Sunday, August 30, 2015

First Day of School

5th and 2nd Graders:

Please stop growing up!

August 2015, Part 3--Time with Mummi and Pappa

The first morning with my parents is always a Finnish pancake day:
 While Erik was still around for the day after the wedding, we went up American Fork canyon for a barbeque.  Davin spent the entire time throwing rocks into the creek.  And that was the beginning of his obsession with finding "Daddy rocks" to throw.
 Mea was not happy--she's still freaked out from her 5 wasps stings 3 or 4 summers ago in Finland, so whenever she sees a wasp, she becomes irrational.  Spencer can be as well.  So it took a lot of convincing to get them to do anything.
 Erik left later that day, and then Evan left the day after Erik to get back to his research. And the rest of us spent the day packing and shopping for our upcoming camping trip.

We ended up deciding to camp in two different locations, for 2 nights at each place.  We're kind of nomadic campers, and the idea of spending more than a few days at a campsite doesn't really appeal to us.

We started out at a campsite just past Mirror Lake in the high Uintas.  We've camped at most of the places before Mirror Lake in the past, and my parents were worried about me camping at 10,000 feet elevation while 7.5 months pregnant, so we decided to try out a new-to-us campground past Mirror Lake.  Turns out they aren't so great.   But one of the last ones before exiting the national forest turned out to be a good one.  A lot of the campsites were too open (meaning no trees or underbrush), which we usually don't prefer, but we found one right along the river that had a cluster of trees for our tents, with just enough open space for the kids to play around in.  The kids spent the majority of the time playing near the river throwing "Daddy rocks" in.



 Spencer decided he wanted to show us the skills he learned at summer camp this summer.  So he chopped the wood and started the fire:

Our only full day at this campsite was spent hiking. We found a hike that wasn't too long for the kids (just a few miles round trip) called Ruth Lake.  Davin ended up hiking almost the entire thing, so it took us longer than expected.  But here we are at the lake:
 Did I mention that Sonja and Jokke joined us??  We're so glad they did!
We ended up hiking around the lake, too.  The kids saw this huge, flat rock and decided it'd be cool to have a picture of them on top of it:
 Mea really liked the lily pads and wanted a picture of them, too:
After that hike, we drove up to Mirror Lake for a late picnic lunch and then walked around Mirror Lake (another couple of miles).  So we were all pretty worn out by the end of the day.

The next morning we packed up and moved on.  Next location: somewhere near Bear Lake.  Spencer really wanted to go boating with the inflatable raft that my parents have.  But Mirror Lake was too cold.  Bear Lake is much warmer, but camping at Bear Lake would've been too hot.  Luckily Sonja and Jokke knew about a canyon close to Bear Lake that had some good camping, so that's where we headed.  Unfortunately, it was approaching a weekend, so a lot of the sites were taken.  We were really hoping for a site next to a creek again, but the only site available next to the creek was really sunny and had a lot of bugs (including wasps--so Mea was having fits again).  Then we found this gem:

It was perfect.  Lots of trees, but with enough space for the kids to run around.  And nowhere near as many bugs.

Further up the canyon was the Minnetonka Cave.  My kids have never been in a cave, so I thought it would be a good experience for them.
 We left Davin back at the campsite with Mummi and Pappa, and Sonja and Jokke accompanied the kids and I.  The cave had 888 stairs.  I think if my parents had known it had that many steps, they wouldn't have let me go.  They were being quite protective of my pregnant self.  But it was no problem for me.

I'm not a great photographer, so the pictures of the cave aren't good:



 After some lunch back at camp, we headed down to Bear Lake for some swimming and boating.  It was quite windy, and the air quality was really bad because of all the fires further west.  But we all had fun.  Spencer got to do his boating and the rest of us got to rinse off some of the 4 days of camping grime:




 The nest morning we packed everything up and headed home.  On our way out, though, we stopped and had some Bear Lake raspberry shakes:
A few days after that, we said our goodbyes and headed back home to Chicago.  It was a great trip with lots of events and memories, but it was great to come home at the end of it.

Thanks, Mummi and Pappa, Sonja and Jokke, for the great camping experience!

Friday, August 28, 2015

August 2015, Part 2--J & B's Wedding

We don't normally travel to Utah in the summer time.  But this year I had another sibling get married (hooray!!), so we made a trip of it.  They got married in the Payson Temple, which made it easy for us to have Evan's parents watch our kids during the ceremony, since the Payson Temple is about 10 minutes from Santaquin.  Per J and B's request, only immediate family was in attendance.  Here are some of the pictures afterwards as they exited the temple:


 And then some family pictures:

My 90-year old grandparents:
 All of B's family:
 My parents:

 The siblings, minus Andrea, who is on her mission:
 Can you tell I'm 7 1/2 months pregnant??
 My kids (who were not thrilled about the pictures, nor the heat):
 Did I mention how hot it was??  Upper 90's.  Can you tell by the redness of their faces?


 Happy to be playing in the water:
 This was ALL he wanted to do.  He was screaming until we allowed this:
 A rare smile from this one:
 And then our pathetic attempts at a family picture.  We are just not a photogenic family!

 Afterwards we met at La Jolla Groves Restaurant for a joint family dinner.  It was great getting to know B and her family!
 The Finnish wedding cake my parents made:
 Cutting the cake:
And, unfortunately that's all the pictures I took!  It was a great wedding.  I'm so happy for my brother and B.  Welcome to the family!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

August 2015, Part 1--Grandma and Grandpa's House

A few days after my last post, Evan and I simultaneously came down with the flu.  Evan had it worse than me, but it's never fun to have the flu while pregnant, in the summer, and knowing that we'll be flying on vacation in a week's time.  Waimea came down with it a few days later, and then Davin followed a few days after.  I feel bad for the people who were on our flight!  We were just constantly taking turns coughing almost the entire flight.  It was awful.

That whole week leading up to our trip to Utah was just crazy.  I still took the kids to the beach twice, just to take advantage of the great beach weather.  I got 4 orders in my shop just days before leaving.  Plus the packing.  We arrived in Utah exhausted, coughing like crazy, and just ready for a break!

We spent the first week and a few days with Evan's parents.  (Luckily no one got our flu!)  They recently moved to Santaquin from Blanding, so it made it a lot easier to stay with them.  The kids had a blast playing with Grandma and Grandpa and all their vintage toys.  And Evan and I just spent the first few days trying to rest and get better.  Then we started exploring.

We went up Santaquin Canyon for a barbeque.  There was a creek running nearby so the kids threw rocks in.

 And then Davin fell in (no picture of that--sorry!)  But it was nice and cool and peaceful in the canyon.  That's one of the things I miss while living in the midwest--there are no canyons or mountains to escape to!
 On our way down from the canyon we stopped at the Red Barn to get some ice cream.  That was some good ice cream!  We came again another day later in our stay, but we walked from Grandma and Grandpa's house the second time (2 miles each way).
 Another day we met up with Amy (Evan's sister) in Provo and went to the Provo Beach Resort.  It's an arcade place with a few other fun things to do.  Davin's favorite thing was playing Fruit Ninja:

 Spencer, however, is starting to think arcade places are boring.  So he saw this ropes course and was dying to to it:

 Another favorite of Davin's was this mini basketball game.  He didn't make a single basket, but there were plenty of others to help out:

 On another day we went up Payson canyon and did a very small hike.  I think it was 6/10 mile round trip.  Perfect for my complaining kids.  There was a little waterfall at the end that the kids had fun with:

 Davin walked almost the entire way, so it was a good hike for him:
 Grandpa took Evan and the kids fishing twice.  The first time they didn't catch any fish:

 The second time they went, Waimea and Spencer caught a fish within seconds of each other.  So while Grandpa was trying to help Mea net and unhook her fish, Spencer pulled his in and tried to bring it up on the dock.  But the minute it got out of the water, it freed itself from the hook and swam away, much to Spencer's dismay.  But here's Mea's fish:
 Grandpa also took Spencer out a number of times to go shooting.  They only used a pellet gun, and only shot paper/can targets.  But Spencer always had fun doing it.

Our last day at Grandma and Grandpa's, all of Evan's siblings and their kids, sans Ryan, came for a barbeque dinner.  I neglected to take any pictures, but the kids all had a blast with their cousins!

It was a great first week plus of our trip to Utah.  Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for all the good times!