Thursday, September 24, 2009

Ward Family Campout

This past weekend was our Ward (Church Congregation) Family Campout. We have lived in the ward for 5 years now and haven't made it to a single campout. Ashleigh wanted to go last year, but there was no way I was going camping with a newborn baby. So we decided that this would be the year we would go. Michael and I would be in Chicago the weekend before the trip so we figured it would all work out, until Michael found out that he had to be on call that week. The kids were really disappointed so I thought it over and decided that if my dear friend Lori was going with her kids (her husband had to work as well) that I would go with my kids. I got the kids out of school early on Friday and we were at the campsite by late afternoon. We had a great time, it's always nice to escape the heat for a little while. I owe a great big Thank You to Lori, Kendall and Isaac for helping put the tent up and Ashleigh was a HUGE help keeping an extra eye on Austin. Jordan got to work on some of his Cub Scout requirements by helping cook dinner and learned how to start a campfire. We roasted hot dogs over the fire and had s'mores later in the evening. It got pretty cold during the night, but we were all fine in the tent and Austin even slept through the night!!

The next morning we had breakfast and the kids went off to play games and explore the area. The kids had fun playing kickball, football and shooting air soft BB guns. The adults visited and we eventually started playing a really fun game of Bowling ball Croquette. I also owe a big Thank You to Taleen Vezina and Rondal Jones for trying to keep Austin preoccupied while I played.

While we were playing the clouds started to roll in and we could hear it thundering off in the distance. My thought was that I would go pack up the sleeping bags and blankets when our game was over, NOT!! Half way through our game the heavens opened up and we all went running for our cars and tents. The boys and I hunkered down in the tent and Ashleigh went into her friend's car to play games. I got as many blankets and sleeping bags rolled up and folded as I could with 3 boys in the tent with me. After about 20 minutes the hail stopped and the rain let up enough that I took the boys to the car and put a movie on for them so that I could finish cleaning everything up. Before long the rains had returned and I was scrambling...yet again I owe a huge Thank You to Lori and Kendall for helping me get all of the wet everything into my car and for helping me get the tent down in record time!! Even though our camping trip was cut short we had a great time, so much fun in fact that we are going to try to go camping as a family a few times a year, only next time we will make sure Michael can come with us!!

This was my first time camping as an adult and I did learn a few things...1. Don't forget flashlights!! 2. Hobo dinners Rule!! 3. Bring all parts of the tent!! I forgot the tarp that goes over the top of the tent, Thank You Brother Harmon for having an extra one for us to use. 4. Can never have too many blankets!! 5. If you see rain clouds and hear thunder, don't wait till later to clean up!!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

What we've been up to lately!

WOW!! It's been a long time since I have posted anything! Summer was very busy and fun and we are all glad that school has started back up again. I have a hard time with summer, I love my kids, but I have a hard time finding things to keep them busy and Arizona is just too darn hot so the last place they want to be is outside. We love the month of July when we can spend most of it at the cabin in the mountains. Needless to say the kids were excited to get back to school and see there friends and I was excited for them to go back so they weren't complaining about how bored they were. Now that school has started we are busy as ever!!

Ashleigh is now in the 5th grade and she is playing the piano still and is also playing the clarinet in the school band. Now that she knows how to blow into it she is really enjoying her new instrument.
Jordan is in the 3rd grade and is looking forward to basketball starting up this winter. He also loves Cub Scouts and is always looking for something to do that will get him closer to earning his Wolf Badge.
Jared was the most excited of everyone for school to start. He is going to preschool this year and he LOVES it!! He is up and dressed before everyone else on the days that he has school. He is learning the sounds that the letters make and lots of words that start with each letter. He loves learning and playing with all of his friends.

Austin isn't quite ready for school yet, but he is growing so fast. He is walking everywhere and he LOVES to be outside. He enjoys "helping" mommy in the kitchen as well, although his "help" usually requires added clean up time.

Michael is very busy at work and when he came home one night in July saying he had to go to Chicago for work in September I was very excited. I wanted to go, you see, my brother, sister-in-law and nephew live in Chicago and Brayden is only a week older than Austin. What a perfect opportunity to visit them!! We were so lucky to have many things fall into place so that Austin and I could go with Michael. My wonderful and amazing mom was able to get time off from work to come stay with the older kids, my awesome grandmother gave my mom a free airline ticket, I was able to get the time off from work and Michael's company was paying for his airline ticket and the hotel room and Austin is under 2 so we only had to purchase my ticket!! Brian took a day off from work so we could hang out with the little boys and we were able to have dinner all together the night we arrived. The weather was amazing the entire time we were there and Austin was so good. He spent a lot of time in his stroller and never fussed about it at all. I think he was just so excited to be outside and not roasting in the AZ heat. The most fun we had was just watching the boys interact with each other. Thanks to Brian and Peggy for your hospitality!! We had a great time!
Cousins meeting for the very first time!!

Downtown Chicago from Navy Pier

Playing in the park

Austin and Mommy in Millennium Park

Boys chasing each other

Austin, Aunt Peggy and Brayden

While we were in Chicago, my mom was here taking care of the older kids and they had so much fun with Grammie. She took them Goofy Golfing and they went to the mountains to spend some time with my uncle and aunt. They had so much fun. They got quad rides, picked veggies from the garden, built and painted a bird house and went swimming at Fossil Creek. They couldn't stop talking about how much fun they had with John and Elizabeth...thank you guys for giving my kids some great memories!! Pictures from grammie to be posted at a later date.