Monday, April 30, 2012

Nathan receives his trophy for third place in the
Central Utah Science Fair held at BYU in April.

Not high-quality pics, but they show Nathan's enthusiasm.
He is already planning projects for next year.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gabe's angelic face and cute piggies.
He is done with steroids, seizure-free,
and feeling much better, thanks to the
fasting and prayers of many people.

Zeke the outdoorsman. . . all scraped up and still smiling!

Gabe and Daniel have a chat.

Nathan's state fair backboard and float.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Gabe's favorite sleeping spot: Grandpa

Spring Break

For Spring Break this year Jared took the four oldest kids---Nathan, Daniel, Eliza, and Isabella---camping at the San Rafael Swell, right behind Goblin Valley State Park.  This is his report:

We found a perfect camping site on the BLM land just outside Goblin Valley.  There were plenty of Hoodoos to play on.  And best of all, there was no asphalt, concrete, RVs, or people in site!  After setting up the tent on the first evening, everyone went on a little hike up a dry wash canyon near our camping site.  The picture above shows the kids crawling through a tunnel along the hike.  We climbed about 500 feet to near the top of the ridge.  The view of the swell and the setting sun was absolutely stunning.

The next morning after a hearty breakfast of muffins and cinnamon rolls, we headed off to hike Ding and Dang Canyons.  The total distance hiked was just over 5 miles.  We took our time since there were many obstacles in the slot canyons and since the youngest in our party was only 5 years old.  The picture above shows us at our first rest point about 1/2 mile into the hike.

When the canyon slotted up I had the kids practice their skills at "stemming" across the canyon walls.  They were all very good at staying on the walls and not touching the ground.

Our first major obstacle: water in the canyon.  Despite the newly learned skills, the kids decided to take the Daddy ferry rather than stem over the water.  There were several boulder obstacles like the one in the background of the picture above.  For each of these, I had to stem up the canyon walls, reach down and grab each kid, pull them up to sit on my leg positioned as a bridge, and then push them up over the boulder to the next level of the canyon.  It was a challenge for all of us!

Nathan and Eliza tromping through the slot canyon.

This picture is at the top of Ding Canyon, about half way through our hike.

Daniel under a big chockstone.

After Ding and Dang canyons we headed over to Goblin Valley.  Here is Nathan above the Goblins.  He spent much time trying to get from place to place without touching the ground.  It is a fun game that his dad tried too!  The wind was pretty bad at 20-30mph with even heavier gusts.  When the sand in our eyes got too  tough to bear we head back to our tent. . . 

And found this.  Actually, given the strength of the wind I was very grateful that our tent was still there!  So we headed to Hanksville for dinner and a broom purchase.  When we got back we took everything out of the tent, swept up and put it back in.  Fortunately, the wind had died down and we had a peaceful night.

 The next day we packed up and headed down to the Southeast side of Capitol Reef.  The picture above is at the entry to Headquarters Canyon, which we hiked right after lunch.  We then drove up and over the reef on the Burr trail road (wow!) and drove home.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Easter!

Easter Sunday at the cemetery
Each of us wrote our testimony of Jesus Christ
and put it in an Easter egg for Michael's basket.

New spring dresses!
(The girls and mom had a girls' night out/shopping trip.)

Male bonding. (Daniel and Gabe)

Monday, April 16, 2012

The Four Pre-schoolers

Connie Nielsen and the twins.
In the past three weeks, Connie has scrubbed our toilets, spent an all-nighter with Gabe, taken the five older kids out for a day of fun, and cooked our school-kids some scrumptious hot breakfasts!!!

Zeke: learning to walk the walk and talk the talk.  His first word: an almost indiscernible version of "kitty".

This is how fat Gabe's cheeks got while on steroids.

It's a jungle out there!  (Sam and Bella)

April Fools'!

"Kids, we need to do better at keeping this house clean, so we'll have Sunday job lists in addition to your Saturday ones."
"Here they are, and there's more on the back. . ." (Note the disgusted look on Daniel's face.)

"April Fools!"