Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer solstice packing heat

For the summer solstice last week we couldn't think of any better way to welcome summer than by hanging out in the backyard.

it just so happens that the name of the chapter we were on that night was "Midsummer Eve"

Bella and Jarom listened intently while Orion perfected the perfect fall into summer

And summer has been HOT!! Daddy and Orion making the trek home from the water park. Problem with walking the mile home is that it only takes a few short steps to realize you want to walk back the other way. We come home a little braindead each time.

escaping the heat with the free kids bowling at Fat Cats

right before he dribbles the ball down the lane

the winner!! with a whopping 89!!

living-room camping/party

all sea critters must be on a leash

Late night run to the drive-in. The kids have no problem staying up till 1:00 am to finish off the double header.

always time for love letters, on our new (old) Coronet Super 12 electric typewriter -- Jarom's DI find

Bella's to her daddy

The last couple of years we have been out of town for all the festivities that go on here for the 4th of July.

The Freedom Festival is kicked off with the Children's Parade. A bunch of us from the neighborhood made sure to use this as our soapbox. Recently a bill passed allowing anyone to pave up to 40% of their backyard, which is up 15% from the previous ordinance. To some, it may not sound like a big deal, but you have to know all the CONCRETE details. Because it means you can virtually pave the whole backyard. The law before had a 75% landscaping requirement, and that has now been eliminated, down to 0%!!!!! YES - 0%! The reasoning behind the change was because they have gotten "complaints" that some could not reach their third garage (really?) or had no room to park their RVs with only 25% paved. We real Provo residents know better though. And cannot be convinced otherwise. Already, since the passing of the new bill, whole backyards have been blacktopped over. And guess what?! It was exactly what we feared, and knew would happen. And it was NOT for anyone's third garage or RV!! It is a parking lot!! For all those landlords who reap the benefits of buying up our historic homes and renting each room out but need more parking!! A bunch of us concerned citizens met with the mayor about this issue for three and half hours last week in the Barbers' backyard, along with some city council members. Our Joaquin neighborhood chair created a petition that we are hoping to fill with signatures to help our case. Please sign it if you're with us!:

The youngest and cutest activist

Oliver and Raquel's sign read, "Stop the Pavement." Matt and I held one that said, "Save our Yards!"

We may have been chanting, but whenever us adults stopped, the kids were eagar to pick it up and chant even louder.

No one seemed to mind or even really take notice. So we thought.

Happy to be part of it all and rewarded with popsicles at the end.

It has been an overwhelming week of to-dos and must-get-dones while driving in the 90-degree weather, stuck going from parking lot to parking lot, running errands that make it feel more like a million degrees out. Needing to run away from the heat and the hate of more heat coming from our new parking lots I couldn't help but take a "wrong" turn and enjoy what lies waiting at my fingertips. My mountains. Nothing can calm the ringing society in my head like the breeze rushing down to kiss my pulsing temples. Calm.

These mountains bring me such solace throughout the year. These emerald snowcapped mountains last for the shortest season. So you have to take it all in everyday. Fortunately for me they greet and follow me throughout my day. They smack me in the face with pure beauty and grace when I walk out of Costco. They attend every single one of Jarom's baseball games.

They have filled our rivers. Happy and bustling they flow.

Putting our feet into freshly melted snow dissolves all anger and is a straight shot of renewed strength for every pore and cell.

my three amigos

make every summer day remarkable

we stayed as long as we could

and also delayed whenever we could - while the kids stopped to catch butterflies,

I made sure to keep taking in the view.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Camping rain dance

For Father's Day weekend we joined our good buds Tyler and Alene and headed out to camp at gorgeous Maple Canyon. It was a Root family affair, though we crashed it properly and added our rambunctious kids to the mix. Conglomerate pillars, worn box canyons, and sunlight shifting through the trees.

the view out our tent window

Bella's new friend

the gang setting up down below

hiking through the box canyon

with kids and dogs

we went under boulders

climbed over ten-foot ledges (handing small people up and down)

and stood above it all in the lushness, so proud to be rock-conquerors

At the end of the canyon was this 30-35 foot waterfall. Not much of a fall anyway, just a trickle with a soaked rope draped down its face at about an 80-degree pitch--steep. Tyler made the first ascent, stopping just short of climbing over the ledge at the top ...

... and I couldn't resist going after, while the kids argued about who would follow (naturally).

I climbed over the top, and then Jarom tried to follow me up. Jarom is a natural climber, willing and daring, and he loves it. But he's reckless (wonder where he gets that from), and got stuck halfway up. While I stood helpless, Tyler scaled up and eased Jarom down.

A different route to explore a ledge cave. The whole Root clan was insanely good with our kids, always helping them up and down to explore and keep them safe. Tyler and his little bro Bobby were particularly great.

boxed in

We stayed up late around a roaring fire, the sky clouded over. We expected some rain the next day, but went to bed and dry and warm. Yet--in started pouring sometime in the late night. And never stopped. We woke up to pouring rain, hoping to wait it out. The Root parents had a camp trailer with a small canopy, and they fried up a big delicious breakfast burrito fiesta while we stayed dry in the tent. We didn't bring real shoes for anyone, or rain-repelling jackets. The food warmed us up but our feet froze. We reluctantly let the rain win, and packed up all our soaking wet gear, folded it into a big pile and threw it in the back of the car. We'll be back to Maple Canyon soon, to round out the experience by hiking the three-mile loop up to a beautiful view and past the arch.

you can kind of see the dry spot where the tent had been

ready to warm up, after packing up

It's only an hour and a half from home, so we hit the rainy road and decided to spend it like a real rainy day--inside.

We showered up and got cozy for our cooler lunch we picnicked downstairs, while watching a classic we'd never seen, Time Bandits. I fell asleep (hey, it's Father's Day).

And then Amy and the kids surprised me with homemade sugar cookies spelling out their love for me. A sweet weekend's end and a perfect Father's Day together.

Monday, June 20, 2011

eight days a week

typical days of fun around here ... have made some slight improvements

Strawberry Days are here!! As soon as we got to the free concert Matt was bombarded with sweetness.

Rachel, Paul, and Matty digging into the free strawberries and cream

along with the best of them

I think you can tell which three are mine. This pool may not look like the best summer fun ...

but it is.

No joking. We all (yes, me too) love to take our turn sliding into the "pool." I was the only one to slide completely out of the pool and skid down the grass.

London, Bella, and Faye with the best seats in the house

that is, if you like to watch us :)



smallest - all twirled to death on what Orion calls "the alien spaceship"

Rach and I made a mad dash to watch our men play those tricky carnival games

Victory!! Paul won London a little puppy.

So Matty surely had to win a little pink something for his sweet one.

Which in turn made Jarom want to win something for his little brother. The man running the game knew this and when Jarom didn't win he found Jarom the smallest of stuffed pups to give to Orion.

Bella wore this shirt every single day last week!!! Our one and only daughter has died and gone to heaven. We finally signed her up for her first acting class.

Ain't she a natural?

Growing like a tree

She preformed in "Where the Wild Things Are" and "Hattie and the Fox" last Friday. Very, very, very entertaining to say the least.

Today was the first day of swim lessons. Jarom was bummed that he has to share a class with his sister. Which is what happens when you don't pass your class from last year and your sister is right on your heels.

My proud moment of the day!!! Orion following and listening to his instructor. He makes a great shark.

Happy sister.