Torgesen Family Times

{We are trying to enjoy and record the moments that make life special}
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Moab, Part 2




Moab, Part 1 here



After only ~ 4 hours of driving (with a break at ~2 hours in Price), we turned the corner and literally the mountains became the distinctive red color that you see on famous pictures.  It was a beautiful site to see!  So different from what we normally see with big evergreen trees, green grass, green plants of all shapes and sizes, green mountains with snow capped peaks.  This was almost mars-like to us!  Red mountains, rocks galore, sage brush, sun so bright in the sky. 


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We arrived at my Aunt’s house just south of Moab, hugged and chatted a bit and decided to get the kids out and explore a little waterfall area right behind my Aunt’s house.  I think it’s a man-made waterfall, but a little waterfall none the less.  A little drive in our rental car (probably not in the contract to drive on unpaved roads, but oh well – Lance loved it!) and we were there.  The hike was very short for us sea-level people and the views were great!  The kids and all of us got to stretch our legs a bit after the long car ride. 



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Lance took Alex up a bit of the hillside on his first (but not the last) rock climbing and they loved it!


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The two sisters were just chatting away  and enjoying seeing each other for the first time in ~ 10 years. 

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We then went to another area right nearby that had some amazing holes in the rock.  Lance wanted to climb up and so he did, with two kids in tow.  I stayed down to take pictures, but it looked pretty fun!



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We came back after successfully stretching our legs and the kids played with bubble water, the rocking swing in the backyard and just had a dandy time.  My cousin Becky came over with her daughter, Peyton (10 years old) and newborn baby girl, Addison (literally fresh and new at 6 weeks old).  It was so great to see Becky after all this time and meet her daughters for the first time too!  The kids had a wonderful time playing together. 

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We settled into our home away from home – the trailer.  It was very comfortable.  We had the kids sleep together, which took some getting used to for them and us.  There were many kicks and “Mom – Sara hit me” and “No look me brudder”, but finally they fell asleep.  We made some adjustments with who was sleeping on the inside and which way they were laying the next night and it went much better.  Sara only fell off the little bed onto the hard floor once that first night, but it was enough in the middle of the night to scare her and it took her a while to get back to sleep.  By the end of our stay, we were pros at sleeping in our home away from home. 


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I woke up that morning and felt like a truck had literally run me over. I wasn’t sick, but something was definitely up. Well, after some symptom checks with the locals (Aunt and Uncle) and my trusty Mom and husband, we think I had allergies. There was a lot of pollen in the air, it was very dry there, and so we tried some allergy pills and voila! My problems were solved! Another thing about this area is because it is so dry, we carried lots of water everywhere we went. It turns out I also developed a headache. Not totally unusual, but this was a different headache. All I could describe it as was “the light is so bright here”. My cousin recommended polarized sunglasses and we went to get me a pair. They are a miracle, I tell you, a miracle. The allergy pills combined with my new polarized lenses and I was set for the rest of the trip.


That next day we went on a longer hike somewhere North of town, down some unmarked dirt roads that went on for quite a while.  Let’s just say, you had to know where you were going… Glad we were following my Uncle Bill and Aunt Carolyn! 


On the hike, Alex found a real sharpened rock made by Native Americans way back.  It was definitely sharp and in an unnatural shape.  As we began to look around, we found quite a few – so cool! 


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Alex was so interested in the dessert – he had learned about this type of landscape while studying the continents.  He knew that desserts had cactus and he was so interested to see one.  He was a little disappointed when he didn’t see the Saguaro type cactus.  All we saw were these smaller cactuses that definitely had pointy sharp spines though.  Guess who had to test that out? 


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It was a nice hike on a fairly unmarked trail out in the Utah wilderness.  Again, we were glad we were being guided about where to go.  There were some pictographs that they were taking us to see.  We could see them close up and we thought this was so cool! 


We learned something new on this trip about these and other drawings.  Petroglyphs is a rock engraving whereas a Pictograph is an image painted or drawn on rock.  We saw both on this trip to Moab, but this hike was all about Pictographs. 



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Family picture in Moab!

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Sara was nearing her nap and I had to take her back to the car. She was just melting in to a puddle of toddler-hood. Sadly, I didn’t get to see the last Pictographs of the handprints, but there were in this slot like canyon that when you entered, Lance said it was so cool (temperature wise) compared to the surroundings. Very cool indeed!


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Then, we drove back towards Moab and took a turn right off the main highway.  There was a camping area right there and to the side, a fenced area.  Didn’t look like much at all until you got up close inside the fence…. REAL DINOSAUR TRACKS!  In this greenish-blue mud from back how many millions of years ago, dinosaurs laid down their foot prints right there and here they were for us to see!  One area showed some dinosaur tracks where it put down it’s tail (maybe it was slipping) so there were footprints and a long print that was clearly a tail.  There were different shaped foot prints and ones that were going this way and that.   Apparently this place had been “discovered” after a big rain storm and the locals put some fencing up surrounding it to preserve it and keep the roaming cows off of it.  It wouldn't be like this forever, as the greenish mud seemed relatively fragile. It wasn’t rock, more like a really hard mud type substance.  We felt so lucky to see this and we all had a great time!


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Oh yes, again he was so interested in those cactuses! 


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To be continued…

Moab trip, part 1



For Spring Break, we were searching for somewhere sunny and preferably warm to go.  We were thinking San Antonio, Phoenix, Florida…  Some place new, but for sure had to be sunny!


Well, we decided on Moab, Utah.  Why Moab you ask?  My Aunt Carolyn and Uncle Bill live there, as well as my cousin Becky and her two kiddos.  We have never been and had been talking about it over the years, but babies/pregnancies never made it easy.  Then this year it just worked out.  My Mom was making plans and we decided to hitch a ride! 



We first made our way to the airport, parking the car, riding the shuttle, waiting for the airplane.  Everything went very smoothly.  Sara was so excited for her first airplane ride!  She squeaked in sitting on my lap, 2 years old is the limit, and saved us about $250!  She didn’t sleep a wink, but keep me busy with toys and reading.   



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Lance and Alex used Lance’s miles to fly free and had to take a layover in San Francisco, it was a good thing that we had this hotel! Otherwise we would’ve been driving in the middle of the night! They arrived at ~ 7pm I think (SLC time, so the kids were still on SEA time). My Mom, Sara and I got the car, got dinner ordered (pizza) and went to pick up the boys from the airport later than expected. We were supposed to arrive at the same time, but layovers and delays don’t make good time. So, we picked them up about 6 hours after they were supposed to land. Safe and happy flights, though. Alex was a trooper Lance said.


Then, we had arranged a hotel in Salt Lake City for the night.  After a day of traveling for the kids, we thought this would be a good idea to break up the trip a bit.  Boy was it ever a great idea!  Lance found a nice hotel with a swimming pool that we knew they would love and they took full advantage. 


Alex can full on swim with the water wings.  It was fun to see!  There were other kids in the pool and somebody let us borrow these.  Alex loved them and they really helped with that last little lift to fully swim, well doggie paddle with little to no help. 


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The kids were tired puppies that night.  Here they are snuggling in the hotel bed after swimming, winding down watching whatever cartoons were on tv. 


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The next morning we ate breakfast and waited for the pool to open.  Waiting is so hard when a pool is >>>>>  right there!  We got all ready and jumped in the pool when it finally opened to get some wiggles out before the long 4 hour drive to Moab.  Sara got it and had a blast!  She still talks about “swimming in the water with Bama Sandy”. 


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We were all in the pool this time and I even got my picture taken (rare these days, unless specifically requested).  I just love these next photos below of us in the pool.  We had a great time that morning. 


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Then it was time to hit the road.  It was VERY bright in SLC.  I brought sunglasses for the kiddos, they didn’t wear them, but they were sure fun for ~ 5 minutes. 


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We stopped about half way in Price, Utah and got some Taco Time and found a play ground to stretch our legs.  Again, another great call to plan a break for lunch and find a playground. We stopped at the same place on the way back, because basically, there is nothing else in between these two places…


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To be continued…

I bet you can’t find anyone cuter than this one…

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Take your kid to work day

The other day I asked what Mommy did at work.  Remember this story about making money?  Well, this time I told him that I’m a scientist, and make no mistake – he knows what science is and does it in preschool no less! 

He says to me “no your not”!  “Yes I am”, I say “and I will show you”!  He questions me about just sitting at my desk my desk all day, not doing “real” science (man this kid is smart or what!), but I assure him I am a real live scientist who does science for work (he calls it working).  In fact, I’m going to prove it to him by taking him to work with me one day. 

So, off we were together in late April to TYKTWD.  I was so excited that I even volunteered to be one of the participants to teach the kids a session. 

We had such a special day that I will always cherish.  First there was a tour of all the labs and Alex got to look in a microscope, wear a real lab coat and lab glasses (doesn’t he just look so cute!).  There was one session before mine, and then it was go time!  Let’s just say that there is no real preparing you for 74 kids and chemistry!  But, thank goodness I was teaching in the morning session, the afternoons sessions got a bit wilder! 

Some of my colleagues volunteered with me and even came up with the concept.  I just had to organize and do most of the talking (not really that big of a deal, if you ask me!).  We had already boiled purple cabbage leaves and would use this as an indicator for pH of different household chemicals.  We talked about what pH is and why it’s important to us, and how it’s used by some of the Mommy’s and Daddy’s who work here.  Then, we got to the good stuff, mixing colored liquids! 

The purple liquid would turn pink if it was an acid, or green if it was a base.  It would stay purple if it was neutral.  We had the kids record what they say on paper (because documentation is important!) and some of the older kids would make hypothesis before they started mixing chemicals.  Even cooler was figuring out how many drops would it take for one acid and one base to make different colors.  Blue was slightly basic and magenta was slightly acidic.  It all went very well and I was so happy I had volunteered. 

Other experiments they did that day involved marshmallow animals and phenotype/genotype categorization and extracting their own DNA and putting it into a necklace that they could wear! 

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We had lunch together and Alex was “flying” there from one building to the next!

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The day was exhausting and mentally draining watching 74 kids and maintaining that much attention on that many little kiddos.  But, the best part was when we were leaving and Alex told me this “Mommy, I want to be a scientist when I grow up”.  All worth it right there, all worth it.

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Well, after catching up on all my photos for the past 2 months, my computer getting a virus and having it at the fix-it shop, having it slow down again, I just went out and bought myself a Mother’s Day present to myself - - - a new lighting fast computer!  So, I had to transfer everything over (not the fastest of tasks, but not difficult if you kept all the original disks) and now I think I’m up and running again.  Yeah!


It’s been nice to have this break.  Lately I’ve been struggling with the whole blogging thing.  I mean, I love blogging and I love showing pictures, but after 622 posts and 5 years of blogging, I think I just needed some time off.  So, hopefully with my new computer and some time away, I’ll be back to my normal postings soon.



So, here we are in May and the kids got their well child appointments way back at the beginning of April. 


Both kids stats from last year to compare


Sara – 2 years old. 

(here are Alex’s stats from 2 years old if you want to compare Alex stats 2 years old, but I’m sure you don’t compare the kids at all, do you?


Height: 36 1/2 inches (98th %)

Weight: 27 lbs. 8 oz. (75th%)

Shoe size: 8


Sara’s talking has EXPLODED.  Some of her favorite things to say are:

Peanu-budda-jelly peeeaaaaasssss (peanut butter jelly sandwich please) – her favorite food that she would live off if she could

So Sad

So Silly

Happy (she’s learning all about feelings right now and recognizing when she’s having a feeling and when other people are having feelings)

My bubble/my body (when Alex gets in her space this is what she says to him)

Chocolick (chocolate)

Oh my goodness!

Boy or girl?  I ask Sara if someone is a boy or girl and she loves this game.  At first she didn’t know, but now she does! 


She has learned how to pedel a tricycle a little bit as long as there is a slight decline, she can do it!


She loves singing songs including twinkle twinkle (sounds like tinkle tinkle, so cute!), ABCs, the itsy bitsy spider, and many other songs.


She LOVES playing with brother, most of the time.  Sometimes they really get into taking the cushions off the couches and making forts and jumping over the lava. 


She is really good at puzzles!  We have many puzzles and she loves doing them.  Sometimes we take out three puzzles at a time and mix up all the pieces and, with a little help, can get all the pieces where they go.  She thinks it’s so funny, and even does it herself to crack me up, to put the puzzle piece in the wrong spot and says “go here? …. no…..  go here? …. no….”  Laughing and laughing….


She loves baths and playing with boats in the bathtub. 


We’ve gotten her pretty well trained with wearing hats and getting sunscreen on.  It helps that she sees big brother do it.  I love these hats that Sunday Afternoons sells.  They are so breathable, lightweight and have a SPF of 50!  I’ve just ordered some more sizes since we’ll need them this summer!


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Sara all protected from the sun, ready for the water!


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Sara and her best friend Natalie at preschool. 


Alex – 5 years old. 


Height: 46 inches (94th %)

Weight: 45 lbs. (75th%)

Shoe size: 13



Alex is growing up to be so big!  He is excited for kindergarten this Fall and even comes home and tells me he needs to practice doing homework for next year.  Very excited!  He loves Superheros and anything Ninja or Secret Agent.  He has discovered Ninjago (Ninja Legos) cartoons and legos and just loves them.  He watches the cartoon and tells me that this ninja is trying to find his “true potential”.  So funny!  He loves playing with all kids and has made a special friendship with a neighborhood boy right across the street who is 3 1/2.  They love playing with each other every night after preschool, especially now the weather is nice and the days are long.  There also is some new neighbors behind us that have a 6 year old girl and a 2 year old boy!  He loves taking his tools out to work on the tree fort and other projects.  


One night when he climbed into our bed (again) in the middle of the night, we asked him in the morning why he comes into our bed.  He said “you guys are so warm and Daddy is like a noisemaker”.  Ha ha ha!  We have a noisemaker that he used to use that now Sara has in her room.  It literally makes white noise that helps the kids sleep.  It also evens out the noise at night in case there is a loud dog bark or something in the house that would wake the kids up, just when they are almost asleep.  It’s been a lifesaver.  Well, apparently Daddy makes noises at night that put Alex to sleep!


His favorite foods are watermelon, corn on the cob and ravioli.  He loves his sports and activities, perhaps mostly because they are social, but also because they are athletic and he has so much wiggles and energy. 


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Alex at T-ball


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Zach, Aiden and Alex at preschool.  His best buddies.  When ever he talks about them, it’s “ZachandAiden”.  Playing with his friends are one of his best things every day.