Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend Get-Away

Memorial weekend this year was a real adventure for our family!

We went camping! However, this wasn't any regular camping trip. With rain, wind, and possible snow on the forecast, we went camping to Grandma and Grandpa's house!

They were gone to New York and so we got to escape to their house for a relaxing weekend. We enjoyed fun treats,

played with their cute dogs,

and a fun sleepover downstairs! We played Wii, watched lots of movies,

and enjoyed a tasty barbecue!

The best part of it for me was to pick a good book from Grandma's library and sit down for an afternoon of reading...one of my favorite hobbies that I rarely get to do!

We woke up Memorial Day morning to snow...and we were grateful we were indoors camping rather than outdoors!

We bundled up and headed to the cemeteries to visit the graves of our loved ones.

For the younger ones, it is a chance to hear stories about family members they never met! I hope that we can share our memories with them.

While they are no longer with us, they are a big influence in our lives and I think that we get to know them by learning how we are all alike.

We have given each of our children a connection to their ancestors through their names. While our daughter never met her great aunt, they share much in common.

I love meeting together at the cemetery!

In my mind, each flower represents the hugs that we will share when we are reunited.....

each one will be unique and beautiful!

True to the weather pattern this year, our visit to the cemetery was interrupted with a fast and furious hailstorm...

it was short-lived, but produced quite a bit of the white stuff!

We ended this fun weekend with a picnic....inside!


The weather is finally warming up! Everything is green and Mother Nature has been welcoming us outdoors.

So we have gone on a couple of nearby hikes up above the reservoir. All the rain really has made everything so green, at some places we felt like we were in a rain forest!

Our first hike was just a short one to a viewpoint above Spanish Fork.

The view was amazing and it was a fun way to introduce my sister to this wonderful valley that we call home.

We took a few minute to try to find landmarks...but it was kind of hard, our little town is bigger than we thought!

After a quick pose at the top,

and an encounter with a little brown toad,

we headed back down.

"Mom, can we walk by the reservoir for a second...we promise to not get wet!" I should have known better!

We stopped by a park for some lunch in the shade,

under a good climbing tree.

Just a few days later we returned to the same trail head, but went up the opposite fork to hike up to a big cross that commemorates the first settlers to our town.

It was also a really fun hike, a little steeper at some places, but the views were beautiful!

This cross looks really tiny up on the mountain, but up close, it is quite big.

The hike back down went quickly...

this time we planned for a quick dip in the reservoir! However, we soon found out that it is still very COLD!!

So rather than swim, we waded around,

had a popsicle on the beach,

and played in the sand. We are so happy that summer has finally arrived!

Learning to Work

At the beginning of this summer our oldest two boys went around our neighborhood looking for lawns to mow...they found five people willing to give them a try. It has been a real blessing in their lives as they are learning responsibility, budgeting, and how to put work before play time.

To be truthful, it has been a little cramping to my weekend mornings (since I am the transportation), but I am finding that having them be able to pay for all their summer activities is worth the inconvenience! Between scout camp, swim team, summer games, youth conference, and all the required gear, the price tag is hefty.

It has been rewarding for them to earn their own money and they really take pride in the job they do...every time we drive by a home where they mow, the comment is "Mom, look how nice that lawn looks!"

I get to mow their lawns this week while they are at scout camp...lucky me!! They gave me detailed instructions and told me to make sure to do a good job...I hope I can live up to their expectations!!

Friday, June 10, 2011

End of the School Year

It seems as though I am always playing catch up on this blog. Life is busy, oh, so busy, and I am grateful for a few minutes to document the happenings in our family...even if I have to catch up a month at a time!
School came quickly to a close this year. With a wet, cold, snowy Spring it kind of crept up on us. Usually we have a few weeks of wearing shorts and the end of year swimming party as signs that summer is upon us,but not this year! We wore long pants to the very end and the swimming party was canceled (due to the pool not being open yet and it was too cold to swim!). The kids enjoyed a movie day inside the gymnasium instead.

Our daughter has just LOVED third grade this year! She has had an amazing, fun, "wish they were all this good" teacher this year. Everyday when she gets home she has always been so excited to tell me about the fun in Mrs. Orton's class. She makes learning so fun!! She sings multiplication songs, speaks in a British accent, gives great reward parties, and the biggest and best news: She's going to go live in Germany! Mrs. Orton is the coolest ever!!

Mrs. Orton had to leave school a few days early (departing to Germany) and one of the moms threw a surprise thank-you/goodbye party. It was a fun party, but bitter sweet for our cute daughter. She shed huge crocodile tears on Mrs. Orton's last day.

Our second-oldest enjoyed his last few days in elementary school. Next year he heads over to the Junior High. He is excited and ready, but his Mom is scared to throw another guppy in with the sharks! At least my two guppies will be together again!

We got to go attend his sixth grade graduation ceremony...complete with a processional, a musical number, "If We Hold On Together," student speakers, presentation of diplomas, and remarks by the principal, Mr. Larsen.

The area around our school has had so much growth in the past few years that another elementary school has been built and will be opening next fall. It has been earth-shattering for my kids because half their friends will now go to another school, and many teachers and staff are also going to the new school. Mr. Larsen is one of those that we will miss the most! He is a fantastic school administrator and our school will not be the same without him.

Of course, it won't be the same without this cute kid either!!