Sunday, August 31, 2008

Vrtiska Family Reunion: Part I

The Steve and Jenine Vrtiska family just had our second family reunion. We had a blast! This time everyone was able to make it except for Bret and Erica who had good reasons. They were back home trying to get their sweet new little boy home from Kaz (more on that later). So that means we had 21 kids. The oldest being 15 and the youngest being 1 and two months. We had 14 adults ranging from 40 to 24, and then the ones who created all this madness, Grandma and Grandpa....we don't need to state their ages, after that many children and grand kids does it really matter? Our official reunion was in Antimony, Utah and a Ranch called Rockin' R' Ranch (more on that later as well). Well we all decided 5 days wasn't' enough so most of us went early and stayed in Eden, Utah at a resort called Wolf Creek. The Preims, Kerrs, Heiners minus Dallin, Deweys minus Daniel, Mokes, and G-ma and G-pa were all there. We had a very relaxing fun time. It was super hot but luckily they had a/c and a very nice pool to play in (two things that were lacking at the Ranch). Here are a few pictures of the cousins playing around. I can't speak for my sisters but I know it is so gratifying to get together as a family and know that our kids are creating memories together that will last forever. With that said, we definitely still make sure we get our sister time as that is very important to us:)

Evelyn and Isaiah playing go fish. These two are two weeks apart and they just love each other. They spent most of their time together at Wolf Creek and I was so glad for that. Evelyn is the only girl born in the 2002 baby boom we had. Connor, Stephan, Evelyn, Isaiah, and Ethan were all born the same year. Now that they are older it gets a little tougher for Evelyn being the only girl but she does such a good job.

Justin, Isaiah, Stephan, and Evelyn waiting for golfers to tee off. They were up there for about a half an hour and only got to see one tee off. I wonder what they were talking about while they were waiting? Oh to be a fly in the bushes. :)

I love these two!!!

Evelyn was impressing us all with her gymnastic skills. I think Isaiah was the most impressed because no joke every second we were in our room or on flat ground those two were practicing their handstands. Evelyn is definitely more graceful, but Isaiah doesn't do too bad.

Next stop, Dinosaur Park. This started off as a disaster for Isaiah. He wanted nothing to do with this place. When you first walk in there is a little exhibit of different fossils and dinosaur bones surrounded by walls. Behind the walls are giant models of various dinosaurs. As soon as Isaiah walked into the exhibit room and saw the tops of the dinosaur models he wanted out. I ever so patiently tried to calm him down and get him to realize that everything was fake and he would be fine. His sweet little cousin Evelyn even stayed behind to try and get him to come in with her. It was so sweet because she was even trying to fake like she was afraid so he wouldn't feel so bad. It still didn't work. Then enters Uncle Rich, our police officer in the family. He picked up Isaiah and explained to him that he is a cop and cops are here to protect people, therefore he has nothing to be afraid of because he has Rich there to ensure his safety. Thanks Uncle Rich but still no go. I don't know how it happened but I finally got him into the model room. I was feeling very drained and wanted to bag the whole stinkin' thing, but I had many around me assuring me he needed to get through this so he could feel he conquered his fear.

After about an hour of forcing him to walk around the park we found a little pond with giant fish in it. He loves fish. They had fish food there so he and Evelyn were able to feed the fish. After that his fears were gone. It was kind of weird actually. He just decided he was having a good time and forgot all about the giant Tyrannosaurus Rex's all over the place!

I love this shot. Uncle Rich has Isaiah by the arm giving him his ,"I'm proud of you for getting through your fears pep talk." As soon as Rich released his grip Isaiah was off.

Seriously though, Thank you Rich!

Evey, Isaiah, and Claire playing in the sand at the park in the Dinosaur Park. Claire is another one of Mindy's kids that I just adore. She has quite the personality!

Kate, another one of Mindy's gems, Michele the front runner of us all riding the "purple dinosaur" as Claire puts it, and Stephan looking very sweaty like all the Kerr boys.

So as these things tend to go, when it was time to go, Isaiah wasn't ready to leave yet. He had spent almost 45 minutes hating the place while everyone else was enjoying it, so he was just getting started when everyone was ready to leave. I told him I would take him and Evey through one more time. It was so funny to listen to those two. They were talking all big and tough. I even got them to get a picture next to this giant model. As we were walking out Isaiah said, "Mom, do think these dinosaurs are going to come alive when we leave like the Night at the Museum?" I guess I could sort of understand his fears now knowing what he was thinking the whole time. Also when were telling him that
these dinosaurs had been dead for a very long
time his response was, "Well they can still be

Friday, August 29, 2008

Nap Time!

Now I do not recommend this method of putting your child to sleep, but I have to admit that it was a lot of fun. When Isaiah goes to sleep. either at day or at night, he listens to music. His favorite is primary music but I have found that it keeps him up longer because he wants to wait until the CD is done so he can listen to all his favorite songs. I started putting classical music in, as I think it is more soothing and relaxing to fall asleep to. One of the CD's starts off with a song that Isaiah dubs as "scary," and therefore it ruins the whole CD for him. I was so disappointed because I really love this CD, and my true hopes are that it will inspire him to become a great musician! :) Here is a video of Isaiah's reaction to the "scary" song we tried again today.

If you're wondering about the giant king size mattress behind Isaiah's bed, just ask Daniel next time you see him. He thinks it's a great storage spot even though it slumps halfway over Isaiah's bed. I guess it is kind of a home made canopy right???

Well I decided after about ten minutes of this madness it was time to calm down and actually go to sleep. I was a little nervous that I had ruined my chances at a break for the day. I put in Yanni, which is his second favorite CD, and this is how I found him only five minutes after leaving his room!

I guess a little play time before naps works out good for Isaiah. It definitely wore him out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

They Made It!

Just an update on my sad, so sad, pond story. It turns out the raccoons must of been sleeping on the job because the one night we left the gate off the top they didn't get in! We found all our fish when we got back from the coast last night. The yellows ones are shy and always hide anyway so we haven't seen them but all the rest are alive and intact! :)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Our Pond....Until We Move

On Memorial day this year Daniel and I had a little "discussion" about what we were going to do. I was dying to go camping. Daniel doesn't like to camp when it's a holiday because it is too crowded. He came up with the idea to stay home and spend the weekend cleaning up the yard in the house we are staying in. I wasn't exactly excited about this idea but when we moved in it needed much help. As we were pulling weeds, trimming bushes, and pruning trees Daniel decided we should fix the pond up. When we moved in it was pretty gross. The water in the pond was a mixture of rain and raccoon urine. I didn't think it was a good idea to invest too much time and money into this pond because we aren't taking it with us when we leave. Isaiah wanted fish so I got outnumbered two to one. Daniel cleaned up the pond and then we went to Petco to learn all we could about pond fish and plants. This was the beginning of weekly visits to Petco to get more fish or just look at them for fun. I do have to admit that the fish are very pretty and it is very peaceful in our backyard now.

The water in these pictures is pretty murky. Daniel has now perfected the art of keeping our pond crystal clear. I never knew he was such a fish lover??

We have to put chicken wire over the top of the pond to keep the raccoons out. The reason I bring this up is because I forgot to put the top back on last night and I think the raccoons got to our fish. They hide under the rocks and plants so I couldn't tell for sure but I was so sad to have to tell Daniel. Isaiah doesn't know yet.

Here are some pictures of us roasting sausages in our backyard. This is one of our favorite warm summer night meals.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Isaiah's First Triathlon

This last weekend Isaiah participated in his first triathlon. It was a lot of fun to watch. The funniest part was the swimming. For his age group they can only run through the shallow part of the lake, but all the kids insisted on wearing their swim caps. The footage that I took is bad because I was trying to watch, cheer him on, and film all at the same time and it gets a little shaky at times. The cutest part was his racing number and age written on his legs. :)

You can see the pre-race jitters here.

I also participated in a team triathlon. We took first place for the second year in a row! Emily Walker is on the left and she did the bike leg in place of my sister Lindsey this year. Robyn Jones swam and she took almost two minutes off her time from last year, which is good because I did the running leg and I think I added a minute to my time.