Saturday, July 26, 2008

A "Wii" Birthday for Hans' 9th

The night before Hans' birthday, he got a ride on a motorcyle.
(Peter, a young adult from Cam 4th ward stopped by with Bonnie Harrison and he gave Hans a big thrill )

Hans turned 9 years old yesterday on July 25th. It's hard to believe it has been that long since this little guy came into our lives. I reminded him of his memorable birth, being born at home when I realised in the early hours of the morning that I had waited too long to go to the hospital. I had John help me back to my bed after I had tried to make it to the front door. He came minutes later and Kirsten and Else got to be my midwives. Else called Dr. Swanson after Hans was born, Kirsten got my shoestrings from my tennis shoes to tie off the cord and John took care of cutting the cord and getting Hans warmed up and crying to get him nice and pink. It was quite and exciting entrance into the world for him and for all of us. Big brother, Erik, was coming home from his mission in Korea 3 days later and Kirsten had just come home from her mission 3 weeks before! It was a busy time to be having another baby...especially when Kirsten and Jonathan got engaged a couple days after his birth and we had a wedding to plan. What can I say...our lives are never dull!

To celebrate his birthday yesterday, Mette and Tyson decorated his room the night before (after he had fallen asleep...he's a very deep sleeper once he is out). Mette also wrote him signs all over his mirror and the bathroom mirror. He was nicely surprised when Mette woke him up at 7:00 am before she had to leave for school. Here's some pictures of what he did on his birthday...from early morning to bedtime! He got a Wii Video System (actually it's for the whole family of course). I took him to Lazerstar with some friends for a couple hours. Then he played Wii for the afternoon with his friends, Ethan and Drew Hunter. We had pizza and more Wii with the family in the evening until Mette came home from work and we had cake and candles and sang the Happy Birthday Song. Today he is out sailing with his dad to Santa Cruz Island with other friends and familiy. It's his first time to actually go out sailing that far and long and he was looking forward to it the whole week. One day he watched "Sinbad" and held his toy sailboat in his lap to help prepare him for his big sailing adventure today.
Happy Birthday dear Hans!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Vacation in the Redwoods at Calaveras Big Trees State Park

Our family vacation this year started out to be just John and I and Hans going up to Northern California, past Stockton on CA-4 to Calaveras Big Trees State Park. But by the Saturday night before we left, we had children and grandchildren who found a way they could join us and we are so glad they did!
We had a wonderful time camping in our tents, eating great food, enjoying the beautiful surroundings of the giant sequoia redwood trees and lakes, creeks and rivers.
It wasn't exactly a "relaxing, quiet vacation" but we wouldn't trade it for any other kind!

Here are some pictures we took of the week....ending with a drive into San Francisco to see where Christian and Emily and Grace are going to be living for the next 3 years as Christian attends University of Pacific Dental School.

(The thing that would have made it even more fun would have been to have all the kids, spouses and children with us....crazier, but fun. We missed you who weren't able to be with us.)

Highlights of our trip:

Drive up Interstate 5 in our van with Kirsten, Audrey, Addie and Isaac
Beautiful, Beautiful Big Trees
Chickaree (Douglas Squirrels) racing up and down trees and through our camp
Bear Boxes to keep food in, but mostly to keep out squirrels
Woodpeckers and noisy Jay Birds
Fishing, and fishing and fishing
Catching Blue Gills and tossing them back
Addie's memorable first catch as she ran screaming out of the water dragging the fish onto the beach
No cellphone coverage the whole week!
Kirsten walking to nearest pay phone each night to talk to Jonathan back home
Inner tubes and floaties in White Pines Reservoir
Gramps untangling many, many fishing lines and baiting many, many hooks
Salmon Eggs and Power Bait
Fishing Licences
Christian and Emily and Grace arriving Tuesday night
Ditte and Jeremy and Cozette, Atalie and Wyatt arriving Wednesday night
Swimming across reservoir to a rope tree swing and seeing Kirsten and children jump from it
Stanislaus River
Apline Lake at 8,000 feet elevation, beautiful, pristine scenery and water
Renting Canoe
Hans catching a trout that got away
Jeremy's interesting "tree" fishing pole and our only trout-which was someone else's catch that got caught on a dead tree under water.
Cleaning, gutting and cooking and eating our only little trout!
Canadian Geese,Bald Eagle, and Ducks
1.5 mile walk through Redwood Grove of trees
Lots of dirt!!!
Owls hooting at night
Junior and Cub Ranger classes at Visitors Center each morning for the kids
Trips to the Visitors Center and Gift Shop
Scooters, bicycles
Unusually warm temperatures
Floating and wading in Beaver Creek
Patient, persistant Cozette trying to catch a fish, then "walking" her pet fish through the water that her dad "caught"
Camp Fires and singing and smores every night
Warm showers
Lots of moths and bugs at night around lanterns
Walks on the boardwalk through the meadow near our camp
Nice neighbors we met in camp next door
Three happy and not so happy, "2 year olds" all in the same campground :-}
Cute pregnant Ditte floating in her inner tube at Beaver Creek
Kirsten jumping off a rock into Beaver Creek with Isaac
Girls singing "Princess Pat" every night at campfire
Austrian Went Yodeling Song every night!
Gramps "Thanksgiving Feast" dinner on the last night in Dutch Ovens: turkey, dressing, yams, salad, baked potatoes and gravy, rolls and bread he made from scratch in dutch ovens and brownies with whipped cream!!!
Drive home by way of San Francisco, crossing Oakland Bridge and seeing the bay
Eating out at Mels' Diner before saying good-bye to Christian and Em and Grace
Seeing their apartment in the Presidio on Pershing Drive with Golden Gate Bridge view from their living room window!
Drive home Saturday night down Highway 101 back to our home sweet homes!