Friday, July 11, 2014

Free Slurpee Day and the Ute Stampede

1. I've never had the pleasure of getting a free slurpee on 7-11. Truth is, I don't really even like slurpees. But today I couldn't pass up the three block walk from my parents house, four little kids in tow -- my two and my brother Jon's two girls, down to 7-11 for free slurpees. In Reid's mind, we were speed racing there. He is not nearly so whiny when we go for walks in Wisconsin. The dry heat really must be killing him. The walk home was much more leisurely, as we stopped in the shade of all the trees we could find, just to sit and enjoy our slurpees for a minute or two. Also, I think Reid inherited my "meh" attitude toward slurpees. He didn't drink much of his, so when his cousin Sof asked to trade (his still almost full and hers almost gone) it was the perfect opportunity for both of them.

2. Today was the last day of swim class. I really wanted to get some pictures of Reid ... but they all turned out horribly. His teacher passed him to the next level  -- which kind of surprised me. The first two days of class he was using the kickboard to swim all over the shallow pool, but as the days went on he mostly just used the kickboard to collect sharks (that's what I wanted a picture of). I think their class was just too big for the teacher to do anything super effective with all of them. There was one little girl who would go all the way under, but mostly 4 of the 6 just played, the one swam, and an other sat on the stairs. I think the wide range of skill/courage was another difficulty.

Nell never lost her taste for freedom and spent much time each day insisting I put her "down." She is a little fish!

3. My brother Jon face times with his family each day, and today while he chatted with his kids, Nell walked around the house with my mom's calculator, shouting "Hi Daddy!"  "Daddy!" She was just staring right down at the numbers, waiting for her dad's face to pop up. It was too adorable.

4. A few days ago my brother Phil was asked to be the spotlight soldier during the opening/flag ceremony at the Ute Stampede. My parents were kind enough to take all their kids and grandkids to the event (my Dad very much dislikes rodeos). It was a really inspiring opening ceremony. Not sure if it was the personal level, the pregnancy hormones, or what ... but I almost shed some tears.

First they had Phil come out with one of his boys and they talked about how he served in Afghanistan. Then they had Kristina come out with the other twiner and told how he didn't get to see his boys until they were 8 months old. Then they had my parents and her parents come out, because of all the support they were able to give Kristina while Phil was gone. Just as they finished his little spot light a sky diver landed in the arena with a giant plastic flag and Phil's troop rushed out to the center arena to pick it up for the National Anthem. It was really cool.

5. My kid's favorite part of the night was definitely the carnival rides. Reid would have stayed on the little train all night long. I practically forced him to do the carousel -- and he cried about it. Brother. They both enjoyed the train though (as the pictures clearly show).

Riding the dragon bench was the bravest he'd be. No carousel horses this time. 
Ready for a second train ride!
6. It was fun to go to a rodeo again, it has been years. Growing up, my best friend was an awesome barrel racer, so I always went to two or three a year. The Ute Stampede is a professional rodeo, but as each barrel racer's time was announced I still found myself thinking "Haley could beat that!" She'd probably laugh at me for thinking so, but I swear she always got down into the 18s, which is where many of the professionals were.

My favorite barrel racer was a local girl who raced against a motorcycle rider. The motorcyclist was ahead around most the barrels, but the girl and her horse pulled a win down the final stretch home. The best part of the whole rodeo though was a Mustang show. Some guy from California did a show with a Wild Mustang he captured and broke over the last year. That horse had more skill and precision than most farm bred horses do. I sure would love to see Wild Mustangs some day. That, and climb Knotch Peak -- just about the only things on my bucket list.

7. Speaking of peaks. Here was my view while we carousel-ed:
Red cliffs to the South East

Mount Nebo, the snow tipped peak, to the North East
And the moon rise from our rodeo seats:

1 comment:

Scott and Claudia said...

Brings back fond memories!! Great photo shots of both the children and the scenery!!

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