Jan 29, 2021

Playing Basketball

I sure miss playing ball. 
As you know, I have been in charge of Stake Women's Sports for the last 15 years. We typically play four months of volleyball, four months of basketball, and a month of dodgeball.
Until Covid-19. Now there is nothing; our church put all sports on hold. Our county usually runs a huge Jr Jazz program for the kids, but they aren't doing anything this year. We were very fortunate to discover a Jr Jazz program with Sandy Parks & Rec.
Sport and his friends created a team and they have been having a great time. They even got matching warmup shirts.
Scout ended up on a team full of cheerleaders from Murray High School. They don't know much about basketball, but they are scrappy and fast. Scout is really the only one not afraid to shoot. She makes about half the points each game.
Curly and Burrito are playing on the same team, but they overlap Scout's games so I rarely get to see them play.
Baby Doll is my starting point guard and I love being her coach. I might not get to play much, but I love being on the court.

Jan 26, 2021

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to me! And to this blog! I'm getting way up there. I have been thinking how much I have changed over the past decade that I have been blogging. Baby Doll was only 4 months old then and I wasn't sure I was finished having little ones. Curly was 2 and Scout was barely 5. Only Bossy was married and her older boys were just small then. Dog Walker was in high school and we]were totally caught up in helping him achieve that very first major goal of earning all the merit badges. Such a different place than I find myself now.

I was active and mostly healthy then... no back pain, no problems with my gall bladder or my feet. I had only broken a few fingers by then and my knee was functioning well. I hadn't gained 40 COVID pounds and my busy crazy life knew nothing of masks or social distancing. Honestly, I had never even worried about a global pandemic. I figured modern science mostly protected us from such things.

But I digress...

We had a birthday party for me yesterday with nearly all the kids. Princess and her entire little family joined us for the first time since March. The only ones missing were Taco, Prima Donna, and Teach's family. They have had a scare this past week, but maybe I can convince her to tell you about that.

Bossy is only ten days from delivering her little boy. He has been blog-named Queso. We had a "sprinkle" for her yesterday too. It was fun to see her showered with gifts! None of our extended family ventured out in person, but they were generous in their gift-giving.

I wonder where we might be in 10 more years? My sweetie and I will be pushing 70 by then. I keep thinking life will slow down a bit for us. I have started looking forward to cooking smaller and shopping less frequently, but for most meals, there are still about 8 of us. That seems a long way from tapering down to empty nesters. There seems to be only one answer...

Run away!!

Jan 23, 2021

Look Who Got Her Permit!!

It has been a long time coming. Scout turned 15 in November, but her birthday was right before Thanksgiving and then it was Christmas. I made her an appointment, but when we got there, I realized I had left all my paperwork at home. It was nearly a month before we could get another appointment. 
But it's  all good now. She passed the test her first time! Stay off the sidewalks!!

Jan 21, 2021

Traveling Together: Heading Home

Friday dawned bright and early (way too early...) and we grabbed a quick breakfast before loading everything into the van. It was a long drive home and we had to do it quick so that Curly could unpack and repack before jumping into the car with Sport to go ice fishing with their scout troop. Burrito and Taco were leaving a couple of hours earlier with the rest of the boys, so even if our boys got away at 3:00, it would be difficult for them to reach camp before it started getting dark. 

But I digress...

We were still traveling and even though we were a little sad to be leaving, we all agreed that we had so many things that needed to be taken care of at home that it was time to go. (Except for Scout... I think she would have moved there permanently as long as we had complete access to the pool and hot tub area.)

There was still plenty of snow in Idaho. We had not seen terrible snowstorms as was predicted, but we did have several new inches of powder and that made the ride home even more beautiful than the crusty snow we saw on our way in. 

We traveled straight through to Idaho Falls where I begged my sweetie to stop for a few minutes. I was getting a little carsick and I needed some air. I was surprised and pleased with his stopping spot. Until this trip, we had never seen the falls in the winter. Much of it was iced over, but there were a few places where the water was still moving. It was bitter cold though and we didn't stay for long. 

Another quick stop for lunch and we still made it home half an hour before we had expected. It was a flurry of activity as we got the boys all packed and out the door. It took us much longer to get things put away and settled. 

I love this nomadic life. We only worry about the basics, cooking, cleaning our tiny place, and spending time together. It was sort of like when we were first married. Things were so much more intimate and simple then. Maybe when all the kids are grown we can buy an RV and just travel around. 

Do you think that sounds like me? Ten years ago I never would have thought so.

Jan 17, 2021

Traveling Together: Just Playing

We had planned to snowmobile around Island Park on our last full day, but my sweetie slipped on the ice at Yellowstone and ended up with bruised knees. He worried that if we spent all day sitting on  a snowmobile that the drive home on Friday would be unbearable. So we cancelled our reservations and sent the kids out to play in the snow.
They started building a snowfort, but after an hour of moving the heavy snow, they modified their plan into two "thrones" instead.
My sweetie suggested we head for the pool about 3:00. He had been up early working at his makeshift desk and he was ready to soak in the hot tub.
We were in the pool every single day of our vacation except the day we headed home.
Even Grandpa played volleyball with us in the pool. He is a natural athlete and at 85, he is still a formidable opponent. 
After an hour and a half in the pool, we headed to the gameroom for our last time.
Curly and Scout went against each other for the air hockey championship.
While Baby Doll and I played ping pong. We finally learned the actual rules and that made it much more fun.
We took one last shot at the basketball game, but Scout still beat me. I could only sink 12 in a timed minute.
We truly love this place.  The kids want to make it a new January tradition and I agree. Now we just have to convince my sweetie...

Jan 14, 2021

Traveling Together: Making Cookies

One of the things that convinced us we wanted to vacation in the cold were those crazy Hallmark Christmas movies. Watching people play in the snow, ice-skate, and decorate for Christmas made it all sound so fun (even though I hung up my skates decades ago.)

There is definitely plenty of snow here even though all the Christmas lights have been taken down. But there is one Christmas tradition we love to do all year long... bake cookies.
It was Baby Doll's idea,  so I put her in charge. I will be so glad when her bangs are finally grown out. I actually called her "Cousin It" at lunch today because they were all hanging in her face.
But I digress...
So, once she got started, I went in the bedroom and just look what happened!
All by herself. 
When did she get so grownup?

Jan 13, 2021

Traveling Together: Yellowstone in Winter

We didn't know if we would be able to see Yellowstone. You can't take a private vehicle in, even with chains and 4-wheel drive. That leaves 2 options, snowmobile and snowcoach.
We decided on the snowcoach.
The coach was warm and roomy, comfortable and safe. We had an excellent driver and one other couple with us. We saw so many beautiful things!
There were lots of bison, geese, and swans.
They were close to the road and ignoring us while they dug down through the snow, looking for food.
The waterfalls are my favorite!
The kids loved the geysers and they were so fascinated by the "leaf" snow.
We rode all the way to Old Faithful, making many stops along the way.
I loved traveling this way even though it was pretty pricey for us. For once, my sweetie got to see all the sights as well.
Since our trip was scheduled for 8:00 - 5:00, we even had time to play in the snow.
I'm going to save my money so we can do this again soon.

Jan 12, 2021

Traveling Together: Settling In

I love seeing new places. I can't recall ever being in Idaho in the winter. We are just outside of West Yellowstone and the snow in the pines is beautiful.
Sunday is slower for us, so we didn't make any plans other than with the clubhouse. After a late lunch, the kids and I went for a swim at their amazing pool.
Then we hung out in their gameroom again before heading back to our rooms. One of my favorite things about being away from home is just hanging out together. Making dinner, playing cards...
Nothing is more important than family.

Jan 9, 2021

Traveling Together: Hi-Dee-Ho, We are in Idaho

I'm so sorry I have been neglecting you! I have been running around like crazy getting ready for our after-Christmas trip to Idaho. I know, it seems like we travel all the time and we certainly have the means to travel more now that most of our kids are grown, but the biggest thing that has made the difference for us was buying a travel plan. I don't mean this to be an advertisement, but we got a 2-bedroom condo for a week in Idaho for $99! No, not per night, for the whole trip! The room was so cheap that we got one for Grandpa too. The rooms are fun and rustic and huge!

Grandpa doesn't normally like to go anywhere with us since the kids tend to get a bit rowdy, but we are with a pretty small group this time. My sweetie and I are in the 2-bedroom with Baby Doll and Scout and Grandpa and Curly and hanging out together in a 1-bedroom. They aren't too far away, and they have been with us since we got here. We are doing all of the cooking in our bigger quarters, so they mostly just sleep away from us.

We got in just before dark, unloaded, made and ate supper and then had just enough time for an hour in the game room. They have foosball, air hockey, ping pong, and one of those basketball hoop games. Since we are all busy with basketball (Baby Doll's team had their first real game this morning...) we all took a chance at making as many baskets as we could in one minute. Scout had 28 and refuses to believe that Curly beat her with 30 since he was doing his own counting and recording. I'm guessing we will be having a rematch tomorrow. I didn't do so well, but I managed to beat Scout in a game of ping pong and Baby Doll at air hockey, so I guess that's not so bad.

There are several feet of snow here which is fun since we have very little on the Wasatch Front. It is mostly crusted over, but is supposed to storm a little this week. The kids are excited to go sledding and play in the snow. 

Getting away is difficult with school in session, especially since it is the end of the term (which is why we don't have everyone with us), but the teachers are wonderfully adaptive since they all have zoom stuff going on anyway with all the COVID-19 problems. Our new governor announced that teachers in Utah will be able to get the vaccine starting next week. That is a huge relief for my sister and her family.

I'm excited to share this little trip with you. We have some fun things planned.