Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Day at the Zoo

There was an unfortunate experience at our house yesterday. You can read about it hereAnd then make a comment! (Thanks Anna and Jenni for commenting last time.) It's been fun to read more comments than usual here, especially since blogging is really about connecting and sharing with people. I especially get a kick out of hearing from random blog stalkers like Diane from Canada. (Or maybe I do know you . . . do I have a friend named Diane in Canada?) I love blog stalkers that are willing to make comments.  

If you do go and read the DN article, you'll know that life at the Reynolds' house isn't really one big perpetual vacation and date night. And that's another reason I like to blog--because in the blogging world my life CAN be a perpetual vacation and date night! 

Here are the pics from a day at the L.A. Zoo. I was having way too much fun with my telephoto lens, capturing stills of the animals (all species):

Dad said this was his favorite animal of the day (because Reynolds means "fox"). This is the same species that is only found  in the wild on the Channel Islands where we took the kids on a day hike back in our California days:


 My favorite of the day:

Thank you telephoto for this gross picture:
Going after a carrot:

Waiting for the bird show to begin:

Sunday, August 28, 2011

$40 a Date

Okay people, there's a new not-to-miss feature on my blog called: Read Mom's Wacky Comment. Check out yesterday's. (Mom, you are now obligated to make at least one comment every blog post.)

Scott said my blog looked fine and asked what I would want to do with it. Well, labels for one. And as I started labeling my posts, I think I'd see certain themes popping out, and if there were few enough themes with more than enough posts, I'd love to make tabs for those things that I post about the most. I have a feeling one of those would have something to do with exploring Utah and all the cool, fun things there are to do in this new state of ours. 

I have a hard time getting interested in a lot of the "stuff" I see on many mom blogs (cute hair things, jewelry, baby accessories, home decorating ideas, etc.), and since I don't even really enjoy shopping (like, I kind of hate it) I'd MUCH rather spend my time, money, and blog space experiencing stuff and sharing it, instead of buying stuff and advertising it. For me, shopping is a necessary evil that feels like a chore, but I get really excited about researching all the fun things to do in whatever place I'm in and then making plans to do it. Hence, I am the official unofficial activities director for our family, and most recently, our date nights. (We were supposed to be taking turns, but I have way more fun coming up with ideas so Brandon happily let me take over.)  

So what did we do last night? Zip-lining in the Wasatch Mountains. (You've gotta love groupons.) You've heard of Rachael Ray's $40 a Day? Well, this might be my first $40 a Date. (Could THAT be one of my tabs?) We spent $24 on the zip line, and $15 on some good, cheap Mexican food. Not bad, right? 

Here come the iphone pics.

Sorry, Al, you just can't look cool in that helmet with a harness on:
The company, Max Zipline, has only been open for a few months, so our guide Kevin wanted me to post our pictures on Facebook. We'll see if I get around to it. (I'm not much into FB.):
I don't think this one is going to make the cut:
Can you tell Brandon has lost weight? He's been working hard. (Not as hard as me, but, you know, he's a guy, so all he has to do is stop drinking soda or something like that and 5 pounds come off overnight. It's ridiculously frustrating . . . .)
Lest you think we were doing something impressively daring, check out the three grade schoolers ahead of us in line:
This was the longest line, over 1000 feet long:
Kevin told me I came in "too hot" every time. I told him I was a speed junkie and couldn't help myself:
It was fun riding up and back in this Polaris:
 Gorgeous scenery! That's half the attraction:
So many people come here in the winter for skiing, but we really found out this summer how much there is to do in the mountains in the summer. (More posts on that "later".) Not to mention how beautiful it is. 
I've got jr. high carpool in the morning. Better head to bed . . . 

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pool Days

Wow. I've really opened a can of worms. Now my mother is going to be making comments every day and invoking the name of Diety whenever I say anything deemed inappropriate. Marvelous. (Love you, Mom!) It was fun to see how just a wee bit of nagging worked for not just my mom, but also my sister and Scott & Betsy. So fun to hear from you all! (And thanks to Valerie for always making unabashed comments, sans nagging.) 

My kids became pool snobs after living in California. I know this is sad and embarrassing, but it is nonetheless true.

When I was a kid, one of the things we looked forward to the most every summer at the annual "daddy-daughter" campout with our church was the chance to swim at the public pool in the nearby town the next morning. It wasn't until I was in about 4th or 5th grade that our family got a membership at the small pool in our own town. Most of my childhood summers were spent in a corrugated plastic pool rigged up to the metal slide of our swing set with the ice cold hose running down the side. 

But not my kids. Nope. We got a membership at the local recreation center this summer in Utah and all they could see were the band-aids, hair, and snot sliding out of everyone's noses into the water. (Sorry, Mom.) Yep, they spent too many summers in California swimming in Grandma's pool. And they got spoiled. Just like their dad who grew up in sunny southern California where every other house has it's own pool. So you can bet that when we went back this summer they spent a lot of time swimming.

Pools are such a fun place to take pictures because everyone is (usually) happy, the colors are pretty, and if you put your camera on sport setting you can get some great diving board shots. These pictures are my favorites from the days (and nights) we spent in and around the pool:

Quinlan and Rachael: 
Brandon (#1), Elizabeth, Damon (#2), Paige:
Will, Beck, and Britain:
Trenton (#4), Brent (#6):
Emily and Willis:
and #6:
Marc (#5) and Harry:
Shauna (due in 2 weeks!), cousin Chris, Mom and Dad:
Fresh out of the shower! Can't believe I'm brave enough to post this make-up free picture of me and Angie:
Get ready:
Get set:

We call this the Martha Washington:
Bo Derek (Nicole):
A cute series:

Why are you taking pictures of me again?

Willis and Nicole:

Go Lilly!

Another cute series of Rachael trying to get up the guts to go off the diving board:

She did it by herself about a thousand times after that:
Man-made wave pool:

Laura and baby Liv:
Oh my word, look at that face! (No, Brandon. We're done.)
Emily and Willis:
I'm serious, Brandon! No more.
What did I tell you:

She thinks she's the stuff now:

Why are other people's crying babies so cute?

Time to eat:

Ping-pong tables are great for outdoor dining:

Somehow I didn't get a direct picture of Todd (#3) in there, but he makes fabulous DVD's set to music of every family reunion, and he and Dad set up a projector and sheet so we could watch them outside one night after dinner. How cool is that?
That's Elizabeth when she was younger than Rachael is now! Awwwww . . .
(There's Todd going in the house . . .)
Brandon (and his spoiled children) are already scheming to get our own pool here in Utah someday. I won't complain. 

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