Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Hubacher Visit

While traveling full-time, we met this incredible family in Louisa, Virginia at a Civil War Battle Reenactment of the battle for Trevilian Station.  The Hubachers' oldest two girls are the same ages as our two oldest, and they really hit it off & became fast friends in just a couple days before we took off again.  And, Philip fell head-over-heels in love with Genna in the same amount of time. ;)  Over the last year, they have stayed in touch via letters primarily, as well as email.  Thanks to their friendship, the Hubachers decided to take a cross country trip to come see us & meet Katie.  Wow---that's one long trip to make by car with five kids!

Katie was just shy of one month old when they visited.  To say it was a little crazy & chaotic with 10 kids & 4 adults in the house goes without saying, right? :)  Shannon was great about helping out in the kitchen, cutting up fresh peaches every morning (our neighbors' peach tree lost a huge limb & we scored a LOT of peaches as a result!)--YUM!--and making lunch every day they were here, not to mention taking out the trash 57 times a day or so (we still only use a small trash can from our rv days). ;)  Dwight also mowed the lawn for Steve!  There was a LOT of play going on--playing the Wii, playing at the park, playing in the mud, playing games, playing American Girl dolls, playing 3-legged races in the back yard, & hula hoop making!! There was also some serious competition over Genna's affections between Philip & his little brother Levi!   Whew, it was action-packed!.

A rock, we must climb it

Besides lots of play, Steve also took them up the mountain to hike to Cecret Lake.  I admittedly stayed home with my three littles & enjoyed some peace & quiet.  We also took them to In-N-Out, & then Shannon & Dwight treated for roller skating.  Again, I stayed back this time with Katie & Jake for some more peace & quiet. :)  With baby number five, I no longer feel like it's a race to get back into everything I was doing before; I give myself more grace to adjust & figure it all out.  I've found that's super important for my sanity in the early days where sleep is scant & the other littles are more dramatic thanks to their position in the family getting bumped by the latest addition.  

Cecret Lake
We even got together with the Hubachers' friends that had moved to SLC several years ago, the Grinsell's. They were kind enough to invite both of our large families over for dinner & s'mores!  And we were able to commiserate on some of the challenges of living in this area.

We are so glad you guys came to visit, Hubacher family!  As one of the challenges of living here has been the difficulty of making friends, it was so heartwarming to hear Alyssa say, "I had forgotten how much I enjoy spending time with kids my own age!  It was so much fun!"

3 legged race in the backyard
We went skating on the second last night
Genna made great strides, she was determined
Jake holding a real doll baby
Time to say goodbye
They are going to miss each other

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Fishing with Friends

(By Steve)  One of the first things we did when we moved to Sandy was to join a church.   We have been going to the Rock Church and have really enjoyed the solid Biblical teaching and the friendships we made.   We joined a small group the first week we started attending because my first day there just happened to be when they had tables setup to entice people to join a group.   In the group we joined we met our friends John and Lori Duddleston and their daughters Sam and Carly.   Jake took a big liking to Uncle John and did his best to make him wish he tried for that boy :)

Jake is very fond of his Uncle John
We were honored to be invited by them to come up to Washington Lake on their annual labor day camping trip.   John has a large 5th wheel like ours, but we were only going to tent camp this time.  Since Linda had just had Katie, there was no way that she could go, so I bravely decided to go with the other four kids.

We passed this waterfall right before the campground
Washington Lake is in the Uintah mountains which is about 90 minutes East of Salt Lake.   It is way up at about 10,000 feet in elevation.   It is on highway 150 which leads to the highest point in Utah and the Flaming Gorge area of Wyoming.   

We had planned on going there Friday night and then stay all day on Saturday, and then leave Sunday morning.   Those plans changed when John called and told me that they had been having a cold rain that looks like it will continue for a long while.   We decided to be smart and just go up on Saturday for the day.    The trip up there is gorgeous.   It is always so nice when I can get out of the Salt Lake valley, for some reason when I do, I feel like I can breathe again.

Alyssa caught the second most fish
When we got there, the weather actually started to clear up a bit which was nice.   Everyone was telling us how much it had rained over night.   The first thing I did was to take all the kids fishing.   Of course I knew that Genna and Jake would grow tired of fishing very quickly.   After about 30 minutes Jake could not stop crying, so I left the big girls and took the two little ones back to the RV.   They spent the rest of the time being spoiled by Sam, Carly and their friends.

By the time I got back to get the girls they had a sting of trout that they had caught.   I was surprised and impressed.    All together I think that Shanan caught seven fish, and Alyssa caught five fish, and me, well I caught only one fish.  It wasn't for lack of trying though.    While we were fishing, within 5 minutes the winds picked up and the temperature dropped 20 degrees and chased us back to the RV.   We struggled to clean the fish in the cold and then retreated back to the RV.  

Shanan had to clean all the fish, since she caught the most
For dinner John, Lori, and Jim cooked up an amazing dinner.   John cooked the trout and they were amazing.   Lori made delicious fish tacos and Jim made the most incredible shrimp I ever tasted.   He kept saying that they didn't turn out well, but I couldn't imagine them tasting any better.   

The rain came down on and off, but the campfire carried on.
We all had a wonderful time, and are very thankful for our friendship with the Duddlestons and that they invited us to spend the day with them.

Hanging out inside during the rain