Friday, July 31, 2009

This Is A Test

Can anyone tell me WHY oh WHY my latest blog updates don't show on any of your blogs? It says the last post I did was two weeks ago. Why does blogger hate me???

No wonder my comment section remains so quiet!!!

All In A Day's Work

Last night I was hanging out with some good friends. Some great friends actually.

They're the kind of friends who let me in their house even when I'm wearing my fleece pjs...

They're the kind of friends who let me ball my eyes out for an hour and still think I'm perfectly sane. (Remember - 12 curve balls and the aftermath - I'm still working on it.)

They're the kind of friends who will both text me at the same time, with totally different conversations.

And they're the kind of friends I wish everyone could have.

I'm usually there for the 'put the kids to bed routine', and last night was no different.

The conversation between the dad and the youngest daughter went something like this:

Dad: "Okay honey, it's time to go get your jammies on."

M: "Okay. Do I need new underwear too?"

Dad: "Mommy, does she need new underwear too?"

Mom: "Always dear."

Dad to Daughter: "Always dear."

And then M runs off to her room. All is quiet for a minute until we hear this, coming from the bedroom:

M: "Daddy, can I wear my pink ones?"

Dad: "Did you get them from the drawer?"

M: "I got them from right here."

Keep in mind that this entire conversation was had with M in her bedroom and Dad in the living room.

Dad: "Are they clean?"

M: "I think so."

M: "Daddy, do they look clean?"

Dad: "No honey, I don't think so. Find another pair."

It's quiet for a minute and then we hear

M: "Okay Daddy, what about these?"

Dad: "Honey, those will work."

M: "I got them from right here."

Dad: "Okay, I think they are in the clean pile. Good job honey."

Now...that's parenting with ease don't you think?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Just Call Me The Good Samaritan

I went to a local smoothie shop to get lunch today. They make a pretty good salad.

I was standing in line when the cashier squealed and said, "Oh no! I'm out of register paper and I don't know how to fix it!"

She asked her co-worker...who didn't know how to fix it either.

And then the cashier just stood there and whimpered a bit and said, "I don't know what to do."

She pulled up some paper from beneath the counter and asked those of us standing in line, "Do you think this is the right paper?"

I nodded and then said, "Would you like me to put it in the register for you?"

"OH...would you??!!"

So I walked behind the counter and fixed the cash register. When I finished I said to the cashier, "Did you see how to do it?"

"I think so...thanks so much! You rescued me! I'll give you a free cookie!"

I ordered my salad and my smoothie and walked out the door...without the cookie.

Guess she forgot.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Because Who Says You Can't Post Twice In One Day?

I might have just almost been kidnapped.

Maybe.

I was walking along State Street towards the mailbox. From my office to the mailbox it's a bit of a walk.

I've yet to determine why it is that everyone who drives past has to look at the person walking along State Street. What? Have they never seen anyone walk before?

Anyway...

You would be surprised by how many people I know who drive past me during my daily mail excursion.

Usually landscapers driving trucks.

They honk, we wave, we all feel good about the friendly encounter, you see how it is.

But today...today, this is what happened:

A big black truck drives by.

Driver honks horn at least 7 times.

Driver slows down as he passes me.

And while he's slowing down I'm thinking "I don't know this truck. I don't know this driver. Wonder why he's slowing down..."

I keep walking.

Driver stops ahead of me, puts his truck in reverse, and starts backing towards me.

I think, "Curiouser and curiouser..."

Driver continues to back towards me as I turn into the parking lot of my place of employment.

And then driver puts his car in drive and drives off in a cloud of dust.

Okay, there was no dust.

I'm thinking the parking lot saved me from certain kidnapping.

I'm also thinking, "Does driver not know I own a gun?"

(Doesn't matter that I don't carry it...right? And doesn't matter that I'm considering giving said gun back...but wait, that's an entirely different story...one not meant for the blogging world yet.)

Phew...

Saved for one more day.

Give A Compliment

Grandpa had a magnet on his fridge for years: 101 Ways To Compliment Your Child

My brother and I always tried to one up each other in the compliment department because of that magnet.

Every once in a while I'll say, "Ben you're A-OK." He'll return the compliment and then we'll laugh and think about the good ol' days.

Yesterday Ben sent me an email that said, "They beat us to the punch." I had no idea what he was talking about until I read this article:

SALT LAKE CITY -- When it comes to giving compliments, two Purdue University students take the cake.
Brett Westcott and Cameron Brown say they just woke up one day with the idea of giving compliments.
That was last year, and they started the weekly ritual outside the Purdue University chemistry building.
Now, they're taking their crusade across the East Coast. They expect to visit 10 different cities.


Go here to read article.

Someday I want to find a magnet like that to give to Ben. (Don't tell him I said that.)

*****

Here's a story that made me laugh...a lot.

One of our delivery drivers called Travis today and said, "Travis, Mack says he still needs 42 english lavender to finish his job."

Travis said, "Mike, we delivered the lavender last week. It should be there at the job sight."

Mike said, "Well, I didn't see it but I'll look again."

Something you should know about Travis...well, I don't know how to explain Travis exactly. When you or I might say "I need to get this..." Travis will say, "I need to procure this..."

If you say, "It's just a bunch of random stuff..." Travis will say, "Well, it's a large group of nefarious items..."

That's just how he talks...all the time...I think he's memorized the dictionary.

Anyway...

In response to Mike's "I didn't see it," Travis said,

"You know what it looks like I'm sure, but if you're unsure you can always smell it to determine that it's lavender. You know, take a branch between your fingers and rub it together to assess it's fragrance...and you should do that rather than bend over and smell it directly...well, just because it's easier."

And by this point I'm laughing and Travis gives this sheepish grin and Mike says, also laughing, "Okay Travis."

I took the radio from Travis and said to Mike, "You get that Mike? The proper way to smell lavender?"

And Mike said, "Only Travis..."

And I said, "Yep, only Travis."

It's good he doesn't read my blog. He would get me for sure...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just A Picture

A reminder of that other season we have.

In case you're hot today...

And sick of July.


Monday, July 27, 2009

What I Did For My 24th of July Vacation


Hiked to Scout Falls

(along the same trail to the summit of Mt. Timp...I wanted to keep going)





Played in Heather's swimming pool.

(And it's not just a kiddie pool)

No pictures because everyone was in the water...

If I did have pictures they would look like this:


Except this was at a pond in Bluff...

We swam until an animal scared us off...literally.

We're not sure what it was.

The kids are sure it was a crocodile - my sister-in-law said she heard a crocodile make a similar sound in the zoo once.

So we're sticking with a crocodile... or a hippopotamus.

Anyway...that's not part of the story.

We had a diving contest.

I was a judge - I don't dive.

(Once I dove and smacked my face on the bottom of the public pool...nearly knocked myself out and came up with lots of blood. I have a fear...)

We declared the diving contest a tie.

We had a cannonball contest too...

I didn't win.

We ate lots of good food.

The family had a rousing game of volleyball, while I...

I watched fireworks with some good friends.

And they made me laugh.

Thank you friends for making me laugh.


The End.


Thursday, July 23, 2009

It Is What It Is

You know how life sometimes throws you a curve ball?

I've been thrown about 12 in the last couple of weeks and I'm still trying to survive the aftermath.

I'll be fine because really there is no other option. But in the mean time...I'm capable of shedding more tears than I ever thought possible!

Want to know a small part of what makes me so emotional?

It's the 12 mosquito bites I have on my ankles. It's the fact that I can be standing outside with anyone else, for the same amount of time, and I'll get eaten alive and the other person might get one bite.

I was outside the other night for 3 minutes. I was sitting on the porch talking on the phone. The next morning I counted 12 bites on my ankles, and one on my cheek.

Scratch them or not, they turn big and red and then purple and then they scar for a few months.

Who wouldn't cry over that?

Well...maybe a lot of you wouldn't.

Last night I sat on a rock somewhere on the backside of Timp looking up at the peak. The words of a new song by Miley Cyrus (don't mock) were rolling through my mind:

There's always going to be another mountain
I'm always gonna wanna make it move
Always going to be an uphill battle,
Sometimes I'm gonna have to lose,
Ain't about how fast I get there,
Ain't about what's waiting on the other side
It's the climb

I think it's a good thing I like climbing mountains.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Road Trips

I almost died once.

And considering my lack of propensity to exaggerate, you should totally believe me.

My dad and I were driving to Oregon. My grandpa lived there and we were taking him home. We were pulling an empty horse trailer. Because who doesn't drive to Oregon pulling an empty horse trailer?

There's something you should know about my dad. Nothing is normal about anything he does. And so when he says "want to drive with me to Oregon?" my initial thought is "now what is he going to get us into?"

It was January I believe and it snowed the entire drive. And the closer we got to Oregon the more it snowed. And snowed. We had to stop and buy chains for the tires. And I became that child who says, "We're never going to get there"...even though I was in my late 20s.

It was snowing heavily as we came down off the Blues Mountains and Dad was driving really slowly. The road looked clear and so Dad picked up just enough speed to send us sliding across the highway when we hit black ice. And slide we did - across all lanes of traffic, down into the barrow pit (that's what Dad says it's called), and up onto the other side of the highway, driving right into the oncoming traffic. Thankfully the oncoming traffic had enough time to get out of our way because we couldn't stop.

We drove against traffic until we took an off-ramp...which was really an on-ramp that had the stop sign that says whatever those stop signs say - Don't Enter or something like that. But we had no choice.

Here's what's impressive: I didn't scream, Grandpa didn't say a word, and Dad managed to keep the horse trailer from jack-knifing or from rolling. I'll bet you forgot about the horse trailer didn't you.

We kept driving.

The snow turned into an ice storm. By nightfall we were driving along the Columbia River Gorge. Have you ever made that drive? It's a beautiful drive...unless it's dark and you're in the middle of an ice storm, and you have visions of sliding right over the edge into the icy Columbia River. And yes those visions were totally justified. My body was still shaking from the earlier near-death experience. And so I laid down on the back seat with a jacket over my head so that I didn't have to look out at the blackness of the Columbia River. I'm nothing if not brave.

News reports were saying that the road over the Blues Mountains was closed. News reports were also saying that the ice storm wasn't going to let up any time soon. I FINALLY convinced Dad to stop for the night. We stopped somewhere along the Gorge in a place called The Dalles. We got some hot chocolate and some dinner and settled in for the night.

The next day we made it to Grandpa's house and found a very relieved Grandma.

The Columbia River Gorge was closed for 5 days...the state of Oregon pretty much shut down. I'd never experienced an ice storm before - in was beautiful in an eerie kind of way.

Dad had plenty of time to browse the want ads while we were waiting out the storm. And guess what he found - a windmill. The horse trailer finally had a purpose.



It's a nice windmill no? I think it's only fair that someday when all is said and done I inherit it. After all, it nearly cost me my life.

I tell you all of that to tell you this:

Sunday afternoon my dad said to me, "Noelle, want to go for a drive?" And do you know that my first thought was of that trip to Oregon?

I said rather hesitantly, "Where are we going Dad?"

It was only to Tremonton...He wanted to look at something he found in the want ads.

A silo...with a bright yellow door.

Looks like the windmill is going to be getting a friend.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Sleepovers

When this is what you see in your living room:



It's pretty much guaranteed that you're not going to get any sleep.

The night went something like this:

(all in loud whispers)

"Noelle..."

"What Kate?"

"Can you make the clock stop clocking?"

"Noelle..."

"Yes Miss Marie?"

"The light on the radio is bright in my eyes. Can you make it go away?"

"Noelle..."

"Kate?"

"I have a fingernail on my toe that hurts me. Can you find the clippers and fix it?"

"Noelle..."

"Yes Gabi?"

"Can you fix the nail on my toe too? It's too long."

"Noelle..."

"Hi Kate, I've missed you."

"I need to go potty."

"Okay you know where it is."

"But I need you to come with me. I'm scared."

"Noelle..."

"Erika, I thought you were asleep."

"I can't sleep. Can we watch another movie?"

And then Gabi mumbles "I just want some peace and quiet."

And then I mumble something about how if you stop talking you might get it.

And then Kate wants to sleep with me on the couch.

And then one of the Moms calls to check on her daughters.

And when the mom finds out her daughters are still awake she drives to my house to fix the situation.

And then when she gets there she takes Gabi home because all Gabi wants is peace and quiet.

And then when Gabi is gone I hear:

"Noelle..."

"Kate, aren't you tired?"

"Noelle, can you come sleep by me now?"

And I do.

And she snuggles into me and grabs onto my arm and doesn't let go until she finally falls asleep.

And the whole time I'm thinking:

"Allie, how in the world did you manage to sleep through this entire scene?"

They woke up at 6:30 am. They were hungry.

I put in a movie and went up to my bed.

I told them not to even think about talking to me until the movie was over.

Except that Allie was still hungry at 7:00.

And then Becca finally appeared on the scene and fixed them breakfast and let me sleep...

For about 20 minutes and then I hear

"Noelle..."




Thursday, July 16, 2009

Pressure...and stuff

A few minutes ago I was walking down the sidewalk and a bird flew by and dropped half an egg shell at my feet. Is that a sign of something?

I'd like you to know...all of you who read my blog...and I'm beginning to wonder if there are more of you than I thought...that you make me nervous.

There, I said it.

Are you wondering why you make me nervous?

It's because of comments like this:

"I am a blog sniper and yours keeps me laughing while I'm on the road. Thanks for the distraction..." :)

The pressure I feel to say something funny is too much...because guess what, I'm not a funny person. And what if one day I write a non-funny post and you all say, "WHAT? She didn't make me laugh today...I will go elsewhere for my blog entertainment."

WHAT IF THAT HAPPENS?

Hmmm...I just got to thinking...maybe there are a lot less of you who read my blog than I think. (You see I wouldn't know really, because the comment box stays mostly empty, and the followers box hasn't had any new friends join for a while...sigh.)

BUT...if I tell myself that no one but my nearest and dearest read my blog...

Yep, that's what I'm going to tell myself. That way I won't feel the pressure...because if you're my nearest and dearest, you already know I'm not funny.

(And then I take a deep breath, and remind myself to relax)

Thanks for letting me get that out of my system.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tape Recorders

One night I was getting ready to go to a wedding reception and Grandpa called me, kind of in a panic.

"Noelle, my tape recorder won't work. I can't figure out what's wrong with it. Is there any way you can come and fix it?"

(Remember that his only source of entertainment was listening to tapes.)

"Grandpa I am just on my way to a wedding reception but if I hurry I can run to your house first."

Grandpa thanked me and hung up the phone. I was already late in meeting my friends but I knew Grandpa would have a miserable evening if I couldn't fix his tape player.

When I got to his house Grandpa said, "This time I don't think you're going to be able to fix it. I just don't know what could have happened to it.

We had the play/stop button covered with bright yellow tape so that Grandpa could see it. We had the fast forward and rewind buttons also covered with brightly colored tape. The pause button we left alone. It was at the end of all of the other buttons and Grandpa didn't need the confusion of another button.

In only took me about one second to discover that he had accidentally pushed the pause button.

I unpaused the tape and it started playing.

Grandpa just shook his head and said, "Once again, you're magic." I gave him a hug and ran out the door.

Later that night as I was driving home I called Grandpa as per our routine.

When I said "Hi Grandpa," his response was "Noelle, I've worried about something all night."

"What?" I asked.

"I didn't tell you how nice you looked when you were here. I should have said that before you left."

That man melted my heart.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

When I Grow Up

I want to drive this:




But only after I win the lottery so that I can afford the gas.

PS. Who in blog land knows how to make a picture bigger?

Monday, July 13, 2009

What I'm Doing For FHE

I'll be honest.

My weekend was lousy.

I cried...a lot.

Today I'm trying to shake it off.

Tonight's plans are sure to help.

My dear Miss Marie, (aka Erika, my niece) is going to the high school track tonight to learn how to ride her bike WITHOUT training wheels.

Her mom and dad are going to be there to help her.

But she's pretty sure she needs her aunt there as well. Just in case she needs extra help.

She's reminded me at least once a day for the last 5 days.

"Don't forget that Monday night we're going to the track. You just HAVE to be there."

So I'll pretend to jog while she rides her bike.

And I'll be there...just in case.

For always and forever.

Friday, July 10, 2009

I Take A Risk


A really big risk.

But I wanted to let you know a secret.

It's a secret I just found out about.

And no one told me I couldn't tell, so I'm not breaking anyone's confidence.

BUT...

You can't tell anyone I told you.

Okay here it is:

I know where you can get a junk food fix any time you need it.

Just say the word and I'll hook you up.





Remember, this is a secret.

And although I can't tell you where the secret originates,

I CAN help if you need junk food.

* * *

I'm always here for you.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Brooms

I made a big decision today.

Not as big a decision as my friend Tia made, but a big one for me.

I decided to sweep the office floor.

We have a broom thief among us though, and after a nursery-wide search for a broom I came up empty-handed.

I went to the store and bought two brooms. I'm going to hide one in a spot only I know about. That should guarantee success in future sweeping endeavors.

While I was swiping my credit card through the swiper a second cashier approached and leaned in to whisper to the cashier who was helping me.

"Did you charge her for the two brooms she has?" And this was said as if she were trying to keep some big secret. Never mind the fact that I was standing 8 " away from her and could hear her clearly.

My cashier just looked at her like she was nuts and said, "Yeah."

The suspicious cashier looked at me as if I were guilty of something and then walked away.

I'm trying something new. I'm keeping my mouth shut in such situations. It's safer I think.

I was proud of myself. I pretended not to hear her, collected my brooms, and left the store...and I didn't say a word.

But seriously? Do I look like a person who would steal a broom?

Wait...do I look like a person who would steal two brooms?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Are You Wondering

What happened to Grandpa Wednesday?

It all comes down to me waiting on a picture...one single picture.

But I never remember to bring my camera.

And if I do remember to bring my camera then my brother isn't around, and without his help the picture can't happen.

So...next Wednesday there will be a picture and a Grandpa Wednesday post.

But for now, I'll leave you with this:

My brother and his wife just found out that they are going to have a baby boy in a few months.

Their son, who is 3, wants to name his baby brother Bob the Builder. Good idea don't you think?

Oh...and I'll leave you with this:

The other day these two were outside playing.


























My sister-in-law went out to check on them and said to Kate, the older one,

"Kate, you have to watch Ruthie. We don't want her falling in the ditch."

Kate said, "But Mom, it's okay, if she falls in she'll go to heaven."

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Just Eat

Do you think there is anything wrong with eating an entire cantaloupe?

I didn't eat it all at once.

It took me both breakfast and lunch to finish it.

It's just that it tasted so good!

And all I did for the 4th?

Eat.

Lots.

Oh...and hike a little...to Stewart Falls...my family and 80% of the rest of Provo's population.

Overall, it was a very good holiday.

And now I'm sure I need to go on a diet.



Thursday, July 2, 2009

A History Lesson

"In 1879-80, Mormon pioneers built a wagon road between established communities in Southwestern Utah and the Four Corners area. They were fulfilling an assignment from their church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, to establish a settlement in the area. Their journey turned into an ordeal unparalleled in difficulty as they spent six months blazing a route across some of the most broken and rugged terrain in North America, including a path through the Hole-in-the-Rock."

My great great grandpas, along with their families, were both asked to go and settle Bluff. The trek was initially planned to last only six weeks.





(This is a portion of the final stretch of trail that the settlers made before reaching Bluff.)

Our appreciation for what our ancestors had to go through in order to reach Bluff has grown immensely. To see Bluff today you wonder why Brigham Young felt inclined to send so many of the saints there. My ever so wise father said it was a mission call of sorts. The saints were to go and create good relations with the Indians and attempt to mediate between the Indians and the outlaws.

"Upon their arrival in the San Juan area in 1880 they established a small community called Bluff. Their first dwellings were one-room log cabins. The cabins were arranged to form a large square. Security was achieved by everyone living in close proximity. In 1997, volunteers launched an effort to restore and preserve the original fort site."

(You can read more at www.hirf.org)

And that brings us to the cabin raising. By the time we got there the cabins were mostly raised. But we did help with putting the roofs on and 'painting' the chinking. (The paint was just muddy water...to make it look authentic.)





It was hot and dirty but the kids loved almost every minute they were in Bluff.





We joke about Bluff. We say we now know what the end of the earth looks like. We wonder why the 300 people who live in Bluff choose to stay...

BUT...for all that Bluff isn't, it IS the place where many people sacrificed all that they had, and did whatever it took to follow the call from their prophet. And in my book, that makes Bluff a worthy place to visit.



Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Goblin Valley


Have you been?



I would recommend that you go, but not in July.

It's HOT.

(At one point my nephew said, "Daddy, can you make the sun go away?")

And there are bugs that will eat you alive, and then you will itch for days.

(I've got Aveeno anti-itch cream though, and it works miracles.)




The scenery is beautiful.

The stars at night are incredible.

(And we all agreed that we were glad for a tent roof that we could see through because we spent a lot of sleepless moments looking at those stars.)

The hiking is easy...except for that one part where Ben said "But you just have to see the view from up here." We made it up and back, only hugging a few rocks along the way, with Ben wishing he were with guys, not girls.



God's creations are amazing, and I'm grateful to be able to explore them.

Tomorrow I'll write about Bluff.

You haven't lived until you've been to Bluff.