Saturday, July 2, 2011

The grass IS greener on the other side!

                                       I surprised my cousin Kathy.
She was putting together a surprise party for Troy's 50th birthday.
I thought I would surprise her and just show up.  But then I started thinking that it would be more fun if we could plan ahead and have something to look forward to.
Really, I just couldn't contain myself.
So I called her up and said I had something exciting to tell her.
Her first thought was that I got a job.
No. I wish. But no.
Then she said
You're coming to see me!
We were like giddy girls counting down to the day we would see eachother.
Jared was still at Scout camp and Kirk was finishing up a mural job, so Daphne, Kaleb, Victoria and I drove 11 hours to Utah to cousin Rich's house and then another 3 to Malad, Idaho where Kathy lives.
We went through a culture shock. 
There was snow on the mountains still, green grass, flowers on the hillside, and cooler temperatures.
We were at Kathy's for a whole 5 days and walked every day.
It was awesome!
Rich's dog Duke went for a walk with us the first night.  The kids rode their bikes.  Kathy and I pulled Victoria along by the handle bars and had to keep reminding her not to put on her brakes.  We walked almost four miles that night.  The alfalfa was beautiful and green.  We discovered at this time that Victoria was extremely allergic to the greenery.  Extremely is such a mild word for what she went through.  She couldn't open her eyes by day 3 and the pharmacy is closed on Sundays.  She did so much better when we got some medicine into her.  She would walk around with a cold washcloth to put on her eyes.  Uncle Troy was coaching her on rinsing her eyes with water which really helped too.  She was quite the trooper. 
We had a great time visiting with Kathy's kids and Troy's family.  It was nice seeing Aunt Carol.  She has always been my favorite aunt.  We played a super loooooooong game of Uno.  I think we went through 7 decks of cards!  We were starting to help eachother just so we could end the game.  It was hysterical.  We learned a new game called Nertz. Wind and Sundi were winning every single game. They were really good at it.  Especialy Wind.
If you ask the kids what was one of their most favorite part of the visit...they really enjoyed being outside and it not being blazing hot and the animals.  The goat Zak was pretty funny to watch.  He would see Victoria come out from around the house and he would stand up on the fence and wait to see what she was going to feed him next.  Kaleb got the experience of collecting warm eggs from under a fluffy chicken.
 We drove up to Power House next to a river for a BBQ.  We thought we had thought out what we needed to cook hamburgers and hot dogs.  Kathy had made delicious potatoe salad.  We hadn't brought a grill for the fire.  So we were busy planning out how we could cook hamburgers.  Once the fire was lit and ready we went to get the hamburgers and discovered that we had forgotton to bring them.  Pretty funny.  We rolled with the punches that evening and still enjoyed our time together in the outdoors.  It was absolutely beautiful.

 The kids love having family.  Kathy's youngest son Blue just graduated from High School too.  He is two months older than Daphne.

The hills were covered in these sunflowers.  I think Kathy said they were South Dakota dwarf sunflowers.
It was fun having a campfire.  We marshed marshmallows for smores.  Another reason why Kathy and I walked every day.  We could eat whatever we wanted.  It was great.
Troy had accidently thrown a couple sticks that Daphne had put aside to carve into the fire.  Oops.

These were a some of the flowers that kathy had planted by her door.  It fascinated me how they weren't burnt to a crisp.  I feel like we live on the moon sometimes with all the rock around.  Kathy's whole yard and the fields around it had green grass and beautiful flowers flourishing.

Jumping on a trampoline in the country is a way different experience than jumping in our backyard. I was apprehensive to jump too much because I didn't want Victoria to fly off into the field.  Our tramp has a netting that surrounds it.

Victoria sent me on a guilt trip once again that she wants to ride horses like her friend Hannah.  She knows that Daphne has taken lessons in the past too which doesn't help the situation.  So anyway, Kathy heard and asked if she would like to ride Dragon Fly even though she hasn't been riden in YEARS!  She had the cutest pony saddle for her.  Dragon Fly did very well.  She wasn't too sure at first but Victoria was the perfect size.  And Daphne did an awesome job of saddling her up.  Victoria had a smile of pure satisfaction and content.

We visited the reservoir in town and  saw who could throw a rock the farthest.  Of course Blue threw the farthest.  I don't think I could even get it anywhere near what he did.  It was fun to just sit there and watch the kids and talk.  We were sitting on the hill above the bank and Zeus would go to lay down to cool his belly and pratically throw his body down on the ground.  He would slide several inches on his belly.  It was funny and cute. 
Daphne brought Sundi, Kathy and Aunt Carol homemade soap from a friend at Farmers Market.  And the kids painted rocks to leave around Kathy's house.  Just a little piece of us to leave behind.

More pictures of special memories.  I can't wait to live closer to Kathy.  We share so many similarities.  I think those Thomas genes came through on both of us. 

We decided to spend a few extra days in Utah with my cousin Rich and his kids.  We laughed so much.  Daphne teases him excessively which he dishes right back.  They got into a water fight at Payson Lake.  Daphne had thrown a cup of water on him and missed.  So she refilled and nailed him pretty good.  Well, Rich had a better cup.  He picked up the water jug filled with ice and water and waited for her to come back and got her head to toe.  We laughed so hard I was crying.  Now if Kirk would have done that there would have been hail and brimstone flying.  But Uncle Rich can do it.  He was always fun as a kid and he is still alot of fun.  We played at the park in Payson several times, watched a few movies from the Redbox and shared some great family time.

Rich's dog Duke is an awesome dog.  He just loves attention and getting some good rub downs.  There was one afternoon I was sitting in the backyard talking to Kirk on the phone.  Duke was laying his head in my lap getting rubbed and enjoying every minute of it.  He got this look like he had an idea.  I watched him jump up into the planters between boulders and dig a hole.  Well, I thought a hole.  Actually he was digging up some furry animal thing and freaked me out because he was proudly bringing it to me to show like....
Look what I have
Wanna see it?
Uugghhh Yuck.  I did everything but scream.  I ran into the house and he looked at me a little heart broken.  I actually felt bad like I hurt his feelings.  It was a piece of deer and its fur.  I heard he came home one day with an entire leg of a deer.  I am a city girl.  Our dogs don't come home with things like that.

Well, we had a great trip.  It was hard driving the whole way myself.  We missed Kirk and Jared but we all enjoyed our time away as well as Kirk and Jared enjoying peace and quiet.
We are ready to make the move out of Arizona.
It is time to move on.
Start over. Or again.


Katherine said...

First, I have to ask, "Did you read my post first before writing this?" If you didn't, that is amazing because you mentioned everything I did. I loved having you here and it's really hard not to have you here still. Your children are wonderful and it was great getting to know them better. Thank you Kirk for letting her visit us. Hopefully time apart helps the heart grow fonder. Love all of you guys.

Katherine said...

Forgot to tell you how much I love the blog header and how perfect it goes with the background. It looks really great. Good job on the photography work.