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Sunday, September 14, 2014

Tourists In Our Own State: Dinosaur National Monument




I was determined this year to make better use of the camper trailer than last year, so without husbands Liz and I packed up the kids and the cars for a trip to Dinosuar National Monument. I hadn't been there since I was kids and I have been anxious to take the boys for years. None of the kids were keen on having their pictures taken as we surveyed the bones along the quarry wall. They specifically requested that if we were to take any photos they be "candid shots." We forced a few posed pictures though. It is our right as moms to take pictures, earned during those nine months of pregnancy and every day since. (An argument I am making this afternoon as well, as we prepare for family pictures).




Some things I learned and liked about this trip, in case anyone is thinking about heading that way.

1. Our campground was on the banks of the Green River. (Next time, when our kids are older, rafting through the park is on my list.) Lot of trees to climb and for shade, and bordering sand hills that they slid down over and over and over.
2. Josie's homestead is at the far end of the park road and bunnies abound. The boys had a plan to impale one with a sharp stick. I was afraid they actually might! 

3. Red rocks make me happy, and petroglyphs make them all the more interesting.



4.  After the young 'ins went to sleep Drew and I went out to observe spectacularly starry skies. Even with a moon the light was brilliant.



Thursday, September 4, 2014

Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience


One of the kids' down time pleasures this summer has been watching some good clean humor on Studio C. And when not watching they enjoy following the antics on my Instagram account. The boys have been itching to go to a taping, but audience members must have reached the ripe old age of 12 to attend, plus tickets are super hard to get. Even the rehearsals, at which younger kids are welcome, fill up ridiculously fast.

Today when I checked my Instagram feed at 11am @studioctv announced that they still had tickets for today's afternoon rehearsal, surely due to Utah County kids being back in class. So on a whim I found a friend to watch Charlotte, made arrangements for carpool, and checked the three out of school and told them I thought they deserved an afternoon watching TV. It was so fun to be the hero when we turned down the canyon and they realized we would be watching it live in person.

Isaac with his favorite actor James, the Lobster Bisque guy.


Eli did not want his picture taken--he's too cool already!

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Happy


Charlotte and the boys watched this video tonight.





Without any prompting on our part she gave the following narration:

"Oh, he's happy!" when the boy put on his new coat.

"Oh, he's just crying," when she saw the other boy in the alley.

"He's so sad," when the boy goes home to his mother without his new coat.

"Now he's so happy!" seeing the younger boy warm and smiling, "This is about Jesus."

I love how the Spirit can convey truth in a way that a two-year old can confirm. And I love this sweet girl of mine.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black Ninjas Hi-Ya!


This year in T-ball the Black Ninjas were the team to watch and the team to beat. In the 4-6 year old league this team was heavily stacked with strong and fast six-year-olds, backed-up by some super cute four and five year olds.
So what if it made the other teams cry every time the umpire kindly whispered, "You're out, Sweetie" after mid-fielder Jackson fired the ball to Eli on first base. These ballers were after one thing and one thing only--the big W. Well, two things actually: the win and the treat at the end. 
Eli Sullivan was among the team leaders this year. He not only leads his family in athletic prowess, but is one of the fastest runners, hardest hitters, and most focused fielders on the team. The sporting community is anxiously waiting to see what he will do this fall in First Grade Soccer.
This has been Coach Heather reporting for the SSN, the Sullivan Sports Network

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Family Retreat

A few weeks ago we decided to have a family retreat, much the same way a Company would have a retreat to build unity to focus vision on what we're trying to accomplish as a family.  We decided to spend the night at the Alta Ski Lodge.  It was an excellent choice, as the rooms were large (Queen, Full, and Twin), the price was right, the scenery was gorgeous, there was no TV, and nobody else at the Lodge.  It was fantastic.  

Although there was no TV, there was fast Wi-Fi.  I had decided we should watch together the making of Pixar, a documentary on the success of the company that makes the movies my kids love.  That night we watched it together in our hotel room, and then spent some time talking about what made Pixar successful.  I love that my kids are getting older and beginning to recognize attributes and virtues that people/teams/companies display and can interpret how that makes them successful.  It was a great conversation!  After our talked we headed to the hot tubs, then to bed.

The next morning we played some card games, and the spent some time writing on 3X5 cards attributes we wanted to have as a family.  We haven't yet incorporated that into a mission statement, but it was again satisfying to hear my kids talk about what they thought would be important as a family.  "Work hard and play hard" came from both Drew and Eli.  Isaac wrote something like "Love of Curiosity".  We also talked about compassion, empathy, and other virtues we want to emulate as a family.  Hopefully it will give us direction when feel frustrated.

After all the discussion about improving ourselves, since we worked hard, we decided it was time to play hard.  He drove down the canyon a few feet to Snowbird and spent the day on their outdoor features.  We originally only purchased Charlotte 2 ride tickets on the Alpine Slide, but after one run it was clear she wanted to do it "AGAIN!" and "AGAIN!" so we exchanged the other ticket for an all-day pass.  I must have ridden it over half a dozen times with her!

Eli and Mom on the right slide

Eli, Drew, and Isaac loved the trampolines, and were determined to do back-flips all day long



Charlotte and I ready to go down the Alpine Slide

Heather and Charlotte


video video

Monday, August 4, 2014

Neck-iversarry

We haven't posted in awhile.  Just having way too much fun.  Maybe everyone has stopped checking this post anyway, or you're only here out of a complete fit of boredom.  But since this is where we catalog our life I'm taking to posting.

A year ago yesterday I broke my neck while mountain biking at Trailside park in Park City.  Details about my hospital stay can be found here.  I've always wanted to go back and look again to figure out what happened and put to bed my ideas about what happened.  Yesterday Heather indulged me on a trip to celebrate the anniversary of that event.  My memory of what happened that day is a little off from what I explained to everyone. 
About where Heather and Charlotte are is where I bailed off this thing.  It's about 1 1/2 to 2 feet off the ground.  I gained a bunch of speed from the first obstacle (in other pictures) and decided I wanted to get off.  This second obstacle had a conveniently located escape ramp; that apparently you're supposed to stay on the whole way down.

Heather and Charlotte examining the first obstacle.

There were plenty of "more dangerously looking" obstacles you'd expect someone to break their neck on.  It was odd to go to the spot and think, "here, really? seems easy compared to everything else".


My last view with a healthy neck.


Charlotte just loved walking over these obstacles.

Charlotte is becoming a great photographer.  She stole my phone and was taking pictures later that night.  It's been nice to have such good friends that have helped us out thru so many hard things!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Day weekend and it feels like summer is officially here. Heber has been unusually warm this year. Absolutely beautiful. It seems like Memorial Days can be hit and miss around here, but we definitely hit the jackpot this year.

We started our holiday with a drive to Claire's and Lily's grave in Cottonwood Heights. It is such a beautiful place, especially when the whole place is decorated. It is always a peaceful place to be with our family. 



Enticed by the first Brag Badge of the season we attended the community Memorial Day breakfast and program. It was a good reminder of the sacrifice many make and why we celebrate this day. 


We did find it ironic that we were waving Taiwanese American flags during one pseudo-patriotic country song touting "Made in America."

Karen and the Johnson cousins came to visit between leaving their home in Anchorage and moving to a new home in Houston. The kids all ran the Memorial Day Mile-long Fun Run. Eli has been asking to run a race all spring. He ran the whole way. Drew took second place. If there had been a prize he would have tried harder and taken first he claims. Isaac took a few "short cuts."


Afterwards we went home for pizza--got to get right on the pizza party Brag Tag.



All in all, a memorable day!