Sunday, July 27, 2014

Mini Vacation

Every year we hit the water slides with the Puzey clan.  We do a day trip and go over Logan's Pass.  This year there were a few other things the kids wanted to do.  So we booked a camp site.  We thought of it quite late and where lucky to get one.  Dave took Friday off work.  We wanted to mosey on down and do some hiking over the Pass.  Not in a huge hurry we got ready in the morning and then left.  We ended up having an hour and a half wait at the border.  It was ridiculous.  They were taking on average 10 mins per car.  Then at the park entrance, we go stuck behind a bunch of bikers that must have had a gazillion questions and all the time in the world.  By the time we finally arrived at the top of Logan's Pass to do our hikes we were about 2 hours later than we had thought we would be, so we only did one hike.  It was fun hiking partly through the glacier.  It was a very windy day and only 11 degrees at the top. But we still enjoyed it.

We ate lunch in the car as we were driving instead of on the trail, since we were so late.  I had made buns in a horn shape and then slow cooked a roast before we left.  It was a great picnic lunch if I do say so myself:) We stuffed the meat in the holes and it was wonderful.

There were so many goats out on the trail.  And lots of babies.  It was weird to see them so close up.  Their heads are very slender and long.  It seemed a little out of proportion.

We had wanted to do a full 6 miles down to Hidden Lake, but there had been some bears spotted and the trail was closed half way.  At that point there was a look out.  It was still a beautiful hike.

On the way back down the kid skied down the glacier.

We continued down the mountain and found our campsite.  It was a nice place.  We tried a KOA this time.  Since it was so much later than we had thought, we were to tired to drive into Kalispell and find a nice restaurant.  We hit a quick A&W then took the kids to the maze.

They had been wanting to do the maze for years.  This is one of the main reasons we came down early.  The wind had stopped and the sun had come out.  It really was a fun maze.  We had 4 towers we had to find and get a stamp.  Then we had to find the way out.  It is a wooden maze with two levels that you climb up and around on. Once done, we went back to our site and got an ice cream cone.  Went for a walk around the campground, it is a big campground, and went to bed.  It was an easy camping trip.  We only packed tent, air mattresses, pillows and sleeping bags.  Easy set up, easy clean up.  I had frozen a milk jug of water and it stayed frozen in the cooler for the entire trip. (Still big ice chunks in my fridge right now)  It worked way better than buying ice and having it melt and get everything wet.  When it started to thaw we drank it. The roast and chips lasted up the whole trip.  We packed lots of yogurt and granola bites (thanks Mel).  And I made muffins and raspberry scones before we left.  Next morning we went to see Hungry Horse Dam.  Wow!

I have always wanted to see Hoover Dam.  This was the same thing.  It is the 11th largest.  It was amazing to see and drive over.  Dave said when he was younger you could go down and look at the turbines.  Since 9/11 we were no longer allowed to do that.  

After we quickly hit a grocery store for a few treats and a watermelon to share with everyone.  Then off to the water slides.  I was a little nervous about the weather, but it turned out to be perfect. We ate our
 picnic lunch and slide for hours.  I love this day we get to spend all together every year.  On the way home we stopped to use the rest room at the top of the Pass again.  As we were about to get out a Big Horn Sheep came right up to our car.  We could have touched it.

We got home around 11:30 and were very exhausted.  We slept late this morning.  For the first time in 11 years we were late for church.  Only five minutes, but still, I hate being late for things.  I always feel like a need a vacation after my vacation.  We packed so many things into the two days.  I am loving this rest day today.  I think I will always plan to end a vacation on a Saturday so I can rest Sunday.  It was a lot of fun.  The kids were happy they got some sort of camping in and we have a great hike planned for next year already.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Fort

This is a catch up post.  From Blake's last day of school. Years ago when Dave did a triathlon in Fort Macleod we took the kids to the old fort afterwards.  It was really neat.  I loved looking at all the old buildings and museums. Blake's class had planned a field trip there and I went as a parent volunteer.  It was so much more fun.  When you take a group of school kids they have a ton of activities that are available.  A short skit.  Interactive story telling. They kids each got to be an animal and when they said the animal in the story they got to get up and make the sounds.
Trying to throw arrows at the moving 'buffalo' to catch food for the family.
There were chores to do.  The kids feed the goats, did laundry, put a pile of things away, and check the fort for any stray animals, strange people and objects out of place.

We then divided into Red Coats and Whiskey Traders.  They checked horses and did some tug-of-wars.  The Red Coats them barged in on the whiskey traders and arrested them.  There was a trial and all the traders where thrown in jail.
After their release the Red Coats got thrown in jail for abandoning their horses.  That was each group got a turn.
Leah had no school that day so she came with me and helped with the kids.
It was a really great day.  Perfect weather and so many fun things to do.  

Monday, July 21, 2014

Super Amazing Oreo Cheesecake

Whenever I take pictures of food, Dave just laughs and shakes his head. But some things are just so amazing they need to be documented.  Right?!!? And there have been several times that I have gotten my blog books back and look through it, when I spy a forgotten goodness.  Then I make it again. How perfect it that? So anyways, many moons ago I pinned an Oreo Cheesecake.  Saturday as I was going through my boards to see what new delight we were going to try this week. I clicked into the Cheesecake.  I am really hoping it was a site from translation, because it was pretty bad English.  I know I have terrible basic writing skills, my brother can barely get through a post, :) but this was bad.  I was not sure I could trust a recipe from someone unreadable.  Disappointed I started to Google 'Oreo Cheesecake'.  Because really, now my mind was set, this was clearly the only dessert that would do.  Every one I found was baked.  It is a very rare occasion that I enjoy a baked cheesecake.  Alas what to do? I figured I had made enough cheesecakes I could probably come up with something. Fast forward to Sunday afternoon.  We sit down to our scrumptious meal of salmon, asparagus, and watermelon.  Possibly only eating dinner so we can get to dessert. The moment arrives.  Let's pause here for a moment to remember that the last two recipes I tried from Pinterest, Dave has said he would eat it if there was nothing else.  Pretty sure that is code for 'Please don't ever make this again'  I served everyone their dessert.  They waited for me to sit down and take the first bite.   Wow! Mmmmm!! Dave takes a forkful, eats, and declares, 'this one is a keeper'  Seriously some deliciously divine goodness going on here.
Here is what I did.  I made an Oreo crust.  Next I made a ganache. (Cora thinks this is way to fancy a word for just basically chocolate and cream together.  She was sure I was just saying it to sound posh. But it is a real thing and it is fun to say.  Go ahead say it 5 or 6 times.  See, don't you just kinda feel like you have been to France?) Spread the ganache on the cookie crust and set in fridge to harden. Next layer was softened cream cheese, blended together with icing sugar.  Folded in some whipped whipping cream.  Then folded in crushed Oreos. I placed whole Oreos on top because that is what attracted me to the original post. Then let it all set in the fridge.  Now go, try it.  Your life will never be the same.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Young Women's Camp

I love my mountains.  May have mentioned that once or twice or a hundred times.  The girls had a blast at YW camp this year. As usual most of the pictures Leah took where of trees and flowers, not many with people in them.  It was Leah's first and Cora's third camp.
It was a stake camp this year and the theme was B.O.O.T.  Build on our testimonies.
There was the usual hikes and firesides.  One night they brought up a generator and had an outdoor movie.  Watched 'Follow Me Boys'  It was great weather for a camp.  Some hot days and cooler nights the girls said.
Leah got her hair braided for the camp.  Easier to take care of.

One of Cora's requirements was outdoor cooking.  Some didn't work, but this one did.  She said the biscuits were great.  As it turned out the ward we are moving to next month did not have any leaders to go with.  (We are staying in the same stake) The two girls ended up combining with our ward.  It worked great for us.  Cora and Leah got to know the girls that they will be with in the fall a little better.
With the theme being BOOT camp there were a lot of activities and props around this.  The girls all got army shirts and dog tags with the scripture and theme on it.  This army tank was set on a 4-wheeler and used all week.  They used it to call the girls to activities and wake up.  There was a slot in the side for each ward.  In this slot is where, any time through out the day, the girls could drop and check for their pixie gifts.
Spiritual Jenga.  Each block had something written on it to help build our testimonies.  Genealogy, scripture reading, prayer, etc.  The point was if we take any of these away then our testimonies start to fall.

It was a wonderful camp.  Leah said better than she was expecting.  They made journals and so many other things I don't remember.  Glad they had fun.

I knew I would forget some things from the reunion.
We all now have matching scars.  Kita's are pretty tiny we had to point them out. ;) The lighting was not great so you can't really tell, but they are all there.  On every knee.

Hard at work.

My happy Father.

Every year the grand kids watch all 3 Indiana Jones movies.  It is tradition.  No idea how it started but they have been doing it for many many years now.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Off They Go!!!

After 18 months, today was the day.  YAY!!  Actually she was really sad to get them off.  Loved her braces.  Only twice did they hurt.
I wanted a during picture with the wires coming off, buy I was getting my teeth cleaned at the same time.  So I just got the mold making. Doesn't she look pleased that I am taking a picture right now?
Look at those awesome straight teeth.  

Killing a little time at the temple while we waited our 30 mins after fluoride before we could eat.

Cora trying to be taller than her younger sister:)

Celebration time, come on!!  Took them to Dave's for a burger and milkshake to celebrate getting the braces off and nobody had any cavities.  Very successful trip today.
I made them all pose for a shot eating their burgers.  Yummy!!

I warned Cora ahead of time that her teeth would look huge after she got the braces off.  She said she felt like that commercial where they dogs are posed with people teeth and they look really funny on them.  I just laughed at her and told her she would get used to it soon.  She looks great.  

Sunday, July 13, 2014


I always think of a family reunion as a day where you go to a church or a park and sit with a bunch of people you don't really know. You eat lunch or dinner and try to remember who belongs to whom.  But I realized this year that the week we all come home and spend on our parents farm is indeed a family reunion.  I know I am pretty quick, only been doing it for 20 years.  Honestly the most looked-forward-to week of the year. I grew up in an amazingly beautiful place just below the mountains.  The farm has so much room for the kids to go and do anything. Now that the kids are getting older and make a lot of their own plans it is even more enjoyable.  My kids all said they thought this was the funnest year ever.

Dave picked up the girls from YW camp and drove them straight to the farm.  We aired everything out, got them showered and helped my mom prepare for everyone coming in that night.

Sunday my nephew McKay was ordained an Elder.  He only has about 6 weeks till mission time. We had a fabulous taco bar at Cannon and Nicole's after church.  Because of McKay's ordination and going through the temple, Nicole's brother and family and her parents where up this week also.  6 extra cousins to play with.  Tuesday morning my parents took all the 12 and ups to do temple baptism.  They had a picnic lunch, then the adults went in for a session as McKay took out his endowments.  That was really neat.  Lots and lots of fun activities done this past week.

Canal surfing.  This was fun to watch.

Natalie had to do our annual pedicure and eyebrow tweeze.  See her fabulous vinyl gloves:).  She likes feet as much as I do.

Of course we all ooohhhed and aaahhhed and were extremely jealous of Brynn's hair all week.  That thickness and color is something you truly have to see yourself.  Kita has really thick hair and I think if you combines her, Natalie and my hair it would be about like Brynn's. Kita again brought up a few bags of clothes and we went "shopping at the Jones' store"  Such a great store.

There was tubing and bridge jumping.

Wouldn't be a reunion without a trip to the Pioneer Parlour for ice cream.

Makita and Steve had just come back from trek in Idaho.  It was fascination to hear the stories.  Our stake doesn't do trek.  After ice cream, Steve got everyone to play and impromptu game of 'Poisonous Stump'  It was a hit and was played many more times through out the week.

There was lots of chatting and many many games of Tomato with the teens.  They stayed up till midnight most nights.

On Friday, the teens that did not have to work decided to go back into the temple and do more baptisms.  I think that is so cool.  What a great way to kill some time.  They just decided to go, gathered everyone up.  Brock has a license and in they went.  Fantastic group of cousins we have. That night after Abby and McKay got off work was Teen Night.  This year they decided on dinner and swimming.  So much fun.  A brilliant idea my mom had a few years ago.  Everyone twelve and up really looks forward to this night together.

More cards.

The 'hay ride' to the local country store is always a hit.

We also spent a day in Waterton.  I actually made it up Bear's Hump.  My dad stayed right with me.  (He also walked with me a couple of mornings.  He usually runs a few miles but just walked with me.  I enjoyed our early morning chats.) I was actually pretty proud of myself for doing it.  

Red Rock Canyon is so beautiful.  We had a picnic there and then played in the water.

Every year when I blog about this week, I usually remember lots of fun things later.  I am sure it will be the same this time.  But this week is so relaxing.  I love being with my sisters.  (I missed Taylor and Kristin not being there) Cooking, cleaning, sharing recipes we have got new that year. Talking late into the night, seeing each others kids, napping because we stayed up to late, and just being with them.  I love it.  I love everyone one of my siblings.  I feel a gap when one isn't there.  They are all amazing.  We all have different personalities and things we are good at.  Different things we struggle with. But all together we make a whole. And together we are strong.  As always we are already looking forward to next year and thegood times to be had.