Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aspen Grove

The Utah Foster Care Foundation sponsors a retreat for many foster families every September up at Aspen Grove by Mt. Timpanogos.  This weekend gives these families a wonderful chance to bond and create fun memories. Thanks  to some wonderful babysitters (Dan's sister Brynn and one of our neighbors Friday afternoon, as well as Dan's bro Sam and wife Lara overnight and Saturday), I got to go with Dan so we could have a little overnighter get-away...free of charge!  
We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and kept things civil even though it was rivalry weekend. :) 
There was a fun magician Friday night.
Saturday, we went on a little 2 mile hike up to First Falls.  
The leaves hadn't quite changed to their full Fall glory as much as I had hoped, but it was still a breathtaking vista. :) 
The falls

A panoramic from Dan's phone. 

A little romance for ya. 
We kept seeing people come down the trail with soaking wet hair.  I guessed they had probably dunked their heads into the falls.  So Dan had to try it too.  
He said it felt like a bucket of ice water!  Brrr!
We saw many of these little catterpillar guys around the camp.  
Here are some more beautiful shots of the valley.

It was really cool to see so many families who have taken in so many children in need and giving their all to them. We heard some heartbreaking stories while we were there and I now have a renewed appreciated for all they are able to accomplish. Even though Dan had to work some, it was a lovely weekend trip. I enjoyed napping when I wanted to and getting some good reading in.  So peaceful up there! Looking forward to next year.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Utah Sate Fair

The kids and I had a blast at the Utah State Fair!  Wish Dan could have come though.

The butter sculpture.  McKenna didn't want to smile apparently.    
They had some cute Lemurs!
The dairy cows 
Cute story:  I've blogged before about McKenna being quite nervous while being close to most kinds of animals.  While at the fair, we started with the birds, chicken and rabbits; all of whom were in cages.  She was fine with them.  Then we went to the goats, they were all in pens.  She was also fine with that.  When we got to the cows, who are only tied to a bar/gate running down the middle of the building, she immediately and anxiously asked, "Where are their cages?"  
In the end, we saw many animals out of their cages, some sheep even walked right by us bumping into us, and both kids didn't even think twice about it.  
The sheep were especially noisy, as you can see by the plugged ears.  One did bleat right in Ben's face which made him cry for only a second.  
We met up with Dan's sister and kids as well.  
This pumpkin is 245lbs! 
Cute faces!  

The BEST part was when the kids got to pretend to be real farmers!  They put on an apron, got a basket filled with feed and dumped it into a trough for a pretend cow and also "milked" the cow.  
Picking apples in the orchard

They got to plant a "seed" and then "harvest" what they planted.  
Brushing a sheep and feeling what real wool feels like. 

Riding a tractor
They got to collect a pretend egg as well.  Then they got a play dollar to spend at the market to buy a treat.  Here they are enjoying their granola bar and fruit snack.  
What a great day!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

This and That

I got to go on a mommy daughter date (also with Dan's sister and her little girl) to see Brave.  Kenna loved it!  Even the scary parts.  
We had a fun old roommate breakfast a few weeks ago.  These guys were some of Dan's roommates when Dan and I started dating.  Such fun memories!  
The kids played pretty well together too.  The iPad wasn't always out... ;) 
The wives plus some kids. 
We have a pasture pretty close to our house.  No, we don't live in the country.  And sometimes the horses stick their heads over the fence and get close enough for a smooch.  
That is all for this post.  A more "themed" post to follow.  

Monday, September 10, 2012

Brigham City Temple Open House

We got to attend the new Brigham City Temple open house a few weeks ago.  It was beautiful!  Click on the link if you're interested in finding out more about why our church has temples and what they are used for.  

Everything about the temple was gorgeous!  Brigham City, and the surrounding area, is known for its peaches.  So there were peach blossoms everywhere in the decorations: the rugs, upholstery, paintings, carved into the walls, ceilings, and even carved into the outside of the temple.     

It was quite tricky to keep these two monkey's quiet and reverent throughout the tour, so they were pretty excited when they could run around a little outside.  

Some of the highlights from the tour:
  • Dan's grandfather was leading us through the temple.  When we were in the baptistry, McKenna saw the 12 oxen and said her primary teacher, Mary, had shown her a picture of that.  Grandfather pointed out a picture of John the Baptist baptizing Jesus and then asked who baptized Jesus.  I whispered the answer in McKenna's ear and she kind of shouted out, "John the Baptism!"  She also recalled a cousin of hers who recently got baptized.  Cute girl!
  • McKenna twirled and posed in front of the huge full length mirrors in the Bride's room.  I totally got choked up thinking about my little girl getting married in the temple someday.  
  • McKenna thought every bench, chair, and kneeling part of the alters looked so comfortable she just had to lay down on them.  Not the most reverent thing to do...     
  • We had a very special experience when we entered the Celestial Room, which is meant to represent Heaven and is the most beautiful room in the temple.  McKenna came up to me and touched her chest and said, "I feel the Spirit."  I teared up and gave her a hug and said, "That's wonderful.  I'm so happy for you."  Dan then asked her, "What does feeling the Spirit feel like?"  She responded, "It feels like Jesus is going to come again." When we told Grandfather this story, he said, "You have been well taught." :)  Later at home, we asked her the same thing and she said, "I want to be with Jesus."  This was such a pay day for me and Dan to know that our three and half year old could already recognize the good feelings the temple and the Spirit can bring to her life!  In the end, she didn't want to leave and she frequently asks if we can go back to the temple.  
  • Because Dan's parent's place in Mantua is only 10 minutes from this new temple,  I think this particular House of the Lord will hold a special place in our hearts.  
  • While in one of the sealing rooms, Grandfather told a story about a beautiful pearl what was kept in a most beautiful box and asked which item represents the temple.  The beautiful box is the temple and the pearl represents the covenants and promises we make in the temple that help us to be eternal families.  This is what's most important in life!   
A great experience for all of us which we'll always remember!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I'm so grateful for my father-in-law's work day at Lagoon!  Otherwise, we would probably never get to go there.  It's so pricey!  Anyway, we went at the beginning of August.  The first ride you come to in Kiddie Land is Bulgy the Whale.  We probably should have let Ben watch the ride once to see how it worked.  Poor little dude was NOT happy with us.  
I love how happy McKenna is though.  
Thankfully, he forgave us and went on many more rides! 
Although his face was quite serious most of the time.  Hardly ever cracked a smile.

This one, I was pretty nervous to watch him on.  I didn't realize how fast it went and the "helicopters" swing out like you see in one of the pictures below with McKenna.  He managed to stay upright and didn't fall out.  Thank goodness for tight seat belts.
This is another one that kind of flung Ben around a little.  He almost tipped on his side. :)
McKenna is our little dare devil!  She wants to go on the biggest and fastest rides she's tall enough for!  Daddy gets to ride with her most of the time since something has obviously changed in my old age.  Most rides now make me sick, sick, sick... Too bad that makes me a boring mom.  She rode several rides 4 and 5 times.

We also loved cooling off and getting soaked on the Rattlesnake Rapids.  McKenna even let me take her on the Terror Ride.  Though, I'm pretty sure her eyes were covered the entire time.

We got to meet up with some cousins too!  
(They were probably having a little argument about who could ring the bell.)

On the huge ferris wheel.
I love how Ben can't take his eyes off the lovely view to look at the camera. :) 
This one is my favorite!  I love that McKenna is looking back at Ben as if to say, "Isn't this the BEST?!"  

Yummy Dip 'n Dots! 
All of us on the carousel.  Can you spot me way in the back?
I have such fond memories of this place.  When my family would vacation to Utah every Summer, we would always squeeze in a visit to Lagoon.  Dan, on the other hand, had season passes and went a lot...he's a tad less enthusiastic to go, but loves to see the kids have so much fun. I hope my kids will love it as much as I did! 
 Thanks again Gpa Webster!