Friday, August 31, 2012


Last night I got to meet the "friends" who will be in my SNM (Special Needs Mutual) class.  I am so very EXCITED!!!  They are so wonderful!  I have a class of girls who love to talk and who smile constantly.  They are bubbly and energetic and happy and they make me feel that was as well.  It is going to be such a great year!

Next week we all get to meet the "members" in our class.  SNM designates "members" as those with the disabilities and "friends" as those who are called for 9 months to help them.  We gave each "friend" a picture of her member with basic info such as name and birth month and day but that is just about all we know about them.  None of the "members" in my class were in my class last year so they are all new to me too.  It will be fun getting to know them.

The SNM is such a wonderful program.  It is great for those with disabilities but the real blessings come to those who serve them.  These "friends" lives will be changed.  They will feel the Spirit so strongly.  They will know true love.  They will leave this calling with a greater love and appreciation for those with disabilities.  They will see these "members" with new eyes.  And I get to be a part of it all!


Thursday, August 30, 2012

soccer must-haves

I like to travel light (must be ingrained in me since I usually fly standby so I only take what I can fit in my carry-on).  I even apply traveling light to soccer games.  I generally leave my purse in the car.  Years (and years) of soccer games have taught me I only NEED a couple of things - water, chapstick, cell phone, car keys and a chair.

What are your must-haves?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Education Week thoughts/quotes

I take in so much info at BYU's Education Week that it takes me a while to get back through it all and process it.  In the meantime, here's a couple of quotes I loved.

  • "Our identity determines our destiny." - Elder Tad A. Callister
  • "There are no ordinary people."  - C.S. Lewis
  • "It's not fair to judge yesterday's mistakes with today's knowledge." - Hank Smith
  • "Any excuse, regardless of how valid, weakens our character."  - Pres. Spencer W. Kimball
  • "Regardless of your original intention, you will eventually become what you surround yourself with."  - Dallyn Bayles
  • "You came here to change the world, not to let it change you."  - John Bytheway

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

1st Day of School

Craig Alec Morgan (aka Alec)
Age: 19 years 8 months
Grade: 2nd year after high school
 Favorite color: purple
Favorite candy: Reese's
Favorite food: bagels
Favorite class: I don't know
 Favorite movie: The Empire Strikes Back
 Favorite song: The Spirit of God
 Favorite thing this summer: the waterslides at Seven Peaks Waterpark
Best Friends: McKayla, Skyler, Sierra Wigren
 Height: 5'4"
Weight: 158 lbs
McKayla Morgan (aka Mickey)
Age: 16 years 10 months
Grade: junior
Favorite color: salmon or blue
Favorite food: orange chicken
Favorite candy: coconut M&Ms or Twix
Favorite restaurant: Panda Express
Favorite subject: seminary
Favorite TV show: Toddlers and Tiaras
Favorite movie: idk
Favorite book: The Hunger Games
What I want to be: nurse or special education teacher
Best friends: Halie Woolley, Michael Bluth, Jordan Woolley, Tanner McQuivey, Shanley Morgan, Matthew Crump, and Jake Cole
 Favorite Song: I Want You Back or We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together or Call Me Maybe
 Favorite Musician: Parachute or He is We
Favorite Actor/Actress: idk
Favorite summer activity: YOLOing (you only live once)
Favorite hobby: running
Height: 5'7"
Weight: 135 lbs
Shanley Marie Morgan
Age: 1 week short of 15 years
Grade: Freshman
Favorite color: teal
Favorite food: orange chicken
Favorite candy: Skittles
Favorite restaurant: Chuck-O-Rama
Favorite subject: Foods/Cooking
 Favorite TV show: Good Luck Charlie
Favorite movie: The Hunger Games
Favorite book: The Hunger Games
What I want to be: dentist
Best Friends: McKayla, Brookelyn Ludlow, Jake Cole
Favorite song: We are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together
Favorite Musician: Jason Aldean
Favorite actor/actress: Taylor Lautner
Favorite summer activity: swimming
 Favorite hobby: dance
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 140 lbs

Monday, August 27, 2012


Yesterday Kevin gave the kids and I our annual "back-to-school" blessings.  I really enjoy that day.  It is so interesting the different messages God has for each child.  By listening carefully, I get more of a sense of who my children really are and how God sees them.  I try to record as much of the blessing as possible so I can give each child a typed copy of the gist of the blessing.  I have hopes that this will aid them during the school year. Brakston even came yesterday to get his and while they were here, Brakston gave one to Whitney.  I always get one too.  This year I'm trying not to be alarmed by the fact that my blessing said there is "much for me to do".  Guess it was no use hoping I'd be blessed with a calm, quiet, "kick-back-and-relax" year.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Ed Week fall-out

One of the things that I vowed to do better at after Education Week at BYU was to spend more time really pondering the scriptures.  I read but don't always STUDY! 

So, yesterday I happened to be reading/studying/pondering when Chandler was in the room.  He noticed my "dazed/confused/staring into nowhere" eyes and said, "Mom, what are you doing?"  When I explained that I was thinking about the scriptures, he mumbled a non-committal "mmm-hmm."

About 5-minutes later, apparently fed up with my just sitting there, Chandler asked "Seriously, mom, WHAT. ARE. YOU. DOING?"

I guessed I freaked the poor guy out.  I spent the remainder of the time I had allotted for pondering trying to convince the poor kid that his mom had not lost it.  (Not completely anyway)

Friday, August 24, 2012

feeding the masses

I fed 70 teachers at the middle school yesterday.  That was the culmination of basically 3 days of shopping, chopping, baking, cooking, prepping, etc.  I'd feel like "job well done" except I am too irritated.

One of the teachers is a vegan.  I didn't know this the first time I fed them and, boy, did I hear about it.  So, the next time I served lasagna.  I bought pans of frozen meat lasagna from Costco but handmade a vegetarian lasagna for that one teacher.  Only, she wasn't happy because it turns out she is vegan not just vegetarian so she stays away from ALL animal products so she doesn't do cheese either.  I have cooked for them several more times with no success in pleasing this teacher.

This time I thought I had it made.  I did Hawaiian haystacks.  Granted, I served a creamy chicken topping but I also had a Hawaiian sweet and sour sauce (with no animal products) for the one teacher and there were plenty of fruits and veggies to top her haystack with.  NOPE!  She didn't say anything to me but made a comment to one of the other women who helped serve that she'd like us to consider her.

I wonder when Christ fed the 5000 if there was someone in the crowd who complained they couldn't eat the fish because they were vegetarian or someone who complained they couldn't eat the bread because they were gluten-intolerant.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not comparing myself to Christ.  If I were more Christlike, I probably wouldn't be considering telling this teacher to bring her own lunch next time!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

tis the Season

No, I'm not talking about a countdown to Christmas.  I've been too busy with weddings to even think about THAT season.  We have had 7 wedding receptions in the past 8 days - no joke.  I guess that is what occurs when one not only has the normal "ward member weddings" to attend but also has a son old enough to have friends marrying. 

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


We had such a great time at the Real Salt Lake soccer game last night!  The kids (including Brakston and Whitney) and I met up with Jolyn's family and 4 of McKayla's friends to enjoy some good soccer. 

Real dominated and had lots of shots on goal although it took until the second half for them to finally put one in the net.  RSL won 2-0. 

Alec made it on the Jumbotron - he is always an enthusiastic fan.

I caught the game ball when it came flying into the crowd.  I smartly handed it to Brakston to throw back down so I wouldn't embarrass myself by beaning some poor soul in the back of the head while attempting to throw it back myself.

I still have the RSL fight song/anthem(?) going through my head.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Girls' Camp Highlights

I absolutely love girls' camp!  It is one of my most favorite things and sharing it with my daughters was wonderful!

We went to Heber Valley Camp which is really NOT camping but I still loved every minute.  I say it's not camping because there is cabins with bunks, a fridge, a pantry, showers, an ice machine, and a sink.  Not really roughing it.

We did the normal camp stuff - crafts, secret sisters, meals, hikes, service projects, etc.  We also got to do the challenge course which had several stations (the one I ran was a blind tag) and go out on the lake on canoes/pedal boats.  The camp had an abundance of deer and fawns which were a delight to see and watch.  I could not believe how close the deer let me get.  I also saw a moose.

My favorite camp moment:
I had just finished the high ropes course, which included a climb up a tall pole, a walk across the cable, and a ride down the zipline, when some of the girls from my ward came to take their turn.  One of the girls said she wasn't going to do it because it was too scary.  I asked her if she would please at least put on the harness and climb a few feet off the ground.  She agreed to do that much.  I talked to her a bit about my experience.  Then, when I was harnessing her up she said, "I'm going to go ahead and climb to the top."  I told her that was awesome and that she wouldn't even have to climb back down.  I explained that with the belay rope they could just lower her down whenever she wanted.  We talked a bit more and then she said, "I'm going to try to walk across the cable."  Again I told her how great I thought that was.  After telling her a bit more of my experience she said, "I'm going to do the whole thing!"  And she did.  Later, I talked to her about it and told her how proud I was of her.  I asked her if she'd learned anything and she said, "I learned I can do hard things."  I thought that was wonderful!  I want every young woman to learn that!

Monday, August 20, 2012

lack of blogging

What a crazy past 2 weeks!  I spent Monday through Friday at Girls' Camp and came home to 14 houseguests (Kevin's family).  We spent a great weekend together and said goodbye to the last of our company on Monday morning.  We spent Monday at Seven Peaks Waterpark and then I spent Tuesday through Friday at BYU Education Week.  I spent Saturday at Chandler's soccer game in Layton and then Alec's Kingdom Ball in Kamas.  Sunday was filled with church and appointments with the Bishop and Stake President to get my temple recommend renewed.

The upshot:
  • I've had lots of fun - I spent 2 weeks playing
  • I'm behind on everything (blogging, sleep,  housecleaning, sleep, grocery shopping, sleep,  etc)
  • I put hundreds of miles on our cars (and spent a fortune on gas)

It's probably time to get back to reality.

Monday, August 6, 2012

girls' camp

The girls and I are headed to Heber Valley Camp today for girls' camp.  It should be lots of fun!  It's the first time I'm going when I'm not in the YW Presidency or the camp director.  How relaxing is that?  My only responsibilities (at least thus far) are to help with the challenge course and to help the girls rehearse the skit.  I think I can handle that.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

fun with food

We celebrated National Watermelon Day on Friday by enjoying Watermelon Lime Slushies.  I made them by freezing chunks of watermelon. and some pieces of banana.  I blended the frozen watermelon and a bit of frozen bananas with a little sugar, some lime juice, and some lime zest.  Yum!  Wonderfully refreshing on a hot summer day (AND EVERY ONE of my kids liked it! - Woohoo!)

Also on Friday, I stopped by the London Market and picked up some English food.  My family enjoying sampling some while watching the Olympics (got us into the spirit of things).  We tried Cornish Pasties, Sausage Rolls, Cheese Scones, Shortbread, and a couple candy bars (can't beat European chocolate).

Saturday, August 4, 2012

books I read in July

Here's a list of books I read in July.  I ** the ones I highly recommend.

"Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell

"Prologue:  The Brothers" by Chris Stewart

**"What the Scriptures Teach Us About Adversity"  by S. Michael Wilcox

**"Sunset:  On the Passing of Those We Love"  by S. Michael Wilcox

"Natural Causes"  by Michael Palmer

"Aftertaste:  A Novel in Five Courses"  by Meredith Mileti

"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy" by Douglas Adams

**"The Rose Garden" by Susanna Kearsley

"Sister"  by Rosamond Lupton

"Death and Transfiguration" by Gerald Elias

**"The Language of Flowers"  by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

Friday, August 3, 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 - Truthfully, I spent my entire home improvement budget on paint for the kids' rooms.  McKayla decided she wanted to paint her room (2 colors, no less).  Shanley decided that meant she should do hers (also 2 colors).  Of course, Alec wanted in on all the fun so I bought another gallon of paint and McKayla painted one of his walls.  The bedrooms all look great but after all that paint I have no more money to do my projects!
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 had finished Shanley's window treatments and was ready to hang them when she repainted.  Now it doesn't match.  Ugh!  At least I hadn't spent a lot.
5) Paint/stain the back deck - Finished!
6) Paint the master bathroom - The paint is picked out but again, no money to purchase it.

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 think I only got Alec and Shanley.

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 nothing 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 - Have done some research this month but haven't written anything.

1) Spend 1 day a month in the temple - Did it!
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 July
 4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - Did

Overall - Still progressing.  Feeling good this month because I completed my denim quilt, sewed lots of projects, held family reunion, hosted a baby shower, went on a campout/soccer tournament, and did several hours of CPE.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

sewing machine workout

I've been giving my sewing machine some exercise lately including a "run-it-into-the-ground" workout last Saturday.

 For quite a while I've been working on a massive denim quilt. Saturday I set about finishing it. That task included making my own quilt binding and getting it sewn on.
Also on Saturday I sewed a skirt for my niece (shh... it's a Christmas present).
One more Saturday project included this fabric-lined burlap tote bag. I was super happy with my oh-so-productive day!

This week I've tapered off the sewing machine use but have still managed to keep it from going rusty. I've sewn another tote bag just like the earlier one. I've also sewn several headbands (samples shown here). They are even reversible so it's like a great 2-for-1 deal! My girls kept some and are planning on giving some as part of their secret sister gifts at YW Camp next week.
Of course, Pinterest is to blame for most of these projects - quilt binding, tote bag, skirt, and headbands. Only the quilt itself was not Pinterest-inspired.