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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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!).

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Megan turns 14!

And just like that, Megan is one year older. She turned 14 today. Her cute friends kidnapped her out of bed in the morning and took her to breakfast at Kneaders. I think she secretly loved it!

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Then she and I got ready and went to get pedicures and do a little shopping. Want a good shopping partner? Take Meg. She is picky but has good taste. We had so much fun being silly and laughing together. Not to mention she got some really cute outfits.

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Meg is a such vital part of our family. She is so responsible and loves to take charge. She makes sure things are running smoothly and if not, she will fix it and redirect. She is focused, hard working and very determined in everything she does. She is my soccer star, student council leader, straight A student, #1 survivor fan, California real estate expert, home makeover watcher, and best big sister and daughter around. We love her!

Student of the Month

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A couple weeks back I got a call that started like this, “Hi Mrs. Johnson, this is Mr. Whitaker, the principal here at Mountain Ridge Junior High, and I have Megan Johnson here in my office…” My first reaction would normally be that of concern, but since I know Megan all too well, I knew it couldn’t be bad. He went on to talk about how all the teachers got together as a group and voted her in as Student of the Month for the the whole 8th grade. He assured me that it was a big deal and quite a lot of time and effort goes into making this decision. He then read me some of the quotes that her teachers had written about her (see below).

Megan - Student of the Month

Megan - S of M, part 2

As a parent, it is pretty wonderful to get this kind of news. We are really proud of Megan around our house. She is such a devoted, kind, hard-working gal and boy do we love her! Way to go Megs!

Megan’s basketball season

Megan has played the last few years with the Lone Peak bantam team. Her team requires more commitment than Jr. Jazz teams because of the practices and traveling involved.

Megan is a solid player. She usually plays at either the point or shooting guard positions. Her footwork and quickness is excellent, so she is a beast defensively. But, she’s not very confident with her ball-handling and shooting yet, so she tends to be a little less aggressive when it comes to playing offense.

Megan flies in for a layup
Megan flies in for a layup

She also plays in a girls team at church. Her church coach came up to me the other day and said, “I know you already know this, but Megan is like, really, really good at basketball. She’s our superstar.”

Basketball season is also a great activity in the winter, and a good break from soccer. I’m not sure if Megan really loves the game, but she’s a talented athlete and it’s good for her to try her hand at other sports. Nice job, Megan!