May 28, 2010
So Michelle found this park and took the boys there to play. They had such a good time that they have been asking to go back. If it was closer we would have been back sooner. But today was the day and I took my boys there to play and to have a picnic. The weather wasn’t cooperating because it was overcast and windy which lead to cooler conditions during this cooler spring. But the boys were too excited to notice. David and Donovan had their bikes and they spent hours circling the park, especially to ride down the “hill” and go extra fast. Michael and Aleky had their toys and they rode around the park numerous times.
The playground really didn’t see much of my boys and the path was the excitement for today. Everything was going great until Michael took the hill a little too fast and skinned his knee. After that he wasn’t interested in doing much of anything. He decided he wanted to wait in the car. When the rest of us didn’t follow he eventually came back to eat our picnic lunch. While we were eating the sun came out and that must have been a signal because the boys were off again (except Michael). Michael went back to the car and fell asleep.
With Michael not having fun I felt it was a good time to head home. So we rounded up the boys, put their toys in the back and came home. Once we unloaded the toys at home they boys headed straight through the yard, out the back gate and started riding the path in the park behind our house! The freedom of the bicycle cannot be denied. I’m just excited that David and Donovan can now go riding together.
Michelle had some work that she needed to get done and figured that she would work much faster without the boys around so I got to take the boys on a father and sons outing. We headed right to the spot (I wasn’t sure where it was since I didn’t go on the first trip) and the boys were off. They found the ducks and came back to hurry me along (so they could get the bread for the ducks).
It was the cutest thing to watch my boys feeding the ducks. Every one of them was having a marvelous time and the ducks got full before we were out of bread (guess that means we can do it again). The boys were up and down the bank of that little stream, throwing bread to all of the ducks so no duck went hungry. Ahhh, the memories!
Michelle was so excited that the bike was working that she didn’t hesitate to help Donovan with his first bike lesson. He picked things up pretty quickly. We went to the park behind our house and put him on the bike; we believe in “on the job” training. Next he was instructed to pedal and steer (simple and straight-forward instructions). It took about 3 trips up and down the park path before Donovan really had the hang of it. A few more trips and Donovan was able to start and stop on his own! So it took about 30 minutes for him to learn how to ride a bike! Good job Donovan!
Thanks for the bike riding lessons mommy!
May 24, 2010
On a positive note, our garden has survived this late season freeze and looks to be well on its way.
May 21, 2010
This year our ward had to cancel our campout due to a lack of participation. But my brother-in-law’s ward didn’t cancel their campout. In fact, their entire stake went to the same camping area for their annual campout! Actually, I think there were about 4 stakes that all went to the same camping spot! Once we actually arrived it was quite crazy with the number of trucks, suburbans, campers and trailers that were caravanning the single lane, unpaved, windy road to this church sponsored campground (we know it was church sponsored because there were senior missionaries guarding the entrance where everyone checked in).
Well, Michelle “just happened” to be talking to her brother and discovered that their campout was this weekend. That’s when the idea starting brewing in her head and the conspiracy developed. As it turned out, Dad Petersen was going to attend this father and sons campout with Jared (Michelle’s brother) and his boys. So Michelle deduced that Mom would be there with Tosha & Melissa in Logan while all the boys would be camping: Girls Night!
So the next thing I know, we are packing our suburban with all of our camping gear in preparation for a father and sons campout. Yes, that means that I would be taking 4 of my 5 boys camping by myself!!! How hard could that be???
Michelle armed us with plenty of hot dogs for dinner (the stake was providing breakfast for everyone!). And with our tent, sleeping bags and a change of clothes we were ready to go.
RAIN! While we acknowledged that rain was in the forecast I wasn’t expecting 12 solid hours of rain during our 12 hours of campout. It started raining from the moment we arrived at camp around 5:30 pm and didn’t stop raining until about 5:30 am! So we set up the tent in the rain, built a fire in the rain, cooked and ate dinner in the rain, roasted marshmallows and had smores in the rain, found lost boys in the rain, got ready for bed in the rain and the retired for the evening in the rain.
But one thing is for sure, it takes more than cold rain to dampen the spirits of 4 young boys in the wilderness with a live campfire! My boys unloaded half a mountain of rocks into the nearby river (there is something about a splash) while I set up camp. These same boys delighted in igniting wet wood in the fire to watch it burn or smoke (we probably should have been more strict about playing with fire but we figured everything was wet so what’s the harm). And the boys were with their cousins so that is always a treat.
The rain did give us a small reprieve, just about long enough to eat our dinner and roast some marshmallows.
The rain turned to snow around 3:00 am (or so I’m told). Aleky and Michael both woke up in the middle of the night with concerns that I was able to resolve (after which they were tucked by snuggly in their sleeping bags). We had trace snow on our tent and were about 75 feet below the snow line in the morning.
Apparently wet wood doesn't burn very well and it was quite a feat getting the fire started in the morning.
With so many people to feed in the damp, cold morning, breakfast didn’t turn out quite like we planned. But with a break in the rain we quickly packed up all the wet gear and “packed” the suburban for the return trip home. We are still recovering for the wetness of this trip but it was a good experience. I suspect that the rain and cool weather helped me keep track of my boys because they were never too far away from the fire. Had everything been “ideal” I may have lost a boy or two before the camping was finished. (just sayin’)
We returned to Jared’s house and the boys immediately found the toys and the movie (I think my boys are addicted to video stimulation, any video and they get sucked in). But we had a good visit and then it was time to head home. Kyle had to get back to school work and other obligations.
May 18, 2010
We thought it would be fun to have a BBQ, since everyone still has to eat, even when they’re moving, packing, studying, etc. Having heard rumors of the incredible hamburger creations of Geneene Jacobson, we enlisted her help in providing the food. The other friends were asked to bring a side dish to complement the hamburgers.
With many departing friends invited and confirmed we began to grow a little concerned as the dark grey clouds swelled through the skies bringing plenty of rain in their wakes. With a few small prayers we hoped that the rain would break by 3:30 pm in order to dry out enough for our little party. Almost on cue, the rain stopped and patches of blue sky could be seen! I took advantage of the break in the rain to get the fire started.
Almost like a celestial practical joke, as the first guests arrived the rain started again! As the rain continued to fall additional guests arrived and we were not quite sure how to fit everyone into our living room. While it is a decent sized living room it still isn’t quite big enough for 30 people to sit down and eat comfortably; but don’t tell Michelle, she won’t listen to you. So we rolled up the area rug, pushed the couches to the walls and really opening up the living room.
The ladies happily pitched in to put the food all together while the guys talked shop, mostly about legal issues facing America (at least that’s what I heard as I went back and forth setting up chairs and tables). I guess you can’t blame them; recently graduated attorneys tend to talk about that kind of stuff.
In spite of the amazing arrangements, the kids could not be contained and they began escaping into the yard in spite of the rain. The crazy part was that the rain began to let up! By the time we were ready to say a blessing on the food there was no more rain! Completely stopped!
So we moved outside where the kids could eat without worries of food spilling on the floors. Geneene made some awesome hamburgers and there was plenty of other food: salads, chips, dips, veggies, etc. With the fire going we had marshmallow roasting and just great visiting with some very awesome people.
Obviously we will miss these dear friends, at least the ones who are actually moving. We are still holding out for some of these families to get jobs here in the area and stick around a little bit longer. Who knows? I guess we’ll see.
May 14, 2010
As fate would have it, Trista had a friend getting married and various aspects of that celebration were occurring here in the area so we were able to have her come over to visit. When we first found out she was going to be here we wanted to have a whole party. But the people we wanted to invite (several single adults) were otherwise previously engaged (in other activities). So we invited another sister (Larisa) to come over and we just had a chance to visit.
It was great to have them over. We did go bowling (on the Wii). This game belongs to Michelle, who completely dominated the game and scored a personal best 213! (Yes, she definitely broke 100.)
May 11, 2010
I fully support my wife in any decision she makes; this is usually because any decision she makes has had so much time and analysis put into it that it is difficult for her to go wrong. So, with my full support, and with some trepidation, she headed off to the salon. I had some idea of what she wanted her hair to look like when she was done but I lack that ability to make a clear picture in my head of what is “supposed to happen”. So I just waited to see the final result.
When Michelle walked through the door she wasn’t quite as excited as I expected her to be. After all, she looked amazing! Upon very close inspection she did notice a few things that needed to be “touched up”. She actually went back to the stylist for the touch-ups. She also used the opportunity to get a little more educated about hair styles and cuts.
I don’t know about you but I think she looks fabulous!
I love you sweetheart!
May 9, 2010
This morning I woke up to get a head start on the day. I whipped up a little breakfast for Michelle. Before I brought it to her in bed I had the boys all run in a give her a kiss and wish her a “Happy Mother’s Day!”
The boys quickly ate their breakfasts and then got ready for church. We made it to church on time which is always a great way to start the day. Things were going pretty good until we looked at the program…and began to notice something very peculiar. The primary children were NOT on the program! How can you celebrate mothers without having the kids involved? A question we are still pondering…
The talks were about women and both speakers did a good job of extolling the virtues of womanhood. The boys were remarkably reverent which made things so nice. After Sacrament meeting was over the boys are quickly headed up to primary on their own. There were not flowers and acknowledgements to all the mothers…just a little strange. However, before the end of the meeting block the women were given a (No, it wasn’t a flower or even a chocolate bar) tomato plant! I guess nothing says mom like a tomato plant (which should have already been planted if you want a good harvest of tomatoes). At least they did something. I was getting al little worried there.
Michelle has, once again, gone above and beyond the call of duty. Yesterday she made several batches of bread. Oh no, not for our family…these special loaves were to be given several of the special women in the ward who have been of particular inspiration to Michelle as mothers (or mother figures). Michelle spent the next couple of hours delivering these loaves and visiting with several of our senior sister neighbors. As it turns out, a couple of these visits were very well timed and needed. I am always so amazed at Michelle’s sensitivity to the Spirit.
Already considered a successful day we are finishing our preparations for a fabulous Sunday dinner of roast, mashed potatoes and corn when we get a call; Michelle’s parents are going to stop by and visit! How amazing cool is that and what an unexpected surprise! Could our day be any better?
I made a quick trip to visit my mother and to wish her a happy mother’s day. I headed back home once she began to receive phone calls from the other siblings who also wanted to wish her a happy mother’s day. I arrived home to discover Michelle’s parents who had just arrived. The boys were all over this visit from Grandma and Grandpa Petersen (mostly Grandpa Petersen).
We are so blessed! Happy Mother’s Day Michelle! We all love you.
May 8, 2010
It didn’t take much to get the fire started and the boys were instantly attracted like moths to the flame. That is, until Uncle Kyle arrived with his championship football kicker contraption (a contraption he built to win the engineering clubs football kicker contest last month). The boys thought it was great and were excited to be the one who retrieved the football after it was booted into the park.
After the excitement subsided we settled down to roasting hotdogs and eating dinner.
May 7, 2010
With that job under control I headed off to do some errands and get some homework taken care of. Michelle decided to use her time to exercise, get ready for the day and other tasks related to the care of our children. However, upon completing her exercise program she went into our storage/toy room and noticed the distinct sound of running water, kind of like the sound of a small fountain or water fall. As she moved closer toward the sound she squooshed through a soaked carpet. With a hastiness in her stride she moved closer toward the two shelves of storage against the north wall only to notice that water was pouring in through that window!
Her quick reactions are nothing short of a miracle as she located a water pump from one neighbor, assembled a quick bail-out contraption for the flooded strip of land immediately on our north and removed all storage and shelving from the flooded section of the basement!
Apparently the pvc pipe connection to the garden water system popped/blew/disconnected and had been pouring full blast for a full hour. It had literally filled up the strip of land just north of our house. The short cement divider held the water so that the water was beginning to fill the window wells. The level of water had reached high enough to beginning pouring into the house!
Needless to say, everything in that corner of the basement was soaked. However, because of Michelle’s quick thinking the flooding was limited to the north east corner of that one room only! I had the pleasure of repairing the disconnected system. This, as it turns out, is no easy feat (for me).
Because the pvc pipe cement causes a chemical reaction that essentially melts the pipes together, once the connection is broken it really can’t be glued back together. We discovered this after 2 tries at reconnecting the pipes. So I had to rebuild the entire connection which doesn’t just feed the garden but also feeds the front and back shrub beds.
Let’s just say that after 4 days of fans and heaters, the carpet is now dry (and clean due to the convenient use of my parent’s carpet cleaner). And the carpet was dry before the pipe was finally fixed (for sure). We are still going to run the garden through a complete watering cycle before we fill in the whole and pronounce this project officially complete.
May 5, 2010
I am happy to say (for the most part) that I am pleased that this last semester is in the books. The grades came out (online) today. Here is how I fared: