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Hidden Falls

July 28, 2015

Thank goodness for hiking club; we’re getting to know all kinds of new places we haven’t explored before.  Two weeks ago we met up with three other families and hiked to Hidden Falls in Big Cottonwood Canyon, though it wasn’t much of a hike.  It’s just a few hundred feet off the road–the canyon road in the middle of a curve that you must park on one side of and cross to the other safely with all small children in tow.

Beautiful scenery, scary road crossing–

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Whew!  We made it!

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Though short, this was actually a hard hike.  The trail just ends and if you want to get to the waterfall, you have to go through the water, while holding an 18-month-old!  Little A did not want to get down in the water this day.  She wanted to be held and it was tough going on the slippery rocks.
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The spray from the falls felt good though, once we made it.

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Looking down into the tunnel: (I’m really glad we didn’t have to go in there!)OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

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Now Little A wants to play, now that it’s time to go home!

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We have hiking club again this Wednesday, but almost everybody here has head colds and/or allergies, so we’ll see.

Geocaching

July 14, 2015

One of my blogging friends was in town this past week for a baby blessing, so she invited us to get together to do some geocaching, which is basically a giant world treasure hunt by GPS.  A was at youth conference (which I completely forgot about until Sunday when he came home from church and said, “We’re leaving tomorrow at 11:30.”  And I said, “Leaving for where??”) but the rest of us met up at Mueller Park in Bountiful.  We had a hard time getting a gps signal in the canyon so we never did find the cache we were looking for, but the kids all had a glorious time anyway hiking on the trail, and through the trees, and in the creek.  Even Little A wanted down to play in the water, and was thoroughly wet through by the time we left.     I need to remind E not to wear green when we go hiking.  I had a very hard time keeping track of him in the trees, especially when he decided to hike on ahead of us all on his own.  I just can’t seem to impress upon him the importance of sticking with the group at all times. After we got home, the boys wanted me to find out more about geocaching, so we got on the website and downloaded the app, and were amazed at the number of caches hidden all over our city.  There was even one on our church property, so we walked down the block and found our very first geocache.  I think we’ve found a new hobby.

Lisa Falls

July 13, 2015

It’s amazing how many hikes I do not know about even though we’ve lived in the Salt Lake Valley for over fifteen years now.  Two weeks ago, we met our friends again and hiked to Lisa Falls up Little Cottonwood Canyon.  This was not paved like the quarry trail, but I had no problems carrying Little A up the quarter-mile trail to a small waterfall.  The falls come down the rock face only a few months out of the year.

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The boys were like mountain goats climbing all over the rocks and enjoying the cold water.  Little A loved the water too, after the first initial shock of how cold it was.  She was fairly soaked by the time we hiked back down to the car.

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We’re loving getting out in the canyons this summer!

Hiking Club

July 13, 2015

A few years ago, some of our homeschooling friends had a summer hiking club, but it was mostly geared towards older kids who could do miles-long hikes.  I think E was a baby at the time, or possibly 18-months old who hated to be in a carrier.  D had pretty short legs at the time as well.  Needless to say we didn’t join in too often.

But one of my friends said she was planning hikes this summer that would be doable for N, her 5-year-old.  I said, “Count us in!”  If N could do it, then E could do it, and it wouldn’t be so strenuous that I couldn’t take Little A as well.  So we’ve been hiking twice together.  A and C missed the first time because they were at scout camp.  We’ve been to the Temple Quarry many times though, so they didn’t miss out too much (not to mention they did some serious hiking at scout camp.)

I was amazed at all the pictures E let me take of him.  He never wants to be in pictures, at least not with the whole family.  Sometime we’ll look back at 2015 and wonder where E was, because he isn’t in any family pictures.

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You can see the marks on this stone from the quarrying.  Stone was cut here for the Salt Lake Temple.

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Here we are . . . still!

July 13, 2015

Have I gone crazy yet?  Just about . . .

I’ve been reading all kinds of articles online on how to sell your house.  My favorite piece of advice was to quit thinking of it as your home, and start thinking of it as your property.  Which is all fine and good, except I have five children and we still have to live in our “property.”  I heard someone else say she thought nothing could be worse than all the cleaning/packing/repair work/house-selling prepwork, until she hit the endless waiting (with children!) in the Cleanest House in the World stage.  I can commiserate.  And our house, excuse me, our property, is nowhere near the cleanest house in the world.  We try; we really do. But it’s impossible to keep it that way. I wish I could say that we are pros at having it ready to show at a moment’s notice, but we’re not.  Every time we clean it (again!) for a showing, I just hope that it will be for the last time.  But here we are, three months on the market and counting, and still, we have to keep it looking its best.  I’m so over it all.

I finally let go of school work for the year.  We didn’t come close to meeting all of our goals for the year, but something had to give, so at least for the past month I haven’t had to do that too, except math and music.  The boys were hoping we’d have the house sold by now so they could enjoy a summer for a change without any talk of cleaning or packing or moving.  My biggest hope was to get settled so I could take the summer and plan out the coming year of school without a move looming over me and taking up so much space in my head.  That’s no longer a possibility, so now I’m just holding out for moving before school starts again, mainly because A starts seminary and I’d really like to know where he’ll be going. So when not washing fingerprints off the living room window for the 27th time, I’ve been planning like crazy and trying to get things ordered for next year, even though it seems a little ridiculous to get packages in the mail every day when all the rest of my homeschool stuff is in our storage unit and everything about our lives is kind of in limbo right now.  The boys are also tired of having all of their fun and creative things in storage, as they remind me frequently.  Their legos are still here, but even those are losing their appeal and most days devolve into frequent pleas for minecraft or movies. We’ve actually managed to not binge on electronics too much, although on the fourth of July, we did indulge ourselves.  We finally dumped out the world map puzzle we got for Christmas that we never opened because we were, of course, trying to pack in preparation for selling the house.  While we worked on the puzzle, we watched Gettysburg and National Treasure, the boys watched How to Train Your Dragon 2, and DH and I watched 42 together after he came home from work.  We’ve also been catching up on the final few seasons of Foyle’s War, a detective series set in and after WWII that we’ve really enjoyed. The puzzle was fun.  It was 1000 pieces of a world map with landmark buildings.  The geography was seriously distorted, but it was fun to figure out where all the individual pieces went and identify places we’ve studied.  We even found something recognizable: 02-IMG_3662 The Manila Philippines LDS temple! 2-IMG_3661-001 These photos really don’t show all the fun details. 1-IMG_3665-001 We’ve gotten out and about a little bit more lately as well since we realized it’s easier to keep the house clean if E and Little A are not in the house.  We’ve got a hiking club going, we met some blogging friends, and A went to youth conference.  Pictures to come . . .

Nine Mile Ranch and petroglyphs

July 9, 2015

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A and C went to scout camp down near Nine Mile Canyon in Carbon County a few weeks ago.  I told A to take some pictures.  He did. . .

4 photos of C doing archery, one lizard, a few scenic shots, and a whole lot of petroglyphs.  Thank goodness the scout troop has a facebook page where we were able to see photos of the boys painting picnic tables, hiking, and having a good time, so we knew that A was actually there.

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Maybe we need to work on photography skills this year.

These are better:

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The petroglyphs were really cool.  They were in an area where the Fremont lived.  Here’s one of their dwellings:

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They came home from camp a few hours early, just as I was herding the other three out of the house and into the car so DH could stay home and man an open house.  (No, our house hasn’t sold yet.) All A wanted to do was sleep, and all I wanted him to do was take a shower, so after getting some lunch, we went to visit Great-grandma J for a while so the boys could avail themselves of her bathroom.
A and C talked nonstop about all the things they did, and who said what, and how funny some of the leaders were, and how they scared everyone out of their wits with a pretend cougar attack, except A who slept through it all.  And I guess there was a tree that they would all gather under in the afternoons (we’ve had record-breaking heat here lately) and as the small amount of shade moved, all the scouts would move with it.
I was just glad they got to go.  C has had some great leaders in Cub Scouts, but we’ve had some ups and downs with Boy Scouts in our stake, and last year, A came home from church the Sunday before they were set to go to camp and told us that they weren’t going after all; they didn’t have enough leaders committed to going to be able to take the boys.  I was so mad at the late notice, but it seemed to bother me more than it did A.  This year has been much better.  They’ve got a good group of boys and some amazing leaders and they’ve been committed to making scouts a good experience for the boys.  A’s been looking forward to this camp for months.  The ranch they stayed at is owned by one of the leader’s grandparents and they provided a great experience for all of them.
We sure missed them though and are glad to have them home.

It’s a whole new world

July 8, 2015

Now that Mommy found me a stool so I can look out the window:

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