Thursday, May 28, 2009

16 Years!


 Sixteen years ago we were married for time and all eternity in the Manti, Utah temple! The time has really flown by, yet it seems as if we have always been together!  It has been a very busy, adventure packed 16 years.   We look so young, skinny and hairy in these pictures (okay, the hairy only refers to Jared).  
Anyway, I am so thankful for this wonderful husband that my Heavenly Father blessed me with.  He is a good father to our 4 beautiful children.  He works hard and long hours to provide for us.  He is a worthy priesthood holder and blesses our family with that priesthood.  He fulfills his calling and loves it (I am occasionally jealous of all the fun things he gets to do).  He loves me with my flaws, shortcomings, annoyances and all... and I love him with his!  Thank you Jared for all you do for me and our family.  I love you very much and look forward to many, many more years of happiness with you!

Monday, May 25, 2009

"I'm 15 for a moment"

Fifteen years ago today, I became a mother!  It is hard to believe she has grown so fast!  My petite little 9 lb. 1 oz baby is all grown up!  Happy Birthday Amaya!  Amaya is a joy to have in our family.  She is helpful, responsible, funny, kind, talkative, and just fun to be around!  She is a very good student (4.0) and very talented.  She is becoming quite the seamstress and is also becoming quite adventurous.  She got a wetsuit for her birthday and immediately asked if she gets to take scuba lessons now.  I didn't expect that one!  Anyway, we love her very much and are very proud of her and all she does!  Here are a couple of pictures from the party!  
(This was her imitation of Barbie in a wetsuit... notice the new wedge shoes!)

(New bedding... she is doing a bedroom makeover as part of her personal progress!)
Happy Birthday!  We love you!!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Remind Me, Dear, Why Was It Again We Decided To Build A Pond In Our Yard? (With a Poll!)

Like many of you, I find that as we get older and more experienced in life, we learn many things. One of the things I have learned is that I was much dumber in the past than I am now. For example, when we were putting in our yard in about 2001, Lynette and I decided for some reason that it would be a good idea to have a "water feature" in the yard. I guess we wanted to be able to relax in lawn chairs on our deck on a summer evening and hear the peaceful sound of the bubbling waterfall, which would then make us have to go to the bathroom.

Allow me to summarize for you some things I have learned about having "water features" from my own experience:
1. They are always a mess.
2. They are really a lot of work to build.
3. They are even more work after you're done building them.
4. I will never build one again.
5. They are always a mess.

Gaining experience in life is wonderful. My 40 year old self would love to have been able to tell my 30 year old self what an idiot he was for deciding to build a pond.

This brings me to today's experience. The Bingham Pond has been getting a little out of control the past couple summers. The lily pad colonies had grown beyond the combined biomass of an acre of rainforest and this made it impossible to see through the water or keep the algae under control. Lynette told me that if I would remove the lily pad planters from the pond today, she would thin them and replant them.

Naturally, I decided that the easiest way to do this would be to just barefoot wade into the pond and start tossing stuff out. Big mistake.

I waded around in the black mucky water for about ten minutes and managed to toss out most of the excess plant material. Then upon exiting the pond I noticed this (you really need to click to zoom in for the full effect):

That's just one side of one foot, so if you count both feet I'm estimating that is 500+ leeches I picked up in a few minutes. And in case you were curious, no, they did not just rinse off. They were firmly attached with their little suckers or whatever and basically had to be scraped off individually. They did not leave big bloody sores like in the movies, but I think they were working on it. On the bright side, yesterday I was starting to think I was coming down with something, but now I think maybe all of my evil humours have been sucked out and I'm all better.

For some reason, the biggest thing that bothered me about this episode was, how did this thriving colony of thousands of leeches get started? Do leeches just magically appear in any icky, scummy pond? Our pond started out with clean water and we haven't put anything into it except lily pads and chemicals. The nearest standing body of water is Salem Pond, a mile away. Do baby leeches in Salem Pond climb up trees, spin little silken parachutes, and drift away on the wind like in Charlotte's Web? To me this seems like evidence for the theory of spontaneous generation, which I thought had been disproved. We're interested in commentary from our many readers who may be expert leech biologists.

With the new leech infestation, we're trying to decide if having a pond is worth it. Here's what the area looks like after I pumped out most of the water today:

As you can see, the area looks like it has potential, as long as you have a full time crew of Mexicans gardeners, or an extra thirty hours a week, to keep all the weeds down and everything pruned. As it is now, it looks pretty raggedy up close. We'd like your help deciding where we should go from here. Check the poll in the right hand column and cast your vote! We will wait a week until all 2 of our readers have responded, then throw away the information and choose whatever seems like the laziest option. After that, we will wait 10 years, then look back and make fun of how stupid we were when we were only 40.