Friday, March 28, 2008

Ethan was really torn between having a mini-golf birthday with 4 friends or a birthday party at the house with 11 friends!  We finally opted for the 11 friends birthday party.  We decided a good birthday party, where you can use binoculars, would be something with an explorer theme.  We came up with come Monkey Around for Ethan's 6th birthday.  We had tons and tons of fun.  We played some games with balloons and sticky bugs so the kids could show me they were ready to catch some monkeys.  We then decked them out with binoculars, compasses, monkey treats and bags to carry everything and sent them off to find their matching monkey.  They were so cute and a lot of fun... I think a couple of them got turned into monkey's by the end and hopefully their mothers will forgive me.  We had cake and then went on a treasure hunt.  Since it snowed the night before I had to bring the sand (where the treasures were to be buried) in and put into a swimming pool in the garage with fans on it trying to dry it out!  Crazy.  We also borrowed my parents jump house and I blew it up on tarps because everything was still wet.  I don't think the kids noticed and after they stuffed their bags with treasure they spent 30 minutes in the freezing cold jumping in the bounce house.  I thought they would last about 5 minutes.  So, Happy Crazy Monkey Birthday to Ethan!!  Love you my big 6 year old (even though he kept trying to convince all the kids it was his 7th -- who knows).

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Weekend

Happy Easter!  I finally got pictures to upload...  As you could see the highlight for Troy this Easter weekend was catching a little brown trout.  Now you have a glimpse into our weekend adventures in Colorado.  Every time we went in or out of a canyon we stopped for Troy to look at the fish in the streams and rivers or to try and catch fish.  

Other highlights of the weekend were:  Our great neighbor, Mark Massey, who taught Morgan to ride her bike last year spent the weekend teaching Ethan to ride a bike!  Very exciting, no more training wheels.  All week last week our kids spent their afternoons riding bikes.  It's sure nice having sunny days so that they can be outside.

Saturday was the neighborhood Easter Egg Hunt/Brunch.  It is always a lot of fun to watch the kids find the eggs, even Grant still gets excited to go to it and this is his last year.  Sunday we had a quiet Easter Day.  The kids got up and looked through their baskets and then found the egg that determined the color of eggs they find through out the house.  We made some cookies  after church and had ice cream with the neighbors that night.  Nice quiet holiday.

Monday we took Troy to the airport, yes poor guy is still on crutches!  He'll be in Europe all week with work -- hope he sends postcards.  Later in the afternoon a roommate from my BYU days, who is visiting from Sweeden, stopped by with her family.  It was so wonderful to visit with her and meet her beautiful family.  (of course I didn't think to get a picture of us)  Her children didn't speak much English, but it didn't stop them from running around and playing with everyone.

So... that brings me to today.  The kids went off to school and I've run my errands so I think life has returned to normal.  It's 3 pm and I'm watching the kids get off the bus, time to switch gears and run them around and get dinner going.  Later.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

This is a picture of the first trout of the year. More on that a bit later.

We had the the neighborhood easter egg hunt this morning (I'm sure Carlin will post pictures shortly), and right afterward, the boys and I jumped in the Jeep and were off to Cabela's to buy a few things. Cabela's is in Utah county, so a bit of a hike, and we usually only make it there once a year or so. We started off with a walk through the aquarium to look at all the monster trout and bass. It was almost noon, and we heard people remarking how they were going to feed the fish any minute. This sounded interesting, so we hung out for a moment and were very well rewarded when pvc tubes were pushed from above into the tank with the bass and all the sudden many goldfish were piped into this tank. It was not a feeding frenzy, but the goldfish did not last long. The big bass would gobble them up in an instant. There would be a little goldfish swimming along and then it would be gone!

After that fun, we stopped in the fly fishing section and I found a 2 weight rod on sale for $40 (a very good deal). I picked it up, and of course had to get a reel sized to match, plus some line. So the $40 was just the beginning, but it was still a good buy. I also saw a trough full of little packets of flies on sale. Most were junk, so I only bought one packet of some little beadhead nymphs. (These would come in handy later.) We also bought some binoculars (never had a good pair) and a BB gun for no real reason. We ate lunch at Cabela's too. I had a buffalo brat, and Grant had a buffalo burger. Ethan had a plain old hot dog with a slurpy.

We left Cabela's intent on finding a place where we could shoot the new BB gun and Grant's nice air rifle he had gotten for Christmas. (Note that shooting Grant's rifle had been the original goal for the afternoon. Cabela's and other things to come later were just add-ons to that original plan.) I looked at my handy road map and saw that American Fork Canyon was close by and had some wilderness area. That sounded promising. Fifteen minutes later, we were in the canyon, though I quickly realized there would be no air gun shooting there today, as it is a narrow canyon and snow was everywhere the road wasn't. In other words, no real privacy from the traffic. But since we'd paid $3 to get into the canyon, we weren't about to leave right away, and so we drove up a few miles and enjoyed the scenery. For a lot of the drive, we were along the stream that runs through the canyon, and we pulled over a couple times and looked at the brook trout in the stream. Ethan was emphatic that we should be trying to catch them, and I told him I hadn't brought my gear, and, besides, I am still on crutches. "You've got a rod right here dad," he said. I thought about the things I'd bought at the store and realized that technically we had everything we needed to get a line in the water, though we only had the one simple fly pattern. Odds were it would not be what the fish were looking for, but then again brookies are not always that picky. So I had the boys pass up the gear and we strung up the rod and found a place to park. I literally hopped across the snow, which fortunately was packed enough in that spot that we didn't sink into it. Five minutes later, we hooked the brookie in the picture, Ethan reeled him in and Grant took the picture. A nice reward for our efforts.

That was about all I could do on one leg, so we packed it in and drove back down out of the canyon. We finally found a spot in American Fork above the housing developments that appeared to be the neighborhood shooting range and had a good time shooting the BB gun and air rifle for a bit. Ethan was fascinated with all the spent shotgun shells lying around and collected an armful. He also found a bleached rib cage of a fallen deer and shouted "Dad--dinosaur bones!"

The last event of the day was to stop in Provo to pick up an incredible information-packed genealogy book that Uncle Bob made for us. He had made it at our request nearly a year ago, but we had not been able to cross paths with them until today. He told us a lot of funny stories, and Grant was very taken with him.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Another Week Gone...

This week has just flown by!  It's the end of the third term for the kids and today is our first day of our very short, 4 day, spring break.  It's been warm, jacket weather, and nice out this week and so we've spent our afternoons out riding bikes and scooters with the neighborhood kids.  The only down side to being out side all afternoon is that not much gets done in the house!  I'm going to have to find some good make ahead dinners too.  

Grant, now 12, has joined the Young Men and Scouts.  So he has been busy this week figuring out things he needs to work on.  For my benefit I'm sure, he has set a goal to work on 5 things for 3 months.  Keeping the dishwasher unloaded, feed/water the dog, and making his bed every morning (all without being asked to do them) are my favorite three.  

Ethan had his first soccer game yesterday and they did great.  It's fun to watch the boys figure things out and chase after the ball.  Ethan has this tendency to announce the score every time a goal is made.  It is a non-competitive league and they don't keep score, so it tends to cause some arguments on the field.  All these 5 and 6 year olds tend to keep score so that their team is winning and our usually mellow Ethan, just can't let it go.  He does a good job keeping score and the parent's on our team are always asking him what the score is.

Morgan usually protests and cries when her extra curricular classes get cancelled, but this week she was thrilled.  Spanish class and acting class were both cancelled this week and she didn't shed a tear, because it ment that she got more time to ride her bike after school!  Today she got to play with a friend after they both had piano lessons and my dear friend, Jennifer Jensen, helped them color easter eggs.  Morgan was in Heaven.  It's just the one Easter tradition I just can't bring myself to carry on.... the smell, the mess.... it's just not me.  Bring on the pumpkins, that's my kind of mess!    

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Dinner Time!!

As I was posting Morgan's cute hair cut picture Ethan came into the room with peanut butter.  I guess it's time for dinner!

Hair day

Cute miss Morgan got her hair cut today!  It is just darling on her.  I don't know how her dad is always able to talk her into cutting it, but some how he can.  

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


To end the day on a positive note... with the snow gone the tulips are starting to come up and we have all these cute crocus' blooming in our front yard.  Lovely.

water, water and more water....

Not the best looking pictures, but documentation of flooding we seem to have every six months or so.  This drain backed up and flooded this room, the newly finished basement kitchen and the southern most end of the basement.   I was thinking it was because we put a pump in and re-carpeted the movie room, which has flooded at least three times in the three years we have lived here.  Or it could be that I was supposed to marry a plumber?  Who knows.

In the furnace room we have had to replaced the water heater, tank above the water heater, two pipes that pins had rusted through the copper and sprayed water everywhere, the water softener, and water coming in from outside through the furnace.  We also have had lots of sprinkler problems, ground water in the garage, water running from the bathroom into the laundry room, broken kitchen faucet, and a toilet that ran over on two occasions where the water ran down the kitchen through a vent and out all of the light fixtures in the basement.  

The first year I cried and wanted to move.  The second year I kept saying, "Oh, this is nothing, but if it happens again we are going to move".  This year...  I call Troy and put him in charge of calling Gordan our insurance man, who has yet to find one of our flooding incidents that our insurance will cover!   As of now, I'm glad it's cleaned up and drying and that I have two more months to find someone who will turn on our sprinklers and fix all the problems that we ignored by turning the sprinklers off early last summer.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


What handsome men!  Troy ordained Grant a Deacon today at church.  It was a very beautiful blessing and Troy spoke to Grant about following the leaders of his quorum and learning more about the Aaronic Priesthood and by doing these things his faith will grow.  He also spoke to Grant about this being a step in preparing him to receive the Melchezedic Priesthood and for the mission he will serve in a few years.  What a wonderful son we have and what an exciting day for all of us.  

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Grant's Birthday

We had Grant's friend birthday last night.  Nothing fancy just a big ice cream bar and a few hours of playing video games... what more could a 12 year old ask for?  Maybe a guitar hero and a couple more wii controllers!  Yep he got those too.  

Thursday, March 6, 2008


After the field trip and before piano.... Morgan had 4 braces put on.  She choose green, pink, purple and blue elastics (Easter colors)!  She still has her expander in, they are just going to straighten out her front teeth and hopefully there will be more room for permanent teeth.

Party all the time!

I went on the Kindergarten field trip to the Children's Museum at the Gateway with Ethan today.  Yes, his shirt was set aside in the laundry room because it went through the wash with some chapstick and no, I didn't realize that is what he was wearing until we got to the school.  Nothing uncommon in our household, poor kids.  

Top picture: this was the cute group Suzie and I were in charge of today.  They were a lot of fun... as you can see in the following picture.  They were very proud of the tower they built.  And I had to throw in the picture of Ethan in the jeep with Allyana.  This is the cute girl that he draws pictures for at school and writes (very simple) notes too!  The boy in the back in red is Ethan Tufts, Ethan's best buddy.  

Funny story:  Suzie, Ethan Tuft's mom, has been on bed rest the past three weeks and so we have had Ethan Tuft over to play a few extra times lately so she can rest.  Well, last Monday Ethan Tuft got off the bus at our stop and informed me he was coming over to play.  I told him we didn't plan it and Mondays didn't work because I was running Morgan and Grant to Dance and Guitar after school.  I told him I'd talk to his mom and we'd set up a day to play.  My Ethan then let me know that he and Ethan had set this day up to play and they tried to call me, but there wasn't a phone on the bus!  We took Ethan home.

Tuesday is my day to car pool to kindergarten.  We got to the school and I was helping the girls out of the car when I looked back in to get Ethan and Ethan out and they were gone.  I walked around the car and noticed them hiding in the back.  They had decided if they could sneak back home with me they could play together instead of going to school.  They went to school.

Today, my Ethan went to play at Ethan Tuft's home after the field trip.  I went to pick my Ethan up when I dropped Morgan off at piano (one block away from Tuft's house).  Suzie and I of course chatted for a bit and all her boys were running around the yard with Ethan.  When I went to leave her boys went into the house via the garage.  No one was behind me and so we went home.  I got Ethan and Grant their snack and Ethan wanted a water bottle from the garage I told him no and got him a drink from the tap.  I then sent the boys out to walk Percy.  Ethan wanted to go through the garage.  Again I said no and had them go out the front door so it would be unlocked for Morgan to come home.  After the boys left I got a call from Suzie.  She wanted to know if her Ethan had come home with me.  As I was telling her that he hadn't I walked over and opened the garage door.  Who was standing there in his bare feet?  Ethan Tuft.  I couldn't help but laugh and when he saw it was me opening the door and not Ethan he ran and hid behind the car.  While driving him home he informed me that he was going to hide in the movie room and play star wars lego until bed time and then he was just going to spend the night.  When I got home my Ethan was at the table.  I walked over and ask him if he and Grant came in through the garage.  He got the biggest grin on his face and said, "We never thought it would really work, but it did.  I can't believe it."  Suzie and I are in BIG, BIG trouble! 

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Grant doing the dance they have learned for the Jr. High production of Alice In Wonderland.

Morgan was the lead reader in a readers theater that her class did today on slavery.

Ethan and his Kindergarten class singing a song about the early days of the United States.

I had my camera all ready for the kids "Show What You Know" day at school and I forgot it.  I did have Troy's little fishing camera, but it doesn't do so well when taking pictures at a distance. Each term every class gets to perform a song, dance, instrument, play, poem, etc. that they have learned for the other grades and parents.  It's a lot of fun to see the different things they are learning.  And of course my children are the most talented ones of all!  They did so great today! Morgan had her lines memorized and only checked her place a couple times and ethan sang loud the entire song and it was a long song!  I knew Grant's drama class got to be the chorus for the Jr. High play, but I didn't know they got to dance too.  He was awesome!  Next time I'll take my camera so I can video them and then I'll learn how to post the video on here.

Where is spring?

Last week we finally got some warm weather here..  it actually hit 50 two days in a row!  Saturday was warm and sunny AND the haze lifted so we had blue sky!  I kept thinking I need to go out and take a picture of the grass and sky today, it's so beautiful (most of our snow had melted off the lawn in the two previous days).  Did I do it?  No.  And by noon the wind was blowing hard and it was getting cloudy and by two in the afternoon it was snowing like crazy.  

Morgan was the only one of us brave enough to go play in the snow.  Even Percy wouldn't go out in the blizzard conditions.  When Morgan came in she told us she was pretending to be like Survivor Man and try to survive the blizzard.  She didn't admit it, but I have a sneaky feeling that she ate a few berries off the trees in the back yard.

So we are back to 30 degree weather, at least we have had blue skies these past few days.  Hopefully this is March coming in like a lion and it will go out like a lamb.