Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

We spent our first Thanksgiving in our new home extremely grateful for our Lord's blessings on our family.
We also spent this special day with my cousins Kathy, Troy and Rich.
The last holiday that I spent with my cousins was when I was 3, Rich would have been 6 and Kathy would have been 7.  We had a great time.  They arrived Wed. night while there was still snow on the ground.
We promptly ran out of butter and flour, so Kathy and I made a mad dash with all the other shoppers to the market to pick up a few things.  It was so fun preparing for our Thanksgiving meal together.
Kathy had made the comment that it is kind of hard sometimes cooking in someone elses kitchen.
I said...... I know, this is someone elses kitchen for me too!
We had so much fun just hanging out with eachother reminescing about old times and making new memories.
Jared has a knack of being involved with something disasterous without intending for anything to happen.  Well, he picked up the bottle of sparkling cider on the counter and was going to pretend to drink out of the bottle when the top blew off, hit the ceiling and proceeded to spew a fountain of cider straight up in the air, all over the floor.  We all looked at him like, What Did You Do?
What he did was harmless but because it involved JARED, anything goes.  I have no idea how this happens but he is like an accident waiting to happen.  Anything that could break, pop, crack, or explode is at risk in his presence.  We all had a good laugh with some "voltage" as Kathy called it.  You know, the thing you do when you see your kid making a complete mess of your clean floor.  We all got over that pretty quick.  We decided that Jared was just makin' memories.
After we ate way too much we walked down the street and around the corner to see the movie "In Time".  It was very invigorating walking in the crisp air with snow still on the ground.  We had a major snow ball fight as we headed down the street.  There is always fun involved with anything that Rich is doing.  We all just have a blast messing around. 
To top off our Thanksgiving we stayed up until midnight to stand in line for Kolh's Black Friday sale.  Kathy, Rich, Kirk, Daphne and I had a pretty good time standing in line for almost two hours to pay.  We thought we were nuts but enjoyed each others company.  I loved every minute of it.
We got home at 3 a.m. to catch a couple winks before heading to the mall this morning at 6:30.  Kathy and I were the only crazy ones in the bunch to make it back out  in the morning.
We all enjoyed being together.  I kept looking at us all feeling like I needed to pinch myself.
Are we really here?
Yep! We are and lovin' every minute!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

Crazy Snow

We had the greatest snow storm all day yesterday.
We kept expecting it to stop but it snowed for 12 hours! 
It looks like a Winter Wonderland.
 We were lovin' every  minute of it.
So there were a few things that we discovered that
we needed to equipt ourselves in this type of weather.
We have been told that Logan gets "crazy snow".
I think we need to prepare ourselves.
First, almost all of us have boots and gloves. 
So that is first on the list to fulfill when the budget allows.
Second, we need to replace and add to our snow shovel that was left behind
by the previous tenant.
I think it would go faster if we had more than
one shovel and maybe they should be a little stronger.
This one is pretty flimsy. The neighbor across the street just broke one of his this morning. 
So supposedly they don't last very long.  I guess it depends on the kind you have.
The third thing we did was visit Discount Tire in town and asked them to fix us up with some decent snow tires for the van.  Remember, we've heard Logan gets
We've been seeing this new snow tread on various trucks around town.  They didn't cost much more than your basic snow tire.  I think these will work out just fine!
We will definately not be getting stuck in the snow this winter!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our First Snow!

We set out Friday for Ogden, just an hour away.
Kirk had a resume for some freelance that he wanted to give an architectural firm.
We only made it a mile from our destination when the van completely quit.
Somehow we made it to the extremely narrow one, and called our insurance company for a tow.  I had to laugh when the young man on the other end asked if I had any passengers with me.
Yes, there are 6 of us ..........and.........two dogs!
The guy said Oookaayyy, I might need to call you a taxi as well.
Well, the tow truck was just big enough for us and the two dogs to cram into the cab.  We were all practically sitting on top of eachother.
In the mean time I had called my dear ol' Dad for a diagnosis. 
My hands were a little trembly due to the spot that we were stopped at.  There were huge trucks whizzing past us shaking the van.  I was really nervous but didn't want the kids to pick up on it.
Really, I just wanted to burst into tears but decided to just "suck it up" instead.
So when I heard my Dad's voice I nearly lost it.  I was a little choked but managed to keept it together.
Everything ended up being fine.  We were towed to "Kirk's Auto Care".  Can't beat a name like that.
It was a dirty air flow sensor from the ding dong at Jiffy Lube who didn't seat the air filter properly in Sept!
These were honest guys with a family fun business.
What a relief!
On the way back over the hill from Ogden to Logan, it poured rain.
Then it completely switched.  It was a more silent rain and Victoria said it looked like we were on Space Mountain at Disneyland.  In pitch black we were driving into a snow flurry.  The way the flakes were coming at us, and the way the headlights hit the flakes, it was like we were in a tunnel of lights.
It was really cool but was making me car sick!  Uugh!
Right about then my cousin Kathy called to say it was snowing at her house in Malad.
I had to tell her that we weren't home and that we were driving thru the pass and that it was snowing!
We are loving the weather.
We woke to 2 inches of snow this morning and the boys and Victoria have been outside for the past 3 hours playing in it with the young girl next door, Emily.  They seem to be having a blast and haven't called it quits yet even though I am sure they will come in drenched.
The dogs were estatic when they saw the snow.
They loved ice cubes when we lived in Phoenix.
I think they saw each flake of snow as an ice cube. They spent all their time eating snow this morning. It was pretty funny to watch. 
I just heard that Victoria found a piece of cardboard and is trying to slide on the front lawn.
We are definately from Arizona.
I wonder if it is obvious?

Victoria was out before the sun was shining through.
 They used up all the snow in our yard so they continued their snow ball fight with Emily next door, who is 12, in her yard.  Last I saw they were busy in the front yards and
Victoria was in the back of Kirk's truck getting handfulls to throw. 
She may be 7 but can hold her own with the older kids.
It makes me so happy that they are able to safely spend so much time outside just playing with a neighbor.
Things are different here, and I am so thankful that we followed the Spirit with this move.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I know what you are thinking.
You have time to bake?
No, I didn't.  But when a certain little someone has been living in a world of chaos since our home was broken into at the end of July, I couldn't put her off any longer.
So Sat. morning while the boys were having a garage sale in 32 degree weather, Victoria and I were snug as a bug baking pumpkin cookies in front of the oven.
She had borrowed a book from the library
(did I mention that the library is out the back gate across the alfalfa field?)
that had these cookies in them.
She wouldn't let anyone eat one until Aunt Carol came for her visit. 
It was killing her waiting.  She kept asking when Aunt Carol would be coming.
And then I think they were gone in less than an hour.
It was a small batch.
Later that night we met up with Kathy and all of her kids, and my Aunt and cousin Rich at The Green Canyon Corn Maze just down the street from us that was 20 acres.
I made Victoria promise that she wouldn't say a word about going home because it was a haunted maze that particular night.  She had begged to come.
We had a great time.  It was pitch black outside and people in horrible masks kept jumping out from no where or following you down the aisle to where it lead I don't know.
My cousin Rich kept running up ahead and then hiding and jumping out at us to scare us. Or he would be walking along and literally throw himself into the corn field and dissappear among the stalks.
 It was really funny.  I haven't laughed that hard in a really long time.
I would have been completely lost but Kirk had a map of the maze. 
It was bigger than what they provided at the booth. 
And then I heard him tell someone that he had taken their google map and
photoshopped it so he could see it better. The reason for that was because he and the boys had already done the maze earlier in the week with the Boy Scout troop and they were completely lost
and kept running in circles. 
The scariest thing that messed with your mind was the freaky guy that had a chain saw.
I think that is what sent Kaleb over the edge.  He then wanted to leave and pretty much held onto my arm and kept his eyes shut the remainder of the time.
Now, Victoria? She would just keep walking straight and saying
You know you're not real.......
I will have to steal a picture of the group shot Kathy has before we went in.
We had so much fun.


 All during us moving, Victoria kept saying that she wanted to be a Jedi. 
I kept saying, ookaaayy.  Not really sure if I could pull it off.  Like I really have time to drag out my sewing machine and sew her a Jedi costume.
Okay, I saw the challenge and managed to piece one together.  Once I got working on it, it didn't really take that long. Though I did finish it just hours before she needed it.
And Kaleb, well, we drug out whatever we could find to make him a Rodeo Clown again.
I had to search through two stores for white make up.  Kirk did the rest with paint.
Whew.  Got through that one. 
Daphne got a new coat from Nana for her birthday so she was a musher.
And Jared, well, he has been blessing us with an attitude so his Dad and I blessed him with a shirt we saw on clearance of the Grouch.
If I had time on my hands......I would have made him a trash can for him to wear around him.
He told me that, that would be pushing it.
Darn, I thought it was a great idea.
Being in a new neighborhood we weren't sure what to expect.
There were so many kids we almost ran out of candy.
We had fun walking around the neighborhood and enjoying the weather.
The first thing the kids noticed is that they weren't sweating in their costumes.  Especially Kaleb who had his face painted.

Girl's Birthday

Just 4 days after we moved to Logan, we celebrated Victoria's 7th birthday
and just 5 days after that we celebrated Daphne's 19th birthday.
Between unpacking and trying desperately to find some sort of normalcy, whatever that is, we drove into Logan Canyon to catch a final glimpse of the Fall colors.
It felt like being in Wonderland.
It was beautiful. 
That night we had heard that there was a Pumpkin Walk just East of where we are living and it started that night.'s free.
Yeah, what the heck, lets go.  It's free.  Probably cute for the kids.  The little one.  Yeah, we can do that.
We had heard that there was a place to park and that they shuttle you up in buses. 
Okay.  We all pile into the van in the dark.  Victoria is preparing for a drive so she grabs her brand new pillow pet!
We barely drive around the corner from our house and we see people parking in the school parking lot and a bus with people lined up to get in.
Okay, so we laugh at that one that the whole even takes place just walking distance from our house.
So we take the van back to the house and walk to the corner and board a bus.
Daphne thought it was fun to ride on a public bus and wanted our friend Suzan to know that we did it.  She's from Jersey.  (I think that is supposed to explain it all).
We get there and there is this huge line with tons of families standing in the cold waiting to see this
Pumpkin Walk.
We are still not quite sure what it is all about, but we are at the park, people watching.....
We couldn't believe our eyes.
These aren't just pumpkins.
The theme was My Favorite Things, and the artists who were just families, schools, individuals, amateurs and professionals created these scenes using pumpkins of all shapes and sizes. 
They were so unbelieveably realistic. 
We had a blast and enjoyed every minute of it.
I think Calvin and Hobbes was our favorite. 
Especially the snowman scene.
 The back drops were really well painted.
It was so nice to see quality work. 
Yeah, you could make the statement that these people have way too much time on their hands.  But, I think it is more that these people who participated are very creative and talented people who had an idea and went with it.
Hmmm.  Sounds like my family.
 There was this one scene of Gilligans Island.
The faces were amazing.
Here's the Skipper.

 I love this last picture.
It is really a blackmail picture for Jared.
I talked him into it.  He didn't want to.  I had to wait for him to FINALLY put his head up to the HOLE!
He wasn't cooperating.
I love it still.  I think it fits their personalities very well.

Our Personal Plumber

 I called my cousin Rich just 2 1/2 hours away in Payson, Utah to let him know that we made it!
I started talking with him about the possibility of putting a gas line from the boiler for the dryer that was okayed by the owners.
He said that he would come this very afternoon to do it!
What a guy!
He really made life so much easier.  I was looking at laundry mats until we could get the dryer hooked up.
I didn't need to because we had
Snappy Plumbing to the rescue!
My cousins are great people.  


Monday, October 17th.
I decided to run to the grocery store before everyone was up to grab something for breakfast and lunch.  I knew that Kim and Kyle were coming with the truck sometime late that morning.
I got a call when I was at the checkout.
Hi Pam.
Hi Kim, how are you?
Good.  What are you doing?
Just getting stuff at the store for us to eat today.  What are you doing?
About to pull up to your front door.
Oh My Gosh! I will be right there! It will only take me a minute!

You never know how the neighbors will react when someone new pulls up into the neighborhood. 
It is one thing to pull up in a U Haul.  It is another thing to pull up with a Big Rig.
Our new neighbor Chris walked out his front door to go to work and (thankfully we weren't blocking his driveway) said that
You know this is Peterbilt country?
Kim...    Well, it's a Volvo and it rides real nice.
Chris....    So who drives this thing?
I point at Kim.  Thinking that I can push "all" the blame on my big sister.  It's her fault.
Chris....     I dig chicks who drive.
Come to find out he made a living driving trucks and drove a Peterbilt.
Kim hadn't heard his comment about chicks driving.  I laughed.  He is a really nice guy along with his wife PJ and daughter Emily.
 It took us just as long to unpack this thing than it did packing it.
We were all so tired and loopy. 
We all moved slower but worked just as hard.
All the kids were awesome pitching in.  Though I did find Victoria in a corner playing with Legos that had been packed away for almost two months.
My cousin Kathy, her husband Troy and their youngest son Blue drove 45 minutes from Malad, Idaho to help us unpack. They came just at the right time. We had pretty much had enough but didn't really know it until they arrived.  It gave us that last Ummph to finish.
Blue jumped right in and had the fridge out of the truck with the help of Jared and Kyle.
It was awesome to just stand there and watch these young men doing it. And not me!
Once again, the ramp that my Dad built was perfect and yes Mom, you probably could launch a rocket off it.
My Dad has these really cool clamps that he uses in welding.
I was really surprised that he entrusted these clamps with us to use to clamp the ramp to the truck.
Jared was holding one and you could just see the gears working in his head...... like.....hmmmm, what could I use this for,.......It looks like something you could measure Kaleb's head with.......hhmmmm.
Kaleb sure puts up with a lot from his big brother!

 This was the first time that Kathy and Kim saw eachother in 20 years!
It was great.  I got a chance to be around Kim for the longest time in many years with this move. 
Just another blessing!
And I get to live near my cousin Kathy after all these years.
We used to be really close when we were really little.  They spent the week with us at our house while their Mother went to work.  I loved it.
One last picture of the cousins before Kim and Kyle have to head to Wyoming to pick up a load and then back down to Phoenix by the end of the week.  It was great that Kim could cooridinate the use of the truck and have Kyle ride with her for the week while Kyle was on Fall break.
Just another blessing in this move!
Thanks Kim, we could not have done this move without you!
Love ya!
Day 2 of our new life!

A Sunday Drive

Sunday, October 16th was quite a day.
In the old days, folks would set out in their jalopy for a brief Sunday drive that probably only took them 5 miles round trip.
Well, our Sunday drive began before the sun was up and ended after the sun was down.
It was estimated to be 742 miles and a 12 hour drive. 
I don't think Mapquest knows about lunch and bathroom breaks,
not to mention spilled soda,
tired eyes,
and panting dogs.
Kirk drove his truck with both boys, Victoria, and both the dogs.  (Heee heee)
(I figured after me driving the long haul twice when we went looking for a place to live, that the kids would have so much more fun with DAD than in the boring van with Mom and Daphne and the two kitties and don't forget the hermit crabs that I tried to pawn off on Kyle before we left. 
He didn't want them.  Oh well.
 I had the most peculiar feeling leaving our home of 17 years.
It felt like we were just going on a long trip, only I didn't have to worry about locking up our valuables.  Everything of value traveled in our two vehicles. 
My sister and Kyle was traveling just a couple hours ahead of us on the road.  We kept in touch with the cell phones asking along the way....  so where are you now, or did you see the...........

 Daphne took this picture out the window.
We couldn't believe how pretty the hills were.
I had never seen such a vibrant yellow during this time of year.

Daphne took this one out the windshield.
When I was a kid I remember crossing the state line and thinking that I should be able to see a "line" or something.  But no, it just looked the same as the other side.
We were so tired driving, we had to make quite a few stops just to close our eyes.
We found one spot at a trail head in the middle of no where.  There were quite a few cars parked so we figured it was pretty safe to just stop there.
Kirk and I napped with our windows open...because it was still warm, while the kids just sat there with the dogs either talking quietly or reading. 
My back and neck were so stiff from the previous weeks that my hands were numb. 
 Did I say we were tired. I didn't see these pictures until after our drive.  Sammy and Henry rode in Kaleb and Victoria's lap.  They look a little crammed. Aah it's good for them.
 Spoiled Rotton Dogs.
 Kaleb had moved into the van with Daphne and I.  I could barely see him because he was way in the back and I had left the middle seats at my cousins in Idaho so we could pack valuables in the van.
Sammy makes a good pillow for poor Victoria.  Henry was sitting on the floor with his head resting on the seat.
Kirk took this himself.  I don't know what is more cute, the distant stare of Victoria riding along bored out of her mind or Sammy resting his chin on the back of Kirk's seat while sitting in Victoria's lap.
Mattie and Toby did amazingly well.  I felt they were told old at the age of 15 to drug them for the trip so they did it "cold turkey".
They only howled for the first 3 hours and then when they figured that their situation wasn't changing I think they just gave up.  So they bumped along in their individual carriers set on top the ice chests facing eachother and where they can see out the front. 
They actually did quite well with "Cat Woman" (Daphne) sitting where she can talk to them to keep them calm.
Who knows how the hermit crabs did.  Every once in a while we would hear one of their shells crash into the glass making a clunk sound.  So we knew that they were crawling around their tank.
They probably thought there was a 14 hour earthquake or something.  I told them that they were going on an adventure.

It's funny, after 8 hours we pretty much have no pictures.  We were all so tired.
At one point we stopped in Ogden, just 1 hour away to gas up to make it the last leg of the trip.
It was dark, extremely windy, raining and so cold that Kirk and I were instantly shivering uncontrollably the minute we stepped out the door.  The kids didn't believe us that it was that cold but were not willing to get out to test it.  I think it had dropped down to 20 degrees with a wind chill probably making it below zero!  Atleast it felt like it.
We arrived in our new home atleast for the next year, tired, sore, and a little cold.
Victoria made it to the top of the stairs and crashed with her pillow.
Out like a light!
Day 1 of our new life.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Moving Day

October 15th, 2011
  The day we have been waiting for. 
 The day it all happens. 
A day of sadness and total excitement. 
The first day of the rest of our lives!
Our little home of 17 years.
There are so many memories that are embedded within the walls of this house. 
Memories that we will just have to bring with us.
On the flip side...I am so happy to not have to fix another thing on this house!
I am so happy to MOVE ON!!!
We are so blessed.  My sister Kim drives for Knight Transportation. 
She arrived early Sat. morning to help us load all of our worldly posessions into her truck.  She offered to drive it to our new home in Logan, Utah.
I don't really know how we would have done it without her. 
My heart skipped a beat when I saw her turn the corner onto our street.
It brought tears to my eyes. It was pretty cool to see her coming down the street in this enormous diesel truck.  The very sister I grew up with and played Barbies with when we were little.
My sister, the truck driver.
My Mom brought breakfast and lunch for all of our workers. 
We had homeschool and church friends and neighbors help us load the truck.
The kids later told us that moving day was a great day and a lot of fun.
There was quite a bit of laughter, playing and kidding around that took place.
I had everything boxed to try to make it easier for all our helpers.
We couldn't have done it without them.
It was so hot.  We took two lunch breaks and drank quite a bit of water with the temperatures in the high 90's to low 100's.
Something that is pretty much going to be a thing in the and sweaty.

Everything fit... from the refridgerator to the potter's wheel.
One of the delimmas that came with using my sister's truck was the fact that it came without a ramp.
She just backs up to loading docks and never needs a ramp.
After some thought, Kirk and my Dad collaborated and my Dad built a ramp, that my Mom said
"you can launch a rocket off it".
My Dad, the tool and die maker.
That ramp was so sturdy. 
We ran up and down it all day with boxes and furniture and it never shook!
Thanks Dad. 
Before moving day Kirk was sure that it would only take about 3 hours to load the trailer.  literally took 7 1/2 hours.
Unbelieveable I know!
It was hot and everything needed to be stacked and secured.
The BFF girls!
Or should I say crazy.  They found plenty to do while we loaded the trailer.

 We were exhausted that night.
We all slept in our living room that night on the floor and watched the Pirates of the Carribean on my laptop.
I think I fell asleep after the first 15 minutes.
We had a big day ahead of us driving 14 hours north with two cats in carriers and two dogs.
Kim and Kyle left ahead of us and will meet us in Logan on Monday morning sometime.
God's hands are in this move.
I can't wait to see what he has planned for the rest of our lives.