As you may have not noticed, this blog has become pretty stale. It's been almost 9 months since our last post. Apparently life tends to get busy and cuts down on the time you have to compose stories of your life and share them with the world. So, we've decided that, instead of fully composed posts of our happenings, we can much more easily share short 140-character happenings. With that, we'd like to announce the creation of our family twitter feed. We've protected the tweets, so you will need approval in order to follow us. So, we'll catch you over there. Hopefully we'll find time to post more than once every 9 months.
One of the awesome parts about going to temple dedication today, other than the dedication itself, is that we were all done with church by 10:30am. We decided that we would take a family field trip to the Nebo Loop with the extra time today. The Nebo Loop is absolutely beautiful in the Fall! I love it. :) Also, I've wanted to get a new picture of our family for our blog and the view from the loop provides a beautiful backdrop.
We packed a lunch, the kids, and the camera, had a family prayer, and headed out. We were not disappointed, the views were breathtaking. Soon we found ourselves at an amazing overlook and we decided to make that the backdrop for our picture. It took a few tries, but we soon got a picture that Dan and I both liked, despite the fact that both James and Alice decided to close their eyes. We hung out there for a little while longer, then we continued our journey.
We continued to drive down the windy, hilly roads, thoroughly enjoying the beautiful colors. It was a beautiful trip and I was loving every minute. We turned a corner and my heart stopped. Right in front of us was an SUV, driving way too fast, trying to pass a little black truck on a curve with a double yellow line. We had no where to go. There was a mountain to the right and the truck to the left. Dan hit the brakes as I held my breath. Luckily the car got out of our lane just in time. I let out my breath as I promptly started to chew out the driver of the SUV. (Not a great example for my kids, I know...) Dan and I couldn't believe how close we had come to what could have been a bad car accident.
As I began to calm down, I began to feel very grateful that the car didn't hit us and for my sweet husband who kept his calm and helped to keep us safe. I thought about how we had just taken our family photo and how close we came to possibly not ever being able to share it. I am very grateful that we were blessed at that moment and that we were kept safe.
Anyway, since we are safe and sound, we have lots of pretty pictures! Check them out here:
Well, I've been trying to get Dan to write a post about Alice for a while now...but he's pretty busy these days so I guess I'll do it. :)
Alice Alofa Christiansen joined our family a little over 3 weeks ago. She weighed 6 pounds 13 ounces and, like her older brother, was 19 and a half inches long. :) She is beautiful and we all love her. James particularly likes to play with his little sister. We were doing some yard work on Saturday and James decided that he wanted to share his bulldozer with Alice, so he threw it in the pack n play and nailed her on the forehead. She is ok, though she let us know very loudly that she did not like that at all. :) One of James' favorite things to do is to hold his little sister. He'll lay down on the couch and I'll lay her on his chest. He grins and giggles and gets mad when I take her away. Time for pictures!!!
Last year I made peach raspberry freezer jam for the first time ever and it was fantastic! This year I decided to try my hand at canning some apricot jam. One of the sisters that I visit teach in the ward has 4 apricot trees that are very much laden down with apricots. She invited us to pick some so we did. :) I have never canned anything so I must admit, I was a little nervous, but 2 of my 3 batches worked out well. :) The first batch gave me some learning experience and I'm sure we'll find a way to use the first batch....I can't quite call it jam....but at least the jars sealed properly.
Take a look, don't they look great? :)
This is the 3rd and final batch. :)
I can already hear the lids pop as they seal!
This is one of the jars from the ill-fated 1st batch....I'm thinking we'll either try putting it in the blender or using it in a pie or cobbler, or ... something ... :)
Yesterday Dan took the day off work and we had an awesome family day. :) We started the day by going up to Hogle Zoo. After a near miss with a stopped semi on the freeway, we arrived at the zoo as the rain continued to fall. I was actually kind of happy with the rain because it kept the temperatures nice and cool. :) This was the first trip to the Hogle Zoo for both James and Dan. James didn't seem to interested at first, but when he could actually see the animals we were looking at, he watched intently. :) Below are a few pictures:
Momma elephant and her baby...at least I think that one's her mom...
Who doesn't want to see (and smell) an elephant poop?
I love this baby boy!
We got to watch an elephant show. :) This is the baby elephant's Mom.
James had a lot of fun watching the Sea Lion. I think this particular Sea Lion is blind.
:) James decided that he'd been in enough pictures for the day.
After the zoo, we went to Costco to buy our first new car battery for the Rav because it was as dead as a doornail. Dan got to help my Dad install it in the Rav later that night. That was a first for him, he'd never installed a car battery before. Now the Rav works again! This is wonderful, anyone who has been in or driven Dan's Honda will understand how wonderful this is. :)
After Costco, we took James to see the movie Brave at the SCERA theater. For those of you in Utah County, matinee's at the SCERA are awesome, they are cheaper than any of the big theaters and they didn't say anything about my diaper bag full of snacks for James. :) Also, James was free because he is under age 2 and it wasn't crowded at all so we didn't worry too much about him disturbing other people. James had never been to a movie theater before, I don't think he's ever watched an entire movie before. He was antsy and pretty restless before the movie started. However, once they turned on the movie, he was completely fascinated. He watched most of the movie before the novelty began to wear off, and even then he did pretty good. The only time he got a little loud was when he was trying to feed his half eaten fruit snack to Dan. James thought it was hilarious and giggled as he tried to feed his Dad. :)
By the end of the day, James was exhausted. We made a late night run to Smith's and James fell asleep in the car, slept in Dan's arms in the grocery store, stayed asleep while Dan put him back in his car seat, slept while I changed his diaper and put pajama's on, and then didn't wake up until around 8am this morning. :)
As we're a little behind in our blogging, I'm going to share our Sunday of 2 weeks past. We had some good times this Memorial Day weekend, but that will have to wait.
As you may have heard, there was quite the natural phenomenon in the sky Sunday May 20th. A coworker of mine bought a whole bunch of those eclipse viewing glasses and gave them out to us. I had kind of forgotten about the eclipse, but was very happy to get the glasses. I instantly messaged Lisa, asking her if she wanted to to go down to southern Utah on Sunday the view the eclipse. I wasn't 100% serious, but I wasn't 100% joking either. She told me it was up to me, and after going back and forth some, I decided we should just go for it.
So, Sunday afternoon, right after church, we packed up, and headed down to Kanarraville. It was a fun little (I guess 3 hours isn't little) drive down there. When we got off the freeway, there were some cars parked by the exit. I smiled at the few cars all set up and ready for the eclipse. We then made a turn and there were cars lining both sides of the street. At that point, we decided we better just take the first open spot we could.
We parked facing the west, so we actually had a pretty good view sitting in the car. We let James roam free in the back of the car (with some food of course)
He did pretty well back there while Lisa and I could enjoy sky-gazing. Of course, giving him that thing of cheese was not without consequence.
Well, Lisa and I wanted to photo-document what we were seeing, but we didn't have any kind of special camera for taking pictures of the sun. Lisa tried taking some pictures holding the glasses up to the lens of the camera. After some messy first attempts, she got the hang of it really well. Here is what we go to see over the course of an hour or so.
It was so awesome seeing that perfect ring of the Sun. Everyone started cheering and honking their horn as soon as the circle was made. It was a lot fun. It was also crazy how the light changed. It was a bright sunny day without a cloud in the sky, and then as the moon covered the sun more and more, it got very dusk-like.
As the moon started to head out the other side, we decided to follow suit and head out of Kanarraville. Part of me want to stay and watch the whole end of it, but we had a long drive home ahead of us.
All in all, it was well worth the drive down. We had a great time. More pictures of the trip can be found on facebook. The chance to see something like this doesn't come around too often. It's time for us to start planning our trip to Idaho for the 2017 total eclipse.
Our big project for the year was building grow boxes in our backyard and we finally finished! We have even finished planting. :) My family helped out A LOT with building the grow boxes and setting up the drip system to water them. My little brother, Daniel, helped out the most, and he finished off the drip system himself. He's been my handyman since he's waiting around until he leaves on his mission in August. Dan (my husband) filled them with dirt, almost all by himself...I helped fill about half of a small one. :) Today, Dan and I finished them off by putting the rock between them....Dan did most of that too. :) Because we had extra dirt, we cleaned out a garden bed by the house and planted some strawberries there too....but apparently they need full sun and they are in the shade...so we'll see if they grow or not.
Also, my parents brought my brothers and sisters over to our house a couple weeks ago on a Monday night to weed our front garden for their FHE service project! :) That was VERY kind of them, it looked like a field of grass before they weeded it, now we can actually see all the pretty flowers. :)