Tuesday, November 30, 2010

the saga continues

I posted about Alec's lost wallet. Well, wasn't it Paul Harvey who used to say, "Here's the rest of the story."?

On Pie Night, one of the cousins acually found Alec's wallet! Yea! The best news is that it contained the $100 he'd taken from my purse so got that back. I decided having 2 temple recommends, 2 state ID cards, and 2 school ID cards was a good thing. I could keep one set as a backup.

But, the story STILL doesn't end there. The very next day we flew to San Diego and Alec put his wallet in the airplane seat pocket (I don't know why) and left it there.

So, we are still short a wallet and all IDs. Dang! At least I have $100 to my name.

Monday, November 29, 2010

sage advice

Here's some good advice for all you busy wives and mothers out there: take time to check yourself in the mirror before you leave for church.

I didn't do that yesterday and was halfway through the meetings before I washed my hands in the bathroom and happened to look in the mirror only to find that I had forgotten to put on my make-up.

Yikes - me without mascara - not a good look!

McKayla's RHS soccer banquet

A couple weeks ago McKayla and I went to a banquet celebrating the RHS soccer season. It was a successful season resulting in RHS being unbeaten in Region play and being crowned Region champs!

The girls were given candy leis.

McKayla earned a varsity letter since she played in nearly every varsity game and in the playoff games. However, since they were Region champs the coach awarded a varsity letter to every girl on the team saying it's a team effort to achieve that.

The coach always does awards for the seniors but has the seniors do the awards for the rest of the team. They gave McKayla the "best adjusted player" award saying they were impressed that she made the adjustment from her usual outside midfielder position to playing defender for the entire season.

(and, yes, she went to the RHS banquet wearing her club team warm-ups but only because we went straight to the banquet from a game)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

San Diego!

We are back from warm, sunny San Diego! It was delightful! And then we woke up this morning to snow and having to shovel - welcome back home. haha!

The soccer games were good and very competitive (no blowouts). The beach was great!Shanley braved the cold water but I just enjoyed the sand and sun! I read and took a nap.

I also enjoyed a trip to the temple - the first time I've been to the incredibly beautiful San Diego temple. It is gorgeous outside and light and airy and open inside.

Now I can look forward to the warmth of Phoenix in February - nothing like a good soccer tournament to give me a break from snow and cold!

Friday, November 26, 2010

internal clock

It has been a goal all year to try to get more sleep. I usually get 6 1/2 hours of sleep per night (except Monday nights when I usually get 5 1/2 hours) and I'm generally tired. I have read all the health benefits of getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night - weight loss, healthier heart, etc. So, I have tried.

However, maybe it's been too many years of too little sleep because I seem to wake at 4:30 am no matter what.

I was excited Tuesday night because Jazzercise had been cancelled for Wednesday morning. I could sleep in. Hah! I woke at 4:30 anyways.

I am currently on vacation in San Diego. What time did I wake up? 4:30 am.

Drat my stupid internal clock! What will it take to reset it?

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Today's Thankful

Today I am especially thankful that:

*last night I got to eat Tonya's Reese's Pie - it was so yummy!
*I am flying to San Diego today to spend a few days in warm temps!
*Tonya and Jeremy are going to stay at my home while I'm gone so certain teenage boys will be deterred from breaking in like they did last time we left town
*we all get to sit in First Class on our flight today
*I'm not the one coughing this morning
*there is a Jazzercise Huff and Puff Before You Stuff class this morning so that I won't feel quite as guilty for eating today
*someone is feeding Brakston a Thanksgiving dinner today
*this is the last Thanksgiving Brakston will be gone (at least until he marries)
*my husband got home last night around midnight so he'll be able to eat dinner with us today (too bad he missed Pie Night)

and mostly, I am grateful for my family. I love them all! I have the best husband, best children, best parents, and best siblings ever!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Tonight is our family's annual Pie Night! Years ago we started the tradition of getting together Wednesday night (before Thanksgiving) to eat soup, scones, and PIE!

The theory was that we could enjoy the pie more if we weren't so stuffed from the Thanksgiving feast.

The truth of the matter is that now we just stuff ourselves on soup and scones instead. There is usually at least 3 types of soup (and you just HAVE to try them all). The scones usually are served with a variety of honey butters (i.e. cinnamon, raspberry, or plain). It is all yummy!

I really believe that it is just one more excuse for us all to get together! We do enjoy that! It works especially well when it's my brothers' year to go to their in-laws because they can still join us for Pie Night!

Anyway, this morning I've already made Cranberry Apple Streusel Pie and Peaches and Cream Pie. As soon as I finish this I'll go make French Silk Pie and Olive Garden's recipe for Pasta e Fagioli soup. Yum! My mouth is watering already.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

uniquely thankful

Yesterday I posted some of the more obscure things that I am thankful for. My list doesn't even compare to my children's.

I asked McKayla last night what she is grateful for and the first thing out of her mouth was, "that I don't have to swim to church."


Then, out of the blue, Chandler stated this morning that he's thankful for all the things he can do with his tongue.


My kids make me laugh.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I am thankul for many things and many of those things are the common things: family, health, the Gospel, good friends, etc

Some of the more obscure things I am thankful for:
1) that Alec was born in a time where he has opportunities
2) that Over-the-counter remedies are available for so many things (colds, allergies, etc)
3) that I have the opportunity to serve in the temple
4) that even though my corneas are too thin for Lasik and I can't wear disposable contacts, I can at least wear the gas permeable contacts. They correct my vision so much better than glasses (due to my horrendous astigmatism)
5) that Utah has 4 seasons
6) that there are so many good books to read and that they can be found in public libaries
7) for The Amazing Race so I can live vicariously
8) for hot chocolate on snowy days
9) for people who think I'm wonderful no matter what
10) for showers where I get to pick the water temperature

Sunday, November 21, 2010


Last night we went out to dinner and to Hale Center Theater with friends. We have season tickets so we do this 6 times per year. It is so much fun!

We like to try out new restaurants so last night we went to Siegfried's Delicatessen - a German restaurant. Kevin had bratwurst. Jill and I had wienerschnitzel. Todd had a Reuben. It was all very good. For side dishes, we tried such things as fried potatoes, hot potato salad, and red cabbage. I was the only one that liked the red cabbage.

The musical was "The Drowsy Chaperone". I had never seen it before but found it quite funny.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I really NEED to take more vacations

On Monday I went in for a physical. The nurse called yesterday with the results of my bloodwork. I'm happy to report I'm in pretty good shape.


My vitamin D levels are extremely low. I laughed when the nurse told me this and said, "It's because I hate milk." She said, "No, it means you're not getting enough sun."

All of those hours outside watching soccer games and I'm not getting enough sun?

Okay, it's true. I hate the heat and generally stay inside in my air-conditioned home or find the shade outdoors. Apparently, I am hiding from the sun too much.

So, I am trying to convince Kevin that this means I should hop on a plane at least one day a week and fly to somewhere sunny and warm and spend the whole day doing nothing but basking in the sun. Sounds like a great plan, doesn't it? And what can I say? It's doctor's orders!

Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm a really slow learner

A little over 13 years ago I agreed to let Brakston try out for a competitive soccer team because I KNEW he was not good enough to make the team and I thought that would be a good life lesson for him. The joke was on me! That one tryout started our family out on the soccer life with 3 kids eventually being on competitive soccer teams. You'd think I would have learned something from all of that.

This week I agreed to let McKayla try out for the OHMS basketball team because I knew she wouldn't make it since the cumulative total of her basketball experience amounts to P.E., one season of Jr. Jazz coached by her best friend's older sister, and church ball. Again, I thought it would be a good life lesson.

She made the team.

I'm not even sure how I feel about this. On the one hand, I am very proud of my amazing, talented, athletic daughter. I am happy for her. I know this will be a boost to her self-esteem. It will probably be fun to watch something other than soccer. It will help keep her in tip-top shape.

On the other hand, her soccer coach is going to freak when this conflicts with soccer (which it will since she has 6 tournaments in the next 5 months plus indoor games and training). She is already incredibly busy. In fact, she attended the tryout meeting on Monday after school and by Tuesday morning had firmly decided she was NOT trying out because she didn't have time. Also, McKayla playing basketball is directly opposite of my simplification plan.

Regardless, I am not sure who learned the life lesson - oh yeah, that would be me. Quit thinking my kids won't make the team. They inherited Kevin's athletic ability not my own. Now I have to suck it up and get involved in the world of basketball. Yep, let's just get it over with and have STUPID tattooed across my forehead. Some people never learn.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

when $100 actually equals $131

Alec recently took $100 from my purse. He probably put it in his wallet but then he lost his wallet (or it was stolen). Ouch! I can't really afford to lose $100.

Unfortunately, in this case, I'm not just out the $100. It cost me $5 for Alec's new school ID. It cost me another $18 for Alec's new State ID card. Then it cost me another $8 for a new wallet for Alec.

Thus, in a math phenomenon, $100 = $131. (If only that conversion rate worked in my favor!)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

don't go changin'

Brakston's mission has really changed him in a lot of ways but I am very happy to report that his sense of humor has stayed intact.

Brakston could always make me laugh and he still does. In his letter last week, he told us he'd received his "trunky call" regarding his flight home. The mission office asked him which airport he wanted to fly into. He told them, "Hawaii!"

Gotta love that kid!

Then he told us that apparently they didn't believe him because they booked him into Salt Lake anyway.

Yesterday we received his itinerary. He will leave Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport at 7 am on January 25th. That's right - 10 weeks from yesterday!

Can't wait.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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 Crossing Places (Ruth Galloway #1) by Elly Griffiths

Something Missing by Matthew Dicks

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

**Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer

A Modest Proposal by Michele Ashman Bell

The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

**The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev

Life on the Refrigerator Door by Alice Kuipers

What have you read lately that you'd recommend?


Sounds like a math term, doesn't it?

It seems during the holiday season there is always a plethora of newspaper articles or talk show tips on how to simplify.

I have my own simplification solution - sell McKayla (or give her away or adopt her out for the season). That ought to simplify things. A LOT!

Yesterday alone - I had to take her to school early for a meeting. Then I made dessert for the RHS soccer team banquet. After school there was a basketball team meeting. McKayla also had an accreditation meeting for her SOAR team that ended at 3:45 pm. She had a club soccer game that began at 4 pm and ended up 5:30 pm and then a high school soccer banquet at 6:30.

That is just her schedule - that doesn't include carpools, Chandler's soccer, etc

So, eliminate McKayla - problem solved. I am simplified.

Monday, November 15, 2010

let's get physical

oh! I mean let's get A physical.

Yep, I have scheduled my annual bi-annual...okay, let's face it. I almost never go to the doctor unless I am REALLY, REALLY sick. However, since I haven't had a pap smear for 9 years and since I've never had a mammogram (with a family history of breast cancer) and since I have a few minor concerns and since we still have money in our medical flex-spending account, it seemed like a good time to finally get a complete physical.

I'm not looking forward to it. Doctors can be so invasive!

I think my biggest complaint is that they take time. I have to schedule the appointment which means I'm unable to accept substituting jobs. It also means I can't get things done around the house. I can't work on Christmas projects. I can't run errands. Who has time for unnecessary doctor visits?

Alas, I am now out the door to get this over with.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

time away

I spent the most delightful time away from home this week! My friend, Jill, and I went to her mom's home for 2 1/2 days to get some things done. Wow! Two and one-half days of uninterrupted, relaxing time. I got a whole lot done and still managed to find time to relax and play a bit too.

We watched a couple of videos - Sense and Sensibility and Indiscreet. We went to a theater to watch the movie RED which was pretty funny. We also went to lunch at Zinn's Bistro which is a quaint, family-owned tea room. The food was delicious! Jill had a crepe stuffed with chicken, cheeses, spinach, and mushrooms (on the right). Her mom had a BBQ pork crepe with avocado, tomato, and cheese (left).
I had pumpkin ravioli (it looked more like pumpkin lasagna). It was so good!
They also serve a basket of breads. There were popovers, a chocolate-cinnamon swirl bread, chocolate muffins, cinnamon buns, almond scones, and cranberry-orange bread.
I spent time cutting up Brakston's Riverton High t-shirts. They were shirts from soccer, cross-country, track, FCCLA, and the class of 08. I am going to make him a quilt with them.
I also cut apart his club soccer team shirts to make another quilt.
I got the quilts laid out and mapped out on graph paper. Now I'm stuck and will need my mom's help to finish this project.
I made 20 cards (thank-you, wedding, etc) and worked on some knitting.
I sewed a reversible tote bag. Here's one side...
and here's the other...
I also sewed 3 quilts!

I'm feeling pretty proud of myself today! Just think of how much I could accomplish if I could escape like this every month!

Friday, November 12, 2010

all that glitters...

McKayla and I both got glitter gel toes. That was so much fun! We were celebrating receiving our Young Womanhood Medallions (and the fact that I got a really great bargain on them!)McKayla's toes are the skinny ones on the left.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

the Jazz win!

Alec has got to be one of the biggest sports fanatics ever so when the Jazz beat Miami Tuesday night, he was one happy guy! I guess he decided to celebrate by posting a Jazz sign on our front door. Isn't it lovely?


and the winner is...Sherlene Lawton! Yea! Congratulations!

I guess that is no surprise since she's the only person who entered. I guess either no one wanted a thankful table runner or everyone was scared off by the quiz. I admit the quiz was hard. My own mother only got 3 out of 8 correct.

Here's the correct answers:
1. b - Besides chocolate, my favorite flavor is lemon.
2. a - My favorite candy bar is an Almond Joy.
3. d - I would like to get a Master's Degree in Organizational Behavior.
4. b - Besides chocolate, my biggest food weakness is warm, fresh bread.
5. a - Besides the Book of Mormon, my favorite book is Pride & Prejudice.
6. d - I am spending this Thanksgiving in San Diego.
7. c - I have been to 26 temples.
8. b - My favorite fruit pie is peach.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

don't forget!

Only about 7 hours left until the giveaway closes (closes at noon). Currently there is only one entry so your chances of winning are still really good. I do know that the questions are really difficult - just take a wild guess. Good luck!

Monday, November 8, 2010

giveaway - starting today!

Okay, I finally decided on giveaway rules. The substitute teacher in me is coming out and you'll all have to take a pop quiz! (No groaning!)

Let's see how well you know me. I'll even make it multiple choice to make it easier.

1) Besides chocolate, what is my favorite flavor?
a) raspberry
b) lemon
c) blueberry
d) vanilla

2) What is my favorite candy bar?
a) Almond Joy
b) Snickers
c) Reese's
d) Hershey's plain milk chocolate

3) What would I like to go back to school and get my Master's Degree in?
a) Hospital Administration
b) Accounting
c) Business Management
d) Organizational Behavior

4) Besides chocolate, what is my biggest food weakness?
a) cheesecake
b) warm, fresh bread
c) brownies
d) popcorn

5) Besides the Book of Mormon, what is my all-time favorite book?
a) Pride and Prejudice
b) Little Women
c) Jane Eyre
d) The Outsiders

6) Where am I spending this Thanksgiving?
a) Las Vegas
b) home
c) Phoenix
d) San Diego

7) How many temples have I been to?
a) 16
b) 19
c) 26
d) 31

8) What is my favorite kind of fruit pie?
a) lemon meringue
b) peach
c) blueberry
d) cherry

All entries are due by Wednesday, November 10 at noon. Anyone may play. (I will ship.) The person with the most correct answers is the winner. In the event of a tie, those people will be entered in a random drawing to determine the final winner.

Now, what the heck are you playing for? The winner will receive a Thankful table runner.

Sunday, November 7, 2010


Keep checking! A giveaway is coming soon!

I'll post the details as soon as I've determined them. All I know right now is that I have something to giveaway. One wouldn't think it would be this hard to come up with the HOW. Nevertheless...

just us girls

My mom, aunt, sisters and I had a delightful weekend! We got together at my home on Friday night (after I'd shipped all the kids and the hubby off). We ate gourmet garlic chicken pizza from Papa Murphy's and too many treats. We each did projects. Kari made fleece blankets. Mom cut out foam shapes for the Humanitarian Center. Jolyn and Tonya made clothespin refrigerator magnets. Melissa packaged her neighbor Christmas gifts (homemade gift tags). Vicki did some cross-stitching. I assembled a note/treat for the Riverton High teachers. We all did lots of talking!

Then after sleeping, we got up and went Christmas shopping. We shopped for 5 hours (might be a new record for me) then we went to lunch at Zupa's. Tonya holding Becca, Melissa, me, Jolyn, Vicki, Mom, and Kari holding Isaac (the only boy allowed!). We missed Dawnette who lives in Texas and thinks that is just too far to come for one night. (McKayla actually did join us for some of the shopping and for lunch by virtue of having a soccer practice in the midst of our shopping.)

Mom holding her grandbabies - Rebecca and Isaac.

I feel extremely lucky that (1) I have the opportunity to spend time with my family members and (2) I really love them all! I feel especially lucky that my brothers married women that I like - may I be so fortunate with my sons' wives!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


During this month of November it is natural to let my thoughts drift to the things for which I'm grateful.

Today I am especially grateful for time with my family.

I just found out a friend passed away. She entered the ER on Monday with "abdominal pain" and was dead from agressive kidney cancer 3 days later (almost before doctors had discovered what was even wrong). Her husband, in a post on a social network, informed others of her passing. He then asked for the continued prayers of her friends since he was going to have to break the news to their 4 children (ages 4-16) in about an hour when they awoke.

That broke my heart. I've cried several times since just thinking of how hard it would be to break such devastating news to loving children.

I am extremely grateful for the time I get to spend with my children, with my husband, with my parents, and with my siblings. I love them all so much and am a better person because of the things they've taught me and the examples they've all set. They have pushed me, caused me to think, challenged me, and given me unconditional love.

I enjoy doing things with all of them whether it be "craft nights" with my sisters, watching my children's soccer games, reunions, "date night" with my husband, FHE, or just sitting around visiting.

Family is everything! I am grateful for the reminder to cherish every minute I have with my family because you never know when that minute might be your last.

Friday, November 5, 2010


As part of Chandler's soccer team, they do conditioning/training indoors all winter. They also play indoor soccer. Tonight's schedule included a cross-training/conditioning session of Barbell. I couldn't resist going in for a few minutes to watch. The idea of 9-yr-old boys lifting barbells just cracked me up. I knew it was going to be interesting.

It was pretty funny watching them. It turns out, though, that the class is less about lifting weights than it is about core strength just using a barbell with light weights. I felt bad for the teacher trying to describe what a straight back should look like to these boys who were all hunched over. Good luck, teach!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

remember Dolly?

What ever happened to cloning? Remember when they cloned Dolly (the sheep)? Is no one interested in cloning anymore? Did anyone ever ask a busy mother what she thought of the idea?

I can't say I given any serious thought to the ethical issues involved but at this very moment cloning me sounds like a perfect solution!

I can't figure out any other way to get everyone where they are supposed to be tonight. I've mapped it all out - it would honestly take three of me to actually make tonight work so, how's that cloning coming along?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

quick crafts

I really do love to craft and I love it even more when it is simple and FAST! I did all of these crafts in just a couple hours today so I'm pretty pleased with myself.

Refrigerator magnet clips made with clothespins. I just covered them in paper and glued on good strong magnets using E6000 glue.

A Thanksgiving banner using scrapbook paper and jute.
I just had to take a close-up because I thought the paper was just so darn cute!

A Thanksgiving table runner made from burlap, foam letter stamps and paint. This table runner idea is courtesy of my Jazzercise friend, BethAnne and her blog. Don't you just friends with good ideas?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

blame it on Kevin

Last Wednesday Alec came home from school and insisted that Shanley was going to make him donuts. I told him she wasn't. He wasn't about to take that for an answer so he started getting out the bowl, flour, sugar, etc. I again told him that Shanley was NOT going to make donuts for him. I tried to explain to him that Shanley didn't know how to make donuts. So, he got out my Betty Crocker cookbook and flipped through it page by page until he found a donut recipe. Finally, I gave in and told him that although Shanley was NOT going to make donuts that I would make them if he'd wait until the next day. He agreed.

Thursday I had a break between seminary classes (that I was substitute teaching) so I came home and made the dough. While it was rising, I went back and finished teaching. Then I came home and rolled out the dough, cut them out, let it rise again, fried them, and glazed them.

Wow! They were delicious! I am not a huge donut fan but it's a different story when they're warm and fresh.

They were work but well worth it. It's a good thing since I'm blaming Kevin for the fact I even had to make them. I'm sure Alec would never have even known you COULD make donuts if Kevin hadn't told him. Trust Kevin to plant the idea in Alec's head and then leave town and leave me with the work.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy Birthday,McKayla!

My beautiful daughter is 15! Happy Birthday, Kaya!

I love you so much and feel so privileged to be your mother! You are a delightful daughter. Your smile lights up the room and I love to do things to see that smile. You are kind to others. You are so responsible and dependable and I love having a child I don't have to worry too much about.

You are incredibly talented! You play the piano well. You are very athletic and you are a very good student. You also have an amazing way with clothes and hair. You always look so "put together". I always have the feeling that there's nothing you can't do!

You have always been such a funny mix of tomboy and "girlie-girl". On the one hand, you love to have your nails painted and your hair fixed but on the other hand, you can sure bet you'll be doing hip-checks out on the soccer field. You can hold your own playing soccer or night games with the boys in the neighborhood but you also loves your new glitter gel toes and nail art kit.

You are a dream child! I love you and am glad you're my daughter!

Resolution Check-Up

Reporting on my goals each month has been good for me. It really helps provide some motivation!

Lose weight - Okay, not making progress in this area. I am actually up a couple pounds. It's scary that we're starting into the holiday season.

Earn YW Medallion - FINISHED! McKayla and I both received our awards on Sunday, October 24th. Yea!

Write my grandma's life history - I'm still using the "computer crashed and I lost everything" excuse! I am still sobbing and trying to get motivated to start over, but am seriously lacking in motivation.

Do major projects early
CPE - My total for the year is 44 hours. -FINSIHED in May
Christmas cards - FINISHED! The cards are done, the envelopes are addressed, and I even have the rough draft of the Christmas letter (which I won't finish until I am ready to send them out - you never know what exciting thing might happen.)
nieces and nephews birthday presents - FINISHED!
Christmas gifts - I did some shopping. I'm feeling good about this area, but would like to make a lot more progress during November.

Write a book - I worked on this one and made some progress.

Get 7 hours of sleep per night - Again, not so great. I am making an effort to get to bed early and have been fairly successful at that. Unfortunately, Alec is not cooperating. That kid only needs a few hours of sleep at night and he is LOUD! He either wakes me at 1 am because he hasn't even gone to bed yet and I have to get up and chase him into bed or he wakes me at 3 am because he's had enough sleep for the night.

Conclusion: So glad I have to 'fess up every month. It keeps me on my toes.