Thursday, November 12, 2009

Halloween


We had a good Halloween this year. It was white. There was a big snow storm the Wednesday and Thursday before Halloween, but by Saturday night (Halloween)it was nice outside, a little cold, but nice. We knew Sky needed to have a costume that didn't have a mask that he would need to keep on because he hates things on his face. We tried to find a baseball outfit but could only find one in Broncos colors and Matt would have nothing to do with that. So we ended up getting him a Mr. Incredibles costume that was full of fake muscles on his chest and arms. There is a little black mask that goes over the eyes but even without wearing that, everyone new who he was and all thought that it was a perfect fit for him. We didn't end up going out on Halloween night because we thought Sky already had enough candy from the two Trunk or Treats we had gone to already.




Our ward had a trunk or treat on Saturday the 24th and we went to it. They had a potluck soup dinner, games and then the trunk or treat. I think the most fun that Sky had that night was when he got to roll down the hill by the church. He wants to do it every Sunday, but I won't let him because we don't want him to ruin his church clothes. Well that night was perfect. He didn't have his church clothes on. He liked people giving him candy too, but he still doesn't quite understand the whole concept.





Well he had a second Trunk or Treat to go to anyway. We went to Matt's parent's Trunk or Treat for their ward on the night before Halloween. Sky made his rounds through all the cars and got his candy and then went and sat in the back of Matt's parent's car and ate some of the candy that he had recieved. I think he liked his costume because he could run into things and it didn't really hurt because he had so many muscles.





So on Halloween we figured Sky was probably done with trick or treating, so we went to Matt's parent's house, helped hand out candy and did the annual Halloween puzzle. Skylar had fun watching the "Monster vs. Aliens" Halloween special over and over and over. We thought he would want to hand out the candy or join in on the puzzle but he just ate his candy and hung out. We figure next year we will take him out on the street. And just in case anyone was wondering, no Matt and I didn't dress up.





Well I'm sure some people are wondering if I've had the baby. No I haven't. My due date is the 23rd so I'm still waiting. My guess is I won't end up having the baby until after Thanksgiving or on Thanksgiving just so I can't have all the good food. So that's our life right now, just waiting and waiting and Matt's trying to get as much end of the semester school stuff done before the baby is born. We'll keep you posted. A little better than we have been.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Trek Day 3 & 4

When we woke up on the third day, we knew it was going to be the most difficult day of the trek. In the previous two days we had only walked a total of 11-12 miles and today we would be walking 12-13 miles. Because of the rain the night before, our Ma and Pa meeting got moved to before breakfast and in the meeting we found out that even though there were no rain clouds in the sky, we would all be wet by the end of the day. The rain storms had flooded the trail and there were going to be spots were trekers would be walking in knee deep water. That was a delight to one of our boys, Glenn, who couldn't wait for the river crossing but didn't sound like fun to the rest of them.
It didn't take long for the water and mud to become a factor. Less than a mile outside of camp there was a half mile stretch where the trail was covered in mud, mud, and more mud. Jen and I were able to walk off of the trail a little bit to avoid it but we still could not escape it all. One of our girls, Shelby, had gotten hurt the day before and tried to tough it out but after we all had to leap over a small stream that ran across the trail, she gave up and had to ride in the cart. Now by this time our kids had spent two straight days in the rain, slept on hard ground, and walked more miles in two days than they would normally have walked in an entire week. Needless to say tempers were beginning to grow and our kids were beginning to fight like a real family. No feelings were hurt and when they all started noticing it, they all laughed about it. We even had a crash while crossing a creek that ended up throwing our lunch into the water and pinning one of our girls, Sydney, under the handle bar.

She was hurt and a little upset but she soon joined us when she was ready. Now the purpose of this long day was to give the kids a little taste of what a normal day for the pioneers was like. On average the handcart companies travel 20-25 miles a day. We were asking the kids to do only half of that and by the end of it, they were walking with humble hearts.
The first two days were dedicated to Martin's Cove and the Martin handcart company and these last two days were dedicated to the Sixth Crossing and the Willie handcart company. When the pioneers traveled from Iowa City to Salt Lake they had to cross the Sweetwater River many times. When the Willie handcart company arrived at the Sixth and final crossing of the river, they had just ran out of there food rations and were too weak to cross the river on their own. They had received word from messengers that rescuers were on their way and decided to wait for them in a meadow on the east side of the river. Our trek took us to this very meadow were we listen to stories of the Willie company and ate lunch in the exact spot where these men and women were rescued. It was a tremendous experience and I could only imagine how these people must have felt when they looked to the west and saw rescue wagons coming over the hill.
Soon after it began to rain again and we sent our boys off for the Mormon Battalion and let the young women participate in the women's pull. They tried to get me to go with all of the men but I stuck around because our girls were in pretty bad shape. Shelby was still riding in the cart, Sydney had just gotten run over by the cart, Nikki was feeling very tired and Jen was 4 months pregnant and starting to feel the effects of the hike. The stake young womens president gave the girls a talk and then they began to pull up the toughest part of the trail. I thought I was going to have to jump in but they did great and pulled it the whole way up they hill. When they reached the top, the men were divided on either side of the trail and watch in respectful silence as their sisters and mothers pulled their carts. When we were reunited there was equal respect from both the young men and women.

Our next big thing which ended up being the most spiritual experience of the trek for me was the river crossing. After having a little presentation from the missionaries while we all got ATTACKED by hundreds of mosquitoes, those of us that wanted to were able to cross the river. Those who didn't want to were able to cross a bridge with the handcarts. Now as Jen has mentioned, once we were called to be Ma and Pa, I really got into researching and learning a lot about these pioneers and by far the stories that touched me the most were the stories of the multiple river crossings done by the handcart companies. These people had barely enough clothes on to stay modest, let alone protect them from the bitter cold weather and they were asked to cross ice cold waters that were sometimes chin deep. Now even thought it was June, it had been raining all week so the current was strong and the water was colder than I expected it to be. I did have a funny moment though when I saw our friend Ned Knight line up to cross the river but when he saw Joe Ellis, a rather tall man, go in ahead of him and have the river come up to his chest, Ned immediately turned around and headed away from the river. It turned out he just wanted to cross without his backpack but it was pretty funny thinking he had wimped out. When I got in the river the rush of the cold temperature shook my whole body. It seriously was the coldest water I had felt since those early mourning showers in Brazil. I took a minute to steady myself and began to walk across. Now I had given Jen the camera so we could get a good photo opp out of this one but once I was in the water, all I could think about was those pioneers and I just wanted to take this time to thank Heavenly Father for giving me this wonderful experience.
Matt in the middle with the suspenders

Jen said she kept waiting for me to look at her but I just couldn't. The cold water stopped the tears from flowing but it didn't stop me from understanding just a little of the pain and suffering those pioneers went through to follow the words of the prophet and head to Zion. All in all we had 4 members of our family cross the river, Glenn, Sterling, Sydney and Me. We were all wet walking back to camp but when we got there we knew we would have dry clothes unlike many of the pioneers who would die because they had no extra clothes.
On our way back to camp, Jen and I fell back from the pack. We were some of the last to finish but we finished. Neither one of us ended up in a cart and we walked what we found out later to be 25 miles in three days. It was an amazing experience and we finished the day off in our warm pajamas, ate dinner, had a wonderful testimony meeting and met up with our kids for one finally family talk. In our family meeting, I asked each kid to share one lesson they had learned from the last three days. Then we all said a pray, hugged and went to bed. Well we went to bed, the kids all stayed up in their tents and in fact someone had to get up at 2:00am and tell all the kids to be quiet and go to sleep.
The next mourning we woke up, packed up, had pancakes for breakfast and got on the buses to head home. When we got back to the stake center we found all of our stuff and headed back to my parents house for the best part of our trip, coming home to see the munchkin. He seemed exited to see us and my dad told me he had been walking around the whole house, even sticking his head under the bed, calling "Dad, Dad" that mourning.
Matt and Jen packing up and getting ready to leave on Saturday

Max(one of the boys in our family) drying his sock after we got back on Friday














Jen eating the dutch oven cake that was made for us on Friday because Matt and I didn't know how to use a dutch oven





Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Trek Day 2

When we woke up the second day of trek. It wasn't raining, but it was cloudy still. As we were taking down our tents and getting ready to leave the sun peaked through the clouds and to say the least we all yelled "Yeah", because we hadn't seen the sun since about 2:00 the day before. We were very grateful for the sun at that point. So we got our camp all packed up and ate breakfast and then it was time to go. So we all lined up and started off. We were going back the same way we came the day before for a while(about 4 miles). Then we broke off that trail and headed towards Martin's Cove. That was about a mile from where we broke off from the other trail. When we got there we ate lunch. It started raining really hard right after we got there and got under the pavilion. After we ate lunch our stake president and the 1st counselor in the stake presidency met us up there to talk to us about Martin's Cove and some the pioneer experiences. One of the youth got up and sang "Come, Come Ye Saints". It was beautiful and really brought the spirit to get us all ready to go into the cove. It was a mile walk around in the cove. A little before we started our walk around the cove it stopped raining and the sun came back out. It was really wonderful to see where the Martin Company was while they were waiting out the storm. Half way through there is an area where some of the missionaries that are up there tell some of the stories of the Martin company while they were waiting out the storm. It was really amazing to be where they were.

Getting to the pavilions by Martin's Cove

Of course during this presentation it started to rain really hard. It stopped about 10 minutes later, just enough for everyone to get wet. It was really neat to see how fast the clouds move in and out of those mountains. The view as you are walking out of the cove was beautiful. We didn't take our handcarts into the cove, so that we could focus on where we were and what had happened there. Once we got back to our hand carts we had about a mile to go to where we met the buses and right as we were getting on the buses it started to poor again. I want to point out one wonderful miracle and blessing that we had during that day, and this was just about every time it started to rain hard we were somewhere under a covering so that we didn't get wet. This helped a lot in keeping the youth's attitude happy.
Now we were headed to our next camping area "The sixth crossing". Once we got to our camping area it was still raining, so we stayed on the bus for a minute to find out what we were going to do. They let us know to all get off the buses and go under the little pavilions that were all around the camp ground. Then they sent all the youth back to the buses and had all the Ma's and Pa's stay and help set up tents and cook dinner. It was really fun because Matt and I got to know some of the Ma's and Pa's a little better. Once dinner was ready it had stopped raining. So we ate dinner as families and got all of our stuff put in our tents and went to bed. To say the least we were all really tired. It was definitely a theme of the trek. I can only imagine how tired the pioneers were when they stopped every night. They were very strong & faithful people to do all that they did. I am very grateful that I was able to experience just a little of what they did.

Putting one of girls in our cart that hurt her leg

Me and Matt leaving Martin's Cove

The rest are pictures of Martin's Cove

Where Martin's Company had their tents.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Trek day 1

Well we made it back from the trek in one piece. It was a wonderful experiance and Matt and I definately have more respect for the pioneers and we understand a little of what they felt like as they went across the plains day after day. We had seven children in our family, 3 girls and 4 boys. All of them were very excited to be on the trek. We started out on Wednesday. We had to be at the stake center at 5:00 a.m. We had to get there that early because we had a 4 to 5 hour bus ride ahead of us. Once we arrived at the Martin's Cove visiting center we had to eat our lunch quickly and then go get our handcarts and start filling them. We had a little meeting after that where we found out who was in our family. Then we put our families stuff in the cart and started out. Now while we had been in our little meeting it had been raining. So we started out on our trek with rain, not a lot but some. We walked for about 2 miles and most of the two miles it sunny with no rain. Then as we continued it started raining again a little. Then it was more steady. To say the least by the time we finished the last 4 miles we were going on Wednesday everyone was cold and wet.

When we arrived at our camp ground it had stopped raining and we discovered that most of the camp ground was really, really muddy and wet. So about half of us ended up putting our tents on the gravel parking lot area, so that our tents would stay dry and not get stuck in the mud. We were very blessed that night that we didn't have to cook for ourselves. The cooking staff made spegetti and bread. it was great. It's really interesting how it doesn't matter how cold your food gets, it's still good when you are really hungry. I say this because by the time we got our food and sat down it was already really cold because of the wind. However it was great to have food in my stomache. That night we had a square dance. It was really fun. Matt even danced and he does not like to dance, so I was really excited about that miracle!! Then once that was over we gathered our family up and talked a little about the day and had a spiritual thought and pray. Then it was time for bed. And let me tell you we were all ready to go to sleep.

One of our girls woke me up in the middle of the night because she had to go to the bathroom and didn't have a flashlight. So I grabbed our lantern and went with her. She kept hearing the coyotes, so she didn't want to go by herself, plus it isn't safe to walk around at night like that by yourself anyway. The funny thing about this was I had taken my contacts out and so I just put on my glasses, for some reason I couldn't see very well and she only had on contact in, so we kinda stumbled through the dark and found the bathroom and returned safely to our tents. Well I'll have to continure with day 2 of the trek later. Chau for now.


Taking a bathroom break.



Matt had a Green bandana on his head all day, so his head turned green.

During the square dance. (Jen's in the red sweatshirt with a black coat and blue skirt and Matt has a black coat on with white stripes) We're on the right side of the picure.

Monday, June 1, 2009

The summer begins

I guess i should start off with I'm pregnant and due in November. We don't know if it's a boy or a girl yet. We won't find that out until mid July. We're very excited!!
Matt finished his finals for this semester at the beginning of May. Now he will start working more and playing more.
Matt plays on a summer softball team. He started those games the Thursday after he finished his finals. The teams has 2 wins and 2 losses so far. Which we are happy with because it is better than last years record was. He has a game every Thursday.
Also Matt and I are getting ready to go on the Trek with the youth in our ward. We will be the Ma and Pa of a family. We're both really excited to go. Everyone keeps telling us we should take Skylar with us on the Trek, but I don't think that would go very well, so he's going to spend 3 and a half days with Matt's parents. They will have lots of fun too!!
Then at the beginning of July Matt starts the one summer class he is taking. It's a five week class 4 nights a week. So he will be plenty busy in the month of July. So those are the happenings right now. I'll do better at the updating.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

All - Star Lacrosse game


This past weekend was the All-Star Lacrosse game and skills competition here in Denver. Friday night was the skills competition and of course Matt wanted to go, which I was fine with because it was free. It was suppose to be a fun family outing until I got sick Friday afternoon and wasn't able to go. Matt and Skylar went anyway with our friends J.T. and Brittany and their two boys. Matt was able to get mine and his jersey's signed by some of the players that were there!! All the activities were on the field, which Sky really liked. Sky and our friends little boy Austin had a lot of fun just running around. What a surprise huh!! Matt took pictures with some of the players and he got a picture with the Mascott of the Colorado team. His name is Woolly. He's a big Mammoth. He's one of my favorite parts of the game. Here are some pictures from Friday night.





The next night was the actual All-Star game, but I was still sick so Matt & Skylar went with Matt's parents to the game. They had a lot of fun even though the East won.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Sky's New Favorites



Lately Skylar likes to do two basic things. The first thing is clean up the messes he makes with our dust buster. Of course this is a good thing. So first he makes the mess, which is very easy for him to do. Then he'll go get the dust buster and bring it to me and say "help" and point to the on button. Before I turn it on I have to make sure that nothing is on the floor that could get sucked up that shouldn't be. The main problem with Sky and his dust buster is that he doesn't want to turn it off. He just wants to keep it running even if he isn't cleaning anything. The dust buster is only a little smaller than Skylar so it's very cute watching him carry it.


Now on to his 2nd favorite thing to do. This is watch hockey. For those of you that don't know my husband, he is a sports fanatic. In other words he loves all sports including hockey. So Sky has picked this up from him. Apparently Skylar's favorite sport is hockey because as soon as we walk in the door Sky starts saying "hoc, hoc". He'll either grab the play station remotes or point to the T.V. He doesn't usually care which way he can see it as long as he can. He also likes to play hockey. He will grab two of his plastic golf clubs and a ball then come give one to me and say "hoc". He does pretty good considering he's not even two yet.
The above picture is Sky relaxing watching hockey.



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