Sunday, May 29, 2011

It's a little depressing

Water skiing with my cousin Cameron for the past several years, there has been an unwritten rule that there are no wetsuits allowed after Memorial Day or before Labor Day. Obviously you can wear them whenever you want on our boat, you will just get made fun of for not being enough of a "man." So here it is, Memorial Day weekend, and we have not even gotten in the water. It has been freakishly cold here, in fact last week we were about 20* below average for this time of year, not to mention the water just hit 50* last week. We put the boat on the lift so it would be ready if there was ever a dry or less than frigid day and it has been sitting there empty for a week. There is also an unusual amount of runoff this year and I have never seen so much water pouring over the dam. The water is moving so fast that there are whirlpools. I am DYING to get on the boat and I consider myself pretty die-hard when it comes to getting in the water in less than perfect conditions, but this is just crazy!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

An Unwelcome Guest

I was headed out to go visiting teaching and I opened the door to the garage to get the kids in their car seats. I realized I forgot my purse and walked back into the house. Derek and Livie came running in saying "it scares me" I asked what and they said "the bird" right about when I noticed there was a bird fluttering around my living room. I ran like a maniac to all the doors and threw them open so it would fly out. Unfortunately, it flew upstairs instead. We all went upstairs wondering where it would end up since I have 6 rooms up there all with their doors hanging wide open. Then I heard Derek announce "there's the birdy!" Can you see it in the left hand corner of the window?

Cue me. . .acting like a freak, throwing socks at it to try to get it to fly off the windowsill, climbing on a ladder and trying to brush it away with a broom (it may not appear so, but he is WAY up there. I have an extra tall front door, plus the ledge, then the window). When the bird flew at me, I lost all sense and fell off the ladder when I tried to jump down? run away? dodge the bird? who knows what I was thinking. Then I decided I would leave it alone and see if it would fly out on its own if it wasn't being harassed. It didn't.
So I called Grandpa Norm and he saved the day! He raised the ladder higher than I dared and asked me for a towel. I asked if he was going to catch it and he said "no, I'm going to knock that bugger unconscious." I wish I had a picture of my two little ones on the stairs watching and Livie repeating over and over "the birdy scares me" and "grandpa get him out." He wacked the bird three times, it fell on the floor in a daze but perfectly okay and Grandpa climbed down, scooped him up, and carried him outside. I had been fighting with that thing for two hours and Norm is here for two minutes and solves the problem. I hate to be a helpless little girl but it sure felt good to have a guy like Norm around to save me!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

People I Admire #2

Brenda StoudtWhen Carter was in preschool, one of my "preschool mom" friends told me that her friend from church moved into our neighborhood. I kept meaning to go meet her, but life was busy. So Brenda (the new neighbor) invited my whole family along with the preschool friend's family over for dinner. That is when I began to admire Brenda. She made the most amazing dinner and had a gift for the recently born Derek (whom she had never met). Through other neighborhood gatherings I came to find out how incredibly talented this woman is. Not only does she cook like a gourmet chef, she plays piano and bass guitar in her church band, teaches piano (she is Carter's teacher), and is a house call pediatric nurse practitioner.

The thing I most admire about Brenda is her genuine concern for other people. Her chosen profession is a tell-tale for how her life revolves around helping people. I can't tell you how nice it is (especially in the wintertime) to call her when one of my kids are sick and she just comes over and checks them out. Recently we discovered that my new insurance considers her "out of network" which means they will only cover her once my $1700 deductible is met UGH! I found all of this out when I got explanation of benefits saying I was going to owe over $550 for the four times she checked out my kids' coughs, sore throats, and ears this winter YIKES! When I told her about it, she just cancelled the bills and let me pay her the copay I would have paid at our paediatrician's office. I told her sorry about the mix-up and I wouldn't use her anymore since she wouldn't get paid and she told me to please still call her. She said she loves my kids and wants to be a part of caring for them and making my life easier. I called her the other day when Sydney was having an "issue" and she not only gave me free medical advice and talked me through what to do, she also let Carter stay way after his piano lesson to play the Wii so I would have one less thing to deal with while helping Sydney.

Brenda inspires me to look for ways to help other people. Though I am not a doctor, I can lend a hand by babysitting, or making a meal etc. and I should do it all with a willing heart like she does.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It all stared here, packed into the Suburban at 6am headed to Richfield, Utah. 16 hours later we reached our destination. All things considered, there was very little whining, crying or fighting. . .thank heavens for the DVD player! The day after we arrived was Easter Sunday. A couple of my Aunts and Uncles and cousins came over for dinner, decorating eggs, and a quick easter egg hunt between downpours of rain.

My Uncle Steve (sown here teaching techniques) is an artist and decorating eggs with him was serious business. He showed up with two big boxes of supplies. The kids had great fun!Carter's favorite used a rubber band technique.

Syd's favorite used a feather brushing technique (my fav too!)

Unfortunately, the weather wasn't very cooperative while we were there. We only got about a day and a half of good weather. . . the reast were cold and rainy. So we entertained ourselves with indoor activities.

A sing-a-long with Grandpa Russ (all my kids call him Grandpa Howdy). The favs were "Skinny Minny" and "You are my Sunshine."

Syudney got to spend an afternoon with Mackenzie at my Qunt Larisa's dance studio for a little private lesson. She also got to pick out a leftover costume from the closet there. They came back to the house and performed for us, it was so adorable! Kenzie is so great with my kids.

On the first day Olivia was leery of everyone and wouldn't let anyone but me hold her or help her. Kenzie walked in (she had been in Salt Lake and was late to the gathering) and Olivia ran straight into her arms. There must be some sort of bond from when Kenzie came to help me when Olivia was a newborn.

The kids spent hours playing "chicken foot," a domino game my Grandma Sharon taught them.

Finally, the sun came out and we got to play outside!

I've always loved their brick wall around their porch.

My grandparents currently lease their land to a sod farmer. It was gorgeous to see their house surrounded by 7 acres of lush, green grass. Plus, it was the perfect place for Carter to finally test out the golf clubs he got for Christmas.

Grandpa Howdy is almost 80 but he is still super fun for the kids to be with. He got out his side by side 4-wheeler and took the kids on some rides.
This thing can go about 60 miles per hour but as they were heading down the canal back to the house, they were going much slower than that.
I realized as they got closer, it was because Carter was driving! So fun!

Somehow, I got talked into making the wedding cake with my Aunt Bonnie. The bottom two layers were styrofoam so it was no problem but I had to make a top layer that was 6" tall that they could cut and feed each other at the reception. That proved to be difficult. I made cake 3 different days, and ways to try to get the perfect rounds. Luckily, it was covered with these Piroline cookies so it was very forgiving.

I thought it turned out pretty amazing all things considered. I can't take credit for the flowers, my Aunt Larisa did those, but the rest was me. . .hard to believe. It's not a trip to Utah without a horse ride. My Grandpa sold his horses recently, but luckily he sold them to friends who say he can come ride them any time.

Sydney loved riding and took several turns.

Carter also loved it and ended up trying it on his own without my mom leading the horse.

Derek prefered to ride with Grandma Julia.

Olivia just hated it. She kept telling me "He scares me, horsey."
In between turns, the kids played on this gravel pile. I love the look on Carter's face as he sleds down. Who needs toys? Just give them some sunshine and a bunch of space, they'll figure something out.

I couldn't get enough of Olivia in her jeans and cowboy boots. It was too cute!

This is where we ate lunch EVERY day we were there (between Taco Time and the cake rejects, I think I gained 5 pounds that week :) Carter even got to go there for breakfast a couple of times. Grandpa goes in to get the paper and throw out trash some mornings so he brought Carter and let him have crustos and Coke for breakfast. . .he's the great-grandpa, what can you do?

The last day we were there was the wedding. They did the reception the night before the temple wedding (weird, I know) but here are some pics of the reception.

They had a table with a bunch of cute clear candy jars all filled with black and red candies (the wedding colors). They also had this table of amazing cupcakes. The kids were in heaven!

The Manti temple is one of my favorites. It is so big and gorgeous, what a fun place to get married. My cousin forgot her marriage liscense though, so we all waited 2+ hours while they went down to the courthouse and got another one. I was not very patient and worried about my kids in the ansilary with Mackenzie but we all made it through and it will be a funny story for them to tell when they are old!