Saturday, July 26, 2008

Leavitt Reunion in Yellowstone - Part 3 Thursday and Friday

Thursday started off with a LOT of driving. We drove over 2 hours from our cabin to meet up with everyone at a picnic spot on the shore of Yellowstone Lake. Lunch was great but I had not experienced mosquitoes like that since leaving Alaska. It was so bad.
Grandpa was nice enough to pick up fishing licenses for the kids. So after lunch Emma, Alan, Scott, Grandpa, and the uncles went down to the lake to do some fishing. Logan and I went down for a minute, but the mosquitoes were even worse down there so we headed back to safety.
They didn't catch any fish, but I heard they all had a lot of fun. Alan came back very wet.
We stopped at a few scenic spots on the way home.
These pictures were all at the mud pot on the east side of the lower loop. Logan liked seeing the bubbling mud, but Emma didn't like the stinky smell.
This buffalo was taking a nap next to the mud pots and was about 4 feet away from me when I took the picture. Normally I wouldn't get so close to a buffalo, but I was on the trail and there was at least a fence between us. It was very cool.
After the mud pots we stopped at Artist's Point to see the beautiful canyon and water fall. It was amazing. Don't let the pictures fool you, Emma and Alan were having a blast, but they just didn't want to stop to have a picture taken.
(Also at Artist's Point)

That night all 60 something of us met up at the big cabin for dinner. After dinner each family did a skit based on a family memory. The Hilton's turned out well. Emma and Alan dressed up like bears, and we reenacted the Leavitt's summer trip to Yellowstone in 1969, complete with a coke and mentos geyser for old faithful. One of the best skits was by the Mickelsons who wrote their own version of "We didn't start the fire" entitled "We didn't start the Family." The chorus went "We didn't start the family, it was Bonnie and Dee, the rest is history." After the skits we heard mission reports from Eric and Ryan and then had a testimony meeting. It was the perfect way to end the day.
Friday was the last day of the reunion and also the day that we headed home. We got an early start so we could stop a few places on the way down to meet up with the fam at Old Faithful.
We stopped at the Lower Geyser Basin. It was really cool and had geysers going off everywhere. As you can see Alan was very interested in the geysers. :)

These pictures were from the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was absolutely gorgeous! And I think it was my favorite thing that we saw in Yellowstone. I tried, but the pictures just don't do it justice.

Scott and Alan at the Grand Prismatic Spring.

We met up with everyone at Old Faithful. We were lucky and didn't have to wait too long to see it go off.
After watching the geyser, we took the kids over to the gift shop and let them pick out anything that they wanted. Lucky for us they always decide on something inexpensive. Emma and Alan got cute little cameras that show different pictures of wildlife when you click the button, and Baby Logi got a little toy baby bear.
This is the beautiful Old Faithful Inn. I vote that next time we go to Yellowstone that we stay there.
We left for home from Old Faithful, driving out through the West Thumb and then down through the Grand Tetons.
We stopped in Jackson Hole for dinner and finally got home very late Friday night, or I guess it was very early Saturday morning. It was a great trip and a great reunion.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Leavitt Reunion in Yellowstone - Part 2, Tuesday - Wednesday

The reunion officially started on Tuesday night with a huge gathering at our cabin. Dinner was great and the kids all really enjoyed the rain storm that rolled in and than out again.
Wednesday morning most of us got up early and went rafting down a nice little river running through Island Park. Logan stayed at the cabin with Grandma and his cousin Tanner, but Emma and Alan got to come with us. It was by no means a wild trip down the river, but it was a lot of fun. There were a few spots were all the adults had to get out and pull the raft, but Emma and Alan enjoyed being able to sit up on the edge with their toes dangling in the water.
After the rafting Scott and a phone meeting with work and he had to do so work, so the kids and I bummed a ride into West Yellowstone for some "shopping" with Andrea, Dean, Tanner, and Jake. All we bought was a little ice cream at Dairy Queen, but it was still a lot of fun. Alan Liked all the animals and Emma really wanted this blue hat.
That night the whole big clan got together at "the big cabin" for some fun, food and of course the annual everybody's birthday party. It was another very late night for the kids but they didn't seem to mind too much.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Leavitt Yellowstone Reunion - Part I, Saturday - Monday

It's been quite a while since we've been on a real family vacation, little kids and law school make it hard, so we've been looking forward to going to Yellowstone ever since Aunt Ruth started planning it. Dad was thoughtful enough to rent a "Kozy Cabin" (that was its name) in Island Park for all of us Hiltons that could go (Dan and Ludi couldn't make it). It was perfect! It's so nice spending time with family, and the kids loved all the time with Grandma and Grandpa, Andrea, Dean, and baby Tanner, and Eric, Jake, and Kev. The only hard part was getting the kids to go to bed at night, so they usually didn't - until late. But don't worry, they still woke up early.

So we started driving on Saturday afternoon (July 19th). We were planning on leaving earlier, but Scott had to go down to sign our new rental agreement in Pleasant Grove (we found a place to move on Friday night!), and then our van's battery was dead from leaving the door open while packing. The kids were great for the drive, and after a brief stop in Idaho Falls, we arrived at our "Kozy Cabin" around 5:00 Saturday night.

The cabin was right on a huge open field, full of cows, so of course right after dinner all of the boys (and Emma) hopped the barbed wire fence to go explore. The cows were somewhere else in the field that night, but the boys could see some blue heron. Alan-boy wouldn't stop playing in the cow's sandbox/litter box and got his hands covered in cow pie. He didn't mind at all, but you had to be careful when giving him a shoulder ride after that.

After church on Sunday in Ashton (Scott's good friend Joseph Corbett and his wife happened to be in the ward there), we met up with all the Leavitts at Mesa Falls, "the best kept secret of Idaho." The falls were beautiful, and the kids were so excited to see all of the cousins.

Here's all of the cousins that we could round up for long enough to get a picture. Notice that Alan refused to be cornered.

On Monday we did the "Upper Loop." Here's Logan (trying to pull his hat off seconds after we put it on) at Beryl Spring.

After Beryl Spring, we stopped at Norris Geyser Basin. This was the beginning of our second little hike there, so it was time to break out some bags of popcorn for the kids. After the first hike, as we were almost back to the Museum, Alan said "what's in this Puseum, because all this walkin's makin' me huuungry!" As many of you know, Alan replaces the first letter of many words with 'P' and he's constantly hungry. I guess he was hoping that it was the "History of Ice Cream Museum." It wasn't, but Laura had thought ahead, and brought little bags of popcorn for the kids to carry while they were hiking. As we finished this mile-or-so long hike, Emma told Grandma "more water, blah, blah, blah." Before long she was saying "I don't love stinky water."

Here's Emma at the "Puseum." No ice cream here!

At Mammoth we met up with all of the Leavitts for lunch with these Elk. Alan saw them, and said "hey, there's camels! I can ride the camels!"
Here is the whole lunch bunch minus Scott and Eric who were driving around Mammoth looking for some WIFI

Here's what's left of the terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs. Apparently most of the flow has stopped/changed course, so most of the brilliant yellow and orange colors are gone now. Now everything looks like snow, which is still pretty, but it's not quite as cool as it used to be.

Here's an area that still has some color too it. Yellowstone is definitely alive and changing!

Here's the whole fam at Mammoth.

There was a bunch of hiking and climbing, and the kids did so well! Here's Emma and Alan at the top of a big climb.

Here's a cool formation at Mammoth that Laura named "Screaming Face Rock." I'm sure that name will be on signs by the next time we visit.

This is beautiful Tower Falls. It was rainy, and we weren't sure that we wanted to get the kids out to see it, so Laura ran over to the falls to see how far they were. They were only 150 yards from the parking lot, so we got everyone out. We were sure glad we did, it was probably the most fun we had that day! Alan (and soon Emma) jumped in every puddle along the way. At first we told them not too, so Alan would get as close as he could to a puddle, and jump over it, landing as close as he could to the puddle on the other side. He was so cute that we soon gave up and just let them jump and splash as much as they wanted.

We managed to get pretty darn close to a bear (much too close for Laura's comfort). Scott and Emma were the closest. Emma wouldn't stop talking at full volume about the bear and whether or not she liked it. At first she did, and then she decided "I don't like real bears, just pretend bears." After that, when the bear started to walk away, she decided that she did like it.

On our drive out of the Park, we saw two huge bull elk, standing right next to the river. Amazing! Why can't we see elk like these when we're hunting? Click on the picture to look at the bigger version, the racks on those guys were huge!

Here they are again. You can tell that Emma and Alan had a long day on Monday.

And here's Alan, saying goodbye, from Yellowstone Park. We'll follow up with posts from the rest of the week later - there's a lot to post!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BYU or Bust

Scott was invited by a professor to attend BYU's Law School for his last year to help out with some research, and today we found out that he's been officially accepted, so we're headed back down South. This means that in the next month Scott will be busy with all that he has to do to get transferred as well as his normal work. We also leave for Yellowstone on Saturday for a week long reunion, we have to find a new place to live, and we have to pack up and move. It's going to be a very crazy month, but we are sooooo excited!

A few funny things Alan has said lately

When we go to the playground at Kaysville Elementary Emma likes to swing around what she calls a "merry-go-round" (which it really just a poll sticking out of the ground). Well, Alan always runs up to the one next to her and starts singing about his "merry-boy-round." It is pretty cute and funny.

So the other day it was time for Alan's nap. He happily pranced up to his bed and snuggled up to his pillow. Then, in a very Wonder Pets kinda way, I sang "Its time for bed now." To which he answered me back singing "because I'm tired, and I'm thirsty, and I'm sleepy." This is serious.

The other funny thing Alan has started saying is "OK." You can tell him something like "Lets get you shoes on." And he will respond with something like "OK, so puppies won't be able to eat my toes?" He likes to pucker out his lips while saying it too.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wedding Tag

Andrea, thanks for tagging me. It is so fun to get to look back on such a fun day.

1. What is your anniversary

March 8, 2003

2. Where did you get married?

Salt Lake Temple

3. Who proposed and how?

Well Scott likes to make it sound like I was perusing him and he would say that I proposed to him first. We were in his apartment one day, a few days before we officially got engaged, talking about marriage and he said something about me not even wanting to marry him. So I ran next door, got my class ring, came back, got on one knee and proposed. But then a few days later after dinner, Scott and I went on a walk by the Provo river and Scott suggested we have a little desert and handed me a package of Snowballs. He had put the ring box in one of the snowballs. when I took it out he got down on one knee and asked me to marry him.

4. How long were you engaged?

4 months

5. What was your favorite part of your wedding day?

It is hard to really pick a favorite part of the day. But I would have to say I love being in the temple the most. Since we got married at 7:30 am when Scott and I arrived at the temple it was so still and quite. I was the only bride in the bridal room. Then before our sealing we got to sit together in the Celestial room with no other couples around. Everything in the temple was so beautiful and wonderful.

6. What would you change if you could?

Ummm, I can't remember anything that I would want to change. I guess it would have been good if Scott was there when the reception started, but Cory was there to stand in for him and the whole thing is just another fun memory of the day. (Scott was in getting the cookies that Grandma left in Bountiful if I remember correctly)

7. What were your colors?

Wisteria purple and green

8. Do you remember anything special from your ceremony? Any good advice? A comical moment?

I just remember how special it felt to be there with Scott.

9. Were you clean or messy with your wedding cake?

We were messy. Scott was very nice and just fed it to me, but them I snuck some frosting onto him so he then grabbed a hand full of frosting and smeared it all over my face. No one saw me so everyone thought Scott was the mean one, but really it was me. Sadly on the wedding video you can tell it was me who started it.

10. Where did you go on your honeymoon?

We started the honeymoon at the Anniversary Inn in the beautiful Romeo and Juliet suite. Then the next day we headed off to Scott's Grandparent's Cabin for a few days.

11. How long have you been married?

We have been married for five years and four months. Wow time flies when your having fun.

So I tag Kathleen and anyone else who thinks this would be fun.