Sunday, October 23, 2016

Fall hike up Big Baldy

Spencer and Natalie
I took a Saturday school break last weekend and hiked Big Baldy (remember I did it on my bday). It was BEAUTIFUL and fall was in full force. It was so wonderful to be outside in nature after so many weeks of studying and being inside even on Saturdays. I love to hike and I loved doing it with some of my kids.

We brought Calvin's friend, Spencer, and my nursing school beastie, Cher, with us. Cher and I have been taking classes together for the past 1.5 years and it was fun to have her come too.

Soon after the start of the hike we broke into two groups. I was with Natalie & Spencer and Cher, Mariah and Calvin were in the lead. Natalie is not really fond of hiking and I was surprised she wanted to come with us. It is a very steep hike, steeper than Timp, and about 7-8 miles. It is so steep that I slipped a ton and had to climb the trail using my hands and sort of crawl. Natalie cried a lot of the way up and down (sorry Nat but that is the truth- I still love you :) and I had to make lots of bargains with her to keep the complaining somewhat minimized and decrease the crying. I think she is glad she did it now that it is a done deal but I don't know she will ever do that hike again.

Timp is behind me
This was the "buggy" spot the last time Mariah and I hiked it.

The valley is behind Spencer. Nat is back on the trail there too.

Spencer and Calvin with Utah lake in the back.

Natalie, Karina, Calvin and Mariah

Natalie, Karina, Cher, Calvin, Spencer and Mariah


The night before we put her to sleep. 
 We had to put our sweet kitty Blackberry to sleep last month. She was about 14 years old and was having health problems that were expensive to treat. We made the very difficult decision to put her to sleep. I was surprised how sad and difficult it was for me. My kids seemed to handle it better than me.

We adopted Blackberry for Blake as a birthday gift when he turned 3. She was born on the streets and the Humane Society wasn't certain how old she was. The vet who helped us with her suspected she was much younger than the Humane Society had told us. We think she was either abandoned by her mom or her mom was killed when she was very young because she was always a little sickly and especially skittish.

We almost lost her several times. We nearly lost her when she was a kitten due to dehydration. Per vet's orders, I had to feed her Pedialyte with a baby medicine syringe for awhile until she got her strength back. Then during our next move we lost her for about 4 months in Dan's parents neighborhood. When Dan's dad found her she was feral and really mean to the kids for awhile. Then she got used to us again and was fine.

She and Blueberry were good buddies. Blueberry took good care of Blackberry and always made sure she was clean.

Andrew took lots of nice pictures of Blackberry in all her favorite spots- which were all in his bedroom!

RIP Blackberry.

Blueberry and Blackberry loved to snuggle in Drew's bed. 

She would only drink water out of the bathroom sink while it was dripping.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Peter is six

Peter has really matured this past year. He recently started in all-day-Kindergarten and absolutely loves it. After about a week of school he said to me, "I think Kindergarten is longer than preschool was!" He LOVES to learn and is a really good student. He is doing a first-grade curriculum with some other all-day Kindergartners who are also more advanced. He is learning to read and write and many other academic skills.

Peter is very tender-hearted and sensitive if I get mad at him. He is kind and a hard worker. He is one of my best cleaners when it is clean up time.

His school teachers tell me that he really cares and watches out for Nikolas at school. They attend the same school and have lunch and recess together. Nik struggled the first couple of weeks going to preschool for 5 1/2 hours. Peter held his hand every recess and even sat out of games so he could hold Nik's hand and be with him. I think they are now playing the recess games but still holding hands during them.

Peter is a joy to have in our family.

We ate spaghetti and chocolate chocolate cake on his birthday and bacon for breakfast.

I wasn't going to have a party for Peter but my mom and Natalie wanted to do one for him.

Lots of friends were invited and the party was held at Grandma Chatterley's house.

The kids ate noodles, grapes and pretzels for dinner.

I made the cake.

Sunday, September 18, 2016


Blake- 17
Blake just turned seventeen. He is busy doing a lot of great things. He is taking some hard classes this year including a concurrent enrollment Spanish class, Honors Math and AP Psychology. He loves a good meal.

He is also still working and making sure he is with his friends plenty. He has grown quite a bit and is now about 6'1". He had a football injury about a month ago which required an X-Ray. The injury was not serious but the X-Ray showed lots of growth plate left in his leg. We think Blake will soon pass up Dan in height.

Blake loves to workout with his friends. He did 100 pull-ups with a friend yesterday. The last part of the set was with some sort of elastic band help- but none-the-less impressive. He can almost dunk a basketball. He LOVES hanging out with his friends, especially his football buddies.

Blake recently went to Homecoming Dance. Dances around here are an all day, 1/2 the night event. There is the day date and the actual date. For the day date the group went water skiing and for the night date they went to Olive Garden. Then they went to the dance. 

We are so grateful to have Blake in our family.
Bday breakfast of crepes and berries,

Bday dinner- Costco lasagna

Bday cake- Costco cheescake

Blake and Keira went to Homecoming together

The homecoming group Blake went with