Sunday, October 17, 2010

Scales and Tails

Yesterday we threw Brad the coolest birthday party on the planet.  He had about 12 friends come over and we played games and ate cupcakes and then we had a show put on by Scales and Tails Utah.  Shane Richins brought 7 of his closest reptilian friends to our house and taught the kids all about the scaly creatures.  He was really quite funny and the kids just loved him. 

IMG_3245 IMG_3249 IMG_3250The tissue balls are a Martha Stewart project you can find here.

IMG_3247 IMG_3248 I used spray-on food coloring I got at Wal-Mart and a star stencil I just printed off the internet to do the cupcakes.

IMG_3266 IMG_3260 Brad’s friends were very generous and he got some really great gifts. 

IMG_3276 We told him this year he had to choose between presents from Mom & Dad or a party and he chose the party.  I’m pretty sure he came out ahead.


When Shane got there he set up a back-drop and a little stage area.  He made Brad an integral part of the show, having him help introduce each of the animals.  Brad was nervous at first, but got more brave with each new one.  This was a Pancake Tortoise named, Shortstack.

IMG_3288 This guy was a red-footed tortoise named, Fuzzy Wuzzy (who wasn’t fuzzy, was he?).  He weighed a lot.

IMG_3300 He also brought an alligator scull and talked to the kids about how to tell the difference between a crocodile and an alligator, and that both of them make very bad pets.

IMG_3310 This lizard looked a little scary with his pointy horns, but he was very tame, even letting Shane tap on his nose without snapping at him.

IMG_3323 IMG_3326

IMG_3328 IMG_3329 Shane had Brad dress up in snake wrangler gear before getting out the milk snake.  At first Brad wasn’t too sure about the snake…

IMG_3334 …but then he decided it was ok.

IMG_3347 Which was good because then Shane brought out Naners – a 13 foot albino python.  Brad, Corbin and Kennedy were the only ones who wanted to get close to her when she first came out.  IMG_3351IMG_3369_edited-1But Brad got REALLY comfortable with her!

And then everyone got a chance to get up close and personal with the animals.

IMG_3376IMG_3392     Lucy wasn’t a bit afraid

IMG_3386_edited-1 IMG_3399And I even got in on some of the action.


It was really a great party and even the kids who didn’t want to touch the snakes still had a fun time.  I will admit I may have gone a little overboard on the party, but I think I had as much fun as the kids.  It was time and money well spent.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Brad!

Today my little Brad turned 5 years old.  I’m still a little bit in shock.  Just 5 short years ago I was holding this tiny, helpless baby:


And now he’s all grown up!!


He chose pancakes for breakfast and I told him I would make them in shapes, thinking he would choose a “B” or a “5” but no, he wanted a bat…it was a bit of a challenge.


He also got a few presents…but I’ll be honest, they were all from the dollar store because we’re paying for a party this weekend.


Brad is such a fun kid.  He has a great sense of humor and usually the only time he gets into trouble is when he forgets he’s a kid and not an adult.  He is an amazing big brother always taking care of Lucy and playing with her.  He is really loving Pre-K and is learning a lot despite the fact that he still says they don’t “teach” things.  Lately we’ve been having a lot of fun playing board games together like Candy Land & Hi Ho Cherry-O.  It’s really fun to play games with him that I loved when I was his age.

I thought for his birthday that I would share a book that Brad wrote in Pre-K last week.  He drew the pictures and dictated it to one of the teachers in his class.  It’s called “Dragons Begin”  Enjoy!!

Brad-Book-1 Brad-Book-2 Brad-Book-3Brad-Book-4  Brad-Book-6

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Better luck with the Pirates

Some of you may remember our experience with Brad playing soccer last year.  It was a bit frustrating (to put it mildly).  Brad was totally uninterested in playing and our little team was horrible, but we couldn’t quit because Joe had come the de facto coach.  Needless to say, I was a bit skeptical when he said he wanted to play again this year, but he did a short season of indoor soccer over the summer and that went well, so we decided to let him play again.  He’s doing much better this year with The Red Pirates (they let the kids pick the name).  He seems to understand the game a lot more and he’s actually become quite a good little goalie (which is the position he really likes).  He also has a friend from church, Kennedy, on his team, and one kid from his class at school, so I think that helps.  Another thing that helps is that we have 2 kids on the team named Ricardo and Ramon who are REALLY good, so we’re not getting our trash kicked every game.  I know that shouldn’t matter, but...It’s not fun when the entire game is spent going back to mid-field to kick off because the other team scored again.  I try not to be so competitive…really I do!

Anyway – here are some pictures from last night’s game.

Waiting for the game to start

In this shot Brad was getting tired of waiting and started spinning on the field…that did remind me of last year.

Action Shot:

Checking for a skinned knee

Protecting the goal

Brad has decided that screaming his “Pterodactyl Yell” at the other team as they come toward the goal is good defense.  It actually works quite well.

Lucy cheering “Go Brad!”

And this is my favorite – doing a somersault to celebrate a goal

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Call

Disclaimer: This post is probably going to use a lot of Mormon jargon.  I’ll try to put a little glossary at the end for those of you who aren’t familiar with all the terminology.

I knew before I married Joe that I was going to have to share him with a lot of people.  The fact is that the man just has a lot to offer.  He’s smart, funny and incredibly at ease in talking to pretty much anyone about pretty much anything.  I was sure that his skills would be put to good use within his job, our community and most of all our church.

Shortly after we moved to this ward Joe was called to be the Young Men’s President.  He’s been doing that for about 4 years now.  It’s a pretty big time commitment.  He has meetings on Sundays, activities one night a week and often on the weekend plus camping trips a few times a year.  He’s been REALLY good at it.  I think all the young men in our ward have really come to love him and to see through his example why it’s important to stay close to the gospel and to work hard and do what’s right.  Of course, any time you’ve gotten really good at something and really comfortable, it’s time to move on.

A few weeks ago our Stake President stood up in sacrament meeting and announced that the next week they would be reorganizing our bishopric.  The current bishop had been serving for over 6 years, which is a pretty long time for a bishop around here.  I immediately thought that this reorganization would probably include Joe in some way, but I think he thought he was home free because no one had asked to speak to him yet. 

We were on our way out the car after church when the Stake Secretary literally chased us into the parking lot and said that the Stake President wanted to see us Wednesday night.  3 days was a long time to wait and speculate, however when we finally got there they asked Joe to be the 2nd Counselor in the Bishopric.  Of course he said yes.  That’s what he does.

So the big change happened the week before last, but I still don’t think we have much of a concept of what it really means.  I know it means more meetings, more assignments  and most of all more responsibility.  I have total faith that he’s going to do an amazing job.  That’s who he is.

Oh – I should probably add that while we were talking to the Stake President he literally said, “By the way, since you’re here…” and asked me to be the Stake Primary Secretary.  I’m going to be doing that in addition to the Primary Music in my ward each week.  I’m looking forward to getting to know more people outside the ward and to learning some new things.

We have always said that we choose to live in this area because we feel like we are where we’re needed.  I know the Lord will bless us as we take on these new responsibilities and I’m grateful for all the support we’ve already received.  It’s going to be a new and exciting chapter in our lives.

Ward - A group of Church members who attend church at the same time in the same building, similar to a congregation.
Young Men’s President – the Ward leader who is specifically responsible the young men ages 12 – 18.
Call/Calling – In the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints we have a Lay Ministry, meaning basically that the members are called to lead the church and volunteer to do so without professional training or pay.
Stake - A collection of wards (the actual number varies widely depending on the area) that represents a distinctive geographical area.
Stake President – The man with the primary responsibility of leading and organizing the Stake.
Sacrament Meeting – Sunday worship service
Bishopric – The leadership of the Ward consisting of a Bishop and 2 Counselors.
Primary – church organization for children under 12

If you have more questions check out

Heber Valley Half Century

On September 25 Joe and I rode in the Heber Valley Half Century bike ride.  We rode 58 mils through Heber & Midway, up to Summit County, through Kamas and Francis and back to Heber.  The map says 56.69, but somewhere we picked up an extra 1.3 miles.  It was a serious challenge, but we had a lot of fun and I’m really glad we did it.

This ride was much more difficult than any ride I had done before because there were some MAJOR hills.  Joe’s ride tracker said that we gained a total of 38oo vertical feet!  The biggest hill was going up highway 32 from Heber to the Jordanelle Overlook.  The hill was about 4 miles long and at times it has an 8% grade.  If you don’t know what that means let me just say that it’s steep enough for them to put up signs warning trucks of how steep it is.  I will freely admit that twice on that hill I made Joe stop just so I could catch my breath.  I did however make it to the top.


And I was still smiling.

Joe also had to wait for me at the bottom of that hill too, because I was not willing to go 45 miles an hour and risk killing myself.  We all know I have control issues.

One fun feature on this ride was that they include a “Biathlon Option.”  When we got to the first rest stop at Soldier Hollow where the Olympic Biathlon was held, we got to hop off our bikes and do some target shooting.  It was fun!

Oh, I also have to mention that I totally fell over in front of like 100 people about 1o miles into the ride.  There was a lot of traffic (bikes and cars) going up to Soldier Hollow and we had to stop at a stop sign and I unclipped my right food from my bike, but I was leaning left and just fell right over.  I was SO embarrassed.  People were rolling down their windows to ask if I was ok.  Nothing hurt but my pride.

Joe and I had 2 free nights at the Westgate Resort in Park City (because we once wasted 3 hours of our life listening to their time share presentation) so we made a weekend of it and Grandma and Grandpa Tibbs took the kids.  We had a really great time and it was a lot of fun to do a long ride like this together.  Joe was very patient with me and only really left me behind on the downhill portions. 

Maybe next year we will ride the century course (100 miles).  But then again…58 seemed far enough.