Year Review: 2021

This year was more of the same. More school, more kids, same house. I continued to work on my graduate degrees (I really am almost done), and Joe continues to work at Pioneer Care Center. We did buy a new car right before Christmas. There were some good vacations, two big ones to Arizona and Hollywood. We also did a lot of sledding, hiking, tubing, playing at parks, and at the lake.

Peter continues to adore basketball and played flag football and soccer too. He started middle school and loves it. He joined Young Men’s and was the Young Men’s secretary. Also continued piano lessons, started percussion in band, and joined a pickleball club.

Curtis continued to do Cub Scouts, he’s now in Webelos. He played soccer, basketball, and flag football. He mostly enjoys building legos.

Henry started piano and Cub Scouts and performed in a youth choir. He did a lot of swimming lessons and played flag football and t-ball.

Zack started daycare, which he loves. He loves basketball, cement mixers, trucks, Batman, Pikachu. He’s got a new favorite every week.

We added on an upgraded greenhouse to the house, painted the house, refreshed the kitchen, grew a pretty good garden, and a few other random projects like adding a beam for structural stability, and a backyard pool.

Top 10 Pictures:


It snowed. So we went sledding.

Christmas also happened, although no pictures. I’ve been a little worn out lately. The kids had a good time, and I took an hour and a half nap on Christmas. We had a good winter break, but I’m grateful they are back in school. I’m currently enjoying a quiet house, and it is wonderful.

Longer than Expected

We were going on a mile-long hike to a waterfall, missed a turn, and instead went on a four-mile hike to two waterfalls. This is how Peter felt about it:

There’s no way I could convince the kids to do a hike like this beforehand, so I don’t actually mind that I made the mistake. We did convince the kids to finish when we realized about two miles in our mistake. I sometimes prefer longer, more challenging hikes.

If you are going to Layton to hike the waterfalls in Adam’s Canyon, you have to turn right to get to the lower falls. If you don’t turn right, you will end on a beautiful nearly 4-mile hike to another waterfall. Also cell service on the trail and being able to look up the trail map on All Trails saved us from being totally oblivious to what happened.


I just finished a very busy semester. Five classes, thirteen credits, all graduate level. It wasn’t the worst semester, but it wasn’t easy either. I’m done driving up to school (which takes almost two hours out of every day), and excited to have more freedom with my schedule. (One more easy semester left.) I will also certainly miss all the people that I worked with up at school. It was a wonderful bunch of people that are super supportive of each other, and also not afraid to give critiques when they are needed.

I haven’t been the best at taking pictures, or that adventurous with my time. I’ve been focused on school. Here are some family pictures we attempted to take. I’ve paid for family pictures once, and usually, just have my sister grab some. The kids are not the most cooperative at sitting and smiling. They are probably more fun because of that though.


For fall break, we went up to Pocatello for the temple open house. It was a good experience combined with Pizza Pie Cafe afterward.

The boys finished up their flag football season and did pretty well. I loved a couple of plays where Peter passed to Curtis twice in a row and they ended up with a first down. The kids all enjoyed it. It ended up being quite a long season though, and we are happy to have one less thing too.

One rainy Saturday, we headed to a local corn maze after the rains stopped. We had a lot of fun.

Here are the boys in their Halloween costumes. My favorite is Curtis’s who was extremely indecisive when it came to picking something, and finally settled on a t-shirt that said, “Error 404, costume not found.”


It’s been busy with school and kids, and not much time for anything else. Except for when the fall colors are the best you ever remember, you make take to enjoy it.

We drove up the canyon to Bear Lake for one last time out in the canoe.

We stopped for a few hikes in Logan Canyon as well. It was quite a beautiful day.

We’ve been mostly occupied by school. I’m in my last full time semester at school. We’ve been trying to rebuild a greenhouse at home. In September we did Peach Days, service projects, visited family. The kids are finishing up flag football. Peter is starting competition basketball, and I’m coach. It took us a month to get enough kids, and then we ended up with one more than we really needed. Life is busy, in a good way.

End of Summer

Well, the summer has ended. School has begun, the leaves are starting to turn colors.

For our last summer activity, we went back to the Ogden River and went tubing. We had visited a park briefly with my sister, and I talked about how we went tubing there the year before. And a couple of weeks later, we met up and went tubing together. My niece said it was the best thing she ever did. It was fun, even though the river was rather low. We also took the tubes out to the lake, they worked great towed behind our canoe.

We’ve been to the County Fair, played at a splash pad, played at home, went to the Aviary. Really, it was a great summer. But I’m okay with it being over and going back to school.

Everyone is gone this year. I’m up on campus, the three older kids go to school all day, and Zack started daycare. It’s been a change, but I am happy to report the house stays cleaner.

Summer Vacation

I actually changed vacation plans several weeks before we left. I found cheap flights from Los Angeles to home, and realized we could drive out, and then send Joe back with the kids, and I would drive the car back. It avoided the worst part of vacation, which is dealing with grumpy kids while driving 12 hours. I still had to drive the twelve hours back home by myself, but it was boring rather than full of kids throwing up and whining.

On the way out we stopped by Seven Magic Mountain, and that made up the bulk of my vacation photos and the only time I used my camera rather than my phone.

While we were in California, we visited several beaches, saw the Hollywood sign, and visited Universal Studios. We also walked down Hollywood Walk of Fame, but went in the evening and ended up in a part that was rather sketchy. That was interesting…also Curtis ended up throwing up all over the parking garage of our hotel…I was super glad he didn’t do it in our hotel.

At the beach, the kids loved playing in the waves, and mostly building sand castles. Universal Studios was the highlight. We went on a day with hardly any lines, and everyone had a great time. The boys loved the rides, Zack loved the escalators, and I loved walking through Hogwarts.

River Run

I have been craving going out on the river for tubing, rafting, etc. However, there are several problems. I have a two year old and other small children which makes rapids rather complicated and rules out most commercial options. We do own an inflatable boat and canoe, which are not for rapids though. So we took them out on the complacent Bear River several miles from our home.

The river is slow. When I saw slow, I mean like if you don’t paddle you stand still. We towed the raft behind the canoe and I paddled for over an hour. The kids were rather bored with the whole thing. But I still thoroughly enjoyed myself. It was beautiful, not as hot when you were on the river, and great exercise.

It took longer than expected, the kids were all hungry and tired when we were done and there might have been a lot of frustration and fighting trying to get all packed up and home. I still got to go down the river, and I’m glad we went.

Wyoming Adventure

We met up with my family in Wyoming and Montana for a campout.

One the way up, we stopped at Bear Lake, South Pass and Thermopolis at the Hot Spring State Park. I loved Thermopolis. It was so fun to wave and swim in the water where the hot springs met the river.

We spent the next couple night with my family, swimming in the lake, hanging out. We did a hike to Medicinal Wheel, which was scenic and meaningful. As we left, I saw an older gentlemen walking with a significant limp up to the Medicine Wheel with an offering in hand. It is neat to be able to share in the sacred experiences of others.

So most of my family went home from Wyoming to Utah at the same time, and we’d pass each other on the highway. At one point, we pulled off on the side of the road to deal with the toddler who was woken up by a brother and then cried so hard he threw up. My brother called us, because he passed us while we were on the side of the road, and we ended up in the next town sharing ice cream.