Monday, September 29, 2008

Best Deal of the Month

This past Saturday we came across the best deal of the month for sure!! Jordan went with some friends to the corn maze up at Thanksgiving Point. When he came home he said that the mom of his friend had coupons for everyone to get in for 93 cents! Wow! 93 cents - are you sure? (The admission, even for children, is normally $10.50.) I figured there had to be some info on these coupons somewhere on the internet, so I started googling and sure enough, I found the coupons on a radio station website, for, yep, only 93 cents admission through Saturday night. We've never been to the corn maze before because of the high cost, so was I excited! I let all our other children know about the great deal and then called Dave who had just finished a conference in Salt Lake, and he met Emily and I there at Cornbelly's. Really a fantastic deal for an awesome night of fun. Emily had the most fun - there was SO much for her to do! First we went through this HUGE blown up haunted creature:

If you look at the guy sitting on the left, you get an idea of how big this monster is

Emily went about 1/3 the way through the creature and darted out an emergency exit. She loved it and wanted to go through again, so in we went for the 2nd time. Only this time, we had her go all the way through with us, which she did not like. It got a little scary, if I do say so myself.

Howdy, pard'ner!

I love this picture - waiting for the wagon ride to start

This next activity was probably Emily's favorite. A pump pumped water down a pipe to another pump on the other side. There were little colored ducks that you would put into the pipe and you had to pump the water to send the ducks sailing to the other side. Dave was on the other end sending the ducks back to Emily as fast as he could. Emily played this for a long time.

We finally tore her away from the pumps to go into the kiddie maze. She directed us most of the way and did a great job of navigating us out of there.

I did it!

After the kiddie corn maze, Emily wanted to do the big maze for older people. I was a little worried it would be too long for her, but she seemed ready to tackle it. The maze covered like 12 acres of corn and the trails through the corn carved out a picture of David Archuleta. We chose the shorter route (about 45 minutes), but somewhere in the maze, we got way off track and ended up in the other phase of the maze that was supposed to take longer to complete. I'm fairly certain we made it most the way around the maze since we came to all the bridges, and we were out in under 45 minutes! Pretty fun in the dark too, except for the few times I almost twisted my ankle. :)

They had an awesome Pumpkin Princess Playland with a big inflatable castle, dress ups, and even Cinderella's gorgeous carriage.

Of course, our camera batteries went dead right before we were going to take a picture of Emily in Cinderella's carriage. She loved it though. We did lots of other things too including tether ball and dirt car racing.

So glad we were able to go - thanks Jordan for letting us know about it! All in all it was such a fun evening and a steal of a deal!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sweet Dreams

A few days ago I was working downstairs when I heard Emily come home from school. Just minutes later I went upstairs and didn't hear anything. I was looking around, wondering where Emily was, when I walked in the living room and here's what I saw:

My sleeping beauty with her backpack still on! Guess she'd had a long day.

Then a couple of days ago Emily decided to make a space ship with the sofa cushions. She had everything set up like a bed, with tissues, and books to read nearby, and her hat hung on the chair, really cute! Later that night I tucked her into bed in her spaceship:

I moved her to her bed later on, but she kept the spaceship up for a couple of days. I really enjoy and appreciate the imagination and creativity my little one has. Sweet dreams!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Highlights (including a mission call!)

Some weekends are good, but this one was GREAT!! Friday was Jordan's day off, so he helped me can some peaches that Grandma & Grandpa Bascom had given us. I don't have a picture, but we ended up with 21 quarts. Thanks, Jordan!

Hard at work
Saturday morning my friend and v.t. companion called to see if Emily would like to go on a short horseback ride. Since Emily LOVES horses, was she happy about this!

Going for a ride on "Sunny"

Emily got back from her horsey ride just in time to head out for her soccer game.

Playing goaly on the "Sharks" team

And......the most exciting news of the weekend happened Saturday evening when Jordan received and opened his mission call!!

¡Me han llamado para servir en el Cuernavaca, misión de México!

(I've been called to serve in the Cuernavaca, Mexico mission!")

Departure Date: January 21, 2009

Jordan is super excited, to say the least. He's been working hard and waiting for this time for awhile now. Cuernavaca is in southern Mexico, about 1 hour southwest of Mexico City. The mission is quite large and extends out to the coast, including 350 miles of coastline. The city's name means City of Eternal Spring. We've already started reading all about it, and the average temperature year round is 77 - 86 degrees. If he serves right in this city, sounds like it could be really rough. :)

I'm so proud of Jordan, though, and know he is going to be a great instrument in the Lord's hands.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Star Student of the Week

Emily was chosen to be the Star Student of the Week in her class. She took a baby picture to school, and the class had fun guessing who the star student was going to be. Mommy helped Emily make a poster, telling a little about her and some of the things she really likes:

Emily is: creative (it was her ideas to write her name in little balloons on the poster), fun, thoughtful, musical, and a great reader. She loves: dogs, horses, spaghetti, her family, the colors pink and purple, libraries, princesses, and movies.

It was fun to make the poster with her, even though I had really late notice! (late afternoon the day before) I think we'll keep this poster up, and she can be the star of the family for the week!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Small Successes

Just sharing a few small successes for me:

1) Some of you may remember this picture I put up awhile back in my photo tag - it was the project I was currently working on:

I'm happy to report that all those gosh-awful boxes are OUT of my family room, sorted and put away! I actually got this done awhile back but just never posted about it. So nice to have a family room back.

2) Saturday I worked on the food closet during the BYU game where they creamed UCLA 59-0. :)

Here's what I reaped from my food closet - this garbage can is stuffed full
(I forgot to take a picture beforehand - would have been too embarrassing anyway)

A clean pantry - a simple pleasure. So nice to be able to find things again!
3) The tree we planted for Michael back in the spring is growing nicely. Every week or so while I'm out jogging, I pull any weeds, dead head the old blossoms, and pull the grass back from the rocks.

The plants around the tree are doing great too:

The picture doesn't do justice here. The large areas of green are a ground cover that started out as small clumps and has spread really nicely with little purple flowers blooming. There's another plant with pretty bright pink flowers on the left that you can't see very well. We made some good choices because all the plants have bloomed all summer long, and they're all perennials so they'll be back next year. We still need to put a plaque in, but I think it turned out really well for the first season.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mommy's Li'l Helper

Emily's getting to be a great helper lately. Saturday she helped me tackle the car which was long overdue for a thorough cleaning, both inside and out.
We were done with one side and working on the other when the sprinklers came on! Kind of funny, but we had to go back and do the other side again. The car was dirty enough it probably needed 2 cleanings! Emily had been sick the day before and was getting tired, so took a break for a little while.

Coloring in the shade

It was a beautiful day to be outside together! After finishing the car, we made cookie bars together. Emily thought we should make it a "tradition", but I'd be a whale if I made cookies every Saturday! (I ate about half the pan). It was fun to bake together, though, and I need to include her more often in the kitchen if I want her to enjoy cooking later on.

Grandma & Grandpa Bascom had lots of home grown tomatoes, so Monday we thought we'd help out and can some. They decided the only way they'd let me can the tomatoes was if I kept half the of them. Sounded like a great deal to me! Emily was a big helper stuffing the tomatoes in the jars, and later getting the water out of the tomato skins in the sink, to throw them away. Somewhere I have a picture of Justin & Caitlin when they were toddlers, up to their elbows in tomatoes too.

Emily discovering the feel of peeled tomatoes...

"Tomatoes anyone?"

hard at work

The finished product - 14 bottles and 3 quart bags!

I enjoy canning, but here it is September, and this is the first thing I've canned all summer. It was fun to have Emily helping me, though. I always leave the bottles on the counter for a few days to admire their "beauty".

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Reaching the Top!

If any of you have lived in or ever visited Utah, you've probably heard of Mount Timpanogos. It's a little northeast of our home and is the 2nd tallest mountain in Utah. Last Friday, for the 2nd time together (last one was in 2001), Justin and I set out to hike this majestic masterpiece.

Mount Timpanogos

We got an early start, hitting the trail around 6:15 a.m. Here's the gorgeous view behind us as we started our hike:

There are 2 trails up the back of Mt. Timpanogos, the Timpooneke Trail (American Fork), and the Aspen Grove trail (Provo). Since we had tried the Aspen Grove side about 10 years ago and knew it was a killer hike (I was literally on my hands and knees at one point), we chose the Timpooneke Trail we had hiked in 2001.

It's an 18-mile hike round trip, (some people say 15, but I think 18 seems more accurate!) and the trail takes you up the back of the mountain, a low-key gradual climb in some places. We really made some record time (for us), getting to the "saddle" before 10:00! A short time before the saddle is where the trail starts to get a little difficult.

At the "saddle" with Utah Lake in the background

Here's a look at the trail ahead of us from where we're standing at the saddle. If you look really close, you can see a dot at the top of the mountain - it's a tiny shack on the summit.

Shack is on the far right/top of mountain

Justin had been leading the way the entire hike, shortly after leaving the saddle, we decided to have me go in front for a little while - NOT a good idea! At this point on the mountain, in many places there's not much of a trail. I missed where the "trail" veered off and continued straight until I realized I was NOT on any kind of trail and the ground beneath me was giving way right and left. I was too far to try and go back to the "trail", and I knew if I freaked out, I'd definitely not make it, so I tried to keep my cool and go upwards.

You can't see very well, but there wasn't much to grab onto, and I was climbing on loose sand and rocks.

If you look close you can see me towards the left of the picture with a fairly steep drop beneath me and the sand falling from under my shoes. PRETTY SCARY! Justin was a little ways behind me, so after snapping a couple of pictures for posterity, he went back and traveled the trail to come out above, encourage me, and give me a hand. I think he led the entire rest of the hike!

As we headed up the more difficult part of the hike towards the summit, this next picture was in Justin's view:

Pretty cool, huh? What's even more cool is how they can travel around on narrow ledges like the picture below. If you look close, you'll see all three of them right on the edge.

Three Billy Goats - obviously no acrophobia here!

We reached the summit just before 11:00 - pretty good timing!

Wow! Cell phone coverage on the summit!

A nice couple had brought a sign up with them that said Mount Timpanogos, 11,749 feet, August 29, 2008. They were sharing their sign, so we'd thought we'd get a pic with it too.

We made it!
Mount Timpanogos - 11,749 feet

There's not a whole lot of room up at the summit, and there were 8-10 people up there with us. We took some pictures, rested, ate some lunch, and of course signed the log book in the shack as evidence that we were there!

Some people wonder why I wanted to do this hike again. Several reasons: there's a real sense of accomplishment finish something of this magnitude - I guess you could say a natural high. I love spending one on one time with my children doing something we both enjoy, great memories together. The magnificent views from the summit can't be experienced anywhere but.... at the top:

The pictures don't do justice. You'll just have to come do the hike and see for yourself! After about an hour, we started back down the mountain. I thought the hike down would go much quicker. Guess I wasn't figuring in how tired and sore we would be towards the end. It took us almost as much time to get down as it did to get up! And we were definitely sore, especially our feet! But not too sore to have thoroughly enjoyed the entire day. We had perfect weather, perfect company, perfect scenery. Thanks, Justin, for spending your day with me. It was awesome!

Mother/Son Mount Timp Hike - August 29, 2008

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Caitlin's Countdown

Just wanted to let everyone know we added a countdown on the blog, so we can keep track of the days until Caitlin comes home from her mission. So be sure to take a look, and see what little time is left till we see her again!! Thanks.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Happy Birthday Andrew!

This is a little belated, but Andrew turned the big 18 this past Thursday! He leads a fairly social life, so we had to wait until Sunday to celebrate. Still a happy guy almost all of the time. Happy Birthday, Andrew - we love you!