Sunday, June 21, 2015

Happy Father's Day

It is hard to express how much I love you. You are my best friend and my eternal love.
 You are the BEST FATHER EVER!
The proof is written all over these guys faces. They couldn't wait to wake you up and give you the cards they created for you! Their most favorite Dad in the WORLD!

J gave you 4 CTR Shields- I think that means that you are teaching him everyday how to Choose The Right. Every one of those shields also said "I love you Dad". It's true, he loves you with all his heart.

B drew you two of the most precious, important and valuable things in his world. Two Trains! YlliB loves you too!

This little girl has yet to wake up, she has a card for you too. I think it's the most impressive card you will ever receive from a 19 month old. She is a girl of great talent, she gets it from her Daddy. Yesterday, TWICE, she chose you over me! Me, her sun, moon and stars! I am her galaxy! But yesterday she proved that you are her Universe. She loves you a WHOLE LOT! I'm pretty sure she loves you even MORE than she loves smoothies.

I will forever be grateful for you. You make my life exciting and fill it with joy and love!

Happy Father's Day! We love you more than words could ever express.

Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm an Orthopedic Surgeon!

Sweet little E loves being outside. She calls it "side". There is just so much to do. see and hear out there and all that doing and seeing makes her very happy. 

Because she loves being outside, she is perfectly happy to ride in the stroller as I do my 5 mile runs during the week. She has started to become attached to certain "comfort items" and she will often ask to bring them with her in the stroller. Last Thursday her bear came along for the ride. Unfortunately, bear must have offended her in some way and he was thrown to the ground. I didn't realize that this had happened until I saw bear, now missing one leg, flying through the air. Apparently, she threw the bear down and I stepped on his leg with one foot and then kicked him with my other foot, severing his leg. 

Never fear! Last month I was asked to instruct the ladies in the neighborhood in the art of hand sewing. I said yes, then I looked up stitches on the internet, collected thread, buttons and fabric from my craft stashes and made it happen. Since then I've been dong a lot of mending. My mending is not beautiful by any means BUT I've felt like I'm learning a lot about Using things up, wearing things out and making things do.

So today, I took some brown thread and reattached a leg! I didn't realize it before but I'm a pretty amazing Orthopedic Surgeon! Hopefully bear will have many happy years to come and if he needs any surgery in the future I hope he feels comfortable returning to me for his care.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Running Downhill

Yesterday Morning I ran my longest training run before my next Half Marathon. Twelve Miles. I'll be running the AF Canyon Run Against Cancer Half Marathon. It's a completely downhill race, I'm really excited about that since I run much faster when I run downhill, I have high hopes to get a new personal record! But running downhill also works different muscles than running uphill or even on flat surfaces and so I decided to do a couple of mostly downhill training runs. Two weeks ago mapped out a course that started near the top of the Traverse Mountains (the east west range that marks the boundary line between Salt Lake County and Utah County) and I ran home, that was a 9 mile run. It was great. This week I decided to do it again only this time I added a 2.5 mile loop around Sun Crest, the community at the top of the mountain, I added an extra half mile to the end of the run for a total of 12 miles. It was an awesome run. 

A few weeks ago I lost my music player. This is sad. I enjoy listening to music while I run. I don't have your typical play list, I don't go for the pounding beat, I actually listen to pretty mellow music. Josh Groban, The Mormon Tabernacle Choir, so I don't rely on the music to push me harder or help me keep going. I've had enough experience with forgetting to charge my music players that I am pretty comfortable running without music. When that happens I usually just enjoy the view, pray and think and I usually find those runs quite enjoyable and enlightening. 

As I prepared to go to sleep on Friday night I remembered seeing something on our phone that said FM Radio. So I checked it out, and sure enough, our phone has FM Radio, who would have thought! And so on Saturday I ran with some music BUT I still enjoyed the view AND because the phone has a camera I decided to show you the view too. 

So the first 1.5 miles of my run was actually up hill. It was hard, but as I rounded a corner at the .35 mile mark this is what I saw. This is looking south into the Utah Valley.

At mile 1.5 I started headed back downhill (12% down grade according to a sign for trucks) the picture below shows the view of the Salt Lake Valley from this point.

At mile 4 I was about half way down the mountain and had a different view of Utah Valley and Utah Lake.

At mile 7 I hit the flatter part of the run and made a turn from running south to running west, towards home. The picture bellow is my view from my water stop at mile 10.

And finally, I made it home, Mile 12. It took 2 hours and 2 minutes, which for me is an awesome pace. If I can keep that pace during my race I will most definitely get a new personal best. I'm really excited to see if I can do it. 

Thanks for running with me. It was fun to have you along. Maybe we can run together again sometime.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015


A few weeks ago our 4 year old B asked me, "Mom, do we have a train museum in our town?" No, not in our town, I knew that for sure. But with a quick search of the Internet I discovered that we did have one in our state. I also discovered that the Train Museum was within walking distance of a Frontrunner (commuter rail) stop. So I told my little B that we would make the trip. We would ride the Frontrunner all the way to Ogden and go and visit the trains. Today we did it! Grandma, Cousin CJ, Me and my three kiddies had a grand ole time.

I wish you could see this whole engine, it was GIGANTIC! Seriously, I don't know if I'm just accustomed to toy trains, which are quite small, but I was quite amazed by the size of this steam engine. As you can see the wheels are probably close to 7 feet in diameter. 

The Train Museum in Ogden is in the Union Depot. Because we were chasing train happy kids through the museum we didn't really have time to stop, look at and read much of anything. I must admit, I'd kind of like to go back and be able to actually learn some things, every Mom of train happy boys needs to know cool facts about train history and local train lore. We got to see the uniforms that Conductors and Brakemen wore. We got to look around a replica of caboose. We played in a pretty good sized kids area. Watched model trains wind their way through model mountains and villages. We got to tour a Mail Car and a WWII era Hospital Car and finally we got to play on a steam engine!

B likes to sit in the Engineers seat. E likes to wear hard hats and push levers and J likes to push buttons and watch the scenery roll by!

Grandma treated us to lunch and then we headed home. We spent about an hour each way on the Frontrunner. On our way home we were all a little tired, the boys overheard me trying to talk Baby E into taking a little nap in my arms, it didn't work, but they decided that maybe they would take naps. They pretended to sleep for about 5 minutes.

All in all it was a great day and a fun trip, so much so that I decided that we should probably make it an annual beginning of summer day trip.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Summer Time!

 Last Friday was the last day of school. In 11 weeks J will be starting 2nd grade and the following week our little B boy will be starting Kindergarten. It truly amazes me how fast the time goes. Wasn't it just yesterday that I was blogging about how my little baby J had rolled over for the first time? Nope, that was 7 years ago. Seven wonderful years later, two more amazing kids have joined our family and they are ALL growing up way too fast.

Yesterday we had the pleasure of Grandma and Grandpa Wheeler visiting us for dinner. The kids were very excited. J stood outside with a homemade spear (a triangle of paper stapled to a stick) and warned people to stay away because his grandparents were coming and they needed to be able to find our house. For those 10 minutes the front of our house was completely devoid of loiterers. Grandma and Grandpa found us just in time for dinner. Any guesses as to what B's first question for them was? You may have guessed it, "Do you have trains at your house?". It's a very, very important question and he received the answer he was looking for- YES! He can now safely visit Grandma and Grandpa he just needs to figure out the way to San Jose.

A few weeks ago we sat down with the boys and came up with our basic daily schedule for summer time. Because my children are early birds, our day starts at 7 AM or earlier with breakfast. After breakfast we do our morning chores- J sweeps the kitchen floor and B wipes the table. After chores we have "Learning Time". Each boy spent some time with me practicing some sign language (we use an app called "Baby Signs"). J reads on his own, I'm trying to get him to read as many chapter books as possible this summer, today he started "The Littles", he also reads one page of the Book of Mormon to me. Little B spends 20 minutes doing online preschool and I also read to him for about 20 minutes. Baby E spends this time dancing to the music from B's computer program, tending to her dollies (she likes to put them down for naps), cuddling with me and asking for "Appohs" and "Nananas" I was prepared for lots of whining and procrastinating this morning. I had done my best to prepare myself for massive amounts of cajoling. But, unexpectedly, the boys were excited to do their morning chores and learning work. YAY!

A few years ago I tried to start a monthly tradition of "Temple Picnics". I think we were able to do it twice. But I've decided that This summer we're going to start again. Today we went to the Mount Timpanogos Temple. We had jam sandwiches and juice while we watched a window washer clean the two or three story stained glass windows. Then I did my best to get a picture of the kids in front of the temple. I say it's a WIN! It shows my sweet kids. J, working hard to be a good big brother. B, interested in EVERYTHING around him. And Baby E, trying her best to assert her independence, after all, she's a big girl, she can walk!

 Then we took a walk around the temple grounds. 

It was just after noon when we took our walk and as we rounded the north side of the temple the sun was shining down through a cloud and you could see the sunbeams. I remember as a child thinking wherever the sunbeams were shining that must be where God was looking. Through my life I've come to know that he is watching over us night and day, sunbeam shining down on us or not. But today, as I walked behind my happy children, as I listened to my sweet B say, "Look, there's Ramoneye!" (If you ask him if he means Moroni he will say "Yeah, that's what I said" LOVE HIM!) I really did feel like these sunbeams were exactly what I believed them to be as a child. We were exactly where we needed to be today and we could see and feel heaven smiling down on us.

As we drove home the boys and I talked about why the temple is a special place, why Mommy and Daddy like to go serve and to worship there. When I was on my mission I had a very strong impression that teaching my children the principles of the gospel, teaching them about their Heavenly Father and their Savior Jesus Christ, would be the most important "Missionary Work" I could do. I love being a mother, I love my children with all my soul. I love cuddling them and reading to them and feeding them and teaching them. I love listening to them. They have beautiful souls and they really love God. They also like to make each other really mad, hey, nobody is perfect.

When we got home, baby E took her nap (have I ever mentioned that she is pretty much the best sleeper ever? because yeah, she is, she really, really likes to sleep) and the boys decided to spend a little of their piggy bank money on snow cones that our neighbors were selling. Today was a really hot day- close to 90 I think- and these kids really enjoyed their snow cones.

This has been the perfect start to our summer. I'm looking forward to lots of fun, hot summer days!