bryce Adventures

Apr 27, 2016
My parents came to visit, so we decided to explore a part of Utah none of us had been before.  

Byrce Canyon.  


Holy Crap.  Might be my new fav. National Park.


It was amazing to hike down into the canyon and see all the changes in the landscape.  




There were tons of places to climb around and play.



Crew liked to make his own Hoodoos every time we took a break. 


The kids were awesome hikers and there was actually very little complaining once we got started.  




And I could not stop taking pictures.  It was just too perfect.  




Even the hike back out wasn't too bad.  


And Raffy joined us for the first time.  He loved it.  And that is Thor's hammer behind my head, a favorite part of the hike for the boys.  



(it wasn't as cold as this picture makes it look.  Ruby would not allow Paul to put his hood down.)


The 2nd day we checked out The Grand Escalante Staircase at Kodachrome State Park.  



I think the kids liked this place even more than Byrce.  



There was barely anyone there and just open space to explore.  


They loved climbing and playing on the slick rock.  

 


One reason I love hiking is the kids can be as loud and crazy as safety allows. They get to be free and I don't have to stress about the glances of other moms wondering why I can't keep my kids under control. :)  


I think Ruby liked it better here too, as she didn't have to be in the hiking backpack quite as much.  



Crew was a little worn out, due to all the hiking the day before. So, on the last hike of the trip Pop-Pop and I had to take turns carrying him.  



To me it seemed like a mix of Bryce, Zion, and Arches.


Perfection.


 We already are making plans to check out some different areas of Grand Escalante.  

I really do love Utah. 




Tags: Brycenational parkgrand escalantehikingutahoutdoors
Holly
Take me with you next time, I won't wine I promise ;)
Nana
I loved it! So beautiful & fun. The kids did great. I am ready to check out more areas.
angie
Heaven! If you're going to hike, that's a pretty awesome spot to do it at. Super cool that your parents went with you.

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The Rest of September

Oct 11, 2015
I always think I'm going to be devastated when school starts and summer comes to an end, but Utah's fall always has a way of reminding me that I love it too.  

We said our final goodbyes to the pool. 


and enjoyed our last outdoor movie.  




and we haven't looked back since. 



I didn't think I'd love afternoon kindergarten like I do, but we've got our schedule down and I am loving it.



 We play all morning and run our errands.  Then Ruby naps while Miles is at school and I get my introverted extrovert time.  Meaning, I lock myself in my house and am lazy, in order to recover from my busy and usually social mornings.  

Miles is doing better than I expected just a month into school.  




Which meant I no longer had an excuse to put off potty training Crew. 

It clicked after 2 long days and we've been pretty good ever since.  


And this is his typical look anymore.  Always some type of injury.  


Ruby is pretty much the reason I still get nothing done around the house and is my entertainment for most of the day.  


She can never resist a good tackling opportunity.
She is constantly on the table and is always trying to steal the boys' lunch.  



She wore her first baby pony tail this month.  


And she loves to run around with her neighbor BFF, Ella.  




The kids are pretty much outside from when they get home from the bus until dinnertime.  
Love all these kids and the moms I never get pictures of. 



Lucky for us, Peter has afternoon school too, so the scooter bandits have plenty of time to explore together.  



The weather has been perfect for park hopping.  

Playing outside at the Children's Museum.  



September always brings with it Chalk the Block.


The School Carnival.


And plenty of hiking.  


We made M&M skip school to go exploring in Big Cottonwood Canyon.  


We attempted to hike to Donut Falls in the spring, but there was too much snow on the trail for us to make it and it was pretty much a disaster. 


Glad we tried again.  


Can't wait till I can do it when the kids are bigger and we can actually climb up and see the "donut hole".  

Utah Mountains never disappoint, though.  



For labor day, I wanted to have a picnic in a secluded meadow, as I was sick of most people.

Brenden came through, finding us the perfect spot.  It was our kids biggest hike to date and there was quite a bit of elevation gain, but it was so worth not seeing a single person on the trail and getting to have an entire mountain meadow to ourselves.  

Seriously, these views.  Makes the whining much more bearable.  


Julianne and I made sure to recover and have a little nap while the boys took the kids off to explore, once we reached the meadow.  





Love where we live.  














Tags: septemberfallhikingutahrubyscooter bandits
Nana and opa
Great pics! Glad y'all have outdoor kids! Paul and his brother and sister were also outdoor kids.
angie
So pretty! Nothing beats Utah in the fall. I can't wait to see your October pictures! Does Paul have a selfie stick, or is his arm really long enough to capture that group shot? I'm impressed.

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Backpacking

Oct 10, 2015
Paul and Steve took Macey and Ethan on their first overnight backpacking trip up to Silver Lake in American Fork Canyon.  






The hike was just over 2 miles in and an elevation gain of 1,450 feet.



Macey was so excited that she was big enough to carry all her own stuff (sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, gear...everything for her). I don't think she was as excited about it half way through the hike, but she did it and I was impressed.  



 I was a bit, ok a lot, nervous about bears.  

So, Paul got bear spray, taught Macey what to do if they saw one, bought a bear can, and made sure to set up their kitchen up away from their tents.  He's a good husband to ease my fears like that. :)  



It happened to be the coldest weekend since summer, there was frost everywhere when they woke up, but they both slept totally fine (I would not of slept at all).  


Macey gave it 2 thumbs up and said it was just as fun as Disneyland and given the choice between the two she doesn't know which she would choose.  



Her favorite part was climbing around on these rocks, which is her own personal heaven.  She of course ripped her pants in the process.  





Things Paul wants to remember about their trip:

- unsuccessful fishing, Macey still loved it.


- He told Macey not to go in the water, she did and then was freezing cause her shoes were wet.  She had to wear his socks and still did some pouting about it.  







- Macey kept asking "how much longer" the entire hike, but then forgot she was tired once they got there.  



- He is still mad that Steve accepted an out of state job offer immediately before their trip.  And because of that they can't make this a tradition, and he now has to find a new (probably not as cool) friend to go backpacking with.  


So glad everyone survived and maybe next year I can convince him to take Miles too. :)  






Tags: backpackingpaul and maceyhiking
angie
Yeah, that looks like a serious memory-maker! What a good dad.

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May madness

Jun 7, 2015
May flew by in a flurry of end of school activities, rain, more rain, sporadic sunshine, friends, and kids that won't stop growing. 

We had to hit up the rec center pool one rainy Saturday, before the outdoor pool became our pool of choice.  


Crew used to be so annoying to swim with, because he just had a death grip on you the entire time. But, thanks to 2 private lessons with our favorite swim teacher, he was swimming everywhere alone (in his floatie), leaving me free to hold Ruby.  Looks like he will get to come with us to the pool this summer afterall.  

Crew ruptured his ear drum later that week, and I tried to enjoy the cuddles and ignore the constant whining. :) 



We went to the Payson temple open house the next day.  


It was gorgeous and so cool to be able to take the kids inside.  Macey loved all the "diamonds" in the Celestial room and Miles' favorite was the baptismal font.  Paul and I got our workout in, by carrying Crew and Ruby up and down all the flights of stairs, as Crew was still sick, and could not be convinced to walk.  



I had a wonderful Mother's Day...I wasn't prego, sick, or recovering from just having a baby.  It was wonderful.  Miles kept giving me kisses and hugs all day and he even went up and sang with the primary for the first time ever!! 



Paul of course made my favorite meal.  It was a pretty great day.  


Ruby LOVES to empty all of the straws out of the drawer and then leave them all over the house for me to find.  Paul took advantage one morning and made a massive straw for the kids to drink with. It was pretty epic.  


When she's not making messes, Ruby can usually be found with a doll and/or weapon in her hand.  

She has also learned to climb this month and there are very few places safe from her anymore.  


Crew has also started bring me bugs instead of flowers, as we have had many a conversation about not picking our neighbors flowers! Never a dull moment around here.  

And here is a comparison so you can see what a giant Crew has become. These 2 are pretty much the same size and she is 2 years older than him. :)  



Between rain storms we ventured into Rock Canyon for a little hike.  

  

We didn't make it far, but the kids had a blast exploring, playing in the creek, and being rock climbers.  



Even Ruby had to get in on the climbing action.  

Macey had her much anticipated Up With Kids performance of "Frostbite".  


She played 2 different characters and had to memorize a good number of lines, songs, and dances.  She loved every minute of it.  


Macey has also become an avid reader. This is how she looks pretty much every night when we come to check on her before we go to bed...light on with books sprawled all around her.  



She is also OBSESSED with games and is always trying to find someone to play with her.  

We're still spending as much time as possible on our deck before it gets too hot, as it is the biggest room in our house.  We eat most meals out here and the kids can often be found playing all sorts of games.  


More proof I am feeling better...I went on 2 girls nights this month!!!!

We saw Pitch Perfect 2 and Princess Academy at BYU.  I had forgotten how much fun it can be to spend time with my friends without all our kids running around!


One of the highlights of the month for us though, was the Rensinks moving to Orem.  


Julianne and I ventured to Thanksgiving Point, the canyon, the mall, park, and much more.  




I love having someone close by that is always willing to go on adventures with me and can embrace the craziness.  


In the midst of all the madness Paul and I have only been able to go on one date.  


We are obviously going to have to be better in June.  








Tags: mayspringrensinkshiking
nana
Is Crew's ear healed? That is a great Mother's Day photo so different from last years. I love your photo from last year though. Ruby is one busy girl I want to hang out with her! So fun that Brenden & Julianne live so close to you.

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Easter

May 4, 2015
For the 2nd year in a row we got away without any questions or requests for dying eggs, so we skipped it (again).  Here's hoping we'll be able to get away with this for at least one more easter. :)  

We had our annual neighborhood egg hunt.  We seemed to have less kids this year and it was amazing.  


The kids were so fast, I really didn't catch any action shots, but believe me it was fun watching them search frantically.  






Love all these people.  


The Easter Bunny hid the baskets pretty well this year, so we had to give some clues for Macey and Miles to find theirs.


Ruby didn't seem to mind that the Easter Bunny brought her yogurt drops instead of candy, but in the end she was able to snatch just enough candy from the big kids to satisfy her cravings.  




We did our annual tripod easter family picture.  And it went about as good as it always does.  



I tried to get individual ones of each of the kids too, but M&M of course wouldn't cooperate.  

So, here are the good kids of the morning:


Since we didn't have anyone coming over for dinner on Easter, we decided we should take advantage of the perfect weather and go on a hike.  



We ventured to Big Cottonwood Canyon to hike to Donut Falls.  The week before we had hike in Little Cottonwood Canyon and the trails had been perfect, so the thought of tons of snow did not cross our minds.  Big Mistake.  This hike ended our good hiking streak.  



The first .75 miles were great and we were still in the dark as to what awaited ahead of us.    



The snow slowly started showing up, but we still had high hopes that everything would be fine.    


We put the kids on some snow free rocks to eat their snacks, while we ventured up a little bit to see how the trail looked.  


We decided they could handle it and it would be fun.  We were wrong. 



We ignored Miles' screams and ventured up the snowy/icey path in our shorts and keens.  There was lots of screaming, slipping, falling, crying, and laughing.  



At one point while trying to get Macey and Miles up a particularly icy and steep part of the trail, I slipped and hit my head fairly hard.  We went about another 500 feet after this before we saw sense and realized there was no way we were going to make it to donut falls on the ice with 4 little kids.  

So, we sadly turned around and had to face the slippery slope back down.  



At this point Miles was screaming and crying so much, I just picked him up and carried him to where the snow stopped to wait for Paul and the other 3 kids.  



It's going to be awhile until I am recovered enough to go hiking with these 4 again.  

Life lesson learned...Never go hiking on Easter.  


Tags: Easterspringegg hunthikingdonut falls
nana
Looks like you had another fun neighbor Easter Egg hunt, you have the best neighbors! Love your family photos & hike in the snow. Miles & Ruby look so much alike.

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