Monday, October 26, 2009

For the Record

In case it's not clear, I am stating for the record that my blog header is purposefully over-the-top. My intent for this blog is to celebrate all the things that are sweet in my life, and the gooey sweetness of the picture sums it up quite neatly!

Of course, all is not sugar and spice, but keeping my perspective centered on the blessings is the point.

Several months ago, on the verge of a difficult season I didn't know was coming, Kelly gave me a blessing promising that I would look back on this time as a season of joy. The seeming contradiction of the blessing has helped me to recognize the Lord's tender mercies as He has calmed my troubled heart in the midst of difficulties and shown me that I am richly blessed in all the ways that actually matter.

I started writing this post just to tell you that I know my blog header is cheesy. But as I tried to pinpoint why I haven't taken my cheesy header down (even though I've created a couple of good replacements) I realized that it reminds me that, although life is not always sweet, "the sweet life" is always available. It is a gift of the spirit that is available in abundance when I keep life in in the right perspective.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Visions of Sugar Plums

Yesterday, my parents called to suggest that we have Thanksgiving in Las Vegas this year. It feels like some kind of milestone to be the Thanksgiving host! I'm excited to share our new home with the Provo-Orem Wilsons.

In addition to the visit itself, I'm looking forward to the planning: what to make for dinner and where to go for fun.

I'll have visions of turkeys, pies, jello salad and maybe a few sugar plums dancing in my head for the next month. (Last year, my sister-in-law made an amazing turkey that involved a marinade and bacon. I think I'll need your recipe April!)

As for things to do, here's my top-10 list of things to do in Las Vegas (including a few my family has already done):
1- Red Rock
2- Hoover Dam and the new bridge
3- Mount Charleston
4- The Springs Preserve
5- Neon Boneyard
6- Eldorado Canyon Mine tour and kayaking on Lake Mohave
7- Shark Reef Aquarium (haven't seen this, but I want to!)
8- Imperial Palace Antique Car Museum
9- Bellaggio fountains and gardens
10- And, because I'm a water person, the River Mountains Water Treatment Facility and Las Vegas Wash. (I think they're interesting!)

Friday, October 16, 2009

China Ranch

Kelly and I visited China Ranch a couple months ago--- for my birthday actually. These pictures have been uploaded, just waiting for me to curate them.

If you drive 60 miles out of Las Vegas-- 30 miles down Hwy 160 towards Pahrump, and another 30 miles off the highway on the Old Spanish Trail-- you might find yourself at China Ranch, CA.

China Ranch is a date farm built on an spring in the California desert. When I say desert, I mean 117 degrees under a blazing sun. I think that may have been the hottest weather I've ever experienced!

The visit was well-worth a 1/2-day trip to explore, enjoy a date shake, and experience local history outside of the city.

It's definitely hokey, but that's part of the charm.

They had quite a collection of cacti and agave for sale.

And an even bigger collection of random things no one needs.

This must be "cowboy corner"!

And the thrift clothing corner--- of course. (?!)

I really did want this little sombreroed doll, but I didn't have a good reason to get it. It will probably still be there next time!

The date shakes were quite good. Enzo enjoyed the last melted bit of Kelly's.

It was too hot to walk through the date groves (is that what you call them?). We took the driving tour. They had a half-dozen types of dates from all over the world. I believe this one was the Madagascar Purple Date. (I am totally making that up.)

Another cool part of the trip was a freak storm we drove through on the way home. The rain and lightening was great to watch roll in. The temperature dropped from 115 to the high 70's in less than 5 minutes!

All in all, a great day-trip.