Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horse Camp

While we were visiting Utah in July, Hannah and Paige were able to attend four days of Horse Camp with their cousin Natalie. A neighbor from my childhood - Amy Platt - lives next door to my parents and was willing to teach the girls a little about horses. They would groom and ride the horses all morning, eat a sack lunch, then spend the afternoon swimming and doing crafts. Amy and her family run a small family farm with horses, cattle, mules, donkey, chickens, etc. They breed and show miniature horses. While the girls loved all that they did in Utah during vacation - those four days of horse camp were definitely the highlight. The smiles were from ear to ear all week. By the last day they were already talking about what they would get to do at next year's horse camp.
Hannah rode Peppy - a brown and white paint with black mane and tail. He tested Hannah a lot of times in the arena, but when they got to the field he was better behaved. Paige rode Victor (a Shetland Pony) the first day and Rufus the rest of the week. Rufus is a former 'slow trot' competitor.

Natalie rode Rusty - her favorite. The girls loved riding pennies down to the railroad tracks and retrieving the smashed result the next day. They made clay jewelry boxes, horse hair bracelets and horse shoe frames.

Here are the girls on their way back to the barn after a morning of rounding up cattle. Two baby calves were born during horse camp. Sounds like a little girl's dream, doesn't it?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Cherry Vacation

The kids and I arrived in Nibley for vacation just as the Cherries ripened. My parents' two trees were particularly prolific this year. All of the grand kids pitched in and picked for several mornings.
Plenty of Cherries were eaten during the week.
My Mom even helped me bottle some cherries - along with the ones she did for herself and my Sister. She's amazing. Maren turned out to be an excellent pitter.
I am hoping to get my sister's Cherry Breakfast Cake recipe so I can put my beautiful bottles of hard won cherries to good use. Every time we open a bottle of cherries this winter, it will bring back memories of our wonderful summer vacation.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Home Decor Overload!

So, while I was in Utah visiting family, I called up my Aunt Cecelia (who is a great resource for anything fun and decorative). I told her I was looking for a wreath for my front door and asked her where I might find one in Logan. She gave me several good ideas, then said... 'You know - we should get a group of girls together and head down to Tai Pan Trading. They'll have exactly what you need'. I had never heard of Tai Pan Trading but, several days later, I found myself lost in a sea of home decor.
If they don't have it, you probably don't need it. The store is about the size of a Costco and filled to the top with everything home decor - lamps, candle holders, vases, platters, clocks, baskets, etc. I was overwhelmed immediately after walking through the front doors. It is really a sight to see. Needless to say, I found several great things to buy - including this great metal basket. I have already used it to gather my vegetables from the garden.
Thanks Aunt Cecelia for the great shopping excursion. Thanks Betsy for taking us to your favorite Thai restaurant. Thanks Mom for driving and Elizabeth for the company and morale shopping support . And a BIG thank you to Bret for watching my girls so I could enjoy an outing diaper and car seat free!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Clark Fork

A great time was had by all as we spent last weekend rafting and camping with some of my family, most of Kirk's family and our good friends, the Riddles, on the Clark Fork river northwest of Missoula, Montana. Kirk guided as many trips as we could fit into two and a half days. The adults and kids all got their share of whitewater. The water was perfect, the weather gave us warm days and cool nights, the camping was convenient and perfect for a big group, and the food was delicious. Yes, there are 21 children and adults - a record for our large raft. A great time was had by all as the little kids rode the 'rapids' and swam down a gentle section of the river. Giggles were in abundance. The older boys had a great time on the smaller paddle boat with Aunt Kelli guiding. Jaxs was the only one lucky enough to get a piggy back ride on the kayak thanks to Aunt Jenny. I loved to see my kids having so much fun with cousins from the Davidson side and the Johnson side as well as a few Riddles mixed in. Pictured: Hannah, Megan Riddle, Halli Whitby, Paige, Natalie Johnson, Katie Riddle.
Lots of the kids became fast friends over the weekend. Sadie and Katie didn't seem to care that they had never met before.
Tent camping with cousin Natalie was heaven for Paige and Hannah.
I loved being with my brothers, sister and Kirk's siblings and parents. I feel lucky that we all get along so well and have so many neat people in our family. I can't wait for next year's 2nd annual Clark Fork Rafting adventure!