Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow day!

Finally the real snow has made it to Eagle Mountain. Jared, just back from warm California, and Nicolas went out and enjoyed it. Fortunately, it is the perfect snow for a snowman! Jared informed me after this picture that this is the very first snowman he has ever made! I am usually the snowman maker with the kids, but I never make them this big. They had a ball! When they completed their snow friend, Nicolas said, "Okay, now he needs a friend or a child." Jared was done though. Snow is still falling so maybe Nicolas can talk someone into making another later . . . .

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

All I want for Christmas . . .

you can fill in the rest . . .


Yes, for anyone that may look at my blog at all, you may have noticed that I have gone almost 3 months without posting. Well, we experienced a terrible computer crash and lost all of our pictures. We were able to retrieve all the pictures up until this year and my pictures from NuSkin Convention. That's it. The rest, lost. And then Jared was laid off and he spends a good bit of time on the computer so I never have the opportunity to sit down for lengths of time to update my blog. So. There are my excuses . . . I mean, reasons, for not posting. I will try to make him schedule time for me to get the computer, or, even better, we will all hope and pray that he GETS A JOB!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hair with its own zip code

He's threatening to do it. After almost a year and a half, he sounds really serious. He wants to cut his hair. NNNOOOOOO!!!!!
I have to say, there were many times over the last year that I did ask him to cut his hair but, "No, I'm not ready." I didn't push him - though many did, causing him to be more and more stubborn about keeping it. But then I fell in love with it - maybe I am just jealous of the beautiful thick curls. It's funny to watch his hair bob as runs cross country - but we can always pick him out of the crowd! People know him now by his hair; it has just become Peter.
And now he wants it gone. I am already going through the grieving process. I ask him every day though, "Do you want to go now to get your hair cut?" "Nah, not right now," is his reply every time. So I have reprieve after reprieve. But for how long? Here is a visual montage of his hair growth for the past year - starting in July (I believe his last hair cut was end of May or beginning of June).

Okay, so the phase he went through where he straightened his hair every day was not my favorite and I was ready for him to cut it as this point . . .
but then he realized his folly and went back to curly . . .

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So it must be fall. Kids are back in school, weather is getting cooler, and I suddenly have more projects than time. Yup, fall. I love it though, in spite of the full calendar. Peter's cross country meets, Erik's lacrosse games, gardening, NuSkin convention, harvesting, school community council meetings, canning, PTA book fair, did I mention gardening, harvesting and canning? Yeah, that's about it. I love our supersized garden, but I forget year after year how much work it is in the fall. My counter is constantly overflowing with zucchini and ripening tomatoes and this year we have added boxes of peaches and baskets of pears. Our fruit trees have never done so well - always good, but not like this. But that is for another post . . .

I love that my kids have become involved in athletics because I love the excitement of the meets and games. No, they will never be the top athletes as I have nurtured out the competitive spirit (I just didn't want them to fight!), but they enjoy what they do and I enjoy watching them. Peter has been really committted to cross country this year and has even kind of set goals for himself. Erik is finally out of the elementary lacrosse leagues and it is much more fun to watch the junior league games. He's pretty scrappy out on the field, too - poor little shorty. Markee has her hip hop dance and Marin has her tennis. Unfortunately her teacher cancelled the fall tennis season this year, so she has to wait til spring to play again, but at least it's one less thing on the calendar.

I have really taken a back seat in the PTA volunteering - only doing book fair again this year - and, guess what!, I am not the room mom for any of my kids!!! I have been saying for years, "I am not going to be room mom this year." And every year, I either end up volunteering because no one else stepped up or because the PTA called and said, "will you please?" It is halfway through September and no call . . . I think I am safe! First time in 12 years! I love volunteering in each of their classrooms, but planning and pulling off the parties? Let someone else have that fun. :-)

All in all, it is shaping up to be a beautiful fall - weather is glorious, sports are going well, garden is rockin' and I have some free time between work and the kids getting home to do projects like knitting and maybe some sewing.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Harvest pictures

Sample of one day's harvest. The apples are still windfall apples, but they are getting sweeter and sweeter. Zucchini anyone? I have almost a dozen . . .
Jars and jars of green beans and applesauce. With more to come . . . I have never canned before. I don't own the tools to do so. Last year I froze bags and bags of beans, corn, and tomato sauce, but the frozen beans weren't so good and I figured with a bountiful garden like ours - and the size of ours - I really needed to bite the bullet and learn how to can. I bought a Ball Canning Book and read it almost cover to cover before borrowing a pressure canner from a neighbor and a boiling water canner from Alison. My first batch of beans was nervewracking because the neighbor didn't give me the instruction manual with the pressure canner and I was worried the whole time. I discovered that canning beans takes an entire afternoon with washing the beans, cutting the beans, cooking the beans, washing the jars, boiling the jars and putting them all together. But in spite of the time it took, it was easy! The apples took just as long because I had to peel, core and cut them all up before cooking and jarring them. But what a sense of accomplishment. I just stood, looking at my jars thinking, "I did that!" I have to admit, I was proud of myself. I am excited to can more fruits and vegetables in the very near future! Now, I sure hope the finished product tastes good! :-)

Monday, August 17, 2009


We are enjoying a plentiful harvest this year. I haven't updated pictures - I will - but I just had to post how wonderful it's been. I have canned 16 jars of green beans and 16 jars of applesauce (just from windfall apples). We have eaten handfuls and handfuls of peas; we have had zucchini bread and zucchini cake and sauteed zucchini. We have had salsa and pasta sauce and 2 strawberries. In spite of the grasshoppers, earwigs, squash bugs and heavy winds, we are reaping a bountiful harvest. The Lord truly provides for those that put forth the effort! Pictures to come . . .

Friday, July 31, 2009

The beauties around us

We were picnicking at Pioneer Park in Beaver when a hawk came soaring in overhead. Then in came another, and another and another. By the time they had all "gathered" there were 14 hawks circling above the park. They then all flew off together toward the mountans. It was truly an awesome sight. I zoomed in as best I could and only caught 5 in one shot. Peaks through the trees I was standing on that "fin" just minutes before. You can see such a plethora of colors at BryceMarin captured this picture of a young buckA mama chipmunk. You can tell by her teats and because she was too cautious to come and eat out of Erik's hand. A very skinny hoodoo - wonder how much longer it will be there Beautiful colors in the rock - purple, pink, yellow, orangeFreshly falled rain on ground cover
Someone started this "cairn field" and it looks like everyone who passes adds to it. I know we did.

Bryce Canyon camping with the Cooks

Last year we took our Japanese student, Tomo, on a camping trip with us so she could see some of the sights of Utah. We chose Bryce Canyon because it is up so high (elevation around 8000 ft) that it is cooler during the summer. We had a great time and decided that we would do it every year. This year we invited the Cooks to come with us. What a fabulous idea that was! Camping with your best friends makes everything double the fun. We decided that we need to do this more often! Here are some highlights from our 3 day vacation.

Tricia and Jared in a battle of wits. Games are always a main activity at camp . . .

. . . and bubbles. The kids love bubbles, but we ended up giving several of our bottles to the family behind us because they had littler kids with not a lot to do. The little 2 year old girl fell and cut her forehead open, needing stitches. The bubbles were a good distraction for her siblings. Marin and Kate still had enough to play with too.We had reservations at Ruby's Inn for Sunday night so we spent the afternoon playing in the pool and we all got nice hot showers. We went back Monday morning and the kids played in the pool again before we turned in our keys. Tricia, Craig, Jared and I, of course, played games in the lobby.

The hammock that Tricia and Craig borrowed from a friend was a favorite spot at camp for all the kids. Kate, Erik, Marin and Nicolas were almost constantly in it. We will have to get one of those . . .

I have a weakness for gnarly old trees and here are a few highlights, all from the Rim Trail between Inspiration and Bryce Points which Maddie, Markee, Erik, Kate, Marin, Nicolas and I hiked while everyone else drove. There were some great sights from that trail!

Sitting around the campfire roasting hotdogs, brats, potatoes, hobo dinners and, of course, marshmallows was an every day occurence. Why else do you go camping? Thanks Mom and Dad for all the great wood! We even had some left over to give to our neighbors behind us.

Tricia and the kids fed the chipmunks right out of their hands. Oatmeal cookies and "cardboard cheesies" seemed to be the favorites. Jared doing his best Japanese student pose with The Marshmallow, otherwise known as Thor's Hammer on the Navajo Loop. Hiking Navajo Loop in the rain was great! And we discovered that it is much easier doing it clockwise, coming up the Wall Street side. Can't wait to do it all again next year!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pioneer Day in Beaver, Utah

So our family vacation is going to have to be broken into pieces in order to post it all. Our first stop was Beaver to visit Mom and Dad and enjoy the Beaver Pioneer Day festivities. This is their big summer celebration and there are nonstop activities. We arrived in Beaver Thursday night so we would be able to do the Beaver River 5K Run first thing in the morning on the 24th. Why it is called the Beaver River Run I have no idea. I never saw any water. . . But I did come in first in my age category, as did Jared (see my previous post! :-))!
After the race comes the parade. This parade is like Halloween in July. The kids end up with bags full of candy. There are hundreds of parade entries and every one is throwing candy. It is like a feeding frenzy. One group threw out frisbees and after the parade the kids tossed one around for a while.

We spent the rest of
the morning at the town center park where they were serving lunch and had blow up slides, concessions, etc.
A trip to Beaver would not be complete without a trip to the Beaver Swimming Pool, and on Pioneer day it's free! So Mom was in her glory, surrounded by her grandchildren and swimming. Mark and Cia even stopped by on their way back from California.
Josh and Tamsyn were, of course, turned into human boogie boards. I was able to capture everyone in our family in one picture there on the left - minus Alison, who was visiting with her family and me, of course.

Here's something you don't see every day - Dad holding a baby. Mark and Cia packed up their kids after swimming and finished their journey back home from California.
Mary and Merrill, Alison's parents, cooked dutch oven chicken and potatoes for us at the park. It was fantastic! The kids ran around and we relaxed after an activity filled day.
And here is the whole motley crew of kids after our dutch oven barbeque at Pioneer Park before going back to Mom and Dad's for fireworks. All in all it was a great day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


After years and years of 5Ks, I have finally done it. Of course it had to take moving into the old lady category to accomplish my goal of coming in first place in my age group! It, of course, helps that the Beaver Utah Pioneer Day 5K is a small one with only a few hundred runners and it is mostly downhill. But, no matter what the factors, no one can take my trophy away! I ran the race in 25.51 minutes - my fastest time ever. And Jared came in first in his old man category - 45 and up. :-) What a great start to our vacation - which I will post about later.

Jared set his trophy on the dashboard so it looks bigger than mine - but it isn't!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Year of the Grasshopper

What a year to decide to document gardening. I have never in my life experienced a plague of grasshoppers like we have this year. When you step off the porch, they are like a wave jumping away from you. They ate every leaf off of my lilac bush in the back, they topped off all the carrots and decimated some of the lettuce plants. The sunflower leaves look like green lace and we have lost some of the potato plants. I caught a glimpse of what the pioneers must have felt as the crickets came and began devouring their crops - completely helpless and hopeless. Especially since they couldn't jump in the car and run down to Smiths or Costco if the grasshoppers eat the whole garden. I wonder if I have enough faith to bring the seagulls to Eagle Mountain? By the pictures you can't tell how destructive the grasshoppers have been - they haven't found everything yet, knock on wood. The peas are doing well and the kids snack every time they go out to weed. The peas hardly ever make it into the house. The beans are doing well also, although only Nicolas' bean plant has produced beans yet. The corn that hasn't been blown over in the wind looks good, we have had a few tomatoes and the plants are loaded, and we have brought in 3 zucchini so far. We have had lettuce coming out our ears (so we haven't been too sad about the grasshoppers eating them) and have given bags and bags of it away. The spinach hasn't been as good this year - not like last year - and it is about done. The pepper plants look good but aren't producing very many peppers and the little plants that we started inside - that were doing well - were completely devoured by grasshoppers. Cantaloupe and watermelon and cucumbers are finally taking off but I hope its not too late for them to produce. One grapevine is being destroyed by grasshoppers, but the other 2 are doing great and the strawberries are too. Hopefully most of the garden will make it to harvest time. If I could upload video (can't figure out why I can't. . . ) I would video Jared out in the garden with a flyswatter, going after the grasshoppers. Funny show!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

4th of July!

Independence Day has been our major holiday for years. Living off of Center Street in Provo forces you to be a parade-goer and Jared and I have made the parade a tradition from the first year we were married. After we moved from Provo, we still went back and set up at the same spot on our former neighbor's yard. When I started running seriously, the Freedom Run 5K became a part of the tradition and for the last few years, Peter and Erik have run it too. So our Independence Day fun starts at 5:30 am, getting up early enough to get the kids down to our parade spot and walking down to the race start by the 7am start. After the parade, we hang out with Mark and Jeff's families and whoever else we are lucky enough to get here for the holiday (this year we had everyone for a short time!). Then we watch fireworks. It turns into a really long day which doesn't work so well on weekdays (Jared gets really cranky! :-)) but this year, to make it even more perfect, it was Saturday so we could sleep in on the 5th - 11am church is great!

This year was a keeper. The run was great, the weather was perfect - it even rained a little right before the parade and it was a lot cooler than usual - and Mom and Dad were here and Marcia's Mom so we had a huge group at the parade. After the parade came the family festivities . . .

The standard we-all-look-so-great-after-running-and-sitting-at-the-parade-all-morning family picture. Can we plan these next time?

After running and hanging out at the parade and the obligatory family photo op, we were finally able to relax and eat and play at Mark and Cia's. What an absolutely wonderful family filled afternoon with the perfect weather continuing. While the adults were doing this . . .

the kids were doing this, and this . . .

and this . . . and this.

After a full day of family fun festivities, it was time for the fireworks. For the last few years we had been setting up on the road outside Thanksgiving Point to watch the fireworks. We had fun, but decided we could do better. Jeff's family and we arrived at Thanksgiving Point really early - around 7pm, and set up on the grassy parkstrip in the parking lot to the theaters. We had lovely soft grass to sit on, shade trees and a perfect view of the fireworks. We hung out playing games and enjoying each other's company while the boys made videos and who knows what boys come up with to do. We brought treats and had a great time relaxing before, during and after the firework show.

Taking a page from the "Cook's book" we set up a game of Werewolves after the fireworks ended and sat playing until the parking lot was empty. NO traffic! A fabulous end to a fantastic 4th of July weekend. God bless America!