Monday, May 31, 2010

resolution check-up

I can't believe another month has gone by and it's once again time for a check-up on my goals.

Lose weight - Doing okay on this one. The weight loss has slowed considerably and has been more about maintenance. I'd like to get re-motivated to lose more.

Earn YW Medallion - Progressing well here. Finished one more project. I'm basically down to one project and one achievement. I am considering waiting for McKayla so we can get our medallions together. That would be really cool!

Write my grandma's life history - I have spent several hours working on this during the month. Yeah! I am making progress. I've got over 25 pages written but still have a lot more to write and then it's going to take quite a bit of editing. I still wonder if I'll be able to pull this one off by the end of the year.

Do major projects early
CPE - I did 12 hours this month bringing my total for year to 44 hours. I'm probably done for the year since 40 hours a year is what I need. -FINSIHED
Christmas cards - I didn't work on this one at all this month.
nieces and nephews birthday presents - FINISHED!
Christmas gifts - I finished several more.

Write a book - I worked on this one a couple of times during the month but my progress is still very slow.

Get 7 hours of sleep per night - I didn't do too badly on this one until last week. It was horrid and now I've got a terrible cold (probably a result of stress and the lack of sleep).

Conclusion: Again this month I am content with my progress. I'd like to focus more on the book. Also, next month I'd like to be able to report progress (or near completion) on my Christmas cards.

Sunday, May 30, 2010


The most miserable people are those who refuse to change.

I think we all know those people who say "this is just how I am" and they never seem completely happy.

There is a big difference between accepting ourselves and refusing to change. I think it all goes back to knowing what can and can't be changed. We need to accept the things we can't change but be willing to work on areas that can.

I had a roommate in college that was late for EVERYTHING! It didn't matter what we did to help her - she just wouldn't be on-time for anything. It frustrated her and she'd get really upset when we wouldn't wait for her. We gave her several suggestions but she always said, "This is how I am. This is how my mom is. It's just who we are." And she went on being frustrated and upset.

Things I need to change in my life:
1) my sleep habits
2) getting frustrated at "stupid" drivers
3) not turning to food for stress-relief, rewards, etc

I CAN change and I will be happier for it!

birthday giveaways

It is only 11 days until my birthday!

I love birthdays and I want to share mine with you!

I am going to do a week's worth of giveaways to celebrate my birthday. Beginning on Friday, June 4th I will give away a prize every day until my birthday (June 10th). Make sure you tune in every day during that time for your chance to win!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

medal winner

Yesterday was the Unified Sports Soccer tournament. This is a segment of the Special Olympics. Riverton High hosted two teams made up of Special Olympic athletes and peer tutors. The peer tutors from RHS are all members of the high school soccer team.
Front row: Marie Butterfield and Kenny Marse
Second row: Savannah, Chonda, Alec, ?, Eldy Arambula
Back row: Alicia Bowen, Greg Dudley, Carson Broadhead, Mitchell, Austin Cook, Tanner, Paul, Ashley Cornia, Will Christensen, Rob White, Cameron White

RHS fielded an A team and a B team. Alec played for the A team but was a little slow. By the time he saw the ball and his mind processed that he should kick it someone else had usually got there and taken it away. He still managed to score twice though - I guess that proves that slow and steady wins the race! You can see here that he's a bit perplexed about that ball moving so fast!

He still found plenty to cheer about though - like when he scored!

Alec kept everyone entertained during half-times with his rendition of the Haka!

The A-Team:

Back home with his medal:

Friday, May 28, 2010

thought to ponder

We need to believe Christ and not just believe in Him!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alec's Award

I'm a proud mama! Alec received his "social hero" award yesterday in an assembly at the high school. I am proud of him but I am mostly proud of the student body at his high school (over 3000 students). They have been so friendly with, kind to, and accepting of Alec. They are great! I couldn't be happier with his school situation.

The student body officers chose heroes in 4 categories: athletic, academic, social, and service. They chose 4 students in each category to honor. The social heroes were the ones who always have a smile on their face, are kind to everyone, and are very friendly.

Alec is pretty pleased with his award.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

game week

This is a week filled with games!

Monday Chandler had a soccer game (won 7-2). Tuesday Shanley had a softball game (won 9-8 in a nail-biter). McKayla has a soccer game Thursday night and another one Friday night. Then she has two games on Saturday. Alec has at least two soccer games on Friday but could have as many as 5 or 6 depending on how his team does.

For those of you who are counting, that makes a minimum of 8 games and a possibility of as many as 11 or 12.

Is it any wonder my fridge is empty, my house is a mess, and my to-do list is a mile long?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

summer to-do list

Summer doesn't have quite the same meaning to me that it did when I was a youngster. Partly because my children don't enjoy the same "summer". With year-round school my children usually get a 6-week summer. On a couple of sad years, they only ended up with a 3-week summer. Even my high-schoolers and middle-schoolers who are on a traditional schedule don't get to enjoy a long 3 1/2 month summer. Their summer break is much closer to 2 1/2 months. Still, there's a lot to enjoy!

Stuff already planned for summer:
*my women friends and our children trip to Yuba Lake with the waverunners
*youth conference
*family reunion at Ruby's Inn
*Canyon to Canyon half-marathon
*YW Girls' Camp
*family trip to Yellowstone Park with friends
*cousins' camp (for my kids, nieces, and nephews)
*BYU Education Week

Stuff I love to do every summer:
*Riverton Town Days
*Family Fun Day at Wheeler Farm
*Days of '47 Float Preview
*hike to Cecret Lake
*hike to Donut Falls
*soccer tournaments
*waverunners on Utah Lake (frequently)

Special things I want to do this summer:
*hike to Ensign Peak
*host an afternoon tea party
*send Brakston a 1/2 birthday package
*hike from Little to Big Cottonwood Canyon and back

And, of course, let's not forget -- CELEBRATE MY BIRTHDAY!

What are your plans for summer? (I might want to copy some!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

venting and other things about me

I am a person that has to let it all out when I'm irritated. If someone or something aggravates me, I just have to vent! Once I have vented, I am able to move on.

I love planning events -- family reunions, cousins' camps, retreats, YW activities, parties, etc! I like to come up with ideas (or copy them) and then have fun putting those plans in place.

I always feel stress in my neck and shoulder muscles. I might think I'm not stressed but then I notice how tight my muscles are and I know that I really am stressed about something.

There is a new M&M variety out now - a coconut one. Yum! It is delightful! Not surprising that I would think so since my favorite candy bar is Almond Joy and my favorite thing to buy at a chocolate store is a coconut haystack. See a theme there?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


It was a productive week. Friday I spent the entire day sewing and produced this quilt.It is actually for ME! I sewed one for Christmas to give to my sister, Dawnette and have intended to make myself one ever since. I finally got to it!

I also sewed this apron which I'll be giving away:

I sewed this apron for myself:

Notice I added rickrack to my apron! I would feel guilty about making mine more special except I sewed 12 for others first before I even sewed one for myself so I think I can be a little justified in giving mine some extra trimming!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Alec brought home a notice yesterday that he has been nominated and chosen for a Riverton High School Social Hero Award. He and a few other students will be honored at an assembly next Wednesday.

I don't really know anything about this award or what it represents but it sounds cool!

Alec wasn't super excited about it until I told him he gets to stand on the stage during an assembly and everyone will clap for him. That got him revved up! He loves being the center of attention!

I can hardly wait to find out more.

Friday, May 21, 2010


My children would rather do sports than anything! Sometimes I think that they believe life revolves around soccer. So, I try to expose them to cultural activities to give them some balance. Last night we took the entire family to a performance by the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera. They performed selections from the operas "Hansel and Gretel" and "The Magic Flute" among others. Our favorite performance by the symphony was "The William Tell Overture."

Of course, other than Alec, my children claimed it was boring. Oh well, you can't blame me for trying to cram a little culture/refinement down their throats.

The night was not a waste though. McKayla was in a spunky mood and kept us laughing all night. We had a really fun time together.

After all, a family that laughs together, stays together! Right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


I've been doing quite a bit of pondering this week as to why it is so hard to see ourselves and our children clearly.

It seems like parents fall into two categories:
1) those that think their children are perfect and really good at everything
2) those that don't give their children enough credit

I am sure I have been guilty of being in both categories at various times (just not at the same time). I started thinking of this after being at a lunch where two moms were complaining about their sons not making the high school baseball team. They were sure "politics" had come into play.

Now a disclaimer: I have never seen either boy play and even if I had I wouldn't have had a clue about their talent/skill level. Both might be really awesome players.

However, I had to wonder if the mothers' love for their sons clouded their judgment - maybe made them a little prejudiced as to their abilities. I wondered how often I do this. I'm sure I do. On the other hand, I was also accused this week of undervaluing McKayla's abilities.

I don't know how a parent can really take a clear, objective look at their child whom they love so much and want so much for. For that matter, I don't even know how to evaluate myself clearly. In what ways do I delude myself?

Perspective is a tricky business.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

head cold

blah blah blah blah blah

I have a head cold. Need I say more?

On the brighter side, only about 3 more weeks until my birthday! I have to admit that I truly love my birthday. I'm thinking of doing some small giveaways to celebrate. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

decisions made

Sometimes it is just mind-boggling to sit and try to imagine my life if I had done things differently. Every decision, big or small, led me to where I am right now. Some choices I really thought about and pondered. Others seemed inconsequential or were made almost unconciously.

I wanted to serve a mission for my church. I planned to serve one. I had actually gone as far as talking to the head of the BYU Accounting Program to make sure I could leave, serve a mission, then be re-admitted to the accounting program right where I'd left off. Then, I decided to marry Kevin and further, to marry him 6 months prior to being old enough to serve a mission.

It's easy to see some of the ramifications of that decision. Obviously, if I had served a mission, I would not be married to Kevin. I would not have a son who is currently on a mission. I wouldn't have free travel so I probably wouldn't fly anywhere. The list goes on and on.

I wonder about other choices - the decision to have a 5th child (though both Kevin and I were feeling overwhelmed with our other children at the time), the decision to live in Utah (although Kevin and I both swore we would never stay here), the decision to allow Brakston to try out for a competitive soccer team (boy, has that taken us down a soccer-filled life!), the decision to buy the very first home we looked at (who does that anyway? but we're still in it), and on and on and on.

I can't pinpoint all of the twists and turns my life has taken due to my choices but I can say that I am happy with my life and don't think I'd want to change it!

Who can ask for more?

Monday, May 17, 2010

a quote that gives me hope

One of my all-time favorite quotes because it brings peace when I'm struggling and hope when I have fear:

"...Everyone in the church who is on the straight and narrow path, who is striving and struggling and desiring to do what is right, though is far from perfect in this life; if you're on that path and pressing forward, and you die, you'll never get off that path. There is no such thing as falling off the straight and narrow path in the life to come, and the reason is that this life is the time that is given to men to prepare for eternity. If you are on the path when death'll never fall off from it, and for all practical purposes, your calling and election is made sure."

Elder Bruce R. McConkie
"The Probationary Test of Mortality"
(address given to Institute students
at the University of Utah Jan. 10, 1982)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

garage sale finds

I do love a bargain!

Garage sale shopping yesterday netted a few "finds":

A brand-new flower bag (tags still attached) and a cute basket for Shanley:

Darling photo frame and cute purse for McKayla:

A picnic basket for me:
I've actually always wanted a picnic basket!

I also got some darling metallic decorative brads that I think I'll make into earrings. I didn't take a picture but I bought packages of 8 for 10 cents. They'll make great earrings for cheap!

And my absolute BEST find of the day:

Yep, Igloo insulated drink containers! I bought 4 of them (there is another small one) and they were brand-new with tags attached. Guess how much? 25 cents each!!! Woo Hoo!

I must admit I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


I believe myself to be a patriotic person.

I vote in every election (and try to be informed about who and what I'm voting for). I attend my precinct caucus meetings and have even served as a delegate to the county and state conventions.

I've read the Constitution. I know the words to our national anthem. I love to hear the song "I'm Proud to Be An American."

As a junior in high school I attended Close-Up (a week-long visit to Washington, D.C. to see how our government operates). I attended classes on government, lawmakers, elections, separation of powers, etc.

I've visited many historic sites such as Gettysburg, Philadelphia, Arlington Cemetery, etc.

But maybe the best proof that I really love this country is the fact that I still get choked up every time I say the Pledge of Allegiance and I can't sing "The Star-Spangled Banner" without crying.

I truly am proud to be an American!

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 highly recommend.

**The Safe-Keeper's Secret (Safe-Keepers, #1) by Sharon Shinn

As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Becoming Jane Eyre by Sheila Kohler

Child of the Prophecy (Sevenwaters, #3) by Juliet Marillier

**101 Things You Should Do Before Going to Heaven by David Bordon

The Enchantment Emporium by Tanya Huff

**The Continuous Atonement by Brad Wilcox

**Son of the Shadows (Sevenwaters, #2) by Juliet Marillier

Friday, May 14, 2010

creature of habit

I've admitted it before.

I am a habitual person.

I park in the same row when I go to WalMart. I sit on the same bench every week at church. I park in the exact same spot every Tuesday morning when I arrive at the temple (I arrive REALLY early so I have my choice of spots).

Yesterday I realized my customary behavior goes really deep. I spent the day at BYU and had to use the restroom 4 times while I was there. The first three times, I not only used the same bathroom every time (there were at least 3 nearby to choose from) but I used the exact same stall. Creepy!

The fourth time I decided to go a little crazy and shake things up a bit! I got daring and used {GASP!} a DIFFERENT stall.

Wow! Are you so impressed with my wild side?

What's next? Leaving for Jazzercise 2 minutes later than my normal departure time? Taking a different route when driving McKayla to soccer practice? The possibilities are endless...

Thursday, May 13, 2010

cupcake extravaganza

I have been on a cupcake-baking frenzy lately.

I bought some cupcakes for teachers for teacher appreciation week and they were so cute (and yummy sounding) that they inspired me.

Last Saturday I had a ward party so I baked peanut butter cupcakes with chocolate buttercream icing topped with chopped Reese's. Yum!

I had my mom over for Mother's Day and baked S'Mores Cupcakes. They were chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chips on a graham cracker base frosted with marshmallow creme and topped with chopped Hershey Bars. Yum!

Today I had my YW over plus Shanley was supposed to take treats to her Beehive Activity so I made Cookie Dough Cupcakes. Yellow cake with a blob of gooey cookie dough in the center frosted with chocolate buttercream and topped with chopped chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Anybody got a cupcake idea they want me to try to bake? I just might be up for it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

phone problems

I absolutely HATE to talk on the phone!

I know. Totally untypical for a woman, huh?

However, this is actually getting to be a problem. For instance, Alec is past due for an eye exam. In fact, not only does he need a new prescription but he also needs new glasses. The lenses keep popping out on his. The poor guy is really quite blind.

Do you know the hold up on getting him an exam?

It was the thought of being on the phone. I knew I'd have to call our insurance company to see which optometrists they cover. Then I'd have to call Alec's secondary insurance to see which optometrists they cover. Then I'd have to match up the lists to see if any of them appear on both lists. Then I'd finally have to make a call to schedule an appointment.

Pretty pathetic that Alec has had to wait weeks just because his mom doesn't want to spend that long on the phone.

At least I finally got it done.

Now to schedule Shanley's dentist appointment....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

we all have a twin

It's been said that everyone has a twin somewhere in the world.
I guess mine is my sister.

Personally, I think we do look like sisters but certainly not identical!

However, last week while watching her kids at her home in Texas I was constantly being mistaken for her. Several times when people would see me their first reaction would be: "Oh, you've cut your hair!"

"Um, no." ("and, by the way, neither has Dawnette")

Then, I attended pack meeting with Carson. Being friendly, I struck up a conversation with the guy sitting in front of me. We chatted for quite a while and I was feeling pleased that he was being friendly and not treating me like the stranger I was.

That is until he said, "Now, you and Cory have lived here for about a year now, right?"

Um, no. That would be my sister Dawnette.

I guess we look more alike than I thought.

Monday, May 10, 2010

he knows me well

My husband definitely knows what to buy me for Mother's Day:

Yep, that's right. It's my prepaid admission to BYU Education Week.

I can hardly wait for August!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

Some of my favorite memories of my mom:

*she always got up with me when I got home from a date, came in the bathroom with me while I got ready for bed, and then climbed into my twin bed with me to listen to all the details of my night

*she was always there when I got home from school (ALWAYS) so I could tell her all about my day

*she put up with me never making my bed (I couldn't see the point since I was going to get back into it that night)

Some of my favorite times as a mom:

*Brakston taking me on a date to the movies (on a Friday night no less)!

*Alec always being happy to see me even if I was only gone long enough to step outside and get the mail.

*McKayla having Brooke and Dakota over and all of us laughing and chatting (or picking all three up from a stake dance and hearing them recount their evening).

*Shanley not being afraid to try things or look silly.

*Chandler saying the funniest things and making me laugh or giving me the best hugs in the world!

I was blessed to have a wonderful mother and further blessed to have delightful children. I feel lucky to be their mom!

Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Texas rules follow-up

For those of you who read this blog entry on rules, here is a follow-up story on how a Texas elementary student was given a week's detention for having a Jolly Rancher candy at the lunch table.

Thank goodness I didn't screw up and send my nephews and niece with a Hershey's kiss in their lunch!

time put to use

It is amazing the things you can get done even when you feel you're constantly chasing a one-year-old who is in to everything!

Of course, it helps when you're not at home so the phone isn't ringing, you don't feel guilty about not cleaning (at least not too guilty), you don't have to go grocery shopping, you're not substitute teaching seminary 2-3 days of the week, you're not helping in your child's classroom, you're not attending PTA meetings, etc.

Yes, Hannah took naps and besides, I was home in the evenings much earlier than I usually am (with all of Dawnette's kids in bed) so I had time to get some things done.

I made 3 cards including the one that will be my invitation to "tea" (yes, I am planning on hosting an English tea just because it sounds fun).

I crocheted beads onto 2 pairs of socks.

I read 4 books (of course, one was on the flight down and one on the flight home but that still counts).

I knit 2 dishcloths.

I worked on my book and I completed 12 hours of CPE (continuing professional education required to keep my CPA license).

I also managed to go running every morning.

Not too shabby of a week if I do say so myself.

(Now, it's back to catch-up on all the things I didn't get done at home!)

Friday, May 7, 2010

cool quote

"While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about."

--Angela Schwindt

What have your children taught you lately?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

rules galore

After a taste of Texas schools' security I think Utah is pretty lax.

I have to ring a buzzer before entering any school and state why I am there. Then, after I'm allowed in, I have to go to the office and show them my driver's license. They make a copy of this, print out a photo sticker of it, and then I'm required to wear that while on the school premises. This even goes for my nephew's preschool.


(I'm wondering if I should shred my photo stickers. That's got to be an increased risk for identity theft having all those copies of my driver's license floating around.)

They also have very specific rules about what can be brought in lunches - no candy, Little Debbie snacks, or cookies. I would blame allergies but they allow peanut butter sandwiches and peanuts are one of the most common allergies. I guess they just don't want students on a sugar high.

And don't get me started on picking the kids up from school. (Okay, too late, I've already started.) You must have a placard with your students' names and their teachers on it. This must be displayed on your dashboard. You drive up to the curb and a teacher reads the placard and then calls over a bullhorn to your students and tells them which number to stand by (parking spots are numbered). You pull into the assigned spot and your students arise from their seated positions and make their way to you - all very supervised.

I wonder if that means no carpooling.

A few years ago some friends and I went shopping and realized we were not going to make it back in time to pick up our children. I called my husband and gave him the list of kids to pick up. That could never happen here.

I'm getting way off topic but that's a really funny story.

My husband picked up the children of 4 or 5 women and took them all home. Later, one of the moms asked her son who drove him home (just testing him). He said, "I don't know." She was aghast and said, "Wait, you mean you got in a car with a stranger?" He said, "Well, all the other kids were." She told him, "That wasn't really a stranger. That was the Bishop who gave you a ride home." Her son said, "No it wasn't. He wasn't wearing a suit."

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo

I am really missing my family today. Plus, I am missing the activities I'd be doing with them if I were home.

I'm missing Alec's final track meet (actually, and unfortunately because this is even worse, Alec has to miss it to since I'm not there to help shuffle people around). I'm missing McKayla's next-to-last soccer game of the season (tomorrow is the final game and I'll miss that too). I'm missing Shanley's softball game. I'm missing our family's Cinco de Mayo celebration.

Yes, I realize about that last one that we're not Hispanic. I also realize that Cinco de Mayo is kind of a made up American holiday. But what the heck? I've been known to celebrate for lesser reasons. I just like to party.

Cinco de Mayo at my home has been known to involve people over for dinner, Mexican food, Mexican music, and a pinata! Alas, today I'll have to content myself with whipping up some tacos for my nieces and nephews.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

sin vs. transgression

I had a conversation with a friend last week regarding the LDS view of Eve. She feels that Eve is villified for her sin. I think that is a common misperception in the world and sometimes in the church because we fail to distinguish between sin and transgression.

We need look no further than the second Article of Faith to see that "men are punished for their own SIN and not for Adam's TRANSGRESSION."

Elder Dallin H. Oaks has said sin is something that is inherently wrong such as murder. Other things are transgressions only because they are formally prohibited such as speeding or driving without a license.

Such is the case with Adam and Eve. Partaking of the fruit was a transgression only because it had been formally prohibited. Yet, it was necessary and was part of the plan. God didn't say, "Oops! They screwed up! I didn't see that coming." He didn't have to adjust his plans to compensate for their fall. That was THE PLAN.

Nowhere in the scriptures do we get any indication that Adam and Eve have given themselves over to Satan. In fact, the biblical story of Adam and Eve mentions Satan in only six verses: Genesis 3:1–4, 13, and 15. These verses are all in relation to the temptation in the garden. There are no subsequent references to Satan’s interference in their lives. Moses 5 gives considerable detail about his influence within the ranks of Adam and Eve’s family in mortality.

" began from that time forth to be carnal, sensual, and devilish” (Moses 5:12–13). It is very instructive that even though Adam and Eve had earlier yielded to Satan’s influence in Eden, these words were not used to describe them but rather to describe their disobedient sons and daughters.

Adam and Eve are glorious beings! I know this to be true!

Monday, May 3, 2010

did I miss that gene?

Confession time - I don't really like kids.

I love my own just fine but I still didn't really know what to do with them when they were babies and toddlers.

I think I am a much better mom to teens. I can relate to them and talk to them easily. Being around teens gets my adrenaline pumping and makes me feel alive. The Lord must know that about me since I have mostly had callings dealing with the youth (rarely have I been in Primary and not for years and years!)

I've never really been the type of person to want to hold everyone's new baby. I guess I missed out on the "loves babies" gene!

Sunday, May 2, 2010


McKayla was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society last Thursday. It was pretty cool (hard not to be proud when your children are doing well).

I was going to post pictures but I'm in Texas and forgot my camera/computer hook-up cord (is that the technical name for it?) Oh well, just picture a cute girl in a dress in a crowd of other similarly-dressed 8th graders. You'll get the idea.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Red Butte Gardens

Chandler is currently off-track so earlier this week we went to Red Butte Gardens. We went with Jill and Karen and a couple of their kids. The kids had a delightful time and were begging to stay longer!