Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Two Games that Have Made Summer Fun

This summer, I have spent a lot of "down" time with my kids.  Two games that have really made the summer fun are Speed Scrabble and 12 Eggs.  Here's an explanation of both games:

Speed Scrabble

It is best to have at least 3 players and six is the max.

You use the scrabble tiles.  

All of them are put in the center of table, face down.  Everyone takes seven tiles and leaves them face down until someone shouts go.  Everyone then tries to form their own miniature scrabble board, using all of their letters.  Once someone has done that, they holler "Draw" and everyone draws another tile.  This goes on until all of the tiles in the center are used.  During the game, you can recreate your scrabble board as often as you wish to make best use of your tiles.  

Once the game is over, everyone adds up their words and if you want to, you can subtract the tiles you couldn't use.  It is fast and intense and I have noticed my kid's vocabulary and spelling leap this summer because of this game.    

12 Eggs

Dentist husband and his brother invented this game years ago.

You can play this with any ball, but we prefer one the size of a tennis ball.  Everyone starts with 12 eggs.  (These are figurative eggs and are just used as a way to keep score.)  You play catch, trying to throw the ball that will be hard for the other person to catch.  If they drop the ball, they loose an egg.  (Usually, the person yells, "I'm down to 11" or whatever number they are on).  However, if you throw a ball that is deemed by the other players as being "uncatchable" you loose an egg.  You are always riding the fine line of throwing a hard to catch ball and one that is "uncatchable."  Last person with eggs wins.  

We have played this game almost nightly this summer with people from our home teachers, to neighborhood kids to the Cub Scouts.  It is a great game and only requires a somewhat open space and a ball.    

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mongolian Barbeque

We discovered this restaurant when we were in St. George last fall.  We honestly fell in love with the food and ate there every day we were there.  
Here are my kids with the owner.  Her name is Yew (I think that is how it is spelled) and she is originally from Vietnam.  She has a very nice but intense personality, ordering you around in the restaurant (You will sit here.  Your kids will use chopsticks.  You don't know what you are doing, let me mix up your sauces, etc.)  It is very refreshing and fun to be in her presence.  From what people have told us, she had a very sad life before coming to the United States and she is very well known in the Southern Utah area.  We love her.
You first pick what size bowl you want and then proceed to pick what veggies and meat you want cooked.  We have a "who will pick the healthiest meal" challenge with my kids and they load up on carrots, celery, etc.
I didn't get a picture of it but after you put your noodles, veggies and meat in the bowl, there about 10 sauces which you ladle over your selection--from Mongolian barbeque, to sea salt, to fish something or other, oyster sauce, lemon water, curry sauce, sesame, etc.  The first time there, Yew did it for me (after asking if I liked spicy or not).  Since it was her restaurant, I trusted her and it was well worth it.  We now all know what we like and don't require her assistance anymore.
Once you are done, you give your bowls to these nice men (who I think are all related to the owner somehow), who cook it for you.  The grill spins and they use long wooden dowels to push the food around and cook it.  They then bring your food to you, in a fresh bowl to your table. 
Because it comes out very hot, you dump the bowls contents onto your plate and go at it.  

They also serve soup and rice with the meal.  The owner usually comes over with origami birds and hands those out to kids as well.  It really is wonderful experience and the price is very reasonable. So, if you are ever in the St. George area. . .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Trip to St. George

In light of some frustrating news (no ward boundary changes coming), we decided to make an impromptu trip south. I couldn't face another Sunday staring at empty pews.

Since most people avoid southern Utah in the heat of the summer, it was easy to get a place at the last minute and fill up our days. It was a great nourishing trip

We spent a lot of time at the hotel's pool.

During the main heat of the day, we went miniature golfing at a very fun, indoor glow in the dark place. (This was my attempt at an somewhat artistic picture--not bad.)

We went to the driving range
More pool pictures . . .
One night,we took our kids to the Tuacahn theatre and saw an excellent production of Annie. They openly encourage children to come and we throughly enjoyed the whole evening. If you are ever in the St. George area, a trip to the Tuacahn theatre is a must.

We also visited our favorite restaurant on the planet--Mongolian Barbeque. I'm doing a separate post on that place tomorrow.

Again, after a trip like this, I feel I can conquer the things that worry and upset me. In the grand scheme of things, my problems are few. Thank you St. George.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Bear Lake

Dentist husband's sister (4 of 9 sibling) and her husband invited us up to his family's Bear Lake house this past weekend.  It was a magical weekend.  

The man in the green and girl holding the baby is Dentist husband's sister (7 of 9 sibling) and husband but NOT the people that invited us up.  Somehow, I didn't get many pictures of those two.
Their property is lakeside but because of some battle with the farmers over water rites, lakeside is farther away than it used to be.  Still, it was very close and very fun.
The kids spent hours on their dry beach and trampoline.  There was also a long slide (not pictured).
Dentist husband water skiing.  He really is a beautiful water skier.
We also played Speed Scrabble daily.  My two oldest are getting really good at it and it makes me happy to see their spelling and vocabulary develop.  (The man in the yellow shirt is my brother-in-law who invited us up.)  
When we weren't on the boat, we spent hours playing lakeside.
Again, it was a magical weekend.  Thank you again #4 and husband.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Matching Scrubs

Turns out, you can buy Landau scrubs in kids sizes.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

This current Health care crap. . .

My friend Jan posted this on her blog:

With the public’s trust in his handling of health care tanking (50%-44% of Americans disapprove), the White House has launched a new phase of its strategy designed to pass Obamacare: all Obama, all the time. As part of that effort, Obama hosted a conference call with leftist bloggers urging them to pressure Congress to pass his health plan as soon as possible.
During the call, a blogger from Maine said he kept running into an Investors Business Daily article that claimed Section 102 of the House health legislation would outlaw private insurance. He asked: “Is this true? Will people be able to keep their insurance and will insurers be able to write new policies even though H.R. 3200 is passed?” President Obama replied: “You know, I have to say that I am not familiar with the provision you are talking about.” (quote begins at 17:10)
This is a truly disturbing admission by the President, especially considering that later in the call, Obama promises yet again: “If you have health insurance, and you like it, and you have a doctor that you like, then you can keep it. Period.” How can Obama keep making this promise if he is not familiar with the health legislation that is being written in Congress? Details matter.

Then, my friend Cassy posted this on her blog:

If I hear one more liberal say that health insurance companies are corrupt, I am going to throw a fit! Maybe Spencer can join me because he is really good at those. 

I work for The Regence Group which is the BlueShield and BlueCross brand in WA, OR, ID and UT. Regence is by far the most ethical, caring, outstanding company I have ever worked for (and I’ve had a lot of jobs over the years). In 2008 Regence had a profit of 0.5%, so they’re not exactly living large off their member’s premiums.

In a memo about the current health care reform debate going on in Washington, the CEO of Regence said, “Much of the current debate focuses on expanding access, government control and entitlement – all at tremendous cost and certain to result in growth of deficit spending – without serious, thoughtful provisions for changing the culture in health care finance and delivery, which causes waste and drives up costs. We can and must do better as a nation.”

Regence recently launched a web site to educate consumers on the real cost of health care; This site is full of facts that are helping me understand better what is wrong with our system and that the proposals currently being discussed in Washington are only going to make the problem worse.

We have to speak up and stop this "sweeping legislation" from passing.  Contact your senators and Congressman.  Come on folks, let's let our voices be heard. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009


We try to regularly do family movie night.  With children ranging in ages from 10-2, it is often hard to come up with something we all can and are willing to watch.  
I remembered seeing this movie in the theatre when I was a little girl with two of my sisters and some children of friends of my parents.  My memories were sporadic at best and after some internet research, figured out the title and bought it. 

This movie really is a delightful watch.  David Niven and Helen Hayes are wonderful in this charming tale.  It contains mystery, fun and humor.  A rare gem. Highly recommended.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Donut Falls and Donuts

For Family Home Evening, we decided to do another hike.  This time to place called Donut Falls.  The hike was the perfect length and the scenery was beautiful.
You may have noticed that I seem to wear the same pants but in a different color in many of my summer pictures.  My love of Hanna Andersson is in full swing and I bought these lightweight sweatpant capri's in every color during their latest sale.  It has a side pocket that I keep my keys, my phone, driver's license and credit card.  It is my favorite "find" of the season.  I haven't had to take my purse anywhere.
On their own, the kids posed on this rock and asked for their picture to be taken.  Notice toothsome #3's legs.  
Donut Falls.  It was a little anti climatic because about 2 years ago, there was a rock slide and you can't see the said "donut" rock that the water runs through anymore unless you really off- road into the mountains which with a two year old, we couldn't do.  The falls are still beautiful but we couldn't get as close we thought.  
For dessert, we had donuts.  
Toothsome #4 eats her donuts by eating off all of the chocolate and then asking for another one.  

Monday, July 13, 2009

Heber/Midway with Gabriela

My friend Gabriela was in town this past week.  Thankfully, she called me and we were able to get together.  Dentist husband had the great idea of getting together to do go-karts at my father-in-law's Heber property.
Gabriela and I.  We have known each other since high school.
The kids played basketball (and collected many bugs--notice the blue bug catcher at the bottom of the frame)
Of course, rode go-karts.  We stopped the when the kids got bored doing it.  (Who knew kids could get bored doing it.)
Later, we went to her in-laws house where we were told we could find snakes.  I didn't believe them and I was wrong.  Within a matter of minutes, at least five snakes were found.
The kids also collected golf balls.  Many, many golf balls.

It was a wonderful fun night.  Looking forward to her next visit.

Friday, July 10, 2009

1/2 marathon thoughts

A few months ago, we purchased this treadmill.  
(Yes, weird picture, it is the only one I have of it).

We bought it mainly so Dentist husband and I wouldn't have an excuse to not exercise.  It is in our Great room, in front of our TV and is a constant reminder that we need to use it.  

Shortly after getting it, I made this pronouncement and was convinced by my friend Gabriela to join her doing this 1/2 marathon next summer.

This is a scary thing for me for a lot of reasons.  First, Gabriela is an amazing runner--always has been.  I have some distant memory of her in high school on the cover our school newspaper when both the boys and girls track teams took State that year.  She was somehow featured because she was so good.  So, running anything with her is intimidating.  My only crutch is that she lives at sea level and I live 5180 miles above sea level.  She just ran the above mentioned 1/2 marathon at just under a 9 minute mile (Yes, Gabriela, I checked).

2nd, while I have run many 10k's, I hate doing those and those are less half as long as a 1/2 marathon.

3rd, after purchasing our treadmill, I now know how bad of a runner I am.  When I first started, I struggled to run 2 miles without stopping at approx. a 16 minutes a mile  pace.  Struggled is not even a good word for it.  More like felt like I was dying during the whole thing.  

Well, today, has been my best run ever, running a 12 minute mile (with moments for forcing myself to run a 10 minute mile) for 3 1/2 miles. without stopping.  I am way far away from doing the 1/2 marathon thing, but I have made progress and I still have a year.  I can do this right?  

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 6th

We headed up to my father-in-law's house in Heber to celebrate the July cousin's birthday.  Here are the 3 boys ages 11, 13 and 10.
The mother's who delivered those cute boys.  
(FYI:  We are all the in-laws.  We married the first three sons in the family.  There are five sisters and one more brother.) And, yes, we were all very wind blown by the end of the day.  Not the greatest picture of any of us.
We did go-karts

and roasted hot dogs.
I think we are done with major events for a while around here.  It has been a fun few days.

Fifth of July

We celebrated toothsome #1's 10th birthday.  
Later in the day, we visited the Temple Quarry trail
Had a homemade ice cream pie
Mom and son 10 years later.
And, because his birthday is so close to the fourth we always light fireworks.  

Fourth of July

For the Fourth, we headed over to Dentist husband's brother's house for a barbeque.  Here is visual proof that the men in Dentist husband's family love their non-alcoholic beer.
Later in the evening, we did our own Utah approved fireworks.
Many of us sat on the side and watched the fun.  Notice poor little niece on her mother's shoulder.  She was pretty distraught over all of the noise and lights.  Toothsome #4 was pretty perplexed by the whole thing.
Later, we drove closer to the Sugarhouse fireworks and watched them from a grassy area by our old house.  It was a great fourth.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Saturday Morning HIke Number 2

We did another family hike this weekend.  This time, it was more alpine.

Do you like toothsome #4's colorful outfit?

Playing in the water at the base of the waterfall.  

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

You will all worship me when you need this information . . .

This little menace spilled red gatorade on my carpet this afternoon. 

At first, I didn't panic.  My sister gave me some Oreck stain remover that she claims gets up everything.  It didn't touch it.  

I then tried my tried and true Scrubbing Bubbles (which has taken on a mysticism not like Windex in the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" in my house.)  It didn't touch it.

I tried hydrogen peroxide--nothing.  

At this point, my breathing started to quicken and I imagined a big red stain forever in the center of my Great Room carpet.  I then went on-line and after reading things for about a 1/2 hour, combined some of the suggestions and did the following:

Mix 1/4 teaspoon of liquid dishwashing detergent (like Dawn) with one cup of water.  With a white cloth, dab onto the stain and let sit for 15 minutes.

Soak a white cloth in water and place over the stain.  With a hot iron, press into the white cloth.

Success!  The red stain started to absorb into the white towel.  After doing this about 15 times (with fresh, wet towels), the stain was gone.  

Then, to rinse the soapy residue off the carpet, mix 1 cup white vinegar with 2 cups water and dab onto the stain.

Then with warm water and towel, rinse again to get the vinegar/soap residue out.

Like the title says, if you ever have such a thing happen, you will worship me.