Monday, April 25, 2011

big news !!!

Guess who is getting married ???

Yep, Billy popped the question, and apparently Roxanne said yes because she is wearing a beautiful diamond on her finger!

Everyone is excited!


Our family is getting too old for Easter. On Saturday Melanie asked me about hunting for Easter eggs and the look on my face gave away the fact that I was not prepared with plastic Easter eggs filled with jelly beans ready for the great Easter Eggs Hunt of 2011. She shook her head in despair and walked away ashamed of her mom.
I actually was sort of ready for Easter. I sent an awesome package to Brady and his companion earlier this week. I had odds and ends ready to fill some Easter baskets for the very few people that would actually be home for Easter. (I have received comments like "If you happen to be talking to the Easter Bunny this week, could you tell him I need some new mascara?"), so yes, the Easter Bunny and I and Walgreens have been communicating.
But here is where things went sour. We had a ward campout on Friday and Saturday, we had been in Utah the previous weekend, and we had an extremely busy workweek. So Sunday we got home from church and kind of relaxed into oblivion for the afternoon. Rachel, who gets home from her church at 4:30, announced that she had to be somewhere at 5 and so we had a 15 minute window to have Easter dinner together. My afternoon nap accidentally consumed all the food prep time and the table was empty at 4:30. Dave and Melanie and I had a very simple Easter dinner at 6, Rachel had leftovers at 8. (Roxanne and Billy are out of town for the weekend.) The beautiful tulips are compliments of Dave. I've got a great husband!Melanie patiently waited for Rachel to get home before she looked for her basket. The Easter Bunny usually leaves an elaborate scavenger hunt for everyone to go on. He must have been exhausted or just simply too old this year because the scavenger hunt lasted approximately 1 and 3/4 minutes. Then fortunately we found some plastic eggs to hide in the backyard so Melanie wouldn't have to run away from home to a new family that loved her more. It was 9 o'clock at night and the backyard was dark and the lawn had not been mowed for a significant amount of time so the lush winter lawn was a winter jungle. We could have tossed the basket of eggs out the back door and they would have all been hidden randomly across the lawn. Instead, we supplied everyone with flashlights and had a night hunt.Rachel has issues about Easter egg hunts and pinata games. She says she spent a lifetime of Brady outdoing her in candy gathering games. She thought she'd have an advantage with him gone, but Melanie outdid everyone 3 to 1. So we made Melanie hide the eggs the second time and Rachel barely out-gathered her mom and dad, although I've got to say Dave turned it into a game of tackle and steal. I've never been thrown to the ground before playing with plastic Easter eggs. There's never a dull moment with Dave.

Looking at the pictures above, I realize that Tivo is in the background of one picture and Facebook is in the background of another picture. Although our day did involve Tivo, it also involved going to church together. We had a wonderful worship service. The talks were great, Dave and I sang with the choir which I think went quite well. Dave directed the primary children in singing a selection of songs which included a couple of the young boys singing solos, and duets and the older girls taking on a harmony. It was beautiful. He loves those kids and they adore him.

Next year Melanie and I committed to making Easter dresses - although I told her if I was going to make a dress for her, it had to be a pastel floral with a big white lace edged collar. We also are going to grow wheat grass in our baskets, actually dye Easter eggs (we didn't quite get to that this year), and have actual candy in the plastic eggs for the egg hunt, although she said if I didn't have candy, cash would be acceptable too. I think I will commit to that for her last year at home. So . . . question to other parents of adult children - when do (did) Easter baskets stop? I'm thinking I should have stopped in 6th grade? 9th grade? High school graduation? College graduation is coming up next semester . . . should I warn everyone that Santa Claus and the Easter bunny stop coming after a bachelor's degree? I think I already may have missed my window of opportunity.


Melanie went off to the "Mormon" prom the other night. She and Rachel went dateless. Proms are so different than they were way back in the previous century when I went. They were so stuffy back in the 70's. . . . or was it just my perception? There was so much pressure to have a date. It's cool that they can go and enjoy a whole group of friends and have fun. These girls have fun wherever they go, I must say.

I was a bit of a lame mom this year. I begged out of shopping for a dress with Melanie, although I was a consultant through text messages and pictures sent back and forth from dressing rooms all over town. I am grateful for Jennifer and Vicki to alter dresses, curl hair, help with make-up and accessorize so beautifully.

grand canyon

We drove up to Williams Friday night and got a couple of hotel rooms so we could get an early start up to the canyon on Saturday morning. (I love Priceline bids for hotel rooms. We got rooms at Days Inn for a $50 bid. Love it!) The kids took advantage of the indoor swimming pool and jacuzzi and I was a party pooper and just went to bed.
We got an early start on the road in the morning, made a stop at the infamous Bedrock City, then up to the Grand Canyon. The National Parks offer free entry a few days each year. This is the second time I've been to the canyon this year and hit a free day both times. Yay!
We parked at the visitor's center then walked 2 1/2 miles on the path along the rim to the village and stopped for a delicious lunch. After lunch we took the shuttle back to the car.

I went to the canyon with people ages 16-24. You'd think I wouldn't have to warn anyone about the dangers of a canyon. But look at how many photos feature this little group off the path and veering toward their death at the canyon's edge. I felt like I needed some of those child leashes. I told them all ahead of time I had phobias that would cause me sleeplessness for days to come if they teetered on the edge. They didn't seem to care about my fitful nights of sleep.
Melanie thought the wildlife was adorable. I had to show her that the signage explains that her finger will get nipped off by the cute little squirrel.
The weather was absolutely perfect. I didn't know if we would need to pack jackets or not. As we were hiking along we realized it was almost too warm for even a sweatshirt.

It was a fun morning, but left us with a long 8 hour drive to Lehi, coupled with a daylight savings time change that also put us back an hour. I seem to have a mental challenge with time changes, I had planned on gaining, not losing an hour as we crossed into Utah. That was disappointing to realize I calculated wrong. It's certainly not the first time I've driven across a state line, but I always seem to get the time change wrong. We pulled in to my cousin's house at about 11 pm.

I am surprised how many people have lived in Arizona for years and have never visited the Grand Canyon. Now I can say I've taken all my kids to the Canyon (well, Brady was only 4 when he went, but still . . . we took him.) I'm checking it off my list of things a parent should do.

road trip

We took a quick little road trip up to Utah last weekend. We planned to make a stop at the Grand Canyon on the way up. Halfway between Williams and the canyon, there is a little tourist "photo op" stop - Bedrock City. It was deserted, we had the place to ourselves. It was a good thing too because we were all way too old for this place. It might be a fun place for a 7 year old, but then what 7 year old has ever watched the old Flintstone cartoons and would get why you would slide down a dinosaur tail, or have rocks in the cash register drawer? Nevertheless, we had to take some photos to document our waste of money.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

spring break

Melanie talked me into a quick little trip to the coast. I'm glad my 16 year old daughter doesn't mind hanging around with her mom. My "other" daughter, Rachel (sorry Cindi, but we kind of claim her, too) also went with us. Those two girls are CRAZY. Tuesday morning, we drove straight to the beach. We got there an hour later than we planned. A truck full of hay bales tipped over on the freeway and we were going about 4 mph for about an hour. (I know, bales of hay on the Los Angeles Freeway??) My aunt Vicki met us at the beach. If you ever are looking for a nice little beach in California, head to Seal Beach. There are some streets full of cute little shops just off the pier. The girls splashed in the water a bit (although it was too cold and windy for me to get wet), made the mandatory sand castle, collected some stinky sea shells, then we strolled around the shops then went out to dinner with Con and Vicki. It was a nice evening. Melanie said, "I didn't know Aunt Vicki was so funny and so cool!" The girls stayed up until who knows when braiding each other's hair. Quite interesting hairdos. Wednesday morning we got in the gates of Disneyland at 9:05 and bolted for the Indiana Jones ride, then on to the Jungle Cruise. That is still an awesome ride. Most of the pictures the girls took on that ride were taken of a man sitting across from us wearing a tank top who was obviously very proud of his back hair. I will spare you those photos. (You're welcome).Then we wandered around and went on several rides. Melanie insisted we explore Tom Sawyer's Island. She needed a picture of herself in the monkey cage of Casey Jr's Circus Train. Rachel discovered the "Fast Pass" system of taking pictures with the Disney Characters. Surprisingly we didn't deal with long lines for the most part - about 20 minutes for a couple of the big rides, and we used the fast pass system a couple of times. The longest lines of the day were for the Submarine ride and Peter Pan's Adventure. You'd think all three of us were too old for either one of those rides. But if you thought that, you would be wrong. I loved, loved, loved the submarine ride when I was in first grade. And what could be more magical than flying in a ship over Neverland. I've got to admit, neither ride had quite the same magic anymore, but we were determined to have a full and complete Disney experience. We split up for a chunk of the afternoon. I strolled along Main Street and did some window shopping and went to see "Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln" (funny thing, no lines to get into that program). There was air conditioning and comfortable seats for a while. That's when I realized I might be getting too old for Disneyland. But later in the evening, the girls were starting to wear out and I was still going strong, I was glad I had taken a little break from the roller coasters and had spent a little time resting in Lincolnland.During the evening's light and water show, we ran into our Stake President and his family. What a coincidence. At 11:30 p.m. we thought we could fit 2 more rides in. We went on the Matterhorn and Space Mountain. I forgot the Matterhorn was such a rough ride and it weirded out my stomach a little. Then Space Mountain about did me in. I had forgotten that I don't like that ride. The minute it started, I remembered how dark the whole ride was and the movement and the dark really did something to my innards. I couldn't shake the wooziness or nausea or whatever until about 2 a.m. Yuck. Goodbye Mickey -- it's been fun.

We started back to Arizona Thursday morning. We made a few necessary stops on the way home -- Brighton Jewelry at the Outlet Mall, Hadley's Orchards Market, and the infamous dinosaurs. Good Times.

It couldn't have been a better trip.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

a pleasant sunday evening

Happy Birthday Kyle. Enjoy your World's Largest Gummy Bear!

Grandpa's heading back to Idaho. It's been a fun month.

We'll miss you !!

Monday, April 4, 2011


I love Bryce Canyon. Isn't it gorgeous? I stopped on the way to Provo and hiked 2 miles into the park, then a 3 mile loop inside Bryce Canyon National Park then hiked 2 miles back to the car. I only saw about 4 groups of people all day. It was exhilarating having the place to myself. I was afraid it would be too snowy or slick for me to be able to get into the park, but although there was snow on the trail, it was traveled enough in recent days to be packed down and warm enough to be a bit slushy and not slick at all. I did run into some muddy spots though. Notice how sunny it was? It was so beautiful and sunny I was surprised by a late afternoon snow storm. I am such a desert rat, I wasn't very prepared for snow. Had it started an hour earlier, I would have been at a place far enough from the car that the trail would have been covered by snow and I would have been one of those unprepared people having to spend the night in the forest with a light coat on and a handful of sunflower seeds to survive on. I'd been on the trail before, and luckily it was a pretty straight trail out to the little town of Tropic where I parked my car. And luckily, the snow wasn't sticking and covering the path much. I began to think through the safety of my day though. I told Dave where I would be hiking before I left, but honestly except for hearing Bryce Canyon, I doubt he listened to the details of where I would be. So before I got out of the car, I left a detailed message on our home phone where I would be and what trails I would hike on all day. As it began to snow and I was still a 45 minute hike from the car, I thought through that great idea. I don't think there is one single person in our family besides me that has ever checked messages on our home phone. I'm not sure anyone even remembers how to retrieve messages. So basically I was on my own to trudge through the blizzard and hope to survive. Ok, a little dramatic, but I suppose I should plan more for my own safety in the future.