Monday, October 31, 2011


 This year I helped KayDee's class with their Halloween party. I had to come up with something for the kids to do for their rotation. I decided to do something that made them move so I stuffed some pumpkin leaf bags and we played games with those and I also used our pool floaters to run a relay race like trick or treating. Some groups had fun and others said they were tired. KayDee's group had so much fun they were disappointed since they didn't get enough time to throw the BIG pumpkin around.
 Derrick dressed up as a Ninja and always covered his face when I took pictures.
Samantha was a mid-evil girl and KayDee was tinkerbell with green fangs! We trick or treated in our neighborhood and were saved from walking home when Kevin picked us up on his way home from work and dropped us off at the party at the park.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Off-Roading with the Erickson's

 We were so excited to have my brother Jeff come down to go off-roading with us. Spencer was planning to come too but couldn't since his weekend was too busy. We wanted to go on the Red Mountain Trail since we had attempted it before but never finished. We drove up the first mile and were strongly disappointed by a fence with a locked gate. The attempts to keep the "wilderness" was not going over well with us.
 We had to turn around. The dog was wandering as we were deciding what to do and we called for her and she never came. We said multiple prayers and left her in the Lord's hands even if there were tears still on our cheeks. We saw two cars parked at the beginning of the trail so we put our name and phone number on a paper on the windshield and hoped they'd call us if she was with them.
 Next we needed a place to camp. QUICK!!! It was getting dark. We drove a few miles down the road and found another FENCE! So we decided to go by Sand Cove near our house since we knew there were no fences. We cooked in the dark, set up camp in the dark and hoped we could do some off-roading in the morning.
 Camp was cleaned up and we decided to take Jeff and his three kids (Ryan, Becca and Sam) on the Bowl Hike since it was just right there. The kids did great and were glad for some adventure but I think the men were ready to have some 4x4 adventure.
 We went back to our house, made lunch and set off to the road behind the Reservoir. Here we had some really nice rocks to climb! We got some good video too if I can figure out how to put it on here. The kids cheered and had to examine the rocks after each obstacle.
Jeff and his kids left late afternoon with some adventure. We were so happy they came. I don't think my kids will stop repeating all the funny jokes told at the campfire. I was pleased to have Ryan run up to me at the next gathering to make sure he gave me a hug. I would love to spend more time like this with our families.
I know you are all wondering about the dog. Well we got home and we had 3 messages on our machine telling us that she was found by a group of scouts, she spent the night with them and they had a great time. We had to pick her up at the scout leader's brother's house. There was a prayer of gratitude said as we drove to get her.

2011 Family Picture

Valley of Fire

  We kept passing the signs that said Valley of Fire along the freeway and kept saying we wanted to go see what it was. We had never met anyone who had been to the Valley of Fire and only had the information that was on the web. Fall break came and it was settled, we packed and left for 2 nights at the Valley of Fire. 

First we had to find a camping spot. We drove around looking for a large tent pad and couldn't find one big enough for our tent. We found 3 walk in camp sites that were bigger and the one in the very back convinced us that we should camp there.
We noticed that many of the park visitors did not have children so being in the back corner would allow our children room to make noise and the amazing rocks to climb on made our kids extremely happy. We enjoyed our camp site for the rest of the day and slept under a FULL moon. The tent did not have the rain fly on so we could see the stars and the moon was so bright it was actually hard to sleep but we didn't see a need to complain since it was sooo BEAUTIFUL!

The next day we went to the visitor center so we would know what our options would be for the day. The chipmunks were entertaining and the kids were already convinced that the rocks were good enough to climb on.
 We hiked White Dome where we ran into a large bus of Italians toward the end of the loop.

This is where we started and took the most pictures since we were so fresh.
The rocks were all different colors and sizes and we were able to crawl through many of them. My favorite picture is the one that looks like waves.
Then we went to Rainbow Vista where we saw 7 big horn sheep (Kevin's favorite).
Mouse Tank was fun since we continued to run into a Swiss couple (David and Andrea) on vacation. We stopped and talked to them and thoroughly enjoyed David's description of people from different countries (one including how loud Italians are and another of how American women smell of coconut sunscreen).
We learned that Mouse Tank is named after an Indian who was a nuisance to the settlers and they nicknamed him mouse since he would steal and bother them and hide in these rocks.
We decided to go to the Lost City Museum in Overton for the afternoon since it was getting HOT.
When we got back to camp we saw that David and Andrea were in the same campground and we invited them for dinner. We made Navajo tacos and enjoyed playing games, Uno and Pass the Pig, and the kids tried to tell some jokes.
1930s Valley of Fire visitor housing
Our last morning we saw the Atlatl Rock and Petroglyphs. The visitor housing was interesting too.
Then we saw the Petrified Logs. It is random to have 3 logs in the middle of sage brush and rocks...
We also saw the Elephant Rock and we ran into David and Andrea again. We parted there as we drove home and they went to Zion.