Halloween Breakfast Delight

It's that time of year again!

Our favorite cereal is in the stores again.

Time for breakfast to be Spooky again!

Thank you Mom! You're the Bestest!

As if this face wasn't enough to scare you all away!

Just can't get enough. Maybe I ought to buy a year's supply
of their favorite cereal.

I don't think I could afford that grocery bill with the way
their eating their breakfast.


Pros & Cons of the West

Pros of Living in the Mountain West
(and stuff that doesn't happen in the Midwest)
  1. Sun 95% of the time
  2. Nearby Mountains for days long adventure
  3. Cool summer nights and starry skies
  4. Sun 95% of the time
  5. Low Humidity allowing a hairstyle to last more than 1 hour
  6. Few pesky bugs
  7. Sun 95% of the time
  8. Roads snow and ice free within a few days of snowstorms
  9. The ability to dry off completely from a shower
  10. Sun 95% of the time in the Winter when the shortened days bring about SADD.

Pros of living in the Midwest
  1. Spectacular Fall Colors which you can't find unless you drive a while to the Canyons to get a glimmer of the profuse Colors available to Fall Trees in the Midwest
  2. Large, thick, lush trees, dwarfing houses and buildings; the opposite of the small, short trees that struggle to live in the desert, providing much less shade than I'm still accustomed to
  3. Rolling hills covered in trees and fields of some crop or other
  4. Humidity keeping the skin hydrated eliminating the need for daily lotion rubs
  5. Regular stunning, magnificent, and impressive Thunder and Lightning storms
  6. Lawns and gardens that don't need watering when a thunderstorm has happened by in the last week or two even if you don't plant native, xerix plants
  7. Thick, productive corn fields surrounded by trees and thick grass, not scraggly juniper trees and sagebrush
Despite all the wonderful things I miss about the Midwest I love the Sun that shines almost all the time here in the West. It pretty much makes up for everything else that I miss. I miss the rows and rows of corn to be seen outside any city. I miss the huge trees of wide variety everywhere that show profuse shades of all Fall Colors every year. I miss the incredible thunder and lightning and horrendous showers that make cars stop on the road from their ferocity. I've forgotten what it's like to not need lotion every single day slathered over my whole body. But despite this and everything else I miss, (the cute old towns, old churches, down-to-earth people everywhere) I LOVE the sun that shines the vast majority of the time, bringing me a ray of hope during the short winter days, which is soon to be upon us.


Trashy Magazines are so Much Fun!

A friend of mine gave me some fun trashy magazines to read. These magazines make the rounds. They start with their owner who gives them to my friend. She usually gives them to another friend who passes them onto another friend who gives them to her sister and after that I'm not sure who gets them. But this time I got a magazine. And it was so much fun to read!

I started rifling through, I must start at the beginning if I'm actually going to read the whole thing, and noticed they had stuck tidbits of stuff everywhere. On the credits page they had a heading for a picture column: 'We asked our staffers What's Worth Spending Your Money on Right Now? Number one on the list was 'A Front Row Ticket to the new Broadway Play starring Daniel Craig - no price is too high to be close to him!' I had to second that since the time between finding out about the play, telling Sis-in-Law Nurse about, and buying Third Row Mezzanine Seats tickets was less than a week.

The next interesting thing was an Interview of Chris Rock. He had a list of Do's and Don't's. One of the Do's was: 'buy your cards - bday, anniversary, Valentine's Day - in bulk. My dad used to do this. He planned on being married to my mom for the rest of his life, so he'd buy like nine anniversary cards at a time.' Now that's commitment, at least for nine years.

Another page extolled the 'Five Bad Things that are Actually Good for you Skin.' Top of the list was Chocolate. My favorite. I think I can live with that. French Fries were even on the list! Not because they are good for your skin but because they don't cause breakouts like we all thought as teenagers.

A fashion page was dedicated to a girl dedicated to Sustainable Fashion. She's going to wear the exact same dress for 365 days straight. You go girl! This is supposed to support fashion in poverty-ridden India. But in actuality she is dressing the dress up quite a bit. She'll be spending just as much in accessories and matching clothing to not really save any money. Not exactly how the poor girls in India get to dress. They might get the dress but I doubt they'll get to dress it up like she can.

Finally they had a list (there are a lot of lists in magazines) of Five Fewer Things to Worry About. Second item was 'Eating a Big, Juicy Burger.' I never have a problem with that, do other women or are they making things up again? And the last one was 'Playing Doctor.' With who?? I thought we just did that as curious kids but here they are talking about it in an adult magazine. Who knew? I guess we're not all over it by the time were seven.

The star article was about a 27-year-old Mormon Girl who was still a virgin. She talked about a chastity lesson from church when she was 13.
"Does anyone want a cookie?" she asked in an aggressive tone. We all
perked up because Chastity class was always easier with food...but
the cookies were all half-eaten, broken, and sprinkled with dirt.
"Anyone?" When no one answered, she nodded emphatically
and said, "That's right, no one wants a dirty half-eaten cookie."
And that my friends is how I learned not to have sex.
Love it! Can't even get away from my religion in a trashy magazine.

The final tidbit from my magazine that was rather interesting was one of 7 Revenge Fantasies. 'Jon accidentally impregnates his new girlfriend with octuplets: Jon Minus Kate plus 16!'


And We All Went to Church

This weekend we had the pleasure of going to church down in Fillmore, Utah. We went with Olaf's Aunt and Uncle who were hosting a family reunion at their cabin. We got to church almost an hour early in order to sit on soft chairs and we were just a hair late and still sat on the hard chairs. But it was all worth it. We were in a small church setting and got to see an Apostle from our church speak, Elder Russell M. Nelson.

He gave a very nice talk. In it he discussed a home invasion that took place while he was in Mozambique. Some robbers came in, roughed the people up, and took everything on them. Then the leader of the robbers put a gun to Elder Nelson's head and told him "I'm going to kill you and kidnap your wife." Elder Nelson told us that he had lived his life in preparation of meeting his Maker one day but didn't feel like this guy should get to make the decision when that time came. But he also realized he didn't have much choice in the matter. Then the leader pulled the trigger on the gun but it didn't go off. Then the robbers all ran away and left them there. They were not kind robbers, they broke one of the wife's arms.

At this point Baby turned to Olaf and said, "Of course it didn't work, the gospel protected him." Oh to have the faith of an eight-year-old.


I Want to Thank You For Putting Me Back in My Snail Shell

Yesterday Baby went on a field trip. Olaf went with because he's that kind of awesomest Dad. They went on a two mile hike on a bike trail in the mountains. Try keeping four 3rd-grade classes on the right side of the yellow line, I can't get my two children, much less 100 kids.

This morning as Baby was getting his jacket on so he could ride his bike to school and withstand the gale force canyon winds without getting frostbite he remembered he had picked up some stuff on the hike.

He unloaded some empty snail shells. We don't live by the beach so the next best thing to collect in the shell world is snail shells. They are quite common here in Utah. Olaf remembers his Grandma cursing them and pouring salt on them when they got in her garden. But for our boys they are fun toys. After work I came home to this funny bump on my "Kitchen Island" corner.

Apparently not all the shells were vacant.

Some were still housing inhabitants. No one's foreclosed on their homes just yet.

Now I'm afraid to walk anywhere else. Baby informed me this morning as he emptied his pockets that snails in their shells can go half an inch a second and if they've shed their homes they are twice as fast.

Who knows where else they've managed to hide in my humble abode. Hopefully they don't evict me.


Walking the Dog

After a lazy hazy summer I decided I needed to start walking the dog after work. The first day I got a late start. I leashed up the dog. I thought I'd take a three mile walk. Tank was ready to go. He kept prancing around the house with his leash on. I headed out and Tank pulled me along. It was a hot day. After about 20 minutes I decided maybe I only wanted to take a two mile walk. At this point Tank started slowing down. He was no longer leading me. In a few more minutes I was pulling him along. Thank goodness the kids were home from school, supposedly doing chores but I'm sure they were just watching TV without the Slave Driver home.

I called up Middle Child. He didn't have any witticism for me this time like these other times I wrote about here and here. "Hey, can you get a bottle of water and a bowl and come meet me and Tank over by your school. I don't think he's used to walking very far."

"Sure Mom, I'll be right over!"

And then Tank promptly plopped on someone's front lawn in the shade. Finally Middle Child found us. When he gave me the bottle of water I asked "Where's the bowl?"

"Well, it wouldn't fit in my pocket. So I thought we'd just use the lid." The minuscule lid that would provide about a teaspoon of water. After he realized that wouldn't work we took to pouring the water down his throat. Normally I don't think he'd like that but he didn't care that day!

We finally got home. Since then I've been walking the dog three times a week. I go more often, but Tank isn't up to walking that often. I thought it was pretty funny that I'm in better shape than he is. He's getting better about the walk. He no longer plops in peoples front yards. But he does drink gutter water, which is not normal. Normally he won't drink water unless it's fresh today, no leftover water for him.

Yesterday I got home from work, let Tank in the house, and changed for our walk. "Tank, Tank," I called, wanting to hurry and get back before the kids got home from school. I finally found him on Baby's bed, his new bed since he's been banned from the sofa. He was laying there. To the unpracticed eye he would look sound asleep, but he wasn't. He was playing sleep so he wouldn't have to move! He's done this a few times, usually in the morning when it's cold and he doesn't want to go outside. He's pretty good at it too. So I let him stay home and rest. I'll drag him out tomorrow and he won't be able to get out of it because I'll know he rested recently.


I'm Finally a Victim of the Nigerian Scam

I finally feel like I am part of the popular world! I got my first email scam that would be considered part of the Nigerian Scam. I first heard about this scam years ago. I've been waiting, faithfully checking my email, but to no avail. Finally, on Friday I got it! I finally feel like I'm part of the "In Crowd"! Here it is. I thought I'd share it with you in case you were excluded also.


I'm Ms. Elizabeth Park Fowler of Tampa, FL 33629., I'm a US citizen, I'm 51yrs Old. I'm one of those that took part in the Compensation in Nigeria many years ago and they refused to pay me, I had paid over $38,000 while in the US, trying to get my payment all to no avail.

So I decided to travel down to Nigeria with all my compensation documents, And I was directed to meet Barrister Ben Bruce, who is the member of COMPENSATION AWARD AUTHORITY and a Human Rights Activist (Lawyer), and I contacted him and he explained everything to me. He said whoever is contacting us through emails now are fake.

He took me to the paying bank for the claim of my Compensation payment. Right now I'm the most happiest woman on earth because I have received my compensation funds amounteing to $11,000,000.00 Moreover, Barrister Ben Bruce, showed me the full information of those that are yet to receive their payments and I saw your email as one of the scam victims, that is why I decided to email you to stop dealing with those people, they are not with your fund, they are only making money out of you. I will advise you to contact Barrister Ben Bruce

You have to contact him directly on this information below.


Name : Barrister Ben Bruce (Legal Practitioner And Adviser)

Email: benbruce6@xpmail.net

You really have to stop dealing with those people that are contacting you and telling you that your fund is with them, it is not in anyway with them, they are only taking advantage of you and they will dry you up until you have nothing.

The only money I paid after I met Barrister Ben Bruce was just $250 for the paper works, take note of that.

Thank You and Be Blessed.

Ms. Elizabeth Park Fowler (Elizabeth)
Trustee/Treasurer, Triad Foundation Inc.
Education: BS, Business Administration

If you've never heard of this before you can read all about it here. My thought as I read this letter was "If this is such an elaborate scam, couldn't they have gotten a person who speaks English to write the letter!" The language alone is a major tip off that this isn't legitimate.


Fall Camporee

Hi, it's not the regular blogger, its better Me Bob. I'm usually middle child. Last Friday and Saturday I went on a campout and I had SOOoooooooooooooo much fun, especially dinner. We had chili cheese dogs! The best part was Saturday, we did geochaching, fire starting, cooking, and orienteering. For geochaching we found foreign coins and candy. For orienteering we found tootsie rolls. For cooking we learned how to cook bananas and apples with cookie dough. For fire starting we got sparkymobobers and made a small fire! Then we went home. Wait, I forgot they had rafts that were so fun! Hope you liked the guest blogger.



The headstone is finished. It was put in today. The base has been in for a while and we've been driving by for weeks waiting for the headstone. It would have taken a lot less time and effort to call and just ask, but not really.

Calvin used to call Lucky Charms, Charly Chams. He always had a goofy smile on his face. I can't tell you how many people remarked that he was always smiling. Plenty of people referred to his "Goofy Grin." It was just part of him. And we couldn't leave out Boomer the Basset Hound. He was meant for Calvin. I know he's still chasing Calvin around up in Heaven. Maybe up in Heaven he doesn't run away. And if he does I bet the Mean Dog Cather doesn't put him in the Pound.


Marbles are not Food

About eight or nine years ago the kids were sitting around watching TV. Calvin had been playing with a marble and apparently had been sucking on it. Gross, but not to a little boy. After playing with it for a while he finally did the unthinkable, he swallowed it!

He jumped up and ran over to me. He was gurgling and coughing and grabbing his throat.

"What's wrong?" I asked a little worried.

He managed to choke out, "I swallowed a marble!" And then he proceeded to gasp and gurgle some more.

I frantically thought back to my yearly CPR and First Aid training. Was he big enough to do Abdominal Thrusts on his little body? I got behind him and placed my hands in hopefully the right place.

Wait! He was still breathing! Abdominal Thrusts are for when someone's airway is completely cut off. Whew! Thank goodness I remembered that little bit of training. But I hovered just in case his throat became completely clogged by that marble.

Meanwhile he continued to choke and cough. Finally he swallowed that pesky marble. "OOhhh! Ouch! That hurt!" He was still grabbing and rubbing his throat.

"Are you ok? Can you breathe now?"

"Yes, my throat just hurts. Wow!"

"All right. I'm going to call the doctor just to make sure I don't need to worry about anything." Remember, he was my first and I called the doctor about anything abnormally weird that kind of scared me and his almost choking scared me.

I dialed, waited, listened for the correct prompt, and finally reached the receptionist. "What can I help you with today?"

"My son just swallowed a marble and I wanted to know if I should be concerned about anything."

"Let me check with the doctor." She proceeded to take down the pertinent info and put me on hold while she consulted with the doctor.

About a minute later she hopped back on the line, "Is he still choking?"


No Labor on Labor Day

As a child my parents didn't travel on major holidays. That left chores and housework to do on the holidays from work. I had such a fun childhood! Actually, I really did, I'm not complaining, especially if my parents are reading this. But because of the few times my Dad said we were going to "Labor on Labor Day" I refuse to do that as a grown up. This year we went camping with some friends and family. We had an absolute blast!

It didn't necessarily start out that way. We hadn't even been on the road for an hour when Olaf noticed our friends were no longer right behind us. I figured the roads were busy and a few people snuck between us. Olaf begged to disagree and when he got hold of our friends he was right. The back wheel on their camper trailer had completely flown off! Apparently the middle bolt came loose, the whole thing jiggled for who knows how long, and then all the lug nuts sheared off and the wheel went flying through the air! It hit an empty, parked car, thank goodness, and no one was hurt.

Of course, Olaf knows someone in Heber whose husband has a Tire Shop. What are the odds? Seriously? The next three hours were spent with friend's husband helping Olaf and his friend fix the tire and get a new spare; you know another problem would happen if we proceeded without a spare, it would be too tempting for Fate. We couldn't have asked for better weather to wait by the side of the road, cool and cloudy, and it started to rain just as we got in our trucks to head out again.

After we got to camp people started setting up and I made dinner so I didn't have to set up anything. I know how to get out of work! We had a nice evening hanging out with our friends and cousins and aunts and uncles. I always love visiting with Olaf's family, they are a lot of fun. We finally all headed to bed and the kids crashed pretty quickly.

I slept great in my sleeping bag in our tent. I love sleeping in a tent, especially when it's cool outside and I have to snuggle in my bag to stay warm. I did wake up in the middle of the night and heard an owl hooting around our campsite. Then I heard a squirrel that sounded like he was in our tent, but I'm sure he was just above our tent in the trees.

At breakfast in the morning one of the Uncles told everyone he thought he heard our friend's girls out screaming in the meadow in the middle of the night. Maybe that was what originally woke me up, I'm not sure. But then he thought about it a little bit and realized it was probably just a cougar. He and a few others went hunting for cougar tracks and found some good sized tracks by the stream.

The tracks are about six inches across. I didn't have a ruler up at camp to set next to them. But it was cool to see them!

Several people brought 4-wheelers, the kids' favoritist thing about camping. Until last year Middle Child didn't really like 4-wheelers and then last year something happened. We're not sure what but he loves them and we have a hard time keeping him off of the machines. This year Baby learned to drive the big 4-wheelers and loved it!

Notice how his legs don't even reach the bottom! He's driven kid-sized 4-wheelers but he was pretty excited that he knows how to drive big ones now. Of course Olaf and I had to keep going on rides with him. He got bored driving around camp and couldn't go anywhere else without an older person.

This morning I made Decadent French Toast. We have finally almost perfected the art of baking it in the dutch ovens without burning it on the bottom. It was delicious. Then we packed up and headed home. We even got home before dinner. And without any mishaps at all! It was a wonderful weekend and I hope you all had fun too!



Cleanliness is Next to Impossible

Middle Child has been cleaning his room for almost two weeks now. I finally went down and helped yesterday. In three hours we accomplished more than he did in two weeks on his own.

I remember when Calvin was a little boy and I would help him clean up his toys. I remember being so proud when he could clean them up all by himself. I remember thinking what a good Mom I was!

When Middle Child was born I still sat and helped him put the toys away so he could learn to clean. But for some reason he was never ever able to clean up his toys by himself. To this day he can't pick up after himself. I have worked with him for 12 years and he still can't do it.

Everyone is born with personality traits and no matter how we try and mold someone, they are still that person. Just like you can't change your marriage partner, you can't change your children.

Sunday morning Middle Child came up after being in his room for almost two hours and proclaimed how well he was progressing on cleaning up from under his bed. When I went down yesterday I discovered what he had done with everything under the bed. He had spent those hours carefully packing everything under his bed onto several blankets, wrapping them up, and then putting them on the top bunk. It was a wonderful plan! Until Mom brought it all crashing down around him.

We only spent three hours cleaning his room. In that time we filled to overflowing six garbage bags. We found the shoes I had recently bought him that he had completely forgotten existed. We made the beds and folded the blankets. We found money. We put clean clothes away and dirty clothes into the hamper. We found his white t-shirt I had bought for gym class that had been promptly lost and replaced. We vacuumed in all the corners. We even ventured into his bathroom and cleaned in there, but only a little.

Now if only it will last. But I know Middle Child. I begged him to keep it clean for a week. I even pleaded. I'll let you know how that goes. Occasionally he surprises me.