Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Return of Memory Monday- on Tuesday. . .

From ages 2 1/2 to 4 I got to live in Honolulu Hawaii on an Army base and it was awesome! When most people hear this they say something along the lines of, "Oh, how sad that you can't remember any of that." Well, my friends, that is completely erroneous thinking. I have a crazy accurate memory, and I remember A LOT of my younger childhood years. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I personally own of my Hawaiian years, but it captures one of the most vivid memories of that time for me. That dog is Alex and he was dumb and got hit by a car, and we really didn't miss him much, but that chair there is where I spent a lot of time with my dad. When he got home from work on base, he would always camp out there for about 45 minutes or so to unwind and watch the news, and he would usually let me join him there. In fact, those are my little blue shoes under the chair.
Some of my other memories inlude going to the beach- a lot. We got some kind of military discount for the parking or something, so we went all the time, and that is where my dad taught me to doggy paddle. I also remember one time when my parents had fallen asleep on their towels under an umbrella, and I decided to wake them up. I grabbed a pail and filled it with water and came back to dowse them. It wasn't until the bucket was empty that I realized I had put the contents of it on the wrong people. . they were MAD!!!

We had a really cool banana tree behind our house, and my dad would cut some of the limbs down just enough for us to swing on them. Also- the bananas from that tree were really gross for some reason.

When I was scared at night, I used to go into my parent's room and get my dad to come and chop up the monsters with his cool swords. Oh, and we always had to call out to him from the door, because if we touched him to wake him up, there was a chance we could end up in the death grip. I also remember one time when I was going in to get the samurai help from my dad, I slipped on something and hit my head on my parent's steel frame bed- Not Good! I had a huge gash and my parents called the ambulance. The ambulance was too slow for my dad, so he put me on his lap and drove me in himself. I remember being so scared that they wouldn't let him hold my hand while I was in there and they kept poking me with all sorts of needles and crap. It turned out that the cut was too close to my eye for them to stitch it up, so I still have a little scar from it.

That was not the only time was in the hospital over there. I also had some sort of breathing problem which still gets to me sometimes today. I don't think they ever figured out what it was, but I spent a night in an oxygen tent, which I thought was AWESOME. However, the next night they wanted me to stay in a crib and I was sooooo offended! I was a big girl, and did NOT sleep in cribs anymore. I'm not sure which hospital stay it was, but my dad would come in to visit with me and he would read Heidi by Johanna Spiri to me, and it is still one of my favorite books to this day.

I wasn't the only one who made my parents grateful for their really great military insurance though. Little Heather was pretty much a train wreck of sickness and freak accidents. She got every sickness that blew through there, and some of them were pretty weird. She also almost cut off her thumb when she tried to cut the rubber bands off of a rolled up newspaper with a butcher knife, and she got some box staples in her head when my dad was rolling her around in a big furniture box. He felt so bad! Heather was just giggling and laughing as he gently rolled the box around with her in it, and then all of the sudden, the laughing turned to screeches, and they were off to the hospital again.

I also remember our neighbors with whom we shared the rights to our madadamia nut tree. They had a daughter who was a little older than me named Miranda. They liked to have me come over and play because Miranda had a speech problem and they were hoping that my incessant chattering would ease her out of it. These are the same neighbors who went deep sea fishing and brought back a shark that they cleaned out where we could see it, and I was certain that the thing was going to wake up all of the sudden and eat all the guys who were out there helping. Actually, I don't know if it was really a shark- it was just a very large, toothy, and scary looking gray fish with a sinister looking dorsal fin. I suppose it could have been something else, but my little 3 year old mind was certain it was a live shark just pretending to be dead.

There was an ice cream truck that used to come around, and on the truck they had a cooler that held sodas. On the top of the box they had glued some soda cans to differentiate it from the identical ice cream sandwhich cooler. However, it took a few years for that to sink in, and I was always astounded that they could get those soda cans to stick to the top without falling off when they opened the chest. It was truly a mystery to me.

I remember the very long and scenic drive that we had to take to get to our church building, and I remember that ward being really great. My first memories of church at all are from that building, and it wasn't until I moved to Utah that I realized they do things a little differently in other places. For instance, in Hawaii they don't have apricot trees, so that iconic Mormon song didn't make much sense to them. Instead, they would substitute other native fruits for Apricot, and it was a privilege to ge to choose which one we would sing that day. "Popcorn popping on the coconut, pineapple, banana, red mango tree." On our first sunday back in Utah I got all excited when we sang that song, and when we finished I raised my hand all excited, and when Sister Orlando called on me I said,"let's do coconut now!!" Sister Orlando was a little taken aback by this, but luckily my mom had already been called as the primary pianist (a calling she held in almost every ward we were ever in while I was in primary) and quicly pulled her aside and explained it. The Hawaii ward also gave out really great leis to say goodbye to people, and ever since then I have wished that we did more as a church to bid members farewell. I also LOVED saying Aloha to every person who took the stand- it was lively and endearing. My first Sunday in Utah the person conducting said, "Good Morning brothers and sisters." and I said Good Morning back very loudly and got some funny looks.

OK, I have a lot more, but this is getting a little long, so I will end with the the thing that I miss most about Hawaii (yes, I still miss it 20 years later!). Our madadamia nut tree. It was wonderful, and I was really great at cracking the nuts. The shells are really hard, and you have to hit them in just the right place, or you will shatter the nut inside and end up with a bunch of crumbs. I was awesome at putting the nuts in the crack of the sidewalk and smacking them with a hammer in just the right spot to get a perfect nut. My mom would have me go out and do a whole bunch for her whenever she needed some for recipes, or needed me out of her hair. I was so spoiled with those yummy morsels that are upwards of $8.00 a pound out here.

I loved Hawaii but have yet to go back. Ross and I plan to go at some point though, and I hope it is soon!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Pioneer Village- Jones Style!

Last week (yes, this is another image heavy post that is a week late) my family took a trip up to the pioneer village. This is something we used to do two or three times every summer because my dad loved it so much. It had been a couple of years since they had all gone, so we decided to find a day when everyone would be available and headed on up. It was a lot of fun, but it was very very hot!!! I didn't delete the pictures this time, so pretend that you can see Grant and Judy in some of these, and we will all feel better about that whole mix-up :)

Caulene was the designated Map Girl, which meant she got to tell us where to go, and she knew when the different demonstrations would be open at the different sites. I am still not sure if it was a good thing to put so much power in her hands- but she did a pretty good job. Next time I will have to make her a cape or something. Heather was designated the camera girl (even though I have yet to see any of the pictures she took!!) because she has a good eye for photography and promised to send out all the good ones. (hint hint HINT!!!)
We hadn't been there 5 minutes when my dad decided to play his Papa role seriously, and got her an overpriced, but very cute little duck which she named AFLAC- that's my girl!!

They just finished the cute little train for the kids on the fourth of July (the day AFTER we went with the Goodmans- lame!) and Emma had a blast riding on it. I didn't get any pictures though because she was doing this while I was hiding in the shady spot at Mary Fielding Smith's house feeding Sara. I know Heather got some pictures though. . .

The navigational role got a little tough for Caulene, so she asked Sara to help her out a little bit.

Sara wanted us to go down to the photographer's studio where we got a cute old fashioned souveneir picture. It was a fun experience trying to find clothes that fit us all.
I think my dad looks like an old rock star in this picture- like a stout David Bowie or something!

Happy 67th birthday tomorrow Mom!!
We went out to the parking lot to have some lunch. Ross and I brought some rotisserie cooked chickens, and my mom brought bread and rolls and chips and apples and all sorts of good things to eat. Sara decided that this was the time to break her little mold of being the perfect baby. She was VERY upset, and it took me a while to calm her down. She is teething, and I think that, along with being REALLY hot was really getting to her.
Dana- you are so cute! Stop with the growing up already!

After we got Sara settled down for a good nap, we went and learned about the Deseret alphabet at the school house, and then Emma and Dana pretty much pulled us down the hill to the pony rides. I think Dana is getting a little old for this- but I am the one who wants her to stop growing up, so maybe I will just keep my mouth shut about that. :)

The petting zoo was kind of funny because all of the animals were huddled under the only shade in the entire pen.

After we all smelled like cows and sheep (and peacocks- those thinge are GROGEOUS), we went to the black smith's shop, the tin smith's shop, the cabinetry, and ended up at the Pay cabin. The nice lady told the same story as before, but I still loved hearing it. Emma was a little distracted by her 'blue juice' though. We were really getting hot.
So Mom bought us all ice cream!
We stopped at a few places along Main Street on the way out like the bank, the barber's shop, and the artist's home, but we were all too hot and tired to head over to the pink house. We may have been up to it if we had cooled off at the Visitor's Center for a while, but I had to head home for Enrichment. It was a very fun day, and I was very happy that my dad not only took a day off (a rarity for him) but decided to spend that precious day off with us.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Strawberry Days Rodeo

Last year Ross came home from work at Brent Brown and told me he was taking Emma and me to the rodeo. I was a little surprised by this because first of all, I didn't even know the rodeo was in town, second of all, I had never in my life been to a rodeo and had never really had that as a thing that I might be even slightly interested in, and third of all, I had no idea Ross would be so excited about a rodeo. It turned out that the reason he was so enthusiastic about it was that he got free tickets from work because Brent Brown Dodge is a sponsor of the Strawberry Days Rodeo. I was fine with that though- I am never one to turn down free fun, at least not while we are still living on a budget. I think we were both a little surprised at how much I would LOVE it. Seriously, who knew that watching grown men in way too tight pants getting thrown off of giant farm animals that are being poked and prodded behind the gates to be as angry as possible would be so entertaining? It was fantastic!

When I found out that the rodeo was back in town, I asked Ross to call Jim, his old manager at Brent Brown to see if he would give us some free tickets again this year. Jim said that he didn't have any extra, but that since the seating isn't assigned at the Strawberry Arena we could probably just flash an old Brent Brown business card and they would most likely let us in. They did, and we were thrilled! My mom was watching the girls, so we had a nice little date night complete with $5 worth of goodies that we snuck in, and a great little people watching show that kept us entertained in between events. In the row in front of us we had Cowboy Man- a very cute and rugged young man who was wearing a dashing black stetson (to most likely hide his unfortunate receding hairline) who had invited Cheerleader Girl on a date to the rodeo. We were enjoying dropping eaves on their awkward first date conversation. They were sitting next to Not So Cute Girl, and Not So Cute Girl's Friend, and those two ladies were totally SMITTEN with Cowboy Man and were flirting like mad. We noticed that every time Cowboy Man would turn to talk to Not So Cute Girl and Not So Cute Girl's Friend, Cheerleader Girl would quickly text something on her phone to somebody. About 20 minutes later, Skinny Butt Long Hair Guy, a good friend of Cheerleader Girl just happened to show up and saw Cheerleader Girl in the stands and came to join them. Keep in mind that there were thousands of people there that night and we were way up in the stands. It was pretty hard to spot people you were looking for when you knew where they were there- so just bumping in to someone was pretty far-fetched. Well, everyone on the row scooted down to make room for Skinny Butt Long Hair Guy, and he foiled any plan that Cowboy Man had of making Cheerleader Girl notice him, and believe me, he tried. He bought her strawberries, he put his hat on her and told her how cute she was in it, he got her to help him get our whole section to do the wave, but it was all to no avail. Cheerleader Girl left early with Skinny Butt Long Hair Guy, and Cowboy man drowned his sorrows in a tall 12 oz can of diet coke, and went out for ice cream with Not So Cute Girl and Not So Cute Girl's Friend. It was hilariously entertaining, and Cowboy Man, if you are reading this- you can do better! Oh, and Cheerleader Girl- so can you! For reals, the guy had no butt!

Anyway, here are some blurry, not great pictures of the events.

When they were singing the National Anthem, Miss Rodeo Utah rode around with a flag, and a little calf somehow got out and was wandering around the arena and was kind of distracting.

The Rodeo Clown was annoying, but his rope tricks were pretty awesome.

Our favorite event of the night, hands down, was the Wild Cow Milking! Ross was dying laughing. He grew up milking cows, so this was extremely funny for him to watch.

The Car Show

I find it kind of funny that I married a guy who is so into cars and motorcycles and other things of that nature, because I am so completely ignorant about most of that stuff. I mean, I can change a tire and check my oil if I absolutely have to- but beyond that, I know next to nothing. Anyway, here are some cute shots from an old fashioned car show that we went to last month. Since I was dragging him to the rodeo that night (post to come- maybe) we went to this show to make up for it. That makes it sound like I was against it, but really I was fine with it. We had a lot of fun, and Ross got to show off all of his grease monkey knowledge by answering all of my questions.

Emma wasn't too terribly thrilled to be out in the sun, and was really mad that we wouldn't carry Sara and let her ride in the stroller. Ross has a soft spot for the Mustangs. I personally like the old Camaros though.
I thought this was funny.

Ross wants to buy and restore an old truck like this some day- but it will NOT be orange.

Ross was pretty much drooling over this beauty!

See how unthrilled she was? Party Pooper!
We were hoping the State Farm sucker would cheer her up- but it just kept her quiet- which was half way to happy.

The playground got her all the way to happy!

After the shade moved and the playground was in the sun (and my camera battery was dead) we went to Cabellas to enjoy the free museum. It was awesome. Emma loved it, but I was totally loving it as well. We will definitely do that again! It was a great day of free fun- which is the best kind if you ask me!

Emma Goodman; MD

I am not a big fan of TV, but the one genre of television show that has always been able to capture my attention is the medical shows. We own four seasons of Scrubs, two seasons of MASH, and we have been Netflixing all available Grey's Anatomy seasons. I also used to LOVE ER when George Clooney was on there. My love of these medical dramas and comedies has already been passed on to Emma. It is not uncommon for her to as to requeest 'The Doctors' (Scrubs) when she gets to choose her movie for the day. She is also usually very content to sit quietly in my lap while Ross and I watch Grey's Anatomy- even though there aren't any stuffed dogs or crazy costumes like there are in Scrubs. I figured that this was mostly just because I will sit with her while we watch Scrubs or MASH, but if she chooses the Fish (Finding Nemo), the Pongo Puppies (101 Dalmations), or any other animated flick, I will usually let her watch it alone while I attend to some cleaning, or occasionally some blogging. Emma has always been very affectionate, so I figured her love of these meidcal shows was mostly tied up in the automatic snuggling involved.

It wasn't until a couple weeks ago I realized just how much she is picking up from these shows. Before we moved our computer desk to Ross's make-shift office in the basement, we had a corner of our room that held the computer desk, and underneath it was a lap-top bag with a bunch of old computer wires and other technical equipment that may still be of use at some point. I have some old headphones, and the extra set of my I-pod ear buds in there along with an old mouse and some cable wires.

I got out of the shower one day to find Emma (who had been napping when I got in) playing with all of these wires and I was about to get really upset until I realized what she was doing with them. When I figured it out, I ran for the camera and tried to capture that moment. When I ran off, she yelled after me, "Mommy- SSHHH! Donkey sick and resting! SSHHH! Quiet!" I did not tell her to do any of this, I just watched her. Defribulator?
Oxygen Mask?

"YAY!! Donkey all better! Donkey gonna make it, Mommy! Yay!"
I found this so cute and I think she is such a smart little cookie, but this experience also really scared me. The medical things are not the only things portrayed in these shows. I am really concerned about how much of the sexual content she has picked up, or the swearing. We have tried to really monitor watch she watches now because we now know just how receptive she really is to the things she is watching. She really is a little spongue just soaking it all up!

Soldier Creek Camping Trip- 2008

OK- I know I am a week behind in most of these big posts. Sorry! I will try to catch up in my spare time today- so be ready for a few posts with A LOT of pictures!

Last weekend was the Wallace family camp out up at Soldier Creek. We decided very last minute that we were going to join all the Wallaces for this year's Soldier Creek excursion. Sara was our main reason for not wanting to go this year, and we pretty much told everyone to not expect us at all. I think I even told my Aunt Carrie the day before that we were not going. I had never been camping with such a young baby and wasn't really sure how she would take the cold at night. We also figured that since Ross took so much time off of work while his family was here that we would have to skip the camp-out so he could catch up. Well, on Thursday morning two of his appointments cancelled, and the third one had been pretty flakey the previous two times they had tried to meet- so we (Ross mostly) decided to pack it all up and we headed out.

Emma was in such a funny mood in the car! Here she is playing peek-a-boo with Daddy's hat.
The flies were really bad this year for some reason, which necessitated the lighting of the citronella candles. This meant that poor Jay got to spend most of the time in his time-out chair. :) He is allergic to citronella, and it made him totally miserable until the sun went down and the flies went away.
Sara was a pretty good sport and spent a lot of her time in her pack 'n play (which is also her crib- we are too cheap to get her a real crib! Emma used the same pack 'n play for 16 months until she upgraded to a twin bed that my mom gave us. My goodness, we have been in these parenthesis so long that I actually forgot all about them!).

This is Garrett- and this is pretty much what he looked like the entire time. He is such a busy little guy, and he LOVES to be dirty. My uncle Allen nick-named him Pig Pen (you know- from Charlie Brown). This started a fun game where we decided who everyone else was from the Peanuts gang. Jessica was Sally, Carrie was Lucy, Heather was Marcie, Dana was Peppermint Patty, Aaron was Schroeder, Spencer was Snoopy, I was the litttle red headed girl, Corbin was Linus, my mom was the teacher (Mwah mwah mwa mwaah), Annika was Lucy- it was an amusing game. I was also happy to see that there are some people who know just as much about Charlie Brown as I do. I thought Peanuts was a dying pleasure- so I was happy to see that the enjoyment of it is alive and well.

Here is my uncle Allen. I wonder what he is thinking so deeply about. . . This is a wonderful game called horse-balls. It is distantly related to horseshoes. Spencer was entertaining the kids by telling them it was a time machine. He had them do all sorts of silly things and kept them busy long enough for Eve to get her dinner cooked and ready.
Emma does not like to take naps- but she is even more stubborn about it when there are fun things (like camping) going on. This meant that by the end of the day she was getting pretty tired and extremely obnoxious. Caulene won the trophy for Favorite Sister of the Day by getting her to sleep. She woke up about 20 minutes later, but she was much happier, so mission accomplished.
My mom and sisters also got the pleasure of having Emma sleep in their GIANT tent. It was nice not having to worry about her, and they said she slept pretty well too. I was a little sad that she didn't even want to say goodnight though. Unfortunately we didn't have the same luck with Sara. She was cold and she ended up in our sleeping bag in my arms (Ross was far too passed out to help very much- his seizure medication does that to him) so I woke up (if I ever really slept) with an extremely sore shoulder. That pinched nerve was just killing me! We decided that since Saturday would mostly consist of packing up and driving home that we would just leave late on Friday night and sleep in our own bed.
This is the hairspray my aunt Lara uses on my cousins. "Help yourself to the Mane and Tail, but don't even think about touching the Verticolli!" Grandpa Wallace took us out on his boat for a bumpy and windy ride. We had a lot of fun! Jay even got in the water and did some water skiing. We were impressed because the water was really cold and very choppy.
Grandpa even let Emma drive.
Just like last year, the boat put Emma right to sleep.
We spent the rest of the day eating (lots of eating happens at these camping trips) and playing games. Pit, Charoodles, and Scattergories were the most popular this year. I also thoroughly enjoyed the fire. That is always my favorite part. We had marshmallows and smores and starburst, and we enjoyed some great conversation. When the fire started to die down and people were heading to bed, we hopped in the car (which Ross packed up all by himself- thanks Babe!) and headed home.