Wednesday, June 30, 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. The first month of summer has not been exemplary as far as goal-achievement-too much playing!

Lose weight - I've definitely lost weight this month. Unfortunately, I just keep losing the same weight I'm gaining. I gained 3 for my birthday and had to lose them. I gained 3 or 4 camping and had to lose them. I gained a few more at Youth Conference and had to lose them. In other words, I've yo-yoed all over the place but the net result is at least I'm not UP in the weight category.

Earn YW Medallion - I'm still down to one project and one achievement (same as last month). The only difference is that I've worked on the project for another 5 hours (this will be WAY over the 10 hour project requirement). 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 added another 10 pages for a total of 35 pages written but still have a bit 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 - My total for the year is 44 hours. -FINSIHED in May
Christmas cards - I got them all cut out.
nieces and nephews birthday presents - FINISHED!
Christmas gifts - I finished only one 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 (summer and vacations help - youth conference didn't).

Conclusion: Again this month I am content with my progress. I'd like to focus more on the book and the Christmas cards.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

25th class reunion

This weekend is my 25th high school class reunion (yes, I am really that old but you could hardly expect me to try to get away with saying I'm younger when my oldest is on his mission).

I am really torn about going. Part of me would like to go and spend an hour or two catching up with people. If my parents still lived there, I'd attend the reunion in a heartbeat. However, since they don't, I'd have to fork over money for a hotel and a rental car.

The 4th of July is HUGE in Cody so hotel rooms are not cheap! Seriously, I am talking BIG celebration - they hold the parade for 3 days in a row (2nd, 3rd, and 4th). There is also a HUGE rodeo held every afternoon and evening. So, they can charge premium hotel and car rental prices.

There is no one I want to see badly enough to put out that kind of money. I had friends in high school and I actually loved my high school years. I was homecoming royalty, winter formal royalty, Broncette president but I really didn't have any super close friends. My best friends my senior year were mostly guys (Dan F., Dan M., Todd, Jack, and Barry) and we haven't kept in touch (for obvious reasons).

On the other hand, part of me is curious and would like to see everyone again.

On the other hand, I'm not sure how much has changed since we were in high school - a lot of the reunion plans seem to revolve around bars, kegs, and alcohol.

I guess I'll just miss it and chalk it up to having moved on.

--scrappinsoccermama wants to know if you attend your reunions and if so, do you enjoy them?

Monday, June 28, 2010

I LOVE to camp!

I really do! and I am talking about REAL camping here - no trailers for me (that's cheating!).

I love the mountains and the cooler temperatures. I love fires and s'mores and singing around the campfire. I love hiking. I love waking up to the sound of a river rushing by. I love glimpsing deer, elk, and other wildlife. I love being warm in my sleeping bag when the air around me is icy. I love how good my shower feels when I get home!

Last week's Youth Conference was the 12th one I've been on in my life. When I was growing up, we spent our youth conferences on college campuses so there was no camping involved. Years ago when I was the YW President we did one of our YC at Snow College but otherwise, they have all involved camping. Yea!

Twelve YC is probably not a bad record but it doesn't come close to my girls' camp attendance - this year will be my 20th!!!

Good thing I love to camp!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Youth Conference

Yesterday I got back from an absolutely wonderful youth conference! We had SO much fun and yet it was also very relaxing.

Lessons learned:

*When the males plan and are in charge, their lack of preparation we make me insane and I'll worry myself almost to death but everything will end up working out.

*Having a relaxed atmosphere still does not mean I'll go home well rested (there's still no sleep as the youth stay up until early morning hours and I think I'm physically unable to sleep past 6:30am).

*Sometimes less is more. We only had 4 YW attend (as opposed to 16 YM). There was only a potential of 8 that could attend so we had 50%. However, it worked out that we had one senior, one junior, one sophomore, and one freshman which meant no one was particularly good friends. That worked well because there was no pairing up and leaving people out!

*The things the youth hate the most will end up meaning the most to them - specifically the two hour service project spent weeding a severely overgrown park. They couldn't stop talking at testimony meeting about the difference they'd made!

*The youth never want to go on youth conference because it never sounds fun to them and then they ALWAYS have such a great time and think it was awesome!

*If the men are doing the cooking, don't look at how dirty the pots are that they're using (because they've been stored in the scout shed for a year and no one thought to bring dish soap). Just eat your food and count yourself lucky that you didn't have to cook it!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

fried pickles, roasted Starbursts...

Tonight Kevin and I went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse. We chose that restaurant because we had a gift card.

They were featuring a new appetizer - fried pickles! Our server made them sound so good that we decided "what the heck" and gave 'em a try.

We really liked them!

and while we're on the subject of weird foods. I took Starbursts up to our ward Youth Conference so the youth could roast them. Seriously. Roasting the Starburst really enhances the flavor. I've taken them to girls' camp before but it was a new experience for the young men. They liked them.

I met someone during our Youth Conference service project who told me they like to roast Twinkies over the campfire. I told the girls that we'll try that at girls' camp this year.

I do get a kick out of trying new foods even if they're as unhealthy as all of these!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Chandler only has a little over one week left of 3rd grade. He has had awesome teachers this year!

Mrs. Garbett is his "a.m." teacher. She teaches reading and spelling and social studies.

Mrs. Nokes is his "p.m." teacher. She covers math and science and art.

His class (and another 3rd grade class) put on a musical on Wednesday - Where the Wild Things Are. It was great! Unfortunately, I can't get any of my video clips to upload.

I did get a nice pic of Chandler as a "Wild Thing" with "Max" (Joseph Nokes).

Thursday, June 24, 2010

fortitude and determination

I know all my posts lately have been about soccer and tennis but this is going to be one more that involves tennis.

Yesterday I watched a marathon match. The first 4 sets of this match were played the night before. Then they suspended the game (after 3 hours) because it was too dark to continue. They were just going to play the 5th set on the following day. Easy, right?

However, Wimbledon has a rule that a 5th set is never decided by a tie break. So, the two men played for over 7 hours yesterday! That's right - the 5th set lasted over 7 hours and again had to be suspended due to lack of light. They were tied at 59 games apiece and will have to come back again today to try to finish this marathon match.

It just made me reflect on fortitude, determination, and motivation.

What could possibly make two men continue playing when they can hardly stand upright? They have played for over 10 hours already and there is no end in sight. When does one cry "uncle"? I can't possibly believe that even when one of them eventually wins, he'll actually have any strength or energy left to play his next match. I have to wonder if rather than wanting to win neither can stomach the idea of losing after investing so much time and energy in this match? Are they playing not to lose?

Is there something, besides my children and my husband, that I would fight that long and hard for? I'm fairly competitive but this goes beyond my realm of understanding.

**scrappinsoccermama did NOT watch all 7 hours of set 5 (I do have one or two things to do during my day despite how it sounds).

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

tennis and soccer

Yesterday I blogged about how my current sports obsessions are tennis and soccer. Here's a couple random thoughts about those.

When I watch World Cup, I don't usually care who wins (except when U.S.A. is playing, of course). I just really enjoy seeing good soccer.

That's not quite the case with tennis. I am much more interested in watching tennis when I care about who is playing.

Favorites over the years - Andre Agassi, Stefan Edberg, Patrick Rafter, Andy Roddick, Gabriella Sabatini, and Lindsey Davenport.

I have a small regret - I never got to watch Andre Agassi play in person. I really would have loved attending one of his matches at the U.S. Open.

I am currently reading Andre's autobiography - Open: An Autobiography. It is fascinating.

Attending Wimbledon is actually on my list of 100 lifetime goals.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

People change...

...or at least their tastes often do.

Growing up I was fairly obsessed with football and basketball. My love was pretty much confined to the high school level of play (this might have had something to do with the fact that my family did NOT own a TV and I grew up in a small town with NO pro or even semi-pro sports teams).

As I entered college, I loved college football and basketball. Then, in the summer after my junior year I took a tennis class. Instantly, I was hooked on pro tennis. I started watching all of the Grand Slam events.

I graduated college and started work and my taste in sports graduated to pro football and pro basketball (more specifically - The Jazz). I followed the Jazz and could easily keep up with the office cooler talk. I was obsessed with pro football and even joined a fantasy football league (I was the ONLY woman). I drafted players and actually won the pool several years.

Then Brakston started playing sports. He tried several sports but absolutely LOVED soccer. He played on a competitive soccer team for 11 years. He also played on his high school team. Several of my younger kids followed suite. I became a HUGE soccer fan (my only football these days is BYU).

Guess what I'm watching on TV right now?

Yep, World Cup. Love it.

and the icing on the cake? When the game is over, I can switch channels from World Cup on ESPN to Wimbledon on ESPN2. Ain't life grand?

Monday, June 21, 2010

favorite recipe

Kevin requested one of our family's favorite recipes for his Father's Day dinner. I haven't made it in a little while and had forgotten how much we all love this recipe.

Penne with Sausage and Broccoli
1 pound penne pasta
3 C broccoli florets
4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz lowfat turkey or chicken sausage
1/2 C fat free chicken broth
1/2 C Parmesan cheese, grated
1 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
ground black pepper

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water for 8 minutes. Add broccoli and cook 3 minutes or until both are tender. Drain and place in a large bowl. While pasta is cooking, coat a nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray and place over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Crumble sausage into skillet. Cook 5 minutes or until browned. Pour over the pasta in the large bowl. Add the broth, Parmesan cheese, oil and vinegar. Toss to mix. Season with pepper.

Truly yummy!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day

I love both my father and the father of my children.

Five reasons I love my dad:

1) I always knew he was proud of me because he'd brag about me to his friends and co-workers in my presence.
2) He was always one of the first to welcome a new family into the neighborhood and to help them get moved in and settled.
3) He's one of the smartest people I know and can converse intelligently about almost anything.
4) He helped foster my love of books by setting a good example of reading.
5) He taught me to shoot a gun, mow a lawn, change a tire, etc

Five reasons I love my husband in his role as a dad:

1) He spends time with our children (playing, watching movies, reading to them, etc)
2) He sets a good example for them on how to treat others
3) He uses his Priesthood power to bless every one of our children (and me).
4) He has taught our children how to fix things, mow lawns, plant gardens, prepare talks, etc
5) He balances me out (If I over-react, he stays calm. If I've had it, he comes home fresh. If I'm too strict, he relaxes things. And vice-versa on all of it!) We complement each other nicely.

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

McKayla and EFY

It is so wonderful to have McKayla back! I left for Logan this morning at 5 am to retrieve her.

She had a great time!

Here's some nuggets she shared:

"Spirituality is tiring."
"The boys escorted us everywhere."
"This guy challenged me to a one-on-one soccer game and I beat him! He was embarrassed because he thought he'd win easily!"
"Testimony meeting was the best thing!"
"The firesides were really good."
"I loved my group!"
"Michael wanted to give me a kiss but I wouldn't let him (even on the cheek). It was EFY for crying out loud! Who's going to kiss there?"

--scrappinsoccermama is glad she had a great time but not thrilled about the kiss (thrilled about her saying no though!). Brakston has often told us he's bring a machete home with him so he can protect his sisters. One more reason to want him home soon - we need that machete! heehee!

Friday, June 18, 2010

best coach!

Shanley's team concluded their softball season about one and a half weeks ago. They finished regular season play and the concluding tournament in the top half of their age group. It was a completely new sport for me (and I had to learn it quickly because as the team mom, I had to keep score). I enjoyed Shanley's games.

Back row: Coach Lyons, Kandace Fuller, Meagan Knight, Kaeli Varoz, Shanley Morgan, Bella, Tylar Carpenter, and Coach Carpenter. Front row: Katie Eastman, Cassidy Lyons, Isabella, Brookelyn Ludlow, and Trista.
I was COMPLETELY won over by her head coach! Chad Carpenter was absolutely AMAZING! I have never met anyone nicer or more positive. He never, ever lost his cool. If a player really screwed up, he would find something positive and encouraging to say. If the ref blew a call, he would laugh it off. If the opposing coach got angry about something, he would help calm the coach down. Even Chandler and McKayla noticed it and commented about it when they attended games. And, to top it off, he knew a lot about the game and was able to teach the girls and improve their skills! Who could ask for more?

Oh, wait. I got more! At the end of the season, when it's traditionally time to present the coach with a gift, he gave me one!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

books I've read in the past month

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

*Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

*The Thorn (The Chronicles of Gan, #1) by Daron D. Fraley

*Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

*The Golden Spiral (Hourglass Door Trilogy, #2) by Lisa Mangum

Yuba Lake

The fun at Yuba started almost the moment we arrived. Ellie spotted a lizard and Jared caught it.

I love how Ellie and Hannah hold hands (especially when braving the water).

Of course, most of the fun took place in the water. Cole enjoyed the water seat. Almost all of us enjoyed the water lounges at one point or another. I enjoyed lazily lying on one and basking in the sun until a rouge wave hit and tipped me into the arctic water!

The waverunners were the main draw. Nathan, Cole, and Shanley studied hard and spent many hours taking the personal watercraft class so they could become licensed drivers (Zach already had his from last year). We had 7 drivers so the waverunners did NOT sit idle for long.

We also enjoyed some yummy food, a few great games of Boggle (I love that game), Ghosts in the Graveyard, beach ball volleyball, etc.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

anything guys can do, I can do...or NOT!

With Kevin out of town all the time, I have taken a perverse pride in being very independent. I have learned to do so many things on my own. At times, Kevin has even moaned, "You don't need me." (Not true, there are even specific things I have intentionally not learned to do so that he'll still have to do them.) I have hiked alone with 5 children when the youngest still had to be carried in a backpack. I camp alone. I've assembled furniture and fixed things around the house. I've built things, etc.

Maybe I've gotten too proud (pride cometh before the fall, you know).

On Monday I took off for Yuba Lake with a couple girlfriends and their children. The secretary at Chandler's school couldn't believe I was going on my own. She wanted to know who was going to set up the tent. Me. She wanted to know who was going to haul the waverunners. Me. She wanted to know who was going to back the waverunner trailer into the water. Me.

See - too much pride.

I headed home earlier today and hadn't even gone 5 miles when the axle on the trailer bent. That meant the wheels were now rubbing on the trailer fenders which was causing smoke and overheated tires which would eventually lead to fire and destroyed tires!

My friend, Jill, and I grabbed hammers and used all our might trying to bend the fender. No luck. We thought maybe we could do it if we jacked up the trailer but I was scared to do that with the waverunners on it. I finally stopped a man and asked for his help. He jacked up the trailer and, with his crowbar, bent the fenders so they wouldn't rub.

I then was able to drive back home.

After receiving this assistance from a MAN. Yep, I can't do it all.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

McKayla's first flowers from a boy...

Oh my gosh!

My beautiful little girl must be growing up because she had not just one but TWO boys give her these flowers the other night. Ostensibly the flowers were to wish her well on her talk in church on Sunday but...

Am I ready for my daughter to be receiving this kind of attention from boys? I guess I'd better be.

Monday, June 14, 2010

sew crafty

I was feeling a little crafty and creative (a dangerous combination, I'm sure) on Saturday. So, I whipped up a couple of headbands for my girls. I think they turned out cute and it was a great way to use fabric scraps.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

more on Eve

Several weeks ago I posted some thoughts on Eve. After seeing my post, my mom loaned me a book entitled Eve and the Choice Made in Eden by Beverly Campbell. I haven't finished reading it yet but it has opened my eyes to a few more thoughts on our mother, Eve.

The author quotes a Hebrew scholar, Dr. Nehama Aschkenasy, as having researched the word command as used in the Creation story. She found that it "was from a different verb form, whose usage connotes a strong, severe warning, perhaps a statement of law, that was possibly temporary in nature, so that at some future, unspecified time it might not apply."

This might be similar to telling your child to never, under any condition, touch the stove. You mean it at the time and it is a hard and fast rule until you deem your child responsible enough to learn to cook.

I found this to be an interesting thought. Eve had matured and grown enough to make a wise decision. Remember, while she lived in the Garden she was able to talk to God and be taught line upon line and precept upon precept. This fits my image of Eve being an educated, wise woman who made a good, unselfish decision. Her decision was not in her best interest (she walked and talked with God after all) but it was in the best interest of all mankind that she partake of the fruit and allow each of us the opportunity to come to earth.

Elder Russell M. Nelson said, "We and all mankind are forever blessed because of Eve's great courage and wisdom. By partaking of the fruit first, she did what needed to be done. Adam was wise enough to do likewise." ("Constancy Amid Change")

More and more, as I study, I come to believe Eve is an incredible woman who deserves honor and praise.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

This is the Place

Yesterday I took Alec, McKayla, and Chandler to This is the Place Heritage Park. (Shanley had a "school's out" party - her first boy/girl party.) Chandler and Alec did some chores (couldn't get McKayla to - what a surprise!)

We all had fun playing pioneer games. McKayla and I tried a hoop toss using sticks which we were amazingly bad at much to the chagrin of the innocent passers-by whom we hit. Chandler rolled a wheel using a stick (I was bad at that one too!)
McKayla walked on some stilt-like contraptions. We helped Alec just to stand on them and it made him laugh hysterically.
Chandler got to feed some new lambs.
We rode the train and played an "I Spy" game. It was fun and interesting and WET! Yes, wet. It rained quite a bit. Alec tried hiding from the rain. Finally, drowned rats that we were, we called it quits and headed to my parents' apartment for dinner. Chandler has decided that my parents live near all the "cool" things so we should just move in with them. (Yeah, that wouldn't be crowded - an extra six of us in a one-bedroom apartment. Sounds fun. NOT!)

Friday, June 11, 2010

best birthday

If I were to make a list of my best birthdays ever - yesterdays would definitely be on the list! I had such a great day!

In fact, I had a great birthday week. Thanks so much to everyone who played along with my giveaway week - I loved it! It was a lot of fun for me and I think I just may have to make it a birthday week tradition. Of course, I feel badly that not everyone won, so this morning I thought maybe I'd just give something to everyone that entered. That was a nice thought until I realized I'd have to come up with NINE more prizes. Sorry! But stick around, I'll probably hold another giveaway at some point - they are a lot of fun.

Anyway, my birthday was a good one! I started the day with lots of exercise - a Jazzercise class, a 3-mile run, and another Jazzercise class (all that exercise and I stepped on the scale this morning to find I'd still gained weight. Really??? Do birthday calories count? They shouldn't.) Kevin made me strawberry crepes for breakfast. Yum!

Friends took me to lunch at my favorite restaurant - Macaroni Grill. Yum! The conversation was great (couldn't ask for better friends!) and I even got sang to in Italian! Then they took me to The Cheesecake Factory for Godiva Chocolate Cheesecake. Double yum! That is absolutely to die for! All of this followed by pedicures (I told you that I have the bestest friends ever!).

Meanwhile, Kevin had been home washing all of the windows and blinds in the house. Wow! What a great gift! It looks so great! We dropped McKayla off at soccer practice with the high school team and then the rest of us went shopping at DI. I love DI because I adore a bargain! I bought everybody something. I even bought myself a cupcake stand.

We picked up McKayla and the family went to dinner at Jumbo Burger (I had a gift certificate). Kevin and I split a gyro and onion rings. (With all of this eating, is it any wonder I gained weight?)

To top off a wonderful day, I even got to bed early and managed to get a little over 7 hours of sleep. Heaven!

Oh yeah, I got some good loot too:
Even sweet little Chandler used the "money" he earned at school to buy me a ceramic king head that I can paint?!? and a post-it pad (love that).

Thanks everyone!

and the WINNER is...

#5 - Tonya

Wow! Two days in a row! Maybe it's your lucky week/month!


Thursday, June 10, 2010

cool birthday quote

Life is not a matter of counting years,
it's a matter of making years count.


Like all good things, this giveaway week must come to an end. Today is the final giveaway and this is what you could win:

A cute picture holder (picture NOT included) and a double-size Cadbury Wunderbar straight from Canada!!!

Yes, folks, you can't get these candy bars here in the states. When my husband flies to Canada, he tries to pick up one or two. He is only successful some of the time. Depending on who the captain or flight attendants are and if they beat him to the airport newsstand and to the hotel gift shop, they will often buyout the place. I am NOT kidding! The flight crews buy them by the case! They are good so I know you'll want to win.

Just leave your name in a comment below. You can still enter even if you've won previously. All entries must be received by midnight and the winner will be posted on Friday, June 11th by 9am.

Good luck!

and the WINNER is...

#3 - Tonya

Congratulations, Tonya! I hope you have someone great to give the socks to. And, SURPRISE! I'll also be bringing a bonus gift just for you!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Today's giveaway is for not one but TWO pair of infant/toddler socks that I've crocheted beads onto (all girls need a little bling!). One pair has clear and blue beads. The other pair has yellow and pink beads.

What? You say they won't fit? Well, share them with your little girl! You don't have a little girl, you say? Well, they make great baby gifts. You can even pretend that YOU are the one who made them (as long as you don't mind claiming imperfection).

Just leave your name in a comment below. All entries must be received by midnight tonight. The winner will be posted on Thursday, June 10th by 9am. Best of luck to you!

and the WINNER is...

Congratulations to #1 - Holly! Your book will be mailed shortly along with a surprise bonus (because as I've mentioned before - I LOVE surprises!).

Happy reading!

just a peek...

This is what you missed out on if you didn't enter to win (or if you entered but did not win) the cupcake giveaway.
BethAnn, I hope you enjoy your beautiful S'Mores cupcakes!

ba gets a dozen of them. I may or may not have eaten one of the finished products. McKayla may or may not have eaten THREE!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


Today's giveaway is a book - 101 Things to Do Before Going to Heaven.

To enter, just leave a comment or your name below. I am really enjoying giving stuff away - what a great way to celebrate my birthday week. I just wish every single person could win!

U.S. entries only please.

Good luck to all!

and the WINNER is...

I am SO, SO excited! I finally had enough entries to actually use the random number generator program on my computer (rather than just rolling a die).

and the winning number is...

#3 - Barb

Congratulations Barb! You are now the proud owner of a cheerful daisy apron guaranteed to make all of your baking projects a tasty success (fine print says "Can't actually guarantee anything will taste better but you'll look cute, so who cares?)

Monday, June 7, 2010

in honor of our brother

I am the oldest of 7 children. I'd classify us as a fairly close family. Unfortunately, my youngest brother, Craig, was killed by a drunk driver almost 20 years ago. He was only 11 years old.

Craig was a joy to be around. He was happy and fun and friendly and helpful. I know we all still miss him.

Of the six remaining siblings, five of us have named a son after Craig. I guess it's just our way of honoring our little bro.
L to R: Ryan Craig Nelson (Tonya's), Joshua Craig Furnell (Jolyn's), Craig Alec Morgan (mine), Garrett Craig Lawton (Todd's), and the newest addition to the family is Isaac Craig Lawton (Ben's).

A whole family of Craigs. Could there be anything better?

and this is a photo of my darling nieces that I just couldn't resist posting.
Maggie (Ben's) and Avery (Todd's) Dang they're cute!


Today's giveaway is for a flirty-skirty full apron made with cheerful daisy fabric.

To win, just leave your name in a comment below. Don't be shy! Even if you've never made a comment before, I'd still love to give you a prize. One entry per person per day. You may enter AND win more than once during the week. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator. Entries close today at midnight. The winner will be posted by 9am on Tuesday, June 8th. U.S. addresses only please - I can't afford international shipping.

and the day three WINNER is...

ba again! One dozen s'mores cupcakes coming right up! (though you do know that you'll have to do lots of Jazzercise to work them off,right? see you in class!)

Sunday, June 6, 2010


Today's giveaway is for a dozen cupcakes! Yummy!

The winner gets to pick the flavor like one of these:

Cinnamon Toast Cupcake with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

Brooklyn Blackout Cupcake (with a chocolate pudding center)

S'Mores Cupcakes
Peanut Butter Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Peppermint White Chocolate Frosting
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
Banana Pudding Cupcakes
Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Cupcakes
or any other variety you'd like to request

For this one, I request local entries only (I'm not good with shipping cupcakes!)

To win, just leave your name and your choice of cupcakes in a comment below. Don't be shy! Even if you've never made a comment before, I'd still love to give you a prize. One entry per person per day. You may enter AND win more than once during the week. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator. Entries close today at midnight. The winner will be posted by 9am on Monday, June 7th.

and the Day Two WINNER is...

Congratulations to Karen! You are the winner of the cards! I'll get the right to you.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

and the WINNER is...

Congratulations to ba and the boys. BethAnn, you are a winner!

For any of you who might think this looks a little fishy (I won ba's giveaway yesterday), I promise I used a random number generator. Although I must say, in the interest of full disclosure, that with only 6 entries I did not run the random number generator program on my computer. I rolled a die.

Hope everyone tries again today! (by the way, I am adding a bonus card that is not pictured but is probably my favorite -- it'll be a surprise because I love surprises too!)


Today's giveaway is for a set of 6 handmade cards. Specifically - the cards shown here:

To win, just leave your name in a comment below. Don't be shy! Even if you've never made a comment before, I'd still love to give you a prize. One entry per person per day. You may enter AND win more than once during the week. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator. Entries close today at midnight. The winner will be posted by 9am on Sunday, June 6th. U.S. addresses only please - I can't afford international shipping.

sweet dream or a beautiful nightmare?

The other day I awoke from a most pleasant dream - the kind of dream that leaves you feeling so happy and excited and wonderful.

That is, until you realize it was JUST a dream not a reality. Upon this realization, my dream quickly became a NIGHTMARE. A sad, leave-me-feeling-depressed-and-forlorn type of nightmare.

You see, my brother Ben and his wife Kari are blessing their new baby this Sunday. In my dream I was heading to the blessing in Grantsville. To get to Grantsville, I generally pass the SLC Airport. This is where it gets good -- in my dream, I was stopping by the airport to pick up Brakston!

Yes! In my dream, Brakston was finished with his mission and I was eagerly anticipating the reunion. There would be hugs and laughter and joy! Pure, unadulterated JOY!

The dream was so real that it took a few minutes of wakefulness for the realization that Brakston still has almost 8 months of his mission left and that scene at the airport will not take place until the very end of January.

How quickly the sorrow and the longing replaced the joy. I truly am happy that my son is serving a mission for the church. He is learning and growing and I am so proud of him. He is doing what he is supposed to be doing. Many are hearing the glorious gospel message due to his efforts. I am happy for those who recognize the truthfulness of gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet, I still miss my son. There is a hole in my family and in my daily life that just gapes open. At times I can ignore the wound. At other times the "missing" just pierces me to the core.

Still, eight months is not long. He is 2/3 the way through. I will survive.

Friday, June 4, 2010

house of snakes

Okay. Okay. So technically my house is not full of snakes - only my backyard is.

For the past few weeks, Chandler and his friends have had an awesome time catching snakes in our backyard. I grew up catching snakes so I'm not too freaked out by it. McKayla, on the other hand, is hating it! It creeps her out to know there is snakes in our yard. Now she hesitates to go jump on the trampoline. I keep trying to convince her it's safer now because there's less snakes running loose but she's not buying it. Kevin is not overly fond of snakes either.

Kevin managed to maim a mouse in the garden (accidently, of course) so he gave it to Chandler to feed to a snake. It was pretty cool to watch!

Our neighbor, Jeffrey, and Chandler have spent hours playing with the snakes.
Heck, the one Chandler's holding is hardly bigger than a worm. How could you be afraid of that?


Today's giveaway is for a hand-knit dishcloth. For such a task of drudgery, it is nice to have something colorful and pretty. These are my favorite dishcloths. If you're not a fan of them as dishcloths, one of my workout friends says she uses hers to wash her face. That works too. I will not place any restrictions on what you do with it. Once it's yours, you can use it however you wish!

To win, just leave your name in a comment below. Don't be shy! Even if you've never made a comment before, I'd still love to give you a prize. One entry per person per day. Winners will be chosen using a random number generator. Entries close today at midnight. The winner will be posted by 9am on Saturday, June 5th. U.S. addresses only please - I can't afford international shipping.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Don't forget the weeklong giveaway begins tomorrow! Seven days of small, but fun, prizes. Prizes are pictured here:I'll be giving away a book, a set of handmade cards, a photo holder block, a handknit dishcloth, infant socks crocheted with beads, a dozen cupcakes, and a daisy-print apron (one prize per day).

All of this just to celebrate my birthday!

Beginning tomorrow, the only thing you have to do to win is leave a comment. One comment per day per person (however, you can make your significant other leave a comment too if you want to increase your chances to win).

catch of the day

Guess I should say CATCHES of the day. Shanley had not just one but TWO great catches at her softball playoff game last night.

Wouldn't it be great if I would have had a camera on the play?

It was bottom of the first inning. Their first batter was up and hit a line drive which Shanley managed to catch. WooHoo - one out. Second batter gets up and hits a pop fly. This time, Shanley made it look easy to make the catch. WooHoo - two up, two down. Great job, Shanley!

Her team went on to win 12-4. Shanley even managed to score by stealing home.

I have to admit it has been kind of fun this season to watch a sport other than soccer. Maybe variety really is the spice of life.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

not my giveaway

It's another giveaway. Not mine, but I'm friends with both the giver and the blogger so I'll give them a little extra publicity (though I don't want anyone else to enter so that I have a better chance of winning).

My fellow Jazzerciser, Barb, does amazing things with black screen and paint. Her work is super cute and can be seen here in her Etsy store.

Another fellow Jazzerciser, BA, is holding a contest to win one of the amazing creations on her blog here. So, if you want to win, scoot on over and comment.

Don't forget that my giveaway will start on Friday! Don't you just love giveaways? I do!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Alec's great week continues

Wow! Could Alec possibly have had a better week last week? I think not!

Besides the "Social Hero" award and the medal he earned at Special Olympics, Alec received one more award.

He was unable to attend the Track Banquet because he was at BYU participating in Special Olympics. However, on Sunday one of the girls on the team brought Alec this:

Yep, the track team awarded him with an honorary Varsity Letter. Alec just beamed when he saw it! I don't think he understands what it is but he is thrilled anyway. He knows it is some award and it has the "R" and the Silverwolf on it and so he's sure it is really cool!

On a side note, I guess now it is officially okay for Alec to wear Brakston's letter jacket. (He wears it anyway)

giveaway loot

Birthday giveaway week begins this Friday (6/4)!

Some of the prizes include a hand-knit dishcloth, a flirty-skirty apron, some delicious cupcakes, and a picture holder. There will be other prizes as well but I can't spill everything all at once now, can I?

It will be amazingly easy to win - all you have to do is make a comment and then be the lucky one chosen by a random number generator.

Why so easy?

Because it's my birthday and I just love everyone and want everyone to share in the love! Let's have a weeklong party!