Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Why do I do this to myself?

Why do I keep insisting on waiting so long in between blog posts???  I must love to torture myself.  

I don't know where the summer has gone.  I sat down to post about our most recent vacation.  As I usually do, I perused my last posting to see what I included to that I can add all the things I may have missed.  When I did, I was like, "Whaaaa??"  I SWEAR I posted graduations and fun summer time stuff.  But alas I see it nowhere.  It has been lost into the abyss of the internet world somewhere never to return.  So lucky all of YOU get to read possible the longest post ever made.  Yes, that's right, I uploaded 69 pictures for this post.  Aren't you excited?!?!?!   

We will start with graduations.  Because in our society, apparently we need a ceremony for graduating anything.  So I had many graduations to go to--didn't you know 3 out of my 4 kids all "graduated" something this year.  I'm very proud.

Joey's ceremony came first.  I am sure there is a way to post video on here but I figure 69 pictures is enough.  But Joey and his preschool class sang and danced to so many cute songs.  It was awesome.  And it was extra great because my mom was able to come so I didn't have to sit alone like I usually do at these things.  Joey sang and danced great.  I can't wait to see the program again next year when he graduates preschool for the second time!

Little Maggie Moo also graduated--kindergarten!  She sang and danced too and it was of course, adorable.  This one I attended alone--well I did have Joey with me but you'll be surprised to hear he isn't the best company for something like this.  Maggie and I are very proud!  She's so excited for 1st grade!

And the last to graduate was Tyler.  
 It didn't take long to get summer rolling.  We went up with Jessica and her family to somewhere in Spanish Fork Canyon and had a fun little mini-picnic and rode horses and 4 wheelers.  My kids love to be outside, and I like it when they are outside!  They can make as big of a mess as they want.

Tyler got to drive Jessica's Ranger--boy did he think he was hot stuff!  Well, he is pretty cute!

 Tyler's favorite job is to scoop the poop out of the horse trailer whenever that may need to be done.  So remember to call him when you need the job done.  He loves it...

Kids had so much fun in the Ranger.  And with Tyler and Kaylee driving the adults got to relax a while!
 Horse rides were a hit.  Jake's getting to be a pretty good rider.
 Maggie got to go too--we were just going on short rides so she could handle herself...especially on Penny.  She's a great horse.  Joey got a chance to ride too--with his dad, of course.  We aren't THAT crazy.  Can you imagine Joey on a horse by himself?!  I love that pic.
Jacob played city soccer in the Spring--he LOVES soccer.  It helps that he has a ton of friends on his team.  They came in second place in the league!  And the final game went into triple overtime so it was CLOSE!  It was a super fun game to watch.  Good Job!  And I love that they actually EARNED their medals!

We recently got back from our big trip of the summer--a trip up to Island Park, Idaho with my sister and her family.  We rented a cabin at the reservoir and spent almost a week up there.  It was sooo fun and nice and relaxing and just great.  We took things at a slow pace which was awesome.  We did some boating and fishing.  The first day out on the boat we found a little fishing spot to try and boy did we luck out!  The fish were biting like crazy.  Everyone was able to reel one in at least once.  The kids were great fishermen!  We only had 4 poles for 10 people, that is, until Joey decided to get mad at who knows what, and threw his pole in the water.  It was "just" his Spiderman pole, so it can be replaced without too much trouble, but I will tell you I say "just" with a little sarcasm--that thing caught so many fish over the past couple years we actually named it The Fish Slayer.  No lie.  We were NOT happy at being down a pole.  But lo and behold the universe provided--when one door closes another one opens--and we FOUND a pole on the side of the lake.  YES, we waited hours to make sure it didn't belong to anyone, plus the reel was broken when we picked it up.  BUT my husband is super handy (when it comes to fishing stuff) and fixed it so we could use it.  Hooray!

 Everyone (except me and Carrie--leave it to the Peterson sisters to be party poopers) swam for a bit.  The water was COLD so maybe we weren't so much party poopers as much as we were rational thinkers.  But the kids swam some.  Later we found some inlets where the water was shallower and warmer which made their swimming more enjoyable!

 Look at this master jump.... nice.

 Eric was so patient with all of us.  He was the only one who really knew how to work the boat or any of the fishing stuff so he was a busy man but he took it in stride.  He even let all the kids have a turn driving the boat.
 The area we were in was beautiful and our cabin was amazing.  Very spacious and well equipped--all the essentials you'd want plus a pool table, 2 theater rooms, a ping pong table, fire pit including wood and outdoor chairs, and volleyball court set up with ball.  The reservoir itself was gorgeous as well.  In the morning the water would steam--makes it look nice and warm, huh?  NOT.
 One of the days we spent in Yellowstone.  Here is my sister and her cute family.  This is as good a pic as I got but we all know what it is like with kids....
 All the cousins together at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
 Maggie and Samantha LOVED being together.  They were practically joined at the hip.  It was nice because they kept each other occupied.  My kids liked having some younger cousins to play with--most of my kids are the youngest cousins on Eric's side of the family.
 We went to see a place called Upper Mesa Falls.  I was just going along for the ride but, man, it was amazing!  A huge waterfall, and just beautiful.

 After the falls we headed down to a river where Eric had gone fishing earlier that day.  We drove out into the middle of nowhere, on dirt roads and finally came to this little river.  It could not have been more picturesque.  We thought maybe the kids could wade in the water but it too was freezing.  So they played for a little while til some thunderheads started rolling in.

 Joey was brave enough to get wet first.
 Then Jake waded in.
 These next few pics are back at the reservoir the next day.  As I said, we found some inlets where the water was warmer and the kids really enjoyed playing there in the water and mud.  It is so fun to see kids outside playing, no screens of any kind or complaining of being bored.

 One of the days my mom and Dick came up.  We went boating in the morning but got skunked on the fish--even in our lucky spot!  So we gave that up and went and rented some boats and canoes to float the Snake River.  Tyler had his own kayak and did awesome.  Eric and I had a canoe and were fine.  Carrie and her family had a flat bottom boat that took some effort to get going (the current was slow) but managed, but my mom and Dick struggled a bit!  It wasn't so much Dick as it was my mom.  She really doesn't have an athletic bone in her body.  It was kind of funny.  But they managed to make it to the end!

 On our drive home we drove through Yellowstone again and stopped at the West Thumb Geyser Basin.  I always liked that one because it has some fun things to see but isn't too long like some of the other ones are--especially with little kids.

 On our way out we also drove through Grand Tetons National Park.  Talk about scenery!  Plus we saw more buffalo there than at Yellowstone!
 Okay, some of my pictures are out of order.  I already spent an hour getting the rest right but I'm leaving these.  So skip back a month or two--Tyler is getting ready for braces in the next few months and (unluckily for him) he has his mom's teeth.  Too big of teeth for too small an arch.  So to get prepped he had to get eight, yes, EIGHT teeth pulled.  Four baby teeth that were too slow in coming out and 4 permanent teeth to make room for those chompers.  Eric put him out for it.  Tyler didn't do anything super funny as he was waking up--I for sure thought he would since he does weird things in his sleep--so there aren't any great videos to post.  But he did really well and took it like a champ.

 Back on the homestead the kids have enjoyed the new house and getting their rooms the way they like them.  We did a cool record wall in Tyler's room I will post later.  Their favorite thing, of course, is playing in the dirt.  We have this huge dirt hill that is slowly disappearing as Eric moves the dirt to where he actually wants it.  The kids have loved digging hole as big as they are in them.  It is where I find them 90% of the time when they are outside.

 Eric's been using some of Uncle Cory's machines to help move the dirt.  The kids enjoy that too!

Last month we took a little camping trip down to Blanding area with Craig and Sharee.  They went on a 3 week tour of southern Utah and we met them down there for a weekend.  We did some exploring and saw some cool Indian ruins and also neat natural rock formations.
 Here is an old ceremonial pit from the Indians...
 This is looking out over National Bridges State Park.  The picture doesn't do it justice but it was pretty awesome.  We got to see some natural bridges as well.
 This is right up Jake's alley--he loves rocks and geology.  In case you are wondering Tyler didn't come with us--he was participating in the Payson Temple Youth Celebration.  I know we are terrible parents for not staying and going to the celebration but we had this camping trip planned for months and Tyler said he didn't care.  That's ok, he got to stay with Grandma Calder who fed him junk food for 3 days.  He was happy.

 Here's one of the natural bridges.  Millions of years in the making.

 This is how we had to sleep every night.  Just kidding.  Eric and I had the front bed and the kids shared the bunk in the back.  But in the morning they didn't waste any time waking us up!
 We stopped at a little old pioneer town--I can't even remember the name of it.  But they had some really cool exhibits, old pioneer houses and a neat video about the pioneers coming to that area through Hole in the Rock.  Crazy stuff!

 The views down there were pretty amazing....

 The kids loved climbing on everything in sight.  The only thing that would have made it better was it Fry-guy had been there.   :(

 Back to our Island Park trip (I know, confusing, I just like to keep you on your toes) we drove through Yellowstone and Tetons on our way out and stopped at Jackson Hole for a stretch and some lunch.  It is a cute little town.

The trip was a huge success--the kids absolutely loved seeing Carrie, Becky, Samantha and Kate and we had so much fun together.  I wish we lived closer.  C'mon Carrie, move to Utah!

Well there was certainly more than that going on over the last 2 months but I guess this will have to suffice.  Oh, And somewhere in all that Jake and Tyler both had birthdays.  Well, Tyler's is today.  We gave him his gifts and took him to lunch and are leaving in a few minutes to go to the rodeo!  Tyler and Jake are both such great kids--totally different, but each wonderful in their own special way.  Sometimes they are like best friends, and sometimes they are NOT.  But when push comes to shove they have each other's backs.  I've seen both of them at different times be the support and cheerleader the other one needs, helping them physically and emotionally when things might be hard.  Yes, they can argue and annoy each other, but I know inside, sometimes DEEP inside (ha ha), they love each other and will be in each other's corners.  I feel super lucky to be their mom, for real.  I wouldn't want any other kids.  Mine are pretty darn great.