Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fall Fest!

Fall Fest! It's an annual tradition started back in Hawaii when we missed the fall season that we try to do every year now, no matter where we are. Luckily Vanessa was in Colorado for a brief moment so we could have it together!
We started it with a hike with the dogs, while the guys went mountain biking. Here's Charmian, Vanessa with Zander on her back, and Kelly.

As Charmian calls them....a squishy face shot!
Zander having fun with the dogs
Charmian taking Z by the hand....too cute! (By the way, she was about 37 weeks here, and she's having her baby today!!!! 11/18!)
Zander reading himself a book - Love that kid
Charmian and Kelly rehydrating after our walk :)
Vanessa helping Zander with his book
Zander had a call :)
The whole gang! Well almost.
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Ben and Daniel teaching Z how to play with dolls, Ben showed him how to body slam it right after this picture :)
Charmian....DON'T GO!!!! Ben REALLY tried hard not to let her leave :)
Pumpkin carving contest!

The results!

A Fall Fest wouldn't be complete without a few car bombs :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Ken and Cheryl's short visit

At the end of September, Ben's parents came out to visit for a day, then take Ben's motorcycle he was riding this summer back to Tucson for the winter - it would be their 40th wedding anniversary trip! Crazy! But so sweet. We went out to dinner with my sister and her family as Cheryl LOVES to see any kids especially ones shes related to :)

We went to Nordy's BBQ - soooooooo good!

Amber with Wyatt
Sisterly hug with the standard brother-in-law rabbit ears in the background :)
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Party Straws....who knew!!!

Ben and I found these great party straws in the store the other day while heading to a Bronco game party. They are really effective to drink in the car - when you are a PASSENGER of course!
Fun for all!!!!!! Haa haaaa!
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More IMET dispatches - right at home!

In first day back to work from our August Montana trip, the wind was just HOWLIN! Gusts around 40 mph were common, but there were a few up to 60 mph. Around 10:15am, we got a call from the Boulder Fire Department requesting a spot forecast for a fire in Boulder canyon. Weird I thought. Then I went to the roof of my work building and saw this!!!!
It was the beginning of the Fourmile Canyon Fire, the costliest fire in Colorado history! It was really strange to see such a big fire right outside my window - I usually have to fly great distances to see this. Well, after 2 days, the Incident Management team requested an Incident Meteorologist - and I WAS IT! This was my first fire certified (had just gotten certified at the Eagle Trail fire in Tok, Alaska earlier in the summer) and was a bit intimidated by the national media this fire was getting. But, like always, I had a great team to work with. After around 7 days, we were winding the incident down as the firefighters were doing a great job putting the Fourmile Canyon Fire to rest.....when the Reservoir Road fire near Loveland started. The team took command of this fire too, so I was producing two shift forecasts for two fires! It was a bit hectic, but again, had a GREAT team to work with. All in all, I was there for 11 days, what a great experience - just weird having it in practically my backyard and not being able to sleep in my awesome tempurpedic bed each was camping with everyone else for me!
A beautiful sunrise coming up over the crews tents one morning
The unfortunate destruction, but looking forward to new forrest growth and NO flooding issues hopefully!
Each night, little fun toads would come by the doors of the Incident Command Post. It was usually around a break time, so I would go out and just stare at them, get my mind off of the fire for a few minutes.
I had a great Fire Behavior Analyst (FBAN) to work for, learned and laughed a ton. Thanks Tyler!!!
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Montana Lifeteam Reunion

Back in August, we made a road trip up to Montana to have another Lifeteam Reunion with its members.....Randy, Ricky, Billy and Lois (aka - Rennau, Kevin, Ben and I). As an added bonus, our friend Angela who we met on our Japan trip, caught a ride with us up there as she had some friends to visit as well. SUPER FUN ROAD TRIP!
Stopped at the Tetons on the way up as Ben and Angela had never seen them
Got to Bozeman and had a cabin to stay at all week, complete with fire pits and toy guns! :) Rennau hogged them though!
We had bubble blowing contests, complete with awesome hats and leis (I won by the way!)
Rennau, Kevin and Ben on our first breakfast outting, the BEST bloody marys in the world were about to be had!

Went for a round of golf at Big Sky
The view of our was a little scary to look below and see what it was supported on....don't think this cabin will be standing for another decade thats for sure!
Lots of quality time spent on the porch with the pups
Kevin brought his pup Kesugi with him from San Francisco

So GREAT grillin action from Ben - Master Griller, teaching his grilling apprentice Rennau
Angela came to visit with her friends Sally and Trevor - more quality time spent around the campfire
We headed to West Yellowstone this day to go to the Boiling River. The trip was so long and everyone (5 people and 4 full size dogs in ONE car!) was getting a little cranky, so we pulled over into the woods, ran around a bit, shared a bottle of Captain Morgan - then everything was right in the world!
Construction and traffic were crazy in the park! So we needed to take the dogs on a walk, Kevin couldn't find Kesugi's leash, so he improvised with his pants :)

Our destination! The Boiling River - hot springs. AWESOME!
You definitely had to find a sweet spot, as the boiling hot thermal water (back to the right behind us) merged with the freezing cold river.....this was our sweet spot!
Piling rocks on Kevin so he didn't float away (the current was super strong!). Rennau in his "people hunting" hat
We went on a hike to Beehive Basin - beautiful place! I'm pretty sure the dogs hated to leave MT, there was so much freedom for them, no silly leash laws

Found a tree to climb in - if you click on the picture you can find almost all of us
Beehive Basin
Came back to Bozeman - spent some time on Rennau's slackline
Went go-kart racing!!!! (for the second time here, first time involved a bottle of saki and the business owners MAY have noticed something not normal/sober about us - but had us convinced there was a 3 hour wait to race because they were so busy - yet there were only 3 people there, NICE). Kevin and Ben sportin the latest go-kart racing fashion

Next adventure was a backpacking trip to the Crazy Mountains, up Cottonwood Creek to the Lake. BEAUTIFUL AREA!
Making the 7 mile trip in
We made it!!!! Cottonwood Lake
Kevin in his standard outfit - board shorts and down

We hiked up some of the peaks and looked back to our campsite on the other side of the lake, ant the valley we had hiked up through
On the top of one peak, looking on the other side
That night we had a dance party in Kevins 2 man tent, but we fit all 6 of us plus 4 dogs - it was off the hizzy!!!! Complete with a dance disco ball!
Showin off some dance moves!

To see the complete epic adventure in pictures, feel free to browse around them by clicking on the picture below!
Montana Lifeteam Reunion