Jan 31, 2017

All My Ducks

For about 30 seconds yesterday, I thought I had it all together, but as always, things fall apart quickly and then there is too much to do and never enough hours in the day to get it all done. I keep thinking, "When the wedding is over..." or "When Christmas is over... " and "After the shower or maybe after the grandbaby is born..." But as soon as that event happens, other things quickly crowd in to fill my time.

Like this week...

I feel bad for the lady in charge of costumes for the kindergarten operetta (thankfully it's not me!) so even though I am already making a lion costume, I volunteer to make a rhino as well.

Baby Doll makes such a cute lion!
Or with basketball, we have our schedule all set up and it usually goes off pretty well, but then we are bumped for something infinitely more important, the viewing of one of my dear friends, and it's a scramble to let everyone know and rearrange.

Or my cub scouts and a brand new den leader to help me. Not a bad thing, just that it requires all new coordination and new meeting time and letting everyone know.

Or suddenly Drama Queen's offer for a house was accepted and now she (and I'm guessing ultimately me) is drowning in paperwork and needs a second pair of eyes to help get through it all.

A new chapter for Drama Queen
Or 6 new chapters to edit for Grandma Relia's history that need to be done ASAP since the deadline is upon us.

Or that late notice from the school library that Scout forgot to return her book.

Or Grandpa's prescription that said it had a refill but it really didn't and now I have to contact the pharmacy, and the doctor's office, and make sure it comes before he runs out because insulin is so important to a diabetic!

Oh man, I am so complaining today. I'm sorry. Someone just said to me earlier this week, "Sandy, you always have all your ducks in a row..." Not true! But I do have all my ducks...

My "Crazy Eyes" pic for Curly

Jan 30, 2017

Super Reader Party

Bet you are surprised to see me posting in the morning. That's because my sweetie is out of town for work and instead of lounging in my nice warm bed while he takes the kids to school, I have to put on my gloves, brave the cold, and do it myself. Thank goodness I've got Curly to scrape the ice for me!

I promised to tell you about the Super Reader Party. We love the Read Today group! They do so many fun things, but our two favorites are the Bees game in the summer and the Super Reader party in the winter. It was at the Expo Center in Sandy this year which is much easier than running all the way to the fairgrounds downtown and we had the afternoon session from 12 - 2.

Li'l Sis and her family met us at the house since my niece had a sleepover with Baby Doll after the ballet on Friday night. Grandpa decided to come with us too, but after three basketball games (two that I coached plus Sport's), he was pretty worn out and spent a fair amount of time just sitting and watching the activities.

The Party always has way more than you can really do in two hours, so we started at the free book station and then moved on to the craft booths. The kids made little notebooks, spiders, bird feeders, parachutes, and a bunch of other things. I only had Curly and Baby Doll with me since Scout had a matinee performance of the ballet. My sweetie stayed home to run the grandsons to their basketball games since Bossy had to work.

By 2:00 we were exhausted and ready to leave. About the time we loaded in the car we heard from Sport at the Chess tournament and changed our course to the high school. But wait, I told you that story already...

Jan 29, 2017

Chess Tournament

Bossy tells me you get tired of listening to me tell about my whole list of activities for the day, so I'm trying to limit myself to posting about a specific thing, but honestly, my life is not really like that. I seriously run from one thing to another all day long.

Eating nachos
Yesterday was no exception, but let's see how good I am at limiting myself to just one exciting thing. Do you remember way back in 6th grade (so a couple of years ago) when Sport was all into Chess? He was on the chess team at his school and he participated in a couple of tournaments, so when the opportunity came up for him to compete again, we decided to sign him up even though it conflicted with basketball and he would have to take a bye for the 1st two rounds.

I had to run straight to Baby Doll's game after Sport's basketball game (which they lost by a buzzer shot) so my sweetie dropped him at West Jordan High school. He is used to doing these tournaments by himself since they are mostly a whole lot of waiting when he isn't actually playing.

Lots of waiting
So at 2:00 we left the Super Reader Party (I will tell you about that later!) and drove to the high school to pick him up, but they were running behind so we decided to wait with him until the awards were given. That turned into over an hour of sitting around, buying nachos and other concessions because the kids hadn't eaten lunch and they were hungry, playing on their phones, and setting up another game of Chess to keep them occupied.

9th Place

Sport hadn't played as well as he had hoped and he wasn't sure if he would be recognized or not, but we decided to wait and see. It took forever for them to award the elementary school group. Finally they had the middle/high school. As they announced that 21 kids had competed in the 8th grade division, Sport was shaking his head. But then they started awarding medals and he received 9th place which isn't as good as he wanted, but much better than he was expecting.

Now he and Curly are all excited to find another tournament so they can compete again.

Chess anyone?

Jan 28, 2017

Les Sylphides and Four Sea Interludes

Remember a few days ago when I told you I was hanging posters for the ballet company performance? Well, that production is finally here!

Crafty and Scout have been putting in long hours on the weekends at the studio to prepare and it was fun to see the final outcome. Drama Queen was helping with the scenery, so my living room has been full of "coral" (made from upside down stools and pool noodles) all week.

We decided it would be a fun girl scout meeting so we took 5 of the girls with us. It's nice to share our talents with the other girls in the troop. Three of our older girls had to work or had activities; evenings are much harder to get everyone together.

Anyway, the performance was fairly short, and we were there for only a little over an hour. It started with Les Sylphides. Crafty did a beautiful job! It was her first real solo and then she danced with a male partner as well. Her lifts were awesome!

When Les Sylphides was over, they had a 15-minute intermission while they set up for the Four Sea Interludes. I loved the scenery for the Interludes and the costumes were bright and colorful just like I would imagine things are like under the sea. Crafty played water and Scout was a green fish.

Both of them did a terrific job! Sure love my girls.

Jan 27, 2017

My Birthday Was a Circus...A Jordan World Circus

We were so excited when the awesome people at Jordan World Circus sent me not one, but two family packs for us to see the circus on my birthday! It was a cold and snowy night, but we still got 14 of us there to enjoy the evening.

We decided to sit on the opposite side this year, but that turned out to be the backside. It didn't matter too much most of the time, but the few times they danced we couldn't see their faces. Oh, and the tiger cages were in the way so we didn't see all of that show either.

Other than those two little things, we had a great time! I missed the acrobats from last year, but the things that bothered me like too much time with the dog show were all cleared up. It seems that this circus actually listens and tries to do as the audience suggests.

My favorite acts were the elephants, of course, the rope dancers, and most especially the couple on the ribbons. They were amazing! I don't believe I have ever seen the woman wrap up in the fabric and then hold the man 30 feet above the ground. He must have weighed close to 200 lbs and she was this tiny thing, but her arms were super strong. I was impressed and so were my girls.

My boys loved the motorcycles in the ball as always, but their favorite parts this year were Spiderman, the spinning wheel, and the man who was shot out of a cannon. I'm pretty sure all three may have been the same super-talented performer.

As we were walking out, The Frog commented on how I had helped him cross something off his bucket list. He had always wanted to see an elephant show and he was definitely not disappointed. It was a great evening for all of us.

Baby Doll, catching a peek at the tigers during the intermission.

Jan 25, 2017

My Cub Scouting Journey

I have been in Cub Scouts off and on since we moved to our home. The first time was when we first moved in. Instantly my sweetie became the Cubmaster and I was the Committee Chair. It was only a short while before The Beast was one of those cub scouts. Then we loved scouts so much we thought about working in council positions, but realized it would take way too much time away from our own children.

Then we had Dog Walker. I've told you before that he hated scouts at first because it meant that people would have to look at him. But after a while he settled in and it became one of his greatest accomplishments. We were never officially scout leaders at that time, probably because we had so much trouble with the Dog Walker at a simple pack meeting that it would have been nearly impossible to help with anything.

Sport became a Tiger scout when he was 7 and because Bean Dip was nervous about his first scouting experiences, Sport was allowed to attend the wolf den with him. My first pack meeting then was in the exact same room we were in tonight with a similar theme.

At least it all seemed very familiar. That would have been about this time of year in 2010. We have been in scouts since that time, first with my sweetie being the Cubmaster, with the Dog Walker as his assistant, and now me completing my first year as a wolf den leader.

We have had our moments, but for the most part, it has been a sweet experience working with my boys to help them become men. Now that two of my boys are completely grown, I can see the effect scouting has had on their lives and all the hours of planning and preparing for pack and den meetings is totally worth it.

Tonight at pack meeting, Curly earned 7 belt loops. He only has one more to complete before he earns his wolf. I'm so glad I got to be a big part of that journey with him.

Jan 24, 2017

Constant Issues

My life seems to be full of constant chasing all day long. My sweetie says we should just simplify, but one thing I've noticed about myself is that I sort of like the complicated craziness. So even if we decided, for example, to not play baseball this spring (don't freak out, Curly!), I would likely just fill that time with something else equally as complicated.

Tonight I decided to have a simple Family Home Evening by taking the kids to the Chinese New Year family craft hour at the library. We had so much fun at the various stations. At one point, Baby Doll got all upset because she was trying to cut too fast and she trimmed off part of her dragon picture. Then Scout wanted me to color half her picture so we could get done more quickly

. It was really nice to remind them that we had plenty of time and we only needed to be out by 8:00 to pick up Crafty from dance.

It was snowy and slick tonight. My sweetie has been shoveling tons of snow and now he has tendonitis in his hand. Hopefully these anti-inflammatory meds will do the trick. Life is hard enough without constant pain... or even intermittent pain...cramps, broken fingers, toothaches, headaches...

...paper cuts...dry skin... chapped lips...

Jan 23, 2017

Happy Birthday to Me! ... sort of...

My blog is officially six years old now. It's crazy how quickly the time has gone! All my kids came over today for my birthday party except for Gamer and he dropped by later. He works graveyards now, so sleep is always a difficult problem with family gatherings.

Sorry for the bad pics, Curly was my photographer.
Beauty and The Beast even drove to Ogden in a snowstorm to pick up Prima Donna so everyone would be here! They know my favorite thing on the planet is to have all of my family around me. My birthday isn't actually until Wednesday, but it is so hard to get together on a weekday with all the crazy work and school schedules.

My sweetie cooked a lovely surf 'n turf dinner with London broil and salmon. He also made a huge pot of alfredo to please the children and lots of veggies and a yummy salad for me. I love those kinds of things. If I could just stop the grazing between meals, I might actually lose weight.

Did I tell you that Bossy just started working at Sam's Club as a cake decorator? She brought me a carrot cake that she had decorated at work yesterday. We were on the quick schedule since my sweetie was planning to run Prima Donna back to Ogden. The storm had gotten much worse and it took him 3 hours instead of 2 for the round trip.

The week is looking pretty crazy from here, but hopefully things will fall into place quickly. It's my birthday week so it should be a piece of cake... :)

Jan 22, 2017

Teach's Baby Shower

Baby Doll had the 8:00 basketball game this morning and we woke up to about 6 inches of new snow. That made for slippery roads and plenty of slush. I was worried that the weather would keep shower guests away and after Li'l Sis called to report 10 inches at her house, my fears were confirmed. She and my older sister braved the storm, but it did keep much of our family away.

The girls spent this morning decorating the house and cleaning bathrooms while I did basketball games with the kids. My sweetie shoveled the snow for a couple of hours before he finally headed to work. They have been swamped there since he got back from the holiday.

In spite of the weather, my sweet neighbors still came in droves and they spoiled Teach. She had to borrow a laundry basket to take all of their generosity home. The games were fun; Baby Doll made the "Pin the Poo on the Diaper" game. It was pretty popular. Beauty won the "How Many Pacifiers Can You Pick Up With a Straw in One Minute" game. Twiz let me cheat just a little...

Princess brought her famous cupcakes and we served chips, fruits and veggies. Teach was so excited about all the beautiful books! She must have received about 50 and there was only one that was duplicated and that was from me so we just gave her a different one.

Teach is tired too.

We had a steady stream of people here from two until five. But  the early morning games made all the kids tired so they went to bed petty early. I have to admit that I'm feeling the same way and so was Teach.

Besides, we have another party tomorrow...

Jan 21, 2017

Almost Ready

I spent a good part of my day hanging posters for the ballet next weekend, selling Girl Scout cookies, and getting ready for Teach's baby shower tomorrow. I had already put up 10 posters earlier this week and then I was given 20 more. With Bossy and Fajita's help, we got them all hung at various businesses but 2, so I picked up a few more at the studio tonight when I took Scout to rehearsal.

The cookie sales were mostly at the elementary school. Since my kids have been off track we are a little behind, but we caught most of the teachers today plus a few neighbors we missed. They kids were pretty excited to learn that their efforts added up to almost 100 boxes. Not bad for a couple of hours of work.

Grandpa posed in our cute baby poster.
Besides basketball practice, getting Sport off on a scout camp, and delivering a little Tupperware, the rest of my day was spent cleaning the house and buying the food for the baby shower tomorrow. Crafty and I even managed to sneak out to Kohl's right before it closed so she could find a gift since she has been so busy.

Shopping with Crafty
For the last couple of years I have been sad every time I walked past the infant department. Tonight was the first time I could actually enjoy looking at the tiny outfits and fuzzy sleepers. I even bought myself an early birthday gift in the intimates department.

Basketball will fill my morning tomorrow, so I'm hoping Drama Queen will pull everything together. If not, I will still have a couple of hours before anyone starts to arrive. Now I need to get off to bed because that 8:00 AM game will be here way too soon.

Jan 20, 2017

Getting Ready for Baby Twizlet

A few days ago, I was approached by someone from diapers.com requesting I mention them in a blog post. I think it's pretty hilarious that I had 12 babies and no one ever asked my opinion before, but now that I'm a grandma and getting ready for some full-time babysitting, suddenly I'm an expert!

Yesterday Teach and I went to her doctor's appointment. It's the first time I've done this with her, but Twiz had something else and of course I had to sell GS cookies to the doc. Teach is seeing the same doctor that delivered her 25 years ago as well as 8 of her siblings. I was surprised to feel the memories all flooding back to my own frequent visits.

Beautiful Teach - absolutely glowing!

Teach is at 36 weeks now, so she will be making that drive once a week until her little one is born. We have a shower scheduled for Saturday and Drama Queen and I have spent many hours planning and preparing. Now we are just down to cleaning the house and acquiring the food.

If you remember, we made a quilt for Teach back in November and it is finally finished. I think it would have been much easier to look at one of the diapers.com gift guides. I had heard of diapers.com before, and I thought it was only a diaper service and maybe wipes, but it is so much more! They have pretty much anything you could think of for a new mom and if you order $49+ you get free shipping which is convenient since they offered me a $50 gift card to their site so I could try it out.

I want to find something fun and unique for my new little granddaughter. Teach already has most of the big stuff thanks to Twiz's very generous family. The site even has Legos! I think some of those Melissa and Doug puzzles could keep Twiz entertained while he is waiting for Twizlet to grow up enough to play with him.

I think maybe we need to have a shower for me too. I've given away most of my baby stuff now and I can't possibly tend a newborn without a sling or a swing. And diapers of course... pacifiers (a whole box!)... wipes... a rattle or two...

... better get my own carseat... on second thought, $50 in compensation won't be nearly enough. I wonder how they feel about a second blog post?

Jan 19, 2017

Crafty Scores Again!

Tonight was our Region Reflections Awards ceremony. It is the last step before winning the State Honors. Crafty had 3 possible wins, 3D Art, Film Production, and Dance Choreography. Sport was up for his 3D Art. Sadly, neither 3D Art entry placed tonight, so Sport is out of the competition. That only leaves Crafty.

She was a little disappointed when her Film Production received an Award of Merit. If you remember, she worked so hard on that one with Teach and Twiz. Now that the competition is over, perhaps we can share it with you. An Award of Merit is good, but it is like 2nd place, so it is also finished competing.

Her last possibility was in Dance Choreography and I don't think she felt like it would be a winner; boy, was she surprised! When it received an Award of Excellence, she didn't even think to turn around so I could see that beautiful smile on her face instead of her back pockets.

I'm not sure when State Competition will be held, or even where, but if she places there, then she will compete at Nationals. That is something that we have never done before. We have only had our kids place on the State Level 3 times and they were all in Theater which was never a nationally recognized category.

So proud of all of my kids, but especially Crafty today!

Jan 17, 2017

Martin Luther King Holiday

Sorry I didn't post last night. We had another exciting day here! Since all the kids were out of school for the holiday, we decided to drive the couple of hours to Sanpete County to visit my cute MIL. I don't know if I mentioned that I have been helping in the final editing of my sweetie's grandmother's history, but this book is almost ready for the publisher.

There were two of these beauties right in the middle of town!
My MIL and her brothers and sister are planning a huge family party to release this book and of course we are right in the thick of things. Drama Queen has been asked to write a play about this incredible woman's life and then we are responsible for recruiting actors (I think because we have the most kids!), arranging props and costumes, and staging the final event.

Thank goodness we have until May! Although much of the work will need to be done upfront. That was one of the main reasons we headed south. After visiting for a while, we loaded Curly, Sport, Drama Queen, and my sweet MIL into the car and we drove over to the church where we will be having the party.

We checked tables and chairs for the meal as well as the lights, sound system, and stage. Drama Queen started planning things in her head and the boys searched for a basketball. They finally found one that was totally flat. It was pretty funny watching them try to shoot it and then giggling as it fell like a rock to the floor without even the tiniest bounce.

When we were finally finished, we headed back to the house where my sweetie had concocted a delicious creamy potato soup.After that the kids went sledding. We talked costumes and my MIL sent a whole box of things home with us so that we could see how they might work out.

We were later getting home than we had planned and my little ones were late for their dance classes, but it all worked out. Drama Queen is also thinking of buying a house so we went to look at one and got visiting there until almost 8:00 when we had to pick up Crafty from dance.

Back at the house the kids had made mac n cheese for dinner, so my sweetie swept me away to Herriman to get more cookie forms for the troop and then to Kohl's to buy me something for my birthday next week and then out to a late dinner at Chili's.

After getting the kids off to bed, cutting my sweetie's hair and beard, and finishing what had to be done, I was too tired for anything else. It was a fun, exciting day, but exhausting as well. One of these days I might have to think about slowing down a little...

Jan 16, 2017

Guest Blog: Our Honeymoon Cruise by Princess

I promised you a peek into Princess and The Frog's honeymoon cruise, and here it is. Princess has always been a fantastic journal keeper, so other than the names and moving the pictures around a bit, I'm not changing anything. They look so cute and happy, just like newlyweds should be!


Jan 2, 2017
We are on our cruise! We drove to the airport in the snow (mom and dad took us). Our flight was delayed nearly an hour while trying to unfreeze and various other things, but we got to the shuttle and then the ship. The Frog upgraded our room without telling me so we have a beautiful view. Food has been good and they had a fun opening ceremony. It’s been a really rocky ride and I’ve been dizzy and walking funny, but hopefully I get used to it and can relax more. Oh, and also I love my husband.

Jan 3, 2017
Just an at-sea day. We took naps, read, saw an ice show that was awesome and an Eagles (the band) tribute and then the Love and Marriage Show. I got escargot today just to say I did. We had a good day :)

Jan 4, 2017
We woke up early so we could have breakfast in the dining room which was kinda fun. I don’t think we will do it again. Then we went swimming and on the water slides; we had drinks on the lounge chairs by the pool and it was so cruisey. We went to Costa Maya today and bought flutes for all my family, a pair of maracas (for me) and a nativity (also for me). I had pasta, spinach dip and creme brulee for dinner. We went to an acrobatic show that was really fun. Oh, and I love the coconut macaroons and I’ve been eating them all day (and proceeded to eat them the rest of the cruise). We’re having a blast!

Jan 5, 2017
We woke up early today to get to Belize. The water was too shallow for the ship so we parked it a ways off and took boats to shore. Then we took a 2.5 hour boat ride down the Belize river (on a third boat). We saw iguanas, birds, mahogany trees, dolphins, a croc and manatees. (Supposedly, I’m not sure if they really were. It was just kinda ripples of water and little black spots that were supposed to be their noses.) The shopping was slim but we bought a spoon for Grandpa and another nativity. We came back and were so tired we took a nap until dinner. Then we went to a really bad comedian. Now we’re in our room early because we’re still tired from the day in the sun and there wasn’t anything interesting going on. (Yeah, Princess, we believe that... you are on your honeymoon after all! ;)

Jan 6, 2017
I can’t believe today is still the day we were in Cozumel, Mexico! We also went to the Quest performance which was quite interesting. We watched a movie in the pool (it was freezing!) but fun. For dinner I had roast beef, soup, and Baked Alaska. We bought toy crossbows (with suction cups for arrow points) and they took them away in security (since they were weapons) and said we would get them back once we left. (Isn't that crazy?!)

Jan 7, 2017
Today we went through a storm and it was bumpy! I went out of the room for lunch and could barely eat anything and have been in the room since. I was all dressed to go to dinner and then I threw up so The Frog went by himself and brought me a piece of pie. I’m just lying in bed watching tv and still feeling like crap.

That was the last full day of their trip and we picked them up at the airport on Sunday night. We are grateful that The Frog's parents treated them to such a memorable and fantastic trip.