Sunday, August 31, 2014

August 2014 on FB

August 5: Took the boys to see the new Planes: Fire & Rescue movie. We loved it! I am so glad that kid flicks come out in the summer because it is such a fun pastime to go to the theater together!

August 8: It's been exactly one month since I woke Josh up in the middle of the night to ask him if he'd take me to Mexico in February if I lost 40 lbs by then. It has been the perfect motivation for me! I have exercised every day since, am eating better, and am down 7 lbs already! Only 6 more months to go and I can't wait to reward myself with a healthier me in a place somewhere sunny & 75!

August 10: Fresh fruit is one of the BEST things about summer food! In the last two weeks, I've eaten fresh cherries and plums from the trees in my yard, fresh raspberries from our garden, and Barb just shared some delicious fresh strawberries from her garden with us today, too! I just love it all!

August 14: Look what I found this morning!!! What a sweet surprise! Thanks Josh! I totally love it!!!

August 27: Water aerobics kicked my butt last night. Loved it!!
August 29: Drove 750+ miles in the last two days. Took the younger 3 boys to swim with their friends, saw the Boise Zoo, went school shopping, and watched Ammon's XC race in Shelley. And I experienced driving the new increased 80mph speed limit on the Idaho freeways (and thankfully, too, because that was the only way we made it to Ammon's race on time!). I was happy to come home after being gone, and waking up in my own bed this morning!

August 30: Within the last week, both of my twins have purchased air soft guns and pellets. Yesterday morning, I heard a "popping" sound and couldn't figure out what it was, until I heard the "OW!" exclamation following it. New Rule: NO shooting air soft guns at your brother INSIDE the house!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


I like to go to one new camping spot each year. We debated between going down the Pahsimeroi Valley or in the mountains west of Leadore. Ultimately, we decided on going to the Big 8 Mile Creek west of Leadore. We went for 2 days during the last week of July. Josh and Ammon brought their motorbikes (Ammon recently purchased one for himself that's similar to Josh's), the younger 3 boys brought their bikes, and I brought stuff to do at the campsite. It took about an hour and a half to get there, and since we went in the middle of the week, there were only two other campsites that were occupied! We got a nice large spot close to the creek.

The creek was beautiful, and the boys walked along it and found different outlets (or inlets?) to the stream. It was shallow, too, so I wasn't worried about them when they wandered off several times. I felt calm having the sound of water so close, too!

For dinner, we ate tinfoil dinners over charcoal. After dinner was done cooking, we used the hot coals again to make banana boats. We had some when we went camping the previous month with our Perkins cousins, and we wanted to try them again. The boys tried a variety of toppings last time, but they didn't like the mini marshmallows because the marshmallows just melted and you couldn't taste them. This time, I only used chocolate and white chocolate chips to stuff the bananas. Josh didn't try one, but the rest of us did and we just loved them! I think the taste was much better this time around, and we look forward to trying them again in the future with different flavored chips inside.

After we started a campfire that night, everyone got to work making their favorite campfire treat. Some roasted large marshmallows (I just love a perfectly brown and puffy marshmallow!) and placed them in fudge-striped cookies for a S'more, and everyone cooked Starbursts on a stick (Josh hates marshmallows so the roasted Starbursts are always a must while camping). I bought the bag that only had red colors (I'm so glad that's an option now), which was awesome!! We all like the pink and red ones (nobody ever wants the yellow!), and everybody roasted all 4 flavors to determine which was their favorite.

There were many trailheads near the campground, and Josh and Ammon were happy to go exploring on them using their motorbikes. They went on several rides both days we were camping.

Josh took his smart phone with him, and used the camera on it to capture some of the places they went to. They went on 4 trails and saw 4 different mountain lakes (Stroud, Everson, Dairy, and Yellow). He figures they went about 50 miles total on their motorbikes, and he seriously loved EVERY second of it. He was so happy every time he came back to the campground and showed us what he'd seen on their ride! He liked having a riding buddy, too, for the first time. Ammon liked riding his new dirt bike in the mountains, as well! I'm glad we went to a campsite that had so many options for them to explore on their motorbikes!

There was a large patch of snow on one of the mountains,
so Josh made a snow angel in it on the last day of July!!
While they were gone, we hung out around camp. The boys rode bikes, explored the ditch, played football, chopped dead wood they'd find, and made huge fires with all their sticks. 

On the 2nd day of our camp, Josh and Ammon came back from riding to eat lunch with us. Then it was time to start packing up camp to go back home because Josh & Ammon had some lawns to mow, and Josh had some things he had to do at work at the golf course. And for the first time since arriving at camp, I left our campsite--but only for about five minutes to go to the nearby outhouse. When we'd arrived at the campground the day before, the septic tank truck was there cleaning the outhouse, and man it stunk up the air everywhere around us!!! But I knew the outhouse would be smelling good the next day, so I waited until then to go. As I was walking back to our campsite after going to the nice-smelling outhouse, I could see Ammon and Jonah in the back of the truck maneuvering Ammon's motorcycle. I thought it was weird that Josh wasn't helping Ammon do that. As I got closer, I could see Josh was just getting up from the ground, and he was covered in dirt on one side. When I got to the campsite, Micah yelled "Where were you, mom?!" I told him I had to use the bathroom, but I couldn't understand why he was so upset when I was just gone for 5 minutes. Apparently something did happen in those FIVE minutes, which was also the ONLY time I ever left the camp site!!!

Josh had decided to start loading the motorbikes after I told him I was going to the bathroom. He got the metal ramp and attached it to the bed of the truck. Our truck has a lift kit on it, and it's quite high. It looked pretty steep to him, and he considered parking the truck in a lower spot to make it easier to load the bikes, but he decided against that. Ammon had been riding his motorbike around the campground for a few minutes, so Josh decided to load Ammon's bike first since the engine was already running. As he drove up the ramp, the front wheel made it into the truck, but the ramp fell off just as the back tire was getting in the truck. This catapulted Josh up into the air, and since the truck was already higher due to its lift kit, he was about 10 feet up from the ground. He landed on the ground on his right shoulder, followed by the rest of his body, face-first. All the boys were right by and watched it happen, and Micah let out a blood-curtling scream because he thought Josh was dead. Josh was still conscious and coherent, but he had the wind knocked out of him. He tried to get Micah to stop screaming. Then he lay still for a few minutes and finally started getting up. That's when I arrived back at our campsite.

After Micah yelled at me for being gone, Josh said to me "I think I broke my collar bone". He'd broken it once before in a motorcycle wreck when he was a teenager, and it felt very similar to that time. I thought he was joking. I had no idea how he could've possibly broken a bone in the 5 minutes I'd been gone. I took a few things from our lunch into the trailer, took some deep breaths, then came back out to hear what had happened. At this point, he was in a lot of pain, and he couldn't move his right arm at all without severe pain. The boys helped me pack up the trailer, I moved the truck to a lower spot and had Ammon safely load Josh's motorbike into the back of it, then we hitched up the trailer to the truck and I began the long drive back to Salmon. I've never driven the truck before while pulling the long camping trailer, and I was so nervous. We had to drive very slowly for the first 15 miles until we got back to paved road, because the dirt road was so bumpy and uneven that it hurt Josh every time we went over any kind of bump in the road.

When we finally got back to Salmon, I took Josh to the E.R. and filled out all their paperwork. Then I drove the boys home, dropped them off and came back to town in the car to do some work errands for Josh at the golf course, then I went back to the E.R. to see how he was doing. By this time, he'd been checked in, had an X-ray done, and the Dr. was talking to him.

Apparently, he hadn't broken his collarbone, instead, he'd pulled his A/C ligament that connects his collar bone to the shoulder bone. The Dr. said usually there isn't surgery done to heal this type of injury; it usually heals itself in 3-6 weeks, but it's very painful healing. So the nurse helped him put his arm in a sling, and I picked him up from the hospital and took him home. Once we got home, he showed me how to unhook the camping trailer, and Ammon helped me hook up the mowing trailer. Then I drove Ammon & Josh back to town in the truck to help them mow their clients' lawns.

It's been over 3 weeks, and his shoulder is slowly healing. He couldn't lift his arm for about a week after, but now he's able to lift it and maneuver it. It was very hard for him to not be able to do things that he's accustomed to doing himself, but it's been good for me and Ammon to pick up the slack and learn how to do things, too! He never once missed a day of work, although he's very sore and in a lot of pain every night. We used ice packs on it for the first ten days, but now he's using a lot of heat packs and I rub Icy Hot on it in the evenings.

TRIPPIN' DEFINED: all bent out of shape!!
His disconnected collar bone has created a bump on his right shoulder, and is totally visible from the outside. He also has 3 bumps on the back of his neck from straining so much. So far, he hasn't seen the Orthopedic Surgeon, and he's hoping that he doesn't need to.
See how his right shoulder is now disfigured compared to the left shoulder?
Look at that bump on the right from the collar bone sticking up!!
It's sad to think that he rode 50 miles on steep, rocky terrain without getting an injury, but he goes to load the motorcycles into the back of the truck and THEN gets hurt! He definitely learned a few lessons in this process, though: 1. his body is getting older, 2. take the time to move the truck to a lower location while loading motorcycles because the few extra minutes is totally worth it, and 3. don't do anything stupid while your wife is gone for 5 minutes!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Birdie/Bogey Mini-Me

I remember when Ammon was little and he liked going golfing with Josh.When he was 8 years old, he would go golfing about once a week in the summer by himself at the golf course, and sometimes he would even golf with strangers or older club members there. Now he golfs all the time, and he's helped pass on the love of the game to his younger brother Kanyon.

When I took Ammon to his golf tournaments in eastern Idaho this summer, Kanyon came and brought along his golf clubs, too. He's a left-handed golfer just like Ammon, and has inherited his old clubs. He hit balls on the practice greens with Ammon (he does that before each tournament to warm-up before his tee-off time), and he also hit buckets of balls on the driving ranges. He even requested we go miniature golfing after we left one of Ammon's tournaments early to go to a dentist appointment (and I obliged).

Juniper Hills Practice Green

Blackfoot Golf Course Driving Range
Looking for balls at the water hazard on Hole #11 at the Blackfoot GC.

Kanyon has liked golfing since he was about 3 years old, but I've seen a huge increase in his desires to participate in the sport this summer. He is always asking to go golfing at our golf course with Josh or Ammon, and he's mad when tournaments prevent him from being able to golf! Several times he's said "I hate tournaments! Why is there always tournaments?!!" He's steadily improving and he loves every opportunity he gets to putt, swing, and drive!! He's even started driving our golf cart (with Josh or Ammon present of cousre).  

He's gone so much this summer that he's getting very comfortable with being at the golf course. The other day, we dropped Ammon off at Cross Country practice and we went to Josh's work at his shop (which is near Hole #3 at the golf course). The twins and I had brought our bikes in with us because we wanted to ride around the paved loop that circles around the park and golf course perimeter. Kanyon came with us, but he didn't bring his bike, because he wanted to golf instead. I thought he would just hit balls around Josh's shop (which is what he used to do when he was younger). As we were waiting for Josh to fix Micah's bike tire so that the three of us could ride around together, Kanyon said he was going to the Driving Range. He walked the quarter-mile distance to the Pro Shop by himself where he got a bucket of balls and took them to the driving range. He got his golf clubs out of the cart storage barn, and he hit the balls all by himself. When he was done, he put his golf clubs back and walked the quarter mile back down to Josh's shop. I was amazed at his confidence and his willingness to do what was necessary to achieve his desire to golf!

He loves golfing, hitting balls, playing miniature golfing, and putting balls around the house. And his favorite board game is, of course, GOLF Monopoly (which brings both his love of math and his passion for golf together)!

He can't compete in the Idaho Golf Association's youth tournaments until the age of 9, but in the meantime, he's advancing his golf skills and his mental focus; both of which are required to be a great player! I'm glad that Ammon is a good role model for him, and that he takes his brother golfing and shares with him the rules of the game. It's bonding for them, and it's nice that they both have the same love for the sport. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Running and Dribbling and Swinging

Ammon has been fortunate enough to play all 3 of his sports this summer. He's an athletic boy, so the camps and tournaments he went to were great opportunities for him!

At the beginning of June, he attended a 3-day basketball camp in Salmon directed by the Burgess's for boys and girls. He had a lot of fun, and he got some awesome prizes in some of the contests they had, like gift certificates to local venues. He is in the back row, 3rd from the left in the yellow shorts.

At the end of June, he went to a 3-day Cross Country Camp in Bozeman, Montana with his Salmon coach and a few other teammates. He enjoyed it so much and had a lot of fun! He got the award for "Most Outstanding Freshman" and he won a windbreaker. He really wants to go again next year.
The youth from Salmon in their camp T-shirts. He's 2nd from the left.

One of the activities at the camp was an obstacle course called
"the Amazing Race". In this picture, Ammon had to go over &
under obstacles while biting onto a spoon with an egg on it.

All of the 2014 participants at the campfire circle near the lake.

In July, he competed at youth golf tournaments in Eastern Idaho. This year, he was in the age division of 14-15 year olds. Each tournament is 18 holes and generally takes about 4 hours to complete. There is only one person in his age group that is from Salmon, and he never was never paired up with him at this year's tournaments, but he's been doing this long enough that he knows most of the boys his age that compete from Idaho Falls and Rexburg.

The first tournament was in Pocatello at the Juniper Hills course on June 30. There were 20 competitors in his age group. He didn't do as well on the front nine holes, but he did really well on the back 9 holes. Kanyon and I watched him on his first hole, then I watched him play the majority of the back 9. He got a score of 96, which he was disappointed with.

The funniest part about watching him golf at Juniper Hills was when we had to wait for some geese to cross a fairway before we could proceed! I've never seen that happen in Salmon!

The 2nd golf tournament was the very next day on July 1 in Blackfoot. He has golfed at the Blackfoot Golf Course before, so he felt a lot more confident. He played really well on the front nine, and not as well as on the back nine. Kanyon and I watched him play the first two holes. His final score was 95.

The funniest part that happened at the Blackfoot course was when Ammon hit a shot off the fairway to get to the green. The group in front of Ammon's group had just left the green and were walking to the next tee. When Ammon hit the ball, it looked like it landed in the tall grass next to a water hazard. But, as we approached the green, a guy who was walking with the group in front of us said Ammon's ball hit him on the top of his back. The guy was alright, but Ammon felt so bad! Thankfully, though, the ball ricocheted off the man to the left (closer to the green) instead of to the right (off the slope and into the water hazard)!!

Two weeks later, he played at the Sage Lakes course in Idaho Falls. He's also played there before: it's the course where districts were held last year. Jonah and Micah came with me, and we watched him play the last 5 holes. He finished golfing right before a storm blew in. He played very well, and got a score of 91. 

The funniest moment at the Sage Lakes Golf Course when when we were approaching one of the final greens, and a member of Ammon's golf group hit his ball from the fairway and it landed on the very edge of a pond. Instead of taking a drop, and an extra mark, he decided to hit it out of the water. We all stood back as he swung. He got completely soaked, we all had a good laugh, and it turned out to be a good shot getting him close to the green!

At the end of July, he participated in the 2-day district golf tournament in Rexburg at the Teton Lakes course. Josh took him to both days of the tournament, and he had driver's training before/after them each day in Idaho Falls as well. He scored a 92 the first day, and a 104 the second day. He loves golfing, but the pressure of competing is something he struggles with. These individual youth competitions are good practice for him as he will be on the High School Golf Team this coming year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Choral Rendezvous

I have been thinking about writing this post for weeks, and none of my approaches to writing it feel right. I want to honestly talk about every aspect of my experience, but I feel like that might not be appropriate at this time. I thought about only focusing on the positive, but that wouldn't be accurately reflective of what happened to me. So instead, I've decided on just showing my favorite photos to highlight the 5-day religious music adult camp I attended in July in the mountains above Challis, Idaho. 

This was the 20th year of its existence,
but the first year I've attended.  

I was a youth leader, and stayed with the kids. The first night we played
"Apples to Apples". I tied for 1st with these 2 cards that may or may not describe me!

We ate very healthy and super delicious food all week.
Breakfast & lunch were served daily in the dining room below the youth quarters.

We practiced singing for several hours each day--up to 8 hours a day!
The rehearsal room was spacious and had large windows, so the time didn't feel as long.
We learned 14 new songs and by the end of the week, my voice was so hoarse!!
I haven't sung in a choir like this since my high school days.

Whenever we took short side trips, the youth rode on this small bus.
They were crammed in there; it was funny to see them squeezed in like sardines.

The youth bowled on Thursday afternoon at Challis Lanes.
We sang, laughed, smack-talked, and ate as we bowled!

On my bowling team were Keragyn, Gavin, and Abygail.
I love this photo of me & Abygail (I'm FORCING her to have a photo with me)!

One of my favorite activities was playing games with the youth every night.
The last 3 nights we played rounds of "Things", a super hilarious game. 

This was my favorite, most memorable round: "Things you shouldn't call your children".
The answers included: Jesus, Adolf Hitler, Adopted, Special,
Chubby, Honey Boo-Boo, dinner meat, an accident, and illegal immigrant!

Before bed each night, several of the girls that I roomed with (and were
responsible for) stayed up late and chatted. I loved it! We shared stories
and experiences, and bonded. It made me wish I had a daughter!!
Also, Brooke, Abygail, and Josi taught me what a "hashtag" really is!

On Thursday night we sang, talked, and roasted marshmallows around the
outdoor fire pit. It was relaxing to watch the fire as the sky darkened. 

Rawhide Outfitters took us on a float trip on Friday afternoon.
This was a fun crowd on the optional float trip down the Salmon River.

This was my 2nd rafting trip ever!
(both of which happened to be with the guy that's right behind me!)

We were on a calm stretch of the river, so there were a lot of water wars between
boats. I was on the white raft--we were winning at this point of the float ;).

Ginny is the one who established CR 20 years ago (she's in the
middle). She was presented with a music quilt wall hanging here.

Adam was responsible for driving the young people's bus.
It broke down on the way to town on Saturday night, and we
were stranded by the side of the road for a few minutes. The bus gas
gauge was always broken, and when the bus broke down as
we were driving, Adam said "It seriously just ran out of gas!"
To which Josi responded (in song) "Jesus take the wheel".
It took a few times for him to say that before we believed him, though!

I missed my husband while I was gone. I never talked to him, as I rarely had cell service,
so when he joined us for dinner at the TeaCup restaurant on Saturday, I was so happy!

I performed with this trio at Saturday night's Pops concert. We practiced the
song "Super Trouper" from Mamma Mia for months! We sang in
harmony, choreographed dance moves, and had so much fun!  

The Pops concert was outdoors at the Challis City Park. There was a fun crowd
in attendance. I loved the grassy hillside seating and the open environment!

There were solo & group acts, and the CR participants also sang 3 songs all together.
I was so glad my husband came to see the show & take pictures & video!

We went to Challis Lanes a 2nd time after the Pops concert on Saturday night.
, I played against (and totally lost to) these 2 good billiards players: Gavin & Philip!

On Sunday morning we were part of the community church services.
There were more performers than congregation members (like 6 to 1)!

The church had an outstanding luncheon after the services, which we all enjoyed.
This is the staff during the meal. Our music director, Cory Evans (on the right),
is also the director of choirs at USU. He's talented and fun!

On Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, I got to transport some of the
awesome youth (since the bus was no longer working).
I loved the car rides up to the mountain retreat from town!

There were 17 youth at Choral Rendezvous this year: 5 boys and 12 girls.
4 of the girls aren't present in this photo: 2 had to go home early &
 2 didn't wait to take a group photo. The youth were from
Salmon, Challis, Boise, Idaho Falls, Arizona, and New Mexico. 

This is the Choral Rendezvous 2014 participants in front of the performance hall
on the grass at the majestic Living Waters Ranch. We all got matching T-shirts!

Our final concert was on Sunday afternoon on the stage of the performance
hall at the Living Waters Ranch. It was an amazing and edifying show;
 I got chills, I cried, I sang a solo, and I loved the variety of music.