Nathan Turns 4!

My baby is 4 years old! Where did my little guy go?
Now he's a superhero walking around the house shooting all the bad guys with his water gun!

For his party he had his favorite food, chicken legs! His presents were perfect; trucks, cars, tractors, play dough, coloring stuff, water gun. He is loving it!
Happy, happy day!


We had a great Halloween this year! As tradition dictates, we started our "Halloween week" with Navajo Tacos for dinner followed by a FHE carving pumpkins. We followed it up with doughnuts and chocolate milk!
Jamie just loved ripping the guts out of the pumpkin!  
Nathan made Daddy gut his pumpkin.

Laura got to kill her own pumpkin, doesn't she look so happy?

Nathan was a super hero... when Uncle Jordan asked him what he was going to dress up as he was so excited that he could hardly speak. Laura had to tell Nathan to take a big breath before he passed out. He calmly took a slow breath and then yelled "I'm Captain America!" He kept asking me if he was a good guy or bad guy and which ones he should kill.
 Jamie was a witch and even got a broom to go with her scary finger nail gloves. She had to be sure her face was green enough and that we could still see her warts. 
It was a wet, cold, rainy night for Trick-or-Treating but the kids had fun anyway... Like I told Laura, it's not how cold or wet it was but how big your candy bag is!

Field Trip

Nathan's little preschool went on a field trip to a farm yesterday! I got to tag along and it was so much fun!
There was a little corn maze and a hay bale maze, perfect for 3 year-olds.

We went on a hay ride through the pumpkin patch and saw some animals. Nathan's favorite was the big turkey, though it scared him a bit when it puffed out it's feathers and gobbled.

We had a yummy snack, pet the ponies and dogs, and climbed and jumped on the hay trampoline (box spring mattresses covered and surrounded by hay). The kids had a ball with that! They all got to pick out their own little pumpkin to take home. Did I mention that the weather was gorgeous?!! Fun stuff!


Is it really fall, really? I mean 90 degrees outside! Really? Ok, so I know that next week when it's freezing I'll wish I had enjoyed the heat more. I would just love some of that wonderful in-between weather. 70 degrees for a few weeks. Well, I still love fall time! Even with the heat it cools down enough that I can open the windows in the morning and get cool, fresh air. We already went to see the witches at Gardner Village. We also drove up AF Canyon to see the colors. We had to drive way up but they were there. Beautiful!
One of my favorite things about fall is General Conference. It's always just so inspiring. Happy Fall everyone!

North end of Timp.

Grandpa's Funeral

Grandpa Mac's funeral was a perfect tribute to his life. What an amazing life he led. What a wonderful example of how to live and love and serve! I miss you Grandpa and love you!

Grandpa Mac (added a video)

Grandpa Mac is one of my heroes. I've always admired how full of life he was. He worked so hard and enjoyed it. As a kid I sometimes didn't like when he would put us to work on the farm. Those blackberry bushes were brutal! But the rewards were always awesome. Not just yummy stuff to eat (those blackberries were scrumptious!). My favorite time was when he would turn on the irrigation and we played in the water as long as we could until it was gone! So much fun! I always admired his master gardner skills. Most of all, Grandpa's devotion to family. He loved us all so much and showed us how much he loved Grandma by the way he took care of her. I love you Grandpa! I know you are so happy having many wonderful reunions! Thanks for a wonderful legacy.
Don't mind Sarahs "dirty talk" in this video and just enjoy.

Building a Backyard!

One of our big projects in the new house this summer was the backyard. When we moved in it was just weeds about as high as the fence. We had a family of cats hiding out in the weeds and once we lost Nathan for a few days out there!
I mowed down the weeds and borrowed my parent's tiller with the plan of tilling everything up and cleaning it out...
After about 2 hours of trying with all my might to get that tiller to dig into the rock solid clay ground I gave up and hired a guys with a backhoe to come in and clear the ground. After we covered the whole yard in plastic and let the sun cook the weeds for about 6 weeks.
I was surprised to see how well it worked; they call it Solarization and it killed off just about everything. After the Solarization I spent a week trenching and putting in sprinklers.
After the sprinklers came the top soil and the railroad ties...
I have to admit that through it all Jamie and Nathan helped out a lot... well Nathan mostly made holes where we didn't need them and filled in the ones we did.
It took us a few days to make the mountain on the driveway to mole hills in the back yard but we did it.
After leveling the playing field we had the Curbman put in the curbing and the we ordered the sod.
The kids got to watch the sod get delivered while, we got to lay it all down.
So far it is turning out very nicely. We had a few people from the word come by to help us and it went pretty quick. Thanks everyone!
I measured and ordered the sod all by myself and this was all that we had left. A pretty good job if I do say so myself! As you can see I was pretty proud; but that is just because I am good!
Other projects to follow are trees and a swing set with a big sandbox and lots of bushes and flowers and lets not forget the garden... I guess you could say we still have a bit of work to do but it is coming alone pretty well.

Death March at Ryder Lake!

June 30th about 4:00 am, the alarm goes off and I throw it across the room! It is way too early to wake up on a day off or any other day for that matter. Laura and I slowly climb out of bed to get ready to leave by 5 so we can meet everyone else at Christmas Meadows by 8. Today we were headed to Ryder Lake; a nice 9 mile jaunt from the trail head to the camp spot. It really wasn't bad. Other than the fact that Laura and I hadn't been backpacking since our trip to Red Castle back in 2005. We were both huffing and puffing by the 3/4 mile mark! 

Anyway, we got to the trail head about 7:55 and everyone else showed up within a few minutes. We were on the trail by about 8. As always the meadows were beautiful and it wasn't long before we had seen a couple of moose.
We couldn't have asked for better weather this trip. The days were cool, the nights were warm, and the sky had just the right amount of clouds to make for great pictures.
By lunch time we had made it to the "Meadow" made so famous by Grandma Lila Colton's painting. This is what is looked like all those years ago.
This is what it looks like now... It was beautiful! This has to be one of the few places in the world that even after so many years looks just the same. What an amazing place!
About 3:30 we all straggled up to Ryder Lake and the camp site Brysen and Nate scouted out for us. It was a great camp site; far enough away from other campers and with a nice opening in the trees that gave us a great view of the lake and the waterfalls.
The mosquitoes were horrendous and if we didn't keep covered or keep the repellent slathered on they may have carried us off to be heard from no more!
We had a beautiful sunset that night and everyone slept pretty good.
We woke the next morning with the sun and had a bit of breakfast; a pop tart, some water, and a few snacks. Jordan "forced" Sarah, Laura, and I to go with him to the top of "Colton Peak" and he wanted to get an early start.
No comment here...
Not far above Ryder Lake is McPheters Lake; amazing view.
That's right, Laura, we're going all the way up THAT and THAT is just the beginning!
This hike was so amazing (am I using that word a lot?).
Every step brought new sights to see and each was more amazing than the last.
We made it to very tippy top and Sarah piled up some rocks to get even higher!
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well being there was worth thousands of pictures and we almost took that many!
There were only a few really scary parts. You know the kind that one slip would have meant certain death... for sure... without a doubt... and this was one of them. The ledge at the bottom of this crevasse was just a couple feet wide then it was several hundred feet of shear cliff to a rocky splattered death! It was a lot of kicks!
As we made it back down to McPheters we were all quite pleased with the hike and more so that we didn't have to watch anyone fall screaming to their death!
You may have noticed that you didn't see Jordan hanging over any cliffs this time. Well, it turns out that Sarah was charged to keep him safe and from doing anything "crazy". She failed miserably!

Here come the "Cliff Hangers".

They started out pretty mellow.
Some didn't even look too "crazy".
Then I got daring and that was it...
Jordan had to take it to a new level!
and then just a bit further!
Remember how I said we were all glad we didn't see anyone fall to their death... that anyone would have probably been Jordan! Now just to clarify, I would have been right there along side of him but someone... I won't name names but she's my wife... wouldn't have let me sleep next to her for a week had I gone up there too!

These next few pics are of us fishing. The fish were biting and we all caught plenty for dinner. Kate just couldn't stand to have the fish she caught get hit over the head so she let hers go. What a sweetie; I'm sure we just caught them again further down the bank and they got hit over the head anyway but it is the thought that counts, right!?
After a great dinner of fish and MRE's and a bunch of other yummy trail food I think we all slept very well that night. We were all pretty well exhausted by now and slept good regardless of the hard bumpy ground!
Our hike back took about half as long as the hike up did. Everyone was ready to get to the cars and head home for a long shower and a real bed. All in all those of us that hiked to the top of Colton Peak went about 22 miles over the weekend and we all came home alive. Jordan was very proud of us!