I Wonder Background


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let the fun begin!

So the crazy back to school schedule has begun at our house.  But we like it! We thrive on a schedule.  I like knowing where we're going and what we got going on.  I don't know what that says about me, but I accept whatever that means for me.  I'm not saying that life has slowed down at all, but now we just know what's coming our way.   

So the other day, Kace and the neighbor boy, Preston come in from playing outside and ask to do "that stomach video."  (Yes, I know my abs are not in P90X condition right now, but hey, ya gotta start somewhere, right?)  He and Chad had done the P90X Ab Ripper video with me the day before.  It's a killer.  So I was cracking up.  I humored them and myself by putting it in.  They both proceeded to take their shirts off.  Oh, the smack talk!  I've never heard so much from a couple of six year olds.  It was pretty funny!  They lasted less than five minutes, but long enough for me to get this cute pic.  Funny boys!

Kace is the only one in the house that hasn't had his first game of the season.  It is about to kill him.  His ego is bigger than the rest of the kids combined.  I know that's hard to imagine and I know that there is no question as to where he gets that from....cough, cough....Jeff.  It's pretty cute right now while he's little.  I just hope that someday he's able to back it up, or he might just get his butt kicked one of these days.  Jeff is his coach and they always practice at our house in the playing field in our yard.  Last week, while the weather is still nice, Jeff flooded the field and they played water football for practice.  They loved it!  That always makes for a good time.  This is Kace trying to outrun Preston.  Didn't make it, but they both ended up in the water giggling. 

Morgan had her first games yesterday at Taylorview Junior High in Idaho Falls.  They played Taylorview and Rocky Mountain.  Unfortunately, they lost both matches.  Morgan played well, though.  She is playing the position of libero.  She is really liking it and having lots of fun.  Since I forgot my camera yesterday, there are no pix of her in action yet.  This picture below is the one I used when I helped decorate the team's lockers before game day. 

On a side note about Morgan......a couple of weeks ago in church our young women sang a special musical number during sacrament meeting.  We had two different people come up and tell us that they didn't even recognize Morgan on the stand.  She had her hair down and straightened real pretty and she just looked grown up.  She is turning into quite a beautiful little lady.  She is loving Madison Junior High and has lots of friends.  She is in an Advanced English/Reading class that is right up her alley!  The reading list that she brought home, boggles my mind.  They are going to be reading LOTS of books, most of which I read in high school or later.  It's fun to watch her excel. 

This is a picture of Chad's football team before their first game.  The first game they lost.  We won't go into how bad the ref was....well maybe just for a second.  So Chad's team ran a play where the quarterback faked the ball to Chad and then ran outside.  Well, the fake was so good that the ref on the sideline blew his whistle and thought Chad had the ball under a pile of kids.  What he missed was our quarterback standing in the end zone with the football.   We lost by a touchdown.   I've never felt so much testosterone in all my life as I did that game standing on the sidelines surrounded by dads.  Wow!  I've never experienced football like this.  I think there's a reason why the stands are up and off the field.  I'll look forward to that day when I can sit in the stands and not right next to the field. But for now I'm enjoying it more than I thought I would.  As long as Chad doesn't get hurt.  He's pretty proud of his bruises.  It must be a guy thing....I don't get it.  But he is LOVING it!  Last night they beat Sandcreek 31-0 and Chad had 3 touchdowns!  He played so good.  I was a pretty proud mom and Jeff, well you can only imagine how proud he was!  

This is Taia serving the ball in her first varsity volleyball game as a Sophomore.  They played Idaho Falls and lost.  She played well, but they have some kinks to work out in their rotation.  So tonight they play Shelley and they are changing things up.  She might not be setting, she may be passing.  Passing was the problem last week.  She doesn't really care, she just wants to go to state.  So whatever she can do to help the team get there!  She just loves to play and she loves her team.  

The picture below is of her team at the fundraiser last Saturday.  They had a car wash and garage sale.  They made over $1000.  They felt pretty good about that.  They had fun doing it, too.  It was a lot of work, but worth it in the end.  What a bunch of hard working, fun girls! 

Life is Good!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

I Can Do Hard Things!

I reminded myself of something I've always known this weekend. I CAN do hard things! A couple months ago I signed up to do a 180+ mile relay with a group of 12 friends. We started in Ashton yesterday at 8:30 in the morning. We ran up to Island Park, wound our way through the back roads to Driggs, ran up to Grand Targhee and back down and then over the Jackson Pass to Teton Village. I've done this sort of thing twice before, but it had been a while. So I've been looking forward to and dreading this weekend for a while.

It is very physically taxing on your body, for a girl like me who hasn't been training as much as she should have been. I have been running, but with my crazy summer, I've sometimes found it hard to fit in. So needless to say I was a little worried. Not to mention that we were running right smack dab through the middle of bear, wolf, mountain lion, skunk and who knows what else country. If you know me at all, you might know that I have a pretty serious fear of wildlife. It's not because I've ever had a close encounter or anything- (other than the time when I was a little girl and my parents made me take the scrap bucket out after dark and I found a skunk waiting for me in the burn barrel, where I was supposed dumped it!) It's probably just from watching too many stories on Animal Planet or the Discovery Channel. So this caused me a fair amount of anxiety.

The weather was beautiful for a weekend of running through some of God's most beautiful country! (I can't believe I'm saying this, but at times it might have even been a little too warm.) I learned a lot this weekend. Here's just a few of those things.

1- Every new adventure should start with a prayer! It is so nice to be able so say a prayer with good friends! I know we were watched out for in a lot of ways and I'm thankful for that.

2- I love spending time with my sister. She was on my team and she did amazing! For the rest of her life when she drives over the Jackson Pass, she will be able to say, "I ran up this beast of a mountain!" Neither one of us really had time to take a break from our lives and do this relay, but I'm so glad we did!
3- True friends never abandon you and they help you through tough things! The first leg I ran was right through the middle of the forest. The sun was just starting to go down. It was still light, but the whole time I kept thinking that this is prime time for the wildlife to start being more active. Having first hand knowledge of my fear of critters, my sister and friends stayed right close to me in the car while I completed my 6.7 mile leg, giving me words of encouragement and water as needed. They kept the window down so that if I had to do my best "Dukes of Hazard" dive at any moment, because of some critter chasing after me I could! We supported each other through each leg of the race this way. I know I could turn to these same amazing women at difficult times in my life and they would stand by me!
4- God blesses us and watches out for us! Everyone kept telling us that we didn't need to worry about the wildlife in the middle of the day, because they are only active at night, and it was too hot during the day, blah, blah, blah. So in order to keep my anxiety under control, I allowed myself to believe them. As we sat at the finish line with other teams, we heard stories of their encounters with the "sleeping" wildlife. One team took a picture of a bear who had just been following a runner in front of them. Another team saw a bear cub on the side of the road, just after their runner passed by. Some runners heard wolves howling during their middle of the night runs where no vehicles were allowed because they were running on a trail. A support vehicle saw a wolf cross the road shortly before one of our runners emerged from said trail.
5- The sky in Driggs just before dusk is amazing! As I was running my second leg at about 4:45 in the morning, the sky was beautiful! This is actually what helped me get through this leg! I was running up the first part of the hill up to Grand Targhee ski resort. I wasn't too worried about wildlife at this point, because we were all of the sudden into a big group of runners and support vehicles. There was lots of traffic on the road, which I was convinced would scare away anything that was out to get me. As I was running, I was entertained by several falling stars. I couldn't help but bask in the beauty that surrounded me! The sun wasn't up, but the moon was out enough that I could see the silhouette of the mountains in front of me. The sky was clear and I could see the millions of stars shining down on me. Somehow I forgot about the monster hill that I was running up and just enjoyed the moment! This was probably one of my favorite parts of the weekend!

6- Campers are amazing! One of our teammates had a camper and her husband pulled it up near Driggs so that we could use it to try and sleep in between our legs. At first, I thought that we would probably never use it....boy was I wrong. We spent a little time there twice, while the girls in the other vehicle were running their legs. Even though I wasn't able to shut my head off long enough to sleep during our first stint in the camper, it was so nice to be able to stretch out on a bed, use a toilet that was not an outhouse or the tree, and have some warm water to wash my face. Sleeping was successful the second time around and never more welcomed or needed. Even though it only lasted for about 2 hours, it was amazing!
7- We live in a beautiful place! This is just one of the many beautiful views we enjoyed this weekend!
8- The simple pleasures in life are the best! Oh, how good a nice warm shower feels! Blister pads are great! Water, water and more water! Laughter is fulfilling! Words of encouragement really DO help others! Fresh air. Wild flowers. Supportive texts from family members mean a lot. Sleep in your own bed is the best! (Which is what I'm going to do now!) LIFE IS GOOD!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Summer Fun!

Even though we have been cRaZy busy this summer, we have still made some time to have a little fun. On Memorial Day we took a little trip out to the Civil Defense Caves about 20 miles north of our house. Jeff and the three youngest had never been there before. So it was a little adventure that we enjoyed. My mom came with us. There was a serious storm raging outside while we were in the cave and we didn't even know until we emerged from the cave to find an inch of hail on the ground.
This is my mom and I.
This is the kids posing at the mouth of the cave. Since this trip, we have gone a couple other times. Once with our Nevada cousins when they came to visit. Then Mataia went out with a college friend of ours and a bunch of her friends. They took glow sticks, broke them open and splattered them all over themselves and then they played hide and seek in the pitch black cave. I took a group of her friends out again yesterday to do that again for her birthday party.

This is us and the Nevada Rodericks at the mouth of the Civil Defense Caves.

We went geocaching while the Nevada Rods were here. We found this one near the River Bottoms not far from our house.
The kids tie-dyed t-shirts with the Nevada Rods, too. It was fun. They all came up with a different and colorful design.

One weekend Morgan had a softball tournament in Driggs, which is near Grand Targhee Ski Resort. We got a season pass for this winter to go skiing, so while Morgan had a break, Jeff and I drove up to the ski resort to get our passes. It was the last weekend in June and the ski lift was still running. People were skiing in the shorts and t-shirts. So we rode the ski lift up to the top and enjoyed the ride and the view. When we got back, Morgan was wishing she had come with us instead of waiting at the ball field with her friends!

We spent the 4th of July weekend in Provo, Utah. While we were there we stopped at Bridal Veil Falls in the Provo Canyon and hiked up near the falls. The kids played in the water there for a little while. The water was refreshing and the falls were gorgeous!

So the stop at Bridal Veil Falls was a spur of the moment thing and I wasn't really dressed for hiking. But I made it anyway!
We got tickets to Stadium of Fire at the BYU Lavell Edwards Stadium. We were really excited about this because David Archuleta and Brad Paisley were performing. The picture below is the kids in front of the Cougar statue outside the stadium.
Now if you look closely in the picture below, you will see DAVID ARCHULETA in the light colored shirt surrounded by his security people. It was so funny. We were standing inside the gates of the stadium and the girls were looking at concert t-shirts to buy as a souvenir. The door to the Cougar Club was right next to that and Morgan said she wondered what was in there. I was just teasing her and said that's probably where David and Brad probably were. Then the girls REALLY wanted to go in. Well what do you know, we are standing just outside the door and out walks David Archuleta! The girls were close enough to reach out and touch him if they could have kept their heads on straight. I thought they were both going to pass out without excitement! It was pretty funny! That moment made the whole trip for the girls!

Kace only lasted through the Star Spangled Banner and then he was out until the fireworks started. Don't ask me how he slept through the whole concert. It was LOUD! At least he got to see the parachute guys land inside the stadium and the fighter jet fly-bys. That was awesome. (Luckily, there were a couple empty spots next to us on the bleachers and he was able to stretch out.)

This was Kace trying to wake up for the fireworks.

The girls loved the concert- both David Archuleta and Brad Paisley. It was a great night and we loved spending it with our kids!

The next morning we hiked up to the "Y" on the mountain in Provo. We have talked about doing this for years, but have never taken the time to do it. It was worth the hike! What a beautiful view!!

The "Y" has special meaning in our family because this very spot below is where Jeff first learned about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He was sitting in this spot with his friend, Ty Ruddell. Jeff started asking Ty questions about the meaning of life and why we are here and where we are going. That was the beginning of what brought our family to where we are today! Had Jeff not continued to learn about the gospel and had he not decided to change a few things in his life and get baptized, we would not be here today. Jeff and I probably never would have met and I don't like to think about where I would be. So the "Y" on the mountain will always be a special place for our family! I'm glad we finally all got up there together!
Jeff was telling the kids the story of how he was converted to the Mormon church and how it all started right here. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints IS Jesus Christ's church on the earth today! We are so blessed! LIFE IS GOOD!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Kacer Babes!

For most of his life, Kace has been along for the ride following the other kids to their activities. This summer he was finally old enough to start playing tee-ball. He was a little more excited about this than me. That just adds one more thing to my list of things to do. He loves it. And he is pretty darn fun to watch. He's full of smack talk. (Don't know where he gets that from!) You can tell he has older siblings that he has watched before, because unlike most of the other kids in the league, he actually knew what to do with the ball if it came to him. He was very annoyed that he could only run one base on a hit....unless he was the last batter. The last batter always ran a home run. He was also annoyed if he actually got an out on a base and the runner didn't have to leave the field. I think he'll be ready for Pee Wee next year.

Check out that form!

Doesn't that make you want to just squeeze those cute little cheeks? We sure love this kid!

This is Kace jumping off a stairway at Shoshone Falls. He is just as big as everybody else and he's always out to prove it.
How handsome is that? This was the boys "patiently" waiting for Mataia to compete at State Track. We rewarded them with a dip in the pool at the hotel and dinner at Tucanos later that night.

At the end of the school year, the kindergarten class took a field trip to Idaho Falls to Tauphus Park Zoo. It was crazy! I swear every other kindergarten class in the whole valley was there that day, too. From my experience with my other kids on this field trip, I knew if I didn't want my kid to get lost in the shuffle, then I better volunteer to go. His class alone has 30 kids in it. So needless to say, I had my hands full just keeping track of him. He had fun, though. The above picture is of him and couple of his buddies on a toy in a play area of the zoo.
Look closely and you will see the cutest lil' eggplant ever! Yes, Kace was an eggplant in his Veggie Program at Kindergarten graduation. He had to learn two speaking parts that he recited with ease. Grandma Patti helped him with his eggplant costume and it was perfect!

Kace graduated from Kindergarten and we were very proud of him. He was such a handsome guy in his graduation cap!

When we went to Provo for the sports camps with the other kids, Kace and my niece, Libbie got some "mommy time" while the other kids were in camps. We found this really neat park near the temple in Provo that had this creek running through it. We waded in the water there. It was a great week filled with lots of fun!


(So since my last post.....I was trying to make a post on each of the boys, like I did for the girls. I didn't get it done because my computer freaked out on me and then I ran out of time. So better late than never....here's the update on Chad from this summer.)

On our trip to Boise for State Track we ate at one of our favorite Restaurants, Tucanos. Chad was brave and ate one of the chicken hearts on a dare from the rest of us. It was pretty funny to watch. He didn't like it, but he got it down. Funny stuff!
When we stopped in Hagerman, on our way home from Boise, Jeff was teasing the boys with this skull replica from some ancient animal that had huge jaws and long teeth!

Chad also went to Provo with us and attended the BYU football camp. He was really excited to get to play at Lavell Edwards Stadium. We have been there to watch games several times, so it was a real treat to play on the same field. It was a great week! He attended the camp with my nephew, Nathan.

He also played on a rec league baseball team. They started out a little slow at the beginning of the season, but ended up taking third place in the tournament. That was a lot of fun, even thought the weather was terrible for 90% of the games. He still had fun! Then he played on a traveling team that went to 3 more tournaments. They were not very successful in the amount of wins that they got, but it was a good experience and Chad improved a lot. The best part of that was that the weather had finally turned decent.
At the end of the school year, Chad was the lead in his school play. He was Tiger Shark. His friend and cousin, Kaiden was the Great White shark. They both did a great job memorizing a whole bunch of lines and acting their part. I was pretty proud of him!