Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Allison turns Twelve!

Allison had her twelfth birthday last Saturday. It was her last day of girls camp and she came home looking cute in rag curlers. That evening we went out to dinner to Pei Wei. Afterwards, we went into the Cupcakery next door for a bite of something sweet and she chose the Strawberry Shortcake cupcake. (She loves strawberry anything.) She then went to Aubrey's house for the Hannah Montana concert in 3-D. As for gifts, Ethan had broken her DS so it was replaced by a newer, blue version. She also got this outfit from Justice which she wore to church the next day. We love you Alli!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chris and Dallin tackle the Zion Narrows

Chris and Dallin got to go hike the Zion Narrows with three other boys and their dads on July 24-25. Chris says he's always wanted to do that and its a good thing he finally did before he got any older cause it was a tough hike. It was beautiful though. Thanks to Dave for most of these pictures. Chris was too nervous to bring the digital camera, and most of the pics from the waterproof disposable didn't turn out.

Pics from Shanni's Wedding

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Dallin!

We had a fun-filled day celebrating Dallin's 14th birthday. We began Dallin's birthday celebration by making German Pancakes for breakfast upon his request. We then went shopping for an air soft gun and found them all on sale at Big 5. Finally, around 3:30 we headed out to Lazer Quest for a couple of games of lazer tag and ended the evening eating Rosatti's pizza (delivered by our favorite pizza delivery boy, Scott), and ice cream sundaes and watched "The Three Amigos." The boys played "Warden" afterwards.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Summer Fun

We had an amazing fun time going to the Artful Potter with the Benson Bunch. (Allison was at girls camp.) We also went to Michael's to get t-shirts for the stake girls activity and found these cool glasses, which everyone wanted to try on. Swim lessons were a blast for Ethan and Ryan. Sandy Mann is the best! And we went to the "water" park with Lenise and her kids. We had so much fun with our friends!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


O.K. Ashton.....Here goes.......

I love Chris
I love my kids
I love a chocolate, chocolate, mint, mint creation from Cold Stone
I love snuggling with my kids and watching a movie
I love hearing Ethan talk
I love playing the few songs I know really well on the piano
I love the smell of newborn babies
I love hearing Chris laugh
I love the smell of wet hay
I love watching my girls dance
I love Grandma Bowman's Hot Sauce
I love Lindt Lindor Truffles
I love reading a good book and not wanting to put it down
I love going to the Shakespearan Festival in Cedar City, UT
I love playing board games with my kids
I love going out to lunch with girlfriends
I love birthday parties
I love snow skiing on a sunny day
I love Jesus Christ
I love looking at art
I love warm , fuzzy socks in the winter
I love my I pod and Nike shoes that I can track how far I've run/walked
I love my "Sweet Home Alabama" CD -it has a song for every mood
I love playing Chinese Checkers with Chris
I love my children's friends and am grateful for them
I love watching Allison swim (My Esther Williams)
I love getting pedicures
I love Disneyland
I love pineapple pizza with thin crust
I love anything chocolate with nuts
I love going to church and feeling uplifted and inspired
I love hearing Dallin play the piano
I love playing Wii
I love sewing for fun
I love hiking near Zions
I love putting my feet in wet sand at the beach
I love listening to birds sing
I love driving Chris's car
I love sunrises
I love sitting by a fire and roasting marshmellows
I love hayrides
I love Scott's smile (Thank you, Dr. Simister)
I love shopping for crafty stuff at JoAnn's and Michaels
I love seeing old friends and catching up
I love answering the phone and hearing my mom's voice
I love my in-laws
I love hearing Chris, Dallin and Scott talk about the "Lord of the Rings"
I love finding a great deal!
I love shoes that fit just right
I love hearing Rachel sing
I love Kelley Brasier's Christmas Cookies
I love long talks with my sister Cathy
I love going on a date with Chris each week
I love finally falling asleep after not being able to sleep because Chris is out of town. . . . . .

I tag Kelley, Heather W., Scott, Chris, and Cathy

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Chris's Sunday afternoon reviews: Lord of the Rings Musical Soundtrack

Two years ago for my fortieth birthday Elaine took me to Toronto to see the Lord of the Rings musical and do some other sightseeing. The play was more like a Cirque Du Soleil show than a typical broadway-style musical, but we did love the music. It was very frustrating though that there was no soundtrack CD available, so pretty soon we'd forgotten which songs we'd liked or why. So I was excited a few weeks ago to find out they'd finally created a soundtrack, with a London Cast Recording, which we got off of Amazon. Been listening to this off and on in my car when I'm not listening to audiobooks and its been nice to remember the beautiful music we liked so much about that show.

Friday, July 4, 2008

For the Fourth, some thoughts from author David McCullough

On the courage of the founding fathers, from a speech he gave in Kansas shortly after 9-11:

[T]wo statistics I came across in my work on John Adams, my work on 1776, struck a bell, gave me a sense of proportions that I never would have had otherwise.

The first was that the population of Philadelphia in 1776 was all of 30,000 people, smaller than Manhattan, Kansas [today], and that the population of New York was about 18,000, Boston maybe 15,000, and the population of the entire country was about 2,500,000 . . . . and the audacity of the patriots of that day to claim independence, to stand in opposition to the British empire was such as we probably have to struggle to even comprehend. But the other statistic that I'm going to stress gives a sense of that proportion.

In the same week when the delegates to the Second Continental Congress at Philadelphia were about to vote for the Declaration of Independence, that first week, crucial first week in July, the British were landing a total of 32,000 troops on Staten Island. In other words, they were landing a military force on Staten Island which was larger than the entire population of the largest city in the American colonies. And furthermore, they were the best troops in the world. They were fully equipped, they were veteran troops, and they were only about a day and-a-half, two days march from Philadelphia.

So when those delegates, those founding fathers we sometimes call them, signed their names to the Declaration of Independence, they were signing their names to their own death warrants. They were declaring themselves historically, publicly as traitors. And when they said they pledged their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor, those weren't just words, that wasn't pure rhetoric for effect, it was the literal truth. So the courage that they had is at least as important as any single factor to take into consideration in trying to understand that time and understand those people.

They were not like we are. It's very commonly said, "Oh, the people of the past are just like we are." They were nothing like we are, because they lived in a different time, they lived in a different culture, the inconveniences, the discomforts, the hardships, the fears, fears of disease, for example, that they had to live with on a daily basis were of a kind that we don't know.
Consider, for example, when the first Continental Congress set off-the members of that Congress set off to go to Philadelphia for the first meeting of the Congress, they were going to a city in which only the year before, really less than 12 months before, more than 300 people had died of smallpox. Now, that's one percent of the population. It would be as if a meeting were going to be held in Philadelphia today and over 10,000 people within the last eight or nine months had died of smallpox. How many would be brave enough to go there? And, of course, there's been no cure for smallpox, and smallpox is a killer. And in fact, one delegate to the First Continental Congress died of smallpox. But they went anyway. They followed their principles, if you will, and we are all their beneficiaries.

One would hope that at least among the most important side effects of a knowledge of history or appreciation of history is a capacity for gratitude, our gratitude for all that has been done for us through essentially, it seems to me, three great qualities that we should draw upon.

The first is courage. We're all descended, every one of us is descended from someone of enormous courage, fortitude, strength, toughness. Imagine just crossing the Atlantic Ocean to come here in the 17th Century or the 18th Century. Horrible, and almost as perilous as anything one could comprehend. And on into the 19th Century, the risks they were taking. This nation was built on risk. We are risk takers, we've always been risk takers.

I think to me as moving to my spirit, as memorable as any moment in the whole process of writing the book about John Adams, was the day I went with my son in the dead of winter, just this time of year, February, to stand at about the place that we think that John Quincy Adams, the father and the little boy, stood on the shores near Quincy at what's called Howe's Neck, with the wind blowing, with the temperature in the low 20s, nearly dark, on a day in mid February, to be picked up in a rowboat and taken out to the U.S. frigate Boston to sail for France, in the midst of winter and in the midst of war, neither the father nor the son having ever set foot on a ship before in his life.

Well, my son and I went to that place. John Quincy Adams was ten years old at the time, a little boy. His father was in his early forties. My son is in his early forties. We got out of nice warm car and we had good L.L. Bean down coats on and we walked down across the snow to the water's edge, and the wind was blowing and it was about 30 degrees, not 20 degrees, and it was bitterly cold. And the sky was lowering, glowering and these big green rollers were coming in, and we tried to imagine what it would have been like to have gotten into that rowboat and gone out to a frigate sitting out on the horizon, to sail to France in the midst of winter. Nobody ever went to sea on the North Atlantic in the winter if it could be avoided, even in peacetime. And to go in the midst of war was to go knowing that there were British cruisers lying offshore just waiting to capture a ship with somebody like John Adams, to take him to London, to the tower to be hanged.

I think I felt then in a way one can only feel from the experience of being at the place in roughly the same conditions, the extraordinary courage of that man, and to be taking his son, because his wife Abigail wanted the boy to go to see history happening and to see his father in action, and to learn from his father and to experience the associations that she knew he would have with some of the greatest minds of that extraordinary 18th Century once they reached France.

The whole speech can be found at: http://www.k-state.edu/media/newsreleases/landonlect/mcculloughtext202.html