July 19, 2016

6th Annual Camping Trip

This year's camping adventure was just outside of downtown Crouch and just over the fence from the Starlight Mountain Theater.  We had a giant campsite with shade just on the edges that we had to chase throughout the day.  We moved the chairs and picnic tables 3 times. River Pond Campground is run by an interesting old man, who takes cash and good checks. He gets around with his riding lawn mower and old golf cart.  There was a pond that was completely overgrown with plants, and the river that was shallow and perfect for wading. Here's a few of the highlight:

  • The McClures were the first to arrive.  Their tent was up and the kids had found a shady hideout to play in before anyone else showed up.  Bry and I-guy rode in the back of Grandpa and Grandma's car, with a big black storage bag on top.  The taller passengers had thick black straps obscuring their view or scrapping their heads. Thanks to Brent and Krystle for bringing up all of Bry's gear.  Everyone was loaded to overflowing.  Someone in this family needs to buy a big truck!  Brent, Krystle, and Joe were the last to arrive, but they made it well before dinner.
  • Grandpa and Grandma took a drive into town for ice and styrofoam cups.  Crouch has a new deluxe supermarket and a very nice park and library.
  • Both Mike and Grandpa hurt their backs earlier that day.  Ibuprofen for both of them, limited movement, and maybe a little less enthusiastic, but they were troopers.  
  • Stace made foil dinners with turkey burgers, veggies, rice, and a lot of cream of mushroom soup.  They were super delish!  Everyone cleaned their plates, even Maycee who had to be threatened with no s'mores.  Mike chowed down on a full pound patty with all the fixin's.
  • This year's s'mores featured Mounds, Reeses, and Hershey bars.  The marshmallows were giant and the kids were pro roasters.  Thanks, Bry!!!
  • We didn't need to sing around the campfire because we could hear the Starlight Mountain Theater production.
  • Krystle and Joe were the first to bed. We were low on firewood so we were all in bed by about 11:00 when the show was over.
  • Our only wildlife sighting was the little gray camp cat that hung around our campfire and was there to greet us in the morning.
  • Before breakfast, Grandpa, Grandma, and Hads took a trip to town for more firewood and another tank of propane for the stove.  (How could we bring so much stuff and be unprepared!)
  • Mike prepared hot chocolate for everyone and sliced up oranges.  Brent and Krystle brought everything for our breakfast featuring our traditional omelets in a bag.  Very tasty!  We tried monkey bread in the dutch oven, but it needed a sweeter dough, more butter, and much more cinnamon and sugar.  
  • The kids went on their treasure hunt.  There were 22 clues and it took about an hour. Besides candy, their treasure included big glasses, monster slingshot kites, necklaces to make, boats to build, and message in a bottle kits to record their memories of camping.
  • The adults sat around working on crossword puzzles and chatting.
  • Lunch was walking tacos, veggies and dip, and watermelon.  We had to move the kitchen from one side of the campsite to another just to stay in the shade.
  • Everyone except Mike (he took down the tent and loaded up) walked down to the river. The kids got wet, floated their boats, skipped rocks, and splashed around for slow-motion videos.
  • Brent, Krystle, and Joe headed home after the river.  This year's youngest, Joe, was amazing.  No crying, no fussing, just chill.
  • The rest of us headed to the ice cream parlor in Crouch.  That was a perfect ending to camping - sweet and refreshing.
And finally....I have pictures.

Youngest Camper - 4 months

4 more bites or you don't get s'mores

Happiest Camper

Summer Catch-up

I couldn't believe it when I went into Fred Meyers over the 4th of July weekend and saw all the back to school supplies.  What happened to my summer!  Can't they wait until August to bring out the notebooks and binders?  I thought I better make an accounting of my summer and figure out what's been going on.  I only have one month left!

School was out on Thursday, June 2nd, and I always need a long weekend or even a week to do nothing except decompress.  There are days when I don't get out of my pajamas.  This year I needed beyond a week.  We sold our home and had to do all the fix-up and cleaning and moving before Memorial Day weekend.  I also went to Cascade for 4 days with 100 sixth graders, and finished my report cards.  Even the week after moving was exhausting.  I spent many days in June trying to do nothing.  Our apartment has cable, so I've sat around watching a lot of bad TV.  I'm hoping I can get it together by the end of July, but I might still be relaxing in August.

Week 1:  We had a two day workshop at school on writing across the curriculum.  It was really good, and they paid us $100 a day for going.  I'm going to use the things I learned.  We also got to know our new teammate, Patti.

Week 2:  I went to BSU for transcripts and found out I already have the credits I need to recertify next year.  Good news.  That little trip was the only real thing I did that day.  I also had to gear up for Terry's birthday and Father's Day.  I talked Terry into a new tablet (easy) and that meant he bought his own birthday/Father's Day gift.  We picked up a couple new shirts at Macys too.  I ended up with enough bonus bucks to buy a sweater on clearance and a bowl to go with my Fiesta Ware.  WinWin.

We had a Fathers Day barbecue at Jim and Nan's on Saturday.  Terry didn't come.  I gave him an out and he surprised me by taking it.  Nan's whole family was there.  Jim grilled perfect burgers and dogs.  All the food was delish.  I did veggies, dip, and marshmallow brownies. Marisa and Nash came.  They went on a long bike ride and everyone left before they got back. Tad and Kim came without any kids.  They were on 3 different continents again.  Dad loved it all. It was a beautiful day.

On the real Fathers Day we went back to our old ward to hear our friends report on their mission to Louisiana.  It was great seeing everyone.  We then went to Stacey and Mike's for a Father's Day FHE.  We had a Mexican dinner and a short lesson before Game 7 of the NBA Finals.  The kids wrote candy bar letters for their dads.  The dads chose a favorite scripture that they thought would be helpful in their lives.  Then we watched LeBron James and the Cavs come back from 3 games behind, on their opponents court, to win the championship! WooHoo!  Great day!

Week 3: I've completely lost this week.  I know I spent one day with Hads.  We painted a bright pink jewelry box and tried out the Soda Stop for lunch.  Grandpa also took us for frozen yogurt.  I don't remember anything else about this week or weekend.

Week 4: Nan and I drove Grandpa down to Brigham this week.  We spent 3 days with Fredee, visiting and relaxing in our hometown.  Fredee, Nan, and I did a session in the Brigham temple.  Fredee gave us a complete grand tour.  There were murals of the bird refugee and Sardine Canyon.  There are details of peach blossoms on the doorknobs.  It was beautiful.  The reason for the trip was to visit Aunt Carol and Uncle Frank.  They moved into an assisted living place in Salt Lake.  Dad wanted to see where they were living and how they were doing.  We had a great visit with them and my two cousins, and a great lunch at Little America.  We hit all the hot spots in Brigham - Box Elder High, Cherry Drive, Idle Isle, and of course, Maddox.  (We came back with Mike, and he and Dad had to stop at a truck stop in Jerome to buy an order of chicken gizzards.)

Week 5:  It was the 4th of July weekend, but we didn't celebrate.  It was a pretty quiet weekend.  We spent the night of the 4th with Terry's mom, and the next two days.  The last time we stayed with her was over Memorial Day weekend.  She was doing so well.  This week was much different.  She was having a hard time breathing and no energy.  Nancy got her in to the doctor on Thursday and tests were run.  By Friday they had her set up on oxygen, a hospital bed so she can sleep while sitting up, and some help from hospice.  The oxygen has really helped, but she has given up.  She's ready to pass on and meet up with her husband who's waiting for her.  She's comfortable, but doing her best to get out of this life.  She's had 93 good years.

Week 6:  Our 6th annual family camping trip was coming up.  Stacey and I planned things out and made assignments.  I did some cooking, made trips to the storage unit, collected camping gear, and spent a day with Maycee, I-guy, Joe, and Krystle.  We needed to tie-dye shirts for camping, but we also played at the park and went to McDonalds for lunch.

So Far:  I've been to lunch with friends a couple times, visited my Mom and Dad a couple times, tried a couple new recipes, and finished a couple books.  Not much else going on. 

June 27, 2016

Start, Over, Again.

Hmmm...I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to begin again.  I should just have a standard post that I use over and over.  Blogging is on again, off again.  I know I'm not the only one who has a good routine going, and then something happens, and I don't.  I don't think my life is very exciting and my thoughts are not that deep, but I think writing makes me happier, and a better person in some ways.  I think keeping a record is important.  It helps me process events and feelings.  I learn when I take time to reflect.  (I think my memory is slipping too.  I'll be able to check back.)

So I think I'll get my camera out again, find some time (maybe on Sunday), and start, over, again.

July 29, 2015

Grandkids - Week 8

Last week's projects and camping did me in.  This week we went for easy.  We had to pick them up in time to make it back to the dollar movies at 10:00 AM.  I thought they would go for a cartoon, but Hudson pressured all of them into Dolphin Tale 2.  There weren't many of us in the theater so even though they wandered around a bit, they didn't bother anyone.

Our next stop was lunch at McDonalds and an hour to play on their playground.  We came home for popsicles, and then, instead of making anything, we had a simple rocket activity.  I had found film containers and we stopped at Rite Aid for a 36 pack of Alka Seltzer.  You fill the containers halfway with water, add 1/2 a tablet, and put them on the ground with the cap side down.  It takes 10-15 seconds before they shoot way up in the air.  We went over to Alex's park to shoot off rockets for about 45 minutes.  They had a great time.

And we picked the peas.  Everyone tried them, but nobody liked them.  It was fun though.

July 26, 2015

Teaching 4 Year Olds - 2nd try

I worked really hard getting all kinds of things prepared for my primary lesson this week.  I had songs, games, activities, pictures, object lessons, my laptop, treats, and more.  I went in early to set everything up and had a complete game plan with back up plans too.  When I went into opening exercises only 4 of the 9 were there.  It was all easy.  

I'm sure I still don't have things in control.  When they all return from summer vacations I better be ready.  I think I'll contact all their parents this week, and send the kids letters.  

5th Annual Family Camp Out

Terry and I weren't working and Mike had Friday off, so we made a plan to meet early at the Visitors Center in Idaho City.  The grandkids impressed us by showing up with real shoes on - no flipflops.  It was a camping first.  We broke out the walking sticks we made on Tuesday and I presented them each with a backpack I made for them, and we headed out to the pioneer cemetery.  It was pioneer day, back in Utah, and we wanted to talk a little about our own pioneer ancestors as we hiked around.  

How cute is Brynks!  She borrowed a bandana from one of the kids backpacks.

Maycee was by far the award winning hiker.
Everyone worked up an appetite and Stace had brought a picnic lunch, so we looked around until we found one of the public parks in Idaho City.  It was a great spot.  After lunch the girls put on a performance on the stage, and Hudson found a frog in the creek.

After lunch we made our way to the Grayback Gulch campground and set up tents.  Brent and Krystle came up with Bry and Isaac at about 5:00.  It was time for a good dinner, walkie- talkies, a treasure hunt, and then a fire and s'mores.  Krystle wasn't feeling well, which we're happy about because it means there will be another grandkid camping with us next year, but for this year, they didn't stay the night.  Stace spent the night in their Pilot with Brynklee, Terry and I had our tent, and the guys were with all the kids in a big tent, that suddenly didn't feel so roomy.


The McClures had a party to go to in Boise so after breakfast they had to pack up and head for the showers.  We went back into Idaho City with Bry and Isaac to kick around some shops, visit the museum, eat huckleberry ice cream, and watch a shoot-out on Main Street.

It was only one night, but we packed in the fun.  Next year we'll have one more camper and maybe we can stretch things out for one more night.

July 22, 2015

Grandkids - Week 7

This weekend we're going on our 5th annual family camp out!  We spent this day with the grandkids getting ready.

Putting our heads into the sleeping bags.

Building candy campfires.

Huds using a real saw for the first time.

Hads was the only one that cut her own feathers.

He did go home with all his fingers and toes.

Hard work rewarded with popsicles.
Finished cake.  We hardly had room at our campsite, but we all fit around the two campfires.

  • First, we went to Marianne Williamson Park and took a hike along the river hunting for good walking sticks.
  • Lunch was at our house which meant plenty of pickles, cucumbers, and fruit, plus popsicles for dessert.
  • I had a plan for a special camp cake this year, so the kids helped make cake decorations.  They formed evergreens out of green Rice Krispie things made with Special K.  Then we needed all of our faces decorated and our sleeping bags frosted.
  • We went on the patio to wrap the handles of our walking sticks with yarn and decorate them with felt feathers and beads.  We made an extra one for I-guy.
  • On the way home we sang songs and played I Spy.  
Now we're all excited for Friday morning when our camp adventure begins!