Allan Takes Payson Ice Fishing with Kevin and Carter

Allan’s been wanting to go ice fishing this winter and finally got a chance to go with his brother, Kevin. They decided to each bring one of their kids and Saturday morning they were off bright and early.

I didn’t hear from Allan all day, obviously, but when he got home he told me a little bit about the trip. Payson was freaking out in the beginning wanting to go home because he was freezing cold. Allan had to kinda turn it all into a challenge to get Payson to calm down. I guess eventually Payson did stop having a meltdown and was mellow the rest of the trip but never happy to be there. haha. Poor Payson! He just doesn’t like being cold!

Here are Allan’s pictures from the trip.  photo 086eresized_zps8832befb.jpg

I heard that Allan got Payson all bundled up and sat him in this spot and Payson stayed there the entire time.  photo 087eresized_zps46873004.jpg

Kevin and Carter.  photo 088eresized_zps47a16ca0.jpg

The lake had a limit of two fish per person and the guys caught the limit. They came home with 8 fish, four fish for our family and four fish for Kevin’s.  photo 090eresized_zps7cbdf648.jpg

Unlike Payson, Carter seemed to have a good time!  photo 091e2resized_zps7bf915b9.jpg photo 092eresized_zps7ea6e9ba.jpg

Allan got home and set up to clean the fish. I um, did not like that process.  photo 080ecropresized_zps5a46f4a3.jpg

Ember was really happy for Allan to have caught so many. Her reaction surprised me because she’s such an animal lover I was worried she’d be upset by seeing the dead fish but she wasn’t. She said she was sad for them but she was happy that dad had caught so many for our dinners. It was a really mature thought process! I don’t know why her maturity would surprise me though, she’s always been exceptionally mature for her age.  photo 083bwresized_zps66cca7d4.jpg


We’ve been dying to go sledding this year! This trip was cut short since we didn’t get out of the house early enough (it was a busy day!) so I really want to go with all the kids again but I need to buy Everett a snow suit first. He was pretty bundled in his car seat but I want to be able to hold him outside of it and walk to the hills further away (they’re bigger hills further away) so hopefully I find a snow suit online. I really don’t want to go to a store and shop again.  photo 075eresized_zps84189dbd.jpg photo 079eresized_zps6a696769.jpg photo 082eresized_zps4d33ddcc.jpg

I took the littlest two into the car before everyone else to warm them up. They were pretty warm as it was but the temperatures dropped fast once it hit sunset!  photo 085eresized_zps6e2f313d.jpg

About all I saw of Allan and the older kids the whole time:  photo 091eresized_zps7453a956.jpg photo 092eresized_zpscdf6efa7.jpg

It was Ember’s first time sledding! When we got there she told me, “I don’t think I want to go sledding. I’m scared to sled!” I told her it wasn’t too scary and we’d go on a small hill. When she saw the hill we’d use she perked up. I sat on the sled and she ran right over and climbed onto my lap. We went down the hill and she squealed and laughed and wanted to try herself immediately. She went down the hill on her own a bunch of times, laughing the whole time. It was adorable.  photo 097eresized_zpsd14b5473.jpg photo 105bwresized_zpsbedd158d.jpg photo 106eresized_zps760f314e.jpg photo 149eresized_zps2c7b0b6f.jpg

Some Evening Fun Off in the Mountains

We drive up into the mountains and we stop and play at this little park. We have fun.  photo 018eresized_zps327b9656.jpg photo 021eresized_zps4970e7be.jpg

Poor Brooke fell and scraped up her knee. It hurt really bad and I didn’t have a first aid kit with us so she decided to sit on a rock for most of the rest of the time we were there. It didn’t help that it was pretty chilly! Brooke doesn’t like being really cold!  photo 026eresized_zps8200feb4.jpg

Allan had just gotten home from an out of state, week long business trip. I did NOT enjoy him being gone!  photo 047eresozed_zps42764ba8.jpg photo 049eresized_zpsd2c7bee2.jpg

That night the kids were asking us how to draw Broncos. They love the Denver Broncos!
Allan looked on his phone and then copied the images he found onto paper for each kid. They were super excited about it and hung their pictures up on their bedroom walls when they were done.  photo 010eresized_zpsc19b20a5.jpg photo 016eresized_zpsafa69f9b.jpg photo 018eresized_zpsca983e18.jpg

Spending Time in Fall

Having lived in the desert for so long where the seasons are all the same (brown, hot, dry) it’s amazing, bordering on feeling miraculous, for me and my family to experience the full range of seasons. We had our first snowy winter, we had a beautiful spring, a glorious summer, and a happy fall. We, having lived without seasons, take in each season fully and right now can’t imagine ever taking the seasons for granted. Every day walking outside and seeing the sights of whatever season we’re in is amazing. We’ve marveled at each one. We’ve loved them all!
Fall has been particularly special… surrounded by the vibrant leaves! It’s just so beautiful!  photo 039eresized_zpsc8a47298.jpg photo 045eresized_zpse3876c82.jpg photo 046eresized_zps3e127d0d.jpg photo 047eresized_zps59f0133f.jpg photo 050eresized_zps13fb4131.jpg photo 055eresized_zpsb2e8d1a7.jpg photo 056eresized_zps30cbcea6.jpg photo 071eresized_zps928b1692.jpg

I told my kids they could play in the sprinklers a bit but to not get soaking wet anywhere. In the end they were all soaked pretty thoroughly. My kids just love following my directions! 😉 😛  photo 075eresized_zpsea2f7460.jpg photo 077eresized_zps0cef6957.jpg photo 080eresized_zpsf6c8973f.jpg photo 087eresized_zps3e0af1e5.jpg photo 091eresized_zps888935c7.jpg

We brought some oats to feed to the ducks. Feeding the ducks is allowed at this little pond and I read online that oats are better for them than bread. I don’t know if that’s true but it was a reputable site so I listened to that advice.
All the ducks but one stayed far away from the kids. Luckily right before we left one duck finally got brave enough to come over to see what it was that these kids were tossing in the water. He or she gobbled up the oats and my kids were happy.  photo 097eresized_zpsbe4174b5.jpg photo 100eresized_zpse2731a8b.jpg photo 107eresized_zpsffe75371.jpg photo 112eresized_zps4a0be401.jpg

Failed Trip!

This trip was such a failure. haha
I don’t remember the name of where we were going but there was this lake up in the mountains that was supposed to be great for fishing. We brought our fishing poles and our hopes of some great fishing. Problem was when we got there we found out that that particular lake is personal property of all the homes in the nearby area. A community lake up in the mountains or something.

So we drove a little further and found a decent stop by a creek to set up a fire and have a fun little afternoon.

The place Allan picked out to set up our fire was on the other side of the creek. There was a sturdy log laying over the creek so no problem! We all crossed over. My kids were walking back and forth over the log, for fun. When Sierra was on it she lost balance and fell into the creek. Just her leg and an entire arm. Her boot filled with water and her sweater was sopping wet. Allan set up a fire quickly since it was chilly that day and Sierra was cold… we tried to dry out her sweater and boot but it just wasn’t working. She was not a happy girl. Finally we knew there was no salvaging this outing and decided to head home.  photo 067eresized_zps9f36f282.jpg photo 102eresized_zpsf948a335.jpg

Another Adventure

Once again, I don’t know where this was. In the mountains somewhere. ha  photo 019eresized_zps02c05785.jpg photo 025eresized_zps60bbac4b.jpg photo 071eresized_zps3f2b76b7.jpg photo 124eresized_zps69fb2d5f.jpg photo 133eresized_zpsce2ebf1a.jpg photo 137eresized_zps588a7bb2.jpg photo 142eresized_zps5ef3a768.jpg photo 150eresized_zps52f1ca7c.jpg photo 161eresized_zps91a6ae0b.jpg photo 175eresized_zps3b21516d.jpg photo 178e2resized_zps151f6dcd.jpg photo 193eresized_zpsbb77e488.jpg photo 197eresized_zps82f632cc.jpg photo 201e2resized_zps54d0abe2.jpg

I love this picture of Brooke.
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Allan is in charge of making the fire and cooking the hotdogs for those who can’t cook them well enough on their own. I’m in charge of keeping an eye on the other kids and holding Everett. Mostly holding Everett. Holding Everett is a full time job!
Allan got things done effectively by cooking three hotdogs at once.  photo 205eresized_zps3c3a6b81.jpg

I always attempt to put Everett down at least once during our trips. I’d like to experience nature for just a little bit without holding that sack of potatoes! 😉  photo 210eresized_zps49a88509.jpg photo 212eresized_zpsc4a2fb76.jpg

My big girls. Isn’t it an odd thought that once upon a time they were my babies. My only babies! And now they’re the big girls.  photo 217eresized_zps698d5e2a.jpg

And we mostly refer to Payson and Ember as the little kids or the little ones. Everett is just the one we call “the baby.” haha  photo 220eresized_zpsaecf811a.jpg photo 227eresized_zpsc35751d3.jpg

Speaking of the baby, Allan held him for me while I ate my hotdog… just to give me a little break. Everett saw Allan drinking from his water bottle and about had a heart attack from the joy of it all.  photo 240eresized_zps5cb97ea7.jpg

This is Everett’s “I want that!” face:  photo 253eresized_zps77777660.jpg

He seriously was so funny, he just kept staring at it and whenever Allan would take a drink he’d open his mouth wide with full expectation that Allan would eventually pass it over for him to have a turn!  photo 254eresized_zpsb8ff4ae4.jpg photo 262eresized_zps6116e357.jpg photo 266eresized_zpsaaa03596.jpg photo 273eresized_zps713dafef.jpg photo 275eresized_zps6bd98212.jpg

This was the day after Ember’s fourth birthday so I took some pictures of her in attempt to… take some pictures of her.  photo 334eresized_zps7064c84b.jpg

She was more in the mood to run around pretending she was a bunny so I didn’t get more than these.  photo 370bwresized_zpsecd1ca01.jpg

Once home we had extra birthday cake and then went to bed.  photo 385eresized_zps0cdfc224.jpg photo 387eresized_zpsbecf5873.jpg

Pretty Places, Photographed by my 50D!

A pretty place we visited! So, so pretty! We brought my 50d and the point and shoot and Allan even snapped pictures with his iphone. Fun times.  photo 083eresized_zps2c0132c8.jpg photo 085eresized_zps5951f516.jpg photo 088eresized_zps81bb42c6.jpg photo 100eresized_zps9ae56334.jpg

Everett was desperate for Allan to hold him once we got out of the car. Everett really, really loves his dad!  photo 111eresized_zpsb23878af.jpg photo 113e2resized_zps058a5ee2.jpg

Allan made a fire.  photo 119e2resized_zps0da487d7.jpg photo 119e3resized_zps588b2ed3.jpg

The kids love watching Allan make fires. I remember vividly being little and watching my dad make a fire. I was always so impressed with my dad and how it seemed like he could do anything! ♥  photo 121eresized_zps32b0c834.jpg photo 124eresized_zpsc7e40f2f.jpg photo 130eresized_zps5f26149d.jpg photo 131bwresized_zps93a4f09b.jpg photo 136e2resized_zpsc5dbf7f8.jpg photo 145bwresized_zps161dd46c.jpg photo 152bwresized_zps1a5ac4cb.jpg photo 154eresized_zpsfd555862.jpg

Oh hey, my husband! Just looking straight at the camera! I swear Allan and I barely see each other anymore. Our kids are always up late, Everett’s in our bed, Allan works late and has a long commute, and we haven’t had a date in over four years!
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Look at all those munchkins! They are so much work, more work than I can handle most days, but they’re adorable and I love them to death.  photo 164e2resized_zps4fe22e6f.jpg photo 169eresized_zps1e89833a.jpg photo 179eresized_zps3237ee39.jpg photo 192eresized_zps4ebf64f7.jpg

Allan and I always talk about how badly we want to buy a house with property and live off the land more. Have animals, a big garden… some day.  photo 202eresized_zps28b4c067.jpg photo 204eresized_zps4b7cf63b.jpg photo 205eresized_zps563d78ff.jpg photo 211eresized_zpsc50812c9.jpg

I noticed Ember’s shoes on the wrong feet and snapped a picture. For the last year she almost always puts her shoes on the wrong feet. And there’s a reason! She lines her shoes up in front of her with the soles facing her. She puts them together so they’re facing each other the right way… can you get a visual from my bad explanation? Imagine you sit and have the bottoms of your shoes facing you. If they are curved into each other you’re holding your right shoe with your left hand and your left shoe with your right. Therefore she’s lined them up right by looking at the bottoms but they’re technically in the wrong hands so she puts them on the wrong feet!  photo 219eresized_zps3f83e580.jpg photo 223eresized_zps89a16309.jpg photo 226eresized_zps2fbe71eb.jpg

I found these nitrate-free hotdogs at Wal-Mart! I think they’re a brand new product. I was excited about not having to go to Sprouts for hotdogs if I didn’t want to. Wal-Mart has an option!  photo 232eresized_zps20c2a1c3.jpg photo 240eresized_zpsd654dc35.jpg photo 254eresized_zps042fa9e0.jpg

Okay I have about twenty pictures to post right now which is an obscene amount but there’s a story! Payson’s marshmallow caught on fire and turned black. He didn’t want a burnt marshmallow so Allan said he’d eat it and give Payson a new one. Payson was unsure about this whole situation… probably worried about that burnt marshmallow and worried Allan wouldn’t give him another. His face during this entire exchange cracks me up!  photo 257eresized_zpsf19fa428.jpg photo 258eresized_zps8d05d35f.jpg photo 259eresized_zps5452e84e.jpg photo 260eresized_zpsd2272cba.jpg photo 261eresized_zps79385b0a.jpg photo 263eresized_zpsc6f3d42b.jpg photo 264eresized_zpsf4795e5f.jpg  photo 265eresized_zps567418a0.jpg photo 267eresized_zpsea947457.jpg photo 268eresized_zps490f9b12.jpg

He was really happy to get a “new” marshmallow but very serious about making sure not to burn this one!  photo 269eresized_zps5d55b57c.jpg photo 270eresized_zpse13c249f.jpg photo 271eresized_zps35ca80b4.jpg photo 272eresized_zps0571f1c3.jpg photo 275eresized_zps9ec0a967.jpg photo 287eresized_zpsf456d55a.jpg photo 291eresized_zpsbc93a04e.jpg photo 293eresized_zps666b6d1a.jpg photo 296eresized_zps26fc8dab.jpg

Sierra wanted some pictures of her with her marshmallow. She is just so adorable!  photo 303eresized_zps70cfa8ce.jpg

She loves to do a really great smile and then silly faces, too.  photo 306eresized_zpsb6d99957.jpg photo 308eresized_zps7c55190d.jpg photo 310eresized_zps3e618701.jpg

And of course Brooke has the silly face pictures nailed.  photo 312eresized_zps764e6e2d.jpg photo 313eresized_zpscf3c86c0.jpg photo 316eresized_zpsf2a768c2.jpg photo 322eresized_zpsd7176391.jpg photo 324eresized_zpsd7e8d285.jpg photo 329eresized_zpsa825af78.jpg photo 791eresized_zps3094569b.jpg

Allan and I traded off holding Everett. I mostly hold him while Allan does the fire/dinner thing but Everett wants his dad so much he does hold him, too.
We went on a small walk after this and then went home. This is the last picture I took 🙂  photo 336eresized_zps6cb54962.jpg


I can’t remember what this place we drove to is called but I do remember that we specifically hiked in to a lake called The Lost Lake. photo 035e2resized_zps318dfe31.jpg

The kids spotted this little man made bridge that someone had built connected to big rocks and had fun crossing it. Brooke took some coaxing to try it but did in the end. Payson was the most brave. photo 042eresized_zps4704f072.jpg photo 044eresized_zpse6ca2842.jpg photo 049eresized_zps2309aeb5.jpg photo 055eresized_zpsd5169622.jpg

I would’ve tried it, it really was sturdy enough for me, but I didn’t want to do anything remotely risky while wearing Everett. So this is as far as I got 😉  photo 060eresized_zpsb19508c0.jpg photo 062e2resized_zps0e154700.jpg

I’d been encouraging Brooke while she crossed so I didn’t get any pretty, picturesque shots of her on the bridge but I did snap this as she was finishing! She was proud that she did it in the end! 🙂  photo 073eresized_zps49ff2865.jpg photo 074eresized_zpse07cc266.jpg photo 078eresized_zpsb7f1ed3d.jpg

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Don’t ask me why but I let my kids climb on top of this huge boulder. It was crazy dangerous and going back I probably wouldn’t let them. I for sure wouldn’t let Ember.  photo 118eresized_zpsd2414d4d.jpg photo 121e2resized_zpsaeec9eb8.jpg photo 124eresized_zpscfbc335c.jpg photo 136eresized_zps491cf135.jpg photo 140e2resized_zps0f9a4b6b.jpg photo 141eresized_zps76b3a501.jpg photo 166eresized_zps429f341c.jpg

She was desperate to climb to the top like her siblings had. I kept telling her to stay low and sit down and move slooooowly. She kept wanting to be a dare devil and race up to the top and walk around up there. That girl has no fear!  photo 175bwresized_zps49c973bc.jpg photo 176bwresized_zps9d4fcdac.jpg photo 180bwresized_zps8c292f0e.jpg photo 185bwresized_zps76934007.jpg photo 189bwresized_zpsfec146b9.jpg

The Lost Lake ended up being this small little thing with no fish. But it was very beautiful so we were glad to have made it there. I think it was a mile long hike?  photo 195eresized_zps0879e817.jpg photo 197eresized_zps0961a8ca.jpg photo 198eresized_zps893407d7.jpg photo 200eresized_zps9d7c377a.jpg photo 204eresized_zps0640de21.jpg photo 208eresized_zpsb2ec9034.jpg photo 210eresized_zps30653f89.jpg

Everett spent the whole time there out of the ergo and much of it in daddy’s arms. He adores Allan!
I knew if I took him out of the ergo for a while I had a better chance of him not crying the entire hike back like he usually does on hikes!  photo 214eeresized_zps62775928.jpg photo 226eresized_zps96cd978e.jpg photo 237e2resized_zpscd618ff7.jpg photo 240eresized_zps09766ee9.jpg photo 241eresized_zps1379efb8.jpg photo 246eresized_zps4424a2d1.jpg photo 249eresized_zps4f34ae7b.jpg photo 251eresized_zps014ff9dd.jpg photo 252eresized_zps427f18ec.jpg

After a while we decided to head back to the car. We really didn’t want to be stuck hiking back in the dark because this particular place was so remote we knew there were lots of wild animals, like bears!, and Allan had left his bear spray in the car!
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The Success Loop in Nevada

I guess it’s one of the prettiest (or THE prettiest?) spots in that area of Nevada. And it really was pretty! About two hours from our house. Allan wanted to take me there to show me that Nevada could be great for outdoors. It was good timing because I was in dire need of some outdoors time!  photo 301eresized_zps70123e37.jpg photo 032eresized_zps2b4b63de.jpg photo 035eresized_zps79828b3c.jpg photo 037eresized_zps6b9b96db.jpg photo 041eresized_zps3d947f7e.jpg photo 043eresized_zpsbfa0868a.jpg photo 049bwresized_zpsf8fa985f.jpg photo 050eresized_zps3324fd3f.jpg

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After wearing a squirmy Everett for a while I tried to stick him in the stroller to see if he’d just sit there contentedly. Nope. His total stroller time was about two minutes. lol  photo 066eresized_zps695bdc01.jpg

Allan brought poptarts!  photo 080e2resized_zps3528a2b5.jpg photo 081eresized_zps3a65bb7e.jpg

I give Everett only produce and had just barely decided to let him try Gerber Puffs. Allan’s idea of a great first food would be poptarts. Or ramen. Or virtually any other thing on earth you can eat. Dads are way more laid back than moms I guess!  photo 084eresized_zps4fb4a241.jpg photo 088eresized_zps4c7ad527.jpg photo 092eresized_zpsb2cc23a0.jpg

The kids found an old rotting tree trunk and decided to kick it open.  photo 093eresized_zps53d8863a.jpg

They were pleased with the discovery of about a million termites. ICK.  photo 094eresized_zpse8d31c1d.jpg photo 098eresized_zps8bd888a6.jpg

Everett was still cranky so I finally stuck my boob in his mouth *while* wearing him. The things I do to not listen to a screeching baby every second of my friggin’ life.  photo 307eresized_zpsa4bb789f.jpg

We went on an exploratory walk and found this old car.  photo 103eresized_zps31b2fa0d.jpg

And the sun was starting to set and everything was so freaking gorgeous.  photo 109eresized_zps4bdc0b9e.jpg photo 112eresized_zps7ab49b3d.jpg photo 119eresized_zpse5358e78.jpg photo 125eresized_zpsbe254ffc.jpg photo 129eresized_zps3da7df3b.jpg photo 132eresized_zps3c7ea7e3.jpg

Later poor Eebs fell.  photo 134eresized_zps5f9c1dea.jpg photo 136eresized_zps01ef138f.jpg

And soon enough it was time to head home.  photo 321eresized_zpsb708cedf.jpg photo 323eresized_zps0658c77a.jpg photo 325eresized_zps605ca72e.jpg

Oh and we spotted this Elk on the way home!  photo 138eresized_zps488a6721.jpg photo 141eresized_zps3801949e.jpg photo 144eresized_zpsb9c417fe.jpg