Eli learned how to ride a bike. We've been working on it here and there during the summer, but Grandma Jan put him at the top of the hill, ran a few feet, and then let go. He did it! He tried several more times, only with more pedaling. He needs a little practice before we put the bikes away. He was glad to hear the clapping and cheering. We got some video and, as you can see, Grandpa Sam took some great pictures.
It was nice to have Grandma Jan and Grandpa Sam over at our place. They have done lots of playing and interacting with the kids, especially Kaleb. Kaleb did not leave Sam alone for a minute. We have been eating well with lots of help around the kitchen. Jesse, Sam, and Jan harvested quite a few vegetables and fruit from the gardens Jesse has helped take care of. It was also nice to have the help in maintaining a clean kitchen, doing laundry, and watching the boys. Their last minute decision to come visit us was a great surprise. It's great to have family.
Our family needed some time together after a very busy summer. Jesse became certified as a Registered Nurse, looked for job opportunities, interviews, and finally got a job at Copper Hills Youth Center. I had school and work as usual.
The trip was well planned. The kids helped create a list of things they would like to eat during our camping trip. Jesse bought all the stuff and we started preparing meals, mainly foil dinners, a day or two before we left. The kids helped season the vegetables, chicken, steak, and shrimp. For breakfast we packed cereal, yogurt, bananas, and milk. For lunch we had roll-it-up ham, turkey, and cheese. We also brought a few “gluten-free” granola bars and peanuts with us for snacks.
The kids were so excited when we found our campsite. They immediately started exploring little trails and searched for anything that might be used for a fire. We put up our tent as it started to rain. We managed to cover the things we had unpacked and headed inside the tent. The rain only lasted for a little while. At that point we successfully started a fire, on purpose. Jesse and I were so proud of ourselves for success. We owe our success to some great wood, a tepee, a few small sticks lying around, and a lot of lighter fluid.
We got very little sleep that night. It was colder than we had expected. We headed straight for the car the next morning to go for a drive and get some hot chocolate at the bottom of the canyon. That day we went to Silver Lake at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon. We took a detour there which goes to another lake. We didn’t get very far before Spencer was in need of a toilet. He went “Boy Scout-style”. Eli suggested the use of a leaf to wipe. Spencer was not into that, probably for the best.
We left the lake and headed back to camp. My parents came to visit us at our campsite and had dinner. We started another fire and cooked the rest of our food—including shrimp, steak, chicken, zuchinni, asparagus, and corn on the cob—all on the fire. It was all very good. After my parents left, we cleaned up and headed toward the tent as it started to rain again. The next morning, we bribed our children into leaving early by offering more hot chocolate on the way home. We not only survived another camping trip, but had a great time.
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I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. Jesse is from Eagle River, Alaska. We met while she was going to the BYU extension in Salt Lake and I was at the U of U. We married in the Salt Lake Temple. About 8 years later, we both graduated from the University of Utah and have 3 boys. They are Spencer, Eli, and Kaleb. Our favorite thing to do is visit family and go camping.