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!!! 


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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