Sunday, October 31, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Sunday, October 17, 2010
On Tuesday I went to a clinic called Neuroworx for an assignment in my Neuro Rehab class. It was cool to see what I have been learning applied in real life. In school I have been learning and practicing gait training on a treadmill. I not only was able to observe this at the clinic, but they let me try with a patient. I was also able to observe the same sort of training with an individual walking on a treadmill in a therapeutic pool. It was amazing to watch the therapist use her feet to cue the patient in the same ways I had been learning to cue with my hands.
Later that evening Matthew and I drove up to Ogden to go to the Ogden Temple with Elisa and Alex. I am very impressed with them for making it a goal to go to the temple each week. We decided to go with them since I was on break and because neither Matthew or I have been to that temple. We were also joined by some of Elisa and Alex's friends from their ward. It was a very enjoyable session and it was nice to be in the temple with more family again. I imagine that heaven will be similar to the times I have experienced family with me in the temple. You can't help but feel joy.
On Wednesday I was able to go to the ALS Clinic for another observation. This setting was unlike any other I have been to before. The therapist I followed explained to me that because of the nature of ALS, this clinic was set up to perform more consultations than typical therapy sessions. It was interesting to see so many patients at one time in so many different stages of a disease. It was also interesting to see how the disease affected each one of them so differently in regards to where it affected them and how fast the disease was progressing.
Early in the week Matthew found out that his boss Scott would let him take an RV for the weekend. Matthew was a little surprised at this because he thought it would be too far to go without paying for miles. So we called Liz and Zac to ask them what they thought of having an RV instead of going in tents and of course they thought it would be fun, especially for the kids. Wednesday night after work, Matthew and I packed up our stuff in an RV and headed to the Taylors for the night. When we go there the kids were already in bed so we took the opportunity to help Liz and Zac finish packing and then we all headed off to bed.
The next morning it was fun to see the kids so excited about the RV. They all came outside and immediately started to explore. Soon we had a yummy waffle breakfast and were off on our adventure. Matthew started off driving and Zac sat up front with him while Liz and I were in back with the kids. Once we hit the freeway the kids wanted to watch a movie on the cool TV screen, so I put in "The Emperor's New Groove." Liz and I thought about playing a game, but I suddenly felt pooped and took a nap instead. After the movie was over Liz and I started lunch for everyone; bagels and cream cheese, oranges and Wheat Thins. We had to peel the oranges so that the peels would still be in one piece with the exception of the top we cut for it so that we could use the peels to make orange muffins later that night. It was a lot of work, but the kids even tried to help soften the peels and eat the fruit.
When we got back to camp we cleaned up and enjoyed some crock pot chicken that had been cooking while we were driving in the RV all day (just one more perk of the RV this weekend). With the chicken we had some yummy homemade coleslaw, rice and a few fire roasted red peppers with Italian dressing on them. It was one mighty fine meal. We had some left overs, but we needed the bowl that the coleslaw was in to whip up dessert, so Liz came up with the idea to bring our left overs to the two girls who we had given a camp site to. It was fun to do and the girls were grateful for the food, especially since when we walked over it was already getting dark and they were just trying to start their food. After dropping off the food, we made the blueberry muffins in the orange peels and they were goooood. We also gave a couple muffins to our new camp friends and in return they brought over some Japanese candy which everyone enjoyed. The Taylors especially liked the candies that fizzled.
On Friday morning we woke up and had some Mess and our camping friends gave James two mini bananas to add to the yummy fruit selection.The boys also enjoyed having some of the yogurt and granola that Aunt Kara and Uncle Matt brought to share. After breakfast, Matthew, Cole and I headed out to hike Angels Landing while Liz and Zac took the rest of the chillins on a bike ride and then to explore some of the less strenuous hikes in the park.
The beginning of Angels Landing did not start off too rough, but not too long after we started we were huffing and puffing up some hard core switchbacks. I believe there was one point in the hike were I threatened Matthew. It's not that I don't enjoy hiking, it's more of the fact that I haven't been hiking all summer and I am not in very good shape, so there were parts that were less than enjoyable, but soon we got in a rhythm and we were all enjoying the beautiful scenes. During the hike I took many pictures which is pretty typical, but Cole also took some for a "Reflections" project that his school was doing. The theme of the project was something to the effect of "Together We Can" and Cole came up with the idea of helping each other to climb up the mountain. He took a couple of pictures of Matthew helping me climb up some big rocks and had me take pictures of him helping Matthew up and I have to say that I think Cole has quite the eye for pictures. He also took a picture of some hanging Prickly Pears. It was a lot of fun for Matthew and I to spend some time with Cole. It is amazing how fast he has grown since I met him 3 or so years ago. He and his siblings are so smart and I am almost certain that he knows more than I did at his age. I could say this for all my nieces and nephews. I am blown away with their smarts.
There is one part of the hike that we got to called "Walter's Wiggles" and we had been told by another hiker that he was told that there were 21 "wiggles" or mini switchbacks, so all the way up the wiggles we counted and our fellow hiker was right. Right after the wiggles we had to stop for a short break and while enjoying a few snacks we watched a crazy chipmunk and overheard some other hikers talking about a condor hanging around just around the bend. So, we were off to see the condor. We got a picture from far away and I am glad we did because just as we got close to the condor it took flight. Although I didn't catch it on camera, it was an amazing sight to see this huge bird.
After passing the bird we started off towards the chain section of the hike and I didn't think that I was fearful of heights, but I have to say that there were some moments that I was fearful for my life, specifically at the point when there was a 1200 ft drop on one side of me and a 900 ft drop on the other. In the end we made it up safe and it was worth the huffing and puffing and fear of falling.
After our hike we tried to call Liz so that we could meet up with her and the others, but were unsuccessful in our dialing quest, so after resting for awhile we decided to ride the shuttle. While we were on the bus we heard a description about the short hike to Weeping Rock and decided that even if the others weren't there it was one we could handle.
As we were crossing the bridge to the trailhead Cole looked down at some of the people playing in the creek and low and behold the rest of the Taylor clan was there! So, we hiked it together. Come to find out, Liz said that the phone didn't seem to have reception so she turned it off to save the battery.
After Weeping Rock we decided to make one last trip to the the beginning of the Narrows hike to see some of the cool balancing rocks that Spencer and James saw and built by the river earlier in the day. Liz was sad when we got there because many of the formations had been knocked down, but we managed to have a good time building a few ourselves and throwing rocks into the river. When we got back to camp we cleaned up and prepared a good, old fashioned weenie roast. Along with the dogs we also had salads and more roasted red peppers. And of course after dinner we roasted marshmallows and had fudge striped cookies to make s'mores.
Saturday we woke up and had some scrumptious pancakes and started packing up to head home. When everything was almost ready to go Liz and I took the kids for another bike ride while Matthew and Zac dumped the RV and filled it with just enough water to make it home. After our little bike ride we met back up with the boys and decided to do one last hike. On the way to the shuttle station Matthew and I stopped at the visitor's center to look at magnets. Of course everyone else followed and while inside we saw some pretty cool posters of the park, including a few of Angels Landing. Liz and Zac thought about getting one for the boys' room, but decided it wouldn't be fair to the others to get something that was really more for Cole than anyone else.
We decided to hike to Emerald Pools. There are three spots along the trail, but we only went to the first two. The first looked like a natural amphitheater to me. There was just a small, muddy path that ran around where the actual pool was, then a bunch of stairs to the second set of pools which is where we spent most of our time. Spencer even got his little boat our to float along the little creek and in one of the pools. I think it is safe to say that we all had a good time. When we came back, Matthew and I went into the Zion Lodge to make sure there wasn't any better magnets there than at the visitor's center, and boy are we glad we did. We ended up getting a pretty cool rock magnet that was more unique than your typical magnet. After our short shop stop we headed back home. On the way back the kids watched "Silly Symphonies", Cole and Matthew played "Monopoly Junior" and Liz read some bedtime stories to James and Maddy.
After dropping the Taylors at home Matthew and I decided to drop the RV back off at the dealership and take one of the work trucks home, but when we got there, Matthew realized that the key to the room where the keys are stored was not in its correct place and he was unable to locate it. He figured that one of his coworkers had it in a pocket. So tired and a little distraught we headed towards our home with the RV. Lucky for us we found a spot on our street to park, which we weren't expecting to happen and before long we were tucked in bed.