Widgets Magazine

Jul 17, 2019

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Again, that box with all the memories...

I was actually looking for all of the large envelopes that Great Aunt Laura gave my grandma. Before Grandma passed away, nearly every time we would visit she would hand me another envelope that her sister had sent from California that held family history stuff. Grandma didn't have much use for it, so she just put it in the bag of things she was sending my way. She always seemed so annoyed about Laura spending her money on postage like that.

Now Laura's daughter, who seems to be the self-appointed keeper of all things family history (at least that generation), has asked me to write Grandma's history! Grandma would be so annoyed...

But that doesn't actually have anything to do with the picture I want to show you. When the kids were younger, we didn't travel much, partly because of the cost, and partly because we were nervous. One of the very first trips we ever took out of state was to San Francisco. We loved it so much that we also planned a second trip there a few years later!

This pic is from the first trip. Bossy and The Beast had already grown up and moved on by 2005. I'm sure you have this down already, but let's start with the back row. Reading from left to right, we have Teach, my Sweetie, Dog Walker, Drama Queen with Princess in front of her, and me.

On the second row, Sport is the cute baby in the stroller, then Crafty and Prima Donna. Just to put this in perspective, Drama Queen graduated from high school in 2007, so she would have been about 16, Teach 14, and so on down about every two years, which makes it convenient when you are counting.

We loved the trip out on the Bay in the cruise boat. Other than the prices, we loved pretty much everything about that beautiful old city.

Jul 16, 2019

Happy Anniversary!

Bossy and Gamer celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary a few days ago, and it slipped right past this crazy life, but I wanted to give them a moment. Lots of marriages don't last long in this day and age and although they have definitely had their rough spots, I am pleased with their "love conquers all" attitude.

I was sorting through some scrapbook boxes looking for something else when I came across a couple of pics from their wedding that I really want to share. Should we make it a game? See if you can figure out who they are.

 I don't know what in the world prompted them to sit on the cake stand, but both girls did it. It's amazing that they kept it upright!

Did you guess Princess in the first one?

And Prima Donna and Crafty in the second one? That little cutie sleeping on the cake stand was only 3 years old! Maybe that is why Prima Donna is looking so concerned... or maybe she is just watching to see just how soon Crafty will fall off so she can have a turn!

Happy Anniversary, Bossy and Gamer!
... and many more.

Jul 15, 2019

Our Little Skittles is Turning One!

I know it is a couple of days early, but we got the family together tonight and celebrated Skittles' first birthday. We kept it pretty easy, serving chili dogs or just plain chili or just plain dogs. It was hot enough outside that we mostly kept indoors, but that made us so crowded!

Skittles did a great job with his smash cake!!

 Little Warrior has a birthday next month, so he watched intently so he would know what to do.

 There were lots of presents!

 Happy Birthday, Skittles!

Jul 14, 2019

Backyard Campout

I'm pretty sure I told you that I have a much younger group of Girl Scouts this year and because of that, we decided not to make our annual pilgrimage to Tuacahn. I was afraid the parents would not want them to come, so we tried something else. We opted for a backyard campout.

We had our campout on Friday night and 9 of our 12 girls were able to attend. We grilled hot dogs, roasted Starburst, and made s'mores. Scout was in charge of night games and she did a great job keeping the girls entertained with relay games and chase-around-the-yard-until-you-get-tired games.

The kids put up the big tent and as it began to get dark, Drama Queen and my sweetie set up an outdoor movie. The girls loved watching Cinderella (the live version) on the big screen. As we settled for the evening, most of the girls were picked up by their parents, but not all. The All-Nighters enjoyed playing cards and telling stories until Scout sung them all to sleep. Twizlet slept with me on the air mattress which was somewhat comfortable except when she couldn't find her binky...

I woke up around 6:00 AM for obvious reasons and when I went back outside it had begun to sprinkle, so after I dragged all of the important things that couldn't get wet inside the house, I gathered up Twizlet and we spent the rest of the morning on my nice soft bed.

The girls all had so much fun! My only regret is that we didn't take more pictures.

Jul 12, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Dog Walker - Film Video 2011

This is one of my favorite videos in spite of the fact that it makes me look like an idiot. The Dog Walker had a difficult time getting the sound and movements to sync exactly, but it still has some of my favorite people it in, and the overall concept is great.

Favorite scene?

Look for the line "Picking on the weaker man..."

Hilarious! I still chuckle every time I watch this one.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Jul 11, 2019

CFA Cow Day 2019

We had so much fun at Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day this year! It truly is a family affair for us. The only one who didn't get their "spots" on today was Prima Donna and honestly, she might have, just not with us.

Did you get a chance to go?

Unfortunately, I am having technical issues and I can't upload any more of the CFA pictures on my computer. Maybe if one of the other cows would like help... that would be "udderly" amazing!

***Thanks, Bossy! I knew I could count on you!****

Jul 9, 2019

Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day

I just love Chick-fil-A! Not only do they have great food, but they also do some amazing things in the community. Just this past week, Curly and Baby Doll were awarded special prizes for their entries in the South Jordan/Herriman Chick-fil-A writing contests. They got free kids meals, shakes, and all of these great things including a little stuffed CFA cow.

And now they have today, which is their best and most fun activity of the year... Chick-fil-A Cow Appreciation Day!!

Here's how it works. All day on July 9, 2019, until 7:00 pm, anyone wearing any type of black and white cow sort of apparel (a white t-shirt with black paper dots taped on works), gets a free entree!

Cow Appreciation Day 2016

My kids love this activity and we have done it for as long as they have had a CFA in South Jordan. So get your "COW" on and enjoy some great food!

Jul 8, 2019

Curly's Baseball Tournament

I wanted to tell you about Curly's baseball tournament, but I just couldn't write about it yesterday, since it was all too raw and emotional for him and for me. But wait, let me back up a bit so I can draw a little better picture.

This was the end of season baseball tournament and after committing to this team back in late February, it has been a long season plagued with rainouts and losses including one angry letter to the coach about mid-season that seemed to turn things around at least a little. Curly loves baseball and he is arguably their best pitcher and when he isn't pitching, he is playing 1st base.

The tournament started on Monday with pool play which provided the seeding for the actual tournament that was held on Friday and Saturday. We lost on Monday, then on Tuesday, and when we lost a 3rd time on Wednesday, the boys were pretty discouraged. Curly had originally scheduled a scout camp that cost me $60 for Friday and Saturday and we waited anxiously all day on the 4th to hear the time for our first and what we assumed would be our last game of the tournament.

We were hoping for a later time so we could still make the scout camp, but the 2:00 game made that impossible so we passed off our spot to hopefully another boy. Curly was excited for the game because we had actually beaten this team twice during league play, but with a win would come another game immediately after with the #1 seed in the tournament meaning an almost certain loss since we were the 8th seed.

Game 1 proceeded as planned and we beat the Bombers, but it took us the full 6 innings. Curly didn't pitch at all that game because of the crazy pitching rules, but he likes playing 1st, so he didn't mind too much. The boys were playing well as they began that second game against the 1st place seed. Curly was again on 1st, but he called the plays and kept everyone on task. Even boys who usually didn't play well were at their best as we took an early lead. Remember, we had a 15-loss/7-win record, so we were certainly not the favorite.

That early lead just kept building and except for one brief moment when the other team was 1 point ahead, our boys were right in there the entire time. Curly had been in a bit of a batting slump, but his coach kept at him and he smashed a double on his first at-bat. Then late in the game, with 2 boys on base, Curly pounded a long one over the center field fence, clearing it by about 10 feet. That proved to be the end of the fight for the Herriman team and we eventually beat them 12 - 8.

The boys were euphoric and the coach took them all out for pizza and ice cream after the win. If they could beat #1, they could beat anyone, right? In fact, on Tuesday, they had played their next rival and nearly beaten them with a final score of 12 - 14 in a heart-breaking loss that actually worked in our favor for the seeding. This second pairing was the semi-final game and everyone had high hopes, but our team that took the field on Saturday afternoon was very different from the one that had beaten #1 just the day before.

Our fielders were flat and we had errors on nearly every play. The coach was afraid to have Curly pitch just in case he was needed for the championship game, and after 2 clumsy innings with the Bulls scoring 12 and our team still sitting at zero, not even Curly's pitching could save the game. We were defeated by the mercy rule when the Bulls reached 15.

The boys were devastated. How could they have been beaten so soundly when they knew that a win was definitely possible? Curly blamed himself, then the other team, then finally his coach before he was resigned to the loss. The season was over.

Now it is on to football and the next page for Curly. I just hope it is as exciting as this one was... and maybe I won't sign up for any more scout camps anytime soon...

Jul 6, 2019

July 4th Activities

I wanted to share some pictures of our July 4th celebration. We started out at the parade in West Jordan, but it was crowded and honestly, one I probably won't attend next year, but something fun did happen. While we were waiting for the parade to begin, Bossy noticed an older gentleman standing alone about 6 feet from our umbrella. He was about the same age as Grandpa and a Korean Vet as well. Bossy invited him to sit in one of our chairs, so he joined us until he had seen his son pass by. His son was running for Mayor of West Jordan. We clapped and cheered along with him and then a few minutes later, he excused himself and left.

After the parade we enjoyed a picnic lunch sponsored by Crafty and Bossy. Some of the kids participated in a coloring contest before we took off again for the Sandy parade at 6:00. It was much better until it started to rain! We had Little Warrior and Little Squire with us as well as Skittles and Twizlet. We had plenty of adults too, but the babies are what makes any of these activities so much fun!

By the time we got home, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining again. We had a nice dinner at Bossy and Gamer's house and then they did fireworks. I found out that Skittles was afraid of the fireworks, so I snuggled up with him and he fell asleep tucked into my coat and a fuzzy blanket.

Teach and Twiz took their little family home and Beauty and The Beast picked up their little guys. Pretty soon it was time to take our own family home. So few of us this week with Baby Doll and Scout at camp. Thankfully, we had Dog Walker and Puppy Lover with us.

We hope you all had a happy 4th as well.

Jul 4, 2019

Happy 4th of July!

A few days ago, Drama Queen was here at the house and she said, "Mom, I feel like making a wreath. Would you like one for the 4th of July." Then she paused, "And could you spare a few dollars for some Dollar Tree flowers?" Now some moms might have been annoyed by this statement; not this one.

I handed her a $20 and today she showed up on my doorstep with not one, but THREE beautiful holiday wreaths, and I know that she also made one for herself, so less than $20 for all of them. But wait... there's more...

I have pictures for you so you can see how talented she is. Which one do you like best? I keep telling her it is time to open an etsy...

Happy 4th of July!!

Jul 2, 2019

The Path to Trefoil Ranch

This morning Scout left for Oakcrest with some of her friends from the neighborhood. It's a 5-day church-oriented camp just for girls completing the 7th grade. She was reluctant to go even though my other girls have enjoyed this trip (except for Drama Queen).

Drama Queen helped me out today by driving me and Baby Doll up to Trefoil Ranch so she could enjoy Girl Scout Camp this week. She was nervous and excited about spending the time with her cousin. The trip was uneventful. Her drop-off time was 11:20, but we were a little late because of the construction, and that helped us miss the rush.

Grandpa was with us as well, and he and Drama Queen wandered after we got stuck in the health line waiting for the customary temp and lice checks. As we made our way into the Trading Post, Baby Doll's eyes lit up with the thoughts of each item that she could purchase with her cookie credits. I tried to gently steer her through to more practical purchases including a Trefoil hat.

We finally navigated our way to the last station, the one where she said a quick,"Goodbye!" and gave us each a big hug. As she threw her arms around her sister, I noticed that my Baby Doll wasn't a baby anymore. Maybe the hat made her look more grown up with her long pony tail trailing down the back. Or it could have been her incredibly long legs for an 8-year-old.

After a moment, she ran off to join her group without a single backward glance. I sent Grandpa and Drama Queen to the car while I made a quick stop in the restroom. As I walked alone back through the lodge and started down the long wide steps, my thoughts naturally slipped to my Baby Doll.

Then unexpectedly, with each downward step, I saw in my mind's eye a different girl, on a different day, in a different summer that just didn't seem that long ago. The same bright smiles, the same nervous looks; each one wearing a similar pony tail. Sometimes they were alone like Baby Doll was today, and sometimes they came in twos like Princess and Prima Donna or Teach and Drama Queen.

Eight different daughters, each following her own path over the footsteps of those that came before her. The realization was stunning and yet so natural to this mama's heart.

My eyes teared a little, or maybe it was that final step into the dusty parking lot, I'm not sure... suddenly, I felt very old.

Jun 30, 2019

Typical Crazy Saturday

Today was one of those run-every-minute days when I never seem to be able to accomplish everything. It started out early this morning with my nephew's baptism. I had to provide some treats as well as help Curly with his talk on Baptism, lead the music, and at the last minute on Friday night, help Li'l Sis find some white undies. But it was a beautiful service full of children and fun; just my kind of thing. We had a party at the park afterward and then we rushed back home to change and get ready for the next thing... a trip to the zoo!

They had a Lion Fountain when I visited the zoo as a little girl!

Princess and The Frog with Tadpole on the Carousel

Taco checks out the polar bear.
We have loved having the zoo pass! It is so nice to bring some of the kids and their little families with us. This time we had Teach and Twizlet (Twiz had to work), Princess and The Frog and their boys, and Taco, Burrito, and Skittles. The zoo was busy, but the kids only had to wait through one cycle before they got on the train and we pretty much got right back on the carousel all three times we rode it.

Baby Doll loved the camera today.

I enjoyed this trip so much because we didn't have to hurry and we could visit with each other and linger as long as we wanted. As it turned out, we spent more than 4 hours at the zoo which is a new record for our family.

Twizlet found a new friend!

While we were gone, my sweetie got supper together, but I still had to run to the grocery store and grab a few things for tomorrow. We are feeding the missionaries... and speaking of missionaries, we submitted Crafty's papers today! Now they are in the hands of our capable Bishop.

But I digress...

After eating dinner and shopping, we loaded the kids and Grandpa in the car and we drove over to the Taylorsville Dayzz celebration for the ABBA tribute concert and the fireworks. It was so crazy crowded! My sweetie estimated about 100,000 people in the park, but once we finally got parked and settled, it was all like one big party and we had lots of fun jamming to the music and watching the half-hour long fireworks show.

It was just after midnight when we finally got home, but we sure had a good time. Spending a crazy Saturday with family is the best!

Jun 28, 2019

Adventuring - Clark Planetarium

Yesterday when we got home, one of these was hanging on my door.

You know I couldn't possibly stay home knowing that I couldn't turn on the water or flush the toilet, so we just HAD to go out adventuring today even though Scout and Sport took off this morning well before 9:00 AM for Youth Conference.

Teach and Twiz are almost always up for fun, so we planned a trip to the Clark Planetarium. Unfortunately, I don't pay much attention to when things open because we got there 15 minutes early.

Once we were inside, we bought tickets for the IMAX and then wandered the exhibits until it was time for the show to begin. We watched the 3D version of Born to be Wild. Just being in the IMAX theater was an adventure for the kids since they couldn't remember it from the last time we were there.

Twiz slipped out to head off for work just before the final credits so that left Teach and me and 3 kids to explore the Planetarium. We ate our packed lunches in the concessions area where they have tables for that sort of thing, then we spent 20 minutes in the gift shop. It took a good part of that time just chasing Twizlet around. She wants to look at and more importantly, touch everything in the store.

We finally bought some magnets, then hit the restrooms on our way out the door. It was a fun and short trip since I had to be home by 2:00 for our mechanic who never actually showed up until about 5:00. Happily, the water was back on when we got home, so that was a relief!

Now what should we plan for tomorrow?

Jun 27, 2019

Adventuring - Hiking Donut Falls

You know we have been doing a lot of adventuring this summer, but this is only our second hike. Teach and Twiz did the planning and our day included them and Twizlet, me, Curly, and Baby Doll. This was supposed to be an easy 3-mile hike, but it turned out a little different. 

When we got to the trailhead, there were tons of cars and people walking, so we were quite surprised that once we were on the trail, it was pretty quiet. I was hot and sticky and the kids were totally chill. We had our fanny packs with our water bottles and lunches and although we knew the water was running high, we were excited to see the falls. 

When we finally got to the actual water, scaled down a rock, and were on the bank, Twiz pointed out that to view the falls we were supposed to cross the river, but because Teach is pregnant and they had Twizlet, they weren't planning to do it. I thought that sounded sensible, but Baby Doll had other ideas.

She started out into the cold water by herself.

Curly headed after her and what could I do? I followed them. The water was about to Baby Doll's knees, so not quite that high, but it was cold from the snowy peaks above and running fast. Thankfully, there were fallen trees and rocks jutting out of the water that allowed us to make our way carefully across. 

At one point, Curly wanted to turn back, but then Baby Doll ventured out again, and what could we do? A boy if front of us was in tears when his flip-flop washed away with the water. His grandma nearly went down searching for it and I gently reminded her that her life was worth way more than a flip-flop and they continued on with only one shoe.

When we finally got to the other side, the water looked the same and we couldn't even see the falls. Apparently they were covered by too much water and the trail was totally impassable. The river was about 20 feet across and heading back, the kids felt like pros. Our shoes and socks were totally soaked and our feet were numb by the time we finally landed next to Teach and Twiz on dry ground, but we were all safe. 

"Did you get any pictures?"

Of course not! They ate lunch without us, oblivious to the fact that we could have been swept away at any moment. After scaling the rock and moving away from the river, I could finally relax a little as we made our way back to the car. 

I wonder where our next adventures will take us??


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