Jun 30, 2019

Typical Crazy Saturday

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

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

Princess and The Frog with Tadpole on the Carousel

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

Baby Doll loved the camera today.

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

Twizlet found a new friend!

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

But I digress...

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

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

Jun 28, 2019

Adventuring - Clark Planetarium

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now what should we plan for tomorrow?

Jun 27, 2019

Adventuring - Hiking Donut Falls

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

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

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

She started out into the cold water by herself.

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

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

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

"Did you get any pictures?"

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

I wonder where our next adventures will take us??

Jun 25, 2019

Picking Up Our Trekkers

I told you we visited Manti yesterday and saw the last performance of the Mormon Miracle pageant, but I didn't tell you that we had another stop to make first. Bean Dip and Taco were off this week on a Pioneer Trek. In fact, my kids helped them decorate their buckets and find their pioneer clothing so they could get ready to leave.

Just beginning our journey...
A Pioneer Trek splits the kids into "families" and each one is assigned a Ma and Pa and a handcart. Our boys trekked for 18 miles over the course of 3 days. So on Saturday morning, we were asked to secretly meet in Levan which is where their trek was scheduled to end. They asked us to bring white handkerchiefs to wave and to practice a hymn to sing as our kids moved to the stopping site.

Waiting and waiting.
The weather was dicey; rain one minute, sleet the next and then plenty of sunshine. We were late getting there, but it didn't matter because the trekkers were later. We waited for about 20 minutes before the excitement rippled through the crowd of families and we knew they were coming.

Here they are!!
It was difficult to wave a hankie, hold Twizlet, sing a song, and take a picture all at the same time, but I did my best. The boys were tired and dirty, but in good spirits with big smiles on their faces. It didn't take long before their gear was stowed in the van and we were once again headed down the road toward our destination.

Skittles was so cold, we put him in Curly's extra pants!!

We stopped for lunch at the park in Mt. Pleasant, but it was cold and windy, so most of the kids opted to eat their sandwiches in the van. We stopped at my MIL's house and did a few small service projects for her before we made our way to Manti and the very last Mormon Miracle pageant.

Jun 24, 2019

Saying Goodbye to the Mormon Miracle Pageant

Saturday was exhausting, but so fun!

My sweetie is still under the weather, so we had to head off on an adventure without him. As it turned out, 18 members of my family all met up on Saturday night in Manti to enjoy the very last performance of the Mormon Miracle Pageant.

It was difficult to say, "Goodbye." The pageant was such a big part of my life as a child and youth and then again later taking my own children that I shed many tears as the angels covered the hill during the last scene for the final time.

My family took part in the very first pageant when it appeared on the fairgrounds rather than on temple hill. Mom kept the bonnets we used as pioneers in the bottom drawer of her dresser and many times she brought them out and let us try them on. Since it was 1967 and I was born in 1965, I don't remember much about the actual experience, but at 2 1/2-year-old, I'm sure I made a pretty cute little pioneer.

After that first year, we begged Mom many times to let us participate again and I remember helping make Mormon Miracle Pageant brownies (yeah, it really is a thing!) and other items for the food booths. Back then everything was homemade and the only booths allowed near the temple were the ones that helped support the wards and the pageant itself.                     

I was so excited to turn 12 so that I could be one of the angels! Then it was one of the Nephites and finally a Lamanite. I remember my older brother showering forever trying to get the makeup off after he was one of the Lamanite warriors. My oldest sister was a Lamanite dancer and I have a vague memory of some stubborn black dye that refused to wash out of her hair. I remember trips out to the lake with my friends since that was literally the best and most thorough way to get rid of the paint. We never dreamed that it might hurt the fish or the environment since the paint was all non-toxic, but washing off an all-over body paint took way more hot water than our house could support, especially since we almost always had more than one in need of washing. Once I swam all the way across the lake in the middle of the night with a cute guy just to prove I could do it.

When I was 17, I secured an audition for the role of Mary Henshaw, even though I was told up front that I would be one of the last choices since Mary was supposed to be played by someone who was at least 18. I didn't get the part, but I will never forget wearing the long flowing dress and trying to walk sideways down the hill without falling or messing up the flow. It's not as easy as it looks!

After I was married, my sweetie and I worked a shift in one of the stake-sponsored food booths where we actually sold hamburgers and those amazing brownies. My dad drove the cast bus and Mom and I used to sit on the curb and count the cars when it was all over each night to see if we could guess how many people might have attended. Those numbers always appeared in our local paper.

And finally, the many years of taking my own children to enjoy the magic of the larger than life story as it unfolded at the base of the beautiful Manti Temple; up until last night, when it slipped into the pages of history and the memories of those who lived it.

There will never be anything like it.

Jun 21, 2019

Taylorsville Safety Fair

Today Teach asked me if we wanted to go with her and Twizlet to the Safety Fair. We had never been to the one in Taylorsville, so since we had time, all 4 of my younger kids decided to go with us. I have been to lots of Safety Fairs, but never one as big or amazing as this one!

They gave out free meal vouchers to the first 1500 people and that included us. Every table was loaded with giveaways. We got t-shirts, frisbees, the typical pens and pencils and candy... socks, bandaids, chapstick, a book...and big orange bags to put everything in.

They also had score cards where you had someone at each booth stamp or give a signature and when the card was full, it could be turned in for a prize and to be entered into a drawing for even bigger prizes. Since only the adults counted, we all won! Teach and I both won tickets to Cowabunga Bay and Sport won a nice first aid kit.

The fair also had a climbing wall and a police dog with demonstrations, helicopters, and various other police and fire vehicles. They had huge vats full of sodas and water bottles and everything was free.

Curly and Baby Doll raced to the top of the rock climbing wall and I'll bet you can guess who got up there first!

I'm definitely putting this one on my calendar again for next year. Thanks for the invitation, Teach!

Jun 20, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Princess - Film Video 2009

I love this video Princess made in 2009. It is at the height of the Prima Donna - Princess Duo. These two girls were only a year apart in school and they were inseparable. During Reflections season in 2009, Princess would have been 13 and Prima Donna would have been 12.

These silly ideas were generally Princess's, and then Prima Donna would go along with just about anything to make her sister happy. These girls are far apart now... Princess is married with 2 little boys, a college degree, and a crafting blog of her own. Prima Donna turns 21 next week and she is living her dreams of being involved in the theatre world not on stage so much as doing tech work for hire. She is also running several collectives, the most notable being a clown collective.

Sometimes I think that part of her personality that is drawn to clowns is because of opportunities like a starring role in Princess's Film Video for Reflections.

Happy Early Birthday, Prima Donna!

Jun 18, 2019

Last Dance Recital for Crafty and Curly

Last Saturday was an incredibly busy day. We started out with Day Camp for Scout and Baby Doll and we ended up with most of the family coming over for dinner after the dance recital. It was the last dance recital for Curly and Crafty.

The Lower School Recital started at 3:00 and we only had 2 dances this year, Baby Doll's Jazz and Ballet numbers. Next year she will be entirely in the Upper School and all by herself. That is so weird to me. We have had kids dancing for so many years that it is hard to believe that next year she will be the only one.

Her Jazz number started with a small solo for her and she did a fabulous job as usual.

Baby Doll during her Jazz solo, 2nd from right

Her Ballet class was the oldest class in her recital, so they were the final number to close the performance.

Baby Doll's Ballet, far right

Baby Doll had only one number in the Upper School and that was her cute Tap class.

Baby Doll's Tap, Red Jacket, 3rd from left
Curly had two dances, Ballet and Jazz. Gamer is a custodian at Herriman High School, so he was able to film some of them from the balcony (although he missed the last amazing dance for Crafty because I forgot to tell him it was coming up.)

He also danced with mostly the same girls in his Jazz class.

Curly's Jazz Number
Crafty was amazing! She danced with her performing team in two different numbers wearing the green costumes.

Crafty - Performing Team - the highest hand
 She as also in Company Hip Hop.

Crafty - Company Hip Hop, arms out-stretched

Jazz Company 2 (for some reason, I didn't get any pics of this one), and her last great solo. I will have to try to add pics from the actual dance for this one later. My video is not great and I'm hoping Drama Queen might have a few minutes to make it look better before I post it.

Crafty, Ballet Company 2 - 4th from the right

Then entire recital had me weepy and emotional, but I was so proud of my 3 dancers and so many people came up to me afterward to tell me what a fantastic job all them had done. I was never a dancer, but I sure love watching it when my own children are on the stage.

Found one on Facebook - Jazz Company 2, Crafty is 3rd from the right.

Love you guys! Great job!

Jun 16, 2019

Concerts at the Tabernacle

On Friday, we had the opportunity to go down to Temple Square twice! In the morning, Sport drove the bunch of us downtown. We parked at City Creek, wandered around for a few minutes, and then made our way to the Tabernacle for the 12:00 Organ Concert. Did I tell you Sport is take Music 1010 at SLCC? That means lots of concerts this summer!

After the concert, we stopped by the Joseph Smith Memorial Building to say hello to Grandpa before we headed back home. It was an awesome concert and nothing like the one we saw that evening again in the Tabernacle. It was the Bell Choir on Temple Square and they did a great job! There concert was much longer than the Organ Recital, but after the first page, the variety was great and we had so much fun!

There were 7 of us in our little party; me and my sweetie, Teach and Twiz, Princess and The Frog, and Grandpa. The 8th person was supposed to be Sport, but he ended up working and couldn't make it with us.

After the concert was over, we all walked over to the Last Course dessert bar. I got the bread pudding. It was fun to share so we could try new things. It sure is fun hanging out with my older kids and their spouses almost like friends and equals. I just have to remember not to try to tell them what to do...

Jun 15, 2019

Win a Vacation in Myrtle Beach!

My sweetie and I have these skymiles built up, but we never seem to have an occasion to use them. That's why when I saw this opportunity, I decided to jump on it. If I had my airfare covered by my credits and then I won a couple of nights in a condo on Myrtle Beach, I might just be able to afford to have a real vacation this year.

See what you think of this promo video and then I will post the details so you can decide for yourself.

I have to put in some of this stuff or they won't enter me in the contest, but it is a really cool promotion. I hope I win, and I hope you win too!

Win an Oceanfront Condo and Change Your Life! Vacation Myrtle Beach, one of the largest providers of family vacation accommodations in Myrtle Beach, SC, is pleased to announce the launch of The Great Myrtle Beach Condo Giveaway contest, which features the grand prize of a furnished oceanfront condo at The Caravelle Resort located in Myrtle Beach, SC, valued at nearly $100,000 (or $50,000 CASH, winner's choice)!!! Other lucky winners will receive a 7-night stay or a 3-night stay at one of Vacation Myrtle Beach's oceanfront properties.

For Official Rules and for more information about Vacation Myrtle Beach properties and deals, please click here.

The only compensation I have received for posting this one is a chance to win it all myself. Good luck and hey, if you win, let me know, OK?

Jun 14, 2019

Visiting Hogle Zoo

Sport has been taking some college classes and one of them is Conservation Biology and one of his extra credit field trips is the Hogle Zoo, so we thought today would be a great day to visit. Of course I had to invite as many grandbabies as possible. We drove down in 4 separate cars counting the ones Teach and Bossy drove from their places of work.

There were 16 of us altogether. After visiting the giraffes and riding on the train, we sat on the porch of the administration building and ate our lunch. Then our huge party moved out. Of course we got separated! Teach and I and several of the kids stopped at the Giraffe Feeding gazebo. It cost $5 for some lettuce to hold up while their long tongues snatched it out of the hand. That might not sound super exciting unless you are a two or nearly two-year-old. Little Warrior and Twizlet had so much fun, and other than the carousel, it might have been my favorite part of the trip.

We visited several animals, the gorilla, monkeys, and meerkats, on our way to the carousel. The lines were short and it had turned into a bright sunny day in spite of the raindrops we saw on our drive in. The kids all loved the carousel and they immediately went around and got in line again. I think the little ones could have kept doing that all afternoon, but there was more to see.

We visited big cats, bears, and sea lions, and after a quick stop by the splashpad and another at the elephants, it was time to go home. But don't worry... we'll be back again soon. I have that magic pass!

Say "Cheese!"

Jun 12, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Crafty - Dance 2006

I know I have shared quite a few of Crafty's Reflections pieces, but that is because she is in that transitioning moment between childhood and adulthood. So Saturday will be her final dance recital and I couldn't resist sharing this one, her very first Reflections entry in Dance.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

Jun 11, 2019

Product Review: Crated With Love

You have probably figured out by now that we are very busy at my house. When my sweetie and I do finally get our schedules to mesh so we can plan a date, we usually end up grabbing dinner and then grocery shopping or on the more exciting days, we head for JC Penney's or Kohl's.

That's the main reason I was so excited to try a fun product from a company called Crated With Love. It's basically a date in a box. Well, not everything is there. It's sort of a BYOB... and your own food... But other than that, it gives you a chance to reconnect with your own sweetie.

The sample we were given for writing this review was called "I Love You a Sloth!" and it is based on a jungle safari. Some of the activities were a bit uncomfortable for me and at first I was reluctant to share just because a box told me that I had to share if I wanted to advance to the next level, but after a question or two, it became evident that a long talk for the two of us was overdue.

All of our current conversations seem to be about kids or jobs or chores or bills. This date doesn't include any of that. My favorite part was playing the Journey through the Jungle game. The entire date is themed and this one was called "Our Sweetheart Safari." The pieces are well-made and this box could easily be passed along to another couple who needed a date if you choose not to write directly on the stuff inside. I only say that because I am fully planning to pass this one along to Teach or Princess or maybe even Bossy so they can try it out with their spouses.

You can get one of these boxes for free by checking out their website and then if you like it, it is a monthly subscription so you get a new chance to reconnect every month. I think you should give it a try. You might just find a whole new jungle world open up for you too.