The Cutest Blog on the Block

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Summer Running at 6:00am

There is something about this time of day that makes you think that there really isn't anything that can't be accomplished.  Problems don't seem so large.  Dreams don't seem so far away and there is a reassurance that good will win.
It's as though there is a comforting whisper in the air.  It breezes by.  Constantly moving.  A constant flow that is a perfect background to feet pounding in a predictable rhythm and the breath of the body reaching out to join the world.
A unique gift from God.

Awkward Cousin Photos

The final lesson from my trainer that day.

{Continued from this post}

The last song my little pink trainer threw at me that day was, "Live Like You Were Dying" by Tim McGraw.
I've heard this song several times,
but on this early summer morning,
I began to think about what I would do differently if I only had a few weeks/months to live.

So here's what I would like to think I would do
1.  I would still get up early and exercise
because it's more than exercise to me.
It's therapy.
It's joy - a precious moment that I spend with myself (and my trainer).

2.  I would hire someone to clean my house.
I like a clean house, but I don't like to spend my time doing such things.
(I'd rather dance to "Kung Fu Panda"  or watch David Garret YouTube videos.)

3.  I'd still read scriptures and the words of the prophets because that lightens my soul.

4.  I'd still go to church because I'll need all the points that I can get.

5.  I'd attend the temple to feel peace and love from above and to pray for my loved ones that I'd be leaving behind. 
(Now I'm starting to tear up.  That would be the worst part - leaving my family.)

6.  And I'd play with my boys.

7.  I'd eat good food, but only good food.
No time to eat the tasteless stuff just for the sake of eating.

8.  I'd talk to my dad on the phone and probably my Grandma too.
(Of course my mom, but that's a given.)

9.  I'd get off of Facebook.

10.  And I'd smile at my boys EVERY CHANCE THAT I GOT.

11.  I'd do everything I could to make them feel important.
Because they are.
The gift I would want them to receive from me is an idea of their potential, a glimpse of how God sees them.

12.  And I'd love Glenn so that he would always know that he was cherished and that my heart was his.

13.  And I'd keep blogging because I wouldn't want these moments to be forgotten.

14.  I don't think I'd read much any more.
I love reading dearly, but I wouldn't have time for that.
I'd be too busy doing things with people.

15.  I'd focus on people.
Lifting them.
Talking to them.
Learning from them.
It's the people who live outside themselves who make an impact - on others and themselves.
Those who stay to themselves are seldom noticed when they go - like a whisper.
I read a quote the other day, "You cried when you came into the world and the people rejoiced.  Live so that when you leave the world the people cry and you rejoice."
In my mind that is living to the fullest - focusing on people.
Those are the people who knew what it means to live.

Live. now.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Lessons from my trainer. Song two.

{Continued from this post}

The next song that played was Smooth Criminal by David Garrett.
This brought back a flood of memories of our Canadian days.
The boys would gather around our computer in our little kitchen, one or two on my lap and the others standing around, and we would watch David Garrett youtube videos - at full volume.
Then just for the heck of it we'd have to listen to the King of Pop sing one of his own songs -
Our top picks were
"Beat It"
"Smooth Criminal"
or "Bad".
Sometimes if we were really feeling it, we'd let Weird Al show up with his video of
I had to ban the song "Fat" from our house when Stafford and Warrick kept singing
in public at inopportune times.
I think that line would get stuck in their heads and for some reason their internal dialog would cease to exist and out would come "You're fat, you're fat."
Not acceptable.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Lessons learned from my personal trainer. Song One.

I have a personal trainer
that happens to be a phone.
{We all know you are old fashioned if the only thing your phone does is make calls.
My phone also wakes me up every morning with little bells.
Once I programmed it to make the bell sound and then say, "You are beautiful."  
But then that creeped me out so I changed it back to simple bells.}
So after my trainer gives me a personal wake-up call, I get ready,
drink water (lemon water if I have lemons),
and we head out, my phone and I.
You see, the way I get a workout is by walking or running to the beat of whatever song is playing.
If it's fast, I run fast.
If it's slow, I walk.
I have no choice in the matter.
I just go as fast as my little trainer dictates.
It's nice to have someone push me like that.

Today a few of the songs that popped up took me down memory lane and also caused me to reflect.
(I'll mention my thoughts on one at a time since sometimes I can get long winded.)

The first song of note was, "Kung Fu Fighting".
This one made me happy/sad.
About three years ago we went though a phase of family dancing.
We spent SO much time dancing to this particular song.
The beat encouraged us all to do moves that you can't even imagine.
Everyone got into it and the kids loved when we would crank it up so the birds could hear it.
Here is a short post about it from three years ago.
(Notice how little they look and Stafford's mismatched socks with one just moments from falling off.)
This morning as I listened to the song I remembered all the boys trying to be "cool" (creative).
The picture was clear in my mind as
I remembered them trying to mimic the moves of their dad. 
(They never try to mimic me, but I don't let it get to me.)
I love those happy times.
Simple times.
And I miss them.
The sad part is that I don't think we could do it now, not like we could three years ago, with reckless abandon.
I'm happy I have those moments to look back on.
It is a reminder to enjoy each good moment as it comes because
things change,
children grow,
and we progress.
And the progression is what makes the memories beautiful.
We are reminded of what once was.
We can't go back because we have moved forward.
We have progressed.
That's the beauty.
If we were still in the same moment, it wouldn't have value - not like it does now.
We wouldn't cherish the events in life if they were not limited.
We would take them for granted. 
The fact that the moments can't be repeated increases their worth.
It encourages us to live in the present.
To slow down.
And to cherish.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Lazy Summer Days

I feel like we have been running fast all summer long.
The next couple of weeks are going to be a sprint to the finish.
I kind of hope the boys experience some boredom between now and the time school starts.
I think being bored is part of summer.
When you think you are so bored that you will cease to exist at any moment,
you welcome the busy of the school year.
You welcome having something to do and somewhere to be.

I was so pleased to look in the back yard and see Warrick and Chelsea just laying there in the shade of the tree.
Doing nothing.

While I have enjoyed the full days and moments of discovery with the boys this year, 
I felt it a beautiful thing to see a boy laying by a cat.
With nothing to do.
Nothing pressing.
Only childhood can provide that.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Pioneer Day

Stone Heaven Road
With snacks and water all packed up, we set out to explore the back country in our truck.
Because we're truck people.

While we drove I told a pioneer story from The Friend Magazine.

Brightly colored thistles greeted us at the beginning of the drive.

Along the way there is a place to park and the peak of Camel's Back is about 400 yards away.

This view was amazing!
We could see the whole city, library, elementary school, and high school.

The boys picked me wild flowers all along the way.
These were from Stafford, complete with roots.

Just as we were about to finish,
we got an impromptu lesson on how to change a flat.

We picked up lunch, went shopping and went back to the house to get ready for a BBQ.

After pork loins, Frito Chili Cheese salad, marinated grilled mushrooms, chips, homemade onion dip, and watermelon, we gathered to learn about some of our ancestors.
Each year we try to learn about someone new.
This year it was Joseph Dover.
I want the kids to know the great people who paved the way before them - for them.
I want them to see ordinary people doing great things by simply living their lives the best they knew how.
I want them to see that little contributions to society do make a difference
and that the choices they make in life, sometimes even the small ones, determine the path they will end on.
(He looks just like Glenn.:)
Joseph R. Dover
The son of John Dover and Hannah Nixon was born in Keswick, Cumberland, England, Oct. 11, 1823.  He was baptized into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day  Saints in 1847 at Newcastle, England, Elder Francis Laidlaw officiating, and in 1850 went to Australia where he remained until 1871, when he came to Utah, arriving here July 19.

His first work was on the Temple, where he remained until its completion, acting for some time as foreman.  He built the first gasworks in Utah, under President Young, then the paper mill in Big Cottowood, and later the marble works in City Creek, under the supervision of President John Taylor.  He then went to Oregon, where he superintended the building of the locks at the Cascades, remaining there for a period of seven years.  The deceased leaves a wife and eight children; also 10 grandchildren, four great-grand-children and many friends to mourn his loss.  
He died as ha had lived, a faithful Latter-day Saint.

We used to pull taffy every 24th, but my new favorite way to celebrate the 24th is with 
Caramel Pudding Cake.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Two times today they were too quiet.

The first time I thought they were all asleep.
It was first thing in the morning.
When I came out from my room I saw all their beds empty and it was quiet.
My search ended in the basement where they were
creating with Legos.

The second time I decided to check on them due to quiet,
I found this.
The Tabasco Challenge.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Make It Monday - Friendship Bracelets

The boys are wanting to make more money.
The need caused them to start making things that they thought they could sell.
It started with our old stand-by of Pebble Pets and morphed into friendship bracelets.

Then we said good-bye to Warrick's cast.
Hopefully for good.

He was telling then nurse how boring it was to have a cast.
I was thinking how boring it was to have to pay for a cast.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Re-Entry After Vacation

We spent the week in Aspen Grove.  
It is the most relaxing vacation I have ever spent with a family of four kids.
EVERYONE came back feeling refreshed - even Glenn and I.
I cannot recommend this place enough.
It was a break from my regular schedule, from cleaning, from cooking and from the worries that plague a mother's mind about this child, that project, etc.
Everything was put on hold.
I stopped thinking about life and just enjoyed the moment.
I'll post more about the vacation later.

Right now I'm going to talk about re-entry into the real world.
I felt like I traveled in time.
You know in the movies when they travel in time it seems, to them, like they are gone for years, but when they get back it was only minutes.
I don't feel like we were gone for years, but I feel like we experienced so much and connected so much with each other as well as ourselves that when we came back, everything seemed to be going on just like the moment we left - though we were slightly different.

Anyway, to start to think about grocery shopping, laundry, cleaning, chores, lessons, and such when I came home, was hard.

We took the Friday night to veg and watched movies with pizza.

On Saturday Christian was in a swim meet.
He got 4th.
I was proud of him.

Glenn and I went on a lunch date to Jason's Deli (I really like it there.) and
then we all went to the Lincoln Beach.
One parent watched as three kids played in the water and the other parent took one kid exploring on the four wheeler.

I've never driven a truck before, but it turns out that I love it.
We never pictured ourselves as truck people,
but, well, we are.

I'm chuckling to myself at Glenn's face, or rather his expression.  That's what I call the focus of a true truck driver.
The lake is shallow for a long ways until suddenly it drops down a couple of feet.  
Stafford found that out the hard way.
He was pretty sure he about died.
He doesn't understand that the water has to actually go over your head for it to be a problem.

The lake wrapped around the mountain that was full of trails.  
When we got to the top of a small peak we could see the moon on one side and the sun on the other and the lake all around.

My favorite part was riding with the boys.
For some reason they just start talking.
I enjoy hearing their thoughts and having no distractions.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Take a Trip Tuesday - Sliding Rock

A fun place to go!
Jared G., Porter and Christian
Me, LeAnn, Suzy, Dorothy
Just a short (hot) hike on paved road.
(I would recommend strollers for moms with little kids.)
Small pools that Warrick named "cold tubs".
And waterfalls that double as slides.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Traditions

Here is how it goes every year.
We start in my hometown and watch a parade that looks the same every year.
This year I chatted with Fawn and Chelsea (Chelsea introduced me to my husband way back when.) and also Juliann.
Juliann and I were best friends during our middle school years.
She was a girl that could make any thing seem fun.
She was smart, creative and talented and one of the funniest people I know.
It has probably been a decade since I last saw her - maybe even closer to two decades.
I kept fighting the urge to apologize to her dad who was standing close by.
I'm sure his blood pressure skyrocketed a few times on our accounts.
We were always up to something - always.
So I'll say it now, "Sorry Joe."

Then we eat lunch and meet my family at a park in an even smaller town than the small town we start in.
The next town is one with about 600 people living there.
The afternoon is filled with races, egg tosses, water balloon throws, watermelon eating contests, and tug of wars.
For the past couple of years Finley (Stafford's daughter) and I have paired up for the Mother Daughter Race.
This year Tayia (Paul's daughter) joined us.
We did pretty well.
Next year I'm going to email them training plans for the 8 weeks prior to the race.
On race day I think we will warm up with high knees and stretching.
That just might be what we need to take home the 50 cent piece you get if you win.
Win at all cost girls!
(There were two heats in the father and sons races.  Glenn ran the first one with Porter and the second with Warrick and won both, but I didn't take any pictures because I was focused on myself at that point. :)

Now to the water melon eating contest.
Check out Jade (4) who is next to Stafford.  
She usually places quite well in the watermelon contest.  
You can see her focus. 
She looks like she's going to puke,
but keeps going anyway.
That is the attitude of a champion.
Go Jade!

When the fun is done there, 
we move over to my sister-in-laws parents' house.
It is a darling farm house with a wrap around porch
and shade from trees that are older than me.
(I always wonder the stories old trees could tell if they could talk.  I'm sure they have heard many a story and seen many interesting encounters.)
Cherie's dad, Paul cooks us hamburgers and hot dogs
that go so well with Cherie's frog eyed salad and Janie's potato salad.
This year we had a guest show up that stole the show.
Meet a wandering dog named "Mary".
Christian named it.
I told him he had to change the name since someone at that party was named Mary.
At first the kids tried to get it to leave and then they started feeding it.
Then we head south to my brother Paul's house.
Another surprise event happened this year.
Just as we were getting set up for the "Street of Fire",
there was a huge downpour.
Just as it was getting dark it stopped raining and the explosions began.