Friday, July 31, 2009

A Free Day at Thanksgiving Point--Could it be True for You?

I couldn't wait any longer to announce the "Thanksgiving Point Give-Away"! Besides all the other goodies and free swag (my husband was using that word a lot after he attended the State Republican Convention this summer. I was convinced he was using it wrong, so I looked it up. Sure enough--one of its meanings is cool, free stuff) the marketing team gave us during our free day at Thanksgiving Point was a generous package to offer as a give-away to our loyal readers.

I'm not sure if I have many loyal readers since quite honestly I haven't been a very loyal blogger. But the baby is four months old now and on a lovely schedule and I've made all kinds of resolutions to blog more. So, really, become a loyal reader. I'm tempted to beg, get down on my hands and knees . . .

Anyway, here's the deal:

I have in my hands an envelope loaded with tickets for a family of four to all of the venues at Thanksgiving Point. Can you believe that? It's awesome and you are really going to want to win this give-away.

So, here's how you enter (and yes, I'm using this for blatant self-promotion of my blog):

1. Leave a comment on this post. Tell me anything you want. What you like about this blog. How you found it. Anything. But be nice, please.
2. Become a follower of the blog. (It's always nice to have two chances to win, right?!)
3. Tell everyone you know about Utah Mom's Life. You can write about it on your own blog, tell all your friends in FaceBook, shout it from the rooftops, however you choose . . . (see I'm shameless)

Because if I get more than 50 followers, I will offer another really cool give-away next week (it's not as cool as the free passes to Thanksgiving Point, but it is cool).

I'll announce the winner (chosen randomly) of the free passes to Thanksgiving Point in one week--Friday, August 7, 2009.

This contest is now closed. Click here to see the winner.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Free Day at Thankgiving Point--Could it be true?

Early last week I got an email in my inbox reminding me to RSVP for the special Mommy Bloggers' Day at Thanksgiving Point. I scrolled to the bottom of the email and discovered that my children and I had been invited to spend the day touring the various venues at Thanksgiving Point for free. Shocked, I realized that I had deleted the first email the week earlier without even looking at it! I can't believe we almost missed this awesome opportunity to visit Thanksgiving Point. I talked to my husband and tried to convince him to take the day off work and join me. It was too late for him to take the entire day but he was able to arrange to meet me for dinner at the end of the day. I quickly returned the RSVP. We would of course LOVE to attend.

As soon as I sent the RSVP, I started fretting about how I would be able to attend this event with all five of my young children--BY MYSELF! I admit, I am terrified of taking all five in public without additional adult support. Seriously, just the idea of walking into the grocery store (any store) with all of them is enough to make be break out in a sweat. And, really they're not even that bad. I don't think any of them have ever sprawled themselves out on the floor and thrown a screaming fit, which I've seen other kids actually do. (Oh, I hope I don't jinx myself. I better knock on wood or just delete that last part.) Really, I'm most afraid that they will scatter in opposite directions and I won't be able to chase them all and lose one or two. This fear is the main reason that I shop at Costco--I can put three kids in one cart. Of course, there isn't any room left in the cart for the big box of diapers but . . .

I spent the week trying to figure out the best arrangement. The oldest three can walk pretty well on their own so I just needed to figure out what to do with the littlest two girls. I could put just-turned-two-years-old Lilly* in the stroller and carry four-month-old Molly in the Snugli. But I needed to be able to take pictures and it's nearly impossible to have a baby in the Snugli and my big camera around my neck at the same time. I could dust off the double jogging stroller for both babies. But that thing is a beast and I think the front tire is flat. I could hire one of my Beehives to come along and hold the baby. I could probably even talk one of them into coming for free but then I remembered that they were all away at Girls' Camp. I could invite my mother-in-law to join us, but she likes to wander off to enjoy things in her own special way and I didn't want to lose her too.

I finally decided that, even though I knew Lilly would love Farm Country, the easiest thing to do was to leave her with her doting grandparents for the day. Fortunately, they were willing and delighted to spend the day with her. So, yesterday morning, we got up extra early to drive Lilly to Salt Lake and return to Thanksgiving Point for our awesome day.

My oldest two children have both been to the Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point but I had never been there for anything. Wait, I take that back, my husband and I once ate dinner at the original restaurant right after Thanksgiving Point opened in 1996. We had just gotten married and could still go out to dinner alone. Anyway, that was a long time ago and Thanksgiving Point has really grown up and I have missed out. So, I was very excited to spend the day there with the majority of my kids.

I'll be writing more about our awesome adventures at Thanksgiving Point all week, so check back to read about how much fun we had discovering The Gardens, Farm Country, Museum of Ancient Life, the Emporium and Harvest Restaurant.

And because I just can't wait to announce it, Thanksgiving Point also gave us a lovely, amazing gift to give to one lucky reader of this blog. So, be sure to check again for details about how to win the special Thanksgiving Point give-away. You really won't want to miss it.
And guess what! Two-Buck Tuesdays are back during the month of August at Thanksgiving Point. So, if you're on a budget (like me) then here's your chance to enjoy the venues at Thanksgiving Point for just $2.

* These are not the real names of my children, but they are ones that we liked and were the "runner-up" to their real names.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Reading in the Car

I'm a bit old fashioned or maybe just mean, but I hate the idea of my kids staring at a screen while we're in the car. I suppose this isn't terribly surprising since we don't watch television at home and monitor the movie viewing as well. The one time my kids got to watch a movie while in the car (my sister's much-cooler-than-our-minivan LandRover) during a three-hour drive home from Vernal, they were much more badly behaved than they usually are (which is saying something).

We had several short car trips planned this summer and I wanted to pick something fun to read to the kids while we were all in the car. Summer of the Monkeys by Wilson Rawls was my very favorite book in the third grade. My very favorite third grade teacher read it out loud to us during my very favorite year of elementary school. (Can you tell that I LOVED third grade? Fourth and fifth grades, not so much.) I ordered a copy (I wonder which of my siblings "borrowed" mine) from amazon and made sure that I got the vintage cover just like my old paperback version (occasionally, I am actually a little sentimental).

I am delighted to report, that all of my kids (except my three-year-old who is just grouchy right now and who mostly slept in the car, thank goodness) fell in love with the book. A few times when we reached our destination they expressed disappointment that we had to stop reading. My husband even got choked up in the final chapters.

Summer of the Monkeys is both poignant and funny. It is a coming-of-age story about a boy living in the Ozarks of Oklahoma and his dream to get a pony and .22 gun. Not only are the characters well developed and the dialogue absolutely believable, the writing flows so smoothly that it is an excellent book to be read aloud. I thought it would be fun to read the dialogue with a drawl. My children immediately insisted that I stop.

My eight year old son who been reading since he was two and read all seven of the Harry Potter books in two months this spring, still loves to listen to my husband and I read aloud. And of course, the younger children enjoy hearing the stories from the books that they can't yet read on their own. They love it. I love introducing them to the books that I love and to books in a different genre than fantasy.

So, I encourage you to take some time, turn off the TV/DVD player and read a great book (like Summer of the Monkeys, the Narnia series, anything by E.B. White, or your favorite book from third grade) out loud to your older children. And if anyone knows where I can get a microphone that could plug into my car stereo so that I can save my voice, please let me know.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Happy Zucchini Day

The rest of Utah is celebrating Pioneer Day today but my husband doesn't have the day off from work. We're hanging out at home like we do on most Fridays. We didn't watch the parade and we probably won't go watch fireworks either. Instead, we're celebrating "picking the first zucchini from our garden day" by making and eating a batch of our favorite fried zucchini. We made some onion rings from the batter too. I posted my recipe last year but I did make a few updates to it this year (I added an egg to the batter). I hope you get to enjoy a zucchini from your garden soon. And have a great Pioneer Day--however you get to celebrate.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


I was so excited to win the Bow-dacious give-away from Baby Blvd. The bows and flowers arrived in the mail this morning and they are too cute. I'm anxious to have my girls wear them in their hair, appropriately. My two-year-old daughter just put all of them in her hair at once as we took them from the package.

Thanks, Jen! The bows are awesome. Check out Baby Blvd. for bows and other awesome handmade accessories.

Space Shuttle Sightings

Last night my family joined my brother's family and some of our neighbor friends in our backyard for a little party. We hung a sheet from our house and watched a movie with my brother's projector (that he needs for work, of course).

During the party, my brother, who knows nearly everything, announced that in a moment we would be able to see the space shuttle docked with the space station orbiting through the night sky. Sure enough, we all turned to look to the North West sky and we watched for a few minutes as the space shuttle (picture a bright orange light) zoomed across the sky. For a space loving family, it was indeed a special treat. And guess what, it will be visible again tonight, assuming the sky is clear. It might help that we live in the middle of nowhere and don't have a lot of light pollution. But if you can see the stars, you'll be able to see the shuttle.

You can find out the right time to head outside to view the orbiting shuttle at the NASA website. And you can follow the details of the shuttle mission too.

And I just have to add this little tidbit. While we were watching the sky, my three-year-old son announced excitedly: "Hey! There's the Double Dipper." I suppose that would be the constellation that's not very welcome at parties.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Baby Blvd. Give-Away

Don't miss the Bow-dacious Give-away at Baby Blvd. this week. It's awesome.