Saturday, June 24, 2017

Girls camp~ we survived!!

Hannah is in the front of the boat, paddle in the water

 These pictures are in no particular order.  Wednesday morning we got up at 4am to leave for the river.  It was early.  Wednesday night packing had a lot of hiccups, including the sister who was supposed to buy all the food ran out of time and didn't so Audrey and I ended up in the store at 8pm buying everything and a broken trailer and other issues.  We were a little behind schedule getting out on the road but were driving before 5.
Grace is in the back with the blue shorts
Our first stop was the Kern River.  We went white water rafting.  The girls were really looking forward to it.  I had some hesitations before getting there because the water is really high and rough this year. Also we didn't use a professional guiding group.  Our camp leader's husband did a lot of training and time on the river, he is thinking of starting a company.  I thought he was competent and put in lots of effort.  But I think an experienced tour would have cost less money (not the Lord's $ but his) and maybe some of the issues we had would not have happened.  In the end everyone survived and 95% of the people had a great time.  Rob did get thrown in the river on the last run and it was scary for him.  He was caught in a cataract and was trapped in the water for a short time.  He ended up fine but if it was one of the girls who went in I don't know if we would have been so fortunate.  He is a strong swimmer and felt like he barely made it out.

On one run we lost two guides to in the water.  One of the boats had Grace and Brynn and another girl and Audrey in it.  They were on the wrong side of the river and they are not strong paddlers nor did they know what they were doing and just after the spot where they were to get out the river got much people could die on it. Miraculously, and by that I believe they were helped by ministering angels, they did get to shore in the right place and were safe.  

 After that we drove another many hours to arrive at our camp site just before dark.  It was very beautiful and we quickly set up.  The girls were so helpful.  We got dinner made and had a devotional and then the girls begged to go to bed.  It was almost midnight by this time (I guess we wore them out!).

Day 2 everyone slept until 8am.  We spent the day seeing some awesome sights . The river was amazing. It was all white water and the spray blasted up onto the road.  Grizzly Falls was a favorite of everyone.  Standing 20 feet away you still got completely wet from the water pouring off the falls. 

 We went to Crystal Cave, which was super neat.  Saw the world's biggest tree, and the 2nd biggest tree.
Day 3 was a hike, with a bear sighting! and an afternoon of crafts.

We had very little drama, which is unusual with 17 girls :)  They were awesome.  They worked hard and played hard.

Bro. Abramson teaching Grace and Charlotte how to build fires.
We had golden hours each night and devotionals each morning.  The girls did all the cooking and it was good! They did the cleaning too.

me and Rachel and Audrey
We enjoyed a fireside testimony meeting.

testimony meeting
We saw 3 bears, a family of raccoons, many deer & squirrels, bats, blue jays, tons of bugs and other birds.

Paige, Mia, Kelly and Hannah
 We slept well, and were hot and sweaty the whole time. We did have one incident with some noisy neighbors.  Late one night a man from their group, who had been drinking, came knocking on the girls tent asking to be let in.  He left glow sticks for them and they were freaked out.  It was probably innocent but still unwelcome.  Knocking on a strangers tent at 11pm is never a good idea and they were scared.
in front of Grizzly Falls
Other that that the girls said they had an awesome time.  Rob and I sure had a terrific time.  We love to serve together, and nature is beautiful.  It was super fun to be there with our girls too.

Hannah 17 and Grace 12
 Ethan stayed with the Harvey's and he said it was great.  They had a fun time.  I am grateful for good friends to help us out.
 So we got home, stinky and tired but happy for a good adventure and a good week.

Rob was our official cobbler maker, it was delicious

some of the girls earned their junior ranger badges.

 Grace and Brynn are good friends and they became even better friends this trip.  
Tree huggers

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

girls camp eve

 The kids wanted to have some friends over to swim.  So we did.  It's been hot and the pool feels great.
 Let me think who came over.  Grace invited Rylin and Audrey and Lilly and Mia.  Hannah invited Grace and Travis, and their two little cousins came.  Also Madi and Curtis.  Ethan invited Brody and Alex and Kaylee.  I think that's everyone.
 When the boys play I literally have to look the other way because I am sure a concussion is soon to follow. I am happy to report that only two kids bled and no one cried.  We had snacks and music and cool water and friends.  You can not ask for a better summer day.
 Getting ready for camp was full of challenges.  Hopefully it will be like an awful dress rehearsal leading to a great play.  Hopefully all the hiccups have already happened and we can have a great time!

Monday, June 19, 2017

the best part

The best part of going to a funeral is seeing friends you haven't seen in forever.  George Trahan passed away.  He was old and ready to go. His funeral was really nice and after I got to visit with these ladies!

Becky moved into our ward when we were freshmen in high school.  We became friends right away.  Becky was always cheerful and energetic and fun.  We were candy stripers together and volunteered at the hospital once a week for almost two years.

Lana and I became BFF's when I was in 4th grade and she was in 6th.  We were the best of friends all growing up and when she went to college I missed her terribly.    We thought we were twins and often dressed the same and look we have the same haircut! One day about 26-27 years ago we saw each other at church and we were wearing the same dress! So fun.  We both have 6 kids, and both have daughters named Sierra...I guess that's it but none the less it was super fun to see her.  I think the last time I saw her was at Rob and my wedding.  I wish we would have had 6 hours to catch up instead of 45 minutes!  I'll have to try and see her in Utah some time.  It's hard when everyone is busy raising families, and serving in callings, and not living anywhere near each other.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Father's Day

Rob was happy with his father's day gifts.  They weren't really intended to go together but he looked pretty cute.

We also made a nice dinner for him.  We spent some time setting up a tent that I bought at a garage sale to practice for girls camp.

I talked to dad on the phone, and we tried to call Abba and then remembered that he is in he probably didn't miss talking to us anyway :)

Father's are awesome and we are lucky to have these wonderful men in our lives.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

high adventure report

Ethan made it home this evening and had a great time.  I am hoping one of the leaders posts pictures later but for now a little report.

They went North past San Fransisco and camped in the mountains by a lake.  11 boys and 3 leaders went.  E and 7 of his closet friends shared a tent.  The leaders were laughing at them but the boys said it was great.  Apparently E was one of the first to fall asleep each night.

They ate well.  They grilled tri tip, steaks and kabobs for dinner.

They did a lot of biking.  The boys said it was a lot of uphill.  Only 3 guys could go all the way up the hills without walking: Bro Harvey, Preston and Ethan.  Down was fun...except if you hate to go fast (which is E).  Brody told us E was in the top three to get up each hill and the last 3 to get down.  He bit it once but only got scratched up.  Levi had to get stitches.

They went fishing, caught some fish, "fell" in the water.  They climbed trees.  Brody was a ninja for his climbing and jumping abilities.  They played capture the flag. Played with fire and basically had a great time messing around.

One boy didn't want to participate in a lot of the activities and that was kind of a bummer, especially for the leaders who had to stay back with him, but the rest of the boys did.  Hopefully our camp will go as well (minus the stitches) this next week!

The boys got home had time enough to shower and change and then went to a dance.  They learned the meringue :) and ate ice cream and danced with girls.  Good night.

this and that

 Rob got his executive photo shoot done.  I think he looks very handsome and very executivey :)
 Yesterday Grace had some friends over to swim.  It was a hundred degrees out and perfect pool weather.  Brynn stayed after for dinner and then the girls got to "jeep" home.  Looks like fun right?

 The Z saga continues.  Her cruciate ligament is definitely completely blown out.  The estimate was near $4000 to fix.  So we called around in Tijuana and found a place that could do it for around $1200 but we had to wait two weeks.  We were going with that plan until we talked to Dr/President/Brother McEwan and he said he could do it for about the same price.  We took her there this morning and it's going to a be a little more but we don't have to drive to TJ (twice) and so that's what we settled on.  She will have her surgery the week after girls camp.
 Charlotte, Brynn and Grace enjoying our backyard oasis!
Family scripture reading took place a little bit on the late side last night.
Sierra with the girls at the splash pad.  Love those three!!

Thursday, June 15, 2017

what have we been up to?

I don't even know.  Tuesday Hannah and Ethan went with some friends to the movies then hung out at Jayce's all day swimming.

I had a mammogram.  And went to Costco and Grace and I did some camp stuff.

Tuesday night we got Ethan ready for high adventure.

Wednesday morning he left at 6am.  They were going to go to Mammoth but it is snowing so they changed plans and went to Troy Meadows.  I hope they are having a great time. Haven't heard anything from them but no news is good news;)

Wednesday night we had a pre camp meeting with parents and girls.

Today we had a last camp food meeting.  When I got home the girls and I got ready and went to the temple.  It was a nice drive down, not too much traffic and lots of chatting.  They got to do a lot of work while we were there which was awesome and they both really enjoyed it.  Then we went to the Sherman Oakes Galleria, which changed a lot in the last 30 year :)  We had fun and ate lunch then drove home just in time to for me to drop them off and go meet R at the emergency prep classes.  It was about cooking with out power which was very interesting actaully. He got called to the high council a couple months ago and one of his responsiblities is stake emergency prepardness.

It was a long day, and kind of hot and I got a lot of bad news about different friends and a dear little brother so that's been hard.  You take the good and the bad in this life.  And pray that things go well.

Monday, June 12, 2017

fun day

 Yesterday John Croxson came over.  He and E were best friends in MD from the time we moved there until we moved away.  They were in the same class at school from 2nd grade thru 7th and we lived in the same neighborhood.  Then they moved to CA 6 months after we did.  We haven't been able to coordinate until now but the boys were excited to see each other and they had a fun time.  They watched movies, played soccer, played electronic soccer, went to the field and played soccer with some of E's other friends and talked about soccer :)  It was pretty fun to see and hear them together again.  John's a great kid.
 Hannah started a new "job". She's driving for a family.  Today she took them to the dentist and to their trainer.

After she was done she helped me with some camp craft samples.

Tonight we had tickets from Team Silva for the Jethawks.  It's a fun night.  We get to see lots of friends and watch some baseball.  Noah brought his soccer ball so a bunch of boys went to a side field and played soccer. It was pretty chilly outside but we had a good time.

Saturday, June 10, 2017


 We chaperoned youth conference this morning.  We got the easiest day.  We helped with breakfast, sat with groups while they did readings and attended testimony meeting.

picture from youth conference at Apollo Park.  They had several special reenacts sharing stories.
taken from FB, thanx poster:)

Ethan didn't want to go but he ended up having a really good time.  They played a lot of fun games and also did a couple service projects, had a dance, went to the park and had many devotionals and lessons.  They played that cool bubble soccer game that E has been wanting to try.  I think it was a great mix of active crazy activities and good spiritual lessons.

After we went to the temple, which was very nice.  It was a long day gone from the house.

Ethan and Brody helped a family move it.  It was right as we were driving home that we saw Bro. Ryder helping the Dunn's move in just around the corner from us.  The boys came home and changed and headed right over to help.  I am sure it was very appreciated and I was very proud of them.
Camp prep is in full swing.  I am excited to go...and excited to be done with it too.  It's always SO.MUCH.FUN and an equal amount of so much work :)

Friday, June 9, 2017

home again

 I picked up Hannah from the airport this afternoon.  Grace didn't want to come and she lucked out and was able to go to Makayla's house for the afternoon.  Ethan has been at youth conference.  Yesterday, today and tomorrow.

The traffic was typically awful.  What is up with that? I hate the traffic.  Finally I got to her and we decided to let it die down so we went browsing some fancy store in Marina Del Rey then went to Santa Monica to find a place to eat.  We had yummy ramen, the roasted brussel sprouts were delicious!  Then we walked to Hollister beach and hung out until traffic was better.

It was gorgeous and a nice evening.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017


 They left :(  So sad.  We had a really fun time.  The house was very full for awhile.  I miss the baby days.  I know I am remembering them with some rosey glasses on because I also remember that it was tiring and I was happy when they went to bed, but I enjoyed my little ones a lot, and I love the grands!

It was really fun having D and S here too.  Adult children are the best.  It's so great to see how they have turned out to be wonderful women.

 We had an anniversary.  19 years. It's been good.  We've lived in 3 states, had 3 babies together, raised 3 more, had 3 grand babies and 2 sons-in-law, been on some awesome trips, buried 2 dogs and a cat ( and more fish, gerbils, birds than we can remember), paid for 5 sets of braces, countless formal gowns, and lots of soccer camps, lost four babies and lots of tempers and more sets of keys than I care to count.  We've visited 15+ temples, seen 5-6 Broadway shows, watched a lot of NCIS and Star Trek, been to some baseball games, some soccer games, some swim meets, a little volleyball, a few dance recitals, 4 high school graduations, 1 BYU graduation, band concerts, school plays, choir performances.  We've driven to early morning seminary for 14 years (and counting), girls camp, EFY, soccer practice, dances, movies, parks and playgrounds.  We've been to Disneyland and DisneyWorld, Harry Potter land, NYC, Hawaii, Canada, the Carolina's, Michigan, Florida and lots of other great places. We've been on 3 cruises (one more coming up), spent too much on Christmas 19 times, built a swimming pool, a deck, a house, and a fancy dinning room light. We've paid taxes, and HOA dues, and tithing, and parking tickets, and school supply fees and vet bills.  We've disagreed and gone to bed mad.  We've had a lot of fun, learned a lot, helped a lot, tried a lot.  We've been to the beach on both coasts, eaten poutine (yuck), escargot (okay) and banana foster (yumm).  All of that has been sweeter because we've been together.    So it'll be fun to see what the next year brings.
 Today was the last day of school  SUMMER SUMMER SUMMER!!! Grace had a swim party to celebrate.

Brynn, Patty, Mia, Makayla, Rylin, Aubree and Grace swam.  Kaitlin, who is 3, walked around the pool blowing bubbles and watching the big girls.  Laura and I sat and visited and life guarded.
 Tonight we tie-dyed shirts for camp and chose secret sisters.

Kathryn posted this gem on fb today.  I remember sporting that lovely blue headgear helmet. 
me, Kathryn, Alec
Michael and Chrissy