Happy Campers

So, my little family and I are definitely not “campers”.  We don’t like creepy bugs crawling on us, or itchy pollen making us sneeze, or questionable sounds in the night that might, or might not be, a neighborhood moose strolling a few feet away from us while we sleep on the cold, hard ground.  (There truly was a moose that was spotted just down the road from our house a few weeks ago!  Not to mention the racoons and skunks that love the pasture behind our house!)  haha!

Anyway, all of this to finally say that we actually did IT!  My little family and I braved the wild and slept outside in a tent!  We didn’t plan on going to Family Camp with the scouts this year.  Then, we decided we should at least go to the Arrow of Light ceremony for some of Easton’s scout buddies.  Then, about an hour before we were supposed to be there, we decided to borrow a tent and some sleeping bags from our neighbor and just do it!

IMG_8099resizedWe got the tent set up and had time to eat before they started the ceremony for the scouts.  The boys hadn’t received any awards for the last 3 months, so all of the boys got a big bag full of their awards.  Easton seemed especially excited about his compass award.  I was happy to have friends there that I could visit with, and Easton and Reese had a good time running around outside of the shelter with all of the other kids.  Reese’s best buddy Kiera was even there for a few hours!

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I really liked having the shelter with the fire pit, and there were even bathrooms haha!  Not really roughing it exactly, but it was just enough “wilderness” for newbies like us.  lol.

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Don’t shoot me, Craig and Diana!  You guys are just too cute.

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We went to our tent a little after 11 pm, but it was really loud with kids playing “Ghosts in the Graveyard” until midnight or so.  We brought some snacks and had a little midnight feast, which made Reese really happy.  We didn’t get a lot of sleep, but we survived our night in the wild.  Reese had kicked off her sleeping bag in the night and cuddled up with us in the morning to warm up.  She was frozen!

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Easton headed out of the tent early to check out the breakfast situation and report back to us.  I love that he has a smile on his face 99% of the time!

IMG_8139resizedHe had fun entertaining us with his shadows.  His crazy morning hair is the best.  🙂

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Reese was showing us the proper way to exit a tent.  lol!

IMG_8153resizedWe had a pretty good time.

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Sandpoint

My parents offered to bring me and the kids with them when they went to visit Shyanna in Sandpoint, Idaho for Mila’s baby blessing.  We drove there on July 18th and came home on the 21st.  I usually get carsick and wasn’t looking forward to the 9 1/2 hour drive, but some friends loaned us their Strive Today bracelets and they worked for us!  It was a long drive and I got a little yucky, but nothing like the last time we drove to Coeur d’Alene.  We drove through Missoula but the sky was so hazy from surrounding fires that it was hard to see the mountains and scenery.  Road construction added a little more time to our drive both there and back.  The top three pictures on the left hand corner show pictures from the drive there while we were in the car.  The rest are from Sunday evening when I went with dad and Danny on a drive to take a few pictures in the evening before we left.

0.driveresizedWe listened to a book on CD called “Peter and the Starcatchers” that helped pass the time.  It was really good and we all enjoyed listening to it.  There were a couple of slightly questionable parts that had us raising our eyebrows, but I don’t think the kids got the references, thank goodness haha!  We’re going to be sure and bring along more books on CD if we go on any other long drives.

We were so incredibly excited to see Shy and her little family, especially new little Mila!  She’s already 2 months old and this was our first time meeting her.  Mom and dad went right after she was born, so this was their second time with her.  She’s so beautiful, and I love how her little eyes just look right into your soul!

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On Friday evening we drove over to Sandpoint a few miles away (Shy is actually in Ponderay) for dinner.  We ate at a little place called Spuds, where we ate… spuds, lol!  They had delicious baked potatoes and sandwiches, which we carried out to the deck in back and ate overlooking the marina.  It was a beautiful night and we all LOVED being able to see the boats and water below us.  Here are some random pictures from the ipod.

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We spent a few hours at the beach on Saturday and everyone had such a great time!  (Well, everyone except my dad, who wasn’t feeling very well and spent a lot of time in the hotel 😦  We had just gotten there when a little marching band of crazies showed up to advertise for a show they were going to be performing later that evening.  The kids were much more interested in the water, but we had them come over to sit and watch for a few minutes while they were performing.  It was really random that we just happened to be there right as it was starting.  They came out to the water calling for everyone to come and watch.

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Shy’s family goes down to the beach almost every evening, and we would probably do that too if we lived there!  I think it only took about 10 minutes (or even less!) to get there from her house.  We loved it!  The mountains were still hazy in the distance, but still looked beautiful in ombre shades of blue.

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Mila’s blessing was on Sunday and Danny did such a great job in blessing her.  We all fell in love with her ward, and right after leaving the building my parents and I were talking about how great the speakers were.  We loved that everyone was so friendly; several people came to greet us at the doors and find out who we were visiting, another guy shook our hands and slipped some candy to us, and we joked that they even had two kinds of bread to choose from (one of them must have been for a gluten-free member).  We seriously loved their ward though!

We went to Shy’s apartment after the blessing and she had some of Danny’s family over for brunch with delicious banana chocolate chip muffins that Shy made, fresh watermelon and blueberries, and I made toffee cream cheese dip with apples.  After everyone left I took some pictures of Shy’s family outside of their apartment.

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We were sitting around holding the baby and visiting when dad asked if Danny and I wanted to go for a drive and try to get some pictures of the sunset.  I already posted some of them in the collage at the top, but here are a few more.  I saw several moose and bears on our drive (which turned out to be a bird’s nest and some cows, haha) but we had a good time.  I definitely got my love of photography from my dad!

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We left our hotel (Ruby’s) around 9:00 I think, but then we made quite a few stops along the way to take pictures.  This little marina was when I made dad pull over because he was trying to text and drive, on top of looking at the scenery, and I was having a heart attack and made him pull over.  It was a pretty spot, and we had fun exploring it for a few minutes.  I think we finally made it home around 7 pm.

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How’s that for trying to fit a billion pictures into one blog post, haha!  I think our whole family really fell in love with Sandpoint, and we’re already looking forward to going back to visit next year, (hopefully!)  Thanks for taking us, mom and dad!!  Love and miss you, Shy and family!  🙂

 

Scout Mountain

Joe’s sisters planned a get together up at Scout Mountain a few weeks ago and we had such a good time!  It was a million degrees that day, but we still had fun with a delicious bbq, watermelon, and Golden Graham Smore’s!

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We found lots of ways to cool off, haha!  Reese got into one of the trucks that was parked in the shade and spent most of the afternoon in there with the ipod.  I finally had her get out when it started to cool off a little.

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Lisa wanted to get a picture to show that Easton and Shayla, (both 10 years old) are taller than Angie, who will be 18 in a few months.  🙂

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We were celebrating Olivia’s second birthday.  She’s such a cute little stinker!!

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We had a really good day and hope that we’ll be able to go back again before the summer is over!

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Cannon

Here are some pictures I did for a sweet little guy named Cannon for his one year birthday.  He was born on the 4th of July!

20x20logoedited-1My favorite part of his session was when he came over to me and crawled up on my lap to snuggle for a few minutes after we were done.  So sweet!  🙂

Changing Tires

I walked outside the other evening to find Joe and Easton changing the tires on the chevy.  These are some of my most favorite pictures ever of these two, I’m pretty sure.

 

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IMG_7268resizedToday is really hot… too hot to go outside, so we’re trying to find things to do inside today.  The kids are playing Legos in Reese’s bedroom, and I’ve been (kind of) working on my lesson for Relief Society.  Mostly I’ve been on Facebook and Instagram.  Scrolling my life away!

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IMG_7286resizedI drank a V8 juice around 10 this morning, so I feel like I’ve done my healthy thing for the day.  Lol!  We’ve actually been playing a lot of badminton, and even some tennis, when it cools off in the evenings.  Easton finished his tennis lessons for the summer and he’s talked us into taking him to the tennis courts and playing a few evenings.  We all really like it, so hopefully we can do more of that while the weather is still nice.  Reese’s favorite thing to do is still riding her bike every chance she gets.

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WahhhTAAAAAH!!

Karate kick to the sprinkler!!  WahhhTAAAAAH!!

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IMG_6959resizedBored.  I’m so incredibly bored right now.  My kids and Joe are all outside again, but it’s still pretty dang hot out there and since the seat of our swing ripped out we don’t have anywhere to sit except for the trampoline… which is occupied haha!  The neighbors two houses down from us are having another fiesta tonight, and we can hear their live band that’s a repeat from yesterday.  Or maybe it’s a different band, I’m not sure.  It’s kinda nice to hear the music out there though.  It gives our place a special festive ambiance, haha!

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IMG_6985resizedI should be using this time to be super productive and clean our nasty floors or something.  But family history is pretty important so I’m going to keep working on my blog.

IMG_6984resizedIt’s funny that as soon as I say that I’m bored the kids come pouring into the house and all of a sudden I’m not so bored.  Guess it’s time to get them ready for bed, or reading, or something.

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WahhhTAAAAAH!!

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Scout Mountain

I’m not sure the last time I’ve been to Scout Mountain, but it’s been a long, long time…(way before kids!)  Joe and I had been talking about it, and last week he decided to surprise us all with a drive up there.  It was so beautiful!  The sunshine, the butterflies, the fresh air….ahhhh!  We needed it.  Just breathing the fresh air makes you feel healthy when you’re up in the mountains!

IMG_6686resizedIMG_6687resizedThere were some windy roads, but luckily no one got too carsick during the drive.

IMG_6718resizedWe went on a couple of very short “hikes” on the paved trails.  Reese was hopping and skipping with joy until a cluster of gnats surrounded her, and then she started getting anxious and asking when we were going to leave.  We moved to a different trail with butterflies and she was magically happy again.  🙂

IMG_6704resizedMost of the campsites were on the small side, but there was one for 30+ people that you have to reserve.  The campground manager was there and told us it was okay to hike up the trail and take a look at it.  It looks like lots of fun for a big hot dog roast and some s’mores!

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IMG_6712resizedA plaque informed us that someone had built this little bench and look-out area for their Eagle Project.  I bet it was a lot of work to do it all!

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IMG_6720resizedThis picture was taken on one side of the little valley, and the next few are from the other side.  If you look at this next picture we went over to the far left of this picture on the other side of the valley.  Does that even make sense?  Probably not much.  Reese has her shoulders scrunched up looking a little nervous because she might have heard a bee.

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IMG_6730resizedIn this next picture I yelled out for us all to do something crazy.  Easton was contemplating his next move (?), and Joe was being BigFoot.  I accidentally cut his legs out of the frame or it probably would have been completely obvious.  haha!  Reese was a ballerina and I was Julie Andrews from the Sound of Music.  (As if I even needed to tell anyone!!)

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IMG_6750resizedThe kids wanted to grab a couple of rocks for their collections before we left.  Reese had picked out one that was halfway up that looked like it was made of gold, but it was also huge and halfway buried in the hill so she settled for this one.

IMG_6754resizedIMG_6762resizedIMG_6766resizedOn the way back through the town we saw a couple of deer and had to stop to get a picture of them too.

IMG_6776resizedIMG_6778resizedThe days when we can just get out of the house and explore someplace new are always our favorites!

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Kid one-on-one time

Easton got to go on his very first overnight camp-out with the scouts a few weeks ago.  He had the best time!  I’m so happy that Joe was able to go with him and they could spend some time together roughing it, haha!  (They went to a little park here in town.)  These pictures are from the day he got home, and he couldn’t wait to show me how to start a fire.  I tried seriously about 30 times to get a picture of the little spark, but no luck catching it in a picture.  We did get some smoke though, haha!

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IMG_6442resizedReesie and I had a girls crafting party while the boys were gone.  We did q-tip paintings, made bracelets out of shower rings and fabric, and watched The Swan Princess: A Royal Family Tale; and also Barbie: The Pearl Princess mermaid movies with s’mores for dessert.  We also did a couple Spirograph projects.  It was a lot of fun for both of us!

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IMG_6468-2resizedSpending time with our kids is so incredibly important to Joe and I.  I’m lucky that he feels the same as I do when it comes to the most important thing in our lives being family.  Last night a picture popped up on the screensaver on our computer with him and Reese driving the RC truck up some rocks.  He said that he wanted to find a few more pictures of him doing fun stuff with the kids, and I told him that just about every picture he’s in that I take involves him doing fun stuff with our family.  I’m not sure if he realizes what an amazing dad he is to them.  But he is.

Levitation and stuff

I’m taking the summer off work to be at home with my kids.  Did I already mention that?  I can’t remember.  RMPT had a few people there that will be starting classes in the fall, and it worked out perfectly so I can be home with my kids instead of worrying about hiring a babysitter, and then I’ll go back to work when their classes start.  I’ve been so lucky that both Brandon and Deidra have been willing to work around my schedule with kids!

IMG_6405resizedWe’re already into the first day of July, and we’ve been trying to pack a lot of fun into summer vacation.

IMG_6400resizedWe’re training Reese to be a break-dancer.

IMG_6394resizedShe’s pretty good.

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Easton’s honing in on his levitation skills too.  It’s been a busy summer.

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We’re already pretty exhausted from all of this excitement.  😉

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Caius is ONE!

Cody and Casey’s sweet little Caius just turned a year old!  I love him so much.  He’s just so sweet and squishable.  🙂

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IMG_6588resizedWe took a few of Atrion and Casey too  🙂

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IMG_6616resizedI’m so happy that they moved back so we get to see them all the time!  It’s been so fun to spend time with them.  Happy birthday Caius!