Monday, March 24, 2008

Boys' Night Out

Last Thursday and Friday, Jason, Regan and Spencer went on a cross country ski overnighter. The boys had been looking forward to this trip for a long time, and they had a lot of fun. Only a few tears were shed, like the time Spencer's head got smashed under the sled. And the time Spencer's foot got twisted all the way around when his ski was stuck under the sled. And the time Spencer was too cold. And the time Spencer was too tired.
Regan also had good reason to cry when he tried to drink boiling hot water out of the water bottle, forgetting that his dad told him not to.
There was lots of fun too. Jason played enough Go Fish and War to last his entire lifetime. What else do you do when you settle into the tent at 5 pm and still have 3 or 4 hours until bedtime.

Cuisine in the snow. They all agreed-the food was awesome. I'm not so sure...

Jason had the fun job of hauling the huge sled, backpack and sometimes, Spencer.
It was an adventure the boys won't soon forget. I think it should be a yearly tradition. Before long, all the boys will be old enough to go and I'll take a real vacation!

Happy Birthday Spencer!

Spencer had his 6th birthday last Wednesday (Mar. 19th). I encouraged him to have a pirate party because I knew my Mom had bought him this pirate ship.

It was a fun party. I had put Jason in charge of the map and buried treasure and he made sure it was as realistic as possible. We told the kids we were taking them on a little hike up the canyon to look for animals.

After a hiking and playing a little while, Jason told Spencer to put his stick up under a rock to see if any animals would come out. That's when he found the first bottle.

The kids were amazed. Jason had written a poem on the paper in this bottle, which led to another bottle holding the map. They were so excited. It never once crossed their minds that this may not be a real pirate map.
Some of the conversation went like this:
Spencer: "I cant believe it!! I'm having a pirate party and we find a treasure map! I can't believe it!"
Regan: "This is a miracle!"
One of the other kids: "This is a dream come true! I can't believe it!"
Not everyone was feeling the excitement. One little boy started crying and said he would not look for the treasure. He was really scared! I hadn't anticipated this. After trying for a while to change his mind, I finally had to take him aside and tell him that we made it all up. We told him not to tell the other kids yet, but he kept trying. They were so caught up in the pirate fantasy, they didn't believe him anyway.
Jason conveniently recognized the location on the treasure map from the second bottle, so we hopped into the car and drove to the second spot. From there we hiked to another area, where they decided on a spot to start digging.

They quickly found and dug out the treasure chest. They were even more amazed when they opened the chest and looked at the treasure. Among the jewels (found mostly at the D.I.) were Easter eggs full of surprises. Still having no suspicion that Jason and I may have buried it, they came to the conclusion that it was some sort of Easter Bunny pirate.
At this point, I tried to tell them that this was something we set up for them. Judging from the comments they made all the way home, I had not made myself clear. Back at home, before dividing up some of the treasure, I sat them down and made sure that they understood where the treasure came from. This was not easy for them to grasp. Apparently it's much more believable that we stumbled across a real pirate map that led to a real treasure while hiking during a pirate party.

After a dinner of hot dogs and chips, they broke open the pinata, opened presents and had pirate ship cake (more like a shipwrecked cake by the time I was done decorating it).
It was a great birthday. We had no idea they would have so much fun with the treasure hunt. It was definitely worth all the work just to hear their comments and see their reactions.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bedwetting Solution

After being asked to get ready for bed, this is what Spencer returned in. At first glance they may appear to be like any ordinary pajamas, but these are special pajamas. According to Spencer. By wearing his swimsuit to bed, he doesn't have to worry about waking up to go to the bathroom because they're "waterproof".
Why didn't I think of that?! I get up at least four times a night to make trips to the bathroom. Imagine all the sleep I could have been getting by simply wearing my swimsuit to bed!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Peek A Boo!

Ben's new form of entertainment in the car.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Oh Babylon!

Yesterday after school, we took the boys to explore an area we've never been to before. A friend told us about it. It's called Babylon and we never knew it existed.
The weather was great. Great enough, the boys decided, to jump into the river fully clothed at the first stop.

I think the boys would have been happy to spend the whole time right there, but after playing for a while, we decided to check out some other areas.

And we're off....I got the feeling they thought it was pretty cool to be traveling in nothing more than underwear.

Luckily, we had a few spare shirts in the car.

Hiking along at the next spot, we spotted some yucca, so Jason decided to demonstrate some primitive skills. In less than 30 minutes he had a made a fire using nothing but what he found in the area. He chipped away at rocks to make a knife, then used the yucca stalk for a fire board and spindle.

He makes it look so easy! Next, he made a Paiute dead fall trap, using rocks, sticks, and some rope he made from the yucca.
So, if the need ever arises, and we must flee into the wilderness with nothing but the clothes on our back, we're prepared. We'll have a fire on which to cook any small rodents that we trap and as long as there's rocks and dirt, there's entertainment. Anyone care to join?
Meanwhile, the boys all had a great time sliding down some "cliffs". Ben loved it. He's just one of the boys now. He's completely at home in the dirt. He loves to throw rocks (usually in the direction of someones head), dig in the dirt and whatever else he sees the bigger boys doing.

We thought Babylon was a pretty cool find. We look forward to going back and doing some more exploring.

Sometimes, white underwear and red sand just aren't a good mix.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring Fever

Saturday was such a beautiful day, we just had to get out and enjoy it. Jason was going to be gone all day hiking The Narrows in Zion (the poor guy is required to do it for one of his practicums in school). So, I decided to take the boys to Snow Canyon for the day.
The weather was perfect! We had such a great time. We had a picnic, checked out the lava caves, played in the sand dunes and went on a few short hikes.
Ben, staying close to the food, as usual.

This bird would come right up close to us and try to steal our food. Very pretty bird. Does anyone know what kind of bird it is?

They completely buried Regan.

Playing in the lava caves.
We thoroughly enjoyed our day in the sun. It's a good thing too. Later that night it turned cold again and snowed. Typical Utah weather, but we'll enjoy the nice days whenever we can get them.