Let’s travel back in time to the beginning of school. The kids were excited for the new year.
Caroline is in 4th:
Brooke’s in 6th:
Madison is still stuck with me. She goes to preschool twice a week.
We were only a couple of days into school when pinkeye decided to pay us a visit. Noooo!
Her eye got better just in time for her other eye to get it:
Then Brooke came down with the dreaded disease. She looks miserable, but don’t be fooled…
She was all smiles when she realized she was missing school.
Just when we thought everyone was well and able to go to school…Spencer got it.
The kids missed more school than they went those first couple weeks of school. Finally, finally, finally they all got over the pinkeye and were able to go to school and stay there.
Caroline and Brooke wrote stories for a writing competition for our city. Caroline’s story won third place for her age group. She got to take a picture with the mayor:
The theme for the stories was about dragons, so they brought in some bearded dragons and other reptiles for the event:
Dallas’s grandmother passed away right as school started. My sister was nice enough to watch our kids while Dallas and I took a quick trip to Las Vegas for the funeral. They had the burial in Utah. Dallas’s grandma was such a fun woman. We loved remembering her and honoring her life.
We went down to Provo to see Dallas’s mom. She invited us over for ice cream and a concert in the park. We used to love going to the park concerts when we lived down there, so it was fun to go to another one.
Summer recreation classes continued for Spencer and Brooke meaning Caroline and Madison were left to play at the park. One day they had the great idea to bring scooters to the park. Unfortunately we didn’t have the great idea to bring the scooters back home. By the time we realized our oversight Caroline’s scooter was nowhere to be found. We were thankfully able to recover Madison’s scooter. Little did Caroline know this would be the last time she rode her trusty scooter:Caroline had a birthday and turned 9!
Caroline saw how much fun Brooke had decorating the cake she had on her birthday that she decided to follow suit and try her hand at cake decorating:Caroline wanted to go to Chuck E. Cheese for her birthday. What the birthday girl wants, she gets!
Family selfie! So happy Dallas’s eye made it into the shot:
The kids made a lot of Lego creations:We had several camping trips. This is the stake fathers and kids campout. Spencer was a little nervous to try the zip line: He finally bravely made the jump after standing at the top for several minutes prompting everyone who was waiting in line to encourage him by chanting his name repeatedly. We went to the city kite festival. They handed out free kites that we got to decorate and fly: The kids took swimming lessons: We had fun on our ward campout: We played some more at Creekside Park: We went to Seven Peaks a million times: Spencer was thrilled to do a little role playing during church:We went to the city’s car show and saw awesome cars:
Caroline took a gymnastics class. She got a new leotard for her birthday to wear:Madison saw me take Caroline’s picture and needed to get in on the action…mismatched shoes and all:All four kids played nicely together at least once during the summer:Haley taught Brooke how to make a delicious fruit pizza:We watched fireworks on the golf course: Oma invited us to swim in her fun rec center pool and took us out to eat after:Madison has discovered Oma’s Barbie collection and loves to play with them every time we go down: We hit up the skating rink: Madison made me and Dallas laugh as she’d scooter around the track and give us a winky face, thumbs up every time she passed: The kids participated in our library’s summer reading program and got prizes:We hiked to Cecret Lake with the Fraziers: We have more summer pictures than I thought! Be on the lookout for Part III!
We didn’t have any big trips planned for this summer. I didn’t want the summer to pass us by leaving us at the end of summer wondering what we had done, so we made a point to go out and have as much fun as we could. We kept a list of everything we did and added to it every chance we got. We ended up having a great summer!
We hiked to the Parrish Creek Pictographs:
We visited with friends:
Brooke turned 11! She decorated her cake all by herself:
We tried out the new Creekside Park and loved it:
Dallas had some pictures that he took on display at the Davis County administrative buildings. Check out that picture of the Capitol Building. Isn’t it beautiful?!
We walked the Lagoon Trail and found gigantic weeds:
I caught wind of the wind:We weren’t really trying to catch anything. We didn’t even have bait. We did have bread though and Brooke attracted a flock of seagulls:Turns out throwing your line out to sea with a flock of birds nearby is not a wise idea because you may actually catch a bird instead of a fish. And then you will need to free said bird which may result in the bird attacking you and pecking your hands leading your wife to believe you will die from some bird-borne disease, in which case you will call your family doctor and find yourself asking if seagull bites are lethal. (Answer: no) But they are painful:
Creekside Park was so much fun the first time we went, we had to go again:Spencer took a summer basketball class:Brooke took a summer tennis class:And Caroline and Madison played at the park and climbed trees:We went to the Rocky Mountain Raceways and saw the motorcycles:Nothing like a late night and two-wheeled vehicles to get Spencer to let loose:…and Madison:We hiked to Donut Falls:We babysat my little nephew Jonah:We played at Liberty Park:We went to the air show:Summer fun part two will be coming soon!
We’ve had some fun adventures lately that deserve documentation.
First off – the rocks by our house:
There’s a trail by our house that we like to walk/scooter/roller blade/bike on. It takes us past a huge pile of rocks that the kids love to climb on. The rocks also break apart really easily, which means they do a lot of Minecraft pickaxe imaginary play. It’s adorable.
Dallas and I decided to plan a day down in Provo. We began by taking the kids to the Provo Library. You may or may not know that Dallas and I met in the Provo Library. We took the kids to the very spot where the magic started and reenacted our first conversation. It was the best.
The BYU Museum of Art had an Escher display. Escher’s art is so fun to look at; we thought our burgeoning artists would appreciate his drawings.
Madison appreciated the hard floor:
The other kids really enjoyed seeing the pictures.
Especially Brooke. I loved watching her study the pictures.
We can’t go to Provo without visiting Dallas’s beloved Provo mountains. We finished our day with a hike in Rock Canyon:
Our next adventure happened in between the Saturday sessions of general conference. The day before Dallas had come home from the store with six CamelBaks. My skeptical stare and raised eyebrow prompted him to assure me that we definitely needed these spiffy hydration systems because then the kids can carry their own water on hikes. “That would be really great,” he said. “You’ll love these,” he said. “Trust me,” he said.
Before now, when we went hiking Dallas would just carry all the water. Apparently one of us was tired of that arrangement and decided to do something about it. I guess I can’t blame him.
We broke in the CamelBaks with a little hike up by the Bountiful Temple. The hike was short enough and it was a cool enough day that the CamelBaks weren’t actually needed, but it gave me a good chance to prove to Dallas that the kids wouldn’t like hiking around with these contraptions.
And wouldn’t you know, the kids LOVED hiking around with these contraptions. I don’t think Dallas has ever seen a more beautiful sight than his four kids scampering around in nature with hydration packs strapped to their backs instantly elevating their appearance from casual hikers to serious, authentic-looking mountaineers.
Errrr….at least they looked authentic from the waist up. Madison never did quite manage to change out of her way-too-small pajama bottoms that day:
With our CamelBak maiden voyage out of the way, we were ready to take our water packs where they would really be needed – Goblin Valley. We woke up early and started out. Thirty minutes later we came to a screeching halt when we saw red flashing lights in our rearview mirror. Speeding. Curses. Do we look guilty?
Turns out they had just instituted a construction zone on I-15 and we were caught going too fast. Never mind that we weren’t anywhere near being the fastest on the road at any point of our four-hour journey. Eye roll. Who did that officer think he was? Didn’t he know who we were? We’re official hikers on our way to explore southern Utah, and we’ve got the CamelBaks to prove it!
Thankfully our officer had a heart, and we only got a warning. The day was saved! We made it down the rest of the way without incident.
We ate a quick picnic lunch and decided to begin our exploring by hiking to the Goblin’s Lair. We had never been to this portion of Goblin Valley. The hike was hot and longer than the kids wanted, but the Lair was fun once we got there.
You have to climb down into the Goblin’s Lair which is a big cave. Here we are making the descent:
This is what the inside looked like:
The Goblin’s Lair was fine to do once, but we were ready to get down to the main part of Goblin Valley. That’s our favorite.
Madison could not get over how smooth and soft the sand was. She would constantly fall behind and, without fail, when we turned back to see where she was, we would find this:
We found a cave where we huddled inside to tell ghost stories:
After we were done, we all sat on the curb and dumped the sand out of our shoes. Madison poured an entire sand castle out of her shoe.
Goblin Valley is magical. The kids never tire of climbing rocks and exploring…and I must admit – the CamelBaks were awesome to have. I thought the backpacks would bug the kids as they were climbing up and down everywhere, but the kids never complained about wearing them. It was so nice not to have to stop every three minutes for a drink break. Each kid was free to drink whenever he/she needed to without holding up the group. The kids also liked having a tiny backpack area to store snacks, chapstick, hair bands, etc. I am now a CamelBak convert. Those things are life-changing, and (am I really saying this?) if I could turn back time, I might encourage Dallas to buy them sooner.
Moral of this story: get yourselves some CamelBaks and get down to Goblin Valley. You won’t regret either decision.