Miekka: September 2011 Archives


I meant to write this right after Labor Day weekend since we had such a fun time, but of course I didn't do it and now I have two huge weekends to write about instead.  Nothing is ever simple... :)



Seth has learned how to ride a two-wheel bicycle without training wheels!!  He is so proud of himself and we are so proud of him too.  It only took him two evenings worth of trying before he finally figured it out.  At first he was pretty reluctant to even try because he was so afraid of falling down.  Luckily, he hasn't had any spectacular wipeouts yet, but I'm sure we'll have a few of those as time goes on. 



James and John have been trying to put together some sort of campout for Labor Day this whole summer, but it never seemed to come together.  We figured that most of the campgrounds would be full and we weren't willing to pack everything up on the off chance that something would be open.  So we decided to have a little stay-cation instead. 

On Friday night we all had dinner together and watched episodes of Burn Notice until nearly midnight. 

Saturday, James and John took Jacob and Seth shooting while the girls (and Everett) went garage sale-ing.  We picked up a few fun things at the sales and the boys had a great time shooting.  It was Jacob's first time shooting and I think he had fun when he wasn't being scared by the noise of the guns going off.  That evening we had a mini-home-made carnival.  We hand-dipped corn dogs and since we had the oil ready and some left over batter, we fried up some cheese sticks and pickles too.  The food was delicious.  After dinner we let the kids play some carnival games.  Courtenay had them do a penny toss and jump the "Alligator Pit".  I had them drop paper clips in a jar while standing on a chair, and knock over a stack of cans with bean bags.  Then everyone did tricks on the trampoline.  The kids got prizes for each game they played. After the games, we had cotton candy and funnel cakes for dessert!  The mini-carnival might turn into a yearly tradition because it was so fun and because no one should eat that much fried food in one night more than once a year!

Sunday, we had dinner at Grandma Debbie's house to welcome Joseph home from his Air Force training.  Dinner was a fantastic meal of hawaiian pork, rice, macaroni salad and tropical jello salad.  The boys played Bionicles almost all night with Jared and Lia convinced Grandma Debbie to sing the entire Disney songbook to her.

Monday, James and John decided to take a bike ride up to the mountain bike park that was built here in Eagle Mountain.  So Court and I took all the kids out for another round of garage sales.  The guys said the biking was fun although James' bike got a flat tire somewhere along the way and I don't think he had anything to fix it with and probably had to walk home.  In the afternoon we met up with my family at Camp Floyd for the Labor day activities that were going on there.  They had people dressed up in Civil War garb and several activities for the kids to do.  They were able to dip candles, put up a soldiers tent, hold a real civil war gun, and try on uniforms and go through some drills with an officer.   Seth was able to complete the Camp Floyd boy scout program an got a patch for doing all the required activities.  The other kids also did a scavenger hunt and everyone received a candy stick when they finished.  I was a little worried that there wouldn't be enough to do at Camp Floyd, but we ended up spending 4 hours there that afternoon.  For dinner, we had both sides of the family come to our house for a hot dog BBQ.  We were going to have a water fight too, but it ended up being overcast and cool that day.  I think everyone had fun anyway!



Last week, on a whim, we decided to join my parents on their trip to the Four Corners area.  They were taking my nieces Hannah and Maggie since Maggie is learning about the American Indians in history this year.  We drove out on Friday morning and made it to Hovenweep National Monument in the mid-afternoon.  After putting up our tent, we hiked around the Little Ruins Canyon and were able to see several ancient Puebloan ruins there.  The boys earned their Junior Ranger patches and enjoyed hiking around with their cousins.  Lia stuck to Grandma Henderson like glue!  She wouldn't let me help her with anything.  James found a cool slot canyon on a side hike he went on, so we all had to explore it before we left.  It was pretty narrow.  The kids thought it was awesome.




On Saturday we headed to Mesa Verde National Park.  The weather was cold and windy on our drive up the mesa, but as we reached the top it cleared up and we were able to have a picnic lunch.  We hiked down to the Spruce Tree House Cliff Dwelling.  It was amazing to see the houses built right inside of a really inhospitable looking cliff.  No one knows why the Ancient Puebloans decided to build in such precarious places.  The National Park Service had rebuilt one of the Kivas at the dwelling and we were able to go down a ladder and see what a Kiva would have looked like back then.  After the hike we went back up to the museum and the boys completed their Junior Ranger requirements there.  We also decided to drive the Mesa Top Loop, which has several pithouses and overlooks of more cliff dwellings. The kids were starting to fall apart at this point so we went pretty quickly through the drive.  The most impressive place on the drive was the Sun Point overlook.  From that spot we could see 7 or 8 cliff dwellings across the canyon.  The grandest dwelling was the Cliff Palace.  I think next time we go to Mesa Verde we are going to have to get tickets to see that particular site.  It looked totally amazing from clear across the canyon so I'm sure it is even more awesome up close.  We drove home with a thunder storm at our backs.  The lightning was lighting up the sky and the surrounding mountains.  We were a little worried that we were going to have to try and sleep through a huge storm, but again the weather cooperated nicely and we didn't have a drop of rain the whole night.


* One funny thing about this trip:  As we were driving to Mesa Verde, I was reading to the kids about what we were going to see there.  For some reason I could not pronounce "cliff dwelling" or "Puebloan".  I kept saying "cwiff dwelling" and "pwebloan".  Everyone was mispronouncing them on purpose by the end of the drive.  It was pretty funny.



On Sunday we packed up our camp and prepared for the drive home.  We stopped at a museum called the Anasazi Heritage Center.  I'm so glad we stopped there.  They had several hands on activities for the kids and a lot of great information about the sites we'd seen and the people who lived there.  The kids were able to complete a Junior Archeology booklet and get a badge.  They were also able to grind corn, use a loom, hold bones and arrowheads, and look through microscopes.  The museum was a great way to cap off the trip. 



Seth's cub scout pack held a Rain Gutter Regatta this last week.  It's kind of like the pinewood derby but the boys make boats instead of cars and at least so far it's not quite as competitive as the pinewood derby.  The boats are powered only by the boys blowing on the sails.  Seth won his first race but then lost the next two.  I think he needed a little more practice blowing on the sail correctly.  All the boys had a great time.  Seth and I decorated his boat with Lego Ninjago emblems and flames.  He called it the "Fire Dragon".  His boat won "Best in Show" in the little awards they gave out at the end of the races. 



At the same pack meeting as the Rain Gutter Regatta, Seth earned his Bobcat rank.  The cub master gave him two bottles of liquid.  One was "The Spirit of the Bobcat" and the other was "Dew gathered at midnight on the night of the full moon".  If the boy has really completed all the requirements for his Bobcat rank he can mix the two liquids together and the concoction will glow, revealing the true "Spirit of the Bobcat".  Seth was so happy when his bottle immediately began to glow super bright after mixing the liquids.  He was then awarded his Bobcat patch.  He has also been working hard on the requirements for his Wolf rank and was able to get 2 beads to show his progress toward it.  On top of all that he also earned his Map and Compass Belt loop and pin, his Geography belt loop and his Art belt loop.  We are so proud of all the hard work he's been putting into scouting.