Saturday Adventure

We had talked about going to Animas Forks (Ghost town) a few weekends ago, but Tasha and I both ended up sick. We decided to reschedule our trip for today. It was a 5 hour tour from start to finish, with stops along the way, of course. The trail was a lot rougher than when Ammon and I were on it three years ago. The kids thought it was pretty entertaining though with all the bumps and rocks and big puddles we splashed through. It was a little overcast, which made it more comfortable, but made the photos not as pretty. It was a lot prettier in person. Our chauffeur was driving a little too fast for me to take pictures of the beautiful purple, yellow and white wildflowers, but wow, they were incredible!

Here’s our first stop, snacktime:



One of the gorgeous valley’s that doesn’t look like much in the picture….oh well!


We stopped to let the kids peek inside a small abandoned mine and there was this small pond right beside it. We probably shoulda gotten out of the car to take the picture, but it was still really pretty and green.


This is the largest standing home at Animas Forks. It was the Duncan home; William Duncan was a miner and the mail carrier for the little town.

There are about 10 buildings standing now, including a jail and the falling down mines. It once had at least 25 buildings, including a market, a butcher, a livery, a hotel, and lots of homes. It’s boom was between 1850 and 1879 or something like that.


We found these cute kids while we were exploring the town and decided to take them home!



The kids were in front of the Gustavson home….can’t tell you much about them. I forget.

All in all it was a very fun trip and the kids even said so too, despite the length!

Family Fun Night

Last night, we had been planning to go camping, but it had been raining with thunderstorms of and on all day and the forecast wasn’t any different for the evening. Now, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE camping. But I DO NOT like camping in the rain. It’s still sorta a little bit fun, but when you have three small children who end up muddy and wet and you can’t bathe them….it’s not fun. So, we nixed camping and decided to have something fun that we could do indoors.

I was feeling mighty tired and really didn’t feel like being creative, so I browsed the net for some ideas and combined a few of them, with an original Ammon idea thrown in!

First, we ate our dinner under the table. The kids thought that was funny! They didn’t understand it when I asked them to move the chairs out from the table. They moved them out and then sat on them and looked at me like, “how the heck are we supposed to reach our food now?”

Second, Ammon spontaneously used his kid-brain and thought it would be fun to tie a toy to a big rope and hang it over the ledge upstairs and tease the kids with it. They loved this pinata-like game. They tried over and over to get that bunny before he pulled it back up. So fun.


Can you see the string? Tasha is holding on to the bunny


Ammon didn’t have any fun at all 😉

Then we played a homemade game of twister with homemade dies instead of a spinner. The kids liked this, but would get pretty mixed up with the whole left and right and had trouble keeping their other hands and feet where they were supposed to be.


The kids helped me color the circles

The last game was hide the phone. One person hid the phone and then used another phone to page the first one and the rest of the family would try and find it. Whomever found the phone had a turn to hide it next. They thought this one was the BEST! =)

It took me a little while to decide what I wanted to do, but we had such a fun evening and the kids loved playing our games. We might have to start a monthly family game night!


Last night, there was THE most beautiful sunset I have EVER seen in my life…take a look:


Isn’t it spectacular??????????


Wow, is all I have to say!

Happy Birthday, Annika!

Two years old. Already! I’m stuck between feeling like she’s always been part of our family and disbelief that two years have gone by. She’s still the sweet baby she once was, although her little personality has developed to be a little more on the sassy side. She loves to be tickled, to be sung to and anything girlie. If I thought Tasha was into all things girl, I was wrong compared with Annika! She has to have a bow in her hair to look pretty and is wearing a different pair of shoes every time I look at her. A few months ago, I caught her doing her makeup in my bathroom!

She’s the best hugger and loves to be held like a baby. And when she does something naughty, she pouts and stomps her way to time-out. It’s hard to keep our composure!

Last night, it was her turn to say a blessing on the food. As she was praying, we noticed she kept stopping and not saying anything for a while. Then when she did, it was really hard to understand her. We peeked and tried to contain ourselves, as we watched her shoveling blueberries into her mouth and trying to bless the food at the same time.

We had a small party for her last night….just the 5 of us. She was a little tuckered out before the party even started:


She fell asleep on the kitchen floor while I was frosting her cake. She slept through all the racket of making dinner and everything! She was one tired girl!


Being coy….or cute…not sure which!




Our little 2 year old


Pretend pouting…did I mention this is our Drama Queen of the house? Oh yes. Teenage years-watch out!!!!




Annika’s cake….not my best effort admittedly, but I didn’t have much time to do it, so I’m using that as my excuse!


Ammon and I have a love-hate thing going with this picture. We think it totally shows her personality, which is fun, but she looks more than her 2 years!


The birthday girl after she blew out her candles! Looking very demure, methinks.


Notice how Kevin can’t take his eyes off the cake? lol


Present time! Her very own baby doll. No more fighting over the babies with Tasha….


She was in love with this jewelry set, but that’s a little bit obvious!



I just returned from a week in Idaho and I had taken Tasha with me. She was seriously an ANGEL. The whole time! The whole 9 or 10 hours in the car (including stops) and never complained once that it was taking too long or anything like that. While we were there, she played happily by herself 99% of the time, while Mom and I were preoccupied with other things. She was helpful and sweet and just the best Tasha ever! I’m so thankful for her goodness. =)

Here is a picture she asked me to take before we left:


Is 4 too young to drive?

Ammon wanted to test out the winch on his  jeep to make sure everything worked ok. He hooked the cable up to a big boulder and the kids were more than happy to help.


Tasha was working the remote that causes the winch’s cable to pull the jeep. Like a giant remote control car!


Kevin was more than happy to steer the jeep for Daddy! What a cute boy!

Just so I can remember….

I thought I’d post this so I can reflect on how easy life actual was with small children, in comparison to how life will be with teenagers in the house.

7:40-put the kids to bed

7:45-guests from church stop by to visit

7:50-Annika is yelling “MAMA!!” at the top of her lungs

8:01-Annika is throwing all of the wall hanging, wooden letters that spell out her name, across the room

8:06-Annika is running around on her bed, hollering out all the names of the people in the framed photos on her wall

8:07-Annika is out of bed, playing with the humidifer

8:09-Tasha comes to tell us that Annika is out of bed….AGAIN (Kevin was sleeping in the same room through this entire charade)

8:10-Annika is out of bed and playing with the night light

8:20-I decide to “fix her” and bring up the pack and play and put her in it, hoping she won’t get out.

8:25-We endure earth-shattering shrieks of frustration since Annika can no longer get out of bed, while attempting to chat with our guests…who lucky for us have 6 children of their own (not here, thank goodness!)

8:30-Ammon goes to check on our screaming, non-sleeping child after seeing the light on in her room, only to find her standing in the pack and play buck naked. Diaper and all-on the floor. Tasha has the diaper in hand and is about to try and re-dress her baby/alien-monster, sister.

8:40-We hear crying, but things have mostly calmed down….

9:30-We HOPE we just heard the last cries out of our supposed easiest child, miss angel baby….and dread dealing with her over-tired, cranky self tomorrow!!!!!!!

But…..are still grateful that she’s ours, for those moments where she is angelic and sweet and cuddily =)