Feb 28, 2015

Quilts and More Quilts

Princess has a friend named Daylen that you have probably seen on this blog before. She has been encouraging him to finish up some projects before they graduate including his 9th grade English class, his Duty to God award, and his Eagle Scout.

So today was the culmination of many hours of work as we set up the 8 baby quilts several of us pieced for Primary Children's Medical Center. Daylen actually made two of the tops himself! I started the set up about 1:30 and we finished up just before 8:00, but all the quilts are tied and mostly ready to be bound.

Feb 27, 2015

Laura Ingalls Wilder

When I was a child, I used to have tons of time to read. It was what made me want to major in English and become a writer myself. One of my favorite authors was Laura Ingalls Wilder. I had that boxed set of Little House books and I read them so many times I think I wore them out.

So when Scout was looking for a character to write her book report for the wax museum, I was so excited to introduce her to Laura. Unfortunately, she wasn't nearly as excited as me.

I chose Little House on the Prairie, because it was the first one I ever read, and she begrudgingly listened to me read to her. Night after night it was an argument as she insisted the book was boring and she didn't want to read it.

We finally finished it on the weekend and she started working on her report. The wax museum required her to dress like her character and pretend to be Laura with a tri-fold display and a little prepared speech. She was less than enthusiastic.

Then we dressed her up like Laura.

Suddenly everything changed! Laura was the coolest ever! And you know what? Scout actually really looks like her. I went to the school this morning to see her present and she did an excellent job.

Then tonight she dressed up again and after family scripture time she presented for the entire family. As she was getting ready for bed, she mentioned to me in passing, "Oh, I started reading Little House in the Big Woods. I really like these books."

<sigh> Mission accomplished.

Feb 26, 2015

Blast From the Past - Baby Doll, June 2012

Drama Queen wanted me to do a Blast from the Past on Baby Doll. The problem with that is that she is about the same age as the blog by a few months. So we thought maybe you would appreciate a "see how big I've grown!" comparison.

Remember this post from June 2012?

My favorite of the three pictures is this one.

So today Drama Queen re-enacted that picture with my now 4-year-old Baby Doll.

She still fits! Sorta...

Feb 25, 2015

Survived It

I actually made it through my crazy, hectic day!

Did you have any doubts? I did...

Maybe it's because I couldn't sleep last night. Or maybe because about 4:45 AM, Scout came into my room with an earache. I don't know.

Taco's car for his pack meeting.
Drama Queen took care of things this morning so I could try to sleep a little. We both took Baby Doll to her ballet class at 10:00 and then we ran to Curves for a quick workout. We gassed up the van and ran for the streamers I needed for my table decorations and still picked her up at 10:45.

We headed downtown immediately so that Drama Queen could get her paperwork in so she can go to work as a substitute teacher in the Granite district. Then we stopped by Chick-fil-A and used my free sandwich coupons for a quick lunch on our way home.

I ran through the grocery store for the salad dressing I forgot and then it was home to pull the last minute stuff together. I only had about an hour before I had to be at the elementary school to help with their Marketplace for Scout's class, so I used it wisely and make the uniform inspection awards and gathered the rest of the stuff I needed for tonight.

I also managed to get a much-needed shower and a change of clothes. I arranged for Princess's Cupcake Club to tour Peterson's Bakery on Thursday. That was the 4th place we contacted. I wish we would have called them first! They were so accommodating and all the other places just didn't have the time to help us.

Side View
I had fun at the school, selling housing to the kids for play money, but it was after 3:00 when I finally got home. I gathered what I needed and headed for the church. The Dog Walker had an appointment with his tutor and he wasn't able to help me set up so I had to do it by myself. Fourteen tables and 100 chairs later and I was exhausted. It was almost 5:30 by the time I finished the tablecloths and decorations.

I drove home to pick up the rest of the stuff and make my quick pot of chicken noodle soup. Yeah, I confess, I opened 8 cans and added water to my crockpot. Teach showed up about the time I was packing the cooler and she helped me get things in the van. Then the Dog Walker came home and we were ready.

Cute pic of Teach
By 6:15 she had the projector all set up for the slide show and I had the food under control. Other leaders showed up with their crocks of soup and we were good to go. The crazy part? I didn't even think to take a single picture!

Things ran smoothly and by 8:00 we were cleaning up. Unfortunately, we had some trouble getting the screen to go back up and that took almost half an hour to solve. I finally got home at 8:40 after locking up the church and quickly changed for basketball.

I have to admit I was moving much slower than usual and my shot was definitely off. But I was there. I got home just before 11:00, read scriptures and had family prayer with the kids who were still up and sent them all off to bed. As soon as I finish up this post for you, that's where I'm going.

Maybe tonight I won't have any trouble falling asleep.

Feb 24, 2015

Ready for Cookies?!

I got an email this morning...

Girl Scout Cookies will be here on Saturday!

How did that happen so fast? I already have a crazy week! Blue and Gold Banquet is tomorrow night and the Dog Walker and I are in charge of that one so there is plenty of work to do to prepare. I also signed up to help with Scout's Jr. Marketplace tomorrow, but I was certain it would be in the morning...yeah, right. I will be at the school until 3:30 and then I will have to book it over to the church to set up for the banquet that starts at 6:30. But that's better than the Dog Walker, he has a tutor appointment that ends at 5:00 and a normally 20-minute drive when it isn't rush hour traffic.

My sweetie is taking off work early so he can accompany Princess to her State Sterling Scholar interview. Lots of scholarship money on the line for that one, but we won't know the results until March 10. Drama Queen is going to take care of things on the home front and help me set up the projector for the slide show Teach made for the banquet.

It seems like this whole week is that way, just one thing after another. Scout's Wax Museum project at school, an Eagle Scout project, Activity Days, Cupcake Club, Youth City Council, Dance, Scouts...some weeks are just exhausting.

Not that it matters. The cookies are still coming.

Get your money ready, we will be knocking at your door on Saturday afternoon...
   ...after the Lowe's class, and Sport's Chess tournament and... and...

Feb 23, 2015

Guest Blog: The Queen by Princess

Best dance ever! I just have no idea where to begin. I had the best date, and the best photographers, and being crowned Queen was pretty cool. I guess we can just go chronologically. So I picked up my date at 5:00 (had his mom pin on his boutonniere) and we headed over to get Prima Donna’s boy.

We didn’t get lost on the way to his house (this time) and we arrived at Daybreak Lake at 5:30 to take pictures. Teach and Drama Queen showed up a few minutes later and we started snapping pictures even though the other couple wasn’t there yet. I usually hate the picture taking part but with all my family and these awesome Madrigal Men it was a blast and they turned out pretty cute.

We then headed to Applebee’s where Gamer had saved a table for us. He was our server and it was a good thing too because that place was packed! I never drink anything but water but I made an exception and tried some different lemonades. I let Gamer mix me up some random ones (raspberry mango, something and kiwi I’m not really sure) but they were all super tasty!

It was getting close to eight so we decided to head to the dance since they were announcing the Queen at 8:30. We only got to dance to one song before all nominees were ushered into a side room. We waited for the couples (which felt like forever) and then we walked over to the small stage area. By this point I had already gotten sick of my shoes so my date was carrying them for me. We scrunched up to fit all 21 contestants in but there eventually were two lines made and we ended up being in the back.

As soon as they got everyone lined up, they started giving out awards. They gave the special ed girl a sash, then the second attendant a necklace and then a little voice in the back of my head (that sounded suspiciously like my mom’s voice) said, “Princess, you won.” I quickly pushed that thought aside because I did not want disappointment, but then they announced the 1st attendant. Now you might think I would be freaking out but I was totally calm.

“And the 2015 Sweeheart’s Queen representing the cake club cup…. the club cupcake cake… the cupcake...” and then they said my name. I squeezed my way through the front line of couples and cameras started flashing (yearbook staff) and they handed me a bouquet and put a tiara on my head and I was just smiling so hard and thanking everyone.

My date was still in the back row just smiling so we finally got him to come forward. Then they cleared the space and we got to dance with everyone watching. My FCCLA advisor held my flowers for me and my date put my shoes on a nearby speaker and we danced with hundreds of eyes on us.

So, the big question: Was I surprised? No. In a very humble way. The Lord had helped me through this whole ordeal and I knew he would help me with whatever the outcome was as well. In this case he helped me stand confident and not be embarrassed as suddenly the whole night was about me. All these people were congratulating me and the Quarterback cut in and danced with me and I did all these things that I could never have even imagined doing a few years ago. It truly was a dream come true in more ways than one.

Thanks for all those who supported me, especially my sweet family and my date, I could never had done this without you guys. Of course you gave me a picture perfect night, but you also gave me confidence and love and support and that means so much to me.

Feb 22, 2015

New Temporary Blog Name for Princess

I know you have been on pins and needles all day worrying how the Sweethearts contest came out for Princess, right?

At 8:39 she texted me this pic and nothing else!

See that tiara? Those roses? Just for today, Princess has been named the Sweethearts' Queen at Bingham High School. We are so excited for her!

Teach took all these pics before the dance at Daybreak Lake. They had a great time. I will see if we can get them to post tomorrow and give you all the great details, but it's nearly 2:00 AM now and time for bed.

Feb 21, 2015

Sweethearts' Contest

If you read Princess's post from yesterday, you will know that she is a nominee for the Sweethearts' Queen at her high school. She is so excited for this opportunity and she has worked so hard! The contest itself is finally over and now it's just a waiting game. The big dance where they will announce the winners is tomorrow.

The $226 cake...er cakes.
But this post isn't really about that.

Last night Princess spent hours creating her cake for the auction today. As the President of the Cupcake Club, she felt an incredible amount of pressure to be amazing. After she finally fell into bed last night, Teach texted me and asked me how I felt about helping her buy Princess's cake. I offered $25 and she agreed to match it. Then she got this brilliant beyond brilliant plan to see if others would help.

You know, so many people love my Princess. By the time our collection was up, we had accumulated $226 to bid on her cake! So I texted a friend of hers and invited him to make the bid. He was happy to do it. My sweetie ran cash to him in the parking lot (people probably thought it was a drug deal...) and then we all waited somewhat impatiently for her cake to go on the auction block.

Her cute photo for the contest, Baby Doll & Curly.
Before they had hardly introduced her cake, he shouted "226!" There was an audible gasp from the crowd. The most expensive cake had gone for $109 in the first lunch. Some silly boy tried to bid $3 thinking that perhaps Princess's friend meant $2.26, but he was immediately shut down.

The cake was bought with love and faith in our beautiful Princess. We are all so proud of her and the amazing young woman she has become. Five years ago she would have been too shy and scared to even try out for the queen, so no matter what the outcome is at the dance tomorrow, she is definitely a winner.

Feb 20, 2015

Guest Blog: Sweethearts Nominee by Princess

There's no talent portion, but look at this cool pic of me!
Last year around this time I was watching girls from my school participate in a couple crazy activities and events in hopes of winning a crown and I thought, "I want to do that!" Now if you know me, you know what I did next. I formed a plan. I was going to be a Sweethearts nominee my senior year. Here's the problem, you have to be nominated (nominees are nominated?!) and that was not looking too likely. Well, go big or go home, I started my own club. That's right, the main reason the Cupcake Club started was so I could battle 20 other girls for a flag and and a 3-hour title. 

I don't think I'll win; I don't think that was ever part of my goal. I just wanted the experience and honestly I'm really enjoying it. On Tuesday my "king" (my sweethearts' date) and I dressed up like a famous couple and were presented to the student body. We took Beauty and the Beast's Red Riding Hood Halloween costume and got the crowd laughing with my super cooperative king wearing a skirt and hood and skipping down the auditorium and me being ready to steal his basket full of a giant cupcake (that my mom made out of a lamp shade [she's the coolest ]). 
On Wednesday we had to turn in a poster that represented our club and a photo that represented this year's Sweethearts theme, "You are Always on my Mind."

At lunch on Wednesday there was a hot dog eating contest. Each hot dog a girl ate counted as 2 points but the boys only counted for 1. We had 2.5 minutes and a whole plate of hot dogs. Before we started I made a choice, even if I didn't win, I was going to come out swinging. I ate 4 hotdogs and while they truly were good (no buns, no condiments, just plain), I did not feel good after that. My date ate 7. 

Today, I made a whole bunch of cupcakes for the cake decorating/auction contest. I'm really worried about getting them there in perfect condition. Thank goodness Tupperware makes a cupcake carrier. After that, I just wait for the students to vote. So wish me luck.

P.S. My dress does still fit after 4 hotdogs, though I was quite worried.

Feb 19, 2015

Blast from the Past - Teach 2009

Teach graduated from high school in 2009. I just happened upon a file under her name from that time frame. It was fun to look back and remember all the good things about when she was a senior.

First of all, she and Curly were really close although in these pics he is only about 9 months old, you can see the relationship already starting to develop.You probably noticed he wasn't "curly" yet either.

She drove this fun blue Beetle we bought used for her, but the car turned out to be a real lemon. We managed to trade it back in for something more reliable. She was sad, but relieved that she wouldn't have to worry about it constantly breaking down.
She must have already known a mission to Texas was in her future. There are tons of pics of her and Scout in these cute pink cowboy hats.

The most memorable thing about her senior year was probably when she broke her foot playing basketball with me. It ended in surgery with a screw near her little toe. She had crutches for quite a while and then a walking boot. She was still wearing it at graduation and when she received her Girl Scout Gold Award.
I can't believe how much she has grown and changed in the last 6 years.

We all have.

Feb 17, 2015

Guest Blogger: Cupcake Wars at Kauri Sue Hamilton by Elder Dog Walker

I know that it's been a long time since I got to tell a lot of you about how the mission is going. Y'all have heard that I extended my mission until June, only because it would be awkward to end the mission right in the middle of the school year for the students, so I decided to keep on serving until the end of the school year for these students.There are a lot of other things happening on the mission that went great. On the sixth of February, Kauri Sue was doing a Cupcake Wars competition with the faculty and they let anybody turn in cupcakes to go for the contest. I wish you could have tried the cupcakes that I created for the competition. I made Book of Mormon Blueberry cupcakes and it was hard to try to make them taste like blueberry and to also make small Book of Mormon fondants on top of the cupcakes. But after I was done serving in the seminary that day, I went to the Atrium at Kauri Sue where the judging would take place. Everyone had a lot of other cupcakes with them. Some were awarded best taste and most creative. I won most creative and they asked for a picture with me and the other winners. The people at Kauri Sue thought the cupcakes I made were wonderful. One woman there bought them for eleven dollars and tried one of them. She said they were delicious. It was one of the most fun times of the mission that I’ve done.There are a lot of other events coming for my mission and I know they'll be wonderful until I plan to write my homecoming talk in June. I hope you enjoyed on what you can hear. If any of you are interested on how these cupcakes should taste, I guess there might be a time I would give you a food for thought and to show the recipe. Hope you enjoyed it.

Feb 16, 2015

Presidents' Day

How did you spend your Presidents' Day? My sweetie and the boys got up early and put up flags while I snoozed until about 9:00. OK, maybe it was closer to 10:00. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my sweetie (and Baby Doll) had both climbed back into bed with me. That's when we decided we didn't want to plan anything productive today.

Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), the Dog Walker had different ideas.

He had already started cleaning the garage! So we ate breakfast with the kids and reluctantly dragged our feet as we made our way out to help. By 2:00 things were looking much better so we took a break for lunch before finishing up.

Oh, it's certainly not perfect! We have all of Teach's storage in there and now Drama Queen's as well. That makes it difficult to find places for all of our things. But we will manage. It certainly didn't take long before the kids were spreading their projects out everywhere...

After a short break, which included a run to Over the Top Cookies, we headed upstairs so the kids could put away their clean laundry. They were NOT happy about the thoughts of more work, but Drama Queen helped while I read to them. We finished Little House of the Prairie. Scout needed to read it before she does her Wax Museum next week. Yeah, it's exactly what it sounds like...she has to dress up like Laura Ingalls Wilder and give a report.

My sweetie cooked an amazing dinner for us while we finished up in the bedrooms. Then we had Family Home Evening and played a board game. Even though I didn't want to do anything particularly productive today, other than the fact that I'm tired right now, I'm glad we got some good things accomplished. It makes it much easier to face another long week.

It's Sweethearts' week and Princess is a nominee so she will be jumping through all sorts of hoops before they announce the queen on Saturday night at the dance. I'll keep you posted on her activities. Crafty has her first MathCounts competition on Saturday. There is also parent/teacher conferences and then the Blue and Gold Banquet to prepare for next week.

It never stops.

Birthday Party for Burrito

My sweetie did an excellent job on his talk today in Sacrament Meeting. I'd share it with you, but he doesn't write talks like I do and I'm afraid his notes wouldn't make much sense to anyone.

We had a birthday party for Burrito even though he is not turning 8 until Wednesday. It was pretty low-key and very fun. We had corn dogs and french fries for dinner along with fruit and veggies. He wanted a tres leches cake, but we settled for a yellow cake with strawberries and whipped cream. Don't get me wrong, I love tres leches! That's the problem.

My sweetie and I gave him a new baseball glove even though we already paid for his basketball league for his birthday gift.

It's been a nice weekend. We got time today to just sit around a bit and enjoy each other. That doesn't happen nearly often enough around here. My sweetie went to bed early since he has to be up at 5:00 to put up the flags with the Young Men.

Not me, I'm sleeping in.

Happy Presidents' Day!

Feb 15, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Today was a beautiful day! So sunny and warm here in Utah... it's just crazy for February. We didn't even wear jackets.

It was a down day for me even though it was pretty busy. We slept in because Sport went to Bossy's house last night so she could get him up and out the door to the Merit Badge Pow Wow this morning. So I got to sleep in until about 9:00.

Then we took the kids to the Lowe's class and they built a cute valentine picture holder. Those free classes are so nice. When we got back to the house we spent some time making valentines for friends and Baby Doll and I took something over to our sweet friend who lost her husband a couple of weeks ago. She is doing well; I admire her so much. I’m sure I’d be a total mess.

We had our last Jr. Jazz basketball game at 2:00. Scout made a basket! It was pretty exciting. We lost, but at least the girls are trying to shoot a little now. After we got all of our valentines delivered, we ran to the store and then settled in for the evening. Princess and her friend made homemade pizza for all of us. Teach just finished reading the Harry Potter series and she instigated a Harry Potter movie marathon. I think they are up to number 5 now. I’ve seen glimpses here and there, but I’m trying to stay a bit more productive this weekend.

Drama Queen finished hand-stitching all the surgery dolls for Primary Children’s Medical Center. I think she told me we had 118. I’m glad to get some of these projects all finished up. I spent the evening with my sweetie in relatively companionable silence. He was working on his talk for church tomorrow and I was trying to clean my desk and not bug him. But I think I must have a bit of the Dog Walker in me because I couldn’t resist talking to myself…

My sweetie gave me some beautiful flowers, a heart-shaped box of chocolates, and a new basketball for Valentine’s Day. What more could a girl want?!