Wednesday, September 30, 2009

I should have been an attorney

When I was a little girl one of the many things I wanted to do was be a lawyer. When I was in high school I did Speech and Debate and really liked it. I think I even won some region and state medals. When I worked for DCFS my favorite part of my job was going to court. I loved listening to everything and coming up with my own arguments in my head. If you ask me, they were always pretty good. The problem is...I don't really like conflict. Funny eh?

It happens to me all the time. Some type of conflict will come up with someone and I will go over and over it in my head. I come up with all sorts of logical arguments and ways that I could "win" and prove my point. I can get pretty nasty in these arguments sometimes, but I'm always right and have a way to prove it. If I know something is coming up, I know that a person is going to approach me about an issue I will think about it endlessly and keep coming up with better things to say to anything they might have to say. But do you think that when it comes down to it that I actually say the great comebacks I come up with? No, and if I do decide it's worth it to prove my point it's not in the way that would be the most biting...that would stab to the heart. You could say that it's just because I'm a wimp and maybe that's it. But I like to think it's because I value relationships more than I value being right. It could also be because I care too much about what people think of me and I don't want people to think I'm a jerk or a snob.

I hate fighting, it makes me uncomfortable. But that's why it would be so PERFECT for me to be an attorney. I could be great in the courtroom and I would have to be because it was my job. No one could think of me as a jerk then. Oh well, not passionate enough about it to give up the next 10 years of my life to make it happen. But I know I would be great and that's all that matters....

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Kelley Skiing

video

By dang!

If you know Kelley you know that she's not really that motivated when it comes to challenges...well, depending on the challenge... When she was two she found a puzzle of the United States. She wanted it, but we told her it was too hard for her. So she sat down on the grass (at the yard sale) dumped it out and proceeded to put it together all by herself! On the other end of the spectrum though, let's talk about soccer. I put her in soccer when she was four because I thought she'd do great. I had heard it was a great sport for little kids, but she could also dribble a ball like crazy the summer before. She did have fun doing it, but would get so frustrated because the other kids were faster or better than she was. She had the same problem last summer as well. She would literally flop down in the middle of the field and cry "I can't do it, my legs hurt..." etc etc, after giving the project really only minimal effort. She's in a little tumbling clinic right now and has the same problem. Her teacher says that she acts like she doesn't want to be there and cries that it is too hard. (Although Kell had just told me that she really liked tumbling...go figure).

So last week we spent three days on a houseboat with some friends from the ward. They had a little waterski trainer that some of the kids were going on. I hadn't seen it in action, but told Kelley if she waterskiied she could have a polly pocket, trying to motivate her. But I didn't really think she would ever do it. Seriously...my little girl? You can imagine my SHOCK when she said she would try. So we all hopped in the boat and off we went. I figured it would go something like this: she would try it once, fall over and get frustrated and not try anymore. But defying all my expectations the little darling stayed up! Granted it's kind of a no fail little device they have. They start the kids from the shore and apparently it's very easy to stay upright. You should have seen her. We hadn't really talked to her about what to do if she fell or wanted to stop (besides just let go!) because we didn't want to overtalk it and scare her out of trying. So she was scared of letting go and she skiied for 10-15 minutes straight! We didn't want to turn the boat around and cross our own wake, afraid it would scare her, but she was NOT letting go, so we turned around and she made it over the waves. When we were nearly back to the shore we cut the engines and she was done. She went again the next day too and this time had learned the signs (slow down, just right and cut). She's a little pro! She even tried turning back and forth inside in the wake.

It makes me laugh. I was NEVER good at sports. I always thought it was because I didn't have the chance to do sports when I was younger. But now I wonder if it's just genetic and neither I nor my daughter are destined to be great athletes. But by dang I learned to waterski and was good at it. Maybe that will be Kelley's niche too ;)

Here's a picture as proof. Joey's working on the video and hopefully we'll get it up later tonight.

Friday, September 25, 2009

calling all SUU PRESIDENTIAL AMBASSADORS







Southern Utah University PA REUNION
October 23rd [SUU Homecoming Weekend]
5:30 PM
SUU Alumni House
Questions: email Jared Wilcken: wilcken@suu.edu

We hope to see YOU there!

*Add this information to your blog and facebook if you are an alum or know of any SUU Presidential Ambassadors. Help us contact everyone!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A little of this and that

Am I a bad mother? Tyler is obsessed with Lego Batman and sometimes Lego Indiana Jones on the xBox 360. He is quite the little player. I don't let him play during daycare and we often have things going on at night, so he doesn't get to play then a lot either. But Sundays are kind of bad. We discovered that the use of the games as a motivational tool for good behavior is quite effective. He struggled in Primary, this being his first year and he being a young sunbeam. So he knows now if he's good in class he'll probably get to play batman. I just thought this picture was a little funny. Cutie pie doesn't even get out of his Sunday clothes before he makes a bee-line for our room and game...oh the things I said I would never do and now allow....

Joey got his Woodbadge beads a few weeks ago. It's a scout thing. He went to the camp last year and has been working on goals along with that throughout the year. I mention it here because he was really proud of the work he did to accomplish this. Sorry the pictures were all a little goofy. This is the best you get :)Just a random picture. I have said before I love sleeping pictures. He is just so mellow and cute and sweet and innocent this way. And I love it that he's always so busy (notice the pen in hand)...heaven forbid he recognize that he's actually tired and should sleep. No....he just keeps doing what he doing until he falls asleep having no other options.

I've been reading the Count of Monte Cristo. We got the unabridged version on MP3 from my sister, so Joey and I have both been reading it. About 2/3 into it I got annoyed that I wasn't finding out more about a specific plot line and I went onto Wikipedia and read the whole plot over to the end. So I know how it ends. I'm kind of funny that way, I am one of those that will read the last page just to make sure the book isn't going to be a waste of time with the main character getting killed or something. Anyway, it's been a great book. We are almost done...thank heavens! It's been I think a month since we started it. But now I'm wondering what we can read next together. It's kind of fun listening to it together and discussing it on road trips and such. It's a great book in case you are wondering. Totally different than the movie. I think enough so that you can appreciate both for what they are...basically different stories. But I'm still kind of bugged (since I know the end) about how it ends. In that I appreciate the movie better I think. But we'll see. Wikipedia I'm sure is much less well written than the actual book is.

We went to Melon Days in Green River this weekend. Joey's mom grew up there and her dad and a lot of family still live there. This year was cool because all but one of Joey's siblings came. That hasn't happened in a while. The kids had a GREAT time playing with all their cousins and Joe loves catching up with all of his cousins. It was a quick trip, but some nice road tripping time as a family. I got all the Watermelon I could eat, Joe ironically ended up without any. The first time EVER that has happened :(.

Tomorrow is our 8th anniversary. I wish I had more time to write a super sweet love note about it. We have had a wonderful time growing together these past few years and I couldn't ask for more. I'm so grateful for Joey, the father, husband and man he is and continues to become.

Well that is all for a while. As I mentioned it's our anniversary tomorrow so we will probably go out to dinner or something, but most of the night will be spent packing. Tuesday afternoon we are headed out of town again. We have been invited to spend a few days at Lake Powell with a family in our ward. I'm a little nervous about the whole thing with Tyler being at the age he is, but Joe has promised to keep him at his side the whole time. That being said we'll probably be offline for the rest of the week. Will catch up with you later!

Friday, September 11, 2009

You've come a long way baby!

Warning: Tons of gardening pics to follow! Last year it felt like every other post was about the garden because that's all it seems like I did last year. This year is much different....my garden has been SO LOW MAINTENANCE! Moms...listen to me...anyone who wants more time, but still wants to garden listen up....SFG is the way to go! I have loved my square foot garden. I am not kidding when I tell you I have pulled ONE weed from it this year. It has been awesome. Now...it didn't produce as much as I wanted simply because 1 - I planted it LATE and 2 - I didn't get even half the squares planted. But I am all set up and ready to go for next year. I am so excited and can't wait to see what it can do then. OK as a reminder of where I started in June:

I did want to share what I learned with you just in case you decide to take the plunge!

#1 - Just buy the book. I think it cost me $12 or something off of Amazon. Part of the delay in my getting started was waiting for it at the library and there was a LONG waiting list. It is a great book and has a ton of information you'll want to refer back to such as planting charts and information for just about anything you'd want to plant. BTW - I LOVE Amazon. I get so much stuff from there for much cheaper than I could anywhere else. Plus if you spend over $25 most of the time you can get free shipping. Oh and make sure you get the "All New Square Foot Gardening" book. Apparently there's been a lot of revisions since it was first published.

#2 - Husbands are really willing to help you get started if you promise them that they won't have to do anything later :) Joey HATES weeding the garden, but helped me last year anyway because he knew it was important. He wasn't super excited about this project this year - he was really skeptical. I talked him into it anyway and promised him I wouldn't need anymore help once he set up the boxes for me. I did have him pound in the fence posts, but otherwise have made good on that promise and he has been pleasantly surprised with the result.

#3 - IFA sells Mel's Mix. Mel's Mix is the soil you use in the garden. It's a specific mixture of compost, peat moss and vermiculite. We spent a lot of time and energy trying to find the right ingredients for our soil mixture. After I had most of it bought I found out the all IFA stores SELL IT ALREADY MIXED UP! Well gee whiz! It seems kind of expensive, and it is to get started, BUT by the time we spent all the money we did on gas driving literally from Fillmore to St. George and the time to get everything and then MIX it ourselves...I would say it's totally worth it to buy it. He says in the book that they sell it, but I got the impression that they only sold it in Eden UT where he lives....not the case! So just buy it at IFA. Take my word on it.

#4 - Plant earlier than I did. Start planning ahead in the winter because there is a lot you can do before the last frost. He has timelines in the book that outline when you can start seeds indoors and how to extend your gardening season outside.

#5 - It takes more water than the book says. The book claims that you SAVE water by using this method. I don't know if that is true or not, but I had to water it every day during much of the summer. I think it's because the soil is SO porous and "friable". The windy and hot conditions we have here it just dried it out quickly. But hey...if you don't have to WEED it for an hour every day...I think it's totally worth the trade off! Besides your kids will be totally happy to water it for you.

#6 - Smaller boxes than I did would probably work just fine. I did bigger boxes than recommended. Mine were 8 x 5. He recommends 4 x 4 or 4 x 8. I only had so much space and wanted to make the most of it, so I did these ginormous boxes. They work fine, but it is hard to get to the inner squares and as you can see I didn't even get a lot of them planted.

#7 - A lot of these concepts would probably also work really well for container gardening. If you really don't have space even for a SFG, I'd still maybe invest in the book because you could translate it to a few pots or containers and still have nice fresh veggies for the summer.

OK - on to my experience with specific veggies:

CORN: This actually grew quite well...I was really happy. But don't transplant corn. I tried a few because they were selling them at the nursery. The book says they don't work and they don't. Mine grew fast at first, but stunted at about a foot high and ended up quite sad. The corn you see in this picture was all from seed. I planted four to a square...not sure if I'll do that many next time as they seem quite crowded, but most of them grew and produced. Also, I tried this year to grow pole green beans with my corn. I planted my beans SUPER late (July...) and they haven't really worked, but even if they did I don't think I would like it. It's difficult to see what is going on and you have to train the beans up the corn stalks. There's just too much greenery in there. I would just do your beans on bushes or up a trellis like most people do. That is my plan next year. I will plant more corn next year than I did this year because it did work so well and I had plenty of unused squares this year.

Not sure what to say about the cabbage. I planted it next to some broccoli and cauliflower. Neither of these did really well. I ended up having to stake the broccoli because of the wind, but even so I didn't really like the product we ended up and don't think I will worry about it next year. I did broccoli last year too and think I just prefer buying mine in the produce isle ;) I still haven't picked the cabbage because it's so small, but I'm a little concerned it's going to be no good as it has visible spider webs all over the outside. The cauliflower I think I planted MUCH too late. It is a cool weather crop apparently and I didn't plant it until late May or early June. It grew HUGE, but never produced anything beside giant leaves. I finally just pulled it up. The chard and lettuce worked well. I might plant more than one square of chard at a time next time though because it produced well, but not quite enough to use with a meal if you were just going out to pick what was ready that day...you had to save it up over a week or so.
EGGPLANT: This was a bit of an experiment as I have never grown eggplant or known anyone that has. I was impressed. It was slow growing at first as there was a lot of blossoms but no production for some time. However when they started to grow they went crazy! It's hard to see in this picture, but this one Japanese eggplant has at least a dozen eggplants on it. I also had a regular eggplant that produced very well as well. It can also be quite fun trying to find things to do with eggplant. If you want a great recipe check out my recipe blog. I posted one tonight and will have at least two more coming.
ZUCCHINI and SQUASH: I resisted the urge to plant more than one zucchini plant this year and I am GLAD I did. One plant really is enough! I have a pile of zucchini still in my kitchen waiting do something with. The zucchini was my most successful plant of this group. I never did get the trellis up so am not sure how it would have done if I'd tried to train it to go vertically. As you can see it took up a lot of room growing it like I did. And it crowded up the poor cucumber plant that was doing well next to it. I also think it has caught some type of disease from the broccoli that was growing next to it. I have a butternut and acorn squash plant there that are doing well, but since I never got them growing vertically they are kind of everywhere. I will definitely get the trellis up next year.
TOMATOES: I got one trellis up this year as seen here. That my friends, believe it or not is mostly ONE tomato plant. There are really two there, but the one in the corner is tiny and never really took off. The book says tomato plants need two squares per plant. I kind of planted them leaving the extra square in front of the plant, but if you are going to do trellises I would give them a square next to plant instead. I have really like growing the tomato this way. This is my best producing bush. I did prune it back as suggested in the book. Joey was sure I was going to kill the plant, but you can see it's doing fine. And the weight of the plant seems to be just fine on the netting, it's not nearly so heavy as it looks. BTW...they also sell this netting at IFA. That was the only place I could find it besides ordering it online. It seems flimsy...but has worked great.
HERBS: What fun these have been! Here I've got a basil and a lemon basil plant. Off to the side there is also mint, thyme and a parsley plant farther back. I planted some others, but again I planted them late and after I found out most of them needed to be started indoors to be most successful. The lemon basil came up from seed and the basil plant I got from a start from a friend. The only problem I've had is they've been prolific and I'm just not used to cooking with fresh herbs much. However once you get used to it, it's quite fun. I've made two recipes this week with my basil (one was a pasta sauce, the other was a pesto) and the richness of flavor is A-MAZ-ING. I will plant herbs again next year. Even if you don't use them, it's fun to pick them off and smell them and let the kids smell them. Also I'm pretty sure you can dry them, just haven't got to that point yet.
CANTELOUPE: Also, another lesson: If you don't get your trellises up...use your old tomato cages. That is what I did here and it seems to like it just fine. I was worried they wouldn't be sturdy enough because the soil is so loose, but I just had Joey push them deeper for me. It has kept the plant contained mostly. I do have to keep training it around the tomato cage as it keeps trying to move next door onto the neighbors cage. You can see in the second picture that the melons are hanging just fine above ground. This has worked so well I might just do this next year again and try it with my squash too. It's not quite as tall as the trellises and might be more "sturdy" for some of the bigger fruits.

Here are my other tomato plants that I put in cages instead of up a trellis. Again the biggest problem I've had is everything is LATE because of when I planted them...argg... Also, I think I will plant a lot more tomatoes next year, especially knowing that the cages work OK. I was concerned about having only so many edge squares for vertical plants. Knowing that the cages are plenty sturdy allows a lot more flexibility of where I can plant them in the layout of the garden. I will also plant more peppers and onions. I want SALSA!

So after that monster post anyone up for a giving it a try next year?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Conclusion of the New Harmony Fire

Thank you all for your concern about the fire in New Harmony. My parents are back on their normal routine and the only thing left from the fire is the black scar of dead trees all around. Though my parents are saddened by the loss of their pristine scenic view, they are grateful that they didn't lose their home which they sacrificed three years of their lives to build. Thanks again for all the prayers and concerned thoughts. Now all that's left is the clean up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Can you guess what this is?



For Joey's birthday (back in June :) we went to Ninja, a japanese steak house. We though the kids would get a kick out of the live cooking at the table. They did think it was pretty cool, but Tyler was so funny about the fire. He wasn't expecting it the first time and I think it was a little scary. He ducked under the table so fast we couldn't even get a picture of his face. The picture below was when we were getting ready to leave and they did the flambee thing at the other table next to us. He was jumpy all night! It was really quite funny.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

My kids

So last night Tyler was being really cute and saying he liked my baby belly. He was rubbing it and just being a sweetheart. Well then he touched my "bossom" and said "you got little ones?" (as in little baby bellies). I seriously couldn't stop laughing. Oh kids are funny....

My friend sent me this email back in February. I kept it in my inbox because I thought it was so cute and wanted to save the story, but just now decided to share it with all of you. I can then delete it from my inbox, but have it saved forever. Kelley is SO funny and says the cutest things. I love talking to her.

Email:

Hi Kristy!
I just had to tell you this story. When Kelly came to the door today she handed me the invitation and said, "Do you have any kids?" It was so funny! I told her no, except for the one in my belly and he'd be here in two months and she let out a delighted "Ohh!" Then as she was leaving she said "I really like your grass!" as she ran on it in a big circle. That just cracked me up and I had to tell you. :) Have a nice evening!