Widgets Magazine

Aug 31, 2013

Dads and Doughnuts

The 2nd grade in our school has a Dads and Doughnuts celebration, and Scout is a 2nd grader this year. Maybe you remember when Sport was in 2nd grade and someone thought my sweetie was his grandpa...

To prevent any of those crazy misunderstandings this year since he is still a bit fragile from his recent birthday, I offered to be the mom helper and donate a gallon of milk. That gave me the perfect excuse to show up at the school with them this morning at 8:30. 

Scout had carefully packed her backpack full of her favorite books since that is really the point of the celebration. The dads come in with their kids and then sit and read with them for 45 minutes while they eat a doughnut and have something to drink. My job was pretty easy. I helped pour half-cups of orange juice and then handed doughnuts to kids as they served their dads. After everyone was settled I got a chance to just sit back and watch, only interrupted occasionally by a request for more chocolate milk or a napkin.

I've always been a people watcher, so I was happy to observe the ways these various dads interacted with their children. Some dads were like my sweetie and Scout. They both focused on the books and spent the time reading. A few dads were young enough to be my children! One looked like he was barely out of high school.

There were two who definitely looked older than my sweetie, and both of them snuggled right up with their kids and spent the time whispering words from the stories into their ears. Maybe when dads get older they grow to appreciate what they might have missed about fatherhood so they embrace it physically and mentally.

Some of the dads were clearly dressed for work and they couldn't resist taking a peak at their cell phones every few minutes. A couple of them just stared into space while their kids read to them instead of the other way around. One dad looked like maybe he was battling chemo with the sunken eyes and the super-thin arms. That would be awfully rough on a 2nd grader.

Two kids brought their moms, but they looked like they were getting along OK. The saddest sight was one little guy who carefully brought two doughnuts and two cups of chocolate milk to his desk and waited patiently for his dad to walk through the door. It never happened. After it was pretty obvious he wasn't coming, Scout's teacher spent her time reading to him.

When 9:15 rolled around, we gathered up leftover doughnuts and chairs and my sweetie and I headed for the van. Scout, of course, stayed in school. As I laced my fingers through my sweetie's, I thought about all the other Dads and Doughnuts, Moms and Muffins, and countless activities we have shared with our children. Some of them have grown up and moved away. Did all of our hours, all of our efforts to be good supportive parents make a difference?

I'd like to think it did. Scout's smile and numerous hugs when we left certainly seemed to indicate it made a difference to her in her life at least right now. I hope that absent dad had a good reason this morning, something he couldn't possibly avoid, because seeing that child's hopeful eyes glance up every minute or two was heartbreaking.

No child should ever have to wait with an empty chair and an uneaten doughnut.


Aug 30, 2013

Letters from Texas

Teach and Sister Lewis and some random sign guy...
We got more news from Teach this week. She is doing well in almost everything although she does have one problem...well, here, I will let her tell you about it.

Oh, my bike tire popped on Friday! I ran over a safety pin. We have to buy a ... tube? for it? I know absolutely nothing about bikes. But I'm going to do that in a little bit here. 
 
How did that happen? When the Dog Walker earned the Cycling badge I thought we all went through bike repair, but I guess Teach was absent that day. But she has learned some amazing things!

Things are going well here. I have learned SO much about faith and repentance. I never knew that there were so many things I could feel the need to repent about. It's an hourly thing, but it's different as a missionary. I was thinking about life when I get back home... I wonder if I'll be able to be different and keep the good changes but still be myself. It'll be interesting, yeah. I like the knowledge that I've gained and I've been able to recognize the Lord's hand in every aspect of everything and it is so humbling. 
 
She is learning to set goals and achieve them, although she has always been a goal setter, that is why she was the youngest student to graduate with her degree in Elementary Education from UVU in 2012. She was only 20.
 
We're focusing on having the best week we've had together.  We have goals to run a mile each morning, to update the area book every night. To talk to at least 12 new people whether tracting or contacting, and to do role plays daily. I am excited. Sometimes I forget that I know how to reach goals and I just don't push myself hard enough. 
 
She is so excited about several things, but I will let her tell you about them. (The no-letter for mom thing was a little disappointing, but her enthusiasm is contagious so I guess I'll be OK.)
 
SOOO! We are going to the temple on Wednesday the 4th so that will be our p-day for next week. (: So I won't be on/sending emails on Monday. It's Labor Day anyway so it works out well.
 
ANDDDDD on Wednesday Sept 11 Elder Neil L Anderson of the 12 APOSTLES is coming to TEXAS!!! (: We're pretty stinkin' excited about that. (: (: We think maybe it'll be the introduction to technology in the Fort Worth mission. (: (:
 
Exciting things are happening around here, Mom. I love being a part of this work. I love feeling the Spirit daily and I love teaching Texans. I love you. 
 
I love you too, Teach.

Aug 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

It was my sweetie's birthday yesterday. For the last several months we have been forbidden to speak of it. (Maybe you can guess why...)

I haven't reached that number yet, but I have never really had a crisis about turning any particular age yet. When my friends were having a fit about 40, I just figured I had done plenty of things in my life so I probably should be 40. When my sweetie turned 40, his mom sent him a box full of black things. So we didn't have a party although we will on Saturday when we can have almost all of the kids here.

It was a pretty typical day. My sweetie got up this morning, much the same as other mornings and got he kids off to school while he worked from his home office so I could stay in bed. Then he went to work. He had meetings so we couldn't go out to lunch or anything so instead Bossy and I, Taco, Burrito, Curly, and Baby Doll took a 30-minute drive to Orem to buy him a box of his favorite peaches. Then I spent the afternoon getting the inspection and emissions done on his car. (I even had his air conditioner fixed, but I don't think he's noticed that yet!)

He worked all day, then came home around 5:30 so he could cook dinner for all of us. I know, I'm sounding like a really bad wife, but he offered to make stuffed peppers and I just couldn't pass on that! And to make me really happy, he made a couple of batches of homemade rolls.

After dinner and homework, he and I slipped away to Applebees for dessert. It was nice to spend a few moments together. He wanted to know how I felt being married to an old man...

What do you think?

Aug 28, 2013

Tired of Hot Dogs!

I love a good hot dog! I can eat one cooked in the microwave, but I won't enjoy it much. My mom used to cook them on the stove in boiling water. As a kid, I didn't know anything else, so I ate them along with pretty much everything else I was served. I've never really been a picky eater.

I remember vividly, driving 60 miles or so to buy groceries to stock up on because they were cheaper than what could be bought in our hometown. Dad could have bought us all 10-cent hot dogs or 15-cent ham sandwiches at Reams, but instead Mom brought a gallon thermos full of hot water and hot dogs that we would eat at the park. It must have been cheaper, because my mom was very frugal. It was definitely not my favorite way to eat hot dogs, but at least we were always fed.

My sweetie can cook an amazing hot dog out on the grill! He gets them just to the point where he says they are "singing" when the skins pop and the outsides are seared black... That's my favorite way. Most of the time I don't even add anything to it, no ketchup or mustard or anything. And there is nothing better than a couple of those when we are camping in the mountains!

But today I'm tired of hot dogs. We have eaten so many of them over the last couple of weeks, I've even reached my limit. (My sweetie reached his over a week ago!) Hot dogs are my go-to meal in the summer. They are cheap and they are fast, and none of the kids complain when I serve them. So even before the past week or so we had been eating them a couple of times a week. Then we had the Girl Scout Awards Picnic.

My sweetie grilled hamburgers and hot dogs, but we had a couple of families that didn't show up so we had too much food. That was last Friday. We had leftovers on Saturday and Sunday. On Monday we got a break because Princess offered to cook something else. Then tonight was the family summer picnic for Pack Meeting. Once again my sweetie hauled his grill over to the church bowery and cooked a bunch of dogs and burgers. Unfortunately the weather was a little dicey and it seemed to keep some people away. So guess what!? I brought home a whole package of 40 more hot dogs that I will have to write off my receipt. That means I paid for them so my kids get to eat them.

But not until AT LEAST next week!


Aug 27, 2013

Another First Day of School

I told you my younger kids started school way back in July, but today was the first real day of school for Crafty, Prima Donna, and Princess. It's hard to believe where all the time has gone! I've had 7 children pass through middle school now. Crafty is #8. That's way more than halfway.

Princess
Princess and Prima Donna left for school first and it was Princess's first time driving herself to school. She was pretty nervous, but she came home safe and without any dents or scrapes. (Although she does drive a 1988 Toyota Corolla, so it might have been hard to tell!)The high school is less than a mile from here, so I could have them walk, but I want her to be a more confident and careful driver and that means lots of practice, so she is driving to school.

Prima Donna
Crafty
Crafty left a little later. She is part of a carpool and I only have to drive twice a week which is nice. She actually went to school for 7th grade orientation last Thursday, but they only stayed for half a day just so they could all figure out how to get around the school with a third less population.

I'm all for education, but I'm still a little sad to have them all go back. The Dog Walker had classes today too, so after we dropped Curly off for kindergarten we just had me and Baby Doll to run the rest of the errands. It was a little weird.

I don't know what I will do with myself when all the kids are finally in school. I figure it will take me about a month to get my house cleaned and then another couple of months to finish up the projects I keep putting on the back burner, but THEN I'm going to have to find something to keep me occupied.

Any suggestions?

Aug 26, 2013

Lots of Quilts

We've had a very busy week made all the busier by my refusal to not achieve a goal we set at the beginning of the year. We try to set a major scout goal for one of the kids every year. Last year we helped Princess with her Gold Award when she did the Dance workshop and program.

This year it is Crafty's turn. She is just the right age to earn her Silver Award. We have a tradition in our home that the Silver Award is homemade quilts that are donated to Primary Children's Medical Center.

If you remember, Princess drowned when she was 15 months old and we owe a great debt to Primary Children's for their help in her recovery. Crafty is my 6th daughter to follow this tradition. We had planned to have the Quilting Bee during the summer, but with the older kids in school, we just never had time to pull it together.

Crafty made one of the quilt tops by herself and I made the other 4. Not to be left out, Bossy made a top and she assisted Fajita in her first ever sewing project and she made a top too.

We've had the frames out since Thursday, tying a couple of quilts every day. Since the kids all go back to school tomorrow, we had to hurry to get them done.

In fact, Bossy and I finished tying the last one which was hers after the girls had all gone to bed. It was after 11:00 when we got everything put away and the house back in order.


Fajita's Quilt
Not much goes on when we have batting and fabric and yarn everywhere!

I wanted to show you how pretty the quilts are even though they aren't bound yet. Hopefully they will make somebody really happy.



Somebody loves them already.



Bossy always loves the bright colors!

Aug 25, 2013

The Day for the Emerys

It was surely a beautiful day even though it was a bit windy. I felt autumn in the air! We went to Sport's preseason football game and I was actually a little cold sitting in the shade. The game was exciting, but our boys finally went down with a 12 - 6 loss. I'm of the opinion that sometimes losing the preseason game is a good idea. It keeps the boys from getting overconfident.

After the game we made our way to Prospector Park where the girls were helping with the carnival for the Emery family that I posted about a couple of days ago. There were lots of people there and the kids loved playing the carnival games and jumping in the bounce houses.

Most of the kids rode the mechanical bull. Bean Dip was especially good at it, but Curly was upset when I told them to up the speed a little and he fell off.

They had a huge silent auction and I just couldn't resist putting in a couple of bids. It is such a good cause! Anyway, I won two things, a Dr. Seuss set for $15 and a birthday party from Menchies! I'm thinking that might be the perfect thing for Crafty's birthday next month. It makes my life a little easier, but her only dilemma will be which 10 friends to invite.


Even the Dog Walker found something he was interested in buying, a big indoor light set for Christmas! It was only $10 and he felt like he got a great bargain. You  know how he feels about his light displays...

The high school teams gave great support to this event too, and we watched the Football team and the Baseball team in a tug-of-war. After a while the football team performed the Hauka and that was really fun to watch. We ate lunch from Texas Roadhouse and just enjoyed the feeling of being part of something good.

Scout has no fear when it comes to these kinds of things!
We went on another field trip I will tell you about tomorrow, but when we got back my sweetie took Sport to the football game at the high school. Everyone was excited because the game was actually broadcast on ESPN! I guess we are finally making the big time here in our little town.

At least the football team is.
They won, by the way.



Aug 24, 2013

Another Milestone and Prize Winner for the Dick's Sporting Goods Giveaway

Guess what?! You awesome and amazing readers pushed my little ole blog to a new level. Today we hit 300,000 pageviews! I never would have thought so many people would be interested in our crazy lives. Thank you so much for coming back and spending a little time with me every day. There are some nights when I have writers' block and I can't think of anything to say, but I remember that some of you are counting on me and I sit in front of the computer until my brain fills up the page.

My friend and neighbor, Jan, tells me about her sister who lives far away but knows more about our activities than Jan does because she faithfully reads my post every day! Just this one dedicated reader makes me keep on writing. She reminds me that people do care about what I have to say, so I'd better say something.

Thanks so much for a great 2 1/2 years!

 In other happy news, congratulations goes to:

Denise with the following comment:

would love to have the puma power cat soccer ball for my nephew.

She is the winner of the Dick's Sporting Goods $25.00 Gift Code. Please email me as soon as possible so we can get you your prize, and thanks to all of you who played with us. Hopefully we will have another giveaway soon.




Aug 23, 2013

No One Fights Alone

The Emerys - sorry for the bad pic
Last week my kids brought home a flier from school. This is not an uncommon occurrence and I usually just glance at them before I toss them, so I'm not sure why this particular one caught my eye. It was not remarkable in any way; a half sheet of white paper with black writing, but the first line caught my attention: "No One Fights Alone."

I most definitely agree with that statement. No one should fight alone. We all need family and friends around us, especially when we are facing something really hard.

Honestly, I've had a pretty easy life. Other than when we nearly lost our sweet Princess back in 1997, and the occasional loss of a job and minor car accidents and surgeries, we've not really faced anything truly life-changing. About a month ago we had a lesson in church about trials and my burdens seem very light compared to others.

Especially compared to the Emerys.

Mike Emery following surgery
I have never met the Emerys, but I suspect that will change on Saturday, August 24, 2013. That is when Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty will be helping with the carnival games and a huge fundraiser rally to support this sweet family as they face life's biggest trial, terminal cancer for Mike.

I'll let you check out their website yourself, at www.rallyforemerys.com to read his heartbreaking story, but for those of you who live in the Salt Lake Valley and are searching for a Saturday activity, please consider stopping for a little while at Prospector Park on August 24.

It all starts with a Family Fun Run (registration from 8:15 - 8:45), followed by a carnival from 9:00 - 2:00. Plan on lunch from Texas Roadhouse for only $5, and say "hi" to my girls. The address is 10150 South 2200 West, directly north of Bingham High School. We'll be heading over around noon, after Sport's football game.

Maybe we are only the voices and hands of a few, but we want to make sure that Mike doesn't fight this battle alone. We just never know when we might need someone to rally the troops for one of us.


Aug 22, 2013

Sunday Nights

Did I ever tell you how much I love Sunday nights? Sundays are family days and in my family we love getting together. My sweetie normally makes some sort of amazing meal and we usually have Bossy's family, Gym Rat, Drama Queen and Grandpa with us.

We set up tables in our living room so everyone can sit together and we feast and talk and laugh. This past Sunday was not a birthday week, but we invited my Little Sis and her family to join us for dinner. (It was really a ploy to get her to take some of these apricots off my hands! After making over 100 quarts, I am so done with jam!)

She brought her hubby and two little ones with her. So with her 4 and Bossy's 5 and 11 of us plus a friend of the Gym Rat and Grandpa, that brought us to 22. We had a fiesta to honor our new granddaughter, Fajita, that included apricot salsa, of course.

Princess even made some amazing cupcakes, her very first try at marble. They were delicious! By the time we had finished dessert, the little ones were ready for a change. The adults are not nearly as exciting and fun as we think we are...

So they all headed outside to play some games on the front lawn. I love that my older ones are so happy to play with the little ones! They played Red Light, Green Light, What Time is it Mr. Wolf? and even Duck Duck Goose. I have to tell you, it was so stinkin' cute to watch Baby Doll tap each person on the head and say "Duuuuck...." and then her cute high-pitched "GOOSE!" She ran fast, and of course no one ever caught her...

The grownups sat on the front porch and watched all the action, occasionally joining in and taking tons of fun pics. My sweetie put the camera away before Princess and Prima Donna returned from their meeting, but by the time it was dusk and the kids were all tired out, the older girls had also joined the group.

You know, there are just some days when being a mom is hard... and then there are those other days when it's all worth it.





Aug 21, 2013

Guest Blog: And Then There Were Five by Bossy

Once Prima Donna said something that struck me as perfect to sum up my life with Gamer, "Bossy, you add children backwards." This comment came sometime last summer after we told everyone Gamer and I had realized he had another daughter. I am Gamer's second marriage. He is originally from Texas and he came to Utah in 2000 when his first marriage fell apart. He and his ex-wife were alcoholics and recreational drug users, and he came to Utah for a fresh start and to get sober. Unfortunately, because of his lifestyle he didn't have a good sense of his early adult years. When we were married he told me about Bean Dip and his daughter from his first marriage, who we can call Enchilada. Gamer hadn't had any contact with his children in over a year when we were married in 2004.

When Burrito was born, Gamer's mother came up to visit and told us his girlfriend from high school was claiming he had a child with her that was born a few months before Enchilada. She gave us court paperwork for a girl who wants to be known as Fajita. Gamer contacted the court who told him she had been adopted by her step-dad and he had no remaining rights, so we were shocked when in the middle of closing on our house last year he was notified he still had rights and we were served with change in guardianship papers for Fajita.

After we had settled into the house, Gamer and I talked about it and I immediately felt a strong impression that she would be coming to live with us. So we quickly typed up our response to the courts asking for custody. (This was her fourth transfer in custody to a different extended family member, but the first time we had been notified.)

I just knew she was going to live with us and I was shocked in October when the courts did not rule in our favor. Regardless, we started to develop a relationship with her. She and Gamer started talking over the phone. I think they spoke for four hours the first night. Soon we were adding her to our phone plan and sending her a phone. Talking to Fajita gave Gamer the courage to reconnect wit Enchilada and he began talking to her too. Shortly thereafter, Fajita's grandfather who she was living with began talking of letting us take custody of her after we met in person. At Christmas time we were planning on flying Fajita out, but plans fell through. So I knew we needed to plan a vacation...

After much thought and prayer, Gamer and I decided to go on a quick trip over Spring Break. Taco and Burrito would be "off track" so we had more time for the 26-hour drive to Austin where we would meet her. Then we would drive the 5 hours back to Gamer's hometown to visit Enchilada and the in-laws. Then we would again drive the 5 hours back to Austin to return Fajita before we headed home. It was a lot of driving time and an extended Spring Break, but it seemed important to go sooner rather than later.

Our vacation was a resounding success. Fajita and the boys got along great and Enchilada was fine with having an almost-twin sister. Gamer got to see Enchilada for the first time in thirteen years and meet Fajita for the first time ever. His family also got to meet Taco, Burrito, and Enchilada and we were told his mom's health had improved so she could come visit with Fajita in the summer. Although we had originally been told we could take Fajita home with us once he met us, her grandfather changed his mind so we still had to backtrack to Austin. We dropped Fajita back off with her grandfather and made plans for her to come out in May after school ended, but once again our plans didn't work out.

They are so much alike!
Right after we returned from vacation, the bad news started coming. Gamer lost his job. (He had a new one before the week was out, but at a significant pay cut.) And remember our truck was stolen? And at the end of June, Gamer's mom's health started failing. In mid-July she finally passed away.  Amazingly enough, both of Gamer's jobs were wonderful and allowed him to fly out to be with her before she passed and again two weeks later for the funeral. After a lot of prayer, Bean Dip's mother even consented to allow him to travel to the funeral. We made arrangements to also pick up Fajita for the funeral again in Austin and travel once more to Gamer's hometown. And for the first time in history, all of Gamer's children were together.

Things had not been going well with Fajita and her legal guardian. We had some concerns and while we had her for the funeral she asked if we would file for custody. We tried to get our paperwork in before we left town, but we ran out of time. Fortunately, Fajita was going to stay with other family for the remainder of the summer in Gamer's hometown so we had some time to get things going.

We filed our paperwork and worried how her grandfather would react. He had originally supported her coming to live with us, but that changed. We worked closely with the relatives that she was staying with, but Fajita had to return to Austin to start school on Aug 14. The Court reviewed and set a hearing for the 17th, but they would not make temporary orders that prevented her grandfather from picking her up.  One more hitch was even though we picked Fajita up in Austin, her grandfather actually lived in a different state and we had to wait nearly a week for mail to be passed back and forth. So for a very tense week we waited for him to be served and notified of our petition to transfer custody. The days were getting closer and the day before he was to pick her up he was served.

He called me and I chickened out and let the voicemail answer. After listening to gauge the anger in his voice, I called him back. With more joy than I can express, he told me he would not fight us and we could come pick her up. But all her stuff in his house was going in the trash.

Once again we had to get time off to travel to Texas for court, but this time we knew we would be getting custody of Fajita. Taco and Burrito still had school and we had a 9 am court time so we had to travel during the school week. Gamer and I made the quick journey while Mom and Dad watched the boys and then we returned with her and some items purchased by family members to help us out. After some discussion at the court and with Fajita, we have decided to proceed with me formally adopting her. Since coming home she fit right in with the girls, at fourteen she is between Crafty and Prima Donna. And other than having the same real name as Scout, things seem to be working out well. Oh that and I have really struggled with responding when she calls me "Mom."  It is awesome, but I am just not used to a female voice calling me that and I haven't been able to realize she is talking to me, especially because Bean Dip never calls me "Mom."

So just to clarify one more time, here are Gamer's children.
Fajita (14) female.  Now lives with us.
Enchilada (13) female, lives with her grandparents in Texas.
Bean Dip (11) male, lives with us on the standard visitation schedule.
Taco (8) male, Gamer and my oldest child.
Burrito (6 ) male, our youngest child.

We are so excited to have Fajita here with us! She played an awesome game of volleyball tonight with Mom's friends at the church, so she definitely fits right in. Maybe I'll have her write a bit about her past life in a few days if she wants to. Right now we are just busy getting her into school, and sports, and scouts... you know how we roll!




Aug 20, 2013

A Giveaway from Dick's Sporting Goods

Crafty
A couple of weeks ago I was approached by Dick's to see if I had any readers who would like to win a giveaway for a $25 gift code. You all know what a bargain hunter I am, so I immediately jumped on the opportunity although I must confess I have never stepped into a Dick's store or even opened their website until then. I thought they were all about sports and there are plenty of places closer to my house when I need to run by for a new mouthguard or a pair of cleats.

Tomorrow Bossy will tell you about this cute girl with Scout!
What surprised me though was all the different things I saw on their website! They have tons of back-to-school stuff including backpacks and clothing and hundreds of pairs of shoes. I wouldn't have had any trouble spending a $500 gift card. Princess helped me look through their site and she instantly fell in love with several pairs of their colorful shoes. I didn't dare get any of them just because my children have a tendency to have really wide feet so I rarely buy shoes they can't try on first.

Scout
We loved the backpacks and all their bright colors, but we finally settled on something a bit more practical. Scout has been outgrowing all of her clothes, so she was the one who needed things the most. I found her two cute neon shirts under their clearance tab and I thought they were so cute I got one for Crafty too.

The nice thing about their back-to-school line and their apparel is that it all has free shipping with no minimum, so my $25 gift code landed me all three shirts for $2.07! Now that's my kind of bargain!

So here is all you have to do to find a bargain like that for yourself by scoring a $25 gift code in our random drawing. Go to Dick's website and then leave a comment on this post about your favorite item from their back-to-school line. That's it! Pretty easy, huh?

Giveaway closes on Friday, August 23, 2013 at 11:59 pm MST.

**I received a $25 gift code for promoting this giveaway, but the opinions are all my own.**




Aug 19, 2013

Car Show

Remember a few days ago when Sport's coach taught him a valuable lesson? Well, after that we all piled in the van and my sweetie gave our very tired Sport a choice. He could go home, shower, and get changed for bed, or he could go to a car show.

Sport's response? "Well Duh!"

Ten minutes later we pulled into the parking lot near the car show. on Soda Row in Daybreak. It was a beautiful warm summer evening about 7:30. The show was scheduled until 9:00, so we had plenty of time.

We started looking at cars together, honestly we did. But Sport and my sweetie wanted to read every sign and inspect every car. I just can't get into it like that. After about 10 minutes I was like, "Yeah, it's another beautiful shiny car, let's move on..."

So we left those two to their own devices and we found a distraction of our own. Oh, I forgot to tell you, Burrito split his shorts clear up the backside so Prima Donna found a stray pair of her pajama bottoms kicking around in the van and tied them around his waist to keep out the draft. 

When we first happened upon the little splash pad, there were only 2 wee ones wandering through it. I sat down on a bench nearby and told  the kids, "No, we aren't getting wet today. Nobody has any extra clothing." They minded me...

...for about 30 seconds.!"

While my sweetie and Sport puttered around to each and every car, I got to enjoy this! There is just something about pure unadulterated joy.

Much better than the car show, in my humble opinion.





Aug 18, 2013

Guest Blog: Studio C! by Prima Donna

The other day in church we were listening to announcments when my young women's leader said that our Stake President had 20 tickets to see a live taping of Studio C!  I almost started crying I was so happy.  Studio C is a sketch comedy by byutv and is my favorite show ever!  Its clean and so funny.  I have watched every sketch every made.  Anyway, back to the taping.  So I had to wait through the longest 2 weeks of my life with lots of sucking up so Mom didn't tell me I couldn't go. Then today arrived.  Do you remember the part in Tangled where Rapunzel is about to see the floating lights go into the sky and she's worried it won't be good enough?  That conversation between her and Eugene has been running through my head all day because this really is a dream come true.  I was counting down days, hours, and minutes until it started.  We had to get to the BYU broadcasting center over an hour early.  We then had to stand in the lobby for 15 minutes before they let us line up to go in.  Then after the longest half hour wait I have ever experienced we got to go in.  I was dying.  I could not believe I was there in the studio!  We sat down and partied out to music they were playing.  I noticed I never told you who "we" was. I went along with Princess, Drama Queen, Crafty and the Dog Walker.  I was by far the biggest fan out of our group.  After another half hour wait the show was ready to start and out walked one of my favorite cast members, Stacey.  At this point I was hyperventilating.  He then taught us how to cheer because we were the live laugh reel.  He had us go from 1 (pitiful) to 10 (the happiest you can possibly be.)  When he yelled 10 the rest of the cast came running out.  I couldn't breathe I was so excited I really thought I was going to have a heart attack I was so excited.  I don't know how much I'm allowed to tell.  So I won't tell you about any of the sketches except that they were all AMAZING!!!!  So I'll just tell you a little bit about the general experience.  The studio is split into two stages so while they are filming one sketch they can be setting up the other one.  Still they have to make sure everything is perfect so during scene changes they showed us some of the sketches for season 3 no one has seen yet.  It was so cool!  Y'all should watch it next season because it is going to be indescribably awesome!  Besides these preview sketches between scene changes they would play games and throw out free t-shirts.  Drama Queen caught one!!! and she gave it to me (sorta.  It fits me perfectly so...) How much better of a day can you get than that?  If you haven't seen any of their sketches you need to right now.  I tell you they are the funniest things I've ever seen.  If you don't know how to find them there are many ways.
You can search #studio c
You can follow them on facebook at Studio C Tv
If you trust my awesome opinion and you don't need to learn anymore and you want to watch it right now.  You can look them up on youtube and they are all amazing so just pick one and start going
or if you want to watch full episodes you can go to byutv.org

Or you can just click on this one!

This new season should be airing in October/November somewhere around there and you should really tune in.  It's on Monday nights at 10et/8mt. I know I will be.  I'm so hyped for Season 3.

I don't know about you, but for me August 17, 2013 was the Best Day Ever!


**Just so you know I wasn't given anything to write this post I'm just trying to spread the happiness that this show brings to me.**



Aug 17, 2013

A Belated Birthday Gift

A couple of months ago, when the Dog Walker was still working at Wal-Mart, he decided on a very special gift for Curly's 5th birthday. He wanted to take the entire family to see the new Disney movie, Planes. Then when he quit his job and money became more difficult to get, he thought he might change his mind.

He just knew Curly would love to go, but taking our clan to the movies costs a lot of money! Finally I felt so bad for him I offered to split the cost so that his dream wouldn't be shattered. He jumped at the idea and then we had to find a day that would work for everyone. That day was today.

So this morning I stopped by a certain theater that won't be named and picked up the tickets. $78.75 later and we had our seats for the 7:05 show.. (You know, I used to pay 50 cents for a movie when I was a kid.) Curly was so excited! We piled into the van at 6:40. Even though it was only a 5-minute drive to the theater, I wanted to make sure we could all sit together. I was expecting a crowd since this movie was released only last weekend. Boy was I wrong!

Besides our 13 people, I think there were only about 10 others in the show which turned out to be a good thing. Right after the previews played, we lost the sound in the theater. We watched the first 10 minutes without sound while we waited for the manager to fix the problem.

After what seemed like forever, the sound came on and then they restarted the movie. Unfortunately, it wasn't very long before the sound fizzled again. My sweetie went out to talk to someone as they restarted the movie a third time. By then the Dog Walker and Curly (as well as a few others) were getting pretty upset.

When the sound finally died a third time, we all got up and made a mass exit. The theater gave us our money back as well as free passes to see another movie on a different day, but that didn't stop the tears and disappointment from a certain 5-year-old.

We quickly piled the kids in the van and headed for another theater that I was hoping I remembered had an 8:00 show. We pulled into the kiosk to check availability at 8:10. We saw that it had started at 8:00, but the kiosk wouldn't sell us the tickets so we all bailed out and headed for the lobby while my sweetie parked the car.

I paid for the tickets and then sent the Drama Queen into the theater with the kids while I waited for my sweetie. The ticket machine spit out some free popcorn coupons and even a free child's combo, so we swung through the treat counter on our way. Curly was so excited to receive the combo since he was the special birthday boy. His huge grin had definitely returned and we didn't even miss any of the movie.

It turned out to be a great gift that we can enjoy again in another month or so when we use the free tickets to the other theater. But I think I'll call ahead first and make sure their sound is working.



Aug 16, 2013

The Right Kind of Coach

I haven't told you much about Sport playing football even though it has consumed an enormous amount of time! He started the last week in July and he practices for a couple of hours a day, six days a week. This year he is playing in the Pee Wee league or the 10-year-old league.

Football is arranged into A and B teams. In Sport's league there are 2 A teams and 3 or 4 B teams. We don't really love A teams. When the Gym Rat was little, he made the A team his first year, and the coach told us right up front that he would learn a lot but he wouldn't play much. We just thought it was cool that he made the A team until the coach's prediction came true. It's no fun sitting on the bench when you are 10 (or the parents of said 10-year-old).

So we were thrilled when Sport made the Super B team or the first B team. His coach has ties to our neighborhood and he has actually coached Sport before in t-ball and Jr. Jazz basketball although it has been several years ago. Sport has been very happy with the team and is excited that some of his friends play with him. He has been playing Center and that means he gets to snap the ball, which is nice because most X men don't get to even touch the ball.

At the parents' meeting, Coach told us about a plan to toughen up the boys and we thought it was pretty brilliant. His idea was to condition them to within an inch of exhaustion, then, just when they believed they would collapse in agony, each family would show up with a cooler full of water balloons to prove to the boys that even when they thought they had nothing left, they could still pull up a new store of energy.

Then on Tuesday the team mom slipped us a packet of balloons and told us that today would be the day. Prima Donna spent half an hour filling our 100 balloons with water and stashing them in a small cooler. Right before 7:00 we showed up at the park. Other parents were already hanging out, and each couple had a cooler in tow.

We sent the little kids to the playground because I wasn't sure how crazy all of this could get, then we settled in to wait for the signal. The wind sprints were brutal. If a boy jumped early, they had to do bear crawls. Sport hates bear crawls. His body is just not the right size and shape to make them easy. He is definitely the biggest guy on the team.

No pics from the actual water fight, I like my phone too much.
At one point the line coach pulled him out and let him wait while his teammates pressed on with several more sets. I think he truly believed maybe they had pushed Sport beyond reasonable endurance. But when they gave him the go-ahead, he jumped back in. He's not a wuss. It seemed that they might never stop running!

Then suddenly it was over and the coach called for a huddle. While he was talking to these poor exhausted boys, he nonchalantly gave the signal. As the parents crept closer, the boys listened intently to the coach's sermon. He asked them what they would do if the game went into overtime. Would they have anything left?

Suddenly we all began pelting them with water balloons. Most of them hopped right up so they could participate, but Sport stayed on his knee and took several direct hits. Finally he moved toward us and I could see that he had tears in his eyes. Then I quietly reminded him that he didn't want his teammates to see him cry and I handed him several balloons. All it took was my prompting of "Go get Coach!" and he was off! It wasn't long before all the guys were after Coach. He was the one who put them through all that agony, so it seemed only fair. I got pretty wet in the cross fire, but it was worth it.

My son learned a valuable lesson today. Even when he thinks he has nothing left to give, he can still pull those reserves from somewhere...especially when he needs a little revenge on the coach!



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