Friday, April 30, 2010

moabites

When spring is merely an extension of winter, we have to drag our frozen bones south to check whether our summer clothes are still in style.

After our Disney weekend, we decided to get some hikes under our belt.  A couple of years back, we went to Zion National Park, and then to Bryce Canyon National Park.

Loved them.

P1050400So, this weekend, we went to Moab - the gateway to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.

Now, it was a bit too early in the season to be tent camping for me, but I found a great little campground with a pool showers McDonalds across the street cabins for rent.  And within a few minutes drive to the parks to boot.

I am amazed by how many people I know that have spent the majority of their lives in Utah and have never been to ANY of these parks.

People, C'MON!!!!!

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P1050311On our way up to see the famous Delicate Arch, our first stop was a pit stop and I want to take a moment to acknowledge the benefit of having all boys.

I get to go to the bathroom all.by.myself.  Daddy takes them all with him.

YES!  I know other moms can appreciate the small pleasures, like peeing alone.

The hike to our first arch was 3.2 miles round trip and we really enjoyed the walk and the warm weather.

And the climbing.

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Unfortunately, the most famous arch in the park was a mob scene that day, but we were still able to get a decent family photo to prove we were there.

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After an amazing campfire dinner (kudos to the chef), and a dip in the pool, we all got some solid sleep.

Day two started with a hike to Sand Dune Arch.  This was a short hike through a slot canyon where we could enjoy the hot sand between our toes (shoes and socks were promptly removed upon entering the canyon).  Our goal was a hidden arch between the tall rock walls.

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I didn't get a great picture of the arch, but the climbing in the canyon was so fun for our boys.

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After a wonderful picnic lunch packed by yours truly, we took on our longest hike of the trip in an area called "Devil's Garden."  It looked like it was straight from heaven though with several beautiful arches and lots of breathtaking scenery.

Exhibit A:  Landscape Arch

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These are rock "fins" that are actually part of the 4.2 mile trail.  Close your eyes Aunt Louie!  Kenyon did enough yelling worrying for all of us combined.

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My little Rufus taught me the words to many preschool songs while we were hiking.  Oh, my heart swells around that boy!

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At the top was an area called "Double O Arch."  We played there for a bit.

My man moved some misplaced rocks, and I had to get pictures for the life insurance claim.

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Four boys in the lower "O."

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Double O:  Can you find four faces?

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My beloved found some shade with a view to rest in on the way down.

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Day three was a quick trip through the northern end of Canyonlands Naitonal Park.

First stop:  Mesa Arch

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It was straight down behind my men.  Take a deep breath.  You're about to stand at the edge.

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We stopped for another gourmet picnic lunch and then we climbed a giant stone mountain called "Whale Rock" for our finale.

The rock really looked like a whale from the ground, but I was too lazy to take out the camera.  Here are the views from the top.

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Don't mess with the brothers!

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Too all my friends who said, "Let me know how it is down there."

GO!  These are wonders of the world and are worth a weekend.

We are heading to Zion National Park again next weekend for some more cabin camping to get away from the snow that still lingers here in Park City.

It will be a lot of work for this mama, but I can't wait.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

like online dating - for moms

One of the unexpected perks of blogging has been new friendships.

Well over a year ago, I received an email from a woman named Grace.  She had stumbled upon my blog and she also had four boys that were similar ages to my men.

Through our back and forth emailing, we formed a friendship.  We exchange Christmas cards and stay in touch through the challenges and victories of mothering four boys.

But, we had never met face to face.

Grace and I always joke about meeting for coffee, which is funny because we live about 12 hours away from each other.  Or about an hour and a half plane ride which I'm seriously considering now that we've met.

P1050235While making our whirlwind tour of Disneyland, Grace carved time out of her busy life to come and rescue me from my hotel and take me out to coffee.

Four hours later we realized that they were kicking us out of the coffee shop.

We had such a nice time together and I am amazed at the broad range of topics we covered in that relatively short period of time.

It was really the highlight of my trip and I can't wait to do it again Grace!

Monday, April 12, 2010

some fun in the sun

We kept a pretty good secret from the little men this spring.

My man was bound and determined to go back to Disneyland before Squirt costs a butt-load of money as well turned three years old.  The only other time we were there was when Squirt was four months old and Rufus was still free.

This trip was kept top secret until the actual day we left.  The boys saw me packing the car and thought we were going on a camping trip (in the snow? yeah, right.)

Long story short, Kenyon was on a business trip and met us in Las Vegas.  Once we met up with him, we presented them with a crossword puzzle to solve that included enough clues for them to guess where we were headed.

And the big boys said, "So, we're not going camping?"

Lesson learned:  Don't look for satisfaction in reactions of your children.

P1050234Unfortunately, little Squirt had a terrible cold and every time his nose began to run he would scream, "NEED A TISSUE!!!!"

Those tissues gave him the sorest nose I have ever seen and he was just flat miserable for the first day and a half we were there.

Thanks to some good sleep and a lot of Aquaphor slathered on his face, he perked up and really enjoyed his time.

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It's a Small World was a huge hit with our little guys.

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Like father, like son:

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All of my men know that their leading lady is a lover of all rides fast and scary.  Tower of Terror anyone?  It was a really fun experience to have most of my boys big enough to go on these rides with me.

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All in all it was a great little get away to the southern California sunshine.  We badly needed some warmer temperatures to thaw our well wintered bones.P1050238

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I don't think we will be going back for quite some time though.  As parents, we observed two things on this trip that will affect our future destinations.

First, Disneyland is very much a sedentary vacation style.  Although there seems to be a lot of walking, there is also a lot of standing in line, waiting, and EATING.  We feel much more at home on a trail in a national park or in a tent in the woods.

If I'm going to be sedentary, I want my butt in a beach chair with my husband on one side and my sister on the other, drinking rum and Cokes while watching our children build sand castles in front of us.

Second, Disneyland is a place that makes everyone feel and act as if, "it is all about me."  Unfortunately, I saw that come out in my children.  There was very little eagerness to compromise or desire to put others' wants before their own.  Disappointment was exaggerated and overall, they lacked contentment because there was always something else they wanted.

Our next major trip will be a well thought out effort to serve others.  I have already started looking into possibilities, but I am determined to open our children's eyes to the needs of others and take their focus off of themselves.

I firmly believe that the earlier they learn to "die to self," the better.

Monday, April 5, 2010

a victim of his own success

My Beloved titled this post.

I wanted to title it, "Clearly, We Have a Problem."

Or maybe, "Intervention:  The Hunting Edition."

Possibly, "Dead Things Belong Outside!"

This sign over the windows in his office says it all:

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Almost exactly two years ago, we had this major expense addition to our home his office.

I'm sure you all remember THIS.  How could you forget?

Well, this boy took a little vacation at the taxidermist, but he's back!

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I didn't expect his legs to still be attached... to a rock.

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The other side of the office wall is the garage - I made sure that there was still room for my van if his hind end was popping through the other side.

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One more - the man who is in total denial that he is over the top.  He's trying to look all tough, but he's so giddy about this thing, he's trying not to smile. 

(I have the same expression behind the camera, but for a different reason.  I see the new living room couch I want so badly hanging on the wall.)

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Lest you forget, he also has these in his little 10x14 office.  That cutie pie holding the antlers is my trophy!

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It is really sad when the hard-earned MBA diploma is in the floor under the animal heads, don't you think? (My blog, honey.  They will agree with me!).

I must go.... I need to find another recipe that disguises uses goat meat!

p.s. I might complain, but I secretly feel this way.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

risen indeed

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Oh, precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

He is Risen Indeed!

Happy Easter.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

not a funny joke

18+ inches in the last 24 hours. Winter is alive and well in Park City.

I think I took my snow tires off way too early. Agree?

winterjoke

About Me

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Messy and wonderful perfectly describes my life as a wife and mom of five. I'm passionate about advocating for orphans by telling their stories and encouraging adoption and orphan care. My schedule is messy and wonderful as I am charged with four sons and one daughter. We love living in our little mountain ski town. We do a little camping, a little skiing, a little hunting, and a lot of laughing and loving. Life is dirty and loud around here but we wouldn't want it any other way. Okay, maybe a little less dirty!

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