Thursday, January 27, 2011

does something look out of place in this picture?

There's water in the desert. Weird huh? I found out that Cave Creek got its name because there's actually a creek out there. Who knew?It was a pleasant morning. And now that we know where Spur Cross Conservation Area is we have plans to go back and explore some more trails. Suzanne is even trying to talk me into going horseback riding out there. We'll see.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

lake havasu city

Dave and I decided to take a quick trip over to Lake Havasu City to see the Hot Air Balloon Festival. We aren't the best at trip planning apparently. We got caught up with business issues Friday morning and left town 3 hours late so we missed the opening, the sky divers etc. We got into town late afternoon. Our GPS was broken, we didn't mapquest anything and Lake Havasu is a bigger city than I thought. We had to call the hotel to get direction and the hotel employee spoke a dialect of English that I did not recognize so we wandered around for a bit. We finally found the hotel, dumped our bags in the room then went to find a restaurant and wandered for a bit to find that too. We had a nice dinner, but we took a little too long before we left for the Festival. The event info suggested bringing a flashlight as the parking would be at an off site location with no lights. I did pack a flashlight, but left it at the hotel, so we tripped and slipped trying to get out of the parking area in the dark. Our hats and gloves were in our suitcase at the hotel too and it was nippy out. So then after a little hike from the parking lot, we arrived for the Balloon Night Glow event. Here is a picture of what we would have seen had we arrived on time. But instead we were told "Oh yeah, they were all lit up a while ago and were so pretty". Although the event was supposed to go until 9 pm, many of the vendors were shutting down so we rode on the Ferris Wheel and called it a night. Oh, and Dave spotted some antique tractors on display. He is a tractor magnet -- did you ever have any idea that tractors are displayed in so many places? I didn't. He even found an Allis Chalmers just like his.We booked a very inexpensive hotel room. Although it had some nice amenities, the one thing it didn't have was a decent bed. The mattress had the same amount of spring and cushion as the floor. We both had hip and neck kinks by morning.
We vowed to make Saturday a little better. We got up bright and early, stopped by the front office of the hotel for the free continental breakfast which consisted of coffee, pre-packed danishes, a loaf of white bread and a toaster, and packages of craisins. We filled up on craisins and off we went. We arrived on time to see the flag raising ceremony. The first balloon took up a huge flag with the National Anthem playing. Cool. Then there was a mass ascension - balloons going up every few minutes. Cool.There were some old cars displayed. I was enjoying the colors and shapes. I think Dave was enjoying the engines.
After we had our fill of festival events we went over to see the famous London Bridge, had some lunch and headed home. It was a poorly planned yet fun little get-away.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

a fun snow day . . . except for the part where we almost died.

We always think we are going to go play in the snow each winter. Then we let our calendar get in the way. We'll go when we have a "free" Saturday sometime. (What family ever has a free Saturday??) So this year we just put it on the calendar and hoped there would be snow. We collected the kids, a couple of their friends and headed up toward the Heber and Forest Lakes area. We got off the highway and saw some awesome spots to go sledding, but we also saw that the cars that stopped to play were being ticketed, so we drove on looking for our own cozy spot. We were driving along a dirt logging road looking for a place. The road started curving back and forth into a valley (note - there were death defying drops at the side of the road) but had some potential for some good places to play if we got to the bottom. Then 5 minutes later the car just starts skidding BADLY like we were on ice. Fortunately we had been slowing at the bottom of the hill and we just went "DOINK" gently into a snow bank. We couldn't back up and so we got out and couldn't figure out why we had skid. There was no ice on that area of the road. Then we noticed the two front tires were pointing in completely different directions. Whatever it is that holds the steering mechanism in place was unattached, broken, bent and protruding in places where it's not supposed to be protruding. The steering broke! Have you ever heard of the steering of a car suddenly breaking?? Minutes earlier we were driving 25 miles an hour around narrow curves of a mountainous cliff. (ok, I don't know how fast we were driving, but we were going around scary curves on a logging road with scary drop offs that I would describe as death defying, perhaps.)Anyway - a couple of pickup trucks full of boy scouts stopped and loaned us some tools, Dave figured out how to 'band-aid' fix it to drive it back up the hill to civilization, then my parents came and put the van on their trailer and hauled it to Heber for us, not exactly how they planned to spend their Saturday, but THANK YOU ! Dave got to the store, bought a couple of parts and fixed it in about 10 minutes. He truly is SuperDave. If I had been dealing with a problem like that, it would have been a 3 day ordeal getting the car into a repair shop and getting back to the valley. Dave saved the day. We definitely were being watched over. (Thanks for that little blessing)

But the fact that we could have died did not stop us from having a little fun in the snow. (Jennifer, I stole some of your photos. Most of yours were better than most of mine.)

P.S. On an unrelated, but important note . . . Rachel's boyfriend, Kyle, just got his mission call today. He's going to the Domincan Republic. YAY !

Saturday, January 8, 2011


"I wish you could breath through your ears to clean them out."

"I don't stutter and I have excellent vocabulary. I use my verbolity very well."

Dave, eating an angel food cake: "This cake is very spongy"
Melanie: "I feel like I'm eating Sponge Bob".

"Whew! I almost had a heart attack. Seriously, my heart almost attacked!"

Rachel: "What are you doing, child?"
Melanie: "I'm beat-boxing and humming at the same time."
Rachel: "It doesn't sound like you're beat-boxing, it sounds like you're from Africa."
Mom: "And it sounds like you're humming a Jewish song."
Melanie: "Hey, it's the best I can do."

Melanie: "We're leaving to go buy a light bulb for my Easy Bake Oven.
Rachel: "One of my piano students got an Easy Bake for Christmas. I told her 'My sister got one for Christmas too, but she's 10 years older than you'."
Melanie: "I'll bet I'm 10 times more excited than she is!"

"We're not making cookies. We're making Cookie."

Monday, January 3, 2011

52 weeks ago . . .

This week is the one year mark of Brady's mission. One year ago this week, we were sobbing on the curb of the MTC as he happily left on his adventure. And he's had quite an adventure. His weekly letters are posted at . If you'd like to leave a quick hello to help him celebrate the halfway point of his mission, please leave a comment here, or on his blog, or e-mail me, or leave a message on my facebook, or his facebook. I'll forward all your well wishes to him this week.
THANKS!! -- Cynthia