Our 4th of July weekend included SNOW…

The snow was a short 20 minute drive from the cabin.  Lest you think the snow was the only sight at the cabin…

It was a great weekend!  And we made sure to remember the reason for the holiday…

We are heading to the cabin for the holiday weekend.  Here is what I hope to accomplish:


*Games with my family

*Get some great pictures

*Work on the second paper that is due for my Language Acquisitions class


*Take a walk with my husband, hand in hand

*Ride the atvs

*Enjoy the stars

*Make s’mores

*Make dutch oven peach cobbler

*Roast hot dogs

*Snooze in the hammock

*Introduce my parents to the tv show Psych (we got my dad the first two seasons for Father’s Day)

*Did I mention RELAX?

*Picnic lunch in the woods

*Read (school assignments and for relaxation)

*See the fireworks in Evanston, WY

*Enjoy an ice cream cone while watching the fireworks

*Oh, and I can’t forget–RELAX!

Enjoy your Independence Day!

Another busy day at the Kastle!  I haven’t had time to craft a post, so I am going to post some pictures from our last trip to my parents’ cabin.  We went the first weekend of October and it was the last trip of the season before the water to the cabin was shut off.  Hoob played around with my camera and caught the following images:

Isn’t it fun to see what your kids find interesting?


Having recently noticed a running theme in Blogland about “living life to the fullest” and “seizing the moment” and “not missing opportunities” and “being grateful for life” I have decided to pay more attention and see if I am living this running “theme.”  Using our recent trip to my parents cabin over the 4th of July weekend, I am going to chronicle our seized opportunities.  

*The trip itself was a seized opportunity.  Hub took Juju to California for their one-on-one trip and Shroom is off working on a ranch for a little while, so it was going to just be me and my four kids at home for the weekend.  My parents were going to their cabin, so we decided to join them.  We were also joined by one of my brothers and his girlfriend, and a niece and nephew. 

*While at the cabin my daughters decided to seize an opportunity and do my hair by styling it with whatever items they could find in the junk drawer.  They were quite proud of my new ‘do. 

Maybe it will catch on!

*There was the opportunity for the kids to pet a stray horse that my dad saw wandering around. 


*My niece seized the opportunity to ride the horse back to the owner’s place when he came looking for his horse.  And some of us seized the opportunity to follow along. 


*The owner was grateful that we’d found his horse and offered rides on “The Orbiter” that he has constructed for his grandkids. 



*The owner invited me to try The Orbiter with him.  In the spirit of adventure I decided to give it a try. 


He was used to making the thing go…and go…and go.  And he did it fast!  The kids got a kick out of my shrieks, and I’m sure my face looked funny too.  I was relieved when we finally stopped.  But then the owner said we had to “rewind” and he spun us in the opposite direction. 


Boy was I glad when he asked if I’d had enough and I could say scream “Yes!”  

I can say that I am glad that I took the opportunity to try The Orbiter.  The kids enjoyed seeing me give it a try.  But, I can also say wholeheartedly, “Been there, done that!”  No need to do it again!   I’m getting too old for such spinny things! 

*Some of the kids took the opportunity to try the swings on the horse owner’s property. 


*One morning Huh and her boyfriend, Plumber, suggested we go for a picnic at one of the numerous lakes in the area.  As we all discussed it, we decided that the lakes would be too crowded because of the holiday weekend.  So, instead, we decided to take an atv ride to the Bear River for a picnic.  

Max sitting in the side-by-side ready to go on a picnic!

Walking to our picnic spot.

We all got a good laugh when my mom discovered that her sandwich had no meat, just lettuce and cheese. 


*Of course all of the kids seized the opportunity to wade in the river after eating. 

Huh and Mack in the river.

The more cautious kids stay near the bank.

We got another chance to laugh at Mack’s reaction when her flip-flop washed down the river.  Lost forever.  



*There were plenty of opportunities to take pics of thieving squirrels raiding the birdfeeders. 



Contemplating stealing birdseed.

*We took the opportunity to play games together and visit.  The kids explored the area.  We snacked.  And we relaxed. 

So, yes, I believe our weekend followed the blogland theme of seizing the moment and enjoying life and being grateful for the simple things. 

One of my favorite activities at the cabin?  Enjoying the sunset… 

A few images from our cabin trip this weekend:

One view along the new fence Dad built.

One view along the new fence Dad built.


The flag pole dad made out of a tree.

The flag pole dad made out of a tree.


Kids along the fence.

Kids along the fence.


It rained for most of the weekend, which meant that it was also chilly.  It’s been a long winter in the High Uinta Mountains, so the quaking aspens didn’t have leaves yet.  There were 23 people sharing one bathroom.  And yet with all of that, it was a great weekend!  Some of the highlights:

*Allowing Huh to drive the entire way to the cabin and then back again when the weekend was over…and we didn’t die

*Going with Mack on a drive in the Arctic Cat (side-by-side) while she drove.  Hoob, Yawlin, cousin “J”, and the dog rode in the back.  And…we didn’t die!

*Brushing Hoob’s and Huh’s hair one night after they’d taken showers to get the day’s grime off.  Thankfully my teen girls still like Mom to brush their hair–not style it, mind you–but brushing it is relaxing to them.

*Playing rounds of “Blink” with all of the kids, cousins, and my mom.  (Buy “Blink” wherever games are sold.  For 5 or 6 bucks it provides a lot of fun!)

*Watching my dad give “Yawlin” his first lesson on driving an atv.  And…they didn’t die!

*Sitting on the swing, closing my eyes, and just listening.  Birds, squirrels, buzzing bugs, more birds, all the sounds of the woods were there to relax me and help me enjoy the moment.

*Seeing two deer pass by the cabin.

*Roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire.

*Finishing my library book.

*Listening to Mack recount the story of the two of us attending an aerobics class and yoga class together one day last week.  The classes kicked my butt and Mack loves to tell how funny I was as I tried to balance on the stupid, over-sized exercise ball but kept slipping off, and how it was nearly impossible for me to do some of the torture yoga moves.  My brother-in-law quipped that I probably looked like what Elaine from “Seinfeld” would have looked like taking an exercise class.  (Okay, maybe this was more of a low-light rather than a highlight.)  Sheesh!

*Taking a walk with Max, the dog.

Max going ahead.

Max going ahead.

Max Charging back to me after I pretended to run back the way we came.

Max Charging back to me after I pretended to run back the way we came.

Max running after Huh and Cousin "C" on the atv's after they passed us.

Max running after Huh and Cousin "C" on the atv's after they passed us.

*Getting to talk to Hub on the cell phone just before he and Squid bedded down for the night in Moab.  They chose a river run as their one-on-one trip together before Squid leaves on a mission for our church.  It was nice to talk to Hub one last time before they tackled the mighty Colorado River and no longer had cell phone service.

*The cousins got to spread out and sleep in the main room of the cabin.

Cousins NOT sleeping.

Cousins NOT sleeping.

*I got to hold and play with my two newest nieces, ages 9 months and 3 weeks.

*The kids were all willing to pitch in and help with meals, dishes, and clean-up.  And…they didn’t die!

*I got to be totally lax in the way I dressed.

My stylin' cabin footwear!

My stylin' cabin footwear!

There was time spent with family, time spent alone, there was laughing and playing, cooperation and visiting, birds and squirrels, sunsets, fire and hot dogs.  For me, it was the perfect cabin weekend!

My to-do list for today before we head to my parents’ cabin for the weekend (in random order):

Pack; do both morning and afternoon crossings; get kids to school; kitchen clean-up; stretch out and take dog for brisk walk; pray, journal, and read scriptures; shower; make bed; vacuum and scrub stair carpet; clean main bathroom toilet; go grocery shopping; call one more teacher for letter of recommendation; email sis the pictures she has requested; buy my dad a birthday present; remind kids to pack a few warm clothes because it might rain in the mountains over the weekend; make sure Huh gets the rest of her graduation announcements finished; laundry; call aunt and tell her that her email order didn’t arrive; charge camera battery; clean out car; gas up the car; make sure to pack dog food this time; ask Mack and Yawlin, who are on meal prep this week, what they want for meals at the cabin; make sure to ask Mack and Yawlin what they want for meals this week before they go to school; create a menu for the weekend; kiss my husband; check to see if we have bug spray; if we don’t have bug spray, add to the grocery list; make sure kids get their chores done; write the kids’ chore lists; kiss my husband again; find time to eat during the day; wipe out the microwave; finish this post!

It is 7:40 a.m.  We are hoping to leave by 4:00 p.m. 

Do I expect too much of myself?  🙂

Enjoy your weekend!