Sunday, September 5, 2010

Outdoor Fun

When living in a place as beautiful as Southern Utah, you can't let a season of summer pass you by without visiting many of the National or State parks that are close by. As usual, when outdoors, it is impossible for me to keep my kids close by. I have a son who loves to climb and roam on anything within his reach, and a daughter who loves to explore nature by feeling, stirring, and just plain getting really dirty.

We were able to do some camping near the beginning of the summer as part of a family reunion. We camped in Zion and went hiking and exploring near the river. Jimmy enjoyed wading through the river and having a water fight with his uncles.Tori enjoyed peering into puddles and examining the many different insects that were in abundance.
We were also able to make a trip to Snow Canyon State Park. Jimmy enjoyed scaling the red rock mountains and climbing as high as he could. Tori continued to be intrigued by puddles & bugs.
It was a cold windy day. Later on we went to the sand dunes, but as soon as we sat down to play, a pouring rain storm rolled in & we ended up running for shelter as fast as we could. So, no picture of the infamous sand dunes to post.

Summer Classes

Each Summer Jimmy & I pick a few classes to sign up for to help keep him active through the summer time. Swimming classes is something we always do, and then we added on a Karate class this summer.

The swim instructor this year was a really fun instructor. He was willing to get wet & jump in the pool doing cannonballs. I am not even sure that Jimmy realized he was even at a class---more like he was just playing at the pool. The swimming class was held out our local recreation center. This is where we also spent most of our evenings when we wanted to go swimming.Jimmy has been asking to be in a Karate class for about 1 year now. I have looked into classes before, but they have always seemed to be too expensive, and very time consuming, requiring you to come 2-3X a week for classes. I finally happened upon a class this summer that was affordable and also schedule friendly. Jimmy absolutely enjoyed the class---and we will be continuing on in the fall with another course.


Both Jimmy & Tori have summer time birthdays, which means that I can relate to the term "Christmas in July". This summer we seemed to be exceptionally busy, and therefor we ended up doing just a casual 'family' party for each child.

Jimmy continues to like anything Star Wars related. He had asked for a Star Wars cake...and I did attempt to make one, and decorate it with m&m's. (sorry to all my friends who have the talent to decorate cakes)Tori is a very girly-girl and likes anything pink or princess themed. I completely ran out of time to even make her a cake (I had even bought the ingredients) and ended up buying a cake at the store on my way home from work that day.

Finishing Out 2nd Grade

Jimmy had a great 2nd Grade year. The school that he attends really tries to incorporate many extracurricular activities and learning opportunities for the students. This past Spring, Jimmy announced that he wanted to participate in the school Science Fair. I was in full support of him doing this.......however, I wanted to keep the project pretty simple. He went ahead and picked a project where he would test if different sized beach balls bounced back at different heights when dropped from the same height. He worked really hard and it certainly paid off when he came home with the 1st place medal!!
Jimmy also enjoys participating in the drama class at his school. He was part of a Reader's Theatre group. At one of the readings I attended I was able to hear him using an 'accent' while doing his reading ......and he was really good at it! This may be in his future. :)

With an active 7 year old boy, you of course aren't free from the 'bumps & bruises'. One Friday afternoon near the end of the school year I got the phone call letting me know that Jimmy most likely needed stitches & that I needed to come and pick him up from school. He had fallen and slipped on the playground equipment & had hit his chin on a bar. He ended up getting 11 exterior stitches & 5 interior stitches. He also ended up missing out on the school swimming field trip, since you aren't allowed to get stitches wet. But now he was a really cool scar to show off to his friends.

Arts Festival

It has been a very busy year for us......we have been having so much fun that there just hasn't been the time (or energy) to post the pictures & stories. BUT, since we have had such great experiences, I do want to share them. I will start by re-capping our Spring.
We always love attending the St.George Annual Arts Festival. The kids enjoy getting their faces painted & doing the Arts & Crafts. This year, all the volunteers for the face painting were busy doing the crazy hair it was up to the parents to do the face painting on their own. We had a cousin along with us. After the color was added to his hair is when the hairstylist informed us that it would take alot of time for the coloring to wash out of the blonde hair.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


A few weeks ago I found myself contemplating about running over to Disneyland for 'one last trip'. We have annual passes that expire in April, and Tori is still free to get in until this I tell myself of course, that the trip is practically already paid for---and how can we not go?!
So, over Jimmy's Spring Break from school we went down to Disneyland for 3 days. The crowds were so lite that we never needed to use the FastPass system, we found ourselves not having to wait in long lines, and the kids had the chance to visit with any character that they wanted to. We were able to do everything that we wanted to 2-3 times each.

And, if that is not good enough, the kids were on their best manners! No temper tantrums, no crying, no being sick, no sunburns----Nothing! It was blissful. :)

Whenever we were on a ride that wasn't their favorite ride, they learned how to cope in their own way. Tori does not particularly like the beginning parts of the ride for Pirates or Haunted Mansion, so she would just close her eyes really tight, cover her ears with her hands, and bury her face into me. On the 'kiddie' rides, such as Small World, Jimmy would just lean his head back & say he was taking nap.

It was very fun to see how their personalities played out at Disneyland and I was very glad that we were able to go back for 'one last trip'. I told the kids that we would probably not go back to at least 2012 when all of the current and new construction is completed-----we'll see if we can last that long.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Jumpin' Jacks

Jumpin' Jacks is the most favorite indoor playground that my children like to visit. It is a large warehouse that is full of about 8-9 full-size bounce houses.....the kind that you see at carnivals, state fairs, etc. The price of admission for children is actually more expensive than the price for an adult. The last time that we went, Tori was able to figure out how to climb all of the way up a 'ladder' by herself and then peek over the edge to see the slide. The slope of the slide was a little too intimidating for her, so instead of going down the slide, she would choose to just 'drop' herself down the 'ladder'. She did this over & over again until I became concerned that she was going to injure herself, and I had to pull her away kicking & screaming to different area to play in. I was unable to get any pictures of Jimmy this time because he was moving entirely too fast between each of the bounce houses for the camera to be able to catch him.