Joshua Dale Crawford Aug. 26, 1989 - Apr. 21, 2010

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Austin's First Day of Preschool

Austin started preschool on Sep. 3rd. He goes Mondays and Wednesdays for 2.5 hours. A lady in our stake has taught preschool for 25 years and we were fortunate enough to get him into her class. She also agreed to put him in the same class as all his Sunbeam classmates from church, which is technically the 4 year-old class, although Austin is only 3. It’s hard to imagine that Austin still has 2 full years before he can start kindergarten, while the rest of his classmates will all start next year. We’ve been told the drop-dead date for testing in early is Oct. 31st. Austin’s birthday isn’t until Nov. 2nd. We may still inquire to see whether we can get him in next year, but we’re not holding our breath.

Anyway, here he is on his 1st day:

Myr's House

As always we got to make pit-stops at Myr’s house on the way to and from UT this year. We’ve loved having Myr in Kuna as it’s about the half-way point in our trip. More often than not we stay the night and continue the journey the next day, which makes the whole trip that much more relaxing.

Well, Myr is getting ready to move on us so this year was the last year we’ll enjoy our pit-stop at her house. Here’s some pics from our visit:

Old Friends Austin and Tyann:

New Friends Lucas and Cameron:

A couple crazy noodles (and their pool toys):
Lucas hiding:

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Nielson's and BYU

We took a day on our vacation and went down to Provo/Orem/Springville to visit friends and stop by BYU. Okay, in all honesty, we really went so Angie could get her fix of Café Rio. We know there’s closer locations to Layton, but it’s just part of the tradition to hit the one in Provo so off we went.

We first headed down to Springville to see Sara and Luke. They boys apparently were in some kind of crazy mood I guess. This was the best shot we got of Luke and Austin together, and it appears that Austin has grown a 3rd arm, but rest assured, Lucas is back there somewhere and that’s his arm you see.

For those of you who don’t know Sara and Luke, they were in our ward when we moved up to WA and lived in Renton. Luke is a few months older than Austin, so they quickly became best friends. Sara and Luke moved back to UT last year and we’ve been missing them ever since. So in our household we have to distinguish between “Buddy Luke” and our Lucas/Luke. We miss Buddy Luke a lot and are always very excited to see him every chance we get.

After Springville we headed north to Provo. We like to stop and visit the old stomping grounds. Only problem this year was that our vacation was so late in the summer that it was Education Week at BYU. Holy cow there were tons of people there. We ended up parking south of campus and walking up the dreaded hill. Never thought I’d have to traverse that hill again, but it actually brought back some good memories. However, I never had to push a stroller up that hill, and especially not one w/ 2 kids on it. Wow, that was tough!

We headed to the bookstore to load up on some BYU gear for the upcoming football game. BYU came up to Seattle and played UW on Sep. 6th and we went with some members of our old Scenic Hill ward in Kent. The football game is another post entirely, look for that one shortly. The preparation for the football game took place while on vacation. At any rate, it’d been somewhat of a long day already. The boys were both tired from playing at Sara and Luke’s house. It was early afternoon and definitely nap time. The bookstore was crammed with Education Week participants. We were slowly making our way through the clothing section to get T-shirts and hats for the football game and Austin was not happy with us. He was ready to go home (to grandma’s house that is). At any rate, Angie found a couple of cute BYU hats for the boys and brought them over to try them on. Lucas loved his, but Austin threw a fit. He ripped off his hat and proceeded to scream, “I don’t want to wear the hat. I HATE BYU!” I swear the entire bookstore went dead silent. Instantly all eyes were upon us. To be quite honest, the next few minutes were something of a blur. I don’t think I passed out totally, but there was definitely a lack of oxygen flowing to my brain. Luckily Angie knew exactly what to do. She picked him up and beat the UTE right out of him! I’m kidding, I’m kidding, nobody run off and go reporting us to the authorities. I’m just saying that before I knew it I had armfuls of hats, T-shirts, and glow-in-the-dark basketballs with instructions to “Buy these, I’ll be back in a minute” and off she whisked with the stroller and the boys.

After I recovered from the shock of the moment, the lack of oxygen to my brain, and the sudden disappearence of my entire family, I slowly proceeded to the cash registers. Luckily, for my sake, all the registers were down, which gave me plenty of time to stand there and gather myself, as well as for others to recover from the blasphemy that had so recently been thrust upon their ears. Soon enough, my family returned with several Jamba Juice’s in hand and all was restored to its natural order. Not only that, but a deep and meaningful conversion had taken place along the way as well. For no sooner had they returned with the drinks, but that we found Austin now singing praises to beloved BYU, purveyors of his new favorite drink, the Jamba Juice. Thank you Jamba Juice, for making all in the world right again.

After the bookstore we let the boys play on the hill by the library for a while. First, because this gave them a chance to get out of the stroller and run around a bit, and second, to facilitate the finishing of our drinks. Here’s the boys having fun rolling down the hill:

After they worked out all their wiggles, we proceeded over to the new Student athlete building where they have displays of all the sports memorabilia. We received a fantastic tour from the gentleman working there. He had lots of fun stories to tell us, things we’d have never known just roaming around on our own. Here’s some fun shots from our visit.

With the Cougar:

With Ty Detmer’s 1990 Heisman Trophy:

Austin with Shawn Bradley (well, sort of):

We had a great day. It was a lot of fun. Alas, we finally accomplished what we’d set out for that day, and stopped by to get Angie her Café Rio shredded pork salad on our way back to Grandma Joyce’s house.

Utah's Hogle Zoo

Another of our yearly stops when we visit Utah is Hogle Zoo.

We actually purchase our zoo memberships from Hogle because we visit every year, and with that membership we get into both Seattle and Tacoma zoos free. It works out quite nicely really. Angie and the boys go to both zoos up here with some regularity. Austin really loves the Tacoma zoo because of the beluga whales and walruses. Go figure.

At any rate, we were excited to see the new cat exhibit at Hogle, but we needed an expert map reader in order to find it. Luckily we brought Austin along for just such an occasion:

We missed the grand opening of the cat exhibit by a day last year. Lucas loves tigers so he was really excited to see this:

All they need now are some lions and they’ll be set. Seattle has some great lions so Luke gets his fix up here often enough.

Luke also really enjoyed the white alligator currently on display there. He’s got this thing with alligators. He walks around going “chomp, chomp”, moving his arms up and down, and then he comes and “chomps” on you. He thinks it’s the greatest thing. It’s quite cute really so we encourage it of course.

The baby giraffe was neat to see, although apparently not all that neat since we have no pics of that. The boys also really enjoyed the bird show:

Luke and I were sitting on the end of a row just a few rows up from the presenters so many of the birds came swooping right over our heads. He’s really fascinated with birds so he loved every minute of the show, including the low flying birds, which I thought would’ve kind of freaked him out. But it didn’t, he loved it.

Austin’s favorite part may have been eating lunch with the zebras. Note to self: lunch with zebras is not the most pleasing olfactory experience. But hey, how often do you get to each lunch with zebras, right?

We saw rhinos, snakes, camels, gorillas, orangutans, lemurs, bears, penguins, and sloths! Austin has taken to hanging onto my legs and being a sloth, wherein, you guessed it, he just sits there and hangs on and does nothing else. He thinks it’s the funniest thing.

Alas, despite all the cool animals and shows, the biggest hit of all just may have been the playground. They seriously need some shade at that place! The kids would love nothing more than to spend hours on end playing, but ultimately every parent gets tired of standing out in the sun, roasting alive, and thus call the kids to order and march on to other attractions, no doubt ones with shade. If there was shade at the playground, the parents could sit forever, the kids could play forever, and all would be happy, except perhaps the animals waiting to be seen. Here’s a few playground shots:

When all was seen and done, we stopped in to let the boys get little souvenirs. Austin picked out a huge plastic coloring mat, and Lucas ended up with a little rotating puzzle toy. In fact, Luke ended up with a little spin top as well, which we didn’t find until unloading the stroller back at the car (yes we returned it).

Thus concluded another great vacation day.

Lagoon Day

We spent Monday Aug. 18th at Lagoon with the boys and the fam. It was a great time. Austin didn’t know what to do with himself he was so excited. It was quite hot so we started out at Lagoon-A-Beach. Austin, Taylir, and Tylir (cousins) ran around together while I took Luke around to all the kiddie slides. Truth be told, I’m not much of a fan of the bigger adult slides in the first place, so I had a great time taking Luke down the kiddie slides. He was laughing and having so much fun, despite the fact that he would always cover his eyes while we were coming down the slides.

I took both Austin and Lucas out into the deeper pool (up to 5 ft. deep) and both were actually pretty freaked out by that. They didn’t really like that one too much. We need to get those boys into some swimming lessons! They wouldn’t even let go of my neck long enough to pretend to swim. Guess that’s what happens when neither Mom or Dad are big into swimming.

After about an hour at Lagoon-A-Beach, we changed clothes and hit the kiddie rides. Austin knew only that he wanted to ride Puff the Dragon first, and second, and third, then maybe try some other rides. I took Lucas on Puff the first time, and he was all set to go….until it started moving that is. Then he was NOT happy. He wasn’t having any more of Puff the rest of the day, despite Austin’s repeated rides. Austin's in the 2nd car on the left below:

We eventually hit the Cars:

Bumper Cars:

Little Swings: Angie, Taylir, Austin w/ back to the camera

Boats: Austin & Taylir share a boat, Tylir behind

Helicopters: Austin & Tylir

And Airplanes: Austin with his back to camera again! w/ unknown boy

Many of them we rode several times.

Luke’s favorite was definitely the Merry-Go-Round, which he got to do twice. I took him the first time and did alright, but my vertigo didn’t allow me to do anything but stare at the ground in front of us for most of the ride. Angie took him on the 2nd go round.

All in all, we had a great day. We topped it off by hitting Rattlesnake Rapids:

Luke was not quite big enough yet to go on that with us, so we left him with Lisa while we all rode. I was so hot that I thoroughly enjoyed being the one to get hit with the waterfall at the end of the ride. I really needed it. We’re told that Lucas was watching for us and was excited to see us, but then when we went past, this was the face he made…

It was a great day, and is one of the things we make part of our yearly trip. Looking forward to it next year already!