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, August 28, 2008

In Memoriam

It's the Labor Day Weekend, which is the "official" end of summer. For my family, it was a crazy, busy and fast summer. I can't believe it's over and I refuse to let it go quietly. As long as the sun is shining and the temps stay reasonably warm, we will still be outside, enjoying each other's company and making good family memories.

In Memoriam of Summer of 2008, I have created a slide show of a few of the things we were able to participate in as a family. We had fun and (dare I say) we lived our family motto of

"Making Memories"

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Visual DNA

Thanks Thorkgal for this! It was fun! (But it was so hard to decide on one particular picture. There were times it seemed there were multiple choices for me. I could probably go back and do it again and have a complete different profile.)

Youniverse Personality TestYouniverse Personality Test

Monday, August 25, 2008

Aunts and Uncles

We finally got Calvin's Aunt Terry & Uncle Jared out on the boat. They are so extremely busy (Jared is Stake Pres.) that we felt like it was nothing short of a miracle that we got them out with us. It was a great day. I think they enjoyed their time and they enjoyed having a few hours to rest and relax.

While we were out there, we ran into my friend Amber who was hanging with some friends. She ditched them for a while and hung out with us.

Tale As Old As Time:

Not-so-popular girl (Samantha) has a crush on the unattainable "jock" (Jake Ryan) who happens to be the cutest boy in the school. Jake has a girlfriend who is the most popular/beautiful girl in the school (Caroline).

Not only is this the story line for the movie Sixteen Candles, but it is also the scenario for just about every girl in Jr. High.

Of course, I had the same experience. It was 8th grade. My Jake was the cutest thing I had ever seen since I changed school districts in 6th grade. I fell deeply and madly in love. Jake and I shared our English class together and we were friends. However, there was no way I could compete with Caroline (said with a sneer). She was (obviously) a cheerleader and apparently the only pretty girl in our school. Everyone wanted to be like Caroline!! I only wanted Jake to like me. wasn't to be. Caroline was the school darling until she moved after our 9th grade year. (There's a big, traumatic, dramatic, jr. high girly story that should go along with this, but I am choosing to keep it to myself today.)

I hoped to never have to compete with or see her again.

Flash forward 4 years.

It's the summer Calvin and I are dating. We'd been together every weekend since our first date in March. I felt committed. I didn't date anyone else. I assumed Calvin felt the same.


Imagine my shock when Calvin told me that he knew Caroline, that she worked with him, and he had gone out on a date with Caroline's best friend, because he wanted to see if he could get a date WITH CAROLINE!!!


How could this happen? I thought I was finished with her!! All those old, un-Christlike feelings resurfaced and I was mad.

Calvin, unlike Jake, saw the light. He realized he loved me and we got engaged shortly after. I still held bitter feelings, but tried to bury them because -- after all -- I got my man!

Fast forward 20+ years. We got married, moved away from our college town, moved out of state, and eventually ended up living back in our college town.

20 years have gone by!! 20 years of life, love, kids. Good times and not so good times. 20 years should be long enough to squelch all those bad feelings. Right?


I went to work out at Curves this morning and THERE IS CAROLINE!!! She lives here!! In the same town!!! And yes, I still don't like her!! How can this be? Am I out of Jr. High or not?!?!

There is no big moral to this story. I guess it shows how shallow I still am and how much I have to grow as a person. Yes, it looks like I still need to grow up.

Can I please just graduate from Jr. High?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Smiley Pants

After my sad day today, here's a little chuckle.

A Blithering Idiot

.... that's what I am.

I just dropped Adam off for his first day of kindergarten. I had hoped that I wouldn't cry, especially in front of my kid who was so excited to go. But when I walked in, there stood a friend who's boy is in Adam's class. She gave me these sad puppy dog eyes and said, "Adam is in kindergarten already?"

...and I lost it.

I had to walk out of the room to compose myself, which I was able to do in a relatively short amount of time. By the time I got back, Adam was already immersed in his new kindergarten activities. I had to drag him reluctantly back to me, to give him a kiss good-bye and remind him that I'll pick him up when school is over.

"See ya, Mom!" and he was off.

It's as it should be.

I drove home and bawled... still am.

A lot of people relish the beginning of the school year. They can't wait to get the kids back to school and back to routine. I can appreciate that.

However, I get lonely when the kids leave. The house becomes too quiet. Yelling at the cat and talking to the dog just don't leave me with a satisfied feeling. I turn on the radio for noise, and even listening to Cook and Archuletta sing don't fulfill me (although they are like a small band aid). Oh, I'll get over it soon enough. I'm sure it's worse today because this summer has been so incredibly busy, with so much to do and not enough time. In about a week I will appreciate the 2 1/2 hours I have to get on top of the housework. I will enjoy having that time to work on getting our adoption folder updated (yes, we're still working on finding a child). I might sign up for some classes at the university here in town or the vocational college in IF.

I'll fill my time with worthwhile activities, but for today, I just miss my kids.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Smooth Kindergarten Face

As we were driving home from the cabin Sunday evening, Adam announced from the back seat, "Mom and Dad, I think I need a shaving kit."

Knowing this was going to be a serious conversation for my six year old, I didn't laugh and asked him why.

"Because sometimes I get those tickley things on my face, like Daddy gets."


I told him, in as serious a voice as I could muster, that the next time he grows some tickely wiskers, to alert me and we'll see what kind of razor he needs.

The alert came last night. We were driving home from his friend Devyn's house and he announced from the back seat, "MOM!! I have some wiskers on my cheek and I'll need to shave them when I get home!" I shushed Aly who was giggling madly in the seat next to me and told him that we'd have a look when we got home (we were driving through construction on the hiway, so I couldn't pull over to feel them.) That pacified him for about two minutes and then he said...

"Mom, I don't need to shave yet. I was able to brush the wiskers off my cheek!"

(He was eating popcorn.)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

My Kids

Aly's best friend, Kristi, is moving to Israel for a year. Her dad got an appointment to work at the BYU Jersualem Center. We'll certainly miss Kristi and hope they have a safe adventure! (This is Kristi's second chance to live there. She was lucky enough to be baptized in the Jordan River the first time they were there.)

Adam recently had his 6th birthday and I haven't had the opportunity yet to take his birthday picture. We went to Montana this weekend and while we were playing in a lake, I said to him, "Hey Adam! I haven't taken your birthday picture yet. Let's see if we can get one now!" This is the result:

Which one should I frame and put on my wall?!?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What's a Chukar?

According to Wikipedia, it's an "upland gamebird in the pheasant family." (Do you know how many people don't know what a pheasant is? I happen to know what they are because when I was 5 my dad hunted them. I have a picture of myself and my seester holding the dead bird upside down by it's feet. Obviously I was too young to appreciate the gross factor of that moment.)

It's also the name of our local semi-pro baseball team.

This week we finally went to a game. Chrissy has been encouraging us for some time to go. She goes to Orem Owlz games frequently and loves it and knew that we would have fun if we went to a local game. So when Jackie called and said, "Do you want to go?" we immediately said "OF COURSE!"

Chrissy, of course, was right. We had a great time. The weather was perfect -- not too hot or cold. We bought hot dogs, and ate them under the stadium lights. The kids goofed off and yelled at the chukar mascot. They made friends with the other kids sitting close by. After the game ended, they opened up the field to the little kids, so A & D ran, and ran and ran around the bases!! Even Aly came and had fun (she had to put down Breaking Dawn to come, but I think she survived.)

I have to say the highlight of the evening was when a foul ball was hit straight at us, and we ducked just in time. It ended up belting Dave right in his hip! The poor guy (I'm sure) has a HUGE bruise and he didn't even get the ball! It bounced so hard it ended up at the end of the row behind us.

After the game, as we were walking out of the stadium, some guy (who I believe worked for the team) walked up to Adam and said something to the effect of, "No boy should go home from a baseball game without a ball," and handed him a ball from the game. Adam was thrilled to say the least.



Well, let me tell ya, I've been honing a new craft...

...a new skill, if you will.

While at camp I learned how to crochet and recycle.

You may say,

"HUH?!? Wuddya mean?"

Well, you just sit yerself back and let me show ya!

This here is a bag I crochet'd (how do you spell crochet in past tense??) using plastic grocery bags!! Yup, the Walmart and Associated Food Stores kind.

Adam loves it, cuz he uses it for a scripture bag. He thinks it's the coolest thing since Spiderman got webs... and that's pretty durned cool! (Poor Adam doesn't realize that this is my first bag, so it's not a very good job. But I'm not going to tell him!) :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Waterlot of Fun

For YW tonight we had a "We're Not Ready To Give Up Summer" water party. (ONE WEEK TIL SCHOOL STARTS! UGH!) We went to my friend Jana's. She has an amazingly HUGE back yard with a great hill. They have connected a tall slide to to huge sheet of plastic, turned on hoses and made a really fun water slide.

My fear of heights wouldn't allow me to go from the top of the slide (even though the girls gave me huge amounts of encouragement and support --so much support that I finally told them to SHUT UP!!). I started at the bottom of the slide and went down. Apparently I went really slow, even though I felt like I was zooming out of control (it's all about perspective) and they teased me for being a wimp, but I had fun.

(Thanks, Jana, for your help!)

Monday, August 11, 2008


We had a great week with Keara. It seems like we were constantly on the move. There was something to be done, every day of the week. Who knew that we lived in such an exciting area? Well, to be truthful, we didn't do anything here in town. There's nothing here but Walmart and it's not even Super! (Keara, however, doesn't have Walmart close to her, so she was excited to go there -- once.) But there is, I found out, plenty to do within a couple hour's drive of home.

My poor skin was assaulted by the sun on almost every occasion and I fear I'm thisclose to more wrinkles, more freckles and the ever dreaded "sun damage" -- whatever that is. But it was worth it. Keara is a fun girl, so polite and incredibly patient with an almost 6 year old cousin that constantly assaulted her with, "Keara, guess what.....?"

Her mom arrived last night (after spending a WONDERFUL week with her sisters in Wyoming) and they left this morning. We're a sad house today. We miss her.


Lagoon, here we come!!

We found some cool Hannah Montana stuff at the mall.
Swimming @ Heise with our friend Maddie

Floating @ Mack's Inn (we saw a bull moose!!)

We spent a day in Jackson Hole and had a blast!! We rode the Alpine Slide, spent some time in town (w/ Sasquatch) and drove the Gros Ventre road which allowed us to see two more bull moose and a herd of buffalo jumping fences. Who knew buffalo could jump a fence?

Pointing out the "sleeping Indian" in the mountain

And now, today, we're bored. Guess that means we'll have to clean the house that has been neglected for too long. Bummer.

Update: I made the Sugarfree Chocolate Mousse last night and it turned out great! I will probably play with the recipe a bit (I added 1/2 tsp of vanilla, some choc. chips and marshmallows), but it was met with raves from the fam. It's definitely a "repeat recipe".

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I don't usually win contests.

Oh, I try. I always put my name into drawings, but all I win from those contests is a "free" carpet cleaning from the Kirby vacuum people or an offer for "discounted" vinyl windows and new siding for my house.

Big deal.

I have won two pretty cool prizes in my life: At my high school reunion, I sent in old photos of my classmates and won an Ipod Nano, which I took to Best Buy and traded in for a bigger better version. And I won a pretty cool digital photo frame from an online photo contest.

I can add one more cool prize to my winning list: An expired (July '08) Hershey Candy Bar with Almonds from my local grocery store.

Oh yeah....

I feel soooo cool


so smart.

The store was asking pop trivia questions over the PA system and I happened to know half the correct answer.

"What is Nicolas Cage's real name?"

Don't ask me how, but I knew that he is related to Francis Ford Coppola, so when I was paying at the check stand I mentioned it. The guy in charge was very impressed and even though I didn't know the first name, he gave me a candy bar for having USELESS POP TRIVIA KNOWLEDGE.

Is it cool to be me?

Probably not, but I enjoyed the expired candy bar anyway.

FYI: the correct answer is Nicolas Coppola.

Friday, August 8, 2008

I was checking out Thorny's blog and saw this new meme. I loved it because it's different from any other meme we've done. I also loved it because I loved trying to find the right photo for each word I typed in. It was a fun way to spend a quiet Friday evening watching the (amazing) Opening Ceremonies of the Olympics. Here's how you do it:

Mosaic Meme:
FIRST: Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
NEXT: Using only the first page, pick an image.
THEN:Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into mosaic maker.

Hint: I had a hard time uploading my mosiac to Blogger. I saved it to my Flickr acct., but the URL wouldn't work on Blogger (don't know why). I did a right click on the creation, clicked on "properties" and then used the URL that popped up there (it was different). I'm not computer savvy, so I'm not sure why this was different, but it worked! I was glad!!

The Questions:
1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name. (kid version: favorite animal?)

Like Thorny, I'll be very interested to know if you do this. If you are reading this and you have a blog, you can do it!! Please leave me a comment so I can check out your creation!!

I want to be honest, so I'll tell you where I got the pics!


You Gotta Try This!!!

My friend, Jennifer, who hosts Where the Heart Is sent me this recipe. I first became aware of it when she made some and brought it to Enrichment Night. When she announced that she brought a sugar-free chocolate mousse made with tofu, I wrinkled my nose and though, "Auck, gack, aaargh!! Why in the world would someone ruin chocolate mousse by not using sugar and put in tofu?" To be polite, I took a spoonful and put it on my plate.

I looked at it the entire time I at my meal. It looked like normal chocolate mousse. Actually, it looked kind of yummy. Her daughter, Celeste, was sitting next to me and I knew that she'd notice if I didn't at least try it, so I gingerly dipped my spoon into the chocolate mound and tapped it on my tongue.


Could it actually taste good?

Well, I couldn't tell because I'd had such a small taste, so I got brave and scooped up 1/2 a spoonful and ate it.


It was DELISH!!!

I ate what had, picked up the plate and licked it off and then sat in my seat, looking longingly at the bowl up at the serving table, wishing I was brave enough to act like a pig and get myself more. I never did, but to this day, I wish I had.

I have thought longingly about that bowl of chocolate mousse ever since and I was finally able to procure the recipe. I want to share it with you. I want you to try it. You'll thank me (and Jennifer) for it!!

1 pkg (4 serving size) chocolate sugar-free instant pudding mix
1 pkg soft tofu
1 heaping tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, chilled

Use an electric mixer to beat the pudding mix, tofu, and cocoa powder until very smooth. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until just about stiff. Turn the mixer to its lowest setting, blend in the pudding mixture til just mixed. Do not over beat or you'll end up with chocolate butter. Dish up into serving bowls and chill til ready to serve.

Vanilla pudding mix can be used; just omit the cocoa powder and add a teaspoon vanilla extract. In fact, any flavor may be adapted.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


You know what's funny?

When you have three teenage girls -- age 15 & 16 -- in your house watching a scary movie and you burst into the family room, slapping the door with your hand and yell "BOO!!"

Three girls scream at the top of their voice and jump about 12 inches out of their chair.

Oh yeah,

I got 'em good!!

Busy, Busy, Busy

Summer started late for me and my family and I am cramming as many activities I can into a short time frame. After all, SCHOOL STARTS IN A MERE 13 DAYS!!!

(I won't even go into the sadness I feel as I contemplate the fact that my boy starts kindergarten... **sniff**)

We have been hanging out at the International Dance Festival (annual event); boating with two girls (staying w/ Dave & Jackie) from Israel whose team came for the dance festival ; hanging out with Calvin's sister Carlene and her two daughters; and now hanging out with Keara, Carlene's 15 year old daughter that stayed this week while Car visits other family in Wyoming. (We got the house cleaned for Car's visit, but now it looks like it threw up on itself. I just tell myself that I'll have plenty of time to clean up after Aug. 20.)

We've been having a blast!
Dancing Hava Nagila with the Israel dance team

Two from team Israel wait to ride the tube.

Dana & Caramel

Calvin & Dave compare due dates.

Keara & Aly

And this is just the beginning of the pictures I have downloaded!! I still have pictures from our day at Lagoon; swimming at Heise as well as floating the river by Macks Inn (that's tomorrow). That's about as far as I have planned, but I know there is more in the works.

It's a good thing I still haven't received Breaking Dawn in the mail. (That's the LAST time I pre-order on Amazon!!) I don't have time to read it anyway!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

It Made Me Giggle

I hope to have some time in the next day or two to write about all the fun things we've been doing. We've been crazy busy and have had some great times!! But for now, I'd just like to post a little clip from the movie Mama Mia. Calvin took me to see it last weekend and I have to admit I really enjoyed myself. Yes, there were some wholly inappropriate moments during the movie and... was it me... or did it seem that a 10 year old did the editing? But still I thoroughly enjoyed tapping my feet and singing along (in my head) to the same Abba songs that I grew up singing. It was a BLAST!! (Thanks, Calvin, for being the only guy there!)

(I love this clip because I love Mr. Darcy. Nuff said.)