Camping for Easter (and March)…

March was full of wonderful things!

River tried out for the school play, Beauty and the Beast Jr. She was one of the younger ones trying out. When we signed in and they called her in to try out she didn’t skip a beat. She wasn’t nervous, she just went right ahead. The lady commented “Is she really in 3rd grade? That’s amazing, she is so brave!” I was very proud. IMG_1676 Thomas’ style includes the animal print pants Grandma Wendy madeIMG_1680 PicnicsIMG_1686 Feeding the ducksIMG_1697 Rearranging the people in the house: 

We moved the girls into one room and the boys into another (Molly and Thomas were together before and River and Wesley were in another room). We moved Jeannie downstairs into a smaller room and utilized the two bigger rooms for the kids. River also got Jeannie’s loft bed which utilized the space further.IMG_1698 IMG_1699 IMG_1700 IMG_1701 IMG_1703 IMG_1704 IMG_1708 Dr. Seuss’s birthday: green eggs with pom pom trees and one fish, two fish.IMG_1718 IMG_1724 IMG_1723Mixed media artwork
IMG_1741 IMG_1742 IMG_1774 Making sugar cube (Frozen) castles at our friend’s houseIMG_1831 IMG_1833 IMG_1836 IMG_1839 IMG_1843 IMG_1863 We got a new washer and dryerIMG_1878 We went camping for Easter weekendIMG_1886 IMG_1887 IMG_1892 We made chocolate peanut butter eggs while campingIMG_1894 We dyed easter eggs while we were campingIMG_1898 IMG_1904 IMG_1906

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Mya came with

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The pepper is screaming…

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Easter baskets

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Posted in About the Clan, For the kids, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

January 2016 through February 2016

These are the wonderful things that we did January and February of this year:

Naps and cuddles
IMG_1203 IMG_1236 A sensory bin–water marbles and creepy crawlies!IMG_1314 IMG_1325 Play doh creationsIMG_1337 IMG_1338 SillinessIMG_1350 Walks in the snow just Deric and IIMG_1358 IMG_1362 Bubble BlowingIMG_1367 IMG_1378 IMG_1379 IMG_1380Mommy-kids date at Arctic Circle playground
IMG_1390 Carpooling with Deric to workIMG_1399 Trying a different homemade icing recipeIMG_1403 Art in the bathtub (on our new flat walls)IMG_1417 Painting toe nailsIMG_1583 IMG_1451 Painting to make valentinesIMG_1452 IMG_1474 IMG_1475 IMG_1476 IMG_1472 IMG_1471 IMG_1470 IMG_1469 (this one is mine:)IMG_1467 IMG_1466 Home Depot valentines MailboxesIMG_1534 IMG_1516 Making homemade ValentinesIMG_1533 IMG_1532 IMG_1531 Surprised with a heart attack!IMG_1537 IMG_1538 IMG_1541 Valentine’s Day pancakes and donuts from Jeannie’s momIMG_1565 IMG_1572 IMG_1580 Family Movie nightIMG_1611 IMG_1590 IMG_1606

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Christmas (finally) In Photos…

IMG_1193Work Christmas party!IMG_1195After we prepared the gifts Christmas Eve. We have so much thanks to dollar tree and Grandma and Grandpa Speck and many others! Thank you all!

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picking is the hardest part

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So happy it’s here!

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spiderman costume!

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Our compromise for a fish tank for River. Fake fish in a night light kind of tank.

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Molly’s big gift was the fashion plates drawing set that was around when I was a kid. She adores it!

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Happy in his awesome hoodie!

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Loving every minute.

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Grandma Wendy sent TONS of awesome things for each of the kids all color coded and numbered!

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Gear building set!

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Jeannie loved her gifts too.

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Awesome books from Grandma Joan!

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They got each other gifts at the dollar store. The snow globe was from River.

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boys playing with the fun toys

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These horses Grandma Wendy made! They look just like one she had as a kid. Amazing!

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River looooved giving gifts.

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Wow!

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Amazing stockings Grandma Wendy made (knit) for the kids!

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candy!

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Mya joined in

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We sure loved the dollar store this year.

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Aww, the boy and his dog.

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flashlights!

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They wanted a bath immediately because they got fun bath colors.

IMG_1198Grandma Wendy made the girls dresses and pearls.
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From William!

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From William–Magnetic building set

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taking lots of pictures with William’s phone

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Play doh and play make up.

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William came by bearing gifts.

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digging for dinosaur bones

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IMG_1203…And all tuckered out after and awesome day!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Life After Big Change is…

Life after my going to work {A ginormous change} means….

Getting help with the work around the house:IMG_1119 Watching sunrises (with the kids):IMG_1122 IMG_1128 Finding moments and reasons for creativity: 

(An ugly sweater party and an office ugly sweater contest yielded this quick idea.)IMG_1141 Naps:IMG_1139 Making pancakes to freeze for kids throughout the week (and using up some toppings around the kitchen):IMG_1149Staying positive (a sticky note in my cubicle):
IMG_1152 Enjoying decorations for Christmas…everywhere we go:IMG_1154 Being amazed at the many inches of puffy snow that keeps coming:IMG_1156 IMG_1158Enjoying the company of those I love:

{A magnificent view on Date night with Deric}
IMG_1162Kimber (Deric’s mother’s side) Family Christmas party:

Thomas rocked the bells this year! He read the notes without any help at all!IMG_1170 Making homemade hot cocoa in the crock pot:IMG_1175 Cuddles and loves whenever we can:IMG_1186And….

Always remaining flexible.IMG_1189~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, Bettering Myself, For the Foodies, For the kids | Leave a comment

Halloween to Thanksgiving…

Halloween…

Painting our pumpkins from our garden and the J&J pumpkin patch ride:
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{and of course we made yummy roasted pumpkin seeds}

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Thomas’ 4 year old preschool pumpkin patch field trip:

IMG_0843 IMG_0845 IMG_0846 IMG_0847 IMG_0854 IMG_0858 IMG_0860 IMG_0861 IMG_0877 IMG_0881 My costume for my friend’s fund raiser (supermom!):IMG_0884The girl’s Elementary School Halloween Parade:
IMG_0908 IMG_0909 Thomas’ preschool Halloween party and costume fashion show:IMG_0914 IMG_0915Trick or Treating in the neighborhood with neighbor friends:
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The finale of our garden:

IMG_0948 Lovely fall finds and flowers from my hubby:IMG_0924 Green Tomato sweet bread (AMAZING):IMG_0967 First snow early november…IMG_0988——————————-

Crafting Sunday–Pine cone owls and trees:IMG_1027 IMG_1029 …also a real nature sun catching collage…

{I seriously love these two projects. They turned out amazing.}

Directions: simply take one piece of contact paper and arrange nature as desired, then apply another sheet of contact paper over top. Hang with washi tape, if desired, on a window/door.IMG_1041

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What I have been doing at least 9 hours a day, 6 days a week since Nov 7th: I am a temporary tele-underwriter for Equitable Life and Casualty. I had 3 days of training when it would normally require 6 weeks. So, I learned fast and learn on the go every day. But, I’ve been proud of myself for picking things up so well. I may stay on after the temporary position is over end of December if they want me so we can dig out of the rough patch we’ve been in. But, we have had everything align very well through everything financially and otherwise. We are quite happy with it.IMG_1057 ——————————

Sunday Activity—Feeding the ducks and playing at the park:IMG_1070 IMG_1081 IMG_1083

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Someone(s) dropped off this feast a few days before thanksgiving on our front porch. If it was you. Thank you. We really are thankful for your generosity and love.IMG_1092 Thanksgiving:

{traditional food coloring spray for the snow}IMG_1093

We had my sister and her boyfriend over for the day after Thanksgiving. We decorated for Christmas and played the Great Dahl Mooty (sp?). We had a blast talking and laughing and eating the “Thanksgiving sides Feast” I prepared. I am happy I have some family nearby. We were sad Doug got sick and couldn’t come.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the Foodies, For the kids, Gardening, Kiddie Craftiness | Leave a comment

Fall Brings: Changes and Fun…

Our amazing bathroom transformation:

When we bought the house–IMG_0642What we’ve done–IMG_0638We started this journey of creating a new bathroom (minus tub and toilet) back in the end of May. We are now in October, so it has taken us 5 months to complete. But, it is gorgeous! I especially adore my shower curtain. On Amazon.com there are tons of awesome curtains that are just basically huge paintings. Everything else in the bathroom is just the essentials of a bathroom…so, the art follows suit as the curtain and is tied in with matching towels and rug. I’m very happy.

Today we also replaced the pocket door into the master bedroom so we can walk into the bathroom from our room for the first time in about 8 years.

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The kids are being kids. Here are some cute pictures:

IMG_0401 IMG_0414 IMG_0426 IMG_0472 IMG_0481 IMG_0486 IMG_0558 IMG_0553{Pumpkin spice homemade play dough}

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We had a Supermoon Lunar Eclipse party with friends and I bought all sorts of goodies. I added the icing to these cookies to celebrate the awesome moon. IMG_0538 IMG_0534 IMG_0537 IMG_0536 IMG_0535The sight was absolutely amazing. We watched in awe as the red moon appeared and the shadow overtook it. It was the coolest eclipse I have ever seen. What’s even cooler is that it has never happened before in my lifetime and won’t happen again until 2033. I hope my kids remember.

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I took the kids to a Chinese Cultural night at a nearby high school the beginning of October. River has been wanting to learn more about China. It was quite fun, actually. They had yummy food and a program of dances, kung fu (pictured), instruments, IMG_0586 IMG_0593 IMG_0599 IMG_0603 IMG_0605 IMG_0611

{River is in the blue shirt in the front learning Kung Fu–She got a gift for going up on stage too.}

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I just love this picture of my boys. IMG_0686—-

Molly, Thomas, and Wesley got new beds (pictured: Molly’s and then Thomas’). Wesley is no longer in a crib, Thomas is no longer in a toddler bed, and Molly traded her twin bed for a new one. They were all quite happy with it.
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One day I gave Wesley a bath (it’s so wonderful to have a bathtub again for these rugrats!). I got him all dressed and then gave Thomas a bath. Thomas yells, “Mom…Wesley got in the bath with me…and he has his clothes on.” It was too funny not to take a picture of.IMG_0697 —-

We went to J&J’s free hayride and pumpkin picking event. We did a LOT of waiting around. The kids did really well, however. I was quite impressed. The worst part was the fact I dropped my brand new phone and cracked the screen getting the kids in the car. I don’t know that I’ll be going back next year. It was just too much stress and waiting.
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We find many imaginative ways to play around here:IMG_0743 IMG_0746 —-

Poor sick Wesley got “hand, foot, and mouth disease” (a virus) plus a cold on top of that. He was one feverish and miserable baby boy. The rest of the kids had fevers from the cold as well. It was not a fun week for them. But, at least they are all better for school tomorrow.IMG_0758 We are making our own Halloween costumes this year. The kids each designed and picked their own. I figured out how to do it, and went to Goodwill to buy clothing/supplies. River is going to be a zombie! Just need to finish the rest. I’ll post when they wear them to the Halloween Carnival this friday.
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~Nostalgic Knucklehead

Posted in About the Clan, For the kids, Home Decor by ME!, Home Improvement Projects, The Crafty Side of Stacey, Up-cycling | Leave a comment

Fall Brings: Harvest (and new recipes)…

We returned from our adventure in southern Utah with my family and all the peaches had fallen off the tree. I did some emergency peach leather making….and I burned it. How in the heck?! I’ve never done that before. Oh well…at least we had a double batch of peach crisp for the entire family while on our trip.IMG_0344

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I had a medium sized picking of tomatoes that I turned into homemade tomato sauce. I used the crock pot so it was fairly easy. I would add some tomato paste to this recipe since it is a bit thin…that is if you want it for something like pasta or something. I put it through the blender when it was finished also.IMG_0393

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We grew pumpkins for the first time this year. Actually, they grew themselves and I am quite happy they did. The harvest from our garden this year has been quite spotty and sad. So, having these lovely orange beauties was wonderful.
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The “pumpkin washing station” was the kid’s favorite part.

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Awesome New Recipes We Tried:

Pumpkin Bread was on the menu using pumpkin from last year’s jack o’ lanterns. I added chocolate chips and there was this amazing brown butter maple glaze on top.

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Pizza in a crock pot! This was SO easy, and rather tasty. It’s great for evenings I go out.

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I created this recipe for Party Cake Rice Krispy Treats:

I gathered the ends of the Rice Krispies and the Special K original cereal bags, plain marshmallows, and colored (flavored) marshmallows, and ice cream sprinkles.

Directions: Prepare as directed for original rice krispy treat recipe (with the combination of the two types of cereal). When you take it off the heat add the colored marshmallows and mix lightly. Then press into pan and sprinkle top with ice cream sprinkles. Voila!
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Spaghetti Squash Chicken Alfredo

Seriously, THE MOST AMAZING ALFREDO EVER. I will probably never make regular chicken alfredo with pasta ever again. I hate how much butter ends up in most recipes. It makes you sick to eat it. I added broccoli to this recipe and it was superb. I ate this re-heated the next day for lunch and it was still scrumptious. Seriously, you should try this!IMG_0656

Pumpkin French Toast Bake

I loved this recipe. No need to put it in the fridge overnight. I also sprinkled it with a little bit of flax seed before I put on the brown sugar for added nutritional value.

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I have a couple friends that give me free reign of their grape vines. I picked a TON last year. I wasn’t willing to put in the amount of work I did. (45 jars of jelly, frozen grapes, fruit leather, and rains) But, I grabbed up a bunch and and ate them fresh…plus, made more raisins. They are SO awesome.

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Our apple tree FINALLY produced apples for the first time since we planted the thing five years ago. It’s a fuji and the apples weren’t perfect. In fact they were pretty crappy, but I still made apple pie filling with them.

(pictured is one of three perfect apples)IMG_0699 IMG_0756

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{14 quarts -or- 14 pies worth}

The side garden that we put in this year pretty much died since the sprinkler system just didn’t work all summer. We still can’t seem to get it fixed after all this time. Next year I think we will abandon it entirely and have the whole front yard/sprinkler system redone. (It’s dead except for weeds.)

SO…. when I went over there and found that there were raspberries, a mini pumpkin, and a cucumber I was ecstatic!

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One day I decided to make breakfast fun so I made pancakes and added a couple different drops of food coloring on top. Then I took a toothpick and spread out the colors into “spider webs” (or tie dye) before I flipped them. The kids loved them.
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…and I will end on a “deal brag”…Smith’s opened their store just down the street from us finally. We have been rather excited about this. We went there on the grand opening day and came home with all of this for FREE! I was one happy mamma.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Speck Family Vacation to Southern Utah…

Thursday, September 3rd we embarked on a journey down south 5 hours to Lydia’s Canyon in Glendale Utah. We were headed to a rental home to spend a week with my side of the family. My parents, three of four siblings, my sister’s husband, and her son, my 88 year old grandmother, my Dad’s best friend and his family, and even my aunt and uncle that live up north a bit came and spent time with us. It was fairly non-structured which meant that we could do as we pleased pretty much. It was a great week full of much connecting time, good meals, and sight seeing.

The house:
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It was a little nerve wracking with little ones at first until we moved everything breakable to where it would not be messed with.

IMG_0300We went running through the canyon one morning. (I haven’t been running in almost a year, so I felt rather good about my efforts.)

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We visited Bryce National Park. This was at the visitor’s center.

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We went to Sunset View Point.

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We went to viewpoints to allow my grandmother a chance to see the sights since she couldn’t hike anywhere.

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Family picture!

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Then we went to Fairyland Canyon viewpoint.

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I was happy this one had a railing.

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My dad. 

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Grandma spent a lot of time with the kiddos. She really kept them entertained, and I think they kept her entertained too.

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My mom.

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The bluebirds in the park in Bryce are blue and black. SO beautiful.

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Then we went on the Mossy Cave hike. .8miles

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My boys :)

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In the mossy cave.

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We had to play in the water…

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…and mud.

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My priceless capture of my nephew, whom I met for the first time on this trip. 

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Grandma playing with the kids. She did this every day, and they just couldn’t get enough!

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Sweet boy!

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Playing kick the ball with daddy.

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All ready for our photo shoot

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Meanwhile the kids capture a lizard.

We did our own family photo shoot in western/cowboy theme at an official movie set cabin we found in the same canyon we were staying in. It was pretty awesome! Serious and smiling photos alike…

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Headed into Zion’s to look around and play in the water…and this guy (a ram) was all perched on top of a huge rock.

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Tunnels in Zion’s

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Lock sculpture in Zion’s park

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Playing in the water at the beginning of the Emerald Pools trails. We didn’t go on the trails since you can’t play in the water of the pools…but you can play in the stream!

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(kids on the right)

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All kinds of rocks to throw!

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refreshingly cool water

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Getting a tan. 

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Cooling off. 

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A heard of rams on the way out of the park.

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Time to say goodbye. So, cousin photo!

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Grandbabies with the grandparents!

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Great-grandbabies with Great Grandma!

What a trip!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Davis County Fair…

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I took the kids to the Davis County Fair this last week. We went on the Princess day. So, naturally we met the princesses.

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Molly chatted them up. hehe

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Then we went and watched a magician. The kids were totally in awe over his (cheesy) show!

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Thomas particularly loved it.

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Wesley even sat through it happily.

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Then we rode the (poor overworked) ponies.

 

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…and pet the animals

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…and saw the bunnies and chickens too!

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Then we colored on the big mural for a bit…

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Molly is my expert colorer.

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I got to hold the snakes while the kids played in the water.

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I loved this one especially.

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River couldn’t get enough of the reptiles. She held all kinds and asked a hundred questions. Then she came home and did some research online and went to the library to get some books on reptiles.

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We had a great time full to the brim with fun!

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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Ogden Valley Hot Air Balloon Festival…

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I spent the weekend enjoying the Ogden Valley Hot air Balloon Festival. I went up with a friend Saturday morning and then went up with the whole family Sunday morning. 

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Saturday was a spectacular display at 7:30 am with all the balloons going up at once in a fairly small field.

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The sun was rising as the balloons inflated and took off.

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I got to use my photo taking skills for such a brilliantly bright experience!

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My friend thought it was fun to take photos of me being goofy.

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Loved the colors of this one.

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Inside!

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Probably my favorite one.

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When we got there on Sunday they were only doing one balloon at a time all morning. But the kids thought it was really neat.

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She was so excited to be able to touch it!

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Molly was the one that really pushed to go to the festival. I was happy to make her happy.

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Thomas watched everything with awe.

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Watching them heat up the air.

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Cute little car carrying the basket for one of the balloons.

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The kids enjoyed playing on the playground.

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Their favorite part of the playground.

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Such a ham in front of the camera.

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Love my kiddos.

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Waiting for Daddy and the girls to go up in the hot air balloon.

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Getting ready to take off.

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Obviously very excited.

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It was a wonderful way to spend time as a family.

~Nostalgic Knucklehead

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