Sunday, August 31, 2008


If you know me at all you know that I "survived" Hurricane Katrina.  (and remember I was 17 months pregnant during the whole thing.)  I marked the 3 year anniversary of that event this weekend by keeping an eye on the weather channel, tracking Huricane Gustav and thinking about what I experienced 3 years ago.  I read back over my journal and remembered some of the things that we experienced.  I remembered writing lists and stories for a few reasons.  One, because there was nothing else to do but to write.  We had no power as the storm approached.   It was raining terribly and we couldn't go outside during the storm.  And after the storm there was no fuel for the vehicles and most roads were so covered with trees and debris that it was impossible to travel.  So, we stayed home for days and days in the dark and the hot humid heat of the house.  So, I wrote.  I wrote also to try to capture the feelings that I had in my heart as I experienced first hand the things that we had been told would happen by our leaders and prophets of God.  I now knew why I had stored water, food, and other supplies and I wanted to remember that feeling of being prepared and obeying the wise counsel of our leaders.  I also wanted to record the ideas I had of being better prepared for future storms and hardships.  I knew I wouldn't remember everything I wanted to do if I didn't write it down as I was experiencing it.   Our home was still in tact after Hurricane Katrina and we had been spared so much that others had not been so lucky so be blessed with.  Rick and I both agreed that what we experienced through Hurricane Katrina and all of the people we met and stories we heard changed our lives.  It changed who we were and what we valued.  It changed us.  But what about 3 years later?    Our lives were back to normal within a few weeks to a few months even though there are still people on the Mississippi Gulf Coast who are still without homes, power, and comforts that they once enjoyed.
My heart goes out to those people I saw on the Weather Channel this morning who were evacuating New Orleans.  Will their lives ever be the same?  What will they go home to next week when the storm is over.  Will they lose loved ones and all of their possessions as the storm rolls through?
Sorry for the Mormon insights here, but the only thing I can relate it to is being a missionary.  Being a missionary is life changing.  Giving up 2 years of your life to serve God 24 hours a day.  It changes a person.  It makes them better.  They come home a different person.  They still want to serve 24 hours a day.  They want to change everyone else--make them better, too.  But gradually reality sets in, work happens, school happens, and missionaries turn in to every day people, too.  They forget the stories, the lessons learned, and how they wanted to change the world.  Until they are reminded of what they experienced and what they felt and what they did about it.  
So, this little 3 year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina I will watch the news.  I will think of my Mississippi friends and even my New Orleans friends.  I will pray for them.  And I will remember.  I will remember what I learned from Hurrican Katrina and the people who died and the people who still suffer.  I will pray for them.  And I will remember the people effected by Hurricane Gustav and I will pray for them.  I will remember and I will do better.    

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Breaking Dawn Review

I hated it.  First of all, like her other books, she takes 750 pages to tell a 250 page story.  TOO MUCH INFORMATION.  Too many details.  Now, Harry potter books are long and have lots and lots of detail.  But, it's interesting detail and relevant. 
Second, shame on you Stephenie Meyer for writing this series and promoting it as a young adult/ teen book.  Are you serious?  I thought the last book was on the edge, but this one was too much.  My tween will certainly not be reading this book.  I am throwing it away.  I don't want it on my shelf or in my house.  I am still trying to figure out how to explain to Summer how this LDS/BYU graduate Mormon has written a book that is inappropriate for her to read and yet how it is OK that I and every other adult woman on the planet has read it and THAT is OK.
UGH.  I am done, although I have a lot more to say.  I think I will go clean the bathrooms in an effort to expend all of this negative energy in a more productive way.      

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Family B & W

I just cannot get enough of these adorable family pictures that were taken last month by Shannon.  These are my favorite black and white photos.  You can find out more about her photography here: 

Monday, August 4, 2008

Happy to You, Summer

Here are some fun pictures of my sweet little Summer.  She is turning 11 and I can't believe it.  She was with my mom and sister over the weekend and I didn't have her around the house.  When she is away for a a day or two I really realize how much I depend on her.  She's so willing to help me and to help with her sister and brother.  I know that I can always trust her.  She is a good example to her family.  Summer always keeps us occupied with a project, a story or a performance.  We love her so much and wish her a very happy birthday and a great year.   

Friday, August 1, 2008

I did it, did you?

I ordered this.  And it will be available in less than 90 minutes...if I were crazy enough to stand in line for 3 days at Barnes and Noble.
Cover Image
I ordered it on Amazon.  It will be here on Tuesday.  Some nice UPS person will bring it right to my front door.  I don't care that I have to wait until Tuesday because I am still
reading this...

Sarah's Quilt: A Novel of Sarah Agnes Prine And The Arizona Territories, 1906
But, remember the doctor's orders?  I should stay off my feet for a while so I should be able to finish them both in the next week or so.

PS. I never finished the HOST by Stephanie Meyer.  I quit on page 100 and never looked back.  Sorry guys.

See, they're taking over the kitchen.


This is mostly for you, Amara.  Are they really Delphinium?  (not the greatest photos for identifying flowers !! oh well) That is what we thought they were. But, they didn't look exactly like I remember delphinium looking like when I took floral design at BYU.  But, hey, that's been a while.  We dug one up and took it back to the cabin with us.  The roots went straight down and they were really woody. 

Skyline drive basically begins in Spanish Fork canyon at the Rest Stop.  It winds over 100 miles along the very top of the Wasatch Plateau, providing access to mounts areas, meadows, lake, streams, and camp grounds.  Elevations range from 9,000 to 11,000 feet.  It is one of the highest roads in America.  It extends down to I-70.  Some of it is graded and can be traveled by car, but we have mostly just traveled little sections of it on the 4-wheeler or rhino.  Some people like to take snow mobiles in the winter and mountain bike in the summer.  (this isn't off the top of my head--I looked it up!) 

Good News / Bad News

We'll start with the good news: No stress fracture or broken bones.  No problems relating to bunion/bunion surgery.  I have a basic neuroma.  Easy solution:  numb my foot and shoot it full of cortizone.  Right now my foot feels FABULOUS, but that is probably because it is still numb.  It will probably hurt badly over the weekend and the Dr. said that I absolutely must not whatsoever under any circumstances whatsoever do any housework or cooking.  I feel highly pressured to adhere strictly to the doctors recommendations.  (What is a nueroma, you ask?  well, if you look at the first picture you will see that my second and third toe are quite separated from each other.  well, there is a nerve that goes down the foot and then splits and part goes down one toe and the other nerve goes down the other toe.  Where the nerve splits is where is it inflamed and the pressure is pushing the two toes apart.  The pain begins in the ball of the foot and goes up through the foot.  It sort of feels like a little electric surge that comes and goes (and sometimes stays all day!)  They shoot that area full of cortizone and that should solve the problem)
I really might have a sore foot for the rest of the weekend, but the dr. said if all goes well I will be running by the first of the week!!!  I haven't been this excited to get out and run since I was 9 months pregnant and couldn't move faster than a waddle.

BAD NEWS:  (brief history--I had bunion surgery on this foot when I was 19.  My feet didn't necessarily hurt from the bunions, but my mom thought she was doing a little preventative care when we decided to do this because she saw how badly my Grandma Ethel suffered with bunions through her life.  The surgery was HORRIBLY painful and esthetically didn't do a thing for my feet.  They looked just as bad after the surgery as they did before.  Fast forward to today...the doctor said that a normal foot has an 8-9% angle between the 1st toe and the 2nd toe.  Mine is 18% which is about what it was before surgery 20 years ago.  I clearly have redeveloped the bunions.  He said that I don't need to have surgery again unless 1)  I have severe pain, which I don't really have any more pain now than I ever have and 2) I have feet deformities because of the bunion--which at this point is a matter of opinion--my feet ain't pretty, but neither are they quite deformed!  Sooooo, no need for further bunion surgery until I meet the above criteria.
More BAD NEWS:  Beginning sings of arthritis in that that huge, ugly toe joint of mine. 
But I don't mind if I can just get moving again.  Follow up appointment is scheduled for 4 weeks.  Keep your fingers (and toes) crossed for me and my feet!!

pioneer museum in Fairview

This past week we visited the Pioneer Museum in Fairview.  We were told that we would find the fossils of a mammoth that was found in 1988 in a nearby reservoir.  What we did see was a replica but the kids were equally impressed.  My kids love to go to museums and see the artifacts.  They really loved the rocks.  Cole managed to NOT break any priceless artifacts.  Good Boy.  His  favorite part was the stuff outside which included the vintage tractors and covered wagons.  I would recommend this little adventure to anyone who happens to be in the Fairview neighborhood with about 30 to 45 minutes to kill.

Feeling a little blue...

We drove the rhino almost up to Skyline Drive and we found these beautiful patches of dark blue flowers.  They are almost as tall as I am.  The weather was great considering it was nearly 100 back at home.  What a fun place to get away to in the summer when the weather is hot.