Happy 13th Birthday KK!

This 13 year old got spoiled on her birthday! All the kids love being checked out and especially love it if they get to sneak out and get lunch and/or do their favorite activity. Katelyn couldn’t wait for me to take her to “Color Me Mine” in Provo. She is unbelievable talented and got right to work painting several cute pieces. Lets just say that her two pieces looked WAY better than my one. 🙂

Her real birthday was Saturday and she invited a couple close friends to go to Classic Skate in Sandy.

After a fun afternoon of skating everyone came back home for our favorite ice-cream cake and presents. This year Katelyn wanted lots of ski stuff. She is all ready for ski season!

We sure love our creative, shy, sensitive, sweet KK. She is a great helper and very responsible. She does her best in all that she does and teaches each of us how to find our inner creativity…or at least how to utilize hers! We love her so much!

Grove Creek backpacking with the kids

Last year, I took Katelyn and Megan backpacking up American Fork canyon. This year, we brought Jacob and Claire along with us too. We were also joined by the Rowberry family. My Uncle Greg and I were out talking one night and he expressed some interest in exploring the trails just east of the Pleasant Grove bench.

We had been up Battle Creek canyon before, rappelling for a family home evening, but I hadn’t been backpacking up either Battle Creek or Grove Creek, nor the valley that connects those two canyons behind the “G” mountain.


We planned on camping up at Indian springs (GPS Coordinates 40.3941925, -111.704204). Since we started later than we had planned, we didn’t have time to dilly-dally, but we couldn’t pass up on some of the incredible views of Utah county.



As the lone rookie backpacker in our family, Claire did great. Just like the other girls did last year, Claire insisted on packing up her stuffed animal (“Lammy”). The trail was tough and steep, but Claire did great.


We passed a pretty good camping spot in the pines, but decided to press on another half a mile until Indian spring even though it was getting dark.

Unfortunately, when we got there someone was already occupying the spot we had targeted, so we had to try to find some semi-flat ground and set up our camp in the dark. But, when we awoke in the morning we found we were in a pretty nice spot.


We hiked back down after cooking some breakfast and filling our water bottles at the springs. The kids had an activity they had to be at by noon.


It was another successful backpacking trip with the kids, even though this one was significantly more difficult than last year.


Lessons learned:

  1. If possible, scout the location beforehand, especially if bringing new backpackers
  2. Leave stuffed animals at home
  3. Leave plenty early to avoid setting up camp in the dark
  4. Avoid the rush; allow for more unstructured time
  5. Brian said mid-May is an ideal time for that hike


Young Women’s 5K Chalk Run

This is our second annual Young Women’s color run. They have chalk stations all along the way, each color representing the values in the young woman program in our church. As you get to the station they throw chalk.

None of my girls trained for the 5K so there was a lot of walking and running involved but we all had a great time running up to the temple (a good ending even it was uphill!).





Midsummer Night’s Dream

Mrs. Yingling, Katelyn’s sixth grade teacher, has her class perform a Shakespeare play every year. She assigns a student as the director and the director assigns all other parts and roles. They also tweak the play so it has its own little twist. It is ALL done by the kids…no adult help on anything. The kids even make the costumes, choreography, do lights and sound. It is a pretty awesome experience.

Sweet Katelyn was chosen as Helena in the play, Midsummer Night’s Dream. It was one of the main roles and even gave her a solo at the beginning. Don’t be confused, the song is from the Beauty and the Beast, but that was part of the Disney twist they used throughout the play. Katelyn has a beautiful voice but she is also quiet and a little bit shy so I was super excited to see her accept this role and go full-speed ahead memorizing all of her lines and practicing her parts.

When the performance day rolled around she was ready. They had four performances. I love watching her so much that I attended three of the four of them! It was so fun to see her having fun and showing off her talents. I was extra proud of her for trying something new and killing it!

This is the best video I got of her singing. Unfortunately the microphones were sub-par so you will have to crank up your volume to be able to hear her. I think she should make a habit of this acting/singing thing!






Katelyn’s cute brace face

Katelyn got braces today. She was pretty excited about it, but wanted to keep it a secret from her family and friends so she could share her big reveal. She wouldn’t even tell Drew and Ellie why she wasn’t going to school.

The procedure went well and she came home with all sorts of goodies. A new toothbrush, a voucher for a free smoothie, a new t-shirt, and a face full of metal.



She enjoyed the attention from everyone for the first little bit, but that quickly wore off and the discomfort set in. Her mouth was pretty painful by late afternoon.

Still, she was positive when making her obligatory Instagram post which announced that she was “Officially a BRACE FACE”. It was flooded with likes and supportive comments from all of Katelyn’s many friends, many of whom are also sporting braces.


See, cute as ever, even with braces.