Monday, August 11, 2014

A Little Tribute

Once in a really long while, you find a family that is pretty much the perfect fit for your own family. Nerdy dad: check. Cool mom (if I do say so myself): check. Cute little girl: check. Rowdy little boy: check. Likes to do the same things you do: CHECK!! Well, we might not have listened to the same music, but we can let that one slide.

We knew they would be fun-loving when they agreed to do the Neon Splash Dash before they really even knew us. They were our first team mates!

Materials to make a trebuchet: $120. Pumpkins to throw: $8. Someone who understands you: priceless.

They drove all the way to Coolidge to see the trebuchet in action.

And get their farm on.

There was no engineering feat that Adam and Russ couldn't solve together.

A party wasn't a party if they didn't show up.

When you find a bff for your toddler, you do anything to keep him around.

This was a common scene at lunch time when the girls were at school.

When I needed backup, Cindy was always there to help, whether I needed an emergency babysitter or a hundred little carrot fingers! She even made the darling signs, which I kept.

Party people in the house! No, they didn't just get home from their shift at the hospital. It was Halloween!

Having your best friend come over on your birthday = BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!

In the end, Adam found a better gig in San Diego. They spent their last night in Chandler having one last play date with us.

And then we took them to Sweet Tomatoes for "the last supper."

All too soon, it was time to say goodbye.

But it wasn't goodbye forever. Of all the cities they could have moved to, they ended up in the one we visit the most. In fact, they go to the same church building we used to attend! We already have a couple trips planned out there, so we are excited we will get to see our friends again soon. Plus, we don't want them to get a chance to replace us!

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Road Home

Funerals are sad, but it's always good to get back into the land of the living as soon as they are over. On our way home from Salt Lake City, we decided to take a detour through Bryce Canyon National Park. I had only seen it in pictures until then. The first viewpoint was pretty impressive, although the park was very crowded, as I suppose is to be expected on a Sunday during the summer. They need more picnic tables. Just sayin'.

I was sad to find out that Paige's face was out of focus. I need to pay more attention to the focus points in my pictures, but I was proud of myself for getting her face and the natural bridge into the same frame.

I love the sense of wonder.

Too bad it didn't last. After we had stopped at a few viewpoints, the kids were done getting out of the car. I have to say they missed the best viewpoint because of that. The scene before us seemed otherworldly and too incredible to believe if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. God is quite the artist.

Mind-boggling formations.

Just before we got to Page, our car turned 100k. When I was little and "The Starcruiser" hit 100k, my dad stopped at the highway sign that says Jacumba 7 on Interstate 8 in California and had a little party, whoopin' it up and rocking the van. Since that day, we always have to do the same when our car reaches that milestone. Luckily I always happen to have a camera on hand!!

Rock the car!

This is the place.

No, this isn't a sobriety test. Kyle couldn't believe it when Russ told him the lines on the highway are at least 10 feet long, so he measured it out himself. Whoa dad! You're right!

Stopping for dinner in Page and having some roadside potty breaks just before Flagstaff made for a late arrival in Phoenix (seriously, kids, can't you coordinate your bladders?). Good thing I'm a night person.