Saturday, July 28, 2012

Doing The Thing They Could Not Do

I thought I'd spare you any pictures of stinky, sweaty, overheated boys. (I thought I'd spare me, too, so I didn't take any...)

The Cycling Merit Badge is a bear.

Training requirements include two 10-mile, two 15-mile, and two 25-mile bike rides - all of this in preparation for a 50-mile ride in 8 hours or less.

Jeff, Sam and Spencer decided to tackle the challenge. With their bikes finely tuned, every day or two they completed one of the lengths. This wouldn't be so bad except it's been so hot, as in SO HOT! With temperatures in the high 90's or into the hundreds, with humidity anywhere from 60-70%, they were leaving early in the morning so it wasn't so unbearable, except it still was.

One day they came home and Spencer was done. He was overheated and spent. He couldn't do it anymore. He vowed to never get on his bike again.

Fortunately, Spencer realized he can do hard things. He got back on his bike.

The 50-miler was this morning. Today was selected because the forecast was, mercifully, cooler. The boys left at 3:30am and were even cold for part of the ride. Jeff had to stop and help Sam warm up his hands a couple of times. Most of their ride was on country roads. They got to see a meteor shower and a llama farm. They reached their halfway point earlier than expected and made it home just after 9:00am. And they were smiling. :)

They've been asleep ever since!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Saying Goodbye

We met Tiffany when she was a graduate student in our little corner of the world a few years ago. We sort of adopted her. Then she met her husband here, graduated, got married, and moved 2 hours away. 

Tiffany just got her dream job in Utah so she and Greg are moving much further away. They came by today to say goodbye. We had a delicious Thai lunch from our mutually favorite restaurant and had a great time reminiscing old times. 

We wish you the best, Tiffany and Greg! Now go out and set your new little corner of the world on fire!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Craft: Painting Shaving Cream

Sadie came up with this herself.

It started with a sign-up sheet for something like Fun With Sadie. Jeff signed up. Sadie came up with all kinds of fun crafts and activities for the two of them to do together. Tonight it was just Sadie and Jeff at home and Sadie's fun activity was to finger paint with shaving cream. But then she decided to take it one step further.

Here are the steps as she explained them to me:

     1. Put some shaving cream on a piece of wax paper.
     2. Smooth out the shaving cream.
     3. Draw a picture with your finger.
     4. With a paintbrush, very gently paint watercolors on the shaving cream.

Well done, Sadie bug! :)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Som Sabadell Flash Mob

As if I haven't posted enough videos lately...

Here's one more, a flash mob in Spain, this one a little different from other flash mobs I've seen. We loved this, especially my violin playing boys!

I've said it before, but I love flash mobs. It's as if their only purpose is to make other people happy. Brilliant!

Enjoy. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What Makes You Beautiful - The Piano Guys Version

Okay, this is so cool!! This is one of my kids' favorite songs right now and the arrangement and video don't disappoint. (We watched it 3 times in a row!) We love The Piano Guys and are always thrilled when they post a new video. Enjoy!

How Savannah Washes the Dishes

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Afternoon

I don't know how they were able to stay in this position for all the laughing!! Good times. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Birthday Girl

A big Happy Birthday to my baby girl! What would we do without our Sadie-bug? Seven years already. Sadie, you're growing up way too fast! I sure love you, baby. I hope this is your best year so far!

Sadie showing off her new birthday elephant necklace. (She LOVES elephants!)

Friday, July 6, 2012

We're Home! (My 500th Post)

500 posts! It sure sounds like a lot...until I realize I still have 9,500 left to go. :)  I guess that means I have a lot of happy things to look forward to!

Well, we made it home. We got in just before 10pm after 15 hours on the road today and 5,014 miles round trip!! That sets a new record for us. Wow!!

By the way, I've found where I want to live. We drove right through it on our way home and I wanted to stay there forever. Take a look:
Isn't it beautiful? After leaving Idaho on Thursday, we drove through Northern Wyoming before dropping down to Colorado. There must have been a good 2 hours of this scenery with gorgeous little (and big) log homes tucked right into the hillsides. We drove through an occasional town with a few stores scattered along the main street, but it was so rural and green and inviting! I'm not sure how I'd feel when all this green ends up covered in snow for months on end - and there's no college in sight which greatly reduces our job opportunities - but a girl can dream, right? I even had glimpses of Scotland as we had to wait for a huge herd of sheep to cross the road before we could continue.

I know we've driven through Wyoming several times over the years, but I don't remember seeing Wyoming like that.

I miss it. {Sigh.}

Okay. Back to reality! It's late and tomorrow will be busy. It's good to be home!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


I am so glad we decided to go to Idaho! It was fun, relaxing and beautiful. While I'm usually ready to head home after 2 weeks away, this year I'm not sure a month would have been long enough. It's been a great trip!

Some highlights from Idaho include:

Meeting Sawyer for the first time. What a cutie!

Cousins! Somehow I missed getting a picture of Benson (Sawyer's big brother), but his sisters Ana and Ruby sure brought a smile to Sadie's face! She has missed these girls!!
Ana and Sadie

Sadie, Ana and Ruby in Grandpa's '32 Chevy

Connecting with old friends. Savannah and Sam became friends with grandma and grandpa's next door neighbors last summer. While their reunion was brief, it was fun to reconnect!
Treon and Savannah

Sam learned how to drive Grandpa's '32 Chevy!
A few last minute instructions from Grandpa.

Off they go!

Rexburg! We visited one of Jeff's former colleagues, Samuel Clay, at BYU-Idaho. He showed us around and we spent a good 3+ hours on campus. We also got to see Miranda, a friend from Charleston who is currently attending BYU-I. We all enjoyed Nielsen's Frozen Custard so much at the end of our visit that we even went back for seconds!! Yum!
This is taken on a cute little porch in the middle of the beautiful gardens at BYU-I.

The Fourth of July in Menan. What fun! They have foot races for every age group along with gunny sack and wheelbarrow races and tug-of-war. We loved it all! We spent a good chunk of the day visiting the various vendors for cotton candy, corn dogs, indian tacos, snow cones and face painting. It was fun to just hang out with cousins and enjoy a small town celebration! Some of the family returned tonight for their fireworks show. Good times!
Sterling in the sack race

Beautiful summer evenings.  Between the full moon and the beautiful sunsets, the sky put on quite a show for us each evening as we sat on the deck and enjoyed the cooler temperatures. 

Jeff's parents recently received their mission call to serve in the Atlanta Georgia North Mission. They leave mid-month so it was fun to spend time with them before they go. They'll be stopping overnight in our little corner of the world on their way to Georgia so we'll get to see them again soon.

Not pictured (sadly): Boating at Ririe Reservoir. Jeff and I did some slalom skiing and Sam got up on two skis. We all took our turns on the tube and it was SO fun! With no wind and perfect temperatures, we had a great day on the water.

We're all packed up and ready to head for home. We hit the road first thing in the morning. Good night!

Sunday, July 1, 2012


We spent a week in Utah while Sam and Savannah attended Especially For Youth (EFY) at BYU. The most common phrase we heard at the end of their week was, "Best week of my life!" They both had the time of their lives and are already saving for next year.

We kept plenty busy while they were gone. Staying with my brother David and his family, they incorporated us right into their family and we had a great week. Little Libby loved Jeff and Jeff alone. She would let him hold her anytime, then tried to pretend the rest of us were invisible. Christopher (Crit for short) completely stole my heart with his big bright eyes and completely innocent trouble making skills. It swept me right back to Sterling and his tornado toddler days: Lots of independence with no concept of how that creates more problems than it solves! Ha! Jeff was able to trick him every single night into falling asleep in his arms. Little Nate has a pretty good grasp of the world and is such a pleasant kid. And Emma is a beautiful girl, very graceful with an independent streak of her own.

Some of the activities we enjoyed (and wish I took more/any pictures of) include:

  • Dropping Sam and Savannah off at BYU and exploring campus all afternoon.
  • Getting 2 new swim suits - here and here - that I LOVE! (I don't generally have a good relationship with my swimwear.)
  • Visiting Kennecott Copper Mine. (Pretty impressive!)
  • Karaoke and dress-ups in Dave's new toy room. What a fun room! They thought of everything!
  • The Splash park with cousins and meeting my newest niece, Skylar.
  • Meeting my blogging friend, Karey, for the first time. She was exactly how I thought she'd be - down to earth and genuine - and we enjoyed some yummy salmon tacos at Cafe Rio. Yum!
  • Attending Emma's dance recital.
  • Watching a movie on the fence in the backyard.
  • Visiting with one of my missionary companions, Larsen, and a family friend, Lloyd, who used to live in our little corner of the world. 
  • Visiting with "Sister Couch," a.k.a. Mindy, who served the last 6 months of her mission in our ward 5 years ago and who Sadie adores! She just happens to be my brother Steve's wife's sister. Got that? 
  • Helping the kids make candy bar cards for my mom and dad's 45th wedding anniversary.
  • A Peterson Family reunion. All my mom's sisters were there and many of my cousins and their families. I haven't seen some of them for over 15 years!
  • Skylar's baby blessing. (I didn't take a picture of her in her beautiful dress. Rats!
Cousins at the Splash Park! (Molly, Taylor, Sterling, Sadie, and Kenna)

Kennecott Copper Mine. That is one huge hole in the ground! 
The massive trucks that haul rock in the mine use these 12 foot tires. The trucks easily dwarf a school bus!

A few of our favorite people:
Savannah and Skylar




Levi and Savannah

HR (Handsome Rob)



Crit (my buddy!)



Before our trip, we didn't know if we'd be up for a visit to see Jeff's parents after 2 weeks on the road. But we're not ready to head home just yet. It's off to Idaho!