Archive for August, 2011

August Highlights

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011


Saying Eden’s Birthday Party was “The best day ever!” Telling me Eden’s cake was “The most beautiful cake ever.”

Calling out the slug bugs in Cars 2 to your daddy.

Deciding to stay and attend your friend’s birthday party, rather than go to Pine Valley. You also had a fun day hiking Ice Box Canyon with Daddy at Red rock.

Attending the County Commissioner meeting with us in an effort to save land across from Red Rock from being developed on.

Bing a good sport when I asked the dentist to pull your loose tooth, that did not want to come out, but was super decayed. It was really bloody and yucky.

Making up reasons why the tooth fairy missed you the first night, waiting for her during the day, even though I told you she never comes during the day.

Being so helpful when we were baking for the bake sale. Telling me cookies would probably be your first thing that you’d bake on your own.

You are our Chatty Cathy. I have to remind you to eat dinner, and talk less.

Using the word “mating” instead of sex while talking about mating, I mean sex.

At FHE I was giving the lesson on family size. I was talking about dating and you gave the comment, “You date, get married and then have sex.” (The mating conversation was the day before, I’m guessing that’s why you said sex. I would have loved it if you had answered using mate.)


Lilah and Daddy were debating about the statistic impossibility that all the M&M’s could be eaten before the nuts in our trail mix. Lilah was talking about the M&M’s shaking to the top and being eaten that way and you started giving input by saying, “My therapy is…”

Calling out the slug bugs in Cars 2 to your mommy.

Going to Pine Valley with me. Giving me cuddles in the morning when I didn’t want to get up just yet.

Always tickling my back and arms, since you know I like that. One day at church I was just leaning forward and you started tickling my back.

Carolyn was tipping you at your bake sale. She asked you if you wanted two quarters or one dollar, you replied one dollar. Then she asked if she should give Lilah two quarters or one dollar, and you said two quarters.

Getting better at Mario Cart, now you’re the obsessed child, though Lilah gladly plays too.

Beading. You were given beads and that’s all you did, so now you want to be an Indian for Halloween, since you have lots of anklets and bracelets.


Being so dedicated to your beard and telling me how many people like it.

Doing the dishes every night after dinner, as long as I have the dishwasher empty for you, or ready for dirty dishes.

Family Size

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

My family gets together for Family Home Evening once a month. This year my mom decided to get the lesson topics from some LDS book and some are a little odd, like that there is a lesson on Family Size in the first place, which is what I had to teach this month. I think a did an alright job, but nerves and having a room full of adults and kids, who probably could care less, and having all but one family who have decided to not have any more kids, made it seem like an odd lesson to teach. I know I said it much better on a Face Book post when my friend asked me how I thought a person should choose their family size, so I’ll post that here.
A few things, like financial situation, mental and physical health of the mother, for example, and then after a couple decides, they take it to the Lord and see if he agrees. 🙂 Some know right away, others have to ponder and pray.

“The decision as to how many children to have and when to have them is extremely intimate and private and should be left between the couple and the Lord. Church members should not judge one another in this matter.”
From the Celestial Marriage institute manual:

The topics for this years FHE came from some LDS book, that I don’t have, nor have to use to give the lesson.

I’m approaching it from the standpoint that we’ve been commanded to multiply and replenish the Earth, but there’s more to it than just having a lot of kids. Ultimately, we should look to the Lord for guidance, but just as in some of other life situations, we have to search and ponder, and come to our own conclusions before we ask the Lord’s opinion, and he will grant us an answer, and what I listed before are good things to think about when deciding how large a family should be. The Church asks us not to go into debt, should we for one more child? If the mental or physical health of the mother is stretched, should she have another baby? Some know right away, but for others they have to go to the Lord for more guidance. Ultimately, we should not judge others choices, because it’s not our place, nor do we know the full circumstances.

Well, I’m pretty sure I’ve written about this sometime, but I’m also not sure I have either, I have 1,008 posts on this blog, now 1,009, and to do search on it seems tedious. So, I just wanted to maybe once again write about how we prayed for guidance to have Eden, since I shared it with my lesson. I do feel like both our girls were suppose to happen, and Heavenly Father provided a way for us, but especially for Eden.

When we were first married, and after we had Lilah we were pretty poor. Jon graduated right before Lilah was born, and was not able to find any jobs. He was a student worker, which had been a huge blessing, but then had to be let go by July, due to not being a student any longer. It was really hard to have a new baby, and no work. He did do some odd jobs working on websites, but we still had very little money and lived of savings. Eventually he got a job at Computer Ed Institute, I would say around September 2003. He worked there till March 2004, and was then laid off because he only had one student. We were once again unemployed. We prayed and prayed for work. Jon went in for lots of interviews, and got some odd and end type jobs, but the best he had was a job creating e-mails for businesses, basically spam, but it didn’t really pay all the bills. We made it by because of savings, grant money, and maybe even a student loan at this time, since I was still going to school.

Lilah turned one in June 2004, and things were still not looking good. It was hard to live off so little, but we did it. We had one car, so I stayed home all day long, and we ate on like $25, or less, per week. I remember being so careful each time we went grocery shopping. Soon after Lilah turned one we started thinking about when we would have another child. We had wanted them two years apart, and needed to have them in the summer, so I could attend school in the Fall. As the summer went by we realized that in order to have another baby, we needed a job. We changed our prayers from “Help Jon find a job,” to “We want another baby, help us find a way to have another baby.” In August Jon got a call from UNLV asking him to come in for an interview. Earlier in the year he had applied for a position in DARS, as did my sister Andrea since there were multiple openings, but hadn’t been hired, Andrea had. Rather then advertise for another needed position and get numerous of applicants, they went through those who had previously applied. Jon and one other person qualified, and so he was asked to come in and interview once more. This position was a little more web based, and slightly different than the previous one.

I remember feeling really good about the interview. I remember having my hopes so high. I also remember rocking Lilah before putting her down to bed, and praying in my mind that Jon would receive the job at UNLV. Then the thought came into my head that we could have another child, and he would get the job. I know it was the Holy Ghost who had told me this.

Jon did receive the job, and began working there in September, or maybe it was the very end of August also, we immediately had insurance coverage because of his classification as a professional, and on Thanksgiving of 2004 we found out we were pregnant.

That position at UNLV has lead to Jon’s 4 other positions that he’s held. It allowed us to buy our house, and then meet all the wonderful people who have been in our lives the past 6 years. I’m eternally grateful that the Lord provided a way for us to have Eden and answered our prayers.

Family Vacation 2011 Pictures- Part 10

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Here are the pictures that go with this post: Family Vacation 2011- Part 10.


A family of squirrels Lilah was enthralled with. She took tons of pictures of them playing. (At Craters of the Moon National Monument, Idaho.)


Give a girl and camera and she will take a self portrait, even with the zoom on.


View of Craters of the Moon National Monument, from Inferno Cone, a dead volcano.


Another view from the top of Inferno Cone, you can see some of the other cones, which were also volcanoes. These cones are a series of volcanoes that erupted at different times, thousands of years a part, they were fed from the same super volcano that is under Yellowstone.


On our way to the caves.


Pretty flower bush growing in the lava field.


In Dew Drop Cave.


Part of the collapsed ceiling of Indian Tunnel. It had a series of these and we had to climb over at least one big rock pile. The ceiling was 40 feet high, at least.


Me being odd for Jon.


The lava field we hiked over once out of Indian Tunnel.


Entering Beauty Cave.


Junior Rangers of Craters of the Moon National Monument.


This is my favorite picture with us by one of the signs, too bad I’m not in it, but they’re so dang cute anyways. Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in Nevada is behind them.

A nice man stopped and took our picture for us.


Leeman’s cave, Great Basin NP.



I’ve lost my head, or my head lost me?




Taking their final junior ranger oath for the trip.

Family Vacation 2011-Part 10

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

This is the final post for our vacation. Hooray! I’m so happy finally have it complete.

Thursday the 21st, we headed off to Craters of the Moon National Monument. It was a good halfway point between Hungry Horse and Ely. Even though Andrea and Brien weren’t going to be in town, we decided we still wanted to go to Great Basin.

We got to Craters in time for setting up and making dinner. It was a beautiful clear night so we slept with the rain fly off and were able to watch shooting stars from our tent. It turned out to be a mild night, and much warmer than our stay at Yellowstone. (Much warmer in that I wasn’t fitting the urge to stay in my sleeping bag because it was so cold.) We took down camp, got info on the junior ranger badge and headed out on some hikes.

We first hiked Inferno Cone, then headed towards the caves. The plan was to just walk through Indian Tunnel, but we decided to visit every cave. Craters of the Moon is a lave feed, so all the caves and tunnels are accessed because the lave tubes have broken and then we are able to access the caves which were formed from the lava tubes. (The top layer hardens as the lava flows, and then hot lava continues to flow underneath and creates tunnels.) Most of Craters is a lava field of lava tubes and pretty awesome to see.

We first stopped at Dew Cave, which is pretty small, then hiked Indian Tunnel, which is a large tunnel, that is very open because of many fallen holes in the ceiling of the cave. Once out of Indian Tunnel we decided to navigate across the lava field, they had helpful markers, and even though there have not been any collapses of lava tubes since 1924, it was still a little scary to not know if the ground beneath you would decide to fall.

After the tunnel the girls and Jon decided to investigate Boy Scout Cave. I opted to stay and wait at the surface. I’m not one for tight spaces and crawling. The girls loved it and Lilah loved that there was ice on the floor of the cave. We then headed towards Beauty Cave. I thought I’d join them because this cave is large and open, around 30 feet high and 200-300 deep. The girls had our headlamps, Jon carried his red light flashlight and I held Eden’s hand to stay close to someone with a light. I was fine as we entered the cave, but once it became super dark, and only our lights were guiding us, I started to feel claustrophobic and had to leave. I was able to turn back and find my way because I was going towards the entrance of the cave. The girls and Jon continued to explore and enjoyed their time in the dark.

Then we headed back to the visitor’s center, and got their junior ranger badges. Then onto the road once more, Highway 93 to be exact, the highway we drove for nearly the entire drive from Hungry Horse till we got home to Vegas.

We stayed in a hotel in Ely, NV on Friday night, then traveled to Great Basin National Park on Saturday. The girls and Jon got the packet for the Junior Rangers badges, and we bought tickets for the longer cave tour for Leeman’s Cave. We had visited the smaller tour in 2009, and decided to take the longer one this time. We enjoyed our time in the cave and they had fun filling out the packets. We enjoyed our traditional ice cream cone, and hit the road for our final stretch of highway home that afternoon.

It was a really fun trip but we were all happy to be home and in our own beds that night.

To see the pictures that go with this post visit: Family Vacation 2011- Part 10.

Crossing the Creek

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

This video is probably only funny to my girls, and maybe Anna, but this is us as we prepared to cross the creek at Avalanche Lake. If you listen carefully you can hear Eden’s reaction when she decides to put her foot in, at 7 seconds into the video, and my reaction is at the very end, second 58. Kevin is pretty funny too.

Family Vacation 2011 Pictures- Part 9

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

If you’d like to read more about what this pictures are about, or whatever I decided to write about, you can visit Family Vacation 2011-Part 9. I’m also please to say I only have one more post to write, which makes me happy because then I can go back to my regularly non-blogging self, or post about things like the play and Eden’s birthday.



Eden next to some Bear Grass, a flower Anna taught her how to identify, and she let us know each time she saw Bear Grass.


I believe this is Lake Josephine, the lake we hiked too. It began to rain on us about 10 minutes later.



I just keep thinking, “The ants go marching one by one,” every time I see this picture of us walking in our ponchos. This is before it began to pour.


The view as we were leaving Many Glacier in Glacier NP.


Our Junior Rangers saying the pledge, or taking the oath, or promising to be nice to the parks, at St. Mary’s visitor center in Glacier NP.


Daddy being woken up from his nap.

He had been sleeping until Lilah decided he needed some toys to sleep with. (Kevin took this picture for me.)


I was able to actually look normal for one day, since we weren’t hiking. Lilah took this picture, and I’m not sure why Eden’s eyes are so wide.

A spider on the tree outside of the cabin. We saw several that looked like this guy. Eden took this picture.


Playing Uno and eating dessert.


We regularly found the girls in positions similar to this in the morning, since they were sharing the bed. One time Eden had her leg over Lilah. They apparently are very heavy sleepers.

Family Vacation 2011-Part 9

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Anna and I had been going hiking at Red Rock to prepare for Glacier. Both our husbands are pretty fit, and she would have to carry Alex in the hiking carrier, and I wanted my girls to be ready for longer hikes. One week we had planned on going on a smaller hike, but ended up hiking 7 miles. We were wanting to hike to Iceberg Lake, in the Many Glacier area of the park and that’s what most of our preparation was for. The main problem being, Iceberg Lake would be at a incline the whole time and was still snow covered in some areas while we were there. The weather for Tuesday, or the planned day for our hike, was also not looking good, so we decided we’d just head out to the Many Glacier area, and do a small hike and explore the area.

We headed out on Tuesday morning, the 19th, and stopped to get gas, since we’d be driving the whole park, but a nice person pointed out that we had a flat tire, so our morning was greatly delayed and we left closer to lunch time since we had to get the tire patched.

It was already stormy looking at Many Glacier when we arrived, but mostly with cloud coverage, so we headed out on a hike that took us around one lake, I think Swift Current Lake, and then to another, I think Lake Josephine. As we were approaching the other lake, some of the hikers told us there was a grizzly on an opposite shore, so we hoped to spot it, but it had decided to go back into the forest. We hung out and skipped rocks and then some rain chased us away. We decided to take a different way back to the hotel, and it ended up being the longer trail, then it ended up raining and it even began to hail. Lilah thought it was great fun, except for her mom rushing her a long, and Eden got a nice piggy back ride because we had forgotten Jon’s poncho and the rain started to come down really hard. I’m pretty sure carrying Eden was the fastest way to return to the lodge though.

We eventually made it back to the lodge at Many Glacier and hide from the rain with all the other visitors. Anna and Kevin were waiting for us, because they had gone on ahead of us slow pokes. We decided we’d head down stairs to the cafe and bought some hot chocolate to warm up, where we also enjoyed some wonderful cinnamon rolls and a brownie in Jon’s case, for only $1 each, a steal. By this point the skies had cleared and beautiful clouds were the only thing that remained, besides it being colder and windier.

After we enjoyed our hot chocolate and snack we started back towards the cabin but we stopped first at the St. Mary’s visitor center to get their junior ranger badges. The main problem with returning home was the storm was right on the Going to the Sun Road, and that was our way back. One ranger said the road was fine, but another ranger said they had experience some fallen rock and heavy rain, and thought we should take a different route. We decided to take the route she told us too, but in some ways it was just as dangerous as the Going to the Sun Road. We drove a road that obviously was regularly washed out, and we had to drive really slow because of the curves and rain. It was beautiful and we were able to see more of Montana and pass through East Glacier, were we used the bathroom in a hostel, (I thought that was kinda cool.) but it also made us get home a lot later than Anna and Kevin.

We did get home safely and enjoyed a warm meal at the cabin that night.

After Glacier our plans were to hear towards Ely and spend a couple days with my sister Andrea and her family and visit Great Basin National Park. Sadly, while we were at Glacier, Brien’s grandfather passed away and the funeral was planned for the day we were to arrive in Ely. We debated on what we should do, and in the end we decided we’d stay an extra day in Hungry Horse with the Cotton’s, then head towards Ely as planned, but only stay one night and visit Great Basin on our way home. Our extra day in Montana was mostly used to decompress and relax. It was cloudy and rainy all day, so we did laundry, took naps and just enjoyed not doing anything or being anywhere. We organized our things and prepared to hit the road the next day.

Visit Family Vacation 2011 Pictures -Part 9 to view the pictures that go with this post.

Family Vacation 2011 Pictures- Part 8

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Here are the pictures that go with the Family Vacation 2011- Part 8 post.


Anna took our picture in front of Glacier’s sign.


Some waterfalls that I’m pretty sure fed into Avalanche Lake.


Avalanche Lake through some trees as we hiked a little farther.


A deer we that was using our path.


Avalanche Lake, Glacier National Park


McDonald Creek. They had the biggest creeks I’d ever seen.


Me trying to look normal while the sun was shining in my eyes.


The girls playing in the water.

Family Vacation 2011- Part 8

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Monday, July 18th, was the day we enjoyed going on Avalanche Lake hike with the Cotton Family. It was a moderate hike with a beautiful lake at the end. We packed a lunch and enjoyed eating it by the shore of Avalanche Lake. We also crossed a creek, or stream that feed directly into the lake. I know it might seem silly to most, but the fact that I crossed a natural body of water is huge! I’m not one for being in natural bodies of water, unless they’re crystal clear, and this stream was. It was also a big step for me as a mom to let my girls cross the stream. The day before I had let them put their feet in another creek, and that helped me be a little more laid back. It was a freezing cold stream, and the pebbles were very uncomfortable to walk on, but it was a fun little adventure.

After the hike we were all a little tired and unsure if we wanted to do another one, so we headed to Apgar and bought some ice cream and rested. After we had rested and mustered up our energy we went on a small hike to Johns Lake. Of course we chose it for it’s name, we also hoped to possibly see a moose, since it was close to Moose Country, but we were not able to see one. We did see the small lake and we did see lots of horses, since it’s a popular horse trail.

After this hike, Alex was a little tired and grumpy, so we took the opportunity to go exploring and visit some sites we had previously missed, while the Cotton’s headed back to the cabin.

To see the pictures that go with this post visit Family Vacation 2011 Pictures-Part 8.

Family Vacation 2011 Pictures- Part 7

Friday, August 5th, 2011

If you’d like to read the short post that goes with this long picture post, visit Family Vacation 2011-Part 7.


We started the day seeing a moose! So exciting. Anna and Kevin told us this was once called “Moose Country” and had a hike, until the tourists bothered and got into too much trouble with the moose.


One of the beautiful waterfalls in Glacier National Park.


The girls and Jon with Bird Woman Falls behind them.


One of the views from the road.


Weeping Wall. Jon thought it would be funny to roll down my window and drive close to the wall on the return trip. Eden thought it was funny until he rolled her window down.


Momma and a baby mountain goat that’s behind the equipment. (Near Logan Pass Visitor’s center.)


The girls by the snow at the visitor’s center in Logan Pass.


Me with Blackfoot and Jackson Glacier behind me. (Not sure which, but there is a glacier up there.)


The girls with Wild Goose Island and St. Mary’s Lake behind them.


Pretty Flowers. Eden wanted her dad to take this picture.


St. Mary’s Fall. We saw this on our hike.



Lilah loves mud, and mud loves Lilah.


Eden near some of the cascades we passed on the hike.


Virginia Falls


It was a little cold by the falls.



Jon and Lilah really close to the falls. It gives you an idea of how tall they were.


We went down stream a little bit and let the girls put their feet in the water.


It was a little cold.


More wildlife. We saw this guy near McDonald’s Lodge. (It’s too late for me to remember what he is, but he posed nicely for us.)