Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pioneer Day Weekend

I was doing good there for a while and then started getting behind again. Not this time! I'm keeping up and after I get pics downloaded for the start of school we should be good. I think this is the last blog about this summer I have so let's get to it!

Pioneer Day (July 24th) in Utah is a huge holiday. It's basically like a second 4th of July. Fireworks, barbecues, rodeos, parades, everything. We didn't go to any parades, but had a fun day as a family and decided we wanted to go camping. We were going to head somewhere, but kept hearing about tons of campgrounds being full in the valley. So we decided to just have a campout in our backyard. We have a tent, but not near big enough for our family so we were going to borrow one from Jess' parents. Then we thought we should do S'mores, but we don't have a fire pit. Jess' parents have a portable fire pit and I thought we could borrow that too. Well, instead of running to their place, loading that stuff up, setting up in our backyard and running it all back the next day we decided to just go hang out with Jess' parents, and her sister and her husband. They loved it because nobody else came over for the holiday and they were trying to figure out what to do.

So we made the event fun and had a barbecue. It was great! The kids were so excited and loved trying to help me and Jess set up the huge tent in her parent's backyard. Then my father-in-law and I wanted the fire pit up on the deck, but didn't want to harm the wood so we built a temporary platform with a bunch of bricks and it worked great.

The funny part of the night for me was when I started to make a traditional boy scout fire with some newspaper, kindling and firewood. I got the newspaper in there and went to go find a hatchet or something to split up a piece of wood to make kindling. When I got back my father-in-law had stacked the wood like a tipee and doused it with gasoline. Well, from previous bad experiences it's not the best thing to just have uncovered newspaper in a fire when it's a little windy and I've never been a fan of the 'fire water' practice. I grabbed the kids and moved them to safer quarters inside the house. The match was thrown and BOOM! We had a HUGE fire roaring on the deck and my mother-in-law started freaking out. Then to make it worse the newspaper started flying out and floating across the yard or onto the deck! My mother-in-law was so worried it was going to catch something else on fire! I was just laughing because I knew that was going to happen. Then I turned to everyone and said 'Watch, Mark will come in and blame it on the newspaper'. No more than 30 seconds later he comes in and the first thing he said was 'I think our problem was that newspaper'. Everyone busted up laughing. They told him I had called it and he thought it was pretty funny too.

Well, after the newspaper had stopped flying everywhere and the flame was down enough and burned off enough of the gas so that we could get within a few feet of the fire, we finally got down to business with the S'mores. It was great. We even tried a new combo where you use Reese's pb cups instead of straight chocolate. Very tasty.

Austin needed a haircut and so we decided to go with a mohawk just for the day. Grandpa thought it was pretty did Austin.

Austin was loving the S'mores and kept begging for s'more S'mores. Oh, and if you're wondering what he's eating, we also tried chocolate covered graham cookies instead of the separate graham and chocolate. Very good.

Kaylee loved being able to do her own marshmallows.

Time for the fireworks! Jess' sister and husband went to pick up some fireworks for the evening and I have to say they did a great job. The final two were some of the best 'legal' fireworks I've ever seen. Notice the plywood under the fireworks? Ya, they had just refinished the street and my father-in-law was worried about us leaving marks on the street. So every now and then I'd throw one down the street a little ways after lighting it when he wasn't looking. All of a sudden it would go off and he would be like 'Hey! Not on the street! Don't leave any marks!'. We all got a good laugh out of it.

The 'Superheroes' with their sparklers.

We loved the big tent. The kids were asleep in a matter of minutes while Jess and I had a very long night on bumpy ground and loud rain pounding on the tent. I wish I was a kid again.

We got home the next day and Austin was exhausted. He just crawled up on the couch and covered up. He was asleep in a few minutes and I think he stayed there for an hour or so. What a cute kid.

The next night the kids wanted to camp again, but we told them instead of camping we'd have a picnic in the family room. They picked to have a breakfast dinner (which is one of our families favorites) and they loved being able to sit in the family room while eating their dinners and watching a movie as a family.

Did you notice Austin's mohawk was gone in that last picture? Ya, he got the complete buzz after his little nap on the couch. Now we're growing one out again for our Lake Powell trip. Pictures to follow!