Thursday, August 20, 2009

Back to School Night[mare]

Tuesday I took the kids to back to school night, ALL the kids. Jason was working and I didn't think it would be that big of a deal. I was, of course, wrong.
First we had to meet in Regan's classroom with all the other kids and their parents. I don't think I heard a word of what the teacher had to say; I was chasing Weston the whole time. He probably wasn't as big of a distraction to everyone else as I thought he was. Or at least not until he found the teachers cow bell and started ringing it. He probably just wanted to send her the hint-we're done. She was almost finished anyway, and I had to agree, we were so done.
I took them to the playground to wait for Spencer's class time. There was a PTA meeting in the gym for all the parents during this time, but of course I'd have to be INSANE to attempt that. Not that I would have wanted to go to it under any other circumstances anyway.
While we were at the playground, I realized that Weston had a stinky diaper. Very stinky. I sent Spencer to get the diaper bag from the van, only to find out I hadn't packed any wipes. This is the point at which, if I were smart, I should have called it a night, gone home. But I'm sure Spencer wouldn't have been too keen on that idea, so we stayed. I told Regan to stay on the playground, which is literally right outside the classroom, and play with Ben.
I had no better luck in this classroom. Weston was all over the place. Only it was worse, he left a trail of smell wherever he wandered. I was getting plenty of looks from others. Especially the dads. He was constantly trying to pull things off the walls and shelves, and he'd scream every time I tried to stop him. I started to sweat. I felt like we were the center of attention, instead of the teacher. I had pretty much decided to take him back outside when an announcement came over the PA. "Sorry to interrupt, but there's a two year old boy in a red shirt looking for his mommy".
I knew it was Ben. But do I get up and walk out right now, when it will be obvious that I can't control any of my children? Or do I wait a few minutes and casually leave the room with Weston, pretending I'm going to change his diaper (everyone already knows he needs it)?
As I'm debating this, Spencer turns to me "Mom, it's Ben! You HAVE to go get him!". I guess that settles that. I get up and walk out of the classroom. I have to walk through 4 more classrooms on the way out, so now there's no question, everyone knows who it is that can't keep track of their children.
Ben was patiently waiting with a group of women. He didn't seem to be scared. I didn't ask any questions, I just thanked them and turned to leave fast, before anyone recognized me. They weren't going to let me off that easy, "He looks so familiar", one of the ladies called out, "who are his siblings that go here". Darn. They're probably fishing for information so they can turn me in to DCFS. I told them their names.
"Ohhh...the Murrays...", they said knowingly. Whatever that means.
I won't go into all the grisly details of what happened to Regan when I found him (I wouldn't DCFS to have anything else to use against me), but not to worry, he is still living.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Pizza Oven

Early this year, Jason decided he really wanted a pizza oven. After a not so successful attempt at building one inside our living room fireplace, he decided to make an earthen oven in the back yard. He dug down really far in the garden to get the clay, and made this little oven (below). This one was only a practice one, so that he could build a much larger one in a permanent place.
Jason had talked to his brother, Freddy, about his ideas of building pizza ovens. Freddy liked the idea and ran with it. He built a pizza oven on a trailer that could be taken to events. His first event was very successful. Jason decided to make one on a trailer as well, and sell pizzas with Freddy at the Renaissance fair here in Cedar.

Below are pictures of Jason and his friend, Joe, Building the oven. They built this one out of refractory cement so that it would be stronger than the earthen oven.
The pizza oven works great. They heat it up with a wood fire, and keep it at about 900 degrees. The pizzas cook in 30-60 seconds. The pizza's they sold were Neapolitan style, very thin crust with minimum toppings.
Here's Freddy, Jason, and Joe at the fair (below). Yes, Jason and Joe are in women's blouses. It was a requirement of the Renaissance fair (not wearing women's blouses, but to dress renaissance), and this was the closest we could come. They looked more like cross dressers than renaissance men, but I guess it worked; they didn't shut us down.
The fair lasted 4 days. It was a lot of work, but it went really well. Their booth was one of, if not the most popular booth out of the food vendors. We turned out a decent profit too, when all was said and done.

Jason's now looking into possibilities of catering or just vending from a certain spot in town. The regulations and licences are absurd; no wonder everyone doesn't own their own business. So, if we can jump through all their hoops and make our little pizza cart legal, you may be able to find him selling pizzas somewhere here in town.

Friday, August 7, 2009


A couple of weeks ago, we spent the day in Zion with some friends. We hiked up the narrows a little ways and let the kids play. This is really the only hike we do at Zion in the heat of the summer. It's a great way to cool down and the kids love it. Most of the crowds stay down towards the bottom of the narrows, so if you hike far enough up, you can escape the crowds.
We hiked up the river to this little swimming hole.
Ben really wanted to swim like the rest of the kids, but didn't dare to venture in very far, so this was what he resorted to.
Weston was so excited to get in he could hardly wait. We stripped him naked and let him go for it.
He loved every minute of it, even though he was freezing and his teeth were chattering. He was so upset when it was time to get dressed and go.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Subway

A few weeks ago, Regan and Jason had the opportunity to hike the Subway in Zion. It's one of the most popular hikes in Zion and you have to have a permit to hike it. Some friends of ours had some extra spots in their group so they invited Jason and Regan. I've never hiked it, but I'm told that it's AWESOME, and I hope to hike it someday soon.

Backpacking in Ashdown

Last Friday Jason took Regan and Spencer on a backpacking trip up Ashdown. Ashdown is one of our favorite places to hike. It has areas a lot like Zion, but it's less crowded.
The boys were great little hikers and had a wonderful time.
Here are some of my favorite pics: