Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Here we are right before leaving for church on Easter!  School is almost over for the semester, so I'm in the middle of final papers, final projects, and final tests!  I will be almost totally done by the end of this week, and then I will be back!  Happy Easter everyone!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

St. George

Okay, so a picture overload is following!  I'm finally getting around to posting pictures from our St. George trip.  It has been cruel to do so, since it has been pretty much snowing here again for the last two days straight!  I want to go back to St. George, but even St. George this week isn't much better than here!  So, I'm glad we got to go last week and enjoy 75-80 degree weather while we were there!!

We got there the first night in the evening.  So, all we did that day besides drive was go swimming at the hotel's indoor pool.  Honestly, the pool was the kids' favorite activity to do while we were down there, and we went every day!  But, I didn't get any pictures!  Oops! 

The second day we went to Zions.  We went through the tunnel, which all the kids loved except Ammon!  The only hike we went on was to Weeping Rock.  This year there was a waterfall there from all the runoff!  It was beautiful!

Here are the kids up at the top of the Weeping Rock trail.  I have no idea what kind of pose Eden is doing, but it is awesome!
This stream was at the start of the hike to Weeping Rock.  The water, like I said, is from runoff, so it was cold!
Isaac's turn to freeze his feet off!
After getting their feet a bit wet, the girls decided it would be fun to make some mud/sand pies!  So, we spent about 15 or 20 minutes just playing at the stream!
This is at the visitors center at Zions.  And no, Ammon is not standing all by himself back there!  Rob has got him, but is well hidden!  Also, in the background is my mother-in-law and cute niece, who decided to come down as well when they found out we were going!  They had a room in the same hotel as us, just a couple of doors down, and it was fun having them there with us!
I had to include this picture just for fun!  Isaac is such a boy and loves to ham it up for the pictures!  You can see his big bruise on his forehead.  A day or two before we left for St. George, Isaac was walking into our front door, which has tile flooring, and Eden accidentally stepped on the hem of his pants.  Isaac went to take a step, and totally face-planted on the tile, resulting with this massive bruise!  He actually had a slight black eye from it as well, although you really can't see that part of it in this picture!
EmmaLee getting her picture taken!  Notice the beautiful blue sky in the background!  We had really beautiful and perfect weather the whole time we were in St. George!
Just some cute pictures of Ammon while trying to get some of the amazing mountains in the background, and the beautiful weather!
Again, have I mentioned how nice the weather was?
I love how Ammon is trying to stick his foot in Rob's mouth in this one!
Eden and another fabulous pose!
On the way back from Zions, we stopped in the town of Grafton, which is an old pioneer town.  I think I've heard that they filmed some movie here some years ago, something like "The Sundance Kids", or something like that, but I really don't know for sure what it was called!  This was the town hall/school/and church.
This was a house that was there.  You couldn't actually go into either this house or the town hall, but there was another, smaller place across from this one that you could go in, but I didn't get any pictures of it!  It was a very basic home, though, with only like 3 rooms, and it felt more like a shed!
A closer view of the porch and the cute kiddos on it!
Another day we went to Sand Hollow Reservoir.  The first place we tried to set up our stuff, we were almost overrun with gnats!  So, we moved 15 feet down the shore, and it was much better!  The kids loved playing in the sand and water, and Rob brought his RC car that has sand wheels.  It was a fun and relaxing time, although I did get fried on the back of my neck.  We had brought sunscreen, and we all put it on, but I had forgotten to get the back of my neck!  It ended up as red as this sand!
EmmaLee loved the beach, and in this picture was actually trying to watch some ants she had just discovered in the sand!
This is Isaac up a ways watching Rob and his car.  We were the only ones on the beach, so the kids had lots of room to run and explore!  There were some stickers in some places, but the kids still had a blast! 
Our little spot!  The bank actually had a little drop off about a foot high, which is why the kids look a little short; they on on the lake level, but all our stuff is on top of it.  We took the playpen so Ammon could move around without trying to eat the sand too much!  He loves being outside! 
One evening, we drove by the St. George temple, and EmmaLee, Isaac and I decided to go get a couple of up close pictures!  It was beautiful, and a great teaching opportunity with a bit of humor thrown in!  Isaac was asking about going inside, and I explained that you can only go in on special occasions.  Before I could say more he said, "Oh, so you have to have a wedding dress to go inside."  Yeah, something like that!  I just laughed and tried to explain that you need a recommend, not a wedding dress to get in! 
Look close, the kids are still at the door!  I had to make sure to tell them to not knock on the door while they were up there, and thankfully, they listened! 
Another day we visited the Silver Reef museum.  The kids got little Chinese souvenirs; apparently during it's hay day there was a little China town in this settlement!  We explored some of the land where the town used to be.  Behind Eden is a little cactus tree I thought looked pretty cool! 
A bigger view of us exploring.
Some of my pictures got out of order, and weren't cooperating in going back to their right order, so I gave up!  This is EmmaLee getting her turn to freeze her feet at the stream in Zions. 
This is a picture on the grounds at the Brigham Young Winter house located in St. George.  I didn't get a picture of the actual house-one day I'll figure out how to actually take better documenting photos of the places we go!
Finally, again out of order, this is Ammon at Sand Hollow.  He really loved the vacation as well, and loved swimming!  He also slept pretty good for us while we were down there, which was probably because he was so tired from all the activities we were doing!

So, for the most part, that was our trip!  It was fun, and it makes me want to cry now looking at the pictures and remembering how I wore SHORTS, and then thinking about the snow we've had again this week!  Spring, oh spring, please come our way!!

I also want to mention that Ammon has started to take several steps at a time!  Today he was doing really well, and took as many as 6 or 7 steps!  He has been taking one or two for the last couple of days, but didn't really seem to be trying for more.  Today it is like it finally clicked what he was doing, and he was so excited to walk!  I wish I had gotten it on video, but I was having too much fun helping him to get my camera!  I give this boy a week or two before he's totally off and going with full walking!  He's growing up WAY too fast!

Finally, because it took me so long to get the pictures downloaded and write about them, I'm going to skip writing about the next communication style for tonight.  I will start up again with fight talk next time!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Sunday Thoughts on a Sunday

Okay, so my title is a little deceiving; this is more of a Sunday joke!  We went to my parent's house for the afternoon session of conference today, as did my sister, Melanie, and her family.  Melanie wanted to show her husband my dad's early '80's fro, so she was going through some old pictures.  She found one of my dad in the early '90's where he had a full beard and mustache.  I showed it to EmmaLee and asked her if she knew who it was.  She smiled and immediately said "Jesus"!  We just laughed!  I'll have to scan the picture in and see if you can see the resemblance! 

This last week we made an impromptu trip down to St. George, and it was so nice!  I'll have to make a post about it later this week with pictures!

The next style of talk I'm going to talk about is control, fight, and spite talk.  Through power and control, this style aims at gaining agreement or compliance, or it attempts to resist change.  This style strives for a certain outcome, even if it has to be forced.  You focus on the other person-not yourself.

Partners try to exert their power using three different ways of talking.  The first way-control talk- sends messages intended to be constructive.  The other two-fight talk and spite talk-send negative, potentially destructive messages.  Noverbals-posture, gestures, tone, pitch, pace and facial expressions-play a prominent role in signaling these messages.

Control Talk

Control talk intends to take charge-communicating a knowing, authoritative stance.  This is a style most people use to direct, command, make a presentation, persuade, sell, bargain, supervise, teach, and advocate.  The intention is to:  establish agreement/compliance; use authority; direct/control/lead; declare; instruct; advise/exhort/persuade; pressure/compel; evaluate; set expectations/limits; and reinforce positively.  The intention is to be: proactive; in charge; helpful; efficient; persuasive; and compelling.  The mood is: directive, with or without compliance; authoritative, with or without acceptance.  Nonverbals include: commanding tone and gestures.  Cue words can include: you (spoken or implied); pronouncements; assumptions; imperatives (should, ought, have to); superlatives (always, never, every); and statements phrased as questions.

Typical Control-Talk Behaviors

*Speaking for others-tell others what their experience has been, is, or will be: "You know this is the right decision."
*Directing: "Stop by the cleaners on your way home."
*Advising, prescribing solutions: "Take some vitamin C.  It will help you ward off a cold."
*Advocating, persuading: "Just try it once.  You will really like it."
*Instructing: "There are three things to consider.  The first is . . ."
*Evaluating: "This new software is twice as good as the old program."
*Assuming: "It isn't hard.  You can figure it out."
*Setting expectations, establishing boundaries: "Let's get together tomorrow afternoon, just the two of us."
*Cautioning, warning: "Be careful.  The roads are slick."
*Closed/directive questions: "Don't you think that...?" "Wouldn't you agree that...?"
*Praising: "You look great in your new blue suit."
*Bragging: "I'm always the one they count on."

Impact of Control Talk

*Shows the situation is under control, when it works.
*Fosters resistance if it is experienced as "boxing in" the other.  (Most people like to participate in conversations and decisions that affect them; few like to be ordered around.)
*Sometimes creates misunderstanding, distance, and tension in its commanding tone.
*Can generate a fight or spite talk response, if it is perceived as abrasive or discounting.
*Excessive control talk may indicate mounting pressures.

If control talk goes on constantly with one or both of you, power is a struggle in your relationship.

Somewhat related to this last thought, in my child guidance class this last week, I learned about a theory called Dreiker's Theory.  In his theory, Dreiker talks about how everybody has a genuine goal, which is to belong.  When this genuine goal is not being met, people often fall to "mistaken" goals, such as attention seeking, power struggles, and withdrawing, to name a few.  When people feel insecure or that they do not belong, they often seek for more power over their situation.  In children, especially teenagers, this can result in rebellion, or a refusal to listen to their parents.  The best way to handle this is to be firm and not get into a power struggle, but to also see if there are other areas where you can give this child more power or control in their lives, such as planning the dinner menu, or some other family activity.  This is obviously harder to do in a marriage relationship, but the idea of realizing that if, as the statement above mentions, power is a struggle in your relationship, you may want to take a closer look as to why.  Is the genuine goal of feeling you belong not being met for one or the other?  Maybe sitting down and trying to come up with a better distinction or distribution of responsibilities between the couple needs to happen.  In extreme cases, this might need to be done with the help of a counselor, or someone else who both people in the relationship trust. 

I'm going to end the post for tonight, but next time I will talk about the fight/spite talk.