I started this post over a month ago when I was trying to get caught up before Mason's biopsy and our second trip to Lake Powell, but never finished it! And now the summer is over and the kiddos are already back in school! This summer went way too fast... I guess just another reminder to cherish every moment with our children, because time flies by and they grow up too quickly! Here is what was going on with the Strickland's in July...
4th of July
What would the 4th of July be without a little bit of baseball?... (Well, if we couldn't be at the beach that is! We had to bump our week at the beach a little later in July this year because our teenagers went on their pioneer trek in July as well.)
Braiden had a local baseball tournament on the weekend of the 4th. He and his team played great, and the families all had a fun time visiting and watching too! Braiden also hit a home run which won one of their games! Go Braiden #7!!!
(Braiden and teammate Jordan's home run day)
(Mason is congratulating Braiden's teammate Blair for a home run too!)
(Refueling before the next game)
Later that night we celebrated with family at a BBQ and pool party,
then finished the night off watching fireworks at the park!
The Pioneer Trek
July 8-11 Kaitlin and Preston went on a pioneer trek in Wyoming with 520+ youth ages 14-18. They walked and pulled handcarts for 28 miles through out the 3 1/2 days. At times they walked through rain, hail, and wind... and all while wearing pioneer type clothing! What an experience!
What exactly is a pioneer trek?
"Pioneer treks are a common summer activity for Church members around the world, allowing them to experience, if even partially, the challenges the earliest pioneers faced in searching for religious freedom in the 1800s." Click here to learn more.
Kaitlin came home and said, "that was the hardest thing I've ever done, but I will definitely make my own kids do it someday too!" So it must have been a great learning experience!
Besides the difficult parts of the trek, the youth also had fun playing some of the games the pioneers used to play in the evenings after their long days on the trail. I'm grateful for all the leaders who went along and for those who took part in the planning for this amazing adventure!
Southern California Beaches
One of my most favorite weeks of the year is the week our family spends in my happy spot! Although Utah is where I call home now and love raising my kids here, I will always be a California girl at heart! We had a great week at the beach enjoying the waves, sunshine, and sand! We hung out at some of our favorite beaches... Doheny, Salt Creek, Crystal Cove, T-street, and Strands. There was lots of surfing, boogie boarding, beach strolling, sandcastle making, smash ball playing, sun tanning, sunset watching, and visiting with friends. Here are just a few of our memories that I captured...
(Kaitlin and Braiden)
(Ammon, friend Ryker, Braiden, and Preston)
(Braiden, Mason, and Mark)
(Preston, Braiden, and Mason)
(Mason finally had fun playing in the water this year,
because his new wet suit kept him nice and warm!)
(Ammon doesn't love the beach because he doesn't like to get sandy,
so sometimes he'll take a long nap all covered up under the umbrella...)
(But, other times he gives up on not gentling sandy,
and decides to enjoy our time at the beach!)
(The whole week, Mason and Ammon wanted to get a picture
with a lifeguard, so finally I asked a couple of lifeguards
to please pose with my two cute silly little boys!)
(Hanging out with the Foster family)
(Ammon and Kaitlin)
(Kaitlin, Preston, and Mason taking a much needed nap.)
(Mom and Mason selfie)
(Family photo at Crystal Cove)
See you next year So Cal... we love you!!!
Kaitlin flew straight from California to Boston, and then on to Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire where she nannied with 2 of her cousins for about 2 1/2 weeks. They helped take care of 28 grandkids of Uncle Brent and Aunt Meg. They were certainly kept busy chasing lots of kiddos, but I know that they had a lot of fun too!
Kaitlin was loved.....
by all of the darling children!
Kaitlin and her cousins, Abby and Natalie, had fun playing in the lake on their afternoon break and at night when their day of nannying was over.
Whether it was doing back flips off of the rope swing,
laying out, night surfing, midnight water sliding, or
just enjoying the beautiful sunsets.....these three girls
worked hard, but also had a blast on their free time!
Pioneer Day- July 24th
Our neighborhood always has a great time celebrating pioneer day. Starting with a bike parade, then bounce houses, watersides, and so much more! Ammon and Mason loved being part of the bike parade! And we love that our kids have such good friends to play with in our neighborhood!
As I've summed up another month of fun family times and memories I can't help but feel so blessed! Blessed that we are able to go and do fun things as a family, blessed to be a mom of 5 amazing kiddos, blessed that Mason has been healthy enough to enjoy family vacations, and so very blessed for the miracle that our Mason truly is!
6 years ago this month, on September 3 2009, we were told that there was nothing more that could be done to save our little Mason's life and that his months he had left here with us were few and numbered. As fresh as those emotions feel in my heart from that difficult time, it also feels like that was so long ago... because Mason has come so far since then! I do know that the miracles that we have seen could never have been possible without Mason's special heart donor, and without our faith in Him our Father Above, who has helped us through it all and sent so many blessings and miracles our way.
Thanks for checking in to visit us! I'm still catching up, so next post will be our August house boat trip to Lake Powell and back to school pictures . Remember to never stop believing in miracles! Goodbye until next time.