Yellow Pine 2009 (10-11 July)

At this years annual Colton Family reunion camping trip to Yellow Pine Jordan ran into a problem... He lost his leg in a freak hiking accident!
While Anne contemplated the grave situation I got to work fixing up a workable replacement for Jordan.

As you can see he was very pleased with the results. Some even said they could hardly tell the difference.

I received a standing ovation for my efforts! Luckly for Jordan the doctors were able to reattach his real leg later on and he has since regained full use of it; I don't even think he has any scars... The miracles of modern medcine never cease to amaze me!

Sofia was just tickled pink at the good news.
We all had a great time playing at the rivers edge. It was a beautiful sunny day.
Laura and I got to be the cooks for dinner that night... (Jordan would have helped but he did have a pretty good excuse after all)
We made a Dutch Oven Seafood Jambalaya. It has just about "every good thing" in it from shrimp to sausage and scalops to bacon. It is really good!

After dinner we all rosted marshmellows and had smores... Nathan just made sure his mouth was never empty of marshmellows and chocolate!
The following day Jordan stayed at camp with mom and the kids so Laura, Anne, Dad, and I could go catch some supper from the river.
Dad took us on a several mile hike to a perfect fishing hole where we caught some large trout. There was this one tiny fish that just wouldn't leave the hook alone! After reeling him in for the third time rather than just tossing him back in the river I hucked him as far as I could down steam so he couldn't get back to our hole... bothersome fish!

As we made our way back, fishing as we went there was a great spot just before we got back to the lake. We caught the rest of our limit there... we would have some good eats tonight!

Dinner Time Fun with Nathan Davis

Lately Nathan has been picking up some of Jamie's bad habits. Like this one of taking forever to swallow his food but he couldn't leave it at that. He had to add to it; go above and beyond...
Not only does he like to take his sweet time swallowing but he likes to see just how much he can stuff in there before poping!
Here is Nathan after a long day and some hard eating... It isn't very common for Nathan to fall asleep unless he is in bed or in the car... anyway, it was pretty funny to watch.

Poor Nathan, all that fun at his expense... At least he was too tired to realize we were all laughing at him!

A Trip to the Museum and Logan (26-27 June 2009)

With the trip to Hawaii over and just a pleasant memory, life continued on. We planned a little outing to Ogden for Lucas's first birthday and on our way there we stopped at the Treehouse Children's Museum.

Jamie and Nathan had a great time. The theme of the Museum is "Step into a Story" or something like that. Anyway, the kids had all kinds of fun things to do. They got to be firemen or... aah... firepeople?
Laura got to meet President Obama! OK, OK, I know it is hard to tell but he didn't really just hang out at the museum all day playing with the kids... Sorry Dad, it's really just a cardboard cut-out.

It was fun for everyone! Nathan got lost in the outback while Jamie wished she could get lost with all those pretty fish.
After the museum we had a great "circus" party at Brynn and Nate's house for Lucas. He was so adorable.

He couldn't leave my sunglasses alone. I walked around the rest of the day looking at little Lucas fingerprints.

You may remember the bright blue birthday cake that Lucas attacked with gusto and a little help from Maya. It was almost as blue as his eyes.

It had been a long and fun day for the kids and they zonked out pretty quick once we got them to hold still long enough. They both slept almost the whole way to Aunt Julie's house in Logan.
We always love to sleep over at the Garrett's home (speaking of which... when are we going to come up next?)! Good food, fun games and lots of laughing! We played new game called "It Came To Pass". It was quite fun. I think Aunt Julie likes it so much because one can be ruthless and "violent" (as Dad would put it) even though it is a "Churchy" game.
The following day we took the kids... and Jordan to the water park. Neither of the kids could get enough of the slide and Jamie even started going down by herself because we were getting tired of going up with her. She used to be scared to go in the water without being latched onto someone but after taking swimming lessons throughout the summer she is doing much better.
Nathan on the other hand is still quite "attached" unless the water is below his waist.
As for Jordan... Well, the picture says it all!

After the fun in the sun we had a good get-together at the park with some unrelated relatives... Well, I guess they were related to someone... just not to me! We also walked through the small zoo and found the peacock strutting his stuff showing off for all those homely peahens. He was just as proud as... well, as a peacock I guess.

The Bald Eagle was showing off his feathers too.

Jamie got herself stuck in the tree several times and once on top of the swing set as well... silly girl. I was just going to let her fend for herself on the swing set but Laura made me go help her get down... I did take the time to get a picture first though.

And as usual, Nathan was not happy unless he was in the swing and was being pushed consistently and constantly. If we stepped away for just a sec or even just missed a push he would let us, in no uncertain terms, know that we had just messed-up big time!

Under Construction!!

Hawaii: Day 15 (16/17 June 2009)

Not just a fly day but a fly home day! :*(  We all slept in a bit, got all packed up, and ready to go. Mom and Dad had breakfast in the hotel restaurant while Laura and I went to Ken's Pancake House. We both had secret hopes of having some mac nut syrup again. It was not to be, they had mac nut pancakes but no mac nut syrup. On the other hand they had Guava, Passion Fruit, and Coconut syrups and all were very good! So, we weren't too disappointed after all.

After breakfast we loaded the car and checked out of the hotel. We went to the tsunami museum and did a little souvenir shopping in town. One of the artists we talked with showed us a painting of a waterfall and told us that it was not far away. We decided to go see it. Turns out that though the waterfall, Kulaniapia Falls, was not technically on private property the only access to get there is. At the edge of the falls sits a nice little bed and breakfast place. It was beautiful and maybe someday Laura and I will go back and stay for a night or two to enjoy our own private waterfall. The owners were nice enough to let us stand on their balcony and take a few pictures of the falls. Once again Dad looks as if he could die a happy man then and there! I think he was just in some type of amazingly-beautiful-vista-overload induced trance. It had been an incredible trip after all.

We stopped at the Mauna Loa Macadamia Nut Factory and had mac nut samples, mac nut ice cream and bought... you guessed it... mac nuts, choclate covered mac nuts! Ah, I love mac nuts.
We all finally found ourselves at the airport waiting for our flight home. It would be a very long day. We left the Big Island and had a couple of hour layover in Oahu. We had airport pizza and Chinese food for dinner and left on the plane for Salt Lake City about 10 p.m. Laura got a bit of sleep on the plane, I didn't even try. We landed about 8 a.m.

Mom and Dad were on a different flight because they waited too long to buy their tickets to get on the same flight. They wouldn't get in for a few more hours which gave us time to pickup Jamie and Nathan from my parent's house. They were very happy to see us and of course Jamie's first question was "Did you bring me any presents?" Silly girl! We thanked my parents profusely for watching the kids for so long. They said that the kids were well behaved for the most part but that they were pretty worn out just the same. Gee, I can't imagine why... crazy kids! On our way home from Grantsville we stopped at the airport to pickup Mom and Dad. In the end we all made it home to Kearns and got things unpacked by about 2 p.m. making for a 30 hour day!

Jamie was very excited to get a couple of new dresses and jewelry.

Nathan loved his Hawaii Bus.

They were both happy to get their presents and, I hope, to have us home again as well. It had been a very long day and we all slept well that night!

Hawaii: Day 14 (15 June 2009)

Last full day of vacation... so sad! We spent the day at Volcanoes National Park. One day isn't enough to do justice to the park but... that's all we had left. We stopped at the visitor center first to find out about the conditions of the park and lava flow. We found out that because of the high level of carbon dioxide spewing forth from Halema'uma'u Crater part of the Crater Rim Road was closed.

Anyway, We made our way to the crater overlook and stopped to see the steam vents and get our first view of the Crater. It was vast! The crater you see in this picture it just a "small" crater within an enormous one called the Kilauea Caldera. To give you an idea of how large this Caldera is, take a look at the crater, it is about a half mile across. The Caldera is nearly 4 miles across! Imagine an eruption that could have caused such an vast crater.
We followed the road around to the Jagger (not "Mick") Museum and Overlook for a closer view of the Crater. This was also as far as we could go because of the current spewing forth of toxic gasses! At the museum we learned about the different types of lava and how they are formed.

As we backtracked along the Crater Rim Road and followed the Chain of Craters Road we stopped by many of the overlooks to get different views of the Caldera and of many other craters.

We walked through the Thurston Lava Tube. A lava tube is a tunnel formed as lava flows down a ravine or river bed and as the edges of the lava cools and hardens it insulates the lava inside keeping it hot and allowing it to keep flowing. As the eruption stops the lava continues to empty out of the tube leaving the tunnel behind.
As we walked through the 600 foot tunnel it was eerie to think of the molten rock that once flowed thought the spot on which we stood.

The first 600 feet of the tube was lit but there was another 1200 feet or so that went on unlit. I had flashlights so Laura and I continued on to the end. There wasn't much to see but in places where parts of the walls had caved in the rocks were an amazing variety of colors.
We had a lovely lunch at a small restaurant just outside of the park called The Kiawe Kitchen. We indulged in a thin-crust pizza and a delicious roast beef sandwich.

After the scrumptious lunch dad lost all his will to remain coherent! He would revive just long enough to take a look at the places we stopped then once we got back into the car he was out like a light!
The Sea Arch and the end of the Chain of Craters Road was our last stop in the park.
The arch was at least 100 feet high. All along this shore were shear cliffs that the ocean would pound against. The waves would surge into the cliffs and send sprays all the way to the top.

Several eruptions in the '80s and '90s flowed over the road and even a little coastal town closing the road... and the town for that matter. From the end of the road we walked on the lava, took a few pictures, and headed back the way we came.
This is a view of the hillside as we went back up the road. From the different colors of lava you could tell what type it was. The lighter gray color is the smooth, ropey looking pahoehoe and the dark red is the jagged and rough a'a. OK, so we've seen enough old cooled lava... time to try and see some red-hot flowing lava. The current lava flow was not in the park so we had to make our way out and back around to the other side of the Chain of Craters Road... had the road not been closed it would have taken just a few minutes to get there but as it was the drive was about an hour and half long.

We were a bit disappointed to find out that the closest they would let us get was about a half mile away from the flow. We got there pretty early (the best time to see anything is at night) so we just settled in and watched the billowing smoke.

We had been lucky thus far; we hadn't been rained on at all and for one of the wettest city in the country that is something indeed! Well, as we waited our luck ran out. It rained on us, not too hard and we did have a nice "bonus"! This was the brightest rainbow I have ever seen! It was amazing.

As the sun went down we saw flashes of red as lava would erupt into the ocean. The crowds would "ooh" and "ah" but though the smoke and sunset were beautiful it wasn't like all the pictures you see in the travel books of people standing next to the flowing lava... oh well.

The sunset over the volcano and through the smoke and vapor made for some pretty cool colors then it rained on us again. By the time we made it back to the car we were pretty much soaked.

It was a good last day. We have been so blessed during the whole of this trip, we've seen things found no where else in the world. We have seen Gods creations, we have seen Him creating and changing the world still. I am reminded of the primary children's song... "My Heavenly father Loves Me"

1. Whenever I hear the song of a bird          2. He gave me my eyes that I might see
    Or look at the blue, blue sky,                      The color of butterfly wings.
    Whenever I feel the rain on my face             He gave me my ears that I might hear
    Or the wind as it rushes by,                         The magical sound of things.
    Whenever I touch a velvet rose                    He gave me my life, my mind, my heart:
    Or walk by our lilac tree,                              I thank him rev’rently
    I’m glad that I live in this beautiful world       For all his creations, of which I’m a part.
    Heav’nly Father created for me.                    Yes, I know Heav’nly Father loves me.

I am thankful for this beautiful world and I know that God created it for me!