Friday, April 19, 2013

It's a small world... in Chicago

A few years ago I participated in an apron swap (or two, or three...)
In this swap I was paired with a Rachelle from Mexico:  aka The Farm'er Wife.
She blogs at The Farmer's Wife
She has an adorable family and she takes amazing pictures of her family and the life they live on a farm in Mexico.  So, naturally, I follow her blog.

My apron from the Farmer's Wife

My kids even follow this blog.  
We were so amused a few years ago when we realized that her kids were in Utah and participated in EFY and the Manti Pageant at the very same time as Summer.
Summer was disappointed that she did not happen to meet the oldest boy while he was here in our midst.
But, she followed closely and celebrated when he (the Missionary boy) got his mission call.
She always comments that "he's so attractive".  
She wanted to go on vacation in London this summer so that we might run into him.
When we were in Chicago, we went to a show on our first night there.
To be honest, I slept through the entire first half of the show, Big Fish.
But, the second half was really good.
As we were leaving the theater to get back on the bus, I saw a couple standing in front of the theater sign.
I did a quick double take because I thought it looked like The Farmer.
I only know him from pictures and stories on the blog.
Then I noticed his wife, also familiar.
I think because we had now made eye contact, The Farmer asked me if I would take their picture.
I said, "yes, but first can I ask you if you are the Joneses from Mexico?"
They both looked at me like I was crazy.
So, I quickly explained the story.
There was a hint of familiarity.
And The Farmer agreed to take a picture of me, Summer, and the Farmer's Wife from Mexico.
And then I took their picture.
No more time to chat, we had to hop on the bus.
I still cannot believe I recognized someone.  
on a dark street with lots of people.
that I only know from a blog.
I guess I can now say that we are real life friends, too.
I just always thought that if that it ever happened, it would be because our paths crossed in Provo, or something.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Radley place

Rick's faculty advisor in Residency in Mississippi, Dr. Galli, always told his students to have a "5 year plan."
He encouraged them to set goals, and every 5 years evaluate, plan, make changes, etc.
Otherwise, if nothing changes, nothings changes.
So, we have often referred to the "5 year plan" in our lives.
Well, interestingly enough, exactly 5 years, and I mean EXACTLY 5 years after we moved into our home, our next door neighbor died.

For 5 years, we had bean mumbling under our breath phrases that begin "when Larry dies..."
And wouldn't you know it,  right on schedule, Larry died. 5 years to the day.
And a couple of weeks after he died, his sister came over and asked Rick if we were interested in the house.  
Larry didn't have any children and none of the nieces and nephews could afford the home.

We were interested because really, who would be interested otherwise? 
and that is who would end up being our neighbors.  
Forever.  Because we will be living in this home forever.  
Rick always envisioned someone like cousin Eddy from Christmas Vacation moving in next door.
And honestly, who wants to live next door to cousin Eddy?
July 18, 2012
So, we became the proud owners of this house built in 1940.Summer mowed down the weeds before they all went to seed and spread next door.  (Like it helped)
 a view of the red shed (aka the hornet's nest) from our backyard.

 a view of the newish shed under the maple tree.

 from the corner of 1800 N.  & 1600 W.
the garden area, pine tree, and lilacs (all of which are gone)

 view towards our front yard from the corner.

 side yard

 some dead grass

 July 2013, the demo begins...

 tearing out some trees...

July 30, 2012
leveling out the top section.
July 30, 2012
Most of the work was done by EdgePoint Landscape, aka Danny.
Danny was recommended by one of our neighbors.
He's in the landscape management program at BYU.  
He's super nice and very meticulous.  and sweet to Cole.
 Danny would always grab a corn dog for Cole when they would stop for lunch.
Cole would stand by the window each morning and wait for Danny to show up.

September 11, 2012
Adding in the landscaping rocks.  notice Coles' truck on the left.  Danny was always so patient to let Cole help and to allow him to haul things in his dump trucks.
August 18, 2012
Sprinkling System going in.Another load of top soil.
Trampoline set up and landscaping rocks for paths.

From the front of the house, trampoline set up.

This is the area at the north side of the house, by the driveway.
It was full of overgrown bushes and trash where the landscape rocks are now.
Good place to park the supplies/wheel barrow.
August 21, 2012
 When they delivered this huge load of top soil, Danny let Cole use a shovel to fill his dump truck.
You can kinda see the Tonka trail that Cole used to help move the soil.
It was so cute to watch him help the big boys out in the yard each day.
Always asking, "When is Danny coming to work?"  
 Time for sod, September 21, 2013

October 19, 2012
The fence is going in.
Checking out the sprinkling system on the new sod.
Looks like the sprinklers work!
Time for the fire pit.
November 1, 2012
Fire pit partially complete.
One last shot of the yard on November 1, 2012.
Cole was entertained by the entire process all summer and fall.
He did manage to find some spray paint.  He wrote his name and painted a bush.  oh well.
It's still a work in progress.  I won't even begin to describe the inside of the house.
At this point, the house has been partially rewired (it will be completely rewired soon) and the plumbing redo has begun.
We are hoping for the fire pit to be completed soon.  The stone was out of stock last fall and winter hit before the fire pit was complete.
More spring photos to come.
We still call it "Larry's".  But I like the name Radley, as well.  (thanks, Amara)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

a couple of concerts

The Killers were in concert on November 30 at UVU.
We went as a family in celebration of Cole's birthday.
Pretty sure he had no idea what he was in for...
 Brandon Flowers

 Cole had fun, but by the end he was tired and his eyes hurt.
 He had a thanksgiving pow wow at his school earlier in the day.
So, I left the war paint.  I figured he'd fit right in.
"Is this almost over?"

I thought it was a fantastic concert.

During intermission, Sierra & I went down to check out the concert t-shirts.
We ran into this fella above (In the denim jacket).
His name is Brandon.  Brandon Campbell.
I totally stopped him and introduced myself.
He is the bass player for Neon Trees.
He was with his wife, Emelie and we totally stood and talked to them.
Super normal people.  I talked to them about their son, Connor who has autism.
It was for Connor and his school that they performed last year at this time at MVHS.

Fast forward to last Friday night.  
We attended The Airborne Toxic Event concert at the Depot.
We had a conflict that evening--Summer had a concert at BYU with the BYU Women's Choir.
It started at 7:00 pm, make that 7:30.
Doors opened to the concert in Salt Lake at 7:00.
I was nervous that we would arrive in Salt Lake after the band had already taken the stage which is not good in a General Admission situation.
We picked Summer up at BYU at 7:40. 
We didn't hit any too many red lights, traffic was smooth, parking was easy.
We got to the Depot at 8:40
The ticket area was nearly empty as we presented our tickets.
And look who we ran into...

 Mikel (lead singer) and Steven (bass player).
They were trying to slip into an elevator and make their way to the stage.
Summer immediately recognized them and I asked if we could snap a picture.
They were kind and said, "Yes, but make it quick"
So, we snapped a picture and turned back around and got our wrists stamped.
The elevator that they were trying to use was not working, so they had to follow us around the corner to the next elevator.  
We turned one direction to the stairs as they turned to get into the elevator.
I said, "yah! Thanks. We can't wait.  Play Nada."
We already knew the set list and knew that they wouldn't be playing Nada.
Mikel and Steven smiled.
My kind family made fun of me.
(you know you did.)

 Rick and I have been to a lot of concerts over the years.
Rick ranked this concert in his top 3.
And he didn't say so, but I would guess that his top 2 concerts would be:
and U2.
It was that good.
 Summer and I commented after the concert that EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. we looked at Rick,
he was singing the words.
He's been a huge fan for a long time.
 Sierra sent me a text during the concert and said, 
"All I want for my birthday is a viola"
It was an awesome concert.
We're 2 for 2 at The Depot.
The girls enjoyed it, too.

Next up:  Imagine Dragons.  May 20

Battle of the Bands

 On February 23, Summer's Band--Horizon's Echo--participated in Maple Mountain's first battle of the bands.  Sierra was not allowed to play with them because the participants had to be in 9th grade or older.  It was a huge learning experience for everyone involved...

 I don't have any actual photos of them singing because i was face timing their performance for Rick who was at work.  It was a lot of fun.  There were about 90 people in attendance at the high school on a Saturday night.  They played a cover of I am the DJ by Neon Trees as well as their own song, Do  You Love Me?  (when Summer introduced that song, someone in the back yelled, "YES!"

 They did a great job and took first place.

On March 2, they competed in Regionals at Timpview High School.  There were 6 other bands that competed.  It was clear at this point that experience was in the favor of those that won.
Bands that competed last year came in full costume and had a total theme to their performance.
The MC even told one band that his Grandpa called and wanted his clothes back.  Several of the groups were full on retro get-up and danced and flopped around the stage with their heads looking like they were going to fall off.  I thought that the judges would look beyond the costumes and focus on the music.  I was wrong.  The costumes and dancing won.
However, these guys now know what to expect and are looking forward to next year.

Update:  Rick works at OCH with one of the men that was a judge at the Regional Competition.  Yesterday he came to talk to Rick while he was working at Orem.  He told Rick that hands down, Summer was the best vocalist in the competition. This guy disagreed with the other judges on who they placed first.  He didn't really think that the best musicians won.  oh well.  It was a lot of fun.
And they will always have the title of the Maple Mountain Battle of Bands winner of the first season!!