Tuesday, July 31, 2007
It was cool and pleasant, and seeing the sun rise was a new and beautiful experience. For a minute it made me want to be an early riser and someone who eats granola, yogurt, and grapefruit for breakfast. But now I'm tired, and it's too late to go back to bed, and I have to drive 9 hours to Utah, and I'm thinking that early mornings aren't really what they're cracked up to be.
Maybe just a little nap.
Sunday, July 29, 2007
So last Sunday night I was helping him with his prayers, and it went a little like this:
Griff: Dear Heavenly Father. Thank you for this day...
Me: Thankful that we could be here with Grandma.
Griff: Grandma. (For the sake of brevity, he chooses to repeat only the last word.)
Me: Thankful that we could visit with our cousins, aunts and uncles.
Me: Thankful that we could go to church.
Griff: I don't want to say that.
I guess it's like Huckleberry Finn said, "You just can't pray a lie."
Saturday, July 28, 2007
Mom and I drove the children up to the mountains yesterday. You would have loved seeing them explore and go on the "best adventures ever!" We hiked to the first spring, but they didn't stay in the ankle deep water very long. Snow run-off is a bit too cold for our Arizona babies. Then they scooted on their bums downhill and pretended to fish in the stream. They insist that we must bring you next time and go camping. I agree. The beautiful Bighorn Mountains are a delight to me. Just smelling the mixuture of pine, juniper, and sagebrush brings me a sense of peace.
Today I have promised to take them to Slide Rock and then to Ratatoille at the Hyart. It will be a busy day, but we must make up for the time spent on the couch nursing my poor tooth. What a disappointment that was. But we are up and at it and making the most of these last few days.
It won't be long now before we are home with you again, and we are all looking forward to our return. I'm not sure I will be able to convince Logan to ever go on a trip without you again. She misses, and I quote, "...the good trips when Daddy came with us and all the things we used to do together." And when I ask Griffin what he thinks he says, "I wanted him to come here."
I am being called away to settle some disagreement between our little angels. I'm not sure I want to take a trip without you either.
I love you.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Now to more current news: There has been a pothole in our road trip, aside from the poor vegetables. On Sunday my jaw began to hurt from my ear to mid jaw, and by Monday it was clear that I had an incredibly painful toothache, one like I have
never before experienced. Tuesday I went to my cousin, the dentist, who diagnosed my #19 molar as abscessed and needing a root canal. Fantastic. I hoped to just get by so I could get back home to have the work done, so he prescribed an antibiotic to see if the infection would subside. No going. By Tuesday night I was on the couch nursing glasses of ice water--the only thing that could bring relief. Despite my poor teeth I am happy to report that my kidneys work just fine.
Thursday morning found me in Dr. Scotty's chair enduring the wonderful world of dentistry. When I was a child his father, Dr. Scott Sr., forever ruined me for dentists. He was not pain sensitive, if you know what I mean. His son, on the other hand, is, but that didn't stop me from much nervous twitching, breath holding, and back arching. I am an embarrassment to myself in this arena, but it is what it is at this point. It seems to be uncontrollable.
By the time he finished at 3pm, the left side of my face, cheekbone to chin including tongue, was fairly useless, which wouldn't be much of a big deal except that Mom had scheduled me to sing at the nursing home for their weekly Relief Society meeting at which she was teaching the lesson. I sang Amazing Grace and I sounded a little like Sylvester the Cat:
Amazing Grastch, how stchweet the stchound that stchaved a wretch like me. I onstch was lostch, but now am found, was blind but now I stchee.
My jawline also looked a little like Courtney Thorne-Smith's which I've always secretly coveted. Unfortunately I found that it doesn't look nearly as cute on me. Oh well.
After the old folks home (I know. That's horrible, but it is what we call it up here in Cowley), we bought ice cream for the kids since they had behaved well enough to deserve it. At the Red Apple I ran into an old high school friend whom I haven't seen in probably 15 years. It was wonderful except for the part when she had to tell me I had ice cream on my chin because I couldn't feel it.
Today, though, I happily proclaim that I am feeling much better and more hopeful that I shall indeed reach home relatively pain free, but with the lucky obligation of seeing an endodontist quickly on the heels of my return. May God prepare both he and I for the scene we will most assuredly endure. And if you're lucky enough to see me after, you can give me an opinion on my Courtney Thorne-Smith jawline.
Thursday, July 19, 2007
I am glad to be in my mother's home. It's wonderful to see our children making friends with their cousins, aunts, and uncles, who are still are the funniest people in the world to me. But I find that it is not my home anymore. My home is with you, wherever you are and wherever you go. I miss you.
Today we are going to see Jamie's new house. Then Tamara, Shanna, and I will take the kids swimming at Lori and Joe's. Our children miss their swimming pool. Last night we walked to the park where the kids ran and played until the mosquitos chased us home again. The sun goes to bed so late here that our little ones are far off their schedule. When we returned from the park it was well after 9:30, and then they were hungry so we had peanut butter and jelly close to 10:00 at night. Strange I know.
Mom and I are awaiting the arrival of Ken, Curt, and their families tonight. Of course most of the preparation revolves around food. We made a plan this morning, although she laughed at my shopping list. "Mangos and ginger root? Have you forgotten we're in Cowley?" True enough, I may be reaching a bit.
All of this would be much better with you here, my love. Before I close, Logan would like to say that she missed you and loves you, and Griffin says that he loves you SO. He has said close to 38 times that he wants to go home. You see, his home is with you too.
Our hearts are yours always,
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
3/4 C. butter/margarine
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 1/2 C. mashed bananas (3)
2 eggs, well beaten
1 tsp. vanilla
2 C. flour
1 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1/2 C. buttermilk
3/4 C. walnuts, chopped (optional)
Cream butter and sugar thoroughly. Blend in bananas, eggs, and vanilla. Sift flour, baking soda, and salt together. Add to banana mixture, alternating with buttermilk, mixingthoroughly after each addition. Add nuts, mix. Pour batter into 9x3x5 loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/4 hour or until done.
Highlights of our trip:
1. Buying fireworks in Evanston,Wyoming.
They've got it all! My kids are going to freak out over some silly
sparklers, bottle rockets, fountains and cakes. Can't wait!
2. Stopping for Sonic drinks in Rock Springs. Logan spotted the sign long before I did and directed me to it.
3. Our peepee stop 40 miles outside of Lander.
4. Following a rainstorm and savoring the sweet smell of wet earth, hay, and alfalfa.
5. Seeing the lights of my hometown.
6. Hearing my mom say, "You just sleep as long as you want tomorrow."
7. Waking to the sound of my children playing with their grandma.
A Funny Anecdote from our Trip:
As mentioned above, about 30 miles outside of Lander Griffin begins to wail, "I need to go POTTY!"
"Well, Griff, we've got to get to the next town, or I can stop and you can go outside."
"I don't want to go outside!" He's not happy.
"Well, you're going to have to hold it then."
"I HAVE-- to GO-- POTTY!"
"Okay! I'm pulling over and you are going to have to just go!"
I find a little turn out, open the doors and order him outside. As I'm getting him out of his seat I discover that he has been sitting in half of his Sonic Blue Coconut Cream Slush for approximately 1/2 hour. Delightful.
So he exits the other door while I use our supply of wet wipes on damage control. Logan, his sister, decides she needs to go to and joins him outside. I finish sopping up the mess and dig through our suitcases to find him new clothes. It was at this moment that I realize there is no way I can make 40 miles either. I NEED to go POTTY,
Now, it has been many, many years since I have peed roadside, but I rationalize that it doesn't really count in Wyoming because, if you've ever driven the state's highways, you realize that there is little to zero traffic. I justify that it really could be considered camping. However, it's not something I necessarily want my children to witness because I will never hear the end of it, or, in all likelihood, neither will our friends.
"Okay, guys, get your jammies on." I get them sidetracked, look both ways for oncoming traffic (none for miles and miles), and squat. (I know. Not a great visualization.)
Next thing I know I hear Logan say, "MO-O-O-O-M! What are you doing?"
There is no way I can be distinguished in this situation, but I try. "I'm trying to go potty."
"Mom. You're such a...(I wait for it.)...pioneer!"
Relief! It could have been so much worse.
And you know what? She might be kind of right. I did travail cross country with two children and no husband. I encountered my own hardships to be sure. After all I narrowly avoided hitting 1 cow, 1 calf, 5 deer, 8 rabbits, 2 mice and 1 raccoon last night. And worst of all...the third part of my book on tape did not download to myIPod correctly. At 11 pm, that discovery was a tragedy of epic proportion. And like Brigham, I thought with relief as I pulled into town, "This is the place."
However, unlike the pioneers I have to turn around and do it all over again in 14 days. Poor me! Good thing I've got horsepower,IPod, TV, air conditioning, and drive-through. Yeah, I'm a real pioneer alright!
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Saturday, July 14, 2007
Some highlights: We stopped in Orderville, UT for dinner. We were driving through, and I couldn't resist the adorable Soup Cafe. Really, too quaint to pass up, and who needs another burger anyway? So we stopped and enjoyed tuna fish sandwiches on marble rye with cream of asparagus soup. Well, I did. The kids had hot dogs, but Logan did eat the soup, even though it was very green and she said, "Sometimes things can look gross but taste better." A good lesson to learn in one's youth.
I also bought a $3.00 homemade booklet regarding the history of town, which, you may not know was settled under the direction of Brigham Young and dedicated to living the United Order, which they did successfully for many years. I haven't been able to finish it yet, but here is one fascinating point. The group initially settled in a nearby town, (I forget the name) but one large family became disgruntled and refused to participate. A bishop was sent from Salt Lake to find a solution, and finding the family unbending, suggested the rest of the company move 10 or so miles away, which was when Orderville was founded. I wonder how all the descendents get along now? Or how they feel about it? I mean the towns are a stone's throw away from each other now, and I am sure there are family members on both sides in the area.
Another interesting tidbit from Orderville: The whole town ate their meals together in the community cafeteria. I'll blog more on this historic little town later. So fascinating to me.
A second highlight from our trip was the unfortunate decision I made to take Highway 14 over the mountains into Cedar City. On the map, it looked like the shorter version; however, it turned out to be a scenic byway. You know what that means: The road for those not in a hurry. And also the road on which you will most likely hit or be hit by a deer. We had 5 close calls. But to make lemonade out of lemons, the children LOVED seeing the deer up close and personal, and we did have to stop to enjoy one of the scenic overlooks, which was be-a-u-tiful!! An absolutely fantastic view that filled my soul with well-being until Logan stepped on a sharp rock and began crying bloody murder. So much for the soul--back in the car!
The final hightlight is my increased love for my IPod. I found that it muffles a lot of the whining and complaining. (Although that was fairly minimal, I am happy to say.) Before leaving home I downloaded "The Boleyn Inheritance" by Philippa Gregory. A great book on tape, by the way. Thank you, Lord, for modern technology!
So on Monday we will set out on the final leg of our trip. Only 9 hours to go. I'm not thinking about our return home. As in the words of the ultimate survivor--NO! Not Richard Hatch!--but rather Scarlet O'Hara: "I will think about that tomorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day."
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Where was I? Oh, right! All the important things I've been doing to get ready for my trip.
Yeah, that's about it. I am half packed, so that is something. I asked Thomas what my problem was. He is sure it is an avoidance issue. Like if I put it off long enough somehow I will get out the 21 hour drive, alone, with two small children whose favorite pastime is irritating one another. I don't know what he's talking about! Why would I want to avoid that?
Ooh, look! "Flip That House" marathon. Gotta go.
1. I love that you are genuinely kind.
2. I love when you catch me off guard and make me laugh really hard.
3. I love that you are intellectually curious.
4. I love that we talk about interesting things that make me think.
5. I love that you are trustworthy.
6. No one follows through with an idea like you do. I love your diligence.
7. I love that you love the symphony.
8. I love that you can still lift a lot of weight.
9. And thus, you can carry me up the stairs and put me to bed when I fall asleep on the couch.
10. I love that you are more patient with the children than I am.
11. I love how they love you!
12. I love that there is nothing metrosexual about you at all. You are all man.
13. I love that I care about your opinion more than anyone else's. (Except when it comes to clothes. That's when a metrosexual would come in handy.)
14. I love that you love God and honor Him.
15. I love how your testimony influences me and our family.
16. I love that you make my plane reservations for me.
17. I love how you like to surprise me.
18. I love that you write amazing love letters (to me, of course.)
19. I love that you make mint chocolate chip shakes for me almost every night. (We might have to watch that for a while...)
20. I cherish your support in all I do. You truly give me wings to fly. Thank you!
21. I trust you more than anyone I know.
22. I love watching you teach. You always inspire me.
23. I love that you let me put my cold feet on you at night.
24. Thank you for cleaning the shower so I don't have to.
25. You make me feel safe.
26. I love that you are a grown up man who is willing to take on those responsibilities. The world is too full of guys.
27. Thank you for providing a beautiful home.
28. Thank you for working so hard so I can stay home with our kids.
29. And then thank you for giving me time away when I need it.
30. I love that you still have a thing for me. It gives me a little giddy-up in my get along.
31. I love that we are equally yoked.
32. Thank you for helping me repaint the entry even though inside I know you dreaded it.
33. Thank you for always being pleasant and even tempered.
34. I love that we are still a little competitive when it comes to air hockey or any other game known to mankind. You are my favorite playmate.
35. I love knowing and being known by someone so well.
36. Let's face it...you still look really good in a swimsuit!
37. Most of all, after 14 years together, I love that I still look forward to a lifetime with you.
Thomas, your life is a blessing to me. Happy Birthday. I love you.
Author's Note: If you are reading this and thinking about ever getting married, please read my thoughts on Mr. Right!
Monday, July 9, 2007
I took one of those online quizzes today and here is my "personalDNA map that uniquely represents my personality. Mouse over any part of the box or strip to learn more about the traits that the colors represent."
I tend to disagree with the "slightly low empathy" conclusion. I'd ask whether you agree or not, but apparently I won't care. Sorry. Who knew?!The good news is it turns out I am a dynamic creator. How absolutely fabulous that I love both of those words!
Take this quiz to find your own personality DNA: My personalDNA Report But then you have to tell me what you are.
Because when I'm in the kitchen on days like this I can't help but think of my mother, the years she spent creating happy memories for us, and I hope that I'm carrying on that tradition. When my hands are busy mixing and measuring I feel her and the history of all the women before in me.
This year, I was making her Potato Salad (that deserves the capitalization), and couldn't resist the urge to call her.
"Hey, mom. I'm making your potato salad and had to call. What are you doing?"
"Making potato salad."
Ahhh...History. Continuity. And that's when I knew I was right where I was supposed to be. Thanks, Mom, for everything.
Sunday, July 8, 2007
A shout out to my other friend, Melissa, the consumate Arizonian who turned me onto this wonderful favorite product. Thank you!! Check out her blog (see Melissa and Jeff) for other good products, recipes and finds.
"Cones," was my quick and obvious reply.
"No, the pretty word for them."
"Yeah...py-lons." In her mouth it was all stretched out and syrupy. Delicious to the taste.
She likes to try new ones out now and then. Her favorites this weekend:
1. village, as in--"Oh, is our hotel in the next village?" Just for the record, Show Low, AZ is not really well described by the word village, nor do I use that phrase often.
2. testify, as in her prayer tonight--"Thankful that we could go to church and testify of Jesus." No we haven't turned pentacostal either.
I don't know where she comes up with these little phrases, but I appreciate her intellectual curiosity and her love of language, and mostly I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.
Thursday, July 5, 2007
Here is the good part though: As she was wailing last night, another little girl came up to console her.
"I know how it feels. I stepped on a rock and look." She raised her foot showing a large chunk of missing skin.
"See Logan," I said, "She got a bad owie and isn't putting up nearly as big a fuss as you."
"Yeah, but mine hurts worse!" Logan cried.
"Oh, come on. How do you know that?"
"Because I feel it!"
I wonder how often I sound like that to God.
Monday, July 2, 2007
The problem was and is that the phone number to our local Costco is not easy to find: It is not listed in the yellow pages, and added to that I was trying to scrub my house top to bottom in preparation for the party, plus my parents-in-law had just arrived. My brain was swimming a bit, admittedly. But mostly I'm blaming it on my father-in-law because he was talking to me while I was dialing information. See? I'm sure it was his fault that I dialed 911 instead of 411. And while we are on the subject, does anyone really think it is a good idea that those numbers are so similar? The need for information is hardly related to an emergency, so why the cousin numbers?
I was listening and dialing, nodding, smiling, when suddenly I heard an ever-so-calm voice say, "You've reached 911 emergency, please don't hang up--"
I didn't hear the rest because I hung up. It was instinct! I felt like the kid who pulled the fire alarm bell in elementary school. Why would I stand there waiting for the principal to arrive only to say, "Yes. I know I wasn't supposed to do that. It was...an accident?" No! Everyone knows you turn around, run, and hope they never find you. But being an adult with more life experience I do know they will call you right back, (...just so you know children should never be left alone in a room with a phone after learning about the 9-1-1 sequence...) So, anyway, it was no suprise when the phone rang.
I didn't let them say a word before I blurted, "I am SO SORRY! This is going to sound so STUPID, but I was trying to call 411 (...and what? I have number dyslexia? I had a really bad kindergarten teacher?) I don't know what I was THINKING! It was a total accident."
"So everything is alright there?"
"Yes! I'm just a complete idiot." (This was probably already apparent.)
"I will contact the responding officer. They are already on their way."
"Oh! Please do. Tell them there is no need, and I am SO SORRY!"
"They may still come out just to check things out."
"Oh, oh, I hope they don't. Really. Tell them we are fine here. Just...stupid."
"We'll do, ma'am."
Fast forward a bit later, and ringa-dinga-ding-dong, there stood a uniformed officer at my door, sweat running down the side of his face. (We are on a high heat alert here in Mesa. Lucky us.)
"I am SO SORRY!..." I was already halfway through my greeting before I fully opened the door and then proceeded with the "stupid" speech.
He was not amused. And all I could focus on was the sweat dripping down the side of his face, feeling ultimately responsible that he had to leave the sweet air conditioning of his black and white.
At this precise moment my husband took to attempting a bit of humor. "Don't listen to her, Officer. She is a serial 911 offender." And he walked to his office, leaving me standing there.
Huh?! Isn't that a bit like yelling bomb on an airplane? What was he thinking?!
"Heh, heh...my husband, yeah, he thinks he's really good with the sarcasm..." (He's not, which is what I keep telling him. It's only sarcasm if people recognize it! If they stand there looking bewildered like Mr. Cop Man, then you didn't nail it!!) "Anyway, I told the woman on the phone there was no need for you to come out here."
"Yeah, we have to respond to every 911 call. So everything alright here?"
What I wanted to say was, Not really because, see, I put off ordering the cake, and now I can't find the number, my in-laws just got in, so it's not a great time to run into Costco, so if you wouldn't mind... "Oh, yeah! Just feeling stupid." (Have I said that enough yet?) As he was walking away I added, "Hey, I promise you'll never have to come out here again!"
Unless, of course, I don't get the cake and the party turns ugly. Maybe I spoke too soon.
I've been too busy just living my life to blog about it lately. More about that later.
But I have been wanting to post THE BEST
1 1/2 C. salad oil
2 C. each sugar and all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. each baking powder and ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. salt
2 C. shredded carrots
1/2 C. coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
1 can (8 oz.) crushed pineapple, drained
Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)
In a large bowl, beat eggs just until blended; add oil and sugar, beating until thoroughly mixed. In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Add to egg mixture, stirring just until blended; then mix in carrots, nuts and pineapple.
Pour batter into a greased and flour-dusted 9x13 in. baking pan or a 12-cup bundt or other fluted cake pan. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes for a 9x13 pan, 55 minutes for a bundt or other fluted pan, or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let cool (if you use a bundt or fluted pan, let the cake cool in pan for 15 minutes; then invert onto a rack to cool completely.)
Prepare Cream Cheese Frosting and spread over cooled cake. Makes 12-15 servings.
Cream Cheese Frosting
In a bowl of an electric mixer combine 6 oz. package cream cheese, softened; 6 T. butter (or margerine), softened; and 1 tsp. grated orange peel; beat until smooth. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 2 cups powdered sugar; beat until creamy.