Wednesday, November 11, 2009


"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of readiness to die." ~G.K. Chesterton
Dedicated to all the men and women who have served in the military past or present...and in honor of those who have lost their lives protecting the freedoms that we enjoy and sometimes take for granted.
~Veterans Day

Monday, October 26, 2009


The past month or so has gone by in the blink of an eye. Usually if I have not posted it is because nothing interesting is going on...or too much is going on. In this has been too much!

This last month has been filled with hospital visits for three of Walter's family members. Now that things are beginning to settle down, I have time to think about how grateful I am for the health of my own family which is something I perhaps take for granted.

It is a reminder to make sure I am making the time for the important things, cooking proper and nutritious meals, getting the kids and myself outside for plenty of physical activity, and making time to really connect with those I love so much.

Life is is good to remember.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Washington DC Vacation

We were very excited about this trip. It was the first time I had ever flown...and my boys had never flown either so we were very excited. We had a wonderful time back east. Our favorite day was probably the day we spent at Ocean City Beach. Walter's cousins Xavier, Caroline, Nora, and Johnnie all took very good care of us while we were out there and showed us some amazing things. Our trip would not have been as great without the time they spent showing us around the area. What an incredible place!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

If All Else Fails

If All Else Fails played at a firework stand Friday night in front of Walmart in Layton. They got to play many of their favorite songs.
Austin and Matt play guitar and Sean is on bass.

Tyler sang lead on "Feeling This" For a kid who always swore he hated singing....he sure enjoyed it! It was a fun night and everyone seemed to enjoy the performance.

Water Main Bust

So I looked out my front window last week and noticed a couple of city workers turning a pole down my street. They were walking around with it.....I laughed because they looked like they were playing ring around the rosies. A few minutes later as I took my garbage outside I found out why. My street was flooding. This picture is right next to my house on the east side. I wasn't laughing anymore. It quickly filled up the gutter, and even though it was flowing down the gutter, it wasn't fast enough because it started going over the curb and into my front yard. I tried not to panic...but I did find myself a city worker pretty quick. My house is known in the neighborhood for flooding. How sad is that? True....but sad. I was told that the water main blew when the new Catholic school across the street tested their water line.

Little geysers of water came up through every crack or weak spot in the street and flowed over towards my yard. The city workers had already turned off two lines...but had not found the line that fed into this line it was still gushing. Finally, after 15 to 20 minutes of rushing water, they found the shut off valve and got it turned offIn the meantime, the water had washed so much dirt out from under the road- it started to they had to close it off and dig it up. They were afraid it had created a couple of sink holes and worried that a car might go into it. So the road was dug up, the pipe was replaced and then all was covered back up. Now it is still a dirt patch in the street. Eventually the city will repave it.....but I am not holding my breath.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Hangin With Art

So I had a chance to hang out with Art last week for a few days. I fell in love with his house while I was there. So much personality in this little house. It had 10 foot ceilings with the little windows above the doorways and the most interesting iron doorknobs. It had big windows- they almost stretched from floor to ceiling. And the light fixtures were delightful.

But my favorite part of the house was the stairs. I loved all the windows surrounding them. My dog, Saydie, loved to park herself on the stairs and look out the window.
I didn't really get a chance to take as many photos as I wanted to....I guess I will just have to go back. Lol

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Brandon!!!

My baby turned 13 last month. How in the world did that happen? It seems it was not long ago I rocked him to sleep. Fortunately for me, he still loves to cuddle up and watch movies and always loves to give me a hug and a kiss as I tuck him into bed each night.

Happy Birthday Chapa


Took a drive up over Trappers Loop today and saw this moose! It was running along a ridge. How kind he was to stop for a picture. Isn't he a beauty?

A Day With Heather

Last week my friend Heather came out to Utah from Nebraska. We spent a day going back to Whitesides Elementary visiting old friends and to see how much our kids had grown in the past year. It was so fun to see everyone again.After we left the school, we decided to take a drive up to Causey Reservoir. It is one of her favorite places and we wanted to see how much water there was because we have had such a wet year. It was absolutely beautiful up there. This top picture was taken from the dam looking downriver.
We drove a little further up around the lake to look out point. From up there you could look up several fingers of the lake. The lake was completely full but just to the spill line..not quite enough water to tumble down the spillway.

It was an enjoyable day. Hope to get back up here with the family soon.
Thanks Heather!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Weed Garden?

So we got so busy working with our park strip that the garden area got away from us. By the time I was able to get to was hip high...Lol!
Walter had a pile of metal stacked in the garden that all the weeds had grown up through.

After getting it all moved out onto the trailer to be hauled off to the recyclers, Walter pullled out the weed whacker and cut all the weeds down to ground level....then I followed with the tiller. What a difference. School gets out this week.....and then I plan on planting.

Tearing Out the Park Strip

We live on a corner lot, so there is a lot of park strip at our house. We got tired of mowing and watering this part of the yard, so last fall we tore out all the grass.

This spring we planted 8 Lollipop Crabapple trees and filled the area in with nine tons rose quartz. It was exhausting work....

...but I am quite happy with the result!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

He's A Star!

Brandon earned his Star tonight in Scouts. I am so proud of him. Way to go B!

I Hesitate to Post This

Ok, I feel a little bit silly about posting this...but I can't help it. I was so excited when I logged into one of my favorite photo websites and found one of my photos featured on it. So I took a picture - of my picture - on the website. Mine is the third one over of the goose in the pond.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Spring!

I have been enjoying getting out now that we have had some warmer weather. These are some of the photos I have taken while being out in the spring sun.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Bird Watching

I spent the day with my sister, Melissa and her two daughters, London, and Lizzie. We went to the Shoreline Preserve in West Layton hoping to see some interesting birds.

Unfortunately, all we really saw at the Bird Refuge was this snake!
Later that evening, I went to Jenson Nature Park and found what I had been looking for all along.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Escape to Alcatraz

After our huge breakfast on the pier we took a boat out to The Rock.

A lot of the buildings are in ruins, some are in the process of being restored. This was not one of them.

Instead, native birds and not so native plants have taken over parts of the island. The picture of the purple flower below was taken inside the ruins shown behind the boys above. The Seagulls were very large compared to the ones that I am used to here in Utah. They build their nests along the cliffs around the island.

The main prison house is still very much intact. As you go in, you are handed an earset with a recorded guide. It moves you through the prison at your own pace. Along with the guide are sound effects of prison life. You hear slamming of prison doors and men hollering. Most of it is just background noise; but at times there were a few scary sounds. When in the kitchen there was a stabbing sound and in a few places there scuffling and shouting.

It was really eerie when the sound tour ended because all of a sudden the sound effects were gone and you realized you were shuffling through the prison with hundreds of other people in complete silence. While we were in this hallway one of the park rangers came up and started opening and closing cell doors. It was quite a system. We were told that the sound of the cell doors closing was used by Hollywood in several different movies including Star Wars. Who knew?

The cells were only 5 by 9 feet. Seemed quite small. If they hadn't earned work priveleges they spent 23 hours a day only leaving their cell for 3 twenty minute meal breaks each day. Gave a man plenty of time to think.
I imagine it was torture for the prisoners of Alcatraz to have views like this one just outside their windows.

We had a wonderful day on The Rock and recommend it to anyone taking a trip to San Francisco. Just note- get on-line and buy your tickets in advance. They sell out very quickly, in fact, when we went last summer the entire week was sold out. Also, dress in layers. The day started out nice and warm, but by early afternoon a cold wind blew in and we were glad we had brought our jackets.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Wandering Pier 39

We started off the day eating breakfast at Wipeout. We love their breakfasts there...look how big the platters are!

We almost didn't see the jellyfish swimming around the pier. This looked like a plastic bag someone had thown into the bay. We ended up watching this one come up to the surface and go back down. He had several more around him that were very small. They looked like bubbles because they were so small.
We always love to watch the sealions. They are so entertaining. They are territorial of their docks and fight and push each other around. We thought this little family of sea lions was cute.
Brandon and I on the end of the pier.

Lost!!!! Without Our GPS!!!

So in our hurry to get out of town and onto our trip to San Francisco....we forgot to pack the GPS. We have never been to California without it and have always depended heavily upon it. However, that morning we found that we were able to find our way over to the Bay Bridge and into San Francisco without it. Once we were into the city though we got all turned around.
And that was a good thing. We ended up way over on the west coast when we were trying to get tot he Golden Gate Bridge. We were driving along Golden Gate Park and then came upon the beach. We kicked our shoes off, rolled up our jeans and walked out into the cold surf.
The water was freezing cold, but the waves were beautiful. We wandered up and down the the beach collecting shells, taking pictures and wading in the water until our feet turned numb. I don't think we would have gone over to the west coast on purpose.
Once we checked into our hotel, we were given a map of the city which helped us find our way around town for the rest of the trip.
Sometimes being "off route" is a good thing.

Taking Off For Spring Break!!!

We had been playing with the idea of going somewhere for Spring Break but none of us seemed to be able to agree where we should go.
Walter thought it might be fun to go into southern Utah with the 4-wheeler and motorcycle, but the kids didn't really want to camp.
The kids wanted to go somewhere "really fun" but Tyler didn't want to have to be in the car for a long road trip. Brandon did, he loves riding in the car.
I just wanted to go back to San Francisco.
We debated over breakfast where we should go. Still, no one could decide. Lucky for me, when no one knows what we should do they all look to me to make the decision. Most times I find it to be a burden to make the decision....because i hated making decisions....but this time I was happy to. I decided....that we would go to San Francisco. He he.
Everyone scurried around and packed and two hours later we were on the road headed to San Francisco. I couldn't wait. We had already been there once, just last August, but we only spent one day and there was so much more that we wanted to see.
Walter and I drove through the night and arrived just outside of San Francisco around 2 am and pulled over in a nice rest stop and slept for about 4 hours before we headed into town.

Driver's License

Tyler got his driver's license. Yes, I am stressed, but I have been in the car with him enough to feel good about his driving skills.
The feeling I got when he first drove the truck away reminded me of when I used to watch him jump on the trampoline. I found that I just couldn't watch. Let me know if something happens, I can deal with it then, but I just can't watch it happen.

Ok, so it was only a block and a half away to his friends house....still....not looking.

Sweet Sixteen - And Don't Forget the !

So Tyler turned 16. I am not sure why I am having such a hard time with this birthday. It could be that he will now be able to drive or that he is now able to date. I think the real reason is that it just brings him one year closer to being independent. I only cried a couple of times....and he was prewarned not to worry about it if I suddenly broke into he didn't panic when I did.
In fact we kinda laughed. I didn't want to embarrass him on his Facebook page so I just wrote a quick "Happy Birthday Tyler." I got a response from him that said, "So enthusiastic mom, thanks anyway. Ha ha" So as he showered...I went back up to the computer and wrote a mushy gushy letter to him on his wall and told him everything that I wanted to say- right on his wall where all his friends could read it too. When he came back up, of course I was crying. He patted me on the back and went back to the computer and laughed when he read what I wrote.
He came back in to talk to me after he had read his wall. He laughed and told me that was more like it. He told me that when I told him Happy Birthday I had only put a period... not and exclamation point.
Happy Birthday Tyler! I love you!!!

If All Else Fails

Tyler's band had the opportunity to play at the Mr. Lancer Assembly at Layton High School a couple weeks ago. It was so fun to watch them play in front of all their friends.

Monday, February 9, 2009

This photo was taken in Layton last week. We have had a break in the cold weather for a couple of weeks and most of the snow had melted away. Last night a new snow storm moved in and is still going strong this afternoon. These ducks enjoyed the short warm spell we had. Last time I visited this park in January the pond was frozen over.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tyler's band "If All Else Fails" won the Battle of the Bands at Layton High a couple of weeks ago. They were practically the only Sophomores competing in the competition and really did not expect anything. They were so thrilled when they walked away with it.

Tonight they compete at the Union Station in Ogden for a chance to professionally record one of their songs and produce a video on the John Lennon Tour Bus and a package of $700 worth of equipment at Music Village.

Once again, they are walking in not really expecting to win....but very hopeful. They will be competing against 15 other high schools. Their songs are good and they have practiced hard. I am very excited for them.

Snow Day

I took this photo in Layton last month on a day off. It was very cold and it was snowing, and by the time I went around the park my coat was soaking wet with snow and I was shivering. But it was a beautiful winter's day. I practically had the park to myself and I enjoyed the peace and tranquility that only nature at its best can give me. A perfect day!