September 12, 2012

Bringing Nature Home, Literally

Over the summer, we tried to escape the city as much as possible and spend time in the great outdoors doing what great outdoors men do...

We went to Silver Lake with the McCoy family, where the fish weren't biting, but the ducks (and chipmunks) were.  I would wholeheartedly agree that fishing for duck is a form of animal abuse, but when your kids are laughing hysterically, you tend to let things slide. 
While looking at these pictures I realized why it is called Silver Lake...I may be a little slow, but can appreciate the beauty of the pearly gray water.

I'm not quite sure why the kids beg us to go hiking because they tend to whine at least 85% of the time. 
Maybe it's the trail mix, or in our case, the cherries we snack on along the way...
Or possibly the fact that traditional toilet paper is not available...
More likely, after struggling up the mountain, working and exhausting their little legs... 
...the reward is always worth it.  
Nothing beats reaching the summit.
In case you're wondering why I seem a bit bedazzled as we stand inches from a sheer cliff, its because I am...
Every where we go, if there is a flower, I will see this...
and this...
and certainly this...
John?  No.  Back to the story...
Every single weed flower we pass along the way is picked and placed in my hair.  If any single one happens to accidentally fall out, heartbreak ensues. 
By the end of a long hike I usually get some pretty odd looks.
I can't imagine why.

By far, my most exiting mountainous adventure this year was at Heber Valley Girls Camp, where I had my first experience as one of the camp directors.  After seemingly dedicating most of my summer (actually the past 6 months) to this one week, I think the girls had fun.  I hope so.  I don't know if I taught them anything, but I sure learned a lot.  

The week was filled with service projects, crafts, canoeing, devotionals, skits, hikes, wild life in and out of our cabins, and lots of sleepless nights missing my kiddos.
Though I am the biggest coward in the world, I couldn't be the only one who didn't brave the high course challenge.  My legs were shaking, but I did it.  
The bishopric told me they saw a few Hail Mary's coming from my direction...that may or may not be true, really anything is possible when panic mode sets in, ask John.

I was relieved when I got home.  John seemed a bit frazzled, but the children survived and the house was intact.  It was over, or so I thought.

A few days later, just when I was starting to get back into the swing of things, the fun really began.  After tossing and turning all night, I woke up to this...
and this...
Basically most of my body was covered in little red, itchy, pimple-like bumps that seemed to be spreading by the minute.

Long story short:
There were 2 cabins at camp.  Most of the people in my cabin broke out with the same mysterious rash.  Two doctors, three prescriptions, a little blood work and around $180 later...I still have no idea what we had.  The rash lasted off and on for three weeks.  Some were told they had Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, some thought Bed Bugs, and others Scabies.  I was originally told I was having an allergic reaction, then after further examination, that it might be some kind of non-human mite, most likely carried by the mice that haunted us nightly.  

What is a mite you might ask, why the hives?  Basically a disgusting parasitic creature lays eggs in your skin, which causes an allergic reaction...which caused me to go insane.  The headaches, body aches, and extreme fatigue didn't help things.

Full on craziness set it...I don't know how many times I washed my bedding, the kids bedding, our pillows (all while wearing gloves mind you) in scalding hot water and bleach.  I don't know how many random showers I took in the middle of the day in an attempt to maintain my sanity.  

I wasted hours and hours online, reading things like this and freaking myself out even more by scrolling through endless images, like our little friend here...
We call it the Country Park 5th Ward Plague.  Ah, the blessing of service.  I hope I don't get struck by lightening, though when I was infected with the CP5W Plague I probably would have welcomed it.  

It finally cleared up about a week ago and thankfully no one else in our family got it.  Maybe it wasn't contagious after all, or maybe all my crazy sanitizing paid off.  I guess we will never know.  
However, there is one thing I know for certain, nature and I need a break. Thank goodness it's nearly fall.


  1. You make me laugh! I should simply copy and paste the part of our "plague" into my own blog. I can't even get myself to blog about it yet! And yes, those darn blessings of service! Though I'm certainly glad I get to work with you!

    1. Hey at least we will never forget our time together :)

  2. I love the picture of you with all the flowers in your hair! Cracked up laughing...

  3. Can't decide if it's the toilet paper photo or the kids handing you flowers photo which is my favorite.
    They both capture my heart!