Archive for October 2012

Our Bedroom

originally posted at

I don’t think that ever posted the after pictures of my bedroom. Well, here it is! It is nice and relaxing. It is much better than pink carpet, walls, and ceiling. The fan used to be brown and gold. I like the soft look of white and silver.
Before (with our landlord’s furniture):


My Preschool Craftroom

originally posted at

I use my craft room to do preschool crafts, calendar time and to tutor. I occasionally do my own crafts as well. Before it was very cramped, so Andy and I moved some furniture around. We even took a desk out. I forgot to take a before picture until we were in the middle of moving stuff around., so the before picture is very messy. I think this new arrangement will work much better. It feels more open, and I can get to everything without swinging the grey table around. I’m excited to do some more crafts now.






My Preschool Playroom

originally posted at

Our front living room is used as the kids playroom. I decided that I wanted most of the toys hidden, so that it could still look like a living room. The little dresser holds a lot of different manipulatives. I bought some of the manipulatives, but I made quite a few of them. The buckets hold blocks, fish, and stuffed animals. Then I have the toy chest holding….toys. :).  I hid the kitchen in the closet. Then the snakes and dinosaurs are hidden in the Ottomans. The books look great on the bookshelf and in the hat box. It works great, but I do wish that the room had doors, so I can keep the kids from occasionally trying to run out of it. I should have straightened the bookshelf before I took the pictures, but I guess that is how it often looks.

I Heart Moab!

originally posted at

This year for fall break we packed up the kiddos and headed to Moab! James found a good deal on a used Jeep Wagoneer that was modified for rock crawling. He spent a lot of time working on the engine, putting a backseat in, and making it super cool and safe and everything! I don’t really know anything about engines and whatnot, but he did a good job. We loaded it on the trailer and made our way south. We had a BLAST! We camped for three nights, the kids were in heaven. They all did so good, they slept just great in the tent, they ran around the campground, climbed rocks and got very dirty. We camped in the Sandflats Recreation Area but spent most of our time out on the trails. We did two trails, Fin’s n Things, which actually starts right next to our campsite, and 7 Mile Rim which starts north of Arches. The last time James and I were in Moab we bought a book that tells you all about all the off-roading trails in the area. Both of the trails we did were rated difficult so I was a little bit nervous but the Jeep did amazing! Every time we would come to what I thought would be too difficult, the Jeep just hopped right over it. Both trails were so beautiful. Fins n Things is mostly all on slick rock and passes a very cool rock formation that looks like a dinosaur. 7 Mile Rim climbs to the top of the cliffs, then winds back down over slick rock, then ended up at Tusher Tunnel, a hundred foot long, narrow tunnel through the rocks. Each day we packed the Jeep with lunch and stopped to have a picnic on the trails. The kids loved it! Miles and Savanna were having so much fun the whole time. Avery had a hard time the first day, she kept telling James to slow down and I had to sit with her and hold her hands, but the second day she was laughing and kept telling James to go faster! It was awesome! Fins n Things was the first trail we did so we weren’t quite sure what the Jeep could handle. We came to a really steep slick rock hill that some other Jeeps were taking their time on. We decided that the kids and I would get out and hike to the bottom and James would take the Jeep down. We got out and started heading down, I told the kids to stay by me and we would find the easiest way down. Savanna ran ahead and said “Here mom, we can just slid down on our butts!” Then she just sat down and slid all the way to the bottom! It freaked me out but she was totally fine! Miles and Avery followed right after her. After James drove the Jeep down (which was easy) the kids climbed up and slid down a few more times. The second day on 7 Mile Rim, we stopped near the top to eat lunch. Miles was running around and found a little wedge in the rocks and climbed in there for “shade”. James noticed a metal box hiding back there and pulled it out and opened it. Inside were some random objects and a note book. The notebook said it had been left there in 2006 and if you found it you were supposed to write the date you were there, take something from the box, and leave something. So we wrote a note, took the GI Joe action figure and left…a tampon. We didn’t have much to spare. I though it was so cool that we found it, it was really hidden away and you had to be in just the right spot to find it.
We had an amazing trip, saw some amazing things, and got to spend a lot of family time together away from it all! I love Moab and we all really loved Jeepin’. Can’t wait to go back!

The steep hill the kids and I slid down

Eating lunch on the trail

Miles loved riding up front with James

Pretty girls!

Savanna and Avery sitting on the rocks that James just climbed in the Jeep

Sliding down slick rock became the favorite thing for the kids to do

View from 7 Mile Rim

P.S. In my last post I wrote about how James and I met in Mr. B’s photography class. When we were in Moab we ran into Mr. B at the grocery store, he was also there enjoying his fall break, small world! 

J and C Forever!

originally posted at

This year James and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary. I am so lucky to have been married to my bestie for a decade. James and I met in January of 2000. It was the first day of the new semester of our senior year in high school. I walked into Mr. B’s photography class and there he was. Sitting in the back row, tall, dark, and handsome in his (fake) leather jacket. “Who is this boy?” I thought. He was sitting with a boy that I kinda sorta knew, so the wheels in my head started to turn, setting up a plan to meet him. I pursued him the only way I knew how, by acting like a ridiculous teenage girl. Finding out where his locker was and making sure to walk by it 10 times a day, leaving anonymous notes on his car, that kind of thing. We became friends and started dating just before graduation. My first boyfriend ever came in just under the wire, we were high school sweethearts. We fell in love very quickly and knew we wanted to get married someday, but were in no rush. We dated for two and half years before we got married. During that time we went through so much together. We grew up, transitioned from teenagers to adults. Ideas we were so sure of when we were young started to change as we matured and faced the future. We started making plans of buying houses, having kids, and James having his own business. The biggest change came when I joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. James was a member but hadn’t been active in a while, we decided we needed the strength, purpose, and blessings the church gives in order to have a strong marriage and family. On October 4th, 2002, we were married! It was an awesome day. Everything went off without a hitch, the ceremony, lunch, and reception all went so smoothly and we had so many family members and friends who celebrated with us. We had a really fun honeymoon in Bear River, coming home just a little early to start setting up house before we had to go back to work. A year later we were sealed in the Salt Lake City temple. The next nine years we spent buying houses, having kids, and James starting and successfully running his own business. We have gone through a lot over these 10 years, ups and downs, but I can honestly say that now we are stronger than ever. He is my best friend, the person I want to spend all my time with. The best times are when James, Savanna, Miles, Avery and I are all together and laughing. Like I said, I am a lucky girl. We celebrated our anniversary by having what has come to be know as a “stay at home date”. After the kids were asleep we ate our La Casita take-out and watched The Walking Dead. Well, technically, we watched The Office while we ate then turned on The Walking Dead because it’s hard to enjoy your enchilada’s while zombies are being taken down in front of you. Best night ever!

First Day of School

originally posted at

It has been way too long since I have updated the blog! I am going to attempt to catch up! First big event: School Starts! If you read this blog you know all about my issues with sending my babies off to school. This is mostly about me losing them. I am a full time mom and when someone else is doing the parenting for several hours of the day, it is well, weird. With that said, I did much better with sending them off this year. Savanna had a really great kindergarten experience, and so did I. I loved her teacher and really loved being able to be involved. I also really loved how school added structure and schedule to our day so this year was not so sad for me. Savanna loves school and was very excited to start first grade. First grade come with new changes: she is at school all day, not just half a day, and she eats lunch at school. I lean more towards packing her a lunch. I think the school does their best with lunch but every time Savanna eats school lunch it’s chicken nuggets, whats up with that? I enjoy packing her lunch with healthy things I know she will eat. I also really like mornings before school, even though it can be hectic. She had afternoon kindergarten so we would sleep in and waste the morning away before I had to take her to school. I like the whole family getting up early and eating breakfast together, it’s been a good thing for our family. So far she has done really well in school, she is on reading level J and the books she brings home are really long! She is making friends and overcoming her shyness a little I think.
Another change this year: Miles started pre-school! He goes to Achiever Preschool, the same one Savanna went to. He loves it! He is so far ahead of where Savanna was when she started so I was kind of worried that he would be bored, but I think for him preschool will be more about learning to follow the rules and socialize with other kids. I hope it will help him to be more independent too, cleaning up on his own, doing his pants up by himself after he goes potty, that kind of thing. He can do these thing, he just won’t, stinker. Changes are happening everyday now that my kids are getting older, new things come along and I am learning as I go. I am glad that my kids like school, hopefully we can keep that going for awhile!

I love this. Politics would be awesome if it were more like this…

originally posted at

Just watch the whole thing.


Fortinet/Fortigate Info

originally posted at

Today I learned (well last night anyway) that Fortinet has a problem with ‘Dialup’ VPN in the Fortigate firewalls running FortiOS 4(MR3 Patch 10). It may exist in other versions but the 3 firewalls I tested with that release (the latest) all show the same issue.

When creating an IPSec VPN, if you give the profile name something longer than about 8-10 characters (I was trying one about 14 characters), the VPN will be created successfully and everything will seem fine until you try to connect with the FortiClient VPN software. The connection attempt starts and you can see in the firewall logs that phase 1 negotiation begins. Then… nothing.

The client sits waiting, sometimes up to 5 or even 10 minutes without progress and the logs show nothing until:

Error negotiate Negotiate SA Error: No matching gateway for new phase 1 request.

The client spits out a generic message about something being wrong (Check your encryption key, addresses, authentication, whatever..).

After opening a ticket with Fortinet support and redoing the config I had done, the tech confirmed it did not work as it should. So we did some packet captures on the firewall and could see the initial connection to the firewall, a response from the firewall to the client and the client sending something back to the firewall, and then nothing. The firewall failed to respond to the client past the initial phase 1 negotiation.

So we turned on some debugging:

diagnose debug enable
diagnose debug application ike

This revealed the problem. When the firewall attempts to read from its list of configured VPN profiles, if the matching one has a name that is too long, the firewall spits out debug (but not a log entry) saying the name is too long and then just sits there. Frown

Obviously a bug. Either the firewall should reject a profile name as too long, or it should allow longer names, or at least it should handle such an obvious design error with a usable log entry and should terminate the VPN connection immediately instead of leaving the client connection hanging until timeout.

Once we changed the VPN profile name to a few characters shorter, everything worked fine.

Fall decor

originally posted at

Yesterday I went for a hike with some friends. The beautiful leaves and nature inspired me to bring Fall into my home. I brought home pinecones and leaves. I spray painted the pinecones , and then put them on display. I also laminated the leaves and put them in a frame. I’m sure I’ll be decorating for Halloween soon, but this is something I can leave out.

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