Thursday, July 10, 2008

Issue 7

3rd of July by Whitney

On the 3rd of July in the afternoon, we went to see the movie W.A.L.L.I. E. The main character is a trash compacting robot that cleans the barren-trash covered earth that humans have abandoned over 700 years ago.

After that we went to the South Salt Lake Freedom Festival. There was a large field that everyone sat on in front of a stage. There were about 1500+ people there. There was a magnificent firework show. But after, me and my mom stayed while the rest of the family went home. We were part of a group of volunteers that were going to clean up the trash.

I looked around,

And was appalled,

It vaguely resembled Wallie’s environment.

Trash was strewn everywhere. It looked like everyone had collected as much junk as possible and dumped it there on purpose! It was everywhere! As in there was a coating on the ground!!!! There were plastic bags and cotton candy sticks and old glows sticks and pizza boxes and water bottles, and silly string, and toilet paper (?!), and ticket stubs, and shattered glass, and paper napkins, and empty soda bottles. And lots more. It was disgusting!!! It took forever to pick it all up.

It amazing how much junk humans can generate!

Just so much more inspiration for recycling.

Flags by Steve L.

At 6:30 in the morning on the 4th of July we (the scouts) went around the neighborhood and set up flags. Then at 8:00 am we did a flag ceremony for our neighborhood. I felt patriotic as I stepped back to salute the flag.

(Note by Mom: It makes a Mom proud to see her sons honoring the flag, and fulfilling their scout duty.)

Book Review by Whitney

Title: Levin Thumps: And the Gateway to Foo

Author: Obert Skye

Type: Fiction

Subject: Fantasy

Levin thumps lives with his cruel and unusual aunt and uncle in a trailer park. Living a normal yet brutal life, (he is made to sleep on a cot on the back porch) until very undeniably odd things start to happen. (Is controlling lightning normal?) (Is finding a creature that’s named clover that talks and has a sense of humor under your cot normal?)
(Oh, and is it normal to have a tree lift your motor home a hundred feet in the air only to have it freeze into ice and then explode, normal?)

Rating: ********** Ten stars! Awesome book that will keep you reading. I LOVVVVVVVVVVE THIS SERIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Recommended for: Ages 0-up

Some other books written by this author:

Levin Thumps: And the Whispered Secret,

Levin Thumps: And the Eyes of the Want, and

Professor Winsnicker’s Book of Proper Etiquette for Well-Mannered Sycophants.

Breakfast and Bike Parade by Daniel

On the 4th of July we went to our Grandma and Grandpa’s church for a bike parade and we also had breakfast there. We were in the bike parade and decorated our bikes and scooters. A fire truck came to the parade and I got to put on a real firefighter uniform. It felt sort of heavy. It was a fun day.

Annual 4th of July Bishop's Breakfast. Grandpa's the Bishop!

Cousins Zealand and Asher ready to roll!

Daneil looking very grownup.
Red, White and Beautiful!
Cousin Presli's 1st, 4th.

Fire and Water by Janey

We went to Aunt Becca’s on the 4th of July. We had a bar-b-que and did fireworks in the street. I liked the sparklers. I did a lot of them. Uncle Dave and Weston shot off a lot of parachutes and we all ran to catch them. I caught one while I was on my Dad’s shoulders. My favorite firework was ALL of them.

Catching parachutes

Uncle Dave's ladder pyrotechnics
The next day we went swimming with Dad at the pool. I like diving for coins and rings. I also like doing the “dead man’s float” and having my Dad throw me up in the air and landing in the water like I’m going off a diving board.

Diving for coins

Book Review by Steve L.

The 13th Reality by James Dashner

Atticus Higginbottom aka Tick (thirteen years-old) receives a letter saying,

“Dear Mr. Atticus,

I’m writing to you in hopes that you will have the courage of heart and strength of mind to help me in a most dreadful time of need. Things are literally splitting apart at the seams, as it were, and I must find those that can assist me in some very serious matters. Beginning today the 15th of November, I am sending out a sequence of special messages and clues that will lead you to an important, albeit dangerous destiny, if you choose. Now dangerous may not be a strong enough word, indubitably and despicably deadly. . . . Do be careful. Because of this letter very frightening things are coming your way.”

Most faithfully yours,


Awhile after receiving the letter he meets up with a bed-chewing goblin, a tinglewraith, and gnat rat. My Aunt got me this book from a book writer’s conference. She got me the Advance Reader’s Edition, before it was published, but now you can find it in bookstores. This is a very exciting book, and doubtless it will be a movie. I give it a ten out of ten. This book rocks!

Ellie Update by Noreen

Ellie was doing great by the long holiday weekend and I’m so grateful she got to participate, but unfortunately she relapsed on Sunday. Monday found us in the Doctor’s office for the 3rd time in two weeks and Tuesday at a Specialist to see if her asthma was allergy driven. She was very brave while pricked her back dozens of times with possible allergens. She did have some allergies (some trees, grasses, mold, and cats) but the Dr. didn’t think it was the cause of her breathing problems. She is now on 4 medications (that I have a love/hate relationship with) and seems to be doing better. The hardest part for her is being homebound. She wants so badly to go to church and swimming lessons and anywhere else someone is going without her. I took her last night to the library, but didn’t stay long because her cough sounds so bad. I feel like hanging a big sign around her neck that says “ASTHMA, NOT CONTAGEOUS!” so I can set her free.

Ellie followed me around the house half the day today with an empty milk carton, begging me to let her paint it. I realized that this was really important to her and set everything up in “painting mode.” She spent over an hour intently painting her milk carton, first tri-colored, then a blue “cow” and finally as a red “volcano.” Who knows, maybe a vintage milk carton by Ellie will fetch a fortune in the future.

Comics by Steve L

Click on image to view larger.

Ice Cream Review by Steve

Imagine Whirled Peace

Boring, boring, boring. Definitely last on the list. Although cleverly named and promoted with a licensed selff portrait of John Lennon done by himslef; this flavor was simply a marketing mistake. It simply has no life. Comprised of sweet cream ice cream, chocolate peace symbols and toffee cookie bits, it sounds alluring, but alas, it tastes plain. I didn't make it very far into it before I gave up. Have you ever at down to a meal that was all one color and seemingly one flavor? This was that meal. The toffee cookie bits had no punch, nor consistancy, but were merely colored parts of the ice cream. The ice cream was good if you like vanilla. The choco bits were amply present, yet too few to change the "color" of the pint. Waste of money, woudln't recommend it, but the kids loved it and rated it a 10. They ate most of it.

Coral, I am now looking for the flavor Creme Brulee. Did you know that on the B&J website you can find a store nearest to you with the flavor you are seeking? But, until I find Creme Brulee I will go with something already handy in the freezer; next week Phish Food.

Golden Bay by Noreen

On December 18th, 2006 we made it to the South Island. When the ferry docked, we drove to the northern tip of the South Island to a gorgeous campground called Golden Bay. Whitney had been dieing to go to the beach for about 4 ½ months, so we agreed to go "look" at the water for family night. Of course this consisted of every taking off their shoes, rolling up their pants and then getting drenched. The children required full warm showers that night, but we loved it! We spent the full next day on our own private, gorgeous beach. For Christmas the campground expected 900 people, but being the week before we had it mostly to ourselves. Turns out, Christmas holiday in NZ like Memorial Day or the 4th of July in the States. Everyone camps, B-B-Qs and spends the day on the beach.

A couple days later we defied the weather and went through with our plans despite the rain. We took a hike to see a great view of the Farewell Spit (on a map this is the long skinny peninsula at the northern most tip of the south island) and another hike to a Whakariki beach were a seal colony lives. These are sights marked on maps, so you might expect paved trails, with tour guides and entrance fees. Instead there was a small sign with occasional arrows leading you through farmer's sheep pastures and over fences on stiles. We hiked over steep rolling hills among the sheep (and a lot of sheep droppings.) Our reward on the other end was always remarkable. We saw some wild seals body surfing on the waves and sitting majestically on rocks. It just rained and rained the whole hike, but of course it stopped about the time we got back to the car. We didn't mind, however. We changed out of our wet things, had some hot chocolate and watched a movie in our trailer.

Not everyday day was a beach or exploring day. In the past we have taken a vacation for a week or a week and a half if we were lucky. You can, with some effort put your life on hold for this amount of time and then play catch up when you get back. Being on an extended tour is different, because you have to incorporate everyday life into it. We made time for laundry, and cooking, dishes, shopping and finances. It makes for a slower pace, and that’s just what we wanted!
"Looking" at the water

Our "private" beach

You can (kind of) see Farewell Spit in the background.

End of Issue 7