Sep 30, 2013

Happy Birthday, Crafty!

Crafty's birthday was actually on Saturday, but we celebrated today with the family. We had to do things in a little bit different order than normal. The Gym Rat spent the weekend in Las Vegas for a convention, so we had his little dog, Franco, here with us. The Gym Rat was hoping to be back by 6:30, but that dragged on into 7:30.

We planned for ice cream and cake at 3:00, but then the girls were assigned to help with the church meeting at the Our Home, which is a nursing home that is close by. They had to be there at 2:30. Our Home Teachers were coming at 3:45, so we had to squeeze things in the middle. As it turned out, we waited until after our visit and then invited the Home Teachers to sing and have cake with us.

We did gifts later, before the Drama Queen left to go back to Nephi, but after the Dog Walker headed out the door all dressed up in his new suit for his concert. It was actually a fireside so we didn't go since we aren't students at his school.

We had dinner when the Gym Rat finally rolled into town. It was all a little scattered and chaotic, kind of like the rest of my life. She is having a friend party tomorrow at Menchie's, a frozen yogurt place. I bought the party in a silent auction for the Emery family. It was a bargain that helped a neighbor. I'm glad I don't have to clean my house.

We have been doing a bunch of canning this weekend. We finished up the pears and did 28 quarts of green beans and some applesauce. I will have to do more applesauce this week, but I'm mostly done with the fruit. I will have to do tomatoes too, probably on Wednesday.

The little ones are off track now, YAY!! Sport will go to work tomorrow for the first time ever at the preschool. It will be such a good experience for him. The kids also have to finish up Reflections this week if they are planning to enter. Did I tell you I got myself assigned to be in charge of Reflections at the middle school? I know, I'm a masochist through and through.

Hope you have an awesome and busy week!

Sep 29, 2013

LDS Women's Conference

It was Crafty's birthday today and I wanted to do something special with the girls since we would not celebrate her birthday until Sunday (which is really today now since I always post late at night). So last week I contacted my Relief Society President and convinced her I needed seven tickets to the Conference Center for the LDS Women's Conference. We have been so excited to go! It's not often we get to be in the same room with our Prophet and listen to him speak.

After our football games, Nutcracker rehearsals, and snapping a huge batch of green beans, we dressed in our Sunday best and left the house at 4:30.

The seven of us were me, Bossy, Fajita, Drama Queen, Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty. Bossy drove us all to our designated parking garage and after we found a spot near the roof, we all got out and hoofed it the block and a half to the Conference Center.

The crowds were intense! The Conference Center seats over 21,000 people and by the time we were all in there, the seats were pretty much full. We were in the Terrace Section, fairly near the front. The conference was wonderful! We listened to each member of the Relief Society Presidency and then heard from our prophet. I loved the choir from the MTC. It made me share a tear or two for Teach. I realized that somewhere in Texas she was sitting in a chapel, hearing the same words were were hearing live.

After the conference was over, we walked through Temple Square and then to City Creek mall. We stopped at Forever 21 to buy Bossy some flats. Apparently she didn't get the memo about not wearing heals tonight. The Drama Queen wanted to stop in the Disney Store to buy a gift for Baby Doll. Her birthday is next week. Then we made our way to the foot court for a late dinner. We finally settled on Chinese and we grabbed a table.

It was so fun to just talk and visit with some of my girls. I think we need to make this one a tradition. I can hardly wait until I can take all 8 of my daughters (and hopefully a few daughters-in-law!) with me. I can't think of a better way to spend a Saturday evening.

Sep 28, 2013

The Butcher Knife

Similar to the actual knife.
I must be getting old and losing my memory because I can't seem to remember if I've written about things before. Today I was loading the dishwashers when I noticed a little paring knife that someone had carelessly thrown into the sink. Naturally I assumed my new grand daughter, Fajita, was the culprit, so I proceeded to give her the lecture about why sharp knives must lay by the outside of the sink rather than the inside.

I used to do dishes regularly at my grandparents house. Sometimes Grandma would pay me for the work and sometimes not, but she taught me to work regardless of the amount of money involved. She didn't have a dishwasher so all of the dishes were washed by hand in the double sinks in her kitchen. (She didn't have a disposal either, but her answer was to carry all that icky stuff into the bathroom and flush it down the toilet.)

She believed in hot soapy water even if the sinks had to be refilled halfway through. One day I plunged my hands down into the water and Grandma's big black butcher knife sliced right into my palm. It was impossible to see it beneath the bubbles, but the blood was pretty obvious. The cut was not deep enough to warrant stitches (at least that's what Grandma said) as she covered it with several bandages to stop the bleeding, but they did nothing for the stinging pain. I vowed then and there that I would never leave sharp knives in the sink for some other clueless child to find.

As I finished spilling my story to Fajita, she calmly replied that she had already heard that story and she was not the one who put the knife in the sink. I could have sworn it has been at least 6 months since I last told that story... but you know how it is when you start getting old, it could be six months or six minutes, and if you can tell a good enough
story, it probably doesn't matter.

Sep 27, 2013

Guest Blogger: The Boy Scout Audition by The Dog Walker

I know that I have already guest blogged about not long ago, but here's something that just happened today. My mom was telling me about joining an Eagle Scout Choir, and I tried to be in it, but I got cut, because a lot of Boy Scouts were trying to get in. So Mom and I decided to try to audition for speaking at  the Boy Scout Program at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City.

So, I got into my uniform that I wore for my big accomplishment and then Mom and I went to a stake center in Bountiful. I was a bit nervous while Mom was driving because it's been a while since I've been in front of an audience. We made it in about half an hour before the time I was supposed to be there.

Anyway, Mom and I went inside the stake center and then met with the manager and she was really nice to let us go and audition. She was probably surprised about all the merit badges I had on my sash. Mom and I waited in the main room for my turn while she worked on her quilt. While waiting, I was showing my sash to some of the kids that came in and they were asking about the merit badges and how I earned them. It was excited to show the kids how I earned them.

Then it was my turn with others that were auditioning for speaking at the Boy Scout program. I wasn't nervous at all once I got to go introduce myself and to tell the managers about myself as being a Scout and why I joined to audition in it. The manager thought I looked really amazing in my uniform, she thought that I should be on the podium already to tell everyone in the Conference Center about myself. I didn't mess up in the audition nor did I embarrass myself.

Mom was happy to hear about it, the manager told us that we should see if I'm auditioned enough and accepted to be in the program for speaking. This is such a big deal for the 100 year anniversary of scouting in our church, so I would like to be part of it. I will let you know next week after they tell me.

Sep 26, 2013

Story Time

I used to take my kids to our county library story time religiously! When Joan was in charge, the lines were out the door to get signed up. It was ridiculous; she was so good. I remember spending almost an hour in line on a cold morning after Christmas to sign up for the next 8 weeks of story time. Then Joan was transferred.

She moved to a library up on the east side that was really too far away for the drive. We went to one story time with the new librarian here and that was enough. Story time would never be the same again. It has literally been years since I have been to one... until today.

Baby Doll and Curly have a dance class that runs from 10:00 - 10:45. A few days ago the Dog Walker brought me a schedule for events at the library and I saw that story time started at 11:15. It would be so easy! So the mom-guilt got to me and after we loaded up at the studio, I drove several blocks to the library.

The kids were so excited! As I said, I had never taken them to one before. Yes, it has been more than the five years of Curly's life since Joan left. We got to the library a little early so we headed for a quiet corner with a couple of books. It wasn't long before they opened the doors and we made our way into the meeting room. This story time was alphabet-themed so the kids sat on a big rug with the ABCs around the edge.

The games, songs, and books were all about the letter A. In fact, at one point the librarian asked what letter started the words "apple," "alligator," and "airplane." Curly waved his hand until she called on him. I was pretty sure he knew the answer, but I whispered "A" just in case. He loudly declared that they all started with "P." Not sure where that came from. I think he was trying to be funny. At 5, he was the oldest kid in the room and none of the 3-year-olds understood his little joke.

I couldn't help but compare the whole situation to my experiences with Joan and quite honestly, they didn't even remotely begin to measure up. But it didn't matter, Baby Doll and Curly thought it was great! So I guess we will be going back next week. I think I'll spend some extra homework time with Curly on the letter "B."

Sep 25, 2013

More Letters from Texas

Teach got transferred last week and she also hit her 6-month mark last Friday. It's hard to believe she has been gone that long already. For girls they are only gone 18 months, so she is a third of the way done with her mission. It was difficult for her to leave her first area. She has made so many friends there and she just loves the people.

Saying bye to the elders on hugging allowed!
I have amazing pictures of a whole bunch of people I got to/ had to say goodbye too. I cried a little. It was really hard, mom. I love these people so much. Brother Hubbard (remember him??) He gave me a 1/8th inches round about 6 inches long piece of an iron rod. It is probably the greatest thing ever. I absolutely love it and it is in my scriptures. I got roses from Sophie, I was able to say goodbye to Bob and Gertie and get pictures (thank you SO much for the camera!) and it was great. Miracle of the night. at 8:15 we decided to try ONE more time to see the M****s who haven't let us inside in over a month. Miracle among miracles as we pulled up Jose and Rachel were sitting outside in the car. They had just pulled up. I told them I was leaving and Jose let us come inside. It was so amazing to teach and testify to them one more time. They felt bad for ignoring us (I'm still not sure exactly what had been going on) but they were so sweet. I love that family even though they have more issues than anyone I know. 
She has learned so much from her first companions and investigators! Now if she can just remember all she has learned...
I'm in my new area. It's weird because if I don't watch myself I feel like I have to start from square one in a lot of things- but I don't need to. I've learned so much I just have to figure out how to apply that knowledge to my new area and not forget all the things that I've already learned.
She sure looks happy!
She is missing big things here, like her best friend is getting married in November, but she is happy where she is and we wouldn't want her to be anywhere else.
I love being a missionary. It's sad that I'm missing big events in y'alls lives (Alex has a wedding dress!) but this is the best decision that I"ve ever made for my life. This is what I needed and this is where I'm meant to be. I miss Chapel Creek so much, but I'm learning from the experience there and I'm making myself a better missionary because of it. I love it.

Sep 24, 2013

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Today is Princess's birthday. She is 17 years old. It's hard to believe she has grown up so quickly; she's hardly a child anymore. She is such an amazing girl! Even though I knew she really wanted to have her birthday party on her actual birthday, she agreed to have it on Sunday because today is Pack Meeting.

Since my sweetie is the Cubmaster and Dog Walker is the Assistant Cubmaster, Pack Meeting pretty much trumps everything, even birthdays. Oh, she never complained. She rarely does. She smiled her sweet smile and agreed to whatever we asked her to do. She even wanted to decorate her own cake!

So a couple of days ago we had her party. She is always so gracious and grateful with each and every gift. She loved the Tupperware cupcake takers I got for her and the new lunch box. She also got a new outfit and some books and ponytail holders. She greeted the stuff from the dollar store with the same enthusiasm she gave the expensive Tupperware items. They were all the best gifts she had ever been given.

She is definitely a jewel. She is almost too good to be true; an excellent student, very spiritual, modest, obedient... trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent... well, maybe she's not that brave. She is afraid to fly.

I'm guessing you recognized the scout law? Yeah, I'm in Pack Meeting mode. But that doesn't mean I'm not grateful for Princess. She is definitely one of the best gifts I've ever been given.

Happy Birthday, Princess!

Sep 23, 2013

Two-Hand Touch

After 4 hours of church (that included an extra sacrament meeting to watch the grandkids in their Primary program), we piled in the van and headed for my sweetie's brother's house for a birthday party. My mother-in-law's birthday was last Monday, but this was the first day we were able to get together and celebrate.

The party was held in the backyard, but it wasn't long before the temperatures started to drop and we were all getting pretty cold. My cute sister-in-law brought out a pile of blankets and jackets, but I was still pretty chilled.

Sport and some of the other kids were playing two-hand touch football, so with my newly acquired flag football coaching skills, I decided to join their little game.

It turned into half an hour of chasing back and forth (passing only) with lots of kids and adults. We didn't keep score, but it didn't matter who won, it was just fun to play boys against the girls. Bossy is pretty competitive and at one point Gamer decided a little tackling could go a long way...

By the time we were finished my goal was accomplished, I was warm!
And I'm pretty sure I worked off that piece of carrot cake I enjoyed as well.

Sep 22, 2013

So Tired

This week has been absolutely exhausting. I won't bore you with details except that I don't remember one this tough since I was working full time. Just to give you an idea, I'll give you a run down of today.

Last night I put up my post around 2:00 AM (sorry for the typos!). By the time I crawled in to bed it was about 2:30. But that didn't stop the phone from ringing at 7:30 this morning. It was my manager and yes, she had 25 fundraiser catalogs and she would stop by in the next 30 minutes. I jumped out of bed and hit the shower. Ten minutes later I was dressed and ready to go.

I headed for the office and started printing pages for the fundraiser. I had not planned to make these packets today. Without the fliers they could have waited until mid week, although this was definitely the best scenario for my Tupperware business. My manager stopped by within a few minutes and I received a text from my friend, Chris, who was putting the vinyl on the flags for Sport's football team. The flags were done and I could pick them up anytime. Since he was a neighbor of Bossy's I called her and she agreed to pick them up. Honestly, I didn't have 20 minutes to go after them.

At 8:30 I woke the kids for their flag football game, and shortly before that, Princess asked me to run her to the high school. She couldn't take her car because when she climbed in it and headed for the street, she heard a pop and that was it. She couldn't find her NHS group, so we came back home. Prima Donna was also up and moving, she had to be with the musical cast in the Homecoming parade. We were hoping to catch the end of that on our way home from the flag football game, but it didn't happen, they were finished by the time we got there although the kids did really well at their game and they won, 30 - 24.

I dropped the kids at the house and ran back over to the store to pick up some nylon rope to hold the flags. While I was mounting them, Princess finished all the packets. The girls had a dance bbq today and they wanted to pass out the packets and get the fundraiser started. I sent the Dog Walker to drop off Crafty at the studio, she had Nutctracker rehearsal, and I set an alarm in my phone so I wouldn't forget to pick her up.

My sweetie pumped up Princess's tire and she and I ran her car to the tire store for a quick repair. Back at the house we finished up the flag project and got the girls ready for Sport's football game. They were cheering today, so it was a big deal. I ran Sport to the fields because he had to be there an hour early. I turned over the cooking of the corn to the Dog Walker. The kids wanted some lunch before we left for the football game.Silly kids, they always want to eat!

Princess and Prima Donna missed Sport's game because Princess had Nutcracker rehearsal right in the middle of it. And yes, I did remember to pick up Crafty. Sport's game was hard! He did an awesome job, all the boys did, but we had officials who really didn't want our team to win. Our Head Coach finally took himself right out of the game. It was crazy! But we eventually won in overtime, 6 - 13.

When the game was over we hustled back home because I had a Tupperware party at 4:30 at Bossy's house and I only had 40 minutes to change my clothes, prepare my bags, and drive the 10 minutes to her house. I managed to pull it together and I arrived right on time. The party went until almost 6:30. I stopped by Chris's house on the way home to give him a check and I called Princess to check on her plans. She was going to a birthday party for a friend. Thankfully, she and Dog Walker picked up her car so that saved me a few minutes.

When I got home I made chicken tacos for dinner and sent the girls off to the stake dance. Bossy came over with her boys and then she and I bottled 28 quarts of pears. My sweetie and Sport watched the Utah - BYU football game on TV and it lasted almost until midnight which was fine, I was processing pears until about 12:30. Sadly, one jar broke on its way out of the canner.

I cleaned up the kitchen and did laundry while the pears were processing. There were lots of big bowls and pans to hand wash. When I was finally finished, I headed back into the office to write this post for you. I keep dozing off or I'm sure I would be done by now, but either way I'm done. It's 1:50 and I have to be up by 8:00 tomorrow. And I still have all the bedtime routine. We are celebrating Princess's birthday tomorrow and running half an hour to Lehi after church for a party for my MIL. I also have to teach nursery in the morning and take in a second sacrament meeting because it is the primary program for the grandsons. I still need to decorate the cake, cook dinner for 18 people, and wrap the gifts.

So much for a day of rest!
Although I very much need one.

Sep 21, 2013

The Luau

Our church is organized a couple of different ways. Several blocks of our neighborhood form our ward, then 9 more wards make up what is called a stake. Wards here in Utah have about 300 - 400 people in them. You can do the math...a stake would have about 2700 or so people. OK, enough of the tutorial.

Our stake had a huge party tonight. It was scheduled for 6:00 in the bowery which is a little pavilion behind our church. We also have a large field big enough for softball and other outdoor sports. We have had stake parties before, but never one like this! There were booths with games, hundreds of chairs and tables set up, a photo booth, food, and entertainment. They had a tug of war and a bounce house. Baby Doll was so excited!

They had about 1100 people show up! There were so many that they ran out of food. We mostly got some, but by the time the Dog Walker got back with Sport from football practice, most of the food was gone. They had hula dancing and an old-fashioned cake walk. The bowery was completely transformed from a concrete pavilion to a sound stage with palm trees and tiki torches. 

As it started to get dark they turned on little sparkle lights that filled the fences and set the mood for the Polynesian dancers. They did an awesome job! They got some of the bishops and the stake president up on stage and got them to dance with them. It was pretty funny. They were good sports even though they were clearly embarrassed.

Other than the fact that it was a little cold and we did not think to bring jackets (that's the second time I have done that this week!), but shortly after the program ended it didn't matter, we were all hauling chairs and tables and working up a sweat. My kids love to help with the cleanup and they were so proud when our family and one other guy totally turned the set of bleachers around!

Sorry for the bad pics. They are from the Dog Walker's cell phone. We didn't think to bring the camera.

Sep 20, 2013

Dog Sitting

Last night was rather stressful. The Dog Walker was taking a quiz for his Disabilities class. He had worked on it all day since it was an essay test, and I was so careful to make sure no one closed the window on my computer since this one was a one-time attempt.

He finally finished about 1:30 AM and I helped him move each question from Word to the proper box. When we hit submit, we were redirected to a new window. System not available...Comcast had crashed and hard!

The Dog Walker was in meltdown. We checked every cord and the modem. I finally woke my sweetie and he turned on the TV. When it was also down we knew that we would just have to wait it out. So I did what any sane person would do...I went to bed.

Of course Comcast took care of the problem sometime during the night and the computers were up and running this morning. I quickly logged into his school account and impatiently waited for the assignments to come up in Canvas. When I clicked on the quiz, all the boxes for each question were empty, but they were there. I was so grateful! And even more grateful that he thought to do the whole thing in Word rather than just type it in each of the little squares.

So it has been submitted now and I wanted to let you know why you didn't hear from me last night. You all remember that the Gym Rat lived with us for about 6 months until he moved out again in April? Well, Baby Doll and his little dog, Franco, were very good friends and even though he comes by and brings Franco most Sundays, Baby Doll still misses him.

On Monday Gym Rat asked me if we could do a little dog-sitting this week while his roommate was out of town. Baby Doll was so excited! With Curly in kindergarten she has not had a playmate in the afternoons. Yesterday was our last day to have Franco with us and while I was stitching the binding on Fajita's quilt I was watching the two of them out the window. They were playing together in the sandpile. I wish I would have taken the time to run for the camera!

But the Dog Walker was more on the ball than me. He got this one of them playing together a couple of hours later. I'm so glad she has a friend! We might have to borrow Franco a little more often.

Sep 19, 2013

The Updated Family Newsletter

We need a new picture! (After Teach comes home, of course.)
September 2013

Things are pretty exciting at our house! There is definitely never a dull moment.

Bossy and Gamer have settled well into their home a few miles away. They have also added to their family. About a month ago they traveled to Texas and brought home Gamer’s 14-year-old daughter, Fajita, to live with them permanently. She has fit right in with the family and sometimes it seems like she has always been part of us. Bossy has her dancing, playing volleyball, doing scouts, and excelling in 9th grade. They still get Bean Dip on a regular basis and I hear he is doing karate. Taco is playing tackle football and working on his Wolf for Cub Scouts. He and Fajita have parts in the upcoming Nutcracker production, Taco as a Party Boy and Fajita as a Mouse. Fajita is also planning to get baptized on October 12. Burrito is playing flag football with Curly and Scout. The Dog Walker and Princess are the coaches and they are all learning the game together. Burrito is also in the Spanish-immersion program so he is learning Spanish as a second language.

The Gym Rat is still working for a bank where he was recently promoted to the position of Senior Lender. He really likes his job and plans to keep working there when he finishes his BS in Business Management in February. He has a little dog named Franco and he shares an apartment with a friend from school here so we see him often, just not during the day…he works from 3:00 – 11:00.

Drama Queen is teaching at a small town high school. She loves it there! She has taken over the drama department this year and she is currently rewriting and casting the musical. We got to have her home most of the summer and it was so nice to spend time with her. Now we hardly see her unless there is a birthday party (it’s a good thing we have lots of those!).

Teach is serving a mission in Texas, Ft. Worth. She has been out almost exactly 6 months and she just made her first transfer. She was promoted to Sister Leader Trainer during her last transfer period and she loves teaching and working with the sisters. They also just had their second baptism. She is very happy and we all miss her very much!

The Dog Walker is going to school full time. He is in his second year and has been on an academic scholarship the entire time. He works hard and keeps his grades high. He recently completed 10 service hours at the elementary school in their cluster classes. He is thinking maybe special education is part of his future, not necessarily teaching, but working with handicapped kids. He is still walking dogs and he sings in the institute choir. He is the Assistant Cubmaster for our Cub Scout pack and he is planning to serve a church service mission next fall when he finishes his AS degree.

Princess is celebrating her 17th birthday next week. She has grown up beautifully! She was chosen to be the Lead Mirliton and part of the Snow Corps for the Nutcracker production. She would dance 24/7, but I do convince her to occasionally play volleyball with me. She is also the president of our Girl Scout troop and a straight A student. She took a full summer of college classes at SLCC and got a 4.0 there too. She’s definitely consistent!

Prima Donna is 15 now and she landed a part in the musical at the high school and a major role in the Nutcracker. The school is doing Footloose and she is part of the adult ensemble. She is also Madame Ginger for the Nutcracker, you know the one, she has little girls that come out from under her skirt? She is also an amazing student with a semester’s worth of SLCC credits. Yeah, she got a 4.0 too.

Crafty is turning 13 next week and she is excited to be part of Waltz of the Flowers for the Nutcracker. She is a very bright girl, taking honors classes and playing in the concert band as a 7th grader. She just joined the MathCounts team and she is trying to finish up her Girl Scout Silver Award. She made 5 baby quilts for PCMC and now she and I are trying to get them bound so we can turn them in.

Sport is 10 and playing tackle football. He is the center for his team and he loves it! He loves sports of all kinds and will play whatever is in season. He is also going to be a Party Boy for the Nutcracker. He is in Webelos now and he is working hard to stay on track for his Arrow of Light. That is difficult for him since he keeps missing den meetings for football.

Scout is 7. She is looking forward to being baptized in January. She is also playing flag football and she is a Buffoon in the Nutcracker. She is like me and she hates early mornings. How can I tell her that I would just rather sleep in too? She is a Brownie Girl Scout and she loves having her friends over for meetings.

Curly just turned 5, but he is big for his age. He is playing on the Flag Football team and he is so excited any time something good happens. He will run up to me and nearly plow me over! He recently started kindergarten and he is always so happy about going to school. We go off-track the end of next week and honestly, I’m ready for a break! Curly is also dancing; he takes tap and ballet.

Baby Doll is almost 3 and growing up way too fast! She loves her nursery class at church (I just became her teacher a few weeks ago) and she is taking tap and ballet as well. She and I are buddies during the day after Curly leaves for school and she hates it when I leave her home with the Dog Walker while I run errands. She loves pretty clothes and anything pink. She talks up a storm, but not when strangers are around.

My sweetie is again working tons of overtime, trying to meet another deadline. He is still the Cubmaster in our ward, a calling that he really enjoys. He says it’s just because he is really an overgrown 9-year-old boy.

I am still in charge of Women’s Sports in our stake and nursery on the ward level. I am helping the Dog Walker and Princess coach their flag football team and I am still selling a little Tupperware when I can. This is my 20th year as a Girl Scout leader and I love my troop! We have so much fun together. We recently returned from our second trip down to Tuacahn. The girls loves seeing those plays more than any other activity, and we just committed to make a 5-ft tree for Festival of Trees. I serve on the board for our Ballet Company and I still work for the studio. Last year I joined Curves with Teach and I try to work out every day. I was recently asked to help launch a blog for their two stores, so that will be on my radar for the new year. I still try to write every day for, my own personal blog, and we have had over 300,000 hits. I run kids here and there and just try to keep everyone happy! I do tons of laundry and feed many mouths, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Sep 18, 2013

Family Newsletter

I have not told you much about my sweetie's grandparents, even though he grew up right across the street from them so they were close. His Grandpa Leo was an extremely well-organized person and he arranged his 5 children and many grandchildren into a family organization. Each person has a specific job like record-keeping, reunions, etc.

He was very interested in family history and for years he put out a family newsletter that he wrote and compiled, then distributed in hard copy to each family member. He sent out this newsletter once a month because he believed it was important for extended family members to know each other. I don't know how long this went on before I joined the family, but even after 30 years, there is still a family newsletter although it is now emailed to everyone on a quarterly basis.

My sweetie's aunt is in charge and she sent out her call for information this week. I have every intention of updating her on our family's doings and tomorrow I'm going to share that letter with you. But just for fun, I pulled a binder of old family newsletters and found one I had written from July, 1999. Just see how much our family has changed! (Forgive me if I sound braggy, I was still young and thought I knew everything then...)

30 June 1999

Hi everybody,

How are things going? Life is good here as always. 

The kids are busy as usual. Bossy is marching in Bingham's band. She is having a great time! Their first parade is on Friday. They also have one on Saturday. She will also be marching in the Days of '47 parade. Bossy is on South Valley's track and field team. She was on Bingham's Varsity squad for throwers (only 4 girls make Varsity) as a ninth grader. She also just finished a successful softball season. Their team took second place in the tournament and second place in league play. She is being honored tonight by Dominoes Pizza in their national program for kids who do extraordinary things because of what she did for Princess (the bathtub thing). She just earned her Silver Award for scouts and she is going to Catalina Island in October with a group from the Girl Scout Council. She has never been on an airplane before, so that will be exciting for her.
Scanner did not like this one. I will try again tomorrow.

Gym Rat is also on the track and field team for South Valley. Their first meet is on Friday. He usually does quite well in the discus and the shot-put. He just finished a baseball season that was not very fun. He didn't play much and his team lost most of their games. Thank goodness for football! The other thing he is interested in is wrestling. 

He went to wrestling camp for a week right after school was out and he really enjoyed it. I think he is hoping to make Bingham's team in a couple of years. He did well in 7th grade. We were worried since he has not been the best student in the past, but he managed a 3.4 average for the year. (Bossy is right at the top of her class, so that makes it hard for Gym Rat to compete with her even though I keep telling him he doesn't have to.) He is also in the middle of a basketball camp at Bingham. He doesn't like it as well as he did wrestling camp, but his best friend is there and that eases the pain. 

Drama Queen also played softball and her team won the sportsmanship trophy. It is bigger than Bossy's second place trophy! She is now attending basketball camp at Bingham for a couple of weeks. She is a Junior Girl Scout and she just earned her junior aide patch for helping Teach's scout troop with their bridging activities. She attended Day Camp at Riverton Park and the group was actually on Fox 13 TV news. She will be in 5th grade when they start school next month. Drama Queen is an excellent student and her SAT scores were way above average. I think that is because she spends most of her time reading anything and everything in sight!

From Drama Queen's Scrapbook
Teach played softball and did very well even though her team didn't place. Actually they took second place, but the 8 and under group only got participation trophies. Teach is also attending basketball camp. I coached her and Drama Queen's Jr. Jazz team several months ago and we won the league play as well as the county championship. We went undefeated for 13 games. It was fun! It was the first year for Drama Queen and Teach. Teach was actually a second-grader playing with the third and fourth graders, but she did well. She couldn't throw the ball hard enough at the beginning of the season to make a basket, but by the last couple of games, she was actually making points!

Dog Walker has been placed in a diagnostic kindergarten for fall. He will be attending Bell View. We are pleased about that. I don't think that he is ready for regular kindergarten. he needs more attention from the teacher and his class will only have 6 students and two teachers. Dog Walker lost his first tooth a couple of weeks ago. He was so upset by his "'broken" tooth. He just didn't understand that falling out was what it was supposed to do. He is taking swimming lessons and he practically lives in his swimming suit. We took him in for his kindergarten exam and they told me that if he continues on his growth curve that he will be 6'4"!

Princess is being potty trained. She loves her primary class, and has both I am a Child of God and Popcorn Popping memorized. She is fast becoming the best painter in the house. She is doing very well on numbers and ABCs. Last week Grandma B. came up with ten new dresses for Princess and Prima Donna. Princess was so excited. Drama Queen and Teach got new school clothes. Why then should she not get any? We had a regular fashion show. 

Prima Donna is finally one, and with that out of the way, she decided that she was going to walk (after weeks of teasing). Prima Donna still keeps Mom from going to Sunday school and has been cuddled by the Young Women more than once. She now has a new sport, she can open all of the doors, except for the front and back door, which she constantly tries to open. If we leave the bathroom door unlocked, it takes her two or three tries before in pops a cute little girl.

Mom and Dad are diong great (that is all Mom will say).

You know what? I was just reminded of a dozen new stories I need to share with you...

Sep 17, 2013

Guest Blogger: Thomas S Monson Award by Dog Walker

I've been asked to guest blog for my mom, because she was tired and needed some sleep from watching me take an economics test for SLCC. Anyway, I wanted to make a quick post about something that may be able to happen if I could be able to try to do it.

Remember about my big accomplishment in the Boy Scouts of America program? Well, one day Mom was showing me this amazing award that could be counted for my collection of merit badges. It was talking about this special award with the picture of Thomas S. Monson. If you never heard of Thomas S. Monson, he's the LDS prophet for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah. He testifies in a special conference, called General Conference that happens every first weeks of April and October a year. If you like to know what General Conference is like, then you can find it on TV on Channel 5 of KSL or on the internet at

Anyway, about this award, it is called the Thomas S. Monson Award. The requirements for this award is found on this website are on this is in this Thomas S. Monson Award link.I was thinking that I've been having experience of knowing how the things that I've done in my life would help me know of how I should experience the things that have happened to me while being autistic. I hope that you have enjoyed this quick post, if you have any Boy Scouts and are interested in this award, they can, besides, any Boy Scout at any age is allowed to earn this merit badge.

Sep 16, 2013

Grandpa's Birthday Party

My dad turned 78 today and we had a birthday party for him here with about 35 people. It was fun! Lots of kids running around and good food. We just grilled burgers and dogs. We also cooked corn on the cob out of our garden and Bossy made a huge batch of peach salsa. My siblings all brought salads and I made a big cake with my homemade Coconut Pecan frosting. Princess made a batch of cupcakes as well.

It was pretty low-key and everyone just hung out and visited for a couple of hours. I didn't even think to take pictures until everyone was long gone! I'm kind of annoyed with myself about that because I like sending pictures to Teach of our activities. It's one of the things she loves the most.

It seems like life just continues to get a little busier and a little crazier every day. I did manage to snap a pic of what is left of the cake. And here is a pic of Baby Doll. With all those people, she was totally worn out.

Me too. These late nights and early mornings are hard. I promise I will give you a better post tomorrow. Right after I get some sleep...


Sep 15, 2013

Shopping Extravaganza at Traverse Mountain

Remember last week when I told you I had gotten an invitation to the Shopping Extravaganza at Traverse Mountain? Well, today was the day!!

Registration opened at 10:00, but we didn't get there until about 11:30. My sweetie went to Sport's football game and I went with Curly and Scout and helped Dog Walker and Princess coach their flag football game. It was a great day for football; Sport's team won 7 - 0 and we all won 24 - 6 at flag football although technically we are not allowed to keep score.

But that put us getting there a little late, although it didn't really matter. We picked up our gift bags and badges that included lunch and photo tickets in them and our drawing tickets and we were off. We really didn't have in mind any store in particular so we just started walking. My shopper's instinct eventually kicked in and we found ourselves in the Gold Toe store. Curly was in need of some new socks. We found several packages of clearance socks for him and one for the Dog Walker and we had finally scored our first purchases.

Some of the stores had places for their own free drawings so we signed up for all of them we could see. Our second stop was the Columbia store (I can't tell you what we bought there because it's a secret, but let's just say we got about $400 worth of merchandise for about $40. This store gave additional discounts to people like us with Extravaganza badges. Next stop was the Men's Warehouse where we bought extended length ties for my sweetie and the Dog Walker for $12 each.

At that point I was having WAY too much fun spending money!! We decided it would be a good time to get some lunch. We made our way to the Grand Lobby where they were guarding the door to the second floor. No one got up those stairs unless they had a badge like ours. I was a little disappointed with lunch, although it was good and much easier than waiting for them to bring in something hot. My cute little box had a ham sandwich, chips, a fruit cup, water and a pink sugar cookie. My sweetie's was identical except that he prefers turkey.

We took a minute to stop by the dessert bar (which really consisted of a bunch of candy) and then it was back for more shopping. My sweetie had dropped most of our packages in the car, so we were traveling pretty light. We went in a shoe store called Clark's just so we could enter a drawing and we came out with a pair of leather dress shoes for the Dog Walker and and some leather sandals for Prima Donna, both pairs for about $38. Their original value was over $150! Next time I need to find flats to send to Teach in Texas, I'm going back to Clark's!

Next we found the Sport's Image shop and we looked for a Broncos jacket for Sport, but none of them would fit him so we settled for 2 Utes hats, one for Sport and one for Curly. They were both really nice hats and we paid $13 for both of them!

Sweetie made another stop by the car and we headed for the Sketchers shop. It was the one place he was really excited to go. You see, he always wears the same kind of shoes (made by Sketchers). Every time he finds a pair in his size at Kohls, he buys them immediately. So I sat down to rest my aching feet and he went in search of some shoes. It didn't take long for him to inform me that they had his traditional gray pair in the right size...and one in white and one in brown!! He has NEVER had a choice of colors before and he was so excited he even encouraged me to choose a darling pair of Twinkle Toes for Baby Doll.

We stopped in the Rocky Mountain chocolate shop next, but it was so crowded we decided we didn't need chocolate that bad. (Besides, we already had a nice little pile from the dessert bar.) Our last stop was the Gap. I have never really shopped there before, but we managed to sniff out a bargain. I got 5 pairs of compression capris for the girls to wear to dance and a pink and gray hoodie with matching pants for Baby Doll all for about $40.

We just had time to check our tickets for prizes before we had to hit the road. We were so excited when we found that two of our numbers had been pulled! We got a $25 gift card to Columbia and a $25 gift card to Lane Bryant.

Some people had bought extra tickets and you should have seen how many gift cards they were winning! All in all, we had an awesome time and we found some great deals. If they put this one together next year, I'm going to be the first one in line to sign up!

**We were given free tickets to the Shopping Extravaganza in exchange for this post.**

Sep 14, 2013

Casting Call

Such very exciting things going on at our house! Since I will be totally mired in two events for the next couple of months, I thought I'd better share with you. I have actually been trying to get Prima Donna to guest post for me for about a week, but she is just too busy.

So a couple of weeks ago she asked me if she could try out for the musical at the high school. They were doing Footloose, a play she had actually never seen. She hadn't even seen the movie! I supported her of course, but as a sophomore, I honestly never expected that she would get in. She spent many nights rehearsing her song for the audition, and when they announced the cast list, she was chosen to be part of the adult ensemble. She was so excited to have a role!

The following day, Prima Donna, Princess, Crafty, and Scout all auditioned for the Nutcracker. Our studio is affiliated with the South Pointe Ballet and they are doing their first ever Nutcracker production teaming with the Herriman City Orchestra. After a little arm twisting, I also got Sport to try out.

They had a mandatory parent meeting at the studio tonight and they announced the cast. Crafty will be part of the Waltz of the Flowers. Scout is a Buffoon, and Sport is a Party Boy. Princess received two parts, the Lead Mirilton and the Snow Corps. And Prima Donna got a leading role... Madam Ginger! That means she is the lady with the huge skirt that all the Buffoons come out from beneath. It's the perfect role for her since she is tall and muscular.

I'm just not sure how she is going to deal with rehearsals 24/7....and school...and Young Women's...and performing team...and dance classes...and Youth City Council...Reflections...Girl Scouts...drama club...FCCLA...

She's pretty obviously my daughter; not happy unless her life is crazy busy!

Sep 13, 2013

Baby Doll's First Real Haircut

I think I've told you before that we get all our haircuts from Supercuts (except for my sweetie, I still cut his, usually in the middle of the night or right before church on Sunday). I love Supercuts because they offer training classes 2 or 3 times a month where they bring in people who have already been cutting hair and then they retrain them to Supercuts procedures. Of course they need models to practice, so for years for have been getting all of our haircuts for free!

I'm thinking we met Melissa when Crafty was a baby. That means we have been attending classes for about 12 or 13 years now. One by one the kids have joined us as they have gotten old enough to get a "real" haircut. I say real because I usually cut their bangs once or twice before they actually climb up into the big chair.

Baby Doll will be 3 in a few weeks, so even though her hair is fine and wispy and doesn't really grow well, it was time for her to graduate to a big girl (at least when it comes to hair, still no success on the potty yet). She has been talking about it all week, but then she started getting sick and I almost cancelled our appointments this morning. But when I asked her if she wanted to stay home and take a nap or go to haircuts, she whispered "haircuts," so at 1:30 we found ourselves in the parking lot of the Supercuts training studio.

We crossed the parking lot hand-in-hand, but I didn't sense any nervousness in her attitude which is strange because she is pretty particular about who she likes. Even when they pulled us back and asked her to climb in a big chair about six feet away from me, she willingly got up on the booster seat. They put a huge black adult cape on her and she looked so lost. I was put right behind her so I couldn't really see how she was doing, but she did not complain nor did she need any reminders. She was just plain and simply a big girl.