Sunday, March 29, 2009

Date NIght - Finally!!!

Topher and I hardly ever get to go out all by ourselves. I know, you all feel so sorry for us! Ha Ha! When we do get to go out, it is never ending phone calls and texts from our children. Even when Auntie Laura is tending them.

Our big "Date Night" always consists of going into "TOWN" for dinner and a movie. "TOWN" being Evanston, Wyoming - Whoot - Woo! There is not much to choose from in a town so exciting as Evanston. Do we hit JB's or the Flying J Buffet, McDonald's or Arby's? Soooo many choices. For "date Night' we chose a new restaurant called 'Spencer's', which in is a location that has been a bunch of different restaurants in the past few years. It was pretty good. A gourmet burger for me, a giant, tender steak for Topher. Our table was themed "Cheyenne" and had a lovely barrage of old photos and postcards modge podged onto the table, as well as a lot of fun facts:
While paying for dinner, a leather drink coaster fell out of Topher's wallet. I listened to him as he explained the magical superpowers of his coaster. Apparently, his boss gave it to him, and no one else in the office has one. When he tells people to do something, he flashes his "badge" and says, "Do you have one of these? No, I don't think so." I think he might have a little badge flashing left in him from when he was a cop.
With a half hour to kill before our movie started, we did a little driving around "TOWN". We made a quick pass at a co-workers of Topher's house. He is the proud owner of a Smart Car, of which Topher is very jealous (we saw a lot of them in Germany, we probably could have checked one as luggage on the plane). If you don't have a garage to put your Smart Car in, just use some tarps and a bungee cord! What a great idea!!
Next, we hit Murdoch's Ranch Supply. Topher won a gift card at the Pig Sale earlier in the day. It was burning a hole in his pocket. Unfortunately it was not enough to pay for his safe.
Apparently he does not want it just for his 3 guns, "It's not just a gun safe, Shelly, it's a valuables safe as well." So I guess he can lock up his 3 guns and his 'valuables', whatever they might be???
He is going to be saving his gift card, and his pennies for this bad boy:
Yes, it is a man-powered lawn mower. We have one already, that is about 45 years old. YES, we do mow our lawn with it. People have even stopped at our house when seeing us mow to ask for a turn!
Then on to the movie at Valley 4 Cinema! The only movie theater in town, since the fire that destroyed The Strand (which only had one movie at a time). It's movie recording states "We only close for blizzard conditions", and it has the best burnt popcorn in town.
I made Topher go see a scary movie. Oh, how I love scary movies. This was a little over the top. I do not recommend it to anyone, except my sister. The Last House on the Left - a little bloody, a little death, a little vivid & way to graphic. But I would totally do the same thing the parents did if someone tortured my daughter.
I kept harassing Topher during the movie. He would just say, "Really good movie you picked" and "I am not going to talk to you if you are going to go blog about this!".
And so went our date! Until next time ...... whenever that might be?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dr. Bill

I received in the mail a bill from my Pediatrician's Office. It made me chuckle just a little bit.

The bill was for .53 cents!

So now I have to decide how to send payment. Do I send a check? Do I send in some change? Or do I wait until a late fee is assessed to make it worth writing a check?

I counted my change in my little stash at work and put it on the scale to weigh. It will cost me $1.17 to send 13 pennies, 3 dimes and 2 nickels.

They could have just written the amount off rather than pay someone to print the bill and spent .42 cents to mail it to me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Computer Time

Ryann loves the computer. She loves playing on:

She turns the computer on, logs on to her sisters account, pulls up the Internet and finds her games. She has memorized the keys her sisters type on the keyboard so she can log on. Maybe I should change the passwords, but it is too cute to see her act all grown up. Computer time for Ryann is break time for mommy :)

Here is a fun little article I read today about toddlers! Makes sense!

"Why Toddlers Don't Do What They're Told
LiveScience livescience Tue Mar 24, 10:45 pm ET

Are you listening to me? Didn't I just tell you to get your coat? Helloooo! It's cold out there...
So goes many a conversation between
parent and toddler. It seems everything you tell them either falls on deaf ears or goes in one ear and out the other. But that's not how it works.
Toddlers listen, they just
store the information for later use, a new study finds.
"I went into this study expecting a completely different set of findings," said psychology professor Yuko Munakata at the University of Colorado at Boulder. "There is a lot of work in the field of
cognitive development that focuses on how kids are basically little versions of adults trying to do the same things adults do, but they're just not as good at it yet. What we show here is they are doing something completely different."
Munakata and colleagues used a computer game and a setup that measures the diameter of the pupil of the eye to determine the mental effort of the child to study the cognitive abilities of 3-and-a-half-year-olds and 8-year-olds.
The game involved teaching children simple rules about two cartoon characters - Blue from Blue's Clues and SpongeBob SquarePants - and their preferences for different objects. The children were told that Blue likes watermelon, so they were to press the happy face on the computer screen only when they saw Blue followed by a watermelon. When SpongeBob appeared, they were to press the sad face on the screen.
"The older kids found this sequence easy, because they can anticipate the answer before the object appears," said doctoral student Christopher Chatham, who participated in the study. "But preschoolers fail to anticipate in this way. Instead, they slow down and exert mental effort after being presented with the watermelon, as if they're thinking back to the character they had seen only after the fact."
The pupil measurements showed that 3-year-olds neither plan for the future nor live completely in the present. Instead, they call up the past as they need it.
"For example, let's say it's cold outside and you tell your 3-year-old to go get his jacket out of his bedroom and get ready to go outside," Chatham explained. "You might expect the child to plan for the future, think 'OK it's cold outside so the jacket will keep me warm.' But what we suggest is that this isn't what goes on in a 3-year-old's brain. Rather, they run outside, discover that it is cold, and then retrieve the memory of where their jacket is, and then they go get it."
The findings are detailed this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Munakata figures the results might help with
real situations.
"If you just repeat something again and again that requires your young child to prepare for something in advance, that is not likely to be effective," Munakata said. "What would be more effective would be to somehow try to trigger this reactive function. So don't do something that requires them to plan ahead in their mind, but rather try to highlight the conflict that they are going to face. Perhaps you could say something like 'I know you don't want to take your coat now, but when you're standing in the yard shivering later, remember that you can get your coat from your bedroom."

Monday, March 23, 2009

Baby Animals

My cousins - Teresa, April and Lacey - made the journey to visit us over the weekend. Teresa and April brought their kids to see the baby animals.

We started off at the "Wind Jammer Pig Farm" in Woodruff. Thanks to Kalon for letting us invade! Our first view of the piglets was two "sleeping" on the dirt outside the pig shed. The little kids came up with the idea that they were "sleeping". The older kids just said, "No, their dead!"

Next, we went over to Kent & Judy Stuart's for a little lamb chasing. They have so many baby lambs, the kids had a blast chasing them around the field.

First Grade Kite Day!

Friday, March 20th, was First Grade Kite Flying Day. I don't really think it had that title, but that is what Kendall kept calling it.
It was a drama-mama moment just getting there. I had to run to Evanston and back before I headed over. I stopped to grab the camera from the house and returned to the car to find this:
Yes, she dressed herself. She calls this her 'Patrick Day Outfit". The butterfly top was thrown on for Spring. I have no idea about this kid. She is BIZARRE! She stood on the floor in the middle row of the car and peed! So we cleaned up with a little 'Pet Oxygen'! She thought it was nice we were cleaning up her mess with a bottle that had her angel kitty pictured on it. It's a blurr, so you cannot really see him :)

We had fun flying kites. Kendall was a little frustrated because her kite would not fly. She just had to have me buy the giant airplane kite at Costco. Luckily I picked up a couple $1.00 kites at Wal-Mart. They were perfect.
The football field was a mess of kids and kites running into each other and tangling strings. I overheard boys saying they got their kites to fly next to airplanes. There were no airplanes in the sky - why do boys exaggerate everything? And do they really learn so young?
The girls got bored with the kites. They complained because it was "SOOOOO HOT OUTSIDE!" (It was 65 degrees.)
Kendall wanted to come home and put the sprinkler under the trampoline :)

Friday, March 20, 2009

Mr. Construction

Our neighbors are adding on to their house. The day after they tore their roof off, it snowed 8" here in Randolph.

Christopher went over to help last Saturday. They put up 4 walls! He is such a good little worker bee. He is now wanting to rip off our roof and add on and up! I want a new kitchen first!

Here is the view of our house from theirs. The two big pine trees above the tan garage are ours. We were trying to convince them that they did not need any more windows looking over to our house. No spying on the crazy Stapel's allowed :) Not that they could really see us with the giant garage in the way.

Here is Ryann watching their little girl build. She is so dang cute. She gathered all sorts of blocks and nails and started making her wall. Ryann was happy to stand on the edge of the house and throw stuff off!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Dylann Alexia Stapel aka Pickles is 10!

Dyl turned 10 on Sunday! Yea! I have no idea where the years have gone. She was once so little and silly, and now she is a texting, cheer leading, goofing off 10 year old!

There are a lot of people who ask me why I named a little girl Dylann??? When I found out I was pregnant, I went through all the names, boy and girl, trying to figure out who my baby would be. At the ultrasound, when we found out we would have ANOTHER girl (#2 was not as bad as finding out it was a girl with #3 for Christopher :) I was kind of at a loss. I loved the name Madylan. But, in a world of nicknames, I figured we would all call her Dylann anyway.
When we told my Grandma Salt what her name would be, she said, "Well, is she going to be an outlaw? Will she shoot guns?" I told her that Marshall Dillon was a good guy, not that I even thought of him when I chose the name. Good ol' Grandma! Then she went through all of the nicknames she might be called. Dyl, Dyllie, and more very colorful names in which I will shelter my child from on this blog. :)

In the hospital the night after she was born, Topher & I were trying to figure out the spelling. I wrote it on a piece of paper a zillion times. Dillon, Dilon, Dylan, Dylanne, Dilanne. After watching an episode of Beverly Hills 90210, when it listed "and Luke Parry as Dylan" it came to me. She would be Dylann. Then I made Topher figure out the middle name. I tossed him the baby name book, and he made it to 'Alexia'. He didn't turn past the A's at all. So that is how she got her name.

I have received a lot of interesting looks & comments over the years as I yell her name, tell people her name, take her places where her name is called. Her first Dr.'s Office visit, the nurse comes out and yells, "Dylann Stapel", I stand up with a baby in all pink and walk towards the nurse. She looks at me very confused and says, with a baffled look on her face, "Dylann???"

And so it goes! She is my Dylann. She is my "mini-me", the only one of my girls who looks like me (poor thing). She is very, very shy. But when she gets warmed up- WATCH OUT! She loves lambs, from the time she was little. She has a ginormous collection and raises one for 4-H. She helps our neighbor with foster animals. She loves the color purple, pancakes and coke! She love, love, loves sloppy-joes!

She is such a good kid!
I love you Dylann Pickles!
(And the nickname "Pickles", it comes from the show Rugrats. The little brother's name is Dillon Pickles. Not just anyone can call her "Pickles". You have to be in her inner-circle, or she will use her super power of ignoring on you. And she is very, very good at that! )

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Happiness is UTAH!!!

Can you believe it? A pole of the happiest states shows Utah as #1.

I have been doing a little research project at work for a lady in Tennessee who wanted info on Randolph. Who settled it, where it's name came from, etc. And it has been really interesting. When we first moved up here, I bought a book from the Rich County Clerk's office that gave the run down on Rich County. It still sits on my bookshelf, unread by me!

Truly, I never even knew Randolph existed until I moved up here. I knew about Bear Lake & Garden City, but nothing about Laketown, Randolph & Woodruff. it is funny now telling people where we live. They assume it is by Vernal, because there is a Randlett over there. Some know where we are because we are often the coldest place in the lower 48 states in the winter. And even some know Randolph because of "GATORS DRIVE-IN".

Randolph was founded by James Alexander Cameron in 1870, who was sent by Randolph H. Stewert - the LDS Bishop in St. Charles, ID. If you are interested, here is some of the stuff I found:

I also found a fun little diddy on how different cities in Utah got their names. There are 422 cities/towns in Utah, not all of them are listed.

Start at the paragraph, "Explorers Etienne Provost, Jim Bridger, Jedediah S. Smith ......"

If you go to:

you can see pictures of our little town. My house is even on there, well the tree in front of my house. But I am not telling you where, just in case . . . . . . .

Pretty interesting stuff :)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Read any good books lately?

Rylie is a readin' fool. She reads non-stop. Her homework is always pushed to the last minute, because she has to read. She reads on the bus, reads in the car. Tries to sneak a book in to church to read during Sacrament Meeting. She reads in the tub. Never has free hands, always a book!

Rylie read The Giver by Lois Lowry several months ago, and is now reading it in school with her class. She begged me to read it too. I finally did, and what a good book. If you search it on the web, some people have very strong opinions of it's "message". But after reading a blog by the author, she really had no "message" other then to have the reader enjoy a story, love - or dislike - the characters, and want to read on.
Now I am reading Gathering Blue. Rylie is yelling at me to hurry and finish so we may 'discuss' my view on the book. She always asks, "Are you to the part where _____________ happens?" "Hurry mom!"
The next book in the 'series' is The Messenger. Where the first two books are tied together. Rylie is anxious for me to read it soon!
Lois Lowry even writes children's books. I bought Goonie Bird Green a few years ago for Christmas, not realizing it was by the same author. Cute book.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Do you ever "Google" your own name?

You know you do. I like to 'Google' my name, friend's names, stranger's names, my kid's names just to see what pops up. I never realized there are so many people out there with my name.

Last night, I 'Googled' Topher's name again. Sometimes he is an 'Openly Gay History Teacher'. Last night he was "Decertified for theft from the Highway Patrol". That one is always out there. And it really ticks me off.

A lot of you know he worked for the Utah Highway Patrol for 12 years. He was totally dedicated to his job. Never abused his power. Never raised hell for other cops. Never let anything said about him get to him. He did his job, enforcing the laws of Utah. Never, ever did he do anything inappropriate or against the law. (Well, he did get a speeding ticket off-duty!)

There were many, many reasons he chose to leave the job he had always loved and wanted to do. And I could list them all right here, right now. However, I am trying to be a good girl and not speak ill of anyone out there.

In a small community, where everyone knows everyone, and what they are doing wrong, I hear about him being fired all the time. So, for the record, and pass this along if you need something to talk about, Christopher R. Stapel was NOT FIRED from The Utah Highway Patrol. He was NOT asked to resign. He was NOT threatened with loosing his job. HE DID NOT STEAL anything like the newspaper reported.

In fact, the first we had heard of his 'Decertification' was when it was published in the Salt Lake Tribune. That same day he received a letter from the Utah Highway Patrol saying he was 'Decertified' and could hire an attorney and try to appeal.

He was never charged with anything. He does not have a criminal record. He is a member of society in good standing. It makes me MAD every time I get told, "So and so told me your husband got fired", or when someone says something to my kids.

Christopher chose not to appeal based on the fact a lawyer would cost way too much money. He was in contact with the Commissioner of Public Safety, who knew Christopher and helped him work through this.

And for the man out there, some lawyer, who asked the question, "Can we trust our cops?" Yes! You can. They are only human, and make mistakes too. But before you go on assuming everything you hear is true, ask the person you are telling tales about!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Daddy Daughter Date 2009

Topher took his girls to the
Achievement Days Valentine's Daddy Daughter Date.

The dad's tied ribbons in the girl's hair & painted their nails. Topher is a pro at the nail painting. He is "Mr. Mani-Pedi" around the house. His nails are always painted lovely shades of pink, green and blue. He has begun to limit the painting to his toenails only, due to the lack of fingernail polish remover we have on hand when he gives in
and lets the girls do his fingers.

The girls tied a tie on their dad. A skill I have yet to learn. Good thing I did not have boys.