Thursday, August 17, 2017


With summer comes a trip to Utah. Not that we wait until summer to go to Utah. We just feel no guilt because we don't have to pull our kids out of school to go. Now, we all know that my mom is nuts in every sense of the word. My grandma Jepson, my mom's mom, is 100 this year. When I tell people that they usually say something like,"wow! That's cool." They are in fact, correct. However, grandma died. In 2004. She would have been 100 in October. Two questions, why did we have a birthday party for her and why did we do it in June? Two very good questions. I am convinced that grandma does not care at all about her mortal birthday. I think she's busy. People would say my mom was just using it as an excuse to have people get together. I don't think so. I think my mom just wanted to celebrate her mom. With good reason, grandma was awesome! She was pretty short, probably like 5'0 and when she would sit on a chair, when she would laugh really hard, her feet would pop out in front of her. She loved to read and as a little kid when we would go stay at her house, she would read us the book, Twig. It's a really cute story about a little girl named, Twig. Twig turns into a fairy and lives in the back yard of her apartment building. I love the book and I love that grandma read it to us every time we were there. Grandma made amazing homemade white bread. She NEVER made wheat bread. I truly think she probably thought wheat bread was against the word of wisdom. She used Downy fabric softener and Bounce dryer sheets and her house always smelled so good. She always had ice cream in her freezer and would make us chocolate cookies. Fact, they're brownies. If you made the mistake of calling them brownies she would get feisty and tell you that they aren't brownies, they are chocolate cookies. She always had those oatmeal cookies with white frosting from the store. They would sit in her cookie jar for so long they would be crunchy. I went my whole life thinking those cookies were made crunchy. After she died I tried one right out of the package and two things happened. First I was able to bite into it instead of using my back teeth to break a piece off. Then I spit the nasty soft cookie out of my mouth. I was truly disgusted that it was soft. I haven't eaten one since because they aren't crunchy like grandma's. She had a pet bird named, Chirp. She would bring Chirp to our house when she came to visit. He was green and yellow and so cute. I loved listening to Chirp as he sat on the nightstand where we kept our shoes. Grandma always kissed on the lips and when I was a teenager  I would try to turn my head so she would kiss my cheek but she wouldn't have it. She loved cheese and candy. She was stubborn and very set in her ways and I miss her a lot. Annnnyway, we made the 12 hour drive down and A did so amazing until the last 45 minutes. Then she was done and just wanted to be out of the car. We stayed in Heber for the night because that's where grandma was born. There was a campfire where people shared memories of grandma. I heard it was great but I was trying to get a little baby to calm down. She finally gave into sleep and that made the entire family happy. We were staying in cabin's at a girls camp that the church owns. It was a pretty sweet set up. All the cousins wanted to be in one cabin. We thought that was genius because they could stay up doing whatever shenanigans children do at all hours of the night and the adults could go to sleep at a decent hour. That way we would have the stamina to deal with the cranky kids that were up being wild and crazy people until all hours of the night. Our plan went off without a hitch and the next day we played blindfolded tag.

  It was so funny! Everyone playing had to be blindfolded and they stood inside a circle. Each player had a guide that told them where to move. The person that was it had a bopper and their guide tried to guide them into people. It was so funny! Some people would guide their players right into the bopper. Truly, it was pee your pants funny!

There was a very small zip line that they got to try. Well, the actual zip part was short, but they had to climb up a 30 foot pole to get there. The littles were pretty nervous about it. I was so proud of them for shimmying up to the top.

That afternoon, T was awesome and taught K had to long board. He told him that he would be a pro by the end of the week. K feels like he is in fact a pro and wants a long board of his own, even though the picture above was the last time that he's used a long board. 

Playing a family softball game was a must on my list. I loved playing it but it did make me miss my dad a whole lot. He loved playing softball with us and could be heard in the outfield chanting,"swing batter, batter, batter, batter, swing!" I missed seeing him sit on a chair next to my mom. Nonetheless, the game was awesome!

Little B didn't like understand the concept of taking a turn in the outfield. He batted after almost every other batter. He loves it because he can usually hit the ball. He's so dang cute standing up there in his little hitting stance that no one insisted on him waiting his turn in the line up. 

I think M lasted one time before she was off playing with the other cousins that didn't want to play.

Little B up to bat.

K running home. He almost passed his little cousin, C, who was running the bases in front of him.

I know this looks like the same picture as the other one. It's not. Little B just batted so often that the other people in the pictures don't move much.

This is the only time little B was out there. He stood there for a few minutes and then he ran back in so that he could hit. Again.

We borrowed B's mom's boat and went boating one day. Oh the fun that was had! There was tubing and skiing and wake boarding. 

I did go tubing with four of my sisters and a niece. I didn't want to get wet because Deer Creek is         fa-reezing and there was a breeze which made a wet body feel even colder. I agreed to go tubing in the hopes that I wouldn't get too wet. I had no intention of falling off. I was so confident that I didn't even take my $2.50 specials off my face. Welp, I didn't fall off but I got a lot more wet than I wanted to. The stupid rope kept splashing me in the face. G was on the tube with me and she kept laughing at me. I should have pushed her in. Rats! I wish I would have thought of that then. Next time G, next time.

Little B wanted to kayak and G's husband, J was so nice and jimmy rigged a tow so that he could pull little B around. What a guy huh? So nice and kind and helpful. Unlike his wife who laughs at people in their time of need.😉 We loved our time in Utah. B was able to go to a couple movies and I was able to have some much needed sister time. Our kids got to play with cousins and friends and when it was time to go home, we cried. We love our family and it's always hard to say goodbye.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


The last day of school finally came! I swear, June 9 felt like it was never going to come. When school get's out I honestly don't know who's more excited, me or the kiddos. I am not one of those crafty, amazing moms that has hundreds of activity ideas written on popsicle sticks in an adorably painted mason jar that their children can pick from so they don't get bored in the summer. Nor am I the kind that makes them do math sheets and so many minutes of reading a day. I just want them to be kids. If they get bored I tell them that's ok and if it's bothering them so much, then do something about it. I love having them around. I love that even though we don't sleep in, much to my extreme dismay, we don't have to wake up and be somewhere. We don't have to get dressed and out the door. We just get to be and I love that!
Last day of school picture. Yay! What a wonderful, glorious day that filled us with total jubilation! B was on call which was a total drag. But since he was on call all weekend, he got Monday off. To beat the crowds and before it got too hot later in the summer, we decided to make the pilgrimage to Silverwood. It's the theme park for these parts of the world and the little's had free tickets from school.
The weather was fabulous, the crowds, almost nonexistent and the kiddos had a great time!

She got to hang out with me and little B for most of the day as B took M and K on the big roller coasters. I did go on a couple of the big rides but, I just don't love them. I am so content to watch little B as he runs from ride to ride. 

He found out that he's tall enough to do the bumper boats all by himself. 

At first, he was so happy to drive his little boat around and squirt the rocks and the plants.

Then this lady made the mistake of spraying him. Oh dear, he turned to face her, pulled his water gun trigger and didn't let go of it. He just kept spraying her.

She finally had to turn her boat and drive away. I wish the sun wasn't so bright on him because he has a huge smile on his face. When he got off the boat he told me he had sprayed her a lot and then he died laughing. As we were walking away I heard a guy as he nodded his head in little B's direction say,"There's that little kid that wouldn't stop spraying us. I had to move out of his stream of water." Little B can dish it but he can also take it. He was totally soaked and we had to take off his t-shirt and put on his jacket for the rest of the evening.

We told M and K that they didn't have a choice and had to go on the big roller coasters. We only pushed them because we knew they would love them if they gave it a go. K was nervous and fidgety but said that he would go. M was mostly excited but a little nervous too. 

Yes we take pictures on the rides. We know that one is supposed to keep items stowed away but, we don't listen. They loved the ride and wanted to go on it over and over. Silverwood was a total blast and we're so happy that we were able to go.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The big reveal

The day and time have come! I know that you've been losing sleep over seeing this picture but, tonight you'll be able to sleep in heavenly peace! The floor was done, the counter tops were put in, and then the guys came back because the stove wouldn't slide back as far as it had before the counter tops were put in. They put the counter top on and told us that we couldn't slide the stove back for 24 hours so the counter tops would have time to set. They told us we couldn't put a lot of pressure on the counter tops or it might make them move. The next night B and I went to put the stove back in place and instead of sliding back all the way, there was a four inch gap from the back of the stove to the wall. We tried pushing and shoving it into place but, to no avail. I understand that we didn't get marble counter tops and so we didn't pay one million dollars for them, but they didn't come from the dollar store either. Since it was after 6:00 in the evening, B said I should call the place the next day and tell them the stove wouldn't fit anymore. I was fired up and ready to call them and insist that we hadn't put pressure on them so they hadn't been moved from where the guys had placed them and it wasn't our fault the stove no longer fit. The girl that answered the phone was so nice and I didn't even have to defend myself. She just said ok and they would send someone out to fix it. The guys came and looked at it, measured the counter tops on either side of the stove, only to find out that they were totally straight. I stood there imaging them having to rip off the counter tops and ruining the cabinets as they pulled the counter tops off. Of course that lead to the need to redo the floor because we needed to take the demolished cabinets out. It was not great to imagine how much money it was going to cost. As I was picturing what life would be like after we had declared bankruptcy due to this unexpected kitchen remodel expense, the nice men said, "There you go, it's fixed."  I almost cried because our impoverished life picture was zapped from my mind. I came to look at it and sure enough, the stove was back to it's original spot. They told me that the problem was the cord from the stove had been bunched up and making it so the stove couldn't go back. They pulled that out of the way and slid the stove back. I was so embarrassed. I apologized profusely about wasting their time. They were very nice and told me it was no big deal and they were happy it was an easy fix. I am sure that when they got back in their van they talked about what idiots we were. We will probably be asked to be in their next training video on how to handle stupid customers. Anyway, So, the floor was done, then the counter tops, then the backsplash went in and then..... the cabinets! We have hated the ugly flat faced, honey oak cabinets since we moved in. The boxes of said cabinets were in great shape so we just wanted to find someone to reface them. Because we live in the middle of no where, it was hard to find someone to do it. We finally found Jodi. She is an angel and an artist that paints pictures of horses and wedding dresses. She also does cabinets on the side. Weird I know but we live in a weird place. She was so nice and did an amazing job! Just in case our ugly cabinets haven't been burned into your mind like a bad kissing scene, I'll remind you.

Oh man, those are so ugly! I think it just doesn't do the floor, counter tops and the backsplash justice. Here are a couple before before pictures.
This one shows the nasty floor and the laminate counter tops.

This one shows that we had a white dishwasher, that was probably the first dishwasher ever made. It was nasty. We also had a black fridge that sounded like a jet. You don't see the white microwave that was cracked on the bottom or the white stove. Ok, Ok, Ok, I'll show you the final picture that was two years in the making.

AAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!! Doesn't that look so much better?! I love that the cabinets are now shaker. Jodi just added the trim and then sanded everything down and painted them white. Holy cow, I love it! When we lived in Florida and had white cabinets, I said I would never do white again. But, in Florida the floor, counter tops, cabinets, appliances and walls were all white. It felt very sterile. But, With our flooring and the dark appliances I feel like it just looks clean. I know that not everyone will like it and that's fine, they don't have to live here. But we love it and are so happy that we were able to redo the kitchen.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Out with the old part II

 Today is the day folks that you get the rest of the kitchen! Just kidding! Not yet, patience Iago. After the counter tops, came B's back splash. I say B's because I was totally indifferent to having one. B really wanted one and thought it would make the kitchen look a lot better. A lady that B works with, is married to a tile man. B asked her how much her husband would charge for a back splash. She told him between $500-$700. He doesn't buy any of the material either. So, we would be paying him for labor only. We had never priced out the materials needed for a back splash but we were sure that it wouldn't cost that much. We were right. All the tile and mud stuff and grout and caulking and spreader thing for the mud was a lot cheaper than tile man wanted to charge us. We were going to wait until the next Monday because B was on call for the weekend. He didn't want to start on the back splash and then get called in whilst he was working on it. Well, on Friday the guy from our ward that has helped us out a lot with projects around our house called B and asked when we were going to do the back splash. B told him that he was on call so we were just going to wait until Monday and start on it. This guy told B that he couldn't help us on Monday because he would be at work. B told him that was ok, we wanted to try and do it ourselves anyway and we didn't want to take him away from his family so we would just do it Monday. The nice fellow told B that that wasn't a great idea and that his wife and kids would love to spend the day at our house on Saturday and if B got called in, they would just finish the back splash for us. B tried to tell him no, that we really wanted to wait until Monday and he just wouldn't let it go. So, we ended up buying all of the supplies on Friday night, picking up the rented tile saw early Saturday morning and busting out the back splash.

 You might be shocked to know that in this here town that we live in, there's no tile store. There's a home depot, but if you have a question you never know what kind of answer you'll get from home depot. Anyway, the only reason we knew to sand the wall was because we called a tile store in northern Alaska and they told us that the wall has to be rough so the mud will stick. B was very excited to add a sander to his minuscule tool cluster. Looky there! A snippet of exposed counter top! Just a little taste of the amazing reveal to come!

A lot of the day was spent out using the tile saw. The guy in our ward told us to just buy one. He's crazy. Do people in real life just go out and buy a saw? We've noticed that saw's are not inexpensive so renting one for $30 was the way to go!

Putting the mud on the wall. Ok, confession time. I don't really know if it's called mud. I just try to sound like I know what in the world I'm talking about but honestly, I usually don't. 

Pushing the tile onto the wall. We really thought that we would be able to bust this back splash out in about half a day. We got the bigger tile thinking that it would take less cutting and we would be able to just line them up. Ya, it took a lot longer than we thought. B was so thankful that P from our ward had insisted on helping us. He helped a ton and when one brain would get stuck on how to measure for a tile to make it look good, the other brain would come get involved and they would figure it out.

Trying to figure something out. This little section of the wall took for-ever! Truly, hours were spent trying to figure out how to line them up and make the right cuts around the bottom of the cabinets and around the window. While they did the back splash, I was in charge of taking pictures, taking care of the littles, making the working men lunch and talking to the lovely folk that were driving down our street and got hit when our amazing oldest son went flying off the sidewalk on his bike and rode right into the side of their car. Thankfully the lady had noticed K and had come to a complete stop so he hit a stopped car. But, he hit them hard enough that he flipped over the front of his bike and landed on the ground. He smashed their headlight and left a tire mark on the side of their car. Needless to say we are so so thankful that he didn't get hurt and that the lady wasn't flying down the street like so many cars do.

This was a wonky angle. They had to go around the outlet and the window. It took more than one attempt to figure out the template. I think it's a stroke of genius to use paper to make a template so that they didn't waste tile after tile trying to get the angles right.

We had to wait two days for the tiles to set before B could grout it all.We were virgin grout mixers and like so many other things, it took us awhile to figure it out. But, after the second or third time, we were professionals! He was able to smash the grout in where it sat drying for a day.

After the grout had dried, he was able to caulk it. Once he was done with that, I went through and sealed the grout. Now, hold your breath, here it comes!

Doesn't it look so lovely?! Ok, I know that with those awful honey oak cabinets that it doesn't look that great. But we aren't done yet peeps. I bet you can imagine what the last step to our kitchen fix is. You guessed it! Cabinets! But that post will have to wait. Don't lose faith in me yet, there's still one more picture that I can hardly wait to show you!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Out with the old Part I

I know, the mind reels to think that I would actually write two weeks in a row. Let this be proof that miracles haven't ceased! Let's get on with it shall we? The time has come to finish what we started with our kitchen! It took a few weeks so you get the update in stages. Not only will that give me something to write about another time, but then you'll have to wait in the same anticipation that we did as we waited for things to get done and installed. First up are the counter tops.
 For your viewing enjoyment, let's start at the very beginning. Here is what it looked like with a horrible, totally unnecessary wall. That was the first thing to go.

 Yay! The wall is gone and so is the awful green paint. The tan only brought out the ugly cabinets so

 We changed it to grey. Well, in the can it was grey but on the walls it looks purple so, that's not great but we're tired of painting so the purple walls stay.

 Taking out the floors was next. This floor project took almost a year to happen. We didn't realize how much flooring is. Live and learn folks. If you don't want a hole in your floor for a long time, make sure you have the money for a new floor prior to taking out a wall. Just sayin'.

 The wood floor goes in. Aw wood. Nuff'said!

The floors all done and looking spiffy. Now we come to the counter tops! Another year goes by and then...

Demo Day Night!
Lifting a cast iron sink out of it's hole is heavy! Thankfully, I have muscles like Superman and I was a huge asset to this little endeavor and B didn't feel like he lifted the entire thing by himself. 😉

 After the sink was out of it's hole and taken outside, it was time to remove the old counter tops. The counter top place said they would be happy to do the demo for a $600 fee. B threw his head back and laughed his evil laugh before he told them he could do it in his sleep! Ok, not really. The lady told him that it would cost $600 to have them do it, we had flash backs to taking out a wet bar and had total confidence that we, (now when I say we, we all know that I mean B right?) could take off these here counter tops without a problem at all. B remembered he has a 30 pound sledge hammer and knew counter top removal would be a breeze with that baby!

I keep telling him that if his hospital gig doesn't go as well as he planned that he could totally be a demo guy.

Besides being picture taker, my job was to go around the cabinets and pull the nails out that got left behind. Yeah, that didn't go so well for me. After spending at least 3 1/2 minutes trying to take out one nail, I decided enough was enough and I watched in awe as B went along the cabinets and pulled the nails out like it was no big thing.

Then the next morning...
The counter top guys came! I am way over granite. I feel like it's in every house and it's usually dark. Our little kitchen is not a great place to have something dark. We picked a quartz that looks like marble. Not that we were trying to get the look of marble, we weren't we just liked the grey through the white. Annnyway, they carried this up the stairs like it didn't weigh anything. I asked if it was heavy. They said that quartz weighs between 15-17 pounds per square foot. They said that this piece isn't too bad thanks to the sink hole that takes out about 100 pounds of the overall weight. 

They put it down and then had to slide it into place. Once it was in place they both said they weren't looking forward to carrying in the other piece. I asked why and they said it was a lot heavier.

They kept the wheels on it so once it was up the stairs, they could roll it over to the cabinets. 

They said that this piece weighed about 500 pounds. I was amazed that they didn't drop it. But then again, I can only bench press about 26 pounds. No lie folks. They got it on and secured it in place. I have no idea how they did it because I may or may not have been reading while they did that part. All I know is that they were here until almost 3:00. They shook my hand and went on their merry little way. 

We didn't want to pay them to plumb the sink. If I remember right the lady said that to have their plumber come it would cost us over $1000. B said he could figure it out. He did. And it didn't even take him forever. What a guy! I forgot to take a picture of just the counter top because that's not the last thing we did. Hold on to your knickers folks, a picture is coming. I leave you in suspense so you'll come back! I imagine it's like a cardiovascular surgeon recommending that his patients eat fast food, it's job security, get 'em to come back!