Friday, July 24, 2015


With Amy in the hospital and heading for surgery, Grandma and Aunt Caitlin were not with us for the Friday night festivities.  So our evening was perhaps a bit more somber than in years past.  Those of us that were there headed straight to a sugar coma.

Charlotte was pretty cute, going after the mini marshmallows and chocolate in the s'mores mix.  Well, I thought it was cute, but I'm the aunt.  I don't have to deal with the melt down and mess later.
 Caitlin's "friend" and his kids were invited to dinner and s'mores.  Leonard left his phone at home all day, so he missed the message that Caitlin was not going to be there. (Not at all awkward, right?)  Anyway, the unfamiliar kids in the photos are Leonard's.

Emma doesn't actually like to cook her marshmallow.  She kinda-sorta barely warms it over the fire and calls it good.  

 The thing about The S'moreganzaa Event is these are no ordinary s'mores we make.  There are multiple options of graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate fillings.  I had a pretty tasty chocolate graham cracker, regular marshmallow and York peppermint patty s'more, and this one below has a Reese's peanut butter cup.
 The girls were starting to look like their long week was catching up with them.

Fishing Day

Friday Ryan and I drove up to hang out with everyone for the day.  The kids had been taken fishing without us, and no one had caught anything.  Ryan knows a guy, who knows another guy, who has his own well-stocked fish pond.  Word was- the kids could have an awesome experience fishing at this place.

When Ryan and I arrived, the kids were decorating pennants.

Then we had a 45 minute drive to the middle of nowhere.  Luckily, this particular middle of nowhere had a fishing pond.  We got out a couple of fishing poles, hooks, line, and bait, and cast off.  The fish hadn't been fed that day, so there was immediate activity.

 It took a few tries to get a fish to shore without breaking a line.  Thems big buggers.
Seriously, that's a big fish.
 And they just kept coming.

 We made sure all the kids had a catch to take home, plus some of the guys too.  (Curt's version of "catch and release" was uh... interesting.  There was at least one that was thrown back that floated on its side instead of swimming away.)
Maddie sitting on our cooler filled with the fish.  Someone is going to have to clean that all out....

Michael had the biggest catch of the day.
Ryan rigged up wire hoops through the fish mouths and gills so the kids could all hold up their catch of the day for a picture after we got back to Grandma and Grandpa's house. 
 Amy was not pictured, having been taken to the hospital by Aunt Caitlin and Grandma.  Turns out, she needed her appendix out.  

Thursday, July 23, 2015

My Day Off

One of the perks of Grandpa Camp is Ryan and I can squeeze two nights and a day of kid-free time.  (Can I get a Hallelujah?)  Here are some pictures of the kids during Wednesday.   They went to see a local dairy.

 And Grandma wanted some more sunflower pictures.

 And this one....?  I don't know what exactly Maddie's face is trying to tell us.
"More pictures Grandma?  Really?" or, "Who really wants cake made in a waffle iron?"  In any case, Emma seems more pleased with her dessert.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Grandpa Camp, the 2015 edition

Today was the beginning of Grandpa Camp.  Ryan and I took the girls to their grandparents house, with bags of clothes, pillows, sunscreen, and sleeping bags.  There was also a bag full of swim suits and our "beach towels" aka the towels the kids are allowed to take out of the house for their water activities.

First off, we had lunch.
 Then the kids got their Grandpa Camp t-shirts on, and we found a field of sunflowers for pictures.  Kim thought it was a good photo op.

 Then we drove out to Moses Lake to play at their city pool.  It's a little more water park than city pool, so it was definitely a lot more fun than ours.
 Emma and Megan in the lazy river.
 Me and Maddie
 Ryan was the only one of us brave enough to try the "Flowrider."
 Although he only boogie boarded.  No surfing for us.
 Charlotte and me, while Blair played in the pool with Simon.
The weather was surprisingly cool and overcast for the middle of July.  Between that and Annie's ear issue, she was ready for some cuddling.  I am more than happy to oblige.

Once we were ready to go, first I went and changed, and I managed to beat Ryan out of the restrooms.

Ok, before this next part of the post, we need some back story.  Ryan has been on the hunt for a new job since May.  He likes being an Ag teacher, but we just spent two years making him ready to get a job in administration.  There haven't been a lot of job openings in administration within our preferred travel radius, but our district superintendent told Ryan to be patient- he was sure something would be opening up for him soon.  We've been waiting and waiting.  The principal at one of the elementary schools in our district was rumored to be sick and would probably need to be replaced, at least for short-term.  Ryan spent several days subbing as an administrator at that school during his internship, and he used that time to make contacts and grease some wheels, and show as many people as he could what a great asset he would make to their team.  Well, finally job was posted for an assistant principal at that school, and Ryan got his application done online and submitted well before going on our vacation.  We really wanted Ryan to be interviewed before we left, but it was not to be.  This is the job Ryan really wanted.  Actually, this was something we both wanted.  We wanted it so badly, and this whole "will it happen/won't it happen" uncertainty has been hanging over us the whole summer.  Well, Ryan went in for his interview yesterday, and felt pretty good about it.  He was told he would hear back in 2-3 days-ish.  Well, with this new bit of fun hanging over us, Ryan thought what's the point in staying home and stewing about it all, and came with me and the girls to go to the first day of Grandpa Camp.

Now back to this post.  I was back from the restroom, and grabbed my phone out of our bag to see if I had any messages while I was waiting for Ryan to get back.  That's when I saw this:  (Just read the last message.)

My mother-in-law must have thought I'd gone bonkers.  I started bouncing, and looked up to see Ryan walking toward me.  I launched myself at my husband and gave him a great big hug and kiss.

This is us- now with Mr. Assistant Principal.

 And on that happy note- back to Grandpa Camp.

The girls got to stain some treasure boxes as the activity for the evening.
 I know from the pictures it looks like I was only sitting there observing, but honestly, I did help the kids with their projects.  Just not when the camera was snapping.
And then Ryan and I headed home for our couple of child-free days.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Travel Comes To An End

Then it was time to head north.  Ryan remembered hearing about the Brigham City Tabernacle, and from what I could see online, it looked like a cool building and worthy of a look.  We couldn't find any specifics on tours, but any website we found said it was open for tours during the summer months.  

So imagine our disappointment to find the building locked tight.  There were no signs saying tours, or times it might be opened or closed, or anything.  So I guess the "tour" was simply us walking around the old building trying all of the doors.  

 At least the neo-Gothic architecture is cool on the outside.
 Across the street was the temple.  We had the girls counting the number of temples they could see from the freeway in Utah, and we were all impressed.
 At least there was grass for our picnic lunch.
 Emma refused to turn around once she new I was taking pictures.  Again.  Geez, mom.  Get a life.

 We finished driving to Kimberly, Idaho where we were going to spend the night.  Our friends and neighbors back when Ryan and I were newlyweds said we could crash at their house for the night.  We haven't seen Brandon and Christa since... Elizabeth was a baby?  (I think we decided it was the last time we went to Yellowstone.)  It was nice to catch up in person, and show off the twins.  :)

Annie was in quite a bit of ear pain by this time.  I snuggled her on the couch for quite a while.
 Christa has 4 boys, ages 11-16.  She doesn't get to do a lot of crafty things with her kids, so she was excited to borrow mine.  She made pillowcases with the girls.  She's so sweet.

 Of course, then she coached the girls to say that visiting her was the best part of our vacation.  I assume that's so we'll come back for a visit before another 10 years goes by.  But even if that doesn't happen, the great thing about good friends is you can pick up again where you left off.  Even after a week-long vacation of not enough sleep and a sick kid, so you may be a little less than your usual exciting self.

Brandon made us cupcake waffles for dessert while most of the boys were at mutual.  Maddie really was more excited about this than her face suggests.
 Annie had some better energy after her nap on me.
 Still plugging away on those pillowcases.
 And they are done!

Dusty was happy to play with the girls while his big brothers were gone.

It was a nice way to end our vacation.  Christa kicked her boys out of their rooms, so Ryan and I had our own room for the first night in a week.  We thoroughly enjoyed it.  Brandon and Cody left early for work in the morning, but we were still able to eat breakfast with Christa, little Brandon, Bridger and Dusty before heading out on the last leg of our journey.

We came home to a hot house, the A/C having been off for a week, and a whole lot of weeds.  But it was good to be home and in our own beds again.