Friday, September 26, 2014


'Mommy, smell it...... it smells just like a beautiful flower....'
                                                    'Mommy, touch it...... it won't bite..... it's dead......'
                                                                                         'Mommy, hold it....... it's cold and floppy.....'

Just for the record I don't smell, touch, or hold dead floppy snakes.

Joining Mamabyrd and From the Land of Cotton in their weekly impressions posts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Boulder, UT

About 10 years ago camping went from a cheap and easy getaway to a stressful and somewhat costly outing.  Adding children seems to do that to a lot of things...... But their addition also brings much more than that....  like a chance to make some pretty great memories.

With this weekend being one of our last acceptable family camping weekends we set off for a stressful and somewhat costly outing..... our destination.... Boulder UT.  This is one of Monte's most favorite places, he seems to know all it's secrets, and we've been trying to make this trip for years..... it was worth the wait.

Stressful...... Absolutely..... hiking with a 4, 6, and 9 year old only a few feet away from 100 foot cliffs..... tent sleeping with lots and lots of rain in the forecast..... potential drownings in deep, deep swimming holes with one end dropping to a 100 foot water fall.... yes I was blissfully stressed.

Somewhat Costly..... Yep..... gas $3.89 a gallon..... Capri Suns, fruit snacks, granola bars..... emergency purchase of a sewing kit, to hopefully repair two torn suits..... multiple treat/bathroom stops..... the little things do comically add up.

Chance to make Some Pretty Great Memories..... Definitely.....  (Sorry so many pictures, it was so hard to choose.)

Stunning views.
Stream playing while setting up camp.
Hikes on sandstone and through silky smooth sand.
Cairn building.
An awesome desert oasis all to ourselves.
Explorations of upper and lower pools and falls.
Jumping into a true swimming hole.
Sliding down natures water slides (leading to a couple of torn suits, and a leech hitchhiker, but without that hole and exposed backside that leech would have stayed hidden much longer than he did)
Solidarity that allowed for complete acceptance of exposed bottoms.
Dancing under a waterfall.


These were put in by request

Tent camping in the rain.
Thankfulness for a 4-year old's ability to over pack-- who would have thought all those coloring books and markers would be so entertaining while waiting out the rain.
Reading aloud several chapters in our book 'Summer of the Monkeys'.
Fun creations made by a brotherly crew (The Project Manager, The Engineer, The Manual Laborer)


Visits to the Anasazi State Park Museum where you can earn your Junior Ranger Badge.
Breaks in the rain that allow for one last hike up a huge white sandstone boulder.
Both beautiful and gross discoveries. 

And who could forget the sad faced boy, when he realized scampering up a cliff is the easy, going back down is the hard......

And then.... Self Discoveries..... bottom scooting is a totally acceptable way to maneuver back down a slippery steep slope.......

 ..... he took his stumbling blocks and made them stepping (even if the stepping is on your backside) stones.....  up the cliff easy, down the cliff hard..... my beautiful family teaches me everyday..... really the best things come with some of the hardest work..... like packing a ridiculous amount of fruits snacks and tent sleeping in the rain.  

Monday, September 22, 2014

The Amazing Raise

The beginning of a new school year usually means an evening spent on school grounds at some sort of festival or carnival supporting your local elementary school.  A few years ago Valley Elementary decided to go a different route to fundraise for their school.  Every September Valley Elementary joins forces with The Amazing Raise event and helps to raise money and awareness for local non-profit organizations.

The Amazing Raise held up at Nordic Valley (Or is it Wolf Mountain?) is a great way to donate to the things we love in our valley, like our lands, parks, pathways, local artists and their festivals (Ogden Valley Balloon and Artist Festival), and of course our local schools. 

It was a fun afternoon and evening spent together, where I made more than a few discoveries (or re-discoveries)......

-Jonas loves to run. 
-Solomon hates to run.
-Abe loves to run but hates to fall.
-Adding colored powder to anything makes it more fun (the ONLY Fun about the Fun Run according to Sol).
-Telling Sol that his 4 year old little brother is beating him, makes him go no faster.
-Seeing your oldest only at the starting line on what was supposed to be a 'Family Fun Run', has no effect on his enjoyment.
-Abe can navigate a 1.4 mile race course fairly successfully by himself (I was attempting to motivate Sol to just finish the race).
-Jo can run a 5K immediately after a mile and a half and finish both with a smile, especially when the race route is more like a curvy hiking trail. 
-Abe loves live music, but is easily distracted by puddles.
-Shaved ice makes everything better.
-Being under 4 feet is actually an advantage at ladder golf, and can win you two much needed green hoodies.
-You can jump much longer than the supposed 5 minutes on a bounce house if you are adorably oblivious. 
-A small pizza and cheese bread, cooked in a traveling pizza oven, is no longer enough food for our growing  family.
-If you're under 10 and you have only one dollar and a cotton candy cost two, you might be able to make a  deal for the smallest one if you promise to share it with your brothers. 
-Free concerts held on mountainsides are enjoyable for the whole family, no matter what the music choice.
-Sol NEVER takes a bad picture, even when he sneaks the camera and takes over a dozen 'selfies'.
-We really do love where we live and play.
-And lastly, in regards to the cute couple in front of us during the evening concert.  As much as I wanted to stop your dog from eating the remaining four gourmet cupcakes you left unattended while you went about your business under your blanket, the idea of getting any closer to where those passionate noises were coming from was something waaaaayyyyy out of my comfort zone.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Three hours to seven hours, the jump from Kindergarten to First Grade is quite the adjustment...... well, for Abe not Sol.... it's hard saying goodbye each morning to his Favorite First Grade Buddy. 

Joining Mamabyrd & From the Land of Cotton in their weekly impression posts.

Friday, September 12, 2014


As soon as he saw the full moon he started to howl.  I'll admit I should have tried shushing him..... but it was a free outdoor concert..... and frankly when the scent tracking with the four legged climb up the mountain side started, I was kind of afraid of the Big Bad Wolf......

Joining Mamabyrd & From the Land of Cotton in their Weekly Impressions Post

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hellos and Goodbyes

First day of school..... with one tree already starting to change.

A good friend told me that she feels that fall coincides with going back to school because Mother Nature wants to hurry and get the hustle and bustle of back-to-school duties out of the way so we can all sit back and enjoy the beautiful sensory overload she unveils for us in the fall.  I think that explanation is as good as any other, and it's certainly an accurate description of our last several weeks, and what's in store for us in the weeks to come.

So as I sadly say goodbye to my favorite season and all it's warm weather fun, I embrace and greet my other favorite season and everything it brings.....

Goodbye to flip flops & bare feet.....
                                               Hello flip flops & bare feet (we're still good until the snow flies).

Goodbye to garden squash and zucchini (thank goodness).....
Hello to garden pumpkins and apples picked straight from the tree.

Goodbye days spent swimming at the lake beach.....
Hello afternoons playing in the sand and junk treasure hunting at the lake beach.

Goodbye dainty summer blooms.....
                                          Hello mums and SUNFLOWERS!

Goodbye t-shirts and shorts.....
                                     Hello hoodies and sweaters.

Goodbye to uncomfortable sleep in a home with no air conditioning on those stale windless nights.....
     Hello to blissful open window sleeping, where you'd rather grab an extra blanket than close the window.  

Goodbye to my early morning lake swims with feathered and non-feathered friends.....
                                                                                                             Hello to tethered hot tub swimming.

 Goodbye to our favorite hiking group were babies are shared and huge tree house discoveries are made.....
                                              Hello family hikes were snacks are shared and isolated ponds are discovered.

Goodbye garden fresh tomato, basil, and bacon sandwiches......
                                                                                Hello soups and fresh baked bread.

Goodbye outdoor bathing.....
                                 Hello chilly outdoor bathing.

Goodbye grilled dinners in the shade.....
                                                 Hello cooking and eating dinners by a fire.

Goodbye canoe rides at Causey and exploring the salmon run.....
                                                         Hello canoe rides spent admiring the amazing rainbow colored trees.

Goodbye late night play dates with friends.....
                                                                 Hello bed times.

Goodbye sweaty family bike rides around town.....
                                                                   Hello cool evening family bike rides around town.


Goodbye last minute plans and activities.....
                                                           Hello school, schedule, and homework.

One new fourth grader, and one very grown up first grader.

Goodbyes and Hellos, I guess it's hard to have one without the other.  So until the returned schedule slows and the excitement of a new season fades....... Goodbye!