Sunday, January 26, 2014

Fun Times

Eva was excited to have Abi all to herself for nearly 2 weeks while Tal and Leah were in school.  Eva was convinced that Abi was her playmate.
Eva's favorite activity was "scootering" back and forth down the sidewalk between our driveway and the neighbors.  "Yay" and "Crash" were her favorite words.
After I got my downstairs updated with new pillows and slipcovers it became the little girls favorite snuggling spot.  I call them my Girly Birds when they wake up happy and cuddly with tousled heads of curls in the morning.  They like to "watch shows" while I make breakfast in the morning.
Abi treated the Leah and Eva to a spa day of pedicures.  Eva convinced that she had to paint her own nails.
 September 2013
We worked hard and it became a family affair so that Tal could earn his Webelo badge.  We camped and hiked as a family, learning about fires, knots and nature.  We held family home evenings on take care of the flag, first aid, fire safety and more.  We are so proud of him.
October 23, 2013

School Daze

Tal and Leah started early at their charter school this year on August 21st.  Tal was so excited to go back and see all of his friends.
Leah was excited and a wee bit nervous to start Kindergarten.  She loved picking out this cool owl backpack at the Farmer's Market.
I got a little teary as we dropped Leah of in her new classroom with Mrs Kunde.  Leah said, "Don't cry mom, I will come back."  After school I picked Tal and Leah up at the bus stop and took them to Arctic Cirle for ice cream. The next day Leah wanted to go again for ice cream, but no, just on our special first day.
August 21, 2013
Abi started middle school this year after Labor Day.  She was excited to pick out decorations for her locker and especially to buy new clothes for school.  She was a little nervous about switching classes and moving between buildings but at registration we found the classrooms and met several teachers which allayed some fears.  She was really excited to continue with cello in the orchestra and to now have it in school instead of after school.  She also started the Big History class and is taking Spanish and Cooking as her other electives.  Thankfully she was not too big and still let Kris take her to school on the first day.  After school I got to take just her out for ice cream as well.  Have a great year.
September 3, 2013

Last Blast of Summer

Tal and Leah started school on August 21st while Abi didn't start until September 3rd.  So to mark our last blast of summer we drove up to Rexburg Rapids for a day of water fun in the sun.  Abi brought her friend Aubrey and Walker came to play as well.  Aunt Lisa, drove up when she got off work early and we made a fun day of it.
Eva and I stayed over in the kiddie area most of the time.  She didn't really like to get splashed by the fountains but would run around in the shallow water by me.
Another favorite spot was hanging onto the stair railing.  Such as little bathing cutie.
Leah monopolized Aunt Lisa in the lazy river.  Sometimes they would float on the tubes but often Leah just liked bobbing along in the life jacket.
Abi and Aubrey were off on their own in the deeper pool, lazy river and slides.  I'm pretty sure they had a great time.
Tal and Walker also enjoyed bobbing along the lazy river and going down the water slides.
Tal also tried the rock wall and was so proud when he made it to the top.
I love this picture of Leah, who passed out on the way home.  I think after a long day of swimming and playing we all felt a little like this.  Happy Summer!
August 20, 2013

Island Park/ Fife Reunion 2013

Our Fife reunion always falls close to my birthday in August.  It is so fun to celebrate with my family.  Mom saves her last raspberry picking to make raspberry cheesecake for my birthday every year, my favorite.  YUM!  We stayed at the Serenity Lodge again this year.  It was a great retreat and time to spend together.
Kalene and I are in charge of planning different activities for our weekend.  She helped the kids make these fun white hats that they personalized with glitter glue, paint, sequins, feathers and more.  The kids wore them all over but especially liked them on our hike.  We picnicked at Coffee Pot campground before setting out for Coffee Pot Falls.  Tal needed a 3 mile hike for his Webelos badge so we turned it into a family affair.  The trail wound gently along the edge of the river but Leah and Eva tired quickly and had to be piggy backed along.  So when we hit the 1.5 mile mark we turned around and headed back.  Mom and Dad set off on the forest road to view the falls in their Explorer but the deeply rutted road proved to much for our mini-van and the Meeks had to turn back.

A family favorite each reunion is our night of Minute to Win-It games.  This year we tried a couple of new ones.  This one, Elephant March, got everyone involved and proved quite laugh inducing.
Mom and Dad square off to knock the cups down.
Jared and Kris taking their whack at it.

Next up was "Sucking Face" where competitors used straws to suck up and deposit their beans into a smiley face shape.  We laugh and laugh at and with each other and have a great time.
The kids always clamour to get in the hot tub.  The little ones have to get out sporadically when their cheeks get to rosy.  Kris and I like to take our hot tub time at night when the air is cool and the stars are out.
Sunday morning we all spiffed up to go to church together.  The Island Park overflow meeting out of the A-Frame is always a different, but good, experience from our own home wards.
On the way home we stopped by Big Springs to see the big fish but they were hiding under the bridge.  After the kids poked their toes in the water we loaded up and headed for home.
Aug 15-18 2013

Tendoy 2013

Tendoy is a magical place for our family.  We look forward to our trip every year and talk about our memories of it often.  This year we decided to branch out a little and try out some new activities on our Tendoy trip to make it even more of a vacation.  

We borrowed and cobbled together a truck trailer, bikes and 4-wheelers to take up to Tendoy on our adventure.  Every other year we sped right on by Gilmore and Meadow Lake but this year we took the scenic detour.  Gilmore is a ghost town of an old mining town.  Kris remembers visiting with his uncle
Wynn and brother Eric when he was a teen.  Back then they walked in and around exploring the buildings.  But now they are all signed and fenced off, probably for our safety as most of them were crumbling away.  We drove through but didn't take any pictures.  Then we took the steep twisty road up to Meadow Lake for a picnic and a little fishing.
The lake is so high that when we stepped out of the pick-up the air felt cool but the blazing sun on our skin soon warmed us back up.  We made sure to slather on the sunscreen.  I was amazed at how clear the lake was.  You could see each rock and twig on the bottom as well as the little fish who lazily swam by our bait.  Leah and Eva loved cooling their toes in the cold water and casting their unbaited bobbers into the water.
Abi and Tal didn't fare any better with the fish.  The scene was so beautiful that we almost didn't care though.  Meadow Lake is crystal clear, ringed by rocky beaches on one half and towering mountain peaks on the other.  This is surely a place to visit again.  Our windy trip up became a tortuous crawl down as we were pulling a fully loaded trailer which threatened to push us down the mountain.  Thankfully Kris was driving and I only white-knuckled the dashboard.  As serendipity would have it, just as we pulled back onto the highway we passed Eric whose car had broken down and were able to give him a lift into camp.
On Thursday we decided to explore the town of Salmon, ID 30 minutes north of Tendoy and the seat of Lemhi County.  We browsed the Lemhi County Historical Museum fascinated by the odds and ends of frontier life, like the croquet ball sized ball of hair from the stomach of a cow, EW!.  Tal was really interested in the display about Chief Tendoy as he was Tal's Idaho Hero from the fourth grade.  We also saw beautiful relics from the Chinese emmigrants, clothing, gold fingernail covers, pianos and dishes.  Just across the road from the museum sits this community sculpture which we were excited to snap our picture in front of.  Notice our matching T-shirts.  We designed them ourselves with bleach pen.
After a nostalgic walk through the King's store, nostalgic for Sarah who used to shop there with "the ladies" while the men went riding, we had lunch at Savage Burger.  It is a fun little grease pit memoralizing Salmon High School Savages sports.  Burgers and fries hit the spot.
Then we were off to the Sacajawea Discovery Center.  Inside the Center the kids touched exhibits and animal skins that would have been common to the Lewis and Clark's Corps of Discovery.  We looked at maps tracing their path through Idaho, right along paths we love to ride.  And we watched a beautiful movie that brought the adventures of Sacajawea and the Corps to life.  Outside we hiked down the nature trail exploring the area as it would have looked when the Corps came through Idaho.
The kids especially loved the exhibits of tepees and different shelters the native people would have used.  (And we think our tent gets crowded.)
Outside we all pose in front of this beautiful sculpture of Sacajawea holding her babe.  What a strong and courageous woman she was.

  Copper Queen, an abandoned mine, is a favorite spot for a ride.  We missed the raspberries this year but instead took a short hike up to the top of the ridge.  What gorgeous country.
 One evening we tried our hand at fishing Hayden Ponds.  Bust!  But the little cousins had lots of fun throwing rocks into the culvert.  This mischievous face knows she was caught in the act.
 Sharkey Hot Springs is our favorite hangout after a long day of riding and playing.  The kids beg to go every night after dinner.  On our drive back to camp at twilight we often spot deer and their fawns drossing the road as they come down from the ridges to graze in the farmer's field.  Our favorite ride of the trip was an early evening ride as we circled around the back of Sharkey and took the wood road back to Agency Creek.  The air was crisp with scent of sage and the shrinking light cast a soft glow to the harsh landscape as herds of pronghorn wheeled across the ridges and valleys in front of us.
During the day little cousins laughed and played in the pool, the ditch, riding the little four-wheelers and chasing bugs.
One of my favorite spots to visit is the Sacajawea Memorial up Agency Creek Rd on the Continental Divide.  I love hiking through the cool shade of the trees to the little spring that supposedly is the headwaters of the Missouri.
It takes 2 4-wheelers to take our family for a ride.  We will put it on our wish list for one of these years.  Luckily we have family who nice enough to let us borrow.
At the end of the week we are all glad to have come and spent time together, but looking forward to long showers and clean beds.  Meek Family, Funk Family, and Hayes Family.  (Not pictured are Jeremy and Walker Meek, Eric Meek, and Brandi and Jeremy who had all left early.)
Our last ride of the trip we all loaded onto the big red 4-wheeler and rode up to Chief Tendoy's Gravesite.  Kris gave a little devotional and we took a moment to ponder our trip, memories and his life.  Until next year.
August 7-11, 2013

Friday, January 3, 2014

Girls Camp

Abi thoroughly enjoyed her first year of Girl's Camp.  Our ward, the Kearney 3rd ward, YW and Leaders departed bright and early Tuesday morning for a week of fun at Blacktail / Ririe Reservoir.  The girls camped in relative luxury, sleeping on cots, cooking on camp stoves, showering, and even getting to watch Johnny Lingo in Julie Perez's air-conditioned trailer.  Their theme was "An 8 Cow Woman" and had these fun hoodies made for them.  I helped out with their value hike presenting on setting goals, the cow who jumped over the moon.  Kris went up the afternoon of their shooting activity on Thursday to help out then camped over through testimony meeting Friday Night and taking down on Saturday.  She came back tired and a little stinky but with many fond memories of camp and the relationships she built with the YW and leaders.
Julie, Michelle, Caty, Maddie, Riley, ?, Autumn, LJ, Hali, Calli and Abi.
Showing off on their hike at Cress Creek.
July 2013

Horsey, Horsey on your way

 What's all the fuss about? At Kris's Civitan summer party out at Eve's place our kids had the great experience of riding her donkey.  My kids are real city slickers so this was quite the treat.  Just look at all of the smiles on the faces.

July 20, 2013