Monday, October 19, 2009

Dear Fadil #2

Who is FADIL?
She is my Future Adorable Daughter in Law!
This is a continuation of the letter that I will be writing for the next 12-22 years.

Dear Fadil,

I was wondering if you could possible get this letter to your mother. I would greatly appreciate it. Especially since you may not even be born yet. Thanks. MIL

Dear MOB (Mother of the Bride),

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I know you are busy educating your beautiful daughter but I wondered since we are going to be sharing grandkids if we could just open up a dialogue.

First of all please know that you have my eternal gratitude for raising my beloved DIL. We will love and adore her!

So my request for the month is this....

Please dress your daughter modestly. From day one. If you could possibly dress her with long sleeves and long pants all the time that would be great. I am trying to bring back the whole "ankles are never to be seen" and also introduce the new "elbows are too tantalizing" fashion scene.

Ok that may be extreme but if you could stick to the no strapless, spaghetti strap, backless, short, skanky, bikini, midriff, skin showing clothes. Please. Don't blame the fashion of the day. Don't tell me you can't find a modest prom dress. Just do it. You will never regret it.

You see I am trying to teach your future son-in-law to respect women and to think clean thoughts. If you could make it a bit easier on him that would be great. If this is too much of a challenge for you then please know that I will be forced to tell my son that either you or your daughter is a lady of the night.

WHAT? I am so just kidding. Kind of.

So that is all I wanted to say for now. Modesty. It can't be that hard. In return I will not get you this hat to wear at my family shower.
Thanks Fadil for letting me chat with your mom! Tune in next week when I have some advice for your cousins! Love you! MIL

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fall Recess

Warning: this is a long post. Here is the summary. I like fall. We went on a trip. Josh got braces. Thanks for reading. You may go back to your lives now citizens. (name that movie) good grief I can't even summarize briefly.

love fall in Utah!

I love the unpredictableness of the weather. It makes me laugh having the kids ask what they should wear that day. I love to tell them "I have no idea!" I love when they go to school in shorts and a sweatshirt. It looks awesome. We have a lot of fashion sense around here you know.

I also love how the weather causes a lot of whining and complaining. And this isn't coming from my kids.

I also love how the mountains light on fire with the bright reds, oranges and yellows as the leaves change! It is gorgeous!

I love how my electric bill drops so dramatically! I love having the windows open and burrowing into the blankets at night as the temperature plummets!

I love, love, love General Conference! It inspires me to renew my faith, have courage and get the laundry folded. In that order.

I also love FALL RECESS! This year we scheduled our fall break around Josh's Orthodontist appointment in Richfield Utah. Two of my sister, Tricia's kids were also getting braces so her family came along! The appointment was for Monday so of course we left on Thursday.

We drove down and stopped at Cove Fort.
It was amazing to be taken back to the time of stagecoaches, the Pony Express and the telegraph. It was also a good reminder of how easy my life really is.... I don't have 20-30 guests to cook for every night for one thing! The tour was fascinating although Joe got restless and ran outside to pout. After that we headed to St. George. We stayed at my uncles and aunts home which was absolutely wonderful! First of all it brought back fantastic memories of my childhood and family trips to visit cousins. Second of all it was wonderful to have a back yard to send the kids to play and run instead of being cooped up in a hotel room. Grant and Stephanie were so kind to let us borrow their home.
We slept that night and got up bright and early to head to Zions National Park! We had an absolutely delightful day hiking in this amazing place. Here we are at one of the falls. See the blurry lines on the right of the picture? Water falling.
Here we are at another fall. Water. Falling from Rocks. How beautiful is that? Hiking. With 10 kids. How fun it sounds. Until. You bring a 3 year old who bounces towards sharp drop offs oblivious to the fact that his mothers stomach has plummeted to her toes and her muscles have frozen in fear. At that point I realize I should have stayed at the gift shop. We wanted to hike to the top of Angel's Landing but Joe was ready for a rest (not to mention his mom is terrified of heights). So I sent everyone off and took Joe to get his blanket. We went to the gift shop, got a drink, went on another hike and rode the tour trams up the canyon hoping Joe would fall asleep. In the meantime this group hiked and climbed and hiked and hiked and climbed. Here is what I heard about Angels Landing while listening to the guide on the tram.
"After going through Refrigerator Canyon you will have to hike up 21 switchbacks called Walter's Wiggles."
Wow, I remember doing those last time I was here. So grateful I have Joe as an excuse not to do that again. Later I was told by the hikers that they are still KILLER. "Then after you get to Scout Overlook you have to climb up the spine of the mountain." This is the part where I can taste bile in my throat. "The trail is very dangerous and not recommended for young children or those afraid of heights."
What about a 6 year old whose mother is afraid of heights? Is that worse?
I could feel my hysteria intensifying. "There are places where the path is 3 feet wide and on both sides there is a drop off of 1200 feet"
3 feet! 3 feet! That is only 36 inches! MY BABIES!
1200 feet! I can't even comprehend what that looks like but just the sound of it makes me dizzy! The National Park Services let people do this? Where is the complaint desk? (I am now putting my head between my knees and praying earnestly)
"The views you see once you reach the tops are among the most spectacular in the world"
So not worth it. It would have been a better idea for us all to stay at the bottom and send 1 sacrificial person to go take pictures!

"When you are at the top please stay away from the edges and keep an eye on children. Please no horseplay"
I am sure that my sister will make sure that my kids are safe and Dave is there also to encourage Aaron who is so scared of heights he was crying AT THE BOTTOM. I am sure they will be wise!

Et tu Aaron? "There is also a chance while you are the top that you may see a California Condor from the Grand Canyon Project. "
WHAT? That bird is big enough to carry my boy off the mountain! But really, I wonder what the odds are of them actually seeing one? (pretty good apparently. Just ask Alex who saw it first and announced to everyone "Here's another chain, and a bird" said with a New York accent)

Needless to say when they got down from there 3+ hour hike I was exhausted from my ordeal! It was also dark so we loaded onto the tram and we headed home.
We picked up dinner at the In-N-Out in St. George! So tired that we didn't appreciate it near enough. We fell right to sleep.
The next morning we got ready and watched a bit of conference while Dave and Brandon went and ran errands.
Who run errands while on vacation? These boys. Gotta get the oil changed. Have to replace my cell phone. Need to pick up a smaller climbing harness. Gotta deliver a picture to Deseret Book for Sandra. Oh wait that one was me.
So eventually we made our way to Snow Canyon.
Can I just tell you that Snow Canyon has more memories for me of Spring Break during my college years... rapelling, spelunking, hiking, playing steal the flag, bbq's, the narrows, trips to the hospital. My goodness those were good times!
So we went to Snow Canyon and went spelunking first! It was so fun. I may be terrified of being at the tops of the mountains but I have no problem burrowing down deep into the Earth. Apparently though "Someone" is a bit scared of closed in places. So much so that he chose to stay with the sleeping Joe.
What are we going to do when Joe is grown up and we no longer have him for an excuse?
So after a bit of a hike we clambered down into the cave.We found a little opening that lead to another cavern. To get there you had to take off your backpack, lay down on your stomach and crawl through. Here is Brandon making his way through. Aaron who hates heights also is at home under the ground. In this second cavern there was another skinny little hole that some of the kids managed to get through that led to a tiny cavern underneath us. Here is Aaron who managed to squeeze through many tiny areas. Here he is saying howdy from underneath the rock where I was sitting. I enjoyed taking these pictures knowing that Dave would get a little sick looking at them later! Payback! We had a great time but we took too long because by the time we got back to the car we had no time to go climbing. We rushed back to let Dave, Josh, Brandon and Jacob go to Priesthood Conference.
The next day we got up, packed up and cleaned up. We decided to drive back through Zions and go through the tunnel and head up to Richfield that way. The drive was gorgeous! Here is a formation that my great, great, great, great, great grandkids will see as a full arch someday! Here is one of the "windows" in the tunnel. Amazing. Here is the goofball family that we followed or led for a few fun filled days! When we got to the hotel in Richfield we split up. The men took 6 kids home with them and Tricia and I stayed with the soon to be Metal-mouths and Joe.
Here is Josh in the most flattering picture that could ever be taken of a child!
And the final result!
So there you have it! Our fine fall trip. Great times. Not facing fears. Beautiful world.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Dear Future Daughter in Law,

Hi. This is me. Your mother-in-law. I have been thinking a lot about you lately. A mom with 5 sons will be prone to do that from time to time. I have many to things to tell you but I will take my time. Since I have a good 12-22 years. And I am not flexible on those dates by the way.
So the first item of business is this...
I am sorry.
I tried.
I really did er, do.
Your husband was taught several million times how to ... do dishes, put his clothes away, clean a bathroom, not burp at the table, take out the garbage, put stuff back after using it and to put the seat down. Really. He is being taught. REPEATEDLY. I hope some of it sinks in before I turn him over to you.
But if for some crazy reason it doesn't do not curse my name or ever think that I was a lazy mother or any of those other thoughts you will have about me.
If you can't help but think you would have done things so much better then I will gladly sit back and watch and learn as you raise my 5 fine grandsons that I will pray for you to have.
I love you dearly.
More later,