Thursday, July 27, 2017

Green Family Reunion

Over the week of the Fourth of July, my extended family had a reunion here in Utah.  My sister Jennifer (the amazing one who watches our kids while we take vacations), my brother Steve and my parents stayed with us for the week.  By brothers Tyler and Matt (both of whom live close by) and their families came over throughout the week, and our entire group went camping up American Fork canyon for a couple of nights.

We had several really fun activities we enjoyed together.  One of these was my first ever escape room experience.  If you haven't tried one of these yet, you should.  Since there were so many of us we had to split into two rooms.  The group I was in broke out of the jailhouse at the O.K. Corral.  What a fun time!

I have a couple of siblings who are big shooting enthusiasts.  We took most of the kids out to a shooting range that Tyler set up to learn about and shoot some rifles and pistols as well as a shotgun. They had tons of fun!  They really enjoyed watching the soda cans explode:)  As you can see from the video below, the AK-47 was a huge hit.

Getting everything set up:

My cute wife!!!

Loving Taylor's longer hair!

Cali did really well with the rifles and the pistols:

Sophi pulled the trigger with her big toe.  She hit several targets:

Xander takes aim

Parker was quite good with the shotgun.  In the video below, you can see the clay pigeon disintegrate at the top of the screen.

Grandpa Green has had this rifle for years.  I remember shooting it as a kid. 

We also had one youngster show up who we couldn't identify 😂:

These were some of the fun things we did.  More pics from the reunion tomorrow:)


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

So Hard To Say Goodbye

These three little cuties have been best friends all summer.  Kinley and Whitney have been over at our home just about every day, often for most of the day.  Summer is so fun!  Jessica has also enjoyed helping them get made up from time to time.  Whitney (the one on the right) just moved to Southern California.  So sad to see these three little musketeers separated! 😢

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Whatever She Puts Her Mind To!

Since Graci graduated from high school, lots of people have asked her what she's going to be doing next.  Her standard answer is: "I'm going to take over the world!"  While Grace can be a bit of a jokester, she really is a resilient young woman who finds ways to accomplish difficult things.  I continue to be so proud of her.

The other day she came in and commented on how long my beard was getting.  I told her it was too bad that she couldn't grow a beard.  She would look so cute, I said.  Taking me up on my challenge, she returned a few minutes later, demonstrating that she can, indeed, do anything she wants to.  Cutest beard ever!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Finally back!

About three weeks ago, took our blog hostage!  Apparently the images that constitute the main design of our blog were being hosted on their website.  This had previously been a free service, but they suddenly decided to start charging an arm and a leg.  They also covered our website with a notification that we needed to upgrade to this expensive service.  Given the severe limitations of my technical expertise regarding computers, this wasn't a problem I could fix on my own.  It took three weeks for photobucket to respond and let us know which images were causing the problem (can you tell I'm not very happy with them 😠), but we finally got it fixed.  Yay!  And now we have so many experiences and photos to post about.  It has been a busy three weeks!!!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Cutest Blossom Ever

Each night before bed, either Christi or I tuck in the kids.  The older ones don't care so much any more, but the younger ones (and one medium one;) pretty much can't fall asleep without it.  We have a little sing and respond we use to send each one into peaceful slumber.  In our routine, each child has a nickname.  Lexi is our "little blossom."  It's such a great nickname for her.  She really brings the joy of a flower into our home each and every day.

I thought this picture that Christi snapped at Thanksgiving point this evening perfectly displayed the way that Lexi glows.  She truly is a little blossom.  Thank you, Lex, for being so perfect!!!



Monday, July 3, 2017

Getting Older!

Until about two years ago, my eyes had always been great.  I never wore glasses and felt very blessed because of it.  But as is the case with most people, around age 40 it started to be more difficult for me to focus on things that were close up.  I first noticed it when my kids would want to show me something in a book or on an iPod and they would shove it within about two inches from my face.  No longer could my youthful lenses focus on something so close up.  I would push it away. Next I started to notice it as I read books.  I would have to push them out farther than before in order for my eyes to focus.  And so I decided to get a pair of reading glasses.  I went to Smith's and grabbed the cheapest pair I could find.  Since I would only be wearing them occasionally, I really didn't pay any attention to the style.  BIG mistake.  Christi and the kids now mock my selection of leopard print spectacles.  The other night as Christi and I were watching a show, I decided to be super-productive and hand stitch Parker's favorite tie so he could wear it again.  Let me rephrase that: I proactively took this tie that had started coming apart at one of the seams and made the effort to sew it back together.  It took me a full 45 minutes.  How did Christi laud my admirable efforts?  She mocked me!

Seriously.  Because I had to use my reading glasses to see what I was doing, she kept teasing me about how different I looked.  (To be fair, I have recently grown a beard, and it was the combination of the beard and glasses that she thought turned me into a different person.)  She kept taking pictures of me and giggling.  Here are a few for your viewing pleasure:

I finally gave in and gave her a smile.  I guess I do look quite a bit different.  I remind myself a lot of my Uncle Jay and my Uncle Kenny.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Sophi's impressions of me

For Father's Day, Sophi's sunday school class filled out a worksheet called "All About My Dad."  She drew a cute picture of the two of us playing by a swing set.  Then she filled in the blank on a bunch of statements about her dad.  Some of her answers were right on.  For some, she was trying to be humorous, and some made me so happy that she sees me that way.

Sophi trying to be funny:
-My Dad is  3  years old.
-My Dad is the best because  he is weard 

Right on the money
-His favorite color is  blu . 

I love these answers!
-If he had extra time  he would play with me. 
-My Dada is the funniest when  he lafs. 
-My favorite thing to do with my Dad is  play. 
-What I love most about my Dad is  he is funny. 

And these answers make me realize I might need to improve some of my habits!
-Dad's favorite food is   enything he sees  .
-He love to  nap. 

I am so grateful to be Sophi's dad!!!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Home Ec

In sixth grade I learned to use a sewing machine in a home economics class.  We had to make a few projects, and I decided I would make a set of pillows for my dad that would spell out his name: ALLEN.  By the time I got through the first two sadly misshapen letters, I realized that there was no way I was going to get through the entire name, so my dad was stuck with two pillows that say "AL."  But as a good father should, he pretended he loved them.  Thanks, dad!

Since that time, I don't believe I have ever touched a sewing machine again...until last night.  On our camping trip, I noticed that one of the seams on a sleeping bag was coming undone.  Instead of taking it to our beloved sewing lady, I decided it was high time I re-learned my home ec skills. A couple of years ago for Christmas, Graci received a sewing machine from Santa.  I asked if she would train me on how to use it.  She was generous enough to distill her knowledge upon me and I was ready to go. I practiced on a couple of small stuff bags first.  Then I took on the sleeping bag.  When I was finished, I was acutely aware of the similarities in stitching patterns between my newest project and my dad's pillows from sixth grade.  It's a good thing I do not make my living as a tailor!

It won't come undone, and who's going to look at the bottom of a sleeping bag?

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Best Wife Ever!

How awesome would it be if your wife came to you and said, "Honey, I want to go on a backpacking trip.  Just the two of us.  Somewhere in the mountains.  Oh, and let's sleep in hammocks."  That would be SO awesome!  That's exactly what Christi said to me a couple of weeks ago.  So for the first time ever, we went camping with just the two of us.  We visited beautiful Fifth Water Springs in Diamond Fork canyon near Spanish Fork, Utah.  We hiked in as the sun was setting and enjoyed the beautiful evening light on the red rock cliffs and pine trees in the surrounding mountains.  We hiked in three miles, past some natural hot springs and two beautiful waterfalls.  We set up camp in the twilight and had our freeze dried camping meals next to a small fire.  It was so nice to get away with my sweetie!

We were able to set up our hammocks right next to each other (Christi was just a little afraid of the bogeyman).  We woke up and had a leisurely morning in camp.  On our way back, we stopped and soaked in the hot springs.  We were gone less than 20 hours, but it was a fantastic little getaway.  Thank you, Christi!  I love you:)

Off we go!

There were two nice waterfalls along the way.
Fun around the campfire:

LOVE waking up to this!

On end of our hammocks was hooked to the same tree.

The hot springs were fun, but sure did smell like sulfur!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Pet Crazy

If you are friends with Christi on Facebook, you know that Sophi has been petitioning us for a pet for months now.  This campaign consists primarily of unbelievably cute footwritten notes that show up all around the house.  For awhile it was a dog, then it was a hamster, then it was a dumbo-eared rat.  Based on the letter below, apparently the poor girl is trying to increase her odds of success by adding another option.  It is taking all the parental fortitude I have to keep saying no.  (Christi just calls me Scrooge!)  My favorite part of the letter may be the stick figure girl without arms:

In case you can't read it:

Dear Mom I love you so much! You are so sweet! Can I get a pet rat or hapster or lizerd?  Plus I wold take care of it and play whith it!  I wold have so much fun! Plus I think Lexi wold have fun too!  You can think abat it!  Love Sophia

Then she labels the picture with "Me" and "Lizerd."  So cute!

She also typed out an original story about a lizard.

This kid really wants a pet!  Maybe I actually am Scrooge...

Monday, June 26, 2017

Zion National Park

Last week on a work trip to Cedar City, I planned on doing a short hike in Zion National Park.  Taylor, Parker, Xander, Sophi and Lexi wanted to come with me.  We also invited their three cousins that live in St. George to come meet us for the hike and swimming in the hotel pool afterwards.  When we got out of the van in the small parking lot across from the trailhead, Trey looked up at the sheer cliff face in front of us.  He quickly spotted a bighorn sheep!  We were all excited.  In all of my hikes, this was the first bighorn I had seen in the wild.

As we started hiking, the sheep worked it's way towards the trail from above.  It ended up on the path just ahead of us, and we followed it for several hundred feet.  It was a really neat experience, and the kids were fascinated.  This particular trail is less than two miles round trip without much elevation gain, so it's pretty easy.  But the views at the end are unparalleled.  Even though it was short, it had lots of rocks and ups and downs and even overhangs that we had to navigate.  I was so proud of Lexi for working her way through all of that.  And a huge thanks to Taylor and Parker who guided her through much of it.  For most of the hike I carried Sophi in a backpack baby carrier (thanks Matt and Carla!), but she did walk some of it.  

The hotel we stayed at was right at the entrance to Zion NP and the views as we played in the pool and ate breakfast the next morning were breathtaking.  It is so much fun to have such great travel companions!


Ready to Go!
A new friend...

Great rock formations along the way...

Incredible views and vistas...

Taylor is having fun growing his hair out, but it gets in the way during a sweaty activity.  Fortunately, Sophi was willing to switch from pigtails to a ponytail and let Taylor borrow an elastic:)

Our hotel was fun.  It had a pool table and some computers in the lobby.  Something for everyone...

We stopped and visited Grandma Larsen in Richfield on the way home...