Okay, here’s a quick recap of some our adventures in the past couple of week. I hope one day our kids read this. I hope one day someone reads this. People need to know where we ate.
Fran and I try to have at least one date a month (usually we have more). We really enjoy Thai House in Lehi. The center picture is green curry. I don’t know how to explain it, but it tastes green. And green is delicious. I honestly can’t remember what we did after we ate- it must have rocked so hard that it jarred the memory loose.
For the past few weeks I’ve been looking for a handgun (more on that in another post) and my search took me to Cabela’s. This wouldn’t have been a big deal but it was Saturday and I had all four of our kids. Not my best idea in retrospect. It was literally too busy to shop (luckily they didn’t have what I was looking for) so we walked through the animal displays and aquarium instead.
Fran decided that the kids should have cubbies for their toys so off we went to Ikea. Each of the boys got a 2×2 unit and the girls share a 4×2. Gabe, who is the neatest of our children, seemed quite excited about organizing his toys. I think the other two responded positively as well. Sadly, if history is any indicator I would guess that the sheleves- if the shelves are still intact – do not look like they did on that beautiful first day.
On Valentine’s Day Fran dressed up the kids in cute shirts, made them heart shaped waffles for breakfast and even let them eat some of their Valentine’s Day candy!
For Valentine’s Day dinner Fran prepared a raclette (the plate has a misting of heart candies) and served us fancy chocolate covered strawberries. Then the kids are more candy while Fran cried. And let me just say for the record that I love Fran. She is a wonderful wife, fantastic mother and my best friend. She makes me truly happy and there is no one on earth I would rather have by my side as we journey through this life.
Fran and Claire went to a BYU ballet production of Sleeping Beauty (once again, I wisely opted to stay home and hold down the fort). Fran’s report went something like “There were a couple of really good dancers and a bunch of so-so dancers. If it had only been an hour it would have been perfect… but it was three.” Culture has a price.
What do you do with snow, besides curing it’s existence? You sled. The kids got together with their cousins and did a few downhill runs in Mapleton. I hear it was crazy. Fran snapped a shot of the sun halo earlier this month while they were sledding.
Another trip to the aquarium (seems like they go there a lot).
A couple weeks ago my treadmill blew up (really). I was joggling along and sparks started flying out of the motor and the belt seized. I’m going to get it fixed, but in the meantime I opted to get a new S77 model. Comparing this model to the old one I have concluded that 6mph is not necessarily 6mph. I’m excited to get back on track (ah, it is a pun!).
And then we went out again. Thanksgiving Point sandwiches, quiche, salad and a few desserts later we were ready to cry our eyes out while we watches Les Miserables. Yes, I look annoyed in this picture. But that was after Fran took about twenty pictures of me and our food. I returned the favor but all I could elicit was amusement.
We capped off last week with a double birthday party (for James & Nelly) down in Mapleton. By the time we finished singing “Happy Birthday” in English and French the candles had burned down to tiny nubs and a skeleton was clawing his way out of the cake.
And this video? I don’t know, I just thought it was really beautiful so I wanted to share it.
This winter has been so cold. There are lot of projects I want to do but the appeal and my drive is vastly diminished by the weather. However, there was a “warm spell” a couple of weeks ago – got almost to forty degrees – and I managed to sneak something in.
Back in December I purchased two JL Audio amplifiers (an HD750/1 and HD600/4). Since they are larger than the Kenwood amps that were in the car it was necessary to fabricate a new amp rack. I called up J-Wise and he worked up a beautiful new design and had it put together in just a few days. I painted and carpeted it myself.
Installation was pretty straight forward but took the better part of a Saturday. I replaced my battery and ran new power and ground wires. I haven’t had time to get good pictures of the setup, but it looks outstanding. I also took the opportunity to replace the connector on the sub-box with something a little beefier (the old connector wasn’t holding the wires tightly and had a small leak).
The sound? Fantastic. I don’t know if it’s in my head, but everything sounds super crisp and clean (which is what I like). The bass seems vastly improved as I can listen through songs that before were simply too hard on the ears. I can’t A/B test the setups, but I’m really happy with this switch and that’s good enough for me.
There are a couple of issues left to deal with though. If life teaches me one lesson over and over and over it’s that nothing can be perfect. I have a shorted RCA cable that I need to replace. It’s fine for now (a little ugly though), but it’s exacerbating the ground loop. One day I am planning to line the car with some kind of sound deadening material and I will pull everything apart, check connections, run new RCAs and reground things. In the meantime I will just enjoy!
They say time flies when you’re having fun. I must have been having a ton of fun these past few weeks. I’ve certainly had some fun… I read a few books, worked on my car a bit and we went snowmobiling. But I’ve also spent a lot of this winter sick- seems like a week on and a week off (that’s not fun). And work has taken more of my time up these days (in a good way, but I still wouldn’t call it fun). Here’s some Hughes family highlights.
A few weeks ago we went up to Daniel’s Summit with some of our friends (both sets of Browns and the Sabins). The cabin we stayed at was fantastic. It was fully furnished, decorated and much larger than we had expected. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a nice place to stay in Heber .
On Saturday we rented snowmobiles and hit the Daniel’s Summit trails. Here are a few of the groupies (I don’t have a good shot of the Sabins, but you can get their trip take here).
The morning weather was excellent and skirting along the trails was a blast. Many exciting looking hills beckoned and resulted in a fair amount of stranded snowmobiles. Luckily there were plenty of people in our group to help dig, push and swear the snowmobiles back to safety. Near the end of the day it began to snow and I realized that it’s probably time to invest in “real” recreational winter clothing. So cold.
The evenings consisted of card games, (Sabotage, Bang and Uno with a punishing twist), casual conversations and a massive pillow fight. We ate most of our meals at the Daniel’s Summit restaurant (supplemented with snacks) but on our last night the Sabins treated us all to a delicious meal at the Spin Cafe in Heber (thanks!).
I’m pretty sure everyone had a fun time. These little getaways are something we used to do more frequently and I’m hopeful we can make them a January tradition again.
The adults weren’t the only ones playing in the snow though. Fran has been taking Mike and Claire to skiing lessons for the last couple of years. It was my intent to join them once they had caught up to my skill level. Sadly, I think that ship may have sailed. Next year I’m going to get my own lessons and then hit the slopes with them a few times.
Every time I shovel our driveway I end up with these huge snow mounds. As I was topping off a particularly tall pile I remembered that I used to dig snow caves when my dad would clear our driveway. One evening when I came home I was delighted to see that my kids had spent a good part of the evening hacking away the snow. Not all their tunnels and caves survived (they play pretty rough), but here’s what was left of their work.
I can’t wait for spring. I’ve gotten to drive my car a couple of times, but mostly it just sits…. and waits. Occasionally I start it up for fun when I feel like destroying the earth.
I might stretch out posting intervals to two weeks (on a regular basis) so I can better accommodate all the “fun” I’m having these days.