Imagine what you could do if you knew you could not fail.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Just For Fun

I was looking at some of my summer pictures and came across these beauties.

This is when we went up to Grandma Lynda's campsite for dinner. I love this picture because it has all of us in it and we all look decent. That's quite the requirement for a blog!

Jeremy's mom goes up the canyon quite often and everyone is always welcome to come up and spend the evening. We went up and roasted hot dogs, hung out around the fire, and later made smores. It's nice that our kids are getting a little older and can be more responsible around the fire pit (for the most part).

This was taken the next day. We were all playing outside and I sent Alexandra in to get some shoes. She found Samantha's boots. I guess if she is able to walk in them, then it works!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

They're All Out to Get You

This year has been the year of the wasp at our house. We have them swarming on everything! It's been very frustrating because they especially seem to love our back deck and the playset. Every time we go outside, there is always a wasp coming to check us out. I have had to keep the kids away from the playset for fear of them getting stung. Jeremy has sprayed all the hives he can find and has knocked them down, but they still are everywhere and seem to be constantly scoping for the next building spot.

I was outside in our front yard and noticed that the wasps are now swarming around our trees - the white birch and the maple. If any of you know a special trick that REALLY works to get rid of them, I'd love to hear it!

Well, all of this stupid swarming did actually claim a victim. Jeremy took Max out to go potty and he was sniffing around as usual. He got curious about something in the grass and then started whining after a minute. Jeremy brought him in and sure enough, he found a wasp and there was a little stinger hanging out of his lip! Jeremy removed the stinger while I held Max down. He was putting up quite a little fight. Once the stinger was out, Max just laid down and didn't want to move. I looked over and saw the damage. Notice the fat lip?

Here is a little better view. Sad as it was, it was kind of funny to watch Max because he just couldn't figure it out. He kept sticking out his tongue and licking his lips, then shaking his head.

I just hope he is the only victim and rest of us are spared. Dumb wasps.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

First Day of School

This year Athena is in 4th grade and Samantha is in 2nd grade. It's so crazy for me to see them growing up so quickly! As usual, they had their school clothes all picked out a week ago and have been so excited to put them on.

I always tell the girls they can't wear their new clothes until the very first day of school. They say their clothes are "locked". They are very excited to have their clothes "unlocked" now.

I curled both their hair special for their big day. Athena was saying to me this morning in a very grown-up voice, "I bet all the girls will have their hair curled today."

Here they are at the school ready to go in.

It's a little sad to have them back in school again. This summer went so fast, but I think it mostly went so fast because we were busy doing so many fun things. So, I guess it's a good thing that we had a lot of fun together. The structure of school will be nice too - I'll just miss having them around.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

What I've Been Doing

I haven't posted to my blog lately because I've been playing FarmVille on facebook. Thanks a lot, Cynthia, for getting me hooked!

I have also gotten back into indexing and I finally indexed another 150 names this past week. :)

We finally finished school shopping and I got the girls enough clothes to allow them to express their individual styles without spending an over-the-top amount. I'm just glad it's done because spending all that money REALLY stresses me out!

I've been canning the stuff from our garden. I have finished 14 jars of tomatoes and have another big bowlful to work on with plenty more tomatoes still ripening in the garden. We attempted to grow and bottle green beans this year, but all of our beans turned out gross. They were kind of hollow and tough. I think we picked them too late and also didn't have a very good variety. My mom and dad were kind enough to give us some beans from their garden to bottle this year. I don't even like green beans and claim to be allergic, but Athena and Jeremy both gobble them up.

Unfortunately this week hasn't been warm enough to go swimming, so we have been spending a lot of time at home finding other things too do (FarmVille). LOL I decided this last week of summer I would let the kids get in a lot of playtime. They have played outside a ton, played with friends, enjoyed the DS, and the playstation. I hope they have had a great kid summer and will be ready to go back to school.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Gummi Bears Work Wonders!

Tonight for family home evening, our lesson was about reverence. All 4 of my kids were reverent throughout the whole lesson! Even Nathan (4 yrs old) and Alexandra (2 years old)! That is a MIRACLE.

Why? Good old fashioned bribery - and it worked like a charm! At the beginning of my lesson, I asked them all to zip their mouths closed and fold their arms and I was going out of the room to get something they all want. None of them moved a muscle as I went to the kitchen, shuffled through the cupboard, and found some gummi bears.

For the rest of our lesson, the 3 older kids were quiet, respectful, listened, and even answered my questions by raise of hand. :) As they answered questions or were sitting nicely, I would throw out a gummi. Upon seeing this, the other kids were prompt to sit up or refold their arms. Awesome!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My New Job: Wedding Photographer

Before the ceremony got started, I took a few bridal shots.
What a perfect model, she looks so blissful!

On second thought, maybe she is having doubts after all.

Looks like we are going through with it. The wedding is about to begin.

Here is the wedding party.

Samantha had the privilege of helping them take their vows.

Then the pretend ring exchange.

You may kiss the bride!

. . . and off they go!
Athena and Samantha put together this wedding ceremony. They dressed the bride and groom in their best attire and then got themselves dressed to the hilt as well. I especially thought it was cute to watch Nathan. He was the first one they dressed and he was so proud to be wearing such a handsome suit. Then as they got Alexandra and themselves ready, he just patiently sat and waited the whole time - in his suit! He was actually excited to play this game and he just played along the whole time - happy to be the groom. Alexandra wasn't especially fond of her wedding dress, but she managed to make it all the way through the wedding before ripping it off.
Ahhhh . . . summer! Kids are forced to be creative with all their spare time and they actually find that it's a lot of fun. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Our Last Day Together

After going to the mountains for 2 days in a row, our Hungarian girls were really wanting to see the lake . . . as in, Utah lake. We told them it was gross and really wasn't worth seeing. Apparently they have a large, beautiful lake at home where everyone goes to swim and play. They really wanted to go to Utah lake anyway, so we packed up all our stuff and drove out there. Right away, they understood why we told them it wasn't worth visiting. The beach was really disgusting and the water was green and too shallow to swim.

We tried to make the best of it, so we unpacked our chairs and stayed for a little while. The kids didn't seem to mind the conditions and had fun playing in the water anyway.
This is our little area. We moved from the first area because there was a rotten watermelon sitting on the ground and a bunch of roofing pieces and nails scattered everywhere. So, this is the "better" spot.

Athena and Samantha gave us a good laugh. They took the noodles out into the water and sat on them. Then they would blow water out the ends. So all we could see is a little fountain of water and then a bunch of giggles - over and over.

We stayed at the lake for about an hour. I apologized to Bori and Aggie that the lake was so yucky and Bori said, "Well you did warn us!"

We thought it would be fun to have the girls cook for us and they were excited to do it, so on the way home we stopped at Walmart and got the ingredients they needed and they cooked up a quick Hungarian meal for us.

It was a tasty combination and really simple. They just cooked up some pasta and bacon. Then they made a sauce with cottage cheese, sour cream, and basil. They put the pasta in a casserole dish, poured the sauce on top, the bacon on the top of that, and cooked it for about 1/2 hour.

It was actually really good and the kids loved it! Bori said it was just a fast meal because normally they eat things that take quite a bit longer to put together. We really didn't have much time, but it was fun to let them make something for us. :)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sundance With Our New Friends

The day after Payson Lakes, we found ourselves in nature again - this time on a grander scale. Bori and Aggie wanted to meet up with some other dancers and go to Sundance, so we left early and went to meet their friends. We all drove up to Sundance and decided to ride the lift and then hike to Stewart Falls. The other host family didn't come with us, so it was just our little family and 7 of the dancers.

This is the back of Mt. Timponogos from the ski lift.Jeremy, Nathan, Alexandra, and I shared a lift chair. Nathan and Alex were so excited to be riding on the lift. They both held on the whole way and they kept just looking all around and giggling. Nathan got a real kick over the mountain bikers that were riding on the trails under the lift. He kept yelling out to them and laughing when they would go off jumps.

This is the view looking behind us.

Once we made it to the top, the views were spectacular! Turned out to be a perfect place for pictures.

This is the Hungarian group we went with. I didn't ever get the names of the men in the group! LOL! We just spent the day with them. The girls from L to R are Agnes, Bori, Katie, and Dalma.

I didn't know there were monkeys up here, but Jeremy found some and took a picture really quick.

Once all the pictures were done, we started our hike towards Stewart Falls. Jeremy and I have never hiked to the falls from this direction, so it was an adventure for all of us.

I had Alexandra on my back, and within about 10 minutes of hiking, I could feel a deadweight little blob on my back. Sure enough . . . she was fast asleep.

Check out how big this tree is! The girls had a little fun trying it on for size. I would have been up there, but Alexandra was still on my back.

And look at the size of that stump! Cute Nathan.

Once we stopped at the big tree, Alexandra woke up. Aggie offered to give me a break, so she took Alex and I took her bag. She carried Alex for quite awhile up on her shoulder. Jeremy asked her if Alex was getting too heavy for her and she replied,"Not at all! My costume is heavier than her."

Here we are bringing up the rear. Nathan discovered these giant dandelions on the hike and LOVED them. He was trying to collect them and kept getting behind.

Ahhhhh, sweet. I got this lovely flower from my sweetie and had to check out how I looked with the camera. What else do you do when you don't have a mirror?

Very pretty terrain. I wasn't sure we were even following a trail at this point.
At last, after about 40 minutes we made it to the waterfall. This is Stewart Falls. It is gorgeous and definitely worth the hike!

We all got to cross that river and the water was absolutely NUMBING! I was standing in the water while I helped Athena and Samantha across and I couldn't feel my feet. BRRRR!
Jeremy wanted to try to get under the waterfall, but stopped here. It still makes a cool picture. :)

Lovely cowgirl, Athena. She borrowed Aggie's new hat for a little while. It suits her nicely.

Of course, the little kids enjoyed throwing rocks in the water. I had quite the time with Alexandra. She would go in and get her hands wet, throwing rocks. Then she would climb up the banks by putting her wet hands down onto the ground and all the dirt would stick to her hands. So I would take her down to wash off the dirt, then she would immediately turn around again to climb up and put her hands in the dirt for leverage! It took a few tries to get her hands clean.

Boy time. I think Nathan was trying to be funny, but really I wonder if he was secretly trying to catch a dragonfly in his mouth.

After spending a fair amount of time at the waterfall, it was time to head back. The trail back to Sundance is 1.5 miles. When we were almost to the middle of our descent, Nathan started getting really tired and whiny. He was having a hard time and I just didn't have enough left in me to carry him down the mountain. This nice boy from our group offered to carry him for a little while. I think his name is Daniel. He knew that Nathan liked the big dandelions, so whenever he saw one, he would stop and pick it for Nathan. It was so cute! Nathan seemed to be in his own little heaven, just riding through the forest with handfuls of dandelions to blow and blow and blow.

Needless to say, we finally made it to the bottom. All of us were completely worn out, but had a good time. I snapped this picture in the car shortly after we left Sundance.
All of us were quite hungry, so we stopped off and ate pizza before heading home.

It was a lot of fun to go hiking with this group and just our family. All of the Hungarians were so nice and helpful too. I enjoyed the opportunity to spend time with them and get to know them a little bit better. Especially in such a beautiful setting! The kids also had a wonderful time and hopefully learned to appreciate our world and our new friends a little more. :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Taking in Natural Beauty

As a host family, we were supposed to take our Hungarian friends to do fun things in the area. When we asked them what they wanted to do, they really wanted to go to places where they could see the beautiful places of Utah. For our first day together, we took them to hike up to the grotto and then to Payson Lakes. Here we are starting our hike.
We made it to the grotto! It is a little waterfall that comes down into this little pool that is surrounded by rock walls. Very pretty! This is Aggie, Bori, and Athena.

Bori and Athena

I think it's cute that Athena went through her closet and tried to match what Bori was wearing. Athena never ever wears the skirt she has on, but it certainly worked for today!

This is it . . . the waterfall.

Alexandra had fun throwing rocks in the water, as usual. Samantha is behind her, also throwing rocks.

The water was really cold, so we didn't really get in it much. Just enough to take some pictures. Here is Aggie and Nathan.

All of us together. :)

Jeremy put Max in this little cave and is letting him take a drink.

Right before we left, Athena was trying to show off a bit and slipped on a rock. She got a little more wet than she intended!

We only stayed at the waterfall for about 15 minutes, then hiked down. On the way back, Samantha slipped on a rock when we were crossing the creek and fell into the water. She didn't get hurt, though. Then Jeremy was on a steep part of the hike and he slipped. He actually got hurt pretty bad and cut a big hole in the bottom of his foot.
Next we went to Payson Lakes. We packed a picnic with us and when we got there, all the picnic tables were taken. We finally resorted to a little shady spot where we sat out our chairs and fixed our sandwiches in our laps. It all turned out OK for lunch even though it was a bummer to not have a table. Most of our conversation was about comparing the differences between Hungary and the U.S. It's always so interesting to me to learn about cultural differences and how others live. I enjoyed talking to them.

After our picnic we took the usual walk around the lake. It was really nice. Aggie walked Max all the way around, Bori helped me with the kids as we walked, and Jeremy stayed in one little spot and tried to catch fish, but had no luck. During the walk Nathan fell several times. I don't know how he falls so much. Maybe he does it to create drama. It made me feel like our family is a little bit of a circus act! Constant drama and rounding up and noise. Alexandra made it a point to try and pick up every rock and put it in her pocket. Her pockets were so full that if her shorts weren't overalls, I'm sure they would have fallen off.

I wish we had a boat or a raft to take the girls out on, but unfortunately we do not. They did wade their feet a little before we left. Overall they said they really liked the hike and the lake, so I guess we did good!

When we left, Nathan ended up limping to the car because of his latest fall. He wanted me to take a picture of his skinned knee. Bori gave him that tissue and put water on it to try to make his knee feel better, so he is carrying that around. Poor little boy! Glad he was able to recover.
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