October 31, 2008

Head in the Game

Donovan is such a lovable boy and is usually such a joy to be around. He is the best kid for cleaning-up as he will be the first one on the job, put away more toys and usually has the best disposition while doing it! Then there are the times when he can be...well how do I say this...slightly oblivious to the glaring obvious.

One of the common traits that Donovan exhibits is the propensity to walk forward while looking in any other direction but forward. Maybe he is easily distraction, multi-tasking, has extreme concentration on a previous thoughts (ideas, whatever). Regardless, the result is the same, that he walks without looking where he is going. Today he didn't see the cutting board that had been extended for use in the cooking work space. As you can see, above his left eye, he didn't see the cutting board and walked right into it.

We felt bad for him but we were not quite sure what to do. Band-aids don't work so good over the eye and stitches seemed a bit extreme. So he just got to sit with a cold compress (ice in a wash cloth) over his eye to control the swelling and stop the bleeding.

It wouldn't be so bad except that this is the third head injury in as many days! Yesterday he was walking and tripped, smacking his head on the sidewalk! And the day before he did something else! When I want my boys to get their heads in the game this isn't what I had in mind! It has to be something of a miracle that any children ever make it to be adults...!

October 30, 2008

Family Night Around the Campfire

So there I am working on the computer when David pops his head in the doors, "Dad, can we have a fire tonight?" This happens on a regular basis (not everyday). Mostly he loves to play with matches and see stuff burn (I'm thinking that most boys fit into this category). Quite frequently we tell him "no" or "not today" or "on a different day" or something to deflect the idea to a later time. However, with bottling meat, holiday preparations, and life being crazy (in general) we hadn't prepared anything for dinner...and it was already after 6:00 pm. So I thought roasting hot dogs would kill 2 birds with 1 stone (dinner and a fire for the boys).

Michelle didn't have any objections so off we go! The boys are always eager to help chop the wood, create kindling, get matches and start the flames! It didn't take long before the fire was roaring and the hasty dinner items were brought out to the picnic table. We thought it would be great to let the kids start learning how to cook their own food so each boy (except Aleky) got a roasting stick and a hot dog and did their best (with coaching of course). Apparently it worked because they actually ate their dinner!

Every so often I hit that moment when I realize that my boys are growing up way too fast. There is always work to be done, something pressing that needs immediate attention, but that also includes my boys. They need my immediate attention and tonight I realized that I needed to spend some time with them. These are the memories that will last and will build our family bonds. We had a great time together and have one more Jones Family Memory.

October 27, 2008

We've Been Boo-ed for Halloween Fun!

About the only time in life when we've been excited to be "boo-ed" happend tonight. We returned home from visiting our friends, the Gossetts (in their new home), when we discovered a plate of goodies and a note on our doorstep. Upon further examination we discovered that the Halloween phantom and visited our home and we had been "boo-ed." We we're excited to see that took the effort to visit our home and deliver goodies.

Now that we've been "boo-ed" it is our turn to continue the "boo-ing" by delivering treats to 3 other households in our ward by tomorrow night! I guess we'll need to make some treats tomorrow so that we can do a little phantoming of our own!!! What a great halloween tradition.

Rhyme (as seen in the photo)
Ghost (not pictured)

Warning! Watching this Video May Increase Desire for More Children...

We took a casual stroll in our backyard (the park) and stopped at the playground. We wanted the kids to burn of some pent up energy. But we couldn't leave with out letting Aleky swing. He was having such a good time that we took this short video.

video

October 26, 2008

Primary Program

I'm certainly glad that we got a note this week that David had a part in the primary program today. Otherwise we wouldn't have known about it until we showed up to church. Yesterday David had a program practice and party (all wrapped into one). Today he was able to participate with the entire primary in a program about "I am a Child of God."

We thought the party idea was great. His primary teacher was nice enough to pick David up around 10 am and take him to the church. The first 2 hours were supposed to be devoted to practicing for the program. Then they were going to have a lunch and do a party involving the decoration of sugar cookies! As far as we know it went well. Around 1:30 pm David was brought home by his primary teacher and he had a plate of sugar cookies that were neatly decorated. He also had a 5 helium filled balloons that the boys have been playing with (non-stop) ever since. (These balloons have been the source of numerous contentious activities since yesterday afternoon.)
Today at church David seemed pretty excited to get on the stand so that he could do his part in the program. He pointed out his seat and made sure I knew which seat he was going to sit in, even though he had to wait until after the sacrament had been passed to the congregation before he could go up there. But once he got up there he didn't seem quite as eager to participate (go figure). He did say he part very well and he participated in most of the singing. At one point, after saying his part and having to go to the "back of the line" while the rest of his class said their parts, he decided to sit on the banister! I could just see him falling off and breaking his other arm, not to mention that sitting on the banister in the chapel in front of the congregation (during the services) isn't the most reverent activity a future missionary could be doing!
(contraband pictures of David speaking at the podium)

October 25, 2008

Ward Halloween Party...A Trial Run for Costumes

We have such a wonderful ward. It seems like every time we turn around the ward has an activity, party or other function that we get to participate in. With Halloween on Friday (next week) our ward decided to do a party a week early; that way there isn't any interference with the trick-or-treating of Halloween night! Besides, this forced us to have our costumes ready for Halloween a week early so there wasn't any last minute stresses and concerns when the time comes!

We chose the Musketeer theme this year. The only problem is that we have 4 boys and only 3 Musketeers! So we headed up the line of royalty and came up with the King himself as the 4th person. With Aleky at the head of the line (as King Louie) we headed to the party.

(Aleky as King Louie)
(Michael)
(Donovan)
(David)
...all for one
...and one for all!
Chris Phipps grew some monster pumpkins this year! Apparently his pumpkins have a whole different kind of "seed" inside!
These primary children were getting lined up for the costume parade. There were some really cute costumes at the party. These parents did a great job preparing for Halloween this year!

October 24, 2008

Monster Bean

I went out to pick some beans from our makeshift green house a few days ago and found a MONSTER BEAN!!! The smaller one next to it is a normal size bean. The funny thing was that it didn't have bulging bean seeds or anything . It was nice, smooth and good on the inside too. I guess I had used too much fertilizer trying to give my garden a boost hoping it would miraculously grow faster.
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New outfit

Thank you Great Grandpa & Grandma Barrus for the cute outfit you gave me for my first birthday it fits perfect and I am so adorable. I know because my mom is constantly picking me up and hugging and kissing me.


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October 23, 2008

Broken Arm, Broken Heart

It was a sad phone call today when Wasatch Elementary School called us. David had been playing on the monkey bars at recess and he missed the next bar and fell, breaking his arm. The school nurse is only there on Wednesdays (who's bright idea was that one?) so the office secratary called with the news. So Michelle got the call that she needed to go and pick David up from school and I think it broke her heart.

David wanted to come home and show me his arm before he went to the Doctor's office. It wasn't anything obvious but there was definitely pain and David has a pretty high tolerance for pain. It looked like it could have just been a bruise but since David doesn't complain about bruises we took him in to for a second opinion. The x-rays showed a definite break but it didn't break through the bone.

Michelle took David in to see the doctor and then they spent a lot of time waiting. After the x-rays they spent a long time waiting for one doctor to talk to another doctor before making their final decision. They decided to do a pre-cast while the swelling goes down. In a week they will put on the real cast. As far as breaks go, this is a good one. Since the bone didn't break all the way through there isn't any setting that needs to happen (but he still needs to treat the arm as broken). The other bone didn't break but shows weak spots after having significant bending during the fall. So that bone will have time to heal too.

October 22, 2008

Jack-O-Lantern

There is something about children that make the holiday season so much more exciting. I think it's their enthusiasm that is most contagious. As soon as they understand that something exciting is coming up, they can't talk about anything else. While their vocabulary and grammar may be somewhat lacking, it doesn't stop them for explaining and discussing the upcoming event with every word they know!

David has the opportunity to go on a school field trip to "Pumpkin Land." To this day I have no idea where that special place is but David brought home a perfect little pumpkin. He was pretty excited to show it to me and he explained very carefully that he picked the pumpkin out all by himself. From the moment he got home from school (just before 4 pm) until we actually started carving his jack-o-lantern around 7 pm, he was asking us about every 15 minutes if he could start cutting his pumpkin. (Michelle had already acquired the family pumpkin last week.)

Michelle, along with Donovan and Michael, began the work on the family pumpkin while David work solo on his special pumpkin. Michelle and the boys finished their jack-o-lantern first but David persevered all by himself and ended up with a remarkable jack-o-lantern of his own.



Fall Has Arrived

Michelle has started the winterization of our yard. She's been doing some pruning in the yard, she has pulled out most of the garden, applied the "fall treatment" to the lawn, etc. She is one of the most industrious people I know.

As she was pulling out the garden plants she was thinking about where she could get the leaves that we need to till into the soil to help prepare it for next year (she's always thinking ahead like that). She realized that our neighbor. an elderly lady that lives across the street, could us a small act of service. So she was going to hurry over there, rake up the fallen leaves and then use those leaves in the garden. But before she could get the rake out of the garage she saw someone else raking and bagging those perfectly good leaves. (Blast! Someone beat us to it and now they are going to waste perfectly good leaves by disposing of them!)


(this final harvest include some monster green beens!)

Next, trimming the trees is a fall activity (this is something that I am learning about and didn't know until I was married). Between trimming the trees and pulling the garden Michelle was able to put together a couple of beautiful fall arrangements. Who knew that yard clippings were actually a beautiful sight to behold?

But wait, there's more...

Michelle didn't merely limit her creative mind to a couple of household arrangements. She continued to decorate and prepare our house for the upcoming holiday festivities. With Halloween just around the corner and Thanksgiving right on its heels, we have prepared our home for the holiday merriment.

Hunting Without Success

The Petersens always go where no one else will dare and they have the horse-power to make it there in style. There's nothing like camping in Dad Petersen's wall tent. They have most of the conveniences of home, including running water (of sorts). But you barely feel like your roughin' it when you camp in this kind of style!

The weather was very nice, unseasonably warm (last year we started in a snow storm). But it was still chilly at 7,000 feet (above sea level) so we had the fires burning. The tent footprint had to be shoveled free of snow before we could set up camp. Mom and Dad Petersen along with Jared, Uncle Daryl and Gabriel got camp set up on Friday afternoon.

Uncle Daryl had a couple of hiccups to getting started on the deer hunt...1) he left on tent pole on his garage floor while packing (Jared had to create a new pole of of the nearby timbers); 2) he also forgot the smoke stack prop (again, a prop was fashioned from the nearby timbers); 3) Gabriel forgot to completely assemble his gun, leaving the bolt safely separate from the rifle (he borrowed Mom's gun for the first morning hunt). You couldn't help but chuckle to yourself at each hiccup. :)

We were up bright and early on Saturday morning, waking at 5:30 am so as to have time to prepare our gear, eat breakfast and make it to our starting point before the sun rose. Everything went like clock-work.

We were on site as the light began to glow for our first sunrise. We hiked into the mountain bowl, whispering only when necessary, watching every tree and scanning all the open hill side. But for all our stealth we didn't see any sign of life! That all changed when we reached the top of the bowl; on every rim surrounding "our" bowl were hunters positioned, identifiable by the hunter orange vests and hats, orange dots on the horizon. There were at least a dozen hunters "glassing" us as we hiked along the bowl.

Obviously that wasn't conducive to our successful deer hunt so we headed out of the bowl to more remote sections of the mountains, scaring a couple of doe as we went. Just over the ridge we encountered more hunters, so we adjusted our course and heading. Running into more hunters at every turn we plunged ourselves into the bottom of the ravine, taking care to climb down without scratching our guns or slipping on the rocks and causing ourselves any harm. We found our way past all the hunters but only saw a few more does running through the trees.

With no bucks in sight we headed back to camp to have lunch. The evening hunt found us heading in the opposite direction, to escape the onslaught of hunters on their 4-wheelers. We hiked over the top of the mountain only to discover 4-wheeler trails and full convoys of 4-wheelers coming over the ridge in our direction! It was no use...we were defeated. There was no sign of any male deer and we were completely surrounded by orange clad hunters! We humbly bowed our heads and headed back to camp.

Uncle Daryl and Gabe headed home Saturday afternoon to retrieve the missing bolt and to pick up Reed so that he could have a good camping/hunting experience. It was fun to have him join our group.

Sunday is a day of rest so we didn't go hunting. But with the snow still on the ground we had to forage for firewood. This was easily accomplished with the chainsaws, splitting mauls and hatchets. Everyone had to have a swing with the axe at least once.

Kyle woke up feeling under the weather and was forced back to bed for the duration of the morning. We did get the opportunity to witness Kyle receiving a blessing and to feel of the Spirit there in the tops of the mountains. After a lazy morning and some friendly conversation it was time to enjoy the beautiful world that our Heavenly Father has created for us. Mom was determined to take some of the beautiful world home with her and she went in search of perfect rocks for her rock garden. One rock she was looking for was on the side of the mountain; the family was not able to find it (a rock identified from last years hunt) she had to settle for a substitute rock.

As we drove around admiring the beauty and trying to figure out the best spot to go hunting on Monday we ran into some minor vehicular difficulties...the jeep stop going forward! But the able bodied Jared was under the hood in a flash and had the repairs quickly in order and we were off and driving once again. We wouldn't stop until we were on top of the world!


After completing our whirlwind tour of the mountain range, literally climbing straight over the top of the mountains, we headed back to camp for a much anticipated Sunday dinner of Elk roast and potatoes, carrots and onions. Of course, after a good Sunday meal no one is much in the mood for anything but relaxing. Reed and Kyle faithfully prepared the kindling for starting the morning fires.

Monday morning we were back at it but our enthusiasm was waning. Could there be any possibility of success? After hunting all morning we came to the sad conclusion that the deer were not to be found in this part of the mountain range. The early snow had driven many deer to lower grounds, the earlier hunters had been too successful and we had nothing to show for our efforts but some pictures and some memories. It was a beautiful camp out but a very unsuccessful hunting expedition.

October 13, 2008

It's Time to Bottle the Grape Juice

It's time to bottle grape juice for the coming year. Grape juice is a favorite around our house. Now that David is off to school it is up to the other boys to carry the bulk of the house work. So Donovan and Michael have pushed up their sleeves and are getting the job done.


Once the excitement of the work wears off Michelle is there to finish the job. She managed to get almost 11 boxes of grape juice. At one time that seemed like a lot but now it doesn't seem like it's that much anymore. Our family is growing, not just more mouths but bigger appetites too! So I hope we have enough juice to make it through the coming year (we ran out this year!).

I have to say that Michelle is the most amazing woman I know. And the more she does the more she plans to do. Truly her abilities continue to grow and her ability to do is increasing!

Lydia is Blessed

My niece Lydia was blessed on Sunday. Obviously the newest addition to our extended family, she is simply adorable. It was a great experience to participate in her blessing.

She was blessed in Logan, UT so drove up there on Sunday morning. Their church didn't start until 1:00 pm so we had time to wake up, get dressed, eat breakfast and then drive there and still be in time for church to start. It started to snow on the way and we had some moments of concern as we started sliding on the highway near Kaysville. But the snow was short-lived and we made it okay.

Just about everyone in the family was there so it was cozy accommodations. The lunch after Sacrament meeting was a pot-luck lunch and was very tasty. We spent several hours there to visit with everyone before we headed home. It makes for a long day sitting in the car for a couple of hours (each way) plus church. Our boys were excited to stretch their legs when we got home.

Baby blessings are so wonderful. I'm excited to be a part of a family that has had many baby blessings.

Return Trip to the Zoo

We were able to have a second zoo experience this year. Admittedly, it was much colder this time around but we were still able to have a good time. The boys wanted to be full of energy for this experience so they took short naps on the drive from Provo to Salt Lake City.

Our first stop was the train ride around (part of) the park. We almost had the entire train to ourselves but a few last second riders did jump on board.

You can't believe the speed of that high powered train! But even with the intensity of speed that almost accompanied the ride it was fun to see the zoo from a different perspective.

These goffer holes we in with the nocturnal animals. But these animals seemed very awake during this day.Donovan spends some time admiring the bats hanging upside down. There were a lot but the picture doesn't show it.

I supposed we each have our own way of enjoying the zoo experience.

We we're very fortunate to be able to join Aunt Janeil and her 3 children (Katie, Anna and Troy) for this trip to the zoo. Here Katie, David and Donovan head out to see the birds in a somewhat dried-up pond. Michael follows along but was just doing his own thing, checking out the animals.

Aunt Janeil is trying to point out the baby money to the kids.

Michael was mesmorized by the big gorilla that was hanging out by the display window.

Let's listen in on the scientific explorations of these youth:

video

All good things must come to an end...Aunt Janeil and her kids had to leave early and we were left to ourselves (almost literally) to explore the zoo.

We thought that paying special attention to this cougar would be important over (BYU's) homecoming weekend.

And the llamas didn't seem phased by the cooler weather even though the elephant and the rhino were no where to be found.

And the boys favorite stop was the giraffe. I'm not sure why but that was the one stop, besides the carosel and the train, that they wanted to see in the entire zoo.

By the time we finished seeing the giraffe and wandering back across the zoo, we decided that we were cold and it was time to go home. In spite of the cooler temperatures we had a grand time seeing the rest of the zoo exhibits that we missed on the first time through earlier in the season.

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