Friday, February 19, 2016

Canning with Grandma Ivie

 It has become a bit of a tradition to head north to Grandma's house in September with 3 boxes full of Utah peaches.  I think we've done it twice now, so that counts as a tradition, right?

 We rolled up our sleeves, donned our aprons, and got to peelin'!  I know three boxes doesn't sound like a lot, but it TOTALLY is!  We canned over 80 jars of peaches!

 Even the younger generation got in on the fun!  When it comes to canning, Grandma Ivie is the pro.  When she was a teenager, she won a national canning competition!

 Once we finished up all the fruit, we took a little walk to the river and dipped our feet.  This beautiful scenery is just a five-minute walk from Grandma's backdoor.  I think Kolby wished he brought his fishing gear!

 The kids enjoyed skipping rocks.  I just love this profile picture of Winnie.  Her nose is the cutest!

School is in Session!

 Here they are - my third and sixth grader!  I did not give them permission to keep getting older and bigger, but they did it just the same.  Winn immediately LOVED her new teacher, Mrs. Simpson.  Grade 3 is going to be awesome!

 I really had a hard time dropping this midget off at MIDDLE SCHOOL!  I had to make a quick run into the school with her on the second day to move her from beginning to all-star, amazing orchestra (since that's what kind of a violin player she is) and was met with a hallway filled with profanity, a large pack of 6-foot-tall boys blocking the lockers, and a girl showing her friend pictures of her boyfriend in the navy.  I did all I could to hide my disgust, fear and the mommy emotion that was quickly making it's way to the surface, but I only made it as far as the front door before I started to bawl.  It's a good thing Junie is one tough cookie and can handle the cesspool we call middle school.  I remind myself every day that she picks good friends, she's responsible, and she continually makes good choices - like staying far away from those navy boys!
I take consolation in the fact that I've still got one more year with this dude all to myself.  Just three golfing buddies out enjoying the last few rays of summer sunshine!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Final Day of Summer :(

 Before we knew it, summer was over and we were heading back to school.  We made the most out of our last day and headed out on an adventure to the Shoshone Ice Caves.  Here we are standing in front of the entrance of the WRONG ice caves which are located 6 miles north of the ones we were trying to find.

 Here we are heading into the RIGHT ice caves - the ones I visited when I was in elementary school.  I only remember buying an Indian doll in the gift shop, but I was certain these guys would enjoy the trip!

 The caves were created by volcanic activity creating air pockets thousands of years ago.  Can you tell that's volcanic rock behind June?

 These particular caves were discovered by a man in the 1800's who began harvesting ice from them to sell and use for refrigeration.  See, we paid attention to the tour guide!

 I do remember the cave having a lot more ice inside when I was in elementary school.  The guide says the ice quality/amount depends on the year you visit.  In recent years, it hasn't been as icy.  That was a bit of a bummer.

 And now to the fun part!  The gift shop!  We bought some polished rocks!

 Here's how you know you are at the RIGHT ice caves!  The giant dinosaur!

 Every ice cave needs an elephant, right?

 And a turtle?

 Here's my fourth child having his turn on the dino.

 On our way home, we had a nice little visit with Nana and Grampy.  It was Gramp's birthday the following week so we wanted to take him out to a nice lunch to celebrate!

It was a great day trip!  We almost forgot about school starting in the morning!

Anatomy Lessons with Klive Johnson

To preface this story, I should mention that I have NOT gone to the bathroom by myself for the last 14 years.  Yes, that includes my pre-children years with Kolby.  He has no shame, and apparently I possess no door-locking skills.  So one afternoon, I was sitting on the toilet, minding my own business, and in walks this guy - you know just to chat.  We enjoyed a bathroom visit for 5 or 6 minutes and then he hopped up, ran out and yelled, "Don't forget to wipe your neener!"  I yelled back, "Girls don't have neeners, Klive," to which he came sprinting into the bathroom proclaiming, "I know mom, boys have a neener, girls have a nooner-catoodie."  So there you go - a couple new names for your downstairs business.  You're welcome.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Cousin Camp: The Grand Finale!

 Warning:  Picture overload in this post!

 Carnival time!  Yaya, Misty and I set up the party all day while Kolby entertained the kids at Grandma Sara's house (which means he went into a heat coma on the couch and the kids ran wild in the back yard).  As soon as everyone got home from work, we headed to the carnival!

 Yaya sold tickets.

 The games awaited them!  See - I told you I would use my new PVC pipe tents for EVERY party!

We had it all - duck pond, ring toss, ball toss,

Spin a prize, cans to knock down, disks to drop,

 even ping-pong fish bowls!

Carnies Cole and Misty ran the tables - just to keep things honest!

They played, and played, and earned those prize tickets!
 Everyone had a job:  Kolby tied balloon animals and Rylee was the fortune teller.

Yaya was our tattoo artist!

Sweet tats, Winnie!

I painted faces.  Rylee and Andrew went for the "dreamer" theme which turned out beautifully, if I do say so myself!

We've got the best Yaya!  She bought this giant water slide just for the party!  The kids were in heaven!

The bopper tubes were fun, but . . .

 The biggest hit of the party was definitely the dunking booth!

This thing was amazing!  You attach a hose to it so it's easy peasy to fill it up after it dumps!

Uncle Cole could dish it out, but could he take it?  Dead-eye Misty doused him!

We ran some intense relay races - sisterly rivalry at its best!

We even had a cheering section!

Grandma's been awfully sick this year, so we were glad she made it over to enjoy all the fun!

When we weren't playing, we were eating!

What's a carnival without hot dogs, corn on the cob, snow cones, and caramel-coated, deep-fried, sugar spun snacks?

 Plus, we needed all the sugar to keep up our energy for all the races and games!

Here's our version of a photo booth!

Say arrrrgh!

It's tough being the little guy!

Two lippy ladies and a state trooper?

 A bunch of wild hooligans!

 When all was said and done, the kids got to redeem their tickets at the prize station.

Thank you Dollar Store!

 Caulder went for the bling.  Klive, on the other hand, chose the practical can of tuna in the bottom of the basket meant to keep the prize baskets from blowing away.  To each his own, I guess!

 Since it was a birthday party, we had to have cupcakes and sing!

 That's a lot of years when you put them all together!

 Happy birthday you crazy bunch of kids!  The bond is tight with these guys - I couldn't have thrown a ginormous birthday bash for a better bunch of kids!

 And these two started it all!

 What?  You thought we were done?  Nope!  After an epic sleep-over (if you could call what happened sleeping) Yaya hosted a Mickey waffle breakfast before we headed back to Idaho.


 I'll leave out the part about the serious sugar crash that followed.  True to cousin form, the kids slept all the way home, and I'm pretty sure someone got sick from having just too much fun.  But it was totally worth it!  It always is!