I don't want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking the kids to scout camp. I want there to be a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbors children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone's garden. I want to be there with children's sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived.
The 3rd weekend of July is always the Fackrell Family reunion. This is Bruce's mom's family. It honestly is such a fun reunion. This family is so neat! I love being a part of it. I didn't get many pictures because of camera issues, but this is a picture of the Guymon family who was there. This year we did shirts to honor Bruce's oldet brother who died of ALS (Lou Gerhig's diesease) in September. On the back was a palm tree with the words Be Still. David's motto the last few months of his life was "Be Still and Know that I am God." There was such a reverant feeling as his son explained the meaning of the shirts to everyone. There were also lots of fun things going on. The kids always do a treasure hunt. This year's was reallly cool because the older kids put it together for the younger ones. They also tubed down the canal which Kaden was excited to be big enough for this year. Saturday night is swimming at the Lyman pool, which is the funnest pool I have ever been to. There's lots of food, lots of conversation an catching up, lots of fun.
Thursday morning we went to the Utah Museum of Natural History at the U of U. I don't have any pictures of that because we were still having camera issues, but it was pretty fun. Not near as fun for the kids as the museum at Thanksgiving Point, but I think they still enjoyed it. They have their frog exhibit in the summer and the kids really liked that and the bug exhibit. Also, Kaden wowed the lady working in the Dinosaur exhibit with his plethora of knowledge about Dinosaurs. He is a really smart kid! We also learned that the first Utah T Rex was discovered by Orangeville Utah! After that we went to the Gateway and to the Discovery Gateway aka the children's museum. My kids could stay there all day! These pictures come from the Kid Town exhibit. If you have never been there I highly recommend it to anyone with children. > A lot of the activities encourage cooperation and working together. Here is Aubree working the kid town crane. Kaden at the kid town farm riding the "horse". Of course Tyson was working in the kid town water center. Any opportunity to get messy is alright with him! Brennen loved being a firefighter -- wearing the hat and driving the truck. He is still working on the whole cooperation bit though. After lunch at the Food Court, we went to the Clark Planetarium. They have a lot of hands on exhibits that my kids love, and it is absolutely FREE!!!! You cannot beat that! Aubree and Brennen decided to "go to the moon". Kaden and Tyson went a little farther to "Mars" The IMAx movies are not free, but we had one included in our connect pass. Here we are in our glasses waiting for "Under the Sea 3-D" to begin. The kids really liked this show, as did mom and dad. Brennen just slept through the whole thing. It was his nap time after all. This is what Brennen's face looked like through most of the trip until we went..... here. Brennen absolutely loves the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, and watches their broadcasts with intensity every Sunday morning, so we took them to a practice of the choir Thursday night. Then his face looked like this He was so cute as soon as we walked in, his eyes got big and he looked up at Bruce and said "Choir?" like he couldn't believe we were there to see them live. Thursday night we also had dinner at the Lion House, which was included in our connect pass and took a tour of the Beehive House, which the kids surprisingly enjoyed. Friday morning we took the kids to Build a Bear to use up the rest of their gift certificates from Christmas. Then it was off to see Ice Age 3 in 3D. Really not worth the extra money, but the kids had fun. Then we headed to Mountain View Wyoming for the Fackrell Family Reunion!
Wednesday we went to the Zoo in the morning. I LOVE the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake. I think it really takes me back to my childhood. Plus I think it is just the perfect size, not too big, not too small. It is so fun to see things through my kid's eyes too. They loved the Madagascar exhibit and seeing the foosa. The orangutans were a big hit, because they were really active that morning and it was fun watching them swing through the trees. We went to the bird show and before it started they were asking the audience all these questions about birds. There was a guy behind the wall holding up the answers so the kids would know. Well Aubree got to answer one of the questions, (which surprised me that she would let a lady with a cockatoo on her shoulder that close to her) and won a free train ride! We always have to get our picture taken with the gorilla statue. Brennen and Tyson were fighting over who got to sit in the gorilla's lap, thus the sour faces. Kaden and Tyson at the Asian highland exhibit. So much better than the old cages they had for the big cats. They were actually fighting in this picture too, but the pic turned out good! A favorite new attraction this year was the conservation carousel. I thought $2 was pretty steep for a 5 minute ride, but the kids had a good time! For about a week, Brennen had been excited to go to the zoo to see the Elephants. He looks pretty pumped huh!
We also went to the This is the place Park across the street. I don't have any pictures of that because right before we boarded the train I dropped the camera and broke it. We had to run to Wal Mart that night and buy a new one to finish out the trip. The kids really liked the park though and had fun riding the "train" around the park. Kaden loved seeing all the people dressed as pioneers. With their admission, they got to choose 3 activities to do, so they did leather working and made little key chains, took a pony ride, and made Native American arrowhead necklaces. We also got to see the new Emery County cabin at the park.
We did a mini vacation this year to Salt Lake and surrounding areas. We actually bought the Salt Lake Connect Pass, which was such a great value. Almost everything we did the first three days was included in the connect pass. We spent $175 to get the passes for our entire family, but had we done each of the attractions separately, it would have cost us around $335. So it was worth it. Our first stop was the Dinosaur Museum at Thanksgiving Point. We have been there a few times before, but my kids absolutely love it. I lave how museums are so hands on these days. Kids learn so much by doing! If you know my Kaden at all, you know he is a Dinosaur fanatic, so he had a blast. But all the kids really liked it. Brennen and Tyson's favorite part had to be the erosion pools, which is basically a big sandbox with water. They could have stayed there all day. I had to laugh at Brennen because there were some Teenagers playing in the water and trying to dam it up and make it overflow, so the little kids didn't have very much dirt. Brennen kept knocking their dams over so he could play with the dirt. We went to Chuck E Cheese for lunch. This unfortunately was not included in the connect pass. We take our kids there once a year and that is all we can tolerate. But the kids love it. They all loved meeting Chuck E, especially the younger boys. And Tyson hit the ticket jackpot, winning as many tickets as the other three kids put together, so he got to get even more junky toys than everyone else. Oh well, it's the experience I guess. After lunch we went to the aquarium in Sandy. It is actually a nice little aquarium, but my kids are used to the aquariums on the coast, which are much bigger, so I think they were a little disappointed. But it was a nice little place. I dared Kaden to touch a ray at the touch pools and told him I would give him a quarter. He was so funny, he touched it for like a millisecond, but he did touch it. Brennen and Tyson just tried to catch all the fish, and girlie Aubree wouldn't even go near to the touch pool, especially after a ray splashed everyone. Tuesday night my kids slept over at Aunt Shannon's while Bruce and I went to the American Idol concert (I'll post about that later). Aunt Shannon is the funnest Aunt! She took them to a splash park in Herriman and they had so much fun! Then she ordered them pizza for dinner. We are so grateful to have great family to help us out!
So Roosevelt doesn't do anything for the 4th of July. Pretty lame, I know. We usually go down to Blanding because they know how to put on a party for the 4th, but Bruce's dad was still in Payson, so we didn't want to go if we couldn't even visit Grandpa. So we ended up heading over to Emery County to Grandma Debbie's for the weekend. It was a fun, whirlwind of a weekend. Here are the pics of us doing sparklers on Friday night. Aubree is still pretty careful about sparklers. Such a little girl! Brennen had a ball doing sparklers for the very first time. I am just glad he didn't burn anybody. Kaden and Tyson being the Statue of Liberty with their sparklers. Saturday the parade was in Huntington. We sat towards the front of the parade, so the kids pulled in quite the haul of candy. They also had fun watching Aunt Rikelle dance with the drill team. On the way over to Huntington, we got behind the band bus and I was telling the kids that I used to be in the Spartan band. Tyson said, "We can say hello to all your friends in the band!" I laughed and told him that none of my friends were in the band. Kaden said "Yeah, they are all old like mom!" After the parade we had a barbeque at Grandma's house. I always wanted to make on of these flag cakes, so I finally did this year. Of course it's not as pretty as the one in the magazine, but it tasted pretty good anyway.
This blog is dedicated to celebrating all those ordinary moments that make life so wonderful. I am a mom of 5 beautiful children with one amazing husband. We don't do anything grand, but we love life and each other, and I guess that's all we really need!