Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas everyone! Good thing I finally have some time off and I can now move on from the Halloween post. Good grief! I have really been slacking on the blog. We had a nice Christmas, low-key. It was so good to have my mom here the week before Christmas. We miss seeing my side of the family at Christmastime since we don't make it to California during this time of the year. Just too hard for Kevin to get away since the week between Christmas and New Year is the the busiest time of the year for the ski industry.

Henry was so impressed the Santa left him olives in his stocking. Santa knew this was one of his favorite foods.
Henry and Dad take a break from opening presents to pull a goofy face for the camera.

The mother of all gifts for Henry. The Super Power Guitar he has been talking about for the last month. He has the power stance down.

We are grateful to all of you...friends and family this Holiday season. Thank you for making our lives so rich.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A Halloweenie weekend

It was a Happy Halloween at our house. On Thursday night we carved pumpkins and as you can see below, Henry was concentrating hard on making his pumpkin (above) turn out just right. There was a just a little help from mom there.

Dad decided against a knife and chose a Sawzall as his tool of choice to carve his pumpkin. His pumpkin was pretty cool and involved a circulating pump, some green water and looked like it was spewing through it's mouth.

Henry was a Denver Broncos football player for Halloween. He was excited about the costume when we got it a month ago. But a couple of days ago he told me he didn't want to be a Bronco anymore, he wanted to be a butterfly. can imagine how much his dad liked that prospect. My friend Kim suggested that we paste some wings on him and call him a horsefly. He eventually got over the butterfly idea and made a great Bronco.

Here are all of the Rogers cousins on Halloween. Back row left to right, Henry (Bronco), Gavin (vampire), Caitlyn (cat), Maisie (Tinkerbell), Front row, Danyn (clown), Thatcher (pumpkin), Spencer (vampire). The kids looked really dang cute.

On Saturday we enjoyed being outside and the kids had a ball playing in the leaves. We have enjoyed an Indian Summer, now bring on the snow!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Ray LaMontagne

Music is important to us and while we have definitely transitioned into middle agers, we still enjoy a good concert here are there. We have a list of musicians that we will always pay to see when they come and Ray LaMontagne was on the list. He hasn't been on the music scene that long but has quickly become one of our favorite artists. We were thrilled to find out he was stopping in Salt Lake and we saw him last night at Saltair. Here is a little bit of a Ray's bio:

With a voice that recalls a huskier, sandpaper version of Van Morrison and Tim Buckley,
Ray LaMontagne joins such artists as Iron & Wine in creating folk songs that are alternately lush and intimately earthy. The songwriter was born in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1973; his parents split up shortly after his birth, and his mother began a pattern of moving her six children to any locale that could offer her employment and housing. As a result, LaMontagne grew up as the perennial new kid in school (when and if he went to school at all). He did graduate high school, however, and found himself working in a shoe factory in Maine when he heard Stephen Stills' "Tree Top Flyer" on the radio. The song amounted to an epiphany for LaMontagne, who made up his mind on the spot to become a singer and musician.

The guy is amazing to watch. He is a really shy guy and chooses to play left of center stage as though he is just another musician in his band. But when he plays, you lose yourself in his music. In a couple of his solo acoustic numbers, the venue was so quiet that you could hear a pin drop.

It was a show we will remember for a long time and we will definitely see Ray again if he comes back to Salt Lake. If you are looking for some new music, this guy comes highly recommended.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Enough is enough

Look at this cute, harmless creature. Before yesterday I used to think my mom was a real pansy when it came to mice. I heard her scream countless times when she would encounter a mouse in our storage room growing up. Then my dad would come to the rescue with his BB gun. (No, I am not kidding.)

Fortunately, I haven't had the pleasure of a rodent encounter in my home until yesterday. I came home and I was doing the ritual clearing off of the kitchen table. Mail, Henry's artwork, newspaper, all the stuff that seems to pile up there within a couple of hours. As I picked up one of the papers I saw a mouse scurry across the table. I screamed (a lot) and yelled at Kevin to come upstairs immediately to help me. I was honestly surprised at my reaction because I have a pretty good tolerance for spiders. Snakes are the only thing that I thought I had an irrational fear of. Kevin came upstairs laughing and I told him the mouse had to still be on the table somewhere because I would've seen it jump. Item by item, he continued clearing off the table until there was only one magazine left lying open. As he put his hand on the magazine to pick it up he felt the mouse underneath there. He hatched a quick plan that involved a bowl, but the mouse was too fast. He flew (literally) off the kitchen table and ran into the mess that is our front room. So that was yesterday. Kevin said we could get some traps, but the idea of me being home alone and hearing the thing go off made my skin crawl so I didn't take him up on it.

This morning I was cleaning up the kitchen and needed to get something out of my purse. As I was rummaging around the empty abyss that is my purse, the mouse runs up my arm, out of my bag, and takes a flying leap off of my shoulder. Poor Kevin has a cold and was trying to rest when I let out a blood curdling scream. The mouse high-tailed it into the safety of our front room. I have never before been so close to heart attack. Who expects a mouse to be waiting for them in their purse? I went downstairs to find Kevin in hysterics. Only now, about 6 hours later am I able to find humor in the story.

I immediately called Kevin's mom to see if she had some traps. I was ready for revenge. Lucikily she did and Kevin dragged his sick butt out of bed to set them for me. He still believes in chivalry. Once that mouse invaded my personal space (is there any space more personal for a woman than her purse?) my sympathies were done. I am happy to report that we have rid ourselves of one mouse, but Kevin thinks there is another. Until we find the other one, I am going to cautiously open cabinet doors and my heart rate will continue to rise every time I look in my purse.

Maybe rodents are intelligent enough to play Halloween pranks?

Thursday, October 23, 2008


The question of the hour is, how many blogs have you already read with this same entry about visiting the witches at Gardner Village last weekend?? I can say that because 1) we Utahns love to blog about what we do and 2) I do believe that every family in Utah visited Gardner Village last weekend. Buffy and I decided to take the boys last Friday because the boys were out of school for UEA weekend. We had no idea that it would bo so crowded that we would feel like we were at Disneyland. But, the boys didn't care and the place was so decked out for Halloween that it was worth it.
Here are the boys posing with their first witch (notice the fourth green face in the back.) We took the boys to get their faces painted and Henry was in no way going to let someone paint his face. He decided he would be okay with someone painting his hand though and he opted for the pumpkin. Colton went for the full-faced pirate and Dixon a pirate skull and crossbones on his cheek. (The Clark boys can always be counted on to choose something pirate themed.)

The picture of the three boys above is my favorite for two reasons. First, Henry looks as though he is trying to cover his privates, but what he is doing is showing off the pumpkin that was painted on his hand. Second, it's hard to tell from the picture, but they are standing in front of a witch reading the paper in an outhouse. It was pretty funny.

The last thing we did was to take a hayride with the witch you see in the picture above. She told a very bewitching story as we were pulled around a swamp on the hayride. It was so much fun. It ALMOST made me like Halloween as much as Christmas. I think we will go back next year, just not over UEA weekend.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The New Henry Workshop

The other day Henry and I sat down late at night to watch a bit of televison before bed. Mom was out of town in California and it was a guys weekend. That being said, neither one of us is much for monster truck pulls or pro wrestling so as we scrolled through the Tivo options I fully expected Hen to vote Curious George or Clifford (whom Henry calls "Clippard") the Big Red Dog. Much to my surprise Henry stated that he'd like to watch "that Yankee show with the tools". I've been watching this yankee show for years and truthfully, I've always been alone in that endeavor. As sexy as Norm Abrahms is, his screen presence can bee a bit akward. Once past his trademark plaid shirt and goofy safety glasses however, most discover that he is the god of wood, and his shop is the temple every tool guy goes to worship.

Henry and I cuddled up on the couch and watched Norm go through part one of his "How to Build Kitchen Cabinets" series. Hen never twitched. He watched with admirable attention until the credits rolled, afterwards, he looked at me and said "I like that guy, he's nice".

A few weeks later as part of the ongoing saga that is our home remodel, I enclosed a covered portion of our dilapidated deck to form a bit of a temporary shop to house my tools prior to our next remodeling phase. Each night I've been going into this makeshift space to try and make heads or tails of all my tools & supplies and each night Hen wants to be a part of the action.

Tonight Henry and I ventured into the "shop" to sort and clean but as I looked at all the tools, set up for the first time since we left Sugarhouse nearly 3 years ago, I had the itch to build something. I looked at Henry, who was playing with a MatchBox car and said, "do you want to build a speedracer car?" He was on board without hesitation and so we began. I grabbed a few scrap blocks of wood, laid out a simple design, flipped on the bandsaw and started cutting away. Each piece I cut was handed to Henry to sand, which he did with great anticipation.
After all the parts were cut and sanded, I took a minute to show Henry how to glue all the pieces together. He hopped up on a Home Depot bucket and spread the glue with his finger before I began clamping the pieces together.

After letting the glue dry for 10-15 minutes (which was painful for Henry) I took out an old dusty carboard box that I received from Meg's grandpa, Jack Dale. In the box were a bunch of wooden wheels and wooden axels that he used to make children's toys. I've had the box for 6 or 7 years now and have waited until I could use them with my kids. Henry and I picked out a few wheels and found the matching axels and began marking, drilling, and tapping them into place with just a touch of glue. Once he car was complete, we grabbed a can of black spray paint and gave it a coat. We waited. Then waited some more. The wait was killing us both. We finally brought the car out to mom for the great unveiling.

He lifted it up proudly displaying his new "speedracer car" that he and dad had built. It may not have been part one of "How to Build Kitchen Cabinets," but it was the first of many joint projects to come in the "New Henry Workshop". Next time, perhaps we'll both be in plaid.


Monday, September 15, 2008


When we bought the land we affectionately refer to as the Proper "D" it had upon it a failed structure originally built to hold the elements at bay for an old RV. At 9,000ft the word elements includes anywhere from 24" to 5o+" of snow and though we all like our snow light and dry, it becomes quite destructive when it's wet & heavy. Having bought the land in late fall of 2006 we didn't have any time to shore up the damaged building and after one more winter it was beyond repair.

Beginning in summer of 2008 we began removing the failed structure with the intention of converting it to a usable bowery type structure. Big Al and I worked a day cutting all the poles too the new desired height, installing over 75 metal brackets specially designed to tie these pipes into one ridgid structure.

Afterwards, Teag and I, and later Brian Manecke would haul nearly 8,000lbs of rock by hand to form a partial retention wall on the uphill side. To the right is a shot of Teag and I next to 2 of our 2,000lb stacks of rock.

We then set four 250lb beams across each set of 5 poles. Attached 16 triangulation brackets and drilled over 90 half inch bolt holes through the beam. We broke 4 drill bits in the process and ended up drilling the last 15 holes with a broken bit.

Following the truing of the beam we began setting 18 trusses across the length of the beam. One by one the building began taking shape.
After sheathing the structure on the following weekend, Mike Landheim takes a well deserved break in a hammock. (Far Right)

A few weekends Later the whole family headed up for a marathon work weekend to try and get the structure ready for winter. Hammers we flying, compressors were umm compressing I guess it was a lot of fun. We roofed, trimmed, welded, painted, and stained until we were tired, sore, and in need of a shower.

It was especially nice to have Nate back home. Nate had never seen the property except in pictures. He left just before we bought it in 2006. It was great to see him back in the saddle again. The final product was something we can all be proud of, especially if it's still standing next summer! We've all decided to do less next year as we'd like to have more of a leisure summer. I'm sure we'll still sneak in a few projects, I don't think Big Al and I will be able to sit still the entire summer knowing there is work to be done.
Below is our group shot taken at completion. (well sort of, we have to go up in a week or so to install triangulation cables for the winter) From Left to Right, Steve, Nate, Teag, Me & Pa. This is our "Hero Shot" I guess. We pickled the beast.

We'll keep you posted on the future developments of our mountain getaway. Until then, let it snow, and knock on wood.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mr. McSill & His Organic Loot

Henry has had multiple nicknames over the years. He used to be Sill which was short for silly. Then we churched it up a bit and called him Mr. Sill. Now, because he was born on St. Patricks Day we threw a "Mc" into the mix for the most recent Mr. McSill.

Mr. McSill digs plants, especially the ones that produce fruit or vegetables. From a very young age he has been up to his knees in gardening. Every morning he wakes up and askes if he can "check the mato's". This year, he has had a bumper crop of home grown organic veggies which he is so proudly posing next to. Strangely enough he digs eating most of them too.
He shares his hard work with the neighbors and gets just as much joy out of watching others eat as he does eating the veggies himself. You will oft hear him say "these are sooo delicious!" before popping one into his mouth.
Here's to Mr. McSill, & the harvest season. We all hope there will be many more to come.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Uncle Natey is home!

Yeah! Uncle Natey is finally home. Over the past two years that he has been gone on his mission in Micronesia, he has achieved Rock Star status with all of his nieces and nephews. Uncle Natey is the only one left that is not married so he still loves playing and roughhousing with the kids and they sure have missed that. Yesterday, he came home and there was quite a party at the airport waiting for him. He came home to three new nieces and nephews that he had never met before. Danyn, Thatcher, and Spencer, below...

Henry has been so excited that for the last week every morning when he wakes up we asks "Is TODAY the day that Uncle Natey will be home?" Nate served most of his mission on the island of Chuuk (which we pronounced incorrectly as "Chook"). In his prayers Henry has said every night "Please bless Uncle Natie on his mission in Chook." So when we were in the car yesterday on the way to the airport Henry says, "I sure can't wait to see Uncle Natie and Chuck when they get home." Apparently Henry though Chook was a person this whole time and expected him to come home with Nate yesterday. It cracked us up.

The kids were all decked out in the "Chookese attire" yesterday in honor of Uncle Natey. I think now that the kids have the island wear, we need to make good use of it and head to Hawaii soon!

Welcome Home Nate, we have missed you and we are so glad to have you back.

Monday, August 18, 2008

First Day of Preschool

Today was Henry's first day of school. Well, technically preschool. This is his third year at West High's daycare/preschool but now he is officially a big kid. There isn't even a diaper changing station in his room anymore. That is BIG.

He was so excited to get back to school to see his beloved Miss Linda that he was up at 6 am this morning, ready to go. Eight o'clock couldn't come early enough. I have struggled having him in daycare (even part time) but I am so grateful for all the wonderful teachers there. It has been a great experience for us and how can I feel bad when he is chomping at the bit to go back?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Farmer Henry and Summer Veggies

This is Farmer Henry enjoying corn. Granted, this corn was purchased at the Farmer's Market and graciously given to us by Rich and Kristl. But Henry is enjoying it even though it didn't come out of our garden. You have never seen a kid more excited about growing his own food than Hank. This love was fostered at a young age by Grandma and Grandpa who always grow grape tomatoes. I'm sure he has some of my dad's gardening genes as well. My dad is the only person I know that might rival Henry's interest in gardening. Last year when we moved into our house, we grew "Henry's tomatoes" in our front flower bed (yes, it was a little white trash, but oh well).

This year Kevin and I decided that since we have a big backyard full of dirt we may as well make the most of it before we landscape and plant a big garden. Henry has been enthralled. The first thing he asks when he wakes up from his nap is "Now can we go out to the garden?" He eats as many cherry tomatoes as he can stuff into his mouth and then helps me pick peppers, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, and whatever else might be ripe at the time. The kid's favorite snack is a cut up green pepper or cucumber from the garden.

The garden has been good for me as well. I have been having to plan my meals around fresh veggies and I have discovered some great recipes. We have SO many tomatoes that once they come on I am going to have to hone my canning skills...hmmm I know I should be excited about that, but it sounds hot and tiring tonight. Good thing grandma has a killer salsa recipe.

The picture below is up at our property. Henry and Maisie planted a garden of their own outside the play cabin. Henry will tell you they are only blossoms, but they will surely turn into something delicious with a little water and sunshine.

Henry with the first squash and zucchini of the season. The sweet taste of victory!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Dreaded Swim Lessons

Henry looks really happy here, doesn't he? He was a big talker yesterday..."I'm going to go under the water and swim like a big boy." That was moments before his last swim lesson. Confident and ready to go.
This was the result once his teacher actually submerged him. It was all downhill from there. In order to pass level I the students have to be able to master a set of skills and I don't think Henry mastered even one of them. He won't put his face in the water, he won't let go of his death grip on the teacher, and he won't jump in to his teacher without mom or dad having to push him. So much for my visions of him swimming under water by the end of this summer. Level I here we come...again.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Concert Season

It's concert season - Woohoo! Although I am tired of the heat by the time August rolls around, I do love the month for one seems to be the month of great concerts. We kicked off concert season last night by seeing James Taylor. This is our third time seeing him and even though it was my least favorite show (too many covers James, stick with the stuff we know and love) it was still fantastic. For a 60 yr old guy, he is still so "cool". Maybe it was his mention of the missing decade (the 70s) that he can't remember due to drugs. That shouldn't make him cool but it does.

My mom has a crush on James and I have to say, I do too. He is the right combination of talent, humor, and bad boy, all rolled into a handsome, classy package. I will never get tired of that voice. Thanks for stopping in Salt Lake City James.

We enjoyed the concert last night with Kerri and Teag, Kevin's Mom and Dad, and my friend Kristen. The only pictures that turned out though are the ones of Kevin and I and Kerri and Teag (below).

On Sunday we plan to hang out just outside of Red Butte Gardens to poach the Greg Brown concert and then at the end of the month we head back to Usana to enjoy Dave Matthews. I guess August isn't so bad after all.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Independence Day

We had such a fun 4th of July this year. The day started off with a flag ceremony at the Library and then a kiddie parade along the Jordan River down to the park where we had a pancake breakfast for the community. Henry and Maisie had a ball decorating their bikes and riding in the parade. You will notice what a safety conscious mother I am by the helmet Henry is wearing. Doh! It was even red and would have completed the red, white, and blue ensemble I tried to coordinate. Good thing the kids were riding VERY SLOWLY along the parkway.

After the parade Henry and I met Buffy and the boys for some swimming at the Cottonwood Heights rec center. Even though the weather was warm, there was a nice cloud cover so it never got too hot. The boys had a fantastic time and I was happy as a clam chatting with Buffy while the boys swam.
That night we had our own fireworks (thank you Teag for the display you provided from "across the border"). Kevin and Grandpa also set up an outdoor movie on the back of Grandma and Grandpas house and we watched Shanghai Noon to cap off the night. Great idea Kerri! It was a very fun day.

Oh and one more happy piece of news...on July 3rd, the world welcomed Matthew Lowe Nelson , son of Rich and Kristl Nelson, our very good friends. We are so happy to have you here Matt and we look forward to future holidays with you and the Nelson clan:) For a picture of a perfect baby boy, check out Rich and Kristls' blog.