Thursday, August 27, 2009

You Never Listen!

Sounds like something I would be writing about my kids, huh? Well it's me, ALL me.

I asked my doctor if it would be OK to go ATV riding while I'm pregnant. They said no. I didn't listen and went anyway. Ive been riding ATVs all Summer, and nothing has happened. I thought if I was careful that I would be just fine. Not the case.

The last day we were in Luna, Luc wanted to go for an ATV ride. We had had lots of fun with them and he wanted to check out one more spot before we headed back to the Valley. The sites were beautiful and we were having an enjoyable time. It was past lunch time and the storm clouds were rolling in, so we figured we should head back. Luc mentioned that if I was comfortable with it that I could go a little faster. I did. There is no speedometer on the ATV, so I don't know how fast I was going, but a curve in the road surprised me and I could feel the ATV tipping. A cousin of mine was killed when an ATV fell on him so I figured rather than taking the chance of rolling, I would straiten out and take my chances going through the trees. I made it through an opening in some saplings, but the branches hit me in the face and knocked my glasses off. I was disoriented and not thinking, so I didn't hit the break and I didn't clear the trees. I drove over another sapling and hit a tree. I had Auralee on the back with me and we both went flying off. I must have hit the handle bar with my leg, because I ended up landing sitting up facing the opposite way I had been with Auralee just in front of me. We both started crying and I scooped up my girl all the while telling her how sorry I was and that I had made a bad choice. Then, so Luc would be able to find us, I started screaming. It was all very traumatic. Auralee complained that her arm hurt, but when we asked her to wiggle her fingers she could. We thought she might have sprained it. Luc spent some time locating my glasses which were thankfully intact and then he got the ATV back on the road. He was able to straiten it out enough so that I could drive it back to my grandparents house. We were about 15 miles away and there was no phone service. The baby hadn't moved in a while and I got really worried. I cried most of the way home and prayed that everything would be OK. When we got to my grandparents, I asked my aunt Lorraine to take Auralee and me to the hospital so we could get checked out. It was an hour away, so Luc stayed behind to pack up our things and then meet us there later so we could just go home from there. I got a full work up and all was well with the baby and me. I was so relieved that my baby didn't have to suffer because of my stupidity. Auralee, on the other hand, was a different story. After some X-rays, they found that she had indeed broken her arm. They put it in a splint and a sling and told us to make sure it was casted within the next 5 days. My poor baby! The doc that was looking at us asked if I was wearing a helmet. When I said no, he said "I say that people who don't wear helmets don't need them because there's nothing up there to protect." Talk about a little dose of humility. When we told him that Auralee was wearing a helmet, he said "good, then I don't have to call CPS." All in all everything turned out well, but thinking about what could have happened scares me. I will do my best to be smarter about my decisions in the future.

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Luna Reunions 2009

Just one week after getting home from a 10 day camping trip, we were off for another 10 day trip. Every summer my family has family reunions in a little town called Luna. Luna is my favorite place to visit in the whole world. I have tons of memories from growing up and visiting there every year. My grandparents grew up there and after living away for years, moved back to retire there. This gives everyone a little extra incentive to go visit. I love the wonderful food my grandma makes and her bread is the best I've ever tasted. My grandpa has a big garden he grows every year and harvests lots of yummy veggies that we eat with our meals. It's heaven for me.

This year, our Fuentes reunion was earlier to accommodate early school starting. We always have it at the Head of the Ditch, named so because it's the head of the ditch. :) We have a huge potluck dinner where my cousin makes pit barbecue from a cow from his ranch. It's soooo good! My cousin Mini makes her wonderful sopapillas and I drench mine in honey. My mouth is just watering just thinking about them. We visit a lot and then there are activities to do. We also have an auction with donated items, usually homemade or handcrafted, to fund the next years reunion. I enjoy it very much. This year most of my family was there, except my brothers and their families. We missed them a lot. :(

Me and my girls (Luc was doing job stuff) stayed the week along with my sister Mechelle and her family. One of the days, my grandpa took us on a drive to see some of the old homesteads. It was a beautiful drive and we were even able to see some Elk. I love country drives! To fill the rest of the time there my sister and I brought projects to do. We worked on quilts. Its nice to have someone to help you when you take on a project you don't have a pattern for. ;)

Our Snyder reunion has always been on the weekend of the 24th of July for the Pioneer celebration. Luna's population skyrockets for the festivities. They have a big parade, although it was a lot better when I was a kid because they had huge floats then, a rodeo, a lunch at the community center and a dance. It can be lots of fun.

Our family always has a spot where some (it used to be all of us) camp out. It's out at Trout Creek. Every year someone climbs the big oak tree and hangs the rope swing. It's tons of fun and the kids love it. Most of the adults sit around the big fire pit and visit. I love my family. I've known these people my whole life and just sitting (and eating of course) and visiting is just fine for me.
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Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Neves Family

While we stayed in Duck Creek, we took a little trip to Cedar City to do laundry and shower. While we were there, we visited some of our friends, the Neves family. We used to live next door to them when they lived in Mesa. We met them for lunch and had a great visit. It was all very timely, because now they have moved to Michigan. They are a great family and I miss them a lot.

It was a nice part of our trip. I was so glad to get home after being away from my bed and indoor plumbing, but I would defiantly do it again.
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Zion National Park 2009

One of the last places we visited was Zion National Park. It was beautiful!

To get to the canyon through the east entrance, you had to go through a tunnel that was a mile long. You had to wait for a while to get through sometimes, because if a motor home was going through, they had to be escorted through the center of the tunnel and took up both lanes.

I was really impressed by some of the formations, especially the Checkerboard Mesa.

We hiked up to Weeping Rock and saw formations that were called things like, Angels Landing, The Three Patriarchs, The Alter of Sacrifice and The Temple.

The girls and I spent the majority of our time on our own while Luc and his dad hiked The Narrows. Most of the hike was through the water and I knew I wouldn't be able to make it. Instead, the girls and I visited a museum, a visitors center and watched a movie about the canyon and rode the shuttle up the canyon. I enjoyed it, but the girls didn't really start having fun until...

...we went and started playing in the water at the foot of The Narrows. Water is always a good way to pass the time. :)

On out way out of the park, we passed a Doe with TWO babies! It was so fun to see them! It was really strange, because she was with them in this little island of trees and brush surrounded by roads and trails and people, yet she was calmly taking care of her young. I'm glad I got to see it.

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Monday, August 24, 2009

Duck Creek 2009

Duck Creek was a really fun place to camp. Other than having to put a jacket and shoes on to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night, I loved it. When we weren't off at a National Park, we took turns with the rest of the family riding ATVs.

We explored lots of different trails and visited an ice cave. I didn't go down inside the cave because the climb was too steep, but Auralee and Luc enjoyed it. Of course, Taryn fell asleep while driving around. I don't know how she does it, but it happens every time. :) We were also able to go fishing on one of the off days at a big pond near our campground. Everything was GREAT!

Auralee's auntie Nancy took her horseback riding one of the days we were there. She had a blast! They put her on her own horse and then let her ride ALL BY HER SELF! What a great thing for her! I was told she did a really good job and was even able to get her horse to go fast when she wanted him to.

At the campground everyone had lots of fun as well. The kids spent lots of time digging in the dirt and playing with the buckets we brought (a total life saver and completely worth bringing) and exploring around the camp site. They played with cousins and had a favorite log they liked to climb. Luc spent a lot of time playing horseshoes with his brother and dad and we all enjoyed dutch oven meals. MMMMMMM, yummy! I got some reading and relaxing done as well.

After playing in the dirt and getting pretty messy all by herself, Taryn's cousin Dwayne helped her out a little more by dumping a bucket of dirt on her head. This photo op was so great, we couldn't miss it. :) Thankfully, we had access to showers a couple times during the week, so we all got cleaned up from the grit and grime we collected.

Every time we ate at our campsite, we had several visitors of the furry kind. They knew exactly what was going on when we got the food out and would come right up to us, ready to dash away as soon as we moved. Much to my kids dismay, I would not let them feed the animals. They were fun to watch though.
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Bryce Canyon 2009

Our next stop on our camping trip was Utah. We camped outside a little place called Duck Creek. It was great because it was just a short distance to two National Parks. One of those parks was Bryce Canyon. I had never been there, so it was a new experience for me as well as the rest of my little family.

The formations were amazing. There were these huge strangely shaped protrusions called Hoodoos. They started out as solid formations and then over time, the outside soil was washed away by wind and rain. Lots of the earth was rust colored. That's because there is a lot of iron in the soil and when it was exposed to the air and water, it rusted! Pretty cool huh?!

We were at the same camp ground as Luc's family and were able to spend part of our day with them at Bryce before separating and seeing our own sites.

We had lots of fun, and, of course, Taryn fell asleep.
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The Grand Canyon 2009

At the end of June, we started our 10 day Engstrom Family 4th of July camping trip. Our little family decided to start at the Grand Canyon. Luc really wanted to take Auralee there since she had mentioned several times that she'd never been. We camped just outside the park at a nice little camp ground. We slept in a tent and Luc and I had an air mattress. I wasn't sure how I would do, being pregnant, but surprisingly, I did quite well.

The weather was beautiful and the canyon was gorgeous!

We walked all over the place. Up and down trails and to lots of overlooks. The places we couldn't get to quickly offered a shuttle. They were always crowded, but since I'm pregnant, I always seemed to get a seat. We spent quite a bit of time there and enjoyed it all. We packed our lunch and snacks and water as well. It was a wonderful experience and I'm so glad we went. I'm also glad my girls has a great time :)

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Take me out to the ball game!

Back in May, Luc got some tickets to a D-Backs game from a friend. I'm not very enthusiastic about baseball on TV, but I really enjoy going to a live game. We had a lot of fun. It was a great date and I hope we can have a lot more of them like it.
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Little girls bring such delight with hearts so warm and smiles so bright!

In June, my friend Heidi offered to take some pictures of my girls. I gladly accepted and boy am I glad I did. She did a wonderful job! My girls are beautiful!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The 1st Ray and Freeda Costner Family Reunion 2009

A while ago my aunt Christine suggested that we have a Costner Reunion for my mom's side of the family. My sister Mechelle and I agreed, but that was the last I heard about it. Sometimes I can't stand having an idea in my head and not doing anything about it. So, since no one else was doing anything about it, I took it upon myself to plan it. Let me tell you, that was a lot of hard work! It was so nice to see it come to fruition though. I was able to get all 7 Costner siblings to come and participate. We got a nice place reserved to meet at, had lots of good food, fun games and activities and everyone got to visit and catch up. I'm so glad it was a success. The next one wont be for another two years, so I have some time to relax. :)

(collage courtesy of Mechelle)

A small portion of my mom's family.

The brothers and sisters and the sister-in-laws.

The brothers and sisters and a portion (if not all) of their families.

My grandpa Costner lives in a home, so everyone took some time while we were there to go and visit him. My girls don't have very long attention spans, so we didn't stay long, but I thought it was important for them to be able to see him. My sister named her baby after him, so it was nice to see them together. His name is Ray Lee and my niece is Raeleigh.
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