Saturday, March 31, 2007

Play Power

I'm supposed to be packing for our big spring vaca trip to Lake Powell, but that seems overwhelming, so I'm taking a break and posting instead. We've had a busy few days around here.

First, Nixon had the lead in his school play. Here he is as Finn O'Grady, a poor Irish boy who wants to win the hand of a fair lass in marriage, but must first learn to tell a tale. He doesn't know how to tell stories, but 3 leprechauns appear to teach him how. They teach him by telling 3 painfully long stories of their own, each one longer than the one before. At last, Finn gets to tell this girl's mom his own tale. It is about a sheep. He talks another boy into being the sheep. He walks around him, pulls on his "tail" (handkerchief) and the tail pulls off of the sheep.

Now imagine that you have already endured 1 1/2 hours of 4th and 5th graders acting in one of the dumbest things ever written. It's here! The big climax, the moment that will make all of the practices and costumes and work worth it. Here it is, the big punchline of the show: Imagine ...the tail comes off ...

Finn: "The End."
Mother Flatherty: "That's it? That's the longest story you could come up with?"
Finn: "Well, Mother Flatherty, the tale would have been longer, but it broke off!"


Nixon naturally, was darling. For more pictures, see this.

Friday was the first day of spring break. My laurels, Nixon and Easton, and I went to volunteer at a bowling tournament for Special Olympics. It was super fun! We had a great time, even after this dis concerning start to the day:

Volunteer Coordinator (to a group of 5 adults who walked in after us): "Are you here to volunteer or are you athletes?" They were there to volunteer.

Anyway, the games in the morning were children - Easton of course, made 5 new best friends, here is one of them:
I suppose I need to get busy on the packing thing. Have a great day!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Let's Raise Our Glasses ...

of Sprite in a toast to Rio. No, not that one that dances on the sand, oh Rio Rio, across the dusty land.

My tribute this evening is not to the 1st boy band of my childhood, but to my gotta have it once a week, can't believe how good this is, favorite place to eat. I speak, of course, of Cafe Rio.

I'm all about the steak taco, but I've never tried anything I don't like. The salads are yummy, the burritos are filling (and 2 meals at least!), my kids LOVE the quesa-dillas even though they are too old to get them free.

I wish we had one in Park City, but Salt Lake is only 20 minutes away, so I won't complain. There are 2 locations programmed in my cell phone so that I can call my order in when I'm in a hurry.

Feel free to toast your similar obsessions, whether they be for Cafe Rio, or a similar, although surely inferior place!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Spring Un-sprung

I regretfully must retract this.

Break out the winter layers again! It is being replaced by this:
That's my backyard at 10am today.

The most redeeming thing about Park City snow in March (besides the fact that I have a great excuse to ski tomorrow) is that it is apparently magic snow. See how it collects everywhere but the roads, driveways, and sidewalks? Hopefully that statement is not tomorrow's retraction. Has it really only been a week since I was here?:

I was lucky, lucky, lucky to get to attend the General YW Leaders Open House in Salt Lake yesterday. (It's a training day for young women leaders). It got me thinking about how my wardrobe lacks a pastel color suit. Just kidding! It was inspiring. Now that the church posts basically everything ever said at these meetings on line, the only notes I really take are of things that come to me that I need to be doing ...of course, I have lots to be doing differently. When I go to stuff like this or conference, I try to review the MANY things I have written down and come up with 3 things I'm really going to focus on. Here are my 3 from yesterday's training:

1. I need to PAVE the way for the Spirit to be in my home. My time in Primary helped me understand my responsibilities to teach the gospel in my home. My time in Young Women's is doing the same for my understanding of my role in setting the tone and atmosphere in our home. Anyway, I've got lots of improving to do here.

2. Sister Dalton and Beck had scriptures marked by categories that YW might need to hear - identity, standards, leadership, the Holy Ghost. The scriptures were all listed in the back together, but also color-coded with post-it flags. So you need a scripture to help a YW understand who she is, you can just open to any of the little red flags. I LOVE it! I'm going to work personally on it and also I think we'll do some marking together with the girls and their own scriptures at Girl's Camp.

3. Prayer is our most powerful tool. We are good about family prayer and study, and personal prayers at night are pretty easy for me to remember, but I'm super bad about starting my day and forgetting to kneel by myself and pray, and let's face it - isn't the beginning of the day when we need it most? So I'm going to work on that. I've been thinking about doing prayer sticks in YW where every week a girl's name gets pulled and the girl giving the opening prayer prays for the name on the stick. They talked about the power of girls praying for each other, and so I'm making sticks today.

That's a lot of rambling. If you're still with me, thanks. Thanks to all you commenter's also - it really is fun to read your comments!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Satisfaction Guaranteed ...

or your money back! No, I'm not referring to a guarantee on the valuable time you spent reading this blog (that you can never get back!). I'm referring to the incredible, amazing seduction of the INFOMERCIAL.

Fess' up! What have you been sucked into buying, only to realize it was a waste of money, and too humiliated to call and demand your money back, decided to take the loss as a life lesson?

When Sara was about 5, she became obsessed with the Shawala Wash. (OK, that's so old no one wants anything to do with that name and it is no where on the internet, but this is similar) She was convinced that our lives would be vastly improved by owning one. She begged, I'm pretty sure she tried to dial the 800 number herself, she cried. When Nixon and Easton were about the same age, the object of their affection was the Pops-A-Dent. Never mind there was not a single tiny dent on our car, they were convinced we needed one. Oh the power of TV advertising! I was a mean mom and never granted either one of these wishes. They all should have asked dad first, he's been lured into several of these amazing TV specials.

My downfall in the world of worthless junk from the TV was the Perfect Pancake. The kids begged and begged. I finally relented, I mean, who doesn't want to make perfect pancakes?! I recommend this product to anyone who lives ALONE! It makes one pancake at a time, and not quickly! How many people with 3 kids can make breakfast ONE pancake at a time? Needless to say, the perfect pancake has long since gone to the DI. (That's Utah-speak for Goodwill)

I bring this up because I am the proud new owner of this. This is what happens when you leave your husband alone for 5 days! I promise to eat my words and apologize when his abs turn rock hard. Until then, I'm counting down my 90 days ...

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Where, oh where did my weekend go?

Is it just me, or are the weekends going by faster every week? I'm so not ready for school to start again tomorrow! How many days until summer?

Friday night, Easton went to a birthday party, Nixon to a friend's house, Sara to dance, Geoffrey and I went to dinner with his sister's and a movie. Saturday started EARLY with a temple trip for us, dance for Sara, some house cleaning, work for Geoffrey, watching one of my young women play volleyball, a hockey game for Nixon (complete with a goal!), the young women general meeting broadcast, and Sara went out with friends. Whew! It was nice to have 2 spiritual experiences during the day - the broadcast was amazing and always helps get me even more excited for conference!

Here's a shot of the goal - that's Nixon in the yellow pullover and red helmet. Look close, and you'll see the puck in the net too!
Sunday was full of church and meetings (2 of us in leadership positions is killing our Sunday downtime!). It's been a long time since we had a Sunday without company for dinner, so we took advantage and took our dinner out for a picnic. We drove up towards Daniel's Summit, but stopped before we got there at a little park. We ate, hiked up a small trail, and played some family football. It was so great to get outside and spend some fun time together - we needed it! Pretty much, the football game consisted of Geoffrey and whomever was on his team at the moment destroying the rest of us. This picture pretty much sums it up:

Well, only 5 more days until the next weekend, let's hope it lasts a little longer!

Friday, March 23, 2007

Just one more day ...

I'll just stay in California one more day ... That's how my trip that was supposed to end on Monday ended with us coming home late Wednesday night (or early Thursday, however you want to describe it!). I could have one more day-ed myself for 3 weeks, but alas, Nixon has the lead in the school play next week and couldn't miss anymore practices! Trip pics here!

No worries, I'm grateful for every second I spent there (thanks honey for letting me go and thanks Steph and Talon for letting me invade). It was so great!
When we lived in California, I think I was pretty good at neglecting housework when the beach or Disneyland called us, but I'm not sure I searched out every spare minute to spend time with my friends and just relax with them. Was I taking them for granted? Shouldn't we all live more like we are on vacation and less like we do? Would we be better at going out of our way for our kids to do the things that bring them joy?

Speaking of bringing joy to our children ...

Possibly the greatest moments of their lives! Yea for Becky who offered to sign us into Disneyland (and extend our trip one more day!). Boo to all you crazy moms buying your kids Jedi outfits and making signs so your kids will get chosen to be Jedis! Jedi Training Academy is as competitive as beauty pageants for toddlers! For the record ...since Nixon and Easton were perfectly content to do NOTHING but sit at the Jedi Training Academy until they were chosen, I did break down and buy some overpriced Disney markers so they could make themselves little signs. It worked, so our 3rd try (1st with signs though!), they were both chosen.

Anyway ...I loved seeing the people I did, I wish I'd had a few one more days to get to talk more to some of you, I can't wait to come back. I'm going to spend more time looking around me here, asking what I would do if I came here on vacation, who would I be dying to spend more time with, and I'm going to live like that a little more!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Supermarket Sweep

When you hear the beep, think of all the fun you'd have on Supermarket Sweep!

When Tim lived with us, he and I LOVED to watch Supermarket Sweep. We never missed it and I don't know why we never tried to get on it, we would have rocked! We were always yelling at the TV, "don't get that, you're wasting your time!" So last night, I had my own little supermarket sweep:

24 boxes of cereal for $16.00!!

When we lived in California, my in-laws were always trying to say how much cheaper the cost of living was in Utah. That's turned out to be mostly false, (you pay way more for some things here, but I'll save a rant about pedicures for another post), but CEREAL goes on sale cheap all the time. So I'm filling my car to take to a great lady who I know feeds the priests in her ward cereal every Sunday night!

The best part of the supermarket trip was that there was only one check stand open, and the lady rung it up wrong to start with. So the manager had to come over and void it all out so she can start over. Then the manager had to come unlock her drawer because the checker had already put my coupons in the drawer, and all the while, the line of people completely ANNOYED with me is growing longer and longer. I don't care - all that cereal for $16.00 - TOTALLY WORTH IT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Spring is Springing?!

I can't say it has sprung, because that'll probably get me nothing but 3 feet of snow next week, but boy is it warm today! We moved here this week last year. Our yard had snow up to the top of our deck until the middle of April. Today, you can see patches of grass. (By grass, I mean gross brown matted down junk)

There was no school on Monday, and after I picked Nixon and his buddies up from the ski resort, the neighborhood boys were out in full force - on bikes and playing basketball and all wearing shorts!

This is also the first day since Fall that I have not worn these:
Really. I wear a pair (not the same one!) under jeans, skirts, dresses (I just wear black tights and high boots). I think the best part about spring is I will instantly appear to have lost 5 pounds to everyone who has seen me with this extra layer all winter!

For you lightweights in California, when I say it is super warm, I mean it is in the 60's here. I even broke out the capris, short sleeve shirt, and Rainbows today. I didn't even know my skin could get this white. Yikes!

I'm going to stop typing and get outside and enjoy the warm while I can, possibly blinding the neighbors with my white arms and legs. Hope the weather is great where you are!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

California Here I Come ...

...Right back where I started from! Really! It will be a short trip, but that's OK, I'm still SUPER excited! Sorry Talon, Geoffrey is not coming, but at least he's FINALLY letting me out of the house. Maybe he thinks a year in Park City has been long enough that he doesn't have to worry about me claiming asylum and trying to stay in the Golden State. (We'll find out, won't we?)

The Mission Viejo Stake is doing a musical. No kidding, that really is a link to their website - that stake knows how to overachieve (I love it!). I can't imagine missing the chance to see Stephanie tap dance - I know she's having so much fun learning her parts! And I can't wait to stay up all night talking to her!

I think Sara is going to the LDS Prom also. Hopefully she'll find a date and not be the sad lonely girl all by herself.

I also need to give Kai some hugs. I think those 3 things will pretty much fill the 2 days I have to spend there, but that's OK!

See you soon!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

It's A Good Thing

I thought I would celebrate what is great about small time Park City life today. I could fill several posts with past events (like the 4th of July when all the stores on Main Street are closed and the WHOLE town shows up for a parade and you see all your neighbors), or talk about knowing someone everywhere you go (did you know we only have 4 elementary schools, 1 Middle School, 1 Jr. High, and 1 High School?) but I'm too lazy to look for pictures of that stuff, so here's what is good about today:

Good Thing #1:
The LOST and FOUND. There is one local radio station, KPCW, and once an hour, they read a list of lost and found items. It cracks me up. A lot of dogs, cameras, and phones. Sometimes, the owner calls it like it is and the listing reads: STOLEN, skis and poles ... I just find the whole exercise of listening to people's lost and founds items entertaining. They read their phone numbers on the air too!

Good Thing #2:
The MILKMAN. Every Thursday, he brings me yummy milk with no hormones.

He puts my stuff in this fancy cooler:

I can also order farm fresh eggs, dairy products, organic produce, and other items. So far, we LOVE the bacon and the salsa. The closest Costco is in Salt Lake (only 30 minutes away), but this sure cuts down on the number of Costco trips I need.

Good Thing #3:
Cool Stuff like the JR. Olympics. Yesterday, we went and watched our darling neighbor boys, 2 of whom had made it to the JR. Olympics.
This is Andrew:

You can see lots of pictures of them here. We're so lucky to live this close to fun things like this! Of course, now my boys want to cross country ski too. I'd love to buy more ski equipment honey, of course!

So to sum up what's great about Park City today - small town feel, plenty of big city dining, shopping, and entertainment! Hope that made you want to visit us soon!

Monday, March 5, 2007

R.I.P. Dear Friend

A moment of silence please for our old friend. He lived a long life, he served us well, but his time was up:

Many of you have questioned where I find the time to invest into something like a blog, especially at the same time I'm working on getting all of our old pictures onto our Smugmug site. Well, here is the answer:

Our TV has died.

It happened one sad evening in January. One minute we're laughing at Michael Scott, the next we're staring a blank screen. Fortunately, everyone in my family remembers that a few years ago it was ME who decided that our family should be a ONE TV house. I stick to my decision, even during this trial. Having one TV make us spend more time together and teaches us compromise and problem solving skills.

It's pretty quiet around here - we've gone many times without cable, but you could still play Playstation or watch movies. We have learned that a lot of our board games involve DVD's. I've also learned a lot of the TV shows I watch can be watched on line now. You just have to put up with commercials, which a hard adjustment after TIVO has spoiled you. Maybe we're bonding more as a family or something. I just know that baseball season is fast approaching, and I don't think Geoffrey will survive much longer without breaking down and buying us a new TV.

So that little red TIVO light does taunt me every night, recording and saving?! my favorites. Here's what I've been missing:

We never miss: 24, The Office

We try to always watch: Survivor, My Name is Earl, The Amazing Race, Lost, Grey's Anatomy

When we can, we like to see: Best Week Ever, American Idol,

Seriously, I'm enjoying having one less distraction in my life. Of course, I've replaced it with this blog, but that's just bringing me closer to my friends, right?

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Summon Your Eagle Powers

I thought I would continue on the elevated theme and move onto Eagle Powers. This fall, I had this great idea that we should have a family motto. I envisioned something spiritual and inspiring, something that, when my children are speaking at General Conference someday (is that wrong to think about?), they will talk about - you know, the family motto that got them through the hard times.

I love the grand ideas I get. I spent hours searching for ideas. Here are some of the family mottos I loved and wanted to use:

*The Gospel is True and We Love You
*Be Where You are Supposed to Be, When You are Supposed to Be There, Doing What You are Supposed to Be Doing
*Get Ready to Serve

Feel free to use any of these for yourselves. I thought that my
partner in parenting should have some input into the process. I approached him, explained I wanted us to choose a family motto during family home evening that week, and I thought we should be on the same page before we talked to the kids. BIG MISTAKE. First, Sir Geoffrey thought the whole idea was lame and didn't want to talk about it. Second, when I tried to push the issue, I got what I deserved - a statement of non-cooperation. He said "Whatever Easton says first is what it is going to be".

I spent a few days trying to plant seeds in the children's minds to steer them in my direction, but when the big evening arrived and we told the kids what we were doing, Easton jumped up from his spot on the floor and shouted "Summon Your Eagle Powers!" Geoffrey said "Done!" This was followed by exactly 48 minutes of our 3 children quoting their new favorite movie:
Nacho Libre. Not just quoting, but also acting out scenes, specifically, the scene where Jack Black leans against a wall, says "These are my recreation clothes" and clenches his butt muscles. Easton is an expert at this. He has even figured out that since he has no butt whatsoever, he has to pull the top of his pants WAY up and give himself a wedgie before you can see what he is doing.

So 48 minutes into
Family Home Evening, all we had accomplished was laughing until our sides hurt and a family motto that came from Jack Black. Wow, my ability to bring the Spirit into our home amazes even me.

This is not what Easton was wearing for Family Home Evening, but it IS Easton, and it does give you an idea of what I am up against in my house:

I did attempt to redeem the motto quest by giving everyone a week to come up with a spiritual reason why this should be our family motto. The kids did a pretty good job of finding scriptures and analogies to support this as a good idea. They may never remember them, but they do often quote our family motto and laugh. So I guess someday they will remember we laughed a lot.

Now you know our Family Motto. And now you know why my children will never be asked to speak at General Conference.