Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Day 9

He gets to come home soon! I talked to Josh again this morning and he said they are having a great time. He's been doing lots of shopping- that's my boy!

Hi,there! now we stay at the guilin airport,'cause it was raining,our flight was delayed to 11:15 am.everybody is waiting,we bought some snacks and drinks,we are talking and eating,so fun.some people are talking,some people are enjoying music.today we are going to shanghai,which is the largest business city in china.wnen we arrive at shanghai,we are going to have Mcdona lunch,and then we are going to jade budda temple,after lunch we go to the nanjing road,we stayed there foe almost 1 hour and 15 minutes.and then we went to have dinner,8:30 pm we were in the hotel.tomorrow we are going to take cruise ship ,so have good night!

Group shot at the Jade Palace

Monday, July 27, 2009

China Day 8

Josh and Chris with the tour director Simon Ding
Hi,there! Guilin is so beautiful city,this morning we were heading to li river wharf at 8:20 am. 9:30 qm we were on boarding,cruise has two decks,many chinese and the other friends in the same boat,on the way to yangshuo.we saw beautiful mountains,and water buffadlo.around 1 clock pm.we went to yangshuo western street,we saw many knock-offs as same as bei jing market.we stayed there about 30 minutes,and then we were taking goalf car to vist the countryside spots.it was very interesting.when came back to bus ,it was big raining,about 2hours,we came to reed flute cave,we spent there about 40 minutes.we took some nice pictures for that.and then we went to have dinner,now we are in hotel,tomorrow we are flying to shanghai, which is the biggest business city.so see you tomorrow night.good night!
In the Reed Flute Cave

China Day 7

Hi,there! This morning we still stayed in xi'an for half day.it was raining ,we were heading to the art museum,we learnt a lot of chinese art and chinese caligraph.we also learn to write caligriph with brush.it is very interesting,Simon our tour director was writing our chinese name for everybody.we are so happy.after art museum,we were going to the big goose pagoda.we took a group picture in the rain.we stayed in the temple for 1 hour.and then we were heading to the city wall with 2000 years,we liked it very much.what a pity,it was raining.about 1:30pm we were going to have lunch.3:00 pm to airport,at 7:40 pm we arrive at gui lin airport.we are going to have dinner,and we are going to hotel.we will go to bed,take good rest .tomorrow we will go to take cruise.so see you later!

In the rain on the City Wall in Xi'An
Still in the rain, at the Goose Pagoda
Learning Chinese calligraphy

China Day 6

Hi,there! this morning we arrived at Xi'an train station. we had wonderful trip on the train in china.train has 16 cars,each car has 9 comparments,each compartment has 4 beds,and there are wash room,and bathroom.it is nicer than western train,beijing western train station is so crowned,too many chinese,this month is chinese summer vacation,lots of chinese tourists and chinese school stundents are traveling.yesterday morning we were heading to the largest park which is the temple of heaven,we saw lots of local older people doing exercise in the park,some people are dancing,some people are playing Tai qi,some people are singing,etc.we love it very much.we went to visted beijing zoo,we saw about 6 pandas,they are so cute.we took lots of pictures for pandas.after zoo.we went to knock-offs .which is fick market untill 5:45pm we bought some gifts.and then we were heading to restaurant for dinner.7:00pm we went to beijing western train station.today we visted Ban'po vilage museum.we stayed there about 40 mintures.and then we went to vist terra-cotta warrior museum.we stayed there almost 2:30 hours.4:45 pm we were heading back to city for dinner,every body was so tired ,we really wanted to go to sleep.after dinner ,we drove back to hotel.tomorrow we are going to vist city wall,and the big goose wild pagoda.and we are going to airport,we will fly to Guilin.so we have to go to bed.have a good night.
Going to see the Terra Cotta Warriors

Playing a Chinese game (kind of looks like Hackey Sack)

Ban'po Village Museum

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Meanwhile Back at the Ranch . . .

I am telling you, feedings at 5:30 am just don't exist in my world! You may not believe me but about once a month I get thrown into this strange, alternate reality where my kid behaves like 95% of all kids in this world and wakes up hungry before 6 am. This can't keep happening! It's really scary for me and I'm just not a my normal, Mother-Of-The-Year self before 7 am (and sometimes that's even pushing it)! Who's doing this? How do I make it stop?! I can't take the madness anymore!

Okay, enough of the drama. I decided I should tell you what Sasha and I have been up to while Josh has been in China. Wednesday night we went down to G-Pat's house and had dinner with her and my mom and talked about my cousin's wedding. Alyssa was supposed to come but the poor thing had a migraine so she was excused. Then we had a slumber party with G-Pat. It was pretty fun. My Grandma spent days going through all her pictures and put them into books. It was fun to look at all the old pictures of her and Grandpa Dick and Grandpa John. I've never actually met Grandpa Dick because he died when my mom was only 5 or 6 years old. He was such a good looking guy. My mom looks a lot like him. I want to get copies of some of the pictures so I can put them in our family book. My Grandma was so beautiful! She still is, but some of the pictures of her from when she was a teenager and a young mother are just beautiful. At least I think they are. And Grandpa John. I miss him. He's still alive but he has alzheimer's and a few years ago he and my Grandma divorced. She just couldn't handle him anymore so he went to live with my uncle. We don't really see them and my Grandma hasn't heard much. It makes me kind of sad. Then again, its not like I couldn't do more to reach out to him on my own. But I wonder if he would really remember me, especially since I haven't seen him in so long. It might be better if I just keep my happy memories of him in my mind.
On Thursday we stayed at Grandma's until after lunch, then we went and hung out with Amberly and Daxton. That kid is so stinkin cute! He's in that age where he will carry on an entire conversation with you and you will only understand about 3 words he says. But you know that in his mind the whole thing made perfect sense! Amberly made some yummy teriyaki turkey burgers and we had ice cream for dessert. Then we hung out and talked 'til Rob got home.

Friday we ran some errands, nothing real exciting. I took the day off but had to finish up the baby gift for my friend Brian and his wife (after three girls they finally got a boy!) and get it to him before his wife had the baby, so we met up with Brian, Vickie, Kevin and Kevin's wife Deb and had lunch. They were more excited to see Sasha than me, but that's okay. Then we came home and I practiced my domestic skills by making jam. That's right you heard me- I made raspberry jam! I haven't tried it yet, but now it's 6 am and I'm hungry! I'm pretty proud of myself. It wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be and I got nine jars out of it! I would have taken pictures documenting the process, or at least the end result but my camera is currently on the other side of the world. :) You'll just have to imagine the pretty, raspberry goodness!

Saturday we were almost 100% lazy. We pretty much just lounged around the house until about three in the afternoon. I just couldn't bring myself to do anything productive. But then we went to Target and did the grocery shopping then came home and I at least got the kitchen cleaned up and some extra water on the lawn.
When I was traveling I got hooked on audio books. When I had to drive long distances that was really the best thing to keep me occupied on the road. I decided that even though I'm not traveling quite as much I shouldn't kick the habit. Last month I listened to the biography of Howard Hughes. That was one weird, but highly intelligent man. But don't believe everything you see in The Aviator. He really wasn't the ladies man he was reputed to be. He was actually very shy and awkward with women, once he got them into the bedroom at least. And he was horrible with money! If it wasn't for smart people around him the man would have had no money. A lot of his success had nothing to do with his personal investing savvy and almost everything to do with luck. He was a genious when it came to inventing things, though and made a lot of breakthroughs in technology, especially in the world of flying.
This month I am listening to Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. I saw the movie and read the book when I was in grade school, but I've forgotten a lot of it. I'm also viewing her from a different perspective. She really grew up a lot in those two or so years that she was in hiding. Her journal entries start out like most 13 year old girls diaries sound, but as time drags on for her she gets very mature. I guess being in a situation like that would force you to grow up a little sooner. But she really was a smart, funny and dynamic girl. I keep wondering what would have happened to her if she had survived the concentration camp. It's kind of ironic to hear some what she wrote knowing what happens to her in the end. Sometimes its almost like she knew what was going to happen, though she really didn't. Maybe she just had a good grip on reality. She wanted to be a journalist. Her diary alone has made an impact on the world. I wonder what would have happened if she had been able to write more, and more freely after the war. I really like this from the book:

"I finally realized that I must do my schoolwork to keep from being ignorant, to get on in life, to become a journalist, because that’s what I want! I know I can write ..., but it remains to be seen whether I really have talent ...
And if I don’t have the talent to write books or newspaper articles, I can always write for myself. But I want to achieve more than that. I can’t imagine living like Mother, Mrs. van Daan and all the women who go about their work and are then forgotten. I need to have something besides a husband and children to devote myself to! ... I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to all people, even those I’ve never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that’s why I’m so grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop myself and to express all that’s inside me! When I write I can shake off all my cares. My sorrow disappears, my spirits are revived! But, and that’s a big question, will I ever be able to write something great, will I ever become a journalist or a writer?

—Anne Frank

That was in April 1944, just a few months before the families were discovered and sent to camps. I would love someday to go to Amsterdam and tour the museum.
I don't exactly lead the most exciting life, do I? While Josh is off, halfway around the world I'm not doing much at all. I'm boring. Or maybe just lazy, who knows. :) Either way, I am going back to bed.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

China- Day 4

Here is day 4-

Hi,there! Today we had wonderful trip,Ah.we were climbing up the great wall in the rain.we are so excited .we asked simon ,our tour director from Explorica for group photo.this morning we left hotel for Jade factory,we had wonderful shopping,we bought beautiful jade gifts for myself and for my friends.and then we were heading to sacred way to the tomb,we loved it very much.we had lots of pictures with animals,after this ,we went to see the ming dynasty tomb,we stayed there for half hour,everybody was going to have lunch in the friendship store in the enamal factory,we bought some chinese gifts ,and then we were heading to the great wall of china,we made it,we were lucky heroes on the great wall.we were heading back to city for dinner,AT 7:20pm ,we were in the KUNGFU theatre.we had wonderful time ,although we were so tired. 9'oclock,we were back to hotel,everybody were packing our luggages in the room,tomorrow morning we will check out,tomorrow night we are going to Xi'an by soft sleeper train with Simon.so have a good night.see you the day after tomorrow.

(Don't ask me why Josh has his shirt off . . . he must have been showing off his sweet muscles to the natives. :) )

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Day 3

**Please note, I do not know who is writing these posts on the tour diary, but it's not me and (thank goodness) not the teacher, either!**

Hi,there! Today we came back to hotel at 9:30 pm in the evening,everybody was so tired,'cause we are not used to beijing standard time.this morning we left hotel at 8:oo pm with our tour director Simon Ding.today it was cloudy,it is a little bit humid and hot.we were heading to the Tian'an men Square,my god,it is so cray at the square,so many up chinese,Simon told us that so mny chinese were lining up to see chair Mao's body(Mao'tomb).we took lots of pictures for congress room-the Great Hall of people.National museum and the Tian'an men gate.the tian'an men square is the largest city square in the world which is 144.000 square metres, which was built in the ming dynasty in 1406.we had group pictures.and then we walking through the underpass to the forbidden City which was built in 1406,14 years to finish in 1420,it has 9,999.5 rooms.we stayed in there almost 2 and half hours.too much walking in there.after forbidden city ,we went to have MC lunch.very spicy .ah.after lunch we went to the summer palace which was built in 1750 in the qing dynasty,it has two sections which has man-made lake(Kunming lake),and Longlife Hill for chinese emperor's mother,between lake and hill ,there is very bautiful long corridle which is 728 metres long and 14,000 painings like birds ,flowers and animals,etc.so amazing.we loved it .we saw marble boat which was built in 1750.it was destroyed in 1860.and then we took dragon boat with Simon to another side of the lake,we walked to the bus .and then we were heading to restaurant for peking duck.we had wonderful meal.at the same time ,it was raining ,Simon had some rain coat for us ,we did not get wet.we had wonderful time in the show theatre.show is excellent.we like it .9:30pm we were at the hotel.we had amazing day,although it was longer day,but we had wonderful day with Simon.ok !buddy.have a good night!tomorrow we are going to the great wall and something.see you tomorrow!

I'm assuming this is at the lake

At the gate of Tiananmen Square

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

China- Day Two

The company that the China tour is through has an online tour diary and the teacher that is heading this group is cool enough to update it. So here is day two (day one was nothing but flying).

Hi,there! Hello ,everyone! we arrive at beijing international airport.we met our beijing tour leader Simon Ding.we were heading to Beijing Olympic Village ,we stayed there for almost 1hour,today it is so humid,and so hot.we were so tired.we took some pictures with Bird Nest and Water Cube.and we were heading to restaurant for dinner.meal is wonderful. a hour later we were heading back to hotel.because beijing time 7:00 pm in chinese,In u.s it is 4:00 in the morning.so everybody is so tired.now we are in hotel.hotel is nice. tomorrow we are going to The Tian'an men Square and fobidden City,and Summer Palace,tomorrow night we are going to see Acrobetic Show.so see you in the morning! Have a good night!
At Olympic Park in Beijing
In front of the Bird's Nest that was the site of the opening and closing ceremonies for the Olympics

Monday, July 20, 2009


Took Josh to the airport for China this morning. I will miss him, but am also very excited for him and Chris. Can't wait to see the pictures!
Josh left for China today. :) :( I'm excited for him but will miss him tons!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Pool Party!

Today we went up to the Green's for Michael's birthday party. My friend Karen has this fabulous pool in her backyard. It's nice and big, heated, has a basketball hoop, volleyball net and, best of all, A SLIDE! It really is a fun pool and they have such a beautiful backyard. It was great to go play with everyone. Well, almost everyone, Amberly was sick so she and Rob and Daxton weren't there, which sucks cause I really wanted to see them! Oh well. :(

Tara made an amazing carrot cake with cream cheese frosting- SO YUM! We did have a little trouble lighting the candles because of the breeze though.

Sasha had lots of fun in the pool. I was surprised that she stayed in so long. We did take a break in the middle for a while, but she was still in the water for a good two and a half hours. She started to get a little bit tired and when I took her out to go home the minute I had her wrapped in the towel she was asleep. Poor little thing was exhausted. But who wants to take a nap at a pool party? I sure wouldn't!

This was the championship volleyball game. Don't ask who won, both sides played pretty badly!

Happy Birthday Michael!

More fun with the camera

I was kind of bored yesterday so I got Sasha all dolled up and we went out to the backyard and took a few pics. My photog skills are almost nonexistent so please don't judge (Marissa, I'm talking to you!) :) One day I will have the time and $$ to take a class and will get much better at this.

Don't you just love the drool spots on her sweater? Yeah, lovely. This girl can't go five minutes without soaking through a bib or her shirt.

You can't really tell what she is doing from this angle but she does not like her head to be in the grass. I laid her on her back and she whenever I do she does this thing, almost like doing crunches where she is doing her best to keep her head off the ground. It's the funniest thing. This girl has abs of steel from trying to sit up on her own, I love it!

After this we went to the mall and bought Josh some new clothes for his trip. Of course I added a thing or two for myself . . . why should he get to have all the fun? I can't believe he leaves the day after tomorrow! It has come up fast. You'll be hearing all about his trip, most likely as told to me cause I doubt I could get him to blog anything on his own. :)

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Prophet said to plant a garden . . .

So we did. And it is GOOD! Check out that bowl full of raspberries! Yes, that is the Large PC mixing bowl, not the little one. And that is just what I picked this morning. I will easily have 50% more when I go pick more tomorrow.

We have a few tomatoes starting to ripen. The little ones are Roma tomatoes. I thought they would be bigger than that, but oh well. I can't wait to cook up some fresh spaghetti sauce with my WildTree Hearty Spaghetti blend. BTW- if you use it and your family is like mine and doesn't use a whole 28 oz. can of sauce I use a smaller can of tomatoe sauce or paste and use less of the blend. That way it will last longer.
And yes, our zucchini's are about the size of baseball bats again. I swear, you look at those things one day and say "okay, a day or so more and they will be ready" then you go out the next day and BAM! They are huge!!! Ugh. We are fresh out of ways to prepare and eat zucchini. Oh well, guess I better get to shredding it so I can freeze it and make zucchini bread later. (Ha, yeah right! Me, be that prepared and resourceful. We'll see.) Unless any one wants some- come and get them! The raspberries are definitely our favorite. We had a good strawberry crop this year, too. Those were super yummy. We have lots more than this in our garden this year. We (Josh and Howard) also planted cauliflower, peppers (hopefully we will actually get one this year), a couple kinds of squash, cucumbers, green beans, beets, and turnips. At my request (okay, demand) we planted romaine lettuce (that has been very good and nice to have) and a pumpkin! I hope we get something from it. So far I can't see anything growing, so we'll see. It is definitely very cool to have all this fresh stuff in our garden. Next year I want to do a little broccoli and some onions.

Other than the garden not much is going on . . . Sasha is growing, of course. She is definitely starting to have her whiney days. I don't like those days. I like it better when she's my perfect little, sweet angel. But, given that I am her mother she is bound to have bratty days. :) Josh leaves for China in a few days. I'm going to miss him! But I am very excited for him and Chris, they will have such a great time. I made Josh swear on his life that he will take a lot of pictures, and pictures with him and Chris actually in them. I'm not going to spend a ton of time scrapbooking his trip to China if it looks like I just went on the internet and downloaded a bunch of random pictures of places in China and there are no people in them! We need proof he was there!!!

Oh, if ANYONE knows of ANYONE that is getting married anytime soon and she would like to have someone assist her with the planning process ABSOLUTELY FREE PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE have her get in touch with me. I have been itching to plan a big event and since I don't have one coming up in my life (and even if I did I certainly don't have the money) I need someone else's party to plan. I am an absolute nut over weddings and love everything about them. It doesn't even have to be a wedding- I can do showers, picnic's, corporate events- anything! I just have this obsessive desire to plan and bring people together. Doesn't matter the reason. So spread the word!!!
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Monday, July 13, 2009


"The desire to create is one of the deepest yearnings of the human soul. No matter our talents, education, backgrounds, or abilities, we each have an inherent wish to create something that did not exist before.
Everyone can create. You don’t need money, position, or influence in order to create something of substance or beauty.
Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty."
Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Ticked off Tuesday

Why must any activity that a parent and child can do together be scheduled right smack in the middle of the day??? I will not be made to feel guilty for be a working mother. But just because I work does not mean that my child and I should be excluded from fun activities such as learning to swim, gymnastics or other parent/child classes! This freaking sucks. I know that I am not the only working mother out there. What do the rest of you do? It's not that I think the world should accommodate me and my family, but c'mon . . . we are not the only dual-income family out there and you would think that SOMEONE would see a market there and make a schedule, even if just one day a week, for these types of classes and activities at night, or at least the late afternoon! I would love to join an exercise class with other moms and get a work out in for both me and my kid. But 'meet on the track at 10:30 am' just doesn't work for me. I want Sasha to learn to swim, it is something that I never did as a kid and I really wish I would have. But Mon/Wed or Tues/Thurs at 10, 10:30 or 11 just does not work! Would it kill you to hold a class at 7? Or even 6 pm? Crap, I'd even take a Saturday morning, but NO. I can find nothing. I know that in the happy land of Utah the daddy works and the mommy stays home and if you don't live your life that way then you're a sinner. Apparently that's my punishment for sinning and choosing to have a job- if that's so then you can excommunicate me and kick me out of this place cause I don't want to live in a place that is so close minded, rigid and just plain stupid. Or let me put it another way that might be more acceptable to those who make these schedules, these schedules are completely sexist. What if Dad wants to go with the kids to swim lessons? What if Dad wants to go to the tumbling classes, too? Aren't we trying to get our men more involved with the family and its activities? Haven't you heard the commercials (sponsored by a certain religion) where the dad has no clue who's birthday it is when he comes home from work with a gift for his son instead of his daughter? Or when the parents are out to dinner with friends, the friends ask about their kids and the dad has no idea what is going on in the lives of his children? How the hell is he supposed to know when he isn't allowed to be involved in a single thing! Sure, the ball games are at night, but when are the practices? Is that it, is that all my kid can do is play sports because those are the only activities that are available that works with a working family's schedule? So I guess my kid just does nothing until she's old enough to play a sport. Yipee. This is lame. This is absolutely lame that no one out there has recognized that we don't all have the model "Utah" family and decided to capitalize on this fact.
If any of you have any suggestions or know of any places that I just have not opened my eyes to, please let me know!
I will not feel guilty and I will not have any regrets for my kids and things I 'wish' I could have done for them or with them.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

My, how we've all grown up!

Last night we got together with some of our friends from high school- the Gwynn's, the Christopherson's and the Naccaratto's. It seems kind of weird . . . we used to hang out about once every couple of months or so and we'd do all sorts of fun stuff. There was the time we went to the Fun Dome and witnessed a shooting. Then ended up taking Josh to the ER because he had sprained his wrist earlier that day snowmobiling. That was a great time. There were late night dinners, chat sessions, 4-wheeling up the hills of Bountiful at night. It was kind of bittersweet that last night was very different from all those fun times we used to have. This time there were lots of "Emma no! Come back here" and "Mason, stay in here with your popsicle/drink/brownie" and "Sasha, just eat! Stop wiping prunes in your hair!" We've all grown up and now we're having kids of our own. Crazy! The Naccaratto's have moved to Cali so we rarely get to see them anymore but the rest of us that all live within 40 or so miles still don't get together that often. It's not that we've drifted apart or care any less about each other, we're just getting busier with the aforementioned Emma, Mason, Madilyn, Sasha and Logan.
Dinner was at our house so that the kids could run wild and we wouldn't be kicked out of any good restaurants. :) Of course we only got pics of the kiddo's, but here ya go!

Sasha, Logan and Madilyn

Emma chasing Mason for one last hug!