Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas in New York and Ephraim

We started off Christmas at home with our ugly Christmas tree in Ephraim. On Christmas morning, the kids unwrapped their gift: Wicked Tickets in New York! We flew out on the red-eye that night for 4 days and 3 nights of pure New York City.

But before we left, we had a fun afternoon with our new friends in Ephraim. We had Christmas brunch at the house, complete with 3 kinds of quiche, gazpacho, breakfast casserole, grapefruit, and fruit sangria. Then with full stomachs we embarked on a four-wheeling and sledding extravaganza. It was bitter cold, but we had a great time.

We came home just in time to leave to New York in the SCARIEST storm of the season. I was crying, saying the rosary, you name it. Just get us to the airport in one piece! There were 8 of us crammed in the 4 runner with our luggage on our laps to the ceiling. I'm convinced the weight in the car was the only thing that kept us on the road.

In New York, we took in fifty degree weather while we shopped, saw musicals, ate until our insides screamed, and stayed up til wee hours of the morning. We ate New York pizza at Angelo's, Sushi at Ruby Foo's, Brazilian and Italian food, and even street vendor kabobs and hot dogs. We went to 2 musicals: Wicked and In the Heights and we roamed the streets of Soho, Little Italy, Chinatown, Broadway, Central Park, 7th Avenue, and Times Square. It was an eye opening experience for the kids. There were more people living in one building than live in the entire city of Ephraim.

Now we are back and need the vacation after the vacation to recover. But no complaints. It was great.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Getting Ready for Christmas

Whitney and Hannah

The Boys Together at Last

Our Charlie Brown Christmas Tree (great til we had to cut 2 ft off the top

Yes, the dog's tail really did get spray painted red

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me:

One dog with a tail spray painted red
Three boycrazy teenagers
Four strings of lights that went out on the tree
Five doctor appts. in one week
Six kids coming to our house for Christmas (YEAH!!)
Seven presents that were returned to sender instead of forwarded to Ephraim
Eight loads of laundry in one day
Nine trips to the Athletic Center for swimming and racquetball
Ten strings of lights Kevin hung outside
Eleven basketball games Hannah cheers in during December
Twelve foot tall Christmas tree with a 10 foot ceiling in the house

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Recovering from the Bowl Game

Where do I start? Are we sad because the touchdown that was in bounds was called back? Because the field goal kick hit the post and bounced OUT? Or because the blocked field goal became a live ball when we touched it in the endzone and the other team scored a touchdown? Or because we somehow lost a critical 10 seconds off the clock when it was restarted at the end of our run in the 4th quarter?

Well, I know one thing. Those boys played their hearts out! In a double overtime loss, Snow College lost the National Championship by (as Maxwell Smart would say)..."just that much". But I have nothing but praise for the team. What a class act.

Kevin looked the part. He was meant to do this job. We had such a ball at the banquet and watching the game with family and friends. We got to have dinner with Dave Checketts and we were treated like royalty with our box seats and great food catering from start to finish. What a fun tradition.

All I know is next year...WATCH OUT! This is our title to win.

Friday, November 28, 2008

3 Very Special Guests on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving this year consisted of 3 particularly special blessings: The long awaited arrival of Jantzen after many months apart, a new little one from Gabe and Kristen--baby Elli, and Aubrey fresh off the European tour with Blake and the band (their band is called Taught Me).

It reminded me that family trumps everything! They are the greatest gift and they are what makes special days so special.
We stuffed ourselves with the traditional fare, then played games and visited late into the evening. Grandma Lind made our 4th special guest...who would have known she would be with us this year after a coma and life support? The day after Thanksgiving we moved her from the assisted living back into her own home. She is my hero. Meanwhile, Kevin took the younger two girls to Logan to be with Grandma and Grandpa White's house for graham cracker (gingerbread) house making, all the mashed potatoes you could eat, and Football games galore. A bit untraditional this year to be apart, but it was perfect in it's own way for each of the kids.

To top it off, I made 3 homemade pies--Coconut Cream, Banana Cream, and Cherry. AND THEY ALL WORKED! Watch out, Paul Deen. I'm on your tail, baby.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Twilight Party

To celebrate the big opening of Twilight, we headed to American Fork for Sushi, and then on to Paiges for the big extravaganza. At 11:15 p.m. (cough, sputter) we headed to the Gateway. I didn't think I could stay up that late.

We all swooned to Edward and Jacob with the rest of the audience. It was well worth the 2:00a.m. finish time.

Saturday, November 15, 2008




Today was the final game of the season and the Badgers won Mesa in a blowout 65-20. Adding to that, Navarro, which is currently ranked #1, just lost their game, meaning that Snow will likely climb to #1 in the polls tomorrow.
The Top of the Mountains Bowl at the Real Salt Lake Stadium will be the National Championship game. Kevin is stoked because Badgers may win the National Championship the first and only time since he played in 1985, and during his first year as Athletic Director at Snow. Pretty cool, even for someone like me who doesn't like sports.




Mom, Dad, and Jamaica all went to the game and had beautiful 60 degree weather and blue skies all day. It couldn't have been more beautiful...unless I had a fly rod in one hand and a fish in the other.

On the home front, I am gradually adjusting to life in Ephraim. I still take on one work day in Utah County each week, but when I'm here, I am making an effort to get to know people, exercise, etc. The pace is sloooower. Let's just say... I get to walk alot. Makes the time go by. The kids are doing great and are very active in everything. Small towns agree with them.

11 more days before Jantzen comes for Thanksgiving! You don't think I'm excited or anything?!



Thursday, November 6, 2008

Goodbye Alpine, Hello Ephraim

Well....Ephraim here we are! We moved in on Halloween and watched the election unfold in a new home--a memory that will stick forever. It's new beginnings all the way around. Today, we are on Day 2 of a complete water outage here. Someone hit the main water line and they have been trying to fix it since yesterday afternoon.

Here is what I've learned in 4 days at the new home:

1. It's pretty cool when you can stand in the master bedroom and see every room in the house.
2. Don't under-estimate the frustration that comes from living next door to horses when your dog has a "thing" for rolling in warm horse poop.
3. A smaller house can get stinky when you can't flush toilets, wash dishes, or shower for 2 days.
4. How is it possible that we are in a smaller town but the girls are twice as busy as they were in Alpine? Hurray for cheer, musical theater and violin.
5. Intelligent, fun people live in small towns too. I've met the nicest people!
6. When I design my own home, remind me to put the light switches for the kitchen IN the kitchen (instead of one in the living room, one in the dining room).
7. This move reminded me that when you having nothing to do, it's the time to do all the things you said you would always do when you "had some free time" (banjo, write a book, start an online flyfishing store)
8. Fancy televisions require fancy technicians to set them up. And sometimes they still don't work right so you have to use the 10 inch TV from the dorm rooms anyway.
9. Be grateful for working washer and dryers!
10. Take what you own and cut it in half, then cut it in half again and you still own too much stuff.



We celebrated our anniverary last night. Pretty interesting when you have no restaurants in town and the water isn't working. We melted ice cubes to cook with and made dinner anyway. A down-home anniversary with Gentry as our waitress. Take a look at the funny menu the kids made (click on the picture to enlarge).

Monday, October 27, 2008

The Halloween Tradition Continues

Yes, we LOVE our Halloween cookie decorating contest. What started with a simple Jack O'Lantern face, has evolved into a full out, anything-goes competition. This year, however, was the first we have seen the "Double Decker Hamburger" entry, utilizing 2 sugar cookies and a full pound of candy (or something like that). Zachary also made a Jantzen look-a-like cookie in honor of our missing family member, complete with a green tic-tac beanie. I think we only had one traditional pumpkin face this year. Thank heavens for Paige's rational mind.

All in all, it was another success. You know it's gotta be good if Zac would come! Some traditions just get better with time. This is one of them.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

5 Wishes

My friend, April, gave me the best book for my birthday. It's called 5 Wishes. It's fantastic! The premise is that you are supposed to finish this sentence, "The main reason my life was not a total success is because I didn't_______". Come up with 4 or 5 items. Then turn them around into a positive action statement and live by it every day to change the outcome. Sounds simple enough...cough, sputter.

In the spirit of "keeping it real" (thanks Danny), here are my 5 Wishes :

The main reason my life wasn't a total success:

1. I didn't laugh enough and took life too seriously
2. I rushed through eachexperience to get to the future without enjoying the moment.
3. I was too scared to go after the (crazy) dream that lit me on fire. Always ended up playing it safe in work, relationships, life.
4. Gave in to what others though I should do/be instead of being true to myself.
5. I was too rigid and deliberate in designing my life and didn't allow or cope well with unexpected surprises.

I've turned those into positive statements for my life now. My new mantra:

1. I laugh often. I stop and smile. Others want to be around me because I find the joy in my life.
2. I live in the 'NOW' and enjoy each moment as it unfolds
3. I passionately and courageously pursue my passions a little bit every day
4. I am authentic to the real me, which gives my talents and gifts a free slate to blossom
5. I look at life as a big adventure, knowing wherever I go, I can make it a wonderful (and even magical) experience. Life will serve up what I need, and I will embrace the journey.

Now...for those of you who read my blog. What are your 5 Wishes?

Sunday, October 19, 2008




I just got Jantzen's school pics in the mail. Look at my handsome boy! He looks so good---like the old Jantzen. I had to immediately blog so everyone can see. He is doing well and sounds great. I love the confident clear eyes I see in him now. Such a contrast from his demeanor 6 months ago. It's a good week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Leaves


First things first---A continuation of the tennis success stories. Whitney ended up taking third in 5A State Finals. We are so proud of her! It is an incredible accomplishment. Now her poor elbow can take a rest from tendonitis and she can get some good recovery time. Shake and bake, Whit!!

I had a great weekend with my friend Fritzie. She came here on a hunting trip with her daughter and then stayed a few extra days with me. What a treat! We drove to Sundance over the Alpine loop, we went to the Rat Pat musical and out to dinner, and just had an overall nice time catching up with one another. It was like Christmas! The anticipation of having a few days to do nothing but have fun was well worth the wait. Fritzie is much older than I am but for some reason, she makes me feel much younger. She is a verifiable NUT. She toilet papered her hunting guides house and put cheerios in their beds. This story was met with shreiks of delight by me. I knew I'd found an audience who could truly appreciate the benefits of owning a remote control tarantula like myself. Finally, a prankster who I can share in some competition.

Now for the big move. Yes, it's REALLY happening. I think I'm finally getting my arms around it. My obsessive personality is getting plans in place so that it can be a transition with something to look forward to. I'm gathering art supplies to start some of the fine arts classes, and I've been looking into franchise fees to start a SubZero ice cream parlor. Who knows--maybe Ephraim has some hidden treasures I can discover there.

We got Jantzens' report card yesterday---HIGH HONOR ROLL! Wow! It's been awhile since I've seen those grades. It sure made me happy. Jantzen says he hates the predictability and structure of each day but I think it's a magic pill. He seems to be responding well to it all.

Still on the Boot Camp "high". Getting used to tomato juice, veggie patties, cottage cheese, tuna fish, and oatmeal. It actually sounds GOOD to me. What's even scarier, my old fishing staple, "Cheetohs", actually tasted terrible yesterday. Who am I becoming? I guess as long as a juicy, fat hamburger with tomatoes tastes good, I'm still normal enough (some would say I've never been normal enough).

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Region Tennis Champs!

Kayla and Gentry

Seeing Jantzen Again

Canning up a storm
I'm short on pictures, but we're long on pride. Kayla and Whitney both took region in tennis this past week! Whit won in Varsity and Kayla in J.V. They will continue to State Championships this coming week and we are rooting for them both.

Still having some difficulty getting the home sold or leased...we're in eternal limbo. I've been working on fixing "stuff"--there's nothing like 7 years of deferred maintenance to keep you busy! I've been fixing toilets, patching walls, painting, trying to fix electrical problems (til I decided I could kill myself and hired it done), cleaning, cleaning and more cleaning.

Kev has been in Arizona or Ephraim. He took his kids on the road trip to Arizona where they stopped and did some hiking and saw the rim of the Grand Canyon. Pics are coming as soon as Kev comes home again. They had a GREAT time.

It must have done me some good to be alone for the week...I lost several pounds and a few inches from my boot camp. VICTORY! (I just want to know why it takes me a month of blood, sweat and tears and Kevin can lose weight in his sleep--NOT FAIR. In my world I get to create, men will gain weight and look worse as they age and women will lose weight easily and get better looking as they go gray).

How bout that stock market? UGH. I am trying to remember the reason I decided to be frugal and save all of my money all these years! We are burning dollar bills this month by the minute. That whole plan of spending what you earn may have gotten me further ahead! I could at least have had a few more trips or some fun toys. Bummer.

At least there's those snow-capped, beautiful mountains. They calm me. But still--somebody get me outta here! I need to go see another country. I'm getting fidgety! I keep hearing whispers to come to New Zealand, Argentina or Italy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Our Road Trip to See Jantzen

We finally finished up our 24 hours of driving to finish the trip out to Bonners Ferry to see Jantzen. Hannah, Dazy and I loaded up the 4Runner and off we went. We passed the tempting Potato Museum, the Testicle Festival in Montana, Lincoln's 50,000 Silver Coins exhibit and a variety of other roadside delights and opted for the straightshot drive.

He was able to show us his world which consisted of beautiful wilderness (which he hasn't grown up enough to fully appreciate yet), a new High School which he attends, and a great pizza joint down the road. Bonners' Ferry and Sandpoint are both pretty small--you can't blink or you'd miss them.

He lives in a cottage at the end of a street, where there are 3 homes the boys live in. Each home is run by the boys--They clean it, shop for and make the meals, do improvement projects, etc. If they are on good behavior, they get one hour of television a day, and 5 minutes internet time. Other than that, they are out mountain climbing, fishing, doing homework, or working in the yard. I like the lack of distractions.

We got to steal him from his daily routine and go explore. Hannah insisted we drive 30 minutes to the border of Canada just so she could say she'd been there. We explored an old haunted lake with lilies floating on it and Jantzen discovered something that looked like a brain in the bottom under the dock. Kind of creepy. We hiked to a waterfall, and we went to SandPoint to the beach. Then we went with the boys up to the top of the mountain above the treeline to this pristine lake. It didn't matter what we did, we just had fun together. You know I was enjoying myself, because I didn't take my flyrod out of the car once. I ALMOST forgot it was there.

We were as happy to see him as he was to see us. And leaving was torture. We miss each other. I broke with my eating plan and had a jelly filled Hostess O just to feel better. Don't tell my trainer.