Aug 31, 2015

1st and 2nd Class

Sport attended Scout Camp way back in July, but they haven't had a Court of Honor since last spring, so he had lots of awards coming. It was kind of a crazy day since we had the kids coming over for dinner and the last of my sweetie's birthday celebrations (ridiculous, don't you think? who gets 3 days to celebrate?)

We had dinner at 4:30, cake and ice cream at 6:00, and Sport's Court of Honor at 7:00. He worked really hard at earning 11 merit badges, as well as his 1st Class and 2nd Class rank advancements.

We took Curly with us. He is a brand new Tiger scout and oh so proud of his blue scout shirt!

Grandpa also joined us to celebrate birthdays and awards. It was definitely a good day.

Aug 30, 2015

More Birthday Celebrations

I know, you were wondering who else is having a birthday this weekend, weren't you?! Actually it's my sweetie, thinking since his birthday was on Friday and his family party is on Sunday, he should get the whole weekend to celebrate.

After our football games this morning and this afternoon, we decided to go see a movie at the Towne Theater in American Fork. My sweetie looked up the schedule and they had Tomorrowland playing at 5:30, so we called Bossy to see if she and her family wanted to go. It turned out that she and Gamer were going to the temple, but we were welcome to take their kids, except for Fajita because she was going to work.

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So we loaded up the van with 12 of us and took off for American Fork. We chose that theater because it was free for us with our Pass of All Passes. When we got there, we splurged on a little popcorn since it was free to get in to see the show. Concessions always cost more than tickets!

The show was pretty weird and we had to explain it to the little kids, but just being in the theater was enough. Sorry I didn't think to take any pictures. It was super dark inside, so after they dimmed the lights, the kids could not see to eat popcorn, although that didn't stop them either.

Aug 29, 2015

Drag Races

Waiting for the first cars.
Today is my Sweetie's birthday and even though we aren't getting the family together until Sunday, we did do a few fun things today.

My sweetie took Baby Doll out to lunch at Firehouse Subs since I had to take Curly to the dentist for sealants. I was expecting 20 minutes and it took nearly an hour. That's because he threw up 3 times in the chair. Ewww.

It was really loud!
I did get to be the chosen one to go out for ice cream. My sweetie and I stopped by JCW and got an Almond Joy shake to share while we were out running errands. It almost made up for missing lunch.

Then we took a bunch of the kids with us to Rocky Mountain Raceway to watch the Drag Races. We had never been to them before, so this was new for us. Sport had football practice until 7:00, so we grabbed fried chicken at Smith's and ate it on the way. We only had about an hour to watch the races, but it was just about the right amount of time.

Mom makes good earplugs.
We used our Pass of All Passes, so the event was free for us (you know, my favorite price!), so I didn't mind that it was short. They had started at 3:00, so we got to see the best of the best in the final races. The cars are so cool, but they are also really loud! My sweetie was thinking and he brought the ear plugs, but there were only 3 sets, so we traded them off with the kids. Curly was content to sit on me while I held my hands over his ears.

We thought about staying a little longer to wait for the golf cart races, but they said 30 minutes to prepare the track and Curly, Sport, Taco, and Burrito all have football games tomorrow, the first one starting at 8:00 with a warm-up time of 7:15 so we headed for home.

Besides, we can only do so much celebrating in one day.

Happy Birthday, Sweetie!

Aug 28, 2015

Guest Blog: "I Slipped and Fell and Broke my Leg." by Prima Donna

So I started school this week and if I had a dollar for every time someone asked about my leg, I would be stinking rich.  There's the people who want to know how much longer, those that ask how it happened, and of course there's always the, "Can I ride your scooter?"  I normally let them but once a boy asked me as I was walking out of class... I still don't know how he thought that was going to work out.

At the Rangers' Game
It has for sure been a hassle but there's also perks.  I get to ride the elevator, which is a lot less sketchy than I thought it would be.  No one cares if I'm late to class or leave a few minutes early, actually they have to let me do that.  The lunch lady gives me extra fries, the list goes on and on.  My favorite pro though is that I made a new friend, I was headed to the elevator to take it up to English and low and behold another girl with a scooter is waiting by the elevator, so we rode up together and we just so happen to be in the same English class!

The worst part about a broken leg isn't all the questions or the pain.  Its the uncertainty.  When will I be able to walk again?  Will I be able to do the musical?  When will I have the energy and ability to easily walk up stairs to sleep in my bed every night?  Its terrifying.  Much more terrifying than the surgery or the fall itself, because those were split second things I had no control over.  The stuff I'm worried about I also don't have control over but those things will last for months and in the long run are so much scarier.

So that's how I'm doing.  If you have any questions feel free to comment, and I'll try to answer.  See ya!

Aug 27, 2015

Crafty's Experiments

I'm pretty sure I told you Crafty was taking a year's worth of Earth Science this summer as a special project for one of her Honors classes. She has had some crazy experiments including this one where she tried to show the Greenhouse Effect by melting wax in a glass container vs. just outside in the heat.

The container definitely got hotter!

I was fine with that one although some of them have cost me money, like the one where she had to have white carnations so she could dye them colors with water and food coloring. Or the one where she needed some other flowers so she could basically kill them...

Not that I'm complaining, I know school is expensive and since she is taking it from the Electronic High School, there were no costs for tuition.

But honestly, I had to draw the line on this one. It was called Wormology and after I purchased a dozen healthy nightcrawlers at Marketplace, I took myself out of the project. And I was a little offended when they were analyzing each one at my kitchen table.

I never used to be bothered by nightcrawlers. My brother and I had a healthy business when we were kids, pulling them at night and selling them as fishbait to the neighbors. I wasn't quite so squeamish then.

I am happy to report that as soon as she was finished, I handed the whole cup of them to Gamer so he could go fishing and then I went to the sink to scrub.

Aug 26, 2015

My First Day of School

OK, I didn't actually GO to school.

Princess told me she took a pic of Crafty today, but it doesn't seem to be on anybody's phone. If I can find it, I will put it in for you. It's been one of those days.

You know, the first day of school is rough for the kids. They get to dress up in cute new clothes and carry colorful new backpacks, and see their friends for the first time in months. Yeah, they do have to sit through classes and meet new teachers, but it beats what I had to do today, all in the name of the first day of school.

I started my morning at 6:30....6:40. I hit the snooze button once on my phone. I got the kids up (except that I sort of forgot that Prima Donna needed to go to school early and she was almost late.) I took her to school and then I dropped off Scout. The carpool picked up Crafty and Sport and Teach took off for work right before the Drama Queen and Princess left for mission/school.

Baby Doll and I ran Curly to school and then when we got home, she told me everyone was gone and we should take a nap. So we did... for an hour.

Then it was time to get the Dog Walker off to his appointment for his new job. It turns out we were supposed to be there at 10, not 11, but thankfully, they were not upset and they got him through orientation. Then we were off and running errands. Baby Doll and I first stopped at Riverton Music, but they didn't have the book that Sport needed, so we drove about 40 blocks to Summerhays where they did happen to have it and the cork grease Scout needed for her clarinet.

Then we stopped by the scout shop and picked up the Lifesaving Merit Badge book because Sport is taking a class all week right after school and before football practice. But I digress...

We took 20 minutes trying to get Curly's registration figured out and we bought him a scout shirt (he was so excited to try it on tonight!). Then we went to Marketplace and bought Sport a calculator for his math class, the 3-subject notebook Crafty needed and 36 boxes of blackberries at 50-cents a piece.

We stopped at the fruit stand to check for peaches for my Activity Days girls, I'm going to teach them to can peaches on Thursday, but nothing was quite right. We may have to run to Utah County tomorrow. Then it was home, but only long enough to grab a sandwich and make the fliers for pack meeting. We still didn't have a firm plan on how we were going to present two Arrows of Light when we had to be outside because they were refinishing the gym floor.

We packed in the car and drove to the doctor's office so the Dog Walker could have a TB test for his new job. He is terribly afraid of needles and he wasn't very happy. Then it was Kohl's to buy some white t-shirts with my Kohl's Kash that Sport needed for gym class. Then it was Sports Authority for the Lacrosse Ball, Stretch Rope, and KT support tape Princess needed for her dance class. We finished just in time to pick up Prima Donna from school and drop off the Dog Walker to pick up papers he needed for his Praxis accommodations from the Special Ed teacher.

Baby Doll and I ran fliers for Pack Meeting and then picked up the Dog Walker to help us finish. We got back to the house just in time to take Sport to his Lifesaving class and by then I had wrapped my brain around a plan for pack meeting. We gathered all the PVC bows and arrows and I sent the Dog Walker after gold curly ribbon while I went back to Marketplace for dowels to make more arrows and I couldn't resist buying 24 more boxes of blackberries and some freezer bags (there was no way I had time to do jam).

Curly and Scout
When I got back home, I set Princess on blackberry duty and Drama Queen on bow and arrow duty, and I also had Princess cut all my backing papers for my invitations to my dad's big birthday bash so that I can get them mailed out to my siblings tomorrow. He is turning 80. But I digress... again...

I drove to Bossy's house to pick up her extra bows for pack meeting and got back just in time to run Curly to Football practice. On the way back from dropping Curly, I picked up Sport from Lifesaving and took him home to get ready for football practice. He had 15 minutes and he was pretty unhappy. Bossy was at the house, so I packed the basket for pack meeting in the time I had before it was time to drive to the park. Taco also needed a ride to his practice.

Time check... 5:30. Pack meeting started at 6:30. Princess had put the finishing touches on the 96 cupcakes she made for me after school and the Dog Walker had changed into his scout things, so we packed the van. At 6:15 we left for the church. It wasn't too difficult to set up our portion of the pack meeting and get the awards ready to present.

I helped the Dog Walker with all the rank advancements except the Arrows and then sent everyone to eat hot dogs before they got cold. I was fine with that because it was time for me to run to the park and pick up Curly. We got back just in time to wolf down a hot dog and help the Dog Walker with the rest of the awards including the cubs shooting off the arrows with gold ribbons in honor of the final advancement of these two cub scouts. It went really well, even better than I had hoped. After that I joined in the kickball game and the cleanup. We got home just in time to unload the van before I had to pick up Sport from practice. It was 8:30.

I had already sent out my reminders for volleyball and I had a few minutes to change my clothes before it was time to leave again. We set up the volleyball poles and net at 9:00 and eventually we had 12 people which was just perfect. We played until about 10:30, cleaned up and drove home. Drama Queen had the little ones in bed, but the house was a disaster. Not that I could do anything about that until after we had finished the homework check.

The Dog Walker was super upset to realize he had a bunch of math problems due. He and Princess sat at the table and worked through the homework for the two classes they share while I loaded dishwashers and cleaned up the living room and kitchen. I sorted and checked backpacks, signed papers, wrote checks...

The Dog Walker and Princess went to bed at 1:00 and I made my way here to the office to update you on my first day of school. It was rough, but if you ask my kids, I had it easy compared to them.

Aug 25, 2015

First Day of School

Today was the first day of school for most of my kids. Prima Donna started her senior year at the high school and Sport started 7th grade at the middle school.

The Dog Walker and Princess started their first day at UVU. It was quite an adventure for us. Princess rode down with the Drama Queen since she needed to go for her mission anyway. Baby Doll and I decided we would ride the Frontrunner (train) with the Dog Walker to campus and then we would ride back home.

The whole trip took us a couple of hours, but it was fun to ride the train and watch the Dog Walker get on the shuttle bus to campus. He did mostly well with his first try at public transportation on his own. Except that when he got out of class and hopped on the shuttle to ride it back to the train station, he accidentally got on the wrong bus and within 20 minutes, he was at BYU! That was a little stressful, but the bus driver told him how to find the train station in Provo and other than the fact that he was 30 minutes later than we were expecting, all was well.

Crafty doesn't start until tomorrow, so I will share a few more pics about the first day of school then.

Aug 24, 2015

Stake Hoe Down

Can I just say we belong to the most amazing church on the planet?!

They have such fun activities for us and it is crazy to believe that they are all done by volunteers and they don't charge us anything to attend. It's our Stake Conference weekend, so our stake had a huge Hoe Down on Friday night.

They transformed our little ole bowery you have seen a hundred times in my pictures to look like a trading post with a facade and hay bales and real instruments. There were games and bounce houses set up for the kids (which is where they won all these silly mustaches). We were served pulled pork sandwiches, beans, coleslaw, watermelon, chips, and a large choice of desserts.

You know my neighbor, Steve James, has tons of friends and he always gets us fabulous entertainment. This year we had Carmen Rasmussen Herbert from American Idol and the banjo player from the Rubberband.

These parties are huge! This year they probably served nearly 1000 people, yet everyone I saw was kind and helpful, just enjoying the evening with friends and neighbors.

We are definitely having fun, don't you think?!

Aug 23, 2015

Party at Thanksgiving Point

Petting the bunnies
My sweetie works for a big defense contractor and every year they have a company picnic. They switch up the venue; last year it was at the zoo, but this year it was at Thanksgiving Point.

Such a cool bench made from a wagon wheel.
We have spent a little time at the museum on Two-Buck Tuesdays, but most of it we have never seen, mainly because of the cost associated. In fact, the company told us the tickets were worth $35, but that included lunch and admission to all of the museums and gardens.

But nothing can be easy. Sport and Curly had weigh-ins for football this morning and we had a Lowe's class scheduled. At 11:00 we piled in the van and headed down the road. Teach drove her car separately because my sweetie and I and Sport were leaving at 3:00 for his scrimmage game that gratefully was just down the street.
Watching the animals.

When we arrived at Thanksgiving Point, the first thing we did was hop on the free shuttle bus to the picnic area. Unfortunately, we had to walk back over to the Farm to cash in our tickets. Then we walked back to the picnic area, picked up our boxed lunches, and shared them under the trees.

Riding the ponies
Then it was back over to Farm Country. The kids loved all the animals and Drama Queen and I held their place in the pony ride line while they petted pretty much everything. When it was finally time for them to get on the ponies, they were ecstatic. Scout played it cool, but Curly and Baby Doll both had huge smiles on their faces.

Can we build a house that won't break in an earthquake?
After that we all got on the wagon ride, but I noticed that the Dog Walker's eyes were swelling up and he looked terrible. We hadn't thought to get him an allergy pill before we left from home and he was suffering. We walked over to the Ancient Life museum and after we got all the kids well on their way, we found out that they do sell Claritin for $2 a pill!

My sweetie, Sport and I made a quick run through the Ancient Life museum and then took off for the football scrimmage while the other kids took their time. We met up again at the Museum of Natural Curiosity at 6:00. The kids had already been through with the older girls, but they were happy to do it all over again with us. Then we wandered through the Discovery Garden until it was time to leave at 9:00.

Acting like pirates on the stage at the Natural Curiosity Museum.
It was a great party with several thousand of my sweetie's best friends and coworkers. What could be better than that?

Don't fall off, Dog Walker!!

I think I've seen this same thing at the zoo, except it had monkeys crawling on it.

Aug 22, 2015

Curly's Friend Party

Curly has been looking forward to his friend party all year. Right up until it was time to hand out invitations and then he wasn't sure.

It's scary inviting people over!

He was having a super-fun party. My sweetie bought a large piece of plastic and the kids used it as a slip 'n slide. He also set up sprinklers under the trampoline and girls made nearly 300 water balloons that were covered with a blanket until it was time to show them to the kids.

They had a great time as planned, throwing them at each other and scattering tiny pieces of latex all over the lawn. They also had a huge water fight and a rousing game of basketball. We had 17 children there and after an hour of water play, we settled down to Creamies and presents.

The girls passed around cupcakes and party favors and some of the kids headed back to the slip'n slide. It was well after 4:00 and Curly had to get ready for football before we had the last of the kids leave. I think they all had fun. We only had 2 bloody noses and no permanent damage...

Aug 21, 2015

Building a Team

Sport is #82 and those are his two coolers.
I love football!

A couple of nights ago, Sport's team had a parent meeting and they asked us all to bring a cooler full of water balloons so the boys would have something to do while we were talking. Being the super-over-achiever that she is, Bossy rounded up the kids and filled about 300 water balloons and two large coolers for me.

They were SOO heavy as we dragged them all the way across the field to where the team was meeting. But it was worth it. Sport was the most popular guy on the field and the last one to possess any filled balloons. His coaches are so into team building both on the field and off. They are 3 brothers who have coached together so long they can predict how the others will react.

We were so grateful to have Sport chosen again by this team. He has so many friends on it. Tomorrow night they are having a swim party rather than practice, then on Saturday they have their first official weigh in and scrimmage.

Curly vs. Burrito
Curly's team is not scrimmaging this week, but they did have a great game against Burrito's team on Wednesday. I'm not even going to point out who knocked down who...

Aug 20, 2015

Another Exciting Night at the Bees Game

Let me confess right up front that the game itself wasn't all that exciting. The Bees lost 8 - 2, although one of their 2 points was an over-the-fence home run.

We got these free passes from the summer reading program and Read Today. (Thanks!) I have known for several weeks that we would likely have a problem attending because of dance and football although I had hoped that at least some of us could go.

As it turned out, there were 9 of us; my sweetie and me, Dog Walker, Teach, Princess, Curly, Baby Doll, Fajita, and Burrito. There were lots of other kids there, so it was a fun friendly environment, even more than normal. We were so excited when the mascot, the Bee, came right over to our section. The Dog Walker quickly got in line with Curly, Burrito, and Baby Doll.

I don't know if it was her cute pink skirt or her pink hair, but the Bee's handler took a shine to her and he pulled a baseball from his bag, had the Bee sign it and then he presented it just to her. (Later on we did see him present one other ball, so this was quite an honor with all those kids there.)

She was beyond excited! The ball even had her name on it! She safely stowed it in Princess's bag so we wouldn't lose it before we got home. Not long after that, the Dog Walker took her and Burrito to the grass area so they could ride the free train.

That's when Curly dropped my Tupperware water bottle down the open elevator shaft.

Fortunately, Fajita offered to find an usher it get it out for us. Then Princess bought Teach an ice cream cone to celebrate her first day of teaching and I guess the worker thought they were cute because they got twice as much as they should have which worked out great for me because I got to eat (and share) the overage.

We were out way too late for a school night although Curly (and Teach) are the only ones who were with us who have school tomorrow. Maybe we will all get a chance to sleep a little extra on the weekend.

Aug 19, 2015

Wilton Cupcake Contest

Remember last year when Princess was so excited about her first opportunity to enter some of her yummy baked goods in the Salt Lake County Fair? Well, this year she was even more determined to win.

But like all great plans, she decided to modify hers. As the big day approached to turn in her cupcakes, she started running ideas around her brothers and sisters. Next thing you know, they are all excited to enter the contest. That's right, Princess created her own competition. She and all of her younger brothers and sisters spent the better part of Friday evening in the kitchen.

Baby Doll won 2nd Place

Curly tied for 3rd place

He tied with Scout.

Sport earned a participation ribbon.

Crafty won first place with her summer-themed cupcakes.

Prima Donna won 3rd in the adult division with her Pony cakes.

Princess's Utah-themed cupcakes earned a high blue and the Judges' Choice award.

But most importantly, they all had fun working on something together.