Friday, June 28, 2013

Recently seen on Jer's Instagram feed

Taiters finds his happy place:  watching 1970s Bugs Bunny cartoons while wearing sunglasses and eating chocolate licorice.

Tenny writes his first nasty-gram to his mom:  "You hurt me.  Come here now or else you will dislocate."

Taiters tries to figure out what to do with this thing they call "summertime."

Grandma Stewart's hands:  working hard and doing good since 1918.

After mommy's lasik surgery (more on that later), Tenny finally gets permission to play with mommy's glasses.

The reaction I got when I told the boys to pose as "tough guys" during a Sunday stroll around Silver Lake.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Recently seen on Suzy's Instagram feed

Our perfect lady.

Letting loose at the retreat.

Chillin' with cousin Upton in Phoenix.

We were a little surprised when Tenny brought us his latest drawing.

We're not at all surprised Tenny is in love with the Red Hill above St. George.

Flora along the Waterfall Canyon trail.

A long-distance Father's Day greeting.

Missing Grandpa Ross.

Lazy river.  Crazy cousins. 

Happy birthday, Grandma Julie!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Camp Topaz

Not far outside Delta, Utah, lies a large, desert land that was home to a little piece of American history that never should have happened:  the Topaz War Relocation Center.

Good luck trying to reconcile the facts that the same man, President Franklin D. Roosevelt: (1) famously demanded that "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself;" and (2) signed Executive Order 9066, and thereby forced more than 120,000 Japanese-Americans out of their homes (and lives) to live for years under armed guard in a system of internment camps, including Camp Topaz.

Camp Topaz during World War II. 

Camp Topaz now is just a pile of bricks and construction rubble, protected with official National Historic Landmark status.

 One of the Japanese-American internees, Dave Tatsuno, smuggled his home camcorder into Camp Topaz, filmed life at the camp, and later made a documentary called "Topaz," which you can watch here.  Camp Topaz was also home to Fred Koramatsu, whose plea for enforcement of his constitutional rights as a U.S. citizen fell on deaf ears in one of the worst Supreme Court cases of all time, Korematsu v. United States.
I had heard about Camp Topaz and the other internment camps most of my life and studied the Koramatsu decision in law school, but I had never really felt a connection or thought of it as anything other than something that happened a long time ago.  But there was something about standing among the rubble--especially with my kids--that sparked my outrage for what we did to those families.  I just can't stop thinking about it.
Don't get me wrong:  I love my country.  But with Camp Topaz, we really blew it.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Mount Olympus

No, not that Mount Olympus.  The Utah version of Mount Olympus, previously seen here.

We live below this beautiful mountain, and it has been calling to me (Jeremy) since the day we moved to SLC.  On Saturday, the planets finally aligned and I got my chance to answer the call.  I woke up that morning sans family (they're partying in St. George) and decided to sieze the chance to climb the mountain without a child on my back.  A Father's Day gift to myself.
The hike/trail itself is actually quite unpleasant and not very interesting (i.e., straight, steep, lacking views), but once you reach the top it is all worth it.  I sat on top of that mountain for an hour, soaking in the sun, eating molasses cookies, and staring in disbelief at how gorgeous Utah is.

Seriously, how many places can you wake up, decide to go hiking, climb a major mountain, spend a peaceful hour taking in the spectacular views, and then be home in time for lunch?

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The family that digs for trilobites together stays together.

Tennyson is absolutely certain that he is going to be a paleontologist when he grows up.  He has been begging us for months to take him to dig for trilobites and/or dinosaur bones.  We finally made his wish come true on Memorial Day with a trip to U-Dig Fossils, a trilobite quarry about an hour west of Delta, Utah.

This is a great way to beat the holiday crowds.  We spent a couple hours dismantling the mountain and breaking rocks into pieces with hammers.

The boys really liked that they got to beat everything in sight with hammers and nobody told them to stop.

Julie even got into the action and did her part to pull down the mountain.

Suzy was much more careful and deliberate, which led to her great success in finding trilobites.

It was a super fun trip and we succeeded in entertaining our children and unearthing lots of trilobites (like Tenny's "favrit," below).

Sunday, June 9, 2013

4MM - Yesterday was hike day (2.2)

For our June hike, the Four More Miles Club hiked Waterfall Canyon just east of Ogden. 

We've had a lot of fun hiking this trail over the years, and this trip is sure to add to those great memories.  In fact, this is the first hike that Jeremy ever did--at the age of five--and we'll have to post those pictures if we can find them.  In the meantime, here's Tenny--age six--enjoying a snack at the beautiful falls.

We're having such a fun time with the 4MM club this season.  It's so nice always to be looking forward to the next hike, and then meeting up with such great people and hitting the trails together.  We're already planning our July hike, so if you're interested in joining us and want to be on the e-mail distribution list to receive the details, just let us know.

Monday, June 3, 2013

William Tait is three years old!

Tait has been asking us for a week, "Has my party started yet."  Today, it finally started and lasted until the sun went down.  Thanks to the 40+ friends and family members who helped Tait celebrate his big day.  As soon as the party ended, Tait looked up at me and said, "Daddy, can we start my party again?"  

Tait is just a fun kid who never wants the party to end.

We love you our little Taiters!