Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Twin Falls

Our family took a drive to Twin Falls. It was a quick trip, but filled with special moments that will be wonderful memories. We stopped to admire the view of the gorge from the overlook at the Perrine Bridge.
I was so excited to take my children to see the new Twin Falls Temple. I love the temple so much, and the peace and joy I feel there. This was a unique opportunity to give my children at least a small glimpse of the beauty and spirit of a temple. I was a little worried at first that the whole experience would be lost on them when they got so infatuated with stomping around in their crinkly booties. But it didn't take long for their faces to register the reverence and awe they soon felt. Jayden asked lots of questions about baptisms for the dead, which he will be able to do in less than two years. I enjoyed showing Makenna the lovely brides dressing room. Sitting in the Celestial Room, squished on a couch with my dear husband and children all around me, I couldn't help dreaming of the day we will again sit together in this room of a temple.
That evening I also had the opportunity to take Jayden and Makenna to see the stage production of Saturday's Warrior and White Star. The story of Saturday's Warrior was such a part of my growing-up years, I couldn't wait to share it with them. We had so much fun.

We stayed with Steve Boren, a great friend of Carter's since they were kids. Steve lives on a farm, and my little city-slickers had a ball. He let them ride a horse. Steve also has the absolute coolest guest house I've ever seen. My kids called it the "Haunted Mansion."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Baby Torture (a.k.a. A Day at the Water Park)

Our kids have looked forward all year to their promised day at Roaring Springs. We arrived bright and early and we closed the park down that night. And we all had a blast, except maybe for poor Brennan. Check out his little face as the kids take him down the slides.

Kyler and Shaylie also got a piece of the action...

Smokin' Moles

Our new house backs up to a park, which we LOVE. But we don't love the little moles who burrow tiny underground cities in our back yard. Someone is going to break an ankle in those holes. So Carter came home with a solution. Mole extermination is a first for us, so I tried not to think about the awful death being inflicted on the critters and I came out to film the action. My camera has this multi-picture burst-thingie that I thought I'd try out, and I captured a comical scene. I promise no children were injured in the filming of this. Ha!ha!

Swimming Lessons - A Summer Tradition

What would summer be without swimming lessons? They all worked very hard and made great progress this year. And I know they had a good time.

Makenna's favorite was the backstroke... and diving for rings...and the slippery slide.

Kyler on safety day. Isn't he cute?!

"I believe I can fly..." Jayen's most favorite was the diving board. His least favorite was the butterfly stroke, at least until he got the hang of it.

And I just liked this one of Brennan waiting patiently during lessons. Happy guy!

Monday, July 7, 2008

July 4th at Stanley

This year our family spent 4th of July weekend camping near Stanley, Idaho. The area holds a special place in our hearts. Carter's family spent every summer in Stanley running a family business, called Sunbeam Village. In addition to working with the family, he worked for the Fish and Game and as a white water river guide. After we were married we spent our first couple summers living and working there as well(Oh...the stories I could tell! Ask me sometime about living in the toolshed), but I inherited a love for those incredible mountains. It was fun introducing our children to our favorite spots.

Up the Yankee Fork we explored Custer, the spooooky ghost town. It took some explaining to convince some of the kids that there aren't really any ghosts. We also checked out the giant gold dredge, which is another fascinating piece of history.

We spent most of one day soaking up the sun and the breathtaking scenery at Redfish Lake. That has to be one of my favorite places in this world. We rented a paddleboat for a while and had a blast. I took an unexpected dunk in the icy water when I tried to gracefully hop off. The kids got a kick out of that. They chased minnows with a little fish net and built sand castles.

The inevitable family group shot...

After the freezing water of Redfish Lake, we stopped for a quick dip in Sunbeam Hot Springs. (Actually we were hoping to soak off a bit of dirt, grime, and campfire smoke before we attended church in the Stanley Branch the next morning). It felt so nice, and we had good entertainment watching Carter and Jayden climb around the rocks above us, trying to redirect the hot water flow to get the temperature 'just right'.

But my favorite memories of the trip are the times we had just hanging out at our campsite. We were excited to find a terrific camping spot near Puzzler Gulch (love the name!) which sat beside the river, surrounded by a gorgeous view of the mountains and trees. It even had a homemade outhouse which had to be a hundred years old. Of course I took a picture.

So here are a few shots of the family roasting marshmallows, playing in the fire (yikes!), and just being cute.

And lastly, the trip home was memorable for a couple reasons... The gear we tied to the roof of our minivan sprang loose and bounced all over the highway behind us. After we collected our bedding and our underwear from the bushes, my hero-husband pulled out his shoelaces and used them to secure our stuff for the rest of the ride home. And then there was the little matter of the speeding ticket... We hoped the cop was pulling us over to warn us that shoelaces were not legally approved for binding overhead loads, but no such luck.