Friday, July 31, 2009

Cub Scouts on the Edge

Here in Grand Canyon, Arizona, scouting is not a church sponsored activity. They don't follow the same age advancement dates, for instance. When we found out about scouts from a VERY enthusiastic scout committee chairwoman in our branch, she informed us that Thomas is now a Webelo and Logan is a Wolf scout even though he hasn't turned eight yet. She also let us know that today they would be meeting and having a day camp of sorts. I was excited! Two of my boys at a day camp all day and me with only the two little ones to take to Flagstaff shopping? Sign me up!

Bombshell. The "day camp" would be about one to two hours and they would really only be working on the Athlete Activity Badge for the Webelos den but it would also pass off some of the things they needed in other dens like the Wolf. After I came to terms with the fact that I would drop them off only long enough for me to go home and update this blog before I needed to turn around and pick them up again, she asked if I was going to be able to stay for the activity.

Hmmmmmmm. Let me think about it. Ok, thought about it. NOPE! Are you kidding me? I have two other boys and the youngest has done nothing by scream day in and day out for weeks now. What am I suppose to do with him at a scout activity? For some reason this particular person makes me grumpy. Maybe it's pointing out that Gary and I are the "babies" of the branch or insisting that she has a scout shirt somewhere for Logan when I tell her that I was going to get him one the next time I'm in Flagstaff because Dylan will also wear it. Maybe it's the way she tells me that the casual scout shirt the troop gave to Tom that I let Logan wear today because Tom had his day camp shirt was really suppose to be Tom's even though her son didn't even wear any scout shirt. Pushy people are really hard for me to take. Over the top scouters combined with a pushy personality when they just think they are being friendly? Well......

Usually I try not to vent too much on my blog but I guess I needed an outlet. We may make a journey to Prescott to visit Costco today. I hear it's about 2 1/2 hours on a windy road but it may be worth it since I haven't found the box containing the toilet paper yet and we are just about out of the Forest Service top-of-the-line one-ply that we were very fortunate to have stocked in our bathrooms before we came. You'd be amazed how long a one-ply roll will last!

Off to the Park to pick up my scouters.......

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Internet, Finally

Woo Hoo! Internet was finally hooked up today at home so now I can blog more frequently and, since the camera and cables were also located, I can also add some of our pictures of the first couple weeks in Arizona. It's been a crazy few weeks with their share of ups and downs but I think we are turning the corner and getting more ups than downs. I miss Idaho like crazy but at the same time am loving living here for the most part. There is something about driving into the Grand Canyon National Park to pick up a few groceries and our mail every few days that helps me remember just how lucky we are to be living here. The boys (big and little) love it here even with all the challenges it provides and that makes giving up some of the comforts of city living easier.

Today I registered Tom and Logan for school. What a difference. I had to fill out about 20 pages for each of them - yikes! - just to get them registered and then the hunt began for their birth certificates. As luck would have it, I could find Logan, Dylan, and Ethan's original but Tom's was no where to be found. Finally, after much searching, I found a copy we made for soccer last year in the filing cabinet and, after making another copy, took that in praying it would be accepted. It was and they are officially registered at the Grand Canyon School. The bus picks them up at our house practically which will be nice during the winter snow storms. There was only one part of the whole process that made me a bit sad. When I got to the emergency contact part, I didn't have anyone to put down from here. The secretary told me I needed to get her some names by Thanksgiving at the latest. Nothing like a deadline for making friends!

I do have a confession to make. We have been here two weeks and the boys have only caught little glimpses of the Grand Canyon itself. When driving by on our way to town and one little drive around because Dylan was actually quiet in the car, we passed a couple of the look-out points. Sad, I know. Soon, when the summer tourist season dies down, we will take them on a hike or two or even just to the look-out. Maybe we'll even stop to get our picture taken at the sign.

Here is a photo of our carport with all the boxes the day after the movers unloaded here. Finally the boxes are unpacked or put in the right place at least but now the cardboard remains. They are suppose to come get it soon and then, finally, I can park in the carport.

The kitchen was the same story. We had boxes EVERYWHERE and finding even enough space to make sandwiches or cook on the stove was comical for a while. It's almost together now. We even found our dishtowels late last week! After we get everything settled in a bit better, I am going to start figuring out how I want to paint it. Everything is really dark in the house with the paint colors the last person chose and, with our tall trees in the backyard, we don't get a lot of sunlight to balance it out. Any ideas on colors?

If you look closely at this picture, Tom is up in this tree. Not the best picture, but I was a bit worried about him getting down. Not worried enough to not find the camera and take a picture though. Boys and trees. I seem to remember a time when I was pregnant with Ethan that Tom climbed a tree and couldn't get down and I had to climb up and rescue him. Maybe he should pick another past time? Anyway, the video that follows is of Gary helping Tom get out of the tree. This all happens in the backyard of our new home. I'm sure it isn't the last time we will be finding a way for them to get back down!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Internet in the Middle of Nowhere

I called today to get my Internet hooked up at the house and let me just say that it isn't the easiest - or cheapest - thing to do when you live on the edge. DSL is NOT an option here at the compound and unless I can circulate a petition and have everyone, all 30 homes, sign it saying they would opt for DSL if it was available, the best bet is satellite. You know those commercials you see on TV that say if you live in a rural area and don't want to wait for dial-up then call? That is me. I called and in a week they can come out and put another satellite dish on our house and install satellite Internet for about what we paid for phone and Internet in Idaho. Oh, and it isn't as fast as DSL either I was told. If it's cloudy, which it isn't too often here I've heard, or the weather is awful, I may lose my signal. If too many other people want to check their e-mail at the same time, it will be painfully slow. If the stars aren't aligned just get the picture.

There is a silver lining to the remote rural living. We ate outside tonight while watching the fire crackle in one of our fire pits. Our back yard has a couple different fire pit locations for some reason. It was beautiful with the birds and the fire and the trees. After dinner we just stayed outside for a while. Gary and I worked on some projects while the boys just played and played. They love it here. Their faces light up when they are outside whether it's jumping on the trampoline or discovering another ant pile or swinging on the swing set. It is amazing to not be in a traditional neighborhood. There aren't any houses behind us and I haven't seen the people that live on either side of us yet. It feels at times like we are the only ones living in this area.

The camera is still lost somewhere. I've seen it since we've been here but now I have no idea where it is. Could it be hiding out with my printer and kitchen towels? They too are in the land of the lost.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Church on the Edge

Sunday was our first experience living in a small branch on the edge of the Grand Canyon. We meet in the Shrine of the Ages church building which is shared by many different religions. Since it is such a small group each Sunday, we only meet for two hours and cut Sunday School and Relief Society in half. Our branch seems so great and very excited we are here. There were about 40 people at Sacrament meeting and President Heil said that was a very large group. There are about 70 people on record and each Sunday there are about half members of the branch and half visitors stopping in for church while coming to the Canyon. The only other two families with children are moving in a month or so and that will leave the Bishop boys as the only Primary children attending each week unless someone comes to visit. It is a total change from the 100 kids in our last ward. They just keep them all together in the same room and have lesson/sharing time/singing time combined and given by the entire primary staff - the Primary President. Since there isn't a nursery, Dylan is welcome to go with us to class or stay with his brothers for Primary even though he's only two.

Everyone was incredibly welcoming and we are excited to become more and more involved. Little by little we are settling in and the pile of boxes are getting smaller. Our stash of band-aids are also getting smaller since the boys live outside and our yard resembles a campsite with rock and dirt and sagebrush and ponderosa pine trees. There is one other family with kids in the neighborhood and they are moving in a couple months to Vegas but maybe someone with kids will replace them. Their two oldest boys and our three oldest have hit it off and become instant friends. They ride bikes around our loop, play volleyball on the central volleyball court, play army hiding behind all the trees, and just enjoy being boys. It has really helped the boys to adjust to our new surroundings. Kids are so adaptable. It amazes me how they are taking things in stride. Everyone except Dylan, that is. It must be incredibly hard to move when you are two. He is starting to come out of the, "with you, with you, with you," phase that he entered the week the movers showed up. Today he even played in the back yard by himself for a while by himself.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Heading South

Our move to the great state of Arizona is in full swing. The last day or so has been an emotional roller coaster but in the end we have been incredibly blessed. Yesterday we sold our house! Yep, sold. Finished. The end. The new owners are a sweet little family with three kids and seem to be very nice. They just seemed to be the perfect fit for our home too. It made it a bit easier leaving when I knew who would be calling 4435 Deer Ave home soon. I hope everyone welcomes them with open arms and treats them as great as we were treated. The timing couldn't have been better. We signed the contract hours before we were suppose to be cleaning out the fridge to load on the moving truck. Thank goodness they also wanted the fridge!

Today we spent cleaning the house and loading the cars with all the little stuff the movers couldn't take. It was a bigger job than I thought it would be! My car decided to act up right before we got to our house from the hotel today so I spent an hour in Les Schwabb waiting to get the tires rotated and balanced again and ready for the trip. While I was there, my phone rang with some guys wanting to buy Gary's boat. If they would have called a couple hours later, it would have been headed down the road with no way to contact Gary - he had to turn his cell phone in to the office today. They liked it enough to buy it and one more worry drove away.

It was really hard to say goodbye to Marge. For those of you who don't know, she is my next door neighbor that I absolutely LOVE! She is in her late 80s and has been wonderful to my boys. They all love her dearly and I'm not sure what I'll do without her. She has been like my own Grandma at times with an open heart and listening ear. Never judging, just supporting and complimenting. Boy, I will miss her! After saying goodbye to her, I couldn't take it anymore and knew I wouldn't hold it together well enough to drive to get my other boys in Preston if I stopped in anywhere else to say goodbye so, sorry everyone! I will miss you all but I hope to keep in touch through blogging if nothing else.

Tonight we are in American Fork with my Mom and the boys will get to spend a couple nights here before we head south on Sunday. They are all exhausted from a week at cousins camp. From the sounds of it, I should have gone to cousins camp. Man, I didn't know you could do so many fun things with 30 - yes I said 30 - kids from 3 to 12! They had a blast! Thank you Sunnie, Missy, and Melanie!

I'll try to keep you all updated on our journey but Internet access is hard to come by I hear. This is quite the adventure we are embarking on though. Did I mention I passed our moving truck on the side of the road with it's hood up this afternoon? Not too confident any more on the Tuesday unload date. he he he he

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Funny Things Happen When You Hire Movers

Last night we came home after a fun, fun, fun dinner and were ready to put Dylan to bed. The poor kid has been traumatized by the whole move. Too little to understand what is going on but big enough to realize every time he turns around something else is missing, i.e. furniture from the garage sale, brothers, trampoline is taken down, dog -she's just getting groomed but he has no sense of anything coming back after they leave! Anyway, he was having a night and we thought a bath may calm him down before bed since in was already after ten and he was still practically hysterical. We weave through the boxes to our bathroom and find that the movers have been VERY thorough with their packing. They packed the towels and the shower curtain while we were at dinner. They did, however, leave a half-used bar of soap and my razor for my morning shower. Luckily we had a towel in our duffel bag of dirty laundry we pulled out for Dyl and then Gary found another one in his fire bag in the basement and hung a sheet from the same bag up as our shower curtain this morning.

Other funny things seem to pop up left and right. Here's a list of a few of them:
No T.P. in the bathroom this morning but a box of Kleenex saved me.
Caught them packing the box of recyclables that was in the garage just in time before we hauled it two states away.
We didn't hear Dylan knock after his nap yesterday (they have the doorknob covers so they'll stay in their room to nap) so one of our movers let him out.
Packed our portable DVD player before we remembered to put it in the car.
Gary got ready to reload the I-Pod shuffle for me to use on the journey and then we remembered our night stand where we keep it was two layers deep in the moving truck.
Kept the dog food and kennel out and went to get the leash to take our dog to the groomer today and realized it too was packed.
Keep throwing away things on the floor because the garbage can in the pantry is gone.

I'm sure the list will keep on growing in the coming days. We are really grateful that Gary's job allows us to have these adventures and also handles the hassle of relocating a family of six. We will be driving off tomorrow morning and on to our next adventure. All of our belongings will be driving to Grand Junction, Colorado to load another family's life into the back of the truck and then be in Tusayan on Tuesday to unload us before moving on to Tucson to unload the other family. You wouldn't think there would be room in a truck that size for more than just six people but after watching them pack and load, it's amazing to see how much room is left. If I only knew where my camera was right now, I'd take some pictures but.........

Monday, July 6, 2009

Moving Week

I can't believe moving week is here already. It's been a crazy few weeks full of all the things we've been promising the boys we'd do. We've been to Lava, had a water party with friends, 4th of July parade and fireworks, weekend in Utah, Chuck E. Cheese, bowling, and the list goes on and on.

Today the boys leave for Cousins Camp. The timing couldn't be better for us. I will pick them up on Friday on my way out of town. They are so excited that they are bouncing off the walls today and my sister can't get here fast enough for them. They will play and camp and have a great time with cousins before we leave for Arizona.

It's all bitter sweet. I am really excited for this new chapter but sad to leave at the same time. The boys went next door to say goodbye to Marge today and it just makes me want to cry. She is like the best Grandma in the world right at their finger-tips. Whenever they are happy and want to share it or sad and needing some space or just in the need of some undivided attention, she is there for them. What am I going to do without her!?!

This week will fly by I'm sure. Between last double dates with great friends and luncheons at work and last minute cleaning and organizing before the movers arrive Thursday, I'm a ball of stress. It will all work out in the end but the perfectionist in me thinks of all the little projects I should be doing or cleaning or organizing. By Friday, I'll be in the car and this part of moving will be all over with just a LONG car ride ahead before the unpacking begins.

Chubbuck has been such an amazing place to call home. The people are the best you'll find anywhere and the sense of neighborhood will be hard to replace. I am truly thankful for all the great memories of raising four boys in this area and I will miss it terribly but I keep reminding myself of the answer we received that the Grand Canyon was the right place for us right now. I'm excited to see what the next few years will bring.

A big thank you to all our great friends here and we hope you'll all keep in touch!