Saturday, October 20, 2012

International Stomping Grounds

Have I mentioned I have a travel bug?  I can be a homebody from Monday to Thursday but come the weekend I have to GO SOMEWHERE. A change of scenery can put everything into perspective. If I can't go somewhere far--as is most often the case--then I like to play tourist in my own area.Who knew we only had to drive a couple of hours to experience Europe?! We heard German, French, Japanese, Spanish and ?.  I don't know if the kids appreciate the completely jaw-dropping amazing scenery of Bryce Canyon National Park but I hope at least the exposure to all that culture soaked their minds with some international intelligence and yes we did have FUN!!
 Je suis un petite Americain
We hiked the Navajo Loop trail as well as Queen's Gardens which lived up to it's claim as the "Best 3-mile Hike Ever."  That explained all the tour buses.
 Sprechen Sie Deutsch?
  Entering  "Wall Street"
 I thought some of these trees looked like twisted wrung-up wet towels. We just had to hug them.
 One can't pass through Queen's Garden without planting their own precarious rock sculpture. (Bud's highlight of the trip)
 The only thing that possibly could have made the hike better was a "bano."  I thought I might have to be airlifted out of the canyon for relief but luckily dehydration compensated.
 Cannon in his man-suit. Somehow being half-naked gave him the extra energy to climb the last stretch.
 Almost there...
Voila. We made it back to the top.  Phew!!!    Indian legend says this valley used to be filled with people.They turned bad and were consequently turned into STONE by the coyote god.   Looks like they knew what was coming.
 Old Bryce Town
 Nowadays if you're bad you end up in JAIL so of course after a full day our kids ended up in there. Kate posted bail with some Hi-Chews--our new favorite candy (made in Japan)

The proper way to conclude this Western adventure was,  you guessed it--an  Old Time  Photo Shoot.

Of course I can't give a full disclosure here-- you'll have to keep checking the mailbox  for your cheesy Christmas card...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Time Out is for Moms Too

Went to Time Out For Women this weekend. It was awesome. Between that and conference last weekend I have been getting shovel fulls of good advice. What is everyone trying to tell me?  Forgive, Laugh, Apologize (sincerely) and rejoice in Womanhood.  

Earlier this week I was not at all rejoicing in womanhood or any of it's apron strings. I put in what felt like the 970th load of laundry for the year, emptied the dishwasher for the 1,056th time, and cooked the 671 meal in a row that no one particularly liked, except myself.  I reminded my kids for the 700th time to practice and do their jobs as I kicked the 13th errant ice cube out of sight and under the freezer. I. was. in. a.  royal. funk.

What do I like to do when this occurs?  Look for travel deals and hope that there will be another special announcement to extend the new mission age to women in their mid-thirties.

Ugg. Well, I went to TOFW, and like I said it was awesome because I think it de-funked me. Yeah.
I heard messages that were so what I needed to hear it's like they had taken my life as their theme. Forgive, Laugh, Apologize (sincerely) and rejoice in Womanhood. OKAY!!
We listened to the dreamy melodies of violinist Jenny Oaks Baker. She made me want to practice--(as if that would help.)

I realized how extremely privileged I am (and you)  to be a woman in this day and age and country after hearing the life story of a woman who escaped war-torn Sierra Leone. I suddenly became very grateful to have a dish to wash, kids to teach and for basically E V E R Y thing I have from shoes to beds to freedom.

I got home and rejoiced that my husband had done the dishes. When I saw that the backyard was littered with pizza and paper products I rejoiced  that we had food to spare, that I had kids to make such a mess, and that they were physically capable of cleaning it all up.  I guess that's why they say GRATITUDE is the parent of all other virtues.

What's my point?  I guess it's to be grateful for your awesome life (because it is awesome) and go to TOFW if you get a chance. It was fun. Plus we got gift bags and I made like 1800 new friends. :) :)

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bits and Pieces

A few things of the week:

1.  BD found out that the pain in his side is officially a cracked rib. This is what happens when a few nice guys get together for some early morning church ball. SLAM, Craack. No more of that or golf or tennis or the like for 4 more weeks.   He received his diagnosis after he had already committed us to play in an adult co-ed soccer game.

2.  I went anyway and was lucky not to receive my own injury. Co-ed?? Let's just say I was the only one with c-section scars, a shirt to cover them,  and a verbal filter. What I should have done was go with my gut and go back home!!!  Instead I played??  It wasn't so bad and the guys showed me some mercy by not plowing me over.

3.  On the subject of guts, I checked out "Wheat Belly" from the Bookmobile this week.   I have a thing for health and nutrition books. I think they're fascinating and I want to put this one to the test but not before making my favorite cookies of the season Pumpkin Cookies with Caramel Frosting  (from Taste Buds Are the Best Buds.)

4. BD headed to the the BYU game and took the 2 olders.   That left me with the youngers.  It was kind of a fun new parenting experience to have just them. We did younger kid things like happy meals and watching the Lorax and snuggling.  BD and the olders did older kid things like waking up early and going on an 8 hour!!! hike.

 Photo courtesy of Aunt Megz. which reminds me of what Brynn said to me, " Aunt Megz. takes a lot less pictures than you do--which I LIKE."

4.  Enjoyed a weekend of the "Good Word."  I came away with my faith renewed and strengthened. And it did my heart good to spend time with my sweet niece and her little family who made the little road trip to join us.

5. We all went Pumpkin Patching.

 From cracked ribs to hernias

Here it is--the loot--and proof that at our house it's officially Fall.