Busy week

Summer is coming to a close, and I’m feeling the panic of getting the last few activities in. In reality I need to relax, it stays warm and delightful for a long time yet. Just because school starts doesn’t mean the fun has to end. The kids will be in shorts for months still, and camping is actually more enjoyable because of the cooler temperatures.
This week we had a pretty full schedule. We did Nature Buddies on Monday which is a free program put on by the state parks dept. and the state park is just a few miles away which makes this an easy activity for me. We picked up Makayla, Emma’s friend and spent our morning playing in nature. They did an activity on birds and showed the kids lots of different nests. Then they had all sorts of activities for them to participate in. Aubrey loves the rock painting she runs straight there and spends probably 45 minutes just painting the rocks, I need to remember this for future activities at home. I’m not sure what it is about rock painting that holds her attention, but I can hardly get her to move to any of the other activities.
They had some popcorn and small sticks for the kids to try and eat like they were eating with beaks, they made bird feeders, and they always dig a trench and fill it with water for the kids to play in. Tanner caught a frog, and put it in a paper boat and floated it on the small lake that they had dug. BOYS!

On Wednesday we went up to Lake Tahoe. It’s really pretty easy to go up there, a few snacks some shovels and buckets and a few floaties and you have entertainment for hours. We arrived at the lake around 10am and didn’t leave until almost 5pm. The day couldn’t have been more beautiful I would describe it for you, but you wouldn’t believe me, it was a day beyond description. I went for a nice swim, I took all four kids with me all the way out to the bouy, Alyssa in a floaty and the other kids in their life jackets. Lisa took Aubrey and her son Nicholas in a small boat. The water is so clear and refreshing. Tanner spent a lot of his time trying to catch Crawdads, or Crayfish, he got pinched a couple of times, I chock it up to a learning experience. He was explaining to me today how you can’t grab them by the tail or they flip up and pinch you… not that I’ll be trying anytime soon, not my cup of tea. I have found that coming home from Lake Tahoe is a challenge. The kids are tired, and sand is stuck everywhere, they don’t want to shower or bathe because they are so tired, but the sand and sunscreen needs to come off, but it’s worth it.

Today we spent the day cleaning up. Running around takes it toll on the house. I think I had to pry a fork off the counter that was stuck down with honey, and the laundry requires me to stay home at least one day a week and do nothing but laundry. We got everything put back together this morning and as a reward went to the library.
Tomorrow is Friday and Danny and I have the opportunity to go to the temple, meaning that we found a babysitter desperate enough for money to watch the kids for 6 hours while we make the drive to Reno and back and catch some dinner along the way. I’m really looking forward to tomorrow, I really feel like I could use some time away. Danny has been gone a lot lately. Yesterday he didn’t make it home unitl 11pm and got a phone call at 6am something along the lines of “my spell checker isn’t working” my thought was buy h
im a dictionary but I’m sure it was more serious then what I picked up on, but Danny was out the door before I could roll over and see what was up. He’s home now and out working on the yard. He says he needs the physical labor of yard work to rest his brain, so he’s running some new drip and trying to secure the fences better to keep the neighbors dog out of our yard. I’m having him move some plants from the front yard to the back yard, the contractors special on the landscaping meant that they just huck the plants in the yard with not rhyme or reason and they are really in a bad spots. I guess that sums up our week, we have nothing planned for the weekend. Hopefully we’ll get some rest and relaxation.


So I’m wasting time on the computer, listening to Aubrey play with her friend Kendra. Aubrey comes in from out side and says “pretend that I’m sleeping and you cut me in half.” Funny girl. Yesterday at church Aubrey’s primary teacher pulls me aside laughing, she says that Aubrey just had a funny conversation and it goes like this:
Jayce: Aubrey I was thinking of inviting you over to my house after church.
Aubrey: I can’t, we’re moving today to Africa
Jayce: Oh that’s too bad, now I can’t marry you
Aubrey: I’m just kidding silly you can still marry me
She is such a silly little firecracker. She definitely keeps me laughing.

12 Years Ago…

Danny and I married in the Salt Lake City Temple. I look back and wonder where the time has gone. Life has brought us so many wonderful blessings, challenges, and fun. I was pretty sure that when I married Danny that I knew what love was, but I have discovered that I’m just scratching the surface with my knowledge and I look forward to what our future has in store for us.
Danny is such an amazing husband, we were engaged after only 3 weeks of dating, crazy is what I would tell one of my daughters if they pulled such a stunt, but I have no regrets. Danny is a great father, husband, and any other roll that needs to played in our life, he just seems to know what to do.
It’s funny, we haven’t done this on purpose, but we never really celebrate our anniversary. I’m not sure when it started, in the beginning we gave each other gifts and things, but it’s kind of been taken over by more pressing things, like life. I don’t really mind though, it gives me the opportunity to think about my husband and not what he gave me this anniversary. We usually go out to dinner, but that is about it. I know that Danny would give me anything and that is enough for me. Someday I’m hoping to replace those dinners with trips to far off lands, but right now we are Mom and Dad. I know that he loves me in all the little things that he does, he’s the first one to do the dishes after dinner. Or that laundry that need hanging, he’s on it. Those are just little things. How about the many times he’s volunteered to clean up puke at 2:00am, or change the diapers before I even know that the baby is messy. The are too many things that he does to name them all. He’s just wonderful, and marriage is the best thing that has happened to me!

Gas and Chicken

Yesterday was a busy day and I didn’t get a chance to catch a shower. I was looking forward to a bath this morning, so I sent Emma out to get some water on to boil and make some oatmeal for the kids while I enjoyed a bath. I knew instantly things had gone wrong when I came out of my room. The smell was overwhelming and I started to panic. “Emma, where’s the oatmeal you made?” “Mom the water never boiled!” “Arggg” We have been over this so many times, I really didn’t think that I would have to remind her to light the stove, sigh… is it me, why can’t she seem to solve some problems of a common sense nature? Anyway, 30 minutes of the stove spewing gas, so I opened the doors, sent everyone outside to jump on the trampoline and got things under control. How do I get her to figure things like this out. After a few minutes and the water isn’t boiling I would think she would run through some problem solving things, like, is the pan hot, or is there a fire under the pan, I know we think differently so I can’t expect her to think like I do, and I have years of experience that she doesn’t have, but it seems to me that she needs to be learning some life skills and that boiling water should be something she is capable of. Sigh… I love her so much and she is so smart is so many ways, I’ll just keep working with her.
A general question to those of you with kids older then lets say 8, what should they be able to master. She can change a diaper, although it’s not something she would volunteer to do. She can dress the baby. We’ve been working on doing her own hair, so she can brush it out so that I can do it but she can’t actually do her hair. She of course can operate the DVD player and is really good at the DVR. She can fold laundry and put it away, and she can sort laundry, but she refuses to touch the washer, although I she will switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer. Does this sound pretty standard for a 9 year old? Am I expecting too much from her?
Well, onto my own mistake this morning, just to remind myself how imperfect I am. Yesterday afternoon I put a chicken in the crockpot, and before bed it was finished, so Danny unplugged it to let it cool a little before putting it in the fridge and well, I fell asleep and left it out all night, such a stupid thing to do, no I have to toss my chicken, I guess it’s on par with gassing out the house. So I guess tonight we’ll have beans in our tortilla’s instead of chicken…

Donner Lake

Many years ago Danny and I explored Donner Lake and the visitor center that is there. We have always loved the lake up there and have taken the kids a few times. The kids love to hear the story about the Donner party, but this is the first year that they really understood the desperation that these poor people were in. In the years past it’s been an “Ewww, they ate each other”, but it has grown into “can you imagine being so hungry that you would be able to do that”. We explained to them that the people involved were embarrassed by the whole thing and refused to ever talk about it afterward. I think Emma and Tanner understood the situation a whole lot better this year, there is definetly a reverent feeling about the place.

The visitor center has a museum and a self guided walk that shows cabin sites of the pioneers that stayed there, and has a large monument that shows the deepness of the snow that year. There are many stories of survival and as many sad stories as well. Maybe we’ll have to camp there next time.

The top of the monument, not including the statues on top is the depth of the snow the year the Donner Party was stranded here. I believe it was 22 ft.

The kids were taking pictures of wildlife, National Geographic Kids is having a photo contest and they are going crazy with taking pictures of wildlife. I’m not sure that a chipmunk is too exotic, but there were signs up that said that they carried the plague, now that might be a little more exciting…

We went down to Donner Lake, and found a wonderful place to put a blanket and lay in the shade. The kids played in the water, this is a very cold lake, but it didn’t keep them out of the water. Lake Tahoe is known for it’s crystal clear water, and Tahoe is very clear, but Donner Lake might be even more so. I was amazed at the clarity of the water, we were standing out on a pier, and I could easily see the bottom of the lake 6 ft down. The water is cool and refreshing, and just gorgeous. We saw some really fun cabins on the lake, in my delusional world we own one…
We didn’t wear swim suits, our intent was not to swim, but everyone of us got in the water, the little girls didn’t even bother to leave their clothes on, but then again they are cuter then I am naked.
The lake was more crowded then I have ever seen it, and I think I have a theory as to why. Last year Lake Tahoe banned two cycle engines and I think they all moved over to Donner Lake. There were a lot of Wave Runners, and Jet Ski’s they looked like a lot of fun. I think I’ll have to look into a cabin rental it would be a close and easy vacation for the family.

Tanner takes his pocket knife with him everywhere, he quickly found a stick to whittle on.
Emma skipped a couple of rocks.

There was a little hopping on pop.

Of course there was some reading and relaxing,

and plenty of playing in the water!