Friday, September 28, 2012

not a HATER

I love trying new recipes so Pinterest has been heaven for me! Not so much for my kids. They would prefer if I only made their old favorites. They aren't big on trying new things. The worst is Chandler. Anymore it seems like his first question is "Did this come from Pinterest?" He says it with all the disdain his 11-year-old self can muster. I've tried explaining Pinterest to him and that it's not recipes just a place for me to collect and organize them but he still declares that he "hates Pinterest".

Well, I may have to remind him of this recipe next time he says that:
Ice Cream Sandwich Cake - yum! We were supposed to have the missionaries for dinner on Sunday (they never showed) so I made this for dessert. The missionaries don't know what they missed. The recipe is here. I made it with Snickers but we all decided we'd prefer Heath bars or maybe Butterfingers.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'm official

I claim to be from Utah. I also claim I love to hike. However, until Monday I had not done Utah's most popular hike - Mount Timpanogos. I was starting to feel like a fraud. That's all remedied now. I've done it.

 I left my house at 4:20 am and drove to the trailhead by Aspen Grove. Arrived about 5:20 to realize that I had forgotten my headlamp. Dang! Anyone who knows me also knows I am not the most patient person. Sitting around waiting for it to get light was not really an option so I just began the hike in the dark. I was really watched over as evidenced by the fact that I didn't twist my ankle on any loose rocks, slide off the side of the mountain, or take a wrong turn. Still, I was so glad to see this beautiful sunrise!

The colors were spectacular! I love FALL! It is my favorite season and this kind of beauty is part of the reason.

About 2/3 to 3/4 of the way up heavy clouds rolled in. I could see the trail but had absolutely no view from the top of the mountain.

It had been too dark on the way up for me to actually see the waterfalls (I could just hear them) but I enjoyed them on the way down. I adore waterfalls! Here's the upper falls.

You can see both falls in this pic.

Here's the lower falls. I had originally thought I'd sit by the falls to relax and enjoy a very late lunch. However, by the time I got there I was afraid if I quit moving I might never get going again. The hike was wonderful but a bit more challenging than I expected. I was pretty tired. I ended up pausing at the falls only long enough to snap a few pictures and then I kept pushing until I got back to the car. I ate my sandwich in the car on the drive back home.

I'm pretty sure I can call myself a Utah hiker now. Officially.

Monday, September 24, 2012

wrong place at the wrong time

Alec got a good scare this past week.

He has been sleeping in a tent in our backyard for the past couple of weeks.  Well, Wednesday night the police were chasing a drunk/disorderly guy who ran through backyards in my neighborhood about midnight/1 am.  There were about 9 police cruisers surrounding my block all with lights flashing. 

Alec wandered out of the backyard to check out the commotion and immediately the cops directly in front of our house starting yelling at him, "Who are you?  What are you doing?"  It freaked Alec out a bit.  Luckily, a neighbor was outside and he hollered out that Alec lives here.  The cops told Alec to go inside the house.  He came down and woke Kevin and I up.  Kevin went to check it all out.  The police told him not to let Alec sleep outside that night.  Kevin collapsed the tent so that the drunk guy wouldn't be able to hide in it.

Luckily, they did catch the guy.

Lots of excitement for our really quiet, peaceful neighborhood.  Alec is back to sleeping in the tent and all is well with the world again (or at least our corner of the world).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

the week of "the dress"

I think my daughters and I spent a good deal of our free time this past week hunting for a Homecoming dress. I am happy to report SUCCESS!!!

 Monday night we went to one of my friend's home and tried on the dresses her daughters had worn. McKayla found one she wants to wear for Sweetheart's and one she might wear for a future Prom. She brought one home for Homecoming just in case but it was long and she wanted a short dress. So, Tuesday night I took Shanley to a dress rental shop (McKayla doesn't finish cross-country in time to go during the week). Shanley was a good sport and tried on lots of dresses and we took pictures to show McKayla. The following pictures were our favorite dresses but we would have had to rent a bolero for any of the dresses and the saleslady was grouchy and we weren't overly impressed.
So, Wednesday night McKayla went to another dress rental shop and found her perfect dress! She is so excited! It is short and blue and she loves it. (I'm not posting pictures until the actual dance).'s always a relief to find "the dress".

Saturday, September 22, 2012

he knows the way

Alec just might be pure genius!

 He has been begging me all week to make black and white cookies. I have been crazy busy so I haven't really had time nor have I really had the desire to do so. Then Thursday night at Special Needs Mutual he said the closing prayer in his class. His friend told me that Alec prayed that I would make him black and white cookies.

What do you think I did today?

You guessed it! I made him the cookies. It's pretty hard not to do something when he prays for me to do it. Shanley now wants to know if it would work if she prayed I'd buy her a cell phone.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

going backwards

I think I might be regressing.

 I seem to have discovered a new love for all things peanut butter.

What is that all about? Are my taste buds now those of a 5-year-old? It used to be I'd go for the Almond Joy. Now, I'd prefer the Reese's. Forget caramel corn - now it's a peanut butter/honey topping I prefer. Yesterday I made some cinnamon rolls for my daughter and her friends. I saved out some of the dough and made peanut butter cinnamon rolls for me - couldn't even get the teens to try them. But, seriously, those peanut butter rolls topped with a frosting of peanut butter, milk, and powdered sugar were to die for!

Maybe this is just taking "become as a little child" to a whole new level!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

all alone

I think the only thing I enjoy more than a "getaway" is a day home alone with nothing on the schedule! Isn't that every mother's dream? A day to do whatever she wants. A day to catch up on projects. A day to watch a chick flick or eat ice cream for lunch or whatever. I had that day yesterday and I may or may not have done some of the following: took a nap, ate Cafe Rio, cleaned house, went shopping, watched "Leverage", ate some Pumpkin Spice Hershey Kisses... You'll never know because I was HOME ALONE and I'm not telling.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

oh, crap!

What else could you possible say when your daughter tells you she dropped her cell phone in the port-a-potty?

Yuk.  Gross.  Disgusting.

She did fish it out and then slathered her hands with hand sanitizer multiple times but still....

It's a good thing she has the ability to laugh at herself because her male cross-country teammates are really giving her a hard time.  They go to give her a "high-five" and then pull their hand back saying gross.  Or, they ask her to text them and say Oh, wait, you don't have a phone.  Or, at today's meet they waited outside the port-a-potty so when she came out they could ask her if she dropped anything. 

Friday, September 14, 2012


Alec has a pretty massive Riverton High shirt collection.  You know how every sport and organization has their own t-shirt?  Well, I think Alec has one of each.  He is such a huge fan that I think every sport gives him their shirt.  He's got a dozen football, several basketball, soccer, track,and Superfan shirts.  I think he can dress in an RHS shirt every day of the week for at least 3-4 weeks without duplicating once.  His wardrobe is almost entirely purple and black.

Does that stop him from wanting more?  No way!  Now WalMart and Walgreens and Petersons (local grocery store) all sell various versions of RHS shirts/hoodies/pj pants.  It never fails that Alec wants to buy one EVERY SINGLE TIME we enter one of those stores.  And he has on more than one occasion.  It doesn't even matter that he graduated more than a year ago.

To top it all off, last night he came home from the football game with a new RHS football shirt.  At this rate he'll be able to go 3-4 weeks without duplicating a football shirt.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


I've got a few questions that are puzzling me.

1) I've received another call to substitute for Institute.  That's 2 in 5 workdays.  This is my 7th year substituting.  Why, all of a sudden, am I being called to teach Institute?  Is there a probationary seminary substituting period that when you've passed you "graduate" to Institute?  Is it just random?

2) School has only been in session for 11 days and I've been asked to teach NINE times (sometimes there was multiple calls for one day).  It is rare to have so many calls this early in the school year.  What is going on???

3) Why is McKayla running slower this year?  She quit soccer.  She is working harder than ever.  In fact, many of the guys on the team have commented to me about her work ethic.  However, her best time this year is still a minute slower than last year's best.  She is stressing a bit about it and I think her coaches are too.  What is going on?

4) How is it possible for my family to go through more than a dozen bananas in just 24 hours?  They are a great recovery food after McKayla's training but I can't keep them in the house.  Must I hide the bananas along with my secret chocolate stash?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

our version of the PCC

A few months ago our stake was joined by a Samoan branch. My first interaction with any of them was a Stake High Priest dinner a few weeks ago. The food they brought for the potluck was amazing! Yum!

 Last night we had another stake activity and were once again blessed by the yummy food of these Samoan people. (I think all stake activities should be potluck from now on.)

We also got to enjoy a show put on by the Samoan branch members. They did dance numbers from Fiji, Tahiti, Hawaii, New Zealand, Tonga, and Samoa. It really did resemble the Polynesian Cultural Center complete with a fire dance. We really enjoyed it!

They performed the Haka which Alec is a HUGE fan of (performing his version of it regularly at sporting events). I picked out a guy whom I'd like to hire to really teach Alec the Haka. When I told McKayla she picked out the same guy. He stuck out because he smiled so much and just looked like he was having a blast the entire time! What power a smile has!

Saturday, September 8, 2012


My new experience for the week was teaching my first Institute class. This is the start of my seventh year subbing seminary but I've never done an Institute class before. I was a bit nervous (students there might actually know more than me - heehee) but I seriously loved it! It was awesome! It's kind of nice having students who aren't afraid to comment, share experiences, and have an opinion! Maybe it just seemed so dramatic a change because I had subbed seminary just 2 days earlier at a middle school - classes of 9th graders who were just one week into their seminary experience (and still scared our of their minds). The 9th graders wouldn't make a comment to save their lives. They wouldn't even volunteer to read a scripture verse out loud. They'll learn.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Resolution Check-Up

I am a bit behind on posting the check-up this month. Home Improvement
 1) Build shutters for the windows in the front of my house - Almost done. The wood is cut and almost completely painted.
2) Paint the shutters, outside trim, and outside doors - Outside trim - done. Outside doors - done. Shutters - almost done.
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 progress.
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 missed Chandler in August.

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 - Horrid. Horrid. Horrid. I gained in August.
2) Climb Mount Timpanogos - need to do immediately
3) Run a marathon and a half marathon - done

 1) Make sure 1/3 of what I read is uplifting (spiritual, classical, best-book type stuff) - have done this
2) Write a book - Again, I 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 - did not do.
 4) At the end of every day, record the hand of God in my life for that day - Did

Overall - I was happy to get the outside paint mostly done. Overall, August was crazy busy. I spent one week at girl's camp, one week at BYU Education Week, and another 4 days doing meals for the teachers. That about wiped out most of the month.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

birthday girl

Dearest Shanley, I can hardly believe you are 15! You have really matured over the past several months. I love how close you and McKayla are as sisters! It makes me happy to see you enjoy each other's company, tell each other secrets, and have so much fun together. You are so funny and keep me laughing a great deal of the time. You are generally a happy person with an easy-going nature. You don't stress about things but are content to let things flow. You have always been and continue to be a very sharing, giving person. You are not selfish at all. You are beautiful inside and out and I'm proud to call you my daughter! love, Mom

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Homecoming Invite

McKayla was invited to Homecoming last Friday night. Anymore it seems to be all about the creative invite and this one was certainly unique. Five guys (Clay Lambourne, Brady Early, Josh Figgins, Brandon Walker, and Andrew Dutton) all dressed in garbage bags tied over their heads had clues stuck to them. They were waiting in the house and when McKayla came in they started blasting PacMan music and running all over the house and yard. McKayla was supposed to tag them and then retrieve their clues.

 It was pretty hilarious to watch. It took her a little bit to catch them all since they are all on the cross-country team so are good runners. The only thing I can say is it's good their vision was obscured by the bags or she might never have caught them all.
In the end she put all the clues together to discover that Michael Bluth was asking her (no surprise there).
Now to just come up with a clever response.