Monday, August 31, 2009

Jacob Playing With Present



Thanks Mom and Dad for the cool presents! He LOVES them!

Who's common now?

61 Chad Groneman
566 Kim Groneman
845 Steven Nelson (Not sure if it's the Steve we know and... umm... know)
1270 Katie Groneman
1598 Christa Dastrup
2008 Brett Groneman

Don't forget to enter September's contest. http://www.brainbashers.com/common.asp . Remember to log in so it's easy to find you listed in the results!

Good news

The doctor called me today to tell me the results of Lydias allergy tests. Good news is that she not allergic to Milk! It was just a huge coincidence that it happened to happen 15 minutes after the first time I ever gave her milk......which still makes me a little nervous to try it again. But, according to the tests she's not allergic...so now I have to try to figure out what she IS allergic to.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mmmm...good breakfast


I was starting to make breakfast this morning when I hear the pitter patter of big feet coming up the stairs. Lo and behold, Brett and Katie came up to get their mail and we talked them into joining us for breakfast. First we fried up a whole griddle of bacon then made pancakes. For pancake toppings we had peaches, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries and then we had some cream cheese gooey stuff and maple syrup and raspberry syrup. Of course we also had peanut butter....and almond butter. Mmmmm....sure was good. Anyone else wants to show up on a Sunday morning we'll make you breakfast too.

Kiera practicing her future occupation

If a picture says 1,000 words and this video shoots at 16 fps, then this post has the equivalent of 1,536,000 words. I apologize for such a long post

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sandwich update:

An email I just got from Keith:
Dad called me last night and said, "I don't think you need to come over tonight..."

He called this morning and said everything went ok last night.

I went over and talked to him and he said he plans to:
-try to keep her awake during the day so she's more sleepy at night
-he's going to wear his hearing aid at night and keep his door open so he can hear her..
-he's going to get up twice per night to check on her..
-he's going to have her get back on her anxiety medications...

The program we discussed would cost him, with "after-tithing dollars" about $32,000 a year, and it couldn't be mom's money or he'd be guilty of doing what she accuses him of....spending her money without her permission...

Ann and I are both of a mind to regard what we've done to this point as service to our parents...

Garth, please forward this email to Sarah and thank her for willingness to help...

Marilyn again: HUMMM...I guess we will see how this goes. Dad has never been one to splash big money around. And if he can make this work...great. I know my mom would be MORTIFIED if she was thinking well enough to realize that we have been doing for her what she said she was NEVER going to do to her children (become a burden in her children in her old age). If dad gets up a couple of times a night to check on her and re- adds her anxiety RX, I think this will be a good solution.

In the middle of the sandwich...

I enjoyed tending little Emmy whilst Chad and Erica got a fun get-away...and now I go tonight to tend my mom while she HOPEFULLY sleeps. We had our family meeting with my siblings this week. It was decided that we would continue going over to spend the night (every other night she is still up MOST of the night). Garth, Kathy and Keith said they want no part of tending her...it's just too tough and it takes 2 days to recover every time they do it. Garth and Keith are needing to function each day to bring money in. Understandable.
The day of Gordons wedding, they (dad, Anne and Keith-I was home tending mom) were discussing the problems of staying up with mom and Keith told dad that he had a client that pays $10.00 per hour to have some CNA type person come in and stay with his mom at night...and suggested that dad do that. Dad said it was a good idea. Anne then said, "well, If you're going to do that, then family should get first dibs on taking the job. Mom would rather have people she loves and trusts taking care of her anyway. So, that is the way that it works now. Anne is taking 3 nights, I am taking 2, Sarah Haslem is taking 1 and Keith and Syd decided they would take one on the weekend together (so as not to be too big of a hit for either of them). So that is the plan. We are still trying to find something that will help her to sleep on the in-between nights. If we can find something that works, we could all go back to sleeping in our own homes and it would cost dad a lot less money. That is my goal...but it may never happen until she is gone.
We had mom re-evaluated this week for hospice. She is on the program now. The reason for allowing it this time I believe is that she has been diagnosed with congestive heart failure (which can take years...) and she has had 3 pretty recent falls that she could not get up by herself from. So she is on. That means a nurse will come for a visit once a week, and a personal care technician will be coming in 2 times a week to help with her showers. They have other services that we don't feel are necessary at this time.
I went over for the evaluation, as the last time I didn't know anything about it until it was over...and she wasn't accepted. It is good that I went because once again, mom was acting like this total stranger that she had never met was her long lost buddy, Laughing and carrying on so that it was impossible for dad to even hear what the evaluator was saying. So he couldn't answer her questions, so I did. And with the information I shared she was able to get admitted onto the program.
It was a good thing that Kim was here to get Emmy to bed, as I had to be gone both nights that she was here. Emmy was such a cute little bug scooting around our house! Kim and I both had moments as we watched her, that we thought we were watching our little Christa bug at that age. Weird. I was taking Emmy outside when I thought that I should bring my canning kettle (peaches) outside to cool ( I canned while she was down for her nap). I didn't want to put her on the cement as I knew she would scrape her knees crawling, so I chose to set her in the grass. She didn't like that at all! When I came back to pick her up she was protesting vehemently and had her heels raised out of the grass (sitting on her tush). Reminded me of Kiera trying to keep her feet out of the snow! Cute little ones! Emmy lost her appetite while the parental units were gone...I had a devil of a time trying to get her to eat! I thought MY KIDS were a CHALLENGE! When the kids got home, they ate dinner with us (well, me-Kim was putting in a 12 hour day at Novell). Emmy would NOT take her eyes off of Erica! It was like she was thinking, "if I keep watching her, she can't get away again!" She was tired, and needed another nap, but the kids knew that it would be traumatizing for her to watch her parents walk out of the room again so soon after returning...so she stayed up. We had some good time, Emmy and I....good bonding time!!

Our vacation

Chad and I had an awesome getaway. Who would have known we were only on the other side of the mountain the whole time? We felt like we were in a different world but without all the travel time. It was excellent!

Wednesday we went to Sundance, rented bikes, and rode up the lift and biked down for 8 hours. It was amazing. Our second run down, I crashed going down a rocky road. Yeah, I was trying to go too fast on that, tried to stop, lost control, and scraped up my legs and arm pretty good and literally ate dust. :) But we continued biking for the rest of the day. My legs were hammered by the end, but it was worth it. We loved the trails and the scenery. Some of the leaves are just starting to turn, so it was beautiful. Chad got a flat tire (we think he hit a sharp rock just right on one of the turns). I watched as the air exploded out of the tire. We were halfway down, so we got to walk our bikes the rest of the way to get get a new tire at the bottom. But it didn't stop us. We kept going after that. We left Sundance around 6 and made it to Park City around 7:30 or so. We went to Historic Main Street to eat--yummy pizza. So fun!


Thursday we just relaxed in our suite at the Westgate Resort and Spa (located in The Canyons). It was an amazing place to stay. We feel like we got a great deal ($103/night). I'd recommend it to anyone during this time of year (not during the winter--$650 per night! Yikes!). The kitchen was fully stocked with any dish you'd need (including cake pans). All state-of-the-art everything. A steam shower. Jacuzzi. You name it, it was there. We watched TV and a movie and vegged all day. I needed it, since the mountain biking wore me right out, and my knee needed to recover a bit. We ventured out to eat lunch (at a diner on Main Street) then later for dinner (sushi on Main Street, with a live band of three playing out on the street) and the outlet mall in the evening. Great atmosphere! We also went swimming in the 4th floor adults only pool with a waterfall. Pretty cool. And we played cards out on the deck as the sun was going down, with an awesome view of the mountains.

Friday we checked out of the resort and headed over to the Alpine Slides. We thought they opened at 11, and we were there at 9:50, so we were going to just wander around, but when we got there, we found out they opened at 10, so we had the whole park practically to ourselves. No lines at all. It was so awesome. We did the Alpine Coaster, the zipline, and the Alpine Slides over and over. We went up and down and up and down and didn't wait at all. Once we were worn out and were really excited to see the little Emmy, we decided to come home. We left around 2:30 and would have made it home by 3:15 if it hadn't been for the HORRENDOUS traffic between Highland Elementary and the light before AF canyon. Yikes! We were in that yucky traffic for an hour. Honestly, that was the only downer of the whole trip. We could not believe how well everything went--exactly according to plan, and even exceeded our expectations.

We missed the little munchkin but knew she was in good hands. We are SO THANKFUL (!!!) for Grandma and Gramps for watching her. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! It was an awesome vacation (or is it a staycation?) right here in our backyard. We loved it! Emmy is now happy to have her parents back (and we're happy to have her back too), and I think she's finally realized we're not going anywhere so she's back to her normal self. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Gronemans Vacation

First of all, a big thank you to Grandma and Gramps for watching Emmy for us so we could go on a quick getaway. We missed our little munchkin, but it was good to get away at the same time.

So as to not clutter up the blog, I thought I'd just post links to things you might want to see:

Slideshow of our pictures (click play to start the slideshow)
Video clip of Chad biking at Sundance
Video clip of Erica biking at Sundance
Video clip of us trying to show & explain the Alpine Coaster
Video clip of us trying to show & explain the Alpine Slide

I'll let Erica talk about our vacation... For now, I'll just say it was a lot of fun.

Lydia's birthday

Lydia's birthday was good. She was fairly oblivious to anything special going on. She enjoyed poking her cake (her UGLY cake) and she loved the dolly from Grandma. I need to post videos but since we have a brand new camera and have not quite figured it out yet you'll have to wait. .... In the meantime, you can have a video of the playhouse to keep you all satisfied.

video

video

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Few Days




I've survived my first 2 days of school. I haven't had any major explosions, or meltdowns (although I did get some gasps when I lit an assignment on fire to demonstrate what happens when someone leaves stuff on my desk). I consider that an achievement and a good start.

Brett has also started up his BSN program with UVU while figuring out his application to BYUI, working a bunch of graves, and making me class blogs all at the same time.

Gramps & Emmy

Grandma had to go to a family meeting and Emmy's old man and old lady were up partying in Sundance/Park City so Emmy and Gramps got to spend some time together. Actually, I got home just in time to get her ready for bed and put her down...what a funny little girl. She didn't want her bottle at first....but Marilyn said that's the way she is. So I eventually got her to take her bottle after some fussing, but she needed to play with her pacifier while eating. A few times during the feeding she complained and tried to boogy down but we got her back to eating. I then put her down and she complained a blue streak for about a minute so I got her up and put the bottle in again...she drank for a few minutes then decided she was done so I put her down again...she complained for about a minute then just went on to play and squeel for about 15 minutes then finally fell fast asleep. It made me smile just thinking of her little cuteness sleeping in my house.

Celebrating Lydia's FIRST Birthday



It's not often you get to celebrate your very first birthday...HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LITTLE SWEETHEART!....I love you. So cute. Miss mountain goat. :) What does Lydia get to do for her birthday? Wish we were together to celebrate.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Jacob's Birthday

Due to the boy's school schedule, Brigham's work schedule, and Benjamin's first soccer practice being scheduled for today, I'm afraid that Jacob's birthday wasn't quite as special as I would have liked it to be, but I still think that he had a good time. I made him cupcakes to share with his class, and he was thrilled about opening presents once again. We're planning on taking him to a little go-cart race track as soon as Brigham's schedule allows. I can't believe that my Jacob is four!

Happy Birthday Jacob!!!!!

Happy birthday to my special little guy! I wish I had Jacob here to climb up on my lap and give me some head hugs. Jacob is a spot of pure joy in my heart (even though I lovingly call him Mr. Trouble) His problem solving skills make me smile...he is always thinking about how to solve problems...how to get to that button..how to get mom to put on a movie, etc. Anyway, Jacob I love you and hope you have a great and happy birthday! Christa, tell us about how his birthday goes.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Guess what??? IT IS FALL!


At least our locust trees in the valley think so. We have had some really cool nights recently...like 40's and 50's and the leaves are coming down. Kim's favorite time of the year is on the doorstep!
In other news mom has adjusted to the new pills (any suggestions, Brigham?) and is staying up all the night some nights....Kathy wants to put my mom in a care center...Ann wants us to stay up with her all night every night....I want to let her go back to wandering at night (she can't get out, she can't call anyone, if she wants to wander, let her wander! ) If dad hadn't gone into the hospital that is what she would have been doing anyway. And really if we have reached the point that we have to have someone with her all night, then that means it would be a 24/7 job because right now, dad goes out and works in his yard and garden, goes to the grocery store and Dr, and leaves her alone in the day at times. If she isn't to be trusted at night, then she shouldn't be left during the day either. Keith and Garth have had it up to their eyeballs with trying to survive the night and then try to work the next day. The last time Keith took his turn and was up a million times with her to put her back down (which is an exercise in futility cause she doesn't even remember that she is supposed to be there so she is up again in 2 minutes). After 1/2 of a night of doing that he packed up and went home the last half of the night to sleep in peace.
She is incontinent now too, and won't wear depends. Brigham, how long does does this stage of Alzheimer's usually last?
ONCE AGAIN, JUST TO MAKE SURE YOU ALL REMEMBER: IF KIM AND I ARE STILL ALIVE AND IN OUR 70'S AND HAVE SOMETHING THAT COULD BE CURED WITH A MEDICAL PROCEDURE, WE ARE NOT DOING IT! Just remember that!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Lydia's allergy

Poor little lydia is very allergic to cow's milk. Within an hour of giving her milk yesterday for the first time we noticed severe fussiness and hives all over which went on to diarrhea and dry heaving. She still has hives today. They say that it is the most common allergy in children and that most kids outgrow it by age 3. I hope it is closer to age 1!

I have Breanna figured out

I've got Breanna figured out. When she likes a boy, she gets very cryptic in her facebook posts. Oh...and here are some pictures of a dirty little girl having a blast!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

As Christa requested:

A couple of tidbits from Education week:
"If you want to know what a woman is thinking, ASK HER!
After you have been married for many years you think you know what she is thinking, and you will be right 90% of the time...it is the other 10% that destroys marriages"

John Widsoe:" Whoever seeks to help those on the other side of the veil receive help with ALL their affairs in this life" (I absolutely KNOW that this is true)


Bruce R McConkie: "If we chart a course leading to Eternal Life and stay on that path-then there is NO question-we shall have Eternal life".
When I was a young mother I was struggling with the whole "Be ye therefore perfect" thing. It was overwhelming me...and it felt like eating an Elephant! Satan was having a heyday with the thought in my mind, " You'll never make it! You might as well give up!" My mom had been to a Stake Conf where he was the speaker and she heard him say that. She told me the same thing, and it really helped to know that all you have to do is be sincerely TRYING to become Christlike, and even if you do mess up...as long as you keep trying, and don't give up you will have Eternal life.
Speaking of Eternal life: for a long time, I didn't understand the difference between Eternal Life and immortality. I am sure you RM's out there all know, but just in case someone didn't know, everlasting life is what everyone will have at the resurrection, good or evil, everyone gets this gift. Eternal life is Exaltation in the presence of God, with the ability to become like God's himself. It is the ultimate reward.

G-God's
R-Riches
A-At
C-Christ's
E-Expense Spells grace, you see.

Enzio Busche (An previous member of the Seventy) He talks about how many members of the church are trouble by the fact that THEY have never experienced a burning in the bosom described in the D&C as one way that you can know that you are feeling the spirit. He points out that that is NOT always present, and there are other ways to know that you are feeling the Spirit. He said that the scripture that leads everyone to believe that they should experience the burning is instruction to the brethern that were translating the B of M. THEY would experience the burning to know if what they were translating was correct, or have a stupor of thought if it wasn't right. What they experienced CAN happen to us in our quest to get questions answered from on high, but doesn't always happen that way. And Dallin Oaks said, "The feeling of the witness of the Holy Ghost is an intense feeling of serenity or well-being".

NOW YA KNOW!
Today we had a first: The Oquirrah Mtn Temple was dedicated, so ALL of the Mormon regular Sabbath services were canceled so that people could come to the dedication. So Chad and Erica brought Emmy this morning and we got to play with them all day! That was great! So then she went down for her nap and we went to the dedication and Kim stayed with her. She only slept 1/2 hour so Kim had an hour to play with her until we got back. So went we got back, we played some more. Emmy was sitting in her high chair having some Cheerios while we played our last game of "Sequence" (which BTW, is a fun game for 2, 3, 4 or even 5 people). After it was done, Chad stood up and said, "Well, I guess we better pack up and go over to the Kruegars". Emmy reacted immediately! I can't make the bugged and insistant noise that she made, but while she did it, she held her breath so her face turned bright red...it was very obvious that she was saying, "HEY FOLKS! THIS TIME YOU ARE NOT LEAVING ME BEHIND!!!" Funny little lady!
Emmy and I are going to do some serious bonding this week Wed-Fri, Chad and Erica are going on a get-away so I get Emmy! :)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Emmy loves certain books. Others she could care less about. And then there are others where the story is kinda boring, but the end of the book is amazing. This is one of those.

Clean up time

The day has finally come. Time to cleanup the playhouse mess. For some reason we've just been too busy the last month or so to get to it so today was the cleanup. I had to cleanup my shop area downstairs and the garage. I actually parked both vehicles in there about 10 minutes ago! Garbage can is full and garbage day isn't until next Friday...whoops!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Day Has Come At LAST!



Benjamin finally started school today! This morning he said, "I've waited five years for this day!" Of course he was up at 6 am and had to ask me every five minutes how much longer until he could go to the bus. When the time finally came, he did really well. He got a little quiet, but still got on the bus willingly. He came home with glowing reports of everything about school. What a relief! Now he is counting down the minutes until tomorrow morning!

It's conspiracy!

So, you know how Novell has added a marketing angle to Kim's job (with his being in charge of the online social communities), now that have added yet another new job to do. He'll have to explain it...he told me, but if I tried to tell you, I would get something wrong....something about his being in charge of a new website they are going to set up... What it means for awhile is that he will have yet a new definition of "very busy" (which thankfully, won't equal Steve's or Brighams). He will come home later every day and he will have to go to Provo every day. Am I excited? Well, no. But on the positive side...I guess it just makes his job safer, and in these times, that is a good thing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

Happy anniversary to you old folks! How many years have you been married now? We are sure glad that you guys tied the knot. Hope you have a good time celebrating!

Definition from Education Week!

I know that you are all ready to be astounded!!
Beelzebug: A mosquito that gets in your room at 3 am that you cannot cast out!
There were a bunch of those, unfortunately, I cannot do shorthand!

So, I was pretty much astounded at Education week today. I did 5 classes in a row at the Marriot Center. Keeping in mind that I go every year, (unless I am helping with a crisis) , There were only maybe 1/15 as many people in the MC today as usually packed in for the same speakers that used to pack them in: Susan Easton Black, David Christensen, Brad Wilcox... What is the cause of this? The economy? Fear of the Swine Flu? Knowing that you can get a lot of the classes online now for free? or people who didn't listen to a prophets voice to prepare for the times in which we now live? I don't know!!! I do know, I have NEVER seen Ed week classes SO Sparsely attended!
BTW, for those of you who would like to attend, but can't ...you can get them on the BYU website and put them on your MP3's to listen to while you do dishes and such. I highly recommend it!!
Keith went to mom's last night to stay overnight...things went better than they did the night before with Garth. They are giving her a new pill to help keep her sleeping at night instead of being frantic. It has improved the situation, but there are some bugs that still need to be worked out. Now you know!

Monday, August 17, 2009

I think by now, most of you know that my dad went in for a stint to be put into a blood vessel going into his heart this last week...The Dr told him he would have been dead within 2 months if he hadn't gotten it fixed. They wanted to fix it 2 weeks ago, but they evidently called on one of the times that he couldn't hear so he didn't get the message.
Me and my siblings are now taking turns sleeping over night there to help out if either of them need help during the night. So far, I am hearing that mom is a nightmare to tend at night. She is up with something that is terribly wrong...dad gave away her baby or someone took all her money, and she is just frantic about it and crying hysterically about it. My turn starts tomorrow night. I can hardly wait! if it is too bad, I may not go to education week at BYU after all. It starts tomorrow, but Gordon gets married tomorrow...so I will basically miss that day. So if she is as bad as I hear she is and I have to miss most of Wed too....well, I will probably just not go at all. We still have plenty to get done around here cause I am really months behind while we focused on finishing up the playhouse, had family here, and then were camping for a week.
Kim and I have both decided that we're not going to fix anything that could take us out after the age of 72, so you all just better count on that! We are not going to repeat my mother's history if it is in our power to stop it!!!
We enjoyed dinner that we took over to my folks last night with Emmy, Chad & Erica; and Brett and Katie. Emmy kept us entertained...cute little dolly! She is a pretty happy little kid these days! My mom kept saying in a serious way all night, "I think that she is MY baby", and she wasn't sure she was going to let her go with the "Groneman bunch" home. Did she make you nervous, Chad and Erica?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dastrup Update



This is it! The week that Benjamin starts school! Thursday is the big day, and I vascillate between pure joy and panic attacks several times an hour. On the one hand, Benjamin is SO ready and will really benefit from having peers to play with every day, but on the other hand, sending him out into the big bad world (even if it only is first grade) is scary! Will he make a good friend? Will kids tease him about his glasses? Now that he is the youngest in his class, will he be able to keep up physically? These are the questions that keep me up at night worrying. Friday was "Meet the Teacher Day", so we got to meet his teacher, Ms. Zuni and see his classroom. Ms. Zuni seemed very nice, and Benjamin was excited about the class pet (a beta fish) and the M&M machine used for rewards. He's been counting down the hours ever since.

Jacob starts school a week from tomorrow. He hasn't said anything about being excited yet, but I'm excited for him. His continuous chewing on things leaves little bits of paper, etc. all over the floor for Ty to ingest and choke on.

Ty is now a very proficient army crawler. He gets around to wherever he wants to go without too much trouble. I've seen him crawl for real a little bit, but he is still figuring it out. Any day now I'm sure he'll have it down. Although I have to keep a closer eye on him, I am thrilled about it. This is my first baby who can get around independently before 12 months since Benjamin didn't crawl and Jacob was delayed, and I really think it contributes to his happiness. Unfortunately, he hasn't been very happy for the last couple of days since he's come down with a nasty cold. Hopefully it will pass quickly! Ty's other trick that he learned about 3 days ago is how to sit himself up. He's growing up so fast!

Week long trip to Monroe Mountain

<-- CLICK ON PICTURE TO SEE ALBUM
2009-08-Monroe_Mt
We're home after spending a week with our friends the Robello's camping on Monroe Mountain in Fishlake National Forest. Our camp was at 10,080 ft in the trees just above a small lake and just below the peak of the mountain. It was nice and relaxing after the hectic pace we've had for the last couple of months. We rode on our ATVs some days, and others we sat around the campfire, played games, and read books. The weather was cool....first night was 32 degrees but it warmed up during the day to the 50's, 60's and sometimes the low 70's. It rained on us real good one day/night but with our warm trailers and our rain suits for the ATVs it didn't bother us at all. All the way home I was thinking I was going to have to bale our lawn but when we arrived, Katie & Brett were just about finished baleing it for me. What great kids.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Boring nelson update

No pictures. Sorry folks.

I cleaned my carpets today for 3 hours with a rented "Rug Doctor". Cost me $15 and it felt GOOD to vacuume up all that nasty dark grey water after months of potty training accidents. Its sort of like the same feeling as when you have a patient with a big nasty abcess and you (or someone else) gets to squeeze all of the puss out of it. There is something so exhillerating about it all.

lydia is a little dare-devil and just randomly takes off walking places. No severe falls YET. She isn't afraid of anything.

Kiera recently has been telling people that she is pregnant. I think we need to talk. She also has become the bossiest cow this side of the mississippi and tells us what we are allowed to eat, where we are allowed to go and when.

Steve has been BUSY for these past few weeks. There were several days that we only got to see him when we took him dinner at school and sat with him while he ate it for 15 minutes. STEVE: WE MISS YOU.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Walkie-Talkie

Lydia is walkie and Lydia is Talkie. Lydia is now letting go of my finger and cruising 4-5 steps to get places. She also has a vocabulary larger than Kiera's was at 18 months. We've been outside picking dandilions a lot lately and today Lydia said dandilion! "Da-yion" I wish I had pictures to post but our CAMERA BROKE.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Cancun (well not really - we never actually went to Cancun)

So here's the 411 on our vacation.



After lots of flying time and a layover in Phoenix, we arrived to extremely humid conditions at the Cancun Airport. Our travel agency people had us in a car and off to the resort as soon as we walked out of customs (I was quite impressed with how well they handled all of our travel requests - we hoped on vans, exchanged to buses, and back to vans all week and never had a hangup).

The Sandos Caracol resort was nice although the little rivers and ponds they created were great breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Our legs were feasted upon whenever we forgot to put on bug spray. One of my favorite things in the resort were the animals. Besides the skinny, nasty stray cats, there were turtles, herons, pelicans, peacocks, parrots, raccoons, crabs, song birds, sting rays, fish, iguanas, and a coati (which we had never seen before, and thought was pretty weird looking).

The first day we spent wandering around the resort and then going to Playa del Carmen, the closest big city, where we got barraged by merchants trying to sell their goods at the market. We mostly looked around and took pictures.

The next day we went on a tour out to Chichen-Itza. On the way we stopped at a cenote (big-watering-hole thing where the limestone caved in above the abundant underground rivers in the area). It was one of the most beautiful places we've ever seen - the pictures are good, but being there is better. We brought our stuff to swim, but we only had a short time there so we decided that it wouldn't be worth it to change, swim, change again, or to sit on the bus in wet clothes. But looking back, I wish we had done it - oh well... maybe next time. Chichen-Itza was hot at first and our tour guide was sweating profusely with the rest of us as he told us about the ballgame the Mayans played and showed us pictures of the glyphs closer up. About an hour and a half before we were supposed to go back to the bus it started raining - then it started pouring - and then it started lightning and thundering like crazy. I'm a little skittish around lightning, but we kept going and looked at the ruins while everyone else ran away (so in the end it was kind of nice because a lot of our pictures didn't have other people in them). It was a very fun day - probably our overall favorite.

The next day was spent at an "amusement park" called Xcaret. They don't have rides, but they have long underground rivers to snorkel in and a mini-aquarium. I liked the marine turtles there the best, but we also saw a bat cave where Brett was brushed in the face by a bat flying around, and a butterfly (mariposa) house. At the end of the day was a big extravaganza show about Mexican history starting with the Mayans, going through the Spanish Conquest, up to the modern day with lots of dancing and songs.

On Sunday we took a long shuttle ride to Tulum and it was our hottest day there by far. There were some nice ocean breezes every once in a while, but it was mostly just incredibly humid and hot. We didn't even stay for 2 hours before we called it quits and went back to the resort.

Monday we spent at Xel-Ha, a natural lagoon that they've made into a snorkeling haven. Brett's favorite part was jumping off the 10 foot cliffs they had on the side of the river. My favorite part was taking pictures of Brett jumping off the 10 foot cliffs they had on the side of the river. Since we spent most of the day in the water it didn't get too hot, but we had some trouble with the sunscreen staying on well enough to protect us (yes... we were the whitest people in the area and the only ones wearing T-shirts to avoid the sun). We had to buy special biodegradable sunscreen to help protect the marine life. Even though I put lots on, my shoulders got pretty burned - at that point I put on the T-shirt. Brett put tons on his face and neck, but it seemed to just wash off - so we just had to keep applying it.

And then we came home Tuesday! Brett likes to think about how amazing it is that you can wake up and go walking on the beach on the Yucatan peninsula in the morning, and be home in your own bed at night. It was a great trip - we're glad we went, and we're glad to be home.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

The Gronemans

Emmy turned eight months old this past week. She's a growin' girl! Of course, y'all saw her at the reunion, so you know how big she is.

This week we went fishing with Erica's dad up at Payson Lakes. Emmy enjoyed eating the dirt. We had her on a blanket, but she liked to crawl to the edge and go after the dirt. She didn't seem interested in the fish. Erica caught three or four fish while we were up there. I don't enjoy fishing, so I didn't fish. I was there for the company.

We've got some pictures you may or may not have seen already. The picture at the lake is not from our most recent trip, but it's a cute one.



Thursday, August 06, 2009

CELEBRITIES!

Yeay for taking pictures with famous people! This is the story behind the pictures... So the one you probably all recognise is Me, my friend Mike, and Nicolas Cage. We had just gone on Space Mountain and were walking out of the exit when we saw him walk by. It took us a few seconds but we all stopped and looked at each other and looked back. "Was that Nicolas Cage?" "yeah I think it was!" "WOW!" Well, it was the birthday of one of the girls in our group so she went into the gift shop at the exit to look for something to get for her birthday and Mike and me waited outside to see if we could see him come out. After a few minutes, sure enough, here he comes. I think he was with his son and one of his son's friends. They stopped right in front of us like they were waiting for something. We tried to be sneaky and take a picture without him knowing but he wasn't cooperating much... he would turn around right as I took the picture looking for something...so we decided to just ask him if we could. He was really cool about it and let us, we had a brief conversation with him, and he went on his merry way, leaving us in a daze :-)
The 2nd one, you all might not know but this is Selena Gomez. She's a big Disney Channel star, probably the main competition for Hannah Montana. I met her last night at the concert I went to in LA for the band "The Script" (yes the tickets I won from the radio station). We got there and went and claimed our spots. After we staked our claim, me and mallori went to go to the bathroom while the other 2 people we were with held our spots. Of course, there was a line for the bathroom so we just got in line and people got behind us. After waiting for a minute, i suddenly hear directly behind us, "hey would you mind if we got a picture with you?" All confused, I turned around to see who was asking and lo and behold, there was Selena Gomez, in line for the bathroom directly behind me! She took a picture with the 1st girl who asked and afterwards I asked if I could get a picture too. Again she was really nice and voila! a picture! after I used the bathroom, i ran to go tell my classmate (she had won tickets too) that she was there and we ran back just as she was coming out. My classmate got a picture with her too which she was really excited about because both of her daughters love Selena. Anyways, I'm just confused about what happened to my "Groneman Luck".... not that I'm complaining, but I win tickets, get to go to Disneyland for free even though it was a blockout date, and meet 2 celebrities all in one week?! That just doesn't happen to a Groneman!



cutest pictures of the trip contest. Beat this:





Only a few (really!) of the pictures we took

Thanks, Family!

Hey, Gramps and I are sure grateful to have been able to see so many of our Children/Grandchildren this past week! Cambrie and little ones flew home last night...after a long delay at the airport (details please, Cambrie), and we are busily trying to get back to normal around here before we take our next trip...
Anyway, I know it was a sacrifice to bring your little kidlets and travel to Utah...and we appreciate it! It was so much fun to see them all! It leaves me with a happy glow, just thinking about it!

Details Buff...we want details....

So did you just walk up to Mr. Cage and say "Hey dude....YOU'RE NICOLAS CAGE....will you stop doing what you're doing and let us take some pictures with you?" If he did that for everyone that recognized him he wouldn't have enough time to ride the rides. Did you talk to him at all? Curious minds want to know. ......and where did you meet him...in the line to Small World?....

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Common Answers: BrainBashers July

151  Brett Groneman                2   1   1   4   1   1   1   4   2   1   4.1373%
183 Brigham Dastrup 1 2 1 5 2 1 1 3 3 1 3.2611%
220 Katie Groneman 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 39 1 2.5307%
548 Chad Groneman 3 1 1 6 1 1 1 2 27 1
657 Breanna Groneman 2 2 1 2 6 1 4 18 1 1
939 Christa Dastrup 1 1 1 2 3 1 1 21 UR 1
1260 Kim Groneman 2 1 2 5 2 1 5 12 6 1
I'm least common of all this month!...and Brett is the most common. I knew whale was the wrong answer but I thought more people would say it. Get your August answers in HERE.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

We miss the last 2 melons....




Wishing you were here.

Guys and Dolls

So as has been mentioned below, I went to go see the play "Guys and Dolls" at the Hollywood Bowl last night with my friend, Mike (I still say it wasn't a date)(It WAS a DATE - Dad). We had tons of fun! He drove since he has a BMW convertible... we put down the top when we got off the freeway in Hollywood and were just cruisin' the streets... I felt like a celebrity! We parked in the far corner of some parking garage where his car wouldn't get hit by idiot drivers and ate the food we'd brought with us (I brought orange chicken w/ rice, he brought the drinks, fruit salad, and cooked vegis) It was all very tasty and fun cause whenever people would drive by us eating in the back seat of his convertible in this parking garage, they would give us funny looks. But we knew it was just because they were totally jealous cause they had just spent $50 eating not so great food in a noisy restraunt :-D Afterwards, we went and explored a bit before we caught the bus to go to the play. We had parked right next to the Kodak theatre and the chinese theatre so we looked around and found celebrity hand prints and stars and what not. The Walt Disney theatre was also across the street and since we both really like disney, we just had to go look around. Those are where those pictures are taken. Anyways, we saw the play, starrin Jessica Biel as Sarah Brown and it was really good! The theatre is enormous! We were only sitting about halfway up but I could still barely even see the characters! It's a good thing they had screens up on the sides with what was going on cause i might not have been able to tell what was going on otherwise. But we definately had a good time :-)

In other good news, I won something today for the very first time in my life! I won tickets to go see one of my favorite bands "The Script" in LA this up coming wen. I'm excited! Yeay me! Anyways, that's all.