Here's what we've been up to in 2008

  We Climbed Stuff.

 

The kids of course climbed everything that went up--hills, rocks, poles, etc.  I even took a stab at a climbing wall and actually made it to the top!

       

 We Found Stuff.

 

We found eggs hidden in our yard on Easter.  Gavin and Dad found a really neat old horse skeleton buried in the side of a hill on a fishing trip.   

   

    
  

We took a trip with the local Historical Society and found LOTS of Native American Rock Art.

     
  
We used our GPS and found hidden geocaches.  I bet there are some where you live--you can search for them here
       
     
And just last week we hiked all over the mountain and found a lovely Christmas Tree.  It was even kind enough to fit in the Suburban with us on the way home so we didn't have to tie it to the top!

      

 

We Went Places.

 

    

 

We went lots of places this year!  Here's a few of our favorites.  Goblin Valley.  We had a blast hiking and climbing rocks.  We even played hide and seek among the goblins!

  

           
In the spring I got to go to Louisiana for my sister's graduation from LSU.  It was strangely green. Toured a swamp, Baton Rouge, the seafood market, Oak Alley plantation, and New Orleans. Saw alligators, turtles, "wiltery" swamp foliage, Mike the tiger, and the Mississippi River. Had enough humidity and cajun food to last me the rest of the year. :)

In the summer I camped with the church youth at Youth Conference and Girls Camp and attended the Women in the Outdoors Camp with my mom.

  
This summer we spent a few days with Pink and Glenn while Rayna had surgery. The best part was riding in the wheelchair and her new friend Elley the elephant she got from grandma and grandpa.  On our way home we got a new dog, Willow, who is a ball addict and great friend for the kids.

  
  
picture coming soon . . .  Wade went up on the mountain, out on the desert, and down to the Henry Mountains about a gazillion times.  He also got to go to South Dakota for some Bison meetings and saw Mount Rushmore and loads of wildlife.

     

 

We Celebrated Birthdays.

 

  

Gavin turned 9 this year.  He's such a fun little guy.  Loves American history and drawing his own comics.  His favorite movies are Gettysburg and National Treasure.  He followed the election this year (even the Saturday Night Live skits) and after the vote, he said, "Well, at least John McCain can still do comedy."  I guess he's right on that one.

 

 

Rayna turned 7.  She is a super helper and has quite a fun sense of humor.  We just watched "A Christmas Carol" and I asked afterward what they learned and she said, "Don't be scared of ghosts--they might want to help you."  She won a school wide writing contest with her essay "My Mom's the Greatest" at Mother's Day and got her picture in the paper.  Here's the winning essay:

My mom is not speshil, she is very speshil.  My mom cooks my favorite food.  My mom is funny enough for you.  My mom buys me dolls every day and I like it.  I love my mom realy much.

 Kira turned 4 this year and is full of silliness.  She's in preschool, but is sure she's as big as our other kids, or maybe bigger.  She ties her shoes, counts everything in sight, just recently gave herself her own haircut, and put jam on some bread "all by my own self!".  But of course when dixie cups got flushed down the toilet, it wasn't her or her little friend, it was "robbers".  

     

We Celebrated Holidays.

 

     

 

Holidays are plain ol' fun.  Egg hunts, leprechauns, hearts and parades. Spookiness and candy, turkey and Santa Claus.  Now if you are thinking Kira's costume looks familiar, yep, it's the one I made for Gavin--I'm getting my effort worth out of that costume!  I even dressed up as Cinderella for a ladies Halloween murder mystery in the library.  Turned out I was the murderer . . .  

And sorry, no picture of Kira with Santa.  She was a bit apprehensive of that strange old man, so she snuck up, took her bag of goodies, and left without saying a word.

  

   

  

 We Played.

 

       

 

We played in the snow, we played in the mud, we played Parcheesi and Go Fish and Scum (yep, the day we've been waiting for--our kids are old enough for Scum).  We played rendezvous games and we played piano.  We played T-Ball and Baseball and Soccer.  We played and played and played.

    

    

 

 
  

We Rendezvoused.

 

  

 

Is that a word?  Anyway, August brought the annual family trip to Colorado for the rendezvous.  It also brought over 4.50/gal gas so we packed light, borrowed lots of stuff and traveled in our car.  Mom and I did kid and teen games every day, and taught a couple of classes.  We hung out with cousins, shot stuff, shopped, and threw tomahawks.  Kira's even hitting stuff now--here's her with a balloon she popped on our block at home.
 

     

      

We Shot Stuff.

 

    

We shot BB guns, rifles, pistols, the candy cannon, and I shot my bow.  We shot targets, clay pigeons, cards, strings, cans, rabbits, and trees (oops--that was me with my bow).  Rayna placed second in the girls division at the rendezvous kids shoot, and Gavin won first place and cold hard cash for his shooting and tomahawk throwing.  I placed second in the target shooting and first in the 3D shoot in the women's division at archery league.  Fun fun fun.,

    

 

     

 We Worked.

 

    

We planted, weeded, harvested and canned a garden.  Wade got a horse and that's been LOTS of work.  We've worked on the shop trying to get it finished, and Wade's been working on welding jobs as well.  That's all in addition to his usual work and the regular house type work.  Sometimes dad's work is fun for the rest of us like when he brings animals home--a little mountain lion is in the kennel. 
  

  

  We Hung Around Looking Cute.

  

No explanation needed . . . 

  

Even Grandma hung around looking cute!   
  

   We Cub Scouted.

 

     

 

 

Gavin's been crazy busy with cub scouts this year.  He earned his Bobcat and Wolf badges and is working on his Bear badge.  He's also earned academic and sports beltloops and conservation patches.  He designed his pinewood derby car and built it with dad.  Loads of fun for all of us!

  

We Hiked and Fished.

 
  

 

We hiked in the snow, we hiked in the mountains, we hiked in the desert.  We fished by ourselves, we fished with friends, we fished with grandma.  We even hiked to go fishing!  Sometimes we even caught fish--in fact, this was the year Gavin caught his first fish all by himself--he cast and hooked the fish, then ran backwards up the bank while reeling in and yelling "I got one! I got one!"  We also learned that if you don't tie off your stringer, your fish might swim away with it . . . 

   
 
  

We Made Stuff.

 
    

We made stuff out of snow--a snow cave, snowmen, a snow whale, and lots of snowballs.

 

   
  

Gavin made a Navajo Hogan model for school, and all the kids made stuff out of legos and K'Nex.  One especially windy day they made a sail and tried to sail the wagon across the front yard.

   
We made dinners, Christmas presents, hand rails, and rendezvous clothes.  When Gavin had to cook an outdoor meal for scouts, Wade and I got a little crazy and made a firepit with rock benches in the back field.  We call it Stonehenge.

 

  

We Cleaned Up

 
  

Well, we mostly cleaned up anyway . . . 

  

And by the Time We Were Finished, We'd Completely Worn Ourselves Out!
  
 
  

 

 

 

Hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!  Drop us a note here.