I have run out of room. My blog is finished.
You can now find me at
Too Many To Count Two

Monday, July 31, 2006

Toothpaste, and other important matters

I am not one of those people who has a lot of brand loyalty to one thing or another. In fact I think I'm pretty easy going. I can find something I like to eat at any type of restaurant (except maybe German, which I don't love), most music is fine with me (although I do admit to turning off the radio on occasion and telling my girls "that's not even music") and TV...okay, I'm not as easy going as I thought I was at the beginning of the sentence BUT there is one thing I am particularly particular about and that is my toothpaste. I love to brush my teeth. It's my favorite hygiene activity. My DH tells me to stop before I wear off all the enamel, which for the record I don't think can happen. For years I always used Close-up. It was my favorite. Then a year or two ago Wal-mart was out and I was forced to try something else. I tried Colgate with the little breath strips and was so pleasantly surprised. It was like a party in my mouth, and a whole new world of brushing fun. I even called my sisters and shared the joyous discovery with them. It's my new favorite. MSV and Anna were shocked that I would try something else (I think they've both secretly converted).

Well, today I was at the store and needed toothpaste. I forgot until I was in the check-out line, three kids in tow, full cart, people lining up behind me. Darn it. Then I saw a new toothpaste prominently displayed by the candy. Crest Citrus something. I was skeptical, but remembering my last try at something new I threw caution to the wind and bravely tossed it in with the mini-wheats, soy milk, limes and assorted other things we needed.

Tonight when I went to brush my teeth I tried out the new tube. was disgusting. It was like brushing with Orange Crush. It ranked up there with the horrible time we were on vacation and I brought the kids bubble gum flavored toothpaste and not my own and had to share. You have to ask yourself if you are brushing with bubble gum is there really any point?

Now I have to go back to the store tomorrow. Something I am loathe to do. And I have to figure out what to do with the offending tube, do I pawn it off on my sweet children? (what kind of mother would that make me?) Or maybe I should try and sell it on e-bay.

Ruth's Mango Chicken Salad

This is the perfect dish for when it's hot out. You can make it in the morning, let it sit in your fridge: flavors blending, cooling to just the perfect refreshing temp, and then when you are done with your afternoon activities it's ready. We often have friends over in the afternoon to swim, which is so fun. But we don't want to get out to fix dinner so this is great. When DH comes home we get out, friends head home to feed their hungry spouses and kids, and we are ready.

Ruth's Mango Chicken Salad
(vary amounts to taste and number in your family)

2-3 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 mangos, cubed
bunch of cilantro, chopped
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
a bag frozen corn
red peppers, sliced and diced
red onion
juice from 2 limes
1/2 cup italian dressing

Mix and chill, serve with tortilla chips. (I added more chicken in mine, didn't have an onion or pepper but it's still so yummy!)

I am always on the look out for dinner ideas that are easy to cook, tasty, good for you and don't cost a lot.

classic summer fun

Monday, Monday

Cube fest was fun. DH has his co-workers over and we swam and grilled and played Catch-phrase and watched the kids run amuck. It was a pleasant evening, low key and relaxing.

Yesterday we had a good day at church, all three hours had good speakers/teachers. I'm not sure if the quaility was really better or if I enjoyed it more because G is in nursery now. She cried a little this time but Sis. K said that they could always distract her and feels like she is doing well in there. I don't know who has a harder time with nursery me or the babies, I like to have them go if they enjoy it. Learning to enjoy it is the hard part.

S and J and Emma have been running each morning. I need to join them. I have several friends who just joined WW and I need to get off my duff and go with them. There is always some good reason why I need to wait "until Monday" to start dieting. Well, today is Monday so here we go again!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Friday Night Date

Most weekends DH and I go on a date. Last night we went to the Botanical Gardens and walked around. It's really pretty there. Lots of flowers, and trees, as one might imagine. Then we spent some time walking around a very nice outdoor mall with ritzy stores that we would never shop in, although I can't help but making a mental wish list in Williams Sonoma. Then we went to Panera Bread. They have a great new roasted red pepper and lentil soup, I'm going to have to try and copy it this fall. Soup is one of my favorite fall foods, and winter.

This morning the kids and I went to the library. They happened to be having a percussion concert that was really fun. I saw an instrument that I have never heard of before that's called a Hang, it's swedish I believe. G thought it was a little loud. H loved it and didn't want to leave.

Tonight we're having "cube fest" at our house. DH invited his cube-mates to come over to BBQ and swim. Hopefully it'll be fun.

While driving this morning I was thinking about the different peeks into people's homes that I have been enjoying the last few days, courtesy of BooMama. It's been very fun to see. Then I thought back to my childhood and homes of my friends and my parents and I realized that everyone then had a kitchen window that was facing out into the front yard. The kitchen was in the front of the house. Now most kitchens I know are in the back. How odd. Is it a regional thing? Or is it a reflection of how different families lives are now. Maybe then moms stayed home and cooked and the kitchen really was the heart of the home? I spend a lot of time in my kitchen and my windows look at the pool, which I love so I can see what's going on outside whenever I am busy inside. Where does your kitchen look, and do you spend much time there? S spent a few days at a friends last month and she came home and told me that the family (and they have a four kids so it's not a small family) eat out every day but Sunday. For our kids eating out is a rare treat, usually only enjoyed when Nana and Abba and Uncle Brian are visiting. Although sometimes when I don't have everyone we'll go to fast food. We had a couple neighbors growing up who, I swear, must have lived at their kitchen windows because they always knew what my brothers and I were up to. Now most of my neighbors don't even know how many kids we have.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Did It!

I finally figured out how to add links to my sidebar. I have wanted them there for months but since I don't know HTML it's been a challenge to figure it out.
Last night H had a friend spend the night and today Emmaline's mom took the two girls to NRH2O and so the house is a little quieter and I decided to take G's nap time and figure it out once and for all. How hard could it be right?
It took me an hour, but finally there you have it. It's not perfect. I'd like the font to match the other sidebar titles and can't seem to figure that out and I need to add a few more of my favorites on it but I am happy to get that done.

Now for the next challenge: find the bottom of the laundry basket! Not as fun but probably more important :)

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

A Knight in any other outfit....

is still to be treasured.

This is my knight in faded swimsuit on his trusty stead. Doing one of the millions of things he unselfishly does for our family each day. Our yard looks very nice, and it's due entirely to his efforts. Granted he enjoys it, we call it his hobby. That doesn't make it less valuable or appreciated.

I've been thinking lately on what makes a happy marriage. Not that I am an expert but I have some thoughts. My dearest daughter #1 is probably close to getting engaged. All the signs are there and I hope and pray for her happiness. Besides praying for it, and hoping for it what can one do to ensure it? What can I tell her that will help her chose well?

I think first and foremost is finding someone who has the same goal as you do. For me wanting to serve the Lord is first. For DH it is too. As long as we keep our eye single toward that purpose things go more smoothly.

I think also finding someone with similar characteristics helps. Same intelligence, work ethic, sense of humor, hobbies, all those things help. Looking for your "twin" is silly, men and women are SO different but some things in common are good. DH and I both like science fiction, we both enjoy reading, we love our pool, family is important to us, we like to go out to eat, browse bookstores, take walks, paint our house (LOL~ really one of us loves new paint and the other does it out of love for her). Someone who loves the outdoors would probably be happiest with someone else with similar likings. However differences can be interesting, especially when both partners have an open mind and respect the other.

I know some couples who seem very in sinc with one another. They have similar temperaments, politics and parenting styles. I think that would make for a harmonious relationship. DH and I have some differences when it comes to a lot of things BUT key to our happiness is commitment. I have been divorced, and I won't do that again. We both want to stay married and look for the good in the other.

I have found, and I don't know if this is universal or unique to me, that when I look for the good in Rob, when I pray to have my heart and mind opened so I can see what he does for me and our family, when I try and see him as our Father in Heaven sees him, when I look at him without thinking of me first, I feel the greatest love for him. I feel lucky and blessed. I am not saying that I don't feel like that anyway, I'm just saying it's more, it's greater, it's easier.

Also, like Johnny Lingo, when I treat him like my Knight in Shining armor he acts more like that.

Lastly I think when I think of his needs first and try and meet those I am happier. It sounds backwards but it really is the only thing that works. Ideally both partners would be doing that and then I guess you couldn't help but be happy.

Of course, all those things are things that I need to do. Which doesn't leave me with much to advise D to look for except for one thing: Look for someone who tries to live his life like Jesus Christ lived His. And pray.

So, Note to Self: Things I love about Rob

  1. he's really smart
  2. he works really hard at a job that is important not just for our family but for our nation's security
  3. he loves Mulan
  4. he plays with the kids
  5. he loves the kids and loves to watch them grow and to help them grow
  6. he does his home teaching every month
  7. he fufills all his church obligations willingly
  8. he takes me to the temple
  9. he gives me and the kids blessings when we want one, or need one
  10. he is well read
  11. he mows the lawn
  12. he pays the bills
  13. he is Guapo the pool boy
  14. he cleans up the throw-up we have around more frequently than either of us likes
  15. he plants a garden every year, even though we hardly harvest enough to make it worth while
  16. he wants me to stay home with the kids and supports me in that
  17. he is tall, dark and handsome
  18. he is mindful of the world and what's going on and briefs me
  19. he wants to make the world a better place
  20. he honors his parents
  21. he honors mine
  22. he helps my family
  23. he is good at math
  24. he worries about the kids and doesn't think I am paranoid when I do
  25. he's great on the grill
  26. he helps fold clothes at family folding party
  27. he lets me chose the restaurant when we go out to eat (most of the time)
  28. he gets up at night to check out the weird noises
  29. he hears the kids when they cry and pokes me awake to go get them, even when I am trying to fake sleep
  30. he coaches soccer
  31. he goes to violin recitals, soccer games, YW nights, dance recitals, and other kid places
  32. he likes the zoo
  33. he is Worf
  34. he is very social and likes to have company
  35. he always stays to help clean up after a ward social
  36. he is a great swimmer
  37. he has a pleasant singing voice
  38. he is a good trumpeter
  39. he is good at reading outloud
  40. he isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes
  41. he is good in an emergency
  42. he is thrifty
  43. he plays hungry hippo and Disney scene it, even when it's not his favorite
  44. he's good at games
  45. he's sat by my side and held my hand when our babies were born
  46. he keeps our kids safe
  47. he doesn't complain (too much) when I go out for girls night
  48. he takes E on the father/sons camp out even though he hates to camp
  49. he plans for retirement, college tuition and weddings and E's mission and ours so I don't have to.
  50. he finds money for the things I want even when they are outside our budget
  51. he listens to conference and looks forward to it
  52. he can open cans I can't
  53. he can reach things I can't
  54. he can back up the car better than anyone
  55. he smells good
  56. he's not lazy
  57. he is honest
  58. he changed his life for me
  59. he shares his life with me
  60. he is good at sharing his feelings
  61. he calls our family to kneel in prayer each morning and night
  62. he makes sure we read the scriptures

theres more but the kids need put to bed and Jack (of 24) is waiting, along with my sexy hubby!

Monday, July 24, 2006

cooking emergency: too many bananas going brown, too much zuch!

Here's one of my favorite kitchen gadgets, my little chopper. I had a huge zuch and it made short time of it and then we turned it into..tah dah bread! I still have enough left for four more loaves. We'll make them later in the week. The banana peels on the side were just turned into yummy fruit slush, they were getting a little soft and we can only eat so much bread and since zuch slush doesn't sound as good the bananas got to be beverage and the veggie a bread!

Tonight is our combined FHE and that will be my contribution.

Zuchinni Bread

3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups grated zuch
3 eggs
3/4 cup oil
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
3 t baking powder
3t vanilla

Shift dry ingredients. Mix wet. Blend together. Pour into two greased bread loaf pans. Bake at 350 for an hour. Smells great the whole time!

Fruit Slush

2 cups water
1 cup sugar
6 bananas
1 can crushed pineapple
1 can OJ concentrate
addition fruits as desired. (this time I added half a bag of frozen mixed fruit)

Mix, freeze. Take out 1/2 hour before serving and crunch it to a nice slushy consistancy. Enjoy on a warm day (which are plentiful in TX)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Crazy J

J is my crazy kid, she is very fun loving. She's also my fashion plate. She loves to dress up and accessorize. She's going to love having Aunt V here because she certainly doesn't get that from me and V is very stylish and fun. A couple days ago her job was to straighten out the pantry. She found a banana with a sticker that said "put on your forehead, have fun!' So she did. I hadn't noticed that bananas are now putting cute little things on the stickers.

Emma came over after church today. The girls have been wanting to do a combined FHE and tomorrow is the day. They prepared the lesson today. It was funny watching them. I am sure the lesson will be a treat.

They also invited another family.

G started nursery today.

Not wanting to jinks myself I'll just say that it went well.

Yesterday we went to a baptism for one of D's good friends from High School/middle school. It was a special day, and I was so touched to see her. She's the only member in her family now and her mom wouldn't even come so it'll be hard. But her dad was there, and she plans to go to BYU in Jan so hopefully she find the support she needs to stay strong. And most importantly the church is true and will give her peace and guidance so she'll be blessed.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

I've been tagged.

Tag, You're It!

I was tagged by UtMommy and now I pass the fun along to you!In the spirit of the old chain letter traditions, follow these instructions:
Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1) Rose DesRochers
2) So a Blonde Walks Into a Blog
3) Flip Flop Mamma
4) Utmommy

Next select five people to tag:

Whoever wants to , I never know what to put on this line.
except Anna, of course, who has to since she's my sister and V got me.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
I was single and teaching school. Living in CA with my three darling girls. And I was the enrichment leader (one of my least favorite callings)

What were you doing 1 year ago?
Last July we took a family trip to Michigan. It was very fun! We went to Lake Michigan and celebrated the family farm turning 100.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1) warm cookies and milk
2) Chocolate (almost any kind!)
3) potato skins
4) anything baked
5) baby carrots

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
I'm not good at knowing lyrics. I do know the words to lots of the hymns in our Hymn book and lots of nursery rhymes.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1) pay off all our bills
2) have enough money for all the kids to go to college
3) go on a really cool vacation
4) invest
5) buy his/hers minis

Five bad habits:
1) Eating to much.
2) Not exersizing enough.
3) reality TV
4) not making my bed first thing in the morning
5) driving to seminary in my pajamas (what if I got pulled over, LOL, like anyone sane is on the road then!)

Five things you like doing:
1) Spending time with DH and kids.
2) reading
3) browsing book stores
4) having friends over
5) blogging

Five things you would never wear again:
1) maternity pants
2) short shorts
3) blue eyeshadow
4) stilletto heels (not that I ever did)
5) 501's w/ my favorite "life's a beach" Tee that was my teenage uniform~ mainly because I can't imagine being thin enough for the 501's and the shirt seems less clever now than it did then.

Five favorite toys:
1) our pool
2) star wars guys, they keep E busy for hours and he's so cute playing with them.
3) does a horse count? I'd like one, someday.
4)DVD player
5) CatchPhrase ~the game. Very fun!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Tent City

H had a friend sleep-over, of course we all know that has nothing to do with actual sleeping. They played school, played dress-up, played American Girl dolls and giggled. When it was dark they went up stairs and watched "She's the Man". A cute movie. This morning they woke up early and with E as a willing assistant they built a city. It's still up, they are begging not to take it down so I guess DH will get to enjoy it when he gets home too.

This morning we swam at a friend's. It was fun, her backyard is so lovely, shaded and cool. It's very tranquil there.

I am a happy mom today. Three of my kids happily went to the temple. D in Utah went to do baptisms with MSV. She was so excited to go and so excited to have her recommend! Here is the good news of the gospel. It's for everyone. Each of us does things we need to repent of, and each of us has the opportunity to repent and bring our lives back into harmony with the teaching of the Savior. Those who do get to experience the sweet joy of being accepted into His loving arms and forgiven. How wonderful!
S and J went on the Youth Temple Trip this afternoon. They were both excited to go.

And one more cute kid story. Last night while we knelt in the living room for our evening prayers DH invited Bethany to pray. She shyly nodded no. Then he asked H, who "shyly" nodded no too. Then E bounced up on his knees and raised his little hand as high as it would go and said "you're little missionary boy will say it". So sweet, so sincere. He brought a calm and happy and cheerful spirit to the room. How blessed we are :) And then he prayed.

News on the family front: MSV and her dear family are moving to TX. They will live with mom and dad for a while. I am thrilled to have her and the kids can HARDLY wait for their cousins. I feel badly for them because it's not 100% in their chosing. They had a business and a business partner and they really got the short end of the stick (polite talk for something else) when business took a downward turn. I hope they love it here as much as we do, and that BIL will find a career path he loves. We went from living here all by ourselves for a long time and only seeing family once a year to winning the grandparent lottery and having mom and dad move here last summer and now more family is coming too! (maybe it's time for us to move away ;)just kidding!)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

oh what do we do in the summer time?

Here's another pool picture. The kids are such good swimmers. H and J can both do flips, E can touch the bottom of the deep end and G is F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S. we expect great things out of that one, water wise. We've been having a lot of friends use our pool. Yesterday some of J's friends arrived at 7am ready to go running, stayed for cereal, swimming, lunch, swimming, movie watching, more swimming. It is very fun. Our cupboards are bare but our hearts are full!

This is J and her good, good, good friend Emma "working out". Actaully they just got back from running with Millie and were waiting for tahwahs to be done, a Basque food that sort of like a crepe.

H has her friend Bethany spending the night tonight so her family is coming over at 10 to swim and when they are done Bethany will stay. H is excited.

Big girls are going to go see Pirates, again. This time with friends.

We will miss the lazy days of summer. I am grateful for this time to have fun with the kids. And the pool is a great bribe for getting chores done!

funny story from DH's cousin

My dear MIL forwarded an e-mail from DH's cousin. I thought it was very funny so wanted to share it.

I'm not sure what the protocol is for sharing someone elses writing. I don't want to say her name because that seems like an invasion of her privacy. So, I put her words in italics. Hopefully you'll think it's fun too.

Thought I'd tell you about a thrilling start to the day in the _________ household...
The day started poorly (or the night ended badly) at 3 a.m. when our 6 year old stumbled into my room crying, "I'm throwing up!" And she was. We had a merry hour of it as the poor thing heaved and moaned. Then it passed (did I mention I was praying fervently?) and we were both able to get back to sleep.
At 6:30 a.m. the baby woke up crying. I was actually thrilled that she waited 'til 6:30 as she has an ear infection and the previous night was up at 3 a.m. (Do you see a pattern here? Actually, my kids usually sleep great, thankfully!)
I stumbled downstairs to prepare her bottle before going to get her. As the water was heating for the formula, I idly looked out the back window at our pool. And I realized...
There's an ANIMAL in our pool! AIGHGGGH! There is a wild animal in our pool!

Now every marriage probably has its division of labor. In our marriage, I am not in charge of wild animals. I get up with the children at night, Kevin takes care of the wild animals. But Saturday is Kevin's only day to sleep in. I decided to be a hero. (Listen for the strains of heroic music now, perhaps from Rocky or something.) How hard could this be? I just go out, get one of our long poles, fish the poor stupid animal out, let it go, and we'll all be happy. Regale Kevin, when he gets up, with my heroism.
I take the key to the gate. I step out into the foggy sunrise. I walk over to the fence surrounding the pool. I stare at the animal.
It is black.
With white stripes.
It is a skunk.

OK, the music can now fade. If there is such a thing, listen for wimpy music. I cannot handle a skunk. I am not that brave.
I go and wake Kevin.
He gets a board, he rigs it up to provide a nice way for the skunk to get out. It has been more then an hour now and the skunk has disdained the board. He or she is swimming around and around in the deep end, away from the board.
The children are ecstatic. They LOVE watching a skunk swim around in our pool. Anything for excitement around here. I am horrified. I feel sorry for the skunk, I feel worried about the pool. I do not want a dead skunk in our pool, but it looks like there will be one soon. I do not want our pool to smell of skunk. I do not want any of us to risk being sprayed.

We tried to find a spiritual parallel here. And we came up with a couple. (Mind you, we are both tired.)
Salvation through Christ alone...

Isn't it arrogant to say that there is only ONE way out of the pool?
No, actually, there could be NO way out the pool. Wasn't it kind of Kevin to provide one way out of the pool. But sometimes, it takes skunks a long time to accept the only way.


Having a skunk in the pool is like having an area of sin in an otherwise holy life.

God's blessings on your day. You can pray the skunk escapes.

God bless, Laraba



Well, the skunk is no longer in our pool.

It swam, and it swam, and it swam, and it swam. And it really bothered me. I felt so sorry for the stupid animal, trying to stay afloat, no doubt exhausted, struggling for heart was wrung with pity. Kevin tried to get it to get on the board by gently shoving it toward the board with a pool skimmer, but it seemed to hate the board. It wanted nothing to do with the board. It swam.

Finally, 6 hours after I noticed it in the pool, it ended up in the skimmer of the pool. So it had a place to hang out instead of swimming. Kevin, exhibiting great courage, crept over and opened up the skimmer and stuck a board in there. Now the way was clear. There was an opening and a board. The skunk could escape. But it didn't seem to want to. Kevin retreated and watched for awhile, and then came indoors.

We chatted briefly, and Kevin went to look at the pool JUST in time to see the skunk, which had climbed out of the pool, JUMP BACK IN! Yes, we either had the dumbest skunk on the planet in our pool, or it loved to swim, or some combination thereof. So having escaped, it leaped back into its watery prison.

Kevin decided that enough was enough. We could not perpetually have a skunk swimming in our pool. He pushed it under water for about 30 seconds using the skimmer, and, when it had stopped struggling, flung it out of the pool. He tried to fling gently but alas, the water and flinging were too much for it. It is dead.

I feel fine about that. I'm afraid it may have made a habit of falling into the pool since it seemed to like the pool. I don't mind killing animals, I just felt sorry for it paddling and paddling and paddling. Wasted sorrow, it seems, since it seemed to enjoy that part of the experience.

So we have an empty pool again. Miraculously, perhaps, the water is not all stinky. The outside is not all stinky. We are thankful.

We have found bunnies, and snakes and lots of kids in our pool but thankfully no skunks! Yuck!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

all home now

Last night J and I went to the airport to pick up S. She had a great time at EFY. We had to wait a long time because her flight was delayed but it was okay. J and I just people watched and felt happy that none of the littles were with us running around. We had a fun drive home hearing about her week and her weekend with D. She had fun going to the singles ward with her and hanging out with all the college kids.

This morning I went visiting teaching. I am recommitting myself to doing 100%. It's too easy to miss a month and then another. My companion went with me for the first time in years today and we had a good time visiting. Hopefully she'll want to come more now.

We've been in post-vacation dull-drums around here. The kids are wandering around looking for their cousins and we stil have a suitcase not put away. Plus it's SO hot. Thank goodness we have the pool. It draws friends over too so that's always fun.

I rented the first four episodes of "24". I've been hearing how good it is and thought DH and I could watch it after the kids went to bed each night. It's good, but sadly like with a lot of late night screen time, I fall asleep. DH watched three episodes last night and liked them, but then he stayed up too late. Such problems we have!

Saturday, July 15, 2006

harvest time

We came home to things blooming and growing. Thanks to our good friend Kriste who watered for us when she came to use the pool:)

It's been busy since we've gotten back. When is it not busy? Yesterday I was so tired from all the fun of the last month that I took a nap. Other than those few minutes it's been go go go.

We went to a good bye party for our dear friends last night. It was fun, crazy. Too many people and I was glad it wasn't at our house. But the house and the guests survived and we all had fun.
Today DH is helping them pack their van and tomorrow they'll come over for lunch and a last visit and then the Butterfields are off to Ohio.

E is going to his friend Cedric's b-day party at 1. J has a party tonight at another friend's boathouse. S is driving to Utah from Idaho. I wonder how much fun she had at EFY?

DD # One

The best part of going on our vacation was being with D. She is a student at UVSC and living on her own. She has a cute apartment with roommates that she loves, a good job, and a wonderful boyfriend. She's doing everything I ever hoped for her and I am so proud. We miss her fiercely and at the same time are so happy for her and the joy she is feeling and the good life she is living.

I can't believe it's been almost 19 years! How did that happen?

our stop in Colorado Springs

Before I start the story of our one day stop over in Co Sprgs important information must be shared with the blogging world.

The smell was a banana peel on the bottom of the trash can. I think.

After traveling straight through on the way to Utah we decided to break it up into smaller drives on the way home and see some sights. DH decided on Colorado Springs. He had been there as a boy and remembered some neat things he had done. The thing he was most excited about was Pike's Peak. Now, for the record, I was hestiant about it from the start. A long train ride to a high scenic view? I wasn't sure the kids would love it but he assured me they would and after a little discussion we decided to go for it.

We had to get up early and get up to the train station. I was having a little trouble with the altitude before we even started (which just goes to show me, I guess, that I really better start working out before my heart stops doing it's job all together.) We got to the train station and got our tickets and then we boarded. It was close quarters. For anyone who hasn't ridden the cog train up it's like the beginning of a roller coaster ride the chug, chug, chug part up to the first drop. We sat shoulder to shoulder with strangers for an hour and a half rideing up the track. As we ascended it got colder and colder. The air got thinner and thinner and G cried louder and louder. Then it hit, the need to pee, so badly. I have never needed to pee so bad, I actually wondered just how humilitating it would be to wet my pants. I made every effort not to but truthfully barely made it. The kids felt sick, I felt sick. G cried. The train stopped and we ran for the bathroom. Us and half the other passangers. It must have been something about the altitude because there were a lot of people marveling about the pressure on their bladders. Poor G was so dizzy she fell over when I put her down in the stall. We took a quick look out side then ran back in for shelter while we waited for our return train. DH and I also had a disagreement on the top about buying a sweatshirt. It was A LOT of fun.

Luckily G fell asleep on the way down and we started feeling better as we descended. All in all I would have to say NEVER take your kids to Pikes Peak. It was horrible. The scenery was lovely. The next day we read about how when visiting you shouldn't go above 6000 feet the first day and then work your way up a 1000 feet a day. That would have been good to know before.

After Pikes Peak we spent a couple minutes in Garden of the Gods, which was breath taking and then at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. Also a lot of fun. There are so many neat things to do there we wished we had a couple more days and will definitely go back to visit again.

The kids also enjoyed swimming in the pool and eating in the restaurants.

We had planned to stop in Amarillo the next night but in route decided we had enough vacation and just headed for home.

Friday, July 14, 2006

We made it home!

There's no place like home. While we were driving yesterday we got to our designated stopping point and it was early in the evening, and this is key G was asleep, so we decided to press on. It would only take another SIX hours and we were tired of unpacking the car, sleeping (I use that word loosely) in hotels and being on the road. We had a great time on our vacation, and were ready to be back home. When G woke up we stopped for dinner then put everyone in the pajamas and headed out. Finally we got home somewhere around midnight.

Traveling went well. I make "surprise" bags for long trips and the kids open them at designated times. I write on the bag when it can be opened like: when we get to Kansas, or when it's dark, or 11am. I fill them with little treats like cheap new DVD ($1 at Wal-mart), candy, small toys, and the like. One favorite was the at dark bag~ it had glow sticks in it. This trip our first surprise was the first Harry Potter book on tape. A decidely no cheap treat. We listened to it on and off the whole time and really enjoyed it. J and DH and I listened when the kids were asleep and that really helped pass the time last night. The reader has an awesome voice, I would so recommend doing that.

This morning eveyrone is sleeping in, except G of course, and that means except me too. Maybe I'll nap this afternoon (pause for hysterical laughter)

Our watermelons are looking so good. I ran over to the garden last night first thing, before even hauling the sleeping angels to their beds. I was worried about them but it looks like we have at least two ready to harvest!

We walked in the house and encountered a "smell". Not the welcome we wanted. We tried to eliminate anything that could smell badly while we were gone before we left. I left all the laundry done, emptied trash cans around the house, threw away perishables, filled the dishwasher before we left so there were no dirty dishes. Besides wanting to avoid a mystery smell I always like to leave things clean so if , God forbid, we should die I won't be embarrased by the mess we left. I know it's crazy but there it is, the crazy truth. I have a good friend and we have a deal: if either of us suddenly dies, or is hospitalized in a coma, or other such extreme emergency the other is not to rush to her side but rather is to go to her home and clean up. Sparing the dead one any emotional trauma from leaving a dirty house.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Saying Good-bye to Utah

We're leaving tomorrow to start our long drive home. This time we're doing it more slowly. We'll go to Colorado Springs tomorrow and spend Wednesday going up Pike's Peak and looking at some Indian village DH has planned out for us. Then Thursday we'll drive to Amarillo, see Cadillac Ranch, swim in the hotel pool, relax. Friday we should be home be afternoon. In time to go to the Butterfields good-bye party.

It's been a good vacation. It's been great being with MSV (my sister Val) and her littles for so long. I feel like the cousins have really gotten to know each other and love each other more. G is going to be SO sad, T and M are great with her and will play for hours. H, who is a wonderful girl, doesn't have that natural careful instinct with babies but she has learned so much from watching her cousins with baby G. She is so much more gentle and trustworthy with her now. H and M have been playing well the whole time. I think they have had less then 5 minutes worth of disagreements. They've played dress-up and swam, and played school and so many things it's hard to list. I wish, wish, wish, they could grow up together. E adores T, he's a good role model. The boys have done well together as well. DH, who is an only child, enjoys being an uncle and loves having brothers now. They played golf, went shooting, got in trouble together for being late to the movie (when they had the tickets in their pockets), played dodge ball in the back yard long and hard (so hard Ama and DH could barely move the next day:) and they broke V's fence (which DH fixed today.)

I always enjoy my family a lot. They are fun to be with. We had very few hard days, and with so many that's pretty good. I guess we're ready to go home, back to our routines and what not but I can't wait to do this again.

V had some breakage, which was too bad and I feel badly about and we had a few ruffled feathers once or twice but that's the only bad I can think of. Oh, and one brother didn't make it to our temple day and I hope he gets his act together quickly. And we had some hair accidents and a few fights over toy guns and little S fell down the path at Bridal Veil.

So that's it, the good, the bad, the ugly in a long ramble and 700 photos taken. I'm looking forward to what will hopefully be a pleasant drive home with some interesting stops and then we're back to "normal".

Friday, July 07, 2006


We spent the day at Lagoon, an amusement park north of Salt Lake City. It was very fun, warm, and sticky. The perfect kind of day to spend outside with your family.

The kids rode lots of ride. Our favorite was Rattlesnake Rapids. We got drenched. See the big, drippy wet, smiles on H and Greg?

I enjoyed the pioneer village and the museums in the park. We also took a buggy ride, pulled by two Clydesdale horses that was so fun. We passed by buffalo and elf and zebra, all with babies. We also met up with the Butterfields and got to go on The Bat with them.

Poor D got stung by a bee. Luckily Uncle Alec carries Lydocane so he could numb her up and she could enjoy the rest of the evening :)

After the park we went to IHOP and ate yummy funnel cakes and breakfast (at 10pm)

Grandma and Papa kept G home, which was so nice. They had a very good day as well. Went for a walk, bought some cherries, played at the park. It worked out great for everyone!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Family Photos

It took a lot of shots, but we got some keepers. Here's the whole gang. Mom and Dad and all their posterity.
Dani and Greg.

And what do little boys really love?

A day at Bridal Veil Park. It was so beautiful there. We went up in the afternoon to take family pictures and had so much fun. That morning the adults went to Mt Timpanogos to the temple to do sealings. It was a wonderful morning. In the evening we had a BBQ and fireworks. Very fun.
Greg came with us to take pictures. We like him a lot, he's very nice and he and D are cute together.
Best friends, H and M will be heart broken when their time together is over.

D and Greg play with E.

Kids on the rocks.

how do little boys enjoy restaurants?

by playing in the fountains, of course. We went to the Mayan for M's birthday. It was so fun, she is 7 and they sang to her really loudly. We got to talk to the divers and the boys thought that was the coolest thing ever!

Here's a photo of all of us in front of the Mayan and one of me, Dh and the kiddos! We look SO lovely since we had spent part of the day at the pool and part of the day running around. Mom and Michael were sick too :( Poor guys (hope no one else gets it)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

how do little boys enjoy Temple Square?

Monday we spent the day at Temple Square, and the evening at something rock park. It was very nice. We saw the movie, Joseph Smith Prophet of the Restoration. G didn't make it very far so we left and strolled around. D and her friend Allie met us. Allie was visiting for the weekend from TX and they were on the way to the airport. I was glad to spend a couple minutes looking at things with them. Allie is going to be baptized next month, we've known her since she and D were in middle school together so this is very exciting to us!

The kids all enjoyed wrestling with their Uncles. Uncle Amadeo is so cute with G, and Uncle Alec and all the dad's/uncles got to give lots of piggy back rides!
The fountains were too tempting to stay completely out of!

A quick stop by some lovely flowers. The grounds are so beautiful and peaceful. I could really feel the Spirit there and enjoyed the quiet moments and the moments with all the gang. It is so great to be here with everyone!

Sunday night we had a surprise anniversary party for Mom and Dad. They have been married 41 years. It was just us kids and spouses and grandkids but it was very nice. We had cake, and gifts and we each said a little something to them. With our family spread all around the country and grandkids growing up so quick we all cherish the times together.
So far the vacation has been great!

Sunday, July 02, 2006

The longest drive in the world

We finally made it to Utah after the longest drive. We were in the car forever. Colorado was beautiful. We made lots of stops. We had lots of surprise bags and watched movies. I read aloud "The Life of Pi", not all the way but almost. DH and I are enjoying it. We want to know what happens to poor little Pi.

We were so happy when we finally got here. Of course as we were pulling into V's town we got a call "stay in the car and keep driving. We're at Stadium of Fire in Provo."

We drove on and met up with everyone there. It was a nice fireworks display, and the kids loved running around and playing. It was SO SO fun to see D. She looked good, happy. I am looking forward to a fun visit. I am anxious for S to arrive tomorrow so the whole family can be here. We aren't all together very often. And all my siblings and their kids are here and that's even more rare.