Widgets Magazine

Dec 17, 2017

Getting in the Spirit of Things

Today was a wonderful day with only a couple of basketball games and then getting ready for our big extended family Christmas party tomorrow. It has been icy and snowing, but very little has stayed on the ground.

We had Twizlet while Teach took a quick trip to the emergency room. It seems that she has been diagnosed with shingles...Twizlet had lots of fun with us, rocking out to the Winnie-the-Pooh Christmas songs. She was definitely getting into the spirit of things.


It's probably not a good time to make a bad joke about "Up on the Housetop" to Teach...

Dec 16, 2017

Yule Log

Here it is another late night again.  It seems I'm always staying up a little later for one of my children or the other.  Tonight, though, it was Drama Queen.  Where she works evenings now, all her projects get started a little later.  It seems she needed a treat to take with for a Christmas potluck tomorrow, but where I would have made a plate of cookies and call it done, she had to go be an over-achiever.  I walked into the kitchen just a few minutes ago to find her putting the finishing touches on this fancy jelly roll. 



She called it a Yule Log, and of course she knew the whole story that went with it.  In France, it seems, it's an old tradition that on Christmas night or the winter solstice, the wealthiest man in the village would bring out a log that everyone would then make a wish on.  As the night came on, they would start a big bonfire with the Yule Log in the center, and as long as the fire burned all the way until morning, then everyone's wishes for the new year would come true.  Now, she says, they just make cakes that are decorated to look like logs. It does seem like an awful lot of work for one small cake, but it's a cute story.  Plus, I got to sneak some of the extra frosting since calories don't count after midnight...right?  Thanks for the treat, Drama Queen!

See how it's got bark and the little leaves?

Dec 15, 2017

Guest Blogger: Light the World with Happiness, by the Dog Walker

  It's finally the moment you've all been waiting for! Christmas Light Display of 2017! It's been quite a challenge for me, because I've been busy with school and trying to finish the semester. There have been a lot of those times just like from the previous years when I felt either too slothful to put up anymore or I'm just running out of ideas on how to put lights up. I've also have been encountering some cluttered junk that we didn't need and I also encountered a lot of strands that had to be thrown away because they were broken. I even had to make sure that things were cleaned up in the yard before setting up. It was quite easy to make a mess of things and hard to decide what should be put up and to make sure that a whole strand of lights works. We've been going through a lot of our storage and it just felt like that we needed to reevaluate it for the upcoming years of the next holidays. I don't know what else to say about all of this, but I put this display up on KSL and that it can be shown to about everyone around Utah to come see it and to know that I did this all by myself and I hope that all of you would have a chance to come see it anytime you have before Christmas or even after that. I also hope I'm not just lighting Utah with happiness but that I'm also lighting the world with happiness by announcing that Cat Lover and I are still getting married on March 2, 2018. It's been a big blessing for the both of us and we're looking forward to the biggest opportunity and ceremony in our lives. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!








Dec 14, 2017

Icky Stuff

I've had to do some terribly not fun things the last couple of days.

First, I had to visit the impound lot to pick up Prima Donna's things that were left in her car after the accident last Saturday. I didn't get a chance to see the car at the accident site since they had already loaded it onto the wrecker, so I wasn't prepared for the damage and devastation.



It didn't help that it was terribly cold outside and my hands were like ice cubes as I sorted through the debris looking for anything of value. I couldn't open the trunk at all; not with the key nor with the button. I hope she didn't have treasures hidden in there.


Then today (after 3 doctors' appointments - 1 for me and 2 for Scout), I drove to Ogden so I could take Prima Donna to court on a "failure to appear" charge for a traffic violation she got when the car was only 3 days old (to us, anyway). I have never had to go to court like that, so it was pretty unsettling, but the judge was extremely kind and reduced her fine as far down as he possibly could without dismissing it altogether.


Then I had to drive back from Ogden. I'm running way behind in my holiday preparations. My next task is to make sure I am ready for our Girl Scout Christmas Party on Friday. There is always way too much to do.

Dec 13, 2017

Guest Post: Dress-Coded! by Drama Queen

The past two days have been so foggy...I mean that literally!  The Salt Lake Valley has had a thick blanket of inversion and fog since late Monday afternoon.  With that has come a drop in temperature that's left many of us shivering.  I don't know about y'all, but I spend 98% of December wrapped in scarves and Christmas sweaters.  At work, I keep two different lap blankets: one for my lap and the other to wrap around my shoulders.  I'm so chilly, I actually keep my socks on when I'm at home.  And that, for me, is just unheard of.

Burrito's band concert was awesome!
So the thing that I really don't get is how my little siblings run around in just a jacket or a thin hoodie when they are outside.  They walk home in temps below 40 everyday and they each have their own very nice coat.  Yet they still head out the door every morning insisting they'll be just fine with a hoodie.  It's crazy!

Lately, that same imperviousness has extended inside and that (plus an unwillingness to bring down their dirty clothes) has left for more skin showing than usual.  Shorts, sleeve-less dresses, and even tank tops are sneaking out.  Heck, I walked in on Scout just changing her shirt in the middle of the family room yesterday!  Between that and Prima Donna's new wardrobe, Momma has had to start issuing dress-code citations.   Basically, that means if you are being immodest in a public area, you get a request to change, and if you don't figure it out on your own, then Momma will pick wha
tever she wants and make you wear it - and just for fun, it usually clashes terribly.

Well, the other night, I finally got to taste such sweet, unadulterated power myself when Baby Doll brought her Barbie to the dinner table.  The scandalous thing was stark naked!  "Dress coded!" I shouted, grabbing the doll.  And with Momma's approval, in a trice, the doll was more appropriately dressed.  Check out our picture.  Doesn't she look just so much more stylin'? 

Dress by Napkin, Belt by Spaghetti





Also, here's the photos from Prima Donna's car wreck.  :/



Dec 12, 2017

Painting Reindeer

We had so much fun tonight for FHE! The only thing missing was my sweetie. He got stuck at work on a problem and didn't come in until we were nearly finished with our project, which is sad, because it was his project in the first place. Wait, let me back up.



About 20 years ago, we got really into painting ceramics. There was this little shop called Macs that had so many choices for super cheap prices, so we stocked them up, thinking we would get to them. This past week or so, Bossy came over and we got talking about them so I passed a bunch of them on to her and then we pulled down the reindeer.


My sweetie had found this super cute deer and painted the first one. It turned out so well, that we had to keep going back to the store until we bought all they had (which happened to be 7, the wrong number, I know) and a little sleigh to go with them.


Then one day 13-year-old Bossy painted one of the deer, but it was the wrong color and my sweetie was pretty annoyed so we put them back up on the top shelf and there they sat until last week when Bossy pulled them down. My sweetie had long since gotten over controlling this particular project, so we painted them tonight. His job was to paint the sleigh, but I guess it will have to wait for another day...or possibly 20 more years....

So cute and so different!

Dec 11, 2017

Three Wise Men Sought Him

I'm feeling a bit melancholy this evening, maybe even a little bit weepy. Perhaps that menopause monster is finally hitting me. Or maybe I'm just tired. That's probably it. I can't even begin to tell you how glad I am to finally have my sweetie home from his business trip.

My family does a little devotional every night with our scripture study. We sing and then read a story from the Christmas book Bossy's family gave us last year. Scout reads the word of the day from a different Christmas book and Grandpa shares his daily scripture. Then Dog Walker tells us about the new Light the World challenge for tomorrow. I love that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is trying to help us remember to love and take care of each other.

When Teach was on her mission, the church came out with a music video that I absolutely love. Please take a minute and watch this one. I want to be the kind of parent who teaches her children to be like this family. The love radiates from them in every scene. I know, they are just actors, but what they portray is attainable. I know it is. The world can be a good and happy place full of peace and acceptance if we try to live like our Savior, Jesus Christ.


Dec 10, 2017

Random Activities

This week was full of a bunch of things I forgot to tell you about, so please forgive my randomness while I share some of them with you.

On Monday night we went to the Avalon Care Center and put on a little Christmas program. I sang my first solo in quite some time. It was an acapella version of Away in a Manger. Baby Doll and Curly dressed as Mary and Joseph and carried a doll wrapped in a blanket. It was very sweet and I forgot to take pictures... maybe because I was too busy singing...
 

On Tuesday, Prima Donna and I went to the FM 100.3 concert at the South Towne Mall where our friends and neighbors, the James Family, were performing. They did a fantastic job and it was so much fun to watch!


On Wednesday, Scout and Curly had their band concert. Both of them play the clarinet and are in the advanced band. It was short and sweet which was nice since Scout, Crafty, and Sport had a Sub-for-Santa activity in the evening.


I already told you about Thursday and Friday. And after 3 basketball games, tonight was our Ward Party. We baked 20 lbs of potatoes and supplied a treat, but we were all able to enjoy a nice dinner, program, and visit from Santa Claus. Twizlet was a little less timid this time. It helped that I put her on Baby Doll's lap.


After the party I headed out to Walmart for some stuff. I had just started filling my cart when I got a call from the paramedics telling me that Prima Donna was ok, but she had totaled her car and could I please pick her up. We followed that up with a trip to the emergency room. X-rays of her shoulder were good, so her pains are just muscles; not fun, but we are grateful that we pray every day for safety. This could have been so much worse.

Dec 9, 2017

Christmas Performance 2017

I love watching my kids dance! There were a few things missing this year... my sweetie, who is on a business trip, Bossy's family, The Beast's family, and Scout. Oh, Scout was there, but she wasn't on stage dancing for me like she has ever since she turned 3.

Nine years is a long time to do anything and I'll bet she can't possibly remember life before she used to dance. Honestly, I barely remember life without dance. Every single one of my children has been a dancer at one point or another. Now it is time for Crafty, Curly, and Baby Doll to shine.

So proud of them! All three did amazing jobs. I'll just leave you with some pics so you can see for yourself.

Baby Doll is 2nd from the left in this cute jazz number.

Pretty obvious which one is Curly!

Baby Doll right in the middle.

Wait, that guy on the left doesn't look like Baby Doll...

Crafty is right in the middle.

Crafty - 2nd from the left

Crafty

Curly and all of his cute girlfriends

Dec 8, 2017

Candy Windows in South Jordan

It's the holidays and you know that means tons of stuff going on! My family has been so incredibly busy that it was nice to have a relatively free evening where we could choose to do something fun. But wait, let me back up. I wanted to tell you about Baby Doll's first grade program.

Pulling faces at Grandpa while waiting for the program to start.
Grandpa and I and Twizlet arrived half an hour early so we could get a seat in the gym. Drama Queen had gone to the morning session and it was so crowded that when Grandpa showed up, he turned around and left. This afternoon we actually ended up with perfect seats to see her cute songs and actions.


Tonight, after Scout's chiropractor appointment, we invited Bossy's family over for a quick dinner and then we all went up to the town square to see candy windows. They had way better participation than they did last year, and it was fun to see the one that Crafty, Sport, and Scout worked on with the Youth City Council.


After we spent half an hour in the cold, we decided to get a little colder by going to Menchie's with our free coupons from Reflections. All 11 of us got frozen yogurt for about $6. I rounded out the evening by doing a bit more shopping, but mostly groceries this time.


Tomorrow is the Christmas Dance Performance. Baby Doll was so concerned about her costumes that she laid each one out on the pew with shoes, tights, and hairpieces just to make sure she was ready. My sweetie is on a business trip, so I'm going to have to try to convince Teach to take some good pics for us.

Dec 7, 2017

Hall of Fame

You know the crazy part about the Reflections videos like the one we posted yesterday of Baby Doll? I always think it makes for a quick and easy post, but then I get watching them and I just can't stop. It's so addicting... watching each of my children grow up in video.

I have lots of favorites and please forgive me if I share some of them with you off and on while Drama Queen is loading them to the YouTube channel. But this one that Crafty did a couple of years ago is definitely one of my all time favorites mostly because so many of my kids appear in it. It also shows some of their strengths and major things they were working on at the time.


Dec 6, 2017

Baby Doll's Dance is Glorious

Tonight was the Council Reflections awards ceremony at Elk Ridge. Baby Doll and Scout were both in the running for a couple of awards each. In a show of family support, we also had Prima Donna, Grandpa, and Sport join us. Bossy showed up with Burrito shortly afterward since he also had an entry with a possibility of a win.


The media center was packed with parents and students (good thing the fire marshal wasn't around!) all hoping to receive an Award of Excellence which means their entry moves on to Region.

I had thought that Baby Doll might advance in Literature and I was actually quite disappointed when she only received an Award of Merit or 2nd place. We were all pleasantly surprised when her Dance Choreography was chosen as a 1st place winner.

Sadly, Burrito and Scout only received participation awards. Drama Queen has been loading our videos to YouTube this week and I want you to see Baby Doll's dance so you can understand her passion. This David Archuleta song was perfect for her.

(OK, so apparently I managed to load last year's extremely cute dance, but not the one that won. Drama Queen can you fix this for me please? I told you I was technology challenged...)




Drama Queen: No problem!  Here is this year's entry!

Dec 5, 2017

Poor Scout

Scout has been struggling with back pain for a couple of months now and it is just not getting better. We have seen two different pediatricians with little success and we finally have a referral for an orthopedist. But today Scout felt like she just couldn't keep dealing with the pain, so ultimately we ended up in the emergency room.

They took X-rays of her back and neck and thankfully, everything looks normal, but they agreed that perhaps a chiropractor could help while we wait until next week for her orthopedist appointment.

So I was able to get her in to see the chiropractor I started with on my journey through back pain. Scout was cautiously optimistic as we drove home that maybe... just maybe... she was starting to feel better.


Dec 4, 2017

Christmas Letter 2017

I was starting to think I would never get this done!!



Dear Family and Friends,

The year 2017 has been a hard one for us filled with incredible highs and devastating lows, and we are looking forward to a less rocky ride in 2018.

Some of our most difficult trials hit Bossy and Gamer’s family the hardest. They have struggled with carrying a child for the past decade, with miscarriages in the double digits, most of them less than 10 weeks. A loss last year at 18 weeks was crushing, but the still-birth of our sweet Calder at 25 weeks was indescribable. His birth and death dates were in September; about 2 months after Chips and Salsa were placed with a different adoptive family. Bossy and Gamer’s family of 8 was reduced to 6, then 5, and finally to 4 when Fajita (Cat Woman) was married in October. Only time will heal some of these wounds for them. On a happier note, Taco started middle school and played all three of his favorite sports, basketball, baseball, and football. Burrito is a 5th grader and enjoyed all the same activities. Both boys play the clarinet like their mom and they glory in the fact that they are an eternal family. Bossy is currently working for Medicare and Gamer works as a custodian at Bingham High School.

Beauty and The Beast had their first child, a sweet boy they named Little Warrior. As they have adapted to being parents, they also were hit with difficulties when labor caused nerve damage in Beauty’s right leg. She was numb for months and has only recently been able to remove the brace she wore to help her control her foot. They also moved into a large, beautiful home in Herriman which is much closer to us and a fantastic place to raise their children. Both of them continue their work at a bank.

Drama Queen is my soul sister and has supported me through all of my medical issues and struggles. She bought her own house in Taylorsville in the spring, but has yet to move in. She and her dad (with some help from the siblings) have completely remodeled the inside. Teach and Twiz have been her renters since July and they will move into the basement next week when the small kitchen is finally finished. After that, I will have to learn to stand on my own two feet again when my sweet daughter moves on to take care of her own life and future. She is currently taking a break from teaching and is working for NetFlix.

Teach and Twiz had their own little darling in February named Twizlet. She spends a fair amount of time at our house and the kids have become very attached to her sweet and sassy personality. Teach is still teaching 6th grade and Twiz has moved into Security at a retail store. He loves the new position and is looking forward to making a career of Security. He is also going to school part-time at SLCC and that keeps them both super busy.

The Dog Walker has had quite the year! In July, Beauty and The Beast set him up on a blind date with a girl who went to school with Beauty. One date led to another and another until they got engaged in October. They are currently planning a March wedding in the Salt Lake Temple. Dog Walker is planning to drop out of school for a while and work full time so they can save up for their own apartment. In the meantime, they are planning to live with us. As soon as my sweetie finishes up Drama Queens’s house project, he will be gutting the oversized girls’ room and making it into a tiny apartment for them.

Princess and The Frog are expecting a little boy in February. They lost the first one to miscarriage, but after those initial moments of devastation, they were able to see that the Lord’s plan was better for them. Princess was able to complete her student teaching and will graduate with her Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from UVU this month. The Frog has a great job in webpage design and continues to take a couple of classes at a time at BYU to finish his Computer Science degree.

Prima Donna has been at Weber State this past year and is learning how difficult it can be to grow up. She has struggled, but continues to plunge forward. She is an amazing actress and the folks at Weber appreciated her efforts. She did a fantastic job in 2 shows during the past year and was awarded a full tuition scholarship from the Theater Department as well as a private donor scholarship. She then spent her summer at Trefoil Ranch as a camp counselor. The end of this year was pretty rocky and she spent a week in the hospital. We are expecting that she will likely take some time away from school so she can hold down a full-time job for a while.

Crafty is our busy, frantic girl! She is involved in so many things; president of the Cupcake Club at Bingham, Youth Mayor for South Jordan City, FCCLA officer, preschool teacher, NHS… she recently got a job as a Jr. Jazz official. But the thing she loves the most is dancing. She was the Lead Arabian in our Nutcracker performance and a captain on her Elite performing team. She is also the president of our Girl Scout troop and a Delegate for our Community. And she just received her YW medallion and was set apart as the 1st Counselor in the Laurel presidency.

Sport got tall! He is now taller than me even without the wave in his hair. He played baseball and football this year and continues to shoot hoops every day after school even though he has aged out of Jr. Jazz basketball. He is an NJHS officer and 1st Counselor in his Teacher’s Quorum.  He is only a few badges away from his Eagle Scout and he has maintained his 4.0 all through middle school. He is also a member of the Youth City Council.

Scout played tackle football this year instead of dancing. She says football is much harder! This destroys a myth that has long been a source of conflict at my house. Can you believe she is actually 12? Grandpa took her to the temple for the first time last week and I think she would go every day if she could. She also played softball in the spring and I am the coach of her Jr. Jazz basketball team. She is a good little guard and handles the ball well.  She just finished her Bronze award and is part of the Girl Advisory Board for our Girl Scout Community. At the Girl Scout Pinewood Derby, her car took 2nd place in the older girl division.

Curly loves sports of all kinds, most recently football where he played on the A team and they took 2nd place in post-season play. He is still dancing and had fun as a party boy/Russian in the Nutcracker. He is a great kid and everyone loves his sweet and helpful personality. He is currently playing basketball, dancing, and enjoying Cub Scouts. He won 1st place for the 2nd year in a row at the Pinewood Derby.

Baby Doll turned 7 and I no longer have a little girl. She loves 1st grade and her teacher and following rules. She is learning to read and she loves Primary and Girl Scouts. Her car took 3rd place in the younger girl division of the Girl Scout Pinewood Derby. She was disappointed at first that I wasn’t coaching her basketball team this year, but she has adapted well and has fun playing. She is a dancer and loves her ballet, jazz, and most especially tap classes.  

My sweetie continues to work hard to take care of all of us. He was recently put in the Elder’s Quorum presidency as the 1st Counselor and his hobbies are remodeling houses, gardening, and building pinewood derby cars.

I have struggled with leg pain for a couple of years now and we finally decided to have the decompression surgery on my back to see if we could ease some of that. My back does feel better, but I’m still suffering from the side effects of the blood-thinners they put me on after I developed a pulmonary embolism and ended up back in the hospital for 3 more days. I’m grateful every day to still be alive, but tired of not having energy or strength to do the things I used to do. January will be 6 months and the end of the blood-thinners. Hopefully everything will be back to almost normal by then.  I’m still running women’s sports in the stake and I was recently put in the Primary as Kori’s teacher. This is my 25th year as a Girl Scout leader and I am active in the Community and Council. I am also coaching Kate’s basketball team and I still write a daily blog at www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

Life is good.

Dec 3, 2017

The Nutcracker

I've been talking quite a bit about The Nutcracker performance that Curly and Crafty were in last night, and it was so fun to take our Girl Scout troop to see it today for their matinee performance.


 There were 14 of us in our group and we were grateful to have the reduced rate, otherwise we might not have been able to go. Curly was a party boy in the opening act. He does such a cute job with all the little party girls. What a tease!!


Crafty was one of the primary dancers in the Snow Corps. She is beautiful as always.


Then we saw her again in Act II as the lead Arabian.


And lastly was Curly as a Russian dancer.


I just love watching my kids dance. I'm so grateful for a fantastic studio and an amazing director! Thanks, Angela. We couldn't do this without you.

Dec 2, 2017

The Craziness Continues...

Today officially began my commitment to Jr. Jazz basketball. Scout's team had their first practice tonight and will have their first game at 10:00 tomorrow morning. Baby Doll has it worse than that... she has her first practice and game all at the same time! Curly missed his first practice and still has a game tomorrow that he will have to leave early so he can get to Nutcracker on time.

And Nutcracker had their opening night. Crafty said it went well other than a few technical issues. She begins her job at 7:30 AM as a Jr. Jazz official, then she works until noon which will give her about 15 minutes to grab some lunch and get changed, hair and makeup done for her 1:00 call time. She also has a performance at 7:00. It's going to be a rough day for her. I will be so happy when she finally gets her driver's license.

I didn't take any pics, but my Lifecake feed came up with this amazing pic of The Beast and Little Warrior. There is nothing that touches my mother heart more than seeing the sweetness of my oldest son and his darling child. That's what makes all the stress of parenting worthwhile.


Dec 1, 2017

Santa, Please Give Me a Lump of Coal

Remember I told you we decorated the tree yesterday? When we were finished, I had Baby Doll place our lump of coal carefully under the tree. At our house, it is a very special gift, but Baby Doll couldn't exactly remember why.


So at scripture time, I told her to ask her dad to tell the story. Drama Queen decided to film it for posterity, so I thought it might be fun to share with you.

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