Monday, April 4, 2011

Preschool Fun

We decided to join some other moms and kids in our neighborhood for a co-op preschool this year for Sarah. We are the Lucky Duck preschool and she has had a wonderful time. It's  been a good thing for her to get to know more kids in our neighborhood so that hopefully this coming fall she will know at least one or two kids in kindergarten. She has loved going to the different houses and there are always plenty of crafts and activities. These moms are wonderful and I am amazed at how talented and creative they all are. I have taken my turn helping and having preschool at our house and I have enjoyed it but it has also been stressful for me. I honestly don't know how people do this for a living.

One of the fun things that we do is we have a field trip almost every month. The field trips usually go along with the theme for the week and the kids have really enjoyed them. We have done everything from visit a grocery store to going to the planetarium. Our most recent trip was to Joe's Greenhouse and they let the kids take home a four pack of pansies. Even Lily got to have one and both girls couldn't wait to take them home and plant them.

It has been fun to see how much Sarah has learned this year and how far she has come. She is growing so fast and is more than ready to take that next step to kindergarten. I just hope that I am.

The Lucky Ducks at the Pack Family Farm.

Sarah has loved having her cousin Carson in preschool with her.

Running around the hay bale maze.

Listening intently at the Treehouse Museum.

Playing dress up at the Treehouse Museum.

They even got to milk a cow, albeit a plastic one.

Santa made a surprise visit after the Christmas program.

Riding Frontrunner to the planetarium.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Halloween 2010

We had a lot of fun this Halloween.  We all dressed up (yes, even me) and it was so fun taking the girls trick-or-treating this year. Sarah was practicing for weeks before hand. Sarah was obsessed with what her costume was going to be. She changed her mind a few times early on but then she stuck with a ghost. But not a scary ghost. I think she drove her preschool teachers crazy the couple of weeks before hand because that's all she talked about.

The night before we went to a corn maze. Sam had gotten tickets through his work and it was a lot of fun although the girls got tired and it started to get cold and dark pretty quick. Every year my parents invite us over for doughnuts and hot chocolate on Halloween and we'd never been able to make it so this year we really wanted to go. We were there the same time as my sister Cindy and her family and we let the kids all go trick-or-treating together around my parents neighborhood. Sarah and Carson were so cute together, holding hands as they walked around.

Later that night we had our traditional scones, chili and homemade rootbeer, although this year we tried cream soda instead. It was yummy! Friends and family stopped by after trick-or-treating and we had a fun time visiting. It really was a fun day.

I think we go this way

My little pumpkin

Lily's Birthday

Lily turned two in October but if you ask her how old she is she says four (because Sarah is four and she wants to be like her big sister). We had grandparents over and had cake and ice cream.  She is getting so big and talking so much and I am missing my little baby. She is the one who keeps me going all the time. She knows exactly how to push all of our buttons. She can be a little bully sometimes but then can turn around and give you a smile or a laugh that melts your heart.  She loves to snuggle with her "blankie" and is great at cuddling. She adores her big sister and wants to do everything just like her.  One of the things that I love about her is she will get upset and start to cry and then suddenly she'll smile and say, "I stop crying!" I hope that is how she is all through her life, that she can get upset and then just move on. She really is a joy to have around. I love you Lily!

Sam has taught our girls to "help" by holding onto his arm. Here is Lily helping Daddy cut her cake.

 Lily got a tent and a sleeping bag for her birthday. Both she and Sarah loved it.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Our Oregon Odyssey

Our trip to Oregon this time was quite an adventure. We had bought a Dodge Durango from Sam's brother and after having it checked out and worked on we decided to take it to Oregon. It would fit a lot more stuff and would be bigger and more comfortable for us to drive. Little did we know.  We barely made it past Ogden and it started to overheat. We stopped at a gas station and checked and refilled fluids. It seemed okay and we continued on. We started having problems again outside of Boise but we figured it was just not used to being driven so far (after all, it had sat in front of our house for a year) and we thought that after a night's rest for both us and the car we would be fine. So we stopped in Boise for the night and after a morning of swimming in the hotel pool we packed up and headed out again. We made it to Vale Oregon and the radiator hose blew. The car really overheated and we didn't know it at the time but it blew two head gaskets.  Luckily we made it to a repair shop in Vale and they replaced the radiator hose. We grabbed some lunch at a local diner down the street and hung out at a park until the repairs were finished.

Who needs a playground when they have Daddy

This had to be the ugliest fountain I had ever seen. And yes, it was working.
Patience was running thin at this point.

We packed up and were off again.  We finally made it to Cottage Grove about 1 A. M. and Sam had to get up the next morning and head off to the Hood to Coast relay race with his uncle and cousins. He got to see Grandma Spady for about half an hour. Before he left, he and his uncle took the Durango to a repair shop to have it checked out.  The next day the repair shop called and said that we had blown not one, but two, head gaskets and that it would take more time and money than we had to fix it.  My day was spent trying to figure out what to do since the girls and I were supposed to leave Grandma Spady's the next morning and drive six hours up the coast to meet Sam at the finish line. I was extremely worried about breaking down in an unknown place with two little girls.  We decided to risk it (with much disapproval from Sam's grandma) and the next morning I packed up the car and the girls and started my drive. We had a prayer with Grandma before we left and that gave me some comfort. I knew that Grandma Spady probably would not stop praying until she heard we were safe and sound and that also made me feel better.  We took it nice and slow and I planned our route according to the few people that we knew along the way. Sam had another cousin in Corvallis so I figured that if we broke down anywhere near there at least I had someone I could call.  Things went fine and we had very little trouble with the engine overheating. I know that our prayers were answered and Heavenly Father watched over me and my girls.

We met up with Sam and the rest of the team at the finish line which is right on the beach in Seaside. The girls just played in the sand and we got to grab some food and visit with Sam's uncle Joe and his cousins. Sam had a great time on the race and loved getting to know his cousins better since he really wasn't able to spend much time with them growing up.

Big Bad Joe and the Joggers at the finish line.

Finally, it was time to leave and drive another three hours back down the coast to the house we had reserved in Lincoln City. The house was great and we had a wonderful time staying there. The next day we did a little shopping at the outlet stores there.  We bought a kite at this great kite store and went and flew it on the beach. The wind was perfect and that kite never touched the ground. We would hold it up and it would just start to go. The girls had a great time, except for when a wave caught Lily by surprise and she got soaked. I'm a terrible mother because all I did was laugh and keep taking pictures.

Flying kites on the beach.

Watch out for those sneaker waves!
 She wasn't very happy and Sam and I couldn't stop laughing.
Once we got her stripped down and dried off she was fine.

 A beautiful day at the Oregon beach.

We had a wonderful time at the beach and aside from our brake lights also going out on the car, it was a great day.  Sam fixed the brake lights and the next morning we packed up and started our very long drive home.
We stopped in Portland and walked around the temple grounds. It was beautiful and a nice break for all of us.

After a very long day and night of driving we finally made it back to Kaysville around 4:00 in the morning. We averaged about 45 MHP because anything faster than that would cause the car to overheat. One advantage of driving that slow is that you really get to see the scenery. We were passing this hillside and I glanced over and actually saw a bear walking along through the trees. I have never seen a bear outside of Yellowstone so I didn't quite believe my eyes at first. I pointed it out to Sam so he is my witness.  Sorry for the travel log and the long post.  This was quite a trip for us and one that we won't be forgetting anytime soon. We are extremely grateful that we were watched over and made it back home safe and sound.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hiking, biking and geocaching

I'm trying to get caught up so I'm having to combine a few things into one post. We've had a pretty busy summer and have been able to fit some fun things in as a family.  Sam and I have talked a lot about what we can do to teach our children to be active and love spending time outside. We've decided that the best way is for us to get out and do these things as a family. Following are some pictures and I will try to explain as we go.

Ruth Lake
Sam had July 5th off so we decided to head out to the Mirror Lake Highway and hike into a lake that someone had told us about as a good family hike. It was beautiful and we took along our fishing gear. Sarah really likes fishing with her Disney Princess fishing pole and will cast and reel back in for hours. She hasn't caught anything yet but that doesn't seem to diminish the experience for her.

Sam and I have an interest in cycling. Sam of course has participated in some races but it had been years since I was on my bike. For our anniversary this year, Sam arranged for the girls to stay at my brother Adam's house and we had almost 24 hours of time to spend together. We went and saw a movie about cycling and then went to dinner. The next morning we had Bountiful Baskets but after we were done we were seeing all these people out on their bikes. Sam suggested we go for a ride and I jumped at the chance. It took a little while to get my bike ready to ride after five years sitting in the garage. I was a little nervous because it had been quite awhile but it was great. I don't have any pictures (you don't want to see me in my cycling shorts anyway) but it was a fun thing that we did this summer.

A couple of days before that we had the opportunity to see a stage finish for the Tour of Utah. The finish line was right outside of the building Sam works in. I drove down with the girls and we all went down to watch the riders come in. I didn't realize just how fast they would be flying by, especially during the sprint. It was also fun to try my hand at getting some action shots with my camera.

Sprinting to the finish
This is George Hincapie. We have been watching him race with Lance Armstrong for years at the Tour de France. He is an amazing cyclist and it was so much fun to see him ride in person. I didn't even know that I had gotten this shot until I looked at the pictures later.

The cyclist in the middle in the black and yellow of the Trek Livestrong team is Chase Pinkham. Sam worked with his dad at Perfect Practice MD and at Mediconnect. Chase is 18 years old and is a professional cyclist. He spent the summer riding all over Europe. He is an amazing kid and we are looking forward to watching him develop and hopefully be very successful.

Waiting for the racers to come in.
Sarah thought the whole thing was pretty fun especially since they were giving out free ice cream samples, but Lily didn't have a very good time.

Sarah loves to ride her scooter and really likes going down hill. She makes me nervous sometimes but at least she wears her helmet.

We have also done some geocaching this summer. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's like a high tech treasure hunt. You go onto a website and download the GPS coordinates of a place where someone has hidden a box or "cache".  Caches come in different sizes, anything from boxes to micro caches that are little tiny tubes.  Inside the cache there is usually a log book to sign and date and in larger caches there sometimes are little items to be traded. You take what is there and leave something equal or better. There are geocache sites all over the world.  It's a fun way to get out and see things and places that you wouldn't even know about otherwise. We have been doing ones close to home so far. There are many just here in Kaysville. 

You are supposed to be careful and not let anyone see you find the cache. Unfortunately people are not very considerate and will steal or vandalize a cache. You make up a code name to use on the website and to sign the log books. Our family has one but it's a secret! The bandanas in the pictures have something to do with our code name.

Finding the cache
This is a micro cache

Heading off to find the next one.
This friendly horse got a little too close for Lily's comfort.
We have had so much fun this summer and we hope that as we stay active our kids will want to go out and run, hike, bike, geocache and stay active all of their lives.