Sunday, September 20, 2015

Tooth fairy fail

The tooth fairy forgot to give Sam anything for the tooth that we think he swallowed at lunch time yesterday... and then Ada lost a tooth today... so now the tooth fairy needs to remember both of them.

On the tooth fairy subject.  Ada's been asking if Santa is real and things like that.  We kept her up late tonight to talk and you could tell she felt flattered to be asked to be with just mom and dad.  We told her about the tooth fairy, Santa and the Easter bunny... though she insisted that the Easter Bunny was real while the others were not.  We asked her not to tell friends and siblings so that they could enjoy it a while longer.  And we gave her a simplified version of "the talk".  I had been really nervous for this talk, but honestly, as we talked to her it felt simple and right.  We also told her not to go around talking about sex with her friends, siblings and cousins.  We also talked about pornography and we were really glad to hear that her computers teacher had already talked to their class on what to do if it came up on the computer.  We took that and the recent video off of about kids and pornography and added the spiritual reasons why we stay away from it.   She took it all really well and was very happy that we were confiding things to her that she didn't know before.  It gave me a glimpse of what Heavenly Father might feel when we go to the temple and learn about covenants.  Everything we do leads up to that point, but the reactions of both the parent and child are really neat to see.


Being at the Ranch house on Antelope Island made me a little nostalgic.  I love these old homes and if I didn't have a problem with mold and old electrical wiring, I would completely love to fix up and live in one of these old homes that are getting torn down all over Utah county.  I thought that now would be a good time to document the different homes that I've lived in through my life. 

I was born when my parents lived in what used to be my Great-Grandpa's chicken coop.  My grandparents made it into a house when they got married and there have been several families that lived in it.  It was taken down in the 90s to build my Uncle Brad's home. 

This was a picture that my Grandpa Wilcox took of it in 1960.  When I lived there, there was a little more of a lawn and my mom had a garden around the back.  I lived here for only about a year or two before my dad got hired on as a Seminary teacher in Wyoming.  I remember it from later when my Uncle Brad's family lived there.  I remember visiting and riding bikes around the driveway.  I also remember how awesome the closet was in the main bedroom.  (Basically shelves against the wall with a curtain over it.)
I'm sure that my parents have a better picture of it, but next we lived in a double wide trailer in Evanston, Wyoming.  I remember playing in the bathroom sink because it was too cold to swim outside.  I remember huge dragonflies and lots of snow.  I have a lot of pictures of me, Janelle and Seth around the inside of the house, but not a whole lot of the outside. 

When I was about 4, my dad got a job working as a Seminary teacher in Utah.  We moved back into my Great-Grandma Camenish's house in Provo.  We were there up through my 5th birthday. I remember this house quite a bit.  I remember the stairs that go up stairs were just the right size for you to jump down about half of them and onto the landing, then you make the turn on the landing and jump down the other half.  I remember sharing a room with Seth and having "sleepovers" in the toy box.  We'd smash down all the toys and sleep in the toy box.  I remember Janelle's cat Adam and that we used him as He-man's battle cat.  I remember "helping" my dad with the irrigation by building brick walls across the driveway.  I remember the wooded area next to the house being a little magic kingdom.  I remember loving the little bridge over the irrigation canal that led to my Grandma's house.  I remember the wall paper and patterned carpet, the balcony doors that we had to keep locked because the kitchen roof wasn't strong enough to have us running around on it.  I remember the root cellar that was Great-Grandma's storage area and finding spiders and thinking it was haunted.  I also remember the coal shute into the basement that my dad had to nail shut because Janelle and I kept putting each others dolls down it.  I remember when my 2 year old brother got the car into gear and he and I ran into the wood pile next to the house in my mom's car.  I remember trapping the cat Adam in boxes and putting him in Janelle's closet.  I remember crossing Columbia Lane with Janelle to go visit our friends across the street.  I remember my dad making and selling little kids tables stacked up on the street for people to see. I also remember that my dad gave me my very own set of scriptures in this  house.  After the school year, he brought home some unclaimed sets of scriptures and gave me some.  I was so proud of my new scriptures and marked all the verses that I read instead of all the verses that caught my attention.  I remember my parent's water bed and things from their room, like a metal trash can, my mom's little glass ducks in a box, etc...

This was a picture by my Grandpa Wilcox when he and my Grandma were engaged.  The kitchen/dining is that area under the balcony on the left.  That first window on the top next to it was Janelle's room, and Seth and I shared the room down the hall on the back side of the house.  The bottom right window was the living room area and my parents room was on the back side of the house next to the kitchen.  We never used the front door, but we used the door on the right side of the house next to that little outside doorway by the bushes.

This is the house now.  The trees are closer to what they were when I was little, but the rock fence in the front and hedge were put in by my dad's cousin that lives there now.  When he original got the house he used it as an antique store.  I used to walk down there from our house as a preteen and buy the .25 cent candy that he sold and look at everything he had on display.  Later he got rid of the store and now uses the house as his home.  All the trees line the driveway that goes in one side of the house, around the back and back out the other side of the property.  The trees on the left side of the house was our forest. The irrigation canal and bridge was on the right hand side.

This was me in the woods close to my 5th birthday.

My Grandma had inherited quite a bit of land along with her sisters.  Some of it she sold, but she kept 4 plots of land for each of her sons.  My dad and mom switched their plot with one of my dad's cousins up the hill and we ended up building a house in Orem.  That's where I lived from the time I was 5 1/2 til I moved out at 24.  There are a lot of memories and growing in that house.  My parents built an addition and I remember all the work that went into that and into landscaping the yard a little at a time.  Stories and neighbors.  I loved this house and how it was surrounded by fields to play in and dig in.  I would have bought it when my parents were selling it 4 years ago, except that it was about $100,000 out of our price range.  Que sera.  This picture was taken after the new owners moved in... They took out the rose of Sharons and the other plants around the front and side of the house, so there's a lot less green there than when I was growing up.  I have a rose of Sharon bush started from my mom's plant that's taking over our side yard.  Fun to know where it came from, and I very much enjoy all the blossoms that I get every year.

Because we lived there for so long, we changed rooms and situations.  I've lived in both those window on the left, in the room kind of under the garage, and in the room under what was my parents room at the back of the house.  That room next to the entry door was where our piano was... that's where I spent a lot of time practicing and where we'd sit whenever our Wilcox grandparents came to deliver birthday packages.  I mowed that lawn many times, though I preferred the backyard.  This home could take a whole post by itself.

I lived in this next home when Janelle and I lived and worked in Kenya.  Our house was the bottom right hand one.  It was a two room apartment with a kitchen and a sitting room.  Janelle and I shared one room even though there were two.  It was funner that way, and then when Vicky, one of the foundation's main people decided to come and visit, we had somewhere for her to stay.  Right next to us on the bottom was the Headmaster of the school and his family.  His brother in law was the man in charge of driving us and the headmaster around.  Lots of stories and people were made and met. 

The window to the right of our door was the sitting room and the kitchen was right behind that.  The one on the left was our bedroom.  The little grey building to the right was the night guard that kept wanderers out of the apartment complex.

Next was my mission.  Besides the MTC I had 4 homes in a year and a half.  Some of the sisters moved every 6 weeks.  I did not.  I stayed 6 months in Buena Fe, 3 months in Manta, 6 months in Santa Elena (though our house was in Libertad) and 1 1/2 in Bahia de Caraquez.

Our apartment in Buena Fe was the second story apartment down this street... the one on the left with the blue poles.  It was a nice place for this area.   This was one of the main streets.  Most people in this area lived off of these two main streets... That blue building in the background was the supermarket, the church building was just behind the photographer, and most of the people that we taught lived with bamboo walls and dirt floors.  It had three rooms, one bathroom, a sitting area that we used as a study room and a kitchen.  Buena Fe is where the Dole Banana and Pineapple field workers live.  Some of the sisters that lived there after me swore it was haunted... though I never saw or heard anything irregular besides the goat man selling milk down the street every morning.

This was our kitchen.  Everywhere that I lived was mostly tile so that it would be easy to clean. 

This was the second area I lived it.  Very different from the first.  Manta was one of the largest cities in my mission.  I don't have a picture of my apartment, but the building was very much like the one on the right here.  We were in a middle floor of the building and had a fun view of the outside market a block away.  We shared this apartment with two other companionships.  It was fun to get to know the sisters, but I had my two hardest companions in this area so it was hard to enjoy my time here.  This apartment had the best bathroom out of all of them, even though the shower was only cold water.  One P-Day, one of the sisters found a place that you could rent a washing machine and they'd bring it to your house for the day.  We hooked it up in our shower so that it could fill and empty.  That was like Christmas!  No hand washing!  We washed everything we could... clothes, towels, sheets, blankets, etc... but had no where to hang most of it to dry.    There was an upstairs area you could hang clothes to dry, but several of the sisters had lost items of clothing this way... including several garment tops that we noticed a lady from our building wearing around her house.  This area had a lot of things like American peanut butter and sunscreen in the grocery store.  It smelled like sulfur because of the salt water tides going in and out.  Manta is where the sardine and tuna fish is canned and distributed from in Ecuador.

This was a picture from our dining table towards the kitchen on the other side of the wall.  To the right of this picture was my study desk.

This was my favorite apartment and favorite area on my mission.  We lived in La Libertad and worked in Santa Elena.  We shared our apartment with a trio of sister missionaries.  They couldn't fit all their beds into the one bedroom, so we used the living room/dining area as our combined bedroom and the bedrooms as our study areas.  My bed was the one with the backpack on it.  We lived next to a pier that was empty early in the morning.  My companion and I would go running on it because we could see each other the whole time, but she could go as fast as she wanted and I could go my usual slow speed up and down the pier.  I loved that this apartment had a washing basin area in the apartment instead of on the roof where we could wash our laundry and hang them to dry.

My last mission home was this one. The second story in the building on the left was my apartment in Bahia de Caraquez.  The stairs were on the backside of the building.  It was the smallest place I've ever lived... but I only shared it with my companion.  It taught me the meaning of making things simple.  We only had one pot, one sharp knife, one bowl each, one plate each. It was nice to be able to focus on our missionary work instead of cooking and cleaning. Something is bringing to mind that our landlady had a washing machine that she let us use and that she'd let us hang our clothes from her roof because we didn't have a place to do that in ours.

This was our little kitchen.  We had one small room with no door and a small sitting area where we studied as well as a bathroom that you could barely turn around in.  We had a microwave in every apartment, which was awesome.  And the stoves were those propane table top camping stoves.

After my mission, I moved back in with my wonderful parents for about a year before moving into my Uncle's house with my sister Janelle, friend Robyn, Melanie, and rotated through about 18 or so other roommates. We lived in his house while he and his wife served as mission presidents in Chile.  That put Jer and I in the same singles ward where we met, dated and married.  I lived here for about a year and a half.

The first place that Jer and I bought was the month before we got married in 2005.  We found a townhome just down the street from his work.  It was ugly on the outside and had ugly popcorn ceiling that we fixed while living there, but it was a 4 bedroom and 2 bath place right across the street from a school and with only a $900 mortgage.  Couldn't beat that.  We figured that it was a place that we could raise our kids in.  Funny thing is that the only kid that we ended up having live with us was our nephew Jacob that lived with us for the summer while his dad finished his doctorate degree.  We lived there for two years and I was 8 months pregnant with our first baby when we found our current home.  I loved the kid's hideaway cupboard in the basement office, the art area that had been a second kitchen, and the bedrooms were very large.  The down side?  The HOA and the fact that there was no yard whatsoever.

Front room.  None of the furniture was actually ours except that bookcase.  That was mine from my parents long ago.  The other things were bought at yard sales, borrowed or given. 

I loved this light cover.   One of the improvement projects that we did was replacing all our windows.  We put in vinyl double paned instead of the aluminum windows... and replaced these front yellow glass with clear textured glass.  It sure made it a lot nicer inside.

We had set this up to be Ada's bedroom right across the hall from ours, but she never used it.  We moved the August before she was born.

Our kitchen was big enough for me to cook or do the dishes, but not both.  WhenI was pregnant it wasn't comfortable to have Jer in the kitchen with me.  We had to take turns.

This was where I did my art and where Jer stored his tools.  To the left of the easels there was a sink and the floor was vinyl so it didn't matter if I got messy or not.  I did all my last years worth of art for my degree by painting and sculpting in this room or the family room.

The busiest room in the house.  The office.  We painted it blue, and had planned on changing out the carpet to match but never got to it.  That cupboard under the stairs had a little light switch and you could just crouch under there and  close the door.  I was excited to share this one with kids, but oh well. 

The front door with the original ugly glass.  The top right hand window would have been the baby's room, right under that was the office.  Bottom left was the family room and top left was the living room... the other bedrooms were right behind the baby's room and office.  The kitchen and art room were right behind the family and living rooms.

I was uncomfortable during General Conference because of my pregnancy, so Jer and I took a drive and were listening to it in the car.  We got lost and found a house for sale that had a marvelous back yard and a huge kitchen.  We were won over right away.  So we put down an offer.  We've loved our house and have made it home.  It's messy, in progress, and we have things that we've done and things to do. We've fixed the front steps and put on a handrail because we've had people fall down them before, we replaced half the fence and are in the middle of replacing the other half.  We've taken out trees, planted trees, taken out flower beds, put in flower beds, added a vegetable garden, cleared out bushes, made our snowball bush into a play house, added a roof on the front of the house for a porch, added a cooler, replaced our water heater, replaced fans and light fixtures, replaced electric sockets and added a 220 line in the garage, replaced our kitchen ceiling, etc... Projects coming up?  Adding on a porch, extending the roof over the back porch, adding a flower garden in front of our new porch, fixing our fire pit area, painting the basement, sadly... taking down our mulberry tree, planting a peach tree, replacing old windows, taking out the swamp cooler, etc... projects are endless. And here we are 8 years later and still loving it.  I'm so glad to live in a neighborhood where my kids have friends, where we can have a yard for kids and a dog, and where we have a great ward.

Antelope Island #2

On the island is the oldest ranch in Utah.  It was built in 1849 and they were still using it as of the 1970s.  They might still be today, I'm not sure.  There were posts about sheep shearing and renting horses to ride around the island and visit their sheep in the mountain meadow areas.  It had a 3 bedroom main house, a root cellar building and a bunker house for ranch hands.  It also had a very large barn set up for shearing sheep, a blacksmith foundry, a wood workers/museum area, and some old tractors and tools.

These are my white and black sheep baaing away in their pen.

All the kids loved trying to rope the cattle/sheep... but especially Sam.  He was pretty good at it too.

I called this the Chitty Chitty bang bang tractor.  It has a lever on the front that you have to turn to get it to turn on.  It also had all metal wheels.

The kids said that this was Mater.  Maybe it was Mater's grandpa.

I loved this odd collection of laundry tools.  Soaking tubs, washers and wringers.  There were two sewing machines with the foot pedals, and I'm guessing that they let the wall get exposed here on purpose to show what it looked like.

Most of everything in the ranch house was "updated".  Even though you could see pioneer beginnings, a lot of the kitchen was 1950's style.  The beds and chairs on display looked much older though.  They looked like ones that I've seen on display at the Lion House or Cove Fort.

I loved these little chairs by the fire.

Right behind the root cellar there is a spot that they let grow wild for bird preservation.  We only saw a few because they've probably started migrating already, but the kids loved exploring the trees and paths.  It reminded me about my 3-5 years... I lived in my Great-Grandma's house that had a root cellar off to the side and a "forest" area next door.  Janelle and I used to spend hours playing in the trees, eating mint leaves and leaving our feet in the irrigation. I loved it.

View from the ranch up to the mountains.

Antelope Island #1

Along with the sand dunes, we ate dinner in Miner's Diner in Eureka, Utah.  It's a tin tac mining town that's mostly a ghost town, but looks like it's having a small revival.  It was pretty good food, and a fun dinning experience.  They were very kid friendly and didn't even care when the kids decided to run around the empty tables... (even though Jer and I did care at that.)  We built a fort for the family to sit under while we watched the new Cinderella and ate graham fingers.

Saturday morning, Jer took Ada and Sam fishing while I did chores and waited for the tired 4 and 1 year olds to wake up.  Ada like fishing, Sammy liked casting but not the waiting.  They didn't catch anything, but they sure loved hanging out with dad.

After lunch, we headed up to Antelope Island.  My mom took me there when I was little, but I didn't remember much of it.  I love it!  The views are to die for, there are bison roaming around the island where ever you look and they have something for everyone.  I saw bison on the beach while some kayakers were hauling their kayaks out of the water.  When it got cold, there were a lot of mosquitoes though... honestly my only downside.

This was our view of Salt Lake City over the lake.  (Yes, we've had a drought... can you tell?)

We even saw an antelope.  The kids were trying to tell everyone that they'd seen one before.  I had to remind them that they'd seen a stuffed one in the museum, not a live one.

They have several hiking areas.  The one we did was 2.8 miles and relatively flat.  It was nice for little hikers like Evelyn and me.  On a flat surface, I can walk for a long time... steep climbs and I'm done for long before I should be.  We explained to Ada what buffalo chips were and she in turn rushed off to explain to Sam.  Evelyn was a fairly fast hiker for the most part until she had to pee, but decided that she wouldn't pee in a bush.  Sam was at the front the entire time, bouncing and hopping all over.  Ada stayed by me and held my hand.  She kept asking for stories and pointing out neat rocks.  Baby Seth bounced up and down in the carrier because it was so exciting... then promptly fell asleep on Jer's back.

Classic Evelyn smile face.

Yes, I got up there too.  I just had to take some pictures first.

This one was lame.  I was trying to explain how lucky he was to live on the island instead of where there were predators.  I'm not sure they understood.

This one was just standing in between two campers....just having dinner.