Carson's had a lot going on recently - he turned 11 on Aug 12, he started 6th grade on Aug 18, and he got his Arrow of Light on Aug 19. I've included his 3 year old picture because... Well, because he just isn't 3 anymore. I still like to think that every once in a while he'll need me like he did when he was that age. Although even then he didn't me that much.


Every summer we spend an evening at Seven Peaks with my family. This year, it happened to fall on Carson's birthday. Grandma Norris picked up some of Carson's favorite sugar cookies, and we used those as his bday cake. Thanks to Aunt Christie for taking the photos - I'm such a slouch with the camera lately!


Carson and Evan had their clothes all organized on Sunday morning at about 7:00 am. They weren't excited or anything... The alarm clock rang at 6:30 on the big day. (they haven't been up before 7:30 since, but first day jitters are almost as good as Christmas morning, right?) They both got up, got dressed, and took their own photos (haven't I taught them well?)

The bus picks them up just 5 houses down the street, but Carson informed me that it's our tradition that I drive him to school on the first day and on the last day of school. Who am I to disappoint tradition? The boys' school had been remodeled over the summer (had to fix that roof that collapsed back in February), and even though 2 of the tracks had already been going to school for 3 weeks, Aug 18 was the first day that everyone was back at the real place. The kids got to go to a different location at the end of last year and the first weeks of this year. What a mad house!

I parked the car, and Carson jumped out before I could say a thing to him. The kids line up on the playground and then go inside the school when the bell rings, so Carson immediately took off to find his line. Evan wanted a little more assistance - he's in the mobiles behind the school. I left Griff with Carson to antagonize all those 6th graders, and Evan and I walked around back. On the way there Evan told me that I didn't have to kiss him. Nice. Made sure Evan was in line and then walked back to find my preschooler. Griff was doing exactly what I'd left him to do. I grabbed his hand; we waved goodbye to Carson, and we got in the car. Very uneventful.

Arrow of Light

Perhaps by the time Griffin is in cub scouts I will have gotten a little more excited about the program. Jon and I are cub master and committee chair, respectively, and I think we underwhelm on a regular basis. Carson's Arrow of Light ceremony was no different (although Aunt Valerie is a true scouter and made sure that we upped the ante on the type of arrows we present - thank you Val!). We did a short thing with a compass and the 5 badges. Then Carson tried to stick me with the mother's pin. Love that kid... Again - photo credits go to Evan.


This is the project that kept me so busy over the past year. I wasn't at yesterday's ceremony so I don't know how the information was presented. Some of the project details are reported a little differently than my understanding.

Here's a link to the Standard Examiner story.

According to the Hill AFB Enhanced Use Lease (EUL) office, it's the largest EUL project within the Dept of Defense and the largest public/private venture in the history of the State of Utah.


Generational Resemblance

I love looking at photos and finding similarities between parents and children...

My cousin Miranda's blog contains this photo of her adorable daughter, Azalea. I know Zayley has a red-eyed thing going on here, but this little girl could stop traffic.

I was pulling ~25-year-old photos out of magnetic albums this weekend (can you believe that I haven't done that yet?) and found this photo of Miranda and her mom, Nina.

Do you see the resemblance?

How about in these?

Can you tell that these are taken in the same yard? I always thought that my Grandpa Egan's house/yard were timeless and that outside nothing changed. These photos are proof that that is not the case.

What changed in 25+ years? Chicken coop/Hay loft (where I got to feed baby chicks and lambs, got to watch a vet helping a lamb being born, and watched my brother run our uncle's 3-wheeler into one of the apple trees), the well/potato cellar (the old one went dry, so Grandpa had to have a new one drilled. I don't think Grandpa liked us jumping on the old metal lid, but man did that make some great noise), slides (which were out of control when you slid down them with wax paper underneath you), crab apple tree (which always confused me - why would you want to grow yucky apples?), horse chestnut tree (which I don't remember ever not being there and shading the driveway - but apparently it was added after I came along), curbing, tree stumps (these took the place of the crabapple tree as the stage of many theatrics), and kids wearing correctional shoes (my kids will never understand how awful these were).

What stayed the same? The clothesline, the smell, the wind, knowing that you're always welcome and always loved.

Back to the resemblance thing - I think these two show just how much Carson looks like me. I could pull out some of Jon and Evan or Jon and Griff, but it's my blog now isnt' it...

Oh - and just so that I don't negate the scrapbooking queen title that I've given myself in the past - The only photo in this post that was actually ever in a magnetic album was the one of Nina and Miranda. I may have been unaware of the detrimental properties of magnetic pages when I was young, but I would never have put photos of my boys in such things! Sheesh.



I was reading a post by Kacy Faulconer regarding household flotsam and discovered that Kacy has an aversion to vinegar.

Kacy - I also read and became disillusioned with Not Buying It after hearing about it on NPR. I checked it out from the library so that I was following the not buying it theme.

I thought I'd add my two cents worth and say that vinegar is a must have in the laundry room. We're not talking Apple Cider Vinegar. You want WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR. I haven't used it as an all purpose cleaner, but this substance has made me a happy laundress on many occassions. How could this be? Let me tell you!

  • Keep a spray bottle of 1:4 diluted WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR:water near your dirty clothes hamper and in the laundry room. Spray it in the armpits of shirts and inside the necks of white dress shirts before you put them in the hamper and before they go in the washer. Taa-daa! No yellow arm pits or ring around the collar. I don't know if you really have to spray these items twice - it's just that at the rate I do laundry, the spray has dried by the time it gets to the washer and I want to make sure it really does its job.

    The smell isn't great when you spray, but that dissipates quickly.

  • When you buy a brand-new front-loading washing machine and have done exactly 4 loads of laundry and then decide to play around with various cycles, your wet towels and sheets will suddenly become locked in the machine. It will take nearly a week to get a repair man to your house. Those wet towels and sheets are just sitting there becoming all sorts of funky. The repair man will fix the washer and will tell you that there is no manual override to open the door while there is water in the tub. He will also tell you there isn't a labor charge because of the warranty, but you're going to have to buy new towels and sheets. Never fear! Do not open the newly unlocked door. Just put a couple of cups of straight WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR in the detergent drawer and run the load. Follow it up with a regular cycle using detergent. Hunh - what do you know? No stanky towels.

  • Same thing works when your boys leave the swim bag full of wet towels, swimsuits, diving sticks, and goggles in the back of the Yukon covered up with a sleeping bag while the Yukon simmers in nearly 100 degree heat. I had to drive this puppy to the store, and the smell was so bad that my eyes were watering! Of course the boys said there was nothing in the car, but when I pulled said sleeping bag out, I wanted to cry. Again - I should not have worried. Just put a couple of cups of straight WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR in the detergent drawer and run the load. Follow it up with a regular cycle using detergent. Hunh - what do you know? No stanky towels.

    I don't know if this will work for a sorry sleeping bag. I figured I've already locked towels and sheets in the washing machine - I don't need to add a sleeping bag to the list. I think the ammonia-ish scent should be similar to deer or elk urine. Taking this bag on the hunts will surely lure the animals right to him. Sounds like a great plan to me!

  • You know those dish rags that pile up after a few days when boys are in charge of "cleaning" your kitchen? They get funky, slimy, and develop a case of rigor mortis, right? Silly - I'm talking about the rags, not the boys... Guess what! Just put a couple of cups of straight WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR in the detergent drawer and run the load. Follow it up with a regular cycle using detergent. Hunh - what do you know? I think you're catching on!

BTW - while I was spell checking rigor mortis I found out that it is not a permanent thing! So what? Well - this was a topic of conversation between myself and Jon's older sister a few days ago. Rigor mortis begins about 3 hours post-death and lasts up to 72 hours when the muscle proteins start to decompose. I wonder if WHITE DISTILLED VINEGAR would help that smell.

Oh - here's another off-topic observation. Yesterday I was at IKEA, and there was a family with 3 adorable little girls loading up their vehicle in the parking lot. They were all speaking French! In Utah! It was beautiful - just like my clean laundry.


Breaking Dawn - Underwhelming My Expectations

So - have you finished Breaking Dawn yet?

We had a neighborhood midnight release party on Friday night. I read until about 2:00 am and then went to sleep. I tried to read all day Saturday, but I came down with a migraine. I couldn't see out of my right eye, and the center of my left was filled with mobile splotchies. I tried to read around the edges of the splotches (picture me holding the book on the left side of my head with my right eye closed and trying to read out of my peripheral vision - lovely, huh?), but that made the headache worse. I couldn't stand up without throwing up yesterday (remnants of the migraine), so I had to stay in bed all day and stop reading when my eyesight started swimming. I finished last night.

This was my least favorite of the 4 books. My SIL has repeatedly said that Bella needs to be a stronger character. She was that here (in a metaphysical sense), but I was disappointed with the lack of struggle she had to endure. Where was the character strength building in that?

I realize that things happened because there needed to be a story line when Jacob's story is written, but COME ON.

I suppose we should all marry a handsome billionaire at 18, get pregnant on the honeymoon, not pursue an education, and expect life to be one continual blissful experience after another. I know this is a work of fiction, but how realistic is that?

Average rating on Amazon as of right now is 3 stars. I'd have to say that I'd give it 2-3 and nothing more.


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