Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Pictures stolen from Rachel

First day in OK
From 2009

After the funeral, all the girls decided to play on the tree that was just behind Grandma's grave. I'm sure each of us had the thought that maybe it was inappropriate, but then everyone also pointed out that Grandma would probably love it!
From 2009
From 2009

Lunch at Osage Hills
From 2009
From 2009

Wading in the water - Naomi is holding hands with her Uncle Tracy, Claire is also holding his hand, and Charlotte is walking towards the camera
From 2009
From 2009

Love this one!!
From 2009
From 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More stolen pictures, this time from Papu!

Gwen's Cheese
From 2009

Janie, Naomi, and Charlotte
From 2009

I stole the photos!!

I went onto facebook and stole all of Uncle Tim's photos!! haha I'm just going to upload some on here now. I really need to get better at keeping my camera around! It was in my purse the ENTIRE trip, but I never took it out! I suck, I know!
From 2009
Gwen and Maeve on swing.
From 2009
Naomi and Ruby on swing
From 2009
Me, Gwen, and Jess at the gravesite.
From 2009
Grandpa with all the grands and great grands
From 2009
Uncle Tim trying to win best Uncle
From 2009
Bri and his dad, now and forever Papu!
From 2009
Gwen with Audrey
From 2009
Best Picture EVER! Don't you love the spectrum of hair color?? But they all have such similar faces!
From 2009
Gwen at Osage Hills waiting for grapes which she calls Apples
From 2009
Gwen wading in the water at Osage Hills with Brian
From 2009
The Osage bunch
From 2009
Look at that! A real family picture, that never happens!

Impromptu Oklahoma Trip

We received the saddest news last Sunday that Brian's grandmother Ruggles had passed away in her sleep that morning. I did not know Grandma Ruggles all that well, but what I did know, I LOVED! My biggest memory of Grandma was when Brian and I got engaged and set a date for the wedding Grandma Ruggles instantly booked a flight and arranged for someone to help her with transferring flights. This was no small feat as she had recently had some health problems and if I remember correctly Grandpa was still in the hospital recovering from some health issue! Everyone was mad at her and worried, but Grandma would NOT miss a grandchild's wedding!! It really made me feel loved and wanted in the Ruggles' family! (which is the norm in the Ruggles family) She was such a sweet, beautiful woman! I love to look at the old pictures they have of Grandma and Grandpa Ruggles - they are both so amazingly good looking, and you can see where all of the Ruggles' traits come from when looking at them. It is a pretty good looking family, you have to admit!! 

So after Brian received the news we spent some time contemplating sending him by himself for the funeral by plane because he desperately wanted to go to be with family for support. It was so expensive we were having trouble coming to terms with the loss of income plus the expense of the ticket. Brian's cousin Natalie called to see if he wanted to drive down with her. We jumped on that idea and soon realized that if he was going to be driving we might as well all go! Monday I packed everything up, Brian came home from work, and we drove down to Provo to meet up with the caravan to drive to Oklahoma. With us was Natalie and her husband Wes, Brian's brothers Tim and Tracy, and his cousin Chris and his wife Colleen! 3 cars in all! We drove straight through the night which was new for us. The girls did well.  

What luck we had to miss a tornado that went through Denver just 2 hours before we drove through and stopped for gas. It was quite eery driving through the town with trees down, lots of fog, and hail piled up; it was noticeable that something had happened even though at the time we didn't know quite what. I thought maybe zombies! I'm sure Chris would disagree with the luck of missing it; he wants to be a tornado chaser! 

The funeral was lovely! It was so nice knowing that Grandma was now at peace and in a better place! I'm sure she would be happy to know that almost everyone was there, all of her children, all but 3 grandchildren (19 in all), and all 19 great grandchildren. I hope I'm not forgetting someone. Brian's brother Adam was one that was missing; he is on his mission. 

It was wonderful to see everyone! It is a giant group! We got to stay at Brian's cousin Rachel's house with all of the little girl cousins and second cousins at that house! The girls had so much fun! I am an awful awful person because I did not take pictures, but there are pictures on facebook and I will be attempting to get copies to post here sometime soon. The girls were absolutely in love! 

We picnicked at Osage Hills, hung out at Grandpa's house playing, and went to the Tulsa Zoo. I had so much fun getting together with my sis-in-laws who all live far far away from me and my Utah-ness! 

We left straight from the Zoo to head back to UT. We were lucky enough to stop in Colorado Springs and stay with Brian's Uncle Steve and Aunt Marcia for the night. We got some great Gelatto out of that too!! Even with the stop though, the driving back to UT was awful in comparison with the trip out. Gwen just wanted "OUT!" as she kept yelling from the back seat. We were all just TIRED of being in that car! I have told Brian now that 18-19 hours of driving is TOO long! We won't be doing that drive again anytime soon! 

Even though it was such a sad reason to get together we are so glad that we went and were able to enjoy being with all of that family! It was a lot of fun! The girls keep asking when the cousins are going to come visit us now!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


I walked out of my bedroom after checking my email to see this:
From 2009

Are they just cuddling because they are glad to be together or is Naomi just being a supportive big sister?

Gwen had gone into her room to wake her up at 7 because she missed her "nay nay"! Naomi has been sleeping in until 8, poor girl!

Then Naomi said to me, "Why are you taking our pictures in our jamas?"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


We were so lucky to be invited by our friends, the Dynes', to go camping in Yellowstone with them for the fourth of July weekend. We had a ton of things to get ready as we had never been camping with our girls before. We had the major stuff, but not all the basics. None of us had the proper rain gear since we live in UT and it never rains (except for this year). Yellowstone forecasts predicted a 50% chance of rain for the first night we were there. I searched and searched through Walmart, Target, Kohls, and an outdoor store called Sport Chalet. No raingear for little ones!! I was so frantic to find anything! Can I just include here that I went shopping two days ago for party dresses for the girls for Gwen's birthday party, rain gear and warm coats and hooded sweaters in each department! Livid!

On to Yellowstone - we left Midvale at 7am after packing the car to the top the night before. It was funny that in packing things up to go camping, I was the boy scout and Brian was well me on a normal day. I am the one who gets rid of everything and is constantly downsizing our stuff; Brian likes to save and would be a packrat if he hadn't married me. But for camping I was the one who wants to "Be Prepared" and Brian wanted to take as little as possible to just get by. I won except for of course in the rain gear department which I knew was a bad thing going into it. 

So we drove to where we met up with the Dynes' in Idaho, I think we officially met up in Rexburg. The girls did great on the drive which was surprising. Naomi tends to get carsick and Gwen usually cries the entire time after 1 hour in the car. But they were pleasant! Even Brian and I did great. We got into Yellowstone and realized we still had a TON of driving to get to the campsite. This is when the girls started to whine, but Brian and i were still excited so it didn't matter. We slowed to stop and go traffic which lined up as far as we could see. In the end that turned out to be our favorite part because we saw this:
From 2009

There were tons of mommies and baby buffalo, and they were crossing the street which was what was holding everyone up. 

We also stopped to see some of the Hot Springs, but I did not get any pictures of those. Its such an interesting phenomenon! It was fun as we drove around through the park to see stream just rising off to the sides in what seemed to be completely random places! 

We got to our camp and set up with a slight drizzle, but it stopped for us to enjoy our dinners and some smores. Carlee provided for us some wonderful tin foil meals with fresh, not canned beets and we LOVED them! Brian even ordered a salad with beets on it last week and enjoyed them again. We went to bed early to get the girls down, but it was not an easy task. By this time it was raining pretty steadily. I don't know if it was a full on pour yet, but it was steady. It was slowly getting colder. I made sure everyone was tucked in with multiple blankets on them. Gwen just screamed and screamed for a bit because she never goes to sleep with other people around. She is always in her crib. At this point we had noticed our tent was leaking what we were hoping was a little bit. I sat up and rocked Gwen while singing to her finishing up with some ABBA which was all I could think of at the time! She kept touching her eye saying "eye" over and over. That is when I noticed she had a drop that kept dropping directly into her eyeball! I covered her with a blanket and she was asleep in no time. 

At about this time we noticed our tent was not just leaking but pouring in water from the seams mostly, but there were some drips directly from the top. Brian was asleep right after Gwen went down. I think I dosed off a few times before Naomi, but she kept asking me questions about noises she heard outside. She was just all around too excited at the adventure to sleep. I didn't feel that cold through the night, but Carlee posted on her blog that it got down to 37 degrees F. It was cold in the morning, but I think that was mostly because we were all a little damp. 

We went early to see Old Faithful which was a great time to go! It was better than I thought it would be. That thing blows forever! We did not get pictures of Old Faithful either. 

Then we headed to the North around Yellowstone Lake to The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The "prairie" area above Yellowstone Lake was gorgeous. And we saw more buffalo!
From 2009

From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
Brian's favorite part, of course, was the waterfalls! 
From 2009
From 2009
From 2009
But we also did not get any pictures of the Grand Canyon waterfalls. Very odd of us to not have our camera ready!

We had a nice picnic as we watched the dark clouds crawl back towards us. Brian and I had decided earlier that we wouldn't risk another night in the tent. So we went back to pack up our soaked tent and gear. 

I felt bad for the girls at this point because there had been lots of driving and we were setting out for MORE driving. 

This was our view on the way out of Yellowstone. It had SNOWED! Crazy!
From 2009

Brian's brother-in-law Morgan, visiting from South Africa, was staying in Ashton Idaho in a little cabin so he invited us to stay the night with him. That worked out perfectly! The cabin was adorable and truly in the middle of nowhere! We got quite a decent, yet distant, view of the Tetons while we headed out to the cabin. It was still raining where we were in Idaho, but it had stopped raining at Yellowstone, go figure!

Morgan took us out after the rain where we got to see a mama fox walk within 30 feet of us. He said the mom and babies play in a little stream down there. We thought there were a lot of mosquitos in Yellowstone, but they did not compare to the rabid mosquitos in Ashton!! They were nasty! 

The next morning we drove back into Yellowstone from the south side that is not an official entrance to check out some more waterfalls. We were able to walk right down to the base of the Cave Falls. We sat and enjoyed the rushing water for a bit and watched a tiny baby fawn with her mama. They were on a little island, and Morgan was sure that the fawn had just been born maybe a week ago. 

We hung out a little more with Morgan; Brian helped him put up a zip line for his family to play on since they were having a reunion there the next day. The girls liked it too! We drove home at this point. The drive home is always the longest part! 

It was really fun, and we are hoping to head back to Yellowstone sometime to hit up the northern circle of the park!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Naomi is just so wise!

A little while ago we were driving around all together as a family. When we pulled our car into a parking spot Naomi filled us in with a little revelation. 

Her quote, "I think Jesus drives a purple car!" Very random, very hilarious for us! No idea where that might have come from!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Some other sorta fun stuff.

Brian is on the phone (supposed to be doing homework!!) and I am bored even though the girls are still awake and should be sleeping I am bloggin. Look at me, back on the wagon! We are all moved in, I'm still awaiting the hanging of a large shelf over my TV to finish up the place and then I will post all of the pictures in a gigantic montage for you pleasure of viewing. We have loads of boxes from things that Brian needs to take out to the dumpster but I haven't even begun to request that he do that because I know its extremely far fetched that he will get to it in the next month or two as that is how he is. 

We went to Yellowstone this weekend as hinted at in my previous entry. It was actually really fun even though we had to leave early because our tent was leaking ridiculously. Oh, and it rained almost the entire first night! We had a lovely stay in a cabin in the middle of stinkin nowhere in Ashton Idaho with Brian's brother-in-law Morgan. I'll do a whole detailed thing on Yellowstone when I am ready to upload pictures though.

My Mom and Dad gifted us my brother's Honda Civic, and it arrived today in great condition though very dirty, but we at least know exactly why because we drove the same roads that Morgan was driving in Idaho. Oh, Morgan drove it across country for us. He kept thanking me for letting him use it, but goodness we had no idea how we would have gotten it otherwise!We are so excited to have a second car! Plus Naomi is in awe that it is blue! 

Brian is really, really loving his job! He loves the atmosphere, and the company is just really great to its employees. He is getting up every morning at 5:00am to get there at 6:30. He leaves our house at 6am. And he's actually doing it. Brian was the type that 8am classes were way too early and 9am was pushing it! He has two online courses to finish up in the next two weeks I think. He did like 4 assignments yesterday, so I'm hoping he is on track for that. 

I am in the process of planning Gwen's second birthday party!!! I'm super excited for it! I am trying to figure out who to invite as we are in this new place we don't know too many locals. I may just do long time friends and Utah available relatives. I read a blog about creative parties, and I cannot wait to submit my party to their website! Today I am making a Happy Birthday banner in the themed colors of lemon, lime and orange. I was planning on doing it outside, but I may switch my venue for ease of decorating and do it indoors at our new luxurious apartment. 

We took the girls swimming in our clubhouse pool finally. It has been quite chilly and rainy here and it is finally starting to warm up. Naomi loved it even though her entire body was shaking the whole time. She needed her goggles on (which are now already broken so no more goggles for her next time) and she really believes she can swim even though she can't even move herself across the pool while in her floaty. I'm working on getting her to relax her head back into the water, but she is really afraid of water in her eyes so it is hard to convince her. Gwen is already able to kick her feet pretty well and is close to relaxing her head back for floating. Naomi luckily can touch the bottom in half of the pool so she gets to walk around on her own sometimes. 

We opted out of getting cable in our new apartment. So no TV for us! Its nice! We have the antenna thing with the Digital converter box but we get 1 maybe 2 channels, sometimes. So once in awhile the girls get to see PBS Kids. Brian and I just watch stuff in bed on Hulu or Netflix. 

Having a washer/dryer has changed my life entirely. I used to loathe laundry. I think I've done about 1000 loads since we've moved in! Brian is a bit taken back by how often he has all of his clothes available to him. I'm having trouble even waiting for an entire load to be ready. Its lovely! 

The girls love the  patio and garage because I can just open a door and they have a place to play so I can still be accomplishing stuff indoors. 

Ok that is probably enough bored rambling for the day. More to come!

How to Make Marshmellows

Sorry its been so long, I will be blogging again soon! I'll update on all of our fun activities!

Today Naomi decided to tell me how to make marshmellows (because I didn't know how!) 

First, you take some telicious (delicious) cookies. Then you plant them in the garden, then you add a lot of watermelon on top. Then you want to put some watermelon seeds in the ground. You stir it all around in a little big bowl, then put it in the oven. And then its done! Cool it off and that's how you do it! 

Love these instructions!

When we were camping in Yellowstone this weekend Naomi also told us how to make a fire. 

I really can't remember the exact instructions, but it was something like this:
First you put in some sticks and then you put in some marshmellows, then you blow on it and then you have a fire. I know that is not the exact way she put it, but it was something involving marshmellows and was really really simple!

Pictures of the new apartment and Yellowstone, and yes, the girls too will be coming soon!