May 30, 2019

Happy Graduation Day, Crafty... again!

I'm so proud of this girl of mine! If you remember, this is her second graduation this month; first from Salt Lake Community College several weeks ago, and now from Bingham High School. We even received word today that she had been awarded another scholarship, $600 for the Cornelia Benton Scholarship. This is directly related to Girl Scouts which, as you know, has played a huge role in all of our lives.

I've spent much time today thinking about the fact that my 8th child will be graduating from high school tomorrow and honestly, it makes me a bit melancholy. I've been watching all of her YouTube videos, and this dance is one of my favorites not only because it is dedicated to one of her sisters, but because of all of her work, it is the one where I have seen her display the most expression; the most pain.

Usually she is plastering on a smile or stoically following her team's lead by not smiling and holding a pose. Here she just dances with all the passion and love balled up inside of her over worry for someone else.

Crafty is very talented in multiple styles of dance including pointe work as you know, but of all of them, this one just tugs at my soul. If you have a minute, watch and see what you think.

Happy Graduation Day!!
Much love, Crafty. 💕

May 29, 2019

Vacationing at Lake Taco, uh, I mean Tahoe

As you all know, Teach is expecting again, a little boy this time, in October. So within a couple of days of finishing up teaching her 4th graders, she and Twiz headed off on Sunday for what we are all calling a "Babymoon." When Twizlet asked where they were going, her mama said "Lake Tahoe." And as any smart 2-year-old would do when presented with a ridiculous word she didn't understand, she found the next closest thing. "Lake Taco?"

Since her mama and daddy are out playing, we decided to have a little fun of our own. All of these things (and more!) happened today. After my sweetie, Twizlet, Skittles, Grandpa and I went downtown to visit the Urologist and have his stent removed, we needed to relax a little. I played a rousing game of catch with Curly while Baby Doll and Twizlet decided that reading on the trampoline was a great idea.

Curly's scout troop was swimming tonight for a preliminary swim check, so we borrowed the pool after them and had a great time with Bossy and her family. Twizlet loves the water! I think she jumped off the side nearly 50 times. It made me tired...

My sweetie is building his mom a support system for her outside deck chair. As he was assembling it, Twizlet wandered by, took one look, threw her toast to the floor and immediately began some pretty impressive gymnastics on the uneven bars.

Then my sweetie had one of the kids bring in a chair so he could test it for the proper fit and she climbed right up, begging for the crown so she could truly be the king.

Toward bedtime, she discovered fresh cherries while hanging out with my sweetie. She absolutely loved them! The first one was a slimy mess, but half an hour later her pit came out of her mouth completely clean.

Last but not least, My sweetie wanted a haircut and before I could even pull out the scissors, she had climbed up into the chair and insisted that she needed her hair cut too.

I wonder what new adventures tomorrow will bring? More news from Lake Taco?

May 28, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend - Part 2

You already know we did baseball and yardwork, but we also had plenty of time for other things as well.

On Sunday we had our Big Family Birthday Party for the May birthdays. We had 3 this time, Puppy Lover, Gamer, and Bean Dip. Unfortunately, Puppy Lover had a party scheduled with her family that overlapped ours, so she was unable to come, but we still celebrated for the other guys. My sweetie made his famous chili and it was such a beautiful day that we ate in the yard. We had to party early because at 5:00 we had Seminary Graduation for Crafty. She was even invited to say the closing prayer.

Then on Monday which was actually Memorial Day, we piled into vehicles and made the trek south to visit graves and family. Little Brother had his annual get-together at one of our ancestral cemeteries and then he shared a treat with all of us. Grandpa's grandfather and grandmother were the two people he spotlighted this year and it was fun to hear some of Grandpa's memories of them. He was just a boy when he lost his grandpa and then is his teens when his grandma passed away.

From there we headed on our traditional route, ultimately visiting 9 cemeteries before the day was over. Our last stop was for our own beloved Calder right here in our hometown. We met Bossy's family there and we spent some time wandering between the graves, looking for other names we knew. Emotions ran high as we saw stones for some of our neighbors and friends and even their children. A cemetery is such a bittersweet experience.

Skittles loved the doughnut we brought him from Terrel's.
Sport asked me what kind of headstone I wanted on my grave and I'm not sure he understood when I told him it didn't matter to me because the resting place was for the family still on earth to visit and share memories, but I don't intend to have my spirit spend much time beneath the cold hard clay.

Sport loves the babies.

We are heading into the final week of school and many more changes, but we can get into that later. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend full of love and family and memories.

A missing binky brought on tears and trauma along with a new and sassy one.
Happy Memorial Day, everyone!

May 26, 2019

Memorial Day Weekend

Baseball, baseball, baseball...
Curly is playing in a tournament this weekend and they played 4 games in less than 24 hours. I'm pretty sure he had his turn to pitch in all 4 games and all I can say is that he is so tired. They only won 1 of the 4 games although the very first game they played was a heartbreaker that they should have won.

Besides baseball, my sweetie cracked the whip on yardwork, so I took advantage of the mulch specials at Home Depot and brought home 60 bags that everyone helped spread around the flowerbeds and the park strip. It looks great!

The side yard still had its winter leaves and debris as well as the weeds that were forcing their way through the fabric. It was also completely redone and the stepping stones reset. Basically, other than putting in a garden (we have only planted tomatoes!) because of the rain, the yard is looking pretty good.

May 24, 2019

Senior Awards Assembly

It was Crafty's Senior Awards Assembly this morning, so my sweetie, Twizlet, and I headed for the high school bright and early. Getting a good seat wasn't the problem, it was the parking...

Anyway, Crafty's name was announced a bunch of times, but she didn't receive anything we already hadn't heard about:

FACS Sterling Scholar
CTE Influencers Award
Top 10% of her class
Hogan Financial Scholarship

Twizlet was so good pretty much the entire time (after she got to take her selfie, of course...) which was good because the assembly was long, an hour or so, and then we were taken to the library with the rest of the parents and students for a brief reception.


Overall, it was nice to see her recognized as an amazing student!
She also got her dream (out of high school) job today!

She is definitely on a roll...

May 22, 2019

Beach Party

Today was the 5th grade Beach Party at Curly's school. I had committed to it long before I knew about Grandpa's surgery, and I was glad that Dog Walker was not working today so he could help me out.

Once again, I took my famous Plinko Board my sweetie made for Cub Scouts and made it into something fun and exciting. I gave the kids each two chances to win a coveted bag of chips and they had so much fun playing that other than the Tiki Hut that just sold treats, I think my booth was the most popular.

Curly came over a few times, but he was enthralled with the relay games and then one that looked sort of like skeeball. The afternoon went by quickly and it wasn't long before Curly and I were loading the Plinko Board back in my car in the rain.

When I got home, Grandpa was fine, Skittles was fine, and all was right with the world.

May 21, 2019

Post Op

It's been a really hard day.

I told you that Grandpa had been suffering with kidney stones and today was his scheduled surgery. Except that we were scheduled for !:00 and it was 7:45 before his surgery actually started. At one point they were talking like we might have to leave and come back on Tuesday. Both of us were adamant that we would stay at the hospital until they arranged to get this surgery done.

So we waited.

         ...and waited...

                 ... and waited.

We had been admitted and placed in a room, so at least Grandpa was fairly comfortable. He even let me snap a picture for you.

We can't do the surgery until WHAT time??

He finally endured the relatively quick surgery while the doctor blasted away the stones. Post-op and recovery were pretty short and we finally got home about 9:30. He is resting comfortably now and I'm trying to pull my life back together. Thank good Drama Queen has Mondays off and she spent the day being me.

Actually, she probably did "me" better than I do me.

Thanks, Drama Queen!
And thank you everyone for your prayers and sweet wishes for a quick recovery for Grandpa. We very much appreciate it.

May 19, 2019

Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

A long time ago around Christmas, we attended the Christmas Carole Singalong and received vouchers for free tickets to see the Bees play baseball. Then on April 1, I managed to make reservations to turn those vouchers into actual tickets.

 We have had so much rain here lately (Thursdays game rained out!) that we didn't know for sure if the game would be cancelled.  Then on Friday, we received a call telling us that not only was the game on, but that it would become a double-header to make up for Thursday's game.

So we bundled up, grabbed a sandwich and headed for the ballpark. It wasn't long before we were joined by Bossy's family, and then eventually by Teach's family as well. We had so much fun! I took Baby Doll and Twizlet on the train and they even let me ride since Twizlet is under 2.

It was also Cancer Awareness night, so we bought pink t-shirts to support the Huntsman Institute. The Bees lost the first game, but they won the second one. I always love watching them play and even though it was a little cold, we didn't feel a single raindrop!

Put me in coach!!! I'm ready to play... today!

May 18, 2019

Scholarship for Crafty

We received notification a week or so ago that Crafty had received a scholarship from the Alumni Foundation. We have often had our kids apply for them, but these scholarships are extremely competitive and and we have rarely won.

We arrived at the high school just in time for the reception/ceremony to start. About a dozen kids were given scholarships, and each time Crafty would lean over my shoulder and whisper, "I'm scared, what am I going to say?"

As it turned out, she was the second to last one awarded, so she had plenty of time to think about it. When the representative from Hogan Financial handed her the mic after awarding her a $1500. scholarship, our girl answered with grace and confidence.

She sure has changed from that shy, quiet little girl with the huge hazel eyes. I almost feel ok about sending her out into the big scary world.

May 16, 2019

Over the Fence Home Run

Things just continue to rise for Curly and his baseball team. They won again last night with a 10-4 victory. Curly pitched 4 successful innings and pounded an over the fence home run! That is the first time ever for him during a game.

Afterward, the coach presented us with a second game ball, this time the one he smashed over the fence.

So proud of you, Curly!

May 14, 2019

Getting it All Done

It's the beginning of a new week and we have so much to do! As always...

Curly's baseball schedule just added 3 new games, one of them tonight! They are for all the rainout games we had in April. I'm glad he gets a chance to play them, but I would like a little more notice. I don't think I even have his uniform clean.

Scout's new 4x4 volleyball team had their 2nd game tonight. They didn't do very well this time. I think when they just throw these kids together with fewer on the court and no practice time, that some of them struggle.

Crafty applied for her first real job today. She wants to work at the bank with Bossy, Beauty, and The Beast. It would be a great place for her to spend her days while she is preparing for her mission. Only a couple more weeks until graduation! We have a big party scheduled for her on Sunday. I hope we have good weather, because I am planning an outdoor celebration. My sweetie spent most of last Saturday getting rid of weeds and winter debris. It shouldn't take it too long to put together for the shindig.

As usual, I watched a couple of the grandbabies today. When Twizlet first got here, all she wanted to do was go into the backyard. Then she reached up for the trampoline. I could hardly chase her off when it was time to go back inside! I sure wish I had the energy of that girl.

Maybe then it wouldn't be so difficult to get everything done.

I'm out of here!!!

May 13, 2019

Happy Mother's Day!

We had a beautiful Mother's Day here today. Crafty brought me breakfast in bed, then it was time for church. Curly and Scout did a terrific job singing with the Primary and we received chocolate covered pretzels for a treat.

After church the kids sent me upstairs for some quiet time while they cleaned up the house and got things ready for our barbecue. Most of the family got here about 5:30 and we enjoyed our backyard for the first time this season. My sweetie and the kids (mostly my sweetie) worked so hard on Saturday to have it ready.

I had everyone here but Princess and her family and Prima Donna. Both of them took me to lunch before the "big day." I love being a mom and a grandma. Family is definitely the most important thing and I don't know what I would do without mine. Thank you for an amazing day! Love you all.💕

May 11, 2019

Finally a Win

Today was a major milestone in Curly's baseball career. The comp team he has been playing with all season finally won their first game!! It really has been a big thing. Curly has been working hard, and he is definitely a major play for the team. In fact, he pitched 3 great innings tonight.

He also hit in the winning run with a crushing double into deep left field. While on the mound he snagged a pop fly and he made several great plays at 1st. Final score was 8 - 10.

In other news, Grandpa has been struggling with a kidney stone and we spent a good part of yesterday at the Emergency Room. He has been in a fair amount of pain, but remains in good spirits.

My pneumonia is getting better. I'm almost finished with my antibiotics and other than many coughing spells every day, I feel like I am finally on the mend.

My sweetie's toe is also finally healing up from the infection he had a couple of weeks ago. 

Burrito had a terrific scooter crash and Bossy took him to the Emergency Room today because of the giant knot on his head and this amazing hole created by the handlebar. Fortunately, nothing was broken and her appears to be on the mend already.

Crafty is doing her last dance competition this weekend. Scout and Sport both started a new volleyball league this week, and life continues to spiral toward the end of May. Crafty and Sport had their closing social for Cupcake Club on Thursday, so that is on hold for a while, and the FCCLA induction ceremony on Thursday required Crafty to pass the gavel along to the next president.

Princess and I are actually planning that Disneyland trip we promised the Dog Walker after his mission was over. The summer is already packed with camps and swimming lessons, school and scouts. Now if we can just get there...

May 9, 2019

Cinco de Mayo Celebration

I was pretty sick over the weekend, but after I got on the antibiotics and started to mend, I told my sweetie I didn't want to cancel our Cinco de Mayo celebration. Bossy's family had picked up an authentic pinata for us and it was already stuffed and good to go. The food was already cooking in the crockpot, and we had about 40 people scheduled to celebrate with us.

I really didn't want to cancel.

My sweetie and the kids did all the work. Gamer put up the pinata in the front yard while Dog Walker set up tables and my sweetie finished up the food. We had sweet pork burritos and nachos, tacos, and  Drama Queen's amazing tres leches cake.

We always swing at the pinata in age order. This year, Skittles was first.
We sat down to dinner about 6:00, but the ominous black clouds had us abandoning our plates and heading for the front yard where the kids broke the pinata just in time. They were still gathering the last of the candy when the raindrops began to fall.

Hit it hard, Little Warrior!

Ready, Twizlet?!

I love these random holidays that give me an excuse to get my family together.

Drama Queen pitched the pinata to Dog Walker for the last big swing!

May 7, 2019

Finding Pneumonia

It's been a very difficult weekend.

On Friday, after Crafty's graduation, Curly and I ran our broken double oven down to the neighborhood dumpster. Unfortunately, someone had already put some huge beanbags in there about the size of a twin bed. One of them had a hole in it and as the ancient foam rubber came spilling out, pieces disintegrated and became airborne.

Some of that toxic stuff found its way into my lungs. I started coughing right away and by Saturday night, the cough had progressed until I found myself in the emergency room.

The diagnosis was bacterial pneumonia with a side of bronchitis in the airways just for good measure. I am still coughing all the time, but at least I'm not getting progressively worse. I have a followup with my main doctor tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

I just wanted everyone to know that pneumonia doesn't always come in the form of a cold and illness.

May 5, 2019

It's Graduation Day!

You all know that Crafty is a Senior in high school, and you also know she has been taking college-level courses for a very long time. On Friday, all of her hard work finally paid off when she earned her Associate's Degree from Salt Lake Community College!

Earning her high school diploma and her 2-year degree at the same time makes her a New Century Scholar in Utah. The also means that the state will pay her money to complete her next two years of school.

She was able to get quite a few of her credits through concurrent enrollment and AP classes, but many of them were done during the summer when her friends and siblings were out having fun.

So proud of her!

Since my sweetie and I are not seafood people, it has been our tradition of late to take the kids to our favorite Japanese restaurant and let them try sushi for the first time. When we first did it with Dog Walker, I thought sure he was going to puke. Crafty held it together much better. She even suggested that she might like it.

That will make it much easier if she is assigned to a mission in Japan... that's right, Crafty started the process to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! Her availability date will be October 1. We just have to finish up all this high school stuff first.