Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Camp Lake Aspen!

Dad and I drove up to Camp Lake Aspen this afternoon and it's beautiful. Thank you Amy for suggesting that we see if there were any church camping areas available. This one was available on exactly the days we will all be together - The afternoon of July 3rd, all day July 4th through the morning of the 5th. Lots of planning and coordinating to do, but I'm so happy we can be up there together. Wyatt will be right there with us in our hearts, but in other ways too, of that I have no doubt.

Our lake! There are four lakes in the campground, but this is the one we're right by and the missionaries assumed it's the one we'll be using. One of the senior missionaries caught 20 fish this morning, one of them a 5-pound trout. Forrest and David, he said he uses flies, just so you know. This is a catch-and-release lake but how fun! You can see the silver tips of the canoes in the bottom left-hand corner. It looked like there were six or seven canoes so we'll have plenty! Look closely at the middle of the photo and you can see the zip line that the kids can use to their heart's content! It dumps them off in the lake :-)

 The grandma and grandpa bench by the lake.

 There are water faucets at various places in the camp sites and fire pits. The water is safe to drink.

They provide the wood....lots of wood!

We have a big camp area all to ourselves. Our site is called "Nauvoo" so Tony and Cindy your family will feel like you've just been here. There are 15 or more sites to pitch tents that are leveled out with soft wood chips.

 Another part of our camp site.

Aspens galore. They said they've had some moose sightings a couple of times this week at the lakes where the moose come down to drink.

Sister Maughan talking with dad. She and her husband are two of the missionaries who live there during the summer.

 Restrooms with flush toilets and warm showers. One side is Men's, other side women's.

 The road leading into the camp.

 Pretty view of the mountains

One of the other four lakes - look close and you can see the baby ducks swimming around.

Swinging rope bridge over a stream for kids and brave adults (who aren't grandma) to try to master!

Rock climbing wall with all the harnesses and ropes we need. Luckily we have good teachers in the family!

Awesome rope swing that swings the kids out over the stream. The sister missionary said she's only fallen in once.

 Team building course that we can use however we want! Bring on the sock Olympics baby!

Our own covered pavillion with plenty of picnic tables where we will prepare meals, eat, playing cards, do crafts, who knows! We will have a great time.
Love you all,

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Wyatt, Women's Conference and Easter

What do you do when you're a 10-year-old boy in the hospital for your sixth round of chemo, and have spent more than 220 days in a hospital room? You put up a TENT in the room - that's what you do! "HI WYATT!!!"
No marshmallows were roasted, (although he probably thought about it)!

Here's one of the awesome Nurses at Minneapolis Children's, taking Wyatt's vitals through the tent door.

and here's that sweet little head bedded down for the night in his "other" bed.

Saying good-bye one final time to the ever-beautiful Minneapolis skyline as seen from the 7th floor.

Home again! This time with the addition of a backpack for dispensing heart medication, but that didn't stop Wyatt from volunteering to help cut up the strawberries for one of his favorite home meals - strawberry crepes!

While we were in Minnesota, I would go to Target almost every day as part of my routine, to pick up  items for dinner prep or browse the aisles to find something Wyatt might enjoy - like NUTELLA! I often wished he was with me on those trips, so when I asked him to come with me as soon as he was discharged this time, it felt like my own mini-"Make-A-Wish."

Dennis taught Wyatt the manly art of sitting and waiting patiently while at Target :-)

A big piece of my heart lives in Minnesota with Wyatt and the Hallstrom family. We love you so!


Back home again in Utah I was able to go to the General Women's Meeting with Cindy and the girls. Vivian got to come this time too because she was eight and Cindy scored tickets so we were able to attend downtown at the conference center. It was pouring rain all day, and that afternoon I decided to buy everyone an umbrella at the Dollar Store. I envisioned all sorts of pretty pastels, but the Dollar Store only had black so as Cindy's mom used to tell her kids,"You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!"

 The trees on the Temple grounds were all arrayed with spring blossoms.

It was fun looking out over a sea of umbrellas too! Our seats were close to the front in the far right corner of the conference center auditorium. I've always wanted to sit there because that's where all of the speakers and the General Authorities exit. It was exciting to be up close and personal and watch President Uchtdorf and Harriet and President Eyring wave to everyone as they left at the end of the conference.

After the meeting was over we all streamed outside. It was close to 8:00 p.m., the rain had stopped, the sun had come out, and it looked like we were in heaven with streets bathed in gold. That glow is the setting sun bouncing off the pavement. Pictures don't do it justice but it was brilliant!

The temple bright with setting sunlight, with thousands of faithful women and girls strolling by. No one seemed to be in a hurry, we all lingered outside on the temple grounds and enjoyed the moment. And then we ALL headed over to Crossroads mall to window shop. Thousands. I bet there aren't more than a handful of guys who do that after Priesthood session.

I bought myself a jewel-toned blue blouse at Christopher and Banks and liked it so well that I talked my mom into getting one too. Twinners.

 I put this photo on Instagram but it's such a Pollyanna spring picture!

 Eli Andrew Sweat turned 12!

 Three Brothers......

Three sisters! It was such a great time to have Julie here during conference weekend. She comes and cooks and cares for mom and dad whenever she can. Bless her!

 We all went to Red Butte Gardens and Emma sported her best moose-horn look.

Lou officially completed her freshman year at BYU-Idaho! Way to go Lou!!!! Dennis drove up and helped her move out and and they drove back to our house. You can tell they've been road tripping in Idaho because they had not one but TWO sagebrush trophies caught in the grill! The next morning Elise ended up having to wait at the airport for seven hours because the airlines were so fouled up, and after all that, she ended up having to come back to our house and spend the night before she was able to get out of town the next day, poor kid! AND she had to endure riding with me at 5:30 a.m. on the way to the airport the first time in a driving rainstorm and I couldn't see a thing. It's GARK at 5:30 a.m. She is always very steadfast and resassuring when I'm gripping the wheel in a panic.

 Eli Andrew Sweat was ordained a Deacon. Cutest little Deacon ever!

 Our yard in its springtime glory. It's never this pretty again.

 My favorite chicks.

 The fairy garden got all gussied up for the Easter Egg Hunt!

 And they're off!~

 Jane in full hunting mode!

 Cutest Truman enjoying the prickly grass.

I "planted" jelly bean "seeds" and Calvin watered them, and lo and behold, when he wasn't looking they "grew" into big carrots!

Dennis had the lawn in pristine condition and the day was gorgeous. My mom and dad couldn't come because my dad wasn't feeling well, and it was Emma's birthday party so they couldn't come.So it was just the Springville Sweats (and minus Lauren and Reagan at that). But it didn't feel "just" at all - it felt "just right!"

 Did I already say "cutest?"

Tony helped me fulfill my need to fly a kite.

Thanks for your patience!

Lauren and Reagan weren't able to come on Saturday, so I had the younger kids hide their eggs the next day when they came up for Sunday dinner.

Ha - Lauren's body language says it all - I guess 18 is when you're officially too old to hunt for Easter Eggs - but she was such a good sport anyway!

Great-grandma and Great-Grandpa Hiatt were able to come to dinner on Easter Sunday. Lookin' good with Truman in the swing.

Truman had this thing with throwing the easter eggs. He did it with such concentration it was almost like he was "working" and doing a job that had to be done.

Here are five cute shots with the Tru and Tulips in the front


We had strawberry shortcake for desert. The stained glass artwork behind this was created by Wyatt during one of his hospital stays. I love it!

"Grandma, I found the red solo cups if you'd like one?"

Tony and Dennis also got my dad set up with Tony's spare iphone so that my dad can use Uber if he ever needs to. The reason he might need to use Uber (when I'm not being Uber or Denny's not Uber) is because he had a couple of close calls where he mistook the gas for the brake, and decided it was time to give up his driving privileges. This has been a huge life change for him, as it would be for any of us. He has always loved his cars, and been so self-sufficient. But we're grateful he has been wise enough to make this decision, even though it's been torture for him! One outcome was that Tony and Cindy were looking for another "teenager" car for their family since the one they're driving is on its last legs. Soooooooo..............they bought Great-Grandpa's car!

Oh yeah, now Reagan and her friends are now cruising around Springville, Utah in great-grandpa Hiatt's pristine maroon BUICK! Reagan customized it with the addition of the hula doll (as if I had to tell you it wasn't already there) and Tony helped her install disco lighting on the floor. I laughed when I saw it. Great-grandpa Hiatt was speechless but amused. She and her friends were amazed that the front seat could be made into a bench seat where three people can sit comfortably. They don't make them like they used to!
And they don't make Great-Grandpa's any better than Great-Grandpa Hiatt.

Camp Lake Aspen!

Dad and I drove up to Camp Lake Aspen this afternoon and it's beautiful. Thank you Amy for suggesting that we see if there were any ch...