Sep 30, 2012


Franco's new hat.
It's been a busy weekend with Crafty's birthday and all. We had the kids all over tonight for a family party. My dad also joined us for dinner, cake, and ice cream. The Gym Rat came home from his trip and reclaimed his doggy which was nice. I've kind of gotten out of the habit of having a pet around since Daisy had to find a new home after nipping at Baby Doll last spring.

Love Menchies!
The kids took pretty good care of Franco while the Gym Rat was gone although he did poop in the house several times just because I think he was a little angry about being left behind. Princess made him a little hat and Teach's friend painted his toenails, so I don't think the Gym Rat will be anxious to leave him again any time soon...

We took the kids over to Menchies on Saturday night to celebrate the end of September (the coupons expired on Sept. 30) and the Dog Walker's awesome new light show in the yard. I will give you a full post on that later in the week after I get Teach to take some real good pictures for me.

The antibiotics have mostly done their job and I am feeling much better. In fact, so are most of the kids. The coughing is fewer and farther between. I have a big Tupperware party at the Curves up in Millcreek tomorrow. I'm hoping to do a good business up there. I've been a bit of a slacker lately, although I dated 4 parties this past week so maybe that will start something for me.

The kids are madly working on their Reflections entries, vowing once again to enter in all 8 categories. That's only a total of 40 entries this year, so it's a little better than last year when we had 48. Sport, Crafty, and Scout are nearly finished with theirs which is a good thing since the deadline is supposed to be Friday. Although Bossy told me they extended the deadline for a couple of weeks, so that gives us a little more time.

Hopefully we are looking at a little easier week although I'm not sure why I think that. Oh, did I tell you that Princess got invited to the Homecoming Dance on Saturday? Normally I would be trying to make her a dress, but I think I'm going to cop out this time and just buy her one. The dance is next Saturday and I don't know if I have the time to get one together. Of course I haven't been looking yet either. We might not be able to find anything she likes. I'll keep you posted there too.

 Have a great week everyone!

All We Do is Party!

Yesterday was Crafty's 12th birthday party and I promised to share some of the craziness with you. I have this amazing friend who doesn't believe in carpooling...she just takes all the turns by herself! Crafty and her friend Mari have been rehearsing for the last month for a play they are doing out in Riverton. So my sweet friend, Lori, offered to do all the driving since she believes I have a crazy, busy life.

I know, that's just the kind of person she is. So when Crafty's birthday loomed close, Lori offered her indoor pool for the party. I was so grateful! Crafty was forced to change tracks this year, so she wanted to invite all the girls from her current D track and all the girls from last year's A track. I was not excited about coming up with something to entertain them all for a couple of hours.

By the time we added in the neighbor girls, we handed out about 40 invitations, but assumed we wouldn't have nearly that many show up. I made 24 gift bags, thinking that would be plenty...but then the girls started to arrive. More and more came and we started keeping a running total. By the time they were all in the pool, there were 25 of them. I frantically called Teach who was back at the house and asked her to throw together a few more gift bags.

The girls loved the pool! We also had Curly and Baby Doll with us and boy did they have fun! We finally got them back to my house with only half an hour left to go. That was just enough time for gifts and then cake and ice cream before the parents began arriving.

Honestly, other than the stress over the gift bags, it was probably one of the easiest parties I've ever done. Thanks, Lori, for being such a sweet friend.

PS. I lost another dear friend today when she passed away suddenly from a massive heart attack. Please pray for my friend, Veon Croft's  family. She was only 54.

Sep 29, 2012

Mom/Son Social

Every year our elementary school has a Mom/Son Social, but with Crafty's birthday party (I'll give you the low-down on that tomorrow), I didn't think we would be able to go. Sport also had football practice until 6:00 which is when the event started, and we managed to get there about 6:30. It was a pretty disorganized event, with apple juice and donuts and dancing.

I'm pretty sure I told you that I watch my grandkids after school every day because Bossy has them in our neighborhood school on a permit. You probably figured out already that Bossy and the boys were also at this event. She fits in better than me.

Most of the kids at the elementary school think I'm a grandma. And they are right. Our group was a little confusing...Bossy was dancing like a crazy high school girl with Taco and Burrito (Bean Dip showed up later when he finished with his football practice), and I was moving like a creaky grandma-sort of person with Sport.

We had a lot of fun with the YMCA song and Bossy taught me how to dance to the Thriller song. We didn't win any games but I think Sport ate 4 donuts so that's got to be worth something. We snapped these silly pictures at the picture booth and I got one of the grandsons doing the limbo. Poor Sport, he was eliminated in the first round. After all, he's a lineman, not a contortionist!

Bossy and Burrito
We were some of the last ones out the door, so I guess this old grandma can keep up with all those young moms. Do any of you feel you don't belong? There used to be a day when we were the youngest parents, after all, we had Bossy when I was only 19, but now everything is different. I sometimes wish I could give my little ones the energy and excitement of a young mom. But I do think they are compensated in a couple of ways. I'm a little wiser now and not quite as uptight.

So that's got to be worth something.

Sep 28, 2012

Move to the Center

Today we were sitting on the living room floor, snapping a big bowl of beans when Teach rolled onto her tummy and suggested that Crafty stand on her back. When she did, Baby Doll immediately climbed up too. I quickly cautioned them about the dangers of such a trick and they looked at me like I had things growing out of my ears. That reminded me of this story.

I wish my mom were around so she could correct me on all these dates, so I will just take my best shot. I was in high school, so I'm thinking I was about 15 so it must have been about 1980. That would have made my Little Sister about 3 years old. We were doing the exact same thing, lying on the floor in our den (family room) when I asked my then nine-year-old sister to "walk on my back."

We did this little game often. It felt like a massage and I had seen people on TV do it, so I knew it had to be a good idea. Deb walked up and down a few times and then my Little Brother got in the act. Well of course you know what happened next. My Little Sister just couldn't sit there and let them have all the fun so she climbed on.

I was pinned to the floor and they were having a good time until my Little Sister decided to fall off. Now if we had been another 6 inches away from the fireplace and toward the center of the room, nothing bad would have happened. But we weren't and Amy managed to land right on the rough edge with her face.

Blood spurted everywhere and she started screaming. Mom came running in to see what was the matter and she immediately grabbed Amy and tried to staunch the flow of blood. You know, heads and faces bleed pretty well. It wasn't long before she gathered up her wallet and headed for the door with Amy in tow.

They came back a couple of hours later with several stitches and a lecture. That was the last time Deb walked on my back (at least when the little kids were around). Maybe I'll just tell my own kids to roll into the center of the floor before they start.        

Sep 27, 2012


Did I ever mention that the Gym Rat bought himself a little dog back around the first of the summer? His breed is called a Chiweenie (I always think it's funny when really big guys get little teeny dogs!) and the kids...especially Baby Doll...think he is the coolest thing ever!

His name is Franco and he looks more Dachshund than Chahuahua. The Gym Rat started bringing him over for family parties. Baby Doll took to him immediately, even faster than she learned to like her brother. Now when I say "the Gym Rat" is coming over, she looks at me hopefully and says, "Dog?"

We also have to bless the dog in every prayer we ever have when Baby Doll is awake. And we've quickly learned to do it up front so everyone else can hear the rest of the prayer. Otherwise she spends the entire time saying, "Dog!" over and over.

So a few weeks ago, the Gym Rat started going to the gym with the Dog Walker. I think I told you the Dog Walker is going to college and he is enrolled in a fitness class so he is required to work on that as often as possible. I thought the Gym Rat was just being nice until last week when he called, "Hey Mom," he began. "Since Andrew got married and took his dog away, Franco gets awfully lonely during the day while I'm at work." He paused. "How about if I bring him by while the Dog Walker and I work out so he can play with the kids for an hour?"

His request seemed relatively harmless, so I agreed. Baby Doll loves her time during the week with Franco, and it's not bad to watch him for a little bit. But that's not the end of the story. Last weekend when the Gym Rat was over for Princess's birthday party, he put his arm around my shoulders and said, "I have a favor to ask of you..."

Yeah, you're right, he was just fattening me up for the kill. He is going out of town tomorrow and he wanted me to watch Franco for the entire weekend, Wednesday to Sunday! So now we are dog-sitting.

It's been a while since we've had a dog around here.

I have to shut the pantry door and keep the socks locked up. Other than that, he's not too bad. Although Crafty said he was whimpering when she tried to take him to bed with her. I guess he's still technically a baby. I hear he does have a naughty streak. The Gym Rat brought the kennel too, just in case.

Any advice for us while we are dog-sitting? I have to confess I've never done this sort of thing before...and I thought it would be the grandkids that wanted to spend the night at grandma's...

Sep 26, 2012

A Night at the Theater

Guess what? It's the fourth Tuesday of the month and that means it's Pack Meeting! That's probably not all that exciting for you, but I spend a ton of time preparing so everything will run smoothly and the boys will be excited to keep coming back.

I've been struggling for ideas lately. It's hard to keep trying to do just a little bit better than last month. Finally we decided to ask each den to do a skit and since we had the stage and gym, we thought it would be fun to use the stage lights and actually make them feel like they were acting. The boys did a great job and loved the lights and microphone.

Last Friday, Prima Donna was telling me about a lesson from her Theater teacher and I knew that would make everything pull together if he could just come and be a special guest speaker. I rushed out an email and held my breath. It was such short notice! But a few hours later he agreed to come and bring his friend he shared with his school class.

That friend was a 5-foot python.

I'm not a real fan of snakes, but the kids loved this one! He invited all the cub scouts to crowd up close before he showed them what he had in the bag. He did an awesome job and afterwards he gave the kids time to touch the snake and ask questions.

We finished up with awards and my favorite skit. It was called the Pygmy Scout and we found it online. They recommended doing it with a couple of scouts, but we decided to have the Dog Walker and Sport do it together. We covered the Dog Walker with a black sheet and then Sport slipped on his dad's black bathrobe and stood behind the Dog Walker. The Dog Walker's hands became his feet and Sports hands became his hands. Then they did silly things. First they did jumping jacks and stretches, then they followed a typical morning routine, combing hair, brushing teeth, and shaving.

Now you have to remember that Sport was hiding under the robe, so he couldn't see what was going on, but he had to do the shaving. The Dog Walker ended up with shaving cream all over his face and glasses. Thank goodness we kept the protective cover on the razor!

Then as the last thing, our silly Pygmy Scout ate breakfast...a Ding Dong (chocolate covered cake). Sport really played it up and smeared it all over the Dog Walker's face. The crowd kept laughing and laughing!

We finished up with sugar cookies made by Teach and Princess and decorated by Bossy and me. It was a fun evening, but I'm always relieved when they are over.

BTW, I went to the doc today and he put me on an antibiotic and gave me an inhaler. I'm looking forward to feeling much better by the weekend.

Sep 24, 2012


I am heading into the third week of coughing my lungs out. I am so tired of being sick. I felt that raspiness in my lungs and that scares me so I think I might head to the doctor tomorrow. I had pneumonia once before and I was so afraid that I might end up in the hospital.

When I was pretty young, maybe ten, my mom got pneumonia. I remember she had been coughing a lot, but it didn't seem any more serious than a regular cold. Then one day we came home from school and Grandma was there instead of Mom. She told us Mom was very sick and in the hospital. We were so scared! Mom had been in the hospital before, but it had always been to have a baby...not to be sick...not to maybe die! We moped around for the rest of the day.

Grandma got us off to school again, but we couldn't concentrate on such unimportant things as homework. After school we pestered Grandma until she finally drove us the fifteen minutes to the hospital. When we got there, we were devastated to find out that we couldn't even see Mom! Kids were not allowed in hospital rooms then even during visiting hours.

Grandma left us in the waiting room and she went back to talk to Mom by herself. After a few minutes she came back out and beckoned for us to follow her out the doors of the hospital. Our heads drooped as we dragged our feet toward Grandma's car.

It took us a minute to realize that Grandma wasn't heading for the car. She was walking around the side of the hospital. Now remember, we grew up in a small town that didn't even have its own hospital, but the one in the next town was small and all on one floor. Grandma put a finger to her lips and stepped up to the nearest window. She quietly rapped on the glass.

The curtains pulled back to reveal our mom! She was wearing a hospital gown and she had an oxygen tank with little tubes up her nose. Her hair was pull back in a messy pony tail and she looked tired and ill. But we were so happy to see her that to us she never looked more beautiful!

She pushed up the window and reached out and held our hands and told us she loved us and missed us. We told her we were afraid she was going to die and she said she couldn't possibly die yet because no one at our house knew how to change the toilet paper roll but her. (I know, silly, but true.)

We stayed with her for a few minutes and then reluctantly waved goodbye. She was in the hospital for about a week before she came home. I'd like to say that we were perfect children for her after that while she was recovering, but I'm sure it wasn't true.

I did take a few minutes to figure out how to change the toilet paper roll, but I never told her that. Then she might have had a reason to die. And at that point in my life, I really needed her.

Sep 23, 2012

Guest Blogger - September Saturdays by Sweetie

September is one of my favorite times of the year. It wasn’t always. As a youth, September meant back to school and while I was always a good student, summer vacation was far better than school. And then I got married. As you know, we were married on September 10, and that first September of our marriage was basically all honeymoon.

For a number of years to follow, September was great! We were both in school all year and we went to summer quarter as well. Back then we had quarters rather than semesters, so school didn't start until the last week of September. Summer school usually lasted into August. That meant we had most of September with no school. Since we worked on campus during the school year, we also had no jobs. It was summer vacation but with nicer weather and no crowds.

Sadly once real world jobs became the norm, September wonderfulness was left to weekends. Then when those weekends turned into pee wee football, the days became even better. September Saturdays are the best and with my current job, I usually have Fridays off so September Saturdays and Fridays are supposed to be great.. not ordinary great, but Tony the Tiger sort of great!

The problem with that kind of expectations is that sometimes things will happen that just aren't that great.. In fact, this weekend I’ve been feeling really beat down. I have "highly suggested" overtime at work so I’m working almost constantly. No yard work, no drives in the mountains to see the changing leaves, no football...wait! Dedication to work doesn’t go that far. I’m not going to miss Sport's football game. But as bad as I felt yesterday, the Dog Walker had it worse.

In the old days, pee wee football players would run through homemade signs (usually funny cartoons of the opposing mascot). It was a great tradition. But the last few years it’s become the rage to have a professional banner printed on vinyl. The banners are in two pieces that are velcroed together. The banner is usually placed by the end zone on two stakes and then paraded to the middle of the field by the moms.

Yesterday another Bingham team was playing on the same field after us. The dad in charge of the banner got there early and set up his banner near where we were sitting. The Dog Walker decided the bit of shade it provided was just too good to waste, so he plopped down in front of it. It wasn't long before he was stretched out on the ground zoned out to the music coming from his headphones.

At halftime Sport's team headed to a corner behind the sign for their regular pep talk. When halftime was about over, the moms took our banner off its stakes and headed out onto the field. They ran paper streamers across the path so the boys could feel that surge of energy that only comes from being the first one to break through. Only one problem... the boys couldn't see the moms because the other banner was in the way. So they did their cheer and then ran at full force into the WRONG BANNER!

They broke through the banner, but tripped and fell over all 6 feet 4 inches of the sprawling Dog Walker. Most of the team fell into a huge pile of boys. Poor Dog Walker, some of the boys started crying. He got hit pretty hard. And the parents, including his own, what were they doing? Laughing so hard they can hardly stand up. I’m with the Dog Walker... roll back the clock and bring back the butcher paper banners. They are much safer. And while we are at it, can I get all of September off again?

Those were the days.

Sep 21, 2012

It was a Circus!

Walking to the show.
Posing for the camera.
So today was it...Circus day! The kids were so excited. We finished homework right after school and loaded the van promptly at 5:30. It took us about 30 minutes to drive downtown. We found parking across the street from the Energy Solutions Arena for $6. I know, I could have parked a block further away for five, but there were eleven of us, so I figured an extra ten cents each was worth it.

Baby Doll loved the horses!
After a brief run-in with the PETA people, we headed for Will-Call to pick up our tickets. All went smoothly and we were so thrilled to find ourselves on Row 17 although honestly, there was not a bad seat in the house. Baby Doll was beside herself with excitement when the first animals came in. She loved the horses and clapped constantly through their program.

Curly wanted to catch the ball.
She didn't have her own seat so we passed her along the row, but she was good and happy for the entire show. I'm not sure why we paid for a seat for Curly because he didn't sit still the entire time. When I asked him his favorite part, it didn't have anything to do with the animals or the acrobats or the eight awesome motorcyclists who rode around inside a large metal ball. He liked the huge beach balls the clowns threw up into the audience during the opening sequence!

Most of the other kids were like me, preferring the acrobats. In my favorite scene, they had two people jump on a see-saw to propel a guy high in the air. I don't know how many flips he did before he landed in a chair on top of a pole, but it was at least 5.

My kids had never seen a real circus before, but I'm guessing when Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus comes back next year, they will want to be the first in line to buy tickets. It truly is the greatest show on earth!

** I am a Feld Family Ambassador and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and opportunities to attend private Feld pre-Show events. Even though I received these benefits, I always give an opinion that is 100% mine. **

Heading home

Sep 20, 2012

Flu Shots

Every year I take my kids in to get flu shots. I don't know why, I guess I'm just plagued with that "right" thing to do. I don't know if they work or not. Last year Sport got the flu and then a bunch of us got a lighter case. He never gets a flu shot, at least not any more. When he had his first flu shot he had a reaction. It landed us at Primary Children's Hospital with IV antibiotics. The doctor thought he might have gotten an infection, so the second year we tried again.

The same thing happened again, his entire arm was red and swollen and full of heat. That's when the doctor recommended that he never have another flu shot for the rest of his life. Apparently he is allergic to them! The problem with that is that even when we think we are immune, we have one little guy who can catch it and that let's it in.

So tomorrow night we are seeing the circus! And Friday afternoon we are having flu shots. I think I should have done that the other way around. Although most of the kids don't complain that much because they can be protected against the flu by getting the mist rather than a shot. Personally, I'd rather have a shot than have something squirted up my nose. One time when I had a bad head cold, the doctor recommended flo-nase (I probably spelled that wrong). I read the instructions and they didn't sound too bad, so I inserted the tip into my nose and inhaled deeply.

Then I promptly threw up!

I guess Sport has his reaction to the flu shot and I have one to the can't ever be easy to do the "right" thing, can it?

Sep 17, 2012

Little Brother

I promised my little brother that I would write about something from our childhood once a week and honestly, tonight I am brain-dead. So I guess at the risk of alienating all of you, I will tell you my most vivid memory of said little brother. Randy was born in 1973 and I was born in 1965 so I was quite a bit older than he was.

By the time I got to high school, I was not a very nice person. OK, maybe I was just a pretty typical teenager, thinking only about myself and not having much time for annoying little brothers. And he was! Annoying, I mean.

If I had a guy over, Randy had to be right in the middle of everything! I guess he was just starved for attention, but when I had a guy over, I wanted him to pay attention to me, not my little brother. And when I had my girl friends over, they thought my cute little tow-headed brother was awesome. Neither one of my two best friends had any younger brothers or sisters, so little siblings were fun for them, but not for me.

All grown up with boys of his own.
One day when I was about 16, I was totally angry at Randy for something. I remember standing over him, screaming at the top of my lungs. My anger told me it would be a good time to practice drop-kicks, using my brother's backside as the unfortunate football. I was in the very act of pulling back to send him flying when he rolled into a fetal position and I saw the absolute fear in his eyes.

I stopped immediately. I wish I could say that I pulled him into my arms and gave him a hug, but I didn't. But at least I walked away and said nothing. It was a huge turning point in my life. I never wanted to see that look in anyone's eyes ever again and especially not when it was directed at me.

That's why I've always been such a softie. I hate spanking my kids although I have had to do it on rare occasion. When those moments occur, I think I end up crying more than the kids do. I don't let my kids beat up on each other either, not even for fun. I want them to love and protect each other. I want them to be best friends.

I'm sorry I wasn't a better friend, little brother. You were always good to me and I never did deserve your love. Thanks for being patient with me and thanks for changing my life.

Sep 16, 2012

September Saturday

Downward Facing Dog (Baby Doll loves yoga)
In the Eagle's Nest
Yesterday was one of those busy fall Saturdays where you run all day long and then fall into bed exhausted wondering what happened to the day.  I jumped out of bed at 8:30 (remember I hate early mornings!) and woke Crafty for play practice, but she reminded me it didn't start until 10:00. I tried to go back to sleep for a little bit, but it just wasn't happening. My one morning to sleep in!

The seal lions at the zoo
Sport also had to be ready to leave at 10:00 with his football coach, so then it was breakfast and scrambling to find uniforms and gear. I tackled the pile of dishes in the kitchen and tried to throw the house together before it was noon and time to pick up Crafty and her friend.

We left at 1:00 for Sport's football game. (I'll be so glad when they are finished with these crossover games! They really are disheartening and although the boys played really well, they lost 19 - 0.) After the game we sped back home to change and get ready for my sweetie's work party down at the zoo. We couldn't leave until 4:00 when Scout got home from a friend's birthday party, so we ended up being a little late.

The parking lots were insane! My sweetie said they gave out 8700 tickets for the zoo and dinner. It's a good thing the zoo is big! We got right through the food lines though and then walked around about half the zoo. We had the grandsons with us too because they could get free tickets too so that made it a little crazier.
Riding Trax

We left about 7:00 because the Dog Walker is taking a music class and it requires concert reviews. We found a concert he wanted to attend on Temple Square in the Assembly Hall at 7:30, so my sweetie dropped off me, Prima Donna, and the Dog Walker downtown. We were a few minutes late, but the concert was awesome! I've never seen that many different kinds of trumpets in my life! (If you ever get a chance to see Gabriel, do it.)

So tired!
Then we walked half a block and caught the trax train out to Sandy and my sweetie picked us up there. I was so tired by the time we got home (I've been sick), but the Dog Walker still had homework and needed my support. My sweetie was watching the BYU/Utah football game with the kids downstairs, so at least we had peace and quiet so the Dog Walker could finish up his Comm 1010 test.

I dropped into bed about 12:30 without taking the time to post, but I'm making it up to you today by giving you a bunch of fun random pictures.

Sep 14, 2012

The Best Home Teacher

We have the BEST Home Teacher in the whole world!

Now if you are not a Mormon, you are probably wondering what I'm talking about. In our church, each family is assigned a couple of neighbors to just check in on once a month or so and make sure the family is fine and doesn't need anything help with anything. My sweetie and the Dog Walker are assigned to a family down the street and they love stopping by with a treat and a story for the kids.

Bob has been our Home Teacher since we moved into this neighborhood 18 years ago. That's pretty uncommon. Usually they switch people around every few years. But Bob is special (at least we think so) or maybe nobody else wanted to deal with a family with so many kids!

Back when the Dog Walker was working on Merit Badges, Bob was one of his best helpers and counselors. He passed off Weather, Snow Sports, Surveying... and every summer for about three years they worked on one of the hardest Merit Badges for Nate...Water Sports.  That started a  bit of jealousy with the other kids. They all wanted a chance to go boating with Bob.

So for the last few years Bob has taken them all out on his boat to go tubing. My sweetie generally goes with and keeps half the kids busy on the dock while Bob pulls the others on the tube. Then they switch. My sweetie snapped a couple of cell pics for me today. They aren't great, but they are all I've got. This year they even took Taco and Burrito with them! Baby Doll and I missed out, but we stayed home and ate Twinkies as a consolation prize. Maybe next year she will be big enough we can all go.

Sep 13, 2012

Not Really Political

I try to teach my children to be civic-minded. Even when my oldest ones were small, I would collect all the mailers and newspaper articles on the candidates and we would spend the night before the election reading through them and discussing who would be the best choice for our votes.

Now five of my kids are old enough to vote and I still have to give them advice. Can you believe they tell me they are too busy to read about the candidates? All except for Bossy, who pours over the literature just like I do, trying to make the best decision for her family and her job. Since she works for the State of Utah, she is careful to understand which proposed budget cuts will affect each department.

When she was younger, I think she used to listen to my summaries and then vote exactly opposite of my suggestions. And you know what? I'm OK with that. I just want my kids to care about politics and their country and appreciate the rights they have to vote.

You all know about our trip to Washington DC a few weeks ago. We spent some time touring the capitol with an intern from Senator Mike Lee's office. He did an awesome job! When the tour was over, we met the Senator in his office and their official photographer took pictures of us. They sent us some beautiful 8x10s and I wanted to share them with you.

Sep 12, 2012

The Scissors

Last week we were chasing around, trying to get life organized, when the doorbell rang. I glanced at my sweetie, "Are we expecting anybody?" I asked. (The Dog Walker says exactly the same thing any time the doorbell rings.) My sweetie grinned and shook his head. I made my way through the clutter to the front door. Why is it nobody ever comes to the door unexpectedly when the house is clean?

I pulled open the door, assuming it would be a salesman. But I was wrong, it was my aunt, in town from St. George and the first thing she did was hand me a pair of blue Cutco scissors. "Are these the ones?" she asked. I received them gently and then threw my arms around her in a big hug, "Yes!" I cried, tears pricking my eyes. I never thought I would see them again.


My grandma passed away at the age of 93 a year ago next week. If you've been reading my blog for a while, you already know that she and I were very close.

It was difficult to give Grandma a gift. Oh, she was always grateful, but you could tell when she was pleased and when she wasn't. The best gift we ever gave her was a white Persian cat, but I will tell you that story another time. The second best gift I ever gave her was a pair of blue Cutco scissors.

Grandma loved crocheting and knitting, so yarn was always a safe bet for a gift. But one day shortly after I got my own pair of Cutco scissors, she was using them when she noticed how nice they were. "They should be!" I griped, "They cost over a hundred dollars!" At the time I was doing quite a bit of sewing professionally and my sweetie was anxious to get me a good pair of sewing shears when he found the Cutco ones. They immediately became my favorites.

After Grandma admired them, I knew I had to get a pair for her. It was a gift she would love and use no matter how old or frail she got. And she did. The handles on hers were more worn than the handles on mine! The last time we visited with her before she died, I told her the only thing I wanted after she was gone was that pair of scissors.

In typical Grandma fashion, she answered, "Go ahead, take them now." But I couldn't do that. It was the one gift I had ever given her that she could still use. So I hesitated and figured it was no big deal. Why would anyone care about one pair of scissors but me?

We were not surprised when she passed away, although she wasn't sickly. But 93 is getting up there. I immediately inquired about the scissors to first my brother who had bought Grandma's house and the contents many years ago and got his consent, and then to my siblings and my aunt and uncle. I was never in the house after Grandma passed away, but the scissors appeared to be gone.

No one had seen them or knew anything about them, but I knew Grandma loved them and used them and they were an important link for me. I tried for the first two weeks with everyone who helped clean out her things, even the neighbors, but no one had seen them. After that, I gave up. Those scissors with her very fingerprints etched into them were gone to me forever.

I thought about them from time to time over the past year, lamenting that I had not taken Grandma's advice and walked away with the scissors the day she offered to return them to me. But I couldn't do it, she wasn't finished with them yet.

Then my aunt and uncle showed up at the door...

Sep 10, 2012

Today is My Anniversary

It's my anniversary today. My sweetie and I have been married for 29 years. It doesn't seem that long. I remember when we used to talk about how we had been married almost as long as we had been single. That's been over 10 years ago now.

I told you our falling in love story already and I've mentioned a few times the awesomeness of my sweetie. Since our anniversary landed on a Monday this year, I knew we wouldn't be able to go out for dinner since it was family night. I was hoping for a breakfast together, but he had a meeting so that plan was shot down before it ever got off the ground.

I was a little ornery this morning, but I did my best to get a few things done. Around 10:00 he texted me some mushy stuff I'm not going to share, but he also had cleared his schedule after his 11:00 meeting and said he would be home to take me to lunch!

He arrived around 12:30, right after Curly got home from preschool and Teach and Dog Walker walked in from their institute class. Good, babysitters were in place! We stopped for gas and then headed to Utah County. After picking up a box of my sweetie's favorite peaches from the fruit stand and delivering a bag of Tupperware, we went to our favorite Utah County quick eats shop, The Italian Place. Then we headed to another place for an ice cream to finish it off.

We spent more time working on another of the Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites book and then had supper with the kids. I should probably write a few more paragraphs for you about what an amazing guy my sweetie is and how I would do it all over again in a heartbeat...but I want to get upstairs before he goes to sleep. After all, we've still got an hour of our anniversary left.

Our Labor Day Adventure

Several weeks ago, we decided that we might like to tour the new Brigham City temple, but when I went online to look for tickets, there were very few available. I called my sweetie at work and outlined the problem. Of course he had an answer! He suggested we make our appointment for early Tuesday morning and we could spend the long weekend at Bear Lake. Then we could simply stop at the Open House on our way home.

I excitedly made hotel reservations for a couple of nights. I had thoughts of our awesome vacation this summer and I was sure the kids would love to try to recreate just a mini-vacation over the long weekend. Boy, was I wrong!

Do you have high school students who absolutely refuse to miss a day of school? Well I do. And it trickled to the middle schooler and elementary-aged daughters as well. Unfortunately for them, I had already made the reservations and they were stuck.

We left Sunday afternoon right after the baby blessing of our cute new little nephew, Seth. It only took a couple of hours to drive to Logan. We stayed at the Crystal Inn and they even had free dinner as well as free breakfast! We drove around town a little and then headed for the hotel. The kids wanted to swim in the pool which turned out to be warm and crowded.

 After dinner we spent the evening at the hotel, playing cards and just being together. The next morning we got up pretty early, had breakfast and headed for Bear Lake. We parked at a little park about a block from the shore and unloaded the rafts. It was a bit of a hike, but the kids were excited to try them out on a real lake. I guess the one at Lake Hill last summer didn't really count.

I personally stayed out of the water, but the kids had a great time! They splashed around for a couple of hours until everyone was tired and hungry. We walked back to the park and then the Drama Queen, my sweetie, and I took off for ice. Our secret plan was to bring back fresh raspberry shakes. The kids had talked about them as we headed into town and I knew Bear Lake was famous for them.

We waited in long lines for about half an hour, but they were worth it. Then we drove back to Logan. We spent the rest of the day in the hotel, lounging in the pool, eating another free dinner and finally relaxing in our rooms. We sent the kids to bed early, knowing that we had to check out by 7:00 to make our appointment in Brigham City.

The temple was beautiful and well-worth the trip. As we headed back to the Salt Lake Valley, most of the kids chose to snooze. Princess was ready the minute we pulled into town, so we drove straight to the high school to drop her off. Then we drove to the middle school. Prima Donna was feeling an urgency as well. I checked in the three younger kids about half an hour later, so no one actually missed a day of school. Even my sweetie took off for work before noon.

It wasn't quite as much fun as our phenomenal summer vacation, but I'm not sure anything ever will be.