Jun 30, 2012

The Harmon Killebrew Award

As you all know, Sport has been playing baseball. His team is the Mets and they have had so much fun! They won 1st place in their league (that's the big gold trophy) and they came in 4th in their tournament. We have lived a lot of baseball the last few weeks.

So last night we had the baseball banquet at the park. My sweetie loaded up his big grill so he could help with the cooking and I de-seeded a 30-lb watermelon. We showed up a little early since we had to get the grill up and running. I kept the kids out of the way. The heat was still sweltering and it was nearly 6:00.

The picnic part went off really well except that they ran out of drinks and there was not a working drinking fountain at the park. After about an hour, Coach K started handing out awards. He had commissioned a trophy for each boy with an award named after a hall-of-famer. Sport's award was the Harmon Killebrew award.

I told you he was an angel...check out his halo!
Honestly, I had never even heard of this guy! He played baseball during the 60s and he was a big guy (kind of like my Sport).  He was a member of our church and he was second to Babe Ruth in the American League for home runs. According to Wikipedia he was a quiet, kind man. Just the kind of guy I want my Sport to be.

After the awards took about an hour, the Mets challenged their families to a kickball game. I hadn't played kickball since grade school, but that didn't stop me. I played first base and even made two or three catches. One of those kicks belonged to Sport and he wasn't too happy about it...

I made the catch right before Curly grabbed my hand and started throwing up his hot dog. I kicked them around, trying to cover them, but somebody had just cut the grass so all I could do was hope nobody fell as they were rounding first base.

Sport is in there somewhere...
It was nearly 9:00 and getting dark when the game ended with all the Mets dog-piling on Coach K. (Sorry about the bad pics, I only had my cell phone.)

It was the perfect end to a fantastic season. I think even Harmon Killebrew would have agreed.

(Except maybe for the hot dog part.)

Jun 28, 2012

King of the Cubs

You already know that my sweetie is the Cubmaster in our Cub Scout Pack. That means he has to prepare a new and different activity each and every month for about 25 Cub Scouts and their families. He wants these pack meetings to be fun and exciting so the boys will want to come. At the beginning of the year he put together a nice calendar and handed it out to all of his den leaders. For June, he was planning to make and shoot water rockets...does this sound familiar?

Yeah, I stole his thunder when I arranged the same activity for Sport's birthday party last week. So he was scrambling to come up with an alternate idea for this meeting. Then Bossy suggested that we contact our new friends at the health department and see if they had time to do a bike rodeo for us. (Since Sport is a little famous because of the helmet safety thing.)

That sounded like a great idea to me except that pack meeting was only a week away and I wasn't sure they would be able to arrange something so quickly. I shot off an email to Kathryn. It took her a few days to get everything in place, but by Friday afternoon, I had a firm commitment. On Monday we made fliers and put one on every scout's door. We wanted to make sure everyone had the opportunity to "be prepared." I was also worried that since it was summer, we might not have good attendance and after the health department had gone to so much work, I wanted a good showing. They even hung up Sport's banner.

I didn't need to worry. Our pack is wonderfully supportive and they showed up by the dozens! Everyone had a terrific time and my health department friends were thrilled with the response. We are already talking about a follow-up get-together.

And my sweetie is still the King of the Cubs.

Jun 27, 2012

Stressing a Little

photo by Don Seegmiller (KSL.com)
I'm worried.

Have you seen anything about the wildfires in Utah on the news? Saratoga Springs was burning a few days ago, but I think it's out now. That's where my sister lives and I have Tupperware friends there. We felt the smoke and ash here where we are, but that's nothing compared to the fires burning in Sanpete County.

I've told you forever that I'm from small-town Utah and now I must confess that I am from Sanpete County. My sweetie is from a small place named Mt. Pleasant and my MIL still lives there as does my sweetie's sister and her family.

There is a fire burning there. A BIG one!

Today they evacuated the town of Fairview. It is only five miles north of Mt. Pleasant. We are supposed to go down there for the 4th, but maybe there will be nothing left to go to! Everything is so dry this year. We didn't get the snow in the winter and now we aren't getting any rain for the summer either. I'm afraid it's going to be a long, long dry season here. I borrowed a couple of pics from the story on KSL.com. (I hope they are OK with that.)
photo by Christian Probasco (KSL.com)

My MIL sent us this email today:

"They have now evacuated the west half of Fairview.  Cars and trailers are streaming into town.  Some trailers stay at our park.  The Red Cross has shelter set up at our High School.  There are quite a few cars there. 
There is another fire just over the east mountains from us.  the smoke can be seen just east of my window and  north quite a ways.  They evacuated the girls from Miller's Flat YW camp.  So far it is staying on the other side of the mountain.  If it comes over it'll get Whispering Pines and Pine Creek cabins  and the new TIFI Scout camp is up there."
 Yeah, I'm more than a little worried.

Jun 25, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Bored Scout
We have an awesome thing at our house. Teach works in the Customer Service center at Smith's. That means she sells all kinds of tickets for SmithTix. So a couple of weeks ago she called me from work. "Want to go to a Bees (baseball) game?" Now you all know I LOVE baseball, but we usually can't afford to see the real games, even Triple A.

Wiggly Curly
"How much?" I asked, afraid for the answer. "Five bucks each!" she exclaimed, "And that includes a hot dog." The only deal was that it had to be a Monday night in June. Of course we bought tickets right away (OK, I did call Bossy first to see if she wanted to get in on the deal).

Tonight was the big game. The Bees were playing Reno. The game itself was awesome! The wiggling kids were not. Nobody under the age of 8 except for Baby Doll could hold still for more than 20 seconds at a time. And they certainly weren't watching the game (as you can see from the pictures). I, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the game. Teach got us awesome seats right on the first base line. We were only 16 rows up. I could have kept score!

Princess...Who wouldn't want her number?
You got me a hot dog???
The older kids seemed to enjoy themselves. Princess was trying to get the phone number of the boy behind us...
Drama Queen spent most of the time texting on her phone....
Teach kept asking me silly questions...I swear she played this game when she was little, why doesn't she remember the rules now?
I think the Dog Walker used every restroom on the lower deck.
And I'm pretty sure Curly drank out of every single water bottle which means we will all be sick with boogery noses tomorrow.

I never get to sit by my sweetie at events like this.
But I'd do it all again in a heartbeat just to watch one play. The Bees player on third was running for home as the ball was coming to the plate. The catcher caught it and we all held our breath as he went for the tag. But I think that runner grew wings because he practically flew around the catcher on his stomach and snagged the other side of the plate before the catcher could get him.

It was so awesome!

Even better than my box of Cracker Jack (I bought them at the grocery store and we ate them in the van for about a tenth of the cost at the ballpark).

For a few minutes I felt like a kid again.

Another Birthday Party

So Prima Donna was wishy-washy about a birthday party.

I think she wanted to have one, she just didn't like any of my suggestions. Since she is turning 14, a dance party or a late-night seemed like a good idea. No, that's not what she wanted. It took her several days before she came up with the idea of a tea party.

At first I thought she was crazy. These big girls didn't want to have a tea party!  Boy, was I wrong...

Her plan was to have the kids (I say kids because as you can clearly see, one of these is a guy), decorate cupcakes and then eat them with sparkling cider and a few other items. So she passed out the invitations. I went to the dollar store and bought some cheap pink plates, forks, and napkins. I bought fresh fruit and cheese. Princess made the cupcakes and I mixed up a couple of batches of frosting.

All the kids pitched in, cleaning the house and helping set up the tables. We used cloth tablecloths and our fancy long-stemmed glasses. I was too cheap to buy real sparkling cider so we mixed Sprite Zero with apple juice.

The party was awesome! The kids were well-behaved and seemed to enjoy themselves. Cheese was the item of choice and they went through about 2 lbs of it. They also loved the fresh pineapple and watermelon.

Her friends were very generous and they gave her tons of nice things. I love mostly grown-up kid parties. I just have to sit around and make sure they are chaperoned. Especially when one (or two) of them turns out to be a boy.

Jun 24, 2012

Birthday Parties

This week has been one of the hardest, busiest weeks in recent memory. But two of the brightest spots were birthday parties for Sport and Prima Donna. Sport just turned 9 today and we had his party with his friends yesterday. The best part was that we planned to have it in the bowery behind the church. There is a nice pavilion and a grassy field back there just right for shooting off water rockets. (And I didn't have to worry about cleaning my house.)

We told the boys to plan to get wet and bring a two-liter bottle if they had one. At 2:30 the cars started arriving. I think we ended up with 17 boys, but it was hard to say since they wouldn't sit still for more than 2 seconds at a time.

We started by making rockets. Princess and I spent over an hour cutting fins and cones. After the boys taped them to the bottles (most took about 2 minutes), they ran to the launch area. About the time they got halfway through the launch line, the Dog Walker started handing out water shooters. This was NOT according to plan! The rockets were supposed to take at least 45 minutes before the water fight started. I had two hours to entertain all these kids and we were only 20 minutes in and most of my activities had been exhausted.

The water fight went on for half an hour and the boys were drenched. About the top of the hour they started to lose interest so I called them together for cupcakes and presents. I think Sport could win a prize for the quickest gift-opener on the planet!

With 50 minutes to go, we just looked at each other.  My sweetie tried to get the boys back to the rocket launcher, while Bossy tried to initiate a game of tag. Things looked grim until I remembered most of these boys love sports so I sent Bossy to her van for a soccer ball. We split the boys up and they spent the next 30 minutes playing soccer.

It worked out perfectly. By the time parents started arriving the boys were migrating back to the launcher for one last hoorah. Within minutes, all the boys were gone.

My favorite part was Baby Doll. She absolutely loved the little pool. This is the first time we had gotten it out for her and she didn't care if the water was cold. She splashed and played like a pro even before we put her swimming suit on. I swear, a regular diaper will hold about 2 cups of water!

This is getting long, so I will fill you in on the Prima Donna's party tomorrow. It wasn't quite as crazy...

Jun 22, 2012

Spring Dance Recital and Giveaway Winner

Princess is third from the left.
Scout is second from the left.
So after we got trounced at the Countryfest Pinewood Derby (not to be confused with the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby...not that it matters, we lost there too), we piled in the van and headed for Chick-Fil-A.

They were giving all dads a free chicken sandwich between the hours of four and eight, Since we didn't have any other supper plans, I had grabbed all the free chicken soup coupons from the calendars Baby Doll gave everyone for Christmas. We fed the whole group of us for $17 although it could have been free if I hadn't sprung for fries.

Crafty (I like her in the Max costume better).
We rushed back to the house just in time (actually she was a little late) for Scout to get ready for the recital. She quickly pulled on her costume and the Drama Queen did her hair and makeup in record time. We arrived just as they were making the welcoming speech and hustled to find somewhere to sit. Scout did an awesome job as usual and when she was finished we ran home again so the kids could get their wiggles out for 30 minutes before the recital for the older kids.

The recital was awesome, as usual. I love watching my kids dance! I know I showed you some pictures of the small stage a couple of weeks ago at the Riverton Arts Festival, but here is what they look like on the big stage. And this time you get Scout and Sport too. Have I ever told you that Sport takes an all-boys ballet class? They have so much fun and they get to use swords and everything.

Prima Donna is second from the left.

And since it's after midnight, I'm announcing the winner of my 500 post giveaway.

Ever since I learned to count and maybe even before, my favorite number has been the number 8. That's because you have to be at least 8 to get baptized into our church. It's also the age of accountability...the age when babies become responsible children.

At our house that means that girls can choose to have their ears pierced. Kids also have to start cutting their own toenails and fingernails when they turn 8 (unless they are so disgusting I just can't stand them anymore, in which case I am perfectly justified in helping them out). It's the age they can start wearing them long if they are girls and they take care of them. It's the age they can choose their own hairstyle (within reasonable boundaries), and the age they start learning to cook. Yes, for us it is definitely a turning point.

So no one else actually chose that number, but Becky and Steve did choose the number 7 and they are the winners of a $50 surprise package crammed full of Tupperware. Please email me your address and I will get it in the mail right away.

Thanks for playing everyone and thanks for being there for me. Have a terrific weekend!

Jun 21, 2012

Pinewood Derby at Countryfest

Don't forget to pick your favorite number! Our 500 giveaway ends tonight at midnight.

So I promised to fill you in on more of last Saturday's activities. If you remember, we had finished the parade and then rushed home around 11:00 so the kids could put the finishing touches (like the wheels and graphite) on their pinewood derby cars.

It went right down the wire...the cars were supposed to be checked in at 12:30 but no later than 12:45. I was herding kids into the van and waiting for the box full of cars to arrive from the final step at 12:40. As I tapped the horn, Prima Donna hustled across the lawn and into our waiting vehicle. She had all the cars but one. Bean Dip's car was still struggling with the wheels.

We headed for the park, planning our strategy in case we couldn't find a reasonable parking space. Thankfully, we got one in the closest lot and I assigned the Dog Walker to unload the stroller and strap in the little kids while I ran the cars over to the check in point.

We made it just in time! We even managed to stall while checking in our 9 other cars until Bean Dip's showed up. All the kids from the Dog Walker to Curly were racing as were Bossy's three boys. Our family more than doubled the number of entries in the contest.

Now if you remember correctly, in our family we don't go for speed, we go for the most awesome design. And it's a good thing, because race after race had our cars coming in slowest. Keep in mind that of the 16 cars in the race, 10 of them were ours! And we couldn't even manage to place in the top three.

After being thoroughly defeated, they invited us back to race with the mayor in an hour. Since there was a car show for the guys and booths for the girls, we decided we'd return for more humiliation. So we strolled around, enjoying the day and watching the clock.

The mayor had an awesome little car shaped like a golf cart, but it was way fast. Our cars were quickly eliminated from the races for speed, but we did manage to come out on top in two categories. Sport won the best Cub Scout Design award and Prima Donna was thrilled with the Slowest Car Award.

At least it was something...

Jun 19, 2012

500 Posts and Giveaway

The Drama Queen has been after me all month to do something special for my 500th post. And for the life of me, I can't think of anything special to write.  I thought about trying to write 500 random facts about my life, but that task seemed totally insurmountable. Then I thought maybe I could just write 50 and that would work. But then I remembered how hard it was to just come up with 11 for that blog award my awesome friends gave me.

So I'm going to do another Tupperware giveaway. It will be a surprise package worth $50.0 (notice I left off that second zero so it looks like 500?) and the rules are easy. Just leave me a comment with your favorite number between 1 and 500. I have already written mine down and if yours is the same, you win! If not, the number closest will win.

Summon all your psychic powers and good luck!

Drama Queen just surprised me with this cute little Pueblo figurine.  It's a mother telling a story to her twelve (yes, twelve!) children as they climb all over her and each other.  (Not that that ever happens around here..)  The figure has a little tag on it that talks about how central story-telling was in the Pueblo culture.  Story-telling has always been part of our family but we've all noticed how much more we've started to remember as we sit down to share. 

That's just one of the things I love about blogging.

(Contest ends at midnight, June 21.) Oh, hey, extra entry if you pass along the Dog Walker's wish for an audience with the President. Tweet it, Facebook it, or post it on your blog...just let me know and then pick a second number. (You can't blame me for trying...)

Jun 18, 2012

Countryfest Parade

Sorry for not posting all weekend. (This is me, pouring my heart out...) It's been crazy! My sweetie got back from Maryland late Friday night, so none of us got enough sleep. But it didn't matter. We still had to be up at the crack of dawn on Saturday morning. The little kids (Crafty, Sport, Scout, Curly, Bean Dip, Taco, and Burrito) and the Dog Walker had to be in their spot lined up for the parade by 7:15.

I tried so hard to be prepared the night before, and kids were pulling out their blog shirts and finding their dance things and locating pinewood derby cars. I thought everything was perfect! I even had them locate shoes and socks and suncreen and their bikes and helmets.

But that didn't stop Scout from losing her blog shirt.

Bossy took all the kids to their spots and then set up chairs for us along the route. Since Princess and the Prima Donna were with the marching band, they didn't have to be there until 8:00. So we waited and delivered them at the appointed time and then joined Bossy.

My sweetie was so awesome he even wore his blog shirt like the rest of us (except for the band girls, Dog Walker, and Sport, but they did change into theirs later).  Although I must confess that I heard him telling people he should have just printed "man-cards" and handed them out all day. Do you guys think that's true? If a guy wears a shirt that says "Sweetie" does he just automatically lose a man-card?

But I digress...

So Teach, Drama Queen, Bossy, Baby Doll, my sweetie and I were all watching the parade. Bossy brought a huge bag for candy and she and Baby Doll proceeded to fill it. The girls were awesome with the band, and in my humble mom opinion, Sport's entry was the best one in the parade. See that cool banner? Yeah, that is a huge vinyl picture of my son wearing his helmet. And that is his winning helmet slogan.

The Dog Walker wore his scout uniform with all his badges on the sash and he pulled Curly in the trailer (with a helmet, of course). All the other kids rode their bikes as did some of Sport's friends from his baseball team.

About the time they got in front of us, Burrito rode his scooter close to us to deliver a piece of candy just to Baby Doll. On his way back he took a spill and after skinned palms and knees and lots of tears, he joined us at the curb. Since they were at the beginning of the parade, the kids all joined us after they finished.

We had so much fun! The Dog Walker even got recognized by UtahDave and hopefully his dance entry will be in the final contest for $1000. I will let you know if it does so you can all vote for him. But this day wasn't even close to over...

I'll fill you in on the rest tomorrow.

Jun 16, 2012

Teach's Big News

Teach has decided she wants to go on a mission for our church! We are so excited about this news since she will be the first of our kids to serve. It's bittersweet to think that for 18 months she will be leaving us and living on her own with other missionaries. She can email us once a week, but she won't be able to call except for Christmas and Mothers' Day.

She probably won't leave for several months since there is so much to get ready! Yesterday we headed for the clinic and she started some of the immunizations she needs to have. She also has doctor's and dentist's appointment on her calendar.

She definitely doesn't want to leave until after our trip to Washington DC. (Did you all remember to tweet about the Dog Walker's wish to meet the President?) Some missions require biking or walking, so she is working on physical fitness as well. This is a whole new adventure for us...I'll keep you posted on her progress.