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.

Labels: , , , ,

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...

Labels: , , ,

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!

Labels: , , ,

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Play Ball?

We learned this morning that "Will you play ball with me?" has different interpretations:

If you're a brother, this is what playing ball means:
But if you're a sister, this is what playing ball means: 
And these Ball Games can be catastrophic when they collide...
Especially if you're in an evening gown.

Labels: ,

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Black and White for a Nine year old!

 I'm getting pretty good at making awesome birthday parties. Dawna presented me with my biggest party challenge yet: "Mom, I want a Black and White party!" What?? I mean, what does that even mean??  Well, Dawna and I found out...

We had a pretty short time to put it all together. Sunday night, we created invitations for a Friday morning party:

I googled around and visited Party City and had a fun time getting everything ready... and here's what we came up with for our Black and White Party...
Dawna decorated the white board and we also got black and white lanterns, streamers, and swirly hanging things to decorate the front room. 
We got goody bags with black and white magnets, a soccer bouncy ball, and black and white gumballs, lollipops, and chocolate coins (from Party City's big colorful bins).
 As the party guests arrived, I traced their shadows and had them cut out their own silhouette and add descriptive words or their name with white letter stickers.
 I think they turned out super cute! We also had out chess and Panda Darake (two games with black and white pieces) to fill the time between organized activities.
I found a Jeopardy template for Google Slides and created a  Black and White Jeopardy Game, which you can play along with if you like :) I was really impressed with how well the kids were able to "answer in the form of a question" even though they all claim they've never even heard of Jeopardy... looks like grammar class is paying off... We also played a variation of Headbanz with black and white animals.
 This last-minute game idea turned out to be a hit... I had bought two packs of black and white crystals and scattered them all over the carpet...
The kids had two minutes to pick up as many crystals as they could with just their toes. The black team won 48-39 crystals. Afterwards, each of the kids got to take some crystals home.

 Snack time featured black and white delicacies of all kinds: blackberries and black cherries, cauliflower, mushrooms, mini Oreos, coconut chips, olives, marshmallows, and raisins.
 Dawna's "cake" ... or rather, goblet of ice cream with Oreos on top.
"Happy Birthday, dear Dawna!"
And that is how you make a great black and white party in five days' time! 
 I'd do it again in a second for you, Dawna darling! (actually, I'll probably do it again in about a year...) In any case, it was an awesome party!

Labels: ,