Monday, March 19, 2012

Blue Angels

Rick was working all weekend.
The kids were out of school on Friday.
For some insane reason I thought it was a good idea to take the kids to St. George for a few days.
The Blue Angels were doing an air show at the brand new airport.
Every time we were in Florida we managed to miss the Blue Angels, so I looked into tickets for St. George.  The fancy tickets were all sold out and the only tickets available were General Admission.
So, we did the next best thing:
We watched the show for free one mile directly south of the runway.
Which was mostly a good idea except for the fact that it was pretty much the coldest day St. George has seen all winter long.  There was a high wind warning for the area for most of the day and it was cold!

This is a view of the line-up of traffic trying to get to the airport.
This is where we stopped and set up camp for the afternoon.

 These were our neighbors for the day...
There were supposed to be 40,000 people at the airport, but I think there were 40,000 outside of the airport, too.

A really loud jet that I don't know the name of...
 An airplane with twirly wing things...

Intermission.  It was so cold.  We threw the blankets out on the ground with the tumble weeds and red dirt and curled up.  Sierra snuggled up next to me and within 2 minutes she was snoring.  That kid can sleep ANYWHERE.

More views of the crowd outside the airport...

It was so cold.  Some of our "neighbors" called their friends who were actually at the airport because the intermission was sooo long.  We were trying to find out what was going on.  We were all thinking that maybe they were delaying or cancelling because of the wind/rain.  The people at the airport didn't know what was going on either because the wind was blowing so badly that they couldn't hear the announcer. People were leaving left and right.  
So, we decided to pack up camp and head out, too.

This is my conclusion...
If you're cheap and you don't care too much about airplanes, then go hangout just outside of the airport where the airshow is being held.  (me)  You'll see some cool airplane tricks and get a kick out of watching the other people that are too cheap to purchase tickets, but not too cheap to pick up $300 worth of food to enjoy the show.
If you care a lot about airplanes and can name them all, then purchase the spendy tickets and plan on being there for the full day and enjoying the air-conditioned bathrooms that come with the fancy package deal.  (rick)
And if you have Cole with you, just stay home.

We tried to go hangout at the hot tub for a while to get our toes to warm up.
That didn't happen either.
We decided it was just too cold in the desert and at 7:45 pm we headed home in a terrible wind and rain storm.  It was only bad for about 45 minutes.   
After that it was the easiest drive home I can remember.  
But, that was also about the same time Cole fell asleep. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wooden Spools

 Here is my vintage canning jar with my vintage wooden spools.

Then I went thrifting a few weeks ago and got all this for just $3:
 I more than doubled my wooden spool collection.
 I'm loving all the bright colors.

Hard to tell but the prices are .25, .35, and some .50 
But the ones with yellow price tags... 8 Cents!
Much better price than the 8.00 quilting thread I have been buying.
Wooden spools remind me of my dad.
One time we were in Circleville and he asked my Grandma Ethel if she had a wooden spool that we could use.  Of course, she said yes.  My dad hammered 4 tiny little nails in the top in a square pattern around the hole.  Then he taught me how to use a hook and "crochet" the thread into a long cord by wrapping the thread around the nails and pulling it over top with the hook.  Or does that count as "knitting"?...I don't know.  But the wooden spools still always remind me of my dad.  When I was a kid I thought he knew everything.  Probably just because he was good at math.  And because he knew how to set up a quilting frame.

Monday, March 12, 2012

More Birthday... 
 Last Weekend was the birthday wrap-up.
 Cole is holding Baby Lillie.  He was fine until she let out a squack.  Then he was DONE.
 Summer is lighting the candles and Cole is dying to get his hands on that tool.
 get ready to sing...
It was a joint party since it was right between my birthday and Jon's birthday.
Jon's favorite is Lemon Meringue Pie.  I caught Cole just as he tried to blow out the candles.

 The H party was on Saturday.
On Sunday, I hosted the R family for dinner at my house.  
It was one week after my birthday, and one week before my brothers, so it was to be a joint party as well, but (surprise, surprise) my brother didn't show up.
Everyone else came and it was so much fun.  
I love hanging with my family.  
Too bad we don't get together more often.
Thanks Everyone!
a RAOK for me (among other RAOKs) from a friend
And then I have to mention the RAOK's.
We started this a few weeks back.
I was trying to do 38/42 Random Acts of Kindness before my birthday and invited anyone who wanted to join in to do so.
At first I was keeping a list and trying to do something different each day.
But, then it got hard to be original and I just started resorting to writing thank you notes when I couldn't find anything kind to do.

My list includes (but is not limited to)...
playing trains with Cole when I had other things on my to-do list
taking cookies to Larry + others
just waving to random people as we spent nearly all day in the car
gave a small quilt to the homeless shelter
put some change in a cup at a gas station in Idaho for a family who lost their father in October
wrote lots of Thank You notes (some were anonymous, some not)
cancelled YW on Valentines Day (you are welcome, Amara)
took bread to 6 different people

and the list goes on...

The best part about it was including the kids and having them help find things to RAOK.
We use that word all of the time now.
Cole responds more to the phrase "soft hearted" because of a past FHE lesson.
So, we have used both phrases.
Rick isn't the warm, fuzzy type but he would always look for opportunities to pay for a drink or leave a tip for someone.

Here is my favorite thing that we did (probably because it hit close to home for me with the whole 13 year fast food career of mine, and all...):
We were in St. George on President's Day and we told the kids that we would go get something to eat.  I warned them that it was a notoriously busy day in the fast food world in St. George with about 100,000 people in town for soccer games and holiday traffic.  But, we all agreed that we weren't in a big hurry and that we could handle a long wait if necessary.
We decided to go to 5 Guys Burgers & Fries.
It was packed.  But, they were moving fairly quickly.
Once we ordered we tried to find a place to sit down and we ended up outside because there were no empty tables.  We watched for a table to open up and found one just as our order was ready.  There was a young man that was taking care of the dining room.  He was hustling around wiping tables, emptying trash, and sweeping the floor.  He was so polite.  It drives me crazy to watch other customers when it's really busy in a situation like this.  
People will grumble and complain.  
They'll send their burger back to the kitchen because it came with pickles and they ordered it WITHOUT pickles when it would be much easier and faster to just lift the bun and remove the darn pickle.  
People complaining about dirty tables or long waits.
Clearly, people who have never been on the other side of the counter.
I recognize the looks on all of the worker's faces, like "how can I move any faster?  will people please stop complaining. STOP time for just a minute so I can finally get caught up!!!, etc."

Our food was served relatively quickly,
it was hot,
it was correct,
and everyone that we had contact with was polite.
So, I finished my lunch and wrote them a note.
I asked the dining room attendant who was the "person most in charge".
He pointed out Steve, but Steve was in the back and not close enough for me to give the note to personally.
So, I asked the dining room attendant if he would pass the note along to Steve.  I stayed around long enough to see that my note made it to Steve.  
He didn't open it immediately.  Having received my fair share of letters from customers on super busy, crazy days, I'm sure Steve was expecting that it was surely a letter of complaint.
I had written a fairly detailed note of thanks and praise to everyone and everything that we could think of.  I surely hope that Steve eventually opened the letter and shared it rather than sending it to File 13.  
Rick was so impressed with the attitude and service and hard work of the crew that he wanted to go out and get all of the employees a gift card or something but I told him that we still need to fund some college savings plans and such so he decided that the letter would have to do this time.

This was my favorite ROAK because we all wrote the letter together.  The kids (my 3, plus a friend)  helped point out all of the good things that we experienced and how hard everyone was working to make our experience pleasant.
And also because experience tell me that for every one complimentary letter that these people receive, they have probably already gotten about 20 negative letters or complaints.  Who knows?  Probably more.

I also hesitated to write about this whole RAOK thing because I didn't really want it to end and by writing about it, it seemed like the project would come to a close.  But, I hope the opposite is true and that this is just the beginning because what goes around comes around.
For example, I taught a combined YW lesson in February about being happy.
This topic of Random Acts of Kindness, as well as writing notes of thanks, came up in a round about sort of way.
And what do you know, but 2 days later
I got some LOVE mail from one of the YW.
It was the cutest thing ever.  Made my day.
I think I might frame it.
And another friend noticed my post on FACEBOOK about my decorative flower planter bike being stolen out of my front yard.
She reported to me that she was on the lookout for my bike.  And she also texted her dad who works at a metal recycle place to be on the lookout for this bike because it was stolen.  I guess they see a lot of stolen things come in that people have stolen and try to turn in for cash. :(

And how sweet is this...
another friend emailed me a poem to go along nicely with my romantic trip to Canada:

Walt Whitman's "Song of the Open Road":

AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,         
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

Let the RAOKs continue...Bake more Cinnamon Roll Bread Everyone!!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Filling Our Lamps With Oil

 This was our theme for New Beginnings last week.
Here are pictures of our 4 girls that turn 12 this year and will be joining Young Womens.

 Ashely is conducting.  She is one of our 2 seniors this year and she was in charge of the speaker for the program.  She chose a lady from her previous ward who gave a great talk (and slide show) about Filling Our Lamps With Oil.  (based on a talk given by Lynn Robbins from 2007:  found here

 I was in charge of decorations. 
I talked to my mom and MIL a few days before and they both supplied me with all kinds of things to use for display. 
I found the print in the above picture at Deseret Book.

 Since we only had 4 girls coming into YW this year and 3 of them had older sisters, we had each of them come up.  The older sister talked about the younger sister and it was really fun to think that soon Sierra will be in YW's.  (We just read about Ari since she and Tia weren't there)
 A group of Young Women sang.  
I didn't get a picture of the speaker because it was already awkward taking pictures during the program.
 A week prior to New Beginnings, our Young Women had a combined activity where they went to a studio and the girls created their own lamps.  The girls left their lamps and a lady fired them and we were able to display them at New Beginnings.  We didn't let the girls take them home because in just a couple of weeks we are going to "Walk with Christ" or a feast or something where we focus on how to fill our lamps with oil.  If it goes well, I'll post more details.
 Refreshment Table.  Lemon Bars.  So tasty.  Cole ate 3 of them.  So did I.
My mom had also given me about a dozen little battery operated tea lights in the supplies she loaned me.
I placed them in foil cupcake liners.  
It doesn't show up great in the photos, but it looked really cool when the lights were low during the slide show.
And because we were keeping the lamps that the girls made for a future activity, we made something for them to take home with them.  
This is My Oil Lamp by Kerrie Odell.

I had to share this because...
maybe someone out there can adapt this to their own YW activity in the future.
Why reinvent the wheel if someone else has already done it?

Had to show the moms how nicely their props fit into the decor,

And that pretty soon we will have 2 Young Women at this house and Sierra could not be more excited.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

O Canada

This post is entirely for Rick because nothing about this trip was about me.
Rick made sure I had my camera.
He said, "Just think about how cool it will be to blog about this fun trip."
This fun trip is all about this:
This is Rick's piece of junk Landrover that he had shipped from England. yep.  it's true.
Needless to say it needs some work, and apparently some more parts. 
Parts that were found in CANADA.
So, Rick planned a romantic getaway to Alberta.
The day after my birthday.

Here we crossing the border to Idaho.  
Rick was so sweet to slow down so that I could take this picture.
(Note:  all pictures were taken from the position in the front passenger seat)  

more of Idaho...

NOT the man upstairs...

Made it to Montana...

For a minute I thought we were in Brazil

Break out the passports...

Oh, wow.  There is a Costco in Lethbridge...
too bad we didn't have time to stop.
We were trying to get out of town quick.
I didn't even get a picture of the exchange of cash for a trailer full of Landrover parts.
2 reasons:  it was too darn cold to move from my seat warmer to take a picture...
and it kinda felt like we were doing something slightly illegal as a while van pulled up next to our trailer and 2 guys with beanies and sunglasses jumped out and started hauling stuff onto our trailer in the parking lot of a 7ELEVEN.  true.  I was just hiding the front seat.
oh, we did get a receipt.  I guess that makes it legit.

One thing that we did (besides listen to our favorite 80's tunes) was to convert all of the speed limit signs from kilometers to miles in our heads.  
Why, oh why, do we not use the metric system in the US?  crazy.

Rick was wishing he were in the mini so he could just go 100 mph and then claim that he was confused and thought it was miles not kilometers...


more scenery

an LDS chapel on the way to Cardston.

 approaching Cardston.  Can you see the temple?
Right in the center of town, up on a hill.  awesome.

Cardston Alberta Temple

Looks like we're still in Canada.

We came around a turn on the highway and saw this in the distance.  
At first it looked like a cloud.  We thought we would be able to tell what it was pretty quick, but it was so huge that it took us forever to get close to it...It is Glacier National Park.

Rick chose to pass back into the US through a less busy border crossing.
This is on highway 89, just next to Glacier.
I think we were the only ones to cross the border on Wednesday.  or all week.

Back to the USA and miles per hour.

Rick slowed down just enough for me to get a shot of this cool art

Glacier National Park

This picture is for Cole.  He thinks it cool that they randomly put the alphabet on hills throughout the countryside so we can be entertained looking for letters while we drive.

 Home to this:  

The goods...

Wasn't that awesome of Rick to plan this fun little getaway...
And wasn't it even more awesome that I actually agreed to go with him?