Friday, July 31, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple

We got the opportunity to attend the Oquirrh Mountain Utah Temple's open house today. The kids were thrilled to go inside the temple and see all of the different rooms. We got the opportunity to sit and relax in one of the sealing rooms and see our family reflected through the mirrors. It was awesome to see my family  repeat throughout eternity. While it was very crowded, there was a soft spirit inside that calmed the grouchiness of waiting in line.

Parkers favorite room was the baptismal font. He can't wait until he is 12 and can do baptisms for the dead. He had a million questions and I loved discussing the temple's importance in our lives with him. Sometimes I think that Parker is a little Bishop in training. I look up to him in so many ways.
Grace also like the baptismal font, but really loved the sealing rooms and looking through the eternity mirrors.  Seeing her gaze through eternity gave me a glimpse of how beautiful she is inside and out. Her sweet countenance reflected through those mirrors and I was in awe at the beauty of that site.
Kate liked the alter in the sealing room and knelt on the side to see what it will feel like when she marries Daddy. She was so excited to visit a real temple. She held my hand and quietly listened to all of our comments. I'm so glad that she has her sites set on temple marriage and loves the temple at such an early age.
I am so grateful that I got to share this opportunity with my little family. Being in the sealing room with all of my children was priceless. Each of them had a reverence that the spirit spoke softly to. I think I felt a little bit of heaven today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Bear Lake 2009

Every summer the Hunsaker family invites the Durrants to Bear Lake. Wayne trades his services for use of a cabin on the beach. We look forward to this trip every year. The water is beautiful, the food is excellent, and the company doesn't get any better.

This year was a quiet year for all of those who attended. It was our first year without Aunt Pammy. She always spear headed this trip and fussed over everything so it would be just right for all of us. We really missed her laughter, sunburns, cooking, leadership and cuddling. It seemed like everyone was a bit apprehensive about going, but were glad they did. It was a great way to remember Pam and she would have been mad at us if we didn't go. Family traditions were a big part of who she was and how I'll remember her. Thanks to Wayne and his family for another great year of Bear Lake memories.

Kate collecting mini sea shells on the beach. She did have her clothes on, but got them all wet with collection excitement. She makes a cute nudist anyway.

The kids made a huge castle this year. It had a big moat that filled up with water when the waves came in to protect the main castle in the center. Grace and Gabe spent hours working on it. It spanned the whole front of our tented area.

Parker was a water boy. He loved putting his new swimming skills to the test by swimming to the buoy and back. Check out those muscles!

And when the day was done, Emmy slept comfortably in a drawer at the hotel.

Donna Turns 80!

Happy Birthday Grandma Donna! We love you.

This year we took a Parker family picture and gave it to Great Grandma Donna. She loved it.

Singing Happy Birthday.

Grandma just loves to dress up pretty. Wait a minute. That's not Donna. That's Parker!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Award Winning Artists

This year instead of running in the Steel Days Fun Run, we decided to enter the art contest. My little artists each won an award in their division and a small cash prize. It was so fun to see their talents showcased in the art gallery.

"Happily Ever After"

"Mr. Roboto"

Friday, July 17, 2009

Bee Stings

My beautiful little girl got stung by a yellow jacket just below her nose. It got so swollen that it spread around her entire face. The after photo was taken 2 days after the sting incidence. For a girl who is very proud of her good looks, this was quite the test. We talked about how some kids faces are swollen from cancer therapy or other illnesses and she felt pretty lucky that her huge face would go away. She even allowed herself to be seen in public. A few years ago, she wouldn't leave the house unless her hair was done cute. Grace has come a long way inside and out. Her sweet spirit is blossoming just a beautifully as the outside.
After several dosages of Benadryl and cold compresses, the swelling kept growing bigger and bigger. We took her to the doctor and he said that her body overreacted to the bee venom and went in over drive. He gave her some steroids and she was fine in a couple of days. 

Steel Days Parade 2009

Each year we look forward to Steel Days! Our family jokes about owning the city because three Durrants worked at city hall and we think that this parade is our parade. It's always a good time. American Fork provides a ton of fun things to do during the week of Steel Days.

Coveted parade watching spot under the shade of the Presbyterian church trees.

Trying to catch some shade between candy runs.

Where is that candy?

Our drum major, Christian. Go AF Marching Band!

Aunt Jolene is so proud of her boy. She should be! Christian is extremely talented with many different musical instruments.

Parker and Grace posing with Derek and Christian. These two boys are like movie stars to my kids because the AF Marching Band is nationally ranked and wins every competition they enter. These two boys are the best of the best.

Kate just loves waving at the "princesses."

Mmmmm... CANDY!

Parade? What parade? Isn't everyone here to see my cuteness?

Keeping cool in the shade.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

FHE In AF Canyon

We had so much fun hiking Timp Cave that we decided to spend the following family home evening roasting weenies and marshmallows up American Fork Canyon. A ton of people had the same idea we did, so we ended up by Tibble Fork. It was a beautiful drive and a great spot. 
Amanda was super helpful and sprung for the all of the food. Thanks Mandy! Hhmmm... Hot dogs.
Kate helped me burn my marshmallow because burned is the best for impatient smores eaters like me. 
Little M was hypnotized by the flicker of the fire.
We love the canyons!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Swim Lessons

The Durrant's needed a bit of a break from the Butler crazies and we needed to get out of the house. So I decided to sign the kids up for swimming lessons at the AF Recreation Center. Parker had a fit! He bawled that I was forcing him into something he didn't want to do. So of course, the girls took the opposite approach and were happily thrilled. That seems to be the pattern around our house these days. One kid acts like the devil and the others are angels.
Just look at the tortured look on Parker's face. Poor kid, forced to do things he doesnt' want to do.... NOT! He and Grace were in the same class and just loved it. They refined their strokes and did very well. Now Parker's only complaint is that the lessons were too short. Go figure.
Life jacket skills put to the test. They loved every minute of it! Grace was the best dolphin stoker and Parker had the best breath stroke. They both passed level 3 and have graduated onto level  4 were their swim skills will be more endurance based and they will learn life saving skills.
Kate was very excited until she found out that kids sometimes splash and she might get her face and hair wet. That threw her over the edge. It was hard to get her to go to class. She would usually sit on the edge while the other kids swam. We bribed her with snow shacks after each lesson and she still fought it. But, after she tortured her poor Mom to death and class was over she returned to her happy little self. 
Ring around the rosies. She's supposed to go under the kids arms at the end of the song, but she lifted their arms up instead so she wouldn't have to put her face in the water.
Breath stroke. Just look at that technique. She's a natural at above water swimming and will be repeating preschool swim lessons next year. She tried her best and I'm very proud of her!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Amanda's Birthday Hike

This year for Amanda's birthday she wanted to celebrate another year of wisdom by hiking Timp Cave with her favorite people.... The Butlers! I really can't blame her. She's always been a very smart girl.
The mountain is beautiful! We forgot how much we love the mountains. There is so much to see and appreciate.
Here's a view from up high on American Fork Canyon. It was fun to look down and figure out where our new house is located at.
My little hikers did awesome! Kate hiked almost all the way to the cave.
Parker took pretty good care of his ol' Mom and suffered the hike with me. He was a great partner and took care of me. He is such the little gentleman.
Great rock formation about half way up the trail. Amanda and Grace were partners.
Enter the cave at your own risk! Wah-Ha-Ha!
The formations were beautiful. Can you find the octopus? How about the popcorn and straws? It was cold and damp inside of the cave. Some of the alcoves were very tight. One of the formations has been foundly named, Thirteen Stitches. The name keeps changed because the stitches record keeps getting broken. Be careful!
On the way down, the mountain got tired and we gave it a rest by holding it up for a little while.
The downhill was a too much for Kate. She enjoyed the rest of the hike on Wing's back. Hikers walking past us grinned at her little cuteness. One hiker even said that Wing should get a t-shirt that says, "I hiked Timp Cave and all I got was this cute little girl on my shoulders."
We had a great time! Thanks Amanda for having another birthday and kicking us into shape!


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