Oct 31, 2014

Halloween 2014

Today was pretty crazy! We had the older kids home from school because it was end of term, but the elementary kids got to go.

Their parade started at 9:00 am and we were fortunate to even get a seat since we showed up a few minutes before. We didn't get to sit together though. Baby Doll and I were in one place and my sweetie and the Dog Walker were in a corner somewhere else.

It was fun to see the classes parade by. Obviously the most popular costumes of the day were Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Sport was a football player (such an easy costume), Scout was Elsa, and Curly was a pirate. Baby Doll was a My Little Pony again, Princess Cadence to be exact. (Don't call her Pinkie Pie, that was Prima Donna's costume!)

After the parade, I went with Sport to his class to help with the party. I was in charge of pumpkin bowling so I set up the pins (which were 2-liter soda bottles with a couple of inches of water in them) about 100 times. It was fun! Only a couple of boys hit me with the pumpkin, including my own son, thank you very much for the bruise, Sport. :)

We went over to Harmon's grocery store about 4:30. The kids loved trick-or-treating there. They were very generous. We got back home about 5:30 and told the kids to hit the streets. Bossy's kids were here and they all got started trick-or-treating. I stayed home and helped with dinner and watched Dog Walker hand out treats. He is SOOO cute with the little kids.

Grandpa showed up for dinner with treats and then he and I went down to Bossy's house with her kids so they could hit up her streets.

Now the Dog Walker is reading his English 2010 homework assignment to me while I share my cute pics with you and wait for the girls to come home. Teach, Princess, and Prima Donna are all at different parties.

Sport's playoff game is early tomorrow, so I hope the girls don't stay out too late. I'd like to sleep a little. Maybe I should take lessons from Crafty. Here she is in a sugar-induced sleep!

Did you all have a happy and safe Halloween?

Happy Halloween!

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays, but this year I can't seem to get my head around the fact that October is over! What happened to fall? Pretty soon we will have snow and ice and Christmas.

My kids are already counting down the days...

Oh don't get me wrong, I love Christmas too. I love the entire holiday season. But after tomorrow the season will be in full swing and I have 4 November birthdays and not a single idea for Christmas gifts. I did sign up my kids for Jr. Jazz basketball today, so at least I've got that together.

I played volleyball for 3 hours tonight. Tournaments start next week and my legs hurt. I might have to send my sweetie out with the kids while I stay home and hand out treats.

Prima Donna made this cute My Little Pony costume for Baby Doll for her birthday a few weeks ago and now she has it all together with her leotard and everything. I thought I'd share a pic with you to get you in the Halloween spirit.

Happy Halloween!

Oct 30, 2014

Writer's Block

See that super tall clarinet in the middle? That's Prima Donna.
I'm just not feeling it today. I know that's a poor excuse for not chatting with you, but my life has been a bit more chaotic than usual (you didn't think that were possible, did you?). It's just that my garden froze and Bossy and I have been trying to save as much of our harvest as possible.

So today I put up beets, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and I picked and juiced 2 more buckets of grapes. I also took a trip to Utah County to deliver a bunch of Tupperware and return the dress Princess borrowed for the DYW Scholarship pageant.

And we had a concert for Fajita and Prima Donna. Even with all of Bossy's help I've been swamped. I still have 2 batches of tomatoes to run through the canner, but I'm putting them in the fridge and going to bed. Tomorrow is a new day and I'm tired.

Wow! That sounds super-whiney. I promise to be more positive tomorrow. :)

Hmmm. How's this? "I'm positive I'll be more whiney tomorrow."

Just kidding...

Oct 29, 2014

She's A Winner!

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that my kids love to participate in coloring contests. They will spend hours making these pictures perfect. :) Baby Doll has never won anything before, but now that she has turned 4, she thinks she is a big girl.

So last week we turned in the fire engine coloring pages from the Home Depot contest. I thought they were going to announce the winners last Saturday, and when we didn't hear anything, I just assumed we had not been successful.

Then this morning the phone call came. Baby Doll had been selected as the winner in her age category! She was so excited! She waited somewhat impatiently to drive over and claim her prize. The lady at the Customer Service desk asked her if she liked pink or purple and then she handed her a cute princess bag with shoes, earrings, bangles and beads, but the best part was the pink sparkly purse.

She loved them right away and it was difficult to get her to wait until we got in the van to open up her treasure. She is hoping this is the beginning of many coloring contest wins!

Oct 28, 2014

Guest Blog: Bingham Ball by Prima Donna

On Saturday I had the opportunity to go to my first high school dance.  It was our formal girls pref, commonly known as Sadies, but we call it Bingham Ball.

Here in Utah, "promposals" are a big thing.  So about three weeks ago.  I chose my date and left a huge bag of popcorn on his doorstep.  Classy.  Three days later I got a reply with candy corn.  (We're so corny...)  After, weeks of stressing about my hair and my dress, the day finally arrived.  Teach was a huge help.  First of all she let me borrow her prom dress from high school and she did my hair.  I felt like a princess.

I was so nervous.  Everything went great!  Almost...

Dinner was way cool.  Since its "girl prom" you're supposed to go to a fancy dinner but since when do high-schoolers have money for stuff like that?  So we went to the local Zupas.  A girl in our group bribed her little brother and his friends to be our waiters.  They had a corner reserved for us with tablecloths and roses.  And the food was cheap and scrumptious which is always a plus.

We headed for the ball.  It was at the State Capitol and it was so pretty and very loud!!  It was so fun, though.  The dance was by far the best part of the night.  Then things started going downhill.

We got out to the car and Princess realized she had left her lights on for almost 3 hours!!  The car was completely dead.  Thankfully, a nice couple saw us and were able to give us a jump.  We were on our way to the after party when we glitched again but this time it was a human error. There was a miscommunication in our group about which house the after party was at and we showed up at the wrong house.  Yeah, that was awkward...

Overall, it was a great memorable experience and I had so much fun.  My date kept me laughing all night and it was such a blast!

Oct 27, 2014

Cupcake Club Social

Look at me, I'm back to posting late again. I was trying to change that up a bit last week so see if I could get a little more sleep. It seems that I will just shuffle paperwork around to avoid writer's block and that keeps me up much later. (Not that I don't need to do that paperwork...)

It's been a rough couple of weeks and I was really looking forward to a little down time today. I didn't get much, but enough that I feel mostly ready to face a new week. The little ones go back to school tomorrow, so that means life will change again. No more sleeping in. :(

I've told you about most of the craziness of last week, but I wanted to show you the cute cupcakes Princess did with her Cupcake Club. For the opening social last month she taught them how to use and make fondant, so this time she wanted to teach them about frosting. Since it's so close to Halloween, holiday-themed designs caught her imagination.

Her club meets right after school one Thursday a month. She made 100 cupcakes (she also made 100 more for the GS activity on Friday). It's a good thing she loves to bake. Tonight she mixed up 10 batches of sugar cookies for Pack Meeting on Tuesday. We will have to bake them tomorrow or Tuesday morning, but making the dough is half the battle.

She loves having her own club and the opportunity to teach others about her cooking passions. Check out her fun pictures.

Oct 26, 2014

Go for the Gold!

Have I told you that I am the Higher Awards Specialist for our Oquirrh Community of Girl Scouts? It's usually a pretty easy job. I just get to be the cheerleader for a bunch of girls who might be interested in earning higher awards. But yesterday was different.

A couple of months ago, Princess and Prima Donna went with me to the annual calendaring meeting for the Oquirrh Community. If you remember, they are both Delegates for that group. So we started knocking around a few ideas about how to get the older girls excited to earn these special awards. Elementary-aged girls earn a Bronze Award, the middle school girls earn a Silver Award, and the high school girls earn the Gold Award. Well, the breakdown isn't exactly like that, but it's close enough to give you the picture.

Anyway, my girls settled on an idea. They wanted to plan an activity for the girls and get them excited. When we put it on the calendar it seemed so far away, but as the days sped by, it crept up on me. I've been working on it along with Princess (Prima Donna has been awol because of the play).

Princess planned most of the activities and I helped her execute them. We had an opening ceremony that didn't work out well because we forgot one of the cords to run the sound system so we just decided to do it at the closing ceremony which was fine.

The whole activity was centered around the Olympics and each of the three badge stations had 3 activities to work on. They were mini service projects that included tying fleece blankets, making earrings for the Festival of Trees, and beadie animal kits for Primary Children's Medical Center.

When the projects were done, we all met back in the gym for a dance party and then the informational part of the activity. It seems that all of Princess's creativity had sparked some ideas in the about 40 girls who were there. Then they all enjoyed Princess's cupcakes and we sent them home so we could clean up.

I'm so glad it's over! Now it's on to the next big thing...

Oct 24, 2014

Hall of Experiences

I was looking through my phone this morning trying to decide what to share with you when I realized I never posted on our Hall of Experiences at the National Girl Scout Convention. We had so much fun!

We were missing a few girls because it was our fall break and some of them were out of town, but we had most of them there. Princess was at her pageant, of course, so she wasn't with us either. We gathered the rest of the girls at 1:00 and drove downtown to the Salt Palace.

After checking in, we entered the Hall of Experiences. The room was huge! We started wandering. The older girls took off together one way and we kept the little ones with us. The first thing they did was make paper crowns. My favorite booth was the basketball one where they had a real court set up and we could shoot around. Bossy and I played while the other girls tried the hula hoops in the same area. I'm not much with the hula hoop, I prefer the basketball hoop.

After that we started looking for all the freebies. The girls made ceramic ornaments, sampled cookies, spun a giant wheel. They got bags and coin purses, notebooks and pencils. They made headscarves and munched on trail mix and chocolate.

They had a race car and a giant tree house in the center. My favorite part (next to playing basketball) was watching the 3 female members of the Harlem Globetrotters do tricks for us. We even got a picture of them with Scout!

Our very last activity with some of the girls was the welding simulator. Fajita, Scout, and Prima Donna all did so well that they earned t-shirts for their efforts.

It's too bad the convention only comes every 3 years and apparently about every 100 years to Utah. The girls loved it!

Oct 23, 2014

Go Grizzlies!

We are still reaping the rewards of all of our summer reading. Last night we took the kids to the Grizzlies hockey game. It wasn't quite as easy as it was supposed to be. When I mailed in my free passes, I also included my 3 passes from the Scouting Expo so the adults could be free as well as the kids.

I wasn't sure how they would feel about that, so yesterday I called the management office to make sure everything was in order before we took all the kids down to the Maverik Center. After a couple of additional calls, we were assured that all was well.

Unfortunately, when we stopped at Will Call to pick up our tickets, they couldn't find them.

So we stood around for 10 minutes until someone from management came in and said to just comp them all! It was the right thing to do, but I was still pretty worried that it wasn't going to work out and we would just have to go back home.

We enjoyed the game. It was a light turnout. Sport even caught a t-shirt they threw into the crowd! Sadly, the Grizzlies lost to Colorado in overtime, but on the FUN scale, it was definitely a win.

Oct 22, 2014

More Grapes

Look what I got from my awesome neighbor, Pauline!

So guess what I am doing today (and yesterday and probably tomorrow)...

That's right, I'm making grape juice that will eventually be grape jelly. I put water in the bottom of my steamer, then the part that holds the juice. Then I wash the grapes and put them in the colander on top and put the lid on. I turn the stove on high and almost immediately I get that heavenly smell of concord grapes.

The juice comes out the little hose and into this 20-quart stockpot. Can you see the numbers? I'm up to almost 10 quarts already!

 Time to go buy more jars...

Oct 21, 2014

Field Trip!

This is the last off-track week for my elementary-aged kids. It seems like we haven't accomplished much. We haven't even cleaned their rooms yet! My sweetie took the kids on some fun field trips last week (maybe I can get Scout or Sport to post on them), but he is back to work now, so it is up to me to plan and execute the fun.

So Sport is an 11-year-old scout now and all of his troop meetings have been right over the top of football practice so he has not been able to participate. He and I met with his leader early in the season and I promised to keep him as updated as I possibly could so he wouldn't get behind. It's been hard!

We did a bunch of fun things (and some not so fun) over the weekend and then on Monday we had a field trip to the Water Conservancy Park in West Jordan. I know I've posted on this place before, but it was a totally different experience this time.

I have only been there when things have been in full bloom. It isn't that way now. They have cut back many of the plants and things are going dormant for the season. The kids didn't like it as well. The grass was prickly and the leaves were crackly, but we still had fun.

We were looking for things that were poisonous. Did you know that Iris is poisonous if you eat it? I doubt you would die, but it would make you pretty sick. Not that you are likely to be chewing on plants anytime soon, I was just trying to show off my new-found knowledge.

Sometimes I think I learn more from Scout activities than the kids do.

Oct 20, 2014

Dog Walker's Annual Halloween Display

Remember last week I told you we put in a new circuit to support the Dog Walker's holiday light extravaganzas? He was all excited last night to take pictures for you so you could see what has been considered by some to be his best show ever.

Oct 19, 2014

Princess's DYW Scholarship Pageant - 2nd Night

Princess on the far right - Opening Number
Personal Expression
So the Distinguished Young Woman of Utah has been selected and it wasn't my beautiful and awesome Princess, but she did a fantastic job in the program and she learned so much. I would still recommend the experience, but next time I think we will work harder on doing a better job with the paperwork.

Princess tends to be humble and modest about her own accomplishments and we probably should have been a bit more braggy and vocal in this situation.

I was so proud of her last night! She has poise and stage presence. She comes across as real and not rehearsed. She is beautiful inside and outside.

And we celebrated that beauty and her genuine spirit by heading to Applebees for 1/2 price apps. The manager came by and when we told him why we were there he even gave her a free dessert.

Now that's definitely a winner!
Celebrating at Applebees

Oct 18, 2014

Princess's DYW Scholarship Pageant - First Night

Princess looked so beautiful last night! The Distinguished Young Women break their program into two nights because with 32 participants, it would have been extremely long.

Princess was in the opening number, the closing number, and she did her talent. I took such a long video of her talent that my phone shut down so now I can't share it with you. But I did manage to take a few pics with my sweetie's phone so you could get an idea.

We had some time to talk with her after the event was over and before she was whisked away to the host family for one more evening. She is so sweet. She doesn't care if she wins. She would like some scholarship money, but she feels like this is SOO much more important to some of these girls than it is to her. She says they have been prepping for it for over a year. Princess just thought it would be fun and a good experience for her.

So for tonight's final program, we are happy, no matter what happens. Our Princess is already a Distinguished Young Woman, if she represents the state of Utah or not.

Oct 17, 2014

Dancing at the GS National Convention

Guess it really is a down week because last night when I tried to write a post for you, my internet was down.

I really wanted to share with you too! We attended the Girl Scout National Convention opening ceremony last night. WOW! That's all I can say.

OK, maybe I can say a little more. It was crazy! Kind of like a massive Tupperware rally on steroids. They said there were about 6000 people there and I believe it. It was pretty amazing. They started off with a flag ceremony that led into a roll call of sorts. They had flags from every nation that has girl scouts, then they brought in flags from all the states and territories. Each time one was announced, people from that state or area would stand up and cheer and raise flags.

Then the National CEO spoke for a bit and our Council CEO. We had videos from Michelle Obama and Governor Herbert. Then the mayor of Salt Lake spoke to us. The keynote speaker was Alison Levine, author of ON THE EDGE. She did an amazing job!

But the best part was watching my girls dance. I just wish that part would have been a little longer and we would have been closer to the front. I'm hoping somebody will post the whole thing to YouTube so I can watch them all instead of the Jumbotrons.

Baby Doll made friends with an older grandma scout from Kentucky. She even gave her a little bracelet swap. Today we are going back over with the troop to visit their Hall of Experiences. I'll let you know how that goes.

Princess also has her first night of the DYW pageant tonight, so we will be running all day.

And last but not least, we had an electrician over today to put in an extra circuit for the Dog Walker's lights.

We don't want his Halloween display going "down" this week.