Tuesday, July 27, 2010

This is the Place

We all recovered, and are back to our normal, non-pukey selves.  It happened just in time as Merrill took the day off yesterday to have some family fun.

(Thank heavens it was real fun.. not vomit kind of fun.)

We went to spend the day in Salt Lake, and I can tell you right now, there aren’t enough hours in one day to have all the fun we wanted to have.

(So hopefully there will be a part 2.)

We spent the bulk of it at “This is the Place” state park.


For those of you who have never been there (who from Utah hasn’t?) or who has never heard of the place, it is a pioneer community that has been re-created, or buildings moved to show what the typical town looked like and how it functioned back in the day.  You can go from home to home, hear stories about the people who once lived there, and learn about daily life, some of the chores, some of the games, occupations.  It is very interesting.

Turns out, it was the perfect day to go.  It was mostly overcast and breezy and there were all of the patriotic decorations still up.

The girls were a bit skeptical at first about our plan for our “fun” family day, but they soon warmed up.

There was much to see and do.

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They rode on the ponies.  We thought that Ashley and Peyton would both be hesitant to ride, but they went happily and enjoyed it so much!

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Had fun petting the animals in the petting corral.


Watched out for poop…


And Peyton wanted to try to ride the goat like she did the pony. :)


Merrill got a shave at the barber.


He also told us of the many other things the barber would typically do for the townsfolk.  Blood-letting, surgery, dentistry.  He showed a rather mean looking tool used to extract teeth that was called “the friend of Lucifer” but he re-named it “Mindy”.  I was looking at Merrill, still in the chair, he was looking back at me.  I started to look all over me to see if my name was displayed somewhere that I wasn’t aware of.  It was too funny!  After the other people left, Merrill was cleaning up his face and I asked this guy if he seriously calls it a “Mindy”.

“We’ll yeah.  I just thought it sounded like a much kinder, more friendly name.”

I just kept looking at him, like, really?

He looked at me with wide eyes and said, “Is your name Mindy?”

He laughed a good bit and then told me of all the time he’s been doing this, no one named Mindy has ever come through.

We took the girls to get treats and a drink (because we ran out of water all too soon) at the ZCMI.

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We rode the train.

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We panned for gold and took it to the bank to trade it in for money.


And during all of this, we enjoyed scenery, and our heritage.

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We finished off the day with what was supposed to be a hike to Ensign Peak.  Due to vandalism, and people altering trail signs, we ended up at Vista Mound.  Still a pretty view, but not what Ensign is supposed to be…  Lynnie- biffed it and cut up her knee pretty bad so we didn’t continue on.

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Another day though, right?

July 26th..



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July 25th..


Friday, July 23, 2010

A re-run.

There are lessons that seem to repeat themselves in our lives as often as old M*A*S*H re-runs.

Faith and Prayer seem to be the top two being repeated lately.

We have a key to our house, hidden, just in case.

No, it is not in a fake rock.

(So don’t bother looking in our hundreds of rocks for “the one”.  It doesn’t exist.)

It is in a place where we can get it when we need it. 

Sadly enough, Peyton could too.

Last week, while fixing sprinkler heads, she found it (again) and was playing with it.  She went with the girls up and down the sidewalk on her trike and the scooter (both of which have nifty places for holding small things) and was in and out of the garage and back yard by the time I realized she had it.  I asked her to put it away, and she ran into the garage.  Being the best listener of the house on most days, I assumed she was doing just as I had asked her to, and was putting it away.

She didn’t.

As the sun set, and we began cleaning up to come in for the night, I looked in that secret (or not so secret) spot, and there was no key.  The search began.

Everyone was involved in finding this small, silver key that was whisked away by a very adventurous two-year old.

It kept getting darker, and the key wasn’t found.

Knowing that Merrill (who hasn’t had adequate sleep for who knows how long..) wouldn’t be able to sleep with the key on the loose for just anyone to come across, I took the girls in to get ready for bed and to have a prayer.  I asked our Heavenly Father to help us find that key tonight.  That if we didn’t find it, then someone who would not desire to cause our family harm would.

After I ended my prayer, Lynn told me that she had said a prayer too.

We ran over all the places we had looked and it came back to the back yard.  Merrill went out again, and came right back in with key in hand.

Relief was evident in the atmosphere of our home.

He told me, as the girls were sleeping, and we were getting ready for bed, that he had been taught yet another lesson by our sweet Lynn.

“She told me that she said a prayer that we would find it tonight.  I thought, ‘Yeah right.’  It just kept getting darker and who knows where Pey put it..  I thought for sure she had dropped it in the grass somewhere..  and then we find it.  Her faith amazes me.”

It does me too.

It also assures me that we are doing something right.

It also reminds me that I put far too many of what seems like “little” daily decisions into my own hands when they really belong in the hands of someone who knows much better than I.  Sometimes I think that I shouldn’t bother Him with my “problems” when there are so many others with much more to worry about, who need help in this world.  But the fact of the matter is that He is there, waiting, wanting to help us with everything and anything.  He loves us.  He is just waiting for us to ask.

Her faith and trust are another lesson that I need, to let go, not worry and let Him take care of it, just like He promised He would.  Because He does.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Remote-ly fun.

I wanted to capture a candid picture for the picture of the day using my remote.  We were all having so much fun in my craft/sewing room, and I thought it was a fun take on the day.
Peyton is just too observant.  She knew I had something fun, and she wanted a turn.  (Then so did everyone else..)
They aren’t candid, but I thought they were cute.. especially her expressions!
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July 22nd..


Double duty.

I am loving using all sides of everything lately.

My next theme for decorations is “Sunshine” and I had these blocks to do, but couldn’t leave that other side bare…

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So I hashed it out, and “Thankful”, was what fit perfectly!

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Literally Lynnie.


A little over a week ago, we (the girls and myself) took a little trip to a new to us fabric shop to buy darling fabric for baby quilts.  My aunt, who has only sons, is anxiously awaiting the arrival of her first two grandbabies, one boy and one girl, just weeks apart (her daughters-in-law’s tummies are too adorable!!) coming this fall.  So we had a legitimate excuse…

We were joined by my aunt, Peg, my mom (aka “Grammy”), my SIL Randee and her two munchkins. 

We are one fun group!

After spending a lot of time (and money) at the fabric store, we headed out to find lunch.

(I also had a blonde moment, but that will have to wait for a more appropriate post, with other recent blonde moments of mine..  by the way, are you enjoying how I am skipping all over in this blog post?  Do you feel like you are getting exercise or something?  I sure do.  Maybe I just have ADD.)

We wanted something fast, but not McDonalds.  (Oh no…  NOT McDonalds.)  We ended-up at a Wendy’s (strawberry frosty shake anyone?  Yum…)  where all were made happy.

But no one was quite as happy as Lynnie was with the prize in her kids meal. 

Joke cards.

Joke cards and funny glasses complete with an oversized nose and an attached, equally as large, plastic mustache.

The jokes really were cute the first, oh, I don’t know, two maybe three times around.  She would read them slowly, sounding out every word in her best almost second grade reading pace.  We would take our best guess as to the answer to each riddle, and then hear the correct answer, read in that same almost second grade reading pace.  We would usually laugh at the answer, and occasionally she would giggle.  It seemed as though she were still thinking about each one, the comprehension coming a little slower for her than for us.

Soon we found out why there was the delay in her laughter, sometimes the cause for no laughter at all.

She would take each joke literally.

She would break down and analyze each joke, telling us why it is funny.


“What did the chicken say when she laid a square egg?”

(The best answer, by the way came from Ashley, which was “What the heck?!  BAWKKK!”)

When all possible answers were tossed out there, Lynn would give us the answer.

“Ouch…  get it?  It would hurt because a square has pointy corners and it would hurt coming out.  Yeah, ouch.”

No laughter, just her literal break-down of the joke.

I am not sure how many joke cards came in her little kids meal, but I will tell you that I am sure I wasn’t broken hearted when she couldn’t locate them the next day.


July 21st..


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20th..

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Nothing stunk..

This is what Ashley would do at the top of every waterslide today.

The top.

Not near the bottom, just before you plunge into the water..

At the top.

And she would hold it the whole ride down.

She cracks me up.


(Not complaining..)

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One of the perks of being married to the GM of a new hotel is that time, especially time spent relaxing, is non-existent.

(Especially at hours when people should typically be sleeping.)

Vacations are an extinct species around these parts.

We so need one!

(Again, not complaining.)

Merrill has planned for time off, but it has never actually happened, yet.

(Crossing my fingers, toes, and eyes.)

He has been the lucky guy to fill in for midnight shifts (after working a whole day’s worth) for people who get sick, or who just don’t show up, only to turn around and work the following shift as well.

Glamorous, I know.

(Not whining.)

This last Friday, he planned to take off, ya know, so WE could have fun.  Guess what?  Yup.  He had to work it.

(Not grumpy about it.)

So he plotted  to take a couple of days off this week.

Sunday he got to work one of those fabulous midnight shifts because someone quit a half hour before their scheduled shift, and he enjoyed (?) sleeping most of the day away on Sunday.

(Church by myself wasn’t so bad..)

So we thought that nothing would get in the way of our day off on Monday.

But then something did.

And he had to (like REALLY had to) spend half the day Monday catching up on more sleep.

(I am really not complaining.  I promise.)

We still managed to have fun, while it was not the fun we planned, it was still fun.  We were together after all..

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It would just be nice to actually have some real time off to really play and do what we planned to do this summer.

(Just sayin’…)

July 19th..

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Sunday, July 18, 2010

July 18th..

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Family re-union-ing.

This weekend, the girls and I went to a family reunion.  I think I was the most excited of the group…  the drive up to Logan is a pretty one, and I was excitedly anticipating seeing cousins both close and distant.

I loved the familiar drive, pointing out spots to the girls that I remembered in our family drives when I was growing up, attending similar get-togethers.

As we neared Logan, the tears started.  They would well-up in my eyes as I told them the few stories I knew of how both sides of our family started there.

That was where my maternal grandma and grandpa met.

It is also where Merrill’s paternal grandma and grandpa met.

As we neared the park where everyone was meeting, a heavy feeling set in.  I knew that Grandma was there.

The feeling only intensified as we walked to the gathering, looked at old photos and scrapbooks, mingled with our family, and visited with my Grandma’s siblings.  She most undoubtedly was there. 

Don’t get me wrong, I loved it.  I loved feeling her presence and the presence of her parents as well, but I had to hide, preferably behind my camera so I could stay composed.

(It is a great thing to hide behind..)

It was a great day.

I also got some great pictures…

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Ashley McSplashley

Our middle child (who most of the time is the poster child for middle child syndrome) is also the ham of the family.

Really.  There are times when the things she says leave me and her father shaking our heads, wondering how that all got put together in her head.

She is quite witty that one.

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Like the time at the craft store when she grabbed this thought could and put it above her little head, put her finger to her mouth and said, “Hmmm..  I’m thinking of something..”

Or when she puts on her best “preacher-man” voice to marry Lynn and an imaginary prince saying: “Will you take this man to be your AWFULLY married husband?”

(She tried to re-marry Merrill and I that way as well.)


She was hamming it up at the pool the other evening.  With grandpa and grandma as her audience, she couldn’t resist.  She would run and jump into the pool repeatedly, laughing and loving it.  Grandma made the comment that she was a fish, to which she replied, “No!  I am Ashley McSplashley!!  Get it?  because I splash?!”  (Giggle giggle…)

She is quick on her feet, always using props to help in her hilarity…

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But of all her recent antics, Sunday’s little show takes the cake.

I was teaching her primary class about being thankful, saying “thank you”.  She is not an obnoxious kid  outside of the comfort of her own home, she is quite shy really, so getting her to answer questions during the lesson wasn’t so easy.  I got to the part, where I went to each child individually to ask them about a time when they told someone “thank you”.  Answers came and then I got to Ashley.  She just hammed-up her face with quite the quizzical expression, and I started to prod her little memory.  Suddenly, the look on her face changed, she put a knowing finger to her mouth, and answering my question in a voice just barely above a whisper, said:

“Remember this morning, when you picked out this stupid dress for me to wear, and said if I wore it and didn’t complain, then you would give me gum?  Well, I am going to say “thank you” after you give me my gum.” 

It was hard to keep a straight face after that.

It was the best answer.

July 15th..


July 14th..


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


We need oxygen to survive right?

(Well, unless you are superhuman..  or a vampire..)

You know how on an airplane, when they are running through their emergency spiel, they talk about those oxygen masks that will fall from the ceiling of the plane if the cabin loses air pressure?  And you know how they put emphasis on YOU putting on YOUR mask before YOU help ANYONE else?  Well, there was an analogy I heard YEARS ago dealing with that, that is now playing a very relevant role in my life.

If YOU don’t take care of YOURSELF, YOU cannot effectively (or  very cheerfully) take care of ANYONE else.

Kind of like, if you don’t have oxygen (necessary component for sustaining life) you can’t help anyone else survive.

I am making a point, everyday, to make sure I get that needed “oxygen”. 

I love being a mom, and I am SO THANKFUL that I am blessed with the life I live, that I get to stay home with my kids, do what I enjoy.  But sometimes, for sanity’s sake, I need a little break.

Whether it be crafting, reading, scrapping, taking pictures, or doing anything else I enjoy, just to take a break, I have learned how very important it is to take care of me.

And that is probably one of the reasons why I am blogging at this hour.  Just a little “me” time.

July 13th..

I was the lucky one who got to take pictures of my friend’s kiddos for their up-coming birthdays.
I want to eat them up..  especially Sawyer’s eyes…
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And there’s more where these came from!