Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Short and Sweet

Ben's sister, Debbie, and her husband Kenny and 3 of their 4 kids, were able to stop over at our house on Tuesday night and even sleep-over.  :)  It was so great.  They are traveling from their home in Texas to Provo - where they will pick up their other child, Katie.  Anyways, they stopped in Mesa Verde on their way up and we encouraged them to come and stay with us for a night - which they did.  Wahoo.

They got in around 8pm and left by 9am the next morning - so it was definitely short and sweet.  But we loved it all and were so glad they made the stop!  Melanie, Josh, and Claire are such great and nice kids!

Back row:  Jonas, Josh, and Emmy
Front row:  Ben, Miles, Debbie, Melanie, and Claire
(behind cameras:  me and Kenny and a stubborn Lucy)

We love family and are super excited for Ben's family reunion next week - where we'll get to see Deb and fam again, plus everyone else.  Woop, woop.

And We're Back Up

All of our electronics are falling to pieces.  Our desktop computer is infected (though I did clean some up and it is working so much better!), plus its USB ports don't work at all.  The printer is goofy. (I did find a newer one at a garage sale and bought it.  I've yet to set it up since I'm waiting until we buy a new computer.)  Our phones are bad.  Ben's laptop would only go to a black screen.  But we finally got Ben's laptop fixed and so I can now type fast and upload my pictures.  Yay!  So now you get a bunch of posts at once from me.  Enjoy.


Ben's 2nd counselor in the bishopric invited our family to come up to their cabin in Arrowhead.  They moved in permanently to their cabin last October.  Arrowhead is about an hour's drive from our home.  We drive by the turn-off all the time, but have never actually driven in to Arrowhead.

So we were invited to come up last Saturday afternoon.  We had a really fantastic time - the kids loved it all, too!  We hung out, used the bathroom a lot (poor Lucy was suffering from a bad tummy-ache), went on ATV rides, fished, ate dinner, cooked s'mores, etc.

It is a pretty area and we were glad to get out of Montrose for a bit.
 Lucy caught the first fish of the day!

Jonas was next!

Then Miles!

Then finally Emmy (although it wasn't technically her line, but we were wanting to go and so she got to reel it in.  She kept asking, "Is this one really mine?"  "Yep, you reeled it in!"  Now let's go . . . :)!

Jonas tried to gut Emmy's fish.  I don't think he quite did it and ended up having Ben help.

Love the tongue!

Emmy and Dale and Anne Erickson.  Lucy got to ride the ATV to the lake and Emmy from the lake.  The boys went for a ride when we got back.

The boys got really in to their pocketknives that they had gotten from Aunt Renee and were whittling away sticks in to canoes, etc.  Fun!

The four of us were able to all sit on the ATV and we went on a good ride.  It was fun.  We even ran in to another ward member that lives up there - he was sitting on a bench at the fire station.

We ate dinner and s'mores - then the kids begged for one more ride on the ATV, after which we headed back home.

It was a lovely Saturday.

Out of doors Friday

Back in the spring my friend Heather and I talked about getting a group together on Fridays for some outdoor adventures with our kids.  We didn't start until about the 2nd month of summer, but we've pretty much done something every Friday since.  Once we rode our bikes on a fun and easy path to the Ridgway park.  Another time the group (minus our family who were gone in Utah) went and hiked in Ouray.  We went and biked to the skate board and played there.  The bike bumps were another time - although we had to miss that one, too.  We post what we are doing on facebook and then whoever wants to can come!

Last Friday we went on a fun hike in the Little Cimarron area.  It was really beautiful and fun:
 All the kids that came - what a cute group!  This was our snack-log.  :)

Lucy and her adorable friend Lila eating lunch.

Emmy and her friends, too.

Our ants on a log eating lunch.

I made the girls some wild accessories.  :)

 Lucy got one, too.  So sweet.

 Again, Lucy fell asleep after a hard day's work.  :)  (I had a hard day of dealing with her on the way up on our hike, but I didn't get a nap . . . :).

It's been fun getting out with friends to cool places.

Medieval Times

That's what I call our little business - I'm not sure it's Ben's choice of names, though . . .

Ben has wanted to make some wooden swords since the Swiss Days event in Midway, UT.  We went last year (Labor Day weekend).  We had walked around the booths and Jonas found one selling wooden swords; he loved the swords and we ended up getting him a basic one.

Ben has been determined to make some ever since.  He's made a few here and there - some for our kids, others for friends' birthdays, etc.  But he's wanted to try and sell them.

Anyways, long story made short is that one Monday we decided to go for it and try to make and sell products at the county fair - 5 days away.  That was a fun and busy week.  Lots of garage-time - that's where Ben's power tools are, etc.  The boys did a lot of work, too.  Miles cut the tips of the swords, they both helped measure, trace, sand, and stain.  The boys loved it.  Friday night Ben ended up slicing his finger pretty badly and had to go to the ER.  All was well (he's tough!) and when he got back, we got back to work.  We were just set-back a few hours and so we didn't get to bed until 2am . . .

We decided on two days for the fair - Saturday and Wednesday.  Saturday was pretty slow and only a few items were sold.  (Oh the girls helped me during the week in making beaded tiaras.  I also worked on some "decor" for our booth.  It was a fun family project for us all.)  But the boys still had great fun - well all the kids did.  But we left the boys for a few hours on their own and that was pretty cool for them.  Wednesday was a better day and we definitely sold more and made decent money (although we are still not making profit yet . . .).  Again, the boys were on their own for awhile and did well managing everything - and enjoyed themselves.

This Friday, August 1st, we are going to the Ridgway's Farmer's Market.  We still have stuff leftover and so we're hoping to sell more!  We'll see how it goes.

Here's a few pictures of our Medieval adventures:
Joans working in the garage.

The assembly line.  Pretty cool!

Here was our little "booth."  It turned out all right, I think.  The next time I hung the headbands on tulle and so it looked better than hangers.  :)

Pretty much the same exact picture.

What happens after a hard day's work.  She fell asleep in the weirdest of positions.  :)

The kids liked going to the different "shows" that sometimes were going on.  This was the hypnotist one - Miles wasn't hypnotized.  He's too head-strong for something like that.  :)

It was a great adventure - we had fun working on a project together as a family.  Now to actually make money from it . . .:)

P.S.  Our booth was extremely popular with all the boys at the fair.  They just flocked over and looked and played with the swords.  They just didn't have money to buy.  But everyone just loved the products.  We didn't sell too many of our beaded tiaras - even though they are super cute.  But every time we did the girls were super excited!

Baseball season ends

Jonas had a great season - his team was undefeated (or maybe they lost one game, we're not totally sure . . .).  It was a fun season and Jonas only struck out a few times all season.

 Playing third.

Jonas and his trophy.  It's a pretty cool one and his first one.  :)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Cuzes Meet up in Utah

Well my sister and her family flew in to Utah last Wednesday.  My sister and her husband then flew out (just themselves, leaving their 2 boys with our parents) on Friday morning for a week-long vacation.  My parents are taking the boys to Yellowstone this week and so I decided to go for a few days last week so we could all meet up for a few days.  It was a great little trip!  We hardly see each other and so it was especially fun to see the cousins together.  It was also great to see Erin and Chuck for a bit, too.

Anyways, I headed out Wednesday morning.  After a stop at a lego place in Grand Junction, we were on our way to Midway or bust!  Well bust we kind of did - but luckily not too badly!  As we were coming upon Helper I just started to feel like I needed to slow down.  I couldn't feel anything terribly wrong, but it also didn't feel super normal and I just felt I needed to slow down.  So I did.  I still didn't notice anything really bad, but I just knew something was wrong.  Finally, I knew I had to pull off  - so I pulled off at Helper's first exit.  Right as I exited it was completely obvious that we had a flat tire.  I parked in some lot and checked out our front flat-tire.  Bummer!  Anyways, to make a long event not-so-long in writing, nobody in Helper would help (how ironic is that!) due to "liability concerns."  Blech.  But a nice gal had overheard me and offered to help.  Yes, I kind of know how to change a tire, but it had been a looooong while and I didn't think I would trust myself anyways.  Plus, I didn't have all that was needed.  Anyways, the young gal and her mother helped - but it wasn't easy since we didn't have all that we needed.  Again, nobody from Helper that drove past us stop to help.  But after over an hour my spare was put on and I drove back to Price to Big-O and got a new tire.  We had to wait at Big-O for 1 1/2 hours.  It was soooo long.  But my kids did enjoy the free popcorn and the movie "Chicken Run" that they had put on for them.  :)  So we made it to Midway about 3 1/2 hours late.  Bummer.  But we made it!

Hanging out at Big-O.  Awesome.  Not really, though.

The kids started their legos (that they had bought in Junction) as soon as we finished up with dinner.  Fun!

Aunt-E reading a book to everyone . . . except Jonas who was still working on his legos.  :)  What a cute bunch.  Oh, and I had to point out what Lucy was doing to Aunt-E.  She was biting/chewing off her toenails with her mouth.  She totally gets that from her Aunt.  :)

On Thursday we got up and Erin and I did a run together, which was super fun.  Erin was super great - even though she was 5,000 feet higher than she was the day before.  :)  After that we all headed out to the "Fairy Forest."  I had just seen this on one of Ben's friend's facebook comment.  It looked like great fun and so we went.  It was great fun.  I can't even explain the place - it's just something you have to go and see for yourself.  It's kind of weird, yet totally delightful for kids (and grandmas :).  So I have tons and tons of pictures of all sorts of different fairy houses we saw.  I won't post them all, but probably lots.  Here I go:

 On our way . . .

What a cute fairy village - my favorite part is the clothes-line.  Sooo cute.  :)

Stonehenge, love it.

Once you get to the fairy forest you just wander around all sorts of paths that are lined with little fairy houses, villages, etc.  People just set up their own little stuff.  It's pretty adorable.

Just trying to show a glimpse of the forest.  But this doesn't do it justice at all.

The trolls were pretty great.

Snack time!

This was a Fairy Haunted House place and so the kids had to make a scary face. Nice.

Cute girl.  Cute fairy houses.

Love the "pops" of color!

Love the painted pinecones!

Cute and creative.

Some fairies.  :)

The girls loved the sparkles and jewels.

A stick painted like a moose.  :)

Emmy and a rock Olaf.

A fairy barn - complete with rock cows in the pasture.  :)  There was even a chicken coop!

So that was a fun adventure.  We drove up a little more and checked out Provo falls - which were pretty awesome!  Then we went back to Midway, stopping at Kamas for a lunch break.

We went swimming a little later and then headed to Heber's Farmer Market.  It was a bit crowded and crazy, but still fun to go down to.  We got dinner there and the kids played at the park.

This was Miles' favorite part of the park - this spinny thing.  I think he was there the whole time.  It was pretty cool.  Emmy is on top in the purple sweatshirt.  Jonas, which you can see in the top picture, was in the middle with a white shirt.  Miles was somewhere, as well as Rhett.  Right as we were leaving, it started raining.  Very cool!  It was a fun day.

Erin and Chuck flew out early Friday morning.  The rest of us headed to Thanksgiving Point's newest attraction:  the curiosity musuem.  Something new + in Utah county + for kids = lots of families!  Aiyiyi.  The line was huge and we debated several times about going and doing something different, but in the end we decided we were there and we just went for it.  And it turned out good.  It wasn't super crowded once inside and the kids really, really loved it.  There were many different areas to explore and play:  the motion center, the rainforest, kidtropolis, outdoor discovery gardens, and water-works.  It was fun and we spent like the whole day there.  Even though we didn't run around as much as the kids, I think we "old" people were more tired than the kids.  :)  I only took a few pictures (none of which were the neat exhibits):

 Lunch time with a bunch of cute cousins.  :)

The discovery garden had a pretty cool playground area.  My kids, Emmy especially, LOVED the see-saws.  LOVED.  It was all Emmy did there.  Awesome.

And here is Ollie, just a little bit wet from the water-works station.  :)

After dinner my dad took his "thing" (Polaris) and drove down kids to 7-11 for free Slurpees.  Why free Slurpees?  Because it was July 11th - 7/11.  Awesome.  Montrose doesn't have a 7-11 and so it was fun for the kids to get to do this.

The kids watched a movie that night and then we called it good.  We headed out by about 8am on Saturday morning to make it back to Grand Junction - where we met up with Ben and watched a production our stake (plus 4 others) have been working on, called 18 Lives and the Book of Mormon.

It was fun to hang out with Rhett and Ollie and get to know them a little more.  Rhett is definitely growing up in to a great boy.  He's very good with his "thank you's" I noticed.  He and Emmy were really great buddies and it was fun to see them.  They chatted the entire drive to and from wherever we went.  It was cute listening to them.

Ollie is just adorable, too.  Jonas was so sweet with him and just buddied up with him.  Jonas is really great with little kids and just likes them, I guess.  It was cute to see Jonas helping out Ollie (Erin, when you get a chance can you send me the picture of Jonas carrying Ollie?).  Ollie is funny - and quite quick and witty, really.  He and Lucy clashed a bit - it was kind of funny, though.  If I told Lucy she couldn't do something, Ollie was quick to repeat me.  Much to Lucy's dislike.  :)  "I know Ollie."  I'm sure as they get older they will be more chummy like Rhett and Emmy.

Anyways, I'm already looking forward to next summer when we'll hopefully get to hang out for more than a few days with the Hubands . . .