Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Big Premiere

I know I haven’t blogged about it yet, but, we finished the Theater. I spent all last week painting and the carpet finally came last Friday. We need a few more feet of the cove base and that should come sometime next week. Then I spent the last few days getting ready for my brothers and their families to come up for Thanksgiving. The turkey is in the oven so I have a minute to post a few pictures. Here is what has happened in the last two weeks:
We never textured the ceiling when we finished the basement last time and we wanted it done. Kyle's baseball coach helped us and taught the boys how...

I was so worried that the paint and the carpet wouldn't match and when it finally came I was so relieved. It took me forever to pick the colors and now I am so happy about how it turned out. The walls are milk chocolate colored. It looks like you could lick the walls!

This shot is from the bottom stair looking into the room.

This is looking back at the seating area. We have since purchased a bar table and stools that are behind the couch. This adds some seating for watching football, basketball and baseball games.

I wanted to add this picture to show off my husbands talents. He built all the boxes for the speakers and the components. (When the light is off in the storage room you can't see all the wires behind the receiver.)

And here is the big movie premiere! We had some neighbors over for the viewing of Star Wars. It was pretty fun. We can't imagine ever going out to another movie again. Just let us know when you want to come over. We love watching movies!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Votes are In

As you can see, Jim got lots of his work friends to vote.

So, Star Wars it is. We aren't' sure when the big premiere will be or even if we are going to have one. The carpet is being installed a week from tomorrow. We need to have everything else done by then. We might just have to have the BYU/UofU game be the big event. We will see...

Thanks to all those who voted. It was fun to have all those visitors and some of you even left a comment!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Walk Down the Red Carpet

We have one decision to make concerning the Home Theatre Room and we need your help. We can't agree what movie to show for the big premiere. We have all thought of the movie we want and we all thought of something different. Here are the list of movies and our reasons for wanting them. The polls will be open for one week:

  1. Star Wars: A New Hope (Jim) - "THX was invented for this movie and it is just a classic theatre movie. And may the force be with you...always."

  2. Cars (Aimee thanks to the suggestion of a friend) - "Great colors, great racing sounds and great soundtrack."

  3. The Hulk (Austin) - "That's all I can think of..."

  4. The Mummy 3 (Kyle) - "I just want to see that movie again."

  5. The Bourne Ultimatum (Josh) - "We should watch the first two on the old TV and then go in the basement and watch the third one. That would be so cool!"

  6. Transformers - Just another movie we thought of and thought would be a good one.

I hope you all vote. Please only vote once so it is fair. We are open to other suggestions so feel free to leave a comment.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Only If I Get a Cool Popcorn Maker Like the One at the Movies

I hate my family room carpet. In fact, I hate all the carpet in our whole house and I want to rip it all up and put in something that can be "swiffered" or mopped It was great 10 years ago when it was first put in but between three dogs, three boys and all their friends, it has really gotten gross over the years. I really wanted to pull it all up and stain the cement that is underneath. A couple of throw rugs and runners and it can be just as cozy as any other family room. I get the heebie-jeebies when I think of what is under the family room carpet. I even got a bid for someone to come and do it. As Jim and I talked about it we (and when I say we, I mean Jim) decided that we should finish off the basement so we could move the big screen TV and sectional couch down there while we work on the family room. The second I consented, it turned into something I never expected.

I am starting to think the male brain is more motivated by what I like to call the "Cool Factor". The cooler something is, the more focus they have on that particular subject. Well, putting the 10 year old 54" big screen down in the basement just wasn't cool enough. It would be much cooler to have a HD Projector. And the sectional couch wasn't cool enough either. We had to have stadium seating. Then I started hearing terms like THX, 7.1 surround, 1080p, 92" screen, HDMI... well, you get the picture. It has turned into the project to top all projects. I guess I can't complain too much. The "Cool Factor" is so great that Jim has been focused and working on it almost every day. We now have doors on the closets and storage room. All the audio and video equipment has arrived and is ready to be installed.

Here are a few pictures of some of Jim's handy work:

Josh helping his dad make the platform that will have the leather couch on it. We plan to have enough room behind the couch for a couple of bar tables and bar stools for food and drinks for those days when there is a big game on.

More of Josh helping his dad

The finished Platform. It will be carpeted (yes, I did say carpet) with the same carpet as the rest of the room.

The newly installed doors. Notice that they aren't there in the previous pictures.

The platform has turned into a makeshift workshop while Jim builds the cabinetry that will hold the front left, right and center speakers.

The holes in those columns will hold the right and left speakers. The projection screen will be right in the middle of that wall. We will be painting that area black and all the other walls a deep sage green. The trim will be one shade darker.

I have to admit, I am pretty excited to be able to go down there and relax in front of a cool movie in the comfort of my own home with jammies on. But, it is starting to gett to the point now that when Jim asks for my opinion on something, I am starting to tell him, "I don't care. Either way would be great. Just choose one and do it!" The only thing I really want is movie popcorn to go with a great movie. And, oh, yes, I still have all my old carpet and the old big screen and sectional couch are staying up in the family room.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Family Truck-ster

I have been driving my Chrysler Town & Country Minivan since September of 2002. We bought it brand new and when I drove it I thought I was in Minivan Heaven! This car has served us well over the last six years. We have tossed around the idea of trading it in for something else but we really like the "no car payment" thing. It took a lot to talk Jim into getting a minivan in the first place! I love having room for carpool, pets and space for when we travel to St George or Vegas to visit family. (The boys can sit so nobody is touching)

Well, I have been watching the odometer very closely lately. Yeaterday, I got done with my errands and carpooling for the day and I was at 99,995 miles. So after dinner, Jim and I decided we needed to run a couple of more errands so we could witness the big 100,000. I had a long day so we went to Jamba Juice because I needed some desert and then to Lowe's to get some trim moulding for the basement (we have a project going on down there we will blog about later). Then it happened! Driving south on 2000 W in Clinton toward home the odometer changed to 100,000. We pulled over and took a picture with Jim's new G1 phone (It has a pretty good camera) and we talked about all the fun places we have been in our family car.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some Like it HOT!

Most of our weekends lately have been accompanied by a storm. In fact, on the 12Th we got our first snow. It looked a little like this:

Well, we finally got a really nice weekend last week. It was in the lower 70's and the colors were beautiful! It was doubly great because the boys had a four day weekend. As much as I appreciate the moisture in our dry, desert climate, I very much prefer the weather we have been having the last week.

We decided to take advantage of the time off school and the great weather and go to "Frightmares" at Lagoon. We had season passes this year and several other years but we had never been to "Frightmares". We just went for the evening and the boys went on a couple of their favorite rides while I followed them around. I took some knitting and only went on Wicked, my favorite ride there.

Here are a few of the fun photo ops at the park:

Austin riding Paratrooper

Kyle just hangin' around

Josh floating in space

Monday, October 20, 2008

"Leave Your Print"

I am from CA and my sister still lives there. I think this issue along with all issues we will vote on this November are extremely important. Please register and get out and VOTE!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Things I Forgot to Blog - or - The Longest Blog Post Ever!

It feels pretty official. I really feels like Jim has completely handed over the blogging responsibilities to me. That tends to happen a lot with us. Ladies, you may know what I am talking about. You show the slightest interest in doing something and, POOF, it is now your responsibility. Maybe it's just you ladies that are married to Barber Boys, I don't know. That is a discussion for a completely different blog!

There are some things that have happened in the last month or two that have deserved to be blogged and either I was waiting to see if Jim would do it or I just got busy doing all the other things Jim thinks I can do with all that "free time" I have while he is at work. (Can you tell it's a sore subject?)
1. Braces - The two older boys got braces while I was in Louisiana. Jim took pictures with his cell phone and sent them to me

Austin got red and green bands. Christmas is his favorite holiday and his favorite colors.

Kyle got blue bands to go with everything else he has that is blue!

2. The Cabin - A couple of weekends ago, we were able to go to Jim's Uncle's cabin. We took some friends with us this time. It was a very relaxing and fun weekend. The colors were just starting to change so it was beautiful. Also, it was our friend's birthday. All Brent wanted for his birthday to do was play Rock Band, ride 4-wheelers, eat cheesecake and not work on his house that he has been remodeling for the last six months. He got his wish!

We ate at this cool new 50's diner the first night we were there. It is right at the mouth of the canyon you go up to get to the cabin. It was FABULOUS!

Brent looks like he doesnt' want to share his cheesecake but he did. He was just making faces at his kids in the birthday candlelight.

We take a family picture in this same spot every time we go up there. Rain, snow or sunshine!

Fun, Fun, Fun!!!

3. Jim in South Carolina - Jim had a business trip last week. All I have to say about this is I wish I could have been there with him. He was in beautiful Hilton Head Island and has BORED! He forgot the camera so all I have is pictures he sent to me via picture message on my cell. I am not really sure where these pictures were taken exactly but they made me want to be there in person!

4. I also wish I was at Disneyland - Most of you know that if I could snap my fingers and be anywhere I wanted I would be at Disneyland. I havent' been in about four years and that's a long time for me. I am having serious withdrawls! Well, A dear friend of mine went last week and I pleaded with her to bring me home my favorite treat, (at least my favorite treat that could travel) The Jaw-Breaker-on-a-Stick! She teased me by sending me a picture on my cell.

Well, I think that's it. You are all caught up. I don't think I will have anything to blog about for a few days. I am fully into "Christmas Knitting" mode. Between that and finishing up the last book in the "Twilight Series" (not a huge fan but had to see how it ended), I have not had a desire to sit down in front of the computer lately. I may start a knitting blog, though. I haven't decided yet if that's something I want to do. I am sure I will let you know if I do!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My Favorite Time of the Year

Happy October everyone! I love fall! I can't decide which reason is my favorite but here are my top reasons I love fall:

  1. The weather cools off - Those of you that know me well know that I don't function well in hot weather. I would much rather be slightly cold than slightly hot. I say slightly because I am a tiny bit of a wimp if it is too cold, also. (Mostly because I have Raynaud's Syndrome which causes me to loose blood in my extremities when I get too cold or stressed) Jim makes fun of me because I only have about a 15 degree temperature range where I am comfortable. I guess that's what happens when you grow up in San Diego.

  2. My favorite holidays are in the next three months - I love Halloween because I love to dress up in a costume. On Halloween I can be anyone I want to be and give out treats to all my little friends in the neighborhood. I love Thanksgiving. That is usually the only time that most of the Perez side of the family can get together. I love seeing all of them and feeding them a yummy dinner. And who doesn't love Christmas? Celebrating the birth of the Savior is wonderful. I love getting together with family and friends (of course more treats and yummy dinners are involved). Now if only spring could begin on January 1st!

  3. My favorite colors are in the fall - We were able to visit the cabin a couple of weekends ago. when we got up there the trees were just starting to change and by the time we left the mountains were splattered with every color you could imagine! It was breathtaking!

  4. I can start knitting and crocheting again - Not that I ever stop but I don't knit as much in the summer and if I do it is little things like socks and dishcloths. Now that the weather is cooler I can start with the afghans and sweaters! You can also wear knitted things in the fall and winter. I love to see people use the gifts I have crafted for them!

  5. I can start cooking again - I love to cook almost as much as I love to eat or knit. I like to grill but there is only so much you can do on the grill. I cant wait to start roasting and baking in the oven. I love soups and stews. I love filling my home with all the yummy smells of fall!

I think those are my top five in no particular order. Leave a comment about your favorite season. If you love fall, tell me why. I am sure that is something else I also love about this time of year.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Hardest (and Most Time Consuming and Rewarding) Job in the World

I had such plans when I woke up this morning. I bought new yarn on Wednesday for a sweater that I have been working on for my cute nephew. I started this sweater before he was born and I ran out of yarn shortly before his birth. I had this yarn in my stash for a while and since I bought it they have stopped making that color. I have searched high and low for it. I have looked online everywhere, even on eBay. It is no where to be found. I have to start all over with different yarn. And I was so close to finishing. I just needed enough to make a little bit on the front, the little sleeves and collar. Anyway, I was looking forward to watching a movie and knitting today before the kids cam home from school. I went out for my run before Jim even left the house. (which is very good for me. He is a bad influence and wants me to sleep in with him.) I was about a half a mile away from home when something popped in the back of my knee. I had to limp home and my 45 minute run turned into about an hour and 15 minutes. I got home and was about to make a smoothie when I looked at the calendar and saw that Kyle had a dentist appointment at 9:00. It was 9:08. I rushed over to the school and picked him up. We were there for over an hour! And I didn't even bring my knitting! He was very numb so we went to buy him some liquid lunch. We drove through Starbucks and got two Orange Mango Banana Vivano's; mine was breakfast, his was lunch. I dropped him back at school and remembered I needed a couple of things at the store. I drove over to Wal-Mart and made my purchase. I put the groceries in the back of the van and was so disgusted at what I saw back there. That car was so gross I had to clean it and that's a job you need to do before you shower. I did a major clean. I took the seats and the mats out and vacuumed for what seemed like forever. My kids may be grown but they still leave behind dehydrated French fries and squashed raisins (at least I hope those were raisins!) There was also plenty of grass, dirt, gravel and dog hair. It looks great now but it was after 1:00 and still no shower. I was on a vacuuming roll (and sick of dog hair) so I started vacuuming in the house in all the places the dog visits. I also spent some time brushing her outside so she would bring less inside. when I looked at the clock again it was after 2:00! The two younger boys had early out (whoever invented that should be shot!) and I had to pick them up because Kyle had to be at baseball practice at 2:30. So, I got Kyle to practice on time in my clean car and came home to my vacuumed house so I could accomplish my goal of blogging every day this week - but still no shower. I think that is next on the agenda!

To all those moms that have little ones at home still, I know you are dreaming of the day when all your kids will be in school and you will have hours of "free time". I am here to tell you there is no such thing as "free time". You still have tons of things you will need to do for your family even if they aren't there to ask for drinks and snacks. I suppose I could have not cleaned and vacuumed the car. I suppose I could have made the boys vacuum in the house. I suppose I could have knitted all day but when I got in the car to take Kyle to practice it felt really good to do it in a clean car. And when I got home and walked into a vacuumed house it felt good. I live with boys so I don't think anyone will notice and I am almost positive Jim will wonder what I did all day (because I told him I was going to clean our room and I didn't!). It's only 3:30. I can shower, pick up in the room a little and then maybe knit for a while before I have all our Rock Band friends over for dinner, games and Rock Band. I just might not be able to stay awake past 10:00!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dinner of Champions

Usually when Jim or I go on a business trip we bring back something cool for the kids. Since my last trip was to a place where all the stores got boarded up and the power was still out when I left, I didn't really have a chance to get something cool, or what I thought was cool. The only thing I brought back was two MRE's (Meals Ready to Eat). These were true, military issue MRE's.

One was Chili Mac. It came with pineapple tidbits, "forever" bread, cheese spread, a little package of red hots, red punch mix, hot apple cider mix, gum and toilet paper.

The second one was BBQ Beef Ribs (it looked like the meat that's on a McRib sandwich). That came with clam chowder, tortillas, a chocolate chip pop tart, lemon lime drink mix, instant coffee (we passed on that), trail mix, gum and toilet paper. We warmed both of them up using the cool warming chemicals that it comes with and split it up between the three boys (Jim ate leftovers and I had a smoothie).

The reviews were mixed. The cool factor was still there because of the heating method. The favorite was the Chili Mac and the Pop Tart. I asked the boys if i should get more for our 72 hour kits. They said it would be great if they were starving but not for a regular dinner when we have other food in the house and electricity to cook it with!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Wednesday Ramblings

I got tired of seeing Gustav on the blog so I will have to post something every day this week to get those posts in the archive.

I think Jim had this idea all along. He would get this Blog started and then sneakily hand it over to me. (He thinks I have a lot of "free time".) I don't have anyone to talk to during the day because I am home alone. When I do have someone to talk to (when Jim gets home from work) I do tend to ramble a bit. It can be overwhelming. It has been nice to get most of it out on this blog and in my journal ( and let Jim have some peace and quiet when he gets home. But, in reality, I think it is just that I took over and he let me. I have way too much time to think about things!

I am starting to get back into the daily grind. I have gone running every day this week, so far. The laundry is almost manageable. The kitchen is usable. I knitted a dishcloth. I am getting a handle on the mail and other paperwork. The bathrooms still need some attention but for me that is always a last resort; when I don't have anything else to do!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Gustav - Final Update

I arrived home on Thursday evening and since then I have immersed myself fully in my “real” job. So much so that I forgot I left everyone hanging on the hurricane situation. I got several text messages and phone calls over the past few days (even people stopping me in the hall at church) asking what happened. That leads me to believe that people out there are reading this blog even if there are almost no comments left behind ;) So, for all those inquiring minds out there, here’s the skinny…

On my way to the airport I needed to pick up another person who was also leaving. When I stopped by the office to pick him up, another coworker came out to the car and informed me that I needed to leave my “work” computer, and accessories, with him. The camera I used to take pictures of the aftermath was one of those accessories. The only picture I have now is below. (Sorry about the quality, I took it on my phone.) I have not heard one thing from TMS and I am still not sure if I have a job or not. I will keep you posted.

I was so happy to be home, to kiss my husband, to sleep in my own bed, to cuddle with my boys, to have power, to go to the grocery store, to go to Kyle’s baseball games yesterday…all the things I should be doing as a mom. I don’t mind working outside the home; in fact, most of the time I really enjoy what I do. Every other event I have worked has been several days or weeks and very long hours. It makes the days and hours go by faster when I have a job to do and I work hard to get that job done. During this particular event was different and I felt my time was not being used wisely. I need to be busy so I feel like the time away from my family is worth it. I hope you know what I mean.

Well, that’s where things are at so far. If I am unemployed, I can handle it. Football season has started. Super Bowl will be here before I know it. I hope Hurricane Ike goes straight west. People in Texas are tough! They most likely won’t need our help.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gustav Update #5

I finally got into a place that has power. I plugged in my cell phone and laptop but have no cell phone signal. The storm was very windy and rainy. For those of you that live in Utah and have been through a micro-burst thunder storm, it was like that but instead of four minutes of crazy weather it was for about four hours! The power is still out at the house we are staying in and I am sure it will be out for several days if not weeks. I know that I was in a bubble of protection because of all your thoughts and prayers by what I saw the next day. When I got up the courage, I walked around the neighborhood a little bit and took some pictures. (I didn't bring my cable so I can't post those pictures yet.) There was a lot more damage in Baton Rouge than I thought. About one third of the roads were impassable because of downed trees, standing water or sagging power lines. I wish I had been able to go home between trips so I had some of our camping equipment. (There were three candles in the house and they are those tiny, fragrant bathroom candles so I used them sparingly.) I wish I had been able to bring, at the very least, a lantern, head lamp, backpacking stove and the power inverter that plugs into the car.

But I am happy to report, none of that is going to be necessary. Because of several issues, none of which I care to mention in this blog, I have informed TMS that I no longer wish to be a part of this project. One of these days I would be happy to explain it all but for now I am just counting down the hours until I can happily drop off my rental car and board a plane at BTR. Now, don't tell my boys, I am going to surprise them!

Thank you all for your prayers and support of my family. It has been very noticeable. I have felt the peace and comfort through everything I have gone through. Especially once I made the decision to come home. I know without a doubt that home is the place I should be right now. How wonderful if we all had that firm confirmation on a daily basis of where we should be and what we should be doing. I know we can if we only pray and listen for that direction.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Gustav Update #4

The eye of the storm is now 60 miles due west of us. I think the worst of it is over. We may still get quite a bit of rain and some winds but the worst of it is usually the north east quadrant of the storm. The majority of the trees have stayed in tact in the little area I am in. But small branches and tons of leaves litter the roads and sidewalks. The power has been out for about three hours which makes me believe there is some major downed trees somewhere in the area. I don't know how long we will be without power here but I don't think I will be here long enough to find out. I hope we can start moving people back into the city starting late tomorrow. Hopefully by Friday but there are several parishes that are severely flooded. They are covering it on the major news channels but I have been watching a local channel that is streaming live. It has been a great source of local information:

I only have about 40% of my laptop battery life left so I am going to make this short. I don't know when I will be able to charge up again. I am glad I charged everything up last night!

Gustav Update #3

When I woke up this morning it was pretty calm. There was a little rain and some wind but not much yet. It is about 11:30 now and things have picked up quite a bit but it is still not much more than a good rain storm. Right now, the eye is about 60 miles away from downtown New Orleans. Where I am now should be getting really interesting in the next few hours. Everyone in the house is sleeping. I have a hard time sleeping durring the day so feel free to email or text me. I am just wrapped up in a blanket reading a magazine and listening to CNN. I may have something more interesting to report tonight. I just hope the power stays on...

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Gustav Update #2

Well, a few hours after I posted the first update I got word that I was being moved to Baton Rouge. Everything I have with me was packed in my rental car and I started driving north. Jim and the boys are certainly relieved, as am I. I talked to my sister today and she told me by what she is reading she can't tell if I am excited or nervous. Well I can't either. I am glad to be a small cog in in this machine that is helping save lives but there is the fear of the unknown. I don't know what to expect. For those of you that don't know, I have hard time with that. I like to have a plan. I like structure. I guess I will have to get over it this week. Just know that I am further from the coast and a bit more safe.

Gustav Update #1

They have moved me yesterday from Belle Chase, LA in Plaquemines Parish further inland to a Regional Coordination Center in Jefferson, LA. The storm surge is projected to be as high at 24 feet in Plaquemines and the levees in that area are only as high as 18-20 feet. That parish will be under water in the next 24-48 hours.

As of now (noon Sunday), I have packed my bag and plan to ride out the storm here. After Katrina, this building was rebuilt to withstand 150 mph winds. There are several police, fire, EMT, FEMA and Red Cross people staying here so I feel like this is the place to be if I have to be here during the storm. (They are all excited to see my reaction to my first hurricane) Tropical storm force winds are expected to hit the coast in the morning and the eye of the storm should be here my mid-day on Monday. The storm is moving at about 17 mph which is good but it is going to be a very strong storm.

Bus evacuations are ending in the next few hours. Traffic is backed up on I-10. It is now to the point that if you are not headed out now you need to be in a place where you can ride out the storm. I bought a few provisions yesterday but not many stores were open and those that were open were low on several items. I wish I had been able to come home and get some of our backpacking gear. I would feel a lot more comfortable.

Friday, August 29, 2008

From Mobile, AL Straight into Hurricane Gustav

Last week, about this time, I was called by my company to see if I could travel to Mobile, Alabama to do some "site surveys" at some Hurricane Shelters and Pick-up Points. I thought, "No problem. I will be home by Thursday."

Well, Wednesday, just before I was about to go home, I received word that I needed to be ready to travel in case Tropical Storm Gustav turned into a hurricane. Last night we were told that we need to head to New Orleans so this morning I got into my rental car and drove west on I-10 from Mobile to New Orleans. I am actually writing this post in the New Orleans Region I Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

I have gone through several emotional stages in the last few hours. Part of me is fascinated by what I am learning. Another part of me is eager to help in any way that I can. But the biggest part of me is saying, "What in the world am I doing driving into New Orleans when all the traffic is headed the other way? I should be home taking care of my family and my other obligations. Nothing here is as important as my family." Plus, I only packed to be gone for three days. If Gustav turns into a category 3 hurricane and comes this way, I may be here until next Friday. That is seven days more than I packed for! Even if it heads toward the west, I am probably still going to be here until then. I miss my family. I want to play Rock Band tonight. I want to take my kids to school and to their dentist appointments. I want to do laundry and dishes.

Pray for those of us here in South East Louisiana. Pray for my family to be strong while I am gone.

I am sure I will have pictures and video for you all to see when this is over.

P.S. This is where I am for the duration:,-112.075288&sspn=0.007875,0.013733&ie=UTF8&ll=29.859357,-89.991943&spn=0.004531,0.006866&t=h&z=17

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Day of Kyle

I forgot to talk about Kyle after his 14th birthday. He woke up, did his paper route and then wanted a McGriddle sandwich for breakfast. That was easy! I had some running around to do in the afternoon and then we all went out to dinner together as a family. It wasn't that eventful but he got the gift he wanted...a new cell phone. It is a cool phone that also plays music. He was pretty happy about it and we spent some of the afternoon adding music and downloading ring tones.

I can't believe how grown up my boys are getting. School starts on Monday and we won't have any kids in elementary school! We are so proud of them and how well mannered and responsible they are, especially Kyle. Happy birthday, sweetie! We sure love you!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Nice Weather + Tired of Cleaning House = Hiking!

We finally got some cooler weather here last Saturday. (And when I say cooler I mean not in the 90's) It was just right for an afternoon hike. In May, Jim and Austin hiked up Adams Canyon which is about 15 minutes from our house. About two miles in there is a great waterfall. The boys had a great time playing in it with our friend and neighbor Alex.
This was Austin's second time to this waterfall. He enjoyd it more because he could bring Macy along this time.

The water in this waterfall and stream comes from right out of the ground from an underwater spring. I guess Josh thought it was too cold!

Kyle and Alex didn't think it was too cold. They loved it!

We are so blessed to live in a place that is so beautiful and has so much to offer!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Day of Josh

Yesterday was the day of all things Josh. To get ready for Jr High, he has been taking "Summer Band". He started playing the clarinet. We then needed to go shopping for some black pants he could wear to his first band concert. Later he had his first gymnastics class. He was so excited. Jim and I both think that will be the best thing for his bouncy energy two days a week. He was pretty good and that leaves 4 days that he can skate. We went straight from gymnastics to his band concert where we were treated to band beginners playing warm up scales and Jingle Bells. It was pretty funny and we were very proud of what they could do after only three weeks. Sadly, we don't have one picture of anything that happened on the Day of Josh. I guess there is one more thing I need to fit into my purse so I have it all the camera!

Today is Kyle's 14th birthday. Get ready for tomorrow's post...The Day of Kyle!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Scout Camp

Scout camp (for Kyle and Josh) this year was at Camp Loll. Located on a small strip of public land, in Wyoming, which separates Yellowstone and Teton National Parks. Needless to say it is located in some of the most beautiful county, this country has to offer.

This is a picture of me (Josh) doing the swim check. We all have to do it right when we get there ad it is fereeeezing cold. They told us it was about 48 degrees but it felt colder. We had to swim 100 yards using different strokes and if you didn't pass you couldn't use the kayaks, row boats, sail boats . . . . I passed!

This is a picture of me shooting the .22 caliber guns. That was a lot of fun but very hard to get the merit badge. You have to get 5 groups of shots within a quarter 5 times. I haven't done that yet but one of the times I did it I was within a dime witch made me and only a few other boys part of the dime club.

I (Kyle) already had all the merit badges I needed for my eagle so for scout camp I got to do all the High Adventure stuff like shoot .50 caliber black powder rifles, throw tomahawks, repel and climb, and sail the catamaran. Me and a friend of mine you can see in the black powder rifles picture were the oldest ones there in our troop and were able to do all these things and more. First we got to go bouldering on Monday and then Tuesday go climbing and repelling. We didnt get to do much more after that though. The scout master said that since I'm the Senior Patrol leader that I need to go with the younger scouts and help them with the merit badges. What the heck are the camp friends and counselors for. Any way, I think that my favorite thing was climbing and repelling by far. It was so awesome to just lean back off a 90 foot cliff and start walking down it. And to climb back up it was even better. Out of the two pictures below I liked the black powder rifle the best. I just couldn't figure out the tomahawks. It was all fun though and hopefully I will be able to work there for a summer. I think that would be awesome.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Look What I Can Do!

Kyle put Sunflower seed shells down the garbage disposal on Monday which clogged it up. I took the pipes apart to fix the clog and found that whoever installed the disposal 10 years ago did it wrong. The gasket between the disposal and the pipe leading out was completely bent and cracked so I couldn't get it back together without it leaking. I went to Home Depot (one of my favorite stores) to see if they had a new gasket. They don't sell that part. That is something that comes with the disposal. Needless to say, I had to buy a whole new disposal. I spent the afternoon installing it by myself and it actually worked! I am so proud of myself!

And just so you know, on Monday, I fixed 5 sprinkler heads!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Capital/The Big Easy

For those of you that may not know, I recently got a new job. It still is in the transportation field like Super Bowl, but for a much better cause. I was hired by TMS who is a contractor to FEMA. I will be helping to develop and implement a plan for motor coach evacuation in the event of a natural disaster (hurricane) in the states of Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas (most of which I will be able to do from home). I was hired on July 1st and since then I have spent time in our Nation's Capitol for some orientation training and in New Orleans for a mock evacuation drill.

I was close to Washington DC the first few days of July. It was a quick trip so I didn't have much time to sight see. I did, however, have to go into the capital to get finger printed at FEMA headquarters. To quote Jim, now I'm "on the grid"!

This is the Lincoln Memorial. Just so you know, he is my favorite president. The whole "mall" area was in preparations for the 4th of July celebrations. I was sure glad to be home for the 4th but it would have been spectacular to be in DC!

My next trip was to New Orleans. For the most part, I spent my time in meetings. It was very interesting to learn about how these cities, parishes (counties) and the state deals with a hurricane. I had some time after the evacuation drills to go downtown and to the French Quarter. It was not my favorite city. It smelled like beer and pee. It was very humid and I was away a day and a half longer than I needed to be. It did give me the chance to drive over the "Mighty Mississippi" for the first time (on that bridge in the background) and go to a New Orleans Zephyrs baseball game. I got to sit in the Jefferson Parish box with the AC. It was nice and relaxing after a busy week but I would have given it up to just be home with the family. I breathe easier in the dry climate we have here in Utah and our baseball stadium a lot more beautiful!

Finally...Tagged! A Closer Look

My friend De tagged me on July 6th. In the whole month of July I have only been home 8 of the last 21 days due to work and other things that will be posted in the next few days. Enjoy! (by the way...Kelly, Heather and are tagged!)

1. My Kitchen Sink
Thanks to Joann, My sink is empty except for my cereal bowl and the Winder milk jug that I emptied this morning in my bowl of Multi-Grain Cheerios.
2. Inside my fridge
Like I said, I haven't' been home much. I think that Chinese food (it's just the white rice that no one will eat) is over a week old. Most of that will be in the trash in a few hours. Costco, here I come!

3. My Favorite Shoes
Asking me to chose my favorite shoes is like asking me which of my children I love most! My feet are the only thing on me that are the same size they were in High School. I love in these shoes because they are comfy and casual (I love flip-flops) but they are leather so I figure they are dressy enough to wear just about anywhere. I haven't quite convinced Jim that they are dressy enough for church. That's OK. I have plenty of other cute shoes.

4. My Closet
Not much to say about this except it is July and I haven't' put winter in the basement yet. I guess I won't need to in another month or two...

5. My Laundry Pile
I still have things packed away in my duffel...

6. What my kids are doing right now
I sent the younger two off to Scout Camp at 5am. Austin is playing Lego Star Wars on the Xbox

7. My Favorite Room
I love to create yummy things in the kitchen. Thanks again to Joann for how clean things are. (That pile of dishes by the sink is a pile of clean dishes that I need to put away.)

8. Most Recent Purchase
I have been having my boys write a book report every three weeks this summer. Just before I left on my most recent trip we went and got a few new books.

9. My Fantasy Vacation
Usually this involves something Disney but I have never seen Europe. I really want to go on this cruise!

10. Self Portrait
I love my feet in the summer. Polished toes and a tan line from my favorite shoes!

Thanks, again, De, for making me do this. I was going to go back to sleep after I took the boys to the church this morning (scout camp) and finished Kyle's paper route. Now I can take a longer nap this afternoon!