Thursday, October 28, 2010

my fall Thursdays and so on.....

My friend Celeste and I are both down to having our last kid at home. We both have blond wild 3-year olds. We have been trying to use our precious time wisely and started hiking every Thursday as soon as we drop the older kids off at school.

Here are Orion and Thomas running toward the color in South Fork.

These boys gravitate towards water

One morning up Hobble Creek they insisted on playing in this puddle, they made little boats out of leaves and then would load it up with rocks and watch them sink.

My hiking buddy Celeste and Tommy

Oey following a deer trail.

Ride 'em cowboys

Beautiful Rock Canyon

Celeste always knows when nature is offering us sweet treats.

No water this time but a playground of rocks. I have found I am MUCH happier since we have started our Thursday hikes. I can't even begin to describe how amazing and alive and BLESSED it makes you feel to be outside all day, just enjoying and marveling at everything. And to share it with such a kindred spirit - it's just too much goodness, I could cry :). It was meant to be just an hour or two but we found we would stay until it was time to get the kids from school. So after that first time we made sure to pack snacks and traded off bringing lunch. Being outdoors has centered me and being with Celeste has also been therapy for the heart, mind and soul.

Speaking of outdoors... we have recruited some new hikers

On our way to Stewart Falls

Cousins at play, they didn't even know they were hiking

The girls - Steph and I

The boys - James and Matt

My family

The new recruits. My brother James (and his amazing family) have moved HERE to Provo. We have already done a couple hikes with them and love just hanging out.

Speaking of fall..... We moved to a new school this year. It was hard to leave our neighborhood school but as a parent I felt it wasn't the right fit for us.

Our new school Walden. It is more of an art, science, hands-on, hippie school. It is only 4 miles away, just far enough that I need to drive. Walden is set up like a Montessori school, so you get to work at your own pace and spend a lot of time on things you really love.

And me. I have been enjoying all the field trips and a million other things about it. Our first field trip was to the pool.

Here is Jarom (in the yellow behind the guy in the green) and his class at the Bingham Canyon copper mine. It might look a little different than the normal 2nd grade class. Jarom's class is 2 - 4 grade.

My buddy boy

I think we have had at least a field trip every other week. Here are the kids at Timp Lodge. The highschoolers put on a carnival for the elementary. It was full of games and they even made lunch for everyone.

Here on another field trip. They had a day to gather fall leaves and make a million and one things with them and again they provided lunch.

Jarom making leaf rubbings.

Orion - what to do with this wild child who tried to always stay on the opposite side of the river from me.

Enjoying school outdoors

And getting wet

Lots of time to be a kid and explore

Sunday, October 24, 2010

White Sand Wishes

10-10-10 Matty's Birthday

We woke in the dark and drove to White Sands to watch the sun rise and enjoy our last few hours with our family.

My Birthday boy. It was so magical to be here with my love, surrounded by the beauty and love our Heavenly Father has so lovingly given us.

Orion knows the real deal. And is ready to get his daddy's surprise party started. Maybe it's because he picked out the Spiderman cake and gets it for breakfast.

Matt was surely surprised when we all walked to him from our different directions with these awesome glasses on singing Happy Birthday dear Matty!!

A party in the sands - might as well have been the stars.

Saying goodbye was hard. And for the rest of the day we had to stop and remind ourselves not to grab for the walkie talkie and ask if they wanted to stop or DID you see THAT?

Our next stop was to Three Rivers. Out in the middle of nowhere are what seems to be mountains fallen into piles of rubble. And everywhere you looked something was looking back at you.

We have seen our fair share of petroglyphs but nothing ever like these.

They are so creative and fun. We just scrambled over and around to find them all.

I love this little birdie. I told everyone to take it all in, because next summer I want us to paint the fence that lines our yard and fill it with all of our favorite ones.

They even had a ton of cool designs and peace signs

Even when you think you have seen them all you turn around and run into more

Jarom next to the chubby bighorn sheep.

Birthday boy (I begged him to wear his birthday suit, guess next year I'll have to take him somewhere a little more out-there to feel comfortable)

First day back home and we celebrated some more. It wouldn't be a real MATT party without his favorite Virgil's sodas.

Not to mention his favorite cake (homemade carrot cake with fresh shredded ginger and carrots)

And friends - thanks to all who made it on last minute notice.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Carlsbad Caverns

New Mexico has the best little towns

Welcome to Roswell - home of the aliens landing

And not much more...

but made our drive all the more merry.

Bats leaving the cave at Carlsbad Caverns at sunset. Don't ask how I got this photo. I'm not even going to ask. I just saw it there with our other photos and thought I should use it since they had signs up EVERYwhere - saying NO photos. And to my surprise we have one. Sneaky sneaky.

Leaving the amphitheater with my honey

Lovely ladies looking at all the caterpillars

handsome boys taking in the vast desert sunset glow

One might think it was going to be a quite evening

Our campground was fully loaded with the goods. And we had a full blown party. Jukebox blaring oldies set the let-loose-and-go-wild tone.


And my opponent - It's a wonder how I ever won.

Once we got kicked out of the rec room the party got a little out of hand. Caution - big children at play.

We all took turns running in circles trying to catch a ride and then to also watch out for the one crazy tire that also took turns sneaking up and hitting everyone.

A calmer bunch, Em is holding her hand out to block the wild tire.

Oey pretty much never moved from his spot

Trying to make our way back to the campsite. And calm down for the other campers' sakes. I swear. But things kept getting in the way.

It was a fine hopscotch tournament.

Going backwards

Don't forget to use the Bat Rooms before bed.

Heather pouring the cherry cider freely.

O! Use the Bat Room already!!!

After a good night's rest we woke to a beautiful morning

Back to the bat cave.

And this time we are going IN!!!

This cave is HUGE!! We kept walking further down into Mother Earth. I felt like I could be in my own version of Journey to the Center of the Earth, I just needed that duck.

I posted this photo just for all to stare at Matt's curly sexy locks. I love them!!

And now I will just post a picture with a single person in it. We will pretend they are standing by their favorite formation. The lovely Bella and Jabba.

Matty(locks) under the lion tails

Jarom and his very own huge perfectly toasted marshmallow.

And well for me. I want to show you my REAL favorite, but I wasn't standing by it.

TA DA!! There is just something about it I find so personal. Warms my bosom.

After walking miles in the cave we came to the end which was shopping!!! Don't know how I feel about that but still loving Matt's curls.

I did have to use this though.

Kids being sworn in as Junior Rangers

Ended the day with the best frozen custard ever at Caliche's in Alamogordo. Sounds weird, but was delish!!