Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Memories of the Snow

Since we have so much snow this year, which is still just crazy, I've been reminded of a lot of memories of the snow that I've been suppressing.

1) While I was sweeping off my driveway this morning, since we don't have a snow shovel - mental note, buy snow shovel -, I was reminded of the years we lived in my grandma's house. Our job was to shovel the snow from the apartment walkways early in the morning before we went to work. That was cold, yucky work. We didn't feel like we could use the snow blower at 6a, so it was all by hand. Fun.

2) One time me, my mom and Court were in Park City for something and we got caught in a horrible white out on the way back down Parley's Canyon. For those of you not used to snow, a white out is when it's snowing really hard and the wind is blowing so you can't see the front of your car. It makes it hard to stay on the road. But, my mom did a great job driving.

3) Once when I was at school at Utah State University - go Aggies - it snowed 2 feet over night. And, they didn't cancel classes. Two feet! They cancel classes here if the meteorologist says it might snow.

4) Again, a memory I was reminded of from Utah State. On Monday we were out and about and the wind was blowing, which made it REALLY cold. I was standing in the same place for a minute and when I started walking again, my jeans were cold. It brought back the memory of my jeans freezing, literally, as I waited for the bus to go to class. Yeah, those were the days.

5) There was so much snow one time that I was literally pushing it with the front of my car. That was a fun drive home. Court and Brad were with me that time. I remember it well.

6) When I was in elementary school, a couple of my birthday parties were sleigh rides in the mountains. It was really fun. We saw a moose one time. And, I had a dumb friend that always wore shorts to these parties. My dad would pick him up and throw him in the snow. I have a great dad.

7) Even when there is a TON of snow, you still have to feed the horses. I know that's kind of a "duh" moment, but when there's 2 feet of snow and it's still snowing, trudging out to feed the horses is the last thing you want to do. And, their water would freeze. One of the horses liked to chew on the ice, but the others would just look at you forlornly. I remember many a day that we had to take warm water in buckets to the horses. (I only did this sometimes, my grandma did it every day. That's crazy.) It was the best thing when Grandma bought a warmer for their water trough. Then only the top would freeze so you could break through that.

And finally, 8) Snow does make everything pretty and quiet! I had forgotten how quiet a snow storm is. It is relaxing.

Whatever happened to my "green and soggy" Christmas? Hope your Christmas is merry and white too!

Memories

I was reminded today that I haven't told the story of the infamous Yeti. Well, here goes...

Let's go back to the year 1981, I was...well, let's just say I was quite young, and we were going to Disneyland for my first time. I was so excited. While in Disneyland, my parents bought me a big Donald Duck button that I wore with pride, Donald being my favorite of the Disney gang - I think that was because my grandpa could do a really good impression of Donald. We had a wonderful time going on different rides all day, me with my prized Donald Duck pin. Then, the fateful ride on the Matterhorn came. When we got off the ride, my pin was gone. And in my little child mind, one of the yetis had taken it and were wearing it proudly. I was DEVASTATED. I have disliked those darn yetis since then.

Fast forward quite a few years to 2008. I am back at Disneyland and I also have a button...this time it says Happy Birthday on it. We go on California Screamin' (a super fun roller coaster) and when we get off, no button. It was very sad. I was again reminded of the small child who thought that the yeti had stolen her button. I think they may have come over to California Screamin' and stolen my button again. Those darn yetis!

Brent went back to try to find my button, but it was gone. Luckily the "cast members" made me a new one. Crisis resolved!

Ok, I didn't promise it would be a good story!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Happiest Birthday on Earth

Since we are probably going to be snowed in for a couple of days (church has already been cancelled), and we may not have power during that time - keep your fingers crossed - I thought I'd take a minute to talk about how wonderful Disneyland is when you go on your birthday. In fact, in 2009, you can get in for free on your birthday. That's quite the deal. Anyway, on to my story...


You can get a really great pin like this one...

The pin alone is a great reason to go to Disneyland on your birthday, but there are other perks.

1) A lot of the "Cast Members" will say happy birthday to you. That may be annoying to some people, but I like it. At the Astro Blaster, they even said that I was a "Birthday Ranger." (Astro Blaster is based on Buzz Lightyear, Space Ranger.)

2) If you got to Disney's California Adventure (that's such a mouthful) and go to see how they make Mission Tortillas, you will receive not the normal 1 freshly made tortilla, but 10. My dad works at Mission so we already buy their tortillas, but if we didn't before, we would now.


There is nothing better than warm tortillas!

3) You can get birthday cake at Disneyland. Granted, you have to pay for it, but it's still fun!


The cake also comes with a great bucket full of birthday joy.

and 4) Brent let me beat him at Astro Blasters. If you haven't been on this ride, I will try to explain it. You have "laser guns" that you shoot at targets throughout the ride. You are trying to stop the evil Emperor Zurg. It keeps track of your points so you can see who won. We've been on this ride quite a few times and Brent usually wins, but this time...


I almost doubled his score! Take that evil Emperor Zurg! (At the end of the ride you can have the picture emailed to you for free. I like that so much better than the $15 you normally have to spend on the pictures they take.)

We also found a really fun ride in DCA that is new since we've been there. It's called Midway Madness and it's based on Toy Story. It's a 3-D ride where you play different games like ring toss and darts. It's hard to explain but really fun. The wait is also usually really long, but worth it.


All in all, I think that Disneyland is the Happiest Birthday Place on Earth! I think we might have filled our Disneyland quota for a while though.

Hope you are all keeping warm and happy. I also hope that you have snow plows where ever you are. We sure don't here. Merry 5 days before Christmas!

Oh, and don't let me forget to tell you about the evil yeti who stole my button - again!

I almost forgot to mention how I had to hike out of my neighborhood yesterday so I could meet Court to go shopping. The kids in our neighborhood like to sled down our road. It's nice a steep so you get going pretty fast, but that also makes it SUPER icy. (I also think it's really dangerous, but that's just me. Little old no kids.) So, not only is the road snow packed (since we apparently don't have snow plows in our town), but icy in spots. Awesome. We did get the 4-wheel drive truck out today, but I think my car may be in for a "long winter's nap." Ok, enough add-ons. I guess I'll go play Lego Star Wars with Brent now.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Seriously?

When I said that I missed seasons, I meant that I wanted fall weather, not...

video

(It's hard to see, but it is still snowing.)

I'm so glad we're home. I hope all of you are safe and happy too! Now I'm just worried about Brent getting home from work. I'm a worrier!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

FINALLY!!!!

We are FINALLY home! We got home yesterday afternoon and not a moment too soon. Another snow storm is in the process of hitting the Pacific Northwest, so we are so happy to be here!

Our original plan was to be home on Monday night. We stopped in Redding, CA on Sunday night since it was snowing and we didn't want to go through the mountains in the dark. So, we knew we had about a 9-1/2 hour drive home, but we were still confident.

We start out Monday morning through the mountains and everything seems fine. The mountains look GORGEOUS with a new blanket of snow and the roads are good. Then we cross into Oregon. (**DISCLAIMER** If you are from Oregon or even happen to love Oregon, I apologize for the following.) It just went downhill from there.

The roads became more and more icy until we reached the backside of the mountains when we hit 2" thick, nothing but ice, road. It was the most HORRIBLE driving experience EVER. And I grew up in Utah where we had to drive through white out snow storms and enough snow to push with the front of my car. So, Brent drove for about 2 hours at 10 miles an hour. We had bought chains for our ride home, but there was NO WARNING that we needed to put them on. All of a sudden you were on ice. About half way through the "fun" there was a flashy sign that said, "Winter driving conditions." Gee, thanks.

So, on Monday we drove for about 8 hours and only went 313 miles. That should have only taken us 5 hours. Once we got through the ice "fun," we were ready to go a little farther when all the cars on the freeway stopped again. We have no idea what that was for because we got off and stayed in Eugene, OR.

Yesterday was a little bit dicey in spots, but NO WHERE NEAR as bad as Monday. It seemed that the closer you were to cities, the icier the roads, which seems a little backwards. Once we crossed over into Washington, the roads were fine the whole way home.

What's up with Oregon? Can't they plow the roads? Don't they know to put ice melt or even sand down? I'm NEVER EVER EVER driving through Oregon in the winter again!

But, now we're home and it's even decorated. Court put up the Christmas lights outside and a few inside along with the tree for my birthday. That was the coolest thing to walk into. I'm feeling a little under the weather so now I can just enjoy the beauty without having to do anything! Thanks guys!

It's so good to be home, but a little weird at the same time. I was just cleaning out the dishwasher and I had to stop and think a couple of times to remember where stuff goes. I'm still a little confused on the colander. :)

I'll post more about my birthday / Disney weekend in a couple of days when I'm not on cold medication!

Oh, and thank you for your prayers and well wishes for us to get home safe. We know we were protected and we are so thankful for that.

And, as I said, I'm on cold medication, so if this post is a little loopy, that's why.

Monday, December 15, 2008

We're Almost Home

We are well on our way to our cute little house, but now we just have to get through the mountains.

We made it to Redding last night before it started to snow, so that's where we stopped. Keep your fingers crossed for us. I mean, it's not like we've never driven in the snow...it's just the other people who we are worried about.

Thanks for all the birthday wishes. Sorry my cell phone was being dumb and I missed talking to most of you. More on my birthday later.

:)

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

I am a planner. I love to know what's going on and what I need to do for it. And when I can't plan, I get a little crazy. Just ask the poor guy at the post office that I had to finally walk away from. (I thought I was growing out of my temper.) Good thing Brent was there to finish up the transaction.

So, TDY's are kind of hard on me. You just can't make any definite plans. You're suppose to go home one day, but you actually could go home any other time. Our original plan was to go home on the 15th. Then it was the 19th. Then there was even talk of the project not being done until Christmas. (This was when I told Brent that he needed to stop telling me rumors because they just stressed me out.)

I've been going along hoping that we would at least be able to go home on the 15th, like my original plan. Because ... I had it all planned out.

But, as always, you can't plan anything during a TDY trip. Brent called me last night and said, "We're going home on Friday." Woho! (This was a good change for once.) And here's the coolest part. Friday is my birthday, which means....birthday at Disneyland. Both Brent and I need some time together and to just relax before our long trip home, so we're spending two days in the Happiest Place on Earth. That makes for quite a happy birthday.

Now, I'm just trying to adjust my plans, because...I'm a planner. I've marked off all the really important stuff on my list and now we just have to pack. Packing is mostly Brent's job because he's really good at it (all those years of playing tetrus), so I'm pretty much done. One more trip to the zoo and I'm good.

San Diego has been fun, but I miss seasons. I know in my head that it's December, but I just can't believe it. I'm looking forward to going home.

:)

Monday, December 08, 2008

We Are So Thankful for Disneyland

What did you do this Thanksgiving? I went to Disneyland. Bet you didn't go to Disneyland. :)

My parents wanted to go to Disneyland while they were here in So. Cal., so we thought that the best day for Brent to actually be able to go with us would be Thanksgiving. And so our new tradition began. I wish.

A few things about Disneyland on Thanksgiving. It is not busy AT ALL! Which was AWESOME! I am definitely not a fan of the crowds. I can deal with them because we're in Disneyland, but I don't like them.

And, you can get a turkey dinner with all the trimmings there too. Perfect!
Our first stop was Space Mountain. Mom decided to just meet us at the end, but Dad came on it with us. He kind of wished he hadn't ... it might have been a little much for his first ride of the day. Sorry.

We also decided to go on Splash Mountain before the sun went down. Dad sat this one out, but Mom braved the 50 foot drop. We didn't get as wet this time, which I was fine with. I like Splash Mountain, but I hate having to dry off forever! (Brent did get a little wet on his leg and it took it a while to dry up because of his pockets.)

For some reason, my favorite ride has always been Pirates of the Caribbean. I don't know why, I just like it. The people who took this picture didn't get that we wanted the Pirates sign in the picture. See...we should just take our own. What did I do before digital cameras?

My mom's favorite ride is Small World. Not mine. Brent has never been on it because he has only come with me and I don't like. But, after being told that it was a lot more fun during Christmas, we decided to give it a go.


See...look how happy they look to be going on the ride.


The also told us that you didn't hear the Small World song over and over again. You did hear a couple of Christmas songs too, but you still heard that song over and over!


video

I like how the kids are singing with an English accent. Funny. (Brent was pretty horrified that I was going to subject everyone else to Small World, but you don't have to watch it, right?)

To me, this is the best way to see the Small World ride. It looks nice all decorated for Christmas!

That's about it for our Thankful Disney Day. It was great fun. We might have stayed a little bit too long for my dad, but he could sleep on the way home! Oh, and the new topper for my blog is the Princess Castle with Christmas lights on.

We also went to see the Twilight movie, well, not Brent. He was working. My dad really liked it and is now going to read all the books. Maybe not. I thought it was pretty good. I thought they did a good job of making it into a movie.

:) And so ends the time with my parents. We are winding down our trip here to sunny San Diego. Guess we're going to have to see what else we want to do before heading home. (I'm a lot happier this week. Brent found out yesterday afternoon that he didn't have to work last night and just has to work regular swings this week. Yeah!)

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Fun With My Parents Part 2

Just a note on my last blog. I had to correct what I called that antelope because I'm kind of snotty when people call a chimpanzee a monkey. So, I had to be snotty with myself. :)

So, to continue my fun time with my parents, on Wednesday we went to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps. It's a nice little aquarium that is a little over priced for what you get...if you ask me. It was fun none the less.
My new camera has an aquarium setting, so I had some fun trying that out. It really does work!
Maybe I should have turned this picture around. I can't remember which way is suppose to be up, but now that I look at it, it doesn't look right. Oh well.

Come on, that's a cool picture of an octopus, if I do say so myself.

And you have to have a scrunch picture! We have people stop and ask us all the time if we would like them to take a picture of us. Sometimes people look a little annoyed when I say no, but scrunch pictures are kind of a thing with us. Thanks anyway!

As we were driving to the aquarium, Dad noticed some signs that said Torrey Pines. To him, this meant a lot. To me, it was just a great place to go hiking. To those of you who are not golf enthusiasts, Torrey Pines Golf Course is a world famous place. They even has the US Open there this year. (And yes, Tiger was there. Here's an aside. One day my dad called me up and said, "I just found out something that's amazing." "What's that?" I answer. "Tiger Woods is the same age as you are. Isn't that amazing? I can't believe he's that young!" I had nothing to say to that because I had never really wondered how old he was nor did I think it was amazing, but I thought it was cute that my dad did.) Anyway, we had to stop so he could admire the amazing golf course.

I like this picture of my dad. He was so happy to just watch other people golf. He kept saying to me, "Did you see where that guys ball went?" To which I had to reply, "I didn't even see him hit it." Sorry Dad. I know I'm your only son, but at least I'm a car-gal!

As we were walking out of the golf shop, Dad stopped, took off his glasses, posed next to this trophy and said, "Take a picture." So, I did, not really knowing what I was taking a picture of. Apparently this is the US Open trophy. Again, very cool to a golf enthusiast, but...

You may be curious, as I was, about how much it costs to golf at Torrey Pines Golf Course. This world famous golf course costs $200 to play 18 holes. Wowie! You must really have to be a HUGE, and rich, golf enthusiast in order to actually play there. It did have a nice view of the ocean though!

And tomorrow I'm going to explain why we were thankful for Disneyland this year.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Oops!

I know that I am probably the only one who either noticed this or cared, but I called this animal...
a springbok when in fact it is a...
Oops! Sorry about that! I'm so embarrassed.

Yesterday Made Me Happy

You're probably tired of my complaining...I know I am. So, I'm not going to do it anymore. I'm going to look on the bright side of life.

Yesterday, I had to get out of the house, so I went to the one place that will always make me happy...the zoo! And it was a great day at the zoo.

First, I went to the polar bears...
When I got there, this is what I saw. What could that bear possibly be doing? After about 15 minutes of working on it, he finally pulled out this huge leg bone. Apparently, the keepers hid some food down there. It was kind of interesting to see how the bear just wouldn't give up.
Then, I went walking around and this is what I found...

These are five month old cubs. When we first got here, they were tiny and now look at them. They just sat there and watched all the people watching them. I often wonder what they're thinking..."Look at that one..hee hee" I don't know.


And then...


Baby Frank. He's only 3 months old. Too cute! I wanted to take him home with me. Too bad he would grow up to be 600 pounds!

All in all, it was a great zoo day. I love going when it's a little cooler so the animals are out, and there are less people. I'm going to miss my zoo days when we go home.

:)

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Fun With My Parents

Since I won't be doing much this week because Brent is on the graveyard shift again, I'm going to spread out my parent's visit into a few posts.

The first day that my parents were here, we went to Mt. Soledad. Brent was home sleeping, so it was just us.
From Mt. Soledad, you can see most of San Diego and La Jolla, especially when it's a sunny day. That day was kind of hazy, but we still got a great view of the temple!

We even overheard someone else pointing out the "Mormon Temple" to the group they were with. I was waiting for them to say something about Prop 8, but they didn't.

Then on Monday we went to my favorite San Diego location...the Zoo! We took the bus tour, which I haven't done. It was kind of interesting, but the driver was kind of crazy. He kept forgetting where in the park we were..."Now we're going to go up Cat Canyon, I mean, we're in Bear Canyon, but Cat Canyon is my favorite." He did that about 5 times. Silliness.

After the bus tour, we ended up walking around the whole zoo anyway. My mom got some great pictures of the hyenas. I've never seen them do anything but sleep. But, when we went by in the bus, one was standing on their enclosure looking like he would like to jump over and get this little kid on the outside. I'm pretty sure he didn't though since when we walked past them the second time, they were just laying there again.

I liked this springbok peaking over the rock. I thought it was kind of funny.

The next day, Brent and Dad went to the Midway Museum while Mom and I went shopping at Seaport Village. It was good for all of us, I think. The Midway Museum is a air craft carrier that they have turned into a museum. They both had a good time and mom and I had a good time shopping. I asked Brent to take some pictures and this is what I got...

I thought he would take more, but at least he took two.

After Brent went to work, we went to Mission Beach...

This was suppose to be a scrunch picture with all three of us, but I'm still getting used to my new camera so I just got a great picture of me and my dad!
At the end of the day we went to see "Quantum of Solace." I liked it, but it's not really a Bond movie.

Stay tuned...

Monday, December 01, 2008

Ok, I'm not Grumbly Anymore

I think I have re-arranged my mood and am no longer grumbly. Brent started on the night shift again last night so I may be grumbly by the end of the week, but not today! :)

Last week my parents were here. We had a great time that I will blog about in the next couple of days. I'm trying to arrange my pictures and thoughts.

And, thanks to all who have asked to see pictures of my hair. I tried to take some, but they didn't turn out. My hair doesn't look too different from what it did before, but it curls so much better. I love my naturally curly hair, but I also love it when people know how to cut it!

Thanks for all the sweet comments after my grumbliness.

Oh, and the song that's on the blog right now it one of my all time favorites, so take a listen!