Friday, December 1, 2017

July 2017 - Week 3

Eve Whall and her mum Amanda visited us in Salmon after she checked out of BYU-I for the semester in Rexburg, and arrived on Monday, July 17. Kanyon began his second week of swim lessons that morning, and when we arrived home afterwards, Eve and Amanda were just a few minutes behind us in their arrival. This was Amanda's first trip to Salmon. They stayed in our camping trailer for a few days, until it was time for them to leave to fly back to the U.K. Josh and I went hiking with Eve and Amanda that afternoon to the Gold Bug Hot Springs. Us ladies were pretty slow hikers, but Josh was patient, and the hot springs was a wonderful pay off! It wasn't too busy, so we got our pick of the pools, which was nice. We soaked for a few hours before trekking down the mountain side and returning to Salmon for dinner. 
We saw a few snakes along the hike!

Love the views!

What a hunk!

We soaked in the pool with the waterfall
for  half the time, then went to the bigger pool
right above it for the rest of our soaking.

On Tuesday the 18th, we took the family, as well as Amanda and Eve, to Williams Lake for the afternoon. It was wonderful! It was the only the second time most of us had made it to the lake this summer, and unfortunately the last time, too. We stayed for several hours, floating, relaxing, and swimming.

This photo cracks me up! It looks like Kanyon is Ammon's own Secret Service man!

This was the view of the old one-lane bridge as seen from the temporary bridge
as I drove home after Kanyon's swim lessons on July 19th.
It was officially no longer in service! Exciting day!

On Wednesday, the 19th, Amanda and Eve left in their rental car for SLC. They left Eve's car in Salmon until she returns in January. Josh and the 3 older boys left early that morning to hike into the Crags with Grandpa Edward and Uncle Malachi--their first time into the Crags. Josh really wanted to take them, and head to an area that he hadn't hit up yet. They hiked in and set up camp that night.

Fish Fin Ridge

Edward had a rough night, and was very uncomfortable and couldn't sleep well, so when morning arrived, he decided to hike out and hitch a ride home. Josh and the boys and Malachi hiked around Ship Island Lake, and to see a different part of the Crags. They had lunch, and rested a bit, but the mosquitoes were absolutely terrible and were making things miserable, so they too decided to hike back out and come home late that afternoon. They got home about 10:00 that night. They had originally planned to come home the next day, so all they basically missed was another night sleeping on hammocks in the great mosquito-strewn outdoors!

A giant rock face in the shape of Idaho!

Ammon took the plunge into freezing water!

Kanyon's last day of swim lessons was also on Thursday the 20th. He passed Level 5. He had a great class--5 boys and one girl. Aidan Oliverson was in his class, which was a fun surprise, as well as Daniel Davidson, Cache Nelson (a few years younger than him), Justin Auwen (my previous piano student), and the little Schroeder girl. Kanyon was a fantastic swimmer, and passed off all the requirements. He was a stellar diver, and that was definitely his strongsuit! I could never dive, so it was so exciting to watch! I felt so proud to see him do it every time, and so flawlessly, too!!

Kanyon and I worked every morning together in July weeding the garden. It was definitely in its prime the week that Amanda and Eve came to visit. It was SOOOOO nice to have just the garden by our house this summer, and not the pumpkin patch. It was much more managable, and I enjoyed spending the time out there every day instead of dreading it, which is how I felt when I weeded the pumpkin patch! 
The view of the garden from the house--NW corner. The raspberries
grow best on this side, then there's onions and peach trees that nearly died
in the below-zero temps of the winter.

SW corner--the smaller raspberries, strawberry encasement with netting
(to prevent the birds from eating them), and rhubarb. 

SE corner--potatoes, mini pumpkins, and regular pumpkins (the pumpkins
didn't like the new soil this year--only half of the seeds came up!)

NE corner--corn

The stake had a family day at the 28 Building on Saturday the 22nd to celebrate Pioneer Day. There was food, booths about preservation and food storage (and I learned that I've been storing our water wrong), and games for the kids. The younger 3 boys went with me, and Josh came over after work to help out with some of the games, as a representative of the Stake YM. The boys had a great time, and watching them do the relay games was especially comical!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

July 2017 - Week 2

July 10 - 16

On Monday morning, Josh left with the twins to go to our ward's scout camp at Treasure Mountain (near Island Park). Josh drove our suburban with most of the boys in it, and another leader drove a truck with the equipment trailer. Kanyon began swimming lessons that morning at the pool in Salmon. Surprisingly, we discovered that his friend Aiden was in the same class as him! That was a fun treat! I was glad I was watching him that day, because his teacher let them out 15 minutes early, and none of the other parents were there, so I totally called her out on it, and she realized her mistake and promised to make up that time in a future lesson. Since Aiden's sisters had later swimming lessons, he would just be waiting at the park for them, so we took Aiden home with us afterwards for some play time for a few hours (his older brother had gone also gone camping with the scouts). Later that afternoon, I went out to my car (which is usually parked in the carport, but I'd parked it in the garage that day since Ammon's car was gone for the day at an out-of-town golf tournament), and noticed a whole bunch of black stuff on the ground. I thought it was weird, but didn't look at it closely. I got in the car, and when I turned my head to back up, I realized the back passenger window was all shattered. I had heard a noise about an hour earlier, and thought it was a bird hitting the garage, or a tool falling over--it had just sounded like a loud popping or clunking noise, but I didn't investigate it at the time. When I saw the broken window, I immediately panicked--I didn't know if my car had been broken into, if an animal had done it, or what would've caused it. I hate dealing with car problems--it is definitely my weakness/nemesis. Josh was out of town, and in area with no cell service, and Ammon was gone for the day as well, so I was completely on my own. I looked for a rock or any evidence of what caused it, but there was none. I didn't know what to do--so I took both boys into town in the Jeep, and went straight to the auto glass store. The owner thought it was probably a weak spot in the window, and the pressure on a hot day suddenly made it burst. He ordered me a new window, but I felt so vunerable and was on the verge of an anxiety meltdown. I dropped off Aiden and went straight to Darcy's house, and she helped me through it until I was able to talk without crying anymore. I am so grateful for her!!! Josh was able to get texting service, but not call reception, and that night he texted me a beautiful picture of the Tetons, and I sent him some pictures of what had happened to my poor car!!

Josh and the boys from our troop had a great time at scout camp on Tuesday evening. They went on a long hike together, and found a beautiful waterfall, and a creek in a cave with natural springs. I tutored Daniel with some math that evening at Darcy's house, and then she and I went to water aerobics at the pool. I really like water aerobics, and this was the first time I'd gone this summer. It was a different instructor, and the class didn't feel the same as usual, but I was glad for the opportunity to go with my friend!

The wind turned, and the boys got soaked!
I love this photo! It was a fun memory that they all laughed about later!

The cave with the natural springs with the "coldest, best-tasting water ever!"

After Kanyon's swimming lessons on Wednesday, we took the car in to get the window replaced. We stopped by the car wash place and vacuumed out all the glass first, though. We walked to the library for kids free lunch and the reading summer program. They were building birdhouses from kits that day. Kanyon wasn't really interested in going to the program, but I made him. I was the guest reader, and read about different homes that animal build. Then the children all got to build birdhouses from kits. Kanyon obligingly built the birdhouse, then went back into the library to play on the computer. Aiden painted Kanyon's birdhouse, since his sister painted the birdhouse he constructed, so I told him he got to keep the one Kanyon built since he worked on it for so long after Kanyon left! (I think this was definitely Kanyon's last summer doing the Library Summer Reading Program!) After the program ended, we walked back to get my car. It was just like new! Josh came back home to Salmon that night--he and the leader who drove up with him were only able to go up for 3 days, and 2 other leaders went up for the last 3 days. On Wednesday night, I went over to Amy Beyeler's house and she helped me decorate my cap for my upcoming graduation. I'd thought and thought for months about what I wanted it to say and look like, and I finally decided on the phrase "This moment was 20 years in the making", since my college journey began almost exactly 20 years ago!! I got gold letters on my navy blue cap, because that's the other color of WGU, and we decided on the fonts together. I appreciated her help so much! I told her that was the best gift she could've given me for my graduation (she's my visiting teacher)!

On Thursday I cleaned all day preparing for hosting Bunco that night. It was the second time I'd hosted it this year, but this time I planned it outside on the deck. The party also became a baby shower for two of the Bunco players, so after we played 2 rounds of Bunco, the ladies came inside, and two of the pregnant women got to open gifts from the others. It was fun, but the evening turned out a little different than I had originally planned. It never really felt clear as to who was in charge--it should've been me because I was hosting the event, but the two ladies who were throwing the baby shower seemed to be in charge, which was off putting for me. Also, my friend Amy had just had surgery, so she was unable to come and it felt different without her! Ammon and Josh went golfing for the evening so that they wouldn't be around all the female hormones, and there were some definite moments where the hormones were ruling what people were saying and doing!
Look what Josh found lounging at the golf course!
We had great attendance! We sent a photo message to Amy who couldn't come...

The baby shower portion after the Bunco games had ended. 

Kerry did my hair on Friday, and then Josh and I headed for Utah for my college graduation! Originally, I was hoping that all my boys, husband, and parents could come to it. But--the twins were still gone to the distant scout camp, my dad was in Virginia for a scouting event, and Ammon had to work at the golf course for Josh, so we just let Kanyon stay home since he'd be the only boy. We'd invited my friends to join us, but Amy was still recovering from surgery, and Darcy needed to drive her mother-in-law back to Tennessee, so she couldn't come either. We invited Josh's mom to join us, and my mom, and we met up at the Prairie Schooner in Ogden that evening. Neither of our moms had been there before, and it had been over 15 years since we'd eaten there, too. Inside the restaurant, the table booths are all constructed inside replicas of covered wagons. It's a uniquely decorated place to eat! The food was pretty good (not as good as we remember it being, but not bad). Also, my sister Tabbi showed up and surprised us (my mom had told her about it), and she ate with us, too. Josh and I spent the night at my mom's house in Tremonton and Kathy stayed at a hotel and said she'd meet us at the graduation the next morning in SLC.

Their bread pudding was huge!!

Saturday was my long-awaited, big day!! We drove down to the convention center in SLC that morning. I signed in, got assigned a number, which told me which line of graduates to stand in and where to place myself in that line. We were all congregating in a huge empty room before proceeding into the commencement room, but there was still plenty of time, so I went into the other room and found where Josh and my mom were sitting so I'd know where to find them afterwards. I gave Josh some tips on how to take photos with my new camera, and then I saw his mom and showed her where to sit. I went back into the empty, line-up room and by then, most of the graduates were in lines and I found where I needed to be. Tabbi came in and gave me some graduation necklaces, which I TOTALLY loved! Most of the people had purchased graduation beads or leis to wear around their necks, but they were all over $40 on sale on site. I loved the unique touch of my candy necklaces, and I was so grateful to her for thinking of me and having them made!! So thoughtful! The procession began and we walked into one room for the commencement. The President Emeritus (which had just changed this year) spoke first. Dr. Robert Mendenhall had been president of WGU since its inception, and it was very moving to see what has transpired under his direction at the school and how much it has grown and advanced since 1997. The next speaker was Clayton Christensen, a business professor at Harvard. His speech was very direct and inspirational: about thinking small and growing big, citing several examples to back up his theory. I loved it. There were two recent graduates who also spoke, and both were personal examples of perseverance amidst hardship. Following the commencement service, the Bachelor's degrees were awarded in yet another room, while the Master's degrees were awarded in that room, so I was part of the processional that moved again. It all happened so fast, and felt like a whirlwind, and pretty soon, I was up on the stage receiving my "diploma" (even though I'd already gotten it in the mail), and the ceremony was over! I finally met my first FRIEND through college--the lady I'd been assigned to stand in line next to and sit by was from Richfield Utah, and was going into Elementary Ed like me, and it was fun to talk with her and meet someone personally--going to school online didn't provide a lot of time for just meeting and greeting people!! After the ceremony was over, and processional led to the great hall, we took some photos, then walked across the street to the Olive Garden for lunch. I felt so loved, and was so grateful that my mom, Josh's mom, and Tabbi could come support me! Lunch was delightful, and then we split up and went our separate ways. We dropped mom off in Tremonton; she gave me some flowers on our arrival! And then Josh and I drove home to Salmon. Fun tidbit of info: the message I'd chosen to put on my mortar was the same theme that WGU chose for their ceremony! Not until we showed up to the graduation did I ever see that logo with the 20 year design on it!!! I had no idea that WGU began the same yeaer that I'd graduated from high school and started attending college at SUU! I felt like it was totally personalized for me, and that I'd graduated at just the right moment in time!

The mascot for WGU is an owl because of all the "night
owl" students who do their work primarily at night. 

The commencement 

My new friend Melissa

My mortar message totally coincided with WGU's theme!

I bought some new lilies for my main pots in front of the house, and for about a two week span, the lilies in one pot bloomed in rotation (the other pot never had any flowers). They were beautiful! I just happened to capture one in bloom during this particular week. Flowers are totally evidence of God's Love, wouldn't you agree?!