Apr 30, 2014

Guest Blog: The First Book of Mormon Given by Elder Dog Walker

I've been asked to guest blog again about my mission. There is something amazing that happened that may not be related to helping with the students in the seminaries, but this will be like the best one you'll hear. I'm almost done with the Spring semester of college and I'm looking forward for a break from that craziness. If it'll make you cry with happiness, I suggest you prepare a tissue for that.

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you what happened on Monday last week. I was in my reading class and a classmate named Stephanie and I were doing our book interviews on the Book of Mormon. One African American student named Satiq felt very interested to hear about what Stephanie and I believed in. He was asking questions about how the Book of Mormon was compared to the Holy Bible.

We then told him about it and he then asked for a copy of the Book of Mormon. I had six copies in my backpack, because Mom challenged me and Sister Teach to try to meet somebody who would feel seriously interested in the Book of Mormon and the church.

I was feeling a bit excited to give him the first copy of the Book of Mormon with the picture of the family and the testimony that we said in it. I've been praying for Satiq to learn and know that the church is true. I was hoping by the Monday of this week, Stephanie and I would see him and see if he'll testify to us that he knows that the church is true. Unfortunately, he never came. I was a bit disappointed that he didn't show up, but I'm still having faith and praying that he will understand and know that this church is true.

I'm hoping that will happen, because it makes me feel like I want to know Satiq understands the church more and how it can change his life and help him live it happily. I've learned that it takes patience to find a person who feels seriously interested in the church. I'm hoping I'll still continue to do that, even if it'll take a while to find a good person.

Sister Teach's doing the same thing as I've been trying to do. Help a few groups of families to see if the church will change their lives. About Sister Teach, there's only sixteen weeks left for her to come home from her mission, and I'm planning to wear my name badge and suit and she and I will take a picture of the both of us wearing our missionary name tags.

Apr 29, 2014

Letters from Teach in Texas

I got to echat with my amazing missionary daughter this morning. This was in her first email.

I love you so much! Things here are going so well. We are heading into the Texas heat though! It's crazy.

I've only heard rumors of the Texas heat, so it is hard to imagine it here in Utah. I think I told you that she is in a trio now. She and another Sister are training a brand new missionary. It has been hard for Teach because this sister is still remembering her pre-mission life. Teach is so far removed from us at this point that it seems she only thinks of us on Monday mornings, which is how it should be.

I sent her this message: "But they (meaning her siblings) are all so excited to have you back! Is it really only 3 1/2 months? We can soon start counting in weeks!"

Unfortunately, it didn't really make her happy. Her response was:

oh geez. bah! Mom. I don't even know how I feel about that! I can't decide if it is the most exciting thing ever- or if that is the most tragic thing because I'm leaving my mission.

I. love. my. mission.
It means everything to me. I wish I could just bring everyone I love into my mission but still live the life of complete consecration to the Lord while I'm enjoying the benefits of the family and friends. Ya know? I think I'm starting to realize how hard this transition might be.
I am just. unsure about it all. I know it will work out. My eggs are all in the basket called Trust the Lord.

She and the Dog Walker are doing a Book of Mormon challenge. I gave them each 6 copies with testimonies and pictures to see if they could place them all by Teach's birthday on June 2. When I asked her about the challenge, she told me this story.

I gave out one the other day to a man who was walking down the street outside our house. My companion and I saw him a couple weeks ago and didn't talk to him :( I felt SO guilty about it so when we saw him this week we went straightway to speak to him! My new companion made the initial contact. The man was going into the army the next week and he said he was Lutheran. But like... Martin Luther type Lutheran. He reads the Bible and interprets his own answers. It was pretty cool. So I asked him if he wanted a copy of the BOM and he said he would love one. So he has one. (: Such a cool experience. Other than that... I gave one to a member yesterday because he needed one to give to a friend and it was the only BOM I had on me. So now I have my third one in my purse. I haven't given out NEARLY as many. ALL of our investigators already have one because our members are SO fabulous!!! They give them a BOM before we ever get a chance to! Which is great. But it's different here. SO much member work. I love it with all of my heart. (:

I want to figure out how I can continue to consecrate all that I have and am to serving the Lord... even if my time as a full time missionary is limited.
I feel like since I've come to (this area) I have just bear-hugged my mission. I didn't realize how much I loved it until this area. It is the best thing for me right now.

Her final parting words?

Wow. Mom. The Lord is just so very good to me. So very good. (:

A mom couldn't ask for a better testimony than that.

Apr 28, 2014

Getting Ready for Church

I love when the Drama Queen comes home for the weekend! For lots of reasons, but one of the main ones is that she is a self-proclaimed fashionista and she doesn't let us get by with slacking in the dress up department.

Last weekend was Easter and she announced that we were all going to wear black and red and white. She had symbolism for each color, white for the purity of the Savior, red for His blood that was shed on the cross, and black for the darkness the world was plunged into after His death. Sorry I didn't manage to take any pictures. We looked pretty good!

So today she announced that we would all be wearing blue (except that she didn't bring anything blue with her and that sort of fell apart...). So instead she decided to do all the girls' hair in French braids. My little Baby Doll was SOO excited! She barely has enough hair for what she calls an "Elsa" braid.

So the Drama Queen got them all spiffed up while I finished preparing my Nursery lesson. Then Baby Doll and Scout came in for a photo op. After pics were done, Crafty even put real flowers in their braids like Rapunzel. They never look that good on the days the Drama Queen stays away.

And I have proof.

While we were straightening up the Nursery after the meetings were finished, one of our friends came up to the Drama Queen and commented on her ability to do the girls' hair. She had actually watched her do one in Sacrament meeting last week and was suitably impressed. I, on the other hand, was totally embarrassed. Before the braid, that was the way my girls usually look at church.

As the Drama Queen was getting ready to head out the door and back to her apartment tonight, she casually announced to all the kids that they needed to be prepared because next week was going to be purple week. I'm not sure some of the kids even own things that are purple.

Maybe I just need to head to the dollar store for a couple of purple hair ribbons...

Apr 27, 2014

Girls' Pref

Princess had a date to Girls' Pref today. Drama Queen came home to help her get ready. It was a costume dance so she decided to have them dress up as Danny and Sandy from the movie, Grease. They turned out so cute!

I just love the look on my sweetie's face in this first pic. He's like "There's no way I'm letting my sweet little girl out in public looking like this hottie she has turned out to be!"

Or how about this one, "Quick, Sport, shut the door! We aren't letting her get away!" We should seriously have a caption contest on that one. Any ideas?

Apr 25, 2014

Singing in the Tabernacle

Sorry I missed a post. I don't even have the excuse of a ballgame today. :)

The Dog Walker sings in the Institute Choir and today they had a major concert downtown at the Tabernacle. He was nervous and didn't want to go, mostly because he had a couple of assignments that were due by midnight and he worried about being gone all day and still getting them in on time. (He got them in just fine, of course!) But I finally convinced him that all would be well and he caught up with the carpool at 3:00.

We started our girl scout meeting about the same time. Bossy and I had prepared a lesson on Japan and Princess helped all the girls with origami. Then we made fans and carved block prints. It was fun but messy.

We cleaned up quickly at 4:30 when the girls took off. Fajita had a softball game and Bossy was anxious to get on the road. I had to load the kids, drive to my sweetie's work and then finish the trip downtown. Crafty, Princess, and Prima Donna had a big dance rehearsal for their competition next week, so they didn't come with us.

We got there a few minutes early so we wandered City Creek mall and watched the fountain's special show at 6:00. Then we headed for Temple Square. I was disappointed to learn that kids under 8 would not be allowed in the Tabernacle itself, but I was able to take Curly and Baby Doll into a "cry-room" to watch the performance. My sweetie took Sport and Scout onto the main floor.

The combined institute choirs sang some of my favorite songs for about an hour. We couldn't hear as well in our little room, but it was still beautiful. When it was over, we walked over to the South Visitors' Center to use the restrooms. The kids wandered around for about half an hour until the Dog Walker started stressing his assignments.

So we walked back through City Creek to our van and drove my sweetie back to work and then came home. I took a few pictures for you, but most of them are at the fountain since I was in a little booth with a window and it reflected my flash.

Tomorrow is Girls' Pref at the high school and Princess has a date. It is a costume dance and they are going as Danny and Sandy from Grease. I promise I will get you some good pics from that.

We just need to figure out how to rat her hair without pulling it all out...

Apr 24, 2014

Living at the Ballpark

My life has changed drastically over the past two weeks.

First they put my sweetie in charge of a project at work, so I hardly ever see him. And second, baseball/softball season started! I have been at the ballpark every night this week. Curly had his first game on Monday night so we took all the kids for FHE to support him. He played a great game! If I could just get him to pay attention all the time when he is in the infield...

I think I told you I managed to get myself assigned to be the Team Mom for his team (a job I have carefully avoided since the Gym Rat was 9 years old). Baseball is not as bad as football, but it is still tons of work. But that is probably a whole different post...

Anyway, Tuesday night was Pack Meeting and all the prep that goes with that, but Scout also had a softball game so after setting things up for my sweetie, she and I took off for the park and showed back up at the church just in time to eat a cupcake and help clean up.

Last night Curly had an early game (thank goodness!) and I had everything planned right down to the second so that I wouldn't be late to Sport's band concert. Then our coach called me about half an hour before the game to say that he had given out the wrong location for the field and we were going to Draper which is about 3 miles further away on the other side of the freeway, adding about 10 minutes to the drive. Now I had issues!

After a bunch of phone calls, we managed to get all our players to the right field before the game started. I had to stop by the regular field and pick up the scorebook since that is one of my Team Mom duties. Curly was the lead-off batter (I think because he wears the shirt with the number 1 on it). The pitching machine was shooting them a little faster than Monday and most of the boys were striking out on both teams.

By the top of the sixth and final inning, neither team had scored. I told Bossy I had to leave at 6:30 and she would have to take over the scorebook and finish out the game. Then Curly's team went on a hitting spree and before we knew it bases were loaded. It was 6:33. I wish I could say that Curly or Burrito was the hitter that brought in our single winning run, but that's not the case.

As soon as our boys headed back to the field for the final half of the inning, I hoofed it to the van.... quickly!! I worked the phones, making sure everyone was where they were supposed to be and ready. Princess and Prima Donna were already at the high school. Crafty was dressing Scout and Baby Doll for the concert while getting ready to leave for her Young Women's group. The Dog Walker already dropped Sport at the school and brought Scout from dance and was waiting impatiently to take Crafty to the church before he went to his choir class.

Sorry. Band pics turned out so dark. 
They were all waiting on the front lawn when I pulled in at 6:53. The two little girls hopped in my car and Crafty and the Dog Walker climbed into his and we were all off. We got to the concert with about 3 minutes to spare. Grandpa showed up with about 1 minute to spare and my sweetie who came directly from work got caught in traffic and missed the first two songs.

Bossy showed up a few minutes later with Burrito and Curly. What a crazy evening!! Sometimes things work out but barely.

And tonight will be no better. Scout's game starts at 6:30.

Apr 23, 2014

News from Teach in Texas

Pics from Teach's 17th birthday in 2008.
Teach is doing wonderfully well on her mission in Texas! Sometimes I think we miss her more than she misses us. She is always so busy making herself into a better person while sharing the gospel with everyone she sees.

We are working with the members here to move forward in the work of salvation. We have SO many members with so many friends they are sharing the gospel with- we are now working to connect the dots and build the bridge to the next step. The members are finding- and we just want to be able to teach their friends! We are working with the Ward Mission Leader and he is working with the bishop to see what we can do to make these dots connect so we can find more people to teach!

She had a wonderful Easter spent with a member family.

We went to church for Easter. Fabulous. I love church. We had 3 investigators there! (: And our recent convert's grandma who we are going with to dinner this week. (: So exciting. We did our studies and then went to dinner with a member family. They were really sweet. Tasty food and then we taught about the Plan of Salvation. After that we tried to visit members and less actives but... NOBODY was answering. And it rained. So it coulda been considered a pretty miserable day. But we kept smiles on our faces and kept going. (: We met with one of my favorite investigators that night. We just stopped in. They are a Catholic family, but they LOVE us. (: She gave us some cake and we showed her the video Because of Him. Then we helped her family clean up all of their Easter egg hunt. (: Such a fab family. They just need to be baptized. (: 

She continues to be in awe of the people. She loves them and serves them every day.

Scout looks just like Baby doll does now!
I love being a missionary. It is always a world of exciting adventure. This week we pulled up to the house of a less active. Well... we tried. But she lived ON a GOLF COURSE! And there was a guard at the gate and they wouldn't let us in to the neighborhood without seeing our ID and calling the family! It was so weird! I swear. It's like the movies. We ate dinner at the golf club restaurant of yet another golf course in our area. (: These people are wealthy. But they love us. And I love them. (: They are such good people. Their hearts are in the right place and they love the Lord. They have real struggles and concerns. They have broken hearts and rough days. It's just... so incredible how the Gospel Of Jesus Christ reaches out to everyone. Come ye Disconsolate. (:

I am so very proud of her and her great attitude. She shared with me this final wish.

Silly girl. :) Miss your cheesy smile so much!

Mom. I'm so grateful to be a missionary. The time truly has flown by. I can't believe I will be home in 4 months. It's a very happy thought... but at the same time... there are so many blessings and life experiences I won't be able to have when the calling is gone. It is just such a privilege. I wish everyone could just... serve at least one mission at some point in their life time! (:

Apr 22, 2014


I'm sure I've told you before what wonderful neighbors we have! Well, they came through for us again.

Sport has been stressing the fact that his Cub Scout career is nearly over. He still has so many things he wants to accomplish before his birthday in June.

 He was thinking he wanted to earn all the rest of the belt loops. He only has about 10 more, but since he doesn't know how to skate, the hockey one would be pretty hard. And since we don't know anyone with a pommel horse, I think gymnastics is unlikely. But I do want to support him as much as possible.

His other goal is to pass off all 20 activity badges for Webelos. He still has 2 more to go, but I think he will be good to get them over the next two months along with his Arrow of Light.

Anyway, back to my awesome neighbors...

I called my friend, Lori, to see if she would be willing to let us use her pool so Sport could pass off the Aquanaut badge. He is a pretty good swimmer, but not really used to swimming distances like the badge required. Lori told us to take all the time we needed, so on Thursday morning we headed for the pool. It took us about 45 minutes to get him through all the requirements and then we spent another hour just playing in the water.

It was a fantastic way to spend the first day of our spring break! And one less badge to worry about.

Now, if I just had a friend who owned an ice rink...

Princess and her super-model pose

Apr 21, 2014

Real Meaning of Easter

Easter has always been one of my favorite times of the year. I love the cool spring weather and the newness and rebirth. I love the baby animals and the promise of summer. There's baseball and softball and just a whisper of the end of the school year approaching.

And we still enjoy the Easter Bunny and all that entails. We dye eggs, hide them, hunt them, and eat lots of candy and traditional treats. My sweetie makes the best deviled eggs! Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in those things and there are some years that I must admit to planning more for that part of Easter than I do for the real celebration of Jesus Christ's Atonement, death and subsequent resurrection.

I was a bit chastened when Teach reminded me that her whole life revolves around the teachings of the Savior right now and she sent me a link. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has done a wonderful job putting together this video to help us all remember the true meaning of the Easter season.

You know I'm not a preachy sort of person and rarely do I get on my soapbox about religion, but I want all of you to know that I try my best to be a follower of Jesus Christ. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, my brother, my friend. I know He atoned for my sins because He loves me. And He loves you too.

Here is the video Teach shared with me. Take 3 minutes and watch it. It might just change your life.

Thanks for being my friends.
I hope you all had a wonderful Easter weekend!

Apr 20, 2014

Easter Egg Hunts

I broke my own rule today. I actually took the kids to a community egg hunt. I know, I know, I've given you my rant on that before, but this time was different.Princess and Prima Donna are part of the Youth City Council as you know, and they were part of the committee assigned to set up the Easter Egg hunt.

It was already a busy morning. We woke up early to find the eggs hidden and the baskets filled with goodies. While the kids munched on chocolate and gathered up 10 dozen eggs (one egg is still missing!), my sweetie whipped up a batch of Belgian waffles with fresh strawberries.

By the time we finished eating, the girls had to change quickly and run out the door. About 20 minutes later, Princess sent the first of several texts, urging us to attend and participate. It didn't take much persuasion to get the kids ready and we arrived at the park in plenty of time to secure a good spot.

They had the kids split into groups based on age and Baby Doll was in the 3 to 4-year-old group. I left her with Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty and hoofed it over to the 5 and 6-year-olds. Fajita and my sweetie were waiting patiently with him so I swung by the 9 and 10-year-olds. Taco and Sport were not waiting so patiently, but Bossy was with them so I knew they were in good hands. My last stop was the 7 and 8-year-olds where Drama Queen was coaching Burrito and Scout on which things to go for first and how to get the most candy possible.

That's where I remained when complete mayhem broke out! The hunt was on and in about 2 minutes it was all over. All of our kids had a gallon Ziploc bag about half full of goodies even after Sport gave a handful to two little kids that didn't get any. Burrito got two little stuffed footballs and he cheerfully handed one to Scout. I love that my kids and grandkids are so willing to share!

That's just the way we roll.

Bossy and Gamer set up our second egg hunt at our house. They have been giving that hunt to the family for 10 years now. I generally buy some of the candy and goodies, but Bossy does all the work stuffing the eggs and setting it up. This year she had help from Gamer and Drama Queen.

It was over in a couple of minutes too, with the kids gathering over a hundred plastic filled eggs, bubbles, and a handful of kites. The big girls got muffin tins too. There was even a kite for the Gym Rat! And we had something new this year...some of the plastic eggs had coins in them. Everyone was excited for that!

Once all the finding was over, Bossy gathered all the loot and proceeded to divide it up in sandwich bags for each person. We always make sure that everyone gets the same amount when it comes to egg hunts or pinatas, Halloween candy, stuff like that.

We had a fun day! Princess and my sweetie ran the "Bunny Roll" station and they helped the little kids roll out 9 cookie sheets worth. We had so many we gave a bunch of them away.

We played board games and watched the Prince of Egypt. Then we put away all the bunny decorations and the baskets. Tomorrow we will focus more on the real meaning of Easter.

And how was your celebration?

Apr 19, 2014

Good Friday

Got my learner's permit today!!
Today was a good day. Princess got up early and made hot cross buns for everyone while I took Prima Donna out to the DMV to get her Learner's Permit.

Then I went to the store and bought 15 dozen eggs for the kids to color. Later when I realized Bossy had not had time to pick up some for her family, I went back and bought 6 dozen more. Yeah, they thought I was a bit crazy. I had the same checker both times.

The Dog Walker had homework (as usual, it's not spring break for him!) so we worked that in between our other festivities. The kids all colored pictures for the coloring contest at the grocery store and I tried to get them to do some chores, but they were just too excited.

I made dinner and my sweetie came home from work just in time to boil eggs. I've never been much good at that, especially in such massive quantities. He put 18 dozen eggs in two of our huge stockpots and babied them along until they came out just perfect! Except for the half dozen or so that cracked. He turned those into some super-delicious deviled eggs we ate with dinner.

We spent the evening coloring eggs. I mostly took pictures and let the little ones do mine. The kids are so creative and I just don't have the patience to be that awesome.

After sharing the story of Jesus's betrayal by Judas from the New Testament, Bossy and her family were on their way home. We have big plans for tomorrow and a couple of egg hunts.

The kids put out their Easter baskets, just hoping that the Easter Bunny might stop by to fill them up. He generally comes on Friday night at our house, remember. That way we can do the secular part of Easter on Saturday and the more spiritual part on Sunday. It works well for us anyway.

I hope you are all having a wonderful spring break and a Happy Easter.

Apr 18, 2014

Blogging at Things I Can't Say

You are probably wondering why I didn't put up a post today, but it's because I have some super-exciting news! One of the big-time bloggers, Shell, from Things I Can't Say, invited me to do a Guest Post!

So come on over and read it there. :)


Apr 17, 2014

Monster Concert

Have you ever been to a Monster Concert? The theory is simple. Our elementary school bands are small and they don't have equal numbers of instruments, and sometimes the school productions are a little weird. So they bring together all the little bands and combine them into one large program called a Monster Concert.

Sport happens to play the trumpet in our elementary school band. This is his second year and he is pretty good. Taco is in his school band as well and he plays the clarinet. He has struggled with his instrument and his fingers are too small to cover the holes, but both were involved in the concert.

Bossy and I had Burrito and Curly at baseball practice just down the street from the high school where the concert was scheduled to be held. Unfortunately, practice went a little long and it was 6:53 as we scrambled to make it on time.

As we were half-running, half-walking across the crazy busy parking lot, Curly commented between breaths, "I'm tired!" I definitely agreed!

We got inside and found our seats about one minute before it started. Not much time, but close enough.

The Star Spangled Banner was the first number and they did a great job! Things went a little downhill from there, but they finished strong on the last two songs. Remember, they only had a few hours this afternoon to practice together. Curly fell asleep during the second song.

My favorites were Star Wars (a song I played in our Jr. High band), and Let's Go Band, a local favorite played by every elementary school band in Utah.

I was so proud of our boys and their willingness to try and I love that they are learning to read music and be part of something much bigger than themselves. We will definitely be back next year.

Let's go band!!

Apr 16, 2014

Taking the Pins Out

Today was a big day for me, one that I have been looking forward to for quite some time. My visit with the hand doctor! I am just so tired of being laid up.

Nice and straight
Last Friday, one of the pins got pushed a little too far with the plastic part of my brace and started forcing its way beneath the skin of my finger. It was painful, so I tried to move the pin slightly so that it wasn't poking me. I accidentally popped it up about a centimeter! Afraid of messing up my finger, I did the first thing I could think of...I pushed it back in. Bad idea!! I should have had a clue then that pulling out these pins was not going to be the painless procedure Shayne told me it would be.

Fast forward to today.

I arrived at the doctor's office about 5 minutes ahead of my appointment time. I waited in the lobby for almost half an hour before I was finally called back. They did a quick X-ray and then Shayne, the physician's assistant, came in and we looked at it together. He told me everything looked great and it was indeed time to pull out the pins. I confessed to Friday's mishap and showed him the pin. He pulled that one first and honestly, it slipped right out, almost fell out. Unfortunately, that was not the case with the rest of them.

Bleeding finally stopped.
Number two started the bleeding, but it was number three where the pain began in earnest. The first time he attached the pliers and pulled, it didn't budge except for the searing pain that shot through my hand and into my wrist. The second time it moved a little and when I flinched in pain, he stopped. "Shayne," I managed through gritted teeth. "Just pull it out quickly and don't stop!"

He agreed and yanked. It fell like a needle was shoved straight down through the top of my finger as the pain spread through my hand. The tears leaked from my eyes and I almost couldn't let him pull the last one, but after a moment of weighing the options (and the bleeding slowed), I let him yank it out. It was not as bad as the other one.

"I thought you said it wouldn't hurt!" I accused. Shayne shrugged his shoulders sheepishly, "I lied," he admitted. After several minutes of holding a gauze pad in place to stop the bleeding, Shayne found me a new and smaller plastic brace and proceeded to wrap my finger. But it wasn't long before the blood had pooled in the tip and we were unwrapping it again.

The new normal.
So this is it. What do you think of the new look? It's smaller and less likely to get smacked into anything, but I'm not liking the new level of pain. Oh, and I have to wear this brace for 2 more weeks before I can start taking it off for an hour a day. Are you counting? That's six more weeks before I will be even close to normal. And Shayne said a full year before I would have full mobility back.

All that fuss for just one dumb little finger.

Apr 15, 2014

Guest Blog: Timbuk-four by Sport

When we were handing out the flyers for the food pantry, we got a big box from our neighbor, Mike. The box was from a chair he had just bought and he thought we might like to play in it. When Bean Dip, Taco, Scout and I came back from Minecraft Madness at the library, four of my siblings (including nephews) popped out of the big box!

The next morning, the kids were playing in it again. At first there were only 2 or 3 kids in the box. There were 4 when this idea called ''That is evil!'' that mostly Bossy and I made up entered my brain. We gave the kids pillows, cereal, water, toys and more things. We put them in the box, taped it up, then taped it up again, and instead of Timbuktu, we wrote Timbuk-four. (Since there were four people we wanted to ship to Timbuktu!) Have you ever seen the Disney movie called the Aristocats?

We picked it up and almost got it out the door, but Mom and Dad arrived and the kids broke it from the inside. Fajita, Scout, Baby Doll, and Curly all fell out of it.

Me, Burrito, and Bossy were pushing them. They were terrified! (Not that we would have really done anything to them...).

This was great fun and an awesome "evil" idea! Well at least for me.

I wasn't inside the box.

Apr 14, 2014

A Day of Rest

I had an awesome Sunday. No, we didn't have a big family party or even a big meal. It was just a nice restful day and believe me, I needed one. Sometimes my life just feels like a crazy whirlwind where I can't ever seem to get my feet on solid ground. Today I felt like I got a minute to breathe before I get swept up again. I like life both ways, but today was really nice for a change.

The day started earlier than I wanted it to when I rolled out of bed at 8:15 to get a shower before choir practice. I know, 8:15 isn't that early, but I was up until nearly 3:00 AM the night before. We got back from choir at 10:00 and instead of writing Scout's talk for Primary, I decided to go back to bed for a while. It was probably a bad idea, but I mostly rested until about 11:30. Since it was Fast Sunday it was nice to not have to worry about putting together lunch.

I wrote Scout's talk and checked my lesson for Nursery. All was in good order. When we got to church, Prima Donna, Scout, Sport, and Curly all bore their testimonies and Scout did an excellent job on her talk. Baby Doll said the prayer in front of the whole Jr. Primary (with my help), but it stressed her so much that when she was finished she totally broke down and I had to take her with me to the Nursery for half an hour while she calmed back down.

After church we fed the kids hot dogs. We cleaned up and then we all just chilled for an hour or so. The kids were playing a game, so my sweetie and I watched some fun old songs on YouTube. Remember "Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head"? We had never done that before, but it was super fun. It sure brings back childhood memories!

After that we had a movie party and folded laundry. We rarely watch TV, but when we want a movie, we love KBYU-TV for Sunday evenings. They play the fun older Disney movies. Remember the Shaggy DA? The kids had never seen it before and they loved it!

We ate grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade ham and bean soup (leftover from Friday night) for dinner. Cleanup was easy and the kids played games until bedtime while I helped the Dog Walker with some homework. Other than the fact that I have a bunch of laundry to put away, things are good.

And I actually feel ready to face a new week.
How was your weekend?

Apr 13, 2014

Collecting Bags

Pretty sure I've told you before that Princess and Prima Donna are part of the Youth City Council in our city. This is the first year for them and they have really enjoyed and embraced the opportunity. They have meetings twice a month with motivational speakers and usually a couple of chances to do service projects.

They try to be involved as much as possible. So this past month they announced a service project for St. Andrew's Food Pantry. St. Andrews wanted as many plastic and paper grocery bags as possible! After they learned about this activity, the girls and I decided this was a project that they could really do well.

First thing we did was announce it through our Relief Society Newsletter. Then on Friday evening we delivered reminder fliers to 125 homes of our nearest and dearest friends in our ward.

On Saturday morning we had other commitments to attend to before we could start gathering bags. Scout had her first softball game. Her team lost 1 - 4, but she played an excellent game mostly at shortstop. Then we made super-cute recycling trucks at Lowe's. Finally it was time to hit the streets.

Bossy's family had joined us at Lowe's and they helped us spread out and cover the area. We were mostly in pairs, with an adult in each neighborhood. In less than an hour we had totally filled the back of the minivan with I'm sure well over 1000 bags. My sweetie made lunch for everyone and we dropped off all the kids at the house before Princess, Prima Donna, and I drove the short distance to their leader's home to deliver the bags.

She was SOO surprised to see so many! I snapped a quick pic before we unloaded. The funny thing is that we missed some people this morning during our pickup and have had them call, so we are making a second trip. If any of you live close by and want to donate bags, let me know. My girls will be right over. :)

Apr 12, 2014

Another Patent

Have I ever told you how awesomely cool my sweetie is? He's an electronics engineer, inventor, Renaissance man. He actually holds a bunch of patents, 12 to be exact. This week we hung up another new one.

I think it's amazing that he can think up new things that no one has ever done before. I've never been all that creative. OK, maybe when it comes to writing, but other than that, my brain just doesn't work that way.

This is a picture of our wall of fame. It includes my sweetie's patent plaques, but it also has all the diplomas from colleges. Right now most of them belong to me and my sweetie, but someday I hope to have the whole wall covered with diplomas from the kids. Teach, Drama Queen, and Bossy all have two because they graduated from a Jr. College first and then finished BS degrees at universities. Gym Rat has one, but I am looking forward to seeing his BS diploma in the next couple of months. And by Christmas, the Dog Walker should have his first one up there. And a year from now there will be one up there for Princess.

I'm a fan of Jr. Colleges. They are much cheaper and the classes are smaller. They give the same type of education and as long as the kids finish that AS degree it seems to transfer pretty much anywhere.

We have two other plaques on this wall of fame. One is Teach's Sterling Scholar plaque. Sterling Scholar is a huge deal here in Utah. She is our only child so far who has actually been chosen to represent the high school, but Drama Queen and Bossy were both finalists.

The last plaque belongs to the Dog Walker. It reminds all of us that he was chosen as the Scout of the Year for the State of Utah by the Veterans of the Foreign Wars. I don't think anyone else will ever aspire to such an amazing honor. And no one, not even those of us who earned all those college degrees, worked any harder than he did.