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Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Cleaning!

Well, toady was Friday CLEANING day!
I just have to say how amazed I am at my children. The entire day was AWESOME!
We had to wake up early to finish Aaron's school project, and were consequently rushed/almost late to school, so I thought the whole day would be as frantic.

It wasn't

I got a great deal done while the kids were at school - bathrooms, laundry, dusting, sheets, my bedroom and closet...
then I took a break to go to feed Nate lunch and do a reading lesson with him and go to a PTA meeting.

Then, the kids came home.
That is when the magic happened.

Charity was upset because she didn't get a stuffed animal (Aaron got one because he sold 2 entertainment books for the school). I was in the kitchen cleaning, and all of a sudden, I heard Aaron say "Hey, why dont you just have the frog - I don't really need it and I see you want it".

I hadn't even said a word to him. I was just about to go ask Charity why she was crying... then I heard him say that...


That started it all. The kids were so cheerful doing their chores. I didn't raise my voice and was so pleased with how awesome they did! Charity cleaned out under her bed and the boys didn't complain about cleaning their room. We finished all our chores and it was only 4:15!
Just wanted to say how happy I am to have the most wonderful children in the world. I am so glad they are such awesome helpers and so sweet to eachother!

Friday, July 16, 2010


We left Monday from our "camping" trip in Beaver. Joe drove Mom Robinson up to her parent's house in Salt Lake. I cleaned out the car (it REALLY needed it after all that dust!) and packed for our trip to TEXAS!! Charity really enjoyed the visit with Joe's Grandma and Grandpa Harris.

I had everything ready to go so the kids and I left the following morning when we woke up! I had absolutely no expectations of how far I could drive that day, but I just decided to get as far as I could until I was tired. The kids were AWESOME! They took turns choosing movies, and then when I got bored or tired, we sang (loudly) to all our favorite songs. I decided to stop at 9pm, but I felt like I could have driven forever! The next morning, we had a quick 7 hour drive to KELLER!

Driving past Texas Motor Speedway Aaron said "Mom, this just FEELS like home!". Ya son, I know.
We were so excited to make it to my mom's house! Dawn's kids were there for the summer while she was doing an internship in IRELAND... so we were so excited to hang with the Howey kids!

Time sure flew while we were there! We went to the bounce house one day... Seriously, we stayed for 4 hours. Hey, it kept the kids entertained! Yay for cousins!

We also enjoyed doing a MILLION crafts, going to movies, McDonald's and SWIMMING... I also enjoyed spending time at CarieAnn's Pool! So glad she has one in her backyard (I know she has been waiting patiently for that).

It was great getting to hang out with cousins! Aaron went to the TCU baseball camp while we were there. I think he had a good time. It is such a great camp! He kindof missed out on some cousin time, but I think it all worked out.
The 10 days I spent there went by way too fast! It was great for the kids to all be together! So glad we were able to have the Driscolls, Howeys, Robinsons and Liddles in the same place at the same time! Sorry Steph, Kennedy is too little to enjoy it - maybe next year?

We also had a little birthday party for Brae. Those boys are so stinkin cute!

It was also great to see my friends! I saw Nancy Jetton in Frisco. Then, we had a girls ice cream night with Jen Sorenson (long lost friend), Valerie Nankervis, Ruth Brann and Carieann. Play days with Courtney Flynn and Cheryl King. Then, another girl night with Becky, Maleah, Amy (Maleah's S-I-L), Cherry, and Carieann.
I wish I could have spent more time with all of them. I wish I could have seen the ones I missed!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

4th of July!

This year, we decided to join up with the Atkins for a camping/4wheeling trip! Big change from the rest of the weekends this summer I know! ;)
This trip was spectacular! Perry's family camps every year in the mountains above Beaver (where he is from). We joined up with their little reunion and camped with them on Big Flat - which is simply breathtaking! Beautiful grassy meadows tucked away in the mountains - up about 10000 feet. There are lots of ATV trails to enjoy too! The camping is so neat there because there are so many trees and different areas to camp that it is quite secluded and peaceful.

This is what it looked like. AMAZING!!!

When I say camping, I mean, all the Atkins brought RVs and we stayed in a suite in a hotel there in Beaver (30 minute ride down the mountain) every night. After 4wheeling every day, it was just too tempting and comforting to have a shower and a bed to sleep in every night. It was also very nice because Joe's mom came! I hope she had fun. She just hung out with Perry's parents while we went on our rides. I don't think she minded though because we always came back so dirty!

We enjoyed all the fun of camping though - fabulous camping meals - foil dinners, cobbler, marshmallows and hot dogs cooked over the fire. We enjoyed lots of sitting around and finding wood. We also enjoyed long walks to the bathroom ;)

It was great to spend time with Joe's mom and also the Atkins! It was great to get to know more of his family! Yay for another weekend enjoying the mountains!
Aaron was promoted/demoted to driving my ride because we returned his crappy one. A promotion because it is a huge machine and he gets to drive it. A demotion because he has to chauffer me around as I do not yet trust him to NOT go too fast and fall down ravines (because he actually almost kills me at least once every ride).
Joe and his mom!
Maleah loves to pose for pictures. So does Hoyt. Although, he is the cutest little thing you have ever seen!!!
Big John's Flat - we couldn't go any further due to "spring" runoff...

Nate decided to try to pierce his ear on a log. He thought he could balance and/or do log rolling like a lumber jack... I don't think he accomplished what he wanted. For DAYS this ear was black and blue and swollen - goose egg even behind the ear too... should I have taken him in for a CT scan?
The Atkins and the fire - yes, it was cold and we all very much appreciated our jackets and the fire.
A lake up there... think it was cold?
Do you see Joe? Some of the trails were pretty intense. So intense that I kicked Aaron to the back seat to drive myself. Thought I was going to fall off a cliff...
Our Family picture... We were all smiling I promise! ;)

Surprise! Nate fell asleep!
This was our camping spot. How beautiful was this?
The Atkins... and Joe waiting patiently for breakfast. Maleah, check out your legs. Seriously.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Saturday, Charity had her little gymnastics recital. She was ADORABLE! She was so excited about it! Her little team did a dance to a Lion King song. I think my daughter was the cutest one out there! I wasn't overly impressed with the whole show, but I guess I am just hard to impress when it comes to dance performances? There were a few cute numbers, but that was about it. Supposedly, Charity is at the best (most winning) gym in Utah... Kindof makes me miss Texas and real sports there...
It was still cute, and all the girls had their new leotards on. Charity was so excited about hers... so I guess it was everything we dreamed it could be!
All of my pictures were blurry... but I did at least get video!

Charity is one of those little blurs... Just waiting for her turn to dance...

Luckily, her recital was at 10 am... and we were out of there by 10:45 (we left right after her dance was done)... so we headed down to MANTI with the Atkins and our 4wheelers for a day in the mountains!!! We went up in the Manti-LaSal trails (over by Ephriam) and it was so picturesque. The spring run-off had a bunch of the trails closed, so we mostly spent the day driving on the mountain dirt roads... Can't say it was the funnest day of RIDING, but it was really beautiful.

Spring run-off? This was on one of the trails we TRIED to take. A little further ahead, the trail was completely washed away and under some quick moving water, so we had to turn back and go back on the awesome mountain dirt road.
Dirty Sanchez?
Maleah and ME! So glad to have a friend!
Boys planning... with maps in hand. Hopeful to find a good trail...
Cutie Patooties!! These kids are AWESOME!

It is beyond me how Nate could sleep like this...

We went up and over the mountains to a lake, where had a late lunch/snack at the marina there.
We put on about 60 miles that day... and, after riding on the dirt all day, we were REALLY FILTHY!
We loaded the machines back in the trailer and headed to the Manti (Mormon Miracle) pageant. I was grateful for the change of clothes that we brought! I was also grateful for the wipes I keep stored in the back of my car! And also, the blankets cause it sure got cold!
The pageant was not what I envisioned, but I think the kids really enjoyed it.
We had a great time, and made it back SOOO late. I was NOT looking forward to church (and being early for choir to sing and to play the organ and do primary) the next day...
BUT, I cant help but be thrilled that we can go out and do fun days in the mountains, and still make it back for church! Can't say that happens in TX! (I'm really working hard to be grateful for being here!)


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free Fun!

We have enjoyed the free splash pad in Highland. It is pretty close and there is a Little Caesars across the street, so it makes for a cheap and easy day of fun in the sun!

Summer and Alyssa Bradshaw came with us the other day! Those girls are so adorable! I don't know how Kysha does it, but she homeschools, and teaches those girls their string instruments! I love Kysha, and those girls and Charity have so much fun together!

After the splash pad, the girls spent the day (and well into the night) making up dances and songs and just plain being little girls. I hope to steal those girls again!

As you can see, the boys had just as much fun!? I don't know how Nate falls asleep like this... He's CRAZY! Guess he was tired?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Fathers Day weekend!

Friday and Saturday, I ran in the RAGNAR. I left my kids in the afternoon, and drove with the Atkins, Harwards, and new friend Natasha up to EDEN Utah for our first van to hand off to us.

Here was our awesome VAN #2! The Atkins, Harwards, Natasha and Me!!

The RAGNAR is a 188 mile relay race. Our team of 12 people divided in to 2 vans. The first van started at 11:30 Friday morning. Each of them ran different length legs. They started in Logan, and met up with us for the first van exchange in Eden.
Here are the Chickas from VAN 2 as we were waiting for our first exchange. We were so excited and ready to start RUNNING!!! One of these things is not like the other... who is it? oh, its ME! I am the one with no boobs who cant help bu look like WT...

They arrived at 6:30, and our legs were all different lengths (averaging about 4 miles each). I was runner 12, so I was the last person to run in our van. My particular leg was uphill the entire time at a pretty killer incline... but I came in before my estimated time! ;) That was my only goal. My leg ended towards 11pm, so we handed off to the other van, ate subway, then parked the car to take a quick nap. Nobody slept well because the parking lot was all a bustle the entire time - with headlights shining into our faces... but by 5am we were ready for another van exchange.
Our van ROCKED! Our team name was TEA BAGS AND TATAs... but last minute, some girls in van 1 were offended, so the name was changed to something else... but I don't know what it was - our numbers still had the original name, so that was what I went with.
Maleah and Perry are ROCKSTARS and came in averaging 8 minute miles - on legs of about 10 miles!!! Katie and Natasha were AWESOME too! They are super fast and super awesome! Nate was not really a runner before a month ago but he did great too! We had a LOT of fun! My second leg was 6.8 miles. It was supposed to be a gradual incline, but mostly flat. It was NOT SUPPOSED to be all completely uphill... but it was. I was running mid-morning, so I was really hot and quite discouraged when I kept seeing massive inclines ahead. BUT, at least I came in faster than the estimated time, so I was still pleased... After my first run, I thought I should have pushed myself faster. But after this run, I felt like I left it all on the table. My lips were SO chapped! It felt like I was frothing at the mouth. I swear my whole face and mouth had the white salt residue all over! It was AWESOME!!!

I was the last runner in our van, so after I handed it off to van 1, we headed to Maleah's parent's condo in Midway (close to where our next van exchange would be) and took a shower and a nap! We were all so exhausted from running and not sleeping. It felt good to shower. We also slept for about an hour! It was SO nice!
We made it to the next van exchange. It was our last one, and we were all still VERY tired, and being that it was Saturday late afternoon, we were all getting pretty discouraged knowing that we would not be done till later that night. Our last legs were all KILLER! Katie ended up having to add on another mile and a half to hers for some detour... She handed off to me for the VERY LAST LEG!!
Katie is handing off to me after running 7 miles - she looks great. I look like I'm in pain and I haven't even started running yet... Is there something wrong here?

My last leg was 5.1 miles. I was so tired. I was really just wanting to be home. I did great on the first couple miles, but again, it was uphill!!! My last 2.5 miles were completely uphill and it was hot and late and I wanted to cry. BUT, it was awesome to run in at the end into the Canyons and have people cheering for me. Then the team joined in on the last few meters. We finished at about 7:15pm.
Here is our team right at the end. I look like I'm gonna die. But everyone else looks great! At least I got to keep the slap bracelet (the team baton)!!!

We went to Wendys for some FOOD!!! I mean, it was great eating only beef jerky, bananas, energy shots and pretzels, but I wanted a HAMBURGER!!!

I probably annoyed everyone there, but it was really fun, and I look forward to doing it again next year!
I came home and was delirious with fatigue. It was really hard, but I am motivated to become a better runner and improve my times for the next one!

We got home Saturday night, and although I would RATHER have slept in and spent Sunday in bed, I was a good wife...
I made Joe breakfast in bed (although he snuck out and went running). At least he got a nice breakfast! Then, we went to church (where I was on organ duty, and did primary music)...
Choir was canceled for Fathers day, so Joe and I loaded up and headed to Strawberry to ride the trails out there! It was absolutely beautiful!
We rode to this really pretty reservoir. Joe has this gps device that records where we go, and he was having fun with it! I would really like to go out there again! The kids had a great time!
These little family excursions on the weekends are really help convince me that Utah might not be so bad. I have never before had so much fun with just my little family! It is awesome to just pack up and do things like this in the mountains!

I wish I was a better photog!!! The view was SO amazing from up there!
Yes, my 9 yr old is driving the 350. I am on the back. The seats are actually pretty comfortable. Aaron is such a trooper cause his 4wheeler broke and pretty much SUCKS... so I let him drive. He's actually getting a LOT better! (excepting that one incident where he was going too fast around a corner and we slid off and almost went down a ravine)
Here is my awesome husband. With Aaron's 4wheeler out of commission, Nate has to ride up front on Joe's. I hate it when Nate is in front of me cause our helmets always bonk. But Joe is sweet to endure. Also notice Charity's mirror-tinted visor. She is such a princess! I just wonder why he didn't order another one for his WIFE???? (hint hint)
My kids are awesome!