Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Steve is graduated (repost)

Today I attended an awards ceremony for Steve's dental school class. There were quite a few awards given out for all sorts of different achievements (academics, skills, service, etc.). Steve got an award from the California Maxiofacial Surgery something-or-other which included $250 which is always good. Basically, that translates to the fact that he is great at pulling teeth.

But as I sat through the long and boring ceremony and listened to the awards for hundreds of hours of this or that or perfect GPAs I thought to myself that Steve did something far greater with his time than all of his classmates: He was present as a husband and father in our home. He didn't spend every waking hour studying or trying to make a more impressive resume. He ate dinner with us every night, was there for bedtime prayers, stories, and singing. He doesn't get something to hang on his wall, $, cheering from classmates, or to shake hands with someone important for this; but I want to recognize him now for it.

Steve, we three Nelson girls appreciate the fact that you've been part of our lives for the past 4 years of dental school. Thanks for prioritizing us over excelling to the max. You are still an absolutely WONDERFUL dentist. This is your Husband/Daddy dentist of the year award.
I attended Steve's graduation on sunday.  It was outdoors which was nice/Californian.  I debated on if I wanted to bring the girls.  I wanted them to know that Steve graduated and see what was going on, but of course I didn't want to wrestle them for 2 hours during it.  So, we arrived and took pictures with the girls before it started and I took them to a babysitter.  yeah! 
I just finished a "goodbye party" with Kiera and Lydia and 3 little friends.  It was interesting/difficult to throw it so close to our move.  EVERY toy in the house is packed up other than about 10 princesses.  We had Mac and Cheese in our only 4 unpacked bowls (lydia had to eat out of a measuring cup).   The TV is packed up so we watched Tangled on Steve's laptop.  We had  a cake and we let them dig for candy in a mountain of packaging peanuts in a large box.  Otherwise it was duck duck goose type of games.  Total prep time: about 10 minutes (to go buy the $4 cake).  It was a hit.  We have about 38 hours until our truck comes. 

Movie Review: Stand and Deliver

Chad and I watched Stand and Deliver yesterday. It's a movie about Garfield High School (in East LA) in the early '80s and a phenomenal math teacher who significantly turned things around for the math students there.

We both liked this movie. I definitely recommend it (available for instant streaming on Netflix). It's based on a true story. I liked this movie a lot, mostly because it brought back many, many memories of my mission. There were MANY scenes from an area I served in for 6 months (Garfield High was in that area). Latino kids growing up in LA still have many of the challenges that were depicted in the movie. And still, even when the odds are against them and the "powers that be" don't believe they can achieve anything in life, some of them manage to rise above it and prove them wrong. The challenges and prejudices I witnessed nearly 10 years ago were even more than what they were in the early 80's (time of the movie). My heart reaches out to these latino kids, and bless those people like this amazing teacher who sacrifice so much to turn things around for them and show them there is a better life out there if they just work hard and shoot for the stars.

Just so you know, the movie has a lot of spanglish in it. That's really how they talk in East LA. I loved it and followed the jokes, etc. Chad said he could get the jist of what was going on, but I just thought I'd let you know.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Just so you know

I loved returning from our little get-away and finding some great stuff on the blog. I wish you would also post your best stuff on our blog too, for our family history. Kim prints everything off on our blog, but it doesn't pick up your blogs posts...which when there is a big event like graduations, new jobs, terrific accomplishments and really fun stuff...it is tragic not to have it included!
Also, for whatever reason...maybe as a tender mercy for all of you who hoped it would be that way...the blog is not letting me comment on your posts. Kim doesn't seem to know how to fix it. ..so just know, I do try. I am just locked out...it takes me on an endless cycle of signing in and typing in the security name weirdness and then back to sign in...so. I give up!

Dear Benjamin - The Squirrel house

The day before we went to Scofield I spent up at the Mountain doing a few repairs. I have to let Benjamin know, however, that the squirrel house needs a new roof so he had better make plans to go with me up there to fix it.

Memorial Day weekend at Scofield

Another extended weekend at our friend's cabin up near Scofield. We went ATV riding a bit but got stopped by snow from going to the high country. It was still pretty to be out riding and seeing the trees and snow, etc. The weather was great the first two days we were there (Friday and Saturday). Sunday it started snowing and Monday morning there was snow on the ground and it snowed on and off. We ate a LOT (no kidding) of great food, played a lot of games, and just relaxed and shot the breeze with our good friends the Kirks. It was really enjoyable and was needed to recharge the batteries.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Sorry to Sister Buff who can't see the pictures.  For your benefit:  The pictures are of Kiera at the beach.  She danced in the waves while singing at the top of her lungs for a good 40 minutes like she was the princess of the sea.  It was so darn cute to watch her in her own universe.  Lydia on the other hand decided to be scared of the waves and also the seagulls (reversed rolls?)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book Review: "The Testiment"

This is one of the best books I've read in a long time.  John Grisham's The Testiment.  An excentric multi-billionare businessman fools his spoiled rotton kids and just before he commits suicide, leaves his entire estate to an illigitemate  child nobody knows about.  She's a missionary living with primative Indians and doesn't want anything to do with the money.  A drunkard lawyer sent to find her, is converted to Christ and has a situation on his hands he doesn't know how to deal with since his rotton kids are getting together and contesting the will.    It's well written and from page one it's hard to put down.   The ending is not what I expected.   It's also currently sitting with my other books in the basement playroom ready to borrow.  I'll read it again someday.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From Benjamin: Report

I miss my parents. I am glad that they are coming back soon. I hope that they never go to Hawaii again. I am glad that they don't go to Hawaii every day...I am ok with it like once a year but not every week.
I am excited that school will be getting out soon. Here is what I plan to do: Go swimming, go to lots of BYU games, and camp with Gramps. That is all. Benjamin (This is actually one that Marilyn meant to post but hit the save as draft button intead...but it deserves posting)

Emmy Apr-May '11

Shhh...the princess is "sweeping." (sleeping, in Emmy-talk)
At the park with a friend from her music class...
At her music class...
She decided to go and get big on us...     Painting (yesterday)...

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cool Clear Water

I got a bottle of water at a meeting at work. I was looking at the lable. It is Nestle brand ["Pure Life" Purified Water (enhanced with minerals for taste)]. No, it's not chocolate water. It says it comes from a "Deep protected well, Ontario, CA". http://www.ci.ontario.ca.us/flippingbook/2009WQR/index.html says the city of  Ontario's drinking water mostly comes from wells.

In other words, they are taking tap water there where Cambrie lives, running it through a filter, adding "Sodium Bicarbonate" (baking soda), bottling it and hoping people will buy it. Seems to have worked.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

2011 - The winter that caused havoc at the mountain

Today Chad and I took a ride up to the Mountain to see what damage there was and to do what we could.  Of course, the road is washed out but man, you can't visualize the damage from a picture or video.  Here's when we arrived:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ujqs_cr-X44 (When you watch these videos, in the lower right corner change to full screen mode and its MUCH more realistic)

We walked over down to the trailers and found a lot of water running under them like Ryan said...it's because the little stream that acted like a refridgerator was damed up so it couldn't run through the pipe.  Chad cleard that out and got the water running where it was supposed to, and he dug a ditch around the front of our trailer, and that's no longer a problem.   We next walked over to the deck to find....a totally smashed deck.  A part of a tree had fallen right on it and smashed it down.  Here's the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KfJNElmNkw0

We next walked down to stream below the landslide.  You can see where it slid up the other side of the hill and damed the stream until the water must have broke through.  Quite a bit of rubble downstream.  Here's a video from below but again, it doesn't show how huge it is.  As I pan to the right and you can see the bank next to the slide rember that it's about 7-8 feet high.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPSYnbEuCbE  There's no way to repair that road by dumping dirt down it...it would just go to the stream and get washed away.  A new road has to be built around it.  Even the road that's left shows signs of sluffing off.  There are big cracks on both sides of the slide area for quite a way down the road.   It's kinda scary.  Where I parked the jeep there are cracks about 20 feet behind it that I didn't notice until I got out.  It's really unstable.

Here's another shot from farther away:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pbe20aUSjAU

Here are some still pictures of the damage:  CLICK HERE

I turned on the water but soon found there was damage to the water pipes by the bath house so we had to turn off the water again.  I'll have to fix that next trip up.  Oh..one other bit of damage.  Somehow the mattress that was standing against the wall in the big trailer fell over against a window and shattered it. :-\  I'll just take up some wood and/or cardboard and duct tape to temporarily fix that with, then fix it permanently when I get time.   HOWEVER, it was sure beautiful up there.  The air was clean and crisp and the sound of the clear flowing water and little bits of life springing out of the ground.  It made me want to spend a week.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Movie Review: Stone of Destiny

Erica and I just finished watching Stone of Destiny. Both of us liked it more than normal, so I thought we'd give it a spot here on the blog.

The movie is based on a true story, and it's a good story. It revolves around a stone. The stone was taken from the Scotts in the 12 or 1300's or something like that, and it has special meaning to the Scottish people. It was eventually placed in Westminster Abbey. In the 50's, a small group of college-aged kids in Scotland decide to try to steal it back.

The movie is somewhat reminiscent of The Italian Job, or Ocean's 11. It's pretty clean, too -- Not perfect, but much better than what you'd see by just turning on the TV to a random station.

Erica and I both had a bit of trouble getting into it at first, because we were having a hard time understanding the Scottish accent, and in a couple of places the background music overpowered what the actors were saying. We never were frustrated with it, but it did make it hard to get into for the first little bit. After a while, either the actors were less careful with their accents, or we became more accustomed to it.

Next time you're in the mood to watch a movie and are wondering what to watch, give this one a try. If you have Netflix, it's currently available instantly.

End of the world

Does THIS mean the party's off for Christa's birthday next year?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I Love STEVEN Nelson

Steve is officially done with all school/clinic.  Only about 20% of Steve's class is done with their clinic. At our graduation dinner last night there were 7 dental students at the table.  Steve was the only one of them who gets to be done after graduation.  The rest have to continue for at least another semester.  Also, Only have 20% of Steve's class have secured jobs.  The rest have no idea how they are paying the bills come July.  I SOOOO glad steve is done and that we have a secure job to go to!  I'm so proud of Steve.
I'd like to point out that Steve has a 1 1/2 inch pile of dental school rejection letters (All because of a C in Chemistry).  4 years of applications to get in.  Does any of that matter now?  Not one bit.  Steve is going to ROCK as a dentist.  Wanna know why?  Tough, I'm going to tell you:  Beyond being good with a drill (which he is) Steve has the most amazing inter-personal skills.   Since Steve's C in Chemistry automatically disqualified him from getting into school using the what-you-know methood, he decided to use the who-you-know method.  Steve became great friends with the admissions committee and lo and behold, he got in.  Now when I say great friends I don't just mean I-really-want-to-be-your-friend-so-I-can-get-into-school type of friends.  I mean the type of friends that for the past 4 years Steve has been their right-hand man.  He does them favors all of the time, and knows what is going on in each of their lives.  They ask his opinion on who should be let in to successive dental classes. 
More examples of my husbands skills: 
1.  Loma Linda housing had a 6 month waiting list when we decided to last move.  Steve went into the office and made friends with a lady who is much like the old-ornery lady on Monsters.  He discovered she was a 49ers fan...  what do you know, we were bumped to the top of the waiting list and we secured  a house that very day. 
2.  Normally after you graduate from a professional school you have to send in your transcripts to the licencing agencies and it takes 4-6 weeks to process it and then you can finally work.  Steve got ahold of the head guy over all medical licencing for the state of illinois.  After Steve made friends with him he promised Steve that he would have his licence in TWO days after receiving the transcripts. 
3.  Many of Steve's patients that he saw in dental school absolutely love him.  In fact.  Many drove long distances (an hour) to come bring him a good-bye gift or to come just say goodbye. 

Steve is awesome.  I've been trying to be better my inter-personal skills like him, and I've changed quite a bit since we got married, but I still have a LONG way to go.  He is the living walking example of the book How To Win Friends and Influence People. 
Good job Steve.  Aren't you glad I put this on a family blog and not on our Nelson blog?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Nelsons in Utah

Look at the calendar over there <---- for when the Nelson's will be arriving.  Dunno how long their stay is as it depends on how long it takes to get their stuff to the land of road kill stew.

Tip when buying ground beef

My friend Danita posted this and it was one of those "Oh..good tip...I didn't know that" kind of posts.  If you buy ground beef in a place that grinds their own, look at what meat is on sale that day and you know what makes up most of the stuff they grind on site:
From: "DZanre"
Subject: Ground Beef (Mince for the Brits)
Date: Wed, 18 May 2011 15:29:24 GMT

So, I try to be pretty cautious about buying ground beef primarily due to e.
coli issues.  But other meat packing practices make me leery of some of it due
to not knowing "just what's in there".  I even have a meat grinder attachment on
my KitchenAid Stand Mixer so that I can grind my own on occasion.

So, yesterday, Dominique and I were at Safeway, and this young butcher saw me
looking in the meat case and asked if he could help me.  So I asked whether they
grind their meat on-site.  In case you don't know why this might be important,
typically ground beef in the US comes from these huge packing plants, and if a
batch gets infected with e. coli, it can literally infect thousands of pounds of
beef being sent to stores in a large area.  If a local store grinds it, it
doesn't necessarily mean that there won't be e. coli problems, but the affected
customers will be a smaller group.

So, anyway, the butcher told me that for the Safeway stores in Colorado (or at
least the ones that are distributed the same way as our Parker store), the 90%
and 95% lean beef are done in the plant and delivered to the local stores in
these huge tubes.  They then "regrind" the meat to make it look fresher - gah!

BUT the 80% lean is ground right on the premises using  the meat scraps from
their cutting.  The local stores DO cut all of the steaks, roasts, etc. from
sides of meat.  We were standing in front of the "specialty meat" counter, and
he walked me over to the packaged meat section and pointed at the 80/20 ground
beef there and said that this meat was the best they had in the store today
(fresher than the meat in the specialty counter even) and that their 80/20 grind
is always the trimmings from what they are cutting that day.  He said the way
you can get the best ground beef at Safeway is to look at the beef cuts that are
on sale that day, because that's what's going to be in the 80/20 overall.
Yesterday was top sirloin steaks and ribeyes, and since they are cutting a lot
more of the sale items on a given day, the percentage of what's in the ground
beef is always high on the sales items.  He also told me that they never use
organ meats, "pink slime" and other gross stuff when they grind their 80/20.
Makes me feel a little better about it, but grinding my own still seems safest!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mountain Property Road Gone

Also, Ryan says there is water running under ours and Grandpa's trailer so it looks like I need to get up there after it stops raining this weekend and see what I can do.  These videos are of the road as it starts to go down to the property after the last split (by the lightning rod).

Utah Music Video

A cool music video shot in Utah.  Mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon (wind farm), sand dunes, etc.  Not a bad song either:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URR_4i5gIFU&feature=share

Monday, May 16, 2011

Typing Test!

I got 79 for my first try on the Wizard of Oz one...
Game on!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Rapture is this next Sunday!

That is what I learned in Relief Society today! The teacher reported that after much study of the book of Revelation and deep and laborious calculations that according to the (was it ?) Baptist church that the rapture will happen one week from today!

So, folks! This may be your LAST warning to repent and get your life in line or that light that you see at the end of the tunnel coming at you may well be a train!

One other thing. Brigham, I hate to disrupt your R&R in paradise, but maybe you better brush up on your flying a 747 basics, you know, in case your pilot is the one taken. Course, I would guess that you and Christa will be included in the few who are taken...so maybe you don't need to worry about it so much....it's those poor unrepentant souls on the plane that need to worry!

Ah! The things that we learn at church!

Cambre/Steve - You can now save a LOT more money

Cambrie, no more wondering what to fix for dinner and no more worry about tha grocery bill.  Living in Illinois will DEFINITELY have it's financial advantages.  I'll be Steve won't even be longing for In 'n Out.  This is just fantastic for your family all the way round.  Read about it HERE.

Monday, May 09, 2011


Diney the dino takes a nap.
Maybe it helps to put the box on your head while doing puzzles.
Waiting at disneyland.  Brrrr  65 degrees!
Lydia insisted on red socks today.  Ugg.  I think I'll toss the red socks so they won't be an option next time.  

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Happy Mother's Day to my sweet Daughters!

And yes, that includes my sweet Katie and Erica too! I just wanted to say thanks for being such great little mothers to my special Grandchildren! It was really fun to get to share it with Christa and Brett's families, and I got to TALK and SEE my missionary Buffalo! Skype is Great...even if she was totally pixelated! She looks good an sounds good, and the next time I see her live, will be at the airport!!! But I am glad that she still has 6 more glorious months of serving the Lord! And the lives of those who accept the gospel message that she brings will be better forever! Find some for me too Buff!

Christa organized a fabulous meal complete with NUMMY Alice Springs Chicken, Grilled Artichokes, and strawberry cheesecake...and Katie brought Coconut rolls, which were very nummy too! I got to hold sweet little Lindy, and mostly Brett and Kim did a boat load of dishes for us, so all in all I would have to say that it was a pretty terrific day!

Chad came over for a little while to with a nice gift. We missed Erica and Emmy, but it's like I spent forever teaching my children , "We must share...." And we have been a lot hog-gish with them lately. But I hope you all had a great mothers day too. We missed the Nelsons and their little princesses, but we hope you had a great mother's day too!

And after years and years of wondering if what I was doing to try to raise good kids would be enough, it is nice to know now ...that it was enough. I couldn't be happier with you kids or your spouses! I am grateful to the Lord (who heard and answered many prayers concerning you kids as you grew up) for inspiration and answers to heartfelt prayer when it was most needed as a mom...and for sending me good spirits in the first place! But without the gospel, in this world, it would have been a futile effort even then, but moreso now. Thanks for taking such good care of my grandkids and give them a kiss from grandma! Loves to you all!

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Speaking of manure

Brett sure did spread a whole lot of it around here the last couple of days.....

Friday, May 06, 2011

Lydia tidbits

This morning the girls and I were playing princess-have-a-party where at they have lots of delicious foods.  So we were having fun listing the foods at the party:  "cupcakes! pumpkin pie!"  "Cheetoes, jello!"  "Cookies, candy!"   And Lydia chimes in with her I-have-the-GREATEST-idea voice.  "I know....Broccli!"  As if it was the ultimate goodie for a party.  Yep, she loves that stuff.

As all siblings do, my children have a tendency of taking toys from each other and not sharing.  We've been working on problem solving and sharing in a variety of ways.  One option I've taught my girls is that if someone wants something that you have, you find something that you have and trade it with them.  So while playing with toys today Lydia tried to take something I had in my hands and I told her we can't grab things from people and that mommy was holding it for a minute.  She looked around her immediate area and found a piece of stray stuffing from a stuffed animal (I need to vacuume) and said  "here mom-- lets trade!"  At least she is getting the concept....a bit. 

I'd like to thank mom for her recent gift of dinosours to us (after my girls watched The Land Before Time at her house).  We particularly have fun with the T-Rex. He is mean and ugly looking and the girls think it is absolutely hillarious when I pretend that I'm in love with "Diney the Dinosour".  or I pretend that Diney is a cute baby and they are laughing histerically.  Diney sits in our window to watch us leave and come back when we go places in the car and, of course, that is hillarious too.  Thanks grandma for the dinosours.  We are getting good use out of them.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Manure Map

This is an addition to what Brett previously posted.

Call before you go (801-571-5592), really just to make sure they're okay with it.

View Manure Map in a larger map

Monday, May 02, 2011

My kid in Laws

Today Brigham is off taking another board test.  Steve passed his a couple of weeks ago.  Erica and Katie are providing exceptional homes and upbringing for those cute little girls of theirs.  Not only are Brigham and Steve providing the necessities of life for their family, but they're doing it in grand style...way beyond what the normal is these days (and way beyond what I ever did).  Erica and Katie are being the mothers beyond what the normal expected for these days is.  I don't celebrate your accomplishments more than just a pat on the back of congratulations but I want you folks to know that I am ***SO*** proud of you and have grown to love you since you've merged into our family.  I wanted to wish Brigham the best of luck today but I know he doesn't need it.  I've just got the BEST family I could ever hope for.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

For Lydia

When Lydia was here last she was always pointing to the kitchen window and asking us to make the sparklies go.  The problem was the sun never shown in the mornings while she was here.  So this video is especially for Lydia:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7yc8eEH7_BY