August 8, 2013

Summer Scout Camps


What would summer be without a few scout camps, right? Brevin and Jason showed what it took to "be prepared" for Brevin's first overnight scout camp as an eleven year-old scout. Jason went along to help fill a third adult leader position, and the two had a really great time. Upon their arrival home, Brevin was just a few requirements shy from his rank of First Class.  That's not too shabby for barely getting started in his boy scout career.


Several weeks later, Spencer had his turn to attend day camp at Jeremiah Johnson with all of the Wolfs and Bears. He got to shoot bb guns and arrows and pull handcarts around camp with his buddies.  Yeah, I think he enjoyed himself thoroughly.


 This post authored by Amber

July 30, 2013

Hike to Timpanogos Cave



It had been quite some time since we had made the hike to Timpanogos Cave, and so it seemed like a good opportunity give the children a real chance to stretch their legs and put their mad climbing skills to the test.  The Timpanogos Cave hike is beautiful, and the reward of exploring a cave at the end makes it all the more worth it.  Even the drive up the canyon to the trail head is lovely, so an activity like this is really a great way to spend your vacation days.  Isn't that right, Jason?

 No foolin' around.  This is some serious hiking.



 Brevin and Spencer like to lead the way.


 The boys have recently taken a liking to the game Minecraft.  If you are familiar 
with the game, you may understand why this trail sign caught their attention.

 Garrett spotted the entrance to the cave. 

 Here we are at the top.  Brevin is sporting a smile even though he 
was not feeling well and had to vomit at the "last chance" bathrooms.  
I'm not sure why Ella is doubled over as if exhausted.  She was carried 
up the mountain. Maybe she just needed to stretch her legs.

 After a quick check from the ranger to make sure the camelback
was not protruding too much, we got the go ahead to enter the cave.



 The Great Heart of Timpanogos


 After exploring the inside of the cave for nearly 
thirty minutes, we came out into the open air.

By this point in our trip, Garrett had had enough of having his picture taken.


This post authored by Amber

July 27, 2013

Day Trippin' Fishin'


Our family had talked about doing a weeklong camping trip to the Uintas for our summer vacation, but then Jason and I began discussing the idea of doing something different each day and including  an overnighter at a campsite we'd never been to.  As we explored options of activities we could do, I really took to the idea of "shaking things up" and adding a little variety to our vacation plans.  I'm not going to lie.  I was also sold on the idea of only packing and planning meals for a one-nighter as opposed to four.  Even still, our plans incorporated a day trip to fish in the Uintas.  We didn't wan't to give that up completely, so we packed up our gear, loaded up our van, and headed north for the cool, crisp mountain air.

We arrived early and set up on the banks of Washington Lake for our first round of fishing.  As always, we were not disappointed.  There was plenty of fishing action and opportunities for Ella to touch the fish just before they were to be released.  Aside from the bald eagle that kept swooping in for a dive, we were the only ones out on the lake, it seemed.  It was refreshingly peaceful.

Ella loves to cheer when anyone reels in a fish.  She loves to pet them, too.
 
Brevin and Spencer are becoming quite skilled with a fly and bubble.

When Spencer becomes restless while fishing, he tends to
 put down his pole for rock climbing and exploring. 

Brevin poses with a nice little rainbow trout that he caught.

While waiting on the shore, Ella keeps herself occupied by throwing 
rocks and banging branches against logs and boulders.

This trip was Garrett's first opportunity to try out the new 
Cars fishing pole he got for his birthday.  To say the least, it works.  
I think he brought in the most fish for the day with a final count of eight.


I just love the look on Ella's face in this picture.

After a fair amount of time at Washington Lake, we decided to eat some lunch before heading up to Butterfly Lake.  It started to drizzle a little but, but that didn't keep the fish from biting.



For a moment, Garrett thought he caught a fish, but he started to have a really 
difficult time reeling it in.  Jason went to free his line from what he thought was 
a snag.  Turns out, they were both right. They eventually brought in this tangled 
mess of moss and a fish!  I love the look of surprise on Garrett's face.

Well look there! I finally put down the camera to pick up a pole.

When the children felt they'd had a sufficient amount of time fishing, we headed back to the van and started our drive home.  We did stop off at Lost Lake for a brief time so Jason could get a few casts in.  The children and I stayed inside the van and watched a movie.  I may have nodded off a little, too.  It had been a full and satisfying day.  The best way to wrap it up was a stop in Heber City for a burger at the Train Station, followed by a nice, comfortable evening in my own bed.

This post authored by Amber.

July 26, 2013

Brevin's Pool Party



Over the past few months I have witnessed Brevin morph into a tween right before my eyes.  He's become taller, his shoulders have broadened, and his stature has filled out and become more solid.  Brevin has noticed some changes, too, as he has expressed concern (or perhaps excitement) about the thickening hair on his legs.  There's no denying.  Brevin's growing up, maturing, and developing preferences that are slightly more sophisticated than those he had before.  He has begun to demonstrate an interest in books, films, and TV that frequently contain a "coming of age" theme with young teenagers in the roles of protagonists. His current favorite book series is Percy Jackson and the Olympians and he enjoys watching the television show Wizards of Waverley Place.  

I continue to give Brevin increased responsibilities around the home, and he has responded in such a way that shows he is up to the challenge.  He is capable, dependable, and, when given plenty of encouragement, he can be very hard working.  He takes his assignments very seriously and holds himself to his own standard of high expectations.  Brevin is also a quick learner and very intelligent.  I credit that fact to his love of reading.

I couldn't be more pleased with the young man Brevin is becoming.  It is a pleasure to be his mother. And just to prove my point about how quickly he is growing up, here is the birthday video that highlights his past year:


Brevin's Pool Party

I got the inspiration for the invitation design from HERE.

Brevin requested a trip to the Provo Recreation center pool for his birthday party.  He also came up with the idea of using billiards for a pool party theme.  I thought it was a very clever concept, and a fairly simple party to pull off.  We had pizza for dinner and gave Brevin an opportunity to open gifts from his guests before going swimming. Unfortunately, the pool closed earlier than usual due to the Pioneer Day holiday, and so we came back to the home for cupcakes and ice cream sooner than anticipated. Even so, it was a great little party.

Once again, I depended on the creative genius of Karen Tack and Alan 
Richardson of Hello, Cupcake! to supply me with the awesome cake idea.





After we took Brevin's party guests home, our family enjoyed a fireworks display just in front of our own home.



Brevin's Birthday Breakfast


On the actual morning of Brevin's birthday, he was treated to a breakfast of his choice.  He asked to have German pancakes with buttermilk syrup.  He then opened gifts from the family, including a brand new mountain bike with a larger frame to accommodate his growing body.


Brevin's Birthday Dinner


A perfect example of Brevin's growing sophistication in his tastes was made evident by his birthday dinner of choice.  He requested sushi, so we took him to Shoga in Orem and we invited Grandma and Grandpa Park to come along.  It was a perfect way to celebrate another year of having Brevin in our family.  We sure love him!

Happy 11th Birthday, Brevin!

This post authored by Amber