Friday, January 23, 2009

Who are the Mormons?

My previous post about our road trip inspired me to write about another road trip we took a few years ago. This isn't the first time we have followed the Utes to a bowl game. (And I've been told it won't be the last either!) Back in December 2005 we followed the Utes to San Francisco (Franciscoooo- that's fun to say!) to play in the Emerald bowl. But this time we went in a PT Cruiser- (We had a rental car because Eric had been in an accident the week before Christmas and we decided to put the miles on our rental car instead of our own. And if you know our history with car troubles, this was no surprise. I really should do a post about all the car trouble we have had over the years.) Anyway we loaded our 3 kids into the PT Cruiser and road tripped it over the Sierra Nevadas to the Bay Area. Only having to travel for 12 hours seems like child's play now! And besides me getting the worst stomach flu ever and unintentionally detoxing myself in the hotel bathroom and Eric losing Annie in a museum for 30 minutes, it was a fun and incident-free trip. Until. . . we were traveling home. Apparently the Donner Party was not exaggerating about the dangerous combination of snow and the Sierra Nevadas. During our return trip we found that the highway crossing over the mountains had been closed due to a landslide. So we had to turn around and find another way home. We decided to take some of the scenic, more winding roads to make our way over to Carson City. One of these roads took us past Sutter's Mill where gold was discovered and thus caused the Gold Rush of 1840- that sounded a bit Cliff Clavinish, but I had to do it- it is essential to the story! We decided to stop and look around because when we would ever get back to Sutter's Mill?!?

While we were exploring, Eric found a small cabin and plaque that was dedicated to the Mormon presence when gold was found at Sutter's Mill. So he called everyone over and proceeded to tell the kids all about the Mormons being there when gold was discovered. He read the plaque to the kids, had me take a picture in front of the cabin and went on and on about how cool it was that the Mormons were there. As we were walking away Finn turned to me and said, "Who are the Mormons?" So apparently the Church's campaign to be known as "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" rather than the "Mormons" had worked on Finn. I did inform him that he in fact was a Mormon. He seemed to take the news fairly well.

When I was looking for pictures to put in this post, I found this one. Eric had even taken a picture of the plaque too.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Pour Some Suga' on Me" or as Eric put it, "The Vacation by which all other Vacations will be measured against."

Now that I have been home from our RV Road trip for over a week, I decided it was finally time to post about it. For those who don't know, we loaded up our four kids and Eric's brother- Steve, into a RV and traveled for a total of 7 days to go watch the Utah Utes play in the Sugar bowl in New Orleans. You may be wondering why a decorated BYU alumni like myself would go to such lengths for her alumni's arch enemy. Let's just say it is a testament to how much I love my husband. Also if you are looking for this to be a breakdown of the actual Sugar Bowl, you have come to the wrong blog. The recollection of the events from our road trip will be brought to you Kari- style. So I present to you:
Lessons Learned from 7 days in an RV and 2 days in New Orleans
7 days in an RV does not make the Utes 'weak'.
(Me on the other hand - it makes a bit tired.)
1. Do not use generic brand diapers when traveling all day in an RV. Between only stopping when absolutely necessary and basically giving suzie an IV of juice to keep her content in her carseat, they just can't handle the job. We found Huggies worked much better.

2. It isn't called "Old Maid" when you play it with Jazz Player face cards. Annie and Katie were trying to find an Old Maid in some Jazz cards we had. Finally Annie said, "I guess we will have to play 'Old Man' cause there are no ladies in this deck."

3. You don't have to pay sales tax on Reservations. I did not know this.

4. In the flatlands of New Mexico and Texas there are 3 prevalent, well-advertised pastimes. I will leave it to your imagination to guess what those might be.

5. There are surprisingly a lot of nice RV parks all across the country.

6. I could never be flight attendant and if you give your 2 year old a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat while barreling down the highway at 70 mph in a RV, she will most likely end up looking like this:
7.Suzie is the life of the Canton, TX RV park children's New Year's Eve party.

8. It is pronounced "Suga' Bowal" not "Sugar Bowl."

9. People might look at you a little hesitantly when you walk through the French Quarter at night with a stroller- especially while passing Bourbon Street.

10. We don't talk to people who wear hats. The first night we were in New Orleans we were leaving the French Quarter and witnessed two "sketchy" hat-wearing people arguing in a parking lot. Annie made some movement toward them and Uncle Steve pulled her away saying, "Annie, we don't talk to people like that." Annie couldn't figure out what "like that" meant so she came up with- "We don't talk to people who wear hats?!?" Here are some pictures of us in the French Quarter during less controversial hours.

11. Whether a boy is raised in the south or is just there for an afternoon- playing in the heat and humidity will always do this to him. (My siblings will recognize this face. We all got it a lot growing up in Georgia.)

12. Alabama fans are very gracious (define as-indulgent or beneficent in a pleasantly condescending way, esp. to inferiors) in their pregame cockiness and they are very gracious (define as-pleasantly kind, benevolent and courteous) in their post-game tail between their legginess.

13. Tom Kirkland will pick up a Utes pom-pom that your daughter drops over the edge of the seats- if you ask him.

14. There is nothing more endearing or fun than to watch someone you love get all crazy and excited about something they are passionate about.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas Pics

Since we have been on an extended road trip for over a week (I'll post more on that later), I am just now getting my Christmas pictures posted. But here are some various pictures of my little ankle-biters on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning.

Christmas Eve when my kids have their "June Cleaver"pajamas on.
Suzie in a new outfit from great-grandma Lois. Yea, she had that headband on for about as long as it took to take the picture.

Katie receiving her personal "piece de resistance" present- Polly Pockets!

This is the second year Annie has received a guitar for Christmas. So far she has been a lot more careful where she stores it so annoying little sisters can't get a hold of it and break it.

"U" blanket I made for Finn and Eric to keep them warm at next year's home games.
Football Finn received to have signed during the aforementioned road trip.

As you can tell, it was a "U" Christmas. Do you think "someone" might be projecting their obsession onto their kids?!?

And this final video is mainly for my parents benefit. This is one of our favorite Christmas Eve traditions. We go to my Uncle David's house with several of my aunts, uncles, cousins and their kids. We sing and dance for awhile and then we turn off all the lights and Santa comes and brings all the kids a present. But you have to be quiet or else you could scare Santa away and Suzie came pretty darn close to doing just that. The video is of the pre-Santa merriment that I know my parents missed.