Sep 20, 2019

My Sweetie's Major Award

Last weekend, my sweetie was given a major award for his work in a certain company located here in the Salt Lake Valley. They treated us to a really nice evening and dinner at the Grand America Hotel.

Everything was so fancy, even the desserts.
He also received a large and amazing trophy, a backpack to carry it home in, and a couple of nice monogrammed notebooks. He even played a role in a 2-minute video made about their project.

Visiting in the hallway outside the ballroom.
I'm sorry to be so vague on this one, because I really am so proud of how well he takes care of us. And just in case you have never been in the Grand America, I took a picture of the bathroom for you. That pretty much says it all!

Each of these little doors is a separate bathroom stall.
Like this!
Congratulations, Sweetie! It took them long enough to discover what I already knew... You're the best!!

Sep 18, 2019

Reflect on Reflections - Dance 2011 by Sport

It's almost time for Reflections entries to be turned in! Curly and Baby Doll only have until October 4th and they have been so preoccupied (we all have!) that so far they have not done anything. Drama Queen was over here last night teaching them a new way to put together a photography collage so at least they are excited about that.

So hopefully to get them motivated, I am sharing one of my favorite dances with you. Sport doesn't like to dance much now, but when he was little, he had such joy in nearly everything he did. I hope you like this one.

Sep 17, 2019

Hocus Pocus, Safe Food Focus!!

That is the name of Crafty's brand new website she (with lots of help from Drama Queen) created for her Girl Scout Gold Award. I'm so glad she is finally finished!

My favorite part are the videos because they are full of a bunch of my favorite people, but the games and recipes are great too. Please take a few minutes and scroll through so you can see all of her hard work.

Sep 16, 2019

Leader/Daughter Retreat

It's been a very eventful week! I got a new computer and I've been slow coming up to speed, but then I've also been out of town... I just have so many things to tell you!! But I will start with one.

On Friday night, six of my eight daughters and I spent the night at Trefoil Ranch as part of our Leader/Daughter Retreat. Drama Queen and Bossy got all the girls up there in 2 vehicles and then my sweetie ran me up later, but I will tell you about that tomorrow. 

Anyway, I arrived about 11:00 pm and while most of the camp was already sleeping, my girls were all awake and playing a silly survival game. Since Teach's baby is due in only 3 short weeks, we were given a common area with its own bathroom where we could spread out and be by ourselves. We were literally wall-to-wall mattresses as you can see in the pictures, but it was so fun being together and sharing stories, laughter, and some treats.

Most of the girls went to bed about 12:30, but Scout and I stayed up playing cards for another 45 minutes. It's arguable that she is quicker at SPEED than I am...

We all woke up about 6:00 am and we talked and laughed a little more until it was time to go for breakfast around 8:15. After cereal, fruit, and muffins, we had fun with the activities. Baby Doll and I painted a Mom & Me scene together right before she took off with Teach and Bossy. Baby Doll had an audition for the Sleeping Beauty ballet and then a birthday party she didn't want to miss.

Drama Queen, Crafty, Scout, and I also painted our own little scene of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I'm not much of an artist, so this was not at all relaxing for me, but I did have fun at target practice with Scout. We were shooting pieces of dog food at tin pans with slingshots. She was much better at it than I was. When the lady running things asked her if she could hit the target in the tree, not only did she hit it, but she brought it down!!

We finally cleaned our areas and said our goodbyes. We picked up some peaches at the fruit stand for my sweetie on our way home and we got here just in time to pick up Baby doll from the birthday party.

Sep 14, 2019

Guest Blogger: Autistic Picture Books by the Dog Walker

It just feels so recent since Mom asked me to guest blog for her. She wanted to blog today, but she went to a Girl Scout Retreat that would make her spend one night at a Girl Scout camp to watch her daughters deal with a Girl Scout reunion or something like that. I'm not sure how that works, but Mom will keep you posted about that. Anyway, I wasn't quite sure what to talk about until I figured out that I'm working on a little bit of homework and I thought I should tell you about what I'm doing.

It's the last semester before I get to graduate from UVU and I'm working on a Capstone project where I need to interview some people and get some ideas on how I can achieve my project. The project I'm doing is planning to write and illustrate a children's book about a child who has autism. Whenever I went to class, my teacher really likes the idea I came up with, but I'll still need to find some people to interview with who are experts with dealing with a child with autism and when I interviewed some people, like a librarian, a caregiver, and a philosopher, they thought it's a good idea that I write and illustrate a children's book.

Image result for Autism children's picture books
But when I met with a couple of librarians at the local library, they looked up online to see that are a lot of picture books about children being autistic and there are also children's books for autistic children who love to read. I was a bit worried that if there are a lot of other children's picture books about a child with autism being the main character, my teacher would recommend I come up with a different approach for my project. But with a little bit of encouragement and firmness, my mom told me that I can still write and illustrate a children's picture book about not an autistic child in third person, but in first person story form.
I didn't see this book from the librarians, but I saw it myself. It might be a good book to read to children who love elephants.
I already started writing the story, but with a lot of assignments being put online with due dates, it gets me a little worried that I'm not going to be able to get the story done, if I still need to deal with other assignments that have to deal with the project. One of the assignments is to interview people who have empathy towards my project and I need to come up with an annotated bibliography and put them all into a PowerPoint, because I will be presenting my project in front of community judges on the last day of the semester.

Image result for autism symbol
I have lots to do, but I'm still trying to keep my other priorities straight, like my marriage, my family, and my employment. I hope that I'll be able to get all of this done in time. But I'll tell you that by the time I'm done writing that story and I present it on the last day of the semester, I'll get the story published.

Sep 11, 2019

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Tuesday, September 10, was our 36th wedding anniversary. I think we were just looking for ways to feel young, because we took Little Warrior and Twizlet to the zoo. My sweetie had a meeting he couldn't miss, so we didn't get away until after lunch.

 When we arrived at the zoo, it had just started drizzling on our car, but the people were leaving in droves with their little ones. By the time we got the wagon set up and made our way to the almost deserted front gates, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

We caught a peek of the giraffes just as they were rushed into their indoor viewing area. There was a fair amount of lightning and I'm sure they just didn't want them to get hurt.

We didn't get to see all the animals, but the ones we did see seemed playful and excited to be in the limelight. 

They shut down the train because of the lightning, but not the carousel, so we took the opportunity to ride it as much as possible. My sweetie said he counted 7 times, but I'm not sure about the number since I hurried to the gift shop to buy the kids a couple of warm cute jackets.

We left the zoo just in time to stop at McDonald's before we had to be home for the evening chasing around. It was a fun trip and I'm thinking we should always go in the rain, but next time we need to take the other grandbabies...

Sep 9, 2019

Guest Blogger: Teach's Baby Shower by the Dog Walker

This may sound a little weird, but Mom asked me to guest blog for you about Teach's baby shower. It was quite a party. At first, I thought the normal rule of a baby shower is that the only male who would be invited to a baby shower is the husband with his wife who is the pregnant woman. But with a little bit of empathy from mom, she said that for this shower, it's just for everybody in the family, like we all gathered for the birthday parties for the past several months. I decided that maybe for this family, there are exceptions to special occasions, like a baby shower.

Super Polliwog!!

Super Tadpole, Super Little Warrior, and Super Twizlet!! Princess made all the capes, aren't they cute?!

Super Tadpole!! (again... because his mom made all the capes...)
Anyway, the shower was quite a blast for the most part. Puppy Lover wanted to come along to give the baby shower present to Teach. But before Teach would open her presents, we had dinner of Baby Back Ribs, Baked Potatoes, Zucchini, and many other foods. We also had different kinds of cake that Princess and Mom made.

Super Skittles!

Twizlet wanted to open all the presents.

Our amazing party planner!

And thanks to Drama Queen's creativity of party-planning, we played a lot of games that were Superhero-themed. We had a lot of fun playing the games, like word scramble with using the letters in the baby's given name, Pictionary, Word Search, and Wheel of Superhero Fortune.

We had a lot of fun celebrating for Teach's baby. Now, we're not going to reveal the name of the baby until he is born. We'll keep in touch on that eventually.

Baby Doll is super even without the cape...!

Sep 7, 2019

This Work Party was All Play!!

Friday night was my sweetie's work party at our very own Utah amusement park, Lagoon! We had tons of fun eating dinner, riding rides, and playing games. We managed to get 12 of us there; everyone living at home except for Grandpa. He had his mission and the overlap was just too much. Then we had Prima Donna, Drama Queen and a friend, Curly and a friend, and Beauty.

We got there about 6:30 and we headed straight for the food lines. I knew if we let the kids get on the rides then we would never get them gathered back up by 8:00 when they quit serving dinner. When we had finished with our hamburgers, salads, chips and such, we cleaned up our areas and while we were standing in the drink line, the kids paired up and then all took off without us! Not that it was a big thing, it was just strange to not have little ones around that needed us.

We stopped for a minute in the Biergarten to see the sculpture conceived and built by our cousin, George.

My sweetie and I wandered the park, stopping now and again to visit with one of his friends. We rode the Terroride, the Sky Ride, and the Bumper Cars. At one point we met up with some of the kids and we got on the gigantic Ferris wheel. Unfortunately, Sport, Drama Queen, Prima Donna, and I really needed more leg room than we had...

We rode the bumper cars a few more times, threw away some money on carnival games, and then all too soon it was time to leave.

Can't wait until next year!

Sep 5, 2019

Building a Laundry Platform

I know I promised to show you my sweetie's latest project, but it continues to grow. Yesterday we went to the store and we ordered new carpet for the laundry/sewing room. It currently has the original 25-year-old carpet and after my sweetie had to slice into it, we decided it was time for something new. We were able to get a remnant, so the price was excellent.

Just realize this is a work in progress, but let me tell you the story.

When we built our home, they routed the dryer vent under the bay window in our craft room. After about 10 years or so, we realized that it was nearly impossible for the angle of the dryer vent to keep the air flowing so my sweetie capped the outside vent and reran it into the garage.

Over time, that has proven to be a really bad idea. We get lint blowing all over the garage and the moisture has helped rust his tools, shelving, etc. But since we didn't really want to have a fire, we were stuck until my sweetie came up with a brilliant plan.

Our most recent washer and dryer purchases included a front loading washer that was able to sit on a raised base, but rather than buy one, he had always planned to build one of our own that would allow a change in the dryer vent. After several years of waiting for the right moment, he just picked this weekend and made it the right one.

He just finished the tile.

After digging out the old system including part of the floor and the concrete around the vent, he was able to tap into the old system that vented to the backyard. Then, he built a platform that would hold both the washer and the dryer as well as provide ample room to widen the airflow to the outside.

As usual, my sweetie is building more than projects.

Then to make it beautiful, he spent a day tiling the entire thing. now that it is nearly finished, he has decided that since we still have original carpet and paint in there (it is a utility room for goodness sake!!) that we needed to get those things updated as well.

Looking great with the grout all finished!

Now it is up to me to choose paint and get that part of the project moving before we have the carpet delivered next week. Sure wish there were 48 hours in every day...