Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Tony Grove Lake

We picked up Kirk last night and decided that the girls and I wanted to go to Tony Grove Lake to see the wildflowers after church. Kirk was pretty tired but he always goes along with what we want to do. He doesn't want to miss out on anything, especially after being gone for three weeks.
 It was a perfect day. Not all the wildflowers had bloomed so we will have to plan a trip back. There is just something about spending time outside. I don't even like my windows shut for long.
Kirk claimed that we needed it documented that I actually do exist. I am always the one taking the pictures. This wasn't posed by the way. I always stand with my hands on my hips. It is a habit of mine.
Daphne, with her camera in hand, is always in the back taking her time soaking up the sights. It always amazes me how bright green the lichen is here with the grey right next to it. It is so healthy. A good sign for good air quality. Sounds good to me.


It always amazes me how Samson puts up with the numerous occurrences that happen to him. I guess if you are going to lay in the middle of toys, then you will be built on and around. The dogs, being the pack animals that they are, always need to be in touching distance. Notice the toy horse under his snout. When it looks like the boys are torturing these poor pooches, they are truly enjoying their pack. They don't care what you do to them. Just as long as they are included in what you are doing.

Just the Girls

 While Kirk was gone working for 3 weeks in Texas, and the boys were in southern Utah camping with the Venture Crew, the girls and I had to hold down hatches at home. Our Saturday was exhausting. We started with selling at Farmer's Market. It was actually cold that morning, Daphne is wearing her jean jacket. But it felt refreshing. I have enjoyed my time with the girls doing this. Victoria has done a wonderful job of helping set up and even selling some shirts all on her own. She even told a lady the entire process of tie-dying. I was impressed. The lady was as well.
Daphne is my photographic memory. When I can't remember what color we used on which shirt, she will always remember. I rely on her's like an elephants. I need that.
After selling at Farmer's market, we were off to water the garden. As we approached the canal there was this mother duck sitting up on the edge watching her babies diving. It was kind of funny to watch her. I thought of myself, when I stand back after giving my kids instruction, and just watch how they do. I think as a mother, there is a lot of instructing, listening and watching. This duck was doing it naturally.
 Of course we got too close.
 Daphne took these awesome pictures of this mother in mid-flight.
 Her babies weren't threatened by us but she made it known that she was watching them for their protection. The babies continued to dive. It was so cute watching their little feet fly up in the air as they tried to dunk themselves as deep as they could get.
 At this point, our garden didn't look very lush. Now it is completely in and flourishing. We have been eating lettuce, broccoli, and squash for weeks.
We were exhausted by the time we got home. It made for a really long day but well worth it. I knew that Kirk and the boys took care of quite a bit so I knew that I would miss them when they weren't there. Oh, did I mention that we pick up Kirk tonight?  I can't wait to hear about their trips.

Robin's Nest

In just a weeks time, these little babies have outgrown their nest. It is just a matter of time before they fly away. They don't get startled anymore when we come out our front door. They just watch from the comforts of their little birdie nest. We have really enjoyed nature being on our front porch. We love it here!

Canyoneering Trip

Well, the boys are packed for their trip. Jared has tried his hardest to lighten his backpack to under 25 pounds. He can easily be a minimalist so it shouldn't be hard for him to do. He weighed his pack and it weighed 25 pounds. You should have seen the look on his face. He thought for sure that it would have been at the most 23 pounds.
Next up, Kaleb. Jared came up the stairs claiming that Kaleb was packing the kitchen sink in his backpack. He sat on the stool with a smile on his face while Kaleb weighed his pack...24 pounds!
Now you really should have seen the look on Jared's face!
He concluded that since Kaleb is SOOOO skinny, he has smaller clothing. Even though they wear the same size shirt.
 My tough chickie decided to check out Kaleb's pack. It was kind of funny watching her try to walk around with 24 pounds on her back. Her legs were like lead weights with each step.

 Some mom's pack their sons packs and make their sack dinner for them.  I don't. Nope. If you have a son, you aren't doing them any favors by doing things for them. Plus...I think they made a pretty awesome looking sandwich. They did say that it tasted pretty good too. was huge. I had bought a loaf of french bread which they proceeded to cut the rounded edges off and made two huge sandwiches out of it. Pretty impressive. Not just a wimpy sandwich. This was a Man Sandwich with lots of turkey, peppers and hot mustard. Along with all the veges that a mother encourages. I think I saw cucumber and tomatoe.
Yep, they're ready. I wish I were going.

Rock Climbing

Mid June, both the boys were preparing for a big trip to Leeds, Utah for a Canyoneering trip. They practiced in Logan Canyon for this. I got to watch....and take pictures. I was nervous at first for them but was excited for them at the same time. Two of the parents, a husband and wife team, led the boys. They go canyoneering all the time through out the year so they are quite experienced and bless the troop with their expertise.
 Jared was actually the first one down and followed the instructions to a "T". I get so proud of my boys when I see them do really cool things like this. They are growing into wonderful young men with a range of experiences.
 A look of satisfaction. Is it just me or is he handsome.....
 Kaleb really impressed me.  He has always been really cautious. You should see him with a knife. The funny thing about Kaleb is he is always so careful to not make a mistake and very cautious. Always the first one to pipe up with an instruction on how not to hurt yourself. He was very excited about this and was willing to take the risk rapelling down this cliff! I think because he is so cautious, he feels secure in knowing what he knows. It doesn't keep him from actually doing it in this case. I am really proud of him for sucking it up and doing it. They had extra safety lines that are required by the BSA anyway. So he was pretty secure up there.
 I got a lot of pictures of behinds. It is a little hard to get a picture otherwise. I would have had to be up there with them to get a better one......but I was not about to do that.
 Thumbs up and a big smile!
Out of all 6 boys going on this trip, 4 of them homeschool and attend Star Academy co-op with us. They should have a great time on this upcoming trip. They have done a good job preparing for it.

Robin's Nest

It seemed like only days that the mama Robin was keeping her eggs warm. By mid June, there were babies to be fed around the clock.  I think this one was for it's tasty, squishy, wiggly worm. Yuck!

There are actually 4 babies in there. The 4th one is always squished in the back.  They create quite a racket when mom shows up with a snack.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Boy Scouts

My boys take scouts seriously. They enjoy the program and the activities. They enjoy being away and doing things with their friends. They enjoy the experience.

Out my kitchen window

My boys, whom I love dearly are on their way to mow the pasture where we garden. They spent almost 5 hours the other day repairing all the bike tires on all the bikes. Not an easy task since they were almost all flat. Kaleb got a new bike so he could keep up easier. I think he has figured out his gears now. I am so proud of them. They are growing into very nice mature young men. They make me laugh sometimes watching them develop into who they are. Well, Kaleb always makes me laugh. He is a funny kid. How can you not chuckle about the time he rode his bike back from the garden with eggs in his pockets over a dirt bumpy road.

Crimson Trail

I think my favorite thing about where we live is the hiking opportunities that are literally 5 minutes from our house. Okay, well maybe 10 min. I might be exaggerating. And it might be the's so hard to decide. I'm not an indecisive person, there is just so many things to choose from, I can't decide. Each season brings something new.
 My other very favorite thing in the whole world is hiking next to water. I miss living next to the ocean so being able to be near moving water is so appealing and replenishing to me. Just the sound alone takes me out of stress and puts me in a place where I can handle just about anything. Well, some things. Whining really gets under my skin.
I am always so amazed at how healthy the lichen and mosses are here. And the variety of wild flowers is just amazing.  I have observed a pretty standard method of hiking with the kids. First of all, Kirk was already working in Texas so he wasn't with us. But it is almost the same each time. The boys in the front with the dogs....Sammy kept high tailing it down the side of the mountain after who knows what. So he was on the leash. Victoria running up ahead with the boys then resting until Daphne and I catch up with her. Then she would run up ahead once again. Her method is completly ineffective for preserving energy but she likes it that way. She's young, so she can climb up hill and chatter and not be out of breath like me if I were to do that. I am usually way behind with Daphne who has an incredible lack of depth perception. She just plugs away at it taking it at her pace which can drive me nuts at time. Alot of times, we hold hands to give her more secure footing and to quicken her pace...just a little. Plus it gives me time to take in the beautiful scenery and take pictures which I love to do. I would like to take better ones.....some day.The boys are patient with us, thankfully. Though I will ask them if they say this...or that...and NO, they hadn't seen a bit of it. I will stop them and make them come back to me to show them something that God has created in all his awesomeness. They say, Oh yeah, and then walk on. Someday I think they will appreciate the beauty in nature. They love being outside and the freedom of the trail as opposed to observing the details along the way.
 I tease Daphne about being last. She doesn't care, she is enjoying every step. She likes it in the back where it is quiet. Since the time she was just a little girl, she has always walked just behind me so she can follow and know where I am. I think now it is habit and easier for her to visually keep an eye on the family.
My boys, up ahead, with a tight rein on the doggies. Hmmm. I wonder why. Sometimes I think that the dogs...don't think. One would be crazy enough to fall off the edge and the other one would be dumb enough to follow. But we still love them with all our hearts!
 Not all of the wildflowers in early June had bloomed. I loved to see the stages that they were all in.
If you aren't familiar with the Crimson Trail it is high. The climb is steep with switch backs and then you hike along the China Wall in Logan Canyon. Victoria was claiming to say that she was scared. It was high, but the trail was wide. I had a hard time believing that she was scared as she is swinging this sunflower around and singing a made up song. Hmm. I didn't buy it but loved on her and encouraged her to calm her fears.She had enough and ran up ahead along this trail that she supposedly was scared on until she reached the boys and then cut in front of them so she was first on the trail.  As we were coming down, which I really think was harder than going up, some college girls were catching their breath under an enormous tree. The boys had already passed them, we could hear Henry whining like a girlie dog wanting to meet and greet them. They asked me if it got easier and was it worth it. I turned toward Victoria who is only 8 years old and looked back at them. Yes, it is worth it, and you can make it. It is beautiful up there. Just enjoy the journey.