Friday, September 19, 2008

We haven't taken pictures in a while

One of my friends asked me for a picture of Ayden the other day, and it was then that I realized that all of our current pictures were still on our camera and that we haven’t taken any pictures recently. So to help rectify the problem, the other night we pointed the camera at Ayden and told him to give us his best moves.

This is his super-cool
kung-fu-pretzel move!

This is what Ayden does when we ask him to say cheese!

And this is Ayden getting
tickled by Jared.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Teaching Finances to a 9 year old?

Jared and I are Bear scout leaders, and today we are working on requirement #13 which is “Saving well, spending well.” We already did the fun part of this requirement last week which was to play a game with pretend money. We made it a little more interesting by offering treats they could buy with the money they earned in the game.

We have a field trip planned to the grocery store to compare prices on food the last week of the month, but this week is the dull leg work. We are going to pretend to shop for a car for their families, and figure out how much money it costs to prepare a meal for each scout. How long do you think that we can keep the interest of 6 nine year olds on finances and budget? I am going to have to work very hard to make this interesting!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Camping in August

Our latest camping trip was something of a fiasco.

First of all, nature and I have never been known to get along very well. One of the things that I like best about living in Utah now vs. Arizona is that I haven’t seen any cockroaches here, and the crickets are tiny and unobtrusive. They like being outdoors, and not scaring me to death by climbing all over the walls like in Az. I sort of freak out by even little bugs… My bloodcurdling shrikes have been known to happen anywhere at any time, which can be a little embarrassing when out in public. My family, of course, is inured to it by now. =)

So, knowing of Jared’s love of camping, I voluntarily went along. Jared very nicely found us a really great camping site near Bear Lake that had a bathroom with showers and everything. So, packing tons of bug spray and even a tennis racket bug killer, I was prepared to face anything…or so I thought.

I guess our first sign of impending disaster should have been the weather report. We call my Dad the rain god because wherever he goes, he invites extremes of weather. I always think that nations suffering drought should give him an all-expense trip there to solve their lack of rain. Of course…it could backfire. The drought could get worse. I have inherited this on a much small scale. The week after I was born my family was snow-bound into their apartment.

Well, there was a 30% chance of rain that night at Bear Lake, and knowing my track record, I should have realized that this meant that it was going to rain on us. We got into camp and set up the tent and got all of our gear out. As I was making dinner, a roll of thunder and black clouds started making their appearance known. Jared moved the table under a tree and set up a tarp over it to protect us just as the first raindrops started coming down.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I think that the best part about camping is a fire. What is the point if you get to roast something over the fire while you stare at the stars. Of course, there would be no stars that night, and our fire was making a valiant attempt to stay alive. Ayden was completely fascinated with the fire, and did his very best to keep it going by continuously throwing sticks in. My job was to make sure that he didn’t throw himself in as well! He was trying very hard to go home with some first degree burns.

We had foil dinners and roasted marshmallows over the fire. We just did basic cleanup, and sat under the tarp watching our fire sputter and listening to the thunder which was shaking the ground. We made an early night of it and as we lay there we enjoyed hearing the rain pound against our tent…until we realized that our tent is not waterproof! Luckily, we had planned on going swimming the next day and we had a lot of extra towels to wipe up the excess.

We were awoken the next morning around 5 am to Ayden crying and complaining that his side was hurting. We were both freaking out a little and thinking of appendicitis or something like that. So we grabbed our stuff and got everyone in the car, when Ayden decided he felt better. Soon he was running around the camp acting totally normal. Since we were wide awake by then, we decided to make an early breakfast which was a lot of fun. My pancakes turned out beautiful and we also had hash browns, sausage, and orange juice. We did dishes and got all ready for the morning. I was a little tired, so I went into the tent to take a little morning nap while Jared and Ayden played. I must have been REALLY tired not to have noticed that something was wrong right away.

Jared asked me to get something in the tent for him, and it was only then that I truly looked around. It was at this moment that I discovered that over a million tiny black bugs had taken up residence in our tent sometime during the night. They were all over our sleeping bags, pillows, bags, the floor….you name it, they were there. You can only imagine my horrified feelings…I had just recently been lying in that bag and my head had recently been touching that pillow that was covered in the black goo of squished bugs. I am only impressed with myself that I didn’t immediately go all to pieces.

I quickly exited the tent and informed Jared that we were packing up without delay and leaving. He didn’t believe me, until he examined the tent himself. He agreed with me that it would be inconceivable for me to spend another night with the bugs, and we packed up and left for the Lake where we spent the rest of the afternoon swimming and looking for shells. I was happy to get home and sleep soundlessly in a bug-free bed that night. I suppose for our next trip I will pay closer attention to the weather report!