Monday, April 4, 2022

Escalante for Spring Break

We've been so busy lately! I guess that's always the case, but it seems like I just can't get caught up. We had a lot of sickness, and I had surgery at the beginning of the year, so that probably was a major factor in the craziness

But we decided we needed a little get away so we scheduled a trip for spring break. Dave's work just started a program where they want to encourage their employees to go on vacation so they give $300 reimbursement a quarter for you to take a trip. You can save the money up or spend it quarterly. This is a very exciting perk to us and we hope to go on more trips as a result

We were pleasantly surprised with out hotel. The room was nice, it had an indoor pool and hot tub the kids enjoyed for at least 2 hours a day, and a complimentary cooked breakfast "with sausage! and bacon!" Apparently I don't feed my kids enough breakfast meats

We woke up each morning, ate breakfast, packed a sack lunch/snacks and headed out for a full day of hiking. It was exhausting but we saw some awesome scenery and wild life. On our first hike we almost stepped on this snake in the middle of the trail. Dave wanted to catch it, but I was pretty sure it was a rattle snake so I convinced the kids to leave it alone. My adventurous husband decided he wanted to touch it (since he wasn't convinced it was a rattle snake) but fortunately he didn't get bit or anything. Google says it was a Midget Faded Rattlesnake so I'm glad we were cautious

The kids LOVED the plethora of trail cairns in Escalante! There were almost no trail markers or signs so we really had to pay attention to make sure we were on the trail. They added a rock to the top of each one we passed

We decided it was in our best interest to do our longest hike first. It was 6.5 miles round trip and wove it's way through two different slot canyons. They were awesome! It reminded me of a combination of Moab and Antelope Canyon. What I loved about this one though was nobody else was on the hike with us. We saw people on the trails before and after but while we were in the canyon we didn't run into anyone. It was very cool

The kids loved the twisting and turning and especially that it was easier for them to get through than for Dave and I. I loved the arches! I've never been in a slot like this before and it was fun

Brooklyn thought she was hot stuff, running through the slots! We couldn't keep up with her since it was so much harder for us big people to squeeze through. The first canyon, Peakaboo was the kids favorite

They especially loved running ahead to where the canyon opened up a bit and hid in there to scare the next of us to hike through

The second canyon, Spooky Canyon was not enjoyed by the kids. It was a tight fit and would have been horrible if you were claustrophobic. We were pressed up against both walls, sliding through at some points. We had to decide several times whether to go up or down and hope we made the right choice (because backtracking in the narrow canyon was difficult) 

At one point Brooklyn made the wrong choice and tried to climb under a boulder when she should have gone over and she got stuck. This made it her "worst hike ever" but we survived

The next hike we took was to the Devil's Garden. To call it a hike is a stretch. You can see the garden from the parking lot but the kids had a blast climbing up every monolith they came across. We spent several hours exploring and naming each formation

Dustin loves to climb! He has ever sense he was a baby (by two he could scale our freestanding fridge to get to the candy I would hide on top). Since I'm a climber I love this most of the time, but he can make me nervous too. As my wild child I'll turn around to help someone and turn back around to find him at the top of something with no idea how to get back down

So we decided our next adventure needs to be a rock climbing expedition. The trickiest part for Dustin is he is scared of heights. So I think learning to climb will give him confidence and help him overcome this fear

When prepping for our trip we were looking at the different hikes available and the kids were SO excited to see the pictographs and petroglyphs! So we made sure to do the 100 hand hike that had both. They LOVED the animal depictions and were pretty upset someone had tried to steal them at some point

Way up high on a cliff the indigenous people at one point painted several hands to represent each member of their tribe. The kids counted and there weren't exactly 100 hands. They were quite impressed although we couldn't figure out how to safely get up closer to these for a better view

These were the boys favorite petroglyphs. It's supposed to be warriors and a Shaman but it reminds them of characters of a video game Dave plays. Clearly the indigenous people were well aware of the video games of the future

We had to scramble up and down a bit of a climb to get close to these, but the kids just had to see them up close, and I wanted to see them up close too

Next up we hit Singing Canyon. It also wasn't a long hike, but the kids loved yelling and singing with their echos. They also loved bouldering up both sides of the canyon. Dustin climbed up a rather tricky area and got stuck, realized how high up he was and freaked out. I was able to calm him down and talk him down the climb but he was pretty upset for a minute there. I learned on this trip how difficult it is to teach a scared kid how to down climb 

Our last hike of the trip was to the Upper Calf Creek Falls. Dave really wanted to do a different waterfall hike but it was something like 7 miles in and I knew we wouldn't make it. So we decided to do this 2 mile hike to a easier to access waterfall

As we started the hike it was raining, and we noticed we were going steeply downhill. Everyone was complaining about how tough the hike was (which didn't bode well for the return trip)

We finally arrived, enjoyed the view and ate our lunch. The waterfall was beautiful although Dave and Dustin decided it was too cold to swim this time (yes, they tested the water just incase).

We decided to take a different approach for the hike back. We decided it wasn't much fun to hike when we were complaining, so the "winner" of this hike was going to be the family member that was the happiest the entire hike back. This helped us to go slow, and enjoy the journey a little more

Dave and the kids found a lizard and were able to catch it! They loved holding it and named it

They also discovered if you throw a piece of sandstone it will crumble into sand. They would find small pieces and throw them. They called them their happiness rocks and any time one of them tripped or was having a tough time the other two would find a happiness rock to help cheer the other kid up. Dustin started carrying emergency rocks "just incase"

The day before the trip I discovered a bruise on the arch of my foot. No idea how it got there, but it made for painful hiking, especially the first two days. It got more ugly as the trip went on, but hurt less over time

 Over all it was a great escape full of great scenery. I would like to go back some day without the kids so we could explore some of the longer hikes

Thursday, December 30, 2021

Halloween to Christmas


I ran out of photo memory on my phone, which made me realize it was time to catch up on the blog. I don't journal, so if I want a record I have to record it here. The kids had a blast over Halloween! They each wore about 3 costumes. One to school, one to the trunk or treat and one trick or treating (since this year fell on a Sunday, we got a little trick or treating in both Saturday and Sunday

Dustin had fun chasing his friends around at school as a zombie. He came up with this idea the night  before.

Logan went as an Enderman from Minecraft. He didn't love any of the costumes he found online, so we made this one ourselves. It was tricky to figure out how to keep it on his head, but it worked out! He carried around a square treasure chest box he created for Valentines day a few years ago to collect candy. He was quite pleased with his hard work

Brooklyn was a princess at school, a fairy at church and Something else trick or treating. She loves all things beautiful, so the more opportunities to wear beautiful things, the better

We got the opportunity to watch Amigo for 3 weeks and the kids LOVED having a dog! Brooklyn was so sad on his last day that he was going home, she carried him around all day and got in extra snuggles. He was happy to let her carry him and enjoyed the extra love. The boys decided they didn't like walking a dog when sick or in the rain/snow but other than that they enjoyed our temporary pet

Dustin turned 8 in November! He had a huge, wild friend party! Those kids had so much energy and had a blast! He invited several boys and girls from his class and church and most of them were able to go. Dustin is a fiercely loyal friend and always watching out for everyone around him.

He also choose to baptized and confirmed a member of the church. He was excited to get to choose a dessert to eat after, and received a set of scriptures after.

Logan worked with his friend Michael on Science & Engineering Fair this year! They made a holograph maachine and tested out different theories about how well it would work (with different color filters, in the light or dark, etc). They won second place, and we were so proud of them! 

I wasn't able to attend the actual Science Fair because I was having surgery (correct deviated septum in both directions and remove a bone spur growing off the side of the deviated septum). But Grandma & Grandpa said they did a great presentation.

Funny story, I recently cracked one of my teeth from nighttime grinding/clenching and they did a 3D x-ray of my skull to see my bone density. While they were looking at my teeth the tech exclaimed "WOW! You have such a perfect nose (pointing at my newly healed septum). I've never seen such a beautiful nose" to which I responded "It better be! I payed enough for it!" which looking back she probably had a nose job. But it was pretty funny

Brooklyn has been loving living close to the cousins! She's so happy to get her girl time in as often as possible

This Christmas the kids all decided to make stuffed animals for each other. So they all created something for each other. They were all so proud of their work!

We were so excited to get to go to temple square again this year! We've missed the lights for the past two years. We got to explore with my parents, Dan and Mike and Sheila's families.

The kids all sang a song in a musical Christmas performance. Unfortunately the boy's songs were too long to upload onto this.

The kids got to participate in a Christmas pageant at church this year too. They had a blast practicing and performing!

Dustin was a shepherd with his cousins Rea and Gideon. The sheep were WILD and the shepherds had a tough job chasing those sheep around and keeping them in line. It was HILARIOUS to watch them yell at the kids and try to heard them

Logan got to be one of the three kings. He did a great job and was so glad he didn't have to be Joseph

Brooklyn was an angel and she was super happy she got to dress up beautiful with the big girls!

I think it was over Christmas we finished our master bathroom. I love how it turned out and I love having our own little bathroom! It's so nice to not have to share with the kids. I have the fancy soap in there and the kids refuse to use that bathroom because there is no lock on the door! Best kid deterrent ever. Who knew?