Saturday, July 25, 2009


Though I overheard Grandpa Vance say to Jake that he'd like to take him for a ride in the Monte Carlo, I didn't think much of it. Grandpa has taken Jake before. So, while the rest of us were busy eating our breakfast at Bowmans, Grandpa V took Jake for a drive. I don't know even how long they were gone, but when they returned Jake had a big smile on his face.

Come to find out, Grandpa V took Jake up to the cemetery and let Jake drive that beast of a vehicle. As Grandpa put it "I took Jake up where I taught his mom to drive". I guess Jake was so excited (or possibly nervous, though he denies it), that as he scooted over to the driver's side to take the wheel, and Gramps got out to come around the car to get inside the passenger side, Jake took off.

Gramps only let Jake drive down one of the straight paths in the cemetery. Good thing because I don't know how anyone could steer that car around any of the corners in the cemetery. I fondly remember driving the family's grey station wagon (remember siblings....the one with the red bug deflector screen on the front of the car?) around one particular corner and ramming the car's front into a T-post. Let's just say, my dad's reaction is one I won't forget. But we both got over it.

So, Grampa V taught Jake to ride a bike and now he is getting a head start on driving a car...Go Gramps, Go!


So, today was the actual Pioneer Day. As we have done since my dad started it, we've gone to the Bowman's Chuckwagon Breakfast every 24th of July. This year, the Roundys joined us. Plate-sized pancakes, ham slices, scrambled eggs, cut-up cantaloupe and honeydew, and your choice of chocolate milk, white milk, or Tampica orange juice.

Typically, the breakfast is all we do on this day. Brian usually heads to work and the kids and I go home and do nothing. But, while Brian stayed home and read (though we're pretty sure he took a nap), the kids and I, JoJo and Erik, the Lasers and Gramma Kim went to see Harry Potter 6. Both Gramma Kimmy and I agreed that the movie was better the second time around.

Once we got out of the theater, we grabbed our swimming suits and headed to the Slip n' Slide party at G&G Roundys. Grandpa Mike bought some plastic, 10 feet by 100 feet, and he and Brian set it up in the backyard. They ended up shortening the length to 50 feet because there just wasn't enough room to get a running start before hitting the plastic.

Let's say it was a very humorous afternoon watching Mad, Mike, Brian and Neil take to the Slip n' Slide. Adults doing any child's activity are always entertaining to watch. Injuries, bruises, and sore muscles followed soon after.

The Lasers joined us for the party. Not only did we have the slip n' slide, but the sprayers were set up on the trampoline and soon the kids found the squirt guns. A bit of pizza for dinner and we called it a day. Happy Pioneer Day!!!


We found ourselves back at Pineview Reservoir this week. The Reeds joined us again. It was a terrific day to be in the water. I think it hit 104 degrees, though it didn't feel like it unless you walked on some uncovered sand. Ouch!!!

I'm so glad Audrey suggested this place last week. It is turning into a family favorite.


For years I've wanted to make more of Pioneer Day which is celebrated here in Utah on the 24th of July. But is wasn't until last year that I actually did something. Last July Bev and her kids, and Grandma Kimmy joined me and the kids for a day at This Is The Place Heritage Park. We had a really good time, especially since the weather was a bit cooler due to a passing rain storm. I had also not been to this Park since I was in my teens and I was quite impressed how much had changed - in a good way. Lots of activities and interesting things to see.

But this year, we had already been to the Park on Memorial Day and so I wanted to come up with something new. So, I put together a day in SLC - take a tour the Beehive House, then have lunch and play in the fountain at the Gateway. And since UTA is running a summer special, 4 people for $10 bucks, we would make this an adventure using public transportation.

We were joined by Bev and her kids, Audrey and her crew, and our friends, the Reeds. We met at the Layton station and took the 1.00pm FrontRunner train to Central Station. Then we hopped on board TRAX and made our way thru the "Free Fare Zone" to Temple Square.

Since Uncle Kirk works in the Zions building, Audrey suggested we stop by and surprise him. It was a bit anti-climatic when we arrived at this office because he was out to lunch. But while we waited for his return, the secretary let all of us in the safety deposit vault. She pointed out the slots and locks that were at least 100 years old. Once we said "hello" to Kirk and told him to liven up his desk with a treat jar instead of the raw oats and brown sugar we found, we headed on our way. (FYI to all dads out there with desks at work: Make sure you have a treat jar. It's the best thing about your workspace!).

Walking throughout a maze of construction just to get to the other side of the street, we took a 30-minute "kid-friendly" tour of the Beehive House. I discovered on this "tour" they take you to the Store. I haven't been to this part of the home since (once again) I was in my teens. I use to love this part of the tour because you could buy penny candy, horehound candy (Jake and I love this candy) and post cards. But now the Store is just something to look at. And it's A LOT smaller than I remember.

Back on TRAX and on to the Gateway, we had a late lunch in the Food Court and then to cool off from the high 90-degree day, we let the kids run through the Fountain.

By 5.30pm we were back on the FrontRunner headed for home.

A very good way to celebrate our state's heritage. I think next year we'll do a tour of the State Capitol......

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Our Tuesday began with a wild water party at our church. We played various water games, like Sponge Pass, Wet Clothes Relay Race, Slip n' Slide, and Tug 'O War.

But the most anticipated part of the activity was the arrival of the fire truck. The ladies who had organized the activity were a bit worried though. They hadn't been able to confirm the
appointment and so they weren't sure if it would come. I suggested if the truck failed to appear, we could always start a fire....that for sure would get the fire trucks to come.

Well, extreme measures were unnecessary when the red engine came down the street, hooked the hose up to the hydrant, and proceeded to douse everyone completely.

Later on, our friends, the Seeleys, who are visiting from Arizona, came by for pizza and Rockband. We introduced them to the game last summer and I guess, we converted them (and many others in the Grand Canyon state as well).

To be honest, we tend to go in spurts with Rockband. We'll get the instruments out and jam out for hours and days and then slam into a wall of overdoing it! Then, it's break time for a few months. So, lately, we've been taking a reprieve, but when we heard the Seeleys were in town, we dusted off the drums, the guitars and the microphone and proceeded to rehearse.

Feeling pretty confident and having more experience under our belts (or so we thought), the Moo Moos (one of our band names) were ready to show off our musical prowess. We let our guests perform first just so they wouldn't feel intimidated. But let's just say, the Moo Moos got schooled! The Seeleys weren't kidding when they said their 9-year old, Drew, was dang good on the drums. He is their secret weapon! We (meaning the Moo Moos) quickly decided that this wasn't a "competition" and suggested that we join forces. Enough said...

Travel home safely. We'll see you next summer, Seeleys.



We do frequent Baskin Robbins probably more than we should,
but on top of the regular 31+ flavors,
we really like the soft serve cones with flavored sprinkles on top,
which change color when you start lickin'.

But honestly, the best part of any ice cream is the soggy cone at the end.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Maggie chose to draw the cover from Disney's Snow White.
Erinne decided to sketch Max and one of the "Wild Things".
Because Harry Potter is fresh on the brain,
Jakob chose the 3rd book cover to copy.

One of Ian's favorite series, he picked I'm Mighty for his work.
Olivia did 3 covers from 3 different books,
but we chose this one to show.

Last week the kids and I did several different art projects. Very simple, yet effective in letting us practice and hone our sketching skills, our confidence in using pen (which means, we build up the confidence to make our marks count on the paper), and exercising our eyes in observing details, shapes, color (yes, black and white can be a "color"), and line.

The images above show our interpretations from the books we chose to replicate. We also did a series of castles and amusement parks which we pulled from our imaginations.

What is really fun about these types of drawing exercises is that even though each one of us is at different points in our art experience, our ages vary from 4 to 34, each drawing is such an expression of the individual. And we can do it together. Once we finish our drawings we pass them around so we can each take a moment to look, make comments and share our talent with one another.

Saturday, July 18, 2009





Friday, July 3, 2009


Since I'm not dwelling on the past, but looking to tomorrow (to understand what I mean by that, you'll need to read the post below this one), I thought I would share with you another thing that I am looking forward to....Beatles Rockband. For those who have known me a long, long time, you know I LOVE the Beatles - have since I was little. I never had posters of the hottest teeny-bopper star or the coolest bands at that moment-in-time on my bedroom walls. Instead, I had the hottest Fab Four plastered on my four walls (oh, and James Dean, of course, was included). I still remember listening to their music on the 'ol record player when Grandma Mona sent aunt Wendy and mom the old records. When I first heard their music, I felt like it was the music I was meant to grow up and old with. It fit me and my personality. Once, me and my siblings dressed up in my dad's church suits, fashioned guitars out of Construx, put together some crazy drum set with pots (I believe), and I even think we stood up an old typewriter case in front of the drums that advertised our band's name - the Beatles - and we lip synced Beatles songs for mom and dad with a mini concert (this reminds so much of Liv's, Maggie's, and Ian's "Pinky Doodle" rock concerts they sporadically put on for us). So, I'm gearing up and resting the voice for 09.09.09 when it's released. Here's a link my mom sent me with the commercial for the Beatles Rockband. Enjoy!

Oh, and I know what you're thinking.....for as much as I'm spouting about "looking to the future", I sure spent a lot of time in this post going down Memory Lane, aka reminiscing.
Full of contridictions I am. But, hell, so is life!


To be honest, I kind of am bored with "blogging". (If that hasn't been apparent already.) It's kind of like that new restaurant everyone is raving about; so you go and it is as delicious as everyone says; and you keep going back; but eventually, the food isn't as special or unique anymore; the restaurant becomes like the rest of them; it kind of runs it's course; that's how blogging has felt for me. But my mom insisted that I update this thing and I hate to disobey. So, here we go again! And maybe with having the break, I'll rediscover the fun of blogging. We'll see.

So, I'm not going to bore you with a summary of the past 3 months or so. Needless to say, I've been busy. We've been busy. And though there is plenty to talk about, like I said, I'm not going to revisit the past.

Let's just start with our excitement for the future.....namely the upcoming "Harry Potter" movie. We are so fortunate to have a bread delivery man in our family (aka Grandpa Mike), who happened to hear a radio announcement on his early morning drive that tickets for the midnight showing were going on sale a full month before the movie's release. He gave us a call immediately and we were able to secure our tickets - the seats were going like hotcakes!

In preparation for the movie, as a family, we've set up a special "Harry Potter" table. We spent a whole Sunday morning sorting and organizing all our HP Legos. Though our goal is to rebuild all of our sets before the movie, its become quite a tedious and time-consuming project. So, we may not accomplish it. Also, we have been watching each of the previous HP movies to get us more pumped up then we already are.

B and I decided Jake and Liv are easily old enough to join us at the midnight showing. Good ol' Grampa Vance said Ian and Mags could come have a sleep-over with him.

Here we come July 15th!!!!

To conclude.....I thought last summer was the BEST summer I have had since having kids. And I'm not saying that all my summers prior have been awful, but there has been a sense of dependency and restriction that I've felt for a number of years with having "little" kids. Believe me, I had fun, but it wasn't until last summer that I felt free. It was so liberating to be able to just get up and go. I didn't feel tied to the home or limited on what I could do because of the age of my kids. But I'm finding that this summer is AMAZING! There have been very few days that we haven't had something planned. We've been to art museums, parks, libraries, movies, pools, golfing, hiking, plays, concerts, etc. I guess, too, I'm taking advantage of this time because sooner or later I know the inevitable will happen and the kids will stop wanting to hang out with their mom. Kind of sad. So, here is to the Summer of '09.