Here are the photos I took of the boys on our visit to Sundance on Labor Day.

Evan doesn't know how to just be normal in a photo.

This is on the ride down the mountain. Carson and Griff were riding with me. Jeesh they look like brothers...

Evan was riding with Grandpa & Grandma Norris. He was nervous on the way up (Ev's like Jon - they don't do well on rides), but the way down was worse... Maybe I just see it because I'm his mom, but his body language sure looks tense!

I Spy With My Little Eye...

Griff and I were heading out the door this morning to go to daycare, and he asked if Grandpa Hill had seen what he sees along the way. Grandpa Hill doesn't see what we do since he's across the pond in England. So, Griff and I took a couple of photos.

The route we take crosses 9800 South at 4000 West. 9800 South is also known as "Shields Lane". It's named after George Shields, who is my great, great, great, great-grandfather. He was one of the original settlers of South Jordan, Utah.

First thing I see is Griff in my rear view mirror. This morning he and Kenny Chesney were singing about being on the coast of somewhere beautiful. The shadow's blocking his mouth, but he really does get into it. Most of the time he carries the tune and gets the words right. Pretty impressive for a 3 year old.

The next thing we see is the construction site for the Oquirrh Mountain LDS Temple. It's amazing how quickly this is going up. When it's done, we'll get to drive straight down 4000 West directly into the parking lot. We're so excited!

We don't really drive this close to the temple on the way to Mindy's, but I wanted to get a photo of the construction up close.

As we head East on 10600 South, we cross Bangerter Highway and then the construction site for a brand spanking new Costco. I was so excited the day that they put up the Costco sign! I drove by just as they were raising it and had to call Jon to tell him. I'm doing pretty good right now not spending $ at Costco because it's far enough away that I really have to need something to face the drive and the crowds. I'm looking forward to having a Costco this close so that I can run in for bread, milk, churros, pizza, and ice cream bars! I suppose now would be a good time to start padding the budget.

The last thing we see before we turn into Mindy's neighborhood are these fine fellas. Pretty cool, huh? This morning we stopped to get these photos, and they were bugling like crazy. Some of the younger guys were fighting over who go to stand closer to the hay piles. It was pretty awesome. These are domestic elk, but there are some seriously large racks in this pen. Did you notice the buffalo in the background?

That's a day in our drive to Mindy's. Kind of fun, huh?


Where were you 6 years ago?

So - September 11. First of all, it's my anniversary for working at CH2M HILL. I started on September 11, 2000. One year later Jon, Carson, Evan, and I were on vacation with my best friend, April, and her family at April's parents house in Cerritos CA.

We'd been to Disneyland the day before and were planning on going to Legoland and Sea World while in San Diego. We'd had breakfast, and I was in the shower. April knocked on our bedroom door to tell us that a plane had hit the World Trade Center in New York City. I hopped out of the shower, and we all sat mesmerized in front of the TV. April's mom pointed out that there was no time delay and that we were watching live TV.

We were absolutely amazed as we watched the towers fall. We decided to go ahead and proceed to San Diego--we just left a little later than we'd planned.

On the way, we saw troops at Camp Pendleton stacking concrete barricades at the gates and along the freeway. We drove in silence for most of the 2 hours, and the kids were ready to be out of the car when we got to the hotel. April immediately headed over to the newspaper dispenser so that she could get a copy of the LA Times.

We were at Legoland when the FAA reopened the US airspace. There must be a commuter airport near the park because there were multiple leer jets that took off. Carson was jumping up and down pointing at the planes. That night however, he was very nervous and talked about how he didn't want to get on a plane to go home. He said he was afraid we'd hit a building.

We ended up driving back to SLC because we had standby tickets and didn't think we'd be able to get on a plane. Jeff (April's husband) worked for SkyWest and was nervous that he wouldn't have a job when he got home. We really didn't have any idea what the impact would be.

So, six years down the road, I can't imagine a world without Sept 11. I worry about the time that my boys may spend either defending the freedoms that we have here in the US or fighting to protect others who are not able to protect themselves. I wonder how old they'll be, where they'll be sent and what events will lead to them going. I hope they are confident young men who will have learned or gained respect, compassion, and empathy for their fellow man; that they will have an ongoing desire for self and societal improvement; and that they will understand that while the world around them may be in turmoil, their testimony and faith in Jesus Christ will allow them peace.

When I think about what I've learned because of the events on September 11, I've found that I may not be able to influence the world's economic or political setting, but I can definitely influence what happens in my own home. What a challenge that is to be responsible for raising three young men who will be examples of courage, strength, and humility. What a challenge that is to find these same qualities within myself before I can teach or encourage them in my sons.

I am grateful that I'm part of a large family that help develop these traits. I'm grateful for grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins who provide knowledge and experiences that far exceed my own. I'm impressed by how much my sons can learn from all of them.

How's that for a challenge. If you're reading this, you're in the realm of influence for each of my sons. Do you have it in you to help them achieve what their mother wants for them?


Who's Your Celebrity Match?

I was looking for Zombie costume ideas for Carson online this morning and found a website that said your costume would be better if you had a "story" to go along with your zombie.

The first part of coming up with your story was to figure out who you were before you were zombified (a doctor, cheerleader, motorcyclist, pirate, etc). It provided a link to myheritage.com, which allows you to upload a photo of yourself and then choose a celebrity that looks like you. I had some fun and came up with the following two groups of celebs for myself:




You can select one of the celebs and do a morph of yourself into that celeb. Pretty dang scary...

They also let you upload a photo of a mom, dad, and child and determine which parent the child looks more like. My boys all looked 5-14% more like me - not a definitive answer if you ask me.

Thought it was silly enough to share, but I'm really supposed to be working this morning. Back to it!


Labor Day Weekend

Jon left us for greener pastures and ventured to Texas for the weekend. Our friends, the Tanners, are moving back to the DFW area, and Jared is already working down there. Jon flew out for a weekend of dove hunting. The boys missed him, but I think I missed him more.

I stayed home and tried to do some fun things with the boys. We ate at the Mayan and spent time with cousins Kim & Josh on Saturday evening. Sunday we spent the night at Grandpa & Grandma Norris' house. Monday we rode the skilift at Sundance, hiked, had a picnic up Provo Canyon, and swam in the hot tub. It was busy enough that all 3 boys fell asleep on the way home.


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