Monday, July 30, 2012

July Fun

This Summer has been HOT, and though we like the sunshine, it's a little TOO hot for us. But we've found some fun ways to beat the heat and get thru the month.

Yummy cold popsicles at the SLC downtown Farmer's Market from my friend Tiffany. Go see her ... the Avocado Pistachio = YUMMY!!! They make the perfect lunch :)


 and don't forget Siegfried's brawts for dessert!

Between swim lessons every day, the Murray Outdoor Pool, splash-pads, Bear Lake beach time, and friends with pools ... we have been able to stay cool and get a nice tan in the process. Here the kids are playing beach soccer with Ryan. Guess it's a good thing we have a canopy. Not that I needed it for me to read under or anything :)  Finley was cute and was showing off his ball skills when he says to Ryan, "Dad, I learned all my sweet moves from you." It melted Ryan's heart.


Here the kids are swimming and going down the water slide.

Hiking up in the canyons automatically = fresher, cleaner, and cooler air. We hit up Silver Lake and some trails that run up behind it on Pioneer Day. It was fabulous.

Up behind the lake looking down. It was pretty crowded that morning so it was nice to get off the boardwalk path and away from all the strollers being pushed around the trail. We can't wait to go back at the end of Summer and explore the other trails on our weekend over-nighter at the nearby Spruces campground.

Air-conditioned movie theaters also make the heat bearable. So far this Summer we've seen Mirror Mirror, the Lorax, and The Pirates - Band of Misfits. Gotta love matinee shows. On Pioneer Day we took the kids to see Brave. I know that lots of people have disliked it, but we all loved it. The animation was amazing too - especially the Bears and Merida's hair. I also liked that this wasn't a movie about another princess finding a prince and living happily-ever-after. It's about the relationships we have with each other, putting our differences (and pride aside), and truly listening to one another. I really liked it.

And of course, Berlin is now obsessed with everything Brave...Brave dress-ups, Brave polly pocket castle, Brave Barbie doll, the list goes on. I have a feeling I know what she will be asking Santa for this Christmas.

After the hike, swimming lessons, and movie on Pioneer day, we came home and chilled out the rest of the day. The kids requested a Pioneer Dinner of steak, corn, watermelon, and home-made ice-cream. It was yummy!

Last week we also went up Millcreek Canyon for a campfire dinner & smore's. The weather held out (just barely) for us and it ended up being the perfect night with all our friends. Can't wait to do it again.

This month the kids also got to pick out school supplies for the Adopt a Native Backpack program. My friend collects donations every year on behalf of Native American kids who cannot afford their basic school supplies. She does so in honor of her mother who used to volunteer with the Adopt a Native Elder program before she passed away. This was our second year donating a backpack full of supplies and treats. The kids have so much fun picking it all out. It such a small, yet wonderful way to get involved and find a way to serve another as a family.

Here they are with the backpacks they put together.

So far, July has been a fabulous month. Can't wait to see what August brings!

Monday, July 16, 2012

little surprises

Some good, some not so good. 

We went up the the lake for a long weekend. We had two fabulous days which we spent on the beach. Followed by two rainy days spent catching drips from a now leaky cabin roof ... the not so great surprise. It's definitely been the year of cabin headaches. On our way back home the weather was nice enough to get a quick hike in up at Tony's Grove. Ryan's sister and her kids joined us. It was really nice and that area is full of trails to explore. Ryan and I could have hiked all day. The kids, not-so-much. They were great though and had a blast with their cousins.

Finley with his 3 cousins ...

Finley, Berlin (green), and their cousin (purple)...

The best surprise came when I put the chickens into their coop tonight. I checked to make sure all 4 were in (they put themselves in and immediately go to their nesting bar, I just close the door) and low and behold a cute little egg was sitting in one of the nesting boxes. Giddy excitement immediately swelled within. Seriously, so cool. And it's the prettiest little egg ever. It's hard to tell in the pics, but it's a sea-glass green color. Yippee! Can't wait to check and see if there are more tomorrow.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Independence Week 2012

We decided to celebrate Independence Day by going to the cabin for an extended weekend. Leading up to the 4th we hiked up in Bloomington Canyon, swam in the lake, chopped lots of wood & did cabin cleanup, and soaked up some rays on the beach. We came home just in time to celebrate the 4th in Salt Lake.

Saturday we spent the day cleaning up the cabin property. Last year Ryan cut down all the dead brush and wood surrounding the cabin. It hadn't been done in years so there was a lot of it. He and his brother chipped some of it last year, but there is still a ton just sitting in the back. So he got out the saw and I got out the loppers and we started loggin' it all. We only got about 1/3 of it done but hey, progress is progress even if it is slow. And now we have lots of good firewood the next time we want to make a campfire and smore's.

The next day we went hiking at the glacier lake in Bloomington. It really is an amazing canyon. So grateful I live near such beautiful areas that we can explore together as a family.



Bentley was loving the hike too. He found a ball left behind by another dog and was in heaven chasing it  along the trail and in the water. Straight back behind Bentley in the above pic, there was a real beaver swimming around. That was pretty neat to see. Doesn't Bentley look like a Beaver or Otter in the above picture? Thus, Berlin called him Bentley the Beaver all day long.

After coming home for a late lunch, we cooled down in the lake. We just walked to the end of the cabin road and set up our chairs. Ryan swam for a bit while the kids chilled out.

We bought a season pass to North Beach this year since the public beach down by our cabin is non-existent {again} with the high water levels. I love my beach time so it's worth the 20 minute drive up there each time. This is probably my favorite thing to do up at the cabin - hit the beach.

First Day at the Beach ...

LOVE LOVE LOVE these guys. They are such good buddies.

And since I posted a pic of Ryan, I have to be fair and post one of me (since apparently it's not fair that there are rarely pics of me on the blog). So here I am in all my shiny forehead glory, covered in about 10 layers of sunscreen and sweat. Sweet.

Second day at the beach ...

Berlin loves to just lay in the shallow water and sing. She was like this about 75% of the time we were at the beach.


Finley LOVED the water. He was in it pretty much the whole time. It was shallow for about a mile out and there were 3-4 sandbars in between which he would jump off of into the slightly deeper water. He was all smiles and did not want to go home once 4pm rolled around. He would purposely bury himself in the sand just to have to go rinse off, thus delaying the going home process.


We drove home Tuesday night and put the kids to bed. To commemorate the divorce of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (seriously, is there anyone who DIDN'T see this coming?) Ryan and I watched Mission Impossible 4: Ghost Protocol. LAMEST movie ever!!! Anway, moving along...

On the 4th we slept in, rented a movie to watch with the kids in the afternoon, went out to dinner, attended the RSL soccer game, and watched an amazing firework show from the stadium.

The kids thought it was the best game ever because 1. they got their 5 seconds of fame on the jumbo-tron for the first time, 2. Our section won the "loudest fan section contest" (this it totally rigged by the way) and so they each got a bag of blue potato chips, 3. they got to see the sweet firework show, 4. all fans got an RSL metal waterbottle, and 5. the kids got a Slurpee at 11:00 pm on the way home.

I am so grateful for the freedoms that we have in America. I am grateful for the men and women who fought to help us gain our independence and for those who continue to serve and protect our country. I am proud to be an American.