Brittany is so grown up! We had a picnic in Murray park and it was just shocking to see how teenager she seems to be. Posted by Picasa

The rodeo queen rode by on her horse during our barbeque at Eva's on Monday and let Stephanie go for a ride. She walked her down the road and back. I don't think I've ever ridden a horse this tall.  Posted by Picasa

Eva and the kids were at Palisade's Lake all day Thursday, rafting, paddle-boating, jumping off the dock, playing in the playground, and generally having fun. I joined them in the evening for an hour before we went home. Posted by Picasa

I have wanted to ride on a boat for a while. Posted by Picasa

A shot as we were leaving Lindsey's. The baby she is holding is Andon. As far as I know, I think he is the newest addition to the family. (Maybe Candie and Nick's McKayla is newer... I'm not sure.) Posted by Picasa

This is the playground behind Ryan and Lindsey's house where the kids played for hours while the ladies scrapbooked (and Ryan watched - what a sport.) Posted by Picasa

We got cotton candy and watched the parade on Saturday morning. There was a marching band, lambs on leashes, mini ponies pulling mini carts, little jr. rodeo princesses (5 years old) on horses, and all the beauty queens from the different towns. Stephanie got a huge sack of candy. Posted by Picasa

Mariah, who just got her four-wheeler license, taught Stephanie how to ride. They went on several rides with Stephanie driving and someone on the back to help her if she needed it. She was a natural and picked it up very quickly.  Posted by Picasa

Joe is a pancake master. The fire department let us borrow this grill. Paula and Jared each had one also. We cooked assembly line quantities of food, which was weird for me to participate in since I rarely cook for more than two.  Posted by Picasa

We had some very nostalgic moments around the fire with roasting s'mores, chatting, playing guitar, and catching up. Posted by Picasa

This is most of the people who were there. A few people are missing because some of the guys went on a four-wheeler ride and some people went down the mountain for supplies. I count 33 people in the photo and I can think of at least 4 that weren't in it. Posted by Picasa

This kind of shows an overview of the camp. We had seven trailers, a motorhome, and four tents. You can see the Plink-Plink game and fire circle. The hammocks are in the shade behind the trailers and the "kitchen" area with grills is behind the camera. Posted by Picasa

The kids didn't want salad for lunch, so they roasted hot dogs over a propane stove. Posted by Picasa

On my four-wheeler trip with DJ, Ben and Kathy to the top of the mountain, we stopped off to see the creek. Posted by Picasa

Happy Camper


We went up the mountain fairly early in the morning. It took us a little while to get everything packed up first. I followed Eva's van/camping trailer to the site and only had trouble when we slowed to a stand still on particularly steep inclines. We picked a nice spot and Stephanie helped me set up our tent and get everything organized. Our spot was just above the creek and very close to a meadow of wildflowers. Eva and I had matching hammocks and we set them up in an L in a little shaded area which quickly became the relaxation hot-spot. It was decently hot during the day, but not compared to Arizona, so we were fine. For most of the day it was Paula and Robert, Brandy's kids, Mom, Eva and Roger's family, DJ and Austin, Karl and his three youngest and Me and Stephanie. I'm not remembering what we ate for lunch, but for dinner we had Elk Steak and Buffalo burgers. I don't remember what we had on the side. The kids played some very elaborate games of pretend for most of the day. Mariah and Megean taught Stephanie how to drive the four-wheeler. Just before dark, Jared and Stacey's family, Katie and Kevin's family, Brandy and Mary arrived. We stayed up until about 2 am sitting around the fire. I took Eva's guitar and played back up to the good conversation and S'mores cooking fun. Kira and the kids put in plenty of sing-a-long requests such as "Twinkle Twinkle" which was very fun to accompany. Robert played a little, too. He is a superb guitarist and puts me to shame.


Babies wake up at 5 am no matter how late you talked around the fire. Stephanie and some others heard some kind of large animal outside the tents overnight. They thought it might have been a bear. For breakfast, we grilled up some pancakes, sausage, hashbrowns and had hot cocoa, coffee and OJ. We relaxed until about nine am and then a bunch of us went down for the Spring City holiday festivities. We made it just in time for the opening of the parade. There were some cool floats, a few horse (and lamb) - driven buggies, and we had a blast. Afterward, we met at Brandy's house. Brandy had a softball tourney so some people stayed down to watch. A carnival was in progress but the children outnumbered the adults so severly that we decided we could not properly supervise them so we didn't go. (At one point I and Chana were watching 6 toddlers and 5 younger children while the parents picked up supplies before we went back up the mountain.) Before we returned, Paula showed Stephanie and I their taxidermy studio. Back on the mountain for late lunch we had a salad with cooked cold chicken and ranch. The kids opted to roast hot dogs on a propane stove. Later, the girls found large leaves, made skirts of them, and made up a hula dance. The road was soft, powdery dirt and the many, many toddlers made dirt angels, sand castles, and various play for hours on end. We played games like crazy (in particular a redneck version of horseshoes called "Plink-Plink" that is played by throwing large washers toward a boards with holes worth different points. The idea is to get the washers IN the holes, but there is a large amount of luck involved.) Brandy's team won the tourney and advanced for five straight games in the heat. She took a ball in the arm as a souvenir. She, Robert and the others who watched her play came back up the mountain afterward. For dinner, we made four different dutch ovens of stew: beef steak, wild turkey, elk, and buffalo. The wild turkey was my personal favorite. Some of us girls took a walk for exersize. Stacey and I left everyone in the dust and ended up having such a nice talk that we went farther than we meant to. Katie came with a four-wheeler to help us find our way back because the sun went down and it was pitch black. We again sat around the fire talking and playing guitar. Everyone went to bed early (probably tired from the long day.) Stephanie wasn't feeling well (probably a combo of the strange food, massive amounts of sweets, and allergies) so we went to bed early too.


DJ made the fireman's famous omelet buffet for breakfast. It was incredible. He had every imaginable ingredient for omelets and we helped him get everything ready. Then, each person came through the line, picked what they wanted inside in a bowl and he fixed it to order. We also had hashbrowns and pancakes. I'm not ordinarily an egg person, but that was seriously the best omelet I have ever had in my life. I couldn't stop telling everyone. Luckily, more family straggled up the mountain to join the fun one by one keeping the grill on long enough for me to find room to have a second omelet (I have no idea how I made room for it, but it was so good, I had to.) Dale and Mary, Ryan and Lindsey's family, Candie and Taylor, Brandon and Jamie and Jayci, Brandi and Dillon came up. Just as they arrived, it started to rain a little. It was pleasant, though. There were several hours of overlap between families where most everyone was their at once. We got family pictures minus a few people who had either gone down the mountain for supplies or up the mountain on four-wheelers. Afterward, Mary and her derivatives left. Karl stayed for a few hours longer to enjoy lunch. DJ grilled up fancy cheeseburgers. I don't know how we ate them. Even though it was 4:30 pm, we were still pretty full from breakfast. Us young girls went for another post-meal walk, this time to the creek and wildflower meadow. It was so pretty. We stayed up on the mountain after Dale and his derivatives went down the mountain so I could go on a four-wheeler ride. DJ, Kathy, Ben and I went to a look out point and watched the sunset. I am such a thrill junkie and on the ride, I couldn't stop giggling when we would go flying over the bumps and hills, and Ben (who was driving) would hear me giggling and go faster and I would giggle harder... it was quite a thrilling ride. I took some landscape pictures. We got back to Eva's late and decided to leave her house later in the morning so that we could sleep in.

It took us until 2 pm to finish packing and readying the car. Good thing we decided that it wasn't that big of a deal if we missed the Grand Canyon on the way home. We drove pretty good time, but we got to the turn off for the Canyon (which is still an hour farther off the turn off) exactly as the sun was setting. We had great conversation the whole way home. I got tired as we got 100 miles from Phoenix, so I pulled off at a rest stop and took a quick nap. We got home at 1:30 am. Scott and Mark were at Stephanie's, so I got to hug Scott and Mark drove me the rest of the way home. I was so happy to see Mark that I stayed up for several more hours talking and catching up with him before I finally crashed and slept forever.
I woke up, ate lunch at noon and went back to bed for several more hours before getting up to get ready for work. I still haven't unpacked. I will post a bunch of pictures today or tomorrow (depending on how tired I am.)


Update of Our Trip


Stephanie and I shot gunned the ten hour drive after I took a short nap after my shift at work. We only stopped twice: once at an overlook to take a picture and once to gas up, eat, and stretch. It wasn't that bad of a drive and very scenic. When we arrived, the kids and Eva woke up and the kids played HARD outside until about 6 in the morning. (They were jumping on the trampoline, running in the yard, laughing hysterically, etc. -- we didn't have the heart to break it up, so we soaked up the time visiting and unpacking a little.)


I woke up early (especially considering my late night) and relaxed. Eva and most of the kids went to the "Park Lunch" (the city serves free lunch every weekday to all the kids in town.) I stayed home and had some one-on-one time with Chana because neither of us were awake enough to handle it. I played piano! Mom called while Eva was gone to say she needed to go to Ephraim, so as soon as Eva got back from the park, we took her and had a hysterical lunch with Paula. We sat for three hours in Subway laughing so hard I thought they were going to ask us to leave. I spent a few hours at Mom's after that looking at her quilt tops and floorplans for her kitchen, which had a lot of elements that I liked about it. Later that evening, we had a family dinner on Eva's new patio. DJ (thanks for grilling), Brandi, Dillon, Austin, Dale & Mary, Eva & Roger, Chana, Sade, Aubri Kate, Marissa, and Grandma Mona were there with us. We had a total blast while DJ made fresh corn and barbequed chicken on the grill. It was memorable to say the least. They say the one the day before at Paula's was even better. The rodeo queen rode by on her horse and let Stephanie take a little ride.

After everyone melted off, I actually fell asleep early. So far, this is the only day this has happened. Eva, Stephanie and I were reading a novel aloud while we played pedicure and I totally passed out. Stephanie said she made it to the end of Chapter one. I made it to the end of Chapter four. Eva said she quit reading and went to bed at the end of Chapter five. We were all toast.


Eva, Stephanie, Sade, the little girls and I rolled to SLC to see Brittany. We hit traffic, got lost several times -- once allowing us to drive by the SLC Temple to show Steph the artictecture -- and arrived two hours late to pick up the BB. We took her and her sister Meagan to Murray park where we played as hard as we possibly could. I went headfirst down the plastic twirly slide and got rug burn where it pulled out my armhairs. The kids told me later... you never go down headfirst on a plastic slide. You learn something new everyday. I can still do the monkey bars. Our picnic afterwards was sandwiches and crackers and cheese. It was very fun. Afterwards, I told the kids we were all going for matching tattoos and while they protested, I drove them to McDonalds where we got ice cream. The playdate was topped off with playing the ugly game (who can find the ugliest item) at a thrift store where we let the kids pick out a dollar souvenir to remind them of the fun day. It rained extremely hard for a few moments and we had a moment of Arizona appreciation for it. After we dropped the kids off back at Ruth's, we were detoured to Karl's house for a few hours. He showed us his awesome house he is improving, his latest equipment, and visited for a long while. We had invited ourselves to Ryan and Lindsey's house with an ETA of 7 pm and then didn't show up until almost 10 pm. We aren't very good house guests. (Especially since we left a hurricane in our wake by the time we overstayed our welcome the following day.) However, Ryan and Lindsey are awesome and stayed up until the pumpkin hour talking. Their home is very beautiful and Lindsey let me sleep with the first quilt she ever made, which was very soft and smelled like a dryer sheet commercial.


Scrapbooking with Lindsey (I made two wedding pages) while the kids played out back. I also took a quick tour of Candie and Nick's new condo. There was some misunderstanding that the Hatches weren't going to make it to the camp and we didn't want to miss them, so Mom, Aubri, and I stormed Jared's house uninvited while Eva took Stephanie back to her place (I have no idea what they did but Steph forgot her medicine so they had to go where it was.) At Jared's we got a tour of his big house and visited into the wee hours. He has such a big yard and a mini farm that was cool to see. I never saw their wedding pictures and they never saw ours, so we caught up while we browsed them. I love how the last couple times I have spent QT with Jared and Stacey, we can just lounge on the couch and talk like their are no miles between us for hours and hours. I kind of feel guilty for how late I kept them up knowing that Jared leaves for work at 5:30 am. (He might have gotten three hours sleep, tops.)


Breakfast with Katie and a tour of her beautiful big home. I love the metal work. She made us breakfast and we enjoyed her company long enough to make her at least two hours late for work and then took her kids by Mary's. We didn't stay at Mary's because I really wanted to get back. We had arranged to meet a bunch of people in the family at Palisade's Lake for some water fun so we shot gunned it back as fast as we could. We got there in time for me to have a ride on the paddle boat before we had to return it. I hear we missed the kids putting a life jacket on the dog to take him on the boat. We stocked up on TONS of snack food for the camp and packed up for an early departure tomorrow.


3, 2, 1, Takeoff

I am getting on the road for Utah in 10 minutes.

See you UTes soon. I will miss you AZes though.



I leave for Utah tomorrow. I am taking care of the loose ends and packing today. Very busy. Very excited.

An update from my last post. Following a construction introduction of a sledge hammer, diesel-rig sized cement mixer with a rusty bearing, and Mark also waking up from the noise, we decided not to bother trying to sleep. I called work and told them that due to circumstances outside of my control, I would not be in early, but would show up for my regular shift hours removing the urgency to get to sleep and we went out for chinese food. By the time we got back, things were quiet and we got good sleep. By that time, I think we had a new pool and a new stairwell landing.

It doesn't look good for a completion of my quilt before I leave. I worked non-stop yesterday for six hours and got about half of what was left, maybe less. I will pack today and see what I can do with any time I have left, but I probably will not be getting it basted this trip.

I will post lovely travel notes in the upcoming days. Talk to you later...


Homicidal Noise

You know that hideously loud beeping noise a truck makes when it backs up? I have two trucks, not in harmony, doing that continuously for the last three hours outside my window. I have to wake up in 5 hours for a 12 hour shift. At this rate, that should not be a problem.


This is a rough sketch of my pattern. It seems like Q-Bert belongs in the corners of the border, don't you think? Posted by Picasa

Peicing Things Back Together

The big news in my life is that Craftmart is going out of business. Evan has been saying this frequently for over a year (I thought he was joking to torture me, and he probably was.) However, this terrible joke is real.

I went down to get the remaining supplies for my summer quilt project and found the place heavily raided. They were sold out of seam rippers. I exersized an uncanny amount of self control and left only with the things I went there for. I think the discount will go down even further later and maybe I'll get yarn to do an afghan.

There are also millions of creative choices that I hadn't realized even existed for quilting supplies. Do I get the synthetic poly-loft in which of several weights, cotton-loft, classic batting, etc... and there are 20 different products to temporarily adhere/baste the fabrics (do I need any of this, I don't know?), what size needle, what color thread, what type of edging, etc. My project never considered any of these things. I haven't even designed my border and I am sewing it together in the next few days. I think this quilt will look like a "first quilt" (which it is, so that's o.k.) Especially since my red block does not match the rest of the quilt. I am realizing that the planning stage should last longer than I have previously taken. It's a learning process, and I definitely think the next one will be just as much fun and have an even better outcome.


Child Entrepreneur

I just think this is neat. This eight year old started his own skate brand "Ollie King" that you can shop online. I like the "rock on" baby doll tee.


This is how I felt after working a double shift (16 hours) today. Posted by Picasa


I am putting family addresses on 3x5 cards for my desk file. If you are interested in the file, or cards like this, let me know and I will hook you up with them. Posted by Picasa

This is my photo on my driver's license. I really think that I look like Brandy. Posted by Picasa

Mostly Official

Changing my name has been a lot more work than I thought. I am almost done. I now have all the more important things converted over.

Mark says the least convenient part is that he actually has to read to sort the mail. He keeps opening things, excited that he has a letter, and then realizing that it is for me. It sort of reminds me of this alarm that keeps going off at work. It sounds just like the microwave beeping, so I keep thinking "Oh Goody, Food..." then realization followed by disappointment. I know I didn't put anything IN the microwave, it's just that split second before I think it through. Especially since I've been eating a lot of microwave popcorn since I discovered the single serving size bag.

Exam prep is coming along well. If anyone knows what to do with the insurance limits mathematically in setting up a word problem, I will pay to know more about this. If you are interested in seeing what the exam looks like, check it out. The sample has 150 practice problems. The actual has 30. I need to be able to do one question on average every 6 minutes consistently to answer every question (unanswered=wrong.)