Monday, June 29, 2009

Pioneer Trek

Andrey and I had the greatest experiences going on our Pinoeer trek this last week.

We were asked to be the Ma and Pa and loved getting to know the youth a little better, and for them to have a stronger relationship with one another.

We had 19 of us (youth and leaders) go to the boarder of Utah and Wyoming (a nice 2 hour drive).

We walked with our handcarts anywhere from 13-17 miles the first day. It was so beautiful and fun to see how the kids worked together. It was hard, but fun to have all that time to be outside-away from technology, cell phones, etc.

We had many laughs and jokes played on one another. We would have our occasional potty stops and site seeing stops along the way, as well as "MA and PA moments" where Andrey and I would talk about people that we learned about in the "Journal of The Trail" book. There were so many sad, encouraging, faithful stories that we learned about. We had each youth walk for someone we read about and it was neat to see them take on that role as they walked this week. They would take turns sharing their story of who they were and what they did that stood out to them.

We had a womens pull the second day. It was a silent walk and then the young men were tapped off one at a time and waited at the top of the steep hill while us women pulled that handcarts by ourselves. We had such a hard time.
Our first handcart made it and then while I was waiting for them to come help me get mine up, I thought about those mothers and women who lost their husbands and sons because they gave up their food to their children and wives so they could live longer, and because of that, they died; leaving the mothers to take charge. What amazing, faithful women they were.

When my young women finished with their handcart-getting it to the top, they didn't just walk to help me, but they ran, and together we made it to the top where the men were crying and trying so hard not to help us. We split off into wards and the men shared their feelings from the experience. It was touching to hear how much love they have for us and for women in general.

We had many storms, but were blessed with a beautiful rainbow and sunset.

The cold and weather also helped us better understand what the pioneers felt a little as they pressed onward throught the snow, without shoes, coats, blankets, etc. We felt more gratitude and complained less when we were given cold cereal and pb and j sandwiches. We have so much right now and our Savior and Heavenly Father loves us so much.

I loved this experience and the other ones we also had while we were there.

I love my ward and the youth in it hold a special place in my heart.

I hope to be able to go again in 4 years on our next trek.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Whistle While you Work

Andrey and Zach (our adopted family member) are working on the truck that Andrey got from our old neighbor. They are having lots of fun getting all dirty. Just last night Zach looked at his barely dirtied hands and said, "I think this is the dirtiest I've ever been." LOL.
It's fun to see them working together. Andrey loves doing stuff like this and is glad to have Zach along for the ride. Here are some beginning pictures and then I will keep posting them as the work progresses.

Baby Adam

We are so lucky to get to watch Baby Adam, my friend, Jamii's son. He is so fun. He is about 9 months now ( I think) and he is the funnest baby. He is always smiling and gives the best hugs and open mouth kisses. LOL. I just wanted to post about this cute boy whom we just love and adore. We are excited to meet his little sister, Sarah/Sara, in a few months. Thanks Jamii for sharing your cute boy!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pretty, Pretty Princesses

While families in our ward went to the temple open house to help, I got to watch their kids. We had so much fun watching Princess movies and dressing up and dancing. One of Emma's favorite friends is Micaela aka Ella. They were so cute together and had a fun time.

Emma hanging

I was a our young women's activity last night while Andrey and the young men were outside getting our tents ready for Trek (next week. YAHOO!!!). Andrey looked at the window to check on the girls who were playing in the living room when he saw Emma wrap the chord from the blinds around her neck. She started falling back and started screaming. He ran inside and saw that she had a red burn mark on her neck. WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?!!!

I could have the story wrong, but that's how he explained it. I got her and Ellie in the tub this morning and her neck was so swollen and red. I felt so bad. She said she will never do it again and that she was just trying to get something to hold onto while she was jumping on the couch.

(Ellie felt left out and wanted her picture taken too)

I showed Andrey how to throw the chords up on top of the blinds so the kids can't get to them. Poor kid.

Dressing up and Grandma's

One of Emma and Ellie's favorite things to do at grandma's house is to dress up. Grandma has a big bin full of the prettiest dresses. The girls will try all of them on and show them off, feeling so beautiful and loving the flattery that all of us give them. Here were some fun pictures we took last week when we were over. We love fun Grandma's!

Simonson Family Reunion

You always know summer in coming your way when the family reunions begin. I only wish the weather cooperated, but it was a wet reunion.

We had the Simonson (Andrey's mom's side) get together this last weeked in Mt. Pleasant. What a beautiful area. If I was made of money, I would go buy me a cabin to live in right now.

We had a great time, cleaning out our camper (that we got for free-YAHOO!) and visiting with family we havn't seen since Christmas.

We had fun taking the kids on the mini Jeep/Golf cart (so I like to call it), riding up the mountain side. I forget how beautiful it is to be in the mountais. So green, pretty wild flowers, the clean air. I can just imagine it now.

We had a yummy spaghetti dinner where Emma and Ellie both got to help. But ELlie's little distraction was Grandpa's singing fish he had hanging on the wall. She loved it until he lifted her up to it. That was a little too close for comfort.

We stuffed the pinata for the next day's activities at the park, and enjoyed a night of games and visiting.

We got to bed really late, but the girls were full of energy and so excited to sleep in their beds i the camper. As we climbed into our bed and the lights were out (and me shaking in the cold weather), we felt two little girls climb in with us. They were too scared to sleep below all by themselves. So, all four of us were cramped up in the small bed, keeping each other warm throughout the night. Silly girls.

The next day, after a yummy breakfast and some more games (while everyone else got out of bed), we headed to the local town park and had a good lunch, played on the playground until it was time for the pinata. Then a huge storm hit. We had all of us catching our food and toys as the wind and rain blew it all away. We finally bundled up the kids and hit the pinata open and watched them scramble for the goodies. I always think it's so funny to see the excitement as the candy hits the floor and the kids are trying to get it all and dodge the one little kid still swinging the bat.
We raced back to our vehicles and headed back to the cabin to have our family auction there.

Our family has an auction where we all bring things we no longer want and the money we make off it goes towards our Christmas party the following year. It was a lot of fun listening to everyone fight over certain things; pictures, cds of great grandma's voice, crafts made by grandma and Serenie, etc.

The fun ended when Ellie came in with a bloody lip from falling off the 4-wheeler (and it wasn't even moving).

We had a fun barbecue and headed back, sleepily, to Manga. We had a great time and the girls loved being outside in the mountains and with their favorite cousin, Rylee, and aunt, Starley.

Thanks for the great reunion. Can't wait till next year!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Polo Burning Party!!!

It's finally arrived.
After Zach, I'm a big fan of him (he is one of our friends) and Andrey worked so hard to get the backyard looking nice enough for a party, it happened! Bailee and her group of friends came and we had the best time. We had the barbecue going, roasting and grilling hotdogs, roasting marshmellows and "Starburst," playing volleyball (until the neighbor got angry with having to keep throwing the ball back to us repeatedly), we had water fights and swam, and when it got dark, all the kids got their cell phones out (It's crazy that every kid has one now. I didn't get one till I was in college, and my boyfriend got it for and listened to music that they liked.
We had a fun time visiting.
The funniest part was when the fire got big enough and all the kids brought out their backpacks and started throwing their homework into the fire. They were burning all their assignments and projects they had worked so hard on (yeah, right) all year. Then they brought out their uniforms they had to wear at school-the imfamous "POLO SHIRTS." They started ripping them up into shreds as they told things they hated about the school, teachers, assignments, etc. and then threw them into the fire. We had the funnest time taking pictures of this new tradition.
What a fun night.
Happy Graduation, Bailee. I can't believe she is going into High School next year!
(pictures soon to be posted).

Utah Lake Trip

My dad and sisters were missing my mom while she was away in Arizony for a doll show. We decided to kidnap them and take them boating after Andrey and Zach (one of our neighbor friends) worked so hard to get it up and running again.
We drove (2.5 hrs.) to Utah lake (after a looong adventure trying to find it) and got so excited to just jump into the water.
We loaded up the cooler and chairs, tossed on life jackets and began our drive out into the lake. It was so beautiful. I have missed being out in the water. I love summer.
I have not been water skiing since I was 3 or so, so I was the first to jump at the chance to get out there.
Oh my goodness!!! That water was so cold. After a few minutes of screaming and trying to catch my breath, I began to listen to my dad and Andrey teach me how to water skii.
After getting the skiis tight enough, I was ready to go.
After four attempts to stand and doing the splits in the water, and other painful things, I kept getting frustrated because I would almost be standing but then nothing would happen.
After pulling my leg the wrong direction and deciding to rest a bit, my dad jumped in.
Again, we had to wait for an even longer time while he finished screaming and catching his breath from the cold water, and then the fun began.
He was a pro, but for some reason, we just couldn't keep him up.
Finally, we realized that there were too many of us in the boat (7) and there should only be 3 at a time until we buy a new prop. for the boat. That is why I couldn't get standing long enough to skii. The boat couldn't get fast enough.
We were all worn out and cold, so we headed back to our place and jumped in our new pool. And, Ahhhh! The water was nice and warm. We had a fun sleep over with my sisters, Bailee and Kaycee, and we are all now ready to take that boat out again so I can master the art of water skiing (pictures soon will be put up).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I Know That My Reedemer Lives

This hymn is my favorite. The words are amazing and show the love that our Savior has for us all.

Another favorite. I love her voice also:

If you could Hie To Kolob

I had a friend put this post on her blog. This song is beautiful and this slideshow and version of the song is beautiful.

Check it out when you have a spare moment.

One year!!!

It has been a year since Ellie had her thumb surgery and her splint/cast removed. What a scary thing that was for us to have her undergo that surgery. She was perfect though, and it didn't even faze her. She was such a brave little girl and we are so lucky and blessed to have her. It was a small surgery, but was greatly needed. Happy one year of having that done. Now if we could just pay off the medical bills. LOL!