Yawlin text to Huh:  “Earthquake! I broke my leg.”

Hub text to Huh:  “Earthquake! Me and the dog are fine under my desk. Your mom is upstairs naked and screaming.”

My text to Huh:  “Earthquake! Hub and I are at home.  Hub and Max are both safe under his desk. I stubbed my toe.”

Huh text to me:  “Hub mentioned you were naked mom.”

Huh text to me:  “And screaming.”

My text to Huh:  “Well…ya know…”

Squid text to Huh:  “AAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!! I got my leg broken by a pissed off 40 pound swan after a fallen tree crushed its crib!!”

Mack text to Huh:  “Earthquake. I’m fine. In an outhouse in the woods.”

Shroom text to Huh: “Earthquake. I’m at school. I tore some ligaments in my shoulder but I can still walk.”

Momo text to Huh: “At school. I’m okay.”

My text to Huh:  “K, what you are supposed to do now is send me a text letting me know the status of everyone you have heard from.”

Huh text to me:  Yawlin and Squid both suffered broken legs. Squid’s leg got broken by a pissed off swan. Shroom has torn ligaments in his shoulder and can still walk (why would an injured shoulder make it so he can’t walk?).  Mack is okay in an outhouse in the woods.”

Hoob text to Huh: “Earthquake.  Actually, I died.”

Huh text to me:  “And Hoob just text me saying, ‘Actually, I died.’ So there you go.  Have not heard from Juju.”

My text to Huh:  “OK.  Maybe we assume Juju died??  Did you hear from Momo?”

Huh text to me:  “Yes. She is at school and okay.”

Juju text to Huh: “Earthquake. I died, but then I got better.”

Hut text to me: “Juju died, but then she got better.”

And so went our very first family emergency drill.  Our state held a statewide “Shake-out” a week and a half ago to see how prepared we all would be if the “big one” hit.  Because I had read that it is good to have a contact person out-of-state to contact in case land lines get tied up in an emergency, we chose Huh to be our contact person since she goes to school out-of-state.  We also chose to text her rather than call her because I also read that sometimes cell towers get jammed with all the emergency calls coming in but that texts sometimes can get through easier.  The shake-out was set for 10:15 a.m. on April 17.  Schools, places of work, churches, emergency services personnel all participated.  We instructed our kids that as soon as the drill started at their school it was time to text Huh.  They could choose to make up an injury if they wanted.  As you can see from the above text exchanges, our family members personalities shone through loud and clear in their texts.

There are two purposes to this post.  The first, and most important one, is to get families thinking about emergency preparedness and perhaps about having a similar drill.  It IS wise to have a contact person out-of-state who can get details from your family members if you all happen to be away from home in various places when a natural disaster hits.

The second purpose is to announce that I have a break from school until June 5 and so I might be able to visit Blogland a few times during my break.


There are carpets to scrub.  And windows to clean.  And baseboards to wipe down.  There is a youth conference to plan for my calling in my church.  There is a girls camp to plan for my calling in my church.  There is laundry to do…daily.  Dishes.  The dreaded grocery shopping.  And the typical mommy and wifey things I do each day.

So, maybe I will be able to post a few times during my break.


I’ve missed Blogland.





Just one of those random activities you do when you read about it in the newspaper.

And our family likes random!

Our 4th of July weekend included SNOW…

The snow was a short 20 minute drive from the cabin.  Lest you think the snow was the only sight at the cabin…

It was a great weekend!  And we made sure to remember the reason for the holiday…

We are heading to the cabin for the holiday weekend.  Here is what I hope to accomplish:


*Games with my family

*Get some great pictures

*Work on the second paper that is due for my Language Acquisitions class


*Take a walk with my husband, hand in hand

*Ride the atvs

*Enjoy the stars

*Make s’mores

*Make dutch oven peach cobbler

*Roast hot dogs

*Snooze in the hammock

*Introduce my parents to the tv show Psych (we got my dad the first two seasons for Father’s Day)

*Did I mention RELAX?

*Picnic lunch in the woods

*Read (school assignments and for relaxation)

*See the fireworks in Evanston, WY

*Enjoy an ice cream cone while watching the fireworks

*Oh, and I can’t forget–RELAX!

Enjoy your Independence Day!

The rush to get our St. George condo ready for renters next weekend is finally over.  It has taken a great deal of my time, hence the reason for not blogging, but it was worth the time to get it finished quickly rather than dragging it out over a period of months.  We used the Memorial Weekend to finish it up and now we can relax…sort of.  There is the matter of the ancient, cranky, and ugly washing machine that decided to quit working over the weekend, and the matter of a deck that needs to be refinished, and Hub’s desire to two-tone the walls, but all of those things will come in time (with the washing machine being the first priority, of course).

Next week begins my graduate studies.  It also holds Mack’s high school graduation.  She will leave two days later on her senior trip to Lake Powell and Yawlin will leave at the same time to spend 2 1/2 weeks with his dad.  Huh, Shroom, and Juju will be working and Hoob plans to look for a job.  Yes, life is coming at us fast!

I end the post with a few pics of our St. George condo.  It is only a one bedroom so we will market to couples instead of to families like we do with our Moab condo.   It is small, but comfy, and will be the perfect getaway for Hub and I if we ever choose.  😉

The bedroom








Living Room


One end of deck


Other end of deck


View from deck


Family pool


Adult pool




We were running out of time.  Hub had been expressing his desire to see the ice castles in Midway for about a month, ever since he read an article in the newspaper about them.  Another article, and Hub made an executive decision that this family was going to drive to Midway for Family Home Evening this week because it is the final week for the display.  So, even though the drive is two hours round-trip, and even though it is cold, and even though the kids had homework, we went.

And everyone decided it was worth it.

Yes, we did have hot chocolate afterwards.

****Ice Castles were made using pvc pipe and sprinkler heads.

Because it was a three-day weekend, and because we needed to make some necessary furniture decisions on the condo we are purchasing in St. George, Utah, we spent this past weekend in St. George. 

St. George is typically about 15 – 20 degrees warmer than where we live.  The first day we were there the temps were in the 50’s and gradually warmed up from there.  In other words, it was a nice break from winter for us, and for my brother and his family who were also visiting St. George.  Even though the main focus of the weekend was to decide on furniture, we also made time to relax.  We went to dinner with my brother and his family, visited a park, went to church, and visited Snow canyon. 

Here are a few images from our weekend away from winter…

Maybe he forgot to pay his bill at Pirate Island?

Heading towards Jenny's Canyon

Entering Jenny's Canyon (a small slot canyon)

Looking up from Jenny's Canyon

Yawlin jumps the water at Petrified Sand Dunes

Juju chickens out on jumping the water at Petrified Sand Dunes

Hoob catches my reflection in the water

More reflections

And some scenery…

On our last day there Hoob and Yawlin went swimming in the outdoor pool at the clubhouse…in January!  Yes, it was hard to come back to winter…

…it was a break that we don’t take for granted.

Reasons I haven’t posted for a while (in random order)

*Fall recess.

*A desire to spend time with my kids during fall recess, instead of sitting in front of a computer.

*A three -day trip to St. George, Utah to check out a condo we want to buy.  Unlike my dream from an earlier post, we drove to St. George.  No commuter flights for us!

*Enjoyed the summer-like weather in St. George.  Who wants to be in front of a computer when there are palm trees around?

*The cream being used to treat my small patch of skin cancer has side-effects.

*My skin became inflamed, sore and unsightly.

*Sometimes the pain made me nauseated.

*Another side-effect–sore back.

*Another side-effect–feeling tired.

*Feeling tired a lot.

*Spent a couple of days in bed.

*Husband, kids, and parents urged me to see my doctor, because the nastiness of my inflamed skin worried them.

*I finally listened and saw my doctor.

*Here’s news…the medicine is doing what it is supposed to do.  The skin is supposed to look and feel that way.


*The doctor let me cut the treatment short one week and begin applying “healing cream.”  This gives me a little relief during the day.  I am functioning again.

*My calling as Young Women President keeps me busy.

*Housework keeps me busy.

*Kids keep me busy.

*No amazingly exciting topics to write about.

*Or, maybe, I’ve been too busy to think about amazingly exciting topics to write about.

Here’s to hoping I can get back to a regular blogging schedule soon…

I’ve noticed that as my kids get older it is harder and harder to get one-on-one time with them.  So I have learned to grab opportunities when they come.  This past summer break had me feeling particularly guilty about the time I was able to spend with my 10-year-old son, Yawlin. 

First there was Youth Conference in June, for which I was gone from home for three days.  I got to spend those three days with Mack and Hoob and the other youth from our ward playing games, participating in team building challenges and problem solving activities, working through a ropes course, and just plain having fun.  No regrets on the time spent with two daughters–but Yawlin didn’t get to attend.

Next was an anniversary trip to St. Maarten with my wonderful husband.  We got to snorkel, lie on the beach, swim in the ocean, gather sea shells, shop, relax, and basically reconnect as a couple.  No regrets on the time spent with my husband–but kids were left at home.  (Side note–they did not mind being left at home at all and, in fact, have told Hub and I to take a trip ANYTIME.  They thought it quite fun to experience a little bit of independence)

Next Yawlin and Hoob were invited to spend a week at their grandparents’ cabin in the Uinta Mountains.  They got to ride atvs, go fishing, hike some trails, picnic, and play card games with Grandma.  No regrets on letting my son and daughter get some individual time with Grandma and Grandpa–but I didn’t get to go, and it was more time away from my boy.  (During this time I was able to spend time with the other kids, Huh, Mack, Shroom, and Juju)

Next was a five day Girls Camp with our Stake.  Once again it was time spent with Mack and Hoob.  We hiked, canoed, made s’mores, did crafts, made up a silly skit, took silly pictures, and did all the usual “camp stuff.”  No regrets on the time spent with my two daughters and the other young women in our ward–but Yawlin was at home.

I mentioned often to others about my worry and guilt about not spending much time with my son over the summer.  I’m sure it was my over-active “mom-guilt gland” that was pricking my conscience.  It’s not like my son never saw me.  There were days between all these major happenings that I was at home and able to be with my son, but it was never an activity for just the two of us.

Then opportunity knocked.  Twice!  I happened upon a coupon for 50% off of a two hour guided river trip.  I asked Yawlin if he would like an early birthday present and showed him the coupon.  I told him it would be the perfect chance for the two of us to spend some time together.  Yawlin jumped at the chance.  I allowed him to invite two friends because, really, an adventure like that needs to be shared with friends!  We packed picnic lunches and picnicked near the river before our rafting trip.  I made sure to bring my camera and got some pretty good pictures of the three boys enjoying their adventure.  (Side note:  These were definitely some “city kids.”  When we passed a bunch of horses grazing on the bank of the river one of the boys called them “horse cows.”  It made me chuckle.)

Then, during the same week, I got a call from Yawlin’s scout leader inviting me to join the troop on their hike to Timpanogos Cave because he had an extra ticket.  Yes!  Another chance to spend time with my boy!  I took my camera along again and got some great pictures of the boys hiking up the mountain and again in the cave.  Yawlin surprised me with his stamina on the hike.  When all of the other boys were ready for a rest, he wanted to keep going.  The cave is amazing–a real treasure for our state. 

A river trip and a hike to a cave were the perfect ending to a very busy summer.  And it helped calm my over-active mom-guilt gland.

Trying to do my best in preserving anonymity, here are a few photos from our adventures:

Three boys checking out the river after our picnic lunch



Getting into the raft

Beaver Dam

Horse Cows!

Yawlin adds to the excitement by hanging off the raft

Beginning the hike to the cave

Checking out the view

One view from the trail

Cave entrance waaaay up there!

Working their way up

Checking out the view near the top

Going into the cave

The "heart" of the cave

Other formations in the cave

View outside the cave

Heading back down

Though it was the last week of summer break and school shopping needed to be done, along with a million other things, the time spent with my boy was worth it!

There will be the typical camp activities such as campfires, making s’mores, and hiking.  There will be a day that we spend on a ropes challenge course and a day that we spend canoeing on the lake.  Every morning and evening there will be a flag ceremony as well as daily prayer and scripture study.

Yes, it is time for Girls Camp.  As the Young Womens President of my ward (congregation) I get to accompany 24 girls ages 12 thru 18 and 7 other adult leaders as we attend our annual Stake girls camp for five days.  Our Stake consists of 9 wards altogether, all of which will be converging on Heber Valley Camp bright and early Monday morning.  This is quite an opportunity for our girls because there is a four or five year waiting list to attend Heber Valley Camp, a camp owned by our world-wide church.

Our ward has chosen a pirate theme and so plan on daily raids of the other wards as we “conquer” and look for mascots we can kidnap and hold for ransom.  We have many little pirate flags that we will leave behind to show that we have conquered.  Each girl is choosing a pirate name that we are heat-pressing on to their individual bandana (it helps that my husband and I own t-shirt making equipment). 

The girls have gotten quite creative in their pirate names.   At camp with me will be a pirate named Pit of the penguin and one named Dirty Cho Cho Watson, there will be Zoogy o’Shark and Long Blackbeard Jack.  And we mustn’t forget Scarlet Pale Face, Pinky Winky, and Captain Snickerdoodle.

My bedroom has been the storage area for pirate banners, snack foods, craft items, and a stuffed parrot that we plan on naming up at camp.  Finally, on Monday morning Hub will be able to reclaim our bedroom as a bedroom instead of a storage facility as I haul all of the stuff to camp.   Today and tomorrow I help finalize the purchasing of food and other camp related booty.  Sunday evening 24 girls will bring all of their sleeping bags and suitcases to my house to be loaded onto trucks and then at 7:15 a.m. Monday we will all meet to drive to camp.

I consider myself lucky to be attending camp with two of my daughters, Mack and Hoob.  Camp has been a topic of conversation for quite a while in our home.  It is well-loved by us and by the other girls in the ward.  Obviously there is no internet service at camp, so blogging will be put on hold until I return sun-burned and bug-bitten and most likely dead tired.

Until then…

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