Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Catch up

Happy Easter!! I video taped coloring Easter eggs but didn't get any pictures with my camera. It's hard to balance both camera and video camera. But here are the boys on Easter morning with their Easter baskets.

March's theme for cub scout pack meeting was "Take Flight". We took the easy way out and toured the Legacy Flight Museum in Rexburg. It's a pretty cool museum with small airplanes, old and new that all work. There are even some from World War II. The boys seemed to enjoy it. Here are Ethan and Jacob in front of one of the planes. I think it was a bomber.

My grandmother Bartholomew passed away in March. She will be greatly missed. We went to visit her a little over a week before she died and it was a wonderful visit. She was able to sit up and talk to us for about an hour. I got a couple pictures of her talking to the kids. She had all of the great grandkids (mine, Rose's and my cousin Sharlyn's) come up to her and tell her their names and how old they were. Darren got better pictures but I don't have those. Then she had my aunt Kathy make us all ice cream cones. That's just like my grandma.

My grandparents headstone at the burial.

Ami, me, Rose, MaryAnn, and my cousins Lisa and Casey at the viewing.

And last but not least -- Biggest Loser. The weekend of the funeral it was my mom's turn to clean my Grandpa Christiansen's house. I went and helped. After we were done, we all went out to lunch. On the way back from lunch we passed the KSL building in Salt Lake. We saw this huge line and wondered what was going on. Then my mom remembered she had seen something on TV advertising Biggest Loser auditions. These people were all lined up to audition for the show. I made Tracie go around the block twice so I could take pictures and videotape. Maybe one of these people will actually be on the show and I can say they were on my blog.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Bowling and fridges

Since Christmas there really hasn't been much to blog about. I guess that means our life has been quiet and normal, which is good. Last summer the screw that held our refrigerator shelves up broke in half, leaving half of the screw inside the back of the fridge. We couldn't get the screw out to replace it with another one. So we called the Sears repair guy and he couldn't fix it either (we've called him for our oven, washing machine and refrigerator and he has not been able to fix any of them -- so that means we have old things that can't be fixed, he doesn't know how to fix them, or he is trying to get us to buy new appliances from Sears.) Anyway, we have had money set aside to buy a new fridge a couple of different times but have not done it and, instead, have lived ghetto (see pictures below). The other day I decided I was tired of everything falling out when I tried to get to a certain item or things getting smashed by other things being set on top of them. Darren and I went refrigerator shopping yesterday and bought a new fridge. Jacob was the assistant and really wanted (a water fridge). He kept saying he was thirsty while we were in the store and I realized it's because he thought he could get a drink out of one of the "water fridges" on display. Unfortunately for him, there's no way a "water fridge" would fit in our tiny kitchen so we had to buy a boring regular fridge. To me, though, it wasn't boring -- it was exciting.

Our ghetto life before

Wow, it's amazing how much better everything fits when you have shelves.

The new fridge in our kitchen.

Kevin was making a cheese sandwich the other day. I was in the other room and it looked like he had a huge block of cheese that he was trying to put in a sandwich but he just had a piece of bread sitting on the cheese while he was getting ready to make the sandwich. So we thought it would be funny to take this picture. Sometimes you just have to entertain yourselves.

Last Saturday, Tracie hosted an Oscar Meyer turkey bacon party. She got free bacon, coupons, recipes, note pads, etc from Oscar Meyer. All she had to do was make a bunch of food with turkey bacon and have a party. Ethan, Jacob and me went to the party (Darren and Kevin were at Kevin's basketball game). Kat and Andy also came up for the party. That night the Clarks and Kat and Andy went bowling. Kat won, I came in second and all those boys were below us :-) We also all used bumpers.

Kevin bowling

Jacob posing for me.

Jacob had a hard time leaving Kat and Andy alone. He even intruded on their cuddle time.

Ethan bowling

Serious Ethan

Darren bowling

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Boston 2009

Darren and I just spent the past week in Boston. We went out there for Andy and Kat's wedding on Friday and then stayed until Tuesday to do all the tourist things. The wedding was beautiful. A lot of pictures were taken but none from my camera. I carried the video camera around while Darren photographed. It was a sunny day but very cold and windy. Andy and Kat were troopers staying out there in the cold without coats, gloves or hats. The reception was lovely as well, but again, I just video taped and Darren took the photos. So you will have to wait for those.
Saturday we still had our rental car. We were trying to decide if we should drive north or south. After getting advice from a few people at the wedding we decided to drive north. We first went to Rockport, MA and visited Halibut Point State Park which juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. It was windy and very cold. The beach was all huge boulders and when the ocean waves would hit the rocks it would freeze. So there was ice everywhere. You had to be very careful where you stepped.

Tracie posing by a tree at the park. At the parking lot you followed a wooded path before you got to the beach. That is where this was taken. Darren didn't want us to take this picture because he thought it was dumb and girls don't go around hugging trees. He's right but it made a fun picture anyway.

After the state park we drove into Gloucester, America's first seaport. In the downtown area there was a Christmas tree made out of lobster cages with buoys for ornaments. Tracie is practicing her cheerleader moves and Ben is eating her foot.

Darren and I by the Christmas tree

Dad and Tracie on one of the boulders

Dad being brave and touching the icy water. Right after he got up the waves washed over his feet. Good thing he wasn't still kneeling down.

All day Saturday the weatherman were predicting a huge storm for Washington DC and every other place north along the coast. It wasn't supposed to hit Boston until Saturday night. And they weren't sure if they would get 1-2 feet of snow or 1-2 inches. On Sunday morning we woke up to a white world and it was still snowing. I don't know how much they actually got but I would guess it was somewhere in between. We decided that we weren't going to spend all day in our hotel room just because of some snow. After all, we are from snow country. So we bundled up and ventured out to the Subway since we no longer had our rental car. We rode the Subway to the Boston Art Museum. Then we rode it to the North End, Boston's Italian Neighborhood, to eat lunch. We loved that neighborhood and would have loved walking around it more if there wouldn't have been so much snow still uncleared. By that time it was time to go to TD Gardens where the Celtics play. We had a fun time watching the game, then came back to the hotel for the night.

Ben, Mom and I on the subway.

Darren and I at the basketball game.

The Boston Art Museum

Ben's snow angel

Monday was our last day to be tourists so we felt like we had to cram a lot of stuff in. We left the hotel at 7:30, got on the Subway and rode across (actually under) the Charles river to Charleston MA. We ate breakfast at Dunkin Doughnuts (we knew they would have one there because they are on every street corner in Boston) then climbed the hill to the Bunker Hill monument. I couldn't remember much about the battle of Bunker Hill. They have a wonderful monument that you can see all over the city since it is on a hill and very tall. The museum across the street tells the story of the battle and it was actually very moving for me to hear. Next time I go to Boston I am going to catch up my early American history so the places mean more when I visit.
After Bunker Hill we walked to the USS Constitution, a ship either from the war or a remake of it. I'm not sure which because it is closed Monday through Wed and we couldn't see it. So we walked back across the bridge to Boston and found the Old North Church instead. That is a cool building. It is the original one from Revolutionary war times and is still used for church services today. There was an old cemetery by it but it was too hard to wade through the snow to look at it.
The science museum was next, then the aquarium, then the skywalk observatory tower where you can see all of Boston from high above. We did manage to get a lot of things done that day but there are still many things I still want to see -- anyone for another trip to Boston.

Ben, Mom, Tracie, and Dad hiking up Bunker hill. Check out the Dunkin Doughnuts cups :-)

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

We had a great Thanksgiving this year but I have no pictures to prove it. I had my camera with me but didn't take any pictures. We drove down to Fayette on Wed, spent Wed night at the Gunnison Inn and had a great meal with all of my brothers and sisters and their families, my parents, Grandma and Grandpa Bartholomew, Grandpa Christiansen and aunts, uncles and cousins from both sides of the family. It's always great to see people you don't get to see very often. After dinner some of the crowd went to get Christmas trees. I stayed behind to visit.

Thursday night we went to Salt Lake so we would be ready to get up bright and early for black Friday! We missed some of the great deals by not being there right when the stores opened but Darren went with his Dad and sister and got the most important things. Good job, Darren! We spent the rest of the weekend with Darren's family except for a bridal shower for Kat.

Sunday, when we were driving home, Darren showed me a facebook message he had received from our neighbor. It said something to the effect that a pipe had broken in our back yard and water was spurting everywhere so a different neighbor had called the city and the city had turned off our water. We were stressed out the rest of the way home wondering if we were going to have water and, more importantly, if water would be all over the basement. As soon as we got home I ran in the house and checked out the basement and Darren checked out the backyard. Nothing was in the house, thank goodness. In the backyard were some cool ice formations along the fence and paths in the garden where the water had run but that was all you could see. Apparently we didn't winterize the sprinkler system like we should have and the expensive back flow valve we had to special order broke. Something to deal with in the spring.

Here are a few pictures Kevin took while we decorated for Christmas:

Me putting strings on the new ornaments

Ethan putting the star on the tree. You can tell the Christmas bulbs were put on by kids. I rearranged a little after we were done.

Jacob "helping" by playing with the decorations.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fall 2009

I've been called to repentance by Rose and Andy. Andy, here are your Halloween pictures. Rose, yes, I will try to do better. It's not that I haven't had anything to blog about. I just haven't been motivated to sit down and get it done. So here are a hodge podge of pictures from the last 6 wks.
We (Darren and I) were in charge of our first pinewood derby in September. It was also Kevin's first pinewood derby. So we got the experience of making a car (okay the neighbors actually helped Kevin with his car but Darren helped Ethan make one).

Here are three of the cars starting out on the track. I was the scorekeeper so Kevin took this picture.

The course set up and ready to go.

The score board

Kevin turned 11 yrs old in the past 6 wks. One of his presents was a bottle of Amazing Sauce from Wingers because he loves Wingers wings so much --- not that he gets them too often.

These are my two sick boys. At the beginning of October I was supposed to go with Darren to CAlifornia and Rose was going to watch the boys. But two days before we were to go, Jacob came down with the flu (I don't think it was swine flu. All we know was that the nose swab they did came out positive for flu.) Ethan started with fever the next day. It was also the week Eastern Idaho kids have out of school for potato harvest. So my kids spent their vacation days sick in bed and I spent my CA vacation days taking care of sick kids. Kevin didn't get sick but he was not happy about staying in ID when he could have been playing with Jared in UT.

There was a straw maze advertised in the newspaper and I thought it would be fun for the kids. So we took the neighbor boys and tried it out. It took us about 40 minutes to get through the first time. The older boys did it a second time and were done in 10 minutes.

Boo at the Zoo -- what better place to trick or treat than at the zoo? Especially the day before Halloween. That's two nights of trick or treating.

Jeff and Tracie were good sports and tagged along with us.

A leopard and a witch. Not a traditional witch's cat but it works.

And, last but not least, I made applesauce with the many apples on our trees. My co-worker lent me her fruit/veg grinder attachment for a kitchen aid and it sure made applesauce making easier than the last time I tried it. It took two days and a big mess but we now have many jars of yummy applesauce -- that my kids actually like.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Table Rock

The Rexburg 16th Ward went on a hike to Table Rock this past Saturday. For those of you not familiar with our part of Idaho, it's a very popular hike. It's located right next to a scout camp so many scouts hike it every year. But so do a lot of other people. Someone in our ward said it is listed among the top 20 hikes in America to take. Table Rock is on top of a mountain that is right next to the Grand Teton Mountains and is on the very edge of Grand Teton National Park. Our two youngest kids were too young to make it so Darren said I could go and take Kevin. When I found out it was a 15 mile hike I decided not to take Kevin until I had tried it first. Now I wish I would have because three of the boys a few months older than him did it with no problem. But I will definitely do it again so he can come. And anyone else that wants to go can come, too. Don't let the length scare you. It took us pretty much all day with lots of rest breaks. It's 7.74 miles to the top with an increase in elevation from about 5000 feet to 11000 feet. It took us 5 hours to get to the top and four hours to get down due to someone twisting their ankle. Here are my pictures to prove I was there:

Me by one of the four creek crossings. The trail was very pretty with creeks, lots of trees, wild flowers, etc. Some of the people in our group saw a moose but it was gone when I got there.

Table Rock from far away. It is the round looking mountain on the right. The other two mountains sticking up in the background are part of the Tetons.

I was trying to show all the ant like people walking on the ridge here but they don't really show up.

Another view from far away.

Here it is a little closer...

And closer...

And closer...

until it's really close. But the last bit was the very hardest. It doesn't look that hard in the picture but it is very steep and has a lot of loose rocks. I wish I would have taken a picture of the huge pile of big rocks you have to cross right before you get to this spot.

Finally on top of Table Rock!! The Tetons look close enough to touch.

My friend Kimber, and I on Table Rock.

A view of the canyon between Table Rock and the Tetons. Can you find the little lake down there?

The Tetons.

Some of our ward sitting on Table Rock and a different view from the top.

Another view from the top.