Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thrilling Third Week of Summer

Can I just say that I absolutely LOVE summer! I love having my kids home with me 24/7 and we can do whatever, whenever we want, or do absolutely nothing at all! The only problem with summer is that it is already going by too fast. I can't believe June is already almost over. Anyway, here is what we did on our third week of summer vacation:
Father's Day
The boys and I got up and made Mike breakfast in bed (blueberry muffins). Mitchel made him a cool breakfast tray out of Legos to serve them on. I gave Mike a hair trimming set. He has asked for one for years because he hates that I pay someone to buzz our boys hair. So hopefully, he will do it now. My Dad is the best dad in the universe. He is so much fun to be with and cares and takes care of all of us. He has supported me in all I've done my whole life and I will forever be grateful that Heavenly Father blessed me with such an amazing Dad.
Tracy gave all the dads these huge chocolate metals that said "Number 1 Dad."
The Zoo
We spent a wonderful summer afternoon up at the Zoo. We loved this exhibit, especially the bats. My Nature's Nightmares are my boys (Ha-Ha)

Baptisms with the Youth
As a follow up to our camp theme "No Place Like Home" we took our girls to the temple to do baptisms. Because not as many girls were able to go as we hoped, I got to do baptisms as well. It has been a while since I've done that and I really enjoyed it.
Slip and Slide
We dug out the old slip and slide and found that is was still in working order. The kids spent hours on it two days in a row. Since my yard is on a hill, it worked out even better.
Cub Country
What a cool place this is for Cub Scouts! I got to go up with Mitchel for the first day of Cub Country and watch him participate in all things BOY! It was so much fun to watch him and I actually got a little emotional just wishing that he could stay nine and excited about everything forever. That place is pure joy for a nine year old boy.
Fort Frontier
Panning for Gold
Knot Tying
Bee-Bee Guns
Learning how to respect the flag
Miles' Birthday
My little baby turned one on the 25th. What a fast year this was. All the days went by in a blur and now here I am with my last baby, who is almost a toddler. I am so excited to have him grow up but at the same time, I want him to stay little forever. He has been one of my more crabbier babies, so I think he will be a lot happier once he can follow his older brothers around everywhere. He's so close to walking, but just won't take that first leap of faith. Soon though.
I didn't throw a big birthday bash like I did with my other kids (too busy). But we did go out for pizza with my parents and sister at "Mountain Mike's Pizza."
Then of course, there had to be the cupcake smash to celebrate his first birthday. He didn't disappoint, there was cupcake everywhere!
I love you Miles! I can't wait to see what this next year holds for you and how you will grow and change.
So that was Summer week three. We are having so much fun and enjoying spending time together. My boys are the best and I am so lucky to be their mom. I am so glad they get along and will play together and love one another. For week four, we are heading out for a week long camping trip to Mt. Rushmore. I am looking forward to spending the whole week with my family. I love them more than they could possibly know!!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Girls Camp

Does it get any better than spending four days in a beautiful setting with some of the most amazing women and girls on the planet? I think not! This was my fourth year attending girls camp as a leader and I'm finally realizing that I never want to miss it! It is so much fun and you get to see these girls as their "true" selves. I am so lucky to be their leader. I learn so much from them and it is so fun to watch them grow and express their feelings and get over their fears. They are truly AWESOME!
This year was stake camp and our theme was "There's No Place Like Home". Everything was based around the Wizard of Oz. We were assigned the Tin man with the value of Good Works. Each girl got this hoodie with a picture of a tin man on it that said, "Got Heart?" Then they all had funnels for hats. Too cute! I am surrounded by the most amazing, creative, dedicated, and funny women serving with me in Young Women's. Below is Jan (an adviser), Natasha (camp director), Kristen (first counselor), and Me (president). I didn't have to worry about anything. They took care of every last detail! What a blessing they have been in my life. I couldn't do this calling without them!
So the weather was pretty crazy. We had everything from blazing sun and sunburns, to snow on the ground one morning with rain, hail, wind, and freezing temps in between. It made for an eventful evening and night, and also a lot of schedule changes, but somehow it all worked out and we were still able to do everything we planned. In fact, I think it turned out even better than it would have otherwise. Somehow I think Heavenly Father knew that and took things into his own hands. This is a picture of our campsite on the second morning with a light dusting of snow and frost.
I really didn't have to do to much this camp, but I was in charge of cooking my famous chicken noodle soup. It was yummy!
Here we all made it to the last day. Each girl got an award from the YCLs and a heart necklace.
Going home is always bitter sweet. I want to be home to take a shower and sleep in my own bed, but I love the feelings I have while up at camp. There really is no place like it to feel the spirit and have my testimony grow. The girls were all so cute and helpful and kind to each other and to us as leaders. I love laughing and talking until the wee hours of the morning with the other leaders. I love testimony meeting and hearing how much the girls have grown. It makes all the work leading up to camp worth it. It really was a wonderful time and I am so grateful for the opportunity to go and be with these future mothers and leaders. I love them all!

Monday, June 14, 2010

First Week of Summer

I have this strange compulsion to keep my kids busy every minute of summer. I DON'T want them sitting in front of the T.V. or computer all day and wasting away their childhood. They should be out running around, climbing trees, playing in the water, and just being boys. Unfortunately, I am also always worried about their safety, so I can't just let them wonder the neighborhood unsupervised. So instead, we go on outings. Our first one was on Wednesday to Wheeler Farm. The sun was shining, and there was plenty of room for them to run, jump, yell, and chase each other.
Thursday was Mike's 36th birthday. We began the morning with his one present, a new camp stove.Then he went to work and we kept busy at home doing whatever it was we did (?).
That night the kids went to sleep over at Grandma Miller's while Mike and I went and saw "Iron Man 2" and ate dinner at Iggy's.
Friday was Jon Huntsman free day at "This Is The Place State Park." Aunt Tracy came with us. Because of the weather, the crowds were very small. This really is one of the gems of Utah. There is so much to see and do here. The rain held off for the first little bit, but gradually started coming down more and more. We were still able to see lots of cool stuff.
This was a cool Mountain Man we ran into. The barn behind him caught on fire the very next day and burnt to the ground, killing the baby animals that were inside. So sad! We just had petted the lambs and baby goats and saw the baby piglets. Awful story!
Free pony rides.
Saturday was Mason's last soccer game. He scored one of the last goals! He loved playing and hopes to do it again.
The best part was getting the trophy. He wants to have a collection as big as Mitchel's someday.
Later that night we headed up to my parent's time share condo in Park City. We spent Saturday and Sunday night up there. Here is a puzzle we worked on together.
But the highlight of staying in Park City is always the swimming. My boys are like little fish. The weather was rainy and cold, and the pool water wasn't as warm as I would have liked, but it was still fun for them. I couldn't even get a picture of Mitchel because he wouldn't hold still. He was diving in the 7 feet the whole time.

Miles and I got in too, but we spent most of our time in the hot tub.
So that was our first week of summer. We had some sunny days and some really rainy days, but good times all the same. Now it is on to Girls Camp. I leave tomorrow morning for 4 days. Hopefully we won't get soaked or freeze to death!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Putting them to work!

What do you do with three crazy boys on one of the first days of summer vacation? Put them to work of course. Because we have a baby that ruins all our fun so he can take a nap, we spent the afternoon washing our cars. The boys did a great job and had some water fun in the process as well.
This is Mike's new car that we just purchased a week ago. He has been driving his old Ford Taurus with expired plates for over a year now because it wouldn't pass inspection. To fix it would have cost way more than it was worth. So luckily, this 2002 Ford Explorer kind of fell into our laps (thanks to my brother who works at a car dealership) and so we jumped on it. It looks practically brand new and has the third row seats and a moon roof. So fun!

Good work boys!

Friday, June 4, 2010

My Cuties

I love being the mom of these amazing boys. I'm looking forward to a summer filled with sun, fun, and great memories together. I love you Mitchel, Max, Mason and Miles!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Beautiful Bryce Canyon

What an amazing Memorial weekend we had camping in Bryce Canyon. I had never been there before and we were told that of the national parks, it would be one of the least crowded. So we packed up Friday morning and were off. We stayed until Monday at it was really one of the most beautiful places! The temperature was perfect during the day, mid 60's, and the nights were nice and chilly. The sky was the deepest blue I had ever seen! During our stay we went on several hikes. The first one was through all the Hoodoo's. My boys are awesome hikers and were able to do almost the whole thing without complaining! The rock formations are so cool and look like castles and frozen people.

Bryce Canyon boast one of the clearest skies on earth. On a good, clear, summer day, you can see out over 100 miles. It's incredible! Then at night you can see more stars than almost anywhere else. We went to a lecture on space at the visitors center, then went star gazing using some massive telescopes. We saw Saturn and Mars. They really are out there and Saturn really does have rings!
I just learned that all national parks have a "Junior Ranger" program for kids. They get a really fun activity book about the area that they have to fill out. Then they get sworn in and receive a really cool badge. We are going to do this every where we go from now on. Really fun!
The other long hike we went on was in the Grand Staircase National Monument. Mike had researched online and found this really cool slot canyon. We followed a little river all the way through it and had to keep jumping over it from side to side. The boys were great and almost never got their feet wet (almost).

It really was beautiful, peaceful, and relaxing. My boys were in their element out in the wilderness. They loved building fires, sleeping in a tent, hiking, exploring, climbing trees, and getting dirty. It takes a lot of work to pack everything and go, and then a lot of work to clean up after (I've done 5 loads of laundry so far and still have about 2 more to go), but it is so worth it!! I hope they learn to appreciate nature and this amazing planet we have to live on. Heavenly Father created some beautiful places for us and I am glad Mike is so willing to get us out there to enjoy them. It was perfect!