Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Just a note . . .

I'm working on moving my blog over to my website!

I'm rather excited about this.

The blog will be available to read, but I will no longer be publishing comments on old posts. I will publish comments on this post. All old posts and comments will be moved over to the website.

From here on out, please visit me at my website,

For an update on when the blog and new website are ready, you can simply check the website, or you can follow my Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Trip to Our Alma Mater, Part 4

We headed back to BYU the next day.

Our first stop was the BYU Paleontology Museum. The museum is free, and it was definitely one of the highlights of our trip. It was just the right length for the children, and we saw several things that we had never even heard of before!

From there we headed back to the BYU Creamery for ice cream. We ate it outside at some shaded picnic tables with this beautiful view of Y Mountain.

After that, we toured campus some more. We also went back into the library to see a Samurai costume that is one display there, a display on the author Lloyd Alexander, and a mural in the children's section.

The Tree of Life Statue

That evening we went back to my niece and nephews house, where I made spaghetti for dinner.

The next day, while I did the girls' hair, we watched my very talented niece and her very talented friend practice a piece for a performance that evening. My niece played the piano and the other woman played the oboe.

We drove home then, with a planned stop for lunch at Cove Fort.

Cove Fort was amazing.

It's just a short way off the freeway.

They have a beautiful spot in the shade of some huge trees for lunch. I was rather delighted to see the trees when we stopped there for lunch on the way north. Several years ago, I had mentioned that other places have tall trees to my children, and one of them had replied, "You mean like palm trees?"
(Palm trees aren't even natural here; they're brought in. The desert in our area has no natural trees of any kind (I posted a picture on Facebook of it for reference), and where we live has been built in the last 11 years, so anything that has been planted here is still small). After that comment, I looked up images online of tall trees to show the children, but they couldn't really fathom them. While we saw lots of trees on the trip, these were the tallest. Tall trees were one of the things I have wanted to show my children ever since.

After lunch, we took the free tour of Cove Fort. The fort was one family's home, built to protect them from the Native Americans. The homeowner made friends with the tribe, so they never fought at the fort. It was a stop for travelers as well, so they had several guest rooms and a telegraph.

I love historical homes turned museums, and I saw several as a youth, so I was delighted to show one to my children. I highly recommend stopping for a tour if you are traveling on the I-15 through Utah.

Driving through the Virgin River Gorge

From there we headed home. We still had enough sandwich materials left to have sandwiches when we got home in time for a late dinner.

It was a wonderful trip, and I'm so grateful that we were able to show our children so many wonderful things.

Out total cost for the our one-week trip for 9 people was $375. Most of that was gasoline. Our vehicle got better mileage on the freeway than we do around town, of course, but a big enough vehicle to fit all of us doesn't get great mileage; on the trip we got 12.7 miles per gallon (it's closer to 8 for everyday driving around town). So, if you have a smaller vehicle with better mileage, the trip would cost you a lot less. We only spent a small amount on extra food for the trip, buying a turkey breast for slicing, a bag of pretzels, and ice cream out. All other food came from our pantry. This amount also included a gift for our niece and nephew. I am so grateful that they let us come stay.

In case you missed the other parts, here they are:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I gleaned olives again. They are all soaking in lye water now, to take the bitterness out.

I cut red noodle beans, thyme, and green onions from the garden.

My husband cut both boys' hair.

I made turkey broth and used it to make soup.

I made French bread.

I made yogurt.

Winter made carrot cake for my mom's birthday.

I printed free worksheets for school for the younger girls from several places.

What did you do to save money last week?

A Trip to Our Alma Mater: Part 3

The next day of our trip, we headed to Salt Lake City.

We went to the Beehive House first. The garden was so pretty!

We then bought a loaf of bread across the street, and had lunch (sandwiches, apples, pickles, and chocolate chip cookies) at a park across the street. We were delighted with the weather, which was just perfect (and so much cooler than we had left behind at home!)

We then toured Temple Square.

Yes, that's Liberty!

Afterwards, we went across the street to tour the Conference Center. I really enjoyed the rooftop garden. The next three pictures were all taken on the roof of the Conference Center:

We walked back in front of the Salt Lake temple on our way back to the van.

We had planned to go to the Church History museum and then have dinner, but the children were tired (Ivory was already asleep!) so we headed back to Provo and ate our dinner back at my niece's house. We had pasta e fagioli, which we had warmed and brought with us in the Gotts for dinner in Salt Lake. Though we ended up having it back at the house, it is something I would definitely bring again on a trip.

We ended the evening visiting with our niece and nephew and their children.

I've got one more post to finish the trip, covering the last two days of the trip, which I'll be posting in the next few days.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Last Week's Frugal Accomplishments

I canned 6 quarts of giardinera pickles.

Winter made several gifts for her sisters for Christmas gifts using fabric I already had and some free downloadable patterns.

I cut two pomegranates from my tree.

I harvested my only butternut squash this year, and cut one Armenian cucumber from the garden, and cut a but of celery that I grew from some grocery store celery.

I made a triple batch of laundry soap.

I made French bread. Winter made a double batch of granola.

I cooked a turkey from the freezer.

Wren is so happy to be taking piano lessons now! She practiced every day without being asked! I'm so glad that I was able to trade for her lessons!

I planted seeds in my fall garden. Some of the seeds were ones that I had collected from my garden earlier this year.

I had the house open and the air conditioner off for as many hours as I could each day, turning it on only for a few hours in the afternoons when the inside temperatures went up to 83ยบ.

Liberty and Cyrus did this cloud in a jar experiment several times. Do you see the cloud escaping? This was a really frugal experiment involving hot water, matches, and a bag of ice.

Cyrus cut the grass and added some to my two compost bins.

My husband cut his hair.

I continued to collect the water from the shower to water the potted trees.

I had at at-home date with my husband. We played a card game.

What did you do to save money last week?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

A Trip to Our Alma Mater, Part 2: A Drive Up The Canyon

The reason we decided to leave in the fall was so that our children could see the changing leaves. Where we live, it doesn't get cold enough for a big color change; the leaves usually turn brown and fall in December. A drive into the mountains would show them the beautiful mountains and the changing leaves.

It was raining when we started our drive. I noted that the children weren't used to seeing rain while in the car; the lack of visibility on the freeway was something new to them.

Just a little way up Provo Canyon is Bridal Veil Falls. We showed the children their first waterfall.

We drove up and looked at a pretty park at the Vivian Park exit, but it was still raining, so we turned around and head back up the canyon, driving all the way to Heber.

The rain quit falling, and we turned around and drove south again, returning to the beautiful park that we had seen again.

It was a great decision.

We brought out the popcorn that we had popped before our drive, and enjoyed popcorn while enjoying the incredible view.

The children were able to explore a stream for the first time.

I know for most of you, a stream is not unusual, but living in the Mojave desert (a much drier desert than the desert of Northern Utah), my children have never seen a stream.

This felt like the ideal child's play.

We stayed at the park for several hours, and then went back to my niece and nephew's house for dinner and games.