Saturday, June 27, 2009

It's Done

Today, when I was stressed (again) about the house search I sat down and watched How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days and finished hand stitching the binding on my first Moda Quilt. I was amazed at how relaxed the monotonous work helped me to feel.

Some of the many signs I've been seeing during my trip.

Also, we put a bid in on a house today. Here's me on the swing out back.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What an adventure

So, we thought, let's go to City of Rocks, we've heard so much about it, and this is the best time of year to do it. Yes, a Father's Day trip (originally planned once we found out that bishopric meeting would still be held that day) to celebrate Stan and our love of the outdoors, camping, star gazing, climbing with our new trad!!!! and bird watching to boot. What we hadn't planned on was the rain followed by more rain, followed by more rain. If you ask Israel about our camping trip he'll tell you it rained the whole time. We actually had hours here and there without rain and Monday was blue sky beautiful, but that rain had an impact. We even had an exciting booming thunderstorm that turned into a hail storm as we all hovered in the "parent" tent, stayed dry, tried to stay warm, and munched and munched on all the goodies we'd bought at the store.
Even though the trip didn't turn out as we'd planned (such as our air mattress getting a fast leak and the kids tent no being as waterproof as needed), we did some really fun bird watching, seeing 10 species we'd never even seen before including my favorites the Lewis's woodpecker, hooded oriole, and night hawks. We saw altogether 5 long eared owls. (Did I ever tell you how much I love seeing owls?) I'm the spotter and Stan usually the identifier when it comes to our birding trips. You'd think after 8 years of marriage I'd be better at birding, but it takes a lot of work. Getting my own set of binoculars 2 Christmas's ago really has helped. Okay, enough of my yapping, here's some great pictures of the trip and yes, we did get to do play with our trad on Monday, and no we didn't fall on it, but we think we placed it well. We had to find routes that were anchored on top as we don't know how to make trad anchors, and getting down is a little important:)
Israel named this one the cupcake rock- see the wrapper markings on the left and the obvious rounding - you can even see a cherry on top.

Our first night there. We stayed in the Smoky Mountain Campgrounds (flushing toilets, each site had water and electricity. They even had showers. City of Rocks was full) The dots are rain, in case you were wondering

Sunday Morning- isn't it gorgeous. This was some of our best birding time.
Why am I including a picture of the Almo Ward building? This is the first church I've ever been to so off the beaten path. It's on a dirt road with impressive pot holes and notice the cattle guards over the entrance.
Eliza found this hole in the rock and actually smiled in a picture (instead of her usual fish face)
We found a rainbow on our last day. We could see both ends, but couldn't get it in the picture. We love rainbows and took probably 10 pictures of this one. After all that rain, it was so wonderful to behold.
Julia, chilling in her kid chair

the kids learning about being yoked

Israel "this is a BIG piece of chicken" he said of his ground beef tinfoil dinner

Another incredible view

Israel became quite good at placing trad and he used them for aid climbing. He liked our wallnuts. We can totally see him becoming a really powerful climber one day.
Tomorrow I'm off on my next adventure- house hunting! Wish me luck (and safety)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Life is stress, or at least it feels that way today. Nice and early UPS dropped off a sizable package from Spectrum (Stan's employer). We'd been told the qualifying to work contract for the military was quite the paper work process, but honestly we had no idea it would be this big. We have huge packets of information to find and send back within 24, 48, and 72 hours. Stan just finished a physical and signed up for the required First Aid certification he didn't know we needed. Now he's off to a notary republic. We have to tell them everywhere we've lived and provide references as proof for the last 7 years (and we've moved a lot) we had to provide 3 people (not related to us) that have known us for at least 7 years that they're going to personally interview (and ask questions like have you ever know Stan to do drugs, cheat on his wife, etc etc.) Stan and I have both been filling out pages and pages and using the internet to find things such as his selective service number. I could go on, but you get the idea.

On a brighter note, we were preapproved for a home loan today. AND the biggie- I talked to someone in 29 Palms today who is helping us get aquainted with the town and finding someone in the ward that will let us stay for a few days while Liz and I go house hunting. Thanks Liz for going with me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Alpine Loop

We had such a wonderful adventure Tuesday. Not only did it include 2 new nephews, but also a wonderful drive on the Alpine Loop to our climbing destination in American Fork Canyon. We didn't get any pictures of the climbing (we were a little occupied at the time). Israel is on a bug kick- possible future entimologist?- time will tell.

Julia had such a blast. She walked in grasses taller than she was. She liked the flowers and birds.
Israel is pointing to a huge slug- yuck!

Eliza spent about 30 minutes in the car before she was willing to explore. She's our city girl:)

One of the 2 HUGE night crawlers Israel found. He was dissapointed when I told him we couldn't bring them in the car.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Guess what we got . . .

We have 2 beautiful new nephews born today. They're a wee bit early so still in the NICU. Eliza and Israel couldn't understand why they couldn't see the babies yet. Poor things. Mommy Dana is doing really well with her own c-section recovery. (Picture guide: Arlo holding Dad's hand on the top and Josiah with me on the bottom.)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Parenting Advice

As a marriage and family therapist I am sometimes looked to for help in parenting. While I love being a parent - and I think I'm not that bad at it - and I definitly give good counseling on it; I'm not so sure that I always have universal advice for all parents; but unless your child is a mute I have one piece of advice that will save you hours of headache. I present to you ear protection.

After a 16 hour car ride to Kansas - and 8 hours of solid screaming - shortly after Israel was born we purchased two sets of these ear muffs before the ride home. That same year they proved useful on the extended road trips to: Lubbock, TX; Nauvoo, IL; Fairfax, VA; and Tallahassee, FL. They also proved useful on plane flights to Washington State and Utah that year, and a drive from Washington to British Columbia. Israel's first year of life included leaving the country and going through about 18 states.

Even day trips to the Gulf Coast put these parenting wonders to their test, and many a good night's sleep was preserved by keeping these muffs within arms-reach from my pillow. I'm thinking they should start selling these items in stores like "Babies 'R Us" or "Parents 'R Us" (hmm, that would be an interesting store).

Friday, June 05, 2009


29 Palms, watch out, 'cause here we come!
No details yet, all the nitty gritty negotiations will happen next week.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Jobs, Quilts, and Garage Sales

Stan had his final interview today for a job in 29 Palms, CA. They said we'd know by Friday. Cross you fingers for us. Look for a Friday post on that subject.

So, I'm almost done with my pinwheel quilt- all I have left is stitching the binding down. Here's my progress.
My quilt sandwich. Notice I pinned every single prairie point toward the center. That took a while.

Making my striped binding strips. I love striped bindings!
Last night as I was trying to finish attaching the binding I put a full twist in it instead. Stan wisely advised me, the not night person, to fix it in the morning when my head was clear. Boy was he right. It was a super basic quick fix at 9 am.
Cutting off all the extra batting and backing. For some reason this final step scares me every time.

Also, we have a load of stuff we're selling in the Wymount Garage Sale this Sat., so if you know anybody looking for "stuff", send them our way. Here's a big pile of our stuff, probably about half of what we're selling. The kids can't leave it alone, hence the impressive lack of order. After the 50millionth time I quit fixing it. Now I only try to keep the path clear.