Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cousins? Or twins separated by 2 weeks and a day?

I have to say, I love, love, love, love that my kids are growing up with their cousins and are the best of friends. I love that they are such a support and have great love for one another. And I love that Markee and Tamsyn got to celebrate turning sweet sixteen together this year. Alison and I wanted to do something special for them, so we put together a mother/daughter overnight. We went out to eat, went to the movies, stayed at a hotel and went to the salon for pedicures and manicures. It was a great time for all of us!
To start our adventure out right, we started with dinner, of course. We chose Rumbi's because it was fast and near the theaters. Oh, and it's darn good. Yes, I ate the whole rice bowl (half bowl), except for the zucchini, of course. Tamsyn left her zucchini as well. :-) After eating, we headed to the theaters to see a movie. We decided to see "Despicable Me" for lack of anything else age-appropriate and interesting, but actually discovered it was a good movie. We all enjoyed it more than we thought we would. We checked into the Springhill Suites Marriott at Thanksgiving Point after the movie. Markee and Tamsyn explored every inch that they could of the hotel, but always ended up back at the workout room, which they both loved. They didn't come back to the room to stay until after midnight. Might have been because there were some baseball teams staying there for a tournament the next day . . . Alison and I kept ourselves busy playing card games. :-)

After checking out of the hotel, we took one more turn around Hidden Garden (which we had run into and explored in the dark Friday night) before heading to our next adventure.

We went to Capelli's beauty school for our pedicures and manicures, which was nice because, being a school, it had multiple stations and were were able to do our pedis and manis all at the same time. As you can see by the smiles, we all had fun. And I took a pictures of my pretty flowered toes. There were 3 girls students and one boy. I had the boy and I am the only one that got flowers painted on my toes. He must have been trying to prove something . . .

And here is the finished product. Even those of us that are ticklish thought the pedicures were fun. Thanks again, girls, for being so wonderful. Happy sweet sixteenth birthday!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I made this!

I feel like a little kid who just painted the best rainbow with her little watercolor paint set. I am not a crafty person - well, give me a pattern and instructions and I can follow - and not artistic at all, but I have really, really been wanting a sunflower wreath for my front door. My door is plain white and very dirty after 1o 1/2 years and it needed something to spruce it up. I have been looking for several years for the right sunflower wreath, but they are all too "fall-y". So I decided I had to make one myself. I have been gathering flowers and greens for several weeks and the other day I sat down on the floor with my grapevine wreath and wired and glued and cut and arranged for a few hours until I was satisfied. I love my wreath! Now let's see if I did a good enough job assembling when the next big windstorm comes . . .

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fire on the fringe

There is nothing more awe-inspiring than fire. It is beautiful and frightening at the same time, but never more frightening when it is coming toward you. We saw smoke up by the water tower around 12:30 and I figured it was a little wildfire that would be put out quickly. I sent Marin and Nicolas up the street to watch the firefighters. About 15 minutes later or so, I got a call from Diane across the street who tells me there is a fire - yeah - and that the neighbors up the street 2 houses are out of town and what should we do? Hmm, maybe not just a little wildfire. I looked outside again and saw flames right behind Elena's house. I immediately called her cell and she just said, "I can't talk now, come up and bring a shovel." A shovel. That means firebreak and that is bad. I hightailed it up there and found that there were tractors and brush mowers and regular mowers all taking down the weeds and my shovel wasn't needed yet. However, Elena's kids did need to get away from the scary chaos and Elena needed lip balm and everyone needed water. I can do that! I brought her kids down to "play" with Markee, Marin and Nicolas and thanks to NuSkin I had lip balm for her! The case of water I keep in the back of the car always seems to come in handy for emergencies. Elena and several neighbors were "evacuated" and I had to go through her house, gathering up pictures, photo albums and anything that looked like it need to be kept and wouldn't be replaceable. That is an eye-opener. What would you take, and have time to gather, if you were evacuated? Think about it now, because when it happens you won't have a lot of time. Then, it was over but the waiting. Because the fire was on Camp Williams property it could not be fought on the ground - too much ammunition and explosives that have been left behind. In fact, as we watched it sounded like a war zone at times. Sometimes it was the trees exploding, but sometimes it was definitely explosives and gunfire. So the fire creeped and sometimes ran down the hill toward my neighbors houses. No firefighters and no helicoptors. Hmmm. When the fire was about 20 yards away, the Utah County firefighters came down the dirt road that runs right behind the properties setting a backburn. Standing 20 feet away it was like standing on the sun, but only for about 10 minutes. The fire raced off to join the wildfire and slowly died. The properties were safe, no more danger of losing homes. What a relief that was! This side of the fire was contained and was no longer threatening us, and the wind, for once since living in Eagle Mountain, was our friend and kept coming from the south.
Observation: 30 foot flames are awesome as they engulf trees, but only when blowing the other way. Observation, a wildfire burning sage smells really nice, but afterwards just smells like campfire. So our nice green hill is now black and scarred, but new life will appear next year. And we are all safe and everyone is back in their homes with all their belongings unscathed. I swear it was because the elders showed up and helped where they could. Men in suits don't fight fire very well, but these ones inspire and their spirit helps protect.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

4th of July - a whole weekend of fun

When you talk about Independence Day, you say "4th of July". But in Utah, when the 4th falls on a Sunday it becomes the 3rd, 4th and 5th of July. It was a whole weekend of fun, but, wow, was it exhausting! I love spending time with family and friends and it was great to have this excuse to spend the whole weekend together. Saturday evening was the fireworks at Thanksgiving Point. Sunday was the actual 4th and Monday was the Provo Freedom Festival parade. We definitely made the most of the whole weekend.
What started out as a sunny but windy evening Saturday, turned quickly into a chilly outing. We claimed our regular spot at the back of the Thanksgiving Point theater parking lot on the grassy parkstrip. This has been a great spot to hang out in and watch fireworks from. It was nice to have Mark's family and Mom and Dad there this year.

It was really windy so the kids spent some time in Mark and Cia's car and Alison sat in the back of hers.

You can see how freezing cold it was, by how we are sitting waiting for the fireworks. Someone forgot to tell the weatherman that it was July.

After the fireworks are done, the fun begins. While waiting for all the other people to leave so we don't have to sit in traffic, we play. This year, the kids entertained us with "what they can do". Of course, Jeff wouldn't be outdone so he did some hula hooping with the glowstick "necklaces". Unfortunately it was too dark for the video to come out well - the picture doesn't do it justice. Markee and Tamsyn did their breakdancing moves and pyramids were formed.

Holiday celebration on a Sunday - what do we do? Play games, of course! And what game do we play when we have a lot of people? Dalmuti, of course! Always a great photo opportunity. I broke out the skunk skin hat just for this occasion. I thought Josh would like to see his parents in skunk skin and flowers. These are for you, Josh. :-)

Fireworks with the Cooks. What more can I say. Craig is the firework king. He kept us very entertained, with his minions Maddie, Peter and Erik. It wouldn't be the 4th of July without "Fireworks by Craig". No fires were set, no doors dented and no major injuries this year, but it was a very good year.

We spend so much time with the Cooks, but we have so few pictures of the time we spend together. I just had to get one group shot of the kids after the fireworks were done. Unfortunately, Cameron wasn't with us this year so he's not in it. So, a strange parade experience this year. First of all, we didn't run the Freedom Run. I didn't register us early enough and I wasn't going to pay $100 just for Jared, Peter, Erik and I to run 3 miles. It was just as well since Jared broke his toe a week ago and can't run and Peter and Erik didn't really want to. But, the other strange thing was the weather. It was FREEZING in the morning - only in the 50s! We got to Provo at 6:15 and instead of laying out the blankets, we had to wrap up in them! It was nice and warm by the end of the parade, but not HOT like it usually is. All that global warming . . . But it was a pleasant time, surrounded by family and friends and old neighbors.

Markee and her BFF, Brittany Hanks with their matching shirts that we made, and then, flanking Tamsyn. Silly girls.

The Star Wars characters are always a favorite part of the pre-parade. I think they ARE my favorite part . . .

The afternoon was spent playing games, of course, while the kids played with cousins. Last year it was hot and the kids played with water all afternoon, slip and sliding, sprinklers, water bottle rockets, etc. This year, it was only warm and the kids played for a while outside but were shivering. Here they are chillin' in the "hot tub". And to finish off the weekend - of course, more fireworks. We spent about an hour setting off Mark's set of fireworks while the little kids played with the sparklers. Fun was had by all and I am sure everyone had a good night sleep Monday night. Next year, can we make the 4th of July just one day? Thanks, I'm getting too old for this. :-)