Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

I just thought I would post on what we have been up to lately. On Friday we went to Disneyland again. We met our friends the Holmes there and enjoyed the parade, space mountain(Ali and Cameron,) the rockets (Ashling and I,) The toy story ride, Winnie the Pooh, Splash Mountain (Ashling and Cameron) and Mattahorn (Ali and Cameron.) I did not enjoy the Nemo Ride at all. It is a tight ride and you are underwater and spend a lot of time looking at concrete walls. After about 10 minutes I really wanted out of the ride but had to endure another 5 minutes. Next time I am sending the girls by themselves! They love the ride.

On Saturday we bought new tires for the Subaru! Yea I love to spend money on something as completely necessary and completely boring as tires. But since Cameron's tires have been completely bald I was glad to have them on so I won't have to worry about him as much anymore.

I went to Woman's conference with Sue, Chalon, Erin and Marion. It was fun to eat a little dinner and sit and visit before the meeting. The conference was wonderful and I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk. Then I had to come home and prepare for singing time in Primary the next day. I felt that even though I was not able to spend more than about a half hour preparing it went really well. I am grateful for inspiration in whatever calling I am serving in. Right now singing time is hard for me but I guess I will grow with the calling.

Today I went to Costco and tried to stock up and bulk up our food storage a little more today. (I got tomato sauce, soup, canned chicken and canned tomatoes for extra food storage. I also got the coolest first aid kit to go in my car and a big carton of bottled water. I try to keep a 72 hour kit in my car. I think it is the most useful here of anywhere. I always need things like a change of underwear and clothes for the kids, extra socks, water and that extra snack when I am not at home. Hopefully now that my car is almost done we can start working on Cameron's car.

Anyways we have been busy and enjoying life. It rained yesterday and we were particularly grateful for that.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My 100th Post

Well it is post 100 and I thought I ought to post something special for that post. So I have decided to post the top 100 places we have visited together. (Really this is almost every place we have visited but not everything made the list.) The kids have not been to all the places but Cameron and I have been to all these places together. It was fun to create this post because I got to think about all the places we have visited and I realize that we have had quite a fun life together so far.

Top 100 places we have visited:

1. Paris (Need I say more? We were here for our 7th anniversary and it was wonderful to be in this romantic city.)

2. Switzerland (We did not get to spend nearly enough time. I loved the hiking trails, the quaint cities and the beautiful alps. It looked just like I always imagined Heidi living in.)

3 Germany (We loved to visit Germany and especially loved the cool German houses with blinds on the outsides of the house. We loved the freeways with no speed limits and had the ride of our life to the airport in a tax.)

4 Mammoth (We love Mammoth. Together we have been there in the summer and fall. There is tons of hiking to do, places to shop and pools to swim in. We plan on going here again and again and hope to be able to afford skiing here sometime in the future.)

5 Zion (We have been to Zion a lot of times. One of my favorite things we did there was hike to the top of Angels Landing. Another time we hiked to hidden canyon. Zion is always a great place to visit.)

6 Top of Mt. Whitney (Cameron's mom, dad, brother, and I went along with Justin Smith on a 7 day backpacking trip. It was my first long trip and it took some getting used to. The best part was hiking up to Mt. Whitney early in the morning and the worst part was 101 switchbacks that didn't even begin to get us to our cars.)

7 Cabo San Lucas (We loved going on the boat ride and snorkeling, seeing whales, and visiting a great beach with amazing waves. I would go back there for a week and stay on the beach in one of those amazing condos we saw.)

8 Puerta Vallarta (An amazing combination of jungle and beaches. I enjoyed snorkeling and swimming at this location.)

9 Yosemite National Park (We have visited Yosemite twice -once in the summer and once in the winter. We took Ali with us camping when she was 10 weeks old. It was fun to see the sights, hang out with the Brown family and go hiking down to the bottom of the valley from the top.)

10 ziwatanejo (The little mexican restaurants on the beach, the woman who saved my fin and thus my future snorkeling adventures and the coral that I connected with a little too intimately remind me of the great place I wish we could have stayed for longer in.)

11 Bozeman Montana

12 Yellowstone

13 Star Valley Wyoming

14 Crescent Bay, California

15 The Wild Animal Park

16 Joshua Tree

17 Disneyland

18 Sequoia National Park

19 Kings Canyon National Park

20 Acapulco

21 Little Cottonwood Canyon

22 Big Cottonwood Canyon

23 Brighton ski resort

24 Alta ski resort

25 Snow Valley ski resort

26 White Pass ski resort

27 Boise Idaho

28 St. George Utah

29 The Uintas

30 Bishop California

31 McGee Pass

32 Big Bear Lake California

33 The San Rafael Swell, Utah

34 Corona Del Mar Beach, California

35 Oceanside Beach, California

36 The Eiffel Tower

37 The Palace of Versailles

38 The Louver

39 The Old Salt City Jail

40 Anniversary Inn

41 BYU

42 The Timpanogos Temple

43 Utah State Capital Building

44 Jackson Hole, Wyoming

45 Timpanogos Cave

46 Moab Utah

47 Jungfrajoch (the top of Europe)

48 Wengen, Switzerland (a car free city)

49 Grindelwald, Switzerland

50 Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland (we visited an amazing waterfall here)

51 Sedona Arizona

52 Phoenix Arizona

53 Glen Canyon dam

54 Hoover Dam

55 Las Vegas, Nevada

56 Red Rocks, Nevada

57 Calf Creek Falls, Utah

58 Canyon Lands, Utah

59 Hiked the Zion Narrows

60 South Fork Park, Utah

61 Mt. Nebo, Utah

62 Temple Square, Utah

63 Antelope Island, Utah

64 Convict Lake, California

65 Seattle Space Needle

66 Mt. Rainier Scenic Loop

67 Seattle Temple

68 Keller Peak, California

69 Targee Ski Resort

70 Rexburg, Idaho

71 Top of Mt. San Jacinto, California

72 Palm Springs Tram

73 Top of Delano Peak, Utah

74 Huntington Beach, California

75 Teton National Park

76 Chicken Foot Lake, Califonia

77 City Creek, California after the flash flood

78 Flaming Gorge

79 California Adventures

80 Santa Monica Pier

81 Palm Springs Canyon

82 Alta Alps Chalet

83 Lake Tahoe

84 Bridal Veil Falls

85 Rock Canyon, Utah

86 Granduer Peak, Utah

87 Sky Blue Lake in the Sierras

88 Fiery Furnace, Arches National Park, Utah

89 Fisherman's Camp, Deep Creek, California

90 Idyllwild, California

91 Palamar Mountain

92 Barton Flats Campground

93 Top of Mammoth Mountain

94 Green Valley Lake, California

95 Road 1N09 San Bernardino National Forest

96 Guitar Lake, Sierras, California

97 Lake Arrowhead

98 Salt Lake Temple Square

99 Big Pine Canyon

100 Pyramid Lake near Fernley, Nevada

Backaches and green salads

My back has been hurting for the past two days. This has not been a little ache but it has hurt so much that I have gotten up at night and stayed up until the medicine begins to take hold. I was told that I should go to the doctor to make sure everything was alright and so I scheduled my OB appointment for a little earlier in the week and went to the OB. My appointment went as follows... pee in a cup (Ashling thought this was hilarious and claimed that she was never going to pee in a cup.) weight myself (oh no! Why have I gained weight again! And why do they have to weigh us?) and then I went into the room. The doctor decided she needed to check to make sure I wasn't in labor and so she did and I wasn't. (Don't you think I would know if I was in labor? This is my third child after all?) She measured the baby who is right on schedule and listened to the heart beat. (Ashling thinks this is amazing, how does the baby do that?) About the back pain... "third children are rough you will probably just have more and more back pain...." So why did I even go to the doctor if there is nothing they can do?!?!

Then I went to my already scheduled chiropractor appointment. He is the man who will fix it. I sat in his office and he acknowledged my issues, yes my back was extremely tight, he massaged it and then cracked it in place. I can't say I feel 100% but I sure feel better knowing that there is something that someone can do for me. I actually felt like I could walk around and do things and he admonished me to continue exercising and not to eat. (Great another comment about how we don't need to gain the weight that the baby magically puts on us.) Anyways I guess the moral to this story is that if you want something done go to the right person to take care of it.

On the way home the Bus Stop salad was calling to me. I could hear it around each curve up the mountain. I could smell the vinegarete dressing as I raced up each passing lane. I could even taste the delicious candied pecans as I tried unsuccessfully to make Mr. Slow Driver pull over in a turn out. No matter how I tried to convince myself that PB&J at home was just fine the salad called to me. So eventually I answered the call and bought myself a salad. It was wonderful and satisfied my craving completely. (And it was salad so it shouldn't put any weight on right?)

Friday, September 19, 2008


Over the course of the past few weeks, a contingency of invaders with growing numbers has been vandalizing our home. At first, I figured the perpetrators would get their kicks and move on to the next house. However, time has proven otherwise. The vandals have increased the both the frequency and the intensity of their vandalism, which is likely to cause leakage during rain, will require replacement of exterior features, and will certainly require new paint. I thought about calling the authorities regarding this issue, but have decided instead to take matters into my own hands.

So today was the day. I purchased a gun. I figured the only way to protect my residence, and perhaps my family, was to squash the problem out completely. I know I don't have to aim to kill, but at the point that we are all loosing sleep due to this problem, some extreme measures had to be taken. I humbly report that I downed 2 out of 9 vandals, also hitting 4 more of the nine. Success is evident in the no-show of vandals this evening, when all previous evenings for the past several days yielded, at times, up to 4 agressors at a time vandalizing the outside of our home.

I guess we will all sleep a little better tonight, knowing that the likelihood of the problem continuing is greatly decreased. Given the single-day success of my counter-measures, I truly hope my house will not be looked at as a venue for vandalism. However, should that not be the case, an additional round of counter-measures may entirely decimate any remaining vandals, and leave us entirely to our peace. I hope my message is heard loud and clear that I will not tolerate even threats on my place of residence, or on my family, in general. Anyone willing to test this new policy will likely end up buried next to the two woodpeckers I buried earlier today. I hope it doesn't come to that.

(By the way, it was just a BB gun, and I store safely far away from the children, and it has a lock, and a key for an additional lock. And yes, I did shoot down two woodpeckers that have made the trim on this house to look like cottage cheese. Given their abundant numbers, and the hundreds of dollars of damage they have done, I felt a "population reduction" was in order. Some other species of birds around did notice, and, since I don't like killing things too much, they did make me feel bad as I buried the woodpeckers while they watched curiously and then flew away from the epicenter of death.)


Story time

I love story time at the library. If you don't attend your local story time with your preschoolers you should. Today started the new year and Ashling and I went to story time. Our library is small only one room. It is dark, with no windows and there aren't that many books. They close the library for story time because there isn't room for more than one activity at once.

Today the teacher had them come in and find their names. They then traced their names and put them in a box. They learned about transportation including walking, riding a bike and cars. This year we will be going to Europe and first we need to get to the port and we went by car. It is amazing because the library is like free preschool. If you can't afford preschool this is the next best thing. They sang songs, practiced taking turns and then created their own car craft. Yea for story time!

Prop 8 and a busy week

If you don't live in California you may never have heard of Prop 8 and even if you live in California it may not be that big of a deal to you. But it is to us who live in California. We are starting to eat, drink and breathe Prop 8. And since it may take all our money we really are going to have to eat and drink it. So I thought I would give you your own healthy serving of Prop 8.

Prop 8 is the proposition to protect marriage on the California state constitution. It says that only a man and woman can be married. I think it is weird that we need to have this put on our constitution. Don't you think it makes sense? I asked Ali and Ashling who gets married and they knew. A boy and a girl. But somehow our corrupt society has decided any two living, breathing organisms should be able to marry. I hope we have the courage as a society to stand up for some morals now before it is too late. I don't want it to be after my first grader has to learn in school that marriage doesn't mean anything.

As California liberal supreme court judges decided to overturn a decision already made in California to only allowed a man and a woman to marry we now have to try and pass the law again. It is not doing as well this time and needs all the help the prop can get. Everyone I know is calling, walking the streets and donating money to help it pass. If you are interested and out of state you can donate too because everyone knows that whatever happens in California will carry over to lots of the rest of the country.

Anyways on to other things.... This has been a very busy week. I am tired. Soccer practice, grocery shopping, cleaning, driving to preschool, appointments, story time and the like have kept me busy. I can't believe I still have 17 weeks to go in this pregnancy. I would like to be done now! My best news is that finally after visiting 10 quilting fabric stores I found the fabric I want to make a baby quilt out of. As soon as I can buy it I will be busy quilting too...

Monday, September 8, 2008

My multi-colored calendar-confessions from a new soccer mom

I feel that my role as a mom is changing. I used to care completely for Ali and Ashling all day, every day. I was pretty much the only one responsible for their care. I got them ready for the day, taught them everything they learned from using the bathroom to learning their letters and played with them all day. Now I have a new role. I am a soccer mom. What is a soccer mom? It is the mom who is responsible for driving their kids everywhere. A soccer mom no longer needs to dress her kids and feed them their food but instead must buy the right kinds of clothes and pack the right things in lunches. A soccer mom is not the only adult in her kids life but now shares that life with a teacher, a coach, a dance teacher and for me, a primary teacher. I take Ali to school, take Ashling to school, pick up Ashling from school, pick up Ali from school, take Ali to soccer practice, parties, friends houses, and soon to dance practice. I even find myself taking Ashling more places than just school as she enjoys friends houses and story time.

So I now have a multi-colored calendar. Ali is orange, Ashling is green, I am blue and Cameron is yellow. I have some color on all of my days and many of them are a rainbow of different colors. In a matter of weeks I have gone from not needing a calendar to needing one with multiple colors.

I actually love my new role. I am always going somewhere and now I do not feel trapped in the house with nothing to do. I get to meet lots of neat parents and people I would never get to meet if I wasn't driving my kids everywhere and waiting for them. I enjoy their independence, do not mind never having to change their diapers and I still get to tuck them in at night and cuddle them on my lap. I love my daughter reading to me on the couch where she still sits on my lap and letting her pick out my clothes because she knows what is in style better than me. For now they may think they are big but they are still my little babies.

On another note- Ali had her first soccer game on Saturday. It was a learning experience. She had never played or watched soccer before and only had two practices. She was a little unsure of what the whole point to the game was but she tried to keep the ball away from the green team. The problem was the green team had some excellent players and they kept scoring goals. If you look at the picture of Ali pouting that is the problem- another score for the green team. (It is good that we don't keep score in under 8 soccer because otherwise I would have to report the score to you!) Her big play was getting the ball away from a girl about to score! Go Ali!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ashling's first day of Preschool


Ashling started preschool today at Apple Tree Learning Center. That is the preschool that Cameron's sister, Erin, owns and it is down in Highland. Ashling was very very excited to preschool. She kept asking me, "Mommy is it today?" I had told her that today we got to go and I guess that she didn't really know what today meant. We went there and she found her name on her basket (she can now spell her whole name,) and put her backpack in the basket and sat down on her own little circle. She did not fuss or cry like so many of the other kids. She just calmly said goodbye. She enjoyed herself and came home with an A covered in Apple stickers. I went shopping by myself to Costco and bought whatever I wanted without anyone asking me for this or that. I am going to enjoy the 4 months of time to myself on Tuesday and Thursday before the baby comes.


On Labor Day we decided to go to Disneyland. We hadn't decided one way or the other so Cameron woke the girls up by asking them if they wanted to go to Disneyland. They did. We actually spent most of the day at California adventure. We wanted to go on the new toy story ride and got there right before the park opened. But we didn't notice the long line was forming so soon and by the time we noticed it the line was over an hour long. (Season pass holders do not normally stand in any line for that long.) We decided we will try that ride another day. We rode on the merry go round and then Ali and Cameron went on California Screaming. Ali did not like the ride and came off crying. She said it made her tummy hurt. She wanted to go on the Orange Peel swings and so they went on that. (We were able to walk on all these rides.) We then went on the jelly fish ride which is a very mild up and down ride. Ashling reached a milestone this time as she is now 40 inches tall so she can go on a lot of the rides. We rode on the rockets and then went on California Souring (with our fast pass.) We got another fast pass for Grizzly river run for Ali and Cameron. After that we went to the Brother Bear place and Ali base jumped and rock climbed while we watched her and ate lunch. They went down the slides. Cameron and Ali went on Grizzly river run and Ashling and went over to Disneyland to wait in line for the other rockets. After we all went on the rockets Cam and Ali went on Space Mountain and then we saw Honey I shrunk the Audience. (FYI do not take little kids to this show as it is very scary for them. This was more scary to Ali than California Screaming.) We were then very tired and hot and we decided to call it a day. It is nice to have season passes and go home whenever you get tired.

Sunday Dinner

Grandma Sue and Papa finally are home from Alaska! We had to wait all summer but they came home on Friday afternoon. The girls were very excited to see them and look forward to spending the night there this Friday. In the meantime we had a family dinner on Sunday. Chalon's family didn't make it due to stomach viruses but everyone else came. I made cafe rio pork and had a burrito bar. Grandma Sue and Papa passed out lots of presents for everyone! It was a nice relaxing afternoon.

Tile Work

Cameron tiled our upstairs bathroom this weekend. We decided on a layout and it was very involved. Cameron had to cut most of the tiles but we were very pleased with the work that he did. Here are a couple pictures of the results.