Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Julia Video Catchup

Since we didn't do much this weekend that would make an interesting blog post (highlights were go to the temple, watch the new Pirates movie, swimming pools open! Fun, but pretty ordinary stuff.) I had Robert finally teach me the basics on the new video software we have (which is why there have not been any videos recently, I didn't know how to use the new program to format our videos into something YouTube will accept.) So here are a few videos from the past few months.

First up is from this weekend. Julia loves to sing and here are a couple of her favorites. She sings "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "The ABC's." The last part of the video is her playing catch with Robert because after singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" she wanted to play baseball.

Next is from back in April at Julia's birthday.

And finally we have clips from Julia's first golfing lesson. When Julia becomes a famous golfing pro we'll make hundreds selling this one to the media.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Shenandoah National Park

Last week we took a three night camping trip to Shenandoah National Park. It was gorgeous! But we discovered that camping with a toddler is exhausting. There was so much trouble for Julia to get into-play in the ash, roll down the hill, pull down the tarp. So basically one of us had to be watching her all the time while the other person set up camp/cooked/cleaned up/packed our daypacks. It rained off and on Thursday and Friday, which I think made the park a lot less crowded that it could have been. The campground was mostly empty on Thursday night (although by Friday there were more, and Saturday it was full). Robert is so handy, he made a shelter with a tarp, poles, and rope to put over the picnic table to keep things dry and give us a place to hang out during the rain. The rain actually didn't bother us that much since it never rained on our hikes and we had plenty of blankets to keep us warm during the night.
The first full day we were there (Friday) Julia slept in until 9:00! So by the time she woke up and we had breakfast and got ready to go it was almost 11:00. We did a 3.2 mile hike to Doyles River Falls. There was one 28' waterfall and one 63' waterfall. Beautiful!
Our attempt at a family picture at the smaller falls (above) and Robert and Julia at the larger falls (below). Julia just got some sunglasses and she loves them. She likes to put them on top of her head like her Mommy.
That night we had the traditional hot dogs and s'mores for dinner. Of course Julia loved the s'more.
The next day we did the 4.7 mile South River Falls hike with an 83' waterfall. Below, Robert and Julia at the top of the waterfall.
Julia and I on our lunch break during the hike (above). When we got to the base of the waterfall the first thing I noticed was a large stick-like object floating in the water near the waterfall, except it wasn't floating the way you would expect a stick to move. It was a huge snake! We watched it from a distance for a while and it just floundered around in the same area. So we got closer and kept an eye on it the entire time we were there. It never got anywhere. Our theory was that it had just eaten a fish and couldn't swim well enough to get out from the waterfall current. Here is the snake we saw in the water (below).
At the foot of the falls (below).
On Sunday after we had packed up and before we headed home we went on a short 1 mile hike to Blackrock Summit. Julia told us she wanted to walk, so we let her walk until she got tired. She made it about a quarter of a mile.
Robert finally let me carry the backpack.
To get to the summit you had to climb a rock scramble, so Julia and I didn't go up to the very top. Robert climbed to the summit and took a 360 panorama (I know it's small, but I don't know how to make it any bigger). It was nice to get away from our regular routine for a while and even though Julia was a little crazy while we were camping she has been more happy and obedient in the past few days since we've been back than before we left. I think it was nice for her to have a change too. I'm also glad that Robert and now Julia love to hike as much as I do, we had a lot of fun.
And because we just took so many pictures I couldn't resist throwing a few more random ones in.

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Orioles Game

Saturday we went as a family to our first baseball game of the season. Robert has this crazy idea that he wants to visit every MLB stadium and get a souvenir baseball cap (the little ones that the ice cream comes in) from each stadium he visits. So we can now check off Camden Yards in Baltimore.
It was a beautiful day, but randomly started raining halfway through. Luckily our seats were covered by the deck above us. Julia really enjoyed it. She liked to dance to the music, clap and cheer, yell with the cheers (Charge!), and sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame." I only took her to the kids play area for one inning after she started getting a little too rambunctious halfway through the game. After that we came back to our seats and she settled down and enjoyed the rest of the game again.
And in case you're curious, the Orioles lost to the Rays 2-8, and we now have eight little baseball caps.

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Photo Booth Wheat's

Actually these were taken at the top of Maryland Heights last week on our Harper's Ferry hike, but looking at them today they looked like they all were meant to be seen together, like in a photo booth print.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Julia's Crib

I've mentioned a couple times how Julia likes to take things to bed with her. Last night I decided to snap a picture of what her crib looked like before she got in. She's got about seven books, two bows, a Teddy bear, a Winnie the Pooh pillow, a blanket, and sippy cup of water. If it were up to me the crib would be empty but she specifically asks for each one of these items before bed (although not all at once, it usually builds up). Sometimes I wonder where she has room to sleep...

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

I am standing upon the seashore

I love this poem. I read it once on a wall hanging and it just stuck with me. I was thinking about it a few months ago. I looked it up and put it into a blog post to share, but never published it because it didn't seem quite appropriate to just randomly share a poem about death. Recently one of Robert's high school friends lost their little girl in an accident and we have been thinking about them and about death and eternal families. We're grateful that we know that life goes on after death, and that because of our temple covenants and if we live worthy, no matter what may happen to each of us we will be a family forever. So it seems appropriate now to share this poem and imagine the shouts of "Here she comes!" that were recently heard in heaven.

"I am standing upon the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze and starts for the blue ocean. She is an object of beauty and strength. I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other. Then someone at my side says: "There! She's gone!"

Gone where? Gone from my sight, that is all. She is just as large in mast and hull and spar as she was when she left my side, and just as able to bear her load of living weight to the place of destination. Her diminished size is in me, not is her; and just at the moment when someone at my side says: "There! She's gone!" there are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout, "Here she comes!" And such is dying.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Harper's Ferry

Last Saturday we finally got out again and did some more sightseeing. Yay! It feels to me like it's been a while since we've done any sightseeing on a Saturday because of Easter, church activities, and Julia being sick. So last Saturday we took a day trip to Harper's Ferry, WV, site of the U.S. Armory during the Civil War.

Since it's where guns were made and stored and was on the railroad both the North and the South wanted control of the town and it changed hands eight times during the Civil War. You might also remember from your US History classes that even before the war, in 1859, an abolitionist named John Brown had a plan to start a slave uprising and attacked the armory in an attempt to get guns for the slave uprising. Unfortunately for Brown no slaves rebelled and he was caught by U.S. Marines, accused of murder, treason, and inciting a slave rebellion, and ultimately hanged for the later. But the event did get the nation talking LP b about the issue of slavery and acted as a catalyst for the Civil War.

We decided to do a difficult 2 mile hike to the lookout on Maryland Heights (from the top of the cliff face in the picture below) and then see how Julia was doing since this was the first time this season for her in the hiking backpack.
View of Harper's Ferry from Maryland Heights- about two miles into our hike. Julia did great! I guess she is over wanting to walk everywhere and now enjoys getting carried around on Dad's back and enjoying the scenery. We decided to do the complete 6.5 mile Maryland Heights hike.
View from the top of Maryland Heights at the site of a stone fort built by Union forces in 1862. Julia says "I'm ready for a nap." Probably a little more than halfway through our 6.5 mile hike.

Julia get's a break inside the stone fort.

We finished our hike in about three and a half hours, completely exhausted. At least we weren't doing this hike (The Appalachian Trial goes through Harper's Ferry). In case you can't see, it says Main 1,165 miles, Georgia 1,013 miles.

After the hike we stopped by John Brown's "Fort," which was really a firehouse that he had retreated to after his attack on the armory. The next day a detachment of U.S. Marines attacked the fort and captured Brown and his men. This is a drawing from Harper's Weekly depicting the attack (they used a wooden fire ladder to knock down the front doors), and below is what the fort looks like today.

Julia inside the fort. She listened intently to the man explaining about the building for about two minutes, but he just kept going on and on, so she got up and started running around.
After that we saw where the armory had once been and saw a couple old buildings, then went home. I was sad we didn't get to see more of the town because it looked really cute and there was a lot more historical stops in the town. However, I wasn't the one who hiked 6.5 miles with a 30 pound pack, nor was I the one who had gotten three hours less sleep than normal that day (Julia skipped her nap and she usually takes a good 2.5-3 hour nap), so my suggestion to look around more was vetoed in favor of going home and going to bed.

We had to stand on the shuttle bus ride back to the car and Julia wanted to hold onto the rail like everyone else was. When I talked to her about her day later that night before she went to bed the things she said she remembered about the day were that we saw two trains, we listened for the water and the birds, (I had stopped and told her while we were hiking "Listen, Julia. Can you hear the water? Can you hear the birds? ) and that she had to "hold on" on the bus. It's always interesting to hear what she remembers about the day because the things I think should make the biggest impression aren't necessarily the things that she talks about.