Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Champion Contestants

Many thanks to Jen and Melissa for playing along with my more difficult contest! You would both be excellent contestants on the real TV game Wheel of Fortune!!!
The complete phrases were:

1. LEO THE LION KING--difficulty level: medium
(Leo the Lion is the horoscope sign for part of August, and Lion King is a movie)
Jen and Melissa both got this one

2. AUGUST RUSH HOUR--difficulty level: hard
(August Rush is a movie, and rush hour is a common traffic congestion problem)
Jen got this one

3. HOT SUMMER NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM--difficulty level: easy
(Hot Summer Night is a song about summer, and Night at the Museum is a movie)
Jen and Melissa both got this one

Jen for getting 3 of 3, you win the title of champion contestant and your prize is a package of animal fruit snacks--a frequently used summer treat in our house. Melissa, for getting 2 of 3, you also win the title of champion contestant, and your prize is that knowledge!!! Thanks again girls! (And for the rest of you, I promise the next contest will be tons easier!!!)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I started this blog in May 2008.
In October of '08, I decided to add a blog counter.
Are you my 5,000th visitor since then?
(It's a small rectangle box at the bottom of my right column)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Before/After Contest

One of the first computer games our family owned was Wheel of Fortune. We got it when I was in middle school, way back in the days of the old and slow computers! When I was a teenager, Wheel of Fortune used to come on T.V. right after Jeopardy. My dad loved watching Jeopardy, and I loved watching Wheel of Fortune! My dad knew many of the correct answers on Jeopardy before the contestants did. And in the same manner, I would know the correct phrase on Wheel of Fortune before the contestants figured it out. I'll never be a brainiac like my dad or my husband, but I always felt smarter after watching and playing along with the Wheel!

My favorite category on the WoF game was the Before/After category. That meant there was a 'before' phrase and an 'after' phrase that were connected by one common word. For example: "Rock n Roll Band Aid". Rock n Roll Band is a phrase and Band Aid is a thing, with Band as the common word in both. Got it?

My new contest is a Wheel of Fortune puzzle using the Before/After category (minus the wheel and the cash)! Here's my rules:
1. I have created 3 phrases with blanks. The phrases have a common theme (hint: summertime and movie titles).

2. The letters 'R', 'S', 'T', 'L', 'N', and 'E' are already given in the phrases (those are always given in the final round of Wheel of Fortune, so it just seems fair).

3. Try to figure out 1, 2, or all 3 phrases; the person with the most right will win a SurPrize!! If there are a lot of people that get all 3 phrases right, I'll pick a random number.

4. The contest ends this Wednesday, July 29. I'll announce the winner and the correct answers after that! Good Luck!!!

Phrase 1:

L E _
T _ E
L _ _ N
_ _ N _

Phrase 2:

_ _ _ _ S T
R _ S _
_ _ _ R

Phrase 3:

_ _ T
S _ _ _ E R
N _ _ _ T
_ T
T _ E
_ _ S E _ _

Friday, July 24, 2009

An Evolution of Sport Sorts [part 2]

The summer after my sophomore year in High School, I attended GHA (Governor's Honors Academy). Fifty students from across the state of Utah spent two weeks on the campus of SUU going to seminars, traveling to nearby attractions, working on group projects, and eating, laughing, and learning together. It was one of my fondest teenage memories. Two of the mornings while there, we were taught how to play tennis. I had never played tennis before that, but those two mornings were magical. There was a certain boy who was assigned in my group, and I pretended that we were on a date learning to how to play tennis together. (A girl can dream...I was a month shy of my 16th birthday, and so romantical and dreamy at that stage of my life). For two days, it was my favorite sport ever. I played with enthusiasm and smiled with a flirty grin at the boy as he hit the ball back. Tennis is a wonderful two-person sport!!!

Josh and I own one tennis racket. I believe it came from my parent's garage when they were cleaning it out years ago. I believe it used to be my brother Mick's when he was a teenager. But even though we own a tennis racket, we never play it....probably because how can two people play with only ONE racket?!! I convinced Ammon to join group tennis lessons this summer. He was hesitant at first, but after having group golf lessons, he agreed to let me sign him up. The same group of boys were in the tennis group, and he liked it! The racket that we've been storing in the shed for years finally had a good use, and I enjoyed watching Ammon play. He was pretty good at it, too. Which made me think of those two days when I thought I was pretty good at it myself!
I hadn't really thought of that tennis incident from 14 summers ago, until I saw Ammon playing the sport. It's funny how a memory awakens in the brain after being forgotten for so long! Even now, I still think of tennis as a sport I enjoy playing, even though I had never played it before those two days and I've never tried it since!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

An Evolution of Sport Sorts [part 1]

When Josh and I were newlyweds, we loved being lazy on Sunday mornings: we slept in, watched TV in bed, and just laid around until it was time for church. I think back on those days quite often, now that we have sleepless nights with Kanyon and Josh wakes up at 5am to leave for work. On Sunday mornings in the summertime, the sport on TV is almost always golf. So back in those "good old days", he would curse the TV for not having anything better to watch. He disliked golf, and couldn't understand why anybody would want to watch such a boring sport--he couldn't believe it was even broadcasted!

Now his life revolves around golf...He's been a golf course superintendent for the past 8 years! He enjoys golfing now, too. I teased him when he bought his first set of clubs for wanting to participate in such a "boring" sport! Then he bought me a set of clubs so I could join him. I'm a terrible golfer, and usually go only a handful of times a year with him. So when Ammon was old enough, he bought some left-handed clubs for him, and in doing so, he found himself a golfing partner. Ammon loves to go! Ammon usually golfs once a week during the summer. He'll go with or without Josh; he even likes to go alone. A few weeks ago, he went with an old man, a middle-aged man, and a teenager--none of whom he'd ever met! This summer, Ammon took some group golf lessons. He had fun with some other boys playing the sport and learning about different hand grips, and how to improve his chipping, putting, and driving. I think it's so hilarious how the sport has evolved in our marriage! Who would've guessed that the sport he hated seeing on Sunday morning TV would become such an integral part of our lives!
P.S. He loves watching golf on TV on Sundays now!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

There is Beauty All Around

We are so lucky to live in Salmon! It is so close to mountains, lakes, rivers, and wildlife. It is awesome to drive a half hour and feel like a part of nature! A few weeks ago, we took a "day camping" trip to Napias Creek to visit the Lingers (who really were camping). Napias Creek is just up the road about 20 miles (=40 minutes). We had a great time!

We ate yummy dinner prepared in dutch ovens by Jason & Hailey.
We sat around the campfire, just chilling and visiting.

The boys rode bikes and 4-wheelers around the campsite, built a fort made out of sticks, and fished in the clear creek.After dinner was all cleaned up, and dessert was cooking in the dutch oven, Hailey and I took a walk downstream. We loved seeing all the beautiful little waterfalls. The walk back up was more like a hike, but so well worth it!It was a lovely afternoon/evening, and so relaxing! I was craving to go camping when it was time to leave!! Hopefully that will be as soon as next weekend!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Radical Radishes

Josh wanted to plant radishes in our garden this year. He thought they would be good. I, on the other hand, thought they were gross. But we still planted them for the first time. They were the last seeds we planted, and yet they were the first ones produced! I changed my mind about them, they are SO good! I love eating them fresh! I love the texture, I love the hot flavor, and I love how easy they were to grow! And they are WAY bigger than the store-bought ones. Unfortunately, they don't stay fresh and growing in the ground like other vegetables do, and within 2 weeks of being ready, the unpicked plants have turned hard, discolored, split open, and yucky. Next time, I think we'll plant radishes in rounds, a few seeds at a time. I'm glad that Josh still decided to plant them even though I didn't want to, because otherwise I never would've realized their potential!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Splish Splash x3

This was our first year of multiple children in swimming lessons! I started Ammon when he was 3 years old, and decided I never wanted to begin that early again! So even though Jonah and Micah are 5, this was their first year. I've been working with them every time we've gone swimming in the last year on pre-beginner skills, so I felt good about placing them in the Beginner I class. They had a blast! Their teacher Melissa was fun and she had two assistants for the class of five children! They loved learning--by making windmill arms, kicking and splashing, jumping off the edge, singing and bouncing, finding diving sticks on the bottom of the pool, and holding their breath under water. Their favorite part was playing in the boat on the last day of lessons.Ammon was in the Level 4 class this year. He repeated the class from last year to better some of his skills. His teacher Jaime was the same as last year too! He did SO well this year! He passed off everything, and really learned all the strokes and techniques: the breast stroke, side stroke, frog kick, dead man's float, diving (just to name a few). He is now comfortable about being in the deep end and jumping off the diving board without a life jacket. He has really improved a lot! His favorite part of lessons was jumping off the diving board and doing cannonballs into the water.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

My Vacation Day Off

On June 16, I took a "Vacation Day" from my motherhood job and went to Twin Falls with Josh. He was in a golf tournament in Jerome, and needed a partner, so we took the Linger's with us. It's a 3 1/2 hour drive from Salmon, and the conversation was so nice the whole way. After we dropped the guys off at the golf course, Hailey and I drove into town. We saw the beautiful newly built Twin Falls temple. We were going to do a session too, but the temple was closed for renovations.We went to lunch at a Mongolian BBQ restaurant. I hadn't been to one of those in years and years, and I absolutely enjoyed eating there. My very favorite items on the buffet menu were the Stir-Fried Green Beans, Sesame Balls, and Palm Leaf Cookies. We went shopping for a couple hours, and I bought a large new frying pan and a ladderball yard game with my yard sale money. Then we went to pick up the guys, and we had dinner together. Before making the long drive back, we stopped to look at the gorgeous Twin Falls bridge and the scenic Snake River Canyon.
The day was a fabulous rejuvenation for me.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

20 Questions--Father's Day Edition

After doing the questionaire for my Mother's Day post, I thought it would be fun to ask the boys the same questions about their dad in honor of Father's Day. It was interesting to see their answers!

1. What is something your dad always says to you?
A: Feed your pigs.
J: He loves me.
M: Go to your bed.

2. What makes your dad happy?
A: When we do something nice for him.
J: When we buy him a gnome.
M: When I help him change pipe.

3. What makes your dad sad?
A: When somebody in his family dies.
J: When we fight.
M: When I don't listen to him.

4. How does your dad make you laugh?
A: By telling jokes and being funny.
J: When he takes me to the candy store.
M: He tickles me.

5. How old is your dad?
A: 32
J: I don't know...15
M: I don't know...14

6. What was your dad like as a child?
A: He was a very hard working farm kid.
J: He changed pipe.
M: I don't know.

7. What is his favorite thing to watch on TV?
A: sports
J: football, basketball, golf
M: basketball and football

8. Who is his best friend?
A: Ryan
J: Grandpa
M: Jason and mom

9: Where is his favorite place to go?
A: Golfing probably.
J: Go camping.
M: To meetings.

10. What is his favorite food?
A: cheesecake
J: gatorade
M: chili

11. What does your mom like about your dad?
A: That he sleeps in bed with you, and not in a different bed.
J: When he takes you on a 4-wheeler ride
M: He gives you hugs and he kisses you.

12. What does he do when you're not around?
A: probably work
J: work
M: change pipe

13. What is your dad really good at?
A: golfing
J: changing pipe
M: fixing stuff

14. What is he not very good at?
A: I don't know.
J: He doesn't pick up his newspapers.
M: When he rakes hay in the dark, he could get bitten by mosquitos.

15. What does your dad do for work?
A: He works at the golf course as the greenkeeper.
J: He works at the golf course.
M: He mows grass at the golf course and swaths hay, rakes hay, moves hay bales.

16. What makes you proud of your dad?
A: That he does a lot of hard work for us.
J: He takes us camping.
M: He takes me on 4-wheeler and motorcycle rides.

17. What do you and your dad do together?
A: We golf together.
J: He takes me to the movie theater and on 4-wheeler rides.
M: We change pipe.

18. How are you and your dad the same?
A: The color of our eyes.
J: We both go to the golf course.
M: I don't know.

19. How are you and your dad different?
A: He has a job, I don't.
J: He's bigger and I'm smaller.
M: He's bigger and I'm littler.

20. How do you know your dad loves you?
A: Because he does a lot of work for us.
J: Because he takes me to the theater.
M: Because he takes me on a date with him.

As gifts, the boys got him a new garden gnome to add to his collection in the yard, 2 new BBQ sticks for camping, and a few new Dean Koontz books. Happy Father's Day Josh! We love you! The boys think you're a #1 Dad! I appreciate you so much for the wonderful father you are to them, for your ability to take care of our family, and for the pillar of strength you are to all of us!


Our annual tradition on Father's Day weekend is visiting the Salmon Spokes & Chrome Car Show (or as Kanyon calls it, seeing the "car-cars").

It was raining, but that couldn't stop us! We still went, prepared with hats, hoodies, and umbrellas in hand!!!
This year's favorites (I think we all had a thing for flames!):



Tuesday, July 14, 2009

one fish, 22 fish, black fish, good fish

Every year, we choose one "new" place to go camping (a place we've never been camping before). This year it was Wallace Lake. The last time we were there was in 2001 when we took baby Ammon to have a picnic. It's about 30 miles from our home, and it took an hour to get there. It had been a rainy week, so there weren't very many people there. It was awesome! We got a great camping spot, close to the lake! There was still a little bit of snow patches at the campground, but the twins and Kanyon loved playing in it! The lake was beautiful, quiet, peaceful, and full of fish!Neither Josh nor I particularly like fishing, but Ammon is an avid fisherman! My dad taught him how to several years ago, and now we usually go camping by lakes or creeks where Ammon can fish and the twins can play in the water. Ammon set a record and caught 22 fish at Wallace Lake! Unfortunately, they were all little fish, so we threw them all back in. But it was so fun to see his delight at each new catch!
Jonah caught one baby fish, which we threw back into the water, too. After feeling successful about his catch, he quit fishing. Micah isn't a very patient fisherman, and he gave up after several minutes. But Kanyon was happy to take Micah's fishing pole, and enjoyed throwing the line back and forth in the water. Josh caught the biggest fish, which was the only one we kept. I am the only one in the family who eats fish, and I had planned on gutting it and cooking it, but I forgot. That night, after dinner around Josh's warm campfire, I remembered about the fish. So we threw it into the fire because it was too late to clean it. But then I felt wasteful, so after a minute, I pulled the blackened fish out of the fire with a BBQ stick. I pulled the skin off and just started eating it. I had never done that before. It was actually quite delicious (even though it looks disgusting)! And it was so much easier to eat without all the work of gutting it!
The next morning, Ammon was the only one who wanted to fish some more. There was a little trail from our camp site to the lake, and I went to see how he was doing. It was a beautiful sight with the morning fog around the lake, and Ammon solitarily fishing. After everyone was up and going, we took a family hike around the lake, and up a creek onto some giant rocks. It was chilly and started raining, so we left a little earlier the second day than originally planned. The boys were soaked and cold and whiney. But overall, we had a great time! I think it's definitely one camping place we'll go back to regularly!

Monday, July 13, 2009

I ain't afraid of no Toads!

I saw my first toad ever at Wallace Lake in June. Ammon spotted it in the water, Josh caught it, and I carried it around for quite a while, showing it to everyone. I was enthralled with the way it looked and felt. It was "toad"ally awesome!!!Micah was the only boy brave enough to hold it, and he did so just for a minute before putting it back into the water. I have four sons, and yet I'm the only one who likes the slimy "boyish" creatures: snakes, frogs, fish, snails, lizards. I have a secret goal to convert at least one of them, [so I was secretly delighted when Micah held it for just a moment]!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Identical but Different

Last September, Jonah lost his two front teeth, and by January, he'd lost his two bottom teeth as well. Months later, at the beginning of June, Micah FINALLY lost his first tooth!!! I think it is so interesting when my identical twins have such obvious differences.
It was a bottom tooth, and it got lost when he was sleeping (possible swallowing?), but we wrote a note to a very understanding tooth fairy, and he was still rewarded without a tooth to show for it! (see the gap in his smile?!)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

2 Suprises: 1 Happy, 1 Sad

Josh's dad's birthday was June 9. I thought it would be fun to have a little surprise BBQ party for him. I know he doesn't like people to make a big deal for his birthday, so I kept it small. Gideon helped make decorations and banners for it. I told Josh's mom Kathy earlier that day that we were planning on having a BBQ for Edward's birthday that evening. I knew if I told Kathy, she would tell Edward, and they would both make an effort to come home on time from work for it. I also invited Edward's best friend Clyde and his wife Jan. Kathy arrived, then Edward, and Jan and Clyde drove up right behind him. So even though Edward and Kathy knew about the meal, they were surprised to see their friends! We ate delicious burgers cooked up by Josh and a meal I'd prepared. We enjoyed visiting and spending quality time together. It was a nice little party. I will always remember that evening, and I know everyone else will as well.

Because just over a week later, Clyde unexpectedly died in a motorcycle accident. It was very sudden and very sad. He was an incredible man and the funeral was an amazing tribute to him and the good life that he lived. Edward spoke at it, and did a wonderful job. Clyde is missed, and his absence is felt in our family and in the community. His life was filled with service, and he had a true love relationship with God, with his family, and with the land he ranched, and it showed. There are countless stories of the good that he did for this family, too. I am so grateful to have known him, and grateful for the influence of good that he had on the Tolman family. I spoke to Jan right before the funeral, and she said one of the last fond memories of them was at Edward's surprise party; I agreed. I took my camera to the party, and several times felt like I should take a photo of the four of them together, but the timing was never right and I never took that photo--and I regret it.
Life has so many unexpected moments that we can't plan for. Moments that shake up our lives as we know it: death, divorce, moving, job loss, illness, accidents. But trials can be blessings, right? Those major bumps in the road of life come with introspective thoughts of reflection, gifts of appreciation for the small things we enjoy, reasons for change and motivation to be better. And for that I am grateful, grateful for so many things.

Friday, July 10, 2009

One Month Old

This is Phineas and Ferb at their one-month-mark!!!
Everyday we give them water, grain, special pig feed, and sometimes we give them their favorite--leftovers. They are getting so big!

In the last few weeks, they've really warmed up to Ammon and look forward to seeing him everyday, and he likes being around them too (despite their smell!).