Saturday, July 19, 2008

Favorite memories

So this comes from my friend and former mission companion Joanna.

1. As a comment on my blog, leave one memory that you and I had together. It doesn't matter if you knew me a little or a lot, anything you remember!

2. Next, re-post these instructions on your blog and see how many people leave a memory about you. It's actually pretty funny to see the responses. If you leave a memory about me, I'll assume you're playing the game and I'll come to your blog and leave one about you. If you don't want to play on your blog, or if you don't have a blog, I'll leave my memory of you in my comments.
And if you don't, I will look like a total loser with no friends. But no worries. :)


Monday, July 7, 2008

Open for all comments

So I fixed my blog so all of you non-bloggers (don't worry, I was happily one of you until recently) may comment if you so choose without having to jump through hoops or give me your first born.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A little catch up

Well, Austin finally did it. He is truly the MASTER. He finished his last class last night for his MBA! I am so proud of him and so proud of us (and by us I mean ALL of us--we very well could have killed each other at times--last night for instance) for making it through! He asked me to call him either Austin Peterson, MBA or Master Austin. I agreed only if he would do the same or Professor, when I complete my program (an almost invisible speck in the future). He began a new job on Monday too at Crump (I am sure he will attempt a few Krumping moves he has seen on So You Think You Can Dance). It is a life insurance wholesaler (which he did at Pacific Life in CA). He still has the painting company and the other sundry businesses but he felt with the economy as such and the near inability to work in "corporate America" because of his many years as an entreprenuer (he interviewed with several companies that really wanted him because his ability and skill set were unmatched but they felt because of his background he wouldn't be a "team player"--the only reason they gave him for not hiring him.) so after 2 months of 7 grueling interviews, he was hired. The company is in Salt Lake but headquartered in Maryland (great for me, selfishly, when all is said and done with my degree and I can go storm the National Archives or the Holocaust Memorial Museum or something fabulous).

In other news, and I will post pictures when my computer cooperates, Ella learned how to ride a bike with no training wheels (when she was 4--about 2 months before she was 5, but who's counting--other than AJ who was not too happy seeing as he didn't learn until he was 6). She just saw her friend/neighbor doing it and wanted to too--and she did. I need to buy a bike now so we can go on bike rides up the canyon--she will be better than me! She also turned 5 on June 19th and celebrated it in style--Chuck E. Cheese! That's what she wanted, that's what she got. Another milestone--she learned to swim! Again, AJ is miffed because he again didn't learn until he was 6. She is getting ready to go to KINDERGARTEN!!!! in the fall--I can't believe it. She is at least a head shorter than anyone her age and people keep asking me if I think I should hold her back because of it--um, are you kidding me? She would eat me alive! How can I in good conscience hold back a girl who can read, write and talks better than most 15 year olds just because she is a little pixie? If anyone decides to cross her--I will pray for them--she has the attitude of a 15 year old too.

AJ turned 8 on March 9th and was baptized! I can't believe I have an 8 year old. Holy Moly. He finished a stellar season of baseball and he did FANTASTIC. He likes just about every sport imaginable. He is going into the 3rd grade in the fall and was accepted into the ALL program (accelerated learning lab). I was iffy about it but I am sure he will do great and he can make friends with a tree so I am not worried.

I myself am trying to get back into the swing of things having been thrown into summer after our trip. I am scrapbooking for a friend to make a little extra dough and am taking the summer off of school because it is just too hard to get stuff done at 11:00 when I am exhausted. Hopefully when the kids are in school I will be able to kick it up a notch and take 2 classes at a time to speed things along.

Does anyone want a FAT peeing cat? For some reason our cat has decided her litter box is an occasional thing and she likes to pee on my carpet in my basement. Have you ever smelled cat pee? She took a "liking" to my exercise room and I have allowed myself to understand that the only way to get rid of the smell is to cut out the carpet. I think I am going to have to put the cat outside and hope she can fend off the fox, cougar, coyote and other random animals that frequent our backyard. I am caring less and less about this creature as the days and peeing go on.

I think you are about caught up with our lives, and like I said, when I can figure all this out, I will gladly add some pictures.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Lame, lame lame

Okay everyone,

I am lame, lame lame. I haven't updated my blog since...well, since Austria--and that was over a month ago! I told ALL of you how horrible I think this blogging thing is (translation, how horrible I knew I would be at this blogging thing). I just get busy dang it--for instance, I finished my class not this past Sunday but the Sunday before, my children are out of school which sucks up ANY free time I once had--the 2 hours during the day as well as the 2 hours I had at night because while it is still light, it is still daytime in their minds and they are just too old to fool any longer.

Let's see, what have we been doing lately? Well, I will have to backtrack to our illustrious trip across Europe--truly--we spent more time on a bus with our trusty tour guide Fritz and bus driver Tommy than I care to detail.

When we last left you, gagging in a smokey internet cafe in Vienna, I believe, unable to load pictures. Much happened after that but I will give you the highlights since, yet again, I am tired and thankfully my children are in bed.

Munich: Crazy museum with way too many marionettes and really fun mirrors. Drove to

Saltzburg and Mauthausen (it was amazing) from Munich and made our way to Vienna.

Vienna: YUMMY Zanoni and Zanoni ice cream--they make Nutella ice cream--need I say more, beautiful architecture, a hilarious Mozart concert (yes, I realize that sounds funny but I never laughed so hard during a Mozart concert so it is possible--okay, it's not like I frequent them all that much, but you know...), more ice cream--yes, all three nights we were there, passing about a million H & M stores and of course frequenting them, a very boring art museum--and I love art museums. But when I asked our tour guide, after seeing signs for the Albertina Museum's special exhibit of Impressionist painters, if it would be better to go there or the National Gallery he said, "oh, go to the National Gallery, NOT Albertina." Well, Fritz, you might know a lot about Crazy King Ludwig and the Hapsburg dynasty but not so much about art. I feel I can appreciate art, but after visiting many, many museums all around the globe, I can safely say that in my taste dark, dreary 14th-16th century religious art is really not uplifting.

Okay, so then we made our bus seat-printed bums to Prague. Now I had been told by several that Prague was beautiful. Well, the first night I begged to differ. Our hotel was situated in the heart of where it was happening--the underbelly of after dark life that is. Our hotel was around the corner from some rather interesting places of--interest--there were several "hotels" connected to gentleman's clubs and a museum dedicated to the act of, well, for the sake of my children who may read this, what happens between a man and a woman when they are married--but these people were clearly not married.

It also rained cats and dogs that first night and we decided to duck into a little pizzeria for dinner--as well as the "drinking team" from somewhere in the midwest. Apparently we chose the prime time to come to Prague where there is a competition solely based on how much alcohol one can consume before killing oneself. Great family fun. The food was awful and everyone was mad. The end of that day.

The next redeemed itself by a walking tour in much better weather and a trip through the Jewish Quarter, which was a highlight for me, although yet again, much like Munich, I realized too late I was within a short distance of a concentration camp and could not go. Mauthausen would have to do for this trip. Oh, it just kept coming--we crossed the English Channel on June 6th but I could not make it to Normandy--disappointments abounded for little miss World War II. That night we found a great Argentinian steak house that allowed us to finally enjoy a meal.

We flew to London and I felt I was back home. I spent 2 1/2 months there over 14 years ago so as soon as I got an Underground map, I was ready to roll. I convinced good ol' Susy and another girl, Lisa to come along to the Victoria and Albert Museum then the Tate Modern. Yeah for the V and A but BOO for the Tate. Sorry girls to drag you all over the city. At least the museums are free in London. That night we went to Les Mis, and it was fabulous. The next day the guys (and one girl) had their business meeting in the morning after we got there and I booked it to the Churchill War Rooms, as that is one place I did not make it to when I was here last. I hurried back and we roamed the streets (quite literally, I calculated a 13 hour walking day for me) of London and took a vote whether the Tower of London was worth the arm and a leg it cost and other than myself everyone else voted for the Tower Bridge exhibit--um, bad choice.

The next day (June 6th) we departed for Paris. Austin and I were all a flutter as we passed under the Channel and stopped in Lille (we both served there on our missions). We didn't get out--it was only a quick pass through. We get to Paris and as much as I love the French people, I do agree they are not the kindest to strangers--especially American ones and the city is the dirtiest city we went through, even worse than Prague. We kissed under the Eiffel Tower, we ate crepes upon crepes, we crawled through the Catacombs and saw one too many human skulls, tracked down the Moulin Rouge, we ate at a fantastic Steak and Fries place (that's all they serve) and drank Fanta (oh, it tastes soooo much better there) and Orangina. I finally got my Impressionism fix as we rushed through the Musee D'Orsay. It was fabulous.

Now we are home and finally I am getting this all written down. It is clearly not all the great stuff that happened, but that would take way too long and I have girls running a muck upstairs (yes, it is the next day--did you think I could finish all this in one sitting?)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Adventures trying to find the internet

So, apparently the more upscale the hotel, the less amenities you receive for the price. In our first two hotels in the beautiful land of the Swiss, the internet was free as a bird. In Munich, Germany and Vienna, Austria it requires payment of your firstborn child, which we are not willing to do. We found a very smoky internet cafe last night and thought it was closer to the hotel than it actually is and I forgot the cable for our camera so you don't get any more shots of our adventure until a later date.

AFter we left Lucerne we made our way to Munich, Germany. I really enjoyed the 15 minutes we were there. Okay so we were there for 2 nights and 1 day but there was just not enough time to explore like I wanted.

We have been having an amazing time touring Saltzburg, even standing on the steps where the VonTrapp children sang Do Rei Me. We watched the movie on our tour bus on the way there and it was all I could do to let Austin sleep beside me when the hills were alive with the sound of music.

We then visited Mauthausen Concentration Camp and I braced Austin for the fact that I would be absolutely inconsolable, as was the case. It was the most sobering opportunity to be a witness to such history. I will NEVER forget it.

We are now in the beautiful city of Vienna and have gone on several walking tours and will tour a castle tomorrow.

Sorry I am not being as descriptive as usual but this internet cafe is going to give me lung cancer. How people can smoke when it is so hot, I will never understand.

Anyway, we shall post more in the next couple days. We have tonight, tomorrow in Vienna then we have church in Vienna on Sunday and drive to Prague. My bum hurts from all this sitting but alas...

Monday, May 26, 2008


Our friend Josh testing (don't worry, he isn't really testing) the automatic fan that turns on when you sit on the toilet. Quite the amenities we receive in 5 star luxury.
Care to take a dip in the local pool?
My new BFF Susy in the bathhouse changing room. I think it is the men's side, but whatever.
The hills are alive with the sound of music, and we aren't even in Austria yet!
Good morning to us! Our view outside our window in Grindlewald. Poor us!
Austin and I amidst the fortification towers in Lucerne.

Another happy valley

Welcome to Switzerland. Home of CHOCOLATE, cheese and many, many mountains. It is absolutely breathtaking here. We thought we had a fantastic view from our windows in our home in Utah. This place puts that dive to shame. We stayed the first night in a little hotel at the base of the Alps and went on a cogwheel train ride up the mountain. After we woke up from our jetlag haze I peered out the window and felt like singing, or yodling, seriously, it is that beautiful. Yesterday we had church in the jazzersize room in the hotel, where Austin cried like a baby. Okay, in his defense, it has been extremely emotional for him as well as myself being back in Europe having not been since our missions. We stopped by the Swiss Temple on our way to our hotel the first day and were able to talk with a little French boy who just turned 12 and was visiting the temple for the first time. The memories came flooding back to both of us from our missions immediately.

Sunday after church we drove to Lucerne from Grindelwald and stopped in Interlakken along the way and watched some amazing paragliders do their thing. If we had time we so would have joined in. Our hotel room in this amazing 5 star hotel in Lucerne, well, it is 5 star as well. We are on the top floor and apparently we have the most modern room in the joint. Loosely translated, MODERN means: teeny, tiny (only one person can stand at a time, be in the bathroom at a time or pass by the bed at a time), with automatic blinds and a fan that turns on when you sit on the toilet, oh and bottles of water for 8 dollars a bottle.

Today, Monday, the gals are heading for a shopping trip around Lucerne whilst the menfolk dress in business suits and travel to different companies. I will report back latter, hopefully my lunch won´t be 60 dollars for 2 slices of pizza, salad, bruchetta and a drink, as it was last night. I will try to put pictures on the blog when I have a little bit more time and am not so loopy in the brain.

AJ and Ella, sorry we can´t get the webcam to work here, we don´t have the internet ability to do it. Hopefully in our next hotel we will be able to have the access. We love you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Welcome one and all

Well hello there happy fellows! I finally broke down and decided it was about time to become mainstream and blog like the rest of society. For those of you who know me, I am not typically a conformist and I have always been the self-proclaimed, "anti-blogger". Let me explain...see, when you set up a blog, you rely on the thread of hope your friends and family will actually look at your blog. When you send an email, there is a much stronger possibility the receiver of the email will read it (although, coming from me, it is usually never good so I am sure several of you delete at first glance). So I will babble into cyberspace in hopes of having at least a handful of happy followers take a gander at my ramblings and find some interest in them.

So, to all fo you out there, welcome and enjoy the chaotic ramblings of a boring family living in North Happy Valley (Utah County).

What's the haps? Well, if you have been following my horrendously broken email trail, we have been the facilitators of one adorable child with a psychotically round mother who still stalks us, thinking we are harboring her child without her knowledge, claiming we handed her over. Her other theory--we put her in a horrid foster home where she is being molested. Um, really? She called our home phone and my cell which was left in the car and Austin didn't remember the rule of "no answering 427 numbers" and got an earful from a crazed girl hunting down her children because we were the bad guys, not her. This saga has no end in sight I am afraid but I am very happy to report that no molesting is taking place and the children are thriving beyond belief--calling the new parents Mom and Dad and enjoying every moment of stability.

In other news, Austin and I are busily getting ready for his Foreign business excursion to beautiful Europe next week. I can hardly wait--I haven't been for 10 years and it has killed me. We start out in Zurich, Switzerland; Munich, Germany; Vienna, Austria; Saltzburg, Austria, Prague, Czech Republic; London, England; and Paris, France. Next Friday at this time I will be sitting on an airplane on my way! The trip is required for Austin's MBA program (which he finishes July 1st!!!!!) and the spouses can tag along. I wasn't going to at first because is is the last week of school/first week of summer for my kids but when I found out they were g0ing to Mauthausen Concentration Camp I couldn't let Austin see one before I did. We are also going to be traveling across the English Channel on June 6th--the anniversary of the D-Day landings on the Normandy coast so, yes, I am a nerd who thinks of those things. Anyway, my kids are getting taken care of and we appeased them with the prospect of a treat from each city we visit so I think they will be fine.

That is all to report from here today. Now I have to make this all fancy with pictures and such, don't I? That's another thing about fancy backgrounds and pictures to worry about.