Monday, September 6, 2010

Fastest Summer Break Ever!

This summer was a whirlwind of activity. I am not sure I can remember it all but I will try! After Heather and the kid's visit and my visit to Colorado, I arranged for the ward 24th of July celebration at the Whitworth home. We had a BBQ and a chuck wagon and horses and such. It was fun. Pictures are on Gina's Cooper's blog if you are interested. Then it was time for Katie to come home from BYUI. She planned a bridal shower for Sharda at our house the following week. I had about a week to "get" bored (which didn't really happen, but I watched a few movies) On to Sharda's party.

Sharda's colors were purple, black and white so this is my take on things. Katie wanted it on the deck, so we borrowed chairs from and friend; we had about 30 people.

Kiara, Sharda's sister arranged the food. We mostly talked and watched Sharda open gifts. Deborah Brown was so proud that she went into Spencer's all by herself and purchased a little something (I think it was edible finger paint or maybe it was a candy bra?) It was kind of funny. She got lots of practical things too. Several of which, Dan will enjoy...eventually. Then we were off for the annual trip to the motherland... California!

The house looked pretty good. There have been a lot of people at Grandma and Grandpa this summer. We just basically dusted, cleaned bathrooms and floors and some shelves. There was the infernal weeds to cope with and I trimmed the hedges in the front of the house. Grandpa was focused on the black berries and was devising a way to get his half of the ditch next to the house cleared out.

Levi came from the Tahoe area and spent a long weekend with us. We decided that he could do the man jobs. He stacked wood with Katie and together they detailed Gpa's truck --it has never been cleaner...except maybe when he bought it...

It was a really hot day, but the superhero now known as Levi, picked up the weed wacker and helped with the blackberries. Uf dah... thanks for spending your weekend off with us! Basically when he wasn't working, he entertained Katie! We were worried that G-ma would walk in on him some night and demand to know who he was, but most of the time she thought he was another grandkid.

After Levi returned to his regular job, we all went to lunch with Gpa's sisters in Chico! On the left is Dixie, and on the right is Zoe. Can you see any family similarities there? After a week's stay, Katie and Mom headed for Utah for Sharda's wedding...

Hugs after the Jordan Temple sealing

Sharda asked Kendra Hollenbeck (she lives about an hour away in Grantsville) to be her wedding photographer. Doesn't she look great here with KB? Kendra will be back in Winter to BYUI.
We got to see Silva, Deborah, Brad, Bishop Orme and Chandra too.

Kendra took this photo of Mom and Katie outside of the temple after all of the family photos were done. I like this one. Katie has a great smile...

The wedding reception was later that evening at Sharda's uncle's not too far from the temple. Dan's mom made the cake. Dan's face was covered in cake in the end.

Katie caught the bouquet with little-to-no competition. Everyone was married or under two. Sorry the light was low and I got another blurry shot. Think of it as atmosphere for the romantic evening...

I tried a quick shot of the photo display on the basketball court. It turned out nicely (the display, not the photo). I helped to keep the food in order in the .... pool house...yes, this was a nice place! We had fun. We left the next morning after spending as much time as we could with Grandma and Grandpa Bullock in between trips across the valley. We love the Bullock bed and breakfast. Katie was able to sit in on the Gardner sisters as we visited in the food court at one of Utah's many malls. We were home for the week, which I filled with little decorating projects (to be blogged later) then Dad, Mom and Katie went to...take a breath, short road trip to...

Crescent Lake for the day. As you can see it was a beautiful day.
We started out just hanging around the lodge.

Katie spent the day texting...

Dad fished and caught a nice cutthroat trout.

Then he celebrated by taking a swim. No, he had his trunks on...oh you know him too well. It was a fairly public place so no skinny dipping. He did taunt Katie with the prospect however! (Turns out she has already experienced the joys of skinny dipping...stinker.)

Mom spent the day reading and dosing and getting sunburned. Awww, bliss.

We were looking forward to a visit from Levi, to show him a bit of our corner of the world, but plans had to be modified. Levi was Katie's ride to school, so things got adjusted a bit... so another road trip! Yeah oh baby...

Katie has this habit of putting all of her bedding in the back seat of the tiny little Corolla and then nesting. Here she is. Good thing we had AC in the car! Isn't our pooper cute?

Here is the newest member of Katie's crew -- KermytT. It is a girl. She purchased this cruiser after a baby sitting job with the proceeds. This shot is taken near Boise in the parking lot of a church. We are waiting for her ride to meet us. Levi took the cut-off from Winnemucca instead of Wells Nevada to meet us and take KB the rest of the way to school. It added about an hour and a half to his trip, but saved us about 10 (Thank you again!) Katie just through her stuff in his truck and took off. Actually we did get a hug first and Dad did get to meet Levi.

So with nothing else to do for two days, Dad and Mom picked a road on the map (hwy 26) and wandered on the back byways home. Here is a replica of Fort Boise. yup, yup...

In a little town somewhere in Eastern Oregon called Vale, we found that all of the buildings had these beautiful murals painted on any large flat space. We were on the Oregon Trail, so the murals depict the early settlers of the area. Here are a few of our favorites. There were about 21 possible. It reminded me a lot of Lamar! Go figure, another small town to consider...

We had a yummy dinner at the local Dairy Queen and then we found this beautiful camp site.

Only $6 a night and it gave all of the beautiful pine cones I could talk Dad into letting me drag home! We were the only ones there and we spent most of the night without the rain fly on. At one point we could hear the coyotes howling, ...the magic rain fly appeared shortly after that. We started out sleeping on top of the bags, but somewhere around dark--o-thirty it got cold!

Next morning we were off again. This conestoga wagon was at the top of one of the passes -- 5000 feet or so. Looked out over a beautiful valley.

Along the way another fun town. Look at this cool old building. It looked a bit like a John Wayne movie.

Up another pass and we saw this big canyon that looked like the road was going to go through. Didn't know what we would find...

This is the view behind us. Where there is water, there was green.

So we ended up in a place called Painted Valley where the ancient pyroclastic clouds from the primevil rifts in the area. Wow that sounded good didn't it? Anyway, lots of colors in the rock formations. By the way, this is all in the John Day Fossil prehistoric mammalian record in the world is found here, thanks to the geology. The following pictures give you an idea of the views:

Somewhere in the middle there is this fabulous visitors center with the actual fossils in glass cases with alarms on everything. You can watch the scientists work on the fossils by closed circuit TV. It was pretty cool.

There were ity bity fossils of seeds, ferns and such and mondo fossils like this bad boy. I would hate to go outside my cave and meet this carnivore! Uf Dah!

We're getting close to home now, here's a shot of the Columbia Gorge before we turned up another road to find a camp ground.

We passed lots of salmon fishermen. In one cove the boats were everywhere. Every nook and cranny either had a boat, a car, a surf sail or a fisherman in it, or so it seemed. The Columbia was hopping!

After a long search we finally found a camping spot. I took this the morning after since we found a spot after dark. It rained that night (hey, we are back in WA) so things look nice and green and wet. Dad is preparing to take the tent down. We left about 7:30 in the am to beat the holiday traffic home. We made it around lunch time.

I have to share our new blue door. You like? I do. It feels happy! I plan to cover the chair in rock but for now it is just painted blue with some sea glass glued on. It is nice to be home and almost even better to have this blog caught up (more or less!) Hope you enjoyed the marathon post!

We love you all and look forward to seeing some of you soon!

Love Mamala and Pa


  1. Good Job Mom! I will have to make sure i show levi this post. he will feel honored to have been mentioned more than once.

  2. I loved this post Peg!! loved all the photos..thank you for taking me on your vacation with hit some pretty fantastic Katies new ride and her boyfriend..hubba hubba..;) have a great week.;)oh and I love your blue door.;)

  3. Wow MOm!! Way to marathon blog like a pro!! You did a great job covering each event really well. Fun to see you guys on all the adventures I heard so much about on the phone.

    (sigh) jealous of the Crescent Lake Trip. So pretty!

  4. Hi, its the Bratts friend Emma. Wow! Your trip along the Oregon trails sounds amazing. I love the charm of small towns. Thanks for sharing.