Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hot Air Balloon Ride!

Finally, I finally got my hot air balloon ride today.

Don't mind the chatter, I was just trying to capture the moment!

It was amazing!

We met at the pilot's house at 7am this morning in Highland. After checking out his amazing property (huge garden, pond, waterfall...) we watched them inflate the balloon.

Here the balloon on the ground, looking inside. The pilot and his son are the dark shadows on the other side. It was HUGE!

I like this shot. They were blowing the fire into the balloon to make it rise. That is my silouette you can see. It was hot. Way hotter than I would have guessed. Well, let's put it this way: My hair spray is very flammable...I use a lot of hair spray...I was worried that my hair was going to go up in flames!

Almost all done inflating...Guess where the balloon is right now? In the pilot's neighbor's yard. I said "so, are your neighbors pretty understanding of all this racket?" He replied "I dunno, they sleep in." Ha ha ha!

Here we are just after take off. There are a lot of nice homes in Highland!

From Fern's camera while on ground:

The wind was blowing a bit harder than expected during our flight so we ended up flying really low, like barely missing rooftops low. It was awesome! We could see all these kids come outside and scream "hello!" to us. Then it was time to land.

We were heading right for a cul de sac. On the way down we rammed into a tree pretty hard with our basket. The pilot said "you think we hit a tree, but that's just how we slow down!" and then SMACK! We hit pavement, bounced a few times and stopped. It was quite the rush! As the balloon was in the cul de sac a little boy ran outside from his house and squealed "This is the most exciting day!" It was so funny.

As we were up in the air, there were 2 vehicles that were "Balloon Chasers". They just look in the air, see where the balloon is, and then try to drive towards that location. It's pretty fun to watch and be a part of.

After we landed, Fern and Russ jumped in for their ride (happy birthday Fern!).

They landed their balloon ride in a random horse pasture. One scared dog who ran away (he was eventually found), manure on our shoes, and perma-grins on our faces, we were done!

After returning to the pilot's house, he poured a glass of Sparkling Cider for me, Sam, Fern, and Russ. We then had to kneel on the ground in front of the pilot (Bryan Kelly) while he told the history of hot air balloons.

Apparently, the first passengers of a hot air balloon were a turkey, a duck, and some other animal (can't remember). They landed just fine so then a prisoner was going to be the next "guinea pig" but a guy in Paris wanted the glory before the prisoner so he went. He ended up being fine, but their fire (to inflate the balloon) was made with coals and wood so it created lots of smoke in the balloon. When landing, a huge puff of black smoke would fly in the air. Nearby residents thought it was a dragon (this was in 1776) so they would use pitchforks to kill the passengers of the balloon. So, the passengers would offer the residents champagne to make peace and all was well. Hence, the glass of bubbly we had in front of us. Then the pilot recited a prayer and we had to put our hands behind our backs, lean over and pick up the glass with our teeth, and drink the sparkling juice. Kind of weird and corny, but it was entertaining and fun.

Cameron just picked his nose and laughed at us.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Playing Catch Up

I swear my life is passing me by at a rate of at least 250 mph.

Here's a little catch up:
Labor Day. We went to Red Butte Gardens because it was free and it was purdy.

The kids ran:

They jumped:

They played in water:

And the fish were super hungry.

At the last Pack meeting, Carson received his Wolf Badge. He even pinned the Wolf Pin on me and didn't hurt me. My little man is growing up!

After the merit badges were passed out, the kids were able to fish at a pond in Herriman. It was a blast. I'm super pleased with our Cub Masters, Patrick and Autumn Johnson. They put so much effort in Pack meetings, they are always a huge success!

At this point I handed my camera to our friend, Ryan Patterson. He gets credit for these shots.

Only a few people caught these teeny tiny fish:

I missed it, but apparently Carson put a bunch of fish crackers into the water. When he saw a fish nibble on them, he threw his line in. As soon as he felt a tiny tug, he YANKED his line out of the water and a fish flew out onto the grass...not even connected to the hook! I guess he latched on enough to be pulled into the air, but not enough to stick on the line! Only Carson could accomplish something like that--he can be such a spaz sometimes, just one of the reasons why I think he is so awesome!

Fun photos from the evening:

This picture makes me understand....

....this picture. Like father like son.

Well, I guess I should explain the "do rag". Fern put this on Cameron a few days ago and now he constantly wants to wear it. He's gangsta like that.

Oh hey, Parker started Fall Soccer on Saturday. I'm really learning to love these games. This season Parker is playing with Jacob again, but he's also playing with my niece's two kids and a little girl from our neighborhood! So fun!!

Cameron made the most of his time at the field. Anything can become a toy to him!

This year the jersey's are silver. So handsome!

Go team!

Tonight I was working with Carson, trying to convince him that he needed to focus a little more on his homework. I left the room for a few minutes and when I returned he hadn't made any progress on his math worksheet. I said "Carson, why can't you focus?" He exclaimed to me, in a really exasperated voice "BECAUSE! My eye hurts, my stomach hurts, and I have all these red bumps all over my belly!" Then he stood up on his stool and pulled his shirt up over his head. I think I gasped, audibly.

He had red bumps all over his stomach and chest! I asked him when they showed up and why didn't he tell me about it earlier?!? He said "I dunno, maybe on Friday, I just figured they were pimples."

Pimples???? What 8 year old thinks he's getting zits on his stomach?!? It was all I could do to not laugh out loud. We had a little talk about puberty and getting zits, and then I called Instacare. On the way to instacare I had another little talk with that he's 8 and I don't ever see him nekkid, I told him he always needs to let me know when he sees something weird or unusual on his body....I know, I know, I'm asking for trouble here! I didn't know what else to say! I don't bathe him, he showers on his own, so I would never have known about these bumps!

I was praying it wasn't chicken pox. He has been immunized against chicken pox, but I know that's not fool proof. He was at school, at church, and hanging out with his cousin today. How awful to expose all those people to the chicken pox!

The waiting room at the Instacare is a people-watching DREAM! Constant entertainment! The first kid who got called back with the nurse looked perfectly healthy. Then I heard the nurse say to him as they were walking away "So, you decided to put a penny up your nose!" ha ha ha! Good one!

Then another guy walks into the building acting all wheezy, seriously he could hardly breathe. He walked up the reception desk and just stands there, unable to talk. The receptionist said "are you having an asthma attack?" The guy nods. A doctor comes out and asks the patient's wife "how long has he been this bad?" The wife says "since yesterday!" ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have no words.

Another guy comes in holding a big bloody bandage over his hand. He sits down and starts bobbing all over the place, almost passing out. His friend runs back to the nurses station screaming "where are all the people???!!!" At this point Carson got called back. Bummer, I wonder what happened to ol' bobble head? Did somebody stab him? Did he cut his finger off? Was it a hang nail and he was a wuss? I'll never know.

The doctor walks into the room and says "I'm Dr. Atzet". I said "that's weird, Carson's teacher is Mrs. Atzet". The doc looks at Carson and says "are you in the 3rd grade?" Carson nods yes. Dr. Atzet said "that's my mom!". I love small world moments like that! One day I want to start a blog where people can write their freaky small world moments.

Anywho, Carson does not have chicken pox. Apparently his dry skin allows infections easier than normal skin so he got some sort of infection and then it spread. I still don't understand it, but he's on antibiotics now. Whatebs, the people watching was worth it, I'm good.

Finally, I sort of got my job back. My boss called me last week and said they were so slammed and they can't get all the work done. She asked if I would be willing to come back to work as a contracted employee. I agreed, but told her I could only work a few hours a day. I feel like it's the answer to our prayers for now. I still do the work from home, but most of it I will do in the evenings after kids are in bed. I checked out the work load today and couldn't believe my eyes! I've never seen so much backed up work in my life. It's going to take a month to dig myself out, but that's okay. I'm so thankful for a little added income!

I think that's all for now, I'm so happy to be caught up! I can't wait to see what adventures the next week brings!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Now THAT'S Old School!

My mom and dad are in the process of taking random pictures and putting them into scrapbooks, organized by family. As I was looking through my box of old pictures I was quite horrified. I swear, nobody has had more awkward growing up phases than me. Seriously. One day I will put my annual school pictures on here just to show you. For now, I'm too ashamed.

If it wasn't my out of control 'fro (I've embraced it now, but back in "the day" I had no idea how to tame this crazy mop of mine!) it was my out of control acne! Oh let's not forget my fangs, yes that's right. Fangs. I had some sweet pointy fangs that braces took care of, but I didn't get braces until High School! I also didn't know how to smile for pictures. Looking at those school photos took me right back to that moment. I can actually REMEMBER thinking to myself, right before the picture was taken, "oh crap, I can't figure out how to smile so I look good!" and then CLICK, the picture was taken, and my awkwardness was captured for all the world to see, forever. It's maddening! Why was it so hard to fake smile?

Carson and Parker came home with their school pictures today. Oh my.

I'm wondering, do I just keep these pictures so we have something to laugh about later on in life, or should I get retakes? We get to choose what color background we want. I had requested Gray for both kids. Both kids came home with blue backgrounds. Duh! However, the blue background isn't really the issue here....

Carson has his own 'fro going on. Poor kid. His hair looked nice going to school...maybe it was windy, I don't know, but DANG that's some awesome action going on up there:

Then there is this guy. Lately, when he fake smiles, he doesn't show his teeth. So, right before school started I said "Parker, remember to show your teeth when you are smiling!". I should have kept my big mouth shut I think. :)

My parents were kind enought to let me scan some of their photos today.

Here is my dad's Senior Portrait. It looked painted. Fancy! What white teeth you have!!! His hair looks brownish-red here but lemme tell you, it was jet black! The only reason this is so funny, is because he's had bright white hair (almost as white as those teeth) since the day I was born!

Correct me if I'm wrong dad, but I think this picture was pre-mission:

And this picture is post-mission:

Here's the cute couple on their wedding day! My mom tried on dresses one day with her mom (my grandma). Mom told Grandma what she liked and what she didn't like. About a week later, my mom gets a package in the mail...Grandma made a wedding dress for my mom and just mailed it to her, without any explanation! It fit perfectly and she had incorporated what my mom liked into it. That's some amazing talent!

Here is said Grandma, along with Grandpa. A few years ago they passed away within 6 months of each other.

My dad was in the army during their newlywed years. Such a classy couple!

Here are my parents with my Grandma and Grandpa Clark (dad's folks). You can see my dad's hair starting to turn a little salt and pepper. The look so happy...well, except Grandpa Clark. I think whatever was said to encourage laughter was perceived as inappropriate to him. I dunno, maybe he just couldn't figure out how to fake smile. I understand Grandpa!

I didn't really know my Grandpa. He passed away when I was 6 years old. I remember him as being pretty grumpy. However, now when my dad tries to be grumpy it just comes across as really funny. So, maybe my grandpa was funny and I just misinterpreted his crankiness.

My Grandma lived until I was in 8th grade. I remember her very well. We used to mow her grass every week and we had countless Sunday dinners at her house. Her name was Lillie. I looked up to her. She never finished a job or task until it was completely done, no matter how hard it was. To this day if I'm struggling to finish a task I remember my Grandma and her work ethic and I push on until the job is complete. She was so kind and relaxed and always had vanilla ice cream in the freezer.

Words don't do this picture justice! Nice hair, nice tie, nice mustache, nice couch.....CLASSIC! Those are my brothers, Darren and Michael. They are 18 months apart.

Now onto my mom.

Look at this cute picture! Now you know where I get my curly hair from. Those chips are only $.15!

I love the trousers! I think she looks a little like Parker in this picture. When my mom was little everybody called her "Patti". She hated it so much that when she was in 3rd grade (is that right mom?) she told her teacher "my dad says my name is Pat and so you can't call me Patti anymore". Well, if your dad says so.... :)

This was my mom's favorite dress. Chocolate colored silk with cream lace. Love it!

My Grandma Bell was very practical. She wrote every child's name right on that child in my mom's class pictures. Since this picture was in my mom's baby book, she wrote "me" on my mom. At least she didn't write it across Mom's face! Other classmates weren't so lucky!

Are horn-rimmed glasses back in style yet? I think they are awesome!! Here's my mom, Sharon, Daurell, and Phil (I hope I got the brothers right, I'm guessing!).

When my parents got married, the trend of the day was to have a big ol' article in the local paper about it! This must be before women were so vocal about their rights and independence. "Patricia Bell is now Mrs. Carl Rulon Clark!"

Finally, here is a picture of my Grandma Bell, her siblings, and her parents. My Grandma is the lady with the white and black polka dot dress on the bottom in the center. Wasn't she cute? My Great-Grandma Dunkley is in the yellow dress. Every picture I've seen of her has included her dressing to the max in the latest fashion! I bet she was fun to hang out with.

Too bad my grandchildren and great-grandchildren won't see my school pictures and think "She was so glamorous! I wish I could be just like her!" Seriously, I'm telling you, one day I'll have the guts to post them. For now, I'll let you just imagine it!