Apr 29, 2019

April Birthdays

Tonight we celebrated our one and only April birthday... Twiz. Our kitchen remodel is nearly finished, and we finally had ovens so my sweetie cooked the prime rib we had planned for Easter Sunday.

The Beast told me he was too tall to fit in the frame... I guess he was right.

The food was delicious, the birthday boy gracious, and we had a great time watching the video Drama Queen prepared full of birthday wishes for Twiz.

This was my favorite part. Just one of the many perks of being the Grandma...

Apr 28, 2019

Volleyball Club GSL

I couldn't possibly write a blog post last night because I had to get up so ridiculously early to get to Scout's Volleyball Tournament on time! This was the big and final one of the season, held in Kaysville, Utah. It's about a 45-minute drive for us and she had to be there at 8:30. I know, not THAT bad, but it is a Saturday...

They had to finish up the pool play they started on Friday night before they could begin their single elimination tournament. Pool play meant two games to 25 with each of the 3 other teams. I was worried that Scout would be tired and lackluster. They won their first game and then lost the second one. The coach had her sit a few times mostly for that reason.

I pulled her aside and reminded her that she was the backbone and leader of the team and she had better pull it together or we would be headed home much earlier than she wanted to go. She moped a bit longer and then plastered a smile on her face and got to work.

It's amazing to me how the attitude of just one athlete can change the course of an entire tournament. That and several pounding well-placed serves in a row! Honestly, she was amazing, and I'm not saying that just because I'm her mom. I'm pretty sure nearly every other parent with a child on her team came up to her after the next two games were won and told her the same thing.

They emerged from pool play in first place with only the single loss. I've never seen them play so well! The tournament started out with two more solid wins and then they headed for the final match. We had watch the Rush team play another team and I was not confident that we had a chance with them. Their girls were much taller and they actually knew how to block.

Surprisingly, our girls won the first game and then lost the second one. That put them in a 3rd game to 15 to decide the championship. Right before the match started, I told Scout if she would bring home the medal, I would give her $10. Since she is a little broke right now, she flippantly responded, "We got this!" and headed off to join her friends.

That final game was a see-saw until they got to 10. Then GSL pulled out and never looked back. At 13, Scout came up to serve and dropped an ace right down the line. Our girls were so excited and the other team so devastated that Game Point was not even returned although Club Rush did managed to give it a feeble attempt.

At the beginning of the season, I would never have guessed these girls would be the ones to bring home the medals. Scout, I hope you always remember this very important lesson; one voice really can make a difference. So proud of you! Here's your $10...

Apr 26, 2019

Moment of Discovery

I'm sure you know that I often watch the grandkids during the day while their parents work or take care of appointments and things like that. The two I watch the most often are Twizlet and Skittles. Now that he has become mobile, they are quickly becoming the best of friends and partners in crime.

Twizlet loves to boss Skittles around and he loves to follow her everywhere. One of the things I have tried to convince her to do is to keep the glass door to the office closed so that he won't fall off the 2 steps that lead down into the room. It is a constant battle!

Twizlet is willing to do anything as long as she is convinced that it is her idea and not mine. This time Skittles was following her when she quickly slipped around the office door and then shut it behind her. He, of course, crawled right up to the door looking for her.

Then comes my favorite part...when he actually discovered her just inside the door. They both giggled and touched hands through the glass for nearly 5 minutes. That was plenty of time for me to pull out my camera and snap these cute pics.

This moment of discovery is only one of the reasons I babysit.

Happy Friday!

Apr 24, 2019

An Easter Wedding

Last Saturday, one of our oldest and dearest friends got married. In Utah it is a bit unusual, but she opted to get married at Fat Cats bowling alley, the place she and her sweetie first met.

They had a small platform built for the stage that was laid across several lanes, and this is where the ceremony was held.

After they were sufficiently married and pictures were taken, pizza and ice cream were served and best of all, the members of the wedding party were allowed to bowl, play mini golf, and arcade games for the next hour and a half. The venue was closed to anyone not with the wedding party, so that made it extra fun.

Only my oldest children were invited, so Bossy and Gamer, Beauty and the Beast, Drama Queen, Teach and Twiz, and Dog Walker and Puppy Lover were there with us. We had a great time chasing the babies and rolling the ball. I was actually having a very good bowling day.

On our third game, time was running short and we started getting notices on our screen that the wedding reception was nearly at an end. Bossy still had 3 frames left and she wanted to finish what she had started. Unfortunately, that turned out to be a bad idea. On the second frame, the ball rolled sideways off her hand, causing her finger to break, although we didn't find that out until hours later.

Apr 22, 2019

Happy Easter!

Hunting candy and eggs at Smith's.

City Egg Hunt

Family Egg Hunt

Easter at home. 

Happy Easter, Everyone!!

Apr 20, 2019

Good Friday

It has been a long and eventful day today, but nothing compared to what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ endured.

He is Risen! Happy Easter.

Apr 18, 2019

Watching the Boys

Last week, before I knew about the construction project, Princess called me and asked me if I could watch her two boys for a couple of hours. Are you kidding me? Of course I'm not going to miss out on that!! Any my sweetie was perfectly fine with setting his brushes aside for a few hours so the fumes didn't bother them.

Pollywog is just over two weeks old now and oh so cute! Tadpole is almost 15 months old and he is so much fun to play with. We didn't do anything significant, just played on the floor, ate cereal, and sang songs. The kids monopolized the baby, so it was just me and Tadpole for most of the time.

Princess gave him a buzz cut and he looks even more like his daddy than ever. She says it was an accident, that she was cutting his hair and was nearly finished when she noticed a few tiny hairs at the top. Unfortunately, her sleep-deprived mommy brain forgot that she had already put away the guard for the shaver and before she realized it, she had a huge swath of hair that was mostly gone. It didn't take her long to realize that she couldn't fix it, so she proceeded to shave off all the rest. She was a good sport and laughed along with us. Honestly, he is adorable either way. It's his personality that makes him so fun, not his hair...

Crafty and Tadpole
 After Princess was finished with her super secret meeting at Cricut, we visited for a while and then my sweetie and I took her and the boys to lunch at Chick-fil-A. Having a grownup daughter living her dream makes this mama's heart so happy. I sure hope we get to babysit again soon. I just wish then lived closer.

Me and Pollywog

Apr 16, 2019

Spring Break

It is Spring Break for us, but my sweetie believes in anything but a break. He figured this would be a great week to refinish the kitchen cabinets, so this is my livingroom. Every single cabinet and drawer has been emptied until the project is finished.

We have a big family party on Saturday...

Apr 14, 2019

Volleyball Tournament in Logan

On Friday at about 4:00, my sweetie, Curly, Scout, Baby Doll, and I climbed into my car with our overnight bags and headed for Logan. Scout had a volleyball tournament and we were planning to stay the night in a hotel.

The kids loved driving around the Logan temple.
They thought the University was awesome!
 My kids love hotels, maybe a little too much, so they were excited. Unfortunately, Scout had been out sick a couple of days early in the week, and she had an essay that was due at midnight. That put a slight damper on our fun, but my sweetie took Curly and Baby Doll out to see the sights while Scout and I stayed in the room and she worked on her essay. About an hour later and she was finished.
Watching TV so intently that none of them saw me snap this pic!
 The kids wanted to try out the hot tub even though it was outside and Logan is COLD. I stayed inside to check Scout's paper while my sweetie took the kids to play. The hot tub turned out to be a rather cold tub and it wasn't long before they were all back in the room. My sweetie was sop cold he had to take a shower! Then we went out to eat and drive around a bit before settling back for bed.

We braided Baby Doll's hair during the break. There were lots of breaks.

The kids were supposed to go to sleep early, but as you can see, the Disney channel was way too interesting and it was nearly 1:00 AM before I finally turned off the lights and the TV myself and they all went to sleep. Scout had to be at her tournament sight by 8:45 AM, so she and my sweetie ate breakfast and headed out. When he returned, we loaded the car and checked out of the motel.

It was only about a 10-minute drive to the tournament site and inside was so crowded! We finally found some bleacher seats and settled in for the long haul. And it was. There were 8 teams in the tournament and Scout's team finished out in 3rd place! She was so tired and sore. That is a lot of volleyball!  She played a total of 4 matches of 2 games each.

We finally wore them out.
 I'm so proud of all of her hard work! Great job, Scout!

Apr 12, 2019

Behind Bars...

I watch my cute little grandson, Skittles, pretty much every day for a couple of hours. He's a sweet little guy and he and Twizlet play well together as long as he lets her be in charge. Today was Twiz's day off, so he kept Twizlet home and I only had Skittles to entertain.

My family room is two steps down from my kitchen with a railing that covers most of the space. On the floor at the base of the railing is where I keep the Baby Corner. I have a little bookcase full of age-appropriate books (all of my favorites, of course), a small toybox, an ottomon full of diapers, wipes and stuff like that, and a large space to play.

Today I put Skittles on the floor with the toys and then I sat down at the kitchen table. He just looked so cute playing there all by himself, so I snapped his picture.

Oh, did I mention that he just started crawling a couple of weeks ago? It wasn't long before he had made his way a bit closer to where I was. That's when I got this brilliant idea to share his pic with the family by text.

Doing hard time...
But the really cute pic, I didn't share. And yes, I picked him up after he crawled over and peered at me through the bars. I didn't want him to get any ideas...

Apr 11, 2019

Making the Dress

Tonight Crafty and Scout had a Young Women activity about temples. As part of that activity, they invited people to send in their wedding dresses or memorabilia from their weddings. Bossy sent over her dress and some other things from her original wedding and then for her sealing.

I sent my cake topper and bouquet. They were the only things quickly accessible. I rented my wedding dress and veil. I remember driving to Provo to pick one out. It cost us $75 for the day of pictures and the day of the wedding. There have been a few times I wish I would have been able to show it to my daughters, but most of the time I'm just glad I don't have to keep moving it around.                                                                                         

Bossy's is the one on the right with the blue lace.

I made Bossy's wedding dress, but none of the other girls wanted to do it that way. Princess bought hers on the internet for $100 and then we had to make a shrug to go over it. Teach bought hers from a friend and if I remember right, she paid about $300 for it.

Wedding dresses are a funny thing. We spend all that time dreaming about them and planning for the big day, but the dress will only be worn once, maybe twice. It's hard to justify that sort of expense when you are young and have essentially nothing. That said, I wish I would have tried a little harder to convince my girls to let me make their dresses. I haven't made a formal dress since Princess was a sophomore in 2012.

Apr 10, 2019

Jersey for Calder Bear

If you have been with us for a while, you probably know that Bossy has had trouble carrying a child and our sweet Skittles has truly been a miracle. But right before she became pregnant with him, Bossy lost another tiny boy to stillbirth. She was supposed to be 26 weeks although she knew he was gone a couple of weeks before that.

Somewhere amidst the chaos of the burial and the grieving, an amazing agency sent her Calder Bear. He is weighted like a real baby and has become the substitute for Calder at our family activities. Bossy has enjoyed dressing him like the other boys, particularly for holidays and special occasions. Every once in a while, I accept the challenge of sizing something down for him.

I took a picture of Curly holding him this time to hopefully give a little perspective. Curly wears an Adult Medium, and the baseball jersey I had to work with here was an Adult Small. In the spirit of fun and challenge, I make myself arbitrary rules for sizing things down, especially when they have a pattern that can't be moved. For instance, I only make a cut if it is for the bottom length. As you can see, this jersey was about 8 inches below the feet of the bear, so it had to go. If I had been remaking one that was more formal, I might have tried to tuck it to the inside.

This one was a little tricky and I actually unpicked some seams before I realized that the number on the back of the jersey was not supposed to be in the middle, but slightly off to the side. Except for the hem, I did this one entirely by hand. Maybe it is time to make one for Skittles.

Apr 8, 2019

Last Week of Off-Track

It's been a fun last week of off-track. We spent Thursday at the zoo, and on Friday after Baby Doll and Curly got off from work at the preschool, we drove to Sodalicious and got drinks and cookies with their gift cards. We also had a great Girl Scout meeting on Pets. We had 3 dogs, 1 cat, and a fish to show the girls.

Now that's what I call a sore throat!

On Saturday, Sport had his first morning driving on the Range at the high school and later in the day his basketball team beat their opponent 60 - 25. 

 Sport is #30.

Then today after General Conference we ran down to Santaquin to see Princess and The Frog and their cute little boys, Tadpole and Polliwog.

I will be so glad when school is finally out!

Apr 6, 2019

A Nice Surprise

🎵 I looked out the window, and what did I see?

Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!

Spring had brought me such a nice surprise,

Blossoms popping right before my eyes.

I could take an armful and make a treat,

A popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.

It wasn’t really so, but it seemed to be

Popcorn popping on the apricot tree.🎵


Happy General Conference Weekend!

Apr 5, 2019

Guest Post: A Most Proper Pair of Gloves by Drama Queen

When my beautiful mother said that she had gotten me a new pair of riding gloves, I was a little confused.  The last time I rode a horse was when I was sixteen!  I'm not exactly a noble lady from the 1800s whose wardrobe simply must include such an accessory.

Apparently my ears might be from the 1800s, though, because she wasn't saying riding gloves, but writing gloves.  Now those sound like a necessary accessory! The gloves she got were from Literary Book Gifts and they are totally lovely!  They are a beautiful plum color and because they are cashmere, they are so, so soft.  They keep my hands nice and warm, and most importantly, make me feel super fancy and artistic.  I have had to start hiding them in my purse as my best friend would like to steal them away for herself! Also, least you think I may be using these gloves only as YouTube gloves, I wanted to share a piece of actual Drama Queen writing with you.  

This is an excerpt from my side project "Prejudice and Pride" which is a gender-reversed retelling of the Jane Austen classic.  I hope you enjoy it!  


The billiards room was an excellent room in many ways: it did have deep couches suited for lounging, a well-stocked liquor cabinet, and several shelves of novels that had not been considered distinguished enough to be housed in the library. It lacked a card table, however, and so a rather put-out Mr. Hust immediately claimed the furthest couch for napping.  Miss Darcy selected a novel and Carl Bingley was quick to claim a second volume by the same author, but it was quite clear that he was much more interested in trying, once again, to draw his houseguest into conversation. Elias guiltily enjoyed watching the one-sided dance between them. It reminded him of how Lysander’s calico would ignore the tomcat from the barn, no matter how he yowled.  Eventually, however, Elias had to acknowledge to himself that as entertaining as the interplay might be, there was a vast danger in likening a lady and fellow gentlemen to a pair of farm animals and it was not the Christian thing to do. He forced his gaze to turn back to his law book. A sudden snapping shut of Mr. Bingley’s rashly chosen novel cut the companionable quiet of the room, even breaking through the whispered conversation of Miss Charlotte and Jonas.  “It is a dueced shame to sit in a billiards room and not play billiards,” Carl Bingley declared. Rising, he waved peremptorily at Elias. “Bennet. Join me.”
“I will.  It sounds refreshing,” Elias agreed easily, finding it no hardship to set aside his chosen task.  He rose, and as he did, so did the eyes of Miss Darcy. Their gaze of a startlingly amber-toned hazel was precisely the attention Carl Bingley had been hoping to draw, and so he did not hesitate then to extend the unusual invitation of having the young lady join them at the sport.  
“Miss Darcy, we need not stand on ceremony here among friends.  I see your own attention to Proust has wavered. Come, join in our game.”  
Miss Darcy’s chin rose slightly higher.  “I shall not. There are only two boons you could hope to gain from such an invitation, Bingley, and I am determined to provide you with neither.”
“Miss Darcy suspects you to have an ulterior motive in your invitations,” Elias observed even as he selected a cue from the wall.  “Have I made my own error in accepting you, Bingley? Pray, explain what terrible contract I have undertaken by agreeing to knock about the balls?”  
“I swear total innocence,” Bingley protested as he lined up the two ivory cue balls for the first strike.  “Miss Darcy, you are honor bound to explain yourself or I shall count it as calumny.” 

Miss Darcy watched the progress of the first shot, which Bingley won, and then explained.  “Inviting a lady to join in a sport meant for only two players at once can have but two logical purposes.  Either the first is that you mean to prove to yourself your own perceived superiority by explaining the rules to me as though I were a child. In that case, I have no desire to play the feather-brain to enhance your ego.”
“A wicked accusation,” Elias laughed as he watched Bingley scowl at the table as his cue ball just missed striking the red object ball into the pocket.  “Surely we can’t think so poorly of Bingley’s intentions. What would be the second reason, Miss Darcy?”
“The other possibility is that Mr. Bingley is quite aware that the demands of billiards show off the fitness of the male form in distinct ways that riding and dancing do not.  If your object is to show me the breadth of your shoulders or the strength of your calf, I promise you that should I wish to be so immodest, I could observe such posturing of you both from my current seat sufficiently.”  
Her declaration startled a bright laugh from Elias, Bingley, however, seemed embarrassed, or perhaps angry.  His next strike sent the cue ball careening violently around the table, and though he gained two points for striking Elias’s cue ball, his own then hit the side rail and flew over the edge: losing the points and turning play over to Elias.  Bingley turned to face Miss Darcy, leaving Elias to chase down the errant ball. “There are times, Miss Darcy, when I think that maybe you do not respect the niceties of society as you should. You hold everyone else to an impossible standard of etiquette, but yourself you allow to speak harshly; it is unbecoming of a young lady.”
Elias raised an eyebrow, but could not find a place to object.  In the past week, he had come to realize that Miss Darcy was as strict to decorum within her home as she had been at any of the Meryton assemblies.  She was consistent, yes, yet her words of condescension and stricture often crossed the lines towards hypocrisy. 

“I take care to speak with honesty, Mr. Bingley,” Winnifred Darcy said icily, her hazel eyes sparking with an inward fire.  “Always honesty, even if it is uncomfortable for the listener’s ear. I will not parse my words for you nor any man. I do not pretend to be more than I am, nor will I suffer others to be so.  If you are attempting to trick or manipulate me, I must be forearmed. I know that a woman’s good reputation, once lost is lost forever. I will not endanger my name for the sake of a man’s self-pride.”  
“A woman’s reputation is not wholly centered on her virtue,” Bingley drawled.  “Perhaps you should concern yourself a good deal more with other ways in which you are perceived, Miss Darcy.  Why not ask Elias what the reputation of Miss Winnifred Darcy is here in Longebourne? You might find yourself persuaded to be more obliging in manners.”  
Elias was speared by the frigid glare of Miss Darcy’s eyes.  There was no escaping the uncomfortable situation and after Miss Darcy demanded frostily that he speak without hesitation, he set down his cue and spoke the truth as gently as a lady deserved.  “Many in our neighborhood find you cold and unwelcoming. They feel that you believe yourself above every member of our society and question the validity of your pride, believing it to be unfounded vanity.”  
Winnifred Darcy’s gaze did not waver but for a moment he saw the ice within her crack.  “Does the opinion of the neighborhood extend to how I may alter such a frigid perception?”

“Perhaps if you spoke with others more.  Allowed a gentleman or two to claim a dance at the next assembly.  It is a forgiving group. They will gladly welcome you in if you gave them the opportunity to do so.”  
“I see.”  Miss Darcy got to her feet and curtseyed to them both, Carl Bingley’s bow in response was the sharpest nod of the head Elias had ever witnessed.    “I believe I shall retire for the night. Louisa, you must stay with Charlotte that she can enjoy her chosen company for somewhat longer.” Miss Darcy then departed the room, pausing only to press a kiss to the top of Charlotte’s hair in a quiet farewell.  Jonas from the corner frowned in concern, sharing a look with Elias. Elias could not quite meet his brother’s gaze in return, already the guilt of having failed to rise to a lady’s defense was eating at him. Elias Bennet did not care for Winnifred Darcy, but that did not mean he relished seeing the hurt that had shown so briefly in a pair of hazel eyes.  

***We received this free pair of gloves in exchange for our honest and open review.***