Saturday, April 30, 2011

one step forward, two steps back

A little over a week ago (on Friday morning), I got up from my sleep in our tent and felt good. I decided the hills outside our campground were perfect for training (one was a mile long at an 8% grade and the other was a mile long at a 6% grade). I ran a little over 4 miles total and felt strong. I had life by the horns.


only a few hours later when I went flying, landed on a dirt hillside, and had a heavy 4-wheeler land on my back.


Now I haven't run in over a week. I did go to Jazzercise a couple of times but it was pretty worthless since I couldn't move enough to even raise my heart rate. I can at least roll over in bed now so hopefully Monday I'll have a decent workout again! Moving forward is the goal!

snowy soccer

C'mon weather! It is nearly May and we are still playing soccer in snow!

Last night's games were all in very snowy, wet, cold situations. Chandler played in snow. McKayla played in snow. Brakston reffed in snow. Kevin and I watched in snow. All of us had soaking wet socks and pant legs by the time we were done.

I'm not sure spring will ever arrive!

I'm seriously thinking my kids should take up indoor sports - wrestling, basketball, volleyball, etc.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Spring Break, Part IV

Oh, how could I have forgotten Alec's serenade?

Glen G brought his guitar and played a bit around the campfire. That was great!

Alec decided he likes Katie G so one night, he pulled out the guitar and serenaded her. He made up an entire song about liking her, marrying her, and kissing her. Now he wants me to help him write her letters.

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Okay, okay. That word is probably a bit strong - how about bummer?

REAL Salt Lake lost last night in the CONCACAF soccer championships to Monterrey Mexico. They would have been the very first U.S. team to ever win. All they needed was a win or even a tie. Instead, they fell 0-1. Serious bummer!

Brakston had even managed to score a ticket. I think he felt this loss as much as his own loss in the champtionships of Utah Summer Games.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Spring Break, Part III

Sunday started off with a drive through Capitol Reef to attend church in Torrey. Imagine my surprise when we walk in and I hear several teens say, "Hi, Alec!" Man, that kid knows people everywhere! It turns out it was people from Riverton. In fact, before the meeting started I saw 5 families from Riverton THAT I KNEW! (Riverton does have about 60,000 residents). In addition, they announced a funeral for one of their ward members and the funeral was at Broomhead Mortuary in RIVERTON (where my next-door neighbor works) with burial at Riverton Cemetery. It was hard to believe that I was 3 1/2 hours away from home!

After church we all took a scenic drive through Capital Reef and walked up Capital Gorge.

It rained off and on throughout Sunday afternoon - even hailing at one point. The kids took the opportunity to play the Skittle game.

The adults hid out in a tent and visited.

Later, the kids played the Quarter Game.

It dried out before bedtime and we built a fire and then "Blew Fire" like dragons (using cornstarch). I was the only one who'd done it before and it was a hit! Everybody gave it a try and even the youngest ones (Hannah and Ellie) were good at it!

It was a fun way to end the evening before the rain started again and we headed for our tents. Unfortunately, it rained all night and Nebekers tent leaked. They had a pretty miserable night. Combine that with the fact that the camp owner requested that we not ride the 4-wheelers (the mud was like clay) and we headed home Monday morning as soon as week could pack up.

We stopped at a Wendy's in Nephi on the way home. If seeing people we knew at church wasn't enough, I ran into one of them in the Wendy's as well. Then, even more bizarre, a lady waved to me and called me over. She remembered me from Cody (where I haven't lived for over 20 years). No way! She was one of my mom's friends so I called my mom so the two of them could chat for a few minutes.

The last stop before home was The Red Barn for ice cream. You're never too dirty and tired for ice cream!

It was a very fun trip! Now if only the sun would shine so I could put up my tent and get it dried out and cleaned!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break, Part II

And the adventure began with some drama on Thursday which delayed departures. I was the first one to actually get out the door leaving about noon. We left with a prayer that the Suburban would function properly. About an hour into the trip, I got a call from our mechanic's wife telling me we needed a new starter. From the prayer, I felt pretty confident that we would have NO car trouble on the trip and we didn't. Others were not so fortunate.

Our friends, the Goins and the Nebekers, didn't leave until 3 pm. I told them I'd have dinner waiting for them - Dutch oven lasagna, tossed salad, and rolls. Only one hour into their trip, the Goins' trailer had a tire blowout delaying them for an additional 2 hours. They ended up dining at Arby's instead.

They made it to our campsite about 9:40 pm and set up camp in the dark. We camped just outside Capital Reef National Park. We mostly had the campsite to ourselves which was really nice - no worries about being too noisy!

Friday we spent the day on the 4-wheelers. I'd hauled down 2, Goins hauled down 1, and Nebekers rented 2. Unfortunately, Nebekers didn't think to ask if the rental place had a trailer and the rental place is used to people who 4-wheel right out of their site so after traveling 35 minutes, Todd and Jill found they couldn't get the 4-wheelers back to our campsite so they drove back, picked up my trailer, and headed back out to get those darn 4-wheelers. It just seemed like it was destined to be one of THOSE trips!

Everyone spent plenty of time on the 4-wheelers. I think Chandler was the happiest of my children since I let him drive it all by himself multiple times - he was in heaven! I managed to dump the 4-wheeler on my back (overestimated the amount of sage brush and underestimated the pile of dirt). My back was extremely sore for the next couple of days (still a bit sore but improving). Shanley also managed to land under a 4-wheeler at one point. That night we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers and roasted Starbursts over the fire.

Kevin, Brakston, Brakston's girlfriend Whitney, and our friend Jeff Pocock drove up Friday night and arrived about 11:45 pm. We were all glad to have them join us!

On Saturday we drove to Goblin Valley State Park and spent most of the day there. The rock formations are incredible!
Chandler sitting on a "goblin".
Alec playing hide-n-seek:
Alec and Katie Goins:
Jared and Katie Goins and Shanley:
Nathan Goins and McKayla:
Abby and Zach Nebeker, McKayla, and Nathan Goins after they'd climbed the highest mountain they could find!

Then we returned to camp for an Easter egg hunt. Here's Cole Nebeker searching:

Alec with his finds:

We spent the remainder of the day on the 4-wheelers. We also dyed and decorated eggs (after boiling them on the Camp Chef). Some threw a football (2 jammed fingers), others threw a frisbee, and still others kicked a soccer ball. We ended the evening with S'mores made with fudge-striped cookies, traditional s'mores, and s'mores made with Reese's and Mounds. Yum!

For some better photos, head to Whitney's blog here.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Spring Break, Part I

We just returned from 5 days and 4 nights camping over Spring Break. There was fun, there was drama, there was rain, there was 4-wheelers, there was a tire blowout, there was the sighting of 5 other families from Riverton, there was a 4-wheeler on my back, there was an Easter egg hunt, there was dragon-breathing, and even someone who recognized me from my hometown of Cody from over 20 years ago!

Pics and details coming when I've gotten the laundry down to a manageable pile and the dirt cleaned from under my fingernails. (hopefully tomorrow!)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

the Superbowl of soccer


Soccer fever is in full swing at our house. Salt Lake's pro soccer club, REAL Salt Lake, is tied with Monterrey Mexico in the finals! Woohoo!

No U.S. team has ever made it to this level! They tied in their game Wednesday night 2-2 and the final will be played in Salt Lake next Wednesday. Go team!

Friday, April 22, 2011

a wing and a prayer

Wednesday the Suburban would not start. Stuff like that happens but we were planning to leave for Spring Break vacation Thursday morning. And, of course, Kevin was out of town!

My friend, Jill, helped me with carpool and took me to Alec and McKayla's track meet. I kept Brakston busy the rest of the night taking Shanley to softball, taking me to her game (after McKayla ran), picking up Alec from track, taking Chandler to his fishing clinic, picking Shanley and I up, etc..

At 9 pm, after taking out the battery, re-connecting things, etc, Brakston banged on some things under the hood and voila! The car started. The mechanic can't tell us what's wrong so we left for our trip just praying that it keeps starting and running until we get back - especially since Brakston and Kevin aren't going to be with me!

Just pray I make it back home safely!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

pretty cupcake

We made these pretty cupcakes in Young Women's this week.Sometimes I impress myself so I won't tell you how incredibly easy it was!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

track photos

Alec and McKayla have been having such a good time with track this year! Alec loves track because of all the attention he gets! He usually runs the 100m and the 800m. Really, he runs whatever he wants. He always gets the hugest, loudest cheers from the crowd. Everyone, even the opposing schools and their fans, cheers for him. He, of course, eats up that attention. Then he has to take a victory stroll through the stands so everyone can tell him "good job". I just love how supportive everyone is! Last year the track team even gave him an honorary varsity letter. Here he is chugging along in the 100m race. (do you like how there are NO other runners in sight? I'm sure it's because he smoked them all! heehee!)

McKayla is having a great time as well. I think her favorite things are her success and the boys (not really sure which order she'd place those in - heehee!) She has garnered a LOT of attention of her own (can't let Alec have it all, you know). She's been Riverton's number one in the mile. She has also done well in the 800m. Her distance coach wants her to try the 2-mile race and the sprint coach has talked to her about trying the 400m. This photo is her in her medal that her team won in the medley relay. She ran the 800m leg in a personal best time for her.Don't pay attention to her very tight top! She is so embarrassed by it. She covers it up immediately after her races. Being a freshman, she had last pick of the uniforms and the only sizes left were extra large and child's large. Better luck to her next year!

Monday, April 18, 2011

weekend in review

It was a fun weekend! Chandler and McKayla both had soccer games Friday night. Kevin and Brakston went to Chandler's while Alec, Shanley, and I went to McKayla's. Saturday morning McKayla and I left at 6:45 am to drive to Roy for another soccer game. Then we drove back to Taylorsville for the track invitational. McKayla ran the 800m leg of the medley relay and her team (composed of all freshmen) took 2nd. Riverton won the meet. Then Kevin, Alec, McKayla, and I spent the evening at a Stake Dance. Sunday was church, Special Needs Mutual's Sacrament Meeting for Alec, and a Pioneer Trek Youth Fireside for Kevin, McKayla, and I.

In other words, I spent the entire weekend with McKayla. I wonder if she's sick of me yet.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

what every mom longs to hear

This morning I had breakfast in the oven when Chandler walked into the kitchen. He wanted to know what was for breakfast and said, "Please tell me it's cold cereal."

I told him it wasn't and that I'd fixed German pancakes. He said, "remind me again what those are." I told him it's the pancakes you bake in a 9x13 pan in the oven and they get all puffy.

His faint praise: "Oh, I can live with that."

Gee, thanks!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

some people ARE lucky in love

I witnessed a small love-related miracle last night.

Brakston's girlfriend, Whitney, is home in Spokane for semester break so it had been 12 L-O-N-G days since he'd seen her. He was getting a bit mopey. He decided to fly up to Spokane to see her. Unfortunately, the flights were NOT cooperating. We fly standby so if the flights are full, you're out of luck and they were FULL! It was not looking good. More mopiness.

Then, suddenly, at 8:45 pm it looked possible to get on the 9:45 pm flight. But, would it be possible to even get there on time?

Brakston threw clothing in a suitcase so fast. And, I do mean THREW! It was the worst packing job I've ever seen! Kevin was on the computer trying to get him listed for the flight. Then the two of them ran out the door. It is a 30-minute drive to the airport. They arrived at the airport at 9:22 (for a 9:45 flight) and he still had to get his ticket when he got there. He still managed to get on that flight. Somehow.


Friday, April 15, 2011

I'm an aunt again

My sister, Dawnette, had her baby earlier this week.

Celeste Rae
20 inches long
8 lbs 9 oz

That makes six kids for her, six for Jolyn, and six for Tonya. Of the girls in my family, I am the slacker with ONLY five children. Who knew that five kids was slackin'? Of course, I've out-produced both my brothers who have 3 each. Yes, that means I am an aunt 24 times over!

I am excited to see Celeste though I probably won't meet her until her baby blessing in June. I'll look forward to a trip to Texas then.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

10 Things I Like About Myself

As a general rule, women are much too hard on themselves. We tend to be overly critical so today I am going to find 10 things for which I can feel good about myself.

1) I don't stay mad long.

2) I am usually good at sticking to things.

3) I don't doubt myself. If I believe I can do something, I do it!

4) I'm willing to try new things.

5) I am pretty self-reliant.

6) I am reliable.

7) I have a lot of energy.

8) I am logical and reasonable.

9) I am a fast reader.

10) I have good self-esteem.

Wow - that was a lot harder than I thought it would be. About halfway through I wished I had only said I'd do 5 things but I did say I have good stick-to-it-tiveness so I stuck with it until I came up with the full 10. heehee!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I enjoy being a girl

I have NEVER been a girlie-girl. I didn't play with dolls or Barbies growing up. I preferred cowboys and Indians and football and tree climbing. I never liked lace, ruffles, or bows. I didn't even like my clothing to have flowers on it. I get dressed once for the day and that's it - no multiple clothes changes for me. I'm not into shoes or jewelry. You get the picture.

However, yesterday I was extremely girlie. I took a Ballet Body class where we did lots of ballet moves (I've never done ballet in my life). For the day, I dressed in a flowered skirt and even put a flower in my hair (first time I've ever done that) and I hosted a tea party (another first). It was quite fun!

It was also quite yummy! I tried some new things such as cucumber sandwiches, lemon curd, and Devonshire cream. I learned that tea actually started in France not England and was served to keep the ladies from fainting with hunger during the long stretch before midnight dinners.

The menu was:
cucumber sandwiches (sans crusts)
egg salad sandwiches (also without crusts)
strawberries filled with Devonshire cream
gingerbread scones with lemon curd
lemon blueberry scones
cranberry orange scones
strawberry cupcakes with swirled cream cheese frosting
cucumber limeade punch

Yes, it was a tea party with NO tea! Still it was great fun! It's not so bad being a girl!

Monday, April 11, 2011

when do I read?

I read an average of 8 books per month. I was asked recently when I find time to read. The answer is that I find minutes to read all the time and everywhere! My secret is that I am usually in the middle of at least 4 or 5 books at a time. I keep a book everywhere. There is a book in my Suburban (actually, at the moment there is 2 there but that's the exception, not the rule). There is a book in my car. There is a book by my bed. There is a book upstairs in the living room.

If I have a spare moment, I pick up a book and read a page or two. Most of my reading takes place during two distinct times:

1) when I'm in the car waiting - my children have a LOT of practices. Often, I am running between one and another and there's not enough time to go home but there is 10-20 minutes that I can read while I wait. Also, McKayla and Chandler are required to be at their soccer games 45 and 30 minutes early, respectively. That's a great time to get some reading done (if I'm not running someone to something else in the meantime).

2) when I should be sleeping. I have sleep issues and frequently awake at 3 am. My mind immediately starts going on my to-do list and don't forget list and so on. I usually read. Sometimes it works and I get back to sleep. Other times I get 1 1/2 - 2 hours of reading in before I have to get up and start my day.

When/how do you squeeze reading in to your busy life?

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I shouldn't even be posting this picture on Fast Sunday because even just looking at the picture makes me want to eat!
However, I have enjoyed making bread a couple times during the past week. Kevin recently bought me a NutriMill wheat grinder and a Bosch mixer. These make homemade honey whole-wheat bread easy to make. Yum!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

glitter toes

I now have pretty toes! I hosted a Glitter Toes party last night. It was a lot of fun! We had some fun conversation. One of my favorite things was seeing what color everyone picked for their toes. Everyone chose a different color - purple, green, blue, orange, etc

I chose Mermaid for my toes. It has lots of colors in it - blue, purple, green, silver. I love it!

Now if only the weather will turn nice so I can wear sandals to show off my toes!

Friday, April 8, 2011

volleyball anyone?

Utah's weather is just psycho in the Spring. One day it is 74 and sunny and the next day you awake to 6 inches of snow. I am not kidding!

This amounts to watching a lot of soccer games in miserable weather. Last night, during Chandler's game, it was 37 degrees. It rained and/or snowed the entire game.

By the end of the game, I was thinking that my children should stick to indoor sports.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

the will to win

I have competitive kids. I do know that about them. Last night McKayla had a track meet. Unfortunately, she also had a really bad cold. She couldn't breathe and just felt tired, achy, and crappy. To top it off, the weather was windy. She debated about whether to even run. She was sure she couldn't really compete.

Well, her will to win must have kicked in strong. She was off her best time by about 10 seconds but still managed to win the 1600m race and win it by several seconds.

Or maybe she was just motivated by ice cream! She thinks she should get Cold Stone for the win. hmmm....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

tips for surviving Spring

I like Spring - really I do. My favorite color (green) pops up everywhere. Flowers bloom. Days get warmer (well, at least some days do). It's just that Spring comes with its own set of challenges - namely soccer, track, softball, lacrosse, and more soccer.

The portion of my evening that I don't spend on a field or at a meet is spent in the Suburban getting myself and chidren to/from whatever. During Spring my house more closely resembles Grand Central Station with arriving and departing passengers than a home. (Not trying to whine here - I LOVE my children's events and I truly believe that busy children are less likely to get into trouble - just telling it how it is).

One of the things I do to survive the Spring sports season chaos is to try to mitigate my guilt over not having family dinners together by at least trying to have healthy meal options in my fridge that each family member can grab when the opportunity presents itself. For example, if I make a big batch of chicken salad and buy rolls or croissants then everyone can make themselves a sandwich. Another example is I have a few favorite salad recipes that keep well in the fridge. Again, kids can just help themselves when (maybe I should say IF) they get home.

Here's two of the salad recipes:

Summer Chicken Salad
2 1/2 C uncooked seashell macaroni, cooked
1 C thinly sliced celery
! C chopped Granny Smith apples
1 1/2 C cooked chicken, cubed
1 bunch chopped green onions
1 C cubed Monterey Jack cheese
1 1/2 C Miracle Whip (I use fat-free)
1 T lemon juice
1/2 t salt
1/8 t pepper

Combine last 4 ingredients and then toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Add cashews right before serving.

Black Bean Salad
15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 C chopped celery
1/4 C chopped green onions
1 1/2 C diced tomato
1/2 C chopped red pepper
1/4 C cilantro
12 oz can corn, drained
1 T Tabasco
1/4 C vinegar
1/3 C sugar
2 T oil
1/2 t garlic powder
1 t onion powder
1/2 t cumin

Mix all ingredients together. Can add pasta if desired.

Bring on Spring!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

eternal riches

Eternal riches can probably be classified in 3 categories:

1) character
2) intelligence
3) relationships

Why is it that we work so hard for the things we can't take with us?

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said, "Remember that in the end, surely God will be looking only for the clean hands, not for the full ones."

Note: this wasn't from this past weekend's conference sessions. Just came across it in some recent reading.

Monday, April 4, 2011

creative family

I have such creative family members! They are always doing the cutest things! It was our extended FHE last night. Melissa made carrots out of orange paper and green ribbon (filled with Reese's) for all the women. Vicki made the darling paper boxes filled with jelly beans for everyone.
Both items are just so dang cute! They put the white chocolate pretzels I made for the adults to shame.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

favorite Sat. conference message

I absolutely LOVED Elder Dallin H. Oaks message in the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference!

"Desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. The desires we act on determine our changing, our achieving and our becoming."

We must readjust our desires to put highest priority the things of eternal significance.

chapstick addiction

It's true! I think I'm hooked on chapstick. I won't go to a soccer game or tract meet without a chapstick in my pocket. I have a chapstick by my bed. I have one in every car. I have THREE in my purse (just in case).

Do you think there's a support group for this?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

April Fool's

It has become a tradition that every year I serve something funny for dinner on April Fool's Day. The food never fools my kids but they enjoy this tradition anyway. This year I told them the joke is that we were starting with dessert first. I served a "bundt cake" which was really a biscuit dough stuffed with pepperoni, sausage, and pizza sauce. The "frosting" was melted cheese.

Then I served the "main dish". This year it was "spaghetti and meatballs".

Yep, cupcakes with piped on frosting, strawberry jam, and Ferrera Rocher "meatballs".

Friday, April 1, 2011

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.

**"Of Pigs, Pearls, and Prodigals: A Fresh Look at the Parable of Jesus" by John Bytheway

**"Schooled" by Gordon Korman

"Sundays at Tiffanys" by James Patterson

**"The Uncommon Reader" by Alan Bennett

"How High the Moon: A Novel" by Sandra Kring

**"Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption" By Laura Hillenbrand

"Hate List" by Jennifer Brown

"The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town" by John Grisham

As you can see, it was a good reading month with 4 titles that I'd recommend. If I had to choose an absolute favorite it would be "Unbroken". That book was fabulous! What have you read lately?