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Preview: Sleight-ly Out of the Ordinary

Sleight-ly Out of the Ordinary

Updated: 2018-01-15T09:37:50.547-07:00




Tuesday, after we did the big Costco run, we went down to Mount Pleasant. Thursday we went up to Provo to have Thanksgiving with the greater Knell clan. Mark and Julie had connections to get us this really neat place, the Startup Building, that was big enough for all of us, and was super classy. Most of my family members were resistant to wanting to join the big clan as we were at about 90, including the kids. I was super happy to see the extended family. It was fun for the kids to play with other extended cousins as well. Pro and con would be that we didn't have to prepare a ton of food, but then we also didn't get the leftovers.Cousin Liz captured this beautiful picture.The table settings were just beautiful.Uncle AbeAunt Julie, who organized it all.One of the kids table.Aunt Claudia and her boyfriend Joe.Levi was having fun using his new fancy iphone to take some good pictures, especially some portrait ones.This is a classic Dad face. I think he gives it a lot to the kids.Warren with Claude and Henry, both his age.We stand around chatting to the very end. We hate to leave each other.These boys found it fun to "sweep" the floor.The rest of the time in Mount Pleasant was chill. The kids absolutely loved their time at Grandma's with the cousins, and there was hardly any squabbling. They were the most sad when their cousins went to their other side of the family on Friday. My dad and I then took them to see the new movie, Coco in Ephraim.Audrey being sneaky in trying to get more cream, while eyeing to see if Marci would stop her. Flashback to Mom wearing this shirt four years ago and having this same soda explode on her, not this time though.Pumpkin pie is the one leftover we did have. Audrey eating pie with Grandma.It was so beautiful out, the kids were outside a lot. Audrey requested Eva to paint her fingernails.[...]

Las Vegas


Over Labor Day we had a conversation with Danny and Camille about their trip to Las Vegas earlier in the year. On our drive home from that trip we somehow ended up talking about the possibility of going with them sometime. In figuring out holiday plans, we thought about spending Thanksgiving with Danny and Camille. But we also thought it would be fun to do Vegas with them. And we wanted to be kid less. So we compromised and did out trip before the holiday, for Grant's birthday. This way we could also drop our kids off with family in Utah.We drove out the Friday before in order to attend a concert Camille was a part of in Salt Lake City. We dropped our kids in Mount Pleasant first, met Danny for dinner in SLC, went to the concert and slept at Hannah's house that night.The next morning we drove down to UVU to see the stain glass, Roots of Knowledge. Then we parked our van at Walmart in Spanish Fork, got in one car and drove to Vegas. We had purchased a book the day before that I had the idea of reading out loud together in the car. It is called the Lincoln Hypothesis and was quite interesting. It was actually to read together. Grant and I were both very excited to be riding in the back of a car for a road trip.Saturday night we walked around on the strip. I wanted to go to "O" at the Belagio, but when we realized that there weren't really discounted tickets we didn't deem it worth the $240 to go. So we kept walking along the strip. We got dinner at a Bobby Flay burger place. Grant, Danny and Camille rode the roller coaster at the New York New York. We shared a coca cola around the world sampler. Then we went to a cheaper Cirque show, Mystere at Treasure Island. It is incredible the abilities people have. Sunday morning we found a ward to attend, which at had a really beautiful and unique chapel. After we drove about an hour to the Hoover Dam. What an incredible feat of engineering. We loved learning about, touring inside and walking on the dam.That night we ate delicious arepas at a Venezuelan place. We stopped into the Gold and Silver Pawn shop from the History Channel. Then we walked along Fulton street in old town Vegas. It has quite this audio visual arch over the pedestrian street with an amazing zip line along it. That night we loved relaxing in the hot tub of beautiful courtyard of the Venetian. Monday we went through Madame Tussaud's, a wax museum of famous people. Then Grant and I took a long nap in our room. I tried to do a little homework. That night we went to the Bacchanal buffet at Caesar's Palace. It was huge and pretty delicious. I tried, and felt quite successful, at eating my money's worth, as it was not cheap. We ended the night in the hot tub again.This is our hallway to our room.The Venetian moat and gondolas in the hotel.Ribbon art in the mall. The hotel malls/shopping are outrageously huge. Well, everything is in Vegas. Completely opulent and unnecessary.In the courtyard, hot tub, which felt surprisingly secluded, and away from the strip.Three sisters in Caesar's Palace lobby that reminded me of my sisters.[...]



We've had a great fall. Our life has changed a lot, mostly due to mom's schedule. Since being called as Relief Society president end of July and going back to school in September, we've done things differently. Tuesday nights are my relief society night for meetings or visits. This didn't change much since Tuesdays I had mutual when I was in the YW presidency. I occasionally add visits in other times during the week as well, and then other meetings on Sundays. Thursday nights are my pathway class from 7-9 at the Golden Stake Center (our old ward building). The first few weeks of the semester we found the routine of Grant driving Uber/Lyft on Friday nights while I got to do the bulk of my homework. It helped me really stay on top of things at the beginning. Then October came and was just as busy as last year.End of September I found myself trying to squeeze in a Rockies game at the end of the season. I really wanted to take the boys to a game since they actually played baseball this year. I procrastinated it all summer. I wanted to take them to the fireworks, last game, but tickets were expensive. I convinced my friend Sheree to take our kids together and get rock pile (cheap seats) for the "Mormon night at the Rockies". It was a school night, but we were glad to go.These two girls kept each other entertained the whole time. Audrey was clearly growing out of her sweater.October 10th was my friend and visiting teachee, Andrea's, birthday so I threw her a brunch.I took the kids to a lower key pumpkin patch this year. We were in the area for doctors appointments, so even though it was a weekday afternoon at the very beginning of the season, we still got pumpkins. There just wasn't a whole lot of other festivities.We love our neighborhood and how much the kids play.The start of our holiday past kid craft display (there are cute ones for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, almost all from their time with Miss Patti)Our front porch was fun and festive this fall. I didn't get a full picture, but we got lots of pumpkins from the patch, corn stalks and our bats.Leaf pile with friends Adam and Ella.I went on a field trip with Warren downtown. He swiped my phone and took some candids of me.One day I drove up to our house and thought our front looked so beautiful. There was a brief snow the day before, it had melted and there was a new blanket of freshly fallen leaves.Gorgeous bird at the zoo. We went to the zoo free day in November. I knew I could possibly regret it. I generally avoid free days due to crowds. However, in the past if I get to the zoo early on a winter day, I have had good experiences with the zoo free days (as opposed to the museums). I thought we would take advantage of the boys having an early release day and take all the kids, and we invited Warren's friend Rendon to come along. Well it happened to be perfect weather, which just means the crowds were huge. I opted to skip Audrey's nap for it, which was another strike. The parking lot was insane, but we made it in. We met up with Lisa and her kids. She made the trip much more bearable. By the end I got a good end of trip workout by pulling Luke, Calvin and Audrey all in the wagon. I don't regret it, I think they had fun, but I think I got our zoo fill for quite some time.We love taking our pumpkins after to our school Pumpkin splat. We get to see the fire truck raise the ladder to it's highest and splat one from each class.Chilling with Ruby and Ollie.[...]

Opus #3


Yes, Meesa made a giant balloon arch to go over her piano for the party.Definitely still a hostess, you can tell I had taken my shoes off working hard, and didn't strap them back for the picture.This year we moved our annual Opus to a new venue. Friends in our ward bought a new, huge house this year, along with a big seven foot grand piano. We thought it would be a great way to amp up the party. It felt very concert like so Grant and I dressed up for the occasion. Grant dug out his tux, first time in years. So I wore the fanciest dress I have that I wore probably the last time Grant wore his tux, when I was pregnant with Warren! We extended the invitation to more people, but there seemed to have been a number of conflicts for people that night. Plus some of the new invitees don't know how awesome it is just yet. This was mostly reflected in the length of the program, not quality. We only had about 8 performances, so Grant threw in two he has worked on this year. We co hosted with our friends Trevor and Meesa. I did the invitations and food and Grant worked on the program. We had a surprising last minute entry of two deacons in our ward. They were practicing at her house earlier that day for a number they were playing in church. They asked if they could play at Opus. They were so good!I loved watching Carrie (his "teacher") as he played. She sat there to turn his pages.Lisa did so well. She had a really hard day, learning her brother had passed away that morning. She spent the day at my house to not be alone, and helped me make the delicious desserts.I made these lovlies, and did not even eat them as I was sticking to my goals. Mini cheesecakes with strawberries and chocolate cups with chocolate mousse and raspberries.[...]

Harry Potter


Outing #3, Halloween night trick or treating.I love doing our themes, but this year Warren really questioned it. "Do we always have to do a theme?" Sigh. I knew the day would come. I will still try and make it happen next year, and as long as I can. Oddly enough, it's always based around what he chooses for himself anyway. Poor Calvin this year. He didn't really want to be Dumbledore, but I really wanted him to be. It even went with his birthday party theme. But for his birthday, though his costume was not complete yet, he refused to wear his beard. He was grumpy. Then he saw me really working on his costume the next week and got more excited. He more willingly put it on. Then our first outing the week before Halloween to test the costumes was to the high school trick or treat street. Calvin was a huge hit! It completely boosted his ego and he thought that he was bees knees. Because really, he was. I'm glad it became a positive for him and that all those high school students were excited about him.Outing #1, AWest trick or treatOuting #2, first for Mcgonagall and Hagrid, ward trunk or treatCarving for FHE the night before.The combined loot, sorted. Too much really.Hagrid and his studentsRon, Hermione and HarryThe professors, Hagrid, Dumbledore and Mcgonagall[...]

Double Double Toil and Trouble


Our little wizard turned five. He had a simple birthday the day of. This year was his first friend and themed birthday party. It was a big success.[...]

Knell Women


My schedule seemed very packed this fall. Hannah would ask me when we could do our sisters weekend in Utah while Marci lived there. I just didn't have a weekend. Then my Aunt Julie sent out an email at the beginning of October saying they were getting a few hotel rooms at the Marriott in Park City for the Knell adult women (Aunts, cousins) to gather for one night. An ideal night for me. I knew I didn't want to miss this, even if I just flew in for the night and back again. I would have stayed the whole weekend, but Saturday afternoon was our ward trunk or treat, and I didn't want to miss it. I had missed it last year for our sisters weekend, and I was not going to do that again.

So I flew out Friday afternoon for a 24 hour trip. Hannah picked me up from the airport, we picked up Rose, and then headed to Park City. We checked into the hotel with my aunts and cousins. I sat in a chair in one of the living rooms and I am pretty sure I literally did not move from that chair for the next 8 hours. Yep. I was surrounded by my kin and you could tell. We chatted in that room until 4 in the morning. It took us that long just to get around the room and everyone give an update that led to things we've learned and how everyone is doing. I loved every minute. The next morning we went to a restaurant for breakfast and my sisters took me to the airport. Totally worth it.



For our fall break (1 day) I decided to take the kids down to Albuquerque to visit friends and go to the International Balloon Fiesta. I pulled them out of school at lunch on Thursday because I needed to make it down there by 7 so that I could attend a Pathway gathering down there. They are really picky about our attendance and strongly encourage to attend other gatherings when out of town, if possible. I made it just in time. Julianne met me at the church at took the kids to her house. It was first rate service. When I got back we put the kids to bed and then chatted for a few more hours.The next morning we got up at 5 am, woke the boys and loaded them into the car. We had decided to take just our boys and leave the girls at home with Matthew, so we didn't have them whining so early in the morning. We got to the festival as it was still dark. We saw a few of the balloons as they lit up in the dark. Around 7 is when they started to take off. We loved it! Friday was the irregular shaped ones. I didn't even know it was possible to have such strange shapes as air balloons. It was so fun to see them blow up and wait to see what shape or character they would be. It was about an hour of balloons filling and taking off.That afternoon the kids just played and played. Warren and Hyrum the same age, Luke and Abraham the same age, and Mercy was just between Audrey and Calvin. Everyone got along so well. That evening we took them to a pretty cool park.On Saturday we went to the Explora museum. Our Denver museum pass got us in for free. It was hours of entertainment and they didn't even touch it all. So much fun!On the way to church on Sunday we saw about three balloons in the air. Audrey loved them. It made me feel a little bad I hadn't taken her. So now I am determined we will go back and Audrey will get to experience it all. We left after Sacrament meeting. On the drive home Warren would ask Luke who is best friends were. His list was still Ella at the top, but Abraham was now second. They would ask and can't wait until we see them again.Besides feeling a migraine and extreme fatigue on Friday night, and not having Grant with us, the trip was a great success and we will definitely do it again.[...]



Earlier this year I was contacted by Grant's aunt, Debbie Sleight, to see if I would be interested in volunteering to help at Time Out  For Women in Colorado. I had never been, so I figured for a free ticket I would do it. That was months before I realized my life would be as busy as it is right now. As it neared, I had opted to not be annoying on Facebook with all the promoting they wanted me to do, in fact I wasn't even really on Facebook at all. With how annoying they were being in communication, I wanted to drop out all together. It just didn't seem to fit in my priorities right now. I had even recruited a couple of friends, and we all felt the same. In the end, Lisa and I stuck with it and committed to still attend that weekend. It turned out to be a lovely weekend with Lisa. There were a few good things about the conference overall, but it didn't seem to fill my cup. Perhaps because of my attitude, but it just seemed a little too over the top and commercial for how I prefer to receive spiritual upliftment. I would say that perhaps I would volunteer again for the amount of work we actually did over the weekend, but I don't know if I would ever pay for it.

Labor Day Weekend


We managed a pretty decent family picture by Raylynn's apartment, just before church.We were glad to find a weekend to make our way up to Miles City. Danny and Camille were headed that way, so we decided to come too and make a mini reunion out of it. We left Thursday evening and made our way to Gillette. The next morning we stopped at Devils Tower before heading to Montana. Devils Tower was our country's first national monument. I didn't know anything about it before we got there. So much, that I didn't even pack proper hiking things-shoes or carrier. It was an easy enough hike that we managed. Audrey walked the first part well and then I piggy backed her the rest. What a neat piece of nature! The family photo doesn't include the tower behind us because apparently the stranger I asked to take it didn't find that part important.Kids had their own room and tv in the hotel. They thought it was so cool. So did we. We also loved breakfast, then swimming, then second breakfast before we hit the road.We enjoyed the rest of our weekend with family. We played games, yard sales, movies, backyard swimming, musicale FHE, yummy desserts, rock painting and finding, museum and more![...]



We really love Colorado. History Colorado Museum has a free day for the state's birthday. This was our second annual time attending. The kids love the museum and the extra stuff they have for the celebration, including cake, CO crafts, gold mining and performers.We also love the outdoors in Colorado. Though we don't take advantage as much as we could, we love the times we do. Our annual friend camping trip at Golden Gate was a hit. We had 10 families adding up to about 50 people this year. We do our own meals at our own fires, hike together on Friday morning and do our campfire talent show on Friday night. We hardly see the kids as they are off adventuring with all their friends in the mountains. Just before the Friday night events, Luke as springing/playing around with the campsite marker with his friends. It sling shot back and hit him right between the eyes. It was a rectangular little cut and pretty deep. It bled pretty well too. In the moment we decided to have Grant take him down to the urgent care just in case. They put some medical glue on it instead of stitches because it was a clean cut.It took a long time to get Audrey to nap that day, though she really needed it. Once I finally got her to sleep, I didn't dare move away from her. She stayed asleep in funny positions, but slept well.The Saturday after school started we went fishing in a mountain stream. Earlier in the year we paid for a fishing outing with a member in our ward, Chuck Milligan, through the YW service auction. He guided us up to his favorite spot near Keystone. The kids had a blast. Chuck made them feel like they actually caught the fish, as he handed the reel over when he got one. I think our total was about 8 fish.Helping Warren fish.Helping Luke fish.I spy Grant through the trees.I spy two tree river climbers.Helping Calvin fish.[...]

Bear Lake


 Bear Lake, Richard and Rebecca Stum reunion was a lot of fun this year. We rented out a big house for us all to stay in. It was super nice. We arrived Wednesday and took it easy. Thursday and Friday were spent at the beach. In the evenings we had family history presentations, musical numbers, play by the kids and Dad's entrepreneurial history. We also enjoyed our beautiful views from the balcony.Watching Napoleon Dynamite on day one. Plenty of seating in the fun tv loft.Kids playing four square in the drive way.Audrey loving on her Uncle Alex, even as he sleeps.Candid profile Levi caught of Rose and I as we listen with the same expression.Fishing at the local pond down the street. Here is the only one caught.Catching another candid of me, this time during my cat nap on the beach. Apparently I fell asleep holding my water bottle.Grandma painting water colors of the lake, with Audrey watching.My dad brought his two paddle boards. Here is Grant out on one. We learned the hard way that the Idaho patrol were pretty strict on the rules, as Levi was ticketed for being out on the paddle board without a life preserver and a whistle. Warren loved going out on the board, and was very successful even on his own. Beach napping.Piling sand on Grandpa's head.Matching moo moos we bought at the thrift store the month before.There was so much worry with how high the water levels were this year. Unwarranted. There was plenty of beach and a ton of shallow to play in. Apart from Levi's ticket, which kept him out of the water, perhaps sub consciously, we had no major mishaps, drowning or accidents. And sun burns weren't bad either.Tyler successfully smoked very delicious pulled pork on the beach all day, for our dinner. We brought a bug with us to the lake. Calvin was sick the day we left, Tuesday evening. Audrey threw up Thursday, but was fine after. Luke woke up Friday night and didn't fully recover until Sunday. We found asleep on the bathroom floor as we went around cleaning up to leave.Levi got her to be goofy. We stopped for burger, fries and shakes on our way out of town. Danny and Camille even came up from Logan to have lunch with us too.[...]

Midsummer's night's dream?


The middle of our summer was swim lessons, Grandma's visit and cousin takeover sleepover. Once we brought my mom back with us we managed to keep her here for three weeks. The first two weeks we had daily swim lessons that seemed to usurp a lot of time. We also had Hannah and Tyler and kids in town. We managed to steal a couple days out their week here with Stoehrs. They all came and watched Luke's last baseball game, just the adult ladies went to watch Calvin's, and that night we had a group date to see Wonder Woman.Grandma also got time with the kids one night while Grant and I had date night to the temple, a whole day while I was at girls camp for the day, and a morning while the sisters went thrift store shopping.Audrey loved her Grandma time. She spent a lot of time climbing and playing with Grandma in this very spot. She would wake up in the morning and immediately ask where Grandma was.We managed a family bike ride before all the Stum kids came. We hit up a couple of open houses to share with my friend Sarah looking in our area.Sunday holiday wear.The third week we had the Stum kids join us. We managed a really good time. We crafted flag tees for the holiday as part of FHE the night before. The morning of the 4th we went to our stake breakfast. Grandma was an asset in taking Eva to urgent care that morning due to a urinary tract infection. We all hung out at the church as the last ones there hitting softballs with Steve Stoehr. We even managed to have Anna and Olivia hit some balls for possibly the first time in their lives. I also had a nail painting marathon and did stars and stripes oneveryone.That evening we managed to make a pretty sweet biker gang to ride over to the fields for the fireworks. This is becoming my new favorite tradition. Since we had the extra kids I borrowed a double trail a bike from a friend so I that I could pull both Luke and Owen behind me. Warren, Olivia and Anna rode their own bikes, and Grant pulled Calvin and Audrey in the trailer. Eva stayed back with Grandma due to her need to be near a bathroom, fear of riding the trail a bike and fear of being too close to the fireworks. She was the perfect companion to watch down the street with Grandma. She even got my mom to sit down in the grass, and she made it back up all by herself! Miracle. We rode back with all our headlamps and glow sticks on. So fun!The sunset over the park, lots of people and the lake was so pretty.The next day we managed some park time, but didn't last long as it was hot!My mom took the train home the next day. That day I took all eight kids to our group hike and in the afternoon to the pool. That night they got an outdoor movie in the backyard. Cousin week was a success.[...]

Utah Pit Stop


Utah became our extended pit stop to manage the drive home from Idaho on my own with the kids. We spent the first couple of days just relaxing at Hannah and Tyler's just letting the kids play with cousins. Hannah and I managed to sneak away to the Mormon Tabernacle and organ concert with Rose and Jonny. It was very enjoyable. I took a picture of how they had the two screens up behind the choir. One screen was to show the camera angle on the organist's hands, the other his feet. It was so amazing to watch these performances.Wednesday we made hay while the sun was shining. We took full advantage of our museum pass and hit the two museums at Thanksgiving point. Since we just came to one in March we didn't have to spend as much time there. After the first two museums we got snow cones as a treat bribe so they would be good while we hit a third museum, the Museum of Art at BYU. That one was for me. Though the main exhibit hall was in transition, it was fun to see others and stop in and say hi to my uncle Mark, the curator there.Museum hand stamps.I then took the kids over to visit with my Great Aunt Claudia. They had fun and now think she is the oldest person they know.We then finally made our way down to Mount Pleasant. We chilled there for a day before heading home to Colorado on Friday. We brought my mom home with us.[...]



We trekked out to Grandview, Idaho for the extended Draper reunion. We left around 8 pm Thursday night since we had about three different things going on for various family members that evening. We stayed in Wyoming that night and made it to Grandview Friday evening around 5. That night was a weenie roast at Grandma Draper's and a game of ancestors in group form. (a way of studying up and learning more about the extended ancestors of those before us). There was dirt digging and horse rides too.That evening we were able to catch the fireworks show downtown for Grandview Days. This is a very small town, so the crowd was that of maybe 50 and we were literally front row next to the firemen and those setting them off. It was cute to hear all the many boy cousins oooh and aaah together in the back of the pick up.The boys slept out in the tent with Aunt Raylynn the first two nights, bless her heart.Saturday morning was the Grandview parade, even with the rain. A couple of Grant's uncles and cousins participated by driving tractors or flag bearers. We were glad the sun came out later and the rain didn't affect the rest of our day.We had a wonderful treasure hunt family history learning of the roots in Grandview. Grant's grandparents have lived here since before they were married. His Great Grandfather, D.O Bybee was very influential in the early days of farming and irrigation to make it the town it is today. We drove around in a caravan to a number of sites learning about the people and history. Four main stops were the Shoo fly machine shop Granddad ran; the Shoo fly farm, no longer in the family, but one of the first farms they lived on in the early days; the canal from the damn that D.O. was instrumental in getting to the town; and the final irrigation stop of Moonshine lake, just above Draper farms. Mom and Grandma did an excellent job of putting it all together. Grant and I were both inspired learning this part of family history. The kids had fun with all the boy cousins and played in lots of dirt.After the hunt we went swimming in Uncle Matthew's natural springs pool. We also took our group picture in front of the manger machine at Matthew's. He and Granddad built this machine together and made miles of manger at Simplot feed lots with this machine.That evening we had a nice dinner at the pavilion at the church. The kids horsed around on the lawn and Warren got knocked in the mouth causing his loose tooth to come out. It was eventful. He was so worked up that Uncle Matthew played the tooth fairy early and gave him $5, mostly to get him to stop fussing. He put on a huge smile immediately, so it worked. We then went inside the church and held a family talent show. It was quite entertaining.Sunday was church together and dinner at Robert and Bonnie's. Uncle Golden and family volunteered to drive Grant to the airport in Boise since it is closer to their house in Nampa. I spent the evening with the kids at Grandma's. Other family came over too and we chatted until it got dark. The power went out around 7 and didn't come back on until sometime in the night. The kids had a good coloring session with Grandma by gas lamp light. Grandma also read with the kids and gave them each one her painted rocks the next morning before we hit the road. We had a great visit![...]

Transition into Summer


We started the summer off slowly. I had been looking forward to a lack of a tight schedule and waking up kids after our crazy April and May. The first couple of weeks we leisurely enjoyed a few things. We managed to get out to see the chalk art festival downtown, have people over for Memorial day bbq, go the museum, host the bi annual adult piano recital, and get Warren to his first Scout Twilight camp.The boys watching the sheep lung dissection.Denver from the museum windows.[...]

Camille's Week at Home


Months ago Camille had offered to watch our kids while we had an anniversary trip. I was so glad we managed such a long vacation for our ten year. We flew she and Danny out Friday afternoon. After baseball practices and piano recital, we headed to the airport. The first Saturday was the biggest doozy. Each boy had a sports game, with a double header for Luke. All of which Camille couldn't have managed without Danny. In the middle of all the crazy they got a flat tire on the van. What a way to add to the hectic day. It all got worked out and Danny and Camille survived a very crazy, possibly terrible day. Next they just had to survive church the next morning and the rest of the week wasn't as bad. I had a very specific schedule typed out for Camille of where everyone needed to be each day. While Warren and Luke were in school I had Calvin and Audrey at other friends houses most of the time. Camille got to know my village of people pretty well. I do love my village of amazing friends a lot. She also survived an epic Colorado hail storm. The weather and other events canceled practices that week so that simplified things too. She set up a tent for adventure downstairs, went to Mcdonalds, watched Luke's field day and survived another Saturday of sports. Phew, she made it and everyone was alive and happy when we returned. We are so lucky she sacrificed for us![...]

Day seven: Fly to San Diego


Our flight was that afternoon so took a slow morning, drove to Lihue and got some lunch. We stopped at a random diner hole in the wall. Grant didn't realize as he ordered the same thing as me, quite what he was getting. He thought it was more of a burger. It was the patty with eggs over rice and gravy. It wasn't the most tasty dish ever but to me it felt authentic to what a member on the island would serve you as a missionary. Grant was not a fan.We loved Kauai. It was so beautiful. The rain never negatively interfered with any activity. We didn't notice bugs hardly at all. Apparently I got a few bug bites on the hike that I only noticed afterwards. There were little lizards all over and I took a picture of a couple to show the boys. We also loved the crazy randomness of all the roosters and chickens literally wandering the entire island. It was like the sacred cows in the streets of India, the roosters of Kauai. I loved them. It cracked me up.I don't know if we would have changed anything about the way we did things. We liked our location, our relaxing pace and our excursions. The car rental is a must on the island. We would have liked to stay at a hotel that serves breakfast or rent a home and cook more meals. Mostly to not have to worry about finding so many places to eat or the expense of it. There were a couple of eateries that we wanted to try and didn't get to, mostly because they always seemed to be closed the times we needed them. We liked staying on the sunny south side of the island. We would maybe do more hikes, perhaps through Waimea canyon. And someday I want to make it back to snorkel in Ke'e beach.As far as things lost, Grant "lost" his phone, the sunglasses (which he had to buy there as he forgot to bring some), a ring (which we bought for three bucks at a shop in Seattle), and his BYU hat that he left on the plane.That afternoon we took our flight to San Diego. We also thought perhaps we should have done our layover in Oahu, to catch some sights there for half a day. Saturday morning we flew back home to Denver. The jet lag was real, even with just the four hour change.[...]

Day six: Hanakapai'i Falls


We hiked to the Hanakapi'i Falls. It starts at a beautiful Ke'e beach, which we intended to do amazing snorkeling after the hike. We didn't ever get back to the beach to do so because we were too exhausted. It was two miles hiking to another beach with some amazing views.Then from the beach it was another two miles into the falls. This part of the hike was so neat. I loved hiking through the foilage. It was so quiet and as the breeze moved the bamboo would creak as it rubbed against itself. And the trail was significantly less crowded than the first half. Bamboo sections, shaded trail, river crossings, rocks to climb and then to the gorgeous huge falls into a pool. We swam and rested for about an hour. It took me a while to get the courage to swim under the falls. I am not a great swimmer. But it was when I got the falls dropping on me that I got a little panicky. So it was not my favorite to actually swim under the fall.Grant is the little peach ball under the falls.This picture is a little distorted as I tried to get the whole area. And I don't think I got a proper picture of the falls top to bottom. It was actually really tall.The two miles back to the first beach weren't bad. But then the last two were a bit rough. The sun was hitting pretty hard and our legs and feet were exhausted. Not to mention I made the stupid decision to wear new shoes and had some serious blisters going on. That seemed like the longest two miles ever, eight in total. We weren't quite in the best shape for such a hike, but we enjoyed it.We for sure needed a big shaved ice after all that hiking.[...]

Day five: Falls and Luau


We drove up the East side of the island. We stopped in Lihue and did a load of laundry and ate at Costco again. Then we drove up to view areas of a couple of different falls, Opaekaa and Wailua. Near the Opaekaa falls there was a neat view area down the river to the ocean. At this mountain top there was an old surrounding wall of an old temple. The sign description made it feel like true Nephites were there that build this wall of a tabernacle high in a mountain top. I know their history or traditions would tell otherwise, but that is what rang true to me.Grant enjoyed driving the rented convertible around all week.The temple walls in the mountain top.We then drove to secluded Larsen beach. It was a dirt road and mini hike down the hill to get to this beach. The current is too strong in this area that signs advised to no swimming on this beach. We were looking for a good walking beach anyhow. It had the beautiful black rocks and lots of little coral washed up to collect. It was a pleasant and peaceful walk.We could barely see the path down it was so surrounded with foliage.Then we headed the Smith family Luau. It was a lovely property in a fern grotto just down the mountain from the aforementioned temple site. They did the imu ceremony of pulling the pig out the pit and served a large, traditional Hawaiian luau buffet to hundreds of people. They also had a band during dinner. We then moved over to the lagoon theater for the show portion. They had dances and hulas from all the cultures that make up Hawaii. Tahiti, New Zealand, Japan and Somoa. It was a fun evening. It was expensive, but worth it for the experience one time.[...]

Day four: Na Pali Coast Boat Ride


We got on the boat around 8 am, we went a ways and then stopped to snorkel for about an hour. When we got back on the boat I was a bit queasy, I guess from having my head underwater with all the waves for so long. And Grant had realized that he snorkeled without taking his phone out of his pocket. They had a continental breakfast on the boat for us, that took me a while to settle enough to eat.Then they took us along the Na Pali coast. Just beautiful. Movies filmed there, such as Jurassic Park and others. We had seen it from the plane the day before, but it was neat to boat along it. The cathedral cliffs are just so unique, nature's architectural mountains.We saw sea turtles and dolphins.We were on the boat for a few hours, lunch was served and we were back around 2 pm. I would have liked to get better pictures, but I didn't want my canon out near water. We would get splashed and also go through bouts of rain. But it was so pretty. The three "tour" guides on our boat were really nice and gave good information. The only annoying person was the "frat" guy that took too much advantage of the free alcohol on the boat. We think he had to have had at least ten cans of coors light. And he was excited to get back to his cruise ship to take advantage of yet more free alcohol.That evening we decided to catch a sunset on the beach. We drove up the west side and picked a beach. Sadly after we picked a spot, others in a truck drove on the beach and were in my photo. Though the sun set near the end of the beach I wanted one over the horizon of the ocean. Unfortunately, all the best west side beaches for a sunset were most accessible only through the military base that takes up a good chunk of land just before the Na Pali coast. It was still a beautiful evening.[...]

Day three: Airplane


We booked a small airplane ride over the island. It was a small plane with six passengers. We got to see all the beautiful landscape of this garden island. The flight was about an hour long. Grant got the front seat with the pilot. I was a bit queasy by the end, but enjoyed it overall. We would have booked a helicopter ride instead due to closer maneuvering in the mountains and falls, but our points allowed it to be much cheaper to do the plane. The pictures are real. The water is really that clear and beautiful blue and the greens and terrain is just gorgeous.While in the "city", Lihue, we stopped at Costco. We liked how we were in an "exotic" place but that it was still the USA. Costco was refreshing as the prices were still the same as the mainland, unlike everything else on the island. Grant decided to purchase a snorkling mask and we got our cheap lunch at concessions. Lihue really was the city compared to the rest of the island. The rest felt like slow pace, small town. We really loved the feel. And driving around all the towns which are all along the west, south and east edges of the island was fun. Most all of the middle and north of the island are mountains and canyons and no houses.That afternoon we went back and relaxed at the beach. We also went to the close shopping/restaurant area that was so chill, torches lit, great atmosphere and got our first shaved ice.Our view of the resort from our room balcony.[...]

Day two: Church and Po'ipu


We found the ward closest to our hotel. There were a lot of people there, like stake conference. I assume most were visitors, but plenty that were locals. It was fast and testimony meeting and it was about five women that got up and filled the meeting. It didn't help that we were so weary from travel, but it was not the most uplifting meeting for us. We were glad we went, but didn't stay for all three hours. We continued our drive up the west side. We stopped for lunch and then headed back to the hotel. Grant took a hefty nap and I headed to the beach at our resort. All beaches are public on Kauai, but our resort, the Sheraton, was just on Po'ipu beach. Grant joined me later and we enjoyed the beauty of the white sand and gorgeous blue water.Hannah, I concede, I do have funny looking hobbit toes.Sitting by the non salty hotel pool, steps away from the beach.[...]

Day One: Seattle


There were choices made for hotel, flights and excursions that were due to the points we had to use. Though not ideal in some circumstances, we were pleased with how the trip turned out. We left Friday night late to Seattle. We got a hotel downtown and explored a bit of the city the next day.We walked Pike Place Market. I loved it. My favorite was all the amazingly beautiful flowers. The bouquets arranged so pretty and wrapped in craft paper and priced right. I so wanted to purchase one. I wish it could have been the souvenir gifts to bring home to friends, that's how much I loved them. If we lived anywhere close, I would send Grant there for flowers all the time.Grant was very mentally done with the walking around and "shopping". An alley of gum.We headed closer to the water and walked around there too.From the plane we got a good view of Mt Rainier.I enjoyed our morning in Seattle. We flew out to Kauai that afternoon. [...]

Post Events


Dad Sleight flew out of Denver for a business trip so Mom Sleight was able to stay a few days after the baptism before they drove back home. She was able to tag along to all my crazy car pools and pick ups. Then one day I managed to wrangle her into working on my mending pile! I don't know how I got so lucky. Some of that mending has been waiting years! What a huge check off my to do list, and it cleared the craft counter in Audrey's room.

That night when Dad Sleight came back, we took them out to Outback Steakhouse for an anniversary dinner.

We were so glad to have a few extra days. We love extra time with our moms.

That weekend Rosemary returned for our annual Doors Open Denver. We so look forward to this. However this year we got a crazy one day snow storm. Luckily it was still warm enough that it didn't stick to the streets. But it sure hung on the trees and was a bit chilly. It didn't slow us down too much. Maybe one year we will get to bike to the different locations. Marci joined us in the afternoon.
One of the venues was an old mansion. On the plaque in the front it had the previous owners. At one point our church owned it and it was used as a mission home.

The cool steps and pillars at the courthouse.