Sunday, February 26, 2017


I have missed maintaining my blog - it is the only journaling I seem to be motivated enough to do regularly.  So my not so NEW years resolution is to post at least once a month. 
I am probably one of the few people who loves the snow.  It love how beautiful it is when there is fresh snow covering the ground and all the trees, then the sun shines and everything sparkles.  I love the excitement of snow, sledding, snow forts, snowmen, etc.  Snow is exciting, especially the first snowfall of the season, or a really big snow storm.  This year we have had a LOT of snow!!  (I still kinda wish there was more - I want there to be so much we can walk through walls of snow - like I said, I'm weird!)  
On Monday January 2nd we invited friends over for some snow play.  Our yard has just enough of a hill to make sledding fun, and plenty of open space for playing in the snow.  It was a fun day.  I am so very grateful for so many good friends who live near by!!
 On January 9th Trent turned 3 years old!!  Trent really loves tractors and big trucks right now, so I made him a tractor cake - he loved it.  He was so excited to help me make the cake.  Trent is a delightful little guy!  He has the cutest way of talking and he loves to talk!  Some of the fun things that he says are: "my zoom" - my room, "frue fraks" - fruit snacks, "Ewese" - Elise, and "exawator" - excavator.  He loves to sing: "Dino Trucks" is a favorite - I love his gruff voice on this song, he also loves to sing "Winnie the Pooh", "The Wheels on the Bus", "Old McDonald", and "Bob the Builder".  When he talks to Elise he uses this cute, high pitched, somewhat condescending voice - as if he is SO much older than she is - it makes me laugh.  He is such a darling big brother to her, and they are the best of friends!  Trent loves to play legos - "tegos" with Grant.  His favorite toys are his duplo blocks, trains and train tracks, and especially his many various tractors - especially when I let him play with them in his turtle sandbox filled with beans.  Trent loves to dance to "Shut up and Dance with Me" with his brothers.  Jared is wrapped around Trent's little finger (as are most people) because frequently when Jared comes home from work Trent will great him with a big smile and "Daddy, You're home!  I missed you!!", or if Jared comments on his back pain from when he broke his back Trent will say "you hurt daddy?, Oh, I'm sorry".
 We celebrated his birthday on the 9th, and then again on the 15th with my family.  We continued with the tractor/construction theme and had a "Build" your own taco salad bar.  With chips in a dump truck, and fueling station for drinks, and another birthday dessert with build your own cupcakes, and a tractor full of and pushing donut holes, brownie bites, and chocolate covered pretzels.  It was a fun night to be together.  I was so grateful that all my siblings, parents and even grandma and grandpa Johnson could be there.  After they all left we didn't want the fun to end and the next day was a no school day, so we had the Brosnahans over for games and more birthday cake - this time for Spencer.  I am again so grateful for good neighbors and friends.  We love their family and treasure their friendship!  It was a very fun night!
 For his birthday we gave him more lego duplo block sets, all tractor or construction related.  He was thrilled!  He and his brothers had a great time putting everything together.
 Over Martin Luther King Jr Day I took the kids for a much needed outing to the Kamas pool.  It wasn't crowded and we had a wonderful time.  I can't wait to finally have a pool here in Heber, even if it will be smaller.

 On one of the many snow days we all went out as a family to play and shovel the snow.  Brandon had lots of fun taking Trent and Elise on sled rides, Grant had fun "surfing" on his sled, Trent had fun digging in the snow with his tractors, and Elise mostly tolerated it, then warmed up to it a bit, and then began to enjoy it before it got to cold and she was back inside.

 Brandon is such a darling big brother.  He can be when he wants to be very helpful.  Now that he has so much more confidence with his reading abilities I will find him reading stories to both Trent and Elise.  There have even been a few night when Brandon has put Trent to bed; changing diapers, putting on jammies, reading a story, and even helping with prayers.  I love it!!
 When we had a family party for Trent's Birthday Natalie captured Elise playing the piano.  I adore this picture!  I love that Elise shows so much interest in the piano, fingers crossed she will love to play someday as much as I and her great-grandma Osborn do.
 Funny Elise!  One night while reading stories to her before bed, she found two bottles and decided to drink from both at the same time.  She makes me laugh!  Elise is growing up so fast.  She is walking, climbing, doing the stairs, and keeping up with her brothers.  She loves to have stories read to her, and she is the first child who happily listens to me singing songs to her before bed.  She is super easy to put to bed and is altogether a very easy girl to take care of.  One of favorite things about her is when I get her she gives me the most sincere look of concern and says "kay"? (Okay) in her high pitched voice.  No one can make Elise laugh like Trent - they are such good friends!
Towards the middle of January my depression came back - I had fought with it off and on since September, but I had enjoyed a long break during November and December because I was so busy with holidays and vacations to Yellowstone/Grand Teton, and California, and birthdays for Trent.  But there it was again.  Feeling not good enough, lazy, tired, like everything was too hard, overwhelmed, burdened, etc.  I was crying almost every day for no good reason.  Finally it got bad enough that I scheduled an appointment with Dr. Berg.  He agreed that I was suffering with depression - and it helped to feel validated.  I was given the option to take medicine or try and find another way to address the problem.  I wasn't ready to take medicine yet and wanted to try regular exercise and forcing myself to take personal time to see if that would help.  It has - A LOT!  There are of course still days when I struggle, but for now - working hard at maintaining a regular exercise program is really helping.  I started the couch to 5K program for running on our treadmill and I really enjoy it.
I am hoping to run a 5K for my birthday this year and then keep on progressing maybe even to a 10K.  I have also realized that the more I journal the more grateful I am, and the more I see the hand of God in my life, which also helps a lot with combating the effects of depression.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

2015 April - St. George

For Spring Break we went to St. George so that we could visit Zion's National Park, the 3rd National Park on our list.  We had a great vacation.  These pictures are not in order of what we did, but they are great highlights!
Every time we go to St. George we have to go swimming in the Sand Hollow pool.  This is such a fun pool - with slides, fountains and other fun activities.  It was fun to try out my new underwater camera, and it was great that Brandon has worked up the courage to go under the water.  Brandon spent most of his time going down the big slide all by himself - a big accomplishment!
 Trent unfortunately was sick for most of the trip - so despite his love for water he didn't have a great time - poor kid.

 Grant was all over the place - he couldn't get enough of all the fun things to do!

 We took the kids to visit Brigham Young's St. George home - it was beautiful and very neat to see the history and to show the kids how people lived back them - hopefully it helped them to appreciate some of our modern day conveniences.

 We were also able to visit the temple grounds and visitor center - I love how beautiful this temple is and the history of the sacrifices made to build it - someday I really hope to be able to go inside and do work there, but every time we visit St. George we have our children with us - and we would need a baby sitter.
 Sand Hollow Reservoir was a hit with everyone!!  It was so nice to have a day to just sit and relax and listen to the waves lapping up to shore.  The kids had a great time playing in the water and sand and taking a break from long drives in the car and difficult hikes!  Grant was especially happy and surprised when his "girlfriend" Naomi and her family showed up - they had a great time playing together!

 Jared was thrilled to fish for bass fish for the first time - and best of all to catch one (on the Grant Spider-man fishing pole ;) )
 We visited Snow Canyon and loved the sand, wild flowers, lizards, and the rocks for scrabbling up!  Grant fell and got hurt but we improvised a little bandage and he did pretty well for the rest of the day.

 Zions was definitely our favorite part of our trip.  We went two different days, the first day was hard and we were not so sure we were liking it, but the second day was awesome and we were so glad we gave it a second chance.  Our first day we did the River Walk - it was beautiful and easy, just right for the boys and our sick Trent.  We were able to see some deer and lots of squirrels which Trent was fascinated with.
 The boys had a great time sliding down this big rock. :)

 At the end of the walk the boys naturally had to throw as many rocks into the river as they could - it was a great reward for finishing the walk!

 The second time into the park we did the Emerald Pools hike.  This was more challenging, but also much more rewarding.  The boys did great on this difficult hike, until we were less than half a mile from getting back to our car and Brandon had a melt down because he was so tired.
 Brandon and Grant had a great time climbing to the top of every rock possible - victory was theirs!
 The second pool at the top of the waterfall was beautiful and so much fun to splash around in and enjoy a break and a snack.

Even Trent had fun climbing up the rocks!

 The third pool was a lot of fun because there was sand to draw in and we were able to see a mother deer and her fawn.

 As we hiked out of the Emerald Pool we enjoyed stunning views!

 While we were in Zions we knew we had to do something to help the boys enjoy their time their a little more because they were getting tired of just hiking over and over again.  The junior ranger program was a perfect solution and they were so proud of themselves for getting their badges!

 Kolob Canyon is beautiful and well worth the detour on our way home.