Tuesday, August 22, 2017

2017 Bow Hunt Part 1

Kevin and Derrick both bought an archery tag for elk this year. In the past we have been hit or miss going on the hunt as a family and Kevin has had friends come here and there. This year, with the school situation, it was easier for us to go and it was just us for the opening days. We required the kids to get a week ahead for their online classes and we left right after the first day of high school. 

We immediately got a flat tire just north of Panguitch. I drove back home to grab the Excursion's spare while Kevin put his spare on. After seeing the condition of the truck spare tire, he decided he needed an extra spare which he picked up in Panguitch. There was a crack going around the inside wall of the tire, even though the spare was new, it had never been used for years. The spare I brought ended up having a bulge and the used tire they happened to have in Panguitch was pretty much used. Kevin drove on the cracked spare and made it just fine with plans to replace it when we got home. 

We brought 3 horses and each of the girls got to go on one of the hunts with them. I went on opening morning and we ended up in the middle of an elk herd, listening to them bugle back and forth. The trees and brush were thick so we only saw about 5 and there wasn't a clear shot. It was an amazing experience! Sam went with them that evening and had many adventures with Carmel, her horse. She hugged bushes she didn't want to hug and landed on her feet when she got swept off. Lots of laughs. The boys ended up getting off to sneak closer to some elk and left her with the horses. When they looked back her way, there was a large herd of elk right behind her. They tried hand signals to help her see but she was clueless until they started to run away. KayDee went on Monday morning and they didn't see any elk but they saw 2 coyotes and Derrick resumed the adventurous ride on Carmel as she insisted on jumping every log they came to. 

We enjoyed going to the Boulder ward on Sunday. We arrived early and talked with the family history consultant and looked at what we could do for our history. The kids enjoyed their youth classes and the teacher loved that they participated. It's a small ward so new was interesting. They wanted to go paintball with them this week but we won't be there for it. 

Kevin stayed to continue hunting and the rest of us came home for school the next day. I replaced the spare that goes to the Excursion and sent it back up with his parents to help the drive home be less exciting. 

Derrick went back with Kevin's parents today after school since they will be back before he has school again. 

Part 2 coming soon!

First day of School 2017

We have changed things up this year. We decided to do a combo of Utah Online school and high school this year. We were hoping to give the kids a break from all the negative that comes with public school and still have them participate in a positive way. Basically we are using the school system to our advantage and so far it is working.
Samantha is in 10th grade and wanted to do only "fun" classes at school so she chose show choir, ballroom dance and seminary. Derrick is in 8th grade and had to do the classes that were at the same time to keep drive time to a minimum. He is taking keyboarding, choir and English. The rest of their classes will be done online. KayDee is in 6th grade and is only doing Utah Online because she is still in elementary school.
They really enjoy the online classes and are doing well adjusting to our new schedule. Since we chose to do school this way, the older kids are in school 2-3 days a week for only the morning. We have scoped out activities they each want to do, especially KayDee, so they can participate with other kids doing things they enjoy. We think it will work well, but if it doesn't we can go back to the old way.

Monday, February 6, 2017

15 Years Old!

 Samantha spent her 15th birthday with the drill team performing at state. They did an awesome job and came away with 2nd place in all the dances and 2nd overall. Kevin and I drove up with the student bus as chaperones and Sam drove back with us. We had fun supporting her and her team!We celebrated her birthday the next day.

Samantha is a great teenager. We have loved her energy and her happiness. She enjoys pinterest with her friends and has texted more this year. She is still playing the piano and flute. She decided to start drawing again and still loves to read. She has enjoyed her year dancing with the drill team but plans to focus on music and drama next year. She helps at home with our rabbits and gets her chores done. She has cooked more this year and still loves to sing. She loves being unique even though it makes it hard to fit in sometimes. She got her braces off right before her birthday and loves the freedom retainers bring. We are looking forward to her getting her driving permit and continuing to learn and grow. She is a very good student and is getting straight A's as she enjoys most of her classes. She loves the gospel of Jesus Christ and tries hard to make good choices. She enjoys going to the temple and seminary, which she said was a class that is priority to her.
We love Samantha and are so happy she is our daughter. She makes us smile and we love how she loves life. We enjoy her talents and learning from her.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Sledding for Grandpa's Birthday

We went sledding for my dad's birthday since there was so much snow! It was a great time! Kevin kept waiting for the kids to move out of the way for his turn and they just took too long! He jumped on his sled and said "time to go bowling!" After that, he couldn't go down the hill without someone throwing snowballs or their tube at him. Kevin, Diane and I did some pretty awesome train sledding which received Kevin's consequences as well. Lots of laughing!
We enjoyed chili for dinner and brownies and ice cream to finish the celebration.

Friday, December 30, 2016

16th Anniversary

Kevin was in charge of our anniversary this year. He decided we should go to the Frontier Homestead State Park with the kids. It has some great historical machinery, carriages, and buildings.
Later that day Kevin took me snow shoeing. We borrowed them from a friend and went right behind our house with the dogs. It was a beautiful day and there was barely enough snow. It was sentimental since we went snow shoeing on our honeymoon.
I am so grateful for the support and love Kevin gives me. We continue to grow up together and we are still striving for the same things. We love the gospel of Jesus Christ, our family and each other. 16 down and many more to go!

Monday, December 26, 2016

Christmas 2017

Christmas was at home this year because the weather was not good for driving. We planned to visit my parents for Christmas Eve but there were storm warnings that just kept getting worse. We decided to stay home and away from the possible harm. We traveled up after Christmas to do presents and went sledding and tried out my mom's drone! It all worked out well!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Starting December Off Right!

December was filled with many events this year. Samantha had her first drill team competition where they got 1st place in every category (we won't mention they were the only 1A school there).

 There was a band concert for both Derrick and Samantha.
Derrick got to go to the NFR with Kevin.

  KayDee performed her lyrical dance at her winter recital.
 Of course, I had another birthday!
 Derrick built a fantastic fort out of the amazing snow we got this year. Sadly, KayDee was sick for the elementary program this year and we totally forgot to go to the primary Christmas program. But we still feel like we had a great pre-Christmas, busy December.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Derrick is officially a teen!

Derrick is now 13 and loved that his birthday was on Thanksgiving. He was so excited to have pumpkin pie for his cake. He had a friend party the Saturday before and they watched Star Wars Episode 1 with pizza, popcorn and rootbeer floats. I even attempted to make a cake that looked like a lego brick. They had a great time! Derrick and KayDee are having a light saber battle, a fun gift from one of his friends.
We really enjoy Derrick. He is a thoughtful son and is very responsible. He played soccer for the first time this year and really enjoyed it. He still likes wrestling and creating things. He obviously loves Star Wars and especially loves the lego sets. He is enjoying 7th grade, especially band and shop. He is playing the trumpet really well and still humors his mother by playing the piano. He and a friend would meet after school once a week to drive their remote control cars at the library. Derrick cooks really well and has enjoyed making pancakes over the last month. He has grown quite a bit and has finally exceeded his mother's height, and is 5ft 1in. His feet have been growing quickly too. I've had to go through his clothing and pull out all the pants that are now to his ankle (as the picture shows).
Derrick has really enjoyed scouting and is earning his awards faster than the other scouts in his troop. His leaders love his enthusiasm and so do we! Derrick works on the farm and has done a great job moving sprinklers this year. He will be ready to drive tractors in another year and a half. He has proven himself to be a good driver on the farm when his dad has needed his help.
Derrick likes going to church and loves that he has been able to pass the sacrament. He tries to make sure we get there in good time so he is not late to do it. He gives good family night lessons and plays the opening and closing songs on the piano when it is his turn. One thing he has really enjoyed is our Sunday family game night. When it is his turn to choose a game he always picks Monopoly even though his sisters and dad groan.
We love our Derrick and are so happy he is our son. He brings so much personality and love to our family.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Samantha's in the Play "Crazy for You"

 Samantha had so much fun doing the high school play "Crazy for You" and played Sally, one of the 12 dancing girls. She and her dance partner were partners in last year's play in junior high so that was fun for them. There were lots of costume changes and fake eyelashes, but she loved every second. I was exhausted from early drill team practices and late play practices so we will have to work on our schedule better next year. She was happy she didn't have to memorize any lines since she was so busy ,and loved the play so much that she wanted to watch it herself instead of be in it. She has decided that acting is her thing right now! She really appreciates her family for traveling and coming to see her. It was extra special!


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Grand Canyon Rim to Rim Hike

 Well I filled out the backcountry request to hike and camp in the Grand Canyon, and after the second try we got a date in November. Four months is a long time to prepare. I had 8 people who initially wanted to go and then a few couldn't, but we found some alternates by the time the hike came in November. I packed my bag with 26 pounds of gear, food and water, hoping to have brought the right things!
 A couple friends decided they wanted to be our drivers so we could have a ride back out after we finished. They hiked a couple miles down with us and then we saw them again two days later.
 For November, the weather was amazing! I didn't even use all of my warm clothes. At Phantom Ranch it reached 80 degrees! The first day we hiked 6.8 miles down to Cottonwood Campground. It was a lot of downhill. I have never been to the north rim of the Grand Canyon that I remember, and it was beautiful! We passed many trail runners that were running rim to rim to rim, 48 miles. As they passed, I was so happy we were backpacking!
 We were very happy to find out that the water was open everywhere along the way. We were warned that it may be turned off because of the weather and winter approaching. That really lightened our load.

The second day we hiked 7.2 miles and added the Rainbow Falls trail (1 mile) so we could see this amazing waterfall! We totally recommend it!

 We camped at Bright Angel Campground the second night, which is right next to Phantom Ranch. We ventured out and saw the bridge going up the Kaibab Trail and some historical sites before we settled for the night.
 The last day was a lot of uphill. We went 9.2 miles up the Bright Angel trail and passed through Indian Gardens (which was beautiful!) and up to 3 mile, 1.5 mile and then to the top. It was a slow and steady climb for me. We weren't willing to rest long since our bodies tightened up so we would pause and keep moving! We all reached the top! We couldn't have asked for a better trip. Aside from a few blisters, we didn't have any accidents or gear problems.
Amazingly enough, I would love to do this hike again. I'd love to bring my kids, now that I've scoped it out, so they can be part of the majesty of the Grand Canyon!