Sunday, July 13, 2008


Last weekend Brent, Baby Jenny, and I went camping with the Rasmussens. We went to Washington Lake off Hwy 150 in the Uintahs. Beautiful setting. It was so lovely to be in those mountains again. My three years of working summers up there have made the Uintahs my favourite place to go be outdoorsy. Not that I'm very outdoorsy in the athletic sense of the word. I don't rock climb. I don't backpack. I don't ride four wheelers or snowmobiles. I don't ski, water or snow.

So what exactly do I do in the great outdoors?

I walk. I identify and collect wildflowers. I throw rocks in lakes. I sit in the shade and read a favourite book or enjoy conversation with a loved one. I find solitude and peace and beauty. I meditate. I daydream. For me, all the toys are just noise that detract from the true joy that can be found in the mountains. I wish all those four wheelers would stick to the sand dunes, and leave my mountains alone.

This camping trip wasn't particularly restful for me, however. I spent the whole time cooking, cleaning, and taking care of Jenny. Notice that sleeping was not on that list. That's right. Camping with a baby = 2 hours cumulative sleep. It has taken me two full days to recover. Sure, the food was good and it was fun to be with my family, but I am absolutely exhausted. Who knew vacation could be this tiring? I bet my parents know, as do any parents who have ever vacationed with children before. This is how it's going to be for the next 20 years, isn't it? Exhausting vacation after exhausting vacation. I'm going to have to get away with just a sister or my sweet hubby once in a while, because family vacations just aren't going to do it for me.

On the other hand, I have such wonderful memories of camping as a child with my dad and sisters. I have great memories of going to Disneyland, Mesa Verde, Disneyland, and Disneyland again. I look forward to providing those same experiences for my children.

Tomorrow we leave for a week-long camping trip with the Jensens. I have loved these trips in the past three years I have been a member of the Jensen family. This year I'm going with a bit of trepidation (okay, a lot of trepidation) after my night with Jenny in a tent. I told Brent I reserve the right to go home Tuesday night if I'm miserable. I hope Baby Jenny adjusts to sleeping in a tent so we can happily stay for longer.

I have always mocked people who camp in a trailer or RV. I've always said that doesn't count as camping. Well, we'll see if at the end of this week I still feel that way.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Jenny Exploits

Today I had a nap after church. This is a rare event and one to be relished, so I was a little annoyed when Brent came in and laid down next to me. The baby was playing on the floor in our room, and I'm sure he thought he'd keep an eye on her and just lay down for a minute. Of course I knew he would fall asleep in about 30 seconds, which meant I needed to wake up. Of course I drifted to sleep again, and so did Brent.

I woke to the sound of Brent snoring, and no other sound. Immediate panic mode. How long had we both been asleep? Where was the baby and what was she doing? Was I going to find her sucking on scissors or something? Things are pretty well baby-proofed, but who knows what I might have overlooked? I got up and called her name. No sound other than the rhythmic thrumming from Brent's nasal passages. I called again. No response. I called again. Then I heard the tiniest of squeaks from our main bathroom.

I walked to the bathroom, the light was off and it was nearly black inside. Jenny? No response. Then I heard a splash. I flip on the lights and find Jenny playing in the toilet water. That's not so strange. She loves to dip her hand in the bowl. Then I notice the toilet paper roll is connected to the toilet bowl. I look inside the bowl and find half the roll of paper, a pair of pink plastic sunglasses, and a bottle of nail polish. I could tell this little girlie was just getting started and needed to be removed from the temptation.

And so it begins.

Bonus Question

You receive 5 Schrute Bucks if you can tell me where I got my poll question from. You receive 10 Schrute Bucks if you know what a Schrute Buck is. You get 15 Stanley Nickles if you can tell me the ratio of Stanley Nickles to Schrute Bucks.

Social Networking

Okay, for any of you who really know me, you also know that I consider myself to be anti-social. I would much rather sit at home and read or watch Price & Prejudice for the billionth time than go to a ward party. Now, I love my ward, and I always enjoy myself when I do go to activities. It's just really hard to get me out the door.

I'm also not great at committing to Facebook or MySpace or any other social websites. I sign up. I kick around for a couple of weeks, and then I get bored. Today I checked out a friend's blog, which led me to another friend's blog. Pretty soon I had a list of several blogs I want to check out frequently. I've never posted a section of links to friend's and family's blogs because a list of three just looks so pathetic. So I was pleased to find out I have more than three friends in the blogosphere.

So scroll down and look to the left and see if you're there. If not, let me know your blog address if you have one, or start one, gull-durnnit!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Not So New News

Brent has been made Elder's Quorum President. Goody goody. It will mean a lot of hours and time away from us, but it will be a good thing. He likes to quip that callings are given for two reasons: because the individual would be good in the calling, or because the individual needs to grow into a calling. He claims to be the latter. "Now I have to care about people." is what he said after receiving the call. So now that he's the EQP, do I have to be better at my visiting teaching because I'll be under scrutiny by association?

I have also received a new call. I am now the Primary Chorister. This will also be a lot of hours in preparation and planning, but it will be fun. In addition to teaching the children the primary songs, I hope to teach them a little bit about music. I want to teach a few basics about rhythm and reading rhythm. I also want to teach them to follow a conductor and how to lead a song themselves. The youth of our ward have no idea how to lead a hymn, so I thought I'd give the senior primary a head start in learning how to beat basic patterns. This will require careful planning, as I want to teach these concepts in a way that is both engaging and spiritual. It is church, after all, not a private music studio, and I'll have to watch myself to keep that focus.

I have been promised that I'll be released as the choir director, but I have no idea when that will happen as the bishopric is having a hard time finding a replacement for me. The one person who has the ability and hasn't done it before refused the calling. So I'll be doing both jobs for a while.

This has been challenging the last few weeks, because I have to take the baby with me to choir practice as Brent is in P.E.C. at the same time. I also need to have her in primary with me because Brent can't have her in E.Q. anymore. I usually have our friend Stacey Egan take Jenny to Relief Society, so that helps. Jenny misses her morning nap due to our block schedule, so she is especially tired and fussy, and that makes everything that much harder. Sundays are busy and hard days for us. However, we believe in consecrating out talents for the building up of the kingdom, so hopefully that's what we're doing.

Recent Happenings

Looking so very glam in her new pink sunglasses. We go on walks most evenings, and this particular time Jenny kept looking over at me about every 30 seconds with a very self-conscious smile on her face. She wanted to make sure that I saw how adorable she looked. Amazing that at 14 months old the girl has already learned how to accessorize and be vain.

Taking a bite of mama's turkey leg. It's almost as big as she is!

Posing with her cousins Shannen and Noelle. We had to do something while waiting for the tattoo to start at the Scottish Festival.

Having fun at the Scottish Festival.

Daddy loves his girlie!

I made this for Brent's Father's Day gift. His office is plain and bare, so I thought a picture of his daughter would make things a little nicer. Plus, his work life has been rather stressful as of late, so he needed something to look at occasionally to remind himself of what he's doing it all for. It helps to have an eternal perspective when you're climbing ladders and bringing home bacon.

Baby Jenny loves playing in her box of books and toys. Getting out the box and playing with the toys is not enough. She has to become one with the toys. She has to immerse herself fully. It is much more satisfying that way.

Having a snack in the woods. This was taken after our first hike of the season. We hiked to a Uintah yurt. It was a pretty walk and Baby Jenny loved seeing all the birds and dragonflies.

After our walk in the woods.

Our new roof. It used to be an ugly blackish color with almond colored gutters/soffit/fascia and had shingles missing in various places. Much better now. If we replace the old railing and plant a garden we will no longer be the ugliest house on the street. We're making progress - yea!

Well, that's all folks! That is what we've been up to the last several weeks. (Well, that's what I have pictures of us doing the last several weeks.)