Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Bear World, Yellowstone and Halloween

We took advantage of the warm weather and went on a spontaneous vacation.  Just me and the 3 oldest.  We drove up to Idaho and went to Bear World near Rexburg.  The best theme park I have ever been to!  Real Bears at your fingertips!  Amazing!  Not to mention deer, bison, wolves and other animals.  First you drive your car (windows UP) around a couple of acres, we counted 30 bears, some walking right in front of our car.  Then there is a petting zoo.  Then they have amusement rides with no lines.  To top it all off it was perfect weather.  AND having a 10, 7 and 5 year old is so EASY!

One of the highlights for the kids was the night before when we went out to dinner at Golden Corral.  I did not hear the end of how much they loved that buffet.

After bear world we took our time and saw some beautiful waterfalls in Idaho...
...then we kept heading north to the bear and wolf discovery center...

...and finally into Yellowstone Park where Tatum and Tai had a great time taking a dip into a hot springs..we saw this bison and lots of elk along the way.

That night we ate a a pizza parlor and even got a pitcher of rootbeer (never done that before).  We had no reservations or plans on where to sleep so luckily I brought the camping stuff and found a campground out of Yellowstone up this very dark windy road at the top of a spooky hill.  I'm glad it was already 11:00 by the time we got there cause I'll admit, I was scared.  I knew there were lots of animals around those parts and so we decided to sleep in the car instead of the tent.  I parked relatively close to the bathroom and after all that rootbeer I needed to go, so I took the lantern and went to the little outhouse.  When I came out I saw a WOLF next to our car.  I was petrified and went back into the bathroom hoping it would go away.  After 5 minutes I checked again and the wolf was gone but it was a very scary walk back to the car.

Then came sleeping in the car.  The kids did great!  Tag in the very very back on top of all our luggage.  Tai in the back seat.  Tatum in the front seat leaning back and me in the middle trying to get comfortable.  I did sleep for a couple hours.  But there was nothing worse than waking up and looking at the phone and it said 2:30 am, thinking it was going to be 6:00.  I had to go to the bathroom again! So instead of risking the WOLF I started up the car and drove to the nearest town and went to the bathroom at a hotel.  Tried to sleep a few more hours.  Definitely the worst part of the trip for me.

So early that day we slowly drove through Yellowstone, taking our time and doing a little hiking and sight seeing.
Here are some pictures.

We drove through the Grand Tetons and Jackson Wyoming on our way home and stopped along the way.  I have never taken a vacation like this and it was a REALLY good time.  We will remember this trip forever.

Halloween seems to be getting bigger and bigger every year with parties and festivities lasting more than a week.  It is ridiculous.  But we do it for the kids right?  Mark and I actually went to an adult party this year.  We were green and red grapes.  Balloons taped all over us.:)

Some of the kids got to change costumes with each occasion.

  thomas stayed in this position at our ward party for over 10 minutes not moving. (he was an apple by the way but refused his hat)
 then he got more scared...look at what he was scared of...ha ha

Monday, August 31, 2015

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa

Garpa and Gramar came to visit this weekend and had so much fun with their grandkids.  Maybe I should say my kids had so much fun with them!  We, (Mark and Meagan) also had a relaxing time in Salt Lake without the kids.  Yay!  What great people Gary and Marlene are to do this for us!  I cannot say enough how much this means to us!.  Selfless people I tell ya.
The other video was way too big to put on here.  I will have to figure out a way to send that to them.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Update! Update!

Why does blogger become more and more difficult with time.  It just took me over an hour to figure out how to login and get pictures from my phone on here.  I will spare you the details.  But is really worth an hour of my time?  Ughh.  I guess.
The only family photo we've had all summer.  Actually this was spring at the Payson temple open house.   Really beautiful temple by the way.  Lots of stairs with no stroller.  I am surprised I'm smiling with the big cramp in my upper back :)
 As you know we moved again and I took some great photos but kids deleted them.  Oh well.  In this picture you can see the trampoline with a fake net and our master balcony which the kids can stick their small Wright heads through and fall. Luckily that hasn't happened yet.
 This is an interesting piece of art on our property:)
 Kids love to play in this "wishing well" they call it.
 Horses in the backyard!  Our kids give them lots of attention and feed them grass and hopefully that is it.  2 times we have found the horses in our actual yard.  Since I know so much about horses I was able to lure then back to their area.  Actually one time I had to call the owner to do it.
Soon I will post a picture of our gorgeous Willow tree and swing, basketball court and cute school house.
Last week we took the kids camping.  I hate camping.  There is so much preparation and misery involved.  But boy do the kids love it.  I found this awesome spot right next to a real live swimming hole.  We spent all Saturday there then I drove Mark back to the house with Thomas and Truman.  Me and the rest of the crew went back cooked our tin foil dinner and slept in the tent.  It was the best experience I have had camping in a while.  The last few times we have tried it the baby would not sleep and cry and wake everyone up and it was miserable.  I think I can do camping with age 4 and up.  I would have kept Truman too but he was tired anyway.

Just tonight we went on a "Sunday drive" up squaw peak to watch the sunset.  It was very pretty against the smokey skyline (smoke from fires blown in from California).  We also saw a deer and a doe running 20 yards in front of us.  My kids are totally into wild animals.  I am blown away how much they know about them.  Probably from Wild Kratts.

In other news... Thomas has finally started walking!  Snowball our bunny got out of his cage and ran away!  Tai bawled for days.  Kids started school: Tatum K, Tag 1st and Tai 4th.  The school is 1 block away very convenient.  It has been a great summer!

Sunday, April 12, 2015


We had a fun Saturday patterned after a race/scavenger hunt/competition called Questival. It is held in several cities throughout the US and the winner from each city get to compete for the world championship in Central America.  We of course did not officially enter the race but pretended.  You are presented with a list of Quests from different catagories like Hikes, Adventure, Service, Quirky each quest to worth certain points.  So here is what we did and boy was I wiped out by the end of the day we couldn't even finish what we planned to do because I was so tired.

First we climbed the "G".  The mountain next to Pleasant Grove.  I thought it would be a 20 minute walk with maybe a mild incline.  No.  It took us an hour and a half and it was steep and I was out of breath a lot!  I never did like hiking.  It was fun however bringing the kids and all of them are great hikers!  Even Truman made it to the top.  I'm glad Mark and the baby stayed home, he never would have made it.

Then we headed back home for lunch and I had the kids clean the backyard for some "service".  One of the quests was to eat from a street vendor and do a handstand in a public place.

This was a delicious waffle from a street vendor.  So yummy.

Then we headed to the Utah Lake about a 5 minute drive and decided to rent a small boat.  This was hilarious.  I wish I had the whole scene on video.  The quest was cross a body of water.  So we all got life jackets on and carefully entered the boat.  Mark was very cautious as he was worried of tipping the whole thing over and there goes his 5 little kids into the water.  So that took a while.  Meanwhile Thomas was screaming not appreciating the restricting life jacket.  But what could I do, I had to row.  I finally couldn't take the crying so Mark and I painstakingly switched places so he could row.  2 words.  Learning Curve.  For some reason we were drifting the opposite way were trying to row.  I had the thought we might never get back to the dock.  So, again we painstakingly switched and I rowed us back to safety.  It was actually really fun.
Tai completed another quest by "jumping into a body of water with your clothes on".

Then we headed home and took a 3 generation photo for another quest.

By this time I was exhausted.  We had planned on taking the frontrunner to Provo to do a few things, Biking Bridal Veil Falls and making a campfire and tinfoil dinners.  But ended up just making hamburgers for dinner then I crashed.  We will have to do the other stuff another time.

It was a very fun filled day!

Egg Hunt video:
from last Saturday.
We had a wonderful Easter and watched The Bible and it was wonderful.

Kid Update

He has been such a happy baby.  Always smiling and a joy!  By far our "best" baby.  He finally learned how to crawl in the last week so our days of just letting him sit in one room content for long periods of time are now over.  He is our golden boy.  His nicknames include little Thomasino, Pascually,  and tommy boy.  He resembles Tai when she was a baby with the big mouth, blue eyes and round face.  He learned to snap at 8 months and to fight back at 3 months.  Truman is very good to Thomas 5% of the time and the other 95% loves to smother, wrestle, poke, squeeze and hit.  I can't wait to watch those two grow up together.  I have a feeling it will be like our cousins Tyler and Spencer.  Recently Thomas and his high chair fell forward (it wasn't strapped on) and landed smack on his face and got a bloody swollen lip.  He likes to play with small pieces of games and balls and trucks.

He has moved into another stage and doesn't throw as many tantrums.  He loves to play with his monster trucks and tow truck and cars so much so that he insists on sleeping with them.  He can ride on his battery powered 4 wheeler in the back yard.  He is a very good whiner.  He and Tatum will play nicely sometimes together now.  He loves playing outside and especially in the car.  He is interested in how everything works.  He takes his time observing the ins and outs of motorized vehicles just like his dad.  When Mark was 4 years old he walked around a sky blue and white 1957 Ford Edsel for an hour running his hand around it.  He then proceeded to sit down and draw it complete with grill, bumper guards, white wheel tires.  I wish we had that picture.  His mom says it was an amazing drawing (of course).  Anyway, Truman is afraid of flying insects, including flies.  But is not afraid of spiders.  Yesterday he climbed up to the "G" without any help.  And it was a pretty difficult hike for me (although I am out of shape).  Here is an interesting thing about Truman, I think he might be ambidextrous.  I have been observing since he was an infant what hand he prefers to do things with...sometimes the left (like his dad) and sometimes the right.  I thought recently he started to lean towards the right but today at church I observed he was using his left to write on the magnidoodle.  He is a loving boy and gives hugs often.

She is our most fun loving child.  She is very quick in mind and has from a young age been able to manipulate situations for her benefit.  She is very happy and forgiving.  She is silly and witty and enjoys life.  She is fond of Thomas, gets along with Truman, her best friend is Tag and just recently started to spend more time with Tai.  She is the "Memory" game queen and dominates.  She enjoys, jumping on the tramp, board games, spelling games.  Food is not a motivator for her as she could go several meals if she had to just to prove a point.  Tatum says funny things to be funny.

Is doing well lately physically.  He is happy and "skippy".  He is always moving, or on his head.  He has the "wright" agility but the Tabla temperment.  He is patient, longsuffering, kind, thoughtful and would never say anything mean about anybody.  He eats healthy and has done well accepting he can't eat junk.  He excels at school and in fact received "Student of the Month" for February.  We started Tag (and Tatum) in piano and he is very quick picking it up.  He also loves "Memory".  Tag likes learning about animals and loves to play the A-Z animal game coming up with animals like the "zorse", he researches them on the phone.  He is very well behaved and when he does do something wrong he feels very, very bad about it.  He loves jumping on the tramp, hiking and has complete control over his body.

Loves the outdoors, hiking, camping, growing things, cooking, cleaning, organizing, crafting, singing, making things.  Today she made lipstick out of a melted crayon and coconut oil.  She is creative and active and must be doing something constructive or she becomes destructive to others, or property or herself.  She is helpful, responsible and is in the process of learning better manners.  She wakes early and gets herself off to school.  She loves the social aspect of school and does well in the academic part as well.  She is very physically strong.  Our most recent arm-wrestling match lasted a long time, I put in my best effort and barely pulled out a victory, but also pulled a muscle.  I declared that our last match.  This April she is joining the track team in Pleasant Grove.  She has a good heart but hasn't yet learned how to control her emotions or reactions.  I never could have stayed sane without Tai to help me with 4 other kids.  Her favorite movie is Annie, just like her mother.

An amaryllis that Tai grew.

Mark and I got the chance to go to the Utah symphony on Friday night.  We had to run a few blocks to make it on time.  I knew I was out of shape but this was a wake up call.  We made it on time by 5 seconds and found that our seats were front and center.  First row!  Well, I still needed to catch my breath but I couldn't because they started already.   I personally experienced what Tag must go through with his asthma.  I felt like I was breathing through a straw and I was literally frightened for my life, but yet I couldn't get up or make a sound or I would disrupt the piece.  I could only concentrate on one thing.  Not dying.  I had to cough so much cause I still have the vestiges of a cold, but I did my best to hold it in.  Finally it came out in a burst and I coughed in front of the first chair violinist to my embarrassment.  Then I started wheezing really bad.  I still couldn't breathe!!....when will this be over I thought I must cough!  I didn't think I would make it, but Debussy was over and out came coughs like you wouldn't believe during the applause.  Things calmed down after that and I was able to enjoy Daphnis and Chloe by Ravel, one of Mark's favorite works.  It was incredible.  We were showered will the conductor's sweat and I could see every twitch, blink and movement of the strings.  A night to remember for sure.