Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Aunt Helen's 80th Birthday!

Another post which I will move later.

After I left Beth's house I took a little detour before going home to stop at Aunt Helen's house in Grass Valley for her surprise 80th birthday party.

Dar and Sean picked me up at the airport and we got there early to help with the set-up. So we had plenty of time to goof around with these picture frames.

Aunt Helen's house is a place we have all gone on vacations to since 1975 when they first moved there. I remember my cousins swimming in this pond back then. I wouldn't go in because it had snakes.

Aunt Helen knew something was going on but she was pretty surprised at the amount of people that were there! All her children, grandchildren and the five of us nieces and nephews were there and that truly surprised her as we had all called that morning to wish her a happy birthday from our "homes".

After most of the people had gone home, she opened this gift from the five of us. We wanted to do something special for her as she has always been like a second mother to us. Now she really is our mom!

Eighty things we love about you Aunt Helen!

And there was still enough light for a family picture!

Roland and his kids on the left, us on the right. Dan would have liked to come but someone had to watch the kiddos!

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Chase is Born!

Yikes!  This is what happens when you don't blog regularly! And when blogger stops linking all your pictures! I missed three weeks of pictures that did not show up in the blogger link, Aunt Helen's 80th, Chases' "birth"day, two hikes and fun in the kitchen with Maks and Anna. I will have to post now and move these to the right dates later.

On April 8, little Chase came into the world! It was a much better labor and delivery for Beth. Is full name is Chase Kenneth Martin. Again, both families have the same family name.  He has been a very easy baby!

Three weeks later I got to visit him and his big sister! I had fun playing with Paige!

My favorite pictures are always those taken from behind children. I don't know why!

With a park across the street, it was easy to get some outdoor time in!

This guy pretty much did this the whole time.

One last pic of Paige on my way out in the morning! Proof that she does sleep!

So happy I got to help just a little bit.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Part 3 Vacation 2017

We only had one full day in Sequoia National Forest so we decided to make the most of it. Early in the morning we drove to Moro Rock. We stopped and took a few pictures of the giant trees on the way.

They truly are magnificent!

Moro rock is a huge granite formation. We hiked up to the summit. It was another height challenge for me! 

But the view was amazing!

Neither Mia, Anna or Dan have any fear of heights.

Next we went to the fallen tree you can drive through, but not in the summer. Too many tourists! But we walked through it.

And Mia climbed up on top. She is standing on the roots here!

Then she helped Anna up.

Our next stop was crescent meadow which we took a nice hike around. It was gorgeous.

We did all that in the morning! In the afternoon, we decided to spend the afternoon swimming at Sandy Cove, Hume Lake. Dan and I didn't go swimming, but the girls had fun.

Especially when they invited themselves onto someone else's boat!

Let's just say we all slept well that night!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Part 2 Vacation 2017

After two nights in Temecula for the wedding we started our road trip! First stop, Bakersfield!

I know that city is not on most people's bucket list, but we had reservations to go whitewater rafting! They have 2 and 3 rated rapids there and in Colorado they are all 4's and 5's. Plus, you only have to be six years old to raft. Unfortunately, with all the snow California got this past winter, the water level was very high and they were not letting anyone under 10 years old ride. We were very bummed!

We pretty much just swam in the pool in Bakersfield and the next morning, when we were going to be white water rafting, we got an early start to Sequoia National Forest. We entered the forest by lunchtime and found a nice picnic area for lunch.

There were lots of climbing trees for kids who had been in the car awhile.

Do you see why it is called Hospital Rock?

I believe these holes were used by Native Americans to grind seeds and nuts.

We took a trail to view the General Sherman tree. It was not as impressive as some other trees we passed on the road.

As the kids were climbing on these rocks at the end of the trail, a big burst of wind came up, knocking foot-long pine cones off trees and hurdling them through the air. A few people got hit by them and it hurt!

After our hike, we checked into our lodge, had a nice dinner in the restaurant, and headed our tired selves to bed!

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Dani's Wedding and the Start of Vacation 2017

We left Colorado on June 21st, heading out for a twenty day vacation! The first stop was Dani's wedding in Temecula! I wasn't able to go to her shower, but I did have the honor of getting a pedicure with the bridal party!

We had a great time chatting and getting some primping in.

The next morning the girls and I stopped by to see Dar get her hair done for the big day.

The venue was amazingly beautiful. 

Matt walked Dar down the aisle. She looked gorgeous.

After the ceremony everyone wanted to hold Chase at the Happy Hour.

Michael and Dani danced to All of Me.  Dar and I suggested this song to her months ago! It's a real tear jerker.

So good to see Aunt Helen and Uncle Bob.


We got back to the hotel and the girls were sound asleep.

The next morning it was time for the road trip!

California here we come!