Friday, June 24, 2016

Another Hike:)

Yesterday our five oldest kids went to youth conference for the weekend.  They had to be at the church by 5 am.  Since I was getting up with them anyway, I thought it would be a great day for an early morning hike.  Xander wanted to come along again, so I had a buddy for my trip:).  We hiked to the top of Butterfield Peaks, just to the west of Herriman.  Beautiful views all along the 4.5 mile round trip.  We climbed 1600 feet in elevation.  I love the smells and sounds and sights when I'm able to get into the mountains.  We are lucky to live so close to so many beautiful places!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Fun With Dad!

For Father's Day, the family got me the game Pieface.  It takes pretty much zero strategy.  All you need is the guts to take your turn.  We had lots of fun playing:)

You never know which twist of the handle will make you end up with...

Pie in your face!!!

The next day I had to go on an overnight work trip down to Cedar City.  I stop and make sales calls along the way and then stay in a hotel.  The kids love to come on these trips, in spite of the time spent in the car.  They patiently wait while I'm in each office, anticipating the payoff of a night in a hotel, dinner at a restaurant, swimming in the pool, and usually a movie.  This time I had 5 companions: Taylor, Cali, Xander, Conner and Sophi.  We had a great trip.  Ate at Chili's.  Went swimming. Watched Finding Dory.  It makes me happy that my older kids still enjoy hanging out with me:)

Before we left, Christi's parents happened to be at our home and gave each of our kids a little spending money for the trip.  Sophi put her money in a small purse she has and was very careful with it.  Despite her caution, at one point she couldn't find the purse.  She started looking frantically around and asking everyone if they knew where it was.  From the driver's seat I asked her what she was looking for.  "My money!!!" she replied.  She kept up her desperate search.  All of the sudden Taylor starts singing the pop song: "It's not about the money, money, money."  Sophi cut him off with a scathing:  "DUDE!  It IS about the money!!!"  Fortunately we found her purse soon.  At least we know where her priorities are:)

Dinner at Chili's

Taylor was pretty stoked about his triple appetizer dinner!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Daddy Date with Sophi and Lexi

This weekend was Fort Herriman days.  The younger kids went with Christi and me to watch the parade in the morning.  Small town parades are great.  Mostly politicians and businesses advertising, with three or four floats and one or two bands.  Fortunately, the politicians and businesses have lots of candy to throw out to the kids.  Any day when you come home with a bag full of taffy and tootsie rolls is a great day for a kid, right?

Later in the day, I walked down with Sophi and Lexi.  We enjoyed some fantastic smoked chicken, walked through lots of vendors' booths and rode on the carousel:

Probably the highlight was the reptile booth.  They got to pet some snakes and lizards and got to see a real live alligator!  Pretty cool:)


Monday, June 20, 2016

First Hike of the Season

About a week ago, Xander and I hiked up to beautiful Lake Blanch.  It was a new experience for him- the most challenging hike he's ever attempted.  Almost 8 miles round trip with 2700 feet of elevation gain.  It was difficult, but I was very proud of him.  We made it to the top and enjoyed spectacular views of Salt Lake Valley, Lake Blanch, Lake Florence and Lake Lillian.  The backdrop to lake blanch is Sundial Peak, which you can see in one of the pictures below.  Way to go, X-man!!!

Sundial Peak in the background

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Happy Father's Day!

Conner is a funny kid.  He continues to pick up more and more American expressions.  Today I was helping him tie his tie and he said to me, "You will have a great Father's day today.  Mom makes good plans for you."  I replied, "I have a great wife, don't I?"  Conner:  "Oh my heaven, yes!  You have a so cool wife!  I don't know how you find it, but you so lucky!"

I am lucky!  Thanks, Christi, for being a so cool wife:)


Sunday, June 12, 2016


I'm sitting in the very back of the overflow section of our chapel. Elli is draped all over me but is manageable since Graci packed food in the diaper bag. It was a pleasure to listen to Taylor blessing the sacrament a few minutes ago. After the sacrament was passed, Parker, who was serving as an usher, came back to sit with us. The very back row was full with Jesi, Graci, Sophi, Conner, Cali, and Xander, so Christi was sitting one row forward all by herself. Parker, a 15-year-old boy, could have chosen any of the 5 empty seats in that row, but he chose to sit right next to his mom. Now all 10 kids are sitting back here with us, helping us fill up these last two rows. I couldn't be much more grateful on this Father's Day.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hello Summer!

This past Friday was the last day of school.  The kids are excited to be done and are looking forward to lots of fun adventures in the good weather.  Christi and I thought that with the lack of homework, concerts, sports teams, parent-teacher conferences, periodic grade reviews with the kids, early morning scriptures, getting 10 kids out the door with lunches in hand, and calls from frantic children who forgot this or that, our lives would be a little less hectic.  We could set the alarm clock a little later.  No pressure to get people places at any given time.  Yeah, right!

Here are some of the things we've been involved in during the first two days of summer break:
-Lexi is attending a braille day camp for two weeks (30 minutes there and back each morning and afternoon.)
-Xander has soccer camp at the high school two hours each day.
-Taylor and Parker have basketball camp at the high school two and a half hours each day.
-Graci had a routine but significant surgery that required a full day a Primary Children's Hospital.
-Taylor and Parker have started a lawn aeration and fertilizer business which required help from me in purchasing a used aerator and a few other miscellaneous items.
-I had a dentist appointment.
-Family Home Evening
-Christi had two doctors appointments (everything is fine:).
-Lexi and I attended a fun daddy-daughter date at church.

This, of course, is on top of breakfast, lunch and dinner for 12 people (two of whom are currently doing the Whole30 diet, making meal prep that much more challenging), working full time, managing the nearly constant barrage of requests and needs from our wonderful kids and of course making sure that Elli is getting the attention and supervision she requires.

In other words, WE'RE EXHAUSTED!

Fortunately, we really are enjoying the chaos.  We're getting to see more of our kids than we do during the school year, and that is truly a pleasure.  It's fun to watch them grow up and to see them become more independent.  It's also so fun to see their personalities develop.  They really are a fun group to hang out with.  And things will slow down somewhat.  We just started vacation with a bang;).

Happy Summer!!!