Thursday, August 25, 2011

August 23—One Year Older & Wiser Too

Ian's House

So, I started my 37th year by plucking my chin hairs, yanking out the gray, and wondering if I was hot due to the 90+ degree temps or the early onset of hot flashes. 

No, really it was a good day.  The day started at 6 AM with Miles 1 inch from my face yelling, “Happy Birfday Mommy, I wuv you and I wike you.”  He was more excited then on Christmas morning.  Why you ask, well mommy’s birthday meant lunch at McDonalds for him.  Nora took me out for CafĂ© Rio which we ate at Mickey D’s while the kids ate fries and played their little hearts out on the play land.  What a great present, we came home and both Miles and Wes promptly conked out for long naps.  Then Dave came home with pizza and a babysitter!  Yes he called ahead and got a sitter so we could go out for dinner! 

Now to the above photo.  Upon arriving home from school Ian asked for some glue then disappeared into his room.  About 30 minutes later he appeared with the above creation for me.  What a cool, creative kid!  Who taught him how to make popup cards—maybe Sister Buxton?  That is our house in the background and me and Ian in the front—probably years from now since Ian is taller than me.  Talk about being spoiled on your birthday!  Thanks for the great day guys, I love being taken care of by my boys.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Scavenger Hunt Sunday---Parallel Lines, Monet and Willy Wonka

Haven’t participated in Scavenger Hunt Sunday for awhile and this week is even a stretch.  All of these are from the archive, but I need some incentive to start taking more photo’s so I’m hoping this post will give me some inspiration.

1.  Geometry

Boys on Fence 1

Look at those parallel lines.  I don’t even know if parallel lines would be categorized as “geometry”  but I know I learned about them in math class.

2. Brushstrokes

Brushstroke Lilly Pads

Every year when we hike to Swan Lake in the Tetons these lily pads remind me of Monet’s lily pads.  I took a clean edit and then added  crosshatch and spatter filters at about 50% opacity.  Not near as great as Monet’s, but it does remind me of his famous brushstrokes.

3. Collage

Candy Collage

At our family reunion this year my Aunt really outdid herself with the fun decorations and candy theme.  I think she could give Willy Wonka a run for his money or candy should I say.

4. Hanging by a Thread

Hanging by a Thread

Here is my brown eyed boy hanging by a thread on my sisters backyard swing.

5.  On the Dotted Line

On the Dotted Line

Here is my pre-schooler practicing his writing skills on the dotted line.

Head on over to “Ramblings & Photos”  to check out all the other great entries.



Monday, August 15, 2011

August 13—Up, Up and Almost Away

Up House Up House 1Up House Mailbox

We have been telling the kids for weeks we would take them out to Herriman to see the “Up” house.  On Saturday we finally made good on our promise.  We didn’t pay to go inside, but it was sure fun to see how much it looked like the house from the movie.  Ian decided they needed bigger balloons and Miles got really quite.  After about 10 minutes he kept telling us we needed to leave and that he wanted to go home.  I told him to calm down and after few minutes I  realized he was really freaked out that the house was going to take off into the air and he wanted nothing to do with that.  It’s a good thing we didn’t buy him a ticket to go inside, he might have had his first panic attack!

August 12—Color Me Lovely

Chalk 1Chalky ButtChalky Feet

So apparently Wesley just likes to take art mediums and rub them all over his body (remember the finger paints).  When we decided to have some fun with the sidewalk chalk he managed to chalk his shoes, his shorts, his legs, his fingers, and his face.  Fortunately chalk brushes off a lot easier than finger paints and we were able to hold off on bath time until after dinner.

More August 9th—Book Club Meets Martha Stewart

AmberBookclub Table 1Bookclub Table 2FlowersLightNighttime Bokeh 2Nighttime Bokeh 5Light 2

Nora hosted book club tonight.  She has been wanting to do some outdoor dining with pretty twinkle lights and book club truly brought out the Martha Stewart in her.  It was a beautiful night and the the lights, setting, conversation, food and the magic of Jane Eyre made it enchanting.

August 9—Bokeh!

MIles Ring Bell

I use to have two lenses for my camera.  Both only had a aperture of 3.5.  If I used the zoom I could sometimes get a nice blur on the background, but I could never get those beautiful lights circles known as bokeh.  Now my new lens is bokeh-licious.  The above shot is of Miles’ “ring bell” on his bike—it might be a better photo if Miles face was in better focus, but look at all those circles of sky and light behind him!  Maybe not a fabulous photo, but the possibilities shown in this shot make me giddy!

August 8—Testing!

Wessy Blue Eyes 1 Black & White

Today my new toy arrived in the mail.  A Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens.  Wessy was more than happy to be my test subject and show off his beautiful eyes and his “tar” tattoo.

August 4th—Finger paints + Wesley = Afternoon Bath time

Fingerpaints 1Wessy Fingerpaints

Recently we have been starting our day with a morning devotional.  We started this when Ian got out of school and the kids enjoy it so much we have worked it into our early morning school schedule as well.  Part of our devotional is to go over the schedule for the day.  Well, the other day when going over the schedule Miles announced that after lunch we would be finger painting.  So, after lunch we pulled out daddy’s old t-shirts and the finger paints.  I don’t know if Wesley has ever finger painted, but he thought the stuff was hair gel.  A quick art activity turned into an afternoon that consisted of laundry and bath time—next time I’ll tell Miles he needs to schedule in clean up time.

July 30—Two Flats, 60+ Miles & a Few Biker Dudes

Okay so I guess this is a good time to write about my new obsession.  Back in April my good friend Nora and I put in for a relay ticket for LOTOJA.  I was nervous about getting in, but hoping like crazy we would get a ticket.  The first part of May we found out it was a no go.  I was bummed but started thinking about other biking opportunities.  I hadn’t really wanted to train for a century just because 100 miles seems so far, but if I didn’t have LOTOJA it was my next option so I decided I would ride the Cache Valley Century with my dad the end of August. 

I started riding a few times a week and trying to go a bit farther each time a rode.  I decided to try for some longer rides on the weekends and slowly built up my pace and endurance.  I kept telling my dad I was going to ride the whole 100 miles with him, but I think he thought I was a bit out of my league.

In July I went up to visit him and we planned to go on a ride.  We left the house and he was keeping a pretty easy pace as we headed out to Trenton (really big) hill.  At the bottom of the hill the chain on my bike froze up and my dad told me to switch bikes and he would catch up with me on the hill.  He didn’t catch me until the very top of the hill and after that there was no more easy pace.  Since we have been on two more 50+ mile rides and he is now my biggest cheerleader. 

I am borderline obsessed with my new found workout/hobby/escape.  Every day is centered around “my ride.”  I love my time on the bike, time to think, time to not think.  I love hills both the up and down. I love going fast—48 mph being my fastest.  One time I even registered on one of those cop patrol speed limit things. I could go on and on…The century is in a two weeks and I think I am ready, I know I am excited.  And as luck would have it my Uncle Mike got a LOTOJA ticket and I will be riding two legs of the race with him and my dad!

Biker Dudes

So, all that rambling about cycling brings me to his photo.  Let me introduce you to my Bishopric, without the Bishop.  (Bishop Butler if you read this I’m thinking you should get a bike and you could hold all your bishopric meetings while climbing the hill out to Copperton)  Brother Buxton on the left is our executive secretary, Brother Laufiso in the center is 2nd counselor, and Brother Richmond on the end is 1st counselor.  They all ride, and being the nice guys they are they let me tag along on the 30th for a fun ride out to Eagle Mountain.  I was nervous because I had no idea if I would be able to keep up with these guys, but even though they sailed past me down the hills I was able to hold my own most of the time.  It was the largest group I have rode with and we got some great speed pulling on the flat.  I managed to flatten two tires and thanks to Brother Buxton I was back on the road in no time.  It was the perfect day for a ride and such a great time.  Thanks guys for letting me crash the party. 

July 26—Spelling Lists, Reading Time & Prime Time Numbers

First Day of School

Yes, can you believe it!  Year round school really sneaks up on you. Ian started 2nd grade today.  I was worried because two of his best friends are in another class, but the second we showed up at school and he started talking to everyone I knew there was nothing to worry about.  Here he is with two of his friends Jacob and Daniel who were in his class last year and will be in his class this year. 

I’m writing this three weeks after the fact and we are now knee deep in reading time, spelling lists and math homework (aka prime time numbers).  Dave has promised to take Ian to the BYU/USU game if he gets a hundred on all of his spelling tests between now and then.  Did you know 1st graders have 6 words a week and 2nd graders have 15!!  He is determined though and it appears that he escaped the Lee spelling gene so he might be yelling “go Aggies” soon.

July 25—Fireworks, Snow cones & Thunder

Ben Fireworks

On the 25th we headed over to the Mairs to celebrate Pioneer Day with some fireworks.  James never disappoints with the assortment he provides and this year he put on a great show.  We started before dark with some snakes, smoke bombs & parachute guys.  After dark James pulled out the sparklers, flowers and some very impressive fountains.  It was really hot and Nora whipped out the snow cone machine and I was soon having flashbacks of the snow cone runs I would make with my friends Jen & Amy during high school—my favorite being half coconut half blueberry.  The night ended with us all huddled in the garage watching the lightening as a huge thunderstorm rolled through.

July 18—Homemade Jam, Cousins & a Few Chickens


Spent our second day in the country with Aunt Mimi and her three cute girls.  While the kids played Mindy and I smashed bucketful's of strawberries into freezer jam. I bet you never knew the secret ingredient to great jam is cherry diet Pepsi!  Add just a little bit to each batch…just kidding…drink it while mashing berries to keep sane while everything in your house turns sticky and your kids run wild around the kitchen.

While Mindy and I  made  jam the kids spent the day chasing chickens, playing at the park, watching a movie and eating popcorn.  Ian even slept over for two nights which was so brave of Aunt Mindy because Ian + Syd = roughly the noise level of a full stadium.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

July 18—A Little Country Air & Some Garden Goodness

Miles in Garden

Off to our annual week in the country at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Miles started the week off working hard in the garden by picking peas.  He also went fishing for mudfish (catfish) with Grandpa, played with Claire, and accompanied me to the “Fishy Cracker” Factory.

July 16—Willy Wonka comes to the Lee Family Reunion

Cotton Candy

On the 16th we headed north to Idaho for our annual Lee family reunion.  My Aunt Connie & Uncle Mike hosted this year and boy do they know how to throw a party.  There were two water slides, a bouncy house and buckets and buckets of treats and candy for the kids to enjoy.  We had a great time catching up with family and stuffing ourselves with peanut butter M&M’s.  My kids are still talking about the party in Idaho (which they think is a different country.)

July 6—Where Time Stands Still

Pioneer Grill

We wrapped up our trip with breakfast at the Pioneer Grill.  Even after 12 years I feel like I could hop behind the counter and know exactly where everything is.  The pancakes are still monstrous, ceramic moose plates are still the same, and Marge is still their to pour your coffee every morning.

We spent the rest of the day listening to satellite radio while driving the long 5 hours back home. (Yes we are the only family that does not have a DVD player in our car)  The kids know how to play the alphabet game, they read books, they beg for snacks, and they fight over the handheld Batman game.

Until next year…Goodbye beautiful mountains.

July 5—A Waterfall, a Few Rocks & Lots of Mellows

The Boys on Pebble BeachWes at Pebble Beach 3

After a trip on the “speedboat” across Jenny Lake we hiked up to Hidden Falls.  The water was so high that two of the bridges had been blocked of and the trail up to Inspiration Point was rerouted.

After a quick dip in the warm waters of the Jackson Lake Lodge pool we headed over to Pebble Beach.  This is always my favorite part of our family stays in the Tetons and this year was no exception.  The boys threw rocks into the lake for hours while I sat and stared at the mountains dreaming of the day when all three boys can hoof it up Cascade Canyon.

After Pebble Beach we wrapped up the day with tacos and Smores cooked over the non smelly easy to light camp chef.

July 4—A Day in the Mountains

Hiking to Swan Lake

So, I have found a new obsession which I will talk about later, but because of my new found interest my little blog has suffered.  So for those thousands out there anticipating my next post here are a few one photo posts to sum up our busy, exciting and all most over summer.

We spent the 4th in our favorite place complete with a hike to Swan Lake, swimming at String Lake and listening to a thunderstorm from the warm safety of our ginormous 8 man tent.