Thursday, December 24, 2015

My birthday

Scott surprised me this year with a much-needed weekend away.  It was one of the best trips we've taken.  I think we are getting better at vacations.  We used to try and cram so much into them we came home exhausted--not that there's not a time and place for that, but sometimes it's nice just to get away and relax.  He told me to take Friday off and the Henlines picked us up.  We drove to a little town where we rented these reclining tubes and then had lunch while we floated down the river.  It was awesome.  We just chatted and laid back while floating around.  Then we drove to Cedar City where we had a nice dinner and then went to the Shakespearean Festival!!!!  It was amazing!
 Getting ready to head down the river.

 That's my man.

 View from my little tube.

 I am so grateful for the Henlines.  I was worried since Mike and Nicole moved that we wouldn't have good friends to hang out with.  So it was perfect timing when they moved.  We have been blessed with some great friends.  Anyway, this was the theater where we watched King Lear.  This is the last year they are using it, so we felt lucky to catch it.  Alyssa was a city away, in St. George at a tennis tournament, burning her buns off.  They played in 115 degree weather. It was insane.  I felt a little guilty sitting and watching the play instead of her, but I got over it.

Back to school

Along with getting ready for school we had a lot of other activities planned.  I know I took some first day of school pics, I just can't find them.  Alyssa is a sophomore this year, Christian is in 8th, Amber is in 6th, Livi is in 3rd and Soran is at Lakeview with the girls in 1st grade.  They are all so smart and good!  I love that they love school.  We had the ward campout the first weekend after school started which was really fun.  I was wondering why we haven't camped for so long when it is such a good time.  Then I remembered that for the past 5 years I HAVE been camping, just not with my family. Girls camp sucked all my camping energy out of me.  But now that I am free I think we will be going a lot more next year.  
 Surprisingly, Livi is my little pyro.  She is always putting sticks in the fire and pulling them out and waving the flames around.  It's pretty funny, actually.  

 Lyssa and Courtney.  There weren't that many people at the campout, so the youth put on skits.  They reenacted what they had done at their camps.  It was funny and interesting watching them interact with their peers on the stage.  They don't get nearly as nervous as I do.

 Brother Steineckert brought these cool copper pipes that changed the fire colors.  It was beautiful.

 My girls.

Scott and I getting ready to sleep on our deflating air mattress.
We also had Alyssa's back to school ballroom bash.  They had a big water fight this year.  This is one bunch of fun, nerdy, good kids.  I am glad she associates with such great group of kids and coaches.


I have come to a new appreciation of summer.  Since I started working at the school, I love the break.  We had 5 parties the first week after school let out.  I was just so excited.  We did Liv's birthday party, our annual end-of-school party with hot dogs, games, an outdoor movie and night games, I threw a block party that was pretty successful, we had an outdoor FHE with the neighbors and a high priest social.  Whew!  It was so fun.
But I digress.  I also love that it's more relaxed and I get to hang out with my kids.  I am so busy running them to activities I don't really get to goof off with just be with them.  Even during the slow times, though, it's hard to get all together.  We had to make the effort to get everyone together.  But here are some things we did this summer:
 The girls had an outdoor piano recital in Brother Jensen's backyard.  

 We took a trip up to Salt Lake on the frontrunner.  We had a good time riding the train, playing guess who.  I was surprised considering how long we've lived in Utah how little the kids knew about the history and Mormon culture in Salt Lake.  We went through the visitors centers, took a tour of the Conference Center, ate lunch at City Creek, visited the planetarium and rode the train home.  


 Christian on Mars.

 Gutter of Fire

 My cute girls

 We spontaneously took a ride put the canyon to Heber and got shakes at the Depot or whatever it's called.  They were excited to each get their own.  That rarely happens.  Then we went to the park across the street and played.  It was a beautiful night, we just missed Alyssa.  As usual.

 Have I mentioned Amber belongs to 4H and how much I love it?  She wanted to join last year and I was hesitant, but it's awesome!  She has activities every week where they do crafts or games and once a month they have family nights where they FEED US DINNER and then usually have a cool activity.  This night we went to Rock Canyon park and they had bubbles to play in and large trikes to ride.  I love them!

Friday, December 4, 2015


We started off the summer at Lagoon with the Reeces.  Man, they are amusement park fiends.  It was a good time had by all.  We also spent the night at the cabin, went to Grandma and Grandpa's land for some archery and other contests, and just relaxed.  

 What a dork.

 On the Colossus.

 The Samurai--not sure who's on it.

 Lovely ladies.

 Just chilling in line for the Rattlesnake Rapids--the one ride we all could ride.

 Bumper cars!

 Alyssa and Christian were in California for a week with the O'Connors and missed a couple reunions.  At the Sweeney this year they had the most amazing face painters (and a magician--he was alright).  The girls got some great masks.

 We drove up to Duchesne for the evening with the extended Thompson reunion.  There is always good food, chatting and fun.  We had tacos by Uncle Alan, fire by the Tryons and played cards and caught up.

 For the Thompson reunion this year we went to Uncle Kelly's land and camped for a few days.  I wasn't excited about going to St. George in July, but it was up in the mountains and absolutely beautiful.  It was overcast the whole time and pretty much a perfect temperature.  We rode ATVs, in the back of the pickup truck, had delicious dutch oven dinners, fished for salamanders, enjoyed cousins and of course lots of s'mores!  Then we stayed at a hotel and went to the Gunnison rodeo for the 4th of July. The cousins waiting for it to start.

 Gunnison rodeo.

 The chicken races.  The kids all race to catch live chickens and if they catch them they get to keep them.  Ayden caught one, of course, and traded it in for $1 since Aunt Holly didn't want to take it back in the van.

Amber was obsessed with the salamanders.  Gross.

The rest of May

 Amber as the narrator.  When they handed out parts she was given the part of the harp, which she really wanted.  But another girl started crying about her part as the cow, so Amber kindly switched her.  Then somehow wormed her way into about 5 other parts, too.  She was the star of the show!
 Soran hiding from the giant.

 The cast of "Jack and the Beanstalk"

 He made it!  Scott made the goal at the beginning of the year to hike to the Y on Memorial day.  I thought that was a bit lofty, considering he could hardly walk in January, but he did it!  We got together with the Henlines and the men made it to the top before we did.  It was a beautiful day and we got ice cream cones at the Creamery afterwards.  Then we raced off to Christian's last soccer game with Utah FC.  He made 2 goals and some amazing assists.  We almost regretted pulling him off the team.