Feb 29, 2012

The Blue and Gold Banquet

 As you can see, I mostly managed to survive the Blue and Gold Banquet. There was a short time there when I wasn't sure that was going to happen!

I chased around all day yesterday, trying to pull together the tablecloths (that ended up being white; nobody had yellow) and food together. Then my sweetie nicely took the day off to help with the preparations. We were expecting about 100 people.

Fortunately, there were other scout leaders helping make soup. My sweetie made two extra large crockpots of chili while I headed to Costco with the Gym Rat. He still has a card, and I'm a Sam's Club girl. But the main thing we needed to buy was rolls and Costco has the best rolls (ok, my sweetie makes the best rolls, but there was NO WAY I was going to add that to our craziness).

After Costco, the Gym Rat took off so he could get ready for work and I made three more stops before I finally got home just in time to take Scout to kindergarten.

I was in charge of making the dirt pudding. I had a huge can of pudding we had purchased from the cannery, so I assumed that would be about right for feeding 100. Boy was I wrong.

I mixed the pudding and poured it into cups while the Drama Queen smashed Oreos with a rolling pin and sprinkled them on top. Curly stuck a gummy worm on top and set the cup on the tray. We made a great team...until I ran out of pudding mix.

After searching our storage room and not finding another can, I started calling the neighbors. I didn't want to change brands in the middle and Jello brand is expensive! After half a dozen calls, I finally found a can that one of my awesome neighbors agreed to donate. (Thanks, Modina!) After running to pick it up, we finished the last 30 cups. Then it was time to deliver the reminder fliers to each cub scout's house so they didn't forget.

The Dog Walker did all the running (good thing because I was starting to run out of steam). By the time we were finished, it was time to head for the church and put up the tables. My sweetie drove over in the big van and I took the minivan. I was going to swing by the grocery store first and pick up the ice and balloons. When I walked into the store, it was pretty evident that my pre-order hadn't worked. We waited for about 10 nail-biting minutes. It was nearly 4:30 by the time we got to the church and dinner was at 6:00.

It took us about 45 minutes to transform the gym into a party room. Then we headed back home to get the food. Things went off without a hitch after that. We fed lots of people and the Dog Walker gave an awesome speech. Then he and I slipped out and over to another Blue and Banquet going on at a different church so he could speak there too.

I was a little worried about missing Sport receive his Wolf badge, but I shouldn't have worried. My sweetie just took plenty of time with the cheers and other awards. When we walked back into the gym it was about 2 minutes later that the awards were given. Bean Dip earned his Bear and Taco got his Bobcat.

After many "good jobs" from the parents, we finally got cleaned up and arrived home about 8:30. That was just enough time to get the kids settled before I headed off to basketball practice. I was so tired I could hardly run down the court! It's about 1:30 AM here now and I probably should have waited until morning to write this post, but I knew how anxious you all were to hear how things. went. Maybe now I can actually get some sleep!

Feb 28, 2012


Were you worried? I know, I just couldn't do it. So here I am, losing sleep, writing another post.

Tonight I was reading to the kids before we went to the library to return some books. Sport was interested in this book about lizards. He read the first half out loud and then I read the second half. The kids thought the lizards were awesome! Me...not so much. Lizards and I go way back...

It was about 1977. I was a sixth-grader in small-town Utah. Our district was rather poor so we didn't have much money for field trips and other frivolities. The powers-that-be decided it would be a great idea to have us discover our own county! We made a trip to Spring City to see the old houses there that were considered historic landmarks and we looked for trilobites west of Ephraim. Then we rode up into the foothills looking for I don't remember what.

Our teacher was busy pointing out the various rocks and plants when some of the boys found a lizard. It wasn't a very big lizard, probably about six inches long and rather harmless. They were actually running all over the rocks so it wasn't that difficult for them to catch one. Then the boys proceeded to run up to a group of unsuspecting girls and send them screeching and running in all directions.

Well that wasn't going to work with me.

My class on the actual field trip to Spring City
I had two older brothers and I had certainly been around lizards before. It wasn't long before Mrs Howell got wind of the situation and she ordered the boys to release the poor creature. I was about twenty feet away when they set it down on a rock and started chasing it. Of course it ran straight toward me!

I turned away, hoping to not get trampled in the stampede. The boys zipped past me, intent on terrorizing the lizard if they couldn't use it to terrorize the girls. Fortunately they lost sight of the poor thing and after about 5 minutes of searching, they headed off on new adventures.

I was left standing there...in my pink bell-bottom jeans.

Sixth-grade Me

It wasn't long before I started feeling uncomfortable. Something was itching my leg. Then I felt a distinct movement. I turned away from the group and in a panic, I unbuttoned my pants. He was on my hip, crawling steadily upward as I ripped open my fly and stared into his beady little eyes. I stifled a scream; I couldn't let anyone see me with my pants undone. Without touching him, I urged him to QUICKLY leave my person.

Apparently he had seen his only escape route from the boys as running up the inside of my pant leg. Yeah, you can be grateful that skinny jeans are all the rage now. He might have tried the same thing, but he would never have gotten past my ankle.

Feb 27, 2012

LIttle Bits of This and That

This is one of the things I love about our church...

Less than 10 minutes ago, this entire gym was filled with chairs and people sitting in them. It's amazing what we can do when we all work together. And nobody was asked, but right after the closing prayer, racks were pulled out and literally a hundred people were suddenly clearing the room.

My girls helped gather paper and trash and the boys helped with the chairs.

On a totally unrelated note...This is the awesome poster hanging on the door of our dance studio. See that scary looking dancer in black? That's Princess! Crazy, huh?! My sweet little girl looking so evil!

I had a sports meeting tonight at the church and after we were finished and I was putting away chairs, a lady came up to me. "I think I know you," she said. "Do your girls dance?" After we established the fact that our girls were dancing together, she admitted that she had just taken the pictures for the Sleeping Beauty ballet! How random is that? I guess we live in a small town after all.

The cookie pile is getting smaller and smaller and is no longer threatening to overtake all the seating in my livingroom. Thanks for all of your concern and offers to take them off my hands. As much as I love cookies and count on the money to plan fun activities for my troop, by the time cookies are done, I'm totally tired of looking at them.

I'm going to be completely tied up with preparations for the Blue and Gold Banquet for the Cub Scouts on Tuesday. If you don't hear from me you will know it's because I am chasing to every Hobby Lobby in town looking for gold tablecloths. Wish me luck!

Feb 25, 2012

A Little Whiny, part 2

At the risk of sounding whiny again, I wanted to give you the conclusion to my horrible awful no good very bad week...OK, it wasn't that bad...I'm still moving, aren't I?! I dragged myself out of bed at 7:00 this morning, jumped into a quick shower and braved the howling winds so I could stand in this very cold warehouse for an hour and wait for my cookies. They had 75,000 to pack, so my 268 cases didn't seem like very much.

Until we got them home, that is! This is what my living room looked like. I quickly got on the phone and within 10 minutes the Girl Scouts started coming by to get their orders. After the wind finally stopped, it turned out to be a very nice day for delivering cookies.

I sent the Drama Queen out at 11:00 with the kids so I could have a little peace and quiet to finish getting my paperwork together for my tax appointment tonight. It would have worked well if the doorbell hadn't kept ringing. One of those rings happened to be my sister and my niece. Here's a look at her pretty dress I finished at 1:45 AM last night. Doesn't she look great? Sorry for the cell pic, my sis just texted it to me after Araineia was all ready to go.

I stacked and packed and loaded cookies, while the Drama Queen managed to get a bunch of them delivered to our neighbors.

At 12:45 the kids all came back so they could get ready for rehearsal for Sleeping Beauty. After rehearsal, this mean mama sent them out again until dark. Then I headed off for my tax appointment and left them to eat frozen pizza and watch a movie.

All in all, it turned out to be a pretty good week! Other than the laundry and dishes piling up, the important things managed to get done, like the dress, the cookies, and the taxes. (I almost called and cancelled that appointment a dozen times.)  I'm even getting a refund!

And a nap...

Feb 24, 2012

DARE Graduation

In our school district they have a program called DARE that helps the kids make a decision early on to avoid drugs and alcohol. Crafty graduated from that program yesterday. Curly was so excited to see the DARE car when we were walking in to the school! Nobody is EVER allowed to park that close to the front doors!

The fifth-graders filed into the gym and took up the three front rows. Crafty ended up on the opposite side from us so we could hardly see her.

After all the proper introductions and thank yous, they introduced the six essay contest winners. One boy and one girl from each of the three classes read their essays. I already knew Crafty didn't win, but after I heard the essay by the girl in her class, I was not a bit surprised. I don't think anyone could have written a more touching essay. This little girl's mom died of an accidental prescription drug overdose several years ago. She had gone to the dentist and she was in pain and she mixed a couple of painkillers that shouldn't have been and she just didn't wake up.

I remember when that happened. She was in Crafty's class then too. The kids were devastated to think that a young mom of one of their own just died when she wasn't even sick!
DARE is such a good program for these kids. Most of them are so sweet and naive at this age they have no idea what can happen to them.

I am so proud of Crafty for making a pledge to stay drug-free. Now if I can just figure out a way to get them all a ride in that awesome car!

Feb 23, 2012

What about Baseball?

Bossy said I sounded kind of whiny yesterday so I ran that by my sweetie and he admitted that he hadn't read the blog. So early this morning while I was still trying to get a little shut-eye, he opened the door and agreed that whiny about sums it up.

So sorry about that! I know you don't stop by so you can hear me complain about the crazy life I've created for myself. I'll try to be more upbeat.

I need some advice.

Love this pic of Sport!
You all know that Sport had an amazing football season! His team even won the state championship on their very first try. He just finished up playing basketball with his football friends and even though their team didn't do all that well, he learned so much and now he loves basketball too. He would go out and shoot hoops every day if the weather would cooperate.

A few years ago I swore off spring sports. Oh don't get me wrong, I LOVE softball, but by the time spring comes around I'm just looking forward to taking a break. This year I'm thinking of making an exception. (I know, just after I told you about my crazy life and now I'm thinking about taking on something else...this is what happens when you have this many kids, you start losing brain cells!)

Sport has only ever had one year of baseball and that was t-ball when he was just a little guy. I've been thinking about putting him in baseball to keep the momentum rolling. It would be nice if ONE of my kids really loved sports. When I was a kid, Little League meant you played ball pretty much every day and I'm pretty sure that is still the case. But I don't really want to sign him up in a rec league with one practice and one game each week. It would take him forever to learn to play that way.

So what has been your experience with baseball? The Gym Rat played one year of Little League and hated it but he was older and all the boys had way more experience that he did. The Dog Walker only did rec leagues. Sport is 8 years and still young enough to be teachable, but sometimes he is a little scared of the ball.

I could sure use a little input...

Feb 22, 2012

Saying No

Some people think I'm a Super-Over-Achiever, some say a masochist, but really it boils down to one simple thing...I have never been any good at getting out the word, "NO!"

I had really been looking forward to getting things a little caught up this weekend. We had the three days and Saturday was without Sleeping Beauty rehearsals or basketball games...or so I thought. It turned out that our Jr. Jazz games were cancelled the previous week for the team I'm coaching. Suddenly we had a Friday night practice and a Saturday morning game with a swim party afterward (arranged by my amazing assistant coach who happens to have a beautiful indoor pool AT HER HOUSE!)

My Calender
So I'm thinking, OK, I still have the rest of Saturday and Monday to get my act together. About Thursday my sweetie suggested that he wanted to visit his mom on Monday and that he needed to help her with some home repairs and the kids wanted to go sledding. So suddenly my Monday was gone. My big projects for the week included getting my stuff together for my tax appointment, helping the Dog Walker finish 4 scholarship applications he's been working on. Make the King costume for the ballet, and make a cake/birthday party for Burrito because all the family was coming over on Sunday.

Suddenly I only had Saturday from about 2:00 until I dropped into bed. That's when the Dog Walker announced that his Young Men's group was going camping from Friday right after school until they got home Saturday evening. Could I please help him get ready?! Oh, and he had to speak in Sacrament meeting at church on Sunday (in front of about 300 people). Could I please help him write his talk? It's on integrity...

To make a long story short, I survived the weekend. I dragged my box of paperwork with me to see my MIL and sorted receipts while visiting. I helped write the talk while my family watched a movie without me and instead of a long overdue nap, I worked on scholarships Sunday after church. After the family all left from the birthday party, I plopped myself down in front of the sewing machine and got the King costume about half made.

Picture Credit:
We got home on Monday about 7:30 and I was feeling like it might work out. My week looked like this. I had half a king costume to finish that I had promised to deliver on Wednesday. I had basketball on Tuesday and Thursday nights, parent/teacher conferences on Wednesday and Thursday after school. Scouts at my house on Friday. Numerous trips to the dance studio, Bossy's having a Park Lane jewelry party at my house Wednesday, my tax appointment is Saturday along with a Tupperware party and early morning pickup of 3200+ boxes of Girl Scout cookies that all need to be delivered.

Drama Queen did Scout's hair to read "Day 100"
Are you tired yet? Sport has Scouts on Wednesday, Crafty has Activity Days and I still have to take my turn with both car pools. Oh, and I promised to help with Hundreds Day on Tuesday in Scout's class. Friday and Saturday have Sleeping Beauty rehearsals that take most of the day and I have a Tupperware party to close and get the order in by midnight on Friday...and it's a pretty big one with lots of replacements that will take me at least an hour to do. And don't forget I still have three scholarship applications with March 1 deadlines. The Blue and Gold Banquet is next Tuesday and since my sweetie is in charge, I'm arranging all the food and entertainment for about 100 people. Our basketball tournament starts next week too, so there is a meeting and schedules to review and buildings to reserve. And we don't even want to talk about laundry or dishes or meals or homework. And of course my awesome blog!

The dress fabric
So Monday night, I'm feeling completely overwhelmed facing this huge and hard week. I get a call from my cute little niece, Araineia. The conversation went like this, "Hi, Aunt Sandy, this is Araineia." I hadn't heard from her in months so I was excited to chat for a minute. Then she asked, "Do you think you could make me a dress for my girls' pref dance?" My heart started to pound. "When do you need it?" She paused for a minute. "The dance is on Saturday," she finally said.

I tried, honestly I did. I started telling her about my crazy schedule, but she was so sweet and understanding that I just couldn't disappoint her. She showed up yesterday and we went to the store for fabric and a pattern.

As Teach always says, "Sleep is over-rated anyway..."


Feb 21, 2012

Presidents' Day

Yesterday we visited Grandma and she has lots more snow than we do. (I know, a two-hour ride, just to go sledding...)

We left Baby Doll and Drama Queen with Grandma and headed for our favorite spot at the flood dam, but as soon as we turned onto the road my sweetie knew it was a mistake. The wheels started spinning in the soft powdery snow and we were totally stuck! "OK, all the big people in the back!" he called. After we moved everyone around and I sat in the driver's seat to steer, he and the Dog Walker got out to push.

Prima Donna and Curly
Princess and Crafty

There was NO WAY we were getting that van out! Thankfully, after about five minutes somebody in a big truck stopped and pulled us out. Not that it was easy, he had to switch chains and get on dry pavement before he could pull our big van out.

So we started looking for a new place to sled...one where we could park on dry ground. We drove around for about 20 minutes and finally found this hill where someone had driven a vehicle a few times and the tire tracks had packed the snow nicely for us.

Dog Walker

The only problem was that the tracks led directly onto the highway. So my sweetie parked the van right at the bottom of the tracks and told the kids it was better to smack into the van than run into the highway.
(Not that it turned out to be a problem, nobody got within 10 feet of the van.)

I wasn't really planning to sled, but you can see that I finally succumbed to their persuasion and I had a great time going down with Curly and Scout.

Me and Curly
 Even my sweetie got into the action.

The walk back up...
And when we were finished we headed back to Grandma's for a wonderful lunch. She even made us four different cherry desserts in honor of Presidents' Day.

And how was your holiday?

Feb 20, 2012

Guest Blogger - My Bucket List by Teach

All of last year I kept coming up with things I wanted to do before I died... One day I decided it was time.  Time to write a legit bucket list.  This is the bucket list that my 20-year-old self wrote. I have completed 3 things and have 23 more to go. I absolutely  love my bucket list and I am excited to do all of these things some day. I hope you enjoy it! (:

1. Own my dream car (done)
2. Get married in the Temple
3. Kiss a man during a fireworks show
4. Read all 7 original Harry Potter’s
5. Walk through an “authorized personnel” door as authorized and as a rebel (done)
6. Do something that terrifies me
7. Be in a successful “High School Musical” jumping picture
8. Pray for a solid hour
9. Complete a 365 photo challenge or something similar
10. Win a contest
11. Read Pride and Prejudice
12. Write and finish a collaborative story (half way there)
13. Go on a blind date (done)
14. Watch Star Wars
15. Own a turtle
16. Take a Zumba lesson
17. Paint a fence
18. Become a mom
19. Become a teacher
20. Do something crazy in an obscure location
21. Find a secret hide out – take a boy there
22. Create a “Heaven on Earth” spot
23. Have a real life pillow fight
24. Have my heart broken (hopefully just once)
25. Become organized
26. Give a speech

Word from Mom
How about you? Do you have a bucket list? I've made lists of goals before, but never something like this.

Feb 19, 2012

Birth Story - Sport

 Drum roll please...

Here we have it! Finally, the last birth story and it belongs to Sport. The year was 2003. Bossy was just finishing up her Associates degree at Snow College. The other kids were scattered throughout the various schools in our district. The Dog Walker was 9 years old and after three sisters, he was just dying for a baby brother. He was so convinced he was right that I even took him with me to the ultrasound. I figured he might believe the doctor more than me. Thankfully, it didn't have to be a big deal. All pictures properly indicated "boy," although the Dog Walker thought he looked more like a monkey.

I was SOOO uncomfortable with this pregnancy! It was the first time I had experienced sciatica and that along with the bursitis in my hip made it almost impossible to sleep. I tried everything to get comfortable. The thing that worked best was building a little "house" of pillows with two behind my head and on on each side. Then I would slip one between my knees. That almost worked...
Dog Walker and Sport
As with the previous three sisters, the doctor scheduled an induction about a week early. It was June and the weather had been unseasonably hot. It was surprising to wake up to cool and rainy., but we reported at the hospital just before 7:30 a.m. as instructed. Unfortunately, when we got there, they had no room for us, so we sat in the waiting room for about an hour.

After that we got started and the nurses were pleased to find that I was already dilated to 3 cm. Sometimes I've been asked why in the world I am at the hospital...come back next week, so that was good news. The anesthesiologist arrived just in time to keep me from feeling even one real labor pain.

In fact, things were going so well they actually had to turn the Pitocin DOWN to keep me from delivering before I had finished the required doses of antibiotics. When the final drops pumped their way in from the second bag, they upped the Pitocin again and my little Sport came really fast. Thankfully, this was NOT one of the times the nurses refused to get the doctor there on time. He halted things for only a moment as he unwrapped the cord from Sport's neck (that was a little scary!) and one push later was all it took. I didn't even have to push a second time since he slipped out all by himself.

The nurses all ooo'd and aah'd over his beautiful blond hair. It was quite long for such a little guy. We spent the next couple of weeks listening to people gush about how beautiful Sport was. He'd probably be a little embarrassed to know about that now.

We had our typical jaundice scare and he had to visit the doctor every day for the first three days. Fortunately, he didn't have to go under the lights. We were so glad to finally have him home!

Feb 18, 2012

Family Pictures

Present Day - Family Photos
When I was little, we always got our school pictures taken every year and Mom ordered an 8 x 10. As you know, my parents didn't have much, but they knew family pictures were important. In their bedroom Mom had made homemade frames out of thin cardboard and strong tape. They actually were very nice. The 8 of us were arranged in a circle right above their bed. (I haven't been in Dad's house for a while since he doesn't really live there anymore, but I'm assuming they are still there.)

When I had my own family, I wanted to continue that tradition except that I wanted to keep the pictures out for everyone to see. Here is my current grouping in our family room. Sorry about the glare. That top pic is of us and the others are the rest of the kids. Whatever picture they had as a high school senior will forever stay in their family frame.  The walls may change, but the adult pictures do not (at least so far...)

The Dog Walker has a fascination with these pictures. He hung most of the nails and for some reason he believes himself to be in charge of them. He often moves them around, trying to put all the boys together, or all the grownups in one particular spot. One day he decided that we might forget who was who so he cut up a sheet of paper and labeled each one of them.

One year on April Fool's Day, we all woke up to this...

Do you think you would notice if someone turned all of your pictures upside-down?

If you notice the picture in the middle is not upside down
I'm not sure why he didn't change that one