Monday was our last day of fall break! We quite enjoy the down time from the grind of school. Amelia had a hankering for applesauce so I got out the apple peeler/corer device and let the kids take care of the apple preparation. The apple sauce slow cooked all day in the crock pot, the smell was heavenly! We all enjoyed a warm bowl of apple sauce with a dollop of cream, except Josie who declared it looked yucky. We drove up to Scottsdale for a nice lunch date with Justin. The kids love going up there. Justin scored some new whiteboard decor thanks to the kids. Everett ordered a large pickle for his lunch, he ate it all and declared himself quite content. Josie ate her entire sandwich! The kids got to have some friends over in the afternoon to play with. Everett finally had Conner over to play soccer. Justin had a very busy week at work, he did not get home until 8-9 pm each evening. I organized a picnic dinner of hotdogs cooked over the open flame, pistachio salad, veggies, and chips. We sat around the fire pit eating our grub and watching the full moon make an appearance. The kids started a story telling game around the fire. Phillip always added farts, poop, and burps to the storyline. For FHE we made trees with roots drawn with hand outlines and labeled with actions that keep us rooted in the gospel. Crafty projects always seems to go a long way in this family. Justin got home in time to enjoy a s'more with the stragglers still out by the fire pit.
Pack meeting was super fun. Brother Broughton's nephew showed off his animal collection after the awards ceremony. He had three mid-sized snakes, a huge snake (think boa constrictor), a tree frog, a sweet chinchilla, and a tortoise. Evelyn and I loved the chinchilla, it was like holding a cloud! After the presentation we were able to hold and handle the animals! That was a super fun experience.
The rest of the week was quite usual, with the normal piano lessons, homework battles, laundry wrestling, grocery shopping, meal making extravaganza, and such. I worked on editing the kid's photos I took at Sedona. Sigh, so pretty up there. I hear the fall colors are in gorgeous array now, we missed the color by a week.
Friday I packed up the truck with camping gear. Somehow I managed to get all the right stuff we needed for an overnight camp trip without Justin to help me out. He was so busy at work I could not even reach him on the phone. I took the kids out of school an hour early so we could get to the campsite before dusk. Our ward hosted a campout for anyone interested at Rock Creek. We were all ecstatic for the chance to camp. Phillip sat between Amelia and I in the front of the truck, little punk kept farting and stinking up the truck. Kept me awake! Josie was covered with itchy mosquito bites, she complained about it all the time. I stopped to get some sandwiches for dinner and anti-inflammatory cream for her poor little legs. We made it to the campsite around 4:30 pm. Several other families were already there. I had just enough time to get the stuff unloaded (kids helping of course) and the tent set up, sleeping pads inflated, and bags laid out before the sun went down. The kids quickly disappeared to play in the woods with friends. After dinner I set up the hammocks. The boys immediately started a game of peas in a pod with AJ and his sisters. As the evening progressed several more families arrived. The guys had a nice roaring fire going to warm our bones. It was due to get quite chilly up in Payson that evening, around 33 degrees. Bishop delivered a fireside devotional to ponder before he left for home. Amelia was the lone child over the age of 11, well there was a boy her age, but that's just awkward. She roasted up her s'more and begged me to let her go to bed. She and Josie were miraculously asleep by 9:30 even with the dull roar of 8 families. Sweet Evelyn climbed onto my lap snuggled in a sleeping bag to fall asleep there, that was quite nice for me. The boys wanted to stay up until midnight with AJ but they gave up around 10 pm. We all got an amazing view of the night sky. Without the moon, we could clearly see the milky way. Everett and I spotted shooting stars we made wishes on. We sure missed our Justin. He was at work until after 9 pm, went back to work Saturday morning as well.
The kids all seemed to sleep well. Little Tyler Webster was not keen on sleeping with her mom inside a warm sleeping bag. She cried off and on all night until 5 am. It was quite cold, Everett had the right idea, he slithered to the bottom of his bag and slept on his tummy so he was completely covered. Phillip popped up awake at 6 am when the sun started it's way up the sky. I made him lay back down for another hour. Every few moments he's pop up looking for an okay to escape from the tent. His mouth finally got the better of him and he let out a loud "Yahoo!" into the morning air. That got us all going and ready for the day. The sun quickly warmed us up, layers shed right onto the ground as the sun did it's job. Phillip somehow managed to avoid splitting his forehead open when he tripped on an imaginary leashed dog. He just flipped his cup of milk into the air (and on his face), tripped forward, narrowly missing the metaled picnic table edge by millimeters. Brother Payne organized water rockets as a very fun activity. Everett and Evelyn finished their rockets quite swiftly. They got in several rocket launches. Amelia created a Gryffindor rocket, after her 3rd launch her rockets got stuck in a tree! She was quite sad to lose her creation, so made a mini version out of a water bottle. Phillip and AJ made a fancy rocket complete with removable boosters. We were all wet and happy from that activity. Everett lost interest once someone brought out the bumper balls. He soon had a rotation going for the kids playing with the bumper balls. The kids all loved the hammocks and balance line. Josie was quite interested in staying inside the tent. She rolled about in the tent for a hour or so, I'd see her face peek through the door every so often. The girls made a dinosaur nest out of pine needles. Took me a good hour to get all the bedding and tent packed away again. We were back home before 3 pm, our chests full of lovely mountain air. The kids abandoned me in favor of a swim in the pool to clean off all the camping dirt. Josie stayed to help me unload the truck. Justin was taking a much needed nap, so I grumped along putting everything back all by my lonesome. Once Justin woke up I tasked him and the kids to clean the upstairs. I had a photo session, trusted the family to get it all cleaned up. My session went well. The light was gorgeous out at the North-East side of the Lost Dutchman area. I came back to a clean(er) upstairs. Took me a couple hours to finish up the job, but that was expected. I sure love deeply cleaned rooms, clutter free.
Sunday I was called to be the Ward Music Chairman! Yikes. That means I am in charge of the music for the ward; choir and training included. The Christmas season is swiftly coming, was asked to organize a musical Sunday program for the Sunday before Christmas. No pressure, right? Oh yes, we just got a new choir director as well. Let's do this. Our Come Follow Me lesson this week was on the Apostasy. The kids quite loved the "cups" lesson. We had cup pyramids going up here and there the rest of the week.