Friday, November 1, 2013

FIVE All Together

We all met up in Utah for General Conference at the beginning of October. One family came from Colorado, 4 of the family came from California, and the others were already in Utah for a mini reunion. The Grandparents also traveled by car from Colorado to reunite with our little clan.
 Waiting for the Saturday morning session to start are the girls and Jon. GPKelly was in attendance, and GMKelly stayed back at the hotel. Austin also stayed with the 3 little ones so the rest of the adults could attend.
 What a very amazing building the conference center is.

Seriously. Cute. Baby
We all went up to Mantua to visit GG and Aunt Toni, etc. The Hubby's mom continues to be spry and agile as she works around the house and in her cute little apartment. We are very lucky to spend some quality time with her periodically.
All five of my offspring together for the first time in 2 years. Fun for me as well as them.
Being silly as they hold up the big guy.

The area surrounding Mantua reservoir is very beautiful. We took Uncle Rods ATV up into the colorful and changing mountains for a real treat.
Pictures don't really do the place the justice that it deserves.
We were lucky to be able to spend several days in the beautiful state of Utah before heading back to CA with Kathryn's 3 beautiful children. More on our babysitting experience later.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Home At Last

We have had a few fun days around here. Last Thursday our missionary of two years came home.
 Made a sign to greet his arrival.
We are happy and he looks that way too.
Before his plane arrived, we were patiently waiting at the airport.
 Pretty patient anyway. The kids were great.
 They didn't get in trouble as they ran past the "Do Not Enter" security sign.
 Such excitement to have Uncle Michael home. They call him "Michael Michael."
The parents are pretty excited too. Biggest hug EVER!!!
 Speaking a little Portuguese to our friend Chuck.
First meal at "Classic Burger."
Next day we went to the temple. It had been over a year for him, so it was a nice experience.
SOOOO nice to have our Michael back.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Baby Boy Bubbles

My DIL and I threw a shower a couple weeks ago for our sweet friend and hairdresser. We have known her husbands family for 19 years and actually hers too - just her grandmother. We've known her for about 6 or 7 now. 
I saw the invitations on Amy Atlas Blog last year and had "Pinned" them for just this time.
So we changed the colors and added a couple things, and ordered a set of party decor from Penandpaperflowers. Most of my ideas stemmed from these designs.
I really thought the address labels made the invites look great. I bought 8.5"x11" label paper because my old 500 sheets of sticker paper was all used up. It took me about 15 years, but I used it all up. These  100 labels cost about the same amount that the old 500 sheets. Time has a habit of making things more expensive.
 I found this diaper tricycle idea online.
Turned out pretty good.  (more on this later)
I made dots out of chiffon for the tables.
 My friend and Krista's made these Oreo POPS. We had POPpyseed Strawberry salad.
 We had POP corn,  Jello POPS, Cupcake POPS, SodaPOP, LolliPOPS, anything POP.
 Never thought I'd be making Jello for anyone let alone for a party, but it was so colorful and pretty.

 The entryway to the house had a ladder with a welcoming sign and bubbles streaming from a machine on top of it.
Welcome to the guest of honor.
One of the guests also made a fancy diaper bicycle. What a pair.
 We had about 40 women at the party and they all enjoyed chatting for a few hours. It was a lovely evening for an outdoor party.
The mother-to-be received all sorts of love and gifts for her new little guy. 
He should arrive in October.
Congratulations Krista!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Antoni Gaudi

There are many things I enjoyed about Barcelona, so I'll write a couple more posts including some of my favorite places in the city.
Be aware here that this will be a REALLY LONG post.

This innovative architect built some very interesting places in Barcelona, and they are definitely worth visiting.
We were able to see a couple of homes/apartment buildings that were designed by Gaudi. Also a neighborhood development that was never occupied but is a free hiking/viewing area consisting of interesting trails and supposedly natural formations, arches, benches, patio areas, etc for the homeowners that were to live there. Last but most impressive is Sagrada Familia, a cathedral that was planned and started during the last 40 years of his life, but is still being built today using the proceeds of sales of tourists that want to check it out.
Here are some pictures that The Hubby shot of these cool places.
Sagrada Familia
 Wheat or grapes located on top of many side spires. These spires represent the 12 apostles. Shot taken from a tower stairwell.
The Hubby checking out proper F stop and aperture.  
 The north side of the basilica is in honor of the Saviors' birth and early childhood. On the top of the window is the holy family, down on the left side you can see the 3 wisemen, and the shephards are on the right side. Much foliage and "beautiful things of the world" are surrounding it all. The Hubby thought it looked like mud had been thrown all over it. The sculptures are done in more traditional rounded happy faces.
 These 4 towers represent the 4 Gospels.
 This is part of the face of the south side of the building. This whole side shows the death and stories surrounding it. Notice how angular and harsh all these sculptures are.
 This scene shows the cock crowing 3 times as Peter denies knowing Jesus.
Moving into the inside of the building this picture shows how amazingly the colors of glass reflect as the sun shines through them.
The windows are abstract and more than half of them are completed at this time. He has the stained glass progressing through the color spectrum. Gaudi who died in 1926 had planned the whole building and many of the fine details are still being carried out.
 The columns inside the church all thin out a they rise from the floor and then branch out resembling trees as they go skyward.

 Here is a small scale bronze model of the finished building. The plan at this time is to have the Sagrada Familia finished by the time a third of this century has passed. (so by 2033 it should be complete?)

Notice the pillars here. They are the ones from a previous picture with the grapes or wheat on top. 
Such a unique building. Onto the next one.

Park Güell

"Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, was singing, without any presents at all!"

This whole place reminds me of a Dr Seuss book.
It is a neighborhood designed by Antoni Gaudi and never was finished. There are lots for 60 homes, of which only 2 were built, and so it has turned into a big garden/park. The most unique park I've ever been to, I might add.
At the main entrance. Big pavilion in the background. Interesting gates.
The mosaic tiled public areas are shaped in concave and convex patterns and the local rock is placed in arches, walkways, colonnade footpaths and would be roadways.
Here's my walking partner. I think he's quite handsome.
We were serenaded by several different musicians in the various terraces and structures located in the 40 acre hilly park.

Quite a unique sitting area.
Tree like structures? Kinda wacko this guy was? Or a genius?
View of the city.

 We toured the home that Gaudi lived in for a couple of decades. Quite the light, wouldn't you agree?

 There's a school yard exactly to the south of the main entrance.
 The serpentine like bench done in mosaic tile runs all the way around the pavilion.
 The column's that hold up the huge patio above.

The famous salamander at the entrance stairway.
All in all, a great little hike and very unique place. If I lived in Barcelona, I would try to go to this magical place often.

Casa Batlló  e  Casa Milà

Many private homes and apartment type buildings were also designed by this imaginative man around the turn of the last century. We were able to tour Casa Milã or "La Pedrera" which was a large building with an apartment on each floor. 
 Undulating concrete and steel are the support for this entire building.
 The roof top is about as interesting as they come.
Looking into the middle of the building and all the "Maids quarters and utility windows."
The roof, attic and one "period" style apartment were on the tour and again, everything was very unusual. We think of Victorian style or Craftsman style as architects most often used at this time, but Gaudi's style considered Modernist, was bizarre and definitely out of the box. 
 The structure of the attic makes it a go to place for neighborhood meetings, or living areas. Our audio tour told us it was planned with cooling and heating in mind and that it really works to keep the climate of the whole building comfortable.
 Here is a would be maids room.
 and the kitchen.
 Living room.
A very amazing place from a hundred years ago.

Then onto the next house.
Just down the street was another of his buildings. We ate dinner on the sidewalk cafe near Casa Mila and so we were able to see it at night and then again during the day. 

I think - genius.
Pretty cool.