Thursday, July 31, 2008

AFTER Pool Monday. . . .

If you read my previous blog about having more fun with my kids, you will remember that one of the things that I've been doing is "Pool Monday" each week.

We have a pool in our nieghborhood that we pay for with our HOA fees and so it's close and the cost is nominal (I like to say FREE, but Mark always points out that it is NOT free - - killjoy!)

Anyway just this past Monday I was telling him how great it was to take the kids to the pool - get them all worn out - feed them dinner, and then off to bed.

Well, it backfired on me pretty bad this week. Here's how it went down:

We go to the pool. Stay for about 2 hours. The kids play, we lay in the sun, etc. When we get home I feed them a snack and turn on a movie while I have some "quiet time". I was pretty tired and so I laid down on the couch with them and the next thing I knew the phone was ringing.

It was Mark telling me he was on his way home and wondering how my day had gone. I rub my eyes and realize it is eerily quiet at my house and it's been a good hour since I turned on the movie! I told Mark - "Whew, I am glad you called me - - I must have dozed off for a minute!" He then asks "Where are the children?" "Well, they're around here somewhere!" I start frantically looking around the house and find them playing quietly in their rooms. Wow, I think I'm really lucky. I dodged the bullet on THAT one.

That is until I went to download some pictures from my camera. Apparently, my two artistically inclined genious children decided that I wasn't the only one who could take pictures with the camera. I mean seriously, if MOM can do it, how hard can it be?!?

For some reason the shutter didn't open all the way when they turned it on so you get an even more artistic flair and don't ask me how they got the color to go red.

Here we have a showing of some lovely artwork by the 4 year old and photographed by the same 4 year old.
This is either a self portrait or his sister is trying to take the camera from him.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Four Months. . . But Who's Counting?!?

Well, it's official. Four months from now (actually yesterday) I will turn 40.

I'm not sure what to expect. People make such a big deal about mid life crisis, over the hill, etc., etc. This made me start to wonder. Will I wake up a different person when I turn 40? Will I suddenly start acting like a teenager? (Heaven forbid! I already have 3 and who wants to act like them?!)

Will I suddenly be completely unhappy with my zippy Honda Accord and NEED a fast Harley motorcycle so I can cruise around with booty shorts, some chaps and a tube top?!

I've seen several blogs with lists of 40 things to do before you turn 40. Most of these have been posted by my much younger (read plenty of time to complete the list) friends. This started me thinking about things I wanted to accomplish before I turned 40 and decided that since I did NOT want to set myself up for failure I would narrow it down to 4 things to do before I turned 40.

Actually as a disclaimer, I started thinking about some of these things long before 40 was pounding on my back door, breathing down my neck and trying to muscle me out of my thirties. So here you go:

1. Loose Weight. OK before you click out of my blog because this is the OLDEST goal known to womankind. Let me be more specific and explain. My specific goal is to weigh 140 lbs. by 40. This is what I weighed before I got cancer and was given the lovely hormone / steroid cocktail that made me gain 9 lbs in 10 days and 25 lbs overall. THEN having 2 kids in 2 years AFTER 35 didn't really help matters either. So there you have it.

2. Do some cool physical feat - like run a marathon, do a triathlon, ride a century (100 mi.) bike ride, etc. Well, I discovered that I am "Special Ed Sally" in the pool, so that cancels out the triathlon. Running for 26 miles didn't really appeal to me, so that leaves the bike ride.

I have signed up for the Utah Lake Epic Ride (111 miles - - but who's counting?!?) on August 9th. If I make it (live) I will let you know how it goes.

3. Add some culture and learn a new skill.

I decided to learn to play the violin this year. I have been taking lessons from my friend Mari since January. It has been slow going and sometimes humbling to realize that I'm on the same level as some snot nosed 8 year old. However, Mari is an excellent teacher and the true test will come in December when I have to play a Christmas ensemble with a group (probably some 8 year olds) during Sacrament Meeting.

4. Don't sweat the small stuff in life - learn to have fun with my kids.

For some of you this may seem like a no brainer. However I am all about "The List" and getting it done. As I look back at my "first batch" of kids I realized that sometimes I would pass up an opportunity to do something that would have been fun because there was laundry to do, or the garden to weed or floors to mop, or whatever was on my list. Now, I am not saying that my older kids were deprived by any means, (they might tell you different) but I think I lost some great opportunities for something that was not as important in the long run.

This goal is not something that can be accomplished by the time I am 40, however I have been trying really hard to work on it, especially this summer. My two little ones are getting to the age where I can do a few things with them and so I have been trying to take advantage of that.

We have instituted "Pool Monday" and "Pool Wednesday" with some of my friends in the neighborhood and we go to the pool on those afternoons - sometimes on Friday as well. The kids really love it and it forces me to let some of the little things go, and you know what? It doesn't really make a difference! My house has not fallen down yet because the floors didn't get vacuumed every day - you may just have to wear flip flops when walking through the kitchen, but the POOL was great that day!

Stay tuned to see if I REALLY make it to FORTY. Will I turn all warty? Will I get the Harley complete with chaps and tube top?! (Chilly in November) Or will I just throw in another load of laundry, kiss my husband and babies and be grateful that I made it this far?

To be continued. . . . .

Monday, July 7, 2008

I Hope They Call Me On A Mission. . . .

Matt received his mission call this week. Since he was on a cruise with some friends (a high school graduation gift from his Mom) he had no choice but to wait until Sunday to open it. I'm sure the suspense was killing him!

We all gathered at his Mom's house in Sandy on Sunday evening and everyone took a guess as to where they thought he would go. I guessed Brazil. Mark was feeling Kansas City.

As it turns out neither one of us was right . . . . .

Matt has been called to the San Fernando, California - Spanish speaking Mission.

I didn't know this, but Matt really wanted to go somewhere where he could learn Spanish.

Matt will report to the MTC on September 17th. When he opened the envelope and read the call to us he got really emotional - and that made me get all teary eyed too.

Since I forgot my camera I Googled some pictures of San Fernando, CA. One of the ones that came up was this one:
Now, I am SURE it is not put out by the LDS church, but I thought I would include it since for the next two years Matt will be calling this little part of the world home. I know that this will be hard for him. But I also know that if he puts forth the effort that the Lord requires, great blessings will come his way. We are very proud of the choice he has made to serve our Heavenly Father and his children at this time in his life. Way to go Matt!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Town

My family has lived in the same small town for 27 years. When we first moved here we lived on what was then the outskirts of town - known as "The Bench". There wasn't much up there - our block was 2 miles around and had about 8 or 9 houses around it.

The town didn't have any stop lights - just stop signs. Several intersections didn't even have a stop sign at all - you just used common sense when you approached them.

Mark and I built our first house about 2 miles from my parents house and lived there for 11 years and loved it. It was just far enough away that we weren't in their hair all the time, but close enough that the kids could ride their bike up to Grandma's house on a Sunday afternoon.

Soon the town started to grow and things started to change. The day they put a stop light on Main Street, I had a little fit. Mark (being from the little big city of Reno) tried to reason with me and explain how much it was needed etc., etc. I was having NONE of it! I told him this was the beginning of the end, things would never be the same. In a way I was right. The population of our town has exploded over the past 10 years. However, there is one thing that has remained the same.

Every year the city has a City Celebration called Round-Up Days. They have various activities throughout the week. There is the All Horse Parade on Thursday night where you can see the Rodeo Queens, the Sheriff's Possee, and lots of other talented (and some not so talented) horsemanship. Also if you sit next to my smart alec sisters you get a lot of "horses ass" jokes. Funny every year!

Here is the start of the all horse parade - I just love it when the flag comes by and we all stand to pay our respects. I almost always get teary eyed thinking about how lucky we are to be able to live in such a great place.

Here is one of the Rodeo Queens - Madeline kept telling me "Look Mama - it's a princess!!" She loved it!

They have a parade on Friday night and Saturday morning where each of the LDS wards in Lehi decorates a float and enters it in the parade. It is very much a hometown parade - along with the other larger floats, marching bands, cheerleaders, etc.

Our family always goes to the Saturday morning parade - and we always meet at the same place. This year was especially hot and Jack brought his squirt gun. It was entertaining just watching him squirt people in the parade - although we told him no squirting the queens - only the kids pullling the floats. Here they are scoping out their next victims!

Then there is the Rodeo.

This is a three night event that goes Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. This has gotten to be very popular and sells out very soon after tickets go on sale. This year we sent my sister Julie down on opening day to get us all tickets together for Saturday night. We got lucky and got seats together.

Again, my most favorite part is when they bring out the flag. This year they handed out small flags to everyone as they walked in the gate and before they sang the National Anthem they played God Bless America and the horses trotted around the arena and everyone waved their flags. It was cool.

This is not a great picture, but here we are before the rodeo started.

And this is the love of my life - he came late because he was out of town, but he made it and that's what counts!

I have very fond memories of Round-Up Days and hope to pass the tradition on to my kids. I know that there will always be change and it isn't the same small town that I once knew, but maybe if we keep some of the traditions alive, some of that feeling will carry on.