Monday, July 25, 2016

First Day 2016

Oops, it's really September when I'm posting this, but I guess it's better late than never! So, there were only two leaving for elementary school this year. Nothing like the first and last days of school to remind you just how fast your kids are growing.

And then my beautiful 7th grader.

It was hard on this momma's heart when she said she didn't need me to walk her to the bus. She can't get rid of me that easily!!

I know I took pictures of them coming off the bus, but where are they?!?!?! To be continued...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Heeeeeeere Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

After Lake Powell, we had precious few days of summer break left, and we needed something fun to do. Well, I had been wanting to take the kids to Sea Life Aquarium, so now was our perfect chance!

It's so cool how they have these little bubbles where the kids can look at the fish from inside the tanks. Oh, who am I kidding? Of course I tried it, too!

She was pretending to be swimming in the coral reef.

No kid can pass by one of these fish and not exclaim, "Nemo! I found Nemo!"

We stopped at every station to stamp our dive logs, so the kids got a medal. Job well done!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Powell Time!!

Another year, another trip to Powell. I'm addicted. This year we went with our next door neighbors.

Captain Stacey!

Our campsite in West Canyon had a little beach and shallow rocks for the kids to stand on in the water. It was a great little spot! As soon as we settled in, we jumped in the water.

The next morning, we set out to conquer the canyon that had vexed us two years ago. We had never reached the narrows that time, but this time would be different because we had more time and the water level was higher, so we didn't have to hike as far.

That's a lot of people on one shark.

It still took like two hours to reach the narrows, and I was completely surprised that our whole group made it. Things really started getting exciting then!

This depth of the water here was really deceiving!

The whole group!

Soon we got to the part where we had to cross pools that were so deep that we couldn't touch the bottom. Luckily, Paige still had her life jacket, so I was able to get Brandon across safely. The water there was freeeeeeeezing!!

The slot canyon was so incredible!

Good thing Russ was there to heave this giant rock out of the way.

When we got back to the lake, we discovered the shark was flat. Oh nooooooo! That meant most of us had to swim back to the boat.

After lunch, it was time for some water sports action.

We finished out the first day with some more swimming.

Our campsite in West Canyon.

The next morning, it was anchors aweigh for us. We headed for Dangling Rope Marina because no Powell trip is complete without a stop there! This year we discovered that they had built a new building for the ice cream shop and a new shaded picnic area.

After finding a new campsite in Cathedral Canyon, we ventured over to Rainbow Bridge. This year, the hike to Rainbow Bridge was much shorter because of the higher water level. The kids were amazed that we could see the path we had walked on last year underwater.

These two... can anything melt a mom's heart more? Especially since they normally bicker so much.

Here's our campsite in Cathedral Canyon. We were the only ones camping in that canyon, but a lot of boats drove by. It is one of the most magnificent canyons on the lake, so I can't blame them.

We started the next morning with wakeboarding action!

And then it was time for another adventure. Even though I had been to the end of Cathedral Canyon before, and I knew it would require the shark to get all the way back to the end, Lisa wanted to attempt to swim. The going was super slow, and the baby was crying the whole way. Plus, we lost one of the boat keys when the "float" filled with water... all in all, it was a bust.

But we made the best of it by doing some cliff jumping. Geronimo!!

Paige was brave enough to attempt a jump from a lower point.

When we got back, the kids were ready for some watersports. We even got Kallie to go out once!

Okay, this one was totally funny. I missed the exact moment it happened, but when they hit a wake, Brandon popped up super high out of the middle, put his arms straight out like a helicopter, and turned in the air as he bounced off the back. You can see his arms straight out right behind Paige. I have never seen the person in the middle fly off while the others stayed on. It was hilarious! We all thought he'd be done after that, but noooooo.

Next thing you know, he flopped over on his face.

I love the looks on the girls' faces.

There were some crazy rides out there that day. Mikey, there's no way you're going to stay on!

When it comes to holding on, that kid has mad skills. He was completely upside down but still clinging to the couch!

Another crash!

Somehow, some way, Russ recovered from being almost thrown off.

He wasn't so lucky the next time!

By afternoon, most of the adults were ready to relax, and some of the kids were, too. I took the kids who were still up for some fun on a little inflated raft adventure to explore the surrounding area. As we were trying to guide the boat along the shoreline, the wind suddenly picked up and launched our boat into the air like a kite! By the time I grabbed my camera, it was back on the ground. Everything that had been in the boat fell in the water and had to be retrieved. Good thing it was all waterproof!

We paddled across the canyon to check out the other side. Not much to see but a little cove.

So we paddled back against the most ridiculous winds and current. I could have sworn we weren't even moving! I thought we might have to be rescued, but eventually we got to the other side. We tied down the boat and then climbed high up on the bluff.

We made it to the pot holes that had looked so interesting from below.

Hello down there! Can you see our houseboat?

Sadly, the next morning it was time to break camp and head back to the marina.

Our view heading out of Cathedral.

The kids were taking turns being servants to the person sitting in this chair. It's good to be the king!

Handsome guys!

This is my idea of a peaceful Sabbath. Cool breeze, Lake Powell, and U2's "The Joshua Tree" playing on my iPhone.

Until next year...