Wednesday, July 30, 2008


We've been gone to our annual camping trip to Washington Lake. We went up early Tuesday morning. Justin drove us all the way there. He's getting to be a pretty good driver. I"m comfortable enough while he drives to read and look up every paragraph or so and check on him.
It's always good that we get up there early so we can get a decent camping spot. This year we needed two spots because my sister and her family and my brother and his family were also camping with us. They both have tent trailers and I'm SO JEALOUS!!!! I really need one.
We had a very kickback day and enjoyed the fresh air and beautiful lake. All of the kids had a great time playing together.
We survived a huge storm during the night. Luckily it didn't start up until after we'd all gotten to bed so we didn't get wet but sure made it difficult to sleep. It rained for most of the night and was blowing pretty hard. At times I felt like our tent was going to cave in on us. Taylor even started "talking" in his sleep - he sat up and started yelling "what the heck?" over and over while he was hitting the tent. It was pretty funny. He has no memory of it.
Today was a great day - the mom's hung out with the little kids while the dad's and big kids went on a hike to rock lake. Then my kids and I came home for a night. We needed to bring Taylor home so he can go to scout camp tomorrow and so we could go to Mutual where they showed a great DVD recap of our youth conference. I could get into this coming home part way through camping to have a shower and have a good night's sleep in my bed. We're going back up tomorrow.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The rest of Youth Confernece

When we were finished with the challenges at Sugarhouse Park we went up to East Canyon. We had dinner there provided by a great sister in our ward. After dinner we announced the winning teams - a tie for first between the Blue Team(my team) and the Orange Team. All the teams received awards specific to their team. After the awards we had a testimony meeting where everyone participated.
In the morning everyone helped pack up camp and then we spent the rest of the day boating.
We had 4 ward members bring up their boats so most of the kids and adults were out on boats most of the day. We have a really great ward full of people who are willing to help and share what they have.

Justin, enjoying a break from the boat.

Me and my friend Erica (she's the YW Pres) going out tubing for the first time that day.

It turned out to be a great youth conference. It was a lot of work but well worth it. It's so great to see our youth bond with each other and learn from each other.

Friday Afternoon

After finishing the bean challenge, the teams were given a clue to their next destination. The clue was to look up scriptures - book, chapter, verse, word. So for instance, they had 3 Nephi 11:15:20 so in the 15th verse they would count to the 20th word and write down the first letter of that word. Eventually they had all these letters to unscramble and it spelled out Sugarhouse Park. All teams went there for a mandatory 45 minute lunch break. The lunch was provided by our awesome RS presidency.
Our blue team planning for the next challenges.

The next set of challenges were all "detours" - a choice between 2 tasks. The first detour was "pitchers or pyros." The orange team, pictured above, was the only team to do pyros. They had to build a fire with only 2 sheets of newspaper and only 3 matches. Once they had a fire going they had to bring 1 cup of water to boil.

All the other teams chose pitchers - they had to alternately take turns as a team throwing horse shoes until one team member got a ringer.

The next detour was "hike or bike" The teams could either put together a bike and then have one team member ride it around the 1 1/2 mile trail. For hike, the team had to carry a 50 pound sand bag around the trail and each team member had to carry the bag by themselves for at least 2 minutes. All the teams did the bike challenge except for the red team and they carried the sand bag. All the teams worked together great. We were so proud of our kids. We really didn't much complaining and they all helped each other and helped other teams. The biggest challenge was probably dealing with the heat.

Friday's Activities

After breakfast on Friday morning all teams went together on a hike to Willow Lake (across from Solitude). It was very steep to begin with but ended in a beautiful meadow.
Several of our leaders on the hike.

Before going back down we spent some time at the top of the hike. The YM Pres directed the kids to follow him to this clearing in silence. He asked them to spend 20 minutes in silent scripture study. This is Justin pictured above. After their personal study they spent 15 minutes discussing what they read with their team.
This is Brooke's team - The Orange Team. Their team name was Team Nemo and their motto was "just keep swimming." They were a very strong team and ended up tying for 1st place for the whole race.

This is Justin's team - Team Red. Their name was Team Fruit and their motto was Eat Healthy. (they needed a little help in the creativity department.)

When all the teams were finished with the hike we held our challenge for the morning. Each team was giving a bag of beans - very small beans. They were told they had to count the beans and turn in the count. For every bean they were off on their count, each team member had to eat that many vienna sausages. My team only had to eat 1 vienna sausage because we counted twice. Justin's team had to eat 14 each!!

Youth Conference Fireside

After we were done with our tasks/challenges for Thursday we traveled to the "pit stop" which was the cabin next to my family cabin (we had other relatives using my family cabin so our neighbors let us use theirs). We had a wonderful dinner provided by our YW secretary, her husband, and our Primary president (her husband is in YM).

Brooke with her friends, Haley and Taylor (Taylor just moved into our ward a week ago and was immediately sucked into our great group of young women - and the guys are all fighting for her attention.)

After dinner we had a fireside. Jason Reynolds was our first speaker. He grew up in this ward and is a little younger than me. 3 years ago he went in for minor surgery and it went horribly wrong and now he just lives day to day never knowing how long he'll live. He gave a great "talk" and was very straight with our youth about how they need to be living their lives.

This is some of our group all crammed into the cabin. We had 36 kids and 12 leaders participate in youth conference and a few more adults up at the cabin to help put on the dinner.

President and Sister Stringham were our concluding speakers. He was just recently called to be the stake president. He was in the bishopric of the single's ward when I was attending that ward a long time ago. So I've known him for a long time and asked him to speak to our youth. It was a great evening. We concluded with having everyone say what the best part of the day was for them. One young man was honest and said dinner was the best part of the day.

More Youth Conference

From the museum , my team received a clue directing them to find 8 historical markers downtown.This is my team at one of the historical markers - the very center of Salt Lake City.

Another one of the historical markers was to find where Brigham Young is buried. It's in this little park right up the hill from the church office building. Who knew that was there?

Our last challenge/task of the day was to go to the SL Cemetary and using a map that was provided to our team find the headstones of the 11 prophets that are buried there. This was the only challenge that I didn't physically do with them and I really wanted to do it but some leaders revised the challenge and dropped their team off at the top or bottom and then picked them up on the other side when their team finished. So to be fair I did the same.

Youth Conference

For our ward's youth conference this year we called it "The Great Pursuit" modeled after the reality show "The Amazing Race".

There were several leaders involved in the planning and many more leaders and volunteers from our ward to carry it out. We all felt like it went really well and most things went as planned. WE only had to make minor changes here and there.
I was a team leader on Thursday and my team was the blue team. Our team name was "blue thunder" and our motto was "we will blast you asunder."

We went to This is the place" monument first and the team had to answer 15 trivia questions about things around the monument.

Then 3 teams went to the Humanitarian Room at Welfare Square and put together school kits. This is a great service project and I'm sure we'll go there again for an activity night.

Next our team went to the DUP Museum and have to do a trivia questionaire that the 4th graders usually come to do on a fieldtrip. There are an amazing amount of artifacts at that museum. It was too bad we were racing and couldn't really look at everything.

Happy 24th

We had a pretty kick back holiday. I got up in the morning and went running with one of my friends and then came home and finished reading a book. (The first book I've finished this summer - pathetic, I know). I watched almost the whole parade and even got all the trivia questions answered and entered the contest. Now I'm just waiting for KSL to call to tell me I won.:) It was fun to see Melinda's son marching with Riverton H.S.
Then our family (except for Justin and Brooke) went swimming at Paul's parents' community pool. It's so much fun to take Jared and Kamryn swimming (a little overwhelming too when they're both jumping in at the same time). They are both quite the little fish and are learning to do a little swimming on their own between Paul and me.
After swimming we visited with Paul's cousin, Dan Truman of Diamond Rio fame and The Nashville Tribute Band fame. He always has great stories to tell. He was in town for the NTB to perform their Trek concert.

Taylor waiting for Kamryn to jump in.

Jared and Kamryn both wanting to jump in to their dad. They preferred their dad and only wanted to jump to him. That was great for me.

Paul holding Kamryn while he waits for Jared to jump in.

This is the only picture I got at the parade.
Kamryn watching the sheriff posse ride their motorcycles.

In the afternoon we went to the Butlerville Days parade. It gets bigger every year and this year I couldn't believe how many people were out to watch the parade. The kids love collecting candy and Kamryn loved seeing all the "princesses" on the floats.
After the parade we went over to the field for the rest of the festivities. This was the first year that Jared and Kamryn realized their were things to do. I bought a bunch of tickets and went on the big blow up slides with them. They were just a little too young for most of the things there but there was one slide they loved and we went on it several times.
My big kids do their own thing and have fun hanging out with their friends. Justin and his friend entered the sand castle building contest and won 1st place ($25 gift card to Target). I didn't get to see it last night but his friends got pictures so hopefully they'll send to me and I'll post them later.
Hope everyone out there enjoyed the holiday too.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Bear Lake

My kids and I went up there (poor Paul had to work as usual) on Monday and Tuesday. We were up there with my mom's family - aunts, one uncle, my sister and her family and some of my nieces. More family arrived on Tuesday just before we had to leave. We had traded our cabin to use my mom's relatives cabins right by the lake. We spent several hours there on Monday and most of the day on Tuesday. It was a blast just watching all the little kids have a good time playing in the sand and the water. I had so much fun using my aunt's awesome camera. She took a bunch of pictures on Monday before she realized she didn't have a memory card in her camera. On Tuesday we took almost 500 pictures!

These are some of my favorites.

Justin a.k.a. "moses" or "triumphant warrior"

My aunt caught this great shot of Kamryn


Brooke will kill me for putting this on there.

Jared having a great time.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Catching up

So I've been wanting to catch up on several posts I've had in my mind.
First of all, the cannery.
My parents are serving a mission there and arranged for our family to do a canning day there Memorial Day weekend.

Brooke was a great help and I never could have gotten it all done by myself. Next time I'm going to bring Justin and Taylor too.
My sister and her family came and so did my sister-in-law and her oldest son. We just divided up all the items we wanted to can and then did enough of one item for everyone.
The worst to can were the dried onions. And the powdered milk sure made a mess.

I love this picture of my mom and my daughter.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Scrapbooking Weekend

Check out this post to see what i did over the weekend. It was a great get-away and I think we should do it more than once a year.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


I am so behind in my blogging. This summer has been way too busy and crazy and I never have time to sit down and post. We are up at our cabin all week and it would be a perfect time to sit down and catch up but there's no internet service up there. (I'm home for the morning because I did my long run with my buddies this morning and then I'm heading back up to the cabin until Friday afternoon).
I have so much to catch up that I made a list. So here's what's coming hopefully next week:
**Brooke's birthday
**The twins on Flag Day
**Justin's eagle project slide show - it's done I just couldn't get it to load
**Girl's camp