Mar 30, 2016

Spring Surprise

You probably remember that I'm not really good at growing plants. That's actually an understatement. I am definitely not a gardener and I'm not much better with flowers. We have one smallish flowerbed in front of the porch that is about 2 feet wide and 15 feet long. I generally try to put a few pansies or petunias in there to give the house some color. We have even been known to grow broccoli and cabbages in there too.

But let's face it. It's still March. I haven't even begun to think about planting.

That's why I was so surprised to find all these beautiful flowers coming up seemingly spontaneously in my flowerbed! But I should have known better. Last November my sweetie got a bunch of bulbs and secretly planted them so that I would have a wonderful spring surprise.

That's why I married this guy. :)

Guest Blog: Flat-Tire Accident by the Dog Walker

Flat Tire
 It's been a very long time since I got to explain on this blog about what's been going on with me these days. Probably because I just let Mom write down everything she wants to tell all of you about. But this time, she ran out of an idea for now. She has asked me to tell you a story about one of the trials that I've faced this week and it's happened for only two days.

You probably remember or not about the last incident with my car, but I've found out that something awful has happened to it. I probably have given it away already, but you can see that my car had a flat tire. I first noticed it when I was about to head over for my math class on Monday, I frantically told Mom about it and she suggested that I should take another car, but I was worried about taking the other car with me since it has no parking pass when a college campus requires it. Mom told me if the car gets a ticket, she'll pay for it. I went to my Math class with the other car, but throughout most of the class time, I was feeling a bit stressed out if the car was either going to be toed ticketed, or given a parking boot! About time when class was over, I quickly ran out to make sure nothing bad happened to it. Miraculously, nothing happened. I felt relieved and also felt like driving home.

By the time I got home, I noticed that Prima Donna was the only one home and I asked her where everybody was and she told me that they all went to the Free Movie Theater for Pass-of-All-Passes to watch Kung Fu Panda 3. I received a text from Mom and asked me if I got the ticket and I told her I didn't and she has asked me if I tried to inflate the tire. I told her I didn't so she told me to work on it before burning daylight. So I found the air compressor and the hose, but the only thing missing was the tip to pump the tire and it was the most important piece. I tried to find it almost everywhere, but I still couldn't find it. By the time everyone got home from the movie, I told Mom and Dad I couldn't find the tip. Dad looked on his desk and found the tip. I was like "How did I NOT notice it when I looked on his desk?!"

Anyway, I connected the tip to the hose while I connected the hose to the air compressor. I took the tire cap off and put the tip into the air valve. It successfully inflated. Unfortunately by the time I turned off the air compressor, there was air still hissing. I felt like that there's got to be something that popped the tire. I speculated it was from a broken plastic Easter egg that Bossy set up on our driveway for the older kids to find. I guess none of the kids found all the eggs and that one ended up crushing. Mom and Dad kept insisting me that a plastic Easter egg couldn't be strong enough to pop a tire. I tried to show the evidence to them, but they still insisted. So I threw those away and I tried to use the Jack-Lift that it was the only one I had.

Cut (Hopefully not a Scar)
I elevated the Jack-Lift under the car and it was almost all the way to the top and I noticed that the Jack-Lift tilted and it made the car fall! I tried again and I stopped in the middle and started unscrewing the bolts. The bolts were still tight and I used the end of the bolt driver to push down, but then the end snapped off with the palm of my left hand on it! It hurt so badly, it left a bit of a slice on my hand! I felt like wanting to give up on trying to unscrew the bolts, but then I figured out how to adjust the length of the bolt driver and then tried again. I successfully got all the bolts off the tire, I tried to take it out, but it still wouldn't budge.So I raised the Jack-Lift a little more and then I had a prompting coming in my mind telling me that my leg is right under the car and I should pull it out. I felt like I should do it, and by the time I raised it a bit too high, the Jack-Lift tilted again along with the tire being half-way off! If I never would've listened to the prompting my leg would've been crushed an I would end up in the Emergency Room. I decided that this wasn't working and I had to ask Dad if he had a better Jack-Lift, but he said that he doesn't. He suggested to me to lay it off for the night and by tomorrow they would get it fixed for me.

I decided to do that and I ended up having to ask for a ride to the FrontRunner station to get to school the next  morning. By the time I got home, the half way off flat tire was still there and there was nothing I could do about it. Mom was about to call a professional mechanic to come and fix, but she decided to have an enthusiastic neighbor and friend to come and fix it himself and be paid ten bucks. It seems that neighbor has a better Jack-Lift than anybody else in our family. He finally got the flat tire off and put the spare tire on. He told us that the cause was I unknowingly ran over a nail! I couldn't understand where all the nails were coming from these days! At least it's been solved, but the car's still going to have to be taken to a tire store so they can get a new tire for the car.

I never really thought about the prompting ever coming to me before. Ever since after my mission, I thought I lost my faith and I've let everyone down, especially Heavenly Father, but Mom told me that even though I gave up on Him, He never gave up on me. I need to remember that bad things like this Flat-Tire-Accident will always happen in the future, but it you listen to the Still Small Voice, it will bless you and that you'll never have to suffer so much of a serious consequence once you keep your faith going and keep your trust in Heavenly Father and everybody else. I hope I didn't make this too much of a long story, but I also hope that it has persuaded you that this really happened! :)

Mar 28, 2016

Last Day of Spring Break

We woke up to a lovely snowstorm, but that didn't stop Prima Donna from going driving and ultimately passing her test so she can finally get her driver's license! Way to go, girl!

Baby Doll
Most of the kids helped my sweetie paint the Dog Walker's room. They got two coats on it, but it may need one more. That's the nature of going back to white and painting over color. After that we gathered up the kids and went down to American Fork to the free movie theater with our Pass of All Passes. The kids were excited to see a second movie in the same weekend! On Friday night we saw Star Wars and tonight we saw Kung Fu Panda 3. I think I'm a bit overloaded with too much popcorn though. (I never thought I would say that, I love theater popcorn!) I'm ready to go back to our healthier living. I've had a tummy ache most of the weekend and way too many calories.

Speaking of calories, after we left the movie, we drove down to Krispie Kreme so the kids could show off their good grades and get free donuts. By the time we drove all the way back home, none of us were in the mood to finish or eat the half-made turkey soup, so we read a book while we digested popcorn and donuts for an hour and then we ate cold cereal for dinner. Corn flakes and bananas were just what I needed to lighten up the week.

I also spent a bunch of time putting the softball and baseball schedules on the calendar only to erase Curly's entire schedule and start over. I'm a little annoyed by that, not because I had to redo the whole schedule, but because now he has a bunch of Monday games right over the top of his dance class. Hopefully some of them will rain out and have to be rescheduled again to a different night of the week. That is literally the only one where he has a conflict.
Getting Donuts at Krispie Kreme

This will be my last slow week and then the games start on April 4. After that I will be at the ball field most nights. I love it, but it is hard to have any other sort of life at the same time. And Sport's schedule is not even available yet.

Mar 27, 2016

More Easter Weekend

Saturday morning dawned way too early for us. Bossy called to tell me we were missing the candy hunt at Smith's, but honestly, my warm bed was much more inviting. We did manage to get the kids up in time for the city Easter Candy Scramble at 10:00. The kids love that one. They divide the area in ages so everyone gets at least some goodies and treats. My job was hanging out with Scout and Burrito. They filled their baskets with plastic eggs, toys, and taffy.

After lunch we set up the egg dying stations so that all the kids could get a chance to participate. We had kids with Giselle rehearsal and some with baseball practice, but it was good to spread it out anyway. My sweetie boiled 18 dozen eggs to accommodate everyone and it was 5:30 before they were finished and things were cleaned up.

Most of my girls were able to go with us to the Women's Conference at the Stake Center. I love having my girls around me and feasting on the words from our great church leaders.

Then this morning the kids were up early, searching for hidden eggs and enjoying Easter candy. We were excited to receive these large sunglasses with a cute note attached telling us that our Pass of All Passes had been renewed for another year of fun. I got a bag of my current favorite candy bar, Twix. I seriously have totally fallen off the eat healthy wagon this weekend. It's been fun to relax a bit and I definitely enjoyed the white rolls my sweetie made for our dinner and Twiz and Teach's cream pies.

Besides being with my family, my favorite part of the day was watching this amazing video in Relief Society. This little one isn't mine, but she is from Utah and she has an amazing voice that explained the most important part of Easter for me.

My own kids have one more day off before the world starts spinning again.

My sweetie says he has something fun planned. Don't worry, you'll be the first to hear all about it.

Hope you all enjoyed a wonderful Easter!

Mar 26, 2016

This Is The Place

We have had an amazing Easter weekend so far!

On Friday morning we drove over to This Is The Place to see all the baby animals. I was afraid it was going to be too cold or rain on us, but even though it was a little chilly, the weather was beautiful and we had so much fun. We started on the train and rode it halfway around the park before we got off near the farm.

The first pen held several piglets and my city kids were totally smitten. My sweetie had to patiently explain that this kind of piglet grew into large hogs, and they were only cute for a little while.

The next stop was the pony rides which were included in our passes. The lines were short and the kids were so excited. Scout just barely sneaked in under the height limit, so she, Baby Doll, and Curly all got the chance to sit in the saddle.

After that we visited the baby chicks (and one pooped on Drama Queen's hand!), we saw ducklings, bunnies, and puppies. They even brought out a baby goat or a kid as my sweetie pointed out so we could touch its soft ears. Then it was time to enjoy some of those amazing Brigham's Donuts.

Another train ride and we got off at the Indian Village which happened to be under constructions so we rode the small train around the pond and the kids climbed all over the pirate ship. My sweetie wanted to break a geode, so we purchased a pretty good-sized one and put it in the machine. The kids were thrilled with the beautiful white crystals in each half of the rock.

One last train ride took us to the Brigham Young Farmhouse where we enjoyed a lengthy tour. It was about then that Scout realized her cap was missing. The boys remembered leaving it in the pirate ship, so Curly, Scout and I made our way back to the Indian Village while the others visited the candy shop.

We retrieved the cap and then met back up at the main gate. The kids sucked their candy sticks all the way back to the van and for most of them they lasted all the way home, but the memories will last for much longer than that. I strongly recommend a visit to This Is The Place, especially like me if you are raising "city" kids. You won't regret it.

***We were given six free passes and six dozen donuts for our honest review of the park.***

Mar 25, 2016

Spring Break Begins!

Finally, the kids are all out of school for the weekend! Except for Princess and Dog Walker, I mean. They had their Spring Break last week. I don't know why SLCC and UVU don't get on the same schedule as the public schools. It makes it so difficult to plan anything!

We did do a couple of fun things today. My sweetie took the day off, so he and Sport prepped for painting the downstairs bedroom for the Dog Walker. We also signed the kids up for a Thursday night Lowe's Class where they made little pull-back race cars. I know, weird, they have never done a class on a Thursday before. Maybe they moved it because of the holiday weekend. It's hard to compete with the egg hunts going on everywhere.

Then my sweetie ordered pizza from Papa John's. His excuse is that the Jazz won last night so all of the regular menu pizzas are half price. I keep telling him that is still pretty expensive, but since everyone loves pizza, I usually lose the battle. This time I didn't even really try to argue. After all, I do have 14 dozen eggs in my fridge, so that makes it pretty difficult to find room for anything else, including dinner.

Mar 24, 2016

Enjoying Easter

I've had so much to tell you I forgot to share about our girl scout meeting last Friday. Last week was busy, so I asked Drama Queen to come up with some sort of Easter craft for the girls. I was already thinking that we could make Bunny Rolls and then we would have an hour while they cook. She was excited to teach them her favorite technique, spray paint art. The nice thing about this project is that other than the canvases, she already had all the supplies.

Princess and my sweetie mixed up the dough for the Bunny Rolls in advance, and I was surprised when the girls took about 45 minutes to form several trays of perfect rolls. That only left 45 minutes for the craft that Drama Queen had carefully set up on the front lawn.

I shooed them all out the door with her while I stayed inside to cook the rolls. Little Sis was inside with me, feeding her baby. It wasn't long before we had our first disaster. My little nephew was carefully painting when he accidentally turned the paint can the wrong way and instead of spraying the canvas, he pointed it right at his face.

Thankfully, it missed his eyes and a little mineral oil took it right off. After that we made sure we had more adult supervision. Our older scouts are perfectly capable of taking care of themselves, but the little ones were happy for the attention. The paintings came out great and as you can see, so did the Bunny Rolls.

Mar 23, 2016

A Rust-Proof Grill Brush

First Use
Remember a few days ago when we had beautiful spring weather? Not this crazy snowy stuff we have today. We actually brought out the patio furniture and my sweetie grilled in the backyard. But before he did that, he had to clean all the winter gunk out of our barbecue grill.

I know I keep telling you how great the guys are over at Cave Tools, but this time I wasn't sure that even their super duper heavy duty grill brush was up to the job. I don't know about you, but over the last 20 or so years of barbecuing, we have been through 4 grills and (I'm guessing now because I don't have a real count), several dozen cheap dollar store grill brushes. Honestly, most of them were pretty worthless. Even the upgraded ones that I paid quite a bit more for every Fathers' Day weren't much better.

After sitting outside for 2 weeks
When the package arrived from Amazon, I knew we were not looking at the average brush. This thing was huge and definitely heavy duty. The first day my sweetie took it outside, he was amazed how quickly it cleaned things up, and as you can see, our grill was in bad shape. Like maybe we forgot to cover it for winter... maybe for part of the winter we even forgot to close the lid... just maybe...

The other thing this brush promised (I wish I could say the same for my grill!) was "rust-proof," so we put it to the best test we could given our short timetable for this review. We left it outside for two weeks.

Two weeks in Utah during the spring means snow, sleet, rain, and sun, sometimes all in the same day. The brush looks as good as it did the day it came. I'm hoping it will last like that for years. You know, I'd be totally happy to never buy a cheap BBQ brush again.

If you want to try this one out, make sure you use the Amazon - BBQ Grill Brush code, V9BW7SDN, to save yourself 15% or visit the Cave Tools website.

***We were given a free BBQ Grill Brush  for our open and honest review of the product.***

Mar 22, 2016

Bird Nerds

We had so much fun at FHE tonight! Remember last year when Baby Doll won the Art Contest for the Salt Lake Bird Festival? Well, we decided it would be fun to have the kids draw a picture again this year and what better time than with the family on a Monday night?

I provided the rules and the white paper. Sport offered his colored pencils from his art class, and Drama Queen was in charge of treats. Along with the help of the younger kids, she made Rice Krispies treat nests with a little coconut added for effect. They were formed on the back side of a muffin tin (I never would have thought to do that!).

My sweetie brought home some Peeps in various flavors and when the kids were finished with their masterpieces for the contest, they were allowed to put a couple of birds in their nests and then eat it if they chose.

It was so fun working together! Sometimes it feels like life is so busy we don't get any time, but today we just took some.

It was worth it.

Mar 21, 2016

Annual Easter Egg Hunt

Today we had our annual Easter Egg hunt. I say annual because Bossy and Gamer started the hunt the first year they were married in 2005 and it has been a tradition ever since. They plan things for weeks in advance and then they stuff plastic eggs with candy and coins. They even buy bigger items and hide them around the yard like PlayDoh and bubbles. Today was one of the best!

Most of us went to the Provo City Center Temple Dedication and then we met up at our house afterward. Little Sis and her family were here and the only ones missing were Beauty and The Beast. It took Bossy and Gamer about 30 minutes to get everything set up while the kids were trapped in the living room clutching their baskets in anticipation.

Ten minutes later, everything was gathered and Bossy began sorting it into bags for all the kids to take home. The kids spread out around the sidewalk to try out the new chalk. Gradually the other families drifted home until it was just us.

Much to Princess's delight, Jaron returned from his nearly week-long absence. They are dating again, but there has been no talk of any future plans.

Bean Dip also has a girlfriend... but that is a story for another day.

Mar 20, 2016

Family Preparedness

We have the most awesome stake in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! I know I've told you before about the activity we have in the fall where we have dinner and learn about another culture including games and entertainment. Well, in the spring, we have a different kind of activity. This one was all about being prepared, which of course I like since it is the scouting motto (except the getting up early part).

We got up at 8:00 and headed for the church. In the spring they serve breakfast instead of dinner. There were greeters at the doors to give us maps and tell us where to go for the continental breakfast and the classes. The kids grabbed donuts and fruit and then my sweetie took off with Scout for her softball practice. I headed for the gym with Curly so he could participate in the games. Sadly, Baby Doll decided 8:00 was too early for her so she and Drama Queen stayed home.

I know I should have gone to some of the adult classes, but I was having way too much fun hanging out with Curly. Besides, a bunch of my friends were in the gym.

Curly did some fun games including a scavenger hunt and a cute craft project that turned out to be a fire engine. Then we went outside so he could see the real fire engine before we left. I'm so glad the city supports us in our efforts to be more prepared as a church and a community. Now if we could just get a little more prepared at home...

Mar 19, 2016

Grandparents' Day

This title is a bit misleading, I know, but this time I was the mom, not the grandma. My sweet dad came up today and joined Curly and me for Grandparents' Day at his school. The kids have been practicing since before Christmas so they could sing songs and present some cute stories for the grandparents.

Curly was asked to donate a case of water bottles, so we went in with him at 8:30 so he wouldn't be late for class. The program didn't start until 9:30, so that left us an hour to chat and look around at the fun artwork the kids had hung up all over the cafeteria. We even took this cute selfie and you know how I feel about those.

At precisely 9:30, the kids started to file in. There were three classes of 2nd graders, so the chairs for visitors completely filled the gym and the cafeteria. Since we had arrived an hour early, we were seated right on the 3rd row. (There were a few others even crazier than us!)

Curly looked so good in his gray suit and tie. He had a speaking part, so he really wanted to look good for Grandpa. He was nervous, in fact more nervous than he normally is about a talk or prayer in front of people. He wouldn't smile during the songs and he kept his head down when he delivered his part even though he did a great job.

They had a slide show with pics the parents had provided and the last thing was a waltz. I think my dad thought it was a little strange that he was supposed to dance with my son, but he was a good sport. Then we all took off for the classrooms for treats and goodbyes.

It was a good day. Just hanging out with two of my favorite guys.

Mar 18, 2016

Springtime and Baby Animals

Remember right before Christmas when we had the chance to visit This Is The Place Heritage Park? We had a great time at the live Nativity, eating gingerbread, square dancing, and devouring the delicious Brigham's donuts. So today I was pretty excited to receive another invitation to visit; this time to see all the baby animals and enjoy the park in a totally different season.

We were at the park in the spring many years ago and I remember Sport playing with the tiny goats and lambs. One little goat chased him all over the grassy field until he collapsed in giggles. You know, I grew up on a farm, ok, at least my dad had a farm, so animals big and small were part of my growing up. Sadly, my dad no longer tends the farm and my little ones have not grown up with that experience.

Baby Doll loves animals of all kinds, so I'm thinking this might be a new favorite activity for her. We are hoping to visit next week when the kids are out of school for spring break. If you see us there, make sure you say hello. Just don't get behind us in the donut line, you might not get any! They are amazing!

And guess what? I can even get you $2 off each Admission! Just click on the following link and print out the coupons.

Mar 17, 2016

Taking it Easy

Our Wolf Den met today to hand out fliers for the Scouting for Food Drive on Saturday. Sport is our Den Chief and we had two boys assigned with us while we did door hangers for about 25 homes. It was a cool day, but not overly cold and no snow like we had yesterday.

I had the grocery bag full of papers and the map. We were trying to hurry since our den was split into three groups and we didn't want to be the last ones back to the base. I hung the flier, stepped off the porch and started down the walk.

I can't remember if I glanced at the map or was looking for the boys at the house next door when suddenly I was falling. I tucked my shoulder and landed hard on my left side. I felt a sharp stab of pain in my rib cage as the breath was knocked out of me.

Thankfully, a small hedge blocked me from view. I gathered myself and my things from the sidewalk and pressed my left elbow against my side to stop the throbbing pain. We still had more than half of the houses to do.

At the park, the other boys were already back when we finally arrived. They helped themselves to cookies and water bottles while I seated myself in the pavilion to watch the boys play for a few minutes before we took them home.

By the time the boys were all delivered, the pain was getting pretty intense. I knew from my sweetie's injured ribs a year or so ago that just breathing was uncomfortable. The Dog Walker took me to the Urgent Care where I was subjected to X-rays and an ace wrap. It appears that the ribs are just badly bruised although other than the length of time it takes for them to recover, the treatment is not much different.

I guess I'll be taking it easy for a few days.

Mar 15, 2016

Guest Blog: "Grateful List" by Baby Doll

This is my Grateful List.  When I am stressed and worried, I will say a prayer with lots of things I'm grateful for.  Today, I wanted to write you a blog post so you could all think of what you are grateful for too!

1. Friends
2. Family
3. The Holy Ghost
4. Prayers
5. Ice Cream
6. Heavenly Mother and Heavenly Father
7. Pears
8. Corn
9. Friendship
10. Jesus
11. Mom
12. Dad
13. Preschool
14. College
15. Jobs
16. Dishes
17. Dishwashers
18. Easter
19. Rootbeer
20. Lipstick
21. Our Bodies
From our trip to the Zoo
22. Cats
23. Dogs
24. Owls
25. Glasses
26. Paint
27. Grandpa
28. Grandma
29. Cousins
30. Clocks
31. ABCs
32. Ducks
33. Music
34. Netflix
35. Children
36. My Little Pony
37. Mom's Calendar
38. Pants
39. Dance Class
40. Movie Theaters
41. Lambs
42. Sheep
43. Doors
44. Door frames
45. Flowers
46. Scriptures
47. Sacrament
48.  Bishops
49. The Prophet
50. Dentists
51,. Hair cut people
52. Haircuts
53. Ceilings
54. Floors
55. Walls
56. Desks
57. Pictures
58. YouTube
59. Ballerinas
60. Foxes
61.Drama Queen
62. Crafty
63. Prima Donna
64. Bossy
65. Princess
66. Dog Walker
67. Curly
68. Sport
69. The Beast
70. Teach
71. Myself
72. Scout
73. Beauty
74. Twiz
75. Gamer
76. Fajita
77. Taco
78. Burrito
79. Chips
80. Salsa
81. Bean Dip
82. Jaron
83. Pizza
84. Bags
85. Hearts
86. Insects
87. Magnets
88. White Blood Cells
89. Paper
90. Penguins
91. Hair
92. Skin
93. Lips
94. Nose
95. Snow
96. Rain
97. Sun
98. Night
99. Moon
100. Sleep
101. Printers

Love you, Mommy!  Go get some sleep.
From, Baby Doll.


Today was rough. I woke up with a migraine and had to count on my sweetie to get all the kids out of the door. It was 9:30 before the alarm woke me to get Baby Doll up and off to preschool. She was curled up in a ball next to me and looked perfectly content to stay there, but I called to Drama Queen and she gathered her up and got her ready and off to school.

I covered my eyes with my hands, and after about 45 minutes, I could finally concentrate and I crawled out of bed and got dressed. I had the Best of State nomination to finish today for the dance studio and I needed to accomplish something. Drama Queen put on a crockpot of chicken to make chicken pot pie for pie day. She picked up Baby Doll from school and they ran errands for me. The Dog Walker has been reading a novel to me for his class and I was having a rough time keeping up with the story.

Eventually Baby Doll came in with these cute glasses she made at school, and the Dog Walker took this picture of the ducks playing in the water left from the snow this morning. It was a beautiful day and I was missing it.

I finally got the Best of State submitted and I started working on some other things for the studio. I have so many random things like that to do. Then the kids started coming home. Crafty and Sport were soaked in their hoodies from the snow that had started falling again. I have no idea where the ducks were hiding; somewhere just waiting for the snow to make them another swimming pool out of my park strip.

Things finally cleared up and even though Scout's softball practice was cancelled, we still had dance runs and cookies to deliver. Sport needed to draw a picture of himself for art class, so he took one on my phone to look at. Baby Doll and Drama Queen made cream pies for FHE treat and Sport pulled another stalemate on me in chess. He is getting better. If I'm not careful, he's going to beat me.