Wednesday, April 30, 2008

"this is the best day ever"-Jarom

Jarom has been begging us to have a fire, and has been collecting sticks in a little box from our yard. So we found out where we could go do a campfire and had family home evening there. Jarom was just the cutest. So into making the fire and helping collect more wood and sticks. He was heard saying "this is the best day ever" a few times. We went up with our good friends the Andersons. So we all had a playmate.

Jarom was so filthy. We had him take a bath when we got home but his feet are still black after scrubbing them.

Making dinner

Oey hung out here for the first half of the night. I think he was a little afraid of the fire.

Rolling down the hill with Brianne. There was a big field that the boys played Frisbee on and we played duck duck goose. Oey loved bopping everyone on the head. He would laugh every time.

We had our fire across the river. When we first got there I said to Matt that we will be coming home with a wet kid and sure enough within 5 min. Jarom came walking to us wet.

My pyros

Michelle and I staying warm by the fire

Wild girls. I didn't realize that Bella was in a dressup or dressup shoes until after we left the house. Now that we have found a place where we can do this will be doing this more often. We love getting up doors as much as possible. We are so sick of being cooped up after a long winter. Here's to out doors!!!!!!!!!! We love it!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day Trippers

After our Triathlon, we had a crazy long fun day of adventures. Since we were already in St. George, we wanted to make the most of our time. Right after the triathlon we went to the dinosaur tracksite (Dinosaur Discovery Site at the Johnson Farm) in St. George that Matt had been wanting to take the kids to, because it has the best-preserved dinosaur footprints ever found.

Kids standing in front of the longest set of fossilized dinosaur tracks in the world

Can you see the footprint?

Big Tyrannosaur footprint

Our plan was to go straight to Zion after the museum, but on the way we got sidetracked a few times. It was just the most beautiful day and everything was calling out to us. Next stop was this cute little town in Virgin, at Fort Zion.

You could buy 4 carrots for a dollar and feed the animals. We all took turns, even Oey. He loved a little furry donkey. This little alpaca was very friendly, and desperate.

Just getting a drink, then back in the car to Zion. We wanted to make sure we got as much time there as possible.

We drove a couple more miles to find this hidden little nook in the red mountains, in a tiny town called Rockville. It was the cutest organic shop with lots of yummy treats sitting in the sweetest orchard. Everything was green- my favorite color!

Matt and his sandwich, refueling

We just had to stop one last time to join in Springdale's Earth Day celebrations. It was perfect. We have gone to a few of these type of things in the last couple years and this one was the best. It was small, simple and to the point. All about our beautiful world. Really focused on plants and nature, some homemade goods and crafts, unlike the other trendy ones where they are full of homemade pipes and whatnots.

Zion! We made it! These are the three patriarchs. Being here made me think of one of my favorite hymns-For the beauty of the earth.

The boys up at Weeping Rock

This is where you can sit and look out at the amazing view and stay dry.

My Guys

You can see the water dripping behind us. It pours out where sandstone meets shale, takeing centuries to get there. They have tested the water and some is 800 to 1200 years old!

Letting the kids play in the water and sand. Bella trying to pull up her skirt so it doesn't get wet.

We stayed until darkness covered Zion canyon, then had a four-hour drive home. We were pretty exhausted to say the least, after the triathlon and all these side trips. We recommend spending more than a day or half-day at Zion. We'll definitely be back for more (Angels Landing here we come!).

Sunday, April 20, 2008

The day after

So why, oh why do we make cookies?

Every Sunday Matt and I crave his cookie dough. If he does make it, he lets us all have a few dough balls and then starts swatting our hands away-"saying there won't be enough to make cookies!" my good friend Michelle Anderson let us in on a little secret of hers. They make cookie dough once a month just to eat. So brilliant! I have been so stuck in this black and white world that has never been even a thought of mine- just eat the dough! We have done it, and now I'm sick- which happens no matter what. You can't blame it on the dough, it would have happened with the cookies also. I'm happy and full and done. Next time I think we will do half and half.


Friday we were on the road to St. George! It was so nice to see and feel the sunshine and all that it beautifies. Spring in St. George is amazing.

Matt, Michelle and I woke earlier than what we actually set our alarms for on Saturday morning. We were up and ready to go bright and early, wondering if we should eat more breakfast or if we have already eaten enough. It was a tough question that we discussed thoroughly. It was all so exciting and nervewracking. You start with the swim, which is nice because then for the bike and run you dry off in the warm sunshine. We made a little pact to try and stay together which worked out great until the end and Matt decided to work us on the last mile and a half. Matt was great and Michelle and I got to gab away.

We enjoyed it so much. Matt even said at one point he had a spiritual moment when he was running hard and taking in the view. This amazing world and our crazy bodies that can do what ever we want if we train them and keep them healthy and even if we don't they are still pretty amazing how wonderful they are. We just felt so full of life and love for what we have, what we can accomplish, and for everything and everyone around us. Everyone was is such high friendly spirits that it was intoxicating and contagious. We loved everything about it. And we can't wait to do another one.

We love our little set up even more after this trip.

bums away. Michelle and I. Matt had the camera, so there is almost no pictures of him. Notice the beauty.

Me and michelle

Still wet from the swim. I swam in my sports bra. It's a little of a challenge to figure out what to wear since there is no time to change. I threw on the tank top and shorts I cut just for this trip after the swim. I was very proud of them. They worked great. Matt on the other hand didn't want to swim and bike/run in spandex so opted to swim in his swim trunks and tried to change quickly under a towel which we are pretty sure didn't work so great. People got a nice show. I'm sorry I missed it.

My stud. I'm so proud of him. He is a great competitor

Michelle taking the lead. I'll show them next time.

Last but not least. I didn't even have to break a sweat at my comfortable pace.

Matt and Michelle taking down their bikes. This race was awesome because it went in alphabetical order, so Michelle (Anderson) was #14 and Matt and I were 21 and 22. When we were starting our run people were still waiting to do their swim so they had to do their run in the heat of the day.

All done. A picture for the books. First one and many more to come.

Used Car = New Car

Audi Turbo something, something.

For the last year and a half I would go through little cycles of being sick and tired of paying an arm and a leg to fill up our Jeep Grand Cherokee just so I can drive it to fill up again. The Jeep has been our family car for years but in the last six months whenever we go somewhere that takes longer than 15 min. we would transfer all 3 car seats to Matt's car, a little Honda Civic, to save money. A pain but well worth it. So in these cycles I would say-"that's it, I'm getting a new car!". One that I can drive and not feel bad that I'm wasting our precious moolah. This little cycle was different you see. Because I followed through with my plan. I usually look for two or three days at used cars, but give up because I can't find what I'm looking for in my price range of $0, or I missed the one good deal. You have to be quick and on the ball if you are using Craig's List. I am neither. But this time was different. I didn't quit after day two, I looked out of my price range, and we ended up with a car on day three. It was fun and scary.

A list of why we thought we were getting scammed:
-First of all the sweet, nice guy had a heavy accent. So already you are on your toes hanging on every word to make sure you hear everything right. I mean you don't want to miss a word, what if he was telling you something was wrong with the car?
-It was listed as a 2000, we found out it is 1999.
-Again the accent, we asked where he was from. He said Australia, but it was not a Australian accent.
-He said it was his family car for the last few years, we found out he had it for 3 weeks. He had bought it March 30th--we bought it from him April 18th.
-He said it drove great in the snow-did he ever get a chance to drive it in the snow?
-Told us all the miles were highway from driving to Las Vegas so much, in the last three weeks--I don't think so.
-His name is Matt, the title had the name Zach on it. He first said his brother's name is Zach, then said, "people here, they sometimes call me Zach. Or Matt."
-The big one for me was the miles per gallon. It was listed to get 32-33. I was so happy. For some reason I decided to look it up on mpgbuddy and it said like 27 on highway. We gave it a baby test the other day and it was 29 almost 30. We need to take it on a little road trip to see for sure if we really want to keep it or not. This is the main reason I wanted a new car, for good gas mileage.
-He told us to meet him at his house behind Taco Bell- we get there to find a new empty shopping center where all the stores are still up for sale, they are really empty. There was one jewelry store, I don't think he lives there.
-In the back of the car there were two other license plates, just floating around. One from CA and one from UT. Does he just randomly attach plates to cars?
-When he cleaned out the car--glovebox, rear, cd changer--he seemed pretty clueless about what was in there. Stuff like lipstick, cds (Scorpions? Julio Iglesias?), a checkbook with someone else's name on it!, a AAA card also with someone else's name, car documents that were from a different car, etc.
-Matt drove him down some scary back roads in Orem Utah. Yes, it's true. There are scary back roads in Utah. I was afraid for his life. And that I would never see the money or the car again.
-He had Matt drop him off at his girlfriend's house. No one was there and he kept walking.
-Matt, right after buying it said he didn't feel right about it so turned right back around to try and trade back.
-Matt asked for his cell phone number so we could get ahold of him. Matt called the number while Matt (the seller) was in our car- or is it Zach- and let it ring, but there was no ringing sound to be heard in the car. It didn't call his phone even after three tries. So Matt asked him to call his cell phone and it rang in as one of those dang private numbers.
-While we were test driving it he said someone else really wanted it, him to hold it for him, and he would give him like 2000 more dollars. Was he genius in telling us this so we would hurry and buy it? And why would he then sell it to us for 100 less?
-In the end Matt called him on the owning it for only three weeks thing and he did say he was just trying to make some money off of it. So why not hold it for the guy who'd pay more?
-During the three weeks that he had it, he never registered it. So the title was actually being "reassigned" to us. Weird--we've never dealt with that before, though we've only ever bought CA cars.

Anyway (this is Matt now), most of that stuff got clarified, at least a little bit, and we found out in the end that he was an honest guy. A lot of misunderstandings, some of them probably cultural, others probably actual little white lies. Others remain mysterious.
- Supposedly he really thought it was a 2000.
- He was born/raised in Poland (and it definitely was a Russian accent), and then moved to Australia. But I think he said he was in Poland for only a few (four or so) years, which isn't enough to affect an accent the rest of your life, so who knows.
- Zach really is his brother's name. He was on the title like a cosigner, from what I understand.
- Behind Taco Bell there really are some new apartments, but the driveway is hidden.
- The backroads in Orem were a shortcut. And they really were.
- He said his girlfriend wasn't home. He was on the phone when I picked him up, apparently calling her to see where she was.
- Has two cell phones, one he claimed was a "work" phone. That phone number did actually work, and though he didn't answer it the following morning when I called, he did call me back.
- He was just trying to make a little money. Maybe he's a car-flipper--he knew an awful lot about Utah law when it came to car buying.

I ended up talking with him a lot and telling him all my concerns, and though we didn't communicate *perfectly* well, we did end up trusting each other in the end. I even called the previous owners with a few questions, and things sounded okay. I went to the DMV the following morning, and everything went just fine. The car is now officially ours. I just need to get an emissions and safety check, which I expect it to pass.

Here it is:

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

To My Sweetest, Bestest Friend!

Happy Birthday Glory! We always talk about making a post for each other, because we are always checking each other's blogs so much. So here it is- Just for you(and everyone else that is reading this- is it still just you?)!

Glory Lee Smith Watts. How proud I am to claim you for my own. My big sister! I love you so very much. And I feel so blessed to have you as a best friend. This will sound crazy but you are my everything. How different I would be without you. There would have been no one there to give me my first eyebrows(with a pencil) on my 8th grade graduation. I felt like a clown and tried so hard to scrub them off. They just faded to a nice orange-brown.

I loved being the first one you told everything to. Your first kiss. That dance where that boy tried to take your shoes off- but you didn't want him to because you had scary socks on.

Your cool job at the video store. All the free movies.

Talk about freebees- is me crashing all your dates. I never had a better time. Boy- that was the life.

I loved when people would meet me for the first time and say-"You must be Glory's sister", "You have the same lips", "You two talk the same, and laugh the same", "Are you twins?". I hate the poor soul who seemed shocked to find out that we were even from the same family tree. Blast them!

I loved our everyday morning breakfast of Mc D's or snack from the Shell gas station.

We have been on so many little journeys. Like the time we ditched school and walked miles to find out that Dick the nark was following us the whole time. What a blow.

I love that you loved ME. I know you think you were mean to me a lot growing up. But all I remember is all the good things. Which feels like my whole life. You always had my back, maybe not so much at home but at other places where I would have been shy and so uncomfortable. Being with you would make all my worries go away.

I love how we understand each other when NO one else can. I love all of our inside jokes- and sideways glances. I love that we can read each others minds, and giggle.

I love you more and more and more. I love to think back when mom would say-"Just wait till your older, your sisters will be your best friends". We didn't have to wait very long to find out how very right she was.

I have always looked up to you even though we are the same height.

You are so bright and funny. Truly gifted. You're a great loving mom. The best dancer I have ever seen! The greatest friend and sister I could ever ask for.

I love YOU. You are the one friend I will always need in my life. My phone buddy, shopping buddy, ice cream buddy, camping buddy, singing in the rain buddy, poison buddy, make-up buddy, pj buddy, roller skate buddy, white hot chocolate buddy (I guess Josh can be in this group too), workout buddy, our new found love for peanut butter buddy, mom to mom buddy, need a laugh buddy, dancing on a broken glass buddy, and last but not least salamander buddy (thats actually just you).

I just want you to know I'm thinking of you on your birthday. Even though you are not getting anything in the mail from me. I was at Nana's on Sunday and I saw that she had a card for you. And yes I know it's crazy that in 6 months I will be the age that you were just 6 months ago.

Happy Birthday GLORY... I love YOU...
Paul hasn't taken you out yet this might make you feel better.
A list of things you do better than I
1- color better
2-paint nails better
3-sing better
4-run faster
5-read better
6-have better morning breath
7-play the piano better
8-clean better
9-basketball, soccer, baseball
10-you know the lyrics better

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I was busy all week getting ready for my sister and her family to come stay with us. Our new guest room was our storage room like two weeks ago so it still needed a lot of work. In the end there was just too much stuff and not enough room. So I got a brilliant idea to have a yard sale. It's difficult to try and get your house clean for company when you are tearing it apart and looking under beds on bookshelfs, in the deepest darkest corners of your house, just seeking to find gold. Something you can sell and make a buck. Last year when we had our yard sale we also had a bake sale. It worked so well we had to do it again. So I also spent any free moment on Thursday and Friday making muffins, cookies, rice krispie treats and lots of signs to hang up and down our street. This bake sale is key. You get quite a few people who are not interested in one thing you have to sell and it gets awkward. We have found that this helps. No one minds spending .25 cents on a treat. So this way everyone leaves happy.

This year Jarom was our salesman. He was amazing. I wish I had it on tape so bad. He was so excited. As soon as someone was in site he would start yelling out his sales pitch. .25 cents! All this is .25 cents! Everything is .25 cents--right here, all of it! Most people would walk straight to him and buy something and then start looking around. I felt sorry for the poor souls who tried to take a different route. Jarom would not let up. And sometimes it wasn't like he was yelling to a whole group of people, it would be like one person. They would try and ignore him. Not possible. It was quite a hoot to watch. Mostly because Matt and I are not that way. We have no idea where he has come from. But we love it. All in all, it was a quick fun one. We sold all the big things that we really wanted to get rid of. I think the only things that didn't sell that had to come back in the house were our old snowboard boots. We will just put those up on craigslist.

Our one picture of the yard sale, that's my big b bending over trying to show that guy how you change the bike trailer into a jogger.

It all worked out great. Jenny and Dana were able to stay in a bedroom, no longer the junk room. We met up with them in Salt Lake and hung out at the park. For dinner since it was finally nice out we decided to walk down Center Street for a couple of blocks to a really yummy Indian restaurant. Jenny and I wanted to do a girls' night out. We couldn't think of anything really cool to do. So we decided to go to the movies. Bad idea. Again I am reminded that I live in Provo. Every ten o'clock movie is way sold out. We end up in super walmart looking for the perfect gift for her husband. Today is Dana's birthday! I got Dana the so cool golden grill you see him sport'n in the picture.

At the park, Dads with kids

Dana said this was the best birthday ever. You need to click on the picture to get the real view of the grill.

Today was another beautiful day. It feels like heaven. I can't get enough warm sunshine. We all went down and visited Great Nana and Papa for a few hours. The kids got to play on the playground in the backyard and enjoy spring. This is where we parted ways with Jenny and Dana. They were going out with friends for Dana's birthday. We didn't think we should go, since we have two sick kids. Poor O has a crazy eye. Jenny thinks it's pinkeye. I'm not too sure if I believe that, and if she really did she is one brave woman to stay at my house. I really hope they don't get sick. Bella has got the black lung and couldn't stop coughing. You can't have everything at once can you. For me, right now in my life it would have to be good weather and healthy kids. I know, I'm asking for too much. My good news of the day is that my little brother William had a baby girl today!! Sad that I'm not there- of course. I miss everything with the family being out here. But I'm so happy for him. He is just a young guy but has always loved babies. She was 8 pounds and 9 oz with loads of black hair. Dana will have to learn how share his birthday now. It kills me too because my kids have spring break this week. So I start to think, It's my lucky day I'm driving out tomorrow and meeting this new little fuzz bucket and I will finally get to meet Wendy, my little sister's baby that she had last month, and then Bella coughs. Can't take sick kids to meet newborn cousins. I don't know when we will ever get out there.

This is another one you need to click on the see if you can tell if O's eyes are puffy


the close up. O today is 1 year and 1 month and this is all his hair in all its glory.

Jenny and I

Cousins- Rowan and Bella

Another one you needed to click on to see the eyes. I couldn't get a good picture of it. I don't know whats wrong. Yesterday they were really gooky and we had to keep wiping them, at first I thought they were just sore from all the wipes, but today they were puffy with no goo.