Thursday, July 29, 2010

Girl's night out

Let me tell you all something.

I have some great friends.  I have been best friends with many of them since I was in elementary school.  At the very latest, junior high or high school.  When I get together with them on a girl's night out, I feel like we haven't missed a beat.  

They are proof that someone can move to the other side of the world and still have her friends when she gets back.

L to R: Jeni, Stacey, Me, Geana, Amy J, Cara, Tiffany, Erin, Kaedell, Tasha.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Lovin' this place

Today the kids learned what a lawn mower is.  Even Joni, who is almost 6.

Jackson kept yelling, "It's a big truck!" (it was a big commercial riding mower)
"No Buddy, it's a lawn mower."
"Ohhh, lawn mower......  look mom, it's a big truck!"

Joni also keeps asking where all the people are.  When we get in the car and start driving down the long country road to go into town, she'll often ask, "So where did all the people go?" or "Where is everyone? Are we the only ones here?"  Life feels quite solitary here.

I've discovered something about myself.  I love to drive 25 miles an hour in my parents' small town.  This isn't something I've ever enjoyed before, but I do now.  It's so slow and relaxed.  Nobody rides my tail, or swerves around me, or honks if I don't go exactly how fast they think I should be going.  If someone does happen to be out, or if I see another driver, they wave and smile.  It's fantastic.

And I still love WalMart.  I still can't help but think that they are giving their milk away - $1.78 people!  How are they making money?  $0.68 for a can of white northern beans?  It just makes me smile.  I love the cute little old people who greet you when you go in, and tell you to have a nice day when you leave.  I always reply with a big smile and a nice comment back.  It makes me sad that they often look surprised.  I think people ignore them most of the time.  I know I used to.  Not any more.

Yesterday I drove a little extra and went up to the Brigham City WalMart with Joni.  It's such a beautiful drive.  Huge rocky mountains to one side, with Willard Bay on the other.  If I lived here, I would make that drive once a month just to enjoy the scenery.

I'm excited to move to Texas, but for now I am enjoying the beauty of Utah.  How silly that I lived here most of my life and I'm just seeing it for the first time.  

My kids with some of their cousins happily eating corn dogs for lunch on the back lawn.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

So refreshing!

My kids had soft serve ice cream for the first time the other day (at least that they remember).  

They were in heaven.  

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Planet Utah

I can tell that both of my kids think they have landed on a new planet.  It feels like there is a TV and a computer in every room.  They are also having a blast in the yard, the kiddie pool, the nice playgrounds, and the mountains.  All these things are very new to them, and I love watching them experience it all.

Joni has been relearning some "new" words.  Her two new words today, that she had no idea what they were when she climbed out of bed this morning: basement and toaster.

Jackson's biggest fascination at the moment are all the horses on the drive to my parents', and the ski boat out in the pond behind the house.  He can't get enough of them.

I also keep feeling really weird when I think about it being Saturday today and I didn't go to church. 

Thrilled over candy collected at the 4th of July parade

Cucumber boat races.  The kids and their cousins would put their cucumbers in the stream and then race them down the water.  Joni seemed to be getting a kick out of it, but feeling a little stressed at the same time.  Finally she looked up at everyone and said, "Why are we doing this???"  It cracked us up.  

The boys taunting the ducks and geese.

Comparing dirty bums.

Watching the water from the bridge.  He kept yelling, "Is water mama! Is water!"

I just keep picturing Jackson's brain thinking all the time, "What the heck is going on around here? Where did these mountains, stores, toys, playgrounds, and new foods come from?"

Monday, July 5, 2010

American cheese

Today I found Joni biting into a piece of American cheese.  We have been fascinated by cheese since coming back to the states because it has so much flavor.  In Israel, "cheddar" is very light in color and mild in flavor because they leave an important ingredient out in order to keep it kosher (or at least that's the explanation I heard once upon a time).  

After taking a big bite, and studying the appearance of it for a moment, she asked, "Mom, why is the cheese so dark?  Do they sunburn it to get it that way?"

Friday, July 2, 2010

The land of the free

It's kind of fun moving back to America right before the 4th of July.  Not only am I noticing all the little differences here, but it makes it all the more easy to appreciate certain freedoms.

After getting my haircut yesterday morning, I literally spent the rest of the day shopping.  I went to Ulta, Children's Place, Cafe Rio, WalMart, and Target.  Were any of you aware of the fact that Super WalMarts are the size of a small city?  Because they are.

I spent the same amount of money on several things at Children's Place that I would have spent on one item of clothing in Israel.  And the selection!  Oh, the selection!  Picking out things like tortilla chips, or a sippy cup, or baby wipes somehow felt a little bit agonizing (and thrilling, let's be honest here).  I kept stressing that I was going to get the wrong thing and that it was my only chance to get it.  I kept having to remind myself that I can go to WalMart any ol' time I want to now.  I almost leaped for joy when I saw Clorox wipes.  If I ever would have come across Clorox wipes in Jerusalem, I would have bought out the store's entire inventory, out of both excitement and for fear that I would never see them again.

But my main thought of the day is how much we take for granted simple freedoms...

You can drive around for hours, or even days, and never reach a checkpoint where you have to show your passport, get your fingerprints scanned, or face the possibility of being strip-searched.  

Store owners can buy whatever goods they want to sell to the public, regardless of race or nationality. 

It's quicker to go from Ogden to Salt Lake (35 miles) than it was for me to go from Jerusalem to Bethlehem (6 miles).

People aren't rationed less water than others because of their race.

If someone were to ask me a question about my church, I can answer!

Speaking of, everyone here can go to whatever church they want, no matter where it is - no one is going to stop them because of where they live.

Anyone who wants to vote, can.  We are allowed to have a say in what happens in our communities.

You can walk right into a store without having your bags searched.

People can choose what airport to go to, instead of being denied access to the one in their own country, and being forced to go to another country just to catch a plane.

I don't bring up these things to discuss it from a political standpoint, because I know it's not that simple.  But I do think it's possible for us all to recognize and be grateful for all the little things we are blessed with here - which, when you add it all up, equals something much bigger.