Sunday, April 29, 2012

Simple Things

Some of my favorite memories as a child are when we would get together with my Uncle Ron, Aunt Donna and Jessie and go to the park (usually Liberty Park) with some KFC (back then it was still Kentucky Fried Chicken) and have a picnic and play.  We haven't done that as much in recent years but we actually still get together and go do some of the activities that we have always done throughout my life. I'm pretty sure I spent most of my childhood at some park or another around the Salt Lake Valley.  We would also go with just our mom, Donna and Jess and spend the day playing.  I can't even think of all the sand castles that we have built in the sand on the playground.

My boys were begging to go to the park yesterday, so when Kenny got home from work we loaded up, grabbed some KFC and headed to one of our favorite parks, Murray Park. It looks much warmer in the pictures than it really was. Big surprise since it had been raining the day before and we even got a nice thick layer of snow in the mountains.  At least it wasn't cold enough to scare us off.  

We had the perfect picnic table right next to the river that runs through the park where it is skinnier and the water was moving fast.  It was such a peaceful sound to listen to while we were eating.  That was until some poor guy who was practicing his electric guitar showed up and started practicing.  Kenny is convinced that his wife or mom threw him out and told him to practice somewhere else.   It was actually really nice and the boys were so quiet while they were eating...they just wanted to get to talk, just eat.

Here is one nice thing about them being the ages that they are...we can let them go off and play and we can finish up at our pace and then enjoy the silence of some time just for us.  It still seems weird at times to not have to be there holding their hands the entire time and watching them like a hawk.  Now we mostly watch closely just to make sure they aren't being to destructive :)

We had Seth with us this weekend and so pretty soon they had the scooters out of the truck and they were off. I was impressed that they were being really good to watch for all the pedestrians out walking their dogs. No one got ran over!  Like with most things, that didn't last long and they were throwing rocks into the river. This activity came with the quick and repeated warning of "No aiming at the ducks!!"

Kelton with the huh? What was that? There are ducks here  look.

Seth looking for the perfect rock to throw

Perfect picture to show the difference between the adults and the kids.  We know it's cold and have on a jacket, the kids aren't willing to admit they are cold because it's almost May and therefore they should be able to just wear shorts and a t-shirt.

This was just pretty :)

Before long, the boys were doing what they had talked about doing the entire afternoon.  Their whole goal was to ride their scooters down the tall hills at the park.  Kenny didn't know that the boys already do this at home on some of the smaller hills here so he was quick to jump in and try to voice his objections.  I  quickly intervened to assure him that the boys do this sitting or squatting on their scooters and their fine.  If they do fall they don't really have far to fall.  They had a blast going down the hills and then hiking back up them. I remember when activities like this was fun too :)

All 3 boys at the top of one of the smaller hills, but the steepest.

Wooohoooo.....Look at Taylor go!

Seth just finishing one of his times down the hill  and Kelton waiting his turn.  At least they were safe without us telling them to wait and would just wait for each other.

We had so much fun playing and talking and just being together.  There are just times when it's those simple things that are going to be what we all remember and look back on as that fun evening when they played and rode their scooters down the hills at the park. 

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Political Fun

Most of you have seen this on Facebook but I had to add it to by blog also. I love that it is finally a political cartoon that is just fun and isn't pointing fingers or being mean, just some good old fashion fun. At least that is what I think.  My whole family was laughing so hard when we first saw this last night.

by  Mark Wallengren

Just in case this is to small, I will add the link to Facebook as well.
 Something MoreSomething More by Janet Dailey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was such a sweet read. For a change I read a book that really just focused on the characters and the story. I loved reading how each of the characters showed what their weaknesses were and as the story progressed they started to confront each of their issues and began to realize that all they really wanted was already right there in front of them. It was easy to relate with each of the characters as well and understand why they felt the way they did because I think each of us have been in that point in our lives or will at least face that challenge at some point. It is so easy to relate to Toby and his youth and seeing your whole life ahead of you, all your dreams and passions and at the same time slowly figuring it out that part of what is holding you back is your youth and inexperience.  Angie is so fun to relate to with her enthusiasm to finish a dream that her family has held onto for the past couple generations. Maybe we haven't faced the same loss as Luke but at some point in all of our lives we will face loss and need to learn how to work through that loss. It is so easy to understand Griff and his feelings of being stuck in life. It is hard when we his that stage in life and then try to face it. I just wonder how he is able to work things out with his wife when he goes home, the book doesn't get far enough to let you know that part. That is just part of who is in the book and what they are going through in life. There are some things that are left hanging and left for you to finish and for me I always hope for the best and that even though each of these characters will continue to face challenges, they will also take the knowledge and peace with them that the book ends with and take that into their future lives. Just as we can take that same knowledge into our lives and put it towards our dreams and work to make our lives better. Just like in the book, most times in our lives when we feel frustrated or stuck or scared, everything we need to work through those challenges are right there already in our lives.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

Wake Up Sounds

This morning while I was trying to pry my eyes open (which, they are still slightly closed but I didn't want to forget this story) I was listening to my normal Saturday morning sounds. I could tell that one of my boys was up and already playing video games. The dog was jumping off my bed and checking on the house and checking to see if the boy that was up would be willing to take her out anytime soon. Pretty soon, my other son woke up and I could hear him shuffle his way down the hall to join in on the video game fun.  I let them rent a different game so of course that is all that there is to life today, video game time.  At this point all was fairly normal for a Saturday morning with Kenny at work.

Before I have time to completely realize what has happened I hear this squeal from the living room and one of the boys saying "do you think it bit me?"  I knew it was Taylor but he has never been my overly dramatic squealing son.  But, here he was repeating the question of "did it bite me?" with it hitting a higher pitch each time.  Kelton, being the ever faithful, stand by your side brother is laughing and telling him to not worry about it. In my bed with my eyes still closed I asked what was going on.  Kelton told me that there was a Mosquito eater (at least that's what we call them, the big looking mosquito things) in the house.  Taylor ran down the hall to inform me that it was huge and was "flying around real aggressive like."  Honest, that is what he told me.  Did I get transported to West Virginia overnight?  I rolled my eyes under my eyelids and told them to swat it.

At this point I have to be thankful that we insist that all guns are locked in a safe.  I am so strict that I insist that even their pellet guns are locked in there with everything else.  It's a good thing.  No sooner where the words out of my mouth, both boys were in their room loading up their Nerf gun and running down the hall to open fire on the poor bug.  Really?!  What made them think that using a Nerf gun to shoot at a bug was the appropriate thing to do when I said to swat it?  After listening to the high pitch squeal return and the Nerf gun being fired repeatedly I wandered out of my room (eyes only half open at this time), grab the newspaper out of Kelton's hands and hit (or swat) the stupid thing and kill it.  Really, is it really that hard?  For crying out loud, Kelton is almost taller than me and I think his arms are longer than mine. But I was the one who had to kill a stupid bug with only half my eyesight.

Peace was quickly restored once I threw away the newspaper and now all I can think is great, I didn't get to read it before I had to use it as a weapon and there was no way I was going to pry all the dead parts of that bug off the paper so that I could skim over it.  Oh well, at least there are no holes in the walls and we all have all of our arms, legs, fingers, toes, and no one shot an eye out. Our dog was also happy because Taylor finally was willing to listen to me and take her outside.

I honestly can't wait to tell Kenny how his sons' not only squealed at the sight of a stupid bug that is harmless to them but that they were trying to shoot it, with a Nerf gun no less.  I have a feeling that my comment about embracing our inner redneck has gone a little too far.  Just a guess!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cinder and EllaCinder and Ella by Melissa Lemon

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and the twist that it put on Cinderella. I was really unsure at the beginning, but enjoyed it more and more as the story built. My only suggestion I could make regarding this story would be that the characters didn't get much time to develop, taking this one idea and breaking it into 2 or 3 books would have given them the time to develop so that anyone reading could appreciate how the Prince ended up like he was and to better understand Cinder and Ella and who they are and their talents. I truly loved the idea that we are connected to other living things within our "kingdom" (don't want to give anything away by saying what they were connected to).  It is something that I can relate to and is a part of my life. Being connected to those things around me was a feeling I had before I met my husband and his Grandma was Native American and would tell him how her tribe was connected to the wolf, I loved hearing this story and having it continue to be a part of our family. So, within this story it didn't seem far fetched at all to have their kingdom be attached to another "living" thing within their kingdom. The bond between the sisters was inspiring and so true to what my life is like, it was also true to what can happen when outside influences can bring between sisters (or siblings). Even with family relationships strained, these amazing characters stayed there by each other and cared for one another, they show us that even though life has hardships and you can allow yourself to become bitter and uncaring, it is so much more rewarding to do what you can to care for each other. I totally think this is a good read, but like I said at the beginning, I wish I could have known more about Cinder's time at the Palace and the Prince among other things.  Definitely a fun kingdom to visit!

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Monday, April 9, 2012

Easter with a BANG

When Kenny was a child, his family had a tradition that they would go into the dessert or up in the canyon and have an Easter egg hunt or go fishing and a few times they went shooting.  After talking about it, we decided that we could combine a couple of those traditions into one and got some family together to begin our own tradition of Easter egg hunting.  We had so many people come and I am so thankful to each and all of our family t hat came.

We all chipped in and brought our guns and some food for snacks and lunch. Chris was our amazing sandwich maker.  Everyone chipped in and brought targets that ranged from the traditional target sheets to bottles of colored water, plastic eggs filled with flour (so they could go "poof") and our boys even colored and decorated raw eggs to bring.  They totally exploded! It was so cool.  It was so messy :) I even donated my princess pinata from my birthday.

Most of the pictures below explain themselves, so I'm not going to add much after them except maybe a little something.  Enjoy!!

All the kido's  (Jackson, Chase, Drake, Taylor, Kelton and Steve and Rex in the background)

Becca with the .45  those are the raw decorated eggs on the table

Becca with the AR 15

Becca with the Shotgun.  She shot both shotguns and the other one took off her earring and pinched her ear when it kicked.  She was so outgoing and having fun.

Becca with the AK 47  Rex was so good at taking the time to help explain what to do, how to stand and what to expect.

Chase with his Uncle's AK 47...need I say more, what a kid!!

Chase, Chris, Kelton and Ron

Chris, Chase and Ron.   Yes, that is Chris shooting!

 I couldn't help it, I love watching Kenny shoot.  Here is a little of him shooting. He was aiming at my princess castle pinata...there was no hope for it.

Easter eggs mixed in with other targets

Jackson with his BB gun

Kelton shooting the 300 Winchester Magnum.  I'm so proud of him, that gun had a kick like a mule. He did awesome.

Kelton and Taylor with our .22's

Kelton shooting Rex's Shotgun...Rex brought special amo just for Kelton.  Let's just say it wasn't just bird shot :)  Notice my little princess castle in the background, never had a chance.

Oh my, Kenny with his AR 15, his .45 on his hip and his tat just showing.

Kenny, Taylor and Kelton

Ron and Shauna...Yep, my mom was actually shooting and had a ball!!!

Kenny again! This time with his .22.  Still makes me go pitter patter :)  That would be our 15 year old in the background.

Me and Jessie

Time to reload

Rex and his baby....AK 47

Rex with Steve's 30.06

Really, no words needed here!   Rex, Kenny, Chris, and Becca

Steve helping Drake his son.

Steve, his 30.06, sighting it in....did an amazing job and blew the bottle to bits.

Steve, his 30.06 and an audiance

Little break time before more destruction.

We all had so much fun and went through more ammo than I can even fathom.  I loved it when Kenny and Rex stood together and both shot their riffles at the same time, it was so loud and destructive.  

This was the perfect way for our family to do an Easter egg hunt.  Why just find them and pick them up when you can shoot them?  

Embrace the Redneck within!!