Monday, July 23, 2012


We have many traditions in the summer. Not the least of which, is that we spend the entire summer out west!  But, while we are here, we have some other fun traditions we adhere to.

First, I love taking the girls to the theater.  Logan has AMAZING professional level productions.  This year, we enjoyed "Big River" at the Lyric Theater and "My Fair Lady" at the Eccles.

The girls and I huddle up for a photo at dinner before the big show!
 We LOVED 'Big River'!

 We went with Grandma and Ben and Lora to 'My Fair Lady'
My friend, Victoria, was there also with her girls.  During intermission, her college daughter, Lexi, introduced me to her boyfriend: "This is my old Young Women Leader." Her younger sister, Jessica, chimed in: "She's my Seminary Teacher!"  At which point, Victoria said: "Well, she's my Visiting Teacher."  Grace retorted with: "She's MY MOM!"  

After the show, Victoria and Jessica came over for dinner.  Another of our favorite traditions is hosting our Texas friends at our Utah house.
 Another fun tradition is harvesting raspberries all summer.  I have tried out several wonderful raspberry recipes, including this amazing raspberry crumb pie:


You know we love to walk to the Farmer's Market every Saturday, but did you know sometimes we do it in a conga line?

Another fun summer tradition around these parts is that Jane has her best friend, Kenzie, out for a week.  As we don't do sleep-overs in our 'real life', it's always lots of fun for the girls.  This year, they did a tennis camp up at USU.  They had lots of fun, even though it was actually HOTTER here than back in Texas.  If their scores for the week are any indication, they have GREAT attitudes.  Maybe not the sharpest skills, but GREAT attitudes.

The girls always enjoy riding Aunt Wynlee's horse and helping at the farm:

I think one of my kids' favorite traditions is the 'cousin birthday party'.  They don't do presents on their actual birthdays from each other, we just save up for one big party in the summer, and it is always a DOOZY!  They have SUCH a fun time saving money to buy each other special gifts.  The weeks preceding the event are filled with anticipation of the gifts they will receive and how to earn enough to buy the perfect thing for that special person.  It's a GREAT time.

One favorite tradition, especially for Ethan, is walks with Grandpa.

This particular walk, we came across a rope swing, so Grace had at it!  Fully clothed.
We always love to make a little visit to Temple Square in Salt Lake, whenever Greg has to go to the airport. The last couple of years have been pretty interesting with our video in circulation.  The sister missionaries fawn all over our kids, particularly Derick.  One said, "Wow! I've seen David Archulleta, Elder Jeffery R. Holland, and now you!"  I busted up laughing.  Um, yea, pretty sure I should never even be in that above sentence.  Grace collected 5-6 pass-along cards with our picture on them.  I was very ready to move on. ;-)

And finally, what would summer be without a few new traditions?!  Actually, an old tradition resurrected.

When Greg was in high school, he used to go up to the university on Sunday evenings for the Alumni Band Concerts.

We took the kids and had a great time!  We were surrounded by elderly people, which made me a bit nervous! I don't exactly have the quietest, most well-behaved children.  But, they were actually pretty good.  I shushed them a BUNCH.  It was mostly that they were super wiggly.  Next time, we'll sit far back and just run around.

The best part about having such an older audience was when the band played the different songs for the armed forces and the vets from each branch would stand as they heard their song.  It was SO touching.  You couldn't help but have tears in your eyes when WWII, Korean and Vietnam vets stood so proudly.  Made me thrill to be an American.

And that's the best kind of tradition!!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More crazy summer fun!

We have had so much fun this summer.  This is just another glimpse at some of our recent activities.

Grace spent a week camping with her grandparents in Idaho:


She fished, swam and four-wheeled to her heart's content.

Meanwhile, back in Utah, Jane had a bit of an attitude problem, so she stayed behind and worked it out:

After mowing the lawn, hauling hay, cleaning the house and painting, we let her have a little fun at the end of the week:

And we even ran into this little guy by the river:
The first time I've ever run into a rattle snake in the wild.  Even growing up in the Idaho desert.  But, I had nothing to fear with these snake wranglers watching out for us.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Idaho and the Fourth of July

Greg went home this year for the 4th, and that made us sad, 'cause we always spend it together, but you can't have it all!

We headed up to Idaho for the week, and Monday, we had our annual "Grandma's Day".  Every other year, we have had it at a small amusement park in Idaho Falls.  We just knew that the older kids had out-grown it.  Last year, Ethan only fit on a couple of rides he liked, and that was hard.  So, we changed venue this year to The Riot Zone in Rigby, by my mom's house.

We had SO much fun!  The kids stayed for over 7 hours!!  7 hours in the heat, and we still had to drag them off the rides.  It was a serious blast.

 Grandma Harris and her grandkids (-2)!

During our week in the cool of Idaho, the kids had a great time with their cousins and with Grandpa.

For the Fourth, we enjoyed the parade in Idaho Falls.

 Note: A party isn't a party for Derick without a shoe in his hand!

That afternoon, we enjoyed dinner and our annual volleyball game.

That night, was all about the fireworks.  Idaho Falls does it right!  We had a blast.

During the fireworks, I asked Grace if she knew why we did this. She answered in the negative. I said, "We celebrate the freedoms we have because of the soldiers who fought in the revolution. Before that, no one in the world had freedom or the things we are able to have."

Grace- "like toaster ovens?"

Yes, the beauty that is the toaster oven gets it's own holiday.  And it was a grand one.  Thanks for that, soldiers.