Jan 30, 2019

So Much Drama

We attended our last Pack Meeting as parents of a cub scout. Curly earned all 27 Webelos pins and several patches to go along with them. I didn't get a chance to snap a pic while we were there, so I made sure to take one of the awards when we got home.

I've been pretty wrapped up in getting the cookie order ready since I have to submit it by 10:00 tomorrow night. I finally got all the order forms from the other girls, so now it is just time to do lots and lots of counting and cross checking before I enter them into the computer.

I didn't have any grandbabies today so I got a bunch of errands done. Hopefully I won't have much chasing around for the rest of the week. Grandpa finally got home from Iowa. He said the chill factor there was NEGATIVE 55 DEGREES!!! That is SO cold! It's no wonder he was in a hurry to get home. His flight was actually delayed in Denver and instead of arriving at 1:00, my sweetie picked him up up after 4:00.

It doesn't appear that Puppy Lover is planning to return to us this time. Dog Walker is pretty upset, but each day becomes a little easier. I guess at some point we will have to do something officially, but for now, we just wait. He took off his ring the day she left and he hasn't put it back on since.

So much drama at my house... and that's only about half of the things I could have told you...

Do you sometimes feel like you live in a soap opera?

Jan 29, 2019

Happy January Birthdays! Oh wait, that's me...

We had our first big family birthday party and it included me and our cute little Tadpole who turned 1. I guess I don't really want to tell you how old that makes me... but it was fun to do the whole little smashcake for him. He is such a sweet boy! That was the most I have ever seen him laugh.

I got to have all of the kids here except Twiz who had to work, and Grandpa, who got stuck in Iowa with no planes going out on Sunday because of the weather. It made it nice for him to get to spend a couple more days with my brother since they don't see each other very often. Li'l Sis also came over for the party and brought her crew along.

Dog Walker and Curly were going to write the post on my birthday yesterday so I didn't have to do this, but I guess they got distracted with other things, so I will tell you that the party was awesome! Drama Queen made lasagna and an amazing ginormous carrot cake. My sweetie made bread, everyone else brought salads, and that rounded out the meal quite nicely.

Then we did presents and cake and Drama Queen showed us a cute movie she made about Tadpole and me. The kids drifted off, one family at a time until Bossy was the only one left. She wanted me to cut her 3 older boys' hair, but shortly after I got started, even she took off.

I cut Bean Dip's hair first, then Burrito, Taco, Baby Doll got in line...
then my sweetie
then Sport
      and Curly...

Who is more excited, Tadpole or The Frog?!

More than 2 hours later, my arms and shoulders were killing me! I would never make it as a real stylist.

I was also collecting all of the cookie orders from the troop. I have until Wednesday morning to get them entered into the computer and I'm having a hard time concentrating on all the math. My sweetie thinks I just need more sleep.
    Maybe he is right...

Jan 27, 2019

Last Basketball Game

This little sweetie played her last basketball game today. Have I ever told you she is one of the tallest and best defensive players on her team? When she is on the court, she works hard to get the rebound and she is not afraid to take a shot.

My biggest problem is that I have only seen one of her games all season! That is because I am coaching Curly's team and every single game except one was right over the top of hers.

Now don't get me wrong, having multiple kids play for years, I expect a certain amount of overlap, but this was ridiculous. When I signed them up I was actually thinking that with only 2 playing it would be easy to see most of their games. Boy was I wrong.

Curly is an excellent player and he sometimes tends to be a ball hog, but usually only when he thinks we can win and he forgets that he has 4 other teammates on the floor. He has one more game, so my coaching days are not quite over for the season, but we are getting close.

Jan 25, 2019

Getting Past That Hump

I'm actually pretty pathetic, sitting here at my desk at 5:00 AM eating dry Lucky Charms and waiting for Baby Doll to get up so we can finish the homework she didn't do yesterday. I know! I was shocked too. She is always right on task and keeping her friends in line.

Actually, I have been helping Crafty scan documents and I'm putting off the editing part because I didn't want to let you down yet again. Honestly, I can't even begin to tell you how difficult this last week has been. And to kick me when I'm down, I managed to crack a filling and I'm hoping it will just be a crown and not a root canal.

Life always looks better...
 I was on the phone for about 3 hours trying to solve our basketball problem, but we ultimately ended up just having to cancel one of the teams and only play with 4 rather than all six. My sorting project stretches on and on with no end in sight. That January depression has got a tight hold on me and an even tighter hold on my sweet daughter-in-law. Puppy Lover chose today to move back home with her parents. As you can imagine, Dog Walker is devastated.

Once you get past the hump.
Please pray for him. January will be over soon.

Jan 23, 2019

Happy Birthday, Blog!

I had these two cuties over today and after our group diaper changing session. they were both just lying there on Skittle's blanket. They looked so cute!

That is until they realized I was snapping a pic of them and then this is what I got.

We have such a busy week coming up even without my purging efforts. Did you know my blog is 8 years old this week? It was actually last Saturday, but since no one else pointed it out, I didn't even notice, although maybe tomorrow a cake is in order.

It's been a while since we have had a party...

Jan 22, 2019

Needing to Purge

It's the new year and I always want things to be different, you know, new year's resolutions and all, but it's been an entire year now since I began the purge (meaning that I'm trying to downsize and get rid of things I don't need). In the beginning, it was easy, my sweetie was out of town and I made a concentrated effort to throw away a bunch of stuff that he would never miss.

It was all so liberating! So I got rid of a few more things. Since we had new Christmas things, no one really seemed to notice, that is until they went looking for some obscure kitchen gadget or the gigantic pile of aprons I had spilling out of the lowest kitchen drawer.

Drama Queen is an apron girl and when she pointed out my secret, suddenly everyone began noticing and complaining about something here and something there. But I kept on, going through one room at a time, attempting to declutter. After a while, it became evident that our house was gradually getting cleaner and my sweetie decided it was time to start sprucing things up to go with our new look.

You know we got most of the kitchen remodeled and most recently he has been working on the bathroom that is very nearly finished, but I will show that one next week. The latest has been the little kids' rooms upstairs, and both of them have been completely remodeled. This bookshelf in the girls' room is my favorite, but the kids love the new carpet and newly painted walls.

I promise I am going to show you everything when it is finished, but right now I have been busy sorting, sorting, sorting... I told the kids they can't take anything back into their bedrooms until it has been approved by mom, so it has taken us pretty much all weekend and we still have tons to go. I have been discarding books, trying to get my kids with little ones to take over the picture book collection since Baby Doll has mostly outgrown them.

Then today Crafty started freaking out a little about her Sterling Scholar Portfolio which is due on Friday (yeah, I know, nothing like putting it off...). So I spent most of my day sifting through scrapbook boxes, looking for certificates and other evidence of all of her hard work over the last 4 years to earn this honor.

I'm feeling that huge need to purge again... tell me, do you give your children their scrapbooks when they finally settle into homes of their own? Right now, I have shelves and shelves of them and I'm thinking maybe it is time to send some of them off....

Jan 21, 2019

Do You Have This Photo?

Yesterday I got an email from my mom's cousin, Julie, and the subject line simply read, "Do you have this photo?" Now that message in and of itself is not terribly unusual. Julie loves family history and now that her husband is retired and they have moved to Utah, she will periodically send me envelopes filled with treasures.

I tried to open her email on my phone, but for some reason, the picture wouldn't load, and since I was out and about, I didn't get back to it until evening when I was finally sitting in front of my computer. As I watched the image spring to life, my jaw dropped in surprise. It was a photo of my grandma and her husband (who was really my grandpa, but he passed away when my mom was a baby, so I sometimes forget that) on their wedding day. Actually, I'm assuming it is their wedding day since they are holding a wedding cake.

I could not ever remember seeing this particular picture before and I stared at it for several moments before calling my sweetie in to see it. This was not exactly a grandma I knew. This young woman would have been about the same age as Crafty and she seemed to have a rather shy smile (although it's arguable that it could be a devious smile if I knew grandma).

But she was not the one that captured my attention. It was my grandfather. I had seen pictures of him before, but not like this one. He looked young and happy and so incredibly like my brother that it was scary. It brought him to life for me like never before and I remembered how happy Grandma was to be sealed to this man she loved so much that had been gone for so many years.

They weren't married long, only about 3 years before he drowned in the canal. Grandpa had my mom who was only about 15 months old if I remember right and she was expecting another child that miscarried a few days after the funeral. Even though Grandma remarried and welcomed two children from her 2nd husband's previous union, she could never carry another child and she finally had a hysterectomy when she was around 39.

But on this day, this beautiful first wedding day, she couldn't have known what her future would hold. If she had, do you think she would she have chosen differently?

Jan 20, 2019

Guest Blogger: Spot the Dog by the Dog Walker

It feels so recently when Mom asked me to guest blog for her. The reason this time is that Teach has left little Twizlet with us to spend the night here. Mom's been trying to get her to sleep, but with no avail. I thought I should talk about one of the stuffed animals that I have collected for my future teaching experience with little kids and children with special needs. When I was a kid, I always liked to watch the movies and read the books of Spot the Dog by Eric Hill. In my whole childhood when I started learning how to read, I was enjoying reading the Spot books with my younger sisters, Princess, Prima Donna, and Crafty.

Image result for Spot the dog
There were those times when I was entered into adolescence, I stopped thinking about Spot the Dog, because I was a bit worried with peer pressure in high school and thought that it was only for little kids. And also, I was so intrigued in earning a high school diploma and an associates degree along with my graduate of excellence award. But as soon as I got a bit more mature with myself and have overcome my depressing and anxious challenges, I started to dwell on the happy moments of my childhood, like Spot the Dog again.
Image result for Spot the dog books
When I first attended UVU and joined in the Education program, Princess and I attended the same class called Children's Literature. I was so excited about that class, because all my life, I always wanted to become both an author and illustrator for children's books. There was a fun assignment that we did in the class. We got to chose the author of children's books and do a report on them. When I mentioned to Baby Doll and Curly about Spot the Dog, Princess thought it sounded interesting to learn about Eric Hill and how his creative stories on Spot the Dog has inspired younger children throughout the world and how Spot become the most lovable dog of all time. I was one of the children throughout the world who loved Spot the Dog.

Overtime, after I got married to Puppy Lover, I discovered a plush stuffed animals of Spot the Dog and made my first order online for it. Although, my mom was worried about me ordering it on Ebay while using my debit card to pay for it online. That was before I ever received a credit card. Ever since, Mom has been helping me collect a lot of stuffed animals from the children's books of different authors and illustrators, I thought that having Spot the Dog would also be fun to have so that mine and Puppy Lover's future children will be able to love Spot the Dog. I still like Spot the Dog at this age and I'm hoping that someday, my future kids will like Spot the Dog too. If you like this post, maybe Mom will let me write another blogpost about another lovable character created by a unique author and illustrator. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this story.

Jan 18, 2019

Final Reflections Tally

Yesterday was Region Reflections. That means that any entry moving on competes in the state competition. For the first time ever, Taco and Burrito each had entries that they were hoping would advance. Taco's was in Film Production and Burrito's was in Literature.

Burrito is the one in brown right in the middle that needs a haircut!
Bossy and I met at the high school with the kids in tow just before they were supposed to start the awards. Unfortunately, they had some technical difficulties and it was nearly 7:15 before they got things moving. It was not such a big deal except that Scout wanted to get back in time for YW.

Yes, my girls were also in contention. Taco and Scout were even in the same category, Film. Scout also had a 3D art entry, and Baby Doll had one in Film and one in Music. Crafty wasn't with us, but she had one in Film and one in Photography.

Scout receives an award.
The awards were announced quickly and some of our kids were rather devastated while others were ecstatic. Burrito's literature entry is moving on to the State Competition and so is Crafty's Photography. Both of them received medals and gift cards.

Other awards played out like this:

Taco - Award of Merit, Film Production
Scout - Honorable Mention, 3D Art
Baby Doll - Honorable Mention, Music
Baby Doll -Award of Merit, Film
Crafty - Award of Merit, Film

Cute Baby Doll
The Award of Merit also received a medal, but they were slightly smaller than the Award of Excellence medal. Such an exciting moment! So proud of you all!

Jan 17, 2019

Worth It?

Bossy texted me this morning to tell me my post "sounded" like it had been written at 3:00 AM. At first I was offended and then I realized, "At least she was reading it!!" Today was a little slower, but we still plenty to do!

We got the new carpet put down in those two bedrooms and then we moved in the beds. Baby Doll and I went to the store and picked out a couple of new bed sets. I could have posted on them all cute like that, but I wanted to make sure you saw the pics of me getting my hair colored.

That somewhat small class took about 3 hours this morning. Do you think it was worth it?

Jan 15, 2019

Way Too Crazy!

It seems so long since I've talked with you! First things first, Dog Walker was not admitted to his waitlisted class, so that changes a few things, but hopefully not everything. It just means he will have to take that COMM 3000 class with his Capstone in the fall so he can graduate with his BS degree in December as planned.

The girls' room all ready for lavender paint.

I have been a bit distracted, what with Girl Scout cookie sales in full swing and this huge remodel project that just keeps growing. I think I told you we had a toilet go out in November and we had to lock the door to keep the kids out after we threw away the toilet (just to be safe...) and my sweetie wanted to have it finished during the holidays. Complications slipped it into the first week in January and that's when the second project (and the third!) fell into our laps.

My sweetie actually said he felt like we were living on Hoarders!

You see, Project #2 started with Scout complaining about back trouble and as a 13-year-old that is as big as an adult, it was probably past time to get her a real bed rather than a bunk bed where the mattress rests on plywood. So Princess was super excited to get the bunk beds after they were disassembled, loaded into the big van and driven to Santaquin...
Beauty and a couple of the babies at the Ordination party.
Then my sweetie purchased beds online (in tiny little boxes!) so with all that time to wait, we decided to paint. Then, after realizing that the girls still had 25-year-old original carpet in their room, we thought it was time to recarpet too.

Waiting for these mattresses to SPRING out of their boxes was a bit anticlimactic...

That's when project #3 came along. Curly has been asking and asking for us to replace his 25-year-old carpet, so now he is also getting new paint and new carpet. And guess where all of their stuff is being stored at the moment? Yeah, in my room! I will be so glad when this project is finished and I can actually move around my room again. Did I mention that Curly's bed is in the living room?

In other exciting weekend news, Sport and Burrito both received ordinations and advancements in the Priesthood. Basketball is back to 4 nights a week and we did dentist and eye doctor today as well since the kids were out of school. Curly and Baby Doll go back to school tomorrow for the first time since Christmas break began, and Sport took the Accuplacer assessment, met with a counselor, and was approved for Early Enrollment and summer school at SLCC.

And yes, he was very happy about that. How was your weekend?

Jan 13, 2019

Guest Blogger: Waitlisted by the Dog Walker

Image result for waitlisted

My mom asked me to write a post for her, since she's having a little bit of writer's block and she's also been busy with other daily routines, including taking care of my younger siblings' homework that is challenging for them to understand. And speaking of challenges, my mom and I just experienced a challenge that happened to me for the first time at college,...Waitlisted!

Image result for Waitlisted gif

My mom has registered me into a college program that would help me go into graduating with a bachelor's degree and told me that after passing the Parenting and Finance classes, I only had 4 more classes, one of them being animal science and media ethics, and the two more for my last semester. Unfortunately, the media ethics class is the only one that is required, and they put me on the waitlist for a while and my Mom and I were hoping that they would change it a bit, since I was only the third person on the waitlist. I already attended the first week of the semester, but there haven't been any changes to my class schedule. I just had the feeling that I might have to take the media ethics class next fall and still be able to graduate by next Christmas. My mom and I are hoping by this week we might get a result to see if I'm accepted into the class for this semester or if I will have to wait until next semester. 

Either way is stressful and I don't like going to class if I might not be able to stay. Have any of you ever experienced being waitlisted? How did it work out?

Jan 11, 2019

Field Trip! Natural History Museum of Utah

As you know, Curly received his Arrow of Light and his Webelos patch for scouts in November. His leader wants all the boys to begin working on regular Scout badges, so he is finishing up Cub Scouts now and January will be his last pack meeting. It's pretty sad to see all of that ending, so rather than mope about it, he has decided to go out with a bang. We decided to finish every patch he could.

I'll let you know more about that in a couple of weeks when we have pack meeting, but one that we really didn't want to miss was the Natural History Museum of Utah patch. We have been to the Museum many times, but never with the babies. Teach, Twiz, and Twizlet met up with us there and we had Beauty drop off Little Warrior. That sweet girl is pregnant with baby boy #2 and she really could use a break.

Drama Queen drove us down to the University, and we ate Lunchables on the way so we didn't have to worry about dinner. We had the three youngest kids with us plus Puppy Lover since Dog Walker had to work. Wednesdays are Five After Five, so it was only $5 each for us and the babies were free.

We got inside the Museum about 6:30 and just started winding our way to the top. Little Warrior was a bit nervous (and a bit short!) so we had to carry him most of the time, but he loved the exhibits, especially the ones on the 4th floor where he could see everything since the walls were glass.

The Museum has a temporary Maya exhibit and we decided to visit it last, although after we got in there, I was wishing we had gone there first so we could see everything. The architecture and the colors were amazing!

We finally dragged ourselves away and we took Little Warrior home. Teach and her family had packed up almost an hour before since they didn't eat dinner before they came. I want to go back in February when the kids have free passes so we can spend more time in the Maya exhibit. Maybe then we can take all the babies!

Jan 9, 2019

Cave Tools Review: 3-piece BBQ Tool Set

Our good friends at Cave Tools are after me for another review and you know, I don't mind at all! It gave me the perfect excuse to pick up some beautiful steaks at the grocery store and convince my sweetie to fire up the grill in January.

Yeah, that stuff you can see in the background is that dirty "January in Utah" snow and we must have chosen the absolute coldest day to stand out in the drizzle, but it was so worth it!

We managed to feed the kids a regular supper and after most of them were in bed, my sweetie and I feasted on ribeye and nothing else. Can you believe I could actually eat that entire steak by myself in my bedroom at 11:30 pm?

It was so good...

Cave Tools makes the perfect set with tongs, a spatula, and a fork and the price is very reasonable for such high quality stuff. My sweetie loves this 3-piece stainless BBQ tool set. His only problem was trying to decide which piece to show you first!

You could probably get your sweetie to make you a Valentine's Day steak if you get these on order in the next week or two. If you want to order from the Cave Tools website, you know I have a coupon code for you. Just enter GRILLSET15 and save 15%. You could probably even use that extra few bucks to buy a box of chocolates.

If Amazon makes you more comfortable, you can get this set there too. You can even save 10% at Amazon if you want to buy an extra set for your dad.

I'm sure he would appreciate it... especially if you throw in a couple of steaks and a box of chocolates...

Time to eat!

Jan 8, 2019

The 12th Man - An Amazing Tribute

Tonight for FHE we watched a movie that I wouldn't normally watch with my younger kids, but this one was quite special. It's called The 12th Man and it is adapted from the book written by my dearest friend, Astrid Karlsen Scott. Sadly, she passed away several months before the movie was released.

Astrid Karlsen Scott

She had always talked about taking me and Baby Doll to Norway for the movie premiere so she could show us the land of her birth. She was an amazing person and she was so good to Baby Doll! When I was first assigned to be her visiting teacher, I was a bit grumbly about the fact that I had lived in the same ward for 20 years and I knew almost everyone, except her.

She was a new move-in, 30 years older than me and in a totally different stage of her life. I was intrigued with the idea that she was a writer, and I was a bit incredulous when she told me about her book that was being filmed in Norway as a major motion picture. This was the big time.

But after I finished being in awe of her amazingness, I simply came to love her. We spent many happy hours in the temple. When I dozed off, she was give me the elbow and when she dozed off I would give her a somewhat more gentle one. She didn't drive, so we had other adventures too. She remembered fondly canning peaches and she loved fresh fruit, so one day we drove down to Utah County, bought peaches, and came home and put them into jars. She was so excited about the simple things.

I still remember that morning when the Relief Society President called to tell me that Astrid's husband had passed away in the night. I visited with her that day and the next day and stayed close by during the viewing, funeral, and gravesite. She never broke down in front of me or in public; her no nonsense attitude didn't allow that sort of weakness.

As I mentioned before, she loved Baby Doll, my sweet little companion who couldn't wait to see her adopted Grandma. Astrid almost always had something for her, tiny porcelain dolls from Norway, each presented at a different visit, a coloring book she just "happened" to have laying around, and a beautiful full-color picture book about a little girl from her beloved Norway that she presented  the day before Baby Doll's first day of kindergarten.

We loved Astrid so much! When her son, John, offered to let us borrow his copy of her movie in English, how could we say no? Was it bloody? Yes. It was a war movie. But it was also a labor of love and a sweet tribute to our dear friend.

Jan 7, 2019

Times They are a Changin'

I guess the holidays are really finally over. My sweetie is going back to work and band and dance start up on Monday. My Baby Doll and Curly are still off track for another week or so, but then we are all back up to full strength.

It always seems like there are so many things to dig out from under. I was thinking I was doing a fairly decent job at that last week, but then my washer broke, and I found myself in the middle of 3 major organizing projects and that didn't count the remodel my sweetie was hoping to finish on the bathroom before he went back to work. But then we started having trouble with the furnace... you get the idea.

My sweetie just about freaked when Crafty texted him about a dash light coming on in the Impala. We were so grateful when it turned out to be a "check engine oil" light instead of a "check engine" light. But even that requires time and effort.

Did I tell you we had our first basketball game last week? I was just grateful to make it up and down the floor without having a heart attack! I think a bit more physical activity will be good for me.

We had our first 2-hour block of church meetings today. Honestly, it didn't seem all that different. I remember when I was in high school and we first started the 3-hour block of meetings. It felt like we were at church forever!

Why is it we are so much quicker to notice the difficult changes rather than the easier ones?

Like have any of you noticed that my sweetie has lost another 50 lbs? He is down about 100 since he first started losing weight. So proud of him and all of his hard work!

Jan 6, 2019

Shooting Rockets

Curly has been having so much fun finishing up all of the Webelos pins for scouts! Today was the best... he had all of us out at the park in the freezing cold shooting off a rocket...

 No, seriously, it was fun. Just cold.

Jan 5, 2019

Finally, a New Computer!!

I'm so sorry I missed talking with you yesterday, but it was totally worth it! Bossy brought over her computer to change out my old one. I'm a bit embarrassed to admit that I was so attached to XP that I haven't wanted a new one for the last 5 years my sweetie has been trying to get me to change.

Bossy has been threatening for quite a while, but then she came over and just did it! It's amazing! I'm back to two monitors and I can actually work without waiting for half an hour to print (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration, but not much!).

So as a little payback and to show how my little grandson, Skittles, has been growing, I promised to put up some pics of him so you could see. He is nearly 6 months old now and he loves to eat or at least try to eat pretty much everything. Today while Bossy was driving over, he was in his carseat and he pulled a taco from the sack and got it to his mouth before she caught him.

Yesterday he was trying so hard to pull off his socks. It took him almost 30 minutes to pull both of them completely off using his hands and his mouth. Just before his mama came in from work, he finally got the second one off and he was so proud of himself! You should have heard him yowl when the first thing mama did after she took him was put his sock back on...

He is such a good boy. Unless his tummy is giving him issues, he is good-natured and happy. Here is a pic of his first haircut. He didn't love it, but as you can see, he mostly sat quietly for us.

I'm so happy I have these two amazing people in my life! Thanks again for the new computer, Bossy!