Friday, August 24, 2012

80 Days of Summer - The End

It was a stressful end to the summer. Hence, no posts. Had a fun gathering at my mom and dad's place with Bryan and Bobbie visiting from Texas. After a flurry of work at the charter school, I got the new portable placed and everything landscaped. Also put in our front lawn at home. We started the school year with 103 kids - up from 78 last year. Going into my fifth year now as the Director of Moab Charter. Annie and Brandi have been busy with cross country practice. Can't believe Annie is starting high school. Posted this with my iPad. Hope it works.

Monday, July 30, 2012

80 Days of Summer - Day 62 - Emmy's Birthday

Day 62 - Emmy's Birthday!
Well, Emmeline turned 11 today. I made her French toast for breakfast and her grandparents called to say hey to her. I worked this morning, and from there, the whole day revolved around Emmy. Can't wait til she turns 12 next year, so I'll have a hunting buddy!
 I always take the kiddos out to lunch on their birthday. Emmy requested Thai food. We had Crab Rangoon, Shrimp Pad Thai, and Squid Lomein. She said she was glad she went, but she'd rather have pizza or burgers at Zax. Afterwards, she requested Moab Diner and a Hot Fudge Malt.
 After lunch, I had a brief meeting at work, and then we went golfing. I let her drive the cart most of the time. 
 Birthday presents: a new watch and a Nintendo DS game - Harry Potter. Not in the picture - a really cool bag made by her Grandma Hodges (I think).
 She requested fried chicken for dinner and fruit pizza for her "birthday cake." We were almost done with the pizza when we remembered to sing Happy Birthday - we aren't very traditional in our house. We didn't even wrap her presents. We handed her the Walmart bag and the receipt fell out with the gifts. 
Singing Happy Birthday. After dinner and singing, Brandi took Emmy out to see The Dark Night Rises at the theater. [Editor's Note: They walked out of the movie in the first 5 minutes because it was so violent and it was freaking Emmy out - they saw Ice Age 4 instead.] So, I sat down to type this, and as I started, the Angels Kendrick Morales hit a two run homer. As I finish, he just came up in the same inning and hit a grand slam. This blog post is blessed.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

80 Days of Summer - Days 56-61

Morgan Marathon
Busy week at work getting a new classroom placed, reports completed, and a board meeting. Closed the week with a family gathering at my brother John's house in Morgan.
Dad (Jim), Joe (Me), Brett, Bryan, Daniel, Dave, John (Dad), and Eric

I ran the Morgan Marathon with  my brother John. This was his third marathon, and my eighth. Brothers Dave, Brett, and Eric wisely dropped down to the Half Marathon. They all had a good race finishing within 7 minutes of each other. John and I ran at a slow pace and chatted constantly the first 20 miles. The miles were easy and passed by quickly. However, around Mile 19 we both started to feel the heat - it was 75 degrees at the start in the dark at 5:30 am and just got warmer from there on. It was in the 90s by Mile 20, and we slowed down considerably. At Mile 21.5 he told me to just go ahead and started walking a lot. I ran ahead, but the heat soon got to me, and I slowed down, too. I stopped at every aide station and soaked down in the misting set-ups. I also flagged down a medic and asked for a frozen towel which I draped over my head. My body doesn't do well running in the heat. John actually finished just 4 minutes behind me, and we were glad to be done. After the race, Eric was on the massage tables at the finish lying on his back with the masseuse sitting at his side. I slipped in behind her and ran my hand all the way up his thigh. His eyes bugged out and he stared at the lady. She goes, "That wasn't me!" and I poked my head around her and said, "Hey." I then walked over to John who was on his side with a towel over his head while a masseuse worked on his hip. I slipped behind her and grabbed John's butt. Without hesitation, he goes, "Is that my brother?" She said, "I sure hope so." Good times. Bryan and his wife Bobbie came in from Texas for the week, so with my mom and dad, we also had 7 of the 8 brothers there. While I was running, I couldn't figure out why my ribs on the right side were hurting so bad. And then I remembered, the night before, it was me and Eric versus John and my dad in this frisbee game where you had to tap the throw and let your teammate catch it. We were diving all over the place. Landed on my elbow at one point and bruised my ribs. I showed this picture to my friend - our bishop actually - and he said in all seriousness, "Oh, that must be your dad" and pointed to my brother John in the yellow shorts. I was cracking up. My dad is on the far left.

Daniel overhead this conversation the night before the race between my son James (8) and his cousin Luke (6) as they lay in their sleeping bags with all the cousins. He posted it on Facebook as follows:
Just overheard: Luke, whispering to cousin James as they lay on the floor to sleep for the night: Luke: "I love you." James: "I don't. I only love girls. I just like boys." Luke: "Your supposed to love everybody." -- James, a few minutes later, whispering, "Luke, I love you."

 Another pic from the mud volleyball last week in Wyoming. This was after they dunked me in the mud.
 Moving the second half of the portable into the schoolyard. 
 Registered the car this week, and took this picture of Moab down at the city offices. We live to the right of the dark green river delta along its edge where the city meets the dark green. The river bends around the delta. I duck hunt the marshes and ponds all through the delta.
 Busy week at work getting this thing in place and all that goes with it. I've got a hectic 3 weeks ahead trying to get the school ready for kids August 22.
Finally found a replacement for the wedding ring I cut off when I broke my finger in June (that finger still hurts). Silver must have gone up in price - this one cost me $28! Back in 1996, it was only $13. 
Emmy and the cousins spent hours hunting and catching crickets in the fields around John and Sunni's place in Morgan. For some reason, I didn't get any pics of the kids that weekend.

The girls recently read Jane Austen's book, Pride and Prejudice. This Sunday afternoon, they're watching the Pride and Prejudice films we have. They started with Keira Knightley's film, and now they're watching the Bollywood version called Bride and Prejudice - it's a musical that is pretty good. Anyway, it was a good week. Good day at Church today. Felt the spirit and enjoyed the lessons and talks. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

80 Days of Summer - Days 47-55

Star Valley, Wyoming
We finished up our week in Star Valley with some fishing, a trip to Bear Lake, more golf, running, and just relaxing. It was a wonderful trip. The kids love their Wyoming cousins - they played and played. We went to see Ice Age 4 Saturday - which was pretty funny. And a couple of nights we played Night Games with the kids - Annie I Over and Ghost in the Graveyard. Returned to Moab on Sunday, and back to work this week. Summer is nearing completion. 
 Relaxing on Boone and Laura's back porch with one of my favorite views in the world. Reading Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner this week. Love his work. I did a couple of 8 mile morning runs through the farm country this week. Beautiful weather and great roads to run. Ready to run the Morgan Marathon this week with my brother John.
 We went golfing with Boone and Laura. I gave Brandi a glove, and it wasn't until Hole 5 that I noticed she had put the left-hand glove on her right hand. The velcro strap was on the palm of her hand. Pretty funny. She threw it at me when I pointed it out. Brandi parred her first hole ever on Hole 9!
 Boone and Laura let me tryout for their mud volleyball team in case one of their players didn't show up on Saturday for their tournament. I made the cut because they needed an extra player. It was a blast. I learned that one does not wear Keens in mud that has rocks. My feet are still bruised. It was a lot of fun, though. We took 2nd place. That's me in the yellow shirt. I suck at volleyball, but it was cool in the mud.
 I slipped away and fished the Little Grey's River one morning. The water was high, but I still caught a lot of cutthroats - nothing very big though.
 More mud volleyball. 
 Brook trout caught on the Salt River. My new Mitchell 300 XE reel.
 Trout caught on the Salt River.
 Trout on the Salt River.
 Boone is always reading. A bookworm. A big bookworm.
 Emmy at Bear Lake.
 James at Bear Lake.
 Laura and Brandi chatting.
 Me and my gal.
 Nice pose.
 The kid troupe of cousins at Bear Lake.
Mud guy.

Monday, July 16, 2012

80 Days of Summer - Days 42-46

Star Valley Wyoming
We go up to Star Valley to visit Brandi's parents or brother's family each summer. We love it up there. I've always wanted to move to Star Valley, but the door has never opened. Someday.
 Walking through Boone and Laura's new clinic - Boone is an occupational therapist and is building a new office in Thayne. 
 Boone and Laura's property - part of Brandi's great grandparent's original homestead.
 The day before we left, I had the boys fill in two big holes I had dug for footings for the fort. They were mad at first, but then they really got into it. 
 James filling the hole.
 Stopped to buy a new fishing reel - a Mitchell 300 XE - on the way up to Wyoming.
 We arrived in Wyoming Friday night, stayed up til 1:00 am and then I got up at 5:00 am and ran the Star Valley Half Marathon. It starts back in the mountains there and runs out through the farm country and into Thayne.
 Laura and kids were cheering at the 12.2 mile mark. Boone and Brandi and the boys were cheering at the 12.8 mile mark. Boone made this sign.
 Boone and Laura's pet squirrel. It keeps licking me. Like non-stop. My head, my legs, my toes. And it keeps stealing Brandi's stuff and hiding it under the coffee table. It even stole her toothbrush (she bought a new one).
 My go-to place for fishing licenses since 1996.
 Saturday afternoon, Boone and Laura took us to their favorite place in Jackson Hole. We had havarti en croute, roast rack of lamb served with a peppercorn-rosemary cream sauce with jalapeno mint (the best meat sauce I've ever had in my life), and beef tenderloin au bleu served with a crab and artichoke spread. It was freaking good. Expensive, but good.
 Star Valley always means golfing with Boone. The fields just past the pine trees is the future site of the Star Valley LDS Temple. 
 The rack of lamb at The Blue Lion in Jackson Hole.
 Cruising around Jackson Hole with my gal Brandi and Boone and Laura. We ate dinner, saw the new Spiderman movie (which was actually pretty good), and visited some shops - saw a petrified redwood table top selling for $250,000.
 Cruised up Strawberry Canyon near Boone and Laura's house for an afternoon.
 Joe escaping the sand. Took two shots.
 Jackson retrieving sticks. Years ago, I had Jackson out on the Salt River over Christmas hunting ducks. He jumped in the icy river out of the snowbank after a duck I shot and got swept around a bend where the ice froze over the river. He couldn't get out and was clinging to the icy shelf on the bank about to get swept under the ice. I jumped in the river and made my way across (with no waders), lost a nice winter glove in the process, and ran through the snow looking for Jackson. As I rounded the bend, he came walking up to me with a duck in his mouth. He got out somehow while I was floundering in the icy waters trying to get to him. 
 The kids.
 Lathering Jackson up with doggy soap so he can wash off in the creek.

 Boone and Bailey.
 Kids cheering at the Star Valley Half.
 Boone waiting for me to run by.
Me running past the boys hanging in the truck with Jackson. 
 Strawberry Canyon.
 Emmy and Tyler are best friends.
 Laura and Brandi.
Finishing the Half. I actually ran my best half marathon ever, which surprised me a little. I ran a 1:52 averaging 8:30 miles. It was a beautiful mid-50s day with clouds and a nice gentle flat or downhill course. Perfect.