Oct 31, 2018

Just Another Manic Monday

Halloween is here and we have been celebrating all week in one way or another. On Monday we took the kids to the Trunk or Treat at Macey's right after dance. They do a great job every year! I even succumbed to some of their 50-cent hot dogs so I didn't have to make dinner which was nice since I had Skittles to tend all day.

Then we headed over to the party at the Community Center. Sport was helping out with the games there and we had lots of fun earning candy for silly things like balancing a sort of football on your head. Right, Teach?

I think Teach was way more excited about the live animal exhibit and the tortoise than Twizlet.

The sack race was absolutely my most favorite! It's amazing what my kids will do for a piece of candy.

We headed out of the building to see this beautiful sunset. Honestly, the pic doesn't do it justice. It almost made us late for Scout's concert! But we managed to get there in time. These beginning band concerts are brutal, and Scout's teacher didn't make it any easier.

We got home about 8:00 and settled in for FHE. We finished our clipcharts (I will have to show you more of those later. We are hopeful that we can improve obedience around here with them.) and I hung them up today in the kitchen; right in plain view.

Scout tried out for the Club Volleyball team at Sports City and she was assured that she would be put on a team. Her good works have also earned her a 4.0 and her very first cell phone. She finally got it today and I don't think the smile has left her face since.

Happy Halloween, everyone!

Oct 30, 2018

Grill Gloves from Cave Tools

Grandma used to knit the most beautiful and colorful hot pads before she passed away. People loved them and we gave them away with every wedding gift. One time she even made red and green pairs for every single person on my street! That was nearly 100 pairs of hot pads!

They worked great for the kitchen, but sadly, they were lousy out on the grill. They weren't big enough to handle the large pans nor were they resistant enough for the heat. We were so excited when we got our first pair of gloves for outdoor cooking. Unfortunately, they didn't live up to the hype and we only used them a couple of times before they were discarded.

That's one of the biggest reasons that I wanted to try the new heat resistant gloves put out by Cave Tools. Based on past experience, this company never disappoints and they did an awesome job with these gloves as well.

My sweetie used them to cook steaks out on the grill and he made absolutely certain that any of the heat our grill could dish out was not hot enough to burn him. He even used the gloves to handle the meat rather than any other tool just to make sure and the gloves didn't even get uncomfortable. He has large hands and the fit was good and the coverage even better. I'm pretty sure he has found another great addition to his grilling arsenal.

Now I know it's not the typical summer grilling season, but these gloves are the perfect Christmas gift for the griller in your life and one of these days soon I'm even going to try them in the kitchen (although that means I have to cook and you know how I feel about that...)

I can help you out with a coupon code that will save you 15% if you order your new Grill Gloves on the Cave Tools website. Simply enter GRILLGLOVE15 at the prompt. If you prefer the convenience of Amazon, you can order from them as well. Turnaround time is quick, but don't put this one off too long... you might just get burned! (Get it, burned? This pun's for you, Drama Queen)

**We were given a free pair of gloves for our open and honest review (but not for our puns...).**

Oct 29, 2018

Results are In...

I made that sound like all the results are in. Sorry about that. We have only heard from the elementary school about Reflections wins this year, but I'm sure it won't be long before the others come flooding in.

Baby Doll cleaned up again this year with 4 medals! Curly got one medal, but we were quite excited about it since he is in that rough 3 - 5th grade intermediate category where they have SOOO many entries.

So here is the tally so far.

Baby Doll

3D Art   Award of Excellence
Film Studies   Award of Excellence
Photography   Award of Excellence
Music Comp   Award of Excellence
Dance   Award of Merit


3D Art    Award of Excellence
Music Comp   Award of Merit

Oct 28, 2018


I'm feeling a bit melancholy today.

A couple of things happened, including a heartbreaking loss on the football field by Curly's team. It's hard to believe that for most of us, the football season is over. Only Taco's team won their game today and they will be advancing to the finals next week.

Cheering a few weeks ago

That means cheer is over for my cute Baby Doll as well. She cried this morning when I told her she wouldn't be able to go to the football game because she had Nutcracker rehearsal. Her cheer coach has promised to help her with more tumbling in the future, but it is not the same.

The Dog Walker had the day off for the ward party tonight so he could help with the setup. Attendance was light and somewhat disappointing for all of us. Our ward is different. We have new blood in part of it, but  my street is mostly empty-nesters and even those keep leaving us and moving out. It's not like the good ol' days when we moved in and there were so many kids you could hardly make your way through the gym to the dessert table.

Most notably missing was Puppy Lover, Dog Walker's wife. She has been struggling and felt that maybe she needed to spend a little time with her own family. The Dog Walker is pragmatic and although he misses her, he insists that they love each other and this is simply a chance for her to feel better and she will be home with us soon. Her parents are still driving her all this way so she doesn't lose her job, and that is encouraging. She has been gone for a little over a week now and we are all feeling the winds of change.

Hopefully November will bring us all a little more stability.... and basketball...

Oct 26, 2018

Guest Blogger: Another Amazing Display by Dog Walker

I don't know what to say on this blog. You all pretty much know that I have been making this display every Halloween and all the neighbors love seeing it. I'm hoping that on Halloween, a lot of the children from different neighborhoods would come trick-or-treating at our house and let them go around it. Happy Halloween!

Oct 25, 2018

Moments in the NICU: Baby Beluga by Bossy

Did you see that article about the mama killer whale in Seattle who carried her baby for 17 days after it died shortly after delivery?  It made national headlines on day two of her carrying the corpse and that is when I realized Skittles was our little white whale. 

If you recall, Skittles was large for a preemie, 7lbs 13 oz.  And the photos Gamer took of him at delivery make him look closer to 18 lbs. That is because both Skittles and I gained a dangerous amount of water weight during the third trimester.  I hadn’t realized just how bad my swelling was until I lost most of the water weight and felt like a normal human. 

I tend to cowgirl up and power through pain or discomfort.  So the signs of pre-eclampsia were unnoticed and my blood pressure always appeared normal at the doctor’s office.  The delivery pictures of Skittles are a testament to how much I need to pay better attention to my body. 

Well before the blog, my kids have an animal nickname assigned to them. When Mom started her blog, I didn’t want to use those family nick names. Taco is my monkey because he would stick his toes in my ribs during the pregnancy and he always turned himself upside down to hang off the couch as a baby. Burrito became monster (I think Gamer assigned that because of his colic). When Cat Woman joined us it was natural that she was our kitten. Bean Dip has always been a hairy Gorilla. Even Chips (Shark) and Salsa (Lion) were assigned animals when they joined. Calder became our Caldersaurus.
One thing each of my kids has is an Usbourne “That’s not my ____” book that is their animal. (Except for Chips and Bean Dip, please Osbourne, I need a shark, gorilla, and a whale book.) Holding Skittles, crying over a mourning mama killer whale, I began to miss my Calder, Chips and Salsa. I starting thinking about Salsa and how much he loved to sing Baby Beluga he learned at preschool. In that moment I thought Skittles really looked like a little white whale in his post-delivery pictures. 

I looked down at my now tiny, normal looking baby and began to sign Baby Beluga to him.  He snuggled deeper into my chest.  This was the start of both the NICU singing and the beginning of singing Baby Beluga to Skittles as a lullaby to get him to go to sleep. The next night, Gamer joined me on speaker phone singing to his son. I wish Salsa was around to sing to Skittles. I know he would have loved being a big brother.

Oct 24, 2018

Happy (really late!) Birthday, Baby Doll

I have a story for you. So way back before Baby Doll and Curly went off track in September, I gave her a stack of invitations for her birthday party on September 25. Sadly, she got nervous and only managed to hand out one of them to one of her two best friends before all of the kids went home to spend 3 weeks with their families.

I was not happy. I already had things bought for her party favor bags and games planned. We almost didn't have a party at all!

But then I remembered how important it was to turn 8, and I relented. After off track was over, we took the already printed invitations and added a sticker with the new date of October 23 (almost a whole month later!). Then I visited her school and together we invited her entire class to her birthday party that is now the week before Halloween.

The end of summer party we had planned had to be changed! Fortunately for me, Teach had a class party last week and they played some super fun fall party games. The treat bags had to stay the same, but we changed out all the games. And even though we had a rainout right in the middle of the party, and we brought everyone inside, the kids had a great time and more importantly, Baby Doll was happy.

So Baby Doll, one last time and two weeks late, Happy Birthday!!

Oct 22, 2018

Love My Floors

The floors are beautiful!

Dog Walker and I moved the furniture back this morning except that I need to buy some baby socks to put on the chairs before they can return. They actually put the most gouges into the finish. If someone has a better answer than the baby socks, I would love to hear it! The little felt pads just fall off without something to hold them on.

So shiny!

Kids are back in school, football is almost over, and it is time to settle into the groove of real life again. Whatever that means.

Baby Doll's birthday party tomorrow will have to take the top priority for the rest of the day, including making cupcakes and getting the rest of the house in order. I still have piles of laundry and Scout has her bags from two trips to take out of my family room.

I'm glad I got all of her party favors done last week! Teach played a bunch of games with her class last week before break and she sent me the link and also promised that she and Twiz would be here to help me. That is a huge relief for me!

I guess I need to restock the fridge. Can you believe those kids of mine want to eat every day?

Oct 21, 2018

Last Day of Our Stay-cation

Today was quite a bit less eventful than yesterday. We spent the morning in the hotel, preparing for the day.  Crafty and Sport left for work about 9:00 (both of them are officials for Flag Football at the local rec center). Curly and Baby Doll didn't have to be at the fields until 12:15, so we had a little extra time so my sweetie took the kids to the pool until it was time to go.

Pics of our little cheerleader this time.

We stopped by the house and reloaded the car with chairs and game stuff. This is the last game of the season for Little League football and then next week begins the playoffs. Our boys were playing Herriman today and they lost a tear-jerker by one point.

The game didn't really matter much since they are going in as the 2nd and 3rd seed which also means they will play each other again next week. We grabbed a quick burger after the game and back at the hotel, almost everyone wanted to take a nap.

At 6:30, we headed for Drama Queen's house for her weekly movie night. The kids were excited to watch Hocus Pocus and we were excited to feed them tacos rather than taking them out again. Bossy's and Teach's families joined us and it was pretty crowded, but fun.

We got back to the hotel about 9:30 and Scout, Curly, and Baby Doll all wanted to swim one last time so I took them down to the pool. I didn't get in this time, so I was able to get some cute pics of them in their antics. They played catch with my socks and played the diving game with one of the spare thimbles from my stitching bag.

We came back upstairs at 11:00, had scriptures and sent the girls back to their room. Then we watched another movie here before the guys all sacked out on me. It's been so much fun to be together and slip away from most of the worries of the world, but I have to admit that I will be glad to put my house back in order before we have all Baby Doll's friends over for her birthday party on Tuesday.

Never a dull moment...

Oct 20, 2018

Such a Grand Adventure

We had so crazy much fun today!! We started this morning with a quick hotel breakfast and then we piled into the car and headed for the zoo. Teach and Twizlet met us there and we joined the huge crowds all trying to catch a glimpse of the new baby giraffe. My sweetie and I even rode animals on the carousel!

About halfway around the exhibits, Bossy and her family showed up. We had a great time! About 12:30 we left Bossy to finish up and we headed out for the Fort Douglas Museum. Curly was working on earning a patch by filling out a list of questions. He loves all branches of the service and was fascinated by the exhibits and big guns. We could have stayed there all day, but by 2:00 the kids were hungry, the list was finished, and we still had plans.

At City Creek outdoor mall, we ate lunch in the food court before taking a walk up to the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum. My scouting paperwork said that we had until 5:00, but when we arrived at 3:50, they told us they closed at 4:00. Curly did the quick tour to get the info he needed for his scout patch and then we walked across the street to the state capitol.

The capitol building was beautiful, but other than several dozen tourists, it was pretty quiet. The kids were tired and a bit cranky as we walked the half dozen blocks back to City Creek. I promised the kids that when we had finished the scout badge they would be able to window shop. After a little more than just window shopping, we dragged our tired selves to the parking lot. If we made it back to the hotel before 7:00, we could eat a free light dinner in the dining room.

My sweetie drove a little aggressively, but we pulled into the parking lot at 6:50. After dinner we changed into our suits and played at the pool for an hour. My tired feet really needed some time in the hot tub...

Since we saved all that money not going out for dinner, we piled into the car once again and drove to Freddy's for frozen custard. Back at the hotel, the kids were exhausted and although they didn't necessarily want to sleep, they were content to crawl into their beds for a little TV.

One more day of adventuring will include a little more structure with Sport and Crafty working and Curly playing football and Baby Doll cheering, but it should still be fun. I'll let you know.

Our adventure is almost over...

Oct 19, 2018

A Fall Break Stay-cation

It's Fall Break and the kids are out of school. Scout is home from her California trip. She had so much fun! I don't want to steal her thunder, so I will let her tell you all about it in the next day or two. Today started our first day of our Stay-cation.

My sweetie took a couple of days off so we could do some last minute fun things with the kids before the craziness of the holidays hits. I was surprised how many of my friends were in California this week or Yellowstone or some other crazy place when there are so many fun things to do right here in town.

I think we are heading for the zoo in the morning (since we used our dog-sitting money to buy a yearly pass) and then maybe downtown and over to City Creek in the afternoon. We are trying to decide between Boondocks and a movie for our evening entertainment.

My sweetie sealed the hardwood floors this morning, so anything to get the kids out of the house for a while. Some of us are even spending a few nights in a hotel since we have sensitive noses. Curly actually has asthma, so we don't want it to flare up right before the last league football game on Saturday.

I'm trying to post for you from Sport's computer and I am having issues putting any kind of pics in here, but I will try to make it up for you tomorrow. Can't wait to see where our grand adventure will lead us... !

Oct 17, 2018

Up Late Again

Yes, I'm up late again.

And you want to know why? Because tomorrow is the last and final deadline for Reflections entries at the high school and although this was not a priority when they were messing around on the weekend or even a couple of weeks ago, now they are stressed. And by extension, I mean me.

Honestly, it drives me crazy. I have always been one of those people who has pulled things together early, to even let them sit for a while if necessary (like the treat bags for Baby Doll's birthday party next Tuesday...all done!). It couldn't just be that I'm avoiding housework... could it?

But that brings me back to my original dilemma.

I don't know how to burn these two DVDs for Crafty. She did a beautiful dance and then today she did a really sweet film. Both are stuck in the computer...

Oct 15, 2018

A Grand Adventure for Scout

It's after 2:00 AM and I am still up.

Maybe that is because my sweetie let me take a 4-hour nap today after church. I couldn't believe it when I checked my cell phone and the time really did say 6:24. Baby Doll and Curly both go back on track tomorrow, so everyone will be in school again except for Scout.

She is off on a grand adventure.

Really. She is headed for Catalina Island with her girl scout group. This is the first time she has been away from home on her own before and her first time in an airplane. My sweetie and I were up at 6:00 AM to take her to the airport. She was meeting her group at 7:00.

She was nervous about packing last night because they were limited to one carry-on for four days and they had to take a sleeping bag. Thank goodness we had a backpacking one from Sport's camping days last year. It only took up a third of her space...

We finally got everything in there and honestly, it wasn't even that hard to squeeze. She is used to traveling light since we usually have so much luggage and limited cargo space when we travel as a family. It was difficult to get her out of bed this morning and into the car. She didn't want to leave the safety of the car once we arrived at the airport, but when it became evident that we weren't giving in, she dragged herself out and allowed us to lead her to the meeting spot.

We waited with her until it was time for the to head to security. I don't think she wanted to be embarrassed, so after a minute of hugging, and a quick pic, off she went with the rest of the girls and not a second look back. I heard from her leader this evening that she loved the plane ride and was having a blast at the aquarium sleepover. And her grand adventure has just begun!

Oct 14, 2018

Happy Baptism Day, Baby Doll

We had a beautiful, nearly perfect day this morning. It started about 8:00 for me (after another late night) when I crawled out of bed to put the final preparations on our breakfast celebration. Thankfully, Drama Queen had come over early and finished up the last minute cleanup and prep work so everything was nearly ready.

She also braided Baby Doll's hair so it would stay down and not require her to be immersed a second time. After she was dressed and ready to go, we sat down to breakfast with many family and extended family members. It was so nice to meet and eat before the actual ordinance at the church.

Half way done...
 At 9:30, my sweetie, Baby Doll and I rode over to the church. She and I went into the dressing room and she changed into her baptism dress. She looked so beautiful and so grown up as you can tell. Just before we entered the chapel, we managed to snap a couple of pictures since we can't take them during the actual baptism and confirmation.

Nice healthy breakfast, Baby Doll...
 The meeting began right on time and when it was our turn, our family sang the special musical number. After one more talk it was time for Baby Doll to be baptized. She was the first of the 4 children to have a turn. Grandpa and The Beast were the witnesses and she was only immersed once by her daddy (good thing I sewed the weights in the bottom of the dress last night!). Then I helped her changed in the dressing room before we went into the confirmation.

Our girl was simply beaming as she shook hands and thanked her family and friends for coming. I am so proud of her and her good choices. Love you, Baby Doll!

Oct 13, 2018

BYU Homecoming Spectacular with David Archuleta and Colbie Caillat

I'm sorry I was so whiny yesterday. I feel much better today.

My advance preparation is making this jump into the weekend much easier. Lots of good things happened today, but I think my favorite has to be my trip down to BYU with my girls to see their Homecoming concert with Colbie Caillat and David Archuleta, two of my favorite singers.

We managed to climb into our car about 10 minutes later than I wanted to, but we would have been fine except that the traffic was horrible and we didn't reach Provo and Princess until about 7:40. We got through Security and speed-walked to our seats. Thankfully, we only missed announcements and part of the first song.

We were in the Marriott Center, student section and that meant stadium seating, but maybe that was good because I was next to Baby Doll. The girls loved the entire show, all except for maybe Twizlet. I have never seen a show like that before. It was set up more like a variety show with singers and dancers from all areas of BYU's performing arts department and the two artists we came to see were interspersed all through and with the other acts.

I'm so glad Princess called and asked if we wanted tickets! Next time I would take everyone.