Tuesday, May 31, 2011

sewing bonnets

I hated to sew when I was a teenager! I thought it was the most frustrating thing EVER! I did take a homemaking class in junior high and had to sew a few basic items. Then my mom tried to teach me a few things. I remember sewing a couple of jumpers and my mom would do all of the unpicking for me when I made a mistake because she was afraid I'd quit if I got too annoyed.

Well, mom, apparently all of that effort paid off. I may never be an excellent seamstress but I can sew a few basic things like aprons, quilts, skirts, and pajama pants.

More importantly, this weekend I needed to figure out how to make my bonnet for the Pioneer Trek coming up in a few weeks. The Stake provided a pattern and directions but the directions didn't even match the pattern they gave us and they were extremely difficult to understand. Luckily, my mom has taught me a few things over the years and I was able to just kind of make it up as I went along. I am pretty happy with the finished product which is good because now I need to teach the young women in my ward how to make theirs tonight.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Just call me "mother of the year". NOT! Shanley has complained for probably a year or more that her knee hurts. However, she is my drama queen and she always has pain somewhere so I've ignored her or told her to suck it up. Then she got a cyst on her knee and I decided it was time to take her in. Yep, she had a torn miniscus and needed surgery. What can I say? I definitely felt guilty. I would've never imagined my child who is the least active and least athletic would have an injury. Apparently, you can be born with too much miniscus and that can cause it to tear.

Last Friday was the surgery. She definitely had WAY TOO MUCH miniscus. The doctor had to remove a LOT and from both sides of her knee which is rare. She was very nauseous coming out of surgery but since she has recovered way better than I expected!

Here's the lovely wrap job:

Today she finally got to unwrap it and take a bath (she still has to Saran Wrap the wounds and steri-strips so they don't get wet). The knee is still very swollen!Don't you just love the "yes" written on her leg to ensure they surgery on the correct leg?

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Whitney's account

Here's the link to Whitney's account of the engagement because she tells the story better than I do and because she has PICTURES!http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif


Brakston and Whitney are engaged!

He proposed yesterday. He tried to take her up to Snowbird (the site of their first date) but it is still covered in snow so they ended up at the Temple Quarry at the base of Little Cottonwood Canyon. They hiked a bit and then had a picnic.

Brakston gave her a small box (looked like a ring box) which contained a love letter. After she read it, he pulled out the actual ring box and popped the question.

They are getting married on September 3rd at 10 am in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

I am excited and happy and nervous for them both! and, I must admit to being just a tiny bit sad for me -- I just got him home after a 2-year absence and now I lose him again. Oh wait, I don't lose a son, I gain a daughter. Right?

Saturday, May 28, 2011

seminary graduation

Thursday night was Alec's seminary graduation. He was so excited! I guess his seminary teacher must have reminded him and told him the dress code because he was in his suit and ready at 5 pm with no prompting from me (graduation wasn't even until 8 pm).

This is the grads from our ward.

Friday, May 27, 2011

award winners

Wednesday night was the track banquet. It was catered from Olive Garden - yum! The coaches handed out participation awards and varsity letter awards. Alec received a participation award and McKayla earned a varsity letter. Then we watched a video of track team moments.

Then it was time for awards. McKayla received Female Distance Rookie of the Year. That award was not a surprise. Her coach gushed about her for a while. She was pretty embarrassed. The surprise of the night (for me, at least) was that they gave Alec the "Spirit of the Pack" award. The head coach said that not only does Alec get every spectator to cheer for him and really get the crowds alive but that Alec helps motivate the team at practices by always doing the Haka for them. Of course, Alec was so pleased to be honored. He strutted up to the front to accept the award just grinning from ear to ear.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

blog trouble

My computer crashed - AGAIN! I've got to find a way to keep Alec away from it!

Luckily, this time I think I managed to get everything backed up.

Unfortunately, the hard drive restoration gave me blog trouble. I could blog. I could save my blog but I could NOT publish my blog.

It's been an ultra-busy week (mostly PTA stuff) so I managed to blog but didn't ever quite have the time to research the publishing problem until today. It turns out that when I restored my hard drive, I updated to Internet Explorer 9. That causes a Java
Script Void with blogger.


Switch to Firefox and voila! - problem solved.

Back to blogging as usual.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

highway robbery

Shanley is scheduled for surgery this Friday to repair a torn miniscus. It has been giving her some pain for a year or so.

I just got off the phone with the hospital. The hospital charges will amount to over $21,000. THAT IS NOT A TYPO!

That is also just the hospital portion. It doesn't count the surgeon or anesthesiologist. Our portion of that bill will be more than $4000 (the insurance will then kindly kick in).

Mind you, this is all for an outpatient surgery that should take less than an hour!

What is wrong with this picture?

Monday, May 23, 2011

next time he'll think twice

Brakston has practically been begging for a church calling since he was released from his mission almost 4 months ago! Sunday he got one! He will be working with the 14-15 year old boys in our ward.

Next time he'll think twice before asking for a calling!

just kidding. He is very excited to work with these young men and I think they'll like him, too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

finishing with a BANG!

Talk about ending on a good note.

Alec attended the Senior Dinner Dance last night and received the award for "Most Likely to Obtain Superpowers". Silly award, I know, but he was delighted!

McKayla finished her track season with the State Championships held at BYU on Friday and Saturday. Friday she ran the mile. She had the slowest qualifying time and was predicted to finish 19th but she finished 11th! She had a PR of 5:31.00 which will put her 3rd fastest in Riverton High's record book.

Saturday was even better. She placed! The top 8 finishers place and earn points for their school. She cut almost 11 seconds off her previous time and finished 7th! She already held the school record but improved upon it. She had been predicted to finish 9th but we knew it was no sure thing because the 5 runners placed after her were within 1 second of her qualifying time. It looked like it would be a very tight race. We were ecstatic that it had such a happy ending! Her coaches and teammates were also happy. She contributed points towards her team's 2nd place finish at State.

Here she is at the starting line. She's the one 2nd from the left.

Here she is only 2 or 3 laps into the race. She's the one on the inside of the track with her hair piled up on her head.

We left immediately after her race to rush over to her State Cup soccer game. Her team lost 0-1 to the very best team in the state. McKayla played awesome - some of her best playing ever. Kevin and I think that maybe she needs to run a 2-mile warm-up before every game! jk

All in all, it was a good sports weekend. Chandler's soccer team lost on Friday night but won on Saturday (his final game of the year). Shanley's lacrosse team won both of their games in their double header on Saturday. Shanley even scored a goal!

Friday, May 20, 2011

my end

It's not just the end for Alec. Yesterday I held my last OHMS PTA meeting. I would have to say that I am completely surprised by how much I enjoyed being the president. I enjoyed knowing what was going on at the school. We had an awesome new principal that I like working with and I had an amazing board!

Here's a picture of the thank-you gift I gave each of my board members. It's just a cute handmade cone filled with cinnamon roasted almonds and white chocolate popcorn, pretzels, and peanuts.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

the end is near

No. Not "the end" which supposed experts predict is May 21st. whatever.

I am referring to the end of Alec's senior year. Yesterday he got to dress up in his Homecoming King crown one last time and take part in the senior class assembly. He sang the school fight song.

He also picked up his cap and gown yesterday. He wanted to put them on immediately. He told me "I'm 'cited' to graduate but some girls are going to cry."

He will attend the Senior Dinner Dance this Saturday night. Monday he will buy his graduation party ticket. A week from today he will graduate from seminary and then on June 1 he will take part in the commencement exercises.

He has a total of 6 days left of school. Wow!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

that was fast

Today I came down with a spring cold. It's miserable and I just can't believe how quickly it hit.

I taught seminary all day and then went to drive carpool for the middle school. I picked up McKayla and drove her to the high school for track practice. All of this and I was fine.


Somewhere during the 5 1/2 blocks back to the middle school (barely over 1/2 mile), I got hit with a cold. We're talking immediate congestion, sore throat, and achy muscles.

I had no idea it could hit that fast.

Or, maybe it was coming on all day and I am just extremely slow to recognize it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

update on everyone

Brakston is working full-time as a delivery driver for Sprinkler World. He is also reffing soccer games every night of the week and all day on Saturdays. He is playing on two soccer teams. In between all that, he is trying to get registered for college classes and take his placement tests. Of course, he spends every chance he gets with Whitney.

Alec is running track and getting ready to "graduate" high school. He is taking part in an school assembly for the seniors this week. He will be singing the school fight song. His Special Needs Mutual wraps up this week for the summer.

McKayla is playing in the State Cup Soccer Tournament and getting ready for the State Track Championships. She has also had a lot of homework (it's that last push before the end of the year). She's getting excited to be done with middle school and moving on to high school.

Shanley is playing lacrosse and softball and still taking cheer. She says whe is finally getting a glimpse of what McKayla's busy life is like.

Chandler is playing soccer and taking part in a fishing clinic.

Kevin is just flying around the country. He is also quite busy with his Stake Young Men's calling and getting ready for Pioneer Trek.

I am just trying to hang on. Most of the sports will be over in a week so there is a light at the end of the tunnel there. Also, winding up the last of the middle school PTA business and preparing to start as PTA president at the high school. At this very moment I am wondering what I was thinking. Wasn't one year enough?

Monday, May 16, 2011

all you need is love

When I am frustrated and feeling negative, I am so grateful for the gospel and those great "teachers" who remind me that it is all about love. Love is the answer to most, if not all, of life's problems. I can't change the behavior of others, but through prayer, I can change my own heart.

I am now committing to the quest of loving those around me more deeply and unconditionally. I will see the good in others.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


I've compiled a few bests for the year thus far (Jan-May).

Best book I've read: "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand
Best movie I've seen: "The King's Speech" (the PG-13 version)
Best treat: a pina colada bar
Best thing I've done as PTA president: started a White Ribbon Against Pornography Week
Best experience: welcoming Brakston back home after his mission
Best thing I've done for myself: glitter toes (they make me happy every time I look at them)
Best thing I've accomplished: getting my recipes organized

What are your bests?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

when is enough enough?

What do you do on a Saturday night to relax and have fun after you've been the referee for NINE (9) soccer games that week?

If you're Brakston, you attend the Salt Lake REAL soccer game and then you go play in your own game at 10:40 pm.

I guess there's no such thing as too much soccer.

Friday, May 13, 2011

she just keeps doing it!

McKayla has just finished a very successful couple days at the Regional Track Championships! She took 4th place in both the 1600m and the 3200m which qualified her to go to the State Championships next weekend at BYU in both events!

That is exciting enough, however, she had a PR in the 1600m with a time of 5:32.09. She was okay with that but was hoping to be a bit faster. She'd like to improve that time at State because she only needs to knock off 1 more second and she'd move into 3rd place on the all-time records board.

She ran the 3200m for her very first time ever and not only took 4th place overall and qualified for state but set the school record for RHS with a time of 11:57.03. A school record the very first time she runs it?!?! Sometimes my daughter astounds even me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

the Worm

Alec is one of the biggest fans of the Riverton Silverwolves. He attends football games, basketball games, soccer games, and track meets. He dresses in the black, purple, and silver and can be heard above the roar of the crowd. He has been known to do "the Haka" at most half-times. He is also famous for doing "the worm". Here's a you-tube video of Alec performing "the worm" at a basketball half-time. It's a long video but if you'd like to watch Alec, just fast-forward to 5:05. He's on until about 5:25.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

hurts so good

I've been doing physical therapy for my shoulder (partially torn rotator cuff). Not fun! I guess it will all be worth it if I can avoid surgery.

Monday, May 9, 2011

she did it!!!!!!

McKayla's track goal all year has been to get her name on the record board.

Riverton lists the top 5 all-time record holders in every track and field event on a board in the hallway at the high school. McKayla wanted very badly to get her name up on the board as a freshman.

She succeeded this past Saturday at the BYU Invitational with a mile time of 5:33.15 which is 7 1/2 seconds better than her previous PR.

That time puts her 4th on the all-time fastest board. She is pretty happy. Her feet are happy too because she got new sandals to celebrate!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I appreciate them

Really I do.

However, I am really glad that Teacher Appreciation Week is over! The past week has been insane.

Monday I put packages of Goldfish crackers in 110 boxes at the high school. I also had dipped, packaged, labeled, and put in teacher boxes at the middle school 65 packages of fortune cookies. Then I spent the rest of Monday baking cookies for the high school. I baked 240 cookies and combined those with 120 cookies (already baked) to make 120 packages.

Tuesday I finished up the cookies and then distributed those to teacher boxes.

Wednesday I helped with a breakfast for the teachers at the middle school and then went straight to the high school to start cooking lunch for those teachers. We made Cafe Rio-style salads/burritos. I was there the entire school day. We put necklaces/key chains in all the teacher boxes that day.

Thursday I put packages of microwave popcorn in every box.

Friday I put gift cards in every teacher box at the high school (they were attached to these cute flyers). Then I had a PTA meeting and then I helped with a lunch/milk promo at the middle school.

So, I really do appreciate teachers. I'm just glad I don't have to show it this next week.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

scrapbook shop hop

There are 11 scrapbooking stores along the Wasatch Front (abt 120 miles) that are hosting a shop hop this week.

You buy a $5 passport and then visit the stores. Each store gives you all the supplies for a 2-page 6x6 layout.

In addition, if you visit at least 10 stores you are entered in some fabulous prize drawings.

Some friends and I visited 4 of the stores today. I can't wait to assemble the pages - they are so cute!

I also picked up some cute papers and containers and other fun stuff - I have a new favorite store!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

update on McKayla's running

She is not the fastest runner ever but she's the fastest miler on the current RHS track team -- not bad for a freshman!

Her current PR is 5:40:89 which is about 22 seconds faster than the start of the season. However, she really wants to get below 5:34. She has the BYU Invitational this week and the Region Championship next week to try to reach her goal.

She has taken 1st place at 4 region track meets but some of the top runners haven't been there so she is excited for the Regional Championships so she can see how she really stacks up against some good competition.

Her biggest problem this year is that she has no one to push her either in the meets or in training.

I don't think McKayla absolutely loves running but she does love winning!

I have really enjoyed watching the track meets. They are never boring!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

books I've read in the past month

I read the following books in April. I ** the ones I recommend.

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense by Sam Eastland

**The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay

Magnificent Obsession by Lloyd C. Douglas

The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron

Monday, May 2, 2011

Easter egg hunt

We were a little slow holding our extended family Easter egg hunt this year. In fact, we were late holding our own family one as well. I guess that's what happends when (1) you are out of town on Easter and (2) you won't allow the "Easter bunny" to come on Sunday.

We held our extended family egg hunt Saturday at Jolyn's house. My family kind of just made a token appearance. McKayla was at a track meet. Shanley and Kevin left for her lacrosse game while the eggs were still being hiddent. Chandler and I left for his soccer game the moment the eggs were found. Still, we did leave Brakston, Whitney, and Alec to represent the family. Brakston was only there because all 4 soccer games he was scheduled to referee were cancelled.

Here's the kids lined up and ready to head outside and hunt.Bummer that we needed coats but at least there was no snow on the ground!

Maggie finding an egg:
Kari helping Sophie find an egg:
Garrett (who made a pretty good haul):
Whitney and Brakston didn't get to seek but they did get to help hide the eggs. That's what happens when you grow up!
Melissa and Todd just watching the fun!

That same Saturday at 8:40 pm we finally managed to get everyone home at once and held our own egg hunt! It took some doing to get everyone home at the same time! McKayla arrived home from her track meet so we made calls to Whitney, Brakston, and Shanley to get them home. We ended up with 10 minutes to hunt before McKayla rushed out for a night with her friends and Brakston and Whitney headed off to play in a co-ed soccer game.

Whew! This was all much easier when my kids were little and didn't have a life!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Resolution Check-Up

It's time for my monthly day of accountability regarding my New Year's Resolutions.

Lose Weight - I actually was losing for most of the month. I was happy about it. Then I went camping over Easter weekend and the result was not pretty. I wiped out all of the loss I had. I think I could have still pulled off a loss for the month except I got injured over the weekend as well and haven't been able to work out for the past 9 days. That hurt my losing progress. Net result = no progress.

Read Jesus the Christ - Read another 110 pages (now on page 453. Making good progress here. I should finish this in August or September. Yea!

Climb Mt. Timpanogos - It's too cold and snowy to even be thinking about this goal yet. In fact, at the rate Spring is coming to Utah, the snow may never melt off the mountaintops!

Run Ragnar - Our team is registered for the Valley of Fire Ragnar in Las Vegas in October. It's a 195-mile 12-person relay race. The plan is that I will be runner #8 and will run legs 8, 20, and 32 for a total of 14.2 miles. That doesn't sound too bad.

Write My Grandma's Life History - No progress. I have checked on the status of my hard-drive recovery and they are still working on it.

Do family search indexing - I replaced the Walk for the Cure with this new goal. I indexed 323 names.

Attend 5 Temples that I've Never Been to Before - No progress but I have 2 new temples scheduled for May!