Saturday, November 29, 2008


Cameron has this new place that he loves to go hiking. I have not been privledged to hike there yet but the pictures are amazing. They went for a hike here on Saturday while I went shopping around Lake Arrowhead with mom. I wish for hiking but will be waiting at least 7 more weeks before doing any....

Christmas Tree hunting

Getting a Christmas tree this year and then decorating it was a little problematic. First... we called the farm where we wanted to get the tree and they refused to answer the phone. So we were left with the dilemma- were they open this year? Did they want us to come and purchase a tree? Should we drive all the way over there? These dilemmas led us to go on the drive to the San Gabrielle mountains for the day.

So in the car on the way home we called again. There was no answer again. So we were faced with buying a very over priced tree that had been cut down in Oregon and shipped to California or cutting down a Monterey Pine. (I do not like the Monterey Pine at all and refused to bring one into my house. Every year Cameron's parents get one and every year it is dead by Christmas. Although they do smell wonderful I like a tree that looks alive.) Finally we consulted with my sister and Tony via 2 way radio and they said to just drive there and see if he was there- so we did. (It is the first time in history I actually listened to my little sister.)

We arrived at Gunther Tree Farm and they were there and indeed open. The farm is amazing. It is on the backside of the mountains and it is 32 acres that this one old man and woman run. It is a little hokey and run down but they have planted trees for years and you can go and pick whichever one you want and cut it down. (This is the only place I know of in the mountains around here where you can do this.) Many trees are overgrown and much too large around for a house. He doesn't trim them the way they should and so they have the wild, natural look.

After walking until I was almost exhausted around the farm, Cameron found a tree that looked tall and very thin. It was the right height for us and so I said it was fine because I was done hunting. We cut the tree down, tied it up, paid our money and headed for home anxious to decorate the tree.

At home we got our Christmas tree stand out, Cameron cut the tree so it would soak up water, and we tried to set the tree up. After about ten minutes of trying we realized the tree stand was broken and also leaking all over the floor. Cameron called his mom to see if we could borrow her tree stand and then get her a new one later. It was fine and he went to find that tree stand. He couldn't find it and came home with nothing. (No stores are open after six on the mountain.) So he tried to fix our stand.

The next afternoon we tried to use the newly fixed stand and it broke again. So Cameron went to the local hardware store and bought a new stand. (It was kind of cheap but it was the only one they had.) After he had it up and the lights were being put on this stand broke too! Now Cameron was really mad and close to swearing. He called his mom and asked her if since she was down the hill she would pick up a Christmas tree stand and bring it home for us. They were very nice and did this for us without complaining.

We finally picked up the tree stand that did work came home and decorated the tree. The tree looks wonderful and is not too skinny at all. I will try and post a picture later but I can't find the cord right now to transfer anymore pictures. The moral to this story is check the Christmas tree stand before getting the Christmas tree and make sure it is not broken. Or get a fake tree....

A Drive to the San Gabriel Mountains

We decided to take a drive to Wrightwood and the San Gabrielle Mountains and see what there was to see on Friday morning. It was a beautiful day with long views, new snow on the high mountains, and crystal blue sky above us.

We stopped to look at the foggy sky below and took some pictures from highway 330.

The high point of the drive for me was coming to a view point of Mt. Baldy on one side and Mt. Baden Powell on the other side. I saw lots of cool hiking trails and plan on coming back in the summer when I am in a little better shape for hiking.

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day was fun. Stacey, Tony and Mom came and we all had fun. Stacey and I made the Thanksgiving Dinner together with some help from Tony and Cameron. Stacey made the turkey, potatoes, stuffing and an apple pie (with my apple pie filling). I made rolls, honey butter, jello salad, sweet potato casserole and a relish plate. The store made the cranberry sauce and the pumpkin pie. Cameron made 4 layer desert as one of our pies.

We (Stacey, Tony, Cameron and I,) played risk most of the day. When it was time for dinner we took the game off the table and set it aside while we ate. We also had naps, the kids, Cameron, Stacey and Tony went on a walk to buy a newspaper, Cameron, Stacey and Tony took another walk in the afternoon, and we spent some time visiting and doing the dishes. Finally at about 9:00 we finished the risk game and I won (of course :).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I just paid 1.80 per gallon for gas at the pump. Since this is also a blog for posterity I just thought that I had to post that. The last time gas was that cheap was in 2005 from my understanding. And I haven't got to pay less than 2.00 for gas until today. Last week I was smiling for paying 2.19 at the pump! I love the falling gas prices! I remember paying 4.75 and 4.80 for gas only a few months ago. I am sure happy that we don't have to spend that much anymore and I hope it stays this way forever. Yea for gas prices!

In other news I went to Costco today. And Stater Brother's yesterday. Their food prices have not fallen at all despite the nose diving gas prices. Isn't that why food prices went up? Because gas prices went up? And now I expect them to fall too. (Hey we can hope for anything we want right? I wished for 1.00 gas prices this summer and they are getting closer every day!)

I have decided this was my last grocery shopping trip of this pregnancy. I have food storage. And a husband. And no more energy to fight the massive crowds of the holidays with a big tummy that takes up twice as much room with half the space available for walking. I waited in line for 20 minutes just to pay for my food. I forgot where I was parked at Costco and had to push a full shopping cart up and down three aisles that were not close to each other before my car found me. Then I sat in traffic for half an hour because the on-ramp to the freeway was closed.

So my family will be eating wheat (without a grinder), oatmeal, cake, prime rib, applesauce, various canned food and powdered milk for Christmas dinner. Unless someone else takes pity on my and goes to the grocery store for me. Because I am done grocery shopping until this baby comes out!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My great husband

Today Cameron has really reminded me of the many reasons why I married him. I have not been the greatest wife in the world since pregnancy has made me tired and a little bit lazy. Now that it is getting time to get ready for the baby and time for the holidays I have also become quite insistent on certain chores being done around the house. I know that is not what my husband wants to do but he has been a really good sport today and helped out so much around the house. And I am really grateful for that.

First he made me breakfast while I took a relaxing shower with no kids opening the door every three minutes. He always makes breakfast for us on Saturday mornings and I love it. It is a great tradition and one that he has kept ever since we were first married. I love the smell of french toast, family pancakes, waffles or eggs and bacon that he always prepares usually while I am still relaxing in bed. Isn't he the best?

Then while I took Ali to a nutcracker practice he worked on cleaning the carpets that I have insisted need to be done before the baby is born and preferably before the Christmas tree is put up. This is not an easy task and he probably spent about six hours getting them all done. He also went to help another family in the ward move in and even took Ashling with him.

Cameron came and watched Ali's soccer game, held her while she cried when the ball hit her and played all sorts of games with Ashling to entertain her. Later he came to the end of the year party for Ali's team, (even though he really didn't want to,) and moved our trailer to a friend's house so it wouldn't be in the way on our driveway. He also filled our gas cans so that he can cut down some dead trees in our yard and have gas for the snow blower for winter. He passed around fliers to snow blow our neighbors driveways this winter for a little extra cash for the family and now he went with his dad to help him clean the church.

I am grateful I married such an amazing man who is always willing to spend his time helping our family out. He goes to work for us each and every day and hardly ever complains when there isn't even an extra dime from his paycheck to do what he wants with it. He takes care of us all and I really appreciate it.

I am grateful

The end of the Soccer Season

Today was Ali's last soccer game. I signed Ali up for soccer reluctantly. I did not play sports as a kid and have never really even watched a soccer game. But she wanted to play and Daddy wanted her to play too. So I agreed to sign her up. I was a little intimidated by one soccer practice per week and then a game on Saturday. When her coach decided they needed to play soccer twice a week I was very intimidated. I was not sure that any six year old sports team needed that much devotion. But I faithfully took her to practices and attended the games.

That first game was very difficult for my little Ali. They had only one practice under their belts and she did not even understand the game. She didn't really know what the point was and hardly kicked the ball once during the time she was played. She seemed more interested in butterflies, clouds and the grass underneath her.

Fast forward to today. She now understands the game. She knows that she is supposed to keep that ball away from her team. She is a great defender and kept lots of balls from going in the goal. She is learning to dribble the ball, learning how to throw a ball in, learning how to kick a corner kick and a goal kick, and learning how to pay attention to the game. It seems to me that she came very far this year in soccer. She was the only one who had never played before and the youngest on her team. Although she never scored a goal this year, she assisted a lot of players, ran down the field while dribbling the ball a lot of times and learned a lot about the sport.

Today she also took a major hit to her stomach which left a perfect soccer ball impression for her to remember the game by. She cried but after a little bit she brushed herself off and got back in the game. All in all I think that soccer was very good for her and my impression of team sports is very different than it was before soccer. Although we do not officially keep score in under 8 soccer our team ended up winning more games than we lost and playing terrifically. I am not sure if we won our game today or tied but it was a great game. Go Purple Panthers!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My Cell Phone

I left my cell phone home on Saturday. I do not usually go anywhere without it. It is attached to my body and I am known to go back in the house to get it just to go to Ali's bus stop. (What if she isn't on the bus and I need to call the school?) But for some reason even though I was going shopping for the afternoon with friends (who I had to meet down there,) I left the phone at home. I got about 15 minutes from home and realized it was not with me and I just sat there on the side of the road. It seemed ridiculous to turn around for a cell phone but I was unsure of how I would meet up with my friends and unsure of the way pay phones work. But I decided to drive solo to Ontario Mills.

I guess in this day and age cell phones are almost completely necessary. Once I was down there I found a pay phone in the mall and made a call to my husband. He called my friends who were stuck in traffic (due to a big fire in Southern California) and found out they would be late. By now I was shopping in Gap and waiting for them to come find me. So he called the store and they tried to find me to relay the message that I would need to wait even longer. I shopped and shopped in the store and finally decided to check out before I found too much to buy. A lady at the front asked, "Are you Michelle?" Of course my answer was no but eventually we figured out that I was the pregnant woman she was looking for and so I got the message. We finally met up and the rest of the afternoon was fun. But when I was driving home at night I again felt naked and worried that the car would break down somewhere and I would have to walk to a pay phone again.

The moral to this story is that if I had to choose one item to not live without I am pretty sure it would be my little pink cell phone. I am sure glad these things were invented....

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Our Baby

My baby has decided today to move quite a lot. I was surprised to see her moving quite so much and to feel it. For about four hours she never really quit moving and she seemed to be playing soccer with an imaginary ball inside my stomach. At one point my stomach went up at least two inches and I was surprised it could expand quite that far. I never felt the other girls move quite so much or could see it quite so clearly. Ali really got in on the action and put her hand on my tummy and felt her move over and over again. If we pushed on her she seemed to push back and play with us. Then Ali sang her a song which made her be quiet for a minute as if she was listening. Maybe it is because the girls are so excited for our baby to get here but I have never felt like I could interact with a baby inside me quite so much. She must have quite the social personality to be interested in interacting with us so much before she is born. (Or perhaps she just has to remind us that she is there and wants attention. After all she is the third child.)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteren's Day

Cameron did not have to work today because of the holiday. It was nice to have him home. In the morning we took Ashling to preschool (she still had school today,) and then we went to Costco. It was nice to have Cameron to help push the cart around Costco and not have to do all the loading and unloading myself.

After we got home Cameron took the girls and Sierra on a hike. He has been going on hikes on Saturday mornings lately with Ashling and decided to take Ali too. I would go on a hike but my basketball like tummy makes it a little too uncomfortable and so I have become lazy. Instead I took a nap, did some laundry, read a little and tried to decide what kind of down jacket I want for Christmas. Now it is quiet. The girls are in bed, Cameron is splitting firewood as part of an elder's quorum project and I am enjoying more peace.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Happy 40th Anniversary Mom and Dad

Today is Mike and Sue's 40th anniversary. That is amazing and I've got to give them lots of props for being married that long. In a world where most people don't make it 7 years they have given us a lot to aspire to. I thought in my post I would put some of my observations of them as a married couple.

They still act like newlyweds. All summer they were in Alaska and in nearly every email Mike had carved his and Sue's name in some new tree.

Sue ironed Mike's shirts every night when he was working. I wonder what she does with that time now? Since I am not sure that I have ever irons a shirt for Cameron I am pretty impressed with that (although being impressed is as far as I am willing to go.)

Mike is great about waiting patiently on his wife. (There is a country song out right now about this and it reminds me of him.) When they are in a hurry he does everything he can and then just waits (and waits and waits) patiently for her to finish whatever it is that she needs to do. (That is why he has yatzee and the other pocket games.) I am sure he learned this in the 40 years of them being married.

Sue will happily go to the Sierras to fish with Mike anytime he wants and seems to let him go fishing whenever he wants. She just makes sure that she has her camera or a good book to keep her company.

They work well together. They built their entire house together once long ago and although I was not around to see that I can imagine it wasn't easy. Then in the past 6 years they have built an entire addition. Through all the many decisions and hours and hours or hard work I have not seen them argue or bicker at each other but just work hard together to get the job done.

They have raised four children together who have grown up, married in the temple and have provided them with grandchildren to love. I know this came from their love and dedication, hundreds of soccer, baseball and soccer games, thousands of late night homework assignments and millions of prayers and we appreciate their efforts.

They happily complete any church assignment they are given and support each other even when it includes too many early morning meeting, late nights and worries. They have shown their children how to be dedicated to church.

I think the most important thing I have noticed about them is that they still try to impress each other. They still do the little and big things to make each other happy. I think that is a great example of how to keep your marriage alive. As long as you are actively trying to love each other everything will turn out.

Lastly they are an excellent example of how to vacation and explore the world. In the past year they have been to Mexico, driven to Alaska for the entire summer, visited the Sierras, and are now vacationing in Hawaii for their 40th!
Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad We love you!

(and we are only a little bit jealous that you didn't take us along but we know you will next time right? see they even know that you don't take your kids with you on your anniversary trips. :)