Sunday, November 16, 2008

Birthdays and Cousins (for the fam)

Since Alden's birthday is November 10th, and Keegan's birthday is November 24th, we celebrated their birthdays jointly this year, with all of the in-town Moon and Bailey cousins coming over to the house, then heading down to Kangaroo Zoo, aka Birthday Nirvana. It was a great day for all, with Alden scoring not one, but two "force action light sabers" (talk about heaven for that boy) and Keegan getting his very own, battery powered, model Catepillar wheel loader (He is a big fan of heavy machinery and anything on wheels).  But the highlight was fun with cousins and family.  Here are a few pics.   

Uncle Bryan, visiting from Philadelphia, even came --what a treat. (We missed Tricia and Alyssa and Mason, though, who are still there.)

Here is Keegan attacking the dragon at Kangaroo Zoo with cousin Sam.  

I can't believe how Kate has grown. Seems like she changes every day.  Such a beauty.

Cousin Erin has apparently inherited her mom's penchant for being goofy in every photo possible.

Uncle Steve and Cousin Liam finishing up the steepest slide in the place.


 Jared kelly and Jude having some fun.

Uncle Jared and cousin Jude.

Keegan barreling down the "big one."  No Fear.

So there you have it. All told, I think it was one of the funnest Birthdays of their lives. Ok, so they are only 2 and 4 respectively, but still . . . it was a great time. Thanks to everyone who came!!

Monday, November 10, 2008


Why would this rainy day Monday, in the middle of the most serious economic downturn of our lifetimes, be one of the greatest days ever, you ask?  Because my little man Alden was born this day four years ago!  Happy Birthday little buddy!  You may not know it, but it was hard work to get you into this world: your poor mom found out that her epidural only worked on the left side of her body as she went through a cesarian for you; and your poor dad had to watch your poor mom go through that!  (OK, OK, so maybe I got the better end of that deal, but it was one of the worst, most helpless feelings of my life.) 

Any way you look at it, though, you are totally worth it little buddy!  (I think I can even speak for your mom on that one . . . )  WE LOVE YOUR GUTS! (and the rest of you too, of course!)

Alden got a (and I better get this right or he will correct me) Force Action Changing Blade Color Light Saber for his birthday today. (Thanks Grandma & Grandpa!) He has been in heaven all day, and has slaughtered me at least 100 times.  He also learned how to use photobooth on our Mac, and created the images below himself.  The first one is worthy of any Star Wars creature, don't you think? 

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Voting Day!

Just a quick reminder for everyone, it is a glorious thing to vote. Please do.  Preferably for Obama, of course :-) . . . but by all means vote, even if the right wing crazies have you thinking an Obama presidency is the end of the world (Alan, say it ain't so . . . ).  

God bless America, and this beautiful little corner of Farmington.  

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Battening Down the Hatches

One of the Utah things that has taken some getting used to is that every fall you must spend several Saturdays battening down the hatches before the first winter storm.  While we grew up here, we were blissfully irresponsible sponges (aka teenagers/non-married young adults) living off the goodness of our parents then.  In all of our lives until now, we have never been responsible adults in a winter climate.  Well, it is a lot of work, darn it.   So today marked the second (of likely three) Saturdays that we have spent cleaning the yard, planting bulbs, preparing the house and the yard for snow, etc.   Today was rake the leaves day. Picture here courtesy of Kate, who worked very hard to get two smiling boys to look at her.  

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

Isn't this the greatest Halloween House?   The fact that it offers "meat pies" is a nice added bonus.  I love Farmington.  It was eerily warm this Halloween -- I went out in short sleeves.  Keegan, however, was not so lucky . . .

"Now, can you tell me exactly 'what the heck' (a phrase he actually uses a lot these days) is going on here?"

Heaven forbid all of them should actually look and smile at me all at once.

Queen of the Nile, ready to conquer.  Happy Halloween everyone!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Well, we started Halloween early this year, getting everyone in their costumes for a night at Red Butte Gardens. What could be more fun than wandering unfamiliar trails in the dark with your in-laws, trying to keep track of running cousins and kids? I tell you, around here, we really know how to live it up. Actually, it was quite fun, the kids had a good time.

Keegan reprised his role as mini-Chewbaca -- with Alden insisting on being Obi-Wan, what else could the little guy do?-- and he was the hit of the night. Didn't need to worry about losing him because you just had to follow the "oooohs" and "isn't that sooooo cute's!" and you knew he'd be in the middle of it.

Here are the kids, with Kate as Cleopatra, queen of the Egyptian Nile, listening to a Native American tell ghost stories by the fire in celebration of that fine European tradition, Halloween. And if that isn't cross-cultural enough for you, I don't know what to do. They don't call us the "cross-roads of the west" for nothin' y'know.

Hope everyone has a safe, happy and fun Halloween.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Gone, Gone, Gone! Really Gone . . .

Why, you might ask, is this song from Robert Plant and Alison Krauss running through my head and becoming the title of my first post in a month?  Could be because the album "Raising Sand" is really great -- but no.  Try traveling for business seven out of the last eight weeks.  Ouch. 

I must say though, that there are advantages to this.  Like the fact that all three children race to hug me when I walk in the door, shouting "Daddy!" with an enthusiasm that could light up the dark of a desert night. Or the fact that Keegan insists on grabbing my finger and leading me around the house for hours on end.  When I leave for work, he now says "NO DADDY! NO WORK!" and cries hard when I walk out the door.  If that doesn't make you appreciate life and family, few things will. 

Then there is the fact that professionally, I have never had more fun in my life.  I seriously love my work notwithstanding the travel. That said, it is clear that my wife does not.  So weekends have been filled with kids and honey dos.  As a consequence, I have failed you, dear reader (thanks for continuing to look Annie!).  Well, I will try a little repentance with this post, which I hope will be a longer one.   We have made good use of the few free weekends, so we have a few pics to post.  Here goes!


A few weeks back, we managed to drive Alpine loop right after a snowstorm, and catch one of the two weekends that actually had autumn color (we've learned that fall color is very brief in Utah!). Here are a few pics from the trip.

This aspen grove was absolutely magical.  I have never been surrounded by more glowing gold leaves in my life.  It was awesome.

The mountain top snow provided the perfect backdrop for all the color.  It was such a glorious afternoon. 

Here is the family at the top of the loop.  Aldie is wearing his mom's fleece top for pants because he managed to fall into the American Fork river on the way up, and totally soak his pants.  Not a good day for forgetting replacement clothes, but we managed!

Aren't they just the cutest boys?  Now if we could just get them to behave like they look . . .

I think gold and white must be the colors of heaven, and Aspen groves are a heaven on earth when fall rolls around.  

Alpine loop also has access to Stuart falls, which is a place I remember going with my paternal grandparents when I was about Kate's age.  I have distinct memories of this place from that day. Fun to be there again so many years later.

Doesn't this one look like an old woman in the shower?  Big nose, scrunchy face, shower cap.  I can't see it any other way now that I've thought of that.


Just last weekend, we took the kids out to Golden Spike National Historic Site, because I had never been there.  Here are the Kids at THE SPOT.

As Keegan sat for this picture, he said "Snake!" Sure enough, there he was, right on the Golden Spike tie. Glad he didn't have a rattle on his tail. 

Of course, there was no corralling the boys after that. They chased him down the track for quite a ways.

Here is Aldie standing on an original rail, perhaps the only one left (the rest went to construct weapons in World War II).

Turns out that the Spiral Jetty is only a short drive (over a rough dirt road) from Golden Spike.  It is a piece of installation art that was done in 1970 by Robert Smithson.  It was covered with water for almost three decades, but now is on a big salt flat.  This first picture was taken by Kate. Not bad, hey? 

The kids had a riot on the surrounding salt flat. They found this huge crystal in a pool in the flat.  Kate took this photo also, as her mom held it up.  Very evocative of the place, I think.

There is a lot of red algae on this arm of the lake, which has a reported 27% alkalinity.  It produces an otherworldly landscape.  

The Jetty itself is quite salt encrusted. 

Picture of the day belongs to Kath, though, who took the below with Kate's little point and shoot.  Keegan and I were out exploring the lake edge.  

Well, there you go, Annie (and anyone else who still looks once in a while). It is all I had time for tonight. I hope to be better this coming month, which should not be so crazy.