May 27, 2009

The First Time

This past weekend we went camping at Ensign Ranch in Eastern Washington with Tymon's cousins. The sun shone and warmed our hearts. We loved it and had a wonderful few days. On the way over the mountains we stopped at Snoqualmie Falls. It was Jovana's first time being there and a great memory for me of Tymon and I having dinner in the lodge on the hill. We had a private dining room with the best meal ever. We took a walk after dinner to see the falls. It was misty out...okay it was drizzling...but a little way down the walkway Tymon got down on one knee and proposed to me.

The boys are taking their first official horse rides.




Jovana's first time on a horse. She did wonderfully!

Of course, she got a little nervous when this old Moses horse started to back up and stand on his hind legs. This is the first time a horse has tried to remove me from his back. But I stayed on until I could get my feet out of the stirrups. Then I jumped off and tried to get away as fast as I could. I was afraid that he'd step on me...and the camping trip would be over at that point. I'm so glad that I don't have a broken leg or crushed ribs. I've only been on a horse 3 times and am almost totally inexperience. I got back in the saddle again, but not on Moses. Izzy (Israel) was better for me, but also had a mind of his own but I learned to control him a little better than Moses.

We took a little hiking adventure walk and each had to have a walking stick personally picked out for us by the boys.


We happened upon a baptism on our walk. This is definitely the first time we've seen a baptism while camping. Outside of my mission, I think the only baptisms I've seen have been in an actual church font.

Jocelyn's first canoe ride. She did well sitting on my lap. Her legs were wrapped around one of mine. She didn't like her life vest very much but it was still cute.


Jovana doesn't row very well, but she loved her first time in a canoe.


In fact, she built up her biceps to twice their former size.


Jett also enjoyed his first canoe trip. He looked over the edge while Jovana and I rowed...and he only tried to stand up a couple of times. That's when we were able to patiently explain that he needed to sit down because he was rocking the boat. Ah, who am I kidding? I yelled at him to sit his butt down before we all ended up in the water.


Jovana's first camping trip.


Jovana's first S'MORE. Why yes, she did want some more s'mores. I think she had 7 of them.


Jovana's first tent.


Jovana and I spent Sunday with one of my college text books entitled What If? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers. We went through 5 chapters and came up with some great story lines.
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These are some first lines for potential stories:
1. By the time we got back from church on Sunday, Jett had peed his pants three times.
2. Looking dejected and with a thumbs down, she came to my tent silently weeping.
3. Heading to the campfire, I confiscated Jacob's stick before he hit Elliott over the head again.
4. I'm not sure if it was the wind or our lousy paddling, but we were rowing with all our might and still going nowhere fast.
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There are many ways to write a first line and in the following examples, I've taken my first story line and applied some different techniques...amazing how the same story changes a little bit just with the style.
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1. Generalization: After a small boy learns to control his bladder, we shouldn't have to clean up his messes several times a day.
2. Description of a Person: Jett's pants usually sag low like a gangster rapper and the teenaged boys with flawed fashion sense who imitate them. Jett, however, knows nothing of style. The biggest contributors to his low-riding jeans stems from having a small bum and soggy underwear.
3. Narrative Summary: The frustrations of a young mother peak after she guides her child every day helping him learn to use the toilet and then he regresses and wets his pants three times before coming back from church on Sunday.
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Here I begin a story with a given first line: If I went there a second time... (About our experience going to church in a "come as you are" congregation filled with others from our camp site.)
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If I went there a second time, I would take a shower and dress up a bit. A couple hundred people filled the chapel and lined the halls to hear what the speaker had to say. We sat in the foyer, too self conscious in our casual clothing and body odor to enter the room. When the bishop invited all those in the halls to take the choir seats in the front, we declined. We felt way more comfortable sitting with each other removed from everyone else.
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Jovana also tried her hand at writing. She's learning to improve her style and I'm pleased with her progress. She's only got two guidelines to follow. She should avoid using "thing" and "stuff" in her writing and she must use descriptive verbs instead of forms of "be". It's a lot harder than you might think...but it helps keep a reader engaged.

5 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Sounds and looks like it was a blast.

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  2. Bridget, for some reason I have always remembered that you ate Purple Peruvian Potatoes at the Lodge the night Tymon proposed. I have no idea how or why I am retaining that information but for some reason, it has always stuck around.

    Looks like a fun time camping! Glad you had a good time. :)

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  3. Peruvian? I don't remember that part...but they were purple and the best potatoes that I've ever eaten.

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  4. Sounds absolutely dreamy! Did I mention you are the best host mom ever?! This line made me laugh like a little girl; "Ah, who am I kidding? I yelled at him to sit his butt down before we all ended up in the water."

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  5. it looks like a fun camping trip. I can't wait to go and camp with my kids this summer in July up in Washington with some family up there. Yeah!!!

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