may - part 2 aka utah moves to orange and then yellow (too soon).
Since we moved into the orange phase at the beginning of the month, we started #momhike back up again.
It was heaven to be reunited. Even if we drove our own cars to the trailheads and kept 6 ft between us while hiking and drank our sodas at separate tables. It felt amazing to do something normal again.
And luckily momhike did start up again, because Kacie and I only got one hike in during the month of May!
We also got to do other normal things with the move to orange (and then yellow in the middle of may) ...
Like go to the zoo.
and I felt like the zoo did an amazing job of keeping the numbers low and making sure people were social distancing.
Kids went to the dentist.
Things were of course a little different, but just glad we could get in and get some cavities filled.
We even went to the movies!
Our local community theatre was showing all the Harry Potters. We decided to brave the crowds and see the 4th one. It was amazing. There was maybe 12 people total in a theatre and no one was in a 20 ft radius of us.
We met up with the Rensinks for the first time and took a scooter ride through the canyon.
It was the first time they'd played together since March, so it was a very exciting afternoon.
Julianne and I walked far, far behind them reminiscing of the early scooter gang days where they'd get hit by long boarders and cause crashes and it was just pure chaos.
They have grown up, even if they are a bit wild still. and they rode those scooters 5 miles without complaint (except for Ruby).
Mother's Day was amazing and I do not think I will ever be able to go back to attending church on Mother's Day. It was such a relaxing day and one of my best yet.
We hiked .7 miles to a new spot along the creek off the Big Springs Trail, where we just played and ate and relaxed all afternoon.
And no other people in sight.
BYU did a drive up Cougar Tail Day. Genius move on their part.
We then took our Cougar Tails and chocolate milk on campus to eat.
We then of course scootered all around campus, which has become our favorite quarantine activity.
Come mid May I let the kids loose in the neighborhood. Our neighborhood alliance decided that we were ok with outside play, but no kids allowed in houses.
These kids were just so happy to be reunited, that they didn't even fight for the first few weeks.
Most days you could look out the window and find kids from the ages of 3-12 all playing together.
And I was so happy to have this sight out my back window and extra happy no one was bugging me to come play inside.
The Miners also opened up their pool and become the hottest hang out on the block.
Fang has probably been missing the constant stream of visitors and kids more than most, so he has been especially happy (and tired) to have all the neighbor kids back.
an over the fence greeting during quarantine.
There was still lots of sibling time, my favorite moments are when they are actually friends and playing together nicely.
And endless bike trick practicing.
Crew and Sawyer have also mastered the outside playdate and couldn't of been happier to be reunited.
And since school was wrapped up and my table was once again free, Macey and I got to do our Hostess Puzzle.
Which we of course celebrated it's completion by buying a bunch of hostess treats at the gas station.
We got together with Michelle and kids to hike to Battle Creek.
It's crazy to think that just a few years ago just the thought taking these 8 kids hiking alone would of made us laugh hysterically.
And now here we were doing it. It's not so bad that kids actually grow up, sometimes.
We fit in 2 more camping trips. In a normal May 3 trips in the month would of sent me over the edge, but this time it was just what we needed.
Cherry with the Johnson's
This was probably one of our easiest trips yet because Ruby was entertained the whole time and not constantly whining at us.
Plus, all these little best friends have just been missing each other and were just loving getting to finally hang out.
And Capitol Reef, where we left Ruby behind with Holly. This trip also marked off our last Utah National Park to visit!
We never get pictures with the park signs because the lines are always so long. So, we couldn't pass up the opportunity when we kept driving by and there was never anyone there.
National Parks never disappoint. It was beautiful. And made better because the campground in the park was still closed, along with all visitor centers, so it was very empty. We of course missed getting to do the Jr. Ranger program, but I guess that means we will just have to go back.
The only down side was the No Seeums (aka biting flies). They mostly just bugged Crew. He had 42 bites from ear to ear. Luckily they were only on 2 of the trails we did, but poor little Crew.
It was awesome getting to go out on top of Cassidy Arch.
And we had this whole section of the river to ourselves.
Gerald is proving to be a very awesome addition to our family.
Things are crazy and stressful and hard, but I am doing my best to enjoy life slowing down and realigning where my focus should actually be.
Another bonus of Covid and Paul working from home...he has actually had time to teach the kids how to mow the lawn!!
It's the little things.
may part 1 - snow canyon & school ends
May is normally an insane month with lots of performances, soccer games, field trips, volunteer hours at school, and non stop playing in the sunshine.
Crew drew this pic of Covid-19 - "I hate C19"
This May was a bit different, but I can't say I missed the craziness too much. Covid has taught me so much, main one being I do not miss the extra things and having to be places. I just miss spending time with my people and adventuring. Luckily, we were able to slowly introduce some socializing and adventuring back in May. And May still turned out to be an awesome party.
We started out May with a trip to Snow Canyon
. We originally had planned to go Spring Break, but the park was closed to us. The moment the park opened up to people outside of the county it resides in we snagged a reservation.
Scooter and Gerald all hooked up and ready to go.
We had to snap a picture because everything we own is apparently a perfectly coordinated grey.
and Covid bonus, we could leave on a friday afternoon because Paul works from home now and Gerald makes it so much easier to pack!
It felt amazing to get out and explore somewhere new. And to kind of forget about Covid for a few days.
We barely saw any people.
All the hikes were shortish, little elevation gain, and non stop rock scrambling. Perfect for Navasard Kids.
Plus, slot canyons and lava tubes to hide from the sun in were an added bonus.
After each trip with Gerald we add to our list of what we need to make the next trip better, this time we almost had it perfect.
Gerlad is now well stocked with games. The favorites being Mexican Train, bocce, and Kube.
and the kitchen had everything we needed to prepare our gourmet camping meals.
One thing we discovered that we need to bring on every trip though, even when there's no water in sight, is bath towels. These kids were covered head to toe in sand and had to share one towel between all 4 of them.
We started wrapping up school. In reality though, Miles and Ruby were done with school work before May even hit. Macey and Crew pushed through until the end though, with very minimal help from me.
Here's a typical Kindergarten day and a day where, once again, I could get Ruby to do zero work.
We tried to fill our time with some other learning activities that were masquerading as playing.
We did manage to get in a few rounds of sight word bingo during the month.
She still passed kindergarten though and I am praying every day for all of next years first grade teachers. :)
I tortured Miles by making him do at least 20 min of school work each day, often with a Sodalicious in hand.
It only took 3 days to get him to pick a quote about hope, type it up and pose for this picture for a Hope Squad slideshow. I have always been impressed with Miles' teachers, but now I know they are miracle workers and I do not posses the same powers as them.
Crew on the other hand finished every single assignment, often while babysitting Ruby's babies.
Macey finished 7th grade with a 4.0, so I had to take her to Sodalicious to celebrate.
One thing I learned during online learning is I am a horrible personal assistant and my kids barely made any of their zoom meetings. Luckily, they caught on fast to this and learned to keep track of their own schedules.
But, this was how I felt every time I was in the room during one of their meetings.
I kept myself sane during the last weeks of online learning by organizing.
And not pictured, kid's closets.
Also, thanks to homeschooling, I was finally able to settle on what table I wanted in the sunroom. I ended up getting a table that was a foot shorter than I originally wanted, because I realized I wanted more space between the door and the table for kids to run in and out. #benefitsofhomeschool
The long awaited reverse parade finally arrived and we finally could stop feeling guilty about already living our best summer life.
It was fun riding our bikes through so we could talk to our beloved teachers a little bit better.
Miles of course wouldn't stop for a picture with Miss R.
I am still mourning that these 3 didn't get to finish the school year with some of the most amazing teachers we've ever had.
But we were past tears at this point and ready to party and put this school year behind us.
The kids were worried I wouldn't do our normal "Welcome to Summer" stuff, but I pulled through.
Since we couldn't do our normal last day of school stuff, I rented the kids the same blowup we got at spring break. But this time we turned the water on and invited friends over in shifts for a fun filled day.
We also did a Welcome to Summer picnic with The Rensinks up the canyon.
These might be my favorite first and last day of school pictures yet. The hair, the bathing suits...everything. Macey 7th GradeMiles 4th GradeCrew 2nd GradeRuby Kindergarten
I could not be more proud of these kids though. Life has been crazy and stressful and they have desperately missed school and friends, but they did it and hopefully came out stronger than they were when all this started.
The Main Event for September was Nana and Pop-Pop's visit
They pulled into the new house just as neighborhood outdoor movie was starting.
Not only were they seeing the house for the first time, but they got to meet a lot of our new neighbor's too.
Although, I know even they missed our old neighbors.
Crew had his first soccer game.
We took them to Provo Beach Resort.
Up to Big Springs.
And there was of course lots of book reading and game playing.
Then we headed down south and introduced them to one of our favorite places, Dead Horse Point.
I think they enjoyed #yurtlife.
Miles could not wait to go mountain biking with Pop-Pop
Watching the mountain bikers from the yurt deck going off on their big ride.
Miles even had a big crash into some prickly pear and still went out riding the next morning.
Nana and I stayed back and played many thrilling games of Spot It and Go Fish with Crewby.
There was of course lots of hiking and exploring.
We were so happy we got to show Nana and Pop-Pop one of our favorite Utah places.
This trip I learned I cannot jump high and Paul can.
And we actually got a family pic!
I'd say that was a successful trip.
The rest of the month was spent mostly hanging around the house and neighborhood.
Can't beat 70 degree days!!
There is constant games of 4-square in the driveway.
Ruby is learning to ride a 2-wheeler
This was my driveway one night when I was headed to yoga.
I called Paul over to herd all children out of the way. He entertained them with yoga poses, so I could safely backout.
We are really settling into and loving this new neighborhood, but that doesn't mean there still aren't tears shed about missing our old neighborhood and school.
Macey was having a particularly rough week missing all her old friends, so we had Tajen over for a late night. It helped fill the hole in her heart (and all of ours too).
We are glad all our friends are still close by.
My parents brought me my old desk my grandpa made. Macey has put it to good use and I love seeing it in her room.
One of the most exciting events for me this month was getting to join the elite "Mom Hiking Group"
Ruby's preschool schedule was made to fit around dance with friends and this hiking group. Our friday hikes are just as amazing as I dreamt they would be.
Ruby and I are slowly figuring out this curly hair thing. We both were having a good hair day at the same time, so we had to document the occasion.
We also finished our backyard this month. But, that deserves a photo dump post of it's very own.
October Chapter 2: Fall Break
For fall break this year we headed south with all of northern utah, luckily most of Northern Utah was headed to St. George and not to our destination, so we missed the crazy traffic.
We scored another Yurt reservation and are in love with this style of "camping".
The heater was an added bonus in the morning too.
Our Yurt was in Deadhorse Point State Park.
There were amazing Mountain Bike trails right outside our door. Paul, Macey and Miles had a blast riding on them and it was all M&M wanted to do.
Waiting for my mountain bikers to come back.
We promised Crewby we'd be back to ride through the sand and on the slick rocks when they had bigger bikes.
We did let them explore the trails around our Yurt though.
Deadhorse State Park was amazing!
Spectacular views in every direction. And a 2,000 foot drop in every direction.
We got to watch the sunset, a safe distance back from the edge. Beautiful.
One of those moments I hope they remember.
And we found a mini pride rock.
Crew is rafiki and notice how Macey and Miles are bowing to baby Simba. :)
Lots of hiking and lots of view points.
My favorite hike of the trip was in the state park, Basin Overlook.
No one on the trail but us and we could get right to the edge of an amazing view point.
We planted the kids a safe distance from the edge with a snack and Paul and I went in for a closer look.
Really gets the blood flowing and I won't even get that close to the edge.
We spent a day in Canyonlands, which is just down the road, at the Island in the Sky section.
And for the first time all 4 kids actually completed their Jr. Ranger books and loved it! Usually they get bored and toss them in the garbage after 1 hike.
MESA ARCH was a huge hit.
We saw tons of wildlife and these kids were amazing at spotting lizards.
Overall I would say this was the kids best hiking trip we've had
I don't think anyone even complained about all the hiking. #miracle
Notice my hand in this picutre...I am sure I am telling Macey to stay away from the edge for about the 100th time.
Crew and I still held our spot in the back, but we weren't as far behind the other 4 as on other trips.
The cliffs weren't actually as stressful as I thought they'd be. It helped we weren't with other families, so our kids weren't running around and being crazier than normal. They stuck together and listened when we showed them which rock or bush they were not allowed to pass. :)
Paul and I ventured to the edge a few times. Terrifying looking over that edge and seeing the canyon floor 2,000 feet below.
I think the kids favorite hike was Whale Rock.
essentially you just follow a trail to this giant rock that looks like a whale and then you just get to run and explore all over.
Always an amazing view at snack time.
Turns out Ruby is a bit afraid of heights when she's tired, so I had to carry her around on the "whale" and back down to the trail.
This girl was in her element, no fear here.
Always have to dab when you're on an awesome trail and there are prickly pears around.
We live in an amazing place and I am so grateful we get to explore a small piece of it.
These are the things I want my kids to remember from their childhood. Not the stuff, but the adventures and the way they felt taking in these amazing places.