Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lake Cavanaugh - last party of the summer

Birch and I were chatting about how our annual trip to Lake Cavanaugh is always a bit bittersweet for us.  It means the summer is coming to a close and I'm going to start getting cold and having to wear layers BUT it also means relaxation, tons of water time, and so much fun with family.  We all shed a silent tear as we drove toward home this year from the cabin.
This poor hot tub gets used from morning until dusk.  By about the second hour of us all arriving at the cabin it is also totally nasty.  Think small children...grass...sand...boogers...etc.  I refuse to go in it but check out these awesome Daddy's that climb right in and even pretend to be relaxing.
Nate is pretty much #1.
Nate and cousin Addy were always up to something together. 
Jumping off the high dock this year was a favorite for all the kids.  Alysee was a maniac doing all sorts of tricks.
I don't even want to know why there was foam in the hot tub or what it was made out of...all I can think of is Impetigo Baby!!!
Check out my awesome hubby!
Coop totally wanted to get himself some of THAT!!! 
Tyler spent hours on the tub.
I think if I had to pick one child that was most excited to go to the lake this year it would be Alex.  He did a lot fun and new things this summer but all along the most important thing to him was that he was going to be able to go to the lake.  He had to wear a silicone ear plug since he just hit his one month post-operative date and the lake water isn't too good for his ears.
Nate and Addy did this for hours -- jumping off the dock and "surfing" on these air mattresses.
They got pretty good!
Tyler was like a jumping bean off of the dock.
Chloe could have slept in the hot tub if we had let her. She did go tubing with Birch and had a good time but hands down the hot tub is her favorite place to be.
Alex tried the wake board for the first time.  He decided that he likes it better than waterskiing.
This is where you could find me most of the time -- basking in the sun.  I read a whole book, talked for hours with my sister-in-laws, snuggled with my new baby nephew, and cooked up a couple of tasty meals.
Chloe went with Uncle Logan on a sailboat ride.
Alex wanted to try it ALL this year -- here he is knee boarding.
Alysee surprises me a bit with how daring she is.  I guess I had kind of always thought she was a little more cautious like me but this summer has shown me that she is a girl of adventure and socializing.
It took a couple of tries but she was up and skiing in no time. 
Way to go Alysee -- check out that tongue!!!

Speaking of tongues...what's up with the Dittos?
This collage is all just from this trip.  I was trying to think of where they all got it from and then I remembered this guy...
 The master of the concentrating and excited tongue!!!

Perhaps we are all a little bit on the nutty side! (side note:  the craziest one of all, Maren, is missing in this picture.  She was down for a nap.)

We do know how to control ourselves though!  I sure love this family I married into!
Grannie is ALWAYS surrounded by a flock of grandchildren.  She is such a good sport and even consented to a half day trip across the lake in the peddle boat pulling about 2/3's of these grandkids in tubs and floaties.  What an awesome Grannie!!!

Can't wait until next year!!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Alysee - the birthday girl

I can't imagine life at our house without this girl.  She is literally the life of the party...she is a P.A.R.T.Y.  Alysee is full of life and noise!  She talks on high speed and high volume.  She is an organizer, a list maker, an animal and bug lover, a favorite sister, an avid reader, a social butterfly, a singer and dancer, and a daughter of God. 
One reason I love Alysee is because she loves my favorite cake : )  We had angel food cake topped with pudding and blueberries.
 Alysee loved putting together her birthday present from Grannie, a fun mirror/note hanger!
Alysee is always on the hunt for a bug to rescue.  Currently she is housing a praying mantis but would trade in the insect in a heartbeat if we would get her an real live purring or barking, pooping animal.
This sign is totally how her parents feel about pets.  Alysee has warned me many times that when she has her own house she is going to fill it with dogs and cats and then I'll have to visit her and have them purring and sniffing my crotch.  Boy, I can hardly wait!


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Wavin' the Flag...a band of brothers

Birch took a bunch of boys on the Annual Sheep Lake Adventure this past weekend.  I'm not sure who was more excited -- Cooper, as he was finally deemed old enough to go, or the rest of the boys who have been counting down the days for months.
Everyone was loaded up (literally) and ready to hit the trail full of energy.
The wild flowers were just gorgeous!

This year Birch introduced a new idea.  Before leaving on the hike the boys were each asked to read Alma chapter 46 where Captain Moroni, a prophet, makes a "Title of Liberty" as a call to arms for his people to defend their country, family, freedom, peace and religion.  The kids all had a chance to declare what they are STANDING FOR and write it on their homemade flag.

Family, Jesus, The Gospel, America, My Mom, Missionaries, and Freedom are a few of the words the boys wrote on the flag.
I sure love this band of brothers!
Just look at these answers -- what warriors we are raising!

Birch shared his spoon with one of the boys who broke it, so he scooped up his breakfast oatmeal with half a spoon.    I'd say I married one awesome guy that happily takes seven kids on a backpacking trip by himself and throws in some spirituality too!  I asked Birch what the hardest part of being the only adult on the trip (I'm sure Mark was there in spirit); his response -- digging all the holes in the morning for everyone to poop in.  Seriously, he had to dig TEN holes!!  Now that is some major poopin!
Taking a break on the Jerky Log in memory of Mark Cox.
Near Sourdough Gap.
My boys

My other boys...the Cox boys
Love these pictures of Chase, Nate, and Coop

A dip in Sheep Lake is required for every camper.
Birch said that at first the boys were all "fighting" over who got to hold the flag but by the end of the trip no one wanted a turn.
Coop did a great job keeping up with the older boys.  Birch said he was so antsy to always move on to the next thing/hike since he has had years of hearing about the backpacking trip he wanted to do it all!  The contents of Cooper's pack included pj's, underwear, his swimsuit, and chips.
Nate -- what a stellar kid!
The highlight of the trip is always roasting Starbursts over a campfire which goes undocumented since this year's fire was illegal.   These boys came home TIRED and HAPPY! 

Check out this fun video and movie clips from their awesome weekend!

Can't view the movie?  Check out:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hMEIQBNdnTg&feature=share&list=UUJNS04EBDgXey9WL-P75KgA