This week the kids had Spring Break. We made a quick stop in Orem for a family dinner, a haircut for me (thanks, Lynds!), and a quick trip to the temple (thanks, Anita!). Woo got a dime sized cyst removed from his arm at Vivint's free and very quick and easy clinic, which is lucky because otherwise, he probably never would've gone in.

Then we were on our way to Zion National Park.

Well, that was the goal, but we spent about two hours in Beaver replacing two tires. We got a flat tire 1/2 mile out of Beaver. Woo thought it was one of the best things that had ever happened to him. He knew he'd gotten all the wear he possibly could get on that set of tires and all the stress of choice and finding the best deal was eliminated for him, when we went to the guy a block off the freeway and had him fix it.

We camped above Rockville on BLM land, which was practically deserted, but we were surprised to find we had LTE, since we camped yards away from Rockville's cell tower.

In the morning we went into Zion, which was SO crowded--it almost wasn't fun. The first hike we went on, Emerald Pools, was pretty miserable with all the people, and not being very exciting anyways. But, by the second day, we'd figured Zion out: ride to the top and do the hikes coming down. Everyone else is doing the hikes coming up, and we missed them.

Karen and Peter's kids had Spring Break the same week and it was fun to be able to meet up for a night. Whenever we camp with other people, it seems like they pull out the smores and the guitar, and Woo and I think, "Oh, yeah... people do those sorts of things when they're camping."

For some reason they completely slip our minds, and we stick to cavemen types of entertainment like drawing a line, picking a target and letting everyone take three rock tosses. Which, I'll be honest, we enjoyed. Woo won the most. Ruby, Herbie, and I had a couple of wins each. Moses won at least once, and Linus was surprising good. He was second a couple of times. Penelope and Archie were just happy to toss rocks.

In fact, I think most of us could have spent the entire day throwing rocks into water.
Woo: Throwing rocks--I'm pretty sure that's what they do in heaven all day.

It's by far, Archie's favorite thing. On our walk today, he refused to go any farther, until we told him there was some water up ahead he could throw rocks in.
Archie: Oh! Water? I'm coming!

Camping with these kids is getting so much easier. I think in a year or two it's going to be a walk in the park. I can almost taste it. But, Ruby must have overheard something because on the first night as she was falling asleep she asked, "Mom, do you have fun camping? Do you have fun camping with all these kids? Is it hard to do?" I said, "It's not easy, no, camping with little kids." And when she asked again, "But do you like it?" I understood what she was really asking and I gave her a hug and said, "You kids are worth all the work, Ruby." Which must have satisfied her because she snuggled down and fell asleep.

Ruby, standing up for the little guy.
Linus: Rattlesnakes are mean! 
Ruby: No, they're just who they are, they're not mean.
Woo honked the horn while we drove through the tunnel on the Zion-Mount Carmel highway, which mystified the kids. They couldn't figure out where the sound was coming from, and when Woo said he'd done it, they couldn't figure out how (we must not honk the horn often enough).

But, Ruby told us all how it was done, "You blow on the sides of the wall!"

The shuttle buses were a big attraction for the kids. At one stop, the rest of us were looking up at people climbing the Angels Landing trail, right on the cliff face, and Archie faced the opposite direction so he could point and shout at every bus that drove by.

While the rest of us enjoyed pictures of the canyon during the short movie in the museum, Linus loudly whispered several times, "Why don't I see any buses or people?!" .

Penelope "wrote" some songs for us on the drive out. The first one repeated this refrain: I don't like red walls. I like red walls.
Penelope: Mom! I wrote another song! You want to hear it?
Then she sang another song to the same tune: I don't like red clifts. I like red clifts.

We stuck Herbie and Penelope together in the same tent, which was one of the best match ups we've ever done. They didn't wrestle at all, and Herbie took good care of Penelope.

Herbie: Maybe, when the little kids are napping, Dad can take us big kids up to Angels Landing? 
You big kids aren't that big, Herbie. Just thinking about it almost gives me a heart attack.

Herbie lost his hat near the Narrows. We prayed we would find it, but we never did. Instead he found a Wolf Scout hat in a DI in Cedar City that he's been wearing constantly since.

Ruby, Herbie and Moses picked up Jr. Ranger packets in the visitor's center. Ruby and Herbie finished theirs and got badges and stickers. Moses did not. Then he finished it on the way back to camp. The next morning, on our way out to head home, he asked, "Are we going back to the visitor's center to ask about Herbie's hat?"
Me: I don't know. Probably not. 
Moses: Well, if we do... the Jr. Ranger badges are in the same line... and I could get my badge?
Then he smiled so sweetly, he had me totally convinced. But it would've been a pain in the rear, driving back into the park, maneuvering the crowds, finding parking, waiting in line, etc. Moses will just have to get it done on time next time.

(Woo talking science)

One stop in the canyon has a large grassy area with a giant cottonwood tree in the middle. We stopped there many times for lunch or snacks. Woo would always make the kids "earn" their fruit rollups. He had Herbie do the crab walk to the tree and back. Penelope was sent to tickle Herbie, then run back. Linus did ten somersaults in a row one time. Another he ran to a bench and took a "count to 10" nap on it. Moses climbed a tree. Ruby ran to several places barefoot. Archie ran around the tree. It was fun to watch.

We got home in time for baths and haircuts and Conference. I hope you've all had a great Easter!