Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Things to Do or Things Done

Some I did, and some I didn't. Some I will, and some I probably won't.

1. Use our beautiful tomatoes and peppers to make homemade salsa and can it for use this winter.
1. Pick the green tomatoes before they freeze tonight.

2. Leave Dennis with four boxes of very ripe grapes and three tired and dirty kids while I go up to the hospital to check on my Daddy and his ruptured appendix. Come home to seventeen quarts of beautiful fall goodness.
2. Juice the rest of those grapes and mop the kitchen floor.

3. Offer to make a nice dinner to take to the neighbors who just had a cute little baby girl.
3. Buy macaroni and cheese to take to the neighbors who just had a cute little baby girl.

4. Go to symphony rehearsal.
4. Either go late to or skip symphony rehearsal to attend the Family Activity at Mutual tonight.

5. Sleep.
5. Don't sleep.

6. Covet the vacant house in our neighborhood. Look it up on the internet. Try to find any possible way to get us into that house.
6. Give up. It's too expensive. Dream of new paint and a downstairs bathroom.

7. Sigh.
7. Get back to work.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Road Trip, Days 6-13, Alaska

My goal is to wrap up the Road Trip before Halloween. But honestly, I am not at all opposed to prolonging summer as long as possible, it is one of my four favorite seasons, after all!

I think you will note that this post contains pictures of LOTS of smiling people. Very happy people. Smiling and loving every second of their fish-filled lives. There are also lots of fish pictures. If you don't like fish pictures, I doubt you will like this post. You may want to skip it altogether. Consider yourself warned on that point.

BUT, back to the smiling....you will also note that some of the pictures are of a lesser quality. Those would be the pictures taken on Dennis' cell phone, so he could send them to me on my cell phone and keep me and Kate and Isaac (who, if you'll recall, are staying in Oregon for days 6-13) constantly updated on the fish count. We smiled alot, too.

So here's Wade a few days before we left.
Dennis bought him a HUGE surf rod
for catching big Alaskan fish.
He was practicing in the flower bed...

Aerial View.
Really quite stunning.
Dennis still talks about it.

More aerial view....

Ah, here we go!!
Smiling and fishing.
That's all he needs.

Wade and Salmon.
He was happy, happy, happy.

Wade caught this handsome fellow.
It's a Rock Fish.
It's very, very ugly
and poisonous, too.
Don't we often find those two traits together?

I think this is another Rock fish.
And another Happy Wade.

I'll tell you one thing...
We've been eating a lot of fish
and sharing a lot of fish
and Paul's about to bring home
a lot more fish!!

Here's another happy fisherman!
(Isn't he the cutest?)

The catch(es) of the day
and the awesome catcher!

A few starfish...
Catching something besides fish...

Another happy fisherman.
They're everywhere!!

I know that Wade will remember this trip
FONDLY
for the entire rest of his life.
So will Dennis.
So will Paul.

Another handsome starfish.

Woo!! An actual mammal!!
One day Dennis and Wade went to see the bears.
They watched this guy play around the river and
climb on logs
and try to catch a fish.
Just like Wade!

There are no trees like this in Utah
that's for sure!!

Paul and Wade
and some pretty darn gorgeous scenery.

Some pretty darn gorgeous scenery
without Paul and Wade...

Paul tells me the sunsets there are often
nothing short of
spectacular.
I think this one was pretty tame
compared to many.
But I think it's really lovely.
Serene, if you will.

Now...
I've saved the best (biggest) for last.
I asked Paul
HOW
you bring in a fish this big.
He told me
"With a gun and a rope."
He wasn't kidding.

It's a 267 lb. halibut.
No, Paul didn't catch it, one of their customers did.
But EVERY person on the dock that day
had their picture taken with this fish!!
I would have too,
if I had been there.
Which I wasn't.

So, they fished and saw the sights and Paul took them around and showed them where he works and some days they helped him a little. Mostly they fished.

One day, it rained really hard while Dennis and Wade were out in the open water and Dennis told me later that he was actually scared. There is nothing that scares me more than knowing that Dennis is scared. Good thing I wasn't there. But he took good care of Wade and they are forever bonded by this trip.

On the last day, they were all fishing, and Dennis had my camera in his shirt pocket. He leaned over in the boat to help Wade with something, and the camera fell out of his pocket and into the water in the bottom of the boat. (Insert potty mouth here). He snatched it out and shook out as much water as he could, but the damage was done. He put the camera in a safer place, and asked Paul if he could borrow his camera. His brand new camera that we bought for him and brought to him in Alaska. He put it in his shirt pocket. (Don't bother groaning...it's too late now!!) A few minutes later, he leaned over again, and Paul's camera fell out of his pocket and into the water in the bottom of the boat. (Insert severe potty mouth here). Paul grabbed it and opened it to pop out the memory card, which flew out of the camera and into the cold Alaskan ocean. Paul watched it sink. He was sad. Dennis was sad. Wade was sad.

Well, wipe away your tears. When I heard the story, I was sad too. (I was actually pretty mad, but that doesn't do anybody any good, now does it?) Dennis worked very hard to dry out the cameras as best he could, and didn't use them anymore for several days. He brought them both home to see if they could be repaired.

For those of you who know Dennis, you will remember that there are VERY few things he can't fix. Fortunately for me, and for the cameras, and for him, he was able to mostly fix my camera, and he had Paul's working pretty well before we put it in the mail with a new memory card. I don't think either camera will ever be quite the same, but they work well enough, I suppose. Paul tells us that lately, his isn't working very well, so I guess he'll get his third camera of the year when he gets home!!

Sigh.

Oh well, that's the way the balls bounce and the cookies crumble and life is sometimes! I think I'll scroll up and look at all the awesome pictures that Dennis was able to retrieve.

**Pause while I look. You should, too**

Ah, that's better. Life is good. That was one awesome trip. And for those of you who are wondering, Paul will be home in 13 days. Yeah, he's bringing fish.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Pyper Family Portraits

Except for my lovely parents, who were on a mission in the Houston Texas South mission, and Vaughn and Tami, who just couldn't make the drive from Oklahoma to Oregon this year (they usually do...), and my little Paul, who is working his buns off in Alaska, these photos are a record of the way my family looked in July 2009. I'm a lucky girl.

Laura and Adam

Liam, Gareth, Anja and Mark
Owen, Charly, Rosie
(with Matt's Kirsten hugging her backside....)

Kendall and Spencer, Lainie and Kenny
Jasmin, Alyse

Alex (Man Cub), Brynn, Heidi, Kelly, Brian

Mandy and Emily, Lara and Matt
Kaylee, James, Kirsten

Wade, Kate, Isaac, Marianne and Dennis

Jana Cake, Lee and Melody, Wypee (aka Wyatt)

Mark and Brian
(back to back)
Anja and Heidi
(belly to belly)
(and both due this Fall)

I'm not EVEN going to label everyone in here...
just enjoy the love!!

Now, for those of you wondering, "When is this Road Trip EVER going to end??" I will tell you what happened next. So this reunion was in Oregon, right? Which is really close to Washington, right? Which is the cheapest place to fly from if you're trying to get to Alaska. Which is what Dennis and Wade were trying to do.

SO, after the awesome reunion was over, we went back to Silverton to stay with Kendall and Lainie, and the next morning we got up and headed north to Seattle. I put Dennis and Wade on a plane to Ketchikan, and then drove back to Silverton to stay for a week with Kendall and Lainie while Dennis and Wade fished it up with Paul in Alaska. So for the next week we vacationed apart...and I sent my camera with Dennis so he could record all the awesome fun they would be having. Kate had her camera, so we could document all the awesome fun we would be having.

And that, dear readers, is where we will pick up the story next time. And let me just say, you're going to be amazed by the fish pictures!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Road Trip, Day 5 (Part Deux)

The Dancing Queen
(you may want to sing along...)
Melody, Kate, and Me



This started out being the "Cuzco Move"
(from Emperor's New Groove)
but it devolved into a
RAWR
that scared all the little ones

YOU CAN DANCE...

DIGGIN' THE DANCING QUEEN!!

Disco moves.
Gotta have disco moves!

Having the time of your life....

And that, my friends, was The Dancing Queen. No one was physically injured during the production of this number. Emotionally injured? Very likely.

I LOVE pictures. I LOVE to look at my pictures. I LOVE to look at other people's pictures. Perhaps you don't LOVE looking at my pictures. But oh well, it's my blog and I'll look if I want to!! But you're welcome to join me!

The rest of the talent show was awesome. Adam demonstrated his newly-acquired talent of loud whistling, and Laura recited one of her grandmother's beautiful poems. Mark and Anja and their crew showed us how to use the panic button (which got highly annoying since people kept pushing it throughout the rest of the evening, which immediately set all the kids and many of the adults running around like headless poultry with waving arms and heathen cries. The neighboring campers LOVED it. I know they did). Kendall and Lainie's bunch sang some fun songs, and the boys peed in the bushes and we all clapped, because that is their talent! (They're only three, so it's ALL GOOD). Matt and Lara's family put on a skit in which the expendable crewman was indeed expended, and Brian and Heidi's family sang a song about the Hawaiian state fish, which is a tiny fish with a ten minute-long name. The Dancing Queen counted as Lee and Melody's talent, so my family did the talent that we ALWAYS do, plus one other one. Our first talent, which has become tradition, is me and Kate playing a flute duet. This has evolved from the first year, (about seven years ago) when Kate had to hide behind the rocking chair while she played (!!), to something beautiful and wonderful that I cherish above MANY other things.

I believe that everyone else loves it too.
And Charly had to go potty while we were playing
so she missed it.
So we played it again for her later.
A command performance.
I love those.

Then we all played Haydn's "Surprise Symphony"
on our Root Beer bottles.
It was SO AWESOME!!
Isaac's part was to interject random toots
whenever he could get them to come out,
and Wade had the final low note.
They were the HEROES.

For an encore
(because we KNEW they'd want it)
we prepared
The Beautiful Blue Danube
(with two part harmony--
like on Sesame Street)

It was so fun.

DANG CUTE.

We're going to have a hard time
thinking of something better
for next year!

All that hard work made us thirsty!
(And yes, because I know you're wondering,
we had a little trouble before the show started
with people drinking out of our instruments).

And that, except for the testimony meeting, which I did not photograph (DUH), was the end of the family reunion. Kendall admits to crying like a baby after everyone left, and I admit to crying like a baby all the time. But you know what? I think that I have the best family EVER, and I love these times when we're all together. I missed Paul, and my mom and dad, and Vaughn and Tami and their crew, but that's the way it goes sometimes. But whatever happens, I'm cozy and comfortable in my knowledge that at the end of the very long day (which is probably, in the grand scheme of things, very, very short) we'll all be together. And I know there will be dancing. And my jeans will fit better.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Road Trip, Day 5 (Part 1)

YOU LUCKY READERS!! There's just TOO much going on today, so we're going to have to break it down into two posts! The first event is the Trail of Ten Falls hike. Silver Falls State Park is truly one of the most beautiful places on the face of the whole planet, and we got to enjoy it with all these awesome people.

Here we are getting ready to go...

And we're off!
A very long and drawn out parade of
Pypers and Cutchins and Andersons

LOTS of cousins

That's me
and a beautiful little river

This photo is kind of small
so
hover over it and then click
so
you can see us all walking BEHIND
the waterfall
Here we are coming out on the other side...

Cute Mr. Isaac
with his funny trademark grin

Kate E. Bug

My two little men
SO sweet

This is one of Lainie's
AWESOME
pictures.
It's Mandy and Matt.
Wade is looking for fish.
You probably already knew that.

I love this picture.
It's Mel and her Muffin Man.

Here's where it really got exciting.
Adam and Dennis decided to go for a swim.
(That water is about 45 degrees)
But just behind us,
Kenny and Spencer had some business
again...
Lainie hollered at him for going
RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE
of the trail....
While Dennis and Adam
made frozen peas...

So he turned around and joined
his brother
in the bushes!
We hardly knew who to watch...
The icy swimmers...

...Or the cute buns!!
After we ate lunch, we all went back to our cabins for some much needed R&R. The talent show is tonight and we need to rest up!!