Thursday, April 12, 2012

Spring Break: Dinosaur National Monument

[click to enlarge] Over spring break we had plenty going on since it was the last week of classes at BYU. Between lectures and finals there wasn't much time to fit in a vacation, but I got a notion that we should go out to the Dinosaur National Monument outside of Vernal. I thought we could do it in a day trip.
It had been closed for the last few years because they were building a new housing for the quarry dig. I figured that the boys would be more interested in dinosaur bones sooner rather than later. I stocked up on videos in the car and we blazed eastward across Utah through some very small towns. Once we arrived, we found that the tour up at the quarry didn't start for another hour, so after exhausting the visitors' center activities, we decided to hike up and meet them. It wasn't a difficult walk, and we all needed to move after our drive.
We ate lunch at the top and then the ranger let us in and explained how the site was discovered and how there came to be so many bones in one spot. Here Joss is making his best dinosaur roar while he hangs onto that bone. They let you touch some of them down at the bottom.
Sebi exults in the new building. 
Well done park service! We were all pretty impressed.
Once we'd finished at the quarry, we decided to go on a scenic drive through the park to see petroglyphs and other historical things. 
This cabin was owned by one woman for decades who lived here after her kids were grown and she worked the farm until she slipped and broke her hip. It was a really beautiful, isolated place but phew! The thought of working that whole farm myself and keeping up that house too! It made me want to take a nap.
Maddie at the front of the canyon where she used to keep the livestock. I have no memory of the trip back -- I can be certain there were more videos and more food -- but we did make it back home by bedtime. I thought it was a good trip, but the kids may have thought it was a long time in the car together!

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Sebastian's Baptism

Even before his baptism, Sebi had a big weekend. The day before Rob took him down to the pool to try out for the UVRays swim team. He has desperately wanted to get onto it for a couple of years, after watching Maddie and Will and attending their swim camp. He had all kinds of support from coaches, siblings, parents, and friends and he dominated in the pool. Hooray for our newest Sunray!
Then Sebi's baptism was the day before Easter. The grandparents all came and many friends and family too. Maddie gave a smashing talk, and he was baptized with Ryan from our ward too, so the chapel was packed with friends, teachers, and neighbors. Brother Olsen told everyone some of Sebastian's favorite things, and also that Sebi wanted to be a muffin when he grew up (Brother Olsen's son wanted to be a stop sign when he was a boy, which gives me great hope -- the Olsens are sharp).
He was baptized in one try (fish that he is), and then Rob gave him a very thoughtful and personal confirmation, blessing Sebi to look after the forgotten ones: those on the fringes who feel on the outside. It was beautiful.
The kids all got to wear their Easter finery a day early, and after a great lunch (I don't remember at all what we had, but it was good and there was plenty, so in the future I shouldn't obsess over it), our teens hid several dozen easter eggs in the backyard and everyone else grabbed something to hunt with.
Lucy marshaled the troops with their baskets.
The easter egg hunt. In late May we found half a dozen eggs still hiding in and around the garden. 
The Purves Family
The Isoms. The photographer didn't manage to get any pictures of Breens or grandparents or cousins or even Sebi and Rob in their whites, but they were all there, and it did happen. I saw it with my own eyes. 

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Sebi's Pinewood Derby

Pinewood Derby rolled around once again this year. Sebastian and Rob created a sparkly green racer that looked like some sort of scarab beetle. Sebi's car came in solidly in the middle of the pack (which is stellar in McFarlandworld). A Beus won first place again [one does every year]. It was low-key and congenial and several siblings entered their cars too [as it has been every year]. The racetrack specialist was so great that when he'd raced every car six times and the kids were still going strong, he started it all over again. The den mothers made a big fuss with decorations and awards and treats as they can be counted on to do. We thank our lucky stars to be part of this troop come Pinewood Derby time!