Saturday, August 30, 2008

Where Did We Go Wrong

Today was the season opener for BYU football. They played against Northern Iowa and won 41-17. (Yeah!). It was a fun game. Greg got 2 season tickets for his birthday. There are 6 home games, which worked out great. Each of the kids and I could go to a game with Greg and enjoy the BYU football experience. Perfect plan. So, what went wrong? This week was Ryans' turn to go to the game. At 3:30 I called him upstairs to get ready. He decided he didn't want to go. Steven didn't want to go. Spencer didn't want to go. Erica didn't want to go. Joseph was playing at a friends' house. I have a terrible cold and wanted to stay home, but who in their right mind passes up a chance to go to a football game?! I went and had a great time. How do Greg and I, both BYU grads who never missed a home game the whole time we were students, have children who have grown up to not want to watch BYU football? I thought is was passed along in the genome somehow! Ok, we haven't exactly lived in areas where BYU football was played-either in person or on TV. Neither are we the pay-hundreds-of-dollars-to fly-across-the-country-to-see-BYU-play type of people. But, we did watch it when we could and even traveled from CA to AZ to see them play against ASU once. I guess it's not enough. So, let us be a warning to all of you out there. Teach, teach, teach your children about the really important things in life and don't forget about BYU football. No, Keith, ASU doesn't even come close to being as important. Cosmo, Cosmo, Cosmo not Sparky, Sparky, Sparky! Next week is an away game. We have soccer and viola during the first quarter, but the kids will have a new kind of homework when we get home. Lucky for them, it involves the TV.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


Today is a big day for my cousin, Avery, and her family. Avery had a baby girl, Bela, last February. She was born with both Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and Turner Syndrome. In order to survive, Bela has to have a series of reconstructive surgeries on her heart. She had her first within a few days of being born. Today is the second. I know that most everyone who reads this won't know who she is; but if you have a minute I know they would appreciate any prayers for Bela, her family, and the doctors.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


It is University Conference Week at BYU. It hasn't changed my life all that much except that they have fed me breakfast twice and I wish we could go for a third. I never eat this good (as in taste, not good-for-you) on my own. Yesterday was a breakfast for new employees and their spouses. We got to meet the administration and had such novelties as banana bread French toast and shirred eggs (looked like poached eggs to me) along with fried potatoes and fruit. Today was breakfast for all faculty and staff and their spouses. There are a TON of people who work there. I never really thought about it before. We had scrambled eggs, waffles, sausage, and granola with yogurt. Best part of both days? There are a couple of bests. First, Greg and I had a "date morning" two days in a row. It's kind of fun to get all dressed up and go out, just the two of us, first thing in the morning. It's a very nice start to the day and I could get really used to it. Second, we had yummy food and I didn't have to cook or do dishes. Another side benefit was that the breakfasts were at 8:00, so Joseph, Steven, and Ryan got themselves to school. I like to walk to and from school with them (both for the exercise and I'm a bit paranoid that some psychopath will get them), but it's very freeing to know they are now familiar enough with the walk to go themselves if they need to. The conference goes for the rest of the week, but my morning dates are over for another year. Reality is that if I have extra time in the morning, and am not woken by offspring, I'll sleep in rather than get dressed up and out the door. Oh well, another reason to look forward to the start of school.

Sunday, August 24, 2008


I've wanted to write something all day. I don't have anything really insightful and thought I'd just put down a couple of random thoughts.

1) The Scoutmaster in our ward has seemed so familiar to me ever since we moved in. I haven't been able to place him, though. I found out this week that he was a graduate student and taught in the Exercise Science department when I was a student here back in the last century. I still couldn't totally place him until tonight. I finally remembered that he taught my PE 363 class (Physiology of Activity or something like that). I do remember a couple of things- like figuring out body mass index and some new ways, besides those dreaded calipers, to determine body fat. The thing I remember most was that I had that class in the Fall and the final for that class was the last final on the last day of finals and he would not let us take it early. I think the 30 people in my class were the last souls on campus that semester. It obviously didn't kill me, but I do remember being a little perturbed back then. He seems like a nice enough guy and I really like his wife and daughter, so all's forgiven.

2) I passed the 500,000 step mark in our Wellness Fitness Challenge today. Woohoo! Greg is about the same as I am and will hit that mark tomorrow sometime. The challenge ends this week. At this rate, we'll end up with a solid silver medal, which is way better than the bronze we were hoping for. There are several people that have nearly 2,000,000 steps, but I think that they are crazy. They must do nothing but walk all day. Maybe they teach PE, or read meters, or walk to work from Salt Lake everyday. My hat goes off to them. I don't know if all the walking has really made a difference for me fitness-wise, but I did walk home from a fireside at church tonight and was barely winded even after walking uphill the whole way. Hope that means my endurance is up.

That's it for tonight. I should really be asleep instead of on the computer, so that's where I'm headed. Sweet dreams.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Some Boxes Are Important

Ok, I had fun at the shopping trip the other day and made a comment about thinking outside my box (see previous post). I'm going to have to pay attention to at least some of the boxes in my life, though-like the ones on the calendar. I picked up those tickets for the Women's Expo with the intent to take Erica for a Girl's Day Out. I still think it would be a blast to go with her, but I tried writing it on the calendar and met with a few conflicts. None of them are bad conflicts, they just made the calendar first with prior approval. Greg will be in AZ that day to attend the temple with a family from our previous ward he helped the missionaries teach and won't be home until later that night. We have at least 3 soccer games that morning at 9:00, 11:00, and 12:00 with pictures for said teams also being taken that day. There's a possibility for another as we don't have Spencer's schedule yet. (I should mention here that I'm PROFOUNDLY grateful that we don't have three games at the same time with only one driver!) It also happens to be the weekend of our Stake Conference, which isn't until that evening, as far as I know. I guess that leaves Erica and I a couple of hours in the afternoon. Maybe we can squeeze in a quick trip. She, after all, is the only one without something to do that day! Looks like it's time to be filling out my pocket planner again. Sometimes it's important to stay inside the box.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Little Every Day Miracle

The point of this blog was for me to notice and record little everyday miracles that make a difference in my life. They aren't big and just come along in the course of a day. So many of them happen that I don't even recognize at first (or ever). Yesterday was one. I was walking home with the kids from school and one of the moms, Lisa, met me outside. Seems she'd been over by the Sister Missionary Mall in Orem and they were having a sale- 20 items for $100. They had some really cute shirts, skirts, dresses, sweaters, and jackets but you had to buy them in multiples of 20 to get them for $5 each. She was trying to find a couple of people who wanted to go shop together. Sounded good to me, so after soccer last night we headed over. It was fun and there were some great deals. A couple of the women brought their daughters (didn't even cross my mind to do the same, darn it!) and I got to know a couple of the Young Women. I found a jacket for Erica regularly $90 for only $5 and a skirt and a couple of shirts for me. They also were giving out free tickets for the Women's Expo next month. I picked up 2 so Erica and I can have a girl's day out. I'm glad Lisa saw the sale. I would have seen the sign and decided that I didn't need 20 things then put it out of my mind. Instead, I have new clothes, got to spend time with new friends, and have future plans for some time with my daughter. I'll have to think more outside my box from now on.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

First Day of School, Round 2

Today was the first day of school for Erica. She and I went yesterday to find all of her classrooms, but she was still pretty nervous as well as excited. She catches her bus at 6:57. I think there is something wrong with having a "6" as the first number in a school-related time. I offered to walk her to the bus, just so she would know she was loved, but she assured me she could walk the 5 or 6 houses to the bus stop just fine all by herself. She never came back, so I assume she caught a bus and made it to school ok.

I should clarify something about the kids pictures. Neither day was overcast, even though it looks that way to me. We are just right up next to the mountains to our east and the sun hasn't been all the way over them by the time the kids are leaving in the morning. In Erica's picture you can see that the western sky is still pink and blue. Wonder what it will be like in the winter!

Now, everyone has gone for a day, but not everyone is gone today. Joseph went to bed not feeling very well and woke this morning all pastey (the computer doesn't like how I spelled this and I don't like it's suggestion, so you get mine!) and feeling like he was going to throw up. He's been asleep all morning and still doesn't feel well. Hopefully this is a 1 day bug (and a 1 individual bug!). We'll try again tomorrow to get everyone out the door.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School, Round 1

The boys all started school today. The junior high and high schools only have the youngest grades (7th and 9th) go the first day for orientation. 8th and 10th-12th start tomorrow. That means Erica got one more day of summer vacation. She and I went up to school and found all her classrooms. It looks like a great school. She's pretty excited to start. The boys were excited, but they won't tell you that.

Spencer's been torn between excited and nervous all weekend. He's finally making the big jump to Jr. high. He told me yesterday morning that he'd dreamed about trying to pick out an outfit to wear the first day. I honestly didn't think boys EVER did that. (By the way, he wore today what he decided on in his dream!) His bus never showed up this morning, so Greg dropped him off. Hopefully he can find the buses (and hopefully it comes this time!) to get home this afternoon. He gets just a half day orientation today. Tomorrow real life begins.

Joseph tried to convince me that he's is guaranteed the right to the pursuit of happiness. Since staying home from school would make him happy, he shouldn't have to go. Too bad! The right to the pursuit of happiness doesn't allow you to break the law, and skipping school is against the law. Besides, I needed him to be out of the house and school's as good a place as, or better than, any.

Steven had the best start to school ever. The first day has always been traumatic for him, but today he just ran to the door waving and yelling "Bye!" as he went. It probably helps that a new family moved in down the street with a boy in his class. I don't care what the reason, I was floored and totally happy to have no tears and actually see a smile as he left.

It's supposed to be 93 today, but Ryan insisted on his favorite long sleeve shirt. If it makes him happy, I really don't care. He was pretty nonplussed all the way to school and on the playground. He was almost even brave enough to walk inside to his classroom by himself, but changed his mind a the last minute. I guess it's nice to be needed just a teeny bit!

So, tomorrow everyone goes and will be there all day. Spencer just called. Apparently the bus broke down this morning and he has no way to get home. Wonder what they'll do with a whole bus full of kids stuck at school. Happy First Day back!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Aspen Grove

Greg's dad, Tom, is visiting this week. We've talked every now and then about gathering the Nelsons at Aspen Grove for a family reunion/get together, so we thought we'd take him up to see it. They've added a lodge since my family was last there so I thought I'd post some pictures and video. You can go to the Aspen Grove website to see panoramic shots of the camp itself. The video I've included is just to give a perspective of the new lodge. They also added a new rock climbing "pillar" at the ropes course. It's pretty stationary and no one was using it, so I just took a couple of pictures. The white wrapped around the bottom 1/2 is a huge tarp to keep people from climbing when no one is supervising.

The gathering area on 1st floor of lodge. It's in the middle and has two halls of "hotel rooms" off either side. That's Ryan trying out the comfy chair.

One of the hallways. The laundry room and elevator (now you can avoid that monstrous hill if you choose!) are through the door at the end.

Lodge from between the badminton courts and the bathroom by the dining hall. This is the entrance to the elevator. You can see people on the large porch that is on each floor.

Lodge from below, standing next to the far end of the fish pond. It now stands where that pirate ship playground used to be. I didn't see the play equipment anywhere else, so I don't know if they kept it or not. We didn't look everywhere, though.

Lodge (and Tom!) from the bottom of the "monstrous stairs" next to the fish pond.

Lodge from the "front" at the bottom of the hill. I got back as far as I could and still couldn't get the whole thing in the shot. They were still working on the landscaping/sprinklers when we were there today. I think it will fit the surroundings better when there are plants instead of dirt all around.

Underground parking on our way to the elevator

First floor porch

360 shot from parking lot in front of dining hall. I went slower than was probably necessary, but I didn't want to make anyone "see"-sick!

This shot starts near the wall where you sign up for the tournaments at camp and walks around to the entrance to the dining hall.

This shot goes from the parking lot by the dining hall down the road and around the side of the lodge.

This is from the road as you come around to the front (or back depending how you look at it) of the lodge. The fish pond is just over the rise at the end.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Angels in the Microwave

I think an angel lives in my microwave. We went to Veterans Memorial Pool this afternoon with a friend from our ward, Lisa Jensen. Spencer was complaining that we were having tortellini salad for dinner when he'd rather me buy nachos at the pool instead (big surprise!). I said "No" (another big surprise!) and the moaning continued. Lisa, the saint, told Spencer that she had an opened can of nacho cheese in her freezer and if he was willing to walk over to get it, he could have it. (Guess who was the cooler adult this afternoon. Big hint, it wasn't me!) As soon as we got home, we changed clothes and I dashed out the door with Ryan and Joseph to soccer practice. Spencer happily walked over to Lisa's.

Since I'd played at the pool all afternoon, I hadn't made dinner. I called Greg on his way home from work and he stopped at practice to wait for the boys while I went home to get dinner ready. I walked in the door to a very odd smell. Steven walked by and said something to the effect of, "Don't breath too deeply. The handle really smells after it comes out of the microwave." That made no sense to me whatsoever. The brain took awhile to process all the incoming details, but it finally clicked that Spencer was dipping chips into a sauce pan full of nacho cheese that was sitting on a hot pad on the counter. He also mentioned something about the microwave making the handle smell funny. Then it clicked, they'd heated the cheese in the metal sauce pan in the microwave. Ahhh! In their defense, they had asked Erica how to heat it and she had told them to take it out of the plastic, meaning the plastic bag it was sealed in. They took it to mean not to use anything plastic at all. A short lesson about what is and is not acceptable in the microwave quickly ensued. The last time we had metal in the microwave we got a really cool fireworks show and then a new microwave.

Spencer said all he noticed was a pop, but he thought it was because some of the cheese had popped out of the pan and onto the handle. Not daring to hope too much, I heated a glass of water in the microwave and it came to a boil, just like it should. Whew! I also heated corn in it for dinner and all seemed well. So, I don't know why the microwave didn't blow up or catch on fire, but I'm most grateful that it didn't. This one's under warranty still. Maybe that's the reason for the happy ending. Wait until day 366 of a 1 year warranty and you can bet the kitchen would have burned down, unless, of course, there really is an angel in there. I like that thought better.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A Little Fun Cinematography

Sometimes the camera takes several pictures in a row. We haven't figured out why, it just does. A quick read through the owner's manual would probably clear up the question, but since when have I ever read the owners manual unless the given item was broken by my trying to figure it out on my own? But, I digress. Normally this little phenomenon (Ooo!, I spelled it right the first time!) results in multiple copies of the same picture. Saturday it resulted in a little "still movie" If you could flip your computer screen like a book, this would be pretty cool. Since you can't, either scroll down really fast or just use your imagination.

We were at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center for their "Fire, Ice, and Water" bash with most of Greg's family (and having a fabulous time, I might add). There is a huge bucket that fills with water and then dumps on the crowd below about every 15 minutes or so. I happened to catch a segment of Steven in the moment. He's sort of in the front with a white bathing suit with yellow and black on it. Enjoy! (Remember, flip those pages in your mind)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

10 days and counting

I am counting the days until school starts. That sounds harsh as the mother of 5 offspring that all attend school. I love my children with all my heart, but I am amazed by others who are sad to see the summer end. My mind doesn't comprehend it. Harsh, once again. This is going to sound like a complaint, but it's not. It's merely a statement of fact. Everyday I realize more and more that I am such a creature of routine, or habit, if you will. Have you every had days or weeks like mine- where you seem to sit in the mud and spin your wheels for 15 hours before going to bed and doing it all over again? Where somethings get done, but nowhere near everything that needs to get done? All I need is a routine, a schedule, right?! My problem is that moving pretty effectively destroys a routine. Summer vacation on top of it doesn't help much, either. Both together? Not the most efficient use of my time! Things have settled somewhat, but not all the way. So, when I say I can't wait for school to start, it's not because I want my children out of the house. I love them and love having time with all of them. I, and I think they, need the structure and the routine that will be forced upon us. I'm hoping that will allow me to develop my routines at home. So, I'm counting the days in the hopes that life can truly get back to some sort of routine. I function so much more effectively that way.