This morning very early my grandpa Harold passed peacefully away. He was a quiet man worked for his living at a GM plant in Michigan, loved sports and although they argued from time to time, loved my grandmother very much. In his passing those are the moments I remember most. Them holding hands. I remember being at their house and having a prayer, I can't remember now why, and as they knelt down together my grandmother grabbed my grandfathers hands and held them through the prayer. It looked like something that had become a habit of years and years together. A tradition of love and connection. I heard that in his pain he would get agitated when anyone got close or touched him. My grandmother pulled the reclining chair as close to the bed as she could and held his hand as they both slept. How grateful I am that the connection has not been broken with his death.

This week on the Today show I guess the news anchors have been finding their "roots" by tracing their family histories. One of the hosts had been surprised to find out that her grandfather had been a minister. It was surprising to me that she didn't know anything about her grandfather. I guess in this disjointed far flung world I should count myself lucky to have grown up in the presence and influence of all of my grandparents. I do feel lucky. I wish that for my children too.

I grew up in Michigan. The pleasant peninsula. Land of Ten Thousand Lakes. (ok so that's technically Minnesota but we're just across the lake to them and we have a heck of a lot of lakes) We have the longest freshwater coastline in America if not the world, so obviously I grew up never worrying about water. Never gave a second thought about pouring my unused water down the drain or leaving the water running when I was brushing my teeth ( I know, stone me now) spraying off the driveway or taking really long showers. We could even pull water out of the air! Then I moved to Utah, the second driest state in the nation, and got an education. I started pouring my unused water into plants and never down the drain. I heard lecture after lecture about water wise plants and conservation efforts. Every winter we pray for snow so that the reservoirs will be filled in the spring. But even with this education I heard a story the other day that struck me as a little extreme.

A major car dealership in Utah was collecting rain water to use in their car wash to limit the water they are taking out of the coffers. Sounds like a good idea right? Very environmentally aware to try having a green car wash, right? Well not so much because apparently collecting water to use, even in your own AGAINST THE LAW in Utah!

Am I the only one who is a bit shocked by this?

In a related story it's really warm in Utah these days and we've been trying to stay cool with a little spray bottle. Hyrum is starting to get the hang of it now too and loves to get Mom and Dad.

But turn around is fair play right?

Youth Conference was up at Moosehorn Lake this year which is in the High Uintas. I'm sad to say that I wasn't excited to go. But when we got up there it was amazing. We set up camp in the four campsites we'd reserved. One of them (where we stayed) was pretty far away from the other three but it was worth the walk to have the view.

This was practically the view from our tent door. I just couldn't get enough of it. I kept taking pictures. After an amazing dutch oven dinner ( thank you Mama chef and Billy Goat ) we headed out on a night hike to Fehr lake for a discussion and star gazing.
It was a full moon that night so the star gazing wasn't as good as it could have been but we did see one shooting star. It was super cold and the warm cobbler was so good as a goodnight treat. No one slept good that night because it was really cold and the ground was hard, but we woke up to this...
Is there anything better than hot cocoa and a crackling fire on a cold morning while camping? I of course woke up earlier than I usually do and was greeted with this amazing scene...
Beautiful...absolutely beautiful! I guess it's my turn to make western transplants homesick.

Later that morning we climbed Bald mountain. It was only a two mile hike but we climbed 2,000 feet up rocks. Someone called it a big rock pile and after climbing it; that is a perfect description.
This is a picture of Bald Mountain from our campsite. Looking at this picture I still can't believe I climbed it!! It was kind of a scary hike at times. If you had a misstep you could be in some serious trouble. I don't have any pictures of the scarier parts it was at those times that I was concentrating on my footing and not my camera but this kinda gives you an idea of how it was.

But we made it to the top and it was an incredible view. While we sat and ate our lunches we heard the sound of approaching planes. As they got closer we discovered that they were fighter jets from Hill Air Force Base and they were only a few hundred feet above us!

It's really blurry because my camera focused on the hat instead of the planes but you can get an idea of how close they were to us.

Something I was continually thinking about while I was there was the incredible scope of the human eye. I would see these amazing scenes and would go to take a picture and it would not do it justice. The subjects were too far away and when you zoomed in you lost most of the scene you were trying to capture. Or the camera would flash and illuminate the things right in front of it and miss the scene behind that you were trying to capture. Then when you turned off the flash it was too dark. There is just simply no way to capture what the human eye can see. Some things just need to be experienced. Or maybe I'm just a horrible photographer.

Regardless I had to get a picture of myself at the top....even if I had to do it myself.
I totally got sunburned. But you don't think about sunscreen when you are cold. Of course at 12,000 feet you really should.

Something I loved about our hike was the darling little wild flowers that lined the trail. Wild flowers don't really bloom very long if at all in the valleys in's just too dry but they do in the mountains. Since it is so consistently cold on this particular mountain they were short and stubby but no less stunning.

What was even more fascinating was that they seemed to grow directly out of the rock.

After the climb we did a few activities and had some free time and then packed up to go home. It was a short trip but I missed Derek and Hyrum a lot and was glad to go home, despite the beauty. We'll just have to go back together sometime.

Ok so I've put this off long enough. I've been tagged to list 6 quirky things about myself. So here we go...

1. It has become somewhat of a tradition that on either Friday or Saturday night Derek and I will watch the Time Life Collections infomercials. We think they are great! We sing the songs and laugh at the hair and clothes styles. The commentators are the best and the testimonials are classic too. " You're so right, Angela "

2. I am crazy about money. Most of my quirkiness stems from this. Since we are saving for a house we've become paupers by choice. (Ok so it's been for longer than since we've been saving for a house.) I keep the heat at around 50 in the winter and only turn on the A/C if it's a hundred degrees or more. I nickel and dime everything I eat so as to save as much as I possibly can on food. All of this quirkiness is done safely in the confines of our home. But I knew it had reached a new level when I seriously considered going out in public like this...
I'd lost one sandal from one pair and one sandal from the other pair was broken. I was considering wearing mismatched shoes rather than go get new ones...even cheap new ones. Would you have noticed? But never fear I found the other sandal I'd lost.

3. When ever I get on a airplane I always kiss my hand and then touch the plane as I walk through the door. I've done this ever since my first flight. Flying doesn't scare me, this has just become a habit now.

4. I am a huge pack rat. You can just ask my sisters who always want to go through my boxes when I go home and throw stuff out. I think it's a serious mental issue. It is super hard for me to throw that stuff out. It's like I'm throwing a part of me away. It's not to the point of greasy paper plates and used tissues but still I probably should see someone about it. :)

5. I prefer to suffer through a head ache for hours than take anything for it. I also would prefer to suffer through fevers, stuffy noses, coughing, aches and pains etc than taking medicine. Sure I'll take something if it gets horrible. I just prefer to tough it out as long as I can.

6. Most people think I'm a snob when they first meet me. (Some people probably even continue to think so from time to time after getting to know me. ) I get weird when I don't know what to talk to people about. If I don't have anything to say or can't think of anything to say I generally won't say anything and there will be an awkward silence where I sit and agonize. So if that ever happens in a conversation or if I don't say anything to you when I see you...just know that I don't hate you or anything...I just can't think of what to say.

Ok so do you think I'm a clear head case now? I thought so!

I tag Jen, Julie and Janie ( just sticking with "J's)

Saturday was the last day of the Thanksgiving passes so we took full advantage and went to Farm country again and also visited the children's garden and Botanical Gardens at Thanksgiving point. I was pleasantly surprised. I'm determined to not make this a long post so I'll just post some pictures with small explanations

Noah's ark fountain and wading pool
The monkey's "pulling Hyrum aboard" He was drenched in the first 10 minutes.

Off to the regular botanical gardens where we saw...

The Italian garden
The Secret Garden
Doesn't this just draw you in? There is something about a door like this that I just love.

And the largest man made waterfalls on the Western Hemisphere. ( the largest are in Singapore I think)
There is an amphitheater in front of these amazing waterfalls! What a venue!

I have an artist friend that was involved in the Plein Air (painting in open air) Art Festival at the Gardens of Thanksgiving point this past June. She did this amazing piece called Monet Koi while there and won Best of Show at the American fork Steel days art show with it. She is an amazing artist and you should look around her blog if you have some time. I think she was around here in the garden when she painted the piece.
There were a lot of koi around
And speaking of Cristall we went over to their house the other day to see their new chicks. Hyrum was curious for a second but was much more interested in their big beautiful dog. But I got a few cute pictures anyway.

Warning: Long post with lots of pictures!!! Continue at your own risk!

Saturday was Derek's summer work party;the famed Super Summer Shindig (S3 08). It was being held at Thanksgiving point and all invited were given the opportunity to get passes to go to all of the different attractions ( for lack of a better word) there. We had plans to take full advantage of that opportunity. As we were getting ready for the day Hyrum was begging to go outside and we saw that the neighbor kids had a sprinkler out. So we put Hyrum in his swimsuit and took him outside to play.
This is how he "ran through the sprinklers" most of the time. With either me or Derek.
He just loves being outside... This is how he looks normally.
But a lot of the time he's in his swimsuit he looks like this. Already sucking in the gut for the ladies. :) SO funny!

It is with great pleasure that we announce the return of the curls!!
After that we finished getting ready and went off to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point.
Hyrum spent most of the time looking at the dinosaur bones from the seat of his stroller although he did take the opportunity to explore some caves...
But most of the time he was out of his stroller was spent like this...
What can I say this little kid LOVES to push strollers. It's probably it's because he sees his mom do that everyday. But it must comfort him because he didn't get alarmed at all being in front of this...
Can you imagine a shark that big?!? They aren't sure of the actual size of the sharks because they've only found the teeth. I think it's because the bones are made of cartilage and don't last. If the teeth they found were front teeth this is how big it would be...if they were back teeth it would be bigger.

I have to admit that I wasn't that excited about the dinosaur museum. I felt dumb because I hadn't ever heard of most all of the dinosaurs they had on display there. ( I'd only ever heard of
the Tyrannosaurus rex and a Triceratops )

Then we went in the room with the prehistoric sea animals and there was this MASSIVE sea turtle skeleton. I found myself just standing there transfixed. It was a huge turtle skeleton and yet it was beautiful. It was something I hadn't expected. As I looked at it the thought just kept coming to my mind...this is absolutely created by divine design. It was amazing to me that it was so detailed...and beautiful. Truly the work of a master...THE Master.
I purposely left these big so you could click on them and see the detail.

After our trip to the museum we headed to the Shindig...
It was amazing. Snow cone , cotton candy ice cold soda, popcorn and churro booths were placed here and there around the grounds. In and amongst the big blow up bouncy things that Hyrum is still a bit small for yet. It was a bit much to take in all at once.

But he did take a ride on the cow train with dad.
Apparently it was a pretty wild and bumpy ride

Then he went on the Ferris wheel with Mom
It looks like we're having a great old time enjoying the rush of the fall but we're really playing pat a cake while we wait for others to get off.

There were random times throughout the evening that Hyrum would just have a meltdown. We couldn't figure out why but none of us felt fabulous because we were getting a summer cold :(
But we stuck it out till the fireworks that night. Hyrum loved the fireworks on the fourth of July but apparently these weren't as good because this is what he looked like about 10 minutes into them.
We headed home after the fireworks anxious to get Hyrum in bed and us too then as we neared home we heard something funny...
A flat tire...just as it starts to rain

Hyrum didn't mind though since he'd had his power nap...
Derek had never sucessfully changed a tire because he'd never been able to get the lug nuts off but he did this time so he had his first solo tire change!
It was a happy ending to a crazy and very busy day. GO DEREK!!!

Every year growing up we went to my grandmothers house to pick her gigantic red and black raspberries. We'd stand there with buckets tied to our waists (it would free up our hands to pick) that often fell to between our ankles. We'd load up the raspberries that would fill our buckets quite quickly and head off heavy laden to the farm house where we would either eat them until we'd get sick or make them into freezer jam. This week we were the full time keepers of the garden with our gracious hosts on vacation. And they have raspberries. Not as big as the ones at my grandmothers but raspberries no less. So I decided that I would make freezer jam with what raspberries we could gather. And I was soooo excited to get my preserving underway! I was so excited to get started that I don't have any pictures of the process but I do have some of the end result.
This morning I was craving a taste so I put it on my peanut butter toast. It was yummy. Hyrum wanted a taste too he really liked it as well and kept asking for more...
Then as I looked at him I realized he had the look of someone who wanted to start a life of crime
Hummm.... Let's hope not.