Monday, September 29, 2008


"...take the normal opportunities of your daily life and create something of beauty and helpfulness. You will improve not only the world around you, but also the world within you."

OK. How awesome was that RS General Conference talk by Elder Uchtdorf? You may feel the same, but I am sure it was written expressly for me. I'm such an apologist.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Afton, the Princess Scarescrow

Aftie has been creating again. She couldn't bare to part with her collection of sticks a few Fridays ago at the park. Initially, I cautioned her after noticing a stick twirling from her outstretched arm with complete disregard for the little heads in close proximity.
"Aft, you need to play with the stick in a place where there are no kids, or I'll have to take the stick away."
She semi-heard me, choosing not to look at my "warning face," but to stare at the way she caused the irregular form of her stick to twist in the air by rolling it in her fingers. The top of the crooked branch moved slowly as it rolled to the top of it's ellipse, then quickly back around to it's starting point.
Once a safe distance was secured between her and the other playmates, I took a moment to prepare myself for the upcoming battle of “stick separation anxiety” that occurs when we enter the car after a park trip, then quickly resumed chatting with the other moms. Mom Chatting is a past time I rather enjoy, and with the ideal weather and shady conditions, park time stretched into the hours. By the time I finally rounded up the posse for our nap-inducing drive home Afton’s stick collection had increased by 500%.
Before Afton climbed in the car I broke the news. “Afton, we are going to have to leave those sticks here so someone else can have a turn with them.”
“But mom, they are for my scarescrow.”
Afton had been inspired earlier that day by a scarecrow face decoration Dallin’s kindergarten teacher had planted in the dirt outside his classroom. I was going to insist again that the sticks be left behind, but grew soft to her plans (which I figured would be forgotten by the time we got home like so many 4 year old ideas are.)
But she stayed awake, with sticks in palm and idea fresh in her mind until, 30 minutes later, I dug some rubber bands out of a drawer and sat down to ease her frustration at not being able to tie the sticks together properly with a small piece of blue curling ribbon. Despite myself, I had been sucked in by her enthusiasm and began to enjoy my part in the project.
She requested some orange paper to make the face and about 20 pieces of paper later, settled on the yellow face with the cute hair. I then cut and taped it into place while she picked out the wardrobe--shorts and shirt underneath, with a favorite dress-up gown on top. To avoid the overly-limp look, we then stuffed her with wadded papers torn from one of those huge open-enrollment insurance books that come in the mail.
By then I had adopted into my own vocabulary her mispronounced “scarescrow” title and the new friend officially became “Princess Afton Scarescrow.”

Ribbon hair attached so Princess Afton can wear barettes.
Cleaning up the mess is what I felt I should have been doing rather than securing sticks in the form of a scarescrow. But then, what would I be remembering today?

Princess Afton lived a life of just beyond 1 week. She was danced with, conversed with, taken on car rides, and even shared a sleeping spot next to her creater and friend. Her death was caused by a slow leaking of her stuffed paper innards all over the house and several broken appendages. She was loved and will be remembered for her great ability to listen.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flashback to Summer

Sooooo........I kind of missed a whole summer of blogging. We were in Utah and I took a vacation from a lot of things besides feeding and bathing my kids. My Mama and Pops were extraordinarily patient with our extended, extended stay of 2 months! (Davie spent half of his 4 month life there). Besides the King Reunion we spent the time frolicking in Utah while Jared took on a house-flipping in SLC. Here are some pics (courtesy of Grandma Barbara Parker), I'll let them do the talking.

Jared's baby. 1910 Windsor, SLC. In the 9th and 9th neighborhood--very adorable. This is the before pic. Cute little brick house, right? What looks like brick is actually an asphalt tile that is made to APPEAR like brick. Yes, those are ragged screens hanging off the front door and windows.

Construction phase
What became of the kitchen after Jared let the demolition boys loose in there.
The back bedroom, stripped. Even the boards under had to be replaced (there were weeds growing into the room when we first went in.)

The garbage pile in back grew and grew until it was big enough to eat the house, and then Jared found a group of huge Tongan guys in Smith's Grocery to come haul it away and stave off the tidal wave.

TA-DA!!!!!! The finished product!!!!!!

Just kidding. That is actually a Parade of Homes house we visited with Jared's parents. We don't have a "finished product" yet, but it is close. Here are a few pictures from this crazy Parade of Homes house.
The basement actually opened up to ANOTHER lower level made up of a PIRATE BOAT, and a CAVE with a slide leading to a HOT TUB in the lower cave.

Hot tub in bottom of cave with a flat screen for your entertainment. There is a door from the cave that opens up to a huge basket/wally/racket ball court. Crazy!

This is the little built-in playhouse/village in the house.

OK--this really is Jared's house, still unpainted exterior, but great improvements already. The new windows make a HUGE difference. Pretty much everything about the house is new. Electric, plumbing, new HVAC, even new interior framing.

New custom alder cabinets. Jared hired out the tile work to save his knees. And most of the other work too, actually.

David Richard Parker was (finally) blessed. He was almost 4 months old. It was sweet (even though he started spitting up during the blessing).

He barely fit into this blessing outfit from when my brother Lukas was a baby.

We didn't quite trust LuLu to hold Davie.
Aftie and her Grandma Parker (thanks for the pictures, Barb!)

There is the funnest water feature at Liberty Park in SLC. It is a miniature version of the Salt Lake and the rivers that feed into it, surrounded by little canyons.
Afton got into a tangle with her chewing gum.
David is a social baby. He loves people and loves to play the crowd. He's here with the big cousins Dylan, Brad and Nick.
More house reformation pictures to come!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Goodbye Dubai, Goodbye

We've spent the last several months mulling (and joking) about moving to Dubai (United Arab Emirates). Why not? THEY've got the novelty of the indoor ski dome! THEY've got more cranes in the one city than the rest of the world put together (Jared measures the value of a place by the number of cranes it contains). They are currently building a resort FIVE, count em 5, times bigger than Disney World. AND they've got a bunch of man-made islands off their coast shaped like the globe. Need I continue?

Sure, so a few of the 911 bombers were from there, but seriously, it's SO SAFE (for the middle east) and just a hop skip and a jump to Europe for our kids soccer tourneys and what not. Right? So why not? WHY not indeed? (Then there's the Russia option, but I won't get into that).

Well, as it turns out we are moving to the desert, but not to that one. We will be stocking up on Clinical Strength deodorant and Neutrogena hand cream instead for our move to the loverly desert of Arizona. I'm having a bit of a hard time saying goodbye to the beautiful, green, national arbor city of the year, national no-cuss day, filming mecca of South Pasadena! This town is so darn cute. If I can swipe the camera back from the Big J, I'll take some pics of this place to aid my memory as we say adios.

But Arizona, Here we Come! And just in time to buy a house at rock bottom prices to say the least (fingers crossed), and have some serious fun with my big sisters Mary and Em.