Merry Christmas from our family to yours!! The year 2016 has been an adventure for us. It seems as though it all came and went in the blink of an eye!! We are super excited for 2017 to begin. (Perhaps this is why my blog is no longer updated regularly! Life is just too busy!!) A lot of apprehensions are combined with that excitement as well, as there are a lot of firsts for our family!
This Halloween was CRAZY! I usually start back in July, since I hand make all the costumes…I am not joking when I say I started three weeks ago! I was so grateful that I was able to go “shopping” in my Halloween costume closet! It really helped save me a lot. One thing for certain… sewing a double sided cape…. Is just too much! I don’t ever want to do that again…. EVER! I had TWO! I can’t tell you how many times I had to reload a bobbin!! I will be forever grateful for all the people who donated material to the DI! I am amazed at how much I was able to find there! Sheets from Walmart work great also! All things considering, I think we made it!! Not sure if this will be our last year or not! I hope you will all enjoy!
This was so cool! It happened on the 10th of May, 1869! The place where the Union Pacific and the Eastern Pacific railways came together! I have lived in Box Elder County for nearly 11 years and yesterday was the first time I have ever been to this place! It is only 30 minutes from our home. I took only one child with me while the others were in school. Probably for the best. I do not know how I could have kept my boys from being all over those trains! My oldest son was in the high school band and they were invited to go play. We went to go watch him. So many people were dressed up! If Mattie and I go next year… we are TOTALLY dressing up!!….because I am a costume freak!! 🙂 Styles of the 1860s….. Here we come!
Last week, over Spring Break, our little family took a vacation of sorts! We journeyed down to Ramah, New Mexico to put the death date plaque on my parents’ headstone for my dad. Dad left this earthly life back on December 12, 2015. I sure miss him, but I know that he is truly happy being with Mom!
We crammed NINE people into our suburban PLUS took tents and sleeping bags! Yes, we camped out the entire trip! We left Wednesday morning at 4 a.m. and made it into Ramah at about 4:30 p.m. We had a great visit with my Mom’s cousin, Dean Bond. He was generous enough to let us camp out in his yard, but his wife, Billie, insisted that we all sleep indoors because it was still getting quite cold at nights! Found out that his Sister is living up close to us and in our own temple district, and in fact…. I believe she was the one that stopped Ed and I at the temple a couple weeks ago asking if we would do some family names for her! I thought her name sounded familiar but I thought surely no one from Ramah would be this far north! I sent her a letter yesterday to see if it was her and will be interested to see if it was in fact her!
We left Ramah early Thursday morning. We spent a lot of time driving on that reservation. I surely hope our kids took a LONG look at that place and will realize just how good they have things in life. After returning home, I think there was one prayer that just completely full of gratitude for how good we have things. Running water, electricity, green grass, a big yard, a house big enough for our family, air conditioning, healthy children, cars that run…. the list goes on. We were going to take off and go see Mesa Verde National Park. I never had the chance to go while I was younger. We stopped off in Farmington for lunch and drove around to see where it was that I was born and saw my Uncle Al and Aunt Rosie’s home! That was like a second home to me. It was good to see it one last time, because I can almost guarantee I will never make that trip down there again!
By the time we got to Mesa Verde, it was late. There were very few people there, luckily for us. However, most of the tours were not open as it was still early in the year–apparently they don’t really get going until after Memorial day. Judging by the landscape and elevation, I can tell why! This had to be my most favorite park to see…EVER. I want to go back there someday! We got out late at about 7 p.m. and headed for Monticello. We got in at about 9:30 at night and found us an RV park were we could set up a tent and camp for the night. Aside from the noisy highway that was close by, it was really nice. We got up early again and this time we headed for Arches National Park. Again, I have never been there either! There were so many people there. It was like a highway…. I truly do not like big crowds, but we saw some amazing sites. Our little ones made the hikes without much difficulty. I thought about how we missed out on a lot of things while they were babies by not going very many places hardly ever. I have often wondered if it was the best way to go or not; however, when I saw how many people were carrying little babies and they were crying and hot and tired, and I watched all seven of mind make the hikes on their own, I had no regrets.
We left Arches around 4 p.m. and then took off to go see Dead Horse Point, State Park. Again, another park I had never seen. In preparation for this, we had to watch Against a Crooked Sky the Monday before we left! There were not too many people there….PERFECT! However, it was cold and started to rain on us a bit; but the view was absolutely breathtaking!
We left that area around 5 p.m. and after a stop for dinner in Price, Utah, we made it home at about 11:30 p.m. The only thing better than sleeping in your own bed, is having your own bathroom! The entire trip was long and hard. We felt like sardines. We had to unbury people EVERY SINGLE TIME the door was opened. We had little ones who could not wait very long for bathroom breaks, but it was wonderful! If this is what a vacation does for people, then we are going to make a resolution to try to do something more frequently. Up until now, all vacation was always spent with Ed going to some type of Scout Camp or Trek. Our family needed this. I needed this. This is our last Summer with our son, Dalton, as he turns 18 next February and we will be starting his mission paper work in one year’s time. The Lord was with us this entire trip. We were amazingly enough able to stay awake the majority of driving time. Only one close call, but at least I was awake enough to wake up Ed! Otherwise, we would have been spread out all over a SLC freeway! The only scary moment was when we stopped off in Shiprock, NM. We stopped for gas and had a drunk man knocking on the window and beg for money. Yes, we had TOURIST written all over our car with an extended carrier and a trunk clear full of stuff! I warned the kids that this could happen and it really did! Needless to say, we did not stay long in Shiprock!
Ramah has not changed much! It was so fun trying to remember what it was like when I was young and spent so much time down there. I will always be grateful that I got to take my family down there to see it this one time!
Well…. good grief! It has been ages since I have been on here. My life is crazy right now! Managing seven children with busy schedules of their own, a husband, a house, and life in general is just so much! Blogging has not been on my priority. I am so sorry! However, I did want to post our Halloween pictures! After all, Halloween is what we do! It is probably why I haven’t been on here forever! I am going to try to repent and see if I can prioritize some more time to get back on here. With that said, and without further delay, here are the Griffin 2015 Halloween photos in all their Super Hero glory!! If you want tutorials…. not sure that’s going to happen! If you really want to know how one was done, let me know and I’ll see if I can walk you through it!
How about we go out in 2014 with a bang!! Boy, howdy, when my dear husband realizes how I did this project, it just might really be a bang! I told him that I painted a wall in my daughter’s room, just not quite, HOW, I painted said wall! This was done in a super flash yesterday (I NEEDED to be done before Ed got home!) and I haven’t really dared look at it all that much since then. But, this morning, with the sunlight coming through the window, I stood back, took a deep breath, and realized…. IT TURNED OUT TOTALLY AWESOME!!!! I have wanted wood paneled walls on this wall for some time. And with the cheap paneling, surely $40 to $50 is not too bad of a price for that type of project… but I have NO cash for projects right now, and my dear husband has NO time to help me out. I searched and searched for any faux methods out there. I have had this crazy little idea popping in and out of my head for some time now…. I thought surely there was some other individuals out there on the blog world who had thought of this crazy-fool idea! But, to my searching, I can’t find ANYONE red-necked enough to have tried this idea! What can I say, desperation is a great motivator!! Well, enough with the words….My sister told us bloggers to dispense with too many words and get to the meat, so, dear Heidi, let me tell you how I did it….
DISCLAIMER… IF you try this on your walls…. I can not be held liable for ANYTHING…. Just sayin’! Make sure you never want to change them, or at least if you do, you consider re-mudding, paneling, or wallpaper as a cover up option. Are you scared yet? You should be!!
I was too scared during the process to take any pictures… sorry! I started by marking off every six inches top and bottom. I had my two boys help me with the chalk line. We chalked every six inches down the wall. I then took a 4-ft level, and a sharp nail…. yah…scary part. Then I scored the wall down those chalk lines. After a few deep breaths, I finally got comfortable with it. A big mistake was scoring it too much…. you only want to run your nail over it once or twice. Just barely make a line. You can see some places that are darker than others… I got a little carried away with the scoring. After it was all scored, I took a glazing liquid that I have had for years, black in color, and I mixed it with some water. I took a rag and dipped it into the glaze and spread it over the walls… remembering to work in small sections at a time. Let it sit for about three to five minutes, then came back over it with a wet clean rag…I found that I needed to rinse my rag out quite frequently to avoid too much glazing being spread around. I also found that wiping it from side to side, rather than top to bottom worked best to settle it into the grooves. It left the glaze right in those little scored grooves. I intentionally left a small amount of the glazing all over the wall. It seems to give it an antiqued wood paneled look.
I wish the pictures were better, because they really don’t give it justice, but, not to shabby for a red neck!!!
I am sorry for the poor pictures… I am sorry that this post is about two weeks late…. better late than never (which is really becoming the motto at our place lately!) This one is just too good to not post.
Maybe some of you will eat a turkey for Christmas… if so you have to try this out. For years, I have always had leftover turkey. We try sandwiches, and all types of things. Usually the turkey is completely dried out and quite frankly, I sit and wonder how a bird can taste so good on one day and be completely gross the next time around, and the third and fourth time around! That, my friends, is a thing of the past!!! I have my wonderful neighbor to thank for this fantastic idea.
While you are cleaning up your Thanksgiving dinner, and trying to find containers to put all your leftovers in, try this: Dice your turkey into small cubes and put it in the bottom of a large baking dish. We had leftover carrots, so I cut those up into small pieces as well, and layered them over the turkey. Then I took my leftover gravy and poured it over the top of the turkey and the carrots. ( You could really add just about any vegetable that you had in with this.) Then, I took all my leftover potatoes, and scooped them on the top of the gravy… Ah Haa… you see where we are going with this, don’t ya? Shepherds pie idea isn’t it?!?!?! I then put tin foil over the top, threw it into the refrigerator. The next day when we wanted dinner, I took it out, placed it in the oven for a little while, and we totally had another Thanksgiving dinner all in one! It was DELICIOUS!!! In fact, it fed my family of nine TWICE! Once on Friday and then again on Sunday after church!!! Not one person complained! The turkey never once dried out! They lapped it up so fast, I was doing good to get these few pictures!!! I can’t wait to cook another turkey again….. Leftovers will never be the same!