Thursday, August 30, 2012

Girls' Camp 2012

This year I was able to join our young women at Girls' Camp from July 12-14th. (Plus! I even got to go on the canoeing trip with the 4th years the day before {on the 11th}-- and then join the other girls the next day).
Our canoeing trip on Wed, the 11th. SO. MUCH. FUN! I'm not gonna lie, I was concerned that we would totally tip over.  But no, we were expert canoers.  Go. us.
It was seriously so gorgeous! I totally want to take Freddy there sometime.
Hm. Now for the actually having a canoe issue.
Our theme was to Arise to the Occasion-- just like the heroes of the Book of Mormon.  We were assigned Moroni-- the one that buried the golden plates/the one that became the angel Moroni. Do you love our trumpet? Brilliant, right?
Eating a little lunch together. Shot out to the camp cooks. 
Our ward (minus a few YCLs that couldn't be there for the picture!)
We all had an amazing time-- especially during the Iron Rod activity/fireside that we had. Seriously-- one of the most spiritual experiences of. my. life. It was so great to see the girls having so much fun together. :)

On the flip side, Nathan stayed home with Freddy-- boys week(end-ish) together! They would sleep at my in laws' house and then in the morning, Freddy would go to work and my mother in law would watch Nathan.  After work, Freddy would take Nathan home for a few hours, and then late at night they would head back to my in laws' again.  Nathan surprised us all by being so so good! It was my first time away from him for that long, and yet he survived just fine. :) Such a relief for me!

The hardest part was when I'd call at night to talk to Freddy and Nathan-- we even video chatted once or twice.  It was so heart breaking to hear my baby ask for me to come home, telling me how much he missed me, etc., knowing that I still had a couple days left. He told me about his new little airplanes that Grandma had gotten for him that day, telling me all the colors of them.  I asked if I could see them and he said (with a whimper in his voice), "You can't, because you're at camp... but you could come home, and then I could show them to you." And another time, "Come home Mommy; I miss you-- I need you!" :(

Sighhh.. It was a wonderful experience to be at Girls' Camp-- but I was definitely glad to be back at home with my family!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CO/NM: Day Five-- Heading home.

So, on our way back from Colorado, we stopped in Albuquerque again, 
but this time we actually spent some time checking it out.
We went to the Albuquerque, NM, temple-- 

(The steeple is on the other side, facing the street.. but it was tricky to get a good picture from that angle.) 
My in laws. :)
It was pretty bright.. Nathan and I can attest to that fact.
Okay on the count of three, look at the camera. One... Twoooo...

(See! Told you there was a steeple!)
After that we went to the Anderson Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum. 

Pretty cool place-- all about flight using hot air balloons (and a little bit about modern flight--)
Up, up, and away!

Nathan and Freddy building their own hot air balloon. They had to piece together different strips of colors (with velcro), attach it to the built in fan on the table, and see how well it would inflate! Fun!
Me, playing an interactive hot air balloon game-- I had to land the balloon in the right spot.  I was disappointed with my 67%, until Freddy got like, 23% or something... And then I realized that perhaps I was better than I thought! :)

Outside the balloon museum. :)
And then we finished our drive back to Glendale! :) 
We had a blast together-- it was such a great trip! 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

CO: Day Four of Denver

To start out our last day in Colorado, we went back to the Red Rock Amphitheater (since last time, it was already starting to close to prepare for the upcoming performance that evening). 
We were so. glad. we went back. It was awesome. 

I left just in awe of the world around us! It sounds so lame, but really, it's so incredible to see all the variety of landscapes and scenic views the world around us offers. :)

True or false: I was totally fine having my little baby sit on that wall,  inches away from a thirty foot drop.
(Answer: So beyond false that there should be another word for it. This picture was taken quickly-- and you probably can't see it, but my hand is totally bracing his back, just in case.)
F and I in front of all the posters promoting shows at the Red Rock Amphitheater.
Afterwards we went to the 16th Street Mall, which was pretty fun to see..
And after that we were pretty much ready to head back to Albuquerque.  The whole drive back we were racing a storm, so we'd drive and finally be out of the thunderstorm... Then we'd stop for bathrooms and it would catch up to us.  So we'd drive again and finally be out of it.. whew. And then we'd stop for lunch and it would be all out down pour again. Pretty exciting!
Yay for our trip to Denver. We sure had fun there!

Monday, August 27, 2012

CO: Day Two of Denver, Part Two

Whoops! Missed the rest of day two-- I guess I was just too excited to blog about the zoo.
After the Capitol Building, we went to the Federal Reserve and looked at all their displays about printing money, how to spot a counterfeit bill, and more. (It was fun, but it still would have been better to get into the Mint, in the first place.)
Afterwards we went to check out the Red Rock Amphitheater. There was a concert that they were getting ready for at the moment, so we were only able to see the entry way of the park, rather than the whole thing (but we came back later, don't worry--). 
Still though, pretty incredible what the world can do with some rocks. 

Freddy got all adventurous and started climbing like Spiderman.
But he totally pulled it off. Hats off to him! :)

Really, the pictures don't do this place justice-- the red rocks are simply gorgeous; it's quite a sight to see!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CO: Day Three of Denver, Zooing It.

So, on day three in Denver, we decided to hit up the Denver Zoo. I love zoos-- everywhere we go, checking out the zoo is generally at the top of my to do list. Denver was no exception. 
We saw tons of animals! Starting with these red river hogs, which are actually considered pests in Africa.  They ruin farmer's crops by digging them up and eating them. I think it'd be funny to see someone from Africa come see the exhibit. They're protecting *that* species?! We're trying to get *rid* of them!!
The Denver Zoo really focuses on endangered species; it was interesting to see which species were at risk..
N and I with the silverback gorilla. He was so cool. 
Of course, N liked the statue more.
A better picture of our furry friend.
Freddy and Nathan by the indoor gorilla habitat. {Side note: I really hate seeing animals in tiny little cages-- or "habitats" that are nothing like what their natural environment would look like.  Granted, space is limited, but I felt like the Denver Zoo did a great job at having space for their animals-- both outdoor and indoor.}
Best. picture. ever. {Go Freddy.} This is the little baby orangutan- one of the few new babies at the zoo.
He was so, so adorable.
Flamingos-- or "Bingos" as I used to call them when I was little. I always have to get a picture of them. :)
They were all sitting on this rock, protecting their eggs.
Two very similar pictures here- one in black and one in brown. The bears were eating lunch when we saw them.  This one was some sort of endangered Asian bear of some sort, I think.
And this one was the brown bear, or grizzly bear, or maybe that's the same thing-- I can't remember. But they were pretty funny.  There was a girl bear and a boy bear-- and the girl had stolen the boy's bone/meat.  So he stole them back-- and took both of them.  We got to see her try to sneak one back.. It was pretty comical.
Us with the mountain goats. 
Watching the animal show for kids-- fun! And afterward, Nathan got to pet a turtle. Cool.
So our first stop, when we got to the zoo, was to make it allll the wayyyy across the park for the presentation about the red river hogs. I like presentations. But we soon realized that Nathan doesn't walk as fast as I'd like him to. That's right, it was wagon time. He still talks about his green wagon at the zoo, and how next time he'd like to get red. You got it, kiddo.
Elephants: best. part. ever! The Denver Zoo had just opened their brand new Elephant Passage-- a huge elephant habitat.  But before we went in their, we got to see this little guy ;) go for a little swim. {Side note: We needed to have reserved spots in the Elephant Passage exhibit-- since it's so new, you still have to have reservations, at least a day in advance.  Well, we didn't know we were going to the zoo a day in advance. BUT! Luckily their computer system shut down, so they weren't requiring tickets for that day. Awwwesome!}
Did you know that an elephant's trunk can lift and move up to 1,000 lbs, but it can also pick up a chicken egg, without crushing it? Coooool.

So glad I don't really have elephant ears.
Grandma and Grandpa, taking a little break-- we got a few little snackies from the little cart-- popcorn and shaved ice.  The perfect little treat before moving right along. 
It had been a long day, a long day without a nap.  Let's just say this was pretty expected. Zoos have a way of wearing you out, especially when you're only two.
This picture is actually as we're leaving the park-- and it's totally raining.  The weather had been near perfect all day, considering it had been pretty warm. But rain, we weren't exactly planning on. So we zipped right though the last couple animals, since we were just about done zooing, anyway, and called it a day.
Hooray for the zoo! Nathan loved it! {As did I..} The day couldn't have gone more perfectly!