Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Um, Yes Please!

While perusing one of my friend's blog, I came across this offer from Shutterfly. Um, yes, please! I would love to order some Christmas cards! I've sent Christmas cards since we had Bradley and had something to talk about, but this makes it so easy, and they have some really great designs.

They have folded cards like this,

Or this,
(I must have a thing for the black and colorful font. Rest assured, there are other designs too!)

But if you don't want a folded card, they also have flat stationery cards with Oh So Many great designs. I happen to love these Christmas tree ones.

Oh the possibilities. I'm not sure what I'm going to choose, but get excited. One might be coming your way! But don't stop there.

If you are not in the market for Christmas cards, never fear, Shutterfly is here. (I know that sounds cheesy, but Wonder Dog's catch phrase is so . . . catchy, and it fits, right?) They also have other great gift ideas if you are looking for just the right personalized gift this year.

You could go for a handy mug. I would cover mine with pictures of my cute kids, but that is just me.
Or, a personalized calendar?
How about this ornament? It's so simple and sweet. I'd almost just stick with the cute sleeping baby picture in the sample.

There really are a ton of ideas. You should just head on over to Shutterfly and check it out. Just make sure you have a little bit of time to peruse everything!

Monday, December 6, 2010


Here are a couple of pictures of our recent happenings.

First, Daniel got glasses. He is growing up fast anyway, but these specs age him at least three years if you ask me.

Next, we celebrated Bradley's birthday on Saturday. Here he is blowing out his candles.

You do not need to adjust the color on your screen. Yes, that is PINK frosting. I tried to steer Bradley toward the chocolate, but he would have none of it. He wanted Pink. He's 4 and opinionated. What can I say.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Antelope Island

For the past few years I have camped at Antelope Island in the Fall.  It truly is an ideal time to camp there as the bugs can be overwhelming in the warmer months.  If you have any doubts just ask me about the time I got over 500 mosquito bites.  Yes, I am serious about the count!


There are two spots to camp at.  The first is Bridger Bay Campground and is great if you are camping with an RV or with a small group.  If you are coming with a group the White Rock Bay group areas are better and will cost you less.  You can reserve most of the camping spots before going out.  Be sure you make it on the causeway before the gates close or you will be locked out.  For more information click here.

The sunsets can be spectacular from Antelope Island.  I usually have a good camera with me on my camping trips but didn't bring it this time and I am kicking myself for that.  As you will see below we had some amazing photo opportunities.  Luckily I at least had my phone with me!

We were few in number but it was still a successful campout.  When we reached the edge of the Great Salt Lake there were mosquitoes everywhere.  We were a little nervous that they were going to eat us alive but were pleasantly surprised that once out on the Island there weren't any in sight. 

As we approached our camping area we saw some bison hanging around.  I tried to get a picture with my phone.  
It was a little cold but we quickly built a wind break using some tarps, poles and one of the picnic tables.
Soon the campsite was filled with the smell some great hamburgers.  They were filled with cheese and I think bacon.  I can't remember for sure but they tasted good. 

While we were hanging around we noticed the sunset was starting and the view was amazing.  I was sad I had decided to leave my nice camera at home and only had my phone to take pictures with.  Oh, well below are some of the better shots.

In the morning it was cloudy and a little wet but we didn't really get much rain.  

There was a little drizzle during the night but nothing too bad.  It got down in the 30's that night but never below freezing.  In the morning we hung out around the fire until we decided it was time to head out.  Another year's tradition accomplished with camping at Antelope Island.

Family Pictures

Lesa wanted to get some family pictures.  We thought we would give it a try with the camera on a tripod and using the timer feature.  We drove up 29th street, walked about 50 feet from the parking lot and found a bright yellow tree.  We setup the tripod, camera, kids and started the timer.  We told the boys to look at the camera and smile...click.  What are the chances that the first try would work out so well?

Since we had a little extra time we tried to get a few more and here are some of the better ones:

Friday, October 29, 2010

Flashback Friday

I wrote the following as a Halloween memory for my ward's writing group. I figured it's an applicable flashback for the Friday before Halloween. It's a bit long, but if you make it through, I hope you enjoy!

In an uncharacteristic moment of boldness, I once dressed up in my Halloween costume for school. I honestly don’t know what I was thinking. I must have been motivated by extra credit or succumbed to peer pressure, I’m not sure which. But, either way, I decided to dress up. . . I just didn’t know as what.

I was in seventh grade. The only year I was at school without a sibling. That may have been part of my motivation too. Seventh grade was the year for me to make a name for myself before I was once again known as, “Scott’s sister,” or “Layne’s sister.”

So, Halloween morning, after teaching early morning seminary, and in the midst of making breakfast and also getting my four brother’s ready for school, my mom helped me put my costume together.

I decided to be Pippi Longstocking, another decision I can’t account for. She wasn’t exactly in the mainstream of popular characters in 1992, but I guess for that reason I figured I could pull it off. I wore a red dress with small white polka-dots. It was an old choir dress that one of my aunts gave me for dress-up clothes. I had dressed-up in it for years, but finally grew into it a little bit. I paired the dress with a white pinafore apron from my mom’s youth as a dancer in a church youth dance group. Along with the dress, I borrowed a pair of my dad’s light brown argyle socks that I wore with one pulled up and the other pushed down around my ankle. I squeezed my feet into some old Ked’s tennis shoes, my white one, and my mom’s too-small for me red one. To finish off the costume, my mom used her eyeliner to dot freckles across my cheeks and nose. Then we moved onto my hair. It was long and blonde, which didn’t represent Pippi’s bright red locks very well, but we did our best. My mom cut off the hook part of an old wire hanger, straightened out the hanger, and expertly strung it through my hair so that it was well disguised on my head. She then proceeded to braid my hair along the outstretched ends of the hanger, securing it occasionally with a bow of red yarn. Somehow, with all of her finagling, she was able to arrange my hair so that the braids were sticking out on either side of my head. I’m convinced it was a moment of engineering genius.

Once I was all dressed up, I threw on my backpack and headed to the bus stop. Yes, as a matter of fact, I did ride the bus. Not only did I ride the bus, but I rode a bus in which I was assigned to the second to last seat at the back of the bus, with two other students. When the bus arrived, I had to turn sideways in order to get my hair through the door. I then had to continue walking sideways down the aisle, so I didn’t accidentally poke anyone. I made my way to my seat, which was already occupied by my two fellow bench mates. We decided that I would sit in the middle and lean forward, suspending my braids out in front of my classmates, but keeping them away from the window and the aisle. It was a bit of an uncomfortable ride.

At school, I turned a few heads and received a lot of comments. My teachers complimented or laughed at my costume, and my hair marveled many of my classmates. I required kind of a large berth, so I walked pretty freely through the hallways. I just ran into a problem at my locker. Those next to me either couldn’t reach their lockers while I was at mine, or they had to dive and maneuver around me. I remember having to apologize a lot that day. At one point during the day I was coaxed into having my picture taken for the costume contest. I reluctantly agreed, and found my likeness posted on the board with fellow dressed-up classmates, vying for the title of best costume.

I managed through the day in my ridiculous outfit, occasionally longing for my usual position as resident wall flower. Near the end of seventh period they announced the winners of the costume contest. I sat in my class and listened to the voice coming over the intercom until I heard, “for seventh grade, Lesa, dressed as Pippi Longstocking.” My classmates cheered and applauded, and I sat in wonder. The winners for each grade were instructed to report to the office to claim their award. I made my way down to the office, where I picked out one of those pens that has multiple inks housed in one big pen case; the kind where you choose your ink by sliding a button at the top of the pen that corresponds with the applicable color. I then had to pose for one more picture that ultimately made its way into the year book that year, thus memorializing my moment out of character.

After a long day and another long bus ride, I made it home completely intact, hair and all. I stayed in my costume and went trick-or-treating that night.

It was a fun day, but I never wore a Halloween costume to school again. IN fact, I don’t think I ever dressed up on Halloween again until college. I guess it just took me that long to get over the embarrassment of all the attention I drew to myself that day.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fun At Home

Just some laundry hampers?...

Until two little heads pop out!

Daniel getting a little reading in before nap time.

Bradley and Daniel sharing the tricycle.

Bradley is always talking about camping and so we gathered some sticks from outside and added some flickering LED tea light candles.

Turn out the lights and you have a flickering campfire in your bedroom!

Lesa added a fitted bed sheet to the top of Bradley's bed a few weeks ago and Bradley won't let us take it down.  He loves it!

Conference Cabin Trip

For conference weekend we went up to our Grandparent's cabin near Monte Cristo.  We drove up Friday night and got there in the dark.  We went inside the cabin and set up our beds and got the boys to sleep.  Then Lesa and I went down stairs and hooked up some lights with a battery and an inverter.  Not much long after we headed off to bed also.

In the morning we started a fire to warm up the cabin and looked out the windows.  The aspen trees were a bright yellow and the air was chilly but the weather was clear.  Soon I went down to the Ant Flat road to pick up my parents.  We drove up and made it back in time to hear the morning conference session on the radio.

In the afternoon we went down and opened the gates for Lisa, Brayden and Jaycee.  Bradley and Daniel were happy to have cousins to play with.

Bradley had fun with a toy camera Lisa brought up.


We stayed the night Saturday night also.  Here is Daniel heading up the stairs with his blanket for bed.

It was a great weekend and we were able to listen to most of conference.  It was nice to get away where you could listen better than sometimes happens when you are at home.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Halloween Practice

Today we finally found a Halloween costume that Bradley liked.  For the past month or so every time we would ask him what he wanted to be he would first say, monster, ghost and end with Curious George.  Well we already have a Curious George costume but it wouldn't fit him anymore.  Daniel was already allotted Bradley's old Superman costume, sorry Daniel but you aren't old enough to care yet so you get the hand me down. 

Well we will be very safe walking around on Halloween due to the fact that we will have two super heroes:

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

This is the current state of my left hand.

For more perspective, here are both of my hands.

Isn't it lovely? . . . and HUGE? I seriously feel like my hand is encased in a brick. It's that heavy.

For those of my blog readers who don't know the story, here it is.

On August 1, we just returned home from the Tetons, and while getting the boys ready for their baths, I noticed a card game that had fallen onto the floor in their closet. I reached down to pick it up to put away, but hit the leg of their clothes hamper in my attempt. For a normal person, this would probably cause a jammed finger for a minute or two, but for me, I heard a "pop" and my hand instantly began to swell and throb. I made my way into the living room to ask Brian to finish baths. He asked me why, and why I was holding my left hand. I told him what happened, he told me he was sure it was broken, and that we needed to go to the Emergency Room.

So, he bathed Bradley, I finished our bed time routine with the boys. Brian's mom came over, and we went to the ER. We waited a lot, saw a nurse, waited some more, saw the doctor, were sent to get x-rays, waited a lot more, and then the doctor came in to splint my hand, tell me he was baffled, and refer me to a specialist. I should mention that we were not surprised at all by this development. I broke the same bone in another unlikely action 9 years ago, so we were aware of a problem.

The next day I called the specialist, but they couldn't get me in to see him for over a week. The Physician's Assistant was available the next day, though, so I made an appointment to see him. He looked at my x-rays, splinted my hand in a better brace, told me the fancy medical name of the tumor that was in my bone, and scheduled me to come back and see the surgeon three weeks later.

When I returned to see the surgeon, he talked to me as if we were in the middle of a conversation and just needed to iron out the details for surgery. Evidently I had a giant cell tumor in my bone (a diagnosis that is 1 in a million a year, I truly am unique) that had expanded and thinned the bone, making it easy to break. He explained that they needed to cut a window in my bone, scrape out the tumor, and then scoop out bone from my wrist to graft into my hand.

So, that brings me to yesterday. For the three weeks between first meeting with the surgeon and the actual day of surgery, I continued to wear the brace and treat my hand gently. Then yesterday, he performed the surgery, bandaged me up in my brick, and sent me home with a noodle of an arm, and some pain meds to take when feeling returned.

It was a long day, but don't ask me to remember it. I can't tell you much. They poked and prodded and drew on me. They numbed and knocked me out. The doctor told me I should wear their lovely blue caps more often, because it really made my eyes vibrant. And then in the whirlwind of instructions once I woke up, I heard a thump on the bars of my bed and felt like I dropped something, only to realize that my arm slipped. I thought it was funny to watch my arm twist and bend like Elastigirl from Incredibles, except I had no control over it. To leave the surgical center, I had to keep a firm grip on it with my other hand.

Now, however, that numbness is all gone, and I am writing this in the fog of pain medication. I hope it makes sense.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Lesa the runner

OK since Lesa won't do a updated post about her running I will.  She is turning into quite the runner and having a good time at it.  It has been fun to see her getting faster, stronger and having so much fun in the process.  She has run the Ogden 1/2 marathon, Ragnar Relay, Provo 1/2 marathon, Top of Utah 1/2 marathon and just recently a local 5K run where she placed 1st for women runners.  The funny thing about that race was that it was at 8AM in the morning and she ran 6 miles earlier that morning with a friend.  She still says she isn't a runner yet but I have to disagree I at one time considered myself a runner but she has far surpassed anything I ever did.  So in my eyes she is a great runner and I am very proud of her.

FHE at the Maples

For family home evening we went to the Maples Campground.  It is near Snowbasin Ski Resort.  It is the campground I took Bradley a few months ago with the scouts.  We hiked in, started a fire and roasted hot dogs for dinner.

After dinner we had to get out of there before it got too dark.  We made it out just as it got dark but Bradley had fun with the flashlight on our hike out.  It was very nice weather just slightly cool with the first sign of leaves changing.

Fort Buenaventura

This weekend my brother and I took our kids camping.  We decided to go to Fort Buenaventura since it is close to home. 

Warming hands by the fire:

Reading books before bedtime:

Running around in the trees:

Yummy dinner:

You can see the tepees and the fort in the background:

Playing around in the tepees:

Eating lunch and playing UNO Moo:

The kids had a lot of fun even with the train noises during the night!  It was fun to let the kids all play together and have a good time.