Superpaige's Pad

The Trials of a Busy Mom

Category: Field Trips (page 1 of 10)

Larissa!

It was so great to see our former exchange student, Larissa, in Germany. It was a bit out of the way, but since we were traveling from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf anyway, we just took a train to Osnabruck where she lives first.

She came to the train station and picked us up, and it was wonderful to give her a great big hug! She took us around town to show us some things, and we walked through the square.

It was very cold and we were getting hungry, so Ryan and I ordered a hamburger from this stand. Larissa is eating vegan, so she didn’t want any.

We looked at and went in 2 amazing churches. It seems every block there’s a HUGE magnificent church.

We even asked a stranger to take a picture of the 3 of us, not just do a selfie.

And I wanted a picture with these fine people, as well. They also gave me candy.

Then she took us to the house where she lives with a bunch of other college students.

It’s a group of buildings on a little farm.

All too soon our time was up and she brought us back to the train station to catch a train to Dusseldorf. It was wonderful to see her and bring her some love from her American Family.

Museums

If I were traveling with my family, and we were in Europe, I would be very particular about which museums we went to. At $15-$25 a ticket, that’s a big chunk of money to spend on one activity. And they might not appreciate spending a few hours looking at art. BUT, since I was mostly by myself, I could afford such a luxury. I’ll just include a little bit about each museum I was able to look through, even though there’s so much to elaborate on!

1-Anne Frank House in Amsterdam. A must see. And only 10 for adults, so not terribly expensive. Everything was in both English and Dutch, so we could read each display, listen to the audio presentations, and really see where she and her family lived. There were many photos of her and the family, and some of the walls still have the original posters and pictures she had taped to the walls. You have to buy your ticket online before, or else there’s a long stand-by line.

2-Van Gogh Museum. 17 Euro, or about $19. Really a wonderful museum. I loved learning about about Van Gogh. What really impressed me about Van Gogh is the family connection. Vincent’s brother Theo, an art dealer, supported him in every way. He encouraged his brother, sold paintings for him, and helped him financially. When Vincent died in 1890, his brother Theo died only 6 months later, in 1891. His wife Jo published the brothers’ letters. She, as well as her son were largely responsible for Van Gogh’s popularity. She had over 200 of his paintings and donated or sold them to exhibits. What a study in family history! If she had done nothing with those paintings, who knows if we would have them today. You can’t take pictures in the museum, but I had to snap a few in the gift shop.

3-Rijks Museum. I wasn’t sure if I was going to go to this museum, but decided on my last day in Amsterdam to go. Wow. So glad I went.

To see original Rembrandts and to see how amazing and big they actually are was quite awe inspiring for me.

And the Waterloo painting is HUGE! I can’t even imagine working on something like that for SO long.

And the paintings and art just went on and on. I was glad I was by myself so that I could just wander, sit and look at certain things, and then wander some more. I went out to the lobby and ate my rice cake and cheese that I had packed for my lunch and then went back to see some more amazing works of art.

In Northern Germany, we were there more to visit people, so we didn’t spend time in any museums, but we did look at so much street art and churches.


We saw these two churches in Osnabruck with Larissa, and even saw a wedding celebration.

In Dusseldorf we were also looking for architecture.


4-We also went up the Rhine Tower and looked down. (Not really a museum, but I’m counting it) The view was incredible.
It’s similar in height to the space needle in Seattle. I remember as a missionary that we went to the government building right by the tower, but I don’t think we went up the tower. Probably $10 seemed expensive to us at the time? I don’t know.

This little kid had no problem getting so close to the window.

5-In Milan, we didn’t have a lot of time, but I knew we needed to see the Duomo.

Amazing doesn’t even describe this cathedral. It took 600 years to build, and they are still working on parts of it all the time. Inside it’s SO huge! And elaborate details EVERYWHERE. Our favorite part, though, was that they let you go up to the roof, and you can walk around up there ON THE ROOF!
So you can get a view of the city, and a close up look at the beautiful details. If you ever get a chance to go to Milan, you MUST see the Duomo.

6-The Sforza Castle Museum in Milan

This amazing museum of art and antiquities is INSIDE a real castle. They even had mummies in the basement. I went to this museum on recommendation from Juan Pablo, one of the guys Ryan was working with that day. So glad I did.

7-In Munich, I happened upon a toy museum. Why not, I thought. I’ve seen so much art, that toys will be fun to see.

So fun! I learned the history of the Steiff bears and animals, tin toys, Barbies, doll houses, and so much more. This is one I would totally take the kids to, if they had been with us, and it was only 4 Euro.

8-Dachau Concentration Camp

I took a very sobering tour of Dachau on a cold, dreary, rainy day. Our guide was German, but did our tour in English, and I appreciated his not leaving out the bad details.

You can read more about this sculpture and others here, if you wish.
I took many pictures, but they don’t really convey the awful feeling of gloom and sadness, and really a reverence for the people who were kept and tortured there.

9-Bavarian Museum. Ryan went with me to the Bavarian Museum in Munich. We really only had an hour to cruise through, but we did it anyway. The basement housed a whole display of Nativity scenes, and it was amazing! After my day at Dachau, it was nice to see so much of Christ’s Birth and life in these scenes.

10-Neu Schwanstein Castle
Our last day in Munich we drove down to see the famous castle of King Ludwig II. It really is as amazing and picturesque as you think it’s going to be.

Because it was snowy, the bus wasn’t running, and we got to hike up the steep hill. So many people were there, that even though we got there at 10:45, our tickets were for 2:00.

I wish we could take pictures inside, but no. The story of the castle is amazing, though, and Kind Ludwig was obviously troubled. He built this huge castle and wants to be alone. No family, no visitors, no parties. Alone. The castle was not even finished completely when he died (or was murdered). Amazing history and story, and I’m so glad we got to see it.

There you have it! 10 museums in Europe!

Amsterdam, land of bikes

It was so wonderful to be able to go to Amsterdam! Ryan had to work at the Electronics convention, but luckily he did get to go out and explore with me a little bit. When we first got there on Monday, we checked into our hotel, had a one hour nap, and then figured out how to get to the Anne Frank House. We had tickets for 1:15. We found a street car station, and with the help of a map and google maps on the phone, we found our way there.

It was such a special place, hidden high up above a pectin shop. What I’ve found amazing about Anne Frank and her story is that she was just a regular girl. Her story is the story of so many, but we have her story because she WROTE it down. Whatever your story, it’s YOUR story, and you need to record it.

We noticed there were roosters on top of a lot of the churches. Later we found out that a Rooster is a sign of Christ, so there are a lot of them on the tops of churches.

So many amazing churches, so much beautiful architecture!

So many bikes! It was REALLY cold there the whole week, and it rained or snowed almost every day that we were there, yet there were throngs of people on bikes.

All bundled up, and some of them multitasking, like we would do in the car. Riding a bike drinking coffee, riding and texting, riding and talking on the phone. There are traffic lights for people, bikes, and cars. And dedicated lanes for bikes. You are more likely to get hit by a bike than a car. I would have liked to ride a bike along the streets (faster than walking), but with the cold, I didn’t bother renting one. But I imagine in the summer, when it’s high tourist season, that the number of bikes would be exponentially greater.

Everywhere you look, there are bikes locked up. One guy I was talking to said you always need to use 2 locks to avoid getting your bike stolen.

And how’s this for a heavy duty family bike? I’m guessing you could transport 3-4 kids in that one.


It was interesting to note that in Germany and Italy, many people also used bikes, but not nearly as many as in Amsterdam. I think it’s because of the layout of the city. Amsterdam is flat, and they have made the roads not wide enough for many cars, but room enough for bikes. Different system.

Even though I could understand a little bit of dutch, it was very nice that everyone there speaks English. And most everyone was polite.

Birthday Surprise!

My birthday doesn’t have the greatest history of being celebrated. It’s right after Christmas, but before New Year. People are partied out, broke, and just want to relax. No one wants to come together for an epic party just 4 days after Christmas. So, I usually remind my kids a couple of times, and then I go out and buy myself something I want. Or, since I bought too many presents for Christmas, I tell Ryan that he can have the kids wrap one of them and give to me for my birthday before I return things.

I try not to be selfish and petty about my birthday and the lack of “special” that it is, but it’s hard. I see other people with huge birthday dates or trips or fantastic present and I tend to get a little jealous. (I’m not proud of it!)

Anyway, let’s move on to this year.

I told Ryan that I just wanted to be surprised for my birthday. That’s it. A surprise. In my mind, I’m thinking maybe a party, or dinner out with friends, or maybe even a new dishwasher (because he’s heard me complain enough about my 15 year old dishwasher that he keeps fixing). He complained a bit and said, “But that’s so hard.” Sorry. You shouldn’t have married someone with an inconvenient birthday, or someone who likes surprises and parties, then.

Mid December Ryan found out that he is definitely going to Amsterdam in Feb, and I decided I am definitely going with him. We booked the tickets. The company pays for his, mine is with miles. “Darn,” I thought, “that would have totally counted as a great surprise!” But that wasn’t the surprise.

The day before my birthday, I was just about to ask if I needed to plan anything or leave time open, and Ryan said, “I have to tell you a little bit of the surprise.” He had booked 2 nights of hotel, but my friend Robin was coming into town to stay with us, and he wanted to make sure and cancel if I wanted to stay home and party with Robin. No, that’s still good. They are only here until Friday morning, and they have a family party on Thursday night, so I’m sure they won’t mind if we leave them.
Cool! He booked 2 nights of Hotel!!! He CAN do surprises!

Of course, now that I knew we would be leaving, I had to plan. Is there food for the kids, can Megan drive Jenna to a party on Friday, etc. But I’m the mom and that’s my job.

Robin came into town on Wednesday and we spent the night talking and laughing. Thursday dawned and the two of us went to get pedicures for my birthday. Then there were presents at home. The kids had actually shopped or planned something and got me some nice things. Then Ryan handed me a present. What? I thought the trip was the surprise? Nope. New camera. In Red. Because he knows me so well. Our last point and shoot camera started flaking while we were on our cruise, and I can’t trust just a phone to take all my pictures.

powershot-sx620-hs-red-3q-cl_1_xl

Then we packed our stuff for our 3 day adventure in St. George (where it is 20 -30 degrees warmer), and took off.

img_0020

We had such a great time. We went and did a session in the St. George Temple, ate dinner with some friends of ours that we haven’t seen in years (another surprise Ryan cooked up), went thrift store shopping, saw some petroglyphs, went to a movie, ate out, did more shopping, and really enjoyed our time together.

img_0047
It was wonderful to be somewhere warmer (almost 50 degrees, it felt like spring), and to just relax.
img_0099

We left on Saturday around noon, and stopped at a “ghost town” a little bit from Leeds.
img_0113

The Wells Fargo building in this old silver mining town is still standing, and they have made it into a little museum.

img_0070
img_0074

There are many old structures partly standing, but we also enjoyed looking at the other houses in the town. The ones people live in. Such a eclectic mix of architecture!

img_0125
We call this one the “Haunted Mansion House”. Right?

img_0133

This family of deer jumped out onto the road just as we were rounding the corner. Good thing we weren’t going fast.

We got home New Year’s Eve night, in time to “celebrate” the new year, or in my case, to go to bed. It was such a wonderful surprise birthday trip. I can’t imagine him topping this one!

Moab Memorial Day weekend

We wanted to take a little family vacation before Cole got married and while Larissa was here with us. Because of girl’s camp and other scheduling issues (like school and concerts) the only time we had was Memorial Day weekend. So we decided to go to Moab.

Yes, it’s crowded with many travelers, but it’s not too hot.

Arches National Park is amazing. I’m wondering why we haven’t brought our kids here before. Seriously! Because it’s always hot? Because we aren’t big hikers? Well, we have missed out.

DSCN0677

I love that there are So many people here from all over. As you are hiking you can hear so many different languages. And even though we are so different, people are friendly. You can ask almost anyone to take your picture. There is lots of camera trading. Especially at delicate arch.
DSCN0710

We got here on Friday, and wanted to go see some arches first thing. We went to the windows. Not very far from the road, and you can climb to 4 or more amazing sights! We aren’t all the best hikers, and we don’t like being hot, so I’ll admit there was a little complaining.

On Saturday we wanted to get an early start to hike delicate arch. With this many people, “early” ended up being 8:30DSCN0780

People were already coming back down when we were starting. But I’m so happy we weren’t any later.
DSCN0708

Not going to lie. It’s a hard hike. Especially for people who don’t hike. Did I mention we don’t really hike? It’s a mile and a half of UP.
DSCN0797

The kids were almost always ahead of me, but I did make it.
DSCN0818

I love how people will just hand strangers their camera, and you take their pictures for them. One lady asked me to take pictures with her phone, and while waiting for them to get under the arch, I took a few other goofy pictures. They will get a surprise when they look at them.

DSCN0832

Breathtaking.

Later that day we went to Dead Horse Point. Amazing! The kids were hiked out, though, and didn’t want to “hike” much, so it’s a good thing you could drive up to the lookout.

On Sunday, after church and lunch at Denny’s, we went to the Moab Movie Museum.
DSCN0955 Small, yes. But free. And fascinating! Larissa quickly got bored and ended up walking around the lodge, but I loved it. Watched the whole 15 minute movie and looked at all the posters and memorabilia.
DSCN0963 Plus, it was out at the beautiful Red Cliffs Lodge. As we drove back to town we saw SO many people rafting, kayaking, or paddle boarding in the river. And we wished we had our bikes so we could ride along the trails by the river.

DSCN1013

Later in the evening, we went back to Arches to walk through the Park Avenue. It’s a 1 1/2 mile “hike”, but it’s not climbing, so it was a great hike to walk, talk, goof around, and for John to climb on rocks. This may have been my favorite area in the park.
DSCN1069I don’t remember ever walking through here before. And in the evening, the colors are spectacular, and there’s no need for sunscreen. While climbing up on a big rock, I scraped along my leg. DSCN1031 Not hard enough to break the skin or even bleed, but when I stood up, the veins on my leg were super swollen and blue. I don’t know what I did, but I’ve got quite the bruise on my leg, now. Dumb varicose veins.
DSCN1164

Larissa collected flowers all along the trails. She’s probably not supposed to do that, but we looked the other way. She stuck them all in a book to dry.
DSCN1074

Monday was our last day. Larissa went on a hike with the Englebrights that morning, and we decided to go to see landscape arch. Along the way we also saw pinetree arch. It made it a 3 mile hike, and it was just starting to get warm when we finished. We did a lot of bird calling to each other and were so goofy. I think the kids were just relieved that they could go home and not have to hike any more.
DSCN1136

It really was a GREAT weekend. Yes, it was crowded, and hot (but not HOT), but it was so beautiful, and so much fun.

Spring Break

For our Spring Break, we took a quick trip to St. George. When the kids asked what we were going to do, I told them we were going to go on a hike or two, swim, eat out, sleep in, read books, and relax. And we did all of those things.

When we arrived at our hotel, we had to check out the pool, and we were pleased that there was both an indoor and an outdoor pool. John wanted to swim right away, so we went down with him.

lounge

It was great to just lay on a lounge chair with my book and enjoy the sun.

sun

We decided we were going to explore, so we headed to the Johnson’s Farm Dinosaur Tracks Museum. We’d never been there, and had always wondered what it was. It’s a good thing it was only $6 per person. It was barely worth that much, honestly.

crazy

It’s cool to see all the actual dinosaur tracks that have been found RIGHT there, but it’s a small little place, without that many actual dinosaur bones.

The kids’ favorite part of the museum was the ORIGAMI. Seriously. They sat down at the tables with paper and folded away. These guys are pretty adept at folding, especially Jenna, who does all kinds of origami all the time.

origami beak

We stayed at the folding tables for quite a while.
origami

It cracked me up, this challenge to make a SMALL dinosaur.

small

The kids all had fun seeing the tracks, and the dinosaurs. It was good for an hour of educational fun.
dino

natalie dino

After we left the dinos, we went on to some St. George history that’s not quite as old. We went to tour Brigham Young’s summer home.

young house

I love all the history that is in these old houses!
spindle

I just wonder who used that spinning wheel, who made that quilt, and how did they get that piano all the way across the plains.
piano

family tree
The missionaries do a great job with tours, and are always willing to take a picture or two.

house porch

Next we went to visit the Jacob Hamblin home. We’ve been there a few times, but the kids couldn’t remember anything about it, so we went again.

Our tour guide was from France. He apologized for his accent, but I thought his accent was the coolest. It made us have to pay attention, since sometimes we couldn’t exactly understand what he was saying.

Hopefully this time the kids will remember a few things about Jacob Hamblin. After some lunch we wanted to stop in at a thrift store we had found last time we were in St. George. The Hope Chest thrift store is well organized, has good quality stuff, and great prices. The kids all found a few things they wanted. I saw a dress that I loved, but it was $10, and I thought I would pass. But when we got to the hotel that night, I regretted my decision, so we went back the next day, and I bought it quickly.

We did more swimming, or in my case, reading by the pool, then got some dinner and went for a walk. The weather was just lovely.

The next day, we got an earlier start so we could go on a hike. Ryan had found some crazy hike directions online, and took us to see some petroglyphs. We started the hike turning off on some dirt road, driving past a farm and a ranch, and then climbing through a fence. We didn’t have much confidence in his information. I may have mentioned something about at least there would be pictures that someone would find when they found me dead. The kids got a big laugh out of that.

barbed wire

We started off in the wrong direction, I’m pretty sure. But we eventually found a slot canyon, and in reaching the END of it, didn’t know where to go, or how to get back out. As we turned around and climbed back out, we found that we had just passed a bunch of ancient writings on the rocks.

writings

Can you tell how excited we all were about hiking? Especially Jenna. She told us many times how she does not like hiking.

hike2

Eventually we made it to a HUGE rock just FULL of pictures. We all had to admit it was really cool.
petroglyphs

There was much more hiking, some getting lost, and more pictures.

Even though it was getting quite hot when we finished, we DID eventually make it back to the car. We were tired, though. My fitbit said I’d climbed 37 levels or and the hike was about 3 miles. I think those internet instructions could use a little editing. We were wandering around, trying to connect with the GPS, and Ryan saying, “we are supposed to look for a big black bluff and go towards it.” But no one died.


Later that afternoon, after ice cream and showers, we took a tour of the Tuacahn theater.

They don’t have any plays running right now, in fact they are just about to start rehearsals, but they still do tours. They had things set up for bull riding, of all things.

We got to see sets being built, tour the costume shop, and learn all kinds of inside secrets. We loved it!

Megan had been there the week before working stage crew through her spring break, so that was fun to see what she had been doing.

Ryan even got to wear a mushroom hat!

Field Trippin

I was so sick of that last blog template, I just picked one pretty much at random and asked hubby to update it. Maybe someday I’ll have my son design a custom template for me, but for now, this is good enough. What do you think of the new look?

Oh, the things we are doing around here! Busy, busy, busy, it seems.

One of the fun things we were able to do last week was a field trip with John. They had a 6th grade trip to go to the Leonardo Museum and see the Mummies of the World exhibition.

When I got the field trip permission note, it stated that they needed several parent volunteers, but we couldn’t ride the bus with the kids. Sign me up! I don’t enjoy going on the bus with all those yelling, crazy kids. And they never have enough room on the bus and I end up crammed with three people in a row. So, if I could drive up myself, I could maybe stop at Trader Joe’s, take my time, and enjoy the field trip. I ended up not going by myself, though. I asked the other moms if any of them wanted to carpool, and I drove three other moms up there and back. Which was also kind of fun.

I got my 4 four kids, we got a clipboard and tags, and then got started on our experience.

There are no pictures allowed in the mummy exhibit, so I’m including some of the promo pictures. It was so interesting! Although I heard many comments of “Gross!” from these 11 and 12 year olds, I think they realized it was a pretty amazing display they were witnessing. Real people, that were either mummified naturally, or on purpose. Real people who had died centuries ago. Some were dated before Christ. Truly fascinating.

Of course, after we finished with the mummy exhibit, the real fun started.
leo1

The kids had oodles of fun with this green screen. Several images would change behind them, and they could put green fabric on to make themselves “invisible”.

20160304_121418

The kids had a lot of fun exploring inventions, especially in the “Sound” exhibit.

leo 4

Even though I only had 4 boys to look after, it was sometimes hard to keep track of them in the chaos. It’s not like they will hold hands or stay in the stroller.

20160304_115250

After two hours, it was hungry time, and the kids were winding down and getting bored.
20160304_110719

Luckily, they had packed lunches.

20160304_123452

We went outside to eat on the grass, and it was beautiful weather. Probably 60 degrees, the sun was shining, and it was the nicest day of the year, so far. Heavenly! The kids needed to eat, and they needed to be able to run around a little bit.

And then the kids got back on the bus and we didn’t have to get on the bus. We walked a couple blocks back to the car and had a nice kid free drive home. That might be my LAST field trip for the elementary school. This year, as John is in 6th grade, I’ve kind of been ticking off the “lasts”. Last Christmas party, last valentine party, last lunch for the teachers for Parent Teacher conference, etc. It’s been 18 years that we have had kids in elementary school, and although I’ll still be teaching my chime choir there for a few more years, at least, it’s a bit sad to know that that stage in my life is coming to an end. Now I’ll have to help out with more things in the Junior High or the High school. That is, if things aren’t too busy.

Ohayo Gozaimasu

hikeWe have a Japanese boy with us for a couple more days. It was a busy weekend anyway, but we’re trying to be that “fun” family and make sure our boy has a good time. It’s quite exhausting to be that fun. I looked it up, and this is our 5th Japanese boy. Our first was in 2009. Since then we have hosted 6 girls from China for two weeks(2 at a time), 3 Taiwanese girls for 2 1/2 weeks (also at the same time), one French girl for a month, 2 Brazilian boys for a month (we all remember that wonderful experience, don’t we?) and Larissa, our German daughter, for one school year.

One of my friends asked how we can host, isn’t it awkward? Yes, it is awkward. We mostly don’t explain a whole lot of things and just say, “Come, it’s time to go.” Yesterday we took Nozomu to church with us, and he had no idea where we were going, but when he saw that we were dressed up, he was a little worried that he was in a t-shirt. “That’s fine,” I said, trying to ease his worries. It was a very emotional sacrament meeting, as we got a new bishopric, and I felt the spirit there very strongly. But he was trying to stay awake. When it was over, we stood up and he said, “Finished?” I felt like a wretch as I said, “There’s another meeting, still. John will take you.” Poor boy. But he made it through 3 long hours of church, which must be pure torturous boring for him. Yes, it is awkward, and I always feel like I should be connecting more with these kids. I should be LOVING them more. I should be more of a good mother. But we got a little burned with those boys in January, so I think I still have my guard up a little bit. And it’s hard to not compare ourselves to others in the group when we see pictures of what the other host families are doing. One family took their boy flying over timp. Flying? Really? There’s always some family that takes the kids to Moab or St. George over the weekend and it always looks like they are having more fun than we are. Oh, well. We do our best.

I’ve been a little worried about him not eating much. We went out to Mexican when he first got here, and it was too spicy for me, so I didn’t like it. He didn’t eat much of his, either. For breakfasts, he has had toast, a little yogurt and a banana. Even when we made pancakes and offered him some, he is sticking with the toast and banana. That reminds me, I’ve got to go the the store today and get some more yogurt and bananas. I don’t know what they are feeding them for lunches, but when he’s here, we got out some japanese ramen (left from a previous guest) and he liked that. When we had pizza, he took one slice. I don’t think they like cheese. Well, last night for dinner we finally had time to do dinner right. We had grilled chicken and rice, warm rolls, and cooked vegetables (I even cooked broccoli, which I hate). He ATE and ATE. I think he took 3 rolls, had a bunch of rice, and a LOT of chicken. I was surprised when there were no leftovers, since it was a whole package of chicken we had grilled up. Wow. Either he really liked the food, or he was just really hungry from not eating much the rest of the day, but I was glad he was finally eating. Now, what to cook for tonight?

On Saturday we had our busiest day. I had a rehearsal at the Tabernacle, so I invited the family to come up to temple square and meet me there. They got there for the last 1/2 hour of rehearsal and got to listen in. Maybe that’s a cool thing to see. I don’t know if he’s impressed or not.
rehearsal
As we were walking through temple square back to the car, we had a lot of people say Konichiwa to us. Two sisters talked to us for a minute while one of the kids used the bathroom.
temple square We aren’t allowed to proselyte or give them literature, but the sister was friendly and talked to him in Japanese for a bit. After a quick lunch I took the kids to Cornbelly’s.
cornbellyWe have never been before, so we really didn’t know what to expect, but it was a fun activity. We golfed, rode the little cow train, some of the kids did some nerf type shooting, Natalie and Nozomu rode the zipline. It was fabulous weather, too. I took off my sweater and was enjoying the 67 degree day. Too crowded and confusing for me (so imagine how it must have been to him!), but it was all fun stuff. There was so much we could have done, but we were getting tired, and wanted to get ready for trick-or-treating.
trick or treat
I sent him trick-or-treating with John and a friend. He had a cape. That’s enough of a costume, right? I don’t know what he thought of the whole trick-or-treating thing, but he was willing to go along with it. They were out for two hours. In fact, I was a little worried about them and glad that John answered his phone when I called to ask where they were. The instructions had been to go around our neighborhood and then come home, and I would drive them somewhere else if they wanted. They expanded the boundary a bit, but Ryan went and got them.

On Sunday, after church, we decided to go into the canyon for a drive. See some leaves, take some pictures. However, when we got to the pay station in American Fork Canyon, the guy said, “I’m going to have to ask you to turn around. There’s some police activity and we aren’t letting anyone up the canyon.” Wow. Never heard that before. So, we turned around, and went to Pleasant Grove. We decided to hike the Battlecreek Falls hike. Can you believe I’ve never done that before? The kids were NOT excited about a hike, even though Ryan said it was really a 2 mile walk. Ha. Not flat. For out of shape people, it was a climb. But we did it, and even had fun.
hike2

Today they go to a local school, and I’ll pick three of them up from the Junior High so they can hang out here for a while. We need to do our required activity of Bowling, and we’ll probably still go to Thanksgiving point. Busy, yes. Fun busy, though.

Girls night out

Father’s and Sons campout means girl’s night for me. I had planned to take whoever was home (most of the time, I’m not sure who will be working or out with friends) to see CRAZY FOR YOU at the SCERA. Mr. E.’s summer show, and I knew lots of friends from Scarlet Pimpernell, so I wanted to go and see it. Plus, I just love musicals. All the girls were able to go, even Megan.

We went to dinner first, at Apollo burger. On the way in, we somehow got started talking about our stripper names. Don’t ask me why! Mom, what’s your stripper name? “Roxy,” I answered, without even thinking about it. That, actually, is my lounge singer name (thanks to Sharmyn, Michelle, and Melinda and one night in college when we had to come up with our lounge names). Natalie said hers was Glitter, and Jenna’s was… can’t remember. Megan did not have a stripper name, so we were trying to help her come up with one. Imagine the hilarity there.

dinner

After dinner, we went over to the theater, got our tickets and chairs (I made the girls each pay $1 for their own chairs. Cause I’m cheap like that, and I didn’t want to pay for EVERYTHING for the evening. I also told them they would have to buy their own snacks.

20150807_190301

The show was fun. SO much tapping!! Wow!! At intermission we ended up having a popcorn fight. Ugh. These girls.
20150807_195701

And we found a couple other friends from Mary Poppins enjoying the show.

Right after intermission, it started pouring. No warning. We had brought jackets and ONE blanket, but no umbrellas.
20150807_214641

We ended up all four of us huddled under our one small blanket while it rained for 10 minutes. After it stopped raining, the stage crew came out to clean up the stage.

20150807_215726

That’s Sherry right there. Not sure if I was allowed to take a picture then. They did say no pictures during the show, and this was technically not during the show. After 5-10 minutes of mopping and clean-up, they started the show again. We got one good scene of Bella Zangler and the fake Bella Zangler, and the heavens opened up again. Pouring.

So, like everyone else there, we dashed to get our tickets stamped, and went out the car. At least we were still laughing.

It was a fun (and wet) evening with my girls.

On the way home I heard from Ryan that the boys’ night was much wetter than ours. Their tent got soaked, and they decided to come sleep at home, since the outing was just up American Fork Canyon. So we all came home cold and wet. Summer storms. Gotta love them.

Our Japanese student

When I posted that we were hosting a Japanese student, I got a lot of comments, some shocked that we would host again after our less than optimal experience in January. I realized then that I must have really been complaining a lot about those boys. To be fair, it wasn’t ALL their fault. But they did not help the situation any. But, yes, we got over that and hosted again. Back to Asians, who are polite, and we know the coordinators and the program.

Rika is a sweet 15 year old from Japan. We try to be mellow the first couple of days and not totally overwhelm them with our boisterousness. I didn’t even meet her until the next morning as Natalie and I had rehearsal the night Ryan picked her up. She brought us a few gifts and was nice, but quiet.


We have a tradition in our family to always take the exchange students bowling. They usually beat us. It’s a fun activity and we all can loosen up a bit and make some fun memories.
Plus, we all love bowling, even if we suck at it.

Robin and family came to visit us for the 24th of July weekend. I knew that we would have Rika here then, too, but I wouldn’t want to turn Robin away when she was feeling up to a visit, so we just made room.

Robin’s daughter, Sarah, is so friendly and makes everyone feel at ease.

On Sunday, Robin and family took the kids up the canyon to Bridal Veil Falls while Ryan and I cooked a big dinner for everyone.

Rika even wanted to cook for us a traditional Japanese dish. I bought pork and cabbage and she had brought ingredients from home.

John does not look too thrilled to try it, but he did eat a few bites and was not rude, even though it was strange.

Near the end of the stay, the school hosted a family closing social, where the Japanese students told us about their school, taught us some games, and we ate dinner.

On Saturday, her last day with us, it was our city celebration, the Highland Fling. She came with us to the breakfast, watched the parade, and then came back to the park for entertainment and fireworks.

(none of the girls were really excited to meet this princess, but I dragged them over and made them take a picture. Because that’s what moms do).

This experience was SO different from the last one. To make it extra wonderful, I had a carpool, and since their school was in Provo, Cole even did my share of the carpool driving on his way too and from work. I didn’t have to drive ONCE! On Sunday morning, Ryan drove her to school the last time. She had to be there by 5 am. Since I had a meeting before church and was teaching the lesson in Relief Society that day, I really appreciated him doing that drive so I didn’t have to.

Rika was a delightful girl and I hope we keep in touch with her. So, yes. We WILL host again.

« Older posts

© 2019 Superpaige's Pad

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑