If you're anything like me , Escape Club is dancing around your head right now. Or maybe Will Smith if your a little younger than me.

We've lived in our house for a little over a month now and we are getting a feel for the area. Looking at our house and the neighborhood you wouldn't think that we are living in an area that is too remote. You may feel that way on the way down here. But once you are in the neighborhood you wouldn't think so...until you've lived here a while then you start to realize that we are in fact living in the Wild Wild West.

Exhibit #1

TUMBLEWEED in our back yard! Ok so those of you who grew up in the west aren't going to be too impressed with this. But to us easterners THIS is definitively wild west material.

Exhibit #2

That white jeep is our mail man! Some times he comes in a white jeep, sometimes he comes in a red jeep. But our mail always comes in a jeep...at least it's not by horseback. :)

Exhibit #3

One word...TRAINS!!

And more trains (how are you doing Holly?)

The previous owners assured us that the trains only come by once a night at 3 or 4 in the morning. And since we lived next to train tracks that were only used once or twice a year we believed them. That is most certainly NOT so. Trains come by at least 6 or 7 times. Both day and night. Oh and we live very near a train crossing so they have to blow the whistle every time they pass. For the first three or four weeks I was livid! I'd count how many trains were coming by and curse the names of the previous owners and quote scriptures of where liars go. As time has gone on it's gotten better and I've even gotten to the point that I ALMOST like them. There are many in the neighborhood that say they don't hear them anymore. I don't know if that will happen. We'll see.

A little someone has been instrumental in my change of heart.

Hyrum has become the biggest Thomas the tank engine fan since living here and it must be a common obsession in this neighborhood because the nursery is FULL of old Thomas the Tank engine trains sets. In the meantime I keep my ears open for gunshots and horse hooves of the train robbers.

There's also a corral down the road and we often see people riding horses around by the cemetery and the field nearby.

Next time you see me I just may be in a long skirt saying "y'all" and "partner"

I've never done a "Why I love you" birthday post for my dad which is a crying shame so without further ado....

The countless reasons I love my Dad! ( because honestly I don't know how old he is :)

He's an artist and has given me an artists eye and a bit of an artist mind, but unfortunately I'v yet to seriously try my HAND at art.

He uses big words and has given me a huge vocabulary. Some people may don't understand him but Derek and I do! :) It's one of the reasons I love Derek too.

He doesn't like salty and sweet (so not a big fan of peanut butter and chocolate) but is a big mint fan.

He helped me paint my house. He hand edged everything. Never used tape. And it's perfect!
{I like this picture. To me it looks like he's painting the Sistine Chapel or something. }

He makes me want to be better

He is soooo patient.

He makes me want to be a better cook.

He loves my son

Hyrum loves him too

He's not afraid of making a bit of a fool of himself
He has an amazing testimony of the gospel

He bought me conversation hearts every Valentines day and flowers every Easter ( even when I was on the mission and away at school) until I got married.

He has an amazing singing voice and a really soothing speaking voice. He used to sing me to sleep at night and now I sing the same song to my son.

He's ALWAY'S willing to help out...even on his vacation.

He is very calm and has a calming influence on everyone around him

He loves my Mom desperately.

He taught me how a husband treats his wife and to expect that from men. Good thing Derek is so wonderful.

He has dealt with a lot of estrogen in his life and respects womanhood and motherhood.

He has no fear
He encourages my passions

He can fix anything

He loves the beach

He loves me!

For these and so many more reasons...We love you Daddy! Happy Birthday!

The tools

The results

They say that you can't kill a tree by pruning it unless the cut comes inches above the soil... We may be testing that theory...we'll see! So to be continued...

This is one of Hyrum's favorite things to do in the new house.

He's so funny. He could seriously do this for HOURS! If we stop he'll grab our legs and say "NUN" ( his version of "Run") Then if we say stop he'll grab a fist and say "DO" ( that would be "go" with a D.) Then we'll run...him giggling all the way.

Mom was doing her Crazy dance duties to this song so now everytime he hears it he screams "Dance". Which is surprising because at the end of the last performance I fell on the floor dramaticly at the end with my feet in the air and he came around the couch right as I was dropping my legs to the floor and caught him in the head. Poor little guy. We just finished listening to the song and at the end he put his hand to his head and said "Boff" I guess he does remember. :( There goes my mother of the year award. As if I was in the running.

Sorry I just have to post this... I uploaded the last video and Hyrum wanted to watch it as usual and I couldn't help getting a video of him watching it. I hope you get as much of a kick out of it as I did

Anyway another favorite place of the house is his little cove in the basement.

He's also discovered a love for old Disney movies such as 101 Dalmatians and Robin Hood.
Looks cozy huh? It's going to be a life saver in the summer before we get central air. That's right ladies and gentlemen. We're fan people until then...no swamp cooler or anything. Good thing we spent the last 6 and a half years in an upstairs apartment.

One last picture of cuteness.
Dang he's going to be a lady killer. He's going to break hearts for sure. But don't laugh at his hair. I cut it. It was my first time cutting a little boys hair. My Dad let me cut his hair but it didn't go so well, and he didn't wiggle at all. Hyrum doesn't like it. Everytime we go outside for any reason he insists on me putting a hat on his head. I tried to take it off in a store and he started screaming and tried to put it back on. Guess he is like his dad in not wanting me to cut his hair. However unlike his dad, he doesn't have a choice.

So yesterday I was looking for a place to plant my peas. I walked around the back yard picking up hunks of concrete and the occasional screw. Then I saw some bricks sticking out of the ground so I figured that I would dig them out since I was out there. I pulled out one brick and there was another under that. So I pulled out another...and another, and another, and another. It was like there was a dip in the ground that they just filled with bricks. I continued to pull them out.
As I unearthed brick upon brick I started dreaming of an adorable brick walkway to the garden and I piled them up on the end of the concrete.

Then as I was pulling out a cinder block I saw something interesting. A brick wall.
And as I dug out yet more bricks I found a corner and then another corner. It was a 37 inch square bricked pit. They just filled it with bricks and dirt and left it.

I don't know how deep it is. I didn't want to dig it out too much without anything to cover it with in case Hyrum got as curious as I was about it. But I know it's at least two feet deep and it didn't look like I was going to reach the bottom any time soon. This house was built in 2002. It's not like it is a 50 year old house with all kinds of history and root cellars and wells and the like. So I guess my question to you would be...Any ideas?

And what do you think we should do with it regardless of what it is. I'm of a mind to at least empty it and fill it correctly if nothing else. What do you think? Anyone want to help me dig for buried bricks?

And just for the record I did do a sort of non-house post before I did this one! :)

My Dad grew up in a very artistic family. His Dad is an artist, and most of his siblings have careers in the arts. My Dad studied art in school and was a layout artist for the yellow pages for decades. I have memories of my dad sitting up in the beach grass on the sand dunes with his sketch pad and pastels capturing the sand and surf. Although I don't remember him painting with oils much growing up the scene of curled up oil paint tubes an easel and a oil paint smeared palette is just "home" to me. ( It's no wonder that when I went to Derek's apartment when we were dating and saw oil paints out in his house I felt all the more connected to him-like playing with loaded dice) But my dad hadn't done anything with non digital art in years. He always said that he was too busy to create but since retiring in 2007 I was determined to reintroduce him to his roots, despite the trepidation he felt to put paint to canvas.

When I was back in Michigan for 6 weeks I decided that I would try to make that happen. So one day we were I deemed it "Art day". We pulled out paper and markers, put a old shirt on Hyrum and put him at the table to create some art work himself.
Hyrum was SOOO excited to draw especially with markers. I tried so many times to capture it but unfortunately this was my best picture...
But my dad didn't participate in this art day. I was undeterred. So two weeks later I tried again. I turned on tropical music and put out his sketch pad. He was tired of my pestering I'm sure and consented to at least make an attempt. Without being able to see his subject he turned to the familiar, digital, for inspiration.
And instead of oil paints he tried oil pastels. The oil pastels he used were his fathers that cost around 20 cents when they were purchased. So that tells you how long they've been around. But at the end of the day he was surprised how pleased he was with the results. After a few tweeks he thought he was almost done. He wouldn't let me take a picture of it before it was complete and he hadn't signed it by the time I left to come back to Utah.

Then when he came out to help us paint the house he brought a house warming gift...the picture, framed and signed. It was entitled "Home". And it's perfect. It was the first picture we put on the wall in our house.
Thank you daddy! I love it! And I love you!!

The snow has been melting here in Utah ( sorry to all of you dealing with unexpected snow) and we've been able to see the glory of what is our yard. Have I got my work to do.
Some of you might be wondering what is so bad. It's a pet peeve given me by my landscape architecture professor in school. The little islands in the middle of the grass. Flowerbeds ( or rockbeds ) should connect to something not just float in the middle of the grass for no reason. Needless to say they will disappear this summer. Plus we have probably 12 rose plants and while I really like roses I would like other flowers in my yard as well. I've got plans! Anyone want some rose plants?

Then there's the back yard...

It's unfinished and we knew that but what was a surprise was what was what was left us by the previous owner.

That book out there was a hair design manual. :) Guess I'll be learning some hair cutting skills. Any takers? :)
And the general consensus is that this was the beginning or end of a dog run. I didn't think they had a dog or that you would cement a dog run but we've found dog toys and a collar and you'd probably cement a dog run if you had a muddy unfinished backyard.

Regardless I'm ITCHING to start my garden. This year it will probably be miss matched and everywhere because I don't know how the soil is nor what the sun is like back there. But that will require me to find my seeds and I can't find them...and not for lack of looking. But I did start some broccoli plants ( I didn't have seeds for broccoli and bought some)

SO all in favor of dismissing with the house posts for a couple months? I thought so! New subject for the next post...promise!