Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Self-control does NOT run in the family!

So who in the heck invented advent calendars anyway? Just a little FYI to that person - it isn't really possible to eat just one chocolate a day. Hello. The good news is, our 99 cent advent calendar lasted until December 13. The bad news is, we didn't start until the 9th. It was a great 9th of December, sharing 9 chocolates with Dallin and Luke in the name of catching up. We did fine on the 10th and 11th, with the boys taking turns eating one chocolate each, and then on the 12th it was my turn. I would love to blame it on my kids, but I was actually the one who got "ahead" a few days. I don't know why. That chocolate is so stale and disgusting. It must just be the appeal of the forbidden that I couldn't resist. So the next day when Dallin went to get the 13th chocolate and found the door already open and the space empty, I couldn't really tell him that he couldn't jump ahead a few days, too. When, later that day, I discovered that the whole thing had been polished off, I just had to shrug my shoulders and think, "Those were some nasty chocolates! I'm glad they're gone!"

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Our trip to Kansas

We just returned from the best trip ever! We took the whole family to Derby, Kansas to visit my sister Kristen and her husband Steve for 10 days. It was so fun! Jason was hunting whitetail deer, so the rest of us got to hang out and explore Wichita. Dallin even got to go hunting for a few days with Jason and loved it. This was the boys' first trip to Kansas, and they had a blast. We went to the zoo, Kids Fest, Madagascar 2, Exploration Place (a museum where the feature display was "The Scoop on Poop" - what kid would not love that?), and lots more fun stuff. Kristen's post pretty much sums it up. In addition, Dallin and Luke absolutely loved Kristen and Steve's dogs, Tank and Lucy. We don't have dogs, so our kids are really deprived and have no idea how to act around them. Dallin is usually terrified of dogs, but by the end of the trip he was running around with Tank and Lucy like he had known them all his life. Luke has no fear and his favorite thing was to have Lucy lick his face over and over. I was so sad to leave and I'm still in denial that the trip is over. I'm honestly a little depressed to be home. Thanks, Kristen and Steve, for such a great time and for all your generosity. Can't wait for next year!

You gotta have faith...

And people in Kansas DO have faith. Kristen and I had so much fun laughing at all the church billboards. Who thinks these things up? One that we didn't get a picture of was "Pssst! Guess who is due in two months?" (Keep in mind that it's early November....). Here are a few others for your faith-promoting pleasure:
And this one pretty much sums up the trip:

Monday, November 3, 2008

A huntin' I will go...

I wasn't going to post this, but last week was Jason's birthday and I gave him what was probably the best present of all time. I mean besides the chocolate covered cinnamon bears. I guess the story starts at Christmas two years ago when I was desperate for a present for Jason, so I signed up for Hunter's Safety and gave him the receipt in a huge box. I really didn't intend on ever going through with the actual class, but he made sure I went and shot guns with a bunch of sweaty 12-year-olds in the basement of a Pleasant Grove city building and got my lovely little certificate in the mail a few weeks later. I still did not plan to ever actually go hunting. Little did I know, he was busy putting me in for every hunt he could think of. I haven't drawn out for anything too crazy yet, but I'm sure it's just a matter of time (not that I will go if I do - yeah, right). This year I just got a general deer tag and there was some pretty significant bribery in getting me to go at all. The stakes were that if I shot a deer I can get laser eye surgery. So, two weeks ago, the kids stayed at my in-laws' overnight and we headed out to West Canyon at about 4:30 am. It's all a blur now, but there was a long 4-wheeler ride, an even longer hike, and I found myself on top of a mountain before the sun came up. I got a few good pictures of the sunrise, but then the camera batteries went dead and we had to take the rest of the day's pictures on camera phones (sorry, Jason!). It was actually pretty fun being out in the wild and feeling adventurous, especially because I was sure we wouldn't even see any deer. We hiked around for a while, and then at about 9:00 it happened. Jason spotted a bunch of deer. There was a chase, some more hiking, and eventually I had a gun in my hand and he was trying to help me aim it, yelling in a desperate whisper, "Shoot! Shoot!" So I did what I had to do to make my husband love me more than I ever thought possible. I shot a huge deer. It's funny because we really didn't know how big it was until we found him. I figured it was pretty good, though, when Jason started giggling like a little girl and saying, "He's got cheaters! He's got cheaters!" over and over. Not that anyone knows or cares about the score of a deer, but it scored 172, had 5 points on each side, and eye guards. I wish I didn't know what those things meant, but I have been married to a hunter for long enough that I could probably write a book on scoring animals. Guys. Why does it always have to be a competition with them? Isn't killing something enough? I guess not. Anyway, I felt really bad for a while, and I talked it over with the deer and petted him on the head (with gloves on, of course) and I think he was glad to give his life so I can see. There really are a lot more deer out there, and his little deer friends didn't even act sad or anything. They just stood there and watched us, so I figure, the deer has lived his life, and now he will live on. On the wall of Jason's office.


We had a great Halloween. It seems like it is more of a season than a day, but I'm still sad that it's over. The kids had a great time dressing up for the ward party, Grandma Rita's party, school parties, Daddy's work trick or treat, and of course, Halloween night! Dallin was a ninja, Luke was a bat and Abby was a sweet little witch. I've never been one for dressing up on Halloween, but I decided that next year I might take the plunge into the world of weirdies and be a witch or something. I'm just glad my kids haven't missed all the candy that has gone missing from their sacks. Jason and I had a few great movie nights this weekend with a wide assortment of treats... Gotta love Halloween.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Huntin' Fool

Sometimes I am a little jealous of Jason because of all the time he gets to spend in the mountains. Yes, I know that his hunting borders on obsessive and the amount of time and money he invests in it is sometimes a little (a lot) too much, but I still think it must be nice to get out of civilization, or even out of the house, as much as he does. However, when he asked me to go hunting with him up along the Alpine Loop a few weeks ago, I gave him a resounding "no." Get up at 4 am to freeze my tail off? And what about the kids? It's a school day, for crying out loud. Here's how the conversation went:

"Oh come on, it will be fun."
"We can spend the night at my mom's and she can watch the kids."
"You'll be able to hear the elk bugling and see the sunrise and all the changing leaves."
"We might run into Robert Redford on his horse."

So I was persuaded. I'm glad I went, actually. It all worked out and although I didn't see Robert Redford, I like to think he was sitting on the other side of his property line, watching me and thinking about how I would be perfect for the role of reluctant housewife hunter in his next Sundance film. Now that I think about it, I totally should have carved my phone number into a tree. I bet the phone would be ringing right now. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20. (What does that mean?) Anyway, here are some pictures from the trip. Although I won't admit it to Jason, it was a good time, and it was very beautiful.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tag, I'm it

I would like to thank Stephanie for awarding me the "I love your blog award". Thank you, thank you. Now I have an easy blog post! I have to answer each of the questions with one word only.

1. Where is your cell phone? Charger
2. Where is your significant other? Work
3. Your hair color? Brown
4. Your mother? Kind
5. Your father? Funny
6. Your favorite thing? Books
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your dream/goal? Travel
9. The room you're in? Family
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Crime
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Here
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. What you're not? Mean
15. One of your wish-list items? sweaters
16. Where you grew up? Burley
17. The last thing you ate? Cereal
18. What are you wearing? Jeans
19. Your TV? Wii
20. Your pet? Nonexistant
21. Your computer? New!
22. Your mood? Happy
23. Missing someone? Sisters
24. Your car? Lame
25. Something you're not wearing? Necklace
26. Favorite store? Target
27. Your summer? Best
28. Love someone? Lots
29. Your favorite color? Green
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Sunday

I now award the following 6 people the "I love your blog award":


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Abby is One!!!

Abby's birthday was September 28. I can't believe my sweet little baby girl is one year old! She got to have two separate birthday parties, one with my family on Saturday because most of them were in town, and then another one on Sunday with Jason's family. It was so fun to watch her respond to all the attention. She wasn't quite sure what to do with the cupcake, but she liked squishing it between her fingers. A year ago, I was so excited to have a brand new baby girl, but I had no idea she would bring us this much happiness! Happy Birthday, little girl!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Why ask why?

Over the weekend we took a fun little vaycay to Wyoming. Okay, that is a lie - it was longer than a weekend, it wasn't fun, and it wasn't a vacation. We did, however, go to Wyoming. I think it is significant that the first part of the word "Wyoming" is "why". It must have something to do with the following questions: Why would anyone go there? Why would anyone live there? Why does it even exist? I can't tell you. All I can tell you is that I am glad to be home, and not there anymore. To be fair, I guess I should say that some parts of Wyoming are nice, like Jackson and, well, pretty much only Jackson. On the other end of the spectrum you have Rawlins, which is where we were camped for five days in a fine gravel parking lot, I mean KOA, whilst Jason hunted for deer and antelope. I have to tell you that I was against this trip from the beginning. For the past eight or nine months, Jason has said, "And then in the fall, we'll spend a week in Rawlins camping as a family!" To which I would reply, "Yeah, that will be great, let's just talk about it later," all the while planning to tell him the night before that I had no intention of going. That is my tactic for avoiding contention: put it off till the last minute, duke it out, end up going anyway, but at least he knows I'm not happy about it. I don't know why I'm still using this tactic, because in seven years it has never worked, but it's pretty much all I've got. But back to the story. From Lehi to Rawlins is approximately five hours. It took us almost eight. Let me emphasize that again, IT TOOK US ALMOST EIGHT. From a fussy baby, to an unsympathetic police man (who knew you could get $100 ticket in Wyoming for not getting in the left lane when passing a cop who has already pulled someone else over? And how did he catch up to us that fast? Oh yeah, we were pulling a trailer up a hill at about 30 miles per hour. Way to target the weakling, Officer...), to running out of gas four miles short of our destination, it was basically a whirlwind of hell. Sorry for the language, Mom, but it's true. I don't even think she reads my blog anyway, so what am I worried about. I may as well just let it all hang out. It wasn't all negative, though. The trailer never actually blew over, which was surprising. The kids had a great time. Dallin and Luke went out with Jason for a few hours each day and loved it. Abby and I got a lot of reading done. We all watched movies at night, and ate a lot of greasy truck-stop food. On Monday, we discovered how to hook up the Internet, so things were much better after that. I know I need to have a better attitude, but sometimes it is just more fun to be right... One cool thing though, was that we saw wild horses. This is only the second time in my life that I have seen wild horses. We were out driving around as a family, looking for antelope, and we saw a whole herd running across the desert. They ran until they were on the skyline, which was really cool to see.
We just fit right in, there in "Rawlings".

Friday, September 5, 2008

Glitter Toe Party!!!

That's right, I'm having a glitter toe party, or rather "Open House", on Thursday, Sept. 11 and you are invited! My good friend Sandra and her daughter Jessica will be at my house from 6:30-8:30 to make your toes beautiful. If you haven't heard of glitter toes, they are basically gel nails with glitter sprinkled in. They sparkle, they shine. They are the lastest and greatest around here, and I must say I love them. I first got them on July 13, and I barely took them off last week, only because they were growing out after almost two months. Now I'm ready for a new set, just in time for the par-tay. They last forever and look great. Salons charge around $30, but Sandra's price is only $18 and she does the exact same thing, same quality, probably cuter colors (right Sandra?). Plus, you get the benefit of hanging out, spending some quality girl time, talking about Breaking Dawn because I haven't discussed it with anyone yet, and you can even bring your kids. Oh yeah, and I will have a few *treats and eats* for your enjoyment. What the heck, just come over, you don't even need to get your toes done!! Just show up and be yourself and that is all I can ask for. Any questions, or if you need directions, just email me at ampyates@yahoo.com. If you are wondering if YOU are really invited, the answer is YES. Just look in the mirror and say, "Yes, I am invited, and I am going." Kay, see you there. Love!

Friday, August 29, 2008

The ONLY reason I welcome the end of summer....

Peach Dessert!!! This is a family favorite that I wait all year for. I'm pretty sure fresh peaches were invented for this dish, to help me say goodbye to my favorite season, summer, and hello to my second favorite season, fall. Spring is my third favorite, and winter is dead last, if you must know. So anyway, feeling a little depressed earlier this week at the passing of summer, I bought me a bag of peaches and whipped up a batch of Peach Dessert (not a very creative name, I know, but I'm sticking with tradition here). The good news is I had it all to myself because I didn't really tell my family about it. The bad news is, well, I ate it all by myself. Oh well, a can of sweetened condensed milk can't have THAT many calories, can it? And it was spread over a period of three days, so that basically cuts it down by two-thirds per day. Oh, who cares, I'm just going to count it as therapy. I really needed it.
Here is the recipe, for your post-summer, pre-fall pleasure:

Peach Dessert
40+ crushed Vanilla Wafers, reserving some for top
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or margarine
1 can Eagle Brand milk
1/4 cup lemon juice
8 oz. Cool Whip
5 cups diced fresh peaches
Combine first three ingredients in bottom of 9x13 pan. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over wafer mixture. Sprinkle with remaining crushed wafers. Refrigerate. See how easy that was, and how much better you feel?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First day of kindergarten

Dallin started kindergarten this week! I can't believe my little Dallin is old enough to go to school. Luke will be starting preschool next week, so this will be a major change to our lifestyle! I am looking forward to having a little more structure in our day, and a little more time to get things done. However, I am really sad that my kids are growing up. It is a weird feeling and I'm not sure I like it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Youth Conference at Camp Williams

Last week we had our Stake Youth Conference at Camp Williams. Being the pessimist that I sometimes (usually) am, I was really not looking forward to it. I thought, "How in the world are we going to control a bunch of teenagers on an army base, who are probably not too excited about sleeping in barracks, getting up at 6 am, and doing service projects/listening to devotionals all day long?" Well, I was wrong. It was so fun! I was actually sad when we had to go home on Saturday. We have the greatest kids in our ward and stake, and they have a good time no matter what they are doing. They get along, they participate, they include everyone, and there wasn't a single discipline problem the entire 3 days (that I'm aware of). I was so impressed. And Camp Williams was very cool. I've never been on an army base and it was so crazy to see all the military peeps there, marching around and singing their little chants. They were so cute. Ha ha.
This is the rappelling tower. We all got to go down twice. I was so proud of many of the kids who were terrified of heights, but did it anyway, like my little buddy in red.

The kids got to do the Leadership Reaction Courses, where they are issued a challenge and have to figure out how to make it happen. Most of them involved getting heavy (50-60 lb.) boxes of ammunition across water with almost no supplies to help. I was secretly glad the leaders weren't supposed to participate, but the kids loved it and did a great job.

This little lizard was our mascot for about 10 minutes until somebody pulled his tail off. We all got MASH t-shirts, which I will wear proudly. To bed at least.