Wednesday, September 30, 2009

happiness is...

Still working on the happiness thing so here are a few more:

I am grateful to read things on Facebook or in the blogs I follow that make me laugh out loud! For example, my cousin Michelle, who lives in Cuba, wants to know why she can't find any red paint. Why would a communist country not carry red paint? She wants to know how they paint their anti-imperialist signs. Thanks, Michelle, for the laugh of the day (yesterday).

I am thankful for an awesome husband! Amongst his many good qualities, I love that he brought me a dozen red roses yesterday. (And, no, it wasn't our anniversary or my birthday).

I am thankful for the times when I lose myself in a really good book. I love all kinds of books and delight in those that suck me in to the story and make me feel that the characters are my friends.

I am grateful that I have really comfortable couches - they are perfect for stretching out on and taking a quick nap!

I am grateful for email! In about 4 hours I will receive my weekly letter from Brakston. I love the instant gratification of writing him a letter on Wednesday mornings and having the response back the same day! (Now if only his responses included what he was responding to. I have trouble figuring out which question his "yes" answers. lol)

Any more things that make you happy?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

happiness is...

I truly believe happiness is a choice but sometimes I forget to choose it so here are a few reminders for me by way of things I am truly grateful for:

I am so thankful that every year when the Health Dept. calls to remind me that Alec needs a flu shot because he is "at-risk", I can thumb my nose at them. Alec has an amazing immune system unlike most of his peers with Down syndrome.

I am so grateful that every year when I think I can't stand one more hot, dripping sweat kind of day that Fall arrives and the temperatures cool off.

My heart sings when my teenagers (even my boys) will still give me hugs in front of their friends.

I am so happy to be planning a trip to Texas in late October. Thanks to Kevin being a pilot, the many miles between us don't have to keep my sister and I apart.

I am thankful that my children forgive me when I'm short-tempered and unfair. They always seem to give me another chance.

What is just one thing you are grateful for today?

Monday, September 28, 2009

the win streak continues

In the midst of the unpleasant things that have happened over the past month, I do have to admit that I have been very lucky! My recent prize-winning streak is proof that there is always a silver-lining!

On Friday I took my Mia Maids to be part of the studio audience for Good Things Utah. It was a lot of fun! After the show, the hosts asked random questions in order to award 3 gift baskets from Kneaders.

Yep! That's right! I won one! It contained pasta, gourmet sauce, and candy corns. We had the pasta for dinner last night. Yum!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Audrey Hepburn's beauty secrets

For all of you who, like me, think Audrey Hepburn is absolutely gorgeous, you'll be delighted to know that I have her beauty secrets! Yes, it's true. Now we can all be as classically beautiful as Audrey herself!

Here they are:

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with the knowledge that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands, one for helping yourself and the other for helping others.

I thought these sentiments were lovely and were worth remembering. Thank you, Audrey Hepburn, for these words of wisdom!

bittersweet release

Well, after Kevin has served Bishop of our ward for the past 5 years, he will be released today.

I have had a few people ask me if I was doing backflips. Besides the physical limitations on my doing so (who wants a broken neck?), the answer is no. We've had some challenges over the years but we've had some great blessings as well.

I've enjoyed experiencing Senior Saints dinners and seminary graduations and other such things. I've met new people and strengthened friendships. Life as a Bishop's wife is really not that bad.

It was really interesting that for about a month before the calling was issued to Kevin our family went through some trials. Mostly it was major appliances breaking down but it was about 9 of them in a row. We knew something was coming just because of that and a few other trials. Sure enough, Kevin was called as Bishop and as soon as he said "yes" the trials stopped.

For the past month, we've really undergone some other trials. These are of a more serious nature. We've joked that although we could expect trials before the calling (Satan has to try to get you off course then), we never expected major trials before a release. It's been a bad month and I've shed lots of tears, been under major stress, and had a raging headache as my almost constant companion.

I don't really want to go into the trials right now but I am truly hopeful that when the Stake President releases Kevin today, the trials will cease or at least let up. Then again, maybe this set of trials is related to having a missionary out in the field...

3 truths and a lie winners!

Wow! Either some of you are really good guessers or I'm not too good of a story-teller. Four people got the answer right! The motorcycle crash story (#3) was the lie. I never wrecked Gary's bike. In fact, I don't believe he ever even let me drive it. I only got to ride behind him.

The four winners are Jill, Sherlene, Sabrina, and Dianna. Congratulations! I will get your prizes to you shortly.

All four were entered in the grand prize drawing and the winner is....drum roll, please...DIANNA! Yea! applause, cheers, sounds of merriment and celebration

Congratulations, Dianna, and I will get your grand prize in the mail within the week.

Thanks to all who played. It was kind of fun.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

last day to vote!

Just a reminder that today is the last chance to vote on the 3 truths and a lie contest. All votes must be in by midnight. Anyone in the U.S. is eligible to win.

Friday, September 25, 2009


My own personal belief is that the "crossroads" are vital!

What I mean by that is that I think it is really important for me to be there for the comings and goings of my children. I like to send them out the door in the morning with a hug and a kiss and a "have a good day." I like to greet them when they return home with a hug and a "how was your day?" I liked to be there when Brakston left on a date. (I didn't LIKE to be there late at night when he came home. I truly wanted to be in bed -- asleep!)

These just seem to be critical times in a child's life and I have failed miserably at being there this past week. Tuesday morning I had to go straight from the temple to the dentist (at least Kevin was home to see them off). Tuesday night I was helping with a parent-teacher conference dinner at the high school. Wednesday morning I was in charge of a breakfast at Riverton High and the kids had to see themselves off (Kevin was flying). Wednesday night I got to greet Alec and McKayla but took McKayla to soccer practice and missed Chandler and Shanley coming home. Thursday night I missed Chandler and Shanley again.

I know we all have weeks like this. In some ways I am grateful for them. It reminds me what my priorities really are and helps me reassess my life to get it in line with those. Next week I will be better at "being at the crossroads."

3 truths and a lie voting

Okay, the stories have been told and now it's time for you to render your verdict. Which story is the lie? Is it?

Story #1 - Taco Time manager at age 15
Story #2 - stalked by a moose
Story #3 - motorcycle crash
Story #4 - moving cadaver

Now for the fine print. Place your vote below in a comment. Only one vote per person. If you are commenting anonymously, please leave a first and a last name or a first name and an email address. (I am embarrassed to admit but the last contest I tried to award the prize to the wrong Tonya.)

You have until midnight on Saturday, September 26th to place your guess. All correct answers will receive a small prize and be placed in a random drawing for the grand prize. Prize winners will be announced on Sunday, September 27th. I hope you have as much fun trying to determine the lie as I had telling the stories. Happy guessing!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

3 truths and a lie

This week I am running a contest. For four days (Monday through Thursday) I will post stories about my life. Three of them will be true and one will be a lie. On Friday you can begin guessing which story is the fabrication. All guesses must be posted by midnight on Saturday. One guess per person. There will be small prizes for every correct answer. Also, everyone who answers correctly will have their name entered in a drawing for the grand prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 27. So, put on your detective cap and enjoy the stories!

When I first arrived at BYU the only job I could get was cleaning in the early mornings. I started out cleaning the Health Center but then Kevin and I both transferred to cleaning the MARB so we could work together.

For those of you unfamiliar with BYU, the MARB is the biology/life sciences building. On one floor you could always find partially disected cadavers. Kevin's usual job was to clean the floor where they burned the cadavers.

One day I was sweeping the floors in the classroom containing the cadavers when one of them moved. Literally, an arm kind of jerked and then was still again. I was totally freaked out and ran to find Kevin. Together we went and found our shift supervisor who explained that that can happen. There is sometimes involuntary muscle spasms in the cadavers (I forget why).

I never wanted to clean that floor again and was glad when I got a job as the secretary in the dance department!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

3 truths and a lie

This week I am running a contest. For four days (Monday through Thursday) I will post stories about my life. Three of them will be true and one will be a lie. On Friday you can begin guessing which story is the fabrication. All guesses must be posted by midnight on Saturday. One guess per person. There will be small prizes for every correct answer. Also, everyone who answers correctly will have their name entered in a drawing for the grand prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 27. So, put on your detective cap and enjoy the stories!

I think I have always loved motorcycles! I first learned to ride one when I was about 12 years old at our huge family reunion in Island Park, Idaho. I learned on an old manual motorcylce (one you had to shift gears using your toe - one up, two down, etc). I thought I was a pretty good driver and had this mastered.

My sophomore year of college I was friends with a guy named Gary Gray (really cute - looked like Andrew McCarthy in Pretty in Pink but I digress...) Gary bought a motorcycle and I loved to go riding with him. I'd sit behind him, wrap my arms around his waist and we'd be off. It was so much fun!

So, when Gary offered to let me drive one day, of course I jumped at the chance! This time he sat behind me, wrapped his arms around my waist, and we were off! It was great too until I found myself on an unfamiliar trail with a 4" deep rut barely wider than the tire.

I knew if I caught the edge of that rut, we'd crash or be thrown. I tried my best to stay inside the center of the rut and I managed for a little while but then, sure enough, I hit the edge and down we went. I had slowed my speed way down so we just tipped over and got pretty scraped up but nothing serious. The bike, on the other hand, looked pretty bad. It had still looked all shiny and new and I had just done a number on the paint job.

Luckily for me, I still had a few hundred dollars in my savings account and could pay for repairs. Even luckier, Gary forgave me and we remained good friends.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

3 truths and a lie

This week I am running a contest. For four days (Monday through Thursday) I will post stories about my life. Three of them will be true and one will be a lie. On Friday you can begin guessing which story is the fabrication. All guesses must be posted by midnight on Saturday. One guess per person. There will be small prizes for every correct answer. Also, everyone who answers correctly will have their name entered in a drawing for the grand prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 27. So, put on your detective cap and enjoy the stories!

I was once followed by a moose. No, not just followed, I was STALKED by a moose. A few years ago, a friend and I were hiking. We were on a part of the trail that was actually more of a dirt road than a trail when I heard noises behind us. I turned and looked only to find a moose ambling along the trail only about 15 feet behind us.

I turned to my friend and asked, "What do we do? Should we keep talking loudly like we have been or will that aggravate him? Do we keep walking or do we start running? Or do we move off the trail and allow the moose to pass?" Neither one of us was sure what the proper procedure is when you are being stalked by a moose so we kept walking and talking, keeping a wary eye behind us.

The moose followed us for 2-3 minutes and then turned off the trail and headed to the river.

Whew! (but cool at the same time)

Monday, September 21, 2009

3 Truths and a Lie

This week I am running a contest. For four days I will post stories about my life. Three of them will be true and one will be a lie. On Friday you can begin guessing which story is the fabrication. All guesses must be posted by midnight on Saturday. One guess per person. There will be small prizes for every correct answer. Also, everyone who answers correctly will have their name entered in a drawing for the grand prize. The winner will be announced on Sunday, September 27. So, put on your detective cap and enjoy the stories!

I managed a Taco Time restaurant when I was just 15 years old! I have always been pretty reliable and very organized so after I'd worked at the Taco Time for a few months, the owner decided to start having me make the work schedules. A couple months later, as summer approached and the owner wanted to spend more time partying and getting drunk, I was pretty much left in charge. I had the combination to the safe so I could stock the cash registers in the morning and/or store the cash at night. I ordered the meat, the tortillas, and the other supplies and paid for them when they were delivered. I scheduled employees and dealt with employee problems.

All of this and I was actually the youngest employee! During the school year, the owner would be pretty responsible but summers were a different story. I worked there for two summers and one school year. I think I could still make bean burritos in my sleep!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

contest starts tomorrow

Just a reminder that my contest starts tomorrow. For four days, I will write about an event from my life. Three of them will be true accounts and one will be a lie. Beginning on Friday, you can vote on which one you believe is the lie.

I had stated earlier that the first one with the correct vote will win. I apologize but I am changing the rules (my contest, my rules - that's just how I roll). Every correct answer will get a small prize and then every correct answer will get thrown in a hat and the grand prize winner will be randomly drawn.

So, don't worry about being first. Just get your vote in before midnight on Saturday. The winners will be announced next Sunday.

The Scarlet Pimpernel

Last night Kevin and I saw The Scarlet Pimpernel at Hale Center Theater. We really enjoyed it. It has long been one of my favorite stories and I've looked forward to this musical all year.

The costumes were exquisite and Chauvelin's voice was amazing. Percy's act as a dandy made me laugh out loud many times throughout the show. I've found myself humming a few of the songs today and wanting to watch the movie version again.

I do enjoy the theater!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Itty Bitty Salt Lake City

My friend, Jill, and I took our children to downtown SLC last night to play Itty Bitty SLC. It was so much fun!

Every year The Deseret News prints 20 photos of something found in a 20 block area downtown. The photos are snippets and you can't always tell what they represent. They may contain a few letters off a street sign, a carving in a tree, a store logo, etc.

We walked/drove around for about 3 hours and managed to find 12 of the 20 items. It was a lot of fun and helped me to notice things I don't usually pay attention to. I noticed architectural elements of building, artwork and sculpture adorning the streets, sidewalk art, and so forth.

I have often thought this would make a fun YW activity if played at the mall. I will have to organize that activity one of these days.

Friday, September 18, 2009

what would you do?

Recently I heard about the most fascinating college course! I don't remember the course name or which university was offering it but the gist of it was discussing how you'd act in certain situations and what influences your decisions.

I want to take this course!

Since that's not possible at this precise moment, let's have our own discussion. What if you're driving a car, the brakes go out, and you have absolutely no choice but to hit one of two groups. Either you can turn left and hit one person or you can turn right and hit five people. Which do you choose?

It's fairly clear cut that you'd probably choose left and hitting only one person. However, let's add some new factors. What if that one person were your own child and the group of five was strangers? Would that change your answer? What if the one person were a small child and the group of five is a prison chain gang? Does that change your answer? Why? What if the one person were your child but the group of five was your five best friends who also had young children still at home?

Do we put different values on various people's lives?

I remember my obstetrician (on my pregnancy after Alec) asked if I wanted an amnio to determine if this child also had Down syndrome (the odds were extremely slim). I said no because I wouldn't do anything differently if the child had Down syndrome. I'd still choose to have the child. The doctor asked me if something were to go wrong and the choice had to be made between my life and the baby's then would I want to know if the baby had Down syndrome. I thought it was an interesting question but still didn't think I'd want the Down syndrome to factor in to the decision.

However, let's add a similar twist to the car problem above. What if the group of five were all mentally challenged or in wheelchairs? Would that influence your decision?

Let's hear what you have to say. Comments please!

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I feel change in the air. For some, this is frightening. I live with a man who does not love change. I have a child who likes lots of preparation for things - abrupt change is not for him.

I, on the other hand, delight in change. I like shaking things up. I enjoy the sensation of new experiences. Growing up, my favorite days were first days of school. There were new teachers, new classmates, new textbooks, and new lesson schedules. I think my favorite teachers were those who did new seating charts throughout the year - more change!

I think change fills me with hope. For example, when we elect a new president (even if its not the one I voted for), I hope that the change will be positive. I want it to shake up the status quo and make me believe that our country will make progress towards being a "promised land".

How about you? Do you like change? Do you like it to come suddenly and catch you off guard or do you like to anticipate it? Or, does change make you want to climb back in bed and pull the covers over your head?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Okay, I know, it's my third post of the day. I have a lot of opinions today, what can I say?

I voted in yesterday's primary election and opened the paper today to find out the results and was actually apalled at the dismal voter turnout. I realize that the only vote most people in Riverton had was for the mayor but still...We were voting on the candidates for the next leader of our city. Will he raise taxes? Will he improve parks and recreation? Will he entice new businesses to our city? Does anyone care?

Apparently not.

In our city of approximately 35,000 residents only a little over 2100 voted. The 2007 census showed over 21,000 of those were over 18 (able to vote). Less than 1% of the citizens have decided who the two candidates will be on November's ballot. I hope I don't hear too many complaints.

upcoming contest

In June I ran a contest. I had so much fun doing it that I am going to do it again. I hope you had fun with it as well and will want to participate again.

Next week, beginning on Monday, I will run a series of blogs. They will be stories of my life. Three of them will be true. One will be a total fabrication. It's up to you to determine which is the lie. On Friday, you will be allowed to vote as to which story is the lie. The first person to post correctly which story is the lie wins.

There will be a prize of course (what good contest does not have a prize?) so stay tuned. In fact, there will be multiple prizes - a grand prize for the first correct answer and a small prize for every correct answer. More details will be given at the close of the contest.

permission granted

Last week McKayla looked taller to me so I said, "Wow! You've grown. You might be as tall as I am now."

Kevin took that as a challenge and measured us. Guess what? McKayla is not as tall as I am - she's TALLER! Yep, she has me by a good half inch.

My first thought was "No Way! How does this happen? My little girl can't grow up that fast!"

Then, I thought about how I want the best for her. I want her to be "tall enough" to find her dreams/goals/ambitions within her reach. I honestly don't mind if she outshines me. In fact, I'd like her to be a better person than I am. I think she already is. She has read the Book of Mormon 3 times already. By the time I was her age, I had read it...Oh wait, I hadn't read it yet. She is a better athlete. She is a nicer person and has more self-confidence than I had.

So, I guess if being taller is one more way she outdoes me, she has my permission!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

books I've read in the past month

Here's the list of books I've read in the past month. I've ** the ones I recommend.

The Lover's Knot: A Someday Quilts Mystery by Clare O'Donohue

The Persian Pickle Club by Sandra Dallas

Handbags and Homicide by Dorothy Howell

**Listening is an Act of Love: A Celebration of American Life from the StoryCorps Project by Dave Isay

Casting Spells by Barbara Bretton

**Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie by Muriel Spark

**On the Divinity of Second Chances by Kaya McLaren

**North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

happy reading!

Monday, September 14, 2009

indisputable signs

There are so many signs that I now have two teenage daughters. Well, okay, to get really technical, I have one teen daughter and one tween daughter but still...

*my cell phone gets numerous text messages (almost none of them are for me)
*my earrings are usually in McKayla's ears (including the brand new pair I won yesterday and hadn't even taken out of the package yet)
*my favorite nail polishes are all used up before I even get a chance to use them more than once
*I hear constant "negotiations" over who gets to wear which clothes
*everyone who enters my home is sure to trip over numerous pairs of shoes en route to anywhere else in my home
*this morning while putting away a load of folded towels I wondered where the rest of the towels were. When I went in search of them I actually, believe it or not, found NINE towels on Shanley's bedroom/bathroom floor. (This made the 2 on McKayla's floor look insignificant.)
*on a somewhat regular basis I must go searching for my blow dryer and/or hair straightener

and, last but not least,

*I have company in giggling and shaking my head over Kevin's silly sense of humor


Yesterday, for some reason, my beloved husband kept telling everyone I don't sleep well and I often wake at 2:30 am. I kept disagreeing and saying that only happens occassionally.

So, what time did I awaken this fine Monday morning? You guessed it? Two-thirty a.m. - on the nose!

I blame my husband!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

skip the jalepenos, PLEASE!

Last night I made homemade salsa. It turned into a comedy of errors. They should have put me on stage and let everyone laugh at my mishaps.

I always leave out the jalapenos. Don't ask me why I included one last night.

I cut the jalapeno. My air conditioner is not working so the house is hot. I wiped my brow. Jalapeno juice/oil on my forehead - it burned all night! Everyone hated the salsa - too hot for everyone even though I halved the amount of jalapeno. I stuck my finger in my mouth. There was still jalapeno oil so my mouth burned all night. Two hours later I took my contacts out. The jalapeno oil must still have been there because my eyes burned then, and they really burned again this morning when I put the contacts back in.

Could I be any more ridiculous? Next time I will go back to omitting the jalapenos!

Friday, September 11, 2009


Nine-Eleven: Two words, two numbers, that conjure up very vivid scenes in my memory and still jar painful emotions in my heart.

I remember it all so vividly. I was in our basement on the elliptical trainer. The TV was on (trying to take my mind off the pain and effort) when, all of a sudden, footage was being shown of the North Tower. I absolutely could not believe that a plane had flown into a building. How do you not see a building? Was it pilot error? Was it an aircraft problem? Was the control tower to blame?

Then, a second plane flew into the south tower? What?!? How could that happen? I think I was slower than most to realize this was a deliberate action - not wanting to believe someone would do such a thing on purpose.

Slowly, realization dawned. We, the people of the United States, were being attacked. Not on some faraway battlefield or some remote locale. Not trained soldiers who signed up for the job. But everyday Americans here on our very own soil. Unfathomable.

For a while, America changed. We were a united, God-fearing, patriotic country. We were no longer politically polarized. We were less selfish.

I fear that too many have forgotten. I don't mean the actual event. I think we've forgotten the emotion. We've forgotten to lean on each other. Most of all, we have forgotten not to take our freedom for granted.

Most of my children were too young to understand then what was happening. Today, we will spend some time discussing the events of September 2001. What is freedom? Can you have too much freedom? Is freedom worth dying for? What do you do when people abuse their freedom and make disastrous choices that affect others? Would we be better off with limited freedom? Can others take our individual freedom away?

I love my country. I enjoy my freedom. I honor and revere those who have stood in the trenches, fallen on the battlefield, and braved the enemy to secure that freedom for me and for my loved ones. I still cry when I talk about the brave citizens on Flight 93 who crashed that plane on a Pennsylvania field rather than risk it being used as an instrument of death against others.

I don't want my children to forget. I don't want to forget.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Last week on the way to McKayla's soccer practice we ended up behind her teammate, Katie. Katie was being driven to soccer practice on the back of her dad's motorcycle.

I said, "Oh, how fun! McKayla, don't you wish you got to go to practice on a motorcycle."

Her reply: "No, that would be scary."

Me: "Really? I think it would be so much fun! I have always wanted to own a motorcyle and hope I do someday."

Then McKayla proceeds to lecture me on how dangerous they are and what could happen if I were to crash.

Seriously, who's the parent here? It seems twisted when your 13-year-old daughter is lecturing you on safety.

I Won Again!

Monday I won the tote bag at Jazzercise. Tuesday morning UPS delivered a package from Fraiche.

I follow the blog "Fresh Confessions of a Screwed-Up Texan" (sorry, I can't get the link to work). She ran a contest for Fraiche a while ago and I won. I got to pick a bath soap - I picked peppermint because I like a nice, pick-me-up, fresh, get-your-eyes-open start to my day!

I also got to pick 2 bath fizzes. I picked Spa Splash (can I imagine I'm being pampered?) and Lavendar Fields (it sounds relaxing).

It was a nice start to my week. Too bad my week took a sharp turn downhill on Wednesday (I'll blog more about that later). Let's just say, the relaxing spa products could come in handy.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


Every summer, Sean (the local Jazzercise owner) collects favorite items from every instructor over a period of several weeks and puts them in Jazzercise bags. Then, on Labor Day, Sean draws names for the 3 bags that are now stuffed with fun things. You get to put your name in the drawing every time you attend a class.

This year I won! Yea! You can see the darling pink and black bag. As I've said before, I love tote bags!

It came crammed with fun stuff:

*a Go Green recycle bag
*pebble magnets with Paris scenes
*duct tape
*cat stickers
*two homemade dish cloths
*a Gatorade
*a candle
*a shower scrubby
*a can of pinto beans
*Diet Shasta grapefruit soda
*foot scrub
*a lint roller
*a compact mirror
*a scrubbing sponge
*hand sanitizer
*homemade apricot jam
*a sticky note pad
*Soft Lips
*a Fancy Nancy book
*hair scrunchies
*Hot Tamales
*a car air freshener
*Sweet Pea hand gel
*a pair of socks
*positive notes for lunch boxes
*a flower accessory clip
*a handmade decorative box with handmade cards
*a Killers CD

Seriously! All of that and killer workouts too -- I love Jazzercise!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

2nd place

Yea! Congratulations to McKayla's soccer team, The Utah Glory! They took 2nd place in the Nike Rush Mayor's Cup tournament over Labor Day weekend!

The girls played awesome and have improved so much since becoming a team in early June. They lost the final 0-2 against a team that easily beat them 0-6 only 2 months ago.
Front row: Cloey, Marissa, Aleeya, Erin, Ashley, Courtney, and Katie
Back row: Coach Kevin, Michaela, Erin, McKayla, Libby, Courtney, McKena, Hailee, and Emma

I can't believe how much McKayla has improved her play under her new coach. It has been exciting and fun to watch!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Yellowstone Park

I had really planned to be spending this weekend in Yellowstone Park. Then I discovered McKayla had a soccer tournament and that ended the Yellowstone plans. I joke about how I have no life because my children play soccer but I really don't mind. They love soccer and I am happy they have discovered something they enjoy so much. I enjoy watching them.

Still, I can't help missing Yellowstone just a little bit. I grew up only an hour away from Yellowstone so I was a frequent visitor. I thought Yellowstone was amazing! Everything was cool - from Old Faithful to the bears to the waterfalls to the boiling mudpots! Yes, I actually have seen bears in Yellowstone. In fact, once I saw one fairly close as it was hanging out in a pull-out so we pulled in and watched. That is, we watched until some idiot got out of his car and approached the bear. My dad decided we didn't need to see any more.

As a youth, we would drive through Yellowstone to get to the Idaho Falls Temple for our annual temple trip. We quite often would stop at Old Faithful. There were always so many tourists. One of our favorite things to do was everyone would choose a language and start speaking it. I took 3 years of German in high school so I would speak that. One boy knew a few phrases in Japanese. It was a riot because people around us would get so excited as they tried to figure out what nationality we were. "Oh, that boy is all the way from Japan. Cool!"

I have only taken my kids to Yellowstone once. My mom and I went. We camped and hiked and sightsaw. One of the highlights of the trip for me was seeing a fox while we were hiking. I had never seen a fox before (outside of a zoo, that is). Another highlight was seeing a buffalo up close and personal. I was driving down the road in our Suburban when a herd of buffalo decided to cross the road. They ambled down the road and crossed right in front of our car. A couple of the buffalo actually walked right up to my driver's door and stared in the window at me. Only a piece of safety glass separated me from these giant beasts. It was a thrill but quite intimidating!

I really want to take my children back to Yellowstone so they can experience the majesty and glory of nature that I thing Yellowstone Park magnifies.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Craig and 30th birthdays

Yesterday would have been my brother's, Craig, 30th birthday if he had not been killed by an impaired driver almost 19 years ago.

As I thought of Craig and of 30th birthdays, I thought of my own 30th birthday. It was NOT a good one for me. I really struggled with turning 30. It sounded so old to me. I loved being in my 20's. For one thing, at age 20 I had accomplished quite a bit and still had a whole lifetime ahead of me. Turning 30 somehow made that "whole lifetime" seem so much shorter. For another thing, I was the YW President at the time and as long as I was in my 20's, I didn't feel far removed from "my girls". However, turning 30 made me seem a whole generation away from them.

I think now that I should have been celebrating all the joyful moments I had a chance to experience. I know Craig is happy where he's at and doing what he's doing but we, as a family, were cheated out of enjoying some wonderful moments with him. I, in contrast, had the opportunity by the age of 30 to taste the sweetness of things like:

*graduating from high school
*attending and graduating from college
*getting married
*obtaining my first professional job and feeling the satisfaction of achievement and success in the workplace
*experiencing the thrill of airplane travel (yes, I get a rush when the plane leaves the ground)
*giving birth to three of my children
*experiencing the miracle of my children's first words and first steps
*running a marathon (wow! that was a sweet feeling of success and accomplishment!)
*buying our first home

I don't fear death, but I do hope that if God grants me a 60th birthday here on earth that I won't bemoan my age but will be grateful for the joys I had the opportinity to experience.

And Craig, you are always loved and still thought of. Happy Birthday, little bro!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Shanley's party

Last night Shanley had a sleepover birthday party. I survived! She and her friends had fun.

We started the evening off playing "the Skittle game". (Nothing like getting that many girls hyped up on sugar.)

Then, McKayla and her friends, Dakota and Brooke, taught everyone the "Hoedown Throwdown."

Shanley got some great gifts: three shirts, fun flip-flops, 5 pairs of toe socks, and lots of fingernail and pedicure stuff. Do her friends know her or what?

All the party guests posed on the porch. Front row: Josie Cole, Samantha Simovich, Kailee Varros, Abby Nebeker, and Brookelyn Ludlow. Next row: Tylan McDonald, Meagan Edmunds, Shanley, Kaitlyn Orgill, Shaylynn Lovendahl, and Melissa Conrad. Back: Brooke Barnett, McKayla, Alec, Katie Goins, and Dakota McDonald. All of them except Abby, Brooke, and Katie stayed for the sleepover.

McKayla, Dakota, and Brooke made the frosting and decorated the cake. They even slipped a hidden piece of candy in the cake and awarded the recipient a small prize.

All the girls painted their nails with the new polishes Shanley received.

Friday, September 4, 2009

tote bags

I had a nice productive day yesterday. (It is amazing what you can do when you stay home for longer than 30 minutes at a time.) I made one of these great tote bags (the other one I made a while ago). I love these totes!

I saw a lady using a tote similar to these in Relief Society one Sunday. Instead of diligently listening to the lesson (sshhh...don't tell), I was studying the tote and trying to figure out how I could make one.

I've now made 6 and I fall in love with each and every one. They are unique and I love the fabrics and colors. So far, I have given them all away. I even helped two Mia Maids make ones for themselves. I need to make at least two more for birthdays this year. Maybe then I'll get around to making one for myself. What color will I choose? Hmmm...maybe I'll have to make more than one for myself!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Shanley's Birthday

It is almost impossible to believe but today was Shanley's 12th birthday! I remember so clearly morning sickness, cravings, and labor and now here we are 12 years later...

Her desire was to go to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. Alec, Shanley, and I left the house at 5 am. It was a wonderful start to the day. It was still dark when we left the temple (about 5:50 am) thus the terrible picture quality.

One of our family traditions is that the birthday child gets to pick the meals. Shanley chose sticky buns for breakfast and Little Caesar's pizza for dinner.

Between school, soccer practices, special needs mutual, etc there wasn't a lot of "birthday time". The highlight of Shanley's evening was getting to play volleyball on the Young Women team!

Yes, Shanley is now in Young Women. She has really waited for this day! For the last month, all we've heard for every activity is "can't I come? I'm almost 12."

Funny how things come full circle. I was the YW President of this ward when I gave birth to both McKayla and Shanley. Now they are both in YW and I am the 1st Counselor. I am so very glad I get to be in YW with both of my girls! I got to go to camp the last 2 years with McKayla since I was the camp director but knew I'd get released this year so I figured I wouldn't have the chance to go to camp with Shanley. Now I will get to!

Fun things about Shanley:
1) She has always been a big-time daddy's girl
2) She would share the shirt off her back with anyone
3) She loves fruits and vegetables
4) She literally has dozens of "best" friends
5) She is my only dark-haired child but inside she's a true "blonde"

To know Shanley is to love her!


From a BYU Education Week class taught by Hank Smith, here's 3 ways to increase faith:

1) Believe in good things to come
2) Distance yourself from the world
(don't judge through the world's eyes)
3) Let go of the past

Here's some great quotes dealing with letting go of the past:

It's not fair to judge yesterday's mistakes with today's knowledge" -Hank Smith

"Refuse to let yesterday hold tomorrow hostage." -Elder Neal A. Maxwell

"Don't create a barrier to progress by tying yourselves to past experiences." - Elder Dallin H. Oaks

" is always pointed towards the future." -Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

unmistakable signs of Fall

Yes, signs of Fall are everywhere and I am SO glad because I ADORE Fall! It is my absolute favorite season. Here's the unmistakable signs:

1) My children are back in school
2) Regular season soccer games have started
3) Coats are for sale in the department stores
4) Halloween candy and decor are for sale everywhere
5) My garden is on its last legs
6) My apple tree is bearing crisp, delicious, tart apples
7) The calendar says "September"

The signs are everywhere so it MUST be Fall. Now if only someone could inform he-who-controls-the-weather!

--scrappinsoccermama is so tired of 90+ degree days

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

why I love other people's teens

I really love teenagers! Really I do. Just not always mine.

Today I spent 3 hours at the high school handing out ID cards and picture packets. I saw several teens I know and had fun joking around with some who were complete strangers.

Here's a conversation I had with 2 strangers:

Boy #1 as he playfully shoves Boy #2 out of the way: Hey, I'm in line first. I always get to go first.

Me: Oh, so it's an age before beauty thing.

Boy #2 laughing and punching Boy #1: Yeah, that's it!

Me to Boy #1: Oh, wait. I am just kidding! I did NOT mean it. I do not want to be paying for your therapist for the next 15 years!

Boy #1 laughing: Too late. The damage is already done.

We all laugh and things are light and fun!

Contrast this with Alec arriving home from school:

Me: Hi Alec!

Alec: No! I only love dad, not you!

Teens - gotta love 'em! sigh.