Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Am ...I Said ... A Fan

of Neil Diamond! Lesa celebrated her birthday in a big way with a girl's night out trip to the Neil Diamond concert. It was way better than a trip to Chuck E. Cheese and a goodie bag! Our seats were awesome and who doesn't love to get all sequined out and go scream at a 67 year old man?
For a 67 year old man, Neil's still got the moves. The moves haven't changed a bit either! Also of interest ...we were just about the youngest people in attendance! Thanks to these great ladies - I love them all!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Election Perspective

It has been a while since the big day, but I had a post election moment too profound to skip over.
The day after the election we had some snow. I was rushing to get the boys to school, backing slowly out of my driveway when I felt the van bump against something. The bump didn't alarm me as much as the shattering glass noise that came with it. I whipped my head around faster than a group of 13 year olds who just saw Zac Efron.

The bump? Our empty trashcan that had been neglected the night of trash day. The shattering sound? My rear window. So here I am - in my gym clothes - kids to get to school, snow falling and getting heavier. What's a girl to do? Drive her kids to school of course. As I'm driving more and more of the window is falling down into the back of the van, each bump in the road followed by the pleasant tinkling sound of cascading glass. It entertained those boys all the way to school! I didn't even go home - just kept driving to Salt Lake to an auto glass shop that Geoffrey had visited for work the previous month.

The shop is next to a salvage yard. I'm in this one room office/waiting area in a hard plastic chair feeling the winter air every time the door is opened, listening to the phone ringing off the hook and the price quote given to all these callers, the workers coming in and out with questions, and the pleasant sound of power tools. As I'm sitting (in my gym clothes!) waiting for our window to be replaced, the owner and his workers are discussing the previous day's events. One worker turns to me and says "Did you vote? Wasn't it great? You have a black man for your president. What a great country!"

He proceeds to tell me that in his country, he had no opportunity to vote for who he wanted. Then he tells me how in the winter his family would flee to the mountains and live in caves to escape the government who was trying to kill them because of their ethnic background. How they used to say the mountains were their only friends. Now they say their only friends are the mountains and America. How great he thinks America is because America helped his country.

He is from Iraq - a Kurd. And he could have cared less if Obama or McCain won our election. He was so excited to talk about it - like a little kid talking about Disneyland! He thought the process, the fact we could vote - that either man could have won was awesome. That a person who belongs to a minority in our country was elected. And he's right. I may not have been thrilled about the election results, but I should be grateful for the opportunity to participate!

On the other election front ...

Nixon rocked his speech. He went the Dwight route - carefully listened to Dwight's speech over and over and changed it to be about 6th graders.

6th Graders of Ecker Hill Unite!
We are Students!
We must never cede control of our education!

He wrote on his little speech each time he would bang on the podium (Bang 2 times). I was soooo nervous - you've got to sell something like that, not just stand up and read off of a piece of paper. My nerves were wasted. He was hilarious. I doubt many kids got the Dwight Schrute references, but they did know they loved Nixon. They laughed and cheered and I knew before we left he would win. Two girls walking out in front of us were talking about who they voted for. "Of course I voted for Nixon. EVERYONE voted for Nixon."

We left for Arizona right after the speech. They were not announcing the winners until the next day, so I asked a nice lady from the school to call us while we were gone and let us know if he had won or not. Then we had the front desk from the hotel call our room and deliver the good news. I caught the moment with my trusty Canon:

Now someone has to be early to school every Wednesday for Student Council Meetings. Congratulations Mom!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The Post Where I Try to Catch Up

Long time, no post. Sorry 'bout that. We were doing all the stuff everyone else has already posted about like

Fall Leaves

UEA Trip


Football Playoffs

Visiting Bodyworlds


By now you've read plenty about that on other blogs. Think of our experiences as similar. Only probably less organized and involving more loud laughter. Check out the links to photos if you're really dying to see my family do that stuff.

I may be the only woman in blogland without links to something Twilight related. Teenage vampire love story? I'll pass thank you very much.

We moved into a new house about 5 weeks ago. I'm a lot closer to feeling settled, made it through the 1600 pictures I had on my camera and I'm ready to rejoin the world. I felt overwhelmed at all those photos untouched and needing attention, but as I buckled down and went through them I remembered why I love to take pictures so much:

These people melt my heart. I love it all - the laughing, the occasional crying, the snuggling, the moments of joy and pride and love, the crazy busy schedule, the coveted lazy afternoon together, even the piles of ski stuff and bikes and books that appear out of nowhere and the army guys hung off the stairs - love it all!

As our sweet Elder Wirthlin said: "Come What May and Love It! The pictures are my way of remembering how much I really do love the journey part of this life. I never even really realized that is why I loved photographing my family so much until this summer when I was editing pictures from our Stake Trek and Girl's Camp and I was crying, yes crying - my heart was so full of love for those young women and I recognized that was how I felt about my family ALL the time.
I realize I may not always be the best mom - the one these kiddos deserve or the best wife. I'm not super sugary sweet like a lot of moms I admire. I make my kids do a lot of things other moms do - they have to make their own lunches and help with laundry and make their own beds and I'm very little help with those dumb projects for school. I'm often too quick to criticize and too slow to praise. I'm not sure I tell my husband how much I love and appreciate him enough. But I see love for them in every photo I take and I take a lot of photos. I catch all of them (even Geoffrey) looking at pictures and scrapbooks so I hope they see my love there too. And maybe I'll start saying I love you out loud every time I snap that shutter so they really do know how my heart is melting at that minute!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

When You Name Your Child ...

...Nixon, have you been secretly planning his first student council campaign since birth?
You'll have to ask Geoffrey! You're Welcome parents of Park City Middle Schooler's for educating your children about a great American president. Because not a single one of your kids understood these campaign posters and Nixon has had to explain it over and over:

Geoffrey also wanted to take a picture of Nixon with a dog and have a "Checkers is Not a Bribe" poster. Even Nixon thought that was too much. Unfortunately, the school has a policy against any kind of button, or shirt, or handout. Too bad, because we wanted to make some of these:

or maybe:

Tuesday is the day for the big speech and election. Nixon is deciding between two different speech styles. Poor kid - our sense of humor in this house is so warped! Do you think he should try a Michael - carry the music in and throw out cliche's, or a Dwight - pound his fists and yell a lot? (this clip of Michael misses the best part - the beginning where he carries in the CD player)

Yea Conference!

When Geoffrey coaches hockey or baseball, whenever a kid comes off the ice, he tells them something they did good and something they can work on to improve. That's how I always feel about conference - there's always a few messages that make me say "Yea, I'm on the right track there" and a few that make me say "OK, I should be working on that a little harder!" I love conference!

This was the first time Nixon could go to Priesthood, and we had tickets for Geoffrey and Nixon for priesthood and for all of us Sunday morning. We stayed downtown in Salt Lake and had a GREAT time! It rained all weekend, but nice steady rain, no miserable downpours. It was so fun to walk everywhere and just hang out. While the men were at priesthood, Easton and I went to Deseret Book Ladies Night, then we walked to the Capital Theater to pick Sara up from dance, then we all met for dinner.

We might have had too much fun. We had to be up pretty early Sunday - by the time we got into our seats and listened to the choir practice for Music and the Spoken Word, we were all pretty tired. So the lights dim - Music and the Spoken Word starts and about 25 minutes later I wake up to see my WHOLE FAMILY asleep. Not subtle-nod-the-head asleep, but sprawled out on their chairs, probably snoring asleep! Nice! Well, I let them all sleep 5 more minutes before I woke them up for the start of conference. It was a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2008

You say Tomato ...I say Yummmmmm

I am so lucky to work with some of the most TALENTED ladies ever in my calling - I love them! Valine is capable of doing all things - sewing, scrapbooking, card making, quilting - she excels at everything, but it is her culinary skills I am most in awe of. I have not yet mastered cookies at this elevation - you should see the BREAD she makes!

To get to the yummy part ...she has raised a daughter as talented as she. This recipe came from the kitchen of Camille. I splurged on heirloom tomatoes at farmer's market. They were so sweet I didn't need to add any sugar to this recipe at all!

Tomato Bisque Soup

6-8 Roma Tomatoes (or any kind)
2 cans Tomato soup (10 1/2 ox. cans)
1 cup Chicken Stock ( I use homemade stock from my freezer)
1/2 cup beef stock (or canned beef consomme')
1 small bunch fresh basil
1/2 cup sugar (you might use more or less)
1 1/2 cups cream
Salt and pepper to taste

Roast tomatoes in oven at 375 degrees until tops begin to blacken (about 1-1 1/2 hours). To roast the tomatoes cut them open and place them cut side up in a 9x13 pan. Drizzle olive oil on top with salt and pepper.

In a large pot combine tomato soup, chicken stock and beef stock. Take the tomatoes from the oven and place three or four in a blender with some liquid. Puree until smooth. Repeat with remaining tomatoes and liquid. Add puree to pot and let simmer on medium heat (do not boil). Add sugar until mixture is slightly sweet, then add cream. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

The recipe didn't say when to add the basil - I added it at the sugar step. I also had a few purple peppers from the market - I roasted and pureed those with the tomatoes. I topped with fresh Parmesan cheese and homemade croutons (chunks of sourdough bread; shake in bag with melted butter, garlic, and Parmesan cheese - bake in oven until crispy).

If you're in a nice mood - make your hubby's favorite desert while the tomatoes are roasting:

Soup weather is here! Do you have a favorite?

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Remember that One Time at Band Camp?

Picture the first day of band/orchestra for the year. 40 eager students each about to make a decision that puts them on the path to greatness, musical genius, or possibly the path to nerd-dom, marching band and band camp.

Teacher (aka, adult who missed the first path and landed smack in the middle of the second): "Today we will choose instruments."

5th Graders: "Yea! We're so cool! We're in the 5th grade!"

Teacher: "Here are some small, inexpensive instruments that will be easy to carry to school and affordable for your parents. Plus, 90 % of you will choose these small instruments and I will never know which one of you is screwing up the songs we are playing. Here are some enormous instruments that are hard to handle, hard to play, hard to take care of, hard to transport back and forth to school, and super expensive for your parents. Only one or two of you will choose these instruments and I will always know when you are screwing up and constantly single you out in class for being off beat or playing a wrong note."

95 % of 5th Graders: "I choose small, cheap, and easy!"

Nixon and Easton (arms straining in the air, faces red from maxium exertion to be noticed by teacher): "I choose tuba/bass! There is noooo place in our tiny house for something that big. What could possibly make our 5th grade year even longer? Oh wait! This continues into the 6th grade?! When school is even further away and this will be tons harder for our parents to manage?! Sign us up!"

And that is the possible story of how we arrived here. The blog post where I can say ...

Introducing the next ...

Just like ...

Wants to play like ...

OK, I could not think of one famous tuba or bass player to finish those sentences with. I guess that means we're on the path to anonymous greatness. (I swear these pictures do not even begin to show how much bigger than my kids these things really are!)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Seriously So Funny

Have you ever felt depressed after looking at blogs for awhile?

Wondered why everyone else had such a great life and just went to Hawaii/Mexico/Disneyland while you were at home surrounded by piles of unfolded laundry, unanswered emails, unshopped for groceries?

Why they had kids who were clean and perfect while yours are currently stepping in the ice cream they spilled on the kitchen floor, tracking it around the house at the same time they are having an air soft battle with all the neighborhood kids in which the INSIDE of your house appears to be some sort of base and weapons are being fired at and from all doors and windows on the first floor?

Why their husbands bring them flowers every week when you are grateful for 5 minutes of uninterrupted conversation in any one day?

Well, I don't know anything about any of that, but I think that must be how this person felt when they created the ultimate mockery blog. Need a good laugh? Try If that doesn't work, come hang with me for an afternoon - I love my messy, air softing, busy life and I'd be happy to share with you!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Book of Mormon...

...battles that my mommy plans for me. hehe Some kids can sing about the stories their mom tells them, mine can sing about beating each other with foam swords! This is a waaaaaay after the fact post (this happened a year ago!), but due to popular demand, here are the details of the
Stripling Warrior Family Home Evenings and Battle:

This class totally changed how I read those chapters and inspired me to be a better mom and gospel teacher in my home. After Ed Week, my sweet friends always have an ed week lunch where we all share notes from the classes we went to. At this lunch we decided to implement this class together through some joint FHE's. Here's the invitation that went out (this thing has been on my fridge for a year, never mind the smudges!):

You know the invitation rule of thirds? Only 1/3 of people invited will attend?! Ha! That is how I ended up with over 50 people crammed into my little house for our first meeting - yes, that was almost 100% attendance! Any of you who have been to my house or were stacked on top of someone else that night are cracking up at the thought. Anyway, the first night we talked about why this was important:

From Ezra Taft Benson:
"The Book of Mormon was written for us today ...God, who knows the end from the beginning, told Mormon what to include in his abridgment that we would need for our day. Therefore, if the Book of Mormon prophets "saw our day and chose those things which would be of greatest worth to us, is not that how we should study the Book of Mormon? We should constantly ask ourselves, "Why did the Lord inspire Mormon (or Mornoni or Alma) to include that in his record? What lesson can I learn from that to help me live in this day and age? In the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Second Coming ...The record of the Nephite history just prior to the Savior's visit reveals many parallels to our day as we anticipate the Savior's second coming."

Yea, those war chapters you just breeze through? Guess what?! That was right before Christ came the first time! And that nation, on the brink of destruction is us - on the brink of spiritual destruction. And guess who saved them? A group of covenant keeping, prophet following, valiant, courageous, and obedient YOUTH. Who were taught by their mothers. Who knew their mothers did.not.doubt.

And dads, you are totally not off the hook here - We are told 7 times that they were TAUGHT, 4 times it specifically says by mothers. Well, guess where the dads were? If you Stripling Warrior, were too young (younger than 7) to covenant in 80 BC to lay down your weapons, then you are, at the oldest, 23, but probably closer to 16. And your dad is most likely found in Alma 24:22 - willing to die rather than break a covenant with your Heavenly Father. So dads, you count!

So our first night together focused on Alma 49-52- Fortifying. Each family had a pan of sand and a variety of sticks and building materials to read together and build and talk amongst themselves what heaps of earth and timbers and pickets and towers were for their family.

And thus we find what I think is KEY to successfully studying these chapters. YOUR FAMILY IS DIFFERENT FROM MY FAMILY. I can't tell you what defenses you need, or what tools Satan is most likely to use against you - I can only do that for my family. So we all went home from our first night with suggestions for the next 6 weeks of FHE ON OUR OWN.

The 6 suggestions were:

1. Alma 23 - Tell about Anti-Nephites/Lehites. Decide what needs to be buried in your family. Bury it! (We used paper swords that we wrote on and buried them in the backyard)
2. Search/Hunt your house for "weapons" Satan can use. Set family standards.
3. Alma 48 - Search house for signs of who your heroes are. Add/Replace with pictures of worthy heroes. What character traits are you looking for in heroes and friends?
4. Alma 43 - Decide what makes your armor and how you put it on daily. Build some armor! (Ours was made from cardboard and duct tape and we wrote the spiritual "stuff" on it)
5. Decide what weapons you have against Satan. Build some!
6. Alma 45 - Talk about raising your standards as a family. Make a Title of Liberty for your family.

At the end of the 6 weeks, we met together again. We had potluck dinner and a BATTLE. We ended up finding foam swords at the dollar store that were PERFECT, so everyone had the same swords, but the armor was all different. We had a testimony meeting too and it was awesome! The kids still talk about the battle part, but I remember most that first night singing Armies of Helaman and feeling so overwhelmed by all these people wanting to strengthen our families together. It was so cool. Lots of battle pictures here.

I do have more detailed notes from the class and I would be more than happy to email those to any of you. Just leave a comment.

And in case I sound a little too *whacko* about that battle stuff for you - we're not strapping any bomb backpacks on the kids! It is serious stuff though - please read this:
"There is another war that has gone on since before the world was created and which is likely to continue for a long time...That war, so bitter, so intense, has gone on and has never ceased. It is the war between truth and error, between agency and compulsion, between the followers of Christ and those who have denied Him...The war is waged across the world in and day out our own our homes, in our work, in our school associations; it is waged over questions of love and respect, of loyalty and fidelity, of obedience and integrity and we are all involved in it....a great eternal struggle that concerns the very souls of sons and daughters of God." Gordon B. Hinckley

Monday, September 22, 2008

Summer, Oh Summer... I long to grab you in my hands and squeeze as tight as I can so that you will just stay a little longer. You came so late this year (remember that snow AFTER school got out?), don't we deserve for you to leave late too?

By the time Fall is over, I'm ready for winter- pretty colors gone, bring on the snow! By the time Winter is over, I'm READY to move on. Spring? Blink and you might miss it up here, but summer ...I never want you to leave. Just a few more lazy days in the backyard, please?There are more air soft forts to be built:
More friends to hang out with:

Yet it is undeniable that fall is in the air. The mountains are turning beautiful colors, our windows have been shut at night for over a month, the schlepping of the hockey bags in and out of the rink has begun:

High School Football is in full swing (Geoffrey is the play-by-play guy for PCTV for Miners Football) and blogging about it once in a while here:

The salsa has been made (3 friends+12 hours = 48 quart jars!):

And the real signal that summer is dead: Nutcracker rehearsals are in full swing. 93 Days Until Christmas!
Yes, that's Sara leading those little soldier boys during auditions!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Sarah or Tina?

Sarah Palin and Tina Fey are different people? When I first saw McCain's running mate, I thought he HAD chosen Tina Fey!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Public vs. Private

Some background ...I have friends who have gone private with their blogs, and I did it for a while too, but anyone who knows us knows we are pretty open books about our lives. Who has not left a dinner with my husband and said at least once in the car on the way home "I can't believe he said that!"?

That having been said, my sweet daughter has someone bothering her online. They have tried to friend her on Facebook, sent messages after she has asked them not too, joined her networks as a sneaky back door attempt to see her profile, and NOW they are consistently viewing our blogs, and worse, our family photo site - looking at our precious memories and stealing our photos - creepy! She has let them know that their contact with her is unwelcome, yet they continue to behave this way.

So there's been some conversation in our home. She thought we should get a lawyer, send some kind of legal warning. We talked about making our blogs private, changing our Smugmug password to something only people we told would know. We talked about what it means to be respectful of other people and how best to respond when other people are not respectful of you.

The thing is, I don't mind sharing my life. I love sharing my pictures and smugmug has been blessing for my calling this summer - getting photos people wanted out a different way would have been a full time job for several people!

If you're reading this and you know me, chances are I love you and I'm glad you're reading this! If you're reading this and you're a stranger, let's be friends - I always love making new ones! Anyone is welcome here unless you have harassed my daughter - you're messing with mama instincts now! If you're reading this and you know I'm talking about you, please be respectful. Delete pictures you stole from me and don't return to this blog or Sara's or Geoffrey's or our picture site, and for goodness sake, leave her alone on Facebook.

September 11 was a good day to have this conversation. We haven't stopped getting on airplanes or going to public places because of terrorists and we decided as a family not to change the way we live online because of cyber terrorists.

Thanks for letting me share - Life is too short for worries, instead we'll focus on the fact that Life is Good.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Jack Bauer for Secretary of Defense

Sorry I couldn't get this to show up in the previous post, but here it is!

Don't You Just Want to Squeeze Her?

Look at this cutie - the new daughter of my brother Tim and his wife Romla. They are in Thailand, so it will probably be a while before I get to hold her. Yea for the internet - at least I get to see pictures of her!

Introducing Hana Madeline Markin:
And is just me, or does it look like Tim is trying to channel Jack Bauer? Tim after a few years laying on the beaches of Thailand: Jack Bauer after a few years in a Chinese prison:
That's OK - if we're lucky Jack Bauer will be our next Secretary of Defense:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

I have two new blogger friends I'm super excited for! First is Kara - too bad for all of you, she's private. She's also one of the kindest and most creative people I've ever met. I never get to talk to her anymore so I hope she blogs a lot!

Second is Stephanie. Her kids are hilarious and she always says "If I had blog I could write about that ....". So now she can!

She doesn't have any pictures yet, but lucky for her I took a few while she was visiting a few weeks ago! We spent a whole glorious week at Education Week and then her family stayed one way-too-short night with us and were here for Nixon's priesthood ordination. Thanks Talon!!

She probably wants to kill me for putting this picture of Sarelle about to make a tasty snack out of our friend Wade, but I couldn't resist - how darling is that little princess?
And why couldn't our kids help us take a normal picture anyway?

Love you gals! Hope to see lots of updating and pictures :).

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

12 Years Already?!

Our little buddy is 12 today (oh, after midnight already? Make that yesterday!). I can hardly believe it! His big day started with presents before dad left for work (his dreams came true when he got a unicycle!).

His siblings made the traditional birthday breakfast in bed, which somehow was eaten at the table instead of actually in bed.

He registered for middle school - yikes! Don't you think if kids can actually fit in the lockers they should have breathing vents and emergency releases inside?

We were fleeced by George Lucas, er sorry, we went and saw Clone Wars, had his suit fitted for alterations, and finished the day with his request for dinner - peppery steak done by dad.

Nixon has always been our old soul, the man in the little boy's body. He can't wait for Sunday - he and his best friend Wade, who also just had a birthday - get to speak in church together, get ordained to the priesthood at the same time, and we'll have a BBQ with our families and friends together. Love you kiddo!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Is My Neck Glowing?

'Cause it feels a little red! These red neck symptoms have arisen due to a recent outing to the Summit County Fair Demolition Derby and the fact that it may have been one of the highlights of my sons' young lives!

Those drivers are crazy! Naturally, Nixon and Easton are already planning their entries into the demolition derby as soon as they are old enough.

We went with our fun friends - love you guys! Some other friends were driving one of the tow trucks, so the kids all hopped in for a while. They loved it!
In other fair news, the kids made some sweet cash off of their fine arts entries - in fact - everyone in my house brought home at least one Judges Choice - great job!

We already can't wait for next year!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Give Me a Break!

This is why I'm paying over $80.00 to fill the tank on my mini-van. Yes, my MINI VAN. I think this article says a lot about what is REALLY behind our high gas prices. You can't even buy a Natural Gas car yet in Utah, but believe me, our family will be getting one at our earliest opportunity.

Big Oil posts its biggest quarter ever

Profits of 6 top firms jumped to $51.5 billion on surge in crude price
Aug 02, 2008 04:30 AM

New York–Chevron Corp said yesterday record oil prices drove second-quarter earnings up 11 per cent to its highest-ever profit, but weak margins from gasoline production led to a big loss at its refining operations.
U.S. oil prices averaged slightly less than $125 (U.S.) a barrel in the quarter, nearly double the average from a year earlier. But gasoline prices only rose 25 per cent during that same period, resulting in weak profit margins for the fuel.
Chevron, the second largest U.S. oil company, said net income rose to $5.98 billion, or $2.90 a share, from $5.38 billion, or $2.52 a share, last year.
Analysts, on average, expected the company to earn around $3.02 a share.
Like its competitors, Chevron made the bulk of its money at its exploration and production arm, also known as the upstream, where income nearly doubled from a year ago to $7.25 billion.
Chevron said the average sales price for crude and natural gas liquids was $109 a barrel in the quarter, up from $57 a barrel in the year-earlier period.
In addition to Chevron, soaring commodity prices led to record quarters for Exxon Mobil Corp., ConocoPhillips, BP PLC and Royal Dutch Shell PLC. Exxon Mobil logged the largest-ever quarterly operating profit for a U.S. company. Barring companies that made huge profits on one-time gains like bankruptcy settlements and spinoffs, Exxon Mobil holds the top 10 records for biggest U.S. quarterly earnings.
French energy company Total SA said yesterday its profit climbed 38.7 per cent in the second quarter to $7.38 billion as sales rose 23 per cent to $75.25 billion.
Total's earnings were at the top end of analysts' expectations.
Unlike some other oil majors, Total reported production growth of 1.3 per cent in the second quarter.
Altogether, the profits of the six companies jumped more than 40 per cent in the second quarter to $51.5 billion, the first time big Western oil companies have ever reached that level.
Also yesterday, Norway's state-controlled StatoilHydro ASA reported a 37 per cent rise in second-quarter net profits, to $3.7 billion.
At Chevron, the company division that refines and sells gasoline actually swung to a loss of $734 million in the quarter after earning $1.3 billion a year ago. The culprit: those same crude prices that lifted upstream earnings.
Like its peers, Chevron doesn't produce enough oil on its own to feed its refineries, forcing it to buy some on the open market.
Chevron said overall production in the quarter fell about 3 per cent from a year ago, hurt in part by production-sharing contracts.
It said startups will lift output in the second half.
From the Star's wire services

Friday, July 25, 2008

Amazing Stuff

So trek was incredible in every way. It has been exactly one year since Valine, Corrine and I were called to our callings, and that is exactly how long we have been planning trek. Not quite a year for Jill, but it feels like she has always been there. These women are my dear friends, and I came back from Martin's Cove with such a deep gratitude for many things - among them the wisdom of our Heavenly Father for the callings we have, for the way the 8 distinct personalities of our 2 presidencies were each vital in this process, a deepened respect for the YM leaders, who totally stepped up and led this thing, love for these ladies who will be friends forever, newfound friends along the trail and of course love for our awesome youth - they rocked! Don't ever call Park City kids wimps - we literally had to hold them back most of the time!

I could not believe how blessed we were in so many situations on trek. Weather, bugs, safety, water level (we were the FIRST group this year allowed to take our carts across the Sweetwater!), spiritual experiences, fun factor, families meshing together - it can all be summed up as BEST case scenarios. All day Sunday as I visited different wards, talking with people, the blessings would come into the conversation and I could not keep my eyes dry. All day! My heart is so full!

I am sooooo thrilled that I was able to share this all with Geoffrey. He and Paul (Valine's husband) were so vital to things running smoothly, I am forever grateful. He made sure I ate, my Camelback was full, my tent was set up. I literally could focus all my attention where it needed to be. Love you, love you , love you. I think his blog will have to return so he can explain how it is that he was our first trip to the hospital of the trek - ON OUR WAY TO CHECK IN. 9 stitches - good work babe!

Here we are crossing the Sweetwater - somehow he thought those stitches were an excuse to not carry me across.
Even though our house has been all trek 24/7, the kids have managed to slip some other stuff into summer lately - most notably - Sara has made us forever jealous by sitting 12th row at the Police concert:

Nixon and Easton took a break from cleaning up at Farmer's Market to skate a hockey clinic with Luc Robitaille:

2 weeks until Girl's Camp and maybe? a slower pace, but probably not since then it is Education Week and then school starts :(- crazy!