Sunday, October 17, 2010


I just had a chance to see Mindy's music video for Anchor yesterday and fell in love. This is the title track of her lastest album which came out last month. The wings they used throughout the video are gorgeous and the illustrations by April Meeker give it a dreamy surrealism that makes you want to float away.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Week in Review 9/9/10

OK - this one requires just a smidge of explaining. I've been working the heck out of my new scanner. It's an Epson Perfection V600 Photo scanner that my uber-awesome hubby got me for my birthday and it ROCKS! It will scan photos, documents, slides and even negatives! This baby is amazing!

So I spent a couple weeks scanning a box of slides from my mum-in-law's basement and I've gotta tell you, they are priceless. The images make me want to cry. Aside from that, the beginning of September was all about Homecoming and trying to find a dress that didn't look like it came from the red light district. Ugh.

Cheater Pants

Yes, I'm totally taking a shortcut here. I just haven't had any extra time to put into the bloggity blog these days. I've been pretty good about at least photographing part of my weeks ... though there's been a major shortage of fun projects and good food. (sad days) Lately it's been all I can do to get the kids through their homework and to school on-time the next day ... with homework in tow, still not sure why this is such a difficult concept for them to grasp onto. Grrrr ...

But with Halloween around the corner and Christmas right behind that, there will HAVE to be a few projects in the works. We also have a new baby in our extended family and one more coming next week, so gifties for the wee ones is also in order. Please hang in there with me. One of these days I'll be able to sink my teeth back into Blogger.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Week in Review 8/12/10

Wow! This was a while ago, but I'm so glad I have the pictures as a reminder. I took the girls and #5on a mini fieldtrip to Red Butte Gardens one morning for a sort of photo safari. The girls and I are all click-happy and we LOVED walking around the garden picking out cool shots. We also had a Scout Court of Honor with the boys in our ward. I'm so proud of #2 and his accomplishments. We're just a few requirements and an Eagle project away ... Yay!

Because we're such mean parents, we've made the Eagle rank a pre-requisite for his driver's license.

That's how we roll.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Shoot the Kids? I'd Love To

Just wanted to throw out a brag-rag post with a few shots from this fun photo shoot. Hubby's ex had a birthday in August and she'd requested new pix of the kidlets. I jumped at the opportunity to have a mini-adventure, threw the kids in the car and drove out to Salt Air.It was a great night and a fun adventure for all of us. We laughed so hard we nearly wet our pants ... literally, but I love how these turned out! We'll have to plan another mini-trip soon and take all the kids.

I know ... I know ....

Time flies and my bloggity-blog has been left behind in the dust. Oy. I really suck at this, don't I? Six plus weeks behind now in my weekly updates? Ouch. I have so many pictures, I promise. We've had all kinds of fun days ... and not so fun admittedly, but that's to be expected with 3 teenagers in the house, right? What else can I do?

I swear I'm editing photos this weekend so I can at least attempt to get caught up, but how about in the meantime I share a recipe today as a lame sort of apology? I found this while putting a lesson together for church. It was about cooking on a budget ... and I found a load of great tips and tricks at This recipe sounded too easy and too delish to pass up, and I was right. I got thumbs up from all 5 munsters and hubby too. You should definitely give it a try.Sesame Noodles


1 (16 ounce) package linguine pasta
6 cloves garlic, minced
6 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons safflower oil
6 tablespoons rice vinegar
6 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sesame oil
2 teaspoons chili sauce
6 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted


1. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a serving bowl.

2. Meanwhile, place a saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in garlic, sugar, oil, vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, and chili sauce. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves. Pour sauce over linguine, and toss to coat. Garnish with green onions and sesame seeds.

You may want to read the reviews here to see how you'd like to adjust the recipe to your own tastes. I made it as is and threw in a couple handfuls of chopped fresh brocolli to cook with the pasta, but could've easily reduce the oil by half. Play around with it and see what works for you.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week in Review 8/5/10

Getting behind again??? I swear I don't know where the time goes. Here's our first week of August though - finally.OY! Another busy week ... but soooo much fun! We celebrated #2's birthday, for starters. He's 15 now - crazy. We started off the day with Monkey Bread, as per his request, and had a super mellow day. I felt horrible, because we didn't have everyone here. This means no presents. :( Lucky for him though, hubby and I were crazy ready to go actually find a little brother puppy for Izzy. We've been searching the ads for the last couple of months and couldn't wait any more. So Murphy was adopted and brought home on his birthday. This, of course, means that we had to send oodles of pix to the other chitlins in Colorado so they didn't feel left out. Murphy is the sweetest little puppy and has a great personality too.

Monday the rest of the fam showed up to spread birthday cheer and give loves to the new puppy. That night the girls and I drove down to Provo for Mindy Gledhill's CD release party ... followed by a quick stop at BYU to see #1's new beau and have a double scoop at the BYU Creamery. Yum. We finally celebrated the birthday in full on Thursday, complete with birthday dinner ... pancakes and sausages, strangely enough. The presents this year were kind of funny too since all he had requested was cash. Oh well. He finally got to celebrate and that made us both happy. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Blast from the Past

Well, isn't this just too funny? I took a few minutes to answer some questions about my first year of college at BYU in 1990 ... and they quoted me in the Summer 2010 issue of the BYU Magazine. The article is titled "The First Year - Four Generations" It's an interesting feature about how much things have changed (or stayed the same) for incoming freshman between 1950 and 2010. My lovely little nugget of insight is under the heading "Lost in the Crowd". I know. I'm such a nerd.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Meet Murphy

I couldn't wait to show you all the latest addition to our not-so-little family. This is Murphy. So cute. Yes. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week in Review 7/29/10

Hmm, this week had a rough start with #1 in hot water for ... not knowing how to be 16 yet. She lost her phone and driving privileges and was pretty much under lock-down except for work hours - needless to say, she pulled a double shift on Saturday to stay off my radar. ;) Sunday was the youth sacrament meeting and we got to listen to the youth tell us all about the different summer camps and youth conference. We also found out Sunday night that there was no way on Earth that #2 and Chandler were going to make it back from California anytime soon traveling standby into Salt Lake, so we had to adjust our plans.

Turns out the best fix was for #1 and I to roadtrip down to Vegas and pick the boys up from a flight there. Six hours in the car with my own daughter when we're barely speaking to each other ... let's just say neither of us were sure how we felt about it. I finished up my jetBlue shift, we each packed a bag, gave Izzy a quick bath and finished up the laundry and dishes and we were off. We topped off the tank and zipped through a carwash, grabbed some gross fast food and spent the next 40 minutes or so in awkward silence. Somehow ... thanks to my prodding, we were able to have cleared up most things between us by the time we pulled up to the Red Barn in Santaquin. We peeked around the shop and decided there wasn't anything we wanted so jumped back on the freeway. I have to say that being trapped in a car together without any other distractions and plenty of snack food isn't a bad way to work through some of these things and have a productive conversation with a teenager. (I'll have to remember that for future issues)

Anywho! We pulled into Vegas, checked into the hotel, grabbed dinner at Chili's and very quietly made fun of the couple who were sitting on the same side of their table. Next came the tricky airport business, luckily the boys were able to find us without a hitch. Back to the hotel ... kids texting and on iPods until who knows how late while I passed out. The next morning brought breakfast and the lovely drive home. Oy! Exhausting.

And believe it or not ... Wednesday was even more tiresome! I took the 3 bigs to a "Discover Scuba" class at Dive Utah and redeemed the groupons I'd purchased in June. It was a riot! The kids had a blast, but we were pretty worn out by the time we had to lug our gear back to the storage room. That night we had plans to go boating too. Scuba and boating all in the same day? Yup. Can I tell you I slept like the dead that night? Thursday we tried to keep the schedule more mellow .... it was dreamy.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Embrace Book

OK, I couldn't wait anymore! Here's the inside of #3's Embrace book. Everything in the book came from the young women in our ward and our fabulous leaders. They each wrote cards and letters and quoted different songs and scriptures that would help her get through some dark days. I pulled different pieces from each of the letters into picture frames and such to emphasize them. The letters are all tucked into their own envelopes so she can physically pull them out and read them. McKenna's letter included a list of 15 songs that help her feel better when she's down - so I indulged myself a little and took the opportunity to burn those songs to a CD to add into the book as well. I did the same with the other songs people gave her and put a separate playlist on a different CD in the back of the book. It was fun to see the project keep evolving along the way.

The book itself was a brainstorm I came up with on my own for once. It's 12 inches tall and the pages alternate between 7" and 5" wide to give it a great layered affect. All the coordinating double-sided paper was from a nifty little package I bought from Scrapbook Steals last year. The picture frames and alphabet letters came from the same kit and were a dream to work with. #1 was my design consultant, as usual, and she even added in all the doodles to help dress it up and fill in the empty spaces. I'm so completely thrilled with how it turned out! I had the whole thing spiral bound at Office Max and I hope it's something she will treasure always. She even took it to her mom's house so M could read it too. Love that!

I know the images here are small. You can see them better here.

Week in Review 7/22/10

We're desperately trying to get back on track here. For the most part we're back to a normal summer schedule, with plenty of play time. This particular week was a great one too. I was able to take #1 to go get her driver's license and she had her first few outings ALL ON HER OWN. (yikes) We took the littles out for a spin on the lake Friday night and went back again Saturday with all the boys + Chandler. East Canyon was definitely more crowded than we like ... and plan to go back to our mid-week boating schedule. Church on Sunday was awesome and we delivered a 'heart attack' to M that afternoon, to remind her that we love her.

Monday I took #2 + Chandler to the airport in hopes of getting them on a flight to Long Beach to visit Pops. There were 23 seats still available on the flight ... they were numbers 25 and 26 on the standby list. Tight - but somehow they made it on the first try. Yay jetBlue! Tuesday brought hiking with the Scouts. Wednesday I was finally able to finish up #3's book and give it to her. #1 chose the title "Embrace" ... because the whole book is like a big hug. :D I loved watching her reactions as she read through the book. She was really touched by how thoughtful her peers had been - it even made her cry. Twice. That's big. I count it as a huge success and will post more detailed pictures of the pages for you later. The week wrapped up with multiple trips to Top It to redeem our Groupons. Yum.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Props to Cam

Check out how cool my nephew is! This is Cameron Wood coming off that 6 foot jump. He's seriously the coolest kid I know. Love you Cam!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Tough Love

Friday was ... TOUGH.

There was a knot in my stomach roughly the size of Texas. I knew it. I knew I was being lied to. I finished my shift with jetBlue and called my sweet Hubby. "Hon, I've got to bust her today. How should I do it?" This is never a good way to start a conversation, but it was unavoidable. I was seing red and was risking a full-fledged transformation into Psycho-Mom.

My sweet little new-driver's-license-holding-thinks-she's-so-much-smarter-than-mom of a daughter tried to pull the wool way, WAY down over my oh-so-wise-x-ray-vision-mother eyes and I just couldn't pretend to be that dumb, not for anyone. I've been trying really hard the last couple of weeks to - to loosen my grip a little and give her more freedom. She's sixteen after all and if I'm supposed to be able to let go, so to speak, when she's 18 and graduated ... it's reasonable to bend a little more here and there right now.

HOWEVER ... in light of all my recent efforts to give her those little, and sometimes not so little, bits of extra freedom, it hurt that much more when she took advantage in every way possible.

She really hurt me.

She broke my heart.

And now, I'm tagged the meanest mom on the block ... for what? For calling her on her lies? For expecting her to be where she says with whom she told me, obeying the very clearly stated driving restrictions quoted to us by very creepy man at DMV 4 times in the last 2 months?

Yeah. I know. I have huge expectations, don't I?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Week in Review 7/15/10

It was about time for some downright happy moments! After what seemed like FOREVER ... we finally got had all the kidlets under one roof again, well almost. (#2 was still in Wyoming) Hubby and I had been really anxious about how the youngest 3 were, emotionally speaking. We hadn't seen them since D's service and had no idea how they were coping with everything. It was a relief to finally have them walk in the door and know we were going to have them for a whole week.

They were ... just fine. A little tender around the edges, but that was all. We planned an afternoon at the library ... a favorite for everyone. We love the Salt Lake City Main Library. It really is a place you could spend the whole day in. The architecture is amazing and there is always something fun going on there. We split up and each went to find our own treasure trove of books to take home. Saturday was a real treat too! We got to spend the morning at the Jordan River Temple where our niece was sealed to her husband and beautiful wee baby. It was a really emotional day for everyone - but very uplifting. #2 met us at home just after we finished for the day and a smidge after that, #1 left us to go to the Justin Beiber concert. Oy.

It felt so good to get everyone back on track. We played and laughed and ate loads of watermelon. I was also able to make some great headway on a book I was putting together for #3. Since she had suffered two losses so close together, I had all the young women from our ward send me letters, lyrics, scriptures or quotes that would help her find some peace. The leaders all contributed as well and before you knew it I had a whole pile of 'pick-me-ups' for her. I scrounged through all my stashes of paper to get inspired for layout options and finally came up with something that was truly beautiful. I'll post pics of the completed projects in my next week in review. I love how it all turned out!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ooh-la-la-de-da!!! A CD Release Concert

I'm buying my tickets for this today! I've loved Mindy's songs based on faith and the gospel and am thrilled that she's exploring a new sound that is still completely appropriate for my whole family to listen to. She seems like she'd be so much fun and she even came and danced in the aisle with us at the last concert we went to. If you're in the area and want to have a fun night out with the girls ... go get your tickets here. It looks like there's still plenty of space left, but it won't last much longer.

All About Your Heart

I almost get sick from watching this sweet little girl spin around so much, but I love the song and am dying to make a tribute video for my daughter with it - something I can give her when she graduates from high school or something. Enjoy.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Week in Review 7/8/10

The reality of what has happened is starting to settle in now. We tried to have a normal day Friday and #1 and I did some running around together. We popped in and out of a few shops and I even gave blood at a local drive. It struck me as we were walking by the Red Cross trailer that it was the smallest way I could help someone in need that day - but may really save someone's life. It felt good to make some kind of contribution to the medical world after last week.

Saturday morning we stood by family tradition and attended the neighborhood 4th of July breakfast in hubby's home ward. My father-in-law, Sam, had actually been serving in their bishopric when the breakfast was first initiated some 30-ish years ago. We picked Mom up on the way knowing it would be difficult for her to be there - knowing it was another tribute to Sam to go. She did great though. She was able to catch up with a lot of old friends and seemed to talk about the events of the week with ease. She is my hero.

The afternoon was spent at D's memorial services and we were really touched by the stories that were shared about him there. It was actually a celebration of his life and focused quite a bit on the music he loved. The highlight of the service for us was getting to see Little D ... not sure when we'll see him again. I sure love that little guy.

The rest of the weekend was getting hubby and #2 ready for Scout camp. They left for the Carlisle Ranch in Wyoming early Monday morning for a week of fly fishing, whitewater rafting, horseback riding and aviation. You should have seen the stack of waivers we had to sign away on. Yikes. I can't take another tragedy right now. No sir!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Week in Review 7/1/10

My father-in-law's condition continued to decline Friday and Saturday. His breathing became more and more labored. We were all told that this was the end.

Now, at the same time, my step-children's step-dad, D, was also struggling with cancer. He was diagnosed last August and had been through chemo and radiation, but the cancer kept spreading. He had been admitted to the hospital the week prior and was now back home with the news that he may only have a few days to a week left. So when the phone rang around 4:30 am Sunday morning we weren't sure what the news would be, but we knew it wouldn't be good.

It was hubby's parents' number. His dad was gone.

Monday morning around 10 am there was a call from the other house. D was gone.

Two men.
Two fathers gone.

Tuesday afternoon my mom arrived. She was planning a visit anyway, but it was sad that there was so much tragedy surrounding her few days here. The rest of the week held viewings for both and the service for my father-in-law. We tried to keep the kids' spirits up by taking a trip out to the Kennecott Copper Mine and Thanksgiving Point. We joked around and laughed about silly things. A quick trip to the park seemed to be refreshing for a few of the kids and Izzy too. The kids even ended up building a monster fort in the basement that they all slept in Tuesday night. We sprinkled in a few store-bought fireworks and yummy treats and tried to enjoy our memories of both men. The service Thursday night was truly beautiful. It made me think of the poem by Linda Ellis again, The Dash. They both did truly admirable things with their dash. They lived and loved and worshipped the Lord with enthusiasm.

What am I doing with my dash???

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Frozen Watermelon Treats

I love watermelon in the summer! It always reminds me of the 4th of July and my dear friends in Provo. We buy seedless, less mess, melons and cube them for easy single servings. Of course, my favorite way to eat it is frozen. I'll put a plastic bowl of watermelon cubes in the freezer when I'm starting to crave it, wait about half an hour before eating it. The melon will have small ice crystals all over and each bite will be a slushy treat. I've found it actually makes not-so-ripe melons taste much sweeter too.

Week in Review 6/24/10

The last day of girls' camp was ... short. I got up around 6 am to start packing up my stuff. We had torn down our makeshift kitchen area the night before, so the bulk of our work was going to be getting the girls up and ready ... fed and packed - yes, it was like moving mountains. All in all, it took about 5 hours start to finish. We had a few minutes to take some group pictures and then pulled out and headed home. I was lucky enough to only have one person ride with me, a sweet girl named Malati from Nepal. I really connected with her, perhaps because my mom had also emigrated from her homeland. It was interesting to learn that they both had misconceptions about what life in the U.S. would be like, based on Hollywood's portrayal in films. We talked about things like arranged marriages, education, job opportunities and divorce. I love this girl!

After getting all the troops to their own homes safe and sound, we quickly unpacked, washed up and tried to start and finish Father's Day. Luckily, hubby was more than happy to offer up gift ideas for the littles. The kids all got up early Sunday to decorate before breakfast. We made him a hearty meal of eggs, sausage and country potatoes, then let him open all his presents before we got ready for church. We had to split the family later so hubby's kids could spend part of the day with their step-dad, D, and we went to my in-laws to share hugs and kisses with Grandpa, who hadn't been doing so well. He was definitely acting strange when we got there and seemed even more tired than usual. He wouldn't get out of bed to sit with the kids, so we spent most of our time in the bedroom with him. The following nights he was so agitated that his kids needed to come and help care for him over night. They paired up and took turns each evening allowing my sweet mother-in-law to have a much-needed break.

Growing old certainly doesn't look easy. I'll admit I'm not looking forward to it ... at all.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Easier said - by Someone Else

Love and hard times

The light at the edge of the curtain
is the quiet dark
The bedroom breathes in clicks and clocks
The heart's uneasy, it can't relax
your hand takes mine
Thank God I found you in time
Thank God I found you in time
Thank God I found you

~Paul Simon

These next few posts are going to get more difficult. Wish me luck.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Week in Review 6/17/10

June 11 through the 17th was ALL about camping. It started out with Webelo's camp in Millcreek Canyon, admittedly a nice change from my Bear troop. There was a 2 mile hike and lots of classes on things like how to shoot a BB gun and the fine art of archery. The weather cooperated and the boys were great - can't complain too much about that. Of course ... Saturday, dear hubby was kind enough to drive me up to our girls' camp site to see if it had flooded with all the seasonal rain. It was a mucky mess and I wasn't sure how we'd get through the next week.

Of course, we got the final word that camp was on, regardless of the muddy conditions, so I started piling all our gear in the living room while dearest went to pick up the trailer. The 4th years went up Monday morning and the rest of us followed on Tuesday. Lucky for us, the sun worked some magic and really dried out the area a lot before we got there. Hubby came up with us to help us get all set up. He picked the best spots for the tents, we needed 5, and the girls did most of the tent pitching themselves. The Nepali girls who came with us were beautiful and a pleasure to get acquainted with. Of course there was an immediate issue between my own daughters, complete with tears, but it wouldn't be camp if everyone got along the whole time, would it? We did our best to resolve it and got on with the day.

We started our series of devotionals, which would take us on an imaginary cruise starting in California and ultimately ending at Christmas Island. Each day the girls answered a series of questions about standards to find out the next destination. We talked about things like music, movies, modesty and dating. Each island we stopped at also had a craft to learn. The first day we made hemp bracelets, then beaded fabric necklaces and the last day we made wire rings with stone embellishments. I'll try to post more pics of the crafts with instructions soon - just remember that time flies around here.

For the most part, the weather was on our side ... but there was one morning when all the tent zippers had frozen closed. We actually had to poor hot water on one of them to get the girls out. Good times. Great memories!

Wish Granted ... Fortunes for All

I've had so many people asking where I purchased the fantabulous giant fortune cookie for my nephew ... that I thought I'd share with everyone. I mean, come on, I'm three weeks behind and haven't given you any fun stuff for ages. I figure I owe it to you. :)

So here it is! For the best fortune cookies around town, go to Tankinz Noodle Manufacturing. Sounds crazy, I know, but trust me. I called the morning I was leaving town and the man who took my call was MORE than accommodating. He had me email in the specs and seriously had my gigantic custom cookie all ready and packaged up by 1:00pm. Now, I'm sure they don't like to be pushed to the limit like that ... but how amazing that they were so happy to work with me. The gift really was a hit and was completely unexpected. I love surprises like that. They get me all giddy.

They have traditional fortune cookies, or chocolate dipped, in regular, jumbo and giant sizes. Just choose the type of cookie you need, determine how many, create your custom sayings and then figure out shipping. Easy-peasy. They are seriously delicious too.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Week in Review 6/10/10

I know I'm behind. I know. Life is full of surprises as always. We've had a lot of heartbreak recently and I'll try to address them all as gently as I can, but I'm not quite ready yet.

As for the week of 6/10/10, it was busy. We made lanterns to take to camp, planned the 'spiritual journey' that my devotionals would take us on, celebrated the baby blessing of a beautiful little lady, got a perm, made a flag, had a huge hail storm and #1 started Driver's Ed.

Happy days.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week in Review 6/03/10

Still trying to catch up here, but I love these pictures!!! I wish I could see my family more often. The boys are just growing up too fast and I'm missing out on a lot.So this is my family!!! My mom and sis both live in Vancouver, Washington. They are two of the cutest women I have ever known ... and they make me feel like a giant, which doesn't happen very often when you're only 5'4" tall. My 'big sis' is only 4'6" and Mom is all of 4'10" on a good day. #1 and I got to spend almost all day Friday shopping with Grandma. We love to hit the Goodwill stores when we're in town - talk about bargains! Then even had all these Indian sari's that made me want to host a Bride and Prejudice party. We also ran to the Korean store to buy more delicious goodies. That night we picked #2 up at the airport and had another ginormous Korean feast. The baptism was Saturday morning and #2 was the first speaker. He did an amazing job while Grandma and I kept blotting the tears away. We try to look tough, but are softies through and through.

We took a thousand family pictures after the service and then had lunch at my sister's where we could FINALLY break out our surprise for the birthday boy! We brought him a giant custom fortune cookie from a fantastic shop in Salt Lake ... that I didn't even know existed until the day before. Rufus, the owner, was a dream to work with and was able to make our custom cookie with about 4 hours. It was beautiful and their whole family couldn't wait to sink their teeth into it. The giant fortune read,

"I'm learning how to choose the right.
I'll do my best both day and night.
But when I'm not sure what to do,
the Holy Ghost will help me through."
Congratulations on your baptism. We love you.
May 29,2010

He was so cute reading it out loud to everyone and the cookie really was delicious. The rest of the trip was spent playing Korean cards, eating more Korean food and admiring Mom's perfectly manicured yard. It was a short trip, but filled with lots of great memories. I just wish I could have brought all the kidlets and hubby dearest along too.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Week in Review 5/27/10

Oy to the vey ... how can it get any more busy???

It seems like things should really wind down at the end of the year, slowing down to a nice easy pace ... things I could handle with my eyes closed. Why then did I end up double booked with kid activities almost everyday??? So not good. So hate to pick which even to go to first and which I would only catch the tail end of. Uck. OK. Here's the recap.

We started out the weekend with the big guys leaving for a scout camp out at the sand dunes, followed by several loads of sand-encrusted laundry. Fun. After that, hubby left for Idaho on a business trip and I got slammed with the rest of the week. There was a one-night-only cross country parent meeting for the oldest scheduled at exactly the same time as the pack meeting where #4 would be receiving his arrow of light. Luckily, his mommy was able to attend ... so we sat impatiently through all the cross country mumbo-jumbo and then raced down the hill to Scouts. We missed the presentation by about 3 minutes. Dang. #2 was able to snap some photos for me though.

Next, there was a full day of Airports Training for me followed by ... the mixed chorus concert and mother/daughter church activity ... scheduled at the same time again! So, I high-tailed it up for the concert and then raced down the hill to the church just in time for refreshments. One of these days I'm going to get a ticket on that hill - knock on wood. Thursday started off with a double whammy. There was the 9th grade awards assembly and 8th grade SBO skit assembly ... same time. At least this time they were in the same building. #2 opted to skip out on his own ceremony to come to watch the skits and cheer for his little sis with me. We also let big sis sluff morning classes to come and scream with us. Let me tell you, my 8th grader has got some serious moxy. She performed her own rendition of The Evolution of Dance ... solo. If you don't know it, you should definitely watch it here. Her courage paid off too. She was the only girl elected!!!

So I ran from the assembly, home to pack for my weekend trip to Washington. Got the last bit of laundry done so hubby would be all set. Waited for #1 to get home from school and we were on our way. We made a quick stop at hubby's office as he'd just gotten back into town from Idaho. I saw him for all of 4 minutes, 2 hugs and 3 kisses, then off to the airport, in the air, into PDX, whizzed back to my mom's house where we shoveled down her delicious Korean food and raced to my nephews' baseball games. Yep, 2 games ... same time. What the heck???

Busy, crazy-crazy busy. Whew!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Count Down is On

Only nine more days of school left. What? Lots of mixed feelings about this realization. I love summer - boating with the kids, sprinklers, sidewalk chalk, long days with the kids building forts or making a lemonade stand. But what I fear is a lot of this ...You know, those days where you can actually see your kids getting ... shall we say, less smart? I hate those days. Last year, I had a plan of attack. I started the summer with a schedule. All the kids were required to read for 30 minutes a day and the 'littles', as we call them, had worksheets to do that I printed myself from the internet. This way I was in control of their curriculum and could vary it to keep them thinking. We did lots of math ... lots and lots of math for our upcoming 5th grader and loads of spelling and reading exercises for our soon-to-be first grader. I made sure they each had things like mazes, word searches or coloring pages too and #4 even learned how to play Sudoku.

The work paid off and they both had a great school year because of it. They never hit this point where they completely shut their brain down and it made it a lot easier for them to learn new concepts right from the begining of the school year. Now, it's time for me to get back on my game and start searching for activities and worksheets. If you have kids at home this summer and want to give them a headstart for next year you should take a few minutes to check out these websites. (great for designing your own work) (used tons of these last year) (fantastic online activities)

This year there will also be organized activities for the 'bigs'. #2 will get to start and finish his Eagle project. #1 will be increasing hours at work as well as picking up driver's ed so she can finally get her license. I think I'll also have #1 and #3 start a charitable effort making hair accessories for the Center for Change. I can't help but want them all to really know how to do things ... and to be involved in doing things for others. I think we'll also look for some local opportunities here. What are your plans for summer?

Friday, May 21, 2010

Week in Review 5/20/10

This week was all over the place. We had the primary elections for the 2010-11 SBO's, in which #3 was running. The slogan she chose was, "Vote for me. I already told my mom I won." Catchy, isn't it? She put together a great video for her skit too where she sang her own rendition of the Backstreet Boys "I want it that way". This girl's got moxy - I'll give her that. She made the first cut too, so she'll continue on next week. I've been crafting up a storm making samples of the projects we'll make at girls' camp. I'm just about done putting the devotionals together too ... along with the camp skit and cheer. (It's been busy) Soccer games ... photographing extra stock for my shop update that hasn't actually happened yet ... and #4's orchestra concert filled up the rest of the week. OH! And I scored on a great card rack for the Christmas shows - extra motivation to actually get some cards designed and printed up, right? I can always use extra motivation.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Miracle of Flight

One of our trainers at jetBlue shared this little treasure with us as we were finishing up class. I laughed so hard I almost cried. It's so completely true! Now, I want to play it back to all the fussy customers who call in to voice their complaints. I know the video quality isn't top-notch, but the dialogue is priceless. Enjoy!

Etsy Love

My sweet long-distance friend, Rachel, from ReadySetGo featured me in her fabulous treasury this week. LOVE the color Rachel! Thanks for thinking of me!You can view it in detail here.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Eye Candy

For your viewing pleasure ..."somewhere over the rainbow" by Luba Roniss
By MariaAnd my favorite by Sipho Mabona


Friday, May 14, 2010

Week in Review 5/13/10

Another birthday = another partay! #4 opted to skip the 'friend' party last year, so we went a little overboard this year. We decided to take his rag-tag group of friends to Boondocks for the night of their lives. ;) They were all so excited and were such fun to hang out with. We all had a blast watching the boys run around and get crazy. Driving and laser tag were definitely the highlights of the night ... followed very closely by his violin cake (courtesy of his ever talented mommy ... don't forget I'm the step-mommy so I'm not bragging shamelessly this time).

We also squeezed in Izzy biweekly haircut and were able to have a great visit with hubby's mom on Mothers' Day. Work is ... work. I've finished up counting my leftover inventory from Beehive and have to admit I was more than a little disappointed. I should really just stop selling these in Utah. I can't compete with jewelry, hair accessories and baby items in this market. :( On the other hand, now I have loads of new stock for a big shop update. I just need to photograph like a madwoman and make all the new listings.

I also have girls' camp in the works and have been busy planning craft projects and devotionals for the girls. I'm running out of time for that too, only about a month left. Good thing I work well under pressure.

Cosa Verde

I was recently contacted by one of the owners of cosa verde. "cosa verde is an online showcase where you can market your environmentally-friendly goods directly to shoppers around the world. Think of us as a craft fair for the eco-conscious." Liz fell in love with my work and has invited me to come and check them out. She's giving me a great discount (free) on a trial basis ... so why not? They're site looks great, is easy to navigate and features some great artists who are also trying to make the world a greener place. Hopefully I'll be all set up within a few days; it will be interesting to see what this does to my Etsy traffic. Here's a sneak peek for you:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Week in Review 5/6/10

Birthdays, beehives and pompadours!The beginning of this week was filled with anxiety and anticipation for the upcoming Beehive Bazaar. Hundreds of dollars worth of luminaries and night lights were waiting in line at the paint shop. I found out my new packaging tubes weren't going to make it in time for the show so I had to rework my display ideas. Waiting and worrying is not my strong points. I'm much better at pulling all nighters than pulling my hair out. The only real relief was an impromptu bowling adventure with great company. All in all, everything came together in the end and the location at Thanksgiving Point was fantastic. I even got to go to the opening bash Wednesday night with Wanja to see Mad Max and the Wild Ones. What a riot! A family rockabilly band out of Springville, Utah, made up of 3 brothers and their dad ... with the boys age 9, 12 and 18-ish. Too cool.

Then we went directly to the next family birthday. #4 is now 11! We took him out for birthday dinner/breakfast at IHOP, since we didn't have him his birthday morning, and then sent him on our signature ribbon maze to find his present. The ribbon started at the dining room table and wound through most of the rooms in the house leading him all the way to our storage room in the basement. He was supposed to pick up all the ribbon along the way which makes it so much more silly and helps the excitement last a little longer. What was the big surprise??? Yeah, pretty obvious from the photo. I love this little-big guy so much!

Week in Review 4/29/10

Ah, yes, the big weekend! My baby girl turned 16 on Saturday. 16? How is this right? We actually celebrated Friday so all the kids could be here with her. We had our traditional birthday breakfast with placemat and chair decorations from her siblings. She went off to school and came home to more decorations as we got ready for her party. I found an absolutely beautiful cake at Baskin Robbins that was perfect for her. For the party, we rented out the bounce side of Classic Skate in Sandy and invited just about everyone she knows. The turnout was pretty sparse, but we all had a blast ... including Wanja who so graciously came along to help chaperone. (I have the best friends) She even raced me through one of the inflatable obstacle courses ... where I almost wet my pants because I was laughing so hard.

Aside from birthday celebrations, the week also contained a trip to the Huntsman Cancer Institute to visit a very special patient who was struggling with pneumonia. After that we spent a sunny Sunday afternoon with hubby's sweet parents, started the soccer season for #5, had our girls' camp kick off meeting and made a delicious creamy chicken and wild rice soup. Oh! I almost forgot that Izzy also had a 'friend' over for a few days and was able to get some good girl/dog time in with Maddie. It was really cute to see how they interacted with each other and it's made me start thinking about getting a second pup ... who have I become anyway?

Monday, May 10, 2010

Dear Mister ...

Dear Mister Angry Jeep Driver,

Just because your old, ugly jeep is taller than my humble Santa Fe doesn't mean you can try to run me into oncoming traffic by bullying into my lane when yours is merging and you are driving right beside me. Hello! What is your deal?!?!

Don't you just love Monday mornings?


ps. Weekly updates are in the works. Not sure how I get behind so quickly. ;)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Tick Tock

Yikes! I'm about out of time to prep for the Beehive Bazaar show this week. Stomach reporting butterfly overload. Losing ability to think clearly. I'll never be able to scold my kids for procrastinating again. (dang) With all the changes at work and everything else going on in the family, May kind of snuck up on me ... big time.

I have over 100 new night lights that need to be picked up from the paint shop and will need label and price all my items, not to mention figure out how to arrange my table there. So ... it's come down to about a week's worth of work that I need to squeeze into 2 1/2 days. Uck. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Pranav Mistry: Sixth Sense

What have I been doing with my time? This kid is going to change the world. Truly inspiring.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Friday, April 23, 2010

Week in Review 4/22/10

Well check me out! I'm actually posting this one on time! I know the timing seems weird, but my weeks run from Friday to Thursday for a couple reasons. First off, January 1st was on a Friday this year ... and Friday is when our week ends with the kids, as in they flip houses every Friday. So let's see what happened over the last 7 days.

We received news that my father-in-law's health is failing pretty quickly, so the next few weeks may be a bit shaky. My brother-in-law has been in the hospital for his own health reasons. Needless to say there were lots of good-cheer-spreading visits to those we love. I got to actually have a lunch date with hubby dearest, which was way overdue. The cub scouts got to clean the church grounds Tuesday night ... allergy alert. I admired more of the gorgeous spring flowers in our neighborhood ... allergy crisis. I finally made a big dent in planning for girls' camp thanks to a quick shopping trip to Robert's.

The rest of the week was spent getting ready for the big birthday party tonight. (Heaven help us) The guest list was close to 50, but we really don't have any clue how many people to expect. I just hope it's everything she hoped for. You only turn 16 once. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Save the Date: Beehive Bazaar

Here are all the details you'll need for the annual spring Beehive Bazaar. This is the first time it will be hosted at Thanksgiving Point and I'm so excited to be participating. I've taken a few seasons off and am ready to get back in there. It looks like there will be oodles of young local artists there. They each have a little blurb on the BB website. You can search them by name or category here. Be sure to mark these dates on your calendar if you're local and hopefully I'll see you there!

Bride and Prejudice

Wow, do I have a treat for you! I don't know how I ever missed this film ... or where it's been hiding out. If it weren't for my sweet friend I may have never had the pleasure of this new ... 'experience'. Haha! Just watch the trailer and have a look for yourself. Think ... Jane Austen meets Hairspray meets Slumdog Millionaire. Fabulous!Thank you Wanja!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Week in Review 4/15/10

Hmm, this was a pretty bland week as far as our typical household schedule goes. Nothing major going on. No one got grounded, suspended or arrested. No illnesses. No training! Whew! It was nice to taste a little normal for once.

I did however get the chance to go and donate blood at the blood-mobile. I really try and go every other month and jetBlue makes that easier by having the truck come to us. I enjoyed lots of spring flowers ... and paid for it in runny eyes and snotty tissues, dang these allergies. I found some great little dishes to use as 'ring keepers'. I have one in my bathroom, one in the kitchen and one in the laundry room. They are so cute. You like?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Bars

Another fabulously easy recipe given to me by a co-worker. These are so quick to make and a huge hit with the family.

2 pouches Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix
2 Tbs water
6 Tbs vegetable oil
2 eggs
1 C creamy peanut butter
1 C milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Follow package directions to make cookie dough. Press dough into a 13"x18" cookie/jellyroll pan. Bake as directed or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set aside. Combine peanut butter and chocolate chips in small sauce pan and stir over medium heat until evenly combined and melted. Spread this over the baked cookie with a rubber spatula and put the whole pan in the fridge to set.

Ooh, yummies!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Week in Review 4/8/10

It seems our oldest has some friends that don't think highly of us. We got egged again. Uck. This time she had manage the clean-up on her own, so she could learn why we don't egg people ... or hang out with people who egg us. Easter weekend was much better after the clean-up was finished.

General conference is always a treat for me and this year we started a new tradition. We each packed up our own 72 hour kit in our own backpacks during the last conference. This time we started eating from them and will repack them with new food items as soon as they're empty. I want to make sure that these kits stay usable and that we're not putting things in them that the kids won't eat ... or that don't keep well. It was funny to see the kids get so excited about the whole event.

We went to a baby shower for a cousin on Saturday and got to bring a new appliqued baby blanket and set of cute burp cloths. I'm not sure why I have such a thing for making handmade gifts ... I just can't help myself. Sunday we did an indoor/outdoor egg hunt with our nephew. The rest of the week was fairly mellow, no major mishaps and no one was grounded for life. I even got to teach my scouts how to make a few quick desserts for their families. All in all it was great. Now, we're really headed into spring - allergies and all. Yikes.

Out of His Mind

Where is the guy that would write this for my oldest? Just about to turn 16, as beautiful as can be, who gives a new meaning to the word 'spirited'. She seems to pick some real losers who end up treating her like crap.

Hey, Mr. Good Guy, you're welcome here anytime.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Week in Review 4/1/10

The play and my training both wrapped up the same week. Whew! Not a lot actually happened the last week of March. I went to Jen Gochner's spring boutique with a couple girlfriends, which is always nice. I had my first few real work days on my new desk ... a little touch and go, but I survived. We had a special guest speaker at pack meeting and learned a lot about helicopter pilots in the armed forces. Everybody loved it, especially the dads who were there. It was cute to actually see there ears perk up as they came to life, not a normal occurrence for parents at scouts. Then there was more spring snow ... just in time for the beginning of spring break. Joy. 5 kidlets at home and crap weather. Yikes.

K, just 2 more weeks and I'm up to date with these bad boys. Tomorrow should be another full day. Stay tuned ...

Brite Revolution

Lots of posts today to make up for lost time. I owe you some fun new goodies in between the weekly updates, don't I? So here you go! A fresh new site to get free music and support a cause all at once. I love the mix of art and philanthropy at Brite Revolution. These artists believe music can change the world and I think they may be right. Go have a look for yourself ... check out the range of artists, pick out a cause that you can contribute to and download a mix of free songs. There's a new music update every Tuesday too. Enjoy!