Enjoying Charleston

Now that we have been here one month and are unpacked and settled, we have been able to enjoy living here in Charleston and the beautiful surrounding Heber Valley. I love the peace and quiet around here - the sounds we hear during the day are sprinklers, birds, and the Heber Creeper railroad.

I have also noticed some advantages of a smaller home - although it messes up quick - a small house is easy and quick to clean-up. The kids get lots of toys out, but they don't get spread as far, so they have an easier time cleaning up after themselves. I like having a cozy kitchen with no sit-up bar. Now that there is no bar - I actually sit down for each meal at our little table with the kids rather than standing behind the counter while they ate on the other side.

As part of my nesting and getting settled, I have been baking and trying to cook more to prove to myself that I can still do it even though the kitchen is smaller. I have successfully made bagels, pizza, sour-dough bread, baguettes, brownies, cake, and lots of other good food. So far, we haven't eaten out too much - even though there is lots of fast food in nearby Heber, we sort-of have that camping or BearLake feeling where you have to plan your food and take care of it all without going out all the time. Hopefully I can keep this up.

Well, enjoy the pictures and check out my other posts. Al says that all this blogging I have done today must be part of my "nesting" instinct.

Here is the view of Mt. Timp from the front yard:
A sunset over the chicken coop and garden:

Paul has been taking the kids on lots of 4-wheeler rides - it takes about 5 minutes to ride to the Provo river.

Here is Pepper enjoying the farm. She and Kaya are loving the open spaces up here and they get into stuff all the time. This was the worst she has ever been and I am not even sure what she is covered in. (probably mud from the cow pasture). We will get her shaved this week. I guess we should have thought twice about getting a shih zhu knowing that we were moving to a farm.

Austin - he is playing on the path that leads to the hayfields and haybarns.

Paul cleared out some junk and mowed this area of the property - across from the house to make a little picnic area and fire-pit. We have had some fun evenings with visitors having campfires out here.

The kids playing at Deer Creek

Strawberry Reservoir

Here is Austin and Abby getting a horse ride - there are some horses that are kept on this property, so the kids got invited to ride. We will probably not buy horses while living here, but since everyone around us has at least one horse, we hope to make some friends that will occasionally let us ride.

Kids on the tramp.

Our Move to Charleston

The content of this post is the real reason I have not blogged for 3 months. Renovating an old house and moving takes a lot of time and energy - especially for a pregnant lady.

We just moved in July out here to Grandpa McEntire's farm in Charleston (the southwest corner of Heber Valley). Although the past few months have been busy making this change - we are settling in and enjoying our new adventure.

We spent most of our free-time during the month of June driving up here and working on this home. I wish we would have taken pictures before we started working, so you would have an idea of the transformation we made to this 100 year old home. But we were eager to get started and didn't think about pulling out the camera at the time.

Here is how some of us slept our first night in our home - camped out amidst all the moving boxes: the real moving miracle was that we made it to church the next morning at 9:00. I unpacked random boxes that morning to find our shoes and church clothes.

Here is the day we actually moved. It was a great help to have Suz and her kids around - she stayed at our house the week before the move - (even though just the thought of moving gave her anxiety because she moved 4 times in a year.) She helped me pack up the house and helped with our big yard sale. Also, I think my kids were distracted having their cousins around to play with- so they were not upset at all seeing all of their stuff taken out of the house. My mom was also great and came over and cleaned for hours and helped at the yard sale, too.

LaMar helping to load the moving trunk - Where did all this junk come from?

This picture is Caroline helping to entertain the kids while Suz and I did last minute packing and ordering the guys around. (Thanks for your help Caroline.)

Paul painting the kitchen doors: He worked really hard drove up here about every other day before we moved in to paint, work on the floors, clean up the yard, and take care of the garden and chickens. (you can check out Cathy's cute chicken video if you want). So, I guess the fact that we are now moved in is somewhat of a relief. We are not driving back and forth so much. We still have lots of projects we want to do, but at least the interior is pretty much done and livable.

Here I am in early June planting our garden. It is now producing zucchini, squash, and tomatoes. Unfortunately, the cucumber plants didn't make it and we'll have to see about the potato plants come fall:

Here I am working on painting Abigail's room. It turned out cute - I should add a picture of it now that it is furnished and decorated. Thanks to Pete for having the idea of painting the floors and ripping out the carpet that smelled like cat pee.

Here is Pete and Paul clearing some junk out of the old milking house - or what we call the "Cat House" - Pete has been a great help with our projects - Thanks so much!

Bear Lake

We spent a few days last month in Bear Lake with Suz and her kids. It was a nice relaxing break to sit in a chair for hours under an umbrella and watch the kids have fun. Overall, everyone got along really nicely and they entertained each-other for hours.

Paul joined us on Saturday and the kids were glad to have him:

Abby and Julianna:

Alexandra and Andrew:

Tilly and Anthony - they are the cutest cousin pair and best friends. They play so cute together.

Austin and Timothy - these two were "hot and cold" with each-other - but I guess that is normal for 2 year olds.

Lake Powell

Although there were many reasons to not go, including being 8 mo pregnant and moving the next week, we decided to accept an invitation to go to Lake Powell with Cheryl and her family and some other family We just couldn't refuse such a generous offer to go to one of our favorite, and most beautiful places on Earth.

Here is Paul taking some of the teenagers out for twilight wake-boarding:

Abby and some cousins enjoying a fire and smores.

Andrew on the waterslide:

Girl cousins playing Mermaids.

Here is a really funny, embarrassing picture of me jumping off the rocks at 8 months pregnant. Suz loved the picture and wanted me to post it as my new profile picture on Facebook - I don't think I'll go that far - but those of you who happen to read this blog can enjoy my awkwardness:

The banana - we borrowed this from some friends of Cheryl's and it really saved the day. The kids all loved it and the fights over tubing turns came to an end when we started using this toy.

Mom & Dad's 50th Anniversary and Reunion

The whole family: 100+ people at the Joseph Smith Building:

Fun at the Park with cousins:

Another fun party at Oma & Opa's house:
The kids loved the dance party/reception - Andrew especially loved the photo booth.

Blog update - its about time!

We have been so busy this summer, I have had no time to update my blog. But, I guess since a new baby is coming soon, and school starting and birthdays and a baptism coming up soon... I better catch up before all that begins.

Here are a few pictures from this spring that are cute and sum up the end of the school year:

Austin's 2nd birthday
He actually chose this theme himself - he loves superman and has been able to hum the superman theme since about 16 months old. He loves for Daddy to fly him around and he puts his hands up in the air.

We all love Superman!

Andrew played the cat in the play "the Little Red Hen:" It was so cute!
Andrew gets a little annoyed with me because I repeat his solo all the time
(because of my ever-growing midsection)

"I feel too fat, said Ned the Cat... I just feel too fat."

Abby's spring dance recital - here is her cute tap outfit:
Abigail as "Mrs. Hannigan:"

Andrew's 6th Birthday: He wanted a BYU party - that was sure easy - we already had tons of decorations!