Sun & Bears


After a cold, wet camping trip Memorial Day weekend...

we are more than happy to see the sun again! 

{The only warm thing we had that last weekend in May was Krispy Kreme's on the way home!}

{You Betcha}
So, when my fun friend Heather called last Monday morning and said that she had an adventure for us I was quite curious to hear what she had up her sleeve. 

A week a Bear Lake?!  Yep...she knew we'd be up for it!:) 

The forcast was great and I was packed and ready to go in about 45 mintues.  Not much could keep us from that Mediterranean blue lake water...not even play groups, swimming lessons, or lunch dates could stand in our way!

Getting away from the usual routine is so healthy...don't you think? I love that I can focus more on just being with and loving the boys.  Okay, not that we don't have our moments, but we worked out our little issues {like wearing swim diapers and not throwing rocks at eachother} and hunkered down for a good time.

{Wild Times}
Bear Lake is actually partially in Utah and partially in Idaho, but miles from a Redbox or Happy Meal.  I've never been to a place quite like it. 

The water is super shallow for at least a hundred yards out and so they pull the boats and other water toys out by tractor...

You really have to watch for deer, moose, or cows crossing the road, and you'd better not be in a hurry...they sure aren't.;)

Cave exploring is fun tourist attraction.  These natural limestone creations were straight out a gnome and troll movie. 

Water always seem to be a main attraction for our crew...

But if you ask Ethan, driving the 4 man bike wasn't far behind!

And who wouldn't love it if their mom pedaled the beast around! 

Bear Lake doesn't have a shortage of sand...whether its at the beach or park.

Jumping was also a great attraction!  The KOA charges $3/kid per day for anyone to jump...even if you aren't staying there. 

As you can see, Aidan loved to watch his reflection as he jumped.  The funny thing is that his body is in almost the exact some position when he is in the air as he when he is on the tramp! 

Just hanging back at the condo was alot of fun too...Ethan and I both "cheered" to Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl as we drank from these wine glasses.  

Aidan made his own fun by pulling up a kitchen chair and watching his train show {the lamest show on earth} while playing with his trains...

All three of us slept together in a king size bed at the end of each fun-packed day.

Yes, we slept hard.

{Pirate Problem}
The only real issue we had on the trip was concerning pirates. You may also have this problem if you have little matey's running around your place.  But if not, you might want to be on the look out.  Pirates have been lurking around us for quite some time now, and they aren't joking around...

Even aunt Diane came up for a night and tried to help tame one, but these guys were really meant business.

{Great Times}
Heather--I know you will read this at some point and I have to thank-you again for thinking of us.  We had a super great time. 

{Heading out}
For those that look forward to our annual Oregon expedition we'll be heading out at the end of the week.   Blogging may be a bit more sparce, but you know I won't leave you hanging.  Well, for too long anyway.

In the mean time you can make 4th of July trifles.  Its worth practicing this recipe several times...if you know what I mean.;) 

Hope your summer is full of adventure and fun! 

Love these Men

{Great Guys}
Anyone know who invented Father's Day?  Well, if you sure to thank them for me.

There is nothing like a good man. 

You know, the hardworking, God fearing, family loving type of guy that is hard to find in today's world and the ones we so often take for granted.  Even if you never really had a typical "dad" growing up, there had to a be a male "father figure" that that you loved and looked up to.  You know that ones I'm talking about.

I love Father's Day because it makes me actually stop for a second and think about the men that are close to me.  The ones I'm really grateful for.  The ones I can't help but love.

The father of my kids.  I'll be honest, marriage is not always an easy arrangement.  The stresses of life take their toll on everyone, and we definitely haven't been overlooked.

But when push comes to shove, I couldn't ask for a better father for my boys.  He loves them and they know it.  

My dad is also another man I can't imagine my life without.  His ability to put up with so much over the years boggles my mind.  You know the people in your life that you'll never be able to repay for all that they've done for you?   That's how I feel about my dad.  Love him.

Now for this grandpa.

This 94 year old peanut M&M loving guy has quite a life story.

And since I'm in awe of his life, I'm going to share a few inspiring life details with you.

{Humble Beginnings}
My Grandpa Johnson was born in a small town just outside of Salt Lake City.

He was the oldest of 12 {yes...twelve!} kids in his family. 

{2 kids are missing in the picture below...they weren't born yet.}

He describes himself as a bashful, shy teenager that did alot of babysitting and working on his uncle's farm.

At 19 he served a 3 year church mission to the Tahitian Islands.  One of my favorite things to do is listen to his stories of faith and his amazing experiences while serving the Lord in the South Pacific.   Things like being left on a small island until the wind changed...he had a dream that he was to conduct meetings for the people there, so this humble, shy young man gathered the 100 or so inhabitants for meetings and would teach them the Gospel.    He even sang songs of faith for them...yes, this bashful young missionary.   The Lord truly guided him during his service.

{Marry Me}
It wasn't long after arriving home from Tahiti that he met a beautiful 16 year old young woman who stole his heart.  She was originally from Oregon {ah, yes!} but moved to UT to marry this sweet, handsome man.

This is where my heart breaks.  Only a few days after they were wed my grandpa's father passed away.  He left a heart broken wife and 12 kids--the youngest being 2.   Grandpa said that his mom and dad were very much in love and that he would babysit every Friday night while they would go dancing.  This was a very, very sad time for his family.

Then within 6 months my grandpa's mother was tragicly killed in a car accident while transporting some youth {from the church} home from ice-skating in Salt Lake.

As you can imagine this was heart breaking for him as well as the rest of the family.  Can you imagine?! He recalls being really troubled by this until he prayed for understanding.   Peace came and he knew that his mom and dad needed eachother on the other side.

{More Patience}
Grandpa and grandma really wanted to start a family.  They had been trying to have children for several years when the WWII draft came.  Because they didn't have kids grandpa had to enroll and was sent to serve in the war.  He was ultimately stationed to censor mail in Guam. 

The love letters sent between him and my grandma during this time are heart wrenching.  They missed eachother terribly.

While in Guam he was asked to serve as the chaplain of the LDS group of service men.
{He is pictured on the far right...and I think he looks alot like my cousin Ryan! Hey cousins, what do you think?;)}

After returning to the States my grandparents continued to try and have children, but without any luck.  I'm sure this was a very hard situation for them both.

Grandma received a Priesthood blessing and was promised that she would bear children, and after 9 long years of trying and waiting she finally had her 1st child.

Yes, 9 years!!  

After this trial they were blessed with 4 of which was my mom. 
{Can you guess which one?!}

Yeah, the hottie on the far left in the groovy red pants.;)

They raised their kids on 5 acres in Oregon here...

And to make a long story short...

After their kids were raised, my grandparents served 4 church missions together... 2 were actually back to Tahiti.  My parents bought the house picture above--and that's where I was raised!

They lived inspiring lives of of love, service and patience.

And now we get to celebrate my grandpa's 95th birthday at a family reunion in Oregon this summer! 

Do you like the shirt I designed for the reunion? 

I love this humble, faithful, and extremely patient man!

{The picture below is with my grandpa and my 2 sisters...Margo and Stephanie}

I wish I could tell you all more details about his life, but I guess that's why I made the picture book of his life history! {I'll give you more info about the making of this book another time...its been a relatively easy, fun, and life changing project.  Oh, and a great gift idea!:)}

And before I get too far behind in posting pictures, here's some of a hike we did a few weeks ago.  I figured they kindof went along with this Father's Day theme...right?:)

Ethan loved it.  He asked us to call him "Explorer Ethan".  And he wasn't joking around.:)

{One More}
And as long as I'm catching up on pictures...;)

I'm pretty sure I set a Toad's Treasures blog record with this post having the most pictures ever. Better stop.


Hope you have a great Father's Day and get a chance to hug and kiss a guy that's made a difference in your life.

One Lucky Toad

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