Sunday, November 30, 2014

Happy Thankgiving From Zion National Park!

 For Thanksgiving this year we got to go and stay in St. George. The first day the kids went swimming in the heated outdoor pool at the clubhouse and the grownups got to relax after the long drive down. Jacque found us a really nice place to stay. This is just the view from the front entrance. Off to the side is the master suite and then there were three more spacious rooms upstairs. The favorite spot for the younger kids though was the tiny playroom under the stairs. It has an armchair (just like the big ones) to relax in and a table and chairs to play games at. 
 At one point I looked over and what did I see, every person with their electronic device, 2 ipads, 2 ipods, an iphone and a laptop. At least Kevin was actually doing homework at one point:)
 We had a very nice and yummy Thanksgiving dinner with all the usual fixings. We have a tradition of going around the table and taking turns saying the things that we are thankful for. Some of the things that we are thankful for are:
The Gospel
Video Games
Our Home
Our Job
Our Health
 Our spouses
Our vacation
Stuffed Animals
Real Animals- Cali the cat and Remy the dog

We have much to be thankful for! It was a great day!

The rest of the photos are from our hike/drive through Zion National Park the day after Thanksgiving. Scott had never been there so it was fun for us to go and see the park through his eyes (camera).

 This is the tunnel through the mountain and a photo through one of the windows cut out of the mountain. It is a really neat drive! I always wish we could stop and take in the view for more than a few seconds though. This photo was just lucky timing!

I love my superheroes! Aren't they great!

The second part of the park (the Kolob area) we saw on our way out of town. It was just our family. I was really bummed the day before because James went on a longer, more strenuous hike (not the tourist area stuff we were doing) with Don and Shane and therefore missed being in most of the photos. I really wanted some pictures with all of us. 
This very nice man towards the end of our drive offered to take our family photo, it was so very nice and just what I needed! Something to definitely be grateful for!

Lots of Random Happy Moments!

 In August the Ogden Temple was (finally after 3 years of being closed) re-opened! Loreli got to go with all the girls from Activity Days on the very first day. She was so excited and had so much to tell us when she came home. She said, "Mom, it's so peaceful and all the lights sparkle!"
Carter and Loreli were chosen to run the 3rd basemen of the Raptors (the local Ogden baseball team) out for opening pitch. They sure had fun! Carter took his ipod out so he could take a selfie, and no my kids are not shy (Loreli put her arm around a complete stranger!).

 James, Carter, Loreli, Josh and Isaac built this enormous tipi and played inside it the entire time we were at the property in Lava. They were heartbroken to find out, after all their hard work, that they would have to dismantle the whole thing (due to fire hazards) before we could leave to go home.
 Scott participated in a competition in his Construction Management department at school. They were sponsored by a company who had already constructed the building they were to bid on. They were given the plans for the building and then had to do the research and come up with a bid and a schedule for cost and completion. At the competition they had to present their findings. Out of all the teams that competed Scott and his teammates came in first place! Go Scott!!!
I love this picture. It is our favorite breakfast cafe. Jill and Kylee joined us one morning. This picture cracks me up because everyone looked at the camera except for James who was way too concerned with digging into his food (notice that he has the biggest plate possible and the scone is his too!).
 Carter recently got to meat one of his Author-Heroes! Richard Paul Evans was signing his new Christmas book at Costco and Carter went to meet him. He was gracious enough to pose for this photo with Carter while there was about 200 people waiting in line behind them:)

 James at one of his football games.

James was Huck Finn for Halloween this year. He also got to go to a Youth Halloween dance. He was so cute and had a gaggle of girls following him around (I heard from another source of course!).
 Carter is addicted to Dr. Who.
So of course he spent his own money to own his very own replica (that lights up) of Dr. Who's screwdriver. We were joking because when it came in the mail, he had to use a real, ordinary screwdriver to fix his "screwdriver". He couldn't put the batteries in without it...haha!
Loreli was a pink ninja. Her own clever invention! Thank goodness for the dollar store weapons! Carter is totally a photo bomber!

Fishing in Fontenelle and Backpacking in the Wind Rivers

The boys go fishing at Fontenelle Reservior every year. This year was particularly bounteous! The pictures don't show the water, but I promise they did not dig these fish out of the dirt..haha.

This next batch of picture came from the boys back packing trip to the Wind River Mountain Range (also in Wyoming). Scott, James, Carter, Don, Josh, Isaac, Richard and Ty were all there for a full week. The rest of the Scouts came up midway through the trip. The goal of this trip was to help get the boys their backpacking, camping, fishing and hiking merit badges for Boy Scouts. James hiked the most miles. At the end, the total was somewhere around 70 miles for the week! WOW! Go James! Carter also did an impressive 54 miles!!! They were so tired when they came home...I won't even mention the smell.

There were more leaders than Scouts...HAHA! The grownups were pumped about this trip:)

They hiked to a central campground and then did several different day hikes, a different lake every day. The scenery is AWESOME!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

It's May! What?! Where did the year go already!

Holy cow! This year has flown by! We have been so very, busy it just seems like there is never enough time to blog. Fortunately, today is Mother's Day, and unfortunately, Loreli has pink eye so I have lots of time to blog today since we can't go anywhere. 

It has been a crazy year. I will list some of the things that we have been up to and insert pictures that I have in between:

We went sledding several times
I got a new calling as the Nursery leader (what a trip!)
Scott was in school and doing homework a lot
Every other weekend (it seems like) the boys went ice-fishing
I worked everyday at the elementary school library (and got paid;)
Scott went skiing for the first time in about 18 years
Scott and I celebrated our 15th Wedding Anniversary
Scouts and Cub Scouts every week
Carter and Loreli had Ukulele and Choir Club concerts
Spring came very early (early in March!)
James got his Star Award for Scouting
We have been hiking several times already
(even though it wasn't completely thawed out yet)

They all look so old! Don't they?!

We listened to General Conference (it was AMAZING!)
In the middle of April, Loreli and I got to go to St. Louis to see our newest family member
Avery Fae Schwartzman (born Febuary 22, 2014)
Man she is so dang cute!
We had so many plans in St. Louis, most of which centered around family. However, Loreli was so very excited to got the zoo. So of course, we went twice!
 The elusive otters
 The giraffes were a must for Loreli!

We couldn't miss going on the carousel, twice!
We also spent a lot of time just hanging out. Loreli loved playing with my mom's birds. We went to the park and hung out with Alex and Jill one day.
Flying Alex's airplane kite...
 Hitting some balls...
 Throwing a little frisbee...
And just plain having fun!
 We also went to the Science Center just for an hour. Loreli liked the human, hamster wheel
and the musical hopscotch is always popular!
We can't forget...Loreli got her ears pierced! She was so excited and didn't even cry one bit!
We also visited 2 art stores (oh yeah), ate at some amazing restaurants (falafel burger anyone?), and had some quality family time with everyone on Easter. We had so much fun in St. Louis! It was so hard to leave! We got to come home to a very nice surprise though, a new floor in the kitchen/dining area. Scott put in new tile that looks like dark, wood planks. He also painted the kitchen to match the rest of the house and built in a spice shelf in the pantry.
The day after we got home from St. Louis, Carter and Spencer had their Arrow of Light Ceremony. It was so neat! James took the photos. There was a woman who came and told the story of her ancestors and made sure that the boys understood what it takes to be a Boy Scout. It is an amazing right of passage (one that they worked hard to earn) for an 11 year old cub scout into the Boy Scout program.

 I like the look on Spencer's and Carter's faces when Chad tells them they may now call him Master. (Chad is Spencer's dad, so that is weird on many levels, haha).
 Carter had his 11th birthday three days later and got to go on his first scout camp out. He got a basket ball hoop from us, a dragon drawing book from Grandma Andrea, a Boeing scarf, hat and shirt from Grandpa Roly, and some money from Grandpa and Grandma Shupe. was a great birthday!
To finish up our list there was:
Lots of fishing up in Wyoming.
Loreli had an Art Show with all of the 2nd and 3rd graders. 
Man has it been busy!