May 26, 2016

Reconnecting with Old Friends

When I was a kid, I had two best friends. They were twins and even though they were a year older than me in school, we were very close. Both girls were tall and we played basketball together on the high school team. They were both much better than me, of course, and they continued to play even after I turned my sights to bigger and more important things.

I loved their family. They had 12 kids and two sets of twins, my friends being older and their twin brothers being the babies of the family. At the time, I never really thought about the fact that maybe somewhere in my heart of hearts, I wanted to be just like them.

Their parents were very conservative, but also very kind and loving. My family always seemed to be so volatile, yet their family rarely yelled and they clearly got along when working or playing, and it sure seemed like they did a lot of working!

I haven't heard much from them since I turned 18, got married, and left my hometown, that is until this week. Their older brother passed away suddenly and he was only 53. I remember having a crush on this guy as a silly impressionable little girl. Like his dad, he was kind and patient, even with the obnoxious little neighbor girl. He played basketball too, which gave us all something in common.

I don't know about you guys, but I find myself dwelling on the past when something like this interrupts my normally crazy world. And this situation is so much more difficult for me because not only do I remember what we did as children, I grieve for his sweet parents, both still living and at or near their 90s.

Having 12 amazing children myself, I can't imagine the heartache of losing one of them. Even knowing that families are eternal, that separation...I just don't know if I could bear it.

And I think of his poor wife, waking up to find her husband gone, just like that. Her world must be upside down and backwards. Please everyone, pray for the Squire Family. I believe in the power of prayer and the comforting warmth it can bring to those in need.

And if you have time, slip in a little one for me too...

May 25, 2016

It's a Competition!

Scout and Curly are participating in the Jump A Thon at school next Tuesday. It's actually a pretty cool program designed to raise money for the American Heart Association. My kids are not generally jump-ropers unless this time of year rolls around and then that is more important to them than any other school assignment.

They each take their ropes to school in their backpacks and they practice (at least Scout does) all the way home. I always loved playing ball as a kid (any kind of ball), but jump rope was also one of my favorites. I was much better jumping with the long rope while someone turned it. Remember RED... HOT... PEPPERS? That's when the turners will whip the rope around as fast as they could and if you didn't jump it in time you often got rope burns on your bare legs from the scratchy rope. At least my kids have plastic ropes that are pretty harmless.
So this year Curly and Scout decided to have a competition to see who could raise the most money. I started out each of them with their own website and a $10 donation, and beyond that, they have managed to convince a few of their brothers and sisters to donate, but that's it. Scout even convinced Curly to donate $5 to her so she is currently in the lead!

They were hoping that maybe if I posted their websites some of you might be interested. Don't feel any pressure, but it is a great organization and your donation would be tax-deductible.

To support Scout, click here.

To support Curly, click here.

May 24, 2016

A New Aquarium

Did you know that there is a new aquarium opening in Utah? My kids love aquariums! When we made our big trip back east and we asked everyone what kinds of things they wanted to see, the number one answer was a good aquarium. So when Family Guide approached me about trying out the new SeaQuest Aquarium in Layton, of course we were on board.

They even have Mermaids!
They tell me that SeaQuest is different because it is an interactive aquarium and the exhibits are full of fun family-friendly activities. It will be located in Layton Hills Mall and besides sea life, there will be rainforest reptiles, tropical birds and even desert species.

They are kicking things off this Saturday, May 28th, with a meet and greet of  the cast from the Little Mermaid from The Ziegfeld Theater in Utah for those who purchase an annual pass.

You can visit their website and get the latest scoop at SeaQuest

If you want to buy an annual pass for your family, I can get you a 10% pre-construction discount. Your pass is good for an entire year from the time you first visit. Just use the coupon code "kidsrule"

Click here for the coupon.

We are all so excited for this one! If you see any of us wandering around in our cute blog shirts, stop by and say hello. I have to tell you that for the first time today someone recognized me from the TV spot I did a while back. He thought I was a little bit "famous." Shhhh, don't tell Dog Walker.

May 23, 2016

Happy Birthday, Bean Dip!

May and June are full of birthdays for us. Bean Dip turns 14 on Tuesday, but we always have to celebrate for him on the weekend since he lives with his mom across the valley most of the time. We had all the kids here and Grandpa also joined us.

My sweetie made rolls and BBQ chicken and Drama Queen and I were really adventurous with the cake. OK, mostly it was her. I just made a white cake and then she made a caramel frosting and extra caramel for drizzling. I was a bit skeptical since I'm not a real caramel fan, but the cake was delicious!

Bean Dip thought it would be fun to clap the candles out rather than blow them, but when that didn't work, he easily doused them with one breath. We got talking about how long Bean Dip has been in our lives and Bossy reminded me that the first birthday he celebrated with us was in 2009 when he would have been 7 years old, the same age as Curly.

It has been so fun to have him with us. He and Sport are best of friends, in fact, they had a sleepover last night in celebration of the birthday weekend. Bean Dip also plays baseball although we haven't been able to see any of his games this year. I heard he is even pitching! He also enjoys basketball and fishing, camping and video games.

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