Friday, March 30, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like...


As I've said before - I love holidays! Any excuse to make cute decorations, bake yummy treats, or have a party! And Pinterest adds a whole new dimension with the abundance of creative ideas. All of these Easter projects were Pinterest-inspired.

I made these yummy creamsicle cupcakes. I got the frosting too dark in color but the orange cake was moist and delicious - just perfect for delivering a bit of Springtime goodness to neighbors!

These candy kabobs were a huge hit with my Young Women's class!

and tonight, a neighbor will get EGGed! (with plastic, candy-filled eggs so no harm to the home - please don't report me! heehee)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

foods I dislike

I love food - I truly do. This is my downfall. I am certain I would be a lot skinnier if I just were a much pickier eater. There are a few foods though that I just can't stomach:

*any fruit-flavored breakfast cereal (i.e. Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, Crunch Berries, etc)
*canned peas
*brussel sprouts
*eggs - hard-boiled, scrambled, poached, fried, etc
*chocolate chip cookies (weird since I'm a confessed chocoholic)

So, I am going to go on the green peas and egg diet. The reward for all the weight I'll lose? chocolate chip cookies - all I can eat!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

do as I say not as I do

I am always nagging preaching to my children about not procrastinating. I, myself, am not good about leaving things to the last minute. I don't like the stress of that. I generally get things done early.

So, why am I going to go play today when my to-do list is frightfully long?

I guess because there is nothing on that list that can't wait until tomorrow...

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


This morning I read in the newspaper that a city in Colorado has cancelled its annual Easter egg hunt because of last year's bad behavior ... by parents. Yep, the parents' behavior was so atrociously aggressive that the whole event was cancelled this year.

I believe it.

Only my two oldest ever participated in city-sponsored Easter egg hunts. I was so disgusted by the pushy parents who were snatching up as many brightly-colored plastic eggs as they could and dropping them in their child's basket that I quit patronizing those events.

Maybe I should have seen the humor in grown adults running around picking up eggs,,,but I didn't.

It seems there are nearly constant reports of parents' bad behavior at sporting events. I've certainly seen this on the soccer sidelines. I've seen good members of the church, even members of bishoprics, curse and yell so much that they've been ejected from games. I've seen them belittle players and taunt them. It is sad really.

My only hope is that I model civil behavior for my own children.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Everyone has had a great week! Here's some highlights:

McKayla took 2nd in the 3200m at her first track meet of the season. She bettered her own school record with a PR of 11:44.95.

Alec got to go to Zorro the musical at Hale Center Theater and he loved it! He's been begging to go again!

McKayla and I enjoyed the premiere of The Hunger Games.

Shanley got her best grades ever! Kevin and I are so proud of her.

Chandler got to have a game day, go to Trafalga one day, and got to go swimming another. He is making the most of his off-track time.

Kevin and I had the opportunity to help clean the Jordan River Temple.

All the kids got to go to the Real soccer game.

Kevin and I went to dinner with friends and then went to see Zorro at Hale Center.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Hunger Games

Loved it!

  • stays true to the book - check
  • great actress for Katniss - check
  • hits right note for the violence - check
  • perfect love triangle - check
  • excitement and intensity - check
  • buttered movie popcorn - check
  • fun with McKayla - check

worth being out until 2:45 am? DEFINITELY

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Not Looking Forward

The other day I posted a few things I'm looking forward to. How about some things I'm not quite so excited about?

  • half-marathon on March 31
  • training for the marathon on June 9th
  • dealing with the construction on the way to the schools for the next couple months

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

World Down Syndrome Day

Today I am celebrating Alec since it's World Syndrome Day!

Alec is such a joy and is really a blessing to our family! He is such a people-person and is truly loved by many - especially the students at Riverton High. He is the biggest fan of their sports' teams and is their best cheerleader.

Alec truly loves sports. He practically was raised on soccer fields - attending his siblings' games. He also ran track in high school. He has participated in Special Olympics in bowling, swimming, and track. He takes the sports section of the newspaper to school every morning. He gets so excited when REAL, the Jazz, BYU,, or Riverton teams win.

Alec loves movies. Some of his favorites are Star Wars, The Guardian, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Forever Strong. He also loves to listen to music. His favorite is The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Alec is a spiritual giant in our family. He loves to bear his testimony, perform his Priesthood duties, and attend the temple to do baptisms for the dead. He generally attends at least 2 Sacrament Meetings each week and then goes home and does his own meetings with talks, songs, and prayers for hours. He is really close to the Spirit.

Some of my favorite things about Alec are his hugs and the way he flaps his hands when he is excited!

We will be celebrating today by having coffee cake for dinner since that is one of Alec's favorite things!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

looking forward

I know one should always enjoy the here and now but there are still things I am really looking forward to!

  • midnight showing of Hunger Games with McKayla
  • celebrating World Down syndrome Awareness Day
  • McKayla's first track meet of the season
  • General Conference
  • a girls' weekend in April

Monday, March 19, 2012

bit o' the Irish

I love holidays - any excuse for a party or festivities of some kind! St. Patrick's Day is no exception. I can't claim any Irish blood but what the heck....I can still celebrate.

Leprechauns visited our home and left a trail of Lucky Charms leading to the kids' shoes filled with all things green (drinks, mints, gum, mechanical pencils, notebooks, candy, etc).

Of course we had shamrock-shaped pancakes made from batter that those mischievous leprechauns had turned green. They had also turned our milk green. Later in the day, we enjoyed a big pot of Dublin Coddle for dinner.

Here's my very own Lucky Charm wearing my favorite of his shirts!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

to build, or not to build?

In Relief Society today, someone shared a quote from Brigham Young where he had seen our day and our modern conveniences and said they were to enable us to spend more time building God's kingdom.

Makes me reflect on my time. Internet, washing machines, dishwashers, microwaves, autos, etc save me time. What do I do with that time that is saved? Am I using it to build God's kingdom?

I'm sure that some of that time savings is what allows me to serve in the temple and to substitute teach seminary. I'm also sure that those things count as helping to build God's kingdom. However, could I be doing more?

Currently the rest of my "free time" is spent on running and PTA. PTA, while important, may not be really doing anything to build God's kingdom. I like to think it is helping build tomorrow's leaders. Running, while also good, is probably more of a selfish thing. It may make me more fit for the kingdom (pun intended) but it doesn't really benefit anyone else.

I vow to watch my time more closely and look for more ways I can strive to build the kingdom of God on the earth.

Friday, March 16, 2012

embarrassing moment #167

I'm sure I've had AT LEAST that many embarrassing moments. This one is brought to you by static cling.

I'm out for a run yesterday afternoon and run into 2 young men from my stake. I cheerfully greet them by name as I run by. All is well until about a quarter mile later when something is flapping in my face. I look down and a knee-high, nude-colored nylon has worked it's way out of the v-neck of my running top and is flapping around in the breeze.

How long had it been there? How many people saw this? Was I "flapping" when I ran by the 2 young men?


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pinterest projects

The most recent Pinterest projects were:

Crockpot Chicken Chili - good

Cookie Dough balls - kids liked but would rather have the real thing! (I don't like choc chip cookies)

Zupa's Wisconsin Cheese soup - yum!!!

Cheesecake Factory's White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake - delightful!!!

Lemon Blueberry Cupcakes - yum!!! (took to a RS dinner and everyone who tried them wanted the recipe)

Holy Crap These Are Amazing Cookies - yum!!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Last night Kevin and I helped with a multi-region Battle of the Bands competition. Neither of us has ever been to one before even though it is a PTA-sponsored event and I've been involved in PTA for years. I have always had a conflict when Riverton High has hosted theirs (minor things like being in charge of the ward Christmas party the same night).

So, when the region PTA was begging for volunteers to help, Kevin and I decided to do it.

It was a lot of fun and not that much work. Kevin was a stage hand (helping the bands move their equipment on and off the stage). I was a judge runner (taking the judges' scores from the upstairs stage crew area to the vote counters downstairs).

I was amazed at the talent some of these bands have! There were 6 high schools competing and 3 of them were clearly better than the other 3 but I would have hated to chose the winning band. Luckily that was not MY job. And, even better news - the winning band was from Riverton High! woohoo! They will now go on to represent our region at a state competition.

I can barely manage to play or sing the notes that someone else has written so it absolutely astounds me that people can actually compose music!

Monday, March 12, 2012

it's official

I'm sure it's officially Spring regardless of what the calendar says.

Our clocks have sprung forward for Daylight Savings.
Track is in full swing.
I've run twice in the past several days in a sleeveless top and capri running pants.
The first outdoor soccer practice was tonight.

That makes it Spring in my book.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

aahhh...the power of music

"for the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me.."

We had an absolutely wonderful Stake Conference today. The choir sang early in the meeting and really invited the Spirit. Chandler turned to me and said, "Mom, I felt the Spirit during that song." Words any LDS mother loves to hear!

McKayla spoke and I was nervous for her but she did a wonderful job. I felt the sincerity of her testimony and the truthfulness of the things she spoke.

More great speakers and testimonies but it was the music that got me every time. Chandler came home and announced that I had cried during every song. Shanley started laughing and said, "so did Dad."

It's true. Our intermediate him was "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and I felt the truthfulness of that statement in every line and stanza.

The choir sang "All Creatures of Our God and King" and it was beautiful and then about 10 minutes later our Stake President asked them to sing it again. It was even more amazing the second time. "lift up your voice and with us sing"

Praise was definitely rendered through song.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

the tradition continues...

Natalie opened her mission call last night:

Oregon Portland Mission speaking ASL

I am so happy for her! She was so excited that her hands were shaking like crazy. I have NEVER seen anyone's hands shake so much.

She also continues the tradition of serving in the United States.
My dad - Northern California Mission
Kevin - Michigan Lansing Mission
Darin - North Carolina Raleigh Mission
Dawnette - Indiana Indianapolis Mission
Todd - North Carolina Raleigh Mission
Jeremy - Pennsylvania Harrisburg Mission
Kari - Texas Houston Mission
Tonya - Michigan Lansing Mission
My parents - Church Headquarters Mission
Brakston - Arizona Tempe Mission speaking Spanish
My parents - Washington D. C. Temple Mission
Natalie - Oregon Portland Mission speaking ASL

Yep, everyone has served in the states. I do think this current generation is branching out a bit though. Both Brakston and Natalie are speaking foreign languages (well, does ASL count as a FOREIGN language?).

Friday, March 9, 2012

dance, dance, dance the night away


It was Special Needs Mutual last night. Every year the youth from a ward host a Spring Dance for the Special Needs Mutual. So much fun! It was the very best!

Everyone danced so enthusiastically! One girl from my class has a very sweet smile but she is so shy that I hardly ever see it. Last night she was beaming the entire night! My heart just melted watching her. Everyone had such a good time. The youth of the hosting ward and the "friends" who help each week at Special Needs Mutual danced with those with disabilities.

There were several line dances and, of course, the chicken dance. I laughed and danced and snapped photos. I think I had just as good a time as the youth. Sometimes I have to wonder if life would be lived more fully if we all had fewer inhibitions and worried less about what others think - might be a nice way to live.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

random thoughts

*Today is the best day for running that we've had in a long while - sunny and best of all, NO wind!!!

*Middle schoolers are impossible to handle when you disrupt their usual schedule. We had an assembly today and the students were out of control the rest of the day!

*Maybe the middle schoolers behavior had to do with the sunny, spring day.

*Forget scraping the bugs off your windshield, I got home from running today and looked in the mirror to find an insect splattered on my sweaty forehead - gross!

*WARNING - weighing yourself every day may cause panic. Yesterday I was up 2.6 pounds from the day before and today I was up another 2.4 pounds. Even though I know it is impossible for me to have gained 5 pounds in 2 days (especially when I've been sick and hardly eaten anything), it still causes feelings of dismay and desperation!

*I'm not sure which item has caused my children the most stress today - no milk in the fridge or no cookies for after school treats. From my viewpoint, I'm sure it's a good thing not to have cookies if there is no milk to go with them anyway.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


I am substituting seminary at our local middle school for a week and a half. It's only been 3 days and I am already getting attached to the students! To 9th graders!

Can you feel my amazement?

I am really more of a high-school-age person. Give them a bit more maturity and I like them better. However, I am liking my 9th graders this time. Wonder if I'll be singing the same tune by next Wednesday?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

boon or bane?


Need I say more?

I honestly don't think I could survive without my laptop. I use it to google recipes, find out when RHS games/meets are, keep in touch with friends and family, find Chandler's spelling words for the week, get info from coaches on games and practices, etc.

My name is Marvelle and I am an addict. I need my electronic devices.

Which is why this weekend was so devastating. On Saturday, I went for a 12-mile run and my MP3 player conked out after just 2.5 miles. Aargh! 9.5 miles with nothing to distract me. It was torture. To make matters worse, it can't be revived. It is just plain gone.

If this weren't enough for one weekend, on Sunday I was trying to add stake conference info to my calendar on my phone. I literally live by that calendar. It contains EVERYTHING! So, you can imagine my horror when the entire calendar disappeared. Yep. Every event - erased. For. the. entire. year. Yikes! I think it may take me a week or two just to try to get everything back on there and even then I am certain I will forget something. I may run around missing meetings for the next 10 months.

Can't survive without the electronics anymore.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Pinterest projects

I am still loving Pinterest and trying new things every week. Last weeks' Pinterest-inspired projects were:

whole wheat bread - yummy recipe (it's a keeper)
maple brown sugar pork roast - okay
birthday cake popcorn - good but not remarkable
chocolate mint cookies - divine! (will be making again)
candy kabobs - very cute and my nieces and nephews loved them!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

is this what it will feel like?

I dropped off 3 of my children at the airport today. Alec, McKayla, and Shanley flew to Idaho to spend the weekend with Brakston and Whitney. I literally pulled up to the curb and kicked them out the door before zooming off in a moment of glee - a whole weekend with just Kevin, Chandler and I.

just kidding.

It is a bit quiet.

I did drop them off at the curb but with hugs and reminders to take off their jackets when going through security and double checks to make sure they actually had their boarding passes.

I can hardly believe they are so grown up that I can do that.

In the meantime, Chandler will probably make me play XBox Kinect with him all weekend since it's brand new and he has no siblings to play with.

Friday, March 2, 2012

books I read in February

I read 9 books in February and have *** the ones I recommend:

"Love You More" by Lisa Gardner
***"Long Walk to Freedom" by Nelson Mandela
"Inviting Silence: Universal Principles of Meditation" by Gunilla Norris
"Pride and Popularity" by Jenni James
"Me and Emma" by Elizabeth Flock
***"The Seventeen Second Miracle" by Jason F. Wright
"Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind" by Ann B. Ross
"Turtle in Paradise" by Jennifer L. Holm
***"Lost in Shangri-la" by Mitchell Zuckoff

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Resolution Check-Up

I didn't do as well as last month but still made progress.

Home Improvement
1) Build shutters for the windows in the front of my house - waiting for warm weather
2) Paint the shutters, outside trim, and outside doors - waiting for warm weather
3) Plant lavender in front of the house - waiting for warm weather
4) Do window treatments for family room, dining room, kitchen, Shanley's room, and the master bedroom - I have been consistently browsing curtain sections (and even tablecloth sections) of stores but haven't found anything I like/want yet. I did buy a really great curtain rod - on clearance even!
5) Paint/stain the back deck - waiting for warm weather
6) Paint the master bathroom - no progress

1) Plan a special date with Kevin once a month - did in February
2) Spend one-on-one time with each child every month (away from the home) - did in February

1) Have 2 game parties for adults this year - did one in February
2) Host 2 special FHEs with other families this year - one so far this year

1) Lose 20 pounds - I only lost 4 pounds this month - a bit disappointing. Still, a loss is a loss and I'll take it! Total lost for the year = 11 pounds!
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - summer
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - Still only up to 11 miles. The hip that I injured a month ago still bothers me. It took me a bit to work back up to 11 miles after the injury and the miles are still a bit slower than usual. The hip isn't a lot of pain but it is discomfort.

1) Make sure 1/3 of what I read is uplifting (spiritual, classical, best-book type stuff) - have done this
2) Write a book - I've written another 2500 words. Total word count to date = 8061.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - did not spend an entire day there in February
2) Go to 3 new temples - I've already been to 2 but no new ones in February
3) Read the New Era and the Ensign every month - done in February
4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - I haven't been quite as consistent in February but I am still really learning/growing from this one

Overall - I am doing very well. My progress was a little slower in February than January but still getting things done.