Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Mountain Magic with Kidlets

The mountains in Utah are famous for skiing. Personally, I think they provide more recreation options in the summer.

The best part is they are practically in our back yard!

Mind you, I'm on rewind here. The children's mom is back from Europe , although the dad returned to England after a few days on the home front. (He goes to school there and continues with a 'full-time' job in the U.S.) Mr. K. has completed his first day of kindergarten. Be all that as it may, I must digress for this final episode with the kidlets.

The mountain shot above was taken during our last evening together,

during which we conducted a gourmet weenie roast.


Rewind a few more days and you'll see us in a mountain park for a LUAU

with all the trimmings.

(I, too, would cover my eyes if I had fire on my feet.)

My niece Robyn was selected as the finest whitie hula dancer among the crowd.

And here's the little guy who won 1st Place in the Hula Hoop Contest ~

As you can see, Mr K scored a victory hoop and a hefty bag of candy.

(The later item was later abducted by Grandma prevent a sugar-induced coma.)

Throughout the evening,
there were various repeat performances of his talent and willing audiences kept him going.


Parting shot ~

Here's lil' Ms. Audrey sorting sea shells. Will she become a biologist like her mama?

This activity kept dear Ms A content for long stretches of time.

No applause necessary.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Shakespeare & More

My friend Anne and I managed to escape for a two-day fieldtrip to attend the
Utah Shakespearean Festival.

One of the best things about the festival is the Green Show which takes place before the evening plays.
It is free to the public, full of music and frolicking and grand ole Elizabethan Era fun.

This was the 50th anniversary and Shakespeare's 'Top Hits' were performed.

Naturally, there was Midsummer Night's Dream and, indeed, it was THE BEST I'd ever seen.
(I've seen it performed dozens of times, so that says a lot.)

The characterization of Puck was absolutely brilliant.

(I mean, he was ALMOST as good as my son, when he played the role.)

Really, the entire thing was done with a great deal of imagination and creativity.

We slept overnight in Cedar City and then took my Subaru up into the nearby mountains the following morning.

The road took us higher and higher in elevation. We felt like explorers seeing these drop-dead gorgeous alpine meadows for the first time.

Then, we came across some wooly friends. A multitude of them:

We crept along behind the herd at a sheep's pace. Soon three pre-teen girls came onto the scene. "We'll help you!" they gallantly proclaimed. One hopped off their ATV and began parting the sheep, just like Moses parted the Red Sea. She effectively created a pathway for us to pass. Obviously, she and her ATV friends were more experienced in these matters of animal husbandry than us older gals.

So, onward and upward we went.

Mind you, the road (now dirt) was quite deserted. The scenery, truly stunning.

Meadows after meadow full of wildflowers . . .

I took great delight in spotting the Western Cone Flowers which grow in the upper ranges of the Rockies . They look like something created out of the imagination of Dr. Seuss. What you see below truly IS the flower:. I simply had to snap this shot and share it:

On the way back, the sheep were headed TOWARDS us. This time, we weren't so shy (sheepish?) about driving through the herd.

The view was quite different as we headed down.
We could see ribbons of red rock country along the mountain ranges.

What majestic, wild scenery!

We snagged the very last tickets for a matinee of the Music Man, the perfect finale for our mini-holiday.

BTW, Anne has an extraordinary gift in the humor department.

Her off-handed remarks caused me bust up about 10 times an hour.

Here's the only shot I got of her:

Anne is also an artist of great acclaim. You can see her works here and here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

More Grand-mothering

"Camping" with young children requires little more than a tent . . .
and a backyard.

However, one must be prepared for the fact that children are out of their element
and they may stay up past midnight.

Additionally they may need to hold your hand until they fall asleep,
because there are all sorts of weird noises out there.

"What's that sound, Grandma? I'm sure I heard something GROWLING."

Well, everybody managed to get a few hours of shut-eye until they woke up at the crack of dawn.

Do notice that there's only netting at the top of the tent, affording a spectacular view of the sky.
That translates to hours of watching the moon crossing the sky,
as we listened for wild critters on the prowl.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
You learn a few things about little personalities if you spend some quality time with children.

. . . like the fact that a certain little gal has a very playful tongue.

We continued to explore with art, both inside and out.

Three cheers for Katy who brought over her three kids
and I was able to put the house back in semi-order while they romped around the yard.

These blue square things (BELOW) are for moving frigs.

Actually, they can also move kids with thrilling velocity.

Grandma's Triple AAA Fieldtrip: Take Chica to Petsmart.

Can we buy a fish? Can we get just a little mouse? How about a bird?

A bag of dog treats was all we bought and , luckily, the kids were content with that.

After all, they could make Chica follow commands with those tempting little goodies.
Bossing around a furry creature (with bribes) made my grandkids feel rather powerful.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
One evening, we played at our local splash pool with Robyn, my niece, alongside us.

Notice Audrey eating my bbq-ed salmon from a ziplock baggie as a poolside snack. So funny!

Two other two other delightful house guests - a mother and son team from Canada -
have also been staying with us this week. So, it's been a beehive of activity.

Oh. And did I mention . . . Buddy, the neighbor dog, returned for another visit???

Fine by me.

But when he arrived, I declared "FULL HOUSE!"

There's more to tell. Another post is just around the corner.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

1st Day of Romp & Play

ABOVE: This is how my grandchildren demonstrated their undying love of my long-suffering, often humiliated dog.

Playdough time started right after breakfast. NOTHING beats playdough!

Actually, my costume boxes just might win over playdough. Depends on the moment.

Here's Princess Audrey:

Neighborhood kids came over for the morning .

"The more the merrier!
" is my saying when it comes to children.

I quickly discovered one of our visitors was a ham and revved into high gear with my wigs -

A picnic at the park was followed by plenty of playground time -

Please notice that my up-turned shoes look like I have Bozo the Clown feet:

The day was full of giggles, but there was just a moment of good ole pouting on the playground.

Two year olds are the best pouters on the planet!

My niece Robyn imitated it perfectly:

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