Sunday, November 14, 2010

SCHOOL DAYS 2010

The first day of school (8th grade) for Brylee was Monday August 30th. This is her last year of Middle School. It's hard to believe she will be in High School next year!! She is such a fun cute girl. She has the cutest personality and always makes us laugh...is a little more boy crazy than I would like...is a good friend...loves clothes, makeup, jewelry, painting her fingernails...likes babysitting...loves getting her rubberband colors changed on her braces...has a very messy room...Typical 13 year old! I love this little girl....




The High School started a day later. Landon could have slept in 1 more day but no! He had to get up early so he could tease Brylee about going to school before he did....silly boy....what he should understand after having 4 sisters is that girls love going back to school. Maybe it has something to do with the new clothes? :) She got even with him:)
In May Brylee tried out for Sandcreek Middle School's dance team and made it! Every Dance Team girl had a sign on their locker. Bry was excited. I was glad she wanted me to help carry all of her "stuff" in. Of course I had my camera handy!! (Thanks Bry for not being embarassed of your mom)

Since I was at the school with my camera......

Yes even as she was walking into her class (a little late)...and yes...when the flash went off all the kids turned and looked...I love being a mom:)
Landon is a little camera shy...I have to take pictures of him on the go. He started school Tuesday, August 31st. He is in the 11th grade. He is growing up way to fast. I feel like I only have moments with him before he graduates! He is a hilarious kid...he sends me texts during the day...random off the wall things that make me laugh. Sometimes even trying to get me to help him on tests!! He is addicted to Xbox...mountain dew...carmel hershey kisses, loves to snowboard, golf and play tennis. Some interest in girls but xbox with his friends keeps him so busy that he doesn't have much time:) Fine by me!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

TABLE ROCK...AKA...TABLE MOUNTAIN

The end of August before school started we were able to squeeze in a final hike with our kids and Val's brother Mark and his wife Sherry. And it was not just any hike.....it was Table Rock. We knew it was going to be tough but had been wanting to do it all summer. Brianne was able to come home for the weekend so we brought her along. I knew Landon, Brianne and Val would have no problems, but was worried about Brylee and me!! Brylee did not want to go and made sure we all knew it. She didn't really have a choice. Poor little girl:) We left I.F. at 5:30am heading for Driggs and started the hike shortly after 7:00am. I love the Teton Mountains. They are breathtakingly beautiful. Every time I see them I am in awe. The picture I took from the car was nothing compared to what we would be seeing later in the day.


Before we started. Happy, rested and anxious to get going!

Every part of the hike was beautiful. So scenic and a variety of everything!
The description of this hike on trails.com is "strenuous". Boy was that an understatement!! You hike for hours and hours, feel like you can't take another step then you see the goal in sight...it looks so close. Unfortunately it is farther away than you think. The high elevation makes it so hard to breath. At the end the only way Bry and I could keep going was to count to 50. We would count as we walked then rest at 50. It was a slow process but I was so proud that both of us made it!! That all of us made it!!
This picture of Brylee was my favorite of the day! It seriously looks like she is standing in front of a mural....not on the top of a mountain with the Teton's right behind her!! Crazy....she was so proud of herself but says she will never do it again and if she marries someone who wants to hike it she will tell him to have fun!!

I don't know why I was surprised at how windy it was on top! It seriously felt as though you were standing shoulder to shoulder with the clouds! Such an amazing sight and feeling. And to look down at the valley where we started was a feeling of accomplishment.

Heading down....even harder than up! But we made it. Almost 13 hours hiking and approx. 14 miles with a 3800 elevation gain. Whew :"> I want to do it again next year! (Bry says no way)

About 2 miles left until we were back at the car we turned to get one last glimpse of Table Rock. We couldn't believe how far we had hiked in 1 day. (I about cried)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

SPOKANE WASHINGTON

The beginning of August Landon, Brylee and I piled into the car and headed to Spokane for some family time. My sister Michelle and her daughter MacKenzie were meeting us at my dad's house. Just a quick weekend but so worth it and so much fun! My dad is amazing and very talented and I loved seeing him in action. He teaches pottery classes and has a wheel set up in his garage. He let each of us try our hand at it. Michelle and I sucked. Landon, Bry and MacKenzie did better and actually got a piece completed. Dad was nice enough to fire and mail them to the kids. Thanks dad! They are very proud:)


AS YOU CAN TELL THIS MAN KNOWS WHAT HE IS DOING!!

Not only does he have a pottery wheel in his garage, he also made a kiln so that he can fire pottery at home!! It's quite the set up. Landon loved helping! The vase in the picture was what he fired....and now it is in my home:) I love it!!


We went to a Farmers Market not far from dad and Wanda's home. It was spread out over the countryside. You had to drive to each vendor. I loved it. We went to a cute gift shop at one stop. We ate lunch at another while a live band played. I bought a flat of fresh blueberries that I brought home and made into jam. It was a beautiful day!

Landon and Brylee love this MacKenzie girl! They can never get enough of her:)

I had to take some pictures of dad's pottery. Just a few of the many he had in his house. Wanda had some pieces that she made that were beautiful also.


I couldn't do this post without showing some pictures of my dad's amazing yard. Beautifully landscaped and immaculately groomed. His organic garden is perfect. Complete with compost created by him. He took a compost class:) I loved his handicapped carrots!

Love you dad!! Thanks for the fun....

Sunday, November 7, 2010

4th of July and Rock of Love ♥ and...Camping

Happy 4th of July a little late!! It was freezing in Idaho Falls.....I wore sweats, sweatshirt with hood on, mittens and boots!


Saturday night we went to the firework show at the river....Sunday night we watched the kids' firework show at home:)
We ate a lot of yummy food...I had to take a picture of my patriotic berry brownies...so so good! I bought all of us 4th of July t-shirts at American Eagle and made Brylee and her friend Kaitlyn red, white and blue tutus. It was a good weekend.
The end of July Bret Michaels came to town. I'm not a huge fan but I don't hate him...and I will embarrasingly admit I have watched a season (or maybe 2) of Rock of Love. That's what intrigued me. I had to see him live. Val was a good sport and went along...and we were both shocked that he was surprisingly good!! I was pretty impressed. But not enough to pay $200 for back stage passes!


Bret Michaels' version of Sweet Home Alabama

video



The last few days of July we were able to squeeze in a camping trip at Bear Lake with Val's family. Of course it had to rain!! Thank goodness we had a trailer this trip instead of a tent. Except Lexie, Nick and Landon....sorry guys!


CATCHING UP....CALIFORNIA IN MAY

In May I had a work conference in Anaheim. It only made sense to have Val and the kids come towards the end of my conference so we could do some playing in the California sun. Nick was working in Alaska at the time so we felt very lucky to have Lexie join us. She always adds fun to whatever we do:) They arrived on Friday early evening. That night we went to the most amazing bowling alley. At the end of each lane was a huge screen TV. We ordered dinner and they delivered it right to our lane. It was so much fun!!

Saturday morning I had classes until 12:00. As soon as I was done we jumped in the car and headed for Newport Beach. Unfortunately it was cold and windy! Val, Landon and Brylee got in the water....Lexie and I watched:)

We decided it would be a lot warmer in the pool at our hotel so after a few hours of freezing we left and found the comfort of our heated pool.

That evening we headed to ESPN Zone for dinner in Downtown Disney. I love all the shops, smells of food, people and entertainers. Landon was irritated I made him be in the pictures of the Lego Woody and Lego giraffe:)

DISNEYLAND!!! ....it just never gets old. We had so much fun. 2 days of Park Hopping between Disneyland and Disney California.

Most of the lines were short. We had very little wait time. Splash Mountain was closed which was sad for Brylee. The last time we went she was too short. And Disney World in Florida does not have Splash Mountain:( Someday Bry!

The girls made Landon and Val do all the annoying things girls like to do. Like try on the goofy hats...we all LOVE Val's choice! He wasn't thrilled.....



We love Bug's Life:) It is so cute and the 3D glasses add to the cuteness!!



Landon and his "tree". He is reenacting what happened. He was talking to Lexie and Brylee while he was walking....looking at them instead of where he was going....that's when he met his "tree". We laughed so hard!



Me, Landon and Lexie got our picture taken with our Letter....Brylee felt sad that she didn't have a letter so she chose "O"

Dreaded Tower of Terror....what the heck!!! We(Val and I) went twice. Kids went 5+ Crazy, crazy kids.

We had time for one last ride before the park closed and of course we all chose Indiana Jones....our favorite. The line was for some unknown reason pretty long but we decided to stick it out and hopefully we would make it on. The ride broke down several times while we waited. It was so frustrating but we didn't give up! Finally we were on!! Needless to say halfway through the ride it stopped. We waited, and waited, and waited. An announcer said the ride would start momentarily....but it never did. We were all tightly belted in for about 30 minutes. After awhile it got a little claustrophobic not being able to move. I started taking some random pictures to try and help keep Brylee's mind off being trapped, in the dark, on a ride, strapped in, at Disneyland!

Random pictures:) We ate popcorn while we were waiting in line. If you look closely at Bry's braces you can see the traces....yuck!

And finally a lady came with a step ladder, unlocked our seat belts and guided us through the rest of the ride on foot! That was the best part of our whole trip!!! They turned the lights on and we could see everything. I could tell the lady was annoyed that I was taking pictures...but hey...she couldn't say much because you know...it is the happiest place on earth!! If you look closely at the picture of Val on the bottom left you can see Indiana Jones hanging from the ceiling!

And this is what we came home to....a dead battery at the Salt Lake airport!! That was after missing our flight from LA home because Val hit a curb and blew out a front tire....couldn't get it changed because of the cheap jack, had to catch standby flights from LA to Denver then Denver to Salt Lake...so much for the direct flight.....then getting into Salt Lake but only to find that all of our luggage hadn't made it. So the dead battery was only to be expected:) Other than this last part it was a great time!! It has been 6 months since this trip and I think I just might be able to laugh at this part. But at the time.........