Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My Little Soccer Players

We played soccer this fall for the first time. Bud has been begging to play ever since he played baseball. Beaner decided to do dance instead so I don't have any pictures of her, but she did say she wants to play soccer next year. I think she had just as much fun going to all the practices and games and Big D and I did. She made a lot of new friends and was never lonely or bored.

Bud was in Heaven. He plays soccer with his friends all the time at school so it was pretty cool to play against some of them at games. Bud was so funny to watch run down the field. I used to say he danced when he ran when he was younger. It made me sad to think he'd grow out of that. Well, he didn't. He was just so happy to be playing he'd dance as he ran. Toward the end of the season he got pretty good, not at dancing but at soccer. I would say he was one of the top players on his team.

Bug started the season off on a high. She scored a goal her very first game. She also has been begging to play soccer. I don't think this is the last time we sign them up, it's a good thing there is Spring and Fall soccer seasons. Bugs team did great, but they got cocky and lost a couple. I think it was the best thing that could have happened to them because it helped them to focus back on the game. She did great the hole season and loved every minute.

Bear was very entertaining to watch. All these five year olds and none of them really know what they're doing. Sometimes they would make a goal in the opposing teams goal, but we still celebrated. Sometimes they would forget which side of the field they were suppose to be defending, but we still celebrated. Sometimes they would get tired and sit down in the middle of a game, and we yell for them to get up. Sometimes they would get in water fights on the side lines, and we all laughed.

It was a great season, the weather stayed beautiful for us, and I can't wait to watch them play again in the spring.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Bear Lake 2010

Brook Jr had a problem loading his shorts.

I think we probably should have taken him to the restroom before his bowels got the better of him.

Bear thought he wanted to go out to the floaty to play with the girls, but he quickly changed his mind as soon as he couldn't touch any longer.

The floaty belonged to the people next to us and Beaner was brave enough to ask if they could play on it. They all had a grand time until there got to be too many kids and they weren't abiding by the three people max on the tube rule. Then I had to be the bad guy and throw them all off.

Lowell, the good daddy he is, is teaching Hyatt to swim.

This is Lowell Jr learning to swim, not quite as receptive as his younger brother.

Bud was a good playing with the others or all by himself. It's almost like there is a party going on inside his head and if others join him that's great but if not he's still going to party without them. He reminds me of his father.

All the babies at this age don't like Uncle Brook. Probably because he's a "giant". But that does not stop him from trying to make them realize he's the favorite uncle. They all succumb eventually as will Rae Rae.

Stormy Chicago

Before we left Pittsburgh I told Big D that we should intentionally have a day layover next time we are going through Chicago so we can go and explore. We are always flying through but we've never been able to get out of O'Hare.

I think I spoke too soon. Coming in to Chicago we had to circle the city for about thirty minutes waiting for a storm to break. These are the storm clouds from above.

They really don't look bad from this angle but I guess under them there was torrential rains mixed with a few tornado warnings. The news was saying this is the worst flooding they've seen in 137 years, according to CNN. They had streets washed out and flooding up to peoples waists.

After circling in the air for as long as we could we finally got diverted to Fort Wayne, Indiana (I've never been there either). It was a small airport that had actually just closed and every one had gone home. They had to open it back up, but of course there was no food.

Big D and I cuddled on the floor and watched a movie until our flight was called out, which was about an hour. The flight back to Chicago was amazing for me, Big D slept the whole time so I can't say much for him. There were lightning storms going on out both sides of the plane. Huge lightning that would light up the entire sky. It was like the clouds parted just for our plane. We still had to circle a bit before we could land but we finally got on the ground and then the circling on the tarmac began. We were stuck in the plane for forty-five minutes waiting for a terminal. Some of the passengers were getting pretty frustrated because they missed their connections, we all missed them.

They were setting up cots down K wing for stranded passengers but Big D and I decided to get a hotel so we could get better sleep. The ride to the hotel was our first experience with a taxi and our driver was authentic. Watching TV and the way they portray taxi drivers, I thought it was a bit of an exaggeration. Nope. This guy was a crazy driver and I could barely understand his broken English.

I asked our driver what he did for fun in Chicago and he said he goes downtown and gets drunk and some how that led into him saying he never goes to the South side because its bad really bad. Three cops had been shot just in the past month. Gang bangers have been walking up to cops and shooting them point blank.

I thought I was going to start crying right there. I no longer had a desire to explore Chicago, I just wanted to go home.

And I don't know how this worked out but it cost us $50 to get to our hotel and only $27 to get back to the airport the next morning. Hmmm, I thinketh we got screwed.

After a wonderful five hours of sleep, we showed up at the airport only to have our flight get moved back by two hours. I was starting to get ansi, I just wanted to get home to my babies. Once we were in the air I was a lot better, and so was Big D because he was out cold before we ever even left the ground. How does he do that?

There is nothing better than seeing your children after a week away. They actually liked me for a few minutes, especially when they find out I bought them some toys from the Amish community I visited.

I found out that Bug got bucked off a horse and landed on her head. The hole side of her face was scratched up and bruised. Grandma Honey didn't want her to tell me what happened because she didn't want me to freak out. So she calmed me down by telling me that Bug did every thing she was suppose to, when she landed on the ground she jumped up and ran as far away as she could as not to be trampled. I don't know if this makes me feel better, but seeing Bug in one piece, that makes me feel better. And Grandma made her get back on the horse right after she got bucked off so she wouldn't develop a fear of horses, thank goodness. What a good Grandma! I do think it was a good thing not to tell me some thing like that over the phone.

The kids had to tell me how Papa Guy shot a coyote. I'm pretty sure that made Bud feel better since he's always scared of coyotes at the ranch. Of course, the kids had to go and see the dead body. They told me how there were already bugs all over it and his eye was missing. Papa didn't want them messing with the body so he tried to get them off the hill but they wouldn't listen so finally he yelled that the coyote's brother was right behind them. They were off that hill in two seconds.

Grandma bought the kids a new swimming pool that they practically lived in the whole week they were there. Ahh my little water babies. They had a good time and they were sufficiently spoiled. Thank you very much Grandma and Papa. I could not have enjoyed my trip with Big D without you.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Kentuck Knob

I didn't know there was another Frank Lloyd Wright home in Pennsylvania. Kentuck Knob was only seven miles away from Fallingwater. I guess about twenty years ago a Lord from London was touring Fallingwater when he heard there was another home and it was on the market. Being an international real-estate investor and an avid art collector he jumped at the opportunity to own an original Frank Lloyd Wright.

The home still being privately owned made it so we couldn't take pictures on the inside. The Lord used the house as his families summer home for the first decade after purchasing it. Although they still holiday here they don't stay in the house except to entertain. They purchased the property next door and that is where they stay when on holiday.

Toward the end of Frank Lloyd Wright's life he decided to start signing his homes. He only visited this home once. After completion he sent an apprentice to install this tile but the front door. Fallingwater does not have a signature.

I loved the skylights on the back deck. They are opened to the sky, which I learned because I thought they were covered with glass.

Through out the entire home there are only two ninety degree angles, talk about a challenge for the stone cutters and carpenters.

Behind the house there is this lovely path that takes you on a journey through the Lord's art collection. He purchased over seventy acres with Kentuck Knob. With that much room to fill with artwork you can imagine how big some of it is.

This sculpture is a field of dancing figures twenty-five across and forty deep. It made me think of someone wanting to throw a party. The guest list wouldn't have to be too big because he already has all of his dancers.

Yep, apple core. All I could think was when I was in junior high and we'd play that stupid game: "Apple core who's your friend" and then you'd point to someone and that's who would get the apple core thrown at them. I don't think I'd want this apple core thrown at me. It was about ten feet tall.

I don't know if this was suppose to be art or a play area for the kids. It was made up of four quarter circle sections of stalked stones with about a two foot gap in between. My kids would use that as a fort.

He had many many more pieces of art all over his property. I had a wonderful time exploring his property.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

A Guest at Fallingwater

Every since touring Taliesin West in Phoenix I've been super excited to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's most famous house, Fallingwater.

I loved coming over the bridge and seeing my favorite part of the house right away, the lower deck. I guess Mr. Kaufman didn't understand the purpose to this deck and he argued with Wright about building it. After Wright told him he'd learn to live with it the deck became one of Mr. Kaufman's favorite places too. He'd go down there and fish, he would take his coffee down and enjoy the sound of the water (of course you could hear the water from anywhere in the house but there is something therapeutic being close to water I think). The deck would also help cool the house during the hot summer days.

This is the front entry way to the house. Wright was a firm believer that the front door should be hidden only to be revealed when the owner of the house invited you in.

The front room is a beautiful open floor plan with the dinning room adjacent to it. A couple years ago they had to pull all those stones up and reinforce the floors because they were sagging and threatening to fall. The contractor that was initially building the house told Wright he needed more reinforcement for the building but in proper Wright etiquette he said no and told them to do it the way he designed it.

I learned at Taliesin West that Wright felt like he designed a house with the person he was building it for in mind and when that person died he felt like the house should be demolished. I don't know if this philosophy is why he didn't want to reinforce Fallingwater more, he didn't build it to last forever. I honestly don't think he knew just how famous this house was going to be even though it was hugely popular even as it was being built.

Wright was also known for designing all the furniture for his homes. He designed this cauldron that fit snuggly out of the way when not in use but when there was a big party it could warm up enough cider for everyone to enjoy.

Wright had this beautiful color of red throughout the house. When it was being built Mrs. Kaufman was against the color and tried to get him to change it, he told her she'd learn to live with it. Are you seeing a theme here?

This is me enjoying myself in a sitting room next to the servants kitchen. I was a giddy as a school girl at Christmas going through the house. I think I took a picture of every thing.

Every angle was amazing. I loved all the straight lines, the stone, the oneness with it's surroundings. Every room had a fireplace, a terrace, and an awesome view.

This is one of the main terraces. It is an extension of the living room. At one point the Kaufmans had the statue you see here inside when Wright came to visit and told them that it needed to be outside. I don't know if I could handle having someone tell me where I HAD to put stuff but that was Wright and if you wanted one of his houses I guess you lived with him in your life forever.

He was also famous for buying gifts and sending them to his friends and people he built homes for and telling them where to put it. A couple weeks later he would then send them the bill for the gift.

The stones here are actually the mountain, the house was built around them. If you look closely you can see a water fall. How cool is that to have an actual water fall inside your home as well as under it.

This is the front porch to the guest/servants house. It is located up above the main house.

This is a pool for their guests to enjoy. In one corner there is a trickle of water feeding the pool and it drains down into the river underneath. The pool is approximately six feet deep. That is a lot of chilly water.

I couldn't resist taking a picture in front of the famous view point of the house. I enjoyed every minute of my tour and it was well worth the $67 ticket price.

One Night in Pittsburgh

One night Big D got off work a little early and he asked where I wanted to go to dinner. Well, I'd been doing research all morning about the places I wanted to go and see so I knew just how to answer that question. We went to the Grand Concourse which is the old train station turned restaurant. I couldn't quit looking at the beautiful architecture. Oh, and the food... it was amazing. Big D had the steak that just melted in your mouth, I kept stealing a bite. I had this salad called Martha's Vineyard drizzled with raspberry vinaigrette talk about magnificent. I think the atmosphere added to our food delight.

After dinner we decided to take one of the cities two inclines up the side of Mount Washington. I guess the city used to have over a dozen of these inclines and that is how people got to and from the city before all the tunnels were done being built through the mountain.

The incline car we just go out of, it was a fun ride up as the beautiful view opened up.

Up top there was so much to see. There were about four different platforms you can stand on all along the side of the mountain. We had to try each one of them out. Big D had been up top when he was in Pittsburgh back in May. He really wanted me to stay and see the city after sunset and all the light come on. It might be because we are small town folk but it was amazing! I wish I knew how to use my camera good enough that I could've taken a picture of the city scape with all the lights, but unfortunately I don't.

There were so many bridges along this small stretch of river. I think I counted more than ten. And me with my phobia of driving over water. I had to learn to get over that real fast. The bridges were even beautiful.

I have an addiction to old churches, as some of you already know. I love the doors, windows and oh the architecture, I love architecture. This little beauty was right behind us as we were over looking the city. There are beautiful churches all over Pittsburgh. The sad thing is, with all my driving around I did not see even one LDS church. I tried to look up the nearest temple only to find out that Pennsylvania's first temple is still under construction in Philadelphia, dang it.

I still had a wonderful time enjoying all of the Lords many splendors. It is so beautiful back east. There is more rolling hills in Pittsburgh than there was in the Boston area. There were hills and valleys everywhere. One thing that did feel the same as Boston was all the trees. It was so green and just refreshing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Can't Get Enough Boating

We went boating before Big D and I left for Pittsburgh. It took Bud awhile to decide if he wanted to go in the water or not. He did eventually go in. I think he takes after his mother in that respect. I have to really digest things before I feel comfortable enough to enjoy it. Yep that's right, we both over think things.

Beaner didn't need to think about it, she almost jumped in without her life jacket. Talk about freak her mom out.

Bear helped daddy blow up the tubes. Afterward he liked the feel of the air on his face so he played with the pump a bit longer.

Kinnzi even got out on the tube too. We didn't pull her behind the boat she just got to float. She had a hard time with just floating.

Big D is at home in the water. I guess that is why most of our kids are water babies. We love going out into the middle of the reservoir and jumping off. I just hope we don't get too comfortable and underestimate mother nature. Thank goodness we have guardian angels.

Baseball Season

The kids played baseball this season. Beaner wasn't really excited about playing but she was a good sport about it when she found out her BFF was going to be on her team.

She never whined about going to games. She just didn't have her heart in it. I don't blame her, I wasn't in to sports at her age either.

She was a little scared of the ball but she did get a few hits and even made it around all the bases a couple times.

Now Bud was another story. I don't know if it's just a boy thing but he was so excited to play baseball he'd stand in the outfield dancing as he'd wait for the ball to come to him.

He took direction very well. Every time his coach or I yelled at him to try some thing he did it and he was great.

I'm not going to lie to you, I did have to yell at him to stand up a couple times but I think that comes with the age.

Bear was so excited to play baseball. He was so patient watching his siblings participate in sports and all sorts of fun stuff that he's been too young for. This being his first year playing sports he was super excited to learn what to do.

He was a little distracted by the female players on the other team, the little flirt. Every time he'd get on base he'd start chatting up the other team players. I'd have to yell at him to run so his teammate could take their rightful place on base.

His coach was really good about giving the kids a turn at trying to catch the ball. The hard part was teaching the kids what to do with the ball once they got it.

Of course, Bug had to tell me at every game how unfair it was that she's the one who really wanted to play baseball and she's the only one who didn't get to play. In my defense I really tried, her age group started their season a whole month earlier than the others. So, Bug had to come up with other ways to entertain herself. I think she did a pretty good job.