Saturday, May 18, 2013

Assateague Island

We have been gradually getting everything needed to start backpacking as a family.  We finally felt like we had everything so we headed out.  We went with a three miler on Assateague Island State Park in Maryland.  It is a barrier island with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and a bay on the other side.  We hiked along the ocean beach for about two miles and then cut across the island for a mile to the bay side where we camped.  Maria did great she was determined and didn't complain at all.  Carly will not be going backpacking with us anymore.  She can do the walking, but gets so distracted by every little thing that it takes forever to get very far.  CJ ended up carrying her on his shoulders for most of the way or we never would have made it.  We had a good time and are planning future trips.
Action shot of Maria, Carly and I.  Carly did a lot better once we told her she could take her shoes off.  We didn't realize that's what it took.
Assateague Island is home to a little over a hundred wild horses.  This herd came running through our camp a little after we got there.  They were no wild Brumbies but it was still pretty neat.  It scared Maria a little and she was on the look out for horses the entire trip.
Maria hiking on the ocean side
Maria and Carly had to run away from a few waves.

Maria just leaving camp with some wild horses in the background.

CJ's Birthday, A Play, and Swimming Pool Opening

We celebrated CJ's birthday in April.  It was not that exciting of a day for him, but he did get his favorite chocolate cherry mousse cake (in cupcake form this year) with candles and an evening with his three favorite people. He also got a new sleeping pad and light weight camp chair. I think he had a good day. It seems as though birthdays get less and less important the more you have.

I was invited to attend a play with some friends at the Ford Theater.  We went and had lunch at a really cool place downtown and then headed to the theater.  We saw Hello Dolly and it was really good.  The theater is very small and has a museum in the basement with quite a lot of historic artifacts associated with the theater.  Lincoln's coat that he was wearing the evening that he was shot and the gun that Booth used to shoot him with to name a few.  I had a great day and CJ made it a special day for Maria and Carly so they want me to go more often.  

We have been a little concerned with the opening the pool this summer.  Carly is very mischievous and quite sneaky.  With no fence around the pool and her ability to open the door going into the backyard this year we needed a new line of defense.  CJ did a little research and found a safety net to be the best idea for our situation.  We put it in and got the pool cleaned and ready to swim in.  Maria did some laps with her scooter and then her and Carly got in for a few minutes (sorry no pictures it was literally a few minutes).  It was so cold, but it got us all excited for summer.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Carly Turns Three and Easter

The week after we got back from the cruise, Maria was on her Spring break, we celebrated Carly's birthday and Easter.  Carly didn't really have too many requests for her birthday, but she did want a strawberry cake.  CJ had the day off so we all went to the National Zoo durning the day and then Maria and Carly got their nails done.  We came home and had dinner and then had the strawberry cake.  I think Carly had a good day and was happy that all the attention was on her for the day.  A few days later was Easter.  We dyed eggs, had a egg hunt, and the girls got Easter baskets and dresses.
Blowing out her candles.  Yes there is more than three, she insisted on lighting more.

Love this girl.

Showing off their dyed eggs.


CJ had his Spring Break the second week in March and Maria's was the week after.  We happened to be looking at cruises a week before CJ's break and found a very cheap one.  Yes it was on Carnival and yes they have been having some pretty major problems, but we booked it anyway and set sail.  It left out of Charleston, South Carolina and made stops in Nassau and Freeport Bahamas.  We went and spent the day at Atlantis Resort in Nassau, and then went snorkeling and laid on the beach in Freeport.  The girls had a great time and spent most of their time at Camp Carnival when we were on the ship.  CJ and I joked that we would have spent more on babysitting than we did on the cruise.  It was nice to have so much time with just CJ.  I think that fun was had by all.  Carly asks everyday still when she can go back on the boat and go to Camp Carnival.
Nassau Bahamas.

Maria and Carly enjoying the beach at Atlantis in Nassau.

Ready to snorkel.

Maria enjoying the beach in Freeport.

Enjoying her vacation

Family photo before leaving Freeport.

Skiing In The East

Skiing here in the east is a little different than in Utah.  We took a day trip to Whitetail ski resort just across the state line into Pennsylvania, and then took a long weekend trip to Snowshoe ski resort in West Virginia. Both were nothing like what we have ever experienced.  We had a great time at both. The ride to Snowshoe was very interesting.  The road had so many turns, it was narrow, and up or down over half the time.  It also went through an old mining town with a "Company Store".  We also got some snow in Maryland, and when we did it was very wet snow, so perfect for snowman building.
Carly at Whitetail.

Carly sledding at Whitetail.

On our way home from Snowshoe we made a pit stop in Luray, Virginia.  They had a rope course that the girls wanted to do.  They have some caverns in Luray that we visited last summer, so they knew that it was there.  CJ and I thought it might be closed during the winter, but it wasn't.

Rope course.

Carly showing off her snowman CJ helped her with.

Christmas 2012

For Christmas we decided (Maria begged and pleaded) to go to Wyoming.  We left the week before Christmas and stayed for two weeks.  We sent Santa a letter asking him to visit us a week and a half early and he sent his best elf to visit the girls early.  They were both very spoiled and then spoiled even more while in Wyoming.  We were able to enjoy our time in Wyoming.  We went to Jackson Hole with Ben, Crystal and their boys.  We stayed at the base of the mountain and CJ and Maria skied and had a great time.  We were able to spend lots of time with family, visit our Utah house, have a get together with Maria's Utah friends, and go snowmobiling.  It was a good trip and we were happy that we went. The day we got back home Maria and I went to a local theater with our neighbors (Amira-Maria's same age and Sara-Amira's mom) and saw Cinderella.  It was really good and we had a great time.
Carly and Trey watching "How The Grinch Stole Christmas".  The only picture I got while at Jackson.  

CJ taking Carly for a ride.  She loved it and kept wanting to go faster.

Sledding with cousins.

Carly playing with some Eyre cousins.  Maria is in the back playing the piano.

Carly was all partied out at the Anderson party and crashed on Grandpas lap.

Maria and Amira in the lobby at the play.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Fall 2012

We had a pretty low key Fall.  C.J. made a trip to Wyoming in October to go Elk hunting.  He didn't shoot anything, but was not too torn up about it. The girls and I went to a farm where they grow everything and then you go pick it.  We had a great time.  We picked pumpkins, lettuce, beets, and apples.  The girls thought it was great.  We celebrated Halloween in typical fashion. Also Clark, Mary and Clint came for a visit the first part of November.  I think they had a good time, we sure enjoyed having them.  We did a lot of sight seeing, card playing, geocaching, visiting, and Maria and CJ put on a killer piano recital.  If that doesn't make people want to come visit us, I don't know what will.
CJ, Ben, and Allen at base camp on the elk hunt. 

Maria and Carly with our apples and vegetable at Butler Farms.

A cute Strawberry Shortcake.
And a cute Bumblebee. 
Lighting isn't good, but Clark, Mary, Clint, Carly, and Maria in front of the Capitol.

Maria leading the way to one of the geocaching spots.
Family photo in front of the harbor in Baltimore.

Maria Starts 2nd Grade/Carly's World Changes

Maria started the 2nd grade the end of August.  She is in Mrs McEneaney's class and enjoying the year.  She has met some good friends and is doing well in school.  Carly was a little lost for a few weeks, but we have found somewhat of a routine and she is starting to enjoy her time with mom while Maria is at school.  Also there is a large gymnastic center not far from our house that both girls have started going to.  They both love it and are doing quite well.
Maria ready for her first day of 2nd grade.

Carly has started to "really" like to help in the kitchen.  She is a great helper I might add.

She also enjoys practicing everyday.  She will go to the piano, get out a piano lessons book and practice for a good 15 minutes.  She then asks for the ukulele and practices it for several minutes.  If CJ is home he will usually sit and practice with her.

Carly on the beam at gymnastics.  I don't have any of Maria because we are not allowed in the gym while they practice, and I haven't gotten any through the windows.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Hello Maryland

We made it to Maryland! We have seen a lot since being here and are enjoying all that Maryland and DC have to offer.
CJ and Carly along the Potomac on the 4th of July.

Maria and her friend Blythe McCammon watching the  fireworks.  

Carly and Maria at the Lincoln Monument.

Maria and I in front of the White House

Maria holding the Washington Monument in the palm of her hand.

Maria and Carly in front of the museum at Gettysburg.
We rented a house in Olney, Maryland and moved in the first week of July.  It has a pool and we pretty much lived in it all summer. 

Spring 2012

Spring brought Carly's 2nd birthday, a lot of horse riding, a humanitarian trip to Peru for CJ, Easter, and a somewhat shocking announcement from the Air Force that we would be moving in June.
Carly turns two.  The smile says it all. This girl is special and life would be a little  boring without her.

A family horse ride on Antelope Island.  We lived about 15 minutes from here so we rode here quite often.

Maria and CJ riding around the house.
CJ had the opportunity to be a part of a humanitarian medical trip to Peru.  A doctor that we knew in Turkey has family in a mountain village in Peru.  Each year volunteers go and provide healthcare for them for a couple of weeks.  This doctor wanted a Pharmacist to go with them and contacted CJ to see if he would be interested.  He was interested so he went the first part of April and was gone for about two and a half weeks.  He had a great time and it was a very memorable experience.

While CJ was in Peru the girls and I celebrated Easter.  We didn't do much, but of course they got new church dresses to wear on Easter Sunday.

We also found out in the Spring that we would be moving in June.  We knew it was a possibility, but thought that with all the budget cuts we would be staying in Utah for awhile longer.  We found out that CJ would be going back to school to get a Masters in Healthcare Administration and Policy, and that he would be doing so at USHUS in Bethesda Maryland. We were a little sad to leave, but said our good-byes and were gone on our next adventure.
Goodbye Daisy. She was unable to come with us.  She was taken in by a family that lived near us in Hooper and we still get updates on her.  She is happy and adjusting.  We sure do miss her though, especially Carly.

Goodbye friends.  Maria had a little going away party.  She was sad to leave these cute friends of hers. 

Goodbye house.  This house felt like home to me,  and I will miss this house very much.  

Hello cross country road trip.  We drove out to Maryland and hit every Cabelas and Bass Pro Shop along the way.  We went through a lot of quarters at Bass Pro on the shooting game.

We hit Sandusky, Ohio and were in need of a break so we stayed a few days at Cedar Pointe.  It is a huge amusement park and was just the break that we needed.