Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lake Loving

We love Grandma and Grandpa's lake house. For years, jumping off the docks have been one of the highlights. I would be the only exception to that rule due to my fear of open water. I WILL NOT be eaten by the creature(s) lurking in the deep murky waters of this or any other lake/ocean/river.

I do like watching the kids and Garth jump in to their heart's content. This video cracks me up at the end. I ask Garth "how is it?" He actually thinks I am going to jump in...like no way.

I do get in every once in awhile (when the kids beg) which then leads to heart palpitations waiting for "the creature" to grab me by the leg and pull me under into the abyss.

If you think I am kidding about this phobia, I am not. Last year I was saved by my friend's purple swim cap as everyone laughed at me trying to swim a few yards in hope's to doing a triathalon in open water.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Highlights of Calvin's Trip

Calvin was thrilled to miss the last 3 days of school in order to take off on his vacation. In Calvin style, he began organizing everything weeks in advanced, printing off his BYU golf camp internary, making a list of things he needed, calling Grandma to earn some money, that boy was ready to roll!

Aunt Lisa arrived the day before, driving down from New York to whisk him away early on Wednesday morning.

Their first stop was Park City!

The list of activities those two did were absolutely amazing! Here Calvin is doing the bungee jump. I even heard Lisa did a double back flip...that takes talent indeed!

This is Calvin (totally out of order), leaving for BYU Golf Camp. He attended this week long camp, where he improved his golf game, made plenty of friends, ate ice-cream at the Creamery each night, decided hand's down that BYU-Provo was his dream college (he had better get those grades up), and LOVED his golf coach (a lovely young lady on the BYU team). He finished 12 or so in the tournament with around 50 kids from ages 12-17.

Back to Park City. Here Calvin feels like the third wheel as Lisa snuggles up to this "beary" cute date. I think I have a picture with this very same bear while I was at BYU.

This is Calvin in front of the Salt Lake Temple. Temple square is a must see for anyone visiting Utah.

Another adventure Lisa and Calvin went on was river rafting. I hear the water was freezing. But luckily, there were not any major rapids so no one was thrown overboard. I think Calvin threw himself over at some point.

Taking the chair lift up the mountain and biking down was a highlight for sure. Calvin even sustained a nasty injury when he flew over his handle bars.

If you think that was enough fun, you mistaken. The two ventured up in a hot air balloon too!

How cool is that?!

Calvin said his favorite activity was ATVing.

The ride was dusty, so they decided to go as bandits...

Rock climbing was also one of the activities. Calvin was quite the climber according to Lisa.

The also visited Olympic Village. They were able to see all the cool venues from the Winter Olympics from a few years back.

I am missing pictures from the zipline, the alpine coaster and alpine slide...fun for all I am sure!
Thank you Aunt Lisa for making some amazing memories for our Calvin. We LOVE you!!!

Calvin's Dream Trip

Aunt Lisa rocks!

It was Calvin's turn to turn 12 and go anywhere he wanted in the US with his Aunt Lisa. I know everyone wishes they had an Aunt Lisa (I do...come Lisa I turn 40 next year...and won't you be 30?)! Well, this amazing Aunt takes each of our children on a dream vacation when they hit 12. Sommer you remember went to Florida, swimming with dolphins, going to Disney, etc.
Calvin chose a trip to Utah...and she doesn't disappoint.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Beachy Keen

Here is what the various members of the Porter Family like to do while at the Beach:
Garth likes to rest. He especially likes to rest after spending most of the day boogie boarding. I think here he is resting his ankle after a failed attempt at skim boarding...ER anyone?
Calvin loves the water...me...not so much.

Sommer was found either in the waves or in a book.

Tate could be found in the water or eating fruit... the orange slice variety

Ashton surprised us all and loved the water this year. Even after getting attacked by a few waves, he was up an at it again.

We love Virginia Beach!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Parable of the Chocolate Covered Almonds

Last weekend we went camping at the beach with a group of friends. We are not seasoned campers quite yet as we learned the morning after our first night of camping.

Our camping neighbors in the tent next to ours heard wrappers shuffling all night. They wondered what we had been up to. After seeing my beautiful muffins gone, a bag of rolls torn into and a box of graham crackers taken we realized raccoons had been visiting our site.

Our friends laughed and said, "Don't you know you need to always put your food away, sealed tight, garbage put away from your tents?" Well, growing up in Alaska with bears and other harmful animals, yes, I did know that...but this is Virginia...so I figured the only thing we would have to worry about was a squirrel or two and some ticks.

But what we didn't realize was raccoons liked our site. And they loved our food! They had a special love for our chocolate covered almonds.

I had purchased a brand new jar of almonds from Costco the day before. We all love these delicious pop in your mouth (way to often) treat. They come in a plastic jar with a lid that screws on tight.

After the coons had made their presence known on the first night, we took all of our food and put it safely away. The almonds, we forgot. But had figured they would be safe from harms way due to their tough protective exterior...that the smell wouldn't be detected from inside the sealed, tight lid.

But late into the night, we were all awakened by a most interested sound. A sound that resembled a jar of almonds rolling across the campground site. Rolling over and over again, almonds rolling and rolling. It was quite loud, rather irritating while we were trying to sleep. Eventually the men got out of their tents with flashlights. But it was too late. The jar of treasured almonds were gone. No sign of the sneaky coon. Silence.

When morning broke, we saw the damage in other sites near ours, bananas eaten, trash bags destroyed. But the almonds, my dear almonds, were gone. How could they be taken when they were sealed so tight?

I thought all was lost...you see, I was craving those almonds. I loved them. All was lost until Calvin went running into the woods to see if he could see any sign of those blasted coons. Moments later, he came busting through the thicket with the jar...the jar of almonds. High above his head he carried the almonds...sealed tight. Although the plastic exterior had been scratched and was as dirty as one could imagine, the almonds inside were totally fine. Calvin didn't let those almonds go...he went in searching for them...for he too loves almonds.

Like Chocolate Covered Almonds in a safe plastic jar, we too need to protect ourselves. By building a sure foundation, by living the Gospel, doing those things that will protect our fragile spirits, we too will be protected. And although the adversary will do all in his power to roll us to an fro into his wilderness of despair, the minor scraps (mistakes we make), will not destroy us. And even if we are taken for a moment and make decisions that draw us away from our loving Savior, He will be there. He will come looking for us. He will make us whole. For He loves us.