Monday, August 31, 2009

Last Hurrah of the Summer

For our family vacation this year, we went on a backpacking trip to Bailey Lake in Greys River on Aug 20-22. We tried something new and borrowed my aunt's pack goats to help carry gear since we have so many little kids. That made for a very memorable trip! We were late getting to the trailhead (big surprise there!) and so we started our hike (of about 5 miles) about 4 o'clock. We had loaded the goats too heavy and tried to hike too fast with them and after about a mile or so, they turned around and headed back to the car! Russ dropped his pack and ran back to catch them but whenever he tried to head up trail, they would just lie down. We unloaded 3 sleeping bags form Caleb's pack so that he could run back and unload the goats. So Betsy and I carried our packs on our backs and sleeping bags in our hands. Plus we were trying to nurse A.J. and Joshua up the trail. (Our baby carrier broke and so Hannah couldn't carry A.J!) Two year olds don't like to go very fast. Finally Betsy just put A.J. on her shoulders (while still carrying her pack) and Hannah and I carried the sleeping bags. Needless to say it was rather a long walk into camp. We got to our camping spot at the lake about 7:30. We dropped our packs and decided that we'd get things set up while Dad and Caleb got the goats into camp. Unfortunately, we soon realized that the goats were carrying the tents, the ground cloths, the food, the cooking gear, and even the matches. (I was really kicking myself on that one. I had no business not having at least a few matches in my own pack) So, all we could really do was gather and break wood. We did that and got a fire laid and then waited . . . and waited . . . and waited. Finally just at dark, Dad, Betsy, and Caleb got into camp. (Betsy had dropped her pack when she got to camp and gone back to see if she could help) We were mighty glad to see them! Betsy was just dropping in her tracks but she was surely a rock for me. So, dinner was pretty late that night and we just put out the ground cloths and sleeping bags and slept under the stars. It was a beautiful night. Unfortunately, we hadn't been able to level the ground under us before we put down the beds and so it wasn't the most comfortable night. The next day dawned beautiful and we had all kinds of fun that day. There was a rope swing that went out over the lake that the kids loved playing on and there was a raft that the kids could float on. We leveled the ground under our beds and sleeping was much nicer Friday night. Going home on Saturday went much better with the goats and all in all it turned out to be a wonderful trip. I got home pretty stiff and sore and walked like a cripple for a day or two but I'm feeling great now.

Getting the goats ready to go.

Buddy and Hans saddled and ready to pack!

Heading up the trail!

Big sisters are so much help!

What our trail looked like. Pretty country, eh?

Our motley crew as they head off.

I think I can, I think I can . . . :-)

The view from our beds in the morning.

Morning camp, goats and all.

Can't you just taste those cinnamon rolls?

Um, Mom, is Buddy supposed to be eating the paper plate?
(If we left the pack pocket with the paper plates unzipped, Buddy would steal one and eat it.)

And I thought it was hard to have the kids fight!
(Buddy and Hans would literally smack heads in the morning)

Buddy likes the camera. (Don't eat it please!)

Remember what I said about big sisters?

Floating on the raft.

Joshua swinging on the rope swing out over the lake.

What a great vacation!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Riding bikes

It's such great weather that the kids just got out and rode their bikes. We know that our time for such activities is getting limited so we are trying to soak it up while we can!

Notice how A.J. rides his "bike". Betsy decided to join him and ride her "bike" too! :-)

Try for family picture

I liked my school pictures so well that I decided to try to do a family picture. So. . . they are a LOT harder!

We only came away with two (marginally) usable ones:

We started losing the kid about this point as the following picture shows:

So I tried changing to just get a picture of the kids. That turned out semi-ok . . .

Until the kids had finally totally had it!

It was truly a "hair-raising" experience. (At least for the photographer!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

School Pictures

I thought I'd try my hand at taking our school pix this year. I think they turned out ok. (if I do say so myself)


My sweet A.J.




Joshua (ahhhh. . .)

Monday, August 17, 2009

Here's my other boy!

We got a hilarious letter from David today. He sent us pictures with it and so I was very happy! I'll quote his letter about the following pictures:

Today, my companion cut my hair and I cut his. I did a really good job, but he on the other hand did not. He just basically shaved me. When the president saw me he asked "did a donkey bite you or what?". It was funny.

Oh p.s. We made peach cobbler too... mm mm good!

It makes me SO happy to see pictures of my sons on their missions. I'll be smiling all day!
(I sure miss him too!)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Here's my boy!

Got this great picture in an email from a lady in Jonathan's ward. I thought he looked SO good! He just looks like he's happy, healthy, and glowing. I'm SO proud of him!
(I miss him, too! :-)

(Funny side note: JT had sent copies of these pictures home to me in a box with some shoes that we needed to return to Mr. Mac. I knew the box held the shoes and so I didn't even open it but just put a letter to Mr. Mac on top and sent it right on to them. They must have thought it was interesting to get pictures in the shoes! :-)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Bear Lake!

We went to Bear Lake with Carol's family and Ron's family. It was so beautiful and we had a great time. Grandma C. even went with us and watched over the proceedings.

Here's Carol and Grandma when we were getting set up.

A.J. loves the sand!

Joshua is SO cute.

Betsy, Ethan, Mattie and A.J. playing in the water.

Ron building a castle with Olivia.

(Notice the large sand walrus in the background. It was there when we got there and was really good. We decided we needed to do better than that . . .)

We made . . . . A turtle!