Sunday, August 28, 2011

July 2011

Phew! July was a super-busy but fun month. Lots of pictures here!

I've wanted hollyhocks at this house since we bought it. I've tried planting them a few times, with no results. Last fall, this plant just popped up next to the sidewalk in our yard. I was so excited to have hollyhocks this summer! I plan on gathering the seeds (something I should go do right now!) and planting them for next year.

Joshua has spent so much of his time outside this summer. Often coming back in muddy, wet, or half naked!

The first weekend in July we headed toward Ely to go camping. Kannon grew up camping in that area and when he made a list of his top 10 camping sites, more than half were near Ely, NV. So, we figured we'd better make the most of one of our free summer weekends and go camping there. We left right after work and made it to Ely about 8 pm. By the time we got to where we had planned on camping, Camp Success, it was dark. By the light of the headlights we discovered that Camp Success is a by-reservation-only campground and it was inaccessible. We had driven over rocky, twisty roads, in the dark to get here. The kids were nervous and we were stressed. We decided to keep going on this dirt road to the next campground. By the time we got there the kids were all asleep and it was about 10 pm. We found an empty spot and quickly set up our tent and beds and ate a bit of taco salad I had brought for our dinner. We were right next to a creek. It was fun to hear it running all night. This was Timber Creek campground. We will definitely keep it on our list of favorites. It was cool, but not cold. Quiet and beautiful. We were close to the outhouse and had running water, too. We spent the next day (Saturday) hiking up the mountain, playing in the trickle pool, napping and exploring.

Ready to hike - Ben is awfully good at finding a walking stick everywhere we go.
Taking a break.

Sarah had injured her ankle and foot earlier in the week. I still don't know what she did, but she'd been walking on her toes and when we started hiking it started hurting. So, here is Daddy wrapping her ankle. Mom's feet had been pretty sore lately, too, so we didn't hike as much as the boys wanted to.

I love the look of joy on Joshua's face!

We headed off the beaten path a few times and, because the snow was still melting on the mountain, we had a few streams to try and cross. We got to place where we couldn't get past the water anymore and we turned back.

Joshua fell asleep on his Daddy's lap in the afternoon. He wouldn't lay down with me in the tent. We ended up propping Kannon's arm up with a pillow. It was a normal 2-hour nap!

We warmed our camp showers on the cement all day and gave the kids showers before it got too dark and cool. We saved some water for us to use when it got a bit darker out. By the time we took our showers the water was still fairly warm, but there was a cool breeze. Still, it felt good to be clean.

We had a good fire. Whoever had been at the campsite before us, had left a lot of wood. We roasted hot dogs over the fire and later we did s'mores. Sarah fell sleep in her chair. The boys had a good time with their glow sticks, until Joshua started getting too violent and hitting everyone. Then it was off to bed.

On Sunday, we packed up and left to attend church in McGill. Then we had lunch with Kannon's extended family. Aunt Karen and her family were at their Ely house for the weekend. Kannon's parents and sister were also there. We went over to see Grandpa Polish, too.

We always struggle a bit at his house. The kids are so busy and his house isn't exactly child-proof. But, we had a nice visit despite the chasings.
We stayed at aunt Karen's that night. They had a houseful, but were kind enough to let us camp in the living room. Once the kids were in bed, we sat out on the front porch and visited, playing with the people on the streets and Kannon's laser lights.

On Monday, after a fantastic breakfast, Kannon and I went to a local store where all their Sketchers were on sale. 75% off. We stocked up on shoes for the kids for a few years to come. We got back just in time to meet the family at the parade. And also just in time for a downpour. The rain came down for a good long time. We had just an umbrella or two between us. My back got soaked trying to keep everyone dry under this one umbrella. (After our 5-hour trip home I was still a bit damp.)

Uncle Nick, Kannon, and cousin Matthew. A lot of people left, but we stayed. It looked like it was about over, but just kept going. It was as if the cloud was going around in a circle. We could see the blue sky so close. It was cold and wet. It even hailed on us for a bit. Finally it stopped and we enjoyed a really great parade.

On our way out of town, to go home, we stopped at the Garnet Hill. A place where anyone can come and look for garnets. We thought we would be more likely to find them after the hard rain, but it hadn't poured out there, yet. Still, we found quite a few rocks containing garnets. That's my birthstone and I'd love to find a way to make one of our findings into a jewelry piece someday.

About half way home we stopped for a little movement. There was a small rest stop and campground with a small hikes to see the petroglyphs. It was a good break from our long drive. And Kannon found a squirrel living in the bathroom! Just something random.

We got back to Fallon just in time for the fireworks. We watched from the Numa Elementary parking lot. With blankets on the grass, good friends around us and free root beer floats from some really nice people, we ended our 4th of July Weekend.

This month Ben discovered the show iCarly. He enjoys watching it on netflix. Then came the day that he discovered he owned the same shirt that Freddy wore on the show when he had a double. So, we had to take this picture!

In the middle of July we met with the rest of the Polish family at Lagoon, in Utah, for a family reunion. We had a very enjoyable day there. Lots of riding and playing and eating!

Joshua and Dristen

Gaby and Sarah

On the train.

Kannon and I weren't as brave as we once were. I took Joshua and Gaby on the sky tram and really struggled with it. It used to be my favorite ride. I was so worried the whole time. I wonder if that had anything to do with the fact that I had Joshua with me. I felt like he was just going to slip right out and fall to his death. Scary. Kannon took the kids on the Rattlesnake Rapids and all but Sarah went on the Ferris Wheel. Kannon even got to do the giant swing thing with his brothers. He was so nervous, but ended up loving it. He's trying to get me to say I'll do it next time, but that is so not me!

The next weekend was Cub Scout day camp. I had had a horrible time getting all the forms together to be turned in on time. Somehow I didn't get the information until it was almost too late. But, we had a great time and as far as I know, everyone came that wanted to. It was a hot day and we spent a good chunk of it outside. I was exhausted by the end of it and will definitely be more prepared for the next time.

Ben, loading his bb gun.

Building teepees.

We had a family competition night. It was just a fun deal. This is the football kick.

And relaying balls from one bucket to the other.

Can you see the look of joy and excitement on his face?!

We spent the last weekend in July, again, in Utah. We had the opportunity to attend a mission reunion there. It was fun to see so many of the old missionaries and especially our mission president and his wife. Ben stayed in Elko to attend his cousin Mikale's baptism. But, Sarah and Joshua had a fabulous time playing in President Engebretsen's yard. There was even a giant blow-up slide. But, it was another really hot July day and we tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.

Most of the sisters are now married, but I don't know them by their married names. So, here are

Julianna Strunk, me, and Jennifer Hardman. I never served with the other sister and can't remember her name. Can anyone help me out? Sister Munns?

Jenna Werbelow and me

There were so many more missionaries I wish we could have seen. It's been 12 and a half years since I came home from my mission. That's plenty of time to make a busy life for each of us. Of course not everyone can come to an event like this. But, I was hoping. At least I have facebook to keep me in touch with so many of my missionary friends. We'll have to catch up at the next reunion! And see YOU soon for an August update!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our summer birthdays!

Sarah turns 5. I love how she used her hands on her cheeks to help her blow out the candles. All 5 of them. Just wait until there are 10!

This year I finally realized how close together my kids birthdays are. I know they aren't as close as same day or only days apart, but 2 weeks is still pretty close when there are only 5 birthdays in the family. We celebrated Sarah's birthday at teh end of June. A big 5-year-old girl. I can tell she's my middle child. She goes back and forth from acting like a baby, to trying to be all grown up. I love that she loves to wear dresses or skirts everyday and that pink is her favorite color. She plays well alone but also enjoys playing with either or both of her brothers. She's still a sensitive child, letting us know, with tears in her eyes, when we've hurt her feelings.

She had a great birthday. They sang to her at church. Grammy and Papa came over to celebrate. She got lots of fun presents. I made her a cake, a unicorn cake. Well, I did my best anyway. It was a pony cake but she wanted a unicorn. A few days ago she let me know that I put its' horn in the wrong spot. No wonder it looked so goofy!

She's right, this looks more like a Rhino. It's supposed to go up by the ears. Whoops!
I got the plan from a Family Fun magazine awhile back. I'm pretty sure you can still find it on the web site.

Joshua turned 2 at the beginning of July. 2 already? Yep, 2-years-old. He's been quite the handful. Unless we are at home I'm chasing him around. And even at home we've had a few scares and more than our share of messes.

Joshua got a little basketball hoop. He loves balls and loves playing with them. Ball is one of his favorite words. He has only a small repertoire of words. Mommy, Daddy -he's been calling me this lately, ball, blue, side -which can be either outside or slide, Darah (for Sarah). Yeah that's about it.

I was debating between a monkey or Blue for his cake. Blue is what Sarah really wanted and Joshua was totally on board with it, too.

Joshua really likes it when we sing. As a family we sing some of his favorite primary songs most nights. Book of Mormon Stories is his favorite. Obviously he doesn't sing, but is really good at the hand movements.
He got a kick out of us singing to him for his birthday. And did a perfect job of blowing out his candles.

Happy birthday to both of my babies! I love them both so much!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

June 2011

For the summer, I signed up for free bowling for our kids. The alley in Fernley offered it and I thought that would be a great idea for us to do this summer. I also bought the adult family pass for $25. We went one time and paid an extra $8 for shoes. So, for our one trip to the alley we spent $33 plus gas. Pathetic, huh? Unless the Fallon bowling alley offers it, we won't do it again. Our summer was just too busy this time around to make a trip to Fernley more often.

These pictures were taken on my cell phone. Not the best, but they'll do.

Sarah bowling!!

We took a special anniversary trip to Salt Lake City. 10 Years!! Woo hoo!
I wanted to stop at the Lake. I'd never done that and thought it might be nice to actually go to Salt Lake when visiting Salt Lake City. Meh. It was just okay. There were dead birds all over the beach. So, we didn't stay long.

Our first stop in Utah was to the Shane Company - to have our rings cleaned and sized. We decided to go one better, and bought me a 10 year anniversary band. That's what we'd planned from the day we bought my engagement ring. I didn't think it would actually happen. We traded in my gold wedding band for a white gold one and bought the matching band for the other side of my set. I'm so in love with my ring now. And it fits. I kept saying I was going to lose weight and be able to wear it again. But, I love that I can wear it every day now. It makes me feel important.

We stayed our first night at the Anniversary Inn. In the same room we occupied the day we got married. It was fun to reminisce. We did have a funny little fiasco there. We wanted to use the jetted tub. We didn't use it the first time we stayed there. Well, Kannon, being the pipe man that he is, knew that the water in a jetted tub stays in the pipes. So, he wanted to clean out the pipes from the last use. What he didn't know was that if you didn't have water over the jets, the water would shoot out and all over the place! We had a bit of a mess since we also couldn't get it to shut off! We used most of the towels cleaning the floors and walls. Yeah. Embarrassing. But, shhhh, you're the only ones that know!

We were in that little corner window and the row of 5 windows at the top left. When we first stayed there, my family had been driving behind us and Kannon was really worried that they were going to come decorate our car in the night. He kept checking out of that little window. I think we might have both been a little disappointed when they didn't.

The next day we went did an endowment session at the Salt Lake Temple, where we were married 10 years ago. That was really special. I kind of wish we'd added in a sealing session, too. We walked around temple square a bit and stopped in at the new church Library. That was fun to find books, biographies and such, about our own ancestors.

We got to eat at Tucano's - a Brazilian grill. And, oh my, was it delicious. It made me wish I had a bigger stomach! (You know, not fatter, just able to hold more delicious food!)

We stayed in a king suite at some hotel. Honestly I wasn't very impressed. The pool was under renovation, so that was disappointing. I wanted to go play mini-golf, but the place had just closed. So, we watched some TV and went to bed. (I should mention that we were having a good time shopping - I think we'd been to two different malls and a handful of other stores by this point.)

We spent our next day traversing our old haunts. We stopped at my "Anne-of-Green-Gables" bridge, where Kannon proposed for the 3rd time. And where I finally said, "yes!" We walked the mall and stopped on University Avenue to buy our sno-cones. There's this little shop by the Scera Theater that makes the best ones. We don't have sno-cone places like that in this part of Nevada (Vegas might).

Then we went to my stay the night with my sister, Janet, and her hubby, Levi. We went to a mall, again. We got some incredible frozen yogurt and bought Kannon a hat. We stopped at the store for chips and s'more stuff and sat around a fire at their house. We enjoyed staying with them, without kids. I have to say that was one of my favorite parts about our vacation. We didn't have children with us!

When we dropped them off that first day at my sister-in-laws house, I felt a physical relief. I instantly felt lighter. And when we headed back to pick them up I felt the physical weight of responsibility. We were all excited to see each other, and I love my children dearly, but there was a kind of vacation withdrawal that happened for a while when we got back.

But, it was a good time. I kind of hope it's not a whole 10 years before we do that again.

Toward the end of the month, the kids got to go on a Grandma Vacation. Grandma Polish came down from Elko with 5 of the kids' cousins. She took them in groups. The 4 oldest kids went to Virginia City the first day. The second day she took the 3 younger kids. They had so much fun with her and the cousins. We ended the trip with a visit to Lake Lahontan. It was our first time out this summer. It was so FULL! I haven't seen it like that since I was a young girl.

We played in the windy water and ate some goodies.

This is Quade -5, Sarah -5, and Kate -10.

The boys! Stetson -7, Ben -8, Mikale -8

My mother-in-law had to head home through Fernley. There had been a big train accident on the other road to I-80. A semi didn't stop at the train crossing and plowed right into the passenger train. There were some deaths and they didn't know what had happened with the driver (he was one of the deaths.) Guess I should follow-up on that story and see if they've ever reported anything more about it.

Let the summer start!!!

The day after school let out we headed to the mountains. We hadn't had a chance to go sledding in the winter, so we decided to take advantage of the late spring and try to find some snow. It wasn't very hard.

We started with a stop at the mall. We needed to buy Kannon some new church pants. It was Saturday and he realized he'd left his church clothes in Elko the week before. Luckily I had some shirts I could return to JCPenney and so we got the new pants (2 pairs) for free!! (I know that's not the kind of 'free' some people are able to do, but we were happy to not have to spend money that day.)

We drove up to my sister Susan's new apartment in Incline Village. It started sprinkling snow on us up there. We checked out their new place and made a lunch. Then we went back to the sledding hill. It was snowing on us the whole time. We had a ton of fun. Lots of climbing, screaming and getting wet. Kannon and I really need to invest in our own snow pants.

This is Ben, in the orange coat. Remember my camera was still broken here. So, I couldn't see what the pictures looked like.

That strip of gray is a road. You can see the cars there. I was so scared I was going to sled off the edge and onto the road. But, the tube always stopped before the edge. Phew!

Sarah making a snow angel. (Later in the summer she made a sand angel, too!)

Joshua waiting for someone to haul him up the hill.

We always seem to meet interesting people when we go sledding. This time we loaned a sled to a family who were seeing snow for the first time. Their little girl cried on the way down.