Monday, August 31, 2015

August 2015 on FB

Aug. 5: As we were camping with Ryan and Heidi last night, Weaton and Clerissa joined us for dinner and to play the game "Things" after. During one round, the card read "Things you don't say to your doctor". Kanyon's answer to that was "Ass Hole"!!! He won the round because nobody guessed that an 8-year-old would have written that!! We all laughed so hard! I asked Kanyon where he got the idea to write that and he said "I just thought it in my head"; I swear neither Josh nor I have ever called a doctor that before!

Aug. 9: I had a dream last night that I was a guest on Jimmy Fallon's Tonight Show and I beat him in a contest of eating NY style cheesecake!! He didn't list my name, instead he said he was competing against a "celebrity". Everyone was calling me variations of that title after the show: "celebrittany" or "celebritsy" or "celebrikowsky", in an effort to figure out my real name. I felt so famous and so happy for winning the food contest, that I didn't want to wake up and end the dream this morning!

Aug. 11: I'm SOOOO excited that evening water aerobics at the pool will start again tonight!!! I've missed it this summer, after doing it the past few summers. It's always a good time, and my favorite way to exercise!

Aug. 12: I took the Praxis I (Core Academic Skills) Test today. It was a 5 hour test (with 3 different categories), and since I took it at BYU-I in Rexburg, I also had 5 hours of driving today. What a long day! I'm super tired, and nervous for what the results will be!

Aug 13: I can't believe today is the last day I will ever be 35! It feels strange to even admit I'm that old, let alone one year older tomorrow!

Aug. 14: I got serenaded to for the first time tonight! I was at the Elders Quorum Dinner Party, and John and Amanda sang "Thank you for being a friend". It was awesome! And embarrassing! And so thoughtful! It was like a surprise birthday party!!

Aug. 15: Well, it's official: fire season has begun in Salmon. When I woke up today, the sky was filled with smoke from lightning-caused forest fires as a result of yesterday's storms. Yuck.

Aug. 17: I took Ammon and Kanyon to Idaho Falls today for school shopping and Ammon's dentist appointment. He hasn't gone in 3 years, but surprisingly came out with a good report of no cavities! On the way home, I encountered this beautiful image in the sky: the bottom half was covered in smoke, which produced an orange hue, the top of the sky was still blue, and right in between, the sun was shining behind a single cloud, producing visible rays. It was just gorgeous--but all I had to take a picture with was my lousy phone, so unfortunately the quality isn't that great!

Aug. 18: As we were shopping at Wal-Mart in Idaho Falls yesterday, we walked by a display of silly string, and Kanyon picked one up and said "This is what I want". He'd brought his wallet, and that was the single thing he purchased for himself all day (I bought his school clothes and supplies, though). Today, he kept going outside to spray it (although at the time I didn't realize that's why he kept going in and out), and finally this afternoon, he came back inside and sadly said "Well, it's all gone now". That can of silly spray made this boy happy for one whole day!

Aug. 19: I went with Josh on a work errand to Montana today, and on the way home, we stopped at Hamilton and had lunch at "Naps", a place we've never tried before. The food was yummy, and I enjoyed a nice little day trip with my handsome hubby.

Aug. 20: It's been a productive summer for Kanyon. He learned to mow the lawn, he can now do his laundry all by himself, and last night, he finally learned how to tie his shoes!!!

Aug. 21: Today I got my scores back for the Praxis I test: 196 in Reading, 186 in Writing, and 176 in Math--all of which are {above average} passing scores! I was so elated when I read that, I began crying!!

Aug. 21: Took Kanyon on his monthly date tonight. We went to Bertram's again, but this time he ordered Prime Rib instead of Steak. I asked him afterwards which one he likes better, and he said "Steak, because it's smaller".

Aug. 22: Our whole family went to the ward wood-getting project today! It was the first time we've all gone together to it, and I was so impressed with the amazing work ethic of everyone!
Kanyon liked playing with this extra large stick as we were waiting
for trees to be cut down. We helped with the loading.

Aug. 22: We went to Abby's baptism this evening, and look who got all dressed up for it (it was even his own idea!!) They both looked so spiffy together!

Aug. 23: After stressing over hotels and flights, prices and details for weeks, I finally booked our Mexican Vacation (set for November) tonight!! I'm giddy with excitement!

Aug. 24: We ate fresh corn-on-the-cob straight from our garden tonight for the first time this summer! It was delicious! I also picked some onions, radishes, and raspberries today. I love harvesting our garden!

Aug. 25: HAHA! I still remember this from 5 years ago!!! [From Aug. 25, 2010: "I opened up the freezer and saw a plastic water bottle filled with frozen yellow liquid. I wondered where the lemonade had come from since I didn't buy it and I didn't make it. When I questioned the boys, the twins answered me. It wasn't lemonade. It was urine. They wanted to know if pee could freeze. Yep--it does. ew! so disgusting!!!"]

Aug. 25: I am so excited to have peaches growing on the peach trees for the very first time, but they aren't maturing and turning orange yet, which concerns me. Kanyon was looking at one today and said, "Look mom, it looks like Torch's butt!". btw, Torch is our male cat who hasn't been neutered yet (much to Josh's dismay). Disclaimer: we made an appointment once to have it done, but his foot became infected around that same time, and it wasn't healing, and I didn't want to create extra pain for him, and I've neglected to make an appointment again.

Aug. 25: I got my first smart phone today (Josh has been training me on it!), ate dinner with Josh at a place we've never tried before: "Taco Del Sol" (in Hamilton), and went to water aerobics tonight which totally kicked my butt (in a good way). It's been a nice day!

Aug. 26: Josh and I took Kanyon to Family Fun Night at the fair tonight (he loved that he could climb to the top of the rock wall while there because others couldn't). As we were walking through the exhibits, Josh said "so, I guess we didn't bring any produce from our gardens to enter in the fair this year". And I suddenly got all wide-eyed, because it didn't even occur to me until he said that!! The boys usually take pumpkins, potatoes, and other garden goods to enter in the fair, and I didn't even THINK once about doing it this year!!

Aug. 27: Went to go get a load of wood as a family this afternoon, and I escaped death while there. I was helping to push the tree down with a large stick as Josh cut it, but it started to fall backwards. I was trying to get away, but I got tangled in a mess of branches, and my shoe fell off and I tripped and fell. Thankfully, I was just far enough that it didn't land on me, but it scared Josh immensely and he was furious that I wasn't further away from the tree when it hit the ground.

Aug. 30: We got the school supplies all organized and ready tonight, and Jonah and Micah learned how to do combination locks for the first time so they can use them on their lockers at the Jr./Sr. High School! They were frustrated at first, which reminded me of when I used to have nightmares about having to open combination locks! But they practiced and practiced until they finally got their locks to open multiple times!

Aug. 31: I found a baby frog in the watering can this evening as I watered the flowers. It was a fun discovery (and a first--I've never found a frog at our house before!). Kanyon enjoyed playing with it and watching it swim, jump, and hide in the watering can.

P.S. I'm sure you noticed I took a lot of pictures of JUST Kanyon this month--that's because the other 3 boys were gone to sports practice a lot, and he and I had a lot of one-on-one time together as a result!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Life's a Beach at Stanley Lake

My VERY best, MOST favorite day this summer was spent at the beginning of August at Stanley Lake. And I just couldn't take enough photographs as evidence of my pure joy that day...there's an impressive 65 pictures on this blog post, and I had a hard time even paring it down to that!!

We went camping with Ryan (Josh's best friend) and Heidi (Josh's cousin) and their daughter Ayla. We've never camped with them before, but I think this (hopefully) just started an annual tradition! They live in Meridian, and we live in Salmon, so we met them half-way in Stanley. The campgrounds around Stanley Lake were full, so we dry-camped about a mile down the road from the lake's access. Ryan & Heidi arrived there on Sunday, August 2, and we arrived on Monday, August 3. On Sunday, I was returning to Salmon after visiting my friend Krissy in Meridian that weekend, and I stopped at Stanley Lake on the way to see if I could find Ryan & Heidi anywhere, and miraculously, as I was just leaving, they came driving down the road. So I followed them around until we found a suitable campsite for both of our trailers. I was glad I had an idea of where we would be, because it made it easier than searching all over for them in a truck and trailer, and also I brought extra supplies (picnic table, folding table, stand-up griddle) since I knew we weren't going to be at a supplied campground. 

On the way there, we encountered some road construction, and had to stop for about 20 minutes. We were the first car in line (we barely missed the cut-off, and could see the cars from our lane up ahead, but the flagger wouldn't let us through, and we only missed it because a construction worker pulled out in front of us about 500 yards before the stop and drove 20mph, grrrr). The flagger lady was nice enough to give the boys some peanuts, which they lured some local squirrels and chipmunks with while we waited, though!

When we arrived at our campsite, we set up the trailer and unloaded the truck. Ryan and Heidi weren't around, so we went down to the lake to look for them.

We couldn't find them, so we went back to the camp site, ate lunch, and sat around relaxing until they returned. Apparently they had been out on the lake in their inflatable boat, and some strong winds came up and blew them to the other side of the lake, and it took them a long time to get back to the side of the lake where their truck was parked! 
(photo courtesy of Heidi!)

After they got back, the boys and I played a long card game of Phase 10 (we only play that when we go camping), and Josh, Ryan, and Heidi relaxed and chatted. They let Josh try out their new camping chair, too, which he liked because it was just the right size for his long body (but I couldn't get it to recline very well since I'm so short!). 

Later that afternoon, Josh and Ryan went target shooting; they drove way back into another dry camping area not too far from us where no one was. While they were gone, Heidi taught the boys how to play bocce ball, and Ayla played with board games in our trailer.

We took turns with the Stephensons making dinner. They were in charge of Monday night's meal. It was nice not having to do every meal (thanks Ryan & Heidi)! While they worked on preparing for it, we just hung out around the campsite. 

Kanyon playing catch with Josh

Jonah and Micah splitting wood

Ryan is a talented chef & made a double dessert in the dutch
 oven: apple cobbler on the left and cherry cobbler on the right!
Our Forsgren cousins live in Stanley, so each night for dinner, Weaton and Clerissa and their daughter Kendilyn drove up and joined us, too. It was so fun! After dinner, we played games and when it started getting dark, they left to go home, and we went to bed in our trailers. 

During the night, a rainstorm blew through, clearing out some of the smoke that had resided above us. When we woke up on Tuesday morning, there were clear blue skies. It was the perfect day to spend at the beach on Stanley Lake! Josh and Ryan drove in to Stanley to the Forsgren's house first and picked up a stand-up paddleboard and some inflatable tubes, and then we all headed for the lake! This was the day I was talking about earlier: Best. Day. EVER!!!
I love getting sand in my toes!

My handsome man with the beautiful
Sawtooth Mountain range in the distance!

Josh & Ryan: best friends since high school!




The boys have never really tubed on a lake before: only in our ditch. It was different for them, and took some getting used to. Kanyon couldn't figure out how to get back to the beach after the current took him away, so Ryan went out in his boat and brought him back within a reasonable distance, and then I went out in a tube and retrieved him from there!

He held onto my feet as I paddled back. Thanks Heidi for the pic!
Josh was the first to try the stand-up paddleboard, and the twins went out on it a lot during the day, too, taking turns with each other, and trying different positions: standing up, kneeling, and laying down. I even tried it twice, and found it to be a lot better ride than I'd anticipated!
I think this picture is HOT. Jus' sayin!

Micah standing

Micah kneeling

Jonah standing

Jonah kneeling

Trying it together! I love this picture of them!

If it weren't for Heidi, I wouldn't have a single picture of me!
I'm so glad that I have a picture of me from my favorite day this summer!

In between the tubing and paddleboarding, the boys played in the sand on the beach. It was heavenly to sit around and relax and watch them have so much fun the whole day!
We didn't really come prepared to go camping with sand toys,
so we grabbed anything from the trailer that would work
on the beach, including this funnel!!!

Jonah and Micah both loved burying each other, as well as being buried!!

Look how nicely level Micah made the sand over Jonah's
body! That's totally something I would do, and seeing those
leveled lines made me smile!

Jonah is making a sand pillow to lift up Micah's head, how
thoughtful! When I came over to snap a photo of this,
Micah wasn't wearing his glasses, and Jonah yelled at me,
"NO! You won't know it's Micah unless he's wearing
his glasses!", so I had to grab his glasses off
the beach chair first! I thought that was so funny!

They each had to try and get out of their sand pit without
their brother's assistance. I thought Micah looked like a
Frankenstein being born here!
Digging in the sand is a lot like digging in the dirt pile at home, so it's something the boys are familiar and comfortable with. Thankfully we had small shovels in the trailer for them to use!
Kanyon deepening the trench by the creek that flows
into the lake.

Jonah and Micah built this tunnel. They were so proud when
it was done! They kept bringing buckets of water to pour in
the one side so they could watch it flow from the other end!

Kanyon's turn to be buried! Ayla even helped bury with sand, too!

Josh and Ryan went back to the campsite to retrieve lunch for us. We didn't want to leave the beach; we were having so much fun, but we were all getting hungry! That was so thoughtful of them! After lunch, Kanyon decided he wanted to try the paddleboard. It ended the same as the tube ride that morning, though!

He just kept getting further and further away from us! So this time, Josh went out in the boat to rescue him!

When they returned, Kanyon kept saying "The oar just wouldn't work right! Something was wrong with the oar!". We were all laughing so hard watching Josh go after Kanyon, because the harder Josh rowed, the further away Kanyon was getting! Kanyon kept paddling WITH the current instead of against it, and since he's so light, he was traveling away much faster than Josh could catch up to him! And since Josh can't yell (due to his paralyzed vocal cords), Kanyon couldn't hear him when he tried to tell him to stop paddling! I'm glad Kanyon tried it out, but he didn't have as much fun as the rest of us did on that paddleboard!

The family that was by us on the beach was really nice, and they had a little girl who played with Ayla and the boys all day. She showed the boys a frog she caught, and Kanyon helped her return it back to the creek.

Kanyon made the "perfect" sand castle pillar!

Ayla playing in the shallow water. She was the safety patrol and
kept telling everyone, "Don't go too deep! The water is deep!"

Micah found another great use for that funnel!

Family Boat Ride!

Josh and Ryan each took the paddleboard separately to go to the side of the lake that was nearest the mountains. There was a little inlet bay there. We liked watching them go all the way over there, until they were out of sight!

By late afternoon, we were doing a lot of sitting! The beach was so fun, but tiring too!

The boys floating on the creek into the lake

And pretty soon, there was a lot of this going on: 

Ahhh, now that's pure enjoyment and relaxation!! It totally captures a day in the life on the beach!

Josh and I headed back to the campsite that evening to get dinner ready. We cooked steak, dutch oven potatoes, and french bread. It was our first time making potatoes in the dutch oven, which stressed Josh out for a bit, but it all turned out good. Weaton and Clerissa played games with us after dinner again, this time we played a rousing round of "Things". We laughed SO hard at some of the responses; we always have so much fun playing that game with our kids!

Our dessert for the night was banana boats. We grilled them, and also cooked smores over the campfire that Josh built for us. We sat around the campfire until it was past dark, then we said goodbye to Weaton and Clerissa (since it was our last night camping), and went to bed. 

The sunset was just breathtaking!
The next morning, we cooked sausages and toaster strudels and waffle toast over the campfire for breakfast, then slowly packed up and headed home to Salmon. 

This photo makes me want to say "wax on, wax off..."!
We all enjoyed the camping trip immensely! Did you notice that Ammon wasn't in any of the pictures? He chose to not come camping with us. He stayed home to golf at Men's League, go to work, feed the animals, and hang out with his friends! I think he thought he made the right choice until we came home and told him how much fun we all had; perhaps he will join us next year (supposing we do it again!).