Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh darn... she's awake!!"

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Help My Ineptitude


I got a new computer over a year ago. I have not connected my Ipod to this computer -- EVER!! (The battery charges in my car.)

Tonight, I need some of the music that is on it to put on the slide show about camp I'm putting together for my YW.

So, I connected my Ipod to the computer.


There is a big red circle with a slash in it, flashing, telling me DO NOT DISCONNECT.


I guess I'll just leave it connected until morning, when I know my computer expert is up. Hopefully she'll take pity on my idiot-ness and walk me through the steps (again.)

Chrissy, I'm sorry I'm such a dork!!


Update: Okay, I'm only 3/4 stoopid. I finally saw the little button to disconnect. The problem I'm having now is that none of the songs stayed on my computer... they are still only on my Ipod! That does me no good in preparing my slide show.


Looks like I'll be calling for support after all.

Where Does He Come From?

It's been a while since I've posted something off-the-wall that Adam has said. Well, he seems to be back in fine form saying some of the most amusing things:

(This was told to me by Aly:) Adam was playing with his best friend Devyn. They were getting into the car and Adam excitedly said, "I'm going to get married tomorrow!" and after a brief pause said, "OH! I guess I'd better find a girlfriend then!"

(No, he's not going to marry Devyn. At one point in his life he talked about it, but he scared her by saying things like that, so he backed off. I wonder, however, if he's trying to make her jealous by talking about marrying another girl.)

. . . . . . . . . . . . .

Yesterday we went boating. It's the first time since the end of June that we've gone out. Everyone was very excited. We were planning on leaving the house between 3 & 3:30 pm. At noon, Adam came running to me and asked if he could put his swim suit on. Of course he can, so off he went running to his bedroom. Thirty seconds later he comes running back to me..... completely naked.

"Mom! I've got my swimsuit on!" he said with a funny grin on his face.

I raised my eyebrows in surprise and in a calm voice say, "Oh, you do?"

He started laughing and yells, "I'M GOIN' SKINNY DIPPIN'!!"

Then he looked at me from the corner of his eye and says, "I'm just kidding," and ran back to his room to get dressed.

He thought he was so clever.

And he made me laugh.

Monday, July 28, 2008


Calvin went to the dr. for a check-up on his injured finger. In order to remove the gauze bandage, it had to be soaked in a mixture of saline and hydrogen peroxide. We learned exactly how much hydrogen peroxide responds to blood, by watching all the foaming action when Calvin submerged his finger into the mixture! Ugh!

Things are looking good. He's been able to avoid infection so far and he's starting to get tingling in the tip of the finger. The dr. re-bandaged the wound (after liberally applying some neosporin) and our next appointment will be on Aug. 5 (after our trip to Lagoon) when they will probably remove the stitches.

The dr. was still cautious when giving a prognosis. He said it's still too soon to be able to tell what the long term damage will be. But so far, things are looking great!

(If you want to see the newest pictures, feel free

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Makin' More Memories!

Wow! What a weekend!

Finally, FINALLY, we were able to go camping. It was sam-fran-tastic! I love that we live so close to such beautiful mountains and wonderful things to do and see. We chose to go to Beaver Creek Campground, which is next to Quake Lake. I've been coming to this area my entire life and count it as my second home. We had a blast stomping through all the old haunts of my childhood. There was a fairly large (7.5) earthquake in this area forty-nine years ago that I have have been hearing about since I was knee high to a landslide causing ground squirrel and I wanted to share these same spots with my kids.

But first we needed to take a drive to Mom & Dad's cabin and say "hey!"

It was good to see them and to use their facilities. Plus they were nice enough to feed the kids hotdogs (Adam was mad that I didn't bring hotdogs for us.) Then we headed off in the heat, wind and waves of horse-flies to visit all the earthquake sites I could think of.

First was the actual visitor's center (which costs $3/car now!!) The hikes were hot, but great. Adam ate up all the info we could give him on this natural disaster. If people and animals died; if great masses of land moved; if animals died; if a new lake was made and if people died because of this, then it was one of the coolest things EVAH!

Then we drove up the road to the Hegben Lake Dam. Dad took us fishing here all the time when we were kids. I still remember hiking down to the spillway, sitting in the jagged rocks and imagining how horrific it would be if I lost my balance and fell into the swirling water!
While we were hanging out at the spillway, we noticed a nice family of mountain goats hanging out (in the bright sunshine).

Of course we had to go to the "Building Destruction" site:

When I was young, hearing the story about the resort owner and her dog that jumped over huge fissures in their escape to safety was the thing that a drama queen like me loved to imagine. Adam (Mr. WasSomeoneHurt?) was totally enthralled by the whole thing. He thought it was totally cool that the outhouse was still there. Aly (Ms. Non-nature) did amazingly well. No complaining, even though the walks were long and steep and the flies were swarming and biting like crazy.

(I took a lot of pictures of the outhouse, didn't I?)
By now, we were sweaty, tired, thirsty and pooped out. We did a lot of walking!! (and none of it was flat.) We turned back toward Cabin Creek to teach the kids what an earthquake scarp is. We quickly read the marker, and made a bee-line to the creek where we took off our shoes and soaked our weary feet in the ice cold water.

Poor Lola wouldn't go near the water, but she used this time to rest as well.

Our last night in the campground brought us a couple surprises. The first was shocking, because it was so sudden: I was preparing the fire and getting supplies ready to make s'mores (have you ever had them with Reese's PB Cups? HELLO!!!) All of a sudden there was a loud flutter and a rather large bird flew from the grass by the picnic table up into the tree just above it. HOLY COW!! Lola started barking, and I settled my heart down enough to grab my "Birds of North America" book. It was a Sage Grouse!! Who knew they could fly like that? And who knew they could perch in a tree? Of course, what I know of grouse is from the movie, Bambi -- when the birds are hiding from the hunters... "Don't fly!! Don't fly!!" BOOM!!

(Can you see it in this picture?)

Later that evening, the kids were in bed and Calvin was helping me pick things up. I was up by the picnic table, closing up the chairs and Calvin was down by the trailer. All of a sudden, I heard noises in the trees just beyond me. Keep in mind, we were in the heart of grizzly bear country and they are known to frequent this camp ground. Also, keep in mind that while I love camping, I am perennially terrified at night that we are all going to be eaten by a bear. I thought that my worst nightmare was finally coming true. I called to Calvin, who like a hero, came running up and stood in front of me. We listened for a minute and sure enough!!! the bushes and trees were rustling!! It's completely dark and I only have a small flashlight, but I was shining it in hopes that we would see what was going to eat us before it got to us.

It was a huge relief when a brown eyed doe mildly came out of the trees, looked at us and ambled through our camp site. With a nervous titter, we went to bed and slept as if there were no bears anywhere.

Today, there was one item left on my list: I had to find the old crooked cabin -- the old cabin that slid down the hillside in the earthquake. I remembered how fun it was to walk across the slanted floors and how hard it was to stand straight up while in it. Unfortunately, the road that led to the cabin was closed and we had to walk to find it. It has been over 20 years since I was there and I wasn't exactly sure if I could find it, or if it was still there!

Guess what! It's still there! It's slightly over grown, but we were able to get inside! The kids had a blast!

And now we're home. We're tired, sunburned and covered with bug bites. But it seems that everyone is happy....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Proud Mama

Tonight our family had the opportunity to go to the local nursing home and provide Family Home Evening for the residents there. Opportunities like this don't come often. As you know, we live in a predominantly LDS community with many wards looking for service and they have to be shared. (The last time we had missionaries for dinner was before Adam was born 6 years ago! There are just too many people who want them over!) So, when they sent around the sign-up sheet, Calvin jumped at the chance. I will admit, when I first heard that he did this, I was a little... put out. It was two weeks before camp, I was feeling completely overwhelmed and couldn't even fathom adding one more item on my to-do list.

But, Calvin is very wise and knew in the end all would be well.

Since I was busy, Calvin was in charge of putting the program together. He decided that we'd run it similar to the way we have our own FHE. (I will admit we stole the idea from our neighbors.) We each pick a hymn or a song from the Children's Songbook, sing all the verses, and then move onto a lesson, activity or game. (FHE is mostly singing.) He decided that Adam would sing a song (I Want to be a Missionary Now), Aly would sing (Quiet Grove by Janice Kapp Perry) and I would play a piano solo (Spirit of God arranged by Marvin Goldstein). Calvin would give the lesson on pioneers.

It worked out well. I think the residents really enjoyed having us there.

But what I was proud of wasn't the program, the singing or the lesson. I was so proud of my children and how they handled themselves while they were there. We all know that nursing homes can be difficult and the wonderful people there can act in ways that society deems "different." I don't think the kids cared that the old man on row two let a loud belch that would rival anything I can do after drinking a Diet Coke. Aly, while she was leading the opening song, kept waving and smiling to the old lady on the front row who had a grin a mile wide and wanted to be acknowledged. The kids didn't act like any of this was unusual. Their smiles were genuine and their affection was real.

There was one sweet lady who adored Adam and his energy. I was helping her walk back to the common area and she kept pointing at Adam and smiling. She couldn't verbalize very well, but she communicated with her eyes. I asked him if he would help her walk to her chair and without hesitating, he ran up and took her hand. You should have seen her eyes light up. When we got to her seat, he walked up and gave her a big hug and then ran off. I think it made her whole day.

Aly didn't grumble or complain about going. She helped several residents back to their rooms, looked them in the eye and had conversations with them. She treated them like people which is important when you're in this station in life. It seems that often elderly are treated like children and talked down to. It's so important to give them the respect that their long life deserves! And I was so impressed that Aly instintively knew exactly how to do this.

Sometimes, being a mom is the hardest thing in the world. You love your children and you want them to be good, upstanding members of your community. Sometimes they aren't. Sometimes there's fights and frustrations, tears -- and you are mortified when your 5 year old son punches a girl in the face at the park (another story for another time). But every now and again, your faith in the celestial calling of motherhood is restored. Sometimes, the divineness of your children's spirits shines through --bright and clear. I call it "Mommy Moments." Or "pay backs." These are those moments that make being a parent worth it.

I will always treasure the memory of tonight (thanks to this blog I will be able to).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Camped Out

This is the grassy area of camp, looking toward the cabin we were assigned this year.
I am a bit late in recounting my camp experience, but since I've been home I've been pretty darned busy. Apparently my house threw up all over itself while I was gone and it's taking a while to get it put back together. Also, I promised the kids that "after camp" I would be "theirs" and I'm trying to make good on that promise by spending more time taking them to parks and playing games with them. There aren't enough hours in a day, are there?

... was great! (Exhausting as well!) I have worked in the YW program off and on for 13 years now (more on than off) and I have been so blessed to have wonderful girls in my program each time. It's nice when you put so much of your life into trying to create a fun experience and the girls actually appreciate what you do!! I actually got hugs from them on a daily basis, smiles and sometimes they even wanted to hang out with me!! (Go figure!)
I even had time to goof off. The ward that was in the cabin next door to us is the ward we were recently split from. Their camp director and I enjoyed a fun-spirited competition called "Who's the best camp director?" We kept sending girls next door to "show off" something we had done for them. The girls enjoyed bragging and I got TONS of ideas for next year. It was especially hilarious because at some point the bragging turned into harmless pranks (stealing the pole our banner was on; stealing our garbage can; stealing all the food out of their fridge, etc.) To be truthful, I didn't pull any of the pranks, but I don't think they ever fully believed me. They were on guard whenever we were around! (The only prank I pulled was being drama queen: I found some saline solution and poured it into my eyes to look like tears. Then I went stomping up to this camp director and in my best drama queen moment of the year pretended to be extremely upset, bawling and telling her that I just couldn't compete with her and I agreed that she is the best camp director. At first she thought I was faking, but I was so good at fake crying that she and the other camp directors by her got very concerned at my emotional frailty. They got quite uncomfortable and I could see them looking at each other, wondering what they were going to do with me. It was HILARIOUS!!!!)

The mosquitoes were the worst I have ever seen. If we don't get West Nile Virus, I will be amazed. In the 3 1/2 days we were there, most people used their entire bug spray bottles. However, out of that irritation was born the craziest, "funnest" rendition of Little Bunny Foo Foo I have ever participated in. Instead of just using our fingers to sing the song, we used our whole bodies, which kept the mosquitoes from landing on us and biting us. It was also a great cardio workout for us elderly leaders.... believe me, I was out of breath by the time the song ended!

So now we're back to the hum-drum of every day life. I warned the bishopbric that I'm going to be inactive for three weeks and I plan on finally enjoying summer vacation now. I'm pulling out the camp trailer and we're disappearing....

This year we got to play in canoes! It was a lot of fun!

The girl's got a hold of my comb and hairspray and gave me a make-over!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Squeamish Need Not Read....

par·tial [pahr-shuhl] am·pu·tation [am-pyoo-tey-shun]

1. being such in part only; not total or general; incomplete:

2. to cut off (part of a digit of the body such as a finger)


Who said Girl's Camp isn't dramatic?

Today, Calvin drove to Girl's Camp to help us load our trailer and get it hooked to our Tahoe so we could bring our gear home. (More about camp in a later posting.) He also brought Adam along. He had been there no more than 5 minutes when another ward asked him for help hooking their trailer to their truck. They were having a hard time making the ball on the truck connect with the hitch on the trailer.

Of course Calvin agreed to help. He's that kind of a guy.

Within seconds I hear the trailer make a bumping noise and Calvin backs away swinging his hand, as if it had been pinched. He grabs his finger immediately and says, (very calmly) "Oh that's not good. I'm going to need to go to the hospital."

I know that calm voice. He's trying to keep me from panicking.

So I panic.

I ran to the nearest group of Stake Leaders , yelling for the nurse. Unfortunately, she had already left camp. People begin scrambling to find First Aid kits, which were scarce because most were packed up, ready to take home. A small triage station was set up near the priesthood cabin and gauze was applied to the wound.

It was bad.

In a panic (and bawling), I grab his car keys and insist on taking him to the hospital, but I was also in a quandry. I had 12 girls that needed to get home as well as a trailer full of gear. My wonderful assistant and some amazing stake leaders jumped right in and offered their assistance so I knew everything would be taken care of. We jumped into the CRV & drove 50 mph down the gravel road to our hometown and the Emergency Room. (We made the hour long drive in 45 minutes!!)

I dropped Adam off at a wonderful neighbor's house and sat w/ Calvin in the ER. The cut was deep enough that it had reached the bone (warning: this is where it gets a little gory.) The medical personnel were calling it "partial amputation." Another technical term is "open break" because the bone in the tip of his finger was broken as well.

I was quite curious and decided to watch when the orthopedic surgeon came to stitch him up. As the procedure began, both Calvin and I wished that I had brought my camera with me (I left it in the Tahoe back at camp). The triage nurse heard us and brought back a digital camera that she said I could use. I took several pictures, most of them completely gory (and I promise not to post any here)

This is the safest picture I could find.

Anyway, the doctor was able to get Calvin all stitched up. He didn't lose any part of his finger, except the nail. I don't know how many stitches were put in. The doctor is unsure how the broken part of his finger will heal, if at all. It's in an awkward part of the finger that makes it difficult to treat.

Calvin is being very stoic and brave about the whole thing. He won't let me baby him or wait on him (he's a unique man, isn't he?) and insists that it's "only throbbing a little."

Poor Calvin wanted to go boating tomorrow. Instead he'll be sitting on a couch, with his hand elevated over his heart, watching me clean the house.

Exciting, isn't it?

**Editor's Note** For those who enjoy seeing medical procedures like this, I have posted all the photos in Picasa. Click here to see all the blood and gore.

Monday, July 14, 2008

And Theeeeey're Off !!!

Well, there's nothing more I can do.

No more preparations to be made.

No decisions to be made or changed.

I'm in it to win it.

My box* is packed; my sleeping bag is rolled up; the utility trailer is loaded; lists are crossed off; the children have their arrangements made.

I only have "morning chores" to finish: making lunch, combing hair, brushing teeth.

And kissing the kids goodbye. **sniff**

See ya on the other side!! (Yeah! When I'm free again!)

*Our stake doesn't let the girls bring duffle bags or suitcases for their stuff. We have found that it's easier to transport all the gear if they pack everything in a potato or apple box. Of course, we use one of our camp preparation activities decorating the boxes so they're cute! It's a unique idea that has worked for many years. (It also cuts down on too much excess baggage! The girls can only bring what will fit in the box -- sleeping bags & pillows excluded.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

He's On My Side... maybe

I'd like to thank my son, the local camp director advocate, for stepping in on my behalf. Here's how it played out today:

Adam cornered the bishop as he was walking into the chapel for Sacrament Meeting. In a very serious manner, he asked if his mom can be fired from her jobs at church. When the bishop asked why, the answer he received was this: My Mom has too much to do!!

(The bishop stopped and told this story to Calvin before the meeting started. Adam chased bishop down and had the "little talk" all by himself.)

Poor Adam. All he's heard this summer is, "After camp... we can go to Lava Hot Springs." or "After camp ....we can go camping." or "After camp...... we'll have more time to have friends over."

After camp....

After camp....

After camp....

Hold on buddy! Just one more week and it will finally be


Saturday, July 12, 2008

A New Resource

I just found this link to a friend's blog.
It's a wonderful resource
for natural beauty secrets.
There are also helpful
tips on how to shop economically
and to keep yourself
"spirituall fit."
This is a wonderful site
for any LDS woman....
or anywoman for that matter!

Friday, July 11, 2008

I Miss My Book!

As I sit here, trying to cool down from my work out this morning, I have a thought bouncing around in the void where my brain used to reside about a book I recently finished:

Don't you love it when you find a good book? Don't you love it when the characters are engaging, the story line intriguing, and the plot exciting? I found such a book this week. The Host by StephEnie Meyer (I highlight the "E" in her name because I spelled her name wrong once and I want to make sure never to make such an atrocious error again!) ;-)

Anyway, I picked up the book (stole the book is a better description) from Aly who was too slow in reading it. I found the first chapter or two a little confusing as I tried to get into the book, but then WHAM!! I was completely engaged in it. I read as I cooked dinner; I read as I did dishes; I went to bed early so I could read propped up by my pillow; I read as I drove the children to and from activities; I read during Sunday School & Sacrament Meeting. Okay, I am being a little dramatic, but you get the gist. I finished the book much faster than I wanted to. After I read the last page and closed the cover, I felt a little bit lonely. I missed the characters. I missed life in the caves and the stress of the raids. Who knew a book about aliens would totally capture my imagination like this?

I can answer that question easily! The same person that writes books about vampires can obviously write compelling books about aliens! (What an imagination StephEnie has!)

I'm now looking for another good book to read. Do you have any suggestions?

While I was looking for an image of the book, I found this review. I thought it mirrored my own thoughts on the book very closely!

Monday, July 7, 2008

Seven Days

Officially, I have 7 days until we leave for Girl's Camp.

That's 7 days of hard work scrambling to finish up the last minute details.

7 days of wondering if the girls are going to have fun.

7 days of hogging sleep, knowing that it will be 11+ days until I get more.

7 days of wondering what kind of damage bug spray with 98% deet will do to me.

7 days of making lists and checking them twice, packing and repacking, trying to make everything fit.

7 days and then I can let it all go!! At least until April next year when it all begins again. At least I'll have been through it once and I'll have a better idea what to expect.

And to be honest, I'm actually getting excited to go. I love our girls. I love the mountains. And, I got a perm... so I don't have to worry about my hair!!


Sunday, July 6, 2008

My Seester...

...and why I love her.


She is beautiful,

very helpful,


and extremely patient.

But best of all she is fun

and just a little bit goofy!!

Thanks for coming up this weekend, Chrissy!

We love you!!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Independence Day

How we spent

July 4th....

Of course, we went to the parade....

Aly was in it. (She's in the middle of the float wearing a blue shirt.)

We had a barbecue @ my house with my family.

We sat @ a park for 5 hours waiting for the fireworks to begin.

(Chrissy came too!)

To pass time, the girls played Apples to Apples and the guys chatted and read books.

It was a fabulous show!!!
(To view more pictures go to my Picasa Album)

(We're doing our own fireworks @ home in 5 minutes!!!)

Teen Joys

Ahhhh.... the joys of having a teenager in the house!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

New Ground

I think it's funny having a 16 year old daughter and a husband.

Let me explain:

Aly has been 16 years old for thirteen days. There is a boy in our ward who has a crush on her and has been bugging her to go out with him for months. Gratefully, she doesn't like him quite as much as he likes her and that made it easy to turn him down until she was the proper age. However, now she's "legal" and that has given him licence to increase his invitations. Our rule is that she needs to group date, we prefer no single dating. So this guy has been busting his rear trying to find friends who want to double with him. We thought it was going to happen tonight... Aly's first date!!! (Unfortunately for this guy, his friends couldn't come, so they are hanging out & watching movies here.)

Here's what's funny:

When Calvin got home from work I mentioned that his daughter was probably going to be going out on a date tonight. He stopped what he was doing and got very quiet. Then he said with a growl in his voice, "I didn't say she could go."

He was serious. Completely serious.

I realized then that he is going to be a shotgun dad!! We don't actually own a gun (yet) but I can forsee him making a trek to Sportsman's Warehouse (in the very near future) and purchasing one, just so he can answer the door holding it. And believe me, he won't be wearing a smile on his face!!!

I gave my husband, this wonderful father of our 16 year old girl, a hug and a pat on the cheek and reminded him that his parents let him grow up. He loosened up a bit and gave me a half smile, and cracked some joke.


However, I pity the poor boy that shows up on our doorstep!!