Thursday, May 28, 2009

How does your garden grow?

We have planted our largest garden ever this year. Usually we have tomatoes, and squash and a few other things. But this year we are really going outside of our box and planting a few things we have never done before.

First of all we have tia's strawberry patchThen we have tomatoes, Lots of tomatoes.... Mortgage Lifter Heirlooms, Roma, Beef Steak, Early Girl, Zapotec, and I can't remember the others. total we have 8 plants.

I also put in some onions these are "green onions" they really love the cooler weather and the water.

This year I decided I wanted to have eggplant all I could find was Japanese Long but that will do.

Our Zucchini already has blossoms on it. we have 3 total.
As do our bell peppers. In addition to bells we have planted....Cayenne, Giant Marconi, Anaheim, Jalapeno. Total we planted 10

Our Crook neck squash also have blossoms on them. we have 2 of these in the ground

Corn is new for us and we found a new type of sweet corn we wanted to try, they are Crimso sweet corn. We started these by seed about 3 weeks ago. They are by far the fastest growing thing we have. we have about 35 seeds inthe ground and I am looking forward to having the stalks for decorating in the fall, I am all about things that pull double duty.

This is our baby bear pumpkin and it also has blossoms on it.

My potatoes are growing like weeds....Justin needs to get another tire up there ASAP, and fill it with dirt.
We are also growing 2 types of cucumbers..... bush cukes and armenians (my faves)
also we are growing melons 1 cantaloupe, as of now it looks a bit sad, and then 3 plants that are some thing like a crenshaw melon.
So tell me how does your garden grow? I am really interested in finding out what everyone else out there is growing this year. So leave me a comment and let me know....

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Moab Pics

Here are just a few highlights from our trip. I took 200 pics and videos. I was surprised when I got home to realize I had taken so many. Below I put the pics in chronological order. Moab has the most awesome hiking I have ever seen. It is so cool to climb over huge boulders and hills it requires both your hands and your feet, it is not like you can just walk along a trail, You really have to work to get to the good spots.

Balanced Rock

Sand Dune Arch Justin and Elyssa racing to the climbing area

playing at sand dune arch before the rain

after the rain started and we ran back to the truck for shelter

Justin and Ashton on the Slickrock bike trail.... just follow the dotted line (practice loop)

Moab has virtually dissapeared from sight, this is just after exiting the sandflats rec. area and slickrock

here you can't even see all of moab due to the storm

this is the storm in moab that caused the flash flood below

Justin has really great footage of the flood, mine was taken with my digital camera and it is hard to see alot of suff. This photo was taken before all of the tents were either washed away or submerged.

the morning after the flood, these things had been pulled out of the mud the youth advisors were busy doing tons of laundry, each load had to be washed several times

The kids climbing and playing at Skyline Arch

Skyline arch

Devil's Garden area of Arches National Park Justin's actually stretched out over a large mud hole, and the kid were climbing a steep slot canyon that was full of sand he was keeping watch.

Pine tree arch

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

bloggin' from home...

We are home! Yay! No matter how much fun we have when we are away it is always really nice to come home and sleep in our own beds. Yesterday was our last day in Moab. First we got up and I made funnel cakes for breakfast, then we cleaned up camp and made sure that every thing was put away so that we could pull out, after we did a bit more explorin'. We had planned on staying the night in Price (more on that a bit later).... Before we left Moab we decided we needed to have just a bit more adventure. I had heard the ladies in the restroom talking about a little river that had swimming holes. I got the basic direction and we set out. It was extremely close to our camp ground. We went to Millcreek. It was so cool. there really were swimming holes and natural waterfalls, it was a rather shallow and narrow creek, but it did have a pretty good current. At first we were afraid to get to far into the water. However once we were in we went walking upstream. It was a really neat experince! And there were dragonflies the most bright neonblue I have ever seen. After we got about as far upriver as we wanted to, we walked up to the trail head. That is where I read that there was Poison Ivy in the imediate area. I guess it was a good thing we were walking in the river and not in the bracken and brush. I really did not give it a second thought. We then headed back to camp and Showered, and then we packed up the rest of the campsite and headed for Price. We stopped for lunch on the way out of Moab, by this time it was near 4:30 and we could see a fierce thunderstorm approaching. We knew we were going to have to drive through it! It just blows me away how much water can be dumped in very little time. We drove through it and it was crazy, Justin had the wipers going as fast as they would go, and it was nearly impossible to see through the winshield. The lightening was flashing all around us and the thunder was following imediately after. I felt really bad for the guys on motorcycles that were passing us. We drove in rain like that until we were well out of Green River. As we approached Price we were thinking that home was just a little bit farther down the road. And if it was only 7 pm what were we going to do until bed time? Anyway we stopped at walmart to stretch, bought some candy bars and got back on the road. We got home about 10:30 and went straight to bed. We were beat! This morning, After a really horrible night of allergies, I woke up to find that Elyssa was covered in a rash. Her face has a fine lacy red rash, also she has it on her arms and legs, Ashton has the same rash on his right arm. I started to freak out thinking it was poison ivy, I have never treated poison ivy. But come to find out I think it is Fifth Disease. They have both had it numerous times and it seems to go away on it's own. Elyssa's glands are a little swollen and sore, so I really think that is what it is.
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed our travel journal.

Monday, May 25, 2009

bloggin' on the road part 4

Well it is Memorial Day, and we are still on the road somewhere between Moab and Price, Utah.
Having tons of fun despite the rain every afternoon. It does rain but only for about an hour or 2 and then it clears and the temps are great atleast we are not baking! Yesterday we went to Arches again and hiked to Skyline Arch and then we went to the Devil's Garden area and it was packed The amount of people there was stunning and yet it was still very peacful the trails were crowded but not horribly so and the area is so vast that there is still a feeling of solitude it was kinda crazy. We have so far met people from all over the place, Quebec, Germany, Korea, and India just to name a few. At Devil's Garden we hiked to Tunnel Arch, and then on to Pine tree Arch. The weather was really warm and we decided not to hike any farther. Lucky for us, because as we stopped to eat lunch and head back down to moab we were over taken by the storm. I was so glad we were in the truck and not on the trails. The lightening was spectacular and the storm was pretty fierce for all of an hour. it moved very quickly. this particular storm did not drop enough water to affect the creek this time, but it did cool things off a bit. We were ready to cal it a day and just hang out in camp by the time the sun came out again. We have really great neighbors. The husband is an american and the wife is from Seoul Korea, She has been here for a number of years. Her parents are here visiting from Seoul. They don't speek any english but they are very nice. The Korean Grandmother needs a translator. However the first night they were here and Justin was playing his guitar and singing, she was listening to "God of Wonders" she could not understand the words we are told but at the end she said AMEN. It was kind of cool to witness that, especially when you don't know what her beliefs are. Last night they requested that Justin play and sing again. This time the older grandma was tapping her toes and enjoying her self, the daughter told us that her mom has gone to the Church of Life in Korea for a very long time. The husband has 2 teenage boys who were along on this trip and they were asking what the difference is between Christian and Mormon. The older boy (17) seems really receptive and wants to know more. They live in West Jordan, I think I am going to give them the info for our church. They seem to really want to get plugged into a youth program. I would ask you to pray for them that what ever seeds may have been planted would start to grow. Well we are going to head half way home today and then the rest of the way tomorrow we are going to explore and have fun along the way.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

bloggin' on the road part 3

So what would camping be without a little adventure????
Yesterday we kept our eyes to the sky as we sought out a bit of adventure. The Sky was quite over cast in some areas and sunny in others so we decided to go to the opposite end of the valley away from the rain. That being said every adventure you embark on in Moab takes a fair amount of time. So the weather gets a chance to catch up to you.
First we went to HOLE N THE ROCK it was pretty cool. The tour cost about $17 for all of us but I think it was worth it. This guy made a house in the side of the mountain. The mountain was all sandstone and there were bathrooms and a kitchen and also there was a fire place. The history behind it was very interesting. Next we decided that we were going to try some 4~wheelin' OK so that was my very first adrenalin rush for the day. I ended up telling Justin to let me out that I would walk the rest of the way. Elyssa joined me, She told her dad I think I just might throw up if I have to watch from the back seat. Needless to say we made it a quarter of a mile up the trail before we decided we A) were not in the right kind of vehicle for this, B) We did not have the skills needed to traverse such incredible terrain.
I still walked out.

After all of that we went to the Slickrock Mountain Bike trail. I had been reading up on this particular area because Justin and Ashton really wanted to go biking. Once again after looking at the trail I had read about I decided I was just going to walk it. I think Justin thought that the practice loop which is 2 miles long was a baby thing but after seeing the beginning he thought that it would be a good idea to just let the kids do the practice loop for a bit of practice and he went with them. At the beginning Ashton and Justin both said I think we will do this twice before we leave. Elyssa tried the very first bit but ended up abandoning her bike along the way. it was just way to advanced for her. She opted to walk along with her dad. I am just going to say that the practice loop is not for beginners!!!! I think that this is the trail that should be named hell's revenge not the 4x4 trail. After what should have taken an hour to bike (not 2 1/2) we got back to the trail head as the storm was blowing over us. it got windy and we could hear the thunder and we were prepared to take shelter if we needed to. But the storm waited just until we got the bikes loaded and were in the truck having some snacks. At the end of THE PRACTICE loop Justin Said that it had really kicked his butt and Ashton was so exhausted he was almost in tears. We sat for a while and had a bit of quiet time as we watched the storm roll in, those of us with sketch books sketched and those of us with books read. It was a really nice down time. we got some pretty incredible photos of the storm over moab. We had no idea just what kind of destruction was lying in its wake. After the slickrock trail, it was raining fairly hard in town and we decided we did not want to be cooped up in the trailer so we went to this really cool rock and fossil shop. IT WAS COOL! there were so many fossils and cool things to look at that we spent an hour there just looking.
By this time we were starting to think we needed to get some dinner so we headed back to camp. the sky was clearing and things were looking up. When we got back to camp I noticed that the river was roaring. When I say river I mean what started out as a little tiny creek with campsites on the banks. This was no longer a little Creek it was a raging monstrosity and as we watched the water was rising by the second! literaly ever second the river was higher. We were camped on a lot higher ground. The campsites next to the river were tent sites and there were about 10 tents down there. We watched in horror as the tents one by one were ripped out of the ground and swept down the raging torrent. It was like a dream all you could say was OMGosh. people were on the banks just in shock at what was happening. Just as the tents were being washed away, some women and children came up and then some teens. They were pretty upset to see all of their personal belongings, all of their clothes, sleeping bags, tents, cell phones, and Ipods being washed away. Some of the girls were crying and one of the teen boys was just beside himself. His brand new Ipod was in there. I was talking with some of the teen girls trying to console them, say stupid things like, Just think this is the camp trip you will never forget and Thank God you all weren't down there. Apparently they had been down there just 5 whole minutes before. Come to find out this group of campers were from Colorado, they were with the Church of Christ, it was their youth summer camp trip. They lost all of the belongings for about 25 of the 32 in the group. It was crazy! As soon as I found out who they were I spoke with one of their advisors who was pretty much in shock. I told them that they needed to get hold of the nearest christian church and see if they could be housed in a nearby church. I was then put in charge of finding bedding for all of these 25 kids, And maybe some t-shirts to borrow. Dark was fast approaching and it was getting a little chilly but not freezing by any means. After several phone calls I was able to secure about 20 sleeping bags, some pillows and t shirts from the local Baptist church. The pastor met me at the camp ground and we were able to get him and the youth minister together. After that I was more than ready for bed, oh and it started raining again. By the time we hit the sheets it was almost midnight and I was out before I could even open up my book to read.
THIS MORNING it is very beautiful outside, the sun is shining. We are headed out for more adventure. Not that we haven't already had some this morning. We had been smelling this awful smell like sewage and we thought that our hookups were some what not hooked up right. well come to find out it was the smell of hot acid from our trailer batteries I think at least one is ruined but atleast we know the smell was not sewage. Justin has taken evry precaution to take care of the batteries in a safe manner, and all is well....
So we are headed out now. i will update later and I promise to have photos this coming week. Justin got some great footage of the tents being ripped up and floating away.
By the way the river is back down to a tiny little creek now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

bloggin' on the road part 2

The weather was really nice today we could see a storm in the distance and decided to try to keep clear of it as much as possible. We went into Arches National Park, it was partly cloudy, and the sun was playing peek-a-boo. We hiked around the Balanced Rock formation, and tried to catch some really big lizards. Fortunatley for all of us the lizards are really fast! Then we drove to the Sand Dune Arch trail head. The Hike was short about .2 miles. And boy was it a good thing it was short. We started our hike and were really excited about the change in the landscape. As we rounded the bend we discovered that we needed to walk through a narrow canyon, seriously it was no wider than I am. but it was alot of fun and then to our delight the trail turned into the softest most wonderful sand I have ever had the priveledge of putting my feet into. this sand was silky soft and very deep. Instantly we all decided to take off our shoes and walk the rest of the way in our bare feet (all except Justin). When we rounded the last bend we were rewarded with a really cool arch that had a natural sand box below it. There were families playing in the sand, and kids climbing the arch. Almost every one we saw had their shoes off as well. This my friends was just the beginning of the surprise we would encounter today. When we got to Sand Dune Arch it was very sunny and nice. But about 30 minutes in to our visit we felt little tiny rain drops start to sprinkle us. That was our cue to start heading back to the trail head. Well Can I tell you just how hard it is to hurry in the deep sand in bare feet.... Before we even got out of the little narrow canyon it had started to really pelt us. I was strugling to get the sand off of my feet so that I could put my shoes and socks back on but as the rain started coming harder and the sand started sticking to me I could not do anything but just sit there and struggle. It seriously took less than 30 seconds before I was completely drenched. I snuggled up to the rock wall as tight as I could just before Justin ran away from it and said that I was about to be hit with a water fall. Sure enough here it came and try as I might, I could not find anywhere to shelter. Finally I decided to forego the socks and I jammed my sandy wet feet into my running shoes and we took off. We ran and we laughed and when we got back to the truck we jumped in and took awhile to catch our breath. We were cold as could be. so we sat for a bit and tried to warm up. soon we were on the road back to our campsite. Now I am warm and dry and I am watching twilight with the kids. I am hoping that the weather will be nice tomorrow..... I will post pics of this days adventure tomorrow.

bloggin on the road part 1

all right ya'll We are in Moab how cool is that????? So out of the blue we decided to leave on thursday night instead of friday morning which would be this morning. And we drove as far as Price. We stayed the night in a walmart parking lot! Can you believe it? I thought that I would be all wigged out by the thought, but really it was just fine. We got into price about 10:30 and then promptly went in to shop at walmart. by the time we climbed into our sleeping bags we were beat and more than ready to sleep. The only thing I have to complain about is the fact that walmart has it's parking lot vaccuumed at like 3 in the morning what's up with that?
We arrived in moab to some rain but it quickly let up and the weather is rather nice and cool not cold but comfortable. I will keep up to date on our progress. We're heading out to hike some arches !!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

1 Whole Year

I woke up this morning thinking....Can it possibly be that we have been in our new home for one whole year?
Yes, it really is true! A year ago today we signed on our home. It really does not seem like a whole year has gone by but it has. I remember signing at 5pm. Normally, you have to wait 24 hours or a full weekend if that is the case to have the keys turned over. Not us, Justin was on the phone with the former owner and had the keys dropped off on the front steps before we even got back to West Valley. We were so ecstatic, we started moving in right away. I think we worked till midnight that night. We were back the next day with hordes of friends who helped us with the huge task of moving in and unpacking. What a blessing, to have such great friends and family.

Well the house has changed a bit since we moved in... there are some new cabinets in the kitchen on the south wall (birthday gift from J), A huge shed was built on the north side of the yard, the kitchen was painted in rumpus room colors, I painted the front door green, Just recently I put a scripture on the door, and then the new door for the kitchen was added last week. A huge garden has been added. And we started to paint the deck but got only a quarter of the way before we ran out. I have not made it to the local hardware store to purchase more, but hopefully next week. Also Justin built my desk into the school room closet. And lastly we got the spare bedroom completely unpacked and transformed into a hobbie room for Justin.

So much more still needs to be done but we are not stressed about it. We are taking it one week at a time and doing what we can when we can. We realize it takes money to make improvements and changes but we are just going to relax and enjoy our home every day the way it is, come what may.

The next huge task we have is to organize the school room/craftroom.I am really stoked about this and very inspired, IKEA here I come. We are also needing to get a pantry installed, and I want to paint the laundry room yellow so it feels sunny and bright. I think I will take a cue from Miss Erin and put in some bright red curtains down there and some red accents.

I love my home and the new space we are getting accustomed to. Sometimes I can't believe that my laundry room is no longer in my kitchen, and the kids have their own bathroom and I have a TV free Livingroom where I can read and relax. The kids have a tv room.

The kids each have their own rooms, not that you would notice if you tried to wake them up in the morning. As they are still sleeping in the same room. We are trying to break that but all they have ever known is sharing a room and at night they are used to talking to one another or reading until they fall asleep. At first they did really well staying in their own rooms at night and I thought that we had really gotten off easy. But no I was wrong. I really need to be more on top of it, they are getting older and this was exactly what we were trying to get away from by them having their own rooms. But it is so hard to be the disciplinarian once you have banished your kids to the basement for the night!

Any how, If you are one of the many who have encouraged us, prayed for us, helped us pack or unpack, move out or in, loved on us, kept us sane or housed us....THANK YOU! Words will never be enough....
So here is to one year,
Happy Anniversary House!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend

Wow it was a really busy Mother's Day Weekend for us.
So many things to share I don't even know where to start. Maybe if I go in order starting with Friday night and move to Sunday I might keep it all straight. But I guess I still have to go further back to the beginning of the week.

Last week I found a door on it has 9 panes of glass in it and it is so nice. Justin put it in the very next day and told me that it was going to have to be my Mother's Day gift.... sneaky one that he is, I was completely happy with that. Here are the before and after pics....


This after pic is not great but the new door lets in so much light not evidenced by this photo.

I really love it, the difference is huge.

Friday night I helped host a Baby Shower for a friend that lives in Iowa, She was not here to celebrate with us but we had so much fun and we decided that it would be a Baby Shower in a Box. She would get to open all of the gifts that we wrapped durring the shower. Included were all sorts of babyshower things so she could enjoy those as well. We had a great menu, Miss Erin really did great. Corn flake chicken, Margarita fruit salad, pasta salad, french bread, bruschetta, sangria, and margaritas, and Iced Tea. I so wish I had gotten a photo of the table setting it was so cute. Erin made up some vases with flowers and they were absolutely beautiful. The only thing was that she bought these flowers they were green and they were called Bells of Ireland but not for long because the little beasts had thorns neatly concealed, beneath the flower bells, before long we were calling them hell's bells, because they really hurt when you touched them.

The offending flowers are those all the way to the right.

Saturday brought a whole other element of fun....

First I took my mom out to Caputo's Deli down town, we had so much fun just the two of us exploring the gourmet market. We sampled all the best new stuff. Balsamic vinegar so thick it was like syrup and very tasty. Olive oils, Fig vinegars, cheeses I can't even begin to name, chocolates that were way to pretty to eat but after the guy cut into them we were not going to refuse. We tried something new Choffey, it is the shell of the cacao bean used for chocolate and in orem they are grinding those up and using them as coffee.... I can't even tell you how good that was. It was like drinking a mocha, no coffee in it and it tasted like coffee and chocolate. Add some creamer and sugar and it was awesome! We ate lunch at Caputo's Deli, Delish!!! The funny part was watching Tony Caputo Himself walking around in the dining area with a broom and dustpan in hand.... What a guy!

After that I took my mom home and picked up the Family to go to the first ever Pinewood Derby at our church. Hah..... What a blast!!!!!! We had a really killer time.

Elyssa took home the trophy for Most Diva Category

She completely designed this car herself and I did the work. Justin helped by putting graphite on our wheels.

Ashton took home the award for Best Design.

Justin helped him get the right shape and then Ashton did the sanding and told us how he wanted it done. I did the painting and Justin helped finish it off.
We finished off our pinewood derby day by going to Mcdonald's for and ice cream cone. On the way home my little 'Lyssa pie said " This is such a great day! Sadly I have to retire it." My heart just squished a little.

Sunday came around with a very laid back air about it. I was glad about that after all it was Mother's Day. Before church Justin and the kids presented me with this star for the front of our house. I had been wanting one for a while....

After a great morning at church we went to Costco for lunch where we found a 1/2 flat of plants for our veggie garden. It was a great pack loaded with zucchini, crook neck squash, bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, japanese long eggplant, cucumbers, baby bear pumpkins, crenshaw melons, and cantaloup melons. We came home and planted everything. We are almost done with all of our garden. Just a few more things to add.... Next we went to dinner at John and Marisa's for a bbq. It was really great. By the time I got my mom home and got settled in for the night I was exhausted. I really tried hard to get a bit of reading in, but my eyes refused to cooperate, and I ended up asleep before I knew it.
This has been a really great Mother's Day weekend. I enjoyed every second of it. I hope yours was just as grand.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

just plain randomness

So today has been one of those days where nothing is really planned and we tend to just let whatever happens happen, except for school ofcourse. After school was all done, we had some small adventures and lots of fun. First as I was searching Looking for random things. I came across a door for sale. Yes a door. You see I don't like how dark my kitchen is and it really is depressing with so little light in there. So I have been looking for a door with windows. I found one today it has glass from the middle all the way up. I am in love. I had to call and ask my most indulgent husband if I could go and purchase this door and he asked how I was going to get it home I said well I am going to take your truck. He made me promise that I would measure our current door to the enth degree and then measure the door I was going out to purchase before I handed over the cash. Guess what? It was a perfect fit.

Then as we were headed home we came around a little bend where there were goats and geese and ducks and rats. We had so much fun feeding all of the animals and I am a sucker for a baby goat so I wanted to stay all day and watch them. The kids had much more fun feeding the rats. I mean, after all, we have fed just about every farm animal you can name but we have never fed rats. I have to admit after my initial reaction of Rats? Where? I was fine, and it was interesting to watch them dart around in the way they do looking for bread. By the way we just happened to come across this place and it was just around the corner from the Sanborne's house, Who Knew?

Cute little baby goat he was so small!

Next we decided that I needed to stop at Sonic for Happy Hour. Oh dear, now if you read my previous post you will note I talked about having fewer choices. Well....Sonic is one of those places that has more choices than ever and the possibilities are endless. I ended up having a mango limeade, Elyssa had a mango limeade with pineapple and Ashton had an orange limeade with extra lime. Last week it was a lemonberry slush I think that is going to be my favorite...
next time I post it will be about the new door I will have before and after pics as well!
****A funny side note****
My mother was telling me a few days ago that her friend had cancer and my mother being who she is wrote a very nice email to this woman and explained that she would be praying and thinking about this individual. It was a fairly serious message, and at the end she wrote LOL....
I am so thankful that my sister was there to catch this error. She told my mom, "you can't put that, what is wrong with you?" My mom was flustered and couldn't figure out what she had done wrong. Abi asked her, "do you know what LOL means?" and my mom replied "LOTS OF LOVE."