Nov 30, 2018

Almost Showtime

Tonight was the dress rehearsal for The Nutcracker. I never get tired of watching my kids work together to prepare for a show.

I do prefer when it doesn't involve me. Making tiny ringlets for a party girl is way outside my comfort zone.

Come and see their show tomorrow or Saturday. They do a fantastic job.

Nov 28, 2018

Lighting the Candles

I know I said one last party for Scout yesterday, but I forgot about the one we had on the mountain and you don't want to miss that. So we are holed up in this rustic 70s looking lodge and there is nothing open for miles and miles, except this amazing hot tub out in the middle of the snow. With the 100-ft pines the only thing between us and heaven, it was no wonder we were not anxious to leave.

The girls gave up first and grabbing their boots, they ran barefoot through the snow the 30 feet back to our rooms. I thought they were crazy until I realized that my feet would get colder standing on the deck trying to pull my boots on that they would to just speed-walk back to the door. Actually, it wasn't even that bad.

The girls had put on their silly jammies and cranked the heat so everything was warm and toasty. After we had changed out of our wet things, we pulled out one of those boxed coconut cakes we had brought with us. Now I thought about matches before we left, really I did, but the only small box I could find without bringing a ginormous lighter was probably from the 70s as well. Scout was convinced that she could light the candles that we tried to shape into a 13 because their were only 9 of them in the box. After attempting to strike about half of the matches in the little box, she turned in over to Alivia.

Alivia gave up after only one match; then it was my turn. These little matches didn't have the white striker tip that modern matches have. After two tries, I passed the box to my sweetie. He was our last hope, and he needed to be efficient because there were only a few matches left.

I handed him the box, but honestly, by that time I figured the matches were just too old or defective. Amazingly, he lit it on the first try! (I guess maybe we were too old or defective...) But after lighting just one candle, the flame was nearly at his fingers because the matches were so small.

I grabbed the flaming candle from the cake while he doused the match and after dripping pink wax all over the cake, we finally managed to get all the candles lit at once. A quick rendition of Happy Birthday, and Scout blew even more pink wax all over the cake.

It took me about 5 minutes to carefully removed each tiny piece of wax before my sweetie wanted to cut the cake, and this from the guy who used to eat candles as a stupid party trick...

Happy birthday, Scout... again...

Nov 27, 2018

One Last Party for Scout

On Sunday, we did the big family party for Scout. It was the last one of the year and the last family birthday party as we currently know them. In January, we are going to switch to one birthday party each month and one FHE each month.

I hope it works.

I personally love having the kids over, but it is expensive and tons of work. It always helps when we ask them to contribute, but this time we didn't do that, except for Drama Queen, who offered to make cheesecake. My sweetie made BBQ chicken and alfredo and because I was downstairs with the little kids working on a project, the older girls whipped up a fruit salad and some veggies.

The party was casual and we almost forgot to sing "Happy Birthday!" Scout opened a present or two, but she had already received her main gift of the skiing trip and a parka and boots, so is was pretty slim. We saw everyone except Prima Donna. Even Cat Woman was there for a while. She and Superman are moving in with Bossy and Gamer. They are expecting a baby boy in February and they want to make sure that DCFS stays completely out of the picture. I'm pretty sure I already told you that our sweet little Supergirl has already been adopted by her new family.

Life is getting crazier again, with the Nutcracker this weekend and basketball starting for Curly and Baby Doll. Scout's preseason volleyball is moving forward as well. And of course we have the holidays to look forward to. My sweetie and I spend most late evenings in our room, watching TV and working on stuff for Christmas, but I will save that post for another day.

Happy birthday, Scout!

Nov 26, 2018

Scout's Birthday Adventure

Scout's 13th birthday was last Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, and instead of a big friend party, we shared a fun adventure! After stuffing a bunch of luggage and a cooler in the back of my car, we left the house around 8:00 AM and by 'we' I mean me, my sweetie, Scout, and Scout's friend, Alivia.

We had been planning this trip to Brighton Ski Resort for over a month and it was hard to believe it was finally here. It was a beautiful day and by the time we drove to the resort, there was a steady stream of cars following us up the mountain. It seems that everyone wanted to ski. Scout and Alivia had never been skiing before, so we had plans to put them in lessons while we chilled at the lodge. We finally got them all checked in and outfitted and at the ski school. They were both excited and nervous.

When we met them a couple of hours later for lunch, they quickly downed their sandwiches, made a few adjustments to their apparel, and headed back to the slopes. They had both advanced to the second class where they would learn to turn. It seemed like a good time to check on our lodging for the night.

It was just a short drive and within walking distance of the lifts. The lodge had a distinctively 70s feel, but it was warm and cozy and the suite had 2 bedrooms and a shared bathroom. It wasn't long before we were settled.

At 3:30, we pulled our boots back on and walked over to meet the girls. When we arrived at the ski school, we could see that the class was waiting at the bottom of the lift, so we picked a spot on the ridge overlooking them to take a couple of pictures. I reminded my sweetie that I wanted to get one of her actually on skis and not just on the lift.

We watched them hop off the lift at the top, and I pulled out my phone to get the camera ready. My sweetie called, "I see her!" and as I lifted my camera to take the shot, I saw her too, about 10 feet away and skiing right at me! My brain registered the danger and in that split second, I truly believed that my daughter would never plow me over, but choose a direction to the right or the left of me, so I stood my ground thinking it would ultimately be the safest spot.

I was wrong.

She totally chop-blocked me, taking me out at the knees and throwing us both to the ground. Thank goodness we were bundled up and landed on the semi-soft snow, although I definitely felt the aches and pains later that evening.

We played games and I read to my sweetie. This rustic lodge didn't even have TV. In the morning, we had 10" of snow on top of the car with more promised. As we drove home, the lone car traveling down the mountain against the steady stream of powder-seekers, the girls chattered about the next ski trip. I vowed to stay far away from the slopes until Scout learned how to turn... or stop...

... maybe both.

Nov 25, 2018

Just Received that Package From Santa

There sure was some excitement at my house today when Curly brought in the mail. We had a large envelope addressed to Baby Doll from the North Pole!!

She could hardly wait for me to take a picture before she was ripping it open. Curly hovered in the background, watching carefully as she pulled each piece from the envelope. The first was her certificate proclaiming her to officially be on the NICE list. Curly couldn't have that.... when was his letter coming?

The next piece she pulled out was the flight plan: she was stunned to see her own picture on it, and then when I read her the letter, both she and Curly just stared at each other. The letter was so personal! It even knew that Princess made the best sugar cookies!

Of course she was anxious to show her envelope to everyone. I just wish she would have skipped Scout. An avid reader of the blog, Scout showed Baby Doll the post I put up a week or so ago telling you all about my excitement for this review.

Definitely order one of these for your child and enjoy the magic and wonder of childhood. Just keep them away from my blog for a few days...

**I received a Silver Package from Package from Santa for my honest review of their product.**

PS Scout promises she didn't tell her about the post... of course she wants to stay on the nice list...

Nov 23, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

We have decided this is the year for breaking traditions and accepting that our family is getting bigger and we can't keep doing everything that we have been trying to do. So Thanksgiving became the first holiday on the chopping block.

My sweetie has always had definite ideas about our Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, so this time I let him choose and this tradition was discarded. The kids were a little confused, but it only took a few minutes before they were excited about the beef stick, cheese, and crackers we had planned.

Bossy's cute turkey hats are one tradition that DID NOT go away!

I also assigned out all the food; something we have never done before and most certainly not on Thanksgiving. I was surprised at how quickly it all came together. Drama Queen made all the pies, Bossy made the layered jello, Teach made all the mashed potatoes and they were delicious! Dog Walker made stuffing, Prima Donna did the corn, Crafty formed and baked all the rolls (after my sweetie made up the dough), and I did mostly cleanup.

We decided to keep the tradition of everyone helping out and, of course, feeling stuffed when the day is gone.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Nov 21, 2018


Did I ever tell you that I graduated with my MA degree in Literature from Utah State University in 1988? I had almost not realized that my 30th reunion was this year. Then on Sunday, The Beast dressed up his son in these cute little Superman jammies.

Then he pulled out his phone and showed me this pic that I remember all too well. The Beast wasn't much of a beast then....

It was our 2nd Christmas and he was 10 months old. He and Bossy had both gotten Superman jammies for Christmas morning. Hers have long since disappeared, but his are still holding strong 30 years later. I remember that Bossy wanted him to have a real cape and since his jammies didn't come with one, I made one for him out of felt.

Those were the days...

I was 22 years old, had a husband and 2 kids, finishing my degree, and getting ready to head out into the real world. Who would have known then that my oldest son would have turned out to be a real Superman? Don't believe me? Just see the look in his little guy's eyes...

Nov 20, 2018

Happy Birthday, Taco!

Last week was a nightmare, thank you for being patient with me while I convinced my kids to keep you updated. It wasn't bad in a horrible way, like no one was in the hospital or in jail although if Prima Donna doesn't get her ticket paid, she might be soon...

It was just the little stuff like when Sport ordered an on-line copy of Minecraft over the internet using my credit card and they sent him the Java version! Does anybody game with Java anymore? But now, see, because I was the nice guy, it becomes MY problem and I have to deal with trying to get the money refunded.

Not everything was bad though. I got my poster hanging project finished on Friday. I pretty much visited every school in our district except for four and the specialty schools. I figure it took me about 10 hours and a couple of tanks of gas, so my volunteer responsibilities for the Nutcracker are very well fulfilled.

Except that I have a certain tutu for a Snow Queen upstairs that I am altering...

We had a birthday party for Taco on Saturday at my church (because I have keys and that made it easier). I love that we can use our church buildings for parties and showers and weddings and stuff. They might not be ideal, but the are functional and free. Just one more reason to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. 😉

Then we had a family party on Sunday as well. Taco is 14 now, can you believe it?

Nov 18, 2018

Moments in the NICU: I Scream by Bossy

I was discharged from the hospital after 72 hours, but they allowed me to continue to stay in a room at no cost until Skittles was discharged.   We had originally planned on another 5 days, so Gamer brought me down enough food for a week to store in the community parent fridge and then he and Taco left for Arizona at the end of week 1 in the NICU.  

Gamer was nervous about leaving me alone (and without a car) with my mom out of town.  Fortunately I had several siblings around who could come check on me and Burrito’s best friend, Blake’s dad agreed to a week-long sleepover. Both boys had stayed with Blake while I was in labor and Gamer stayed at the hospital and Burrito had countless sleepovers during the previous weeks.  To be honest he has spent most of the summer at his friend’s house, Gamer started calling Blake’s dad Burrito's “Second Dad.” These are truly great neighbors who love my boy. 

If you can imagine after nearly 2 full weeks with Blake, Burrito was ready for a break. I guess I should explain, Blake is actually 3 years younger than Burrito. He started out being Salsa’s best friend.  He had a lot in common with Salsa and they were emotionally the same age.  Blake kept coming over looking for Salsa after DCFS moved the boys.  Last summer I forced Burrito into being nice to Blake and it slowly developed into a great friendship.  But sometimes the age difference can be trying for Burrito and late Sunday night he called and asked if I could arrange for him to come see his brother at the hospital.  

Drama Queen doesn’t work Mondays and we quickly made arrangements for her and Burrito to come visit that Monday.  Drama Queen had plans to bring me lunch, but the nurses had been pushing for me to get out of the hospital (I hadn’t been outside in over a week) and get some fresh air.  They encouraged me to try the bistro across the street and ice cream at Hatch’s next door for dessert. 

Drama Queen agreed fresh air would be good for me.  Skittles had gone back on the bilirubin lights that morning.  We had spent Sunday snuggling all day long, so Skittles was very disappointed with having his “sun glasses” covering his eyes and not being held.  He cried for so long when I wouldn’t pick him back up after our early morning feeding that I had to leave the room to shower and cry.  I let Burrito have my hour of lunchtime snuggle time and Skittles quickly fell asleep in his brother’s arms. Once our time was up and he had to go back under the lights, we heading down for an adventure to the bistro and Hatch’s Chocolates.  

When we arrived, we saw the bistro was closed on Mondays.  We all agreed to enjoy dessert first and then head over for food at the hospital cafeteria.  After sampling nearly every homemade flavor we picked our favorites.  Burrito got a double scoop waffle cone with oreo and cherry chocolate chip.  For the last 48 hours all I wanted was a banana so I eagerly ordered a banana split.  Drama Queen indulged in the brownie sundae.  If we had any idea how large, rich and decadent the sundae and banana split would be, we would have shared. 

I topped Burrito's cone off with one of my piles of fresh whipped cream. He easily finished off his waffle cone.  I enjoyed ½ of my banana split before offering the rest to Burrito.  Drama Queen offered up a few bites of her dessert.  Let me just say that a brownie made from scratch with homemade real chocolate instead of cocoa powder is a complete different experience.  The brownie sundae was delicious, but so rich she could have shared with 4 people and still felt satisfied.  Burrito polished off my banana spilt and waited like a lion stalking his prey for Drama Queen offer her brownie sundae.

Drama Queen rewarded him with the last quarter of her brownie.  Burrito dug in and immediately the rich brownie was making him full.  He asked if he could finish while walking back to the hospital.  We returned to the hospital and eventually located the cafeteria, Burrito was uncomfortably full of ice cream but not enough to turn down a chance to order a corn dog and fries.  Drama Queen and I ordered a French dip sub to share, but the cook was confused and prepared 2 sandwiches.  We all tried to eat real food after our indulgent dessert, Drama Queen started worrying Burrito was going to throw up in mom’s Lexus on the drive home.  Burrito insisted he was fine and snarfed dog the hotdog and fries.

It had been nearly 2 hours and they needed to get home to work on the painting project. Burrito had left his phone in my room to charge.  We went up to get it while Drama Queen got the car out of the lot.  The elevator ride up made Burrito queasy.  Now I was worried about vomit in Mom’s car.  His tummy hurt more and more with each passing step.  We retrieved the phone and I detoured to the Labor and Delivery nurses station to ask for a barf bag, just in case.  The nurses gave him a hard time for his rookie mistake of overindulgence at Hatch’s Chocolates.  On the main floor Burrito decided to use the bathroom before the drive home.  Drama Queen was waiting in the drop off zone and very relieved to see the barf bag. And there were no incidents on the way home.

Nov 16, 2018

Are You as Busy as I Am?

This week has been absolutely exhausting!

Today was no different. I got up early after going to bed late. I helped get the kids off, took a shower and set off to run the same errands I've been running all week.... hanging posters in the schools for our Nutcracker coming up.

I had 11 posters left to do from a stack of 40 extras, but I only hung 5 even though I visited about 10 schools in my 2 hours out and about. I also dropped some papers at the middle school and Grandpa's shirts at the cleaners. It was 10:58 when I pulled in for my 11:00 drop dead time, but Twiz was already here with Twizlet.

After getting her some pears and cottage cheese, I took 10 minutes to breathe, and then I headed for the craft room. I had 6 blankets that had to be embroidered, clipped, and bags stuffed for our cute cheerleaders before the 6:00 football banquet for Curly.

It was slow going, but got even slower when Skittles showed up about 12:30. He was not having a good day, and even holding him nonstop didn't make a difference, but it did matter to my embroidery machine... I finally put him down and made a little progress. This pattern required 5 thread changes and lots of clipping.

At 3:15, Bossy showed up and then we were able to get things moving. She was joined by Drama Queen so they could clip for me and help stuff the bags. At 5:50, I sent my sweetie and Curly out the door without me. I still had one blanket to go. Drama Queen was still helping me every step of the way.

At 7:15, I finally pulled out of the driveway. Six darling bags were in a larger one and ready to be delivered. The kids loved them and since things were so crazy, there aren't any pics, but after I get the one done for Baby Doll tomorrow, I'm put it up for you.

Someone said, "You're amazing!"
I said, "No, if I were, I wouldn't have been over an hour late."

Happy Friday! Hopefully it will be just a bit easier...

Nov 14, 2018

Tadpole's First Haircut

Today was a special day. Princess had something to do in town so she drove the hour up here and I got to babysit Tadpole for the first time. At family parties, he hasn't been all that excited to see me, but today he was perfectly content to play with toys and read books until his mama got back.

Two of my favorite guys
Princess was meeting Drama Queen after work to go to Ikea and needed to kill an hour, so I offered to help give Tadpole his first haircut. After getting the go-ahead from daddy, we proceeded to take some pics and then he sat nervously on my lap while Princess made the first couple of cuts.

A little nervous
Just finish already!

So traumatic!
Then we moved Tadpole to her lap and I finished him up. He looked cute as ever! Then I offered to cut Princess's hair and she was thrilled for a trim. It turned out to be a little more than that, but she was very pleased with the results. (It seems I'm not the only one with breakage during pregnancy...)

I loved spending the afternoon with my sweet daughter. She is such a good mom and I'm so proud of her. Tomorrow is the big gender reveal! So much excitement!

All done!

Nov 13, 2018

Come and See The Nutcracker

I am so excited about our version of The Nutcracker this year!!

First of all, Crafty is the Snow Queen and one of the Chinese dancers. Curly is in Russian again this year, and for the very first time, Baby Doll will get to be part of all the excitement. Like Crafty, she has two roles. In Act I, she is a Party Girl and in Act II she is an Angel.

If you are close by, come and see their performances! And don't worry, I will remind you again in a couple of weeks when it is time for the show. This poster should have all the info you need. If not, leave me a comment and I will get back to you.

Since we are talking about comments, I want to publicly thank my sweet friend LeAnn. Honestly, she comments on every single post! I love it when someone comments, so don't be shy; I will answer.

Nov 12, 2018

Oquirrh Community Powder Puff Derby

Every Saturday in my life is just so busy and this week was no exception. This time we had practice starting at 10:00 AM for the Primary kids including me. After that it was straight to Nutcracker rehearsal for Baby Doll.

The Derby started at 2:00 and we were worried that she wouldn't be finished with rehearsal in time, so we got her car all checked in and Scout promised to be Baby Doll until we got there. Then Sport and I took off to pick her up from the dance studio. We got back to the church about 2:30, just as they were calling for the first race.

Baby Doll's car ran in 4 heats and she took 1st place every time, but because the races were timed, she come up with 4th place, just being edged out of a trophy.

At 4:30, they began checking in cars for the older girls. They didn't have as many entries, but still Scout was nervous. Finally, it was time to race.

She won the first two races by a wide margin, but on the third race, her car was in lane 1 and at the bottom of the drop, it jumped the track and did not finish the race. Scout said she didn't care, but I knew better. A zero on her track time would keep her completely out of the top 3 for sure.

Then the guy placing cars asked the guy in charge to check the track. I took advantage of that moment to remind the racemaster that when other cars had jumped that he had rerun the races. I also pointed out that so far she had posted the fastest times.

What could he do? He reran the race and she placed even faster than usual with a 3.52. So far, none of the others girls had posted a single speed that was faster than her slowest time. She was trying to play it cool, but the corners of her mouth kept tugging upward.

Only one race to go and she mastered it without any technical problems. As expected, she took home the 1st place prize which consisted of a small trophy and a certificate, neither of which was nearly as good as the bragging rights that came with her 1st place finish..

Nov 10, 2018

Guest Blogger: Treats from Troom Troom by the Dog Walker

My mom has asked me to guest blog for her a week ago, but I wasn't quite sure what has been happening with my life lately that I wanted to talk about, but then she wanted me to write about some gifts that I've been giving to some of the family members on their birthdays for the past few months. For a while, I've been watching a channel that talks about girls making unique recipes, DIY projects, and many other life hacks that are quite interesting to try. Their channel is called Troom Troom. 

I've been giving it a try on using their recipes to make giant candy bars, unicorn treats, edible stress relievers, and inside out food. I won't be able to explain how I made them, but you can always check it out on their channel, because they do demonstrate how to make the recipes, life hacks, and the DIYs.  I will show you which of these treats I gave to each of the birthday people I've been giving to. I don't have every picture of the same the treat I've been giving to the people on their birthdays, but I can tell you what it was.

 This is a giant Reese's bar that I made for Drama Queen's birthday. She really like it and was always wondering how I made it. Even Teach would want to have a Giant Reese's for her birthday next year. I made another giant candy bar for Curly, but I never took a picture of it, because I didn't think of it. But it was a giant pack of giant starbursts. He was so amazed to see it, but he wasn't able to finish it all by himself. Besides, he always liked to share his gifts with other people, as long as people asked him.
 These are Oreos that I learned how to make in an inside out way. I gave these to my dad. He thought they were good, but he would still prefer the regular Oreos, because he doesn't like double-stuffed ones, just like these inside out ones could be considered them to be.
 These are giant edible Orbeez in all the colors of the rainbow. I gave these to Princess on her birthday, because she likes Jell-O and orbeez at the same time, so I learned how to make edible orbeez for her. She liked them, but they weren't easy to make.

 These are rainbow spreads that I made for Crafty, since she likes to spread things on her toast. I made them in different colors and flavors. I once put all of them into one big jar, but it was quite hard to reach the bottom of it, so I ended up trying to make these individually in small jars and they turned out great for everyone to try at once without having to start from top to bottom in one jar, but they can choose one.

I haven't given these giant KitKat bars out yet, but I'm planning to give them to the Frog, since he likes KitKats. There is one flavor that no one has ever made before and it make sound weird. I made a Strawberry Limeade KitKat that looks exclusive and it might be delicious for the Frog to try on his birthday. 

A lot of these treats I made from the Troom Troom show were really hard, but fun to make. The only people I didn't make these treats for were Bossy and Baby Doll. The reason was that, Bossy was worried about her diabetic condition and wanted me to make something that she can use, instead of eat. I made her some more Christmas albums that showed individual pictures of her children and their own playlist of Christmas songs. She's very excited to listen to them this Christmas. And Baby Doll didn't receive a treat like these, because I made her a Sprite pie, just like she explained on the other post about Baby Doll's birthday. I have a feeling that I should probably lay low on the treat making habit and try making real food that could be healthy for everyone, but I hope you liked this blog and if you're interested, check out the Troom Troom show.