Sunday, June 22, 2014

Camp Climb-A-Lot

So, we went on our first camping trip of the year.  The kids were all super excited.  And, once we found out that there was a high probability that Ben would be able to get off in the early afternoon on Friday, we decided to go to Goblin Valley.  It's quite the trek out there - 3 1/2 hours - but our kids love it, it was on our Summer's Bucket List, and Ben would be off earlier = so this was our chance.

Instead of me just babbling on and on, I show (lots and lots) pictures while I babble:
 This was a great camping spot!  So cool and offered tons and tons of adventures for the kids.

The main adventure of choice?  Climbing!  Hence the name of our camp (remember, we always "name" our camp spots).  Can you spot Miles?

Zoomed in, there he is!

We got to Goblin Valley and found our campsite first.  Then we set up camp and heated up and ate dinner.

After that we headed off to explore Goblin Valley State Park.
 So cool!

There were lots of jumping and running and climbing and exploring!


Another cool shot.  Lucy was done by this time (she loved it, but - just like last year - we forgot to bring our water bottles and so everyone gets super thristy . . .  Lucy just wanted to get back to the car and get some water!).

So we finally got back to the car (Miles got extremely mad because he wanted to climb to the top of some goblin but wasn't able to.  I mean, we told him he could try and he just couldn't do it.  He blamed us for not helping him and he was very mad and sad . . . )

Anyways, we got back to camp and Jonas had a blast with the bow-and-arrow set.
It was cool to see the arrows fly off.  It was the perfect spot for it.

So Robin Hood-ish.

We also made s'mores, of course.  But instead of graham crackers we used Ritz crackers - so it was more like Salty 'n Sweet s'mores.  Good stuff.

We finally got all settled in and asleep by 10ish.  It was hot and super windy.  The kids slept well and Ben and I probably slept like normal when camping - waking up every couple of hours . . .

Morning came and we were all up by 6:30.  The kids wasted no time in climbing!
 Can you spot Miles, Jonas, and Emmy?

There they are!  They were high!

We ate, broke down camp, and packed up our car and were headed out by 8am.  We were the first people at Little Wild Horse trail-head.
 It's a really neat hike and the kids were all in to it - well, once Emmy was done with her 10-minutes of grumpiness and exclamations of how much she hated this hike (I think it turned out to be one of her favorite hiking adventures . . .)

Cool and cute brothers.

The slots were so neat and Emmy didn't even cry this time (as opposed to last year when she was scared and cried in the slots).

See, a happy girl!

The sand.  The kids loved the sand since it's so fine and smooth and cool.  Here they were making "sand angels."  Awesome.

I love this picture.

Can you spot Miles, Jonas, and Emmy?

There they are!

This was about at our turning around part.  Lucy pretty much hiked the trail - well once we entered the slot part of it.  She did great on the way up!  On the way down?  She was held for most of it. . . :)

We told the kids (the older 3) that they could go ahead and we'd meet them at the sand part where they could play and play until we caught up with them.  They flew down the trail and we'd get lots of comments from other hikers coming up the trail.  "Do you have 3 kids?"  "Are those 3 kids your's?  They are really far ahead!"  We were glad to know that 1.  They were all still alive and 2.  They were all still together.

Ohhh, we found evidence of them being on the trail.  :)  Well we got to the sandy part and they were not there.  There were some other people there who told us that they were pretty far down the trail.  We finally met up with them at the "swimming pool," i.e., a sand pool, really.  They told us how Emmy had gotten stuck right by the sand pool, "for like 15 minutes and was crying and wouldn't come down" and how some man with a camera got her unstuck.  Awesome.  They were having a blast playing and I think it was pretty fun for them to "be on their own."  We felt comfortable - for the most part - with letting them do this on this hike.

 What happens when you do lots of climbing and then, subsequently, lots of sliding back down?  You rip your shorts of course.

Miles was in Heaven there.  He loves this stuff - rocks, sand, caves, climbing, exploring, etc.

We got a picture of each kid jumping in to the sand pool:

So fun!

And that's pretty much The End.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

A Few Random Summer Pics and Vids

 Aw, summer camp is over.  For the past 2 weeks we've rode our bikes each morning to the middle school, and then each afternoon back home.  It was awesome and a perfect little ride for all of us (Lucy got to ride in my bike trailer).  The kids liked it and want to still ride to the school in the morning, even though camp is over.  :)  Summer camp was great - the boys got to do things like cook, be a smart shopper, figure out laws of motion, geocache, take a field trip to the Black Canyon, etc.  It helped that some of their best-friends were there, too.  Emmy like her camp as well and did things like learned some Spanish, made pinatas, was an explorer and made a cool journal, etc.  But she's glad to be done.  The boys, not so much.

Jonas helped cook an "outdoor" meal on Wednesday night.  It's for one of his cub scout requirements.  It was super windy but it all worked out and was yummy.

Lucy had her final dance camp "show" today.  I picked up the kids from their camp and we basically went right over for Lucy's finale.
 They danced a little routine and then showed us all the crafts they had made during the week:  crowns, fairy wands, paper lanterns, coloring pictures, etc.  So cute.

Miles has been working on his "contraptions" a lot lately.  It's a set that was given to him by Santa a couple years back.  It's super simple in design, yet totally cool and complex.  :)  This was Miles' most difficult and challenging work - it broke a few times and he was about to give up.  I said a few words of encouragement, but truthfully that's probably not what inspired him to try again.  Because, let's be truthful, the only person Miles diligently listens to is . . . himself.  But try again he did - with success.

Here is run #2.  We weren't allowed to watch run #1.  It almost worked.  We tried a few things - much to Miles' protest and final acceptance and then. . . I broke a little section of it.  So then he had to rebuild . . . and then it worked!  So it was all good.  :)

And here is Lucy's dance performance.  It's a little long - even for family members.  So watch as much as you want:

And one more video.  Jonas decided to make a stop-action movie the other day.  I don't get it at all, but it's still kind of fun to watch:

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Lucy's dance camp

Miles, Jonas, and Emmy are in their 2nd week of the school district's Summer Discovery Camp.  They are all having fun.  This week Lucy is in her own camp - Dance Camp.  She's loving it!  She's super cute.  There are about 8 girls in her class.  She goes from 10-1, Monday thru Thursday.  This is probably the longest she's been away from parents AND siblings.  I don't think she's ever just been by herself (well, without another Maxwell around).  The first day she just went right in without a glimpse back.  :)

Here she is all ready - carrying her little purse with some snacks in it.  So sweet.

Jonas at bat

Jonas had his first baseball game of the season this past Monday.  It was fun!  Jonas was up to bat 4 times, had 4 hits, no outs, and made it home once.  Ben reminded me that 4 hits were more than all the hits he had last year, all season.  So we're off to a much better start.  Jonas was super excited about everything and had a lot of fun.  Go Yankees.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Post-Father's Day Report

Well it was a nice Father's Day - Ben enjoyed the things the kids did for him, I talked to my dad, and Ben spoke with his.  :)

I had gotten a few good ideas from Pinterest . . . and actually did them!  I loved this poster and had one printed up and the kids all wrote down their thoughts on it.  We then hung it up secretly in his church office so that when he got there at 6:30 on Sunday morning he'd see it.  He said it was really fun to see and read.  He also got a picture of the kids and some sassafras candy.  :)

Ben made it home by 4.  He then had to play a game of knights and castles with the boys.  The boys, with blocks and such, had set up some castle-like structures and put their plastic knights all over.  Then the boys, Ben included, take turns shooting at the knights with rubber bands.  It's pretty great.  I'm pretty sure Ben knocked over the most knights.

Then we watched some old home-movies.  Like Miles-as-a-baby old.  We finally got up to Jonas-as-a-baby.  Man did we take a lot of boring movies of Miles!  The kids really love watching them.

We then had our, ahem, expensive dinner.  Ben's choice:  Provencal Beef Stew with french bread.  The stew was really good - then it became really strongly flavored, but still good.  It was definitely fun to try.  Ben even got to make it up Saturday evening (which, truly, he loved).  Then we playe LIFE which wasn't so grand because the kids weren't so grand.  Then we had dessert, Ben's choice of course again:  upside-down apple tart.  I had slightly burned it, but Ben loved it still (he's good like that).  Miles liked it.  The rest of the kids got popsicles.

Anyways, I had the kids all make cards, inspired from these here.  And I had them fill out a father's day questionnaire.  I'm going to write down what they said because I think it's cute and funny and sweet.

My dad is 38/38/28/8 years old.
His hair is brown/brown/blonde/brown and his eyes are blue/blue/like mine/blue.
My dad likes to wear work clothes/nice clothes/clothes/clothes.
He loves to eat pie/soup/pie/chicken.
He is smart because he knows how to be a dad/how to build/what he should do/that dolphins eat stuff.
My dad works hard at work/our ice rink/work/work.
Daddy always tells me to be quiet/be good/stories/that he loves me.
It makes my dad happy when I am with him/we make surprises/I choose the right/he kisses me.
If he could go on a trip, he would to Maine/Maine/Littleton/running and he would take everyon in the family/     /us/me.
I really love it when my dad is funny/plays with me/comes home/takes me on a walk.
If I could give my daddy anything it would be an all-year ice rink/ice rink that never melts/love/a phone.
My favorite thing about daddy is he likes everything/he's nice/he works for us/loving.

I love how so similar the boys' answers were (especially about the ice rink stuff), even though they didn't share any answers out-loud.  Good stuff.  They really do love their dad.  I love their dad, too.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day

I'm lucky to have a great father, a great father-in-law, and to be married to a great father.  Truly blessed.

A father's work is tough and I'm thankful for all the wonderful ones in my life - and in my kids' lives.

Happy Fathers' Day!  I love you and you and you!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Maxwells' Summer To-Do List, by the kids

So one morning for their writing assignment I asked the kids to write down what they want to do this summer.  Each kid had to write down as many things as they are old.  So I thought about their lists and thought we should try and do what we can and what we can't - we'll make some modifications.  So here is the list, with said modifications:

1.    Ride in dad's truck (check)
2.    Play outside (check)
3.    Go see jellyfish
          *  modification:  Make this cute craft here.

4.    Go to the zoo
          *  modification:  Play zoo with stuffed animals
5.    Go to Ava's home
6.    Go to the swimming pool (check)
7.    Go to the . . . . . something, I will have to ask Emmy what it says in the morning
8.    Go to the skate park
9.    Go to the skating rink (check)
10.  Go to the "plaps"?????  I will have to check with Emmy again on that one.

11.  Go to Ivan's house (check)
12.  Go to the skate park
13.  Play Harry Potter Clue
14.  Paint lots of pictures
15.  Build house out of legos
16.  Play with Josh
17.  Win a baseball game
18.  Go to Legoland
          * modification:  Have a Lego Day.  Play with legos, games with legos, etc., etc.

19.  Go swimming (check)
20.  Go to Summer Camp (check)
21.  Go camping
22.  Dig holes
23.  Sleep outside
24.  Build shaved ice place
          *  modification:  Go get some good shaved ice (check)
25.  Build tree house
          *  Make a cool fort in the backyard
26.  Make a movie
27.  Go to Dragon Wall Restaurant
          *  Make a homemade Chinese buffet dinner perhaps???
28.  Go to Goblin Valley

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Go, go, Joe!

 Thanks in part to books on CD on our most recent car trip to Utah, Jonas finished up his 1,000 minute summer reading log.  You get a prize for the first 500 minutes and then the 2nd prize for the next 500 is this cool lawn sign.  :)  Love it.  (Miles had finished, too, but lost the privilege of coming to the library that day and thus had to wait a day to get his prizes . . . )

Jonas started baseball this week.  We were lucky and blessed to have gotten a lot of sports equipment hand-me-downs from a Dr. that Ben works with.  Included were some baseball stuff:  a bag, batting gloves, helmet, bats, etc.  Jonas was soooooo excited!  Soooooo excited!  I told him, "Uh-oh, people are going to think you're really good!"  :)  He thought that was funny.

He loved practice and had a lot of fun.

He even got some hits - which, for us, is good.

Another hand-me-down item was a ball-pitching machine.  We set it up this week and Jonas loved it, too.  It's pretty fun.

We are planning to watch The Sandlot this weekend . . . good times!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


As Lucy and I were riding to pick up the kids from their summer camp, Lucy (in the bike trailer) asked me,

"Do you know who my BFF is?"


"Her name starts with a P, p, p.  No, no, a L, l, l."  (She is sounding out the sounds, not saying the actual name of the letters.)

"Ummm, Lila?"

"Do you know who my next BFF is?  It starts with a M."



"Ummm, mom?"


"Ohhh, umm. . . :"

Then Lucy says, "It's not because I don't like you . . . "
(I was super impressed with her thoughtfulness and maturity at even saying/thinking something like that!)

"Ummm, Emmy?"


This conversation was just full of sweetness.  :)

Saturday, June 07, 2014

The Rest of our Vacay

I'm just going to go over each day of the rest of our trip.  

Again, we went swimming in the morning.  Again, the kids loved it.  On Wednesday I had taken Jonas, Emmy, and Lucy to Blickenstaff's, a fun toy store in Provo, while Miles was at his camp.  Miles really wanted to go and so on Thursday I took him before his camp.  I was able to leave the other three kids at home and so I just had Miles.  I convinced him to buy a potato gun - since he really wanted to buy something and this was something cheap, but something I thought would be fun.  I got one for Jonas - which he paid me for.  The boys love them and they are actually pretty good!  (Sure, I broke one and had to go on Friday and get Jonas a new one.)

I hung out while Miles was at camp and did a few errands and then picked up Miles and met the rest of the gang (minus my Dad) at Dairy Keen for dinner.

The only morning we didn't go swimming - it was a nice break for me.  :)  We checked out an estate sale (Miles bought a candle) and the thrift store in Heber - I got some shorts, twin pants for the girls (they always want to dress like twins!), the game LIFE, etc.  After our shopping, we headed down to Provo to Classic Skating - where we went for our first time over spring break.  Fun times were had again:

 The boys won this game of "Red light, green light."  Awesome.  We had fun skating and playing in the bouncy houses.  There were definitely more kids there this time since it's summer time, but it still wasn't super busy and so it was nice.

 The kids all got tokens to play some games at the end.  The girls got enough tickets to buy Fun Dip - maybe their first experience with them?  Fun!

We then took Miles to his camp - and had some time to kill.  I actually went back to the toy store and bought Jonas a new gun.  Then we came back to Lindon and played a game of LIFE on the grass while Lucy finished her nap in the car.  :)  We played at the elementary school right across from where Miles met.  Then my mom met us and we went in to watch the kids' stop-action movies that they had been working on.
 Here is Miles in his camp shirt.  He really, really loved it and has asked many times if he can do it again next summer.  The stop-action videos were quick and very short.  They were fun to watch.  Miles did a lot with "transition frames" and was excited about that.  At the beginning of his movie he had appear on his screen:  "Please turn off all cell phones."  Nice.

We went out to dinner at a salad, pizza, pasta buffet place.  It was good and the kids had fun - too fun, in fact, that Jonas and Miles had to do a time-out when we got home since they couldn't sit at the restaurant.  Awesome.

Saturday - our last day.  We went swimming for our last and final time.  Then we headed over to a "Day on the Farm" event hosted at the local dairy here.  It was pretty awesome and the kids had a really great time.  My mom met us there when she was done with a baptism at the church.  There was free pizza, milk, ice cream cones, face painting, petting zoo (a favorite spot for my kids!), tree swings, etc.  There were tons of people, too!

 Here are the girls dressed as twins for the day.  Pretty cute!

 Emmy holding a bunny.  She loved holding the baby animals.  (I have tons and tons of pictures of my kids with the animals.  Oh well!)

 The boys and chickens.  Gross.  :)

 Emmy and another bunny.

 Jonas and a duck.

 There was this old carnival ride.  It was powered by . . . the parents of the kids sitting in it.  :)  It was heavy to move!

 The kids really loved it - even the boys.  Funny kids.

 The girls waited in line to get their faces painted.  They waited forever.  But they were really super excited about their butterfly faces!  So sweet.  :)

 A super fun tree swing!  I love this picture.

 And this picture!

Then we were back to the petting zoo:

 My favorite kind of thing to hold:  a cute kid.

Then, since this wasn't enough (!), we drove to Provo and watched The Lego Movie at the dollar-theater.  The kids really liked it.  I was hoping to get a nap in, but it was just too loud.  Not for Lucy, though - she had a good nap.  Though when I told her that she napped, she got quite upset with me and told me she had not.  Funny girl.
At the movie.  Thank goodness for booster seats!

We ended the evening with a nice walk around the neighborhood.  I love this area.  It's so beautiful.  We had a really good and busy and full week.  Everything went well and the kids got to do a lot of fun things.  It's too bad my dad wasn't feeling good (he goes in on Monday to get his gallbladder out), but it was still good to be around my parents.

But all good things must come to an end and so tomorrow we'll drive back home.  But there is always a silver lining:  seeing Ben again!  Wahooo.