Monday, April 30, 2012

no comprende

Poor Alec! Sometimes conversations with him feel like one of you is speaking a foreign language. Today he came home with a flyer from Gene Fullmer Fitness Center on pool parties. He does a work program there this semester and I'm sure he just picked up the flyer while he was there. However, with his limited reading skills, all he can get from the flyer is that it is a pool party. So, he wants to go. I spent several minutes trying to explain to him that he wasn't being invited to a pool party but the flyer was saying you could rent the pool to hold a party. I tried explaining this several different ways using several different words. My attempts ended with Alec asking, "So, can I go?" Sometimes I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

running scared

McKayla has had a bit of a frustrating track year. She has improved all year long but it has been in increments of 1-3 seconds each meet. She doesn't feel she has really improved. Maybe last year was just too dramatic where she would shave 15 seconds off. Guess you can't expect to keep that up forever. However, her goal all year has been to qualify for the State meet by her time (you can also qualify by placing in the top 4 at Region which is how she did it last year). There is only 1 meet left before Region and McKayla still needs 2 seconds off her 3200m to qualify and 5 seconds off her 1600m to qualify. She is getting scared!

Saturday, April 28, 2012


I spent Thursday and Friday up at a friend's cabin in Heber. Two nights and 2+ days away from home. I used to NEED these retreats as a little break from "motherhood" and I'd come back refreshed and feeling like a better mother. Now I don't feel the NEED to get away. However, I really appreciate the time to just focus on projects and get stuff done.

  •  the food - yum!!! and I only had to fix 1 meal getting so much done - I finished all 21 mini scrapbooks for my YW complete with a note to each one of them. I also sewed 17 rows of 20 denim squares each together in preparation for a denim quilt. I cut the fabric for a tote bag for myself and got it laid out and pinned together.
  •  the conversation - 4 women and endless topics 
  • chick flicks - we watched several enjoyable movies
  •  reading - read a bit both nights before sleeping
  •  naps

 The Not-So-Highs:
  • the weight gain - I do NOT want to step on a scale 
  • missing McKayla's track meet 
  • running - the canyon is up a cabin so there's no where to run but UPHILL - Ugh! It killed me!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Yes, I'm a braggart

Tune out now if you despise mothers who brag about their children. Really, consider yourself warned. McKayla is one of only 2 RHS female runners to get invited to the "seeded" portion of the Davis Invitational Track Meet this Saturday. Courtney is seeded in both the 200m and the 400m. McKayla is seeded in the 3200m and is the first alternate for the 1600m. Several other runners are invited for the "open" portion of the meet. I am kinda proud.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

a "Free Willy" outfit

I don't think our family is normal. See, I'm a gal and gals are supposed to like to shop. But I don't. Then, there's the fact that teen boys aren't supposed to like to shop. But Alec does. The two of us together are not the best mix. Alec has been begging me to take him shopping lately. The biggest problem with that is that he usually has something in mind and it's my job to try to figure out what it is. Currently, he is really into the "Free Willy" movies. He watched one on the way to our Spring Break camping trip and hasn't stopped talking about whales since. Actually, it probably dates back even further than that. A guy gave McKayla a love poem and a whale (he thought it was a dolphin and she loves dolphins). McKayla told Alec the whale was for him and he was thrilled - thus starting the "Free Willy" movie watching. Alec is even sure he brought a whale home with him from our campout (there is no end to that kid's imagination - but I digress). Anyway, Alec had been begging me to take him shopping because he insisted that he needed "Free Willy" clothes. Yikes! What is that? No amount of my questions could help me discern what he had in mind. Last night I finally acquiesced and took him shopping. An hour or so of looking at clothes and trying things on, I finally convinced him that a pale blue shirt that has "19" and "CA" on it was a "Free Willy" outfit made just for him because whales live in California and Alec is 19. He bought that so he bought the shirt and matching shorts. All is now well in the world. Until he starts watching "Star Wars" again and wants "Darth Vader" clothes.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

change is not always all it's cracked up to be

Ugh! I am not loving this new look of Blogger! In time, maybe I'll find something I like about it but for now I seem to be spending a lot of time figuring things out. Fellow bloggers - what do you think? What do you like about it (or dislike)? Is it just that you can't teach an old dog new tricks (and I am most definitely getting up there to old dog status).

Monday, April 23, 2012

dance pics

Shanley has tried a lot of things over the years - she started with dance, then played soccer, followed by softball. Then she gave lacrosse a try, followed by cheerleading, and is now back to dance.

This is a pic from her team's lyrical routine which took 1st place.

The rest of the pics are from her team's 2nd place jazz routine.

She has threatened to play rugby the last couple of years. Boy, wouldn't those pics be different!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

the weekend recap

What kind of parents leave their 11-year-old son stranded at home when he is supposed to be at his soccer game? Oh yeah...that would be us. It is just one more time when I wonder (1) how we EVER survived without cell phones and (2) just how overscheduled we are.

Friday night I left Alec at the RHS soccer game and called McKayla's cell phone to tell her to bring him home. Kevin and I attended Chandler's soccer game where we watched him score a 40-yard bomb! Thank goodness for cell phones because McKayla called us to tell us she had a team dinner and couldn't bring Alec home. Luckily, Chandler's game ended and we got to RHS to pick him up 2 minutes before the game ended.

Saturday Kevin and I got up early to fit in our run before "running" the rest of the day. We went to Taylorsville High to watch McKayla run in an Invitational. She ran a PR (personal record) of 11:41.45. This netted her 6th place and a medal as well as bettered her own school record. Unfortunately, it is still 4 seconds short of qualifying for State.

Kevin left to run home and mow the lawn, work in the garden, do edging, and take Shanley shopping while I stayed at the track meet. McKayla ran the 800m leg of the medley relay and helped her team take 3rd earning herself another medal.

Here's where the problem started. My cell phone completely died and McKayla lost hers. It was late enough when I left the track meet that I went straight to Chandler's soccer game thinking he and Kevin would be there. However, Kevin had called McKayla (who by now had found her phone) and they decided I was on my way to come get Chandler so Kevin left him at home while he took Shanley to her dance competition (also at Taylorsville High).

So, Kevin is at Taylorsville, I'm at the soccer field wondering where Chandler and Kevin are, and Chandler is at home wondering where I am. I finally borrow someone's phone and get a hold of Kevin, rush home to pick up a frantic Chandler, and deliver him to the game. Meanwhile, Kevin leaves Shanley and meets me at the game. We watch him play before dropping him off at a birthday party and rushing back to Taylorsville High to watch Shanley's dance team perform 2 dances where they placed 1st for their lyrical dance and 2nd for their jazz routine.

All in all, it was a successful weekend for our kids with just a bump or two in the road to add a little zest.

Friday, April 20, 2012

out of control

I can't be the only person who things school dances have gotten out of hand. They are so expensive that students can't even afford to attend.

It's not just the tickets. It's all the things students feel like they have to do - pictures, all-day activities, after-dance activities, etc.

I'd love to make it simpler. Come to my home and I'll feed you dinner and then snap a few pics with my camera. I could even make your corsage/boutenniere for a fraction of the cost. May not be as glamorous but at least it would be affordable.

I think students feel like they have to go with the flow and that it's expected that they do what everyone else is doing. Sorry, but who has money to pay $30 for pictures for every dance?

I read in the paper this morning about "Prom-posals". Those are the Prom invites that are getting as elaborate as a marriage proposal. Students are even paying $600 for a banner flying behind an airplane to ask a date to prom. $600 just for the invite! Ridiculous!

I think we've passed the point of keeping-up-with-the-Joneses and are now focusing on one-upping-the-Joneses. Great lesson for our youth to be learning. Not.

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I do enjoy running - really I do - but that hasn't stopped me from laughing so hard at a few quotes I've seen on Pinterest.

"I never run with scissors. Those last 2 words were unnecessary."


"This morning I ran around the block 4 times!!!! Then I got tired and picked it up and put it in the toy box."

Hope these make you laugh out loud!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pina Colada

Is it odd that one of my family's favorite flavors is pina colada? I mean, we are a non-alcoholic family but we find that tropical concoction irresistable.

When Brakston was barely 5 years old, he required some surgery at Primary Children's Hospital. They talked to Brakston, Kevin, and I prior to the surgery. They explained that they had multiple flavors of anesthesia and asked Brakston what flavor he wanted suggesting that he might like cotton candy or grape or root beer. Brakston immediately requested pina colada. The nurses looked at us, looked at him, and looked back at us - clearly startled. Then they assured Brakston they could mix coconut and pineapple and make him a pina-colada flavored anesthetic. They continued to give Kevin and I wondering glances.

Maybe I should have set their minds at ease by explaining that we frequently enjoyed the Bacardi's frozen pina colada mixed in the NON-ALCOHOLIC manner.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


No. I don't have it. Although I do like her songs, I don't LOVE them.

Someone must.

I have 6 stations programmed on the radio in my Suburban and when I was checking for something to listen to this morning, I found Adele on 3 of those stations. All different Adele songs no less.

Monday, April 16, 2012

missionary homecoming

My parents recently returned from their mission serving in the Washington D.C. Temple. They spoke in church Sunday and most of their children and grandchildren were in attendance (darn Dawnette living in Texas!). We kids surprised them with a yard full of flags when they got home from church. There is a flag for each mission served.

Okay, we cheated a little bit because we flew my niece Natalie's flag and she is not leaving for 2 months but... From left to right we have Natalie with Oregon, Jeremy's oldest son (standing in for him since he couldn't make it) with Pennsylvania, Kevin with Michigan, Darin with North Carolina, Brakston with Arizona, my mom and dad with Utah and Washington, D.C. and my dad also has California, Tonya with Michigan, Todd with North Carolina, Kari with Texas, Dawnette's Indiana flag.

My parents in front of the D.C. flag.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

this and that

It was such a pleasant surprise to get home late Wednesday night and find Brakston and Whitney here! Love it!

Chandler is trying to keep as busy as the rest of the family - he played 3 soccer games in 21 hours!

Alec bought Dunford chocolate donuts yesterday and gave one to everyone but me. He refused to even give me a half of a donut. However, when I made brownies last night he proclaimed, "Mom is my favorite!"

Went through the temple with my niece Natalie last night in preparation for her mission. There were 14 family members present. Is there anything better than being in the temple with your family?

McKayla got a cute answer to MORP - a carton of sherbet with a note that read "If I were Ernie and you were Bert,then I'd say "Sure, Bert!"

The Easter Bunny finally came to our home yesterday morning. We were out of town Easter weekend. I had to be at the temple early Tuesday morning (and don't get home til half the kids are gone). I left before my kids were up on Wednesday morning. Thursday and Friday I was teaching and had to leave early so... Anyway, I think it was so much fun yesterday because my kids totally didn't expect it! They had decided they wouldn't be getting Easter baskets this year. Their shrieks of delight were priceless!

Friday, April 13, 2012

marathon meeting

Ever have those days that just seem like one long meeting?

Wednesday was one of those days for me. It started with being at the high school by 6 am for the Student of the Month breakfast (no, it was not my child being honored - I was there out of duty not pride). Then a quick meeting with the RHS principal followed by substitute teaching. After teaching it was time to head back to RHS for a school community council meeting. It was a long one but we got the budget decided upon. Then I dashed home and picked up Chandler so we could go to the annual soccer club meeting.

Yep, 6 am to 9 pm - that is one LONG meeting.

Thursday, April 12, 2012


I have been teaching Proverbs the past couple of days. One of my all-time favorite scriptures is from the book of Proverbs.

Chapter 3 verse 5 - "Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and lean not in thine own understanding."

I believe this is one of my favorites because it is one I NEED the most. I tend to be logical. I think things out and like my decisions to make sense. I rely too much on my own wisdom and knowledge. I need this reminder to turn things over to the Lord more often.

I can testify that I truly have been blessed when I have followed the Lord even when it didn't like the logical, smartest plan. I can also attest that when I trust in the Lord, things always turn out better. God really does see the bigger picture and knows so much more than I can comprehend.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

horrid class

I subbed for seminary today. It was not pretty. It was not great. It was not fun.

When I first began subbing more than 6 years ago, I had a really bad experience with a middle school. I refused to sub middle schools for a while. High school students are so much more mature and I just plain like them better!

However, I started accepting substituting jobs in middle schools again and all was well. Until today.

I think I am experienced enough now as a sub to suppose that the class a sub gets has everything to do with the regular teacher. I think the teacher can have clearly defined behavioral expectations that have been reinforced. Then, when a sub comes in, everything goes smoothly. Or, you can have days like today.

I am not talking about one class being more challenging than another. That happens all the time. Sometimes you just get a mix of students that are a bit more rowdy or are a bit too quiet or whatever. Today wasn't that - it was just all-out disrespectful chaos. Out-of-control.

The kind of class that will make me forever glad I did NOT become a middle school math or English teacher (both options that I at one time did consider).

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


As has become our Spring Break tradition, we went camping with friends for the 5-day, 4-night break from school. This year we went to Sandhollow State Park just outside of St. George. We had a marvelous time! Here is McKayla just "hanging".

We enjoyed the company of friends. We visited and played card games. The kids played the Skittles game (another camp tradition). Here is Shanley and Katie.

The kids enjoyed an Easter egg hunt amid the sagebrush and sand.

Sandhollow was a lot more scenic than I had imagined. Knowing we were headed to a desert just didn't conjure visions of beauty in my head but it was quite pretty.

I have to admit, though, that I was feeling pretty gritty and dry by the time we left. I think there was sand in EVERYTHING!

A few kids got buried in the sand. Confession time - there may or may not have been some debate about leaving a kid or two buried. Here's Blake buried and his brother, Cade, looking a little too pleased about it.

This gives you an idea of the depth of the pit.

Many of the kids got in on the action of burying Riley.

There was a lot of horseshoe throwing. Here's Jeff and Kevin.

Alec loved the 4-wheelers. He couldn't get enough of it and talked just about everyone into giving him a ride. He kept ready most of the time (if you noticed his picture on the egg hunt above, he is wearing his helmet). I was quite pleased that I actually got Alec to drive the 4-wheeler for a few minutes. He is usually too scared but he did it and I even survived it!

Hannah and Ellie did some creative play and built their own home/city in the sand. they even had a movie room and a fire pit.

Chandler got his OHV license before we went and he sure made the most of it! He spent every possible moment on the 4-wheelers and did his best to keep up with the teen boys.

Other highlights:
  • riding the waverunners
  • kayaking
  • building sand castles
  • blowing fire
  • roasting starbursts
  • making s'mores
  • visiting a ward on Sunday
  • Kevin chasing Karen around to get the "adult" candy

Let's not forget all the yummy food - hot dogs and burgers, Dutch oven hamburger with carrots and potatoes, fried chicken and french fries, and ham and funeral potatoes for the Easter Sunday dinner, blueberry pancakes, and homemade cinnamon rolls. It's a good thing McKayla and I got a couple runs in.

Jeff Pocock and his boys.

Karen Goins and her children.

Todd and Jill Nebeker and their children.

Kevin and I and our children who are still at home (we wish Brakston and Whitney could have joined us).

All 22 of us - taken right before we left so that we are look our very best (heehee!)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Real Salt Lake

How do you get ready to go on a 5-day campout?

I attend my daughter's track meet in American Fork and then take all my kids (and a friend apiece) to a REAL soccer game.

We really did have a good time cheering on REAL as they beat Montreal Impact 1-0 last night. Now if only my Suburban had a self-pack feature...

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

"eye" don't

Anyone that knows me knows that my eyes are a trial in my life. I have very poor eyesight (maybe 20/10,000 but it's so bad it can't really be measured) and horrid astigmatism. Glasses can't correct my vision and if I wear them, I get a massive headache. The only contacts I can wear are the gas permeable ones (hard).

When the wind blows, I get dirt trapped between my contacts and my eyes and it really hurts. I end up crying and taking out my contacts and so on.

Saturday the wind blew all day and I was outside all day - first running and then watching McKayla run. My contacts killed. I took them out numerous times throughout the day and rinsed them and rinsed my eyes and put them back in but the wind just kept blowing dust/dirt back in them. Ugh!

Sure enough, it scratched my cornea leaving me unable to wear my right contact Sunday and Monday. This also gives me a massive headache since it puts a strain on me to only use one eye. By Monday, I knew the scratch had become infected (it's happened numerous times before). The pain was fairly intense and I couldn't even open my eye. Couldn't sleep Monday night so got into a doctor Tuesday (that was a whole other ordeal).

Yea! Relief! I got very expensive eye drops which not only have an antibiotic but also steroids so my eye feels much better! I'm hoping to get my right contact back in soon.

Don't suggest eye surgery. I've seen 3 specialists and every one of them tells me I'm not a candidate for lasik - my corneas are too thin.

The solution - pray for cataracts. That's right, folks! This 44-year-old gal is supposed to hope she gets cataracts. Why? There is one surgery that would work - inserting a contact into my eye. However, it's very expensive and my insurance will only cover it if I get cataracts.

Well, I can't bring myself to pray for cataracts. I just thank the Lord regularly that contacts correct my vision and allow me to see! I really do enjoy my vision. I think these periods of eye-trouble just make me more grateful for the blessing that the ability to see really is!

So, I guess I'll just pray that God calms the winds.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

General Conference

Like just about anything having to do with Alec, General Conference was "interesting". Don't get me wrong - I love General Conference! I look forward to it. Alec just always adds an interesting dimension to things. Like this year when he wanted to watch conference by himself. He stayed holed up in my room watching while the rest of the family gathered in the family room. However, every time the choir sang, Alec would emerge from his self-imposed exile and join us. He would sing along with the choir - very loudly! When the song was over, it was back to my room for him. Like I said - everything's an adventure with Alec!

So much of this conference focused on families. I feel inspired to make family an even greater focus over the upcoming months. And Pres. Uchdorf's advice to "STOP IT" is sure to become a classic!

For the afternoon session on Sunday, I made these treat buckets. Each one was labeled with a word sure to be heard repeatedly (faith, family, prophet, prayer, and scriptures). Each time you heard that word, you got to have a treat from that bucket. It was a huge hit! Next year I'll print the words on 5x7 cards and have them use tally marks and just grab the treats after each talk or during a song or something. It was a bit disruptive to have them rushing for the treats during the talks. Still, my family likes candy and I think the kids listened harder.

One of the best things about conference this year was my cousin Jeannine and her family joined us for that last session of conference - always great to see them! We so enjoyed our visit with them! Alec fell in love with their oldest daughter - Whitney and made me take a picture of the two of them.It is no wonder he fell in love with her - she is beautiful with a personality to match!

Monday, April 2, 2012


It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.

Oh, wait, that's just plagiarism.

Still, kinda describes my run on Saturday.

The good:
I felt really strong and was way ahead of schedule by the halfway point.
My knee didn't hurt once during the race.
I saw several people I knew and enjoyed the camaraderie.
A couple of my favorite young women were manning the drink stations.
One of my favorite young men was at the finish line.
One of the police officers at a street crossing is a friend of mine and had encouraging words.
Despite setbacks, I still finished 5 minutes faster than I'd predicted.
My muscles weren't the least bit sore afterwards - even went out running again today.

The bad:
The wind blowing in my face was not fun!
I drank too much at mile 8.7 and then dealt with a sideache for the rest of the race.
My right knee and left hip hurt now.
Still have to train for a full marathon.

Sunday, April 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 bought drapes for the family room. I also bought a tablecloth which I need to sew into curtains and a throw pillow or two for the master bedroom.
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 - oops - did not do!
2) Spend one-on-one time with each child every month (away from the home) - did it!

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

1) Lose 20 pounds - I only lost 3 pounds this month - a bit derailed by spending the last week of the month carb-loading for the 1/2 marathon. Total lost for the year = 14 pounds!
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - summer
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - check! Ran the half-marathon yesterday.

1) Make sure 1/3 of what I read is uplifting (spiritual, classical, best-book type stuff) - have done this
2) Write a book - Slacked a bit on this - only wrote an additional 930 words this month. Total word count to date = 8990.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - did not spend an entire day there in March
2) Go to 3 new temples - I've already been to 2 but no new ones in March
3) Read the New Era and the Ensign every month - done in March
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 March but I am still really learning/growing from this one

Overall - I am doing okay. I should probably kick things up a notch though I feel that every day is a marathon of busyness.