Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Gorgeous Day for a Ride

We had a nearly perfect time with Uncle Richie, save for Grant veering into traffic a time or two. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Movies, trampolines and burgers

With some cool weather and rain in the forecast, we finally went to the movies today (Inside Out) followed by Grant tackling the bungee trampoline.  Trent has been super tired today (vacation overload), and not even famous milkshakes and burgers at SnoFlake helped.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Pope Beach

A day of swimming, burying kids in the sand, paddle boarding, kayaking with uncles, and playing with cousins.  Simply perfect.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

baby fever

Baby Layla is making me want #4.  Great Aunt Erin is in love.

Monday, June 22, 2015

one more park

Someone's not happy to be here.

July's challenge--STOP staring at that screen

I'm not going to use this as my soapbox for why I hate Facebook.  Many of you have heard me rant on and on about it, and there's no need to get all critical here.  I forgive Facebook... or, at least, I am trying to forgive Facebook.

But, even though I hate it, it kind of sucks me in... as does Pinterest... or Instagram.... or any other socialcomputerwasteofmytime!

So, this month, it is NO [social media] SCREEN TIME!  It is going to be hard... but I picked a gorgeous month for the challenge.  It's not winter.  We don't need to be inside... and we don't need to carry our phones with us every waking second while we are outside enjoying the summer.

If someone sends me a message via facebook, I am going to answer it... and treat that like email, but the random scrolling, stalking, surfing the internet for WHO KNOWS WHAT... is over for the month.

I know it's going to be harder for some of you... because you don't actually HATE Facebook like I do. But, even though giving up Facebook will be easy for me, the random surfing of the web will not be!

So, unless it is something I need to do for work, church or family (like ordering medicine or buying toothpaste [yes, I buy our toothpaste at Amazon]), I'm out.

Anyone else want to be "out" with me?


What you let your kids eat when you have to empty the fridge, leave the beautiful barn, and drive ten hours on the Loneliest Road in America...

Sunday, June 21, 2015

First and Last (please)

Last night, we headed to a rodeo here in Bryce.  But, this wasn't your average rodeo.  Oh, there were bull riders and bronc riders and ropers, but this rodeo also featured Grant and Grace too. 

Grace signed up to ride a sheep which, other than a few scrapes from the fall and a massive allergic reaction, went smoothly.  Grant was slated to ride a cow, and he was second in his group.  After the first kid went, this mama started praying because those cows were set to buck!  I swear that first kid almost died (even Bret was concerned)!  On the video, you can hear me audibly praying and then audibly relieved and thankful when he gets up off the ground. 

Grant and Grace loved it, and they each earned some rodeo winnings, and I am so proud of them!  Not much is once in a lifetime, but this might be... at least I hope so!

Happy Birthday

This beauty (inside and out) is seven today.  Seven never looked so sweet.  Happy bday, my silly, kind, helpful and smart little Wei-Wei.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

A Perfect Hike

My kids LOVE Bryce... But it has very little to do with the hoodoos.... and everything with this waterfall we stumbled upon today.


the kids are working hard on their way to being junior rangers... complete with junior ranger binoculars!  This morning's hike was to Mossy Cave.

Our porch

The porch of our barn has become the greatest part of our experience in Bryce, especially in the afternoon's shade.  Jesse (the dog), the cats (one for each child), and all the chickens entertain my kids for hours.  Plus, it makes an ideal ice cream eating spot!

Different Worlds

Grant and Grace went to a Kid's Camp at the previously discussed Mormon church camp we stayed in up at Zion National Park.  While no doubt being indoctrinated, they made friends with another brother and sister who were the same general age.

The evening of the camp, we ran into these same kids at dinner in the mess hall.  I immediately knew there were going to be some problems when they all began discussing where they had been prior to arriving in Zion.

Grace:  "We went to Las Vegas before here."
Girl:  "Really?  So did we!"
Grace:  "Our hotel had 11 floors!  We stayed on floor 3!"

(Here's where things start turning...)

Girl:  "We stayed in a hotel where we had to pay for our inner tubes for the lazy river!"
Grace (confused):  "Really?  A lazy river?"
Girl:  "Yeah!  It was the Mandalay Bay!"

Ok, so we didn't stay at the Mandalay Bay, but we did stay at the Embassy Suites.  Not bad, right?  But the conversation continued.

Boy:  "We went to Cirque du Soleil last night!"
Grace:  "We visited the Goodwill and went to the real circus yesterday!"
Boy:  "Goodwill?"
Grace:  "Yeah...where we buy CLOTHES?"

(Duh, right?)

Grant:  "We're going to California next!  We flew into Los Angeles!"
Boy:  "We live in Irvine.  It's an hour to L.A., and we go there all the time."
Grant:  "What book series have you read?"

(Argh...we have to work on this with him.  I was praying the "What's your Lexile score?" wasn't next.)

Boy:  "I don't really read much."
Grant:  "Oh yeah?  I read all of the Harry Potter books in a month!"
Boy (starting to drift):  "Nice...The chicks will be drooling in their Lucky Charms over that..."

(Ok, so I'm editorializing a bit...)

Grace:  "What are you drinking?  My mom is letting me have a Coke tonight!"
Girl:  "My mom doesn't let us drink soda."
OC Mom in Background:  "Honey, do you want me to get you some steamed milk?"
Girl:  "My mom doesn't let us eat vegetables that aren't steamed in Dasani water."

(All true.)

Boy:  "We flew here in first class and rented a Range Rover!"
Grant:  "One time I asked the tooth ferry for some soap!"

And so on...Different.  Worlds.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The views from the barn

are amazing... These pictures don't do it justice.  Love this place.

Off Roading

We took a family ATV out today.  The property where we are staying is over a thousand acres boarding the national park.  We all had a blast, but Trent loved it most of all, often screaming at Bret to "go faster."  We were able to stop at a huge gulch, and without getting too close to the edge (certain death) took one of the best pics of the trip.  Tomorrow night, we move to our three night stay in a barn.  Yeah!

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Trent went for a ride this morning, while Grant and Grace fed the horses.  This afternoon, Grant and Grace will attend four glorious parent-free hours of kids camp where they will horse back ride, zip line and drive atvs.  The rest of us will be napping!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

And even more

Beautiful and tired

We were up early ready to hit Zion National Park before the heat.  We made our way to the Emerald Pools trails and started up.  With some coaxing and a rest stop to watch a wild tarantula, Trent made it to the lower pool, and with the promise of an Oreo and the chance to play in the Virgin River, he made it back too.

Bret and the kids traveled, much to Grant's dismay--who thought the river and a cookie sounded better too--, several other trails (and not trails) before returning hours later utterly spent.

After a break for lunch, we hit the River walk trail but stopped short of the Narrows, as today's forecast called for adult waist high water.  Another trip.

Now, we are headed back to the ranch to swim and recover and drink ore weight in lemonade.


Someone's not happy to be here!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Doughnuts for breakfast

Imagine a place where they drop your doughnuts into the grease as you order them.  Then, imagine a froyo type assembly line where your doughnuts are dunked and topped.  And imagine eating those warm, gooey doughnuts.  That's our start, folks... and a good start it is!  Now, off to hike in the desert.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Pizza, ice cream and haircuts in Utah

Nothing says happy 13th wedding anniversary like a Great Clips stop, sharing ice cream with a three year old, and conversation about Minecraft over wood fired pizza.  And we wouldn't change a thing!

Tomorrow, our first national park and our stay at a dude ranch!

The Container Park

After a quick stroll on Freemont Street, and our first experience in Vegas with the kids and "cover your eyes,"  we headed to the downtown contain container park, which is easily my favorite Vegas experience.  We let the kids play in the free, enclosed and supervised park while we sat and had a few drinks. A total win-win.

Grace wanted me to post this picture of the"hut" she built out of blue foam blocks.  It took her at least one beer (I mean, half an hour) to create.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Checking out some rocks

Hanging out this afternoon at Red Rock National Conservation Area.

Lazy morning at the hotel

Trent isn't quite all smiles about swimming... But these two are! They thought this was much deserved after a late night run to Hoover Dam!  

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Getting ready for the circus

Ringling Brothers just happens to be in Las Vegas today... and mama just happen to buy Groupon tickets weeks ago.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Kids and Vegas, round 2

Fountains and gelato... a perfect (if blazing) evening!

Vegas with kids, part 1

After the drive from LA to Vegas yesterday, we hit up the hotel pool and a tapas restaurant ( and yes, bacon wrapped stuffed dates count as dinner).  Today with daddy at work, we are at an indoor theme park.  More to come.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stop #2

So yummy... even when tired!

Stop one, Santa Monica Pier

Just a quick leg break after the flight before we head to Vegas.