Days 2015

Days 2015

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Just me and my Guy

September is definitely my favorite month of the year.  Gorgeous weather, birthdays, and school starts again!  I am soaking up the slower-paced days with just me and my little guy here at home.  So fun.  All summer we play hard, but with all these kids, odds are that at least one of us is fighting or mad or crying and upset, or not doing their jobs, etc., plus, this summer was kind of long and hard for everyone with all the work of the move, and then not having a lawn and not knowing many kids to play with.  So, everyone was excited for school to start and have somewhat of a return to normalcy.  (And my house is finally clean.)

Luke gets promoted!  With the kids gone, we are also starting (sigh) potty-training.
I have made it a point to put "Play with Luke" on my mental to-do list so I don't just get too wrapped up in all these projects I have been putting off.  And there is a lot of playing with Luke because his 2-3 hour naps are becoming a thing of the past.  (Rotten timing, I know.) Lucky for me he is a great little sidekick, pretty happy and good-natured, and does really well helping me around the house and running errands or shopping.  He does miss the kids.  The first day they were gone after he had been playing for a while he walked up to me and tried to explain something he had just realized.  With his palms out, he shook his head morosely, "Boddy gone.  Coor-per gone.  Macy--gone."  I added to his lament with a, "Leslie--gone.  Daddy--gone.  Just Mommy and Luke!  Let's read a story."

He does well playing by himself and has a good imagination.  I cracked up the other day when he came to me with this abstract creation, all excited, and said, "Look Mom!  A Princess!"  I guess his standards are pretty low.
My standard for princess is pretty high.  Here's one I know.  This picture is from Leslie's first time playing in the pep band and doing their Tarzan themed half-time show.  She was pretty excited to see some of her best friends from Lehi show up at the game to support her.  She has been practicing full time in August (8 hour days, much of it out in a 100 degree parking lot) and now part time after school three days a week, but she is loving it (and has never been so tan).  Marching band counts as a varsity sport, and now I know why.  She is loving it and wants to do it again next year.  We laughed when some of her new precision/balance skills showed up at the daddy daughter party last week when they had to do a marshmallow balanced on a spoon in their mouth race.  She didn't drop it once and even said that all that practice totally helped.  Skills, I tell you!

And now it's time for catch-up of some of our summer adventures.  After moving in (even with all the unpacking) we tried to take lots of breaks and explore our new area, also enjoying our closer proximity to 7 Peaks waterslides and BYU.  And, of course, (you know me) lots of trips to our new library. 
Trying out a new splash park.


 We did manage to break away for a little over a week in July and take off for the great white North to visit two of Mark's sisters in Idaho and Washington, and my family in Montana.
First we stopped off at Jake and Rachel's new house in Frenchtown.  They have a gorgeous location way up on the hillside, and Mark was whistling "If You could Hie to Kolob" under his breath as we wound and wound up the road.  Really beautiful, and I was way impressed at how much unpacking Rachel had done with a few weeks less than I had just had.  Luke and Jett enjoying their watermelon out on the deck.  Decks and kids eating messing foods:  it just makes sense.

Cooper manning one of Aunt Sharon's kayaks on Bottleneck Bay of Lake Pondereille.
Luke and Mark

The kids trying out the paddleboat.
When we got to Montana my sisters had borrowed a couple of horses from our neighbors.  (My folks no longer have horses, just 4-wheelers.)  It was fun for my kids to get to try them out.

Jake takes Cooper for a walk.


I went for a ride, too, with my much-more-cowgirl sister Brooke.  (My parents were even like, "she did what?")  I figured I'd be safe with Brooke since she used to be in charge of taking city kids riding on mountain trails at a dude ranch when she was a teenager.  I was pretty sore, later, and may or may not have been hollering like a ninny for Brooke to slow down when my fat horse started to trot my brains out. 
Luke didn't want to ride the horses but he was okay with feeding the cows.
 


Luke was in squirt gun heaven for most of the trip.
Mom and Dad took us 4-wheeling in the mountains one day, even though they had already gone with Darcy's family a few days earlier.

My favorite part was building this fairy house and trail with Bridger, Addy and Macy. 

My second favorite part was watching Brigham kick it all to bits later, (causing much weeping and wailing from Macy) and then as he tripped on Macy on the backswing, holler with much indignation, "Hey, Macy! You made me fall!"
Mom and the boys had quite the adventure riding in a cloudburst.
My Mom was a trooper to sleep out in the tent with these hooligans the whole time we were there.  And there was even a Mama Grizzly and her cubs in the neighborhood.


Up at Gibson Dam
Thanks to Jake and Dad for the boating trip.  I don't think anyone is having fun here.  At all.
Work hard and play hard.  When it's washing a dump truck, you combine the two!

We might have played a little TOO hard.  One afternoon my Dad felt like we better park all the 4-wheelers.  Then he took a nap, and a few boys and Jake decided that Grandpa was "just kidding" about that and took them for another ride.  Cooper swerved to miss a rock and lost control.  We think his helmet stayed on long enough for his impact but then it came off.  Jaxon looked back and saw him on the ground.  The 4-wheeler had rolled and bent this axle pretty bad.  Cooper was really lucky to only have a headache and just be a little scraped.  He came in later that night to my room crying that he was so glad he didn't die.  Me too.  We had a few talks as a family about "Honor thy father and thy mother that thy days may be LONG upon the land," and also about heeding the promptings of the Holy Ghost and the counsel of our leaders.
We had only been home for a few days when Mom and Dad came down to Utah for my new niece Hallie's baby blessing.  We met up with them for lunch.  Here is Mom meeting Hallie for the very first time.
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After our lunch, Mom, Macy, Leslie and I took Mom to IKEA for the first time.  Leslie needed some things for her room.  Mom was pretty funny.  Dad, I promise I tried to talk her out of this kitchen, but the Grandma in her is just too powerful.  She was outta control.
That night was fun.  All the boys were gone to a Bees game with Uncle Gib and us girls just stayed home, had an easy dinner, assembled our IKEA purchases while we watched White Christmas.  Christmas in July!

The baby blessing was beautiful and later that day Jake and Rachel brought their crew over to hang out and see the new place.
Later that week we were talking about how our summer had gone, and the kids reminded us that we hadn't gone camping yet.  We both kind of groaned because we have been so busy on Saturdays trying to work on the basement, and with Leslie in marching band, so we told them it probably wouldn't happen this year.  Then, the week that school was starting, I realized there was one Monday that no one had any obligations.  (School started that Wednesday.)  So, I loaded up the stuff and took off with the kids before lunchtime.
This is a funny picture but you can't see it very good.  The place we stopped for lunch was near this ENORMOUS wasps' nest, about the size of a basketball or bigger.  It was hot and they were sleepy, so we got pretty close to take this picture.  Leslie was pretty freaked out. 
We went on a fun little hike called The Grotto that we had been on for my birthday when Macy was about Luke's age.  It was fun to go back with the bigger crew.


Luke loved getting to cross all the logs and bridges by himself (sort of by himself).
When we got to the waterfall, Cooper decided he wanted to cool off.
 


Even Macy washer her hair a little.
 
Then, after finding out our intended campground at Payson lakes would not be very fun since the lake was infested with the swimmers' itch parasite, we got extra adventurous and drove the Nebo Loop over the tops of the mountains.  Gorgeous, yes, but I'm afraid of heights and the view is basically like looking out of the window of an airplane.  And usually Mark is the one who drives the windy mountain roads, so, I was feeling pretty Mom-of-the-year.  On the way down we found a really beautiful campground.  The camp host informed us with a smile that since it was a Monday we pretty much had run of the place, which was music to my ears (I hate camping around other people, that's SO WEIRD.)  Mark joined us at about dinner time, and was impressed that we already had the tent up, the fire going, and the Dutch oven potatoes cooking.  Unfortunately we left the nice marshmallow sticks at Payson Lakes, but Boston was happy to get to use his pocketknife to cut some new ones.
Then the magical day arrived...
Leslie, 9th grade.  I was literally chasing her down the sidewalk with the camera so she quick spun around and walked backward for this picture.  (Marching band skills again!) She gets to ride the bus but it comes kind of early.
Macy, 1st, Luke, Boston 4th, Cooper 3rd.  It was kind of chilly and windy, so they look kind of funny all bundled up mid-August. (They came home with the coats in the backpacks, all pink and sweaty.)  Luke and I rode with them and then met them on the way home, and I got a flat, so they've been going on their own just fine since then.  I'm kind of liking the bike riding at this point--they come home ready for a snack and sit down to do their homework instead of being all wound up still.  Macy is sure lucky to have a couple of big brothers to escort her, (her friends get dropped off) and they've been doing a great job.