During our 5th Sunday meeting, the bishop lectured us about not regarding conference Sundays as free days when we get to do fun stuff because there's no church. So for our 3-day holiday weekend, we decided to go camping in the mountains, thus skipping a regular Sunday of church.
Because we'd been apart all summer, this was our first chance to have a complete family vacation. We loaded up our kids and gear, and drove up into the mountains.
The Unitas are high, forested mountains dotted with glacial lakes. We parked at the trailhead just past Trial Lake and hiked our gear in about a mile to Cliff Lake where we set up our base camp. It was a fairly steep climb. We hadn't yet gotten Claire's pack adjusted correctly, so her center of gravity was way too high, and Clint had to spot her so she would fall over backwards.
As we finished pitching our tents it started raining After that, the weather was beautiful. The kids enjoyed scrambling on the rocks and climbing up the cliffs. Isaac puddle-stomped like crazy, soaking though all of his pants at least twice. We had close encounters with free-ranging black cattle and bold little chipmunks. Jacob and Claire learned how to use the little orange shovel. (Does a Claire crap in the woods?)
We even built a fire one night. Clint taught Jacob and Claire about the constellations. Jacob told the creation story from Norse mythology, and not to be outdone, Claire started in on Greek mythology and the titans. All I had was "It was a cold, cold night, in December. And Brigham Young and Brigham Old sat sitting 'round the campfire..."
It was a great trip. We learned several things:
1. Everyone needs good shoes, preferably waterproof, and wool socks. (I was the only one with happy feet on that cold, wet morning after the previous day's rain.)
2. Isaac needs his own sleeping bag.
3. We need to take the kids on more practice hikes with all of their gear strapped to their backs.
4. Toothbrushes. But the hairbrush was not even missed.
5. Better clothes would be nice too--comfortable, quick-drying pants for all and good parkas for the kids.
We've needed a little nightstand for the kids' bedroom to go in between their beds. Today I found an old school desk at D.I. that I thought would just fit. I brought it home, cleaned it up, took it apart, painted it and put it back together, all before the kids got home from school. It fits perfectly!
I used spray paint that had been just sitting in the basement for the metal base and legs. I was careful to tape over the cool chrome plates at the base of the legs. I painted the desk part yellow for the base coat, then the gold on top. The gold matches the wood front edge of the desktop. The wood top I sanded and painted with the latex chalkboard paint. In a week or so, they can start coloring on it with chalk if they want. Because I already had the paint, the total expenditure for this afternoon project is $8. Good times.