December 31, 2011

Orange Peel Therapy

Michelle has started reading about herbs and essential oils.  This has led to numerous discussions related to various alternative medicine techniques.  Today she discovered a beneficial use of orange peels, using the non-sticky oils in the peels.  I'm still not exactly sure what this orange oil is supposed to do but it obviously enhance the mood of our home.  So bring on the orange oil!

December 28, 2011

Going to See the Lights on Temple Square

One of the goals we had for this year was to visit Temple Square and see all the Christmas lights.  We didn't go last year and thought it would be a good family outing.  However, with all of the rush of Christmas we hadn't made it, yet.
With Christmas over and our boys still home from school we decided it was now or never.  So we grabbed the boys, packed the coats and took off to Salt Lake City.  Since it was more spur of the moment, we figured we would grab a bite to eat with one of the numerous restaurant coupons we had in hand.  The trip turned out great!

The last time we went to Temple Square to see the Christmas lights it was very crowded and we were concerned about keeping the family together in such a crowd.  But one of the benefits of going during the week is that the crowds tend to be much smaller.  We were able to walk around most of the grounds as a family, not just a bunch of ducks in a row.

The boys loved to see the lights.  We stopped to see most of the significant statues and monuments on the grounds for small "teaching moments".  At one point we lost track of Quinten who had wandered off but David was quick to find him.  The second half of the grounds visit went quickly due to the late hour and we still wanted to at least see everything.  So we walked past the numerous nativity scenes, around the manger scene in the pond, past the Assembly Hall and with a token glance at the full nativity scene by the Tabernacle we completed our visit and headed to dinner.

For dinner we stopped at Village Inn.  We had a coupon that would get a kids meal free with the purchase of an adult entree.  When we asked if they would honor the coupon the manager came out and offered us an even better deal.  I don't think I could explain it again and it took the manager at least 3 tries to help us figure out what the deal was.  In the end we paid for 2 entrees and a couple of drinks but got more than enough food for everyone!  Whatever that deal was it turned out to be a great deal for us! 

We didn't get home until nearly 10 pm despite our early departure from Provo but it was an excellent adventure and a great memory for our family.

(Posted 1/23/12)

November 28, 2011

Historic Site: Bullion Beck Mining Headframe

As we were driving through Eureka today we noticed this strange looking wood structure.  Michelle stares at it and asked, "What is that?"  I tried to act intelligent and gave her a quick answer but then I had to admit that I really didn't know what it was.  Since we were going to be passing by this place again Michelle suggested that we stop and investigate.

It turns out that this place was actually quite important at one time.  This wooden structure was the point of entry for a substantial mine.  All the people, donkey and mining carts were hoisted into and out of the mine on this frame.  The mine went down around 3,000 feet.  Today, this is all that is left of the mining operation that lasted from the late 1890's to the early 1960's

Who knew?  Good thing we stopped to check it out.  This stop turned into an educational experience for all of us.

November 27, 2011

Coolest Mommy / Bum War

David was upset that Quinten had come in and messed up their Uno game by kicking the cards all over the floor.  Since there isn't much that can be done David gave up on the game and went outside to jump on the trampoline.   A few minutes later I notice that Michelle was outside jumping on the trampoline.  I grabbed my camera in time to catch them in a "bum war". 

I was just impressed that she would go outside in the nearly freezing temperatures to jump on the trampoline with David.  In my mind I think Michelle is the "coolest" mommy ever!

November 26, 2011

Gidean First Foods

Gidean is over 4 months old and the doctor indicated that we could start feeding him other foods.  So when he was hungry so we thought we would try feeding him some alternative foods for the first time.  Since this was the first "solid" food he's ever eaten we thought we'd try some bottled baby food from the store.  Gidean did not appreciate the fine cuisine.  Next we  offered him some of our bottled pears that the boys eat nearly every day for lunch.  Again he balked at the delicacy.  Finally we resorted to the traditional baby cereal that every child has eaten as a staple food in their diet.  Let's just say he didn't like any of the 3 options he was offered.  Not sure where we go from here.

November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving at Grandma's

Thanksgiving Day!
I had to work this morning so Michelle and the boys headed up to Grandma Petersen's house yesterday.  After all, why hang out at our house when I can't even be there but the cousins will be at Grandma's house?  So the boys were so excited they helped to pack the suburban and get things ready for the trip.

After work I drove up to Grantsville to join the festivities.  Uncle Dan and Aunt Monica were there along with their daughter Shilo and her boyfriend Andrew.  The feast wasn't quite ready so we had a chance to visit.  
One of the activities that had transpired was the making of Indian headdresses.  Each kid got the headband to decorate.  Then they added an appropriate number of feathers.  And finally, each kid chose their special Indian name.

Once dinner was ready we lined up and went to town.  This dinner was very good; all those who helped prepare the food did an excellent job on the cooking and preparation.

Michelle's candied yams were so good that my boys ate their food and Devon went back for seconds.
Uncle Kyle volunteered for Gidean duty during dinner time.  You can tell that Uncle Kyle is very experienced now that he's had 5 other nephews to practice on.
After dinner Shilo and Andrew curled up for a nap.

And the men gathered to check out hunting pictures on the computer.

It was a very enjoyable trip with incredible food and awesome company.  Unfortunately, I had to return home so that I could be at work bright and early on Friday.

November 20, 2011

Kaylynn in Town

Aunt Kaylynn was in town today and got to stop by and visit with us.  Although she lives down in Southern California she was able to come up to Utah.  Among her many stops she was able to make a few hours in her schedule before she had to leave on Monday.

Little Brenda is growing fast.  Even though Brenda was born within a week of Gidean, Brenda is growing faster than Gidean.  She's still adorable and I'm sure these cousins will be the best of friends.

November 13, 2011

Gidean Laughs (when Tickled)

Gidean is developing a contagious laugh and we've been trying to capture that laugh on camera.  Despite our best efforts his laugh has largely escaped digital media.  But today we were able to capture some classic laughing as Michelle tickled him on our bed.  Finally, our diligent efforts have paid off. 

(You can't tell me his laugh doesn't bring a smile to your face!)

November 11, 2011

Blacklight Golfing at Trafalga

This afternoon our older boys had the opportunity to go bowling with the after-school program.  They have worked hard during the week and today was an extra special event for the kids.  Aleky was feeling bad that he wasn't going to be able to participate in the games.  It didn't help that Michael was expressing particular enthusiasm at his fortunate opportunity to go with his brothers.

This being the case, I didn't want Aleky to feel completely left out so I promised him the chance to do something fun as well.  I would take him up to Trafalga in Orem to go miniature golfing indoors, on the blacklight course.  That was on my lunch break but he definitely remembered when I got home from work.  So Michelle and I loaded up the younger 3 children and off we went. 

Aleky had a lot of fun and couldn't hardly stand how long it took his parent to get the ball in the hole.  He was done in micro-seconds and wanted to be off to the next hole.  Even in the blacklight, with Aleky heading off two or three holes ahead, we were able to complete the course together.  Quinten is still getting the hang of the game.

The older boys walked home from school because we weren't done with our game.  It probably would have gone faster if we were not keeping score for Michelle and I.  In the end there was only a single stroke difference.

Afterwards, we headed home via Papa Murphy's Pizza and ended up with a nice family size pizza.  We all had a fun afternoon playing games.  As it turns out, the boys didn't get to finish their bowling game; they had 3 frames to go when time ran out and they had to return to the school.  It was probably better that way because they couldn't have any winners or losers, just happy kids.

November 9, 2011

Time for a Haircut

Quinten's hair is starting to get pretty long.  I think it is time for a haircut!

October 15, 2011

Tickle Wars: Mom vs Boys

The boys were supposed to be getting ready for bed when I hear this commotion and came to investigate.  I was slightly surprised at the scene which lay before me!  There were my boys attacking their poor defenseless mother.  Actually, I discovered that she's not defenseless and she launched a significant counter-offensive in this tickle war leaving the boys on the verge of  tears before going to bed.

If you watch the video you'll notice that Michael is absent.  He was not edited out.  He was simple a neutral bystander in this confrontation (he finally got his chance to play the Leapster and wasn't going to sacrifice his time for an opportunity to join a losing cause).

There is a strong possibility of an imminent attack and our sources tell us that we should be prepared!

October 7, 2011

Kangaroo Zoo is Family Fun

Michelle wanted to take our family to the Kangaroo Zoo.  It is one of those places with the super sized inflatable toys.  We've taken our boys to places where these big slides are part of the party but never to an entire arena full of inflatable fun.  Our boys went crazy, non-stop running.  Even for our boys that was pretty impressive. 

The boys were getting all the sliding their little hearts could handle but it was great to see when the older brothers would help the younger brothers to enjoy the larger slides.  David was especially good to watch out and help his younger brother Quinten to have fun on the various slides.

We had a lot of fun but were only able to capture a little bit of it on film.  But it is enough of a taste of the action to remember just how much fun we had.  We would love to go back and have another day of fun at the Kangaroo Zoo.

(Posted 1/23/12)

October 2, 2011

David Goes to General Conference

My boys have done a fantastic job of watching conference this weekend.  David and Donovan watched all 4 regular sessions of conference.  Michael and Aleky made it through 3 1/2 sessions, which isn't bad for that age group.  I was excited to take David to his first live session of conference now that he's 8 years old, the minimum age for attendance at this semi-annual event.
David has been complaining about "having to go" to conference.  But once we were on our way he was humming a different tune.  From the moment we hit Salt Lake City he was non-stop jabbering about everything he saw.  It was great to see his excitement finally bubbling forth. 

We had seats on the balcony but they were right in the middle of the conference center so it was a perfect position.  David was admiring everything from the TV cameras and monitors to the organ and the general authorities seated on the stand.  I finally had to remind him that conference was like church and we had to be reverent while the Apostles were talking. 

David took a page of notes in his journal from the things that the general authorities said.  He was very proud of having so much to record in his journal.  I'm very proud of him.  He asked me, as the closing song was being sung, "Daddy, thank you for bringing me to conference.  Can we come back for next conference?"  I'm pretty sure we can work something out for a kid who is this excited about attending conference.
(pictures from my camera phone)

September 5, 2011

Labor Day 2011

I have had a wonderful day today with my family.  We went camping this weekend and had a marvelous time with Grandma and Grandpa Petersen and Uncle Kyle up near Hourglass lake.  We decided to come home early and spend today unpacking and preparing for the coming week without making Michelle have to do all of the work.

This morning Donovan woke us up at 7:45 am! Holy Cow...I haven't been able to sleep in that late in a long time.  We got up and simply had some cold cereal so we could get going for the day.  We had our scripture reading after breakfast, a little break in tradition but not completely disruptive to the harmony of our home.  After breakfast we finished getting dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed, etc.

We had a brief family council and talked about helping to do chores because we had just had a fun vacation/camping trip to the mountains with lots of fun activities.  We all pitched in and started with putting camping gear away and sorting a huge pile of laundry.  Once the laundry was sorted and the first load in the washer we hit some of the other chores around the house.  David mowed the lawn, Donovan washed windows and a few other chores.  Michael, Aleky and Quinten were done helping with chores and were content to play.

I started loading pictures to this blog and deleting unneeded files to clear space for the camping trip photos and videos that we took this weekend.  While this activity is time consuming I don't have a lot to show for it yet, but it's coming.  (For those of you who follow this blog I would recommend an RSS feed or you'll miss most of the post that will be coming!)  Donovan played on the computer and David and Michael were exited to watch.

We took a break from the computer to have a family movie with carmel popcorn.  David read "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" and we promised to watched the movie together.  Michelle and I made the popcorn and the arranged the living room into a theater.  We enjoyed the movie together.

Michelle surprised me with a cheese ball for my birthday which she must have made while I was down working on the computer.  She slipped out during the movie with Gidean and never returned!  Once again she surprised me with one of my favorite cakes!  She managed to get two great tasty morsels created without me knowing, until the very end.  What a wonderful sweetheart to do that for me.

Now the kids are in bed I thought I would get something posted to show for all the time spent on the computer today.  Again, make sure you have an RSS feed if you're interested in the various adventures of our family spanning much of this summer!

August 29, 2011

Reroofing Our House (Day 5)

Complete at last!!!  Today we finished up the last few minor details including the wishing well.  The dumpster was hauled off too.  We can finally sleep peacefully when it rains.  We still need to collect our rain collectors from the attic since they will no longer be needed! Hurray!

We want to than the Bonneville 5th Ward for all of your help this week to complete this badly needed and overdue home repair.  There is no way we could have done this without you.  THANK YOU!
(posted 10/31/11)

August 26, 2011

Reroofing Our House (Day 4)

We are finally nearing the end of the project!  Laying down the shingles is the quickest part of the process.  We start today with the front nearing completion and the back partially done.

These are the dedicated and stalwart neighbors who were there to the bitter end.  The little details sure take a lot of thought and effort to complete.  However, using the nail guns can be fun...and addicting.  We had fun rotating and shooting the nails as we got the shingles down.

(posted 10/31/11)

August 25, 2011

Reroofing Our House (Day 3)

We started off the day with the paper on the front of the house and all of the back to go.  At least the shingles were already here so we didn't have to wait to get started.  Since this was the third day of the project we did have a super start but there were a few faithful saints who gathered to keep things moving forward.

The relief society took care of water and refreshments.  They had some awesome sandwiches for lunch.  During the heat of the day we have everyone come off the roof.  It was just too hot to ask anyone to work up there.

While the rain kept threatening, the prayers of the faithful kept all but a few drops from landing on our house.  It was as if Heavenly Father was letting us know he would not destroy our house by rain.

(posted 10/31/11)

August 24, 2011

Reroofing Our House (Day 2)

Today started with another beautiful blue sky and a bare roof, at least in the front.  We have the front sheeted and the back has just a little bit of clean up and shingle removal left before we can get it sheeted.

We haven't had the number of workers today like we had yesterday.  Since we're not removing shingles it has worked out okay.  Our shingles and other roofing supplies showed up before we were expecting them.  (When we went to order the shingles we were told that they would not be delivered before Wednesday afternoon and they wouldn't be delivered until they were paid in full.)  To our surprise, the shingle delivery truck showed up at 11:00 am and started dropping shingles and supplies up on the partially sheeted roof!

Needless to say, I was a little disappointed that things hadn't worked out quite like I had anticipated.  In fact, I hadn't paid for them on purpose, so they wouldn't be delivered just yet.  Oh well, I guess we just do the best we can.

With the roof cleared in back we were able to start sheeting the back side of the roof.  We did run into some problems as we were trying to figure out how to work around the working swamp cooler.  Our idea was to remove the swamp cooler in the morning while it was cool, sheet around it and the replace it before it got too hot.  It sounds reasonable especially since we still haven't cleaned out the five layers of shingles it's attached too.  However, we haven't made it that far today so we'll figure it out tomorrow.

August 23, 2011

Reroofing Our House (Day 1)

We are lucky enough to have been chosen as our ward's service project for this year.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or a bad thing but we certainly can use the help.  Our roof has been leaking ever since we bought our home.  This spring was exceptionally wet, setting and breaking records.  I think our hometeacher felt bad when he discovered that during these times of excessive rain our roof turned into an opened faucet inside our house.  In order to stem the waterfall we had large buckets strategically positioned to catch these flowing torrents of rain.

Upon discovering our plight, our hometeacher took the news to the Bishop and the wheels were set in motion.  Essentially, the ward agreed to provide the manpower, expertise and tools and we provide the materials.  With a little help from our experienced High Priests, we were able to find a pretty good deal on roofing supplies.  In fact, Brother Andersen helped us estimate the size of our roof and how much we needed in supplies so we could just go shopping for the needed items.

Here we are, Day 1!  We have the old white leaky roof and the first workers are already on the scene.  We have the dumpster positioned for shingle collection and we're ready to go.  Brother Andersen showed up at 8:00 am to supervise this first stage of the process, stripping the old shingles off the roof.

We started in the North East corner of the house, the gable over our bedroom.  We were not trying to save shingles but we started carefully in the corner to try and determine just how many layers of shingles were on the roof.  We had received roof bids earlier this summer and one contractor offered to to a "roof over" job.  But, as everyone knows, you can't have more than three layers of shingles on your roof and I was pretty sure we had at least three layers already.

As more workers showed up we tried to count the layers as we went.  At this point we're pretty confident that there were at least FIVE layers of shingles.  How could this be, you may ask...?  There were three layers of shingles.  But under those three layers we found two more layers.  It appears that after the first two layers of asphalt shingles had been laid, someone laid tar paper and a new drip edge and started the first of three layer additional layers.  So, to the casual observer, there were only three layers.  But in stripping the roof we clearly went through 5 layers of shingles.

Five layers poses a real problem to the work.  First, it was taking us longer than expected to get the shingles off.  Second, our dumpster was only supposed to fit up to two layers of shingles for a roof our size.  Third, not related to shingles, we were working in a record breaking heat wave!  Our ward must really love us to go through the efforts during a heat wave!

With everyone working so hard our kids were left to fend for themselves.  Fortunately school has started (half-days) so David and Donovan are distracted by their education.  But the younger children were supposed to stay in the backyard, or (even better) in the basement.  Obviously, Quinten decided to play a supervisory roll at one point this afternoon.

Although it has been nothing but clear blue skies, it was decided that we start getting the roof resheeted.  The roof was originally done with 1x6 slats, most likely for wood shake shingles.  However, the sheeting has never been upgraded, part of the contributing problem with the roof leaks.  Once the front of the house was cleared we immediately started the sheeting process.

A small crew worked in front and the rest worked in back clearing the rest of the shingles off the roof.  We had removed all of the rain gutters from the front of the house but the back rain gutter is a seamless gutter.  Because of its length it had not been removed and we noticed this little problem about the time the shingles were starting to pour off the roof.  We immediately went to work with four guys to support the rain gutter (three to hold, one to release/remove).  The rain gutter came down quickly and we were back in business removing five layers of old shingles.

This is the mess we were able to avoid by throwing the shingles directly into the dumpster in the front.  Carrying the shingles to the dumpster from the back wasn't a realistic option.

At the end of the day we nearly had the entire roof cleared!  That was a lot of hard, hot work but we made some amazing progress.

We just have the North West corner of the house, over the boys bedroom, left to clear.  We still have the sheeting to complete before we can start putting the new shingles on the roof.  Tomorrow we should be able to get the roof sheeted and papered in preparation to start shingles on Thursday.