Tuesday, July 31, 2012

good Samaritan

You try to be helpful and look what happens.

Yesterday I dropped my daughter off at the high school to leave for high-altitude cross-country camp.  The runners were supposed to arrange their own rides and tents.  McKayla had done so.  Oops!  Others hadn't.  There were lots of runners at the high school who had no ride up to the camp.  So, loving teenagers like I do, I was actually very happy to volunteer to drive a car full of boys up to the campground. 

All was well until the drive back down the canyon.  The car did a funny lurch a couple of times.  Weird.  I noticed the dashboard clock wasn't working.  Strange.  The radio just quit.  Worrisome.  Then, one final lurch and the car was dead.  Completely.  Luckily I was going down the canyon so I could coast off the side of the road.

I tried calling Kevin but, of course, he wasn't anywhere near his cell phone.  I tried several neighbors (at home and on the cells).  I got a complex that no one was taking my calls - drat that caller ID.

Once more luck was with me (and by luck I mean the tender mercies of the Lord) and a police officer pulled up and asked if I was having trouble.  We determined it was the alternator but the officer used his vehicle to charge my car enough to get down the canyon.  Whew!

I finally got a hold of a neighbor who couldn't get Kevin by banging on the door but I told him to just walk on in.  Sure enough.  Kevin and Shanley were downstairs (in air conditioning) watching episodes of Monk.  Nevermind that I was baking and had been gone 2 1/2 hours longer than expected - who misses their wife anyways (it wasn't dinnertime - haha).  I am certain that at some point they would have realized that my 15-minute trip to drop McKayla off at the high school was certainly running overtime.  Nah - who am I kidding?  They might not have ever noticed but I have faith that Chandler would have when he got home from school because he did.  And, since we don't have a home phone, he even made the effort to go to a neighbors and phone me to find out where I was.  Nice to know someone still needs me.

And that is how my 15-minute trip turned into a 3-hour adventure.  (makes me think of Gilligan's Island but with no palm trees, cool breezes, or tropical food)

Monday, July 30, 2012

that's what you get

What do you get when you send your teenage daughter to the store for a few necessities?

You get WHITE bread!

Yep.  My children have never been fond of wheat bread (or wheat pasta for that matter).  Even my "lectures" on how much healthier it is have had no swaying influence.  So, when I asked McKayla to pick up bread and milk from the store, she did exactly that.  I suppose I didn't specify that I meant "wheat" bread - thought that was obvious.

My children are happy.  I guess that's the price I pay for convenience.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


We took the waverunners out on Thursday.  It was the first time this summer (we did take them out in April in St. George for Spring Break).  We had so much fun and I wondered why we don't take them out more often.  Then we stopped to fill them up with guess and I remembered.  $75 for just a few hours of fun.  Yikes!  Since we purchased a season waterpark pass for $20 each and can go there for hours and hours of fun for just the $10 gas it costs us to get there, it makes sense that we aren't taking out the waverunners much.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Lucky Charm

Maybe Alec is my Lucky Charm.  We were sure lucky last night when we won the drawing to purchase tickets to Wicked for $25 each!  Woo hoo!

Kevin and I saw Wicked in LA a few years ago.  At that time, we too won the drawing for $25 tickets and got amazing seats!  There wasn't a huge crowd for the drawing so our odds were pretty good.

We loved the show so when it was announced that a tour stop would be in SLC, I gave McKayla, Shanley, and Chandler coupons to see it as Christmas presents.  It sold out within minutes and we didn't get tickets.  We tried entering the drawing for the $25 tickets but well over 100 people entered and we had no luck.  So, I took those three to see it in Tempe, AZ where I could actually get tickets.

Alec was the only one who hadn't seen it and it is back touring in SLC.  I toyed with the idea of trying for the $25 tickets again reasoning that maybe this time there wouldn't be the huge crowds but mostly dismissed the idea and I wasn't too keen to pay $125 per person.  However, yesterday we got back from spending the day on the waverunners and I felt an urge (prompting?) to go enter the drawing.  So, I hurriedly blew dry my hair and Alec and I raced downtown to enter the drawing.

I was so disappointed to see that once more well over 100 people were entering the drawing.  Our chances didn't look good.  They looked even worse when it got down to the final name they were drawing.  Then they called "Alec Morgan".  Yea!  Alec raised his hands in victory and we purchased the 2 tickets we were allowed for that night's performance.

Alec loved it and I felt so blessed to be able to see it again!  The lady playing Glinda was hilarious - truly laugh out loud funny!  We had a blast!  Alec has spent this morning playing every song from Wicked that he can find on youtube.  (I'm not reminding him I have the CD or I'll never see it again!)

Thursday, July 26, 2012

hurt so good

I've started running again this week after taking off the past 6 weeks (I only ran the Riverton Town Days 5K during that time).  I've lost a lot of running fitness so I'm a bit stiff but it feels so good to be out on the road again!

I quit running after the marathon because I was really in pain from my IT Band on the right side and bursitis in my hip on the left side.  I saw a doctor who prescribed some exercises for the IT Band issue and 6 months of rest for the bursitis.  I tried but I just couldn't do it.  The rest was supposed to include NO stairs and NO inclines. 

Well, I've spent at least one day of every week at Seven Peaks Waterpark which requires climbing LOTS of stairs to get to the slides.  Also, my bedroom, laundry room, and food storage room are all downstairs so I use the stairs a lot every day.  Plus, I love to hike which means inclines. 

This led me to the logical and reasonable conclusion that the bursitis is not going to get better so I may as well be doing the running I enjoy (plus NEED for weight control, stress control, sanity, etc)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chandler's First/Last Day

It is Chandler's first day of school today but it is also the first day of his last year at elementary.  This is quite a milestone because I have had a child at Riverton Elementary for the past 18 years!  Wow!  So, this will be my last year of elementary school as well.

I like year round school because I like the flexibility of when I take my vacations.  I like that my children don't get bored during an overly long summer.  I even like that Chandler's schedule is different from all of his siblings because it allows he and I the flexibility to spend one-on-one time together.  He enjoys different activities from his siblings so the different schedules is perfect.

However, I still didn't quite feel ready for him to go back to school this year.  We have had a lot of fun - he has played in two soccer tournaments and we've been to Seven Peaks Waterpark once a week on average.  He's gone fishing and swimming and played games. He ran track and ran a 5K race.   He's spent lots of time with cousins.

This morning I gave him a bag full of smarties candy that read "Hey Smartie Pants - good luck on the first day of school!"  Chandler laughed and was quite pleased with it.  I also made him one of his favorite breakfasts - cinnamon muffins and peach smoothies.

Here's the scoop:

Chandler Reed Morgan
4 feet 10 1/2 inches
73 pounds
Teacher:  Ms. Becknell (Shanley had her and we liked her!)
Favorite Color:  Green
Favorite Food:  Chinese
Favorite Candy:  Skittles
Favorite Subject:  Math
Favorite Hobby:  Soccer
Favorite Friends:  Jared Goins, Abby Nebeker, Jeffrey Stratton
Favorite Thing Over the Summer:  going to Logan for a soccer tournament
Wants to Be:  an airline pilot

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

failure to connect the dots

Sometimes it amazes me how my brain works and sometimes it amazes me even more how it doesn't!

Yesterday I said I didn't want to go to Seven Peaks Waterpark today because it is a holiday so it will be crowded.  I also said I'd be unable to call and schedule a doctor appointment for Alec because it is a holiday.  I also realized I wouldn't be able to call and schedule a haircut appointment for myself because it is a holiday.  So, I think I had it firmly established that it is a holiday today.

I arose this morning at 3:30 am after possibly one of the worst nights of sleep EVER.  I dry shampooed my hair, straightened it, put on make-up, got dressed, and drove to the temple only to find the gates locked because guess what?  It is a holiday today!


Monday, July 23, 2012

mission farewell

Alec, McKayla and I went to the mission "farewell" of Garrett Steed yesterday.  I love Garrett!  I can't even remember how I got to know him.  He was the student body president at Riverton High so he's definitely the kind of kid that stands out.  I know I had him in my seminary class a couple of times when I subbed.   Really, I don't know how we got to know each other but I know I think very highly of him and always enjoy our visits.  Besides that, he loves Alec and Alec loves him.  They graduated together.  So, when Garrett sent me a notice of his "farewell" I knew we had to go.

It was a wonderful Sacrament meeting talk.  Garrett spoke on "What a Testimony Is and the Power of a Testimony".  It was great and anyone who knows me knows I don't praise talks lightly.  It was organized and spiritual and imparted wisdom!  McKayla leaned over at one point and said, "Our ward needs to hear this."  Sad but true.  We get too many people sharing stories without ever actually bearing testimony to anything.

Garrett shared a couple of experiences he has already had with bearing his testimony to others.  All I can say is the people of North Carolina better watch out - Garrett is coming for them and he'll be hard to resist!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

what a memory!

Yesterday I took McKayla to a new running store in our town. The owners recognized her when she walked in. They thought it was from the Riverton Town Days race but then the guy asked her if she had run Salt Lake County Track. She said yes and he told her he'd been her coach.

The amazing thing about that is she did that track program for only one year and that was 6 or 7 years ago! The guy was in high school at the time. McKayla and I couldn't believe that he remembered her or that he recognized her!  We didn't recognize or remember him.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

the Lawtons

We just finished our Lawton family reunion (my parents and their descendants). It was so much fun and now I am exhausted! We started the week with cousins' camp. I had all the teens (9 of them) while Dawnette and Tonya had the younger kids. I already blogged about the teen camp. We followed all of that up with the family reunion. On Wednesday we headed to Seven Peaks Waterpark in Provo. We had so much fun! We all rode with various people throughout the day. We even swapped off taking the younger ones for rides. Even cute little Garrett rode the Free Fall (scariest ride there). I went down every slide they have. We even had 8 of us race down the Avalanche Racer (Kevin won but only beat me by half a body length). I enjoyed taking Sophie and Avery for rides. Their squeals of enjoyment left me giggling. Afterwards we all picked up Subway sandwiches and headed back to my home to eat a late dinner. Almost all of the kids had a massive cousins' sleepover at Jolyn's home. Thursday morning the adults went to the Jordan River Temple and did a session. We followed that up with family pictures and a birthday celebration for Jeremy. Then it was down to Trafalga for go-kart rides, miniature golf, bumper boats, etc. Our final event there was a massive laser tag game. I was on the losing team - darn! We picked up pizza and ate on the grass before attending an Orem Owlz baseball game. We sat right behind the players and I noticed a couple of them kept checking out McKayla. Shanley got one of them to give a baseball to Isaac (and he even autographed it first). Friday morning we headed to the Seven Peaks Waterpark in Salt Lake. More fun! I loved the sled ride! I did the yellow roller coaster type ride a couple times - I can actually make it up and over the second hill. My mom even tried it! Way to go, grandma! The grandkids were all so impressed that she went on it even if she didn't make it over. Alec tried to go on it and didn't make it over the first time so he tried to go again. That time he actually got stuck near the top and couldn't get up over and couldn't slide back down. He finally managed to get down but wouldn't try it again. I ended up cutting my chin badly on that one as I bounced at the bottom and hit my mat hard! Thank goodness Darin had Super Glue so we could close the cut and stop the bleeding! My favorite thing was watching Avery, Maggie, and Aliza hold hands while going down the kids' slide - it was so cute! I think everyone had a great time. I know we were all exhausted! I don't envy Cory and Dawnette having to make the drive back to Texas starting today. I had a hard time even dragging myself out of bed!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

the magic of the jar

Why is it that you can put something simple and basic like a cupcake into a Mason jar and suddenly it is so much cuter and more appealing?
I made these patriotic cupcakes in a jar for the sisters I visit teach. They were so excited (more so than a cupcake deserves).

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Teen Cousins' Camp

The past two days have been full of teen fun!  There are 9 teens (my 3, Jolyn's 4, and Dawnette's 2).  Sunday night we played games and watched a movie.  Yesterday we did a photo scavenger hunt at IKEA, a road rally, Olympics, a finger-lickin Fun Dip race, an Atomic Fireball challenge, the M&M game, glow-in-the-dark bowling and another movie.

We spent today in temples doing baptisms.  We did the Jordan River, Mount Timpanogas, and Draper.  Unfortunately, I got too busy to check on temple closings so we drove down to the Provo Temple only to find it closed.  Oops!  (Seriously - how long would it have taken me to check lds.org?) 

It's been a lot of fun but I am a bit worn (10 hours sleep between the last 2 nights and lots of going).
Hopefully, I will get a good night's sleep tonight since our family reunion starts tomorrow.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

quick snapshot of the week

Most of this past week was spent getting ready to host a baby shower - cooking, cleaning, decorating, etc.  The shower was yesterday and went well.

In addition, McKayla and Shanley flew up to Idaho and spent a few days with Brakston and Whitney.  They played hard, went out to eat lots, and even did a bit of reading.

The kids and I went camping up Logan Canyon - Malibu Campground - pretty spot by the river with lots of trees.

Chandler played in a soccer tournament and lost in the semi-finals (shootout after still being tied at the end of overtime).

McKayla went on a date with Tanner and had a "midnight run" for cross-country.

Chandler ran in the All-County Track Meet and took 2nd in the mile and 4th in the 800m.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

all klutz, all the time

One would think that hiking is an inexpensive sport/hobby.  A good pair of shoes and a water bottle and you're set.  I love to hike but my last hike was a bit expensive.

The kids and I were camping up Logan Canyon while in the area for Chandler's soccer tournament.  One evening I wanted to go hiking but couldn't convince a single child to go with me.  So, I grabbed a bottle of water and my camera and headed off by myself to hike to Wind Caves.

It was amazing!
I was pumped about the amazing site! Also, the temperature started to drop and it was actually almost cool. I just couldn't resist the urge to run down the trail. Then I came upon a young couple going up and focused my eyes on them instead of the trail and I stepped off the edge and went down! Just down to the ground, luckily. It could have been much worse if I'd gone down the side of the mountain. Anyways, I went down hard right on top of my camera - ruined my pants and my camera. Bummer! So, hiking is probably only a cheap sport if you have more grace and coordination than I do!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

days of our lives

Yesterday was one of those days where you feel like you've run a marathon or completed an iron man triathlon or something.  It was a day of "pushing through" but the reward at the end was so sweet!

Day at a glance:
Start getting dinner in crockpot
get Alec off to school
take Chandler to soccer
Finish getting dinner in crockpot
pick up Chandler from soccer
pick up Kevin from car repair in Murray
go grocery shopping
make dessert for dinner
make Muddy Buddies for camping trip
make Chex Mix for camping trip
make cake balls for baby shower
make s'mores popcorn for baby shower
cook chicken for camping trip
cook shell pasta for camping trip
make pink popcorn for baby shower
cook spiral pasta for camping trip
sew a nursing cover for gift for baby shower
clean the awful cooking mess I've made this day
take a shower (FINALLY)
make Spanish rice for dinner
make frozen raspberry lemonade for dinner
cook tortillas for dinner
assemble Colorado Chile Burritos for dinner
have missionaries over for dinner
drive Chandler to 2nd soccer practice of the day
back home to get Alec
drive downtown

Sweet Reward:
Peter Breinholt concert in the beautiful outdoors with a special surprise of getting to hear Kuha'o - a piano protege from Hawaii who happens to be blind and self-taught.

The incredible night of music soothed my soul and provided a relaxing ending to a stressful day.  Now, today brings final preparations for the baby shower, final preparations for the camping trip, preparations for book club tonight, and a few necessary items of preparation for the family reunion next week.  Whew!

Monday, July 9, 2012

favorite days

Everyone has favorite days.  Some of mine include:  Christmas, my birthday, the first truly fall-weather day of each year, and the day my BYU Education Week catalog arrives!

One of those days is TODAY!!!  (hint: with temps expected to hit triple digits, it is certainly NOT the fall-weather day)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Camp K

Alec had a blast last week at Camp Kostopulos (Camp K)!  It is a camp for individuals with disabilities that he has gone to every year (except 1) since he was 8 years old.  At first, we just did the residential camp.  That means the campers stay at Camp K all week.  They do the ropes course, swim, ride horses, play on the playground, fish, do crafts, etc.

The last couple of years Alec has done the Salt Lake Travel Trip.  This means he spends the nights in the cabins at Camp K but during the day he does fun activities around the Salt Lake Valley.  On Monday they went to Hogle Zoo and took a drive up to Snowbird.  On Tuesday they toured California Pizza Kitchen and got to make their own pizzas.  Then they went bowling and to the Museum of Natural History and then finished out the day by going swimming.  Wednesday they went to Willow Farm to see all the farm animals and historic equipment.  Afterwards they went to the Living Planet Aquarium.  That night they watched the fireworks from Sugar House Park.  On Thursday they went to the Hill Aerospace Museum, then to Antelope Island, and then to Hollywood Connection for rides and mini golf.  Friday was mostly closing social and awards ceremony because we pick our campers up at 11:30 am.  Alec had a great time!

This year we are going to try something new.  Alec is going for a 2nd week and this time he is doing an actual travel trip.  He will be going to Jackson Hole and Grand Teton National Park.  I know they are planning a river rafting trip and some hiking.  It will be fun to see how he likes this camp in just a few more weeks.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

fortune teller or just jinxing/cursing me

Alec has been at Camp K (Kostopulos) all week.  It is a camp for those with disabilities.  He always has a great time there but I really missed him this year - maybe more than ever before.  I commented to Kevin yesterday morning how excited I was to be picking him up.  Kevin laughed and said, "Yeah, until you're up at midnight trying to get him in off the streets."


After spending the day at Seven Peaks Waterpark (which wore me out and should have worn him out), we drove to Orem to watch a musical at an outdoor theater.  I was in bed sound asleep by 11:30pm.  At 1:30 am, Chandler came down to tell me that a young man from our neighborhood was at the door because Alec was out in the streets.  Sure enough, Alec was down a few blocks in the middle of the street.  I managed to get him home but had to stay awake to ensure he didn't leave again (he wanted to and tried).

Maybe I should send him back to camp or maybe I just tell Kevin to keep his predictions to himself.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Our traditional 4th

I love our country and I enjoy the opportunity to celebrate the birth of this great nation.

We celebrate in a fairly typical (and laidback) fashion.  The evening of the 3rd is our city's parade.  We walk a couple of blocks from our home and sit in camp chairs on the corner.  The parade is great - usually about 100 entries.  We get a lot of floats - royalty from all the surrounding cities (at least 10).  I usually know some of the youth that are either with the marching band, the football team, the cheerleaders, or something.  The parade entrants throw lots of candy so my children feast on salt water taffy (and even share the peppermint ones with me!).  Quite often we have extended family members enjoy the parade with us.  This year Dawnette's family and my parents watched.  I remembered to take popsicles so we had something cold to keep us cool while we waited.  One of my favorite entrants is the 4-wheeling jeeps that drive up on each other's tires.  It's pretty cool.

The morning of the 4th we go swimming in the city pool.  It's free and they provide fun games.  This year we arose early and ran the 5K and then ate the chuckwagon breakfast that the city council serves.  I think that will all become part of the tradition.  The rest of the day is spent relaxing.  Kevin and I usually head over to the city park where there is entertainment all day.  We enjoy listening to the bands - this year my fave was "The Flashback Brothers".  Yep - they performed some oldies but goodies (Steely Dan, Journey, etc)

That night we gather in the park by the city offices and watch the fireworks.  I take snacks which makes my children very happy.  Riverton has a really good fireworks display - about 30 minutes of oohs and aahs.

God bless America!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


We celebrated the 4th by running the Riverton Town Days 5K. It was fun! I ran with McKayla and Chandler. Shanley was supposed to run but the doctor has ordered her to snot run for at least 4 weeks so my niece, Erica, ran in her place. Also, Spencer and Kelsie (Dawnette's kids) ran so it was a family affair - a very successful family affair! McKayla not only won her age division (15-18) but won 1st place Overall Female! She received a plaque and a $30 gift card to a local running store. Only 4 men beat her. She beat out her friend Taylor Gomez who ran track as a senior at Riverton High when McKayla was a freshman. They didn't compete against each other because Taylor was a 400m specialist; however, UVU gave her a track/cross-country scholarship so now she does run distance for them.
Chandler was a huge surprise! In his first ever 5K he took 2nd in his age division (1-11) but more surprising was that he was 8th overall for the men's division!!! He had a time of 22:15.6 which I thought was quite fast seeing as how he is 11-years-old and it was his first 5K.
Erica (Jolyn's daughter who is 14) won the 12-14 age division while Kelsie (Dawnette's who is 12) took 3rd.
Here is Spencer and Erica (or at least her ponytail) at the finish line.
McKayla approaching the finish line.
Chandler sprinting in his finish.
Kelsie's finish.
And, of course, last (and slowest) was me. I ran slower than I wanted to but maybe I should have expected that since I haven't run since my marathon (almost a month ago) and I still have bursitis in my hip and IT Band issues on my knee. Still, I felt fairly good and wasn't too terribly upset because I at least finished in the top half of my age group (7th out of 15) and 83rd out of 142 overall. I guess I consider it a good race for me when I'm not dead last!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

nursing cover

My new favorite baby shower gift:
I found instructions on Pinterest to make a nursing cover. It was really simple to make and will now be my gift of choice for the new mother-to-be! I love giving homemade gifts. I just feel like they come more from the heart.

Monday, July 2, 2012

why they should be locked in a closet

I love my girls but sometimes I think they should be locked away in closets. With the key thrown away. At least until they are 21. Here's why:
I know I'm a bit prejudiced but Shanley's kinda pretty. I don't want to worry about her and guys. Hence...the closet.

More about Shanley: She has been trying to run cross-country with McKayla but she has been really hurting. I took her to the doctor last week and she has moderate tendonitis in her achilles. The doctor said she has to stay off it for at least 4 weeks and do physical therapy. He did tell her she could do her dance recital last week. She performed in 4 dances and did a great job! Now, no running or dancing for a while.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Resolution Check-Up

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 - Determined which paint I want.
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 sewed and hung curtains for the master bedroom. I love them!
5) Paint/stain the back deck - More than halfway done!
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) - 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 - I lost 3 pounds this month. The year-to-date total is 14 pounds.
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - summer
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - I am checking this one off. The marathon is over and I didn't finish but I'm not doing another one so I'm finished.

 1) Make sure 1/3 of what I read is uplifting (spiritual, classical, best-book type stuff) - have done this
2) Write a book - Wrote another thousand words.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - Not a full-day but spent a morning there.
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 June.
 4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - Did

Overall - June was much better than May for progress. Slowly but surely I am getting there. In July I will finish the deck and focus on shutters and painting the trim and doors.