Wednesday, May 27, 2015

May... before it's gone!

Second daughter hosted a wonderful birthday party for M.  She and her hubby are amazing!

 This is the "cake"!  Three different kinds of brownies! Perfect!

An inflatable 'water park' provided the entertainment. Thank you Uncle Eric!
The candles are the best part!


Cake?  He just wants the truck!



Aunt Cheryl is the Best!

Almost a Pro!

Balls and water!  What could be better?

This is the part Grandparents can just enjoy without needing to fix anything.  Tooo cute!

 We continue to make some small improvements on the house.  I am quite delighted with my little garden!

I sit out here and read quite often!
 I also got to see cute Kenzie at her dance recital. 

She loved the trophy!  I think she called it a statue.

There is No tease in this boy!

Big sister it getting her front teeth in!
 My cute husband made me a corsage for Mother's day.  He also gave them to the ladies he home teaches. The youngest is 85, one is  93, and the oldest is 95.  He impressed them all!!!
What Fun we have!!!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Giants and little girls

 We have been home for a month so I must get caught up so I can get on to other news.  We continued down the California coast with a stop or rather drive through the amazing California Redwood forest.  It is called  Avenue of the Giants!
 I had mislaid my fancy camera so these are less than perfect (I found it when we got home) but no camera can capture the majesty of these trees.  I had wondered what relation these trees had to the giant Sequoias.  We spent some time in the visitors center and found out.  They are related but different too. Redwoods are taller but Sequoias are bigger around. California Redwoods need Lots of water where Sequoias don't as much.  They have recently discovered a whole ecosystem in the branches with animals that seldom if ever touch the ground and even trees that grow in the soil that collects on their branches.  They even create their own rain.  When the air is misty, the moisture collects on the leaves and 'rains' down to the roots.  Speaking of which, these 500 year old giants have root systems only about 9 to13 feet deep.  How do they stand through storm and wind?  Their roots interlace and they hold each other up! Object lesson there!!!
Is he becoming a tree hugger?

Hard to hug one this size and it's not even a huge one...  Appears someone camped inside this one. It was certainly big enough.

Trying to get some scale but no go.
 We drove to Tahoe and spent the night.  We almost didn't stop there as it's out of the way, but were glad we did because it's been years since we saw it....and from there it is only a short drive to the Reno Temple which is where we went the next morning.
The water is still sooo blue but the lake is much lower than it should be and the trees look very dry.

The water is still so very clear that it's hard to judge the depth.

We enjoyed our session in the Reno temple.  We were told it is the smallest temple.  Who knew?
from there we drove to Las Vegas, drove down the strip and then went on to Boulder to spend the night.  That hotel was a dive.... (it was very late and dark when we stopped or we would have chosen another one) but it was cheap so I guess it's okay.  We were so very glad to get home  to our own bed.  Best day of any trip!

I pieced this quilt before we left, did the quilting while we were in Washington, and brought it home to bind it.  I hope Penny likes it. 

We also took cute Kenzie out for lunch for her birthday!  She was a hoot, chattering the whole time. 

She may have a little of the Castillo drama gene...

Sweet as she can be!!!
We are so blessed with our family.  I can never express the love we feel for each and every darling one of them!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Road Home

Just as we were finishing our visit with Elena, Aaron and darling Penelope, my brother Steve invited us up to see his boat and visit in Anacortes, so we drove up.  It was so fun to see him and get a hug.    He is living on his boat which is docked in the beautiful town of Anacortes.  He treated us to a delicious lunch at a great pizza place. It was wonderful to spend time with him!  Thank You Steve!

We decided to go home via the Oregon coast with a stop in Portland to visit Nephew Michael and his cute family.  We had a fun lunch with them at a Salvadoran restaurant and then went through the Portland temple.

All of these towns had gorgeous tulips and flowers everywhere but I loved this dark purple one!

The drive down the coast was marvelous!  I had to restrict myself to a very few photos or we would still be trying to get home. 

I loved that you could walk out of a forest onto an ocean beach!
We saw several signs along this coast proclaiming that it was a tsunami area....apparently seismic activity in far away places causes tidal waves.

We had to stop here as there are Andersons in our family!

Apparently he was a surveyor.

It was misty which usually doesn't lend itself to good photos but I loved this one.
 We decided to splurge and stay in  hotel right on the coast.  We Loved It!
We had a Jacuzzi that looked out at the beach. It was a real joy after a day of driving.
 We slept with the sound of the waves breaking a few yards away.  It was lovely!

We collected drift wood pieces just like kids!  Hey, we're still young at heart!
We marvel at the beauties of this country.  They even have water under their bridges!!! Astounding! I took so many photos that I will have to save some for the next post.