Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Camping in Diamond Fork

We went camping for the second time this summer with the Tullets. This time our destination was Diamond Fork canyon, it was hot and beautiful. We camped close to the river in a campsite that was free! We arrived there in the afternoon found firewood to begin the fire for dinner and set up camp as our tin foil dinners roasted. After the kiddies went to sleep we sat around the fire eating smores and reminising saturday night live skits; there were some really good impersonations and lots of laughter.

My little Jack

The fire pit

Ben tying a fly

In the morning we decided to hike up to the hot springs. It took about 40 mins to get to the springs. Our husbands were gentlemen and carried the kids; I think I would have died carrying Jack up there. I wasn't sure if Jack would like the hot springs but he proved me wrong, he and Reid loved them. Carlee and I showed the boys up by going under the cold waterfall first, we really are wonder women. After an hour of bathing in the springs we headed up to see another beautiful waterfall. On our way we meet a nudest, luckily he was not yet nude but he was egar to get naked so we hurried along. When we arrived back to the campsite we were famished! We ate lunch, packed up and hurried home for a lovely nap.

Jack in the morning

On the hike

The boys

All of us in the hot springs

Daddy and son


Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Island Park: A Place Close To Our Heart.

Island Park is the place where it all began for Ben and I. I heard about Ben before I met him through a room mate of mine. He had returned from his mission and was giving a returning talk at church and my room mate wanted me to go with her. In the summer, the Island Park ward has three sacrament meetings every Sunday and myself and two other room mates had been asked to sing at the 11am meeting so I decided to miss Ben's talk, oops! Also, Ben's mom had heard me give a sacrament talk a couple weeks earlier and had mentioned to Ben that he should take me on a date and of course he would have none of it being the obedient missionary that he was.

Well a couple weeks after returning home from his mission we met at a young single adult activity; I was caked in stage make-up and quite hyper which led me to touching Ben's leg during a game of sardines.... we were later married.....

One of the most delightful parts about returning to Island Park is that we returned to the fire tower, which is where our first date to Alaska began. Ben must have been a top wooer as I didn't remember the fire tower being SO high. Its an abandoned tower, so the first flight of steps has been removed making it a little tricky to get up. We started our first date by eating breakfast at the top with an amazing view of Island Park and carved our names in the tower. We carved them in the trickiest spot because Ben said he wanted to make sure that no one covered it- he was so sweet. Well, this time we added to our little graffiti. It now reads "Ben and Jess first date 7-31-04 Now married + Jack 7-11-08". Just for your info, the date then lead to a trip to Quake lake, then to the I-max theatre production of "ALASKA" (which Ben had tried to convince me that we were really going to the state of Alaska) followed by ice cream shakes and a hunt for a great date souvenir. It was an amazing date; the first of seven theme dates. Oh, Ben is such a romantic when it suits him.

Our Graffiti

The View from the fire tower

Yes, it is high

Ben's interpretation of Fire

My interpretation of Tower

OK, I will hold back on more reminiscing and continue with our trip. Mom and Dave took us to a beautiful lake and we went Canoeing. We revisited the wonders Yellowstone has to offer. Ben fished a ton and caught lots of fish with his step dad Dave. I ran 7 miles with out stopping and felt exhausted for the rest of the day. Jack loved being with his Grandma and Grandpa. He even said "Grandpa" it was adorable but after saying it twice it never escaped his lips again. Jack loved playing with his cousins and Aunt and Uncle. Rex, our nephew called him "Jacky" and Jack followed him everywhere as his little apprentice. I visited my old home; a delightful double wide trailer (Yes, I was trailer trash) to my sadness the roof had caved in. We played a lot of Skipbo and my dreams are coming true as I am evolving into a competent player: I hate to brag but I did win the majority of the games! Dave took us shooting: it was AWESOME! I shot a machine look a like gun. The boys were rather jealous of my aim as I hit a clay pigeon on my first try, it was pure luck. The entire trip we ate great food and lots of naughty snacks.

The beautiful Lake

Jack and me on the lake

Daddy and son

Jack with his uncle and cousin

Ben preparing to shoot guns. Yikes!

Looking fierce

When we returned home Ben and I wished we could have stayed the entire summer. Island Park was such a pleasant retreat. It was wonderful to be with family and strengthen our relationships. I hope we often revisit this special place.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Independence Day!

Ben likes to refer to this day as my countries national Looser Day! We both crack up about it. It is funny because the only education I gained about the American Revolution was from the movie The Patriot. Although,when I came to America it didn't take long to be further educated on this certain matter. In the years past I have had a hard time loving the 4th of July but now that I am a permanent resident of America and have a child I am beginning to love it. I think it is inspiring that men laid down their lives to ensure the freedom of those that live here in America. I makes me what to ensure that it stays that way. It also makes me think about the freedom the gospel of Jesus Christ gives me and all the sacrifices of the early saints. I want to make sure that Jack learns what Independence Day symbolizes and hopefully amongst the BBQ's and fireworks he can love this holiday for the gift of Freedom it brings.

Early in the morning we went to the ballon festival which was AWESOME! I have never seen so many hot air ballons then later we went to the parade with the Tullets and saw Big Budah (a news anchor who Ben and I watch every week day).

A few balloons

We were very lucky to share this holiday with Ben's sister Michelle, her husband Mark and their adorable kiddo's Rex and Sam. We went over to our friends home, the Fowers for a BBQ, games and fireworks and then all squished in our little two bedroom apartment for the night. Saturday morning the boys went fishing and had a great time while Michelle, the kids and I went to the Provo festival. That afternoon Jack, Sam and Reid (Jack's BBF) played in the $7 Kmart pool extravaganza. It was hysterical to watch Sam's diaper hang from his little butt, I swear he must have developed some extra leg muscles to carry it around.

Sam: Diaper Free and drinking the water

Jack getting squirted

It was wonderful to watch the kids play together. Sam is such a sweetie and Rex amazes me: he is so smart! It was really fun to have the Weymouths stay with us and wish it could be a common occurrence.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Update on JmanJack!

Everyday I am entertained by Jack. He is interested in everything. I am currently teaching him some simple signs to help with communication and to teach manners. Jack almost always sign's please when he wants something. The sign for please is gently rubbing a circle with one hand on the upper chest. Jack performs this signs by itching his chest; I love it. Before eating a meal I ask Jack to pray with me, instead of folding his arms which is a little tricky I hold out my hands and wait for him to hold them. Lately, he has not been very interested in praying. The other day I sat there waiting for him to hold my hands for the prayer, he scowled at and dramatically threw his hands into mine and laid his head on the table, I could hardly hold back my laughter.

Jack loves being naked. Jack loves to dance. We have dancing time most days. As soon as I put the music on his knees begin to bop and his neck sways from side to side. He loves to hold my hands and run around in circles to music.
I gave Jack a key chain of mine, it's of the little mermaid (Ben wasn't impressed with my gift), there is a button on the key chain and when pressed the little mermaid song plays. To keep Jack occupied on our runs he plays it constantly and sings along. Broadway Star!

Recently, I bought a kiddies toilet seat. I am not potty training Jack just yet but I want him to be familiar with the toilet, plus I detest Poopie diapers. I have been putting him on the toilet after he wakes up and before bath time. So far he has pee'd three times and pooped once.
Although being a mother involves many monotonous tasks it offers opportunities to watch God's children discover the world. I feel privileged to be the one at Jack's side as he explores his environment and develops his character. Each day with Jack I learn more about God and His eternal plan.
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