Another week of wild berries

This was a full week. All week Mike has been working on a surprise expansion for The Perfect Moment. Jason Tagmire - Mike's publisher - asked him to prepare an expansion as a stretch goal for the kickstarter campaign. It has been fun so far to come up with some new abilities as it has been a while since the game has changed.

Rea started horseback riding lessons this week. She has four lessons, every Monday night from 6 to 7pm. She is very, very excited and she had a wonderful time. She learned to signal the horse to walk and to stop and practiced posting and trotted a few steps. She is very proud of herself. She was also eager to tell everyone about how one of the older girls in her class got bucked off a horse! That was a little scary, but Rea still loves riding.

Wednesday was the 4th of July, so we went to the pool park and picked some chokecherries. They were not as ripe as they could have been, but we still got a ton of ones that were fairly ripe. Mike and Rea were the main pickers, and Sara, Timmy and Gideon were the main whiners. You can guess where that left Alison.

We also found some more juneberries, and two different varieties of currants. The green currants were the best. When we got home Mike made Chokecherry syrup, which is sour and sweet and very runny. He has tried it out on greek yogurt, and it didn't sweeten it up much. Here's to hoping it goes well over pancakes.

In the evening, since no-one was going to our barbecue and fireworks, we went to Amy and Dave's for theirs. It was fun. We had a good chat, and the kids played sprinkler and water-balloon games. At the end of the barbecue we lit fireworks (since they were illegal in Sandy this year).

We went up to Flat Iron Mesa park for the firework shows like we do every year, however we saw bats this year - which we have never seen before. The shows were pretty lame, so we left at about 10:00.

On Thursday, Alison and the kids drove down to Richfield and back to visit Grandma Julie and Grandpa Craig, Becky's family, and Katie's family at Grandma Poulson's house. It was a lot of driving (over 2 hours each way), but the kids were very good on both drives. We had a lot of fun swimming at the pool, playing with grandparents and cousins, and talking. It was great to get together, even if just for one day.

As Alison and the kids drove back from Richfield, Mike went to his board game design guild meeting. He played a game by a another designer, and had a fun time.

Friday we packed our bags and hiked up to lower bell canyon reservoir for an overnight camping trip. We found a grove of trees and hung up our hammocks in the trees, and went down to the reservoir. We had only brought three water bottles, and since it was 99 degrees outside we broke out the filter straw that Alison got for her birthday. It was a little difficult to get used to, but we ended up all able to drink from it with the exception of Gideon.

We played at the reservoir for a while, and then we went to bed. The bedtime story was the first chapter of the first Bartimaeus book.

Saturday we woke up and hung around at the reservoir for a while. We saw a bunch of ducks (which were very popular, and which we did not feed). We also saw some ground bees which were living under rocks. Eventually we decided to leave because it was getting too hot.

As we hiked back down we found a huge juneberry bush, which had juneberries that tasted excellent. We ate a lot, and finished the hike at about 10.

We ended at a different trail-head than we started since Mike had to go home and milk the goats in the early morning. Overall it was a fun little trip.

Right after church on Sunday, Mike was about to take a nap, so he told the kids to form baguettes and put them into baguette pans for us to eat. Rea and Timmy shaped them, Sara oiled the pans and applied oil and spices to the outside of the breads, and once Mike woke up he threw them in the oven. Twenty minutes later they came out of the oven, and we ate all four of them immediately. They were very good.

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