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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!

Sunday, June 13, 2010


My sister hijacked my blog.
I am NOT pregnant.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Sunday in the Canyon

Today, we went to lunch in American Fork Canyon with the Atkin family. It was absolutely beautiful! The weather was perfect. The scenery was so amazing!
We walked around on the trails for a little bit. I could have stayed up there for hours, but apparently, Joe got bored and maybe the kids got tired, so we turned around and headed back to the car. The run-off was making the river/stream run so quickly. It made for nervous parents as the little ones kept getting nearer the edge throwing rocks in to the rapids. It was running so fast that you could hear the rocks under the water getting pushed downstream.
I guess in Texas we couldn't have spent the day outside in the mountains eating lunch and hiking around... maybe I will start to like it here a bit better?

Dirty FACE!!!
I promise, this is no blue screen... how pretty is this???

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Memorial Day!

We just got back from a REALLY fun trip!
Friday, after the kids' last day of school, we packed up our four wheelers and headed south! Joe and Perry had been planning this little excursion for months, so the boys were really excited.
We met up with the Atkins down in Beaver, and headed further on towards Escalante. We got there after dark, so we set up a little camp site just off the road.
That first night was amazing. Since we were so secluded, we didn't put up the privacy/rain flap over our tent. We were able to just look up at the stars in the sky all night. Our tent (without the rain flap) is essentially just a screen, so it was like sleeping on a tarp outside - we had almost an entire 360 degree view! It was a bit chilly, but the kids were in heaven! Joe and I forgot how uncomfortable it is to sleep on the hard ground, but beyond that, we had a great night! Amy and Matt and family pulled in and set up camp later that night.
We woke up, packed up our crap, ate poptarts for breakfast, then headed to Escalante to meet up with the rest of the group.
Amy and Matt rented a Jeep, and Joe's dad came too with his new Jeep! Perry's brother Trent also came along.

Here we are just before we set out on our LONNNNNGGGG ride.

That first day, we did the Hole in the Rock trail. All in all, we drove those 4wheelers about 70 miles that day. The first 30 miles was to Hole in the Rock... We stopped by Dance Hall Rock and Carcass Wash.
Dance Hall rock was pretty cool... I couldn't help but want to dance a bit and maybe do a few handstands...

The last 8 miles or so of the trail was actually fun to ride (cant say the same about the first part). There were actually some parts that I didn't think the Jeeps could get up - but they did!
We hiked to the top of the cliff by Hole in the Rock, ate lunch and took pictures.

It was neat to be up there NOT sweaty... and NOT having to have climbed up the whole way from the boat!

It was fun to be there when it was not boiling hot. The weather was actually pleasant. But, I did not venture down to the lake to jump in as I had thought I would...
On our way back, we took the trail up 50 mile bench. That was actually a really fun ride. we went up some really steep and rocky switch backs. Then, up at the top it was full of trees and little hills and it was quite beautiful and made for a very fun ride. We had ditched Aaron's little 4 wheeler, so it was nice to have Grandpa's Jeep to throw an extra kid into... Nate even got a nap!
Here is the Jeep... a really neat part of the trail.
At the top, Nate kept saying "I can see the whole Earf from here... but I cant see our house" He was so funny. Charity got a bit nervous of the cliffs. It was really fun to hear their different comments.
Here are the girls in the jeep... a bit more comfortable, and a LOT less dusty!

That night, we camped in town at a little campsite. The Atkins gave up trying to camp, and headed to Perry's brother's house for the night. We ate some tin foil dinners, and some cobbler... and slept. We were all VERY tired. We were all also VERY glad to get a wash down at the camp's showers!
Sunday, we woke up and very leisurely took down camp, loaded up, ate breakfast, and headed towards Bryce Canyon. We stopped along the way to hike up towards Mossy cave and this neat waterfall.

Maybe Nate was having a little breakdown here...
We unhitched the trailers at the entrance to Bryce, and spent the day enjoying the beautiful views the canyon offers. Amy and Matt decided to head back to Idaho...

That afternoon, after Bryce Canyon, we decided to sleep in a hotel... We checked in, and then headed up to hit a few ATV trails behind Tropic. Trish decided to stay in the hotel and nap. Grandpa rode my 4 wheeler, and enjoyed sitting in the trailer reading. It was very relaxing for me! The kids had fun (grandpa might be a funner driver than mom?). Then Aaron's 4 wheeler broke :(.

We grilled hamburgers (of course the Atkins had TURKEY burgers and pita bread because they watch their figures).
Then, we headed back to the hotel, bathed the kids and put them to bed. Grandpa had already fallen asleep, so Perry, Maleah, Joe and I headed to the restaurant at the front of the hotel and grabbed dessert, then played games in their "deluxe" lobby area.
We took our time getting up on Monday morning, ate our free pancake breakfast, and headed towards Red Canyon.
Trish captured this pic of the Atkins leading us towards Red Canyon. The scenery was so spectacular.

We rode the Casto Canyon trail and it was really fun. Again, because Aaron's piece of crap broke, we put an extra kid in the Jeep with Grandma and Grandpa. Riley got in there with Charity. I think the girls actually enjoyed that ride a bit better... I'm sure Dad and Trish enjoyed hearing them sing the WHOLE time... ;)

Near the top, Maleah and I decided to go on a little jog... it didn't last long.
We joined back up with the rest of the group at this beautiful lookout point. The whole trail was actually fun - with little streams and TONS of different kind of rock. Portions of the trail were full of pines and dark rock... then there were portions with that green color and white limestone... then there were portions with the red rock and sand. It was quite breathtaking.

Can you see Me and Joe? This trail was really neat!
What a good looking family!!! SO glad we are friends with these guys!!! Glad we are surviving Utah together!
Here I am. I am feeling so fat right now. I have eaten like garbage and have not worked out at all... Trish took this pic. Maleah suggested I put this as my Facebook profile pic. Should I?

Then, the jeep went back the way we came while we continued down the loop through a red rock/river bed.

At the end of that ride, our trip had to come to an end.
We were FILTHY. We were all sunburned (despite using sunblock). But we had a WONDERFUL time!
We loaded our trailers and parted ways.
We made it home - Monday night. We were so dirty that EVERYTHING had to be washed before it was brought into the house/garage. I was actually proud of myself for washing/cleaning out the car and doing the laundry THAT night.
But, I guess that is just an indication of how extremely dirty everything and everyone was!