Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Grand Adventure

Here are some pictures from our vacation up in Grand Lake over New Year's. I know, I know, they are way old but they're still fun. Troy wrote this:

Some of my family waiting for me to put the camera away so we could go have some fun.

Stephanie at the top of some mountain we climbed.

View from our cabin’s front door.

The bottom of Mary Jane’s bunny slope.

A very suspicious looking animal.

A couple curious Norwegian horses.

Samantha and her younger cousin making a horse jealous.

Sleigh ride through the Winding River Resort property.
Total length of ride: about 45 minutes.

Burping horse.

Rachel at the marshmallow roasting fire after the sleigh ride (and after she sprained her knee on the bunny slope).

Amanda reaching the snowy summit of Mt. Snow Bank at the Barn.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

100 things I've done in my life.

I stole this from Cousin Holly's blog.
The red is stuff that I have actually done.
1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Swam with Sharks
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Hugged a goat
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola (a ski gondola up a mountain)
29. Seen a total eclipse
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen a Shaker community
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason (not from my husband!)
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a hot air balloon
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten Caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Book of Mormon or Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Had your heart stop
91. Met someone famous
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a law suit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Four, Four, Four, Four Round 2

Stephanie's lists of Four

Four places that I go to over and over:
The Kids' School
The Church Building
Four favorite places to eat:
Johnny Carino’s
Black Eye Pea
New Dynasty
Four places I would rather be right now:
At the movies watching Twilight
Scuba diving in Cozumel
Wherever my husband is
Four TV shows I watch all the time:
The Office
Pushing Daisies

Four of my favorite books:
Twilight Series
Jane Austen Books
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Agatha Christie Novels
Four movies I would watch over and over:
Lord of the Rings
Pride and Prejudice (BBC version)
The Lake House
Pirates of the Caribbean
Four Places I have lived:
Anaheim, CA (Disneyland!)
Aurora, CO
Parker, CO
Umm. . . that's it
Four places I have been on vacation:
Cozumel (see banner picture)
Boston/Lake Winnipesaukee
New Mexico

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Four, Four, Four, Four

Troy's lists of Four

Four places that I go to over and over:
Elizabeth, CO
Aurora, CO
Four favorite places to eat:
Johnny Carino’s
Black Eye Pea

Four places I would rather be right now:
Getting a root canal
Standing in front of 10,000 head of stampeding mad cow infected bulls with razor tipped horns, angry killer bees flying out their nostrils and bad breath
At the Star Trek convention (just kidding, I’d rather be at work)
Anywhere tropical with white sand beaches and crystal blue warm water with no one within sight and sound except my family and friends.
Four TV shows I watch all the time:
The Office
Modern Marvels
Ask This Old House

Four of my favorite books:
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
In the Heart of the Sea
Watership Down

Four movies I would watch over and over:
Lord of the Rings
Joe Vs. the Volcano
What Dreams May Come
Pirates of the Caribbean

Four Places I have lived:
Annandale, VA
Cape Verde
Parker, CO

Four places I have been on vacation:
Cozumel (see banner picture)
New Mexico
Four places I would rather be right now:
Skiing in the mountains
Swimming in the Caribbean
Canoeing in the Amazon

Friday, December 5, 2008

25 Random Things About Christmas

To celebrate the 25 days of Christmas, I thought I'd tell you 25 random things about my experience with my favorite Holyday.
  1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? I always try for wrapping paper and end up with gift bags

  2. Real tree or Artificial? Artificial that smells real, that would be perfect

  3. When do you put up the tree? The day before Thanksgiving (we just can't wait!) BTW Snoopy has got to be one of the best animated characters, ever. Go ahead, try to prove me wrong.

  4. When do you take the tree down? As soon as possible after Christmas, we get soooo sick of it, probably because it's up for 6 weeks.

  5. Do you like eggnog? Never tried it!

  6. Favorite gift received as a child? Two homemade dolls that my mom made for me

  7. Hardest person to buy for? Troy, he doesn't want me spending any money on him

  8. Easiest person to buy for? Jacob ("Oh, let's see dinosaurs or, umm, dinosaurs?)

  9. Do you have a nativity scene? Two, a cheap one I bought at Walmart that I really, really love, and a handmade wooden one that my parents brought back from Israel

  10. Mail or email Christmas cards? If I ever got around to it they would be mailed, oh and the best Christmas cards anyone has ever gotten. See how much I love you all?

  11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I plead the Fifth

  12. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story ("Daddy's gonna kill Ralph-ie!)

  13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? As late as I possibly can, the stress makes the holiday so much more enjoyable!

  14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? No, but I recycled a water bottle once

  15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? My mom's divinity (I can't ever get it to set right), Orange Sticks, Fudge

  16. Lights on the tree? Blinking

  17. Favorite Christmas song? "Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24" by Trans Siberian Orchestra (Da, da da dum, Da, da da dum)

  18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Stay home. For days and days. A blizzard is good right then. Four feet. . . or more. I'm good with that.

  19. Favorite Christmas Memory? Troy saving all his pennies to buy me a Josh Groban cd and some orange sticks, even though we had agreed no presents since we couldn't afford it.

  20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Angel, a pretty gold one with feathery wings and long, sparkly ribbons

  21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning? All on Christmas morning, I love surprises

  22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Not enough time to do all the fun stuff I want to do

  23. Favorite ornament theme or color? Every year the kids make new ornaments for the tree. I love to reminisce when we get them out each year to hang on the tree.

  24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? Turkey with all the fixin's and rolls, rolls, rolls

  25. What do you want for Christmas this year? Nice brown leather boots and/or a clean house. Either one will do.

Oh, and here's for all those who feel the same as I do.

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


So I really, really did not want to start a blog. I've been resisting for years. But my kids all decided they were going to start their own so I thought, great, now I'm the outdated mom (insert eye roll here). I gotta keep up with my own kids, at least.

Here's the update on us. Troy is still working at EchoStar (Dish Network). He is currently looking for a job where he is appreciated for his multitude of talents, though. This weekend he is going on a trip to California with all his brothers (he has 5 of them). He should have a lot of fun. . . I'm jealous, I want a trip!
He just built some shelves in the garage and I'm bugging him to build more. He's very useful for that sort of thing.

Rachel and Jacob are taking classes online this year. They are loving it, too! Their teachers and curriculum are online, I just have to keep them on task. Rachel is really into reading, lately. She read all the Twilight books and is currently in the middle of one of the Warriors series. Her birthday is in February so she is looking forward to going to church dances.
Jacob loves to draw. That is probably one of the biggest understatements you've ever heard. His favorite thing to draw is dragons. We have boxes and boxes of his drawings in our house. He's also really into cryptozoology. If you don't know what that is, you should ask him. He prides himself on being almost as tall as me. He's only 5'4" and I'm 5'7" so I can still take him.
Amanda is a fifth grader in the Gifted and Talented class at school this year. She was so used to being the smartest kid in the class, the oldest kid in the class, the first one done with all her assignments, the fastest reader, etc. that when she moved into this class, which is fifth and sixth graders combined, she had a real identity crisis. She's doing great now, though, and is really excited that there are other LDS kids in the class. She's making friends and influencing people, or so the saying goes.
Samantha is in Third Grade. Her teacher, who was Amanda's teacher a couple of years ago and has had Rachel and Jacob in to help out every week, keeps wondering about her. She's as smart as the other kids but didn't seem to have the motivation that the others do. The first few weeks of school we couldn't get her to read anything. All of the sudden, though, and just like my other girls, she decided that she wanted to be a reader. Now she wins almost every reading challenge each week (they're supposed to read at least 100 minutes a week - she usually reads over 300!) She tried to read Twilight before the movie came out but couldn't make it. Still, she's over halfway done!
So, now me. . . I've had some fun this year. Troy and I learned how to scuba dive and we went down to Cozumel with his family for a scuba trip. I almost died but it was really fun. I got released from my calling as the Primary President in the ward. I'm now the Relief Society Secretary. Quite a change but I'm loving it.
I'm no longer doing videos. I've switched over completely to photography. It's a big relief to be able to focus more. I still want to focus it even more on just wildlife photography, but the portraits make money so that's what I'm doing. I enjoy it and all but I'd rather hone my skills in just one area. As you can see, no picture of me with this part of the post. That's why I became a photographer, so I don't have to be in front of a camera (he, he, he!)