Monday, June 16, 2008

Faith-building flip-flops

These are Maddie's new flip-flops that I got at The Children's Place along with a pair for Ian for $5. Nice and cheap, just how I like it. So, here's the story. Basically the same day I got them one of them disappeared. I needed to be cleaning up anyway and I was pretty sure that once I got everything put into its proper place the lost flip-flop would turn up. That was Tuesday. I put everything away a bunch of times over the week and still no flip-flop. Well, yesterday, I got serious about it and this time I recruited Madeleine to help with the search. She initiated a game of 'I-Spy' to see if we could find it by looking for anything that was pink and black. No luck. I assumed it would finally turn up once I started going through our stuff as we prepare to move. (Oh yeah. We're moving to Arizona in August for Spencer to attend ASU for his MBA.) Madeleine was not ready to give up. She said, "Maybe we can say a prayer and tell Heavenly Father if He can help us find my shoe." Great idea! Spencer said a prayer with her and then they set out to look again. About a minute later they found it. Then they said a prayer to thank Heavenly Father for helping them find it. I am so grateful for Madeleine's faith and her example to me! What a precious experience that was!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Memorial Day Camping

For Memorial Day weekend, we went camping with the Rands and the Roberts at Cuyamaca Rancho State Park in San Diego county. It was quite an interesting weekend. Let me just give a bit of a timeline for you.

Friday night: We drive through rain and fog with windshield wipers that were hardly up to their job and finally made it to camp around 9pm. At least I think it was around then. The whole night is a blur, much like our windshield on the way there. It is still raining when we get there. We are freezing, but we are thankful it isn't snow. It feels that cold to our SoCal blood. Curtis and his family had arrived earlier so he was able to help Spencer set up our tent. After much toiling in the rain with screaming kids on all sides, we are finally ready to go to sleep around 11pm.

This must have been the worst night of sleep I have gotten in a long time. For one thing, we were dreadfully unprepared for how cold it was, so I was not even close to warm enough to fall asleep. I laid there wishing I could sleep and trying to think of a way to cut the trip short. I knew I couldn't handle another night like that. Also, it's worth noting that even if I had been warm enough to sleep, I probably would have been kept awake by the extremely loud lovers' quarrel going on at the campsite near our's. When Chris was ready to go to sleep and yelled, "GOODNIGHT, ANGRY COUPLE!" I thought they would get the point and pipe down. No such luck. At some point, despite the odds, I fell asleep. It was probably after I got Ian from his pack 'n play and made him sleep in my sleeping bag with me.

Saturday: The kids woke up before 6am. One of the joys of camping is rising with the sun in 40 degree weather, right? Don't worry, this is where things start to look up. It wasn't raining anymore. We had a delicious breakfast of dutch oven German pancakes and made our plans to find a store to buy some wool socks and long johns. Amy and Coral headed back to SD for a youth temple trip and they promised to bring extra blankets back to share. That was a major lifesaver. The Roberts and our family went to the outlets in Viejas to see what we could find. Extra socks and pj's for the kids, gloves for me and Spencer, hats for all of us, and the best thing of all---RAINBOOTS for me and Julie for $2.97 a pair. I would say that's easily the best $2.97 we've ever spent. Those boots were heaven-sent. My feet were warm and dry all weekend after that. Oh yeah, and I got to take a nap in the car with Ian while Spencer and Madeleine shopped with the Roberts.

The other highlight of Saturday would have to be the amazing dinner Spencer cooked up for us. Pork back ribs, corn on the cob and baked beans. So warm and so yummy! And Chris made some of the best apple crisp I've ever had. I love how when we are camping the husbands do the cooking. That's so awesome.

Sunday: With the extra blankets Amy brought, and Madeleine sleeping in my sleeping bag the night before, we actually slept pretty well and we slept in until about 8:00am. I felt so good! Unfortunately, that feeling was short-lived. Madeleine and I headed straight for the showers but we were not fast enough. Our shower was FREEZING!! Poor Madeleine screamed the whole time I cleaned her up and when it was my turn, it was all I could do not to scream too. But we were going to church to escape the cold for the next three hours and we couldn't go as dirty as we were. We survived the icy shower and enjoyed being indoors for a little while.

After church, we tried to nap, started a fire, started coals for dinner and mostly just hung out. Since Madeleine's birthday was just a few days before, we brought a pinata for the kids. Spencer had to finish it off though. None of the kids quite had what it took to get the candy out of the butterfly.

Dinner was a bit of a fiasco. We had planned to do a roast and we thought that with the small one we had and the one the Roberts said they were bringing it would be plenty of delicious red meat to warm our bones.. The only problem was that not only had we misunderstood and the Roberts were never planning to bring a roast, we didn't bring our's either. We had plenty of potatoes and carrots and onions, but no roast. Thankfully, the Roberts, always prepared, had brought some turkey burgers that they donated to the cause. Dinner turned out great anyway, especially the chocolate cake.

Monday: All good things must come to an end. But first, Chris and Julie cooked up some fabulous breakfast burritos with machaca and chorizo. Mmm, mmm, mmm! We spent the morning packing up. Here are some more pictures from the trip.Madeleine really gave it all she had!

Please take note of Madeleine's outfit. First of all, we were totally dreaming thinking we would have a need for swimsuits, but Madeleine found her's in our stuff and wanted to wear it the whole time. At one point she was wearing just the swimsuit dancing around in the tent. At least by this time she had clothes underneath it. I had her wearing a little sweat suit over these clothes for extra warmth, but when she heard we were going to be taking pictures , she stripped off the sweats so her "pretty" clothes would show. Really? A neon green swimsuit over a polka dot pj top and red leggings? OK. If you say so.
Ian was a real trooper. Poor kid was in about 6 layers of clothes everyday and his little fingers still felt cold. He was like the little brother in A Christmas Story who couldn't put his arms down when he was all bundled up. He was cheerful enough anyway and had a good time playing with all the kids.

Even though we nearly froze our tails off, it was a great weekend spent with friends and family! Looking forward to doing it again, only in a warmer place next time!