Monday, July 30, 2012

Scout Camp - by Spencer

I had my first scout camp at Chawanakee a couple weeks ago. On the way there we almost hit a cow on a sharp turn, so that was the beginning of our adventure.  

We stopped at In-n-Out for dinner. They messed up my order, so I basically had 2 buns, a patty, and a whole bunch of ketchup. But at least the milkshakes were killer.

We had a lot of time on our hands. 

Our campsite overlooked Shaver Lake.  I thought this place looked good in the winter, but Shaver in the summertime is breathtaking.

Funniest thing of the week - watching this 18 wheeler get to Chawanakee on a 1-lane dirt road, doing 90 degree turns on the side of a cliff. Scariest thing: watching the septic truck doing the same thing, except I'm at the bottom of the hill, going to rifle-shooting!

This pump is how we got our water all week. It was pretty gross.

We washed our own laundry. The "Chawana-dust" was pretty intense.

The tents were more like rain cover than insulation, and more lean-to than tent.

My head could touch the ceiling.

The beach was awesome. There were ginormous 30' boulders everywhere that we loved to climb and jump off of. 

Some of the boulders were half-submerged, and others completely. Here's Alec, "walking on water."

 Amazing view!

This is what it looked like when I woke up at 6:00 every morning. 

My favorite tree of all time, Jeffrey Pine. Its sap is the main ingredient in high explosives. If one drop of sap is put in a fire, it will singe a 20' radius. I've got a hunch they're the main cause of forest fires.

The great schedule. It showed the time, a map, a list of all the classes, and it told everyone what their class order was.  

A really cool scout-made bridge over a deer-rich meadow.

Guess what some wise guy found in the woods! 

I'm pretty sure it was harmless.

I borrowed my mom's old camera and earned my photography merit badge. Here's a lupine, one of my favorite flowers.

 I loved going out with friends, exploring miles away from camp. The schedule was really free.

All the fences were made by scouts from 1940's - 1960. 

Here's the chapel, where we had church on Sunday. One of the most amazing church experiences ever.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Action shots

One cool thing about our Gopro camera is that we can turn any of the frames into pictures. I went through the videos and chose my favorites. The quality isn't as good as a nice camera, of course, but it sure is fun to see our expressions while we're speeding along on the tube or the great view from the wake board. It makes me feel like I'm part of the action. 

My boys later told me that my smile on the tube was the biggest smile they've ever seen on me!

This is right before they fell off the tube.

Trying to hold on...

Grasping at air.... 


Here's Spencer getting up on the wake board.

Thumbs up means Go Faster!

Dave getting up for the first time.

Waving to us on the beach.

They had their own little cheering section. I could hear lots of yelling from the boat whenever someone got up!

Tyler tried to ski, but it didn't work out. He did get up on the wake board a couple of times, but just briefly. Megan was a huge help.

Pure joy!

It never gets old. Faster!

Tyler's expressions are priceless.

Spencer wake boarding on the last day. It was hard to leave!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lake Trip

We went to Shasta Lake a couple weeks ago, and it was SO much fun. Our friends Mike and Cyndee have a boat and go there every year. The other family they usually go with couldn't go this year, so they invited us. Now I know why they always go to THIS lake. It was gorgeous!

We rented a 2 bedroom house, and the kids all slept on cots in the living room. We got there Saturday, and on Sunday we went to church and had a relaxing day at the house. The kids put on a chinigans show - if you look closely you will see "eyes" on their chins.

We also played a grueling game of Headbanz. 

The house was surrounded by lots of trees and had a nice big shady patio. It felt very private and woodsy.

The boat had an open bow, and the kids liked riding up there.

Levi was a little nervous about going on the boat. But Tyler told him that it was a pirate ship and we were all pirates, and he was totally fine after that. 

I forgot to take my camera on Monday (grrrr!), so all of these pictures were taken on Tuesday. We didn't all fit on the boat with all the gear, so we went in 2 groups and set up camp for the day on a beach. Then Mike or Cyndee and I would stay there with the little kids while the big kids went out on the boat.

Here's Sean on water skis. He's a year older than Spencer and very tall. I didn't get any pictures of Megan wake boarding, but she was really good at it.

Spencer is a total natural on the wake board. They took him out to Lake Nacimiento last summer, and he got up on his first try! 

That thing on his head is Dave's new Go Pro video camera, which I gave him for father's day/his birthday. Each night we'd watch all the awesome footage from the day. We especially liked watching the crashes. 

They always drove past the beach where we were sitting so we could see them. Another thing I loved about this lake was that it was so big and wide, and it felt pretty empty. And look at all those trees! It reminded me of an Eastern lake.

Spencer made it look so easy that Dave was frustrated he couldn't get up on the wake board the first day. But after watching the videos of his failed attempts that night, they were able to point out what he was doing wrong. It worked, and he was able to get up the second day. Yay!  

Go Dave!

After they all had several chances to ski or wake board (their rule is that everyone has to try those before they can go on the tube), they came back to the beach for lunch. 

Next we went tubing! We went kind of slow for Brennan, but the other boys liked to go FAST and CRAZY! They kept asking for donuts. 

I was just planning on sitting on the boat and taking pictures the whole time, but Cyndee held Chloe for me so I could go on the tube with Dave. It was my first time, and I loved it!

In the afternoon we docked the boat and got ice cream and popsicles at a store on the lake.

What a view!

We had so much fun with these kids!Megan was so good with our little kids, and we asked her to give them swimming lessons. She's teaching Tyler, Dallin and Brennan for the next 2 weeks. 

Tyler sure enjoyed his ice cream!

And Dallin loves to pose for pictures!

This picture cracks me up! I was so relieved Chloe didn't get sunburned. She's not old enough to wear sunscreen yet, so I was vigilant about keeping her in the shade at all times. Actually no one got too sunburned, yay!

Mike and Cyndee - what a cute picture! Aren't they so nice (and brave?) to invite a family of 5 boys and a baby along on their vacation?? We all had so much fun.

Why do I keep buying white water shirts for Brennan? They don't stay white for long.

Dave, totally relaxed and happy. What an awesome birthday!

We really didn't know how long we'd be able to stay out on the boat with Levi and Chloe. But we stayed out ALL day, and they just took their naps on the boat.

We stopped at a quiet cove and went swimming.

I love jumping pictures!

Brennan's expressions are so great. Love this one!

Levi especially liked pulling in the tube rope.

Shasta is also the name of their dog. She's so good with kids and really easy to have around.

The water was so clear, warm and beautiful.

Heading back at the end of the day. Time had no meaning when we were out on the lake, and we had no idea it was getting so late.  
One last crazy ride on the tube. They went wake boarding Wednesday morning while I stayed at the house and packed up. Then we left after lunch and got home in time to watch fireworks from our bedroom window. We wished we could have stayed longer, but Dave had to get back to work. What a blast!