Jul 31, 2019

Adventuring - Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point

Crafty got her mission call today!!

Except that she isn't going to open in until Friday, when she can have a little get together with family and friends. Any guesses on where she has been called to go?

We had a field trip today for Sport's Conservation Biology class. Oh, did I mention that not only are we planning for a family vacation starting on Saturday, but that it is the last week of the semester for Sport, and the first week of Football for Curly, and Girls Camp for Crafty and Scout? It's been a little hectic to say the least.

Dusting for bones.
One of our favorite new friends.

So we had originally planned to make a trip up to the Red Butte Gardens until we realized that we couldn't go there and get Sport any extra credit. We didn't get away until after lunch, but when we arrived, the museum was pretty quiet and we were able to wander for as long as we wanted. It was only the 4 of us this time, me, Sport, Baby Doll, and Twizlet. Curly stayed home to sleep since he got up before 7:00 AM to go on a 10-mile bike ride with his scout troop and he needed to be at his best for football practice since we are still in the tryouts week.

The girls loved the little zipline! We were too big.

Playing in the water and the sand. Thanks for the lift, Sport!
I love the Ancient Life Museum and pretty much everything else at Thanksgiving Point, but it is so expensive! Teach told me about some passes she had gotten called Salt Lake Connect and since I found them even cheaper on Groupon, I bought 3 of them. Baby Doll didn't need one since she is under 3. Those passes are pretty neat. They have a dozen or so venues on them and I would like to go to almost all of them and we have a whole year to do it.

But I digress...

Looking for more bones, this time at the quarry.
Back at the Museum we learned all about plant and animal life and how it was created by God, but in a scientific way (I added the part about God, the museum doesn't say anything about that). My favorite parts are the interactive things for the kids. They kept Twizlet entertained while Sport was collecting the information for his report.

Baby Shark doo doo doo doo...
Really, I think the best way for me to tell you about the museum is just to show you. Oh wait, I did that already!

And that, my friends, is that.

Jul 30, 2019

Adventuring - Bluffdale Splash Pad

Last week, Bossy had a day off and she was just adamant that we had to do some sort of adventuring. The problem was that she had a doctor's appointment right in the middle of the day. That made it difficult to plan anything major, so we decided we wanted to spend some time at the relatively new splash pad in Bluffdale formally called Wardle Fields Regional Park at 14148 So 2700 We.

We have been to the place only one other time and the kids loved it! The first year it was open, it was so busy that it wasn't fun, but now things have settled down and the crowds are totally manageable. So we put the kids in their swimming things and we were off.

It was a beautiful, overcast day, just perfect for wading in the water. When Baby Doll got a little tired of watching Twizlet, the two of us headed for the zipline.

But Baby Doll was restless and wanted to try everything, so she did the climbing tower...

...and the swing. Scout got there just in time to give her a big push or two. But then we were tired so we headed back to our group and the major water attractions.

Not long after that we had to leave Bossy and her boys there so we could get home for something that was already on the calendar. Hopefully, we can find one more nice day to spend there before school starts. Have fun, Skittles!!

Jul 28, 2019

Fairview Museum

Yesterday was one of those days that I dream of...a day with absolutely nothing planned. Normally our youngest kids would have already started school except that our year-round schedule has now suddenly gone traditional and school doesn't start for another month.

But I digress...

My sweetie wanted to fill the day with adventures including a trip to see his mom, so we loaded up our two youngest and our little granddaughter (because her parents had tickets to a play and I had promised to babysits, so I guess technically I didn't have a completely free day). We arrived at Grandma's house in the early afternoon and settled in to visit while my sweetie programmed her sprinklers for her trees and lawn.

At about 3:00 we decided we wanted to go to the Fairview Museum. We had been there before, but my youngest kids didn't remember it. The museum is free with a suggested $5 donation/family, which fit right within our budget.

We went into the building with the mammoth skeleton first because that is what my sweetie had told the kids about. When they were suitably impressed, we headed over to see the other exhibits in the original part of the museum. Personally, I think it is way more interesting...

I love the room with the tiny carriages and the baby things from a century ago. My sweetie identified a barber chair that he believed he might have actually sat in to get a haircut since it was donated by the guy who used to cut his hair when he was a child.

We could have wandered around much longer, but it closed at 5:00 on Saturdays. If you happen to ever get one of those free days and you are looking for an adventure, make the trip to Fairview. It's sort of like the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers Museum on a local scale and even more interesting if you happen to be from that area. But plan a couple of hours so you can look at everything and don't take Highway 89. I hear they had a mudslide... talk about an adventure...!

Jul 27, 2019

Pioneer Day Celebration 2019

You got to hear about what the Dog Walker did with his in-laws, now let me tell you a little about our day. One of my favorite pioneer activities is making quilts, so we made sure to plan one into our day. It actually turned into 3, one for Skittles, one for Teach's new baby, and one for someone else that may or may not be a birthday gift!


While we were quilting, my sweetie was busy putting together Dutch Oven chicken stew, but he wasn't too busy to collect prizes and plan a shooting tournament with our 2 BB guns. That was pretty exciting and I got to be in 1st place (for a minute!). Ultimately, Crafty took 1st place, Sport took 2nd, and Drama Queen came in 3rd.

We even shared a few pioneer stories, played games, and had a chalk contest.

After our delicious dinner, my sweetie made strawberry ice cream for us! It was amazing! We settled in for the end of the evening with a fireworks show courtesy of Twiz and Teach who rushed back from their vacation in Phoenix just so they could spend part of the day with us.

The pioneers never had it this good. Happy Pioneer Day!!

Jul 25, 2019

Guest Blog: Pioneer Day Fireworks by the Dog Walker

Happy Pioneer Day! It has been a great day for me and my wife. When I asked my parents if they had any plans for Pioneer Day, they told me they weren't quite sure, so I ended up celebrating Pioneer Day with Puppy Lover's family up in North Salt Lake. Her parents, her sisters, nieces, and nephew were all there to celebrate. We had Sloppy Joes for dinner while we shared some fun family stories together. We even shared treats with each other, like Puppy Lover's parents shared doughnuts and I shared Sonic Pops (there are otter pops flavored with drinks from Sonic, and you can buy them at Walmart for a Seasonal Time only).

We played games and watched a movie together. until it was getting dark outside. That left me with the chance of setting up a Firework show for the family to watch, since it was Pioneer Day for us in Utah. I'm sure my Mom has told and taught you about what Pioneer Day is, so that won't surprise me. Anyway, the fireworks were a blast. I was in charge of the whole show for them. I put myself in charge of it, because it's been almost a decade ever since I got to light up the first firework in my life, but I'm sure my mom has told you that story before. We started with sparklers and I showed them the coolest firework that I never was willing to try before. Puppy Lover's niece, Bubba, wanted to try it too, so I ended up having two of these fun Fire Sabers that some people thought were made for sword fighting, but I told them that they were made to hold up in the air with one hand as if you're standing like a victorious warrior, as you can see in the picture.

After the sparklers and the fire sabers, I was down to setting up regular fireworks to ignite. Bubba also wanted to try to light up some fireworks, so I let her have some turns until it was time for me to set up the Aerial Fireworks. The best Aerial firework that everyone liked was the Jumping Jelly Beans ones, because it looked a lot like candies jumping out of the box and it all ended in a snap! And then after that, it was time for me to finish off the show with a Grand Finale. The Grand Finale was so intense, because it was an Aerial Firework called Pyro DNA. It was supposed to shoot nine shots, but then after the first few, it entirely exploded and it went all over the street! We almost had to scatter away from the sparks, until they all disappeared. I understood why it was called Pyro DNA, because some of the hot sparks landed right on the tip of my shorts and it sheered up a hole, which almost burned my skin! But thankfully, nobody got hurt during the last bit of the firework show.

Right after the show, we cleaned up the mess and made sure the fireworks were soaked in water. Before it was time for some of the family to go home, they thanked me for buying the fireworks and setting up such a dazzling show for the History of the Days of '47. I hope you all had a good and a very safe Pioneer Day!

Jul 23, 2019

I'm the King of Sanpete County...

Remember in the movie/play "Newsies"? As the song goes, "If you're in the pape you're famous!" So this isn't New York, this is Sanpete County and I had my pic in the paper lots of times, but these when I was a freshman in high school are some of the first.

I loved playing on the high school basketball team even though I only tried out for the team my first two years. After that, I decided that if I wanted to get my AS degree from Snow the same year I graduated from high school, something would have to go. Sadly, basketball was the one. (I would have much rather given up homework...)

Anyway, I always wore #24 and at 5'8", I was nowhere near the tallest player on the team. I wasn't that fast either, but I was always a great rebounder and I could often see a place to make a good pass which is an important skill if you don't want someone constantly stealing the ball.

I played JV, but I was one of 3 chosen to dress for Varsity my sophomore year. That doesn't mean much, especially in such a small school, but I loved the game and I was naturally competitive, so more games made me happy.

I still love basketball and I'm grateful that even though I will likely never have my pic in the "pape" for my hook shot, I still get a chance to get out on the court.

Jul 21, 2019

Team Party

On Thursday night, we celebrated baseball with an end-of-season party. Thankfully, we had it at the head coaches' house, so that meant a lot less work and planning for me as the team mom. I assigned myself to make treat bags for the boys which turned out really nice I put in the gum they like and sunflower seeds. The league donated a baseball for each boy so I had Princess make me some vinyl letters and I put Bingham 10U on each one of them. We also made a huge stack of cupcakes for the party.

Other members of the team donated to a delicious meal of hamburgers and hot dogs. The kids enjoyed playing baseball with the wiffle ball set and basketball, but the favorite by far was their beautiful swimming pool. Little Warrior especially enjoyed playing in the water with his uncle and aunts.

The only bad part was when I couldn't quite convince my three youngest kids it was time to go! I think they would have stayed all night. Curly did some amazing things on the diving board. I believe he tried to fly! Baby Doll stayed mostly in the shallow end and sprayed the big kids with the water gun. And believe it or not, the coach has a 13-year-old daughter and she and Scout have been friends at school all year, but we had no idea of the connection.

Maybe they both need to support their little brothers by coming to a few more baseball games...

Jul 19, 2019

Blast from the Past: Family Pictures

The bigger my family gets, the harder it becomes to have a family picture taken. We have had plans at least a half dozen times over the last couple of years and then something comes up and someone can't be there, so we cancel and try to arrange something new. We actually have a pretty tight plan for July 28. We'll see what happens...

My parents didn't have that problem. We only had one real family portrait taken the entire time I was growing up although there are a few that were done at family gatherings and weddings afterward. When my oldest brother was getting ready to go on his mission, my mom pleaded with my dad to make it happen. She was afraid the family would splinter while he was gone for two years, and she was right. I'm pretty sure he left for his mission in 1980 and my sister was married in 1982, but by then my other brother was off on his mission.

But this post is about the picture...

I don't remember the photographer, but I do remember driving to Manti and going up around the back of the temple to pose on the back steps. Li'l Sis truly was little then. She is the smallest in the red dress. I'm on the far right, standing next to my dad. My mom made that tux for my brother to wear to prom that year and just for the record, I made my own dress.

It was a crazy, out of the ordinary summer day when we all donned our church clothes. Even Dad. And we spent time together doing something important that would last through the generations. We were being a family.

Jul 18, 2019

Blast From the Past: Cutting Hair

See these two adorable little girls? They just happen to be Princess and Prima Donna and at this age, they were inseparable. At 21 months apart, people often mistook them for twins and after about a year, they always assumed Prima Donna was older. She grew... Princess did not.

But just because she was the smaller one, Princess was great at coming up with crazy ideas. On this particular day. she must have glanced over and said, "Prima Donna? You need a haircut!!" And that's all it took. She smuggled the scissors to her room and with Prima Donna's happy permission, she began to carefully give Prima Donna a new look.

In my defense, there wasn't any screaming or crying, not even when Princess proudly displayed her work. Wait, let me back up... there wasn't any CHILDREN who were screaming or crying, just a mom... this mom.

Although Princess was careful with the scissors and she didn't cut skin, it was still jagged and patchy. In perhaps one of my best parenting moments, I took them both to the salon, asked Melissa to do all she could to even out Prima Donna's hair, and then when she was finished, to cut Princess's hair just as short.

Princess was beside herself with grief! She still felt like she had done a good job and why were we punishing her? It was one of the hardest things I have ever done completely by choice. Princess's hair took almost a year to grow back and within a couple of weeks, Prima Donna looked like herself.

Best part is that it worked! She never cut anyone's hair nor did anyone else for that matter. This is a story that has become folklore in our family, but all you have to do is look at this last pic to know that is was all true.

Jul 17, 2019

I Left My Heart in San Francisco

Again, that box with all the memories...

I was actually looking for all of the large envelopes that Great Aunt Laura gave my grandma. Before Grandma passed away, nearly every time we would visit she would hand me another envelope that her sister had sent from California that held family history stuff. Grandma didn't have much use for it, so she just put it in the bag of things she was sending my way. She always seemed so annoyed about Laura spending her money on postage like that.

Now Laura's daughter, who seems to be the self-appointed keeper of all things family history (at least that generation), has asked me to write Grandma's history! Grandma would be so annoyed...

But that doesn't actually have anything to do with the picture I want to show you. When the kids were younger, we didn't travel much, partly because of the cost, and partly because we were nervous. One of the very first trips we ever took out of state was to San Francisco. We loved it so much that we also planned a second trip there a few years later!

This pic is from the first trip. Bossy and The Beast had already grown up and moved on by 2005. I'm sure you have this down already, but let's start with the back row. Reading from left to right, we have Teach, my Sweetie, Dog Walker, Drama Queen with Princess in front of her, and me.

On the second row, Sport is the cute baby in the stroller, then Crafty and Prima Donna. Just to put this in perspective, Drama Queen graduated from high school in 2007, so she would have been about 16, Teach 14, and so on down about every two years, which makes it convenient when you are counting.

We loved the trip out on the Bay in the cruise boat. Other than the prices, we loved pretty much everything about that beautiful old city.

Jul 16, 2019

Happy Anniversary!

Bossy and Gamer celebrated their 15th wedding anniversary a few days ago, and it slipped right past this crazy life, but I wanted to give them a moment. Lots of marriages don't last long in this day and age and although they have definitely had their rough spots, I am pleased with their "love conquers all" attitude.

I was sorting through some scrapbook boxes looking for something else when I came across a couple of pics from their wedding that I really want to share. Should we make it a game? See if you can figure out who they are.

 I don't know what in the world prompted them to sit on the cake stand, but both girls did it. It's amazing that they kept it upright!

Did you guess Princess in the first one?

And Prima Donna and Crafty in the second one? That little cutie sleeping on the cake stand was only 3 years old! Maybe that is why Prima Donna is looking so concerned... or maybe she is just watching to see just how soon Crafty will fall off so she can have a turn!

Happy Anniversary, Bossy and Gamer!
... and many more.

Jul 15, 2019

Our Little Skittles is Turning One!

I know it is a couple of days early, but we got the family together tonight and celebrated Skittles' first birthday. We kept it pretty easy, serving chili dogs or just plain chili or just plain dogs. It was hot enough outside that we mostly kept indoors, but that made us so crowded!

Skittles did a great job with his smash cake!!

 Little Warrior has a birthday next month, so he watched intently so he would know what to do.

 There were lots of presents!

 Happy Birthday, Skittles!

Jul 14, 2019

Backyard Campout

I'm pretty sure I told you that I have a much younger group of Girl Scouts this year and because of that, we decided not to make our annual pilgrimage to Tuacahn. I was afraid the parents would not want them to come, so we tried something else. We opted for a backyard campout.

We had our campout on Friday night and 9 of our 12 girls were able to attend. We grilled hot dogs, roasted Starburst, and made s'mores. Scout was in charge of night games and she did a great job keeping the girls entertained with relay games and chase-around-the-yard-until-you-get-tired games.

The kids put up the big tent and as it began to get dark, Drama Queen and my sweetie set up an outdoor movie. The girls loved watching Cinderella (the live version) on the big screen. As we settled for the evening, most of the girls were picked up by their parents, but not all. The All-Nighters enjoyed playing cards and telling stories until Scout sung them all to sleep. Twizlet slept with me on the air mattress which was somewhat comfortable except when she couldn't find her binky...

I woke up around 6:00 AM for obvious reasons and when I went back outside it had begun to sprinkle, so after I dragged all of the important things that couldn't get wet inside the house, I gathered up Twizlet and we spent the rest of the morning on my nice soft bed.

The girls all had so much fun! My only regret is that we didn't take more pictures.

Jul 12, 2019

Reflect on Reflections: Dog Walker - Film Video 2011

This is one of my favorite videos in spite of the fact that it makes me look like an idiot. The Dog Walker had a difficult time getting the sound and movements to sync exactly, but it still has some of my favorite people it in, and the overall concept is great.

Favorite scene?

Look for the line "Picking on the weaker man..."

Hilarious! I still chuckle every time I watch this one.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Jul 11, 2019

CFA Cow Day 2019

We had so much fun at Chick-fil-A's Cow Appreciation Day this year! It truly is a family affair for us. The only one who didn't get their "spots" on today was Prima Donna and honestly, she might have, just not with us.

Did you get a chance to go?

Unfortunately, I am having technical issues and I can't upload any more of the CFA pictures on my computer. Maybe if one of the other cows would like help... that would be "udderly" amazing!

***Thanks, Bossy! I knew I could count on you!****