Friday, July 18, 2008

Book Review

I was supposed to review a book called Preparedness Principles by Barbara Salsbury, but have not received the book yet. I will be sure to post a review as soon as I get it!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Summer Shade

so, I am a day late, but this week's SPT is shade, and I have a good excuse too, there really is no shade, when the sun doesn't shine, nor is there a need for shade. Today, at least for most of the day we had some sun
this is all of the shade that I get in my backyard for most of the day
and when the sun is shining, and kids are playing, and I am hoping for some shade from those sun rays there is not even enough room for me to sit in a lawn chair, so I resort to shades

Monday, July 14, 2008


Blessing #18

I am grateful for Family Vacations, and a chance to relax and get away from the chaos of everyday. Although my vacations are not going to look quite like that I am excited to get away. We leave Saturday for a week, and then 5 days home, and off for another week. Yay!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Dinosaur Party

The day of Skyler's birthday party finally arrived. We had 6 of his little friends over and celebrated Dinosaur Style! One glitch, and I think it is a huge one. Our Camera Battery, which we have only had to charge twice in the last 3 years decided to die in the middle of the party. Jordan did video some of the remaining party, but I am still seriously put out!
this is the invite that I made up a few weeks ago, and gave to the parents of the children.
the cake. Funny story actually. I had the cake and the icing out, and had iced the outside of the cake, and went upstairs to put Ethan down for a nap, and when I cam back down stairs the cake had icing smeared all over the place, and the lines to follow for the dinosaurs belly and leg were scraped off of the cake. the commentary that followed.

Me: Skyler what did you do?

Skyler: I dunno (shoulders shrugged)

Me: Skyler what did you do?

Skyler: I dunno (arms up in a I didn't do it fashion)

Me: Skyler come look at the cake, what happened?

Skyler: I just ice the cake, make the cake, and eat it Mom, that's why. That's why!

It was quite challenging to draw the lined on without any guides (I am not very crafty) and the picture I had to look at is a mirror image of the cake I was working on. I was happy with how it turned out, it just took way longer than anticipated.
I made all of the party kids foam dinosaur visors, and they were just perfect for a group of 3 year olds!
as the kids were arriving they made dinosaur pictures, but only 3 got made, because the kids all showed up about the same time, so we got the party started!
it is so fun asking kids questions about things that they really don't know anything about. I spent most of party time on me knees so that I was on their level. I told all of the kids that I heard somebody say that there were dinosaurs buried in my backyard, and asked them if they thought that was true. Off they went to explore, and they found a bin full of sand and sure enough there were dinosaurs buried in my backyard.
next the kids went back inside on a dino egg hunt. It was soo funny, some of the kids were getting them al while others were still trying to figure out what was going on.
I made several batches of playdough and wrapped it around little dinosaurs, and then saran wrap (in interest of saving my carpet) the kids then got to bring them outside and "hatch" their eggs.
they were ecstatic to find that there were really dinosaurs in the eggs.
then I slowed things down a bit, and read them a story about dinosaurs, and we sand a song (this is where the battery died) I adapted the song 10 little ducks into 10 little dinosaurs went over the hill and far away. Mother dinosaur went Stomp Stomp Stomp, but only 9 little dinosaurs came home, and each time a child got a little stuffed dinosaur to add to their buckets. The kids we all stomping away as we sang.

I made a "dinosaur egg" pinata which turned out great, and I love that a homemade pinata allowed the kids to break it on their own vs. a store bought card board pinata. This kids broke a huge hole in it, and then my brother knocked all of the candy free, and the kids had a free for all. Before we brought out the pinata I asked the kids where dinosaurs come from and got the answer of "the sand!" close, but not the answer I was looking for, so I changed my question a bit, and asked where baby dinosaurs cam from "pay dough!" again not the answer I was going for - what have I taught these kids?
my husband did take a picture of the table before the camera died. I lucked out, and found land before time decorations at the dollar store. what a perfect match!
this is what the kids ended up taking home, most of which was accumulated throughout the party. Skyler loved it, and I think the other kids had fun too.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Skyler's Birthday

Yesterday was Skyler's birthday, and my baby is now 3! He has been so much fun to love and raise, I am looking forward to future years, and excited to see what they will bring.
He got to start the day off playing with a few new toys in the backyard. This is the bubble BBQ which works great, and he can't seem to get enough of it. Ethan was thrilled to be by his side getting all messy and watching the bubble appear!

We got to go to a stampede BBQ for my mom's work later in the day and Skyler was thrilled to be at Grandma's work, and got to eat beside Grandpa (or more in his lap) He had a bunch of helium balloons tied to his wrist because he was the birthday boy.
we had a house full of family and friends last night for some dessert to celebrate. My poor niece and nephew who are invited to the party tomorrow were confused and didn't want to go home because they hadn't seen the dinosaurs yet.
we made some homemade ice cream which ended up being the adults because kids were too preoccupied with each other and toys. My mom and I were using oven mits because the bags were soo cold. When all was said and done I know that Skyler had a great day. when he woke up this morning he asked if it could be his birthday again!

Monday, July 7, 2008


This weeks summer SPT challenge was water, and water is always a big part of summer. We have long cold winters, and short but relatively hot summers. It is also Stampede week right now in Calgary, so every morning there are free pancake breakfasts all over the city, a sprinkling of free BBQ's of course daily activities at the actual stampede, and cowboy hats, boots and western shirts everywhere you look. On Saturday we went to a Stampede breakfast at Chaparral Lake, ate a quick pancake breakfast, and then went to enjoy the beach.
The water was actually quite warm, although I wouldn't really be swimming in it, but wading was great!
Ethan LOVED it. He kept filling the bucket up with wet sand, and dumping it all over him. I had some very dirty boys to bring home, but they were happy, and we had fun.
that we right after a jump into the water, although it looks like he thinks that water is might cold, but he was swimming and splashing away.
and I just love pictures of my boys, even when they would much rather ignore me and keep playing.

A Day at the Zoo

Skyler, Ethan and I spent a Day at the Zoo today. We took my cousin Ryan, his girlfriend Melanie, and their daughter Kimberly who are down from Edmonton to visit right now.
Skyler got to feed the ducks in the Canadian Wild, it was kind of neat, once you start going to the post to buy food, all of the ducks start waddling up. There was a little baby duck that they tried to feed, but the bigger ducks wouldn't let it have any. How sad!
Skyler is really cautious around animals, and wasn't even sure if he wanted to be that close to the bear. I did have to re-assure him many times that it was safe. He loves to see the animals though, and really enjoyed the day.
there is a train for the little kids to ride that takes them around the Tiger exhibit. Skyler really wanted to go, so I caved. He loved it, and had to be escorted of by the staff when it was over because he wouldn't come off on his own; His plan included a few more trips around the exhibit.
Poor Ethan was left out of most of the pictures because he was strapped into the wagon, and hey I was there without my husband, and was too lazy to take him in and out of it a million times. As it was I spent a lot of time carrying Ethan, and pulling Skyler. I deserve a nap!

I do love when they have the animals out for exercise, like the turtle. It allows you to get soo close. This one was intent on eating my shoes though.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


52 Blessings, Blessing 17

I am so grateful for the blessing of service. Sometimes taking time out of my own busy life to help someone else seems like a task too hard to achieve, but the moment that I decide to make time for others I realize the importance of doing so, and it re motivates me to do it again. We have been told that there is nothing greater that we can do on this earth than serve our fellow man, by doing so we are serving the lord our God. An easy principle, but sometimes hard live. I am so grateful for the opportunities to serve, and am making a personal goal to look for more!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Farworld Blog Tour

I had the opportunity to participate in a blog tour, and it has been soo fun. I was sent an advanced reader copy of a novel, I get to do a review, and then this humerus author has done a question and answer on the Gondola in Banff.

The novel is a fantasy (which is not really my genre of books) and I was a little nervous going in, but loved the book. I was soo excited to see what adventure the characters would face next. I found myself coming up with situations and then being shocked at what they actually faced.

A fabulous novel, and great read. I can't wait to read the next in the series.

As part of this tour I also get to give away a free advanced readers copy. To win the FREE BOOK you need to leave a comment on this post (with an e-mail address) so that I can contact you to arrange the delivery of the book) I will go to randomizer to pick the winner on Monday.

Wow, when you told me we were going to be doing this interview in a gondola, I brought my deck shoes, my red and white striped shirt, my funny little hat, and I’ve been practicing Italian songs all morning. But here we are soaring over beautiful, tree covered mountains, in lovely Banff, Alberta, Canada. Makes me feel like I’m home in Utah. Except your mountains have a lot more trees than most of what I see out my backdoor. But what I am supposed to do with this oar? Guess, I’ll just throw it overboard.

“Oops. Sorry about that, ma’am! I’m sure your dog will be better in no time.”

Guess we better move on to the questions, huh?

Why did you choose to write Fantasy?

Well it was either that or ChickLit, and the market is down on ChickLit right now. So I thought, what the heck, why not try fantasy? Okay, just kidding. Don’t throw me out of the gondola. The truth is just about as strange. I didn’t choose fantasy. It chose me. I’d already published a thriller and a mystery series regionally. I was convinced I couldn’t write fantasy. But one night this crazy story wouldn’t leave my head. The whole reason I started writing Farworld (at 2:00 am in the morning no less) was to prove I couldn’t do it and go back to sleep. I guess sometimes you need to trust your subconscious. It apparently knew more than I did.

Do any of the Characters in your book take on somewhat of a personal nature?

Oh, yeah. Absolutely! People ask how a writer creates believable characters when I obviously have no experience with being a boy in a wheelchair or a thirteen year-old girl. It’s because I do believe in them completely. It sounds crazy, but I could tell you what kind of music Marcus likes or what pizza Kyja would hate. I’d love to see Farworld made into a movie. But that wouldn’t make the story any more real to me than it is inside my head.

So I have to ask you. What’s with the extra F in Banff? Is it like it would have pronounced any differently if there was only one F? Seems a little pretentious to me. Or is it just another one of those Canadian things we American’s are clueless about like ketchup chips?

What inspired your love of writing?

Okay, I’m going to reveal a secret here that may very well get me kicked out of the “Real Writer” club. I don’t love writing. At least not all the time. I love having written, and I love telling an exciting story. I even love the process of coming up with the story in my head. But the part of getting the story from my head onto paper is like a rollercoaster romance. Sometimes the words come out so fast, I don’t even worry about spelling. I figure I can clean it up later. I just want to capture the story that’d racing out of my head. Other times it’s like trying to dig a jeep out the mud with a hand trowel. It just feels like you have to pull so hard to capture what’s inside you. So yeah, I love to tell stories. But the actual writing part . . .

Hey look at the cute little bird over there. It’s flying right toward us. It’s getting bigger . . . and bigger. Holy cow, I think that’s an eagle. It’s still coming straight toward us. Quick duck! Whew that was close. I wonder what it wanted. I dropped my . . . hey, you, eagle! Come back with my ketchup chips! Grrrr.

Is Far World the first in a series?

If it’s not, I’ve got a really strange sense of humor, huh? Yes. It is the first of a five book series.

Any secrets about future books?

Ohhhh. GOOD question! How about if I just tell you the things that I love to see in a series, and you can make your own inferences. I love to get to the later books in a series and realize that the author had a plan all along that was clearly put in place from the first book. I love to go, “Now wait. Did it really say that in book one?” Then I go back and check, and sure enough it did. I also love to see characters return that I thought I’d seen the last of. I love to build up to scenes where you lay down the book, raise your fist in the air, and shout, “Yes!” because the scene is one you’ve been waiting for the whole book. I hate gratuitous deaths or scenes where I feel the author is playing me.

Hey stop rocking the gondola. Not that I’m scared of heights or anything!

Do you find it hard to balance life when in the thick of writing a novel?

I really do. Those little cars slide off the board, the spinner doesn’t work right, and your Career cards slide all over the place. Wait, you don’t mean the game? Yeah, I have a problem balancing real life too. But I think that’s a part of doing anything you love, there just aren’t enough hours. That being said, I’m hoping that within the next 12-24 months I can make this writing thing a fulltime gig.

Any advise for aspiring authors?

Of course there’s all the usual stuff—read all you can, write, write, and write, learn your craft, and grow a thick skin. But I guess my best piece of advice is to enjoy the whole process. There are enough hard things in life. Don’t make writing one of them. I like to watch how little kids draw. They don’t worry if the chimney is crooked on their house, or if their dogs look like humpbacked cows. They just do their thing, then hold it up and say, “Look what I did!” We have to approach writing the same way. Let it flow. Give yourself the freedom to experiment instead of thinking every time you put pen to paper something miraculous has to flow out.

Well it looks like we’re at the end of our ride. Now we just have to figure out how to get back down. Somersault contest anyone? Thanks for the interview and the ride. They were both a lot of fun

Canad Day SPT

This weeks SPT challenge is Summer Sun, and I had grand plans for my family to go on a wonderful picnic to Elbow Falls, maybe put our toes in the water, and take in the summer rays. Today actually happened to be overcast all day, and rained on our way there, and home. Thankfully we were spared the rain on our stay and had a perfectly enjoyable time; not too hot, and not too cold.

so this is my summer sun (not so sunny day) but at least you can see some sun coming through the clouds.
Jordan and Skyler ventured through some very cold water to the big rock, and had to pose for a picture.
and Ethan loved throwing rocks and mud into the water.

I love family outings, they are so fun, and create such wonderful memories of time together.

Blessings #12, 13, 14, 15and 16

oh no, I have fallen behind on so much. There truly is much that I am grateful for, but now I would like to express my gratitude for good neighbors, both beside my home and in the community. I love the community that I live in, and have nothing but wonderful things to say. My neighbors on either side of our home are fabulous, and I am totally comfortable having them in my home, and have spent time in both of theirs. It make taking holidays nice because I know that they will take care of my home on my absence.

I am grateful for my home. I am grateful that I have somewhere to call home that is my own and I can decorate or change anyway that I please.

I am grateful for the beautiful sunny weather that we have been having, and the opportunity that my children have to play in their pool in the back yard.

Going along with the blessing of sunshine - I am grateful for my air conditioner and the sanity that it brings on stuffy hot night when nobody can sleep - I am sleeping like a baby.

I am grateful for the blessing of being Canadian and the great freedom that it brings. Many courageous souls fought for that freedom and I am grateful!

Sorry for the lack of pictures, I have been really lazy with my camera, but will work on it. I promise!