Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer English Has Begun

Written May 31st: This past week I had to do some planning. I've been celebrating that Leif's school is out. But that's not entirely true. His Day Job is over. But that doesn't mean that school is over. Leif and I are both taking Summer Courses online this summer. Classes start tomorrow. Leif just finished a really fun class called "Foods of the US." That was so fun! One of his text books was a great cookbook and the class compiled a fun collection of recipes by the end of class. I love when you can walk away from a class and feel like it made a difference. This next round of classes Leif will have one English class and I will have two English classes. It will keep us on our toes!

When Leif and I both have classes, in order to meet every one's needs and keep things afloat organization is a requirement. So, this is what I have come up with for our Summer Routine.... June 2nd: Just Kidding! I was going to copy and Paste the schedule that I made up onto this post. But some how it didn't get saved on to my computer. Luckily I printed it off. It basically keeps us all in order and reminds us to pray, read our scriptures, have family time, do our homework, get up in the morning, eat, and go to bed at night. Not too crazy.

So far things are going alright. But that's not saying too much, Leif's parents have had Jakob with them all day. So I was able to do school work all day. So I'll keep you posted on the realities of our world as it evolves.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Suggestions Needed!

Good morning everyone! Leif has a post on his blog that we need comments and sugestions on. Skip on over there for a minute and let us know your thoughts!!!

Thanks:) LEIF'S BLOG

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Big Baron Family Treasure Trove Trip

We jumped into this summer's activity right away! School got out on Thursday and Leif's brother and sister arrived with most of their children on Friday. I have managed to write all of our fun down. But I'm still working on gathering photos from everyone's cameras. I'll post what I have and then make another post to let everyone know I've updated the photos.

Saturday we spent the day together here in town. Everyone spent the first part of the day at a local charity event. One of the auto mechanics set up a mini country carnival outside their station. The proceeds went to a local family who needs help with medical bills. It was fun to go and have hamburgers and listen to the local musicians show their stuff. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the bouncy and winning prizes from the Fishing Pond. In between all of that fun, we took Jakob to a Bike Safety activity sponsored by our DARE officer. It just so happened that we purchased Jakob his first bike the day before. He's still unsure about how to get the bike moving. But it's a fun start.

As grandma made dinner that evening the kids decided to play with water ballon bombs. They filled up regular sized baloons in grandmas kitchen sink and played with them on the trampoline. They played until one exploded all over grandma's kitchen. Larissa and Leif picked our radishes. They are the first harvest out of our garden and they turned out beautiful. That evening grandma made some delicious white chili and we had a good time visiting up here in the barn.

Sunday we went to church together. That afternoon we had a wonderful birthday celebration for our sweet nephews. I was so grateful for our "great room" up here in the barn that allows us to entertain the whole family for dinner. After dinner we gathered everyone up and headed over to the home of Ron and Sherre (family friend's). They have an unofficial petting zoo on their property. We played with their puppies, found the eggs under their brooding hen, fed their bottled fed calf, chased the roosters, pet and fed the horses, and watched their mountain goat along the cliffs above their back yard. It was so nice to be able to let the kids run free. While the kids played we sat down with Ron and Sherre and made plans for the upcoming few days. Sherre was raised out on the Navajo Indian Reservation near Page Arizona. She has literally roamed the cliffs and valleys throughout that area and into the area near Colorado City Arizona throughout her entire life. We sat in their living room and Sherre asked us what we wanted out of our upcoming trip with her. These were the words that were said: safe, fun, non strenuous, educational, dinosaurs, horses, cemeteries, and an experience. And boy did she ever deliver!

Sunday night we came back to our house and had a good ol' fashion Taffy Pull. It was fun to try to flavor the taffy (which didn't work) and then explain to the kids that we were calling them over to Pull the Taffy, not EAT it.:) One of the special moments as a family was our Family Scripture Study each night (Thanks brother for heading it up!)

Monday we headed out over the Kaibab mountain and then towards Marble Canyon. This is always a beautiful scenic drive. This time of year there are wild flowers that line the side of the road and when you get out to the desert the cactus are in bloom. As we drove closer to Marble Canyon there were huge boulders that had rolled off of the mountains and Jakob called them "tree rocks" because some of them were shaped like trees from the wind blowing along the sides. It was incredible. We had lunch at the Navajo Bridge visitor center. From there we walked along the original Navajo Bridge that was built over the Colorado River in 1928. Sherre is a wonderful story teller and was an endless source of fascinating facts and experiences as we traveled along throughout the day. As we came to the end of the bridge she scooted us over to the side where there was a stone wall built and she showed us where her father had signed his name after he constructed the wall. She talked to the kids about how one should never throw anything over the bridge but she assured them with a wink that paper airplanes flew especially well as they caught the wind just right off of the bridge. The funniest story she shared about the Navajo Bridge was of the Indian named Jake who supported his liquor habit by stopping tourists who crossed the bridge and insisting that it was a tole bridge.

From there we piled in two vehicles (from the three that we came in) and drove down to Lee's Fairy. This is a ranch that was established by the Fairy Master's family who ran the fairy across the Colorado River. When you get to the ranch, if you were to come without a special tour guide) you were enjoy the serenity of the beautiful orchard and cabins that have been maintained on the property. You would walk down in the root cellar and meander through the grass and look at the trees and flowers along the way. But when you go with Sherre, you always walk just a little further then you think necessary and a whole new world opens up. This is what happened to us. As we followed Sherre we came upon the family cemetery where many family members were laid to rest. Including almost all of one family's children who died from a fever they caught from another family whom they had taken in and cared for. Imagine the trial of faith that would have been. As we continued up past the ranch and cemetery we saw the river. Apparently Sherre learned to swim in this river. The kid's were thrilled to have all of us walking together through the brush to the river. It wasn't swimming weather (we actually had a rain burst hit us as we were walking through the ranch) but it was definitely great ship sinking weather! Sherre broke off some large sticks (ships) and we all threw rocks at them as they flowed down the river and tried to sink them. Simply Fun and Great Memories!

From there, we drove down to the big river (the Colorado). At that point of the river you can really notice when they hold back or let out water from the Glenn Canyon Dam up stream. We were lucky that the tide was low. There was a lot of beach and a few tide pools. The kids were in heaven. They ran and jumped in the tide pools and soaked themselves to the skin. They wrote their names in the sand and walked along the edge listening to stories that Sherre told them about growing up along the rivers edge. She told us of how her father would swim the river with three year old Sherre clinging to his back. And the time that she was sunbathing on a rock in the middle of the river and fell asleep only to wake up and realize that the water had been let out of the dam and she had to swim back to the edge rather then hop across the rocks. This little trip to the river was great fun for all of us! To end the day we went out to good ol' Burger King and stuffed the kids full of their favorite cuisine. Then we stopped off at the Glenn Canyon Dam and looked out the window at the spectacular view below. By then the kids were tired! We were surprised to hear them ask to go home and play at grandmas. Sometimes, it's too much to take in. But in reality, the kid's had a great time it was just an incredibly full day! And that was only the first...

Tuesday we met up with Sherre again and headed out to C B (I am trying to keep this place secret for reason's you will note soon.) Sherre drove us out to her family's ranch. When you arrive you immediately feel a welcoming spirit. The grounds are set up in a way that beckons one to sit and visit. As you enter the home you find a trove of treasures unlike anything you have ever seen in your life, let alone inside a rural country home. For privacy reasons I will not go into great detail. But I will show a few photos and say that it definitely made an impact on the adults as well as the children.

After walking through the home we went out to the horses. Along the way Sherre made a special stop to show me something she knew I would appreciate. It is called the bath house. It is literally where the family would bath. Against the back wall there is a small stove where they would warm the water to fill the bath tub. It definitely got me thinking...And finally, we came to the horses. Sherre saddled up one of the horses and we each got to ride through the corral. I wasn't going to get on a horse. But it wasn't right for me to practically force Jakob to get on and then refuse myself. So we ALL got on the horse except for grandma and grandpa. Everyone was asking for another turn when it was time to go eat lunch. Me personally, I felt like a fish out of water. I have no muscle strength or coordination to get myself on or off of the horse. Once on, I was okay. But it's not really my cup of tea. Jakob on the other hand was extremely nervous as Sherre situated him on the horse. But once he started to ride he had a great time. We're pondering riding lessons for him. Living out in the country provides many opportunities to go horseback riding if you're so inclined. As a mother and a City Slicker, I just try to avoid thinking about the safety issues related to horses...

But getting back to the moment, we all had a fun time and I was the only silly one who walked away with a battle wound. I wore shorts because I had no intention of getting on a horse. Of course I ran my shin across the saddle belt as I climbed down. Duh!And now, for the Grand Finale! Our Dinosaur Tracks adventure! This part of the trip was especially designed for my Jakob. We all piled into a big truck and headed out. Sherre led us out through the brush. We stopped and pulled off of the dirt road. I tied Caleb onto my back (I could sense that this was going to be more of the hiking adventure type of activity.) So Sherre calls Jakob over and designates him as our official dinosaur tracks hunting guide. She then asked him which way he wanted to go. He pointed toward the hills. So, we began climbing up the sand dunes and sagebrush. My father in law found me a great walking stick that I was really thankful for by the end of our little hike.

As we hiked Sherre would help the kids take note of where we were and where we wanted to be. I have to admit that I was wondering if the adventure was all about imagination. No, it was not all about imagination. We had climbed up the hills above what we could see as a large watering hole for animals. As we came upon the scene Sherre asked Jakob just the right question (something like "where would dinosaurs go to get a drink if they were out her?") that made him direct us towards the watering hole. As we got down there we were all thrilled to find a wide variety of dinosaur tracks in all shapes and sizes. Everyone had fun "Tracking" them. In some places you can literally see where the dinosaurs climbed up the rock from the water. And to top off the experience, thunder started to roll off in the distance and it started to sprinkle rain. Come to find out all we needed to really do when we got out of our truck is continue down the road and into the water wash. But I am really grateful for the off road dinosaur hunt that we were led on. However, as we walked up the wash Sherre stopped us to show us something in the sand. It was a piece of pottery from an old Indian pot (she gave it to Jakob). That inspired all of us to keep our eyes open. We actually did find another broken pot along the way. Several of the other kids now have a special treasure. They were also excited to find different animal bones along the way.

As we were driving home it began to rain. The beauty of a desert rain is a sight to behold. The sage and grass that dots the sand dunes and sand stone is extra green and the cliffs take on a shimmering silver tone that makes you wonder if it is actually snow that is falling rather then the rain. Beautiful...As the day came to a close we knew that we were in no way in the mood to cook. So, we ordered Pizza! We ate a lot and enjoyed each other's company the rest of the night. Erik and his family joined us and we had a great time.

That night all of the older kid's. Leif, Larissa, Erik, and Stacey all decked themselves out in black and played "Night Games" until midnight. I was in the Barn with my little ones. But Leif said that grandma sat out on a bench with a couple of grand kids and watched the games unfold. Precious Times!As I have taken the time to reflect and write about the last couple of days I am amazed at all that has taken place. I am truly grateful for the opportunity that we had to take the time together as family to explore the secrets and beauty of our surroundings. And how grateful I am for our dear friend who took the time to create such a precious and memorable experience for us. And I would be far amiss if I did not conclude with thanking the one who created the beautiful land that we have just explored. How grateful I am for the beauty of this earth!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Loving Another Person

Tonight the subject of love and marriage came up around the dinner table (we found out about a couple's pending divorce). The classic statement, "you can't love someone else unless you love yourself first" was expressed. I have taken the time tonight to really ponder that thought.

In my opinion I believe that one can love another without loving themselves. However, I know for certain that a person who does not value themselves, can not show value towards another person. Love and Value are different in their actions. I found a statement on this subject that draws a good picture of what I am trying to say.

"It's the mirror effect, basically. You see in the other what you see in yourself, and hate it. Or you expect in the other what you don't have yourself...and they don't have it either."

Have you ever found yourself obsessed over a weakness within yourself, and then realized that you have not only started nagging yourself about the weakness, but you've started nagging your spouse about the same thing? The mirror effect that is mentioned above can become a very dangerous tool that the adversary uses to destroy a marriage.

I stopped tonight and asked myself what my biggest frustrations were about myself today. Then, I reflected on what I said to and how I treated Leif today (in thought and deed.) They were surprisingly similar.

I believe that perfect love is an eternal quest. But true love is attainable in this life. Loving our self requires recognition of a weakness and action to fix it. This change shows value.

We can only inspire change in others as we change our self.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

YIPPEE For Summer!

School is finally out! For the most part this is a great excitement. On the other hand, it worries me. Jakob is very needy at this point in his life. He requires so much attention and participation that school is an absolute life saver! So, without it, I worry. However, school being out also means that Leif is home all day. So, there is some consolation in my fears.

But for now, we celebrate! The last day of school for us was actually on Thursday. So Thursday evening we had a little fun together. We put on our PJ pants and went out for pizza. Jakob thought it was so fun that we had a Pajama Pizza Party! We then cam home and watched movies. Jakob watch Jurassic Park while Leif finished homework. Then Leif and I watched Twilight. No, I haven't read the books. It was a good movie though. I'm so grateful for a hubby that will watch chick flicks with me every once in a while. So, thus begins our Summer Vacation!

As you may have noted, Leif (and I) still have online classes that we're taking. His have started already. Mine start on June 1st. So, we still have school, just no "work." Although, Leif is thinking about renewing his Massage Therapy licence. So we'll see what happens.

Our first Summer activity is a visit from Leif's brother and his kids (we miss the rest of his family!) We're trying to ignore the drizzling rain today and we try to enjoy each other's company. I'm sure we'll manage.

Last night I stayed up and finally drew up a plan for a wedding anniversary weekend getaway that Leif and I want to take. I'm looking forward to it Very Much! But that will be another post...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Enrichment Night Idea: Food Storage-Emergency Essentials

Be Prepared
Enrichment Night

Three Centers: Have a five minute presentation. Pass out information. Ask women to share experiences or ideas with each other. Watch YouTube videos.

Center Ideas:
72 Hour Kits, Gardening without a lot of space, How to cook and enjoy freeze dried and dehydrate food (with samples), Building a 3-Month Supply, Cooking without electricity, How to store water, etc.

Reward For Participation: Everyone that visits a center gets a sticker.
Candy Bar Wrappers

Website Resources:

YouTube Videos:

Pandemic Anti-Viral Shots

We had stake conference this past weekend. Leif and I were unable to go to the Saturday night session. However his grandparents told us what the subject was. Can you guess? "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear!" The whole night was dedicated to counseling about family food and emergency preparedness.

A couple of weeks prior to Stake Conference our bishop announced in Sacrament Meeting that the county health department were allowing us to reserve anti viral shots for our family for When a flu pandemic comes through (not IF!) The subject was reemphasized during stake conference. Leif and I decided that we would heed the counsel. We reserved our shots and they will be available when we need them. This means that if they start running out, we are guaranteed what we need, when we need it.

This brings us comfort!

Update and Photos: $100 Chicken - New Grass- Food Storage

I have a few minutes before the Baron Express is scheduled to pick up Jakob from school;) So I'll finally give a little update and post a few pictures.

Well, we had another flu season hit in our little town. Unfortunately Caleb and I caught a tiny bout of it. Luckily it was short lived. I am feeling better and Caleb is getting there. His ears are always connected to any illness that he struggles with. But I've already vented about this problem enough. Jakob and Leif are winding down their last week of school. Jakob is SOO excited for his Pajama Party that his class is having on the last day of school. We are all looking forward to having Papa home all day with us!!!! I can't even tell you how much I look forward to this!

As a family, we are looking forward to a visit from Leif's brother and a few of his kids. We're also looking forward to a little trip with some of the Baron family. It will definitely be an adventure out in the wilderness of Northern Arizona. I'll tell more about it as the time gets closer.

You may remember that we had several trips planned this summer. One especially big one to the California Redwood Forest. Well, we ended up canceling the trips after feeling strongly prompted to do so. Not Exactly sure why, but we feel good about the decision. We feel sad about missing the trip to California! But we've learned to follow the prompting when they come like that. So, our summer is an open book. We have a few thoughts and plans, but really, a lot of our time will be spent caring for our little Baron Family Homestead. Our garden is doing very well, and the chickens are happy and healthy. Leif worked really hard and has set up a really nice coop and range for the chickens. It has turned out to be a rewarding adventure already. We enjoy going out to the coop and watching all of the silly chickens live their silly life. I'm glad we got such interesting chickens to look at...
Speaking of chickens, it seems we have a beauty on our hands. She is a white Bantam Silky. We knew she would be pretty. But she started getting black spots on her feathers and Leif posted pictures of her on a chicken forum that he uses. We have literally gotten two offers for Silky for over $100.00! Now that is a lot seeing that we purchased her for under $3.00. We're going to let her grow up some more before we decide what to do. I'm pondering showing her in the Utah State Fair. I think that would be fun!
We have also committed to getting our food storage and emergency preparedness essentials ready this Summer. In order for me to keep track of things, you guessed it, I started yet another blog. I find it really helps me to think things through. It will always be a work in progress, but I'd love any input or support anyone feels they'd like to share. It's address is

Okay, it's picture time! This is looking back on the last couple of weeks as we've cleaned up our yard and planted grass.
This is me using a Weed Wacker for the Very First time in my life! I just have to say that I did great by the way;)

This is my shoes and socks after cutting all of the fox tails down in our yard. I threw the socks away and haven't attempted to clean the shoes...

And this is our new yard! Thank you Dusty and Dairus for helping us lay the grass!!!

Monday, May 18, 2009

AAAA! Ear Infections and Health Insurance!

So I'm pulling my hair out this morning! Caleb started in with a fever again last night. We literally just finished a round of antibiotics for ear infections a week ago. I called this morning to confirm his tubes appointment on June 2nd. Only to find out that even though I had taken Caleb in to the E.N&T doctor twice and scheduled the tubes appointment twice (The first one canceled because of RSV) the doctor doesn't accept our insurance. So now months have been waisted and Caleb has had half a dozen flare up infections in the the middle of it all. And we will most likely have to wait another month to get the tubes and possibly drive 5 hours for the appointment. Ahhh, the joys of living out in the country...

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Thinking and Getting Sleepy

I think everyone is busy these days. All of our winter blogging hours have slowed down. But that just means we're all outside playing and running around more... Right? I think that's been the case for me. I'm still trying to catch up with my brain... In fact, that's why I'm still awake when everyone else is asleep (2 hours ago!) I finished my book a bit ago. I set down all of my school books long enough to read a couple Anita Stansfield's. So that was really nice! But I tried to roll over and turn my head off, and it didn't work. So here I am.... Thinkin' and getting sleepy...

Last night I had a very interesting experience right before falling asleep. Babies have been a subject of contemplation and discussion in our home lately. So as I was falling asleep my mind naturally wandered into that territory. I began pondering about the prospect of having a little girl next... I then pondered about how it would feel to have a little party to celebrate. Then I was shocked to suddenly feel my heart literally ache and my eyes fill up with tears as a sudden longing for my girls settled in. It never fails to amaze me how sudden those moments come and the intensity of them. I find myself taking it in, feeling it, and processing it. Then as if it were a dream, it's over. Almost like the time that I had on earth with my girls.... So interesting, the loss of a child and life after their loss... So interesting!

Well, I think I'll be able to sleep. I best be tryin'. I'll give more updates on our every day happenings in the morning!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Stay Tuned

Well, last night we prepared the yard for Sod. It was a lot of work! I have some fun pictures I'll share later. Tonight after Leif gets off work we'll lay the sod. So it should be really neat! So, Stay Tuned!

Comparing Stats: Jakob and Caleb 13 Months

I came in to the room the other day and Jakob and Caleb were playing together. Caleb was sitting in the toy bucket. I chuckled with the memories of Jakob doing the same thing at the same age. It got me thinking... So I found pictures of the two of them at almost the exact same age. When it comes to stats, it looks like Jakob had two front teeth in the bottom. Caleb, None. Other then that, They are pretty much the same. Jakob wasn't walking at this point either. They were.are just climbing on things and pull themselves up and sometimes over;)

JAKOB 13 Months:

CALEB 13 Months:

Las Vegas Tent City

We were surprised when we accidentally took a wrong turn to come upon a "Tent City" in Vegas. It is a sad reality around the country.

More Vegas (With Pictures)

We were in Vegas for two nights. One of the days we went to the Natural History Museum and the Chocolate Factory. That night we went to the Ballagio and saw the water show along with the beautiful hotel sites and scenes.

Jakob's Preschool Graduation (With Pictures)

And Before the T-Ball game we had Jakob's preschool graduation (not on the same day;) It was so cute! I think I wrote about it already. Now I just have the pictures to prove it!

Jakob's First T-Ball Game (With Pictures)

Before we left for Vegas Jakob had his first T-Ball game. He did GREAT and we had fun watching and cheering! It was interesting how well I found my lungs and competitive side;)

A Day in the Valley of Fire State Park

Two weekends ago we unexpectedly ended up in Las Vegas for a funeral. We met my parents there and had a good time together visiting some of the sites and lights. One of the places we went was the Valley of Fire National Park. It is in between Mesquite and Vegas. It was Beautiful! We hiked around and saw a lot of pictographs. Then we had a picnic dinner. Fun Times!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Few Words

I'm having a hard time finding time to just vegg and blog. I also miss reading everyone elses posts. I appologize for not following as well lately! I wish I could say things are going to slow down. But that's not the case.

I have a lot of pictures to post and things to share. So I'm going to really try to make time tomorrow!

So, hopefully, Until Tomorrow...

Late Night Ponderings

Apparently I get to blog tonight... I have already had a hard time sleeping (Insomnia). Now Caleb is having a hard time sleeping (ear pain). So here I am at 1:00AM updating the blog. Before I finally climbed out of bed I pondered the thought that if I didn't have to sleep at night in order to survive, I could really accomplish a lot! I could get the continuous mountain of dishes washed and the everlasting waves of laundry washed and put away. I could put away the winter clothes that are still in my living room waiting for the last lingering items to be washed and packed away. I could scrub the stinking bathroom and wipe down the worn out kitchen floor. I could....

But, since I do require sleep, and I only occasionally have nights like tonight, I will wake up in the morning and immediately begin attending to the daily and never ending necessities of life with children. I will drive back and forth to Jakob's school and do my school work in between. I will keep things sanitized enough to function safely and healthily. And we will survive another day with dishes in the sink and laundry waiting to be washed and put away.

And at the moment, I will pray for the Tylenol to kick in for Caleb so he will stop crying and I will go try to comfort him.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Update and Throwing a Fit!

This past week was very full. I can't even give a run down of all that went on. Just every day business/busyness. Jakob is enjoying T-Ball. Leif finished finals. Leif starts Summer classes Monday. Caleb went in for his tubes appointment again. We went car shopping only to find that we're not approved for a car loan. And me, well, my body threw a fit all week and I was trying to drag along through it.

I came home from our Vegas trip and for two days I was lucky to just function. I hate when my body doesn't cooperate with my routine and schedule! Just a lot of pain and fatigue. Mostly foot and heel pain that causes me to be more tired then I should be and less able to keep on top of things. But it will subside soon...

I just wanted to update a bit to once again say that all is well. Just busy and full of LIFE!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Life and One Less Chick

Wow! I think maybe this has been the longest that I've gone in between posts. It shows what life is like right now. Really busy and full! On Friday we found out that a distant aunt of mine whom I really admired passed away. Her funeral was in Vegas. So we packed up and met my parents there for the weekend and went to the funeral on Monday. I will post more about that later.

Yesterday I was trying to recover from the trip and get things in order. That evening we moved all of the chicks out to the coup with a heat lamp.

This morning, Leif sadly brought one of our little top hat chicks in who huddled next to the outside wall instead of the heat lamp and was freezing and lethargic. Leif had to go to work so I wrapped it in a heating pad and tried to give it some sugar water. Unfortunately, it didn't make it. Definitely NOT the way I wanted my day to start. And my boys are still asleep and it's 9:20AM. I definitely would have liked to sleep in rather then bury one of our chicks. GRRR!

So, I'll go clean up and try to make it a better day then it started out to be. Leif has finals this week and a million other little things are going on. I'm trying to switch all of the winter and summer clothes around. Need to do the dishes. Caleb got another ear infection and I need to remember to give him his meds. Should exercise... and on and on.

I'll open the curtains and let the sunshine in!
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