The Watchman

The Watchman

Friday, August 26, 2011

Letting Go ...... Again

So today I am somewhat melancholy.  In fact, I really don't want the day to end, because it means that Hunter will no longer be living in our house.  He is leaving today to go back to school at USU.  Tonight he will stay in Ogden with my parents and then head up to Logan in the morning to check into the dorm, unpack, and all the other things he needs to do to get settled before school starts on Monday.

Normally we would all be helping him move, but the younger children are back in school and have commitments and Wil has to work, so Hunter will be loading his possessions into the back of his truck and heading north alone.  I know he is looking forward to the "cooler" temperatures - the high today in Logan is expected to be 95 F, compared to the 108 F we are expected to reach here.  I wonder if he will still be as glad when winter hits.

I am really grateful Hunter waited till today to leave, even though I know it will probably make things more hectic for him.  It was nice having him home as long as possible after being gone for two years serving an LDS mission in the Montana Billings Mission.  This month sure has flown by.  Within six months Wil will be leaving on his mission and then Jon will will leave on his mission 18 months after that and before Wil gets home, so this last month was probably the last time all of my children will be living under the same roof together.

So I guess this is what it feels like to really have your children leave home.  I think of the number of times my parents have watched as Rick and I loaded our belongings in a car, trailer or truck and headed off.  Many of those times one of the trucks would be driven by my dad, but I can now see how hard it was for my mom to see us go.  I keep telling myself that Logan isn't that far away and I will see him again in a couple of weeks when we take a trip north to Lagoon, but that isn't making today any easier.

I think it is just as hard for Rick to not be there to help with the move.  Rick has to go to Northern Utah next week for some meetings, so he asked Hunter if it would be okay to drive up one evening and take Hunter to dinner.  I think this was a very sneaky way for Rick to check up on his son, make sure Hunter had a decent meal and pretend that we all didn't know Rick was really trying to check up on his son.  At least I will be able to get a first-hand report of the condition of the apartment and Rick will make sure things are up to standard before he leaves so he can give me a good report.  It will also be a way to get whatever is forgotten today to Logan in a timely fashion.

Our family spent our last evening together having dinner and then watching Wipeout and Big Brother.  There was much laughing, cringing and arm-chair quarterbacking involved; a real bonding experience.  It was awesome and so normal for our family.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Grease Is the Word Under the Sea

As a young adult, my parents and I would often come to conflict over the music I listened to.  My parents enjoyed Glen Campbell and the Four Rs, along with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  At least these are what I remember from my childhood.  Even today when they take a road trip, you are most likely to listen to the scriptures on tape in their vehicle if you go with them.

I on the other hand loved Rock n Roll.  Foreigner, The Eagles, REO Speedwagon, Billy Joel and the like would be turned up as loud as possible when I was home alone.  I was able to find common ground with my parents with the ballads of Neil Diamond and Barry Manilow.  These are the Albums (LPs) that my parents would buy for me.  I have to admit I wore out many needles on our family record player listening.

My mom also instilled in me the love for Broadway Musicals.  How I loved Howard Keel in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and how amazed I was that Rick had never seen that movie till he watched it with me in Monterey.  My parents would always take us to the musical productions put on by the high school and the first movie I was ever allowed to attend on my own (with my sister but no parents) was The Sound of Music at the BYU theater.

Now fast forward 30 years.  I am the mom with teen-age and pre-teen children.  Somehow I have been lucky that we have not had too many fights about music in my home.  Maybe it's because instead of a turntable with speakers, my kids have the MP3 player and headphones, although last night our home was filled with the sounds of Taylor Swift coming from the girls' bedroom.  (BTW - It was the brothers that asked it be turned down, not the parents.)

Just as with my parents, Rick and I share a love of musical theater with our children.  This summer has been especially full.   

Saturday night as Sandy started to sing "Hopelessly Devoted to You", I looked over to see Lela lip-syncing along.  I joined with her for a very dramatic duet that had Wil shaking his head.  On the other side of Rick, Emily forgot the lip-syncing part and just sang along.  As the T-Birds espoused the superiority of Greased Lightning, I remembered the boys dancing to this same song years ago.

Whether it was the concerts in the park, the local junior theater production of Suessical or  The Little Mermaid and Grease at Tuachan, our family has made many musical memories this summer.  We are already planning next year to follow the yellow brick road.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

It's Fair Time!!!!

I love Fairs!!! I love town fairs!!! I love the State Fair!!! and I especially love County Fairs!!!!  So I am excited that it is Fair Time in Washington County.

When I was younger, I would often go with my Grandma Cook to help with the entries for the Davis County Fair.  She was in charge of the Home Arts (crocheting, needlework, etc).  I remember the pride she took in arranging the exhibits so that each entry was displayed to its best.  It was also special to spend that one-on-one time with her even if it meant early mornings and late nights.

Each year, my parents would take us to the county fair and then later to the Utah State Fair.  We loved the barns of animals, were amazed by the talent of entries in the arts and crafts (as a teen I especially enjoyed all the wedding dresses) and the size of some of the produce entries,  and enjoyed the carnival rides and entertainment.  As a pre-teen participating in 4-H, there were many years that I had entries in the county fair as well and often was the recipient of blue ribbons.  This only increased my love of the fair.

We have continued this tradition with our children.  Petting zoos have always been a favorite in our family.  Here are some of my favorite fair photos with my kids through the years:

When we moved to La Verkin, we were greeted with the question of whether or not we would step up and complete a "seed display" to represent Springdale at the Washington County Fair.  What is a seed display you ask?  It is a display made to spotlight the community that is related to the theme of the fair.  It is to be constructed of natural materials such as seeds, grass, food, etc. that may be dyed to create a specific color, but it is better if the color is the natural color of the item being used.

The winner at the county fair level is expected to recreate the display for the Utah State Fair as the representative for Washington County.  Luckily, we have never had to do this.  We always strive to create an entry that highlights the uniqueness that is Springdale, but we only strive for the People's Choice award, not the Best of Show award.

Here are some of the displays we have created over the years:

And here is this year's display for the theme "Rock and Roll".... (As you can tell, we went with blatant self-promotion):

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


So tonight has been another night filled with aftershocks of our fire.  About 8:30 PM, our smoke alarms started going off.  Since this is a new home, all the smoke alarms are daisy-chained together, so when one alerts, they all alert.  In addition to the piercing beeping noise, they also announce in their computerized, female voice "Fire, fire, fire".  After listening to this voice multiple times tonight, I now fear that I will somehow have to change the voice on our Garmin so that the girls don't go into a panic when it is in use.

When the alarm started going off, the first thing Emily did was grab her kitty.  She still blames herself for the loss of Tigger in our fire.  Once I was able to reassure her that there wasn't a fire, she let Blink go so that we could go outside.  Although muted, the alarm was still audible.

We sat outside with Lela and Emily both terrified.  Lela started making VERY stupid jokes to relieve the tension (wonder where she gets that?).  Emily could not stop crying.  She told me how she still has nightmares sometimes.  She dreams that she is sleeping in her bedroom in our former home and then the fire will come.  Finally she put her arms around me and said, "Do you know what was the most important thing that didn't burn in our fire?  You mommy."  I just held both my babies in my arms and kissed their heads.  What do you say to something like that other than I love you and I am glad we are all safe?

After awhile, Emily asked me to hold her blankie so she could say a prayer.  She went into the garage and emerged a little while later feeling calmer.  After a few more minutes snuggling on the bench, she said she wanted to go inside.  Luckily, she is now sleeping peacefully for the moment.  Lela isn't yet, so it might be a long night.

Rick has changed the batteries in all the units and has ran a test on them.  We thought it was resolved until about 11 PM when the alarm went off again (that is what woke Lela up, but Emily slept through it).  My first call in the morning will be to the electrician to see if he has any ideas.  As I stated previously, the alarm is audible outside our home, so I hope that it will be silent the rest of the night and if it isn't, our neighbors won't hear it and call the fire department.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Where Has All the Time Gone

On Wednesday I had one of those moments that stopped me in my tracks.  My daughter and her friend were trying to plan a late night date for the following week.  Becca asked her dad when would be the best day the next week.  He replied that there really wasn't a day because they had to do the Taco Booth.  THE TACO BOOTH!!!! The Taco Booth means the Washington County Fair and the Washington County Fair means that school is starting and summer is over.

Now I knew school was starting.  I had seen the notice on the elementary marquee that I would need to pick up registration packets starting August 8th with Back-to-School Open House on Aug 12th.  I also spent three days trying to finalize Jon's registration for his senior year at the high school and a great year it is going to be.  But it wasn't until I heard those two words - Taco Booth - that I internalized that summer was truly coming to an end.

For our family it has been a productive summer.  In addition to the success and improvement our swimmers found participating with the swim team, we were able to get the majority of our landscape installed at our home, we took an amazing family vacation to Montana and brought our oldest son home from his mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; we participated in and helped with many community events and we were able to spend time with friends and family.

The "final" week of summer promises to be a busy one, but we wouldn't have it any other way.  In addition to the last official swim meet, there is also an optional invitational.  We also have to prepare a display for the County Fair (nothing like waiting till the last minute).  There is the obligatory back-to-school shopping and sometime in the mix, we still need to go see Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2.  I am sure we will throw a few unexpected activities in there as well.  

I'd like to say that once school starts our life will slow down, but I think the only speed we know how to operate at is overdrive.