Sunday, June 29, 2008

We Went Camping

"For reals!"

So in an effort to force Katie to hang out with me I decided to prey on her weakness and suggest we go camping together. She took the bait and we found a charming little campground that was good enough for us.

Generally Jeremiah and I will set up the tent in our backyard and tell the kids we're camping and that gets us out of a lot of work that actually is camping. But because Isaac is heading to school soon, I decided that this would be a good summer to really do fun things. So we loaded up the small amount of camping gear that we own (i.e. a tent and a cooler) and headed up to the hills to find the cute little campground with a creek.

We got there first and got the fire started and dinner ready. True to form, Kate's family showed up just in time to eat. :^) Jeremiah and I made tin foil dinners and they tasted quite good. Even Jake ate all the food on his plate, which Katie informed me was a rarity.

My kids were so excited to be camping "for reals." Isaac thought it was great to sleep in a tent, Kenley loved to be in the mountains and Jack inspected every ounce of dirt in the camp site and kept a great deal of it with him in his clothing. It was good for me to just let go and let the kids get as dirty as possible. (Although when we got home and it was time to do laundry I may have had a little aneurysm.)

Josh and Kate cooked us breakfast on their camp stove and then we let Alli and Kaden lead us on a hike up a lovely hillside carpeted with yellow wildflowers. After the hike we stripped off our shoes and froze off our toes in the creek.

We only camped overnight, but that was perfect for two families with young children and no toilet.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Boy That Made Him a Father

On Father's Day I got the kids to church a little late so we had to sit in the foyer during the passing of the Sacrament. There were 2 missionaries sitting across from Isaac and me. Isaac looked at them, cuddled close to me and announced, "I want to be a missionary someday."

I was swelling with pride at his intentions, put my arm around him and said, "Oh, buddy. I hope you do."

"Yeah. I already have lots of cool ties!"


Jeremiah and Isaac play paper games to keep Isaac quiet during Sacrament meeting. They play that game where you draw a line between dots to make a square and claim it with your initial (does that game have a name?), Jeremiah makes dot-to-dot puzzles for him and they play tic-tac-toe.

They were in the middle of their game playing when Isaac came over to me just beaming and said, "Mom, I'm giving Dad lots of Father's Day gifts! We were playing tic-tac-toe and I let him go first, TWO TIMES! That's lots of gifts!" Followed by a laugh so high-pitched it sent dogs outside on a barking frenzy.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Long Overdue

Jeremiah and I have been talking about having some family portraits done for a long time. The last time we went in was when Kenley was 6 months old...she'll be 3 in 5 months...Plus we hadn't had any pictures taken of Jack. I'm a We're procrastinators.
Well, Jeremiah took Friday off of work and I thought, "Hmm, if we try to schedule a day for pictures we'll probably put it off even longer." So I called the JCPenney studio to see if there was anything open that day. I called at about 1:00 and scheduled an appointment for 3:20. I know, crazy. So then I went through all of our t-shirts wardrobes and found a color scheme that would work for everyone. We went with black and gray because Kenley and I had black (and I needed it's slimming effect) and all the boys had gray that were clean...or close enough. I'm pretty happy with the result.

Monday, June 09, 2008

What the Fly on the Wall Heard

Him: Man! What's all over the mirror in here? I just noticed how dirty it is.

Me: Feel free to clean it whenever you'd like.

Him: No, I wasn't saying that you don't do a good job...that you don't keep this place clean.

Me: I know. That's what I'm saying...about you.

Friday, June 06, 2008

We Got Plans

Last week Jeremiah came home one night and asked if we do anything on Thursdays. When I answered that we don't he took a permanent marker to the calendar and wrote, "We Got Plans" on every Thursday in June, but he never told me what they were. All he said was that I needed to wear comfortable shoes and be prepared to laugh. I was committed to go out of sheer intrigue.

Isaac read the calendar and inquired of Jeremiah just what our plans were. Jeremiah told him that he couldn't tell him because it was a surprise for Mommy. Isaac seemed placated and didn't bring it up again until Sunday night when Jeremiah's family was over. We all sat around the table for dinner when Isaac piped up, "Guess what everybody? Every Thursday night, my mom and dad got plans!" Everyone exchanged curious glances at Jeremiah and I and all I could do was point to the calendar, plead ignorance and blush.

So last night was the first Thursday of the month and I was certainly surprised when Jeremiah met up with a group of friends and took us to a Ballroom Dance class! The comment about comfortable shoes and laughter suddenly made sense. I did get a lot of laughs while Jeremiah and I tried to find our way through the Swing. It was a blast and I am so looking forward to Thursdays this month!

Whahoo for my guy!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Oh, Jack

You make me laugh. Even when you wake me up before the sun is even thinking about showing itself in the horizon. But that doesn't mean that I wouldn't love it if you would sleep just a little later.

You are trying so hard to talk. When you hand me something you say, "Ih-ugo" and I'm certain you are saying "Here you go." You've added "ow" to your vocabulary and because you are extremely active we hear it quite often.

You like to get on the couch, hold on to the back of the cushion and JUMP! You think it is hilarious and it is extremely fun to watch, even if I can't breathe or feel my heartbeat for fear that you'll fall. Still I let you do it because I can see the pride and joy on your face. And I'm always close by to catch you if you fall...or jump off the couch.

You are quite mobile for your age. Just this weekend, while we were in Yellowstone, complete strangers were snapping pictures of you because they couldn't believe someone your size could be running.

I love to see how smart you are. When you want to come down the stairs you throw your bottle to the bottom, crawl down, and pick it up at the last step so that you don't have to bother carrying it down with you. You are also very playful and love to steal toys away from your siblings while their back is turned and off you go. You never get upset when they catch up to you and take them back, but you always have a smug look on your face like you know someday you'll be able to take them.

I have to admit I quite adore you. Your smile is so crooked and sweet and you have a shy side that simply makes me melt.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Of Course My Camera is Broken

This would have been a weekend to fill the memory card for sure.

Friday night Jeremiah and I went to a Night of Mystery party. I had a blast! (I think Jeremiah did too, but I really had a great time.) Our party was pirate themed. Jeremiah was a treasure hunter and I was a merchant. It was so fun to dress for the party. Jeremiah bedecked himself with a sword, guns, a treasure map, a compass, a bandana and an extra large money-clip earring. I dressed in a peasant-top, a bandana and several layers of jewelry as my "wares." There were about 30 people at the party and it was so stinkin' fun. Jeremiah and I have never done anything like that, we didn't even really dress up for Halloween last year. Maybe someday I'll be cool and host one of those parties myself.

We also visited Yellowstone National Park this weekend. My in-laws had reserved a condo for the weekend and invited us along. I was so glad that they did! Jeremiah and I have a wish list for the summer and we were able to check-off "Visit Yellowstone" right off the bat. I hadn't been there since I was a kid and it was a fun experience to share with my kids. We saw over 80 head of bison, about 10 elk, some geese, a couple of chipmunks, 2 grizzly bears and 3 wolves. (Although we had to wait to see the bears and wolves in the reserve.) We even had to stop to let a small herd of bison cross the road. Isaac warned us not to get too close ,"or the bison will try to head-bonk us!"

We drove along Firehole River and checked out the Falls. We also stopped to walk along the paint pots on the boardwalk. I loved seeing the bubbling mud, the deep-blue pool surrounded by orange deposits and trying to sound scientific as I explained to Isaac what was happening. (I'm super glad that there are diagrams posted nearby!) Isaac clung to Gabriel and Clarissa the whole time. I'm so thankful that they were willing to put up with that and help out with the kids.

We also, of course, watched Old Faithful shoot an impressive fountain of water into the sky. Kenley kept saying that she was scared and would smash her face into me, only to peek out half a second later. After it was finished all she could say was an astonished, "Wow." The thing that was most fun about the trip was seeing the joy on the kids faces as they marveled at God's creations. Many exclamations of awe erupted from their little mouths.

They of course were also very pleased to return to the condo, which Isaac dubbed "Home Faithful", to swim in the pool. And I was more than pleased that the condo had a generous wading pool that kept my how-to-swim-ignorant children safe and happy.

On Sunday we made cakes in mugs to celebrate Gabriel's birthday. (That's a great little trick. Mix one box of Angel Food cake mix [it has to be the kind that you only have to add water] and one box any other flavor cake mix. Put 1/3 cup of the blended cake mixes in a mug and add 3 tablespoons water. Mix until frothy and then microwave for one minute. They pop right out and viola! Single serving cakes!) Then we went to the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. We got to watch while they hid food for the Grizzlies. There were two bears out and we had fun watching "Sam" knock a bird feeder out of the tree on his hind legs. Then we watched a wolf gnaw on a elk hide for a while before finally heading to the city park for lunch and then getting on the road to go home.

The party didn't end though. We ended up staying up until 11:30 playing games at our house. It really was the perfect weekend!