Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fond Memories of Summer 2009!

"People don't notice whether
it's winter or summer when they're happy."
~Anton Chekhov

I LOVED this quote when I found it...such a true thing that when you truly are happy it doesn't matter if it's winter or summer, rainy or sunny, you somehow are able to find "Joy in the Journey".
As my hubby always says:
"It's All Good"!!
I'm finally getting around to posting about the FUN we had this summer and as much as I am enjoying the "chill" in the air that accompanies Autumn, I am greatly missing my two FAVORITE things about the LONG dog days of summer...
(sorry NOT the book...)
I LOVE the morning Twilight walks and talks with my best friend.
I LOVE when the days of summer are SO long that if you aren't up and going on a walk by 5:30 in the morning you miss the "Twilight".
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE morning Twilight and sunrises!!

I miss the LONG days of summer when you can go outside at 9:00 in the evening and enjoy an amazing sunset!
This photo was taken at 9:22 on the evening of July 1st.
WOW!! We get some amazing sunsets where we live and I love the vibrant bright orange and yellow colors in this photo!!

I love noticing all of the different cloud formations during the day and this was such a COOL photo. You can see a vertical little stripe of color in the middle of the photo. This was a view that I enjoyed from my kitchen window!
LOVE it!

Ethan Kip lost his first top middle tooth shortly after we got back from our trip to took him another month to lose the other one.
He looks SO cute with no front teeth!!

We spent our Tuesday and Thursday evenings the month of July and first 2 weeks of August going to Ethan's soccer games. They were SO fun to watch and I actually miss going to them. They won every game but their last one.
(soccer team members)
Back row: Ethan, Caleb, Coach Taylor, Crit, Larz and Blair
Front row: Karsen, Nate, Taralee and Logan

This summer we realized that you don't have to spend a lot of money on family trips to have FUN!!
Other than
spending $20.00 on swimming and $15.00 on a camp site permit, our Family FUN mostly consisted of putting a few dollars of gas in the car and packing a picnic lunch and we created MANY lifetime memories!!

It is VERY true indeed...
that it really is the LITTLE things in life that makes life BIG for kids!!

July 3rd, 2009

Despite RAIN (yes another family adventure that consisted of rain or snow this summer) we LOVED our trip to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park. It was a gorgeous day and beautiful blue sky, clouds and lush green forest!
And hidden falls was Spectacular!!

I LOVE noticing all of the textures and scenery along the way and these were some cool rocks and a mushroom and gorgeous flowers!

This collage of photos shows...
the gorgeous lake reflection, a piece of wood that looks like an "Aardvark"
Ethan found a piece of wood that reminded him of a space ship and he was in ACTION mode pretending he was in "Star Wars" the whole hike out
and as you can see, we got drenched and I had to take photo showing that.


Grandpa and Grandma's property at LAVA!!
May and July 2009

Life just doesn't get any better
than spending time with cousins camping, chewing gum, fishing, swinging , dogs and just playing together!!

We decided to take a different drive home from Lava and we drove through Soda Springs. WOW, loved the old buildings, rolling green hills and blue sky and clouds that we saw on our drive!
Complete and utter beauty and it made me wish we had a little home on one of those hillsides.

This is showing Palisades Reservoir.
It has been LOW for the past few years, but with all of the snow we had this winter it is now up to full capacity and it was AWESOME to see so much water!

Granite Hot Springs
July 7th and 8th 2009
The dusty road heading towards our campsite at Granite.

Tracy, Jade and Ethan
all worked together as a team getting our tent all set up.

Granite Mountain...
the view just south of our campsite.

The gorgeous meadow and view from the picnic table at our campsite.

Crossing the bridge on our way to go swimming at Granite Hot springs!
LOVE the cute red building in the background, which actually used to be the changing rooms.

We LOVE the water at Granite!
However, this year it wasn't as HOT as we like it because of all of the snow runoff that was feeding the Hotsprings. We had fun nonetheless!

The view from the hot springs as we were heading back to camp!

I LOVE how Tracy takes care of us while out camping.
He always makes us something warm and yummy on our backpacking stove.
We were able to collect enough dead wood to make a fire!

I woke up early and went on a walk while everyone else was sleeping in because I wanted to enjoy TWILIGHT and this is the gorgeous waterfall not too far from our camp!

Some gorgeous flowers that I saw on my Twilight walk!

Tracy's neice Candace and her hubby Mark
showed up at camp late that night
and the kids were THRILLED to play with cousins the next day.
Ethan, Jade, Alyssa and Cole had LOTS of fun playing and
they also went swimming as well.

Since Mark and Candace wanted to go swimming and wanted to take Jade and Ethan with them, Tracy and I decided we would go on a leisurely hike along the mountainside together.
The gorgeous sights that we saw on our hike!!
(we got a kick out of the VW bus that we saw at the trailhead as it was spray painted with all kinds of silly things)


An afternoon in Idaho Falls
July 13th, 2009

Tracy is always doing something spontaneous
and this day, he decided that we would go and walk the 2 mile loop around the greenbelt in Idaho Falls. We first enjoyed a picnic and then the kids enjoyed playing in the sand,
petting a duck that was injured along the shoreline, feeding the ducks and geese and just enjoying the warmth and sunshine of a beautiful summer's day.
(Regarding the injured duck...we debated long and hard whether to take it home and use a Popsicle stick to put along its broken leg to heal it, but in the end, we left it to nature to take it's course, although we had some VERY melancholy kids on the way home that were sad that we left it.)

Lava Tubes (Caves)
July 28th, 2009

Tracy decided he wanted to take us to enjoy the underground Lava Tubes (Caves) just 30 miles north of where we live.
Tracy loaded up our Subaru with jackets, headlamps, wood for a fire and I loaded the cooler with things for a picnic and we headed off on a fun evening adventure.

The gorgeous view of the Teton mountain range from the desert!
We were excited when we took this photo as we were going to be doing our yearly hike in those mountains in less than a week!

So, excited to be at the caves and the kids were thrilled to put on their headlamps and put their flashlights to use!

I Loved these rocks!
Someone had spray painted "Hard Way" and "Easy Way"
As you can guess, my family chose the "Hard Way". I actually was thrilled that my family was happy to have to do a little more work and by doing that we enjoyed a much more AWESOME cave experience!

Inside the cave...
and more cave...
We were amazed when we came across this "YES" that was spray painted on the inside of the middle of the cave. We were wondering what those words meant. Was it someone answering "YES" to a dance invitation, was it letting us know we were on the right path to getting out of the cave?
I guess we'll never know.
I particularly like this YES sign...because as often as people are taught to say just say "NO" to things in life we sometimes forget there are also many things in life we really should say "YES" to.

Awesome textures, colors and rocks in the caves!
VERY wet caves!

I was the last one out of the cave as I was trying to capture some cool photos.

My view as I was climbing out...
my three handsome men in my life waiting to greet me!!

The cave took us quite away from our car.
You can see our Subaru off a ways in the distance!

On our walk back to the car
we found this little treasure. I haven't seen a pop "pull tab" like that since I was a little girl.

Tracy doing what he does best...
starting a fire and helping the kids roast hot dogs.
What an amazing, FUN and gorgeous evening we had in the desert!



My awesome hubby...
Harvesting our potatoes!!

Friday Night Dates!!

My most treasured and looked forward to event of the week...
Friday night dates with "Mr. Smith"!
We never miss a week without a date. Sometimes we go on Thursdays or Saturdays if we have conflicting events, but EVERY week there is a night for us to go and enjoy each other's company.
This was a gorgeous sunset we saw on our way out of a store. Tracy snapped the photo with his iPhone. It was an incredible sight to behold!


Family Get-togethers!!

Candace did the most AWESOME birthday party for her daughter Alyssa.
A birthday Luau...complete with leis, grilled kabobs, pina coloda smoothies, seashells, a pineapple pinata and a "flip-flop" cake!
What a FUN night!!


My most touching part of the summer...
What a wonderful blessing it is that we live in such a wonderful community and ward.
I am SO grateful for the opportunity that my boys have to give SERVICE to others!!

The men and boys took a saturday a few weeks ago and went and chopped and hauled wood for some elderly and needy sisters in our area so they can keep their homes warm this winter. Later that evening they served the boys, men and their families a Dutch Oven dinner to thank them for the service they provided that day. They announced that they had gotten 23 cords of wood that day and not only had they delivered the wood, but it was all neatly stacked at the homes of these women and ready for them to use this winter.
It touched my heart
SO much and brought tears to my eyes. These are some photos Tracy took and I love the photo of Ethan and Sister Hill. She was SO thrilled that he kept on coming in her house and saying "HI" to her.


Which brings me to today...
We have been listening to the 179th Semiannual General Conference broadcast of our church.
I wept as I heard President Monson's talk when he told about all of the wonderful acts of kindness that children and teenagers had done this year, in commemoration of his birthday wishes.

I wept when he talked about the child that played with an 11 year old kid that was lonely. I have witnessed SO many acts of kindness towards Jade in this way.
I wept thinking of the sweet older people that we know and how much JOY they get when we take time out of our busy lives to come and spend some time with them.

I hope to be able to do better in this aspect and NEVER be too busy in life to go and visit the lonely!! I really need to be better at doing this!
What a wonderful world we live in and I feel SO blessed to be apart of such a service oriented community!!
I'm "Cherishing every Moment"!


The Garden of Egan said...

Looks like your summer was full! I too enjoyed all of Conference. We are truly blessed.

Camille said...

Yes - Cherish the moments! You have done an awesome job capturing the moments in pictures, too! Looks like you had a great summer! Hopefully winter will be just as pleasant (despite all the snow) :(

Connie said...

What a fun-filled summer you had with your family! You are so blessed and you're blessing the lives of your sons as you do so much with them! They will have many fond memories of family time.
Loved the photos of the beautiful places you went.
Loved General Conference! How fortunate we are to be able to hear our prophet speak!

Ann Marie said...

I know I always say this.. but way to be positive! :) I love the quote.. and can tell you I'm kinda grumpy about the winter.. so I will have to find EXTRA joy in my journey the next few months..

I love ALL of the pictures.. I can't even imagine how long this post took to do.. but I think it's awesome since your documenting all of it!

I loved conference too. So many talks had me teary.. President Monsons and Elder Eyrings spoke to my heart the most.. but Elder Hollands was so powerful.. I still feel speechless about it.

AWESOME day... decorating the house.. and listening to inspiring words! :)
Hope your week is happy! ((HUGS!))

T. L. C. said...

Oh wow....oh wow. You had ONE HECK of a summer. I enjoyed seeing all the pictures!

Plus you look fantastic in your bathing suit!!

Your garden is do die for! And all the fun places and the photos of your sons are priceless!

And the twilight time....was beautiful!

Small House said...

WOW...what a wonderful summer you have had!!!! Your husband takes such good care of you and your family. I love how you talk about him, and the deep love and respect you feel for him.

OKAY....I consider myself a somewhat happy person, but seriously, I don't like winter. It's okay until about the middle of February, and then I feel like pulling my hair out. Winter lasts a long time in Cache Valley.
SO....with that said, I will try to have a more positive outlook towards it.

I'm with you...loved conference. What a great weekend we had.
Have a good day.

Cherie said...

I absolutely LOVE your summer wrap up post - this is a great idea I might have to incorporate into my blog next year - What fun to look at your summer like this - Look back at all the family fun, couple fun, nature, sunsets, Twilights (ooohhhhh Edward...Oh excuse me got a little carried away there - wink wink!), hikes, and even the bugs.
It sure makes you realize what is important and not one of them is found in a store!!
I love your outlook on life - you have to be one of the happiest people on the planet!
Have a Wonderful week chick-a-dee!!!