Saturday, June 30, 2012

Brigham City Temple

This Summer I took the kids up to Bear Lake for a week by myself. On the way up I decided to stop in Brigham City so the kids could see the new temple and stretch their legs. It was still a week or so away from the open-house, but it was still fun to walk around the grounds. It's a pretty little temple.


No, Berlin is not praying. She is in the middle of a fit. She apparently didn't want to walk and ended up on the ground crying. Great Temple behavior right.

Apparently sunglasses make it all better. Here she is all smiles. Yay!

Later, they got to run around the park in Garden City. This is how they prefer to stretch their legs.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Rocky Shores

The new Rocky Shores exhibit opened 2 weeks ago and we finally got over to see it last Friday. We only had a few hours to see it (in between track practice and basketball camp) so we hustled straight down to the new stuff. So worth it! It was crowded, but all the new animals were just fabulous! I love the new polar bears, grizzly bears, sea lion, seals, and river otters. It's about time! Our zoo may be small, but they have been trying hard the past few years to build new habitats for the animals that are larger and nicer. They did a great job. It's the one reason I bit the bullet and bought a season pass. I can't wait to go back on a less crowded day when we have more time.

Our tour guides planning our route.

The kids and the river otters.

The polar bear.


 the Sea Lion


The seals showing off for the kids

The Grizzly Bears were so funny wrestling each other in the water.

It was a great way to spend the day. Now, if we can just get new Giraffe and Monkey habitats.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Girl's Night Out

Ryan took Finley to our Stake's Father & Son outing this weekend. It was the first one they've gone to. So while the guy's gone were away, the girl's went out to play. I asked Berlin what she wanted to do and her reply was ... play hungry hungry hippo, walk to the park, run through the sprinklers, and watch "A Little Princess." Check, check, check and check! We did all of it and it was so much fun.

Here she is playing on the playground. She is such a funny little girl. I loved chatting with her on our walk to the playground. She had the funniest things to tell me and I laughed a lot.

Playing hopscotch.

Hanging from the bars.

Walking the wavy balance beam. She wobbled about half-way but was able to stay on and regain her balance. She is so funny with her expressions.

The next morning we went to the SLC Downtown Farmer's Market, got pastries for breakfast, bought fresh snap peas, squash, and zucchini, walked around all the fun craft booths, sampled fresh kettle corn, looked at the gazillion dogs (Berlin finally stopped counting after 31), chatted with Ryan's cousin at Siegfried's food booth and ordered up some brawts for lunch. YUM! 

Before heading back Berlin had to hula-hoop at the hula booth. She loves this spot and I had to drag her away. Was tempted to get her a hula-hoop until the gal said they were $20. Um, never mind.

So we headed back home to see Ryan and Finley who had just gotten back from this ...

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Finn's 1st Track Meet

Last night was Finley's first Track Meet. It was up at Skyline High School. The closer it got to 5pm the more nervous I he got. He wasn't so sure he wanted to go, but I told him that if he tried his best and ran his hardest, then we could get a Slurpee afterward. That seemed to work pretty well. He told me he would be second or third, but not first or last. Ok - how's that for a plan! He ran fast and was second in his heat and he did his best in all 3 events he chose to do (the can choose up to 3 to compete in): 50 Meter Dash (because he wanted the shortest one - hah!), shot put, and long jump. We are so proud of him. With 3 weeks under his belt and one meet, I think he is feeling a little more confident in himself and I love seeing that. I love this kid so much!

Here he is at the starting line for the 50 m dash. This was his first event.

Here is the video of the race ...

Here is a video of one of his 3 long jumps ...

I have video of the shot put, but it's way too long to upload. But he did great. Here is a picture of him at Shot put practice the day before.

He likes shot put, but on the way home he asked, "Mom, why do they have to use such a heavy ball for shot put? Don't they know there are lighter ones to make it easier?"  I was laughing so hard all I could say was, "Yes dear, they know there are lighter ones!"

Even Ryan and Berlin were troopers. The meet started at 5 pm and we didn't finish until 8. The sad part is that the first 2 events, the 50 m dash and shot put were over in an hour. The other 2 hours we spent waiting for Finley to get his turn at the long jump. Sitting for 2 hours in the heat all for 3 jumps - it was excruciating! But in the end, we all got Slurpee's and Slurpee's make all that's wrong right again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Whistle while you work...

This is a mantra I am trying to teach my children. It is a slow and very painful process of course. 

Yesterday morning, for example, I asked the kids to come help me plant the last remaining garden plants that have been waiting patiently for the past month to be placed lovingly in a garden box. I figured that I have done everything else up 'til this point, the least they could do was help me plant 7 measly plant-lings. Berlin couldn't wait to help, but Finley was a different story. Oh, the tears, the yelling, the screaming. Finley angrily kicking the floor shouting that it was my job to do all the work, not theirs. Sigh. 

I held my ground and calmly listened to it all as I shoved their little hands into gloves and forced them outside. Ryan built these planter beds for mother's day. I painted them a few weeks ago and lined them with outdoor weed cloth to help keep the soil from seeping through the board cracks. Filled them with way more dirt than I thought it would take and we are good to go! 

The kids planted zucchini, squash, pumpkins, cantaloupe, and watermelon plants. I figure these are fairly hardy so hopefully they will thrive under the kids watchful eye. Once the cantaloupe and watermelon start growing I have a trellis system I will set up to keep them off the ground. 

My reward for such patience came in the form of 6 little words spoken from Finley's mouth: "I was wrong. This IS fun!" Yep, thank-you, thank-you very much. It was a small victory for me, though I am sure we will go through the exact same process the next few weeks when I ask them to come help water these plants by hand every morning and evening. These two garden beds will be their responsibility and it has already gone on their daily chore chart.

In response to Finley, I have my garden jobs too, one of which is the container garden which already producing lots of fruit and veggies.


Container plants: 
2 yellow tomatoes, 1 yellow pear tomato, 1 red juliet tomato, jalepenos, sweet peppers, string beans, bell peppers, butternut squash, yellow squash, strawberries, cucumbers, and red onions.

Mint, Apple-mint, Citrus mint, basil, thai basil, cilantro, dill (we already lost the dill to aphids. Oh well).

Yellow raspberry bushes by the barn

With all the time I've been spending out in the yard, I have to say that most days I love our yard, especially the new stuff we've been planting - red bud trees, zelchova trees, peonies, lilac bushes, hydrangeas, japanese maples, etc. 

But I have to admit that on hot Summer days, when I look out the window and see this, I think BLEH! I hate it! Just looking at all the dryness makes me hot. The field sprinkler just isn't cutting it. Correcting this might have moved up a couple notches on the "to-do" list. Even the chickens hate chillin' out in the field. 

They prefer the kids play-set, which isn't working for me. So #1 on the to-do is putting a fence up in the middle of the field. Always something to do :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Raccoons, Caterpillars, Butterflies & the Beach

The title pretty sums up the last two trips to Bear Lake this Summer. Two weekends ago Ryan took the kids up to the cabin and met up with his sisters to do the big opening (cleaning etc). While they were up there they discovered an unnerving scraping sound coming from under the bathroom tub. Apparently is sounded like something was trying to claw it's way through the bathtub walls. So, Ryan's sister called an exterminator and after removing the panel, they found a family of 4 raccoon's living under the tub, along with lots of other rodents and pests. And it seems they had been there for quite a while. Lovely. It's made for some fun and exaggerated story-telling on my children's part. Finley swears he saw a raccoon stick his claw up the bathtub drain while he was taking a bath (after throwing up in bed). And it gets larger, bigger, pointier and scarier with each telling of his story :)

The annoying pests even chewed through four main cabin electrical wires, so we had to have that fixed. $2000+ later it's all fixed and though the thought of all that money being spent on raccoon removal & damage control, it's much better than having them still there. We are very grateful they didn't chew through the cabin walls and really wreak havoc inside like they did to two of our neighbor's cabins a few years ago. 

We went back up this past weekend for Father's Day. On our way up we stopped in Perry for some Maddox chicken (a must) and some fresh fruit from the roadside stands. 5 lbs of fuji apples for $1? Seriously folks - so cheap. The Rainier cherries not so cheap, but so delicious. Well worth the money! 

Tired, hungry, and a bit impatient ....


At the cabin thankfully the raccoon's were gone, the area thoroughly cleaned, bleached and re-sealed by the exterminator, but there is apparently one more raccoon (the mother) that is trying to get back into the space. So there were traps set up to catch her (and any others). It didn't stop us from enjoying the lovely weather.

The water level is high again so there is no chance of there being any beach by our cabin this year. So we drove up to North Beach on Saturday and played in the sand and clear, cool water. It was lovely. 

After too much sun we headed back for dinner and a camp-fire in the yard. Ryan is quite the campfire builder and in no time we were roasting yummy marshmallows and making smore's with his second cousin's from next door. It's fun having a cabin surrounded by Ryan's aunts & uncles and cousins as it usually means there are other kids up there for our kids to pal around with. There was lots of trampoline jumping going on :)

Berlin showed off her hula-hooping skills all weekend long - she has become quite the super-duper Hula-Hooper and loves to show off anytime she can. She would try new tricks, like arms inside, around the neck, head covered in a blanket, holding a pretend microphone and singing while twirling, and of course hoopin' in the water. She even added levels, one being slow, four being super fast.

Above is a video of her twirling away on the beach.

Berlin will fiercely defend her reign as supreme hula-hooper in our family. We each took turns and I am not so bad myself, but when she saw me do it she immediately pipes up that she was still the best and I was only second best. Yes dear, we know :)

Sunday we got up and went on a morning hike. There were tons of butterflies everywhere. 


Afterwards we came home, relaxed, did rocket balloon races, had lunch, cleaned, then came home. It was a short, but fun weekend. So glad we have Bear Lake to go to in the Summer.