Sunday, June 7, 2009

1st Annual Cluff Campout & Kinder Graduation

This past weekend we took the kids camping at Riggs Lake on Mt. Graham. We took various pictures on the way up the mountain to help pass the time and keep the kids entertained. (note: being a "true" camper, I have no make-up on - hence the reason why I look nasty!)
(second note: we left Joel with my mother-in-law because I am convinced we would have lost him in the wild!)

Erika, Lacey, Jarom and Jessica at Wet Canyon

Paul holding Lacey, Jarom and Jessica at Wet Canyon

So we made it up to Riggs Lake about 1:30 on Friday and quickly picked out a campground. And it's a good thing we got there early because it was packed by that evening. There were several family reunions going on as well as a large camp of drunks who brought up several large base speakers and sang karaoke. Thankfully they didn't do it all night long.

Jarom, Lacey & Jessica at our campsite

We desperately wanted to fish on Friday but it was extremely windy so we had to bag that idea until Saturday morning. But we actually ended up going home early on Saturday, even though it was great fishing weather, because the kids did not sleep well the whole night, they would not stop fighting with each other, and I forgot half our food in my mother-in-laws fridge down in Thatcher. If my cell phone had gotten service on the mountain, I would have asked one of my nephews to bring up our food - actually beg would've been more like it - so we had to have a fabulous dinner of s'mores and chips! We had all the fixings for a great wiener roast - only we no hot dogs to do it.

The kids posing in front of Riggs Lake

The girls were very excited about sleeping in a tent

Uh-oh we have to run for van and Lacey was scared

As you can see in the picture below we had a slight "bear" problem. The forest ranger warned us about it and he was right on as you can see the proof here. This rather large brown bear made his way through our campsite and the surrounding sites looking for food.

Not what a mother wants to see while taking her children out camping

After the first bear sighting we decided to build our fire and get going with dinner. This was when I realized half our food was in Thatcher. Oh, and Lacey said the fire smelled terrible and kept covering her nose whenever she got within 10 feet of it.

Lacey hanging out around camp

Jessica in front of our tent

Bringing down what was left of our food to eat for dinner. Paul told me to strike some crazy pose but I didn't quite do it. (Note: Jarom had his hand over his chest because he was having anxiety attacks about the bear coming back - certainly felt a little anxiety myself.)

Our great feast of s'mores and chips

As we were eating dinner, Jessica yelled out that the bear was behind us (again!) and sure enough we saw it not 50 feet from our campsite. Paul decided to walk after it to snap a good picture as proof that we saw a bear in the wild. I was very nervous about him doing that and kept shouting at him to come back to the van.

Just wandering around looking for food

Here we are crammed in the van again waiting for the bear to leave (note: by this time Jarom was ready to pack up and leave)

I was having a great time messing around with the campfire. Paul said I was like the lone kid in the camp out that doesn't get involved in any other activities, just sits by the fire and plays with it. Maybe I was a pyromaniac in a previous life.

Erika, Lacey, and Jessica

Lacey and Jessica standing on top of the picnic table
On our trip down the mountain, as Paul was grumbling about the kids behaving badly and not being able to fish - Jarom started gagging and we immediately pulled over to the side of the road and in time for him to vomit. He proceeded to pretty much puke most of the way down the mountain. It was great. Paul said we are never going on a family trip again (he says this after every family excursion) but I had a great time and definitely want to do it again. We splurged for an air mattress that was quite heavenly to sleep on and with our new sleeping bags we were quite toasty. We did have problems with the whole "porta potty" thing and I ended up having to let the the girls hold onto me for dear life whenever they sat on the porta potty because they were afraid they were going to fall in. We tried to teach them to "pop a squat" but that didn't go over so well. We took several pieces of sporting equipment with us to play with and the kids said it was the best day ever because we've never played sports as a family! Oops! I felt guilty after that one - I suppose I ought to kick it in gear and start playing with my kids more often.
So anyway, it was quite the trip, but it definitely made for the some fun memories (and did I mention I also forgot all the kids underwear and ended up at Wal-mart in the early morning hours on Friday buying clean underwear before we left - just another great moment to add to our trip. Now they have a surplus of undies - I guess that's never a bad thing to have a surplus of.)
Speaking of undies, Joel has been taking his diaper on and off constantly during the day and showing an increased interest in the overall workings of the toilet. He likes to flush the toilet multiple times a day and will race in after any person who walks into the bathroom so he can stand by them and wait until they are finished, bid farewell to it all, and then flush the toilet. So today we dug out the potty seat and thought we would give it a try and he peed in that thing 5 times! I couldn't believe it - he is barely 2 years old and none of our other kids cared a whit about potty training this early. So tomorrow I am off to buy some cool underwear for him. Maybe I'll have him out of diapers before the summer is over - yeah!
These next pictures are from the girls kindergarten graduation. They put on a nice program and had dessert afterward. My only problem was the horrendous way most of the parents were dressed; skin tight clothes with outlines of thong underwear, shirts several size too small or with plunging necklines, tattoo's everywhere, body piercings galore and just an overall sloppiness in dress and attitude. One of my friends sat on the front row only to have a lady squat down on the floor in front of her and turn around to say "don't mind my butt crack" and displayed most of her behind and thong undies for the entire row of parents!

Lacey and Mrs. Wilson (formerly Ms. Varni)

Jessica and Mrs. Estrada

Joel trying out the graduation hats

Jessica eating some yummy cake

Lacey chowing down

Jessica sitting in place for her part in the program

Lacey sitting in place for her part in the program


  1. What a fun family trip! Tell Jarom I would be afraid to be camping with the bears too! The girls looked really cute for their graduation. Audree didn't have a kindergarten graduation which kind of surprised me, but oh well, she doesn't know any different. Can't wait to see you guys this week!!

  2. The campout sounded like great fun! I can really identify with Jarom, though. When I was about his age my family went camping in a tent up in Island Park (before the cabin was built) and we also had a black bear come into our camp site on a couple of nights. It was pretty scary to hear it crashing around, all the time realizing that the only thing that stood between him and us was the sides of a canvas tent!!! Fortunately, after the first night that this happened, my dad had brought his rife into the tent with us and when the bear returned he fired a couple of shots into the air and frightened him away. (After that, my mother refused to go back to Island Park until the cabin was built!).

    As for the slovenliness of the parents at graduation...Andrea and I were discussing that very thing (along with the rudeness that is demonstrated when someone is performing), not too long ago, after I had attended a program at Kaylee's school. It's a sad commentary on our society and the lack of respect that people have for themselves as well as for others. There is a WONDERFUL address given by Elder Callister that is in the new June Ensign entitled "Our Refined Heavenly Home" which discusses this problem in depth and gives a lot of things to consider as to where we stand, ourselves, when it comes to being refined. I'd really encourage everyone to read it.
    Love, Mom

  3. What fun memories to read about your camping trip. I'm surprised how busy the camping was at the top of the mountain. I have heard there are a lot of bears up there, SCARY.

  4. Holy cow, a bear?! That's crazy. You guys were brave to stay up there! Mt. Graham is awesome, though. You got some great pictures!