Monday, August 27, 2012

Just some "busy" ness

I have had this thought going through my head for that last little while.  2 or 3 years maybe.  But I have thought a bit more about it this past week.  I read a blog post about "busy" you can find it here.  It's called: "on being 'busy'" by Sydney who blogs at The Day Book.
I really agree, we have all of the these tools and modern conveniences, yet we have less time than ever before.  Rick and I joke about it when we are having a hectic day or sometimes even when we are having a kick-back and enjoy it day, that we will answer the question, "how are you?" with "I'm so busy."  There is a lady that lives near by that answers "how are you?' with "I'm just so busy."  Every.  Single.  Time.  Sometimes I want to just ask her what it is that she is so busy, feeding the poor, healing the sick.  Whenever I see her driving in her car, she is always on the phone.  She called me one day and I asked her if she was driving.  She said, "yes, I have to make my phone calls when I'm in the car because I'm just so busy."
Or perhaps I'm just sensitive because I am in the minority.  I am a stay at home mom (not really sure how accurate that term is...).  I learned at ed week last week that 64% of the women in Utah work outside of the home.  So, that puts me in the minority at 36%.  Maybe people are just telling ME how busy they are so that I feel sorry for them or feel guilty for staying home.  whatever.  I have worked hard.  We have worked hard.  So that someone is home when the kids get home.  and so that there are home cooked meals.  and so that the house is clean and the laundry is done.  OK, maybe my house isn't as clean as I would like it to be.  But, if it were I would be the one saying "I'm so busy."  So, I am content with the clutter and the occasional cobweb.
I was in Young Women's yesterday.  I went into one of the classes where they had not started their lesson yet, but were making plans for their weeknight activity.  The leader asked one of the YW if she would be at the activity.  Her answer was this:  "I just can't say if I will be at the activity or not.  I am just so busy.  I am taking 4 AP classes, you know.  It's just so stressful.  I really don't think I will be able to make it to the activity."  (Keep in mind, we are 4 days into the school year.  It's not like the AP tests are next week.)  She was sitting close to me and looked at me like she needed someone to pat her on the knee and tell her that it's OK.  Someone needs to be the exception. Right?  She certainly should be excused from the activity or from having an assignment because she is so busy. and so stressed.
What I really wanted to tell her was that I have no sympathy at all.  I would love to  be 17 again and have my biggest worry be 4 AP tests.  Because let me tell you Sista, It don't get any easier.
But, I didn't say anything I just nodded my head.
And then I went into the next class to ask for volunteers to sing a musical number at YW in Excellence.  At least half the girls said..."I'm too busy!!"  I almost lost my marbles.  It's a song they already know.  How hard can it be?

And then there is my famous or infamous story of my foot surgery.  3 years ago.  And it's like it was yesterday.
Read more about it here
One thing that happened when I had the second surgery was this...
Just a few days before the procedure was scheduled I was at the Church and I told the RS president about my scheduled procedure. (The whole thing was a little bit "ify" because the dr.'s wife was due to have her 4th child that day.  So, in case that happened, my surgery would be canceled.  Turns out she had the baby 2 days earlier)  I told the RS president that I didn't want anyone to bring me food.  Mostly because Rick would be home for the whole week and mostly because I didn't want the ward to fill me full of carbs while I sat on the couch for a month.  Her reply was "You are denying someone else the opportunity to serve."  So, I told her that I just didn't want the FOOD.  3 people chimed in.  1 person volunteered to bring me some old magazines that were sitting around.  Another person had some books that she had finished reading that she would drop off for me to look at.  And a third person said that she would bring me some flowers out of her flower garden.
I was thrilled.  People still got to serve me and I would get something that I could actually use.
The surgery went well.  I got home early in the day.  My mom came down to sit with me.  Rick was so bored he went to work for 6 hours.
Plenty to eat.  Plenty of pain meds.  I was fine.  My mom and I sat and watched TV for a while.  The kids were in Orem.  Finally my mom headed out so that she would be home before dark.  I never heard from anyone else.  I just figured they were giving me some time so I could sleep.  or something.
The next day.  Nothing.  I seriously waited all day for the sound of the door bell and Nothing.
Finally, I went outside and sat on the porch thinking that someone would see me and stop and visit or drop off the promised items.  Nope.  Then I ventured out into the yard a little further, sitting in the shade in a lawn chair thinking that someone would notice the casts on me feet and the crutches.  Nope.
I realize now what the problem was...people are just too busy.  It reminds me of my New Year's Resolution for 2012:  Low expectations=  No disappointments.  Too bad I didn't come up with that little saying a few years earlier.
Nobody ever brought the magazines, books, or flowers.
I'm over it.  kind of.  maybe.  probably never.

And then, after I visited the YW class yesterday, I went back to Relief Society.  Now, I did come into the lessons half way through and I obviously missed some things, but here was a quote from the teacher..."It's all about family for me.  just my family.  the rest of you all are on your own.  I know I should think differently, but I don't.  It's just all about my family for me.  nobody else."
See people, I'm not making this stuff up.  People are just too busy.  And they don't care about anybody else.  I have lived in this house for 5 1/2 years.  I have all of about 3 people that I could call if I got stuck in traffic and someone needed to pick my kid up from the bus or if I really needed something.  Although I do know that all 3 of these people are really busy people and I wouldn't do it unless it were a real emergency.
So, I sat on the front porch this morning contemplating "busy".  I watched the sun slowly rise over Mapleton.  The clouds were amazing.  Then the rays of sunlight began to streak through the sky.  Shadows were slowing forming through the neighborhood.  The beams of sunlight were beginning to find the puddles of rain that had fallen during the night. It was so beautiful that it brought tears to my eyes.  I sat on the porch for a long time.  I am really happy that I was not too BUSY to enjoy that beautiful sunrise.
Sunrise over Capitol Reef 2010
Sydney from the Day Book suggests 3 things that she will do to get rid of "busy", slow down and refocus on people:
1.  Put down the phone and the electronics after 6 pm.  Read a book, snuggle, have a meal without distraction.
2.  Be OK with untidiness.  Become one with it.  Most of the time it's going to happen and it's alright.
3.  Take at least a half hour each day to focus on myself spiritually and physically.

I will trucks with Cole, play in the dirt with Cole, let Cole cook with me when he wants to because he won't always want to, Arts & Crafts with Sierra, listen to her play her music, let Summer drive the car, listen to the play-by-play of high school, read with the family more.

I'm done.  At least for now.  If any of you are still with me.  thanks for listening.

swim lessons

We did 2 rounds of swim lessons this summer.  Cole & Sierra did the first session.
And Cole did the second session alone.
This little guy has come a long way.  At first I figured it was a success when he didn't drown and he didn't get kicked out of the pool for not staying on the step when it wasn't his turn.
But, this summer he did so much better.
The first session he started with a group in the shallow end with the cute girl teacher. (according to Cole)
The second session he advanced to the deep end with the more advanced swimmers and the very handsome, soon-to-be-a-missionary teacher. (according to Summer)
Here are a few pictures...

And maybe a tiny bit of credit can be attributed to spending so much time in the pool in St. George.
Can't wait to get back and spend some more time in the pool down there now that we have more skills.
And, thanks to a new connection we have with Springville City, we will soon be the proud owners of a Springville City Pool pass.  
Can't wait.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


We spent a few days in Scofield this summer.
This was one of the highlights of the week--
roasting dinner in the fire pit.  
And then we roasted marshmallows for our S'mores!  
 Looks like Sierra is happy
 I had sticky marshmallow all over my face.
Kelli and Rick sharing a chocolate bar...
 The kids asked Grandpa if he could touch his tongue to his nose.
And YES!
So the girls had to give it a try:

 The twins love to play with fire.  
We needed to keep the citronella candles burning because the mosquitos were AWFUL!
Time to clean up the dinner table in the front yard.
It feels so redneck when he eat dinner in the front yard--I love it!

Looking for trouble...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Education Week 2012

I seriously look forward to this week all year long.
I love it so much.  I'm glad that I could share it with Summer again this year.
It's sure nice when the stars line up such that Education Week is the week before school starts for us.

This is Summer with Scott Anderson.  He teaches Seminary in Bountiful.
The Youth that attend Education Week are so dang lucky.
The have the same presenters that travel all over the US to speak at EFY and youth Conferences.
And these people are at the same place at the same time for Education Week.
The youth that attend are so lucky to have the opportunity to hear messages from these talented speakers.
And there are about 5 girls for every boy.  I have no idea why the local YM have not caught onto this.

I ran into Maureen.  She was in my ward where I grew up.
She was one of my YW leaders.
Summer & her granddaughter were born on the same day and will be attending the same high school.

This is Summer and some of her friends that she met at Ed Week last year.
I attended some classes on my own while Summer attended some classes on her own and with her friends.  Then we attended some classes together.  The Youth presenters are so good.  

Summer was waiting to chat with Hank Smith, one of our favorite speakers of all time.
I heard him speak a few years ago when it was his first time at Ed Week.
I made sure Summer went to his classes last year.
I attended the Youth Class that Brother Smith presented this year.
We are so lucky.  Hank Smith is in our Stake.

Here are some of my favorite quotes...
"When I do good, I feel good."  Abe Lincoln.  (Ryan Eggett)

"You cannot do wrong and feel right."  Ezra Taft Benson (Ryan Eggett)

"Stop telling our youth that they are they chosen generation and start teaching them like they are."  (Mark Beecher)

"Better that one boy starve than entire class be slowly poisoned.  The spirit of the Lord must be in the classroom."  (Mark Beecher)

“Every discovery in science and art, that is really true and useful to mankind, has been given by direct revelation from God. … We should take advantage of all these great discoveries … and give to our children the benefit of every branch of useful knowledge, to prepare them to step forward and efficiently do their part in the great work”  Brigham Young, 1862

"Scripture Study...if you are not writing, you're just reading."  (Hank Smith)

"The Lord has embedded in the Book of Mormon his message to you. Nephi, Mormon, and Moroni knew that, and those who put it together put in messages for you."  Henry B. Eyring

"We are right in the middle of the great and spacious building.  The iron rod runs right through the building.  When we let go we are already engulfed in the 'world'".  Mark Beecher

"Effective Teaching is the very essence of leadership in the Church."  Gordon B. Hinckley

"The scriptures contain so many jewels over which we pass too lightly, especially some stunning one liners."  Neal A. Maxwell

"A casual, infrequent exposure to the scriptures will generally not open the door to the whispering of the Spirit."  Merrill J. Bateman, Nov. 1992

"Casual prayer won't be enough.  Reading a few verses of the scriptures won't be enough.  Doing the minimum won't be enough.  Only a steady ever-increasing effort will allow the Lord to take us to higher ground...You can set the bar for yourself higher and higher..."  Henry B. Eyring

"If I tell you, you will forget it.  If you find it, You'll never forget it."  Lanni Hilton


In July, Summer was contacted by LDS Casting department and was asked if she could meet in Provo to be filmed for  Mormon Messages for Youth.  

it was funny...they gave guidelines on what they youth should wear. (modest, no stripes, etc.)
One of the girls spent the entire day shopping at the mall and brought several wardrobe changes.
She got about 2 seconds of screen time and didn't even get to wear one of the new outfits!!

Here are some of the pictures from that evening...

The filming crew was so nice.
The entire video was filmed during July in Idaho Falls and Provo.

When they contacted us, they needed to confirm that Summer still had blonde hair.
As you can see in the clip, they had a clear mix of backgrounds, ethnicities, etc.

Summer was filmed for a really long time.  She had to sit and stare at the camera for like a minute at a time.  Then, the clips were played back at a fast speed.  It will make sense when you see the video.

I gave Cole the camera to entertain himself while we waited and watched.

Cole took this shot also.  He's fascinated by the Y on the Mountain.
We actually take pictures of the letters on the mountains everywhere we go.

Summer is done.

Here we are waiting for the others to be filmed and signing parental release forms and such.
(which is all done electronically--on the iPad.)

The Mormon Youth Message is called Reclaimed.

And here is the video...
pay attention at about 3:03 and don't blink...

Thursday, August 9, 2012

preparedness stuff & Reverse 911

Here is the sun oven that we got a few weeks ago.
You may have heard me talk about our friend, Derek from Mapleton who head up the Preparedness Class for the Mapleton Stake...well, he got me this sun oven to try out in the name of preparedness research.  (can you see Hooee's reflection in the top pic?)
I was a skeptic.  However, I am slowly becoming a believer.  It does take some practice.
I have been reading up on the internet for tips and tricks.
This thing heats up.  Hot.  and quick.
Almost immediately upon opening it up towards the sun, you can see the temperature rise--quickly.
Bread doesn't really brown like it does in the oven.  
So, you have to watch to make sure it isn't getting too done which is the same as too dry.
But, the best part is that you can do all sorts of cooking and baking outside and not heat up the entire kitchen/house.

If you can cook it in an oven or a crockpot, you can cook it in the sun oven.
(the container that you use might make a difference.  So will the time of day/amount of direct sun.)
Bread in the sun oven.
 I made 2 batches of this jam--rhubarb orange.  pretty good.  I added some pink food coloring to the second batch because it seemed weird to eat green jam.  It was mighty tasty on the bread from the sun oven.

Back Packs & 72 hour kits...

 Rick has also been doing some research for Derek on backpacks and 72 hour kits.  
It's actually been pretty awesome for us because when we opened up our 72 hour kits to evaluate them we discovered that the last time we updated them we took out the clothes...AND forgot to replace them.  DUH.  There weren't any extra clothes in our 72 hour kits.
Derek and Rick are doing some research and trying to find some options for people to come to one of the preparedness meetings, find out about different first aid kits, and then mix & match to put together their own kit on-site to take hope with them.
Not really sure how it will work, but we're learning a lot along the way.

Pellet Grill
This is Rick's father day gift (to himself).
It's a pellet grill.
That means that it uses wood pellets to burn and create the heat to cook/smoke the food.
The brand is Traeger and Rick has wanted one for a long time.
I'm quite impressed.
Our favorite so far has been the pizza.

and the last preparedness item is Reverse 911.
We learned about this a few months ago at the preparedness class on Communication.
The Mapleton Chief of Police was one of the presenters.
Mapleton City has implemented the Reverse 911 program and has utilized it on a few occasions such as alerting residents of temporary water main shutoffs and other utility concerns.
What this system does is allow the city to be able to call any of the residents through a mass phone call followed by a recorded message.  It is linked through the Mapleton City utility system, so if you are a Mapleton City resident and you pay utilities, you can be on the Reverse 911 system.
Our home phone number is NOT listed so we are not on the reverse 911 system and have never received any of the alerts.  I kept thinking that I should check into it, but I neglected to do so.
well, when Scofield was evacuated 6 weeks ago, I know that the Reverse 911 system was activated there because after we finally were able to get to the house in Scofield after the evac was lifted, there were several messages on the answering machine with recorded updates regarding the fire.
And that was great, except that we were not able to get to the house to answer the phone and get the updates.
So, it reminded me that I should probably make an effort to get my home phone number registered with the Mapleton city reverse 911.
That was easy.  I called Lani at the city offices (489-6253) and she was able to add my home phone number to the system.  And she also added my cell phone and Rick's cell phone.  Because, really, we are NEVER home.  Of course our cell phones should be listed in the system.  

And how nice would that have been to have our cell phones or home phones in the system in Carbon County so that we (extended family) would have first hand information regarding the fire and the Scofield Evacuations???

And then I found out how to register my number with the Utah County Reverse 911.

go to this link to register your phone number (it may already be registered, mine was not because my number is unlisted).

The above picture is Timp.  I love that view, it makes me think of being young and growing up in Orem and looking up at the view every day when I walked to school.  One thing I noticed when I took this picture on July 4 was that it was nearly clear of any visible snow.  That is unheard of on July 4.  Usually the snow doesn't completely melt until late August and some years it doesn't completely melt at all before the snow appears again.
So, we are certainly in a drought.  
And with all of the fires and potential for more fires, I felt that it was more important than ever to be on the Reverse 911 system.  
If you live in Mapleton, will you call Lani and make sure your phone numbers are registered? or add your cell phone(s)?
If you do not live in Mapleton will you see if your city has Reverse 911 and make sure your numbers are registered? (sorry mom, Highland does not have Reverse 911)

If you are in Utah County will you make sure you are part of the Utah County Reverse 911?

And one more thing...if you are in an emergency situation.  Don't call.  Text.
Your message is much more likely to go through because a text will take significantly less band width than a phone call at a time when a huge number of people are trying to make phone calls.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

cowboy boots and such

This is a picture of my Uncle Dell from a few summers ago.
He had a birthday last month and as the youngest sibling has now outlived my dad, who was the oldest sibling.  Kind of weird.  My dads siblings have all now officially out lived him.

I went to Arctic Circle yesterday with Sierra and Cole while I was out and about in the big city.
We stopped to grab a bite to eat and sat in "Kent's Booth" while we waited for our food.
I reminded the kids about my dad.
Cole continues to call him Uncle Kent.
Sierra said that she can only remember a few things about him.
Then, a funny thing happened.
Guy came in.  Guy is the most regular of all regulars.
He has been coming in to AC for lunch for as long as I can remember.
He sat down in the booth next to us and said...
"I sure miss your dad.
With that silly-ass mustache,
and those damn clompitty clomp cowboy boots.
But I still miss him."
It just made me laugh.  Only Guy can say things like that and have it not be offensive.

A visit with old friends

We had some visitors last week.  
The Gray family was in Utah for vacation/reunion and managed to squeeze in a quick visit to Mapleton.
Summer and Sierra put on a little show for Lucy and Gavin.
Summer was playing a little Taylor Swift medley and Lucy and Gavin were singing right along.

Rick and Austin go way back...

Emily, Austin, Rick, Kelli

Austin and I don't go back quite as far as Austin and Rick, but here is the story...
(as I remember it)
I was an English major at BYU and Austin was in one of my classes fall semester of my junior year.
I didn't actually know Austin from high school, but I did remember his name.
We introduced ourselves to each other and became good study friends.
We sat together for the rest of the semester, with a few other super intellectual friends.
After a while, Austin kept mentioning to me that he had someone that he wanted to set me up with.
uh, NO.
Little did I know that he was also trying to convince Rick that he had someone for him to go out with.
And Rick kept saying NO.
In order to keep Austin quiet, we both FINALLY agreed to go out.  One time.  If everyone would just leave us alone.  
And that is pretty much what happened.
But, then we kept hanging out, studying, whatever, with the same group of people.
Well, one thing leads to another, and a few years later, Rick and I were finally dating.  
Mostly because we were the only 2 people left.
oh, and then we broke up.
And then we dated again.
And then we got married.
At least that is how I remember it.
So, Rick and I sort of give Austin credit for our union.
And because of that, I have felt the need to play match maker this week with another one of our friends from the good old days.  (Brett) But, that story will be for another day.

It was so fun to talk to Austin and Emily and hear of their adventures from Vermont.
We chatted all morning long and it was as though we had never missed a beat.
Austin, you are exactly the same guy we've always known!!
Maybe next time we visit it will be in your living room in Vermont!!

ps.  sorry about the black eye that Cole gave Gavin.  we'll work on that before we come visit