Tuesday, March 13, 2018


We finally made it to Targhee for some amazing skiing!  Jake grew up going there every year with a big group of family and friends.  Like for reals, every year from when he was 4 til his mission.  A lot of the same people still go every year.  Talk about a long-standing tradition!  My dad would be proud;)  Jake and I went once when Zack was a baby, so 13 years ago.  So pretty much I've never been there because that was like a lifetime ago and I essentially remember nothing.

On the way there we stopped at Big Jud's outside of Rexburg.  My 20 year old college stomping grounds.  When we pulled up to the super small whole in the wall in the middle of nowhere Jake said, "Is this what you were expecting?"  Yes it was.  Gotta love little Idaho towns.  And little food joints.  It had been redecorated since I last went (shocking) but otherwise it did not disappoint.  The amount of tater tots that came with the kids meals was like a normal adult portion.  Jake made the mistake of getting a large fry and there was no way anyone could eat all of that.  We didn't let Zack get the Big Jud special (1lb hamburger), but I'm sure he would have finished it easily.  They now have a Big Jud's Double - 2 lbs of meat on a hamburger.  Nasty.

The skiing was amazing, especially after the lack of snow in Utah this year.  I love that it's a small resort - 4 lifts.  Sometimes Park City is a little overwhelming in it's hugeness.  The first day everyone but Jake did lessons.  The kids all did a full day.  Their lessons were good I think, but I have to admit that I didn't notice much of a change in their skiing ability.  Well, take that back, Kate showed improvement.  Everyone else not so much.  Jake talked me into doing a half day lesson.  I have to admit I kicked and screamed a bit.  I really didn't want to, but I finally did to keep the peace and as usual Jake was right (I hate that).  I ended up having a private lesson without paying the big bucks, which was awesome.  My teacher was amazing.  She taught me some really good things and I felt like an amazing skier with her.  My amazingness lasted the rest of the day, and then I started slipping back into old habits.  I'm still fighting the back slide, but at least I know what to focus on.  Every night we hung out in the lobby of the lodge with everyone.  The adults got to chat and the kids got to play games together.  A definite win-win. 

Friday was just a good ski day.  Our family skied together the whole day and it was awesome.  The kids did great skiing for that long.  I can hardly manage that, so I'm impressed.  We got some fresh snow in the afternoon, so it was pretty good skiing.  At one point we went to the top of the mountain and couldn't see anything.  The snow was white, the sky was white, and it was super disorienting.  We slowly made it down (after convincing the kids to stop crying and keep moving) and then we stayed off of that lift.  It was pretty cloudy the whole time we were there, so although we were in the Tetons I never got to see them.  Bummer.

It snowed all night Friday night so we woke up to a foot of fresh powder.  We were checking out that morning, so we got the car loaded up in record time because Jake was determined to make it on the first lift.  Miraculously he got his wish.  We were in line waiting for the lift to open.  The snow was amazing.  Knee deep powder.  Poor Sage was really slow because the snow was over her legs.  She was a trooper though and made it down some really tough stuff.  We only skied til like 1:30 that day, and it's a good thing because my legs were exhausted.

On the way home we stopped with some friends at a diner in Pocatello.  We had a great time visiting with them.  I love stopping at random food places in small towns.  In between Pocatello and Ogden the roads were horrible.  Snow packed and slow driving.  We managed to make it home safe though.  We were all dragging the next day because we skied our guts out.  I love that our whole family skis!  I'm so grateful Jake works hard so we can do such a fun activity together.  It definitely makes the winters more enjoyable!

Prepping our skis for the big trip!

Sage being Sage

Big Jud's deliciousness

The girls playing games together

Sage eating s'mores in the plaza

The best visibility we had the whole time we were there.  Beautiful!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Every Day Stuff

Life has continued since Hawaii.  Not sure how, but it has.  Nothing too exciting these days, but a few noteworthy things.  Kate got braces!  Poor girl.  She's adjusting to them, but they're definitely not her favorite.  She has to get a few teeth pulled this week.  No fun!  Kate also got to go to New Beginnings for YW.  Finally!  My first New Beginnings with my own daughter.  I'm so excited for all of the fun things she'll be able to do.  Now we're just hoping she can go to girls camp.  Fingers crossed! 

Jake has been working his brains out finishing the restaurant.  Hallelujah that it's done!  And we even managed to get paid.  Now on to the million jobs we have coming up.  So fun.  Zack is consistently Zack.  He spends most of his time printing things on his 3D printer.  He's made some pretty cool things.  His least favorite class at school is english.  He doesn't mind reading, but writing is definitely not his thing.  They've been learning about the Holocaust.  At the end of an assignment his teacher asked what they thought of the assignment.  Zack wrote, "I thought it was boring.  I don't understand why we have to learn about how horrible dead people's lives were."  Heaven help me.  We've since discussed couple of things with him.  Why you never say things like that about a teacher's assignment (strange that he got a 'C') and why it is important to learn from other people's lives (even if they were horrible).  Sometimes I wonder why I even try.

Sage is just busy.  Always.  She's always doing something and it usually involves getting mass amounts of stuff out.  The other day she was a dog.  All day.  She barked a lot.  She had a collar with a name (Cookie), ate food and water out of bowls, and made a bed with chairs and blankets.  I thought Zack was going to kill her.  But those are the kinds of things she does.  Oh yeah, I have to share this story.  Sage learned about Mother Teresa and dressed up as her for a wax museum thing at school.  The day before she mentioned that her teacher had given everyone typed up info on their people and hers was a lot different than what she had learned.  But like the rule follower she is she went ahead and learned what the teacher gave her.  When I walked up to her at school she started telling me about Mother Teresa.  "I was born in South Salt Lake in 1927.  I thought, "Wait, Mother Teresa wasn't born in Utah."  Then she said, "I married Francis on ..."  What??!!  Her teacher heard her and we both stopped her.  We figured out that her teacher had accidentally given her the paper on Thomas Monson (there wasn't a name on it).  She was confused it was so different but learned it anyway.  We had her get her Mother Teresa paper out and she proceeded to give the correct info.  Luckily I was one of the first people there so we caught it quickly.  The first and only time President Monson and Mother Teresa were confused.  So, never a dull moment around here:)

Had to document the restaurant on here since it almost killed us all

New Beginnings

The girls turning 12 this year.  Kate is always the shortest

Sage was Mother Teresa for the wax museum.  She is always frustrated with her non-crafty mom.  Don't mock the costume!

A rare ski day due to lack of snow.

Kate getting braces.  A torture machine if I ever saw one.

Kate with braces.  

Sage's valentine box.  Zack helped her.  One of the few times they actually worked together and didn't fight.  Miracles!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


I'm finally sitting down to write about Hawaii.  I've been waiting to post until I had the pictures from Jake's phone, but he's gone so much lately I never get them.  I finally decided I'll at least get everything written out so I'm ready to go when I get the pictures.

We had a great trip to Kauai.  This was the kids' first tropical trip, and I think they liked it.  The weather was perfect and it only rained once the whole time we were there.  Yay!  When we were skiing Saturday I asked Sage, "Would you rather be skiing or on the beach?"  She said, "On the beach duh!"  So we've definitely established that the beach is good.  The condo we stayed at had two bedrooms and a nice big kitchen so we could cook and didn't have to go out so much.  It also had a cool river thing to swim in with water slides.  Sage wished we'd spent more time swimming there.

We went on a few really fun hikes.  The first was along the Na Pali Coast.  So beautiful!  However, we did the hike the one day it had rained a little, so it was really slippery and muddy.  The hike was 4 miles round trip and it took an hour for us to go 1 mile, so I made the executive decision that we needed to turn around.  Jake didn't love this, but he doesn't realize what a disaster it would have been if we'd continued.  So really I saved us all.  We went on two hikes to waterfalls.  One hike took us through these crazy trees with branches that wound all around the path.  It reminded me of my Dad's weird ghost story where the bushes slowly get closer and closer to the path until they overtake everything.  There were also vines hanging from the trees that the kids were able to swing on.  Cool.  One of the waterfalls had a pool of water at the bottom that we were able to swim in.  Everyone got in except for Kate.  That water was cold!!  Like the coldest water I've ever been in.  Sage lasted all of two seconds.  The last hike we went on was called the Sleeping Giant.  A beautiful hike with amazing views all along the way.  So beautiful and green!  Basically the opposite of where we live.

The beaches were amazing.  Because it was winter, the beaches along the north side of the island had huge waves and horrible rip currents so they weren't letting anyone swim.  But it was still fun to walk around and they were still beautiful!  We were able to do some snorkeling and swimming on the south side of the island.  The kids really liked snorkeling, even Sage.  We also had fun playing in the waves.  One day Zack had fun trying to body surf, so the next day we rented a couple of boogie boards so he could try that.  Big mistake.  His autism self came out and he got so made that we weren't able to give him exact instructions that immediately resulted in him catching a wave.  He wouldn't let it go and proceeded to tell us what horrible teachers we were for the next hour.  Luckily it was funny so we were able to refrain from drowning him;)

The food was hit and miss.  The shaved ice was delicious, of course.  We got fruit from farmers markets and that was the best.  I LOVED these grape things that had skin you had to peel off.  No idea what they're called, but I wish we had some here.  Macadamia nuts are my new favorite, especially with ice cream or coconut.  Jake had his all time favorite dessert called Hula Pie.  He still talks about it.  It was very delicious.  We also got to go to a luau where they cooked a pig in a pit.  They had a big buffet and Sage's favorite food was pork.  Zack ate more food than I thought possible in one sitting.  Then we got to watch a hula show thing, where Sage of course got up to hula with everyone. 

We went on a boat ride along the Na Pali Coast.  We also got to stop and snorkel off the boat.  We saw some amazing fish and amazing scenery.  We saw tons of whales and even some dolphins.  After we saw the dolphins Sage turned to me and said, "Mom I literally had tears in my eyes.  Literally"  That girl is drama.

I can't talk about this trip without mentioning the fact that Jake was pretty sick for half of the time.  Poor guy.  Right before we left he was diagnosed with pneumonia.  The first night we were there he had such a rough night that we took him to the clinic the next day.  They gave him a huge steroid dose, which helped him feel better but also made him quick to anger.  Cuz that's what steroids do.  So if you ask him about this trip his report isn't super favorable, but that's because he was sick and ornery the whole time.  He definitely needs a do over.  Bad, bad timing for being sick.  Not to worry though, the rest of us had a great time!

And finally, I'll end with the missile strike.  Or should I say the fake missile strike.  On Saturday morning we were on our way to the boat ride.  Well, we were trying to be on our way.  There was a bad accident and we hadn't moved in 30 minutes.  We finally had to call and reschedule.  It was a definite bummer, but we turned around and went back to the condo to regroup.  A few minutes after we got to the condo we got a loud message on our phones that said, “BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.”  What??  At first I thought this can't be real, but I turned on the tv to see if there was more info.  Sure enough, the same thing was going across the screen also saying to pull over or get away from windows.  Find shelter (not sure what shelters you from a missile).  The girls started crying.  I was looking out the window at the beautiful blue sky wondering if this could really be true.  But our world is a mess, Korea is really a mess, so I figured there was a chance.  Then I decided there was nothing I could do about it so there was no reason to freak out.  I got some games out and played with the kids.  They calmed down, and 30 minutes later when they finally told us it was an error we went on our way.  I think it was a blessing that we ended up being in the condo and not out and about.  It sounds like people were freaking out and not handling the missile news well.  It would have been a lot harder to stay calm and keep my kids calm with people freaking out around us.  So horrible accidents and traffic can sometimes be good things.  Never thought I'd think a missile was going to hit while in Hawaii.  Very weird experience.

Anyway, if you've made it this far you win.  I should have done a couple of posts.  Oh well.  Now here's a million pictures:)

We made it!

huge snail

Na Pali Coast

Roosters that were everywhere

This was the hike we had to abort.  Really muddy and slippery.  And all of the hikes were either straight up or straight down.

This trail is 22 miles one way.  We ended up doing 1 mile.  Jake and Zack would love to return

Waimea Canyon (aka the Pacific Grand Canyon)

See the little arch on the edge of that mountain?

Too far away but this is me celebrating that I actually got in the cold water

A cool swinging bridge we went on

The luau! 

This is what Zack does when you tell him to smile

Sage learning to hula

Waiting for dinner.  I think Sage was hangry

The trail with the crazy trees.  Kind of claustrophobic

The locals were jumping in the water.  We did not

This is how Sage hikes

Beautiful views from the sleeping giant hike

We made it back to Utah!
On our way! (in the last row)

The river at the hotel

Cool pond at the hotel

The kids room (I included this so you could see how weird Zack's thumb is)

Jake's all time favorite dessert, the Hula Pie

On the boat

The Na Pali Coast (beautiful!)

Kate was busy being sea sick for this picture