Saturday, June 29, 2013

24 Hours

I'm always on the hunt for a good bargain, not only in the grocery store but on fun family activities. When I recently came across a few deals for fun in Flagstaff (a town about 90 minutes away), I couldn't pass them up.

David came home from work on Thursday, and we headed out of town. We got into Flagstaff and headed right to dinner. Our original idea for dinner didn't pan out as the wait was 40 minutes. We headed to one of our favorites, Wildflower Bread Company. Ben and Emily shared one of their favorites, a chicken ceasar salad. I don't know too many 7 and 8 year olds who are thrilled with a chicken ceasar salad, but my kids love it!
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Well not all my kids, Noah ate butter noodles.
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We finished eating and headed to the Lowell Observatory. This is the place they discovered Pluto.
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They had a bunch of hands on exhibits the kids enjoyed.
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Then, we got to look through the telescope that helped discover Pluto.
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We saw a star cluster that was 30,000 light years away and like 14 billion years old. Amazing.

Then, we got some ice cream. This picture of Noah makes me laugh. He has an astronaut and an ice cream.
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We check in our hotel late and went to sleep. In the morning, we woke up and went to breakfast. The kids are too funny. Emily didn't like the pancakes because they weren't like her Dad's. I'll admit, they were bland. Ben didn't like the cinnamon rolls because they weren't like mine. They were too sweet. They like what they like.

We finished eating and headed to the pool. The kids thought this was the best thing ever! It was indoor/outdoor and had some flaps to separate the two.
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Noah was a bit skeptical at first and if he wanted to go from inside to outside, he got out of the pool walked through the glass door and jumped in the other side. He finally made a run for it.
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He was thrilled he finally did it.
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We had the pool to ourselves for awhile. David helped Ben perfect his superhero poses. It helps he's still only 45 pounds.
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We finished at the pool, got ready and headed to the mountains. Snow Bowl is the ski resort in Flag and we took the summer scenic chair lift ride. Emily was really excited and nervous. It's so neat to see her having so much fun.
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I was on the lift with Ben. He was praying the whole way. It didn't help that there were storm clouds all around us and thunder and lightning. Ben kept saying, "Dear God, please don't zap us, I'm too young to die." He's a riot. It was never unsafe, just a little scary.

Here are the kids at the top.
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Me and the kids, you know to prove I was there.
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Our little family.
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It was a really stunning view and the weather was just perfect. Nice and cool and the rain held off until after we were off the mountain.
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We then headed to lunch and were back on our way home. It was a 24 hour vacation, but we really packed a lot into that time. The kids had such a blast. We all did. You know it's been a good trip when you turn around in to look at the back seat and you see this.
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They are getting older and these type of trips are easier. I think we'll see more nights away just for fun more often. Where else can we go and what can we see and do in 24 hours? The sky's the limit! Actually about 100 miles is the limit as that's as far as we want to go in a day!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Camping

We went camping last weekend to White Horse Lake. This makes our third annual trip there with the same two other families. We always have such a good time. We got there and started setting up our tent. The boys took off for the lake.
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The girls were excited to sit in the raft and couldn't wait to get it out on the water.
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Brooke and Noah are so cute together. He tries to pretend he doesn't like her, but he does.
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Now, I think this is weird, but the girls liked playing with the worms for fishing. Ben and Noah wouldn't hold them, but Emily did.
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One of the girls came running back from the lake saying that Noah was stuck. He stepped in the mud. David had to save him.
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Noah was happy after his feet got cleaned off.
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First worms and now these girls were trying to catch frogs.
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Ben is doing his "whoop" call which they do on Finding Bigfoot. We didn't find him.
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My husband looking handsome.
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The older boys took the boat out at sunset.
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This is the only picture that I'm in. David takes one on every trip to prove I was there.
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Our friends, Dakri and Ryan.
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I love this view....
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The kids playing some games in the morning, and Amy enjoying some coffee.
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The girls were practicing sewing. From worms to sewing.
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we have a tent. Dakri and Ryan have a tent trailer. Mark and Amy have a mansion on wheels. Needless to say, whenever we couldn't find Noah, we knew exactly where he'd be. In the mansion.
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David took the kids out on a boat ride.
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Amy helped the girls string beads to make necklaces. Because that's what these girls do after catching frogs.
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After dinner on our second day, we all went fishing.
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We knew we wouldn't catch anything, but the kids thought it was fun. We only have 2 poles. Noah had to go first. He's the smallest kid with the loudest voice.
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Emily drank some raspberry fruit water that gave her a red mustache.
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Ben finally got a turn fishing.
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Noah wasn't very happy about giving up his fishing pole. So he cried. His face was dirty because well, we are camping after all, and the mix of tears made it look like his mascara was running.
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This is Mark & Amy's youngest girl, Brooke. Emily and her bonded. Emily told me she wants a little sister with soft fuzzy hair just like Brooke. Um, not going to happen. But, you can babysit her in a few years.
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The last morning we are there, we pretty much get up, get packed and head for home. We always get one last group photo of the kids.
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We are already planning our trip for next year and tossing around the idea of 3 nights. I don't know if I have it in me. The kids have such a good time though that I might just cave.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Piano Camp

Emily's piano teacher had a piano camp for her 4 students a few weeks ago. I'm a little behind posting. My Stepmom Suzy texted today to ask if I was busy or having too much fun to blog. How about busy having too much fun! In any case, piano camp was a huge hit! The girls all had a great time.

The composed their own music during camp. Mrs. Stacy put it in a program on the computer that plays the notes they made up. This was Emily's. She called it Summertime.


They did all sorts of fun activities and the last was decorating a piano cake. The Mom's got to come help with that part.
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Here are all the girls. One just quit taking lessons and the other just started. Mrs. Stacy is a busy lady.
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I'm so proud that Emily still wants to play piano and enjoys it. I know we all wish we would've stuck with it as a kid and I'm so happy she is having fun and learning something that she will have with her for the rest of her life.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fire

We hear of tornadoes in Oklahoma or storms back East and we are thankful that we live in a very mother nature friendly state. We don't have to worry about hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes. What we do have to worry about is caused by man and spreads with the drought that our state has been in for...well, forever. Fire.

Today our neighboring town is on fire. It's about 15 miles from us, so we are fine. Our good friends however were forced to evacuate this afternoon. These are the people who we go to their house for Halloween and they have a haunted forest in their backyard. The haunted forest is in jeopardy of burning down. Luckily, no structures have burned, but there is zero percent containment. I feel for my friends and can't imagine what it's like when 911 calls you. That's how they were notified. A reverse 911 call to get your valuables, keepsakes, family and pets in the car and get out praying for the best.
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On a lighter note, we went to the pool tonight like we do every night. The kids were in awe of the sky. The sun looked bright red and you could look right at it with all the smoke in front of it.
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Ben said the most awesome thing. "Is this the end of the world? If it is, I can only say, I have no regrets."

That kid is the best. I wish we could all live like him.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's

I know everybody says they have the greatest Dad in the world, but I seriously do. Hard working, devoted, loving, knows just about everything. That's my Dad, and I couldn't be more grateful. We are on our way to visit him (and my wonderful stepmom) in a month. We are looking forward to more memories like this.
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With such a great role model on what a Dad should be, it's no wonder that I picked David. I knew he would be a great Dad, but he amazes me in all that he is. He gives and gives and when he's exhausted at the end of the day, he falls asleep with Noah in his arms. It's Noah's favorite way to sleep. He loves his Dad.
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Emily is convinced she will marry him one day. I love that and we intend to let her believe it as long as she can.
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She even made him a heart pancake on Father's Day.
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The picture I took of David and Ben didn't turn out good, so I'm not posting it. But, they went to see Superman on Saturday. They see every superhero movie together. But, I know that Ben thinks the best superhero is his Dad.

We ended up at the pool for Father's Day. I think I have a picture of David and the kids at the pool every year. I'll have to put them together one day.
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These kids are blessed beyond measure to have David and their Papa in their life. I know they are too young to appreciate all that they have, but one day they will know, and they will be grateful.