Jul 262013
 

A couple of months ago, Kyle called a local landscaper about getting our sprinklers all fixed up. He must have been really busy, because we didn’t hear back from him until just this past week. He came over and took a look at what we needed to have done and he gave us a quote for much less than the quote we were given a few years ago, so we thought that we might as well get it all taken care of.

He came over and got the front fixed up in just a day. He figured out that the front strip wasn’t getting water because of a leak in the line and he dug up the area of the grass in the front of the yard before the sidewalk, and got the leak fixed, and now the front strip gets water again! 🙂 We also had him move all the valves out of the flower bed and into the grass area. I really didn’t like that the boxes that covered the valves were right in the front, center of the flower bed and that that made it difficult to be able to plant anything in the flower bed. Now, having the boxes in the grass area in front of the flower bed, it doesn’t really look bad, and they are easy to mow right over. I would have preferred having them on the side of the house, completely out of the way, but that just wasn’t possible because that is where all the gas, electrical and phone lines are running up to the house.

These past couple of days he has been over to work on the backyard. We had originally put the backyard on one station, and it wasn’t meant to go all the way to the fence, just the area in the middle of the yard, and there was no water to the garden boxes. I didn’t plant a garden this year, just because I found it very difficult to remember to go out and water the garden every day, and I told Kyle that I wasn’t going to do a garden until we got a water line to the garden boxes. So we ended up having him split the main part of the yard into two stations, and they go all the way to the fence, and we had him add lines to all of the garden boxes. 😀

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I am SO excited that we have finally gotten this taken care of. Timing wasn’t really optimal, considering Kyle is still unemployed, and here we are putting money into the yard without knowing when we will get the next paycheck. But it is something that has needed doing for quite some time, and I’m glad it’s finally done, so now the grass can start getting green again and I look forward to having an awesome garden next year. 🙂

Jul 232013
 

The UTA was doing a special to encourage people to try out the train in an effort to help keep the air quality nice. So Kyle signed himself and myself up for the freebie train tickets. We got a group ticket at the station and the littlest kiddos rode free and we went on an adventure on the train.

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The kids were so excited. I remember taking a train trip when I was younger, but I don’t remember where we went, I just remember being on the train, and I think there was a snack bar, and I vaguely remember some Cinco de Mayo celebrations going on wherever it was that we got off. So I knew that this would be something that the kids would find fun and could end up being a happy memory for them when they are older.

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The train goes all the way up to Ogden, so that is where we went first. We had lunch in this old train car turned into a restaurant.

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Then we got back on the train and headed back south. We decided to get off in Salt Lake and walk around a bit, which turned into doing a tour at the conference center.

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The kids thought it was funny to all lay down on the bench in the middle of the room.

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Towards the end of our tour we got to go up on the roof of the conference center, which was pretty cool. The pyramid looking things are actually the skylights that shine into the main room of the conference center. Here they are covered, to keep the light from shining through.

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The kids were instantly drawn to the water, as they always are. The trees in the background are part of the gardens on the top of the conference center. On either side of the roof there are plants are trees planted that are native to Utah, which I found pretty cool.

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Once our tour of the conference center was over, we got to walk around the temple grounds a little bit.

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I think those trees in the background look cool.

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Lydia saw all the other climbing up the stairs of the temple and wanted to do the same, but I really didn’t want to pull her out of the stroller and end up needing to chase her, so I made her happy by taking a picture of her in front of the temple. 🙂

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Once again….kids attracted to the water… 😛

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By this time in the day, we were all tired, and some of the kids were starting to get cranky so we decided it was time to walk back to the train and go home. I think it was a good day though, and I’m pretty sure the kids had fun. 🙂

Jul 222013
 

I love that our ward has a garden! We didn’t hear much about it during planting time at all, and we kept waiting to hear information on who is going to plant and what. Last year the relief society had a meeting where they went and planted the potatoes and onions and garlic. Then the young men and women went and planted other things. But this year we didn’t hear anything at all, and we were starting to get worried that there might not be a garden. I guess the guy that is in charge of it just took care of getting it all planted on his own. But as soon as we heard that it was in need of weeding we decided we needed to plan a family home evening to go pull weeds at the garden as a family. There are also some scout requirements for both Ethan and Tyra that can be passed off by helping to tend the garden and since we don’t have a family garden this year, we are using the ward garden to be able to sign them off. Ethan decided to wear his uniform to the garden since he knew he was going for the purpose of signing off scout stuff. DSCF4303 Look at that sunset: DSCF4304 Working on the beats and carrots: DSCF4305 It was dark before we left, but we filled a whole bag with weeds, and we harvested some lettuce to have with dinner in the next couple of days. 🙂 DSCF4316

Jul 202013
 

This weekend our troop had our second trip to the cabin to take up the other half of the troop. This trip was to be for all the brownies, and one of our juniors since her sister is a brownie and we didn’t want to make them come to the cabin twice. Amy said that she intended to take Eliza up again since it was their family’s cabin, and then I asked if Tyra and I could tag along as well considering I am the leader of the whole troop, and Amy is just to be over juniors next year and Michelle is to just be over the brownies. Well we hadn’t heard any sort of RSVP from a few of the girls and found out the week of that three of them weren’t going to be able to attend. Two because of other plans for the weekend, and one because she broke her elbow and that needed to be taken care of instead. So the trip to the cabin ended up being Amy, Michelle and I and our daughters. As fun as our big troop is, it was kind of nice and quiet being such a small group. Michelle’s brownie daughter had already earned the brownie badges that we were planning on doing at the cabin, as we had basically planned on doing them for the other girls but since none of them came, all of those activities got wiped off the plans. Amy had been planning on doing a couple of different junior badges with Michelle’s junior daughter than we did at the first cabin trip, and so we worked on those, and we helped her earn some of the things that we did at the first cabin trip. One of the badges that we worked on this time that we didn’t last time was the Independence badge. For this one the girls got to create a design with some buttons to sew onto a shirt.

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A couple of the girls had issues, like sewing the front of the shirt to the back, but I guess that is why we do activities like this, right? So they can learn of the possibility of mistakes like that and figure out how to prevent them in the future. 🙂 A little later Amy took the girls out to show them some things under the hood of a car. They got to learn where the oil is and how to check it, and where the windshield wiper fluid is and other basic stuff like that.

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Once we did what we could with the badges the rest of the time was spent with the girls playing around, and Amy and Michelle and I played a few games of Rummikub.

After dinner we talked about taking the girls on a night hike, since that was one of the things needed for a junior badge that we did last time, which Michelle’s older daughter missed. We told the girls to go get their water and their shoes and other supplies, as we were getting ready to go out, and they all proceeded to go up to the loft to get their stuff. Then we heard Tyra scream and say, “A BEAR!!!” Michelle flipped out and said that we weren’t going to be taking her girls outside, and Amy and I were just thinking “there is no way she saw a bear!” The girls had been quite noisy all day, and any animals which heard their noises would have steered clear of our location. After questioning Tyra about what this bear looked like, how big was it, where did you see it, and which way was it going, Amy and I went out to see if we could find any sign of any wild animal. We went to the back of the cabin and we didn’t see anything. No tracks, no trampled bushes, no sign that any animal had passed by. Tyra said that it was small so we are thinking that maybe it was a badger or something else like that, something that could have gone under the bushes. So we finished up the night, not by taking the girls out on a night hike, but by having our dessert, and sending the girls to the loft for bed. However the girls were having a really hard time falling asleep. They were really freaked out about the possibility of a bear. They kept talking about bears, and thinking that they saw a bear looking in through the window at them. NOBODY slept well that is for sure. In the morning we got up and had breakfast, and then we cleaned up and headed home. I’m sure everybody was thinking of getting home and taking a nap!

Update 1 Aug:Amy and I went to a service unit meeting tonight, and on our way there we were talking and Amy said that her uncle called her, and asked if we had heard anything about a bear while we were up at the cabin the last time. She told him the story of how Tyra thought she saw a bear and how freaked out the girls were over that. Then he told her that a bear was actually just caught, up in the same area as where their family cabin is. Now we are thinking that maybe Tyra did see a bear….but we aren’t going to tell the girls that!