Saturday, July 13, 2013

Walk-Trot Rodeo

Kristi called me up to tell me about this walk-trot rodeo for Livvy. My first instinct was "NOOO!!!" But Livvy is so darn cute in her love for horses and riding that I could never turn that down, especially when she has an awesome, awesome Aunt who does "the hard work."  I am so grateful for Kristi and all she does to help Livvy with this hobby.  Kristi sprained her wrist when moving horses and never complained once!  She is the true cowgirl.  Kristi picked up Livvy and Averie all week to go practice the barrels and poles. 
I am not going to lie, it was hot.  SOOO hot!! AND it was sooo LONG! AND we got caught in a HUGE dust storm that lasted about 30 seconds, but was real intense with Cohen screaming why didn't we check the weather report, while holding onto me for dear life!  I was so worried with Livvy on the horse in the arena.  Only one horse freaked out, but no kids were hurt and they all handled it real well by hunkering down.
There was one part where Olivia had to walk to a fence, undo the rope, walk through it and latch it back up.  She did awesome!!!  She was the only one in her group to do it.  Most credit goes to the horse Trigger. 

Livvy got first place overall in the events.  She was real happy to have a horse trophy.  Good day.

Friday, July 12, 2013


We finally made it to Hawaii. All the stress of getting there finally paid off. No kids. Just me and J.   After getting to our resort, we were pretty much zonked.  But by 6 am Jeremy was pacing the floors, getting ready to head out to tour the lands.  I tried to resist but when he suggested that I could eat my breakfast in the car I guess I figured I lost the battle of a relaxing day on the beach.  Although...come to find out, on the Big Island, there wasn't a ton of beach.  Just a lot of Lava.
We headed out to Volcanoes National Park.  It was so beautiful.  We hiked down through the crater of a Volcano and back up.  The weather was amazing.  Just when you get hot, it sprinkles rain.  We loved it and had so much fun.  The trail was picture perfect.  I even spotted a heart in the lava and couldn't pass up a picture opp.

 We stopped at a gas station, always in search of food that "isn't normal" to us we found this sushi looking thing.  It was chicken on a chunk of rice and super yummy.   I'll take that gas station food any

Then we hit another trail that took us down through a lava tunnel.  It was crazy that the lava had cooled to make a tunnel.  All the while we were hiking I kept thinking how my kids would love this place.  Livvy loves to hike so she would be in heaven.
The next day we hiked down to Pololu Valley to a black sands beach.  It was pretty dang steep but worth it once you were at the bottom.  Well, getting to the bottom wasn't a big deal; it was getting back up that was a little intense!  Jeremy and I spent hours in the car driving around from village to village setting out to find the most authentic islander food and shops.  Carsick or not, we were going to find that quaint little cafe 2 hours from home for some good eats.  Even if we got there and that perfect destination point was closed there was always something else to see.  :)  I LOVE Jeremy for his passion of good food.  We ate at some pretty amazing places.    I deserve a little credit for picking a "hole in the wall" food joint.  Turns out that the owner, Brian, from "Sun-Dried Specailties" ( ran this awesome shop with fresh catches from the ocean every day.  It was really amazing seafood.  He and Jeremy hit it off really well and had a sit down chat about the area and life stories.  It was really cool.  In the end, he let us try a new recipe he was trying out and gave us a couple of T-shirts.

 I had the salmon and it was quite possibly the best thing I ate.  SO YUM! 

 Jeremy had some conference meetings he had to attend so guess where I spent the day?  When he woke up that morning he asked me where I was going to go.  I just looked at him and said "nowhere."  But I actually did go into town to check out some shops and spent the rest of the afternoon in this cabana.  I Face-Timed the kids and Coy wanted me walk around the island showing him everything.  I had to explain "internet" once again to the bewilderment of my kids who don't understand that wireless doesn't mean magic.  I was missing my kids especially that day. 

 This cute smile is the one J gives me when he is getting tired of the 100th picture I have taken and he is sick of it.  HAHA!  That's love people!!

That night we headed out to a restaurant called The Canoe House.  We watched a beautiful sunset and had yummy food.  We had Hawaiian Lava Flow drinks but I secretly like Noelle's and Kristi's Lava Flows better. 

While driving on the coast, we came across a little village.  It was Lapakahi State Historical Park.  It was a mile long trail that showed you different things throughout this ancient village.  How these people ate, lived, cooked, fished etc.  It was super cool and we spent quite a bit of time there. 
Our last evening in Hawaii we toured our resort.  Man, you could never leave this hotel ( and still have a great time in Hawaii.  It was HUGE!!  From the main entrance you can take a train to the tower you are staying at or you can walk it.  Without stopping, on a brisk pace we could make it from our car to our room in 15 minutes.  HOLY COW!!  There were many many restaurants, places to swim with animals, snorkel a million pools, shopping and much more.   We even went to a mini zoo.

Finally time to go home.  I missed my kids so much and the flight coming home couldn't go any slower.  We had such a fun and busy week and Hawaii is a great place to visit.  Next time we have got to hop to different islands!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Off to Arizona!

I know I always say this, but it is so true. It is so stressful to leave anywhere with little people!! I think I often secretly decided that I was going to bail on the trip. But once you get in the car driving away, it is worth it. Till you get home and have to do the laundry.   It was sooo good to be with my sisters (Lori is not in this pic but she should be.)  It just feels so normal and good.  I love love them and miss them so much.
We spent lots of time in my mom's awesome pool.  Livvy loved being in the pool especially.  So did my mom's dog Bailey.  The kids loved this gentle beast.  She let Mason crawl, pull, head butt, and do everything else annoying over her without so much as a twitch. 

Lola and Tayslee loved following Olivia around, holding her hand and doing what they wanted to do.

Coy pretty much didn't leave the shallow end for the week.  Kingston and Cohen played so well and were excited to spend time together.  He is such a cute little guy and we miss him!!

We decided to hit up the zoo later in the day so we wouldn't melt in the heat.  Turns out we pretty much did melt in the heat, but we had fun.  We just walked around and the kids were happy with their maps of the animals. 

Everyone was so burned out from the sun.  Olivia couldn't even keep her eyes open anymore and I had to pretty much carry her out of there but not before Nana bought everyone a treat. 
We tried to get a pic of all of the kiddos, but it was a long day...

I am so grateful to my Mom, Benita, and Jolynne for watching my kids while I went on to Hawaii!!  They took them to bounce houses, candy stores, movies and more.  Thank you, Thank you!

I heard McCoy got lost for a moment.  Why does this surprise me?!  He needs some kind a of leash.  I lose this kid more times than I can count!!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Girls Camp 2013

We seriously had so much fun at this year's girls camp!! Our theme was "Brave". Our song was Strong and Courageous by Jenny Phillips. It was completely perfect. One part of the song says, "We will not be afraid. To walk in the Saviors way..." and I have thought about that every day since camp. Our youth are amazingly strong and brave and I am so proud of them!! Trisha had us all make these bows and arrows. It was a super cute idea and you better believe that they could shoot! We went on a hike and "shot" at targets of the good choices that we make in life. I was so lucky that Jeremy could come down and spend girls camp with me.  He helped so much.  But I couldn't have done it without Candice taking good care of my kids and helping me get the cabin ready for all my girls.  Thank you so so much!

We spent quite a bit of time down at the lake.  Some fished, sunbathed, and the brave jumped in the cold water! 

Our Friday night devotional we blindfolded the girls and brought them up the hill from the cabin.  It was silent.  We hung rope in an obstacle course and the girls were told to "hold to the rod" no matter what.  Along they way they received encouragement from the Holy Ghost reminding them to hold on tight.  During a hard part in the course, Satan aka Jeremy tried to convince the girls that if they let go for a moment and then grabbed back on it would be easier.  Many girls thought about it and then decided not to and held the rope even tighter.  It was a hard course, just like life.  Even at the end when we told them to let go some wouldn't.  Love these girls! 

Movie night!  We hung a sheet and watched the movie Brave with a ton of popcorn and chips and salsa.  Seriously we had a TON of food!  I kinda like it! 
There may or may not have been some mis-haps during camp days.  Many tricks have been played and their have been many late late nights with tons of laughter.

Our volunteer work was to go clear out a water culvert that got flooded last fall.  There was all kinds of heavy garbage that was covered in mud.  The girls worked HARD to clear it.  It was awesome.
Of course, you can't forget the craft necklaces.  It's amazing how one craft can turn out in hundreds of different ways depending on which girl is painting them!

Many girls couldn't make it but we sure missed them and had so much fun.
Mia Maids