Friday, September 27, 2013

Summer Fun With Our Kids - Wyoming

Following our cruise to Alaska, we flew to Salt Lake City and spent a couple of nights at Bobby's house.  His family was vacationing in Oregon with friends, which worked out well, because our intent was to get our Christmas shopping and gift wrapping completed for the grand kids.  We decided to provide a small gift to Linley, Emma, and Max on each of the twelve days of Christmas.  They receive so many gifts to open on Christmas day from their parents and other relatives, that we decided it might be more fun for them to spread out the surprises over a longer period of time.  That meant purchasing and wrapping 36 gifts!  We also bought a few things for Paige and Elynor and a few birthday presents for Emma's August birthday.   And since we didn't know when we would be back in the states, we also put aside a few additional birthday gifts for Paige, Max and Elli.  Additionally, Bob and I drove down to Springville and hiked up Hobble Creek Canyon to find the piece of property we purchased from the Hills and Jeffers.  It is in a beautiful area overlooking the left fork of the creek.  Hopefully someday we will be able to build something there.  When mom and dad and Myrna and Jim jointly purchased two lots in the Springwood Development, there were plans for water lines and electricity to be put in.  But it appears that the developers skipped out of the deal and never made good on their promises.  We have not been able to get any answers about the future of this development, so our property may never become more than a primitive campsite . . . even though there are some really beautiful homes going up all around the area.  Here are a few photos taken around our property.

We drove up to Rock Springs, Wyoming, on Wednesday.  It was great to be able to see the area that Stephanie and family are now calling home.  They have a beautiful big home up on the mountainside and are happy to be back in a smaller rural community.  It's nice for them to be in a good-sized English speaking ward where Emma can enjoy the benefits of primary and the association of more church friends.  It's a little hard to settle in to an established small town community, but they are adjusting and keeping busy with lots of visits to family who are nearby once again.  Paige has struggled with allergies, eczema and asthma and it has been a challenge for Stephanie to determine how to avoid the many triggers.  Testing revealed that Paige is allergic to many basic foods including wheat, milk, soy, eggs and bananas.  She also seems to have some negative reactions to most topical creams and lotions, along with things in the environment such as molds and dust.  And viral illnesses also trigger a reaction.  So Paige's poor little chubby cheeks, arms and legs are often red and scaly  We hope that she will be able to outgrow some of these problems, but with parents who both have allergy and asthma, she may have to deal with these things for a long time.


Paige was learning how to crawl and climb while we were there.  Like her Uncle Mike, she is a blankie cuddler and thumb sucker, which makes for a pretty easy baby!  We enjoyed walking down by the river and at the park nearby, Emma found her older neighbor friend who quickly took her under wing.  They climbed rocks and played in the water fountains.  Grandpa and I enjoyed going to watch a couple of Emma's soccer games.  We were quite amused as Emma tried to figure out all the rules of the game, including no picking up the ball with your hands, and no tackling!  She is a little like Ferdinand the bull, chatting with her friend or chasing butterflies on the field.  She had some nice kicks, an accidental header, and a strong throw-in or two.  I think her favorite part of the game was getting to wear her pink shorts, socks and shoes!

On Friday morning, Stephanie and I took Emma and Paige for a little rafting experience.  It was a beautiful float down a portion of the Green River, even though Emma was not in the mood to get wet or dirty.  Grandpa was kind enough to help us shuttle the cars!

Saturday, we took a trip to Flaming Gorge.  Ben was planning to take us out on their boat, but since a storm was blowing in, we decided just to take a scenic drive out to the gorge.  When we arrived, the weather was actually quite nice, so we hiked around a bit and discovered all kinds of fun things.  Grandpa showed Emma some soft leaves she could use if she needed to go potty in the wilderness. Emma thought that was pretty funny!  Emma found some crawdad claws, a bunny, and some crazy rocks which we made into funny faces.  You've gotta love her pirate girl!  Skipping rocks and a rock throwing target in the water kept us entertained for a while before heading back home. (Definitely a couple of Hill Family activities in action!)

A trip to Wyoming wouldn't be complete without attending a rodeo!  This time we left the girls at home with a sitter and went on a double date with Stephanie and Ben.  We even caught some prizes that were randomly thrown to the audience.  Yeah, we were also wondering what those crazy light up toys were!

Sunday we went to church and Emma got to wear her new birthday dress from Gaga and Grandpa.  She sure knows how to model!  Paige was pretty cute in her new purple dress, too!  It was great to see their new ward family, where Stephanie is enjoying teaching Relief Society and Ben was working with the Young Men and Scouts.

 We packed and loaded the cars with camping gear and departed from Green River on Tuesday, with sights set on more fun in Utah with Bobby's family.

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