Widgets Magazine

Jun 25, 2017

#MantiPageant

We are finally just relaxing at my dad's house, getting ready for bed. We got up early this morning, dropped Sport and Crafty off in Taylorsville for their parade, and then we made our way through the crazy traffic to Drama Queen's house.


We spent the next 3 hours working on touch-up painting, caulking, and miscellaneous small tasks. The upstairs is nearly habitable, which is good because Teach and Twiz will be moving their little family in there next week.

After we picked up the kids from the parade, we finished up and then ran home. It was a mad dash to get out the door in time to pick up Prima Donna from Trefoil before heading to Manti to watch the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

It was awesome, as usual, but my favorite part was running into a favorite childhood friend and visiting for a few minutes. She and her family were staying in Ephraim just so they could participate as members of the cast. I hadn't seen her in about 30 years...

Grandpa was swarmed with people who knew him as a teacher and he was loving it. It was a busy, but definitely good day.

Jun 24, 2017

Happy 14th Birthday, Sport!

Today was Sport's 14th birthday. We started our morning celebration by going to Seven Peaks waterpark It was just after 12:00 when we got there. The Dog Walker, Baby Doll, and Curly had been there for a couple of hours by then, but the Dog Walker had to leave for work.


We only stayed until about 2:00. It was 80 degrees, but the water was cold, so we decided we would plan to come back on another day. I didn't take any pics at the park because I didn't want to get my phone wet, but I did get this one after we stopped by McDonald's on the way home.


We don't normally do birthday dinners on Friday nights, but with Prima Donna working at Trefoil Ranch and only available on weekends, we thought we better celebrate hers on Sunday. Sport wanted a German Chocolate cake, tuna casserole, and rolls.

I got to watch the baby.
Drama Queen bought Klondike bars instead of ice cream and the kids were thrilled. We had a few missing. Beauty and The Beast are in Texas for a wedding, and Princess and The Frog were stuck at home, but we still had a great time.

Sport loved his gifts, especially the mostly gone water bottles Curly gave him for flipping and the Nike socks. But I think his favorite gift was the Broncos hat chosen by my sweetie.


Happy Birthday, Sport.

And many more!



Jun 23, 2017

My Hanging Basket from CommercialSilk

I'm pretty sure it's a well-known fact that I kill plants. Not intentionally, of course, I just can't ever get the water right; it's either not enough or way too much. The kids laugh at me every time I buy a poinsettia at Christmas because they know it will be a miracle if it makes it to the end of December.

About 10 years ago I convinced my sweetie that I was changing my ways and I could handle real flowers, so he put up a bunch of porch hooks and bought me some beautiful hanging baskets full of petunias. The first one started dying just over a week later, and it wasn't long before they all looked like ridiculous pots of dirt swaying in the breeze.

Of course I took them down, but the hooks have remained as a testament to my failure.


That's why I was so excited when CommercialSilk contacted me about a product review. I hopped online and immediately started looking for the hanging baskets. We found one we liked and it took about 10 days for it to arrive.

Drama Queen opened the box for me and hung it on one of the porch hooks without adjusting a single branch. A blossom or two remained in the box, but I couldn't even tell they had fallen, and we have had it up for about 10 days now through a windstorm and a light rain and it still looks as great as ever.



This morning when I was taking pictures of it for this post, Baby Doll wanted to know what I was doing. When I told her it was for a blog post, she seemed confused, then she asked, "You mean they aren't real?"

**I received this hanging basket for free in exchange for my honest review.**

Jun 22, 2017

A Special Date

Crafty and Sport are both participating with the SLCC Spirit Marching Band; Crafty is playing her clarinet and Sport is carrying the banner with Bean Dip. Fajita is also playing her flute, so it is a real family affair.

Tonight they had rehearsal downtown so my sweetie and I dropped them off and then drove to City Creek. We decided to take advantage of their two hours marching and find a quiet place to have dinner and talk for a while. I've hardly seen him all week.

We eventually settled on the Joseph Smith Memorial Building where Grandpa serves his mission. He had already gone home by then, but we climbed in the elevator anyway and got out on the 10th floor. They have two restaurants up there and we chose the cheaper one although at the Garden, the views and food still cost us $60.

Yes, that is the Salt Lake Temple right outside the window.

I wanted to show you the meal I paid all that money for and the beautiful view behind my sweetie's head. It was difficult to get a picture of him because the sun was shining in my eyes, but I finally managed with the flash.

Butler steak... delicious!

I love going out with my sweetie and spending time with just him. After we ate we roamed the Disney store and then the Fanzz store. Sport's birthday is on Friday, so we grabbed something I think he will really like (Sorry, Sport, you thought I was going to spill the secret, didn't you?)


When we finally picked up the kids at 8:45, Sport was carrying the entire banner. Apparently we get to take it home with us and clean it before the parade on Saturday...Hey! Is this really in his job description?

Jun 21, 2017

Father's Day 2017

I know I'm a bit late with this post, but when I went through my phone looking for a pic of me and my dad, I realized I didn't have a decent one of just the two of us so I fixed that.


On Sunday we had a big family party. We tried to make it much bigger, but most of my brothers and sisters are actually out of town so only one of my sisters and her cute daughter and family joined us for our typical Sunday family party. That made about 33 of us or so, but who is counting?


We served Grandpa's favorite meal, spaghetti and meatballs, and my sweetie's favorite, German Chocolate cake for dessert. I must confess that Drama Queen did pretty much all the cooking, and it was fabulous!


At one point during the party, I handed Baby Doll my phone and said, "Go take some pictures." She is so funny, but she took me very seriously and for the most part, we got some pretty cute shots, but I will let you be the judge.

Sorry, Sweetie, next year will be different... you can pick the main course!




Jun 20, 2017

Prima Donna's Grand Adventure

Prima Donna began a new adventure today. She wasn't happy with her job at Burger King, so she decided it was time to make a switch for the summer. About 10 days ago she applied for the job as a camp counselor at Trefoil Ranch which is a Girl Scout resident camp and on Thursday they made her an offer.

Today we spent a couple of hours acquiring her gear and getting her ready to go. Then Drama Queen, Scout, Baby Doll, and I drove her up the mountain. That's right, no cell service or internet unless she comes home on the weekends. Just fresh mountain air, lots of bugs and mosquitoes, sunscreen and horses; sounds like the perfect summer.
For her... not me...

Jun 18, 2017

Girl Scout Lagoon Day

My girls were so excited for Lagoon Day to finally be here! Me, not so much.


We left the house at 8:30 AM so the girls could be there in time to check in and for the awards ceremony. Baby Doll and Scout as well as my sweetie and I all got in free because each girl sold over 1000 boxes of cookies this year. (If you don't live in Utah, Lagoon is a large amusement park and the cost of tickets is about $50 each.) Their passes also included lunch and ice cream, so it was a pretty big deal.

Waiting in line... there were lots of long lines since it was Saturday.
On the Skyride.
After they were presented their certificates and we took pictures, we had lunch. Prima Donna had also joined our little adventure and the girls were excited to head off into the park. Just before 1:00, I got the call from Drama Queen that she had Curly, Crafty, and Sport and they were waiting for me in the parking lot. Yeah, we decided to make it a fun and exciting day for everyone.

We won a giant banana-monkey by tossing ping-pong balls.
Usually Sport and Crafty had a ton of fun riding together.
But not always.
Prima Donna had invited me to ride the JetStar with her first thing, so I did. From then on, my stomach just didn't want to settle down. Even when Drama Queen brought me some Dramamine, I was still unhappy. I rode a few rides with the kids and thoroughly enjoyed Rattlesnake Rapids, especially when my sweetie, Drama Queen, and Prima Donna were all doused in cold water! I got a little wet, but not too bad.

We always have to have a least one trip around the carousel.
 Time at the park stretched all day and then into the evening. Prima Donna had some friends in the musical theatre show there so I sat with her and watched it, but it was so loud... I really am getting old.

Stopping for a few minutes for dinner.
Family train ride!
 The kids were diehards, especially Baby Doll and Scout, and we stayed until 11:00 when the park closed. It took us an hour to get home, but I stayed up until about 1:30 AM when Drama Queen finally pulled in. She had gone the rest of the way to Ogden with Prima Donna to bring home a bunch of her things. Prima Donna got a job at Trefoil, one of the Girl Scout camps here in Utah and she starts tomorrow. It will definitely be a fun summer adventure for her, living in the mountains and working with girls. She can hardly wait to begin.

I really did have fun, see?











Jun 17, 2017

British Soccer Camp

You know I love some of the fun things our family has been able to do because of the US Family Guide. Curly has been waiting for months to participate in his very first British Soccer Camp! Actually, it's his very first soccer camp of any kind. Although he loves all kinds of sports, soccer is not one that he has much experience with, but in typical Curly fashion, he rose to the top and became one of the best players of the week.


I had never heard of Challenger Sports' British Soccer Camps before and I was definitely surprised to learn that they are available all over the country. In fact, when I first pulled up their website, I almost dared them to have camps near my home, and I was pleasantly surprised to find quite a few choices.

Lindon was actually quite a drive for us, but because we wanted this particular week, we signed him up anyway. Later in the summer there are several camps that are much closer. (Year round school does make life difficult at times.)


The camp was split into two different classes. The morning class had 2 coaches, Charlie and Corey, and there were about 18 kids under the age of 12. If you remember, Curly is 8, so that put him squarely in the middle of the group. The camp ran from 9 - noon and then they had a break for lunch.

Most of the kids did not choose to participate in the extra afternoon training although at $57 more, I thought it was a bargain for the 4 days. There were only 4 kids signed up and they got 2 kids to each coach attention on specific moves and tips for another couple of hours.

Curly was on the Ecuador team and they took 2nd place in the "World Cup." He also turned out to be a pretty good goalie for someone who hadn't played soccer since he was 3. A couple of things... Curly had a difficult time understanding his coaches for the first little bit. They are from England and they do have pretty thick accents, but they were good at soccer and it was easy for them to show the kids how to improve their games.


Next, have your child bring a jacket and plenty of water. It was mid-June here in Utah and it still got pretty cold. A backpack stocked with treats would also be helpful since they are given breaks, but food is not included. And last but not least, if you coaches are getting the kids all excited about a "World Cup," then you'd better have at least something that looks like one for them to see. Curly was disappointed when the "cup" turned out to be nothing but a soccer ball wrapped in a shirt.

He loved the personalized ball and the encouraging comments from his coach. He is already talking about attending the camp again next year...


***We received a free week-long morning camp in exchange for our honest and thoughtful review.***

Jun 15, 2017

Three Sports in One Day

Last night I was all excited to come home and write an amazing post for you! I had been to the Leader Appreciation Dinner after Curly's baseball game so it was pretty late when I finally walked into the office. Something was different.

At first I thought someone had blown the circuit and my computer had just been shutdown. But when I pushed the button to turn it back on, nothing happened. My sweetie was consoling, but not surprised. When I called Bossy, she said, "Mom, your computer is 12 years old..." Yeah, that's more than a decade... Technology has changed a bit.

My problem is that I'm running xp. I know, totally archaic, but I like it. So my sweetie got online and ordered me a new power supply, but if that doesn't work, I'm afraid I will be forced into an upgrade.

Now, to share a bit of the post I had intended to write.


Here is my amazing Curly. He started Tuesday morning with 6 hours of soccer camp. Then he changed his uniform and played baseball for 2 hours (he was excited to catch for the first time ever this week). Then after a quick supper, he went with me to play basketball.


Oh for the days when my body was young enough to handle 3 sports all in the same day... I got tired just watching him play 3 sports all in the same day...


Jun 14, 2017

Discovering Pigtail Flippers

It had been quite a while since I heard from my friends over at Cave Tools. I thought we had reviewed pretty much all of their products, so I was quite surprised when they asked me if I wanted to try something called a Pigtail Flipper. I had never heard of such a thing and since this is barbecue, you can imagine what I was thinking about with a name like "pigtail."

I was wrong.

Pigtail flippers are actually these neat little long-handled tools with a curved metal skewer on the end to grab and turn meat. Because they barely touch the meat, they keep it from spilling all those delicious juices. I'm starting to sound like a commercial, aren't I?


So a few days ago my sweetie decided he was sort of fed up with the diet Crafty has put us on and he went to the store and bought a small package of nice steaks. He waited until the kids were all in bed and then he headed for the grill. It was a bit dark outside, so my pics aren't the greatest, but I convinced him this would be the perfect time to try his new Cave Tool. (It also gave him the perfect excuse just in case he got caught by one of the kids.)

He pulled the steaks from the grill using these nifty little tools just as the Dog Walker came in from work and the three of us settled into making sure they were grilled (and flipped!) to perfection. I've got to tell you, they were so juicy! And according to my sweetie, they were so easy to use. Any tool that makes him want to spend more time cooking is my new favorite tool...


But seriously, if you are looking for an inexpensive Fathers' Day gift, check out Cave Tools' website. If you want to try out the Pigtail flippers, I can hook you up with an awesome deal. Our friends at Cave Tools wanted to make it even easier for you to buy them, so they gave me a coupon code to save 15% if you order from the Cave Tools website. Just enter PIGTAIL15.

Amazon or at Cave Tools

***We were given a free set of Pigtail flippers  for our open and honest review of the product.***

Jun 13, 2017

A Grand Adventure

Today was the first day of Curly's soccer camp (but he will tell you more about that on a different day). I chose the session in Utah County because it fit well with our summer plans, not because I wanted to drive the 40 minutes or so to get him there and back.

I managed the trip by myself this morning to drop him off, but when they told me he might be done by noon instead of 3:00, I convinced Drama Queen to take me back down. Of course Baby Doll and Scout wanted to ride with us.

When we got to the park, despite the wind and cold, they told us the camp would proceed as planned. That gave us 3 hours to kill in Utah County because there was no way I wanted to drive home and then make a 3rd trip back down!


So first we ran by the Scera to pick up Grandpa's free ticket to see Brigadoon with us. Then we stopped at Krispee Kreme's for free donuts (I keep telling the kids that good grades pay off!). Provo City Mall was our 3rd stop. Baby Doll had lost her earring solution at the dance recital on Saturday, so we visited Claire's and bought another bottle. That stuff is so expensive!


Then we wandered down to JC Penney and bought a couple of things for my sweetie for Father's Day. After a turn on the escalator, we left the mall. The girls were hungry, but everything there was so expensive so we found an Arby's. It was barely 2:00 so their sliders were all $1. We managed to feed all 4 of us for just over $10.


Back at the park, Curly was just finishing up, so we timed it perfectly. Drama Queen stayed off the freeway on the way home and I enjoyed a nap. I just love a grand adventure! Especially when someone else does all the driving.



Jun 11, 2017

Party for Beauty

We had a great time tonight at Beauty and The Beast's new home celebrating her 24th birthday. She doesn't actually turn 24 for about 10 days, but we were hoping to stay away from Fathers' Day this year. Besides, we just couldn't pass up the chance for a tour of their new home.

We all descended on them about 6:00 pm. They were cooking The Beast's special burritos and Beauty was just putting her famous apple crisp in the oven. After seeing all the amazingness of their house, we settled in to have dinner.


Beauty opened her gifts (why is it when I take a picture everyone looks away?) and then we had apple and peach crisp with Tillamook ice cream. Yum!


Twiz was at work so I got a few turns to hold Twizlet. Her eyes are going to be that brilliant blue just like her mama's. Love these grandbabies! Can't wait to hold that cute grandson in a couple of months...


Dance Recital 2017

Tonight was our dance recital for Crafty, Scout, Curly, and Baby Doll. They have been working hard since Christmas to show us what they can do on stage.

Baby Doll, right in the center
Our studio is large, so they split the classes into upper and lower school. Baby Doll and Curly are in the lower school mostly, but tonight things were a little mixed up. Crafty performed her solo in the lower school and I thought she did a great job although she had to talk about every little mistake.

Mission Impossible - Curly
Baby Doll is amazingly good for a 6-year-old dancer. One of the teachers told me it is because she counts so well and stays with the beat. She participated in three dances tonight, tap, jazz, and ballet. Her ballet number was my favorite with their cute little umbrellas they performed to Singing in the Rain.

Scout as Mulan in the red costume.
Curly was the star of the show in his jazz class. I loved the Mission Impossible theme with him right in the middle as the main character. The girls love that they have a boys so they can do fun things like this one. The sunglasses were so cute! Sometimes I forget what a good dancer Curly is and how he loves being on the stage with his little entourage. He did 3 numbers as well, and he also did a great job in the Production number. He and Scout were pirates for Peter Pan.

Crafty, 2nd from the left.
Speaking of Scout, she had 6 dances (I think!), two for performing team, one each for ballet, tap, and jazz, and the Production number. She always does such a great job playing up to the audience. Her classes are huge and she is often in the back, but I loved this one where she was the character of Mulan. Each girl took her turn dancing with the "prince." So fun!

Crafty as Peter Pan

Grainy, I know, but I love Crafty's leap!
And then there is Crafty. She had 8 numbers, including her solo and the lead role in Peter Pan. I love watching her dance because I can tell that it is her passion. She loves being on stage and making the music come to life. I can't even begin to pick my favorite of her dances, but I'm thinking the Production number wins everywhere. She does such a good job as Peter Pan and then I get to watch Curly and Scout besides.

Pirates from Peter Pan. Scout in skirt on far left, Curly in black vest 3rd from left.

Sorry for the grainy cell pics, but they are all that I have.







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