Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Goodbye July Stop 6 aka the Shortest One

20 hours.

That's how long our next stop was. The shortest, most last minute-est of all the stops was a one-night stay at Uncle Brandt's cabin in Felt, ID, named Hihoopi. Even though it was a short stint, we spent the time well... well, sort of... soon after arriving, I went for a seven mile run and sprained my ankle.

That sucked.

But apart from that, we got to eat Suddenly Salad (apparently a UT Betty Crocker specialty), enjoy the hot tub which got REALLY hot... like 110 degrees and then shut itself down for overheating... have a bonfire, and Larry got to ride/drive the John Deere lawnmower! BEST. DAY. EVER!!! 



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Goodbye July Stop 5, aka The Long One

After hitting four stops in under two weeks, we were ready for a change of pace. Our next stop was in Lehi, UT at my sister's house, and we were going to stay there for two weeks... yesssssssss! We had more than a few fun times in our weeks there, including but not limited to:

Backyard Microadventure! One of the first nights at the Reeves, the kids embarked on a microadventure sleeping outside on a tarp. Everything was going wonderfully until about 3am, when the rain began to fall... from the basement where I was sleeping, it sounded like a stampede when all five girls came barreling in with their sleeping bags and mats. At 5:30, Heather bounded through the house remembering that the sprinklers were still on, right past the sleeping mass on the living room floor.  It wasn't until after the sprinklers were safely off that she realized they could have gone on anyway... quite the adventurous night it was...

Visiting BYU museums! In one day we hit all three museums on campus: the dinosaur museum, the MOA and the Bean Museum. Bones, art, and wildlife all in one day!



...not to mention the Eyring Science center... Look out! 10,000 Ohms!!! <>


Hiking the Y! Super awesome family night activity... and apparently lots of people thought so... even at sunset, the trail was extremely busy and the parking lot was totally full. The girls and dads continued past the Y to Mouse Rock while the moms and boys headed home and made dinner, which was eaten close to 11pm. Epic FHE!

And then one day, the dishwasher started to smell funny. Heather started a load while I went to pick up Emma from band, and when I got back, there was an exciting story to tell... Electrical fire from the control panel, water spraying out of the dishwasher, Jon on headphones, breakers thrown, black thick smoke... I missed all the fun, but I got to hear about it many times. So, it was dishwasher shopping date night for Jon and I and Heather and Rob :) After seeing every dishwasher on the Wasatch Front, they finally decided on one and we got it installed on the very last day in Lehi!
Out with the old... 
In with the new!
 Food Adventures! We learned that Emma is very particular about organizing her chopped tomatoes...
 
And we also helped Abbie with some mission prep by having her try some new foods like shrimp, Mochi, and California Rolls.

We enjoyed swimming at the Lehi Legacy Center and going out to two movies, but most of the time, the kids just had a blast around the house eating sour grapes right off the vine, exploring the gravel pit, swinging and breaking the swings, and finding all kinds of good uses for the stairs:
Apparently, Jade is exactly as tall as the stairs are wide
And then everyone wanted in on the action. 
These two boys seemed to love their pseudo-brother time. Sisters just don't appreciate things like cars, garbage trucks, sewer sweepers, and gutters. Larry and Isaac were nearly inseparable the entire time. Once they even did the dishes together...though most of the time if chores were to be found, the boys were not...

And let's not forget the homework. Abbie got me all excited about picking out books for her honors English summer assignments. In two weeks we read Smile and The Secret Life of Bees.Both are excellent reads and hopefully brought some new insights about literature to our soon to be High-Schooler! The other kids all worked diligently on their homework and piano practicing and I continued on with my training. The most fun run I did was running from Heather's house to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple and then back again, covering 12 miles and amazingly, the run was mostly on a trail! Heather biked along with me on many of my runs and I even got Hannah and Dawna out biking with me one day.  Suffice it to say we got great use out of the Murdock Canal trail.

Visiting LaNae! One of my darling triplet cousins! I miss this girl so much! It was such a treat to see her with her cute boys in her cute house with two trampolines and a toy room! My kids were begging and making me promise to come back again by the time we had to go.

As you can see, Stop Five in our Goodbye July boasted plenty of excitement, accomplishments, and love, not to mention plenty of rest and relaxation in random places:

Jade hasn't quite mastered eating while sleeping, but she tries nonetheless...

No, Dawna is not sleeping with toilet paper! Those were streamers from Emma's birthday!

The Reeves home is a sanctuary of peace and love. Every moment there was uplifting, inspiring, and fun! Makes me want to make my home a cleaner, more loving, more Gospel Centered place. Many thanks to Heather and Rob for loaning out their basement to us for 14 days!!!

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Tuesday, August 04, 2015

Goodbye July Stop 4

Onward! To the Hale Family Reunion!

After the Terry and Luetta reunion, we expanded our family love to include the whole Hale side of the family! Jon's Aunt Susan and Uncle Nathan work as service missionaries at the Camp Early Girls Camp close to Logan.  It was a short and sweet reunion of cousins getting reacquainted and getting to know all the cousins' kids. I didn't meet one person I didn't get along with. I loved it!!

Friday night, we had a great campfire program with skits and hotdogs and marshmallows.  Then I had a pretty short night's sleep out under the stars and woke up with Lynn, Louis, and Weston to go for a long run. I had to go ten miles and they wanted to go 18 (yikes...) so I started off with them for five miles and then turned around and headed back to camp. We ran by something that I have never run by before... thus the strange selfie here...
 In case you can't read it, that sign says, "NO TRESPASSING: UNMANNED ROBOTIC TEST TRACK." Nope, never seen one of those before... I almost wanted to take that sign home because it was cool!
 And back at the ranch, reunion fun was going in full swing! Pancake breakfast, crafts galore including Monkey Fist necklaces, Origami, and designing your own stomp rocket! These hand carts provided more than a little entertainment (and a fair amount of danger among the littler ones...) Everyone enjoyed a ride or a pull!

Then we played a huge variety of "Minute to Win It" activities which were super fun! Then of course you have to play in the water! Bottle rockets and sprinklers and kites finished of the afternoon.
All the fun tuckered out the little ones and they couldn't even make it to the tarp to take a nap... Jade is particularly famous for her strange sleeping positions... 

Larry made friends with Ella, a cute little cousin-once-removed... she has very short hair and was wearing basic jeans and a shirt. Of course, as things go, clothes get dirty when one is camping, so Ella went to change.  While she was away, Larry started telling us about his new best friend Allen... I was a little confused... I hadn't met everyone, but I certainly didn't know any kid named Allen... As he was trying to explain about his new friend, Ella came back with a pink skirt and shirt on! Larry looked SHOCKED! "WHAT?!?" he exclaimed in disbelief, "You're a GIRL?!? That.... just... blows my mind!" We were laughing about that moment all day... but what made me happy was that Ella's being a girl didn't change how much fun they had together for the rest of the weekend. He's an equal opportunity buddy :) 

It was such a pleasant weekend with all the Hale family! I love getting connected and reacquainted... and we'll see you all again in 5 years :)

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Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Goodbye July Stop 3

After a lovely camping trip to the Tetons, our next stop was Garden City, UT to enjoy a few days by Bear Lake!
It started a little rough... we didn't have an address for the cabin, and poor Cheryl and kids were waiting for us to arrive for several hours... but once we all got settled in, we fell in love with that cabin!

The cooks loved the kitchen:
The runners loved the local trails: 
 The kids loved the swings, the fire pit, and the amazing willow good for climbing and swinging:

And everybody loved the close proximity to Bear Lake, just out the back door and across a field!
 On arrival evening, we played family Jeopardy! We got to learn about Koberstein family history, which was fun! Then we got Weston on skype and he officially announced his engagement to Myra! YAY!!!!

 The first full day dawned cool and wet... but luckily, the plan for the day was to relax and hang around the cabin. The kids all enjoyed playing and Aunt Karla opened up her hair and nail salon!
After some lunch, we biked/drove to Jake's Shakes, which was also a fun family history sites. Mom K showed us around the little house turned shake shop and showed us where her old rocking chair and Cuckoo clock used to be... it was her grandparent's house. I thought that was super cool! And the shakes were amazing also! Famous for raspberries! yum!
We spent some time out on the lake that day, but the rain brought us in earlier than planned... but no matter... cousins + cabin + board games = fun no matter what the weather!
That evening, we had a wonderful family fireside. Each of the siblings had been assigned an ancestor from Garden City or Montpilier to research. I thought it was a great assignment! Our family got to learn about Naomi Phelps Jensen, my kid's great-great-grandmother. It was fun to remember her so close to her home!

Thursday dawned bright and beautiful and begging for adventure, of which we had plenty! 
In the morning, we biked/drove to the Garden City Cemetery, where we found grave sites for several Koberstein ancestors. In this picture, Daniel Joseph, Weston, and Joseph are all sitting by their namesake ancestor: Joseph Weston Gibbons.

On the way back to the cabin, we indulged in several rentals of watercraft! Jon and Lynn rented Ski-Doos and Grandpa rented paddleboards and kayaks for the day! It was an adventure getting from the rental marina back to the cabin's sandbar...
Dan and Wes found a groove on the paddleboards and taught us all how to stand and maneuver them. So much fun!
Everyone enjoyed the little kayaks, especially the little people, for whom the loud Ski-Doos were a bit much... It was a perfect day on the lake... until it was time to return the Ski-Doos... My adorable and adventurous (aka reckless...) husband wondered what would happen if you take the Ski-Doo at top speed (50mph) and then turn as sharp as you can... twice... Answer: severe pain in the ribs after smacking water that feels more like cement... luckily, no bones were broken, no internal bleeding, but Jon is facing a long, slow, painful recovery of severe rib bruising.

Later in the evening, we enjoyed a mission report and pictures from Grandma and Grandpa!

And the next day...checkout at 10am. Bidding a fond farewell to our seven bedroom, seven bathroom cabin! I would go back in a heartbeat! It was lovely!

View from the cabin...
...and the view from the lake.

As one last bit of awesomeness, Dan, Jon, Grandparents, and grandkids 12+ got to go to the Logan temple to do baptisms. A fitting end to our great reunion!


This little guy wanted to be an honorary Koberstein :) We said it was ok.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Goodbye July Stop 2

After an enjoyable weekend in Logan, our month away continued in Grand Tetons National Park! I'd never been in the park before, but have often seen the majestic mountains in the distance.  We met up with Gwen and Mike and kids, Mom and Dad K, Dan and Karla, and Lynn in the park.  Surprisingly, we were the first ones to arrive, even though Gwen and Mike left Logan before we did and all the rest of the crew were already in Idaho.

We all stayed in Colter Bay Village, which is where Mom and Dad worked during the summer when they were dating. Mom was a waitress and Dad was a bus boy.  It was really cute to hear them talk of the things that were the same and different and remember fun hikes and moments they shared together there.

We stayed in a tent cabin, a very interesting, but very fun structure... two log walls, then metal frame with thick canvas secured over top.

Family selfie in the tent cabin.
After arriving and setting up camp on Sunday afternoon, we walked down to the lake and threw rocks and enjoyed a picnic dinner with everyone, which was cut short by oncoming rain and lightning and thunder.

My kids aren't quite sure how to handle lightning and thunder... kinda freaks them out... can't blame them; it's not at all a common occurrence back home.
We moved our dinner into Gwen and Mike's cabin, then went on a walk after the storm died down a bit.
Happy Birthday Baby Joseph! birthday cupcakes after dinner!
Changing poopy diapers togher... true family bonding time...
Jon can't resist trying something impossible... we all pushed and shoved and heaved a large fallen log over several large boulders and into the lake! After it floated away, Jon's dad told him to retrieve it, so he did... the lake was a pleasant temperature, the night was beautiful, and it was hilarious!
Someone had to teach baby Joseph how to throw rocks... that is an untie's job :)
As we huddled in for the night, we heard the storm coming back strong...


In the morning, we awoke to a somewhat unpleasant, but somewhat funny surprise... Xochitl sat up in her sleeping bag and said, "Mom, I must have been really hot last night! My bed is ALL SWEATY!" I looked over and saw that her bed was indeed wet, but not with sweat.  She was sleeping in a HUGE puddle that had seeped in during the stormy night. I guess we're lucky that Xochitl never felt cold... Unfortunately, Dawna had set her backpack and her clothes bag on that side of the tent also, so our Monday morning was spent hanging out sleeping bags, clothes, books, and shoes to dry.

After the laundry was hung, we headed out on an adventure! The rest of the fam were sightseeing in Yellowstone for the day, so the six of us headed out to find Jenny Lake and Hidden Falls.


We went to the dock, hoping to take the ferry across the lake and then hike a short distance to Hidden Falls, but the ferry would have cost over $60 for our family, so we opted to take the long way around the lake.  It was really a beautiful hike, albeit long... the sight of the hidden falls was well worth the effort of the hike. I tried to get someone to take a good picture of our family by the falls... but unfortunately, Sarah wasn't there, so we just got mediocre pictures... all well...

As we hiked and drove back to our tent cabin, the rain began to fall again... we may have driven a little fast as we hurried to get our clothes in before they got soaked Again!  Thankfully, we were successful.  We had a great evening of listening to stories of Sacagawea, eating at Mom and Dad's old workplace, and hanging out by the campfire at our tent cabin.
Larry was having a great time making baby Joseph laugh and laugh! 
And so ended part two of our Goodbye July... but the fun is still just beginning...

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Tuesday, July 07, 2015

Goodbye July Stop 1

July in California is so last year. This year, July is anywhere but! 
Step 1: thirteen hours to Logan, UT to visit Louis and Camille. We enjoyed the time with cousins with all kinds of outdoors activities, including...

Hike to Tony Grove Lake around the Nature trail. There were many beautiful wild flowers, bridges, and lots of time to bond with cute little Chloe, my 2-year-old niece I just met that day!
 The kids atop one of many large rocks to climb--straddling the Crack of Death! (so named by Charles)
 Jon had no problem conquering the largest of the climbing boulders.
 Kaylee and Dawna had a great time swimming and exploring... so much fun in fact that they informed us that their hearts were too heavy to go home (get it? Their hearts are stones??)
 And Jade will not be left out: "Picture me!"
 Love the quality cousin time!
 The next day began with a 15k race down Blacksmith Canyon with Louis and Camille. Louis came in second for his age group, Jon came in fourth.  We were very proud of our boys!
 Later that day, we went with Gwen and Mike to the Cache Valley car show. Larry could not be contained! He ran excitedly from one car to the next!  All the kids got to build their own little car and see a variety of fun vehicles--like the Batmobile!
 One Corvette Larry we got to sit in! Larry was pretty excited about it!
Larry in front of a 1929 Durant: it's a car with wooden spokes! Very rare, very cool!

We also enjoyed fireworks and Fourth of July neighborhood BBQ! A great start to our epic July out!

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