May 31, 2015

Birthday Party for Bean Dip

Guess who is finally a teenager?! Man, why do I always give that away in the title...?

Bean Dip actually turned 13 last Sunday, but since we were out of town, it was pretty difficult to have a party. So we decided today would be the perfect day! We could use our newly-renewed Pass of all Passes and we could go to Seven Peaks Waterpark.

It was a perfect plan, except that my kids had 4 ball games this morning and Bossy's family had 2. Going out to play in the waterpark was pretty out of the question until the games were over.

We started our morning early at the Family Funfest our stake was having that included breakfast and family history games and workshops. The kids would have loved to stay for the entire time except that Curly's game started at 10:30, so we only got a short while to hang out at the church.

I was at the park from 10:00 until about 1:30 and then we rushed off to Sam's for groceries and then out to Lowe's to buy a new dishwasher and then back home to make sandwiches for our evening at Seven Peaks. Princess had already made cupcakes for us, so when Taco got here after his last game, we were mostly ready to go.

We loaded into the vans and arrived at the waterpark about 5:30. It was overcast and the water was pretty cold, but the kids still had a great time! We played until they closed the park up at 8:00.

We got home at 9:00 straight up and worked on cleaning up a bit and making more cake for Fajita's birthday party tomorrow. Princess also has Seminary Graduation and she is speaking in Sacrament Meeting. Some days there are just so many things...

May 30, 2015

A Change of Plans

I have a story to tell you. And it's not a fish story.

When we got home from our little trip over Memorial Day weekend, the floors were beautiful except for in one place...near the dishwasher. For some reason, they seemed warped.

My sweetie decided it was probably because he did the washing and the sealing of the floor so close together and a little water was trapped. If that were the case, the boards would settle down in a couple of weeks and all would be well.

All wasn't well.

The Dog Walker didn't mention that his ceiling was leaking, he just moved out onto the couch in the projector room. I pray for safety every day and I'm happy to say that the Dog Walker was at the temple when the ceiling came crashing down on his bed, with drywall and water, and insulation everywhere. It was a ridiculous mess!

My sweetie discovered that something was malfunctioning in the dishwasher and he shut off the water and took it out of the circuit. It is now sitting on the porch.

The boards in the kitchen are still warped under their new finish, and water continues to drip slowly from the exposed joists in the Dog Walker's room. We have fans going on in there 24/7, trying to dry things out and hopefully save the carpet, although we will mostly have to completely redo his room anyway.

So this is the end of the story.

I had a meeting for my Girl Scout troop planned this afternoon at my house, except that my house is a shambles. We changed our plans at the last minute and we took the girls over to Scheel's. We had to much fun riding the Ferris Wheel and taking pictures in their photo op booths.

They asked me to put lots of pics of them in my post today, so instead of showing you the gaping hole in the ceiling or the dripping water or warped boards, I'm going to show you pics of my cute girl scouts having a ball at Scheel's.

May 29, 2015

Guest Blogger: Dessert Potluck at Kauri Sue Hamilton by Elder Dog Walker

It's been a little while since I've got to tell you some more about my mission. The mission is going pretty well and my testimony is about built up. All the children at the seminaries have been blessed with their knowledge of the Gospel and they're hoping that it will be kept to them for the rest of their lives. It goes for me, the teachers, and the fellow missionaries also. It's a little disappointing that my mission is going to be done this week, but I'm pretty sure that it was a blessing that I'll never forget for the rest of my life.

Today is Kauri Sue Hamilton's last day of their school year and I wanted to finish my mission by the time their school year ended. Yesterday, at Kauri Sue Hamilton, we had a Summer Luncheon. It was also a dessert potluck, meaning every missionary was required to bring a treat to share at the luncheon. Remember the missionary story about Kauri Sue Hamilton doing a Cupcake Wars competition? You know, when my idea was to do Book of Mormon Blueberry? Well, for the dessert potluck, I thought that I could give them my prize winning Book of Mormon Blueberry cupcakes, but then another thought came in my mind. I decided to make Strawberry Stripling Warrior cupcakes. The way I made them was with strawberry and chocolate cake mixes striped patterned. And then I spread chocolate frosting on top of the cupcakes and I use half of a natural strawberry and stick on top of the cupcake and I used green frosting and drew arms, legs and a face on the strawberry. And the last part, I put a pretzel stick on the tip of the arm and it looks like a little warrior. All of you would think it's cute.

The potluck at Kauri Sue Hamilton was a blast, even though a couple of people got to try the cupcakes. We had baked potatoes, hot dogs, and chili at the luncheon and all the other missionaries brought their treats for the dessert potluck. I brought 24 cupcakes to the potluck just in case a lot of people would want to try them. Unfortunately, I ended up having to take eighteen of them home with me, but at least a few people liked them and I also saved some for my siblings who wanted to try it.

I hope you enjoyed hearing about my mission and I'm pretty sure that all of you are going to love to hear my missionary report after the 28th of June.

P.S. If you want to try my idea of these cupcakes, you can. They are as good as you can imagine.

May 28, 2015

Weather in Utah

We have had the craziest weather this month! You know we are in the middle of a drought here. We didn't get hardly any snow this winter and people have been so worried about how we are going to have enough water for our gardens and even to drink.

But then May came and so did the rains. It has been crazy here! We have had rain almost every day. All the baseball and softball games keep canceling and rescheduling. Curly has to play 2 double-headers now and these guys are six years old!

Today was the craziest. I left the house with the Dog Walker to drop him off at the library and run a couple of other errands like gassing up my car. Our first stop was the high school and the Dog Walker ran a paper inside for Prima Donna. The skies were pretty clear...until he got back in the car.

By the time I got out on the road, the rain was pelting down in huge raindrops that seemed to splash back up when they hit the ground. By the time we drove the six blocks to Redwood Road, the hail had started. Marble-sized missiles smacked my car. For a minute I thought they might even break my windshield, but they didn't.

When we got to the library, poor Dog Walker had to run to the door while ducking the hail and rain. Then for a minute the hail was gone and I thought the rain was subsiding, but it was only catching its breath to blow in an even bigger storm.

As I pulled back on to Redwood (I only had about 4 blocks to go to join Drama Queen and Baby Doll at Smith's so we could both buy gas), the hail started again with a vengeance. Before I got to the gas station, the ground was covered with hail so much so that it looked like snow.

When I pulled over at Smith's, I rolled down my window and caught one which I handed to Baby Doll so she could see it. And what do you think she did?

That's right, she popped it into her mouth! "It's an ice cube," she exclaimed.



May 27, 2015

Raingutter Regatta

We had a very successful Raingutter Regatta at pack meeting tonight! I was worried that having it right after the holiday would hurt our attendance, but we had lots of boats and supportive parents. It probably helped that we had several boys getting major awards...

The Dog Walker did an awesome job as the MC and my sweetie helped run the bracketing even though technically he is not in charge of the cubs anymore. Although Curly and Sport were both there, it was weird that neither one of them had a boat to race. Now that Sport is an 11-year-old scout, he doesn't usually participate with the cubs, and Curly won't be old enough for Tiger cubs until he turns 7 in August.

We gave out all 12 hats to some very excited kids! The one girl who placed in the open class was the happiest of all except for maybe one little guy who confided in me that this was his very first hat from any of our pack meetings and he had been trying really hard!

We are slowly pulling life back together. We got the living room and the family room rearranged and the furniture feet all covered with little felt squares and baby socks. Drama Queen even managed to get the kitchen table all fixed up with felt, so other than the clutter remaining from such a huge project, we are mostly in good order.

I even managed to get my Tupperware orders bagged! Now if I can just get it delivered...

May 26, 2015

So Drained

I am so drained.

Don't they look great?
This weekend was such a whirlwind of activity! I'm still not quite sure how we managed to pull it off. I told you already about pouring the hardwood and going to the parade and the festival and decorating graves. This is the part I didn't tell you.

Because the floors smell so ridiculously bad, we had to leave town for 4 days. We packed 2 vehicles full of sleeping bags, air mattresses, and food, and then Drama Queen and I took the kids to Classic Fun Centers where they bounced around in the bounce houses for an hour and then we took them to Menchies for frozen yogurt and then we went back to the house and sat in the car on the driveway for another half hour before it was finally time to leave.

The 2-hour drive to my dad's house was exhausting! My sweetie did the driving and I read a book to everyone, but we were all near the edge and by the time we finally arrived, we still had to set up sleeping areas, etc.

Even though my dad has plenty of beds, when we stay at his house, the kids prefer to have one big camp out in the living room, that's why we take all the air mattresses and sleeping bags. Besides, my dad doesn't need all the extra laundry because we used his bedding.

Me and Baby Doll feel the same way.
We basically lived out of the coolers, surviving on sandwiches and Pop-tarts and lots of other junk food (which was evident when I stepped on the scale this morning!). We joined my sweetie's mom on Sunday for 3 hours of church and then we had a nice hot meal and a good visit with her.

Monday was great except for the nearly constant drizzle. Not enough rain to keep us from stopping at all the cemeteries, just enough to make it uncomfortable. But I'm not complaining. Utah is so dry this year, the rain has been welcome! In fact, I'm praying for more rain today. I have the Raingutter Regatta for Pack Meeting (oh, I forgot to tell you about embroidering 12 hats, making certificates and fliers, and gathering all the stuff like the raingutters was also part of last week) and 2 ballgames tonight. I just can't be in 3 places at the same time.

We got back home on Monday about 4:30. I was so tired, I went to my bedroom, opened the windows, closed the door, and collapsed on my bed for a couple of hours. That nap gave me the energy I needed to help unload the vehicles and feel like a real person again.

Now to face a new week...

May 25, 2015

Memorial Day

I love Memorial Day! For as long as I can remember I have spent that day with family sharing memories and visiting cemeteries. This year was no different.

We went to church yesterday with my sweet MIL. We got the kids to go to all three meetings and even though they  were nervous, I think it was good for all of us to remember that the church is true everywhere.

After that we had dinner and then headed for the cemetery. It was cold and rainy so we only stayed for a few minutes. We spent the evening playing card games. The kids played wii Sports and Princess was amazing in bowling!

Today was more cemeteries and more stories. It's been a fun weekend, but I am happy to almost home.
How was your weekend?

The house my Sweetie grew up in.

May 24, 2015

Scandinavian Festival

We had so much fun at the Scandinavian festival and parade yesterday! They had a couple of small planes fly over and drop various things onto the huge crowd including stress balls.
During the first flyover Sport had hold of a ball but a bigger kid snatched it away. The second flyover made him victorious! The kids got tons of candy, a tshirt, several frisbees and more than a dozen toothbrushes and otter pops. Now they want to come to this parade every year!
My sweetie bought the cutest wooden doll furniture at the festival for my little girls' Barbie house. The older gentleman who made them was so grateful and we were happy to hand over our hard-earned money to such a cute man.
My sweetie and I went to the Manti temple in the evening with the Dog Walker and Drama Queen's friend. It was so beautiful and an amazing way to finish off the day. Crazy thing, I recognized two of the workers as the parents of my very first boyfriend!
I'm posting from my phone for the first time ever and I don't know how to add pics so you will have to stop by later to see them.
And happy birthday to our awesome grandson, Bean Dip! He is finally and officially a teenager.

May 22, 2015

Pouring the Floor

My living room
My life is in an upheaval! My sweetie said we absolutely couldn't go another year without refinishing our hardwood floors.We didn't do it last year because he was working nonstop, but this year his company has a forced holiday where no one can work the entire weekend, so what does my sweetie do?

Find something to work on...

Anyway, Bossy and her boys have been sanding and prepping for us all week and my sweetie poured a few trouble spots last night, but today is the real pour when he completely covers all the hardwood with the new finish.

I will be glad when it is over! We can't step on it for 72 hours so that means no kitchen at all for me. We moved the kitchen table into the family room.

The Dog Walker posted signs everywhere so the kids would remember. He is very serious about everything.

Wish us much success in surviving this one. If you don't hear from me for a day or two you will know why, but I promise to post pics of my new floor in a few days.

When I can walk on it again.

May 20, 2015

3rd Grade Art Show

Yesterday Scout brought home an invitation for her Art Show at the elementary school. She was super excited about it and asked me and her dad half a dozen times if we were planning to go. Thank goodness my dentist called and asked to move up my appointment from noon to 10:30 since the art show started at 1:00 and went until 3:00.

My sweetie even came home from work so he could attend and we showed up at the school just before the singing part started at 2:00. We only waited for a few minutes before the children all filed in and took their places on the steps to the stage.

They sang several rousing songs and as you can tell from the pics, Scout was really enjoying herself. When the musical part was over, the kids were excused first so they could be prepared for the last half hour of Art Show visitors.

We finally made our way back to Scout's classroom, scanning each work of art hanging on the walls so we didn't miss any of her creativity. Turns out we should have looked at the table too. After we had suitably admired her works of art, she informed us that we had missed the pottery exhibit. She had made an awesome little pinch pot and it was good enough to go on the table in the hall.

She is a great little artist! I'm sure it is a skill she could cultivate if she really wanted to learn more about the arts, but I'm pretty sure she would rather play softball.

Graduation Party for Princess and Dog Walker

We had quite the graduation party on Sunday for Princess and Dog Walker. Since Princess is graduating from high school on June 4th and they both graduated from SLCC on May 7, we decided to choose a date in the middle to celebrate their accomplishments.

It was a rainy, overcast day, so we weren't sure how many people would brave the weather, but my sweetie barbecued 50 pounds of chicken anyway and we hoped for the best. Princess made piles of cookies and nearly 100 cupcakes. The rest of us cleaned the house and made salads.

Then we waited.

It turned out wonderfully well! Princess and I counted 63 people (afterward, while we were remembering so we might have forgotten a few). There was plenty of food and laughter and friendship. The food was amazing although we are still eating leftover bbq chicken and salads. (It has been nice to not have to worry about cooking this week although my sweetie did complain that he is getting tired of eating the same thing every day...)

Thank you everyone who took the time out of their busy schedules to attend and spoil my kids with gifts and praise. You are all so awesome and supportive! We love you.

**I know my sweetie took pics of the graduation party, I just can't find them and he is sleeping, so tonight you get a few more from their actual graduation day. I will change them out tomorrow, so make sure to stop back.**

May 18, 2015

Guest Blog: Being Wattsmart by Drama Queen

Do you bloggers ever think about how much electricity our family uses?  Think about it.  Just for a second.  Try to guess how much power goes into running our home with its multitude of residents, three commercial size freezers, an AC that is constantly being turned up and down, and more electronics in it than a modest Best Buy after closing on a Black Friday... 

Yeah.  It's kind of ridiculous.

"Pleeeeease vote for us?"
And since our dear house has managed to stand by us for twenty years so far, it's starting to show its age in slowly waning energy efficiency.  Yesterday I was flipping through my parent's stack of utility bills..its average is higher than rent in some of the places I've lived. 

Why am I discussing all this?  Well, about a month ago Bossy told me that Rocky Mountain Power was doing a video contest about energy efficiency and being WattSmart.  The grand prize?  $10,000 in home repairs to increase energy efficiency!!!  I know! 

So what was the first thing I did?  Come up with a brilliant idea and then promptly forget to do anything about it until the day before entries were due.  Luckily, my fam is great at pitching in to help a last-minute procrastinator and I got it in and approved with a few hours to spare. 

Although there is no way to predict where the grand prize will go, they are having a People's Choice Award for $2,000.  I know that would be so helpful for our family, so please take just a few minutes and hop over to vote for our entry.  (It's pretty cute and you can have a heart attack at some of our actual power bills that make appearances...)  They will ask you to make an account.  That's just to keep people from skewing the votes by entering a million times for their own movie. 

Thank you guys so much!  You are the BEST!!! 

Click Me!  Click Me!  I'm the link to our entry.  :)

Great Salt Lake Bird Festival 2015

We had so much fun at the Bird Festival yesterday! Bean Dip, Taco, Sport, and their friend, Stratton, all went on the Bird Study merit badge class with Bossy, so we had 4 hours to kill at the various workshops and booths. It was pretty easy.

We started by taking these fun pictures outside (which is good because it rained most of the day). Then we joined the workshop on owls. Baby Doll was feeling a little queasy, so she had a throw-up cup with her. Thank goodness she didn't have to use it!

She loved the owls, especially the white-faced one named Marshmallow. She was a bit grossed out when it coughed up a pellet...

After the owl workshop we headed to the Home Depot booth and we made bird houses. They were nice enough to let us take 4 kits for our boy scouts.

We visited various other booths and the kids did bird masks and sandart, they played Plinko, and looked at their own beautiful pictures hanging on the wall. All of them envied the big blue ribbon next to Baby Doll's but mostly they were excited for her.

We joined one last workshop about hummingbirds and the kids were pretty disturbed by the video that showed a preying mantis eating a hummingbird. It was enough that we left the booth and headed to the van to eat our sandwiches before Bossy drove us back home in the rain.

My favorite part was the signed blue cards. That makes 6 merit badges for Sport so far and he won't be 12 until next month. I'm guessing he will earn a pretty good sized pile for himself.