Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Miles' pictures from Scout Camp

So Miles got back around 3pm on Saturday.  He was happy and said he had a great time.  We asked him lots of questions and he answered them pretty well.  :)  He ended up finishing 5 merit badges - plus 1 more that needs 1 more thing to finish it up.  So 6 isn't too bad.  Especially since I asked him to do 2 required badges - Environmental Science (I was given a tip to have him do that one since it is a hard one to do "at home."  This one took the longest - most badges you get in 2-3 hours.  This one you had to spend about 2 hours at for three days.) and First Aid. He did both of those.  His electives were basketry (yes, the classic "basket-weaving"!), wood-carving, art, and leather-working.

Here are the pictures he took (well, not all of them.  I will not post the picture of the shower.  Especially b/c it reminds me of how Miles told us that some scouts pooped in them.  Disgusting!)

 The waterfront area.  Miles did not even attempt to pass the swim test - and I'm not sure he could have.  I think he said you had to swim to the dock and back two times and then back float on the 5th leg.  He really wasn't interested in the waterfront, so it all worked out.  But he still took a picture, I guess!

 Miles and his buddy and tent-buddy, Ethan.  Miles and Ethan lucked out and got a 4-person tent all to themselves.  They are the youngest.  The other youngest, Jeremiah, decided to stay in the 8-person tent - with 8 kids.  I think Miles and Ethan got a little more sleep than the other boys.  :)  Miles went with the other ward since there were no other boys from our ward going.  He was sure glad to hear that Ethan was going as well.  This was probably the 2nd day and look how filthy Miles is - that's my boy!

 Some of Miles' work:  the 2 baskets he made, his leather pouch, plus some of his merit-badge cards.  Cool!

 His camp area.

 He hiking stick he whittled away at and the leather handle.  I love it.

 Some rope-course thingy.  Not really a rope, but whatever it is.  :)


 Jeremiah on their way back home.

His camp was near Blanding, Utah - Blue Mountain Scout Camp.  Those are the blue mountains in the background.

When I asked if he missed us, Miles replied, "No."  That kid.  But he did say he wanted to call and talk to us.  :)

Emmy's gymnastics

Emmy is getting better and better!

Father's Day Questionnaires

This picture is just too good to not use again . . . Also, better late than never with this . . .

I copied Ben's Mother's Day Questionnaire and had the kids fill them out for Ben.  Here are their responses:

1.  My Dad is (40, 40, 40, 40) years old.

2.  My Dad was (nice, cool, asommm!!, nice) when he was a child.

3.  My Dad is good at (a lot of stuff, boating, playin with me, football).

4.  My Dad likes (my mom, when we are good, his family, his children).

5.  My Dad often tells me ("Miles . . .," I love you, I love you, be nice).

6.  My Dad really wants (to have kids that don't fight, to go boating in the ocean, to have nice kids, nice children).

7.  My Dad's favorite books is (I don't know what it is, Red Badge of Courage, I have nice kids, The Hobbit).

8.  My Dad's favorite movie is (same as #7, Fiddler on the Roof, October Sky, The Other Side of Heaven).

9.  My Dad looks (like my brother and sister, like an awesome person, like he is so hot  P.S.  That's probably why mom married him, for nice children)

10.  I would like to give my Dad (farm land, ________, love, a kiss).

11.  My Dad is special because (he is my dad, he is a nurse, he plays with me, he is a nice dad).

12.  I hope I can (be loving, boat, be nice, be like my dad) like my dad.

13.  Mom married Dad because (she loves him, he was good, he is nice, he is cute).

14.  My Dad wants me to be (kind always, good to my family, nice, like him).

15.  I love my Dad because (he does nice stuff for us, he is really helpful and nice, he is handsome and nice, he is good).

Saturday, June 25, 2016


So this happened to me this past week.  I haven't had one since the late 80s, maybe early 90s.  I'm rad.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Happenings . . .

 Brigham makes a great pillow for morning reading.

 The girls, inspired by their Star Wars Dance Camp, like to practice their light-saber skills.

 Ben went boating with the boys - including Randy.  They went to the Blue Mesa and had a great time.  The boys even got to fish!

 Happy men on a boat.  The wind was pretty dead for a bit and so Randy decided to go for a swim.  Well, while he was swimming around the wind totally picked up and the boat began sailing away from him. :)  Ben was able to use his skills and maneuver (i.e., sail) the boat back to Randy.  It was fun for all!

 Brain chase has begun!

 One of my favorite pictures of all time - with some of my favorite people of all time!

Miles on Monday morning at 5:45 - heading out for Scout Camp.  We won't see or hear from him again until he comes home Saturday late afternoon!

 Yay!  Some nice friend's husband took this picture of Miles at camp and sent it to me via FB.  This is what she wrote:
Clark called and said Miles is doing awesome! He's loving being filthy!! Here is a pic of him cleaning the meat off of a pig!! . . .Clark said he was running around with the pigs head having a blast

That totally sounds like my Miles.

Yes, the house has been way quieter without Miles.  But, yes, we all miss him, too!

We've had a busy week full of library activities (a Harry Potter party and a Pond Critter activity), daily tennis lessons for Jonas (the coach loves Jonas' racket - he calls it a "classic."  An AMF Head that cost me $1 at Habitat for Humanity.), a good bike ride to Ridgway Town park today where I got to not only pull Wren but also Lucy in the trailer on the up-hill way out (long-ish story), going to a "reception" for Jonas as he won one of the 10 drawings for Alpine Bank's "Pays for A's" program (Jonas ended up getting $45 from them - for his last report card!  Lucky!), a late bike ride on this trail with friends for FHE on Monday night (it was a great way to celebrate the Summer Solstice as well as a full moon - by the time we were driving home, it was dark . . . it was a late ride, but awesome), babysitting Wren, etc., etc.  The week slows down from here thank goodness.  :)

And that's that.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

For Our Two Favorite Fathers

We love you great men and hope you have a great Father's Day!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer Update

Get ready for a nap or something . . . :)

So it officially feels like summer now.  We've just finished up 2-week swim lessons for all the kids.  And that's just so summery.  :)  There were many points why swim lessons were awesome this year:
1.  I knew 4 other moms that were there at the same time watching their kids.
2.  My kids improved in their swimming.
3.  My kids loved it and had great swim teachers.
4.  No one drowned.  (Jonas drowned years back while in a swim class . . .)
5.  And FREE lunch afterwards since I was so smart to sign them up for 11am swim lessons!

The free lunch thing was pretty great and I'm going to miss it.  In fact, I should finally be making bread right now instead of typing away on my blog . . .  The school district offers free lunch at 2 spots during June and July: one at the pool and at one of the middle schools.  There were pretty decent lunches - and always came with a treat and so that was better than lunch from home!  :)

All of my kids except Miles leveled up in their swim levels.  Poor Miles.  But the kid is just so uncoordinated in the water!  I mean, he can swim-play just fine - dive for things, paddle around, etc.  But swim real strokes?  Nope.  Not to be too rude, but it was rather comical to watch him.  He did try and I do think some of it (just a little) was due to not being able to wear goggles.  Jonas, Emmy, and Miles were all in the same class/level.  Emmy was borderline, her teacher said, but she did pass Emmy.  I think Emmy would actually do best to stay in the same level again.  But I guess she can try the next level and we'll see.  Their teacher also told us that Jonas should look in to the swim team.  She (I guess I could call her Ms. Nancy) called swimming Jonas' "thing."  We'd love to find his "thing"!  :)  What - my child a swimmer?!  I would have never thought.  Jonas isn't great, but he definitely shows some ability and talent.

The boys participated in an archery event through the library.  They had a good time there and Miles, Jonas, and their friend Ivan all made it in the papers.  I didn't see it, but I got a copy of it:

The boys have played with their neighbors and friends a bunch and have eaten popsicles and have bought treats from the ice-cream man.  So that sounds like a pretty good summer so far.  :)

I finally got my kids to the dentist.  It had been 2 years, I guess.  I'm the worst and should be fired . . . Everyone was great except Jonas; he had one little cavity.  So we went back and Miles and Emmy got sealants on their new molars and Jonas got his first filling - fun, fun.

The girls did dance camp this week - Monday through Thursday.  So they were busy:  dentist, swim lessons, lunch, dance camp, then gymnastics on Tues. for both girls and on Thurs. for Emmy!  Plus Emmy got sick and hasn't been feeling great, but has been hanging in there thanks to ibuprofen.  They wanted to do the "Jedi training" dance camp and have had a good time so far.  I asked the girls if they wanted to dress up as "Rey" for their last day (from the new Star Wars) and they did - and so I put together a costume in 15 minutes.  I think they looked cute:

Ben and I went together to pick up Emmy from gymnastics on Tuesday and she showed us her new and improved round-off back-handspring.  It was sooo good!  I mean, a lot of improvement since I took those last videos a few weeks ago.  It was really fun to see her do that.

It's hot.  But we did have 3 days of awesome hail/pelting-rain storms.  That was fun!

What else to bore you with . . . Miles goes to Scout camp next week - as in all week long.  It will be interesting to see how he does!  He won't be homesick, I'm sure, but we'll see how much merit-badging he can accomplish.  :)  I just reviewed the badges they offer at the camp and we made a list of which ones he wants to do.  (I am making him do 2 - which are required badges and are a little difficult to earn.  All the other badges are "just for fun" really.)  His top three choices:  1.  fishing, 2.  basketry, and 3. art.  Awesome.

Jonas starts tennis lessons next week. I found a racket - that looks great - for $1.  Awesome.

Tons of people kept asking me about the "Into the Wild Wednesday" group we did last year (I was one of the starters/organizers.)  I sort of didn't want to do it again this year, but I caved in and will hopefully just organize a couple of the outings and let others do the rest!  :)

Ben slowed down a bit at work for a few weeks.  A couple of doctors were gone and such.  But the last couple of weeks it has picked up and he has worked some long days.  The fort is nearing completion!

I finally talked Ben in to coming road-biking with me on Saturday mornings.  I'll do my long run on Friday and then we can go together on Saturday.  We did it last week and it was grand.  It's nice having kids a bit older that can be left for a little while!

Okay, that's enough for now!

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Backyard

First of all, Montrose has forgotten who it is!  We got a crazy downpour yesterday and then again today - right now.  Remember, Montrose, you are a desert.  But it's awesome.

Anyways, back to my post . . . our backyard.  Last year we started a tree-house in our backyard.  Ben built the foundation/flooring for it.  And that's as far as it got.

Well after lots of kids jumping off it onto the tramp, we decided it's time to start building and putting up the walls.  :)

So on Saturday Ben spent most of the day working on it.  I helped where I could - but really only a tiny bit.

Here's how it is coming along:
 It sort of looks finished from this point since you don't see the sides that aren't done.  Pretty cool!

 Ben loves the ladder - it's his favorite part.  :)

 The inside.  We've still got two sides to wall in (or whatever you call it).  Then put on the roof.  It's pretty awesome and the kids were super excited to see it coming along.  Just don't ask Miles to help.  He won't.

Another view.  The pole-thing sticking out will have a pulley on it . . . fun.

And here's our garden:
We planted basil (that really isn't taking off - our first time ever it hasn't done amazing), corn, tomatoes, some lettuce on the hay-bale (we'll see about that . . . ) and then beans -that are already starting to climb the archway trellis.  That huge plant is our rhubarb.  We've only made one pie this year!

Anyways, that's our backyard.  :)

Monday, June 06, 2016

The Snowmass Trail Ragnar

Well the Snowmass Trail Ragnar was just this past weekend.  It was a great time - but also super hard!  All 3 runs were definitely challenging!  We got to Snowmass Village on Thursday evening and had a great evening just chatting with everyone.  Friday morning we got up and went to the "Ragnar Village" where we found our camping spot and began setting up.  By 11:30 am our first runner was off!

 This map depicts the 3 different runs that each of us on the team run.  Green loop - easiest.  Yellow loop - intermediate.  And red loop - most difficult.  14.5 miles total for each runner.  We all ran them in a specific order - either Green, Red, then Yellow; or Yellow, Green, then Red; or Red, Yellow, then Green.  I was given the rotation of Yellow, Green, then Red - ending up on the hardest run.  Ugh.  :)

 This shows the "Ragnar Village" camping - so cool!

 Here's a close-up of our little camping area - so cute.  :)  I made those signs - as our team name was "Dangerous Curves Ahead."

 Brittany, the cute gal in blue, was our first runner!  I was number 5.  My first run began at about 3:30.  It was sooooo hot!  Like mid-70s, but up in that cloudless elevation it felt like the 90s.  I don't run well in the heat, but ended up doing okay.  The yellow/intermediate was a challenge for sure!  I was glad to have my hot run done with.

We basically would do a lot of walking back and forth between our campsite and the transition area - where the one runner hands off the bib/timing chip to the next runner.  We'd cheer on our team as they came in and cheer them on as they headed out.  We all weren't there for all the runs, but we'd come back and forth a bunch.  We not only got some good running in, but a lot of walking as well.

My friend/night-running buddy and I took advantage of the free 8-minute massage they were offering.  I'm not sure what hurt worse - my uphill yellow run or the massage!?  It was quite painful.

Dinner was served that night and was pretty yummy.

Some of us tried getting some rest before our night run, but it just didn't happen for me.  I finally gave up and got out of the tent and just waited until it was time to head over to the transition area.  Sarah, my night runner, and I went down and hung-out near the bonfire for a bit - and got to watch a little of the movie they were showing on a big screen - Top Gun.

We headed out for our night run at midnight.  It was the best run!  Sarah was a great night-buddy and told me of all the pitfulls on the trail:  "dip!"  "root!"  "rock!" etc.  It felt wonderful without the sun and was just an awesome, awesome night run.  It turned out that no matter what run we had (green, yellow, or red), whatever run was done at night was that person's favorite.  Does that make sense?!  So like if my night run was the red loop, it probably would have been my favorite.  It was just so cool and nice!

We got back to our tent and I probably slept from about 1-4:45am.  Not too bad!

 Here we are just hanging out in the morning.  A couple of husbands made it up to run the night-runs (and more) with their wives.  Fun, fun!

 By a little after 8 am it was time for my final run - the hardest (red) run.  A 6.7 mile run - with 3.5 miles of it going up and up and up and up some more.  Sarah, the girl on the right, was my night buddy.  She ended up running all the runs with me.  Well, sort of.  I'm faster than her and so we didn't really run together.  We just started together.  :)  Except for the night run - I stayed with her the whole time as that was purpose of having a night-running buddy!

 Here I am finally coming down from my run!  It was so hot - even by then!  I was dying.  I walked maybe a mile (or less) of the trail on the way up.  It was a very difficult climb!  But I made it and enjoyed the rolling downhill part of the run - even though my body was exhausted!

 Here I am coming in to the transition tent - glad to be done with all my runs!  It was very tiring, yet very awesome.

 My family came and met me there that morning!  They saw me off on my last run and then cheered me on when I was finishing!  Ben and crew left our home at 5 am that morning - what a great support team I have.  :)

 There were three runners to go after my last run and so we just walked around, packed up a bit, and waited for a while for our last runner to come in.  Here's 4 of us hanging out:  Brittany, Sarah B. (our unofficial team member), Kandace, and myself!

 Kandace and Sarah B. showing off their tan/burnt leg-lines!

Our last runner, Stefanie (also our fastest and who also had the red/hardest run last), finished at about 12;30 pm and we all ran in with her.  Yay!  We were done!

 Our Ragnar team: back row - Heather, Brittany, Sarah E., Kandace, and Sarah B.  Front row:  Marnae, Stefanie, me, and Erika.  Erika was the only non-LDS gal and works with Sarah E. and filled in when another team member couldn't do it anymore.  Stefanie lives in UT and is Marnae's sister and looks and talks just like here.  :)  I am pretty sure we represented every ward/branch in the Montrose area.  :)

 At home in my Ragnar shirt and medal.  I was pretty sleepy on the ride home!  :)

The interesting medal we got - it's got lots of "tools" in it.  At least it's functional I guess!

And there you have - the long version of my first Ragnar!

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Happy Birthday to Brigham!

Brigham turns one today!  He's sure grown up in the past year and we've loved having him part of our family.  I'm glad that he and Wilson have been able to know each other . . . one loves to play/pester the other and the other tolerates it okay.  :)  Wilson will just stay in one place pretty much while Brigham nips at his tail and then Wilson barks and Brigham runs around the yard.  It's pretty great!  Wilson's tail is wagging the whole time and so maybe he sort of enjoys it?!

He is the perfect running buddy and I adore having him on my runs.  He's fun and I feel much safer with him around.  Although he is constantly on the look-out and chase for birds.  Ducks especially.  As we come upon the ducks, he creeps down real low-like and walks slowly for a bit.  Then I have to reign him in and pull him away from the ducks.  :)

The kids adore him.  He's a great buddy and we sure do love, love, love him!

Lucy is always laying down on him.  He never minds.  :)

This happens sometimes when Brigham spots a bird or two in our front yard.  It's pretty funny.

We love our big beast of a dog.  He's as sweet as they come!

**Updated with more pictures from today:
 The birthday dog in his birthday hat.  We had just gotten back from a birthday walk in the woods!

 I had made him (and Wilson) his own special dog cupcake - with carrots and PB and stuff.  He loved it!  (So did Wilson - since it had carrots in it, I didn't think Wilson would eat it!)

Brigham's birthday present - a gigantic bone!

A fun day for a great dog!