Thursday, February 17, 2011

St. George picture update part 3

Happy kids! My favorite kind.

A nice sunset. I did a drive by shooting to get this one.

 We found an awesome park, less than a 2 minute drive from our place.
It is Cottonwood Cove park, and it has awesome play equipment.
Like this torpedo spinner.
 And this funky swing.
The entrance to the park is a stone tunnel with a rope bridge.

It also has some traditional play equipment with a twist. 

And the best part is the REAL rock climbing wall.

More interesting climbing structures.

 The background of this picture has one more structure that was a lot of fun.

 After the park we drove another 2 minutes away to the Tonaquint Park and nature center.
 Where we went bird watching and Elyssa picked up a few  feathers. 
There were some Gorgeous ducks and other water birds that would not cooperate with me. 
I hope to go back and get a few pictures of them. 
I also saw a finch or sparrow with a bright red stripe on the top of it's head. 

St. George picture update part 2

All of these photos were taken at the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. 

You can visit their website here .

It is the largest animal sanctuary in the U.S.  We chose this as our first weekend outing in southern Utah. Elyssa was missing her dog terribly and we thought if she could connect with some other animals it might help.  The Sanctuary is in Angel Canyon, and had 1700 animals the day we visited.

 Waiting for our tour to start. More gorgeous blue skies.

This cat is Scotty, he was born with his eyelashes turned in against his eyes. Every time he blinked his lashes would scratch his corneas, as a result the vets ended up removing his upper eye lids, and he has very poor eyesight. He also had a funny little fang that stuck up out of his mouth.  
 This cat was very calm and quiet. He only had one eye.
 And our very favorite was Marni. She was a 9 year old lab/pit mix. She was so sweet. The kids and Justin absolutely adored her. We would take her home if we could.

The Sanctuary was Absolutely AMAZING! Clean unlike any other I have ever been to. Organized beyond anything I have ever witnessed. Cats with feline lukemia had their own building. Cats with special needs their own building, older cats had their own place. Same with the dogs, small dog buildings, large dog buildings, older dogs buildings. They even had places for dogs who would rather live alone or with just one buddy. They had 42 puppies in the nursery and they would eventually graduate to puppy preschool. They had bird buildings and horse haven, piggy paradise for pot bellied pigs, bunny housing, one sheep. A horse that has had a prosthetic leg for 17 years. 

This sanctuary took in 20 of Michael Vicks dogs. I think 2 of them are under court order never to be adopted out. 6 have been rehabilitated and adopted, and the others still live at the sanctuary. The sanctuary employs approximately 480 employees, and has an operating cost of $100,000 per day. 
The Pet cemetery was beautiful and extremely peaceful. They have placed over 1000 wind chimes in the cemetery as well. 
If you are planning to adopt an animal this is an awesome place to do that. Each animal comes with a life plan folder that has all of their known history and of their time at the sanctuary. Plus they are available for sleepovers if you are staying in the area. 
The tour is free and takes about 90 minutes. I would highly suggest taking the tour if you are in the St. George or the Zion National Park areas.  You can also rent cabins in the sanctuary and volunteer.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

St. George picture update part 1

After a 10 days in St. George. I have about 150 photos on my camera. I have selectively deleted a lot of them. I told the kids I am only keeping the ones I like the most.  Here are some of the pictures that I feel capture the essence of our life here so far. 

This is the palm tree directly outside our front window. 
The skies are this beautiful blue most days. 

School must go on

The Condo

A sweet girl asleep in our nest , she was coming down sick.
I let her sleep in extra long.
Stay tuned for part 2

Friday, February 11, 2011

How this adventure started

For a lot of our friends and family this is something you have already heard. For many others I have not had time to explain or relay the latest news, so here it is.

Last Thursday, February 3rd, Justin was given a choice at work. He could stay and finish out the job with a guaranteed layoff 2 weeks later. Or he could go to St. George,UT and work until April and possibly have work after. He has been a foreman with this company for nearly 6 yrs. They gave him 1 hour to decide. It was so tough and super emotional for us. He knew we didn't have a choice. So we had 2 days to pack up, find lodging, and get down here so he could be to work that coming Monday morning. I was completely unfocused on Saturday and felt like I was stuck in park. It was so hard to figure out what needed to be done. Needless to say I was overwhelmed and having trouble processing everything.

It has been a hard transition. But we are adjusting. So much goes into a move and we had so many things to figure out before we could leave. No matter all of those details I see God's hand all over this.

Everything about this temporary move has been a God thing!

Originally we were going to stay in our travel trailer. It is tiny and I was having a hard time figuring out how we would do it. I think Justin could see that I was stressed about it, so he told me to find a hotel for the first 2 weeks. (As it turns out this is snowbird country and we would not be able to get an RV space if we wanted to. And the prices were just as much as the place we are in now) As I was looking I knew I would have to take my crock pot and make do with cold, microwaveable or crock pot foods. We knew eating out every meal was not a possibility. Most places had a mini fridge and microwave. That would have been doable.  As I was searching for hotels I found some decent rates. About $59/night. A MOTEL WAS DEFINITELY OUT OF THE QUESTION. At some point I felt like I needed to look into Condos or furnished apts. The very first place I found was St. George Corporate Housing Website. I was able to find us lodging in some luxury vacation condos for $39/ night, as long as we paid for a full month, in advance. You are also supposed to book at least 30 days in advance. I called 2 days before our arrival, they told me they just had a 1bd 1bath open up the day before. He put us right in the open condo.It was exactly what we needed. This is so much better! At least we have a full kitchen, and plenty of space. The other BIG thing is the bed!

For years I have had trouble with my back from a car accident 10 years ago. Going to bed was like going to my own personal torture chamber. Last Valentines day my husband bought me a sleep number bed. It has been a huge blessing! I sleep at night and I don't wake up in pain. I LOVE my bed, I call it my nest.  I was nervous about the bed we would have here but I was willing to deal with what ever I had to, to be here with Justin. This bed is so comfortable I have been able to sleep through the night and I don't hurt in the morning. That in itself is amazing to me.    

I have also finally been able to warm up. For months I have been wearing my hoodie and a sweater all day everyday, along with my slippers. It is definitely not warm here but it is warmer than SLC. I have not had to wear extra layers just to keep warm. I am able to stand in the sunlight, if I get chilled.

That is the other thing the sun is is out everyday here. I feel so blessed to have this experience. I needed the sunshine! 

I know there are people out there that don't understand why I could not just stay home and let him come to work here. He could always come home on the weekends or I could have come to visit him. For me that was never an option. Suffice it to say I have abandonment issues. I know it, I recognize it, I try to deal with it. But it is what it is. On another note we are extremely close! In 16yrs., I have only ever been away from him on those occasions when he has gone hunting, or the 2 ladies retreats I went on less than 2 hours away from home for the 2 nights I was gone.  I feel like I can also make it easier on him not having to wonder if we are ok. He works 10 hour days. I like being able to make sure he has a hot meal when he gets home and all of his needs are met.  I have gotten some really nice messages from friends who are completely supportive of my decision to come down here. It is extremely encouraging.

The kids are having a great time here as well. They brought their scooters and everyday several times a day they go on a long scooter ride. They find Palm tree branches and pieces. E has collected lots of rocks already. Ashton has a rash all over his hands and arms not sure what it is but we are trying to figure it out.  They love the pool too. Constantly they are asking to go hiking, or go to the park. Every morning they get up and do their school work, without any prompting from me. E was super depressed yesterday. She misses her dog terribly.

We are almost done with our first week here. I will try to keep updated so that the posts are shorter next time.  Life here moves at a much slower pace than at home. I think it is because of the elderly population. There are a lot of them staying here for the winter so we try to be very respectful. We want to be quiet, and not make much noise so as not to disturb them.
 I guess that's it for now.
The next post will be a picture post watch for it. 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Featured on One Pretty Thing!

The Purple Zebra Baby Shower, I helped design and host, was featured on Feb. 7th, on One Pretty Thing. You can check out the website here. Or you can go here to see the original post.

One pretty thing is a great website. It is a compilation of crafty, DIY, crafty foods, make over projects, baby shower and wedding ideas, all from creative bloggers.
It is one of those sites I check out daily if not more often. It is a great way to get inspiration, and find the latest trends in the craft world. I Love to see all of the wonderful things those talented people come up with.


Sunday, February 6, 2011

St. George, Utah

 Here I sit in a new place. I won't call it home...Yet. But it is a temporary dwelling place. A shelter. And yes it is lovely. There are palm trees just outside my front window. The view from the balcony is nice too.  But Home as in my House... Not quite. However if I think about it, Home is where the heart is! And my heart is sleeping in the other room trying to rest up before his first day on a new job.  So I suppose in some way  I am home.   Here is a picture of where we are staying. Las Palmas Resort at Green Valley.

Well Peeps I am exhausted!!! I was up at 6 am to finish packing, loaded the car and truck, cleaned out the fridge, went to church, drove 5 hours to St. George, unpacked everything, watched part of a movie on tv, caught up on my facebook and emails, and posted this on my blog. So I am off to dream land. I will keep you all updated soon!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Valentine Cookies? Ooh la la!

So I was wandering around the blogosphere today and came across some cookies from How does She.
They were called Valentine cookies rated "G", "PG", "PG-13"
Follow this link to see them.
Any how I realized that they were the same cookies that I had done with a friend for a lingerie bridal shower in October of 2009. I didn't realize that they would make a great Valentine cookie, for your sweetie. (but not for the kids classroom party at school) 
Here are the cookies we came up with. I really loved how they turned out. How Does She has some great ideas on creating things with lace. 
You really should check them out if you plan on making these cookies. 

 We bagged and dressed them up, with a tag. Then handed them out as favors.
I think I had more fun making these cookies than any others I have ever done. And I assure you they were definitely a hit! I think a few of the ladies took one home to their hubbies.   

I have linked up to