Friday, September 30, 2011

getting ready for conference

This might be the last picture for the year of our days in Scofield.
Or maybe not.
This is one of my favorites for a lot of reasons.
We had walked up to the cemetery.  We do that a lot.  It's not because of my fascination with cemeteries as much as the simple fact that in Scofield, the cemetery seems like a great destination for a walk since it is located ALL   THE   WAY   ACROSS   town.  It's just the right distance.  And if you are jogging/running, you can get just enough uphill/downhill variety in the 1 mile loop to make for a nice little workout.  Especially if you do it a few times.
We had walked up to the cemetery to take some pictures.  And it's not like I don't already have pictures of the Scofield Cemetery.  But, this time I was taking pictures for a project that I am helping with...
the Church is accepting photos from regular old people like me to use for various purposes.  Members (who have an LDS account) can log into a page on the website called The Vineyard.  (you go to MENU, then, Serving in the Church, then, Volunteer and Contribute.  Then scroll all the way to the bottom and you see The Vineyard.  Summer and I have been subject tagging photos for the Church.  The Church has needs for various photos and they have a list.  5 pages long.  And members all over the world can submit photos.  The photos can be used for Church magazines, websites, lessons, videos, and all sorts of other uses.  All of the photos that are approved go into a big data base and then people like me and Summer can volunteer to subject tag the photos.  Each photos is tagged about 20 times.  Volunteers tag a photo by attaching words to photos that one would use to search for a particular photo in a data base.  So, for example, a General Authority might want a photo of a headstone for a talk on Family History.  He could access the Church's data base of photos and search for a picture that fits his talk according to words like, cemetery, grave, headstone, etc.  I have tagged 100's photos with subject words and I have also submitted about 15 photos of which 7 or 8 of them have been accepted.  I am planning on submitting some of the pictures that we took this weekend of the cemetery in Scofield as well since cemetery and gravestone photos are on the list of needed photos.
I learned about all of this fun stuff at Education Week.  Summer and I have kept track of the time we have spent working in the Vineyard and are using that for a 10 hour project for Personal Progress.
And...we have even been interviewed by LDSNews about our participation in the Vineyard.

About the picture.
Sierra walked all of the way down the hill with her eyes closed.
Cole has his gun in his hand.  I'm not sure why he doesn't have a gun in both hands.
Summer is sporting the Scofield fashion look with the side braid and all.
And the scenery in the background is where I want to live.  But, only for 6 months out of the year.  It is seriously the prettiest little cattle ranch ever.  Except that would mean having cows.  So, I'll just admire.
And if the view were a little wider you would see the quakies turning yellow up in the surrounding hills.  So pretty.

And Conference...
We read President Uchtdorf's message on the Church website about General Conference--No Ordinary Blessing.

1.  Members of the Church are entitled to personal revelation as they listen to and study the inspired words spoken at general conference.
2.  Don't discount a message merely because it sounds familiar.
3.  The words spoken at General Conference should be a compass that points the way for us during the coming months.

I have usually just approached conference ready and willing to accept the messages presented.  I haven't always listened to conference with particular questions that I want answers for.  In our family, we have a topic that we have been working on and we hope that we can find answers to that issue as we listen to conference.  I also have a few questions of my own that I will bring to conference.

Elder Holland said this about General Conference..."Some one of us will touch on your circumstance and will send a personal little prophetic epistle just for you."
I hope I am listening.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Picking Currants

We were in Scofield last week.  Kind of a last shabang for the season.
I think we were the only ones in the whole town.  
It was awesome.  And it was currant picking season.
 Good thing we have some connections with the right people.

This is the home of some family friends.
Out behind the back of the house is the creek that runs through town.
 This is where we were went to find the currants.
Summer had been currant picking before so she knew exactly where to go.
 Sierra and I climbed through the stinging nettle to find a little patch of currants.
 I had a big stick that I used to hold back the stinging nettle while Sierra picked.
Once we had picked that area clean, we headed down closer to the water.
 And then Rick showed up to help us with the picking.
He was brave and made his way down by the water's edge.
 Summer and Rick
 Mostly, I just kept taking pictures of Rick because he usually doesn't join us in our berry picking adventures.

Here is a nice, bright branch with berries and you can see the creek in the background.
 This is what your hands look like after picking currants.
 Aren't they so pretty?
 We decided that these berries were the best looking ones in town because they are right on the creek and get plenty of water.  You can spot them easily right now because the leaves are starting to turn a dark red and they are so pretty.  There are bushes growing all over the town, even in areas that are abandoned and don't get any water.
The thistles were growing right in the middle of the currants on the creek bank.
Apparently they like the location next to the water as well.  
They were sticky and prickly and nasty, but besides all that they were really pretty...Some purple left and lots of fluffy seeds blowing in the breeze...

After 2 hours of berry picking and a few rounds with the stinging nettle and thistle...we had a nice cooler full of currants....enough to make 2 quarts of worth our time.
(that would be a little bit of sarcasm...but it's all about the adventure--not the amount of juice!) 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Ready or Not...

This time of the year always seems to put me in the mood to Prepare.
Maybe it's the little anniversary in my head of Hurricane Katrina or the 
Earthquake in DC/Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Severe Flooding 
that has plagued the Eastern United States.
Or, it could have been a series of classes that I attended at Education Week.
The class was titled:
Preventing Preparedness Procrastination
taught by Tal Ehlers who is the Emergency Management Director of Uintah Co.
He talked about...
10 thing you would like to have accessible if all modes of delivery and transportation were stopped.
Figure out YOUR list and buy it NOW.

Just because it's not happening to you doesn't mean it's not happening.

72-hour kits, food & water sanitation

Every family should have a FAMILY PLAN
schedule a meeting.  write down the plan.  (or record).
keep plan in 3-ring binder.  everyone must know the plan, where the written plan is located and that the plan is the same no matter who is home.

Shelter in Place (I had never heard of this before)

Temporary restroom facilities in case of emergency (I've never thought of this)

And much, much more.
I mean, I would like to think that we take our preparedness quite seriously around here.
But, we put these 72 hour kits together months ago.  We couldn't find a great place for them and we didn't want them in the garage because of past experience with rodents.  gross.  So, they just sat in the family room.  And drove me nuts.  I had to up my medication (not really).  
then I heard these stories of the recent disasters in our country combined with the class at Education Week and I decided that this was a perfectly reasonable place for the 72 hour kits. 
Plus, Rick keeps adding to his kit.
For example, he found a Really Good Deal on a 3-in-1 handy dandy preparedness tool a couple of weeks ago.
It's light weight.  It has a knife thingy. a saw. and a hatchet. and a shovel.  And it folds down really small and weighs almost nothing.  It's called a tactical tomahawk.
Mostly, it gives me a piece of mind against the zombies.
you know,
Aim for head or else you're dead.

One thing that I need to get updated is my car kit.

I also need to get small kits for the kids for their backpacks.  I got freaked out when they brought up the story of the kids up in Lehi/Highland/Alpine who had to stay overnight at the school a couple of winters ago when that really freak snowstorm blew into town and shut down roads because of sideways blowing snow and low visibility.
I am also trying to update my information sheets...

And, the Mapleton Stake puts on a Preparedness Class once a month that I/we have been trying to attend. 
(I live in the Mapleton NORTH Stake, so not my stake, but we have been invited by the kind, prepared members of the other stake in Mapleton to get prepared.)
Last month, the class was about communication.
Seriously, it was awesome.
I need a HAM radio license.
And a HAM radio.
Rick and Summer have a license.  Now, it's my turn.

Past classes that I have attended included Earthquake Preparedness & Water Storage / Sanitation

This week we are learning about Food Storage (and wheat).
The class only lasts an hour and they said to be on time and be prepared to be filled with info because they will be dishing it out fast and furious.  (the info, not the wheat.)
But, I have decided that I live in the wrong stake.
Those folks on the other end of town are on the ball.
I may take up residency on the other side of the tracks just so I can be sure someone will come looking for me when the big one hits.  Or when the zombies come.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Celebrating Fall

The light dusting of snow on Timp and the glimpse of red & orange in the hills this weekend prompted me to get out the Fall Decorations.  I love decorating for fall.  Here is a sneak peak...

The buffet table in the kitchen area.

This is a new acquisition.  We've got a big case for owls this year.

I totally copied this idea off the internet.  I had the wooden plaque thing and the orangish scrapbook paper on hand.  I cut the paper down to fit through the printer.  I found the font on my computer.  I modge podged the paper to the board (that I spray painted black!)  I love a free project.  The kids don't get it.  I laugh every time I walk past it. I don't get out much.

I bought the owl mugs at the Corner Station in Fairview last fall.  I wish they weren't mugs.  I never use mugs.  But they were so cute that I bought them anyway.  Remember the above mentioned owl obsession? 

Rick bought the Trick or Treat blocks at the gift shop at the hospital a few years ago.  They always have cute things at the hospital.  I made the bunting mostly from fabric that my mom passed on to me.   Thanks Mom.

And this little arrangement kept Cole occupied for at least an hour.  I've had this black tree for a few years. Originally I had it decorated with orange pumpkins.  Last year I found the black, purple and green witches.  I let Cole decorate it however he wanted.  He chose a little of everything.  Works for me.

Happy Haunting!!

I got nothin' to say...

I have been without a camera for a few weeks now.  The lens cover will not open when I turn it on.  It's been slowly getting worse ever since I opened it on Christmas morning.  Rick thinks that it's because of all of the dust from this trip...

 Yes, that is dust all over my face.  It was definitely gritty.  Maybe the dust did have SOMETHING to do with it...

So, I had to ship my camera off to California because the repair is covered under warranty.  I am hoping to have it back by next Christmas.

I'm digging into the recent photo archives here...
 I went school shopping with Sierra a few weeks ago.  It's so much easier going shipping with Sierra when I don't have the twins with me.  The twins are really hard to shop with.  Our first stop on the shopping trip was at DI, mostly to drop off a few bags of old clothes that no longer fit so that we would have room for the new school clothes.  We ran inside to find a couple of things I had in mind for projects.  I was trying to be quick so I wasn't looking at everything carefully.  Sierra spotted this little bag and thought we needed it. I think it was a dollar.  It looked like Fiesta ware.  The problem with Fiesta salt and pepper shakers is that they don't say "Fiesta" on the bottom because the little stoppers are in the way.  So, as first I didn't know if we had a treasure or not. I called Summer and had her take a picture with her phone of the Fiesta S & P Shakers at home and text it to me so I could compare the bottoms.  It looked like a perfect match.
I figured it was worth the one dollar gamble.  And it paid off.  Sierra spotted a real treasure.  It is very rare to find Fiesta at DI.  It has only happened to me one other time.  And the best part is that they "appeared" to be unused.  Still, I washed them and sanitized them.  Several times.

And this slightly out of focus picture reminds me of one thing...RUNNING.
Because it was taken just a couple of hours after running the Hobble Creek 1/2 Marathon.
Can you guess which toes are mine and which ones belong to Summer?  shouldn't be too hard.
This reminds me that the Utah Valley Marathon registration is now open.  I am totally doing it again.  But, I will probably wait for a few more months to register.  But, I don't want to wait too long when the registration price goes up or when it sells out.  I will do the 1/2 again.  If Rick's schedule allows, he will do the full marathon.  Now, for the other news...there isn't a's a 10K next year.  So, if you're in, let's get training.  And speaking of training...I am verbally committed to run the Snow Canyon 1/2 Marathon NEXT fall.  It takes place in October.  If that plan falls into place, you'll be hearing more about that in the future.

Oh, I found these pics of a recent DI find...We were looking for something completely different and stumbled upon this chair...
Of course, when we found it, it was a light wood color.  Not cute but totally solid.  So, I got it home and checked my Year's Supply of spray paint and decided that the chair totally wanted to be periwinkle.

No good "BEFORE" shots, but Summer did get some good action shots.  Here it is in the house...

Here is Fisher putting the chair to good use when we celebrated Summer's birthday.

I have more to say, but since my audience (amara and audrey) is out of town this week, I'll save some for later.  FYI's been really quiet this week.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Sierra Jean

Sierra was born in Grand Blanc, MI just a couple of weeks after we moved from MO.
This is Sierra's blessing day.
I bought this dress over labor day weekend when we went to Birch Run over Labor Day.
It was $12 at the Gap outlet.  It was size 6 months.  
I didn't even know if I was having a boy or a girl.
(We were sooo poor)
The poor dress was so big, we had to take the buttons off and move them in to try to make the dress fit better.
Sierra was such a good baby.  
Don't you love those big blue eyes?

When Sierra was 6 months old we visited Utah for a few days for a mission farewell.

This was taken in Michigan.
We were out in the yard playing while we waited to go to Gracie Oswin's Birthday Party. 
(Sierra and Grace were almost the same age--Grace was born just before the move to MI and Sierra was born just after the move.)
Some random pictures from Sierra's baby book.

In June 2001, we took a road trip to Palmyra. 
We camped at Niagara Falls.  It was cold.  Sierra was such a good baby.

Taken in MI on July 4, 2002
Sierra has always had a "thing" for rocks.
Summer had just started Kindergarten and Sierra wanted to do everything Summed did.
So, she got her "school books" and her "school clothes".
This is the first day that I was finally able to french braid her hair.

July 2003 in Scofield.
One of my favorite pictures ever.

When we lived in Mississippi, we were able to go to DisneyWorld.
Rick had a conference in Orlando that was paid for, so he drove and we tagged along.
Sierra was so embarrassed to be held by such a handsome prince.
New Orleans (notice Sierra's darling crab beads)

Destin, FL

Summer, Sierra and Colbie Caliet.  Seriously.

Summer, Sierra and Cole 
Capitol Reef 2010

March 2011

A few things about Sierra...
she is a great sculptor.
she makes creative things with yarn and a crochet hook.
she can also knit.
she reads.  a lot.
the last time we counted she had 86 freckles.
She is smart.  I just got her State Testing scores back yesterday.  
She scored above school level & state levels in all areas.  
She scored really high in reading comprehension & vocabulary.  
I would like to think that she inherited that from me, but it probably has to do with the fact that she reads so much.  
She did fairly well in math as well as science.  With the exception of a the section on weather.  
She scored 25% on that section.
Maybe she filled in the wrong bubbles or something.
I'm really not worried about it because as far as weather goes...
there's an APP for that.
Happy Birthday Sierra