Sunday, July 31, 2011

Shrimp Hater and Meat Lovers

It's no surprise that I love food! I like watching chef TV shows, I like trying new foods, I like cooking and baking, I especially like eating. There are some foods that I don't like, and there are some foods that Josh doesn't like. For example, I don't like steak and he hates seafood, so we rarely have seafood for dinner and he usually makes just steak for him and the boys when he cooks it. So whenever Josh and I go out on a date to a nice restaurant (which only happens like twice a year), we always order pretty much the same thing: he orders steak and I order shrimp! Last month, for the first time in our married life, I saw Josh eat some shrimp and I just had to document it!

Several years ago, the Elders Quroum presidency in our ward began doing an annual "all-you-can-eat shrimp" dinner. It always excited me to go, and I always loved attending and eating shrimp to my heart's content. Josh, however, only went to eat the side dishes and desserts. Well, this year, the old EQ presidency was released, and Josh was called to serve as a counselor in the new EQ presidency. And they decided to keep the tradition of the annual shrimp feed. He cooked shrimp all evening long: grilled shrimp, fried shrimp, buttered shrimp, garlic flavored shrimp. It was GOOOOD shrimp, and I was so impressed with him for cooking it for so long that evening! (He doesn't even let me cook seafood in our house because he can't stand the smell of it.) And at the end of the party, he finally sat down, and actually ate 3 of them!!!

A week after the shrimp feed, we decided to take the boys out for dinner. We rarely take the whole family out for dinner due to the expense of it, but I'd received a gift certificate to the local bakery and I wanted to treat everyone to a dinner using it. On Wednesday nights, the bakery makes pizza, and we'd heard so many good things about it so we wanted to give it a try! The bakery is a narrow building on main street, and there isn't much seating inside. Because they use large fire ovens, they can only make a couple of pizzas at a time. When we got there, we placed our order, and they said it would be an hour before the pizza was ready. So we took the boys to the grocery store and got drinks and then went to the park to play for a while, and when we came back, the bakery was crammed full of people. We waited another 15 minutes inside the restaurant, and thankfully, right before our pizza was done, a table cleared and we were able to sit down. We had ordered a meat lovers pizza (our favorite kind), and it was absolutely HUGE! We'd never seen a pizza so big! It was delivered on a large piece of wood because it doesn't fit in a regular pan or box, so the pizza was shaped like a rectangle. It was delicious, and the boys all really liked it! It was fun to have something different for dinner, and despite the long wait, we had a good time together!
 (I was trying to show how big the pizza was in comparison to my hand)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Like Mother, Like Daughter

We have two horses: QT and Mia. QT is the mother and Mia is her daughter. Josh has had QT since he was 12 years old; she is now about 25 years old. Mia is her daughter, and she is just 4 years old. QT and Mia have a lot in common: they both have similar markings, they are both stubborn, and they both like to bite.

Josh started training Mia last year, and he started with putting the halter on her, that way she could get used to being caught and handled. Then he tied the halter to the fence so she could get used to standing and being tied up. This year, he continued with breaking her (teaching her to be ridden). Every day for a week at the end of June, Josh worked with her! He rubbed her down and put a blanket on her, so she could get used to being touched. Then he put a saddle on her and tied her up so she could get used to standing with the saddle on. Then he put the bridle on, and led her around so she could get used to the bit in her mouth. Then he attached two tires onto the saddle, and led her while he was riding QT and she followed behind. The tires give the saddle weight, so she could adjust to having things move and flop on her back while she is walking and moving. The last step in breaking a horse is to climb on and hang on!!! Josh started in an enclosed corral, so he could teach her how to go and stop and how to turn without her running out of control.  Josh is amazing on a horse, and I liked watching him and admiring how he handled the horse!

The hardest part for Mia is standing still while Josh mounts and dismounts. I personally LOVE this photo of Josh getting on Mia...I think it has a very nice angle!

When he felt like Mia was doing really well in the contained corral, he wanted to ride her in an open space. He knew that it would really help Mia to follow behind another horse in the open. None of the boys wanted to do it because of a scary experience riding horses last fall. They were riding bare-back, and the horses got spooked and took off running, and the boys barely stayed on. So this year, they only wanted to ride the horses around the yard; they were afraid to ride them in the fields again. So, even though I don't like riding horses, I volunteered to help him. I rode QT and he followed behind on Mia. We went on 3 rides together during that week, and I actually quite enjoyed it! I hadn't ridden a horse for years and years, but it was actually quite nice.  

One day when Josh and I were riding the horses in a field, we happened to be wearing identical shirts. Edward (my father in law) was swathing hay on the opposite end of the field, and he said it looked like we were practicing for the upcoming 4th of July parade with our matching shirts and matching horses! Mia was doing amazing well by the end of the week, but she was definitely not close to being ready to walk in a parade! However, Josh is an excellent horse-trainer, and she did come a long ways in a short amount of time!

Friday, July 29, 2011


I love my friends, and I'm grateful for what my friends bring to my life. I am a person who needs to have friends in my life, and because of that, I have several 'best' friends. My husband isn't like me in that respect. He loves his friends, but he doesn't "need" friends like I do, so he doesn't have very many friends. Usually, my friends become his friends! He has one best friend, and it's the same best friend he had in high school.  Josh and his bff Ryan haven't lived by each other since their teenage years, but when Ryan married Josh's cousin Heidi, he became a relative in addition to being a best friend to him! It's great for Josh to go to family functions and get to hang out with his best friend at the same time!!! I think that Ryan had the right idea, and I've decided that the best way to keep a best friend in your life, is to marry a relative of theirs!!!

Last month, Ryan and Heidi came to Salmon for Grandma's funeral, and I thought about some of the times we've gotten together over the years. It's fun to look back and see how different these 2 men looked then, verses how they look today!

In 1999, at Jodi and Skott's wedding:

In 2000, at Ammon's baby blessing:

At Christmas 2001, before Pa-ah's funeral:

In May 2008, for Weaton's mission farewell:

And in June 2011, after Grandma's funeral:

Over the years, I think Ryan has lost a few pounds, and Josh has found a few...but somehow they've both gotten better looking with age (in my opinion, anyways)! When I first met Josh, he referred to Ryan as his "best man". I really appreciate Ryan's positive influence and good example in Josh's life, especially during their teenage years. Because of Ryan, I know that Josh is a better man today! If Josh only has one best friend in his lifetime, I'm glad that it's Ryan that fills that role because he's the best kind of friend to have.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Bucket List: Item #8

Today I had a picnic with my family in Logan. My parents, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, and my sons were all there. It was wonderful! We ate and played at the Willow Park, a park on the southwest side of Logan. I only remember being in that park vicinity once, and it was back in 1997.

In June of 1997, I had just graduated from high school and I was working for Mowin' Ranger. I got the job because my friend Angela's parents owned it, and I started as a janitor for the company. I was so happy to have a job, and I really liked it. One day, Angela took her mom and I for a drive in her Ford Mustang to see a classic car show at the fairgrounds in Logan (which is right by Willow Park).

Angela's second cousin, Josh, was also working for Mowin' Ranger at the time, and he wanted to go to the car show, too. Angela's dad let Josh borrow his street motorcycle to drive over, and we followed behind him in the Mustang. During that whole 30-minute car ride from Tremonton to Logan, I remember thinking how attractive Josh looked on a street bike, and I loved watching him ride.

Two months later, Josh and I started dating. Josh has never owned a street bike, but throughout our courtship and marriage, he's always owned at least one dirt bike. He loves to ride motorcycles, and I love watching him ride. But, still to this day, that first time I watched him ride on a street bike has never been duplicated. I really secretly desire for Josh to purchase a street motorcycle, and for us to take a trip together on it. I want to feel the motorcycle under me, have my arms wrapped around my husband, and watch the world go by as a biker babe. At least once!

My Bucket List item #8: Go on {at least} a day trip with Josh, riding together on a street bike.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Memorial and Burial

On Memorial Day this year, Josh and I took an evening drive to town. On the way, we stopped at the cemetary to put a few artificial flowers on his Uncle Mike's and Grandpa Tolman's (aka Pa-ah's) graves. We placed the flowers on the graves, spent several minutes pondering, and then we wandered around the cemetary for a bit. And while we were there, I had the distinct impression that this would be the last Memorial Day that Pa-ah's grave would be alone. I felt that we would be placing flowers on both Pa-ah's AND Grandma Tolman's graves next year. Nine days later, Grandma Tolman passed away.

Grandma has been lonely for Pa-ah since he passed away in December of 2000. A few years after he died, she became ill and could no longer live at home alone. She has been residing in Assisted Living Centers in Blackfoot and Pocatello for the past 7 years. She's had several health issues, including strokes, heart problems, and complications from Diabetes. But ultimately, in the end, she lost the desire to live. She just missed Pa-ah so much, and wanted to be free from the pains of this life. 

She was buried in a beautiful baby blue casket in the Salmon cemetary, right between the love of her life Rex and her son Michael.

Grandma T. was always so good to remember to send us cards and gifts of money on our birthdays. Sometimes when she accidentally forgot, she was reminded when Aunt Janet would read our blog to her if it was about a birthday, and she'd send off a card right then! She used to tell me that she loved hearing all about my "facebook" from Aunt Janet. Really, she meant my blog, but she never could separate the two from each other! We will miss Grandma!

Friday, July 15, 2011

Just Bounce, it'll be okay...

I'm in a bad mood today.

So, here's some photos that make me smile; they naturally cheer me up every time I look at them.

My boys just love their Uncle Malachi! They've had so much fun with him since he's returned from his mission. They are so happy whenever he's visiting home, because he plays video games with them, plays outside games with them, and jumps on the trampoline with them! And they love it!!!

Malachi can jump higher than the boys' heads! I love Jonah's face in this shot:

This one is my favorite photo in the series! I love the way Malachi jumps!

This photo makes me laugh because of Kanyon's weird position of jumping and landing on his head! That boy has such a tough head! 

Looking at these photos reminds me of simple summer joys...

And now I'm already feeling better!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

riding with the daisy picker

For one week in June, we all had the desire to go bike-riding every day down the country lane that we live on. Our home is on a gravel road that connects to two asphalt roads, and you can make a complete loop around and back to our home again in just 4 miles. Ammon and Josh do it several times a summer, but the twins just did it for the first time this year! And as for me...well I always bring up the rear of the pack with whoever the slowest child is at the time, and this year it's Kanyon.

He likes to ride for a little while, and then stop to get off and pick any wildflower or weed flower he sees. And then we ride a little bit longer, and we stop for him to pick up a cool rock or a stick. And then we ride a little longer, and he stops to look at the clouds. etc etc etc. He rides in true "daisy picker" fashion! The boys made it all the way around the 4 mile loop the first time by the time Kanyon and I had only gone a mile and a half! But this is the first year that Kanyon has ridden his tricycle so far down the lane, and it's been a lot more enjoyable and relaxing (and less strenuous and exercise) to ride alongside him!

These are some photos from my cell phone of a few of our rides together:

The country lane is surrounded by hay fields and mountains. It's so beautiful!

This was the first time Kanyon made it to the end of the country lane where it intersects with another road. At that end of the lane, the speed limit is 25 MPH, but at the entrance to the lane that's closest to our house, the sign says 20 MPH. So apparently if you're headed south, you have to go 20 MPH, but if you're headed north, you can go 25 MPH!!!

Every time he picks a flower along the ride, he says "it's for you mom". So sweet!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Stanley and Sun Valley

In the middle of June, Ammon had a 2-day golf tournament in Ketchum, Idaho. Ketchum is almost 3 hours away from Salmon. Josh had to stay home to work, so I took the boys and we left really early in the morning on Wednesday June 15. The road follows the river for 2 hours, and we only had to make two puke stops along the way! When we got to Stanley, I dropped off the younger 3 boys at Josh's Aunt Janet's house and I drove Ammon to the golf course in Ketchum. He liked the 9-hole course; it's really long, and surrounded by homes and condos, and there's a lot of bunkers. But the coolest part was that their driving range is over a pond! The driving range balls are floater balls, and you hit the balls into the water! Neither of us had ever seen that before!

When he was done golfing at the end of day 1, and I was done scorekeeping for another group of boys, then I took Ammon to downtown Ketchum for lunch. Ketchum is part of Sun Valley, a resort spot in Idaho. It's very pretty and full of unique shops. It's fun to drive around and look at all the different things they have. We found this cool house made of sticks, and had to stop for a few photos! 

When we got back to Stanley, the younger boys had just gotten back from a hike with their cousins. Jonah, Micah, and Kanyon had so much fun playing with their cousins Orson, Sammy, and Bubba when Ammon and I were gone! They sure love going to Stanley!

I took the boys and Bubba to Redfish Lake that afternoon. When we first got there, the boys said they were freezing, because the wind was blowing, and they wanted to go back to their cousins' house.  

I told them we'd drive around the lake before we would head back, and along the drive we decided to stop on a different end of the lake. It was warmer on that side because the wind wasn't blowing as bad, and the boys all gave it a second chance, and they got out and played in the sand and water for a couple of hours.

They tried to dig trenches and holes in the sand near the water, and that kept them busy for a while.

Bubba and Ammon dug the deepest holes.

Since we didn't come prepared with beach toys, Kanyon used his croc to play with the sand!

Jonah and Micah made sand angels.

And Bubba was the only one brave enough to jump in from the dock and swim back to shore in the freezing water!!!

That night, we stayed in the hotel that Aunt Janet's family owns and runs, and the next day, I took Ammon back to the golf course for his 2nd day of the tournament. He played pretty good, but he didn't place. Then we drove back to Stanley, picked up the boys, and drove back to Salmon in time for the boys' last soccer game. And we made it without any puke stops that time! It was a short and nice vacation, and the boys all had a great time!

Monday, July 11, 2011


A month ago, my 3 younger sisters came to visit us in Salmon. While they were here, we watched movies, went to the hot springs, played games, and ate together. (Thank you Trina for the photo!)

And those girls stayed up super late both nights and slept in very late both mornings. Ahhh, the life of the single ladies!

Having all my younger sisters in Salmon at the same time has only happened twice before now in the 10 years that we've lived here. I'm glad they came to visit us, and I'm glad they stayed more than just 2 hours (which is typical for my family), but it happened on a weekend that we weren't able to do many other fun activities together. Because of scheduling conflicts, Josh and Ammon were gone most of the weekend, so we didn't do anything we normally like to do when guests come, like: riding 4-wheelers, riding horses, going for a drive in the mountains, going golfing, or floating down the river. So, I'm hoping that someday they'll come again and we get to do some or all of those fun things together!

Thank you, sisters of mine, for taking the time to come visit us in Salmon! The boys liked being spoiled by you when you were here!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

one year

On June 8 last year, we moved into our new home.

We've now lived here 12 months...

4 seasons...

1 year.

My five favorite things about this house:

1. A master bathroom. For the first time in our married life, we have two bathrooms and aren't sharing one with the kids. I always complained before because it got so dirty sharing the toilet and sink with the boys, but now the boys' bathroom gets cleaned more often than mine!!! I still love it, however, knowing that the only mess in the bathroom is mine and Josh's and not the kids'!

2. Having a Living Room AND a Family Room. Before, we only had just a living room, and the boys would always bring out their toys, and the main room of the house was always messy. But now, the boys play in the family room, and the living room is more of an adult space and thus, easier to clean!

3. A closet for everyone. Each of the 4 bedrooms has nice, large closets. And in our master bathroom, there are two walk-in closets: one for me and one for Josh. We've always had to share a closet, and put our extra clothing in one of the kids' closets before. Josh has the biggest closet, because he has more clothes than me, and for the first time in our marriage, now all of his clothes are contained in just one closet!

4. Having 2 seating areas in the kitchen. With the large bar counter in addition to the dining table, entertaining and feeding a lot of people is made so much easier! I just love the high counter!

5. A separate laundry room. Before this house, our laundry facilities have always either been in the bathroom or the kitchen. I love having all the lint and dust from the laundry machines contained in one space! Even though the laundry room is small, and I wish it were larger, I'm so grateful just to have a designated spot for it!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

On the sidelines and In the game

This year's Soccer Season was 6 weeks long in May and June. This is the 3rd year we've participated. When the boys first started playing soccer 3 seasons ago, they didn't know anything about playing and I didn't know anything about soccer. That first year, Ammon and the twins played, Josh coached, and I was the chairperson in charge of organizing the entire thing. And we learned a lot that year: Josh doesn't like coaching toddlers and I don't like being in charge of something that I know nothing about. So, the second year, Josh and I didn't do a single thing to volunteer and instead we just enjoyed the view from the sidelines watching Ammon and the twins play. This year, everything was different: Ammon didn't play because he was already signed up for Golf, Jonah and Micah were in the U8 league for the first time, Kanyon was old enough to play for the first time, and I sort of signed up to coach. I knew that Kanyon would require extra attention, so I told the organizer that I could "help" coach; as in: "I could 'help' the coach". Of course, you know what that means...I was "THE" coach for his team. I didn't think it would be a big deal, I thought it would be just about telling 4 & 5 year olds to "RUN!" and "KICK!", which it was, but it turned out to be so much more than that... Let's just say I came home crying at least twice, and I had no idea what I was in for when I gold the organizer that I could "help". I'm sure you don't want all the details, but at the end of the season when the organizer asked me if I wanted to coach again next year, I wised up and said "I don't think so".

I missed half of Jonah and Micah's games because they were at the same time that I was coaching my team on a different field, but whenever I did watch them, I felt like their coach on the sidelines (sort of like a backseat driver). I was constantly yelling at them to "RUN!" and "KICK!" and I got all into it, which is so not like me when watching sports, mostly because I don't care about sports. But despite my yelling, the boys did great. The first several games, they both scored and were fantastic players. By the end of the season, the teams were more competitive and the playing became harder and more intense. And the ONE time that I took my video camera toward the end of the season to record them playing, they didn't score a single goal (not that they didn't try their hardest to). Jonah and Micah are both good players because they can both run and kick, and they like to win! It was fun to watch them!


Kanyon did well for his first year of playing. His team consisted of 2 older and fast 6-year-olds, and 4 young and inexperienced players. During his first game, he tripped and fell and was so upset that he didn't go back in the rest of that game and during the next week at home, he kept saying "I don't want to go back to soccer".  But, after a week, I made him go back, and he got over it, and he became a great player! He really liked playing and he wasn't afraid to go against the older kids to get the ball. He was happy to be a part of the team! And I loved watching his little legs go!

At the last game of the season, each of the players received a little soccer trophy, and they all loved it! My 3 boys all had a positive experience with soccer this year, despite playing in a lot of cold and rainy and windy weather! And most nights, I dreaded going so I prayed for lightning so that our games would be cancelled (which of course never happened). And most nights, I came home feeling happier because it was very rewarding to me, as their mother, to watch them play a sport that they enjoyed and were good at and had so much fun in!