Saturday, September 27, 2008

Used towel anyone?

After the birthday party in Roy today, I decided to stop for lunch with Will at my favorite Chinese restaurant from my college days in Ogden, Maple Gardens. The food was as good as I remember, although I don't remember there being quite as strong a smell coming from the Coy pond. I went in to use the bathroom and had a total flash back, and luckily my camera.

Are these still legal? I have a hard time believing that they meet today's health department guidelines.

Princess Party

I went up to Roy today for Pat's niece Annie's fourth birthday party. It was pretty similar to my niece Lucia's birthday earlier this summer, pink and princesses. Another reason I'm glad I ended up having a boy. Not that I know that much about trucks, but I am not a fan of pink or princesses. Annie wanted to invite all of the kids from her primary class. Along with cousins, there ended up being one other girl and like nine boys. Perfect for a princess themed party. Luckily the boys are young enough that none of them seemed to mind wearing pink party hats or eating pink cake and ice cream. I think Pat's sister Kristen had a great idea in limiting the party to just an hour. Enough time for the kids to play with the toys for awhile, play one game, open presents and eat cake. Just after getting cleaned up from cake, the parents started showing up to retrieve their kids. It's kind of crazy having those many kids together in a small space, but when it's limited to just an hour, it seems a lot more manageable. Side note: the other girl in Annie's primary class in named Oakley. Kind of funny that the two girls in the class would be named Annie and Oakley.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Why you pay to take time off

I thought my ex-coworkers might appreciate this the most. Today while having our monthly birthday bash at work, the talk turned to doing something to my boss's office since he has been gone for a few days. I haven't helped play a practical joke on anyone for over 5 years, cause the last time I did, the person didn't take it too well.

For those who don't know, my boss Scott has a little bit of an obsession with collecting signed sports memorabilia, especially Sports Illustrated issues that he sends to people and has them autograph. He has many of these covering his office walls, and he has a big office. The suggestion was made to replace all of the issues with pictures of people from Dancing With the Stars because his wife "makes" him watch the show and we all harass him for it. We then decided to just replace a few and see how long it takes him to notice. Unfortunately, Scott gets to work earlier than anyone else, so I probably won't get to see his initial reaction. My hope is that having come back from vacation that he comes in late, or doesn't look around his office too closely. See if you can spot the "additions".

(sorry about the glare, it was the best I could get)

And my personal favorite:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Helllooo! I've already seen that tree before, it's green!

Disclaimer: I was in a descriptive story telling mood (it's long)
(As an ease to the fact that their are two Will's in this story, I will highlight Will when I'm talking about little Will.)

- Click here to see the pictures from the trip

This weekend we went on a "we need to go camping sometime this year" trip down to southern Utah. We initially were looking for some place that would be sort of middle ground for those of us in Utah County to meet up with my little sister Keeley and Will who just moved to Kanab. Most of the in-between places were forecasting rain, so we decided it was worth it to just go down near Kanab where the weather looked better.

My mom found what looked like an interesting place to camp, Mukuntuweep Rv Park and Campground, which is just outside the east gate to Zion. Although we were just looking for a tent spot, that included bathrooms (my request), it also had tee-pees you could camp in and just looked sort of cool and brought back memories of our years in Nevada. We weren't able to contact them off of the website, but thought it was worth a shot to just drive there. When we got there we found out that we couldn't contact them because they were bought out 3 yrs ago and are now Village of Many Lands. The areas to rent tee-pees were still pretty cool, but expensive. The tent sites were nothing more than a very small patch of dirt, just big enough to put one tent, no picnic tables or anything else. It wasn't really what I was willing to pay for. So on to option B. There was a nice KOA about 30 min. back that we thought we would try.

On the way back, Keeley and Will suggested we stop for dinner at Buffalo Bistro in Glendale. They are known for their "wild" menu that includes buffalo, rabbit, rattlesnake sausage and Rocky Mountain Oysters. After hearing that I was surprised that Keeley had also heard they have some vegetarian options. It is a small place owned and operated by one couple and it feels like you are having dinner at their house instead of a restaurant. We started waiting outside on the deck where you can watch the guy grilling up the food as you order. Keeley tried to keep the kids entertained by helping them on the foosball table. When the outside got too cold, we moved inside. Next to our table their was a small bookshelf that had a variety of games to keep you occupied while waiting for the food. The menu was small, the vegetarian list consisted of one pasta dish, but Keeley said it was good. Will had wanted to try an exotic burger, but they only have them on the lunch menu. The rest of us all ended up with the salmon. It was definitely not the best salmon I have had, but it was still a fun place to eat. We ended the meal with some homemade cobbler that ended the meal well.

After dinner it was pretty dark and we made our way back towards the KOA hoping that it wouldn't be full, and that we would be willing to stay there. Luckily lots of open spots, and nothing that seemed too scary, at least in the dark. We found a nice large spot on the end of the row that had plenty of room for our 3 tents and kept us away from others who might not appreciate our late nights and loud kids. I had made sure that I had one of the tents in my car, because I knew my parents were going to be a couple of hours behind us. We got the tent up pretty fast even though we realized that all of the camping essentials (flash lights included) were in my parent's truck. Keeley and Will went on a walk with the dollar store flash light Maiken had luckily bought that day and found us some wood to start a fire. We stayed up hoping that the fire would last until mom and dad got there. They finally pulled in right about midnight, this is sadly not that unexpected on a trip involving my family. We helped get their tent up and all went to bed.

On Saturday we all had a lazy morning and realized we hadn't really researched anything to do on the trip, we had just spent all of our time looking for where to go. Will went and asked the camp hosts if they had any suggestions. They suggested an easy trail that was just across the street as a short hike that would be kid friendly. After watching lots of clouds stream by we debated if we were going to get rained on. Finally we decided the close hike was just what we were looking for and would keep us close if a big storm came in. The hike was a nice easy walk along an empty stream bed that looked like proof there are a lot of flash floods in the area. Shortly into the hike the rain started. It was pretty light so we kept going. It started to get harder, so we took shelter in some trees. Luckily the rain was coming at an angle, so the trees provided a pretty good block. The storm passed pretty quickly and we continued on. Along the way we spotted some very rusty axles and bumper from an old truck. Will was of course very excited. A little way further and we found scattered other portions of what we assumed was the same old truck. A little further and we found most of the back of what looked like an old chuck wagon truck. For the rest of the hike Will kept asking where more rusty trucks were. Actually for the rest of the whole trip he kept asking to see more old rusty trucks. I'm afraid he now thinks that all hikes include seeing rusted out trucks. Towards the end of the hike he started telling us that the dead trees lying along the trail looked like broken down trucks and even made up a song on the way down that was mostly the repeating of "broken down truck and broken down trees."

The trail ended after awhile and we switched to following the river bed until that also ended. My dad wanted to keep going to try and get a better view of some rock formations on the top of the mountain. He of course was convinced that if we just went a little further, ok now just a little further, it has to be right above that ridge. Once it got to the point that you were having to scale sections of the mountain we knew the little kids were not going to make it any further. Me, Maiken, my mom and the kids turned around and went back. Will was riding on my shoulders and fell asleep about half way down. It's sort of hard to keep a kid that is asleep on your shoulders, on your shoulders.

About an hour after we returned to camp my dad, Will and Keeley returned. They had made it to the top of the ridge we were on, but after their recounting, it was a good thing we turned around when we did. The two dogs were obviously worn out and were pretty quiet the rest of the night. After a late lunch and some more sitting around, the talk turned to driving down the road and letting mom and dad get a look at the two close towns, Glendale and Orderville. When we were first driving through I looked at Maiken and asked what year we were in, they are obviously a few behind. Orderville's tax base is limited to three rock stores that are all right in a row. Because we spent about an hour deciding if we were going to do something (another usual for the fam) most everything was closed by the time we went on our drive. There was one rock store open and the family went in to check it out. I waited in the car. We drove by the artist Maynard Dixon's home and studio in Mt. Carmel and got some pictures of the mountain ridge that makes several appearances in his paintings. That was about the limit of what there was to see, so we headed back to camp for dinner.

This morning after breakfast we packed up and headed down to Kanab to check out Keeley and Will's place. Kanab is definitely a change of scenery from Seattle for them, but I think it fits them. Overall it was a fun and low-key trip. It's nice to have Keeley and Will back within easy visiting distance and made the good-byes much easier.

Other random highlights/lowlights:

- On the drive down Lucia asked again if we were there yet. A tired Maiken told Lucia to just take in the scenery and look at the trees and rocks. Lucia's response "Helllooo! I've already seen that tree before, it's green!"

- Camping did not effect Will's desire to be pantsless.

- The campsite had beautiful willow trees that were covered in black aphids. They are very fragile bugs and when you go to brush them off, they instantly squish and become a dark red smear on you. We all spent the weekend looking like we were bleeding all over our hands and arms.

- Will's first comment when going into Keeley and Will's house, "where's your toys?"

- Will's non-stop asking to see old rusty trucks, including at Keeley and Will's house.

I'm sure there are others that I just forgot, but I think you get the picture :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Paper Pushers to the Rescue!

I have finished my required N.I.M.S. training for work. For those of you who don't know, NIMS stands for National Incident Management System and was set up by FEMA for organizations to use in disaster type situations. It is used by many organizations including local police and fire departments. As a government worker we were all required to complete these online tests. As a result of my 6 hours of testing, I have this to show for it:

Even though it clearly states that I "reaffirmed a dedication to serve in times of crisis", I told my boss that if there ever is a disaster, I'm going home to check on my family. If for some odd reason I was at work and helping in the time of a disaster, Provo rest assured, I can tell you the chain of command that orders must go through. I'm not sure what else we were supposed to get out of the training other than that. Maybe it's good that our department's duty in a disaster is to act as the morgue. I'm not sure what all that would include (it was not part of our training, only the titles of who would be telling us what to do), but I can't really imagine that I would be doing anything that would take too much training recall. I mean all the people are already dead, what else could go wrong with them, right?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Future Will?

My friend Megan (who is pregnant) did this on her blog. I thought since I have something to actually compare it to, I'd try it out. I'll admit finding a face shot of Pat and I was a little difficult, so I was very nervous about the results. I think he's pretty cute though. I'm not sure where the curly hair came from, although I always wanted curly hair myself. I don't think he looks anything like Will, but I wouldn't be ashamed to tote this one around. And my baby doesn't have scary eyebrows. Sorry Megan :(
I'm also glad this kid would never make it onto "If they made it" on Conan O'Brien.

What do you think about my little new baby Will? - What will your baby look like?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Google Fun

So you are supposed to answer the questions by typing it into Google images and choosing an image from the first page, here I go:

1- First Name:

2 - Middle Name:

3- Last Name:

4- My Age:

5- Favorite Vacation Spot:

6 - A Past Love:

7 - College Major:

8 - If I was going to do it all over:

9- Where did I grow up?

10 - Where do I live now?

11- A past pet:

12 - A friend's nickname:

13- My first job:

14- Favorite food:

15- Favorite color:

16- What are you doing right now?

17- A bad habit of mine:

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another sheep

Well, I've done it. I've become a blogger. I feel like I am the only person I know without a blog, so I gave into the trend. I have to admit that there was a little bit of resistance just because everyone has a blog now. Like when Sue and I refused to see Titanic just because everyone was making such a big deal about it. (BTW - I still have yet to see it, just never really seemed to have the chance.) So here it is, my blog. I can't promise timely posts, I can't promise entertaining posts, but I can promise I will have fun, that's all that matters in the end, right?