The Hike Around Jenny Lake

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2014 July Tetons 7

One day of our vacation we traveled to Grand Teton National Park. We have been there many times but Mike has always wanted to hike around the beautiful Jenny Lake to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point. The hike is supposed to be fairly kid-friendly and easier because there isn’t too much climbing- at least until you get toward Hidden Falls. To Hidden Falls it’s a little more than 5 miles round trip. Inspiration Point is another (steep) half mile beyond Hidden Falls. Honestly, I didn’t really know how far is was when we started out- maybe that was a good thing.

It was beautiful and we took lots of pictures which probably slowed us down quite a bit in retrospect.

2014 July Tetons 2

2014 July Tetons 7 Abby

Abby practiced taking better photos. While walking we talked about composition, framing, and texture. This kept her mind occupied and off of how much we were walking- at least for a while.

2014 July Tetons 9 Kaitlyn

2014 July Tetons 5 Sam

2014 Tetons 3

About half-way through our hike we got caught in a rainstorm. It was heavy for about 15 or 20 minutes. We huddled under a tree to stay dry but it make the trail muddy for the remainder of the hike. Soon after the storm Kaitlyn and Abby got ahead of us. I went faster to catch up to them and found Kaitlyn standing on the trail pointing up the mountain. She said their was an animal. Sure enough there was not too far away- a bear!

2014 July Tetons 12 Bear

2014 July Tetons 13 Bear

The bear seemed occupied and didn’t seem threatening so I started taking pictures. At the same time I was wondering if we should be hurrying ourselves down the trail just to get away from him. What we should have done was make lots of noise to let the bear know we were there and calmly walk away. We stayed in place until Mike and Sam caught up to us then calmly walked away. The bear had moved on up the mountain by then and they missed it. Good thing I had pictures.

Around this time – about 2 miles into the hike- the kids started melting down. Abby’s camera batteries were dead and she was tired. 2014 July Tetons 14

Soon after this picture was taken Kaityn started running on the trail and tripped landing right on some rocks. That was her demise. She wouldn’t stop crying after that. She too was done. Mike had a small first aid kit and was put band-aids on her wounds.

2014 July Tetons 15 Accident

We did make it to the falls but it was a climb. The kids were protesting and we felt lucky to have made it this far with them. Their biggest protests were not about how far we had come- it was about the hike back. “You mean we have to hike ALL THE WAY BACK?!!”

2014 July Tetons 16 Abby and Sam

2014 July Tetons 17

Just before we got to Hidden Falls we noticed a sign for a boat dock. The kids and I took a rest on a log while Mike went to see if we could get a ride back across the lake one way. Turns out we could (thank goodness it was like an escape route) and when we told the kids we were taking a boat ride back their attitudes changed dramatically. Instantly they were so excited and we heard things like, ‘This was fun!” Whaaa??? They also wanted to make sure they were the first people on that boat.

2014 July Tetons 18 Boat

2014 July Tetons 19 Boat

2014 July Tetons 20 Abby

2014 July Tetons 21 Mike and Abby

2014 July Tetons 24 Mike

2014 July Tetons 22 Boat

We gave up trying to get to Inspiration Point- another steep half mile but seeing the falls was worth the 2.6 mile hike. But next time we would take the boat across (saving about 2 miles one way) and then hike up to Inspiration Point. In the meantime we need to take our kids hiking more. We have plenty of opportunities in Utah. We should have prepared them more by taking them on shorter hikes first. Live and learn and bring lots of water and band-aids.

 

Our Star Valley Vacation

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2014 July Roasting Marshmallows 1

With another move happening so soon and because we haven’t been exactly sure when we would gt into our house we needed a summer vacation that was convenient and flexible without deposits or commitments. So heading to Star Valley, Wyoming was a perfect solution. My parents spend the summer at the Star Valley Ranch Resort in their RV. When we lived in Rexburg we made quite a few trips over to see them. You can tour their “summer home” here.

2014 July Roasting Marshmallows 2

We rented a tent cabin- which is a little cabin that provides the beds and mats to lay your sleeping bag on. It is a great alternative to tent camping which I never really enjoy. Maybe because I was raised on RV camping. I’m ruined because my idea of camping includes an electrical outlet, a TV, and a microwave. Anyway, the cabin was especially appreciated on the last night in Star Valley when a huge storm blew through. Our stuff would have been drenched and blown away.

2014 July Star Valley Cabin

2014 July Roasted Marshmallow

We’ve had an ATV for a year but this trip was the first time we took it with us and we were glad we did. We spent a couple of days driving it up beautiful trails in the canyons. One day we explored the area around Cottonwood Lake and Mike tried to teach the kids to fish.

2014 July Cottonwood Lake 1

2014 July Abby Fishing 1

2014 July Mike and Grandpa Cottonwood Lake 1

Mike untangled a lot of lines and Abby and Sam did manage to learn to cast well but no fish were caught. That’s probably because neither kid had enough patience to wait for a fish to come bite. They just kept casting the line and reeling it in. Kaitlyn was only interested in fishing for about 5 minutes before she gave it up and went exploring instead.

2014 July Sam Fishing 1

2014 July Cottonwood Lake 2

2014 July Grandma and Grandpa Watts

2014 July Boo at Cottonwood Lake 1

2014 July Abby on ATV Cottonwood

2014 July Cottonwood Creek 1

2014 Indian Paintbrush

I loved all the wildflowers. We saw lots of Indian Paintbrush. Kaitlyn read a book in kindergarten called The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush. She was excited to see real Indian Paintbrush.

2014 July Kaitlyn with Indian Paintbrush

2014 July Abby and Sam Fishing 1

One more post to come about our vacation in Wyoming. You can see our last vacation in Star Valley here.

 

The Calm Before the Storm

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2014  Bridal Veil Falls 1

I have taken a lot of pictures this summer but not taken time to blog. We just returned from our little summer vacation to Star Valley, Wyoming and we have about a week before we finally get into our house. Which means we have some crazy weeks in our very near future as we paint, prepare and finally move ourselves over to Sage Cottage. We are now packing and shopping for some things we will need right away when we move in. This week is the calm before the storm for us. I know there will be no blogging for a little while so I’m catching up now with some things we have been doing this summer.

We been having some outings around town. One was up to Bridal Veil Falls in Provo Canyon. Both Mike and I were surprised at how much our kids loved being up there. They played in the water at the bottom of the falls, wanted to hike the trail, and the most loved feeding and petting the fish. Yeah- I said petting. There is a small pond stocked with fish that you can feed. The kids could put their hands in the water and touch the fish. They found this fascinating.

2014 Bridal Veil Fish 1

2014 July Bridal Veil Falls Dad Sam 1

2014 July Abby at Bridal Veil Falls 1

2014 July Bridal Veil Falls Kids 1

2014 July Bridal Veil Falls Kaitlyn 1

Another outing was to Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake. I haven’t been there for decades so I had no idea what to expect but we got in for $1 each on Tuesday with our Pass of All Passes. Can’t beat that deal. Tracy Aviary is much bigger than I remember. The kids had a good time we liked the bird shows. There are plenty of places for kids to play too. I highly recommend it for a day trip.

2014 July Tracy Aviary 3

2014 July Tracy Aviary 2

2014 July Tracy Aviary Collage

Sam finished up his Little League season. Mike really worked a lot with him and Sam became a good player. He could always hit the ball when he was up to bat. It gave him some confidence and he wants to keep playing next year.

2014 Sam Baseball Collage

Abby decided that it was time for Kaitlyn to take the training wheels off her bike so she taught Kaitlyn to ride without them. It only took Kaitlyn a short time to figure out how to ride a 2 wheeler. She loves riding her bike now that she realizes how much faster she can go without training wheels.

2014 July Kaitlyn learns to ride 2 wheelerFinally we had Grandma and Grandpa return from their mission in South Africa and we had cousins come visit over the 4th of July. We decided to try out the Provo Parade. We got there early and learned that although the parade officially started at 9:00, the party started much earlier. People camp out for this parade so the street was already lined by 7:00 when we got there. We still managed to get a great spot and enjoy the hot air balloons, a dancing contest, a “pre-parade”, and free pancakes before the real parade started. Now we know.

2014 July Provo Parade 1

2014 July Provo Parade 2

2014 July Provo Parade 3

That evening we went to Thanksgiving Point to see fireworks. It was a good show and we liked the park where we could spread out and enjoy the fireworks.

2014 July Fireworks 1

2014 Fireworks 2Next post I will cover our vacation. Now it’s time to get back to packing boxes.

A House Needs a Name

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2013 June Bluebell Cottage 2

Long long ago my ancestors lived in this cute house. It’s named Bluebell Cottage -although I doubt that was the name in the 1800’s when my family lived there. This time last year my sisters, mother, and I traveled all the way to Freshwater, on the Isle of Wight, to see this cottage. It was my favorite part of that vacation and it was the last thing we did before heading home. My posts about that trip start here. Here is a picture of the island landscape from the top of Carisbrooke Castle:

2013 June Freshwater landscape

2013 June Freshwater Landscape 3

While in Freshwater we explored Carisbrooke Castle, Osborne House, and visited family graves. We stayed in this cute bread and breakfast right by the water. It’s called Rockstone Cottage and I highly recommend it if you find yourself on the Isle of Wight and need a place to stay.

2013 June Rockwell CottageJust before we I left on this trip we went under contract for our house in Provo. You may remember that house hunting was difficult and we were just happy to find anything that worked for us but it turned out that we ended up with an English Tudor Revival style house. Then as fate would have it, I was traveling to England just a week or so later. When I saw all these cute English cottages and Tudor homes everywhere I got excited about my new Tudor house and decided that our new house must have a name.

Everyone agreed that this was a great idea and we started to spend time around the dinner table discussing possibilities. I decided that our house should have cottage in the name since I found in England this was considered a “house”

Osborne House- Queen Victoria's summer home

Osborne House- Queen Victoria’s summer home

Our house is a bit smaller so I definitely think it’s on the “cottage” level. I read up a bit on the history of naming homes in the U.K. Turns out most house or cottage names came from nearby geography, flowers, trees, family names, or whatever. So with those ideas in mind here were some of the suggestions for our new home:

Haven Cottage – Snow Cottage – Snowflake Cottage – Bluebell Cottage (after the ancestral home) – Cookie Cottage – Cheese Cottage (this one got a good laugh) – Cottage Cheese Cottage (more laughs) – Out House – Blossom Cottage – Rat House – Haunted House – Cupcake Cottage – Sunshine Cottage – Marvel Cottage (Sam) – Greenleaf Cottage – Cherry Tree Cottage (we have a cherry tree) – Apricot Cottage (one of those too) – Daisy Cottage – Aspen Cottage… and on and on.

Eventually Mike and I decided to name the house Sage Cottage. Right now Sage Cottage isn’t looking so sage but that is about to change- which is why we eventually decided on the name. Here is a picture of the house now:

Provo House 1

It needs a little help. It has traditional colors but we wanted to lighted things up. Those Tudor wood beams are in need of paint so we are going to be painting those sage green this summer. The stucco between the beams is a creamy white color which looks dated and also doesn’t match the newer white front door. So the stucco will be painted white as well as the garage door. It doesn’t look like much to paint but there is much more Tudor facade on the sides and back of the house so it will be a big job. We hope it gives an updated look to the house.

Here are some of our inspiration houses I found on Pinterest to give an idea of the look we are going for. There is actually a name for this look- it is called “Tudor Lite.” I’m not making this up.

Tudor 1

Tudor 4.1

tudor 2

Eventually we will post a little Sage Cottage sign on the house. We already have this sign with the house number so maybe we will just add to it:

619 sign picOver time we also plan to give Sage Cottage some other features that might bring out a more storybook cottage look. Those overgrown bushes around the door are getting chopped down. They block two windows behind them. We may replace those windows with Tudor style ones like the one above the garage.

We are excited about Sage Cottage. Every house needs a name- it just adds character. If you want to name your house, I found this website with lots of suggestions.

Coincidentally, I’ve noticed a couple of new Tudor style homes just built here in town. At least one new Tudor is in the Parade of Homes. Maybe Tudors are making (yet another) comeback.

 

 

 

Summer Plans

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2014 June Sam on Swing at Provo River 1Around the beginning of May I realized that the kids would be out of school soon and all I could think was, “What are we going to do all summer? Last summer was really busy with travel and family coming to visit. We barely had time to get bored. But this summer is different. Because we have been anticipating a move into our new house- but not knowing exactly when that was happening- we didn’t make any big vacation plans. Actually we didn’t have any real plans and at the start of May I was staring at a very blank calendar. I started to think this summer was going to be difficult.

As much as I love the idea of kids running out to play and letting boredom lead to creativity, we currently don’t live in a neighborhood with many kids and almost none play freely outside. My kids will play outside without other kids but they don’t last as long. So I knew we needed to have some plans. Turns out I had nothing to worry about. There is one thing that makes Utah a great place to live with kids- there is always something to do. And there is more affordable things to do then anywhere we have lived with kids (and without, I think).

Our June calendar filled up fast.

Exploring the Provo River Trail

Exploring the Provo River Trail

2014 June Mike on Prvo River Walk 1

2014 June Sam on Swing at Provo River 2

2014 June Sam Baseball collage 1

Sam has been playing Little League. He’s pretty good.

What else have we been doing this summer? Sam and Kaitlyn are going to summer school for a few weeks. I wanted Kaitlyn to go to reinforce all the things she learned in kindergarten so she will be ready to start Chinese Immersion this fall. Sam just wanted to go. He loves school and the summer school program has some fun activities mixed in with the reading and math work. It’s only half day and I love not worrying about homework, backpacks, and lunchboxes. Abigail is spending her mornings reading, writing, and sketching. She isn’t allowed to turn on an electronic device until she’s done those things. So far she isn’t complaining.

In the afternoons we have been playing with friends, spending time at the waterpark (super cheap season passes), taking swim lessons, Mike and I have enjoyed a few dates and we took in part of a Rooftop Concert Series night in downtown Provo.

2014 June 7 Peaks Kids

2014 June 7 Peaks Kaitlyn

2014 June Downtown Provo 1

2014 June Rooftop Concert series 1

At the Rooftop Concert I loved seeing people taking in the concert from neighboring rooftops as well. We are going to try and make it back to more of these.

2014 June Rooftop Concert Goers 1

2014 June Rooftop Concert Goers 2

I found this guy in Provo and had to take his picture.

2014 June Hound Dog in Car

2014 June Kaitlyn lost first tooth 2

Kaitlyn lost her first tooth this week. She was thrilled. And I have made sure to give the kids time to get bored. They have been playing outside together- especially in the evenings. They adopted some snail pets. Then to keep track of them they used tape to label them.

2014 June Kaitlyn lost first tooth 1

2014 June Pet Snails 1

Some of the snails are named Snoopy, Picky, Rocket, and Mr. Cuddles. Poor snails.

Other plans this summer include a short vacation to Wyoming, Chinese Immersion day camps, pottery class, a couple of days at Lagoon, boating with cousins, and there is that moving thing which we now know will happen in mid-July.

The question isn’t what are we going to do this summer, it’s what are we not going to do?

A Day at Camp

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2014 Scout Camp Sam Raingutter RigattaThis first week of summer Abby and Sam had the chance to both go to scout camp with other kids their age from our church. I got to go too since I am currently a den mom in Sam’s Cub Scout troop. The camp was in Hobble Creek Canyon in Springville. It was beautiful. Abby was there with the girl’s group so I didn’t hang out with her as much but when I ran into her somewhere at the camp I would run over and take her picture. They had tons of fun and this camp seemed the like the quintessential kid’s summer camp experience without the overnight cabins. Although I’m sure they had those around somewhere- maybe someday they’ll get to use them.

2014 Camp Jeramiah Johnson

2014 Scout Camp Sam Compass 1

2014 Scout Camp Sam with Compass 1

2014 Scout Camp Compass 1

2014 Scout Camp Battle 1

2014 Scout Camp Abby shooting 1

2014 Scout Camp Abby 1

2014 Scout Camp Abby archery 1

2014 Scout Camp Sam Paddle 12014 Scout Camp Boating 2

2014 Scout Camp Boats 1

2014 Scout Camp Sam Paddle 2

2014 Scout Camp Abby 5

2014 Scout Camp Abby 3

2014 Scout Camp Sam Archery 1

2014 Scout Camp Sam Archery 2

2014 Scout Camp Sam 1

2014 Scout Camp Abby Crafts 1

2014 Scout Camp Sam shooting 2

2014 Scout Camp Sam shooting 1

2014 SCout Camp Sam in Bushes

I drove four hyper and excited Cub Scouts up to camp that morning but on the way home the car was almost silent. They were exhausted after all the activities – but happy. Too bad we can’t wear them out like this everyday.

The Last Day of School

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2014 Kaitlyn Jello Dance 1We had to get through Pioneer Day, Rendezvous Day, a class musical of Little Red Riding Hood, Circus Day, Picnic Day and whatever else but we finally got to the last day. Having three kids in school makes things busy. At least this year they are all at the same school. You may remember last year when we were running to different schools for events.

But of all the last day of school activities, this school has my favorite tradition. A dance festival on the front lawn of the school attended by not just all 900 kids (seriously) but all their families too. The dances are awesome. Mostly they stay the same for each grade so Abby already knows she will be dancing to Cotton Eye Joe next year, but they do make changes occasionally. At least they sometimes change grades 1-5. Kindergarten and sixth grade are long-standing classics.

Kaitlyn and the tons of other kindergartners danced The Jello Dance. It was adorable. How can it not be?

2014 Kaitlyn Jello Dance 2

2014 Kaitlyn Jello Dance 3

2014 Kaitlyn Jello Dance 4Sam and the 2nd Graders did a Polynesian dance.

2014 Sam Dance Fest 1

2014 Sam Dance Fest 2 2014 Sam Dance Fest 3Abby and the 4th graders did the Parachute Dance to the music of Eye of the Tiger. I also really liked this one because I always loved the parachute in elementary school. I took pictures of Abby’s group but there were 3 parachutes spread across the lawn and it looked great.

2014 Abby Dance Fest 32014 Abby Dance Fest 5

2014 Abby Dance Fest 2

2014 Abby Dance Fest 4

I don’t have a 6th grader yet, but I took a picture of them because they always dance around the May Pole (or 3 of them in this case) on the last day of school. This tradition goes back to the 1950’s when the very first 6th grade class left the elementary school. The first part is a very traditional May Pole dance but then they stop and un-weave it to Celebration by Kool and the Gang. Sixth grade is the last grade in this school so these kids will be going onto junior high. I don’t know if we should be happy or fearful for them.2014 May PoleAfter the dance festival everyone goes inside to their classrooms to say goodbye and take pictures with their teachers. I love the opportunity to get pictures of each of my kid’s teachers. I can’t even remember what most of my elementary school teachers looked like, yet these people become a big part of their lives.

Our kids loved their teachers. They were all outstanding. The kids didn’t want to say goodbye and leave. We started with Abby’s teacher but she wasn’t ready to leave so we left her while we went around to Sam and Kaitlyn’s teachers. It was an emotional day. Our kids don’t really want school to end. They are tired of homework but they love going and being with their friends and teachers.

Abby with Mrs. T.

Abby with Mrs. T.

Sam and Ms. Ge

Sam and Ms. Ge

Sam and Mrs. Snow

Sam and Mrs. Snow

Kaitlyn and Mrs. Whitaker

Kaitlyn and Mrs. Whitaker

Afterwards we celebrated with lunch at In-N-Out Burger. That place just makes me think of summertime.

2014 Last Day at In n Out 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carrying Houses

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Women Carrying Houses by Brian Kershisnik  kershisnikprints.com/

Women Carrying Houses by Brian Kershisnik   kershisnikprints.com/

I came across this painting and fell in love. I said to Mike, “This is me!” I am always carrying my house around. And I am sure ready to put it down for good. If it was in the budget, I would buy this print and hang it in my new house as a reminder of what it took to get where we are. A reminder of all the houses we packed up and left behind and of all the times we reinvented our home and found new places for things. Mostly it would remind me of how grateful I would be to finally stay in one house. To decorate and actually stay long enough to see it get dated. To create memories and traditions in a place and not have to leave it. What a blessing that would be. And we are almost there.

Years ago we had the opportunity to house-sit for the Vice President of Yale University. Mike was a graduate student at the time and we lived in student apartment on campus. Through a mutual connection, we were recommended for the job while Mrs. VP and her family were travelling.

We were so excited to live in their house for a little more than a week. The house was a Yale-owned house that was given to the VP to use and it was located on campus. It was a grand old house with more rooms and charm than you can imagine. The VP and her investment banker husband had furnished it well. I was seven months pregnant with Abby at the time and loved the big bathtub where I could soak and lighten my load.

We thoroughly enjoyed the house, we even had friends over for a party (nothing too wild) but by the end of our time there, we were really ready to go home. Back to our small run-down graduate student apartment and all of our things we were comfortable with. We didn’t have to worry about taking care of someone else’s things and it felt really good be home.

Fast forward more than ten years and here we are house-sitting again. Only this time it has been for almost two years. While we have enjoyed this house too, our family is really ready to go home. House sitting has it’s own set of challenges different than owning or renting a house. It never becomes “your house” ever. After two years our kids still say they live in Grandma and Grandpa’s house. New friends who come over are often confused until we explain the situation. Kids ask, “Why don’t you have your own house?”

It has been worth it though. It meant Mike’s parents could go on a mission to South Africa for an extended amount of time. For us it gave time to figure out where we should make our permanent home and where our kids should attend school. We have also saved lots of money not having a rent payment which we then put into the house we purchased. Has it been easy? No. Are we glad we did it? Yes. Would we do it again? No. Never. At least not long-term unless we had some sort of crisis. I would consider house-sitting for a short time if it meant opportunities to travel or stay somewhere temporarily. I really like the idea of house swapping. Websites like homeexchange.com having me dreaming of places to stay.

Homes are important. For me, having my own home is really important too. Even after living through the housing crisis and becoming a reluctant landlord to a house in Kentucky, I would still choose to buy a house as long as we knew we were staying in a location for some time.

Would you ever choose to house-sit long term? Does it mean much to you to have your own house? Or are you a happy renter content to let a landlord take care of things?

Rock Canyon Afternoon

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2014 May RC Mike with Hat

With school almost out and despite the number of things going on this week, we decided we needed to take advantage of the time we had while kids were in school to spend some alone time together. So after we dropped off Kaitlyn at school, we picked up take-out from Cafe Rio and had a picnic near Rock Canyon. After eating we took a hike up the canyon and enjoyed the perfect weather.

Well- we weren’t completely alone…

2014 May Boo in Rock Canyon 5

This guy was happier to go then we were. He’s always up for a canyon adventure.

2014 May Boo in Rock Canyon 3

2014 May Rock Canyon Scene 1

2014 May Rock Canyon Scene 2

2014 May Rock Canyon Scene 6

The big news around here is that Provo recently bought Rock Canyon. A newcomer like myself didn’t even know Provo city didn’t own it. But it was privately owned by some individuals who wanted to mine it for quartz. Provo has been trying to purchase the canyon for years to preserve it. You can read the details here in the local paper.

2014 May Rock Canyon Scene 5

2014 May Mike in Rock Canyon 3

2014 May Boo in Rock Canyon 4Boo likes the water. He must of been hot because at one point he just decided to plop himself down in the creek to cool off. He was a bit muddy when we got him back to the car.

2014 May Boo in Rock Canyon 2

2014 May Rock Canyon Water

2014 May Boo and Mike in Rock Canyon 1

2014 May Leaves in Rock Canyon

2014 May Rock Canyon Scene 4

Rock Canyon is such a great place for an afternoon hike. My only recommendation is to eat the Cafe Rio salad AFTER you finish the hike and not right before. That huge meal certainly slowed me down.

 

 

 

This Is The Place – for 4th Graders

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Pioneer wagon

We are down to two weeks left of school and all the activities involved with that. Each kid has a list of things going on at school during these couple of weeks which include a class play, Kaitlyn’s pretend birthday (her real birthday is in August), Pioneer Day, Mountain Man Day, Field Day, a dance festival, and more. Even Mike is volunteering at the elementary school almost every day this week.

A week ago Abby volunteered me to chaperone the 4th grade field trip to This Is The Place Heritage Park in Salt Lake City. The 4th Graders have been learning Utah history all year. I thought she just wanted to spend quality time together but she informed me she wanted me to come because then she could pick what kids were in our group. “O.k. fine.” I said, “But I am bringing my big camera.” “NO!!! You’ll embarrass me!” was Abby’s reply. So she started the day doing this:

Abby in 4th grade class Eventually she warmed up to the camera.

2014 May Field Trip 1And eventually all her classmates did too.

2014 May Field Trip 8This Is The Place has changed a lot since I was there many many years (probably decades) ago. It’s turned into an entire historical town with many replicas of original Salt Lake pioneer buildings. This kids toured the place on the train (above) then went to “classes” held in various buildings. They talked to a Mountain Man about the mountain men and trappers and rendezvous and they went to a school house where they learned what 4th grade was like in the 1800’s. Pretty much almost nothing like today.

2014 May Field Trip 19

2014 May Field Trip 2

2014 May Field Trip 20

2014 May Field Trip 23

2014 May Field Trip 12Eventually they got to push and pull handcarts like some of the pioneers. I thought they should have put some rocks in those handcarts to feel what is was really like for those pioneers.

2014 May Field Trip 13

2014 May Field Trip 36

2014 May Field Trip 39

2014 May Field Trip 45It was fun for the kids. For those who don’t remember or know any Mormon pioneer history, it was Orson Pratt and Erastus Snow who were scouts for the first company of Mormon pioneers. Therefore they were the first pioneers to enter the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. Coincidentally, one of Abby’s classmates is the great-something grandson of Orson Pratt. His teacher even calls him “Orson” for fun. Abby’s teacher is a descendant of “the guy on the back of the horse” Erastus Snow. Kinda funny.

The pioneer fun isn’t over. Tomorrow is Pioneer Day at school. Abby has her costume all ready and is packing her authentic pioneer lunch in a basket with everything wrapped in cloth.

Do you remember learning state history in 4th grade? I was in Virginia so it was a completely different experience. We visited places like Mount Vernon and Gunston Hall.

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