Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Sometime after Kevin and I were married we both wrote 100 Lifetime Goals. Both of us set "attending every temple in the world" as one of those goals. That didn't sound like such a lofty goal back then (20-something years ago) but that was before President Hinckley went on a temple-building jag. Now, that goal seems much more difficult (although much more fun to accomplish?).

As a subset of that goal, I have tried to visit 3 "new" temples each year for the past several years. If I keep at it, and if no more temples were ever built, it would still take me another 30 years! At some point (maybe when kids are gone), I am going to have to pick up the pace.

I have done really well so far this year, though (thanks in part to Utah's own new temples). The year is only 1/2 over and I have already been to 3 new temples. Yea! I have been to the Draper Temple, the Mexico City Temple, and the Oquirrh Mountain Temple. Maybe I can sneak in a couple more this year! (And, yes, I am counting the Oquirrh Mountain open house as having been to that temple. I am sure I will have many more opportunities to attend that one over the years!)

Monday, June 29, 2009

chocolate-loving bear

I read in the newspaper this morning about a bear in California who broke into a home and ate the box of chocolates in their refrigerator.

I can relate! Sometimes I just really NEED chocolate!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

my youth conference family


governor Sanford

The scandal that unfolded this week involving the South Carolina governor has really made me think. It makes me sad. He seems like a nice guy. His wife seems like a nice woman. I'm sure his kids are nice too. Still, I guess it goes to show that we're all human and we all make mistakes. Yes, his mistake was a BIG one but it would be so much easier for he and his wife to deal with it if they could do so in private. Instead, the story has been headlines in every possible media outlet. I'm sure it has been fodder for all late-night talk show comedians. I can't imagine what that kind of public scrutiny would do to a family who is already struggling.

Don't get me wrong. I think he should be removed from office. When Bill Clinton had an affair, I thought he should be removed from office. I want to be able to trust the people who are running my country or state or whatever. It's not just a moral issue. Cheating on a spouse makes the elected official very vulnerable to blackmail or extortion. Elected officials carry heavy responsibilities to the public and thus, need to remain above reproach.

Still, if I could arrange it, he'd be quietly and efficiently removed from office with little fanfare. Then he and his family would be granted the peace, privacy, and space necessary to try to salvage and repair their lives.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

the death of a true icon

With the recent spate of deaths of notable Americans - Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson - it seems that all the talk, twittering, blogging, and media attention are focused on their lives and the impact they made on American culture (in some cases, world culture). They truly did make an impact on late night television, hairstyles, pop culture, pop music, dancing, etc...

I guess I'll jump on the bandwagon and do my own tribute (in my own fashion). However, my tribute would be to the American who died 165 years ago today - the Prophet Joseph Smith. He is a man who is worthy of adoration. He is my hero and has influenced my personal life and culture more than any other person who has lived on this earth except the Savior himself. In fact, John Taylor said the following:

"Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it. In the short space of twenty years, he has brought forth the Book of Mormon, which he translated by the gift and power of God, and has been the means of publishing it on two continents; has sent the fullness of the everlasting gospel, which it contained, to the four quarters of the earth; has brought forth the revelations and commandments which compose this book of Doctrine and Covenants, and many other wise documents and instructions for the benefit of the children of men; gathered many thousands of the Latter-day Saints, founded a great city, and left a fame and name that cannot be slain. He lived great, and he died great in the eyes of God and his people; and like most of the Lord’s anointed in ancient times, has sealed his mission and his works with his own blood; and so has his brother Hyrum" (Doctrine and Covenants 135:3).

I enjoyed "Thriller" and the moonwalk as much as the next person and am sad at the passing of such a great talent, but the Michael Jacksons and Farrah Fawcetts of the world are NO Joseph Smiths. I'd like to spend my time reflecting on Joseph's life and how different my life would be without him. He is truly one of my heroes!

Friday, June 26, 2009

random twaddle

SILVER LAKE I took the cousins' camp kids for a walk around Silver Lake Wednesday morning. It was gorgeous! The temperature was perfect (not too hot) and the water was the highest I've ever seen it. The kids had fun scrambling up huge rocks. We saw 2 deer and had a snowball fight (yes, there was still patches of snow at the end of June). Isn't this an incredible world that we live in?

PET PEEVE One of my major pet peeves is cigarette butts! I absolutely hate them. They are dirty and smelly and it seems that smokers have a difficult time disposing of them properly. While at Silver Lake, I paused to search for fish below the water's surface. I didn't spy any fish but saw plenty of discarded cigarette butts floating on the water's surface. While I'm on my anti-butt kick, I also hate them being thrown out car windows! Why can't ALL smokers just put their cigarette butts in the ash tray and then dispose of them in a garbage can? Are you trying to advertise to the world that not only do you have a stinky, unhealthy habit but you're lazy as well?

CHANDLER BEING FUNNY Coming home from Silver Lake Chandler says "I'm famished, mommy, I'm famished!" I laughingly say "What?" He then says, "It means I'm really hungry." I am not sure when my 8-year-old son grew up enough to use words like famished let alone think he has to explain them to me!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

missing my missionary moments

Just when I think I have finally gotten used to Brakston being gone, I have two back-to-back moments of intense missing!

First, on Tuesday we went as a family to the Oquirrh Mountain Temple open house. We went to the Draper Temple open house as a complete family just days before Brakston entered the MTC. At the Draper Temple open house, I excitedly gathered my family around me in the sealing room so we could see ourselves reflected for eternity in the mirrors in the sealing room. It was a wonderful moment!

The Oquirrh Mountain Temple was lovely! It was peaceful and beautiful but when we were in the sealing room, I found I had absolutely NO desire to gather my family around me and look in the mirrors. I knew what I would notice most would be the absence of Brakston. I didn't want to see our family reflected for eternity without him!

The second "moment" occured yesterday when I was listing McKayla, Shanley, Chandler, and I on a flight for next week's trip to Phoenix. (It is the first time we've flown since going to Hawaii with Brakston in January before his mission.) I went to click on the appropriate travelers' names when I realized Brakston has been dropped from our family. AS IF he no longer is a part of our family! I realize that he was automatically dropped back in January when he turned 19 and was not a full-time student. That is company policy. It is not intended as a torture device for missionary moms. Still, it really hurt not to see him listed as a member of our family and it made me cry.

I really need to start facing the fact that my family is growing up. It might only be a matter of 10 1/2 years (about 1/2 the time Kevin and I have currently been married) until we are empty-nesters. OUCH!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

WEE (Wednesday's Embarrassing Encounters)

For the next little while I'm adding a new feature. Every Wednesday will feature an account of one of my embarrassing moments. These are moments that I can laugh about now, and I hope they'll cause you to chuckle as well. Feel free to leave your own WEE moments in the comments.

This embarrassing moment was probably MUCH more embarrassing for the other party than for me but it has entertainment value so I'm including it.

My first year at Ricks College I had a "twin" somewhere on campus. I never actually met her but people mistook me for her ALL the time. Nearly every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday as I was heading to tutor writing, people would stop me and ask why I wasn't headed to Child Development. I would explain that I didn't take Child Development. They would usually argue that I did because I was in their class (as if I wouldn't know my own schedule!).

The most telling evidence that I had a "twin" came one day when I was standing in the library talking to a friend. All of a sudden, a tall guy came up behindme, wrapped his arms around me, and leaned in and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I turned to him and sweetly asked, "Do I know you?" At which point the guy turned beet red, mumbled "I thought you were my girlfriend", and practically ran out of the library.

(Maybe we should all hang out in the library more often! lol)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

cousins' camp

A few years ago I started a new extended family tradition - an annual cousins' camp! For two days each summer, we get all the cousins ages 5-11 together for a 48-hour camp.

It may have been my idea but, of course, I roped my sister, Jolyn, into co-hosting. I take 24 hours and she takes them the other 24 hours. We plan the activities and coordinate the food so that we don't duplicate. This year, Jolyn and her children are out of town but my sister, Dawnette, is passing through on her way to Texas. So, I have 24 hours and then Dawnette and Tonya are doing the other 24 hours. I fully intend in another year or two to let Tonya and Melissa and Kari carry on the tradition (be forewarned!).

We started today at 2 pm. We have painted shirts (we love to do a cousins' camp shirt).

We made chocolate suckers. (Yum!)

The kids ran through the sprinklers and ate dinner. Tonight they will watch a movie and eat the snacks that Melissa provided (thanks, Melissa). Tomorrow we'll finish the shirts, go for a hike around Silver Lake, throw some Snaps, and maybe do some bubble-painting. Then it's into the capable hands of Tonya and Dawnette.

Here's a picture of this year's participants. Sitting on the railing are Tonya's boys, Ryan and Matt, followed by Todd and Melissa's daughter, Emma, and my children Chandler and Shanley. Todd and Melissa's son, Garrett, is standing followed by Dawnette's son, Carson. Dawnette's daughter, Kelsie, is seated in the chair.

(Note to Jolyn's children: We miss you guys this year and hope you're having fun with your other cousins in Missouri!)

Monday, June 22, 2009

iron rod

One more experience from youth conference:

Each "family" had an iron rod experience. We were each blindfolded. Someone would escort us and give us a few instructions. We were told if we wanted to return to our Heavenly Father and be reunited with our family we needed to hold to the iron rod. We were also told that the iron rod contained a gap and that if we needed assistance we were to pray and ask for it.

As parents, Kevin and I got to go first. It was so interesting to then watch each of our "children" complete this task. Many dropped to their knees the very moment they ran out of iron rod. A few tried to find their way on their own for a bit then dropped to their knees. Three boys absolutely refused to kneel and pray. They wandered and groped and tried so hard to find their way on their own. It was probably pretty indicative of people in general. I, myself, fit in the category where I am pretty good at praying when I need help. It's when things are going well that I struggle to pray.

It was also interesting for me to note the intense feelings I had as I watched "my children". I found myself wanting to go grab the boys who wouldn't pray and lead them back to the iron rod or, at the very least, I wanted to scream at them to just kneel and pray. I wanted so very badly for them to be reunited with us as a family. It gave me my very first glimpse at what it might be like to have a child stray from the gospel or to have them struggle with their testimony. And I couldn't do anything about it except hope and pray. It made me want to redouble my efforts to ensure my children, Kevin, and I live so that we can be an eternal family.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

youth conference

The Book of Mormon youth conference was so AMAZING that I really wanted to post yesterday but I was absolutely TOO exhausted! I am still exhausted today and badly in need of a nap so it might take a while for me to post everything.

One experience we had actually involved Alec who was not one of our "assigned sons and daughters". Thursday night (the first night) they had a re-enactment of Noah's court including his high priests and Abinadi. They spoke and acted it out and then using a slight-of-hand type maneuver they bound Abinadi to stakes and burned him. Yes, there was an actual bonfire. Of course, everyone knew that they were burning a dummy made to look exactly like the man who had played the role of Abinadi. Well, everyone knew except Alec. He was quite upset so his "dad" took him close to the fire to show him that Abinadi was not real. Alec was still very upset and kept saying "We have to help him. We have to save him." When his "dad" told him they couldn't save him Alec said, "Then we need to pray for him."

I am so glad his "dad" shared that experience with Kevin and I. Once more I am reminded that Alec is really a spiritual being trapped inside an imperfect mind. It also reminded me that that is what that experience should have been like for all of us - and not just a "Wow, that dummy looks pretty realistic" type of experience.

Friday, June 19, 2009

how to avoid mistakes

How do we make fewer mistakes?

*Think small. The tiniest little change in circumstance can have big impacts on people's behavior.

*Try to get immediate feedback as much as possible. Keep track of your decisions and note how they turn out.

*Think negatively. Ask yourself what could go wrong. Play devil's advocate with yourself.

*Let your spouse proofread. Sometimes a novice will see things we don't catch because we see what we expect to see.

*Get sleep. Sleep-deprived people are more error prone. Also, fatigued people demonstrate a greater willingness to take risks.

*Be happy. Happy people tend to be more creative problem solvers.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I have finished reading Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Hallinan.

I learned so much from this informative book so I'll summarize a bit here.

*As something becomes more familiar, we tend to notice less, not more. We come to see things not as they are but as we assume they ought to be.

*We tend to "distort" (lie) stories. The purpose of conversation is generally more about creating an impression than about imparting information. We want others to like us or think we're smart or strong or whatever. However, we tend to mislead ourselves as well as others. Alterations introduced in our stories become incorporated in our memory so that we "remember" things that aren't true.

*Men tend to forget their mistakes more readily than women.

*Almost everyone is overconfident so we tend to think we're above average. That is part of the reason people sign up for gym memberships that they don't use. Most gym members only go to the gym about half as often as they plan to go. This is also why credit card companies offer teaser rates. People jump on them even when the subsequent rates are much higher because they believe they'll pay off most of the debt while the rate is still low.

*The misattribution of errors is one reason we fail to learn from our mistakes. We haven't understood their root causes. Part of the answer lies in knowing where to look and part of it lies in our attitudes. It really interested me to read that the error rate for pilots is 5.6 percent versus 17.5 percent for doctors and nurses. In fact, studies show that doctors seriously misdiagnose fatal illnesses about 20 percent of the time. The reason for this discrepancy is that most senior pilots (97 percent) think junior staff members (first officers, flight engineers, flight attendants) should be allowed to question the captains' decisions. When surgeons were asked, only 55 percent thought junior staff members should be allowed to question their decisions.

*We are not good at predicting how we will feel in any given situation. A survey was taken in which doctors and other healthy people were asked if they would undergo a grueling course of chemotherapy if it would extend their lives by 3 months. No radiotherapists said they would do it. Only 6 percent of oncologists said they would do it. Only 10 percent of healthy people said they would do it. Yet, when current cancer patients were asked the same thing, 42 percent said they would do it.

*Hope impedes adaptation. In other words, if you're stuck with something, you learn to live with it.

Tomorrow I'll focus more on what we can do to avoid making mistakes.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

WEE (Wednesday's Embarrassing Encounters)

Not that all my embarrassing encounters occur on Wednesdays but that just seems as good a day as any to report on them.

For the next little while I'm adding a new feature. Every Wednesday will feature an account of one of my embarrassing moments. These are moments that I can laugh about now, and I hope they'll cause you to chuckle as well. Feel free to leave your own WEE moments in the comments.

After we moved into our current home, it became a hangout place for the teenage boys in our neighborhood for some reason (hmmm...could it be because I would play football with them and hold huge water fights? but I digress). One day, 13-year-old Clinton Madsen proposed that we go climb the trees in his backyard.

I absolutely love to climb trees and he had two wonderfully tall trees in his backyard, so I was all for this plan. We all headed over to Madsen's backyard where Clint climbed one tree while I climbed another. I was quite high (in the treetop, of course) when I hear a deep, masculine voice say, "Sister Morgan, what are you doing up there?"

I looked down to see my bishop (Clinton's father) looking up at me. I will never forget the look on his face - totally awkward moment!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


It's time for my monthly update on reading. The books I've read in the past month are:

My Abandonment by Peter Rock

Among the Mad (Maisie Dobbs Novels) by Jacqueline Winspear

**Why We Make Mistakes: How We Look Without Seeing, Forget Things in Seconds, and Are All Pretty Sure We Are Way Above Average by Joseph T. Hallinan

The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton

Digging Deeper: Understanding and Applying Life-Changing Doctrines from the Book of Mormon by Robert I Eaton

**5000 Year Leap: A Miracle that Changed the World by W. Cleon Skousen

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Pretties (Uglies, Book 2) by Scott Westerfield

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer

**A Hundred Years of Happiness by Nicole A. Seitz

The ones with stars ** are the ones I highly recommend.

Monday, June 15, 2009

pushover parent

I think every family's got a "pushover parent". Lest there is any doubt as to who it is in our family, let me relate today's conversation.

Daughter #2 - "Mom, can I have a sleepover tonight at ____________'s house?"

Me - "I don't know. I'll discuss it with Dad."

Daughter #2 to Friend - "My mom said, 'Probably.'"

Me to Daughter #1 - "I said I don't know. I'll talk to Dad. How did she get probably out of that?"

Daughter #1 - "That means probably."

I'm so glad our children have us pegged. They can even interpret our language. lol.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I can be far too judgmental. Case in point - whenever I've read the story of Nephi breaking his bow and his brothers being angry with him, I have judged his brothers harshly. How dare they be angry with him? Didn't they also break their bows? It's not Nephi's fault!

Yet today as I read that account, I was filled with empathy for his brothers. They were just being human! How often have I been frustrated, scared, upset (fill in the blank with your own adjective) and taken it out on the wrong person? Nephi's bow breaking probably just caused his brothers to panic. How will we get food? We are going to starve to death!

We've probably all had similar "natural man" reactions in times of great stress. I remember several years ago, on Valentine's Day, I was sick. To truly set the stage: I was sick but trying to make Valentine's Day memorable for my children by carrying on with traditions which involved me cooking and driving and delivering. Kevin was out of town so it wasn't a romantic day for me. I felt lousy and the house was freezing because the heater had broken the day before. I had just gotten off the phone with the repair company who confessed that they had forgotten to come fix it and now couldn't come until the following day. I reached my breaking point and what did I do?

I thought my lovely daughter, McKayla, did something (it turned out to be Alec) and I got very upset with McKayla. I lost it. Over something that was: NOT. HER. FAULT. I still feel very badly about it.

Wasn't this much like Nephi's brothers? How can I judge them so harshly when I, myself, am guilty of the same crime? It humbles me to recognize that I may have more in common with Nephi's brothers than with Nephi himself. I hope I can do better at putting off the "natural man" and also remember to give others a break!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


McKayla and I have just returned from Cedar City where she played soccer in the Utah Summer Games. We had a really great time but I am all soccered out (I know that's not a real term, but it truly fits!) I watched 11 soccer games in 3 days. I not only watched McKayla's 5 games but I watched several of the Riverton High boys' and girls' games as well. That is definitely soccer overload!

I did still find time to completely read 2 books and finish a third. I visited with lots of "soccer mom" friends. I also got some much needed sleep, so I'd say the trip was a success for me (other than eating way too much junk food).

The soccer wasn't quite as successful. McKayla's team lost in the bronze medal game. RHS girls' lost in the gold medal game (which means they did take silver), and the RHS boys' lost in the bronze medal game.

3 truths and a lie contest winners!

Thanks to all who played. It was really fun! I had such a good time doing this that I may do it again in the future! I realize I do still have some untold stories. Even my mom and Kevin, who probably know me best, did not get it right.

The answer is Story #1 was the lie! I did not fall out of a tree on a date. That's probably cheating because I am klutzy enough to do so, but I didn't!

Congratulations to Tonya - you are the grand prize winner! You are also the only one who got it right! I will get your prize to you shortly.

Friday, June 12, 2009

3 truths and a lie contest voting

Hope you've had fun playing! I know I have! Now it's time to see (1) if you know me very well and (2) if I am a very good liar.

Post your guess as to which one is the lie. For those who aren't regular bloggers, you can post by using anonymous. Just make sure you sign your name so I know who you are!

Once again, there is a grand prize for the first one to guess the lie correctly and small prizes for everyone who guesses correctly. Happy guessing!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

three truths and a lie, story 4

This is part 4 of the four-part contest series entitled 3 truths and a lie. After I post tomorrow (Friday), you'll be allowed to guess which story is the lie. No guessing until after I post.

My freshman year at Ricks College, I met the cutest guy at Ricks College. It all started with a smile. I would see him and his friends in the cafeteria and would smile. He'd smile back. Soon we progressed to saying "hi" to each other. Finally we introduced ourselves (his name was Paul) and he asked me out. I was ecstatic! He was tall and dark and so very cute! We started dating and really hit it off! We became fairly inseparable except for one tiny detail. I had already been asked to the formal dance by someone else. Drat!

The night of the dance, I had just stepped out of the shower when Paul called. We talked for over an hour. I should have been getting ready but instead I sat wrapped in my bath towel chatting on the phone. My roommate was taking pictures of everyone's formal attire and she snapped a photo of me in my towel.

My roommate later gave the photo to Paul who laughed about it and said it was the closest he got to going to the dance with me.

I forgot all about the picture since Paul left school over the Christmas break.

About a week or two into the Winter Semester, I noticed a group of guys in the cafeteria kept staring at me and then laughing. This went on every day for over a week. Then one day the guys passed by our table on the way out of the cafeteria. One of them laughed and said "Cute picture!" I ran after him and asked him what he was talking about. The whole group laughed and then told me the story.

It seems Paul had left the photo in a textbook that he had sold back to the college bookstore. One of the boys bought that book and found the picture. He'd hung it up in the boys bathroom on his floor of the dorm where every guy living on that floor got to see it daily.

This goes down as one of the all-time most embarrassing moments of my life!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

three truths and a lie, story 3

This is part 3 of the four-part contest series entitled 3 truths and a lie. After I post on Friday, you'll be allowed to guess which story is the lie. No guessing until after I post on Friday.

My freshman year at Ricks College I took an American Heritage class during Fall Semester. The class had over 200 students in it. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday I filed into a large auditorium after lunch, sank into a padded theater seat, and listened to a professor drone on in a monotone with the lights dimmed. I scarcely stayed awake.

That is until I met Bret. We happened to sit next to each other several weeks into the semester. He was tall and blonde, so I flirted. He flirted back. We arranged to meet before the next class so we could sit together again.

We continued on like that for many more weeks. We sat next to each other, laughed, and talked. Sometimes, we didn't bother going to class. Instead, we'd head to the cafeteria for ice cream or a late lunch. We had a good time together and he seemed to like me, but he never asked me out. Of course I wondered why but he'd seemed a little shy so I chalked it up to shyness. I just knew I was wearing him down and he'd ask me out sometime soon.

Shortly after Thanksgiving (when there was only a few weeks left of school), Bret handed me an envelope - an invitation-type envelope. I thought maybe he was graduating at the end of December. I eagerly opened the envelope only to find
More specifically, his wedding invitation - to some other girl!

I said congratulations and tried to act excited for him as I asked the details of the wedding plans all the while wondering how this girl had never come up in a single one of our conversations.

I didn't bother waiting to sit by him for the remaining weeks of the semester.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

three truths and a lie, story 2

This is part 2 of the four-part contest series entitled 3 truths and a lie. After I post on Friday, you'll be allowed to guess which story is the lie. No guessing until after I post on Friday.

I grew up in Cody, WY where most of the population was not LDS (unlike Utah) and the main teenage activity was parties involving alcohol. I was not a drinker so my main entertainment came in the form of reading the community newspaper each week to see which of my classmates had been busted the previous weekend for MIP (minor-in-possession of alcohol).

For a brief time during my junior year I dated a senior named Eric. Eric was not LDS and did drink but never around me (I was funny that way).

One Friday night Mark (Eric's friend), Eric, and I decided to head out to the reservoir just outside of town. We didn't have much of a plan - hang out, talk, listen to music...

We had just made the turn onto the dirt road to the reservoir when we spotted FIVE cars behind us. They stopped and closed the gate that led back to the main highway. One of the cars remained parked at the gate. We realized they must be police cars which meant there was a party going on at the reservoir. The cops were headed out to bust it!

I wasn't worried. We weren't at the party and had not been drinking. However, Mark and Eric got really nervous and sped up, racing far ahead of the police cars. I was about to ask why when Mark started throwing beer cans out the car window. I'd had no idea there was any alcohol in the vehicle.

Now I was worried! I could just see my classmates' faces when they read that I had been busted for MIP. Not to mention, I was afraid my dad would not bail me out but would leave me in jail overnight.

After Mark ditched all the beer, we hurried and pulled into the only home out there. We parked in the driveway, extinguished the lights and ducked down hoping to make it appear that the car belonged there. Soon, the police cars approached. My heart beat insanely fast then slowed as the cars raced past continuing on out to the reservoir.

We sat parked in that driveway for over an hour waiting for the party to be busted up and everyone to be cleared out of the reservoir. It was absolutely silent in the car since I refused to speak to either of the guys. The tension was thicker than mud. When we were sure everyone was gone and the gate was reopened, we headed back home.

That was my last date with Eric but the good news was that my name did not appear in the newspaper that week or any other!

Monday, June 8, 2009

three truths and a lie, story 1

This is part 1 of the four-part contest series entitled 3 truths and a lie. After I post on Friday, you'll be allowed to guess which story is the lie. No guessing until after I post on Friday.

I have never been the most graceful, coordinated person. I am not usually ultra-klutzy but I lean toward the klutzier side of the spectrum.

My sophomore year at college, I met Steve. I don't remember how we met; but he talked me into taking an ROTC course that he helped teach. He was super cute so I learned to march in formation and paint my face in camouflage colors. I even learned to rapel down the side of buildings.

It all paid off when Steve finally asked me out. We decided to go climb trees in Rexburg's city park. We walked to the park, talking and laughing and having a good time. Then we started climbing.

I actually fell from the first tree I even attempted to climb on our date. I fell flat on my back which knocked the wind out of me. It felt like forever before I could gasp for breath once more! All my hard work at mostly-coordinated formation marching to impress him was erased in one fall! Steve gallantly escorted me home with my bruised pride and a massive headache. The date was over after maybe a 6 foot fall.

No real harm done except to my ego and to my budding relationship with the cute ROTC guru. Klutziness 1, Marvelle 0.

Sunday, June 7, 2009


Don't forget THE contest starts tomorrow. Each day (Monday through Thursday) I will relate a story about my life. Three of these stories will be true and one will be a lie. Beginning on Friday, you'll have the opportunity to guess which story is the lie.

I'll have a grand prize for the first person to get it right but I'll also have smaller prizes for everyone who guesses correctly. (I love contests, winners, and prizes!)

is there a hell?

I read today that research shows that more people tend to believe there is a heaven than believe there is a hell. I thought that was interesting. They seem to go hand in hand.

For the record, I do believe in hell. I believe it is a place that is worse than just regrets - maybe some captivity (loss of freedoms)and tons of guilt. Other than that, I'm not sure I've given it much thought. I'd rather put all of my efforts into trying to achieve heaven!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

children playing

I have fond childhood memories of playing outside with all of the neighborhood children all summer long! We played basketball under garage lights, jumped on the trampoline, played nightgames, played baseball in the empty fields, etc. There was no age limits. Young children played with teens. We were just one big happy group making our own fun.

I was thrilled when we moved into our current home. Our circle was filled with children for Brakston to play with. They played basketball and nightgames and roller bladed. One of their favorite things to do was play street hockey. They spent hours outdoors having a great time together and,again, ignoring age differences.

Unfortunately, the children Brakston's age were the youngest in their families. Our circle has remained fairly stable so by the time my younger children were ready to play outside in the huge groups, we had no next-door neighbor children to play with. Our circle sat empty of children. No longer did children's laughter and shouts ring out all day long. It was a sad kind of quiet.

I was so grateful when Tonya's family moved in! Yea - young children again. Tonya's son, Jacobson, has hosted soccer tournaments galore. All of my children, even Brakston before he left on his mission, have been found in Tonya's yard playing soccer. Once more the neighborhood rings out with children's laughter. It's one of my favorite sounds and sights!

Friday, June 5, 2009


I made the cutest cupcakes for the cupcake walk at the ward party. The theme is a country fair so when I saw the pig cupcakes on a cupcake website I knew they were just the thing! I love the internet for ideas. I am big on copying!

I even liked how they turned out when I just piped on the frosting and topped it with a gumball.

I am quite proud of how my cupcakes turned out and the best part was that they were really easy!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

upcoming contest

One of the blogs I enjoy reading ran a 3 truths and a lie set of blogs a few weeks ago. I thought it looked like fun so I'm copying (with my own truths and lie of course).

Next week I will run a series of blogs. Three of them will be true. One will be a total fabrication. It's up to you to determine which is the lie.

There will be a prize of course (what good contest does not have a prize?) so stay tuned. More details will be given at the close of the contest.
This morning I was disheartened to read of the Boy Scouts of America's new policy regarding overweight leaders. As of next January, overweight leaders will not be allowed to participate in high adventure activities that take them more than 30 minutes from transport to hospitals.

On the one hand, I understand that being overweight carries higher risk of heart attacks and other health problems.

On the other hand, having battled my weight since my early teens, I also know that being overweight does not always mean you are out of shape.

On any BMI chart I would be considered obese. However, I exercise faithfully at least 5 times a week doing 1 hour of high intensity with weight training aerobics. I have actually run a marathon (the full 26.2 miles) while in this "obese" category. My heart rate and blood pressure are both great!

So, this new policy seems a bit prejudicial to me. After all, I know skinny people who can't walk up a hill without panting for breath and needing to stop and rest.

I think a better ruling would have leaders taking stress tests (you know, the treadmill runs) and their doctors determining if they are fit enough to participate or not. If your doctor signs off on your fitness level, then you're good to go hike, bike, rapell, canoe or whatever!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

why we make mistakes

More thoughts taken from "Why We Make Mistakes" by Joseph T. Hallinan (since I have NO thoughts of my own):

We wear rose-colored glasses. As in we remember our grades being higher than they actually were, gamblers remember their wins more than their losses, and we think photos that have been digitally altered to make us more attractive are the real photos.

Hindsight is not twenty-twenty. We have hindsight bias. Knowing how the event turned out alters our recollection of it. People tend to exaggerate what they would have known at the time as well as actually misremember what they knew.

Research on voters shows that people generally vote for the candidate based on split-second inferences from looking at their faces/photos. The info they gather during the election (such as positions on issues) dilutes the effect but does not eliminate it.

Multitasking is one of the great myths of the modern age. We think we are focusing on several activities at once when really our attention is shifting back and forth between the tasks. The brain actually slows down when it has to juggle tasks. We're more apt to forget or to make mistakes.

--scrappinsoccermama now knows why she often burns the last batch of cookies (because she has moved on to new tasks)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

breaking up is hard to do

We have to talk...

You are a really nice guy and I've enjoyed our last 5 years together but it's just not working for me anymore.

It's not you, it's me.

It's just time I move on - find someone new - move on with my life. You should too.

I will always remember you and be grateful for all you've done for me. You've helped me to grow and develop. You will always mean a lot to me.

I hope we can still be friends.

You're a great coach but...you see, I've found someone new.

Who would ever have dreamed that leaving your soccer coach and soccer team of the last 5 years would be so much like a bad break-up? McKayla tried out for and made the premiere team of the U-14 Utah Glory. Her new coach is highly respected and is well-known for really improving players skills and pushing them to excel. He coached his older daughter's team all the way through and 5 of them now play for BYU. Now he's coaching his younger daughter's team and it just seems like a great opportunity for McKayla and one she is VERY excited about,

However, there is a sense of sadness for both McKayla and me. Mike (her current coach) really is an extremely nice guy. We have been with him for 5 years (fall, indoor, spring, summer tournaments, etc) and it feels a little disloyal to abandon him at this point. He had requested that the team stay together. He even told all the players they didn't have to tryout, he'd just put them on his roster. He has sent emails and made phone calls, so now it feels like a sad break-up.

It shouldn't, should it? After all, it's just soccer.

Monday, June 1, 2009


My hike to Stewart Falls last Thursday took me to a scene of almost utter perfection. It was nature at its best. There were birds chirping, a breeze blowing gently, the sun was shining, water was roaring as it cascaded down the mountain, and the colors of the flowers and rocks and leaves were unparalleled and then I noticed...

one tiny Tootsie Roll wrapper lying on the ground.

Really, truly, in the midst of the amazing scene I spot the one tiny piece of garbage anywhere and I can't stop looking at it. My eyes were drawn to it.

I thought how our lives are either too much like this or too little. We either focus TOO much on the tiny little things that are wrong with us or we focus on them too little. If we focus too much on our faults, we get discouraged, depressed, or defeated and we fail to enjoy all that is right. If we focus too little, we don't exert the effort to change or we rationalize that we're so good in all other areas that this one particular fault/sin/habit doesn't matter.

...one tiny piece of garbage