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Ten Things of Thankful: Summer Recap

My four granddaughters harvesting raspberries and strawberries from my garden

Can you believe it is September already? The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop took a break over August, but I actually also missed the last couple of linkups in July, so I have plenty of catching up to do! Without further ado, here is my "What I Did Over Summer Vacation" post, with plenty of thanks thrown in. 

July was filled with family times. John and I drove with our youngest son to the Oregon coast, where we gathered with my parents, siblings, oldest daughter, a sister-in-law, and numerous nieces and nephews for a weekend filled with good conversation, laughter, and games.  A cousin came by for a couple of hours as well, which was wonderful. 

Left to right: my brother, sister, dad, mom, and me

We didn't plan tons of activities, but we did visit a local escape room one day. I'm proud to announce that we set the all-time record for quickest escape (23 minutes 13 seconds).  I was happy to tag along on the coattails of my smart relatives!

1. I'm thankful for my parents, siblings, and the families we have formed. 

2. I'm also thankful for cousins. 

After the trip to Oregon, it was back home for less than a week, then John and I drove to California to pick up the grandchildren for another visit. As you can tell from the photo at the  top of this post, our granddaughters loved picking berries in our backyard. Our grandsons were more interested in finding snails than picking berries. We had lots of time to play, both at home and at local parks and museums. The time went all too quickly, though, and we drove them back to their home at the end of July.

3. I'm thankful for my grandchildren and the chance we had to spend time together.

We returned home August 1st and threw ourselves into a project. You may recall that we purchased a small camper trailer earlier this year. We had only gone on one overnight trip with it, basically to figure out what we didn't know and to learn what would make it more functional for us. We were able to get reservations at Madison Campground in Yellowstone National Park for 5 nights in August, so we spent the first part of August getting ready for that trip. John, in particular, was very busy modifying the trailer and prepping it for our time away. Interior changes we made (some of which you can see in the photos below): turned the dinette table into a permanent bed, installed a pivoting table by the couch, put in a TV and DVD player, put a medicine cabinet in the bathroom, put in clothes rods in the little closet, put up peel and stick tiles in the kitchen, and covered the couch cushions with slipcovers. While there are still some additional projects that could improve functionality even more (fans for the ceiling vents, for example), all in all we are very pleased with how comfortable and practical our cozy trailer is. 

The "before" of the inside of our trailer (in a weird panorama shot that made the kitchen seem curved)

The "after" photo, showing the table stowed over the couch.
4. I'm thankful for projects that John and I can work on together. 

The camper provided a comfortable place to eat and sleep at Yellowstone. The last time we had camped there, we tent camped and it rained pretty heavily some days/nights. This time, the weather was perfect, but we still appreciated how warm the trailer stayed at night. Being able to shower was a plus, too! :-)

We had a great time at Yellowstone. We were there during the Perseid meteor shower, and the sky is so dark there we were able to view dozens of falling stars in a short amount of time. During the days, we enjoyed hikes, watched multiple geysers erupt, and viewed wildlife. We saw a grizzly bear! It was too far away for a photo, but close enough that binoculars worked well. 

John and I hiking at the wonderfully reflective Trout Lake

Steam rises from Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park

A golden stream runs off Sapphire Pool

Below, a video of Beehive Geyser erupting:

Morning Glory Pool 

An enormous bull elk grazing on the side of the road

The red sun sets behind a grazing bison
5. I'm thankful for this beautiful world. 

After Yellowstone, I had a weekend to catch up on laundry, then I was off to BYU Education Week. It had been years since I had been able to attend, so I was really looking forward to it. Every day, I could attend classes on a variety of topics and just enjoy the atmosphere and learning. I always come away from Education Week feeling both calm and re-energized. 

The "Y" on the mountain above the campus of BYU
6. I'm thankful to be able to return to my alma mater and learn.

I actually missed the last day of Education Week, but it was for a good reason. John's brother's wife was having a birthday party, and so John, his sister, her husband, and I drove to Colorado to join in the celebration. It was nice to be able to travel together, and we talked the entire way there and back. We towed our little trailer, so John and I stayed in a campground and his sister and her husband stayed in a hotel nearby. Saturday, we went to a science museum before the festivities began. The birthday party was 60's themed, so we all dressed up in groovy attire and a good time was had by all. We were glad we attended; it had been too long since we had all been together. 

7. I'm thankful for extended family. 

And that brings us to this week. I've enjoyed all the traveling, but it is good to be home. I've been able to catch up on laundry (again), spend some time working in the garden and flower beds, and generally take care of some items on the to-do list that had been neglected. John and I have gone to the temple, and on some hikes on the trails behind our house. I even completed "week 1, day 1" of the Couch to 5K running program (gasp!) I don't have a specific 5K race in mind for the future, but I'll figure it out as I get closer to ready. And that is really how I'm living my life right now, too: I'm doing the things I can to prepare for future adventures, even though those adventures are unknown at the moment. 

Cute little personal sized watermelon grow up a trellis in my garden

On the left, an arch between two empty garden beds. On the right, those beds planted and tomatoes, melons, and cucumbers climbing up the arch. 

Water from a creek flows over a wooden footbridge

Part of a rainbow comes down from the sky across Utah Valley, with the Mt. Timpanogos Temple at the left of the photo

8. I'm thankful for the joy of watching plants grow in my yard.

9. I'm thankful for the moisture we have received over the past year, and the moisture we continue to receive.

10. I'm thankful for John.

Now it's time for you to show and tell! I'd love to hear about your summer and what you are thankful for! Drop a comment below, and feel free to link up your own blog post on the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop


  1. It's great to see you again, welcome home! It sounds like the best summer report I've read in a while, I give it an A+, not that I'm a teacher or anything.

    Having such a trailer would be a dream come true for me, I'm holding out hope for someday.

    I hope your September proves a blessing!

  2. Thank you. It's nice to be home.
    A trailer had been on our wish list for a while--specifically, the smallest trailer we could find that still had a bathroom and permanent bed. We got lucky in finding a deal on one this year. Hope you can stumble across one that works for you!
    I hope September is a great month for you, too!


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