is Parent's Night so we drove up to check on our Abi.  Her allergies were bothering her eyes, but otherwise she and Gabby were doing great.  Abi sang songs and performed in a skit at the campfire.  Then she toured us around showing us the shelter she and Gabby built, their crafts and their bunk house.
With a kiss and a hug we left her in good hands for the Staff Chase and a late night of fun before we would pick her up tired, dirty and a little smelly the next afternoon.
June 27, 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

It's Pajama Time

Pajama time at the Meek house:
Mom starts putting Eva's PJ shorts on.
Eva, kicking her legs and screaming,"No...Bob, No... Bob,"
Mom, very confused and frustrated finally catches on, "Oh, do you want your Sponge Bob PJ's?"
Eva smiling sings, "Bob, Poop Pants; Bob, Poop Pants."
Oh, we all got quite the laugh out of that one.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Adventure Is Out There

Last year I planned a day trip to Crater's of the Moon that was derailed by a snowstorm.  This year's trip started out a little sketchy but turned out great in the end.  We adopted a family motto this summer, "Adventure is Out There" a line borrowed from the movie Up.  No matter the circumstances of our outings, we are treating them as adventures.  
The morning or our planned camping trip dawned a little cloudy and ominous but cleared off pretty early.  I even called Hayspur Fish Hatchery in Silver Creek, Idaho to check their weather report.  All was sunny and bright so after lunch we headed out.  Silver Creek is past Craters of the Moon and up the valley on the way to Sun Valley, just past Picabo.  The campground is a rough little field near the hatchery but it met my requirements, vault toilet and water.  We even had a fire pit and a tree to pitch our tent beneath.  The wind was picking up as we set up camp and we lost one of our camp chairs to the fire.  We gobbled our dinner with one hand holding our hot dogs and another grasping the plate.  By dinners end a full gale enveloped us and we jumped into the tent for shelter from the cold wind.  We passed the time playing cards and telling jokes.  After about an hour it blew itself out and we went fishing.
The evening was calm and a neighboring scout troop seemed to be having some luck but not us.  The kids all enjoyed casting and reeling though.  Even Leah and Eva joined in the fun.  Back at our campfire we roasted marshmallows and then got ready for bed.  Eva wanted nothing to do with the PortaCrib we brought for her, so once again she snuggled in between mom and dad.  Temps that night dipped below freezing and pressed up against the zipper of my sleeping bag, I spent a very rough and cold night.  Everyone else seemed to sleep well though.  Kris was up bright and early and fishing for our breakfast.  He caught three big fish, including this monster.

Yummy, roasted trout for breakfast.  After a little more fishing we broke camp and headed for Craters of the Moon.
It was a little windy as we headed up the Cinder Cone, but never fear, "Adventure is Out There."  

A nice group of Japanese tourists took our picture up on top after we took theirs.
In addition to the Cinder Cone we saw spatter cones, different types of lava, and many other curiosities of the park.  I loved seeing the miniature versions of syringa, monkey flower, and buckwheat that are dwarfed by the harsh conditions.
We hiked the Broken Top Loop, a longer hike which displayed many different features and flows found in the park.  We wish we could have gone into the caves but our shoes had been caving earlier that month and weren't allowed in for fear of contamination.  Oh well, maybe next time.
As we journeyed around the park Abi, Tal and Leah answered questions, completed tasks and learned many things about Craters of the Moon which assisted them in earning the Jr Ranger Badge.  It is a fun program and added one more layer of fun to our adventure.
June 21-22, 2013

Eva - Two and In Charge

It is so hard to believe that my little Eva turned 2.  She follows Leah's lead in everything and so Eva is also really into Hello Kitty.  I obliged the fandom with this fun cake.

The weather was beautiful so we had her party out on our deck.  Abi and Leah strung a festive balloon banner with candy prizes inside for everyone.  Eva loved opening gifts at her party.  The surprise at pulling out the tissue paper or unwrapping the box seemed better than any of the gifts inside.  But she did really enjoy her presents later.

Of course I think her favorite is this unicorn Pillow Pet that we bought her.  She loves it and hugs it, rides it and sleeps with it.  She also received a fun tea set from Uncle Eric, cute clothes from Aunt Sarah and Uncle Nate, a bubble set from Aunt Kalene and Uncle Brian, an animal carrying case with 3 animals from Nana Meek, and a new turtle night light from Nana and Papa Fife.

Look, the bubbles are sooo fun!  Leah and Eva take turns riding on eachother's pillow pets.

10 Things I Love About Eva

1.  The bluest blue of her eyes.  It is so bright and deep that pictures never do it justice.
2.  Her happy smile.  When playing, running or laughing, Eva's smile is of pure joy.
3.  Her snuggles.  They are getting rarer as she gets older but I love snuggling her when she wakes up from naps or early in the morning.
4.  Her growly voice.  I think she learned it from me, but when she is being funny or serious she gets this little growly voice that is way too low for such a sweet bubby.
5.  How she adores her siblings.  Abi is her second mom and she always wants to play with Abi.  Tal is great for wrestling and rough housing.  Leah is her favorite to follow around and mimic.
6.  Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is her favorite show.  She can watch the entire season over and over.
7.  Eva loves to be outside jumping on the trampoline, scootering or riding her trike, coloring with chalk or playing the the pool.  She just loves the outdoors.
8.  Eva loves music and dancing.  When we bust out the music on Spotify while we do dishes, her favorite song is The Harlem Shake and boy, can she shake it.
9.  Eva loves Nursery.  To get ready for church I tell her it is Nursery Day and she will nearly jump into her dress.  As we enter the church she beelines for the Nursery Doors and is sad that we have to go to sacrament meeting first.  She adores her teacher Sister Miller.
10.  Reading her stories.  Eva enjoys board books, especially ones with pictures of babies, animals or that are Touch and Feel.  We read the same ones over and over.

The Meek Family Circus on Tour

Towards the beginning of the year Kris came home with red clown noses and a bright idea: Taking pictures as The Meek Family Circus throughout the year.  Unfortunately we kept forgetting to pull out our noses but then came the Ward Talent Show.  The Young Women in our ward organized a Talent Show and Silent Auction fundraiser to raise money for Girl's Camp.  Bei,ng such a musical family, of course we jumped right in.  Leah was the conductor, Abi played cello, Eva the maracas, Kris the mouth harp, Tal the recorder and I followed up on piano.  Each member played a little ditty for our warm up and then on Leah's 1-2-3 we all joined in on "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star."  We brought down the house.

June 11, 2013

Serendipity Weekend at Warm River

For our first camping adventure of the season we chose one of our favorite sites at Warm River Campground, outside of Ashton, Idaho.  We headed up early Friday afternoon and luckily our favorite tent site was open.  The last time we camped here, Leah who was 2 at the time, took an unexpected swim in the river.  This time was not so exciting.  After setting up our campsite and roasting our hot dogs we set out on a little hike to pass the time until marshmallow roasting.

Near the campground an old railroad track has been converted into an easy trail that follows along the river.  We spotted a curious tepee shaped structure a couple of miles up the trail and made that our goal.    Along the trail we discovered many large black beetles crawling along.  Kris picked up one of the beetles and the kids each enjoyed letting it crawl over their hand and arms.  Mom opted out.

Eva started out being carried in the back pack but soon wanted to hike along with the rest of us.  She has recently become quite the runner and I love the sheer joy with which her little legs pump and her arms swing as she runs with her little circling gait.  
As we approached our curious tepee destination we discovered it was just a couple of fallen trees leaning against each other with the evening light spotlighting them from the trail, interesting but not too magical.  Having arrived at our destination we took our snapshot to mark our arrival.
Back at camp we stoked our fire up and roasted our marshmallows.  Oh how I love a campfire roasted marshmallows.  My children have all inherited that love as well.  As the sky darkened we all climbed into our PJ's and prepared for bed.  Abi, Tal and Leah went to sleep pretty quickly, but this was a drastic change to Eva's routine.  Kris walked and rocked and sang her to sleep but it didn't last long.  Just as I was drifting off to sleep Eva having scooted up and out of her sleeping bag woke up crying and disoriented.  I scooped her up and into our sleeping bag where we spent the rest of a fitful night getting whacked in the face by flying arms and legs.
The next morning we woke bright and early if not fully refreshed.  Our blueberry waffles toasted in our new camp cookers delighted our taste buds.  This was a recipes we will repeat again for sure.  Saturday was also free fishing day so we packed camp quickly and set off for the Ashton Fish Hatchery.  The kids were delighted to pull a fish out of the pond.
Tal even kissed his, reminiscent of a fishing trip we took with neighbor Charlie back when Tal was about 4 or 5.  Then as we were driving back towards home we took a serendipitous detour.  We spotted a sign for a Mountain Man Rendezvous and on a whim, voted for adventure.  We wound back around the rolling hills finally ending up at a large field alongside a stream.  People in period dress mingled among the parked cars and 5th Wheels.  But once we crossed the stream, we were transported to another century.
The people were so kind and friendly, happily sharing their wares, trades and stories with us.  There were tepees and tents, buckskins and prairie dresses.  We enjoyed seeing the black powder guns, the beadwork, and replicas of life from frontier times.  One of our favorites was the cannon shoot.  Several teams blasted period cannons up and over the hill.  The booms were so loud we had to cover our ears, but they shook our chests.  We especially loved the one that shot a cannon ball over a mile.
Another favorite character was Coyote Capote.  He gave the kids a jaw harp and taught us all to play it.  Our kids were amazed at Kris's talent on the mouth harp.  Mom had a much harder time getting the hang of it, but in the end I did get it to sing. Our adventure with the Mountain Men and Women  was a wonderful start to what will hopefully be a great camping and adventurous summer.
June 7-8, 2013