Monday, December 28, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Comes but once a year....

The past two weeks have been full of all sorts of fun and adventure. The month of December started off with Addison going to work at UPS as Thomas Mounts runner/assistant. I wasn't real sure they would both survive, but despite a few scares, they seem to have pulled it off. Tom did have to explain why his assistant for the Christmas rush took a sick day to go snowboarding, but who among us hasn't felt the need for a mental health day at some point. (I've since explained to Addison that if you're only scheduled to work for 3 weeks, faking sick maybe isn't appropriate.)

Cari and I decided that we needed our own mental health day, and so I took a real day off to go down and pick Jake up in SLC. We hauled a trailer full of belongings down for Ryan and Liz (Lindsay's daughter and son in law), and got to see where they will be living for the next several months, and then we dropped Mandi and Kempton off at Cassie and Paul Morris' home, and spent the weekend doing anything we wanted to, on our own schedule. It was difficult at times to not feel compelled to check in with someone, but we managed to muddle through. We had our annual dinner date with friends from our Salt Lake years, and it is always nice to catch up with the Stephenson's. Cari made sure that I had purchased all the right things for her Christmas list, and then we watched movies, ate and just drove around looking at lights. (We sound old when I write it down, but it was good enough for us.)

After retrieving Jake, we ran a few errands that Mandi insisted would save her bundles of money if she bought the things in Salt Lake. I think it only saves her money, because I was the one driving all over West Valley looking for discount stuff. Next time I'll get more details up front, and Jake and I will decide whether it is worth buying at full retail.

When we got home, Mandi, Cari, Abby and Ashlyn began preparations in earnest for Kempton's birthday. For anyone that keeps track, his birthday is two weeks past, but the party waited for Jake. Despite all the stress that led up to the party, it turned out very nice, and probably has to rank in the top ten birthday's for a two year old. (He won't remember, but the 30 or 40 guests were all properly impressed, which I'm sure was at least part of what drove the shindig.)

Christmas was small again this year, with the Cassie, Paul, Mandi, Jake and kids were the only out of towner's to join the Mounts, Grandma Z, Jack and Debbie Z's family and our family. That didn't make it any less festive, but we did go with a few new traditions. Paul and Glenn slaved over Tamales and produced 200 very tasty morsels. I'm still a little confused about the Christmas Tamales concept, but they were very good, and I never fully understood the Clam Chowder tradition either. The live nativity was traded in for the DVD version this year too, as we were short of willing participants to play the wisemen or the livestock, I'm not sure which.

Christmas morning was pretty normal, except that we managed to talk the girls into staying in bed until nearly 8:00 because we told them we had to wait for Kempton to be awake. His usefulness is not limited to getting out of church, although that is still one of his best attributes. His smile and hugs are pretty good too.

We were able to speak with Alex for about 45 minutes after opening our gifts, and it was nice to hear his voice, and some of his adventures. He is doing well, and seems to still have the fire in his belly for the work. When asked if he had any advice for Addison, in preparation for leaving next summer, he basically said Add needs to study everything spiritual he can. Add has never been very good at taking Alex's advice, but maybe this time.

We have managed to get in a few hours of volleyball while everyone is in town, and as is to be expected, several hours a day have been dedicated to playing new board games. Tonight's adventure involved the newest addition to our Wii System, called Wii Fit, and had us all alternately laughing and gasping for air, as we were put through the workout by the sadistic cartoon fitness trainers. I'm pretty sure that some of the moves they tell us to try can only be accomplished by cartoon characters, but Abby and Ashlyn are game for anything, so we may see real humans pull it off before I find a way to break the infernal contraption.

All in all, it has been a very hectic few weeks, and if I had to keep up this pace more than once a year, I would likely become a bah humbugger, but since Christmas comes but once a year, I suppose I suck it up and start preparing for next year.

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Almost Christmas

I completely missed last week, and can't say that I have twice as much to say this week as a result. If it weren't for the fact that I update the blog in lieu of writing to Alex each week, I'm not sure what would (or could) motivate me to do it. I'm optimistic, however, that over the next few weeks, the holiday season will overload me with blogging material. We'll have to wait and see.

Having Mandi and Kempton living here has been entertaining over the past several weeks. Kempton has become very good at getting me to feed him the marshmallows out of the Lucky Charms. Although I know it's wrong to feel cheated by a 2 year old, Lucky Charms minus the Charms just don't seem Lucky. In fact they seem very similar to Alphabits Cereal. Other than that, Kempton is a pretty easy houseguest to put up with.

Mandi, on the other hand, has been a challenge. In order to let her have a vehicle (with a working heater) while in town, I have kept the convertible out well beyond its usual storage date. It does fairly well in the shallow snow we've experienced thus far, but it has none of the winter accessories that I usually carry with me in the truck, such as a shovel, gloves, or a scraper. I'm sure that I could forgive her the inconvenience, but she also tends to be hard on my pickup. This past week, on a morning that was about -10 degrees, she headed for her friends home and called to tell me that the truck had come to an abrupt halt after overheating. Glenn went and nursed Mandi, Kempton and the pickup back to his house, and then he and I switched out the thermostat. I know it is not her fault, but it seems much easier for me if I blame her. She in turn blames Thomas M. or Addison, and is quick to point out that they too have been driving the pickup. I credit them with all of the messes, but still like Mandi for the engine troubles, no matter how irrational it may be.

Speaking of Addison and Thomas, Add has been working as an assistant with Tom at UPS. This may seem like a great fit at first blush, but the down side is that when they are not called to work, they have come up with typical excuses for not getting anything meaningful done around our home or the Mounts home. The trees that Add was going to get Christmas lights on have turned out to be pretty sparse this year, and the ones that he did get done have bare spots. It seemed to go much better when I could convince Alex and Addison to compete from tree to tree. We will take pictures this year and see if Alex can do better next year in Add's absence.

We went down to Idaho Falls to hear Alex's most recent companion report his mission, and it was nice to talk to him. He assures us that Alex is doing well, but his talk made several references to the areas where he had been assigned that had frequent gun shots. (His theory was that the muggers and murderers had too much respect for men of God to shoot them. Not what a parent wants to rely on necessarily.) Alex is still in LaPlace, Louisiana, and will be spending Christmas there this year. (See MossPosse Blog for current address to send him well wishes for the season.)

The girls continue to spend all spare time at the gym, playing the piano, and studying. Abby is playing the violin, and Ashlyn is playing the youngest child role. Both the the latter two can get on a person's nerves, but I'm sure with the passage of time, they will both get past the obnoxious stage.

We are planning our annual pilgrimage to Salt Lake City to reconnect with our friends down there, and to hopefully finish the very little remaining shopping. Some time this week, I really should give some thought to what Cari might want for Christmas. Then I can give some thought to what I'm willing to get for her. I thought for a while last month that our vacuum cleaner was going to go down, giving me an automatic, but unfortunately, the repair guy fixed it. (The staff at works feels that I may have been spared a long cold winter by the repair guy.)

Kempton tormenting Mount's cat instead of Miley.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's been two weeks since last I had anything of value to say. After reading this weeks blog, there may be some who believe I should have waited yet another week.

We made the final push to clean out Mom's house last week. As should have been expected, there was significantly more stuff still in the house than any of us here in Rexburg remembered, but we were ultimately up to the task. We called in professional help to manage the piano, the pool table, and the finish cleaning. The piano was strapped to a moving board and Addison and I loaded it into the trailer and towed it down to Salt Lake City for Laurel. She then payed a piano professional to assemble it and before we left town, she was playing to her hearts content. Addison and I spent several hours trying to see what the allure of the Mall's is, but we still aren't sure how some people make trips to the Mall just to go to the Mall. The wait was worth it, however, as we were able to pick up Mandi, Jake and Kempton and bring them home for vacation.

The arrival of the Moss Posse has been as much fun as anticipated. Jake is getting ready to head back for a few weeks of tests, and will return in mid-December, but Mandi and Kempton are sticking around throughout the holidays, and we are all looking forward to the entertainment that Kempton provides. (Mandi's not bad either.)

This week was a short week for everybody. We left on Wednesday afternoon for Park City, Utah. All of the Rexburgers headed that direction, Michael and Ann Marie Johnson and kids, and Paul, Cassie and Thatcher Morris all moved into a cabin on the mountain for the Thanksgiving holiday, and Dale, Laurel and Jack Harris, Hilary Spillane, and David, Allison, Evan and Ethan Zollinger all came up for the big day. (Anna Z was working, and I'm not sure the cabin would have held the one extra person.) We all had a great time, and the meal was as good in the mountains as it is at home. (I'm not sure the effort will be soon repeated, however, as it was more work than we thought cooking away from home.) It's always good to get together with family though, and even with the noise and constant people under foot, it was a lot of fun.

We brought Grandma home with us, as Glenn stayed for another check-up on his wrist. As soon as we got home, we immediately began the process of converting to Christmas. Next week begins the party, concert and shopping season in earnest. I hope we can survive in one piece.

The slide show speaks more accurately to the events of the past few days. (Trouble getting the slide show to post. Pictures are apparently not my strong suit. Try cutting the below and pasting as internet site.)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

This week has been reasonably uneventful. For the most part, we have been closely resembling a convalescence home. I continue to struggle with what I now fondly refer to as the 4 week cold. Addison has been walking around looking like a chipmunk for the whole week. He still has a little swelling, and he still doesn't understand why he had to have perfectly good teeth removed at the cost of such miserable pain. Lastly, Ashlyn continues to find any reason she can to put on a brace. Her patellar tendonitis got worse, not better, and so she is going to have to wear a brace for at least another week. Cari and Abby are wondering if it's safe to live in this house.

On the upside, Addison and I were able to get most of the Christmas lights up while the temperature was still warm. We then got our first dose of what lies ahead. Not much in the way of snow accumulation, but it has been below freezing for several days now, and the girls think any amount of snow is enough.

Abby is loving Young Women's. It's difficult to figure out how she finds the time to do everything she does, and enjoy it all. She continues to excel at gymnastics, she is getting better every week at the piano, and she comes home from school each day with another tale of what wonderful things she has learned. (Mostly from her brilliant Aunt Mary Ann.) I hope she can keep it up.

Mandi, Jake and Kempton are scheduled to arrive on Friday. I am going to Salt Lake for a meeting, and will wait around until they get in, and bring them home. Although it's always fun to read Mandi's blog updates, it will be better to see them in person.

This weeks pictures are a stretch, but Cari feels like my writing skills alone don't cut it each week, and that pictures are essential. While I agree that pictures are nice, and should be included whenever possible, pictures for the sake of pictures may be the exception.

To finish this week off, I'm going to make predictions for next week. I predict that I will be over my cough. Addison will be over his swollen mouth. Ashlyn will be looking for her next brace, and something fun and exciting will happen to make this blog more interesting.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Week In the Life...finally

This week hasn't been too eventful on the family front, but there was plenty going on in Rexburg. The elections for City Council were on Tuesday, and all three council members elected were repeat offenders. Chris Mann is an incumbent, Donna Benfield is returning after two years off after making a run for Mayor last election, and Bruce Sutherland is returning after 6 years off. Just minutes after formally acknowledging the new council members, the current council appointed one of their own, Richard Woodland to serve out the remaining two years of the Mayor's term. It should finally give me a chance to stop going to work at 6:30 am and staying until 7:oo pm every weekday. The past two months have been a little stressful. I'm ready to quit coughing since it has been three straight weeks now, and I'm hopeful that the lack of stress, coupled with the passage of time will give me the chance to heal.

Cari's highlight of the week was beginning the seasonal craft circuit. She whipped some block of wood or pile of material into what will undoubtedly be a must have decoration. I haven't seen it yet, but I'm sure I'll love it. (Or whichever of you gets it as a gift will love it.) She volunteered the girls as nursery workers, and told them it was their service for the season. (She then paid them each $15 for their time. We really need to talk about her definition of service.)

Addison had his wisdom teeth pulled on Friday, and as of this writing, he still looks like a chipmunk on the right side. He didn't have much problem with bleeding, but the swelling is pretty comical.

Abby got to do baptisms at the Temple for the first time, and was thrilled until she found out she would have to speak about it in church on Sunday. She did an excellent job, and all things considered, she still thought it was a great experience.

Ashlyn continues to nurse her Patellar Tendonitis, which means primarily that she only does the things at gym that she chooses. I suspect she is milking it for all it is worth, but the doctor says she may be able to start putting full pressure on it next week.

Alex reported on a couple of baptisms in Monday's email, and also reached the midway point in his mission this week. He has been with a companion from Idaho Falls for the past several months, and they have managed to get out and play golf a couple of times for pday. The companion will be coming home in December, so I'm not sure he will be able to rub in his winter golf for much longer.

Mandi, Jake and Kempton are coming to town in two weeks for Thanksgiving, and we are all counting the days. It does seem a bit sad that we are more excited to see Kempton than Mandi, but he makes us smile more than she does. Mandi and Kempton will stay until after the holidays and Jake will go back for tests and then come back in time for Christmas. I'm sure will find time to enjoy Mandi.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

I missed last week because we were out of town. Today's post will cover our adventure, as well as the fun since getting home late last Sunday.

We took Addison with us to Miami so Cari would have someone to protect her on the beach. As you can tell from the picture in the slide show, Addison was happy to be invited, even if he wasn't much in the way of a body guard. Cari and Add found plenty to keep them busy for the 5 days I was in meetings, and we found plenty to do in the evenings after my meetings were over. Miami is really a town that gets started late, and I think if we were a little bit younger, or more willing to get sucked in by Addison, we could have stayed out all night. As it was, I think we balanced the stay just right. I managed to play a little golf in association with the seminar. (I think the class description was "Best Use of Open Space".) I am now the two time defending champion of the International Long Drive Contest. Granted they are all attorney's but it's still an international competition. The weather was a bit cool for beach combing, but Cari and Addison managed to find their way down to the beach for the day, and took me down for a visit on one afternoon.

We took an evening trip down the Keys, and found ourselves in Key West for the sunset. Addison was completely unimpressed, and believes that the sunrises that he has been watching every morning at work are every bit as beautiful. Maybe people should start driving hundreds of miles to hang out with Addison in the morning instead of Jimmy Buffet in the evenings.

After Miami, we made a long drive to New Orleans for the weekend, and unanimously agree that New Orleans is more fun than Miami. We managed to find lots of good food, entertaining places to visit, and even lucked into the Halloween Parade. It doesn't require you to expose anything to get beads. We came away with lots of beads just for being loud bystanders. We were careless enough to wander onto Bourbon Street while it was daylight, and while eating gumbo, the night life came out. Probably more than Addison should have been exposed to, but I don't think he will be scarred too badly.

We spent one day at the New Orleans Aquarium, and watching an IMAX movie about Katrina. It was very informative, and the aquarium was extremely close up. Addison loved the fish and made me go back in so he could pet the Stingrays. He wasn't the biggest kid to ride the frog either.

The next day we booked an airboat ride into the bayou. It was well worth the purchase, and not as all uncomfortable. We got to get up close and personal with a baby gator, and saw several 3 to 5 footers on the banks. It is a little late in the season for the big ones, as they are going into hibernation. After the boat ride, we were so close to LaPlace, Louisiana, that we decided to have lunch and stalk Alex just a little. We drove by his apartment to see what his neighborhood was like, and then ate around the corner from his place. It would have been difficult if we had seen him and not been able to approach him, but it was nice to see the area and get a bit of a feel for what he is experiencing.

This weekend, we went with Jack and Debbie Zollinger to Debbie's family lodge near Driggs. Because it was Halloween, it not only included a nice couple of days away, but a party atmosphere for all. Mary Ann, Glenn, and Mom came along, as well as all of the Mounts Children as some point and Nichole and Blake Garner. As you can see in the slide show, Cari, Abby, Ashlyn and I took full advantage of the Mardi Gras masks we brought home. The residents of Driggs didn't know what hit them when the kids all went into town for trick or treating, but everyone in our party seemed to have enjoyed themselves. Thank you to Debbie and the Peacock Family.

I'm looking forward to a few normal weeks at work so I can get rested for the holiday season. I can't take much more sleeping away from home.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A week ago yesterday, Cari and I took off for Sun Valley. I had a few meetings with the Idaho Hospital Association, and since we were going to be in a resort town, Cari's sister Barbie and her husband Dave Green joined us for a week of golf and leisure. As you will be able to see from the slide show, the week of golf ran into a few snags after the first round, but the leisure was accomplished. I seem to have missed some of the fun while in meetings. Dave doesn't think I missed much, and doesn't understand the allure of hour after hour of shopping, but the first brush with winter was sort of exciting.

One of the most surprising events of the trip may have been the call from the two girls left behind in Rexburg. Apparently, Addison is a great brother, and care giver. Cari claims that she knew he had it in him, but I'm skeptical of how she could possibly have known. All I can imagine is that he must have envisioned them as some sort of characters in a video game, and the challenge was to keep them entertained. It was a nice surprise to know that he was there for the girls and for us.

This weekend, the Mounts Family all descended upon Rexburg for Thomas and Kricket's new baby Thomas "Maxwell" Mounts. He is a pretty cute kid. The girls took Larkin Johnson to the rock wall, and Abby and Ashlyn began learning how to walk in the sky. The Rock wall has a slack line about 10 feet off the floor, and they are both reasonably adept at walking on it.

This coming week will be spent in preparation for another business trip where Cari will tag along. She has invited Addison to go along on this trip, which I think will be nice. (I am a little concerned that she keeps inviting others to go along on our trips. I can only assume the honeymoon is over after 28 years.) We may skip a few Sunday blogs while we are in Miami, but we will post our trip when we return. Until then, we hope all is well with you all.

As you can tell, I'm still learning how to manage the pictures. The good weather came first, but I'm too lazy to figure out how to reverse the photos.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What's Missing?
It's Alive!
Not much has happened since last post, but since this has become my only form of contact with Alex (Elder) Zollinger, I decided to post a couple of pictures that may not make sense to anyone but him. The other picture is to show the colors in our backyard. Last week they were all bright green, and in no time at all, shazam!

Ashlyn is recovering nicely, and should be back to full activity at the gym this week. She used the injury to its fullest, coming home at least once from school, because of soreness in the chest and neck. If I was still in private practice, I'm pretty sure it was a very serious "soft tissue" injury, and that it will have negative lifelong effects. Since I'm not considering a lawsuit however, and whiplash isn't conducive to a career in gymnastics, I guess the excuses will have to end.

Abby believes that while Ashlyn was lounging around, she has become significantly better at the uneven bars, and she expects to put the smack down on Ashlyn when next they are in the gym together.

Addison is still working at the golf course, but he is now responsible for placing the holes each day. I personally have lost only a little of my affection for him, but there are golfers in town lately that if they could find him, they would give him a serious beat down. What kind of crazy golf course manager allows a kid who doesn't play golf to choose the hole locations? Any of you that have found yourself cursing under your breath (or openly) while at the Teton Lakes Course in the last several weeks. Addison can be found in his room most afternoons playing sadistic games on the Xbox. (This may explain his need to inflict pain on those who choose to recreate in the great outdoors.)

Cari and I have been trying to harvest all of our crops before the serious temperature drop. For those of you who just took a double take at the thought of us growing any type of a crop, you're not alone. Don't worry, we aren't grinding our own wheat and drinking powdered milk yet. We grew some tomatoes, cucumbers, apples and one huge cabbage. We don't have any idea what to do with the cabbage, but man did it grow well. We have also been serious about organizing the garage and the shop before snow flies. Unbeknownst to me, it is not much fun to wake up in the morning and scrape snow off the car. Cari believes that if we have three drivers, and a three car garage, there should be no need to scrape ice and snow. (Personally I think we risk spoiling Addison if we let him park in the garage, but we'll give it a try.)

Alex is still loving his mission, and we are coming up on the one year anniversary. He will undoubtedly begin taunting us again as our temperatures go down, but we will find something fun to do in the cold whether. His birthday is also coming up on October 8th, so if you are reading this and want to make an Elder's day, send him a note. His address is available at Mandi's blog
Fall is upon us.
It's Alive!
What's Missing?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Nielsen Boys
Ashlyn Post Gymnastics
I seem to have missed last week, but I was busy at work all weekend. The events that took place week before this consisted mostly of a house full of little boys for a change. Heidi Zollinger Nielsen stopped by for a few days with her 3 boys, technically it was to visit Grandma Z, but we enjoyed her boys and seeing the action figures in use by someone other than Addison.

This week was a bit more eventful. We started off with a fun ride in the Ambulance with Ashlyn. After completing all of her spectacular flips and twists, she was sitting next to one of the pieces of equipment doing leg lifts when a mat weighing 100+ pounds fell on top of her and left her refusing to move and having difficulty breathing. My first instinct was to pick her up and let her sleep it off, but when she refused to even consider moving, the Emergency Services people were summoned and they determined that an x-ray would definitely be in order. After several hours of being strapped to a back board, Ashlyn was ultimately diagnosed as having sprained her neck, and bruised her ribs. She is doing somewhat better, but still has to wear the neck brace for a little while each day.

Tuesday, the Mayor of Rexburg announced his resignation to take a job in Utah, and put the City Offices into a tailspin. I spent all week running around trying to put everyones minds at ease, I believe things will go on, and in about 1 month, I'll know who the new boss is.

Friday night brought us another moment of excitement. Addison and his friends left the house around 12:30 a.m., and as a parting gesture, one of them lit a homemade firecracker. One of the neighbors thought it was a drive by shooting. I answered the phone to a very concerned police officer that was one of 8 surrounding the house. He asked very careful questions about my well being, and I assured him it was not gunfire. When I opened the door, it was like you see in movies, police cars lit up like Christmas trees lined the street, and 3 officers with their hands on their guns were cautiously standing off of my porch. Addison was forced to rat out his friend, but once the excitement was over, they let him off with a warning.

Cari has been home all week with a very bad cold, and we have all been avoiding her in hopes of avoiding the bug. So far, Abby is the only one following in her mother's wake, and we hope it remains so.

Alex got transferred, and will be celebrating his birthday and one year anniversary in what he referred to as a truck stop town across the river from New Orleans. His current address will be posted on Moss Posse blog after he writes tomorrow.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Last week when I agreed to handle the Blog responsibilities, I thought it was for that week only. Apparently, the last person to touch a blog is responsible until another person agrees to take over, and currently, there is nobody in this house coming anywhere near the blog. I'll have to see if I can exert pressure at the appropriate time to change their attitudes.

There isn't much new that has happened since last week, but I will fill out the details a little bit since last week was a maiden voyage on the blog, and it didn't seem as fulfilling as I thought it should be.

With Summer coming to an end, the girls are both back in school. With the 15 hours per week of gymnastics, piano lessons, and homework, it seems they aren't around very much, and that seems wrong for a 9 and 11 year old. Abby reminds us regularly, that she will be 12 in just a few weeks, but that doesn't really change the overall perception that they are growing up too fast.

Addison continues to work at the golf course every morning at 6:00 a.m., and sleep all afternoon. Him I see, but only in the wee hours. He spent last weekend in Island Park, and he maintains that the scars from the last two summers working there are still deep, and that it will take time for them to heal. He seems to be enjoying the extended summer, but will be happy to start school in January.

I don't think I mentioned his adventure while we were in Illinois. Our 5 pound bird dog Miley (a purse dog of the Yorkshire Terrier variety) captured a full size Crow and shredded it in the house and then presented him with the prize to clean up when he got home from work. He apparently didn't fully appreciate her gesture, because he locked her in her room for an extended period. She responded by leaving him a small present at his bedroom door every day. Hasn't happened since we got home, so we only have Addison to believe, but the dog does seem to truly have it in for him.

Alex is loving his mission, and will likely come home a rabid fan of LSU football, and cajun cooking. He seems to have the makings of a very good missionary though, and if the worst thing that happens to him is a drawl and a changing of allegiance in NCAA sports, I guess we'll continue to claim him. We are a little concerned about the keepsakes he sent home so far. Does anyone know what the appropriate decorating use for alligator heads and turtle shells is?

Mandi, Jake and Kempton are settled back into their routines, and Mandi maintains a much more entertaining blog than ours, so no further comment is necessary.

I continue to find time to golf as you can see from the slide show, and Cari continues to find ways to make all of our lives better.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Zollinger's Head East

Two weeks ago, we all decided it would be a good idea to travel across the country with Jake, Mandi and Kempton to insure their transition to Carbondale for another year of school. Jake was being welcomed into Medical School and so it was not just to settle them in, but to celebrate their moving forward in their life.

Jake's parents, Brent and Larae were in town as well, and we managed to find several activities to entertain ourselves. The boys played golf (some more than others--read Stephen) and the girls went shopping and paddle boating. Good food was experienced, and when we left Carbondale, the Moss Posse seemed settled.

The trip out was not as much fun for Jake and Stephen as the trip for the girls. We drove to Denver and stayed with Jake's brother John and his family. We then drove cross country in one day and arrived in Carbondale after a Chevy Chase moment in St Louis. There are times when the Garmin isn't right. At least not in the middle of the night in downtown St. Louis when the detours are into other detours. And just so nobody else feels compelled to experience it, the Anheuser Busch factory is not that interesting at midnight, but some of the people on the streets around it are.

Coming home was better, mostly because it was Stephen, Cari, Abby & Ashlyn, and the family events were very enjoyable. We spent a couple of days in St. Louis (in the daylight) and hung out at the City Museum, the Science Center, and the Arch. Trying to explain Independence, Missouri to the girls was difficult, but we are planning a trip to the Mormon sites in a year or two, and in context, it may be easier. After several very enjoyable days as a family, the 14 hour drive was nearly forgotten.

The kids are back in school now, and the activities in Rexburg are finding their way back to what we consider normal around here. Gymnastics 4 days a week, school 5 days a week, and happiness every day of the week that we do things together. Sounds mushy, but it works for us.

P.S. There is an outside chance that we have what it takes to start posting pictures again. If there are pictures associated with this post, we figured it out, if not, we'll keep trying.

The Zollingers

Friday, July 17, 2009

Abby Takes Control

Hey this is Abby my mom gave up so I have to take over on this blog. Our summer is going so fast because we are having so much fun with Mandi and Kempton here!! Mandi is making me learn how to Blog, teaching me piano lessons, making up our job charts, and much, much more. We have been very faithful on Write-Alex-Wednesday. Ashlyn and I go to the gym four times a week. We will be competing level seven so we are in the gym a lot more. Here are some pictures of our summer fun!!
Princess Party
Happy Kempton
Ash and Kemp haved a leminad stande

One of our fav game
Dad had a golf turnament
We rode horses
Kempton LOVES pudding
Kempton is mad at the baloons
We ate some strawberrys
We made freezer jam
Jackson Hole swimming!!
Nature Park playtime!
Feeding the ducks!