Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Christmas in a New House

I promised the kids we would have a tree up this year. We didn't put our own up last year. So here we are tree up. It got priority over boxes!!

Here's my new house!!! Come visit us. We got all of our things in the house and garage by Saturday at 11 am. The wind was blowing Saturday morning, and the flurries of snow began to blow, but everything made it in before the big dump. Now we hope we can clear the garage out quickly so our cars will fit inside!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

We drove down to Texas to enjoy Thanksgiving and Black Friday! I don't have any pictures of Thanksgiving, but we had a wonderful meal followed by the girls (mostly girls) going to Twilight, and ending the evening with a bit of Christmas!

Zach, Tori, Leah, and Me at Toys R Us for Black Friday.

Black Friday has become such the day for shopping. I think the stores compete with each other over who can open the earliest. My family and I get excited for the deals. Unfortunately for the economy, we only get the deals and don't spend a penny more on other things!! Well Nephew Zach was awake at the early hour of 4:30, so Nick invited him to come along. I wondered how a 6 year old would enjoy Black Friday, but he seemed to enjoy it. This was Nick's first Black Friday experience awake!! In years before his duty was to stay with the kids (which means sleeping at home)! We were quiet successful hitting a 5 am opening at Toys R Us, a 6 am opening at Target and Home Depot, and 7 am for Office Max and Walgreens. We didn't have to wait too long in lines because once the store opened we found our goods and checked out before too many lines could form. We avoid places like WalMart on Black Friday, though. And I didn't mind missing the Best Buy and Circuit City lines this year. If you haven't ever experienced Black Friday, you should!

We also enjoyed a dance a thon and attending the temple during our trip. Even driving 16 hours back on Sunday didn't kill us!! Now we will close on a house this week and move in next week. We seem to like moving around the holidays. Makes it more exciting!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


So no photo this time, but gas is below $2!!! Hurray. The best price around here is 1.79. Nick predicts even lower prices since the price of oil has gone down. We are hoping for that as well as the 30 year mortgage rate to keep decreasing! We should be closing on a house in 2 weeks, so we have to lock in a mortgage rate by next Friday.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Things I've Learned

After an entire summer of spending over $4 a gallon for gas, this price is such a welcoming sign. I recall paying $3 days after Katrina because of the shortage of gas. At the time I couldn't believe gas could be so expensive since only the week prior to Katrina I grumbled at paying $1.61 per gallon. Yes my memory serves me well there!! Will we ever see gas under $2? Maybe we will. I waited a week to get gas because I saw the prices declining each day. Finally today I had to give in and pump this morning, and guess what, just later this evening, the price had declined 5 cents!! I grew up watching gas prices. Something I learned from my dad. And many people that know me know that I pay attention to the gas prices! I think everyone has something that they notice. My father-in-law currently points out every horse trailer we see, and I---I know the gas prices!!! What's the price of gas where you are?
Well I thought I would list just a few things I have learned from different people during my life:
1. Sidney P. introduced me to putting mustard in chili
2. Anne H. taught me to sing tenor part an octave higher on hymns. (I love to do this).
3. Leah H. taught me that some doors do not lead to the expected. :) She taught me much more than that including yummy spinach salad with mangoes and avocados!
4. Rachel S. introduced me to putting raspberry jam on grilled cheese sandwiches (yummy :)
5. Christine O. showed me that there are still honest, hardworking, and financially smart people out there because she is one!! And you don't have to have a big house to be an awesome person!
6. Kelly P. showed by example to always look for good in people.
7. Charles J.-- just about everything important for camping including wiping plates clean with tissue or paper towel so there won't be any floaties in the wash water and adding a bit of bleach to the rinse water to kill all the soap. (I have to admit I don't always do that).
8. Jarle B. from early morning seminary days--carry 5 smooth stones, don't be a bad banana, be noble, be peculiar, and the entire Old Testament can be acted out with various action figures.
9. Anne H.--mirrors and windows can be cleaned with newspaper and old toothbrushes are perfect for cleaning.
10. A college freshman (didn't know her name): you should never insult the place a person is from. Where they are from is a part of them, so insulting the place is insulting the person. Refer to #6--all places have good things to offer.
11. Christine O. served us corn tortillas heated in oil--my kids thank her for that; tacos with corn tortillas is probably their favorite meal.
12. An apartment of gals in college taught me about having crepes with lemon juice brushed on them, then cinnamon sugar, and whipped cream. So yummy!! And yes that's one of my kids' favorites too.
13. Diana H.--credit cards will break if used as an ice scraper.

Saturday, November 1, 2008


You might recognize the Star Wars theme!! We had Obi-Wan Kenobi, Anakin Skywalker, Padme, and Princess Leia, Han Solo didn't find the right costume :)

The booty

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Colors

We went for a drive in the mountains to enjoy some fall colors. We saw red, orange, yellow, brown, and green. We ended with a waterfall!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Fall Fun at Cornbelly's. We visited a fun fall activity last night. Along with a corn maze, there were many activities for everyone to enjoy including bull riding, playing in corn kernal, slides, pumping water for plastic duck races. A highlight for Garrett was getting a piece of candy from the Pumpkin Princess!!


We went on a weekend camping trip to Horseshoe Canyon. Grandpa came along and brought the horses. We had a great time with only a few incidents! At our lunch stop on the hike/ride, the horses ran away from us. Nick and Grandpa rounded them up. The open sky was really amazing--so many millions of stars to see at night.
Since we were camping on Kegan's birthday, we had crepes on Thursday night for dinner (our traditional birthday breakfast), and let Kegan open some presents. He received a scooter from Grandma which he was really excited about. He rode around until we made him come in. Anna was pretty excited about it too!!

Monday, September 15, 2008

No Training Wheels

"Dad, I can ride with none training wheels!" Garrett Cook, September 15, 2008

Last night Nick challenged Garrett to take off his training wheels, and we would have a party to celebrate. At first Garrett didn't really buy it or think it was a good idea, but a little bit of persuasion, and he agreed! So today he was pretty excited about taking those training wheels off. We could hardly get dressed fast enough. We took the training wheels off, and Garrett let Kegan test the bike out. Then Garrett hopped on. First run, and he rode into the grass and got stuck. Second run, we moved into open sidewalk. I helped him start, then he thought he should do a wheely!! He didn't crash, but stopped riding. I helped him start again, he was going well when he ran into the Stop sign post with his helmet (good thing he had that helmet on)! After that, he got going pretty well. He even figured out how to start on his own after just a few minutes. He was so excited to call and tell Nick about riding with no training wheels. So tonight as promised we had our party. Garrett loves whipping cream, so we had whipping cream and cake! Fun party. But preceding the party, our whole family went out riding, and we played follow the leader. I didn't realize taking off training wheels meant you can also do tricks on your bike. Apparently it does to Garrett. He was keeping up with the big boys doing various tricks. I need a helmet video camera next time. You would just not believe what this kid was doing out there. Of course he does have a father he patterns this behavior after. Well he had a couple of spills (dad had one too!!), but he wasn't ever hurt until his last trick. We were almost home, he took one leg off the pedal and put it one the opposite side of the bike when he lost balance, and did a face plant 0n the sidewalk. He got all mad at me for not putting his elbow pads on. His elbows were fine, but he got a little raspberry on the forehead (think I need to tighten the helmet now)! It was a fun and exciting milestone for Garrett. Hurray!!!


Well to blog, one must have something to blog about; usually have some interesting pictures; then make the time to actually blog. I haven't been doing some of those things. We have done some interesting things like a triathlon, riding horses, and more soccer games, but I don't have any pictures of those things. Kegan's soccer team won a game! He was thrilled since they had not yet won a game. We continue to house hunt and are hoping we can take advantage of the dropping interest rate for mortgages.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kegan's First Day of School

Kegan started Kindergarten yesterday. I think he enjoyed it. It also wasn't very long. Monday is a short day here. All students get out 1 hour earlier. So Kegan goes to school on Monday from 12:08 to 2:30. They had enough time to draw a self portrait, begin making a paper bag puppet, and play outside a little bit. Those are the things Kegan told me about anyway. So here's my Monday schedule:

8:00 take Anna to school

12:00 take Kegan to school

Make a quick run to Walmart between shuttles!

1:15 Pick up Anna

2:30 Pick up Kegan

We live very close to the school, so it's not terrible. The rest of the week Kegan attends Kindergarten from 12:38 to 3:30.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Soccer Saturday

We have 3 kids signed up for soccer this year. (We only have 3 kids, BTW!) So it makes for an exciting Saturday. All the kids had practice last week and received their uniforms. Then they all had games on Saturday. Yes that's one practice before their first game. Well it was pretty exciting. Garrett and Kegan had games at the exact same time, but at least at the same school. Actually all of Garrett's and Kegan's games are all at the exact same time this season (same place too). I felt real soccer mom-ish walking between the games. And once sitting at Garrett's game, but yelling for Kegan! I am not sure how the stars aligned for this season, but Kegan is on a team of almost all girls; only one other boy. None of the kids have played except Kegan, so with only one short practice under their belts, Kegan's team didn't do so well. The team they played against has obviously played together before, and they have a really great coach. Kegan scored his team's only goal but against like 10 or something from the other team!

Garrett's team well is an Under 5 team. First time for everyone, but they were cute out there. I think Garrett helped score a couple of goals, but it's hard for me to tell who actually kicked the ball in since there are 8 kids right in front of the goal. Garrett's teams has only 1 girl, how does that work out? Of the game, Garrett says, "We won." I really don't know what the score was. Both teams scored several goals.

After the boys' games, we had a little down time where Nick worked on some soccer skills with the boys in the backyard, then we headed to a different school for Anna's game. For only one practice and the first game, Anna's team did quite well. They won 4-0, and Anna scored a goal! The U9 teams are not co-ed, so just girls which Anna likes. Her team has some things to work on, but it looks like it will go well.

First Week of School

So Anna has enjoyed school so far. She got over the horrible fact that her class is in a portable and is enjoying it now. In Mrs. Romberg's class there is opportunity to move your behavior stick up--not just down. So if you reach "Top Banana" you get to put your name into a drawing for a prize. Anna was happy to reach "Top Banana" once last week. I asked her what you have to do to earn top banana, but she wasn't exactly sure.

Kegan starts tomorrow!

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of School

Anna started school today. We met her teacher last Thursday, Ms. Romberg. Anna was not happy at all that her class is in a portable this year. Two third grade classes are in portables this year. There were 2 first grade classes added this year, so the third grade got the boot. I tried to comfort her by telling her that I had 3rd grade in a portable, cool, huh? She didn't think so. Well she must have gotten over the worry because she hurried right on to class today. I didn't know if I should go early or not. At this school the kids can't enter their classrooms until 5 minutes before start time. So we left at 7:50 to arrive at 7:55. It was perfect timing, the teacher was just opening her door. So there were plenty of parents, but not as crowded as I thought it could be. Then I saw the bike racks; they were completely full!! So probably only the youngest kids get walked to class here!
All of the classrooms here have outside entrances (as well as indoor entrances). So each class lines up outside of their classroom door until the teacher opens the door. They then enter into mudrooms where they have cubbies for bags, coats, etc. There is no mudroom for the portable, though. Too bad. I will have to give an update of the actual first day when Anna gets home.

Last Summer Activities

So here is a 5.7 climb called Rockepella. It was a great climb for the kids. Anna (above) touched the roof before coming down. The roof is the rock jutting out above her. Brooke, Jesse, Corbin, Nick, Ann, and I were able to make it over the roof to the top of the climb.

Kegan made it to the "roof" of the climb.

We had to go back to AF Canyon a couple of days later to really do the 5.7 climb. We still didn't make it off the trail before dark, but we had more lights this time.

Rock Climbing in American Fork Canyon. Ann and Nick got so excited that they put their stuff down and started getting ready for this easy 5.7 climb. After both of them struggled with this climb I wondered if we were at the right spot. I went further on the trail and found some other rock climbers on the 5.7 climb that we were looking for. The climb Ann and Nick did was a 5.10a (that's pretty difficult; not for kids). Even with just a few climbers attempting, the trek took a while. We were on the trail to go back to the car in the dark.

Jesse and Nick on their Crest Trail Ride. Ann is taking the picture. Nick was happy to have shocks and disc brakes this year!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

August Activities

Aunt Ann is in town; you know you are in for a good ride!
Ann, the kids, and I tried out the Jordan River Trail. We had a good time. Garrett lagged behind a little, but he did it!

Look Mom, "no hands."

Cook Family at Alta. The boys hiked the black diamond that they skiied this winter!

Novell Revenue Reporting Boating Outing

Revenue Reporting Team

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Catch Up

I have failed to make some posts recently because I don't have any pictures of some of the fun things we have done. So without picts, I'll just let you know. On July 24, we had an awesome water fight! We had come home from the neighborbood party, and we broke out with water guns. It was Kegan and I against Nick and Garrett. Now it was about 10:00 at night, so we had the dark to hide in. We enjoyed not having a fully fenced yard that we could run around the entire house. We all got pretty wet, and the little boys were shivering by the end!

For Nick's summer work party, we went boating with his manager! I do have pictures of this, I'll have to load them up. So Nick and I did a little wakeboarding. Anna did knee boarding, and everyone did some tubing. A fun day at the lake.

I took the kids to Seven Peaks Water Park. No camera here, but we had so much fun! We went on tube rides, slides, lazy river, tadpole pool, wave pool, and more slides. One of Anna's friends came along with us (Olivia). I took the kids to the slide called Flash Flood. An adult can hold one child on this slide. Well Olivia was too scared to try it by herself, so I had to send my little 4 year old Garrett by himself!! He had a life jacket on, and he did awesome!!

We have still been on the house hunt, but we are disappointed that we will not be in a house before school starts on August 18. Here Kindergarten starts a week later than the rest of the kids.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Days of 47 Rodeo

I went to my first rodeo! I grew up in Texas yet I never attended a rodeo until last night! We had a good time watching the cowboys. It was "Tough enough to wear Pink night" so there were a lot of pink shirts!! (It was for a cancer fundraiser).

Here's a video of calf roping:

Another interesting element was a cowboy from Oklahoma. He rode in the arena in a Dodge Truck with a trailer. He then went on to entertain by riding his horse up on top of the trailer, standing up on his horse while on top of the trailer, then later herding 2 buffalo onto the top of the trailer! This was the kid's favorite part.

Anna got new hat out of the deal, so it was a good cowboying night!!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nana's Backyard

We ended the day by celebrating Christian's, Nicole's, and Brookelle's birthdays at Nana's house. The kids enjoyed various activities in the backyard including sledding down the hill!

Hogle Zoo

On Thursday, the kids and I met Cheri and her kids, and Lisa and her girls, and Nana at the Hogle Zoo. We had a day of looking at animals, lunch, a neat bird show, carousel ride, ice cream, and a train ride.

Drive in the Mountains

Last week we took a little drive in the mountains. We took the Trooper of course for some off-roading. The journey was interesting. We saw deer, flowers, and played in some snow. It was very bumpy. We enjoyed the views of Mount Timpanogas and the valley.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Happy Birthday Dinosaur!

On Friday, we forgot about Cow Appreciation day, but we did have a lot of fun at Thanksgiving Point. At the Museum, there is a huge balloon T-rex skeleton. It took 6 days to make, 2300 balloons, and 7 people. The kids enjoyed the activities they had for celebrating the birthday of the dinosaur. It was really celebrating 8 years of being open.

The dinosaur skeleton in the foreground is made of balloons!

Monday, July 7, 2008


On Tuesday, June 24 the kids and I went to Magleby's Fresh (restaurant) with Cheri (Nick's sister) and Chad Evans and their kids. While the adults ordered, Garrett managed to fall, hit a chair, and cut his head open. None of the adults saw exactly what happened, but Cheri and I quickly left Chad with the other 4 kids and took Garrett to an urgent care center which we had just seen on the way to the restaurant. The gash was about an inch and a half long and seemed pretty deep to me (but not to the skull). After cleaning, and numbing the area, the doctor put 6 staples in Garrett's head. No swimming for a week. Garrett was pretty brave throughout the ordeal and back to normal spirits soon. The best part was getting a Kung Fu Panda sticker! After the exciting event, we all went to Bridal Veil Falls. Unfortunately both my camera and Cheri's camera had no good batteries. The kids enjoyed walking in the water at the bottom, and Garrett managed to get pretty wet, but his head stayed dry. Garrett got the staples out a week later which he was pretty happy about. I don't think the scar will be noticeable until he shaves his head!

Park City, Utah

We vacationed and vacationed from blogging. We had a great time with the Hanson Family in Park City. Doing things like fishing, walking, swimming, visiting Grandpa Hanson in Providence, Thanksgiving Point, Temple Square, Alpine Slide, and shopping.

In an effort to fish, we walked into the river to this log which we then balanced on. The water was FREEZING. So cold, it was painful. The boys got piggybacks returning to shore. (No Fish)!

Right: The six grandkids

Left: Jake, Tori, Anna, Kegan at Thanksgiving Point Children's Garden

The kids built Temples at the Church History Museum.

Alpine Slide at Park City Mountain Resort. We had 6 adult drivers and 6 child riders!! Worked out quite well. Kegan and I aren't pictured because we were the first down. All the drivers and riders enjoyed. Sorry you missed this year's ride Leah and Chad. If you haven't ever done the Alpine Slide, you should! It is a track down the mountain which you ride a sled down. You even get to ride the chair lift to the top of the ride.

I did more pictures and fewer words in hopes that you don't get bored!