Saturday, June 22, 2019

Eating Well Today

Ella got up very early, just like old times.  This was just as Papa Ben was leaving to spend 3 weeks with Dave.  She and I then spent the next two hours chatting.  It was lovely.  A few siblings quietly joined us.

It wasn't so quiet when Joseph came up, though.  Actually, we were waiting for Luke, because we were hungry.

After his beauty rest, he finally joined us at 8:30.  Then it was time to turn the dough he and I made last night into bagels.

This was Luke's first time to be a real bagel helper.  I've learned that 10-year-olds can make a positive difference in this process.

After one batch, he was a pro.

First, we have to form the bagels.  He did all twelve.  You're impressed, right?

Putting the bagels in the boiling water is a little scary at first, but Luke was brave and did all that work for me.

He mastered removing them, also.

Everyone was willing to try just one bite of my new Everything bagels, so we made 8 cheese and only 4 Everything.  Logical, right?

I'm not sure what happened.  Everyone wanted Everything.  I chose a cheese bagel, which was delicious, but I must confess that it did my little heart good to hear everyone rave about Everything.  This was Ella's breakfast, staged without my asking.

My favorite part of a breakfast is having a fun conversation.
The weather was warmer today than yesterday -- the thermometer got all the way up to 65, so swimming didn't make it into the schedule.  Fortunately, Star Trek is always an option.

I have quite a few plant-based meal options for Ella.  While the parents were out and about, I made street tacos for the kids.  I was just following the recipe here -- these were fresh corn tortillas.  I loved everything about this meal except the part where the tortillas caught on fire.

Ben, Jane, Kate and Ella all enjoyed this meal with me, and most had seconds and some had thirds.

Luke is his own person.  He made himself two PBJ's.

We played and horsed around all afternoon.  Joseph found himself stuck near a chair and Luke raced to the rescue.

If you can believe it, Joseph beat Luke at Laser Tag.

More Star Trek happened.  We are trying to get through the three episodes associated with Scorpion, but we keep getting distracted with Data episodes, or Barclay episodes.  We'll get there.

We actually got distracted with dinner.  This was my backup meal for last night that we didn't need.  It worked very well tonight.  These are my soon-to-be-very-famous-meatballs in my own homemade sweet and sour sauce, with pineapple.  We inhaled them.  Well, no, that imagery is not suitable.  We gobbled them up.

Ella taught us a simple but very complicated game about cows.  I was very pleased when I finally caught on.
Kate and I made my new lemon cake for dessert.  Kids.  They think they don't like lemon.  Ha!  We gobbled this up, too.  With ice cream, of course.  It disappeared faster than my camera could capture it.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Desert Adventure

We left the house at 6:30 this morning, early enough that Luke was able to set off dynamite at Topaz Mountain at 9 am.

I thought it was loud and scary, but it didn't last long.

Some of us were unphased.

Ronda runs the mountain.  Everyone does what she says.

The kids were ready.

This was a lot more work than I expected.

Every kid got right to work.

I gotta tell you, the weather couldn't have been better.  It wasn't quite 60 degrees when we arrived and didn't get much warmer than that all day long.

Walking around on all the rocks blown out by the dynamite was tough.

For the record, Papa had the most fun.

We brought home a lot of topaz.

Jeff and Papa were the last to leave the mountain.

Pictures don't do this justice, but this rock is filled with little bits of topaz.  I gave up on the chisel and hammer, cracked the rock into smaller pieces, and brought it home.

Jane worked hard enough that she had to take off her jacket.

Ben had to help me down the mountain, or honestly I wouldn't have made it.  He stepped where the rocks were secure, and I followed right behind, with my hands on his shoulders.  We found treats in the car.

It was so cool last night in Provo that Jill had to race to Target to get warm clothing for Joseph.  For the record, typically in June we don't need jackets.

After Topaz Mountain, we hunted for Apache Tears.  This was way fun.

Having said that, the first thing Ben did was run up the mountain.

Jane and Luke were right behind him.

It was this mountain.

If you want to know the geology behind these obsidian rocks, ask Papa or Jeff.  I can tell  you, but it's late and I'm tired.

But we found a lot of these.

I got to add Papa's to my collection.

This was so much fun that we drove to another spot to get more.

Then, if that wasn't enough fun, we drove to a third site to get jasper. The ground at this place glistened everywhere I stepped.  It appears that I don't have a picture of the jasper.  This is topaz.

Jeff chose this particular site, which was near an old mine.  We saw old mines all day long.

Ella found very interesting rocks.  The purple is beryllium.

Papa gathered these.

Then, to top off the day, we drove an hour to the geode bed.

We had been here more than a decade ago, and at that time we found buckets and buckets of geodes.  Not today.  The site was full of other people's discarded rocks and geodes.

Jane found a baby geode she was pleased with.

The kids found a big geode and Jeff worked to crack it open.

Joseph watched from afar.

This was a great geode, but it was a little disappointing to work so hard and only find this one.

We did a lot of things while Jeff dug and dug.  My favorite was when Ben threw rocks into this sinkhole.  First, it smelled of sulfur, always a treat when kids don't expect that.

And second, this was very thick water, and the splashes were incredible.

Jill's favorite part of the day was when we tried to play the alphabet game, but we couldn't because there were no road signs.  Instead we found objects for the letters.  Antelope is for A. 

We stopped at Simpson Springs to look at the old Pony Express station.

The kids were troopers all day long.   And yes, most of us had Cafe Rio for dinner once we got home, 12 hours after we left.

It was a long day.  I was tired.  When I saw leftover cupcakes from last night, I knew exactly what my dinner was going to be.
However, Luke and I felt a need to plan for tomorrow.  I helped him make bagel dough.

The rest of my peeps watched Star Trek.

Thank you, Julie. You're Welcome, Louie.

Did I really want to start this last post of Steve's visit with another picture of my groupies watching Star Trek?  I sure did.  We'...