Thursday, June 28, 2012

all grown up (or wanting to be)

There is such a huge difference between your oldest child and your youngest child in terms of "growing up".  The oldest can stay a bit sheltered and naive but the youngest pushes to do everything the older ones are doing and to the listen to the music and so forth.

Case in point, Brakston did not even realize girls existed until he was 15 1/2 years old.  Sure, he had lots of friends who were girls but he thought they were great to play soccer with or to take fishing.  I'm not sure he realized they were of the opposite sex.

Then there's Chandler.  He's now all of 11 years and 5 months and what did he say to me the other night?  Well, we were at Cold Stone getting him an ice cream.  We were waiting in line and he turned to me and said, "When I can date, I'm bringing a date here.  We'll wait til night so the temperature is perfect and we can eat outside."

Yikes!  My 11-year-old is already planning dates.  It is scary and pretty dang cute all at the same time.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

decisions, decisions, decisions

Last Fall McKayla ran cross-country and played soccer both for the high school. At times it was a bit overwhelming for her - especially when combined with her Honors courses. During the summer she practiced with the cross-country team for a couple hours and then went straight to soccer conditioning for a couple hours. During the school year her cross-country training really suffered. She had soccer practice 3 nights a week followed 2 of those nights by a team dinner. The other 2 weeknights she had games. She generally arrived home every night about 7 pm (unless it was YW night). Saturdays were cross-country meets. It was rare that she would get in a training run. She felt the effects by the time it came to the State meet. Although she placed 19th and was named 3rd Team All-State, her time was slower than she'd run earlier in the year.

 Hence came decision time. She started thinking she might not play soccer anymore. Then she decided she would play one more year (after all, she'd be starting varsity). Then she decided she wouldn't. With college coaches interested in her as a runner, she decided she would devote herself full-time to cross-country. She didn't attend the soccer team meeting before school let out. She didn't attend the week-long soccer camp,

 Decision made.

 Or was it?

 The soccer coach caught up with her yesterday. He expressed concern about her not playing soccer and outlined the role he saw for her on the team. He wants her back. He even told her not to worry about conditioning practices during the summer - just show up for tryouts.

 What will she do? Decisions, decisions...

Monday, June 25, 2012

I'm so excited!

A few weeks ago I got asked to speak at a stake youth conference and the week is finally here! I really am thrilled to spend my Friday afternoon with a group of youth sharing a gospel message. Life doesn't get any better! (hopefully, the youth will be feeling the same and not feeling inclined to throw rotten tomatoes) I have felt so blessed over the past couple weeks as I feel that the Lord has really guided me in what to say to those youth. In addition, yesterday I got asked to help for an afternoon of our stake's girl's camp so now I have something to look forward to in August.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Father's Day gift

This is what I decided to give Kevin for Father's Day: We left one of the bottles filled with cream soda (Kevin's favorite). The kids were thrilled because I let them drink the remaining 5 bottles and pop is a rarity at our home. Then after carefully washing and drying the bottles the kids and I filled them with red licorice bites, almonds, pistachios, chocolate chips, and dark-chocolate covered pomegranates. Kevin really enjoyed his treats and the Home Depot gift card that was attached. I saw this idea at a scrapbook store but have since seen it on Pinterest.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

the rest of the story

It continued to be a great sports week for Chandler! Yesterday his soccer team won another soccer game. Then Chandler had a track meet. He's been running the 800m but decided to try the 1600m last night. I don't know how he placed since they ran all of the age divisions at once but his time was 6:41. Not bad for an 11-year-old running his first 1600 race. What impressed me the most was how consistent he was. His first 3 laps were all 1:42 and then he kicked the 4th lap. This morning his soccer team played in the tournament championship game and won! The score was 5-2 but it was a lot closer and more exciting game than the score indicates. It was so much fun to watch. Here's Chandler getting his 1st place medal. The team. Coaches: Travis, Jake Simons, Josh Clark. Boys (back L-R): Isaiah, Travis, Braque, Tim, Colby, Jayden, Seth, and Riley. Boys (front L-R): Dylan, CHANDLER, McCaffrey, Zayden, Ethan, and Jackson.

Friday, June 22, 2012

sports update

It is a busy week for Chandler for sports.  He had a track meet on Wednesday.  It was a district meet that he had to qualify for by taking 1st or 2nd in his event at the local meet.  He qualified in the 800m and took 6th on Wednesday.  He wasn't thrilled with 6th but he took 7 seconds off his previous best time which I thought was amazing.

Yesterday Chandler began a soccer tournament with 2 soccer games.  His team won both of them (10-1 and 3-0).

Today he has a soccer game and another track meet.  Tomorrow he will have 1 or 2 soccer games.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Alec and clothes

I've written before about clothes-shopping with Alec.  He loves it but is a bit difficult.  Here's a new twist - he doesn't actually wear the stuff he buys.

McKayla and I took him shopping last week.  He bought a new shirt.  We can't talk him into wearing it although he has proudly shown it to everyone who has come to the house.  It dawned on me that the "Free Willy outfit" we spent so much time shopping for has only been worn once.  So, I've tried getting him to wear that one.  No dice.

He also bought a swimsuit last week.  It will be interesting to see if we can get him to wear that the next time we head to Seven Peaks.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I turn stalker

Two weeks ago I forgot to put out our garbage and our recycling.  The garbage wasn't too bad.  After all, I usually don't have a completely full garbage can and the garbage man comes weekly.

The recycling is a different story altogether.  They only pick up every other week and my can is usually very full by then.  So, 4 weeks worth of recycling means that now my can is overflowing.  I have newspapers and pizza boxes stacked in my garage (we buy pizza every Friday night and Tonya bought pizza for ALL the kids on Monday).  I have empty milk jugs lined up neatly on my kitchen floor. Even after the recycling pick-up today, if I put all this stuff in then my recycling can will be full again and I'll still have 2 weeks to go. 

So, what's a girl to do but turn crazy, recycling bin stalker lady?  Yep, checking all of my neighbors cans for room to stash my recycling.  (Luckily, I have lots of empty-nester neighbors.)  So, if you see me skulking around the neighborhood furtively peeking in recycling bins, don't be too alarmed!

Monday, June 18, 2012

one more embarrassing moment

I'd like to think that as I get older and wiser my embarrassing moments will cease.  However, since I've noticed my memory is going, I am afraid that my embarrassing moments will become more frequent.  Hopefully, the two will work together and I will embarrass myself but then forget all about it.

Yesterday after Sacrament Meeting the Sunday School president caught me and said a teacher had called unable to make it.  Would I be willing to teach the class?  You bet!  Sure!  I love to teach and I'd even read the lesson so I could even teach the correct material.  However, since I didn't know I'd be teaching I didn't wear my watch.  No problem.  I'll just listen for the warning bell, wrap up what I'm saying, and finish by the final bell.


There were NO bells!  None.  Zip.  Nada.

I just kept blithely teaching until the YW President knocks on the door and sticks her head in to ask if the girls can please come to YW now (apparently I'd only taught a mere 20 minutes past when I should've ended).  I walk out to find the Deacons' Quorum and their leaders waiting patiently in the hall for their classroom to be vacated.


Did I mention I love to teach?  Apparently you can't shut me up!

Sunday, June 17, 2012


Hi!  My name is Marvelle and I am a Skip-Bo addict.

I think I could play millions of games of Skip-Bo and still not want to quit.  This week I played on Sunday night with my mom and a sister.  I played lots of games Tuesday and Wednesday with the Nebekers.  Last night Kevin and I played a couple games while waiting for McKayla to get home.

Is there a 12-step program for this?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

hand of God

This year it has been one of my goals to recognize and record the hand of God in my life every day.  I have done that most days but I keep the list private.  It is for me and my own spiritual growth.   However, this week our family was so richly blessed that I feel the need to share it.

When Kevin returned the U-Haul trailer we'd used to tow our car back home, the dealership he returned it to went to unhook it and said, "Wow, good thing you didn't tow over any hills.  They didn't actually attach the hitch so it was just resting on top.  This should never have stayed on."

I don't know if the dealership where Kevin rented it got distracted and didn't finish hooking it up or what.  What I do know is that the very first thing we encountered on the tow was a very steep, very rutted dirt hill with a big curve at the top.  Our trip home also included the Three Sisters (long, steep hills outside of Evanston) and Parley's Canyon (more steep hills with lots of roads for runaway semis).

Definitely hills.

I had our family say a prayer before we began the tow job home.  I prayed for our safety and the safety of the car we were towing.  I believe in miracles and I believe in the power of prayer.  It is sure easy to recognize the hand of God in our safe trip home.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

what doesn't begin or end well...

But everything in between is great!
 The plan was for Alec, McKayla, Chandler and I (Shanley is at EFY) to spend a couple days at our friends' ranch. We'd relax and have a great time. We did but all did not go as planned. It started off a bit rough. I was packing the trunk of the car and left the trunk open and 1 sleeping bag and 2 pillows out on the lawn while I went inside to finish the last minute stuff. I clearly did NOT think about the fact that our automatic sprinklers would kick on. So, I left with a bit of dampness on everything in the trunk and 1 wet sleeping bag and 2 wet pillows (they dried quickly once laid out at the ranch). Also helping us get off to a great start was Alec who was refusing to go. Finally, Alec and wet stuff was loaded and we were out the door. Once there we had a great time!

 Here's Alec on Vanilla (the horses were Chocolate and Vanilla - I rode Chocolate every time but have no picture of him). Isn't the scenery gorgeous?
 McKayla, Zach, Abby, and I playing Rummy-O. We played lots of games - Skip-Bo, Pandemic, Monopoly, Zilch... McKayla on Vanilla. She even got daring enough to gallop. Chandler on Vanilla. Cole, McKayla, Chandler, and Abby hiked to the cave (the hole seen above Abby's head). They actually found a mylar birthday balloon and the cool part about that is that it actually was Abby's birthday! (We even enjoyed birthday cake while there.) We played Minute-To-Win-It games. I think everyone's favorite was "Face the Cookie". Who wouldn't love a game where you get to eat an Oreo (besides Oreo-hating me, of course)? All that play wore them out! Jill and I got the bedrooms and the kids crashed on couches, lawn chairs, and the floor. Alec's snoring failed to wake them. Even the sunlight streaming in that morning failed to rouse them. But, of course, in life everything can't be fun and games. The first night we went to drive down the road a bit where we could get cell phone service and our car wouldn't start - no matter what. Kevin dropped his flights the next day and he and my nephew, Josh (a certified mechanic) drove up to check it out (a 3 1/2 hour drive). A pin was sheared off on the timing belt (so it wouldn't turn) so Kevin and Josh drove another hour each way to pick up a U-Haul auto trailer so we could tow the car home (again a 3 1/2 hour ride - lots of driving for Kevin that day). Still, it's hard to complain too much when:
 *you're surrounded by that much beauty
 *a ranch hand was at work and able to google U-Haul sites for us
 *a U-Haul trailer was actually available
 *Kevin was able to drop his flights even though it was last minute
 *we got to see lots of antelope
 *McKayla avoided stepping on a snake
 *Kevin didn't have to go to Scout camp today so he can take care of the car
 *we had a downhill slope to aid us in pushing the car onto the trailer
 *we were able to pull it up the steep, rutted dirt hill by the ranch house
 *we made it home safely

 All in all - a great (though maybe expensive) trip!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

enjoying the great outdoors

McKayla really got to enjoy the mountains last weekend. Friday night she went on a triple date. It was Avree and Brandon, Kelsey and Reed, and McKayla and Michael. They went hiking and then roasted marshmallows for s'mores. They also roasted Starbursts (one of our famiy's favorites). They had a great time! Saturday night she went on another triple date and did basically the same thing. This time it was Courtney and Preston, Lexi and Braydon, and McKayla and Matthew. The hike was in a different canyon. Still roasted marshmallows for s'mores. Then they went to Braydon's and played Apples to Apples. Another really great time! and I love that no one is going broke trying to pay for dinner and movies and other expensive stuff.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

This is the Place State Park

Last Friday was a free day at This is the Place State Park. I took my children and met up with Mom. She brought Todd's kids - Emma, Garrett, and Avery. We had a really fun time! We toured farmhouses, watched Native American Dancing, rode a mini train, rode a bigger train, looked at quilts, ate ice cream and mini donuts, watched the blacksmith, and petted lots of animals. Alec really enjoyed the Native American dancers and wanted to watch them again. The Native American dancers invited the audience to join them in a dance and Avery did. She loved it! Avery kept asking if we could go pet the animals so finally we did. She couldn't get enough of them. She would pet the goat and then see the lamb and ask to go pet it. Then she'd see the turkey and run to pet it. Luckily, there were a lot of animals to pet - goats, lambs, turkeys, ducks, chicks, pigs, etc. Shanley and Emma hatched a plan to always have pet baby pigs (not happening!). Even Alec got brave enough to pet an animal.

Monday, June 11, 2012

piano recital

Chandler and Shanley played in a piano recital last Wednesday night. They both did great. I was especially proud of Chandler who had his piece memorized and played it well. He has really worked hard lately. (Gotta love the photos - I totally forgot this was an event I should be memorializing in pictures until Chandler was done).

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the agony of defeat (or da-knee)

My very cute cousin Jeannean and I before the race on yesterday. As bad as I look compared to her, things only went downhill from here. Jeannean ran the half-marathon while I ran the full. (Not that Jeannean couldn't have done the full but she is in training for an Iron Man Triathlon and a full didn't fit her training schedule). Jeannean finished great in under 2 hours. I didn't finish at all. Those of you following my blog know I suffered a hip injury in January. It has never healed and I believe that led to problems with my opposing knee in the last couple of months. The knee pain has gotten progressively worse but I kept training for the marathon. I used a lot of ice and ibuprofen. A couple weeks ago it got too bad to run on so I moved my training into the swimming pool. For the first week, I was feeling no pain going down stairs and I thought the swimming pool trick was working. However, this past week the pain resumed. I was still hopeful I could just get through this marathon that I have trained so hard for. I had my knee taped on Friday night and Kevin gave me a Priesthood blessing. The first 7 miles went well. The knee hurt but nothing I couldn't live with (I always ignore the hip pain because it's not as bad). Then I hit the steeper up and down hills. The downhills took their toll on my knee and it really started hurting in earnest. I struggled onward until my run became more of a lopsided shuffle. By mile 14 I was done. I had to walk to mile 15 where I could get aid. I called it quits when I couldn't make my knee bend and climbed in the medical transport. It didn't help any that the wind was blowing extremely hard in my face and I managed to scratch both corneas (darn gas permeable contacts). I have never had to quit a race before and it took an emotional toll. I will admit to shedding a lot of tears (and not just the ones caused by my scratched corneas). I was so disappointed. It was also frustrating after the months of training. Not at all how I wanted this race to end. Today I think I'm done crying. My knee only hurts when going downstairs or after sitting for long periods of time. My eyes are still in pain and distress. I can only manage to get one of my contacts in and I woke up every 2 hours last night needing eyedrops to relieve the pain. My physical pain will heal. My mental/emotional pain will probably be a great learning experience that will be helpful at some point. Some day I will probably look upon this as a good learning experience -- just not yet.

Giveaway Winner

And the winner is....(imaginary drum roll) Mom Erwin
Congratulations! If you happen to see this today, email me your address. I will actually be in St. George tomorrow and will bring it to you. If not, I will mail it later this week. My email is

Friday, June 8, 2012

Seven Peaks Waterpark

The kids and I had a fun day at the waterpark yesterday! (Of course I didn't take a single photo) We bought season passes this year so we'll probably go a lot. In fact, Shanley has already gone this year and school hasn't even been out a week. We went to the one in Provo and went with Goins and Nebekers who also have season passes. McKayla took 5 friends with her and it was fun watching them goof off - I really enjoy her friends! The scariest slide was the Boomerang! It looks like a halfpipe and you ride it using a tube. I didn't think it looked too bad until they pushed me over the edge. All of a sudden I am flying straight down and I thought, "What the crap am I doing?" Then I survived and lived to do it again.

Giveaway Reminder

You still have today and tomorrow to leave a comment thus entering yourself for my birthday giveaway!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Hill Aerospace Museum

I chaperoned the 5th grade field trip on Tuesday. I found it very interesting and had to wonder why I've never gone there before. It seems I am the only one in my family who hasn't gone. My kids must have all gone there on their 5th grade field trip and Kevin chaperoned once. Chandler loved it! He was completely fascinated and is dying to go again! He kept begging me to take more pictures of the planes. My favorite was the stealth bomber. Interesting fact: it costs $1 million per flight! No wonder they've returned these babies! The boys in my little group tried lifing the plane and actually succeeded in tipping it a bit. The wing was really swaying and it freaked me out a bit -- I will deny any and all knowledge of aircraft tipping. They had a learning center where the students could fly simulators, dress in flight clothes, spin a gyroscope, and do other scientific things. Very interesting! I'm sure there will be no peace in my home until Chandler has nailed down a date for a 2nd visit. This time he wants to go with his grandpa who he's sure will be able to tell him about the aircraft.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Giveaway Prize

A picture of the prize is now available! This tote bag will go to one lucky winner. Once more, the rules are simple. Live in the U.S. Make a comment on my blog before midnight on June 9th. Be the lucky name drawn on June 10th. Good luck!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

prescribing Ibuprofen and a nap

Anyone that knows me knows I am not a late-night person. I tend to wake up naturally well before dawn so by even early evening I am pretty much worthless! I need to go to bed early to even get enough sleep to function (about 6 1/2 hours). So, the hours I've kept lately aren't good for me. First, I chaperoned the high school graduation party and didn't get home until 3:45 am. Then I spent a couple nights waiting up for my teenage daughter (the ONLY bad part about having teens). Then I had a night where I actually got to bed at a decent hour but Alec woke me up at 2 am (because he doesn't seem to need sleep - EVER). Then, a stupid act on my part - I had a houseful of teens last night and I stayed up watching a movie until after midnight. My life of debauchery (jk) caught up with me this morning and even though I still woke early I just couldn't seem to drag myself out of bed and get moving leading to other problems. Like tired, dry eyes that couldn't hack the wind in my contacts when the bus windows were lowered even though we were at freeway speed. Like not having the energy to keep up with the 4 rambunctious boys I was assigned. Like coming home to discover I forgot to put out the garbage can and the recycle can (major trouble since both were already FULL). Like overflowing with frustration at finding out we've missed soccer practice this week cuz we didn't get the email. Like the massive headache I now have - probably from the lack of sleep and the noise on the hour-long bus ride home. The up-side to teens is that they don't need anyone to put them to bed. So, will anyone make fun of me if I'm in bed tonight by 8 pm? (probably a pipe dream but it does sound good)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Arrow of Light

Chandler received his the Arrow of Light award for Scouting on Wednesday night. It was a dinner followed by a nice awards ceremony using a Native American theme.
Chandler actually earned this about 6 months ago but the Scout leaders decided they would do a group of boys all at once so they waited until 5 of them were receiving it all at once. Chandler has already earned his Tenderfoot rank advancement and a couple of merit badges. Still, he enjoyed receiving his Arrow of Light.

Sunday, June 3, 2012


One week until my birthday! To celebrate I am giving away a present - a handmade tote bag. (I will post a picture soon). To win will be amazingly simple - just leave a comment on any post this week (June 3 - June 9). On Sunday, June 10 (my birthday) I will put all commentors' names in a bowl and draw the winning name. You may comment as many times as you'd like but your name will only be entered once. I will ship to anywhere in the U.S. Odds of winning are really good because I don't have too many followers so go ahead and enter, what do you have to lose?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

books I read in the past month

Not a long list this month (too busy with PTA and running) I ** the ones I recommend. **Divergent (Divergent #1) by Veronica Roth The Leftovers by Tom Perotta The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard Turn of Mind by Alice LaPlante As you can see, only one book I'd recommend. There was, in fact, two I would NOT recommend - The Leftovers and The Good Daughters. Avoid those.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Resolution Check-Up

Not super excited to report my lack of progress this month!

Home Improvement
1) Build shutters for the windows in the front of my house - No progress.
2) Paint the shutters, outside trim, and outside doors - No progress.
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 - No new progress..
5) Paint/stain the back deck - No progress.
6) Paint the master bathroom - No progress.

1) Plan a special date with Kevin once a month - did!
Oops - didn't do this month. 2) Spend one-on-one time with each child every month (away from the home) - I 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!  Another bad month. I went out to eat several times for PTA closing socials and so forth. Not good for losing weight.
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - summer
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - Ran the half already and am training for the full. The full is in 8 days.

1) Make sure 1/3 of what I read is uplifting (spiritual, classical, best-book type stuff) - have done this
2) Write a book - No progress.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - No.
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 May.
4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - Did much better at recording in May.

Overall - May was horrid for goal progress! I feel like PTA and marathon-training are running my life (no pun intended). It's been almost all I can handle just to keep up with the massive amounts of PTA this past month. However, I handed out yearbooks at the middle school yesterday and then chaperoned the high school graduation party last night. That pretty much completes my PTA duties. I've got a couple reports, check signings, and one final meeting. The marathon is in 8 days and then I can cut back on the massive hours of training. I am really hopeful that I will make more progress on goals in June. Also, to be fair to myself. I actually did accomplish a few projects in May - just not ones that were on my resolutions. I finished my denim quilt top and made myself a tote bag.