Friday, November 22, 2013

Catching Fire

McKayla and I had tickets to the opening of "Hunger Games:  Catching Fire" last night.  We loved it!  Often I am disappointed with the movie after reading the book but that wasn't true in this case.  Also, I was surprised that I liked this movie better than the first because I preferred the first book.  The emotion was incredibly strong in this movie and the love triangle was portrayed better in the movie than in the book.  Overall, I give it 5 stars or two thumbs up or whatever rating system you prefer.  I can't wait to see it again!

On a related note, how come we were at the opening showing at 8 pm on Nov. 21st for a movie that opened on Nov. 22nd?  What happened to midnight premieres?  We ran into one of McKayla's friends in the theater and he said it's a result of the theater shooting in Colorado.  Whatever the reason, you won't find me complaining.  I much prefer being home in my bed at 11 pm after having seen a great movie than preparing to go out to one at that time!  I am definitely not a late-night person!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

week in review

Summary of the past week:

  • I taught 3 days
  • the girls worked for ala Board a ton!
  • Shanley completed her training at PacSun
  • I did a bunch of Christmas shopping at the Family Christmas Gift Show
  • We had the missionaries for dinner
  • McKayla and Shanley went to "Hello Dolly!" at RHS
  • Kevin, Alec, and I went to "Brigadoon" at HCT
  • McKayla got awards at the XC team banquet

Tuesday, November 12, 2013


We are NOT a shoe-wearing family for the most part.  Sure, Alec and Kevin almost always have shoes on but the rest of us kick them off the moment we walk in the door.  I have a huge basket right by the front door just for this purpose.

However, socks are a completely different matter.  I prefer completely barefoot.  I have tried to teach my children that if they remove their shoes, they should also remove their socks.   It hasn't worked.  They tend to leave their socks on (even outside) thus wearing huge holes in them.  The other option is that they do take them off wherever they happen to be.  So, I find socks by the front door, under the couch, on a barstool, on or under the kitchen table, by the back door, by the computer desk, by the garage door, in front of the TV, in the cars, and in the yard.

I wonder if the lack of socks lying around is something I will miss when they have all moved out?

Friday, November 8, 2013


This was Chandler's last year of trick-or-treating (I am one of those "mean moms" who won't let my kids go once they are officially teens).  He was very excited.  In fact, I tried taking him to Disneyland but he turned it down to go trick-or-treating. 


So, one would assume Chandler wanted to make the most of his Halloween experience.  You know, amass a huge quantity of candy.

Instead, after trick-or-treating, Chandler and his two friends dumped out all their candy and Chandler proceeded to trade away a huge portion of his candy just to get Reese's peanut butter cups.  Those are the best so that is understandable.  However, Chandler did NOT keep a single Reese's but gave them all to Alec (who LOVES Reese's).

Chandler has always been that kind of kid - he is supremely generous and I am so proud of him for it!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

teaching with the Spirit

I have  subbed for the full-time seminary teachers in the Salt Lake Valley for years.  I honestly love it but at times it gets stressful!

Imagine getting a call at 7 am asking you to teach a 86-minute class (3 times) beginning at 7:30 am.  Imagine further that some students are only there because their parents are forcing them and they resent it.  Now imagine that it is a generation used to fast-paced, non-stop entertainment (think iPods, smartphones, games, etc).  Further imagine that your lesson only works if you have the Spirit with you meaning you better be living righteously, not be having any contention in your family, having good feelings towards those drivers who cut you off while you were trying to make it there by 7:30.

If you can imagine all that, you can probably imagine how enticing subbing for regular school sounded.  Full-day pay is higher.  You just show up (no preparation).  You follow the teacher's lesson plan which is sometimes a video.  If you're like me and only do high school, you take roll, tell the students what to do and then read a book while they do it. Frequently it is classes the students have actually chosen to take AND, you never have to feel the pressure of helping your students have a spiritual experience.

So, I have gotten lazy.  For a little over a year now - I have mainly subbed in regular education (okay, I did do a long-term math sub job which upped the stress level since I was basically a regular teacher).  They keep me SO busy that I rarely am available to sub for seminary teachers.

I had almost forgotten how much I enjoyed it!

Luckily, I have had the opportunity to remember.  A teacher asked me to cover FOUR days for him.   Advance notice so I actually had a couple hours to prepare each lesson.   Enough days to get to know the students a bit.  Super lovable classes.  Spiritual experiences.  Students testifying and sharing heart-warming experiences.  A few days in Heaven. 

Now, it's back to several days teaching animal science and math. 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

McKayla is 18!

Hard to believe that my first daughter is now legally an adult!

Friday, November 1st was the end of the quarter so there was no school but she still had to be at the school by 7 am for cross-country practice.  She chose sticky buns as her birthday breakfast. 

After cross-country she and Brandon went to the temple.  Alec, Shanley, and Chandler also went. 

McKayla had selected BLTs for her birthday lunch and they were waiting when they got home from the temple.  Then,  she opened presents and then McKayla and Brandon made Andes Mint Cookies before heading back to the school for another cross-country practice.

Brandon then had to go to play practice (he's in our stake play) and Kevin and I were at Chandler's soccer game while Shanley and Alec were at the Riverton football game.  However, Halie joined McKayla.  They braided beads and feathers into their hair.

When we all got home, we enjoyed McKayla's chosen birthday dinner of pulled pork sandwiches followed by Andes Mint cookies and chocolate mint ice cream.  McKayla and Halie watched a movie and more of McKayla's friends dropped by.

I think she had a great day!

This past year has been exciting for her!  Her running career has really taken off and she's had tons of interest from college coaches.  She has medaled in just about every race she has run.  She has started her CNA coursework and clinicals and has really enjoyed that.  She fulfilled her dream of going to Paris.  She has a great boyfriend, Brandon, whom we all adore!  Hopefully, her 19th year of life will be just as wonderful!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Fun

For the week of Halloween, I gussied up the children's lunches with special Halloween treats. One day it was rice krispie ghosts (dipped in white chocolate) on a stick. One day it was "Boo Mix" and another day it was "Bugs and Kisses".
The kids had two requirements for Halloween: carving pumpkins and dipping apples. So one Monday night we carved pumpkins. I took a page from Pinterest and spray painted mine in a mosaic pattern instead of carving. I like how it turned out.
The kids ended up doing pumpkins in YM/YW as well. This is the one Chandler did although I waited too long to take a picture and it shriveled. It has not been cold enough here to keep the pumpkins from rotting. I didn't even take pictures of the other pumpkins.
Another Monday we dipped caramel apples. Alec chose not to dip apples but to sing us Christmas carols as we dipped. Pretty entertaining

more Special Olympics

I finally downloaded the pics from my camera. While not as good as the one from KSL, I still enjoy these photos of Alec. He is very proud of his uniform. Actually, in general, Alec is very much into appropriate sports clothing. He wears Riverton clothing t Riverton games. He has a Utah Glory shirt he wears to Chandler's soccer games. When watching BYU games, he wears BYU clothing. Same for REAL soccer and Utah Jazz basketball. Sometimes it requires several clothing changes in a day to make sure he is wearing the right clothing at all times. It is one of his fun quirks! I love it!