Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Another Fun Trip to Medford

Michelle and I love to travel and visit family as much as we can so we decided to go up to Medford, Oregon to visit her sister Jill's family.  This would be my fourth time visiting since I met Michelle in April of 2007.  The drive can seem long, but it is worth it.  We ended up leaving after Michelle got off of work on Tuesday evening and we stopped in Winnemucca, NV for the night.  Drew was the best baby ever during those 5 hours.  He slept most of the way and only started to get fussy the last half an hour or so.  On Wednesday morning Drew woke up extra early (5am), but Michelle was kind enough to entertain him while I slept in.  After we ate our free continental breakfast we started our 7 hour stretch to Medford.  Drew again did such a wonderful job at sleeping.  After the first few hours of driving I wasn't feeling well so Michelle took over.  I think it must have been something I ate for breakfast.  While I had the time to be with Drew I decided to check and see if he had any teeth.  This is something we had been doing every day for the last few months just waiting.  Michelle had told me she had already checked that morning, but I wanted to see for myself.  As I rubbed my finger back and forth against his lower gums it felt a little different than usual.  Upon further inspection it looked like his lower left tooth had broken through and that the right one was about ready to follow.  We were both really excited.  I tried to get a picture, but he began to get a little fussy.
This picture of his teeth is after we got home from the trip.  His top left is also broken through now and his top right is just about to pop out.

Luckily we made it to Jill's in good time.  All of the kids and Jill were waiting outside the house for our arrival.  It always feels nice to get those kinds of greetings.  After getting settled, visiting, and checking out the new kitchen we sent Jill off to a birthday party while we watched the kids.  Both of us must have been tired because we were in bed before Jill and Brian got home.  On Thursday morning after all the kids had been sent to school, Jill took us to a small breakfast place in Ashland just under 30 minutes away.  It was in this little blue house.  The food was wonderful.  Michelle and Jill shared an omlette, stuffed french toast, and hashbrowns, while I had an omlette, pancakes, and muffin of my own.
We also discovered Drew's second tooth had broken through.  We then drove around town for a little while.  Since Michelle and I haven't made it to the temple to do an endowment session in almost a year we left Drew with Jill and went to the Medford Temple.  We had been that temple the year before, but it was nice to see it again and we were lucky not all of the time slots were full.

After a quick change of clothes back home Brian and I were off to go fishing on the Rogue River.  Within the first hour Travis, our guide, had me reel in a small fish to get us started.  Awhile later Brian caught one huge salmon.  I was lucky  enough to catch some video of Travis knocking it out before it jumped out of the boat.  You don't notice how big it is until Brian is holding it up next to him.

Travis said it was the largest one he had seen of any of his clients this season.  By this time I was beginning to wonder if none of the fish liked my green lure compared to the other two's pink ones.  Luckily I stuck with my origional pole and within 30 minutes I caught 2 large salmon both of which were much larger than the salmon I had caught the year before.
The first fish I caught this trip.
Last years fish
Since I had caught my limit of fish for the day I just sat back while the other two tried a few more times without success.
By the time it was getting dark we were content with the fruits of our three and a half hour trip.  We got home and cut and packaged the fish.  One of the fish I caught we frozen to be grilled or baked while all of the rest was packaged because it was best for smoking.
Friday ended up being a pretty chill day.  We took Drew to the farm to see the horses, chickens, and cows.  The horses were in the pasture so we had to make the trek through the field to see them.  They were very friendly and I even let Drew take a little ride on the smallest one Champ.
Michelle came right behind and sanitized Drew's hands as soon as we were done.  I keep trying to tell Michelle we should have a farm, but I don't think she could handle it.  Too many germs for the kids.

After a little shopping and resting Jill, Brian, Michell, me, and some of their friends went to a sushi/teppanyaki bar for dinner followed by brownies and ice cream at their friend's house.  The food was once again really good.  Saturday morning was filled with Lizzy and Andrew's soccer and football games.  Both of them did really well and really seem to like playing.  I got some good shots of both of them.
As we were finishing up going from game to game Michelle mentioned that this would be us one day busing our kids around to their different sporting events.  During lunch Jill showed us this video of Lizzy singing "Follow the Prophet" for her voice recital.  The teacher isn't LDS, but she liked the song.  She even had Andrew lead the audience on the chorus.  The funny thing is we weren't sure if Andrew is conduction or raising the roof.  I guess he gets his conducting skills from his mother.
After lunch some of Brian's friends came over to harvest honey from their bee hives.  I had the opportunity to scrape off the wax and take the trays for a spin.  It was a little bit of work, but the honey was amazing.
That evening Brian and I went to Priesthood Session of Conference together while the girls went out for Mexican food.  Brian and I were invited to watch the Oregon football game after the session, but I opted to stay back home.  All of Jill's friends wanted to see a movie, but Michelle decided she didn't want to go to that either so we stayed home to watch the kids and watch a movie.  Sunday morning Brian had to work and the rest of us sat in Brian and Jill's bedroom watching conference on their big screen TV.
In between sessions Brian's mom provided a wonderful roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, carrots, fresh garden tomatoes, cucumbers, and salad.  Michelle and I decided it would be best to break the trip home into two days instead of one so we packed up our stuff and said goodbye to the Hall family.  It is always sad to say farewell.  The trip went by way too fast and as always Jill and Brian were wonderful hosts.  On the way home we stopped in Winnemucca again for the night.  Drew did pretty well, but when I got him out of his car seat and gave him a hug his back felt wet.  When I turned him around I noticed that he had a blow out.  It wasn't until we stripped him of his clothing that we saw how bad it was.  It did get worse when we had to get the clothes off of him so it ended up being an even bigger mess than it originally was.  From the pictures it sure looks like Drew enjoyed being covered in it, but it also could be because he was no longer in the car seat.
After a quick clean up, we went to bed, woke up, ate breakfast, and then hurried the rest of the way home.  Boy did it feel good to be out of the car.  We have another two months before our next big trip so we will enjoy Utah for the time being and as a side note, Drew's right tear duct became unclogged during our trip.  We hope in the next few months the left one will do the same.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Utah Hogle Zoo

Since our sister-in-law Rachel was in town for the week with her daughter Candice we decided to take a trip to the zoo. This was Drew's first time to an actual zoo and it was my first time to the Utah zoo. Michelle, Drew, Rachel, Candice, Dy, Bracken, and Darren got there early and Nettie and I showed up after we got off of work.
We enjoyed looking around at all the animals, but we loved looking at the gorillas and orangutans as well as the tigers.  Since we weren't able to get up close and personal Drew didn't have quite the reaction as he did seeing the animals at the state fair.
One of the cutest things was the newly born monkey hanging on the back of her mother, clinging for dear life.  Then there was this jumping monkey that Nettie and Michelle just loved, followed by the tiger.

Once it started to rain we decided we should head back to our place.  Michelle prepared a nice roast with vegetable dinner for everyone to enjoy.
We had fun and plan on returning in a year or two when Drew can appreciate it a little more, but I don't think that will stop us from visiting the Phoenix Zoo when we are there in November.  I told Michelle I thought it was much larger than the Utah Zoo so we will have to go and find out.