Monday, October 13, 2014

conference weekend and the rest of the fun stuff

 After we showered, we headed out to see more sights. There's a quirky little building down the street from the cabin called The Flute Shop, and we stopped in to let the kids buy a souvenir. So exciting!
 Then they posed in the tee-pee with their new items. Ethan got a rock, Brandon got a sword, Josh got a tiny flute, Makenna got a bracelet, and Ashley got a barrette with beads that hang down over her shoulder.
 We headed into Fruita for a pioneer activity. They had some fabulous bluegrass music going on, as well as a lady cranking out some delicious homemade apple cider, people making pottery, and ladies teaching the kids how to sewing quilts.
 Our favorite was this farmer who told the kids all about branding cattle, and how to make a rope out of cow hair that will repel snakes.
 Here's a horseshoe growing in a tree. And an Ethan climbing in a tree.
 The cowboy let us brand a cow with a hot stick. The kids were proud of the brands they created.
 A sweet old lady sat on the steps of the old farm house with her rolled down socks and told stories about the people who settled the area so long ago, and their dealings with scorpions and other scary things.
 We ate some ice cream and sipped old fashioned soda. Ashley's wouldn't stop foaming with every sip, and it pretty much got everywhere.
 It's fun to watch these two teenagers hangout and have "I know more about everything" competitions.
 And the lack of humidity gets to us occasionally. Josh wouldn't stop licking his lips, until he ended up looking like a clown. Poor guy.
 This is a deep crevice carved out by rivers through the centuries. You can see the decent sized river near Ashley's left hip, way down below.
 This is how the teenagers watched conference. While the ten year old girl took notes...silly boys.
It was a beautiful weekend, and so much fun to share it with my brother's family, who had never been to Capitol Reef before. We did learn that you don't get as much conference listening done when there are hikes calling out to you, so it's not the smartest place to go if you want to listen to the prophet speak. :) Luckily we can always listen on the internet later...

conference weekend and Hickman's Bridge

 I forgot my camera, so these are all cell phone pictures. But over General Conference Weekend, we invited my brother's family to join us at the cabin for a fun weekend. On the drive there, I told my brother about a police car that always had a dummy inside it. When we spotted it, he wanted to get out and take a picture. A real officer drove by and laughed and waved at us as we admired the dummy.
 Chris and Ethan went to a (losing) BYU football game, so they came up the next morning. But I took my brother's family to see a few sights. We checked out some amazing petroglyphs, as well as the gorgeous canyons, beautiful sunshine, and a huge natural arch.
 Brandon was sweet, and tried to hold Josh's hand in some of the scarier parts. Below, Ashley was bowing to Josh, I guess because sitting on a big rock made him a king.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

a bunch of random things

 Ashley told me a few weeks ago, about an hour before school started, that she needed some salt dough that day. After telling her, "sorry, you should have told me yesterday," I decided to make some since it only takes a few minutes. It turns out, I was one of only three parents who sent in the dough. The class used my whole wheat dough to make the mountains. They thought the texture was great. I was glad they appreciated it since it was expensive flour :)
Here's the view of our walk to the elementary school in the morning. So beautiful, and even though I miss The Swamp like crazy, the huge open skies and the majestic mountains make up for our lack of beaches in the Rocky Mountains. 
 Like I said, I can't get enough of these mountains! Every day they look different. The other day they were floating in the clouds. Today they are speckled with red and yellow and orange.
When the clouds finally went away, there was SNOW on top of them! That's when I started to slightly long for The Swamp again.
Really bad cell phone picture of Ashley and I before heading to the General Women's Meeting. I love going to this meeting with her. Having the younger girls in the room with their moms really brings a warm, loving spirit into the room as we listen to life-affirming, uplifting talks together. 
 A few weeks ago Chris surprised us with tickets to a Jazz concert. Josh LOVES big band and music in general. Music moves him and speaks to him in a major way, so we thought he'd enjoy it. And Ethan is taking Saxophone in middle school, and thought he'd have fun watching talented people play his instrument in interesting ways. Unfortunately, it was on a school night and we didn't get home until about 10pm. Josh wiggled in his seat, moving to the rhythm, even when he put his head on my lap to close his eyes and take a small nap. It was great :)