Wednesday, July 30, 2008
I would say I definitely had the easier side of this separation, getting to be with family, and Josh the harder because he has been home alone chugging along at work. I sure have missed Josh though. My life is just not complete without him. It's hard. He is an amazing, loving husband and friend. He does so much for me. He calms me down, he keeps me grounded, he supports me, he a great father and backs me up when it comes to disciplining the boys, he makes me laugh, when I'm worn thin and tired he picks up the pieces and puts me back together again.
I just can't wait to get off that airplane, off the shuttle train from the gate, and into the arms of my best friend for a big hug.
Ready or not... here I come!
(I'm just not sure how I'm going to do it when he goes to Chicago in August and it is me left home alone with the two boys.)
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Monday, July 28, 2008
Mom pulled together another amazing party for our visit. Last time we were here we had a Pirate Party. This time we had a Cowboy Party complete with costumes and cowboy grub. The boys had the greatest time, as did the rest of us. We were sad that Josh couldn't be here to join us (our brake adventure on the way out here prevented us from doing the party that night as planned with Josh).
The evening was spent getting dressed up, dancing to cowboy music, line dancing, making belt buckles out of pie tins, making root beer and eating cowboy dinners, having a cowboy relay race, a gold rush, and ending with singing around our fake campfire with papa dusting of his guitar to accompany us. Sam and Elijah were totally engrossed in the festivities and I enjoyed snapping all the shots (with my camera that is).
Sunday, July 27, 2008
- the sound of rain falling on the trees. The smell that comes with it and the cool breeze it brings chasing away the heat of day.
- being with my family and Josh's family and sharing my boys with them.
- being able to see my grandma
- a webcam so I can see my husband 500 miles away-a sight for sore eyes!
- a husband that is willing to let me stay in Utah while he lives the life of a bachelor at home playing WOW and working long hours.
- a renewed determination to read the Book of Mormon more regularly and keep up with the Gospel Doctrine reading assignment.
- the Spirit that I feel when I am reading the scriptures.
- for family history work and the sucess we had this week which will allow us to do the temple work for some more of our ancestors.
- the internet which allows me to keep in touch with the people I care about.
Friday, July 25, 2008
Earlier this month I posted about my great great aunt Helen Condon Dillman and her husband, Shelby Dillman, that up until this month I was unable to find any information about. Well, today I was able to put a few more piece of the puzzle together. I located the cemetery record for both Shelby and Helen in Pleasant Point Cemetery, Meramec Twp, Crawford County, Missouri. His tombstone gives his birthdate as 27 Jan 1900. This happily matches the birthdate given on the WWI draft registration I cited in my previous post, confirming that they are the same person! Suddenly I have Shelby's birthday and his father's name, William F, confirmed. The tombstone also gave his death date as 15 Dec 1964. I was also able to find the marriage record for Shelby and Helen in St. Louis, Missouri on 10 Sept 1931 at the Union Avenue Christian Church. All of this information is enough to get the temple work done for Shelby and get him sealed to his wife. All very exciting!
Well, I have more exciting news to share about my Winders and Alderson families but it's been a long day and the information is on my mother's computer right now. I'll be sure to share it soon.
Thursday, July 24, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Josh and I had the greatest time on our belated 5th Anniversary trip to Southern Utah. It was absolutely gorgeous down there and the weather was rather pleasant.The following is a travel log of our trip:
We drove the three plus hours to Boulder, Utah along US 24 and US 12. The drive on US 12 was breath taking. I would highly recommend it and be sure to take a camera. (I was camera crazy the entire trip and I love my new camera! I included just a few of my favorite shots above.) The highway goes through Dixie National Forest which is full of stunning aspen trees, tall pines, and many cattle. There are a few campsites along the road that look rather nice (and the rest stop had flushing toilets). Once you get south of Boulder it runs along a ridge part of the time with beautiful views from either side and winds up and around stunning mountains and rock formations.
We stopped in Boulder for dinner on our way down to our Inn in Escalante. We ate at the Boulder Mesa Restaurant. The food was a little pricey, but it was rather good (though our least favorite of the trip-we were spoiled as far as food goes). I had their tostada, which was as big as my plate, and Josh had the trout. We ate out on the deck and were surrounded by hummingbirds buzzing all around.
We easily found the Slot Canyons Inn, just west of Escalante off Hwy 12, and were immediately impressed with it. The property was beautiful and the Inn was stunning. We were met by the owner, Joette, and she showed us around the main floor and then to our room which was on the ground level. I liked her immediately and she proved very helpful, kind, and informative on top of making wonderful breakfasts (we especially liked Aunt Mildred's Eggs). We really like our room, by far the best place we have ever stayed. (our only, ever so little complaint, was that you could hear your neighbors a bit more than usual.)
Friday morning we spent exploring the Inn's property. They have 160 acres of beautiful land. There is a cliff behind the Inn that we were able to climb up rather easily that gives you a cool view of the property. We also found some pictographs while we were climbing around and some amazing rock formations. Apparently there were Native Amercians living on the property hundreds and thousands of years ago. BYU is actually doing an excavation project on the property just behind the Inn at the bottom of the cliff. We went and talked to them for a bit and looked at the site (which wasn't that impressive unless you knew what you were doing). They have found evidence of people living there back 8-11 THOUSAND years ago! Can you imagine?
We had lunch at the local frosty shop in Escalante (per Joette's recommendation) and then drove around Escalante a bit, which doesn't take long, and explored some of the shops. I was not impressed with the shopping in Escalante. There were a few podunk shops that sold very expensive art and jewelry and then other junky stuff. Supposedly there were a couple antique shops but they weren't open at the time. There were a lot of cool old houses from the pioneers era. I just love those old houses made out of the rough red brick. The people were really nice and willing to give directions and suggestions on things to do.
For dinner we ate at the Escalante Outfitters Cafe (another recommendation by Joette that proved amazing). They serve gourmet pizzas to die for, well at least the one we had. It was their Chicken Pesto Pizza and it had a pesto sauce instead of a tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, sliced tomatoes, chicken, mushrooms, and red onions. Oh so Yummy! I'm going to try and reproduce it at home with my homegrown basil. They also have a shop with camping and hiking gear and some souvenirs.
Friday evening we went to the Petrified Forest State Park. We had tried earlier in the day but it was too hot to do the uphill climb to the bluff. They have a 1 mile loop hike that takes you up and around the top of the bluff to see multiple pieces of petrified wood. The hike is very pretty and I would recommend it. Because it was so late in the day we were the only ones up there which was really nice. The bluff provides a great view of Escalante to the East and Wide Hollow Reservoir to the West. There is also a campsite near the reservoir at the base of the trail, though I wouldn't recommend it unless you enjoy seeing all your close neighbors.
Saturday morning we left right after an excellent breakfast at the Inn and headed on our way to Boulder. We stopped at the Escalante River to do a bit of hiking to find the Indian dwellings pictured above that were pointed out to us by the locals. It was a short easy hike along the river and cliffs edge. Well worth the time. If we had had more time we would have walked more of it. We then went on to Boulder to see the Anasazi State Park and Museum. The park and museum are fairly small but well worth the stop (and $4 each entrance fee). The Museum includes many artifacts taken from the site and information about the Indians that lived there. The park out back has a replica of an Indian dwelling and then the excavation site that you can walk around.
Our lunch in Boulder was also amazing. We ate at the Burr Trail Grill. It is a pretty laid back atmosphere (through out both Escalante and Boulder) and the food was well worth stopping for. Josh had their Blue Volcano Burger which had blue cheese and a chili sauce on it, and I had their Turkey Cran Pesto Sandwich which had a cranberry sauce, roasted turkey, spinach, and a pesto sauce. Mouth watering goodness! We also had their half order of nachos which were also really good.
After lunch we were off home to see our boys and my family. Overall it was a laid back, much needed trip. We really had a great time. There was so much that we didn't have time to do. I would love to go back and do some of the Slot Canyons and do some of Bryce Canyon which is about an hour west of Escalante. I really enjoyed discovering the pictographs and Indian dwellings and would love to explore some more (supposedly the visitors center outside of Escalante on US12 can show you some maps etc). Here's hoping we make it back sometime!
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
The boys were great the entire ride. We only stopped once for gas and a potty break (plus a brief break at the side of the road for a toddler stop, Elijah thought I was teasing when I offered him a chance go peepees in the grass). It was sure great to finally get to my parents house. There was quite a welcoming committy when we arrived, complete with Abby dog hugs.
Well, they're pulling out the Wii Fit to show it off.
Let the fun vacation begin!
We stopped at a place near where we were but they weren't sure they were going to be able to look at our car this morning. So we called our old reliable auto shop and they said they would look at it so we turned around and drove carefully home. Josh dropped us off at the house and then took the car in. I still haven't heard a verdict or timetable. I'm really hoping we make it out today! There always seems to be bumps on our adventures.
I am grateful that we decided to take the more scenic route as opposed to the freeway and discovered this problem before we were too far from home (and on the windy, hilly roads of I-70). I am grateful I wasn't driving and Josh was able to stay calm despite me panicing. I am grateful that we made it home safe.
Monday, July 14, 2008
Well, the week of our long awaited vacation has finally come! I'll be spending today and tomorrow getting everthing cleaned up around the house and everything gathered and packed for our trip. It takes quite a lot of my mental power to make sure everything gets done and packed that needs to. I have quite a few lists that I keep adding to and marking off.
We will be driving out on Wednesday, hopefully pretty early so we can make it to Grammie's house and participate in the much anticipated "Cowboy Party" (I'm sure there will be pictures to come of that exciting event). Josh and I are then off for our anniversary trip to Escalante at the Slot Canyons Inn. Sadly the trip is being cut short for Josh. He has too much going on at work right now to take another week off. He will be driving home by himself on Monday and the boys and I will be staying through to the 31st and flying home.
Anyway, I guess my break is up. Lots to do!
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Among the freebies were the yellow "hard" hats that you see the boys wearing. Josh ended up wearing one most of the afternoon. He's a silly, very cute man!
They had a big pool full of live trout for the boys (Elijah, Sam and Ezra) and Alexis to fish in, catch and release. The poor trout had been in there all morning and I am sure they weren't very hungry. Only Ezra got a bite but wasn't able to keep it.
They had the big bouncy blow up toys. Sam wasn't really into the chaos that comes with those but Elijah loved bouncing and even climbed up the huge slide and went down by himself (though it took him a while of drooling before he got up the courage). They had the Carnival swings that go round and round. Elijah and Sam both enjoyed it. Ezra is the cute kid in the right of the picture that Elijah greatly enjoys playing with.
They also had a huge pool for kyaking in. Josh was brave enough to take the two boys alone. Sam was in front and wanted to be in charge of the paddle, all by himself. It caused a little bit of a struggle and Josh ended up powering the craft with his hands instead. Elijah was just along for the ride and content.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Google Books is a great way to view and preview books that are on the market today. But even better are the books that are out of copyright or are public domain. Those books are available in their entirety and some are even available for download. You are acutally able to view the book in it's original format but are able to do electronic searches within the pages of the book. There are a lot of local and family histories out there that were published eons ago and I am excited to say that there are a lot of them available on Google Books! The possibilites are amazing!
Google Books has it set up so you can flag a book and add it to your own "library". Just in a matter of hours I was able to build up my own library with a wealth of family history information. You are welcome to browse through what I found in my library at Google Books. Even if the book isn't available for full viewing it is great to know that it exists somewhere. Some of the books that I am most excited about that are my ancestors specifically are:
The Corwin Genealogy
Genealogy of the Bigelow Family of America
I've found it also to be a great place to find local histories written during the era my ancestors were actually living there. A lot of them have biographical sketches (though I haven't been lucky enough to find an ancestor that has one, yet).
History of Pike County, Ohio 1880
History of Detroit, 1912
A Guide to the City of Chicago, 1909
Using another tool by Google called a Notebook, you can highlight snippets of a text and save them seperate from the book into your notebook. You are also able to add notes and labels. This enables you to then go back and find the actual page from the book that pertains to your ancestor through your notebook.
You can also highlight a portion of a book and imbed it into your own post like this one about my great great great grandfather Chester Mathews Bigelow from the Bigelow Genealogy:
Genealogy of the Bigelow Family of America From the Marriage in 1642 of John Biglo and Mary Warren to the Year 1890 By Gilman Bigelow Howe
Through doing this I was also able to find a reference (though sadly not a sourced reference) to my ancestor Joshua Bigelow who served in the King Phillips War as I mentioned last week:
In all Google Books has made it rather simple to do a search on your ancestors through a plethera of different books available for full view or not. They have made it easy to search, read and share what you find.
Check it out!
Do a search on your own family.
Come up with any questions? Just leave me a comment and I'll see what I can do to help.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
There are the traditional yoga poses and strength training exercises as well as arerobic games and balance games. Each "event" has it's own score board that ranks you with 1-4 stars and compares your scores to the other players on your Wii Fit. It creates a friendly sense of competition not only to beat Josh's scores but to beat my own. It's rather motivating.
I've found that I'm not so interested in the BMI scale and progress chart. It is too skewed to be helpful for me (at least right now). The weigh in's fluctuate too much depending on what you are wearing to show any day to day progress. I might change my mind after I have a larger window of progress to look at. There are also balance tests that result in a calculated "Wii Fit Age" based on your balance control and strength. These too are skewed. A couple days ago I was 44 because I bombed a test; yesterday I was 28. I do like that it keeps track of your play time and how much time you spend in each of the four areas. You are also rewarded for playing longer by unlocking more levels or new games.
Elijah is also able to play some of the games. He paticularly likes the running ones which he can do without any help. It's quite cute to see this little boy "running" rather crazily with a Wii remote in his pocket. It's great for those days we don't make it outside and there is a lot of energy bursting to get out of my three year olds body.
Overall, I am definitly not suffering from buyers remorse with this one. I think it is something we will use regularly and it is possible to feel (and maybe eventually see) the effects of playing.
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
I don't think Josh will have much competition for his Finnish candy, well at least the Turkish Peppers. I'm just waiting until he breaks out the chocolate. I'm all over that!
Monday, July 7, 2008
On the way to church yesterday Elijah declared, "I don't want my house to be green anymore. I want it to be red."
Josh and I told him that it just wasn't going to happen. They weren't going to come back and paint our house a different color simple because he wants them to. We gave him the reasons that it takes too much money and too much time. Elijah didn't quite get it and tried to explain that the painters would have the money.
Ultimately it came down to "But green isn't my favorite color anymore."
And the world should change on the whim of a three year old. Can you only imagine?
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with my little friend, but right now he's on my desk making me happy (amid a slew of other clutter).
Sunday, July 6, 2008
Saturday, July 5, 2008
He came home with a Wii Fit (in addition to the blueberries and avacados).
Yep, somehow he wondered back to the electronics and just casually asked if they happened to have any Wii Fits. Amazingly, the answer was YES.
It is great fun! Elijah, Josh, and I have all been playing on the amazing balance board. The technology is pretty amazing. The games are fun and the personal tracking is very cool. I'm excited to use it more and more!
Yesterday we had a great day together as a family. The boys woke up and put on their festive socks with stars and stripes. Elijah wanted to paint fireworks and Sam joined in on the fun.
We went on a picnic for lunch. We thought about joining in the festivities put on by the city. But drove by the massive crowds and decided against it. We ended up at a park with four ponds and a great walking path. After lunch we walked around a bit (it was rather hot and humid yesterday and today, ugh). We crossed a cool bridge and found a waterfall (man made) and a little cove where we "fished" for crawdads. I have memories of fishing for crawdads with my dad and brother many years ago in Illinois. I was actually able to catch a big one with only a stick and my hands (pat on the back) and the boys had great fun splashing in the water scaring all the crawdads.
We also sang Happy Birthday to America. Well, actually Elijah sang a solo for us. It was pretty cute. I made firecracker cakes with little debbie swiss rolls on end and candles. Both the boys loved blowing them out.
I hope you had a wonderful holiday too!