Sep 30, 2019

Mission Pics

On Sunday morning we went to a mission farewell for my nephew. He leaves this week for Chile. My sister-in-law knows how to throw a terrific party! It makes me nervous for Crafty's big day in pretty nearly a month from now when she leaves for the Mission Training Center and her last stop before she heads off to the Philippines.

With Teach busily preparing for her new baby that is due THIS WEEK and getting her 4th grade class situated as well as Crafty's reluctance to find just the right dress, we have put off her mission pictures until now. And you, my friends, are the first ones to see any of them, and I'm thrilled with the way they turned out. What do you think?

Sep 28, 2019

Random Busyness

Things are moving so rapidly here, it seems like I have little time to breathe, let alone write a blog post. No kidding, I have been to 5 doctors' appointments with various people in the last 7 days as well as one visit to the urgent care for Curly that we squeezed in between his football game and a party for one of his football friends. The doc finally decided to put him on a z-pack and they quit blaming his cough and fatigue on asthma although we did come home with two different inhalers...

As I already mentioned, we had a birthday party on Sunday for Crafty, Princess, and Calder as well as our opening of the time capsule.

On Monday, Drama Queen and I picked and canned 34 quarts of peaches from my sister's peach tree (thanks, Sis!). I visited with all of Sport's and all of Scout's teachers at parent teacher conferences on Wednesday and I ran volleyball practice on Tuesday night and 3 hours of games on Thursday night. Curly had football practice on 3 different nights and I helped Bossy prepare to serve food to her two football teams for their pep rally on Friday night.

Millions of peaches... peaches for me...
I carpooled for volleyball practice with Scout and her friend and then I spent Friday evening (after helping Bossy) watching her play. She really is amazing! I wish I could serve like that... After her games, my sweetie took me out for a long overdue date.

On Wednesday, we got Beauty and The Beast and their boys and dogs all moved in after several hours of deep cleaning the Little Apartment so they could stay there for a couple of weeks. I drove to dance for drop offs and pick ups on 4 different days with Baby Doll, as well as a birthday party for her friend.

I attended a parent meeting with Scout for MathCounts and I helped with homework. My babysitting duties included a couple of hours with Princess's boys while she and Crafty went to lunch for their birthdays, all day Friday with Beauty and The Beast's boys so they didn't have to run them all the way to Herriman for daycare, and I had Twizlet for 4 different days. Teach says she is ready to have that baby this weekend! We will see how far positive thinking takes her...

Twizlet practices planking with Scout - both of them want to be stronger.

I'm also still dealing with a broken fridge. I think I told you we finally ordered a new one, but it won't be here until the 23rd of October. I managed one quick trip to the temple and a bunch of time requesting and redoing the temple names after Bossy released a bunch of them into the temple system.

Add to all that, errands and trips to the store, laundry, getting my haircut, and cleaning up after Sport made 96 cupcakes for his Cupcake Club Opening Social. Thank goodness Crafty has taken over most of the cooking around here leaving me a brief window to help her get ready for her mission.

And sometimes everything is "peachy!"
Some days I wonder if I'm a little crazy and other days I know I am. Do things ever get any easier?

Sep 25, 2019

Reflecting on Reflections: Princess, Dance 2007

Princess turned 23 yesterday and I wanted to share one of my favorite Reflections Dance entries of all time. It just shows so much of her sweet and sassy personality. I'm sorry that this video is a bit grainy, but it was one of those that I was so excited to even find a copy.  The little girl is Crafty, of course.

Happy birthday, Princess! I miss these days, but I'm so proud of the woman you have become. Love you.

Sep 23, 2019

Opening the Time Capsule

Way back in 2008 before this blog (or Curly) was born, our family made a summer list. This was not unusual; in fact, back then it was pretty typical. Drama Queen was home for her first summer after starting school down at SUU and Teach was facing her senior year. Dog Walker was still heavily involved in scouting, trying to complete all of the available merit badges, and the younger kids were doing what younger kids do.

So back to the summer list... when Drama Queen submitted her thoughts, her number one item was to prepare a time capsule. This meshed perfectly with a merit badge activity, so what could I do? I let my sweetie design and prepare a time capsule. He got the kids involved and together they built a time capsule against our east facing (and cute neighbor boy facing!) wall.

We had originally planned to open the time capsule in 2014, when the house would have turned 20 years old, but with Teach's mission, it slipped to this summer, when the house turned 25. After 11 years, many of our younger children and all of the grandchildren didn't remember the time capsule not being there.

Today was our September Birthdays party, so everyone was here except for Prima Donna. After a nice dinner, my sweetie started working on dismantling the time capsule. Just like when he put it together, he also got the kids involved in taking it apart.

Anyone who was big enough to hold a hammer was allowed to help remove mortar and separate bricks. It wasn't long before they were lifting the last pieces from the top. There had been some discussion as to the container, but those who remembered a plastic box were correct. After putting in all the treasures, we had wrapped it with strapping tape, so it took a minute to free the contents.

The kids enjoyed looking through the pictures, but the favorite part was a survey completed by each family member that included favorite songs, friends, hobbies, stuff like that... and last of all, it had an opportunity for each of us to write a letter to our future selves.

Drama Queen wanted to read each one, so my sweetie granted permission and she used her best projection voice so we could all hear what each other had written. Some were clever, some heartfelt, and some just a little silly, but they were all valuable pieces of our family history.

As we pulled each treasure from the box, some of the kids remembered placing them there. Prima Donna's favorite little stuffed dog was finally "found"! Even the lip gloss was still in pretty good shape! The only things that really appeared to have weathered were the staples holding the papers together. They had completely rusted through.

The kids enjoyed this activity so much they are already asking me if we are going to make another time capsule, can you believe that? Maybe when Sport or Curly start working on that merit badge...

Sep 22, 2019

Guest Blog: Taking Care of Baby Lyla by Scout

Hey everyone, this is Scout. Mom asked me to write a blog post to tell you about something cool that happened to me this week. For school, I have a FACS class which is where they teach you about how to raise a family and cook and stuff. So in this class, we get a baby doll for a day to teach us about parenting. Since we are only 8th graders, we don't get the electronic doll, but we are supposed to treat this doll like a real baby anyway.

This is Lyla.
My baby doll was a girl and I choose to name her Lyla. She was African American and adorably cute just like my niece, Twizlet. Did you know that Twizlet is 1/4 African American? 

One of the worst parts about it was that like a real parent wakes up in the middle of the night, they made us get up between 1:00 AM and 4:00 AM and call the school and leave a message. I was really grateful that my mom was able to stay up and help me call the school and all that. 

We were supposed to pay someone for babysitting, but she did it for free. Mom also insisted that I feed Lyla for 10 minutes every 4 hours and she found a real baby bottle for me. She also made me use the car seat and burp Lyla when we were finished. It made it all more real. 

During the day, Twizlet was here and she loved that baby! She would always like to hold her and play with her and all that. It was so sweet.

Overall it was a very good experience and I loved it so much, especially getting to share the experience with my family. 

Sep 20, 2019

My Sweetie's Major Award

Last weekend, my sweetie was given a major award for his work in a certain company located here in the Salt Lake Valley. They treated us to a really nice evening and dinner at the Grand America Hotel.

Everything was so fancy, even the desserts.
He also received a large and amazing trophy, a backpack to carry it home in, and a couple of nice monogrammed notebooks. He even played a role in a 2-minute video made about their project.

Visiting in the hallway outside the ballroom.
I'm sorry to be so vague on this one, because I really am so proud of how well he takes care of us. And just in case you have never been in the Grand America, I took a picture of the bathroom for you. That pretty much says it all!

Each of these little doors is a separate bathroom stall.
Like this!
Congratulations, Sweetie! It took them long enough to discover what I already knew... You're the best!!

Sep 18, 2019

Reflect on Reflections - Dance 2011 by Sport

It's almost time for Reflections entries to be turned in! Curly and Baby Doll only have until October 4th and they have been so preoccupied (we all have!) that so far they have not done anything. Drama Queen was over here last night teaching them a new way to put together a photography collage so at least they are excited about that.

So hopefully to get them motivated, I am sharing one of my favorite dances with you. Sport doesn't like to dance much now, but when he was little, he had such joy in nearly everything he did. I hope you like this one.

Sep 17, 2019

Hocus Pocus, Safe Food Focus!!

That is the name of Crafty's brand new website she (with lots of help from Drama Queen) created for her Girl Scout Gold Award. I'm so glad she is finally finished!

My favorite part are the videos because they are full of a bunch of my favorite people, but the games and recipes are great too. Please take a few minutes and scroll through so you can see all of her hard work.

Sep 16, 2019

Leader/Daughter Retreat

It's been a very eventful week! I got a new computer and I've been slow coming up to speed, but then I've also been out of town... I just have so many things to tell you!! But I will start with one.

On Friday night, six of my eight daughters and I spent the night at Trefoil Ranch as part of our Leader/Daughter Retreat. Drama Queen and Bossy got all the girls up there in 2 vehicles and then my sweetie ran me up later, but I will tell you about that tomorrow. 

Anyway, I arrived about 11:00 pm and while most of the camp was already sleeping, my girls were all awake and playing a silly survival game. Since Teach's baby is due in only 3 short weeks, we were given a common area with its own bathroom where we could spread out and be by ourselves. We were literally wall-to-wall mattresses as you can see in the pictures, but it was so fun being together and sharing stories, laughter, and some treats.

Most of the girls went to bed about 12:30, but Scout and I stayed up playing cards for another 45 minutes. It's arguable that she is quicker at SPEED than I am...

We all woke up about 6:00 am and we talked and laughed a little more until it was time to go for breakfast around 8:15. After cereal, fruit, and muffins, we had fun with the activities. Baby Doll and I painted a Mom & Me scene together right before she took off with Teach and Bossy. Baby Doll had an audition for the Sleeping Beauty ballet and then a birthday party she didn't want to miss.

Drama Queen, Crafty, Scout, and I also painted our own little scene of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly. I'm not much of an artist, so this was not at all relaxing for me, but I did have fun at target practice with Scout. We were shooting pieces of dog food at tin pans with slingshots. She was much better at it than I was. When the lady running things asked her if she could hit the target in the tree, not only did she hit it, but she brought it down!!

We finally cleaned our areas and said our goodbyes. We picked up some peaches at the fruit stand for my sweetie on our way home and we got here just in time to pick up Baby doll from the birthday party.

Sep 14, 2019

Guest Blogger: Autistic Picture Books by the Dog Walker

It just feels so recent since Mom asked me to guest blog for her. She wanted to blog today, but she went to a Girl Scout Retreat that would make her spend one night at a Girl Scout camp to watch her daughters deal with a Girl Scout reunion or something like that. I'm not sure how that works, but Mom will keep you posted about that. Anyway, I wasn't quite sure what to talk about until I figured out that I'm working on a little bit of homework and I thought I should tell you about what I'm doing.

It's the last semester before I get to graduate from UVU and I'm working on a Capstone project where I need to interview some people and get some ideas on how I can achieve my project. The project I'm doing is planning to write and illustrate a children's book about a child who has autism. Whenever I went to class, my teacher really likes the idea I came up with, but I'll still need to find some people to interview with who are experts with dealing with a child with autism and when I interviewed some people, like a librarian, a caregiver, and a philosopher, they thought it's a good idea that I write and illustrate a children's book.

Image result for Autism children's picture books
But when I met with a couple of librarians at the local library, they looked up online to see that are a lot of picture books about children being autistic and there are also children's books for autistic children who love to read. I was a bit worried that if there are a lot of other children's picture books about a child with autism being the main character, my teacher would recommend I come up with a different approach for my project. But with a little bit of encouragement and firmness, my mom told me that I can still write and illustrate a children's picture book about not an autistic child in third person, but in first person story form.
I didn't see this book from the librarians, but I saw it myself. It might be a good book to read to children who love elephants.
I already started writing the story, but with a lot of assignments being put online with due dates, it gets me a little worried that I'm not going to be able to get the story done, if I still need to deal with other assignments that have to deal with the project. One of the assignments is to interview people who have empathy towards my project and I need to come up with an annotated bibliography and put them all into a PowerPoint, because I will be presenting my project in front of community judges on the last day of the semester.

Image result for autism symbol
I have lots to do, but I'm still trying to keep my other priorities straight, like my marriage, my family, and my employment. I hope that I'll be able to get all of this done in time. But I'll tell you that by the time I'm done writing that story and I present it on the last day of the semester, I'll get the story published.

Sep 11, 2019

Happy Anniversary to Us!

Tuesday, September 10, was our 36th wedding anniversary. I think we were just looking for ways to feel young, because we took Little Warrior and Twizlet to the zoo. My sweetie had a meeting he couldn't miss, so we didn't get away until after lunch.

 When we arrived at the zoo, it had just started drizzling on our car, but the people were leaving in droves with their little ones. By the time we got the wagon set up and made our way to the almost deserted front gates, we pretty much had the place to ourselves.

We caught a peek of the giraffes just as they were rushed into their indoor viewing area. There was a fair amount of lightning and I'm sure they just didn't want them to get hurt.

We didn't get to see all the animals, but the ones we did see seemed playful and excited to be in the limelight. 

They shut down the train because of the lightning, but not the carousel, so we took the opportunity to ride it as much as possible. My sweetie said he counted 7 times, but I'm not sure about the number since I hurried to the gift shop to buy the kids a couple of warm cute jackets.

We left the zoo just in time to stop at McDonald's before we had to be home for the evening chasing around. It was a fun trip and I'm thinking we should always go in the rain, but next time we need to take the other grandbabies...