Monday, September 19, 2011


Eve turned the big 6 this year! She was super excited about her birthday this year. She did get confused about her "real" birthday and friends party, since they were not on the same day it end caused some tears but in the end everything worked out.

Her party was a Hello Kitty party this year. We played Hello Kitty, Hello Kitty; where one person would hide Eve's stuffed animal hello kitty while everyone else was out of the room and then they would enter the room again and try to find it.
I have to mention my score at the dollar spot. Yes, those lunch boxes were at the Dollar spot in Target! Perfect timing!

We played meow; where everyone sits in a circle and one person sits in the middle with their eyes closed. Once the center child has their eyes closed everyone switches places and then the child with their eyes closed points in one direction. Whichever child they point at in the circle says "meow, meow" and the center child has to guess who it is.
We played a couple more games and then had cake. I was a little bummed that it didn't turn out as well as the one I made on her real birthday, but she still liked it :)


I really can't believe my daughter turned 11 this year! It is really crazy and hard to wrap my head around! Next year she will be able to start participating in our youth program at church which is CRAZY!

School started the day before her birthday this year. Kates was super excited to start another year and be able to see her friends on a daily basis.

Kaitlyn's cake was not my best looking cake this year, but it sure was tasty! She requested chocolate cake with ganache frosting, she is definitely my girl!

Instead of a party this year she opted for a sleepover with her two best friends. We had to do them on separate weekends because of scheduling conflicts. Lauren was able to come spend the night on Kaitlyn's real birthday. We did a bunch of crafts and had cake!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Mount Rushmore

On our way home from Utah Ryan asked if I wanted to take a detour and see Mount Rushmore. I said sure but was a little hesitant because I didn't know how much time it would tack onto our already long trip. It ended up just adding a few hours and was a fun little break in the long drive. We arrived around dinner time and let the kids run around a little and took some pictures and then we were back on our way. I've always wanted to see this landmark! I am glad we were able to make the stop!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Loafer Mountain Hike

Reuben just loves Cub scouts and especially the day camp. Well, this year there was a scheduling mix up and he didn't get to go. I told him that instead of going to day camp, why don't we talk to Grandpa and see if he and a couple uncles want to go backpacking while we are in Utah. He got extremely excited about it. What turned out even cooler was the fact that Grandpa got on the phone with all of my brothers, turning it into a spontaneous family reunion. Jason and his family drove in from Texas, which was a real treat. Mark, and his family, are now living in Utah Valley, after being in New Zealand for 4+ years. So after 5 years we were all, once again, reunited. It made for an exciting week.
For the hike we decided it would be fun to hike the Loafer Mtn Trail, just like when we were kids. Unfortunately, Daniel decided to develop a medical condition which necessitated a shoulder surgery. He was unable to attend our overnight excursion, doctors orders.

Here are a multitude of pictures from the hike.

Reuben with his cousin Jonah, with Aunt Sherrie in the back. These three lead the pack the entire day. They did awesome. We all remembered the hike to be about 4 miles to the top of the mountain. It was, however, 7 miles. Ooops!

The views, all of the way up, were simply spectacular. This is Reuben, of course, with Mt. Nebo in the distance just off his left shoulder.

Grandpa and Reuben.

Objective one: Reach the saddle on the ridge (Grandpa is pointing to the saddle). Uggh! It was a climb straight up the mountain side. NO SWITCHBACKS.

Reuben, Mark, and Aunt Sherrie in one of the many mini breaks working our way up to the saddle.

Jason, Matt, and Devin bringing up the rear. It looks like they will just fall off the world. Still working our way to the saddle.

Yip still working toward the saddle. This push for the saddle is a whole lot longer than I remembered.

There were dozens of wildflower varieties in full bloom. It was gorgeous. This is one of the 2 short switch backs heading to the saddle.

Objective one: complete. Grandpa and his sister, Aunt Sherrie, posing in the saddle. Aunt Sherrie is trying to demonstrate her age, 60. She doesn't realize it is backwards to us. We won't confuse her. Grandpa turned 61 on the second day of the hike.

Objective 2: Reach the camp location. A saddle behind the top of the mountain. Reuben is pointing to the top in this picture. The saddle for camp is in the "V" right over his right shoulder.

Mark and his son, Jonah.

Reuben and Jonah. We took a long "packs off" break in the first saddle on the ridge.

The whole gang (minus one brother: Daniel).

Now we make a push for camp destination. We have to work our way along the ridge toward the top of the mountain.

This is where we say good-bye to Aunt Sherrie. It was great to have her along for the first part.

At this point we were starting to run dangerously low on water. There are frequently glaciers on the back side of the mountain and even the north side of the ridge. We, however had not seen any sign of snow to this point. We starting getting nervous that there may not be any. Luckily about 300 meters from the camp site we found a glacier which we were able to get some water from.



Uncle Matt brought a sling shot, which Jonah and Reuben just loved and shot every tree in site from the camp area.

Unfortunately this picture doesn't do this sight justice. We camped in a saddle just behind the top of the mountain. We had the most amazing view of the valley and other wilderness areas to the north. It was breathtaking, literally. The height of this saddle is approx. 10,000 feet above sea level.

Another view of our camp.

Mark and Jonah.

The overnight gang.

The top. This is, unfortunately, the closest we were able to get to the top. We had run out of time.

Going back down. Reuben and Jonah lead the charge.

Sego Lily: the Utah state flower. Just about the only place you can find it is in higher elevations. (Sorry for the blurry picture)

Today's Objective: get to the cars. Here Reuben points to where the cars are.

About an hour from reaching the cars, Aunt Sherrie met us with a gallon of orange juice. She said she ran out of water on her back the day before, and said all she could think about was how great it would be to have some orange juice. We all appreciated her thoughtfulness.
This was a very memorable trip which I will not soon forget. We had such a good time with my brothers, dad, aunt, and cousin. Not to mention the time Reuben and I got to spend together was priceless. I think Reuben is hooked on hiking, and I love it!! I have to give Reuben huge props. He carried his own pack with sleeping bag, water, clothes, ground cover the entire time without a single complaint. I'm so very proud of him.