09 August 2020

Utah Trip and My Birthday Week

We took a week off to visit family in Utah last week. We drove the 6 hours (YES!!!!) down to Bountiful first. I made the mistake of passing Burley around 11:15...thought process was we could catch the next town for lunch. The next town was 2 hours away in Tremonton. I did not pack many snacks because the drive was not "very" long. I was also low on gas so stopped "In the Middle of Nowhere" gas station aka Sublett Fuel Station. It was a lonely scene...nothing EXCEPT for the cutest llamas, goats, donkey, and pony ever! We all enjoyed a moment outside to admire the animals. Inside I was hoping for snacks to tide the hangry beasts for another hour...even a potty. Nah, those amenities are not offerered except in the extreme price gouging category. You need gas? Try $5 per gallon. Need a bag of stale chips? $4 for a snack size? Need a potty drive 15 miles in either direction for the next rest stop. At least the store decor was amusing: a corner barred off with a sign advertising baby rattlers...baby rattles in the bottom. Local calls on a tin can with a string! We listened to a few chapters of Fablehaven book 2 while we finished the Middle of Nowhere tour of Idaho. First stop was a short visit with Charity and crew. Reagan is making really cute bracelets if you need some darling in you life. We drove down to Grandma Debbie's for the night. We spent the evening roaming her gardens and pulling out all the toys. Grandma introduced us to the Fighting Preacher movie. So good! It went hand in hand with our Pioneer Day devotionals. 

Tuesday morning we played with Hannah and Rachel while Aunt Jana went to work. We sweated at the park for a few moments. The little girls spent a happy couple hours playing dress ups. The older kids vied for Rachel's attention. I made a terrible batch of mac n'cheese, one of the boxes was a bit rancid. So we were all very hungry, I stepped out to buy lunchables for the hungry crowd. Aunt Jana took us swimming at Grandma Eileen's indoor swimming pool. Eileen is a very fun soul! She had my older kids doing tricks using two pool noodles! Hannah is quite the little swimmer. She was all mermaid. We made our way down to the Eagle Mountain Lance compound towards evening. Seth celebrated his 17th birthday?! Say what? Miekka and the kids made their famous pizza. Yum. The rest of our days there were a blur of cousin activity. Seth has a big person job, he worked most days from 7:30-2 at the Good and the Beautiful curriculum center. 

*the customary gas station visit with all the cousins. 
*kids running in between the Lance(s) homes in various stages of dress and undress
*my sciatic went out on Wednesday, I had tears in my eyes for hours from the extreme pain. I went to Dr Crack-a-lack for several adjustments. A tens unit and other interventions have my back pain under control (for now). 
*so many snacks
*lots of embroidery thread bracelets, including two hair wraps for Mia and Evelyn
*a fun visit to Manila Creek Park with cousins and neighbors. All the snack and ladies hovering in the shade. Lots of fun stories. Lots of sand, sun, and kayak riding. Sodalicious to rehydrate the soul. 
*Full day of thrift shopping with the girls...and Jacob. John watched the remaining gaggle of kids at his home (three movies worth of time plus chicken nuggets). Mia and Lia found lots of cute clothes. I found lots of kid books for my library. A fiasco wait for legendary chicken sandwiches at Popeyes (?). We ordered online but had to wait 30 minutes in the drive thru, then they forgot my order. Miekka has black-listed them. 
*Drove 45 minutes to wait at Bok-Bok restaurant for Jeremy and Yulz plus kids who were driving thru headed for home. We got to kiss the babies for a few moments while we gulped down Korean chicken. They had to make it to Cedar City before bed time for their kiddos. Since we were in the area I took Mia, Lia, and Josie to the BYU Bookstore before it closed. The kids all got a new shirt and hat! Josie was most excited for her super-sized lolly. 
*I took several kids with me to Grandma's house while I took Jana's family photos. I was gone much longer than expected. We ate dinner near 8 pm! Sorry kids! Grandma fed the kids french toast snacks. Rachel was a total cutie, showing off her cute shoes. The kids helped Grandma water her plants. The kids all kept some lamb's ear leaves, Phillip used his leaves as Baymax ears. 
*had home church with our families. Enjoyed testimony meeting. Had a delicious dinner to celebrate my birthday, Emmie, and Hannah's birthdays! Grandma, Jeffrey, and Jana's family came down for dinner. Jana made her yummy apple cheesecake bars. 
*spent Monday morning playing. Stopped at the chiro for another adjustment. Headed home around 3 after stopping at Grandma's for Josie's BYU hat and give Jana and girls hugs. We arrived back home before Justin around 9:25 pm. Yay

We recuperated on Tuesday: aka cleaned out the van, worked on laundry, and went grocery shopping. 

I celebrated my 43rd birthday on Wednesday! Amelia made me a smoothie in bed, Evelyn added in a card and some toast. Yay! Justin upgraded my phone to the iPhone 11 pro! Yay yay! We went to lunch with Justin near his work. The boys had Activity Boys, working on their fishing skills. They also learned about several types of fish in the local ponds. Mia had a CES broadcast for the Idaho region. Justin made dinner and cleaned up. That was pretty amazing. My cake was actually a visit to Dairy Queen for a butterscotch cone plus whatever the kids ordered. 

Miekka and Lia drove up to Idaho on Thursday. Lia wanted a girl's trip! We tidied the house. Took me several hours to get the girl's room back in order. I purchased a fun AG doll-sized ice cream truck with lots of fun accessories. The kids are enjoying the new toy. I picked up a load of barnwood to make a new photo backdrop from a place past Caldwell. I stopped to use the restroom, a guy with a skirt strutted out of the ladies room. I felt a little strange, I wonder how s/he felt? 

Friday we explored Eagle Island State Park. The weather was quite cool and breezy, made the beach tolerable! The pond is smallish but very pretty, lots of grass nearby with a fun park. We snatched a picnic table in the shade for our stuff and picnic food. The kids played with the large Flamingo. The little girls got mermaid tails. Evelyn was a punk and ruined Josie's tail just for spite. I let Josie takeover Evelyn's tail...no reaction. Stinker. Miekka, Lia, Mia, and I all headed out for a girl's night on the town and a sleep at a hotel! We left Phillip with the little kids watching and playing until Justin got home. I heard no negative reports so all went "smoothly" there. We stopped at Guitar Center to check out Ukuleles. Mia got a really nice one for a really good price. Next stop was sushi dinner in a fancy part of town full of hippies and cool cats. We brought the level down with silly teenaged girls and no alcohol. The gelato store next to the sushi joint looked yummy until I saw the boozy flavors and prices. I'll take soft-serve or a diet coke thanks. We got to the hotel in time for the girls to swim, the pool supposedly closed at 9 but the girls enjoyed the water until almost 10. The rest of our night was full of Diners, Drive ins, and Dives, baths, and silliness. Next day we searched for doughnuts, I am disappointed in Boise's doughnut offerings. Shopping next at Bath and Body for an awesome sale on lotion. Target for cute stuff and last of all DI. Justin was sitting on the lawn with the kids engaged in yard work! YES! Everyone survived another night without Mom. Thanks Justin for holding down the fort for 24 hours. Phillip got ear candle treatments. I read later that all that dust is actually not earwax...sure looks like it to me, gross. 

We had home church today. Miekka and Lia headed back for Utah afterwards. That was a fun little trip for us all.    

Pioneer Day

I had big plans to write about this particular week during our trip to Utah, alas I was too busy with all the stuff going on. So here I am writing a couple weeks later. My memory gets hazy fast. Ha. Thus the plethora of photos, they tell most of the story without words. I'll add a spot of narration:

Monday we finally got a dog door! Mr Jennings came and installed the door I got on Amazon. I was a little worried about the depth being sufficient but it all fit perfectly. The kids used the remaining supply of dog treats to teach Vader how to use the new door. He happily goes in and out now...hopefully he will keep his pee and poop outside instead of in my house. We learned some basics of tie-dyeing for our Make-It Monday. Mia tried several fancy methods, one that did not work out like she wanted. After washing it the shirt looked much better. For some reason the dye did not stain her shirt except for the blue shade. I tried several different folding methods including the popular heart tie-dye. The boys were very enthusiastic to use every shade of color and were talented with saturating their shirts. Amelia made a bunny out of white socks, she named it "Thick Boon-ny." She also made several treats using phyllo dough and croissant dough. Wednesday was a rainy day so I declared it a "Miraculous" marathon day. Mia made chocolate croissants for the movie treat.  

Josie learned how to brush the top half of her hair. This process takes an entire bottle of detangling spray and the Frozen brush. She stands in front of the bathroom mirror, sprays the bottle of detangler the brushes the parts of her hair she can see. The last step is to admire the hair style with gasps and kissy lips. I found her 5-6 times last week in the bathroom with saturated hair...the back and ends are left alone. 

I spent quite a few hours researching curriculum and trying to narrow down my resources for school. It is a daunting task. I found a fun google sheet to keep track of expenses for each child. I don't want to pour money into curriculums we may not need or use. My focus will be using what we have and ordering what we need as I see a need crop up. I see a tendency to over order stuff then get frustrated about it not working well with a certain child's learning style. I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed but confident the kids will do well because we love them. Love and patience will be key this first year of our adventure. 

Thursday we went back to Jump Creek! It was quite breezy down near the waterfall, caused the girls floaties to take several adventures blowing up the canyon. This time Josie made it to the waterfall with me. We love how cold the water feels on a very hot day. 

Friday we had a water fight. Mia thought she could join us and throw a couple balloons without needed a swim suit. I took that as a challenge. She was soon soaked to the skin with pitchers full of water and a good hose dousing. We all ended up in the pool (in appropriate and inappropriate clothing). That was a fun diversion for us all. Phillip hit me square in the eye with a water balloon, a while later he splashed a pitcher full of water down my ear canal. I felt rather water-logged the rest of the day. We enjoyed snow cones for a post-fight treat. Friday was also Pioneer Day. Evelyn was excited to wear the one Pioneer dress we have and don a bonnet. She was so excited to take a few photos in costume. I tried to organize a fun Pioneer day parade around our neighborhood, posted the idea on FB and texted it out. I was disappointed there was no interest. Maybe FB is broken in our new ward, I got used to communicating through FB in our AZ ward. 

One evening dinner meal Evelyn started a discussion asking why she couldn't mow the lawn like the boys. Amelia took up the gauntlet: women should be able to mow the lawn, girls can do anything boys can do...etc Amelia and Evelyn found themselves committed to mow the lawn on Friday with Justin. On said torture day, Amelia was so mad she really had to mow the lawn. Phillip exacerbated the mood by plopping himself down in a comfortable camp chair, feet resting in the wading pool, watching the show. I made it even worse by snapping a photo of the hilarious situation. Mia stormed off to her room, misunderstood and angry. She had two choices: mow the front lawn or lose all electronic privileges for the weekend. She mowed the front lawn. Her allergies reacted terribly so the rest of her weekend was a nasty nightmare of stuffy nose and headaches. 

Justin, Amelia, Phillip, Evelyn, and Everett all came down with sore throats, runny noses, and coughs. I tried to get the kids tested for Covid but decided to save our money and time. Maybe it was just a cold, maybe we caught the 'rona. We stayed home from church just in case. Justin says he lost his sense of taste for a day after he got sick so who the heck knows? Our Walmart is mandating masks and only has one entrance and exit open. My parking fairy skills don't work under such pressure! Everett had a sore tummy on Saturday adding to his misery. 

Sunday we watched 17 Miracles after home church. We all cried and cried while watching that movie. Stirs the soul to watch and experience part of the hand cart sufferings. After the movie we pulled up Family Tree and played around with some of the fun activities offered there. We could see photos and read snippets about pioneer ancestors, loved playing with the "Compare-a-face" function, and "Where and I from?" Phillip has features that favors both sides of our family, 52% with the Crapo and Hinckley sides. Josef Seth Lance, Minnie Mabel also had very high percentages for all our kids. That was a fun activity for us.