Wednesday, July 23, 2014


Have you ever heard of the app Waterlogue?  The girls have been having fun with it.  It takes a picture on your phone and makes it look like a watercolor.

 And my favorite...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Zebra Finches

During a visit to Auburn last Christmas we visited with our favorite art teacher, Dana Ross (formerly Dana Solomon).  She had a little bird cage hanging with two Zebra Finches inside.  We fell in love with these little birds.  She assured us that they were easy to take care of, quiet and would lay eggs but likely those eggs would never hatch.  Birds and fish are the two pets allowed in our building and since the girls feel like they have a major void without furry friends in our lives we agreed to get some Zebra Finches.  It took us until a month ago to find the cage and get the birds.

I wouldn't exactly describe them as quiet, and they are very messy when they bathe in their water dish and flick their food all over the place.  The cage lining needs to be changed every other day and fresh water given every day.  But other than that we are quite taken with these two little birds we have named Van Gogh and Matisse (Matisse is a female).  As soon as we put a nest in there we had eggs and just last week one of those eggs hatched.  Out came a tiny, pink, featherless body.  It is fun to watch these diligent parents take turns caring for the newborn.  So much for the eggs not hatching!  Luckily the local pet store will take the babies.

The male has the orange cheeks.  Mom is sitting with the eggs and newborn.

Gotta love pet adventures!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Daddy Daughter Trip to California

While we were at Young Women's Camp Geoff and Ceci went to California, with Geoff's brother Ian, to help his dad clean out the Auburn house.  On the way across Nevada they camped a night where Geoff knew of a good rock-jumping site from driving that same route during his college days.


After several days of cleaning out Geoff's dad's garage and study they made their way back to Utah via a night in Tahoe.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Young Women's Camp

Tennie, Adele and I went to Young Women's Camp last week.  Our original location was cancelled a few weeks ago due to The Rainbow Family, some kind of raucous nudist group that was travelling past our site during the month of July.  We ended up at a beautiful camp up the canyon from Oakley.

The first night Sister Bonnie Oscarson, the General Young Women's President who is in our stake, spoke and set the tone for a great spirit.  The girls loved her.  We made delicious tinfoil dinners.

That night one tent tried to Saran Wrap another tent.  A young woman in the victim tent was cutting through the plastic with her pocket knife when somehow she cut her thumb right down the middle, through the nail.  It was gnarly.  She was sent by a local Urgent Care to Primary Children's in Salt Lake.  She got her nail ripped off and five stitches.  A counselor in the Stake Young Women's presidency is a nurse in that ER and was on duty.  Nice to have a friendly face!

The second day we went on an amazing 5-mile hike.

The Stake Camp Director (and 2nd counselor in the Stake YW Presidency...she stepped in!)

 We had Secret Sister pouches where leaders and girls could leave little surprises.

After the hike it began to hail, and then it began to rain...hard.  It didn't stop until we were ready for bed.  We hung up tarps, we adjusted our dinner plans, the girls spent hours in the tents playing Mafia and singing camp songs along with a guitar, and we discovered that some of our tents need to be replaced due to leaks and occasional collapsing...  We were soggy.

The next morning we went canoeing.  Right when we got back to camp it began to rain, no pour.  It didn't stop until after we all went to bed (and for the young women that was usually around 2:00AM!)  Do you want to hear my survival tactic?  I slept in our van.  Ahhh, it was warm and dry in there.

Bathing in the lake
 Before it rained the young women did some team-building games.

Despite the rain, and everything being damp, I didn't hear a single complaint.  The girls made the most of it.  They bonded in those hours of tent confinement.  We didn't do any skill-building or certification but we did strengthen friendships and testimonies that even when life is stormy we can not only survive, we can thrive!

Daddy Daughter Outing in the Uintas

A few weeks ago Geoff and Tennie had a little camping trip up in the Uintas.

Tennie is almost as tall as I am!  She gets more and more beautiful as the years go by.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Ceci's Milestone

Age 10 is an age of milestones around here: you get an email, you get to go to bed whenever you want (although you have to be in bed), and you can get your ears pierced.  It is hard to be the youngest with these milestones since older sisters seem to have all of the privileges decades before you do.  Ceci has been counting the years until she can get her ears pierced.  But we had a conflict: no earrings in soccer.  Her 10th birthday would be right in the middle of soccer season and she said she would fore-go soccer to get her ears pierced.  Since the kid is swimming in energy, and we need every opportunity for her to get that energy out, Geoff and I decided to let her get her ears pierced 6 weeks before soccer season started.  We hadn't let her in on the good news, yet.  Meanwhile, Geoff had his eye on a blanket that had been left in the park a week before.  For days he kept saying we should go get it, but no one ever went.  Then a few days ago he told Ceci if she went to get it she could get her ears pierced.  Boy did that every get her attention!  She was down the hall, down the elevator, out the door, across the street and back again in three minutes.  Two days later we went to Clair's at City Creek and she got her ears pierced.  She hasn't stopped pointing out that she has her ears pierced since.  All for a discarded blanket.

Sisters making a big deal out of the event

She's feeling very grown up.

Oakley Rodeo

We had a very low-key July 4th.  Our celebration was mostly festive-named food like Grand Ol' American Pancakes with Berries & Cream and Patriotic Burgers with Red, White & Blue Potato Salad and Flag Cake and an afternoon of card games.  In the evening we went to the Oakley Rodeo which was really fun.

The girls were ready to join PETA after seeing some of the calf-roping events, and they thought comments from the announcer like, "The only thing that would look better (than the cowboy) next to that steer would be a milkshake and fries" were totally inappropriate.  But we all marveled at the skills of the cowboys and cowgirls.

Overall it was a very patriotic day.  We're proud to be Americans.