Thursday, August 21

"Tummy Time"

Is tummy time truly a happy time? The doctors always tell me how important tummy time is but I am yet to see any of my babies enjoy it or get anything out of it except stronger vocal chords. I think that H's expression says it all..."Are ya kidding me mom?" Sure enough, tummy time is over before it has even begun.


The other morning as the girls and I were casually eating breakfast, C yelled, "Look outside, there's a bunny!" Sure enough, right next to our back window there was a big floppy-eared, brown rabbit sitting as calmly as can be. Of course the girls got really excited and wanted it to come play with them so we ventured outside with carrots. A decided that she had a better way of warming up to the bunny than carrots and went back inside. C and I stayed out and the bunny actually ate the carrots out of our hands. Suddenly A ran out of the house with homemade bunny ears and hopped across the grass in her white, fluffy, bunny slippers. I love how creative little kids are. This was a fun way to start our morning.

Success with Barbie Fishing Poles

As many of you may know, A caught her first fish last Saturday with her early birthday present—a 10-inch rainbow trout at Payson Lakes with her Barbie fishing pole.

The following story is courtesy of

Man Makes Record Catch With Barbie Fishing Rod

Thursday, August 21, 2008
Associated Press

ELKIN, N.C. — David Hayes' granddaughter just ask him to hold her Barbie rod and reel while she went to the bathroom.

He did. And seconds later he landed the state record channel catfish at 21 pounds, 1 ounce.

Alyssa's father had bought the pink Barbie fishing rod for Christmas and she had caught a few bluegill before her grandfather hauled in the catfish.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported the catch Aug. 5 in eastern Wilkes County has been certified as a record by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Hayes and his granddaughter have been fishing in the pond behind his house since she was big enough to hold a pole.

Hayes says his granddaughter worried he would break her rod. He landed the 21-pound fish on a 6-pound test line. It was 32 inches long, 2 inches longer than the rod.

Monday, August 18

7800 Feet of Fun and Mosquitos (elevation)

This last weekend, Tyler's family ventured down from the Ogden area to join us in a camping trip to Payson Lakes. I must admit that Tyler took A and C up Friday afternoon, while I came up Saturday morning with H and Tyler's mom. It got too cold up there for a three-month-old to sleep in a tent (not to mention too cold for me ;) jk).

Tyler took the afternoon off on Friday and packed up the van with all our camping supplies, Opa's canoe, and all four of our bikes. The van was loaded down!

Opa (Gil), Tyler's dad, came up with Tyler's sister Tammi and her two kids, C1 and C2.

When Omi (Trudi) and I arrived Saturday morning, Opa had breakfast ready for us. They packed up the campsite and we headed down to the lake. This is a great campground by the way, surrounded by pine and aspen trees with a small lake. We'll be back for sure.

Tyler took C1 and A out in the canoe to do some fishing. We got A her very first fishing pole, an early birthday present, it's a Barbie themed pole. After several failed attempts at close to surface fishing, Tyler decided to drop the bait down to the bottom of the lake. Within a minute, A had a great 10-inch fish on her line! Reel it in!!! A was so proud of her catch! She even ate it for dinner that night.

Maybe in the next summer or two we'll purchase a tent trailer. That's my kind of camping.

Wednesday, August 13

Saddle Sore

Occasionally, I ride my bike and the bus to/from work. At the end of June, I decided one day on a whim that I would ride home from work—13.4 miles. It took me just under an hour at approx. 14 mph. I was hot, tired and worn out after that ride. It was the biggest ride I've done in nearly two years!

Yesterday, I did the same thing . . . only the result was very different.

A week ago, I took the advice of my brother-in-law, an avid road cyclist (thank you Ron). Since I can't get the road bike I want (too expensive), I replaced my big fat knobby tires on my mtn. bike with small slick road tires (26x1.25)—a $50 fix.

I was able to do the same ride in exactly 45-minutes of riding time, or 17.86 mph—only my second time riding home from work. At the end of this ride, I felt much less exhausted. One factor could be that the temperature was about 8-degrees less yesterday. Or it could have been the fact that I was riding in bike shorts (no, not the tight spandex kind, sorry). But I am sure that the new tires really helped a lot (much less resistance on the road).

I was getting to the point that my gears weren't much of a resistance—I couldn't pedal any faster. Road bikes have a higher gear ratio, allowing for faster speeds.

My goal is to work up my endurance and strength to do the ride in under 40 minutes, or 20+ mph by the time the weather turns too cold.

Monday, August 11

C's Commentary

Like any three-month-old baby H has her "fussy" times. Since her arrival C has had a way of referring to her "fussy" times. In her mature three-year-old voice she will say, "H is soooooo fuffy!" So, to this day all of us will without thought call H "fuffy" whenever she lets out the slightest whimper or cry. The ironic thing is that A is the one with the speech problems in her past(she's fine now)and C usually articulates everything perfectly except for the one word, "fuffy" which is stated out of her little mouth as if the dictionary has mispelled the word and it's pronounciation. "Fuffy" is derived from the root of C.

Sunday, August 10

Helping C Pray

This morning at breakfast, we asked C to offer the blessing.

Needing a little help, Cheryl said, "Start with 'Dear Heavenly Father."
C immediately repeated, "Start with Dear Heavenly Father."

Oh, the fun things kids say . . .

Sunday, August 3

Camp Loll Alumni Trip – Day 4

Camp Loll/Home:

Sunday morning, we had LDS church services at the Campfire Bowl. Due to the sheer size of the group, we couldn't hold it in the normal area designated as the Chapel. (When this camp was a seven-day camp, services were held in the Chapel for all troops and staff that wanted to attend.)

Delose (the camp director), gave us (Todd and me), a preview of the alumni meeting to be held in the lodge later in the day to discuss the need for contributions from alumni and others to pay for program equipment expenses and maintenance costs. One of their biggest needs and wishes is for climbing equipment and sailing vessels (catamarans, etc.).

At noon, we took off for home. Another 30 miles of road, most of it dirt, towards Ashton, Idaho, on down through Rexburg, Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Brigham City and Ogden. I dropped off my dad in Layton and then home.

According to Google Maps, I clocked 770 miles and over 16 hours of driving on this trip. 406 to Camp Loll and 364 back home including all our detours. This is nothing compared to Todd's 2200 miles he covered for this trip.

It was very relaxing to take our time this weekend. Normally, we drive straight to camp and straight back. It was nice to relax at the different campsites and enjoy the scenery more on the way up there. In my opinion, it is arguably one of the most beautiful places in the world.

A view of the Grand Tetons from the Wyoming side

Conner looking cool for the camera

A timed exposure shot of Todd spearing himself with a stick

Looking off the cliff near the Campfire Bowl down into the crystal blue waters of Lake of the Woods

Camp Loll Alumni Website

Saturday, August 2

Camp Loll Alumni Trip – Day 3

Camp Loll:

We packed up camp near Flagg Ranch and drove the 17 miles of dirt road to Camp Loll. As this week's scouts were leaving, staff alumni and their families (300+ in number) were arriving at camp.

After lunch and setting up our tents (third time in three days), we had the chance to use the facilities. Waterfront. Archery. Polar Bear Plunge. Rifle Range. Rapelling. Etc.

Our first priority was to do the swim check in the infamous cold water of Lake of the Woods (60 degrees this weekend). I ended up being the first of all alumni to complete the swim check. Todd was second. Conner attempted twice, but decided both times that the water was too cold.

Afterwards, we took out row boats, whitewater kayaks and sea kayaks. I also took several other plunges into the water.

After the waterfront, we hit the archery range. I consistantly hit the blue area at the top of the target with three of my arrows. Two went past the target and into the hillside.

Since we were already in our swimsuits, we decided to take our group over to Polar Bear Springs to take "The Plunge" — 10-seconds of sitting down while 35-degree water cascades over your body (this makes you wonder why humans are at the top of the food chain) . . . I again took the lead in our group, followed by Dawson, Todd and then Conner. I guess that my dad is the only smart one in our group.

After dinner and the evening flag ceremony, it was off to the Campfire Bowl . . . actually a stage on a cliff overlooking the lake.

Looking back at the Waterfront and Campfire Bowl (on the cliff) from the Polar Bear Springs trail

A view of the lodge, current staff, alumni staff and their families at the flag pole (the lodge did not exist when we were on staff)

Just before the Campfire program began

Proof that I took the Polar Bear Plunge. I admit, I have extra padding to help me endure such freezing water.

View Larger Map

Camp Loll is located on Lake of the Woods in Wyoming, two miles south of Yellowstone and four miles north of Grand Teton National Park in the Targhee National Forest. Access is by dirt road either from Ashton, Idaho or Flagg Ranch, Wyoming near the south entrance of Yellowstone. About 15-20 miles of the road before arriving in camp is on roughly graded dirt roads. The road is commonly called the Ashton-Flagg Ranch or Grassy Lake road. The camp is operated by the Trapper Trails Council of the Boy Scouts of America based out of Ogden, Utah.

Camp Loll Alumni Website

Friday, August 1

Camp Loll Alumni Trip – Day 2

Jackson/Jenny Lake/Flagg Ranch:

This morning, Todd was itching for all-you-can-eat sourjacks from Jedediah's in Jackson. After breakfast, we looked around the shops in Jackson before heading up to Jenny Lake in Grand Teton National Park where we took the ferry across the lake to hike up to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

We then drove on to Flagg Ranch, a small resort/general store area just before the South Entrance of Yellowstone. This is where the road takes off across the southern boundary of Yellowstone towards Ashton, Idaho. About a mile west of Flagg Ranch, we found a campsite right next to the Snake River where we cooked dinner and swam in a small arm of the river near Polecat Creek. Later, we took a dip in the area that was formerly the Polecat Creek Hot Springs Resort.

Breakfast at Jedediah's

Tyler in front of Jackson Square

A nasty bug on my dad's shoulder while at Jenny Lake

A cute chipmunk eating that same nasty bug after I flipped it off dad's shoulder (I must have killed it). The chipmunk came up on it's own, picked it up and started munching. Don't worry, he didn't eat the legs or antennae.

Todd, Dawson and Conner on the ferry crossing at Jenny Lake

Camp Loll Alumni Website