Sep 29, 2020

So Many Dancers

Crafty made this really cool slide presentation for her Dance Class at BYU. I wanted to share it with you because it has some amazing pics of her and of her siblings during their dance performances. See you if you pick them out by clicking here.

I'm sure you found Crafty, but did you see Princess? Prima Donna? Scout? Sport? Baby Doll? Curly?

So many dancers...

That isn't everyone though. All of my kids danced at one time or another. Some day I will dig through all my old pics and find them for you.

But not today, I have to take Baby Doll to dance.

Sep 27, 2020

Fall Volleyball at Sports City

Scout has been busy working out with Sport and The Beast, getting ready to play volleyball again. She was so focused, that we actually missed the tryouts for Fall Ball at Sports City. Fortunately, when I reached out to them, they found a spot for her as #1 on the Gold Team even though she had already missed two weeks of practice time.

So this week she made it to her first practice on the day before her first matches. 

Sports City has been really good about keeping guests in their facilty safe. I saw the lady at the front desk send half a dozen people back for masks before she would let them into the facility. She even sent out players!!

The kids can take off their masks only on the court during practices and games. Visitors can't take them off at all. Players are also only allowed one guests each, limiting the parents and allowing for social distancing. 

I worry so much about letting my kids back into the world. COVID-19 rages on, particularly in Utah right now. Some people laugh at the precautions and restrictions, but I welcome them. Grandpa is 85 years old now and probably in better health than I am. I want to keep him safe. 

I want to keep all of us safe. 

But I want my kids to do the things they love too. So we push forward and welcome others like Sports City and Club GSL who are looking out for us. 

Thanks for wearing your mask!

Sep 24, 2020

Sure Has Been a Long Day...

Actually it has been a couple of long days. Yesterday morning my sweetie and I climbed into my car for a quick trip to drop birthday gifts on Princess's doorstep and then swing by the fruitstand for some peaches. We were about 30 miles down the freeway when my car suddenly decided it didn't want to run anymore. 

After a few furtive attempts at restarting and some great coasting, we made it safely to an exit and a quiet side street. First we called our mechanic, then a tow truck, and finally Bossy. Thankfully, she was able to quickly arrange a long lunch so she could come and pick us up.

Not wanting our trip to be completely wasted, she ran us over to our favorite fuitstand. My sweetie bought a box of peaches and then Bossy negotiated 5 boxes of pears at $15 each. The price was fantastic, and we should have run straight home and put them in jars.

But we didn't. 

We got started around 10:00 this morning, first with the two boxes from Drama Queen's tree and then we continued working through these others. Sadly, we had to discard quite a few, but look what we did!

With cleanup? I put the last dirty towels and dishrags in the washer just after 10:00 pm. Like I said, a very long day... but a good one.

Sep 21, 2020

Becoming an Eagle

When 2019 ended, so did the relationship between BSA and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Sport was one of many young men who decided to quickly finish his Eagle.

You probably remember his project and making quilts to be donated to Primary Children's Medical Center.
Anyway, we scheduled his Eagle Court of Honor for March 29th. Obviously that didn't happen. 
So we have just been waiting.

Now exactly 6 months later, we have rescheduled and I am scrambling. I finally have all the right patches and badges sewn on the shirt and sash.
But I still have to finish the patch quilt he wants to show.
I'm sure proud of this guy ... so proud I don’t even mind.

Sep 19, 2020

Renaissance Man

Curly is a Renaissance Man. I think I've told you that before and even if I haven't, you have likely guessed it by now.

He is playing football for Bingham's Grid Iron A team and he has earned the coveted starting center spot. This requires practicing three nights a week and a Saturday morning game. Fortunately, that leaves us with two nights a week that he can use for other things. This past two weeks, he has opted to spend that time playing baseball.
Back in August, Curly's baseball coach asked me if Curly would like to play in just one more tournament. I reminded him that Curly was playing football and he would only be available on Tuesdays and Fridays. Thankfully (since I love baseball), they still wanted to put him on the roster.
His first game was supposed to be the day after Labor Day and then an unscheduled football practice pulled him from that game. I have to admit that I was a little more devastated than he was, but then a crazy windstorm across the valley that downed trees and severely damaged Drama Queen's deck, cancelled the game.
Curly missed the next two games, both losses and on Friday when he was available, they played the top team in the tournament. Sadly, they chalked up another loss 2-6. Then they rescheduled the "wind" out game for Tuesday. With all losses the first week, we totally expected it to be Curly's last game.
Then Tuesday rolled around. Curly pitched an excellent game and had 5 RBIs on his 2 monster hits!! They won!! But to come from last place to the Friday night championship game without Curly seemed unlikely. Then they won on Wednesday...
and Thursday...
And that brought us to tonight and one more game.
Curly pitched the first 2 innings and he helped score 3 of their 4 points, but they still came up short of the win. But for a second chance at a last game, 2nd place was not too bad.
Not too bad at all...

Sep 17, 2020

1000 Cookie Party

I told you that the Girl Scouts of Utah are amazing even during a pandemic, but I wanted you to know about one more special thing they did for the top cookie sellers. By top sellers, I mean girls who sold more than 1000 packages this past year. Both Scout and Baby Doll happen to fall into that category. 
They had been promised an overnight party at Trefoil Ranch, but COVID-19 changed everything. They were disappointed, but they held tight to the promise that something good was coming. That good thing turned out to be a night at the drive-in with 5 of their closest family members. For us that meant 10 people could go along with the girls!!
When we arrived, we each received a boxed lunch with either a hamburger or a chicken sandwich. They also gave us bags of popcorn and taffy for the movie.
The kids threw a football around while we were waiting for the movie to start.
Sport and Skittles played games on his phone in the van while Drama Queen read a book to Baby Doll.
When it got dark, we all moved outside to the lawn chairs so we could watch Frozen 2. Most of us had seen it before, but never at a venue like this!
Thank you, Girl Scouts of Utah, for never letting us down. We all had so much fun!

Sep 14, 2020

Cowabunga Bay Cookie Party

Did I tell you how proud I am of our Girl Scout team here in Utah? When COVID-19 brought all of our plans to a stand-still, the Girl Scouts of Utah were quick to pull everything from us... troop meetings, summer camp, cookie sales... everything.

But unlike most groups, the Girl Scouts weren't content with just pulling the rug out from under us. They helped troops and even individual girls get rid of thousands of boxes of cookies, they offered all sorts of alternative online courses and badge classes. They even gave out the tickets for our cookie party at Cowagunga Bay so each girl could choose a day to go that didn't involve hundreds of other girl scouts.

We had SO much fun!!

It was only the three of us, me, Baby Doll and Scout. My sweetie didn't want us to buy tickets for anyone else since we had season passes for Lagoon.

The Girl Scouts even gave us vouchers for food and desserts.

We love being Girl Scouts!

Sep 13, 2020

37 Years and Counting...

My sweetie and I passed another milestone last Thursday. Thirty-seven years ago, we promised to love and take care of each other through thick and thin (sadly, I keep getting a lot more thick) sickness and health and all the rest of that stuff.
It hasn't always been perfect, but even all these years later, he is still my best friend and there is no one I would rather spend my time with. That is why we decided to use our Marriott points and spend the night at a hotel here in the valley.
We started our celebration with a swim in the hot tub. 
Then since we had a kitchenette, my sweetie cooked me a delicious steak dinner just like we ate on our first date.
We spent the rest of the evening laughing and tking, watching a movie and relaxing. 
It was the perfect way to celebrate the last 37 years. I love you, sweetie.💕

Sep 11, 2020

Last Labor Day Post - Calder's Birthday

If you have been with us for a while, you likely remember that 3 years ago this week, Bossy gave birth to a sweet baby boy at 24 weeks. He never took a breath in this life, but we had the opportunity to hold him and dress him and share of his sweet spirit.

Flash forward to Calder's 3rd birthday party which just happened to be on Labor Day this year. My sweetie rushed us home so we could join Bossy and Gamer and their boys as they celebrated the son and brother they only met briefly, but never forget.

We met at Menchie's and after everyone got their ice cream, we found some tables outside so we could sit together, reminisce and play an impromptu game of imaginary football. So happy that now we can share in Calder's memory and look forward to the day when we will all be reunited as a forever family.

Thank you, sweet Calder, for reminding us of that promise.

Sep 9, 2020

Labor Day Weekend - Odds and Ends

On our way into Bryce Canyon, we did a little hike to Mossy Cave/Waterfall. We only went to the waterfall since the cave was closed. I have to admit that any hike is a challenge for me lately, but I made it up and back without help.

Our motel rooms were also a bit of a challenge, with little gnats in the rooms and uncomfortable beds, but they did have one redeeming quality...

This was definitely a hit! Inside that square red box, the kids found an ancient and flat basketball. They wanted so badly to play that they walked over to the office to see if the owner had a pump. Curly came back with a pump needle and a suggestion to head over to the gas station.

I remembered that we had an emergency kit we rarely used in the van and it just happened to have a pump in it. We attached the needed and within a couple of minutes it was GAME ON! We had so much fun playing even though the "ball" left our hands filthy after even one touch. See that chair over by the wide steps? The kids got tired of crawling under there to get the ball... you know, spiders and such... But everytime we went outside, Sport and Curly wanted to play again.

This is a random pic of Scout and Curly because I can't show you the best thing we did on the entire trip. About 9:00 on Sunday night, my sweetie had us all pile into the van. He said we were reading scriptures while he drove us into the dark night. As we finished, he pulled onto a side street and just kept driving into the middle of nowhere.

Then he stopped the van and told the kids to get out and leave their phones in the van.

You can imagine that they were pretty stressed, but they did as they were told and he turned off all the lights in the van.

None of them have ever seen the night sky shining so brightly! They picked out some constellations and the Milky Way. We even saw a shooting star! After about 20 minutes, we started getting cold, and the kids slowly made their way around in the dark to find the van door.

They were a much more subdued bunch as we climbed into the van to drive back to our shabby little motel rooms. Suddenly the universe seemed much bigger than our little family unit and those trivial things didn't seem so important anymore.

Great job, sweetie. Score one for the parents.

Sep 7, 2020

Labor Day Weekend - Bryce Canyon

It has been years since we have been to Bryce Canyon and none of these last four kids could remember ever visiting. I got online and downloaded a free 4th-grade pass for Baby Doll. (It saved us $35 at Bryce!)
When we got into the park, there were more people than we expected, so my sweetie drove all the way to the end of the park and we started with the last stop.
It turned out to be a really good thing. We were able to avoid the crowds and see the least exciting views first.
Except the Titanic view...
Everything was just so beautiful!
I can't imagine a better way to spend our weekend.

Sep 5, 2020

Labor Day Weekend - Starts with Football

We got up bright and early this morning so we could watch Curly play football against Corner Canyon. He has been fighting for a permanent position on the offensive line and on Thursday they finally assigned him to be the starting center!
The game was pretty exciting and we brought with us wonderful support. The Dog Walker rode with us and Beauty and the Beast dropped off Little Warrior who is rather obsessed with football.
Curly played well and the team won 29-0. 
But when he came up against Little Warrior, Curly didn't have a chance.

Graduation Party 2020

I was just scrolling through and I realized that I never told you about the Dog Walker's graduation party. We planned it for the day following his graduation from UVU since he had already requested that day off when they first told us that the convocation might be held on that day.

Having a party is pretty tricky right now, but we did our best to make sure we were careful and here we are now two weeks later and it appears that our plans to keep everyone safe worked. I'm glad we decided that an open house format would be the best. Then people were able to come and go as they pleased without feeling like they had to stay the entire time.

We also thought that having everything outside would help as well. The kids and my sweetie spent hours prepping the yard and setting up our canopies to keep the tables shady. We also set up tables so that people could keep their distance from other parties. It was not what the Dog Walker would have ever wanted in a normal world, but we felt like safety had to be a top priority when we were inviting our family and friends to come together.

We served pulled pork, salads, and cake. Considering it was COVID days, I think we had a great turnout although it was only about half what we would have expected normally.

The very first guest to show up was the Dog Walker's cluster teacher from 4th, 5th, and 6th grades. She didn't stay for very long, but it was so nice to see her and know that the Dog Walker's success story is also her success story. Very few of her special needs kids reach this level of education. I sure wish I would have thought to take a picture (as you can see, I have gotten out of the habit of constantly having the camera in my hand).

All in all, it was a good day.