Sunday, December 7, 2008

Campin' with the Crams

Over Labor Day weekend, we went camping with our friends the Crams. They invited us to go to their cabin outside of Kanab. It took FOREVER to get to their place. It was about 2 1/2 hours. We are use to a 35 minute drive up the mountain to camp. So it was a much longer trip than anticipated.
I don't think you actually classify this as camping. We went to their cabin. We had full utilities and ammenities. They have a great meadow in front of the cabin along with a swing set and a climbing thing. The kids were totally entertained for the weekend.
Sara, Tyler and I had other plans. We were going to bottle our tomatoes and corn from our garden. So we spent the afternoon on Saturday doing this. Look at those beautiful tomatoes from our garden. We had soooo much success with our garden. We had green beans, carrots, pumpkins, tomatoes, green peppers, corn, cucumbers, and watermelon. The beans were the out of control producers. I gave away at least 4 full grocery bags to my family and Sara the same. That doesn't take into account the gazillion bottles of bean we put up. I really enjoyed the garden. Next year, we are still going to work together but just a little different. This year everything was at Sara's because I didn't have a spot for a garden yet. Next year we will split the items up and share. It's more fun to work on weeding and canning with a partner in crime. Thanks Sara for thinking of the great idea of a community garden.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Smith Family Reunion

Hello all.....I am back again. I have been so busy over the last 3 1/2 months with starting a new job, PTA President, and total involvement in my kids schooling that blogging was left behind. I will be posting a bunch of make up post from the summer. This is so I can include them in my book. So it may be a while until recent blogs are posted.
I had the most fun I have ever had at a family reunion in my life. I was so thrilled to see how GREAT all the cousins got along. Not only did the little kids get along, so did the big kids. You know my brother and sisters. That is the most amazing part. I don't remember any big or really even little moments of contention. Don't get me wrong, kids will be kids, but they would get over their issues and move on. We as adults can learn a lot from our little ones.
My family was so excited for all the cousins to come we could hardly stand it. And we were crazy with excitement for Grammy and Papa. They came early, with Tim and Cameron. It was so great to have them all to ourselves for a few days. Eventhough my kids only see Grammy and Papa a couple times a year there is an amazing bond.
Tim brought Cameron's little four wheeler. Was that ever the hit. Good thing I didn't have neighbors yet cuz the kids would drive the streets and just honk and honk the horn.

It was funny the time line that everyone arrived in. We had the crazy duo from Mesa, Mindy and Heidi, drive all night to get there by 5:00 in the am. Bruce had a little trouble keeping his eyes open and began to drift into another lane. Heidi yelled his name and that kept his heart pumping hard for the rest of the trip. Poor Kim thought she was going to be the 1st to arrive and she actually ended up being the last.
Since everyone was there a day before we were going up the mountain, the kids just played at our house. We set up the slide and that entertained everyone for hours. The four-wheelers were also a big hit. We had our 2 four wheelers and then we borrowed Dayna's, Kyle's and Korey's 2. So we had 6 total. I don't think those had ever been driven as much as they were during those 4 days.
We were then off to the mountain. We were staying at the old Navajo cabin. We also had my trailer for space. Poor Mom and Dad slept on an air mattress on the deck and then in the family room. Guess that's what happens when you don't have any young kids. I really do feel bad about their sleeping situation. My trailer was the sleepover spot. We would have different kids each night. On our final night we had 8 kids in there. It was amazing how great they all slept. Once it was lights out.....they were out. I guess running around all day will do that to you.
The fun was just non stop each day. We had a day of shooting.

They all took their turns shooting empty soda cans. Tyler and Tim manned target practice.
We played golf frisbee......the pictures will be added later. Thanks Bruce and Tommie for directing the game.
Little Mason didn't get to join either of those activities, he had to hang out with the adults. But I was able to get an adorable picture of that squisshy boy.

Don't you just want to eat him up??

Down at this little pond the kids were catching horny toads. This is one of Kaylee's most favorite things to do. I always feel so bad for the poor toad, because Kaylee thinks it is her child and carts it with her everywhere she goes.

This picture isn't of anything in particular....just made me think of Little House on the Prairie. Thanks Aunt Mimi for the cute french braids.

Grammy was the big hit, of course. She had made up a treasure hunt for the kids. They loved running or riding the 4 wheelers from place to place in such of the loot. Thanks Grammy for the memories.

The end of the reunion ended with a little panic. Justin had hurt Tori's arm on a 4 wheeler ride. When he does something wrong, or hurts someone he tends to get upset and can't express his feelings. By the time I had gotten back from the ride he had run off. So I went in search for him. I started with the trailer because he was seen running that way. After searching the trailer there was no Justin. So we began calling for him. This went on for quite some time, still no answer. The whole family began searching. We were yelling his name and walking the whole north side of the property. Tyler and I became very worried because it was getting dark. We made our way back down to the cabin. I got there just in time to hear the final bit of the family prayer. I remember Mindy saying, "let him know he is not in trouble if he is hiding, and that we love him." That sent me off into tears. I jumped on the four wheeler and decided to drive the north property line with the road. I was crying and calling out for Justin. I was terrified because now it was dark. I knew if I made it back to the cabin with no Justin I was going to call the search and rescue folks. On my way back, Travis or Bruce, I can't remember which one, met up with me and told me they had found Justin. What a relief. When I saw him I just bawled. I had been so scared of losing my little boy. He, Tyler, and I spent the next few minutes hugging and crying. What a happy ending. I was told that Dad found him in the trailer underneath the table that had been made up into a bed. I didn't even think to look there as I didn't think a child could fit under there. What a blessing that he wasn't really lost, but just hiding.
The next morning everyone headed out. We stayed behind to finish up a little cleaning. We were all packed and ready to go and.......the truck wouldn't start. We tried for quite some time. Still no luck. So I hopped on a 4 wheeler and went looking for someone to jump us. I found someone but that still didn't fix the problem. Poor Tyler had to ride the 4 wheeler all the way to Duck Creek to make a phone call. That is a good 20 minute ride away. And to top it off, it was raining. Tyler was finally able to contact Darcy, who called Brent to come and rescue us. Brent somehow knew how to jimmy rig the engine to work. I've never loved the sound of diesel more than at that moment. We made it home by about 5:00 pm.

Monday, September 22, 2008

1st Day of School

August 14th, 2008. It's the first day of school. Justin is now in 3rd grade, Kaylee is in 1st, and Courtney didn't really start today, but wanted to be in the pictures. The most exciting part of this year of school is how close we now live to it. Justin wanted to ride his bike. Kaylee walked with me. What a blessing it is to be able to do this. And for you city folks, we don't even use a bike lock. We are the only 2 bikes at the school.

We love Three Peaks Elementary.....and be better because the school is a whole family event for us. Whether it is school itself, choir, spanish, or PTA the whole family gets involved.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

4th of July

Our holiday celebration started a day early. Brent and Dayna had arranged for the whole adult family to go see Les Miserables. I was so excited. I haven't seen this since I was 16. We first had a yummy dutch oven dinner and then watched the play. It was so inspiring. At intermission, I said to Heidi, "I need a cause to go and fight for." Thanks Brent and Dayna for a fun night!
The next day we headed up the mountain for our annual Hillyard-Hunter 4th celebration. This year was a little different because Dayna had us all lined out to work on the cabin. We had people painting 3 different rooms and laying tile in the bathrooms and kitchen. It was actually quite fun. Much more fun than doing it all by ourselves on our house. The work detail didn't begin until Saturday am. So we had all Friday to play.

Grandma Dayna had planned a treasure hunt for all the grandkids. They sure loved it. Kaylee was always leading the pack. Dayna had also planned a compass course for Justin and Drayton. This was to help pass off a task in scouts. All the kids found great treasures. Thanks Dayna for thinking of fun activities for our kids.

Later that night, we piled onto the four wheelers and headed to the ice hole. I didn't go down, but Tyler and all the kids took a turn. We lowered a tall ladder down the hole and everyone climbed down. From what they told me, there was too much ice to really go anywhere. Isn't it crazy that there was still ice there on the 4th of July. Brent tells us, that was how people had refridgeration way back when.

What a fun weekend!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bugs, YIKES!!

Tyler and I were arranging the garage (well at least started to) when we came across this enormous bug. Neither of us knew what it was. Nor did I care to know. This was our first encounter with the son of a gun.

Next, Courtney complained of a big bug in her room. Oh Courtney, I'm sure it was an exaggeration. Then 3 days ago, I was hanging curtains in Courtney's room when I noticed in her window well there were 2 more of these creatures. She told me then, that was the bug in her room. So I was a little more scared for her.

Two days ago, Courtney, Kaylee and Rebecca Cram came screaming hysterically up the stairs. You could barely understand Courtney as she was terrified and crying. So being the brave mom, I headed downstairs with my friend Sara. I stopped in the bathroom to get some toilet paper thinking I could pick it up. Then I got to the bed.......and this is what I saw.

Sara began jumping around. I was still calm. I picked up a miniature play dust pan. I used this to get the creature into the bag. Once I got it into the bag, I let out a scream of terror. That scared everyone more than the bug. But I couldn't act brave anymore. Tyler didn't respond to my first cry for help. But he came running after the high pitched scream. But that's all he did. He just laughed. What a strong, brave, protective husband.

It was then upstairs and to the dumpster. Sara wanted to look at it again. So on the front porch, I handed her the bag. She looked inside, and as she did, I screamed and grabbed her. She dropped the bag and out he ran. The best part about the scare on the porch was the reaction of the workers across the street at Abby's house. They all stopped in their tracks to see what was going on. By that point, Sara and I were lucky that we didn't pee our pants. What a fun memory of our new house.

Have no fear, the bug men are on their way and will be here on Tuesday.

House Update

The day finally arrived......moving day. It was so much work and who knew where the camera was. So I didn't get any pictures. We moved into our new house on Saturday, June 28th. The house was not totally finished, but the minor things that needed to be done didn't impact code. So we loaded up the snowmobile trailer 3 times and all our junk was here. We were lucky we didn't have much furniture to move because it was already delivered and NEW!! It was also a good thing we didn't have the furniture because we had next to no help moving. One other brother, Clay, was all the testosterone that arrived. The next Tuesday, we had 4 brothers from our new ward help with the last load. We really appreciated these strangers helping us. You gotta love the church!!
I am posting just a few pictures of some of the new house. Once we are fully decorated, I'll add some more.

We finally have a driveway and sidewalk. The driveway is big enough to park 6 cars on it out

Here is Tyler and Michelle's new bedroom set. We have a matching armoire and dresser. The bed is sooooo high off the ground. Michelle still hasn't judged the corners of the bedframe well yet. The sides of her legs have the bruises to prove it.

This is the family room with all new furniture. Notice the new kitchen table in the background. We love the dark brown carpet. No more stains for us!!

The girls' rooms sure are bright. Kaylee is the pink polka dot and Courtney is purple butterflies. As you can see, it is still a work in progress.
Justin's room is a sports/baseball room. He has a new bed too. The one picture I left off was of a 3 foot baseball player on the wall. I am really happy with how all the kids rooms turned out. They love them too.
At the last minute, Tyler decided to add a deck off the back of our room. I thought we were just going to run a set of stairs. Well, here is the partially completed deck. It is now done. Someday, it will be the best hot tub spot.

Cotton Candy Summer

Our summer is always busy thanks to Michelle's cotton candy business, Tasty Treats. Sometimes the fairs are pretty boring. But this one was really fun for the kids and the pocketbook. This is Orem Summerfest. We played at the park, learned about fire safety, watched High School Musical performances, and sold a ton of cotton candy.

Thanks Jill and Durrant for taking them on Saturday afternoon. The kids went to Chuckie Cheese and swam for 5 hours. They all fell in love with Uncle Durrant. He played catch with them for hours on end. Thanks again.

The kids came back just in time to be put to work. Who knew how busy we would get. We had a line for over 5 hours. So each person had a station. Mom made the cotton candy, Dad made the carmel apples, Kaylee got the drinks, and Justin was the money man. We couldn't have done it without the kids help. We ran out of everything, soda, water, sugar, apples. If we didn't we would have made even more $. As it was, we made a profit of $2000.

The kids actually like to help, "work". We pay them some money (or buy them toys at the fair). In a few more years, they will be the full time workers.

Since then, we have done 2 other fairs. Not nearly as successful. Oh well, you win some you lose some.