Saturday, November 29, 2014


Samson came to us 6 years ago.
He was out on his own roaming the streets when he was picked up by a friend.
He slept for three days straight and was the weirdest looking puppy I had ever seen.
His back legs are so short that they look like they belong to some other dog. His neck is that of a basset hound and his head is that of a Queensland Heeler.
His nose....definitely basset.
He sniffs the carpet so deeply, that we are sure that there are objects stuck to the basement ceiling. He is the biggest baby when it comes to loud noises. July is a hard month for him.
His tongue, I am positive, is that of a giraffe. He has the longest prehensile tongue that we have ever witnessed. And boy does he use it.
He has eaten a tub of butter, an entire box of Cheezeits, a entire loaf of freshly baked zucchini bread,
among lots of other goodies. But most recently, he and his accomplice Henry, ate two loaves of cinnamon bread!

November in a Flash!

I love Autumn!
I love Summer too. And both seasons have just zoomed past us.
Is there such a thing as getting a grip on life?

 Life has had it's ups and downs. One of the ups is that Nana and Poppa are in our lives!
I think I know where I get some of my crazy ideas.
 Victoria is right up there. No way will she be left behind.
Notice the cow watching them to the left.
Victoria managed to get her presentation on Jamestown completed in time for the History Fair.
We had a great time researching Jamestown together.
 Jared has now learned to not hit the brakes when you start to slide on the snow. 
The girls saw him do it at a very slow speed. 
Glad to know he wasn't driving too fast.
 Jared offered to drive the girls to ice skating just down the street.
After he did it, Victoria ran up to him to ask him if he wanted her to call me for help.
She is such a take charge kind of girl.
 We called the tow truck since there was actually a foot and a half drop off on the other side of the curb. The guy said he had pulled someone off that very spot a week earlier because they weren't paying attention and just drove over the curb. I told Jared that at least he didn't do something stupid like that. His mishap is all about learning to drive in the snow.
 Three days later......
Daphne's in the emergency room getting stitches (actually glued) under her chin. 
She slipped and fell on the kitchen floor. 
This has been a rough month.
 Jared now comes home from "school" filthy dirty!
And smiling. Always.
Oh, and his Carhartt jacket is his new best friend.
 I had toast in the morning and found this crumb...
And then I dropped it on the floor by accident where the dog ate it.
How he saw that I have no idea.
 Our 4H group has been learning all about cake decorating. They practically begged to build gingerbread houses. They planned it all and had a wonderful time together.

Believe it or not, I don't have a single picture of Thanksgiving with my cousin Kathy, Troy and Blue, at my parents new house.
Our family is thankful for so much.
We are thankful for the roof over our heads,
the food on our table,
gas in the car,
a warm bed to sleep in,
and a God who loves us.

October in a Blink!

Okay....are you ready?
It starts off serene....
 We hiked the Springhollow Trail
 Jared...acting cool. Because, you know, when you are 18, you think your family is full of dorks.
 Sisters holding hands. Not because they love each other. Because I got sick of listening to them gripe about each other and how "she" this and "she" that. Holding hands always cures them.
 Just after this hike we found out that a dear friend of ours died tragically at the age of 18. These trees make remind me how it feels when time stands still.
That is how I felt when we heard.
 Time slowed down and then sped up quickly just after this hike.
 Kaleb always makes me laugh at the stuff he comes up with.
 We're heading in now to Birthdays!
Victoria and Daphne both had a birthday in the same week. 
What a whirlwind week. They enjoyed sharing it with Nana and Poppa.
 Hawaiian Luau party inspired by the American Girl story Molly.
Victoria even decorated her own cupcakes.

 Scouts at our house making neckerchief toggles for our Scout buddy Cameron who passed away tragically. It helped with coping. Cameron loved the Broncos and was very opinionated regarding the Broncos. So of course they made toggles in orange and blue in memory of Cameron.
 The only non-blurry picture from the Pumpkin Walk
 Cake again! Happy 22 Daphne.
 Jared showing us the progress of the house they are building for school....and showing us all the blood spots that he has dripped.
So far, he has hammered his thumb and fingers multiple times, got nailed with a nail gun in the wrist, whacked his chin with a tress (and probably needed stitches but didn't get them), fell off the roof.....and has bled many times. 
I bought him a box of bandaids and duck tape to keep in the car.
 Victoria at the Howl-o-Ween Dog Agility show. She got to try Henry out on the agility course. He loved it ....of course. Can you see the devil wings?
 Victoria's monster cupcake that she decorated in her 4H group.
I prepared frosting ahead of time for 10 weeks! 
I am so happy we are at the end of the semester now. Whew!
 Halloween Pumpkins
We grew so many pumpkins this year. Victoria just kept running out to the porch to grab another pumpkin to carve. there were no limits. Daphne, Jared and Kaleb got in on the action as well.
 Thanks to Daphne, Victoria had an invisible dog to walk and Kirk made her a gigantic milk bone. Daphne had an invisible horse. I can't find the picture, when I find it I will have to post it.
Recognize the tiki head? Kaleb's paper mache project that he entered into the fair?
Kirk won a $25 gift card for his costume.
 We thought we would be smart and have a fire since it is usually freezing cold on Halloween. 
Not this year...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Happy 50th Rich!

We met at a beautiful park in Provo to celebrate Rich's 50th Birthday.
He traveled from Hawaii!
It stormed so heavily that I thought for sure we were going to wash away.
All the guests were huddled under the pavilion.
It was great that my parents were able to share this with him. 
Did I mention that it was pouring rain?
 Marley with her Poppa!
It is so hard to believe that Rich is a Grandfather and has such a beautiful little grand daughter.
It was great to see him.
Aloha Cuz!

No Words.....

School Work

The family carpenter.
Jared is really enjoying himself!
 At this point they had poured the basement and layed the trusses for the floor.
 Jared hangs out with a nice group of young men, though Jared is the youngest, they have quite a bit to offer each other. I love to hear the stories of the day.
 Before he started the program he was never tired at 9pm. I had told him that it will happen someday that he will be exhausted at the end of the day and when that happens I want him to come to me and say "Mom, it's happened....I'm tired."
Well, it happened. It was 7 pm about 5 weeks into the program and Jared sat at the dinner table and said, "Mom, it's happened....I am exhausted and feel like going to bed. It's only 7 oclock!"
We all had a good laugh.
Jared being the night owl that he is, is no longer a night owl. I always knew that, that might happen but it was so hard to see that when he was only 13 months old wanting to play at 2 am.
 We are really proud of the man he is becoming. His instructor is a man of good character as well. I love to have my kids around good mentors. An answered prayer.
I am bummed, just after we left, Jared is the only one that is of a good weight to ride out on that stick that they flatten the cement with. That would have been a great picture.

Pumpkins for Sale

Kaleb and Victoria are selling pumpkins for only a dollar.
So far they have sold $38 worth.
Not to mention a few spaghetti squash.
We think Kirk planted those because we don't know where they came from.

Practice, Practice, Practice

I guess it doesn't matter if you wear roller skates while practicing your violin....
just as long as you get it done!

Canoeing Merit Badge

We took a group of scouts out to Mantua Lake to finish the Canoeing Merit Badge with the help of Nana and Poppa's trailer. We made it a family affair.
We had 4 canoes and 1 kayak.
 The boys had done all the book work but now needed the practical, hands on work to do.
It is kind of funny, Kaleb could teach the merit badge on his own with his 7 years of experience canoeing but he hadn't earned the merit badge. So now he is official. He did finish all the requirements....easy peasy.
 At first most of the boys were a little uncertain about getting into the canoes with them wobbly. Of course there is the thought that it would tip over. Well, they got over that so fast it wasn't funny. Within the hour they were tipping them over on purpose, which was a requirement, again and again.
They loved the challenge of having to try to get back into it if they went over the side.
One canoe with two of the younger scouts in it, tipped it over, and then tried to right it out in the water. So they were sitting in full of water paddling to the shore. Within a couple minutes, the canoe, full of water, would tip over and then they would be on top of it again. Of course they all had life jackets on which was even more fun for them to not have to worry too much of keeping their heads above water.
Daphne's kayak came in handy. Jared or Kirk would patrol them out in the lake. We had a heck of a time getting them in when it was time to leave. They had no intentions of going home. 
Jared enjoying the perks of being an adult leader.

Life Scout

Kaleb is already on his way to working on his Eagle Scout rank now that he is a Life Scout.
For the first time, he had Nana and Poppa at his Court of Honor.
He said it was a special one to share it with them.
He also just got elected Senior Patrol Leader.
I am pretty proud of them. Boy Scouts has given my guys lots of opportunities to grow in leadership and time management skills. Not to mention that this is a great group of boys and men. We are really blessed to be a part of Troop 1.

Full Blast or Out Cold

Henry always cracks me up over the places he chooses to take a nap.
And the crazy part is that he won't move if he is in the way.
He doesn't care.
Even if you accidentally knock him with your foot, he still doesn't move. Where as, if you accidentally do that to Samson, he jumps and whines like a baby that you touched him with your foot,


Alexander is doing great...
as you can see.
Kirk had the slide down on the grass and up side down to repair a tear with fiberglass patch.
Of course Alex has to see what you are doing.
He spent over an hour just cruising through the tunnel. We purposely left it down a little longer for him to do this. He was enjoying himself.
The guys had barely bolted the slide in place and he was ready to test it out.
I will never forget the day that he was grown enough to get onto the yellow slide as opposed to his cut off green slide. He definitely likes a challenge.

The Bug Whisperer

A couple of things I have noticed about living in Cache Valley is the size of the praying mantises.
And that Kaleb is always playing with them at this time of the year...
That and any other bug that he finds.
Just as long as he doesn't throw grasshoppers into Daphne's hair we are good.