A Backyard Camp Out Extravaganza!

A Backyard Camp Out Extravaganza!

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In checking off My Summer Bucket List–one big item remained outstanding until last weekend…

 Backyard Camp Out!  www.mytributejournal.com

It wasn’t like I was purposely trying to put it off–busy summer schedules just didn’t free up a weekend that worked for everyone until last Friday…and it was well worth the wait!

I think it goes without saying that in planning activities for children, you have to learn to expect the unexpected and be flexible, but that doesn’t mean that a little pre-planning isn’t important–it is!  I gave Makena and Marli an invitation about a week before the camp out, then on the night of the festivities, I greeted them with a bit of fan fair!  It let the girls know that I was just as excited as they were–it also set the mood for a great weekend!

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photo (70)My daughter informed me that the girls had packed their suitcases all by themselves and had enough for several days!  So much fun!

A Backyyard Camp Out extravaganza!  www.mytributejournal.com

I think my granddaughters would have been content to run around and play with their balloons, but there was so much more yet to do at our backyard camp out extravaganza! 

My husband and I might have opted for our favorite picnic hot dogs at our camp out, but Makena and Marli love pizza!

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The girls each made their own pizza–that way they could pile on all the pepperoni and olives they wanted!  When kids pitch in and help make their dinner, sometimes they eat it better too!  

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Brand new pj’s are a must at any backyard camp out extravaganza!  Grandpa especially liked these ones!  

It’s always my hope that as I spend special times with my granddaughters, I can introduce them to some of the fun things their grandpa and I did with their mom when she was growing up!

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Our own kids enjoyed many fun, summer nights playing croquet…Makena and Marli loved playing it too! 

Marshmellow treats!  www.mytributejournal.com

No backyard camp out is complete without the marshmallows!  We don’t have a fire pit, so I adapted our marshmallow treat a little.  I cut straws in half to hold the marshmallows, then just filled small bowls with some ice cream toppings and sprinkles and let the girls dip away!

Oh, the sheer joy of watching how quickly a tent can became a backyard fantasy land!

A Backyard Camp Out extravaganza!  www.mytributejournal.com

A Backyard Camp Out Extravaganza!  www.mytributejournal.comThere seems to be no better place for UNO game tournaments and flashlight stories than inside a cozy tent!  Makena informed us that she loved having a late, late night!

For a Grandma who usually prefers the comfort of a nice, soft bed, there was no better place to wake up in the morning than beside these two cute girls!

Photo (79)We enjoyed a leisure morning lounging and laughing with Makena and Marli, then after a yummy pancake breakfast, we played a few more games and were just generally silly together before their mom and dad came to pick them up.

Silly!  www.mytributejournal.com

Grandpa and Grandma’s Backyard Camp Out may be checked off my Summer Bucket List this year, but I think we’ll make it an annual event!

After A Backyard Camp Out Extravaganza!  www.mytributejournal.com I had to chuckle when my daughter sent me this picture of the girls in a text when they were just down the street a few blocks on their way home!  That’s a sure sign that some good playing was done at Grandpa’s and Grandma’s house!  Ha!

What are some fun adventures you’ve enjoyed this summer?

Enjoying Summer!  www.mytributejournal.com

I hope everyone is enjoying what’s left of summer!


Summer Lovin’!

Summer Lovin’!

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com What is it about summer…

…even if you’re not on vacation–summertime just has a more festive, fun, casual feel about it!

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com “It’s a smile, it’s a kiss…it’s sweet summertime!  “Summertime”  by Kenny Chesney

Summer isn’t necessarily void of the obligations and concerns we may have any other time of year–but things just seem to be more lighthearted at summertime.

S   U   M   M   E   R  !  !  !

My Summer State Of Mind!   www.mytributejournal.com


Summer is snow cones and splash pads! Snow cones!  www.mytributejournal.com If my granddaughter, Makena, had her way, “Bananaberry” would be the official flavor of summer!

Splash pads!  www.mytributejournal.comGoing to a splash pad is a nice alternative to the neighborhood swimming pool.  It’s easy to watch the kids and you can even kick off your shoes, roll up your pant legs and join in the fun.

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com


Summer comes with its own unique brand of fun! Arts festival. www.mytributejournal.com My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com Farmer’s markets, art’s festivals, boating…so many things that help make for great times and happy memories during the summer months!

iMy Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com


Oh, the delightful, joyful music of summer! My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.comSummertime always seems to inspire the singing of infectious, upbeat music–in my case, it’s always slightly off key!

iMy Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com


It wouldn’t be summer without a little make-believe and magic!Playing dress-ups!  www.mytributejournal.comPlaying dress-ups!  www.mytributejournal.com

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com

Even ordinary days in the summer take on a special energy and excitement that’s hard to describe!

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com

Road trips and riding bikes–just a few more really great things that you can’t help but love about summertime!

Road Trippin'  www.mytributejournal.com

My Summer State Of Mind!  www.mytributejournal.com Just being together with our families is always one of the very best parts about summer!

Family fun  www.mytributejournal.comThat…and lots of good food!!

World's Best Hot Dog!  www.mytributejournal.com

The recipe for the ultimate food truck hot dog coming soon!  My new favorite summer meal–seriously, sooo good!

Quicker than we realize, summer will be a done deal…so let’s keep on making the most of it while it lasts!

A Summer State Of Mind!  Www.mytributejournal.com

What do you love most about summer?


Beautiful Utah! Life Elevated!

Beautiful Utah!

Not only do we celebrate America’s birthday this month, in Utah on the 24th of July, we also celebrate the day the pioneers entered this beautiful valley to make it their home!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.com

Five Fast Facts About Beautiful Utah!

  • Utah was acquired by the United States in 1848 in a treaty ending the Mexico War.
  • The Great Salt Lake covers more than a million acres.
  • In February of 2002, Salt Lake City hosted the XIX Winter Olympics.
  • The TV series “Touched By An Angel” was filmed in Utah.
  • USA Today recently rated Utah as having the strongest economy. 

My father traveled extensively throughout his life, but he always used to tell me that driving up over the ridge of Sardine Canyon into beautiful Cache Valley and realizing that he was once again back home in Utah always filled him with deep feelings of great joy and contentment!  I experience those same feelings when I return home from a trip and peer out the window of the airplane as it touches down at the Salt Lake City, Utah airport.

The beautiful view as you first enter Cache Valley via Sardine Canyon!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.com

Welcome To Beautiful Utah!  Life Elevated!

Beautiful Utah!  Life elevated!

The vast mountain ranges and scenic surroundings of Utah can’t help but make you catch your breath as you visit this great state!  I imagine that as the pioneers caught their first glimpse of Utah when they peered over the rugged mountain tops, they surely realized there would be plenty of hard work ahead for them as they settled in Utah.

Perhaps that is why “Industry” is our state’s motto!

Industry--Utahs motto  www.mytributejournal.com

I’m so grateful for my Utah heritage.  I loved growing up in Utah, it was a great place to raise my children, and it’s fun to see my granddaughters being raised here, as well!

Beautiful Utah!  Things I Love About My Home State!

♥  I love experiencing all four seasons in Utah! 

Each season brings its own kind of magic to Utah–although I will admit that the older I get, I love shorter winters!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytrributejournal.com

♥  I love the natural outdoor playgrounds in Utah!

Hiking, biking, boating and skiing, and anything else in between–you name it…it’s all amazing in Utah!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comBiking in Utah  www.mytributejournal.com

Watering skiing at Pineview  www.mytributejournal.com

Vintage "Ski Utah" sign  www.mytributejournal.com

I love that even the big cities have a quaint, small-town feel in Utah!

There are many big-name department stores in Utah, but I love that there’s an eclectic mix of small businesses and shop owners too.  A fun array of vintage, antique and thrift stores help keep locals stocked up with all the unique baubles and chachkies we love so much!

Vintage jewelry  www.mytributejournal.com

On any given weekend from early spring to late fall throughout the beautiful state of Utah, you can bet that there will be a local Arts Festival or Farmer’s Market set up to sell fresh produce and handmade wares to intrigued consumers.

Beautiful Utah!  Summer Arts Fest!  www.mytributejournal.com

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comThere’s lots of good eating to be done in beautiful Utah too!

Good eats in Utah  www.mytributejournal.comMostly, I love Utah because like all the other 49 states in America, we are blessed with countless opportunities to work hard and play harder, and raise our families in wonderful communities where we have the chance to nurture and support each other through good times and bad.  I’m so grateful to be an American citizen–and I love living in beautiful Utah!

Beautiful Utah!  www.mytributejournal.comI hope everyone is having a fabulous summer–even though it is going by way too fast!

If you live in Utah, what do you love about our fair state–or what do you love most about where you live?