Summer Staycation

August 2017

Blaine had two weeks off from school at the end of August.  So when everyone else went back to school, we started playing.  That is the beauty of homeschool is that you can do things like that. 

We spent time around our new stomping grounds, doing some things that we haven't had time to do since we moved here. 

One fun we did included a Provo Temple Trip, complete with learning more about Grandma Marilyn.  We also did a family race.  This is the 2nd year we have done this and it is a new favorite tradition.  We wear matching race shirts and set a race route for our family, might be different for each person.  Then we cheer everyone on and go out for donuts afterwards!  It was a ball and each of our little racers did awesome.  Little EJ played the cheerleader role.  She is the cutest cheerleader ever!

 ^These little kids are so fast!  Hyrum beat me fair and square.  And that Afty girl...she can run and run and run!  They are energizer bunnies!

 ^Isn't this just the cutest shot?

 ^This picture made me feel like I was in Fiji or something!

^This boy steals my heart.  Everyday. Period.  I loved that he was letting me take pics of him!

Yellowstone Get-A-Way

August 22-23, 2017

While we were up in Idaho, Blaine's mom watched our three older kids for a day so that Blaine and I could go on a little get-a-way to West Yellowstone.  We drove the upper loop of Yellowstone, something that was on our bucket list.  Ya know, we kind of figured out that Yellowstone is just not our favorite place in the world.  But we did have lots of time in the car to talk which was great therapy for us!  And just seeing the beautiful nature was fun too.  We also loved having some one-on-one time with little Eliza Jane.

 ^Isn't he so hansome?  I am in love!

 ^He is so charming, I had to put 2 pics of him on there.  I also love seeing him hold our sweet Eliza Jane!

^One of these days, I am determined to see a bear in the wild...while I am in my car.  Today we just saw buffalo and elk which was still cool.

Marsh Lake

August 2017

My family has gone to Marsh Lake off and on in the Uintahs since I was a toddler.  Whenever the words "Marsh Lake" are said, memories of fishing with my dad, fresh mountain air, exciting treasure hunts, canoeing, hearing my mom and Aunt Sherol laugh, and campfire fun fill my mind.

Even though camping with little ones is definitely more work than relaxation (I don't know how my mom and dad did it with 7 little kids), I was happy I got to spend a few days in the mountains with my little family, dad, and some of my siblings' families.  I had to remind myself that wonderful memories were being made, even when we didn't sleep for 2 days with crying babies.  But I will miss these times, right?! :)

The kids were in heaven playing and building with the sticks and logs they found.  My favorite moment was on the last day when my family sat by the lake and waded in it, taking in the last of the fresh mountain air for a few days.  Til' the next time we meet, good bye Ol' Marsh Lake.

Oh and a little side sister-in-law Katie came camping with her 4 little kids at 8 months pregnant!  She is such a trooper.  Can't say I would have been that brave!

 ^We had to have a cheesy maternity photoshoot!

 ^Bensy loved playing on the logs.  As a result, he came home with one very scraped up nose that took months to heal because he just couldn't leave it alone!

 ^The "cabin" that the kids spent many hours on.  

Soccer Fall 2017

September 2017

Blaine coached Hyrum's soccer team this Fall.  I was so proud of both of them, (Blaine for coaching a new sport) and Hyrum for working so hard and being so diligent.

The team Blaine coached didn't necessarily have the most wins or weren't the biggest or the strongest, but they had fun and laughed and had a lot of heart.  Plus they were hard little workers!

Something I did not expect was how intense some of the coaches of the other teams we played were. . Some were definitely screamers and others were just rude to the players.  I knew Blaine was awesome before we played these teams, but I was even more grateful after we played them, that Blaine encouraged hard work and having fun!  He was so positive with the players and kept his cool even when parents or the other team got a little crazy.

I was so proud of Hyrum specifically during one of the games.  He played goalie, and the other team scored on him. He came out smiling when this happened and gave the players "Good Job" and gave them a high five!  I couldn't have had a prouder Mom moment.  In this world where the "Dog Eat Dog" mentality often trumps all, Hyrum reminded me that it isn't all about the score.  Hard work  and being a good sport is what really matters.

 ^Hyrum as the best sport of all while being a goalie!

 ^Afty was excited to meet some little friends to play with during the games.

 ^I think Blaine tied this little boys' shoes 10 times each game!

^Dad and Son :)  I love that Hyrum is holding is squeeze-it.  The boys loved those things!

Total Eclipse

August 21, 2017

Blaine took his finals last week!  I am so proud of him for finishing his first semester of the PTA program!

To celebrate, we headed to Idaho for the Total Solar Eclipse.  It is so cool that "the band of totality" went right through our stomping grounds!

We camped in Grandma Munns backyard. I always love being there.  Something about being in farm country is such good medicine for my soul.  Plus I love Grandma Munns with all my heart!  She is the only living grandma I have had in my adult life.  I feel like we are good friends.  I hope I can be buddies with my grandkids someday!

We also got to see some other family and friends that we love.  All in all it was a good trip.

On a side note, the total eclipse was amazing.  Some of my favorite parts of the event were the sudden dropping of the temperature, the sunset that wrapped around the entire sky (like 360 degrees) and the diamond ring effect.  It was phenomenal and it felt like time stopped for a few minutes.

 ^Blaine go the essentials, in case a fire happened during the eclipse.  He was ready :)

 ^Grandma Munns is a little whipper snapper and is so young at heart.  She is the funnest host and is such a party animal!

 ^My nephews were so funny and made aliens helmets out of tin foil just so...ya know, they could communicate with the aliens that might show up.... :)

 ^The lighting was so weird leading up the the eclipse.  When the sun got totally covered, it looked like someone turned the lights down on the whole earth at once!

 ^This doesn't touch the majesty of it...but this is the 360 degree sunset!

^Solar Eclipse Mask we made for Eliza :)