Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Have I Done Any Good...

1st river. If you look closely,
the branches are encapsulated in ice.
I got farther than I expected on my Monday hike. On the way to the first river, it was harder than last week. I had to stop for breathers more often. My muscles felt more sluggish, and I figured it was from my full week of intense exercise and my body getting used to it again. But when I got to the river, I made it within the same amount of time as last week. Soooo... I'm thinking my pace was actually a little bit quicker, but that's why I felt more tired -- I was going faster than usual.

And when I got to the first river, I had energy to keep going. I'd brought my crampons just in case and was excited to see how well they helped. Also, with my new watch, I was curious about how far it was to the 2nd river and grove. (My own made-up names for milestones on the hike!)

2 miles to the 1st river. (When I'm in good shape, I make it in 45 min. Right now I'm at 60 min.) 

Right as you cross the 1st river, the trail gets snowy. A couple of older men were putting their crampons on too. I let them go first, but caught up pretty quick and passed them because Kershaw was annoyingly running in front of them and then in back of them back to me. 

Headed home.
I could tell where the shale slide started, and it's .5 miles past the river. Took me 30 min. to get there with all the snow and ice. The front part of my crampons didn't stay on so well, but the back part still gave me good grip. Another .25 to the 2nd stream and grove. 47 min. from the 1st stream.

Took 70 min. to get down. But I was slipping all around on the snow on the way down--holding onto the bush branches saved me a couple of times and didn't save me a couple more times -- went down flat on my bum twice. But I didn't get hurt. And it was pretty fun. It's helpful to know how far that grove is for my future hiking.

I did initiatories at the temple with a friend on Tuesday and had to wait over an hour for our turn! Kind of crazy. But peaceful.

This morning I woke up and helped get Nick off to school.  (Chris had left much earlier to finish an assignment). I love being with my kids in the morning before they head out the door. I love the harmony of being together while I make their lunches and Dan makes breakfast and the kids eat at the bar and the time we have all together before they leave. It's really important to me and such a nice way to start the morning. (Dan was out of town today. When he's out of town, they get cereal and yogurt.)

I read my scriptures and then... I went back to bed until 10:00 a.m. IT. WAS. AWESOME.

I delivered tulips to my friends I visit teach and a few others who needed something happy. Tulips make me happy and I assume they make everyone happy!

And then I took a long bike ride (15 miles but mostly flat). I'm figuring out the route from our new house and what traffic areas I want to avoid. Feels so good to get out and exercise doing the things I love on a regular basis. 


Monday, March 19, 2018

Injured Hawk in the Yard!

Nick was outside practicing lacrosse with the bounce-back net (glad to have the neighbor's yard with grass but no neighbors living there). I looked outside to watch him and saw him slowly...slowly moving through the forest. It looked like he had his camera. I looked around for deer but couldn't see any from my window.

For the next 5 minutes he kept moving slowly. I didn't want to go out and disturb whatever he was watching. Marge and I watched from the kitchen and family room windows. I ran upstairs to see if I could see what he saw, but I couldn't.

Then, I saw a large bird flap on a branch close to the ground. Nick had found a hawk! It was clearly injured because it wasn't flying away. It did spread its wings and flap up to a low branch and move about from branch to branch!

I went out to get a better look. Nick was only about 15 feet away. Nick had me run back in the house and get Dan's phone for a better camera. Dan came out and let him take photos and I ran back in to research hawk rescue.

I checked the Tracy Aviary and Hogle Zoo with no luck. Then I remembered Hawk Watch International. Their website said to contact the local US Fish and Game Wildlife Dept. So I found our local department and they had a number to call for hawk rescue. When I called the number a lady answered and immediately told me to send a photo and she'd call back.

She called back a minute later to tell us it was a juvenile red-tail hawk. Then she said we should "go ahead and catch it and she'd send someone to pick it up the next day." Dan said, "You want US to catch it?!" And she replied, "You're able to catch it as easy as I can."

That didn't feel quite right to us because I imagine she has long leather gloves and EXPERIENCE dealing with predatory birds!

Dan said it really didn't sit still long enough for us to get close to it. She said, "As it gets weaker, it will. But make sure to wear leather gloves and a sweatshirt."

Yeah. Because a cotton sweatshirt will keep us safe from those talons and beak.

However, we agreed because Nick needs 3 hours of a conservation project for Scouts, and this seemed like a good way to get it.

But by the next afternoon it was gone. Dan and I searched around the yard but didn't see any sign of it. So hopefully it recovered from whatever was ailing it the night before and flew away.

And with all this wildlife lurking about our new yard, it's a good thing we didn't get a really small dog.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Birthday MORP

Special things about Christopher:
He is kind. He cares about other people and their feelings. 
He also has a tender heart and wants to do what's right.
He wants to make everyone feel good and important -- including his own family. He easily gives compliments and keeps complaints to himself.
Sometimes we say he's a "sweet talker" because he knows how to make people feel good and let's them know.  But he's pretty genuine too. It's a talent he has!

He works hard. He doesn't shy away from a hard job or heavy lifting. He's happy to lend a hand when needed. When we think about Chris and his future, Dan and I often say, "He knows how to work hard. He's going to be just fine." 
Not only can he work hard, he's willing to work hard too.

He makes us laugh. He always has. He is funny and fun. He loves being on the go and doing. He loves taking a nap each day, but when not napping, he's busy doing.
He and his friends think of fun things to do. They are silly together and sometimes crazy.
I am so glad he has such a great group of friends. 
They are good kids and good examples for each other. I love when they come over because they're having fun and being creative and are also fun to talk to and polite!

He works hard to accomplish his goals. When he was little he had a goal to be able to do a back flip on the ground. He asked me to sign him up for tumbling classes so he could learn the technique. 
They didn't move quite as fast as he wanted though, and pretty soon he taught himself at home.

He's VERY strong. He's always been skinny but he's always been strong. I call it "scrappy."
From a young age he started doing pull-ups. Then push-ups. Then clapping push-ups and then one-handed push-ups. And at the same time doing more and more pull-ups. 
He's so strong! He wanted a six-pack and he's got it!
He's always loved to rock-climb and is really good at it.

Chris and his cute date, Alyssa. Going as greasers from the '50's for MORP.
Dinner at Chuck-a-Rama (the point is somewhere cheap!), Dance, then Karaoke.
See what I mean? Always doing fun things! 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Art Stroll and Jazz Weekend

The third Friday of each month the Salt Lake Art Galleries are open late for evening art strolls. 
We visited A Gallery, 15th and 15th and David Ericsson. 
Had dinner on 15th at Mazza. So fun. So much to love.

We are dying to find a place for this guy. It's so amazing!

Saturday night we went to the Jazz/Sacramento game with the Goldsberrys. 
We haven't been out with them in ages.

Dan went racing on Friday in his new Mustang. (I should have him send me a photo.)
He cancelled Saturday because it was rainy so we had an errand day together.

Look what Kershaw did to his bed. While we were sitting at the table right next to him!
(I gave him a chunk of frozen hamburger last week--not in the Kong, just straight up. I wonder if it left a smell so strong on his bed it was impossible not to scratch at. 
Maybe he thought it was buried inside. Oops!)

Tore a hole in the bed then started to unstuff!

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Bonsai Birthday Tradition Rediscovered

We used to go to Bonsai for everyone's birthdays or any special occasion. It was right in the neighborhood and a family favorite. It's a traditional Japanese-style Teppanyaki (grilling your meal in front of you). Then they closed their location near us. 

But Chris remembered Bonsai and chose it for his birthday dinner. We celebrated Thursday night because he wanted to have a party with his friends Friday night and MORP was on his birthday -- Saturday night. So he's basically had a 3-day birthday celebration!

One of our favorite parts is getting pictures taken to hang on the wall. 

They bang a gong and sing Happy Birthday and get the other people on your table to join in.
It's embarrassing and fun all at the same time.
Note to Marty: We paid attention and ooh'd and aah'd at the chef as he did his tricks with the eggs, flaming onion and shrimp.
Remember when you said we were going so often we were ignoring the chef?

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Taylor's Visit

Taylor and Hadyn came to Utah for a visit and made time to go to brunch with me. How I love Taylor! She was such a special friend to Courtney in Jr. High. They were so similar -- smart, motivated, hard-working, obedient and selfless. Whenever they were at our house, Taylor never hesitated to clean up and often left it cleaner than she found it. She was very active in her Lutheran church and an example of Christ-like love. One of those good examples a parent is always hoping their kids will be influenced by. Courtney was a true friend in return and cared about Taylor through ups and downs.

When Taylor moved to Dallas after 9th grade, it was heartbreaking for all of us! But her dad still lives in Utah and she has lots of family here, so she visits about once a year.

She's still positive, hard-working, motivated, kind and loving. Her boyfriend Haydn seems just as wonderful.

I love that she makes time to say Hi. Now we just need to get Courtney home at the same time so they can actually see each other!

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Temple Feeds My Spirit

I was feeling a little blue at the end of February. I couldn't quite put my finger on it. 
When I start feeling down, I have a little checklist I run through to see if I can pinpoint why I'm feeling how I am (hormones? stress? more sleep? alone time?)
 but none of those things seemed to be the problem.

When I said my morning prayers I prayed for peace. 
I prayed to have the clouds part (because that's what it felt like... 
covered in clouds and not seeing the sun). That day I didn't feel worse. But I didn't feel better. 

The next morning I prayed with gratitude that I didn't feel worse. And gave thanks for a Heavenly Father who loves me, knows me and answers my prayers. I asked again that I could "see" clearly and feel better. That the clouds would part and I would feel like myself. 
I prayed for guidance to know what to do that would help.

That day I realized I hadn't been to the temple since December. 
I'm not sure what happened and how time got away from me, but it did. 
Once I realized I hadn't been in a couple of months, I started feeling better already. 
It was definitely the answer I was looking for.

I have recognized in life that my spirit needs the nourishment it gets at the temple. 
That somehow the communion there between me and God goes beyond what my intellect comprehends. My spirit is fed and nourished just by being in the House of the Lord. 
And that spiritual nourishment has a very real physical impact on me.

I know the work we do in the temple has eternal blessings not only for us and our deceased ancestors, but also eternal blessings for our posterity. I don't understand how it works, but my spirit does. 
My spirit sings when I do an endowment session at the temple and move from the Endowment Room into the Celestial Room.

So this morning I attended the Salt Lake Temple and was overcome once again with gratitude that I have a temple so close and can attend really any time I want. 


I came across this photo on the art gallery we use Instagram feed. It's a self-portrait Marty made in 1st grade and we had framed along with the rest of the kid art.
Isn't he the cutest thing you've ever seen?!