Thursday, March 31, 2011

Grandboys

Kingston got a new wagon. He loves going on rides in it. Thanks Jessica for the pictures!!
And I also took this picture off of Lesa's blog. I have the most adorable grandsons in the world!!!
Steve and I have been planning our summer.....and it's totally booked already. But it will be a fun one!!! Nathan has been out on his mission one year today. It went by really fast but it also had it's slow moments. I'm sure this year will go by even faster. Today our bathroom is going to ripped out and tomorrow I will start painting it....or Saturday. It's suppose to be gorgeous outside so I may be out there instead. And I have a test today in class. I haven't even begun to study yet.....erg! Here I go....

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Bathroom

So here's another project I'm doing besides the yard and family room. Don't let this picture deceive you. The picture makes the bathroom look better than it really is. It has been flooded a number of times from water escaping from the shower when anyone would take one. So the linoleum is getting ripped out and ceramic tile put in. Also a new vanity. The old one has lots of water damage and a new sink. No water comes out of the old one from hard water damage. Emily has been using the bathroom downstairs every morning and every night. I think she's really ready to have her bathroom back. Also I'm repainting it. Emily wants yellow walls. So Friday....they'll be yellow. I'm getting help with this cuz plumbing is way over my head and I did tile once and I'm not sure the scars are healed enough to do that again. So hopefully it will be done soon and I'll have an "after" picture.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Still empty

Back in the middle of February I ordered a chair from LL Bean. They said it would be here in 4-6 weeks. Most of the time it means around 4 weeks but with them it meant more like 6 weeks. So I was being very patient waiting and today was the day of the delivery. The chair arrived and low and behold......a huge tear in the arm of the chair during delivery. So it's being sent back. I called them and told them what happened. They assured me that they could replace it for me.......in 6 weeks after they receive the one I sent back. I canceled the order. I have patience but not that much. I will be chair shopping again soon. Until then pull up a rug and relax.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Nathan's email

Hey Mommers,
that's pretty weird about the letter not coming in... but i did get your letter, no worries. So things here are going good. Change calls are on Saturday after general conference, so we'll be in Rauma for them.. so that's pretty cool. I think that I'm going to be going to Savonlinna with Elder Pond. So we'll see what happens. It should be a lot of fun. So our number 1 investigator relapsed last week and is now drinking again, so we are now trying to get him off of alcohol again. Its pretty sad because he was doing sooooo good and then that happened but I'm sure we will be able to bring him back again. Its just super sad when you hear about that kinda stuff... so we were pretty bummed when we heard about it... But I'm sure he'll get better. Yeah that's pretty weird that I'll have been out a year on Thursday... crazy stuff... it went by pretty quick... then in a couple of changes ill hit my one year in Finland (that's the big one here) So that I think it will be super weird... but yeah things are going good.. and yeah.. I think that's about everything... I love and miss you!!! Take care!!

Hey pops,

Hey so Festival of Colors sounded like it was a ton of fun. And it looks like you all got super colorful. That would been a lot of fun to do when I get home. So Change calls are next week right after General Conference. So we are going to be in Rauma for that. We'll be going down to Rauma Saturday night for the fist session of conference and then spend the night and watch Saturday afternoon, priesthood, and Sunday morning.. however we wont get Sunday afternoon, because its to late for us to watch it so we'll have to wait until the liahona comes out.

Oh so I read your story of you and Steve Hawks adventure and that sounds really cool. that would have been a lot of fun to do. Those kind of adventures are super cool. Well that's really about all, I love and miss you!!! Take care!!!

Rakkaudella,
Vanhin Nathan Peck
Rakkaudella,
Vanhin Nathan Peck

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Festival of Color

Each year the local Krisna temple holds a Festival of Color for the Hindu Spring Holi celebration. Emily and her friend Hanna were able to attend this year. Next year it's Lori's turn. She felt bad she did not get to go, because she is a person that loves color. And especially loves throwing it around. Next year she going for sure.





Here is me and Emily after the official color throwing. Color powder was in the air during the main event that I could just barely see the people next to me.























Emily and Hanna had a blast:

















As did Steve Waters and I:



The atmosphere was like Woodstock. Watch this classic footage to get the flavor:

video

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ceiling fan

When Jaron came home for spring break I kinda had a list of things I wanted him to help me with. Obviously, with all the snow and bad weather we've been having, none of the yard stuff got done. But.....we got the ceiling fan installed in Emily's room. Her old one was barely spinning. It took us about 1 1/2 hours to get it in. I'm always amazed at how hard they are to install. I think cuz they are heavy and trying to connect the wired while holding it is really hard. My arms are sore now. I really need to start lifting weights. It works great and for Jaron's hard work......lunch at Bajio's!!!
We still need to install one more in the other bedroom but I think we'll wait till Jaron is done with finals. Maybe he'll forget how hard they are to put in.....I hope.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Curtain feddish

Do you ever get something in your head and it's almost impossible to get it out? That's me right now with curtains. It all started a month ago when I replaced our living room curtains. The old ones were 11+ years old it was time for them to go. So I ordered some on sale at an incredible price from Anthropologie. I loved them and the quality!! So Steve brought up how he hates the ones on our bedroom and wished we could replace them (he's feeding my feddish). So I look for a great deal and I found some more from Anthropologie. They arrived but didn't look quite right so Karen and I decided to go to Salt Lake to the store to exchange them. They didn't have curtain but OMG....they had everything else!! Karen and I fell in love with the store at first sight!!! We couldn't get enough at how pretty everything was. No worries though....we just looked at everything and drooled (pretty pricey).




So I re-ordered some different curtains (on sale, or course) when I got home. I was showing Steve last night and he fell in love with some other curtains. These are just some of the curtains that I think are really cute and can dream about. :) It's a good thing we only have so many windows in our house.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

2 years and still going!

I've hit the 2 year mark in working out. It was March 09 that I started going to the gym. My inspiration to get into better shape were my grandsons. Maddox would come soon and Kingston was on his tail. I wanted to be able to keep up with them and have the energy to play with them. I haven't worked out for this long since high school and college....no time with 5 kids. :) So I'm just giving myself a little pat on the back. And these shoes.......they are incredible. They're Pearl Izumi. They have made my 3-5 mile runs so much nicer. They're a little pricey but not any more than any other running shoe. So really not that bad.
Steve needed some new running shoes so I had him just try some on. He's a New Balance guy. He loved them and made the switch. So if you're in the need of some comfortable running shoes.....just try them. Your welcome. :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Finally!!...Nathan's email

It took 12 hours for Nathan's email to get to me. I'm not sure why it took so long but glad it's here!!

Hey Mommers,
So how is everything going? It sounds like everything is going swell back in The good ol' U.S. of A. I'm glad you like the picture.. it took us like an hour to get it to look that good. haha... So things here are going good. This was a pretty good week but not too much happened. however on Tuesday we were tried to contact this referral who lived about an hour away, and so when we got there we knocked on his door and before we could say anything he slammed the door on us and left.... so then we drove and hour back... haha.. it kinda sucked but it makes a really funny story...So that was pretty much the entire weeks adventures.. not really too much else happened. We did some tracting, you know all the fun normal stuff.. haha.. So as far as food goes... i don't really know... kebab... hahah... its not really Finnish but its good... In fact we have a DA today and we're going to a Kebab place... so that's pretty cool.. oh and speaking of DA's we have had 6 in a row... that doesn't happen here.. normally we get 1 or 2 a week but this week we have had one almost every day its crazy... And I really miss making my own food... so I'm excited for tomorrow when i get o make some food.. that will be nice... Welp... So I hope your doing good! I love and miss you!!
Rakkaudella,
Vanhin Nate Peck

Hei Isä,
Hey so things here are going good. The language is still tough (and i'm sure it will be the entire time i'm here so im getting used to the toughness) but is coming easier, I do understand the context of what people say generally however I don't usually get every word... but its going good... So I haven't read the blog yet (its tooo long to read in my 1 hour, so i just printed it out and will read it later) but i'm sure it went good.. Welp have a good week Pops. I love and miss you!!!!
Rakkaudella,
Vanhin Nate Peck

Sunday

Yesterday Russ and Cristy stopped by on their way home. Steve made swedish pancakes for all of us and we sat and talked for a few hours. They are such fun people!! And it was a blast. I can't wait till we go down there in a few weeks to play. Danger warning though....Russ got a new camera and he takes billions of pictures!!
Emily (and all of us) love it when Jaron comes home. She even got him to watch Poltergeist with her last night. Both of them survived.
I got these cute pictures of Kingston from Jess' blog that I forgot to put up. I sure miss that little guy a lot!!!!

No email from Nathan today. Hoping for tomarrow!!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Beginning of spring break

Christopher and Jaron really need a break from school.....their normal fried look.
Christopher and Lesa brought us over dinner.....very delicious!!! And Steve and I got to play with the boys. Jaron and Emily did lots of playing too.

It's always fun having them come over!! Cute picture of Asher bundled up ready to go home. He sure did enjoy having Steve read to him. I love his smile. BTW....I took 35 pictures and only put up this many. I thought 35 would be too much but I'm not sure what to do with all the other cute pictures I take. Maybe I just take too many. :)
Later that night a few of the old "marching band" group came over to make a fire in the firepit. They couldn't get it going so I had to show them how it's done...ha ha ha!! But they got it going. Emily went out to join them and make smores. It was fun seeing them again!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

127 Minutes

This is written for BCC but I thought I'd post it here with pictures! 'H.' is Steve Hawks if you can't guess.

Every year an old friend and I undertake an adventure. H. and I are middle aged now. Past our prime and youth when our adventures were bolder and more carefree. I can remember when we then, full of laughter, took his new pickup and rubbed its shiny sides against aspens for luck while searching out some secreted beaver dam in which to toss a fly. Now we fuss and fret. We worry endlessly about our kids and their kids and temper our exuberance with caution having faced too many sorrows and misfortunes since. We are stressed and plagued with the press of the day to day, and we both in demeanor have that worn edge that cheese graters achieve when used on granite.

But once a year we become eighteen again. We plan a day and fashion ourselves into grand explorers and take to the environs of our youth.

His wife dropped us off on a dirt road. In pictures she took, we cut a pair of comical figures. Camelbacks, pants, and trekking poles, make us look like a pair of amateur bird watchers more suited to a stroll along a paved parkway, then two bold men (in our minds at least) out for rugged adventure. In one of the pictures, one of us points to the desert. It is a hint that today we are not taking to common trails.

We are making for a deep valley. On Google earth it runs like a scar from a plateau that skirts the La Sal Mountains, to the Moab Valley. There are no roads or trails that access that Valley, but dim memories of my friend, and the secret knowledge, rumor, and arrogance that tiptoes through Moab natives, makes us think that there is a hidden slot canyon that runs to that willow-lined Shangri-La. We will try to find it.

We abandon the road and take to navigating through, around, and between the Navajo sandstone fins that slice through the high-canyon desert as we try to make our way to the valley. We are careful not to damage the cryptogrammic soil, wending our way through the frozen dunes fashioned from late Triassic river delta deposits. We wander for a couple of hours, weaving between this rock formation and that, until at last we find ourselves on the precipice of a great cliff. Thousands of feet below us, we see the wide stream of the creek bed lined with ancient cottonwoods. Our objective.

A wind blows hard and cool and we step cautiously away from the edge. There is no obvious way down there. We see several slot canyons entering the wide ravine below, but everything looks as if it ends too far up from the valley floor. We sit down and eat an apple. We realize if we hike about a quarter of a mile forward, we will be on a higher rill from which we may see more of the valley. So we climb up that steep redrock and see hope. There to our left (I cannot give ordinal directions as we are without either GPS or compass, being from Moab we are gifted with a sixth sense) is a slot canyon that may work. It is a slice in the rock like the narrow gouge of a sawcut in a pine plank (on Google Earth you cannot even see it from above—it looks like a small grove in the landscape). Actually there are two canyons side by side. Either one looks like it will get us into the valley.

“We should have brought field glasses.” H. says.

I nod. I think it will work. To get to the place where the narrow canyon begins requires another half-mile scramble but we find it and start down. It is steep and soon we are in deep shadow as we scramble over the debris and push our way through patches of sometimes-thick holly. The grade grows steeper. We decide on some stopping rules. One danger in these canyons is you scramble down something you can’t get back up, and then after come to a drop you cannot get down. You are stuck between drops. You get rescued or die. We decide that if we reach something we are not sure we can get back up we stop. Ok?

We’ve gone a long ways down. Thousands of feet of rock rise above us. Although it is mid-dayish it is dusky and dark. We’ve been scrambling down a while when we reach or first decision point. A large boulder has fallen into the crack we are going lumbering down. It is wedged in the slot. There is a small hole that will take us under it, and a rocky scramble above. I crawl forward over the boulder, edge along a sandy shelf, and find myself rock bound. It’s only about a twelve-foot drop, but I can tell if we go down here we can’t get back up. The sandstone is crumbly and we may have transitioned to Kayenta Formation, much less stable. I try to make my way long a ledge that looks like a possible decent. But I don’t see one. H. wants to look and I back up to where he is and he edges forward. He thinks it looks like he can get down, but I argue that we can’t get back up, it’s too loose. I am the more faint-hearted and skittish and talk him out of trying. Also, when we thought it would be easy, we both foolishly threw our trekking poles down there. We back away and look at the little hole the leads under the boulder. Could we fit through that? Not likely.


H. is unwilling to give up and is looking more closely at the little hole we might be able to climb in, I back up, and find behind a fallen slab about the size of a pancaked SUV leaning against the wall of rock, a passage. I tell H. and he looks and we decided it is worth a try. He goes first (again, being the less timid) and wiggles his way through on his belly. He yells that it ends at a drop off about seven feet high. I hear grunting, huffing and puffing . . . ‘If I can just twist around . . . I can go feet first . . .” More grunting then an exclamation, “I’ve done it!” I then belly through the birth canal and emerge scratched up but smiling. We continue. The canyon is very narrow now. We cannot face forward in some places without each shoulder touching the wall. Two more places require us to chimney to get down similar seven-foot drops, but they are coming more often and getting trickier to negotiate.

Down one, H. says, “I’m going to go see what’s ahead.” I wait above our most significant drop yet. He’s very quiet and I worry a little at the silence. Then his voice returns, “We’re stopped. Do want to come see? Or just believe me and I’ll come up. There is a big drop ahead.” I want to see. Not that I doubted him, but I wanted to stare the beast that defeats us in the eye. It’s a matter of desert pride. I climb and chimney down. He points down canyon and I pass him in a wide space and stare down at about a fifty-foot drop. “If someone put a gun to our heads, I think we could get down.” I say. He says, “I think so too.” But neither of us are really suggesting that we go on. It’s just an observation. We could not get back up it, likely. We also note that our eighteen-year-old-kid-and-spouse-free selves would have continued on.

The way back is much harder than we thought. Getting up some of the things we got down are much more difficult than anticipated. The seven-foot climb up to the hole turns particularly difficult. H. puts up a knee, slaps his thigh and says, “Step on my leg, then when you get up you can pull me up.” I don’t. I’m pretty sure my kind of weight would separate his knee like the joint of boiled chicken being boned for soup. Well, I’m stretching. More likely it would just leave him with numerous knee operations and a lifelong limp. Or maybe, he’d be fine. But I refuse. I grab some handholds and with major grunting, pulling, and some fine rockwork for a lumbering middle-aged man, I get up to the hole. I try and pull him up. It’s hopeless, so he does the same as me. Our stopping rules proved wise. There is no way we would have made it up the fifty-footer if we had gotten pinched off between drops—seven feet almost leaves us stuck. Embarrassing but true.

Finally, after some hard scramble, with constant back and forth mutterings between us of, “I don’t remember this? Do you remember this?” we wend our way back up the slot. We finally reach a nice rock shelf, and stop for sandwiches. It’s been about two hours since we entered the rift.

As we eat, I’m struck with a sense of insignificance. The boulder we climbed over, might have been stuck there since Europeans arrived. Or it could have been lodged there yesterday. I cannot tell. There, next to us is an old twisted pinion. It’s branches yet full of living green and flourishing exuberance. As wide in trunk girth as any I’ve ever seen. We speculate, it might be two-hundred years old. Maybe six-hundred. I wonder how time passes for a thing that was likely old when I was born.

And the canyon itself. There is a presence here. I cannot describe it. I’ve tried to write it, but it won’t come so I yield. Not a sense of watchfulness, because I don’t matter here. Like Moses did, I feel small. Nothing. I sense I am but a fleeting thing, like a fly on the hand, which lands then disappears. Around me are old, old ancient things. They seem present and godlike. It does not surprise me that once people fell to their knees before it. But now I just feel like a minor thread in a grander tale.

After a time. We make it out and find a jeep trail. It joins a more well-marked dirt road which we follow. We reach top of a slickrock knoll and sit for another apple. As we sit there, a shiny yellow jeep drives past. A shirtless man in a cowboy hat, his head out the diver window as he negotiates the rock, sees us. We wave, two characters grinning like hobbits on a stroll. Silly looking, if the pictures we took from that knoll with the La Sals in the background, target our aspect in any way aright. He does not wave back, but gives a slight reluctant nod as if we spoil his manly pursuits. He roars past and we hear his engine a long time after. Finally, the sound of the wind returns and we rise and start our walk back to the main road.


We have aged. Our joints are complaining and we both comment that we will likely be sore in the morning. How did we reach middle age? It was only yesterday we were eighteen. Heck, in my head I’m still eighteen. It’s only the rest of me that protests its age. Unexpectedly, I remember a poem from Tennyson that brings out a smile and causes me to straighten my back a bit and step forward with a little more verve. I end with those lines remembered in part then, but here repeated*:

Tho' much is taken, much abides; and though
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.


.

.

.
* ULYSSES by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Yard

So I started to work on the yard yesterday. I have huge plans that will take the team of lots of people to get it done. But for now....it's mainly me. Though Steve is excited to work on the vegetable garden and cutting down a tree next to the house. He wants an axe and a chain saw for cutting it down. He's never let us own a axe before because of a family story but that's another blog...or just ask me and I'll tell you the story. This gets me a little nervous...if you know what I mean. The tree has to fall in one direction or it will hit the house or fence. He says he knows what he's doing.
But I started digging up some grass yesterday by the back windows. There a pile of wood there and Doc was going insane!! She was scratching at the wood and sniffing around. I just kept digging up grass. I decided to look in the wood to see why she was going nuts. In between the boards was a little field mouse. It didn't move a whole lot. It just froze. I think it knew that Doc is blinder than a bat and it would be safe if it just stood still. And it was right. Doc couldn't find it anywhere. I finally moved the boards a little and the mouse moved and Doc caught a glance (with her good eye) and the mouse was dead in the jaws of Doc. I left. I didn't want to see anymore but Doc kept following me everywhere with the dead mouse hanging from her mouth. I went back to digging and she continued to eat most of it. She buried what was left in Emily's garden.
The reason I'm digging up the grass is cuz it's in my plans but also because I want to put one of those nice swings in. Christopher and Lesa have one and I want one now too. Not till after Steve takes the tree out cuz it will be one more thing the falling tree could hit.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

speaking out

I have noticed that in the last couple of years I have been getting a little more outspoken. Not sure if it's good or bad (depends on the situation) but I kinda like it in a way. I think there are times to voice your opinion and times to bite your tongue. Yesterday I went to the track to go run. There are 4 lanes. The two inner for walkers and the very inner for strollers and the two outer lanes for runners. The most outside lane for fast runners. There are signs all over the place and on the track itself explaining this so unless you're blind you definitely know. As I was running......3 ladies with with strollers packed with kids started walking taking up 3 1/2 lanes. They wouldn't budge for anyone and weren't really walking.....more like strolling. Runners were trying to pass them, tripping and asking them to scoot over. Still they wouldn't move. Finally my run was done and I have to say I was very ticked off cuz of their attitude and not moving for anyone. So yep....I went and told on them. I'm sure the other runners did too. I guess I just don't get why they felt it was ok...or are they entitled to take up the track?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Nathan's email

Hey mommers,
Hey so things here are going good. the week in Tampere was really good.. it was pretty uneventful but it was good. I was with elder Wiklöf and he taught me how to sing the Swedish happy birthday song.. so i can teach everyone when we get home and we can sing it right... but yeah that's really all that happened.. It was a really good week just nothing really happened. That's pretty crazy about the earthquake... that's super huge.. and moving the island 8 feet and the axis 4 inches is pretty crazy... pretty crazy indeed... yeah I'm super sorry I have no idea what to write. Tampere was super fun i was just kinda uneventful... yeah.... then we didn't really do anything else... sorry this is such a super lame letter... but yeah.... But have a good week and I love and miss you a ton!!!!
Rakkaudella,
Vanhin Peck
Nathan and his companion being funny. Looks like a wedding photo...ha ha!! They crack my up!! Thanks Donna for putting the photo up!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

No title

Emily with curly hair. Can you tell? Emily wanted curly hair for friday's band competition so thursday night after she took a shower I put hair gel in her hair and curlers. She slept with them in and took them out in the morning. This is the result. A little curly. Her hair just doesn't hold a curl at all. By the time she got home from school her hair was totally straight.
This is my form composition for our property. The house is in the middle. I made 6 different plans and this is the one me and my teacher thought would be the best. No plants are added yet. That will happen in the next couple of weeks. I really like it but the work that will be involved exhausts me. I guess I have years to work on it.
Asher's beautiful smile!! I stole these two pictures (Asher and Maddox) from Lesa's blog.

And Timothy sent me this picture of Kingston after he got a bath. Look at those curls. Asher's hair is curly too. I think they are all so, so cute!!!
The earthquake in Japan has really been on my mind this week. It's so sad and the tsunami that hit them afterwards....30 ft. wave!! It's just incredible what Mother Nature can do in such a short time. I read in one article that the whole island of Japan moved 8 ft from it.....and it shifted the earths axis. That amazes me. I pray for the people in Japan and their recovery. It makes me think about whats important in life and how fast things can be taken away from us.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Right brain

The last 2 weeks have been so busy. I feel like I'm just starting to get caught up a little. Wednesday I finally got caught up on my homework. It took me about 6 hours to do some functional plans I made for our property. I think the hardest part of this class is getting the right side of my brain to work. I'm so use to using more the left side with schedules, organizing, budgeting and making sure everything is flowing smoothly (wishful thinking) that the creative part is non-existent. So this class is good cuz I have to think outside of the box. But if I could do everything to the front and back yard that are in my plans......Wow!! It would look incredible. It will take a long time to do cuz there's tons of manual labor involved......and I'm the manual labor.
Last Tuesday Timothy and I text back and forth and look at the picture he sent me. It was right before Kingston went down for a nap. I love his smile.....very, very contagious! :)

Oh....and our heater broke down.....dead motor. But the good news is it could be fixed and we didn't have to buy a whole new heater.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Christopher's birthday dinner

Can you hear the words coming out of Maddox's mouth saying........CHEESE?
Christopher wanted bar-b-q steaks for his dinner. Plus baked potatoes and broccoli. A german chocolate cake and mint chocolate chip ice cream to top it off. Since it was his birthday.....that's what he got. And I got to hold Asher. :)
Lesa is such a good mommy to her boys!!
Here are some of the pics. from the evening.
It was so good to see them!!!
And Christopher did blow out all his candles so I guess he gets his wish.....if he remembered to make one. :)
Happy Birthday Ceeders!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More dance pics.

Here are some more dance pictures from Emily's performance last saturday night.








Emily and all the girls did such a great job. I can't wait til June when the big recital is here!!