Mar 31, 2019

And Now for the Encore... Please Meet Our Newest Family Member

Princess and The Frog went into the hospital this morning just after 6:00AM and by 1:00 they had delivered a healthy little 8-lb guy we are naming Polliwog. We drove over this afternoon to see first our new Little Squire and then down to Utah county to see Polliwog. Little Squire is still in the NICU and I'm going to post pics of him tomorrow just so they don't get mixed up. Both boys are sweet and tiny and smell straight from Heaven.

Princess looks just like you would expect from royalty; unruffled and calm, and totally in control of her situation. It looks like if things stay happy and healthy that they will be allowed to go home tomorrow.

Her MIL brought Tadpole over so he could meet his new little brother. We missed them, but The Frog sent me some cute pics so I could share them with you. Princess said Tadpole was so sweet and gently patted Polliwog's face.

I just love having these new babies come into our lives. I always knew with all these kids that we had the potential to have two grandbabies born in the same week, but I never thought it would happen so soon.

We are incredibly blessed.

Such a cute little family!

Mar 30, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Prima Donna - Film Video 2008

I told you that Drama Queen has been sick quite a bit lately and she has spent much of this downtime uploading our awesome videos. A couple of days into this process, I showed my sweetie this video. I had to get all choked up first, but as I handed him my phone so he could watch it, I commented, "I know sometimes you get frustrated with all the time and money we spend on Reflections every year."

He nodded.

"This is why I love Reflections," I blubbered, "I knew we had this treasure trove of videos that showed our children as they grew up."

We don't make home movies as a general rule unless we have a reason. Thank goodness Reflections and the possibility of winning, no matter how slight, was enough to get the kids busy. I wish they would have had all of these fun categories when Bossy was little.

This movie is rare because it actually has all 4 of my boys in it (and a whole bunch of girls!).

Presenting Prima Donna and her ideas for being "nice to my brother."

Mar 28, 2019

Announcing Our Most Recent Addition... Little Squire

I am so excited to announce the birth of our newest little grandson! Introducing our own Little Squire. He was born on Monday around 1:00 pm. Beauty went into labor early... about 3 weeks early... and all thoughts of her scheduled C-section in April went out the window. At 5 lbs 10 oz, he was small, but not terribly so. Unfortunately, his lungs still need a little work, so he will be in the NICU for a bit longer.

Beauty came home from the hospital today and she is tired, but healing nicely. Little Warrior is so glad to finally have his mom back home! Although he does seem a bit confused about the baby that seems to be mysteriously missing... not to worry, he will see him soon enough. Little Squire will probably spend the weekend at the hospital, but join them at home next week.

He is beautiful just like his mama.

I can't even begin to tell you how beautiful I find this picture. Even if this weren't my oldest son and my newest grandson, I would love it. There is nothing sweeter than watching my children welcome children of their own. It is really the only way I think they can begin to understand just how much I love them.

You did good. 💕

Mar 27, 2019

A (little) Grand Adventure to Chick-fil-A

As you know, Baby Doll and Curly are off-track, likely their last off-track ever since we are changing to a traditional school schedule in the fall, so we are trying hard to have a bunch of fun adventures. Even the Tooth Fairy is on board! Curly lost a tooth over the weekend and in exchange, he received a letter attached to a $20 bill that told him to use it for another grand adventure.

So the thing both he and Baby Doll wanted to do was make a trip to their favorite place to eat out, Chick-Fil-A. I had a rather large commitment that took most of the day, so we didn't get a chance to go until 4:00, but that worked in our favor since it was a slow time to eat out.

After we got our food, we sat in a booth, munched on fries and chicken sandwiches, and I offered my $30 in Penney's credits for them to use since we were literally next door to the store. The first thing we bought was a BYU hoodie for Crafty who has finally decided that BYU is the school she wants to attend even though their acceptance did not come with a large check to cover her tuition.

It's a good thing the hoodie was on clearance! You know me, everything we bought was on clearance. Baby Doll got a couple of cute metal headbands and Curly got a black and white shirt (which he ended up bleeding all over at basketball tonight, but that's a different story...) With Crafty's hoodie and their new things, we ended up paying $1.15.

We finished up just in time to leave for Sports City to pick up Scout from Volleyball practice. So many grand adventures, so little time...

Mar 25, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Princess - Two Little Princesses

We have had some sort of stomach bug at our house and that has kept people home from both work and school. This weekend it was Drama Queen's turn. She had a couple of bad days and that prompted us to delay our Ancestor Day celebration on Sunday.

The good thing about that is it allowed her plenty of time to download more of our ancient Reflections videos. I have to say that this is one of my all time favorites and I'm not even sure it was originally made for Reflections. I think it was Princess simply exercising her film-making skills.

I never knew my sweet little boys could be so evil...

Mar 24, 2019

Love ColdStone!

Back in August when Curly turned 10, he received a $15 giftcard for ColdStone from one of his friends. He was so excited! For the first 2 weeks after, he hounded me about taking him for ice cream, but we were always busy or at least that is what I told him. I don't think he knew that his cherished giftcard would not be able to treat the entire family to ice cream.

For a while, he asked me about once a month if we could make this little trip; honestly, there is a ColdStone just up the street, but since Christmas, even those requests have stopped. Then a week or so ago I mentioned that this would be the last off-track time for him and for Baby Doll and we should do some fun things, so out popped the card and the requests began again in earnest.

So on our very first official day off, as soon as they finished working at the preschool, we drove straight to ColdStone and got our ice cream. I chipped in about $5 and we all got LoveIt! size sundaes.

The ice cream was awesome, but the thing that made me the happiest was my boy's willingness to share unconditionally with me and with his little sister. Thanks, Curly! You're the best!

Mar 23, 2019

Visiting the Hogle Zoo

I told you Baby Doll and Curly have been off track, so we have done several fun activities together. Since Bossy had the day off on Tuesday, we decided to visit Hogle Zoo.Tuesdays are typically Twiz's day off as well, so he and Twizlet joined us as did Dog Walker. Curly was invited to go ice fishing with a friend at the last minute, so he headed off early in the other direction. Maybe we can get him to tell a little of that story. It sounds like they had a great time!

So we all met up at the zoo about 11:00. Taco tagged along with us as well, making us a party of 8. We started our adventure riding the train and then looking at the giraffes. Skittles was finally big enough to appreciate the animals and the morning with his mom, so even though it was a bit cold, he handled it like a trooper.

Come on, Dog Walker! Live a little!!
 After stopping by the gorillas, monkeys, and elephants, we happened upon the carousel. Until this year, the kids have mostly envied the ones sitting on the beautiful animals, but my way-too-expensive pass allows for unlimited rides, so we usually climb off the animals and run right around and back through so we can ride again. Seriously, our minimum number of rides all year has been 3.

I begged off the first ride so I could take pics, but by the third time up, it was definitely my turn. We all stood in a row, Dog Walker by Twizlet as the ever-attentive older uncle. But I could tell he really wanted to ride and he hadn't dared for quite a few years since he had become an adult. I convinced him that an animal was much more exciting than the peacock seat he had the first time around.

He was so cute! When the music began, his grin was almost as wide as Twizlet's! For me, it was the real highlight of our trip. Dog Walker has had some difficult moments with school and moving out and it was so nice to see him act like a kid again.

We finished our stroll through the animal exhibits. The zookeepers were feeding the bears although that is not nearly as exciting as it sounds. The bears were locked up in their sleeping quarters while the keepers spread various kinds of food around on the ground. When the bears were finally released, they sniffed around like dogs, picking up a grape here or a piece of fruit there. It was interesting to notice that they all avoided the salad...

Polar bears, sea lions, otters, and the eagle and then we were on the playground, one of Baby Doll's favorite places. We only had a few minutes before it was time to head for home, but they still managed to hit the slide and all the major attractions.

Such a fun time! I guess one of these days we will have to get back to normal and do something productive... but not today.

Mar 21, 2019

Singing Together

You all know I have all these little grandkids, but some of them I don't get to see as often. Like Tadpole... he lives an hour or so away, so unless we have something going on, his parents rarely just drop by.

I see Skittles and Twizlet because I babysit them both several times a week. Little Warrior lives about 20 minutes away and I am always so excited when his parents ask me to babysit for them. He is getting so grown up!!

Anyway, last week was one of those weeks when Beauty and The Beast had planned a romantic trip up to Park City for dinner before their new little one is born in a couple of weeks. They wanted to leave early, so I even got to pick up Little Warrior from Daycare.

Surprisingly, he didn't cry when he first saw me (as has been the case in the past), but he was chattering away in what I can only assume was Spanish since they are a dual immersion preschool. We walked to the car and he patiently waited for me to click him into the carseat. The piece of chocolate donut helped with the patience...

Then I climbed in and we were off! The other babies like my David Archuleta CD, so I turned on his most famous song, Glorious, and punched the repeat button. It wasn't long before I was singing and actually quite loudly. After a few minutes, the chattering stopped and I assumed he might have fallen asleep. Then it was there, that unmistakable sound of an 18-month-old little guy singing his heart out.

He was so cute, I wanted to take a picture, but this cute little blond head is all I could see!
 He even held the final note longer than I did!

We got through the entire song one more time before we arrived home. This boy has definitely got a set of lungs!

Mar 20, 2019

Treating Road Rash

Baby Doll and Curly went off-track last Friday for what will likely be the last time. Our school is moving to traditional next school year. I'm actually pretty unhappy about that. I have never done elementary school-aged children on anything other than tracks, and I like the time off every now and then so we can plan fun activities and special projects.

So on Monday, his very first day off, Curly decided it would be fun to ride his dirt bike. We still had scattered snow on the ground and the streets were wet, but he swears he has no idea how he managed to crash his bike. He laid it down right and got some pretty amazing road rash.

I was working in the kitchen when Baby Doll came in and said, "Mom, Curly fell on his bike and he is hurt." I dropped everything and headed for the front door. Baby Doll stopped me. "No, Mom, he thought he should take a shower."

"CURLY!!" I shouted up the stairs when I heard the water running. Nothing. I tried again. "Baby Doll says you are hurt!" Again shouting, "It's going to hurt so bad if you run hot water on a cut." Immediately the water turned off and I heard the bathroom door open and a low moan start up as he came around the corner to the top of the stairs.

"You are bleeding!" That was a dumb thing to say. He was falling apart, trying to hide these rather serious scrapes so that I didn't ground him from his precious bike. I put my arms around him and gave him a careful hug as he sobbed into my shoulder for a moment

Then we were busy washing, disinfecting, and bandaging these two rather large cuts. I carefully removed the rocks and debris. Nothing was said about the bike and I noticed later that he had carefully stowed it in the garage. I am just so grateful that he wasn't seriously hurt. There is a reason we pray for safety every day and I insist that we all wear helmets. What's that saying, Sport? "Don't be insane, cover your brain!"

I wonder how all this will affect our off-track plans? Hopefully he will heal up quickly. Do you think I should take the bike away? Or did I handle it ok?

Mar 19, 2019

The Sprinkle

I really need to get back in the habit of writing every day. My stories are stacking up because I haven't had time to make the effort. Actually, part of the problem is that I have had an infection in my thumb and it makes it difficult to type, but hopefully that is on the mend now although it still hurts.

So let's hop back to last Saturday. You already know that Princess and Beauty are both expecting boys; Princess will be induced on March 30 if she hasn't had her little guy and Beauty is set up for a c-section on April 10. It made perfect sense for them to have a Baby Shower together. Except that Beauty didn't want to have one. She felt very strongly that Baby Showers were for first babies only and I just couldn't seem to use my powers of persuasion to sway her.

Clearance rain boots made cute decorations and then I gave them to the older grandkids. Because older kids never get shower gifts... 

Fortunately, Drama Queen managed to do it by offering a "Sprinkle" or a mini shower with just our immediate family. I suggested we have entire families attend since we are all welcoming these sweet little ones into our lives. Finally, everyone was on board, even my sweetie, although he did seem to think that I was getting pretty creative with the ideas for getting the kids all together since we are no longer having individual birthday parties.

But I digress...

We started the party at 5:00 and Drama Queen made chicken salad that we served on croissants. I had picked up some side dishes, a watermelon, salad, and veggie tray, but the most interesting thing was our dessert. I was super excited about it actually. Another Girl Scout friend was able to put me in contact with someone from Iowa who could help us order Lemonades. Now these lemon cookies have been something I have thought about for several years, ever since Teach sent us a box from Texas while she was on her mission.

The kids were pretty excited to try them and the other two varieties I ordered as well. Drama Queen had also made up a Kahoots game with 60 baby pics from our various families. Princess was the winner of that contest. I didn't play, I just spent my time hanging out with the real babies so the other parents could play.

This is my favorite part!

Then it was time for gifts. We had the two couples sit side-by-side on the pew so we could take pictures as they opened what were almost identical gifts from their brothers and sisters and a couple of Aunts who just had to get in on the action. Our Sprinkle turned out to be way less stressful than a regular shower and lots more fun with all the husbands and kids there.

My family is just so awesome! I'm so excited to watch it grow!

Mar 17, 2019

Speaking in Church

I was asked to give a 15-minute talk in church today on Making our Homes the Center of Gospel Learning. I don't mind speaking in church since I have had plenty of opportunity to talk in front of people, but preparing a talk takes time and I didn't finish this one up until about 2:00 AM.

A couple of hours later, Baby Doll woke me up to confess that she had thrown up in the bathroom sink. Her tummy was a casualty of the amazing shower we had for Beauty and Princess, but I will talk about that one tomorrow. Since today is Sunday, please indulge me while I share my talk with you in written form. It is against the rules for filming to be done in our chapels. I have changed all personal names to blog names just to keep you from being confused.

Brothers and Sisters, I’m grateful for the opportunity to speak today.  The subject I have been given is Making our Homes the Center of Gospel Learning. For those of you who know me well, you know that this is one of my favorite subjects. My life is all about family. Let me just give you a little background. My sweetie and I were married in 1983, just months after I graduated from high school. I grew up in Ephraim, Utah, the 4th of 8 children. My sweetie is from Mt. Pleasant and he is the oldest son of 6 children, but his father was married before and had 2 children making that 8 total for him as well. Needless to say, family was important.

My dad worked 3 jobs trying to support us. His main paid job was teaching high school math, but he also ran a small farm and taught drivers ed. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent riding to nowhere in the backseat of the drivers ed car. Even so, Dad still tried to take the time to do a little teaching when he got home, but Family Home Evening was a struggle as were the Parent/Child Interviews. Dad was so busy with work and Mom was just trying to keep us all fed and clothed. 

Because of these challenges, Gospel learning was not the highest priority on their list, but teaching and learning happened just the same. Dad taught us about hard work and clean living. He loved being outdoors and working on the farm and he insisted that we herd sheep when we weren’t in school. Those hours we spent while the sheep grazed were the perfect time for reading and pondering the universe. Was this a time that I received direct instruction from my dad? That depends on how you look at it. Dad put me in the right place at the right time in my life so that I could figure out my place in the Lord’s plan.

My sweetie grew up in a family that was much different from mine. His father was raised by a young widowed mother who lost her husband in the flu epidemic of 1918. Vernal was not quite 2 years old and she was expecting yet another child. Rather than remarry as women traditionally did, she became the city recorder and was able to take care of her 4 small children on that salary and plenty of hard work. I know I’ve told some of you that I don’t like it when bad little children get a lump of coal for Christmas. Vernal is the boy that rejoiced when he received his lump, because he knew that meant he would be able to use it one night of the year when he really wanted to sleep the entire night without having to get up and feed the old wood-burning stove which was their only heat source.

Vernal was 20 years older than my sweetie’s mother, divorced with older children and a WWII Veteran when they met. A master sergeant, Vernal had been plunged into some of the worst battles of the war and survived. He was a hard worker and a plumber by trade, but he was rarely around and completely inactive when it came to church. He loved to drink coffee with his buddies and he never pretended to be something he wasn’t.

My sweetie’s mom was the daughter of the bishop (who happened to live across the street from the family). She served as the Primary President and then the Relief Society President. She worked hard to have Family Home Evening and church activity in their home. My sweetie’s dad wasn’t resistant to any of these teachings, he simply wasn’t there.

My sweetie thought he knew his dad well in their many hours of working together, but it wasn’t until after his dad’s death that my sweetie began to understand the level of Vernal’s commitment to choosing the right. Vernal was the protector and constant source of support for the widows in the ward. He would (and did) come running during an important holiday celebration just to unclog a toilet for someone in need, and when she couldn’t pay, he did the work for free. Vernal had a magic pocket that almost always had a little gas money for us when we lived in Logan. 

As a plumbing contractor, he worked on a hospital in Dugway and when the contractor went belly up, he tried to convince all of his subs including Vernal, to declare bankruptcy and move on. Vernal refused. It took him over a decade, but he paid back every cent he ever owed to anyone. He was the epitome of the Scout Law… trustworthy, loyal, helpful… he was more Christ-like than anyone I knew. 

Two months before he died, my sweetie and I were traveling from our home in Salt Lake to visit the family. Just outside of Fairview, we hit a deer. We didn’t even see it; it came right at our windshield, the weight of it shattering glass all over the inside of our car. I was 8 months pregnant with Drama Queen and we were all ever so grateful for seatbelts. To make a long and amazing rescue story short (since this was before the days of cell phones), we finally made it to Mt. Pleasant. While my sweetie was busy seeing to the car and the tow and all that, my mother-in-law was comforting Bossy and The Beast and distracting them from the situation. Somewhat in shock, I sat in the kitchen on a hard-back chair. My sweet father-in-law came in to check on me and that is when he noticed I had been wearing flip-flops because of the swelling in my tired feet. He knelt down beside me and examined them for only a moment before he stood up, headed for the sink and filled a bowl with warm water. Slinging a towel over his shoulder and picking up a soft rag, he once again knelt at my feet and gently began washing the tiny shards of glass and blood. He large rough hard-working hands were so gentle as he carefully took care of something my pregnant body could not do.

My father-in-law avoided church because he had injuries that really bothered him when he sat for even an hour on those hard benches. For my sweetie and for me, Vernal was an amazing example of service and love. No, he didn’t teach with a book in his hand. He WAS the book.  

Teaching doesn’t always have to be in Family Home Evening or in a fireside setting. Many of our greatest teaching moments will be driving in the car (I spend way too much time shuttling my kids here and there to their various activities!) or while waiting to pick someone up. These are the times when I have to choose between texting on my phone and largely ignoring the child sitting two feet from me who is probably texting on his or her phone as well…

In an April 2018 Conference Talk, Brother Devin G. Durrant, First Counselor in the Sunday School General Presidency, shared similar thoughts, “Parental teaching is like being an on-call physician. We always need to be ready to teach our children because we never know when the opportunity will present itself. We are like the Savior, whose teaching often “did not happen in a synagogue but in informal, everyday settings—while eating a meal with his disciples, drawing water from a well, or walking past a fig tree.”

My parents raised me to have faith in the family unit, to believe that it was important above all else. That even though we may fight and harass each other, if someone outside of our family unit was doing the harassing, we would stand together.

When my sweetie and I were dating, family was one of the things we talked about often. I told him I wanted 10 children (expecting perhaps that it might be a deal-breaker since at the time my heart wasn’t quite fully committed). I was surprised when he readily agreed. (He probably would have agreed to anything at that point.) We both knew that to bring that many souls into the world would be challenging and difficult, but that the eternal blessings would be immeasurable. How would I teach them the many things they would need to know? Thankfully, I was given many tools, starting with Family Home Evening. 

I have always loved the idea of having one night of the week when we could forget about the cares of the world and just be a family. We could learn together or play together or whatever as long as it was together. And I would recommend that if you are implementing a program like that into your family activities that you have an Autistic son to make sure you never forget. And just for the record, our family home evenings were far from perfect. The kids would roll around on the floor, poke each other, fight over crayons… There were seriously days that I wanted to give up. But then I remembered a conference talk where we were promised that if we took our children to church and stayed with them, that they would all eventually return to full activity. Given some of my children’s current activities, I hold tightly to that promise, knowing that none of them are lost, at least not permanently.

But seriously, for our families to learn together, someone needs to be in charge, but that same person doesn’t have to be the one to do the reminding. The day I sat down with Dog Walker and told him that he was in charge of making sure we read the scriptures every night was one of the most inspired things I have ever done. WE DID NOT MISS!! I remember a couple of times after turning off the lights and comfortably drifting off that suddenly I was aware of a presence standing next to my bed, staring down at me. “Mom,” he would start off quietly, but I’m telling you, it was not something I could ignore. His persistent “Mom,” would get progressively louder until I finally responded and he would matter-of-factly remind me that it was time to do scriptures. I would moan, but then roll out of bed. It was just not worth fighting…

I’m sure you all know that we have 12 children ranging in ages from 34 – 8. It has been a challenge to keep them all engaged and learning at the same time. My sweetie recalls the day I approached him, all excitedly, “I found it!” He was a bit cautious, not knowing anything was missing. “These kids do come with a manual!” I held up my Personal Progress books for the girls, scouting and Faith in God for the boys. He smiled and shook his head like I was crazy as usual, but I became an expert at combining requirements in their various scouting, Personal Progress and Faith in God books so that each one of them could progress in their respective goals. 

Now the Come, Follow Me program has made all of that so much easier. We are all on the same page and learning about the most important thing, the life and Atonement of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I know every family is different, but I want to share with you what has been working for us. Of our 12 children, we only have 5 still living at home with us as well as my 83-year-old dad. Many of our other children are married and have children or are well-established in their own homes. But even with our 5 left at home, it is difficult to get everyone together. 

We start our week of gospel learning on Sundays, often right after church, but when meetings or extended family commitments get in the way, we study together in the evening before bed. These study sessions come directly from the Come, Follow Me book as we read and share the messages there and the scriptures that go along with them. We discuss things that confuse us and we ask our children for help in deciphering things that may be difficult to understand. Honestly, even though we have read the New Testament half a dozen times as a family, we have never read it like this. I’m always amazed at the insights of even the youngest children. They are so much more in tune than we are. 

We gather together every night of the week and study the scriptures. On Tuesdays and Thursdays we read from the Book of Mormon. Not all of our family (parents and grandpa included) can meet every night, but I learned a long time ago that if we wait for everyone to arrive, feasting on the gospel might not happen. So when we call the family together, the ones that come are the ones that learn. And if we have extras in the house that don’t actually live there (I’m thinking of Teach and Drama Queen, although it is often my other children as well), they will join in the gospel teaching moments and participate like they have never been away from home. They have new perspectives and wise counsel that they leave with the younger kids. In fact, I count on their good examples to light the way for the younger kids to follow.

Every 2nd Sunday of the month, we have what I call our BIG Family Home Evening. This is a standing invitation to all of our children to bring their families, enjoy dinner and togetherness, and then share the lessons of the week from Come, Follow Me. My sweetie will ask 2 of our children (in advance) to plan to share their family’s experiences with the scriptures and we always have an open forum at the end for anyone to ask questions or bare testimony. I love those weeks! It makes me so happy to know that many of my children are teaching their children the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

I hope and pray that we can all remember why we are here. That families are precious and time with our children is so short. We only have those few moments that they will listen and learn from us and then the opportunity is lost. Let’s take the time to put away our cell phones and our tablets. Turn off the TV and the internet. Let’s teach (and learn) with our children.
I testify that Jesus is the Christ. That He suffered for us… He died for us. We must learn of Him and we must teach our children all we know so that someday they will teach their children and this amazing cycle will continue for generations until we can all return to our Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ. For this I pray, in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen

Mar 16, 2019

State Sterling Scholar Finals 2019

Tonight was the Awards Ceremony for the State Sterling Scholars and our Crafty was up for a possible award in Family and Consumer Sciences. It was a stressful evening, both getting there and then waiting while they gave out numerous awards in other categories. There were 12 finalists in each group and that meant plenty of waiting.

We dropped Crafty off at the Conference Center Theater at 5:00 and then we drove to PF Changs for dinner. I had been so excited all day for this date with my sweetie and when we finally got our table and it was time to order, all I could think about was my pounding migraine. I'm not really the sort of person who gets these types of headaches unless I am really stressed or really tired. Today I was both.

I was pretty certain that Crafty had a good shot at winning and that made it even harder. There were 168 kids on that stage and all of them were amazing scholars and all of them wanted to win.

When it was finally time for the FACS category, all 12 girls walked to center stage and then as their names were read, each stepped forward from the group and gave the audience a wave. Then it was time to announce the winners. Two words into the announcement for runner up and I knew it was Crafty. Then they called her name and she stepped forward.

For half a second, I was a bit disappointed, but then I was elated! None of our other children had gotten this far. Princess stood on that stage a few years ago, but she was not called to stand in the winners circle, and now Crafty was one of 2 students chosen to be runner up to the State Sterling Scholar FACS winner. Along with her title came a scholarship for $1000 to be used at any school.

Following the ceremony, we were treated to a nice reception with fruit and various sweets. Then Crafty stood in line to receive her certificate and a swag bag. After a few more pics, we headed for the elevators. Crafty's quest for the winners circle was over and as we climbed in the car, I realized that my headache was gone too.

Raising kids is hard work and picking up the pieces of a shattered dream is never fun, but there is nothing like the feeling of watching your child walk across the stage, realizing that the hard work, sweat, and sometimes tears, had all paid off.

So proud of you, Crafty!

Mar 14, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Sport - Theater 2008

You all know how much my family loves the PTA Reflections program, but you might not have known how long this has been going on. Drama Queen has been uploading all of the videos, even the old VHS, to YouTube, and I am so excited to share them with you.

Theater was one of our favorite categories. Unfortunately, it was never adopted nationally and eventually Utah gave up on it. This one was done in real time for the birth of Curly. We actually thought we would have plenty of time to finish it, but Curly really was born 2 days later and a whole month early. Good thing we didn't put it off too long.

I hope you enjoy this one since it also features me and my very pregnant belly. Just as a little inside note, except for the last scene, this was all filmed on the same day, but to keep it looking real, Sport and I kept changing our shirts.

Mar 12, 2019

Extended FHE

On Sunday we had so much fun with our extended FHE. My sweetie made sweet pork burritos and and we studied Come, Follow me around the table...not the kitchen table. We were way too many for that. We had 3 6-foot folding tables set up end to end in the living room. The Frog played the piano and Baby Doll led the singing.

This is Baby Doll NOT leading the music.

This is The From NOT leading the music.
And this is me, playing with Tadpole and NOT paying enough attention to the lesson.

 We had an excellent discussion about Jesus Christ, Our Savior, and I even got some time to play with each of the 3 babies we had there, Twizlet, Skittles, and Tadpole. We finished up by watching more of the Reflections videos Drama Queen has been loading to her YouTube account.

I sure love my family!

This is my Sweetie teaching the lesson.

Even when I get the stink eye.

Twizlet is the BEST at the stink eye.

Mar 11, 2019

Performance Showcase 2019

I really had planned to write this past weekend, but on Friday, my sweetie and I drove to Logan and back to pick up Crafty so she could dance in the Performance Showcase.

It is so fun to watch her dance and although she was enjoying the Leadership Conference, she didn't want to let her team down. We ate at Angie's and then we picked up Crafty, stopping for Aggie Ice Cream on the way home. We arrived with just enough time for her to change and drive to the school.

On Saturday, we had our 6-hour cookie booth where we totally sold out of all of our cookies. After nearly 6 hours in the chilly air, I was freezing and it took me hours to actually warm up. Sometime during that time frame, Teach asked me if we could watch Twizlet for the evening and a possible over-nighter.

We had lots of fun, but as it turned out, Twizlet doesn't like to sleep and with Daylight Savings Time, we were up way too late.

Mar 8, 2019

Chicken Soup for the Soul Books

I was visiting my friend, Jamie, the other day, delivering her cookies when I noticed that she had a "Chicken Soup" book on her table and it reminded me of a long-forgotten day when that book series was so important to me.

"I have a story in one of those books," I commented to Jamie and another friend she had over. "Yeah, right," Jamie is always the skeptic. I think people have taken advantage of her one too many times. "No, really," I insisted.

"Which one?" she demanded. I have to admit that I couldn't even tell her, but tonight when I was refreshing that conversation in my brain, I scanned my bookshelves until I found our rather dog-eared (free) copy and I sent her a pic of the cover and the first page of my story.

I'm still waiting for her response.

You all know this story already. It is the condensed version of Kiylee's Christmas. But for me it was a triumph; one of the few writings that have actually paid me cash.

Even more importantly, it gave me a chance to tease Jamie a bit, and just for that, it would have been worth the effort.

I'll let you know when I hear back from her.