Thursday, June 21, 2012

Camping at Clear Lake, MI

Camping at Clear Lake, Michigan
Thursday, June 14th
After my glucose test and buying new tires for the van, we got our packing done and started on our adventure.  We stopped at Walmart to get a fishing license, at Denton's request.  Then, we drove 4 hours to Clear Lake.  We passed about 15 state park lakes on our way to Clear Lake.  Michigan is just chuck full of beautiful lakes.  We drove around and looked at all of the campsites, picked our favorite, and set up camp.  Julia has a little stomach issue that reared it's ugly head, and she threw up in and on the tent.  Good thing Brandon is good about dealing with that kind of stuff. Turns out after pumping up the air mattress for 30 minutes, Brandon realized it had a huge gash in it.  Not good.  We stole the kids air mattress that still had to be pumped up again in the middle of the night because of a leak. I had a prego break down and said we were going home and I would never go camping again.

Friday, June 15th
Got way too little sleep and woke up way too early (6:30AM).  Denton was sick and coughed all night, but he is being a good sport.  After breadkfast, I went back to bed for a couple of hours while Brandon took the kids for a hike.  Then we took the raft to the lake for a swim.  The lake is beautiful.  Brandon used goggles to see a huge school of fish.  You could see everything in the water because it was so clear.  Denton was trying to catch a fish without bait, poor kid.  Julia and Cody had fun playing in the sand and in the shallow water.  We drove to Gaylord (closest town with a big store and it was an hour away.) For dinner we had bacon and eggs that I cooked on a propane camp stove.  That was the first time cooking on a camp stove and it actually turned out great.  The kids like to name the chipmunks Chipika and Stripika.  They ran through our camp like we weren't even here.  The kids watched them run under their chairs to eat the food that was dropped.  The bathrooms were really nice automatic flushies.  They even had showers that are really nice.

Saturday, June 16th
I got a good nights sleep on my new air mattress. Denton was up early and he caught a chipmunk in a butterfly net Cody brought camping. Luckily, Denton was smart enough to let him go right away.  We ate breakfast, then we took Brandon and Julia and the raft to the day use beach about a mile across the lake from our camper's beach.  Brandon paddled them back across the lake and got worn our pretty good. We all played at the beach building sand castles, and splashing in the water.  The beach wasn't too crowded, but there were a handful of families and Julia found a friend close to her age. After a couple of hours we came back to camp and had chili cheese dogs and I found a pop machine by the restrooms that has cherry Pepsi, yum.  After we ate lunch, we all crashed for a little siesta.  The kids didn't even resist.  It's great that we are all worn out from playing so hard.  After dinner, we took to the beach again.  We were the only ones at the beach this time because it was a little cold and windy.  That didn't stop up though :-)

Sunday, June 17th
Happy Father's Day!  Last night before we went to bed the ranger came by and told us it was going to storm.  We got everything put away and in the van except our tent.  At 2AM the lightening and thunder started and then came the rain.  The kids all woke up scared and crying.  The tent gathered two huge puddles on top, then started dripping down on us.  It rained all night long.  I had the hardest time sleeping.  Finally, I fell asleep around 4AM.  Everyone woke up with wet sleeping bags and pillows.  It took us a long time to pack everything up because we were all so tired.  Then, we were off to Machinaw City.  On the way, we passed through the town Onaway.  Onaway is a tiny hole in the wall... and a giant statue of liberty head that we stopped to take pictures with.  As soon as we got in Machinaw City, we stopped at a visitor center that had a billion pamphlets.  When I went to the restroom, I found a tick on my thigh.  So, while Brandon is getting advice on what to do in town, I'm in the restroom with a book of matches and a pair of tweezers.  Ya, that was fun. We had lunch in a cute little restaurant called Cunningham's family restaurant.  They had yummy fish 'n chips and lemon merangue pie.  We walked out on a fishing dock to see the big boat and the cost guard boat. We walked down main street and looked in the kite store, and bought some fudge and postcards.  Mackinaw City is a very cute little tourist town.  Main street has a bunch of quaint little shops that sell fudge, flavored popcorn, and saltwater taffy.  We made our way into a small bridge museum.  They had a movie playing that showed how the Mackinaw Bridge was built.  It's the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere.  Even the kids were paying close attention (or maybe they feel asleep because it was dark and they were tired.)  Then, we jumped in the car and drove across the bridge.  crossing over the bridge put us in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.  We stopped to hike Castle Rock.  It took 170 stairs to get to the overlook.  What an amazing view of lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Mackinac Island we saw.  We drove back over the bridge, had dinner at KFC, and headed home.  We left at 7pm and the kids slept all 4 hours home.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


What I've learned about running a marathon.... It's a small representation of the journey of LIFE.

1.  Nothing means more to me than seeing my family at the finish line, for they truly are my biggest fans.

2.  You have to run your own race.  No one can run it for you.

3.  You shouldn't try to run someone else's pace.

4.  I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.

5.  It doesn't matter how fast you leave the starting line, if you don't finish, you don't get a medal.

6.  If you dream big, others will help you achieve your dream.

7.  Pain is weakness leaving the body (author unknown).

8.  Running mends the mind and strengthens the soul (I think I made this up :-)

9. If you train and prepare with diligence, you will succeed.

10. You have to give up what you want now for what you want the most (author unknown).

I had so much fun training for this marathon.  As I trained for the big day, I always pictured myself on the course.  I pictured my sweet little family cheering me on.  I pictured myself crossing the finish line.  These thought always drove me to push myself a little harder when I started to feel like I wanted to stop running.  I thought about life on my runs, and the meaning of it.  I learned something that I already knew, I just now know it a little better.  All that matters is keeping my legs going, focusing on the goal, and my family.  I know in life, I won't be the first to cross the finish line, but I will cross it.  I'm not going to worry about what everyone else is doing.  I'm not going to compare myself to others.  I'm not going to expect anything less than all of my family being in the celestial kingdom together and I will not take my eyes off of that goal.  In the end... it's family that is there for you.  There are others that hold out water, cheer you on, and give you encouragement along the way.  I couldn't have finished the race without them, but in the end it's my family at the finish line.  I will make my family my number one priority.  I won't waste my energy trying to make fans of the crowds around me.  In the end, if my husband and my kids are my fans, I get the gold medal.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Denton's week long extravaganza~!

We had a birthday party for Denton at the Bonewell's house while we were in St. George. I told everyone they could not buy him gifts because I wouldn't be able to get them on the airplane. They decided to give him money instead. Granpa belt gave him money under 4 layers of envelope and tape. Aunts Jennifer and Stephanie gave him money with a personalized picture of the real life Bat Mobile. Grandpa and Grandma Bonewell gave him a birthday cake and money in small bills that were inserted in birthday balloons. Denton had to pop all of the balloons to get to the money. He had a blast. We also played a "get to know you" game about Denton. His cousin, Awsten, won a whole bag of candy bars. Grandpa and Grandma Coon gave him money in a birthday card.

Denton had a fabulous time picking out his favorite items with the money.

Here's what you bought him:

Grandpa and Grandma Belt bought him "Monsters Vs. Aliens", the movie

Aunt Jennifer and Aunt Stephanie and families bought him a riffle.

Grandpa and Grandma Bonewell bought him a camping set complete with tent, sleeping bag, back pack, and flashlight (he has been wishing for this for a long time!)

Grandpa and Grandma Coon bought him snow pants.

His mom and dad bought him snow boots, a transformer, and a hot wheels stunt set.

When we got home, we celebrated again on his real birthday! So spoiled :-)

Friday, November 26, 2010

Trip Home

Our trip home was so much FUN! It was a little rough being on the airplane for 4 hours with the kids by myself, but it was totally worth it! When we flew into Vegas, I called my very missed friend to see if she wanted to meet me at McDonalds for dinner so my kids could have a break from traveling. It was sooo nice to visit with her. I forgot how easy it was to talk to her and it made me more than a little homesick. She offered to let us stay and her house that night since her kids didn't have school the next day. The kids had a blast with their long lost buddies!

We enjoyed our 2 week vacation. We stayed at my parents house, but we visited my in-laws, and Jennifer every afternoon. A couple of times we were able to play cards and eat candy at my in-laws house, and I'm so glad.. it's one of my favorite traditions. And, I got to be KING the longest :-) The kids LOVED playing with their cousins. Everynight, I would have to drag Denton away at bedtime even though I could see him yawning and tell he was tired.

We got to go visit aunt Alisha and the kids had fun playing in her awesome backyard.

My brother Adam, and his wife Heather came down to stay overnight and visit me.

My niece, Emilie, and her husband and kids came to visit.

We got to go visit Grandpa and Grandma Belt. They are always too cute and happy to see us. I love hearing all of Grandpa's stories.

I was able to take my little brother-in-law, TJ, to a John Schmidt concert. That was amazing!

I spent a lot of time visiting with my parents since we stayed there. When it looked like my kids were wearing on them a little, we went for beautiful hikes.

This is Brigham Tea.

I took my kids to see this cole kiln. This was one of my favorite things to do in high school. I never imagined back then that I would be hiking to it with my kids someday.

We had a fantastic birthday party for Denton!

We got up at 3am and started our long journey home. The kids did sleep a little on the airplane. I was so happy to see Brandon in the Detroit airport.

When we got home, I walked in to the smell of turkey! Brandon made us a little Thanksgiving dinner. This was the first time that we've had Thanksgiving with just our little family. It was perfect.

Such a fun trip! The only thing that would have made it better is if Brandon could have been there with us!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Halloween Face... after Halloween

Today is my birthday! Cody decided to prank me with his after Halloween, Halloween face. This is what I saw when I went in to get him out of bed this morning. After a brief moment of panic, I saw that he was smiling at me while the blood was running down his face, so he must not be hurt too badly. Then, I remembered that he had a little blood blister on his forehead that popped yesterday. I thought I had it taken care of, but Cody must have pulled the bandaid off in the night and messed with the blood blister again.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween Time!

Brandon got me excited to carve pumpkins this year. We had a lot of people comment on them and even look inside to see if they were real. It was a lot of fun.

I had a fun Halloween party with my preschool class. We all trick-or-treated from each other, and learned the 5 little pumpkins song.

Denton and Julia are very social. They've made friends with all the neighbors. This pays off on Halloween. Our neighbors gave the kids bags of candy, chips, full-size candy bars, and their own box of count Dracula cereal. Talk about spoiled! This is also nice for me because their buckets were full after 5 houses. We did empty the bucket and Brandon took them for a refill around the neighborhood where the kids weren't so well known.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's Autumn Time. The Leaves are Falling Down.

A few days ago, there was a big wind storm. It was literally snowing leaves outside. Leaves can drift like snow does. We found this out because all of the neighbors leaves drifted into our yard. The last garbage day, we had 12 trash bags full and you couldn't even really tell we had picked anything up by looking at our yard. The kids sure have a good time in the leaf piles though.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch!!!

That's Julia on top of the haystack!

Our very own Charlette. I found her in our garage.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Yates Cidar Mill

The Cidar Press

The Petting Zoo

Drinking our fresh apple cidar and eating cinnamon sugar donuts.

We had so much fun at the Yates Cidar Mill. Denton and Julia got to ride ponnies. We watched them make fudge and then enjoyed some. We ate donuts and drank apple cidar on a covered picnic table while it rained down. We also went on a nature walk and fed the goats in the petting zoo.