Tuesday, July 25, 2017

You Tube Kids

My kids are obsessed with YouTube Kids.  This is an actual childhood phenomenon.  From what I understand, most kids my children's age are obsessed with YouTube Kids.  And, we parents, do not understand.  Especially, because some of the channels my kids watch are painful to watch as an adult and yet, they love them. 

One of my kids' favorite YouTube video channels is Ryan's Toy Review.  This kid has one of the most popular YouTube channels.  The premise of the channel, as the name implies, is that Ryan reviews toys. He provides his thoughts on the selected toy.  Then, he “unboxes” the toys, sets them up, and plays. That is the concept of the entire show until he signs off with a simple wave and says, “See you next time.”  Really!?!

Here is a glimpse of Ryan's channel:

Baffling, right?  My kids love him.  They will sit for hours, if we allowed them, watching Ryan unpackage toys and review them.  It is mind numbing.

Some of the other YouTube channels that my kids enjoy include:

Barbie (that is someone plays with the Barbie and the kids watch)
Boss Baby (Snipets from the movie)
Surprise Eggs (a show all about opening eggs to get the surprise)
Princess T (Ryan's Cousin)

As a parent, I now understand the bafflement my parents must have felt when my generation was obsessed with Garbage Pail Kids cards, slap bracelets and gum wrapper chains.  I guess every generation has to have those childhood obsessions.  They are the treasures that we carry with us into adulthood that provide us a reminder of some of the simple joys of being a kid.  
Monday, July 24, 2017

Surprise! Happy Birthday, Mom!

While we were up in Munds Park, we surprised Mom with a party on Saturday night to celebrate her birthday. Mom's good friend, Sandy, had been planning the event for months.  It was one of the main reasons that Aunt Jerre and Uncle Loren decided to visit the cabin earlier.

The rousse created by Sandy was that since she hadn't seen Jerre and Loren in a long time, that we should all come over for dinner.  Mom gladly accepted the invitation and when we arrived for dinner, many of Mom's friends were gathered in her honor.  She was so surprised.  We got her!

It was a fun evening of drinks, food, conversation and celebration.  I am so glad that we were able to celebrate Mom's birthday with her this year.  With all of the kids' activities, it is getting harder and harder to get up to the cabin in the summer.  What a fun night!

Grandma and the kids
The gang!
Balloons, presents and cupcakes!
Mom and Sandy
Madi and Aiden
Crazy frosting!
Mom and Aunt Jerre
Josh and I
Aunt Jerre and Uncle Loren
Betty and Mom
Sunday, July 23, 2017

Family Hike

Our family spent the weekend of July 7th up north to spend time with my parents and my mom's sister and her husband, Jerre and Loren.  They were in Munds Park visiting from Loveland, Colorado. Saturday morning, while the other four adults golfed the Pinewood Country Club course, Josh and I took the kids on a three mile round trip hike in Flagstaff.  This was our first family hike.  We choose a relatively easy hike -- Red Mountain Trail #159.  The kike is no more that 2.5-3 miles round trip. All of the hiking websites state that it should take about thirty minutes to complete.  Here is a blurb about the trail from the Coconino National Forest website:
Red Mountain, located in the Coconino National Forest of northern Arizona, 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff, is a volcanic cinder cone that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. It is unusual in having the shape of a "U," and in lacking the symmetrical shape of most cinder cones. In addition, a large natural amphitheater cuts into the cone's northeast flank. Erosional pillars called "hoodoos" decorate the amphitheater, and many dark mineral crystals erode out of its walls. Studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists suggest that Red Mountain formed in eruptions about 740,000 years ago.
Well, let me just say, we may have underestimated our kids' hiking ability and/or their motivation. About .25 miles into the hike, we started to hear the following remarks from our kids:
I'm tired.
It's hot!
My legs are sore; I cannot walk anymore.
Are we there yet?
Can we stop yet?
You will be happy to know that we didn't stop and turn around.  We did finish the hike, but it was not in record time and we may have had numerous rest stops and maybe some tears.

We took Harley on this family hike and he did amazing.  We had him off leash for a majority of the hike as there weren't many other people on the trail.  He was very good and never strayed too far.  In fact, he would run ahead to the next nearest shade spot and lay down to wait for us.  Once we caught up to him, he would repeat the the entire process again.  It was really adorable.

I personally thought it was a very unique hike.  The trail was very well maintained and the weather was warm, but not too hot.  Plus, it isn't too often that you can say you hiked into a volcano.  Towards the end of the trail, there is a short, sturdy ladder that takes you up the mountain to get hikers about six feet so you can walk in the middle of the amphitheater.  Josh carried Harley up the ladder, but on the way back, they both hiked over a ridge to get down.  Harley may have begrudgingly followed Josh over the ridge; but, being the loyal dog that he is, he did.

One family hike down.  Many, many more to go ...

Red Mountain Trailhead
Walking the trail
My family
Me with my hikers
Amazing trees
Aiden climbing a tree
Madi posing in a tree
Both kids
Being silly
Nearing the end of the hike
Up on the ridge of the volcano
Beautiful scenery
A selfie
Harley tired after the hike
Lunch at Flagstaff Brewing Company after the hike
Saturday, July 22, 2017

Summer Swim Team ~ Meet #3

The third swim meet of the summer season was held at the kids' home pool, Sunnyslope Pool.  The meet ran so smoothly.  In fact, we were home before 9:00pm.  It was amazing.  

This was definitely Madilyn's meet.  She looked strong and focused.  She placed very well in all of her races.  

Madilyn placed:
1st -- Free Relay
3rd -- Free 25yd Individual
Participation -- Breast 25yd Individual
1st -- Back Relay

Aiden, on the other hand, looked a little off and tired. My little competitive one was very disappointed in his races.  So much, that he wanted to throw all of the purple (Participation) ribbons in the trash.  We had to remind him that this is his first year swimming competitively and that he is still young compared to the other swimmers.

Aiden placed:
3rd -- Free Relay
Participation -- Free 25yd Individual
Participation -- Breast 25yd Individual
Participation -- Back Relay

Aiden ready to dive in the pool
Madilyn diving in
My Two Sharks
After one of his races
3rd ~ Free Relay
1st Place
3rd Lane, 3rd Place
Madi and her teammate
3rd Place
1st Place
Friday, July 21, 2017

Independence Day Celebration!

We celebrated our nation's independence day on the 3rd of July with a pool party and the viewing of the Moon Valley Country Club fireworks from our front patio.  It was the perfect celebration!  We didn't have to worry about parking or crowds.  Plus, the kids were able to swim as much as they wanted while the adults enjoyed some refreshing/intoxicating beverages.  Happy 4th of July!

Aiden and Madillyn
Looking too cool!
Pool Party!
Slushies ... yum!
Maelyn and Keaton
Aiden and Keaton
Josh and Pete
Stephanie and Dan
Campbell, Sydney, Madi and Brooke
All of the kiddos
The Birthday Girl
Glowing in the dark
Me and Paige
Keaton and Madi
Miss Madi