Friday, August 28, 2009

Movin' on up...to Tempe (sung to the Jeffersons Theme)

Brenn is moving out today! How in the world will I survive? I will be the only girl, luckliy two of our dogs are girls and I guess Grandma counts too.



Here is her first load. She is moving into my in-laws house in Tempe (they are at their house in Utah) and has found a great roomie in Sydney Brake. She surived the first week of school and is looking forward to being on her own. Since we were not sucessful in buying a house my great Father-in-law came up with this plan and I am so grateful!

Off she goes....I wanted to show a picture of Stella, she is growing at such a fast rate and up until last week was the perfect puppy! Lately she is obsessed with all kinds of people food. Brenn left a capped gatorade in the living room for just a few minutes and she had the cap off and the gatorade (red of course) all over the carpet. She will climb on the table or counters or anything to get food!


This morning Dallin left his protien shake on the table - unfortuanely that must not be good for dogs because she threw it up almost immediatly.


But she is cute and loves to play. Brenn is worried that she will like me best since she will be gone and puppies are not allowed at Grandma Kathys house. She probably should be worried, I am a dog whisperer!



I know Brenn will do well. She is so ready to be on her own.

Monday, August 24, 2009

First day of School!

Okay - I know kinda lame - your mom wanting to take first day of school pictures as you are headed to your first day at College but..... Here she is next to her new car - or should I say Jeep. She was a little nervous but I think will do just fine. I am a little jealous - I loved College, I hope she learns as much as I did and has at least as much fun, Oh yeah, and gets an education.



There is still a big money grubbing black hole or BMGBB over our house but I am trying to ignore it. Hopefully now that Jethro is gone, Brenn has a reliable car and we should pick up Dallin's reliable car this afternoon we can at least quit pouring money down that hole (except Kens truck needs new tires *sigh.*.). This is for Sue, does the period go in the ( ) or outside? what about the *? Really I tried to pay attention in English but my high school teacher was a lady who never showered and acted like Marilyn Monroe, she really had a big mole on the side of her nose! In College I had roommates who were good proof readers and they took care of it. I will try to wrap my old brain around the rules! Mostly I just say, "give me math!"





Friday, August 21, 2009

Ode to a Friend

I would like to wish my bestest friend

Happy

40th!

Jen!

Let me tell you about her - I met her a few years (13-14) back when she and her husband moved to Arizona from law school. As I sat in church one Sunday looking around I spotted her and thought she looked like fun.

So I said to myself, "Self, you should make her your friend."

and I proceeded to...

Luckily we had children the same age and genders (she was prego with Ben at the time) so I invited kids to play. I have to admit when she offered to bring her kids to my house I did not know she was going to ride a bike with a trailer to drop them off. I was amazed it was a long ride and she was pregnant! When I told her I could have come and gotten them she said it was no big deal. Little did I know how much she likes to exercise.

As the years have passed and we raised our kids together I was always grateful she would mother my children and let me mother hers. When our oldest were in grade school we would switch one day a week. On her day the kids would walk to her house after school and spend the afternoon. She taught them piano lessons and only lost Brenn once and that was Ken's fault not Jennys ( he still owes her big for that one!)

She is actually my sister in all ways it counts except for the shared parents - although my parents would be happy to adopt her and I think her parents are great.

There was the Christmas we were both poor and garage saled for presents. Lite brights, easy bake ovens and Rollerblades were the scores that year. That is also the year I stole her tradition of making Christmas PJ's for my kids.

She is one I can share the excitement of a great bargain or is as excited for
BLACK FRIDAY
as I am!! Her love of exercise helps when someone needs to sprint to KB toys for $20 gameboys.

She saved my life when I was down and drugged with headaches. Making sure school things were in order and getting the older kids to their activities and making sure I was still somewhat connected to what was going on.

When she was down with Micah and needed nightgowns I searched and searched for some decent ones, there were none to be found. So I went to Walmart and bought some fabric and made 2 of the ugliest nightgowns but she wore them proudly thru both pregnancies (I am not sure about the current one).

Mostly, she accepts me, warts and all. She knows my shortcomings and still likes me.

Thank Heavens!

If I were to list the traits I admire about her it would go like this:

She is a great teacher. Kids, adults, dogs, whatever.
She is a patient piano teacher.
She thinks playing the piano is no big deal (I can play the radio)
She is articulate. She says what she means.
She has a great husband (that's for you Brad)
She is a great Mother.
She knows what is important and has her priorities in order.
She is giving.
She is generous.
She knows I can't sing, and doesn't judge me for it.
She loves my children.
My husband reminds her of Mr. Incredible (before)
She is a good listener
She has talked on Oprah and was articulate and made a good point. (I've seen the video)
She fulfills her church callings with dedication.
She is a good friend to have on your side.

I could go on and on but that would just embarrass her.

Just wanted her to know I love and treasure her. Thanks Jen. Love ya.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

First Day of School

Logan off to start his Freshman year. Love the thumbs up! He will be one of the big wigs now that the 9th grade is the oldest in the school. He is excited to start seminary and of course see all of his friends.


Dallin is starting his SENIOR year! Yikes!! I am not ready for this year to go too fast and it will. Dallin brought home his wrestling schedule already.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sue's contest

My blogging friend Sue is having a giveaway and I wanted to add the link - She has some really good prizes and she is a great blogger!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Yes, I am WHINNING!! IF you can stand the whine don't read the blog.

I am sure the title will tell you that the black cloud over our house and our family has not lifted! I am sorry but I have to whine for a few minutes and yes I hope someone will comment and make me feel better!

So on our way to the lake on Sat (OK, that is all good) the A/C in my truck went hinky - we did finally get it to work by holding our mouths a certain way and closing one eye (we were driving after all) and we thought maybe it was just a aberration. Sunday morning at 10:45 am we knew it wasn't - now I know we live in Mesa and the church is a 5-6 min drive but when it is 105 degrees you need some air to arrive in church without sweat running down your back and well, as my Grandma puts it, the valley of decision. So Logan was planning a lake trip with a bunch of his friends on Tuesday so being the responsible mother I am, I called the dealership and took my truck in for repairs (under warranty Thank goodness) and dealt with the most condensing man made! He actually asked me if I needed to call my husband to OK the repairs, I, in the most sarcastic manner, informed him I thought I was perfectly capable of making that kind of decision (but I think the sarcasm went over his bald head.) So I call my sweet son to come and get me, in his Grandma Judy's car, and his gets a little lost and rear-ends a PT Cruiser. Really he is such a good driver and of course it was an accident, luckily no one was hurt and it was just a fender bender but still......it's my MOTHER'S car!

Then Mr. Condescending calls and tells me my truck is ready but they couldn't do the recall portion and I just would have to bring it back - like this is easy. When I protested he hung up on me. Now I am steamed, and my mothers bumper is mushed.

I have to insert in here how far women have come and was I ever glad to find out the Service Manager was a woman. She was kind and let me know they spent so much time on the A/C (3 1/2 hours) that they could not check the recall and she gave me a discount on the oil change, now why did Mr C not tell me this? I still have to go back and the A/C will is still not working until after the truck runs for about 10 minutes.

AARRGGGG!!

Okay - I do have to acknowledge the good things, because even though I feel it only bad we do have some bright spots:

Logan got an A in Algebra online - he took the entire year in just 5 weeks and got an A in both semesters! Must have been the great teacher (Me) ;)

Ken got pulled over for speeding by a reservation cop on Saturday and only got a warning!

We have been to the lake 3 times in the last week! Not much better than that!

Stella (Brenn's puppy) is totally potty trained, without much work from us - has only chewed a few non essential things and has turned in to a sweetie pie!

We still do not have a house for Brenn - is this good or bad?

Good: she is still home and I don't have another house payment, with our luck lately we would find some unrepairable problem and then could not unload the house (kinda like being unable to unload Jethro on some one.)

Bad: She wants a place of her own and to live on her own, I can't blame her, I loved it!

Okay, I think I am done now - sorry for the litany and the whine but sometimes you just have to get it out!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Yes - I am slow in documenting our Vacation!

I am apparently not good enough to put the pictures in order so backwards we go!



This Barn was in Idaho on our way home - we stopped to take pictures of the backside of the Tetons and I turned around and the side of the road was covered in daisies and this part looked so artsy, so I snapped a few pictures.




This is the back side or should I say the Idaho side of the Tetons.




We went back thru Idaho to Provo for the Homer and Alma Petersen Reunion - That is Ken's Mom's Parents and siblings etc. I have to say that I really enjoy ALL of Ken's family - I have no picture because we just talked and talked instead. Pat and Larry Ashby hosted this time and did a great job. We ate, we talked, we remarked how the children have grown and the family has gotten so much bigger. I imagined Grandma and Grandpa were there in spirit - Grandma making sure she spoke with everyone and Grandpa making sure all the babies got their first taste of ice cream from him. I sure missed having them there - they were responsible for raising such a great family. I also really enjoyed getting to know some of the newest members of the family, either by marriage or by birth. My blogging friend Sue is a poet I admire, she is able to use words to express things of the heart and she wrote a poem and posted it right after we got back and it is perfect.
The greatest joy in life is found
where love and loyalty abound.
What sweeter sight...what dearer sound,
than all the family, gathered 'round?

That pretty much sums it up for me!

This is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone - Ken and Logan went for us (Brenn and Dallin had headaches so we stayed home). What beautiful pictures they took.




























It is fun to see the water boiling on its way downhill to the river.



This is the excelsior geyser - the colors were incredible! While walking up you could see the colors in the steam coming off of the water.



Logan is a goof!

Elk resting in the meadow.



More of the geyser - Can you see the orange, yellow and blue? I was trying so hard to get the camera to see what I could see.




The water looked like a tropical sea (except for the boiling bubbles of course)



The vapors were different colors. Lots of people looking. You walked on boardwalks because the crust of the earth is really unstable in this area - in other words you could fall thru and boil to death.






Logan being the Karate Kid.







The whole park talks about how you should leave the animals ALONE! Do not approach, do not feed, etc.. These bison were about 20 feet off the path, they seemed to be sleeping. Most of the people walked really fast by or were taking pictures from a safe distance, most people. There was a lady with a baby less than a year posing maybe 5 feet from this herd, you could hear the ranger lecturing her from a ways away. I was shocked you would get that close, they are HUGE! I just have a super zoom on my camera, its just safer that way.




This was cool - it really looked like a dragon lived in the cave - the water spurted out at interval and the steam bellowed out. Wonder if its Norbert?




This is inside the Old Faithful in - the hotel was built with interesting logs - not a straight one in the bunch. Dallin said this one resembled him and his guns.



This clock is about 15 ft long. The fireplace has 4 sides and I could have stood upright inside with no problem.



The outside.


This is Old Faithful going off - we waited for another geyser for about 3 hours and then decided we should go see Old Faithful (it was about 6pm) and then go back and wait for the Grand geyser. By the time we got to Old Faithful we missed it by 10 minutes - Brenn and I did not want to hike back to Grand so we waited in the visitors center and the truck until it was time for Old Faithful again. Luckily, Grand went off and the boys were just in time to watch Old Faithful.


This is Grand geyser - it reaches 200 ft when it blows and blows for about 12-15 minutes. It goes off about every 6 hours give or take 2 hours either way. We stopped and waited for about 3 hours before finally giving up (well Brenn and I anyway). But the boys were persistent and were rewarded with a grand display.



Pretty 'Grand.'






I love how blue the sky is and how high the water goes - the trees in the back ground are on a hill and it easily clears them.








Here we are - the wind was blowing the whole day and we got a little burned. If you go to Yellowstone be sure to plan a whole day around Old Faithful and the visitors center - there is plenty to do and see.





How these flowers can grow on that sulfur ground surrounded by hot water I cannot quite explain.

Mostly our trip seemed like a last hurrah before our kids start to scatter and leave the nest. We really wanted some time (2 weeks was good) to spend together that would be just us - play cards and games, read, listen to audio books (Percy Jackson and the Olympian series, 5 books almost 55 hours, I would definitely recommend for a long trip) food, sightseeing, water rafting, etc... Well you get the picture - cement some memories for the days ahead.
When I get the rafting pictures I will post those too.