Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Summer Bucket List - Camping

Believe it or not, we have never taken our kids camping. Nope. Never. Kinda sad when I think about it because we camped a lot growing up and I loved it. So this year I went ahead and booked two nights up Big Cottonwood Canyon at the Spruces campground. We went this past Friday and Saturday night and it was great.

The kids were awesome and such great campers. Our site was small, but perfect for us. The weather, though a bit cold at night, was great during the day. Here we are setting up camp and getting ready for dinner.

Berlin doing her Vanna White pose, modeling in front of our tents. They boys slept in one and the girls in the other. I think Santa might bring us family tent for Christmas ... we'll see!


We bought glow sticks for the kids to have at night. It was funny to see them all lit up around the campfire.

I love chillin' by the campfire each night. The kids put themselves to bed each night right before it got dark (gotta love that), so Ryan and I got to enjoy the campfire together and just talk the night away.

On Saturday we went up to Silver Lake and hiked up to Twin Lakes. Round-trip it's only about a 3 mile hike, which is perfect for our kids. The first little bit is fine as you climb above Silver Lake through the Aspens. But then you get to the rocky and steep part of the trail. This is where it got boring for the kids, which led to a little whining. The lake at the top is nice and we chilled out for a bit on the rocks and shore. I don't like that everything up Cottonwood is watershed protected (no swimming or entering the water). Finley wanted to get in so bad. Despite being told not to, he found a way to "fall" in while trying to walk on the rocks. Awesome. Below, Finley and Berlin exploring in the Aspens. Followed by the makings of a fit by Berlin.


Overlooking Silver Lake. Such a great view. Below, the kids are making silly squirrel faces.

After the hike, we headed back to the campsite for a late lunch and some rest. We had a little squirrel in our campground that entertained us the whole time too. Ryan woke up Saturday morning to a strange sound and went to investigate and found the squirrel trying to chew a hole in the top of our bag. Luckily Ryan caught him in time and put a stop to that. But the squirrel was ticked so he scampered to the edge of the table and sat and chirped (scolded) Ryan for a few minutes, then ran off. Later on that afternoon we saw the same squirrel run across our site with a glazed donut in his mouth. What? That's right, an entire glazed donut in his mouth. Finley and Berlin were laughing hysterically. It was awesome. An hour later, as I walked Berlin down to the bathrooms I overheard the couple at the lower campsite exclaiming that all their donuts were gone. I laughed and asked them if a squirrel got to them. They brought over the box and there was a HUGE hole chewed right through the middle. I told them about the squirrel we saw scampering by with a donut in his mouth and we all laughed. In the end he made off with 5 entire donuts. Sweet. I think that Squirrel is set for Winter. That or he will be on one big sugar-high.

We also saw a mama moose and her calf on our evening walk around the campground. They were snacking on leaves and branches from trees and weren't phased at all by our gawking. That was pretty cool. I have never seen a moose that close up.

Italian Sausages for dinner ... mmm - yes please! Followed by marshmallows. Finley doesn't like marshmallows, but he loves roasting them till they fall into the fire. It's pretty cool watching them get bubble and grow. This way he doesn't miss out on all the fun.


Overall, our first camping trip was a success. Can't wait to do it again next Summer.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Back to School - Fall 2012

Second grade is finally here! Finley on the first day of school. 
Love this guy so much!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Summer Bucket List - Cowabunga Bay

This Summer we had lots to do, from Track & Field, Basketball camp, lots of Bear Lake, canyon campfires, Swim Lessons, and more. However, a few things we've never done before with the kids made our  bucket list. And though we were cutting it close, I am happy to say that as of this last week, we crammed in Camping and a day at Cowabunga Bay.

On Thursday we took the kids to Cowabunga Bay water-park where they had fun going down the water slides, floating in the lazy river, and swimming in the zero entry pool. Berlin would only go on the 3 little kid water-slides. She tried a 4th one that was bigger and sat on Ryan's lap, but she hated it and from then on would only go down the pink, yellow and purple kid zone slides. Finley was a bit braver and went down all but one of the slides. His favorite - the purple slide that is pitch black all the way down.

Finley and Ryan getting dumped on by one of the big buckets of water.



It was a blast. We can't wait to go again next Summer!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Roller Coaster

My sister Val's work party was at Lagoon this past weekend and since they gave her 3 extra tickets, she invited us along. I love Roller Coasters. Ryan loves Roller Coasters. So, you'd think that our children would have some ounce off thrill-seeker within. However, at this stage it appears not. My kids are tentative, cautious, and more than content to sit on the sidelines. There are times in life where I am grateful they are like this. At other times, I find myself wishing they were more adventurous. I know they are still young at 5 and 7, but I hope as they get older they become a little more daring. I want to take them on Roller Coasters and hear them giggle and scream with joy.

That being said, our casual, slow-paced day at Lagoon was great. It was the first time our kids have been to Lagoon. Just some fun pics of the rides:


This is the fastest ride that Finley agreed to go on. He was so cute and he said he liked it, but I couldn't get him to go on it a second time with me. Darn it!

 Berlin's favorite ride was the Dragonfly swings.


Finley's favorite ride was Rattlesnake Rapids. All four of us went the first time. Berlin did NOT want to get wet so she wasn't happy at all. But it was fun. Finley wanted to go again (of course, after our clothes finally dried) so cool Aunt Val went with him while Berlin and I took pictures.

Just finished the first round...


Right after getting off - soaked to the bone. I HATE wearing wet clothes. Such a gross feeling. Good thing it was hot and it only took a couple hours to dry out.

Valerie and Finley the second time around.


And can I just say how pathetic the train/zoo ride is at Lagoon? Seriously, I have never seen such beautiful animals (Bengal Tigers, Panthers, Lions) look so pathetic and depressed. Lagoon needs to provide better habits or send the animals elsewhere. Small metal cages just don't cut it. Definitely the most depressing part of the day. Good thing these kiddos were sitting across from me. Cute little buggers!

The kids LOVED Val's work party in the pavilion. They were amazed that 1: everything was FREE, 2: that they had a candy bar with huge bags for the stuffing (we will be eating candy for weeks), 3: free face-painting, 4: an all you can eat dinner with unlimited ice-cream bars and soda refills, and finally 5: the children's raffle - where Berlin won a small prize. Yes - they were in heaven!

Berlin getting her face painted.


My sister is great. The kids just love being with her. She is so kind to always think of them and she makes them feel like a million bucks. We are so lucky to have her live nearby. It was a very fun day indeed.