Friday, March 25, 2011

Jazz Fans!

We took the boys to meet Al Jefferson from the Utah Jazz this afternoon. Jared got a text from the Jazz... (he's very obsessed with them by the way! Sometimes he likes to pretend he's the coach as he yells at the tv during games. Don't tell him I put this on here... tee hee.) Anyways... he got a text saying we could meet Al Jefferson at some model home in Herriman so immediately we took off in search of this model house. And by the way.... I found it... all by myself! Ha! I heard whereabout it might be and drove to it! Anyways... (sorry, got distracted again) we got to meet him. The boys were super excited! But acted a bit shy once we got to meet him. He signed T.J.'s basketball, a Jazz flag that T.J. gave to Jared for christmas last year, and some pictures of him for us. I had T.J. wear his Jazz hat so Big Al could sign that, too, but T.J. forgot. Can you believe that! That's twice now he could have had that signed... once from Big Al and then once from head coach Jerry Salone. (We saw him at Walmart the day T.J. bought his hat. Jerry stopped just to tell T.J. he liked his hat... how awesome is that?! Especially to stop and talk to a kid!)
Waiting in line. They couldn't wait. (That's KFAN in the background. They were broadcasting their radio talk show live from there. We had to be kinda quiet when we went into the kitchen. Jared wanted to yell so he could be on their show.)
Doesn't Cody look happy? I love when he looks happy like that. Makes my heart smile.
Signing his picture for us.
He signed it 'Big Al'.
I made the boys promise me they'd let me take pictures of them. Thank you boys.  :)
They also give everyone free Papa John's Pizza (Yum!) and free coke. That's when we had to be quiet for the radio show. Trying to keep 3 little boys quiet is not always easy. Especially when Jared wants to yell. But they were good. That's 3 of the Jazz players we've met now. We're starting to get a good collection of signatures. I guess it's a good thing Jared loves the Jazz and gets texts from them so we can find out about the signings. Fun times.

P.S. We got 5 eggs today! Jared smiled when he heard this. Cody is back to his old job of collecting the eggs. He's our little farm boy.

Official Farrier

Jared just got home from shoeing. He's been up to This Is The Place Heritage Park trimming 10 horses there. He had it scheduled to trim 11 and shoe 1 but the snow was coming down so bad they decided to finish on monday. Jared just told me the guy there said he wants Jared to be their official farrier. How cool is that? And, when we want to go up there as a family, we can schedule to have a private tour of the place! Sweet!! I love that place. I've only been there once with Cody on a field trip. I love anything that has to do with pioneers so this is right up my alley. The next time Jared goes there to trim, I'm tagging along. He said today he had 10 horses all lined up and tied to the fence waiting for their turn to be trimmed, and Jared just worked his way down the line. Wouldn't that be a cool picture? I'm so excited for Jared. This is a good client for him. (And us!!) Can't wait for that tour!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A highlight of the last couple days at our house....

Spring is definitely here. And the boys know it, too. They couldn't wait to get out in their sandbox to dig a huge pond and fill it with water, even thought they KNOW they aren't supposed to do this! 
At least their clothes stayed on this time. I know our neighbor's have probably seen more than they've wanted to at times. (Embarrassing!) 
The boys love when they play in the sand and all the puppies come out to play, too. This little puppy that is sitting with Hunter is such a sweetheart! She is constantly wanting to be held or just be with us. She sat perfectly content on this track hoe with Hunter while he dug. She's is such a cutie!
Cody is always building tunnels or "homes" in the sand for the puppies. The boys decided they needed this pond for the puppies to play in. After hearing that the poor puppies could drowned in there, and then watching a few of them come to see what the boys were doing and falling in, the boys were convinced and turned the water off. (Apparently I need puppies all year long so I don't have the water in the sand all the time. Not to mention the lovely soaked clothes that have sand all stuck to them.) We'll see how long this lasts with no water in there.

Cute puppies! (And boys!) They are 4 and a half weeks now. They're really staring to get their color now.

We got our first green egg! Our araucana chicken that Frank from across the street gave us is FINALLY laying! Jared is pretty excited! It's really bugged him that our chickens haven't been laying. We've only been getting one egg a day for a while. (You know Jared and his obsession with his chickens!)
Hunter's cat "Bandit" came back. She's a funny cat. She leaves home for about a month or two then decides to head home and hang out here for a while. I have no idea where she takes off to, but Hunter loves her and misses her when she's gone. We wish she'd stay around. She's the best hunter we've ever seen. She catches birds as they fly by her, and she's even pulled a small catfish out of the ditch before! And the water in our ditches runs fast so you know that's got to be tough for a cat. She's a crazy cat, but we love her!
Our other obnoxious cat with Hunter. I had to throw this picture in. Doesn't she look completely annoyed at being held right now?! She's a very pretty cat but so annoying! She became very lonely when we got rid of our kittens last year. Now she likes to sit at the back door and meow for us to play with her. And it's not a cute meow. She has the loudest, deepest meow of any cat I've seen. And she loves attention. She'll stand right in front of you as you walk so you trip over her. Seriously, it's a good thing she's so pretty. Jared actually likes her for this. (And he hates cats.) She drives me nuts!
I hung up the pants to dry outside!! Know what that means? It's finally warming up outside! And yesterday was also the first day the puppies ran up to me and wouldn't leave me alone. I love that! They always do that when I'm hanging clothes out to dry. They love to attack my shoes or bite my pants. It's so cute. 
Our cute baby goats. They are a week and a half now, almost 2. They're starting to get out of the pen now and dance around. I love baby goats.
Our fish in the horses water trough. We had 5 in there until Jared killed 3 of them last year. These two have almost died many times. Jared forgets to keep the water high enough so they can live. Oops!
We had Blue & Gold Banquet last night. I'm glad I took my camera. T.J. and Brodie helped with the flag ceremony and then they signed the Pledge of Allegiance. It was pretty cool.

T.J. getting his award he earned.
Dinner afterwards. They served hawaiian haystacks. Yummy!
Can't wait for the next pack meeting.... the PINEWOOD DERBY!!!!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm hiding out downstairs right now. Jared is upstairs taking the bathroom sink drain apart to clean it out. It hasn't been draining well lately. Why hiding out you ask? As careful as he says he is, there seems to always be some kind of a mess or spill that comes with his handyman work. So for now, I'll play on my blog. The anxiety levels on here are much less then upstairs right now.

Guess what?! I lucked out. I'm happy to say there wasn't much to clean up at all. Yahoo!

Monday, March 21, 2011

We had one of the tastiest combos I've tried yet for dinner. Stuffed peanut butter and banana french toast! It is so yummy! It's quite sweet, almost makes it feel like I'm having dessert for dinner. But it sure is tasty! About a month and a half ago Cody started asking to try a peanut butter and banana sandwich. He and Hunter have been on a kick lately creating different sandwiches. I told him that one of Elvis's (the singer) favorite foods was a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. Cody was so excited to try this. First we tried it just on white bread, not toasted. It was pretty good but you need the bananas cut thicker if you eat it like this. Hunter liked these sandwiches more than Cody. He's had about 6 of them since. I told Cody the next time I make french toast, let's try making this sandwich with this kind of bread. So we tried it, toped with a little maple syrup. Oh my gosh... it is SO good! It's definitely one of those foods that's so rich you can't eat a lot. I can only have about half a sandwich, but it's so worth it. Cody loves it, too! Mmmmmm!

I cut my dad's hair today. He is so cute. He has his own clippers but for the last 5 years he's had me cut it. It first started when they moved to Rose Canyon. When he moved he couldn't find where the clippers ended up, but even when he did find them he said I still needed to cut it because he can't see to cut his own. I think it's his way of having one on one time to talk with me. Really, that's the only time we can talk without interruptions. I really enjoy it.                                                                                           Today we talked over an hour. He was telling me some of his early days in the military. He signed on with the Air Force when he turned 18 (six months before he graduated high school). Then just 10 days after graduating, he reported to San Antonio, TX. He's been all over the place. In the early years of his military days, he was stationed in Oceanside, CA doing a bunch of training drills. He was telling me about how they'd be out living in dugouts and a flash flood would come tearing through and wipe out everything. They'd be just dripping. It didn't kill anyone, but they lost a bunch of M16's one time. Then other times they'd have to load up on these huge helicopters that could transport up to 30 or 40 troops at a time. He said they'd sit so close to each other that the person who was sitting in front of you, their knees would interlock with yours. If you had to use the bathroom during one of these flights and you happened to be the lucky one in the middle, you'd have to climb up to the top of the seat and somehow walk on the tops of these seats to get out. (Makes me feel claustrophobic just hearing that.) He said these helicopters are huge!! He told me of a time when they were training them on tear gas and getting used to it. They'd set off the tear gas and these guys had to learn how to hurry and put their masks on and such. This one time, after a tear gas training, they had all the soldiers load up in this sort of box called a cattle car to be transported to another place. The driver was up in another part of the truck and couldn't hear anyone. This car had a couple windows but I don't think they could open much. Once they shut those air tight doors, they all soon realized the tear gas was still on their clothes and was making them sicker than sick. They tried pounding on the sides to get the drivers attention. They would take turns getting by the window cracks where they could get a taste of the fresh air coming in. Finally the driver sensed something was wrong and pulled over. As soon as he opened the doors, they piled out of there as fast as they could. They were all so sick. They were all crying from the gas, but the minute you touched your eyes, it would make it worse. He said it was horrible! Then he told me about a time when he came out to the base in Tooele here in Utah. He said they'd do these shootin' drills out there. He could pick up an M16 outside and shoot in the windiest conditions and still shoot in the excellent range. But once they got indoors and shot at a much closer ranged target, he didn't do as well. The military said that happens... men shoot much better outside, and the women shoot much better indoors. 
I told dad he needs to write all this down. He has some cool stories from his days in the military. He's lived in many places, including two years in Alaska. He said it's weird when the sun is up 24 hours a day, then 6 months later it's dark 24 hours a day. He's lived in many states, traveled to Japan, Germany, etc. I remember when he'd go on his two weekers to Japan and Germany. When he came home fro Japan he brought us each 2 pairs of pajamas-one silky and one with japanese children playing on them. From Germany he brought us each an Odie stuffed animal from "Garfield" and a chocolate bar. German chocolate is so different from ours. It's really good. I remember him going to Washington state for the weekend every couple of months for the Air Force. I can still see his black bag we'd help him pack his shavor, toothpaste, etc. in.  I love the military. I miss going to Hill Air Force Base with my family for different things dad had to do. I loved hearing the fighter planes zoom by during one of their practice routines.  I'm thankful for the military and all the soldiers and everything they do for us.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Welcome Spring!

I love days like today when there's that hint of spring in the air. Don't get me wrong, I love the snow. I love the beauty of it as it blankets the ground and trees in white. I love the stillness and that peaceful feeling being outside watching the snow fall. But I love that feeling of having made it through another cold winter and now it's finally time to time to warm up again. It's time to grow again. And it's time for baby animals again! Today has been one of those spring days. The weather was warm, despite the wind, but warm enough I could still wear a tee shirt.  
                                                                                                                                                                We spent quite a bit of time outside today. (I guess like always. We love being outside.) The boys had fun playing with our cute puppies. They are 4 weeks old now and are starting to walk outside of the doghouse and eat dog food. They are so cute! Our dog "Frog" had 10 puppies, nine survived. We love raising blue heeler pups and selling them. It's such a good experience for our boys. (Even though it's hard to sell them. We get pretty attached.)

So cute!!

T.J.'s spent the last couple of days cleaning his 4-wheeler. He usually covers it pretty well in mud so yesterday and today he's been washing, waxing, and shining the wheels. He, Cody and Hunter also shined up their bikes real nice. T.J. and Jared also started working on T.J.'s pinewood derby. He is super excited!! The race is the end of next month, so it's time to get going on that sweet car. He wants to paint it up like "General Lee" from Dukes of Hazzard. 

Today they got the sides of the car cut and glued together.

We decided to take the boys and go for our first bike ride of the year today. We loaded up and headed down to the river bottoms. We love riding down there. It's always so beautiful. I love the river bottoms in Bluffdale. They are still pretty wild. Quite often we see deer down there or see where they've bedded  down the night before. We find lots of ducks, pheasants, geese, and skunks, too. (Skunks used to scare Hunter to death! He hated the river bottoms for a long time because of them. He used to call them  "junks" because he couldn't say his S's.) 
We rode in on the trail a mile before we came to the Bangerter bridge. The Jordan River is running so full right now with the spring runoff. We've never seen it this high down there before. The river completely covered the trail going under the bridge. The water got to be about 7 or 8 inches deep over the trail in some parts. Jared could have rode through it but he didn't want to get his boots all wet. We let the boys ride through some of it where it was only about 3 inches deep. They had so much fun riding through the water. We stayed and played there about 20 minutes. T.J.'s chain came off right when he was in the deepest part so his feet got pretty wet. And Hunter couldn't stay out of the water. We wouldn't let him ride his bike in it because he's still pretty little, so he had to jump in it even though we told him not to get his boots wet. There's something about water the has boys having to get in it. Even Jared!

Isn't he just so cute!
Check out that river. It's usually about half that wide.

Deciding if they should ride through. Why not?!
He couldn't stay out of this water! I know those boots are going to shrink!

Cody was nervous but he loved riding through.
Jared found a way to get across riding on higher ground. He had to duck though so he could get through.

We've missed our bike rides. That's one of our favorite things to do together. Once we got back home we had a little BBQ. That's another thing we love to do... COOK! Tonight we BBQ'd chicken and covered it with homemade BBQ sauce. So Good! We had fried potatoes and grilled asparagus with it.

And during dinner we watched some more of "The Sacketts" movie. It's an old cowboy movie based on a Louis L'amour book. The boys have really gotten in to it. Hunter has learned to listen to the music to tell if something bad is going to happen. He warns us when that music starts playing.
All in all I'd say it's been a pretty fun day. I love hanging out with my boys. What more could I ask for. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Parent Teacher Conference

I had parent teacher conferences for T.J. and Hunter today. I love my boys. They are all trying their best in school this year. What more can I ask for. Hunter is doing so good. Mrs. Tenney loves him and says he is the best one in her class - he's her favorite one because of this. She says he does whatever he's asked and is so polite. We need to work more with his sight words but he's doing great. He has really nice handwriting, too!
T.J. has made a big improvement again this year. I think it does him good to have teachers who push him. He's made the biggest improvement in reading out of his whole class. He's right where he needs to be on his reading level. And he's well behaved in class. We need to work more on his math. They've started division and that's been a struggle for him. But tonight we worked on it for an hour and he's getting it more. He did 13 problems tonight and got every one right. I think when it comes to math, he just needs a little more one on one. T.J. has realized this year that he needs school in his life. He's always hated school. He loves working with Jared and has the hardest time going to school when he knows dad is doing something cool for work that day. But he's seeing that things they teach you in school is something you need to know to be able to work some day. My brother Jim has helped a lot this year, too. He's promised T.J. a job with him in a couple of years, but in order to work for him, he's got to do his schooling. T.J. loves working with Jim, so this is an awesome incentive for him. (He'll be working around construction. Jim's already taught T.J. how to dig with the Track Hoe all by himself! My boy's growing up!) I still can't believe T.J.'s in 4th grade. Where does the time go?

St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick's Day has always been fun around our house. Every year the boys look forward to setting their traps to catch a leprechaun and finding people who aren't wearing green to pinch them. Yesterday, they worked on their traps. T.J. built his own, while Cody shared his with Hunter. T.J. was determined to catch the little bugger. He made sure the rock he put on top was heavy enough to trap him in. Cody decided he didn't want to catch the leprechaun, but instead built him sort of a hotel where he could come and go as he pleased. They both put out green food they thought the leprechauns might like... peas and celery. The traps were set!

The boys were so excited to see if the leprechauns came that they woke up an hour early. But before we went out, T.J. ran over to me as fast as he could and piched me. Next year I need to wake up extra early to make sure I'm dressed before they wake up!! We all hustled outside. Guess what... he came!! We walked out to see that T.J.'s trap had been knocked down, with that heavy rock on the ground. He got away! But we did find some treasures. He left little gold wrapped candies on the ground and on the walk way to the hotel. Yum! Plus, he left a trail of what appeared to be some kind of glitter that shimmered all around the traps. And, yes, he did eat some of the snacks the boys left. It was a little disappointing the leprechaun got away, but him leaving some fun treats made it a little easier to handle. Oh, and the boys found 2 tiny footprints from him!
Looking for footprints.
There they are!!
The other day we were at Shopko when I looked over and saw Hunter dancing with this St. Patrick's Day hat thing on. Hunter is obsessed with dancing and he loves to pretend he has long hair and dance like a girl. I about died when I saw him dancing in the store. He cracks me up! We bought the hat just so I could get a picture of him and a movie of his dance.  (The dance in the store was MUCH better! He didn't know I was watching.)

For dinner I usually turn our food all green. This year I made breakfast sandwiches with homemade biscuits, and bacon, egg, and cheese. The plan was to have green biscuits and eggs, but silly me, I forgot to buy green food coloring so I barely "tinted" the biscuits with what coloring I had left. Oh-well, it's the thought that counts right? Holidays are fun anyways when kids are involved, whether the food was as green as I wanted or not. (But next year I will have green food coloring on hand!) Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!!
(Sad! You can't even tell by this picture there was any green food coloring in there. I put 3 drops in, I promise!)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Official Soccer Mom

I became an official soccer mom today. Hunter has been begging us to sign him up, so we got that done today. We signed up with the Drury's so Hunter can be on the same team as Possum. He is so excited!! And a bit nervous. But he'll do great. Games start in about 3 weeks. I think he's going to like this. He has a natural ability with running and he's already doing great at practicing with the ball. He'll be so cute out there. I can't wait to watch my little man out there running the field.

P.S. I should mention I will NOT be driving a mini van even though I'm a soccer mom now. My red truck will do me just fine.  :)

So. Jordan Museum Field Trip

Holy cow, I can't believe how time can get away from me. This last week we have been SO busy I haven't had any time to dedicate to blogging. But there's something I've been wanting to post.

Last Tuesday I helped out with T.J.'s scout group. We went on a field trip to the So. Jordan museum (used to be the old library). This is the coolest museum ever!! It's all about So. Jordan... the first settlers, how the city was back in the 1800's, some of the famous people that have come from there, and so on. My Grandpa Holt (my mom's dad) and all his family is from So. Jordan. In fact, it was my great-great grandpa, Matthew Holt, who was one of the first settlers in So. Jordan. Shortly after the pioneers got to Utah, Brigham Young told Matthew he needed to settle somewhere out around So. Jordan. So Matthew and his young family packed up and headed southwest. Their first house was a one room dugout along the banks of the Jordan River. Eight people lived in this small one room house that only had a wood stove and one small window. Included in those eight poeple was another family who also lived with them. This museum has built a replica of this dugout. I had to get a picture of my boys standing in front of what their great-great-great grandpa's first home in So. Jordan looked like. They were amazed at what this tiny home was like. And the fact that it belonged to one of their grandpa's!!

Our great-great-great grandpa's house along the Jordan River banks in So. Jordan.

Once we got in the museum, we took a tour looking and learning about the first settlers of So. Jordan. They've built replica's of the old homes, the first store, the schoolhouse, and the old mine. It was so neat to see all this. The boys and I loved it. I can't wait to go back and be able to spend more time looking and showing the boys family members names on the walls. This was a fun field trip!!

The boys loved looking at this old car.

Learning about the buffalo.

The boys LOVED these little desks. Hunter couldn't wait until he could check out this tiny school. The highlight of this trip!

This is a blanket representing some of So. Jordan's history. On the bottom left, second from the top, is Aunt Mame's house (with her sheep of course!). My Grandpa Holt was born here and lived here his whole life 'til he married my grandma. Next to it on the right is the dugout my great-great grandpa lived in. And next to that is the purple church house. When Matthew Holt settled he built and lived in Aunt Mame's house. He owned many acres and ended up donating the land where they built this church. Matthew also ended up being bishop for 20+ years and his wife was the midwife. She'd deliver babies from the point of the mountain to Murray area. She'd only charge one dollar for her services and if the family's were very poor, she'd pin that dollar on the pillowcase of the babies tiny bed.
My mom went to Bingham High School, and I remember when they built the Jordan River Temple, even though I was only 3 when they dedicated it. I've always loved So. Jordan. I love the history of it within my family roots. I LOVE family history!!