Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summertime Fun

You may have noticed a theme of hiking this summer. We like hiking and exploring, and there are so many cool things to see here with just a short drive. So we decided to go hiking every weekend that we can. Two weekends ago we went to this marsh that is across the Hudson River from West Point. It was really cool. There was a short hike with a lot of birds for bird-watchers, and then a boardwalk around the marsh. We saw a lot of tadpoles, and saw really cool birds. And sweated like crazy, so that made up for it being such a short hike.

He wanted to hike on the way back by himself. It was hilarious to watch him. Also, can you hear how peaceful and quiet it was? I loved not being able to hear cars or even other hikers.

 Then Jeff and I snuck off to a date night. Jeff took this picture afterwards while Axel and I checked the mail. Random, but I like it.

 Another artsy Jeff picture.

 Axel "helped" me put together his new dresser that I had painted before we went to Utah.

 Tytan and Axel are such good buds. We met up at the playground, and the ice cream truck came by so I couldn't resist.

 Our tomatoes have been sooooo good! We have heirloom, golden grape, and beef tomatoes. And we've gotten a few cucumbers.

Axel put himself in time-out one morning. He seriously did not move for 5 minutes until I finally gave in and asked him what he was doing. I was tempted to see how long he would last... 

 We went to a local farm. The highlight was seeing them move the cows out of the barn and into a pasture. Can you tell the boys were excited?

 We were so happy to see Tytan a lot that week, since we have had opposite vacation schedules all summer (and Tytan's mommy had a baby, so I wanted to keep toddler germs away for a while)! Here they are having a pillow fight.

This is why I usually practice the piano while he is asleep...

This is a song he has been singing. Since it involves roller coasters, so it is possible that it is about Coney Island? 

He is getting skilled at the art of negotiating time to play Nerf guns.

Monday, August 17, 2015


Gary and Rhonda invited us for a last-minute trip before they move from their home in Utah. Axel and I went out for about a week before Jeff was able to join us for a long weekend.

Brandon and Kaden bouncing with Axel at a neighbor's house.

This scaredy-cat would not go down the inflatable slide! He preferred to play in the bottom where the water fills up.

 Axel and I got to spend a day with Grandma Jones and Luke. We went to City Creek for lunch, and he got SOAKED in the fountains. It was a warm day and I had extra clothes for him, so I let him do it.

 We played outside with Luke and Kinzi after Luke got home from work.

 Pretending to be a dog like Kinzi.

 The next day we went to a splashpad with some friends. Sloane (pictured below) led Axel all around the pad by the hand. It was so cute!

 Sawyer, Debbie, Axel, and I. (Sloane didn't want to be in the picture)

Playing with Nana in the water.

 The we met up with more friends and jumped on the trampoline. Jaxon, Axel, and Stockton.

 The we went to the Morgan's house for dinner and my friend Sara was able to come with her two girls, Grace and Taylor.

 Crazy bedhead after a full day of fun the day before!

He got pretty good at playing the drums.

 Hanging out with Uncles Kaden and Alex.

 We went to the Museum of Natural Curiosity. It was really cool! It was super crowded, but we had 6 adults and only 1 kid so it was easy to keep track of where Axel was. One humorous thing that happened: Axel was playing in a padded "little kid" area, and a little girl was climbing up the slide and then walking down the stairs, over and over. Axel went up the stairs to try to use the slide, and she karate-kicked him backwards off the stairs. It was hilarious to see a little girl do a karate kick, but also disturbing because I never saw her guardian react. I ran over to Axel (because he was crying, naturally) and none of the other adults owned up to it. Sigh.

Below they are petting a dinasour on a green screen.

 How many minds does it take to figure out a water toy?

 The hurricane simulator was powerful! I used it to dry Axel's pants off after he played in the water area.

 Alex and Kaden took turns climbing up a rope thing with him. He loved it! Such good uncles!

 Papa took Axel on this zipline.

 Everything was going fine....

 Until Papa tripped and had to let go, and Axel fell off... But he didn't even cry! The black ground you see was little pellets of soft stuff, so it didn't hurt at all. (The picture below is the moment of the tripping. I didn't take a picture after that, for obvious reasons)

 I will put these in the Salzburg post also, but here are a couple more pictures from the Salzburg salt mine.

 Jeff got in super late Thursday night. Friday  morning we had breakfast with Sheri and Luke.

 Then second (or was it third?) breakfast with Papa, Nana, and Brandon from the Waffle Love truck.

 Friday afternoon we headed up to a campsite the Calls had reserved for a Call family reunion. We found out we had booked the amphitheater, not a campsite, so they switched us to the last available campsite, which was super tiny. But there was a river right by it so we explored that for a bit.

 Until another group showed up, and it turns out the reservation website is terrible, and since those people were actually camping (we were just meeting there during the day), we let them have it and headed back to Nana and Papa's house.

 It turned out really well. Axel loved cheating at ladder ball.

 Claire (Jeff's cousin's daughter) and Axel played so nicely together.

 Claire with her uncle Kyle, and Axel with his uncle Brandon, making s'mores.

 The next morning we all had breakfast together. Here is cousin Tony looking for bugs.

 Then we went for a hike. I can't remember where the hike was, but it had a boardwalk that went around a lake, and then we went up a trail for a bit of a harder hike. (and yes, Axel likes to wear his sunglasses like that sometimes)

Axel did the whole hike piggy-pack style, alternating between Daddy and Brandon, and even Kaden for a minute. He loved it!

 We found a moose!

Axel is sad in this video because I wouldn't let him eat a fruit snack that fell in the dirt. But I wanted to include the video anyways because it gives a good view of how much fun everyone had on the hike. Except Axel who is crying. Oops.

Axel with his Great-Grandma Call.

 While Rhonda was cleaning out the house, she found a book that Jeff had published a picture in (see below). Jeff didn't want to bring it back to NY because he is ashamed. (Basically you paid to have your picture published in a book, that you then paid for a copy of. He thought he had submitted his picture to a contest and had won a great honor. Obviously not, based on the picture above his)

Axel enjoyed taking turns sleeping in different rooms with his Uncle's. Every single night, we had to put him back into the sleeping bag. Brandon took this picture one night.

 Playing with Great-Grandma, Nana, and Papa before we had to get on the plane!

He is a seasoned traveler.

We had a wonderful trip and I'm so glad Gary and Rhonda invited us one last time. It is sad that we won't be at that house anymore, but I am excited to see the new house, and that we get to see new places and things!