I have felt guilty not posting in so long, but I have hardly known where to begin. So many happy times, so many blessings, and we have been so busy enjoying them all that there hasn't been time to post and do any of them justice. Here are a few highlights.
Mark had a good experience at Cub Scout Day Camp. He moaned and groaned a little about walking up and down the hills, but there aren't that many of them, and the exercise on uneven terrain was really good for him. By the end of the week he felt stronger and more fit. Here's a photo of the two of us when I went up on the last day.
The day after Day Camp, little Ethan, son of Joshua and Hillary, was born! I don't have a full-size photo of him, so this one will have to do for now. This one was taken on the day he was born, July 24, a little pioneer day baby. He is growing by leaps and bounds, and he looks so much like Joshua.
On July 28 Mark and I left for 4 days of camping at Sparks Lake with our dear friends, Ken and Dorothy Jenson, and some of the other "empty nesters" from our ward. Holly and David and Arora came out and joined us for a day (they didn't stay the second night, because Arora was throwing up in the tent the first night). It is so peaceful and relaxing at Sparks - we felt like we really got away from our daily life out there at the lake.
Mark in his favorite relaxing position at Sparks Lake. We went in fully clothed because it was so hot - with our clothes wet, we stayed cool for a couple of hours after we came out.
Paddling the canoe with David and Arora.
Mark and Ken feeding the birds - bits of bread in each hand and on top of their hats. If you look closely, you can see the bird that landed on Marks right hand.
After we came home from Sparks Lake, we were here for just a Sunday, then we turned around and headed to the hills to go backpacking with grandkids. Our first outing was to Twin Lakes with Kat and Sarah. They are seven, and this was their first backpack outing. They did great!
Kat and Sarah on the trail to Twin Lakes.
Sarah and Kat learn how to set up their tent.
We had directions to a "letterbox" hidden beneath an old log about 1/2 mile past Upper Twin Lake. It made a great adventure and treasure hunt for the girls. Here is the moment where Kat and Sarah discovered the letterbox. We brought stamps and a stamp pad with us, and we all put our signatures and stamps into the tiny journal tucked inside the letterbox.
Mark, Sarah, and Kat enjoyed drinking their hot chocolate on the "bouncy log."
The four of us (me, Sarah, Kat, Mark) ready to hike back to the trailhead.
We met Jayesh at the trailhead and traded the girls for Josh and his friend, Kameron Christensen. Jay took the girls home, and we drove with the boys to Olallie Lake, where we donned packs and headed for the multitude of small lakes that surround Olallie. We had three days of joy hiking among the lakes and hills nearby.
Kameron and Josh pause by a small meadow.
Mark, Kameron and Josh swimming in Sheep Lake with their Thermarest sleeping pads.
Mark at the top of Potato Butte. Mt. Jefferson is in the background.
Kameron and Josh - ready to hike on a rainy morning.
At the end of the hike - back to Olallie Lake. (me, Kameron, Josh, Mark)
Then this week I went to Utah for a very quick trip. I helped Polly drive down for her sister-in-law's wedding. Too long a trip for just a mama and three young children! The kids were great on the trip, but we stopped frequently to let them get out and run around, so it took a very l-o-n-g time. We left at 5:30 am and didn't arrive until almost 11:00 pm! Then I spent a day and a half with Katie. It was really fun to visit her before her baby arrives sometime in the next 2 or 3 weeks.