Thursday, July 31, 2008

Read "Pioneers All" post before this one

Ok, so this is a continuation of my former post earlier today. So after all our morning fun and naps on Wednesday we headed to the backyard to see some sun and see if the pressurized irrigation water that comes out of the outside taps is truly clean enough to get us thoroughly wet. Well, what do you think, given my history with the hose in our yard? We set up the sprinkler first just thinking that we'd run through it a couple of times to cool off so we didn't get our actual bathing suits on. What was I thinking?

Well, I'll tell you one thing, as much as we all enjoyed the water, the dog (Jackie) enjoyed it even more. She would go to the sprinkler head and just bit at it. We were all laughing so hard. And while that was going on, little Mia ran through the middle of it about 8 times in her play dress. She was completely soaked but having so much fun. The other kids went and got on their suits and everyone was about ready to call it a day (in the water that is) until Mia wanted to swing on the swing set. She kept running over there, but the rocks and the swing was burning hot so then she would run back really fast,.......I just lost the end of this post which went on for about a page more.....don't have time to rewrite it now. Keep tuned in!!!

Pioneers All

Tuesday I stayed overnight at Hawkins so I could be there in the morning when they left for their Pioneer Trek at 5:30 a.m. I slept great on the couch but nothing could prepare me for all the kisses, owees, mischief, funny sayings, giggles and tears that I was to experience on a little "pioneer trek" of my own. So, what can be difficult about spending 24 hours a day with four of the smartest, most adorable, and well behaved kids in Utah Valley?
Maybe my first clue should have been that it's been 20 some years since I had tots of my own and that means that I'm 20 years behind on energy and tricks for the trade. Joanna woke me as they went out the door before dawn. She was tearful and afraid that she was going to fold without her kiddos. At the time, I didn't doubt that I could entertain, nourish, and keep alive those beautiful "pioneer" children that she was entrusting me with. That was a GOOD thing at that crucial juncture in time. I profusely reassured her that "I had 4 little ones" once and they all grew to adulthood and turned into pillars of their community.
With Jo and Laren out the door, I thought it would be a good idea to get a start on the day by getting dressed and cleaning up the house before the kids awakened. I did barely get dressed and precious little 3 year old BJ appeared in the livingroom wondering where the "real" leaders of the house were. It was fun to have a few minutes with him to talk about some of the struggles in his life, namely potty training and crying. I felt like my teachings fell on very attentive ears and that I was going to be able to overcome these two difficulties that his parents have been working on for-ev-er. I felt kind of smug in the knowledge that I was, afterall, a sort of expert on raising amazing kids.
Everything was going great. Abbie, Mia, and Christian awoke and we held a "family council" meeting to outline our course of action, rewards, and fun for the four days the other pioneers (Jo and Laren) would be gone. We talked about the day's shooting schedule (we were making a movie for their Mom and Dad and posterity to enjoy later) and plans for water sports, animal rescue, and creative sculpting.
Breakfast was amazing (we had Lucky Charms and I can tell you that there were plenty, if not in the pantry then down in the storage - 14 boxes to be exact, wow, coupon shopping!) The kids already knew that I was a fantastic cook with breakfast vitamins so cleverly disguised as little charms suitable for a cheerio necklace - if they only had some holes in them for stringing. I was sure that each little tummy was stuffed full before they left the table...then came back saying "what's for snack" by 9:30 a.m.
We "shot" the intro to our movie "So, Who's in Charge Now!" which showed them being real sad about saying goodbye to their pioneer parents and very jubilant at our plans for the day. They each created a character with some props I'd brought and some dress ups from their rooms. With the four of them, it was kind of a cross between glam queen and Mario Andretti meet Eskimo Power ranger and soda pop Sally. I'd post a picture of this hilarity EXCEPT we didn't take pictures....this was an action movie, not a photo shoot. But maybe I can figure out a way to get it off my 8mm camcorder and onto a disc....yikes! Anybody have ideas on that?
Time flew by quickly as we rehearsed our lines and played with some new rocket toys and a jump skipper. I don't really expect you to know what I'm talking about during most of this so don't overtax your brain trying to understand. I'm writing this on DAY 2 which is good news and bad news - good because that means we all survived DAY 1 and bad news because although my body survived, my brain is another thing entirely. I may sound a bit delirious so bear with me.
Oh, oh! BJ and Mia now are awake and as you parents know, nap times is the only time you can possibly sneak a few seconds to do anything except just play and play and play. I'll go ahead and post this now and you can just anticipate our next adventures.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Just for kicks!

What do you remember about me?
1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, or if you just met me, anything you remember!
2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you.
Really, don't consider yourself "tagged". I don't like to "tag" people. But, this was on my friend's blog and it was a lot of fun posting my memory of her, so I thought I'd see what people can dig up on me. Play along only if you want to.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Fourth of July Follow-up

Here's my Dad, Wayne W. Ottley in the parade in
Davis County on Independence Day. I'm so proud
of him and think he is still amazingly handsome

after 85 years. When he was released from WWII
the doctor said that he had a bit of a bad heart
(no surprise to Dad) but said "oh, but, you'll live to
be a ripe old age of 65!!! Dad, just keep proving
him wrong.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Humpty Dumpty

It's 11:05 pm and relatively quiet, yet the smell of pyrotechnics hangs heavily in the air. Less than an hour and Independence Day 2008 will be history. Joanna just commented that it seems like "forever" since we were at the balloon launch down by Provo High and indeed all agree this was a long long fun fun day to celebrate America's freedoms and how we as American's benefit from Founding Fathers who had vision and great courage. I am amazed at all they did for us and how their God-directed actions created a nation so unique that people from all parts of the globe want to come here to comprise its citizenry.

Right now I can't imagine the strength it must have taken to gain our independence. I have a hard time just spending a long day celebrating it! Joanna, in her usual wisdom, brought up another fine point when she said (on the way over to the Westridge field to watch the fireworks above the stadium) that Independence Day was one of her favorite holidays. I had to agree. It ranks right up their with Christmas, and everyone knows how nuts I am about Christmas! After pondering why it is a favorite I decided that there are similarities in the two holidays. For instance, they both engender great emotion, devotion and admiration. Our love for our Savior, Jesus Christ, is the reason to celebrate Christmas and the love for our free land is the reason to celebrate Independence Day. And both holidays create feelings of joy that can be celebrated every single day the whole year through; unlike Halloween, which is mighty fun but lacks an overriding emotional theme of ultruism. Just thoughts of memories past Christmases and July 4th holidays can create tears. The only time Halloween could bring me to tears is recalling a scarey memory I would classify more as "fears" and not "tears".

It's been a good one. Joanna and kids were interviewed by Big Buddah from FoxUtah TV at the balloon lift-off and appeared on the local news. The hot air balloons included various shapes like a pig, a strawberry, a flag, Smokey the Bear. They were colorful and amazing as they were propelled skyward. It was thrilling to say the pledge of alligence and then hear some great patriotic tunes. People really get into this holiday! I've never seen so many people dressed to the hilt in the good old red/white/and blue.

Laren and Doug got in some tennis while we stayed home to fill water balloons and later went to the courts to lob them at them from the sidelines. What's a holiday without a water fight?

An interesting thing was happening in down town Provo around 7 pm. Remember the days when we'd go to the booth market down by the courthouse? Well, it was there this year and we didn't want to miss out so, yes, we went to experience the whole darn thing. Well, it has transformed into a huge International (mostly Hispanic) event with most of the vendors, entertainers, and food having a rather "south of the border" overtone. We know that Provo is a big area for Hispanics making a new home in America but we were kind of shocked at how prevalent that theme was. Interesting, no?

It's been a record breaking day...record breaking heat, fun, exhaustion but it was a blessing to have our Hawkins family with us and they kept us completely entertained. From Abbie's grown up conversation, Christian's never-ending antics, BJ's unwavering energy, and Mia's baby babble, we have enjoyed every minute. I hope everyone I love had a similarly enjoyable day. (you can see the Hawkins interview link on Joanna's blogspot)

Thursday, July 3, 2008


I'm just going to burst my buttons with pride at being an American and enjoying the beauty of our plains and mountains. I hope you all have fun fun fun and enjoy being with those you love on America's Birthday!