Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Mount Pleasant

Always a good sunset from the parent's house
 I took the kids over to Utah to spend a few days at their Grandparents before our reunion at Bear Lake. The first couple of days the kids were hardly seen. They would spend most of their time playing in Grandpa's studio, mostly the plasma cars into huge piles of boxes. If they weren't in the studio they would be out on the property "exploring" or downstairs playing. They didn't even ask to watch any movies. Then my mom and I got watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix and they loved joining us for half of the episodes.

Thursday night I was able to drive up to Spanish Fork for my final Pathways gathering. I would have a gathering the next week but wouldn't attend while I was at Bear Lake. It was a little sad to miss the last two gatherings with my crew in Colorado. I have been with them every week for a year. It was amazing to finish! In some ways the year has flown by. I am really excited to move onto BYU-I online. My degree is transferred and my future graduation is mapped out. One year down, and trying not think of all the years ahead. I have been very glad to do it, surprised by my own dedication and my time that has been expanded by the Lord.

 By Sunday Marci and the kids had come over. Monday Marci and I spent the entire day for meal prep for Bear Lake. We made food lists, including my Dad's for the big group meal, went shopping, and then spent rest of the day cooking and baking in the kitchen. That was a giant 10 lb roll of meat, plus another 5 lb one, we cooked up for Thursday's meal.

Tuesday was Pioneer Day, blessed Utah holiday that my kids rarely experience. We went to the neighboring town of Fairview for the small town parade in the morning. 

On her own, Audrey put her hand on her heart for the flag.

Making wantons with the kids.
 That night my Dad and I took the boys to the Demolition Derby. What an interesting time. Three or four rounds of old beat up cars running into each other until they no longer work. The boys had a lot of fun. Near the end the rain was nearly pouring. We held out because we wanted to see the fireworks. It cleared up right at the end.

Wednesday morning we started our way up to Bear Lake. We made a stop to meet up with Camille for a quick bite in Logan.

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Family Photos 2018

We weren't near my dad or an event that would get us to take our annual family picture, which is usually the case. So our picture ended up being delayed until June, when we finally scrambled together late on a Sunday evening to finally get it done. Due to the delay and simplicity, we just took them in the backyard on the tripod. The kids did fairly well. I think we have them trained, while Audrey is still learning. It took quite a few of her to sit still. This caused the most problems as I was losing daylight and I have lost photography skills in my lack of keeping it up. 11 years of being a family.

Thursday, May 31, 2018


April was busy, but then comes May. Life didn't slow down this year and I find myself in June, blogging six months delayed back from December. I had focused a lot on Relief Society in April so it seemed natural that my spinning plates shifted to more my family and myself in May. I knew I had to physically step up my game and take care of my body. I finally made the decision to renew our apex membership. I started to work my body. This took a lot of time and mind energy to make it happen.

I also had usual end of the year stuff. One week I went on two field trips, one to the museum with Warren and one to the zoo with Luke. We also finished up their spring sports. Warren did basketball, Luke soccer, and Calvin baseball. We simplified a lot by doing the shorter season and all at the YMCA, which is so close to our house.
Uncle Mark and Aunt Shawna dropped in on us one night for dinner on their epic, retired, road trip.

We had Mom and Dad Sleight visit and somehow didn't take a single picture!! They arrived on Thursday. They did soap carving and the whittling badge for Warren in his bear book. Here they are a few days later with their creations. They loved it! I had to go to my class that night. 

Friday morning, after three kids to school and Audrey to the neighbors we had an adult outing. It felt amazing! We took them to the Denver Museum to see the exhibit on the Dead Sea Scrolls. We got yummy arepas for lunch at Avanti in the Highlands.
That night we went swimming at the Apex. The next day our plans were thwarted because of the rain. It was really sad. Luke's soccer game was cancelled. We did make it out to eat Colorado style pizza at Beaujos for lunch. I snuck away for the leadership session of our stake conference. Elder Dube from Zimbabwe was with us. We talked a lot about ministering. I know they want us to understand, but I'm a little burned of talking about it so much. It doesn't seem that much more complicated then people are making it out to be. Maybe because it just seems so natural to how we should be serving anyway. But there are still things to improve.
All the boys planned on sticking out the rain and heading to the speedway for drag racing. The boys got free tickets through a reading program at school. Everyone was so excited. Then they got there only to find it had been weather postponed. So sad. We went out for frozen yogurt and redboxed Peter Rabbit instead.
Sunday morning I woke up really not feeling well. I stayed home with the kids from Stake Conference. I felt really crummy for the next couple of days. The cough hung on for weeks after. I had to count my blessings as this is the worst I have gotten for months and months.

The next weekend we had Danny and Camille come in for a visit on their way to Europe. I made a plan, four adults, four kids, so we did individual dates. I took Luke to Ella's baptism. Sadly I didn't get a picture of the two of them. He loves Ella. He isn't terribly patient through the baptism, but was happy to play at the park after with his Hyrum and Ella.

It was also her actual birthday

Camille took Calvin to the butterfly pavilion and lunch.
Grant took Warren up lookout mountain.

And Danny got Audrey. Bless his soul. Through a bit of a disaster of gps directions he took her to the 16th Street mall downtown. Lots of crowds later, they made it to a gelato for a treat before coming back. Audrey then convinced him to take her on a walk. She couldn't find the stroller so suggested the hiking backpack. She loves Danny and didn't leave him alone all weekend. Danny was patient and won gold points.

Snuggling up watching youtube videos. We had watched out outdoor movie, Greatest Showman, in the backyard the night before.

Grant taking a Sunday nap with Audrey.

Our new deck in the spring. Either it's a really seedy year, or I just didn't notice how much this tree puts off every year. The big open space of the deck makes it stand out.
After Apex exercising and swimming, field trips, end of school year programs and conferences, and family visits, we were really excited for summer! Our first week was a great success. Memorial Day we did a bit of yard work and had a couple of families over for smoked ribs and chicken. (Grant got a traeger grill back in March and has loved smoking all sorts of good meats. Though he has quickly tired of being in charge of the main dish of so many meals.) We jumped right into our summer traditions. We hit our first park day on Tuesday, our first backyard movie night on Wednesday, Princess Bride, our first hike on Thursday, our first bike ride on Friday and our first camping trip that night. What a week!
Starting Wednesday night to Saturday night we also had Adam and Ella with us. It was pretty great.

I wasn't sure how this season of hiking would go with Audrey this year. She rode in the pack part way and walked part of it. When she was walking she did great and loved it, until she didn't and refused to go on until she was back in the pack. 

We started off with a hike in Boulder near the flat irons, Chatauqua park. It was new to me, and a pretty difficult hike of elevation. It was one of the hardest first miles I have done, mostly due to carrying 35  pound Audrey. The other three boys did great and love hiking.
That night Grant and I got to go to our first concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater. What a treat, and worth it! We saw the Colorado Symphony with Rachmaninoff piano concerto 2 by Natasha Paremski. It was a perfect evening of weather, geography and beautiful music. I am almost certain we have seen her with the symphony before, but the time I remember going on a Sunday afternoon apparently I didn't blog about it (one of the reasons that finally got me to sit down and update the blog now).

During intermission she came out. Grant didn't meet her, but we stood over there for a minute as she talked to some piano students and told them that her key is to practicing slowly.

Friday morning's bike ride we made it to drop off a dinner gift card to the missionaries, then made our way to Donut Time for national donut day. It was the incentive for the kids.

I didn't let them all into the store with me, but to stay with the bikes. They were all staring through the window and I was dying laughing.

We made it to a nearby park (though we passed about five parks on our ride), to eat their donut before we did the last leg home. We did 7.5 miles! What troopers. Everyone on their own bike, with Calvin and Audrey pulled by me in the trailer.

That night we kicked off the season with camping in the Pike Forest near Sedalia. We have been to this spot before. There was probably only one other group in the campground that we couldn't even see, so we had the place to ourselves. There were other campers along the road as this is a popular place that has a dirt bike trail. The kids loved collecting the firewood and exploring. Audrey got sufficiently dirty and didn't care at all. She did get cold in the night and came into my bag with me around 2 am. I was testing out a new cot I bought. I would say it is marginally better than my air pad, which is marginally better than the air mattress. I couldn't tell if it would be a little better if I still didn't have to stress about Audrey getting cold and sleeping with me. Though we are out of the diaper phase, and have come so far, we still have a little more to go as far as independence in camping and hiking. But it was interesting to think back to the early years of camping with little littles.

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