Tuesday, September 27, 2011


A friend posted this joke on Facebook and I thought it was humorous:

An atheist was seated next to a little girl on an airplane and he turned to her and said, "Do you want to talk? Flights go quicker if you strike up a conversation with your fellow passenger." The little girl, who had just started to read her book, replied to the total stranger, "What would you want to talk about?" ... " Oh, I don't know," said the atheist. "How about why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death?" as he smiled smugly. "OK," she said. "Those could be interesting topics but let me ask you a question first. A horse, a cow, and a deer all eat the same stuff - grass. Yet a deer excretes little pellets, while a cow turns out a flat patty, but a horse produces clumps. Why do you suppose that is?" The atheist, visibly surprised by the little girl's intelligence, thinks about it and says, "Hmmm, I have no idea." To which the little girl replies, "Do you really feel qualified to discuss why there is no God, or no Heaven or Hell, or no life after death, when you don't know crap?" And then she went back to reading her book.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ragnar Relay

Our Ragnar team had a meeting last night. We discussed hotels, team uniforms, estimated start times, food, etc...

I am getting VERY excited! and EXTREMELY nervous!

It will be an adventure. I am excited to experience a relay race. I am happy to complete this goal.

On the other hand, I am not excited for my estimated start times for my legs. I have a 2:15 pm time, a 10:40 pm time, and a 9:30 am time. I am a heat wimp so Las Vegas heat in the afternoons scares me! I am also not a good late night person (I know. I know. Some of you are wondering where my late night run is. Believe me - 10:40 is late for this gal that likes to get up at 4:30 am.)

On Saturday I ran 5.3 miles in the morning and another 5 in the afternoon just to get a feel for the relay. That went pretty well.

Well, 3 1/2 weeks to GO-time!

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Alec got a call Friday morning and was invited to Herriman High's Homecoming Dance on Saturday night. Actually, I guess I got the call from the girl's mom. The girl is Celeste Clark - a cute girl who also has Down syndrome. Alec and Celeste were classmates in elementary and middle school. She is now a senior at Herriman High and her mom had just received word that Celeste had been elected Homecoming Queen so her mom was scrambling to find her a date. I am so glad they thought of Alec. He, of course, was thrilled! Isn't Celeste darling?

Saturday, September 24, 2011

ups and downs

This week saw the "joy of winning" and the "agony of defeat".

McKayla's high school soccer team won on Tuesday. They have been cruising through this season and are ranked 4th in the state. Then, on Thursday they lost. Dang!

Chandler's club soccer team lost badly last night. The final score was 0-7. Ouch!

Brakston's UVU (Utah Valley University) team beat Utah State last night (after having lost to that same team earlier this year). Sweet revenge!

You win some. You lose some.

Friday, September 23, 2011

thought for the day

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams die,
life is a broken-winged bird
that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
for if dreams go,
life is a barren field
all covered with snow.

What are your dreams?

One of my biggest un-met goals is to get my Master's Degree. At this point, I think it will probably be another 8 years before I start that. I feel like my children need my attention too much right now for me to pursue my own goal. However, I am holding fast to this dream - it WILL happen.

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I am so proud of myself! I did it! I actually said NO!

I am really bad at saying no when I am asked to do something. Sometimes that leads me into feeling very overwhelmed.

So, last night was a breakthrough.

I was at the OHMS school community council meeting (which I am only on because I couldn't say no to the principal when he asked me). We were conducting elections for the council chair and the principal (Mike) leaned over and asked if he could nominate me. That's when that 2-letter word finally made it out of my mouth. That's right - I said no. n.o. No.

And I stuck with it even when Mike said he enjoyed working with me and that I was one of only 2 people in the room that he wanted to have that position. Even that failed to sway me. I stuck to my guns in saying no.

I did, however, nominate the other person Mike wanted to work with. See, I can still be helpful!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

grateful for...

Today I am especially grateful for:

**sore muscles - it is a good feeling and it reminds me that I have the ability to move and to work hard

**chance to substitute - for 11 school days I get to teach seminary at Riverton High (favorite place to sub). I love the kids and I love to teach and I love the gospel - seminary is perfect for me!

**cooler temperatures - so the heat wimp in me can go back into hiding and I can pretend to be normal

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Today is my new DIL's birthday - Happy Birthday, Whitney! We are all so thrilled to have you join our family! We love you!

Whitney is so beautiful inside and out. She is helpful and considerate. She is sporty and athletic (a plus in dealing with Brakston). She loves children and is very good with them. She has 2 semesters left at BYU-Idaho before graduating with a degree in Early Childhood Development (I think). She has perfect teeth (her dad is a dentist) and she has worked as a dental hygienist. She is patient. She makes Brakston very happy!

Have a wonderful day, Mrs. Morgan!

Monday, September 19, 2011

where all goes according to plan....

So many opportunities this weekend to be grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord. Our entire weekend just seemed to have everything fall into place.

We left early Saturday morning for the airport. We walked up to the gate at just the right moment to be able to board immediately. The best part - ALL 5 of us (Chandler didn't go) got to sit in first class. We arrived and were the first ones at the rental car counter.

We drove around Spokane a bit and admired how incredibly beautiful it is! I love the mountains of Utah and am not usually tempted to live anywhere else but I definitely could live quite happily in Spokane.

Then we headed to our appointment at the Spokane Temple. They had a large group from Montana doing baptisms but had said they'd squish our kids in. They actually let our children go first so that worked very well for us.

We arrived at the hotel at exactly the same time as Kevin's brother, Jeff, and his family so we got to start socializing immediately. The kids got to swim in the hotel pool.

The reception was very nice and, again, we enjoyed the chance to visit with Kevin's family whom we don't see often.

We got up at 4 am on Sunday morning to catch the flight back to SLC. The flight was overbooked but we tried anyway. When we got to the gate, the agent told us that he could probably only get 3 of us on. Then, a family of 3 didn't make it to the gate in time so ALL of us got on the flight! That family didn't miss it by much because we saw them walking up to the gate as we were boarding - 30 seconds sooner and we'd have been left behind.

I am feeling seriously blessed to have had this weekend go so smoothly!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

some favorite photos (from the wedding)

MIRACLE!!! I absolutely never thought I'd ever see the day when a photo of my could possibly be included in favorites but I really do like this one of me and the girls. Of course, I am biased but I do believe my daughters are so pretty they could make any photo look good!

Jolyn's daughter, Natalie, and McKayla.

Jolyn's son, Josh, and Alec.

Ben's girls, Maggie and Sophie.

Todd's son, Garrett.

Shanley and Alec. Alec doesn't usually take very good pictures but I've actually included TWO of him in these favorites. He isn't making silly faces in either of them.

My favorite photo is this one of my daughters. I sure do love them!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

a hat-trick

Chandler scored a hat trick in his soccer game last night. For those of you unfamiliar with soccer, that means he scored 3 goals in a single game. It was pretty exciting.

Friday, September 16, 2011

family photos (from the wedding)

We were so thrilled that my parents' mission president gave them permission to come home for the wedding.

Our family - Alec, McKayla, Chandler (in front), Whitney, Brakston, Me, Kevin, and Shanley.
Jolyn's family - Joshua, Erica, Jolyn, Darin, Rachel, Natalie, Jacob, and Emily.
I don't know why we don't have a picture of Tonya's entire family. I hope my dad got one so I can get a copy. For some reason, I only have the boys. Here's Matthew, Ryan, Jeremy, and Trevor.
Celeste and Dawnette are the only members of Dawnette's family able to make the long trek from Texas. We missed the others but were glad Dawnette and Celeste could make it especially since this was the first time seeing Celeste for most of us!
Todd's family - Emma, Todd, Avery, Melissa, and Garrett.
Ben's family - Maggie, Kari, Sophie, Ben, and Isaac.
The siblings - (sitting) me, Ben, Jolyn, Todd and (standing) Tonya, Dawnette.
sitting - Ben, Dad, Mom, and Todd
standing - me, Tonya, Dawnette, and Jolyn

Thursday, September 15, 2011

THE wedding

September 3rd was a beautiful day! The weather was terrific. Family and friends were supportive. The temple sealer was endearingly nervous. Brakston and Whitney were happy. And so on. The best part for me was the temple sealing. I was so thrilled to have all of my siblings there and I do mean ALL. I could feel Craig's presence quite strongly.

Brakston and Whitney make a good-looking couple.
Not embarrassed to kiss.
The happy couple with their bridesmaids and groomsmen. They each had one friend and the rest were siblings.
The reception decor.

The cake.Each layer was a different flavor. The bottom was marble. The center was chocolate mint and the top was lemon poppyseed. I love the "BMW" on it! What great initials they have!

The beautiful bride!
Whitney tossed the bridal bouquet and McKayla was the one to catch it. Yikes! I think I actually yelled, "nooooooo!". Brakston tried to demand a re-throw. She certainly better not be the next one married. A pin jabbed her when she caught the bouquet and she bled all over it.
Decorating the car.

All in all, it was a great day! We are thrilled to have Whitney as part of our family!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

the non-forgotten birthday

When Brakston and Whitney announced that their wedding date was going to be September 3rd, I told Shanley to just plan on being ignored on her birthday. But, seriously, I was worried about it. I didn't want her to feel ignored or slighted on her big day. Later I tried to convince her that she was going to have the biggest party ever! She'd have tons of extended family at her party and the biggest cake she'd ever had. We all laughed and joked about it but I still wanted to make sure she had a good day so I asked Brak and Whitney if I could serve birthday cake at the wedding lunch and have everyone sing happy birthday. They agreed.

Due to the number of people, Shanley ended up with 2 cakes - a chocolate and a vanilla. She loved them!

I don't think I needed to worry so much. She said it was the best birthday ever! Everyone was very conscientious about wishing her a happy birthday. She was totally surprised by the cakes at the lunch. AND, two of Brakston's friends even brought her a birthday present to the reception.

On top of all that, her birthday got to stretch out for a while. The following Tuesday we had her specially-selected birthday breakfast and I took her lunch at school from In-N-Out Burger (her choice). On Saturday the whole family went out to lunch at Olive Garden.
I can't believe my baby girl is now 14! She is almost as tall as McKayla.

Shanley is a total sweetheart! She will share anything and everything with anyone and everyone. I'm pretty sure she would literally give you the shirt off her back if you asked. She is so easy to get-along with that she has practically a million friends. She is funny and good-hearted and pleasant. She makes our family laugh quite frequently.

Shanley, we love you and are so glad you're part of our family!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

cute toes

I had a pedicure done before the wedding and ended up with the cutest toes ever! Well, okay, I ended up with the cutest TOENAILS ever since my toes certainly can't be described as cute.
When I told my friend Jill that I was getting a pedicure, she insisted on paying for me to get flowers painted on. I absolutely loved how it turned out! The pictures don't do it justice but there is cute black and glittery silver background lines on every toe. Super fun!

Monday, September 12, 2011


One last Homecoming hurrah for Alec!

The RHS Homecoming game was Friday night and Alec, as the previous year's king, got to participate. Being the king meant so much to him. He announced it to everyone. He wore his crown frequently. He often re-enacted the announcing, crowning, and applause. So, he really enjoyed being back in the spotlight again last Friday.

He rode into the stadium with McKenna Hubbard (last year's queen) to last year's Homecoming theme song "Home" by Michael Buble.
Here they are on the field awaiting the new royalty.
He couldn't get enough of the "queens" (he's always had a thing for pretty girls). Here he is with Kylie Woolley (this year's queen) and McKenna Hubbard.
One last pic with McKenna.

I was too busy trying to snap photos to notice but McKayla told me the student section was chanting Alec's name before he was even announced. She overheard someone say, "Dangit! The sophomores don't even know Alec." She also told me she is sad that she never got to attend high school with Alec.

I love the RHS student body! They are awesome! I also love that my other children are not embarrassed by Alec but welcome him into their lives!

Friday, September 9, 2011

a visit from the cops

In order to ensure I am better prepared the next time the cops bring Alec home at 1 am (after finding him sitting in the middle of the road about half a mile away eating a sack lunch he'd fixed for himself), I've decided to have a ready supply of answers.

Cops: We found your son sitting in the middle of the road...

the bald-faced lie: "I can't believe it! He's never done anything like this EVER before."

the emotional response: burst into uncontrollable sobs

the angry response: "You'd better keep him for the night in order to prevent his untimely death (and to save you the time and paperwork of investigating his murder)."

the practical response: " Ummm....Can I have a spare pair of handcuffs so I can chain him to the bed to prevent future midnight escapades?"

Cops: Is this normal? Has he done this before?

the sarcastic response: "I don't know. I am usually sleeping at this time of night."

the ultra-sarcastic response: "Have you looked at this kid? Do you actually believe life with Alec has ever been normal?"

And thank goodness it's not! We love Alec to pieces. He keeps life an adventure and he constantly makes me grateful for the guardian angels that I believe keep a very close eye on him ALL the time!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

bounteous harvest

Some years our garden does really well and other years not so well. This is a not-so-well year. Our watermelons are still only the size of a cantaloupe. We're only getting a few ears of corn. And so on.

However, one item always does well for us - TOMATOES! We definitely have more tomatoes than we can use this year. I've given some to neighbors and some to my sisters. I've eaten them until I got a canker in my mouth. We've had tomato salads and BLTs for dinners.

One of these days I am just going to have to learn to can salsa.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

the MP3 Miracle

This confession is going to make me look like a big nerd. Yep - loser with a capital L.

I have never owned an IPod, MP3 player, or even a Discman.

Pathetic, right?

I have wanted to but, hey, I have 5 children who have endless lists of wants and needs. Money only stretches so far so my Christmases have mostly morphed into receiving the new pair of running shoes I desperately need.

So, I have never run accompanied by music. I've told myself that is okay because it gives me a great chance to think. Although, true be told, my thinking generally runs along the lines of computing what percent of my run I've finished and how far I've got left to go. Profound, huh?

I tried running with Kevin's MP3 a couple months ago but it wasn't a great experience. He had all of about 10 songs on there. Who knew he was such a fan of Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift (but that's a subject for another post)?

Anyway, last week I decided to try it again. I asked McKayla if I could borrow her IPod. Anyone who has a teen probably is aware that they are unable to be without their IPod for longer than 30 minutes so McKayla quickly volunteered to load music on Kevin's MP3 so I could use it instead.

That's when THE MIRACLE occurred. I am a slow runner - 12 minute miles. I tried all summer to get my time down but couldn't do it. Then...(drum roll please) I run with great music and my time is 11 minute miles. Just like that I drop a full minute of my mile time. At first, I think maybe I computed incorrectly or something. However, 4 runs later and my time is actually slightly below 11-minute miles.

Ahhh...the power of music!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

let them eat cake

Ugh! I ran twice yesterday - once for 5 miles and about 5 hours later I ran another 3 miles. Partly this was to get me ready for my Ragnar Relay Race.

Part of it was to work off all the cake.

We had cake at the wedding lunch on Saturday because it was Shanley's birthday. Then we had cake at the wedding. We had leftover wedding cake Sunday afternoon and then more leftover wedding and birthday cake Sunday night for FHE.

I must confess to eating a piece every one of those instances.

Like I said - Ugh!

I don't even love cake but every layer of that wedding cake was a different flavor and who could resist trying chocolate mint?

Monday, September 5, 2011

more than the wedding

Last week was a BIG (think HUGE) week for our family. Most of the focus was the wedding but there were a few other notable events as well.

Saturday, September 27 I ran the Rivalry Relay - a six person, 65-mile race from the University of Utah to BYU. I was disappointed in my running but probably did as well as could be expected. I was ill for 3 days so I didn't sleep, didn't eat much, and had diarrhea. By the time race day came my stomach still hurt, I was tired, I was dehydrated and my butt was hurting! I still had a lot of fun and had great teammates who didn't put a ton of pressure on me. I only have this picture of us at the start and you can't see much. I hope to get one of us at the finish and post it soon.
The medals were incredible - huge and heavy!

On Tuesday Chandler came home from soccer practice extremely excited because he had been named one of the captains of his team. The two team captains were picked by the coach and it's usually an honor reserved for the best players. He is pretty pumped!

On Wednesday Brakston bought his first ever car. That was a BIG momentous event!

Also on Wednesday McKayla ran in a pre-Region cross-country meet. She took 4th. Her coach just kept saying "Imagine what she could've done if she hadn't had a 2-hour soccer practice right before the meet." He was still pretty pleased with her performance.

On Thursday Brakston got a text that the UVU soccer team was in need of a goalie so he attended tryouts that night and made the team. He is thrilled to be playing for them!

On Friday McKayla ran in a huge Invitational cross-country meet. Once more, we drove to the meet straight from her soccer practice. Still, out of 297 girls she managed to finish 9th in a PR. Her coach practically jumped up and down with joy! She got the shirt as a prize for being a "top finisher".

On Saturday Shanley turned 14! I will devote an entire post to that event later.