Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sunscreen is your friend...


Well folks, I finally learned my lesson (at least for this summer) and used ample sunscreen, and aside from Q - I think we all came home unscathed - we spent the day on the reservoir with the sea-doos (not related to scooby or scrappy) and fully enjoyed the event.  You may recognize Dave here - we selfishly invited along our neighbors because it is much more fun with more adults to keep an eye on kids while playing in the water.  Some enjoyed feeding the winged scavengers on the beach...
Some (myself included) enjoyed the speed and power of the machines... 
Some enjoyed the water-fights (did we need to get wetter?)
and some just enjoyed the many snacks that were consumed on shore!  All in all it was a fun day that made me once again regret that it got too cold last October for a family event of equally wet proportions.  Maybe next time J .  

Now I just need to catch up on laundry tomorrow and I will feel like it was a fun week!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Late Nights and Lasagna

okay - I have been swamped with family reunion stuff for the past few days - and here I'm not even going to give you pictures... imagine my girls looking as cute as can be despite the fact that M kept pulling out her hair bands after I'd gone to the trouble of doing a cute hair-do that matched her little Eiffel Tower shirt.  

Saturday - I frankly don't remember anything that far back...  I'm sure I cleaned the house, and I vaguely remember a teenager arriving back from scout camp and refusing to pitch in :(

Sunday - expecting early company I didn't sleep well...  and the sleep I went without would have come in handy later.   Company didn't arrive until much later that day after having a little wildlife experience (stupid deer should really learn not to jump in front of cars...) - luckily everyone is okay, although the car has seen much better days!

Monday - The time-share condos didn't allow check-in until the afternoon so my home was the unofficial welcome center for about 20 of the 80 reunion attendees...  Haven was so worried that I would make her clean her room again by herself after all of the insanity - and really I'll help her, as soon as I finish this!  Then eating dinner with relatives I hardly ever see, watching a video and trying to smile for a picture...  and playing cards.

Tuesday - we got back to the reunion around noon - sometimes it's good to live nearby... and swam, and swam - until I had to help get dinner together and served - which in hindsight I'm sure I didn't do a very good job of helping with - but my kids got served and I ate something - and then we sang songs and did Karaoke (no, I didn't sing anything) and played cards...  but not nearly as long as the night before.

Wednesday -the kids swam with an uncle and aunt - I couldn't handle anymore sun and chlorine -  there was a free condo so after the dinner and songs, and family meeting, we stayed at the condo... which allowed me to hang out with my grandma, mom, a cousin, sister, uncle, son, etc... playing cards - just 'til midnight this time :)

Thursday - oh yeah, that's today - everyone had to be out of there to attend my cousins' sealing in Manti - and so during the morning I went from Condo to Condo and picked up my outdoor chairs, leftovers, coolers etc...  the car was so full that 3 kids had to jump over the seats and a cooler in order to buckle in for the trip home...  and we got home just in time to have my mom drop by and trade a few mis-packed items and my uncle to call and meet me at the Albertson's nearest the exit to pass on the leftover lasagnas - which have already made their way to other families who I hope will fully enjoy what the immense Bugg family could not consume (and trust me... we like our food)

Currently - I am killing time that I don't have because what I should really be doing is straightening up and putting the house back in order - we have company arriving - they're spending the day at Bryce Canyon but are crashing here tonight...  it will be good to have a last dose of family since I realized after everyone left that it's kind of a bummer to be the one so far away from family...  

Friday, June 20, 2008

Missing Remotes...

Believe it or not, the remote in our house had never previously gone missing for more than 30 minutes - and so when it disappeared for a week, then a month... I was considering ordering a replacement and hoping for the best...  after all, if it hadn't been seen in that long - it was never going to turn up right?  I was really hoping to find it before Father's Day and gift it to Hubby since he was the one most distraught by its absence... but no such luck.
Replacements are available - running between $16 and $40 - and I was planning to post an order today...  

Well, as much as I wanted to sleep in this morning - I was rudely awakened by Po running in and shouting that he'd found the remote... I quickly put aside the annoyance because the impossibility of it all blew me away.  Yes, the remote had been tucked in the storage compartment of a little folding duo chair thingamabob and had been there for a month - the funny part being that it's been lost there before so we should have known to look - but that chair isn't even kept in the TV room anymore.  Dad was so excited he paid the boy $3... of course, he's still angling for a pick from the prize box as well...

Now I have hope for my ring... which disappeared around the same time - dang, I was hoping they were stuck together at least!

Monday, June 16, 2008

GUEST POST! - The man of the house...

The brothers camp, which some refer to as  the men to boys camp, took place June 12-14 this year at the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park.  Those not able to attend were Bryon, Trent and Russell.  This was the first year that we had a basecamp and didn't back-pack in.  Our camp was conveniently 5 feet from the road and the bathrooms were clean and had superflush toilets.  Dev didn't have to hold it the whole 3 days!!  Car camping allowed us to have better meals with real meat and eggs and pancakes even.  The first night we took a little hike at dusk and saw the sunset  and threw rocks into little holes in the sandstone.  Then we threw big rocks into pools of water 30 feet below.  Then we realized we weren't at all different from hyper Deacons.  Der started it all.

After a cool night, we had a good  breakfast and set out for Chesler Park, in the middle of the needle formations.  It was supposed to be 10 miles round trip.  We missed a fork in the trail and found a off-duty ranger volunteer and swallowed our pride as we looked at her map.  She gave us directions and after lunch we got to our destination.  I had heard of a joint in the rock a little bit further on and spurred the lads on for more adventure.  I found out later none were too happy to be pushed further.  But they did think the joint was cool-- it was about 200 yards of shoulder width slot canyon.  We ate lunch down there in the shade.  Well, after cooling our feet and eating, we set off back to camp.  The heat wasn't too bad, but there was no shade and we were beginning to run out of water.  Der, Devin, and Leon set pretty good paces of more than 3 miles an hour.  When I saw a glimpse of our camp finally, I started running- desperate for a drink of warm water.  All in all, we hiked 16 miles instead of 10 and climbed several Anasazi welded ladders, went over steep passes and scrambled up lots of steep sandstone.  This wasn't no ADA accessible park.  Dad was kind of glad he stayed at camp reading and relaxing.  The next day, we packed up and those that had bikes went on a trail near Moab that had some of the famous slickrock features.  We lucked out with cooler weather, had great food and good camaraderie.  It was all worth the poor sleep, sunburns,  and sore muscles  we got in the process.

And now back to our regular mouthpiece:  That lovely breakfast would satisfy even the most picky taste buds... too bad you can't smell the cranberry/orange muffins that were surprisingly yummy even though they were fat free - yeah, it was a father's day breakfast, but I wanted some too...  It seemed appropriate after the camping weekend that all utensils and dishes should be disposable - continuing the theme through to the packaged condiments which for some reason seem to live in our refrigerator until we finally decide to toss them months later (they were all tossed yesterday).  The one person who was less than pleased with the lovely spread would have been dear M...   
Apparently a special breakfast isn't special without Toaster Strudel - so we had to make two (one for dad - one for her) and deliver it with a happy face... hmmm, someone forgot their happy face.  
We won't admit to the rest of father's day - most of it was taken up by stake conference anyway - and if Q ever tries to tell anyone that I slept through the entire day leaving him to his own devices I'll just point out that I did wake up and compliment him one his wonderfully prepared steak dinner!

Had to throw that in - there's the happy face!  This was our FHE for the day - Rice Krispie sculpturing... Q outdid everyone with his edible shark, and my duck attempt looked decidedly like a decoy...  oh well, they all ended up looking about the same after the eating frenzy began!

The original plan for FHE tonight was fishing - but we figured it was too hot for fish to be swimming near the boiling surface - so we opted for something the didn't require leaving the house (unless you count the quick trip to Albertson's for marshmallows and Crisped Rice Cereal)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

While You Were Out...

It's amazing how little can get done around the house in a 72 hour period... especially when the man of the house is out galavanting with his brothers.  I made sure to get in a few pampering hours prior to his departure though - I owed a friend a pedicure for her birthday, so we went off to enjoy the newest beauty college (there's 4 here now) and see what they could do for us...  

Next year, when those boys are off galavanting, I propose everyone comes down here right before they take off, or when they return - and we'll make a spa day of it... this place was quite nice, they even stamped little stars on our dark blue toes for the upcoming holiday season... of course, it's not too likely the polish will last that long with the kind of life I lead, but I have photographic proof that they looked stunning for at least the 2 hours of pedicure... that's right folks, a two hour pedicure...  they brought us water (diet coke was offered, but the incredibly opinionated aesthetician and I convinced my fellow pamperees that we were trying to be healthy)

On Thursday - with no man to please - I spent the day working on the scrapbook - ordered in a pizza for lunch and basically just did nothing the whole day except let the kids run roughshod over the house and enjoy themselves...  By the evening this guilt was eating me alive and I did help them make some sandwiches and we invited H's friend over for their very first "late night"...    These two little 6 year olds were up until after 11:00 and fully enjoyed themselves watching Enchanted, eating popcorn, and playing SingStar (a karaoke game).

The next day - despite being dog tired - I had to run around like a chicken with my head cut off to find a bunch of similarly hued green shirts for an upcoming reunion (my side of the family... don't worry that you're missing something)  I also let the guilt get to me and cleaned the house - realizing happily that quickie meals have the added advantage of not leaving behind lots of dishes!  Of course, not letting the real life responsibilities bog me down too long, I invited a friend over to finish up the scrapbook chore that we'd begun the day before - so for the 7-11pm hours I did that - then had to run and buy milk before the kids woke up (T was up and actively babysitting, I didn't just leave them to the wolves!)  I learned something interesting though - as we all tried to check out at midnight - alcohol purchases cannot go through after 12:00 at Albertsons - the checker kind of laughed at me when that shocked me - like I was supposed to know that somehow...  and I wasn't sure exactly if I was enabling someone else's bad habit by letting the guy with the case of Heineken behind me go ahead in order to be done by midnight.  Honestly - I felt really stupid because I initially indicated that he should go ahead, but then had to wonder if Heineken was actually alcohol - or just one of those mixers... obviously I am lacking some knowledge here... but I will be just fine without it!  When I returned home at 12:15 I finished up the lovely card that we made for Father's Day (because aside from T, the kids had been no help at all)

So... this morning at 3:30 (I also read and spent some quality time scratching my ever so itchy back, oh - and I think I checked some of the Sisters blogs) I finally got into bed...  with M - since she thinks Dad's pillow will be lonely without her.

Unfortunately, I am now dead on my feet and preparing to go and buy church pants for T since he is quickly outgrowing his...  

Will those camping men really come home and expect to be pampered for Father's Day...  or did the trip count as a gift?  Too bad our stake conference is this weekend - not much chance for us to have a quiet breakfast in bed!


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Jumpin' for Joy

Ever since the new business "Jumpin' Jacks" opened near our house a few months back we have been putting the kids off...  apparently many friends have raved about it (only one said it was a bust) and in this past week both H and T went with friends and returned with good reviews.  P has had a free pass since April that he's been dying to use and I picked up a $2 off coupon in early May thinking that I certainly didn't want to pay $8 per child... (yikes - for that I want a roller coaster!)  
Anyway - we finally broke down and decided that it would be an acceptable family home evening event for us...

M had the most fun (well, maybe) and was all smiles - all night, as long as you don't count the time that Dad's helping hands actually made her fall and be trapped between the blow up castle and the inflatable wall of the bouncy toy - or the time when Haven was riding the inflatable dragon that she was attempting to slay with her karate kicks and the dragon fought back... all in all, two teary moments in two hours was pretty good for her.

H, having been before, was ready for fun and took off like a shot - she sustained a few slide burns but doesn't seem to care much - it was almost impossible to keep up with her, we saw her now and then when she was eager to show M something cool.
 
P & W were not disappointed as the place lived up to their expectations - P took one break to play in the little kid area - where his vehicle became an instant chick magnet once he sat down... ooh, an older man...

P, W & T spent a good portion of the night racing in and out of the T-rex guarded obstacle course seeing who could get through their side fastest...  and when Q wasn't busy catching up on his reading....  he was timing them.  They also seemed to come up with creative ways to use the inflatables that weren't intended... 
like laying on the floppy side and launching each other back into the ride...  

To be honest, this is not what he was reading... but it was just sitting there by him and it seemed funnier than the Sports section - I didn't let him see the cover before snapping the picture.

All in all, it was a good family night - especially after returning home with very tired kids, they barely finished M's carefully selected ice cream treats before the youngest 3 fell into bed!  Was that worth $24???  Hmmm... maybe once a year, but we're not buying a summer pass or anything!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

RHINO RIDING

I thought that I would give H at least a moments pause when I told her that we were going out to the sand dunes to ride a rhino...  somehow my street wise daughter knew immediately that I was referring to a vehicle and not a wild rampaging beast.  Whether this is a reflection on her being over-exposed to extreme sports or under-exposed to wildlife education has yet to be determined.

The one we rented was actually a 6 seater (or 7 if you squish two girls together in the back seat) - and actually was not a "rhino" - it was a ranger, but since it was the same idea and "rhino riding" was a more attention grabbing blog itle, that's what we're calling it.

The first fun of the day was actually before we left home - W climbed up into the driver's seat and began reading the warning label out loud (missing the big NEVER at the beginning) "Use alcohol or drugs before or during operation of this vehicle...  allow children under 5 to ride... allow more than 5 passengers...  Go faster than the conditions or your skill permits...  Go up hills steeper than 15 degrees...  Operate this vehicle if you are under the age of 16"  He was confused for a few seconds while he considered a pre-teen drunken idiot careening out of control up the side of a pyramid with a load of toddlers.

The next big fun moment was about 15 minutes into the ride when we had amazing made it up to the top of a small rise only to realize that the down side was steeper than we would probably enjoy, and the sand was just soft enough there that the wheel sank in quite quickly when we tried to reverse.  After a few minutes of attempting to dig out the vehicle we were wishing that we had tossed in the shovel and pail that had come free with purchase of Jell-O - or maybe the preschool carpet squares because we were going nowhere fast.  To our extreme relief, up the hill come a crowd of rough looking biker types who were probably amused at our plight and our misguided efforts.  The trick you see (if you ever find yourself in this situation you will be glad you read this) is to rock the vehicle slightly and encourage more sand to go under the tires - in less than 4 minutes we were free to continue driving around - which we did for a little while before stopping for lunch.

Lunch - our location was where "sandwiches" got their name - and we had to constantly remind Po that running around and playing upwind of the cooler was causing a bit of a problem for the rest of us - both girls ended up tossing their jell-O in the garbage because of its high grit content.

Driving lessons finished out the day as Q decided to allow each of the children a chance behind the wheel... (how many "never" rules have we broken now)  They all did quite well - especially those who couldn't touch the gas pedal.  Speaking of the gas pedal - I did my turn at driving and can I just mention that "pedal to the metal" has no bite behind it when your legs are short and the seats are not adjustable!  

We then returned the beastie to its proper owners, and since the kids had all read enough to earn an ice cream cone we went to Arctic Circle for dinner - where we insisted they finish consuming their deep fried starches and processed fats before being rewarded with their dairy related sugars.  Being the health conscious individual I am I opted to wait and eat a salad at home, but did my fair share of helping polish off the fries to the degree that I didn't need a salad at home anymore.

And that folks, was our Saturday in a nutshell - as long as you don't want to hear about the service project that was somehow avoided due to a missed phone call... 

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

But Mom... what can I Doooooooo?


Okay, so my kids keep asking what they can do (since video games are restricted to certain hours)... so I posted this list:

Copy page 513 of the Dictionary (or something else) in your very best handwriting * Write a poem about boredom, or about anything else that strikes you * Have a tea party with the girls * Milk the goat (if you can find one) * Alphabetize your bookshelf (by author) * Find a new recipe you want Mom to try out * Research new books coming out that you might want to read * Find 5 things to give to D.I. * Read * Work on an Art Project * Find the Remote Control!!! * Polish the Silverware * Practice your hula hoop skills * Board Games (if you want Mom to play, pick Boggle... or even Scrabble) * Write a Song * Origami * Sharpen all the Pencils in the house * Play word games with M * Clip your nails * Clean out the Junk Drawer in the kitchen * Memorize an Article of Faith * Plan a crazy family vacation (destinations don’t necessarily have to exist) * Mix up a batch of Jell-O to go with dinner * Write the great next American Novel - find your main characters name in the phone book * Wash your sheets (you know they need it) * Organize the games * Read a book to M * Pick a Scouting Goal to Work on... and work on it * Yoga * Puzzles *

Any additions?
Personally, I'm just hoping that page 513 of the dictionary doesn't have any inappropriate words on it!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Gourmet Sandwiches

I vaguely remember T eating the occasional peanut butter and cheese sandwich, and W has been known to eat tuna on crackers with the addition of a marshmallow... all of these I find disgusting.  P and H have definitely had their share of things that they have been willing to try (tuna and peanut butter anyone?) but M put all adventurous children to shame yesterday when she requested a peanut butter, ham, cheese, and jelly sandwich.  Her Dad was the one who made it for her as Mom may have strongly suggested a compromise.  
She did eat it... well 1/2 of it at least - and for M, that's pretty typical even if the contents are of the more normal and edible variety.  I'm hoping this will be a one time request as it looked fairly difficult to spread peanut butter on top of ham - and yes, she did care about what in order they were layered.

Now, don't get me wrong, I enjoy adventurous eaters (I like my carrots dipped in peanut butter) - but why is it that the same children who will eat fries dipped in honey and ice cream also refuse to try the chicken I made for dinner simply because it has visible specks of spices ("what is this green stuff all over?  I don't like this mom...")  Perhaps the answer is to just put piles of whatever is in the fridge on the table for dinner and let them create their own special blend...  even if it does cause me to lose my appetite :)  A radical new diet technique - you're allowed to eat whatever you want as long as you're willing to put it all together in one bite...  it could work!

So how about you, what are the weirdest concoctions that your kids (or you) eat?