Last Snow Cone Day – Summer 2014

08-august-20146Today was the Last Snow Cone Sale Day of the summer. We only did it 4 or 5 times . . . much less frequent than last summer. This mama is getting tired near the end of this pregnancy! Oh wait, I think I’m always tired.

But we were trying to get as close as possible to breaking even money-wise. Our new machine put us a bit over the top this year, but by next year things will even out and we’ll totally make $.

It is also so fun to visit with other neighbors/moms that come.

Plus, Hannah and Abe have learned to work well together. They got most everything set up today (with Daniel Rencher’s help) since I was at the dentist. Hannah did the syrups. Abe & Daniel did the outdoor set-up with tent and picnic table. Max was in charge of setting up the chairs.

We’ve worked with the kids on customer service and on cleanliness when serving others. We try to keep things tidy and clean around here during snow cones.

Today Hannah sold 5 bookmarks. Love those bright colors! Abe made $3.25 selling origami creations!

A few things we might change next year:
– Have fewer flavors. This year we increased the flavors by just a few. Financially it didn’t benefit us though it was fun to try new flavors and combos. We sent out a survey to help narrow down flavors for future years. You can click HERE for results.

– Last summer we had a set time to do snow cones. Thursday from 11-2 or whatever. This year we just had to schedule it when it worked for us, which meant no consistent day or time. I think this may have had an influence on number of customers… which was decreased this year. Who knows… But for consistency sake for us and customers, I would recommend having a set day and time.

– Tent! Love our tent. Am sad it got bent, though it is still functional. Definitely a must for shade for chatting mamas.

I’ll add other things as I remember our other ideas for future Smith Family snow cone stands.

p.s. today was a weird day. i felt like a horrible mother. i woke up at 7 to tend to liza. then after an hour, i went back to bed for a snooze/body rest. i felt like the kids were on their own for breakfast. max ate oatmeal at 11 for breakfast. i’m pretty sure tru played my ipad for most of the day. ugh. when he wasn’t doing that, he was causing mischief when Hannah was babysitting. I got up, got ready and went to the dentist to get a cavity filled… which turned into 2 cavities filled. I barely made it home in time for snow cones. A frame had fallen off the wall and Hannah had to clean up that mess. I told her to send the littles to the Condie’s since Tru was hitting her with a stick. Oh my! Just a crazy time. Poor Hannah. Snow cones days are fun… but the littles just kind of wander around the house and yard playing with friends. They check in occasionally with me, but it makes me feel like we have a crazy life. I’m used to keeping the kids closer under my wing. Jimmy brought home Papa Murphy’s for dinner and then he mowed the lawn. I pushed Tru and Liza on the swings… we got kids in bed. And I sighed. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll be a more attentive mother. I have no dr appointments. So we’ll put ourselves back together, eat healthy meals with fruits and veggies, and get into a familiar routine (that does not involve Truman playing the computer/ipad all day!). There is HOPE for tomorrow.

Glorious Rain and a Rainbow

We stood on the porch and watched the glorious, glorious downpour of rain for ten minutes. Awesome family activity! Having lived in this desert, I can see how the pioneers of Utah would rejoice over the miracle of rain coming to the parched ground. Keep paying Tithing!!!IMG_3769 copy1

The kids kept daring each other to run off the porch into the rain. Eventually the boys and Liza were jumping in the puddles in the gutter. Notice Liza running away from the very start… realizing that she is about to get quite wet (as she learned from experience … her clothes are off since they were wet from a previous puddle jump).
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A Fun Survey: Your Favorite Snow Cone Flavors. Pick your top 3!

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We threw this survey out to friends & family on our blog and facebook. We received 28 responses. Here are the top 10 results:
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Full results:Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 8.38.44 PM

Cotton Candy

08 august 20143Some friends in the neighborhood hosted a Cotton Candy Stand yesterday. The kids were super anxious to return home from our hike in time to go. In fact, yesterday when I told Max about it, he decided he better write himself a note to remind himself to remind me about it. He carried this note in his pocket on our hike to Silver Lake. Then he kept the note as a bookmark in his Mummy Boxcar Children book.08 august 20144

Silver Lake – Big Cottonwood Canyon

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Silver Lake
Big Cottonwood Canyon
.8 Mile Loop
30 Ft Elevation Change

08 02 2014 silver lake big cottonwood2This short hike took our family a very long time. We took our merry ol’ time. Tru said by the end, “Mom, you lied. You said this would be 30 minutes… a short time.” It’s not that I lied, it’s that our walking time probably did take 30 minutes. All of the stops = a bit more time. The boardwalk was easy for all to navigate, especially Liza and this pregnant mama.
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Jimmy and the kids stopped at the educational signs along the way: Waterbugs & insects, beavers, flowers, vegetation. We saw ducks … mama & baby ducks. We saw chipmunks. Tru loved that! Tru noticed that we didn’t see any moose. There was a lot of shade and cloud cover so it was a great walk. Liza fell and scraped her knee… it was very traumatic for the dramatic 2-year-old. She also walked right into a huge puddle though she recovered well from that. Most of all, she had awesome hair!
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Abe: “It was better than I expected. I liked looking at the squirrels, chipmunks, and ducks.”

Hannah: “Well, it was nice that it had the little boardwalk some of the time. It was fun to see the ducks and the actual silver lake was really pretty. I liked it cause it was pretty easy and other than the time that Liza fell, it was awesome. I really enjoyed it!”

Max: “Ummmm, it was interesting. I did like it.” (please note that Max pulled his tooth out the night before this hike. He is quite proud of that empty space up top!)
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I’m really glad we went up to Brighton to enjoy the scenery at Silver Lake. We had never been that far up Big Cottonwood and the mountains were interesting… and lovely. Plus there were some amazing clouds! I’d like to perhaps next year head to Lake Solitude or the Twin Lakes which start at Silver Lake. Hiking is one way I enjoy summer!

Utah Temple Tour: Ogden Temple Open House

IMG_3645 copyThis morning we attended the Ogden Temple Open House. It was the first day! It wasn’t too crowded or hot when we got there at 9:30. We watched the short temple intro film in the tabernacle. There was a blustery fan blowing . . . so mostly Liza delighted in seeing her dress poof out. I loved Elder Holland’s testimony about eternity and that it wouldn’t be the same without his wife and family with him… importance of eternal sealing! We got our bootie’s on and started the temple tour. Liza’s booties were the funniest since she is so little. But she never wanted to walk because it was “swippewy!” on the tile.08-august-2014Maxwell folded his arms the entire time and was so quiet. Truman held my hand the entire time and was really quiet. Dad read all the signs to Eliza in Spanish.

Hannah: “I liked the Celestial Room and the Sealing Room. They were really pretty with the chandeliers. I also liked the Bride’s room. I thought it would be neat to do baptisms for the dead when I’m old enough. It was a really pretty temple and I enjoyed going with the family.”

Abe: “I liked going in the rooms and seeing new things in the temple. It was a long drive to get there. I learned that you get married and sealed in the Sealing Room. I liked the baptismal font.”

Max: “My favorite part was the Celestial Room. I felt good inside when I was in the temple. I felt close to Heavenly Father and Jesus. I learned that I need to be quiet and reverent. I liked going inside. The booties on my feet were funny.” (Max kept his booties and has been wearing them the rest of the day)

Truman: “I didn’t really like the temple because it was so long. And boys don’t like beautiful things. But I like to give girls beautiful things!” (ok – really, I think he liked it. He liked the celestial room and the baptistry.)

Eliza: “Temple. Tent. See Jesus. Jesus hold hand. Sparkles at temple. Temple Moroni doing this, “Do, do, do, DOO!”

08-august-20141Afterwards we went to the reception tent and saw some pictures of the temple and the Christus statue.
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As always, I love the flowers at temples! So much HAPPY COLOR! The plants looked a little tired and thirsty, which is probably what happens when you plant them in the middle of the summer! … Still lovely though.
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p.s. I know – I’m huge. All those stairs at the temple made me huff and puff. But still super glad we went. I loved the dark wood, and the blues and green colors in the furniture. They had interesting and new paintings throughout. I always love the LIGHT that sparkles throughout the temple… stain glass (with roses), chandeliers, the clean gold banisters. I think the thing that makes the temple the very best place to be is the Spirit of the Lord that dwells there to strengthen us as a family.

Non Stress Tests

07 july 201433Yesterday at the doc, I was instructed that non-stress tests must start happening. According to Dr. Bean, I was supposed to do them at 32 weeks. Well, Dr. Bean went on vacation and Dr. Melendez said 36 weeks was sufficient. Here at 34 weeks, as hard as it is to leave the kids twice a week for hours, I think it wise to double-check my health/blood pressure and babe’s health.

Today was my first non-stress test that wasn’t in the hospital (like with Eliza’s pregnancy). They have a glorious recliner (that I think we all MUST have at some point!), a lovely view of the mountains, and that glorious nugget ice that I adore. Though it took me a while to chill out from the stress of rushing there and leaving tots and such, it was pleasant.

Allison has sure tried to help me not be so grouchy about all my NST’s. She’s a cheerful soul. I took my Canon Rebel camera and instruction manual and thought it might be a good time to finally learn how to use my camera off of auto. I learned quite a bit, but only had my shoes to practice on as I was reclining with belly bands recording baby’s heart.

Doctor Bean scheduled me for my c-section on August 28… which is 38 weeks and 2 days (since I wanted him to be the doc to do the surgery). Guess we’ll see how the next few weeks go with all my many appointments.

p.s. the only other glorious bit of news is that Allison asked the doctor if I could hold off on further 24-hour urine labs until my blood pressure does go up. Yay! Storing a huge container of pee in the fridge for 24 hours is quite disgusting, not to mention inconvenient as a busy mom. See – there is always something to be glad about!

ehhh-batter-batter . . . swing!

07-july-201432Tonight was a play in the small yard sorta night. Our kiddos are out-growing our .17 acre lot. Time to move people! Despite the small yard, the kids enjoyed hitting the wiffle ball. Abe did lots of fence climbing to retrieve balls. Liza made sure she received plenty of turns. Truman mostly dug holes in the grass looking for rollies-pollies. He claims to like them better than ants because they don’t bite.

Fresh Produce

07 july 201434Our garden is growing, growing, growing. The zucchinis are wild and crazy… Jimmy has worked very hard to keep squash bugs away this year. The cucumbers don’t seem to like the soil and are growing soooooo slow. We harvested one green pepper thus far. The corn has some super tall and amazing stalks but we wonder how much corn is actually going to be produced. First tomato, much to Truman’s delight! We only have 1 carrot. Really. 1 carrot… and we planted rows and rows of carrots. They must not like the soil either… or a freeze got ’em. I love our garden. It seems therapeutic for Jimmy and Truman to go out and water the garden. I love doing it, but I don’t like sharing the hose with tiny tots. (oops!)

In other food news… for years I don’t know that Jimmy and I have agreed that it’s important to poke potatoes before baking them. So – I didn’t poke them this time… and see what happened. Explosion all over the oven! Poke your potatoes people!IMG_3509 copy

This is Today

How many girlies do you know who get such royal treatment when they scrape their toe? Princess pillow and all for her wounded foot. It was quite dramatic for her to have her toe cleaned and bandaged, even with a Hello Kitty Bandaid. It’s probably quite good that this girlie won’t be the baby of the family pretty soon. She may have a bit of a shock though in 4 weeks when Baby arrives.07-july-201430In other news… we had an awesome 5 minute downpour and the boys rejoiced by jumping in the puddles. Also… Abe has been tucking Liza into bed lately. He reads her a book and sings her a song. He likes to be needed. She likes the new attention.

07-july-201429aMade ice cream tonight! It really was one of our best batches ever. Hannah declared, “This is the best ice cream I’ve ever had!” We made vanilla and added fresh/frozen raspberries. Who liked it? Hannah, Truman, dad, & mama. Liza quickly turned over her icecream cone to me… too many chunks I suppose.