Thursday, April 28, 2011

Zion Ponderosa

This trip started like any other - LATE. Not too far into the drive I thought I was hearing a weird sound and woke up my honey. Didn't even take him a moment to hear - he knew it was a flat tire. And just his luck, it was snowing, cold and dark.

Can't tell by this picture but he had just had an horrendous time changing the tire in the freeze.

So so so so so glad to finally make it to the Zion Ponderosa cabin at 3 am!! The snow and rubber donut tire made for slow going and we had to take the long route around. A four-hour drive became seven. It only stopped snowing for about a 20 mile stretch between Cedar City and Virgin.

This is what lovebirds look like at three in the morning, so very tired but HAPPY!!

Enjoying the country cabin decor

of course - patchwork heart completes any cabin

The kids were so very happy to climb onto their huge cozy bunkbed - one that the whole family could easily cuddle up in. The kids went right to sleep while Matt and I got snuggly and read late into the morning. Seemed like the right thing to do.

Checking out the view in the morning

Which is ...

very snowy ...

from every angle. Which is just perfect when you have a cabin for the weekend!!

Eating hearty warm oatmeal

One would think my kids have never seen snow before. Orion walked the whole way to the lodge in the snow.

Next stop was to get our tire fixed. Lucky for us the closest town has us go right through Zion National Park.

Checkerboard Mesa

Matt helping Bella capture the beauty with her film camera

We saw lots of waterfalls that never exist in the summer (or most of the year)

The snow was like powdered sugar on the mountaintops down in the valley, highlighting everything.

This is the only picture of the bulk of the day. Sweet Jarom letting both of his siblings rest on him. We got our tire fixed and shopped to our hearts' delights at a thrift store. We had found out that Zion Ponderosa had a hot tub - but we didn't pack any bathing suits so we were going for secondhand ones. We really didn't need that excuse to go - we were going to go there anyway and we would have been swimming with or without the suits. :)

Back on the road to Zion. Very excited to leave the city and get back to our snowy mountains.

Forced Matt out of the car to get some incredible photos

Making it home

in time for the sunset. We threw on our suits and braved the 19-degree walk to the spa.

Bella and I both put a foot in and most definitely agreed that warm was not warm enough on such a cold day. The boys did not seem to mind - until the walk back.

Wet suits off - check. Cozy with my blanket - check. We rented a movie from Redbox and even bought some games and books while we were in town. So all we had to do was make the couchbed and have the whole night to play.

Dinner - PB&J without the J :)

No one argued when we said it was time for bed

Up with the sun, wanting to make the most of our last day

Jarom capturing signs of spring on our first hike (the Canyon Overlook trail) - Indian paintbrush

Shimmering icicle tree

Hugging the canyon wall

Climbing the warm sandstone

End of the trail... never looked so good

Matt and the kids on the freaky bridge

Trail to Weeping Rock, where another rare waterfall was flowing

Finished out our day looking for star fossils (crinoids) in Mt. Carmel Junction

It takes a trained eye

My kids are pros

Look closely and you will see this is a star graveyard

Love the ones with the extra details

The babiest stack of them

Stopped here for dinner but decided to move on, up beautiful Highway 89 and west through the Cedar Mountain area and ten-foot stacks of fresh snow (road plowed thankfully at 10,000 feet) and back out into Cedar City for dinner and then the home stretch.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


Saturday morning Easter egg hunt

Let the madness begin

Utterly overjoyed for getting his measley 5 eggs

The hunt might be over but they are still so excited for the rest of the weekend

We came home and started dying eggs.

For light blue we used red cabbage

Beets turned our eggs pinky-maroon

Red onion skins for pink

Yellow onion skins for yellow

Chopped carrots for a light orangey/yellow

Coffee for brown

Peppers for a peppy yellow

Boil the goods

And let the fun begin

We are soooo proud of our eggs. It took a lot more time. But it is only once a year and who wouldn't want to drag out the fun traditions? Our eggs are already brown so the colors are harder to see.

Easter Morning

Too excited and eager digging in their baskets to look up for the camera

Our eggs covered in treats, dates and prizes for the hunt

sittin pretty

looking high and low

Reading their loot out loud

Bella's favorite egg - one dollar

Jarom found the almighty five dollar egg. Jarom ended up with half the eggs and ALL the date eggs. So we have decided to let the whole family go on one of his ice cream dates and we also get to go to a play together.

All ready for Easter Sunday

Of course I really wanted a great picture of them all together, but when Matt showed me these I said these would not do.

Gathered them back together again for photo shoot #2

And it doesn't take long to realize Matt's pictures were as good as they were going to get

Jarom took this picture of Matt and I. I found this little homemade number at the thrift store and thought its pastel tulips were perfect for Easter.

My tulip kimono.

Church was about more than I could bear. Jarom gave the greatest talk on our ever-loving Redeemer. And Bella gave the scripture - John 3:16 "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

What a sweet spirit resides with us this Easter, knowing how loved and blessed we are. He lives.