Sunday, August 17, 2014

Summer Fun Activities

While Sherrie was in Utah, we met over at Mack Park and let the kids play in the river.  The water was pretty cold, but they had fun marching through it.  Its always nice when the cousins can spend time with each other and make lasting memories.
Parker really got to bond with Aunt Sherrie this summer.  Sherrie and her family spent 6 days at our home this summer.  We had two days of selling popcorn, so Sherrie helped me watch Parker.  Even though she is overwhelmed with her own family, she still takes time to make my kids feel special and she helps create a relationship with them.
Early this summer, we decided to clear out part of our garden and make a fire pit for our family.  This is something that they have always wanted and so we went for it.  We sprayed the weeds, layed down some black tarp and then topped it with small rock.  I think it turned out pretty nice.  We have only used it three times this summer, due to the heat and mosquitoes.  Hopefully, we will find more time to enjoy it in the Fall!
School will be starting soon, so I decided to take the kids to the Ogden Nature Center.  It is really inexpensive but the boys enjoy exploring the area and seeing the different animals.  Here is a picture of my cute kids in an Eagle's nest.  Cooper was excited to show Clayton the Paragon Falcon and the Bald Eagle.

As we walked along the trail, we stopped for fun pictures.  I love the way some of the tree branches grow.  They would make the best forts for my boys. I know I would have loved playing in them as a child. Parker did a great job sitting in her stroller and enjoying the walk. She finally crashed out on our walk to the car!
After you park your car, the trail up to the main building has lots of bird houses made by different people or organizations.  The boys showed me some of their favorite bird houses along the way. We packed a lunch and sat in the shade to eat it.  The boys loved watching the large Desert Turtle in its cage.  They also loved the tower and looking through the big telescopes! It was nice to spend the day with my kids.  I love getting to see the excitement on their faces.
In July, Bryce had an Elder's Quorum activity out in northwest Utah.  They carpooled out to the Morse Family property and enjoyed a day of fishing.  Many of the men brought their boys along for the trip.  Bryce said it was gorgeous.  He and Cooper each caught a Tiger Trout.  They were both good sized fish.  Cooper caught his with his little Spider man fishing pole.  Bryce brought them home and grilled them for our family.  The boys enjoyed eating the fish and Cooper had a fun time with his Dad.
We love taking the kids to the Jump Zone. If we go on Tuesday's, then they get an extra hour to jump.  This is such a great activity to help beat the heat and to still allow them to get some exercise.  They say its a lot more fun if they have friends to enjoy it with....so we had the Gabrish kids come with us!
Zane invited Clayton to come to the Riverdale Splash pad with him earlier this summer.  He was so excited to ride in their jeep with the top off.  He spent most of this summer playing with Zane and Gracie.  He is such a social little guy and loves playing with friends.  They are so creative and have had so much fun jumpin on the tramp, making chalk paint, crushing rocks with hammers, riding bikes, and making forts!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Hoppin' Poppin' Kettle Corn


It has been such a great opportunity to start our new business this year.  After much preparation and planning, we finally decided to open Hoppin' Poppin' Kettle Corn. My dear friend, Holly Casebolt, asked me if I wanted to go in on the business and be co-owners.  It has been a good decision for us.  After getting financing and doing all the small, mundane tasks, we became business owners in April. 
After we received the equipment and machinery, we started practicing in the garage.  I remember our first batch tasted so good and we were so proud of ourselves.  We kept eating it till it was gone.  After making batch after batch and tweeking things here and there, we finally were ready to go out and sell it. 
Part of the reason I wanted to start this venture, was so I could teach my kids how to work and earn money for their missions.  Cooper has a very outgoing personality and he has enjoyed helping us make the popcorn and market it to the customers.  He has done a great job giving samples and telling people about our different flavors!
 In July, we did an event in Clinton.  Holly was not able to be there, so I had Dad and Micaela come help me.  Micaela was a very hard worker and I was very impressed with attitude and her motivation.  It was a lot of fun to have both of them with me.  I loved being able to teach them how it all worked and I think they enjoyed it.
 We also had quite a bit of success selling in our neighborhoods to our friends.  The flavors that we have done this year are kettle, caramel, fruit fusion, white cheddar and some cinnamon.  I never realized how much people love kettle corn till I started this business with Holly.  I am amazed at what people will pay for popcorn.  So far, we have had a fun and successful year.  WE have almost made back enough to pay off our initial investment!
 Here are some pictures of our very first event, St. Mary's Guadalupe Garden.  The weather turned out to be in the low 50's with rain all day.  We were so excited when we sold our first bag.  We ended up selling $160 worth that day and we were pleased with that. That was the day we established our main jobs.  Holly did the cooking of the popcorn and I did the sifting and bagging.
Overall, it has been a huge blessing for our family already in its first year. There have been so many things we have learned and we have received many tender mercies along the way.  We really have been blessed throughout the summer with great success at our events.  Cooper has had an opportunity to work and earn money, my family comes and spends a few hours with us every Saturday at the events, we have been able to pay off some bills, and Bryce has been able to spend quality time with his kids!




6 Months Old

 We took Parker to her 6 month check-up and she seems to be doing very well.  She is 27 inches tall (88%) and weighs 15 lbs (46%).  She is so much fun right now. A few weeks ago, she wouldn't put pressure on her feet and now she loves to jump.  I bought her a jumper that goes between the doorways and she loves to sit in it and jump up and down.
She loves her feet.  Over the past few weeks, she has learned to grab her feet and stick them in her mouth.  When I lay by her or try to get her dressed, she will grab me with her hands and feet.  She always has her feet in the air.  Parker also loves to go for walks in the stroller.  She just lays back and puts her feet up and just chills.  We go on lots of walks, even if it is around and around the driveway.
Parker also loves to eat food.  When I started her on oatmeal, she was a natural eater and knew just what to do with her food.  She loves her oatmeal.  Right now I feed her oatmeal for breakfast, a veggie for lunch and oatmeal in the evening.  If I don't make her take a bottle first, she will have nothing to do with it.  She watches us eat and thinks she needs to be eating as well.
Just this last week, she has started to grab toys and hold on to them for a few minutes.  They go directly to her mouth as soon as she picks them up.  She takes her binki out of her mouth, but can't figure out how to get it back in there.  She is really starting to roll over.  I don't lay her on the ground that much, so she has never felt the need to roll over.  She is getting stronger now and likes to roll over and lay there for a few minutes.  She will probably be sitting up in another two weeks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Celebrating Dad's 69th Birthday

This year we celebrated Dad's 69th up Logan Canyon at First Dam.  In the past, the dam has been gross with duck poo, but they seemed to have cleaned up the area and it turned out to be a nice location and a beautiful day.  This picture is funny because Dad hates water, but Jocie made him pose for this picture.
Sherrie and her kids were in town, so we all met at lunch time under the bowery.  Mom bought Dad his favorite sandwich for his birthday and we all brought our lunches and goodies and ate lunch and spent the afternoon together.  The kids had such a great time.
The khyaks were such a hit with everyone.  This was Clayton's first time to go on the kayak by himself and he did a great job.  Paul and Steph had some kid kayaks, so he was able to maneuver it very well.  We tried to fish for a while but they weren't biting.  They actually stocked the pond while we were there, so Kylee ended up catching her first fish. She was running around the park with the fish in her hand, yelling with excitement.
Jacqui brought her family and two kayaks.  Clayton had a great time playing with Kinlee and Cohen.  They were all running around and wrestling with each other. The weather was perfect and we just hung out in the shade of the trees.  Grandma Cooper even joined us for the day!
Parker did a great job.  At one point, she was so tired that she fell asleep on cousin Ty's chest.  He loves to pay attention to her and talk to her.  She bounced around from Aunt to Aunt and from cousin to cousin for the most of the day.  She also enjoyed rolling around on the blanket.
It was fun to look out at the lake and see all the kids kayaking with each other.  The water was clear, but cold.  No one went swimming, but they all splashed around and had fun exploring up and down the dam.  The water has a lot of moss, so it would be difficult to swim in it.  Cooper spent most of his day on the kayak, which explained his burnt legs!
I love it when we do fun and exciting activities that are inexpensive, but allow us to spend quality time as a family. This was one of my most favorite days of the summer!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shingles

In Mid June, I was out at Jacqui's one day and my right side under my bra was starting to bother me.  I came home and checked it out but there was no sign of a rash. But, it was kind of painful to the touch.  The next morning I woke up and there was a small rash.  I applied Hydro cortisone cream, but it didn't go away.  After two days, I showed it to my friend Julie.  After a small discussion, I decided to go into the doctor and see if it was Shingles.  Turns out, it was. I can't believe I came down with Shingles at age 35.  Shingles is for older people! Anyway, the doctor gave me two meds for the inflammation and the rash.  I lived on Advil and Tylenol for the next two weeks straight.  The rash didn't itch, it just hurt the nerves.  I would get these attacks of pain where the rash was located.  After a month, the rash went away and the pain ended.  I am now taking a herbal vitamin that is supposed to help cleanse the body of any viruses like Shingles.  Some events that might have attributed to me getting Shingles are 1. Having a Baby 2. Not taking Vitamins 3. Starting a New Business 4. The Loss of Grandpa Cooper. Next time an emotional event happens in my life, I will make sure I am slamming down the vitamins!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Douglas Family Reunion

This year we had our annual Douglas Family Reunion in Logan, Utah.  Roger worked for Logan City and used to do land maintenance on this piece of property.  Some man used to own this land and he decided to donate it to Logan City.  It was a beautiful spot for camping and for a large family reunion. This year they didn't charge much, because it was their first year to let someone try out the camping grounds. 
The river ran right through the campground which made it perfect for camping and water activities.  The only downside to the camping, was the infestation of mosquitoes.  We got eaten alive, even with repellant sprayed on us. I didn't dare take Parker out much because of this. She hung out in the trailer with me or Dad.  She also spent lots of time with her cute cousins Jade and Jordan.
The river was ice cold but all the kids decided to take a plunge in it one afternoon. Cooper is doing a cannon ball.  I even considered doing it because it looked so refreshing. Clayton really wanted to jump in but he was a little scared. I would dip his legs down in the water.
Easton and Clayton are using their nets to try and catch some fish.  We saw a huge fish and Bryce caught one as well, but other than that, they weren't really biting! I love the sound of a flowing river.  It is so peaceful.  One morning, I got up before the rest of my family, so I grabbed a chair and went fishing on the riverside.  It was so nice and relaxing.
Papa Douglas was up at the campground bright and early taking pictures of his grand kids. He even stole Parker from me for a few minutes. He is such a good Papa and he loves his little ones so much. 
Eli, Clayton, and Tagen had a fun time exploring the campground and nearby river. They had me nervous most of the day because they kept hanging out by the river, throwing rocks, and watching grass float down it.  I'm glad that they have cousins that are their ages.
While they explored the area, some of the adults and older kids played a fun game of kickball.  I love playing kickball because kids of all ages can usually play the game, which helps kids feel good about themselves.  There was a huge grassy field that was perfect for the playing area.  It was fun times until things got a little out of hand and some of the adults and kids starting blocking running paths.  Then it turned into a fight and it was over!
Bryce and his goofy brothers munching on yummy watermelon. Brandon and Jill's family, along with us, stayed over the first night and Sara and Derek joined us the second night.  Carrie and kids, as well as Bruce and Tara, joined us on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning.  We went over to the Logan pool on Saturday afternoon to let the kids swim and enjoy the water.  It was also nice to get away from the mosquitoes!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Funeral

Here are some shots from Grandpa Coopers funeral.  It was such a sad day, but also a great day to honor and remember how amazing our Grandpa's life was here on Earth.  Clinton, Cort, Jamie, Steph, and April spoke at his funeral.  Cort and Clinton shared the "Farmer" story which perfectly applied to Grandpa.  All the talks were wonderful. All the grand kids sang "A Child's Prayer" and I cried through the whole thing. I couldn't even sing any of it. Ty got up and shared a poem about grandpa and we all cried even more.

Shayne dedicated the grave and it was one of the most beautiful prayers I've ever heard. Grandpa served in the Navy on USS Washington, so they did a military tribute to him at the graveside.  It was neat to watch the way they presented the flag to Grandma. 
A few days before his viewing and funeral, I was looking for something special that represented my Grandpa.  I really wanted his old straw hat, but Grandma said he had just thrown it away. I found his old, dirty farming boots and a bottle of Dr. Pepper in the cupboard downstairs. 
Roger worked for the mortuary and he specifically asked if he could work for Grandpa's funeral. This meant a lot to me for him to care that much about me and my Grandpa.  He thought it would be special for us to have this old Hurst instead of the newer one.
Grandma, Mom, April and some of the great grand children waiting for the graveside procession to start.  Here us kids are standing in front of Grandpa's casket.  Oh, how we miss this wonderful man that was such a great example to each of us! Part of who we are today, is because of this wonderful angel that is now helping us from the other side.
It was so nice to have all my siblings and parents at the funeral.  It was an emotional time but it will be a time that will never be forgotten as we celebrated the life of our Grandpa. We cried together. We laughed together. We mourned together.  We smiled together and enjoyed our short time together.
It was also a time that strengthened our relationships with our cousins. We all have a special bond with each other.  We all carry that loving and kind attitude that Grandpa and Grandma always showed us.
 After the graveside services, we went back to the church to have lunch and watch a video that Jamie made about Grandpa.  It was a really special video, but very touching and emotional to watch.  I had to step out of the gym multiple times to recompose myself.  All in all, it was a wonderful day to celebrate with loved ones!