Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Day of School 2009

School is ON!

August is the dreaded month every year. Once we get the Russell Family Island Park Trip out of the way (THIS WAS FUN, I promise!) we move on to fair week. Selling the girls' freakish 4-H lambs at the auction.
Cal Ranch of Logan who bought Rylie's lamb "Lazy Mayzee" & Wal-Mart of Evanston who bought Dylann's lamb "Dominique".

Once fair is over, I have a week to cram in last minute fun activities, work & school shopping! This year, I was on my own. Christopher was out in West Virginia for work. If you ask the girls, there were no fun activities! We spent 2 nights at my parent's, did laundry to prepare for school & I made the girls CLEAN THEIR ROOMS! I did sew them some pretty sweet school bags this year. Christopher's idea, my job!

Our family goal this year is to be in bed Sunday through Thursday by 9:00 pm, after Family Prayer of course. Everyone wake up at 6:30 am with dad. Rylie to the bus at 7:20 am. Dylann & Kendall to school at 8:00 am. Ryann is left sleeping as the morning rush is on and I sneak out of the house to DRIVE my two 1 1/2 blocks to their elementary school. (The longer she stays asleep, the better for everyone involved.) It worked twice this week. I said it was a goal. Some goals take years to achieve.

Rylie has a 40 minute commute to and from school each day. Luckily, this gives her time to do her homework, if she has any. She is in the 7th grade this year. How she made it this far, I just don't know :) J/K - She is a smarty pants! I just cannot figure out where time went. (Que in the mood music & memory sequences......)
Dylann is in 5th. The oldest of the school this year. She is not taking this responsibility lightly. She has worried about it for weeks. What if she is no good at being friends to those younger than her? Because 5th graders are so respected in the hierarchy of elementary school. (Another memory sequence, this time of me & Tami Carlson living it up in Mrs. Stockman's class at Crescent...)Kendall is a big 2nd grader now. She thinks it "FREAKIN' ROCKS!". She loves school. After day two, she was so exhausted. I don't know what it is about her, "Live Fast, Play Hard!" She is a total tomboy. Luckily school is only 4 days a week. By Thursday night, she is a walking zombie and needs a 3 day weekend to recharge!
Ryann, she is just ticked off everyone went without her. Only one more year of her torturing me :) I love our one-on-one time. She is too clever for her own good! I have to keep a constant eye on her, or who knows what will be destroyed. The blurry picture hides all the construction that is going on in my front room. It also does not allow you to see that she woke up with her head coming out of an arm hole & her butt hanging out the neck hole of her dad's t-shirt :) That was her "first day of school for her sisters" outfit.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Island Park 2009

The Annual Russell Island Park Trip was 3 weeks ago.....

We spent another glorious fun & family filled week up in Island Park this year! The whole fam damily was there. Jeff, Liz & their 5 boys (we were hoping the early arrival of #6 would be our "What did you do on your summer vacation" story), Laura & Payton, Grandpa & Grandma, and us.We usually stay on the East Side, near Mack's Inn. There are so many ATV trails near by, rivers to float, etc. This year we stayed on the West Side, closer to Island Park Reservoir. We need to do a bit more exploring over on this side.

We stayed at a nice little cabin in the "Enchanted Forest". 4 bedrooms, one for each family. 2 bathrooms. One for the girl's & one for the boy's. My girls spent a morning making signs for EVERY door before the boys arrived, so that they knew NOT to use the girl's bathroom. And a sign to 'Not Disturb' Grandpa. The week was filled with relaxing, NOISE, reading books, NOISE, pruned kids, and MORE NOISE. The kids rode bikes, played in the hot tub, played games, played in the hot tub, rode the 4-wheelers, begged to play in the hot tub, and watched t.v.. There was a nice little island in the middle of the "neighborhood". The kids could ride the 4-wheelers all around, with in sight of the front porch. One night we were complained on, even though it really was not us! Whatever you people who cannot have any fun on vacations! Grandpa boondoggled with the kids. Grandma did crafts. I did laundry. That makes me happy :) We went to the Lewis & Clark State Park in Montana one day. We spent a few hours exploring the Caverns. It was so cool, both to look at and the temperature. We saw a colony of mommy bats. My kids acted like they have never seen a bat before. Wanting pictures of each one. Some places in the Caverns you have to slide on your butt, crawl on the ground, and suck your tummy in. It was the play land at McDonalds, but in the dark & slimy. We kept waiting to here cries of help from my dad, but he made it through like a trooper. The day was beautiful when we made the hike to the Caverns. When we left - HOLY CRAP! A massive hail storm overtook us. You could not see an inch out of the window. The hail was large marble size. I thought for sure our car would be covered in dents. It lasted for 5 miles. People were pulled of, waiting out the storm. Not us, we went head on into the flooded abyss.
We also spent a day in West Yellowstone. We needed a little Salt Water Taffy. The girls were looking for the perfect souvenir. Rylie found a used book store - a book was her souvenir. Ryann & Kendall also picked books. Dylann bought a funky purse, made in Mexico. We ate pizza & pasta at "Pete's". Kendall was sad because she could not decide what to eat. So we ordered a little of everything. And she ate it ALL! Rylie grossed me out by eating her spaghetti on her roll. She is so like her dad. The end of our week it rained a lot. So there was not much 4-wheeling. Christopher & I took a fun ride out into the trees. ALONE. Wink, wink! That never happens. The being able to be alone, and the wink, wink! :) On the last day of the trip, we took the girls to "Our Spot" and took a few pictures. Ryann was sure we were going to toss her in the river. She had silly pigtails in, would not sit still & cried the whole time.
We stopped in Idaho Falls to see the Temple. I had wanted to get out and walk around it. When we got to it, everyone just wanted to eat! Off to Applebee's we went. Ryann was so kind here to add a little color to the nice pictures on the walls above our booth. Good thing we were just passing through, no one knew it was the 'bad Stapel kids'!

We look forward to this trip every year. The only sad thing is, that it comes at the end. I cannot believe another summer is over!
Thanks Mom & Dad!