Sunday, February 17, 2008

Valentine's Day Fun

A couple of days before Valentine's Day Halle and I hosted a cookie decorating party. The kids all had a blast and you should have seen the piles of sprinkles that went on these cookies! We ordered some pizzas as well so the kids were in heaven. Pizza, frosting, sprinkles and sugar cookies. What could be better?

Then on Valentine's Day our HOA had a little Pajama Party for the kids. Halle loves to go to PJ/Movie night! So that got one kid off our hands, but unfortunately for us, they have to be potty trained to attend movie night--bummer. So Josh, Rusty and I had a very romantic dinner at home.


Josh has taken to saying Ahhhhh everytime you give him a hug, or when he sees a cute animal, or when you give him his blanket. It is pretty darn cute.

So, he has a favorite little blanket that he always sleeps with and whenever he sees it he says, "ahhhhh." The other day I was putting him down for his nap and he was pretty much asleep in my arms. I went to put him in his bed and noticed his blanket wasn't in the crib. I just grabbed another one that was similar and stuck it in with him, hoping he wouldn't really notice since he was almost asleep.

Well, a couple minutes later I heard him just COMPLAINING on the baby monitor. He never really cried, but I could tell he was ticked over the blanket switch and he was letting that blanket have it. He was making all sorts of angry noises.

A few min later, again over the baby monitor, I heard him change his tune. He stared AHHHHing and OHHHHing just as happy as could be. He did this for almost a minute straight and then promptly went to sleep. I guess he just needed a few min to adjust to the new blanket!! I was laughing so hard as all this was going on and really wishing I had some sort of webcam in his room so I could have seen it.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

josh walking and saying animal sounds

Fond Farewell

Last week I got to do singing time/sharing time in Primary. We did a little tribute to Pres. Hinckely that turned out really cute. (although I can't take credit for the idea--got it from a Yahoo group for Primary Choristers) All through Sharing Time we were learning facts about his life, and the last one we learned was that all over the world, after Pres. Hinckley would speak, and as he was getting ready to leave, LDS members would stand and wave white handkerchiefs to say goodbye to the prophet. (We also saw lots of people doing this at his funeral). So, I taught the kids some new words to "Follow the Prophet" :

Gordon was a Prophet, Prophet to the world
Visits every nation bring them God's word
With a sense of humor he looks you in the eye,
Be more like the Savior was his great reply.
Then the normal chorus

As the kids sang, they all waved white handkerchiefs. It was so cute and touching. They all love the song "Follow the Prophet" so everyone sang so well and so loud. These are the pics I took. It was a fun and special day!

Jr Primary (You can see Halle in the second row on the left--closing her eyes)

Sr. Primary

Sunday, February 3, 2008

On Top Of Hawaii, Literally

Hi Everyone. This is Rusty. Let's take a break from the sappy family moments to see some cool pictures of the "big island", Hawaii. I was there to visit Gemeni Observatory, which is a 25 ft diameter telescope on top of a dormant volcano at an elevation of 14,000 ft. By comparison Timpanogos mountain in Utah is 11,749 ft. I've taken to tackling Colorado's 52, "14ers" so the idea of working on top a "14er" was intriguing... and it's Hawaii after all.

This is Hilo (at sea level) with Mauna Key (at 14000 ft) rising above it.

Everyday the workers at Gemeni Observatory meet at 7 AM and hop into company SUVs to begin their ascent of Mauna Kea. The terrain quickly changes from a rainforest to a lava filled grassland.

At 10,000 ft all the six active observatories ontop of Mauna Kea have chipped in and built a cafeteria. All employees are required to stop and eat breakfast there for a half hour to acclimate. The food was pretty good.

The top is covered with snow- some people ski this crater.

Finally you get to the top- it's amazing to see these huge structures up this high.

Inside the telescope is awesome. It's also very cold. They have to keep the interior about 40 degrees so that when they open the dome after dark there are no interior to exterior temperature variations.

A photo of the beginning of telescope observations.

After visting Gemeni observatory I did some hiking around Volcanoes National Park. It rained all day. I'd warm up in the hot steam vents.

This is the lava field that is currently errupting. Unfortunately there was no lava flowing the day I was there. After two hours of crossing the lava field I turned back.

So then I tried to hike Mauna Loa, which is Mauna Kea's wicked (still active) step-sister. There is no road up to Mauna Kea - it's a 21 mile hike, so needless to say my one free day didn't cut it.

Next trip. Any takers?

- Rusty