Jun 30, 2013

Taylorsville Dayzz

 I love small town celebrations. We have Countryfest in our city, and it is definitely small-town, but the Taylorsville Dayzz celebration borders on the big! The first year we attended was the year Drama Queen or maybe it was Teach needed a concert report for the Music 1010 class. We loaded all the kids and watched the Utah Symphony perform with real cannons. It was awesome! We have been back several times since.

Tonight they had a group that pretended to be ABBA. That part of it was a little weird and disturbing. They wore period clothes and pretended to be the actual singers from the original group. I was OK with that part, but their fake accents just didn't work for me. They only had the accents when they weren't singing.

But it was still great fun.We ate our picnic meal and played cards until the concert started and then the kids were dancing all over. As it got dark, Bossy passed out glow sticks. After two hours, the final encore the group played was Dancing Queen after a stirring rendition of Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody.

A moment or two after the group left the stage, they snuffed the lights on the baseball field. That meant it was time for the fireworks to begin! Most of the kids were very excited about that, except for Baby Doll. Remember when I told you after the Neal McCoy concert that she was a bit terrified of the fireworks? Well, nothing was different tonight.

Even though I warned her they were coming, she snuggled up in my lap and covered her eyes. "It's too loud!" she complained. I just kept whispering in her ear how pretty they were, and eventually she started peeking out between her fingers. It was long before she climbed off my lap completely and joined Princess on her seat.

One more battle won, at least for now.
And one more concert review done.

Only one more to go...
For these girls anyway.

Jun 29, 2013


About 17 years ago my sweetie was the Cubmaster for the Gym Rat's cub scout pack and I was the cub committee chair. We planned tons of fun activities, but one of the very greatest was the time we made cubmobiles. If you have never seen a cubmobile, it is kind of like a soapbox derby that the kids can ride on.

We built a ramp and let the kids ride down from the back of a truck. It was one of the activities my sweetie was most excited to recreate when he became the Cubmaster again for Sport's pack.

So several months ago he started working on the kits for the dens. He cut all the wood, procured axles and wheels and little piles of hardware to put them all together. He had originally thought that he would have the boys build the vehicles in their dens, but with all the overtime, he just kept pushing it back. Then yours truly had a brilliant beyond brilliant plan. We could build the cubmobiles in Pack Meeting!

The leaders were excited about that because then they didn't have to do it by themselves. I was excited about this because it was one less Pack Meeting to prepare.

The Dog Walker and I set up tables and presented each group with a box full of parts. An hour later they were mostly built.

This past week was the big race. Well, we didn't race them exactly.

We met at the park, cubmobiles in tow. We always invite the families to participate so we turned this one into a family picnic. We commandeered the footpath and the boys started making trial runs. I think some of them were surprised that it was a little difficult. We had a few spills and scrapes. I was wishing I had told all the boys to wear jeans rather than their skinny basketball shorts.

Crafty and Scout wanted to ride but both of them tumbled off before getting more than a few feet. Then I suggested they ride together. They were much more successful with the extra weight. After that Crafty took Curly down as well, but his favorite ride wasn't even a cubmobile. He just kept lining up on his little red scooter. The first time he went down he terrified me a little. It was so fast! But he never did manage to crash and I think he did the track more than a dozen times.

It was a fun and exciting Pack Meeting and my sweetie hasn't been released from the calling...at least not yet...so I guess we are good. I still have 2 cubmobiles at my house if anyone wants to give them a try.

And one little red scooter.

Jun 28, 2013

Riverton Arts Festival 2013

I just want to finish up the crazy business of June 15. I told you all of it in a messed up order so let me give a quick summary, we headed for the church breakfast at 8:00 where the little ones rode the horses. Then we raced out to Riverton where the girls performed at the Arts Festival at 9:30.

We got back to the house just before 11:00 so my sweetie could help the kids finish their Pinewood Derby cars before the big race and I could scrounge up something to feed about 14 people. Then we went to the race where some of the kids scored design honors but nothing for speed. We wandered the festival for a little bit until it was time for Princess and Prima Donna to man the balloons booth with the Youth City Council.

We headed for home to regroup for an hour. At 5:30 we picked up the girls and headed for In and Out Burger. The kids had earned a bunch of free hamburger coupons from the library for reading. Then it was on to the Neal McCoy concert followed by the fireworks. It was definitely a crazy fun day!

I've shared pics with you about everything except for the Riverton Arts Festival performance. It seems a bit anticlimactic now that the kids have all performed in the recital, but when they dance on an outside stage it is definitely a different experience. They always giggle afterward about crashing into someone or accidentally kicking someone because the stage is much smaller than their regular dance space.

They also have to compete with the sounds and sights of all the booths and people just coming and going. Only the older kids get the opportunity to dance at Riverton Arts, but they used to have the entire studio there. Now they are limited to an hour so our director chooses her best groups to fill the time slots. That meant for us that only Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty were dancing and they didn't do any of the pointe dances.

But it was still an awesome show and I'm excited to share the pictures!

Jun 27, 2013

Riding Horses

Our church group has a fun tradition, every summer we have a breakfast outdoors behind the church. We have a large pavilion out there with a big field for playing baseball and other sports (including Quidditch...remember my Girl Scout field day earlier this month?).

The breakfast was held this year on the morning of the Countryfest celebration so it was a big day for us that started around 8:00 on a Saturday morning. After feasting on pancakes, sausage, bacon, eggs, and fruit, we were supposed to head straight to Riverton for the Arts Festival. All the big girls were dancing at 9:30.

But Crafty and Baby Doll had another idea. They wanted to ride the horses!

Every year our amazing friend and neighbor brings her horses to the breakfast so that kids like mine who never get a chance to ride can spend a few minutes in the saddle. So my two girls wolfed down their food and headed for the line.

There were only two horses, but since most of our friends were still eating the lines were fairly short. By the time I finished up and walked with Curly down to the loading area, they were the next ones to ride.

As we neared the line, Curly started getting more and more excited. He had ridden a horse last year at the breakfast, but his opportunities were rare. We approached Crafty and stood by her in the line, but there was no way he could cut that many of our good friends and we just didn't have time to wait for him to have a turn of his own.

I tried to explain it to him, but as his big blue eyes clouded over I glanced up at Crafty. "Unless your big sister is willing to give up her spot for you, I don't think you will get to ride this year," I consoled. He glanced at Crafty, disbelieving the words he could hear falling from my lips. Crafty shifted her weight from one foot to the other. She loves horses! But she is also going to Girl Scout Camp in a couple of weeks and they have horses there for the girls to ride. She knew that this would be Curly's only opportunity.

In the end she couldn't resist the hopeful look on his sweet face. He didn't beg or cry, he just waited patiently for her to decide. She sighed and set Baby Doll on the ground. "You can ride," she mumbled and he gave her a big squeeze around the waist. As much as Crafty loves horses, she definitely loves her little brother more.

I was so proud of her!

She walked slowly back to the pavilion to join her big sisters as Curly and Baby Doll shared the saddle. She may have shed a tear, but she certainly didn't regret giving up her seat. That's just what amazingly wonderful big sisters do.

Jun 26, 2013

Pinewood Derby at Countryfest

Remember a couple of weeks ago when the Dog Walker wrote a post about the Countryfest concert? I promised I would tell you about the rest of Countryfest when I found the charger for the camera so I could rescue all my pictures. Well, today is your lucky day! I found the charger yesterday when I was looking for my whistle in the junk drawer. Do you have a junk drawer? We actually call ours the "candle" drawer because we keep birthday candles in there plus hundreds of other random things. But I digress...

So one of our biggest activities for Countryfest was the Pinewood Derby race. A few of the kids wanted to build new cars (Curly, Scout, Sport, and Baby Doll) so my sweetie spent several evenings with them the week of the race until the cars were finished and the kids were excited and ready to go. Princess, Dog Walker, Prima Donna, and Crafty all opted to race their cars from our own derby last fall. Bossy and her boys also built new cars and they were all very excited to race!

Things were looking good until the race started. Once again it seemed that we had slow cars. Princess's twinkie did OK and Bossy's scorpion was pretty fast, even Baby Doll's Polly Pocket car won some races, but by the third round, they had all been eliminated. Thank goodness for the design awards!

The Dog Walker won in the Anything Goes category for his One Direction bus. Bossy won Most Creative, Crafty won the Most Outrageous with her hot dog car, and Prima Donna won Coolest Scout Car for her ice cream truck. The little kids were pretty bummed, but as we were collecting our cars, I noticed that one award had not been given, the boys vs. girls award.

Since I knew the lady in charge, I asked her about it. She said, "Oh, I forgot to watch for that one." I could tell she was kicking herself as she loaded her boxes, so I suggested, "You know, Baby Doll won quite a few  races with her Polly Pocket car...how about you give it to her?" That sparked a smile as she pulled the trophy back out of the box. "Yeah," she said. "Let's give it to her." She looked around. "Where is she?"

It only took me a minute to produce my little Baby Doll who didn't seem to like having her picture taken with the mayor but loved carrying her car around on the little pedestal that was the prize.

The kids were also each given a ticket for the prize drawing. Bossy got one for each of hers and we got 8 for our family. During the course of the race, every single ticket we had (and Bossy's too) was pulled for a prize! We got a hat and a backpack, tickets to the Blaze football game, and a fistful of other free coupons.

It was a good day.

Jun 25, 2013

Sport's Other Birthday Party

Let me first confess that I don't have any pictures of Sport's birthday party with his friends. I was very fortunate to get out with my life intact...

This all started a couple of weeks ago. Since Sport has this end of June birthday, we have almost always done a water party, and  he has been rather famous for them. It was only last year that we veered off the expected course and did the carnival party, but that was tons of work! And I haven't been feeling all that great, and I just didn't want to take on a huge project.

So we brainstormed a little and I came up with a brilliant beyond brilliant plan. We could reserve the church gym and Sport and his friends could play basketball and dodgeball, open gifts and grab a cupcake on their way out the door. It was the perfect plan! I didn't even have to clean my house!

The party was today and I gathered all my equipment and loaded it in the van. I changed into my referee shirt and pulled the whistle over my head. I knew it was absolutely necessary to take control of this party right from the beginning. When we got to the church we put down the baskets and I swept the gym floor. Then we waited for the boys to arrive.

It didn't take long. Soon there were about 19 fourth graders running around the gym and the dog Walker was my only assistant, unless you count Curly and Baby Doll...

The whistle did amazing things! One minute they would be pounding down the floor, arms and legs flying and one tweet later and they would all be listening intently. We had 9 boys on each team so we subbed in every 2 minutes. That kept everybody in the game.

An hour later we switched to dodgeball. Twenty minutes into the game I blew another whistle and we headed for the lobby to open gifts. Sport didn't even get everything opened before the boys were migrating back to the gym for one last game of dodgeball. By the time it was over I had moms waiting at the door. In 5 minutes we went from complete chaos to relative calm.

Since I sent them all outside with their cupcakes, cleanup was easy. So why did I feel like passing out when it was over?!

Jun 24, 2013

Another Party

Best Seat in the house for the birthday boy!
Did I tell you the Gym Rat moved back out last month? When he rejoined us last December I told him six months was a good target to find a new place and he did a great job pulling that off at the last minute. I love having him here but at 26 I think it is important for him to have his own life and responsibilities.

10 candles - a whole decade old!
Anyway, last week he asked if the kids could come by and see his new apartment. I thought that was a great idea except that he works all the time so the only possible nights were Saturdays and Sundays and we were pretty booked.

Opening gifts
Then I remembered that we were all planning to get together for Sport's birthday today anyway so I asked if he would like to host the party. He graciously offered to be in charge and even buy all the food! (I love having grown up children!) I did have to make the cake, of course, and Princess made a salad, but the Gym Rat bought Papa Murphy's pizza yesterday and then cooked it right before we came over.

Loved the new Broncos backpack!
Unfortunately, my little ones don't seem to know the etiquette of apartment living and we had to keep shushing them and trying to keep them from running all over the place. Finally the Drama Queen pulled Kung Fu Panda 2 out of her bag and popped it in the DVD player. That kept them all quiet for an hour and a half anyway.

Then we sang and blew out candles. Sport started on his pile of gifts while I cut and served the cake and ice cream that the Dog Walker bought (see the above comment about grownup kids!). After we finished cake and gifts we sent the Drama Queen and Grandpa out the door while we finished cleaning up the apartment.

Other than the extra noise, it was a great party! Now if I can just find someone to host Prima Donna's party next week...

Thanks, Gym Rat!

Jun 23, 2013

Dance Recital

My kids love to dance! I have the 3 older girls in what is called the Upper School and Curly and Scout in the Lower School.

The lower school recital started at 5:00. Scout was the very first dance and then Curly at 12 and Scout again at 14. After they both did an excellent job we settled in our seats to wait until the end of the recital. After the final 24th number it was about 6:20.

The older girls Performing Teams started their dances at 6:40 so we only had time to stand and stretch before we were off and running again. Princess started her first dance sitting with us in the audience. It eventually ended up with her in this position on top of her friends!

Here she is in her Heaven on Earth Dance.

Front and center here is Scout. She is a beautiful little ballerina!

Curly definitely stole the show with this number from the Lorax. He is the only boy in a class with 10 girls.

Prima Donna and Crafty did this next dance together. They are on the same Jazz and Performing teams.

And they did this one too! Sorry for the bad pics. We couldn't use the flash so some of them are dark and a little blurry.

Here is Crafty again with her ballet class. 


The recital finally wrapped up after 9:00. It was a long but happy night (except for the lady sitting in front of us who got mad at Curly for accidentally kicking her in the back of the head!).

I love watching the kids dance, but I have to admit that I am also looking forward to a break. Now if school would just be over...

Prima Donna- Mini Guest Blog

Hey everyone! Another dance year has come and gone for one night of glory.  This year's recital theme was New York. They had the seniors from our studio lead you through the streets of New York and explore all the dances. It was lots of fun. We had some dances from Central Park, Chinatown, the museum and of course, Broadway! Princess's lift is during her dance from the Broadway show, Chicago, during the Roxy number. That was everyone's favorite this year. Everyone, that is except Baby Doll, who keeps singing, "Black and yellow.  Black and yellow." from one of the hip-hop numbers. The recital was lots of fun this year, our studio is even offering a trip to New York next summer, but its too expensive. :(  I, however, am excited for the next spring recital because the theme is going to be (drum roll please...)

I am so excited but more about that next year.  Until then we'll explore the streets of New York City.

Jun 21, 2013

Our Finished Treasure Boxes

Remember a couple of weeks ago when I told you we were making treasure boxes with my Girl Scout troop? Well, I promised to show you our finished projects. Baby Doll is so proud of hers!

The first thing we did was stain the outside and the inside with a finish that had urethane mixed in. Then the girls brought them back inside and cut pieces of felt to fit the interior. I made them some little patterns first to make that easier.

The last thing they did was glue the mirror to the top. Then they had to let the glue dry a little so the mirror wouldn't slip.

They were very pleased and proud of the finished projects!

Have I told you how much I love being a Girl Scout leader? It's days like this that make it all worth it.

Swimming Lessons

I am a firm believer in swimming lessons even though they are a pain in the butt for me. I guess it's because Princess nearly drowned as a little one that I make sure my kids go through 2 weeks of lessons every summer until they are decent swimmers.

In fact, Sport passed Level 4 today and he assures me that he is done. (We'll see...)

Curly had his first lessons last year. The family we have taken lessons from for the last 18 years doesn't start the kids until they are 4 years old. So this year my only swimmers are Curly, Scout, and Sport.
Scout, waiting for her turn.

Oh, and Burrito and Taco too. Curly's lesson started at 3:00 and ended at 3:45. Then Scout and Burrito started at 3:45 and ended at 4:30..you get the idea. For the last two weeks I have been running to swimming lessons every 45 minutes for 3 hours a day!

Curly is swimming so well!
It wouldn't have been as hard if the kids weren't in a different school because they are upgrading the air conditioning in our school. Yeah. They moved to this other elementary school for the last 3 weeks of school and then they will start at this school for the first 3 weeks of next year. It's just a hassle.

But they will all be so excited to have their regular school back and not be so hot!

Sport thinks he has had enough lessons.
Burrito and Taco are not coming back to our school next year. Bossy has decided to put them in their neighborhood school and they are even on a different track from my kids, so that will be weird. She is so excited to have Burrito in a Spanish Immersion program so he can speak Spanish to his dad. But we can talk more about that later.

Anyway, here are some fun pics from the pool. Princess spent all three hours with the kids today, just taking pictures, so Bossy and I split the cost of a Slurpee as payment. That's a pretty cheap photographer! And she does a great job.