Saturday, June 17, 2017

Our Non-Lazy, Non-Hazy, Crazy Week of Summer . . .

This past week was super-duper busy:

On Monday morning I was off by 6 am for my work-out and Miles and Ben were off by 6:15 to Scout camp.  The girls had swim lessons from 10-12 (Emmy was at 10, Lucy at 11) and then we had four of their friends over for the rest of the afternoon.  There were lots of shrieks and lots of fun.  Jonas had gymnastics that evening.  The kids played incredibly well that evening - drawing houses, etc. on the sidewalk with chalk.  I let them stay out 30 minutes longer and called it our FHE.  :)

On Tuesday the girls had lessons again from 10-12.  We came home and Ivan was with us for a couple of hours.  Then it was time to get ready for the afternoon/evening of gymnastics and a swim meet.  I dropped Jonas off with his swim coach so she could take him to Delta for the meet.  I then took Lucy to gymnastics and we had to skip out a little early so we could head up to Delta.  Emmy was dropped off early for her gymnastics class and then was picked up by Csilla and taken to her house so I could stay with Jonas at his meet.  Lucy and I hung out at the stuffy pool and enjoyed the mini-meet.  Jonas looked really good - although he got DQ'd on two of his four races.  I'm not sure why.  He looks good, but he's just not super fast (but he's not the slowest either!).  Jonas had a lot of fun and was super excited to get 2nd in one of his heats.  We picked up Emmy and I let the kids play for a tiny bit outside on the sidewalk again.

On Wednesday, Ben came home at 1:30 am.  :)  I got up around 5:15 so I could get my triathlon training in (which I usually do on Fridays) before I had to be back to take Jonas to swim practice.  So I did my little swim, bike, and run and then got home with just 2 minutes to spare to get the kids all in the car to take Jonas.  The girls had their lessons and then we came home for lunch and then we headed to the library on our bikes.  The library had a "Drum Safari" program and that was fun.  Afterwards we rode our bikes with Csilla's family to the bike-bumps and had a good time there.  Then it was home and we were finally able to see Ben/Dad!

Thursday morning I again woke up at like 5:15 and picked Csilla up so we could run together up Buzzard Gulch.  I've never gone running with Csilla and it was pretty great.  Brigham came along and had a good time, too.  :)  Then it was back to taking Jonas to practice, getting lunches made, then going back to the rec. center for the girls' last day of swim lessons.  After lessons we stayed at the rec. center and ate lunch, climbed on the climbing wall, played some foosball, and then the pool was finally opened to the public and so we spent a couple hours there playing at the pool.  As much as I don't love swimming with my kids (I still get nervous - mostly just with Lucy, I get cold, etc.), it was actually really good and fun.  Ben was going to take Jonas mountain-biking that evening for some one-on-one time since Miles is gone, but then randomly a doctor called and asked if he would assist on a emergency hip-fracture surgery and so Ben went to the hospital at 7:30 (and got home at 11:30 - 2 1/2 hours later than he thought . . .).  So our plans changed and I took the kids down to Main Street as it had been closed off to cars and had a little street party going on.  Ride the Rockies (a biking event that travels over 400 miles throughout Colorado) was coming through and so there were vendors, music, etc. going on.

On Friday Ben and Jonas went biking at 6 am.  Jonas had a great time and Ben said he did really well.  Then the kids and I headed out for our Neosho hike and that was a great hike.  We got home just as Ben did from work and had a bit of time before we headed out to Girls' Camp.  Jonas was with his friend Ivan and so we just had the two girls.  Originally we were all going to camp, but we decided against bringing a boy up (Ben is a man/bishop -very different . . . :) ).  Also, we had just talked about how we are not doing sleep-overs with Jonas and so we couldn't then leave him overnight (ahem, sleeping over) at Ivan's, so it was decided I would just come home with the girls and get Jonas.  The girls (our girls) were so bummed once we got up there that we couldn't stay the night.  They liked being there with the five YW and their great leaders.  The camp was just our ward this year.  The girls were fun and funny and we had a great evening there and ate dinner with them (at 8 pm - we had to leave at 8:30!).  So then we (not Ben, he is the priesthood guy there for the night) got back in to town (a 45-minute drive from camp to town), picked up Jonas, then got the kids to bed.

And that was my week!  Thankfully, even though we did lots of fun things, every week of summer is not/will not be so crazy.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Neosho Mine

I took my kids (minus my Boy Scout) on a hike up to Neosho Mine in Ouray.  A teacher from Northside Elementary organizes a hike each week for other teachers and friends and so Patty (my friend and a staff member . . .) told me about this hike.  Csilla and I had talked about going on a hike today and so we went along with the Northside group.  It wasn't their normal day for hiking and so there wasn't too many of them, but it was a great hike.  It starts out pretty steep (which was actually way worse coming down) but then lessens and was really a beautiful hike up to an old mining area - complete with buildings and such that you can go in to.  It was cool!

 The hike was a fairly short one - 4.4 miles round-trip.  This part is about a half-mile from the mine.  It was very pretty up there!

 I think this was the blacksmith shop or something.  See the clothes-line on the left?  You can see it from the road as you drive south of Ouray on the Million-Dollar Highway.  We see it all the time!  Now we can look up and see it and know we hiked all the way up there.  Awesome.

 This was another builing - the bunkhouse, I think.  It actually had bunk-bed frames inside.

 Lucy was my tour guide.  There were pictures hanging up of the miners and his wives/daughters (?) that lived there.  This was the kitchen area, Lucy told me.

 Emmy going down the sketchy stairs to an even sketchier basement!

 The basement!

 The basement's door.  The other girl is Lexi, Csilla's youngest.  She hiked the entire thing, except for the one I held her for a few minutes after she fell and scraped her knee and arm.  Hungarian blood is tough I tell ya!

The beautiful scenery!

It was definitely good to get out and hike!  My week has been so super busy that I almost just didn't do it.  But I'm super happy we got out in to the outdoors.  Miles would love the old mine-buildings and so I'm excited to take him back up sometime!

Yay for summer!  It's been good - but also exhausting and trying at times, too.  :)

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Boy Scout Camp So Far . . .

Ben and Miles ready to leave for Scout camp at 6am on Monday morning!

 Ben drove up Miles and the four other scouts from our ward to the SOAR BSA camp.  Ben stayed for Monday and most of Tuesday - leaving the camp at 10:30 pm and getting home at 1:30 am.

 Jarett, Jess, Aiden, DJ, and Miles with their scout flag they painted last Saturday.

 Meal time!  Ben said the food was actually pretty good.  :)

 The boys went on a hike on Tuesday evening and it seemed like the boys all had a good time.

 What a pretty cool vista!

 What a good lookin' scout!

 I love this father-son duo.

Miles loves exploring the great outdoors!

Ben had some mixed reviews about the camp thus far - some good and some bad.  But I think overall the boys will have a good time!  We'll be anxious to see Miles and hear all of his experiences on Saturday.

Brigham turns 2!

Yes, we are that family that celebrates their dogs' birthdays.  :)

 His toy - the Jolly Egg.  A neighbor and employee highly recommended it.  Brigham doesn't like it and just barks at it.  Whatevs.  :)

 His birthday cake . . . carrot-cake.  Super yum.


Buckhorn Lake

Jonas, one day, was moaning about how we never do stuff he wants to do - he gets in those mood sometimes!  Ben just told Jonas that if he just nicely asked us to do something and if it was reasonable and our schedule fit it, we just might do the "stuff" he wants us to do.  So then Jonas asked if we could go kayaking.  So kayaking we did . . .

 Yes, I did panic when my dog couldn't stand not going with Ben, myself, and Emmy and decided to swim across the lake.  Yes, I know where the term "doggy-paddle" comes from and that dogs can swim.  But Brigham never has - nor has he wanted to.  So I was a little nervous that he would get tired in the middle of the lake and drown.  Emmy was crying.  Ha - we're nuts!

 He didn't drown after all.  :)

Ben rowing the other kids to our little island.

Jonas loves being in kayaks and canoes.  He had a lot of fun.  All the kids did, really.

Lucy really wanted to fish and so we gave it a go and caught . . . nothing.  We'll have to try again!

 The four kids out in the 2-person kayak.  :)

 Cute kayaker Jonas.

 Cool dad and son.

 The lake became this little stream and so the kids stayed in the kayak until we reached our truck pretty much.  Emmy had fun (sort-of) navigating the boat on her own.  She needs more practice.  :)

 Then Lucy wanted a try . . . and Emmy wanted out.  Haha.  Lucy wasn't horrible, but could use some more practice too.

 Almost falling asleep . . .



A fun afternoon!

Thursday, June 01, 2017

May . . . and The Fort

 May was super busy for everyone!  I was lucky to not have to work - I'm not sure I would have been able to fit it in!  :)

The past three nights, the boys have slept in our backyard fort.  Super cool!

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Outing

We took the family on a little mountain-biking experience on Monday.  This was a single-track trail and my kids hadn't really done something like that before.  It was a little hard for the girls - on the way out there were lots of falls, hoping off their bikes, screams, and cries.  But coming back the girls did so much better!  They might have even liked it?!  The boys were totally fine.  We found this creek that was beautiful and a lovely meadow where we ate our lunch.  It was a good outing.

 Everyone ready to go - including, and probably especially, Brigham!

 The meadow.  I love the Brigham can "stay" so we can get him in our photos.  :)  Where's Emmy?  Oh, she was just mad at the world at this point.

 Crossing on gigantic logs is always fun.

So is crossing little logs.  :)

The Great Sand Dunes Videos!






Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve

So within an hour of the kids being all done with school (30 minutes for Miles!) we were on the road.  We were going to the Great Sand Dunes for a couple of days.  It was just me (minus a tooth that was pulled the day before and so my mouth didn't feel so great . . .) and the kids.  I had reserved a campsite for two nights months ahead - as it fills up like a year before!  I was lucky to get the nights I did.  I wasn't planning on going the day school was out, but that was the only available slots and so I took it.  It worked out perfectly that it wasn't on the weekend because by Friday, that place was packed!

Anyways, we had a good drive listening to a great kids' book.  When we got to the Dunes, the kids got out and explored!  It was windy and Lucy did not like it at all.  Wind + pelting sand + Lucy = lots and lots of crying.  But she did have moments where she enjoyed it.

After we played around for a bit, we went to our campsite and set up camp and cooked our dinner and the kids explored the little creek in our campground area, and then we went to bed.  Lucy woke up screaming at 1:40am about her nightmare and spiders.  She was screaming so much and so loudly that I was scared she would wake up the entire campground.  I placed my hand around her mouth several times!  Finally I just held her and then she slept in my bag for a while.  It was crazy.

On Thursday we went and rented some sand-boards and sleds.  It was pretty fun, except that the wind was even worse on Thursday!  It was insane!  Poor Emmy rode the sled down once and got a bucket-load of sand in her eyes.  She couldn't open them for like 10 minutes.  It was sad.

After playing in the sand, we went back to our campsite and ate lunch.  Then back to the dunes to play in the creek - which only runs until like mid-June.  It was fun - but chilly as it was still super, super windy.  The wind and crying Lucy were frazzling my nerves and I might have lost all patience on Jonas at one point in time.  But we'll try and forget about that.

Finally we found a spot on the creek that was down river, out of the crowds (not that there was much) and out of the gusty wind.  There was a breeze, but I wouldn't even call it wind.  It was such a needed break out of that wind.  The kids just played for hours at that spot.  It was lovely.

Again, that night we cooked our dinner, ate s'mores, Miles made crazy flames with pinon needles (from branches that had fallen) and we put in the color-flame stuff and that was awesome, we played the Murder game, then went to bed.  Luckily no one had nightmares that night!

On Friday we just ate our breakfast and packed up camp.  One of our good friends was coming up that day and was hoping to find a campsite at the first-come, first-serve loop (our loop was the reservations loop).  I had walked around the night before and counted 16 sites that were vacating on Friday and so I told Heather (my friend who was coming) that it looked good for her to find something.  But as we were packing, the rangers came to our site and placed a 2-night open sign on it - someone had canceled!  I nagged it for my friend and we waited until they came.  The rangers then told Heather that the campgrounds had filled by 7am that morning and so it was just lucky that it worked out how it did!  Our kids played around the campsite for a bit, then we all ate lunch, then we went to the Dunes all together.  Heather's little kids couldn't quite handle the wind and so she found a different spot to hang out at.  But my 3 oldest and Holly (Heather's oldest) played on the Dunes for a bit.  Lucy and Lila played in the water.

Then I was ready to go and so we left - stopping by the cool Visitor's center on our way out.  We had a good drive home and drove in to our drive-way right as Ben was coming home from work.

It was fun camping, but that wind at the dunes was kind of hard to deal with.  Yes, I know that the dunes are there because of the wind.  But still.  :)

Pictures galore:
 On our way out, we stopped by the Morrow Point Dam.  This is about 30 minutes from our home, and basically on the way.  All four flood-gates were opened and gushing.  I guess this (opening of all four because of water levels) has only happened twice in the past 32 years.  It was our mini-Niagra Falls.  As you can tell by looking at the kids, it was chilly - and misty!  Pretty neat.  :)

 The boys ventured further down the road while the girls were scared the boys were going to drown and die.  Poor girls have their mother's worry-genes.  :)

 The Sand Dunes - so cool!

 Running on sand is the worst!  :)

 But jumping is the best!

 This was Miles' favorite activity - just jumping on the sand hills.

 The kids all climbing back up . . .

 Cute Lucy with Medano creek in the back.

 The boys were pretty great helpers in setting up the tent. (The girls then set up the inside - pads, bags, etc.)  The boys can do it all except for the last, crucial step.  :)

 Jonas was excited to get our fire going!

 Haha, this was lunch on Thursday afternoon.  The kids had bagels and yogurt.  Each yogurt lid had something different on it - perfectly, Miles' lid showed him how to make it in to an origami-like spoon.  Awesome.  (P.S.  Miles got a trim - not cut - on Saturday, in case you were wondering.)

 The girls had fun playing in the water!  The boys had fun, too, exploring all over!

 But then the girls would get too cold and have to come to the hot, hot sand.

 Ah, finally, a place in the dunes where we could escape the wind.  Lucy worked on this creation for hours it seemed.  She was really proud of herself and actually said, "I am really proud of myself."  :)

 Jonas found those sunglasses buried deep in the sand!  He also created what looked like a mini-Goblin Valley out of the sand!

 Emmy spent lots of time doing cartwheels in the sand.

 Miles made some pretty great sand creations, too.

S'more time!

 Miles and his smoke!  He took a box, filled it with pine needles, then turned it over and put it on the fire.  It was actually pretty cool.  :)

 The kids climbing a tree on our campsite!

Our last time at the Dunes - Emmy, Holly, Jonas, and a small Miles in the background.

It was a pretty great way to start out the summer, I think!