Days 2017

Days 2017

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

On Top of a Mountain

We took the kids camping this weekend.  It should have been super busy because of Pioneer Day weekend, but we went down to the Manti/LaSalle national forest and were lucky enough to find an camping spot literally on top of a mountain (not a towering, rocky one, more of a flattened, treetopped one.) This is Macy NOT wanting to be carried on our "hike".

Us on our hike, it was still kind of hot.
Boston finds a "bear track" on the road.  Looked like dog to me, maybe cougar???  Everything else was horse, maybe it's a stepped on horse track.  Hope it wasn't bear!  We intentionally didn't go to Payson Lakes campground like we had intended because on the radio some rangers were trying to track down two aggressive black bears there.

We could see for miles.  This is looking north from the road that went past our campsite.

Looking south from the road we hiked down.  This swath was some kind of natural gas line or something.

The way back Macy finally got her way and walked by herself.  We got back to camp 15 minutes after everyone else. 

Leslie and Mark roasting marshmallows.  Duke was kind enough to lend us his firewood box and roasting sticks, but man, Duke, those sticks are short!  You need better ones.  Mark thought his face was going to melt off.

Macy coming down a little path to a hand-hewn, sagging bench that was up next to some trees.  See the amazing lack of other campers?  Am I really in Utah?

Besides our hike, we also had a treasure hunt with handwritten clues all over the place, leading back to our box of s'more fixins.  One of the clues was on this fallen tree.  The kids loved riding it, even though Cooper was sure he was going to fall off.  The ground sloped away pretty fast, so it was scarier than it looks.

I had to ride the horsey, too.

Leslie and I ride double.

We also played hide & seek (teams) and then discussed some possible Indian names for each other.  This is Cooper being Chief Thunder.  He said he was making thunder, and so I think this picture is pretty cool.  He's actually whipping up dust into a beam of disappearing sunlight with a long, branchy twig.

Macy's Indian name was Squaw Walks Alone.

When it got dark and the kids didn't want to sit around the fire and relax, they played charades for us instead.  This is Cooper and Macy being giraffes.
It's a good thing we went camping, because these kids are growing up too fast!  Leslie started 5th grade yesterday.  Check out those new shoes!  Size 7 1/2.  Look out Aunt Brookie!
I thought I had the car all cleaned out, but I forgot the sunscreen.  Yesterday when I thought Cooper and Macy were playing nicely in the backyard, Cooper let Macy in the van instead (our garage door to the back yard driveway is stuck open and getting fixed TODAY).  She decided to grease down my passenger seat.  Any hints how to get this off?  There is kind of a mesh netting over it, so I can't really even get to most of it....hope it fades!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Glasses and Baseball

Sunday Mark and Boston were talking about how Boston might be able to do baseball this fall.  Mark said he figured Boston would be pretty good, especially if they played catch and practiced.  Leslie, in a show of generous spirit, said, "Yeah Boston, I'm sure you'll be better than I was."  Boston replied with a little too much swagger, "I KNOW I'll be better than you!"  Mark asked him what made him think that.  Boston made a "duh" face, pointed his finger at Leslie and replied, "Glasses!"

Cooper was sick last week, with what may have been a final showing of the Ely family reunion bug.  He'd been feverish before he went to bed.  The next morning, Boston ran upstairs and burst into our room.  "Mom, Dad, Cooper's going to explode!  He says he's going to blow up!"
I think he meant, throw up, because that is what he did.  But blow up is more accurate.

We found out that we need to work on Macy's political correctness.  This week Mark was reading Curious George goes to the Zoo to her, and asking her about all the animals.  He discovered that she didn't think George was a monkey.  She calls him, "the Brown Guy."  This wouldn't be so bad as an isolated incident, but she also keeps calling Pablo (from beloved cartoon Backyardigans), "Problem".  That's what happens when we spend too much time on vacation in the Great White North.

Leslie and Boston are enrolled in swimming lessons that my friend gives at her mom's house.  (I kind of thought it was private lessons, but it's a regular class.  Guess I need to open my ears better.  Oh well.)  I think they will do great because the number two rule they teach the kids, right after "Don't go by water or pools without an adult" is, "When we swim, we put our face IN THE WATER."  I'm only allowed to watch on Mondays because there isn't alot of room, so on Monday I will try to remember the camera.  Macy, Cooper and I have fun plans during that hour.  Yesterday we went to the library because the kids' books were due, and today we swung on the swings for a very long time.  Cooper and Macy both love the swings and giggle and giggle.  I tried to capture it on video, but of course they stopped as soon as I tried, even though I was behind them, so you'll have to be content with some pictures.

Cooper on the night of the thunderstorm, when we tried to go to the splashpark for a pizza picnic but ended up eating in the car and renting Yogi Bear instead.  They did laugh pretty hard.

It's clean.
Leslie starts school on Monday.  I didn't think I would notice the short, short, shortness of the summer break that much, but I do.  Holy cow.  Three weeks and we were gone for more than a week of it.  I even have to reschedule the 2nd half of her swimming lessons because I thought she didn't go back to school until the very end of July.  Boston starts the week after that.  I was talking to Mark about next summer and it dawned on us that next year we will have THREE kids in school.  Crazy.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

an Actual Vacation with pictures, part one

Daisy Queen Macy.  This is my first official "daisy chain", having only ever made dandelion chains before.  The daisies just grew wild by Sharon's house, fields and fields of them.  Gorgeous!

 We just had a great vacation and really broke out of our rut by staying at 4 different places over 9 days.  Mark and I are both anticipating and dreading tackling Monday and all the catching up that needs to get done, but we needed a break and we had a great time seeing everyone!  Here are some pictures of the first half of our trip.
Evidence of the epic library trip the day before we left.  Luckily, my kids love books and trips to the library, and I had to snap this shot to prove it.  I am actually standing in the garage as I take this picture--the books got two steps into the house before the kids had to bust them out.  I've been ridiculed before because I always have to pack so many books whenever I go on vacation, but really, I use them.  Reading is what I choose to do to relax, and isn't that what you're supposed to do on vacation, anyway? I'm also one of those lucky people who have no trouble reading in the car unless the road is really windy.   All that packing was not wasted--I think this time I finished three books and got a good chunk done on another (not to mention packing my scriptures and journal, and the garage sale books I bought that had to come home.)  I read Red Riding Hood (okay but do I want to see the movie now?  Plus the last chapter was online.  Annoying!), The Well-Educated Mind:  A Guide to the Classical Education you never had, Outliers, and part of 1776.
Happy van prisoners, taking off for day two.  Next time Boston gets to ride in the way back.  He talked (read here-whined)  nonstop.
 First we stopped in little Dubois, Idaho for a few minutes to see where Mark's sister DeAnn and her family had moved to.  Very small town--I know it has been a bit of a culture shock for them, but we like that it's right on the way to Montana.  Then we went to Missoula to stay with Jake and Rachel and the boys for the night and see their nice new house.  Super fun!  I loved their big dining room and the boys loved all the bikes and the long driveway.
From there we went to Day Cousin Camp 2011, Lake Pen d'Oreille.  (Did I spell that right?  It's French and pronounced Ponderay.)  Mark's sister Sharon was the hostess this year, and we were all super excited because none of us has been to her gorgeous lakefront home way up near Sandpoint, Idaho, despite the gazillions of times her family has come down to see us.  I wasn't sure what to expect but I had a clue it would be awesome after my brother-in-law Doug mentioned that they had recently trucked in a few loads of sand for their beach and got a dock.  They also had several kayaks and even a paddle boat that the little kids (and the grandparents) got to ride in.  We ate lots of yummy food (Sharon also did all the shopping and planning), camped in the yard, played in the lake, went to church, watched fireworks, and performed in the annual cousin talent show.  This year's talent show was topped by the jazz band provided by Sharon's family, complete with drums, keyboard, guitar and brass.  Those teenagers really knew their stuff and were gracious enough to let my little ones try things out.  I don't know how many times Cooper tried out the guitar.  Cousin Spencer even taught him how to blow a trumpet, and we all applauded because we didn't think he'd figure it out.  The piano was going full speed almost the whole three days we were there, but my nephew Justin did find time to play and sing a little Phantom of the Opera with me.  He also played the organ in church.  He is going to be in 8th grade.

Unfortunately I couldn't find the camera during the talent show, but I might have to get some footage of Leslie's Christmas in July song, Boston's march on the piano, and Cooper's skit with Mark.  Very fun.
I also need to snag a picture from one of my sisters-in-law of all of us in front of the van with the windows painted with "Cousin Camp, 2011."  Mark's parents drove it to church that way and Frances (my mother-in-law) remarked that the last time she had driven in a car with the windows painted they had said "Just Married!"  I really don't think they minded much.
Mark in the paddle boat with my three tinies.  This was before they figured out how to put up the shade canopy.  Cooper got quite good at peddling and ended up doing most of the work when we went out.

Leslie trying out one of the kayaks.  Boston also tried out the kayaks by himself on the 4th of July (with one of us paddling nearby).  He got it figured out pretty well but ran out of steam in a hurry, so he didn't go far.

Macy and her red shovels.  I built this "lake" and river system with the boys. 
Macy and Cooper played plenty of Jump Off the Dock.  You can kind of see how pretty the area is.  Sharon is on Bottle Bay, a long skinny bay off of Lake Pen d'oreille.

Coop shows no fear.  A few days later, at Mom and Dad's, he also was jumping out of the boat to Uncle Jared in the middle of Willow Creek Reservoir.
This is NOT me--the sun was too bright to get a good picture of her face.  This is Sharon, Mark's sister, the 4th of July queen.  Our whole family walked part of the way across the "long bridge" on the 4th and trucks were honking at her. 

Here is a Longbridge shot of all the grandkids, minus DeAnn's four who didn't get to come. Back row, left to right:  Spencer ( who just earned a whopping 34 on his ACT), Janicka, Rhett, Makailee, Brinley, Greg (I think--I still can't tell the twins apart, and I don't remember which one always has to stand on the left...), Justin (I think...).  Middle Row:  Gavin, Hadley, Boston, Cooper, Gavin, Lydia, Leslie.  Front row:  Macy, Carson 
Us on the Longbridge.  4th of July.  It was very sunny and Cooper refused to open his eyes for the shot.

Macy in the daisy field behind Sharon's house.
 After cousin camp we drove back into Montana to go and see Mom and Dad for a few days--not long enough because we usually stay there a whole week.  You do what you can. 

Here is Macy in the tub with her closest-in-age cousin, Bridger.  I thought it would be cute to make their hair stand up with bubbles, but Bridger's is too short, so Macy gets to be the sole conehead.
 We played for a day at Eureka Reservoir and had a magical summer afternoon stop for ice cream on the way home at the Choteau Museum boardwalk, just like my grandma used to take me and my cousins. 
Here is Macy with her peach ice cream cone.  You can't tell very well here, but it was dripping clear down her legs and onto her feet, besides getting all over her face.  A kindly gentleman minding the shop next door directed us to a little wading pool on his nearby lawn so we could wash off our sticky-monsters.  We thought we did a thorough job, but even after a bath the next day Macy had sticky stripes between her toes.
More pictures (hijacked from Rachel's blog and wherever else I can get them) to come for the second half of the trip.  (probably a good thing because I think Macy might be a little over-represented here.  I just can't help it!)