Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Excuse me, but I think I ordered CLEAR skies...

We are back from spring break in St. George. I'm back-dating our recap. We left on Wednesday after Rob came home from work, so we were on the freeway by about 6:30 p.m. I took this shot around 8:15, just before we arrived in Scipio for a bathroom break and made the fatal mistake of waking Ellie up, since we figured we wouldn't be stopping again before we got to St. George. When we went into the gas station she started throwing a fit over some ridiculous triviality that I don't even remember now. By the time we left I was worried that someone was going to arrest me for kidnapping a screaming, hitting and kicking child. Kind of reminds me of this.
As we got onto the ramp for the freeway it started snowing. Big thick flakes. But the roads weren't slick, so we kept going. Once we got past Fillmore it was even worse, practically a whiteout. It took us three hours to get to the next town, which is Beaver, only 80 miles. We had to pull over and snap the wipers to get the ice off several times. It was miserable, and I wasn't even driving. I wish I'd taken a photo of the car and bikes, but we were exhausted and had to get all the tired kids, suitcases and bikes into the motel. Which, by the way, was the scummiest room I've ever stayed in. And I know that comes across as so privileged and ungrateful. I WAS grateful to make it there safely, and if I have nothing worse that a crummy motel room to complain about, I really do have it made. Still, I could smell vomit in that room. Yuck.
Our last drive on this stretch of road we were stuck just north of Beaver for three hours because the freeway was shut down. We are done traveling I-15 in the snow. Again, I shouldn't complain, especially after reading about Matt and Shawn's adventure.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


This is what a visit looks like when your home teacher is the president of V Chocolates. Ainsley said, "I think he is the chocolate bunny." No Ainsley, our easter bunny has never delivered goods like these. He told us that he's probably being reassigned. Just in time for swimming suit season. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

"Fun family"

I have a huge overflowing box full of memorabilia that I'm trying to get rid of, so I'm hoping to scan what I can and this is my first project. It's a book Ellie made last fall, drawings of each member of our family in the previously unknown genre of "Blender Art." Apparently Ainsley was drawing a picture of a smoothie, and Ellie saw opportunity in those lines. We see a future career at Cartoon Network for Ellie.
You'll notice a law enforcement theme in these next two photos—first Dad, as the prisoner.
And Mom, as the police officer. And I don't want to see any comments about me getting out the handcuffs—this is my six year-old drawing these.
Here's Joey. Love that his hair is literally red.
I noticed that I am the only person who is not saying "fun" or "fun family." An oversight, I'm sure. :)
Can you see the blender shapes here? She's a genius.
She did two portraits of each of us. Here are the backside pictures.I can't even tell you how much I love these pictures. I'm not sure this "scan and throw away" idea is going to work. How could I toss these?

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Marsh madness

I was searching through my iPhoto library for a "this day in history" photo, but I can never seem to find a photo from the exact day I need one, so this is just a nod to the season. We went to Vegas for the Mountain West Conference Championship, and saw some great games. Rob, Ralph, Rich or Jake could probably still give a play-by-play. I just seem to remember Van Horn sinking a three pointer at the buzzer, and having a good time, in spite of all the smoke. I hate Vegas. EDITED: Rob informs me that Van Horn was already gone by 1999, when this photo was taken. We went to the tournament a few times and I got my dates mixed up. I do not have the super-sports-trivia gene.

As a side-note, we saw Ray Charles while we were there. It's kind of embarrassing that I snapped this photo standing about two feet away from him, but at least he didn't see me. :) I haven't earned the title of Photo Nazi for nothing.
As of today, I'm number two in the family bracket, but I've got Kentucky going all the way, so Dan has the best chance of winning (just bragging rights) this year.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Another day on the slopes

We took advantage of the awesome Park City Start Now program again, this time snowboarding. In the past, I've tried to talk Rob into learning to snowboard, so we could go as a family, but once again I was glad that he's not interested, because I got to take the boys up and enjoy a great day of sunshine and fresh snow while Rob stayed home with the girls.

I was in a lesson myself, but managed to get a few photos of the boys since they were nearby. Here they are getting the hang of toe and heel drag:I was just in front of them in the lift line:Robbie, ready to head down the hill:
And Joey, on his way down. Last week his skiing instructor told me he was a "wild man," which I took to mean he's a natural, and not afraid. His snowboarding instructor said the same thing, so I though I'd better clarify, just to make sure he wasn't out of control. The teacher assured me that it was a compliment, and said both of the boys were the stars of the class.I'm happy to report that after my first lesson I got bumped up to level three, and the college aged kids in my class stayed in level one. Score one for middle-aged moms. I even out-paced the boys, who will be in level two next time. Sorry, I don't often have something to brag about. On the other hand, I am SORE today. It's a full-body workout for sure.We came home to a clean house again. Rob is definitely off the hook for a while.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Unscheduled day=happiness

I try to have one every month—one day with NOTHING on the calendar. Today was that day. It's not that I had nothing to do, but no place that we had to be at a specific time. I could (and did) stay in my pajamas until 11:00 (until someone dropped by and I was embarrassed so I finally took a shower). I caught up on my e-mail and feeds, and did laundry.
I also made bread. I've been doing this January 16th and it is SO much easier than I thought it would be! My first attempt was with a recipe from the local Bosch store, and it was good, but then my neighbor, who has been baking bread for 20 years, came over and taught me how to make her recipe. I forgot to take photos—you can read about that here. Since then, I've only purchased a few loaves at the store. Everyone except Ainsley prefers the homemade bread. It's best to see a demo rather than read a recipe, because you can get a better sense of how sticky the dough should be, and what the yeast bubbles should look like before adding all the other ingredients, but if anyone is feeling adventurous, here is the recipe. It's dangerously addictive for such a healthy food!
If you click on the recipe you can see a larger version. And if you want any of my recipes in a PDF (which is a much higher resolution) just leave me a message and I'll e-mail it.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Things we do: Scouting

With two boys it's sort of inevitable. I've been den leader of both Wolves and Bears, and Rob is now the bishopric member over the scouting program. Robbie is now a boy scout, and Joey is about half-way through the cub program. Every member of a scout's family is considered a member of the pack, and it's easy to see why—it is truly a family effort. All of the kids had fun at tonight's pack meeting, where they got to make popsicle stick frisbees and paper airplanes. Joey won the contest for landing his frisbee in the Easter basket first.

And I guess this photo belongs in the things we do category too, although it's not something we do on a regular basis. Bonding over ice cream is a Marsh family tradition, and one we'll happily continue, even if Snelgrove's is no longer an option.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Resolutions revisited

Supposedly accountability is key in achieving goals. So I posted three of mine on January 1st.
Here's an update on how things are going so far:

1) Read the Old Testament—I figured that I'd need to read 5 pages a day, with about 60 days built in to slack off. Well, I've now used all of my slacking days and then some. So far I'm only on page 19. But I'm on page 238 of my commentary book, which has been helpful. So I've re-figured, and if I read 6 pages a day, I can still accomplish this goal. Of course if I want to understand what I'm reading there's a lot of commentary pages on top of that. I think I'll try to do this reading before I let myself read anything else. If that doesn't work nothing will.

2) Another marathon—I'm not doing great on this one either. I signed up for the Moab half-marathon and bailed because six weeks of being sick really took a toll on my training. But I've got my plan for St. George and am keeping my fingers crossed for the lottery. Still plenty of time for this one.

3) Photo of the day—YES, one goal that I feel really good about. I don't always get my photo posted on the day I took it, but overall this is working. I love that I'm capturing more of our daily life, and not just the big events. Also, it's so much easier to take five minutes a day than to feel overwhelmed because I need to catch up. There have been days that I haven't been in the mood or have been at a loss for something to photograph, but again, that just corroborates the real life experience that I'm trying to document.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fablehaven launch party

Last year, I exposed us as book nerds. Evidence here and here. We were just as excited to attend the launch party for the fifth and final book in the series, Keys to the Demon Prison. This year was even better than last year because we had a bigger group.
The party started at 6:30, but we showed up at 5:00 so we could get a good spot in line for the book signing (they were handing out tickets). Unfortunately, even going that early there were hundreds of people ahead of us, so we ended up not staying to get our books signed. But these guys didn't mind a little waiting time. :)
Waiting for the show to begin...
Shannon Hale was the emcee again this year—she was fun.
They tossed out tons of glow sticks, which was a big hit, and we were close enough to get some this time.
Brandon emerged from the magical knapsack this year instead of the quiet box.
There was a cool presentation of a news report with Brandon granting the wish of a ten year-old, dying of cystic fibrosis, who wanted to know what happens in book five. It turns out that he was able to come to the party, and he was made a Knight of the Dawn.
The DC Comedy group was funny too, and had some great book/film skits.
We had a great time! Now it's a race to see who'll finish the book first.

Monday, March 22, 2010


So yesterday for dinner I served Chili, Spinach Parmesan soup and Vegetable Cheese soup. I had a few people request the recipes, and told them that the first two recipes were on my blog already (just click the links). I'm adding the Vegetable Cheese recipe, but the photo is a placeholder, since I forgot to take any photos when I made it. Hopefully I'll remember and switch this the next time I make it.

And my daily photo is very small, on this recipe, which we made for family home evening tonight.

I also added a section on the sidebar that you can click and get all the recipes I've posted.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Family history night

One of our very favorite traditions is the family history night with Rob's extended family. We get together on the third Sunday most every month and learn about a different ancestor. Our little house was full-to-bursting, but it was great to see everyone and finally take our turn. Grandpa and Grandma have gone to so much work to research and print the family stories and photos, and have given each family a binder to collect it all. They always express their love for us, both verbally and with their actions. We are so grateful for them and love them so much.
Grandpa's birthday is tomorrow. He's somewhere around 30 celsius now, and we hope he's got many years to go.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ski lessons

I'll be editing this later to add more photos and commentary about our ski day, but here's a preview. It was a hit. And I'm exhausted.Okay, I've recovered. Here we are at equipment rental:
Thank goodness my mom came with me, I never would have managed parking and getting equipment for five kids (in separate lines, since Riley and Parker were snowboarding).
We barely got them to the mountain for their 1:00 lessons, and then we went to lunch. I hiked up to get photos, but only saw Robbie and Joey. Their instructor said they were both doing great, and that Joey was an animal. Like I needed him to tell me that. :)Ellie was excited about her lesson, especially riding the lift all by herself. She was also pretty wiped out.
So when I tried to get her to stand up for a photo it didn't go over well. You can see Robbie yelling at her in the first photo here. Something along the lines of "Stop being such a crybaby." I have no idea where the temper or the bossiness comes from. We couldn't get her to smile, but she did stop crying for a second or two.Then I gave up and took this shot of Riley and Parker. No crybabies here, but they were tired too.The kids were all excited that we got to take the bus back to the car. I guess the alternative is showing up before 10:00 to get a spot in the lot.It didn't take Ellie too long to recover—she was pretty happy once she got her boots off.I wish I'd been able to snap a photo of all the kids in the car on the way home. Every one of them fell asleep by the time we hit the freeway. We can't wait to go back next week for snowboarding!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday night grocery shopping

Pretty lame, I know. But infinitely better than going to Costco on a Saturday. Maybe someday my grandkids will look at this photo and be amazed that I could purchase all this for only $263. Just so they know what I got for my money, here's the list: 5 lbs. flour, 5 lbs. sugar, 6 lbs. powdered sugar, 16 oz. unsweetened chocolate, 16 granola bars, 1 package Ritz crackers, 1 bottle celery seed, 1 bottle ground coriander, 1 bottle ground mustard, 2 bags of chips, 2 containers of fresh salsa, 1 package of chocolate chips, 1 gallon of milk, 1 quart of buttermilk, 2 packages of frozen spinach, 84 Rhodes rolls, 1 can of shaving gel, 3 lbs. Italian sausage, 3 lbs. ground beef, 4 lbs. bananas, 2 lbs. red grapes, 2 bell peppers, 2 heads of garlic, 5 yellow onions, 3 lbs. of carrots, 5 lbs. potatoes, 15 lbs. grapefruit, 5 lbs. cheddar cheese, 1 lb. fresh parmesan, 250 dryer sheets, 200 plastic cups, 165 dinner plates, 30 rolls of toilet paper, 1 jug of Clorox 2, 6 Clorox toilet cleaner tablets, 2 bottles Tilex cleaner, 4 lbs. butter, 2 loaves of bread, and 2 flashlights. Any bets on how long I can hold off another trip to the store?

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The field trip that everyone went on today

I should have taken a photo of the thousand other people that were at Discovery Gateway today. It made a busy day at Disneyland seem peaceful. At least there the kids you're trying to keep track of are corralled in a line. But Ainsley loved it. I hear that two p.m. on a weekday is the time to go for fewer crowds. We may try that. But not for a very long time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The porcupine came!

As the kids went to put their jackets on to go to school, they found chocolate gold coins in their lockers. Ellie rushed in to tell Ainsley, who was miraculously still in bed. Ainsley jumped right up, all excited and shouted "Oohhh! The porcupine came!" Someone said, "You mean the leprechaun?" but even as she was getting dressed she explained to me that she had to wear green so the porcupine wouldn't pinch her. Too funny.

Yesterday's daily photo is still coming...I'm doing a little research to go along with it.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Book group

Tonight's group was small, but the discussion was good. I love book group!