Saturday, February 2, 2013


24 Jan 2013: Dylan rides the lift to the top of No Name Hill.
Check out the gorgeous scenery and volcanic ridge in the distance!

Dylan has been looking forward to high school for one basic reason: he couldn't wait to join Ski Club!  Now that he's a freshman, he is a member of the club, but not for skiing.  Snowboarding is his love.

Dylan (age 15) starts off with a small spill.

His first Ski Club outing to nearby Sunrise Ski Resort (on the White Mountain Apache Reservation) was 9 days ago.  He has two more coming up, on February 7th and 14th.

No more spills!  Dylan glides gracefully down No Name.
He says it was snowing at the top (11,000 feet)
and raining at the bottom (9,200 feet).

I've never actually seen my son snowboarding.  I'm either too busy to go along or he's headed to locations that require heavy uphill hiking through deep snow, and I just don't have the energy or strength for that anymore.  However, the people who board with him tell me all the time what a natural he is at the sport.

My thanks to my friend Kim (who's also the wife of our high school principal), who took these pictures of Dylan and sent them to me.  Kim and Dylan have become good friends, and they spent much of the day on the slopes together, even though Kim is a die-hard skier (not snowboarder) who grew up in Colorado and Wyoming.  She tells me that Dylan is a much better snowboarder than even he realizes!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Flatlanders in the Snow

18 Jan 2013: My lovely niece Celesta and her boyfriend Riley came to visit!

I can't believe I never did a single blog post during the month of January!  I've been extremely frustrated with Blogspot for the past 2 months. They've suddenly become very user-unfriendly, making it impossible for me to upload pictures, even though they required me to start paying for the space to store those pictures.  So I am trying to use a different browser tonight.  It's allowing me to upload photos, but I do not like the format of this browser at all.  I'm feeling pretty resentful that I'm unable to choose my own browser so I can blog in comfort!  Why is it that every time someone tries to "fix" technology, they only manage to make it a bigger headache?

January 19: On their way to the cinder pits, they came across a herd of deer
including this beautiful doe.

Okay, enough of that!  I'm here to share our fun visit from my niece Celesta and her boyfriend Riley over the 3-day weekend in January.

Celesta takes aim!

Celesta and Riley came up on Friday evening and joined us for a dinner of grilled steaks and salad.  On Saturday morning, they headed out with Ed and Jacob to go shooting at the Porter Mountain cinder pits (an inactive volcano about 20 minutes from our house).  The cinder pits are a popular shooting range in our area.

Oh yeah, that's right, she bad!

Riley is very much into guns, just like Ed, and Celesta was game to experience her first shooting lesson.  Being a little intimidated by firearms myself, I waited at home, but I heard that Celesta was a straight-shooter!

Ed scopes out the range while Celesta tries out a rifle.

Jacob isn't about to be outdone by his cousin!
Jacob takes aim at the target.

Riley looks right at home with a rifle on his hip.

Riley tries out Ed's .50-caliber Barrett: it's got quite a kick!

Celesta and Riley: two "flatlanders" (folks from the Valley) enjoying the snow!
Some other shooters left this "Twilight" target behind for our group to shoot up.
I thought it was humorous.  Jacob and Edward got their heads blown off,
but Bella's is still intact!

Cousins Celesta and Jacob with their Grandma Butler's headstone.
(And Grandpa Butler's, too, but thankfully he is still with us!)

On Sunday, Celesta and Riley attended the singles ward at church with Jacob. After church, they stopped by Show Low Cemetery to visit the grave of their Grandma Butler (my mom).
 Jacob, Celesta, and the back side of the headstone,
listing all 6 of my parents' children.

 Celesta and Riley at the cemetery.

That evening, while waiting for Jacob's chicken enchiladas to bake, Celesta and Riley took a walk with Chris and Sarah down to the duck pond a few blocks from our home.  It was mostly frozen over after a week of below-zero temperatures.

Riley walks out on the ice to about the middle of the pond, 
scaring the ducks back to open water.

Chris risks walking to the center of the pond, too.  I'm not brave enough to do that!

Celesta follows suit, silly girl!

After they returned, we all enjoyed a warm enchilada dinner before Celesta and Riley packed up their stuff and headed back down the mountain before the roads could get too slick.

Riley and Celesta attempt to make snow angels, 
but the snow is frozen too hard to make a nice imprint!

We were so sad to see them go, but we sure enjoyed their company for the weekend!  Ya'll come back now, y'hear?