Sunday, August 23, 2015


My exchange students have arrived! I have had so much fun meeting them. They come from GERMANY, FINLAND, SPAIN, BELGIUM, FRANCE, and COLOMBIA. What a great year we are going to have together! Just as fun as meeting the students, is getting to know their wonderful host families. I am so grateful to them for making the American dream come true for these students!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

County Fair

It was County Fair week!
We enjoyed looking at all the exhibits, the stinky farm animals, and new to this year--the elephant show.

The very best part is finding our entries to see what we won! This year everyone except Dad entered something into the fair. Cannon won 2nd with his lego racer. All the girls submitted art and poetry. Kate won a big Reserve medal for the photo she edited of our camping trip. I got a Reserve medal for my digital scrapbook. We won a few bucks for all those ribbons. It was a pretty good year for us. Next year we may even be able to add some garden produce. 

Yard Remodel

I love before and after photos and boy do we have them from our yard makeover!
Our house looked like it was sinking. The sidewalk was cracked and the cement patio was literally taking a dive south...not to mention the weeds!

We were in dire need of some help--professional help with machinery. It took 2 guys working full time for 2 weeks.

Let the fun begin...

Our porch was hanging there with no foundation. All this due to poor drainage from the raingutters.

Removing the sidewalk revealed a swamp underneath. All of the mud was removed and replaced with road fill.

Nothing brings boys together like a fresh pile of dirt.

Renovations extended to the back and side yards.

This little guy worked the Sunday shift.

We are loving the results!

The price of concrete was quite high, so we were able to save some money on the patio with pavers instead. I loved how they turned out.

I find myself opening the door often just to stare at my new yard. It's almost like the joy I get from a vacation--except it cost 10x more.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

My High School Reunion

For the culmination of our Salt Lake weekend, we went to my 20 year High School reunion! What a trip. I'll admit, I was nervous to go. I don't know why! I didn't do anything too stupid as a teenager. Or did I?  It was all so worth it to see these and many other great friends again!!!!

My hot date looked no older than the other '95 grads there.

We took a tour of the brand spankin' new high school. Not a shred of familiarity except for the spectacular view of mount Olympus from the Cafeteria. No doubt we would have been even smarter if we had gone to school when it looked like this!

My sister helped me with my wardrobe choice and lipstick. She watched all my kids while we were having our trip down memory lane. That's what great sisters do!!

As part of the reunion we had a family day at Liberty Park. I had to snap a picture of my old friend Cannon with MY guy Cannon. He inspired a name for a few of the next generation.
Lunch was provided by our Salt Lake favorite, Bruge's Belgian waffle truck. 

Between all that, we crammed in some school shopping. It was quite a productive day according to my wallet! Just like high school times, we had lunch at the Training Table restaurant. It's a Utah original because you get to "phone" in your order from the table. 
Good times. I can't believe it's been 20 years!!!!!!

Where Fun Is

For one last hurrah for the summer we went to Lagoon.
To our great surprise we found cousins! It was Nature Sunshine employee day for the Jordan and Derek families, although we never saw the latter.

We all waited in a very long line for the newest attraction, Cannibal. 1 hr and 15 minutes later--WOW. What a thrill. We loved it. 
We enjoyed all the good old favorites too like Jet Star II, Colossus, and Wicked. Brynn and Adrie got the most soaked on Rattle Snake Rapids.

After dinner we went on a few more rides and then Dad's spidey sense kicked in. He saw the clouds rolling in and INSISTED that we had to go. We did--after squeezing in Music Express. Kate took this photo from the parking lot as we were leaving. The minute we piled in the van and slid the door shut, BOOM, a clap of thunder came, as if on cue. 5 minutes later on the freeway we were caught in the biggest downpour, I think this desert state has ever seen. Our cousins were at Lagoon when the storm hit--no fun to get soaked on a ride without a water feature.  We drove to our hotel downtown.  The road along Pioneer Park downtown had turned into a small lake. Traffic lights were not functioning. So glad we made it out of Lagoon when we did. 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Running like Butch Cassidy

We drove to the little town of Junction for Butch Cassidy Days.

I ran a 5k! Slow and steady wins the race. Not really! But we did have some winners in the family.

Finally the sun went down and it was time for the neon 5k and kids races.
Cannon won a 1st place medal in the boys 1/2 mile.
Adrie won 2nd in the girls 1 mile
Brandon won 2nd overall in the 5k with a time of 22 :40.
Our friend, De, who convinced us to join her for this whole event, took 1st in Women's and won $50!
I finished!
Everyone was a winner! Glad we did it! Home at midnight.

Camping and Fishing

We camp and fish. Yes we do!
With our neighbor buddies, we planned an overnighter. They are pros at this camping thing.

A fairly short drive took us into Fishlake National Forest and on to Twin Ponds camground.

It was so pretty AND the temperature was literally 15 degrees cooler here. We set up our tents and took a short walk to these beautiful ponds.
Our kids experienced their first time fishing!

The meadows were dotted with a variety of beautiful wildflowers. Across the pond, was a fine beaver lodge. We spotted a couple of muskrat and a snake slithered in the grass near our path.

We enjoyed a fantastic dutch oven dinner. Food tastes so good in the mountains! The kids built an eco-friendly bathroom, using a hollow stump. Only a privacy wall was lacking. I chose to take the short trek to the outhouse.
The most anticipated event, for Cannon, was the roasting of s'mores. Giant campfire marshmallows provided layer after layer of toasted melty goodness.

Amazing how the stars shine at night. It was a cold one ! But we survived it and had a great time.