Saturday, September 20, 2014

Then and now in Yellowstone

 When we were in Yellowstone, we realized that it had been 8 years since we had been there.  The last time we were there was right after we  moved back to Utah.  We had only been back a couple of weeks and we were not even close to being unpacked.  But, it was Cliff's 100th Birthday Party in Star Valley, Wyoming.  So, we loaded up and went to Wyoming.  I think we shocked the Bingham Clan that we showed up.  And we made a quick trip to Yellowstone while we were there.  Here are the girls walking in the River.  We made a point to stop in the same spot and recreate the scene.  I don't know why the rocks were there in the 2006 pictures, but they are not there now.



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

First Day of School 2014

School started on August 19.  
Summer had to wear her student council t-shirt to school, so she was holding up her dress--her official first day of school outfit.

Last first day of school for this girl.  It makes me crazy to think about that.

8th grade for Sierra.  Last year of "grades not counting".

Here is a view of her cute new backpack.

And this guy.  I have been dreading this day for him. 
And, well, it just wasn't all that bad.  He had met his teacher the week before and he liked her a lot.
This year has not been anything like that past 2 years.  Everything has been smooth.
Prayers for us that the entire school year continues as well.

He even let me pose with him.

I usually walk him to school or drive him to school.
If I'm in the car, he'll still stop and kiss me goodbye.
He's a good kid and he's doing so well this year.

Picture with dad.  Isn't he getting tall?

And here is Shelby with us before her big day.  
She headed off to St. George to begin college at Dixie.
We're so proud of our honorary daughter.  She'll do great!!

Best Friends.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

LDS Motion Picture Studio--South Campus

A couple of weeks ago we had the opportunity to go to the LDS Motion Picture Studio South Campus which was basically created to for the New Testament Film Project.
It is located in Goshen, Utah.
This was a combined YM/YW mutual activity.  Rick was working, so I  brought Cole along.  Sierra was with us, but unfortunately Summer couldn't come.  I really wish that they could have scheduled this 4 hour activity a few weeks earlier before school started.  It was unfortunate that so many of the older youth could not come.

As part of the activity, we helped clear out the weeds from around this pump house.
They were nasty tumbleweeds and they were almost waist high when we started.

Then, we got to go over to the set.

This is where the manger scene was filmed.

It's usually quite windy and there are lots of mosquitos, but this evening was practically perfect without any wind or bug.  And the sunset was amazing.

Most of the bricks are actually styrofoam.

And, then my battery died in my camera and the rest of my pictures were taken with my phone.

Towards the west end of the set is the Garden area

Garden of Gethsemane

This was pretty amazing, as well.  I kept trying to manage the youth and get them to take turns standing near the crosses so that those of us with cameras could take pictures without random kids, but chaos prevailed.  
Brother Sundstrom, from our ward, was our guide and had some pretty amazing stories about this place.
They begin each day of work/filming with prayer.
Meticulous attention has been given to the details of the set and the portrayal of the events.
Hollywood filmmakers have contacted the Church to rent the set for various projects, but the Church has denied any of them the chance to use it.  Maybe because of the non-profit status.
Brother Sundstrom doesn't know for sure, but he really hopes that they can use this set for Book of Mormon movies, as well.  There would have to be some modifications to the set, of course.

I did manage this shot without people in it.  
The white rocks in this area were hauled in from the hills to the east of Manti.

These 2 pictures were taken from the room where the Last Supper was filmed.  It was tiny and dark, so this is the best I could do with a phone camera.

So, here is a link to the videos:  LDS Bible Videos

Thursday, September 4, 2014


A few months ago Cole mentioned that he's never been camping before.  We were like, "of course you have..."  Then we got thinking about it.  And we could not think of a time that Cole had slept in a sleeping bag in a tent.  (Parent fail)  
So, we planned a little camping adventure to Yellowstone so that we could "rough it."
Rain was in the forecast.  We got up at 5 am to get an early start and arrive in time to get a good camp spot.  It threatened to rain for our entire drive to Yellowstone.  And started to rain just as we got our campsite.  So, we hurried as fast as we could to unload, put up the tents, and set up camp.  The entire time, in the rain.  And just as camp is set up, the rain stopped.

Here we are setting up the solar panels, because we are "roughing it", remember?

Good thing we brought lots of blankets.  It was darn cold that first night.

Our camp sight was just a short walk through the trees to Yellowstone Lake.

Yellowstone Lake

Kepler Falls

The first thing we did when we got our camp set-up was head on over to Old Faithful.
It was raining so good thing we had our rain gear!!  We did learn something from showing up to the Grand Canyon last year without warm clothing or rain gear!! I even remembered the umbrella.  See how wet the benches are?  It was pretty chilly.

The skies were dark.  But the sun came out just as we got to Old Faithful.

It was totally awesome to see the supermoon over the top of the Old Faithful Lodge.

This was taken in Hayden Valley which is known for the abundance of wildlife.  Of course we had to stop and take (300) Hipster pictures of Summer and the bison. 

Here's another one.  There are about 298 more.

 Sierra was good with just one quick shot.
Cole refused to walk down to see the bison.  We stayed up in the parking lot and kicked some rocks around.  Besides, we have 300 pictures of bison.

This was at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  We asked this cute British girl to snap a pic.  
She took one picture, and then said, "Second one for luck" and took another picture.
I told her thanks, and she replied, "pleasure" in the cutest British accent.  We kept saying, "pleasure" for the rest of the day.

We played the license  plate game where we had a list of all of the states and then crossed off each state as we found a vehicle with that license plate.  This van was from Florida.  Those are all plastic caps from milk jugs, drink bottles, peanut butter, etc.  
Summer wanted a hipster pic with the 1984 reduce/reuse/recycle van. 

The twins at Steamboat Gyser

Our favorite hike:  Norris Geyser Basin

We saw Old Faithful erupt at least 6 times.  Had to document each one.

The kids did the Jr. Ranger program.  Here they are with Ranger Marilyn.  She taught a cute class about things you should take with you on a hike.  I asked her where home when she is not in Yellowstone and she said, "anywhere my RV takes me where my pipes can't freeze."  Her father was a Park Ranger in Yellowstone and she followed in his footsteps.  I think she has been hiking since she was born.
Jr. Rangers!!

Cole and Sierra also did the Jr. Scientist Program at Old Faithful.  It was pretty intense.
Cole was taking his work very seriously.

One last picture.  Trying to hoist Cole up...

Too heavy...

Climb Cole!!

Or just duck down under the sign!!

Also, we saw our first Yellowstone Bear on this trip.  Unfortunately, no picture.  It was while we were driving and it last about 2 seconds.  We had just entered the park and were heading towards our camp area (West Thumb/Grants Village).  We were going about 40 mph and a cub blasted out of the trees next to the road at about that same speed.  Mama Bear must have been close by.  Within a second of making an appearance, he turned around and was back into the trees.  It happened so fast, I couldn't even yell at the kids to take a look.  I bet he got a good scolding from Mama Bear.