Back to School pictures

I’m finally taking the time to sit down and get caught up on my blog a little bit.  I was talking to the kids a few weeks ago about doing some back to school pictures, and Easton asked, “why don’t we just do them right now?”  So we did.




IMG_8189resizedI took a few of Reesie too…. crazy hair and all.



IMG_8239_editedresizedI have more pictures from their first day of school that started on Tuesday, so I’ll try to add those soon too.


IMG_8204resizedBoth of them were really excited for school to start!



Scavenger Hunt at the Temple

We stopped by the visitor center at the Idaho Falls temple a few weeks ago, and the kids were really excited to hear that they could do a scavenger hunt while we were there.  It was a fun activity that let them wander through the temple grounds and find things on their list.  They had a great time!


IMG_8267The flowers were so beautiful!




IMG_8275resizedJoe was trying to get a picture of a ladybug 🙂




High Adventure Hike (written by Joe!)


Day 1
Rain rain rain. We woke up to soggy conditions. We all gathered at the
church house to meet up and leave at 6:30 am then made our way to the
hilltop Sinclair near Ririe to pickup cameron. On our way we came to
foggy cloudy mountains. At the trailhead we divided the food and then
made our way to the start of the trail.


On our way the trail was muddy
and all the brush that you had to walk through was wet from the rains
the night before which made our pants wet from the waist down as we
trudged though the mud. After a long two hours we made it to camp
which rewarded us with soggy ground and wet firewood. All was not bad
though because that hike was suppose to take roughly four hours.


then got some wet wood burning enough to make a hot dog lunch that was
suprisingly good. There we met our camphost who was kind enough to
continually look after us who we dubbed Alec. Alec was a chipmunk who
could entertain and amaze us just like the real Alec back home. Soon
after having our bellies full we played on a rock hill, which between
the eight of us, we manage to toss half the hillside down to the
bottom of the pit despite our long journey. Amazing what full stomachs
can do.



We then setup our tents and did various things to pass the
time, I proceeded to make a bow and arrow from some string that was
left there by other campers which was about the same time a large doe
wandered into camp. Its to bad my makeshift bow couldnt shoot more
than twenty feet because if it did we could of had deer steaks for
dinner. At that time I made a mental weapons check. I recall our
camp having at least three pocket knives one regular hatchet one
throwing hatchet three mutli tools two bayonets a machete and one bow
and arrow, hehe nice. Around five we decided it would be best to
gather more wood and filter some water for dinner. At this time
heading to the water a big rainstorm came through that soaked
everything, we were soaked, soaked. Not to be discouraged we
gathered our pieces of wet fire wood and made a second run for water.
For dinner we had some mountain house chili mac and some teriyaki
chicken. Neither were that good but a hot meal after the rainstorm was
amazing. We then got our dishes clean and went for another water run.
At the lake we saw a deer, moose and some ducks lounging in our
drinking water of all places. Everything was so wet that a piece of
paper thrown in the fire coals took more that a minute to finally
start to burn. We ended our night around a dimming campfire enjoying
stories from encampment and other various things like who makes the
best truck and such, they’ll never listen.



Day 2
Everyone slept well and i amazingly got more that nine hours myself.
Soon tents slowly were shuffling about as you could tell some of the
boys were cold but more so hungary Another wet wood fire was made to
warm us up and the boys started in on breakfast. I tell you what,
that is a another long two hours to get that done. Ken set us up good
with eggs hashbrowns and sausage. After cleaning up breakfast more and
more hikers would come through on there way to the lakes. We then
packed lightly for a day hike to the upper lake that for me was a
killer for some reason. On our way we were again rewarded by seeing a
BIG bull moose hanging out in the stream, amazing.




At that lake we
stopped for lunch and then the boys went for a swim. Somehow Alec met
us at the lake too. We enjoyed some granola bars and chips to keep us
alive. I pretended my food was delicious number 18 from the Sandwich
tree in idaho falls, Yum. What a great day out by the lake but, as I
write at 3:05 pm omninous clouds are moving in, wonderful.
As the sound of thunder could be heard coming from the other side of
the mountain we hurriedly grabbed our packs as fast as one young
leader one old leader and six teenage boys could. The silver lining to
the this thunder storm was that we actually enjoyed the light
sprinkles and mountain breeze that kept us cool and any bugs away.
Ken was kind enough to show me what berries I could eat and the ones I
shouldn’t eat, thank you very much. As we made our way back to
camp Ken and I picked up some firewood along the trail that was dry
and to add it to our growing stockpile. Always remember that wet wood
doesn’t burn very well.


I’m not for certain how long we were gone but when we made it back to
camp we must of past through some sort of alternate dimension bacause
our small camp now had tripled in population. We had scout troops,
fathers with there sons, even a family with toddler and two giant
dogs. There were even camps setup on the outskirts of the campsite.
One family decided to camp a few hundred yards away on the side of the
mountain. We had people coming through on horses and some hauling
logs, when I say hauling logs I mean four men carrying two logs
straight through camp. One gentlemen walked his mountain bike though,
HOW DID HE GET HIS BIKE UP THERE ANYWAY! All that we were missing is
some sort of covered wagon. Our small camp was now thriving, bummer.
The nice thing about having our camp set up is that we didn’t have to
scramble to get things in order before the daylight was gone. All we
needed was some water for dinner and a match for the fire. In fact we
had the time to talk about math of all things. We had all looked at
this particular tree and wondered wether or not that if it fell would
it or would it not land on Kens sleeping bag. Soon the boys were
talking about trigonometry, right angles, sine and cosines and there
own favorite ways to figure them out. Who were these boys.


This night we dined on dehydrated spagetti with questionable meat sauce
and rice with stuff that is suppose to be chicken. Tasty after a long
day and Not bad for two small stoves and river water. Again for
another night we gathered around the campfire and reminisced about
school days, our favorite places to be and Kens mission experiences.
Another great night of laughs and fellowship. With all the camps
around we kept it to a dull Roar till about ten when each of us
dropped off one by one to find our beds for the night.


Day 3
Morning came early for me when I awoke to a animal thundering past my
tent. As I buried my face on my arms thoughts of a moose stepping on
me ran through my head. Luckily, it was only the great Dane our new
neighbors had brought the night before. Lucky for him my trusty bow
was not in arms reach. Once again the chill of the morning was able
to get most of us out of bed to make our way to the fire that slowly
crackled. As water came to a slow boil for our oatmeal we slowly came
together to exchange pleasentries and witty banter. After we ate our
first breakfast we eagerly awaited our second one that would consist
of pancakes, syrup, sausage, candy, fruit rollups, and granola bars.
How did the bears not find us? After sitting on a log long enough for
some of my body to go numb everyone finally got enough pancakes and I
caught a break from flapjack duty. Then one young man who shall
remain nameless showed signs of life and joined us. This young man
slept through all the other camps leave, kids crying and having his
tent dropped on him. At least he didn’t get Kens wake up call that
consists of a bucket of cold river water.

While we were breaking camp the trail to the lakes seemed to get more
and more traffic with day hikers. Soon we started filling our
backpacks with our gear. Before we left another doe wandered through
camp just as my bow was securily packed away. Next time Bambi. On our
way down we had to dodge the many hikers and horses coming up that
were on the trail at the same time. I had to wonder what the other
people thought when I was coming down the trail all scuffy with my
camo hat and back all hunched from my pack carrying a bag full of
garbage, good thing I didn’t have the machette too. On the way out I
took the time to actually enjoy the scenery and snapped some pictures
while taking in the cool mountain air, awesome.


Loading up in the cars we shared some more ribbing to each other and made our way out to the square ice cream store for our cold treat. We all took Cameron home to rigby and wished him well before we made our way for home.
I learn alot of things on this trip. First, Ibuprofen works just as
good in the mountains, second, everyone needs to go off the grid
every once in awhile and lastly, these young men are capable of far
more then we ever give them credit for, they are caring, hardworking
and every bit the Scout Law.


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!


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.







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

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!



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.  🙂



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

IMG_8153resizedWe had a pretty good time.



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!


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.





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.


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.



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.



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!


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.


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!






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.


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.  🙂




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



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



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!  🙂