Friday, August 13, 2010

Rafting. Get ready for the adventure of the century.

Okay. I'll try to make this quick, but it might be hard. We decided to go rafting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Kaylee, Philip's wife had been on the river before and they boys' boss, Mike had been on the river before, so he was our 'guide'. We picked up the raft and got to the drop off point.

Here are the boys getting the raft blown up. There were all these 'precautions' while blowing up the raft that we were getting worried about doing something wrong. We sooo didn't want to have to pay extra for the raft!

Cute Philip and Kaylee. Well, cute Kaylee. Weird Philip.

We do love each other. We really do. Even if you can't tell.

Now there's the love!

We realized we didn't have any 'water appropriate' shoes for the boat so we got the Wal-Mart 5 dollar special. We thought we were pretty cool with matching water socks!

Everybody waiting in the water for Mike to get off work and meet us there.

When Mike showed up, the fun really started. He's so silly and makes any occasion hilarious -- even the part you're going to read about soon. :)
Little did we know when taking this picture what was to come. And here we go...
The rafting was a blast and we kept looking forward to 'Lunch Counter' which is supposedly this giant rapid that's really fun and you "have to stay to the left side of the huge rock in the middle of the river" according to Mike and Kaylee.
We ran into this one giant rapid that made the raft fold in two. I was at the front with Kaylee and while we were going in this HUGE swell, I felt myself falling backwards. I looked to my right at the moment and saw this really tan arm. I thought to myself, "Hmm, the boys aren't that tan and neither are mom and Emily. That's Mike!" Yeah. Mike was at the back of the boat, but during this rapid he thrown to the front with me and Kaylee. I wish we had a picture of our raft folding. It must have looked hilarious.
Anyways, after this rapid, Mike and Kaylee assured us that it was not 'Lunch Counter.' We kept turning the corner of the river and they'd say, "It's just around the next corner." "No, NOW it's just around the next corner." "Okay. Maybe the next corner." The water was so calm that we had to row. There was a boat ramp to the side but we were going to fast and we missed it. Mike kept saying that it was not the turn off and we still had a ways to go. Whatever. We soon realized after rowing forever that 'Lunch Counter' was indeed the rapid that folded the raft in two. Oh no. We're stranded.
The river had one mountain on the left and on really steep mountain on the right with the freeway all the way at the top. We pulled over to the side and Ethan and Mike tied us up and started climbing to the top. We waited for what seemed like hours and started wondering what kind of creatures may be out in the mountains. Ethan and Mike eventually showed up and said that they hitch-hiked back to the car and drove down the river a few miles to somewhere closer to us. They hitch-hiked back to the point where they climbed up and climbed back down.
We had a few miles until the car, so we just rowed our hearts out. We soon realized that we weren't getting anywhere quick, so we pulled over again. The guys thought we'd be able to climb the cliff and pull the raft up behind us. We started climbing, but once we neared the top, we realized there were too many trees to get the raft through. So, we climbed back down got back in the raft (after Sarah had a little melt down about climbing back down the cliff) and rowed some more. We were all so exhausted that we couldn't go any longer. We pulled over to a spot with a lot less trees and got to the top.
We were still about 2-3 miles away from the car, so Kaylee and I started running down the freeway while the guys got everything up the cliff. Kaylee and I hitch-hiked a little here and there, but no one would stop. Finally a nice girl who knew Kaylee's sister stopped and gave us a ride to Ethan's car. Thank heavens!
We got the raft back just an hour and a half late and only had to pay $25 extra. Next time we'll know where to actually turn off the river so we don't get stuck. That evening, Mom kept saying, "Besides missing the turn off, getting stranded, rowing for hours, climbing three cliffs and running down the freeway, this was the most fun experience of my life!"

Saturday, July 24, 2010

4th of July. Warning: Picture overload.

The 4th of July (in Idaho it was actually the 3rd of July, because the 4th was on a Sunday) started out as a nice relaxed day. We just played around the house, went out shopping and got ready for the BBQ at Ethan and Philip's friend's house.

After the BBQ at Mike's (the boys' friend and boss), we all made the trek to the fireworks show. Mike, Ethan and Philip have the same spot every year. Right off one of the overpasses on the freeway. It's right next to the river where they shoot of the big fireworks. It was like having front row seats! The boys said that it's so close to the fireworks that every year they get hit by 'shrapnel.' They weren't joking!

After the big walk there, we got to rest for a couple of hours until it got dark enough to start the show.

Andrew and Mikaela LOVED playing with the Pop-its. Ethan finally had to tell them to sit down once they accidentally threw one in a car window!

Right before the show started, Andrew and Mike's kids all got glow stick necklaces and bracelets.

The fireworks were so bright that I was able to get pictures. It was such a great show! Luckily, the wind was blowing in the opposite direction, so we didn't get pelted with shrapnel until the end of the show. All of a sudden the fireworks seemed to be getting closer and closer, and then pieces started flying into the onlookers. One piece even hit the top of a car! Then, we look down at the river and a whole bunch of fireworks toppled over and shot right at the crowd and we saw people scrambling. It's really not that funny, but we're cracking up right now as I type this! After the people dispersed, we noticed a brush fire. Ethan said, "Not to worry, that happens every year." Okay. What is wrong with Idaho people? What city lets people sit that close to fireworks?

It got so bright at one point that Emily and I had to put on our sunglasses! (Well, we didn't really NEED them, we just wanted to bug everyone else!)

After the show, we all headed back to Mike's for our 'personal firework show.' The guys bought a whole bunch of giant (cough, cough -- illegal) fireworks. The guys kept saying, "The police will definitely show up this year." Luckily, they never did. But it sure was funny trying to keep one eye on the fireworks and one eye down the street!
Here was our very first fountain -- remember this one for future reference. It worked just fine, but at the end the entire right side didn't work. We just thought it was messed up.

Remember the first fountain? Here's the right side all of a sudden working! An hour later, it decided to burst into flames right as Mike was trying to light a firework next to it! Too funny!

You can now look forward to our next blog post about our lovely rafting trip in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. He he.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Philip's birthday!

Two days later was Philip's birthday. As you can see from the next picture, Emily and I got Philip the same yellow construction hat and bilingual caution tape. Kayden loved it a little more than Philip.

After Philip opened his presents, Philip, Kaylee, Emily and I went to go see a movie. Mom was so excited to spend some time with Kayden all by herself. She took TONS of pictures. Here are just a couple.

Kayden kept trying to make his way into Philip's golf clubs. He's so cute!

For his birthday dinner, we went to Red Robin. I discretely stepped away from the table and told the hostess at the front that it was Philip's birthday. Philip kept watching all of the other tables with 'birthday boys' and he kept saying, "Don't any of you dare tell someone that it's my birthday!" He had no idea that I did it! Mom even asked when I had slipped away -- I guess I was really sneaky because no one noticed!

Philip had to wear the balloons under his chin. . .can you tell how thrilled he was about that!?
If you look at Kayden in the bottom left corner of the next picture, you can see him staring at the singers. He kept turning around but kept his arm on the table -- too funny!

At the end of the evening we went go-kart racing. We had a blast!

And one more picture of cute baby Kayden.

Ethan's birthday!

June 30 was Ethan's birthday. We were so excited to be there to celebrate with him. Mom got him a couple of fun surprises but the funniest present was from me and Emily. We bought him a bright yellow construction hat and bilingual caution tape. I say 'bilingual' because it says 'caution' and 'cuidado.' English and Spanish caution tape! It's amazing! (Ethan just thought we were a bunch of weirdos.)

Then we went to this awesome restaurant where they had the best ribs ever! They serve your entire meal on a giant trash can lid in the middle of the table. It was so much fun!

I just have to share these pictures of baby Mikaela -- she was coloring with her right hand...
...and then her left hand! She couldn't be any cuter!

Ethan got a free giant ice cream treat and he shared it with all of us.

Then we went back to Ethan's and had some yummy birthday treats that Linda made. It was the best strawberry pie/cake thingy. . .I can't really remember what it was called.
And Mikaela thought it was her birthday as well.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Thunderstorms, Burger King and Idaho drivers.

We arrived in Idaho Falls just in time for the biggest thunderstorm we've ever seen in our entire lives. The wind was literally howling, the rain was blowing sideways and there was lightning every 5-10 seconds. When the first part of the storm passed, we all decided to meet at Burger King.

Several members of the family wanted to wear the Burger King crowns. Too bad they had the dumb 'Twilight' characters on them.

And my personal favorite. . .
Andrew and Philip acting funny. (Notice the windows behind them -- it looks like it's nighttime when it was really 5 or 6 in the evening! I'm telling you, it was a crazy thunderstorm!)

And then we have baby Kayden thinking, "Why am I stuck with this family?"

Andrew LOVES taking funny pictures. Every time I take one of him, he can't be serious. He's got to do something funny, and then he asks "Can I see the picture?" Then Linda just tells him to wait to see it on the 'internet.' (our blog)
So Andrew, here are just a few of your funny pictures:

And now Mikaela has decided to copy everything Andrew does. This is her version of 'thumbs up.'
And then we ended the evening at WalMart. Obviously WalMart is the cool place to hang in Idaho Falls. And a quick explanation on the next picture. Kaylee and I were behind some dork brain who had his left turn signal on while making a right turn. And he had it on the entire duration of the right turn. Dumb Idaho drivers.