Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Those Rocks Aren't Real"

What Eliza calmly told us when we first entered Arches Nat'l Park near Moab, UT.
The one family shot we got the entire trip. Here we are in view of Delicate Arch.

What Provo looked like when we left and why we couldn't drive thru Price Canyon until 7:30 (wish we'd known that before we left at 5:30- we ended up coming back home to wait)
Because of high winds and our late arrival plan, the first night we staying in luxury, a cabin with bunk beds, a queen bed, electricity, and heat. The next 2 nights were spent at Upper Big Bend (no water, electricity, or flushing toilets-much to Eliza's disappointment) This campground had lots of amenities including a really good playground, a huge checkers board, and my favorite: showers. The first day we drove all over Arches and did 2 hikes- this one to Skyline Arch, and the next to Landscape Arch.

Day 2 was really windy and cold- we spent it mainly in the car touring Dead Horse Point and Canyonland's Nat'l Park. The views were amazing, but our pictures didn't do it justice. At Canyonlands we hiked to Upheaval Point-just incredible (you'll have to go see it for yourself)
We climbed that evening at Big Bend Boulders- here's Israel packing the bouldering pad.

A star Trek Enterprise-ish rock at B B Boulders

Crossing a bridge over the Colorado River on that super cold and windy 2nd day.

Because of the weather we saved the Delicate Arch for our last day. We hiked the most popular hike on a Saturday with all the other Spring Break tourists. We were the only ones pushing a stroller:) It's hard to tell, but Israel, Eliza, and I are standing under the Arch.

My paleontologists seeing real dinosaur tracks during a quick stop on our way back home.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A good laugh

Very last minute I invited our friends over for a dinner of Crash Hot Potatoes, Baby Back Ribs, and green veggies. I knew we had more food than we needed, plus, I was comfortable enough with these friends to have them over even though we hadn't cleaned the house. It wasn't until 10:30 last night when I went to do my bathroom stuff that I discovered one of Stan's many therapy books in plain view on the bathroom shelf. I wonder what they were thinking about us last night.


Monday, April 20, 2009

A first and some seriousness

On our way back from Delicate Arch, the symbol of Utah, we played "I Spy". For the first time in Eliza's history she didn't spy something pink.

On a more serious note, my good friend Katie is my new hero. I've admired her for a long time, she works really hard, deals with diseases and health problems like they are just a part of life (and she knows with hemaphelia and Crohns in her fam). Every time she has a baby she breaks her tailbone, and yet she's had three. You get the idea. She's amazing- a great friend, a lover of books, and a good cook too. Even more though, she's giving, and I'm not just talking about her time. This last week she donated her better functioning kidney to a brother in desparate need of one. Her youngest isn't even one yet. It's her husband's stressful last semester of BYU, they're still job hunting, but she did this amazing sacrifice, of time, of body, of possible detriment to her own health, knowing that she may never be able to have more children, she gave anyway. She's still in the hospital today. She'll have 6-8 weeks of recovery at home. I am in awe. I am also praying for her quick recovery and hoping that I can give her ample help in the coming weeks.
I've been thinking this weekend: could I do what Katie did? could you do what Katie did? If you think to remember Katie and her brother in your prayers. It wouldn't hurt and I'm confident it will help.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Such a good day

Easter at our house was just marvelous. It started with a carmel french toast breakfast (that Stan came home for after early AM meetings), then church- where both Eliza and Julia kept their bows in their hair the WHOLE time, to walking home and discovering the Easter bunny had visited, to reading the Ressurection story as a family, eating off of our china with Amanda and Bryce, multiple Easter Egg hunts (we used the same eggs over and over) to playing Wii (the EB brought MarioParty 8), visiting with Dana and Jason, eating cheesecake, and happily going to sleep. The weather was nice to us and light jackets were all we needed. The sunshine was great.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Girly Eliza

So, this week we were shopping for white shoes for Easter outfits. We're in Target and I tell the kids, now we just have to find the shoes. Without hesitating Eliza tells me, "Aunt Susan would know, we should ask her" What a cutie.

She's also the girl that when we're in the middle of nowhere on our way to go rock climbing (about 15 miles from dinky little Price, UT) we've been playing the spotting cars in the order of the rainbow game and Stan says let try looking for something else (the cars were getting scarce). Eliza excited "lets look for a store" We often joke how she's such a Hall girl since she didn't get her love of shopping from me:) I like to tell Stan she can do the shopping for us once she gets older, but I don't know if that would be such a good idea.

We got Easter Outfits at Gymboree for Eliza and Julia and Eliza refused to wear hers a cute belted green butterfly dress WITH SLEEVES (I was so happy to find) so we had to trade it for the same one I'd gotten Julia (that is a little more babyish). She didn't like the belt and buttons up the front. So much for my similar but not same Easter idea. She has a mind of her own, but then don't they all:)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Julia in the past week.

Falling asleep at lunch
Being my Easter Bunny

Happily crafting. Much to my joy Julia has already given up on the tasty habit of chewing crayons.

Laughing. Right before a diaper change. I would have to say that playing chase is Julia's favorite game. She loves to run away- as long as she's being actively chased. We have a pre-diaper change ritual that she runs away when I get out a new diaper and I open the diaper by hitting it onto my leg. Well this time the "magic fluff" inside exploded everywhere.

Bonding with the boys. Notice the Wii nunchuk she is holding. She often "plays" video games with Israel and Dad.

Being my sweet girl. And yes, her hair is often just like this.

Busy Easter Bunnies

Our Preschool Easter Party.

Notice Israel's super cool Bunny Hat. He was actually the only kid able to do the spoon on the egg race. But then he was the oldest kid there. **Note: We Mom's aren't totally foolish, the eggs were hard boiled

Here is Julia- she realized that eggs were food. She just pushed her nail right into this egg.
Eliza right before the egg hunt.Julia with her fluffy bunny basket. Stan bought it for her last week after she carried it all over Toys R Us. The littlest kids were given a head start. She did really well until one of her eggs opened. Once she realized there was candy inside she quit finding eggs and started happily munching.

The after picture. I don't know why, but after the Easter Egg Hunt and all that sugar we gave them cupcakes for a treat. We all had a really fun time- and Mom may or may not have been munching on Easter candy all day:)

Friday, April 03, 2009

I Get to Go to School?

Today I told Israel we were going to register him for kindergarten. He thought that he would get to start school today and was really excited. I felt bad explaining he still had to wait until next Fall. We rounded up all necessary documents (including a run by the Dr's office for his immunizations) and we were ready. The falling snow did little to deter our excited bunch. They recognized the playground we've often been to and liked all the bulletin boards in the hallway. Once in the library the kids were super easy while I filled out all the "fun" paperwork, explained to the nurse that Israel's left eye is more dilated than his right, met Mrs. Bigalow who was highly recommended to me for Israel- we'll see if we get her or not- and tromped back to the car.

Many of you reading this post might think it's weird that I registered Israel. You realize, just like I do that we might not even be in Utah in the fall, much less in Rock Canyon's School district. Crazy Mom me wanted to register him anyway, just in case, to get first preferences if we are still here in the Fall. When life is as up in the air as ours is I have to do things that keep me sane. Worrying about Israel's school has been a concern as mine for basically forever- will in be an all day program? maybe I should home school? charter? private? will bullies pick on him? we he be labeled the "problem" child? will he transition between tasks or sulk? How can I make sure he's getting the best of everything? The whole big bad world is out there, am I ready for my oldest to experience it? I have a suspicion that I worry about Israel's schooling in part because it distracts me from worrying about where/when we'll get a job. If Stan will be able to get his dissertation done in time, etc.

We do have some good news, as of Mar. 31st Stan became a Licenced Marriage and Family Therapist. That means a nice raise for Stan for doing the same thing he's been doing for 5 years now. As Stan will tell you the licensing process is painful, frustrating, and intentionally difficult to achieve. More good news: BYU just changed graduate guidelines and Stan now has until Jul 10th to finish his dissertation (instead of May 17) to be able to graduate in August. Yippie!

Life is good, all and all- even if I I had 4 more cavities at the dentist yesterday. Babies have totally destroyed my teeth. Only 1 cavity ever before Israel was born. Now I take even better care of my teeth, use prescription strength toothpaste, floss diligently; and still the cavities keep coming. The sacrifices we make for our children:)

Thursday, April 02, 2009


It will have been 10 years since I returned from my mission this July 9. We're having a reunion in Centerville and I'm excited. I checked out all the blogs on the mission reunion web page Julia was sitting on my lap looking at all the pictures and half asleep. You can tell all the blogs are being kept up by the beautiful wives of these RMs, because there is no way the guys are doing it. Most of the guys look fatter, and most have several kids. Julia started rocking out when she heard Bob Marley's song on Waldrum's blog It definitly has the most quality photographs too. Oveson won for the funnest pictures. Weeks had some romantic pictures up of their Valentine's day (a little too romantic). Most of the pictures are of the kids and that's all good. I don't know why I want to see all the guys from the mission, maybe just to prove that it really happened. That I really did spend two years on a remote Caribbean island when I turned 19 years old. It seems so long ago, that maybe I just convinced myself it happened. I think about it everyday, and just last week someone was asking why I speak with a lilt almost like an Irish person. Cha mon me know no. Mi guess tings dem a go so. mi wan see all the peoper dem fi tell dem mi miss dem bad mon. Mi a go haf a go by de Jerk Shack (162 West Center Street, Orem) fi mek mi see if it a mek fee' betta mon, an' git me some jerk chikin over dede so, and see if da peoper der-so a still chat de Patois, an' if de is anyone de-so mi a know. mi still tink say me a one yardie.

I guess I need to take all my mission pictures and scan them so I can post them. I went before they had digital cameras you know!