Friday, January 30, 2009

Day Trip

When Clint was little, we didn't have a Thanksgiving Point, which is usually our museum of choice these days. Clint and I used to go to the University of Utah Natural History Museum all the time when he was little.
On Martin Luther King Day, I used my free passes to take Clint, Derek and Clint's friends. We loved it.

They have a lot more than Dinosaurs! We had just as much fun as we usually do at Thanksgiving Point. It is much smaller, but also much less expensive.

And much less crowded!

They have rocks, bugs, Utah Wildlife, and of course Dinosaurs....
They also have a cool Anasazi room with Native American Artifacts...Museums don't have to be costly or fancy to be enjoyed. And we had a really great time. We will definitely be back!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Remember Gak?

Remember the first time we made GAK? (Click Here). Well, it is much more stretchy if you use Tacky Glue instead of Elmers. Of course, with Elmer's glue, it is cheaper, and it still works great, but Derek wanted to make more, and I was out of Elmer' Tacky glue it Was...and it was more like SLIME than GAK!!!! And slightly more sticky, and more runny...or maybe it was more runny because I knocked my Diet Coke over and it got all mixed up with the GAK...I guess we will have to try the experiment without the Diet Coke and see what happens! Doesn't the green look like someone threw up? We were going for a Chartreuse color...not quite?

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Color Zoo

It is time to settle back into some kind of routine. The last half of 2008 was pretty busy and stressful for me... But now things have settled down quite a bit. Now it is time to do some things we love to do....

Like some Lois Elhert Art.

Shapes and Colors make...


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy Birthday Derek!

Derek wanted to have a Ben 10 Theme for his birthday party this year. If you are not familiar with Ben 10, check this out:Ben10cartoonnetwork.We invited all of the kids on the street, and his cousins. I wanted to invite more, but 15 was enough. And we had a blast!

Derek is so lucky to have so many good friends!

We made Alien Masks,

Searched the house for Alien Lava Rocks,

Got some cool prizes for playing a Bean Bag Toss game,

Made Alien Brains.... (Remember Gak?)

Created our own Aliens with the Martian Matter Maker,

And ran like crazy all around the house!

Then it was time to open some presents! Derek got lots of cool stuff from all of his sweet friends!

Derek had a cake that looked just like Ben 10's Omnitrix!

And we had Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream too, because it is also green and black! Everyone had a great time.......Almost!

Happy Birthday Derek....And we love you too Preston!

Friday, January 23, 2009


I really don't know what I am talking about. I have heard somewhere that "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing" Alexander Pope (1688 - 1744). This is probably true. But it is for most Americans. We all have our opinions formed on whatever we read, or hear, from others who we trust and respect. Talk Shows, Newspaper, Radio, Politicians, and lots of Celebrities pretending to be Political Analysts, who really don't know a thing more than me. But feel like they are more important and that their opinions matter more than mine just because people see their movies. Really, how many truly educated people reside in Hollywood? I know, I know, there are some. A few. But not many.

What I really wanted to talk about was the amount of disrespect I saw demonstrated for our President after the Inauguration. (I know, it was not Obama, and I am sure that he would not approve...Obama appears to be pretty classy.) And during the term of his office. And maybe just remind myself that I have been grateful to President Bush. And he is not perfect, but I believe, that he was a good President. That I love America. I love America now. I love America as it was. And I have hope for America, that it can continue to be a force for good in this world, regardless of who the President is. Because it is the people of this country that make it great.

These are some things that I know for sure about President Bush:

The Washington Post reported that "The president has tripled direct humanitarian and development aid to the world's most impoverished continent of Africa since taking office and recently vowed to double that increased amount to 9 billion. I get really tired of people saying the only reason we are in Iraq is because of the Oil. Africa does not need a war, but the President has shown that he cares. What other world leaders have done anything like this for Africa? And why has no one even heard about this?!!!

Decapitating Al Qaeda's Top Leadership And Not Having a 2nd 9/11. Proving why something didn't happen is difficult, but we have to acknowledge that there has not been another 9/11 level attack on America. And many members of Al Qaeda are no longer with us. ( foreign policy)

I agree with the Bush's stand on Same-Sex Marriage, and Abortion. Lots of people disagree with his stands. I do not. And he stands up for what he believes what is right, instead of pandering to what some may say is public opinion. He knows what he believes in. And he stands up for it.

Preventing a Nuclear War Between India and Pakistan

Taking Down the A.Q. Khan Nuclear Proliferation Network

Getting Libya To Give Up Its WMD Programs And Renounce Terrorism

Turning Independent-Minded India Into a Strategic Ally

After a Rough Start, Sticking To a Pragmatic China Policy

Getting North Korea To Shut Down Its Nuclear Reactor (Eventually)

Giving Immigration Reform The Old College Try

Challenging His Party On Harmful Ag Subsidies While Pushing Free Trade

Bush has done more to combat aids than any other president.

Bush is the first president, to ever get all the Arab countries and Israel to sit down at a peace conference together.

Bush signed a treaty with Russia, to eliminate over 80% of the two countries nuclear arsenals, to reduce nuclear warheads from 12,000 each to just 2,000 each by 2012.

Bush diplomacy has produced the best relations with North Korea that America has had, since the Korean War.

Bush was the first president to have diplomatic exchanges and talks with Iran, since 1979.

I have been collecting facts for the past few months. Any of these facts can be validated by searches. All have several sources.

I am hopeful that Obama will continue to lead our country in the right direction. I will give him a chance. I hope he doesn't let us down. It is hard to do when so many Americans feel so differently about so many issues. Some things I can live with, somethings, maybe not. I just hope he really is best for our country right now. I have to believe for now, that he is.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Art Lesson

Chelsea came over yesterday. Clint and Derek love their cousins. And Derek especially loves Chelsea! Chelsea drew Derek a picture of Humongasaur...from Ben 10. I made her sign it. It will be worth a lot of money someday.
Derek sat at the table with Chelsea for a good 45 min. while she worked on her character sketch assignment for animation at BYU. And Derek drew a few really cool robots.

Derek wants to be a BYU Animation Student when he grows up. Or a Power Ranger.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Dinosaurs Live

I bought the cheap tickets...for Disney on Ice, it was just fine... But I wouldn't recommend it for Dinosaurs Live. Clint and Derek still absolutly loved it, but as I watched all of the patrons in the lower bowl come face to face with the Brachiasaurs, and actually get worried when that Allosaurs was running around, I thought, this is one time where you really do need good seats.
And why do you think it is that everyone loves T-Rex so much? She was the finale. The crowd went wild. Everybody loves T-Rex. I guess everybody just really loves a good villian!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's the Parents

Derek started his preschool Flag Football class today. He was very excited to play, and was doing a great job at participating and following directions. The class is for 3 to 6 year olds. he was the only 3 year old. But like I said, he was doing great. He definately has more athletic ability then some of the other members of our family. And he has a little more of a competitive edge as well. He was having fun, and he connected immediately with his teacher (some 20 something U of U student).
There was one little boy whose mom was on her cell phone for the first 20 min. or so of class who was simultaneously gossiping on the phone and leading her crying 5 yr. old around the gym trying to get him to participate. He clearly didn't want to be there, for whatever reason. Or maybe he just had a bad morning. At any rate, I would have handled the entire situation quite differently...but we are all different, and she is his mom. And I was content to just try to ignore the example of what I perceived to be bad parenting...And then I remembered why I hate sports.

The coaches put the little guys into two and yellow, and attached their flags. Derek was green, and they started a game of tag, with the little guys just trying to steal the other teams flags. Derek got out quickly the first game, along with a few of the other littlest guys. And he quickly learned that he could stay in longer just by trying to protect his own flags, and running from the bigger kids, instead of trying to steal their flags. The second game, he was very proud of himself for being one of the last ones out. The third game started, and Derek and 2 of the other littlest kids noticed the mom on the cell phone, and the kid crying and just standing there with his flags flapping around his legs. They all rushed the crying kid, the mom hung up her cell phone, bent down, and ripped Derek's and the other little guys flags off! I was sitting on the side, and I was a little shocked. Then Derek looked at me and started to cry. He ran off the floor, and I tried to make eye contact with the idiot who just ripped his flags off. I should have yelled at her, or done something...the coach blew a whistle to end the game. I was trying to decide if it was really a big enough deal to call the mom out and ask her what the hell she was doing?!!! Picking on a 3 year old?!!! I tried to reason with myself and tell myself it was not that big of a deal. The mom next to me asked "did she just rip his flags off?" Yes. Do I make a scene? I continued to try to make eye contact with the stupid mom. She avoided me on purpose. Derek's coach was great. Gave him extra privileges with the ball, helped him make a "touchdown", made him laugh. It is usually not the coach. It is the stupid, sickly competitive, trying to over-come my own mediocre life by living vicariously through my child morons that ruin sports for everyone. An experience that should be a fun and engaging form of exercise, a program to learn about sportsmanship and teamwork, is usually shattered by the selfish parents who are looking out only for themselves. Parents who try to elevate themselves by forcing their own childs interests on everyone else. These little guys are not even in school yet! If your kid doesn't want to play, Dont make them play! But don't take a little 3 year-old out to try to make yourself feel like you are not a crappy parent! Unfortunately, the world is full of bullies. There just always seems to be an inordinate amount in the world of childrens sports...and it is not the kids...It's the Parents!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Just today I was thinking that I really have nothing to look forward to for a very long time. No Vacations in site, a sinking economy, a looming Deomcratic Presidency, and then it hit me..

One thing to live for...Starting Tonight!!!! At least 2 hours every week when everything will be okay....I can forget all of my problems for a short time! American Idol is back! All is right with the world! I LOVE AMERICAN IDOL!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009


Did you know that the sense of smell is one of the last senses to develop in infants?I did learn a few things at BYU. My superpower is my sense of smell. Sometimes I wish it wasn't so strong. Derek has a very sensitive nose as well...and he didn't like many of these spices. In fact, I think cinnamon is the only one he didn't actually didn't find repulsive.

In spite of his over-sensitive gag reflex, we did discuss some of these various spices and learned a few vocabulary words while we were at it. Words like "sweet", "smokey", "warm", "spicy", "strong", "disgusting", "repugnant", "revolting". He did like the "Christmasy" peppermint extract. Is "Christmasy" a word?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

You can't win 'em all

Clint has had a disappointing week..I think most kids have a hard time getting over the post-Christmas let down, and going back to school, and everything else that comes with it. Clint is playing Jr. Jazz right now, and sports are really not his thing. He is a very good swimmer, and academically, and musically, he is brilliant. But he wanted to try Basketball again, with his friend. When he finally got the ball, he headed down the wrong way and nearly made a basket for the other team. I know. Poor little guy. He was so embarrassed. And if that wasn't enough, he didn't win at the district level for his film entry. That was a big disappointment too.
Life is full of disappointments and embarrasing moments. And we all learn about them the hard way early on. I wish I could take those moments for him, or make them better somehow. But all we parents can do is sit there and watch, and try to make them better afterwards. I am grateful for my little family, and that no matter what happens out there, we have a safe place where right here, together, at home, and everything is okay. Our new family theme song is Hannah Montana's "It's All Right Here!" It's the first song on my playlist here. Thanks Hannah!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Most of Derek's friends are older than him. But his second cousin, Nathan, is a year and a half younger. When Nathan comes over to play, Derek loves taking care of him and trying to teach him things, and getting to be the big kid. Derek taught Nathan to make martians with his Martian Matter. They also played follow the leader around the house with Derek being the leader, and without knowing they were playing. And Derek shared all of his toys, which is harder for him to do with friends that are his own age or older. Sometimes it's fun to be the big kid!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Favorite Store

I have driven by this store about 100 times, or more. It is in Draper on 700 E. and about 19000 South. A few weeks ago before Christmas, Jeff and I ventured in for the first time just to see what it was all about. It was so cool. Tons of imported gourmet foods that you cant find anywhere else. Things like Tahini, which I have looked for in vain, lemon curd, which I love, all of the foods that Jeff loved when he was living in Australia. German, South American, and other European candies and Chocolates. About 30 different types of Ginger Beer, which Jeff is an absolute conissure of. (No Vernors though :( ) Dr, Pepper flavored B-B-Q Sauce. Imported fancy Root beer. Mascopone Cheese. And just a lot of really unique and fun stuff. We take the kids every once in a while too. They have the greatest selection of homemade and old fashioned candy. And the best homemade salsa and other relishes and dressings. It is definitely worth a trip! Jeff took the owner a bottle of his imported Bundaberg Ginger beer that I have to order for him every year on Christmas and on his Birthday, from California. It is brewed in Australia and is the very best Ginger Beer in the World. Pirate O's is now going to start carrying it. I wonder if I took them a bottle of Vernor's, which is the very best Ginger Ale, from Michigan, if they would start carrying that too. We can only hope!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Do you remember what you wanted to be when you were little? I think I wanted to be a few different things. I wanted to be a Veterinarian, and a Ballet Dancer, a Horse Trainer, and a Teacher. I did end up becoming a teacher. Do you think that we are born with certain tendencies to do certain things with our lives? And we kind of know what we are suppose to do, even when we are little? If that is true, I have a brilliant Shark Expert on my hands right now. Derek LOVES Sharks. He always has been fascinated by them.

He has this Shark Book Memorized, and used to take it to church on Sundays to wow everyone in the Nursery. For his talent at the Family Reunion Talent Show last summer, he rambled off the names of 20 or so sharks without looking at anything. Giving descriptions of them as well.
We went to the Aquarium, which Derek and I frequent often, on Saturday again, with Jeff for the first time. I feel like this is one more reason that I have to get my family to California as soon as possible.

I don't think I am doing my little Oceanographer a real service by living in Utah....

But of course, he does like Dinosaurs too....hmmmmm

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Post Holiday Randomness

14 days. That's how many days Clint had home from school. I like it when Clint is home. It is possible that it is because I have only 2 kids, I like it when they are both home. I worry a lot about Clint when he is gone. And I like him just being around. I like it when his friends come over, and I can keep an eye on things. And I like the noise and the laughter of having kids in my home. I am glad that Derek's friends are starting to like coming over too. Although Derek is becoming so independant, it makes me sad sometimes. He is growing up so fast, and needs me less and less every day. I felt like I really found myself when I became a mom. I am happiest in this stage of my life, and I find myself wishing I could slow down the clock and stay in the moment of having young kids forever. They are growing up so fast. I love being a mom.

I didn't plan on writing all that stuff about being a mom...but that is how I am feeling right now. This Christmas, I was not very diligent about taking pictures of everything. And I always take pictures. I want to write down some of the highlights so I can remember them, even though I don't have the photos to go along with them. I had some stress, like everyone else around this time of year...followed by exhaustion....again, like everyone else. This is turning into a very lame post. I think I will just stop now and go to bed. I will finish up tomorrow. I just know that thousands of people can't wait to read about our amazing adventures this holiday season...or at least maybe 2 or 3...