Feb 28, 2014

Blue & Gold Banquet: Cub Cake Wars

 I have had an incredibly busy week! I already told you about Curly's operetta yesterday, but the thing that nearly did me in was the Blue & Gold Banquet for our Cub Scout Pack. We have discussed many times that my sweetie is the Cubmaster and the Dog Walker is the Assistant Cubmaster, so I always have a fair amount of work to do with any Pack Meeting, but this one was especially busy because we were without a Cub Committee Chair. That meant that even procuring and preparing awards fell on my shoulders this time.

My sweetie really wanted to have an old fashioned cake auction this time. Not one that actually raises funds for the Pack like they used to do many years ago, but something that brought back that nostalgic feeling. So he announced it that way, but didn't really share any particulars. That left it up to me to figure out how to make things work. Since my brain was already a little fried, that was not a good thing.

We started with a simple list of tasks the boys could use to earn "Cub Bucks" for the auction. These included things like doing their chores, working on a scout project, brushing their teeth or exercising for 15 minutes. The next step was to figure out something for prizes. My sweetie wanted to give something to the four best cakes, so I put on my thinking cap and came up with a t-shirt idea. Thank goodness I have friends who own a vinyl business. They gave me a 24-hour turnaround time, an excellent price, and they even made a unique design for what I was now somewhat affectionately calling the "Cub Cake Wars."

Scout's not my best photographer.
The Drama Queen made me a huge banner to hang on the wall. I sent out reminders to all the leaders so they wouldn't forget to bring a pot of soup or chili and the boys ran fliers to every scout's home with their "cub wallet" and list of chores. Things were finally coming together in a way that made sense to me.

I made a trip to Sam's Club to buy salad and crackers. Then I made a second trip to get rolls and ice on the day of the banquet. Oh and a trip to the dollar store for streamers and curly ribbon...and don't forget the Scout Shop to pick up all the awards I had gathered from the leaders and entered into the computer. Then it took another hour to fill out cards and bags for each boy.

On the day of the banquet Princess, her friend, Daylen, and I ran over early to set up 90 chairs and the tables and serving tables. We covered the tables with yellow plastic tablecloths and streamers and curly ribbon. Did I tell you we made 150 cupcakes to use for decorations and desserts? And since my sweetie was a leader, I also made a crockpot full of homemade turkey soup.

Once we finally got everything set up and the food out and people started arriving, I could finally settle down and enjoy the evening. Sport received his Webelos badge, that means only one more major Cub Scout award coming up for him. I can't believe he will be finished with Cubs in June!

We ended up serving about 85 people which was just perfect for what we had planned. The auction did NOT turn out exactly as planned. Only about half the boys brought cakes and even fewer remembered to bring their Cub Scout bucks. My sweetie was definitely in charge by then and not me, so I didn't have to deal much with it, but I could see a potential for disaster brewing.

Sport was so proud of the cake he and his dad made! It was huge and looked like a pinewood derby track. The racing cars were made of granola bars, Zingers, and Twinkies. He really wanted to buy back his own cake, but by the time it was put up for sale as the last cake of the night, there were still boys left with money and some of them had more than him. If he didn't get that cake, he would be impossible to live with!

The bidding continued until it was past what Sport was clutching in his hand. He stood silently, the disappointment evident on his face. I brushed by my sweetie, my look reminding him that this was going to be awful! My sweetie was swift to look for a solution. He started encouraging the boys to pool their money together since that was the only way a clear winner would emerge. Sport was frustrated when three of the boys soon amassed almost $300 in Cub Bucks.

That's when the miracle occurred. Kimball handed his entire stack of cash to Sport, all $138! That put Sport over $300 and he proudly purchased back his own cake. I breathed a sigh of relief and we continued to clean up. The night was a success. Except that Kimball didn't get to buy a cake.

When we got home, my awesome 10-year-old had his dad help him cut a huge portion of his hard-earned prize and then they delivered it to Kimball's door.

It made all my hard work worth the effort.

And then some.

Feb 27, 2014

The Little Mermaid

Posing afterwards
With Ariel
After a couple of months of rehearsals, today was finally the big day. Curly's kindergarten class put on their operetta, The Little Mermaid.

We attended the dress rehearsal yesterday so we could film it. He was nervous and he spoke too quickly, so I was worried for him tonight. The dress rehearsal had about 20 people watching it. Today the audiences would be more like 300 - 400 for each performance!

We waited in line outside the building for 10 minutes until they would let us in. It was kind of silly, really, like lining up for concert tickets or something. As it turned out, there were plenty of seats for everyone and we really didn't have to worry.
With Scuttle
With his teacher

By 6:30 when the show started, the kids were bouncing off the walls, but they quickly settled down as the kindergartners took their places on the steps of the stage. Curly was in the back row with all the other main characters. I told you he was Sebastian, right?

Ariel was much more nervous today and she kept flipping her dress and twisting her hair. When my older boys were nervous they used to shake their hands. I was expecting the same thing from Curly and I wasn't disappointed. The first time it was his turn in front of the microphone, and shook both hands quickly up and down even with the long red gloves before he started to speak.

But he did a great job! He spoke slowly and clearly for the most part even though he dipped his head a little so he wouldn't have to look at anyone. His solo of Kiss the Girl was clear and sweet and he only faltered once on the lyrics.

I was just so proud of him! He loved being on the stage and his grin was wide and proud.

So was mine! :)

Feb 26, 2014

Selfie Photo Shoot

I don't get the selfie thing. I know, I know, it seems to be very popular right now, but it just isn't my thing. First of all, I don't like to look at pictures of myself, so it just stands to reason that I wouldn't want to purposely take pics of myself either.

Second, why do people want to put pictures of themselves on the Internet when they are looking silly, pulling faces, or just acting like idiots in general? When I look bad, I certainly don't want to share it with the world. The point being, you will never see selfies of me on this blog.

For my girls, that's a different story.

Teach must have been way ahead of her time, because she was (and still is!) taking silly selfies from the time she was big enough to push the button on the camera. I remember saying to her, "Can't you just smile for the camera?" and "Someday you are going to be sad when you see that there are no beautiful pictures of you, just goofy ones with your mouth wide open."

She still sends me selfies from her mission and you know what? Most of them have silly looks!

Princess and Prima Donna are just as bad. Actually, Prima Donna is much worse! She can't ever smile in a picture without it looking extremely painful. When we were at the Safety Fair on Saturday I was snapping pics and when I came to her she pulled a goofy face and I said, "Can't you just smile for once?" I was surprised when she actually complied. That is the pic of her in the white shirt.

After Princess and I got home from basketball practice tonight, the two of them went into the bathroom and I could hear them giggling. About 5 minutes later they opened the door, proudly presenting me with their "photo shoot."

At first they declined when I asked them if I could put it on the blog, but after a couple of minutes they relented, so here are some of their silly pics. Hope you enjoy them. I would rather just see their stunning smiles. :)

**Bossy sneaking in this post to add this.  First of all my beautiful mom drives me nuts when she only likes pictures of herself from the neck up.  Seriously, all these children have grown up with you mostly looking like you look.  We aren't going to remember what you looked like in high school.  That doesn't mean you aren't beautiful.  It drives me crazy to think I used to do the same thing and avoid or delete pictures of myself because the camera caught that extra chin or my muffin top.

Finally I wanted to link to this video below, because I love the message.  Dove does an amazing job promoting real women and real beauty.  If I get assaulted with 200+ goofy pictures of my sister the next time I pick up my work phone.  So be it.  She is confident and beautiful.  A lesson that took me 28 years to learn.  Selfies can change the world's perception of beauty.  And Mom, I love knowing my sisters are happy, goofy and so full of love.  Maybe you can try to get into the photo more.

Feb 24, 2014

Girl Scout Facials

I just love having a Girl Scout troop! These girls are so fun and they are big enough that they want to do big girl things. So I called my friend who is a Mary Kay lady and scheduled some facials. She was actually really excited to come over and work with the girls.

I love troop meetings like this because they get a chance to learn a little about health and beauty and taking care of their bodies...

... and I don't have to teach them anything!

Bossy and I just sat around and watched while Salley did everything. Princess, Prima Donna and Crafty left for their dance class before we had a chance to take the pics but as you already know, they are beautiful too ;)

In fact, I hadn't really planned to blog about this meeting until one of the girls said, "Are you going to put pictures of us on your blog?" I didn't even realize they liked that! I might have to do it a little more often. We do have meetings pretty much every other week.

Don't they look pretty?

I prefer the picture with the smiles.
What do you think?

Feb 23, 2014

Finding Safety at the Safety Fair

I think I've told you before that Princess and Prima Donna are part of the Youth City Council so they get many opportunities to do service in our city and surrounding areas. Yesterday was one of those days. They had a huge safety fair at the Expo Center and the girls were invited to help with the police department's booth. Their assignment began just before noon, so we arrived a few minutes early to give them time to get where they needed to be.

Bossy's family joined us as did my Little Sis and her family. It was a huge room full of people and booths, kind of like a county fair. There were tons of games and activities and freebies for the kids. Just my sort of thing!

After we gave the girls a little time to get situated, we headed for their booth. It was about gun safety and it had one of the longest lines. It seems that every kid wanted the opportunity to shoot a gun. They did a great job teaching and instructing! Their commitment was 2 hours, so once we finished with their booth, we moved on to another area.

The booths were all set up in rows, with a huge stage and shows going on in the middle. We got free yogurt, Chick-fil-A coupons, candy... One booth was even giving out tiaras! After wandering for an hour or so, we got to the Sam's Club booth. That was the first time it dawned on me that I had left my purse in the van, but when they offered to give me a $20 gift card for renewing my membership, I decided it was worth it to send the Dog Walker out to the van to grab it.

We had been gathering things for a long time and since Baby Doll thinks she is too big for a stroller, we were just carrying everything with us. As I handed the Dog Walker my bags to take to the van, I also decided to shed my jacket since it was pretty warm in there with all those people. I let go of Baby Doll's hand for a second to pull it off and loaded with stuff, the Dog Walker headed out the doors.

It took me about 30 seconds to realize that Baby Doll was no longer with me. She had been a bit independent all day (now that she is a big girl) and I immediately began searching for her. With all the adults and children we were spread out along that row of booths and I was sure this was no big deal. Princess and Prima Donna had just gotten off duty and joined us and they were backtracking twenty feet to the tiara booth.

After about 5 minutes I had found every group of my children, and Baby Doll was not with any of them. My heart was beating 90 miles an hour as I pulled out my phone. My last hope was that the Dog Walker had taken her with him to the parking lot. He finally answered, but no, he was alone.

I quickly assigned the kids to groups and we spread out and widened our circle. Still no success. Ten minutes had passed by then. I started looking for the first police officer I could find which was pretty easy at a safety fair. His concern mirrored my own and we speed-walked back to the stage area and the BACA group. This gruff looking bunch in leather and Harley shirts immediately started looking for her. The leader of the group took me to the announcer and just as he took the last of the info to share with the entire building, Bossy signaled that Baby Doll had been found.

I've rarely been through that range of emotions in such a short period. Baby Doll clung to my leg and I pulled her up in a big hug. Only then did her little body begin to shake with sobs and I must confess to tears streaming down my cheeks too. We thanked everyone for their help and then Bossy spilled what part of the story she knew.

She didn't actually find Baby Doll. My 3-year-old somehow separated herself from the group, I'm guessing by following the Dog Walker toward the exit doors, but her tiny legs could never keep up with his longs ones and before they even got out of the room, she was hopelessly lost. When she couldn't see us, she remembered the city booth where Princess and Prima Donna were working. She didn't know they were no longer on-duty, but she headed there anyway.

One of our city police officers remembered her and gathered her up and started looking for Bossy, just assuming that she was the mother. Within minutes we were reunited.

I pray for safety every day of my life. My most amazing treasures are my sweet children and I could not bear the thought of one of them truly being lost. Thank you for finding her. Thank you for doing your job and always being there for our city, our community, our family.

You, as police officers, make our lives safer every day. I was reminded of that at the safety fair.
Thank you.

Feb 22, 2014

Phone Pics

Princess and Prima Donna and I were just chillin' on the couch, reflecting on our crazy day when Prima Donna started going through old pics on Princess's phone. I swear, she had tons of stuff I have never seen before! So I got this brilliant beyond brilliant idea to have her choose three of her favorites so I could blog about them. Let's see how it works out...

Random Pic #1, Crafty, Princess, Bossy (and a small piece of Burrito).

I have three thoughts for what could have prompted such faces from three of my daughters...

1. They just opened the freezer and discovered that all the triple cookie mint ice cream is gone (Bossy is cool because she actually hates mint-flavored ice cream.

2. They were just assigned chores for the day...

3. Curly just said his first "bad" word. Where's the Lifebuoy?

Random Pic #2, Princess and Prima Donna.

1. Just doing our civic duty by voting for Homecoming King!

2. Just received second quarter report cards... no wait, I mean 1st quarter, Prima Donna, 1st quarter....!

3. Just leaving the theater after seeing Frozen for the 146th time!

Random Pic #3, Dog Walker and Princess

1. Are you kidding me? I only saw Frozen THIS many times!

2. Dog Walker, I know there were two donuts left...

3.  Have a great weekend! Peace out!

Feb 21, 2014

Letters from Texas

I actually missed e-chatting with Teach this week. When Presidents Day rolled around on Monday morning, I just assumed that she would not be able to go to the library since all the libraries in Utah are closed. I was so wrong.

After we got back from breakfast and shopping, I opened my email to discover that I had missed her by about 30 minutes! I was so disappointed, but happy to see that she still shared an amazing story with me.

I was given the opportunity in zone conference to bear my testimony (they had the zone leaders and sister trainer leaders organize the meeting). I was given 10 minutes to train. It was the night before and I had NOTHING. This was to be a pretty big event and I knew not what I would say. Talk about a boat load of stress. But I kept reading. I kept praying. I kept... making stuff up. 
I was guided to the valentine from my brother that was sitting on my desk. I remembered the testimony the Dog Walker had written to me for my birthday. (This was about 20 minutes before we had to leave) and I felt impressed to pull it out. It is a very simple testimony. I don't have it with me but it basically says, "I have one testimony. I believe in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I believe in the Book of Mormon and in the Bible. I believe in many things about the LDS church." Something along those lines. (: It melts my heart. 
It also reminded me of another testimony I had read recently. That of Elder Bruce R. McConkie in the Purifying Power of Gethsemane. The final witness he gave of Jesus Christ before he died. It is a flippin' power house. With the idea of sharing those 2 things I set out to the meeting. It wasn't until President was sharing his opening remarks that my training/testimony pulled itself into a reasonably organized matter. I was so nervous. I will share with you what I wrote to my mission president about the experience: 

This week has been a huge spiritual feast! I can understand more fully what it means to rely on the Lord as you teach and as you learn. I have never felt such a powerful testimony than that of my own during zone conference when I felt the Spirit confirm to me the things that I know. I am so grateful for that opportunity because I cannot deny the truth that I feel. I know that I know these things are true. And when the devil sends forth his mighty winds to try to dissuade me I will reflect back on that moment when I stood in front of 40+ ordained servants of the Lord with shaky knees and sweaty palms but although the flesh was weak my spirit made a connection with the Holy Spirit and the truth cannot be denied. This is real, President. The church is true. All of it. 

It was such an outstanding experience. I knew with all of my heart the moment that the Spirit took over. You know that scripture that says you won't be confounded before men? I know that the promise is real. I had no idea what I would share. But as I said the words "God lives. Jesus is the Christ. There are angels serving here with us. The church is true." The words which I spoke penetrated into my soul. It was phenomenal. I am excited to watch that testimony in heaven someday because it was... it was monumental. (:  

I absolutely loved that. (: I hope you can feel the truth of it. Because this is real. (: 
Have an awesome weekend everyone!!

Feb 20, 2014

Meeting Janice Kapp Perry

I'm a pretty level-headed person. Fame doesn't usually impress me and I rarely find myself tongue-tied. That was not the case today.

The Dog Walker takes a choir class at the Jordan Institute. I think I've mentioned it before. Earlier this week we got an email from his director saying that they had a special guest visiting the hymns class at 5:30 if he would like to come. That guest was Janice Kapp Perry.

When we first talked about it, I don't think the Dog Walker had a clue who she was, so I had him go get the hymn book and the children's songbook. I was pretty sure I had seen her name in both. We flipped to the author index of the hymn book first and discovered that she wrote the song, "Sisters in Zion," one of my very favorites!

The Dog Walker was still mostly unimpressed until we opened the children's songbook. Her name was in there about 10 times. As we started flipping to the listed page numbers, he started getting very excited to meet her! The first one listed was "Child's Prayer." Honestly, that would have been enough, but it just kept going. "Love is Spoken Here," "Army of Helaman," "I Belong to the Church of Jesus Christ," "I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus," and "I Kneel to Pray" are all on the top of my list of favorite children's songs.

By then the Dog Walker was ready to hop in the shower and get down there as soon as possible, but first he asked the hard question, "Mom? Do you want to go with me?" Wednesdays are tough for me. My three teenage girls have Young Women's activities, so that left Sport as the babysitter. I immediately declined and headed for the craft room to put in another batch of laundry.

It took me about 30 seconds to change my mind and I switched directions and headed for the stairs to change my clothes. Janice Kapp Perry has always been one of my favorites since I first discovered her work in high school when I was looking for a song to sing at my brother's mission farewell. "In The Hollow of thy Hand" fit the bill. I just love that song!

She also wrote "Where is Heaven?" the song 5-year-old Bossy and I sang at my grandpa's funeral and I'm pretty sure again at my FIL's funeral three weeks later. Let's just say that her music was a huge part of my formative years.

We drove separately so I could leave before the Dog Walker settled down for choir. We arrived a little early and there were only a handful of people in this large classroom including Sister Perry and her husband. We watched a girl ask her for a picture and then the Dog Walker and I ventured up. She was kind and cordial and listened to my stammering with a smile. What an amazing lady!

After everyone was seated there were about 50 of us in the room. The Dog Walker was called upon to give the opening prayer (he did a great job!) and when she finished her remarks an hour and a half later I was not ready to leave. We sang with her! First a medley of her primary songs and then 4 beautiful new hymns she had written. Last of all, she and her husband led us in Sisters in Zion/Army of Helaman. It was perfect.

I'm so glad I went. The music soothed my soul and I was teary all the way home. I could practically reach out and touch the spirit in that room. It was just what my heart needed today.

Feb 19, 2014

Hundreds Day

That's Curly in the gray and white striped shirt.
One of my favorite special days for kindergarten is Hundreds Day! I've been very fortunate to be able to go to that celebration with most of my youngest children. I like it because it is different and fun and there is never a conflict with the upper grades. Like for the Halloween party, I had to choose one child to support out of the three because generally the parties are all on the same day. And kindergarten is really the only grade to celebrate Hundreds Day with a party and a special visitor.

No, I didn't get to be the special visitor. It was a Super Hero called Zero the Hero! He dressed in fancy clothing with a bunch of zeros, fancy glasses and a cape, but most of all, he came bearing treats... a donut for every child in the class because they look like zeros, of course.

I was in charge of the counting treats station. We had 10 different treats, cereal, candy, marshmallows, stuff like that. The kids each had a counting mat and when they had counted out 10 of each treat, they had a hundred treats to take home in a little baggie.

Baby Doll playing in the kitchen.
They loved this activity! They only problem we really had was with the Lemon Heads... they kept rolling off the mats. I took Baby Doll with me this time and she was really good. She played in the little kitchen most of the time and only got upset when a real baby joined her and started pulling everything off the shelves and making a huge mess in general. She took it in stride though and after her awesome job cleaning up, Curly's teacher gave her one of the extra donuts.

Happy Hundreds Day, everyone! It's the perfect day to count out a hundred treats and then eat them. But if you use Lemon Heads, you might want to put them in a bowl...

Feb 18, 2014

Presidents Day

Today was a busy day. We started out the morning with the Drama Queen taking most of us out for breakfast at Chick-fil-A. I love their oatmeal! Then she and I took all the kids to Kohl's. That was actually way too crazy to be all that fun.

The Dog Walker abandoned us right after we went in the store. The older girls wanted to hang out in the juniors department and look at the clearance racks so I took Curly and Sport with me to handle our returns. After that, the boys and I looked at toys and then boys clothes. About 20 minutes later we found the girls. Scout and Baby Doll were no longer interested in staying with the group and it wasn't long before I was ready to hit the road.

When we got back to the house, it was time to do some spring cleaning. I helped the boys sort all their clothes (Curly is changing from a size 6 to 7/8). I encouraged and hollered a little, vacuumed and folded lots of clothes!

We put the crib into storage (that was way hard!) for the first grandchild who might need it, and set up a toddler bed for Baby Doll. She was so excited to be a big girl!

After 5 hours of cleaning, we quickly fed the kids a bowl of cereal and loaded them into the van. We were just in time to see the Lego Movie. It was pretty cute, but not really what I was expecting. I had enough passes to get us all in for free, so the price was right.

After the movie we stopped by the McDonalds and used our free dessert coupons from Reflections to get everyone a hot fudge sundae. We also splurged on some fries for dunking purposes.

We finished up our family day with scriptures and a few minutes sharing facts about George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

I did miss the cherry pie!
But I'm grateful for mostly clean bedrooms and a good productive day.

Feb 17, 2014


I grew up eating asparagus. It was NOT my favorite.

I can eat at least this much!
In the small town we grew up in, my mom used to harvest it wild from the sides of a ditch not far from our house. This wasn't a strange thing. She had other sources for rhubarb and Potawatomi plums. I read somewhere that the pioneers planted these things along the ditch banks and waterways as a food source and although they might not still exist, I know for a fact that they were there during the 70s. 

The asparagus my mom brought home was usually big and bulbous, too green and reedy. She would simply boil it in hot water and transfer it to the table. Not good!

So the first time my sweetie brought home asparagus, I was less than thrilled. I love most vegetables, and he wanted to try his hand at one of the few I was not at all interested in eating. When he produced the thin tender stalks from the grocery bag, my heart (and my palate) softened a little. These only vaguely resembled the over-sized reeds I grew up with. 

Other than pasta, I don't believe my sweetie ever boils anything in water! Happily, he coated these in olive oil and Italian spices and roasted them in the oven. They were delicious! Although I still didn't like the straight ends which were difficult to chew. 

As time slid by, we learned that those ends were supposed to be discarded and never eaten. The younger, slender stalks had less that had to be removed while the bigger, older stalks were almost all reedy.

You ate the last one!
So yesterday at the store, my sweetie picked up two bundles of sweet green asparagus. I thought that was a bit overkill, but since I'm now a fan, I wasn't about to complain. He roasted them our traditional way with olive oil and spices. When he served them up there were so many he had to put them on a tray instead of a plate. 

Most of the kids turned up their noses and refused to try them, so Drama Queen and I proceeded to swallow them down like pieces of candy. Even though Scout refused at first, she was intrigued by our enjoyment and it wasn't long before she decided to give it a try. 

After one bite and a huge smile, she pulled the tray in front of her and abandoned her chicken and potatoes. She was eating them with both hands when the Dog Walker pulled out the camera. I guess next time we better go for three bundles.

Otherwise I might not get any. Mom would have been proud.

Feb 16, 2014

A Great Man

I know it's after midnight, so it's really not still February 15, but I've been thinking about the fact that the 15th is the birthday of my father-in-law. I've written a little about him before, but it's been a long time. He was born in 1917, and he would be nearly 97 if he were alive today. It was rumored that he was actually born on Valentine's Day, but whoever delivered him believed that might be a difficult birthday for a boy so the date was manipulated to read the 15th. Not that it really matters now, it's just interesting. That could never happen in today's hospitals.

His father died when he was about 2 in the flu epidemic, and his mother never remarried. She was expecting her 4th child and vowed to name the baby after her deceased husband. That is how my sweetie ended up with an aunt named Clyde.

My FIL served in WWII. He saw some terrible things! The story is that his hair turned white overnight while he was in his 20s. He met and married his first wife about that time. They had two children, but by the late 50s the marriage was over. He divorced and married my MIL, and he worked as a plumber and a heating contractor. He raised six more kids in his second family, one of them being my sweetie.

He was well-respected in his community and known to help others regardless of their ability to pay. He was wonderfully supportive of our relationship even while my parents thought I was crazy for wanting to get married. I cherish the hours I spent with him, hearing about his life and talking about all of our futures.

He was always willing to take my sweetie along on jobs when we were first married and then share the money with him as well as give us a bag of groceries before we headed back to our own home. In his shirt he had what he called a "magic pocket." There was always money in it for my MIL or to buy a gallon of milk or two.

He passed away on Columbus Day, 1989. I was at a Tupperware party and when I came home my sweetie was curled up in a ball with our 3 little ones snuggled close by on our bed. It was totally unexpected, a massive heart attack. We had just spent the weekend with him, helping put in a new furnace for my MIL.

Life is so fragile; we never know how long we have to love and enjoy each other. I wish my children would have had the opportunity to know him. He truly was a great man.

Feb 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

Awww Valentine's Day. More commonly known as "Single's Awareness Day" around here...

This year was totally different for us.

Some things were the same. The elementary-aged kids made their valentines for their friends at school and they put together shoe boxes with hearts and stuff to carry them in. Prima Donna even helped Curly make his look like Sebastian in honor of the Operetta coming up in a couple of weeks. We filled some cute Tupperware water bottles with hearts and kisses for their teachers and a couple of them took a regular-sized Hershey bar for their most favorite friend of the opposite sex. (Sebastian just happens to fancy himself in love with Ariel!)

The older girls prepared candy bars for each of their teachers and a special friend or two. Princess and Crafty made this deal to just give a Hershey bar to some random boy they didn't even know and wish him a Happy Valentine's Day. Princess picked a boy sitting alone at lunch, handed him the bar with a smile and a wish and walked away. I'm sure getting that sweet treat from a beautiful girl totally made his day!

The Dog Walker made his first trip to the temple! That was a wonderful amazing experience. He truly looks so good all dressed in white! Eternity seemed much closer as we all hugged in the Celestial Room. My sweetie commented on the day when we would have all 12 of them (and hopefully spouses!) there with us. That would be the best. day. ever!

My sweetie surprised me with a new electric blanket. He worries so much about me staying warm and mine was only half working. He also got up early and made me a batch of toffee, my favorite, but usually only a treat for Christmas time. Another reason (if you are counting) that I've kept this man around for 31+ years.

He also took me dancing and then out to dinner at Red Robin. The kids stayed here and had fun together except for Crafty who went to a movie with some friends. Prima Donna made these amazing heart-shaped potatoes and little smokies. The Dog Walker made sparkling red jello, and Bossy took the little ones to her house to make and decorate sugar cookies. Princess even got invited to Prom!

It was a beautiful, happy day. Hope yours was just as sweet!

Feb 14, 2014

Guest Blog: 10969 Days by Sweetie

A consecutive streak came to an end today.

What started on November 1, 1984 and has continued day after day since then to now? That's 10,696 days if your wondering. So what has gone on that long but is now at an end? Could it be the love I have for my wife... no, I loved her longer than that and that will never end. Could it be consecutive days of inversion? No, it just seems like it in the Salt Lake valley sometimes. 

I'll give you a hint. In that time we have used approximately 101,000 of them. Does that help? 

Well, Bossy was born on November 1, 1984, and from then until today, we have had one or more of our precious little ones in diapers... 29 years 3 months and 13 days of changing diapers. 90% or more of those have been lovingly taken care of by my sweet wife... 

Thank you will never cover it, but thank you.
It's kind of funny, I remember thinking I couldn't wait until they were out of diapers... the expense, the messy ones... but I find it's both exciting and sort of sad. I'm so excited for Baby Doll who practically trained herself. My wife is getting good at waiting until they do... fewer tears all the way around.. And sort of sad. 

I miss the cry of a newborn, the beauty of kissing their little heads. You can practically taste heaven by putting your own newborn gently to your lips. I never realized how much I would miss that... and no diapers means soon it will be no preschoolers, then no one in elementary. It will just keep coming and I'll keep missing something. 

One thing I won't miss is the expense of buying diapers..... I know I'll never see a sudden windfall from not buying diapers. I'm pretty sure the dance tights and costume expenses outweigh diaper expenses any day. So there it is, I've paid for about 101,000 diapers...If that isn't scary, think about this one.. We have had a baby or a toddler in the nursery at church for 29 years... which is almost as scary as having survived over 108 months (that's 9 years) of living with a pregnant wife.... 

The old days were hard, but good .. the new days are looking easy.. Three teenage girls... an autistic college student, three in elementary and one newly potty-trained big girl preschooler. What could be hard about that?

Feb 13, 2014

Guest Blog: Rootstech 2014 by Prima Donna

 Crafty, Fajita and I got an awesome opportunity last Saturday!  We got to go to Rootstech!  It was a super cool family history convention put on by the LDS church and ancestry.com  Fajita's stake was invited and she thought Crafty and I might like to go, once I heard what was on the schedule I was on board right away. 

We got there and the first thing we got to do was attend an awesome devotional by John Bytheway!  Then we went into the section with all the booths there was a really cool byutv booth where Crafty got her super awesome glasses.  As we were walking past, the man running the booth said, "Don't miss the Studio C show at 3!  They are out in the lobby right now signing autographs."  I didn't have to think twice, we ran out to the lobby!  The line was huge!  It twisted around like 5 times and then went up two flights of stairs... but who cares we got in line right away. 

I could barely control my excitement I think I almost started crying multiple times.  Every time I'd see a glimpse of one of them I'd be like "Crafty, did you see...!"  and then she'd have to calm me down.  I was fan-girling....bad.  At one point Jason saw me in line during one of my freakout moments and he looked at me like "Is she ok?"  That's when I noticed I should probably try to contain myself.  We were getting closer to the line and in a heart beat, I was standing right in front of Whitney Call! (or Meek, but whatever)  She said, "How are you?"  and that's when I noticed I wasn't breathing and couldn't talk because I was smiling like an idiot so all that came out was, "H-h-happy, this is the best day of my life!" 

Then Crafty got some cute pictures and we went down the line.  I love them on TV but I love them even more in real life. Thy are just so loving and happy.  Then James Perry with more swagger than I thought anyone was capable of having said, "Hey, how ya doin?"  Yeah, no sound came out that time.  Before I knew it I had "talked" to all of them, and we were out of the line. We picked up our autographed posters at the end and Crafty walked away with a couple of pics which I was mostly oblivious to, hence why I'm not in them.

Anyway, after the best moment of my life, we had to go to a family history class we arrived like 20 minutes late because the line took so long.  The class talked about how we can share our family history on Facebook and that we should put some of the inhumane amounts of pictures we're taking on our profiles on family history sites so that our future generations can find them.  It was a really cool idea! 

Waiting in line...
After that, it was finally 3 o'clock, time for Studio C!  They interviewed the cast and I learned some pretty hilarious facts and then they showed us some super top secret sketches for next season!!  After that we cooled down a little bit as we got to hear from Elder Neil L. Andersen, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He taught us how family history work has blessed his family. He stressed finding our cousins and going beyond our immediate line or helping out a friend with their family history. 

After such a wonderful day it was time to go home, not empty handed of course (I'm pretty sure it's impossible to leave a convention empty handed.)  It was a wonderful day and I can't wait for Studio C season 4!

You can find the rootstech devotionals online at lds.org and season 4 starts on April 7th, but for now you can watch Studio C sketches online at byutv.org or look them up on youtube.