Apr 30, 2018

Congratulations, Princess!

Such a busy weekend! I've hardly had time to think, let alone write, but I will skip all the Saturday busyness for you and just talk about Sunday. Do you remember when I told you a couple of months ago that Princess had finished her BS in Elementary Education from UVU?

Well, this week is Commencement and we convinced her that she should walk in her Convocation on Friday. And you know that means we just had to have a party for her!! We had about 50 family members and friends here to celebrate with us. My sweetie made barbecued chicken and we had a great time in the backyard (until it started to get cold.)

The kids played Horseshoes and Bocce while most of the adults sat around and visited.

We were cleaning up when I realized I hadn't taken a single picture, so I asked Princess to pose for one.

Princess, we are so proud of you! Thanks for being such an awesome daughter.

Apr 28, 2018

Babies Galore!

We had so much fun at our Girl Scout troop meeting today! It took some major planning, but we worked on the Babysitter badge and we managed to have 3 babies of various ages and a preschooler here. You know, I had never realized my youngest grandbabies are all six months apart (not counting our sweet angel baby, Calder). Twizlet is the oldest at nearly 15 months, Little Warrior is next at about 9 months, Tadpole is 3 months, and our yet-to-be-named little one of Bossy's is due in approximately 3 months.

We talked about all the babies in their different stages and how they would have to be taken care of in different ways. It was fun and informative. We had enough moms here to give each of us a chance to talk about a stage in life and then we let the girls read stories to the babies.

Some were more receptive than others...

Some even liked to be held more than others...

But I'm pretty sure every scout had a great time.

Apr 27, 2018

Guest Blogger: Helping at Grandma's by the Dog Walker

 It feels like the last time I guest blogged was when I told all of you about the little apartment that Cat Lover and I are living in for at least a year until we make enough money to find a home of our own. And speaking of a home, my dad asked me today since it was my day off of work to come along to Mt Pleasant with him to help him out at grandma's house. At first I wasn't quite sure about that, because I was looking forward to spending some more quality time with my wife, since my wife misses me too much whenever I'm working full time. I had to talk with Cat Lover about it and she said that it would be okay for me to go help my grandma with her yard.

My dad was quite prepared a lot when loading up Drama Queen's truck with gardening tools and hardware tools. When we got there, we didn't need the gardening tools, because we've heard that the Young Women in grandma's ward have helped clean up her yard by picking up branches and raking up leaves. It seems that they've done a very good job at making sure her yard was in good shape and in good hands. Instead, we had to do some powerwashing on her little patio because it hadn't been taken care of for years. It was quite a challenge for me to do powerwashing because it was hard not to damage anything, especially the hard work we've done on painting her house.

Every few minutes of working, there would be those minutes of break that we visit with grandma and talk with her about our personal lives. When I had a breather and visited with grandma by myself, she and I were talking about how things are working out with Cat Lover and that the marriage is still going good, even if we both miss each other when we have the days when we are scheduled to work for money. And speaking of money, she, Dad and I also talked about the fact that Grandma won't be able to drive her car and that she would let Cat Lover buy it with our money by the time she's ready to sell her car. As you can tell, it's a really nice car that she had been driving for some of the years until a few years ago that she started having a fragile body. She had been told by her doctor that she needs to be careful on how she walks, that's also why there were those times when my dad made iron rods for grandma to guide herself up and down a few steps. I'm starting to get off subject, but anyway, Grandma told me that when the time comes when Cat Lover has her license, Grandma will be able to sell this car to her. So that she and I can drive to our jobs without having to do pick ups and drop offs.

After we were done powerwashing her patio and sidewalks, we visited with Grandma a little more before we packed ourselves up to go home for the day. It turned out that it was really nice to visit with grandma on my day off and that we've done some good service for her. It's been a big thing for all of us ever since we started growing up and creating our own little families. I hope this story has been inspiring to all of you.

Apr 26, 2018

Anyone Want Veggies?

Not long ago, our friends at Cave Tools offered another new product for us to try; a veggie basket to go on our grill! You might not know that I am a true vegetable fan. I honestly can't think of one that I don't like and my favorite way to eat them (besides raw) is to have them grilled. The problem is that the veggies always fall through the grill and get ruined, so we have had to resort to the 2nd best thing and that is to cover them with olive oil and roast them on cookie sheets in the oven.

My sweetie prepared the veggies the same way he normally does and then simply dumped them into the warm grill basket. They sizzled a bit as he closed the lid over the top and it wasn't long before they began to smell delicious. He stirred them a couple of times and then dumped the basket into a serving dish.

Then he filled the basket with pineapple and other yummy fruits and veggies. Grilled pineapple is the best! When he was finished, and our tummies were full, I asked him about his favorite features. He said that the sloped sides made it easy to stir and the solid metal was much better than the ones made out of mesh.

Our grill tends to have a few hot spots (we may or may not have had a nice little fire going on last weekend...) and the thick metal of the basket helped spread the heat evenly so we didn't have some things half raw and others half burned.

When we were finished, I tossed the basket in the dishwasher and it came out beautifully; no extra scrubbing or anything. His final parting comment was "Over the years I have had numerous baskets, grills, and other doodads for grilling vegetables. Most get used once and discarded... this one is a keeper."

So there you have it, the perfect gift for Father's Day from the perfect father (I might be a bit biased), and it's not even that expensive, but I can still hook you up with a coupon code and save you 15% if you want to buy it off the Cave Tools website. Just add the promo code VEGGIE15 at checkout. Or if you would prefer to buy it off Amazon, the code won't work, but you can get free shipping with Prime, and Amazon is running its own specials if you buy more than one thing.

We love Cave Tools products and this one definitely does not disappoint!

***We received a free Vegetable Basket for our open and honest review.***

Apr 25, 2018

School Board Congratulates Crafty

Remember last week when I told you about Crafty's Award of Excellence on the State Level for Reflections? Tonight she had another opportunity to be honored for her hard work. The Jordan School Board met and they had previously invited all of the winners to attend.

There were only 3 Awards of Excellence from all age levels in the entire district. I'm so proud of Crafty! She is an amazing girl with so many talents. Can't wait to see what she does next.

Apr 24, 2018

What is Family?

I've done an awful lot of stitching lately. I sew clothing labels for a lady who recently started her own activewear line and I have also been repairing football pants for our junior football league. While I have been wearing my thimble, I have spent many hours with my sweetie half-watching TV. Our show of choice has been Blue Bloods, a network show about a family of police officers in New York City. I'm not generally a fan of shoot 'em up stuff, but I like this story for the family definition.

This family is religious; devout Catholics, and they don't apologize for weaving this into the plot. They are honest and truthful to each other and to the world around them. The whole group sits down to dinner each Sunday and they love and support each other in a way we don't often see in the media.

My family sits down for dinner together most Sundays; and not just the ones who live with me. We have these large, noisy family parties with plenty of love and teasing, laughter and sometimes tears. This past weekend we celebrated Twiz's birthday. I helped Teach decorate her very first cake including covering it carefully with the frosting. The kids played ball in the backyard and it was such a beautiful spring day, we decided to share our cake and ice cream on the patio.

There is nothing like sharing life with family. No. We aren't perfect. Not even close. But I'm pretty sure that was never part of the original definition.

Apr 23, 2018

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

Saturday was a fantastic day! It was beautiful and warm... the perfect day for a baseball game.Thank goodness we had chosen that day to redeem our free coupons for the Bees game.

Way back in December, we got coupons from the Sing-A-Long at the Vivint Arena and they included codes for free tickets to see a game. Naturally, I wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to watch 3A ball.

We had 18 tickets, but only ended up with 14 of us going. Sport decided he would rather go to the stake dance and Crafty had homework. Dog Walker had to work, so Cat Lover spent some time with her family, but we did have Bossy's family, Teach's family, and Drama Queen with us as well as a friend of Curly's. 

It was an awesome game! There were 4 home runs and the Bees eventually took down their competition 8-6.

Apr 22, 2018

Award of Excellence for Crafty

It seems that I'm always bragging on Crafty lately, but I have one more that I just have to share. You know my family is big into the PTA Reflections program. We love entering and sharing our creations with everyone. Well, this time Crafty outdid herself.

Her Literature entry is going to Nationals!

This is a big step for us. We have had several wins at State competition in the past, but they have always been in the Theater category which was only a state category. This win was so exciting and in such a difficult category too!

They had the ceremony last night at Cottonwood High School (the same one where we go to see Forgotten Carols at Christmas time). It is a huge and beautiful venue, but they could have easily done it at a middle school. There were just not that many people there. It was by invitation only, and we already knew what she had won before we even got there.

Her favorite prize!

She received the highest or the Award of Excellence in her category. They also had several Awards of Merit in each group and a few more Honorable Mentions. It was fun to wander and see the art pieces that were displayed before and after the program.

Crafty was given her moment on stage, an impressive medal, a pen, and a few coupons for local businesses. I'm not exactly sure how or when Nationals takes place, but I've heard that she will receive an email informing her of her eventual win or loss. It is a pretty rough competition, being up against 49 of the best in the nation.

I hope she gets a pen from them too.

Apr 20, 2018

Our Neighborhood Family of Ducks

For as long as we have lived here, we have seen the ducks in the spring. Oh, not at the lake, or the park, although they are there too. We have a family of ducks that lives right here in our neighborhood, and they aren't shy either.

A couple of weeks ago when the kids were off track, the female walked right up to our front porch! It wasn't long before her beloved followed her although the mallard never got quite as close as she did. Curly took Twizlet to the doorway and they stood there and watched them for a good 10 minutes. Not even Twizlet's near constant shouting of "Uck!" seemed to bother them.

That is why we were all so devastated a few days later when someone hit and killed the mallard right in front of our house. I'm sure it wasn't a vicious act, but simply an accident. Drama Queen scooped it up and carefully disposed of the body before my little ones had a chance to see it.

But like everything else, life goes on. Another mallard has graced us with his presence and appears to be seducing the female. Or maybe he is simply watching over her. After all, that's what families do.

Apr 19, 2018

Looking for a Perfect Mother's Day Gift?

You know I'm a blogger for US Family Guide and they have fun promotions going all the time. Since Mother's Day is approaching, Mama's Jewelry was looking for just a few of us to promote their amazing and unique pieces. Although my own mother passed away nearly a dozen years ago, this mama couldn't help but fall for their birthstone rings and pendants.

It took me less than 5 minutes at Mama's Jewelry to find the perfect one for me...the Tree of Life.

I don't think they are really expecting that most moms will be able to fill all of the spaces with birthstones for their own children, but for me it is just right. I had never even heard of this company before they reached out to me, but I'm thinking it might become one of my new favorite sites.

First of all, they have been in business for 30 years and they are firm believers in good customer service. They even have a lifetime warranty (and you know how I feel about that). I love that they are a family-owned business because for me it is all about family.

They also have a quick turnaround time, so it is definitely not too late to order in time for Mother's Day and you know I always have a coupon code. You can save $10 (minimum of $59 order) if you use the MAMAS10 code on their website.

I can't wait to order my pendant! Send me some pictures when you get yours. And Happy Mother's Day!

Apr 18, 2018

Another Gavel

Remember last week when I told you that Crafty had to give up her gavel as the South Jordan Youth City Council Mayor? It wasn't long afterward that we were invited to the FCCLA Induction Ceremony. Crafty was the Vice President of Star Events for this past year and we knew she had been selected to be an officer, we just didn't know which one.

We were all so excited when she was chosen to be the new Bingham FCCLA President! She will be awesome, I'm sure, and guess what? At the very end of the ceremony, she was presented with a new gavel. She is just destined to be in charge.

Apr 17, 2018

Playing in the Band

My littles went back on track today which changed my whole life yet again. It was a difficult day for Curly and Scout. You know they are in the advanced band at their elementary school and today was the Monster Concert where half a dozen schools come together and make one big band. In this case, it was fun because Burrito's band was also there so the three of them got to sit together since they all play clarinet.

But you know it couldn't be that easy.

I checked Burrito out of school early and gathered all the kids up since they had to be at West Jordan Middle at 4:00. I sat in the parking lot for 45 minutes and then Scout came running out and we took off for Riverton. She had a softball game at 5:15. We had warned her coach up front that we would be there before game time, but not by much.Traffic wasn't too bad and we were there about 10 minutes before the first pitch.

It was terribly windy and rather cold. For once I was happy to take my place in the tower so I could run the scoreboard. Scout spent most of the game at 2nd base, but when their pitcher struggled, she was brought it to clean up the mess. Fortunately, she only had to walk about 3 more batters to end the game. This was her first time pitching in a game this year and with the wind, it was dicey at best.

We climbed back in the car and she changed in the back seat while I headed for home. We had to pick up Grandpa and Baby Doll on our way back through. Fortunately, we were about 10 minutes ahead of schedule and we arrived at the school by about 6:45. The concert started at 7:00. That gave Scout just enough time to slip into her seat and warm up before the show began.

They played 8 songs and then Bossy took off with Burrito for his baseball game before the applause had even died down. It was just another one of those days.

Apr 16, 2018

Run, Run, as Fast as You Can!!

My sweetie says I bring a lot of the craziness on myself and he is probably right, but Saturday was so hard that I had to come home from church today and take a 3-hour nap.

I was up late on Friday night getting ready for the boutique and I was so not ready for that alarm that rang on Saturday morning before 6:00 AM. Scout and Curly needed to be in Riverton to help with the Girl Scout Cookie Chaser race. I got home with about half an hour to spare before I had to get Baby Doll out of bed for her softball game, so I loaded dishwashers and cleaned up the kitchen.

At 8:20 I left the house to get Baby Doll delivered and pick up the other 2 kids. After we watched Baby Doll play, I sent them all home with my sweetie and I ran to Herriman to try to sell Tupperware at the boutique for a couple of hours. I gathered up a little early so I could get to Scout's softball game on time, but I sold $70 worth of product, so that wasn't too bad.

After Scout's team was soundly trounced, we loaded up both cars and headed back to the house. We quickly unloaded the Tupperware while we waited for Bossy's family to show up and then we all drove up to Rio Tinto to watch the inaugural game of the first women's soccer league in Utah. We won the tickets from the Utah Girl Scout Council and the game was totally sold out.

We didn't get there until halftime and parking was a joke, but once we were there and settled, we enjoyed the rest of the game and then the Rachel Platten mini concert that followed. Sport took a bunch of pics for me, but he is in bed now. These are the only ones I got on my phone before it died.

I wish I could say I went home and relaxed for the rest of the day, but I still had to buy groceries (at 2 different stores) and get gas and fold a dozen batches of laundry. I finally headed upstairs with my sweetie to do some paid stitching while we watched a little TV and by the time we were finished, I was just too tired to post for you last night.

Today Prima Donna gave me a lecture about slowing down a little. I didn't really like it when she started the conversation by saying,. "Mom, you are getting older..."

Apr 13, 2018

Choose Finalist Couple #12

Yesterday I got word that my cute nephew, Tyler, and his fiancee', Savannah, are finalists in a Utah Valley Bride competition! They are so excited for their July wedding and if they win, it would make things so much easier on them since they are already planning to pay for everything on their own.
Savannah has had a pretty rough life. She lost her birth parents when she was really young. Her grandparents adopted her and her siblings and raised them. Her grandpa (dad) passed away October 2016 from a sudden Stage 4 pancreatic cancer diagnosis. And her mom just recently got over cancer treatment of her own.

The giveaway is run by Pritchett Bridal in Orem and all they need you to do is go to @pritchettbridal on instagram and do these steps:
-follow them
-like Ty and Vannah's picture (finalist couple 12)
-comment on their photo
-save their photo
And spread the word! (Re-post everywhere, tell friends, anything!)

The giveaway includes a feature in Utah Valley Bride 2019 issue and stuff from all of these vendors!

They are just so honored and excited to be chosen as finalists and would love to have your support.

Apr 12, 2018

Passing the Gavel

Something I didn't want to forget to post. Today is Crafty's last real day as the Youth Mayor for South Jordan City since elections will be held on Thursday night.

Last week during all the crazy spring break stuff, it was my privilege to hear her speak to the mayor and the city council reporting on the youth group's activities. She did a fantastic job and I'm so proud of her for all of her amazing accomplishments!

I'm going to miss having that gavel resting on my piano.

Apr 11, 2018

Off-Track Fun

I've told you about so many fun things we have done while my 3 littlest have been off track this time, but today Curly, Scout, and Baby Doll worked hard to write stories for the KUED Writing Contest. We have never entered this one before and I have no idea how it will turn out, but I wanted to show you some of the pictures Scout took of Baby Doll to illustrate her story. It was about a girl who was scared to dance and it turned out so cute!

Both Curly and Baby Doll decided to draw their own, and silly me, I didn't think to take any pics of them before I put them in the envelope and mailed them off. We were in a hurry because I had to get it in the mail before the deadline and Sport had to be at work at 5:15. Did I tell you he has been hired as an umpire for the baseball season?

I dropped him off, but showed up half an hour early to pick him up. I didn't want him to see me, so I kept a low profile. I was afraid I might make him nervous; but he did an excellent job for a guy who has only been on the job for 2 days.

This is the last week off track for the kids...last off track ever for Scout as she keeps reminding me. We got their rooms clean last week and moved everyone around again, but there is still so much to do. She and Curly are also working at the preschool and we have Twizlet often. But I am just happy spending my evenings at the ballpark. First game for Scout tomorrow and another one for Curly... better put on a crockpot because there won't be any time to make dinner and the kids are getting tired of hot dogs.

I hope she wins, I can't imagine a cuter girl than this one!

Apr 9, 2018

Blessing for Tadpole

Yesterday we got up early and headed to Utah County for the opportunity to see Tadpole's baby blessing. In our church, baptisms occur typically when a child turns 8 (never before), but when they are tiny, their father or a worthy priesthood holder gives them a special blessing in front of the congregation where they are also publicly given their official name.

The Frog did a great job! Afterward we headed to his parents home for a little get-together. Princess outdid herself with all the amazing treats. When we were finished, we climbed back in the van and drove the rest of the way to Sanpete county to visit Grandma.

Beauty and The Beast wanted to get a 4-generation pic with Little Warrior. It was nice to visit and we were able to help her with a few things. I ran the kids to the park for half an hour to get out their wiggles before we headed home. It was another amazing day.