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!