Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hidden Springs Home plans

Geoff has been working most of the day on our home plans. He drew this sketch of the elevation of our home (Wow! Isn't he good!) When I see his work, I get so excited to build. Here is our most current floor plan as well. (It has changed about 30 plus times since we started this process!) But I feel 95% confident that this is the home we will build. The real question is, how long will we live there???

"All the better to EAT you with!"

Max has had ALL 4 of his front teeth come in together. I think he's ready for a T-bone steak!

Genealogy, I am doing it!

Since the roads were bad, I didn't go to the temple, but stayed home and worked on getting started with genealogy. I am VERY GRATEFUL to have a mother-in-law, Joanna Neyman, who is an expert in this field. I spent much of my time on the phone with her, as she guided me through legacy and gave me some very helpful pointers. I look forward to a time when I will feel like I know what I am doing. All in all I'm very excited to work on this. Below is a picture of my family taken in about 1975 or so.

Another Day of Snow!

Well, despite my need for a little recoup, it snowed again! Justin and I did a little service shoveling today, and shoveled walks & driveways for 3 families (including Karen's), and then shoveled our own. We're both getting to be pretty good and efficient at the job!

I took Max out for a bit after he woke up from his first nap. He is SO cute bundled up in his little blue snow suit!
We watched Geoff & Justin play a little snow baseball. Geoff likes this form of baseball as there is an endless supply of snow baseballs, and he doesn't have to chase & recover them! Justin (and Geoff) love to EXPLODE each ball!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Geoff gets to ski!

Geoff has been commenting all week about how fabulous the ski conditions on Bogus Basin must be with all the recent snow. Geoff has always loved skiing, and is a very good skier. Until this year, he had not skied for over 5 years--a hard, heart wrenching trial in his life. After the long drought, he was invited to go a couple of weeks ago, and had a great experience pulling out his rusty gear, waxing skis, mending boots, etc. Now he can't wait to get back on the slopes. So, this morning his good friend Reed DeMourdant called
and invited him to go with he and his family. I told him he could go on one condition...that he take pictures so I could blog the happy occasion! This is what I got...

Stand and Deliver

Once a month our home schooling group has and activity called "Stand and Deliver." Each child comes prepared to share something they have learned or created during the month--they stand in front of the children and share their talent. This is fun for everyone. These kids are amazing and we always come home feeling inspired to learn more and experiment with something new.

Last month Justin recited "The Living Christ" which he had memorized. This month, he brought the Valentine perler bead train he made, and showed the kids how he made it. They all really loved how he made his own pattern and made it 3-D.

I LOVE this group of home schoolers. The mothers are amazing and have become dear friends and inspiring mentors. The kids are incredible.

An quiet evening at the Eagle library...not!

We all love going to the library for different reasons. Justin and I love to go and do what most people do when they go to the library--look at and read books. Most always, Justin is able to go and enjoy. He especially enjoys the Magic School Bus Series.
Me on the other hand, will type a few words in the computer for a book search, then stop and go get Max who is attacking some innocent little girl. Come back, type in the rest of my search, and go retrieve Max who is now kicking the library blocks around like a soccer ball. I try to memorize the location of the book I'm trying to find while Max wiggles and squirms frantically. I find the 300's for a Titanic narrative for Justin, and wait...where is Max?? Wow, he almost made it outside! Back to the 300's to find 392.1. I almost find the .1 when I hear, "Oh, how cute...I wonder if he's our new volunteer!" Max is behind the library check out desk. Go get Max, and finally I find the Titanic book. But wait, where did Max go? Of course, he's eating the soil out of one the the plants, Yum! And there you have it, the first 10 minutes of my library visit. We stayed for over an hour. The story doesn't change much, it's just 50 minutes more of Justin enjoying his books and me chasing Max.

This is a picture of the reading bears they have in our library. Justin will read there, and Max tries to pull thier eyes out.

Little Michelangelo's Snow Diesel & sculptures

Okay, I am VERY sore! Justin and I shoveled & packed snow for over 5 hours today! It snowed all day yesterday and last night. So first thing in the morning, we shoveled Karen's driveway & walks. It takes a good two hours to do--her driveway is massive! But Justin is loving his new job, and works very hard. He earned another $10 today, and hopes is snows again tomorrow. I on the other hand hope to recover over the next few days.

When we came back from our school activity, I put Max down, and Justin & I headed outside for another three hours to make yet another snow creation. Justin loves doing snow sculptures, and like his Nanna, is quite talented. This time we are making a snow diesel. He wants it to look like the one he is trying to earn. So that was my other three hours spent as a volunteer slave laborer for Justin--I shoveled and packed while he directed, sculpted and carved. Here is a picture of the finished product, and a picture of the Temple he and Geoff made while at Grandma's house in UT a couple of weeks ago, and the train they made at Nanna's house last year.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Paper Airplane-a-day

Each morning, we begin school by making a paper airplane (from an Airplane fold-a-day calendar). Justin has gotten very good at following the directions and has made some pretty cool planes. It's an exciting way to begin the day. Justin LOVES doing this has actually designed a few of his own planes that are great fliers. Below are some of his favorites...

Monday, January 28, 2008


Usually, when there is quiet in my home, I know there is some mischief going on somewhere. This was today's quiet moment that I walked in on. Justin is so good with MAX!
Max has 2 FAVORITE books that he brings to us to be read at least daily. He LOVES these books!!!:

We love all of Sandra Boynton's books...they are great!

"GEAR up" for Family Night

Family nights are so much fun! Geoff gave a great lesson on making choices that are "good, better, best" from conference. Justin was eager to participate because he was able to retell the story of Mary and Martha so well. Justin was in charge of games and decided to create a "gears" set up--it's quite a contraption, and the boys love watching the marbles go through the maze! We had apple cobbler w/ice cream for dessert. The ice cream came from a bet that Justin won a couple of days ago. I normally wouldn't bet him using ice cream as a reward, but I think my father nearby at the moment!!! (He used to always make bets with ice cream!!!) Anyway, Justin and Geoff both loved dessert tonight.

Monday Night Pizza

We have a tradition to have Pizza every monday night to begin our Family Home Evening Extravaganza. It usually consists of a homemade crust, sun dried tomato sause, what ever veggies are in the fridge, pineapple, olives and cheese. We all love Pizza night!

Celebrating the Love of God

As we were making apple cobbler for Family Home Evening, Justin asked me, "Mom, what does Valentine's Day celebrate?" I replied, "Looooooooooooooooove!" Then he asked, "Love of who...Heavenly Father?" I answered, "Well, I suppose you could celebrate His love, but most people celebrate the love of their sweetheart, like Daddy and I." Exhausted with my explanation Justin said, "Well mom, you can't celebrate Valentines day without God, because GOD IS LOVE!"

(We've been memorizing the scripture found in 1 John 4:7-9.) There's nothing like a child who internalizes what he is taught!" Maybe we should celebrate His love this coming holiday!

Boys obsessed with TRASH!

For years I've been harassed by boys (namely Geoff and Justin), who like to "inspect" the trash and make sure I am not throwing away any of their valuable possessions--which happens to be everything, so it seems!

Now I have someone who is on my side...MAX!!! Like myself, Max likes to discard things rather than retrieve them from the trash... although he has very little digression. Yesterday, we found the following items in two trash cans, the bath tub, and his laundry basket...two of our handset phones, various toys, some of Justin's socks, a couple of kitchen utensils, two pacifiers, a few squares of toilet paper, and one of my shoes.

A week ago, I predicted Max to be a soccer player, but now I'm beginning to think he likes to play basketball!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Passing of Gordon B. Hinckley

Our dear Prophet, Gordon B. Hinckley, passed away this evening. I can't really imagine Leadership in the church without him there, and I tear up everytime I think of the reality that he has passed on. I especially loved President Hinckleys optimistic attitude, his quick whit & sense of humor, and his ability to inspire the masses with cheerful encouragement of the fundamentals. In this very complex world we live in, President Hinckley simplified things beautifully--you could never feel overwhelmed, only inspired to try harder, do better, keep going. I have looked forward with each conference to seeing him cheerfully & humorously lead the sessions, and especially to recieving his divine directives. I have lived a much fuller life from following his counsel. I love him dearly, cherish his leadership, and will truly miss him. Without doubt, I know he was a prophet of God, raised up for the very purpose of his calling of Prophet, Seer & Revelator.

One of my favorite passages of counsel from President Hinckley given in 1995 & 2005 General Conference:

Now my brethren and sisters, the time has come for us to:

· Stand a little taller, to lift our eyes and stretch our minds to a greater comprehension and understanding of the grand millennial MISSION OF THIS CHURCH.

· This is a season t be STRONG. It is a time to move forward without hesitation, knowing well the meaning, the breadth, and the importance of OUR MISSION.

· It is a time to DO WHAT IS RIGHT regardless of the consequences that might follow.

· It is a season to REACH OUT with kindness and love to those in distress and to those who are wondering in darkness and pain.

· It is a time to be CONSIDERATE and GOOD, decent and courteous toward one another in ALL our relationships.

· In other words, It is a time to become more CHRISTLIKE.

Dinner at the DeMourdants

After church, we went over to the DeMourdants home for dinner. Reed made dinner using ingredients from a store called the Grocery Outlet. You get REALLY good prices for food there, but from my impression it is random what you find and is stocked from the leftovers of other stores, out of season goods or items with expired dates. I would like to name it "Hit and Miss." Reed and Geoff both LOVE the store, and GayAnn and I have our reservations. I couldn't help but wonder if the chicken in my burrito was one of those expired items!!! Anyway, it was the joke of the evening, as he bragged on all the wonderful food items they were serving us that came from the Grocery Outlet. Geoff seems to think I need to give it a chance.

DeMourdants are wonderful friends. I LOVE when you make a connection with a family where ALL members love the association. We love spending time with them!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Justin's 3-D Valentine Train --Watch out Sweetheart!!

One of the classes we are doing with our homeschoolers is a service class. This semester, our group will focus a lot on serving our neighbors and community (and hopefully always). We are preparing for Valentines Day, by making valentine heart boxes out of perler beads to deliver to some of the widows we know. Justin loves perler beads and has made many clever creations. He wanted to make something 3-D, and so he made his very own pattern 3-D train. I was so impressed that he made all the parts to fit perfectly together. He is amazing!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dinner with Karen

Just recently, we've been able to get to know our neighbor Karen _____ . Tonight we invited her over for dinner. She lives alone and with only one son near by that she does not see very often. We found out she has worked for the CIA all her life, and although she is retired, she goes on "secret missions" once or twice a year to remote third world countries. She has many fun stories, and Her home is filled with many interesting souvenirs. She is cute with Justin and Max--we feel like we have an Idaho Grandma!

Soccer MAX

Max has a wonderful talent. We were all amazed when he started walking the day he turned 9 months old, and we were equally amazed when shortly there after, he started playing soccer. Max loves to kick balls all around the house. But he doesn't just kick the ball and let it fly, rather he kicks it just enough to get it going and runs along with it. He's really quite a player!

Snow and Quarters

It snowed again last night. So first thing after breakfast, Justin and I went back across the street to shovel Karen's walks & driveway. I discovered that it is much easier to shovel snow without a 1 year old on your back! The funniest thing happened while we were shoveling. Two of Justin's homeschooling friends came by for our weekly activity. They arrived early, and since we were still shoveling, they came over to help. The four of us had been shoveling hard for 15 minutes, when the community tractor shoveler came blazing by to clean the sidewalks. All three kids stood at a dead stand still with mouths gaping open as they watched the tractor move effortlessly along. (I So wish I had a PICTURE to capture the look on their faces which seemed to say, "why couldn't we have one of those!" The man on the tractor must have read their minds, and asked if they would like him to take a couple of swoops on the driveway. WOW! He did in about 3 minutes what would have taken four of us an entire hour to do! We were all very excited and grateful!! Karen was impressed with our shoveling abilities, until I informed her that we had a little help.

Karen paid Justin generously (again) with an almost completed coin collection of the 51 states' quarters. She has collected all but 5 of the coins which are yet to be printed this year. Justin came home and searched the house for all our quarters to see if he could find the 'Utah' quarter, but had no luck. What a fun payment. Above is a picture of Karen, and Justin with his new coin collection.

Our 'INCREDIBLE' Date night

Our date night began with a big bowl of popcorn, Geoff and I snuggled together on the couch with our very romantic addition...Justin!! Together, we watched the movie, 'The Incredibles'. After three years of looking at the movie in the box, Justin decided he was ready to watch it. He braved the mechanical spider quite well. We were very proud of him.

After the movie, and Justin in bed, we worked on finishing our home plan. We have a goal to submit it for approval by the end of January. We've really been trying to simplify it, and design it so we can live in it and finish parts of it later. It will be a single level, with a basement. As we were trying to decide whether to have a full basement or not, Geoff suggested that we build a full basement and leave part of it unfinished for now. I asked if we have need for the other part. Geoff's response made me laugh, "of course we need it! We're building this house to stand through the millennium, and we can finish those rooms for Jacob and Oakley!" Of course, I couldn't refuse... and Geoff is truly designing a house to stand for all time! The question really is, will WE stay there for more than a year????

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Computer solar panels

When I informed Justin that it was time for bed, he asked if he could see a picture on the computer. So I unplugged the printer and power cord, and went upstairs with laptop in hand. Justin in pure astonishment exclaimed, "WHAT?!!! You don't need a cord to operate that there a solar panel on it or something?!!"

I realized at that moment that he has been spending too much time with his dad designing 'green' homes!!!

Future Non-Jamaican Bobsled team

We're practicing up for the Olympics! Having good snow isn't so common here in Eagle, so when it comes, it is so fun to play! Today, we did a lot of sledding. We starting in our own back yard (which has a great little hill), and after we put Max down for a nap, Justin and I sought out something a little more exhilarating. After about an hour of searching the hills, we found the perfect spot and sledded another hour. We came out with only one minor finger injury when Justin ran into a tree. All in all, it was a great day. We hope it snows again soon. (The pictures are from our back yard.)

Avacado Anyone?

Max has the most independent spirit! He is still mostly breast-fed, but we always give him portions of our food, so he feels included. His favorites being banana and avocado. However, you must give him food on HIS terms. He must be in control... you must give HIM the spoon, or give HIM the bite of food so he can inspect closely and eat if he so chooses. Today, he wanted some avocado, but he didn't want pieces, he insisted on having the entire avocado--So I let him at it. What a guy.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Dr. Dolittle

We just finished reading Dr. Dolittle. Here is Justin's account of the story, exactly how he narrated it to me for his Nanna.

The story was about a man named Dr. Dolittle. He could talk to animals, because his parrot Polynesia taught him how. Have you heard of a pushme-pullyu? It is a two-headed animal, but it isn’t real for real life!!!!!!!!!! The monkeys got sick and Dr. Dolittle came to rescue them. After that, the monkeys wanted to get him an animal. Soon they decided on a pushme-pullyu because it had never been able to be caught before, because no one could ever sneak up on it because it would ALWAYS be facing you. But, the monkeys had a clever idea. They circled the pushme-pullyu. The pushme-pullyu tried to get out of the circle of monkeys but he couldn’t. The pushme-pullyu finally decided to go with Dr.Dolittle who had gotten poor. But the Pushme-pullyu would make him rich. Is that cool Nanna? On the way back, they went past a pirate island. 6 pirates got onto their boat and Dr. D had an idea. He told his Duck Dab Dab to fly up and get some birds to pull the boat forward. Thy pulled the boat to an island with dozens of canaries on it. When they stopped the pirates saw their ship. They sailed over, and came over to see if there was anything to steal in it. But the rats knew that the ship would sink the night after the next day. One of the canaries saw the pirates get onto Dr D’s ship. He came dashing to the Doctor and told him that the pirates were on his ship, and that Dr D could sail the pirates’ ship. After a few minutes, the ship that the pirates were on started to sink. The pirates said, “we should be seeing the rats leave by now.” Jip, the dog, tried to tell the pirates that the rats already left the ship two hours ago. But nobody could understand dog talk but the doctor. Then the sharks started to swim toward the pirates. The shark told the Dr., “These pirates are not nice.” The sharks asked him if they could eat the pirates. The Dr. said, “maybe, let me think.” After the Dr said stuff for a minute, he turned the pirates into seed farmers!!!!!!!!!!! Ha ha ha. Isn’t that funny Nanna. They found an 8 yr old boy in the ship locked up. The pirates left the boy’s uncle in a big hole. One of them, which there was a pig, and a duck, and Jip the dog of course and that’s all I can remember…one of the animals had an idea. He told the Dr. to call the eagles to help find the little boy’s uncle. The eagles searched ½ of the whole world with out finding one bit of the uncle. (Jusin interjected, “no wait, Nanna will think he is torn to pieces, change that to….) The eagles searched ½ of the whole world with out finding the uncle. Jip the dog, thought he could find the uncle. So they tried it out. JIP told the doctor that which ever way he pointed his nose that is they way he should steer the boat. Finally they found a big rock with nothing on it, just a big and flat rock. It was so big it was like an island. But there was a hole in the middle of the rock, and Jip said that was where the smell came from and they found the uncle deep inside. They took the uncle to his own house and the whole town wanted dr. d to stay. Soon Dr. Dolittle got home as a rich man just because of the pushme-pullyu.

My favorite part was when Doctor Dolittle made the pirates into seed farmers for the canaries.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Justin's first job

Justin decided that he wants to have a job earning money so he can buy an electric train. He told me he wants to start a lawn care business. In the summer he wants to cut lawns with a lawn mower like Nanna's, and in the winter he will shovel driveways. Well would you believe it snowed last night. Before advertising his business, I thought we'd give ONE driveway a try.

Ironically enough, he chose the biggest driveway on the block. We agreed that we would just shovel it for free, so people would see what a good job he does. So we bundled up Max, Justin & myself, and headed over. After a few minutes of shoveling, our neighbor Karen came out, and thanked us for shoveling her driveway. I told her about Justin's career plans, and that she was the lucky recipient of a free 'shovelin'.

I must say I was VERY IMPRESSED with Justin's determination to do a good job. He shoveled hard, and kept at it until the driveway was clear. When he finished, Karen 'tipped' him $10. WOW!! She also asked if Justin would be interested in always shoveling her walks. He was so excited, and is hopeful for a prosperous career.

Love is in the Air

Justin was coloring a picture with his red crayon, and after coloring for a bit said, "Phew! All this coloring with RED makes me think of LOVE!"

Friday, January 18, 2008

2 McCaws and one BIG dog!

Our homeschooling group visited a couple that have cared for two beautiful macaws for over 20 years. As they say, they are an integral part of their family.

The parrots were shy, and didn't want to do many of their learned tricks while they were in so much company (10 little children and several moms). But, we are told that anytime they hear the phone ring, they say, "hello." At 5:00 pm they want to watch the news with thier family and squawk relentlessly until they are let out of their cage (When they squawked, the sound was practically deafening. Justin held his hands over his ears most of the time we were there). They also know how to whisper! They were very big, with brilliant colors. It was especially fun to see the Macaws, as we are currently reading Dr. Dolittle, and Dr. Dolittle's trusty guide is a clever Macaw.

We only anticipated observing the parrots, but then they brought in their dog, Benny--the BIGGEST dog I have ever seen. To be licked by this dog, was to take a bath. I kept my distance somewhat, and the kids LOVED him!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Remembering Oakley

This picture was taken in Oakley's nursery class at church. We found this again the other day, and couldn't help but have a good laugh. Believe it or not, Oakley did enjoy Nursery, but had an apparent picture attitude that day. Maybe he was being type cast for one of the Savior's lost sheep!

We Miss Oakley SO MUCH!! Needless to say, we go forward with the knowledge that Oakley (and Jacob) will be apart of us again soon. Gratefully we have so many wonderful memories that bring many smiles and laughs. We all love to remember moments with him.