In no particular order here is a list of our
Top Ten Favorite Things in Summer 2013 :
1 & 2. Grandma & Grandpa's Farm in Vernal (twice)
We went to Vernal, Utah to visit my parents for a week in June. I wrote more about it *here*. We went a second time in July. We intended to stay for just a few days but when we tried to leave on Wednesday our minivan broke down and our visit was extended to a week while it got fixed.
Our favorite things we did in Vernal :
- Ride horses, feed apples to horses, pet horses, see horses.
- Play in the pond.
- Play in the tree house, sandbox & on the swing.
- Play with our cousins.
- Go to the park.
- Swim in the Green River and learn to pan for gold from Uncle Wes.
- Pick raspberries and make lots of freezer jam.
- Work on Family History.
- Golf with Grandpa.
- Visit the Western Heritage Museum.
3. Vacation in Yellowstone.
I wrote about our week in Yellowstone *here*.
4. Fireworks in North Salt Lake & the Kaysville 4th of July Parade
It's been our tradition for a few years to join some of my family to watch the fireworks from the golf course in North Salt Lake. We spend time visiting with cousins and aunts and uncles; snacking and playing bocce ball while we wait for it to get dark. It's a pretty good fireworks show too.
Afterward we stayed the night at my sister's house and then joined them for the Kaysville Parade. At the end of the parade it becomes a giant water fight. We've heard them talk about it for years and this was the first year we went too. We all had a great time and will definitely do it again.
On the evening of Independence Day, our neighborhood also had an awesome block party. We had a rockin' DJ, lots of treats and everyone pooled their resources to put on a pretty impressive fireworks show.
5. Neal, Amberly and Thomas individual time in Vernal
Each of the oldest three kids got to spend time in Vernal. Thomas went with four of his boy cousins for a few days in June. Neal went with his cousin Jackson for several days in July and then Amberly went with two of her cousins for a few days afterward.
Neal and Jackson got to go on a 10 mile horse ride and camp in the High Uintahs. They went golfing and fishing. The other kids rode horses, went fishing, did some cooking and projects to help their grandparents around the farm.
Neal and Amberly (who overlapped their visit by one day) also got to go the Dinosaur Round up Rodeo with their cousins.
Everyone knows Snowbird Ski Resort is fun in the winter but it is also a lot of fun in the summer and getting more fun all the time. Wanting to escape the heat in the valley, we went with cousins in July to ride the tram to the top of the summit. It was much cooler.
7. Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day Concert
Utah Dad and I took Neal and Amberly to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir Pioneer Day Concert. The guest performers were Nathan Pacheco and Lindsey Sterling. I could listen to Nathan all the time. What a voice! The concert was wonderful. Afterward, we had dinner and Italian Sodas at the Blue Lemon downtown. Delicious.
You can watch the concert *here*.
8. Star Valley, Wyoming
My grandma, affectionately known as PomPom, is celebrating her 90th year. Her party was near her home in Star Valley, Wyoming. My sister arranged for us to stay at their friend's cabin in Star Valley Ranch. The kids and I joined my sister and her family and my parents at the cabin on Tuesday that week. During the week we were joined by my brothers and their families and eventually Utah Dad met up with us. By the end of the week we had 36 people at the cabin. It was awesome.
The kids LOVED the swing set next to the cabin. They built huts and went exploring in the woods.
The cabin was on the golf course so we played LOTS of golf. The guys played at least 2 rounds a day. Each evening we would practice driving and putting with the kids.
We drove to Jackson Hole for the day.
We loved the beautiful views.
We hiked up the canyon named after our family. My great, great grandparents emigrated from Switzerland and settled in Freedom, Wyoming in Upper Star Valley after they joined the LDS church. Their farm is so beautiful. We also went to the cemetery where so many of my ancestors are buried.
Star Valley is not supposed to be hot but it was this week. After our hike, Grandpa treated us all to ice cream.
We also hiked to the Intermittent Springs or Periodic Springs. It's a natural spring that stops and starts. It's really very cool and worth the treacherous hike.
Thomas kept saying "This is totally unsafe! They need some railings!"
We went on a scavenger hunt around Fairview, Wyoming to learn more about the life of PomPom. We also joined our cousins and step-cousins at the celebration for PomPom. (I'm still waiting on pictures from the event)
Star Valley is so beautiful. It's one of my very favorite places.
Every evening at the cabin, we played games such as
"Around the World Ping Pong", The Cheese Touch and 99.
Crazy, good times!
9. "Secret Days" with Gramps & Mamau
Amberly and Lucy and then Neal and Russell each spent three days with their Gramps and Mamau having "Secret Days". They went to Snowbird and did all the activities including climbing the rock wall and jumping on the trampolines. They went to the Clark Planetarium and ate out at Red Lobster and Chuck-a-Rama.
10. The Ward Camp Out
Last weekend, we joined friends from our ward at a Camp Out in Hobble Creek Canyon. We haven't been camping as a family for years (I don't really enjoy camping with babies) but the kids are all getting bigger. We roasted Starburst candies, visited with friends and enjoyed delicious Dutch Oven desserts. I didn't particularly enjoy sleeping on the ground, but the kids voted that it was definitely one of their favorite events of the summer.
Also Notable Events this Summer:
- Neal celebrated his 12th birthday and was ordained a deacon.
- Utah Dad called to be the Second Counselor in the ward Bishopric.
- Attended the Logan Temple with friends and their son and daughter who are leaving on missions.
- Lilly's 6th birthday
- Picnic in Big Cottonwood Canyon with Utah Dad's family.
- Utah Dad had meetings for work and was gone for a week--getting to know his "virtual co-workers" in real life.
- I had dinner with my best friends from college.
- Utah Dad and I went to the Bishopric night for the Young Women's Girls Camp.
- Went to Logan for the baby blessing of our newest niece Audrey.
- I got a new calling as the Family History Leader in my ward. (Still trying to learn what to do.)
- I spent a day making chili at the LDS Cannery.
- We celebrated my uncle's 70th birthday and visited with cousins at a Grangroth Family Reunion.
- I attended a blogger luncheon with Mrs. Herbert the First Lady of Utah. I'll tell you more about that soon.
- We got funky at a Ward Dance. We still think we've got it.
- Utah Dad and I have been able to go to the temple a few times.
- We swam at the Legacy Center.
- Had friends over.
- BBQs with neighbors and friends.
- We went to the Bee's Baseball Game. Read about it *here*.
The Not-So-Fun Part of the Summer :
1. I ended up in the emergency room with kidney stones. I spent too many days in pain and/or sleeping off the effects of the pain killers. Molly took a picture of me sleeping one day.
2. Our car died. Repairs needed. $
3. Utah Dad was really busy this summer. Between his new calling, work and school work (he's nearly finished with his MBA) he didn't get to play with us as much as he would like.
4. Our garden is a beautiful crop of weeds.
The summer of 2013 is definitely one to remember!!!