Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baby Time!

Here's baby Abe ... or baby Henry ... we're not sure yet.

I want to birth children like Jackie births children. They're quick and dang cute.

Well ... this guy was quick.
Eli meets the new baby of the family.

"He's my baby!"

"He is so cute."
When we'd ask Ezra if we should call him Baby Henry or Baby Abe, he'd ponder for two seconds, then delightedly scream, "Baby Abe!" (It kind of sounded like Baby Habe!") He definitely prefers Abe to Henry.

"Ezra, let's let Eli hold him now."


Eli gets a turn.

When we'd try to take the baby away, Eli would reach up and pull him back down.

Dra and the little guy.

Grandpa forces a smile for the camera.

Not because he's not happy, he just never smiles.

Hooray! Congrats James, Jackie, Ezra, and Eli.

Here's the Real Deal Holyfield

Me: "Mom? Turns out I eat the skin of kiwis, and everyone I've talked to has cringed at the idea."

Mom: "Of course you do. I taught you to."

Me: Blank stare, then, "I knew it!"

Mom: "I went with James on a field trip, and John Morley was the grocer, and he encouraged us all to eat the skin of kiwis after we had washed them. The skin has the all of the nutrients, and besides, it immediately melts in your mouth."

Me: Justified

So I am no longer Belly Goat Gruff.
(The Belly part was born because my tummy was so sore at the time ... not because I had just eaten the skin of a kiwi.)
Let me know how all of your adventures go as you experiment with kiwi skins.

Saturday, August 23, 2008


How do you prefer to eat a kiwi?

I've always eaten the entire thing, and I've never second-guessed myself. After watching me down skin and all, Ben called me a Goat and suggested that I move on to eating my plate. The whopping two people that I've remembered to ask only eat the inside. Please tell me I'm not alone.
Nearly Killed My BTF
(Best Teacher Friend)

Jess hatched a brilliant egg and decided that between school meetings and back-to-school night, we should go climbing. We rounded up two other willing participants (let's call them Jane and Doyle) and headed to Draper.

We hiked just a bit to the wall, and wow! Apparently a local dentist had taken the place under his wing, encouraged his scouts to clean up a bit, and now everyone can benefit. There are benches, plaques with hilarious Dental references and the climb's rating, a fence ... We decided on a climb to the north of "Dry Socket," and got to work. It was a grand ol' time peppered with non-stop laughs. While Doyle was climbing, he yelled out "That's a convenient crack!" I was pumped that I got to be outside and away from the school.

Then the laughing stopped.

Jess decided to climb and clean it, and Doyle was eager to belay her. So why not?

Here's why not: It was the most terrifying experience of my life knowing that Jess was hanging on the wall, while down below there was nothing I could do to get the sequence of belaying to stick in Doyle's mind. "Your number one priority is to keep your right hand down, that is what will lock the rope and save her life if she happens to fall," I pleaded. You think this would click, nope. I tried making the process visual: Left hand down, right hand up, right hand down, left hand down, slide ... I tried doing it at the same time Doyle was ... It all resulted in a jumbly, awkward mess of a try by Doyle.
I was hoping that Jess wasn't aware of how scared I was, and I was insanely grateful that it was an easy climb, but I was verge panic. I tried to be supportive and continued to walk Doyle through the process over and over again ... huge sigh ... at least she made it to the top safely, and then ...

"I got this," Doyle reassured us, confident that he understood how to let her down. I finally felt confident that this was the part where redemption would come for the lackluster first half of the climb. I explained to Doyle that the rope needed to come through slowly, and Doyle said he has had experience with repelling before ... I shouldn't have been so assuming that this was the easy part.

The first five feet of Jess' descent was perfect, and then whoosh! She dropped 20 feet within seconds. I didn't see her actually drop, I was watching the rope the whole time. I saw strain on Doyle's face and heard the panicked, "Whoa! She means business," and I lurched and grabbed the rope and yanked it down. My heart was beeping. Jess handled it very well so feelings weren't hurt, but oh man, I wanted to get mad.

Now it's all really funny, and Ben and I can't stop saying, "Whoa! She means business!" Ben was really flustered when I told him the story, "She means business?! Like Jess has any control over the whole thing." Exactly Ben, exactly.

Chapel in Prague:

I spy a crazed waterhorse.

For my favorite Jackie in Kaysville:

Please let these pictures soothe your jangled nerves, and let the hate for the hilarious zoo picture simmer. I told Ben that you would get married in here. He and I were the only ones in our group who were completely hypnotized, everyone else was creeped out and quickly ran up the stairs to the sweet sweet outside. I wish that I spoke Russian so that I knew how many people really attended the ceremonies in this chapel.

One time, when we were visiting the Czech Republic, our Russian tour took us to a Beer Factory. My reaction, "Smells like yeast," and I could not stop my brain from conjuring up Simpson references to beer.

"Yeah! Beer beer beer, bed bed bed!"
"Do you like football? Do you like nachos?"
"Plug it to my veins!"
"When I was seventeen, I drank some very good beer, that I purchased, with a fake ID. My name was Bobby McGee, I stayed up listening to Queen, when I was seventeen."

Me = ShrugBen at least appreciated the monstrosity of production.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Yesterday's unexpected trip to Hogle Zoo Ezra rockin' it in his sunglasses on the lame train ride.
Like mother like son
It's a penguin hat! They also had a darling blue elephant hat.
Lion drink.
Grandpa held down the button and sprayed Ezra's face and shirt. Therefore, Ezra felt the need to let his belly get some exposure.

Both a little scared to see the White Alligator.
Two monkeys
Eli insisted on seeing the rhinoceros, but was terrified when we got closer.
Do I have a horn like a rhinoceros?
No Aunt Amy.
Wahoo! Ezra rode the buffalo on the carousel like a pro. Eli and Grandpa playing the water bottle stacking game.
I am addicted to Eli's smile and his adorable goofy teeth.
Two crazies
Time to go home.
Ezra's saying, "Monkey cheese!"

Summit County Parade/Fair!
I forgot how great this day is. Note to self: Always accept the invitation.
Em snapped these pics last Saturday morning. Jack and SierraI need this outfit ... seriously.
Later at the 4H building, I tapped a girl on the shoulder and asked her where I could buy such a gem, but she just shrugged and said her coach bought them. The dad laughed at me and said he was sorry they couldn't help. The kids were literally filling their quart size ziploc bags.
I helped point out the good ones, but then when I realized that the parade turns around and comes back, I joined in. I figured I could keep it in my classroom for the little kiddies and hey! Now I don't have to pay for it! I seriously almost filled a baggie too. (Don't be thinking I stole from the kids, they were tuckered out, and there was PLENTY to go around.)


Crack that whip! What if the horse just kept stepping backwards?
Bunny that looked like a dog, "and I liked it."

Friday, August 15, 2008

I am not doing okay.

1. So exhausted, but can't sleep. What time is it? 1:52 A.M.? Nice.
("Can't sleep ... clown'll eat me ... can't sleep ... clown'll eat me ...")
2. Someone is blasting Mormon Tabernacle Choir Music. What time is it?
3. It is so blasted hot at night; I need to get me a fan.
("I got the idea when I realized the fridge was cold.")

4. The bottom of my little feet hurt from jumping off of Cottonwood Height's platforms.
5. So late that the crazy "I must suck" thoughts come out. Example: Compliments I received between the hours of 2:30 P.M. and 9:40 P.M.? Zero.
6. I feel like I'm Goldie Hawn on Overboard and I've been slaving away diligently, but here comes the breaking point ... starting with jumping through the neighbor's window, snatching their damn boombox, heaving it out the window, then stomping it til the sun comes up.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cairo's Camels Sittin' pretty
Me meeting our guide and Michael Jackson and soon lamely confessing that I was really nervous.
Don't be nervous!
But? How do I get on?
I will help you of course!
(That involved scooping me up under my armpits in a way too friendly manner.)

Pose for the camera Michael Jackson (a.k.a. Camel Face).

Don't mind me back here getting drenched in bad flirting.

Fake smile as I'm wondering if

1. Ben could ride with me to eliminate a little fear and a lot of winks from our guide

2. Guide boy's going to ever stop with the gentle touches

3. If I can make the whole trip without bailing off the side

Michael Jackson was a little frightening. Katie (in yellow) was positive he was going to bite her.

I was handed the rope and was now in charge of leading our train of three camels. Here's a pic of me realizing I had no idea how to stop these bad boys if they decided to bolt. Everyone is obviously oblivious to our state of danger.

Me looking around for our guide, praying he'd take back over.

Michael Jackson kept twisting his head back in the oddest angle. I was waiting for spit, or a bite, but he was just scratching his head up and down his neck.

Um, Ben? Your camel is really close to tasting my dusty calf.

Maybe if I would have realized that I was in all of these pictures, I would have played along with the other posey people.

Some Egypt/Some Czech Republic Ben snapped this awesome picture, then teased me for gasping and asking why the camel had six legs! Tell me it didn't fool you too.
So ginormous. Did you know there's over 300 pyramids? I didn't.
We were only allowed to climb so high. Stupid movies tricking me into thinking I could go all the way to the top.
Another sign of my ignorance. There are pyramids are right by the city.
Me, Ben, and Sphinxy
Snorkeling trip in Egypt. I can't tell you how much I loved having this guy's camera in my face the whole time. The greatest was when we were climbing back into the boat and getting the salt sprayed off of us only to realize he'd filmed my entire detox. Pervert.
Some coral that we got to explore. Me and the Ben

Here's where we'll be swimming. Here's all of the wildlife we could potentially see ... Yes there are sharks on that sheet.
Please give me tips on how to not look so extremely gorgeous after swimming.Poor Ben and his greenies that accidentally got left behind at the hotel.
We'll miss you!
Turns out that papaya dresses over swimsuits is the best.

Bitey McGee was waiting back at our hotel for us.
Shopping at the Old Market. Ben was so immersed in the culture.
One of the pools at our hotel. We swam in this one the most, and I introduced Ben to the dunking game. He killed me when he chose the topic of Modern Day Prophets.
Czech Republic - Hike to a castleAnother terrifying animal moment for me outside of the castle.

Big Mama was heavy!

Our tour of the castle was in Russian. So Ben and I hung back, and I described what each room was with the help of our English translation sheet. Ben of course was thrilled with each historic detail.

Um ... the hunting room was a little scary.

I hate these stupid mimes. They were so crappy and so annoying and later they frowned at me!

Dear sweet tram that took us to our Hotel Golf every night.