Friday, July 29, 2016

Boys' "Environmental Science Camp"

So truth be told I do not have much time to post this.  In 24 hours we will be leaving on a plane to the east coast!  We're so excited to see family - oh, and some cool places, too.

But I need to get up some pictures from the boys' camp they went to last week.  Or it will never happen.

The boys went on a camp with their gymnastics' coach and his brother.  It was a "treasure hunting" camp really.  Every day they went hiking to mines, etc., to look for gold.  They came home with gems, silver, platinum, pyrite, and flecks of gold embedded in rock.  :)  They had a GREAT time!  It was just our 2 boys and Coach Kirk and his brother Chris.  Maybe when I get back, I'll edit this with more information . . .

I am going to try and post some pictures.  I have 354 to choose from - that's what I get for sending Miles up with a camera!  :)  I probably won't caption any at this time.  I can't even really see what pictures I as uploading as I'm just going through the thumbnail images . . . Anyways, here we go:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A Hike

So the boys were gone all week at camp and it was, of course, quieter and more peaceful.  Not that there was no fighting going on, but definitely it was decreased.  Yet, in only a motherly way, I missed my boys.  I was devastated when I didn't get their "on-the-schedule" Wednesday night call home.  Luckily they called on Thursday morning and talked and talked and talked and I hardly knew what they were talking about.  But they were having fun (I'll post their camp next, I hope!).

Anyways, Ben had already put in about 40 hours of work by Thursday and there were no surgeries on Friday, so he got the day off.  We haven't done much hiking so that was our (our = Ben and Emily, not the girls) choice of activity for the day.  I had seen another friend post some cool pictures from a hike and so we decided to explore that area.  It was cool - literally and figuratively!  Ben and I forgot to bring jackets . . . and it was cold and rainy.  But not for all of it.  It did warm up as we got close to the truck.  :)

Anyways, here are some pictures:
 Lucy and her sandwich.

 On the trail - a 4WD road.  I just thought it was so unique and pretty here!

 We made it "here" and this was our turn-around point.  There were hundreds and hundreds of sheep on the hillside.  It was exciting and awesome.  We were told by other hikers about the sheep - plus about the "sheep dogs" and how they were told the dogs were friendly to people but aggressive towards dogs.  So we put Brigham on a leash as we got close.  The dogs immediately came towards us and barked at Brigham - but I wouldn't call them aggressive.  They were doing their job of protecting their sheep.  As soon as they realized that Brigham was not a threat (partially due to the fact that he was on his leash!), they were fine and left us alone.  The girls were really scared about the approaching dogs.  Then I just sweet-talked to the dogs and they wagged their tails like crazy and that seemed to help Emmy and Lucy not be so worried.  :)

 Sniff, sniff.

 What a cool spot!

Even better with a close-up of the waterfall.

But by that time, it was chilly and so we headed down.  We spent a little bit of time in Ouray and then headed home.  It was a good day!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Maroon Bells Backpacking Trip

I was given the chance to go on a backpacking trip with some gals and a few of their kids.  I really wanted to go - even though I was nervous about hiking with adults (I'm used to going at a 5-year-old's pace . . . ).  Then add a 35-pound pack to my back and I was doubly nervous!  I decided to go for it and was working on having people watch my kids while I would be gone.  It wasn't going smoothly at first and so I backed out.  Then things started coming together and so I was back in - even though I still was worried about everything (hiking, leaving the kids, etc.)! 

This is what the back door looked like the night before I was leaving (Oh, I was leaving on a Thursday morning and coming back Saturday night).  I had details, itineraries, phone numbers, dinner, chores, summer homework and such for them on those sheets of paper.  I had two different ladies picking up my girls at 9:30 - one for Thursday and one for Friday.  The boys were going with a different friend on Thursday and then on Friday a young man (soon going on a mission) came over and took them swimming and then they were home for the rest of the afternoon by themselves.  The kids were alone in the mornings for 2-3 hours and they all survived that!  :)  As I said on facebook, it took a village for me to go on this trip!

We left Thursday morning and finally we ready to head out on the trail at 12:30.  Our plan that day was to backpack in 8 1/2 miles to Snowmass Lake (in the Maroon Bells wilderness).  And hike we did!  It was quite tiring!  The other three ladies I went with - though all older - do this type of thing a lot.  So I was just glad to be able to keep up with them and do just fine.  :)  We were all worn out by the time we made it to the lake - it was a challenging hike for sure!  We set-up camp, ate dinner, swatted at the billion of mosquitoes that were around, made a fire to burn our trash, and then went to bed.

I slept in until 8 am on Friday!  It was the most amazing thing.  I mean, I hardly can do that at home, let along while camping.  I was the 2nd person up.  I actually had a good sleep.  We finally got everyone else up (we had 5 teenagers - ranging in ages from 14-18) and ready for our day-trip hike.  We planned to hike to Geneva Lake - a 7-mile round-trip hike, according to the Forest Service.  Well they were wrong and the round-trip hike was actually 11 miles!  Luckily we didn't have to carry our packs that day!  It was an awesome hike, with awesome climbs (so steep!) and awesome views.  The lake was beautiful - but not as gorgeous as Snowmass lake (that lake is amazing!).  We got back to camp in time for dinner and another campfire.  I didn't sleep well that night and was up early.  I had fun watching a bird swim/take a bath in the lake and I got to see two rainbow trout swimming around.

We got all packed up and headed out on Saturday morning.  The hike was a little better as we were going down more than up, but it was still hard - especially after hiking almost 20 miles already.  The trail seemed to go on forever . . . :)  But it was great to be out in the wilderness and fun hanging out with the ladies I went up with.

Okay, on to the pictures:
 This was the log-jam.  Luckily it wasn't too bad and was a fun, little challenge on the hike!  This was about 6-miles in to the hike on Thursday.  Sherri is crossing it - sans backpack as one of her sons came back over and carried it for her.  :)

 Setting up camp . . .  there were 9 of us total.  Fun, fun.

 Snowmass lake - AMAZING.  Isn't it just beautiful!?  It's humongous, too.  I loved the rocks going right in to the lake.
 More of the lake.  Lovely.

 The super-beautiful and super-tall wildflowers.

 This is at the top of the super-high pass we hiked up on Friday morning.  I loved our view!  It was very cool being above timberline.

 This is at the top, looking back the other way at Snowmass lake.  Lovely, indeed.

 The trails with the Maroon Bells in the backdrop.

 Geneva lake - a very quaint and perfect mountain lake.

Oh we were thirsty a lot!  Thank goodness for cool streams and water filters!

 We even got to see this pink mountain goat!  Yes, pink!  It really showed up more pink in real life.  :)  We assume it was pink from rolling in the "maroon" dirt of those mountains.  Crazy cool.  He was knocking rocks down on to our path and so we had to watch out for him!

Here we are again, at the top of the pass.  We had just 2 more miles to go until we were back to camp.  From left to right it is Heather Oman, Amy Gueck, Sherri McBee, and myself.

And today I am as sore as I can be.  But it was totally worth it!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Hi-ho, Hi-ho . . .

it's off to work I go!

Well I think and sort-of.

So now that I will have all my kids in school come August, I have started thinking about getting a job.  I always periodically check the hospital and its job openings.  Although I swore I would never go back to the hospital!  It's nothing against our hospital in town, it's just that hospitals in general are not fun places to work at.  But the cancer center posts its jobs there and I did think if I had to work in the hospital, I could do the JRC - Joint Replacement Center (people recovering from hip, knee, etc. surgery).

Well, I saw 2 PRN openings in the JRC (PRN - "as needed").  I know the head manager lady - I don't even know how?!  Perhaps from when I worked at the hospital last - which is about 6 1/2 years ago.  Anyways, we randomly run in to each a couple of times a year - at our local 5K turkey trot, at the soccer field, etc.  For some unknown reason, she really likes me.

Anyways, when I saw the listed jobs listed I thought I would just call and talk to Jackie (her, the nurse manager, name) and get some more info.  She was excited to hear from me and just told me to put in my application.  When I told her I don't even have some of the information they wanted (I'm not super organized and perhaps lazy), like last dates of work, how much I was paid, etc., Jackie didn't care.  So I put literal "?" on my application.  How classy is that?!

So I sent in my application (online, of course) and Jackie got it and so now I am going in tomorrow for a little intro on how the JRC works - it's all a "formality" as Jackie put it and I basically have the job.  So crazy.  I just feel like I never even have to interview for nursing positions!

But here are a few other things about this job.  It looks like I would be able to get a 6pm-6am shift, on Tuesdays and Wednesday nights - EVERY OTHER WEEK.  Cool, huh?!  So one week I'll have to work two night shifts, but the other week I don't work at all.  Sounds pretty great.  Also, a 6-6 shift is a little unusual.  Most shifts are 7-7.  Of course there is a reporting at the end of your shift to the next on-coming nurse, and so you don't get off really until 7:30.  Well that would have been a little too difficult as Ben leaves for work at 6:20 and the kids need to be ready and out the door by 7:45.  So having this 6-6 shift will get me home by 6:30 (Jackie told me I could be the first nurse to report off), 7 even at the latest, which would give me enough time to get the kids ready and off to school.  Then sleep-time for me!

I figure I would take a little nap on Tuesday afternoon, before the kids come home.  Then after I send the kids off on Wednesday morning, I could hopefully sleep from 8-2 (it's short-day, dang it!).  Then Thursday I would again get the kids off for school and then take a little nap and then be up for the rest of the day.  Seems doable - especially as it would only be every other week.

So we'll see what happens!  I still have to figure out how to get some orientation time in - I can't just orient once a week because that would take forever.  So hopefully we can figure it all out.

I'm hoping it's a really good fit and that it will work for me and my family.  It sounds like a pretty good set-up and so we'll see what happens.

And, yes, I'm pretty scared about going back to nursing after 6 1/2 years.  It sort of makes me want to barf.  But better get back after 6 1/2 years than 20 years, right?  I sometimes just wish I choose a job in which I didn't have people's lives in my hands!  :)

Thursday, July 07, 2016

Swimming on July 4th

So our July 4th holiday was pretty much a repeat of last year (camp, Littleton, etc.) - and July 4th itself was no exception.  We started the morning with a run for me and Brigham, while Ben rode his bike with us.  Then we went to a breakfast at some of Jim and Diana's friends from their ward.  Ben knows them, too, of course.  Joe and his family came as well.  Well, except for Sam and Emma as they were at work (more on that in a bit).

After breakfast we went home and packed up the truck.  Then we went swimming.  We went to where Sam and Emma are lifeguards; it was totally fun to see them at their job.  :)  Lucy would always say, "Hi Sam," or "Hi Emma."  Cute, cute.

Our kids went off the high-board for their first times - with Emmy doing it first, of course!  She did it twice and then Jonas wanted to try.  But he actually got back down - via the ladder - his first try.  A little bit later he did it.  Miles loved it, too.  The diving board was a huge hit and the cousins even had competitions (for smallest splash, etc.).  Fun times for sure!

 Emmy on the low-dive - I love how it looks like she is walking on water.  :)

 Cute cousins, Nicholas (age 8) and Jonas (age 10).

 There goes Emmy!

 And there goes Jonas - in pretty much the same form!  :)

 Lucy and I had fun playing in the water while the other kids dived.  Lucy worked on her dives as well - it's tricky in a life-jacket.  :)

And there goes Miles!