Saturday, July 30, 2016

Day to Day...

Just a few things that have been happening in our life lately.  Dave told the kids he would give them 5 cents for every rock they picked out of our yard that was bigger than their fist.  He thought it would be maybe $10 for them to divide and a couple hours work.  Seven hours and $55 later they were done.  He was quite surprised.

Dave has been wanting to take Blake on backpacking trips and has slowly been building up our supplies.  His last purchase was good sleeping bags.  Blake and Cora tried them out.  But you can't really tell it is them.

We need a temporary mantle for inspection.  Cora has been decorating it for us.  Isn't it lovely and classy. :)

Last week Leah offered to do the dishes for us all by herself.  She was doing a fantastic job, but in the end I felt bad, since dishes is always more fun with a friend so I got up and helped.  I really did try to stay and read for a while.

We had a gorgeous Sunday evening.  So we enjoyed sun-downers.  I had some sparkling apple/pomegranate juice I had forgotten about.

Then Dave decided to sleep on the front porch with kids.  Beautiful night.

This past week we went out on the porch, we seem to spend a lot of time there.  It is shaded and not many bugs this year.  When it is raining it is so cool to sit and watch it all come down.  We read out there or visit.  Anyways the other night there was an amazing full double rainbow.  We tried many angles and cameras to get the whole thing in, but failed.

Dave and I have been taking our turns to do some baling.  I am gone again so and wanted to leave feeling I had done my part.

We both got awesome ear plugs.  You can't see Dave's but I always feel like mine stick out like Shrek's ears.

One night we got stopped by a storm.  The clouds were beautiful, even if it did shut us down.

Last night the kids brought us down dinner.  I called Cora to see if she could bring ice as well and asked if they were going to picnic with us.  She was a little disappointed but said yes.  When she arrived with the food she had individual pizzas and lemonade for us.  She explained that she was trying to make a surprise and bring us a date dinner for just us two and when I called I ruined it.  I love that she is so thoughtful.

We did have a great time with them all however and enjoyed our dinner.

That is us the last little while.  We spent Thursday making cookies, bread, buns, muffins, and cinnamon rolls for Dave.  Also we have made a bunch of meals for him.  So I think that is it.  Oh the pool is finally open and we have been in twice to enjoy that this week as well.  I really missed the pool as it was getting renovated and glad it is up and running again.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Smith Reunion

Cora said last night coming home that this is the week that she looks the most forward to all year.  It is like having a huge long high and so when we all go home she get the blues a little and just needs sleep.  I thought that described it well.  As we were talking this week, which we did a lot, we figured it has been around 20 years we have been doing this Smith Reunion.  Kita started out with her young kids, coming up and staying for 3 weeks.  We love it.  So on to this year's.  Months ago Dave had asked me to order Cora some gym mats.  It just happened that the day before they came in she asked him if he had any boxes at work that he could bring home for her to craft with.  He came home with a few little ones and told her the bigger ones were in the car and she needed to help him haul them in.

We had been getting the house all cleaned up for every one's arrival, so she didn't want to start a project before she left.  It took some finagling to get her to open them.

She was very surprised and loves them.

Kita had arrived the night before and they all travelled up to my house the next day to see it.  Cora took the kids into our little town to show them everything.  It was raining while they were here.  They all went over and feed the calf.  We played the candy ball game and had dinner.  Everyone then went back to my parents house, we quickly loaded up the car and followed them out.

Natalie and Taylor were not able to make it this year.  That left Blake and Brynn as the youngest.  It was a little strange with no littles around.  We missed them.  We did all the usual fun things that are tradition now, but were a lot more relaxed this year.  We had all just finished a pretty stressful month and were happy to just sit and chat most of the time.

The kids went tubing and bridge jumping a few time.  Blake did a little mowing, but it wasn't as fun when all the cousins were playing and not him.  Justin made his own board while he was there so he could go canal surfing.

The grass is so green and soft, we walked all over in our bare feet.

I was trying to get a picture of the kids on the 4-wheeler.  They were loaded up all crazy.  They were to fast for my camera.  But I still love this view down the back lane.

Dad showing us his moves on Nicole's fit board.

Eating outside.

This was us most of the time.  We would talk, eat, linger, do dishes, move to the coach and talk some more.  Kita showed us a comedian she likes and we enjoyed watching him.  We went to the Hutterites and got some fruit, vegetables and jam.  Kita and I went to the local quilt club and she picked out two gorgeous quilts.  We got blankets and sat out in the sun. Cooked, washed dishes, planned, and more talking.

Boys hanging out.

Brynn going for a walk.

Look in the middle tiny is Justin using his board.  Cannon pulling him on the quad.

All the kids playing games on the tramp.

Lots of kite flying happened.  They got them so high I couldn't get kite and kid in the picture.  Higher than the house and trees.  It was cool.

Another day of tubing and bridge jumping.  It is so fun to have all these kids that get along.  They don't fight or get mad at each other.  They enjoy each others company.

For one jump, Cora convinced them all to step off backwards.  They said that was scary but awesome. 

Monday we ate outside and then stayed for FHE.  My parents gave a lesson on patriarchal blessings and we all said something that had helped us from ours.  We then played a family baseball games.  It started to rain, we kept going for a little while then went for ice cream.

Baseball in bare feet.  Dave told me that ours will probably never be bare-feetable because of our lack of water.  So I enjoy it all I can when I am out at my parents.

Tuesday was very warm.  One more quick trip to the canal and lunch.  The kids would start a movie or games every night around 10.  Not sure why so late, but they stayed up and had a blast. 

My mom made a giant tube of juice.  Don't want anyone thirsty.  Teen night is always very fun.  They plan it all themselves and off they go.  This year they invited Blake to go with them so he wouldn't be the only one home.  They ate at Five Guys and watched Finding Dory.  We have such a great group of teenagers.  Love them all.

Of course they got home late, and then we had to hear all about it.  I love this picture of Cora and Justin.  Their facial expressions are the exact same. 

Wednesday morning, Kita was all loaded up, we had sung Happy Birthday to Justin, had breakfast and were outside waving good-bye and her car wouldn't start.  All the men got in and tinkered, found the problem and rigged up a temporary solution to get her home.  An hour later she was on the road.

We stayed out an extra day so I wouldn't have to drive clear back the next day for our dental appointment.  We all helped mom clean the house back up and get everything washed for my dad's sibling reunion.  We went to the library and got lots of books that were for sale cheap.  Next day we went to the dentist, treated ourselves to Dave's and made it home just a little late for Cora to go to the fire department.  It was her first day and she really enjoyed it.  Is looking forward to going again and again.  Dave had come out Sunday and spent the day with us.  The rest of the time he was busy taking turns with harvest.  Cutting, raking, baling.  Or working on our house.  He got most of the doors hung.  See my beautiful pantry door behind Cora?  And doing some tile for the fireplace. He was working hard all week while I was parting.

It was once again a great reunion.  We made lots of memories to last until next year.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Getting into Summer

Now that camp is over we have been getting into summer. I took the kids to the library and they got a big stack of books.  Dave has a list of chores for the kids to do around the farm.  First chore they have started to tackle is to pick up all the rocks in our yard.  They are about half done and have way more rocks than Dave thought there would be.

I have been busy stocking up our deep freeze with muffins, cookies, and bread.  

Dave is also having Cora help him in the evening.  He is in a big push to get the final inspection done.  The other night they hung our bathroom doors.  It is taking some getting use to, they sorta seem in the way after all these months. 

We have finally had some nice rains.  It is fun to sit on our front porch and watch it come down.

Last Saturday we finally got a few things done that where overdue.  We got our trampoline set back up.  After a few minutes of jumping I asked Cora how it felt to be on again.  She said it was so great!!

The kids have been out jumping a lot.  Even in the rain.  They will come back in soaked and smiling. 
 We got our BBQ and picnic bench.  We also finally got to the dump.  I have discovered that Leah will do any chore if she can drive.  She volunteers to feed the calf every night, drove to the dump, and will drive Dave back and forth to do water or whatever.   She always wants to drive.  And loves it.  That night after a little rain, Dave was trying to get our driveway smoother.  He was in such a hurry last fall to do it.  He needed some extra weight on the back to push the blade in farther.  Extra weight I certainly have so on I hopped.  Safety first around here.  

Last night after checking water and cows, when Dave and I got back, Leah had already feed the calf and they were all jumping on the tramp.  They were playing a game.  We stayed to watch them for a few minutes.  Dave ended up building a fire.  Leah had her music strung out there and they all danced and roasted marshmallows.  It was a rare relaxing evening and was wonderful.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

YW Camp

It was a stake camp this year.  Theme was Christmas in July.  It was once again a lot of fun.  For the first day is was just my girls and Emry.  We got all loaded up and off we went.  My parents meet me on the road and picked up Blake.  He had so much fun with Grandpa and Grandma.  Mowed lawns, jackhammers, watched movies, saw a wild turkey, lot of fun things with just him.

We got to camp and all set up, then we decorated.  Each ward was given a Christmas theme to decorate with.  We were told about this back in December so we could pick things up on sale.  First night we were to wear ugly Christmas shirts or sweaters, and we had a turkey dinner with all the trimmings.  Very delicious.

After dinner we all had prepared a song or skit to perform.  We then played some Christmas games.  Made antlers out of balloons and panty hose.

Shook jingle bells out of Kleenex boxes.  

Cora really struggled with that one, it was hilarious.

We were given tissue paper and tape and we had to make an outfit.

Last was a game I have been wanting to do for a long time and haven't had an occasion yet.  There was different candies wrapped up in different layers of saran wrap.  Like the oven mitt game, you had to roll a double and then got to unwrap.  What ever dropped in your lap you got to keep.

We were also treated to a visit from Santa that night and got a candy bag.  Instead of asking what they wanted for Christmas however, he asked how they were doing on their Personal Progress.

Each night the stake would come visit us.  Wearing a different hat each time.  They had a little gift for us and a story to read.  First night all the girls got nightshirt, then a game for our ward, M&M's, and Christmas glow stick
Next morning we ate and then meet together to get Christmas trail mix.  Some of the best I have had.  We had all packed a sack lunch and went for a hike.  Along the hike they looked for items, such as a star, angel, present, etc.  It was a good hike, not to difficult for me.  Cora and Leah had a great time with the Maycie and Emily.  They would run back and forth to each others camps and play games, look at decorations and got to know the rest in each others wards.  Anyways after we stopped for lunch at the top and got a group picture.

Then it started to rain.  And then hail.  We went pretty steady on the way down so we could get back.  All of us were quite wet when we arrived back at camp.  We came down a different way then going up.  When we were almost back the trail was block off with construction tape.  OH NO!!  After a few minutes of talking to the workers and looking around, we were able to walk through.  It was very deep sloshy mud.  At least we did not have to go all the way back up.  :/  There was a big group of girls singing behind us as we treked through the rain and mud.  The workers looked at us a little funny.  I just started laughing and said it was no wonder people think we are peculiar.  When we got back I discovered rain in my tent.  The sun had come out so we tipped the tent up to dry and hung my stuff over the car to dry.  It was all good by bed time.  After the hike and some fun activities I had my last YW join us. 

She came in time for the craft from the stake,  We made bracelets and nativities.  

Dinner and another visit from the stake.  Emry is waiting for Leah to scrub that pot so she can dry it.

Last full day, we all had lunch together and then did some games.  Frozen T-shirt, Obstacle course, water balloons, we were in charge of the ski races.  Dave got some board and put twin though them for handles for the girls to walk on.  We had a little more free time.  The girls went around and got tons of girls and leaders to sign their shirts.

We had dinner and then a closing fireside.  It was an amazingly done production of the nativity.  We were served Christmas cookies and hot chocolate before hand.  After we went back to our own sites for testimony meeting.  The girls then did some camp visiting with other wards, played card games at theirs and ours, back and forth.  It was a really late night, but that is what girls camp is for.  Get to know others, hang out, stay up late.  They had a blast.  Next morning we started packing up and then ate breakfast all together.  A final devotional, the left-right Christmas gift game and then finished packing up to go home.  The stake said they had chosen Christmas in July because they thought it would be a good way to really focus on our Savior Jesus Christ.  It ended up being fabulous.