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For spring break some friends asked us if we wanted to go camping a couple days.  We had it planned and then it started to look like there might be a possibility Connor wouldn’t be able to go.  And he wasn’t.  We decided that he would drive up with me the first night to help get things set up and then he would leave early in the morning to make it back to work.  Then I would be there for the rest of the time with the kids (and help from our friends).  This wasn’t the ideal situation and if the kids weren’t excited about it, I probably wouldn’t have gone.  But overall, it was a great time.

Of course every road trip needs a stop on the side of the road.

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Once we got to the campsite the kids were off and playing!

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Some cute and dirty kids instantly!

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The bummer about camp was that we were not allowed to have camp fires.  This made for cold nights and mornings and dissapointment that we couldn’t make s’mores over a fire.

We made hot dogs on the camp stove.

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There was lots of playing in our tent!

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The kids loved the head lamps!

 So that night I did not sleep at all and that is not an exaggeration.  I really had no sleep.  I was wondering how I was going to make it through the day and our hike without Connor on no sleep.  But I made it through the day with little notice of the lack of sleep I had. (The story is: During the night when I was getting more and more agitated that I wasn’t falling asleep, I prayed and asked for help to fall asleep.  When that didn’t seem to be working, I prayed and asked that I would be able to get through the day okay. I don’t really know what I was expecting but definitely not what blessing I ended up getting. Once I started getting up and getting ready for breakfast and the hike, I noticed I wasn’t feeling too tired, almost like I would feel if I got a decent nights sleep.  Then came the hike but I wasn’t feeling any more tired than I normally would have.  And this was the trend the whole day.  I was tired at bedtime and slept pretty well that night.  So I know my prayer was answered better than I could have imagined!!)

Here the kids are by a big boulder just before we started the hike.

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There were caves to hike through so Corbin insisted on wearing his head lamp at the start of the hike.

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Can I just say how awesome these kids were on the hike?  All 6 of the kids!!! Jon was awesome to switch off carrying the 2 toddlers and the three older boys loved being in the lead.  There were a few falls but we all made it without anything major.  Also some whining which I think is to be expected when hiking with kids, but I love that they can say they accomplished something hard!  And it was so worth it to go through the caves!  

We got back to camp and there was lots of playing and exploring and relaxing!

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Then dinner and s’mores on the stove.

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Then a good nights sleep.  And a sort of lazy morning before we got packed up.

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Then we went on one last exploring mission before we headed home!

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Thanks to the Maginots for a fun time!!!

Easter Family Pictures

Since Easter this year was during General Conference, we dressed in our Easter best the Sunday after.  Here are some of the best (or most entertaining) ones of us!

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Happy Spring!


Easter fell during General Conference this year which makes for a little more relaxing day.  We started off our Easter festivities the night before while Connor was at Priesthood session.  We colored our Easter eggs.  I usually don’t get my act together to do this so I think this was the first time it happened when I was in charge of it happening.

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After the kids got in bed, the Easter Bunny prepared their baskets and hid them.  Last year, Corbin had a melt down when he couldn’t find his basket within 10 seconds.  He remembered that and said he didn’t want to be given any hints this year in where his basket was hidden.  We took that as a sign that he wouldn’t mind a little bit harder place.

Kinsley’s was hidden by the piano.

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Cason’s was under a curtain.

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Corbin’s was hidden in the hutch.

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Turns out we had a repeat of last year and there was another melt down.  I hope next year is better!

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Easter mess!

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And as if the kids didn’t get enough sugar, we made bunny donuts for breakfast.  (Don’t worry. There was some healthy stuff too?!)

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After conference we finished decorating our eggs.

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Then we had an Easter egg hunt in our backyard just after the rain stopped.

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Aisling found the GOLDEN EGG AGAIN!!!!  That’s 2 years in a row!!

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Then we had dinner and I didn’t take on picture of that part.  

I am grateful for what Easter represents.  For our Savior’s resuccection on that 3rd day after he died for us.  I know that is true!


Happy Easter!

© The Duke Fam 2014