"A (wo)man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of (her)his life in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of beautiful God has implanted in the human soul."- Goethe

Friday, October 30, 2015

Wilderness Appreciation- Part I, Timpanogos

While participating in a federal lands initiative to draw attention to the awesome wilderness areas available, we attempted to visit and appreciate some of the wilderness areas in our state. The first one we visited was the Timpanogos Wilderness:

We studied up on the Leave No Trace guidelines and did our best despite the amazing array of wildflowers begging to be picked. This area is one of my favorite places ever, and it was fun to appreciate it as a family. Consider yourself appreciated, Timpanogos Wilderness!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Around Here

Around here we're enjoying the fruits of our labors:

We're putting more things in the shop each week:

We're gearing up for one of the best holidays ever invented:

We're arting our little hearts out:

We're learning new things:

And we're generally making ourselves cozy. Fall is the best, don't you agree?

Friday, October 23, 2015

The Lake at Sunset

One windy evening on a lark we took ourselves to the lakefront. We swung high into the sky on a makeshift swing hanging from a mighty cottonwood. We waded through marshy weeds and grasses growing taller than a man and scared ourselves silly running from the jungle cats we imagined to be living in them. We took our good galoshes and tromped along the shoreline, then took a moment to rest and gaze at the twinkling lights on the other side of the water. Then, to seal the moment, we took pretty (then goofy) pictures, as one does at times like these:

So beautiful guys! I can't even handle all the amazing things we live near and get to do. This world is incredible!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Making Rolls

I feel like I'm pretty good at most of the things I try, but for the life of me, I cannot get good at making bread. Seriously. There was even one summer when I refused to let my husband buy any bread because I thought the desperation would help me learn faster. Did it work, you ask? I say unto you, nay. I still stink at making bread. And yet, I can't seem to let it go! I must keep trying even though the universe keeps telling me I was not meant to have this skill.

I can make a decent pizza dough for grilled pizzas, though, and we recently translated said dough into rolls:

With the assistance of my trusted kitchen helper, we busted out some tasty rolls. We were a great team, and it turns out that playing with bread dough is a lot like playing with playdough. Hmm. Go figure. The pictures make these suckers look much yummier than they really were. They were not amazing, guys, but they were edible. And that, to me, is a grand victory.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Bridal Veil Falls Hike

We hauled our buns (and the buns of our extended family too!) up the short trail to Bridal Veil Falls:

There are probably a hundred falls throughout the world that are aptly named after a bridal veil. Ours, though, is only a brief jaunt across some rock slides and takes about ten minutes if you stink at hiking. No big deal. We spent a lot of time as a family this summer stopping by the falls to feed the fish, cool off in the lower pool, explore the rubble of an avalanche from bygone days, and climb up the cold waterfall. It's a staple in our rotation of family activities.

How about you? Do you find a place or activity you find yourself turning to frequently?

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Mommy Date

I love spending my life with my dreamguy and one of my favorite adventures with him is being parents together. I think we do a pretty darn good job at this parenting biznezz considering. Although we spend a lot of time together as a whole family, we also make up the ultimate tag team.

That means that when one of us is DONE (with a capital D, folks) and is threatening to move to Mexico without the rest of the family, that the other one of us is pretty good at picking up on the desperation and steps in to save the day (and perhaps some tender lives as well).

However, we've noticed better results if we don't allow ourselves to get to that DONE moment and are more proactive about sharing the attention and love before it is asked from us. Enter mommy dates.

A mommy date just means that I get to spend some one-on-one time with mini me, which is something we all look forward to. It doesn't have to take any money or be entertainment-focused, although it can be. It just needs to take time. I love letting loose and just focusing on doing awesome things together with my little buddy because it helps us strengthen our friendship and teaches us valuable lessons through our experiences. One of our most recent dates was going to a nearby canyon and climbing up the boulders and rock walls:

One valuable lesson our mighty girl learned on this date is that it's usually easier to climb up than it is to climb down. Haha! I feel like there may be some great analogies to life in that!

And yes, we have daddy dates too. It totally works both ways. (I'm looking forward to when the tiny baby bumpkins is also old enough to enjoy some quality one-on-one time with each parent as well. It's going to be grand!)

Do you do such things? What do you do to keep the bond strong among each member of your family?

Friday, October 9, 2015

Pumpkins For Days

Last year we planted mini pumpkins just to see how they did, and when we surprisingly got better results than we imagined we would get we used our timely harvest as a teaching opportunity. We asked everyone in our families to buy a pumpkin from P-double-B for 10 cents so we could teach our daughter about the importance of paying tithing and it went pretty smoothly.

Well, this year, we planted mini pumpkins again with even better results (this is approximately one-eleventh of her haul this year!):

Now I can't tell if I should be proud or worried because it looks like we have ourselves a budding entrepreneur on our hands. And boy, was she ruthless this year. None of this ten-penny nonsense for her now. She charged as much as "ten pennies and one dollar" for a single pumpkin! Whoa! Quite the price increase, but she is sure to make those capitalists proud.

We did take the opportunity to use her pumpkins as another money management learning moment, though, so I don't feel too bad and the ridiculous profits. Plus she's adorable and no one can say no to her, which isn't really her fault (nor mine). And when she declared she was going to traipse about the neighborhood vending her wares, I was relieved that our families stepped up and purchased all the remaining goods, so I didn't have to face the moral dilemma of participating in door-to-door sales or remaining on good terms with our neighbors. (Phew! Deflected! And you're welcome, neighbors.) So, considering the path this could have gone, I think our pumpkin experience went really well this year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kirk's Race

My true love loves running, and we were lucky to watch all his hard work and training pay off when he recently ran the Nebo half marathon:

We were so proud! He did a great job! I'm always impressed with his sticktoitiveness because those things take a lot of preparation and patience to train for them. We love the family tradition of cheering him on during his races each year and hope we get to keep doing so.

P.S. Yep, I know what you're thinking...that fanny pack is preeetty sexy. And the best part is this isn't one of those newfangled fanny packs for the so-called hip people. This one is vintage, which makes it a million times more awesome. We giggled about it all the way home.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Airport Fieldtrip

We like to shake things up by taking family fieldtrips to awesome and new places that blow our minds. One such place is the bitty local airport, where one day we went to watch planes land and take off:

We spent some time near the fence to see the planes and helicopters start up, which was super exciting for the little people. Then we moved our hineys to an access road for sweet views of the planes flying right over us as they came in for landing. Lessons learned: everyone needs an uncle who will share his binoculars and another uncle who can fly planes and wave as he passes overhead. Lucky for us we have such uncles.