Widgets Magazine

Apr 30, 2017

Legos and Baseball

It was finally sunny (not really very warm) here in the Salt Lake Valley, so we were thrilled when the girls were able to do their softball skills clinics without rain. That also meant that we would be able to use our Bees Tickets for the game tonight.

Got to get a high five from the Bee.
The little kids were super excited about this game! It was being sponsored by the Lego people and in the pavilion behind center field, they had a dozen or so "build stations" where I spent the first two innings of the game. Even then it was difficult to pull Curly away.

Riding the train with Baby Doll.
Baby Doll and I went on the little train together that drives through the family area. Crafty had her electronic baby doll for her Child Development class, so she was stressed the entire time. It was sort of funny because she was carefully carrying her electronic doll "Justin" while Teach was toting Twizlet. The two babies were about the same size, but the real baby was way less work than the pretend one... just saying ...

Just chillin'
 The Bees lost 8 - 7, so that was a little sad, but Baby Doll got herself up on the Big Screen 3 times!! Once by herself and the other two times with our silly, crazy group. We had fun and even though it was difficult for Gamer with his crutches, he managed.

Help! I'm being eaten by a shark!

There's nothing like a good baseball game; throw in Legos and an electronic baby and it can't be beat.

See you later.




Apr 29, 2017

Pulling Facials, I Mean Faces

I need to at least get a little sleep tonight, so this one will be quick. Remember how we filled all those trays yesterday and then all the bags for the Cookie Chaser? Well, one of my cute friends happens to be a Mary Kay lady and she kindly agreed to provide samples for 125 bags! I know, she's amazing!

And if you remember, my girl scouts were supposed to fill the bags today for their meeting, but then we had to fill them yesterday so that left me with a hole in my girl scout schedule. My Mary Kay lady offered to do facials for the girls even though she knows it won't come to much as far as sales go, although I do need a new set of Satin Hands because when we went to Boston, my sweetie accidentally put the tube in the carry-on and they had to throw it away at check-in... :(

But I digress...


The girls had a great time today with the masks. Don't they look cute? And if you look closely, you will see my little nephew in the front. He absolutely LOVES our Girl Scout meetings! Lil Sis? Not so much.



Apr 28, 2017

Saying No

I've been running myself ragged this week.

I don't know how it happened. My sweetie says it's because I don't know how to use the word "no." So let me explain it to you and maybe you can decide.

Last month when everything seemed doable in my life, I offered to help stuff bags for our Girl Scout Community Cookie Chaser. It's a race (and you know I'm not a runner), so putting goodies in bags for the participants seemed perfect. I even thought my girl scouts might be able to help me.

Then last week rolled around and I found out that we only had until Wednesday, not Friday to get these things together and not to worry because they didn't really have anything to put in them anyway...

What could I do?
In the beginning...

I got on the phone and contacted some of my friends, ran around to local businesses, and drummed up a bunch of coupons and little goodies and gadgets to go in our treat bags. That was actually quite a bit of work that just gave me more work to do yesterday and today while I was trying to put things together.

I had the kids set up 3 tables for me in the living room. After I laid out 76 bags, I realized that just wasn't going to work, so I gathered them back up and racked my brain to see how else to do this project. All these years of volunteering and this is one I had never done.

Then I remembered the trays we use to eat in the van when we go on vacations. I made 5 rows of 25 and suddenly I had it, a way to make 125 treat bags! After several backbreaking hours over the course of 2 days and more chasing to pick up donations, the trays were done and ready to be dumped into bags.

Ready to dump.
I held open the bag, Curly put in a handful of fliers, Scout dumped in the tray and we added a flyswatter and a ruler. Then my friend from the Community came by tonight to pick them up. I'm so glad to be finished! It was a good service project, just not exactly what I was signing up for and it didn't have anything to do with the word "no."

Right, Sweetie? Now don't say no...


Apr 27, 2017

Guest Blog: Paperless Post - A Review by Teach

The world is changing and turning more digital. Paperless Post has opened a niche in this spectrum that has only been previously touched. Now there is open access to true electronic mail!

My husband is from New Jersey and we are always looking for a way to keep better connected with his family and friends across the country. Our baby was born just over 2 months ago and I have been meaning to send out a baby announcement for a while, but it was just so difficult. It’s hard to take digital prints, design them through crazy photo manipulation software, and then print, label, go to the post office… it takes forever. 

Photo Credit: https://www.shopblushandblue.com 
Paperless Post was simple to use and easy to manipulate. Probably my favorite aspect is that it is simple enough for a computer newbie to use, (like my mama!) but it also had options for someone like me who enjoys manipulating, changing and editing. I really liked the coin system, but it is extremely easy to spend your coins really fast! The only critique I would have is that in order for someone to reply to your paperless post then they must set up an account. 

I love the animation, love the colors, love the sleek design of the website, and easy manipulation. Most of all, I love that I finally was able to send out those cards that I’ve been meaning to send out for a while now. 

***We received 600 free coins in exchange for our honest review.***

Apr 26, 2017

Pitching a Pinata

When our scout leaders told me on Sunday that we had to pick a country and then talk about it and provide an ethnic treat for pack meeting, I jumped right on it. It seemed like a perfect way to get rid of all this leftover Easter candy from the egg hunts, so first thing Monday morning I called Bossy and asked her to pick up a pinata for me at the Mexican Market.

I know, I could have done it myself, but this particular market gives better prices to people who are Hispanic, especially those who can speak Spanish. Gamer fits that description and even with his broken knee, he was happy to make the trip. He really enjoys the pastries from their little bakery...


So last night I stuffed the pinata and today it dawned on me that we would not be able to hang it in the multipurpose room at the church. Literally, as we were heading out the door, I saw my sweetie's paint roller extender by the side of the garage. I thought about it for like 30 seconds before I threw it in the car. Dog Walker thought I was crazy!


As we pulled up to the church (after picking up Sport, Baby Doll, and Curly from practice), I realized I had nothing to hit the pinata with. Baby Doll offered her bat which looked harmless enough until we were standing in a 15-foot space trying to control these blind-folded cub scouts as they swung sometimes at the air, sometimes at the pinata, and occasionally at us!


After about the 4th kid, the pinata was knocked from the pole and then pitched to the ready bat so it could be split open and then pounced on by about a dozen kids (mine included). It was fun, but not quite what I had planned.

I ended up bringing home a bunch of that Easter candy... again...



Apr 25, 2017

Random and Exciting Things

Just glancing back through the blog, I noticed a couple of things I really wanted to share with you, but life happens and they slip on by without showing up here. The first one is my new dishwashers! I have been so frustrated with the last ones we got that when the heating element went out in one, my sweetie decided to buy me two new stainless ones as an early Mothers' Day gift.


They are beautiful and they seem to work well; the only problem is that they are different and loading them has a learning curve. What I used to be able to do in about 3 minutes now takes me 15. I was pretty excited the day I dumped my silverware drawer in there and for the first time in quite a while, every single utensil came out clean.

Second thing I wanted to share is about Crafty. Last week she was elected Mayor of the Youth City Council! Neither one of us really thought she might win, but I told her it would be a good experience to be part of the election process and she should prepare her speech and try her best.


In typical Crafty fashion, she sent me this text right after they announced the winner. "I won, and now I feel bad for Kaleigh (her friend she was running against)." My sweet girl wasn't worried about the burden she had just shouldered, all she worried about were the feelings of her cute friend...

... and if I could pick her up a few minutes early.


Apr 24, 2017

This Is The Place... Definitely!

We are busy. I don't think anyone could argue about that. So when the information came up in US Family Guides about This Is The Place and their baby animals, I decided that our trip to Wheeler Farm with the kindergarten would just have to do.

That was fine...

Until Curly heard about it. I'll bet he has bugged me about it half a dozen times now, maybe more. He absolutely LOVED going to This Is The Place Heritage Park and seeing the baby animals. From now through the end of May, if you mention my blog, you can get $2 off admission for each person in your group and if you are like us, that will be a pretty good savings.


Our favorite stops are at Brigham's Donut Shop (They are so good!!), the petting farm, the pony rides, the trains, and the candy shop. We can't wait to go again! We hope to see you there.


Apr 23, 2017

Nothing to Sneeze At

Thursday was a rough day and I was glad that it was Sally's turn to be in charge of Cub Scouts. All the boys in our den have already earned their Wolf badges, so we have resorted to teaching them some of the electives.


Sally chose Germs Alive! and the boys loved it (except for the washing their hands part). I think their favorite was when Sally handed each of them a balloon. We rolled down the tops and held them for the boys while they stuffed in silver stars and white paper confetti.


Then the boys blew up their balloons (except for Curly; his asthma kept getting in the way). I tied knots and they spread out the sheet Sally had hoped would work as a drop cloth. Actually, it turns out that when you pop a large balloon with a pushpin to mimic the activity of the germs that disperse during a sneeze, that a sheet is just way too small.


Some of those "germs" were thrown 20 feet or so. We were all a bit surprised!

The boys gathered stars while Sally and I ran the vacuums. Cleanup wasn't too bad and we were all home by 5:00. Now that's nothing to sneeze at...



Apr 22, 2017

Field Tripping With Baby Doll

I had so much fun this week going on a field trip with Baby Doll to Wheeler Farm! There were lots of parents, so I only had Baby Doll and her cute friend in my group. When we first got there, we decided to walk around for the 20 minutes we had to wait for our tour guide.


And when I say walk, I mean half-run.


They wanted to see everything! As we headed back to the big barn, I realized that all of those things would be shown to us again on our little tour. We had an opportunity to watch a blacksmith at work, to ride on a wagon pulled by a tractor, and to shake a little container of cream into homemade butter. (Baby Doll was extremely serious about that task and finished it off so it could be opened in front of the kids.)


There were baby animals, but not as many as I had hoped. Another month and we probably could have seen several more.When our tour was over, we headed for the pavilion and the playground to eat our lunches and wait for the buses to take us back to the school.


When we climbed on the bus, I was rather dismayed to see that my girls had chosen the very back row. I tend to get carsick, so this was not a happy moment for me. Unfortunately, I had little time to worry about my own stomach since I was pretty sure Baby Doll regretted her decision within about 2 minutes of riding over bumpy roads.


Thankfully, we made it back to the school with our lunches still intact and a vow from my daughter to NEVER ride in the back seats of the bus again.






Apr 20, 2017

Monster Concert

Did I tell you Gamer broke his kneecap? It happened a week or so ago and now he has a cast that goes up to his mid-thigh. It's his right leg, so of course he can't drive. Bossy is working, so you know what that means. We have been busy helping get their kids where they need to go.

Today was the craziest one so far. Curly and Scout were participating in a Monster Band Concert for elementary-aged kids at Riverton High School. Bossy's neighborhood school was involved as well, so that meant that Taco, Burrito, and Salsa were also part of it. The problem was that the kids were supposed to be there at 4:00. Our school is out at 3:25 which would have made it hard, but Bossy's school gets out at 3:55 and that would have been impossible. When Bossy headed off to work at 2:00, I told her I would take care of things.

Posing for a pic after helping put away chairs and cleaning up the stage.

So I checked out my kids at 2:50, dropped them at the house, and headed for the grandkids' school. After waiting while they located their scooters, we finally got to their house about 3:20. Once again it was waiting while they put on their church clothes, gathered their instruments, and packed a dinner.

That's just how I feel today...
At 3:40 we arrived back at the house to pick up Scout and Curly. Thank goodness they were ready and waiting on the porch. I dropped them off at the high school at 3:55, so everything worked out fine.

Grandpa and I headed back over at 6:30 for a 7:00 concert. They played 9 numbers and the entire thing took exactly 23 minutes (according to Scout). They did a great job, but it was an awful lot of stress for such a short period of time.

Now it's on to the next thing...


Apr 19, 2017

Spring Sports in Utah

Spring sports are always a bit dicey in Utah. We never quite know about the weather. At 3:00 this afternoon I asked the Dog Walker to look up the evening's storms for me. He told me that at 6:00 we had a 100% chance of rain. So I waited patiently for Curly's practice and Baby Doll's and Sport's games to cancel.

But they didn't.

At 4:00 the weather was fine. That is when my friend, Brooke, picked up Sport to take him to his game. At 4:45 when we headed for Curly's practice and ultimately Baby Doll's game, it was overcast, but still no rain. As we settled in at the park, my sweetie texted me to ask if games had been cancelled. "Nope," I punched into my phone before I headed to the dirt to play catch with Baby Doll.

About midway through the third inning, the drops started to come. (Yeah, it was probably about 6:00...) They didn't want to call the game without lightning present, so on they played. Please remember these girls are 8 and under. At 6, Baby Doll is still not the youngest on her team.

By the 5th and final inning, we were all drenched. One of the other games had been called for rain. Our little girls forged on. We already had one game to make up from last week and nobody wanted to go through that again. Bottom of the 5th and it was our last at-bats. Baby Doll had struck out in the previous inning, so I knew that she would not bat again.


Everyone was quite relieved when the first batter struck out. The lady sitting behind me kindly shielded my drenched hair with her umbrella. Baby Doll joined us. The second batter struck out.

We could all feel it now. Almost time to go home. Baby Doll's little friend, Charlie, who is only 5, was up. Her hoodie was soaked through so another little girl offered her windbreaker. Charlie's huge tears mingled with the rain that pelted all of our faces as she headed for the plate. She has never hit a ball in a game or practice, but still she approached the plate.

Strike one... strike two... the tears never let up, and neither did she. Her third big swing... strike three! She ran to the dugout and we all sighed with relief as we quickly gathered up and ran to our vehicles and their promised heat and shelter.


Half an hour later I had all my kids gathered up and getting dry. They called Sport's game early, but decided that at 9 - 1 they wouldn't have to replay it. Curly's team waited out practice in a shed to stay dry. But I couldn't stop thinking about Charlie. She truly didn't want to be there. No one would have blamed her for refusing to bat. And her little friend who sacrificed her own coat.... Or the lady behind me sharing her umbrella....

There are still people out there raising good and kind children. Children who go to bat for their team even when they absolutely don't want to. Children who strike out over and over but still they try with that amazing hope that makes them believe that they truly can smack that ball right out of the park.

That same hope that makes us believe that just because the weather forecast says 100% chance of rain in Utah, we can still play a ballgame.

Apr 18, 2017

Happy Birthday, Twiz!

One of my amazing SIL's had a birthday that we celebrated on Easter Sunday. It was a good day to celebrate since we had the family mostly together anyway. Princess and The Frog were the only ones missing since they had a prior commitment at his parents' house for the holiday. Prima Donna even joined us!


My sweetie outdid himself with the cooking, providing us with an amazing country fried pork reminiscent of their missions in Texas. I made the cake, but Teach did the decorating. We don't do real candles for adults because if we did, we just might possibly burn the house down, so the kids obliged by making themselves into candles that were extinguished when Twiz blew in their direction. Curly had to be the stubborn trick candle, of course.


My favorite part was a mini-concert courtesy of Prima Donna, Scout, Curly, and Sport. They all played their various instruments in a lively rendition of "Happy Birthday!" That might just have to become a new tradition.


Happy Birthday, Twiz!







Apr 17, 2017

The True Meaning of Easter

I love this new video put out by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Sometimes I tend to get caught up in the egg hunts and the treats. But they don't speak to my heart like watching videos that teach about the life of my Savior, Jesus Christ. His teachings are just as relevant and applicable today as they are tomorrow and yesterday.

He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. And He shall reign forever and ever.
Hallelujah!



Apr 16, 2017

Hope You Have A Wonderful Easter

Today was such a crazy day!

It started at 7:30 this morning when Bossy called to remind me about the egg hunt at Smith's. I declined but offered the kids if she wanted to come by and get them up. An hour or so later they returned with huge baskets full of candy!






Meanwhile, Drama Queen was making amazing Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. We had to hustle to get to the park in time for the city egg hunt. Crafty had been out there helping set up since 8:30. There were hundreds of kids milling around, jockeying for position.


My kids always do well and they filled their baskets. As we were walking back to the car, Curly saw a little guy about 2 who was too late for the egg hunt. I don't think the boy understood, but his mom sure did and she looked pretty upset. Curly scooped several huge handfuls of his treats into their basket. The mom was so grateful and Curly grinned all the way to the car.


Our afternoon was filled with our family egg hunt, coloring eggs, and a barbecue. My sweetie grilled hot dogs and we kept the meal light and easy since the kids were already gorging themselves with sweets. Bossy did an amazing job as always with the treats for the egg hunt. Lil Sis and her family joined us and everyone was here except Prima Donna.



Then my sweetie and I, Grandpa, and Crafty took off for Ogden so we could watch Prima Donna perform and then bring her home to share Easter with us. Now it's late and I'm more than ready for sleep.

Happy Easter everyone!

Apr 14, 2017

Prima Donna's New Play

My sweetie and I took a trip up to Weber State tonight to watch Prima Donna in her new play. I knew the subject matter was the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, but I couldn't remember all the details so I pulled it up on Google while my sweetie was driving.


It is a terribly tragic true story that changed many of our factory laws in the United States. This huge fire killed 146 people because they were locked inside and they were unable to escape. Prima Donna is one of the main characters and she does a fabulous job! I just love watching her on stage. She is so convincing as a performer and this one didn't even show off her incredible voice.



After her portion of the show was over (it was a series of 1-act plays), we left the theatre and waited for her in the lobby until we could go for some dinner. Chili's was one of our options since most of the eating places in Ogden seem to close about 9:30 on weeknights.

My favorite part was the laughter and conversation as well as the Molten Chocolate Cake. Prima Donna raved about it when we first came in so even though we were completely stuffed by dinner, we just had to order one. We each ate a little and then she boxed up the rest and took it home for breakfast tomorrow.

How I love and miss that girl!
Growing up is just so hard...on the mamas too.






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