Can you believe all this RAIN?!

Last night I was awakened by pitter patter sound of rain...
well, that and the pitter patter sound of feet wandering around through the house.
(we have some sleep-walking issues.)
But last night it was raindrops.
I laid there awake and quietly listening...
I wasn't going to say it...I wasn't....
And then Dean said "go ahead and say it..."
So I exclaimed. "Can you believe all this rain?!"
I have been saying that phrase at least once a day for the past month.
My family makes fun of me.
But I can't help it.
As I type this post it is raining...and thundering outside.
Don't believe me? well, hold on a minute...
I'll prove it...

(Thanks Kal and Quin, you can go back to destroying the house now)

it rained yesterday,
it rained Sunday,
it has rained almost every day this month.
"Thanks Captain Obvious" you say; 
But for some reason I have been fixated on the weather.

These next series of pictures were taken as the storms rolled through,
 all taken on separate days.
It rained on the Easter Egg Hunt.
                               It rained at Lagoon Day, (poor babies)
It rained on little miss Sunshine herself at her first grade field trip.
And don't even get me started on how many of Wade's games have been cancelled. 
                        I am not complaining...just observing.

River and Skip were halfway to Grandma Roberts when the lightening started and River turned on her heels and ran for home. (hurry missy!)
When the kids miss the bus...which, who are we kidding - it's a daily occurrence lately.
(that extra fourteen minutes of sleep is so worth it)
Anyway, on our way to school we always check out the ever rising Spanish Fork River.

Yikes, huh!              And just look at all that snow pack still!

As we all know,...what is up...must come down. 

Last Sunday, Dean and I took the kids up the canyon for a "Mr. Rogers teaching moment."
River wanted to see where the river started.

When we pulled up I was like..."Ok, kids go and play...mama needs her nap"
And then I peeked up from my reclined seat and saw the torrential river lapping up over the bank and I yelled for everyone to circle back and demanded that everyone under sixteen had to hold my hand.
The water was so high and swift, it was terrifying.

The kids just love to see my reaction as they pretend to jump in etc.
Either that, or they just like the shrill sound of my voice
 when I threaten them with their lives.  
My kids like to mock warnings, rules, and authority.
I wonder where they get that from?

 Right about here is when the kids yelled "Mom, there's a snake by your foot!"
As I jumped up and came down wrong on my ankle, I contemplated throwing them in the river myself.

Dean insisted that he needed to climb this very old, fallen tree over hanging a mean, fast moving river just to see if it was safe.

Monkey's see...Monkey's do.

Oh boy, here we go again.
Lauren always tries to get the best of Dean.
This time, she was trying to get him wet or at least muddy.

She tried, bless her heart.
But it was just a matter of time before Lauren got wet.(just a little)
She'll never learn.

This is the river one year ago on the hot 24th of July.
Now here is the same spot just last Sunday.
As you can see, the beach is completely under water now.
Darn, I was hoping to recover my sunglasses
that I left right under Lauren's left foot last Summer.
This is me walking away from Brett and Lauren, who were on the other side of the bridge engaged in "fake" pushing each other in the water,
and "fake" throwing each other's iPods in the water,
and "fake" making threats of bodily harm if they did such.
It wasn't "fake"annoying at all.
See these three kids in this picture with me? They are my favorite children,
I'm just going to go ahead and throw that out there.

We cautiously played around by the river a bit
 and hey look! they even put up signs for my kids!
How did they know my kids were playing?
And just as we got back to the car, of course, it started to rain again.
So we did what we usually do...lock Brett out of the car and drive away.

wait... hold the phone.
as I type this post,
I think I hear what sounds like birds chirping outside, and I think I see blue skies.
Stay right there, let me check...I'll be right back.

Shiver Me Timbers! Blue skies and sunshine!

I am a miracle worker! 
Wow, all I have to do is just blog about a problem and ...ta dah, problem goes away!

I guess my next blog will be titled "Can you believe all this Laundry?"


Destination:Moab (continued...)

I wonder if after reading part one of our "Spring Break, Moab trip" you thought to yourself... "seriously?...this girl has lived in Utah all her life and is just now discovering Moab??"

Well, yes...I am.
My parents were right, I don't catch on too quickly.
However, being in Moab...with all my crew, I couldn't think of a better place to be.

We left the hotel early (noonish) and set out for Double O Arch.
Wade was dismayed to find out his DS didn't have wi-fi in the middle of a desert. 

River is proudly pointing to her knee, the first casualty of the day.
Who dresses their children in shirts to go hiking?

Even as we walked down the trail, we couldn't help but draw some strange looks from the other tourists. Some people thought we were a school group.
As this couple approached us, the man said "oh, I love a parade!"

I finally insisted that Wade holster his electronic device until we got back to the car and I tried to show ornery baby Canyon that hiking and sand can be loads of fun.

He was loving every minute of it.
At  least the girls were momentarily amused.
For one tiny second no one was reaching into my pockets for fruit snacks or gum...
asking me to carry them, or arguing over who gets the goggles when they get back to the pool.
I can't figure it out...
somehow fine, cool sand
always possesses some sort of mystical Valium-like qualities over my kids.

Lauren was still trying to prove to Wade that she, at one point...indeed had wi-fi on her iPod.

Dean and Brett went on a Walk-About...cause that's what men do.
And then, because I am truly the nerdy mom that I am...
I pulled out the leftover Christmas candy. 

Confession: we didn't make it to Double O Arch. We turned back after the Pine Tree Arch.
The look of dread we were getting from people on their way down the trail and the buzzards circling overhead wasn't too encouraging.

We tried to create a little fake excitement,
in order to ease our conscious about wimping out on the hike.

 "Oh no Wade!

Brett is falling to his death...

save him!"

But honestly, the kids were never as excited as they were at the sight of a little three inch lizard.
So we left with our heads hanging down...but quickly redeemed the whole day by finding my favorite spot in the whole world (yes, i live a sheltered life.)
A few years ago...on our first trip to Moab, we happened upon a majestic arch...but I had no idea what it was called or how we found it. And then coincidentally again years later we stopped along the road to eat lunch and stopped at the very spot we discovered all those years ago.

I think the Arch is called Skyline Arch...but of course, is now re-named Roberts Arch.

The boys marking their territory...again.

This arrow points to the place where within the hour my precious children would hiking up to and wandering around on. Hard to imagine such carelessness huh.

Before the kids got any crazy ideas, I told them that the Arch was impossible to climb up on. Brett smirked and promised me that he would find a way to climb it. I wish he had that kind of steely determination when it comes to making his bed in the morning.

The enormous boulders and passageways served as hide and seek for the kids and I was surprised that no one was at the Arch. We we had the whole place to ourselves.
(except for the buzzards overhead.)

I suggested that Dean wear his BYU shirt and hat so people knew where we were from,
 in case our large, loud family would be mistaken for some wealthy and famous European tourist group. 
I'm sure people couldn't tell we were from Utah County.

As a teenager, Lauren isn't nearly as spry and energetic as she was when she was little and we hiked the same place seven years ago.
Here is Lauren seven years ago...still wide-eyed, still a baby, still afraid of boys.
We hiked down the trail a bit and then Dean boosted the kids up on this rock bowl and let them run around. The kids called for Dean and I to join them...
They claimed to have discovered a new Oasis, the Fountain of Youth, The Garden of Eden.

And it was...

So I left the babies alone on the ground for the coyotes to mother.

Wade was in his zone. He found his zen. Actually...he was truly stuck and had to be pried out.

But they just couldn't leave well enough alone.
Dean boosted the three older kids up a dangerous crevice.
And then pulled himself up as well and they all disappeared for what seemed like an hour. 
And just when I started to contemplate my life as a widow...
I heard their voices echoing across the canyon leading me to their location.
                                                  I could hear them, but I couldn't see them.
 I backed up around a small mountain, and sure enough...there they were! 
                             Brett was so proud that he proved me wrong.
                                                    He shouted from the edge of the cliff...
                                                  What a humble little gentleman I am raising.
Brett still full of himself...pointed out the Superman carving in the rock.
(he didn't carve it by the way)
I indulged him.  "Yes, Brett...you are Superman."

Dean found the very slot that we took a pictures in several years ago...
back when we just had four mild-mannered little kids. 

Now Dean and I are out-numbered, and the kids are older, wiser and meaner.

So when we suggested one more cool spot to hike,
the meaner, tougher ones vetoed our plan and sent us back to the hotel to swim.
Dean was scared and tried in desperation to grab my foot to rescue him.
The kids were like wild, caged monkeys.
So while the kids swam, I packed...and then while I got ready...the kids loaded the car...
And then while the kids played ball...I unloaded and re-loaded the car.
See that blue Rubbermaid tote and all those suitcases?
All of them plum full of dirty, stinky, sandy clothes... not even kidding you my friend.
After we checked out, we found ourselves
wandering around the cute local shops along Main.
We mostly just window shopped, cause every shop owner has nightmares of our crazy seven rummaging around their store looking for souvenirs.

One cute gray-haired store owner took a liking to the kids, specifically Brett (she practically proposed) and told us of a cool little-known park in the middle of town.

It was very cool, I am a sucker for unique parks. I told Brett if he decided to marry Beth, the store owner...we could have his reception at the park.

One last stop before we left town was to see some more petroglyphs on Scenic Byway 279.

                              The scenery was unmatched.
The kids crawled up cliffs and ran down rock ledges.

Sometimes I worry that I am too permissive...
                                                      I guess I could be a little more protective and concerned. 
I mean...I let my daughter (who notoriously injures herself by running into things) carry my baby down to the water's edge while Dean and I watch from the road 20 feet away...
                   meh,what could go wrong?

                               I was having a hard time leaving beautiful Moab.
                            I hated the thoughts of  returning to reality.
However, as I watched the baby cover the last clean item of clothing with red dirt...
I took it as my sign to leave.

And as we drove out of town... almost like a wave goodbye...
one of the kids pointed out a cloud off in the distance shaped like an Arch.
See, Moab is so cool that even the clouds are works of art.

During the drive home, Dean and I made sure to guilt trip the kids on how they better appreciate us...and how they should count their blessings that they had such a fun Spring Break.

Meanwhile I found out that my friend Ali took her kids to Germany and Paris on their Spring Break...

 I know!...Right?

shhh...please don't tell our kids.
We don't want to ruin the good thing we got going.


(a two minute video of the girl who needs to be everything)       So far my hobby has been micro-managing my kids and as rewardi...