Thursday, November 3, 2011

what do you do at 1 a.m.?

Talk about the dead bird in the freezer, of course.

Ok, let me explain. It's late. I can't sleep (thank you head cold) and I've been meaning to post this for quite some time.

I have a story to tell. About the dead bird in the freezer.

Rewind a few weeks. No. A month or so. Aaron and I pull into the carport like usual and I open my door to get out. I notice a small gray bird huddled against the wall. It seems scared, but doesn't try to run away. Aaron walks around to my side to see if it's hurt or something and as he gets close, it takes off for the bushes at the end of the driveway. Just as it gets out from under the carport, a hawk comes swooping out of the trees and tries to dive-bomb the poor little guy. Woah! I'd be hiding in the carport too!

Now, back a few weeks. Aaron and the girls go for a walk while I fix dinner. When they get home, Aaron says "Hey, remember our hawk?" (of course he has now become our hawk) "Somebody hit him. He's on the side of the road down by the Farmers." Sad. I'm wondering what happened to our awesome bird and I'm wondering if he pointed it out to the girls and how they reacted?

"Is it a mess?" I ask.
"No. It's beautiful."
Eliza pipes in. "Mom, I couldn't see its eyes though. Is it sleeping?"

My mind is racing. How sad. I want to see it. I've been wondering what kind of hawk it is. Should we leave it on the side of the road? Should we bury it in the backyard with the baby hummingbird that fell out of its nest? Wait. If it's beautiful and not all mangled, maybe we should take it to the life science museum at the college. Otherwise, it's just going to get run over by cars or torn up by dogs. Yes. That's what we should do. Take it to the museum. That means, it has to spend the night at our house.

After discussing our plan and trying to get some expert advice for how to take care of a specimen (with no luck because nobody answered the phones), we grabbed a box, some garbage bags for gloves, and all trooped down to "the bird." Then a really cool thing happened. It was a little eerie to touch the bird at first, but then it was amazing to see something so powerful up close. He was beautiful, and so strong looking. His head just looked...well...royal. His talons were scary! He wasn't huge, but still. I mean, really. Have you ever held a hawk in your hands? It was amazing to see it so up close and personal. Eliza started asking questions that led to conversations about why we should care and the life cycle and more. They wanted to "soft" him (pet him softly) - but only uber quick and with the tip of one finger. They liked looking at his beak and his claws and wished he would open his eyes. (I was a little afraid he would open them - right as I was placing him in the box!)

Then out of nowhere Eliza says "And Mom, when Jesus comes back, the bird will come with him, right?"

Yes, Eliza. When Jesus comes back, the bird will come with him. Along with Nora's balloons that floated up to Jesus when we lost them in the parking lot at the county fair.


We put the bird in the freezer for the night. (Which, it turns out was the right thing to do if you ever need to collect a specimen.) First thing the next morning, the girls and I took the bird (in a box and a plastic bag for those of you picturing me walking through the halls with a dead bird in my hand and two little girls at my heels) to the man at the museum. He was very appreciative and said it was a beautiful specimen and we did a good thing.
He said it was either a cooper's hawk or a prairie falcon.
We'll have to go back and find out the final verdict.
Nora made sure to tell the bird goodbye before we left and then we spent 45 minutes looking at all the other cool displays - including the saltwater fish tank - in the science building.
Honestly, it was one of the coolest experiences I've had as a mom.
And the other cool thing - every time we go past the place where they found the bird, Nora pipes up and says "Bird here. Bird sleeping. Oh, sad. Sad. Museum." and in her little 1-yr old way, tells the story of our bird all over again.
And Eliza?
Well, her brain keeps working on it too.
Every now and then I get questions like
"Mom, when old people die, do we put them in the freezer?"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Coyote Gulch Part 2

Mom has had a lot of responsibilities lately, so the girls and I met Grandpa and went to Coyote Gulch. The cousins were there, but I didn't tell the girls. They were so surprised and happy when we yelled down into the canyon and the echo of cousins came back.

I could not have done the hike into the canyon with the girls by myself. Thanks again Grandpa! Nora has not stopped talking about you since we got home.

Coyote Gulch is one of my favorite places of all time. Going back just reminded me of that. We just missed mom and hopefully we can ALL go back soon.

I'll let the pictures speak for themselves. The trip was awesome!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


After months of preparation, Angela did it! She has now officially a completed a marathon. Not just any old marathon, mind you. The St. George Marathon - ranked in the top 10 in the nation by some running magazine. Okay, I am not sure how to show my excitement, but she did it, and it was a big deal! We are all so proud. Here are some pictures of the accomplishment.

While waiting for Angela, we saw this desert tortoise pass by. We took pictures and waited some more. The Sheriff came and moved him outside the tortoise fence. (No layman can touch a desert tortoise. You have to be specially trained and certified. Otherwise you are in big trouble. All the tortoise rise up against you.)

The girls made signs for Mom and together with Grandma and Grandpa we watched for her to come past mile 23.

Here she comes! (Team Spaz in pink!)

Almost to the finish! There she goes!

All 3 members of Team Spaz finished together.

At the finish line we had a Team Spaz reunion, support group and all, and then let them recover. They all appear to be doing well today. Good thing it is Conference weekend.

So what's next? I suggested the Red Mountain 50K, we'll see though.

The Mountains and Lake Powell

Two weeks ago, Angela got asked to play the piano for Allison at church in Panguitch Lake. Of course we had to go up on Saturday and have some fun with friends, and then go to Church on Sunday. It was nice to get out of the heat, and the girls had sooooo much fun.
I wish we had gotten more pictures up there, it was so nice to spend the weekend with friends. Sunday night we had not had enough vacation, so we went to Lake Powell and Monday morning we went to Wahweap and took the tour boat to Rainbow Bridge.

It was pretty hot, so we spent a couple of hours swimming before coming home and back to life. Hopefully it isn't too long to our next break.

Side note and request: we stayed Sunday night at Lone Rock, right at the edge of the water and it was really nice. What was not nice was when we got up in the morning, Angela flipped the sand off her pants and we think she flicked her wedding ring into the sand. We looked and looked for it with no luck. We went to Rainbow Bridge and then back to the beach to look again.
So if any of you go to Lone Rock, go walk along the beach and look between restrooms 11 and 12. Don't take a metal detector though, they are illegal in the NRA. We asked the rangers if they had one, and got some funny looks. Maybe one of these days we will smuggle a contraband metal detector into the park and look for the ring. In the meantime, it makes you wonder how many other wedding rings are in that lake. I am sure ours was not the first.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Jackson Hole 2011

Andrew and Jessica have been inviting us to come to Jackson Hole on the 4th of July, but we've never made it work....until this year. And boy, was it worth it! (except for the mosquitoes - next year, could you guys uninvite the mosquitoes please :)

Highlights of our trip:
  • floating the river 3 times - 2 times on the big kids' section (aaron) and once on the little kids' section (ang and eliza- aaron and nora jumped in for the last ten minutes of the float)
  • camping
  • movie night (Tangled on the big screen outside)
  • canoeing at String Lake
  • fireworks at the park with rad music (notice it in the dancing video. I don't know where you can get the cd, but I'm sure you'll all be dying to buy it)
  • popcorn over the fire
  • more camping
  • Wind Rivers (LOTS of mosquitoes)
  • Flaming Gorge
  • Grandma's house

Big kids' section
Lunch Counter almost ate our lunch - but it did eat the boat before us, our friends from Colorado. The water was extremely high!

Little Kids' section
This is the fashionable section. :)

String Lake

Life doesn't get much better than this, that's for sure.

Nora's new favorite animal - an elk. She must have some Great-grandpa Averett blood in her.

Wind Rivers outside of Pinedale.

We ate dinner outside the tent and then went on a little hike.

Stopping to take a picture was a bad idea because the mosquitoes wouldn't leave us alone. We got back to the tent as fast as we could and threw the girls inside and zipped them up. We were cleaning up, getting ready for bed when we hear the zipper and turn around to find a bear - I mean a BARE Eliza! "Mom, I took my clothes off. See?" Kids. What was life like without 'em?

Flaming Gorge Dam
This is definitely an engineer picture.

A bink, a four-wheeler, and a grandpa. Heaven.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Dancing in Jackson

Just some more catch up. In July we went to Jackson with our Family and at the 4th of July Fireworks. Uncle Jeff showed Liza how to dance and that was it, she was dancing for the next half an hour. Thanks Uncle Jeff, that was AWESOME! I have to admit there are some pretty "sweet dance moves" in there. (Liza likes to tell us she has sweet moves to show us now and again.)

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Grandpa Camp

This year for the girls sewing retreat the Moms and Nana stayed at home while the kids and Dads went to Park City and did fun things in the surrounding area. Here are some pictures from the Grandpa Camp activities.

Out on Trial Lake in the inflatable raft.
Lots of rock throwing, some fishing but no fish and a little bit of rain too. It was a nice break from our heat at home to have to wear sweaters.
The kids climbed all over Provo Falls,
And of course they were extremely worn out.
We then went to Guardsman pass where the kids played in the snow and then we went to Cascade Springs. After two days of Grandpa Camp, it was time for Nana Beach Camp to start. We don't have pictures of Nana Camp since it was only for the kids, not the parents, but they fished, built sand castles, went swimming, made pictures and more. We had a lot of fun and some kids that slept very well when they were done with the festivities. Looking forward to next year.

Thursday, May 26, 2011


When invited to go to Escalante to go hiking, who could resist? We planned to leave Thursday afternoon, but plans changed quick when I realized I had forgotten a presentation I was suppose to give Thursday night. So, we had to leave on Friday morning early and met our friends on Forty Mile Ridge. Spending a Friday at Peekaboo and Spooky Canyons beats working any old day in my book. The girls did so good and although they were tired, they had fun. We couldn't have done it without Ashley and Brent. With them, getting through the canyons with two kids was not too bad.

They love Ashley. And Brent. I think Nora has a secret crush on him, she just kept giving him those cute little smiles.

Yeah, Spooky Canyon is tight and deep and dark, but Nora had her Wub so she was good.
*Note: the wubba was taken only to help her fall asleep in the backpack - the trouble was the backpack didn't fit through the canyon with her in it. So much for that idea.

We did have to take some breaks to play in the sand, but that was all part of the fun.
The canyon is perfect size for Eliza and Nora to walk through.

And some of the corkscrew corners were perfect for Eliza to slide down.
It was a little warm and the girls got tired before we got back to the car.
Saturday morning we went to Calf Creek Falls. It was a little cold to swim, but it was just right for hiking and playing in the sand.

On the way home we stopped at our favorite campsite and had dinner with our friends, and then put the girls to bed in the car so they could fall asleep "camping" (very important for Eliza) and then we headed home. It was a little short (like usual), but well worth it. Hopefully we can get out there again soon. Anyone want to go camping?