Saturday, July 26, 2008

Big Bear with the Delgados - Day 2

Friday, we were a little slow getting up. Levi had decided to play for a couple of hours in the wee hours of the morning, so Jocelyn didn't get too much sleep and the boys were wore out from all the "surprises" the day before. So we took our time getting breakfast and packed up to go home. When all was ready, we headed over to the Moonridge Animal Park. Everyone but me had been there earlier in the week. Season tickets had been purchased, with guests allowed, so we had to take advantage of that.
The zoo is kind of like CALM. They take injured or sick animals and release them later, if possible. It's on two and a half acres and has kind of evolved over the years, like CALM. However, we were told they have lost the lease and have purchased property over near the Discovery Park. After accumulating 12 million in donations, they are going to build a new park in two years. Right now the hottest attractions are the grizzly bears, a mom and two cubs, and the snow leopard. The area also is home to 13 bald eagles, and they have an injured one at the zoo.

The Grizzly Bears

A black bear is looking into his swimming pond

probably wondering why they drained it.

The boys are looking at a blue heron. The zoo has several nice birds.

Jared liked this little owl and spent a long time looking at it.

Nathan wasn't too perky the last day and was resting here.

This snow leopard was hiding in the bushes during our visit.
He's one of only a few animals there that are not from the area.

We saw this little African Pygmy Hedgehog at a noontime program. Only about 6 inches around, he was taken in by the zoo even though he's not indigenous to the area. Someone had him as a pet, which is illegal in California, and punishable by a fine and time in jail.

We left the zoo and went out to lunch, then home. It was a really fun place to visit, and I would love to go again with David. It's only 3 hours from here.

Thanks for inviting me, Delgados!

Big Bear with the Delgados - Day 1

Wednesday afternoon I took the Delgado's up on their offer to join them on vacation at Big Bear. I arrived in time to enjoy a juicy hamburger grilled by Oscar. We ate on the deck of the cute little cabin where they were staying overlooking the pines. They spent the evening showing me around the cabin and filling me in on their adventures earlier in the week. Then, we played some fun games with the boys downstairs in the game room before going to bed. The first activity of the day was the Alpine Slide at Magic Mountain:
I left my camera in the car and stuffed only cash in my pocket since I knew we would be riding little sleds down these cement runs. It was so much fun...even for a grandma! I took pictures, but on Jocelyn's camera which I'll post later. These are from an advertisement. You have to be 6 years old or 48" which ever is first, so Nathan was the only kid who could go by himself. All you do is push the lever forward to go and back to stop. We took turns staying with Levi. (That's when I took pictures.) They LOVED it! Jared was so cute. He couldn't go fast enough, and screamed in delight around every corner. We left with the boys still wanting more to get to our next adventure, boating, lunching and fishing on Big Bear Lake:
This was Oscar's favorite activity of the week.
He loved being "skipper" of our pontoon boat.

Jocelyn and Levi loved it too.

Levi was not overly fond of the floatation vest.

We enjoyed the scenery, wildlife and watching other boaters.

Spencer did a little fishing.
Jared applied both kinds of my chap stick, just to make sure he would not end up looking like a clown...i.e. he liked eating the stuff.

One interesting place to go at Big Bear Lake is the Solar Observatory, which unfortunately was closed while we were there. They are installing a new telescope. Apparently Big Bear experiences over 300 days of sunshine a year which makes it an excellent place for one of six solar observatories in the world. It is just east of the observatory that we turned off the boat to drift and eat our lunch. With 15 minutes to get back to dock, we found the boat would not start. So, we called and explained our predicament.. We drifted further east until help arrived, and enjoyed the extra time on the lake! After returning to the cabin for rest and dinner, we headed on to the Bowling Barn, another first for the boys!
We all had a blast. Each boy had their own style of bowling and it is way more fun for them with the bumpers up so they can't get gutter balls. (I wish I was young enough to qualify.) Jared was the most entertaining. It is so cute when a two-year-old bowls. In fact, all the surrounding bowlers were cheering him on! I didn't get very good pictures, because it was bowling league night and no flashes are allowed. I got in trouble for my camera flashing when I thought I had turned it off, so I quit taking pictures. Jocelyn got the best score, 114. Three of the boys were asleep by the time we got home to our cozy cabin.

Nathan's 7th Birthday

Nathan, my oldest grand child turned 7 on July 19th. He's such a fun kid and so smart. One thing I really like about him is how much he loves his brothers. That brother bonding thing is really special and he's a great big brother. He wanted me to make a monster truck cake for his birthday. I said, "Good! Can I just put a monster truck on top?" Oh, no....that's not what he had in mind. So here's what we came up with. I found that even if your monster truck looks like a jalopy the kids think it's great. That's what's nice about kids.
We usually eat dinner, then clean up the table before having cake and opening presents. This is what happens when you spend a little too much time in after dinner conversation without keeping an eye on Ed. I had just walked into the kitchen a minute before and the cake was fine. All I can say is that kid can scoot a bar stool eat a donut real fast!

Fires and Floods

During the month of July, there have been a lot of wild fires throughout California, but the Piute Fire is the one we watched most because it had an impact on our family. Some members of our extended family are firefighters and were assigned to it and other fires. Also, it came within a few miles of Ryan and Karrie's property. A wind change could have made things much worse for them. As it was, they saw the flames over the hill and had bad air quality for awhile. Even here in Bakersfield, the morning sun looked red and the air was bad. When the rain came, it caused flooding. Ryan was on duty and got sent in to investigate a problem area on Saturday, July 12th. At around the same time, Karrie and the kids lost their electricity. She called Ryan to tell him about their predicament and all he said was, "I can't talk now, the helicopter's here to pick me up." Kacy tells her version of the events on Saturday and Sunday on this video:

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jake's Wedding

My nephew Jake got married on July 15th. Natalie's beautiful and we wish them lots of happiness together. Here are a few of the pictures I took:

Spencer helped Uncle Dandy adjust his suspenders while we were waiting for the bride to arrive in the limo.

We were thrilled that Pat and Teresa were able to fly in from Utah for the wedding. They came on the Sunday afternoon before the wedding and stayed until Wednesday. It was great to have them here, if only for a short time, and I know Yvette was happy for their help in setting up.
3 Brothers

Eric and Kimi checking out their pictures

The decorations were beautiful and the food was delicious.
The Delgado boys especially liked the balloons!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Barbara and Carolynn's Visit

David's sister, Barbara and her daughter, Carolynn came to see us on the 10th of July. We were the last stop on their way home. They had come from Escondido after visiting the relatives there for the 4th of July. Barbara and Carolynn are frequent traveling companions and had also been up to Oregon and Washington visiting other family members there. They shared some pictures of their trip to Mt. Rushmore with Becky and Larry and also some of Pam and Tom's new house. Ryan, Karrie and their kids joined us for dinner along with Ellen. Ryan had come earlier to try out some food for his upcoming backpacking trip with the scouts. While the dehydrated refried beans were pretty tasty, we opted to serve Chicken Parmesan with homemade breadsticks for dinner and some Peach Cobbler.
The next day Carolynn and I went looking for some additions to her Polish Pottery collection and were happy to locate a plate she wanted and a pretty oval serving platter. I picked out a cute little sauce pitcher. Barbara had a nice visit with Ellen while we were gone shopping. I think this piece, called a "cheese lady", is what I might buy next:

I think it would be fun for serving pancakes.

Camp Shower

Matt and David built this shower for Girl's Camp. Patty is YW President in their ward and their camp director has never been to Big Meadow. In a couple of days they put it together with a tankless waterheater which uses propane and a 12 volt battery and provides unlimited hot water. I understand that it worked great. In fact, occasionally the water was too HOT. It even has a gold plated faucet.

Monday, July 21, 2008

July 4th Activities

We woke up on July 4th for a fundraiser breakfast at the church. The sister missionaries were really excited because they thought we had brought some investigator friends with us and came over to our table with pass along cards in hand. Lenna is from Tonga and one of the sisters is from Samoa, so they had a nice visit even though no missionary work was happening. We enjoyed the company of other ward members and the kids found some things to keep them occupied after eating pancakes.

Nathan and Jared, along with the others, had a turn in the wagon pulled by Brother Randall.

There was a nice MUD HOLE to explore.

And some WATER to play in.

We hurried home and got ready to go play at PUMP IT UP for the rest of the morning. It was so much fun, but the adults were exhausted! I called Jared the energizer bunny because he just got off one thing and ran to the next.

The Delgados trying out one of the slides!

The Loveridges coming down fast!

Kalisi and Spencer

The little guys loved the car.

Yup, that's me.

We hurried home and shared lunch with my friends from the temple, the Nichols, and their daughter and her husband. They were meeting up at our house and leaving a car before traveling to Yosemite together for a family reunion. Then we set up the backyard for water games and let the kids get wet while we prepared the barbecue tri-tip and chicken with all the fixins. After dark and just before all the kids collapsed we watched some more fireworks and let the kids wave around some sparklers:

Blogger is posting my pictures rotated wrong, so I'm going to stop until I figure out why.


David and Matt building a camp shower

Barbara and Carolynn's visit

Ryan and Karrie's Fire & Flood

Video of Kacy telling about her dad's helicopter rescue

Jake and Natalie's Wedding

July 3 Loveridges Come to Vist Bakersfield

I have been busy with life and blog posting has been put on hold for a few weeks, so I am going to attempt to catch up. David has hinted several times that he has seen enough of me being "Stranded at the Temple" which happened July 1st.

A couple of days after I was rescued by my "irreplaceable" husband, we were happy to welcome the Loveridges to Bakersfield for a long anticipated visit. They are SOOO much fun, and they bring chocolate!! When they arrived I was taking my mom to the doctor, so David welcomed them by having the kids pick oranges to juice. The kids loved it, as do my own grand kids. We had gallons!
After I arrived home, we got some blankets, chairs and edibles together and joined the Delgado's for a trip to Shafter High for a fireworks show. Thanks Carla for telling us about this event. It was lots of fun and we had a great place for the kids to play while we waited for it to get dark.