Oct 31, 2016

Halloween Adventures

I was planning to post last night but then I decided to make sure everyone had a chance to read about Princess and The Frog's sad news. They are doing well considering.

Now on to happier things.
We spent this whole weekend doing fun Halloween stuff! On Friday we had the costume parade at the elementary school. The kids had a great time showing off.

Then I helped with Scout's class party. I was in charge of pumpkin bowling. We only had one minor hiccup when the kids split the pumpkin and we had to wrap it a dozen times with clear packing tape. That held it together and didn't allow it to roll straight, but they still had fun.

Then after school we had our girl scout meeting where we made magic pumpkin cake and cute paper pumpkins.

On Saturday, some of us headed off for playoff games and others did service while still others made their way to the city costume contest. Scout won first place and a $50 gift card for her Applebees Server costume! Curly's team won their game, Sport's team lost so football is over for him this year, and Crafty made Christmas ornaments with the Youth City Council for their Festival of Trees entry.

Right after the games, Crafty and Scout went to ballet rehearsal, Baby Doll went to a Princess birthday party for her little friend, and I took off for the Macey's Trunk or Treat with Fajita, Hot Sauce, and Curly. Then the big kids were off to the library for a chess tournament.

We made the rounds again, picked everyone up, ate dinner and then they were all off again. This time I took the big kids to the library to play laser tag and Bossy took the little ones to her ward's Trunk or Treat. It was all crazy, happy fun (although my sweetie says not enough work...).

But if we aren't working, why am I so tired?

Oct 29, 2016

A Plan For Us

I know some of you are also my Facebook friends, so you have probably seen this already, but this morning my sweet Princess posted this on her wall:


We lost our tiny baby yesterday. We are definitely sad, but we know the Lord has a great plan for us.

I had two miscarriages, and I didn't handle them nearly this well. I'm so proud of Princess and The Frog and their tremendous faith. Bossy and Gamer have faced similar challenges this past month as well. Sometimes it is so easy to get depressed and discouraged when things take a hard turn and our crazy lives don't allow much time to grieve.

Today after Baby Doll's dentist appointment, she was feeling pretty miserable so we curled up together on my big bed and slept for an hour. When we woke up, we still had the requirements of the day, but for some reason I think we both felt a little better. I'm not sure if it was the sleep or the cuddles.

Maybe both.

I just know I needed to hold my own baby for a while and remember how precious each and every child can be. Please pray for my family and all the unborn babies.

Oct 28, 2016

Water Bottle Flipping

Sport is into this crazy new game all the kids seem to be playing, and it drives Grandpa nuts! If you haven't seen it yet, stop by any park or school and you won't have to wait long. It pretty much involves putting a couple of inches into a water bottle or Gatorade bottle or whatever, replacing the cap, and then flipping the bottle into the air.

To win this game, the bottle must land upright and if you can manage to "cap" it or make it land upright on the cap, then you are really amazing. At first we thought it was just Sport and something he made up until I saw other kids playing it.

At the football game last week, some little guy about four was playing on the sidewalk. Grandpa walked right over to him, bent down with his hands on his hips and demanded, "You're playing that silly game too?" That poor little guy looked terribly nervous until we moved on down the path.

Then my sweetie mentioned that he read an article about it sweeping the nation. Sport is getting to be quite the expert. A couple of days ago he managed to flip the small bottle and have it land on the ledge above the garage. We were impressed until today when he got the large bottle up there.

No, seriously, he flipped them high and they landed right there on the way down. There is definitely some talent and coordination involved in playing this game. And it's much better than watching them play on their phones, except that it makes so much noise.

I think that's the part that bothers Grandpa.

Oct 27, 2016

Grilling Fish

During the beginning of the summer my sweetie decided we were going to have "Fish Fridays." We did a pretty good job for a while and then had our staycation and then the wedding...

View from the top
This past month we decided maybe we needed to get back to our goals, so when Cave Tools asked me if I wanted to review the Large Fish Basket, I responded immediately. Then I started watching for salmon to go on sale. I know, how boring, but it is the only fish I can really get my kids to eat.

After a week or so of high prices, I expanded my search and I ran across sockeye salmon. I had never heard of it so I immediately called my sweetie and he gave his typical "Let's try it!" response. So I brought home four pieces of a brand new kind of fish to use with a brand new product. I have to admit I was nervous.

View from the bottom
I shouldn't have been. My sweetie had it all under control. After marinating the fish in some teriyaki sauce, he laid them neatly in the box. Even on our open grill, they cooked evenly and without burning. None of it slipped off and landed in the fire (which is what usually happens when we cook with foil). There was no sticking to the grill or anything. When they were done, he lifted the whole thing onto a cookie sheet and brought it in the house.

The kids devoured it! I have to say, sockeye was much better to me than the Atlantic salmon. It tasted more like the trout I grew up on. I think I want to try it again with an even lighter marinade this time. I also want to try roasting veggies in this basket because the instructions say we can. Unfortunately, we have had cooler weather and we haven't wanted to cook outside. Oh and maybe it has something to do with my sweetie working late every night this week.

But we have one nice sized zucchini left and I want to try it. Zucchini in foil is always so mushy, but this basket should let that all drain as it cooks. Grilled veggies are one of my favorite things and this nifty basket keeps them together and out of the bottom of the grill.

If you would like to try this amazing Large Fish Basket, you know I can save you some money. Our friends at Cave Tools wanted to make it even easier for you to buy them, so they gave me a coupon code to save you 15% at Amazon. Just enter L8WIFQPU.

Amazon or at Cave Tools

***We were given a free Large Fish Basket for our open and honest review of the product.***

Oct 26, 2016

The Ghost Story

Jennifer asked me to share The Ghost Story with you. Can you believe that thought never crossed my mind? But I am happy to share, so here you go. (Thanks www.sandytoesandpopsicles.com for letting me borrow your text so I didn't have to retype it!)


Once upon a time, there lived 5 little ghosts. As everyone knows, ghosts are white and are supposed to stay white. They can only eat and drink white things such as cottage cheese, vanilla ice cream, milk, string cheese, and cauliflower. One day when Mama ghost went to the refrigerator, there was no cottage cheese and no milk. So she had to go to the grocery store to get some more. Before she left she said, “No matter how hungry you get, do not eat anything or something dreadful will happen.” The ghosts had visitors and so they had some leftovers in their fridge, but no cottage cheese or milk.

The first ghost became so thirsty and he looked in the refrigerator and saw a little glass of grape juice and thought, “just one teeny sip wouldn’t hurt.” So he took one teeny sip of grape juice and guess what happened? He turned purple! The other ghosts looked at him and said “Mama told us that something dreadful would happen and she was right.” The little ghost did not want his Mama to see him all purple so he ran upstairs and hid in the toy box.

The second ghost became so hungry and he looked in the refrigerator and saw some blueberries and thought, “just a few won’t hurt.” So he ate a few blueberries and what do you think happened? He turned blue! The other ghosts looked at him and said “Mama told us that something dreadful would happen and she was right.” The little ghost did not want his Mama to see him all blue so he ran upstairs and hid in the closet.

The third ghost became so hungry and he looked in the refrigerator and saw a bowl of spinach and thought, “just one teeny bite wouldn’t hurt.” So he took one teeny bite of spinach and what do you suppose happened? He turned green! The other ghosts looked at him and said “Mama told us that something dreadful would happen and she was right.” The little ghost did not want his Mama to see him all green so he ran upstairs and hid under the bed.

The fourth ghost became so hungry and he looked in the refrigerator and saw a bowl of strawberries and
thought, "just one teeny bite wouldn't hurt." So he took a one teeny bite of a strawberry and what do
suppose happened? He turned red! The other ghosts looked at him and said "Mommy told us that something
dreadful would happen and she was right." The little ghost did not want his mommy to see him all red so
he ran upstairs and behind the door.

The fifth ghost said, "I'm so hungry but I will not do what my brothers did. I'll look in the freezer and see
if there is just maybe a little vanilla ice cream left." When he looked in the freezer there was some ice
cream....and it was almost vanilla - it was chocolate chip ice cream. So the ghost said, "This shouldn't hurt
me - those chocolate chips are so tiny." So he ate one spoonful and became a chocolate chip ghost! He
certainly didn't want his mommy to see him all spotty so he ran upstairs and hid in the bathtub.

When Mommy ghost returned, she knew something was wrong when she didn't see her children, so she
started looking for the little ghosts. She found the first one upstairs in the toy box, and an 2nd one in
the closet, and the 3rd one under the bed, the 4th one behind the door and the 5th and last one in the
bathtub. When she found all of them, she said, "Little ghosts, I told you that something dreadful would
happen and it did." Whatever can we do to get you white again for Halloween?

Mommy Ghost called the ghost doctor and this is what he told her to do. Keep all the little ghosts in bed
for five days and give them nothing but vanilla ice cream and milk to eat. If you do this, they should be
ready and all white again for Halloween. So that is what she did and by Halloween night, the five little
ghosts were all white again to go out haunting and spooking and shouting "BOO!" And they never again
ate something they shouldn't.


There are plenty of ways to make the ghosts. Bob's original story was made of felt. The one Scout made at Activity Days was done with cardstock and craft sticks. Just make it fun so the kids can participate.

Happy Halloween week!

Oct 25, 2016

Costume Fitting

While everyone else is being fitted for their Halloween costumes, Baby Doll is doing another sort of costume fitting. Today we drove to Ogden a little early for her rehearsal. You remember she is in a play at Weber State with Prima Donna called 6 Characters in Search of an Author?

After picking up Prima Donna, we drove to the Browning Center and found the costume shop. That place is incredible! I wish I would have taken pictures of their thread wall. It was covered with cones of different colors. I so want a wall like that. All my cones are just thrown in a box.

But I digress...

We waited for a few minutes while they finished the fitting before us and then Baby Doll and I entered a tiny dressing room and I helped her into this mock up of her actual dress. The fitting lady came in and started pinning and unpinning, adjusting here and there, dropping a hem, ripping a seam... It was pretty amazing to watch. I think I even learned a few things.

Baby Doll then skipped off for her 3-hour rehearsal. She didn't complain a bit, just mentioned that she was tired and hungry afterward. She even suggested we could drop Prima Donna at her apartment first so we didn't waste extra money on her for chicken nuggets at Burger King.

I thought it was funny, but Prima Donna wasn't very amused. We did take her with us and we even bought her a chicken sandwich. Then I gave her the change so she could actually do her laundry. She knows she has to get a job, but her availability is awful. She had two interviews today, but one of them dismissed her immediately when they found out about all the rehearsals. I'm sure she will figure it out. She can afford to pay her rent through February, and that is only if she doesn't buy any food... which is pretty unlikely with Baby Doll around.

Oct 24, 2016

A Family Tradition

Why is it that even when we don't have a Sunday birthday party, my sweetie comes up with some reason to get all the kids together for what he called a "not" party?

It happened like this. Remember our friend, Bob? He was/is our home teacher and has been since we moved into this neighborhood in 1994. I say it that way because technically he is no longer in our ward since he has been called to the bishopric in the YSA ward.

The kids absolutely love him and they love his Halloween ghost story. In fact, I'm not sure it can be Halloween without it.

So Bob called me earlier in the week and asked if he could come over for our annual tradition. My sweetie immediately planned a nice meal with sweet pork burritos and told me to see if any of the family wanted to come over... a NOT party. Of course they didn't want to miss out on the ghost story, so at 5:00, all but Beauty and The Beast, Gamer, Fajita, Bean Dip, and Prima Donna showed up at our door.

After we all stuffed ourselves on my sweetie's good food, we were sitting around waiting for Bob when he texted me to tell me he couldn't find the ghost story, but he would be over as soon as he did. Half an hour later he called. The story was officially lost and he was devastated.

Fortunately, a tender mercy was already in place for our wonderful, over-worked friend. Just this week at Activity Days, Scout had prepared this exact story as a family home evening lesson for our family, so she had all the props and even though they were slightly different from what we were used to, Bob was relieved and happy.

After our story and a nice visit, Bob rushed off to another church meeting. He can stay our home teacher for a long time.

Oct 23, 2016

Football and Basketball

Today was the last day of the regular season football games. Sport's team and Curly's team both beat their opponents without any nail-biting on my part. Curly even recovered 3 fumbles from the poor little team they were playing. Honestly, I don't think they even knew what hit them.

Sport played an excellent game as well. That puts his team in 2nd place with only one loss for the season. Curly's undefeated team is in first place; different age groups, of course.

Tonight I finished up the grape jelly and 7 1/2 quarts of tomato sauce. Then my sweetie and I took off for the movies. It's not often we have a date like that, but I really wanted to see Spirit of the Game (Mormon Yankees). It was awesome!

I don't think it will be in the theaters much longer, but if you get a chance, I highly recommend it, especially if you love basketball like I do. Such an amazing group of men and it validates my church calling as the sports director for the women. Sports can bring people together and open doors to different ideas and viewpoints.

It's nice to know that my Tuesday and Thursday nights at volleyball are important to more than just me.

Oct 22, 2016

Breaking Jars

I really can't take much credit for our day of canning. I was mostly rearranging the basement in the morning and my bedroom and the office in the evening, but in between I did do all the processing. With a little help from my sweetie, I also got a pot of tomato sauce on the stove although it's going to have to wait until tomorrow to finish.

Bossy made 28 quarts of green enchilada sauce except that when I was taking them out of the canner I dropped one on the floor. It was almost like slow motion watching that bottle fall and explode and there was nothing I could do about it. Boiling sauce and glass were everywhere. Thankfully none of the kids were here although they would probably have enjoyed the action.

It took a bunch of paper towels to sop everything up and get rid of the glass. I'm still not 100% sure I won't find a little piece with my bare feet.

The second batch came out fine and then I put in the two little pint jars of beans Bossy made for Princess and The Frog. They pressured for their 20 minutes and didn't even slip into the red zone, but sure enough, when I opened the canner, one of the jars was broken.

Fortunately, the grape jelly came out beautifully and the kids have already devoured nearly a quart of it.
I will have to make the rest tomorrow after the football games. It is actually the last Saturday for league games and next week we get to start the playoffs. Where has the season gone?

And what happened to the month of October?

Oct 21, 2016

Visiting the Fire Station

It's our fall break today so the kids were home from school. I took Grandpa to pick up his hearing aids and then we met with a contractor about the downstairs bathroom project. During all this time the girls and I were making grape jelly and Bossy was working on her green enchilada sauce.

At 2:45, Curly, Sport, and I headed for the church for Cub Scouts. Curly was pretty excited since our den was going to the fire station. We piled all five scouts in my car and drove the short distance to the South Jordan Fire Station.

It was fun to see the various rooms of the station. The boys were pretty dazzled by the kitchen and also a bit surprised by the office area with the computers where the firefighters did their homework and paperwork. I liked seeing the bedrooms and learning a bit more about the 20 or so men and women who spent 48 hours at a time taking care of our city.

Then we wandered into the garages where the ambulances and fire truck were parked. We got to see inside almost all of the tool cupboards and bins. They pulled out the oxygen tanks and the jaws of life. When the firefighter handed the tank to Curly, he almost dropped it. He was surprised that it was so heavy and actually part of the seatbelt!

A few more stories and a last quick look at the uniforms and we were ready to go.

Thanks South Jordan Fire Department for an amazing visit!

Oct 20, 2016

A Coat of Many Colors

Do you remember a few months back when we participated in the Comcast Day of Service at Welby Elementary? Well, after we were finished with several hours of cleaning and we were sitting in the gym eating pizza with the rest of the group, the kids noticed some bright colors spilling from the garbage can. Drama Queen and Bossy couldn't wait to pull it out and see what it was.

At first we thought it was a parachute and we were excited to see that it appeared to be in good shape. Scouts was my first thought (of course), but on closer inspection, it became apparent that we were looking at a nylon hot air-type balloon.

It was smallish and the tag said 60". It also had a large vinyl logo in the middle of the yellow strip. I'm not sure who first suggested that it would make an amazing Halloween costume, but it wasn't long before the Dog Walker decided it could definitely become a coat of many colors just like in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. That is one of his favorite musicals and he knows all the words to every song which is really saying something if you know the show.
No Mickey though...

For the past couple of weeks he has reminded me several times a day how close we are getting to Halloween, so today when Bossy came over we sorted out my fabric pile so I could get ready to sew. As it turned out, I really had to do very little sewing; it was mostly cutting.

After I took off the bottom panel and slit the yellow to get rid of the large logo, I took 18 inches off the bottom so that it would be the right length. Then I had the Dog Walker try it on. In typical fashion, all he could worry about were the non-existent sleeves.

With very little fabric left, I took those curved 18-inch strips from the bottom and fashioned some short sleeves. He doesn't love them, but unless I try to salvage some of the yellow logo stuff, I just don't have any more of that nylon fabric.

Still, for an absolutely free costume and just a couple of hours of work, I think it turned out pretty good.

What do you think?

Oct 19, 2016

Reading with Grandma

Remember a couple of weeks ago when my sweetie painted his mom's house? Well, he felt like there were a couple of things left undone, so on Sunday right after church, we headed south. It's a couple of hours to his mom's house and one of the things I love to do in the car is read to the kids.

Last week I got an email from MC Steve asking me if I would review his latest Diary of a Wimpy Zombie in exchange for a free copy of the book. It's not very long, and just perfect for a car trip. The kids loved the idea of a Zombie (who was normal) with a human friend who was strange. Apparently it is based on the Minecraft world, so the kids understood some stuff much quicker than I did, but there were plenty of fun and interesting things in there even without a knowledge of the game. If you are looking for a quick Halloween-type read, I definitely recommend this one. Even my sweetie enjoyed it!

But I digress...

It was about 4:30 when we arrived in Mt. Pleasant and there was plenty of time for my sweetie to accomplish his small tasks. He put the numbers back on the house, added a slip-proof fabric to the front door step, and replaced the screens. My kids washed windows and helped me with dinner.

After we finished our Navajo tacos and evening had turned to dark, we went back inside to clean up and get ready to hit the road. Just as we were thinking to load the van, Grandma offered to read a story to Baby Doll. As it turned out, we all sat with her and enjoyed several stories.

Reading is so important! There was a period during my childhood when books were my whole world. Slipping into the reality of others made my own life much more enjoyable and inspired me to earn my BA in English and my MA in Literature. (It's probably the reason I write this blog every day.)

As I glanced around the circle of so many of my sweet children (many of them now grownups) being attentive and supportive of a simple children's story from their Grandma, I was so grateful to be passing that tradition along to another generation.

Now go read a book to a kid!
Please. :)

Oct 18, 2016

Stop the Presses! Big News!!

I was going to tell you all about our Sunday activities, but then Princess and The Frog made their big announcement and I just couldn't wait to share it with all my blog friends.

You guessed it... they are expecting a little one in May!

It's a honeymoon baby; just what they wanted. We have known for a while now, but Princess made me promise not to tell on media until she had a chance to announce it herself on Facebook. She is currently at the 10-week mark, so almost out of the first trimester.

She has been pretty sick and she told me today that she lost 3 pounds since her last appointment. When we saw her yesterday she was carrying her own little bag of salted snacks to keep her stomach happy. Apparently traveling makes it worse.

I will keep you posted on her progress. You know how much I love babies!

Oct 16, 2016

Slower Saturdays

What an amazing weekend it has been!

After such a crazy week, I needed a little down time and we took it. Saturday morning had us running as usual, another merit badge pow wow for Sport, Youth Summit for Crafty, football games and rehearsals, but by about 3:00 we were finally free.

Oh, and I'm in big trouble if I don't mention that all six of our football players won their games for the first time ever! Go Bingham!

We gathered up a bunch of us and packed into two cars and headed up the canyon. Crafty wanted to film a Reflections video and we were excited to join her so we could see the leaves. Unfortunately, most of the color was gone, but there were still some beautiful yellows and the mountains are always amazing. We drove up Guardsman Pass and then through Park City and into Heber. We stopped at MacDonald's for ice cream and fries and someone mentioned it would be a perfect day to see a movie.

The free movie was Nine Lives, so we hurried to the Towne Cinema and got in just before the movie started. I even got to sit by my sweetie which hardly ever happens. The movie was super fun and we drove home afterward without any kind of rush or hurry.

I was planning to tell you about today too, but maybe I will save it for tomorrow after the craziness starts up again. Then I can remember that there is always a calm somewhere in the storm.

(Now that was ridiculously corny. Must be my Saturday night movies and all that popcorn...)

Hope you have a fantastic week!

Oct 15, 2016

A Close Shave

I think I've told you before about SuperCuts training studios. They do free cuts about twice a month. I love it because my boys are pretty particular about their hair. So Wednesday afternoon when Scout was finished working at the preschool, I took Chips and Grandpa and my 3 youngest over for a trim.

Chips is pretty bouncy, but he sat so still for over an hour in the chair while they worked on his hair. He almost fell asleep! (That's usually what I do, not him...)

My favorite part was teasing Curly. We told him we were going to have a pumpkin face shaved into the back of his hair and he actually believed us! So my friend, Melissa, who was doing the cut, used an expo marker to draw one on for him. Sometimes he is just so gullible it is hilarious.

He also had his very first shave and I mean for real. He had a bunch of fine white facial hair so Melissa took it off carefully with the shaver. He giggled so much he might have been nicked if she weren't so amazing with kids.

Oct 14, 2016

Thursdays are Hard

Thursday was one of the most difficult chasing days I can remember in a long time, which is why I didn't post last night. I was so tired.

I spent a late night Wednesday making 96 cupcakes for Crafty. Then on Thursday I was up early to go with the Dog Walker to his Voc Rehab appointment, then run back home with just enough time to drop Baby Doll at her play date and drive Grandpa to Draper for his doctor's visit. We got there a little early so we ran into Kohl's and grabbed a shirt for my sweetie for $1.82 with my Kohl's Kash. (Grandpa was pretty impressed!)

Then we did the doc first and the hearing aids next and hurried back home so we could pick up Baby Doll and deliver the rest of the fliers for our Girl Scout food drive and then I could make frosting and gather the rest of the things for the Cupcake Club meeting. After that I ran Baby Doll half way across the valley so my sweetie could take her to rehearsal in Ogden.

When I got back it was time to eat a quick sandwich before rushing to Cupcake Club. Crafty was so happy for the support. She is getting better and better at speaking out and running these activities on her own.

I had 10 minutes to change into my scout shirt and pick up Sport and Curly for our cub scout meeting. Thank goodness I wasn't in charge this week. After scouts it was race Curly to the park at 5:00 for football practice while he changed in the car, a quick team meeting, and then back home to unload everything.

Scout had dance at 5:30 and Sport had to be at the high school at 6:00. Drama Queen came through with dinner just in time for the Dog Walker to eat during his dinner break while he finished a homework assignment that was due at midnight.

I picked up Scout from dance at 6:30, dropped her at the house with instructions to drop Crafty for her Youth City Council meeting when they picked up Curly from football and I headed to the church to finish setting up for volleyball.

After playing until 9:30, we cleaned up and I finally got home just in time to help Teach and Twiz with their insurance packet (I haven't even opened mine yet). Then finally it was clean up the kitchen, help with homework, and get kids off to bed. When I took off my fitbit at volleyball it said nearly 14,000 steps. That's not that many for you youngsters, but I'm thrilled when I'm over 10,000, so it was a big jump for me.

Then to top it off, when I finally dropped into bed just before 2:00, my legs ached so badly that I couldn't sleep. I'm looking forward to a much more relaxed weekend!