Thursday, September 23, 2010

Some Random Thoughts

I like mucking manure. It calms me, gives me time to think, works my muscles, and makes me feel productive, all at once. I miss cleaning out the barn at Heritage, and I'm really glad now to have both a pasture that needs cleaning and a pile of manure that will fertilize our garden next summer.

These days, Japanese noodles are my favorite food. They're really really thin and cook in under 5 minutes. Then you rinse them out and cool them off. You serve them in two bowls- one has the bowl full of noodles floating in cold water. The other is your personal bowl with Memi, which is a watery broth. You transfer some of the noodles from the one bowl to the other, then eat and enjoy. By the way, it's polite to slurp them. Awesome.

My bedroom is still puke purple, but the house is becoming more and more my home with each passing day.

I'd really like to figure out how to hitch Cruise up to the cart.

I'd also really like to get some bells to attach to the harness.

Ki'i's allergies seem to be getting better. I don't know how, because I haven't changed anything in her life. She still scratches and picks at her skin, but she stops before she bleeds, which is encouraging.

Laundry, I've discovered, is an easier never-ending chore than dishes. Until it comes time to fold the clothes, and then I'd rather do dishes. Don't ask me why.

Summer has felt eternal this year, but I wish it would last just long enough for us to go on one more real camping trip.

I also wish our garage would paint itself.

Someday, I think I'd like to get my own website and turn it into a blog. Recently I've been reading The Pioneer Woman (see link to the left) and it's absolutely delightful. Especially, I think, if I can't get a book published for real, it would be fun to publish it on my own little website for all the world to see.

Cara just woke up from her nap, which means my free time/work time is over.

Sometimes, I let Cara lay in bed for longer than she thinks she needs to, because I can't quite face being "Mommy" yet. I don't know if her adorable little smiles necessarily make it all worth it, but they sure do make it better.

The spiders in Utah are wierd.

Apparently I just spelled weird wrong. "E" comes before "I" in this instance, which is why it has always confused me. It doesn't follow the rule or the exceptions. Weird.

About a month ago, I lost three weeks. Don't ask me how; I promise I'll explain someday.

In high school, I had some bright yellow shoes. I loved them. I took very good care of them. Then, I decided I was too grown-up to be wearing bright yellow shoes, and I got rid of them. A couple of years ago, I realized I missed my bright yellow shoes, and I went to DI and bought some light pink ones that are similar in style. I love them. I take good care of them. I'm not really grown-up, I think.

I have no idea how to end a post of random thoughts.

Peanut Butter.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

War and Diplomacy

So there we were, at our campsite with one small picnic table. It was Sunday afternoon, and nothing was planned for another 3 hours. It was gametime.

Trevor had gotten us a game with various races, a playing board that was too small to hold all the inhabitants, and the point was slaughter. It required most of the picnic table to get it set up. Just as we were about to sit and begin our fun, Mom came, sat down at the table, and industriously spread out a map of California. Dad had already been sitting there, and Ryan, who is interested in maps, drifted over to the table as well. That left me, Trevor, Hayley, and Hayley's friend Nicole watching in disbelief as our territory was taken over. The four of us commented on this briefly. Then I announced, "I declare war on Mom!" Apparently I wasn't as loud as I'd thought, because the comment elicited no response from those at the table.

This led to a strategy meeting. Hayley and Nicole weren't interested in playing our game anyway, but Trevor and I devised a perfect strategy. I would distract them by hurling insults, while Trevor would flank them.

A few moments later, our strategy in place, I looked over at the table and loudly called, "Your mother was a rasberry!" Having heard none of our previous conversation, those at the table looked up at me in confusion. Our plan was working! Then, disaster. Trevor, instead of fulfilling his part, got caught up in the heat of the battle and also yelled, "And your father smelled of elderberries!"

"No, no, Trevor, I hurled insults!" I reminded him. "You're supposed to flank them!"

"Oh, yeah," he said, and double-timed it over to Mom's flank. At this point, the people at the table had errupted into laughter. Trevor ran up to Mom at full speed, then stopped right behind her, made deliberate shooing motions with both hands and slowly commanded, "Go Away."

The laughter, at this point, could not be contained.

Of course, Mom couldn't help but point out that we did not have to immediately resort to war; if she'd known we wanted the table for a game, she would have moved. "Diplomacy," she stated, "should always be tried first."

In theory, I agree. But war was funnier.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Disneyland Trip

Just so you know, this may be the longest blog post ever. :)

The Drive There

It was ten hours in a car stuffed to the brim with supplies for 4 days with a 1-year-old in the back. Truthfully? It was really good. Cara was amazing. She yelled a few times, but never really cried. We made sure to take long rest breaks and let her walk around as much as possible. We listened to Orson Scott Card's Xenocide while she slept. We bought a bag of ice and sucked on that most of the way there. (Usually, we suck on candy or chew gum or just eat way too much food... the bag of ice was amazing and that's what I'm taking on every car trip from now on!) We stopped at one rest stop in Nevada where the temperature was 107, the wind was hot, and there were people selling Indian type jewelry. Ryan and I are totally both suckers; if we'd had any money, Cara and I would have walked away with a little bit more decoration.

The Accomodations

Part of the reason we were so excited to go to Disneyland was the fact that it was supposed to be, essentially, a free trip. We had volunteered a day of shoveling manure at Courage Reins back in February and earned ourselves a free day at Disneyland. Then, when we bought our house and got four of the carpets redone through RC Willey, we earned ourselves a 3 day, 2 night stay at one of 28 hotels, three of which were in Anaheim. Unfortunately, we didn't let them know in time, and we weren't able to get the free hotel stay. Instead, my Mom found a campground with a shuttle to Disneyland for $174. That sounds like a lot, but it was that much for 8 people for all three nights. That was essentially half the price of any other cheap hotel we could have found in the area. It was totally worth it.

We arrived before dark, got our campsite set up, let Cara eat some dirt, and then we all settled down for the night. My family was supposed to join us, but hadn't started their drive until we were already at the campsite, so we didn't actually expect them to join us until after midnight. After a full day of driving and with a full day at Disneyland coming up the next day, we decided not to wait for them.

As we lay there in our tent, listening to the peaceful sounds of cars speeding along the freeway not too far away, the fireworks started. It was the show they do at Disneyland, and it sounded like the Black Pearl battling the Flying Dutchman. It pounded on our ears like the headache that had threatened to keep me awake all night. I was worried that Cara would wake up, but I shouldn't have been. At one point, she sighed. That was her only reaction to the fireworks. I finally took some Tylenol and settled in to sleep deeply through the night.

Two hours later, Ryan and I woke up as the sprinklers came on and sprayed our tent, thoroughly soaking the outside of it and forming a puddle underneath it. We stayed pretty dry inside, and the only things we'd left outside were our shoes and camp chair. When the sprinklers stopped, we went outside and tried to clean up what we could of the puddle. Half an hour later, we climbed back into bed and, because it was after midnight, I called my family to let them know what had happened and make sure they were okay. Ryan, meanwhile, called the front office to complain. For the second time that night, we settled back down and tried to sleep. And then, after sleeping through the fireworks and the more traumatizing sprinklers, Cara woke up to the calm after the storm and stood up to talk and pat our faces. We put her in bed with us and tried, once again, to sleep.

Half an hour later, the sprinklers came on again. Fortunately, we were already awake, so it didn't startle us nearly as much. At the same time, my response was, "You're kidding me." Ryan's was to get up and say, "I'm calling the emergency number this time, and they need to fix this... and maybe pay for a hotel stay." I love my man. :) Cara stared up at us solemnly. Halfway through the sprinklers' cycle, my family drove up and sat in the car, shaking their heads in disbelief. They decided to set up camp in the empty trailer site next to us and assume that it would be okay with management. (Surprise, surprise, they were okay with giving us just about anything we wanted at that point!) A little while later, someone from management came and unplugged one cord to fix the problem. They said they'd had it unplugged, but somebody else must have come along later and plugged it back in, trying to give themselves electricity or something. Crazy.

Anyway, somewhere around 3 am, we all got to sleep. Alleluia!


Ryan, Cara and I took the shuttle and got there before the rest of my family, who took their car. We got our tickets, went inside, and wandered all up and down Main Street while waiting for my family to show up. We were ancy to get going, but we had also decided that this trip to Disneyland would be slower-paced than either of us were used to. We had a baby, after all, and we both wanted to go to the shops, and the shows, and soak in the atmosphere of Disneyland rather than focusing on the rides themselves. It was fun to walk up and down Main Street. We saw the carriages being pulled by gorgeous draft horses, and the fun little old men driving their funny little old cars and blowing their horns. We decided we didn't really need a Disneyland souvenir, but it was fun to look and to dream anyway.

We all know Disneyland is fun, so I won't go though the entire day, but I would like to mention a few highlights.

The first was Finding Nemo. This is the first time I've been on the submarine ride in years and years, because even as a kid I wasn't impressed with the obviously fake mermaids and fish. But they've completely redone it in the Finding Nemo theme, and this time it was really fun. The best part was watching Cara. She had so much fun pointing out the windows, looking at the fish, and climbing from lap to lap. It was so cute!

I'm pretty sure her second-favorite ride that day, and mine too, was the Peter Pan ride. I'd never been on it before, either, and so it was fun to see all the things they've done with the Peter Pan theme. We flew in a boat for goodness' sake! Awesome! Cara was exhausted by this point, but her face when we got off was one of pure amazement. So cute!

Have you seen the Princess make-up station they have now? All day, I was seeing cute little girls dressed up as one little princess or another, complete with tiaras and face-paint. It's the coolest thing! It's super expensive, but it's every little girl's dream. I'd love to take advantage of that someday.

Sleeping Beauty's castle has been redone, too. Now you can walk through it. It tells the whole story of Sleeping Beauty as you walk up stairs and through corridors. It's really neat. Ryan's favorite part was the door that you can try to open. It's not really obvious, but if you touch the door knocker, the door opens and creepy sounds come from behind it. It's locked, of course, but it responds to the slightest touch. So cool!

That evening, we watched Fantasmic. I'd seen it before, but it's so neat to see all the things they do with the water, the lasers, the boats... Disneyland is about as magic as a place can get, I think. The best part, though was the fireworks show that we saw after Fantasmic. Remember the battle that had kept us awake the night before? Yeah, it wasn't a battle at all. It was the most beautiful fireworks show I've ever seen. It was choreographed to various songs and sound clips from Disney movies. It reminded me of what it feels like to be a Princess. That sounds silly, I know, but in my heart I'm still that little girl who likes the color and the sparkles and the shining, bright, idealistic world. It's a feeling I'd like to keep.

Cara was amazing, again. She took a couple of short naps, but mostly just wanted to party with the rest of us. She had fun looking at all the cool things, and playing with Grandma and Aunt Hayley (and their fun jewelry... a couple of times she'd come back to me and put her hands on my throat like she was saying, "Hey, Mom, where's your fun necklace? You need one, too!" I think so too, kid.) and the rest of the family. We're pretty sure she needs Disneyland in her bedroom.


Saturday night, I got one of the best night's sleep ever. It was great. And I slept in until it got too hot in the tent to sleep any more. Then, we mostly just hung out for the day. I gave Cara her first shower ever. Trevor brought Ryan and I a fun housewarming gift- a game called Smallworld. It was a fitting name, given the trip, I thought. Anyway, we had to try that out. It took us forever to get it set up and figured out, but then it turned out to be pretty easy to play. Trevor smoked us, of course, but we all had fun.

By the time we finished the game, it was time to go to dinner. We went to Medieval Times where we watched gorgeous horses, dressage, jousting, sword fighting, treachery and honor. It was so fun! They of course served our dinner without utensils, and it was fun to eat soup, chicken, and potatoes with our fingers. My love of horses and training and riding was rekindled, and I'm pretty sure I drooled over the horses as much as the food. The show has gotten bigger and better than it was when I saw it last, and Ryan had fun. Cara enjoyed watching the horses, but she had just as much fun playing with Grandma's bracelet. And, I must admit, after the show I was seriously considering getting Ryan and I a couple of practice swords. Heehee. It might be dorky, but it might also be really good exercise that we'd both enjoy...

Labor Day

We spend Monday driving back home. Home. How interesting. This house where we live is our home. It'll take time for that idea to settle in.

The drive was good. Cara was a little more fussy, which mostly just meant that we needed to take a couple more breaks. She actually fell asleep three different times, and we were able to get through a lot of Xenocide.

At the end of the ride, maybe 15 minutes from our house, we came across a wreck. We were the first ones to stop. Ryan went back to help the lady in the car (it was a one-car wreck, thankfully) while I called 911. The lady was just coming to when Ryan reached the car. We didn't stay long; there was a registered nurse who arrived on the scene not long after we did, and the police came not long after that. The lady should be fine. She probably had a concussion, and she was complaining of pain in her leg and her hip, but she was talking, which is always a good sign.


It was a blast. It was whirlwind and crazy and it'll take us awhile to get our lives back to normal, I think, but it was worth it. We spent time with family. We made memories. We made traditions. We enjoyed each others' company and learned a little bit more about each other. And Disneyland was awesome. So was Medieval Times. Awesome.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A Quick Religious Observation

So, the general feeling is going around the LDS culture that we are in the last days. We are quietly preparing for it. We gather up food storage, watch Temples go up around the world, and seek for signs of the times.

We also have a tendency to look at the evils of the world. We compare the world to Sodom and Gomorrah. I would like to submit that we aren't quite there yet. I offer this as an example:

When Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed, Lot and his family were spared. They were, apparently, the most righteous and the most deserving of being spared. The reason for this is that Lot offered up his virgin daughters to the evil men who were pounding on his door wanting to destroy the prophets who were inside. Later, when they believed that they needed to repopulate the world, those same daughters got their father blind drunk and they both slept with him. They were decidedly misguided, but these were the righteous of the two cities.

I'm sorry, but I just don't think we're there. Most people still think that rape and murder are bad, and most fathers would never deliver up their virgin daughters to an enraged mob. I think, instead, we are more like Nineveh (did I spell that right?) which was described as, generally, not knowing the difference between right and wrong. I think that most people are just a little confused in that point, because the only way to really determine right and wrong is to accept God's definition of it. Many people are not raised with a belief in God anymore.

I also don't think that we're ever going to get to Sodom and Gomorrah. I like my Dad's philosophy, that the good in the world is growing at the same time as the evil. The world is getting better as it's getting worse. Not only do I believe that philosophy is true, it also helps me to have a better outlook on the people and things around me. :)

What is good in your life?