A Night At The Museum

the lobby
this guy greeted us right outside our motel room!

Another one for the Bucket List. I had never considered the possibility of sleeping over at the Bean Museum.  It just happened to be my there were no over motels with vacancies at 11 p.m. in Cody, Wyoming with my dad was well past his bedtime - who knew that tourist season for Yellowstone Park goes through the end of October lucky day (night).

We not only got a room but an opportunity to stay in a hunter's/taxidermist's dream motel.  Unfortunately for us, the motel we stopped at before this one had no vacancies (our fifth try).  Their lobby was filled with just about every kind of African animal (full sized rhino, male lion, gazelle, etc.)  I did not see a giraffe and elephant but then I was in a bit of a hurry.  I wish I had my camera for that one.

The pictures hardly do this place justice.
for Ryan

Did I mention that, due to the lack of available motel rooms, Mr. W. and I shared a room with my dad and Bonnie.  I told Dad that we had come full circle - it was like when I was little and shared a motel room with my dad and mom (and six siblings).

Breakfast is served!

Years ago our family stayed in a motel right on the highway in Evanston, Wyoming.  As kids, we were so excited to find that, for just a quarter, the bed would vibrate.  How great is that! (we thought).  A motel room with beds to entertain children.  All seven of us piled on the bed, put in a quarter and went for a ride on the bed.  It's amazing that we didn't break the bed.  We were so innocent . . . I realized a few years ago that the bed wasn't intended for children.  Oh well, we got our money's worth - 25 cents divided by 7 children - definitely cheaper than Disneyland!


It's Autumn Time!

Leaf Tour 2004 - South Fork in Provo Canyon

I LOVE autumn!  Our annual fall leaf viewing, drive around the 'Loop', stop at Purple Turtle for a shake FHE inspired me.

American Fork Canyon 2009
I went to my trusty Joann's fabric store, bought 4 packages of 
Autumn Inspirations maple leaves ($1.99 minus 40% for a package of 35 leaves - the oak leaves were in uninspiring shades of brown 
so I stuck with the maple leaves), came home and 
emptied them into a Ziploc bag.

I plan to use them to teach this Primary song.

It’s Autumntime

 Children’s Songbook, Nature and Seasons, It’s Autumntime, 246

1. It’s autumntime. It’s autumntime.
The leaves are falling down.
It’s autumntime. It’s autumntime.
It’s all around the town.

2. It’s autumntime. It’s autumntime.
There’s yellow, red, and brown.
It’s autumntime. It’s autumntime.
Bright colors can be found.

Words: Rita Mae Olsen, b. 1932. © 1966 IRI
Music: Rita Mae Olsen, b. 1932; arr. by Vanja Y. Watkins, b. 1938. © 1966, 1989 IRI

I will give each Nursery child a handful of leaves and when we get to 'The leaves are falling down' and 'There's yellow, red, and brown', we'll toss our leaves up in the air.  At the end of the song, we'll 'rake' them up and sing our song again and again and again until they tire of it.  I must say the 'crickets' held their attention for quite a while and I have high hopes for our leaves.


Curves & Wrinkles

so that one day
I can do this.


A New Low

Today I walked over to say 'hi' to our newest nursery member and to let her pet Pumpkin.  Her family is temporarily staying at Grandma's house while her dad looks for a job and she, for some unknown reason to me, LOVES our anxiety-ridden, hair-pulling, twitchy cat, Pumpkin.  This little piece of information came in very handy yesterday when she started to miss her mom during nursery.  All I had to do was start talking about Pumpkin and she was fine.

As I visited with her dad this morning about how well she had done in nursery, he shared what she had said when they arrived home after church yesterday.  She said, "Dad, Pumpkin's mom is my new teacher!"

I'd feel that way too if I spent
all day pulling out my hair!

Excuse me, I have the urge to go pull some hair out.


I Can Be A Pioneer Too!

I have been released as Relief Society president and I'm now serving in our ward's nursery.  We currently have 17 boys (that is not a typo) and 4 girls.  We have successfully removed the 'picnic tables' (perfect swine flu habitat) and compromised on the 'Shenanigan Shack with Shutters' (more about that in a future post) by leaving it for the other ward but dismantling it and moving it out to the hall during our nursery's class.  It is humbling, inspiring, tender and tiring serving in the nursery and our boy/girl ratio lends itself to A LOT OF ENERGY!  I have a testimony of serving and so I lace on my Nikes (I'm still nursing a very sore foot), sit down on the floor and give it my all.

The last week in July, I taught a Pioneer lesson.  I shared the story of the 'Miracle of the Gulls' and we talked about what it meant to be a pioneer.  I had bandannas for the boys (I cut store bought bandannas in half diagonally and hemmed the edge - two for the price of one!) and lunch sack bonnets for the girls.  Then we stood up and pretended we were seagulls.  I had bought two bags of 50 count 1/2 inch black pompoms and poured them in a Ziploc bag.  These were are 'crickets'.  I tossed all of the pompoms around the room and then our 'seagulls' gobbled up our 'crickets' with their 'beaks' (hands), brought them back to me and 'spit' them out in the bag.  We did this several times with remarkable success.  There were enough 'crickets' that everyone had a chance to gobble to their hearts' content.

I think it made an impression because several weeks later after our 
'I Am A Child Of God' lesson, a mom told us that when she asked her son what his 'I Am A Child Of God' sunbeam necklace meant he said, "I no longer a pioneer, I's a child of God!"

Our 'former' pioneer and current Child of God
(and one of 21 reasons
why I started taking vitamins again . . .
and a nap . . . )


Lessons from the Ark

Maybe they should have left the woodpecker home . . .

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from Noah's Ark:
      10. Don't miss the boat.
      9. Remember that we are all in the same boat.
      8. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the Ark.
      7. Stay fit. When you're 600 years old, someone may ask you to do something really big.
      6. Don't listen to critics; just get on with the job that needs to be done.
      5. Build your future on high ground.
      4. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.
      3. When you're stressed, float a while.
      2. Remember, the Ark was built by amateurs; the Titanic by professionals.
      1. No matter the storm, when you are with God, there's always a rainbow waiting.

(Thought posted at Curves)


Riding In A Rickshaw

Another item for my Bucket List.
Ride in a rickshaw!

Our driver
Mr. W, Bonnie and I went to 
the Rockies/Diamondback baseball game.  
You could hitch a ride on a bicycle rickshaw 
from the parking lot to the stadium 
(and back if you wanted to) for a small fee.  
Considering that I am still limping along with a sore foot, 
we went for it.
Bonnie & the rickshaw - loved the lights

Let's just say that our driver earned his money!  
Three for the price of one.

Worth every dollar!



Our aspirations are
our possibilities.
- Samuel Johnson -

* 9/11/2010 at the Air Force Academy
BYU vs. Air Force Football Game *


Senior Summit

(it reminds me of life's highs & lows)

Can you see Vanessa's
toes & fingers peeking out?

in honor of

Vanessa's senior year.
(did you notice the THS colors?)


I should have known . . .

I should have known something was up with BYU football when I saw this balloon in the parade.  Do you think it was a subliminal way of letting us know they were going independent?

Looking forward to a rematch with the U of U this November.  
It looks like we'll be sharing our nachos with a couple of Ute fans that will be here for Thanksgiving.

Until then . . . GO COUGARS!



My February twins (separated by 11 years) 
enjoying a summer day with my July twins.

Okay, not everyone enjoyed the wagon.

A good dad/brother + a good aunt + Nessa's John Deere wagon = 
A free ride for Vanessa, Brad & Jensen 


Forget Me Not

Last week I discovered that 
my forget-me-nots had bloomed 
in my garden.

Later that day, I rediscovered one of my favorite pictures of my mom in her beloved red Ford Taurus.
I took the picture of my mom parked in my driveway in Pleasant Grove.  She is holding a basket used for fruit.

I consider both discoveries
It is said that the wearer
of forget-me-nots
will never be forgotten.
My mom must be wearing
them every day.