Monday, February 28, 2011

Cooper's Craziness

Cooper is going to be six before we know it and he is getting too big and smart. Cooper is enjoying kindergarten. He is continuing to do a great job on his reading skills. He loves to read the words that are on signs, in commercials and on boxes and toys. He is struggling a little with his numbers, but I know he will pick that up as soon as it clicks in his brain.Cooper has such a sweet spirit about him and he never stops amazing me with some of the things he says. He is so loving, kind and tender hearted....and he still gets frightened by loud noises. When we went on our cruise, we turned off the water to the house. We all know the sound the faucet makes when water is trying to come threw the pipes again. Well, Cooper was up brushing his teeth, when all of a sudden he comes into us and he couldn't breathe because he was crying so hard. We finally deciphered the words coming out of his mouth and realized the water shooting through the pipes was loud and scared him!

I think one of my favorite things about Cooper, is the prayers that he gives. Children say the best prayers because they come straight from the heart. On Sunday, Cooper had to give the scripture and prayer in Primary. I had talked to him about how we pray for groups of people versus ourselves. Well, he gets up and says: "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you we could come to Primary today. And thank you everyone could come to their classes today. And thank you for the teachers. And thank you for all that God had done for us. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. It was so cute and at that moment, I couldn't have been more proud of my boy. I just stood their thinking, "That's my son."
Cooper has really enjoyed the playstation a little too much this winter and it has been my goal to limit his time on it. Bryce and I have to laugh because he is really cooridinated when it comes to playing games on the PS. In fact, he tells people that he is a video game boy. I told him one day that he shouldn't tell people that because that is not something to be proud of. I always tell him his brain is going to turn to mush if he plays too much. So, on occasion he will say, "mom, is my brain smooshed?"
Cooper is such a nice older brother, even though Clayton loves to pester him. In fact, we are kind of worried because Clayton looks and acts alot like my brother Shayne did when he was young. That could mean trouble for all of us! Anyway, Cooper is starting to play chase with Clayton and show him more attention.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Playing in the Snow

Cooper did not have school on Presidents Day and it just so happened that it snowed quite a bit the day before. On Presidents Day, the weather was perfect for sledding. This is the first time we had been out this winter to play in the snow. It is too cold most of the time, but the temperature was perfect. Clatyon stayed home with dad and took a nap. Both of them were sick.
We went up to Roy High school and the kids had such a great time sledding down the hills. I love to watch Cooper because he gets the biggest smile on his face when he is on his sled. Reese, Landon, and Jaxson also had a great time. We could make perfect snow balls and we would try to hit the kids as they went down the hill, but we never could get them.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Pizza! Pizza!

So my friend, Heidi, gave me an awesome recipe for pizza crust. And to be honest with ya'll, I have never made dough (I know...that is sad, but the truth). Anyway, I decided to make it last week. For the toppings, I added Ragu Roasted Garlic Parmesan sauce, a can of cooked chicken, peices of cooked bacon, chopped tomatoes and Spinach. I threw it in the oven for 15 minutes and here are the results!

So good. Thick, yummy crust and loved the white sauce instead of the red!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines

For Valentines Day, we went to dinner with the Gabrish's and the Casebolts to my favorite restaurant....Texas Roadhouse! I just love that place because it kind of reminds me of home...friendly atmosphere, peanuts on the floor (reminds me of dance halls), and then the country music.
The food was great as always...I ordered a sirloin steak and it was wonderful. We also enjoyed an onion blossom and some yummy cinammon butter rolls. We had a good time just relaxing and enjoying the evening with each other and with our friends.
On Valentines Day, I received some flowers from Pro Flowers that were delivered in a box to my front step. At first, they didn't look like they were going to make it, but a few days later, they were gorgeous and they still look beautiful today!
Jacqui and I also did a fun little scavenger hunt for the kids. They ran all over the house and yard looking for clues and candy. They ended up each getting a little gift from mom and dad. They had a great time and it was fun to watch them get excited!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Cleansing the Inner Vessel

We went to a class called "How to Lose Your Abs" the last day on the cruise. Well, it really had nothing to do with Abs at all, but talked about detoxification. It was actually a very good class, but they were trying to promote thier "detox" program that is very expensive.

Anyway, so I decided when I got home that I would do a detox. I talked to my friend, Mandy, who is a nutritionist, and she told me to do an "all natural" detox. I was told to eat ONLY fruits, veggies, 100% juice, and water...absolutely nothing else. (no salt, no pepper, no ranch!)
I started on a Wednesday. I woke up and had an orange for breakfast, followed by a mid morning smoothie. For lunch, I had a bowl of carrots, brocoli, cucumbers, and green peppers. I helped get those down with a glass of V8. It was not fun. In the afternoon, I had another fruit and veggie smoothie and then 6 oclock rolled around and I was getting very "weak".....mentally, that is...I kept thinking of pizza, hamburgers, fries, chips, Dr. Pepper. And that's when it all went down hill. I was done with my 3 day detox. The problem is that it only last 10 hours. But, I guess I ate healthy for one day, and I am now making the healthy smoothies regularly and my boys also drink them with me.
Don't you worry, I will try a detox again in the near future, but I dont' know if it will be "all natural". I am looking into some different options!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Day 7 on the Cruise

Last Day At Sea
We finally got to sleep in on this day. We went upstairs to eat breakfast, which normally consisted of omellettes, french toast, chocolate milk, orange juice, bacon, and fresh fruit. It didn't take us long to realize that the boat was extremely rocking and swaying. There was a small storm with high winds the last day. It made me realize that even though the boat seems huge, it is nothing compared to the sea.
After breakfast, we went upstairs to our "meeting place" to play Five Crowns. In the main dining area, there were tables upstairs where nobody every ate, so we decided to use it as a meeting place for lunch and playing cards.
We decided to head down to our rooms to get our bags packed up. They had to be outside the door by midnight. While packing, we noticed the side rudders on the boat were loud. Also, the boat was continuing to rock like crazy. I had to lay down for a while to stop the dizziness. When we went up for lunch, we found out that our ship had rescued 3 stranded Americans, and their cat, that were in a small boat.
Every night on the ship, photographers come around and take pictures of you at dinner. You can also get pictures taken during the day. It was always fun to go see how the pictures turned out. One night, us four ladies ended up with Jason(our bishop), so we decided to stop at a beach backdrop and get our pictures taken with him. He would bend his head down so it looked like he had a double neck. He did this all during our cruise and it was so funny, bc other people really thought he looked like that...we decided that every time he did that with his neck, we would call him Jimmy! Later that evening, I ended up taking two motion sickness pills, because I was getting really sick. I decided to go up to dinner with everyone, but almost "lost it" in the bathroom. I tried to compose myself bc I didn't want everyone to hear me (when I throw up, it sounds like its coming up from my feet). I ended up feeling much better half way through dinner and was able to have some yummy rolls, a baked potato, and fresh fruit for dessert.
Later that night, we went to a show in the Ivanhoe Theater. They had people on the ship try out for different vocal starts like Garth, Brittney Spears, and many others. The people then sang their song during this "Celebrity Show". Most of them were horrible, but it was still somewhat entertaining. After the show, we went up on the deck for one last look and then back to our rooms to get some sleep.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 6 on the Cruise

Roatan, Honduras
Carnival has its own port in Roatan called Mohagany Bay. They have lots of little shops there. We got off the ship and walked down a road to find our guide for the private tour of Roatan. Her name was Cynthia and she took us all over the island of Roatan. She showed us the biggest house on the island. She took us to one of the highest spots on the island to take pictures. She told us that there are about 100,000 people on the island. Many of them work on the mainland of Honduras and it takes about 1-1/2 hour by boat to get there. People also go to the main island to do their shopping and go to the doctor. Occupations that make the most are captain of a lobster boat and construction workers.
I thought it was beautiful in Roatan. It was so green and the water was beautiful. There were two shipwrecks right off the coast. The coral reef that surrounds the island of Roatan is the second largest in the world.
We also went to park where we got to go into cages with monkeys and parrots. The monkeys would just jump on and off you. They loved the sunflower seeds that the guides fed them. The parrots had really sharp claws. The men had holes in their shirts after we left the bird cage!
We were told that the iguana is becoming extinct in Roatan and that many people will eat them. We heard that they taste like chicken. If we would have had time, it would have been interesting to taste it.We spent an hours on the West Bay Beach, the prettiest beach on Roatan. It was so breathtaking and fun to play in the water. It's just amazing that water can be that clear and blue. We were hoping to find big waves to body surf, but there weren't very many coming in.
There were lots of little kids walking along the beach trying to sell things to the tourists. I bought a sea horse for Cooper from a little kid. He told me that he caught the sea horse himself. He was cute and I was glad to help him provide for his family. Plus, Cooper loves the sea horse.
After we played on the beach, we headed back to Mahogany Bay to do a little shopping before we had to get back on the ship. That night was our second formal night. We decided we would all get virgin Daiquiris this night. They were really good, but expensive. Every night, when the lights would dim, the waiters and waitresses would dance and sing to us in the main room. It was always a fun time to watch them and to listen to our Maitr' D, Pablo!

Day 5 on the Cruise

Belize, Belize
We had to be up at 7 am ship time which was 5 am utah time to eat breakfast and be in line so we could be tendered over to Belize for our excursion. It was about a 15 minute boat ride over and once we got there, we had to find our guide. After we walked on the pier for a few minutes, we finally made it to the VIV tours. We got checked in and then waited for our driver and tour guide to show up. Some crazy man name Gary came up and put his arms around me and told me I was his new wife. He also wanted a picture with me. It was kind of weird...something about my blond hair I guess.

Anyways, originally we were put in a van with a guy by the name of Kareem, but ended up being switched at the last minute to Junior. One thing I loved about our excursions, is that we were always together in the vans and it was just our group. Well, Junior was from Belize and he had two children. He told us some interesting facts about the country. The average yearly household income was $7000. Gasoline is $5.50 a gallon. Almost 33% of the country's income comes from tourism. Most people there do not drive. Many of the people speak Creole, which is a language that was created by the slaves when they were coming across the sea in the big ships. They made it up so the ship masters couldn't understand them. It was neat to hear Junior speak in Creole. We did not understand him. Its English, but slurred together really quickly.
The group of us that went on the cruise were all LDS (Mormon) and so when we said we were from Utah, Junior asked if we were Mormons. Come to find out, he actually has the missionaries over to his house once a week and he is learning more about our religion. It's a small world.

We drove out into the country where our first activity was ziplining in the jungle. Our guides were great and fast at hooking us up to the lines. We would climb up this hill and then zip line down. The longest line was 750 ft. I really thought it was fun and not scary at all. We ended up going down 7 linesRachel loved to scream when she would go down the line. Kristyn loved to put her legs out staight like "Mary Poppins" and the rest of us were pretty normal. It was gorgeous on in the jungle and so greeen. It was also very humid, which reminded me of home. It was actually nice to work up a sweat.
After the zip lining, Junior took us on a 45 minute walk through the jungle to get to the caves. He knew so much about the vegetation. He told us that the soil was only 4 to 5 feet deep so the trees roots had plank rooting system. He told us about poison wood, which would eat right through your skin if you get the sap on you. He told us about the "shedding" tree that could cure the poison wood burn. He told us about the tree that couldn't survive without the ants and the ants couldn't survive without the tree. He showed us the vines that grow and the liquid on the inside of them could cure pink eye.
He showed us mango trees, pineapple plants and many other beautiful trees. One of the trees had little nuts on them that they actually use to make chapstick. Junior said most of the people there still use plants from the jungle as remedies.
When we got to the river, we put our tubes down, and Junior let us dive into the river and swim for a while. The water was so blue-green and clear. It felt so good and it was definately one of my highlights of the trip. We swam for quite a while and then got in our "luxurious" tubes and floated down the cave. We were all hooked together and Junior did all the work pulling us through the caves.
He showed us the bats up on the ceiling. He showed us the stalagmites down on the ground. He showed us Crystal Cave, which is a cave that goes 7 miles down into the earth. It was dark in the caves, but not scary. We had lights on our helmets. I actually almost fell asleep in there because it was quiet, dark, and I was so tired. It was so beautiful when we came out of the caves and just floated down the river.
We got back to the main building when we were done and went up to eat a lunch buffet. The food was great and my favorite was the carrot cake. We visited with Junior and he told us about how the dried leaves on the roof could last up to 7 years.
It was a good experience to be able to drive into Belize and to see some of the country. Its a very poor country. It made me feel grateful for what we have here in the US. Alot of the homes were little shacks. Many of the kids were on there way to school. They all wear uniforms to school.