Friday, January 31, 2014

January 2014 on FB

January 2: Went skiing today for the first time in 10 years. I forgot just how much I LOVE it! It was awesome to be on the slopes with my husband, sons, father, sisters, brother in law, and nieces & nephews. It was a gorgeous day in Logan Canyon and I enjoyed every second on the mountain!

January 3: The new version of the movie "Secret Life of Walter Mitty" was fabulous: thought-provoking, heart-felt, and wholesome-clean humor. I really enjoyed it!

January 4: My agenda for today: rearranging the family room. Needless to say, Josh heard that and has already left the house!!!

January 5: Did our 17-day break from school not seem long enough to anyone else? Sadly, I can't believe how quickly it passed! I'm kind of jealous of all the schools that are closed tomorrow across the U.S. due to freezing temps!

January 11: Our oldest son Ammon turns 14 today!!! He chose to celebrate it by going skiing with us (well...we all ski and he snowboards) and bringing along a friend. Thanks for picking a great way to spend your birthday, son! We love you and are so proud of you!

January 15: I watched "Saving Mr. Banks" in the theater last week, and not a day has passed since then that I haven't thought about it. It was an excellent movie, and brought tears to my eyes. I sincerely love good quality movies! It was definitely worth seeing!

January 17: Well done Ammon at your first basketball game of the season! That perfect 3-pointer shot was the highlight for me from your winning game!

January 17: Woo Hoo! I got my official acceptance letter today to begin my studies at Western Governor's University on February 1!!! I'm so excited to finish this journey that I started 17 years ago!

January 20: I'm SOOOOO excited to FINALLY see P!NK in concert TONIGHT!!!
January 26: Watching the Grammy's. I had my 5th graders vote on the nominees, and am grading their ballots as I'm watching the musical performances. The 5th graders had a contest with the high school band to see who got more right: it's a fun tradition I have! But so far, my family hasn't been too impressed with all the songs performed...

January 29: We went from zero snow to 4.5 inches of it in one day! And it's still coming down! The kids are home early from school because of it and are now having a grand ol' time sledding! Thank you, father above, for answering our prayers and delivering such heavenly precipitation!

January 30: One bonus for having school cancelled today: I completed my university's orientation class!!!

2014 Family Goals

I believe that goals are motivational tools that help us to grow into our potential, and they help us improve areas of our lives that need strengthening.  Our family worked on our individual goals at the first Family Home Evening in January. We reported to each other what our 2013 goals were, and if we were successful at accomplishing them or not. Then we all spent time thinking and writing down new goals for ourselves for 2014. Here's the list of our family members, reports of last year's goals, and what our new goals are:

I already listed my 2013 goals report in a previous blog post, click HERE to see that reference.
Jan. 2013
My 2014 categorized goals are:
1. PERSONAL: Do at least 10 blog posts a month
2. SPIRITUAL: Go to the temple 6 times
3. EDUCATIONAL: Complete 25 university credits
4. MARRIAGE: Go on a date with Josh once a month
5. PHYSICAL: Exercise every week
6. FINANCIAL: Pay off my credit card
7. SOCIAL: Do a random act of kindness once a month

These were his 2013 goals:
1. Write in journal once a week - fail
2. Learn Spanish - fail (He bought a book to help teach himself the language, but never took the time to read it.)
3. Lose 2 inches off waist - fail (He does a lot better with this goal during the summer, but never fully reached the 2 inch mark.)
4. Do service every day - He is always doing service for our family and for others, but he didn't document this, so he's not sure if he did something every single day.
Oct. 2013
His 2014 goals:
1. Get at least 50% Home Teaching done this year.
2. Pay off car and credit card.
3. Get weight under 200 lbs.
4. Read Old Testament
5. Climb at least 1 mountain
6. Get to a 20 handicap or less
7. Break our horse Mia to ride
8. Spend one-on-one time with boys each month

His 2013 goal report:
1. Pay attention to speakers in Sacrament Meeting at church - achieved
2. Get straight A's in school - achieved
3. Don't hurt brothers - failed
4. Beat my mile record - achieved
5. Stay in shape all year - he said he failed this one, but I think he achieved it. He had basketball, track, changed pipe, and ran cross country, so he was physically fit during each season of the year.
6. Earn Eagle in scouts - achieved
7. Buy gaming system - achieved
May 2013
His 2014 goals (the biggest list of any of us!):
1. Get straight A's in school.
2. Write in my journal at least once a week
3. Beat my lowest score at golf
4. Don't hurt my brothers more than once a week
5. Teach at least 4 lessons in Young Men's at church
6. Be able to play at least 10 hymns on the piano
7. Save $2,000 and spend less than $500
8. Play with the extras in Men's Golf League twice a month in summer
9. Do a service for someone every day
10. Be the 3rd runner on the cross country team

His 2013 Goals report:
1. Be reverent in Sacrament Meeting at church - achieved
2. Don't rock chair at school - achieved
3. Do a cartwheel - achieved (it's not a pretty one, but he can do it)
4. Write in journal once a month - failed
5. Earn Bear badge in scouts - achieved
6. Do service for 1 family member every day - failed (but he helped me a LOT and was happy to serve when asked, so I don't think this was really a failure)
Oct. 2013
His 2014 Goals:
1. SCHOOL: Earn AR Goal (Accelerated Reading) every quarter
2. HOME: Play less than 2 hours a day on video games
3. FAMILY: Don't call brothers names
4. CHURCH: Actually sing in primary
5. CHURCH: Pay attention in Sacrament meeting and Primary class
6. PHYSICAL: Exercise 5 days a week

His 2013 Goals report:
1. Listen in Primary class - {mostly} achieved (there were several occasions where he had to be reminded to listen!)
2. Write more neatly - achieved
3. Do a walking handstand - achieved
4. Read 50 books by the end of 3rd grade - {mostly} achieved. He took AR tests on almost 40 books, and he could've read more that he didn't take tests on, but he couldn't remember.
5. Don't be physically mean to brothers - failed
6. Do service every day - failed
July 2013
His 2014 Goals:
1. Don't name call
2. Listen in Sacrament meeting and Primary class
3. Read at least 2 books a month
4. Save $200
5. Get all A's in school
6. Don't say "freaking" or "frick"
7. Exercise 2 times a week

His 2013 Goals report:
1. Don't bang head at school - achieved
2. Don't pee the bed - failed
3. Do chores alone - {mostly} achieved (he still needs help & motivation cleaning his room and doing his laundry, but can do the chores for the living spaces in the home by himself)
4. Write last name - achieved
5. Don't cry about having to go to church - achieved
6. Don't hit brothers - failed
Aug. 2013
His 2014 Goals:
1. Don't be mean at school
2. Brush my teeth every night
3. Get ready by myself every morning
4. Weed garden row by myself
(This was the first year that he's ever come up with his goals all by himself, and he even wrote them down by himself. I was so impressed!!)

In addition to individual goals, I had a thought come to me that we needed to work on family goals this year as well. When we went to church in Stanley at the end of December, several inspiring thoughts entered my mind about what we needed to work on together in the coming year in order to have a more Christ-centered home. So, I proposed the ideas to the rest of the family, and they agreed to help work together on the goals.
Oct. 2013
FAMILY GOAL #1: Finish reading the Book of Mormon by the end of the year. In order to obtain this goal, we decided to read together every weekday night instead of at just once a week at Family Home Evening.

FAMILY GOAL #2: Have family prayer and  family scripture study every weekday night (this is in conjunction with the first goal). Basically, we've only been doing this at Family Home Evening on Monday nights, so this is building on a current habit.

FAMILY GOAL #3: Have a lesson from the "Preach my Gospel" manual at every Family Home Evening. Currently, our Family Home Evening's consist of scripture reading, family prayer, playing a game, and eating dessert. For years, we have gradually added or changed items to our weekly family nights. In fact, I remember when we didn't even used to have Family Home Evening, so as our boys have gotten older, we progress each year by adding age-appropriate learning activities for them during this family together time.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

got wood...and a surprise

Beginning in December and continuing through January, Josh has been working on a winter project at the golf course of cutting down/cleaning up some nasty old trees. He's done the same type of work the last few winters, and this year he's been finishing the area he started last year: cleaning up the willow trees that line the #9 fairway. He's nearly done now. All that's left is to burn the giant burn piles full of smaller branches and sections of trunk at the golf course.
Over Christmas break, when the boys were out of school, he had them help him several days. After Josh cut down the large tree branches, he cut the branches into lengths, and the boys stacked the wood in the truck to bring home. After they got home, then they all worked together unloading the wood from the truck and stacking them in our wood pile. 
They did this several times, and on one such day over Christmas break, the boys had been stacking the wood in the back of truck, when this happened:  

Apparently whoever was stacking the wood at the time (which was piled high!), pushed a wood too far or threw a piece of wood too hard (we still have no idea what REALLY happened!). But whoever had been stacking the wood at the time didn't say a WORD about what had happened. So, when everyone got in the truck to head home after the truck had been {over}loaded with wood, Ammon saw shattered glass all over the back seat and said "Uh Oh". That's when Josh found out what happened to the back window. Even then, nobody claimed to know what happened, even though all the suspicions were on this person in particular:

Thankfully, we have full insurance on this truck and the window was replaced a week later.

This is just another example of the possibilities that could happen when you mix wood, boys, chainsaws, and trucks together!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

2013 Goals Report

I began 2013 with goals that were centered on 8 different areas of my life that needed improvement. Here's the link to the post where I discussed the beginning of this year's goals: Start of 2013 GOALS  
Although I did not complete all 8 goals I set for myself, I made valiant efforts in all the categories and I'm very happy with my progress!

1. PERSONAL: Never be more than 2 months behind on my blogging.
This is the reason I blog: to document my family's life,
then I buy books which include an entire year's worth of blog posts.
I just bought this large 2011 book at Christmas this year.
It's like a yearbook full of our family's stories, photos, & memories!
 COMPLETED! I've struggled with keeping my blog current in the past, so I made sure this year that I was never more than about a month behind the whole year. It takes me time to edit photos, which is usually why my blogging is delayed. I truly love blogging. I love taking photos and writing stories, and it's the best way for me to keep up on our own family's history.

2. SPIRITUAL: Go to the temple 6 times.
Las Vegas

Brigham City

Idaho Falls
COMPLETED! In March, I helped the youth with baptisms at the Idaho Falls temple. Then I went with my husband to the Las Vegas temple in March. We attended cousin Weaton's wedding in Brigham City in March. I went alone to the Idaho Falls temple in October. My mom did a session with me at the Logan temple in November, and I did one session alone again at the Idaho Falls temple in December.

3. INTELLECTUAL: Finish reading the Book of Mormon.

FAILED. I read some, but I still am in the book of Alma...

4. FAMILY: Take one of my boys on a date each month.
Ammon at the 28 Club Restaurant in January
Kanyon at the theater in August

Jonah at the Mexican Restaurant in October

Micah at the theater in November
COMPLETED! This was a fun goal that both me and my boys enjoyed! January--Josh & I took Ammon to a fine dining supper at the 28 Club. February--Josh & I took Jonah to fine dining at Bertram's. March--Josh & I took Micah to fine dining at Bertram's. April--Josh & I took Kanyon for a nice hamburger at the Savage Grill. May--I took Ammon to see "Iron Man 3" at the movie theater. June--I took Jonah to see "Epic" at the movie theater. July--I took Micah to see "Monsters Inc. University" at the movie theater. August--I took Kanyon to see "Despicable Me 2" at the movie theater. September--I took Ammon to see "Red 2" at the movie theater. October--I took Jonah to dinner at the Mexican Restaurant. November--I took Micah to see "Thor 2" at the movie theater. December--I took Kanyon to have nachos at the Mexican Restaurant.

5. MARRIAGE: Go on a trip alone with Josh twice during the year.
Kala at the Hoover Dam in March

On the beach of the Payette Lake in October

Josh walking on the Fairmont GC in November
COMPLETED! In fact--we had 4 trips together this year!! Josh and I had a fabulous time going to Las Vegas together in March, a not-so-happy time to Coeur d'Alene in July, a peaceful trip to McCall in October, and a relaxing time together at the Fairmont Hot Springs in November.

6. PHYSICAL: Get my weight under 200 pounds.
My summer walking buddies
TRIED, BUT FAILED. I made that goal at the beginning of January 2013 when I weighed 211 pounds. About 3 weeks later, I gained 10 pounds rather rapidly for no apparent reason. I bought some diet pills in February, and tried them for a month, but they didn't work. I began eating better in the spring, but didn't see a difference. Then I started having menstrual problems in May and was sick all the time, and I gained another 4 pounds. I began walking daily with my friends in June, and slowly lost a few pounds. Then in July I had my appendix out and had to stop exercising for about 10 days. Then we picked up the walking again and added some water aerobics to our weekly routine! Then in August I had another operation done, a uterine ablation. It was after that surgery that I finally could see some success with my attempts at weight loss. When I finally got my womanly parts fixed, my hormones weren't so out of whack, and my body seemed to respond well to the exercise after that! We continued walking in September and October, but had to stop water aerobics in mid-September due to the seasonal pool closure. In November, Krissy and I started going to Zumba and Yoga together. By the end of November, my weight was back down to 211 pounds. I had gained 14 pounds over the year, but I lost it all and ended the year right where I began. Although I never made it under 200 pounds, I gave it a good effort, and exercised more this year than I have in the past 5! I made some adjustments to my eating, and I'm feeling better and healthier than I have in years, so it wasn't a COMPLETE failure!

7. FINANCIAL: Pay off my credit card.

FAILED. This would've been done had it not been for the unexpected surgeries I had this summer. I had it 50% paid off by June...but then I stopped making major payments to it because I started having to pay major medical bills instead. I am happy to say that my emergency appendectomy is almost paid off (6 months later!). So, this goal should be realized by this upcoming summer (barring no more medical procedures are done!).

8. SOCIAL: Invite others to my home for a group gathering once per season.
Superbowl with Tarkalson's in February
Game time with friends in May

Barbecue with friends in August

Parties are never complete without a food spread!
COMPLETED! We invited the Tarkalson's over for the Superbowl in February (winter). We had some friends come for snacks & games on a Sunday evening in May (spring). We had a summer barbecue with friends in August (summer). We had some of Josh's family over for homemade French Onion Soup and game time in November (fall). And we had friends over for snacks & games in December (winter).

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Years Eve

Josh's sister Tiffany and her family came to Salmon over New Year's. In the afternoon on New Years Eve, we all went sledding together. We decided to try out a new spot since there wasn't enough snow by our home or on Lover's Lookout Hill. We drove up Williams Creek Road to the South Fork turnoff and drove on that road until we got to a steep driveway leading to a ranch. That snow-packed driveway was the perfect spot! It was long and slick, and steep enough to get some great speed!


 We were there for a couple hours, and the kids all had a great time! They started going so fast on the driveway, that they'd continue on down the road and out of sight and it would be 10 minutes before we'd see them walking back! Edward made a fire near the base of the driveway, and that was a great idea! We were able to warm our fingers whenever we started getting cold. After a couple hours, it started snowing really hard, so we decided it was time to leave.

Ammon and Joel wanted to see how far they could sled down the road without stopping, so they started at the top of the driveway and began sledding down the road before we started driving. They'd gone about 3/4 before we reached them in the trucks! Even then, Ammon hadn't had enough of sledding, so we tied the sled to the back of the truck with a tow rope, and he followed behind us until we reached Williams Creek Road. His face was so snow-covered that he couldn't see most of the time he followed! It was a hilarious sight!

 When we got home, we warmed up with some hot cocoa and dried our cold wet bodies! Then we headed down to Ed & Kathy's that evening for the annual New Year's Party. We ate lots of food, the kids did a puzzle, we participated in the New Year's 60's Radio Trivia Contest and we played along with the musical montage. We figured out all the songs this year (again!) and we won the contest (again!) to earn the prize of $20. We figured out all the songs & artists, along with this year's theme of U.S. Presidents, and called it in the radio station at about 10:30. After that, Ammon lit our bottle rocket fireworks in Grandma's yard, and we went home around 11:00. Usually we stay up until midnight, but we were getting up to head to Utah early the next morning, so we wanted the boys to get some extra sleep before our trip.

It was a fun New Year's Eve! We were so glad that we went sledding and had a good time with the cousins, and it was very rewarding to win the Radio contest once again, too!

Monday, January 20, 2014


I loved every Family Home Evening Activity we did on Monday nights in December...
December 2: We all went into town and picked a card off the sharing tree at King's. Everyone in the family brought money to purchase a gift together for an anonymous child. 
December 9: Josh brought in the Christmas tree and we all helped put the lights and ornaments on it.
December 16: We all made sugar cookies together for the first time.
December 23: The boys decorated Snoopy gingerbread houses.
and December 30: We made sugar cookies (again) and FINALLY delivered goodies to our neighbors and friends!!! This time, we were more prepared and had a better system than the first time. I made two batches of dough (using two different recipes than our first time, too--we were experimenting with which one was the best), then after letting them chill in the fridge, Josh rolled the dough out on the countertop and used only a bell-shaped cookie cutter to cut into the dough. When they were cooked and cooled, I brought the cookies over to the table, where there were a few stations set up for the boys to frost and sprinkle the cookies. Then I had plates set out on the rest of the table to place the decorated cookies onto.
As soon as all the cookies were baked and decorated, we wrapped the plates in plastic bags, attached some bottle rockets, and tied on a note. The note said: "RING in the New Year with a BANG!" I came up with the idea and thought it was pretty clever...the bell-shaped cookies were the "Ring" and the bottle rocket fireworks were the "Bang"! For the neighbors that didn't have any children, we took them a sparkling apple cider bottle with a note that said "We hope your New Year is SPARKLING and Bright!"  
Then we split up all the plates & bottles into two routes. Josh took two of the boys and half the goodies around our neighborhood, and I took the other two boys and remaining goodies to our friends that live in town. From the time that Josh started rolling out the dough to when we finished delivering the goodies, it was just 3 hours. We were very efficient with the cookie making & decorating, and it was the first time we'd ever split up the delivery routes instead of all of us going together, which worked out really well. I was so glad to finally have that item on my Christmas to-do list crossed off--even if it didn't happen until nearly the new year!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Family time in frozen Stanley

On the last Sunday of the year 2013, the Tolman family had their annual Sacrament meeting program in the Stanley, Idaho branch. Josh and I took the boys down to Stanley on Saturday and spent the night in Josh's aunt & uncle's hotel. The boys love playing with their Forsgren cousins, and looked forward to going there over Christmas break, as per tradition.  
On Sunday morning, we woke up and all got ready for church. This is what our hotel room looked like (everybody dressed in Sunday best, everybody entertaining themselves until it was time to go):
The views from our hotel room were just spectacular (as they always are in Stanley), from the back deck we could see the Salmon River and the Bitterroot Range. The crystal clear blue sky was a beautiful contrast to the frozen plant surroundings. 
It was super cold that morning--but then, it always is in Stanley. On the way to church, our car's thermometer read:
When we arrived at the community center (which is where church is held in the winter), we saw snowmobiles drive by. I don't think I've ever seen snowmobiles drive by on a city street before--that's just not something you see every day, unless you live in Stanley, I guess!
The church program was nice: Josh and his mom were the speakers--Josh talked about having a Christ-centered home, and Kathy spoke about gratitude, and I sang a song in between their talks about God's glorious creations. Then the children went to the kitchen for primary, and the men and women separated (which has never happened when we've attended the Stanley branch before); the men carpooled to a different building for their lesson, and the women stayed at the community center and had a nice lesson about change of heart.
After church was over, we went back to the hotel, changed our clothes, and went next door to the Forsgren's home for dinner. We ate sandwiches and Mexican dip.  

It was a lovely Sunday afternoon. After dinner, we chatted and played games and ate some of Aunt Janet's super delicious homemade ice cream.
the boys playing in the "Game Room"

Aunt Janet's homemade ice cream was a recipe from Grandma T:
it has oranges, lemons, and strawberries in it. Sooo good!

We had such a good time that we stayed until it got dark out. Thank you Ben & Janet & family for showing us another great time! It was a highlight of  Christmas Break for our family!
Aunt Janet, Uncle Tim, Aunt Barb, Edward, and Uncle Ben (sitting)
Cousin Sammy--isn't she beautiful?!
Ben got out a 500 pc puzzle and Ammon & I helped him finish it.
Cousin Mikey taught us a new game: Carcassone
Ammon particularly liked the strategy game
The Ping-Pong table set up in their large room was a big hit!
All the boys played several games of it!