Everett’s First Day of Kindergarten




DSC_8548The kids went back to school on a Wednesday, but Ejo, as a kindergartner, didn’t start until the next Monday. DSC_8521

It was very exciting.

DSC_8512Olivia got up first thing in the morning and made him some muffins for breakfast. What a wonderful and thoughtful girl! DSC_8503

Everett was so excited to start school. He had laid out his clothes the night before, carefully choosing from some of his new things just which outfit he wanted to wear.

DSC_8538I was so excited for this guy to have this adventure. I know he’ll do great at school! But I’m going to miss having him home with me each day. And Andrew is going to miss him terribly. We love you Everett! DSC_8517

Joy in the Journey




joyinthejourneyAs I prepared for our back-to-school dinner, the theme that came to me was “Joy in the Journey.” I think it was an EFY theme one year, but as I researched it, I didn’t find anything about EFY, but instead this talk. It was PERFECT, perfect for us. Most especially perfect for Wyatt and I who have been feeling a little thin on our capacities (can you say, overloaded?)


And I made a bouquet with cosmos and zinnias from the garden.

So I set about preparing for our dinner. I was going to make a design-y picture of our theme this year instead of a painting because my paintings are, let’s be honest, a little girly. And I’m raising one beautiful daughter, and four rough-and-tumble boys. I thought we could skew things a little boyish this year. But I couldn’t get a design that was really working for me. Then I took this cool picture of Everett on our hike to the lake, and wa-la, I knew it would be perfect for our theme and dinner. DSC_8371I made the crowns out of posterboard and wheat-grass that I cut from the canal behind my house and hot-glued on and then spray-painted and glued a gold ribbon around. Simple, easy. DSC_8379I kept dinner simple. Chicken, garden veggies, roasted potatoes, and lemonade. I made a bouquet with Cosmos from the garden. We had dinner, Dad and I talked about what it meant to have Joy in the Journey, and Wyatt gave the children very special father’s blessings for back to school. DSC_8387

It was a very nice evening!

“Back to School Dinners” of the Past: 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010

Happy Birthday Andrew!




IMG_0184We started Roo’s birthday at the cabin with presents and a big breakfast. For his birthday we got him a coon skin cap, a flash light, swedish fish (red fish, he calls them) and sugar babies (Everett bought him the sugar babies with his own money), and a Slip-n-slide.  Later we came home and played and made a cake and spent the day relaxing. That evening the Engh kids came over and we had a movie on the trampoline with cake and ice cream. Such a fun day! IMG_0158



Happy birthday to my lovely, sweet, happy, energetic, determined, helpful, kind four-year-old boy.

I love you soooooooo much, it makes my heart turn to mush!

Fun things about Andrew this past year:

He learned how to use the potty all by himself. What a big boy!

He is kind.

He loves to sing (while I was taking all these pictures he was serenading me with “Jingle Bells”)

He is a very easy going, happy go lucky soul.

At the same time he has a sense of self determination that he does not like others to impose on.

He is my very happy boy!







The Last Two Weeks of Summer




Our first evening up there we hiked to the lake right after a thunderstorm passed by. It made for a golden summery evening.


Olivia took this selfie with Nato-potato at 7 Peaks.

After our crazy busy birthday/baptism/wedding/party/birthday week, we took a bit of a low key week – played with friends, went to the pool . . .  actually, we went to Seven Peaks one day, which was very brave of me (five kids and one mamma at a swim park all day, ai ai ai!), did a few portrait sessions for various friends and neighbors, and just staying home. We just relaxed.


Olivia’s best buddy, Kennedy, who lives up the street, is moving at the end of the summer. She and Olivia have been playing as much as they can! (Snow cones from the tiki shack).

On Saturday we were at the cabin and went to visit our friends, the Andereggs, who were spending the entire week at their cabin just across the canyon. And it was like a light bulb went off in my head. I could do that too! So the following Monday I did a few necessary chores, and then we packed up and went to the cabin with plans to spend the week. It was sooooooo much fun! Wyatt had YW camp for our ward (priesthood leader/bishopric representative) so he didn’t make it up until Wednesday. But we had a great time

  • hiking to the lake a few times
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    Rainbow at the lake after a summer storm.

  • painting
  • reading (I finished Go Set A Watchman, and I LOVED it, I’m dying for someone to talk to about it!)
  • building a stream and dam with the pump water outside
  • trying to catch baby bunnies (there’s a bunny nest under our shed)
  • going on a drive-about to see what there is to see in the Kamas Valley
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    One thing we did was go on an explore of the Kamas Valley. We found Woodland, and this pretty view tucked up in the opposite corner from Oakley.


    I found these beautiful Holyhocks growing up against a barn on the side of the road in Oakley. When I stopped for a picture, the owner came out and told me all about his flowers and even let me pick raspberries fresh off his bushes!

  • going to the cheese factory for fudge and cheese
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    Fudge and cheese from the cheese factory. YUM!

  • going to visit and play with the Fergs one afternoon
  • going over to the Anderegg cabin to play
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    We went to play at the Anderegg cabin.

  • inviting their kids over to play at ours
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    And they came to play at ours.

  • watching movies (including “The Happiest Millionaire, my kids LOVED it!)
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  • cozying up inside and listening to passing thunderstorms
  • swimming in the river
  • catching frogs and tadpoles and even baby fish with our bare hands
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    And the kids got as dirty as they possibly could!


    Seriously! But it’s all good, we had hot showers and baths every night! Thanks Wyatt for the modern convenience!

  • going on lazy walks
  • eating delicious food
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  • having a barbeque with Beth and Alex and the Fergs
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  • and basically not having any agenda but what suited us in the moment.


It was a great finale to our summer.

Hurray for Summer!

Oh, Zion!




In celebration of Calvin and Nate’s birthday’s we decided to head downtown for some fun family activities.

First on our list was Hike Ensign Peak. It’s been on our Summer Activities list all summer, and we figured it would be an easy climb for our kids who are used to hiking.

But we also recognized that it was July 31st in Utah . . . um, HOT! So we figured we’d better be on the mountain by 10 am. When we got on the trail a little after noon . . . well, we were in for it.


For the most part, the kids did great; and we did make it to the top, telling Pioneer stories and church history all along the way. But we did have to stop every chance we could to sit in the shade. Even the kids were a little whiny (and they are less prone to whine than their parents (it’s true) in physically uncomfortable conditions).


The best moment on the whole hike was when Wyatt tried to encourage the kids: “It’s like I always say . . . a little heat never hurt anyone!” I laughed and laughed and laughed!

But we made it to the top. Hoo-ray for us! We looked over the valley, talked about Brigham Young, tried to imagine what the saints went through in coming to the valley, and even sang “High On A Mountain Top.” After about four minutes, we high-tailed it back down the mountain to go find some air-conditioning!

Next stop, the Family Search Center in the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Calvin has been touched by the spirit of Elijah, and is all sorts of into family history. He’s working on memorizing his entire lineage back to Adam. (Don’t believe me, just ask him, he’ll recite five or six generations for you, dates and all!) IMG_0004So we thought he would enjoy seeing the neat activities they had down there. Unfortunately we didn’t think to  call ahead and make an appointment, and the place was swamped with Youth Groups, so we didn’t get to see or do the extra cool stuff. But still, a missionary sat down with Calvin and registered him for his very own Family Search account, which he was more than thrilled over. And we were able to play in some of the fun areas they have set up for kids. YourPhoto

It was a very fun Birthday Family Activity!

Nathaniel Grey’s First Birthday!





Nate celebrated his first birthday on the same day Calvin was baptized. After the baptism we came home and had a fun family party for him. I don’t think he understood quite what all the fuss was about, but he was happy to be the center of attention.

Some things about Nate at his first birthday:

He gives sweet open-mouthed kisses when ever he feels so inclined.

He can war-cry like an Indian, placing his hand over his mouth and batting it to create a volume discrepancy as he sings.

He yells at people. If he wants your attention, he doesn’t cry, he doesn’t fuss. He yells. Quite forcefully. We moved Nate into Everett’s bedroom at the beginning of the summer, and many a morning we have been awakened by Nate yelling at Everett to wake him up.


He is a super chill, smiley boy. Kellie has nick-named him “Smiley Shark” because all he ever does is smile. Even when he’s hungry, even when he’s tired, he doesn’t fuss too much. He just smiles on . . .

Some of his other nick names include: Nate the Great, Nate-o-potato, Shark-nato, Tor-nato, and Nate-o-tomato. He rarely goes by plain Nate, and even more rarely Nathaniel.

But I HATE it when people call him Nathan. Which they do . . . a lot. But to me it’s a completely different name. It’s like Carrie and Karen . . . yeah, they’re similar, but they’re different names. Grrrr.