Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mount Timpanogos

I didn't think I'd get these pictures posted. We've been having lots of issues with our computer--don't ask me to identify exactly what the problem is, I don't know. And at this point, we'd like to remain in ignorant bliss and work around it. (Blake, where are you when we need you?)
We've been talking about hiking up Mount Timpanogos for some time. The last time we went, Colin was 4 and hiked up the whole way himself. (Micah was in the carrier.) The hike was beautiful. The mountains look quite different from those around Ogden. Very pretty. Everyone did really well on the hike. Mira was carried most of the way. (Chad going up, thank you honey! And I took her down.)

I don't know how many times I heard, "I'm sooo thirsty!" or "I want to stop. How much longer?" (Mostly Ella.) The boys thought the cave was pretty awesome. It was nice to be inside the cool 43 degree caves after sweating it out, getting to the top.
We just kept peppering them with, "You are awesome hikers!" "What strong muscles you have!" "We'll stop for lunch at the top." We saw squirrels, chipmunks, and a beautiful bird of some sort along the way which made it fun. I wonder just how many hypothetical situations Micah can come up with. I heard several of them: "Mom, would you rather fall down this mountain (and it's steep and far!) or be bitten by a rattlesnake?" "Would you rather jump off a 1,000 foot diving board or fall off this mountain?" "Would you rather cross paths with a bear or a rattlesnake?" Good grief, let's just enjoy the hike!!
We returned home and everyone was pretty beat. But haircuts were in order. So I cut the boys' hair. Then Ella and Mira Catherine wanted in on the...hmm...fun? So they got trims. By the time I got to hop in the shower I was disgusting! I don't know how hairdressers stand it! (Well, at least they didn't have to do it sweaty and greasy after a big ol' hike I guess.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Free Swim Saturday

The morning started off with Micah and Ella being whisked away to Grandma and Grandpa Miller's. Micah and Grandpa baked pumpkin bread--special request by Micah--no nuts or raisins but lots of chocolate chips. And Ella took off with Grandma to do a little shopping. They came back happy as could be. Thanks, Mom and Dad!

With R.A.M.P. (recreation arts museums parks) hosting (and I use that term lightly since we are paying for it, after all!) different activities in the area, we've decided to take the opportunity to participate. Today we went to Lorin Farr Pool. This is one pool where I lifeguarded and taught Water Safety in '94. The kids were so stoked to check out the place where Mom used to work. But I guess everyone else in downtown Ogden thought it was a great idea, too, because that place was packed! We had to stand outside in the heat for nearly an hour, waiting for our turn to get in. Once we were inside I was quickly reminded that we were indeed in Ogden City. 'Nuff said. When we pulled up, a lifeguard was cleaning from the pool something that looked rather suspicious to me. I know, that should've been enough to send us away. But we toughed it out and the kids actually had a great time. They asked if we could come back another time. No-go kids. Sorry.

Moral: Not all 'free Saturdays' are all they're cracked up to be.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fast Life

The day started early. I didn't think I'd get the boys out of bed. In order to accomplish this, I resorted to make-believing I was making cinnamon rolls and they were the dough (kneading, rolling, spreading butter, sprinkling cinnamon and sugar...tickled like crazy). They thought it was great, but it wasn't good enough to get them up. So next came my dancing like a complete goofball and odd singing to a primary song (I hope it's not too blasphemous). They liked that even better, I think. That got them going. (The girls were much easier.)

We got out the door by the skin of our teeth and off to the boys' tennis lessons and my Body Combat. Then get the house in shape for a showing, lunch, swim lessons, piano...and the day is packed. I'm worn out. Micah's got swimmer's ear and he's feeling a little cranky (understandably so). Couldn't the kids put themselves to bed just once in a while? Is that too much to ask? I guess it is. But I can dream.

Yesterday's dinner was the worst choice. I rarely eat out, but yesterday evening came and went and I hadn't eaten. So I'm driving, imagining all the good food out there, all prepared and waiting for me. At first I thought Wendy's. That's usually the old standby if I'm going fast food at all. But then I remembered the Carl's Jr. that's so close. Oh, and their $6 burgers are just fantastic. So not only did I order the burger, but the whole meal. Oh, but instead of a soda I substituted an orange shake. I got that goodness home and downed it all. Was I hurting afterward? Yes. Could've done without the shake. But it was good... So I'm curious, what's your weakness when eating out?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Day Arrives

I was trying to get a shot of Colin for our ward's bulletin board when Mira pops in the picture. She can't resist being part of any picture-taking now.
Happy boy!


And this is the day of his baptism. What an anticipated event this was! He was practically jumping out of his skin with excitement the hour before we left for the baptism. You can see it on his face.
It's been wonderful to watch this eldest son of mine learn and grow. I can see such a difference in him within the last year. He understands so much about baptism and confirmation. He's inquisitive and loves all he's learning.
Sweet siblings excited for their brother. Tonight, before bed, Micah wrote in his own little makeshift journal and said, "Today Colin got baptizb (baptized)!!!!!!!!! I can,t wate to get bapizd Wen I get baptizb it will be fun." Just look how proud he is of his big brother. Awesome!
Colin loves his dad!
Our family
Love that boy!

The whole family... at least those who were able to attend. We missed you Doug, Rachel, Theron, Grant, Kate, Paige, Chris, Blake, Maren, and Braden! Thanks for the well-wishes you've sent Colin's way!
After the baptism
What a wonderful program it was. This was a stake baptism, and Colin was one of 4 children baptized. It was so nice to have everything taken care of. We just had to show up and they took care of the program. It was short and sweet. After Colin's baptism, our party moved to another room where we waited for Colin and Chad. While waiting, Brother Ball (a counsellor in the bishopric) asked people to share experiences they've had with Colin. Grandpa Barnett said he loves to perform for people: singing, sharing knowledge, piano, etc. Grandma Miller related her experience taking Colin birthday shopping last year and how she noticed for the first time how reserved and stoic he can be when in public or around people he doesn't know. (He does not like to be embarrassed!) Sister Leininger, his primary teacher, said that he was a leader in the class. Because of his understanding of the gospel, she's able to go more in-depth into the lesson and in the scriptures. And he's always telling his class what his dad taught him.
Even if the baptism had only been our immediate family, that would have been sufficient. It was the right choice Colin made and we were very happy. Having family and friends there was the icing on the cake. (Dave and Roxanne Ball; Jackie, Callie, and Kenzie Leininger; Jennette Hogan and her children Jackson and Katelyn; Sue Albertson; Landon Spencer.) We so appreciate the support of good people!

July Happenings

This would be one of our two dress-up queens. And, boy, do our girls love to change outfits! On this day Mira begged to wear this holiday dress. You see, I've strategically hung up fancy dresses on the higher rung in her closet so she can't just get into them on a whim. But once she got on this number, she had to have a picture taken. And doesn't she just look pleased!
Micah was invited to a birthday party at Chuck E. Cheese and came back with these prized possessions.
For the 4th of July parade in North Ogden, we had both our cars loaded. Bikes, scooters, coolers, wagon, etc. There was a children's parade which Ella enjoyed participating in. She rode the famed 'Haunted Scooter'. (Which is a story in itself. We rescued the rusty thing from a stream. It's falling apart, but the kids love it still.) She rode and rode and would've gone on except that I also had Mira and a bike to carry. A great time for Ella, though!

Here are 'the boys'. Our family is conveniently divided boys/girls and it just so happens that in many instances "the girls go with the girls and the boys go with the boys," as Ella says. So here are Chad and the boys making the rounds on the parade route, trying to make some good money. Fortunately for parade-goers, the weather was mild. Unfortunately for us, that translates into not such prosperous selling. But we've still got the 24th!
Chad went up with the Cub Scouts to Camp Kiesel for their day camp. And did Colin have a blast! When he came back, I asked what his favorite activity was, but he had a top 4: boating, BB gun shooting (I could've guessed that!), archery, and slingshot. Here are dad and son:
Colin with his buddies (Miles Duke, Andy Hauenstein, Jefferson Smith, Ben Sessions, Duncan Taylor) and leader, Melanie Duke.
The ropes course was challenging but fun!

Loving it!

Archery
Cute boys!
Awww, yeah!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July Already!

I cannot believe it's already July! It almost took me by surprise. We packed up everyone this morning and went for a 4 mile hike in Ogden Canyon along some stream...can't recall the name...W-something. Kids did well. Mira walked at least 2/3 of the way. We bribed the kids with chocolate chip bars once they made it to the halfway point. We stopped so the kids could chuck rocks into the river and the boys could try their hand at whittling.

Which brings me to the Cub Scout pack meeting Chad conducted last week. They all met up at for a campfire and Chad talked to them about fire safety and pocketknife safety. So now the boys are all supposedly certified to bring their pocketknives with them to den meetings if and when the leader allows it. (BIG if!) So Micah tries to implement his safety technique by making sure no one's within arm's length when he's using it. Then he tries to sharpen it on a rock and probably dulled the knife more. But it's cute and I sure enjoy watching them learn and try new things.

The kids are all doing amazingly well in the water! Colin's improving on his strokes and diving, Micah swims all over and jumps off the board. And Ella, in the past week, has just improved tremendously. She is swimming underwater and even jumped off the diving board and swam/doggie-paddled to the ladder. Chad and I are very impressed! And our Mira-girl has no fear. She'd love for me to let go of her and let her at the pool herself, not realizing she'd just go under! But she'll jump in to the water with her body submerged, kicks and does big arms all over the place. She can't get enough!

Saturday, being Independence Day, Colin and Micah are going to sell water and soda at the parade in order to earn spending money for our vacation in August. Colin said, "But, Mom, aren't you going to pay for the activities we do?" We made a deal that we'll have several planned activities that we'll pay for. But if he decides he wants to do something extra (horseback riding?) or buy something, he'll have money for it. It's good experience for them, and also curbs impulse buys!