Monday, July 13, 2009

Pocatello Zoo and Twin Falls too!

This past weekend the kids and I headed down to Pocatello and then to Twin to celebrate my nephew,Colin's, birthday. While in Poky we decided to take the kids to the zoo. Although the Pocatello Zoo is much nicer than when I was a kid, it still isn't that great. Saw some bears, buffs, goates, mountain sheep...yea that's about it. Oh well, we had a good time. McKinlee was in one of her usual moods and was slightly grumpy, so that always makes it interesting!

Colin's birthday was fun. Gretchen had planned a monkey themed party in her NEW house (which is very very nice, by the way). The whole party did follow that fact there were moments where it was more like an actual zoo! This was the first time that all 11 grandkids had been together....CRAZY! We did have a good time and McKinlee and Logan loved playing in the water with their cousins. I even jumped in for the fun! Gretchen was very brave to have everyone over and we are glad she did! In a few weeks we have the Mayes family reunion at my moms house and that will be just as caotic but we haven't been able to be together as an entire family for years and it is about time!

McKinlee and my mom after going down the slide
During the tree house slide
Looking at the bears
Logan getting eyed up by the coyotes
Look at his poor nose...must have taken a head dive at daycare....
Aunt JuJu giving MJ a shoulder was hot hot hot and I have to give JuJu props for being willing to do that!
This is during one of MJ's mood swings...I am not quite sure what happened to cause her to be a grump, but she was!
Logan nad grandma...there are supposed to be turkeys in the background
MJ with the turkeys (before the mood swing)
MJ and the big horn sheeps

Posing in front of the bears
Logan eating cake...after colin had had his chance at the cake, Logan of course had to go and get his fair share...i do believe he at the entire monkey cake. He would go grab a handful and walk around eating it and then go back for more.
All the kids getting in on the action

Espen holding Logand and Korban and Hayden
Harrison and the Logan and MJ in the monkey themed swimming pool!
He does believe he is cool...what a show off!
Logan and Quinn just hanging out

Happy to be outside!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

4th of July and some good family FUN!

We were lucky to have my sisters and parents and JuJu come up and spend the 4th with us. It was way fun! I do believe some of the best times, though, were just being able to sit and chat with my sisters, mom and aunt. It is so nice to have everyone so close!

I had to work during most of the day on the 4th, but everyone was willing to take my kids with them to the parade that morning. Jared was in the parade manning the fire station's 'patches the dog' (will make more sense when you see the pictures). The kids had a great time and actually came home and crashed for about 3 hours afterward! I was able to get off work at about 4 and then spend the rest of the evening with my family.

Jared and I decided to rent one of those big bounce houses for all the neighborhood to see and use. What a great thing to do! The kids LOVED it and it gave them something to do all afternoon. By the time the fireworks were going off, the kids were exhausted and most of them were in bed. McKinlee asked to go to bed half way through the Brookside Hollow firework extravaganza! Us and a few neighbors went and bought some 'off the ground' fireworks and had our own little show. It was great! What made it even better was not having to fight the crowds, watching them in our pj's, and being able to immediately go inside and eat cobbler!

FUN FUN FUN! PICTURES PICTURES PICTURES! MJ at the parade...not a fan of loud noises!
Logan...that's a surprise, he has food in his mouth!
Grandpa 'Bill' and MJ
Logan watching the parade...not so sure what he is doing in the purple and pink stroller....
Jared and Patches! Patches squirts water at everyone...
The 3 nephews....Grandma of course had to get them all matching outfits!
Logan, happy happy happy!
MJ posing for the camera
Isn't he cute?!
Jared and patches

Jared and Jason doing fireworks
Mom and MJ snuggling watching the fireworks
Grandma and Logan cuddling
MJ and the neighbor kids
Mom and Logi
Neighbor kids again
Aunt Gretchen reading to MJ
Jared and I couldn't just let the kids have fun in the bouncer!
the 3 boys in the tub
AWWW....MJ and Luke

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Trekkin' It

Jared, Myself, and McKinlee had the opportunity to go to Martin's Cove with our ward a few weeks ago. Logan was lucky enough to stay with Grandpa and Grandma Mayes and Aunt JuJu.

Martin's Cove was awsome. I am not a camper, a dirt eater, a hiker, or a mosquito lover, however, this was a great experience that I am so happy I was able to enjoy with my husband and McKinlee. I am glad we decided to leave Logan with my parents and JuJu, although we missed him TONS, he would have been miserable!

On Thursday we left with the ward at about 6:30 am and arrived at Martin's Cove around 1:00 or so. Little was I aware, we had about a 4.5 mile hike ahead of us that first day! Keep in mind it was 85 degrees and blazing sun! We packed up the handcart, hiked about a mile or so, dropped the kids off for some fun activities, then us adults went and hiked another 2.5 miles (so I have heard) to the actual Martin's Cove. The ward had great programs with songs and stories about the actual people who walked with their handcarts to Zion. We went down and got the kids and walked the mile or so back to our cars. So as a little side note, for those mothers who spend hours on their daughter's hair, putting it in meticulous rows, perfectly parted, keep in mind, spray sun block eats the rubber bands!! I was so upset to come back from the little hike with just the adults, to find McKinlee and her hair in shambles! It was so cute and I had planned on having it be done for the entire trip. All the rubber bands were eaten and she was covered in dirt....not the best thing that I saw all day. Oh well, lesson learned!

Another 60 mile drive was ahead of us until we reached where we were to set up camp for the next 2 days.

The ward fixed us great food (and that is a lot for me to say because i am PICKY) We set up camp, sat around the fire, fought the millions of mosquitos (and I am not exagerating...there were MILLIONS) and went to bed! The next morning we were greeted with cloudy skies!! Yahoo!!! I had no desire to walk the 4 miles with the handcart in the sun again! We were able to walk it with a slight drizzle/rain and cloudy skies the whole was GREAT! McKinlee was amazing...she just sat in the handcart, ate, took a nap, sang songs and was just wonderful!

There were so many awesome things that we were able to experience that day that I can't name them all. However, I will mention 2. 1st the Women's Pull. They had us recreate the time when the men were called off to war and the women were left alone with the children to pull the handcart. As the men left there really was a part of me that could feel just a bit of what those women had to have felt when they saw there husbands leave...never knowing if they would see them again. Then there we were, with our handcarts full of supplies and kids and a hill, very rocky and steep that we had to climb ourselves. To make matters worse, they actually had the men line up on either side of the path and told them to not talk or help... i kept my head down and refused to look at the men (it would have only made things worse!) I thought my legs were going to fall of, but we made it!!!

2nd...The River Crossing. They recreated when the saints had to cross the freezing Sweetwater River. We can't even comprehend how cold and how miserable that was for them... Jared was blessed to have been chosen to be one of the 3 rescuers that came and carried men, women, and children across the river. He did a great job! Most times on these treks they actually have you cross the river with the handcart, however, because the water levels were so high (probably up to at least your waist, possibly chest) there was no way to take the handcarts across...they would have floated away like a boat! So I just sat on the sidelines and took pictures. McKinlee, by this time, was asleep in the handcart, and there wasn't any way I was going to wake her up, so she slept through it.

Ok..back on to what we did. We made it back to camp, sun came out and the kids played and played. We cheered on the rest of the ward as they came back from their 10mile hike, ate a delicious dinner, went to bed to just wake up the next morning and break camp. That last day was awesome. We drove, once again, to Rock Creek Hollow where there was a common grave for 13 of the saints who passed away one night after hiking in the bitter bitter cold. I cannot even begin to explain the spirit that was there. The ward put on an amazing program that went through each one of the 13 and how they died. Incredible. That's all I can say! (If you have about 2 days I can sit and tell you more details, but not here)

The last thing I have to say about Trek is, the Martin and Willie handcart companies were a miracle. A modern day miracle. Sure, couple hundred died, but the miracle is is that 900 or so lived to see Zion. It is amazing that anyone survived. I am blessed to have been able to participate in this. I was not looking forward to it, but am glad that Jared had the forsight to make us go.

Ok, so here is what everyone cares!

Here is Jared with the other rescuers after crossing the river.
This is mid cross...the boy on his back is Trey Thompson. What a good sport!

This is MJ asleep in the handcart..wet blankets and all, but she didn't care!
McKinlee and Ethan Fritch...aren't they cute!!
(L to R) Dave Robinson, Bill Fritch, Jared. Yup, they hauled the handcart the whole time...what great troopers!
May appear to be just a big blue blanket, but underneath is a sweet, sleepy McKinlee
Jared and myself after the woman's pull!
Jared, may not look thrilled, but he really is
MJ right before the 4 mile trek. She is all snuggled in, ready for the ride!
MJ and if you can see that little head peaking out over the water cooler, that is Ethan.
MJ and Ethan...yup, it is raining
Jared and Lexi Robinson
Right before the trek. She was not happy, she wanted to go back to bed!
1st night in the tent. We set the camera up and actually got a cute picture!
Mom and MJ