Today is Josh's birthday. This year is the Big 12. And the one present he's been long anticipating . . . . his very own cell phone. I love how Hayden captured this moment. Look at the intensity into discovering all there is to know about this new tool.
That's what we're telling him anyway. This cell phone is a tool - not a toy. We'll see if that works :D
I wish we had've made the cell phone b-day present age 14
So this weekend we get to have the Chapman's over for a visit. They will be staying with us until Tuesday. Isaac is the oldest of the crew and he is in full swing as a teenager. He loves to text and play on his cell phone, watch tv and play video games. We think he fits right in around here. Next in line is Mikaela. She is so happy and always seems to be smiling. She loves her brother and sister very much. She likes to be silly and is very imaginative. It's fun having her around. Last, but not least is little Callista. She is full of spunk and passion. She lets you know how she's doing. She tells you sweet little things that she likes about you. We like having her around to bring some extra sweetness in our house.
Hope they think their stay is a happy one. We're glad they're here.
We are the benefactors of apricots. Jeffrey LOVES dried apricots. It's one of his special snacks. So he researched a bit about drying them and how to keep their color. He soaked them in a sugar water and vitamin C solution for about 5 minutes and then dried them. Hope they turn out good - we'll know in the morning.
***Disclaimer ~ I'm not quite sure that this particular post correlates well with my "happiness project" - but it was THE big deal today and had to be recorded. I guess you could say that I found a great deal of happiness in the way that it ended up knowing that it could have been A LOT WORSE!***
Tonight we went walking with the Peterson's and our boys hung out with their kids over at their house while we were gone. (Happiness :) When we got back there were at least 11 girls standing in two groups in their drive way. What was going on? They weren't allowed in the house and so they were hanging out, outside. *Great plan ;)* At least they knew the rules and "followed" them. The girls had come over to see if Greg and Zac could play night games.
For some reason, this night, I didn't want Zac to go. I really thought it was because I felt exhausted and just wanted to go home. I didn't want to come back in a couple hours to pick him up. Jeff, on the other hand, thought it was fine, so, we let him go.
We were invited to come in, sit and visit for a while. So we did. I was some what reluctant for some reason. Like I said, I was super tired and just wanted to go home. Not to mention, their kids had school in the morning and there was work in the morning too. I was encouraged to stay and I'm glad I did.
About half an hour later some of the girls came to the front door in a panic. They were all in tears and frightened telling us that Zac and Greg were fighting with two guys at the park and that they were getting beat up. It was mentioned that the guys they were fighting with weren't "good guys."
The dads sprung into action. I went too. I'm not sure what I thought I'd accomplish, I just knew I had to get there. We didn't make it very far down the road when we saw them heading back. Steve got there first and was getting a play by play of the fight. I was just listening and then finally asked if they were okay. When Zac turned to look at me he had a dark spot on his forehead. I told him it looked like he was bleeding. He said, ya I know. Ö yikes!
Apparently, a couple guys were "harassing" the girls and Zac and Greg thought they should "protect" them. One guy got "up in Greg's face" and Greg pushed him away. That's all it took, and the fight was on. Zac couldn't just stand there and had to get involved. At one point the other guy pulled out some sort of a weapon. It was described to me as a stick with two finger holds. My friend at work said that sounded an awful lot like one of the weapons her son had only it was a small knife - not a stick. (Her son has sort of a weapon "collection" of sorts). It seems like it makes sense to me that the weapon was a small knife, because it looks like Zac got poked with it above his eyebrow.
I was scared that this had all taken place. I felt frustrated and grateful all at the same time. I felt frustrated that they had been in a fight but grateful that they were safe and okay.
All I could think of asking Zac on the way home was what did he learn from this experience? He said, "not to mess with a kid when he's that mad."
I totally blew it today and didn't take a single picture. This picture is not mine, but it represents one of the major things I did today for happiness. I went walking with a great friend. She and I talked about how we are walkers and not joggers or runners. She reminded me about some of the benefits of walking.
Below are some of the great ones she reminded me about.
The Benefits of Walking
All you need to go walking is the will to do it, a little time, and a decent pair of walking shoes. There’s no excuse for leading a sedentary lifestyle when you consider walking as a viable form of exercise. You can walk anywhere, and it provides the following benefits, and many more:
It improves your cardiovascular endurance
It tones the muscles of the lower body
It raises your metabolic rate into an ideal range for calorie burning
It reduces the risk of heart disease
It is not potentially injurious to your joints as jogging and running can be
Jeff got a wild hair and made us kabobs on the grill! I'm so glad he did. It's just a fun way to eat dinner. Aren't they so pretty? I have to find some tips on grilling these faster, they always seem to take forever!! I wonder if next time I should pre-cook - or at least pre-soften the veggies. That might do the trick :D
So, tonight, even though it was windy and looked as if it would rain any second, we had to celebrate with sparklers. I personally love sparklers. I have no idea why though. When I think about it, I was always a little frightened of them when I was a kid. I hated when it would come down to the end of the sparkler fuse. It always seemed that my fingers were going to fry. Why has no one figured out that the end of that wire needs to be longer?
For some weird reason however, I couldn't get enough of them. I always wanted to write my name in the sky. Don't you think the sparkler never seemed to be long enough? That's why we'd always ask for another, and another, over and over again.
My kids seemed to be the same as me. A little bit scared but couldn't get enough!
The kids insisted that we celebrate the 24th of July TODAY. After all, it is July 24th. I was not in the mood. But they persisted. So. . . I let them do smoke bombs. "In the front yard," I said.
Sometimes do you think of Amelia Bedelia when you give your kids instructions? I mean, you think your kids are Amelia Bedelia when you give them instructions. So when I told the kids do to the smoke bombs in the front yard, I didn't really mean in the yard - I meant on the street in the front yard. No matter, they still had fun and the grass will grow back hahaha :)
Today is the last day camping which also means it's time for the BIG Breakfast!! Jeffrey is often found cooking the BIG breakfast, and this time was no exception. He is an excellent cook. You just ask the boys. Who cooks better, Mom or Dad? At least they hesitate a little bit now, but the answer is still Dad! Hands down! And. . .they are right :D
The breakfast is always looked forward to and always a little sad. It's the end to a great time camping. We had a blast and enjoyed being in the outdoors with great friends.
Today we went for a little walk down to the dam. Look at that spillway. Can you believe how much water is coming over it? It's been like that for a while now. Jeff read an article about it before we left. Which made us slightly nervous for flooding. But we shouldn't have worried. Everything was beautiful and dry.
I thought it looked like a huge water fall. What do you think?
At least for the next 3 days, this is going to be our new home. Isn't it beautiful.
That's right, we are camping again. This time in Ashley National Forest at Upper Still Water Dam. It was beautiful up there. Pines and Aspens, doesn't get much better than that for camping. I thought it was just beautiful. I'm excited to once again to be enjoying the great outdoors. I have to say that camping this year has been awesome. We have already made it on two camping trips this year. Last year we didn't even do one - which is really unusual for our family. We do at least one every year.
Camping has been much more enjoyable now that my boys are older and can entertain themselves. It's also been awesome to go with family and great friends. Not to mention they stay TEN TIMES cleaner than ever before. LOVE IT!! :)
Just so you know, the world isn't ending. . . . . . . at least not this year. I must say that I've been very worried that the end of the world is approaching. I'm not kidding. I can see what seems to be signs coming to pass and it makes me nervous that it's just going to get worse. But, I can rest assured that it's not coming to an end at least for this year. Why? Because I saw this beautiful rainbow today, not to mention a double rainbow several weeks ago too. So. . . I guess for now, we're safe.
Today was Hayden's first day at Cub Scout Camp. He seemed so excited about it all morning. He was helping me pack him a lunch which he was thrilled with - he never gets home lunch. We drove to the church and I parked. I turned to him and all of a sudden he looks at me with those big brown eyes and they are full of tears.
"Oh no, what's wrong bud?" I asked him. He said, "Mom I'm just so nervous. I'm not going to know anyone there." I thought that was strange since he's been in scouts now for a year. I said, "What do you mean you know all of them" and I started the list. He said, "Ya, but I won't know the people I know the best." I said, "Who's that?" He said, "You, Dad, Josh and Zac"
Awwww, I had to give him a big ol' hug for that one. I told him he was going to have fun without us. When he comes home he'll feel silly that he was so nervous.
He did have so much fun and the stories went on and on!!
Tonight we went to Jeff's mom's house for dinner. We had hawaiian haystacks which were so yummy. Today was national ice cream day, so to celebrate, we had Pink Lemonade Pie. Except when each of us took a bite we all kind of looked at each other. It wasn't as sweet as we remembered. One by one we each started making little comments to each other. It's not as sweet as I remember. Ya, it's really puckery. It just tastes different than I remember. Actually it tastes a bit like pink grapefruit. Mom are you sure you put pink lemonade in it or did you grab pink grapefruit? She had to go and check. Sure enough, she grabbed pink grapefruit instead of lemonade. LOL
It was still really good, just different than expected. We liked it!
Last post for this theme week is our pear tree out back. Last year I think we got two pears on this tree, but this year it is loaded!! I'm glad because I really like bottled pears, especially when I'm not feeling well.
I interrupt this weeks theme to bring you a bit of excitement around the quick home. HaHaHa. Jeff went today and picked up our Buffalo. Not the animal, but the meat from it. We've been anxiously awaiting it's arrival. Our freezer was getting very bare. If you notice in the picture, all we had left in there was the meat on the top shelf. Which was slim pickins.
It's nice to see it nearly full again. I hope this year's meat is much better than last years. So far, so good. We had Barbecue Buffalo Burgers for dinner tonight and they were FANTASTIC!!
Continuing with the theme this week, now I take you to our Grape Vines. Last year these poor vines got some sort of blithe (at least that's what Jeff called it). To me it looked like all the leaves had mold on them. And all of the grapes that grew turned dry and hard. It was so sad.
So this fall, Jeff cut them all WAY back and hoped that would do the trick. Well, so far, so good. They are all looking healthy and even filling in. When this spring time started I wasn't so sure. It seemed as if it took FOREVER for the first few leaves to poke out. I was worried he cut them back so far that he did damage. I was wrong.
Now the trick will be to keep those birds from eating them all. They are already staking out the joint.
Earlier this spring, Jeffrey told me that my rose didn't make it :( But lookie, lookie, low and behold, poking up through the grapes, there it was. My little rose. It's a survivor!!
Well, sorta. Because look how it's being eaten by something. Boo :( I hope it makes it through. Jeffrey gave me roses and taught me how to make them root. Not all of them took, but this one did. I hope it makes it, it means a lot to me.
This is a nectarine. Yep, it really is. What's up with that? Doesn't it look just awful? I don't understand why the fruit on this tree has been so terrible looking. The cross-breading (or whatever you call it) of this particular tree must have been done wrong - way wrong. Because ever since it started bearing fruit they've looked like this. Boo :\ We have been really brave and gave these baddies a try. They do actually taste good, but they are just awful looking.
I think it's time to rip this tree out and put a plum in it's place.
Decided to try a little "theme week" on my 365 this week. So. . . . . this week's theme? "A Tour De Arrière-Cour"
or, in English, a tour of my backyard
These little lilies were a surprise to me this year. It's been several years now that we moved them all (or at least I thought we moved them all) up front along the north side of our garage. So. . . when I saw them pop up here in the back yard again, I was surprised that apparently these few flowers somehow hung on and are now growing in the back again.
I thought this tree was so cool. I knew I had to snap a picture on the way home. Although the picture didn't turn out the way I wanted it to, I think you get the gist of what we saw. I thought this was such a cool idea. How funny that people had taken a moment to chuck their shoes all over this tree. I seriously considered adding mine to the group. Then I thought it might be funner to start one in Herriman. What do you think? Wanna join me? I think it will make a lot of people smile. It sure brought a smile to all of our faces.
Here we all are at Stella Lake. Well. . . . most of us. Looks like we're missing a few. I wasn't quite sure if Hayden or I would make it either. No, not because it was a hard or long hike it was rather easy and short as hikes go. Let's just say Hayden was having a little personal hygiene issue that we had to take care of and I was not too prepared for that on a hike. However, thanks to Gma & Gpa Quick who happened to save the day.
Berneen ended up heading back with Isaac because he was all of a sudden not feeling so well. I was wondering if it was due to the fact that he decided to take a little rest at noon day not too long before and we didn't realize that he had shut up all the windows in the tent. The poor little guy probably burned himself up in there and was dehydrated.
Kendal did make it to the lake, but he must have been searching for treasures . . . not sure . . . . . . missed where he headed.
However, all in all, this lake was beautiful and we are grateful for photography. So we could share this little photo moment. There are two other lakes up here that we didn't get to, this one is the only one that was open this time of year. The rest of them were closed due to the snow. But this one was beautiful and we were glad we got to see it.
Today we celebrated Hayden's birthday all day long. He was so cute. I bought him this hat to wear while he was eating and to help him feel extra special today being we were camping and all. He wore it mostly all day long. It was super hard to choose just one picture for the day - there were so many great moments.
He patiently waited to open his presents until after lunch and he got a present from each family that was represented there, which made him feel really special. Thanks again family and friends.
Then we went to the Lehman Cave Palace Tour. Which was so neat - see more pictures from that tour here it's AMAZING!! You'll have to plan a trip and go - we might even want to come with you again. Our cute Park Ranger/Tour Guide had the whole group sing to Hayden for his birthday. I got the end of that song recorded and you can watch it here. Our Park Ranger said that was a first for him. WOW!! That made Hayden feel pretty special too.
Then we had cobblers and roasted marshmallows for dessert. How could you top a birthday like that?!!
Hayden, I can hardly believe you are 9 now. You touch our family's hearts in so many ways. Everyone we know comments about how much they love, love, love your smile. We do too. Something I've noticed about you lately is how great of a friend you are. You also have a great imagination. Dad and I have noticed how much you are like our family "Nephi" and we are so grateful for you. Love you so much!!
Today's the day we've been preparing for the past few days now. We are headed out to Great Basin National Park and the boys are so excited!!
Apparently Hayden is a bit more excited than the other two (: hahaha :) They love, love, love camping!! I'm very excited to see the cave, celebrate Hayden's b-day with the family and enjoy being in the beautiful outdoors. I hope it all goes as planned and it turns out great!! Happiness moments are great!!
Okay so Jeff was telling me that he always wanted one of those paddles that we kept seeing at the swap meet in Hawaii. Regrettably, I could not remember what he was talking about. But I went along with it. He said he never got one because he couldn't figure out how he was going to get it home. So. . . . his dad had some scrap wood sitting in his garage and apparently burning a hold in Jeff's creative pocket. And Jeff snagged it up and made himself a paddle.
After our yummy treat yesterday, we needed a yummy treat tonight too. I thought of butterscotch bars. Oh, they are so yummy. Peanut Butter, rice Krispie treats with a chocolate butterscotch frosting. They are so SO yummy. I had to mix white chocolate for my side and milk chocolate for the rest of the family.
As you can see the white chocolate side was a little more than half (hahaha). But that was the side that was gone first so. . .it must have tasted better to everyone else too.
Okay so this year for the 4th of July, Lynda has pinned so many cute things on Pinterest that I thought I'd at least try one. Thought the 4th of July strawberries looked easy because we had everything you needed to do it.
Here's how they turned out. They were pretty to look out and kind of crazy to eat. But it was a fun new thing to try ;)
We've been slowly packing for our camping trip next weekend. So. . . we had all the camping totes out and we've been filling them up as we think about those things we need to take with us. Well, tonight Hayden came up stairs and asked me to come downstairs and take his picture.So cute :)
And so it begins. Today was the FIRST day my kids were off track (the FIRST DAY) and I have already heard the phrase, "I'm Bored!" at least three times! Oh dear! This is going to be a loooooooooooong break. . . . . . .lol
However, this time I am somewhat prepared for it. I have a bunch of ideas ready at hand to get them busy with, thanks to pinterest. I pinned them here and I just opened it up, let the kids look through them and pick what they wanted to do. Yay for Pinterest :)
So this time they chose to try out the puffy paints here and the sponge water balls here. They had a blast. So now I just have to keep searching and give them the address to the page. Wahla!! No more "I'm bored" phrases. :) That is, at least I hope. :)
Well they made it through another year round schedule at Herriman Elementary! It's their last day. Another school year under their belts. Lots of memories and not so much sadness. I usually experience some tears today, but this year there was none. Good. Just happy :)
Had to snap a picture to keep this memory. What fun memories kids bring to you. It's funny how the memories I'm creating now with my kids bring back lots of memories of mine as a kid. I suppose that's why they say life goes through cycles.