Friday, July 17, 2009

Pool Day: Tuesdays!

Loving this SUNSHINE!
This summer, every Tuesday we get to have the neighbors, Kaylee and Quinn, come spend the day with us as their mom is working... and so, we hit the Pool at Papa & Nana's house! What a blessing to have our own private, warm, clean, pool to enjoy and not be afraid of chaos in the pool, someone getting lost, parking and walking forever, bathrooms, and so on. It is awesome!

Ella freezing...
Asa trying to sneak in the deep end...
Asa getting a "drink" off of mom's swimsuit!...
Asa tossing random things in the pool...
(Asa took a dive onto the gravel from falling out the car door and that is why he has a scratched up face.)
Kiah and Kaylee are adorable, even when soaked...
Noah and Quinn clowning around in the water...
Ella redressed herself a bit early to get warm and "hang out"...
Kiah and Kaylee diving in the deep end of the pool...
Snack time...

Kiah always keeps an eye on her siblings. She is a big help to me and I really appreciate it. Here she takes Asa to play in the water...
Noah is a blow fish and Quinn has bug eyes...
Ella is just too cute...

Canning FREE Cherries!!!

Nothing beats free delicious CHERRIES!
My kids and I love canned cherries.
I (Mikin) grew up loving to eat canned cherries, spitting the pits in my bowl, then drinking up every last bit of the juice! We traditionally ate them with "Gatten Sandwiches." Those are like grilled cheese, but with meat, an egg over easy, extra cheese, and then fresh tomatoes after its done grilling. It is most delectable when the yolk breaks and drizzles over the sandwich when eating it. It was the normal Sunday meal after church in the Gatten home. We would have canned cherries, peaches, or pears for the side dish. It is kind of funny how traditions are just formed and passed on and on...
It only was enough for one batch. 7 quarts. But it was easy to have the kids help and get it done fast during dinner. It was the first time I ever thought canning was easy! Yes, all I did was make the syrup and pour it in the jars and put it in to be processed! The kids cleaned them and filled the jars and got them all ready. I guess when you love to eat them, it is fun to help can them!
A big shout out to Aunt Natalie Frank for letting us tag along to pick them at a lady in her ward's house. She has SO MANY cherries left and they will all go bad by the end of the week. She is begging for people to pick them. She posted them on Craig' List and had no bites, and only one other person in the ward came and picked. I told her that she could count on me year after year! They live on the cutest little farm with little Shetland Ponies, horses, chickens, bunnies, dogs, a litter of puppies a few weeks old, and probably something else I am missing!
I thought feeding a family of 6 was a lot!
They had a daughter who is the same age as Kiah. They are only a couple of weeks apart and so they hit is off and loved sharing about their baptisms. It was so cute to hear them talking about how cool it was and how good it felt and what their dresses were like. Girls crack me up.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Coeur d'Alene Stake Girls Camp 2009
@ Camp Sidwell on beautiful Mirror Lake in North Idaho
Ward Camp Director: Mikin
Number of Girls from CDA 1st Ward: 20
Here is a picture of our group, minus one girl who got sick one night and went home, then she came back up the next day. Loved our Priesthood, Brother Polluck. He was so wonderful and was a great help to me especially at dinner time. Let's just say 23 tin foil dinners on one campfire and two dutch ovens with cobbler was a lot for me to handle! Let us just say meals were an event to be seen to believe! But we did it and we always were done and cleaned up within the hour and a half they gave us for meal times.
Here are the leaders up there from our ward for different assignments:
Pam Knight : with the Stake for Waterfront
Marie Loumeaux : Accepted last minute to come with me and just help with a few girls that needed a bit more TLC. I could have never survived without her!
Mikin Morton : That's Me!
Stake Theme: Princess of Virtue, Daughter of a Heavenly King
Ward Princess: Odette, the Swan Princess
Ward Jewel: Diamond
Ward Value: Faith
Ward Color: White
So, here are a couple pics of our camp decorations...
This was our
Coat of Arms
The banners all hung at the main Campfire. That is where we had flag ceremony each morning and evening.

This was just this year's necklace.
I had one growing up but did not save it.
You earn beads for certification, events, good deeds, service, themes, polar bear plunge, and just about anything someone wants to come up with. The girls would do anything if you said they would earn a bead for it! They even cleaned the outhouses to get the "toilet paper roll" bead. Basically, it is like wearing all the memories.

The tent that slept all 18 girls! We added on the small 3 man tent for a "changing room."
Snug as a bug in a rug!
Crazy Fun Times!
Taylor, Callie, Caila, and Leah in front
We learned skills!!
All of my girls certified in their perspective levels. I was proud of that!
Like building a fire with no matches... using steal wool and batteries. Not easy.
We had the mountain girl relay and our ward did great.
We even won the award for SPORTSMANSHIP!
It's all about the braids, baby. I think I braided 13 heads of hair those 3 days...
Jordyn, Tiffany, And Cheyanne getting her hair done
Crazy Shorts is a big deal.
These ones were made for two!
Jordyn, Cheyanne
The songs are about as silly as they come!
Taylor, Caila, Jazmine
Sister love... Tessa & Kristen

"What Not To Wear!"
Tiffany, Kristen, Jazmine, Leah
Are you really thinking about kissing a fish?
Hannah T.
We were dirty, and tired, but we were all still smiling :-)
Hannah P. & her BFF Desiree
This shows how gorgeous this camp setting was.
This is a member of our Stake Presidency, Brother Pingle. Truly a cool moment.
S'mores, roasted Starburst, Banana Boats, Apple Cobbler, Peach Cobbler, and more S'mores!
We had the desserts down just fine!
Here is our banner we would carry to the flag ceremonies:
"Faith in Christ, Watch us Soar"
Loriann and shy Amanda
Naomi & Brittany
All in all it was a rewarding experience for me, and I hope it was for the girls as well. The last night was testimony meeting and it was powerful to hear of the challenges and the faith that these young women have. They are truly women of VIRTUE. I was touched and blessed to get to know each of them better and see their personalities come to life. You just cannot do that on Sunday! What a rewarding three days.
A TON of work, but also a TON of fun! Thanks, girlies!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

proud... 2 B AMERICAN!!

"Our Roots Run Deep And So Do Our Paddles"

We had a really busy FOURTH OF JULY weekend on the Clark Fork River in Montana.
It was so fun to see so many relatives, and to have some CRAZY white water rafting to go along with the memories! Mikin's Grandfather, Leo Lee, was the patriarch over the reunion, with Grandma Helen alongside of him. Below is pictured all for of his children and their spouses.

back row: Gayle Lee, Gary Lee, Jim Lee, Paula Lee
front row: Steve Gatten, Jean Gatten, Leo Lee, Helen Lee, Sandra Davis, Scott Davis

Just a quick breakdown of how many people we are dealing with here...
Leo & Fay Lee
4 children
29 grandchildren
58 great-grandchildren
or something like that....

Here is The BIG GROUP PHOTO!!!
96 in attendance, 15 that could not make it.
That is what I call a major turn-out!
We rafted, beached it, napped, ate, played games, ate, had scavenger hunts and relay games, ran a dirty & bloody Gatten Marathon race, ate, watched a crazy Fireworks show in St. Regis, ate, attended church, ate, and had a total blast!

Here are the kiddos on the treasure hunt... one of them, at least!

You can see how fast we could take over the white sand beach right on the river.
It is absolutely beautiful. Mikin spent all day there every day, all day, with the kids, except when taking rafting run.

It was a great time and we are so blessed to have such a big, loving family. The kids stayed dirty and had a great time.
We loved recognizing our
We love you!

We even managed to
SURPRISE Steve Gatten
with an early 60th BIRTHDAY PARTY!
Looking GOOD for SIXTY, old man!
Even if you are "All busted up inside!"
That was when all his kids were together, minus Spike on his mission.
We highlighted each decade of his life, and his poetry, and one of his favorite songs:
"When The Man Comes Around."
We Love you PAPA!