Sunday, July 27, 2008

Loratab Hangover

I pulled a muscle in my stomach when we were hiking on Thursday. I'm not sure how. We all went up to the Mill D Lake Trail in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It most likely happened when I had to carry Derek back down the mountain after he refused to go any further.

It really hurt, and Motrin didn't help. I had some leftover Loratab from some dental work awhile ago. It made me sick then too, but I guess I thought that maybe it was just the pain and stress from surgeries that made me sick. I was hoping that this time would be different...the only time I take them is after some kind of surgery. Maybe if I took it for an injury I wouldn't get sick...

Wrong again! I felt really good on Thursday night after I took it. Then Friday morning I was SO sick! Throw up sick! Every single time!!! I don't know how people get addicted to the stuff.

Jeff says he loves Loratab and they give him a feeling of Euphoria...they just make me sick...flat on my back... for at least 24 hours. And of course Derek does not accept "mommy doesn't feel good" as an excuse for not having the world revolve around him.

Anyways, I'm glad I'm feeling better again now. I think that next time I will just stick with the heating pad and the Motrin.

Do you get sick from pain killers?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Then and Now...

15 years ago... July 23, 1993...Jordan River Temple...

15 years later...2 kids...1 dog... 1 house that is still a work in progress...

I love my life with you and I love you more than ever! Happy Anniversary Jeff!!! XOXOXOXOXOXOXO!

Song Lyrics

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

No Luck Letterboxing

Last year, Clint, Derek and I started Letterboxing. This is when you find clues online HERE that tell you where to find a hidden box that has a stamp in it. After you find the box, you stamp your own notebook that you bring along with the stamp in the box, and then sign your name, and leave your own personal stamp in the book that is in the hidden box. (Some people tell me it is a little like Geo Cashing...I don't know much about that.) Anyways, last year, we were able to find quite a few hidden in the Salt Lake Valley. And we even hid our own up at Moss Ledge. This year, we have not been so lucky. Sometimes people take boxes and don't put them back. We Went to Wildflower Park, and Dimple Dell Park, and could not find any of the three that we were looking for.
Here Derek, Clint and Mason have very sad faces.

Luckily at Dimple Dell Park we were able to play in the river for awhile. It was really hot and we had hiked a long way in vain. And I was wearing flip flops!

The river was so cold and refreshing. We spent some time recovering and playing before we hiked back to the car. I think the boys had fun even though we went home empty handed.

Then, on Saturday, Clint, Derek and I ventured out to Flat Iron Mesa Park to hopefully find a different letterbox...AND WE FOUND IT!!!! It was very exciting! We are hopeful to explore and find some others now that our faith has been restored. Our next stop is Wheeler Farm!!! Anyone interested? Our lettterbox notebooks are starting to look really cool! And we have found lots of fun parks and gardens that we never would have known about otherwise. And last summer, we even found one when we went to Washington! We recommend it to everyone. Come along with us or look at the letterbox website for your own adventure... it is definitely a fun family thing to do all summer long!

***We made it to Wheeler Farm yesterday! (This has been a post in the making for quite a while). There are a total of 8 supposedly hidden letterboxes there, and we found 2 yesterday. We found 2 different ones there last year. We had fun!

Monday, July 21, 2008

And sometimes the claws come out....

Warning...the following entry contains Conservative Viewpoints that may be offensive to some at your own liberal risk...

I think of myself as a fairly nice person. I don't really like confrontations. I would even describe myself as a little shy. That being said, there are a few things that I get really passionate and fearless about. If certain buttons get pushed, I can become a pretty brave person. I am passionate about my family, my faith, my country, and some political issues. One of those issues being The Environment...but not in a way you may think.

I know some people who refuse to use plastic bags when they go to the grocery store. And for them, it is a big deal. To them, it is a sin. There are several messages out there right now screaming at us about how plastic is considered evil, and if we stopped using it, it would help us cut down on our dependence of foreign oil, and save all of the animals that are choking on our discarded plastic bags.

First of all, I want to say that I am all for cleaning up our messes. I think we should all be responsible stewards of the earth. We need to care for it and also for the creatures that share the earth with us. I think it is important. And there is certainly nothing wrong with using cloth bags every time we go to the store.

What really bothers me is the hypocrisy of it all, and the misinformation. So I felt like offering my opinion, along with some facts that I have researched for myself. This is the way I see it. You are welcome to disagree. And I am sure that some of you will.

I personally reuse all of the plastic bags I get at stores for several things at home. Lining smaller garbage cans, lunch sacks, holding wet swimming suits. I keep one in my diaper bag for disposing diapers when I'm away from home.

People who do not use plastic grocery sacks, and who are self righteous about you use zip locks? Plastic food containers? Plastic jars and bottles that contain our grocery items? With lids that animals choke on? garbage bags? Maybe you don't use those either. But if you don't, do you use soap to wash out your garbage cans? Soap that is changing the PH levels of our waters and streams and polluting our oceans? Do you use toxic cleaning supplies? Are you using electricity, that is created by burning natural resources and polluting our air? If you are reading this, you do.

One of the quotes from the link (Jan. 2008) reads, "China will save 37 million barrels of oil each year due to their ban of free plastic bags"...Let me set the record straight about that. Every barrel of oil is refined into ethane, propane, hundreds of other petrochemical products and, of course, fuel for your car. The plastic "by-product " needed to produce the bags is then mixed with polymers and manufactured to create the bags. It is a by-product of the oil. A by-product that is left over after we take everything else out of the oil barrel. At least we are using it for something. The by-product is going to be there no matter what. We have to dispose of it some other way that is just as harmful as making it into bags. So it is a LIE to say that cutting down on our use of plastic will in ANY way cut down on our dependency of foreign oil. The only way we can not be dependant, (until someone builds the water car), is to drill our own, here. I understand most of the Montanans want to do it. (If you want to learn more about how plastic bags are made, so you can know for yourself...just do a google search for "How plastics are made" and you will get dozens of valid websites giving you the correct information on how it is a BY-PRODUCT of oil.)

I am all for using water to make cars run, and I hope we can figure it out some day. Until then, our ban of plastics is not going to decrease our need for foreign oil, not one bit.

When I read things like this, I wonder how many other lies are being told. And how many people just accept lies because they saw it written down, or heard it from some self-righteous celebrity talking about it. Or because they feel like to jump on the Environmental Bandwagon gives them some kind of feeling of superiority?

Like I said, I think it is a fine idea to use canvas bags. It is better than using paper. I could get into a whole thing about how plastic is tons better for the environment than paper. Lots of evidence there. So canvas is great. Something I do think we should all do. And I am all for doing everything we can to save the animals. And I try to be considerate. But just ask all of this information that I am forming my opinions on true?

There is a quote from Ironman (my favorite movie of the summer), "It's an imperfect world, but it's the only one we've got." And we need to protect it as best we can. But it's complicated. Plastic bags are the tip of the iceberg. It may be a good place to start, but I feel that it is a superficial response to the real problem.

I wish there were some easy answers for our environmental problems. If I could be certain that no more whales or dolphins would be killed by my decision to never use another plastic bag again, of course I would do it. I love Whales and Dolphins as much as anyone. Unfortunately, The National Marine Debris Monitoring Program has said that 10% of the worlds coastline pollution is caused by plastic bags. Yes, that is 10% to much pollution, but what is causing the other 90%? Everything else we are just not ready to sacrifice. So lets admit it and stop pretending. Until you live in a cabin in the woods, made from some kind of recycled wood product, never take a trip, grow all of your own food and cotton for your clothes, never take advantage of any of the miracles that technology has provided for us...don't pretend that you are better than me, just because you carry your groceries in canvas.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

My little Garden

I have always wanted a garden. Last year, Jeff and I built 2 planter boxes...4x8ft. Nothing to big. Since we are always on a budget, we could only get one going this year. Dirt and Manure are expensive, if you get the good stuff. Step by step, our little house is becoming more livable, inside and out. The back yard is still a complete disaster, and so are the bedrooms and entryway, but off to the side of our front yard, that looks better and better every summer, is my little garden! I love fresh basil, ever since I started watching Rachel Ray on the food network. You can never find good basil in the store. Now I grab a handful whenever I need it!

Our little tomatoes are doing well! We just have tomatoes, cucumbers, basil, oregano, parsley, and carrots. It is a small garden, but I am so excited! Next year, when the other garden gets going, I am going to plant spinach and lettuce. Then I will have everything I need for a really great salad!

The white netting is for the tomatoes. Jeff's dad hooked us up with some great tips when he was in town. The tomatoes are suppose to climb up the netting and produce more tomatoes then they normally do in a cage. We also have a raspberry bush that we have been working on for a few years, and this year we are finally getting raspberries! We also planted strawberries last year, but they still are not producing berries yet. We still have lots of empty, dirt filled flower beds all over the front yard. We put curbing in last year and were going to fill them with flowers this summer...Maybe the flowers will go in next year. Little by little, I keep telling myself. It's only been 7 years after all :).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Drawing Dough

Another really fun project that is great for both little and big kids.... It's equal parts water, salt, and flour (about 1 cup of each). Add some food coloring and put in plastic candy making bottles. (mix all of the ingredients in a bowl first. I tried to just shake everything up in the bottles, but the mixture is too thick and does not shake up very well.)
I got the clear plastic bottles at Robert's Craft Store in the cake decorationg section. They were about $1 a piece. Then I found some Ketchup and Mustard bottles at Target last week, and they were in a pakage of 2 for $1. I got lucky! We used sturdy cardstock because the drawing dough is too thick for paper. It was tons of fun! And there was nothing for Derek to get burned on! I did this project with Derek the first time when he was about 1 &1/2. He really loved squeezing the bottles out then too! Clint, Talon and Delaney all did pictures that were quite a bit more sophisticated, of course. It was a great way to spend a hot afternoon.

Afternoon in Salt Lake City

The Fountain at Gateway is so cool. I love the music they play with the water show. It really is beautiful. But we never remember to bring our bathing suits. At least this time I brought a towel.
And it's free!

Clint wanted to show Matthew the old Train Station there. It has a great echo inside.

Of course we got ice cream afterwards. Ben and Jerry's. Derek got some kind of a Mango Icy thing. It was so yummy! Clint and Matthew got waffle cones.

But the main reason I wanted to go downtown was to check out the new little cupcake place I had read about...Mini's Cupcakes What a cute little shop. Everything is pink inside. It is a great little place. The cupcakes are gorgeous. You can choose a variety in a 1/2 dozen box for about $6. Maybe a little pricey...but fun to go for a special treat if you are down that way.
Locally owned and operated...It's a good thing for me it is about a 25 min. drive each way!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

China Experiment

This is Victor, who stayed with us for 4 days last week. He is one of a few children visiting the US as part of an Olympic Exchange Program. I am not sure what part of China he is from, or what his last name is, but he was a really cute kid. He and Clint got along really well. The most difficult thing about having him here was having him up at about 4:30 every morning. Other than that, I think he had a pretty good American Experience. We went swimming...
And some of our cutest friends came along...

We also played night games, And had some other facinating American Adventures that included grocery shopping, the library, church, and Moss Ledge, one of our favorite little picnic sites up Big Cottonwood Canyon.

I was so upset that my camera battery died after this picture...The waterfall at the top of the trail is really cool.
I guess the kids are in Morgan and Ogden now. Exploring diffrent parts of Utah. It seems like a really amazing program, but I don't know how I would feel about sending my Clint to China for a few weeks. Fortuantely, it also sounds kind of expensive...It will most likely never be a decision that I will need to make. But good for you Victor! Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monkey Boy

How's it Hangin'?

I love my little monkey boy!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Wicked Little Things

These are the infamous foxtails that have plauged our family for the past few years. I just received $100 for hosting one of the children from China involved in an Olympic Exchange, and guess what I get to use it for? More foxtail removal from Rex's ears. One of the hazards of having a big dog in Utah. Foxtails are everywhere here in the summer. It seems like no matter what precautions I take, they keep showing up. Poor Rex. Jeff and I just removed one from his paw yesterday. So gross! Poor Dog. I hope he appreciates it!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Rock Painting...ages 4 and up (Yes...Derek is only 3....big mistake)

A very cool activity that Derek and I saw in a magazine...He was really excited to make them... You find some good rocks, wash them and bake them at 250 degrees for 20 min. The rocks are hot, and then you melt crayons on them by just touching the crayons to the rocks. The rocks look like jewels when they are done...

The only problem is that the rocks are HOT..."make sure you don't touch the rocks Derek, they are really hot!"
Not hot enough to leave blisters at least...Poor Derek. Lucky for him you only need one hand to finish the project.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


In the car:

Me: Derek, stop calling your brother "big but" or you will go to time out!

Derek: (Strapped in his car seat) I'm already in time out!

Jeff was telling Derek to stay off his roped off corner of the lawn where he had just planted some grass seeds.

Jeff: Stay off the lawn right there so the seeds will grow.

Derek: What kind of seeds?

Jeff: What kind of seeds do you think they are?

Derek: Mulberries?

Jeff: (laughing) No.

Derek: Marshmallows?

Jeff: (laugh)

Derek: Cookies?

(Laughing, laughing, laughing)

Derek cracks us up!

Derek's new song that he made up himself: (The kid is a comic genius)

"I love you

You love me

Barney sings that on TV..."

Cousin Campout 2008

We went to a nice little campsite in Midway...Wasatch Park. No showers for 2 days!!!
Father, son time. Jeff's Mom and Dad came down from Washington for the week.

Garrett, Preston, and Derek played A LOT of Connect Four.
And they had a blast with the squirt guns that Grama Rita got for them. The rest of us didn't appreciate it as much. They worked great together as a team. I guess we should have been happy that they were all getting along so well....

Derek sure does love Marshmallows!
I finally had had enough of the squirt guns, so we played Kick the Can, Hide and Go Seek, and Car Lot. Then I took the boys down to the pond.

Of course there were lots of Geese and Ducks....

Feeding Time!
Everybody loves Ducks!

Derek got a little hungry.

We were lucky to find a playground at the pond.

Clint tried to sneak off and do what he likes best....

Until Dad showed up to show him how fun the playground could be. Even if you are the only big kid.

After playing on the playground, it was time to explore.

We found a tree trunk that had been chewed on by a Beaver!

Derek sure looks excited to point it out.

There was a little nature center by the pond. We checked it out. They had a few exhibits of rocks and animals. Here Preston and Derek take a look at some of the rocks and minerals found in Utah.

And here we have a display of Utah Animals. (Unfortunately, they are all dead.)

Jeff decided to do something silly....
Derek thought this was hilarious and wanted to be as funny as his daddy...Like father, like son.

Across from the Nature Center was a strange looking building...What could it be?
It was locked...but Jeff took advantage of this little teaching situation to teach his sons and nephews a little life skill....
How to pick a lock....

Inside were displays and teaching must be some kind of class room.

Clint decided to stay and perfect his newly acquired lock picking skills...

Time to explore the wetlands and streams...

Clint thought it was the funniest thing to keep throwing little sticky plants at the photographer (that would be me).

Garrett decided to chase after the muskrat...

But it was just too fast!
Derek just loves exploring with his Daddy.
Preston saw lots and lots of Dragonflies!

There were tons of Butterflies too!

Preston and Derek really wanted to go swimming in the pond, but it was pretty mucky, and there were some big fish jumping out there in the middle.

Outside of the visitor center was a nest built above the door. The babies were really cute and were just peeking over the nest...
Derek and I were apparently watching them for too long, because we were attacked by the Mommy Bird. And I mean really attacked!!! She was pretty scary when she was swooping around my head and squawking at us! We learned our lesson...Don't stand under a nest and watch baby birds for too long...the Mommy will not like it not one little bit!

After we packed up on Tuesday, we stopped at Jordanelle Reservoir to have lunch and swim. I didn't take any pictures. I wish I did. We had fun swimming, and the beach is not as rocky as some of the other lakes and creeks around here. And then, after that we stopped at the best shake shop in Utah!
Every time we are up in this area, we never miss the opportunity to go to Granny's. The best shakes in the world!
We had a great trip!