Thursday, December 16, 2010

North Pole Express

Because we knew Jack would love it...we decided to fork over the big bucks in order to ride the North Pole Express in Heber. We had a hard time finding a setting on our camera that didn't end up with terrible lighting, so sorry for the poor quality and lack of pictures.

For us, the highlights of the ride include: the punching of our tickets (although he wasn't quite as skilled as the conductor on the real Polar Express), the 'elves' passing out cookies and hot choc-o-lot, Mrs. Claus, caroles, the workshops along the way (they were actually just houses that were decorated for Christmas, but I thought it was really cute that Jack thought they were Santa's workshops), and of course, SANTA!
Classic Jack
Helping out with the 12 days of Christmas
Nervous giggles (she wasn't sure about Santa)
For Christmas, I want a train I can ride on

This year in books

I was thinking that I would jot down which books I have read this year. In no particular order and for my own documentation: 

Sergeant Nibley PHD - Nibley
Liberty and Tyranny - Levine
The Quiet American - Green 
Farenheit 451 - Bradbury
On the Duty of Civil Disobedience - Thoreau
The Hunger Games Trilogy - Collins
Why I Write - Orwell
A Peace to End All Peace - Fromkin
Silent Night - Weintraub
All Quiet on the Western Front - Remarque
The Next 100 Years - Freidman
The Great Gatsby - Fitzgerald
Anatomy of Peace - Arbinger Institute
I am currently reading The Real Lincoln - DiLorenzo
The Book of Mormon

A few highlights: 

Would have probably read 3 or 4 more books but A Peace to End All Peace was a very dense 550 pages rife with important details that are difficult to recall and often require going back to refresh the timeline of events in your head. 

Sergeant Nibley was the best WW2 book I have read so far. That man and his stories are unbelievable. He was quite literally involved in every major aspect of the war including major campaigns, intelligence gathering and planning. He crossed paths with Hitler, was at Normandy on D-Day, flew in on a glider in Market Garden, captured the Eagles Nest with the 101st and laid the groundwork for the CIA to mention a few. He should have been killed no less than a dozen times during the war. 

Anatomy of Peace is a great little book and makes me try to argue more effectively and understand people more fully.

I have read my fair share of books on the topic of war, especially modern war and have yet to come across a single instance where someone who was in the front, in the trenches did not come away broken from the experience. I cannot understand why we love war so much in our country except that so few people feel the actual effects of it and know its horrors. We have been convinced by our governments that we should hate entire ethnic groups and cultures without knowing much about them at all. Cries of patriotism are used effectively to try and silence any who are anti-war, death, destruction and annihilation, though they are the ones trying to sort out the matter and spare blood and treasure and national integrity doing so. I also have a difficult time with Christians in general but specifically LDS people, who have the Book of Mormon and how they continue to warp the teachings of Christ in order to find reasons for war. I cannot for the life of me understand how they find application for the war chapters of the Book of Mormon and the conclusions of Mormon and Moroni regarding war if they exclude the application to themselves and their own country. Mormon 4:5 has kind of become my new favorite verse regarding the claim that we need continual war. It says: 

"But, behold, the judgements of God will overtake the wicked; and it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished; for it is the wicked that stir up the hearts of the children of men unto bloodshed."

So if it is by the wicked that the wicked are punished - which one do we want to be? 

I love books. My amazon wishlist has swelled to over 600 titles recently and I continue to purchase at least 4 books a month, often more. I will often read a book to find out that I now need to read 5 or 10 more and so my list continues to grow instead of shrink. It has been a good year in books. I have several large treatises on economics and the founding that are looming large on the horizon. Human action is a very difficult 1000 page economics book that comes with its own glossary (separate volume) because the author has invented so many new words. Then I just bought Conceived in Liberty, 1670 pages, 4 volumes. 2011 should be a great year in books. 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Its Winter!

Its been snowing a lot lately, and apparently we're in for a blizzard! It hasn't hit us yet, but I definitely don't want to be out when it does. I just got back from the grocery store, and I don't have plans to leave the house for days.

This is a picture of the snow on Sunday. The wind was blowing so hard I could barely open the door, and I couldn't go outside without my camera getting wet, so this is a fast picture from the doorstep.

I don't know if you can tell from these pictures, but there is at least a foot of snow on the ground.
I was looking at the accuweather website this morning. Its telling me that tonight is supposed to -6...real feel -37! Can you imagine! Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is (in the words of Jack...) It's Winter!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

My Momma

My mom came to help out when Ellie was born. She stayed for about a week and a half. She did way too much! The picture below shows exactly what I did the whole time mom was was awesome! Thanks mom...we miss you!

Just Pictures of the kids

Friday, November 19, 2010

I thought this was cute....and really well spoken

The story of Jonah from Corinth Baptist Church on Vimeo.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

You've heard of a flash mob about a flash choir?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Reflections on Elections

You wouldn't have to look very hard to find a political cartoon to make fun of that candidate whom you just love to hate. It's easy to drag the skeletons out of the closets of those individuals who are running for or already hold public office. Nothing is off limits. All embarrassing family secrets would be dragged out in the open to air out a bit and perhaps for a few people to spit on as they pass by with their nose in the air secretly thanking benevolent mercy that their secrets are not the ones display.

After election day we then take the time to complain and moan about the results as they are never to our liking, at least not 100%. Then we diatribe against the crooks on the other side who are the solitary reason for the holes in the hull of the sinking ship we are all riding to the bottom of the ocean floor.

George Washington is often considered the greatest president we have ever had. Indeed the people of Washington's day were aware of the issues affecting them, they knew the implications of their voting actions and so, selected wisely. Contrast that with today and many people don't even know who is in the race, much less what they stand for, their history and their platform. Many people miss out on voting altogether for reasons that could have easily been avoided. I know people who did not vote because they went instead to the movies, or at least that is what they told me. Forget the notion that a movie only lasts at most 3 hours and you have no less than 3 additional hours bookending the movie in which to cast your ballot.

Garry Willis said: "(In an election year) we get the presidents we deserve. A great people is what you need for a great president. Washington was the greatest president because the people were at their most enlightened and alert. America right now is escapist. It wants to be soothed, and told it doesn't have to pay or sacrifice or learn."

Said differently - in an election year we get exactly the candidate we deserve. Nobody slipped one past us. If we as a whole are not satisfied with the candidates we have selected and continue to select, perhaps we as a whole should become more enlightened and alert in the future.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Eleanor Ruth Aanerud - born Oct 30, 2010 at 6:24 am. 7 lbs, 7 ounces, 19 inches long and perfectly healthy.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A RP Halloween

Even if you don't like Dr. Paul - this dude can carve a pumpkin!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Addie Louie just turned Two-ey!

Our little girlie had her 2nd birthday on Monday (Oct 11)! Its so weird to me how sometimes she just seems like my little tiny baby, and other times she's a big girl.

Things that make her seem old:
-She is talking really well, and is constantly shocking us with the words and phrases that she already knows. You can have a pretty interesting conversation with this girl!
-She is mostly potty trained, which is awesome! We're saving a pretty good chunk of money by not having to buy diapers at the moment. I haven't changed a diaper in 6 weeks!
-She likes to do everything herself. She feeds herself, climbs into her car seat herself, and tries to put her clothes on by herself.

Things that make her seem little:
-She still loves her paci. She wants to have it ALL THE TIME! It drives me nuts! Especially since I give in a lot because of the exhausted state I'm in. I am proud to say that today, she's only had her paci at nap time!
-She still uses a juice cup. We could probably break her of this habit, but to be honest, I don't really see the need.

So, in true Eric and Sarah fashion, we don't have many pictures to post from her birthday. That's partly because she wouldn't sit still, so I got tired of trying, but here are a few:

How old am I...

I was laughing the other day because I have a friend who likes to cross stitch, and for me, cross stitch has always been something you did at a young women's activity once or twice in your life...not an actual hobby. Then I realized what I was doing as a laughed thinking about this friend in her twenties cross stitching in her spare time...I was knitting!! What is the matter with me? Somewhere in the last 5 years I've become an old woman. I enjoy crocheting and knitting...its true! Our little family went to the Roundhouse Festival back in August and I saw some older ladies sitting in the corner talking and knitting, and I thought,"I wish I could do that." So, I realize its a bit odd, but I wanted to learn to knit, so I did, and I finished my first project. Its actually my second project, but the first isn't actually worth mentioning, so we'll just skip right over it. I am by no means a professional knitter, but I'm proud of the teeny tiny little blanket I made, my kids and husband are proud of it, and hopefully our little Ellie Bean (who will be making her appearance in the next 4 weeks!!) will love it too!
In these pictures you can see where I was paying too much attention to the show I was watching and accidentally switched the stitch, but that just gives it more character, right?!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

This is my problem

This guy describes me with haunting accuracy.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

People are crazy

I pulled up to the first inspection of the day and had to swerve a little in order to avoid running over an unkempt little boy who looked like he had just finished playing in a coal mine and was filthy from head to foot. His hair looked like it was a poorly managed mohawk and I'm sure he should have been in school. When I got out of the truck he followed me around screaming some gibberish that I couldn't understand and didn't seem to make sense to anyone else around either. His aunt met me at the front gate and let me on to the property and I went about my business measuring the home while avoiding the piles of dog logs peppering the yard and kicking the 4 or 5 dogs off my legs as I went.

When I got inside the house the aunt continued to try and rouse the boy's mother (her sister) from bed. After some persuasion she eventually managed roll out of bed and put on enough clothes to make the situation more of a PG-13 than the full blown R we were welcomed in to. (Although that rating is failing to take in to consideration the adult images proudly displayed on the walls of the home) The boy previously mentioned was in and out of the house, still screaming nonsense and being continually screamed at by the various authorities of the home but spent most of his time in the street. 

As I was taking the last picture that I needed of the dedicated parrot room of the home and weighing carefully the added value that piles of bird fecal stalagmites might contribute to the property as a whole, I turned in to the hallway and spotted that the boy's mother was wearing a very bulky anklet and realized she was on house arrest. As I was walking through the front door to go back to the truck I overheard a conversation between the aunt and her sister explaining in whispered tone that "I can't go outside because of this thing" - as she raised her ankle to show off her sporty anklet. The aunt then startled me by screaming for the boy to come  and put some shoes on before playing in the street. I got in to my truck wondering what would happen if the boy were hit by a car while playing in the street (the mom not being able to go more than 5 feet beyond the perimeter of the home) if she would be arrested for violating her house arrest or the negligent care of her child or both. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Random Stuff

I'm terrible at blogging! Sorry! So, we've been doing lots of stuff, but Eric and I both hate stopping to take pictures, so I don't really have any. We went to the Thanksgiving Point Gardens and I took one picture (and unless you know where he is, you can't really see Jack).
We went to the zoo, and I didn't even bring the camera. We spent a week in Park City with my family. I brought the camera, but I only took 2 pictures...
So, let's skip all the stuff we've been up to that we don't have pictures of. Currently in our house, we are in the middle of a major power struggle! I'm not talking about Eric and I. These kids are crazy! Jack and Addie had been so easy. They had us tricked into thinking the gap between them was perfect because they were so easy. They had their tantrums and things, but seriously, nothing was too hard to handle. We planned baby #3, and were on our way to a 5 person super easy family when everything got flipped upside down! In all fairness, I think part of the problem is my pregnancy. This is the first time being pregnant has actually altered my personality, and its been really hard for me. Then on top of that, Addie has officially entered the terrible 2's, which are nothing compared to the stage Jack is in. He's really trying to figure out where the boundaries are, and what he can get away with. Its driving me nuts! Discipline is soo hard! How do you maintain a level head but convince your child that you're serious and that action is not allowed? Eric thinks I'm funny when I'm mad, and I'm pretty sure Jack does too, so it makes things really difficult and frustrating.

So that's my rant. This next bit is semi unrelated, but that's okay. Addie's favorite past time is putting on makeup. You can find her like this anytime you forget to lock the bathroom door.
Jack was so excited the other day that he was just running around the house in circles. He was going so fast he tripped on a pillow and slammed his face into the fireplace. Luckily nothing broke or even got bloody, but he has a pretty good bruise. Its kind of hard to see in the picture, but it curls around his cheek and goes up into his eye.
This one IS part of our power struggle. Our kids need naps. They get really mean if they skip one, so I try to keep them on track. But I really need them to take naps too. I'm exhausted, and I need that little bit of time in the day to regain my composure after all the craziness. A few days ago, Jack didn't want to take a nap. I told him that was fine, but he needed to stay in his room and play quietly for a little while because we both needed a break. He refused, and said instead he was just going to sit on the top of the stairs. Fine! It got pretty quiet, so I assumed he gave up and went to his room. I went to get Addie from her nap, and found Jack sound asleep on the stairs.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pictures from the Great Depression Era

I thought this was pretty interesting. The Library of Congress has recently released about 1600 pictures from the early 1940's. I thought they were really interesting to look at since these were in color - I don't know if I've ever seen a color picture from that time. Take a look.

One more time

I know I posted this in text format a few weeks ago. I just think it's interesting to watch the video and see the people in the audience, the administrators and her fellow grad's  turning to each other and whispering or snickering. I can only imagine what they are saying to each other: "can she say that?" "are they just going to sit there and let her say those things?" It just makes me happy that there are people out there who share these feelings with me. This is one brave chica and my hat's off to her for having the courage to challenge the system, especially in this setting. Bravo!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


This weekend was the Evanston Rounhouse Festival. It's a huge model train show that train enthusiasts come all over the western states to attend and to raise money for the renovations that are left to do there. We have always liked the old train buildings and now that they are being restored they are pretty impressive. Also we do have some familial ties as well with my great grandfather having worked at the roundhouse back in its hay day. Needless to say Jackson was beside himself with excitement to get there and we spent the vast majority of Saturday checking out all of the model trains and enjoying all of the train stuff to do.

...And an Addie picture for fun.