Friday, June 29, 2012

Vegas, Baby!

Well, it was hot and I did get sick...AGAIN! So way to go LV, you win!
We got in late Tuesday night and Doug had to be at the Mandalay Bay Wednesday, Thursday and part of Friday. The kids and I stayed close to the pool,but I still got too much of that "dry heat" on Day 1 and ended up with a massive migraine.

 So, I kept a bit more inside on Thursday and all was well. We stayed at Doug's brother's house that they bought when the real estate bubble burst so they bought for investment and retirement. Nice for us!!

Kian's room

I LOVE this canopy bed!

I took some pictures inside because I love the colors and style!

So Friday, Doug came to the house and then the girls and I got ready for our "Phantom of the Opera" experience at The Venetian hotel.  It was an abridged show and I didn't love the actor playing the Phantom...he was a Tony-award winning, slightly pigeon-toed, short person and I was rooting for Raoul all the way! But the sets and the actual staging were fantastic!!

Then when Doug came to get us we took a walk up to the "canal" and palazzo.

 Saturday, we went to a huge outlet mall and had a great time...we only went to about a third of the stores and we were DONE! Then on to see was SO good, I loved it :o)
It was a long, fun day and the temperature was kind to me, only 100*

Sunday, the girls went to church, I got to SLEEP (finally) and then Kian and I went out to the pool again while Doug went our with his old friend, Joel. For the life of me, I don't know why I didn't think to take any pictures of the two of them!

I loved the outside of their house. It is stucco and has the details that are reminiscent of the Spanish missions of California.

Oh, and also Kian got to play pool which he absolutely loved! He played every chance he got and he would yell out what numbers went into the pockets.

On Monday, while we were waiting for the sheets and towels to wash and dry, we went to lunch and then to Home Goods to buy a vase that got broken and Doug went to Big 5 Sports and then surprised me with this blinged-out Minnie Mouse watch!

On the way home we had the BEST chocolate cake (the Coca-cola Chocolate cake) in the entire world at Cracker Barrel in St. George, Utah. I think a good time was had by all and I hope I don't get into too much trouble for telling you about what happened in Vegas! :o)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Camp Jeremiah Johnson

Kian got to go to his first Cub Scout camp today! I am surprised at how excited he is about Scouts. I have never really gotten into it and we have never been a family that thought it was the Be ALL End ALL. Kian has a short attention span and didn't last over a year in Karate, but he loves scouting.
The camp is only 20-30 minutes from home but when we arrived that morning it was FREEZING!!
Truman, Gavin, Adam, Oliver, Campbell, Seth and Kian.

The day warmed up and we had a great time!! Kian said he loved the Opening Ceremony the best because of the anticipation :o)

 We panned for "gold".

 We pulled a hand cart. That was tough coming down the hill!
  Gavin and Kian, I love this picture!!

This is where Kian was yelling, "I can't do it Mom!!" But he did :o)

 They got to paddle a barge and try to fish balls out of the water and throw them into the other barge's bucket. Thankfully, they all followed the rules and no one fell in.

They made a Native American game that is kind of like throwing dice.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Queen's Jubilee

I must admit to wanting to be a Princess at some point in my life. For some reason my desires never grew to being the Queen, just a Princess. I have a fascination with England and Scotland and old castles. So I find the Queen's Jubilee to be an exciting celebration! I have borrowed some commentary from a friend in the U.K. 

Over here this weekend Saturday, Sunday, Monday and tomorrow we are celebrating the Queens "Diamond Jubilee" of her Coronation, and today and tomorrow are public holidays. Yesterday we had a wonderful show of all kinds of boats on the Thames, from rowing boats leading the procession to Narrow boats to small cruisers, brought up by a massive boat built for the Queen and her family, and although I'm not a great Royalist I have to say it was really impressive. And although the day was wet and quite cold I was amazed by the way The Queen actually stood for all the almost 4 hours of the procession on her boat at the age of 86, and the Duke of Edinburgh also stood the whole way at almost 91 years old.  There were orchestras, and choirs on separate boats and all in the open in the pouring rain. Today there is a huge open air concert in front of Buckingham Palace, with many top stars including Sir Cliff Richard , Sir Tom Jones, and one of my heroes Stevie Wonder .. I think it's going to last over three hours, so will be glued to the TV this evening.

I don't think I would have made a good Queen as I have never seen her carry a Coach handbag, but living in a castle and being called Her Majesty would be the bomb!

Congratulations to the woman who should have been my Mum :o)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Pimping My Daughters' Blogs

And I am proud to do so!
Vanessa is my oldest and is and amazingly gifted writer. She has a unique eye for the absurd in the world and she is not afraid to "call people out" on their feeble-minded idiocy. I guarantee that she will make you Laugh Out Loud and say to yourself, "OMG, that is SO true!"
Here is a link:

Then there is my second oldest, Calah. She is also an amazing and talented writer. She writes fiction and is full of insight and emotion--Think "Intelligent Twilight". The first time I read one of her stories, I cried a little, just a tiny tear :-)
Here is a link:

So do yourself a favor, skip the parenting and decorating and crafty blogs--You will not measure up in a million years--and go visit one of the Nelson Girl's blogs.
You won't be sorry!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Monday, November 28, 2011

When We Are Chastened

The Oyster

Submitted by: Fearless_714
Author: Unknown
There once was an oyster
Whose story I tell,
Who found that some sand
Had got into his shell.
It was only a grain,
But it gave him great pain.
For oysters have feelings
Although they’re so plain.

Now, did he berate
The harsh working of fate
That had brought him
To such a deplorable state?
Did he curse at the government,
Cry for election,
And claim that the sea should
Have given him protection?

No – he sad to himself
As he lay on a shell,
Since I cannot remove it,
I shall try to improve it.
Now the years have rolled around,
As the years always do,
And he came to his ultimate
Destiny – stew.

And the small grain of sand
That had bothered him so
Was a beautiful pearl
All richly aglow.
Now the tale has a moral;
For isn’t it grand
What an oyster can do
With a morsel of sand?

What couldn’t we do
If we’d only begin
With some of the things
That get under our skin.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trip of a Lifetime: Days Three, Four and Five

 Day 3 We wake up in Sorrento, Italy!
 Buon Giorno :o)

We were exhausted by the first few days so we slept in. But what a great day to wake up to.  We took a "tender" from the ship to the shore and walked around the little pier while we waited for the shuttle to take us up the hill to town.
The narrow road wound uphill and each turn gave us a beautiful view.

For lunch we ate at a cute little place called Bougainvillaea. I had the BEST gnocchi I have EVER had! The sauce was light and sweet and there were bits of mozzarella cheese melting throughout. Doug said "You'd probably find a jar of Chef Boy-ar-Dee in the kitchen". I don't care, that was some AWESOME Italian canned sauce then!

So yummy!
We bought so great leather bags from a nice lady in her family's least that's what she told us.  The weather was beautiful!

On the shuttle bus back down, we met a wonderful lady, Bonnie and her grand daughter Annie. They were on our ship and they were delightful and funny and so sweet! Bonnie brings each of her grand daughters on a trip every year! What a treasure to be able to vacation with your Grandma!

That night was our formal night and Captain's Reception. It was fun to dress up and see all of the Test Out guys in their tuxedos. For dinner we ate at La Terraza with our friends Steve and Raylene and it was wonderful.

Day 4 We wake up in Taormina, Sicily

This turned out to be my favorite place. The beauty was so unexpected.
We ate our breakfast on the balcony off of our room and it was divine :o) Can you say Chocolate Croissant?
We had another day of walking and I actually felt pretty good. I was tired, but my feet never hurt if you can believe it!

We saw a lovely medieval town with tons of lovely would be so fun to have unlimited funds. So many gorgeous pottery pieces.

Mt. Etna and it's little eruptions

 We visited some ruins that were behind St Catherine's Church. They were discovered in the 1890's and they were a small Greek theater and a temple that was dedicated to Aphrodite and I was standing on part of that temple. It was so unbelievable.

Then we walked up to the Greek Roman theater that is actually still used for performances (Elton John recently performed there). Wow, what a view!

Yep, that's Mt Etna

Can you imagine sitting here for a concert?

By the way, this was Thursday, on Saturday Mt. Etna erupted!

I cannot wait to come back. I had planned that my next trip would be to Florence or Venice or Milan, but I'd be thrilled to come back to Sicily. Arrivederci!!
 Day 5 We are at sea. A few things about our Silver Sea cruise--Our ship is the Silver Wind. It is a small ship with about 320 capacity, 114 of which were Test Out employees! Who don't drink :-) Eventually, the staff got used to us.  Actually, the staff was amazing! They always greeted us BY NAME, were super pleasant and helpful. It was the best!  We had a Butler, his name is Sergey. He was Russian and is a hotel management major who would like to end up in St. Louis, Missouri, if you can believe it. He did everything for us, stocked the fridge with Coke and Pepsi, brought us chips and nuts for our afternoon tea and water each day before we went out. I asked if I could get some hot chocolate from the restaurant he said, "Oh no. I go for you!" I didn't actually love all of the food, but there were a few stand outs: the Creme Brulee (except for the last day it was over done), the cannolli, there was a tri-color gnocchi, and the best was the filet that I had cooked on deck on the hot volcanic slab!
 Everyone was right, I would never do another cruise that wasn't Silver Sea.