Monday, June 29, 2009

Strange things are happening in Utah

First off, this afternoon I saw two deer wandering the streets of North East Provo. This is the second deer sighting in my parents' neighborhood in a week. It was odd because I was on my way home from Cabela's where I had taken the boys to see all the stuffed animals, many of which were deer. 


Then, something REALLY strange happened....

I caught something from my mom. Nothing too serious...

...just THE DO.
(Clark, it's like looking into a crystal ball. Will you still love me 30 years and 1 Do from now?)

She's made peace with it.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?


I think I need to tone down the fun factor of my posts lately. Clark isn't buying the whole "I can't come back home yet because I'm taking care of my sick mom" excuse anymore*. The truth is, we have been doing a lot of fun things here in Utah in an effort to lift my mom's spirits. This morning, we planted some flowers in the front yard. And by "we," I mean my mom and Yaya planted flowers. I contributed by taking pictures, Ike contributed by eating dirt and Booker and his Baba contributed by scooting/skating circles around us. More of that here

*I finally have made plans to come back home next weekend. All it took was a plane ticket to Utah for Clark and the promise of his company/help on the drive back :-)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Tough Enough to Wear Pink?

We were and we did. 


Wear pink, that is, to the Lehi Roundup Rodeo. It was Breast Cancer Awareness night and everyone, including the cowboys wore pink. What we didn't know, was that the Lehi Rodeo (voted Best Little Rodeo in the West) would be SOLD OUT. It's hugely popular, apparently, and everyone made us feel pretty foolish for assuming we could just show up and walk right in. 

Here's how it went down:

Me: Hi, I know you're sold out but I really, really want some tickets.
Nice Ticket Guy: Well, I'm not supposed to sell any tickets. We've got a few tickets left for tomorrow night...
Me: Yes, but that's my mom over there. She has breast cancer. She just had her first session of chemo a week ago, so she hasn't lost her hair yet but I promise that she has breast cancer. I'm not lying. And it's breast cancer night at the Rodeo and she's feeling REALLY crappy. We had to beg her to come and she really didn't want to but she did. And now we're here and we REALLY want to see the rodeo. She has breast cancer. Stage 3. Not lying. 
NTG: Sure, I believe you. But I just can't...
Me: And there, that's my sister-in-law. She's Japanese. She doesn't have breast cancer but she's never been to a Rodeo before in her life. Last night, we showed her some clips on YouTube of cowboys roping calves and children riding sheep and she thought it was really awesome/strange. Now she wants to see the real thing and then tell her family back in Japan all about it. There are no rodeos in Japan, only weird game-shows.
NTG: Uh-huh, you see, I can't...
Me: But wait, those are my two SONS. Yes, sons. They're wearing pink shirts because it's breast cancer night and they're too young to know any better, but I'm humiliated on their behalf. But we did it, we wore pink because it's breast cancer night, and my mom, well, you know about her. And my dad, he even went to D.I. to get pink shirts for everyone. And his shirt looks suspiciously not-pink. But that's okay. We'll forgive him. It's breast cancer night and we really want to go to the Rodeo. Please. Please. Please?
NTG: Fine, but I don't ever want to see your face or hear your sad story again.

Well, he didn't say that last part but he did finally agree to sell me some tickets. Probably just to get rid of me. The rodeo, as always, was AWESOME. My poor mom stuck it out and Yaya probably had the most fun out of all us. Although Booker had a pretty good time himself- climbing the bleachers, getting super sticky and generally not watching the Rodeo action. My favorite part? The Rodeo Royalty, of course. Beauty Queens at the Rodeo? I'm sold. If only there there had been a parade with floats and carnival rides. Or a swim suit competition... on horses. I love that kind of junk. I got to see my first pair of hot pink Wranglers. Sadly, we missed the bull riding because it was getting so late but everything else was worth the trouble of getting in. A fun night! Thanks for letting us drag you there, Mom and for giving us an excuse to look cool in pink.

Same slideshow here

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Oquirrh Mountain Temple Open House

Good news for the residents of South Jordan, Utah- you now have TWO temples within your city limits! Yes, with the opening of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, South Jordan is the only city in the world with two temples. Crazy. 


And since I just love being publicly humiliated (on holy ground no less) by a temper tantrum throwing almost three year old, I decided to go to the open house. In truth, Booker was only semi-bad. Not quite terrible enough to shame me into crying while he climbed over the seats in the sealing room, but definitely nothing like the 6 (yes SIX) perfectly dressed, perfectly well-behaved boys who sat in front of us during the movie (and their stupid perfectly perfect Utah mother).

Yeah, my kid wore Crocs to the temple. Get over it. 

Now that I've got that off my chest... it was really lovely to be there. Again, Ike missed out on seeing some beautiful, large scale Teichert reproductions. Oh well. The interior was beautiful and pristine. The cookies in the refreshment tent were delicious and abundant. And there were a bahzillion volunteers with too little to do, so they gave David and Yaya a ride on their little cart. Naturally, Booker was too scared to go so I was forced to walk the 50 feet from the cookie tent to the front of the temple.


A few weeks ago, the Angel Moroni was hit by lightening and suffered a little bit of damage. Can you tell? His arm, face and trumpet are blackened. Is that a bad omen?


There were volunteers in front of the temple whose sole purpose was to take your photo. Ours did a good job.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Tueller Gathering at the Park

What is it about climbing up

and then rolling down a hill

that will keep a kid occupied for hours?

Maybe it's the company of such fun cousins/aunts/uncles/grandparents. 

More of the same slideshow here

Monday, June 22, 2009

Good lighting guarantees a whiney/uncooperative child

with a crusty nose.


Really, up next- photos from the Tueller gathering. Sometime tomorrow...

MOA on a Rainy Day

Oh, how I love love love going to the BYU Museum of Art. Oh, how I love going to any museum of art, but especially the MOA because I got married there and because it will always remind me of the best job I ever held. It was so much fun to bring Booker there on a rainy afternoon and see some crazy stuff...


like a wall of balloons

or a sculpture of trash bags

or a wall of duck sauce

which apparently did not impress David

The garbage, however, was quite impressive (at least to Yaya). 

and some not so crazy stuff...

like a room full of Minerva Teicherts

and various other works by Minerva. Too bad Ike was taking a nap and couldn't come. He'll have to meet his namesake another time.

And finally, the main reason we went to the MOA- to see an exhibit by Walter Wick, the photographer/author of the I Spy series of children's books. 

By this point, I was politely reminded not to take photos inside the museum. But it was really cool, I promise. There were several photographs of the setups and some of the actual models themselves. Booker loved seeing larger versions of the pages from his books. If you're in Utah valley, I highly recommend checking it out.  

Up next, photos from our Tueller gathering on Sunday...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Chemo Diary

I spent the day at the Huntsman Institute of Cancer and let me just say, it was awesome (for me, not my mom). First off, I need to thank my sister-in-law, Cassie for watching my two boys ALL DAY LONG. Thank you so much Cassie, Lexi and Laney. I had total peace of mind knowing that my kids were not only well taken care of but also having a ton of fun with their cousins. It was so nice to relax and concentrate on my mom all day. 

After visiting the Huntsman, I'm considering a change in careers. Maybe I'll become an Oncologist or a Registered Nurse or a Janitor just so I can spend time in this building. I'd be happy cleaning the beautiful marble bathrooms or shining the beautiful marble floors or refilling the beautiful (not marble) hand sanitizers that were EVERYWHERE. Everything was so clean and sanitized and orderly. I imagine my Celestial Kingdom is a lot like the Huntsman Institute of Cancer. For example, has this little dilemma ever bothered you? You go to the bathroom, you wash your hands, you dry your hands, you grab the GERMY door handle to leave the bathroom and all your hand-washing efforts have gone to waste? Well, the brilliant minds over at the Huntsman have a solution: 
Tiny paper towels right next to the handle. I'm in love. 


Despite the cleanliness, the beautiful views, and the countless tables that were home to jigsaw puzzles, my mom wasn't able to relax. This is the worried face that she had on pretty much all day. Smile, mom, they're about to pump your body full of poison! 

There was lots of waiting around which didn't help her nerves. 

Finally, she made it to the Infusion Suite, which kind of reminded me of the first class section of an airline (a really crappy airline where everyone gets cancer) complete with snack cart and warmed up blankets. 

Coffee, tea, adriamycin cytoxan cocktail?

Mom is chemolaxing- "relaxing" while she gets chemo.

Meanwhile, dad is busy organizing the MASSIVE cancer notebook/briefcase. So much information, so many appointments to keep track of.

And lastly, we got a visit from Oakley, the therapy-dog. Apparently the therapy-rabbit and the therapy-hairless-rat had the day off. No joke, the therapy-hairless-rat. To each cancer-patient his own, I guess.

So there you go. DeNeece, you made it through a tough day! You deserve a big chocolate cake and 5 different types of anti-nausea medications to help you eat it. I'm proud.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Tucson Stake Girls' Camp 2009

Girls' Camp was a... 


That I'm so glad is over. 

It was extremely exhausting. Here's what I did when I got home yesterday:

- Cried for 10 minutes. I think this was a combination of missing Clark and the boys a lot (there was no cell phone coverage at all) and waking up that morning at 4 a.m. for a sunrise hike. 

- Next, I used the bathroom for the first time in a week (if you know what I mean). How on earth did my bowels know that I was home? Is that WAY too much information? Probably. 

- Then I hugged Booker a million times (Teichert was taking a nap), showed Clark my photos and passed out on my comfy, clean bed for a few hours. While I slept, all my stuff was magically unpacked and every last article of clothing got washed. I have the best husband ever. 

- Next came one of the best showers of my life. This was a wash-your-hair-twice and shave-your-upper-thighs kind of shower. It was glorious. 

- Then I had a delicious dinner at Texas Roadhouse where I enjoyed being the only girl at the table and forgot all about my diet. Yum. 

Boy, I am glad to be home. 

Don't get me wrong, I had a fantastic time. I'm really impressed with our group of Young Women. Each girl was so hard-working, so kind, and so much fun to be around. I thought teenagers were supposed to be sullen and ornery. They were all so delightful and pleasant. And funny- really, really funny.  I'm glad the only prank that succeeded involved dry ice in the biffy (an outdoor toilet) and didn't require any intervening on my part. 

Overall, I think my favorite part of camp was sitting around the fire pit (with no fire because they weren't allowed) and chatting away with the girls. The conversation inevitably turned to boys, dating, boys, kissing, boys and oh yeah, marriage. And boys. My only advice? Marry the nerd, not the jock. I don't think they took me seriously, though. I'm really excited to see what life holds for each of these girls. I hope they don't mind if I personally stalk them all for the next 10 years. Facebook should make that easy if we move out of the ward. Hooray for digital stalking!

Besides getting to know the girls, I'm also grateful that it was such an invigorating spiritual experience for me- one that I really needed right now. I feel prepared to make the trek to Utah where I'm sure my emotions will be running high. If I can take care of 11 teenage girls, surely I can handle my mother. Right? Let's hope so.

I may not have slept very much, I may have eaten a hot dog that rolled off a plate and into a pile of pine needles and I may have smelt like an armpit all week, but I had a fantastic time. I hope I get the chance to go again. 

Here's a little slideshow of all the fun we had:

And another one with views of the sunrise yesterday morning. Mount Lemmon is truly breathtaking and this particular sunrise was well worth the sleep loss and the freezing cold. I think you can see Venus in the first few shots.