Saturday, June 29, 2013

Camp Hashbrown

Well, despite our schedules (well, Ben's really) not really encouraging us to go camping, we went anyways.  I had had a rough and unpleasant week (month?) with my kiddos and was not super excited about taking them camping - or anywhere really.  But it was either deal with them and their extreme unpleasantnesses at home or in the woods.  I opted for the woods.  Ben seemed to want to go, too, and so we did.  But, yes, in the little over 24 hours that we were gone, there were 6 messages on our phone - all for Bishop Maxwell.  Sigh.  Poor man.  Anyways. . . back to our adventures.  It definitely exceeded my very low expectations, so that was pretty great.  It turned out to be a really, really nice camping trip:

We went to Woods Lake, where we've been before.  We even got our same campsite . . . it's the best spot in our opinion, so we were all happy about it.

First things first, gather firewood and break into pieces.  Fun work!

 Right behind our site is a little stream that is fun to walk to.  Emmy took Lucy up there and then they struck a pose on the way down.  :)

 We went fishing at Woods Lake.  The boys sooooo wanted to fish.

 The boys have gotten really good at casting their lines.  Thanks, in part perhaps, to easy kid fishing poles?  But they were able to get their lines waaaaay out.  Cool.

 Unfortunately, this was all the kids were able to catch!  We were told by the camp host that these shrimp had just hatched in the lake and that's all the fish were eating.  We didn't see a single fish, but did see the shrimp.  Oh well, it was fun.

 We came back to camp and ate some dinner.  We had ashcakes as part of our meal.  However, Emmy kept calling them hashbrowns.  "I want to eat my hashbrown."  "Is my hashbrown done?"  Even after telling her several times that they were called "ashcakes."  So, hence the name of our camp (we always try to give give our camp/camp trips names. . . )

After dinner we went down the road a ways (in our car) to try fishing at some beaver ponds along the river.  The camp host said we should try fishing there.  So we did.  But, again, we didn't see a single fish.  Oh well.  Emmy did find and eat a wild strawberry.  Awesome.

 We came back and had our treats.  Usually we do s'mores.  But we tried these Campfire Cones instead.  They were delish - I especially loved the bananas in it.  We had a hard time getting them perfectly melted and not too browned, but I'd definitely do them again.  Oh, and instead of doing real peanut butter, I just bought peanut butter chips and used them.  Yum.  So it was real late getting to bed.  We got in the tent a little after 10pm - even Lucy.  Crazy.  Once everyone quieted down and fell asleep, it was a great night.

 Good morning Sunshine!  Lucy slept for her first time in her camping sleeping bag, without her crib/Super Bed.  Yay!

 Everyone eating their breakfast of oatmeal.

While the girls played house (of course), and Ben and I took-down and packed-up (of course), the boys went fishing at the lake . . . by themselves.  It was a pretty awesome and big thing for them - and us, their parents.  I pretty much felt totally fine with it.  They were there for over an hour - with Jonas coming back once to get help with his line that had broken, or something like that.  The boys were very smart and caught some of the shrimp, put them to dry/die on the rocks, and then tried fishing with them.  Still, no success.  But it was a grand adventure for them, I think, going off by themselves.

After that, we headed to Telluride (about a 45 minute drive?).  We got there and I had wanted to do a hike. We opted to do Bear Creak Falls because it is pretty and fairly kid friendly.  However, I didn't want to push the kids too hard, so we decided to just hike 'til noon, instead of hiking all the way to the falls.  However, after an hour of pokey and complaining kids, I had had enough.  It was kind of pointless to make them go on . . . to nowhere.  They had done this hike marvelously last year and so I was pretty bummed and frustrated.  I'll just blame it on the late, late night we had . . . Anyways, I asked Ben if it would be okay if I went on and he just took the kids down.  He agreed.

I felt like I was a college girl again!  Hiking by myself!  It was . . . lovely, I will admit.  Yes, it would have been nice to have some non-complaining company with me, but that wasn't possible.  I was able to enjoy the beauty and was able to keep an awesome pace up the mountain.  :)  I made it to the falls, sat down on a ledge that I wouldn't have been able to do with kids, ate a quick lunch, then headed back down.

Meanwhile, the kids went down and stopped at this lovely spot for lunch:
 They had a good time.  Although minutes before Emmy and Jonas were running down the trail and she fell - and scraped up her tummy pretty badly.  Afterwards, when I had met back up with them and she was telling me about it, she asked, "Did you hear anyone yelling and screaming?"  Surprisingly, I hadn't heard her.  Poor girl.  They had a good time, though.

 This is where I met them.  Down at the bottom.  Trying to cool off by dipping their heads in the water.  Emmy was real sweet and told me how sad she was when I wasn't with them.  I was only apart from them for like 1 1/2 hours.  :)

At Telluride's city park there is this Kids' Fishing Pond.  It's pretty great and I was pretty sure we'd have some fishing success finally.  And we did:
I love this picture!  Here is Lucy - with the fish she "caught."  So cute.  And in the back you can see the other kids with the other 3 fish - caught by each one of the kids.  Perfect!  Miles carried the stick full of fish and got a lot of "Nice fish!" and "Great job" comments from people.  He was so proud.  Even though his fish was the tiniest, he didn't mind one bit.  Fish pie coming up Monday . . .

A good, good camping trip.  Yay Camp Hashbrown.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Fancy Nancy Dance Camp

We got a flyer in the mail from Dance Around, a local dance studio, about its dance camps for the summer.  I didn't let Emmy chose if she'd rather do the "Fancy Nancy" dance camp or the "Princess" dance camp.  I just made that choice for her - I mean, she was Fancy Nancy for Halloween, so it was an easy choice for me.  She had her dance camp this week - Monday thru Thursday, 10-1.  She had a great time.  They made crafts, read Fancy Nancy books, and . . . danced.  I was really happy she got the chance to do this!  An extra bonus:  it was so close to our house that we rode our bikes there each day for drop-off and pick-up.  Fun.

 Here she is with her shirt and water bottles.  She likes both the shirt and the water bottles.  :)

 Her shirt was huge - a youth Large.  So I snipped it up and tied it and it turned out pretty cute.  You can't totally see it here, but close.  I did snip the shoulder ties even more so they weren't so long . . .

 Today we got to come early for a little "show and tell" of what they had done during the week.  Ben even made it - awesome!  They made tutus, necklaces, etc.  Today they had a special party and got a party box full of little items like a mirror, brush, stickers, note-pad, etc.  And they got cupcakes.  Super fancy fun.

 Here is her poem and a coloring.  Each day had a theme around a Fancy Nancy book.  Awesome.

 They did a little "show" for the family, too.  It was pretty cute.  But Emmy was a little more reserved with her dancing - as Ben remarked, "I see her dance much better at home!"  It was true.  But it was still sweet and fun to watch.

And last but not least - Lucy.  She had to do a dance show of her own, of course!

Anyways, it was a fun, fun experience for Emmy.  I'm sure we'll be doing something like it again next year . . .

Friday, June 21, 2013

Play Ball!

Jonas' first baseball game:

One of his cute fans.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Marvelous Midway

I took my kids and headed out to Midway last Wednesday.  We stayed until Monday so we could make it home for Jonas' first baseball game.  We did a lot of fun things:

Like the slip 'n slide.  Even though Miles broke it, it still worked out okay as we just set the hose directly on the slide (probably like in the old-fashioned days when I did it!).

I know my parents' house is cold (due to my dad), but I didn't remember it being this cold.  It was cold:

So my mom ran to the thrift store and got some cute hoodies for my girls and some long-sleeve shirts for my boys.  I borrowed my mom's sweat-shirt.  :)

We got to go to "The Store" and get a triple-scoop of ice cream for $.99.  Awesome.  Jonas tried root-beer!

We even went to the Utah's high schools' Rodeo state finals.  I thought it was pretty great and I think the kids enjoyed it, too.  My dad said he liked it as well.

I'm sure the kids especially liked their raspberry funnel cakes afterwards!

We played a lot in the driveway - on roller-skates, roller-blades, and the roller-shoe thingys.  Plus bikes, etc.  The boys went on a bike ride by themselves, too.

Eating a snack on the back deck.

On Saturday we went on a hike (my dad stayed home) to Stuart Falls in the Provo Canyon.  It was a pretty great hike and super good for kids, too.  A 4-mile round-trip hike just takes sooooo much longer with kids; I keep forgetting that.
Jonas took this picture and then requested a "silly one:"


As you can see, it's a popular hike!  And I didn't even get a picture of the falls - only the resulting "cascades" below it.  Oh well, go and see it for yourself.  :)

I did hold Lucy for way more than half of it, but if I had all the time in the world, she could have hiked most of it on her own.  She's pretty cute!

Emmy took this picture and she kind of didn't get it quite right.  Oh well.  The boys started playing this game on the hike back down:  they would run way ahead of us girls and then stop and hide at a spot.  They would place their hats on the trail near their hiding spot.  It was great and definitely kept them entertained and moving!  Emmy joined them for the last half and had fun.  She had been complaining a bit, but ran just as fast as the boys when she joined up with them.  The boys (and later Emmy) were called Forest Gnomes.  Very cool.

I didn't get a single picture of my dad driving around the kids in his Polaris Ranger thingy.  The boys went on a few good, long rides and enjoyed it.  But I'm still pretty sure my dad enjoys it the most!  He loves it.

But swimming was "the best" as Jonas just told me.  I took the kids sometimes twice a day.  And I had to split them up - usually it was the boys and then the girls.  The last day I took the 3 oldest kids (in the morning and in the evening) and then just Lucy once.  That was super fun and nice just going with Lucy.
Swimmers - kind of!  So my boys have made huge improvements - for them, at least!  They now actually go under the water, like a lot!  It seems like they are now under the water just as much as they are above it.  Which is so huge for them.  As for swimming?  Jonas can move around under the water - kind of swimming.  He still holds his nose plugged with his fingers 9 out of 10 times.  But he would sometimes go under without holding his nose and that's pretty big.  Miles is great at breathing out and holding his breath, rather than his nose.  He can't really even sort-of swim, but I think he'll get there.  They would dive for cars and do lots and lots of cannon-balls:

So fun.

It was a great trip - only soured by the fact that Ben wasn't with us.

Hopefully we can get back up there again this summer - all of us!

Monday, June 10, 2013

Meet the Rodents . . .

My short stories always turn in to long ones.  So sorry in advance.  But from the 2 lemonade/cookies stands we had last week the boys had made enough to buy a pet.  They were really wanting a reptile - maybe a lizard or a toad.  So we went to Petco on Saturday evening - not to buy anything, but to check out what was there.  I got quite dissuaded from reptiles as it seems like a bit of work - the right temp, heating pads/rocks, correct humidity, feeding of live crickets, etc.  Luckily Jonas wanted a hamster instead. Miles was still thinking of the fire-bellied frog (or toad, I don't know), but I convinced him over to a hamster b/c he could hold it, play with it more, I'd buy a cage for him and Jonas, etc.  Miles was all for it.  

So I went back to the store that night and bought a cage (on sale!) and we put it in the boys' room that night.  It was quite exciting for them on Sunday morning!  They put it all together and then had to wait for Monday.  Jonas kept commenting on it (Sunday) being the loooooongest day ever.  But they survived (me?  Just barely.).

Monday morning came and I decided to mow the lawn so I didn't have to hear, "How much longer until we go to Petco!?" a thousand times.  Right when we were about to go, I totally lost it on Miles and in my frustration I didn't want to go at that time.  

So I mopped the floor.  

Then we went.  

Oh, and we had decided on gerbils instead - I read they were a bit more playful, less nocturnal, and better at co-habitating than hamsters.  Luckily there were already 2 gerbils in one cage because if not, we would have had to have kept the gerbils separated.  Unless they grow up together, they fight like cats and dogs supposedly.  Who knew?

Anyways, the kids bought the gerbils with their money (Miles even found some tubes/tunnels for the cage that were hugely on sale!) and home we went.

Here they are putting their gerbils in their new cage:

 So fun watching them!

 Jonas with his gerbil - her name is Shark Tooth.

Miles with his gerbil - her name is Pepper.  But often he calls her, "Black."

The boys played and played with them all day long.  And sanitized and sanitized their hands all day long.  They had races in the tub, etc.  Finally I had to say, "No more playing with the gerbils.  Just let them be and give them some rest!"  Hopefully the gerbils will survive.

Miles loves creating new tunnels for the gerbils.  At first Miles wanted to stick his gerbil in the tunnel to show her it.  So he took off the "plug" and put her in the tunnel.  I was then supposed to put the plug back on.  But the dang gerbil tried to come back out before I could secure the plug.  I may or may not have screamed and/or ran out of the room.

They just look too much like darn mice - or even rats!

Sunday, June 09, 2013


This past school year the 3rd graders had to work on a state "probe."  I think that's what it was called.  Similar to a state report.  Miles' first choice was Alaska and he thinks he was the only one who wanted that state and so he got it (his other 2 choices were Maine and Wyoming).

I think he did an excellent job and wanted to showcase it.  :)

 So here is his project.  They had to do a report (stapled on), plus a nice border, draw the state (Miles was able to trace it), label the capitol, and draw the flag.  I think those were the requirements.

Here's a close-up of its awesomeness.  His border is the state tree, Sitka pine, and the state bird, Willow Ptarmigan.  I just adore how he wrote "Alaska."  The "A" is a mountain, the "l" is a pine tree, the little "a's" are lakes, the "s" is an earthquake fault, and the "k" is an oil digger.

I'm sure his Uncle Derek would have given him an A+++!

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Racing Categories and Lemonade Stand

No, racing categories and a lemonade stand have nothing in common.  I just thought I would combine 2 things in 1.  Efficient, huh?

So before I ran my 1/2 last Saturday I was checking out the race's website.  I looked at last year's race results just so I knew what I would have to be beat to place first.  HA, totally kidding.  My body is just not made to run fast.  But I was looking at the race results and saw the "overall" runner and her name and time and I think it had 2nd place, too.  Under that was a name, a time, and the category of "first mother."  That's what it said and was all that it said next to her name, "first mother."  Totally interesting!  Was she really the first runner/mother to finish?  Awesome.

So that got me thinking that instead of or in addition to having age group categories, there should also be categories on how many children you have.  I don't mean this for the guys.  Sorry, but usually (not always I know) the stresses of the bearing (an obvious always) of children and the rearing (a mostly) falls on the mother.  I think there is a difference between a 34 year-old woman who has had 4 children (ahem) to a 34 year-old woman with no children.  No?

Now I am kind of being just silly with this - I don't think something like this "should and must!" be done.  I just think it would be a fun twist to a race.  I've got a few friends that have 5 kids (!) and I think they would totally rock in the "mother of 5 children" category.

So, Erin, I think you should organize a "Moms Running From Responsibility" (isn't that like your Ragnar team's name, Rebecca?) race and only have mothers of such-a-number categories.  Cool?  Lame?  Politically incorrect?

Now on to the lemonade stand . . . The kids (the boys mainly, but Emmy somewhat) have been wanting to sell stuff since school got out.  We finally got around to it yesterday and they did pretty good.  It started out slowly and then picked up.  I just let the kids "run the show" and hang out on the porch, inside - yet watching frequently out my window, etc.  The kids wave at all the cars that pass by - I truly think that helps!

Cute pic:
At this time Miles was inside cleaning his bird's cage.  He is going to try and sell his bird, cage, "and food."  All for $26.  He wants a reptile of some sort - a lizard, frog, or toad.  He's not sure yet.  Jonas also wants some type of reptilian creature.  We'll see what happens . . .

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Thelma and Louise back in Moab

So I guess the movie Thelma and Louise filmed a lot of their scenes in Moab, UT.  So it's only fitting for a 1/2 marathon in Moab to be titled the same, right?  I had heard of the run via my Girls on the Run connections - seeing as the race's proceeds goes to GOTR and another organization.  It's a girls-only race and I thought that would be fun.  I got 2 other girls that I know (in the stake) to run it as well.

My parents decided to meet us in Moab and so we were able to make a mini-vacay out of it.  It was pretty awesome:

 I found it.  My dad paid for it.  That's a pretty sweet deal . .. for me.  :)  But I did find this great condo that had just 1 night open for the months of May and June (or just about).  That night turned out to be the night we needed, May 31st.  We got a better deal on it since we only stayed for the night.  It was a really great place - complete with 2 bunk beds and 3 bedrooms.  The girls slept on the bottoms and the boys on top.  It was pretty cool.  Except that Lucy didn't fall asleep until closer to 10pm.  Ridiculous.  And all the kids were up before 6am.  Even more ridiculous.  That night we enjoyed dinner out at Pasta Jays and then dessert.  I had made a rhubarb pie and brought that.  There were also fudgsicles.  YUM.  We had a nice evening together and I was able to get to bed before 10, but still didn't fall asleep until after 10.  Of course I had a bunch of coughing that night that interrupted my sleep (this had been happening all week.  Such a bummer time to get a cold thingy . . .)

Ben woke up with me around 5am and took me to the hotel where my friends had stayed.  We then drove up together to the race spot (while Ben went back "home" and "slept" for a little bit).

The race started at 6:30 and it a nice, cool start.  I stayed with my 2 friends for the 1st half and then headed out a little further ahead on my own.  My friends had a good pace, but they were doing the walk/run thing and I just wanted to keep on running.  :)
Here is my fan club!

 And here I am just about to cross the finish line!  Yay, I was done!  I had felt mostly good for the race, but after 13.1 miles, it's always good to be done.  :)  My actual time was 2:07:26.  I was 166th overall out of 636.  I was 71st out of 213, in my age-group.  (My friends came in about 10 minutes later.  Jessica was limping as her arch was really, really hurting her.  I felt bad, but she still had on her lovely smile!)

 Me, my kids, and the dressed-up Thelma and Louise.  :)  Funny stuff.

 That's Lucy for ya!  The kids all got some treats at a booth there after the race.  (Thanks Grandpa!)

 My fan club again - minus my biggest fan behind the camera.  It was a pretty run along the river the whole time.  There was some good head-wind on the way back - which didn't help for speed, but did cool me off.  The last couple/few miles were pretty hot and sunny.  I was ready to be done.

After that and a couple of cartons of chocolate milk, we headed back down to the condo.  We took a quick swim at the pool (and oh the blessed hot-tub - that was sooooo nice!) and then checked out of our place at 11.  We headed to Negro Bill Canyon for a hike I had found online and had great reviews (both online and from some of Ben's friends).

The hike was awesome, except for some mistakes we made.  It was only a 4 1/2 mile round-trip hike.  Simple-pimple.  My kids have hiked 6+ miles - and that included significant elevation changes.  This one didn't.  The 2.25 miles out to Morning Glory Arch seemed f. . . o . . . r . . . e. . . v . . . e. . . r.  Truthfully, we just made it to where we could see the arch!  But here were our dumb mistakes:  I brought my water bottle but couldn't share b/c of the lame cold I've had, Ben forgot to get one for him and the kids (my mom did have a small one), and we brought no food.  I had mentioned apples, but I guess we just decided against it.  So that stuff, all combined with just running 13.1 miles, made it seem extra super-duper long, I guess.

But the hike itself was awesome.  The kids really loved it - especially the boys.  They did great.  Emmy had moments where she was hot and tired and I did end up carrying her on my back for some of the way down.  But given everything, I think everyone did great.  There was some shade (which is slightly unusual in Moab hiking), lots of water-crossings, cool cacti, neat rocks, etc.

 My dad holding the roof up.  :)

 Blooming cactus.  These were quite plentiful at the beginning.  They reminded me of Jim and Diana and their cactus garden.

 We crossed this stream about 8 times - each way.  It was a delight.  The kids especially loved it.  Grandma Dixie enjoyed telling Jonas {Ford} that another way to say crossing a stream is to "ford" it.  Cool beans.

 A fun spot.

 Lovin' it.  Of course.

 Lucy looks a little wonky in this picture because she is.  She likes to piggy-back leaning back or sideways.  While I love holding her, I was more than willing and even volunteered to piggy back Emmy on the way back since she can hold on to me better.  Despite the 10 extra pounds, Emmy is much easier in my opinion!

 Okay, we made it!  Well, almost!  You may or may not be able to see the Morning Glory Arch in the background.  Kind of right above Miles' head.  I guess it is the 6th largest arch in the world.

 My mom is a trooper, too!  At 67 years of age, she rocked it.  My dad hiked for a bit, but then the sun came out and the hot sun and my dad don't get along.  So he decided to head back.

 The 3 kids got to walk in the stream for a little ways of the trail on the way back.

 We stopped and played at this spot for about 10 or so minutes.  The kids got soaked, but loved every minute of it.  Jonas, however, regretted it later as he had to hike in wet shorts.  But I am pretty darn positive he would have done it all over again!

Lucy loved it, too!

So we finally made it back to the parking lot - just about when my dad was starting to get worried.  I got to ride back in to town in my dad's new car.  It was fun - and perhaps a little more peaceful than in my own car.  :)  We also tried to call my sister on the "hand's-free" device.  Crazy stuff I tell ya.  My parents took us out to "lunner" (late lunch/early dinner) at one of their favorite places, Zax.  It was pretty fantastic.  I was feeling pretty famished by the time we ate!

Then we pretty much each headed back our own ways.  The kids loved seeing their grandparents (2 sets of grandparents in 2 weekends - lucky them!) and had a wonderful time, too.  I love how Ben always supports me in my hobbies.  He thinks I'm neat.  :)

All in all, it was a short and exhausting weekend - yet fun and so wonderful to see my parents, too.