Thursday, May 31, 2012

D.A.R.E. Graduation

Chandler graduated from the D.A.R.E. program earlier this week. He is the one on the far right. Gotta love how huge their t-shirts are! Chandler was pretty excited about this and practiced the song for weeks. I have trouble getting it out of my head. "D - I won't do drugs. A - won't have an attitude, R - I will respect myself, E - I will educate me..."
After the ceremony, we celebrated by checking out of school along with Abby and Jared. Then, Karen, Jill, and I picked up pizza and we had lunch at our home. The kids loved jumping on the tramp, playing the Pandemic board game, and watching a movie while knowing they were missing an afternoon of school.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

dancing at Kara's reception

Last week my cousin got married. McKayla and I attended the track banquet first so we barely got to the reception. However, it turned out to be perfect timing - they were just getting ready to start the dancing. That was great! I had the absolute BEST time watching my children dance. Alec loves to dance. My girls got out there and boogied a few times. But the surprise of the night was Chandler! He danced up a storm! He was pretty uninhibited and had a great time. That is really out of character for him so it was fun to watch. The fast songs were the best to watch but he even danced a slow one with McKayla.
Alec dancing with his favorite partner - his cousin Natalie:

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Memorial Day Hike

We hiked Bell's Canyon on Monday. Apparently this was not an original idea since there were so many cars we had to park 1/2 mile from the trailhead and we saw SO many people. Still, it was beautiful and fun! The kids and Kevin on the bridge over the river:
Looking back from the far side of the lake. In the distance you can see the Salt Lake Valley. My pitiful camera just doesn't do it justice. It is an incredible sight.
Chandler and I from the far side of the lake. tyle="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">
The kids at the lake's edge.

Monday, May 28, 2012

good reminder

Great Relief Society lesson on Revelation yesterday.  One of the sisters shared a story that particularly touched me.  She was using the story to illustrate how we can let daily concerns interfere with receiving revelation but I really thought it taught a great lesson on perspective and seeing things as the Lord does as well.

The sister telling the story had an amazing voice and sang 10 years with The Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

"Three years ago I developed asthma and lost my voice.  I can no longer sing.  This was devastating when it happened.  I loved to sing.  One Sunday another sister sang a solo in Sacrament Meeting.  I left the meeting crying and headed to my car thinking 'that will never be me again'.  My husband followed me and tried to comfort me but I could not be consoled.  I just kept asking "Why would God take my voice when I have only used it in His service and in praise of Him?"  My husband couldn't answer.  A couple days later my daughter called and told me she had something to tell me.  She said God wanted her to tell me because He couldn't get through my sorrow to me Himself.  She said, "Mom, God didn't take your voice from you.  He held off the asthma for 20 years so you would be able to sing with the choir."

How many times do I blame God for a trial and fail to see His hand and blessing in it?  I believe I fail every day to recognize all that God does for me.  That is partly why I set a goal this year to write down an instance every day when I felt the hand of God in my life.  This has helped but I still know I do not recognize even a small part of ALL that He does for me.  I truly am an ungrateful servant.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

who'da thunk it?

I have a marathon to run in 2 weeks from yesterday.  I am still battling my left hip injury/right knee pain.  I tried to do my final long run yesterday but the knee was in too much pain.  Fearful of damaging it, I decided to finish my run in a swimming pool.

I can barely move today.

No.  It didn't re-injure my hip or cause further pain in my knee.  I think the water resistance just worked my legs a bit harder than they are used to. 

Today I am stiff and sore and it is pretty funny watching me try to walk -- especially trying to go down stairs.  Who would have thought that something so easy on your joints could be so hard on your muscles?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Wednesday night was the track banquet. It was really fun! Dinner was from the Olive Garden and then every coach honored Rookie of the Year, Most Improved, and Most Valuable athletes for both male and female. That's a lot of awards since there are coaches for the following: high jump, long jump, pole vault, throws, hurdles, distance, and sprints. McKayla won the award for the Most Valuable Female Distance Runner. Yay!

She really has awesome coaches! Chase Englestead really knows his stuff. He ran for Utah Valley University and I believe he eats, sleeps, and breaths running. Mike Christensen (center) is also a former runner and a super great guy. He really cares about his athletes. He also loves to give McKayla a hard time.

Friday, May 25, 2012

The Wrap-Up

Everything is wrapping up - the school year, PTA, sports, etc.  That means things should get quieter but you've heard of the calm before the storm?  The wrap-up is just the opposite.  It is the stormy chaos before the calm.

PTA has had teacher appreciation, graduation party ticket sales, awards ceremonies, and end-of-the-year thank you lunches.  I have subbed quite a bit in seminary.  Dance has had recitals and competitions.  Soccer has had regular games and squeezed-in make-up games and tryouts for the upcoming year.  Track has had Region and then State competitions, breakfasts, dinners, and awards banquets.

Who needs the storm?

Thursday, May 17, 2012

"Born to Run"

Runners know that there are days you feel like you were meant to run.  You feel like you could go forever and nothing could stop you or slow you down.  You could scale mountains.  You could break records.

Then there are days like today.  My Ipod battery died after one mile leaving 7.5 miles with only the thoughts in my head.  (Don't leave me alone with those!)  My legs felt very heavy and tired.  Probably not surprising after having run 18 miles on Monday and then been on my feet in heels ALL day yesterday.  For some reason I was chafing.  Ouch.  My knee really hurt.  Ouch again.  The wind was quite strong.  (And why does it always feel like it's a headwind?)  I had no energy and was really thirsty.  I really could have used inspiration from Bruce Springsteen's "Born to Run".  Oh Ipod was dead....

The clincher?  I finally made it home, stripped down to enjoy a relaxing and cleansing shower, only to find that my home has no water. 

City trucks/workers are down the street working on it so hopefully....

Maybe Springsteen should write another song entitled "Born to get the kids off to school and then burrow back under the covers".  That's the answer - I was born this way.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

where's the honey?

It's a mystery.  I went to make sandwiches on Monday and the honey was gone.  This is not some small honey bear that could easily be hiding behind the peanut butter.  We are talking about a 6 POUND CONTAINER of honey.

Kevin and I searched everywhere.  Did someone put it back in the wrong cupboard?  Is it hiding behind the Crisco?  Accidentally stored in the fridge?


This morning?  Lo and behold, the honey is right there.  Did it enjoy a sabattical?  Take a walk?  Vacation in a remote clime?


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

food, food, food

McKayla is sure feasting this week. 

Yesterday I delivered pizza to the high school.  Every month the PTA gives pizza to the class with the fewest tardies.  This month it just happened to be a class McKayla is in.  She got a couple pieces of pizza during her 3rd period.  Then it was lunch time so she didn't have lunch.  During her 4th period, she was excused from class to go to a BBQ for the Hope Squad.  More eating.  I asked her if she was able to run at track practice (immediately after 4th) or if her teammates just had to roll her around the track.

That's not all.  Tomorrow morning the school is feeding her and all her other track teammates who are going to state.

Heck, I can practically stop cooking.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

It was a good Mother's Day.  Kevin made me strawberry crepes for breakfast.  Yum!  Kevin, Shanley, and Chandler made chicken gyros for dinner.  Yum!  McKayla painted my toenails.  Brakston gave me a call.

And the very best thing of the day?  McKayla wrote me the most awesome letter ever!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Why My Mom's the Best

Most people think their mother is the best but I have proof:

  • 7 children and we were never late for church - not once!
  • dinner on the table every night by 5:30 pm
  • climbed into my bed with me after every date and listened to me rehash every minute
  • still is one I turn to when I need a listening ear
  • best grandma to my children
  • kind to everyone
  • service-oriented
  • sacrificed everything for her children
  • yummy homemade meals, snacks, etc - all the time!

I love you, Mom!  Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


Four weeks until the marathon. 

Today's preparations:  a 9-mile run followed by a massage.

My life is good.

One week until McKayla runs at the State Meet.

Her preparations today:  a 7-mile run and a massage.

Her life might be better.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Teacher Appreciation

Teacher appreciation week has kept me a bit busy this week. Sunday I baked peanut butter bars, lemon bars, marshmallow brownies, and sugar cookies bars. Monday I was at the high school the entire day cooking Cafe Rio style burritos. We served those and my cookies for both teacher lunches and then cleaned up. Thursday I was over at the high school from 10:30-1:30 having students write thank you notes to their teachers. we also put free premium salad coupons in the teachers' boxes.

In addition, I found a little time to make this little goodie for Chandler's teacher:
Here's a glimpse of the backside so you can see it's filled with her favorite goodies - Diet Coke, Peanut M&Ms, Almond Joys, and dry erase markers.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

one month

I am one of those people that still get excited about my birthday. Not that I like getting older but I guess I like a day that's all about me. How selfish is that? One more thing I need to work on... So, my birthday is in exactly one month from today. It falls on a Sunday this year and so far the only plans I have are to attend my niece's mission farewell. Then, my sister will fix me lunch for my birthday so I don't have to cook. Oh, wait...she's probably fixing lunch for the entire family that will be there for Natalie's farewell but what the heck! I get to eat it and I don't have to cook it and, since it's my birthday, I can pretend it's all for me. heehee!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012


We attended a surprise birthday party for my Uncle Reed's 65th birthday. I loved the plastic blow-up walker his children got him - made me laugh!

My cousin Mindy did the cake.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

cute Mother's Day gift

Here's a pic of the gift I gave my mom for Mother's Day (already gave it to her since she's in Texas and will still be there on Mother's Day).

I thought it turned out really cute! I wish I could take full credit but the general idea came from Copy Central and Scrapbook in Payson, UT. They have terrific ideas throughout their store! I just adapted it - smaller jars, candy instead of glass beads, skewers instead....

Monday, May 7, 2012


Okay, I know I went a little overboard on the MORP pictures but I thought they were so much fun that I couldn't choose a favorite.

McKayla, Michael Bluth, Kimber Young, Brandon Walker, Courtney Paddock, Michael Metcalf, Lexi Jackson, and Reed Dudley.

The group really had a blast Saturday night at the dance despite being extremely tired. 6 of the 8 are on the track team and spent all day Friday and all day Saturday at the BYU Invitational. In fact, they didn't get back until 7 pm which is when the dance officially started. They went ahead and changed clothes and went out for pizza and arrived at the dance about 8:30 pm. McKayla said that worked out well because their legs were tired anyways. After the dance, they played games, took the pictures, and ate cake.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


Saturday McKayla also qualified for the State meet in the 1600m with a time of 5:18.42 (she needed 5:19.71). She ran 6 seconds better than her previous best! Wahoo! This also gives her the school record in the 1600m (she got the record for the 3200m last year during her freshman year). Pretty exciting stuff! We know the school record holder for the boys (Trevor Sharp) in both these events because he graduated with Brakston and they were cross-country/track teammates. Trevor was at the meet on Saturday so I snapped a picture of the two school distance-record holders.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


McKayla qualified for state in the 3200m!  Wahoo!

She took 13 seconds off her previous PR (personal record) and got a time of 11:26.71.  She needed to get under 11:37.15 to qualify so she'll be attending the state meet in 2 weeks.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Shop Hop

Wednesday my mom, Aunt Vicki, and I attended the 2nd annual Scrapbook Shop Hop.  12 hours.  10 stores.  Spent way too much money.  Had lots of fun!

The best part is I came home with lots of great ideas - one of which I've already made for my mom for Mother's Day.  I'd post a picture but...(my mom reads this).

Thursday, May 3, 2012

books I've read in the past month

Here's the books I've read in the past TWO months (I'm a little behind in posting).  I ** the ones I recommend.

 "Starters (Starters, #1) by Lissa Price
 "Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)" by Susan_Beth_Pfeffer"
 "Spooky Little Girl"> by Laurie Notaro
 "She's Come Undone" by Wally Lamb
 **"My Name is Mary Sutter" by Robin Oliveira
 "Cinder and Ella" by Melissa Lemon
 **"South of Superior" by Ellen Airgood
 "The Trinity Six" by Charles Cumming
 **"The Cleansing of America" by W. Cleon Skousen
 **"Friends & Foes" by Sarah M. Eden
 **"The Language of Flowers" by Vaness Diffenbaugh

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

more Alec

What can I say?  He makes me laugh.

He wants his bedroom painted like "Never-Ending Story".  (Good luck figuring out what that is.)

He asked me yesterday if he can go on a date.  (Luckily, McKayla said she'd double with him.)

He always gets dressed in the dark.

Currently, he is sleeping on the floor of the downstairs family room in a tent of blankets stretched between the two couches.

Yesterday morning after doing baptisms at the temple, he wanted McKayla to stop at the store to buy doughnuts.  When she wouldn't, he got mad and grounded her.  The funniest part is he grounded her from Michael.

Tuesday, May 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 - I measured for them.
2) Paint the shutters, outside trim, and outside doors - Need to get going on this
3) Plant lavender in front of the house - Done.
4) Do window treatments for family room, dining room, kitchen, Shanley's room, and the master bedroom - I hung the drapes in the family room.  No other progress here.
5) Paint/stain the back deck - Need to get going on this one too
6) Paint the master bathroom - no progress

1) Plan a special date with Kevin once a month - did!
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 - Yikes!  Bad month!  I gained 4 pounds between camping for several days, Easter, a couple of huge family get togethers, and a girls' retreat.  Getting back on track right now.  Total weight loss = 10 pounds.
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - summer
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - Ran the half already and am training for the full.

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 950 words this month. Total word count to date = 9941.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - did not spend an entire day there in April
2) Go to 3 new temples - no new progress (still 2 of the 3)
3) Read the New Era and the Ensign every month - done in April
4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - Did much better at recording in April.

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