This is Jackson and I. We all hiked from our house to the Battlecreek Waterfall. It is a great hike. A little tough with 40 pounds on your back...but I am always up for a work out!
It is a tradition for Andy to take pictures this way. He took a picture like this with his scouts last year just minutes before his accident and he has been doing it ever since.
Jackson and Jenae! Our campsite was like a really big house with vaulted ceilings. We had a sitting area down by the back of the van that I would classify as the Kitchen. We would all hang out there during the day and at night we headed up to the table and fire pit for an evening around the fire. I forgot to mention that the first day we had two thunder showers. The first one we managed to keep everything dry and we sat under our "porch" and waited it out. The other one...everything got soaked and muddy and we spent a long time drying chairs over the fire.
This was one of their tree houses in the making. Michael worked so long and hard on all those lashing that his hands were so sore. I carved sticks so long that my hands hurt too! How fun is that to get sore from whittling and not because you cut yourself!
They would keep rebuilding their crows nest to see how high up in the trees they could get it. It was fun to watch.
This is our nieces - Chantel on the left and Celeste on the right and Tiffany in the middle. They are all so beautiful...inside and out!
This is when we finally arrived at Stewart Falls. It is a favorite hike of our family.
Roasting Smo's by the fire!
Cleaning up the campsite
Andy relaxing for the first in forever!
One of the best things I learned in Ukraine...give the kids the camera and you get some really fun shots!
Relaxing and talking...good family fun!
This was Tyler's last crows nest and it was up there!
This was Jackson's birthday at the Creamery. We put candles in his ice cream and sang Happy Birthday to him. Good thing not too many people were around to hear us!
We were finally able to take a family vacation! Seeing that our old van can’t go too far this was probably the only real one we will have but boy was it G-R-E-A-T!!! I love camping! We went up the Provo Canyon to Aspen Grove. Well, the camp ground is actually called Timpanogos Camp Ground. It is so, so, so very beautiful there! We found a site that we thought was big enough for two tents. Turned out it was big enough for three. We borrowed two scout tents from our troop. Andy and I and the two littlest ones had a tent, Vitaliy, Sasha, Jason, Jenae and Dusty had our family tent and Michael and Tyler had one of the Scout tents. Tiffany was able to come up and spend one night with us so she slept in our tent. So…for one whole night we had our whole family together around the camp fire! Sniffle, sniffle…for a Mom that was an amazing night!
The boys spent much of their time lashing logs together and making tree houses and crow’s nest perches to sit in. It is a different world camping with teenage boys. They are very creative with ropes and trees! We also brought the BB guns and blow guns. Sasha was banned from both after several attempts to teach safety but while he did play with them he had fun. They killed many a large spider with the blow guns and had a lot of fun target shooting with the BB guns. We brought lots of junk food and ate ourselves crazy. That was fun too. You know, all that camping food….candy, cookies, pop tarts, jiffy pop pop corn (you have got to have that when camping). I love those little boxes of cereal to take camping. We always had those when I was growing up so we had to bring those. By the way…hard to find them…Macy’s sells them, in case anyone needs to know.
We invited my brother’s family to camp, too, and my mom even came up for an evening. We had my brother’s kids with us at our camp site and it was great to spend time with them. Our incredible niece, Chantel, leaves for her mission this Wednesday so it was a real treat to spend time with her.
We sat around for a whole day on Friday doing nothing but carving walking sticks, talking and having fun. It is probably the first time in who knows how long Andy has had a whole day to do nothing…it was heavenly!!!
On our last day we hiked to Stewart Falls. It is a four mile round trip that takes two hours. For those of you who haven’t done that hike it is wonderful. It is a great hike for kids of all ages.
The last few weeks we have focused on spending more quality fun time with the kids. It seems life gets so busy that we don’t always take the time to do that. We have gone swimming quite a bit at our community pool, hiking, and walking. We have taken them to the BYU Creamery a few times. As much as we are Ute Fans, the Creamery is to die for! It is so reasonable to take a big family for ice cream. Another favorite pass time is to go to Rock Canyon Park just above the Provo Temple at night time and play on the playground and the big grassy hill. Don’t know why we always end up there at night, but it is really fun to play on the playground at night.
In the last two weeks Jackson has turned four and Tyler has turned sixteen. We will be getting his driver’s license tomorrow. Cali turns six this week.
The new boys are enjoying all the hiking and outdoor fun. We still have our share of problems to smooth out but for the most part all is going really well. Their English is improving all the time. They started saying their times to pray in English. That was hard for them because they didn’t feel too confident in it but they are doing really well with it.
This has been a fun summer for our family and again, the camping trip was just the best! A couple more weeks till school starts but we plan to go camping a couple more times before the weather goes bad.
Andy and I celebrated (or at least wished each other) a happy anniversary the Friday we were camping. All I can say is life is good! No matter what happens, life is always good!