Saturday, July 31, 2010

Almost Like Christmas

Standing on my front porch the sound of the big truck's engine reached my ears before my eyes caught site of it rounding the bend at the end of the road.  The excitement in me rose.

Could it be?

A search of the recesses of my memory told me the date was indeed within the correct time frame. The truck was the correct colors- brown and golden yellow- not the competitors white with purple and orange logo branded on its side. (A side note of apology to my brother Nate, a driver for the competition). The truck hadn't stopped yet, but the driver was slowing, glancing to the right and then to the left looking at house numbers.

It just had to be.

I ran into the kitchen to avoid looking like I was anxiously awaiting a delivery and to stop the rising hope that the big brown truck would indeed stop at our house instead of my neighbor's like he normally does. Within seconds there was a knock on the glass of our screen door. With the front door being propped open I had a full view of a Doug Heffernan look-a-like clad in the brown shorts with boots and all.

It was here!

I nonchalantly made my way out to the porch where Mr. UPS left a rather large cardboard box for me. Only nothing in it is actually for me, my name just graces the shipping label and the card that paid for it all.

Away from little eyes, my box and I stealthily head to my room where the door is promptly shut and locked. Interruptions won't do for what happens next. The packing tape is slit with a trusty bobby pin and the flaps are slowly folded back to reveal a pile of plastic packages in an assortment of colors; like gifts within a gift. I sift and sort and then I rip. Plastic bags take flight going this way and that, creating a substantial snowstorm of plastic flakes. When the last bag lands noiselessly amongst the others, there they sat- brand new school clothes.

There were five new shirts for each boy to get them through the first week of school (with 1 or 2 put away for Christmas or birthdays) and a small collection of outfits for Emma. Although Emma doesn't attend school yet, she is my only girl and without older siblings for hand-me-downs she had nothing for cold weather when fall came. Plus, I suppose I'm a bit partial to flowers, unicorns, and butterflies as opposed to skater and sport graphics. Thus, I am justified.

I held them up, each one individually, admiring their unfaded, unstained, and unwrinkled appearance (except for the fold creases that scream new) noting the size and color and how it would fare for the intended child. They were perfect. Even the kids thought so.

They were also a great deal considering the amount I received because of already discounted items being marked down even more with an extra 15% off coupon and free shipping. And even better than that was that is the fact that they were purchased while my body lay sick in bed last week refusing to move. No expending energy taking ornery anti-shopping boys and one "buy everything for me" girl to the mall, Marts or Ko's in search of the right fashion to kick off the 2010-11 school year. Just point, click, check out, and wait for delivery.

I love the whole online shopping experience. It's like a little gift I give myself.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Dallin Said...

Lately, I cannot believe my 7 year old. It's like he's been possessed... in a good way. Dallin is known for being shy and sweet, but lately we have discovered he also has a humorous and somewhat wild side. He has been making us smile, cracking us up right and left, and at the end of the day it seems like I am always telling Richard, "Guess what Dallin said..." or asking him to remind me about something off-the-wall Dallin said.

There were many more than I have here. I wish I had recorded them all, but I didn't.

I will try to do better.

Without further ado, Welcome to "Dallin Said".

" You better have washed that really good. I don't want a single strain of strawberry DNA on it."

"We need to get another tramp or a swing set with a hot tub on it, because our backyard doesn't have any PI-ZAAAZ!

To Emma while cuddling after just waking up- "Emma, you'll always be my very best friend forever.... at least right now."

To Ashton- "Well you're gonna go bald, 'cause you're from dad's side of the family."

To me during a conversation where he was informed that since I am a woman I grow hair under my arms- just like men- only I shave every day. Don't ask me how we got on that topic because I couldn't tell you, but Dallin said, "You have hair growing in your armpits?!? What... Are you on drugs or something!?! 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Good. The Bad. The Ugly.

Just not in that order. 
To tell this story I need to mix things up a little and start with The Bad.

After hitting Sacrament Meeting two Sundays ago we headed back to Tony Grove, located about 25 miles up Logan Canyon, to move camp. We needed to move everything from the campsite where we had Youth Conference down the road to the campsites we would be sharing with many members of Richard's family.

We loaded up the back of Richard's truck with various camping paraphernalia, Richard turned the key in the ignition starting the engine, and headed off down the road. In the back of my mind it registered that his truck didn't sound quite right, but we were in a hurry to get stuff moved before checkout time-- mostly to avoid paying for another day on a site we weren't really using and to get to that relaxing part of camping (ha, ha) after setup is complete. After he was gone I didn't think anymore about it, until he came back for another load and that bad noise was still there. I mentioned that his truck sounded like there was a hamster running on its wheel under the hood. Richard hung his head and said, "I know. I was hoping you wouldn't notice."

Why would he hope I wouldn't notice? Well, in his words, "I knew you would worry."
Yep, worrying. It's something I do VERY well. Which brings us to The Ugly.

On Saturday, after returning home from camping, Richard tried to start his truck to go to the local nursery to find it wouldn't turn over. He tried again on Monday morning with no luck- the hamster had quit running- and the truck was towed to the shop. After a bunch of automotive terms which included serpentine belt and compressor he told me the real damage-- it was going to be $700-$800 to fix the problem. That is one ugly number and the reason why I start to worry when it sounds like a pet store has been opened under the hood of one of our vehicles.

Where is The Good in this story? From all appearances it may not seem to be there, but it is. The Good is that the truck didn't come to a halt until we made the 2 hour drive home and it was backed  up to be unloaded in our driveway. The Good is that the truck happened to be parked in the perfect position to be towed away for the deal of a lifetime fee of $60 compared to the hundreds it would have cost to have it towed back to Provo from Logan Canyon. The Good comes in having a savings account to pay for necessary repairs. The Good comes from a repair shop that had it fixed and up and running faster than fast. And finally, The Good comes in the form of a completed family vacation and successful Youth Conference all without being stranded with loads of camping gear and no way to get it home.

Yes, there is definitely good in my story. There always is; once I get through the bad and the ugly I realize different facets of it every day.

Friday, July 16, 2010

39 Days

"Ah, summer- what power you have to make us suffer and like it." -Russel Baker

I am in my pajamas....not because it is 10:00 pm, but because I have been in them all day. I also had a nap today-- in fact, I had two. I have watched an abnormal amount of HGTV, yet I can't recall any details of anything I viewed. My house is in shambles due to 4 children being left to their own devices and luckily, my mother sent home a loaf of her homemade bread with us yesterday or those 4 children may have starved. I am not kidding-- I seriously popped 2 bags of popcorn for dinner.

 I woke up today feeling like I had been all I could be, given all I could give, and today it was time for a break. Couple that with the fact, that I came home from camping feeling like I was run over by a Mack truck, with a sore throat, and congestion that makes me sound like the dog my kids want, but can't have and the result you get is my day.

All was not lost, I will have you know that I did do something today. I looked up the date that school starts- August 24th. With today being the 16th there are 15 more days left in July and 24 until the first day of school in August, add them together and we end up with 39 more days of summer. I didn't look it up to know how many more days I had to endure my children being home all day because actually I really enjoy them being around. I looked it up to know how much longer I have to endure the non-schedule of summer, because I think it is starting to wear on me.

It seems like since the last day of school we have been running- and not the good kind of running that I really love. I feel like we have been running from one activity to the other, from one vacation to the next, and from one family get together to another, all in the name of summer. Don't get me wrong, I love to have fun like spending long days in amusement parks and weeks living in a tent with no running water and the nearest flush toilet 275 steps (yes, I counted) in the dark from my campsite because we are making memories. Memories that I hope my kids will repeat someday over a campfire to their kids in the same campground we frequent and on their first time visiting the same amusement park. Having no particular schedule to follow leaves way for plenty of memory making; perhaps just too much for my own good.

So I guess I've started looking forward to a time when bedtimes are set and adhered to. A time when the schedule includes homework, projects, and reading hours. A time when fun things are put on the calendar to look forward to during breaks and vacations. A time when life is somewhat predictable again.

Then 2 months into that time I'll be looking forward to a carefree summer again.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


 Today, I will be on my way here....

(Tony Grove 2009)
Richard is the official Youth Conference Director for our Youth Conference this year, so kind of by default, I gained the title of Assistant Youth Conference Director. It's what wives do. Especially the really good wives.

It's beautiful area though, isn't it?

There are tons of these....

And we will be doing a lot of this...

And at the end of Youth Conference, I will pick up my munchkins and go back to do it all again.
Awesome, eh?

But before you get too envious of my camping adventure you may want to watch the first three or so minutes of this video clip. Or know what? Just take a break and watch the entire thing. It brings a smile to my face and I garauntee if you have ever been camping, it will bring one to yours too.

Oh, and just so you know, I feel the same way about bacon.

So while I'm away at camp you can pray for me....

(Tony Grove 2009)

...or maybe for them.


(That was an evil laugh..... Just in case you were wondering.)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Oh Canada...

Happy Canada Day!!!

In honor of Canada being Benjamin's birth country, I am dedicating a post specifically to some of the vocabulary I picked up living there... a translator of sorts. With any luck, you may actually understand me now...

*Eh? or Eh. - Means I am asking if you agree or I'm just making a statement in general. You have to admit, it does sound more intelligent than the standard American "Huh?".

*Toque- This is simply a knitted hat, like a stocking cap. Don't ask me why it's called that, but I say it anyway.

*Washroom- When I ask where this is I don't want to use your washer & dryer just your nearest toilet.

*Sorry (pronounced "sore-y") - All I have to say about this one is that I'm really sawree.  

*Girlfriend- When I talk about "my girlfriend" I mean just that- a girl that is a friend. Remember, I am happily married to a man.

*"I'll phone you."- When I use this or a phrase similar to this, I am simply stating that I will call you on the phone at a later time. It does not in any way mean that I would use the phone as some type of weapon to hit, bludgeon, or in any way cause you bodily harm. Just in case you were wondering.

There you have it.

Okay, you Hoser, take off now eh?