Monday, August 28, 2017

First Week of School!

I'm glad we had a few days at home after our trip. It was good to get back into appropriate bedtimes, healthy food, have all the laundry done and to get to go to the park a few more times!

Sunday we went to our favorite Vista Park (aka the zipline park) and played until bedtime. The boys had so much fun swinging, sliding and generally reaping havoc.

Brooklyn had fun with Dave too!

Logan is working up to climbing all the way to the top of this. He was pretty proud of himself for  getting up so high.

Monday was the first day of school! I didn't want to let Logan go. Last year the first day of school was a few weeks after Brooklyn was born and life was so overwhelming for me that it was a relief to have one less kid to worry about. But this year I am still pretty sad that I don't get to be with Logan for most of the day.

But he had a great first day of school! He was nervous about eating lunch at school, but realized he could sit with his friends (even the ones not in my class Mom!) so he now he enjoys eating lunch at school.

He was also excited to find out he got to go to art class on Mondays. The day was great for him! His whole school were given eclipse glasses and got to go outside to watch the eclipse. They got TWO recesses and he really liked his new teacher.

Dustin and I got to watch the eclipse from our front yard. It was pretty awesome to see! Dustin was so impressed that he insisted everyone that walk by borrow his glasses so they could see the eclipse too. He even ran next door to make sure our neighbor Joe got to see what was going on.

Brooklyn slept through the eclipse. She didn't care that she missed it. As long as she doesn't miss a meal she is happy.

These are some pictures my Uncle James took with his telescope from my parent's house. We wish we could have joined them, but with the first day of school being the same day, we didn't want Logan to miss.

After we picked Logan up from school we walked over to McDonalds for an ice cream cone! The kids cones were HUGE! Even Brooklyn got a big one. It was a fun way to end the school day and we might just make a tradition out of it.

Tuesday Logan asked if he could walk home from school by himself. I stood out in the front yard (from which I can see the door he leaves the school) and watched him walk home. But Wednesday I picked him up from school. He really missed us on Wednesday. He wished he didn't have to go to school ALL day.

Friday he asked if he could bring a rose to school on Monday to give to his friend Evelyn. He was so glad she is in his class! Usually when he asks to pick flowers it's for me. I've been usurped!

Dustin really missed his brother too! Well, it's more of a love hate relation between Logan being gone. Sometimes he loves being the big kid in the house and all the extra attention from Mom, but sometimes he really misses building legos or tinker toys with his brother. Brooklyn tries to play with him, but she's just not as fun yet.

My friend Tenille came down from Idaho to visit me this week too! She wanted to collect some quilting patterns before the Row by Row ended, pin a quilt, and get some delicious Mexican Baked goods. We were able to accomplish all of the above in the 24 hours she was here. It was great to see her, catch up and do some quilting. I haven't really done much fun sewing in a long time!

The weekend went by in a blur. Saturday we finally got around to painting the upstairs bathtub. It's been chipping a little here and there for years. We suspect the previous owner refinished the tub and his painting was wearing off. While we started doing construction on the basement bathroom, the upstairs tub really started to chip bad. But since the basement bathroom was SO much work, especially with 3 young kids, we decided to sand down the upstairs tub and repaint it yet again. I just can't handle another remodel in the next 4 years or so. The pain is supposed to last 4 to 10 years, so we figure we're good for a little while longer.

Anyway, the tub needed 3 coats, all of which got done Saturday. It really stinks, and we can't use it until Wednesday. I guess we need calk and replace the drain before we can use it, but those will be easy. I'll probably also remove the calk from around the toilet too. Might as well do it all at once.

Sunday was a bit crazy too! Dave got a new calling last week to be the Ward Clerk. He has been Ward Clerk before in our Singles Ward, but a family ward is a LOT more work, so he still feels like he has a lot to learn. Anyway, Sunday morning he was gone by 7:30. He got back from church at 2:00. I think in the future we'll make lunches for he and I so he can bring it to church with him and I have something easy to eat while prepping the kid's food.

Dave's friend Darren invited us to go up to his Mom's cabin for the day, so after Dave got home we headed up past Park City. It was nice to be up in the mountains and enjoy nature. We saw two moose, deer, squirrels, and the boys say they saw a raccoon. Dave and Darren took the boys on two for-wheeler rides. I didn't think Brooklyn was quite old enough for a ride, so we hung out at the cabin with Darren's mom Suzanne (who is also in our ward).

It was very relaxing and when it was time to head home the boys begged to spend the night because "We love it here! Whenever we go to a cabin it's for many days! They have lots of beds for sleeping! This room even has two little beds and a big one which would be perfect for our family. Well except Brooklyn... Maybe you can share a bed with her." They fell asleep on the ride home, and easily transferred into their beds when we arrived.

Today Dustin and I are just playing catchup. He has been helping me clean the living room, wash clothes, and get things prepped for dinner. I'm hoping next weekend will be a more relaxing weekend, and since it's a long one it might be possible!

Friday, August 18, 2017

Wyoming, Rushmore, and Brooklyn's Birthday!

We spent a week adventuring! Friday after Dave got off work we headed out of town and made the 6 hour drive to my parent's house in Wyoming. It was a rough drive. The boys were great but Brooklyn was devastated that she had to be locked in her carseat for that long.

Brooklyn turned one the Sunday we were on vacation! I forgot to get a picture of her eating her cake... but it was delicious. I did get a few pictures of her opening her gifts.

She loves wearing and chewing on this silicone necklace and she really loves making her new baby dance. It's pretty funny to see her grab the baby by her arms and prance her around while she sings a gibberish song.

Saturday morning we got up early and drove to Custer, South Dakota. We threw our stuff in our hotel, went for a brief swim in the pool, decided it was too cold to swim in the pool, and decided it was the perfect temperature for a hike. Logan also impressed us yet again with his swimming skills.

The pool had two water slides, one large and one tiny. As Papa was looking for towels, Logan decided to take the kiddy slide into the pool. He quickly found out the kiddy slide led to the deep end and the large slide led to the shallows. Go figure. But he was able to tread water until I was able to run across the parking lot and save him (with Brooklyn in my arms). Needless to say we are very grateful he had swimming lessons this summer.

On our way to Sylvan Lake we drove by the Crazy Horse Monument. It's impressive to see from the road. You could see the construction vehicles on top of the arm. Apparently they started this monument in the 40's and didn't finish it. Similarly Rushmore did not getting finished, but those that own Crazy Horse are slowly working on completing it. We didn't go see it, but when finished it should be very impressive.

We got to travel on the Needles Highway while heading to Sylvan Lake. It's really neat because in several places the builders dug through the rock to fit vehicles.

We were all shocked by how beautiful Sylvan Lake was! It looked almost staged. I found out later it was used in National Treasure: Book of Secrets, so totally perfect for a movie.

I don't know why, but about 6 months ago Dustin got shy. This is a shocker since he is the goofiest kid in the world and had no fear prior to this point. So you'll notice he will only be in pictures someone who knows him takes.

The boys had a blast re-using their shell collection bags from our NC trip as rock collecting bags.

Brooklyn didn't want to sit in the baby backpack so she found a hiking buddy willing to carry her.

The view all the way around the lake was stunning! Usually I don't enjoy highly traveled trails and hikes, but I couldn't help but love this one. If we were to go back I would spend more time exploring Custer State Park.

There were little steping stones that we crossed, bridges, and boardwalks. The trails were lined with wild mint and raspberry bushes (both of which we indulged in). Brooklyn liked the minty smell although she didn't like eating the leaves.

The boys loved all the crevices and natural caves! It was perfect for exploring.

It started raining which brought the temperature down. But coming from 100 degree weather that didn't even get below 80 at night, we were happy for the 70 degree weather! Papa made sure Brooklyn didn't get too cold.

As we rounded the last curve of the lake we found cattails! Logan told us they are really called bulrushes and I told the boys about how Craig Poulson had us eat the white part at the base of the cattails as a kid. To which I was remind that we shouldn't be picking things in a State Park (not that it was mentioned when mint and raspberries were on the menu).

There was a wedding taking place right around the bend and there was kayak rental beside that.

Leaving the park we decided to take the scenic rout that was a little longer and let us drive through two more keyholes.

It was fun to see the tunnels! The boys told us this one had a skylight and there were hikers waving at them through Grandma's sunroof. We didn't see it in our car, but they got to shout and wave at the hikers!

These last few shots I like to call the Drive By Shooting series. I took them all from the window of the car as we drove.

We stopped at one of the scenic overlooks to get these killer shots.

We found out as we were driving that the big Sturgis motorcycle rally was taking place the same week we were in South Dakota so we saw a TON of motorcycles as we traveled. Fortunately it didn't seem to negatively impact traffic. And although they were rowdy, they were mostly nice.

We also got to see Mt Rushmore. We found out it's not a National Park, it's a National Monument. Which means you have to pay for parking. It was quite impressive! When we got there we listened to half a presentation on how it was made. Then the boys were itching to get hiking!

We enjoyed seeing the mountain from odd angles.

We learned the origional plan for the Monument included shoulders and partial torsos but eventually the project ran out of funding. So you're stuck with just the heads. They have a museum that shows a model of what the sculpture was going to look like. Also, behind Lincoln's face is a hidden room that was going to be a museum but never happened. The room is there though.

The boys were great hikers! I don't think they had to be carried on any of this hike (or if they did I wasn't the one doing the carrying).

Brooklyn was surprisingly good too! She missed several naps, but was still pretty happy. We had a picnic lunch  in the parking lot then decided to head to Jewel Cave.

Jewel Cave is the third longest cave in the world and the coolest part is it was covered in jewels. We didn't get any great pictures of them sparkling but they did.

There were a lot of cool formations, but unfortunately the kids wanted to keep moving instead of  stopping to talk about things. So it made for a more challenging tour.

Brooklyn was especially not happy to be in the cave but we survived.

The cave had a super long soda straw. They usually break off long before this one (still in once piece).

No cave is complete without cave bacon.

Afterwards we went for ice cream and pie shop and enjoyed the sweets. They also had a purple pig out front that we had to take a ride on.

We headed home the next day and spend the evening relaxing after so much driving! But the following day we just HAD to check out an indoor trampoline park. The boys and Dave got TWO hours of jumping in (because if it's two for one Tuesdays, you just have to get your money worth). Brooklyn mostly stuck to the foam pit. She enjoyed bouncing a little with Dave too.

The boys were non stop balls of energy. So much so that all the pictures I got of them pretty much looked like this. They had a blast and slept well that night. We also enjoyed talking with my parents and having so much time catching up. It's sad not getting to see them as often now that they live in Wyoming, so we made sure to use up all the time we had. But by the time we headed home we were glad to sleep in our own beds again.