Sunday, August 19, 2012

Jam Packed July

I have more photos for July than anyone would ever want to see, but I put the highlights of the month on this post starting with the 4th of July. We have an annual tradition to watch fireworks at Murray Park with both the Millers and Harkers. It was a perfect evening.
 Mason celebrated his 6th birthday. He is still the sunshine in my life and is turning into the sweetest, most polite, kind boy you've ever met. He's also pretty great at busting a move when the music gets him going. He is so dang cute!
 It was a really low key birthday with all the other busy things we were doing this month, but we did have a small pizza party with Grandparents and some aunts and uncles.
 We tried out a new place called "Hang Time" in Orem. This place is awesome and boasts the largest trampoline arena in the west.

 I took the kids downtown for a day at the Children's Museum. This was a good bonding time for my kids and their new cousins.
 After the museum, we walked down to the Gateway pop-up fountains to splash around.
We have two cute neighbor boys across the street that come over a lot to play with my boys. This afternoon we pulled out the blow up pool. By the end of this play date, the pool was popped, but good times were had.
 My brother and sister-in-law live in Orem and they invited us down for lunch and a swim in their local pool.
 I'm loving the underwater camera I got Mike for Father's Day. He hasn't used it at all, but I sure have!

My friend Julie came up from Arizona for a visit with her family so we were able to get together one morning for an outing to the Bingham Copper Mine to see the big tires and the big hole in the ground. This really is an educational adventure and we enjoyed learning about this company and all they contribute to the Utah economy.

 Because of some discount passes I'd bought on KSL Deals, we were able to spend a day with our cousins at Cowabunga Bay for the first time. This is a great water park for my kids ages.

We continued our annual tradition of the 24th of July parade.
 Later that same night we went to the Bees game. We were hoping to stay for the fireworks, but the game went too long so we left early and didn't get to see them.
 We met up with Buzz though.
It really is fun that Tracy has this amazing family now that we get to go play with. Planet Play also had a deal on KSL so we spent a Family Home Evening playing games, eating pizza, challenging each other to Laser Tag, driving go-carts, and just having a great time together.
I love spending time seeing all the sights in our own backyard, so another afternoon we took the Trax train downtown to visit the Church History Museum. I was so proud of my boys when the volunteers asked them questions about the church or the BofM and they totally knew the answers.
On our way back to the Trax train, we walked through City Creek for the first time. It was beautiful! We stopped at the fountains and the Disney store, and then just as we were about to go back to the train we saw the Cheesecake Factory. I decided a dessert date with my boys would be just what we needed! We ordered an Oreo Supreme cheesecake that was so yummy and rich. We loved it!

Am I the luckiest Mom on the planet or what??!! Not only are my boys handsome, smart, funny, and a joy to hang out with, they like to hang out with me and with each other too! We have such a great time and I feel so blessed to have them in my life. Talk about joy!!! July was one party after the next and I am grateful that I have these memories to look back on for a long time. I love my life!!

Dinosaur Land

Our big camping trip of the summer was to Dinosaur National Monument.
 It was so wonderful to go back there again. We had taken Mitchel and Max when they were really little, so it was fun to come again with all of them and see all the new things they had done. The visitors center was totally brand new with lots of hands on things for the kids.
 Then we rode the shuttle up to the quarry to see the "wall of bones." It was amazing!
 The trip also included some hikes and lots of petroglyph spotting.
 It was really hot while we were there, so we found this secluded spot by the Green River that had a "beach" and refreshing water to swim in. It felt great and we had a blast splashing around surrounded by beautiful scenery.

We had to visit the Dinosaur Museum in Vernal Utah. There are lots of hands on things for the kids to do here and lots of information. We felt much smarter after visiting!
Of course we earned another Jr. Ranger badge on our trip. This is always my favorite part of any camping trip because I feel like we not only had fun, but we learned a lot too. I'm grateful to have children that love learning and see the value in it.

One bummer about this trip is that we couldn't have any fires, which meant no smores.  The other bummer was that on the way home, in a small town called Fruitland, our car broke down. Some part in the engine made us loose all our coolant and our engine was totally overheated. We pulled over in the middle of nowhere and didn't know what to do. After a quick prayer, the most wonderful and kind older couple saw us and pulled over to help. They had a big truck and so we unhooked our tent trailer and hooked it to their truck. We then found a little store to park our car in while a wonderful mechanic came to look at it (this was on a Sunday even.) After an hour or more, it was determined that we couldn't drive our car home. This wonderful couple offered to drive us where ever we needed to go and tow our tent trailer! We decided to go into Heber where my Dad would be able to come and pick us up and take us home the rest of the way. Thank heavens for the angels Heavenly Father sends to help us! What a generous, loving, kind, Christlike couple they were! We were so grateful for their service to us that day and I don't know what we would have done without them. So it turned out to be a wonderful trip with lots of prayers answered and lots of lessons learned.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Canyoneering in Zion

 Nothing is better than a little getaway with my hubby. We spent 3 perfect days in Zion National Park celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. It was a trip we had been looking forward to for months. Mike had found a WONDERFUL bed and breakfast online for us to stay in. It was right next to the entrance to the park, the room was beautiful, modern, and comfortable, and the breakfast each morning was to die for.
 Our first adventure was hiking up to the top of Angel's Landing. We had done this hike years ago, before we had kids, and have been wanting to go back for a long time. There is no way we would take our kids on this hike, since one of them would probably push their brother off, so it was fun to do it just us.
 After a very steep hike up, the view from the top is spectacular.
 Our next adventure was walking through the Narrows a little bit. I had brought water shoes and Mike had his Tevas, but we would have been able to go a lot farther if I would have had better shoes. You walk on bowling ball size boulders the whole time and after a while my feet were killing me. It was pretty though.
 But our grandest adventure was our day long Canyoneering experience! We used "Zion Adventure Company" and got a guide to take us to one of the coolest repelling canyons ever. We hiked up a canyon quite a way and then got to do 7 different repels to get back down. It was AMAZING! Who knew that backing of a cliff would be so fun!

 We did all sorts of repels off different size cliffs. The longest was 110 ft down. I was so proud of myself that not only did I not freak out, I actually really enjoyed it and had a blast!

 The longer I'm married, the more I realize that couples HAVE to get away sometimes to just enjoy being together. It gives us a chance to refocus on our relationship and fall in love all over again. We had a wonderful time spent in one of the most beautiful places on earth!