- Drive: MD to UT- My Dad flew into BWI 2 days before the drive started. We loaded up our storage unit. Gave away some things and started driving a day later than planned. We stopped in Munford, TN at my cousin Kelly's on our way to OK. Spent the evening of December 23rd sleeping there. Christmas Eve we took some Family Photos for them then drove the last 6 hours into Tulsa, OK. We spent Christmas Day and two days more there then continued our drive west, with Kev and I in the Buick and my Dad and Nicole in the minivan. For the first time we took I-40 west thru Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. Things I remember...1) It was POURING down rain as we were leaving Tulsa. A Semi went plowing down the highway past us and we couldn't see ANYTHING! But we did get out of there safely. 2) We paralleled Route 66 thru Texas and saw "Cadillac Ranch" south of the Interstate. I would've liked to have stopped had I made the connection sooner. 3) I experienced the coldest temperatures of my life driving thru the mountains of New Mexico, -2 F. 4) Sleeping at a motel ON Route 66. 5) Stopping alongside a highway and having Leah take pictures with me of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon off in the distance. She really enjoyed that :) I even let her use my Camera taking shots while we drove thru Northern Arizona on our way to the Utah border. 6) Stopping in St. George for In-n-Out Burger. yum. YUM! 7) Getting into Cedar Hills, UT around 2am.
- Moving into and living in Ogden, UT- We quickly found a place, a split-level 3bdrm, 2 bath, 2 car garage, single family home all inclusive rent for $1100/month. An absolute bargain especially considering what we've been paying in Maryland for years. It was great finding a home and being in our own space. A negative we discovered early on was not having a fenced in backyard. I couldn't let the kids go outside to play unless I was watching. I just wasn't comfortable leaving them unattended. Rightfully so because Owen 'escaped' on more than one occasion and was then found 5 houses down. Several times a month we would get together with my Aunt, Uncle, Cousins and their kids for dinner. I love having lots of people around to eat my food.
- Leah's Utah school experience-Leah was in AM Kindergarten so she could take the bus to and from School. I was not impressed with the school she was at and had a very difficult time getting connected with ANY one there. Her teacher, the school secretary, anybody. When I registered her I mentioned that she had come from a full-day Kindergarten. The secretary registering her mentioned that they had 1 full-day class but Leah had missed the lottery draw the spring before and the class was full. So into Mrs. Cravens AM class she went and became 1 of 32 students in a 2.5 hour long class. She never came close to studying at the same level out there that she accomplished in her first 3.5 months of Kindergarten in MD. At the end of the school year Leah was invited to test into the Ogden School Districts "Accelerated Learning Academy" for grades 1st-8th. She spent 3 days out of class testing at another school. Right before we left Utah we found out she had been accepted into the Program. From what I learned of that school I know she would've enjoyed it.
- Our Weekends in Utah- Friday-Sunday we were living in Cedar Hills with the Rowburys. Hanging out with Grandma, Grandpa, Uncles, Aunts and Friends. Cramming as much Family Time into those days as possible.
- Get-Away- In January we had a 3-day weekend, so Kevin and I escaped to St. George while LMO were having fun with Gma and Gpa. We stayed 2 nights at the fabulous Green Gate Village Inn. We stayed in the Christmas Cottage. AMAZING! The Breakfast on Sunday...delicious. They had a baked apple that was too DIE for! I got to do what I love, take pictures all weekend long. Of course we also ate In-n-Out Burger. :) It was a much needed break. Come to think of it we could use another. :) Any sitters?
- Draper Temple Open House- We attended twice, once with the Rowbury's and once with the Karoly's. It was a special experience to share with my kiddos. Especially Leah and Mason. Leah really felt the Spirit confirming to her that Temples are the House of the Lord and she and Mason both can't wait to be old enough to perform baptisms for the dead.
- Too Much Excitement- In February, while at the Temple Open House with the Karoly's, we had our house broken into and our 3 week old computer, case of 100s of DVDs & CDs, and our Xbox all stolen. Nothing has been recovered. very lame. moving on. Luckily our External Hard Drive was left behind. :)
- February- My family was in town. :) I got to have them all hang out at my place, including my brother and sister-in-law that live in Provo. It was Valentines Day weekend. It snowed 16" overnight. The girls went clothes shopping in the morning, came back with some FANTASTIC buys and had a snow ball fight with everybody. The single sisters and brother watched the kiddos so the married ones could go out for V-day. Kev and I doubled with my folks at Texas Roadhouse. Sunday we took a family picture and prepared for a massive family dinner with my Dad and Mom's extended family and friends in Utah. We ended up feeding 53 people Tacos and Cookies in my modest home. All had fun! :)
- Family Wedding: Nathan and Scarlett- Kevin's 2nd Brother, Nathan, got engaged and married in the time we were in Utah. I got to do there Engagement Photos, Wedding Photos, and Flowers. It was busy and because we were there we went to California for an Open House out there.
- California Trip- Leah flew to California the day after the wedding with Gma Phipps. They love spending time together and wanted some time alone. Leah got to go shopping with Gma and rafting down the American River with Kev's Uncle Mark and his boys. Leah had a BLAST! I'm jealous of her because even though I grew up visiting the River I've never had that opportunity. I drove out by myself with the Mason & Owen following behind Kev's parents. We spent time at Gma Phipps' place in Shingle Springs, went to the Open House, took more pictures, an afternoon with my Gpa and Gma Karoly, an hour with my Gma Graham, an afternoon in Rocklin with cousins and a few days with my Aunt Mary & Uncle Danny in Galt (my second parents home). We took the kids to Rancho Seco Lake for an afternoon. Owen nearly drowned, but he still kept testing his boundaries on how far he could go out into the water afterward. Scarier for me than him apparently. While staying in Galt I met up with an old friend, Julie Roope, and her 2 y.o. son at Funderland in William Land Park. It is a ticket based ride park, but we got an all day pass and rode all the open rides at least once. Owen loved the fast "Dragon Coaster" and we went on it 3 times in a row. Lots of fun! We hung out in Galt till the day after the Hamm Boys showed up. (They are my cousin Kelly's 3 boys...all are about the same age as my kids. They call Leah "the Princess".) We stop at their place in Tennessee all the time. Their Momma, Kelly, is Mary & Danny's daughter. I've spoken of Kelly often, but maybe I should do some "Flashback Friday"s involving her and I. I drove home with Kevin's 15 yo brother, Ethan, as a helper managing the kids. I must note that we ate at In-n-Out burger at least 3 times during that trip and it is the ONLY hamburger/cheeseburger that my kids will eat. :) They have excellent taste. :)
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Looking Back...December 2008-early June 2009
Well, it has been many months, six in fact, since my last post and it wasn't even about my child. lol. Many things have happened that I haven't acknowledged here so here come the bullets.