Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tidbits about Korea

Okay, just some tidbits I want to remember:

1. You don't tip here. For ANYTHING. Taxi's, bell boys, food... If you're in a restaurant, and you leave a tip, they will chase you down the street trying to hand it back. It's actually quite nice.

2. I haven't seen ANY morbidly obese people. Seriously, a few chubby people, but that is it.

3. I haven't seen a Korean girls butt crack. NICE! It really is. No thongs showing, no butt cracks...very refreshing.

4. Most of the stores we walk by, have VERY modest clothing. I commented to my mom, that if you're a garment wearer, here is the place to shop.

5. I have seen 3 homeless people since we've been here. And we ride the subway almost every day. Crazy, huh? Anyone who has taken the Max in Portland, knows that the Max is pretty much a homeless persons bedroom.

6. I have seen lots of drunk men here in the evenings. The crazy thing is, they're all in really nice suits, and they're pretty old.

7. The majority of men walk around in suits here. Kind of weird. Oh, and they wear bedazzled ties.

8. All the teenagers here dress really nice (well, except for those skinny pants, which I hate, they all wear those). There are no goth looking kids, or strung out kids. David says people don't even try to smuggle in drugs here. It's just not worth it if they were to get caught.

9. The majority of women wear the oddest looking heels. You see them selling all these weird colors, and styles in the subway for 5000 won (about $5) each. So, they're cheap. They have gotta hurt! I would die if I had to wear heels that often. Three hours a week (church) is about all I can handle of heels.

10. Karaoke is for people who just want to have fun. (in my mind, I'm humming "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun") Not for drinkers. Drinking isn't allowed. I always thought the only way people did it in the states (except for Asians) had to be drunk. In Oregon, we had Asian neighbors who would Karaoke EVERY SINGLE SUNDAY and I thought they were all just drunk. You don't have to be a good singer to Karaoke...we all proved that the other night.

11. Squatters. So rude. I think it's just wrong to make women squat in a public bathroom. Seriously...

12. The majority of Korean men I have seen, are pretty cold here. During our bike ride, the little Korean women would see us, and wave and smile, and most men wouldn't even look in our direction. If they did, I would wave, and they would look the other way.

I may add to this, but for now, this is all I got!

Day 6

This morning, we got up and got breakfast. Then we took a bus to a little folk village. It was quite a ways a way, and a bus dropped us off, and we had to walk about a mile to the village. In the village, there were little homes and buildings there that were hundreds of years old. It was a little odd, because some of these old historic homes, people were now living in. It was hard to tell what homes we were supposed to be looking at, and what ones were inhabited. On our long way back to the highway to catch a bus, I decided to run some of it. Troy ran with me. We didn't want to get too far ahead of everyone, so we didn't run very far, we stopped under an overpass for a train - in the shade - and waited for everyone to catch up. So, I did get a bit of a run in. We then took a bus into downtown, and ate at the same little restaurant we did the day before. I got the same thing as yesterday, and it was still good, although spicier than I remembered!

We were all exhausted after being in the hot sun, and our long trek, so we headed back to the hotel. Troy and I got our swimsuits on, and went to the pool, where we swam laps. You have to have very proper pool etiquette here. There's not just a pool to play in, you have to swim laps. So, we did just that, and got in some more exercise! Mike and Maria came down and joined us. We had a few little races - most in which Michael smoked us. I did win the back stroke one. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with a pool in your backyard. We had fun swimming for a bit. We changed, and went and got everyone else, and decided to go ride bikes around the lake.

The place we are staying in here is on Bomun Lake (technically it's a reservoir). It's a resort area. I think it must be off-season, because I swear we're the only guests. So, it's a really pretty area on a lake. We each rented a bike for 3000 won ($3) an hour. We went on a bike ride around the lake. It was so much fun! We've got to get Kyle riding his! We have a bike trailer at home, that I'm now itching to use! Once I get a new bike, of course! ;) Unfortunately, Jason got a flat tire, and had to ride his bike all the way back, with a flat. Poor kid.

We went to dinner, where Troy bought a 7000 won milk shake. Definitely wasn't worth that. The salads were a bit odd. We then went and walked around the little lake, stopped at a GS25 (gas station) for some treats, (dinner was EXPENSIVE and didn't fill anyone up) and then played charades in the room. FUN TIMES!

I was thinking that I did my own little triathlon today - in my own little way. Running/walking, swimming, and biking. It was tons of fun! I was thinking while riding my bike, just how much fun we have been having. It seriously, is just fun. We have been walking so much, that at times, I'm a bit tired, but other than that, it has been a really great trip. I am really anxious to see my kids, and head home. Less than 48 hours left in Korea. I am going to try to enjoy them, but I will definitely be excited when I get on that plane. Partially, because David's going to take me to a pharmacy to get me something to help me sleep. I seriously want to sleep the whole flight home! It's a 10 hour flight to San Francisco on the way home. I never take any type of drugs, so it won't be hard to find an over-the-counter med to knock me out. I wish I would have thought about it, and I would have brought some left over c-section meds.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 5

Today we woke up and again, ate a wonderful free breakfast! That seriously saves me for the rest of the day. We got ready, and went to see some old Buddhist temples and statues that were so hidden, the Japanese couldn't destroy them. We rode a bus to the main temple, where monks were worshipping in front of us. We were asked not to take photos of it, so we didn't, but it was crazy! The monks would kneel, then stand, then kneel, then stand. Probably about 10 times in 1 minute. This place was FILLED with kids. That normally, wouldn't be a problem, but we seriously are celebrities here. They swarm us, and holler, "What is your name?" "Nice to meet you" David conversed with some of them, and they were shocked he could speak some Korean. I have it on video, but youtube is being wierd, so I'll try to add it in the morning. It's almost 11pm here. The kids were literally swarming ALL of us. One group of kids started talking to me, asking if I liked apples(yes), and kimchee(NO). Then they asked if I had a boyfriend. I pointed to Troy. (Now, one of the tallest people in this country) and they all shrieked "OOOOOHHHHHH!" It was hilarious! Then, they asked for my autograph. Wierd, but I did it, just cause it made them so happy. I was literally, being swallowed up, and looked to my family to help me. I would have been there all day, if I had to sign everyone's, so they helped me, and then we decided to be on our way. On our way out, we saw a lone white man (also tall - go figure) and as we passed, Maria said, "Good Luck". Then, we headed up to a hike to a hidden Buddha Grotto.

This hike was STRAIGHT UP! It was 3.2 kilometers one way. It took us about an hour to hike it. I'm proud to say I wasn't the last one up. I still don't love hiking, but we did it. We saw this hidden Buddha made out of stone, that had been there since 751. CRAZY! I'm pretty sure that's the oldest thing I've ever seen. We then hiked the 3.2 kilometers down. We were all pretty beat, stinky, and tired by the time we reached the bottom, but we took a bus into downtown for some grub. At this point in time, I just pray for white rice.

David took us to a place, and ordered for us. I just had some of Troy's. I'm past the point of ordering something for myself, cause I know I won't like it. Well, it happened to be good. It was this beef soup, with onions. I took the beef and onions out, and put it on my rice, and ate it. YUM! That's my request for lunch tomorrow. Oh, in restaraunts here, you are to get your own water. They have water coolers. Well, we had just hiked, and I was thirsty, so I went and filled up my water bottle from the cooler. A little old lady was sitting by it eating her lunch. She had a bowl of white rice. I filled up my water bottle, and headed back to my table. She grabbed my arm, and motioned for me to pour water from my water bottle into her bowl of rice. So, I poured a little in, thinking, who wants cold water in their rice? I didn't know how much she wanted. So, she didn't think that was enough, and grabbed my water bottle, and filled her bowl. Whatever makes her happy. It's just crazy that she's not worried about germs from my old water bottle. She did it again to my brother too.

After lunch, we walked down some streets, and me, my dad, and Jason, decided we would head back to the hotel. We were so stinky from the hike. Everyone else decided to go to a DVD room, and watch a Korean movie with English subtitles. So, the 3 of us, got on the bus that was only supposed to go one way, and ended up stranded at the bus station. So, we got a taxi, and came back to the hotel, showered, and waited for everyone else to come back.

We are all still trying to beat jet lag, and couldn't go to bed at 8:30, so decided to try the nightlife, and go to a Karoake bar. Troy has been dreading this since we mentioned a Karoake bar when we got here. I shouldn't say bar, because that isn't how they work here. It's a Karoake room. You rent the room for 1 hour (2000w or $20 an hour). There is actually no beverages allowed, especially alcoholic. There are lists of music, and even a few tamborine's and a disco ball to set the mood. Growing up, David and I have always listened to the same type of music. He listened to what music I did, because I was the oldest, and made him, but he loves it as much as me. I love all music of all era's and genre's. People ask David to this day, how he happens to know one song or another, and he credits me...sniff sniff...:) So, Karoake was seriously the funnest thing ever. We laughed hysterically. Sang our butts off! We even found a spanish song for Maria. Well, everyone sang but Troy. I told David, before I leave, we're going back! I seriously always made fun of people who Karaoke, and thought that for sure, you had to be drunk to do it. I don't know that there are too many people I could Karaoke with, but it was awesome! Anyways, after our hour was up, we are now back at the hotel. Troy is fast asleep. I thought I'd update the blog early, so in the morning, we can get on with our day. No more hikes for tomorrow. Don't know what we'll do yet, but we're having a great time.

Here's the video of David. He's asking the kids if they are Japanese, or Chinese, and they keep hollering, NO, KOREAN! I think towards the end, one little kids call him stupid in Korean, and David, says, I know what you're saying, I'm not stupid, you are (all in Korean) and the little kids friends start beating him up for being disrespectful. David tells them to stop and that it's okay. I think this video is awesome, cause you can hear him speaking Korean, and you can see how the kids here just think we're FABULOUS! Isn't David cute? The only Korean I've gotten down is thank you: KOMESAMNEEDAH (phonetically spelled). My mom tries her hardest, but when she says it, people laugh. You kind of have to say it fast and slurred.

These were only a FEW kids. Seriously, there were probably only 3 adults to every 25 kids there, and we were the only other adults there. There were over 30 buses filled with kids.I found another video I took of just a sampling of all the kids. This is just in one little courtyard. Wall to wall kids. We liked talking to them at first, but it got to the point where if we saw tour buses, we had second thoughts about stopping.

Korea really isn't a tourist destination. We were telling David, that there is no way we could have traveled here without him. We asked how other tourists do it? He tells us there really aren't many tourists. There are business men, but they stick with business. So, signing out, from one of the few tourists in South Korea.

Olympic Torch

Here's a clip of the Olympic Torch. Troy was filming, and I haven't edited it - sorry for the low quality. At the beginning you will see it in the left of the screen. It's so hard to see with so many police. You can see and hear all the Chinese supporters with their red flags.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Day 4

After eating breakfast, we got our bags ready in order to check out of our hotel in Seoul. At 3:00 we had a train to go to Gyeongju. We took a taxi to David's apartment, saw where his school was, saw his apartment, and left our bags there. While we were walking to the subway, David stopped at a Subway and got a sandwich. We walked in to smell all the good Subway smells. I told David he had been holding out on us! My dad found a Dr. Pepper, and was in heaven immediately. David had told us about this digital complex where they had more things than you can imagine. It's true. I don't know how to describe it. The bottom floor was ALL cameras, and accessories. I think there were like 10-15 floors? The second floor was all kitchen appliances, third floor, computers, it just went on and on! It was crazy. I bought Erin and myself each an 8 gb compact flash card for our cameras - for only $55 each. SWEET! I put it in my camera, and it will hold over 1000 pictures! I'm so excited about it!

We headed back to David's to retrieve our luggage and make it to the train station. Once there, we got lunch. We got Burger King. Then, we boarded our train. Man, the train is so much nicer than an airplane. The seats were comparable to a first class seat on an airplane, reclined all the way back, foot stools, SO much leg room. The seats were 2x2, and you could turn them around and face each other, so on each side of the train we did that. All 8 of us sat there, and talked and laughed the entire trip down. Let's just say, I learned some VERY interesting things about my brothers. We arrived in Gyeongju (pronounced - KeeOHngju) and took 2 taxis to the hotel. I seriously feared for my life this time in the taxi. The 2 taxis were racing, and it seriously was scary. That's how it works here. At least it was fast?

We checked into the Hilton here, and they told us we got 6 complimentary dinner buffets (2 per room) that had to be used that night. We took our things up to our room, and headed down to the buffet. It was MARVELOUS! Seriously, the best dinner we had so far. The crazy thing, since we had 8 people, we had to pay for 2 meals, and they ended up being $40 a person! We all split the cost, and for this yummy buffet, it cost $10 pp. The buffet had spaghetti, sweet and sour pork, beef tips, sushi, crab, EVERYTHING. It was seriously so good. I'm sure I'm just comparing it to the other nights of dinner. Which were okay, but for ME, were probably 200 calorie meals. I was so full, but I didn't want to stop eating, just cause I would be home before I got to eat good food again.

We were going to do Karaoke last night, but our hotel is on a lake here, kind of a little resort town, and the only Karaoke they had was at the top of the hotel. It was $150 for a little room, and came with booze. Once again, we decided to wait for another night to do that.

OH! I forgot to tell about the funniest part of the day. When we checked into our hotel, we found that our room, and my parents room, had these fancy electronic toilets with a bidet in them. Now, everyone said they were excited to try it out, and I said I wasn't going to try it out without first watching what it was going to do. You know me, I don't like surprises in the toilet area of my life. So, me and my parents hovered around this toilet, and watched. (I'm going to take a video of it before we leave) This little hose electronically comes down, and it shot water clear across the room! We were laughing so hard! So, I knew my brothers hadn't seen it, and Jason hadn't showered that day (he's scared of David's shower), so I told him to stand back (directly where I knew he would get sprayed) and we pushed the button. Well, David turned the corner to see what we were doing, and got sprayed instead. We seriously laughed so hard, I almost died. Yep, we're still 12, playing in a toilet. I am giggling just typing this. So, we are here until Thursday (Wednesday in UT) until we take a train back. Apparently there's lots of hiking and tons of ruins to see. Apparently the Japanese didn't get these, so they should be authentic. You know how we worked out the morning of the first day we were here? No more of that. We are literally working out all day long. Up and down stairs, walking a ton. It's great!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Day 3

After breakfast, we decided to head to the Seoul LDS Temple, dedicated by Gordon B. Hinckley in 1985. My parents, Troy, and I made our own way through the subway and to the temple on our own! Thank heavens for Angel Moroni. It was closed for maintenance, and the day we arrived was Sunday here in Seoul. We walked around, took photos, and then this man walked up to us. He was the temple president. We spoke with him for a moment, and then left to meet up with my brothers.

We met up with them in the subway station. I had to go to the bathroom, and in the subway station here, you have to take your toilet paper before you enter the stall. So, I had a handful of toilet paper. A stall door opened, and I looked in and saw a squatter. No toilet. Just a urinal type thing in the ground. I hightailed it out and decided to 'hold it'. It was pouring rain outside, and since we had gotten soaked the day before, we weren't excited to hang out in the rain. We walked around the inside of a nice, expensive mall. We got an ice cream cone, and then decided to go see a movie. It had Korean subtitles.

After the movie, we decided to head to the Olympic stadium to see if we could see the torch. About 5 minutes after we got there, the torch came by! We saw it! It was so awesome. Instead of protesters, there were Chinese supports chanting, and waving their flag. There were about the same amount of police man linked arm in arm also. We got some great pictures of it. It was really cool to witness that in front of the Olympic Stadium.

The Olympic Stadium happened to be right next to a baseball stadium. We decided to go watch. We watched the LG Twins and another team. It was different. They had dorky looking cheerleaders. They went onto the field in the 5th inning and started doing this dance. It seriously looked like middle school girls. We waited for the 7th inning stretch to see if they sang: Take me out to the ball game. They didn't. It was disappointing. The highlight of the game for all of my brothers, was that they bought a Twins shirt, and on the back it said: Dr. Bong Apparently the nickname of a player. They thought this the coolest shirt ever.

Afterwards we went to dinner. I have to say, I'm on the South Korean diet. I'm just not a fan of Korean food. I try things (squid pancake - kimchee) but that's about it. You'll have to wait for pictures of this meal too. Too hard to explain. They did bring us out a plate of octopus and squid, which we all shooed away. Not even David was eating that.

We then took a taxi to Namdan tower. It is kind of like the stratsophere. It was high up on a mountain, overlooking all of Seoul. It was pretty cool. Afterwards, we took a taxi home. We were asleep by 8:00pm. And awake by 5:00am. Jet lag is really irritating! Today we are headed down south to Geyoungeu (sp?) for a few days. Don't know about internet down there. Can' wait until I can post pictures...

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Day 2

Okay, where did I leave off? Okay, we ate this wonderful breakfast, and exchanged some money into won, and were off to see Seoul. I think it was about a mile walk, maybe a little less, from our hotel to the subway station, but my dad thinks it was shorter. We boarded the subway, and went to a palace. Now, I can' remember how to spell it, but it was the king's palace during the Jeoysen Dynasty. (This is all spelled wrong...)Now, we arrived at the front, and saw a huge asian like structure, and one behind it, and as we started a tour, this palace went on FOREVER! Seriously, we would see one building, go through a gate in a brick wall, and there would be a lake, more buildings. It was crazy. We walked through gate after gate. We learned tons about this kingdom. The cutest thing was all the little Korean kids. Now, we are DEFINITELY a minority here. Korea is not your typical vacation destination. One little kid walked up to Troy, and looked up in awe of him. Another little kid walked up to my mom, and said, "Hi, I'm from Korea". It was cute. I'm sure they all know English, but that was probably one of the first thing he learned, so he said it. Another little boy brought Troy a paper and asked for his autograph. Then, my mom talked to a little girl. My mom asked her if she was 10and the little girl shook her head, and said, "NO, twenty!" It was so cute how excited they all were to see white people! The Korean name for American's, is "eegook" (phonetically spelled), so during the day, we heard kids saying that. There was a boy scout group, and I took a picture of one of the boys.

After the morning was spent at the palace (which, was technically all re-built, because the Japanese burnt it all down) we got on the Subway, and headed for a shopping center. I have to tell you, the worst thing for me, is getting on a Subway that is JAM packed. It stinks so bad. You literally have to push people, just to get on. Most tourists don't ride the subway. Thanks David! ;) This shopping center was crazy. It seemed a lot like Mexico. Bartering, but then they had seafood, and all sorts of stuff for sale. I got some good pictures. They have a lot of street vendors here. My favorite, was a steaming bowl of larvae - or cooked beetles. I got a picture, but that was as close as I got. Michael claims he will try some before he leaves. It rained on us throughout the day.

On our way to dinner, we stopped by the "#1 National Treasure of Korea. Apparently, it's like an ancient gateway to Seoul. Which, a few months ago, a disgruntled farmer burnt down. They had built this huge building around the remains, and were trying to rebuild it. It was covered with messages on paper. David says it's like our ground zero. Kind of crazy - all for an ancient building. Some of the places we had been earlier that day were the #882 National Treasure of Korea.

We were on our way to dinner. This was the thing I had been dreading most. It was okay. You sat on the floor, and cooked your own food over charcoal. It's too hard to describe, so you'll have to wait for the pictures. It wasn't too great. Troy thought he would starve if he had to eat with chopsticks, but luckily they brought him a fork. We headed back to the hotel. On the subway, we were all amazed at how much David can converse with Koreans. He's only been here for 7 months, and you can tell he asks them to repeat what they said, but if it hadn't been for him, we wouldn't have even known what to order. Or asked for water... or asked for the bill. We got back to the hotel around 6:30.

We knew Jason was "SUPPOSED" to be here around 7 or 8. Well, we were exhausted. I can't believe how much walking we did! Troy and I went to our room, and immediately fell asleep. Jason did arrive. MIRACLE! He got from the airport to the hotel all by himself! When he walked in the room, everyone asked, "How'd you get here?" Jason answered, "What, do you think I'm an idiot?" Well, everyone laughed - knowing the answer. We woke up at about 5:30 this morning, and couldn't go back to sleep. We got ready, and ate breakfast. My brothers are all staying at David's, and we just finished our second morning of a good breakfast. I think we're going to go catch a cab to see the Seoul temple, and then meet up with my brothers. We're planning on seeing the Olympic Torch run through. And, whatever else David takes us to. Hope all is well! More tomorrow!

Friday, April 25, 2008


We finally made it. It is Saturday morning at 8:15 here. In SLC, it is Friday 5:00pm. Yesterday was an eventful day. I can't upload any pictures, but want to keep a journal. Pictures will have to come later.

We left our home at 2:30 am on April 24. We stayed the night at my parents, and left for the airport at 6:00am. Our flight left SLC to San Francisco at 8:30 am. As soon as we touched down in San Fran, I called my brother, Jason, to see where he was. He was supposed to be on a flight that arrived about the same time as me. He answered his phone, and told me he had slept in and missed his flight. The second flight he was supposed to be on, would only arrive 1 hour before our flight left to Korea. Unfortunately, his plane in San Diego got a flat tire, and was delayed 1 hour. Hopefully he is now on the plane to Korea. He had to wait a whole 24 hours in San Francisco before he could get on the next flight. AUGGGHHHHH! Hopefully he learned a lesson.

We met up with Mike and Maria and got on the plane for our eternally long flight. It really was SO long. I think I would prefer to be in a car with all 4 kids for 12 hours. It was partly due to the fact that the flu ALL of my kids had the previous week, finally caught up with me. My stomach was upset, and I couldn't get comfortable enough to sleep. After 5 hours on the plane, we still had 7 hours left! I think I'm buying sleeping drugs for the flight home. It seriously, was hard for me. On the descent into Korea, lightning struck right outside the plane window. SCARY!

Customs here was AMAZINGLY a breeze. The second we stepped foot into the baggage claim, it smelled like Asia. Or China town. All our luggage was retrieved, and we were off to rent cell phones. Aparently, Korea doesn't use the same Cell network as most countries, and just to have our cell phones on, would end up charging HUGE fees. Cell phone rental is $3 a day (or about 3000 won). To call the US, it is 750 won (75 cents). Between us all, we rented 3 phones. We were planning on taking a charter bus to the hotel costing 9000 won (I'll let you do the math now) per person. A taxi driver - dressed in a suit - the nicest looking cabi I've ever seen - said, I have a van, I can take you. He wanted to charge us 100000 ($100). We told him, NO, we will take the bus. Finally, we agreed on 60000 ($60)- only about 600 ($6)more won than the bus. After my stomach on the plane, I wasn't real excited about hopping in a bus, so we agreed. Well, this guy drove like a bat out of hell! Zipping in and out of traffic. It was crazy. So, not only is he driving crazy, but he flips this screen on, that's mounted to his front windshield. I'm thinking it's a GPS. NO! It's a TV. He turns it on, the volume is up as high as possible, and he watches it! As we're passing everyone around, we notice that's normal. All the other cars are watching tv as well. CRAZY! Well, we got to the hotel, and he asks for $90! WHAT? We argued for a bit, then gave him $85. (It was definitely an Amazing Race moment). We walked in the lobby, and saw David waiting! Yea! He looks really good. His boobs are bigger than mine - he's been working out a ton. Doing Brazilian Jijitsu. We talked in the room for a LONG time, and then Troy and I headed to our room, Mike and Maria went to stay with David. It was 10:00 pm Korean time. So, we slept until about 6:45 this morning. We woke up and went to the fitness center in the hotel. It is SO nice! It's like a real gym! Weights, treadmills. It felt so good to exercise after the long - sitting all day - day yesterday. The towels smelled like "asia" and it was killing me to wipe my face off. I guess you could say, my stomach is still not feeling that great. Do they use wierd soap or something...I'm going to try to get to the bottom of the "asian" smell...anyways, I ran for 15 minutes on the treadmill without stopping - I tried to run as fast as I could, and still maintain it for 15 minutes. I went about 2.5 km, maybe a little less. Heidi, I thought you'd be proud. We did weights, then called it good. We showered, and now are enjoying our free breakfast, courtesy of my dad's Diamond Hilton status. The computers I am on are free as well, due to this. As was the fitness club. SWEET! I'm really excited to be here now. I'm not feeling sleep deprived. I'm excited to hang out with my brothers and Maria! I guess the olympic torch comes through Seoul tomorrow. ㅓ두 That was Jen in Korean. More later...Kyle, Jake, Kristin, and Haley...We Miss you! We love you! Be good!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Lindsay Ann Bell

Yesterday Linds would have turned 30! How time has flown! Almost 12 years ago, right after high school graduation, she was killed in a car accident. Lindsay was wild and crazy, and loved everyone so much! We were lucky enough to be able to attend a birthday party for her thrown by her family. We met at the cemetary and released some balloons. Then we headed to a dinner where we talked about Linds, watched a video, shed some tears, and listened to some tapes of her singing. The videos really got to me. It was so great to see her happy and alive, and being her sassy (understatement) self. She lived life to have fun. On the way home Troy and I were talking about all the stories we remembered about her. I'm going to type a few of them here, just so I'll have them written somewhere.

Lindsay once pushed me in the fountain at the mall. It was in January, there was a blizzard outside, and I learned my lesson for walking around the edge of a fountain in the presence of Lindsay. She thought it was funny, and said as long as it was funny, I couldn't be mad.

Troy said that in Junior High, if you weren't Lindsay's friend, she thought that you must not like her. She really was friends with everyone. She was still a girl, and a trash talker, but she really was up for being friends with everyone!

The girl got out of so many speeding tickets, it was INSANE!

She had release period last hour. I don't think she went to work much during that time, like she was supposed to. I had child development. She would come and stand in the hallway and try to have total conversations with me. On numerous occasions, our teacher, Mrs. Harrison, would just invite her in. She would come join the class, and sit and chit chat.

DUH! Linds said this all the time. I can still hear her saying it, only as she could!

For a dance, Troy, Lindsay, Sam and I were taking a carriage ride around temple square. We pulled up to another carriage that had a young couple sitting in it. Lindsay stood up, and hollered, "are you asking her to marry you" the guy looked at us, and said, "uh, yeah". I wonder if that couple still remembers the crazy high school girl who interupted "the proposal".

She was determined that we (Kristin, Lindsay, and I) should go to Snow College. So, we went down for a house hunting trip with her dad. She was so excited. Kristin and I ended up there without her. I am determined it would have been a whole different freshman year had Lindsay been there with us.

I have many more, but some I will keep secret. Linds, I'm positive, still wants to keep some things secret.

At the cemetary, on the day she was buried, her dad walked up to me, gave me a hug, and handed me a picture of Lindsay and myself that Lindsay had had in her car with her. That picture still means so much to me. It means even more that Mike would think to have it with him to give me on such a day. Here is a copy of that picture. I remember that it was taken in the lunch room. I had a photography class my senior year, and we got as much film as we wanted and I was never without my camera. I am so grateful for that now!

Here is one of my scrapbook pages of Lindsay and me. Don't laugh, it's 11 years old. Not too shabby for an 11 year old look!

Here's a picture of her headstone and her parents that was taken last night. I've always loved her headstone!

Here's a picture of all of her friends that attended last night. From left to right: Matthew, Travis, Troy, Me, Sarah, Kristin, Annie

Here's a picture of Kristin and Annie. Love you guys!

Lindsay, we love you! I know we'll meet again...I hope there are fountains in heaven. I owe ya one!

Monday, April 14, 2008

add concussion...

Yep. Add Concussion to Haley's LONG list of ailments. This morning, we were getting ready to head out the door. I was in the garage getting my shoes on. All of a sudden, I heard screams. Not the normal 'daily' screams. I knew something bad happened. I opened the door, and Kyle was holding Haley. I asked him what happened, and he said, I tripped. Then he ran to his room crying. I held Haley and watched a huge lump on the side of her head form. I asked Kristin what happened, she told me Kyle tripped, and Haley's head landed on the tile. As if that wasn't enough, Kyle then fell on top of her, banging her head into the tile a second time. I was really worried. I was on my way to drop my kids off at Cherice's while I went to an appointment, so I went over a little early, to have her check Haley out too. Cherice can check for broken bones, and stuff. On the way over, Haley threw up a little. I started getting worried at this point. My kids have had their fair share of bumps on the head, but no one had ever vomitted, so I was worried. I got to Cherice's, and Haley walked into Cherice's room to find Makenna. I was thinking, okay, maybe she's okay. Then, she wanted me to hold her, and as we were sitting there, she started vomitting. So, I called our docs, and they said to bring her right in. She vomitted on the way to the doctors office. We got there, and Haley seemed to be fine. The doc couldn't feel any gushy spots on her head (which indicates a skull fracture) but said if she vomitted anymore, I would have to take her to Primary Children's Hospital for a CT Scan. Sure enough, she vomitted on the way to the grocery store, and then a few times on the way up to the hospital. I sat in the waiting room for over an hour, watched the craziest people make their way into the ER(a kid who drank half a bottle of hand sanitizer...he was drunk as a skunk, a family whose mom admitted her FIVE kids who were all acting completely normal - I find that ODD!). I was just trying to keep Haley away from anybody with germs. I think I put hand sanitizer on both of our hands every 10 minutes. I'm surprised we weren't drunk...Our pediatrician had told me that she for sure had a concussion, and that I needed to be very careful the next few days not to let her get any more bonks on her head. Not an easy task for a new walker...So, we got in, got the CT Scan, and finally the results. All normal. Of course, Haley has a really good test record at Primary's. Once again, It seems like I just enjoy torturing her. So, she fell at 8:30 this morning, and I returned home from the hospital at 4:00 this afternoon. It was a LONG day. My kids all just got a lecture about not picking her up. Kyle feels really bad, I probably overreacted when it happened too, because I've only told him a MILLION times not to pick her up...I think he gets the point now. It's now 5:00. Is it bedtime yet? Thanks Alayna for watching Kristin, and Cherice for watching the boys. Too bad I had to spend this nice 80 degree day in a hospital...

Thursday, April 10, 2008


I just remembered. The Office. It's on tonight! I can't wait! FINALLY! Tears of laughter will be shed this evening, it's pretty much guaranteed! Happy watching!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

The "S" Girls

This morning I took photos of the cutest little girls. I spent my ENTIRE day editing. I'm trying not to get behind before we head to Korea. I just finished. I can't decide what my favorites are. The one year old loved to stick her tongue out. Her mom told me that she was born with her tongue sticking out! So, hearing that, I loved this picture of her:
The other girls were so easy to photograph! They listened, and were the perfect subjects! I had the older sister hug her little sister. The little sister was so cute, she wanted to hug her big sister back, so on her own, she found a way to get her arms around her sweet!
There are so many more...I just couldn't decide...if you want to see the whole shoot, let me know! After this shoot this morning, I was just feeling really happy about what I do! I loved taking those photos! I love taking any photos! I feel really grateful to be able to do something I really love!

Monday, April 07, 2008

BYU Blue and White Game 2008

The game and festivities are this Saturday. As a bonus, the weatherman has predicted a 65 degree day on Saturday. I can't go (due to a photo shoot) but Troy is taking the boys down. If anyone would like to hitch a ride with Troy, Kyle, and Jake, let us know! The more the merrier! It was awesome last year! For a recap of last year and to see what I'm talking about (if you don't already know) click here.

Friday, April 04, 2008

It begins...

We start soccer again tomorrow. It figures, Kyle's game is at 9:45, Jake's is at 10:00. Kyle also has baseball practice at 10:00. My dad is taking Kyle to soccer, and I am taking Jake. I'm praying it will rain and there will be no baseball to worry about. Kyle would end up missing the first half anyways. We have 8 more weeks of soccer. The silver lining: tomorrow is Troy's last day working Saturdays! WAHOO! CELEBRATE! Starting Monday, he's a M-F guy! Just in time for soccer season! Gotta love it!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Snow Canyon

On Saturday, we went to Snow Canyon. It's great hikes for the kids. We hiked on petrified sand dunes, and played in regular sand dunes (I still can't manage to get all the red sand out of my running shoes), and had a good time climbing. I will admit, I'm the 'nervous nelly' mother. I will never take my kids to the Grand Canyon. I would be a basket case the whole time. This definitely wasn't the Grand Canyon, but I had my nervous moments. Kids are just fearless and think nothing bad can happen, which makes me worry more. Snow Canyon is definitely a place I would go back to. There was this awesome paved bike trail that would be fun to do (when my boys get brave enough to really ride bikes...any suggestions with that?). Here are photos of the 3 families who went:

We hiked/walked up to Pioneer Names Trail. Pioneers wrote their names and dates up high on a redrock. Lots of Gublers, Kristin, any relation? Notice how the kids just start climbing, with no worries. STRESSFUL!

I was so glad we had this backpack for Haley. I even hauled her up and down one hike. Good thing she's a pipsqueek!

It was a fun day. I will admit, I still don't love hiking. Or, like it for that matter. I guess I didn't really consider this hiking. Just walking up mounds of petrified dirt. I also think, if there is sand, it's useless unless there's an ocean nearby. All in all, it was a GREAT day! I can honestly say, I don't think there were any complaints from the kids. They were happy to be there with friends and cousins! Come on, you can't beat that!

Hidden Valley Park in St. George

This last weekend, we went to St. George for a few days. It was so great! It was in the 70's, sunny, and warm! The Owens' went down with neighbors The Dukes' for contractor certifications that have to be done every other year. We were lucky to be invited on the festivities! It was so fun. There was no pressure, just hung out, swam, went to a movie, played at a park, and hiked in Snow Canyon. That's the very brief summary of it. We found this cool new park online, and decided to try it out. It was amazing! I have never seen so much playground equipment in one park. Not only is there great playground equipment, but there are tennis courts (wish we would have had raquets), sand volleyball, TONS of lush green grass (I even took my flip flops off to feel it on my feet) and a splash pad! There was a little playground for toddlers, that Haley loved as well! I taught her to climb up the stairs and go down the slide on her belly. She was in heaven. We had a plastic bat and some whiffle balls in the car, Troy played baseball with the boys for over an hour. We took the kids there to play during the day, went home in the afternoon adn swam in the pool, and that evening we got a picnic dinner and went back to the park- that's how great we thought it was! Here are a few photos:

Okay, this is my favorite picture I took at the park. It's Kinlee. I think I love this, because she was swinging high enough for me to crop the cars out of the background, but the look on her face is priceless. It's her true happy face. It's hard to capture her really smiling on camera. She has a camera face when you ask her to smile, but I love how she is truly happy and smiling in this picture.


Okay, Erin's hubby, Travis, showed me this cool website. I'm way slow, so I'm sure many of you are already using it. But, I have so many blogs to check, and I check more than once a day to see if they've been updated, so it was taking FOREVER to check all twenty-something blogs. If you go to, you can copy and paste blog addresses in your account. Then, it updates everytime someone updates their blog, and I can either read it through spokeo, or go to their actual blog so that I can comment. So, instead of checking the twenty-something blogs, I just go to spokeo and it shows me whose updated their blogs since I've checked last. Anyways, this has saved me SO MUCH time, for a person who seems to be running out of time almost daily. Thought I'd spread the news!