Monday, November 3, 2008

Parker The Tree Climber

One of the classes we are offering at the Elementary school this year is a tree climbing class. Let me tell you, it's been a HIT with all the kids. They do walking on ropes and ladders and climbing up ropes to the treetops and sliding down and they are going to be doing the zip line very soon. Parker has LOVED this class, which is a surprise to me because he's not comfortable in heights. He has gotten higher each week and says can I go up one more step each time he's up there. I am very impressed how his confidence in this has grown and it always makes me happy when I can say that I have spent $65.00 well!

Friday, October 24, 2008

A day in the orchard

Well, we've started yet another Winkel Family picking. We had such a good time at Grave's Mountain pikcing our own apples one day. You should have seen the kids when we actually got to pick them from the tree! They were having a festival and we had fried apples (they were like applesauce in a fried shell) and apple butter doughnuts...they were yummy! We did sand art and walked through the farm (place to visit but not live) and did the hay maze and haystack mountain. So what was not to like? Well, the apples were not as flavorful as if we had bought them in the store, but I guess you don't get a hay maze in a store (depending on the cleanliness of the store...okay, maybe you could call Costco that) and the fresh air! But we took our friend Madeline and she had a ball! It was a two hour drive, but totally worth it! Here are some of our fun times. I tried to do a slideshow, and well, now I have no hair. This will be a job for my techie-friend Janine.

Okay, the apples were a little bigger than this, really.

Braden was just as giddy as can be...but don't those apples look good?

These hills were a little difficult to walk on with all the apples on the ground...I can't count how many times Parker fell.

Parker, do you think those apples are really going to hide you?

Madeline was soooo happy to be in the mountains and on top to boot!

Does this look like something out of a magazine or what?

Yes, that is a lake and there was 1 sailboat on it!

Can you tell who "Daddy's boy" is?

It wasn't peak quite yet, but still beautiful!

This cliff was a little scarry, but leave it to the boys to test the edge...

What a great day it was!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busch Gardens in October

We had a great time at Busch Gardens at our annual hookie day. Braden got to ride everything except Griffon and Parker, well, he rode what he wanted to ride. The days go by so quickly when you're at amuzement parks trying to get it all in. This is just one of our traditions that we're starting for the month of October. There is soooo much to do in this month I don't know how we're ever going to get it all in! Sorry, if I could have figured out how to do this in a slideshow format, I would have! Oh,!!

Okay all you sports fans! If you like the Miami Dolphins I hope you're not offended by this picture. This is one of our two new gerbils named Snickers and he is the most patient gerbil I've ever seen. I don't know if it's out of fear, or lulling us into a sense of security, but he really likes to be played with. I know he doesn't look like he's having much fun here, but what other gerbil do you know would stay for a shot like this? This was taken by Jazlynn our babysitter and Braden. I guess there were looking for something to do...I'll leave some puzzles next time.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Okay, so a couple weekends ago we were working around the house and Parker comes to mom and dad and says that there's something up his nose. What is it? we ask. Well, he said he stuck a dime up there. Dad says, did you get it out? He says, "I don't know." So one emergency room and 5 hours later we find the little dime and get it out after they have to call in the specialist! The took an x-ray of this and you could see the president that's on the dime! It never hurt Parker until it was coming back out. Why? you ask, would he put that up there? Believe me, we asked that same thing. In fact, so did the nurse. Sorry, no answer but that he wanted to see if it would fit. Parker never cried...what a trooper! Mom never cried...what a trooper!

The doctor hands me the dime stuck in his glove and all the nurses look at me like of course I will want this for his scrapbook? Am I crazy? Why do I want to to put that in his scrapbook? Heck no! I'm keeping that as a starting point to charge Parker with interest until he's 50! (Which ironically is how many grey hairs he put on my head that day).

Well, we got to the cashier's office and they charged us $150.00 copay. I said to Mark, well, it really is only $149.90 because we did get the dime back. I guess it's just another excited day in the Winkel household. Katie, is this the kind of update you are looking for?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A few little tidbits about me

1. I was born at LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah.

2. I have 1 brother and 3 sisters, of which I am the youngest.

3. One of my favorite memories as a child is running through the sprinkler and then immediately lying down on the hot towel that was on our driveway to dry off.

4. The only thing that I really missed out on as a child was that the next oldest sibling is 6 years older than me, so we never really did Family Home Evening together as a family because they were always going and doing things...yes, even then.

5. I played Bonnet Ball (girls softball) for 3 years and finally made the all-star team the last year.

6. I loved that my dad was at all the games and practically coaching.

7. I was on the volleyball team in 9th grade.

8. You'd think I was lean and trim with all the sports, but no, I've had a weight problem most of my life. I was still the slowest on the team, but could hit the most home runs.

9. There was one boy in elementary school that always called me Julie Fatcell instead of Julie Mansell. Boy did I not like that lovely child!

10. My family all loves waterskiing, but I have never really liked it, just endured it. I would much rather ride a tube or heck, jump off the boat for a swim. I'm sure they all thought I was weird. (This might have had something to do with my weight again.)

11. The most I ever weighed was 360

12. I was in Madrigals and Concert Choir...I love to sing...just wish I had a better voice.

13. I've always wanted to take voice lessons, just has never happened.

14. I love Paula Deane.

15. One night at dinner we were asking, "If you could live next door to anyone in the world, who would it be?" Wouldn't you know that Mark answered Paula Deane. I guess I need to put more butter in my cooking.

16. I met my husband on the internet. We were in the "flirt's nook" worked.

17. Our first date was to the Joseph Smith Memorial building...he wasn't even a member of our church yet.

18. Our second date was to a restaurant in Park City Utah (can't remember the name) but they had the best was a warm almond-flavored milk. It was REALLY good. One day we'll make it back up there...hopefully.

19. Mark had no debt when I met him. I can't say I was so frugal.

20. One of the most touching moments in my life is at our wedding reception when Mark had the microphone and he told everyone that in a million years he would have never guessed that he would be as lucky as to be standing there next to me and he cried. I was touched.

21. My mom passed away in March and I still think about her every day and almost find myself "talking" to her for advice.

22. I am not a great cook. Although I think my friend Janine is, and she doesn't think she is, so somewhere out there in the world (not in my house) someone might find me a good cook. I'll keep looking.

23. My mom was the best cook ever! If I make one of her recipes, then I am a good cook. Otherwise it's poop on a platter.

24. When it comes right down to it, my mom was good at everything she did. And I love her for it now more than I did when she was still with us. I guess sometimes it takes something like death to appreciate other people like they should be...isn't that sad??

25. I've always said I wanted to be the house where the kids like to come and play. I'm now changing that statement to I'd like to be the house they come maybe 3 times a week. I have no problem with them going somewhere else, but be careful what you wish for.

26. I still love the 80s music...go Tiffany...I think we're alone now!

27. Mark is a brain at trivial questions. In fact, I probably have the artist wrong on number 26, and he could tell you who the correct person is and what year it came out.

28. I really want Mark to be on the game shows where you have to know trivial stuff. He is definitely smarter than a 5th grader!

29. We are currently renovating a home and it is a FUN project to see something that is so ugly turn out neat and know that you did it.

30. My favorite food is anything that can be done in a crockpot.

31. I am looking for some sort of part-time job I can do to help out the family budget...I would like to work at a school doing something so that I can have holidays off and summer.

32. On the first day of school that Braden and Parker both went, it finally dawned on me that my life was basically meaningless without my kids. I didn't know what to do with myself.

33. Parker is only 5 years old, and his favorite word is "dude". Where is this going to go from here?

34. My favorite thing to do on sundays is come home, eat dinner, then make cookies and take a plate of them to someone in our neighborhood. I guess I somehow secretly want everyone in our neighborhood to love sundays like me!

35. I don't think I'm going to make it to 100. That seems impossible.

36. I am volunteering at my kids' elementary every Thurs. in the art class and I'm on the PTA committe in charge of after-school you think it's overkill?

37. After being Relief Society President for 3 years I was afraid I'd be bored when I was released. It never happened.

38. My kids are the only children out of 21 grandchildren that have brown eyes.

39. We have never had a sisters' trip with my sisters and I'm thinking it's about time.

40. I love camping...with the right weather conditions.

41. I wish I was better at card writing. I must seem ungrateful that I never remember to send thank you cards and I don't mean to be, I'm just terrible at that! Heck, I can't even get birthday cards out on time!

42. I still think that my husband has the best sense of humor of anyone in the world. He comes up with the funniest stuff sometimes that I'm still laughing about it hours after it's said!

43. I have a cluttered house and I either have to make it messier to get "Clean House" to come out and get it, or I have to sometime get motivated to declutter. I think I need my sister Kaye to come visit.

44. I HATE cleaning bathrooms and will do almost anything to get someone else to do it. Maybe this comes from having boys...maybe it's a phobia, I don't know.

45. When I was young I used to DREAM of becoming a gymnast. Now I just really enjoy watching the olympics.

46. I had gastric bypass surgery in 2005 and lost 160 lbs.

47. I have never broken a bone, but I did break my eardrum jumping from a high dive in Lava Hot Springs, ID when I was younger, which has caused a myriad of problems since then.

48. I have also had both knees scraped of ligaments when I was younger (I always thought it was from playing catcher on the baseball team) but the dr. said it was from the weight.

49. I cried when he showed me the video of my ligaments being scraped out and he told me when I got older I should get a one-level rancher. Do you know how hard those are to come by back East? I now live in a split level, but there's only 6 stairs between each level.

50. When I was younger I had imaginary friends named Chickie, Chocolate and Boy.

51. My best friend growing up across the street from me was Melissah. I sure loved her! We would play "Little Yellow House" with our house cases full of wooden people and furniture and then we also had a little plastic toy pickle and a pig. We named them Pickles and Peaches, respectively.

52. I still love to roller skate.

53. I played the piano for many years, screaming at each practice how much I hated it. Now I wish I'd stuck with it because I can only fumble through the hymns.

54. I miss my family a LOT and I sometimes wonder if I made a big mistake, but then I look at my family here around me and could this have possibly been a mistake?

55. I love to read, but even more than that, I like to discuss the books.

56. I wish I had more hobbies that I was good at.

57. I would like to go back to college one day and get a degree in something, or even another specialty school.

58. One of the first trips that I'd like to take when my kids are old enough to handle it is to the Church History sites.....then Disneyland.

59. I have taken on too many responsiblities between volunteering at school and church.

60. I don't know how to say me!

61. I hate the bags under my eyes, but admittedly, I don't know how to wear makup right.

62. When I asked Braden to tell me something about me, he said that I can't stop being nice...what a good kid...probably wants a cookie.

63. I cut my husband's and boys' hair so that I can explain the $60 I spend on my haircuts.

64. I love long as I have a soft seat.

65. I love horsebackriding. I grew up with many, but haven't really owned one since.

66. My dream is horsebackriding on the beach where you can run in the sand with just a little bit of water splashing up on you...goofy, huh?

67. I want to go on a cruise REALLY bad.

68. I like water aerobics.

69. I will try almost anything once...except squid or other "choice" seafoods.

70. My feet are a size 10, but you will still find me in the 9 section trying them me the ugly stepsister.

71. I HATE spiders...any kind.

72. I love doing service of almost any kind...give me a project and I'm happy!

73. I love Mark's brown eyes and still each time I look into them I'm all warm a fuzzy...still!

74. I only like to clean if I can use something that makes the room smell it a nasal fedish.

75. I still love John Denver and the Carpenters.

76. I love to paint...didn't know it until I had to do a whole house of it.

77. My favorite thing to make is chocolate chip cookies.

78. My favorite time of the week is why is it so hard to pull together?

79. There is nothing that makes my emotions reach my limit than my family, and that includes the happy emotion.

80. I am blessed every day.

81. I love to fold laundry/iron.

82. I love to 4-wheel, snowmobile, or wave-runner...just put me on a motor and I'm happy.

83. My favorite holidays are Thanksgiving, Christmas and that order.

84. I love long as I don't know a surprise is coming.

85. I am glad this is almost done because it's been hard.

86. I am more boring than I thought.

87. I have a yearly ritual at the beginning of summer I go for a money spent the whole 3 months!

88. I have changed my vision of myself...instead of seeing a home where all the kids want to come and play, it's a home where you have to call before you come over!

89. I come across organized, but I'm mostly a mess.

90. I need to exercize not only because it's good for me, but because I LOVE it! So why don't I get the butt out of bed and do it?? (Age-old question)

91. I love scrapbooking, but I'm not good at it.

92. I'm not the best blogger either.

93. I start some things and it takes me forever to finish..I wish I could work quicker! (This list is a good example)

94. I LOVE fall...the whole time of year excites me. Everything from the colors to the crafts, to the holidays, to back to school!

95. I have naturally curly hair. The grass is always greener.

96. I love bowling and putt-putt golf...not at the same time.

97. I think I would be a pretty fun least I'm not hard to please!

98. I wish I was more like my sisters. They are the best.

99. My brother reminds me of a big teddy bear.

100. I'm glad this is finally done!
101. Gayle, Lynnette and've been tagged! Good luck!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Okay, so things got a little crazy at Hershey Park. Braden got a hold of the camera and showed us his true feelings.
The last time we were here Braden was the I guess next time we come he might be a Jolly, in the wink of an eye!
Parker was just a little disappointed that they didn't actually give him a real Reeses with his measurement! Again and again, the flying rides are the favorite
Parker was a little "grossed out" by the snake. You can tell by the look on his face, doesn't it tell it all?
You can tell by the hair on her head, doesn't it tell it all?
You can tell by the glasses on his face, doesn't it tell it all?

Braden took a ride on the giant kiss that went up above the park...yes, that's Hershey park all lit up in the background...he loved that ride.

These were the brave ones that went on the log ride and got wet...or the smart ones that wore their swimming suits that day...or the dumb ones that didn't know they would get so wet, you choose...oh, wait they are in the pictures below...

Amy and Alyssa BEFORE the ride starts....
Amy and Alyssa AFTER the ride starts.
Can you tell which one of us enjoyed the ride more?
I think this was a cry for help, but from whom?

Hot Chocolate was a necessity...not because we were at HERSHEY Park, but because everyone was a bit chilly that day after the water rides and shopping in the air conditioning

Except for the Ice Queen...she NEVER gets cold...just bring on the ice cream!
We hiked up to the Masonic Temple in DC (well, hiked might be a bit overexaggerated) but when we got up there we didn't see to much other than the water cooler as it would have been an hour tour that my kids would not have been able to handle, but at least we have this GREAT picture to show for our travels!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Primary Party Hits

We had a FANTASTIC primary party celebrating the 24th of July where many of our "elderly or semi-elderly" members shared what they used to do as children...all people were interested...from parents to kids. It was amazing to me to see how far toys have come. From playing "Button, button, who's got the button" to peach basket basketball stands, to barbies, to wooden toys to our now newest plastic recalls. Isn't progress great?
One of the activites they did at the end was eat donuts as shown above...this was really fun for the kids to do and everyone to watch. Can you guess who won this group?
Apparently, Parker needed just a little help
No, Parker...not the string, the DONUT! Making friends with the donut....smell the donut, lick the donut, feel the donut, talk to the donut, BECOME the donut.