Thursday, July 29, 2010

Drawing Rainbows In the Rain

A perfect rainy day activity...

"There can be no rainbow without a cloud and a storm."
~John H. Vincent

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Last night at about 9:00, after walking in the house from Young Women's, Erik asked Nicole and I to come sit in the living room. I immediately knew something was wrong. The look on his face, the tone in his voice, the fact that he had asked us to come sit in the living room, all told me that what I was about to hear was going to shake me. You know what I am talking about. The feeling you get when you first hear of terrible news.

I asked him if something bad had happened. He said, not yet. At least he hoped not.

He proceeded to tell us that about thirty minutes earlier, he had received a phone call from my mom. The first words out of her mouth were, "We need your prayers!".

It was my dad's birthday yesterday and all he wanted to do was spend the day fishing. After a leisurely morning and a stop at a restaurant for brunch, they headed up Springville Canyon on their way to Strawberry Reservoir.

My dad loves to take the scenic route. He always has. He has an amazing sense of direction- I have never known him to get lost before. The route that dad had chosen to take was one that he had traveled years before. He wanted to see if he could still figure out how to get to the Reservoir from that particular canyon.

Mom relayed to Erik that she and dad had been driving around since 3:00 p.m. trying to figure out how to get back to a main road. They had an idea where they were, but were not completely sure. They had been driving on bumpy dirt roads for hours. She asked us to pray for them and that they would call when they reached a main road.

We immediately offered a prayer on their behalf. I felt calm. For about thirty minutes- maybe it was only fifteen.

Time crept by at an agonizingly slow pace. We waited for the phone to ring while trying to carry on with the normal evening tasks.

By 10:30, still no call. It was dark and stormy and I was getting very worried. Terrible thoughts were going through my mind as I dialed my parents cell phone numbers for the fifth time in half an hour. Mom's phone went right to voice mail. Dad's would ring, but there was no answer.

I couldn't take it any longer. Sitting next to Erik on our bed I asked him, "How long do we wait before calling for help? They have been driving around for over seven hours! Shouldn't we call someone and just let them know what is going on?" He agreed and we made a phone call to the Wasatch County Sheriff's Department.

Erik gave the dispatcher the last known location my parents knew they had been in, a description of dad's truck, their ages, their cell phone numbers, as well as our contact information. The dispatcher said it was a very large area and it would take awhile before they would be able to give us an update, and that if we heard from my parents we were to let them know.

Several minutes later, our phone rang. It was dad's cell phone. Through a terrible connection, mom told us that they were on a better road and they thought they could find their way from there. Then she told us to "Go to bed!".

I knew she didn't want us to stay up worrying but there was no way that sleep was going to come until I knew they were safe at home again.

After letting the Sheriff know, we waited a few more minutes and tried their cell phone again. This time it was a clear connection and the first thing my mom said was, "You called the Sheriff? You didn't even want to give us a chance to see if we could survive a night lost in the mountains?" Parents.

My relieved mother then shared all the details of their ordeal. During the seven hours of birthday fun, they had been on dirt roads so narrow that dad could not begin to turn his truck around. A cliff on one side and a mountain on the other. Mom described it as 'horrible, just horrible!'.

Is there a point to sharing this story? There is, but it's probably not what you think. It is not a warning to stay on well traveled paths, to bring a map (which they did), or to make sure to always let someone know when you are traveling in the mountains.

My point of sharing is not to embarrass my parents or even to give them a glimpse into what was going on at the other end of the phone line.

My point of sharing is to say how grateful I am that prayers were answered (the prayers of at least 10 people that I know of). My prayer, in addition to asking that my parents find their way safely home, was that my mom not kill my dad. It was his birthday after all and he never even made it to Strawberry to fish.

I am happy to say that that prayer too was answered. In fact, she seemed very proud of him- proud that he had kept his cool and proud that he had found his way out of the mountains.

I am so grateful that this story has a happy ending and excited for my dad who now has a pretty incredible birthday story to share- one that is way better than if he had actually gone fishing and caught a fish.

This story is way better! Don't you agree?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Let's go to the movies!

This weekend we had some fun making movies on Erik's new camcorder. It's fun to see the kids come out of their shell when the 'director' says, "Action!". Grab some popcorn and enjoy! :)

Dreamy Cops

Note: Ian was watching the movie yesterday and said, "Mom, I don't think it's a good idea to make a movie about breaking into someone's house." Point taken. (Although he was the one who came up with the idea. :) )

Friday, July 23, 2010

Cooking with Ian

Last week, I read Ian a bedtime story called, The Pizza That We Made. It's a fascinating read- full of rhyming, tasty words- you should pick it up sometime. (If you are reading on a Kindergarten level that is.)

At the back of the book, a recipe was included to make your very own pizza. Ian begged and begged me to help him make a pizza for lunch, but because the dough has to rise for 45 minutes, we never had enough time to make it. Until today that is!

He read me the instructions....
helped me pour it in the bowl.....stirred it and kneaded it.....let it raise and then.....
he put the sauce on, the freshly grated mozzarella cheese, and lots of pepperoni slices....put it in the oven....waited and waited not so patiently for the timer to beep......
and then proudly sat down to enjoy his slice of pizza. I know he looks a little unsure about eating it in this picture, but I assure you, he ate every last bit! It was actually very good. Nice job buddy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


We hauled the family up Millcreek Canyon last night for FHE. There is something to be said about being in the mountains, hearing the river rushing through the canyon, the birds chirping, the rustling of leaves as the breeze brushes past them. It's spiritual.

We spent time laughing, roasting marshmallows, reading scriptures, telling stories, playing, and talking.

I love being in the mountains. The cell phones stop buzzing, there are no distractions. It's a time to sit and be still. Looking up at the grand mountains that surround us and the beautiful scenery that is before us, humbles me. I am grateful to be here. I am grateful to be surrounded by all this beauty. I am grateful that for a small moment in time, we are together as a family sharing all of this together.

We don't take advantage of these moments enough. But last night we did. And it was wonderful and good.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Clean Fun

I was shopping at WalMart the other day walking down the shaving isle....razors, razors, razors, shaving cream. Shaving cream. It was only $1.12 a can. My mind started spinning. Oh what fun my boys could have with a can of shaving cream.

So I give you, "How to Make Your Children Smile for Just a Little Over $1"

See! Smiling already.
The first thing you must do is set the cans out on the counter for a few days. It drives them crazy. "What is that for?" they ask. "An activity" I tell them. Their eyes begin to shine as they try to figure out what I could possibly mean.

You should have seen their faces when I handed them the cans of shaving cream and told them to "go for it". It was awesome!
It didn't take them too long to get into it either. Before I knew it, balls of shaving cream were being thrown like snowballs across the backyard.
My two boys quickly became little Stay Puff marshmallow men.
It was war for sure!
Now this picture should be on an ad for Barbasol, don't you think? I agree.
The best part of the whole activity for me, I must admit, was the end. I got to spray them off with the hose.

A can of Barbasol, $1.12.

An afternoon of pure, messy fun. Priceless.

Bonus: Your kids will smell really good when all is said and done. :) I just hope we didn't kill the grass.

Friday, July 16, 2010

In the mail

Look what was delivered to my house yesterday! Mmmm....gourmet brownies!

Have you heard of SendOutCards? It's an online card company where you can design your own card (for an individual or as an announcement- like wedding or graduation), then it is printed and mailed directly to anyone you choose. You can even include one of many treats, trinkets or gift cards that you can purchase on their website. The prices are reasonable and they make it so easy! And I love their slogan, "Changing Lives... One Card at a Time". Who doesn't like to get a card or package in the mail?

Check them out!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer means...

stinky, sweaty boys sitting close to me as we read another chapter of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

late night runs for movies and treats.

hundreds of tiny popped balloon pieces out on the lawn from water balloon fights.

mounds and mounds of laundry because outfits must be changed at least twice a day.

the words, "Mom, I'm bored" escaping the lips of a child or two daily.

trying to come up with something fun for them to do....yesterdays activity? Melting crayons over hot rocks just from the oven.

whining, arguing siblings because no one gets enough sleep.

sleeping in, eating at strange hours of the day, basically no schedule at all.

walks late at night after the sun goes down.

otter pops. So many otter pops.

a house full of friends. The record so far this summer? 11 little boys! Oy!

daily chore charts. And everyday the same question, "Do I have to do my chores today?" Umm. Yes.

a constant shortage of swimming towels. Must remember to buy more when they go on clearance.

lots of dinners cooked on the grill.

homemade smoothies.

so many trips to get a frozen yogurt.

sitting on the porch reading a novel.

fresh fruit.

sleeping with the windows open at night- there is nothing like fresh evening air!

glitter toes.

visiting with neighbors we haven't seen since last year.

worrying that summer is going by too fast.

hating the thought that before I know it, we will be back on a schedule, doing homework, and putting the flip flops away.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I remember....

I remember there was a jar of pickled pigs feet on top of our fridge for a really long time. Gross.

I remember waking up one night to my sister whispering to me that 'someone' was in our house. We hid under the covers while our hearts beat so hard that our bed was shook. We thought that it was the intruder who was making our bed shake. It was a long time before we dared come out of the covers.

I remember running through the sprinklers every summer- and without fail, I was the only one who would step on a bee and get stung.

I remember my dad calling us outside to 'come see'. We warily looked into the back of his truck to see two glowing eyes looking back at us. It was a kitten he had found while out hunting.

I remember driving my dad to Insta-Care to have his broken ribs x-rayed right after leaving the DMV with my new license in hand. I prayed the whole time that I wouldn't crash our car because dad was in enough pain already.

I remember sitting around the kitchen table decorating cookies with my girlfriends at my 5 year old birthday party. I felt so grown up sitting there laughing and frosting cookies with my best friends.

I remember when my clogging partner dropped me at the end of a performance at an elementary school. I jumped into his arms and he didn't catch me- on PURPOSE. I got up, turned around (while the kids in the audience laughed and laughed) and kicked him (hard) in the shin. Then I marched off stage.

I remember trying to break my habit of biting my fingernails. I told myself that my pinky finger was off limits and then eventually added another finger and then another until I had broken the habit completely. I was so proud. And from then on I was 'known' for my long fingernails.

I remember dumpster diving behind some businesses across the street from our neighborhood and taking all kinds of office papers and stamps and using them to play 'office' with.

I remember babysitting for a family when I was 10 years old, whom I didn't know very well and they paid me with a jar full of pennies when they got home 8 hours later!

I remember wishing that I could be grown up like my babysitter Tina. I wanted to be like her in every way. To this day we still keep in touch.

I remember sitting on the flat gravel roof of our home on the Fourth of July, watching the fireworks. The air was cool, but the heat from the roof kept us toasty warm.

I remember eating a whole bag of Doritos with my friend Sara and thinking she was the luckiest girl in the world because her Dad bought that bag of chips just for her.

I remember wanting to have pierced ears so badly that I stole a push pin off of the bulletin board of an office building that my mom cleaned at night, and used it to pierce my ear. Then I went to an older neighbor girl and told her that my older sister had done it while I was sleeping and begged her for an earring. She wouldn't give me one.

And speaking about earrings....I remember stealing a pair at Grand Central. I felt really bad after, but never told anyone about it. (until now)

This post was inspired by Tiffany at the wouldbewritersguild. Thanks Tiff. This was fun!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Saturday pictures

(the bobbing for apples thing was totally his idea....silly boy!)

Happy Monday to you!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Something to do...

Are your children in need of something to do?

Last week, Nicole and her friend Laura came up with the perfect summer activity/treat. (If you have young ones, supervision is recommended :) )

What is it they are doing? Let's take a closer look....

Roasting mini marshmallows over tea candles, using bobby pins as roasting sticks and then when the mallows are nicely toasted, sandwiching them in between teddy grahams with a tiny piece of Hershey chocolate. Indoor smores!
Yumm! So cute and so fun! It has become a favorite thing to do lately while watching a movie.
What fun things have you or your children found to do this summer?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Independence Day! See you next week!

Friday, July 2, 2010

He's a First Grader!

Ian graduated from Kindergarten yesterday and I'm still in shock! I can't believe that for the first time in 16 years, I will have no children home with me during the day. Crazy!

Here are a few pictures from his Kindergarten Program.

Here is a slide of him and the picture he drew of Suzy Snowflake. See if you can find him in the group of kiddos below.

Saying goodbye to his Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Venning- a wonderful teacher!

Now he's in First Grade!!!!
And to celebrate, he wanted to go to In-n-Out Burger....yum!
Way to go Ian! You learned so many things this year! I can't wait to see all that you learn in 1st grade. Love you buddy!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Strawberries 'n Cream

I cannot believe it is the 1st of July!

I must be having fun because time is least I think that's what they say.

One of my favorite summer events as a child was Strawberry Days in Pleasant Grove. It was a day for playing with cousins, amusement park rides, food and lots of strawberries.

My grandmother was the queen of cream. She used cream in 90% of her recipes. No lie.
She taught me that breakfast (Cap'n Crunch and Malt-o-Meal) tasted sooo much better with a little (or a lot) of half and half poured on top. And that was also true with strawberries.

And so today, in honor of July, strawberries and my grandmother, I share this picture with you and wish you the happiest of July's!
Now I must go and eat this bowl of strawberries 'n cream. Yummmmmm.