Sunday, June 26, 2011


The weekend after our Mesa trip, we decided kinda last minute to go camping. We spent three days camping by Black Canyon Lake near Heber, AZ. I absolutely love to camp. It is nice to let the kids play (and get as dirty as they want) all day, simplify everything, and just RELAX. We had so much fun together, and can't wait for the next time we go. (It should be very SOON). Here is the picture OVERLOAD.
Jay, daddy and one of the BB guns.

Aubrey, spinning with daddy.

Looking for tadpoles and crabs.

Building a bridge across the small creek.

This was NOT an easy picture to take! The camera is literally dangling from a tree branch. It was a steep hill to run up and pose for the camera. We finally got a decent shot, that shows us all together.

My five little monkeys and the dog, Max.

Nathan and Aubrey fishing in the water. They didn't catch anything. =)

Betsy and Jay by the water. Yes, Jay is screaming.

Proof that I was actually there.

Nathan posing in the shelter that he built all by himself.

Circling the imaginary campfire. The kids didn't quite understand why we couldn't have a fire, but we reminded them about the Wallow Fire. In fact, exactly where we camped had tons of proof of the Rodeo-Chedeski fire from 2002. See the black trees? We had 6 chairs, with 7 people, so I got the log. =)

Max, the dog. This was his first experience riding in the back of a truck. It was super funny watching him. Camping is about the only time that I like that dog. I guess he is just not meant to be fenced up in a yard.

We LOVE camping!!

Mesa Trip!

After nearly six months, we finally made it to Mesa to visit my family. Yes, it took us way too LONG! It was HOT, but so much fun seeing everyone again. We went over the second weekend in June. We had a great time together. The kids had a blast seeing their Barton cousins, and we got an updated picture of the grandkids. We have officially hit the stage where they can ALL sit, look, and smile. It is a nice stage... =) Me and my sisters got the chance to go to the Mesa Temple together. It was a nice experience to be together in the temple. The kids had LOADS of fun splashing and playing in the swimming pool with their cousins. Here is the proof!We gathered all together for Family Home Evening and also called my parents in Nauvoo to sing Happy Birthday to my mom. She was THRILLED to hear us all on the speakerphone for her birthday. I miss my parents so much, but love that they are serving a mission. What a great example for the grandkids.

We also spent some time with Justin, Heather, and their kiddos. They put on a yummy BBQ and we had some nice time visiting. Me and both my sisters named Heather, went early one morning to the gym, and worked out together. Gotta love Zumba. I was proud to be able to keep up, and even know a few of the dances (thank you Rhonda!) The boys all had fun playing Halo together, and the girls had fun putting our feet up and just relaxing. My sisters and I went shopping. I really don't enjoy shopping, but it really was fun, and we visited a great thrift store (the only place I shop), and got a new dress for me. It is the first dress I have bought myself since before Besty was born (5+ years ago!!)

Right before we left back to Snowflake, we went to a Scout Fundraiser/Auction dinner. The reason I mention it, is that it was my old family ward (46th). It is always wonderful to go back and see so many faces that I have known all my life. Such a feeling of "coming home". I love the 46th ward!!! It was a great trip. One that will be repeated more often (I promise!).

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Wallow Fire

For the last week a wildfire has been burning out of control in an area about and hour and a half southeast of our home. It is a horrible thing, and has caused evacuations of small wonderful little towns just like ours. In the afternoons the plume of smoke is visible in the sky. Sunday after church the winds had blown it our way and it was thick in the air, and made my lungs burn. I ache for the people and families that are being affected by this fire.

I almost started crying yesterday as I looked toward the fire and saw the HUGE plume of smoke in the sky. It looked almost pretty, but then just thinking about what was causing it made me sad inside. We have added the towns and people and firefighters in our prayers, and wish them the best. I feel helpless sitting here in my house, being so close, yet so far away. Add them to your prayers please.

Full swing

School is over, the summer break has begun and has quickly kicked into high gear. We are in full swing people! I always dread summer break, (I know that makes me sound like a bad mom) but I do. I have five incredibly active, busy, LOUD children. My house is always filled with noise. And unfortunately, sometimes that noise is 'angry fighting noise'. The older three tend to get along alright if they are busy and doing things. But, if there is downtime, without an activity or plan, they tend to just pick at each other, all day long.

Nathan has officially begun acting like a 'big brother'. I think anyone that has an older brother or has a son that is an older brother understands completely what that means. Nathan just picks and teases and bothers his sisters, on purpose! In one way its kinda cute, watching him possess them to squeal and tattle, and reminds me a lot of my own big brother (yes, you Justin). But in every other way, it drives me crazy!!!!

So, anyway, with summer being a bit less structured and more relaxed; more fighting, tattling and crying take place. I have planned quite a few activities this summer, in hopes for a bit more peace around here. Aubrey and Emily are signed up for an Arts and Crafts class. They went to their first class yesterday, and both seemed to have a ball. Nathan is signed up for a soccer camp that starts up in a couple weeks. I also have plans to take them all individually to the pool here in Snowflake to teach them how to swim. They have previously been in the swimming classes they offer, but none of them have had enough one on one time to actually learn how to swim yet. So, that is my goal this summer. Get my 8, 7, and 6 year old swimming confidently. I am actually looking forward to it. Swimming is in the top 5 favorite things I like to do. I want my kids to like swimming also.

We have a few short trips planned (one this weekend to Mesa), and a long trip (to Provo) in the making too. And of course, with it being summer, and living in the mountains, you HAVE to add camping to the list. At least a few times. I love camping, and am looking forward to that too.

We are busy staying busy, especially yesterday, which I am actually quite proud that I made it through still sane! Summer is definitely in full swing!