So three fourths of our tree in the front yard fell down a few weeks ago. In addition to previous branches that fell and other branches we've pruned off other trees and bushes we were gathering a pretty good pile on the side of our house. So we asked the Young Men from our ward to help us get rid of the pile. When they got here they got done with that so fast that they asked if they could move the rocks out of our little island. SURE!!

They kept asking if they wanted them to take down the tree. Derek wasn't sure. But after they moved all the rocks to around the air conditioning unit a couple of the boys said that the tree would probably fall down if they got into it. Derek decided to let them try...and down it came.

Then the next trick was getting the stump out. There were a lot of trucks there so they hooked it up and got to work the first truck couldn't budge it.

The second truck broke the rope three times and didn't get it out

Ultimately it took a tractor and a lot of chain sawing of roots to get it out.

Soo glad we had help

Hyrum went to bed before it was all said and done ( he did get to see the tractor ) but has been so sad that the tree is gone. We would always go sit under the tree to eat Popsicles. He keeps saying "Daddy broke the tree! We got to borrow a new tree, that is beautiful and has lots of colors." I told him that Daddy took the tree to the green dump and that it was goinig to be made into compost to help other plants but he was still sad. We went to visit the tree at the green dump and showed him the compost pile. Then a week later we were passing the road to the green dump and he wanted to go to see the tree. I told him that we didn't need to see the tree every time we passed. He said "But momma it's going to rain tonight!" I assured him that the tree was going to be ok and that it had been in the rain before. Maybe we're reading to many books about personified trees. I guess it's good that we want to put the tree in in the fall. It will have lots of beautiful colors.

In the meantime it sure looks empty.

Our final day started at

They were having their 10th Birthday ( Red Butte Gardens was having their 25th )

What was hilarious is that randomly throughout the museum Dinosaurs would have party hats on. It made me laugh out loud every time. (Nothing at the gardens were wearing party hats)

K so here's my problem with Dinosaur museums and I guess palaeontology in general. This last picture is of a dinosaur named Supersaurus. Just like the name would indicate it's gigantic. Extremely impressive when seen in a dinosaur museum. I took pictures of it that didn't turn out because the thing is so huge. I ran down to the plaque to see just exactly how long they got and read that they didn't know what the head really looked like because they've never found a skull. Then come to find out that they've only found a couple of neck vertebrae and a shoulder girdle. How would you know what a dinosaur looks like with three bones? It's just estimation and hypothesis yet they present these complete skeletons. And don't get me started on dinosaur sounds. And these are the same people that say God doesn't exist because there is no proof? Come on! Ok hopping off my soap box.

I decided to put a cute picture of my boys rather than a good picture of me. :)

This dinosaur was much easier for Hyrum to pose with than the one at the other dinosaur museum. I have to say it was interesting to go to two dinosaur museums in such a short time. And honestly there is NO comparison. This museum was far and above better than the one at University of Utah. Of course you'll pay for it too. This one at Thanksgiving point is 3 dollars more expensive for adults and 4.50 more expensive for kids. And when you have a large family it adds up fast. But if you can do this connect pass...go to this one second. Trust me.

And another happy picture with the party going Tyrannosaurus Rex and his party going prey (and of course my boys).

Here's the dig pit at Thanksgiving point. Where the other one was a strip of digging along the wall, here it was an entire room and you walked into it to dig.

They had party games going on for the kids and as we were leaving Hyrum participated and got some candy

We met Derek's cousin at a park for lunch so she could meet Noah now that he's 5 months. It is downright pathetic that it's taken us so long to connect when they only live 40 or so minutes away.

Hyrum had fun playing and running with his cousins.

It was great to see them.

Our next stop was

We were excited to see what this was like. We've heard mixed reviews but we really liked it.

Kickin' it with the Jellies

(No idea why I took this straight on)

Finding Nemo

Hyrum had NO interest in touching the ray

But we convinced him to touch the star fish.

I didn't get many pictures since Noah decided that he needed to be held rather than spend his days like this

and this

Really who can blame him but I did get a few

Our final stop was to the Thanksgiving point children's gardens and after going to the Red Butte children's garden Hyrum was all about it. Sadly they were having an "event" that night so we weren't able to get in. Bummer.

All together it would have cost us nearly $180 dollars to do what we did ( had we gotten into the children's garden at Thanksgiving Point it would have been closer to $200) but with the Connect passes it cost us just over a hundred. Not bad for a vacation.


Thursday we woke up and got ready ( a little later than we'd originally planned on ). Hyrum wanted to go swimming again. We told him we couldn't. I think he's addicted now.

Today we started at

The first bird we came across was the Great Horned Owl.

Hyrum looked at the sign and said "He looks like this!"

I think he's right! :) Every time we asked him what a Great Horned Owl looked like this is the face he'd make. So funny.

We checked out all kinds of birds and watched another bird show where a King Vulture nearly landed on our heads

Then we saw a type of falcon up close after the show.

After the Aviary we headed downtown to the Lion house Pantry where we ate a ten dollar lunch each for FREE!!!

Then there was the rocket ride back to the car

Derek is my hero. It was so hot and he was so tired but not only did he rocket Hyrum around but he continued to do it so I could get a picture.

From there we headed to

This place was amazing. Seriously so fun.

Hyrum got stuck here forever

It had these pressurized tubes that sent balls flying around. Hyrum loved it...but was so serious about doing his job of putting the balls in the tubes. :)

Then we made it back here and he didn't want to leave

There was a GIGANTIC water table that he spent the most time at.

and got COMPLETELY soaked at

But we were ultimately able to tear him away to go to the construction section

Even Noah loved Discovery Gateway. There was an area for tiny kids and he LOVED playing with all the texture toys in there.

After that we went upstairs where they had a real helicopter (Hyrum wouldn't get anywhere near it) that Noah and I got in. It wasn't really going of course but it sounded and felt real.

They had some really cool experiments that were a bit over Hyrum's head but regardless of the science of terminal velocity and lift he really liked this

After this we headed to the Planetarium. We were going to watch a movie on their IMAX screen (for free!) but they weren't playing anything that we thought Hyrum would watch so we looked around a bit and left.

We had planned to go home after this but we were sad that it felt like our vacation was over (even though we still had another day of fun) so we decided to try this again

I love botanical gardens

Our main reason for going here was the childrens garden. Among other things they have fountains that kids could run in but Hyrum had no interest in them but he liked the waterfall

There were a few weddings going on at the gardens that night. Many of the guests were wandering the gardens and there were quite a few in the children's garden taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. Hyrum and Derek went to a part of the gardens I couldn't get to with the stroller and I wandered around. I finally just found my way back to the fountains to find Hyrum running through them with two little girls from the wedding party.

They were all soaked

and having a BALL

This one particular girl would not get out of the water and no one from the wedding party could go in after her unless they came out soaked as well. So she and Hyrum ran and played until they finally convinced her to come out to go get some cake.

Those wedding pictures will be priceless.

And for the second time in one day Hyrum was soaked.

I guess he got to swim after all.