Monday, August 30, 2010

good thing my husband is so darn cute

. . .otherwise, he'd be sleeping in Grandma and Grandpa's barn with his new friend.

(Details to come.  Currently, I'm suffering from shock and a severe case of county fair overdose.)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

sheep take a hike

Don your hat, dust off your boots, and git yer'self over to the County Fair!

We've (meaning Ryenne and Grandpa J) got the lambs trimmed, buffed, and fluffed.  This morning we  are loadin' 'em up and headin' 'em out.  Within a few hours Pork Chop and company will be all set in their new digs inside the 4-H lamb barn.  Tomorrow is the big show day.  Day of accountability, you could say.  On Friday Kate, Emmy, and their lamb will be costumed up for the pee wee lead.  And Saturday?  The sale.  Shape him up and ship him out, that's what I say.

Oh.  And I'd be lying if I said I kinda can't wait.

Having said this, you can imagine my alarm at my recent conversation with Courtney.  The same Courtney who has hardly laid eyeballs on the lambs the entire summer.  The same one who is NOT dragging Pork Chop and Friend down the road by a halter most days.  The exact same guy who has nary heard a whine from his girls as they attempt this whole process. 

Yeah, that's the guy I'm talking about.

WELL.  Let me tell you about this little conversation we had.

We were lying in bed the other night discussing the upcoming sheeping events.  I was telling him that I am not sure Ryenne's lamb will do as well as last year's lamb.  Now, I am the first to admit to being a little shy in the sheep knowledge department.  But.  Even I can see with my two uneducated eyes that Ryenne's little Pork Chop fellow does not look as nice in the tail-end region as Flufflebugs did last year. 

I'm just sayin'. . .

After hearing my expert opinion, he also took into account that we have very few friends that might actually fork up the money to buy the lamb.  (Friends are good to have at the sale, you see.  Corporate friends.  And may I just be blunt?  We don't have any of this kind.)  After a good hard look at our options (which we fear may be few), Courtney came to the conclusion that we might need to buy Ryenne's lamb ourselves.  Sometimes families do this when they don't have a buyer so that the kids can earn enough to pay for the lamb, the feed, and still have a little payoff for all of their hard work.   

Fair enough, I thought.  Bummer, but we could do that.  Buy it and then sell it to market.  This way, Ryenne could still come out ahead  (at our expense), and feel good about her project. 

AND THEN.  This is when I got alarmed.  THEN.  He sneaked out the suggestion that maybe we would want to just keep the lamb.  Seeing how her lamb is a ewe (a momma lamb) and all, he was thinking that maybe we could just keep her, breed her, and start our very own happy herd of lambs.  (Grandma and Grandpa, who have in the past supplied the girls with lambs, have recently sold out.  Closed up shop, you might say.) 


Us?  Our own little herd?  Me?  A sheep herder? 

This, my friends, is not in my plans.  You know why?  YOU KNOW WHY?  I don't know anything about lambs.   That is, except for three months of every year, they are somewhat of a pain in my behind.  Why do I want to make it twelve? 

And you know what?  DO YOU KNOW WHAT, MR. HUSBAND?  You are quite often NOT HERE.  They wouldn't be our happy herd of lambs.  They would be MY herd.  My project!  And guess what?  I DON'T NEED ANOTHER PROJECT!  Especially in the middle of a raging blizzard this February when I would be bundled up in the pasture looking for wee little lamb babies.  (Do you forget I've watched your parents do this for a long, long time?)  

No way buddy.

And to make my point perfectly clear, DEAR,  I have a book for you.  You see, I was reading Claire a bedtime story last night when I happened upon this book.  And in your absence (which is exactly why this whole idea worries me), I thought of you.  I thought of the lambs and your little suggestion. 

This is what I think of the whole idea. . .

Morning's here! 
It's warm and clear!
(and soon we're getting rid of them, dear!)
Now you're not here. 
No, you're not here! 

But the rest of us are loading up all of the gear.
Sheep bicker. Kids bicker. 
All of this is hard on my ticker.

Sheep zig. 
Sheep zag. 
Sometimes it's fun. 
Sometimes it's a drag.
On and on. 
On and on.
Up the hill, and down the dale,
 if we're not careful the sheep will bail.

You are smart.
You are wise.
In spite of all this,
you still gave it a try.

Baby, here's the deal:

I like to run.
I like to bike.
But sheep?
Like I said,

They can take a hike.

heber city: family, fun, and freaky friends

After months of anticipation, we headed to Heber City toward the end of July to spend some time with the Wo-Jo family.  And oh boy!  A time we had!  Despite the fact that Emmy broke her thumb within the first hour we were there, the rest of the trip went by without a hitch.   

After two and something hours of "Are we there yet?", we knew we were in for a good time when we saw over a dozen of deer as we climbed the dirt roads leading to the cabin.  The girls excitedly kept a running tally.
Uncle Caleb and Aunt Haylee had found a perfect cabin to spend the weekend.  We pretty much filled the place, and concluded that with all the food we brought, we could have easily survived through the winter.  (The kids, I am sure, would have been happy to give it a whirl.)

The boys (big and little) kept busy doing what boys do best.  (Don't worry, the target is a pop can.)
And the girls were happy to spend some time getting beautiful with Aunt Shelly and Aunt Haylee.
Court and I spent a bit of time checking out the wildlife on the four wheeler,
while the kids spent their days looking for creatures at the pond.
You wouldn't believe how many salamanders the cousins caught (boys and girls)!  One of the uncles came back to the cabin laughing after a trip to the pond.  Another family was down there, and was so proud to show him that they had actually caught a live salamander!  He wished we could have all seen the shock on their faces when our kids came scrambling up the bank with their 20+ catch of the day.  Of course, they proudly offered to share their secret.  For those of you interested in salamander hunting, turns out you have to look sideways in the water, not straight in.  According to our kids, you do this and your are a shoe-in for catching a new friend.

In case your are wondering?  Yes, we have a new friend.  With each of the cousins begging to take one home, I passed the buck and told them to go ask their dad, knowing he'd never say yes.  I should have known better.  They wisely caught him during a heated foosball tournament with the uncles and he nodded a quick "sure" to get them off his back.  Well, even still.  I thought the little bugger would live a few days.  A week at the most.  Now, a month later, we still have this growing, slimy thing living in a fishbowl in Ryenne's room.  Even better?  A few people have told us that salamanders will easily live for years.

Years?  How did this happen?  The water is now a putrid, almost fluorescent green color.  Every time I tell Ryenne that she needs to change the water, she remarks, "But mom, this is it's natural habitat."  My problem is this:  I never wanted the swamp to be my natural habitat. 

I'll just say one thing.  NEVER say never.
In between all the creepy-creature-catching, the girls had plenty of fun with all of their cousins.

And we knew Grandma had arrived when we saw these three sidled up to the counter with a bag of chips, a few oreos, and a can of soda pop to wash it all down.   
We'll never forget our last night at the cabin.  Uncle Caleb was a champ and hooked up his trailer to take everyone on a little ride under the stars.  The brave ones bundled up in blankets for the adventure.
Complete with Uncle Cole's antics (ever seen a great big guy on a leetle weensy bike?),
and stories of the now-infamous Cabin Man, we had a whole lot of fun.
We topped off the night with a little music and some dancin'. 
Uncle Darrell even busted out a few break-dance moves.
All in all, our trip was a smashing success!  We had ourselves the best time.  After all, what is there not to love?  Family, friends, and fun.  It doesn't get much better than that.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

spa day

A few weeks ago, the girls created their very own spa.  Complete with a phone, appointment book, massage treatments, and a foot bath.  To top it off, clients were even treated to ice cream and a cold drink.  I must admit to being a bit inexperienced in the spa arena, but I was quite impressed with the royal treatment.
My favorite part of the night was the look on Ryenne's face when she settled in for this pedicure.  Not your ordinary touch-up, I'm afraid.

What these little stylists lack in experience is definitely made up for in personality.

If you're in the market for an evening of relaxation, come on over.  However frazzled you may arrive, you will leave refreshed, shined, wined and dined.  And all of this in the splendor of the great outdoors.

Call for your appointment today! 

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Last Saturday and Sunday was our stake conference.  Quite a fancy one, in fact.  Our stake and a neighboring stake were divided and a new one created.  We are growing!  Our family will be in the newly created unit and we are pretty excited to be part of it. 
Anywho. . .

Elder Ronald R. Rasband was one of the visiting authorities.  At the Saturday evening adult session, he gave a great talk, in which he spoke of the word "redouble".  He spoke of the soon to be built temple (did you hear?  we are so excited!), and read a letter from the former First Presidency, in which members of the church were counseled to increase their temple attendance.  The actual word used in the letter was "redouble". 

Now, have you ever thought much about that word?  Me?  Not so much.  However, since Elder Rasband's talk, it has been at the forefront of my mind. 

Elder Rasband said that when he heard that letter for the first time, the word redouble made an impression on him.  Not such a common word, and he wanted to get a better idea of what it meant.  He asked his scientist brother, who excitedly explained that the word is an instruction to double something, and then double it again.  Whew, he thought, that is a big request.  He then asked his mom what she thought.  She replied that she thought the word could be taken to mean greatly increase your effort at something.  Relieved a bit, but not completely satisfied, Elder Rasband went to Webster.  Mr. Dictionary.  I couldn't remember the exact definition he read, so I looked up the definition tonight.  It read, "to make twice as great". 

All told,  the picture I'm getting is that the counsel to redouble means to do more than I am currently doing.  More effort.  More thought.  When I think I've reached the end of my rope?  I could probably give just a little bit more. 

Elder Rasband elaborated, asking us to think about our efforts in our own homes.  Are we following the counsel of the prophet?  Are we striving our best with those that mean the most to us?  Could we possibly redouble our efforts?  He taught that the word actually appears just once in the scriptures, which is where President Hinckley chose the word in that letter.  In Doctrine and Covenants section 127, verse 4, you will find this counsel, ". . .let your diligence, and your perseverance, and patience, and your works be redoubled. . ."

And you know what?  I felt a spark.  A little something telling me that yes-indeedle-dee-do, I could do better.  I could redouble.  I would find a little something in me and increase my efforts.  Get back to doing all those little big things that I've somehow let slide.

I'll tell you what, it was better than any half time go-get-em' speech I ever heard. 

I'm encouraged.  I'm gonna get back at it.  It's not always pretty, I will tell you that much, but I'm determined as ever.  Baby steps, you see.  

And on a happy note, I learned something else this past weekend.  In a different talk given on Sunday, Elder Rasband quoted David O. Mckay, who once said "No success can compensate for failure in the home."  Sometimes I hear that and I want to climb back in bed and pull the blankets over my head.  Because seriously, I can chalk my fair share of days up to the failure category, if you know what I mean.  But!  Then came this!  He went on to say that when asked what exactly he would define as "failure", President Mckay answered that the only time failure occurs is when the parents quit trying

Did you hear that? 

I rushed home to tell Courtney (who was home with sick Claire) the good news.  He (being much wiser than I) smiled encouragingly at me and said, "See?  That's what I've been trying to tell you." 

Boy, do I feel better.  And here is why.  I may be grouchy.  I may be lacking in patience.  (I sometimes say a prayer of thanksgiving that we don't have neighbors so they can't hear my monstrous moments.)  I am most definitely not perfect. 

But!  I'm not a quitter.  I'm gonna hang in there.  Head back into the game.  Where there was once just one imperfect me?  Watch out.

I've been redoubled.

Monday, August 16, 2010

three little monkeys

Once upon a summer afternoon. . . 
this handsome fella,
and yours truly,
decided to take our little flock of gals
to do some of this.
Mr. Handsome Fella
and I spent a lot of time looking straight up.
This gave us reason to believe
we are raising a bunch of monkeys.
Cute monkeys, yes.  But monkeys all the same.
After a while, Mr. handsome fella and I got a bit tired. 
You see, our necks were strained.  
Our arms frazzled. 
And our backs were puckered out. 

The monkeys were just getting started.  

Alas, we bribed them with a feast.
And a trip to the park.
(and perhaps a promise of a post-picnic ice cream cone).
They couldn't resist.
The monkeys,
Mr. Handsome Fella,
and I
unanimously concluded
that every once in a while,
an afternoon like this
makes for a
 Happily Ever After.

The End.