Sunday, May 29, 2011

Matt's Graduation

Matt graduated this week.  We are so proud of him!  Now half of our kids are out of high school.  Brian pointed out to me that in 2 years we will have no more children in junior high.  That blew me away.  It was very hard to have no more kids in elementary school.  When I go to substitute at the local school, none of my kids are there to say “hi.”  It’s kind of lonely in a way.  And soon they won't be at the junior high either.  Makes me feel old.
Anyway, back to Matt.  He graduated with honors and looked very auspicious in his cap, gown and honors cord.  My sister and her two little girls went to see Matt’s graduation which was very kind of her.   I know it’s not easy to go anywhere with little kids.
We took Matthew out to eat at his choice of restaurants.  He could have chosen to eat at any expensive place he wanted but chose instead a little Mexican restaurant that is one of our favorites and it was delicious.  That night he went to an all night party at the school and seems to have had lots of fun although he was exhausted when he got home, of course.  He also graduated from LDS seminary.  Yay!  And since he is no longer in seminary now, he will be attending summer institute instead.  Because he was on the seminary council, he also gets to be on institute council through August.  That’s pretty cool.  He also works a lot at the water park next week which will keep him busy.  Way to go, Matt.  We are very proud of you.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

More Claims to Fame

Brian asked me if my claims to fame stopped when I got married, so I figured I'b better add more recent claims to fame which are very few.

The Friend, an LDS Children's magazine, published a story I'd written.
Family Fun Magazine featured 2 of my ideas.

Well, that's about it.  I've been a bit too busy just surviving to seek much fame, ha ha.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

My Claims to fame

Today I'm posting a bit of personal history as I look back at my claims to fame.  They are very few and modest, but here goes:
Let's see, in Kindergarten I was in the green reading group and it didn't take long to figure out that the green reading group was the highest reading group in the class.

In first grade I drew a little girl bunny and a little boy bunny with cute bunny clothes on.  Mrs. Howell liked them so much that she made huge versions of them and I got to choose a couple of friends to help me color them.  Then they hung them up in the library.

In 3 or 4 grade (I'm not sure which because I was in the same double classroom for both 3rd and 4th grade), I got to be Clara in our class's version of the nutcracker.

When I was ten or so, my family went on a trip to San Diego and one of the attractions we visited was the San Diego zoo.  Somehow I ended up watching a show about snakes.  The lady doing the show asked for a volunteer to hold the boa constrictor and I was chosen.  I help the snake while she talked about it.  I remember it squeezing my arm tighter and tighter.  When she finally stopped talking and tried to unwrap the snake, it was VERY hard to do.  I guess the snake was trying to strangle my arm to death.  It hurt for hours.  I also remember having a hard time finding my family after the snake show.

In 8th grade, I got to be Alma Pumpernickle, the heroine of the melodrama that our drama class produced.
Some time in junior high I went to a fashion thingy that I think was put on by JCPenny.  Anyway, they asked for volunteers and I got chosen to model one of the outfits.  As I recall, I wore dark green corduroy pants and they put my hair in a french braid around my head.
At youth conference in Utah, we went to a workshop on make up and grooming which I believe was done by Barbara Barrington Jones.  Anyway, she singled me out to show the girls how make up should be done.
In high school I was the Baush and Lomb medalist.  I still have the medal.
I also graduated seventh in my graduation class of 600.
That's it.  Those are my claims to fame.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011


For us, Monday night is family night whatever we do on Monday nights, we do together.  Sometimes we have a lesson about the gospel of Jesus Christ, sometimes we do a fun activity, and sometimes we work together.  Last night for family night we had a picnic and played a game outside.

 At 5:00 I wasn't so sure we were even going to be able to have family night because three out of the four kids had big school projects to work on.  It's hard to have so many kids working on projects when we only have 2 computers.  Also, the dishwasher isn't working so we had a mountain of undone dishes, and we had no food for a picnic because I wasn't able to go grocery shopping during the day like I usually do.  I couldn't go to the store at that point because I was helping kids with projects.  Then Brian whose second job is repairman for a laundry 20 minutes away, called from the laundry to tell me he had his car all "pulled apart" to work on it but was missing a tool he needed to change the faulty part in order to put it all back together again.  Also, it was getting kind of chilly outside to be picnicking and playing anything AND we couldn't find the frisbee, a very important piece of equipment in playing possible/impossible which is the game we wanted to play.  Anyway, things were absolutely crazy.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Thomas's Madlibs Birthday

George Washington turned 13 years old this eternity.  He is the last thief in the family to become a garbageman.  What was the first thing he did on his sporkday?  Get a spinachbook page, of course.  Also on his birth-eon he got to go to Disneyland .  He and Wilbur Ironbottom and Mr. Peabody hung out and went on the stubborn muzzle together.  He came home grasshopperburned and worn out.  Also for his birthday, bishop Thomas went to the Tea Party gym in Provo.  His birthday guests were Orchid Peony, Mother Teresa,  O Sama Binladin, Sad Sack, and Donald Trump .  They had a blast stumbling on boogers and into sprinkle pits.  Elizabeth Bennett came towards the end to bring the boys bath water and impale the facility.  Thomas's friend, Dumbledore hurt his toenail but is okay and ended up feeling well enough to go to sewage treatment plant later.  We had fungus pie and hard tack with raisins back at the house afterward and some of the friends stayed to squirm for a Thomas minute or so.  Also, although it’s not exactly a spatula-day present, Thomas made defense attorney counsel for next year which is pretty stretchy.  Now today we are having his Martin Luther King Day celebration after dinner.  Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with the middles cut out and petunia cream will be served and the tuba will be played.  Thomas is a scrumdiddlyumptious and energetic oompalompa who is also Disney-hating and dingy.  We are so twitterpated to have him in our band of gypsies.

Thomas's Birthday

Thomas turned 13 years old this week.  He is the last person in the family to become a teenager.  What was the first thing he did on his birthday?  Get a Facebook page, of course.  Also on his birthday he got to go to an amusement park with his school.  He and Jaydon and Alex hung out and went on the scary rides together.  He came home sunburned and worn out.  Also for his birthday Thomas went to a tumbling gym.  His birthday guests were Jayden, Jaydon, Hayden, Dalton, and Matthew.  They had a blast jumping on tramps and into foam pits.  Brian came towards the end to bring the boys Gatorade and check out the facility.  Thoma's friend Matthew hurt his foot but is okay and he ended up feeling well enough to go to the amusement park 2 days later.  We had cake and ice cream back at the house afterward and some of the friends stayed to play for an hour or so.  Although it’s not exactly a birthday present Thomas also made student counsel for next year which is pretty exciting.  Now today we are having his birthday celebration after dinner.  Cake and ice cream will be served and Madlibs will be played.  Thomas is a fun and energetic guy who is also kind and conscientious.  We are so happy to have him in our family.

Now it is the Sabbath

May is half over.  There are only 8 and a half days of school left.  We have been to lots of concerts and performances this week.  Yesterday was Saturday and we spent a lot of time taking the kids to choir practice and going to and watching their performance last night.  The performance was an old historic meeting hall.  The acoustics and the organ and the singers all together were so beautiful.   The children’s choir chooses such beautiful music to sing—all of it praises to the Savior. 
We also got some yard work done yesterday and planted our tomatoes.
Now it is the Sabbath and as I always when Sunday rolls around, I find I need the day of rest.  I’m worn out physically and emotionally too.  How nice to know that in less than 10 minutes I will be in church worshiping my Savior and partaking of the sacrament.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Um...No Title Here

Hi, it's Thursday and I thought I'd just write a quick note to let me know I'm alive.  It's been a busy week, but it's  been good.  Jonathan just got a job yesterday working at a scout camp for seven weeks.  Our neighbor is a big- time scouter and when Jonathan called him for some information, he offered him a job.  Yay!  Now all 3 of my kids at home over 16 have a job!  I'm regretting not having Katrina apply at the water park, too.  She's totally broke and I'm concerned that this summer she'll also be totally bored.

I substituted for kindergarten yesterday and loved it!  Kids that age are so cute.  I got home just in time to take Thomas and his friends to the gym to jump on the tramps and play in the foam pits.  It was his birthday party and they had a fun time.  Back at home they ate cake and ice cream and goofed around.  Thomas finds out today if he made student council for next year.  30 kids are running and only four will be chosen, so we'll see.  He's one of the last on the voting list, too.

Katrina made the Shakespeare team and is really excited.  I'm excited, too; she gets to go to Shakespeare competition in the fall and she can't wait!  This summer she also gets to go to EFY with some friends, so she has some fun things to look forward to.  She and Miriam are also going on tour with the children's choir and will be able to see my parents while on tour.  In fact, I think they get to stay with my parents which will be really fun.  They also have a big concert on Saturday that we are all looking forward to.  Poor Miriam doesn't have her driver's permit yet.  Since Matt gets the car till he leaves, she hasn't been in much of a hurry, but we've really got to get that done.

We went to Matt's social dance parent's night last night.  His group did the cha cha and the samba.  It was a blast to watch.  My boy can really move!  He also took the AP test for statistics yesterday.  He hopes he did well and of course, I do to!  He and Brian have been working on getting us wired internet instead of wireless.  They figured out a way to do it so that there are no wires showing.  I love it!

Brian is at a conference today.  It's his favorite conference and the only on he attends yearly.  He took the van which was a problem when I had to take Katrina and her friends to school this morning and all there was was the tiny pick up.  We were late and the girls would never make it walking so poor Katrina had to ride in the back and the other two squished in the cap with me.  They were all good sports about it and we didn't get pulled over.  Brian has the van again tomorrow and I think the girls will have to walk.

Speaking of walking, it's almost time to go walking with my good friend, Emily so I've got to go.  That's my life and I love it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

It's May Day and Sunday!

Today is May Day.  I think.  Is that a real holiday?  When I was little I read a story in the LDS church children's magazine, "The Friend" about a little girl who would leave flowers on people’s doorsteps on May Day.  I thought that was the most wonderful thing and so when my Dad would plant sweet pea flowers, I would pick them, make bouquets, and leave them at my neighbor’s doorsteps.  I wish I had flowers now so that I could still do that.  I guess I’d have lilacs right now if it wasn’t still snowy and cold.  It snowed yesterday, in fact.   It is the first Sunday of the month, which is fast Sunday.  That means we didn’t eat breakfast or lunch and that we are praying for the special needs of our family and those around us.  When the young men who hold the priesthood office of deacon came by, we paid our fast offering to help those who are in need.  In Sacrament Meeting we heard church members bare testimony of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ; in Sunday School Brian taught the thirteen year olds about the prophet Wilford Woodruff, fourth president of the church, and in Relief Society we had a wonderful lesson about friendship.  We all napped for awhile after church and are now beginning to prepare dinner. 

In the Merry, Merry Month of May

Jonathan is now home from college for the summer.  He is resting up from finals and looking for a job.   Matt is graduating from high school this month.  He is currently studying for his AP exam and is planning to work at the water park this summer.  Miriam has also been hired to work at the water park again this summer and will also be getting her drivers permit soon.  Katrina recently got accepted into the National Honor Society and is also applying to be the historian of the drama club for next year. She and Thomas are looking forward to going to the amusement park with their school this month.  Thomas is running for next year’s student council and playing baseball.  This is going to be a very busy month! 

Day Camp!

Yesterday was activity day Day Camp.  Activity Days is a program for girls aged 8-11 and is centered on increasing the girls' faith in God.  Because I am stake activity day leader (a stake is a group of church congregations belonging to the LDS faith), I am in charge of Day Camp.  This was my first year and I loved it!  I’ve gone to day camp many times as a parent or a leader, but never as one of the planners.  We hoped to have camp at a boy's camp up the canyon like they’ve had in year’s past, but this year, because of the weather, we held it in a church building. Although I think everyone missed being out in nature, having Day Camp in a building worked out just fine.  In a way, it was nice to have every one so close to each other –each age group rotating in a different corner of the building.  The classes were also a little longer because rotating time was so short which was nice, I think.  And the classes!  They were absolutely wonderful!  Like I said before, I’ve been to day camps before, but this year it seems like the teachers were especially creative and committed to teaching these girls in a fun, hands-on way.   Each girl went home with memories and mementos of interesting and inspiring classes on gospel subjects taught by people who love the girls and Heavenly Father.

At dinnertime, I was impressed with the bishopric members who came to eat with the girls in each of their wards.  They truly looked happy to be there and I know that the girls felt loved because these men took time to be with them.  Many of the bishopric members, maybe even all, stayed to watched the skits after dinner.  The skits were so fun!  Each skit highlighted a different gospel story, Daniel in the Lion’s den, Nephi and the brass plates, the pioneers, the stripling warriors, Noah’s the ark, Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego.  One thing that I noticed is that many wards used music in their skits which was such a great idea.  Some wards used well-written skits; one ward used no words at all.  Every skit was unique and they each taught an inspiring and sometimes very funny lesson about faith.
Okay, yes.  I did have a part on the program.  Luckily for everyone, I was not alone.  The whole stake primary board danced.  Yep.  Pretty stupendous.  Especially considering that I have never really had to dance.  Ever.  In my entire life.  So there I was up there with the rest of them, wearing leg warmers over my jeans, waving pom poms, and being as silly as possible.  And It gets worse—we did it twice.  No kidding.  The first time we danced was at the beginning of the program, and I think our poor captive audience was in shock.  The second time, thankfully, they’d gotten used to the idea of strange old ladies making fools of themselves, and they cheered and sang along with us.  In the end, it was pretty  darn fun.  So that was Day Camp.  The theme was faith, the lesson was learned, and I, for one, absolutely loved it!

Easter Time!

Easter was good.  It was a week ago which is a bit too long ago for this brain of mine to remember very clearly.  Lets see…on Thursday, my good friend came over and we had a blast making Easter treats.  We made chocolate dipped peanut butter eggs, rice crispy treats, and pansy cookies.  Boy, was it fun!  She brought her kids and they played in the living room next to us while we worked.  They are such fun kids and are so cute together!  By the time we were done, we had tons of treats for our families for Easter.  We even had enough to give some away.

This year I planned to do “A Week of Easter” with my family highlighting events in the last week of Christ’s life.  It got off to a great start, with good discussions on Mary anointing Jesus’ feet, His triumphal entry, His time in the temple, and the Last Supper, but Friday we didn’t do what I had planned because of everything else going on that day.  For one thing, Thomas went camping.  Before he went, though, we did color Easter Eggs and make our traditional bread bunnies which was very fun.  Jonathan came home for the weekend, but not in time to color eggs with us.  He left to hang out with friends for the evening.  Those of us who were left, went to an Easter choir concert that the girl’s participated in as part of the children’s choir.  So we did celebrate Easter on Friday, just not in the way I planned.

On Saturday Thomas returned from camping said he had a fun time.  He got to do some climbing which is great for a kid with unlimited energy.  That Saturday was also prom for Miriam.  She wore an orange dress that was absolutely gorgeous.  Her date had an orange vest and tie and red hair, so they matched very well.  Her date’s mom came over to do her hair which was very nice of her.  Miriam looked beautiful.   Matt also had a date that evening.  They just watched a movie here at the house with Katrina and Thomas and ate pizza.   Anyway, with Jonny gone most of the day and Miriam gone to prom and everything, we did no Easter celebrating that day.  L

Sunday we ate bread bunnies and Easter eggs for breakfast before church.  At church we got to listen to an Easter program about Jesus Christ with beautiful music sung by the choir.  I could feel the Holy Ghost and I felt very close to the Savior.  After church, the we had the kids hunt for their Easter baskets and then we sat around the table eating Easter goodies and laughing and talking.  I realized later that we never did eat lunch—just Easter candy.  Pretty crazy, huh?  The boys, who got balsa wood airplanes and gliders in their baskets spent most of the day outside together flying them.  Not very Sunday-ish, I know.  That evening we combined the discussions we had planned for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday into a beautiful Easter lesson about Jesus Christ’s atonement.  It was nice to all be gathered around learning about the Savior.  I felt very close to Jesus Christ this Easter time, and I love him very much.  He is the literal Son of God and my loving Elder Brother, my Savior and Redeemer.

Later we drove Jon back to college which was a very fun way to visit as a family.  On the way home we saw a pasture of sheep and every ewe had at least one baby lamb.  We stopped and watched the lambs play for awhile.  It was so cute!  By the time we got home I was starving.  That’s when I realized I hadn’t eaten anything but candy for lunch.  Yuck.  Well, my sweet Brian came to the rescue and made a delicious meal of spam (yes, folks, spam.) and eggs and hash browns.  It was very yummy.  At this point you may be wondering if we ever eat anything healthy at our house.  The answer is yes.  Every meal we ever eat besides those I detail in my journal is perfectly balanced and chock full of vitamins.  I only write about the unhealthy ones.  Okay, I am kidding, but we do eat fairly healthy foods most of the time.  Really.