Making memories one day at a time.......and then I write about it.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Nature Friday with Mr. J

I am home schooling Mr. J this year.  On Friday's, we have Nature/Field Trip Day.

Yesterday, Mr. J said he wanted to go on a hike.  When he told me that, I had originally planned on taking him to a place called, "Stewart Falls" here in Utah but when we got to the entrance to the hike, it was all closed off.  There was a hiker reported missing and Search and Rescue were out looking for the missing hiker.  Thankfully, I was told that she was found.

So, we drove a little further up the mountain to a place called, "Cascade Springs".  It's a lovely, relatively easy hike.

Mr. J thought it was funny that there were benches at the beginning of the hike.  I explained to him that we'd parked and started our hike at the top of the springs but there is another parking lot at the lower end so if someone started at the lower end, by the time they found this bench, they would probably be happy to see it.

The springs are amazing.  There are signs posted that say you shouldn't drink the water but we have water bottles with filters in them.  Yes, I'm admitting we've drunk the water before..... and it is ice cold and delicious.  I wouldn't recommend you drink though unless you have a filter......  just sayin'..... or you may really REALLY be grateful when you see the 'facilities' at the beginning of the hike.  That is, if you can make it there in time......

I digress.  As usual.....

Mr. J wanted to see if he could cross the springs jumping from rock to rock.

He was making pretty good progress....

And then, I noticed a sign asking people to not get in the water.  Oops!

Time to turn around and come back.

There are signs posted all along the hiking trails which have a lot of information on them like this one.  We stopped and read them all.  Cuz, ya know.  We were in school, right?!

The little acorns aren't quite ready to drop off yet.  We did find some on the ground which Mr. J put in his backpack to bring home and put on his nature table.  He thought the acorn tops looked like little bowls.  I thought they looked like little gnome hats.

Okay.  I am an absolute ding bat.  I can remember taking photos of oak tree leaves with these things on them before and I didn't know what they were then, and I couldn't remember what they were now.

These two looked like buttons on a shirt to me.  Drat!  What are they???  Internet to the rescue!!!

What Gall!!!

Talk about a creepy parasite!

The fall leaves were just beautiful.  I love the reds and oranges best.

This is at the top of the springs.  There are signs that say not to drink the water.  We may or may not have drunk the water from here before and it may or may not taste amazing.

Mr. J was hoping he could find some fish in these little pools.  I'm sure there are some, we just couldn't find any.

"Take a picture of this"!  I asked why and was told that it reminded Mr. J of Christmas.  Red and green.  His favorite holiday.

Care to take a walk with us?

Or perhaps you'd like to just sit and take in the view for awhile.

It's the Maple's that are turning the beautiful reds and oranges.  I had no idea there were so many different varieties of maples!

Bridges.  We had to find and cross all of the bridges.  Mr. J's favorite part I think.  

We didn't see any willow buds but we did find the plants.  It wasn't the right time of year to see flowers.  We'll have to go back in the spring/summer.

And then....... we found the Columbine.  One of my most favorite flowers!  When I was growing up in Montana, there were some Columbine's next to my Dad's garage.  They were growing in the most awkward of places.  A place that didn't look like anything could grow in it but the Columbine flourished.

So dainty.  So pretty.  So magical and woodland.

Monkshood.  I wish we could have seen the blooms on these because they are pretty cool.  Not a chance this time of year.  Drat!

Still, the leaves are quite interesting.  Feathery.

See??  Another maple tree!  Who knew??

The Natives call the seed pods, helicopters.

When they fall to the ground, they look like helicopter blades.

I loved this tree!  It looked like a hand to me.  It reminded me of the book, "My Side of the Mountain".  I asked Mr. J if he would think it would be fun to live inside the tree for a year.

He didn't think so but, he thought it would be a lot of fun to climb!

So he did.

And then I told him to get down from there before you break something!!  Not that I was worried truthfully.  Not when this native has spent 99.9% of his life climbing things!

Mr. J thought this was cool, how it has so many thorns down at the bottom and they thin out towards the top.

Surely if we look hard and long enough we'll find some fish??  The signs say there are fish!  We didn't find any.  Just water skeeters.

How cool are these stairs??

Until next time, The End!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Mr. C Two Years

As I look through these pictures.  I can't believe that it has been almost a week now since we said goodbye.  I feel like I was just posting the photos of this boy saying goodbye to him for two years!

On Wednesday morning of last week, Mr. C was getting in a last few card games with his baby brother, Mr. J while I was running around like a basket case trying to take care of last minute things.

And then, it was time.  Time to load up the luggage that my son would live out of for the next two years as he serves a two year mission for our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

He submitted his papers several months ago to the leaders of our church, saying he was willing and wanting to serve and then we waited to hear where he would go.  The call came, he opened it, and found out he will be serving in the Chesapeake, Virginia USA mission.

P.S.  Thank goodness for stronger older brothers who can help you carry your big heavy suitcases to the truck!  I love Mr. C's stride in this photo.  He's excited, he's moving forward, he's taking a big step.

Last desire before you leave??  Brick Oven Pizza.  Gotta have some good pizza before one heads off into the unknown.

Is it possible we are standing here taking these photos again??  Why yes, it is because Mr. T isn't in any of these photos.  He's still in the Philippines where he is serving his two year mission!

And so it begins.  The final hugs goodbye.

And then, he's off.  He has his luggage and off he goes!  A few times looking back at us to wave with a huge grin on his face.

One last time looking back.  As the rest of us fall apart as we pile back into the truck and drive away.
I am so proud of my natives.  If I didn't truly know and believe in what they are doing for two years, being representatives of Jesus Christ serving and caring for others, there is no way I'd be able to let them go like this.

But I do.  And as much as it hurts having them gone, it's so worth it, knowing the joy they are bringing to other people all over the world.