December 2010

December 2010

Sunday, July 24, 2011


Birthday's are funny things. I wonder if other people feel the way I do. In the morning on my birthday, I started making my bed and I thought, "A person shouldn't have to make her bed on her birthday." A few minutes later, I was downstairs and noticed how dusty the floor was so I got a broom to sweep it up and thought, "A person shouldn't have to sweep on her birthday." Then I thought I needed to snap out of it because it was just another day where food needed to be prepared and the house needed to be picked up (those are daily duties around here, never changes).

I actually got my birthday present a few days before my birthday. Mark was so excited he made me open it. And, of course, Pennie had to help.

 What is it?
 The sweetest gift ever! He made my blog into a book!!

This was the first page...okay, Mark is awesome. Enough said.

On my birthday day, it was pretty business as usual. Mark is out of town. I had high hopes the boys would whisk me off and take charge of the birthday, but they are boys and need to be reminded or taught. (Felt like a Mom failure, but Mark said, "They have been taught, but they have their agency." Love that man.)

So, I went to Trader Joes, bought some pretty flowers which make me happy and bought a small thing of delicious chocolate covered caramels (that also make me happy)!

Dinner was...well let's just say it didn't work out after the Eagle Project meeting. The boys didn't want Panera Bread, so I got Panera Break take-out for me and went through the drive thru at In-N-Out for them.

Then, I made the hardest cake of my life. It was a recipe I was dying to try and it was yummy enough (hard cake recipe, super hard frosting recipe), but kind of a disappointment because it wasn't as good as it was hard (Did that make sense?). I want a chocolate cake like I had at "The Chocolate" in Orem with Billy and Caitlin. 

We didn't even eat it on my birthday (and no song and candles) because I didn't get it finished until 10 p.m., which is past my bedtime. So we had it the next day when we had the missionaries over for dinner. 

It really was a fine day, and in the end I realize how many blessings I have. Birthdays are always reflective for me...I always ask myself where am I in my life? do I think I'm doing and what more do I need to be doing? Every birthday before this one (in my recent memory) I have run a ton of miles, just to prove I can. But this one I didn't run at all, and I think that's progress in a weird way. I don't feel like I have as much to prove or something.

As I reflect, I remind myself that I need to do more to develop Christ-like attributes. That is a daily effort. I am grateful I am able to continue to pursue my education because that is also an important life goal. Mostly, I am filled with gratitude for my family. All of my effort as a mother is worth it.


What little boy doesn't dream about having a treehouse?? I played in lots of treehouses when I was little...we used our imaginations and pretended it was our fort and we had to protect it. Sometimes we pretended it was our house and we each played a part in the family - mother, father, baby. Fun times!  Well, we've been looking at this tree on our hill for some time. Now, trees don't grow very big here. As a matter of fact, someone gave me a card once that read "Enjoy San Diego, where they call a bush a tree." And that's true. After living in WA, where they grow real trees, I realize we don't really grow trees here. So, this "tree" on our hill is not much, but it worked to begin a treehouse!

First, we had to clear a trail up to the tree.

We still need to add some kind of steps up there because I nearly die every time I try to traverse it. It could be because I have bad knees though :).

Scott Peterson came over and gave Mark his opinion. He told him to get Cedar so it would be more resistant to bugs.
 And then they started whacking away!

And then out came the power tools! Something about my man with power tools with his little boy...just does it for me!

Right now it's only a platform, but we have big plans to add railings or walls. And it needs a ladder of some sort.
 The end of a very good, fun day. A happy boy...
 ...and a happy dad!

Really doesn't get much better.

Monday, July 18, 2011

4th of July, Etc.

I'm really sorry I've had so many pictures lately...I have trouble paring them down so tons end up on here. But, it will make for great memories someday.

The Fourth of July started early as we ran the Provo Freedom Run. It is an easy 5K (well, not so easy on the hill at the end) and we had a blast!

After the parade we met John and Barbara on University Avenue to watch the parade.

It such a fun, small town kind of parade!
 Star Wars Float, seriously?!
 I had to include this.
After an amazingly delicious bar-be-que (and John's hamburgers are PERFECT in every way, like he weighs the meat so they will all be the same size), the kids started a ridiculously difficult puzzle. They were trying to pass the time because waiting for dark to do fireworks was so hard.
 Thankfully, darkness set in and we began with the smoke bombs.

 And the snappers.
 And, of course, sparklers.
We got to eat dinner with the Hoopes family! I love them so much! I wish they'd move back to San Diego!

 I loved catching up with everyone...and Dan even offered to take Mark to the airport in the morning....
We went to Cabela's, which was quite an experience on a hunt for the perfect winter coat for Derek. And we met friends there...

 They had like an arcade type shooting range which the boys loved! Oh, this was right after we got six different types of fudge...oh, so good!!
 And, THE coat! We think this will keep him warm enough. It says it works for below 0 temperatures!
And, we had to end our trip with bowling at BYU. Jayce loves this!

These are a few shots from Cody's pole vaulting camp. He did really well! Unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of his best jumps. Isn't that always the case?!

That ends the journaling of the Utah trip. It was really so much fun and we'd do it all over again! But it is nice to be home and doing summer stuff here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Hike at Sundance and Sunday Dinner

Mark was able to fly in for the 4th of July weekend. We had so much fun! On Saturday we decided to ride the ski lift up the mountain at Sundance and then hike over to Stewart Falls, and then down. It was way fun and interesting.

Starting up on the lift...

Isn't it breathtakingly beautiful up there!

Derek felt the need to hike fast, no matter what we said to slow him down. It was a little annoying because we were trying to have a relaxing, fun hike, enjoying the scenery. Towards the end of the hike, Mark took the lead. 

We surprisingly ran into snow up there! And it made it very difficult to continue hiking. At times, we were on such an incline, we had to hold tight to those branches behind Jayce to get across the snow.

Stewart Falls

At one point, we had to cross this very fast moving downhill stream. You can't really tell from the pictures, but it was super scary! We held onto ropes, but if any of us would have slipped, we would have gotten seriously hurt! The water was about a foot deep so most of us took off our shoes to cross. It was freezing cold, too!


Near the end of the hike. Whew!

It was a really fun hike, after all. Mark and I had done it five years ago and I remembered it being much easier. But it was just enough hardness to make it rewarding. My favorite part was we made memories as we all did it together!

On Sunday, John and Barbara invited Kim, Adam & Olivia, as well as Andrew & Martha. We had a blast all being together. Olivia totally stole the show, though!

Love this one!