Monday, August 9, 2010

Family Reunion in Tahoe

Ta-Da! Here we are. This is the whole family to date. Hard to believe but we were able to get every member of the family in one place at one time. I didn't think it was going to be possible for me to get Richard and Lindsey to the reunion. But Lindsey cleared her schedule, and a cute girl needed a ride to Sacramento the exact week of the reunion, so Little Richard decided to make the trip.

Playing at the beach was definitely the order of day. We went to three different beaches, rented boats and kayaks, got sunburned, and ate copious amounts of food. The food was awesome!

Here are Lindsey, Claire, and Aiden building a sand castle. It must be the first day, because no one is sunburned yet. It was amazing to me to see how sand can entertain children for HOURS!

On Sunday we went to church in Tahoe. I thought it was funny how the Bishop explained that Fast Sundays are always a bit unnerving for them, because given all the visitors attending, they never know what is going to be said from the pulpit. So he took 10 precious minutes from testimony time to explain exactly what a testimony is. It is NOT an "I love my family"-mony, or a travelmony. Anyway!!! after church we went home and had a little special service of our own. Tara's son, Nathan, turned twelve while on vacation, so he was ordained to the office of Deacon by all of his uncles, and grandfather, and Dad. That was fun to see. Oh, and by two cousins who are worthy Aaronic priesthood holders, Aiden and Max.

Another special event on Sunday was that Richard and Stone joined us. Richard came to California late Saturday evening. And Stone had scout camp until late Saturday evening. So they both joined us on Sunday. Here we are relaxing in the backyard.

This photo was taken on one of many walks/hikes that week. Syd and Tara are good at keeping the kids busy and occupied. The Hoopes women have way more energy and desire for activity than I do. I would be exhausted from being at the beach, and they would be packing up the kids for a "walk" before dinner. Ah, Claire is a true Hoopes girl and wishes that her mother were more like them. The problem is that Claire actually has Hoopes genes in her. I only got the name.

One of the many activities available for the kids was to sew p.j. shorts. Here Claire and Audrey are modeling their shorts and matching anklets. These were easy shorts that took 1 yard of fabric and only 1 pattern piece.

Each family had to perform something. We got into a stupid human trick phase, and my family stood up to perform something that must be a Wright gene considering Hoopes' can't do it. We are all flaring our nostrils full force in this photo. But if you notice Big Richard is having to do it manually. Hoopes' can't make their eye go blurry either. I guess they just don't have good facial muscle control?!

Grandma Hoopes took an evening to share some stories about her father, Grandpa Cummard. Grandpa Cummard was a world traveler, and he liked to collect hats from each country. Grandma Hoopes brought those hats and we had to guess which country it came from. There were enough for each grandchild to wear one. I think I like Max's dutch girl hat the best. This was done before Richard and Stone arrived. But we have done this with just our kids at home.

This photo pretty much sums up the trip, lots of family running around, lots of fun being had, lots of food, chaos, noise, and laughter. With Grandpa Hoopes sitting quietly observing the shenanigans. All he had to do was remove his hearing aid, and he was quite content.

Tam and Terry's 50th Anniversary Party

We had this small cake made to display the original bell cake topper that was on Tam and Terry's wedding cake. You can see it in the picture. Lindsey's bakery "Paula's Bakery" made the cake.

This is a photo of Tara's two oldest children, Nathan and Anna, enjoying the chocolate fountain. The chocolate fountain was a huge hit with the young and old alike. I think it has been one of Mom's best purchases yet. Thanks Mom for letting so many people borrow it. We also served cheesecake and veggies and dip.

Here is a photo of Tam and her only sister, Sydney. They are very close and yet they are exact opposites. Their personalities could not be more diverse.

The kids had a good time running around the building. Claire and Audrey did a wonderful job of watching and playing with them in the nursery and elsewhere. Audrey and Claire had the idea to host a babysitting group in the nursery for any kids who came to the party. Although the only kids who showed up were from our own family. But they still did a wonderful job keeping them entertained.

Here is Tam with some of her good friends at the party. Tam was afraid no one would show up. But we had approximately 60-70 people come. It was a good turn out. Tam and Terry really enjoyed it.

This photo is included just because it is a picture of Mom. We have to sneak those in where ever we can, or else our posterity will think our mother died at birth. There won't be any photographic evidence to support her existence.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Annual Gold Rush

The Fourth of July weekend saw yet another attempt to strike it rich in the Gold Country. Richard took the kids on their annual gold mining back-packing trip. Although the back packing part has been reduced to pretty much just camping. After 18 years of going to the same location, the owner of the property has recently granted Greg and Richard the rights to the gate. Which means they can drive down into the canyon instead of a long grueling hike in and out of the canyon.

Here is a shot of Greg Ouzounian helping Claire with her gold panning skills.

This was the biggest chunk of gold found on the whole trip. There are some smallish pieces in the pan also. Claire did mostly moss mining. She would dig up a piece of moss from a rock. Rinse the dirt from it in the river, and swish it around.

This is the remnants of a old miner's cabin located near their camping spot. Can you imagine how long it took the miner to build this thing? Claire believes she is standing on the fireplace.

Richard likes to take photos of the local flora. I told him he needs to be sure there is a person in the photo or else it is meaningless. So Claire is showing us this flower.

Aiden, being the almost-Eagle scout, got a rip roaring fire going for everyone to enjoy. Greg likes to make "fancy" meals while camping. The food is always good with Greg.

Richard doesn't like to fuss with a tent for one night, so everyone sleeps out under the stars.

Here is a shot of the sleeping beauties. Claire and Richard had been up for awhile, and gone on a little morning walk. Richard's Diabetic Walk, as he likes to call it.

The perks of being young and cute. Claire and 7 year old Christian got a ride up the steep embankment to the cars by the owner of the property, Bob Dorer. The older boys had to walk. Richard didn't take any photos of the professor this year, although I am sure they spent some time with him.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Aiden's Eagle Project

So this was Aiden's eagle project. He had been stalling getting it together for several months. As summer began, I took away all his video gaming paraphernalia and told him he could get them back as soon as his eagle project was 100% complete. That kicked him into gear. Two weeks later, he had it all planned, scheduled, and completed. He had to work hard to accomplish it in that amount of time, but he did it!

Aiden chose to record stories for the blind. He contacted The Society for the Blind in Sacramento. He gathered all his friends' computers to the church. And people came in and read stories into a computer set up in a classroom. He had to get trained by the Society, and then train his fellow scouts to help the people that came in. This was the check-in table.

Here is Sis. Barker sitting at a computer just about to record something.

Aiden organized a system for people to find the necessary classrooms. The doors were numbered, and they could follow the tape on the floor.

Here are people in the waiting area waiting for a computer to open up.

This is Aiden and Dad cleaning up at the end of the long day. Aiden's project went from 10 am to 4 pm. He was at the church from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.

When Aiden got home, he crashed on the couch.

After the recordings were finished, Aiden and his friends spent several more days burning them onto cd's. This is Aiden outside the Society for the Blind headquarters delivering his cd's to the volunteer coordinator.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

TNT's Silent Auction

Stone belongs to a Shakespeare acting troupe called Take Note Troupe (TNT). Every year they have a big gala dinner, and a silent auction. For the past two years I have donated 2 quilts to the auction. These are the quilts I am donating this year.

I always have fabric left over from the quilts. So I started making matching tote bags to go with each quilt. The tote bags are sitting on top of each quilt. I will let you know how much they sold for after Friday.

Going, Going, Gone!

Aiden asked if I would mind if he shaved his head. He said he wanted to try it atleast once in his life. He was a little surprised when I readily agreed. I have been trying to get him to cut his hair for months. I thought his longer hair made him look like he was still in 7th grade. I think a shorter hair style would make him look older. I was right. So this is the beginning stage where I just whacked away at his long hair.
We played around with it a little. First we did the mullet. This is the mohawk stage.

Another shot of the mohawk.

Then Richard jumped in to try his hand at a flat top. That was not successful.

This is once it was all shaved off. I like the look of his dark eye brows with the shaved head. He has a nice shaped head atleast.

Here is am just cleaning it up a little. As we were rubbing his head, Aiden said it felt like we were rubbing his brain. He will have to be careful about sunburns on his head now. Although that would require the sun to come out at some point this summer.

And here is the final product. He kind of looks like a juvenile detention candidate, but that's okay.

Friday, May 28, 2010

More Road Kill

Richard has a bad habit of finding clothes along the freeway and bringing them home to wear. Jeff Woods likes to encourage this behavior, and when he finds something "good" along the road he scoops it up for Richard. These are Jeff's latest kill. They are running jerseys from a 10K marathon that took place in Utah. Jeff found a bunch of these on the road while riding one day. He couldn't wait to tell Richard about them. Now this jersey was a bit too small on Richard, so that one had become mine. Lucky Me!
This jersey fits just perfectly though. I am sure Richard will get a lot of use out of this one. Thanks Jeff!?

Candice's Salsa Throwdown Party

I knew this was going to be a fun party when I saw there was a sign introducing the event!

Here are some of the invited guests. Most of you know Candice, Parker, and Tracey. Then there is Katie Roskelley, and some unknown young man from the Single's ward.

These two party goers you should recognize. As usual, Aiden is thrilled to be there, but he chooses to keep his excitement on the inside.

Stone and I are showing off the decorations. It is hard to tell, but these glasses have little red chiles in them.

Now the fun begins. Candice made blindfolds for the Salsa contest. She wanted to eliminate the possibility of any bias based on the appearance of the salsas.

Here is a photo of the tasting table. Complete with hand made "I (heart) Salsa" table runner.

Richard and Claire were the first people to be led into the tasting room.

Next we had Aiden and Stone. I stopped taking photos after that because I had to help Candice with the other participants.

And here are the winners. Katie won first place with 4 votes. Parker, Me, and the unknown young man from the Single's ward each received 2 points a piece. So we had a three-way tie for second place.

I am showing off my salsa and my second place "loser" prize.

This is a close up of the second place "loser" prize. After the contest we all enjoyed a wonderful taco and burrito bar dinner. Michael and his girlfriend, and Zach were also there, but for some reason I did not get any pictures of them. Sorry about that guys.