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Monday, September 29, 2008

St. George

We just got back today from St. George. It was a very fun and very busy weekend - so, of course, we loved it.

Our 2 8-hour drives there and back were probably the best drives we've taken with the kids. I don't know why? We stopped for an hour - 1 1/2 hours and played at parks each time. We spent more time in the back "playing" with Emmy and so she didn't fuss as much. So we were blessed not only with safety, but with relative peace and quiet in the car (relative to 3 kids in a car for 8-hours).

We got there Friday and that nite Ben and I went to Tuacahn and saw the production of "Big River." The story of Huck Finn. It was really fun and entertaing - especially with the vast amounts of water pouring over the stage (the "floating on a river" effect) for quite a bit of the show. So neat! And on Saturday nite we went again to Tuacahn and saw "Les Miserables." How can I not love that? Even though I've seen it probably 1/2 a dozen times, it's a definite number 1 favorite on my list. Love it. So did Ben, of course.

Sunday was nice with church, naps, and visiting the St. George temple and visitors' center.

My parents were home with the kiddos as we attended the plays. Emmy slept soundly. Miles fell asleep quickly and quietly. Jonas raised heck. Ha. He would cry and whine and so my dad would go in and was pretty much yelled at by Jonas: "NO! I WANT MY MOM." "NO! MY MOM WILL DO IT!" Etc. I'm sure my parents are glad they are the grandparents. They've served their time. But Jonas was full of smiles, giggles and Grandpa-chases during the day. Crazy, crazy kid.

Anyways here are the pics:

On Saturday we went to an area downtown with "waterfalls" and "rivers." The kids loved it.

Jonas being "Emmy's friend" and holding her hand. Such a cute sibling-couple.

Miles playing in the "river," being a seal - as he called himself. Yes, he even made the seal noises.

Emmy loved it all, too. She loved playing in the water, but really loved, loved, loved climbing on the rocks. My girl is not afraid of getting dirty. Oh no.

They also had some water fountains there for playing in. Emmy was pretty much the most-daring of the group. :) Jonas slipped early on and so he stayed by me (on me) for most of the time. Miles, too, played it cautiously. But for as little as they actually got in the fountains, they still had a Fantastic time!


The Parents on a date at Tuacahn.

The kids also just LOVE staying at home - not our home, the home we "visit." Really, they could just stay there the whole time and have a total blast.

Eating yummy food.


Being goofy, goofy boys.


Playing "drums" on Grandpa G. (Who's having more fun - grandpa or grandkids?)


My cute parents and kiddos at the temple. It was so hot and sunny there!


You'd think they were watching "Bob the Builder" or something with their intense gazes. Instead, they were watching the temple video on the early pioneers settling St. George and in building the temple. They kept more focus than I did. Ha.


Finally (sorry to be so long), my favorite park ever. In Salina, UT. It was situated away from the town in a quaint little area surrounded by shady trees and beautiful green grass and a fun park. The park had some new and old stuff. The "new" stuff was your typical playground equipment. But the "old" stuff was the best - a merry-go-round and a super-cool swing-thing that I have never seen before. I loved it - perhaps maybe more than my kids? Naw, I don't think so.

The swings reminded me of the rides they have at Lagoon and other amusement parks. They spun around and around and around. . . How fun!

Once again, another fun time spent away from home with family.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Miles talks and talks and talks

The boy doesn't stop. Seriously. He loves to talk to anybody and everybody and tries to accomplish that on a daily basis.

He also loves to give talks at church (he often laments to me after I ask him how church/primary was - "I didn't get to talk at all in the microphone."). But a couple weeks ago Miles got to give the Primary talk. I was so excited when I heard what the topic was: "Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers." We had talked about a story of Ben as a young boy (before I knew about this talk) that fit perfectly with this topic.

Miles was also the spotlight boy that day and so got to "show'n'tell" all the stuff he'd picked out at home to describe him (track excavator, airplane, noodle, marshmallow, art project - "i'm a good artist" - cabellas' hat, and a book). Later he got to give his talk.

Ben prompted him with the beginning stuff: "My talk is on. . . " Then Ben told Miles to tell his 2 stories. He first told of the time he had a kanker sore and prayed it would go away and then the next morning it was gone! "And that's the end of my story." Then he told the story of Ben hiking with his fam - when Ben was 4 - and a huge hailstorm, with hail "as big as. . . golf balls," came and pelted everybody. Ben then asked his dad to pray, they did, and the storm ceased. Miles told it very well. Then Ben prompted him with the ending stuff. I loved it. I loved him. And, yes, I was very proud of my little-big Boy.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mr. Piggy

oh my gosh, ben might hate me for posting this picture. but i have to do it. for keepsake's sake. for blackmail. for something. it just makes me BUST up laughing every time i see it. i'm laughing even now and i am not looking at it yet - nor have looked at the photo for a month or two. it's just that funny to me.


i don't know why i think it is so funny. ben thinks it is a little disturbing?

who is it you ask? jonas with his face - ummm mostly his nose - pressed up against the tent.


i can only post this picture because my jonas boy is a very beautiful, ahem handsome, boy.

usually.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Quotes of the Week

This week I will showcase 2 quotes - both from Miles, one sour the other sweet.

"If you make me go to time-out then I will not let you shower on Sundays."

So that was the sour one, but it wasn't actually one of his sourest ones. Miles has now gotten into the habit of threatening his folks when we ask him to stop doing something, tell him to go to time-out, etc. His first "back-talk" was telling us that we would not be able to shower on Sundays. He has also said things like, to Ben, ". . . I will not let you go to work," (wahoo), to me, "I will not let you make me lunch," (WAHOO), but today he said something real mean to Ben, ". . . then I will hit you real hard." I expected back-talk and sass from my tweens and teen - but from my 4 1/2 year old? Are you serious?

The other quote:

"I really like Emmy. She is more fun than toys."

So cute, huh? When the boys play with Emmy - hide 'n seek, peek-a-boo, chase, fall-down-dead, etc. - it is all laughs and giggles from the whole family. Love it.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Picture Perfect

Emmy Girl




Jo-Bugs


Mouze

having Grandpa Max take our pictures: $0

the results: truly priceless

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Live Today Like It's Your Last Day

(warning: This post goes absolutely nowhere. If you are looking for wisdom or wit, do not read this.)

So I am reading that book by Randy Pausch entitled, "The Last Lecture." Now while he has thus far never stated the phrase, "live today like it's your last day," it is a common phrase and one I have been thinking of as I read the book.

To inspire and/or motivate people, many a times we are told that phrase. Or, for us mormons, we might hear something akin to this: "Live your life like tomorrow is the Second Coming."

Hogwash.

I can't do that. Seriously. It doesn't make sense to live my life like I was living my last day here on earth. Sure maybe when I do hear those phrases I do think, "Gosh, I should read my scriptures today, be more patient, sing hymns in the car, etc. . . " (just in case, you know), but in reality it's not too practical. (I, too, don't know where I am going with this. Perhaps I should just go to bed. I am tired.)

For instance, today I sat Jonas on the toilet for like 1 1/2 hours (not all at once mind you) for him to poop - he finally did. Now, if today were my last day on earth, I would not have chosen that as one of the last things I'd do here on earth. Nor would I have had sensible meals all day long. Nor would I have had Ben go to work - he would have called in "sick" (come on, don't we all truly get sick of work every now and then?) But I can't live my life like that because kids need to be potty-trained, we need to take care of our bodies, people need to go to work, etc.

But. . . I just realized that perhaps behaviorly I should live every day is if it were my last. So instead of doing things (or not doing things) I would (or wouldn't) do if it were my last, I should at least makes changes in my attitude and behaviors so that if it was indeed my last day I would be pleased with how I acted in certain situations, how I reacted, my tone of voice, my outward affections to those around me, my prioritizations for the day, etc.

Ha, so maybe it is a good phrase after all. Better yet, maybe it should be something like, "Think Today Like It's Your Last Day To Think." Unless, of course, you are 100% sure that it is your last day here on earth - then, by all means, live today like it's your last day. (Hey, I warned you in the beginning.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Time Out

So I had to go to time out. For Women. In St. Louis. With my friend Megan. (If you don't know, Deseret Books sponsors Time-Out for Women seminars)



I left on Thursday afternoon and came back on Sunday afternoon. 3 days without my kids. I have never been apart from them for that long (we've left Miles and Jonas for 24 hours, twice. i've never left emmy). Apart from a little freak-out a week or two before I flew out, all was well as I left and during my trip.



While in St. Louis I did a lot of just chatting with my old roommie Megs, visiting the arch, and of course, attending the seminar. Oh yeah, and also dying in the 85 degree/95% humidity weather. Yuck.



But I had an absolutely wonderful time. Although every time I went somewhere I felt like I was forgetting something (something stinky or whiny or to that effect). I felt so light and free and that was such a great feeling. Megs and her family are beautiful and wonderful hosts and friends. She has a gorgeous home and a family to match it. Thanks to all who made my trip possible - you know who you are, right?


Here are just a few pictures:

Here I am leaving. Nobody looks too sad. In fact, a couple of us look really happy.

The Arch. And the shadows of me and cutie Ellie.

Another picture of the arch. Impressive.

And here we are at the seminar. Lovin' the seminar and just being together.

It was great.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Newsie

So Miles always ends up in the paper (this one was the library newspaper that gets mailed out):

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Gone Fishin'

Miles caught his first fish on Saturday:

Fun stuff.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Our House. . .

is a very, very, very small house. Okay, it's not teeny-tiny, but it is small. Even statistically speaking, it is small. Statistically speaking in the 1970s it is small. (Now, for all you "old folk" - including me - the 70s are a long time ago, 40 years ago. 40.) In the 70s the average home size was 1500, now it is about 2300. And where does our house stand? 1080 square feet. For 5 people and a dog - a fat dog at that.

But we are always to look at the silver lining, correct? So we usually do. In fact, we really love our home - we just don't love its size, or lack of size.

So here are some of the benefits of a small home:

1. When I clean my home (about twice a year), it takes me less than half the time of the average homeowner.

2. I can plug my vacuum in one outlet and vacuum every single part of the house.

3. I can either see or hear my kids at any given moment of the day.
4. For the seeker, hide'n'seek is pretty easy and quick.

5. Very literally, our family is a lot closer. Awwwww.

But, of course, a small home does present some challenges. Like this:

Yes, that is my"sewing room" (please excuse the pasty-white legs in the above photo). It is in my bedroom (it's not always "set up"). My "sewing table" is our wonderful end-table, made by my talented bro. My "sewing chair" is my exercise ball. In fact, our master bedroom is also our computer/office room, TV room, sewing room, exercise room, and food-storage room.

It's a good thing we are all so. . . small (i.e., short).

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

End of Summer

I guess Labor Day is typically what people regard as the "end of summer." And the end of summer couldn't have been more abrupt for our family.


We decided earlier on in the week that we wanted to spend Labor Day up in the mountains, hiking and playing around. So we headed up to the Forest and . . . froze. Man was it cold! Okay, so maybe it was only 50 degrees (plus gusty winds and overcast skies), but when it was 90+ degrees 2 days before, a 40 degree drop is quite extreme. Now we were expecting some rain and came prepared with fleece jackets and rain jackets; but, truly, we were not expecting it to be so cold (I even checked accuweather.com before we left and was told the high was 76). It would have been a more enjoyable experience if we were all prepared - poor kids who have to suffer with their silly parents. But it was still really enjoyable, totally beautiful, a good change, and, especially, it was memorable.


Enjoy our pics in your nice warm homes:




Here is Miles waiting for help in fording the great and mighty river.



Me and Emmy all bundled together.



Here we are hiking on the path. I was affectionately (?) given the title of Woolly Mammoth.

It doesn't look too cold, but really it was. Here are the boys waiting for lunch. (Ben wants to make sure I explain the pink jacket. What do I say? He just really wanted to wear it. Ha. Seriously, I made him wear it as I wanted his jacket as it offered more warmth. What a good-sport husband I have. And one who also looks HOT in pink.)

I think this was pretty much Miles' highlight of the hiking experience: eating Ramen noodles.

Miles was adamant before we left that he wore these shoes. Whatever, he said they felt good. But can you see how much his toes were hanging over his soles?

After a couple hours we came back to the car, drove to another lake (right off the road) and tried some fishing. Jonas was the Super-Star kid of the trip - he never complained once the entire time. What a pleasant and shocking twist that was. The first picture is classic Jonas - hat over eyes, and just about over his entire face. Obviously the hat is a little big, but he always pulls it down when we push it up. Funny, cute kid.

Emmy also did really well. I think the only time she complained was when she wanted to be down and moving. This is what she did when I asked her to show Dad the rocks. She even looks chubby in this picture - despite the fact that she is in the 0.47 percentile for weight (don't miss the zero in front of the 47). Ha.

And Miles had some lows and highs. He definitely complained the most. But also would exclaim things like, "This is so fun!" Kids are so extreme. But he'd had enough of the cold and so while we were fishing he just hung out in the car. Can you spot him?

It really was a fun day. But also quite the rude awakening of the end of summer.

But don't get me wrong, I couldn't be more excited for summer to be over and for fall to come.