Monday, April 2, 2012

memories of my namesake...

I just returned home from the funeral of my Aunt Valorie King.  To say emotions have been close to the surface would be an understatement.  She passed away after a valiant three year battle with breast cancer and at far too young of age.  She is the mother of eight incredible children all of which paid beautiful tributes of her today.  They are all strong, independent and such a close knit family.

The first memories I have of my Aunt was when she moved from Arizona to come to BYU.  She would visit us often as we lived near the University and I idolized her.  She was so fun, and I thought it was so great to be named after someone so young and pretty.  I remember one time we went down to her apartment and she made us an apple pie.  I think it was her first attempt because when we bit into it all we could taste was cinnamon.  I remember her laughing, "oops, I thought it said one cup instead of one TBSP".

After she married her and her husband Todd lived in Utah for a time and as they started their family I was their babysitter.  How I loved watching and playing with Brittani, Brooke and Greg.  Lots of fun memories of those days.  There were many years when their family moved around to other places in the country but I remember how happy we were when they once again settled in Utah and this time for good.

When you think of my Aunt, you can't help but smile.  She was sunshine personified. I know of  no one else who could find joy in eating a celery stick (she loved vegetables and everything healthy...too bad I didn't inherit that with her name!) She was all that was kind, considerate and charitable.  Even as I sit here typing this with teary eyes, I can hear her unique and spontaneous laugh in my mind.  I never heard her speak unkindly of anyone, and every time you saw her you were met with the same smile and a great big hug.

As I sat in the audience today and heard her children talk of memories, I was emotional at their loss, but at the same time peace filled my soul as I knew they would all be together again.  I am so grateful for my faith, for my knowledge of eternal families, because now as a mother myself, I  realize that a lifetime is simply not enough time to spend with those we love.  It has to be forever.  I love you Aunt Valorie.  What a great legacy you have left behind and I feel so blessed and honored to carry your name.

I am including a mission statement she wrote and lived by.  I can think of nothing else that can truly show what an incredible woman she was than to share this.
 She wrote"
"I believe in being the heart of a peaceful, large, loving family each being special and unique.
I love order and appreciate obedience
I seek to understand and am grateful to be understood.

Relationships are the greatest treasure to me.
I live in such a manner that I like myself and say:  I have bridled my appetites with temperance.
I have bridled my passions with wisdom, patience and long suffering.

My pride is lost in my need for the Savior.
I have controlled nothing, allowing freedom and failures with faith and hope.
I have done some kindness daily.
I really want those around me to know their infinite worth.
I love in peace and happiness because I am honest with myself.

Monday, January 23, 2012

emotion overload

Remember when I said I wanted to stop time?  Now I want to speed it up!!  I know, I can't make up my mind.  It's my woman's prerogative right?  Last Wednesday, Ryan left on his mission.  To say it's been a marathon week of emotions would be an understatement.  I think I have consumed more chocolate than is made by Hershey's at Valentine's.

I will write more of my feelings and experiences over the past month, when my emotions have stabalized a bit.

For now, I have started a mission blog for Ryan.  If you would like to follow it you can visit and on the left column sign up by email.  Then you will be notified whenever there is a new post.

I am not sure I have any readers anymore since my posts have nearly become extinct, but those of you still reading, thanks for your support and friendship.

Monday, December 12, 2011

more the merrier...

Whoever said that never ordered from Amazon.  This year for Christmas I did most of my Christmas shopping online. I was so proud of myself, all organized and on the ball.  I had my list, I checked it twice and on Black Friday instead of fighting the crowds, I slept in.  Later that day while sipping hot chocolate, lounging in my sweats, and singing to Christmas music playing in the background, I did my shopping!  I completed most of  it in one huge order of  twenty something items. Score one for Val!  or so I thought.

The next week the first part of my large shipment arrived.  I had ordered two large suitcases for Ry for his mission.  I came home from work and fed ex had dropped off four huge boxes on my porch.  As I lugged them in the house, I noticed each one was a suitcase.  The fact that two had somehow turned into four had me a bit confused.  Pretty soon the doorbell rang with UPS with more packages, another part of my order.  I didn't take time to open them as I walked to my mailbox, unlocked it and retrieved two more small packages that came through the postal service.  I began opening box after box and realized that each item I had ordered  was coming in duplicate.  I couldn't believe my eyes.

I went online and opened my account.  For some strange reason on November 25 my order was entered in  the Amazon system twice.  No I didn't accidentally put double of everything in my shopping cart, somehow there was a glitch in the system and my order was entered in again under a different order number.  So now instead of twenty some odd  items I was getting forty in various small shipments and groupings, only which a part had arrived.  I spent over two hours with Amazon on chat on the computer and on the phone and they couldn't figure out what had happened.  They told me as they were comparing order numbers and items  back and forth that it was all very confusing!  (well that was an understatement)

The only thing left to do was to print out return labels and send each item back that was duplicated.  What a huge pain.  So I have had to study order numbers, print out the appropriate return label, and not it's twin, and then make trips to Fed Ex, UPS and the post office.  Things are still arriving and my headache is growing.  At one time the living room was piled with nearly six feet of boxes.  I remember going to bed one night, waking up and thinking it was all a bad dream.  Then I walked downstairs and saw the mountain the the living room!

Every time we pass a parcel delivery truck on the road one of the kids pipes up with, "they are probably heading to our house ?"  Needless to say when I now hear someone say, the more the merrier, I cringe and think next year it might be simpler to fight the crowds and do my shopping in person!  Good Grief!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

thanksgiving abc's...

Another Thanksgiving has come and gone.  It was great having Ryan home from college for the week and having all of us together again.  We had Thanksgiving at my parent's house.  They came down from Salt Lake and it was fun to gather and be together again.  Since they started their mission in September, even though they aren't that far away, our family gatherings haven't come as often and I find I miss them.  I miss my siblings that aren't in the state, especially at the holidays, Cora and Jeff, Seth and Anna, Lucy and Taylor and all of your kids, you were definitely missed!!  I stole these pictures from my sister Shelly.  She is so great at taking pictures at family events, and even though I hate being photographed, I am grateful for the fun pictures she manages to get which make great memories.

The past few years I have always taken a minute and listed what I am grateful for.  Even though I am a few days late, I wanted to take some time and make my list.  A friend of mine took each letter of the alphabet and found something she was grateful for that started with that letter.  As I am now a preschool teacher, I felt that was appropriate.  :)

B...bubble baths, books, blogging
C...Cassidy, chocolate, Christmas
D... daffodils, Disneyland
E...every day, faith, freedom
G...giggles, games
H...holidays, health cream
K..Kelly, kids, kisses
M...Mark, music, missionaries
N...nature, naps
P...prayer, parents, preschool
Q...quiet moments
R...Ryan, rain
S...Savior, seasons, sisters
U...umbrella's, vacuums
W...washing machines,weekends
X... eXaltation
Z...zoo (which is my family when we are all together)

Monday, November 21, 2011

where did november go?

I just realized it's been several weeks since I posted.  I have no idea where this month has gone.  Adjusting to working 20 + hours a week has thrown me for some loops, I must admit.  I am still trying to figure out how to merge teaching, mommying and church responsibilities all while staying sane.  Ok, it's been a long while since I've been sane but that is beside the point.

I find I am really good at compartmentalizing.  The first couple weeks were rough.  I couldn't seem to figure out how to be a mom and a preschool teacher at the same time.  I forgot to pick up Mark one day at school, and nearly missed Cassie's dance class.  One day I actually had to wrestle with the laundry room door to gain access and realized it was feeling neglected.  Sometimes dinners have been done on the run, but I'm getting better.  One day last week, I came home on time with a smile on my face, made dinner, cleaned the house, remembered all my carpools and even did a couple loads of laundry.  Kelly asked how my day went and I announced that it was great!  I wore all my hats that day and juggled all the balls I had up in the air, and didn't drop a one!

One thing that has surprised me is how much better I am at managing my time.  Some days the busier I get, the more that gets done.  I do enjoy having Tuesdays and Thursdays off to have some quiet time while the kids are gone and catch up on things around the house. I do love teaching these 45 little munchkins that rotate  into my classroom every day though. They make me feel young as I sit on the floor with them and read stories, sing songs and try to teach them something.  Of course getting my body off of the floor is a little more time consuming that it was 15 years ago.  :)

Life is good and I feel blessed.  Ryan is home this week for the holiday so it's fun to have everyone around the dinner table again.  Cassie finished her volleyball season (pictures coming) and did a fantastic job.  Josh and Cass managed to get incredible grades their first term and Mark and I had a few less battles over homework.  All in all November has been good.

I am looking forward to the Christmas season, it's my favorite time of the year and always passes much too quickly.  It seems especially important this year as it will be the last holiday our family will be all together for the foreseeable future.

I think I have rambled on enough for one post.  It is nearly 2:30 in the morning but this cough and cold I have acquired recently doesn't cooperate very well with sleep.  We will have to work on that.  Thanks for making it through this long post and hopefully I can be better at writing this next month.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

who woulda thought...

If you would have asked me 12 years ago, if I ever thought I’d be teaching preschool again, I would have laughed at you.  Life has a funny way of making you change your mind about things doesn’t it?  When Ryan, Josh and Cassidy were little, I enjoyed teaching preschool in my home.  After five years of doing it, I thought I had moved on in a different direction with my kids and my life.  Now things have come full circle and yesterday I completed my first day of teaching preschool yet again.

I am teaching at a preschool just over a mile from my house on MWF while the kids are at school.  It came about so quickly and out of the blue that I still have to shake my head about it.  I have spent the last week and a half in a whirlwind trying to get organized and ready.  My sister Lucy in Indiana, shipped all my old preschool stuff that I gave her when I was through teaching, and my other sister Rachael had quite a bit of things she has collected over the years.  Organizing all of that, plus getting new things together has kept me running.  

This preschool is in a beautiful old building that has been recently remodeled.  Most of the classrooms were painted a generic tan, and when I saw the classroom that was to be mine I knew that had to change.  I didn’t want to wait on their time table to paint it for me so I volunteered my family to help.  Saturday, Kelly, Josh, Cassidy and I spent over ten hours, painting, organizing and decorating this room.  It is so cute, I need to take pictures. 

I had to laugh that my first day was Halloween, the kids were crazy as to be expected, which means it can only get better right?  I am amazed how things have fallen in to place and even more so, of how excited this endeavor has made me and how much fun I had yesterday.  Who indeed would have thought?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

mommy moments....

So many times it is easy to get caught up in the hustle and stress of everyday life that I forget to take time to record the small moments that make me so happy to be a mom. The past couple weeks have been full of them as I have spent some time reflecting. These are a few things that I want to remember.

Hugging Ryan in the temple as he went through for the first time.

Witnessing the huge smile on Cassie's face when she told me how Josh took the medal she received in an Irish Dance competition and held it up to his friend and told him that she was Olympic materiel and she made forty girls cry when she received it. (It's always a shock to a parent when a child tattles about good things a sibling did!!)

Mark getting 100 percent on his spelling test! If you knew how much blood, sweat and chocolate went into getting him through his homework each week, you'd know what a huge thing this is!! (One week he refused to learn his words because they had the silent letters in them, like knife, comb and so on...he said if you can't hear the letter than he didn't have to spell it! I really want to have the authors of the English Language spend time helping this kid with his spelling!)

Setting six places at the dinner table for a few days when Ryan was home for Fall Break.

Watching Josh and Kelly give Josh's old car a tune up together and the triumph on both their faces when the car started after their efforts.

Seeing all four of my kids laughing and chasing each other around and actually appreciating the noise and chaos of the moment.

Being a mother is the hardest, most challenging thing I have ever done. It has brought the most worry, stress and anxiety, but most importantly, it has brought me tremendous joy and fulfillment. When I was knee deep in diapers, temper tantrums and toddlers for so many years, I couldn’t foresee ever wanting time to stand still. But as life is changing at such a rapid pace, I wish I took more time to write down the mommy moments that happen quietly in the midst of the hustle and bustle and appreciated them a bit more.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

losing my mind, the sequel...

Typically, there is a bit of time between sequel’s in books and movies; unfortunately, that doesn’t hold true in my life as anyone who knows me, can attest. Many of you who read this blog regularly (thank goodness it’s not many) might think one person cannot possibly have so many brain lapses; unfortunately, my life continues to prove otherwise.

The following experience happened the day after I posted the “losing my mind” entry a couple weeks ago; however, I felt I needed a little time to elapse before I confessed it. A sense of humor is very necessary in this sometimes gloomy world we live in, so I have learned to find it wherever I can. I am just fortunate that my own life affords me so many opportunities to smile.

I was so excited about coming out of the grocery store one morning and spotting the van right away. Usually, some hunting is required. I must be having a good day, I think. I promptly loaded my groceries in the back of the van, put the cart away, and walked around and sat down in the driver’s seat, only to notice some feather thing dangling from the rearview mirror. Assuming a car decorator hadn’t visited while I was shopping, I looked around the van and upon careful inspection, I realized that yet again, I had lost my mind. I was in the wrong van!

I have to clarify that this van was identical to my van-- apparently half of Utah County shares my taste in vehicles-- but sadly, my van was three parking spaces to the north. What are the chances of two identical vans parked in close proximity to one another, and both drivers not locking their doors? The odds are pretty darn good, if one of the drivers is me.

Frantically I grabbed a cart, reloaded the groceries, all the while looking for witnesses to my debacle and praying that the real owners of the van wouldn’t at any minute appear with the police in tow. Thankfully, I successfully made the transfer with no one the wiser unless someone took video evidence they are planning on putting on YouTube. Just think I could be the next viral phenomenon. Good grief! What am I going to do next? Stay tuned because as certain as the sun rises each day, sooner than later, I will post yet another sequel in this series.

(Laurel, I have another entry for the dumbest thing you ever did contest, should you ever decided to hold it again on your blog!)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

parable of the jalapeno plant...

There was once a young boy who brought home a plant from a primary lesson at church. Although his family was known throughout the land, for their absence of green thumbs, he decided he would be different and with no doubt of his abilities, set off to plant this puny seedling. He went out and found a spot of land that was easily accessible and planted his little treasure. He immediately watered it and watched it for a time.

A week or so later, to his great sorrow, he saw that his petite plant had been cruelly abused and trodden upon, leaving it's fragile stem broken. Shedding a tear or two, he examined the damage, found a large plastic cup, cut a hole in the top and placed it delicately over his injured plant. He then gathered small rocks and formed a protective circle around the cup. His parents, certain of the demise of this little seedling, instructed their son that they would purchase a new plant for him and he could start again. Having more faith in his endeavors than his parents, he said no, and increased his watchful eye on his plant. Day after day, week after week, he never gave up hope that he would be successful and one day harvest little jalapeno’s .

To the great awe of his family, this once little broken sprout, had grown up through the cup and was flourishing. Having a slow start, it was already late in the growing season and the boy was told not to expect much of anything before the first frost, but was praised for his efforts and determination. As time went on, the family forgot about this little plant, but not the boy. He weeded around it, he pulled bugs off it and one day announced that there were little peppers on his plant. The family all went out and sure enough, this once small puny green leafed thing had grown and had several peppers hanging from its stems.

This past week, the family picked and enjoyed the first jalapenos of the season.

I am so proud of Mark, who has shown me this past summer that perseverance and dedication can reap rewards, even under the most difficult of circumstances. He has taught me that despite my age and wisdom, I can always learn great things from the faith of a child.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

losing my mind....

Once again this week, I find my mind repeatedly being hijacked by age, lack of sleep, chocolate deprivation (I went for two days without it)  or some other horrific thing. 

I was proud of myself that I remembered the Room Mother meeting at 4:00 p.m, just not so proud that I arrived at said meeting, a day late.

I sent Josh to pick up a carpool for me on Friday, trouble is, Friday isn't even my day for carpool.  Josh felt silly pulling up right behind another mom in our carpool and having the kids look back and forth, trying to guess which vehicle to get into.

And today, I wore two different earrings to church.   I don't know what's worse, realizing that I went around all day mismatched,  or losing one of them and now have two pairs of earrings missing a partner. Although this wasn't quite as bad as when I wore two different shoes to church and didn't realize it until I sat down and glanced at my feet.  (I was eight plus months pregnant at the time and had long since lost sight of my feet, so I guess that situation can't be blamed on my brain.)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

just gotta smile...

As my kids get older they don't say nearly as many funny things as they did when they were young.  But the past couple weeks these are a few things I've heard.

Ryan has to do volunteer service for one of his classes and there weren't many options left that fit his schedule.  This is the text I got from him.. "Here's one...I could teach Zumba to senior citizens."  (Let's just say Ry got his grace from me, so after hysterically laughing at the thought of him teaching Zumba,  we were both relieved when he found another option.)  :)

Josh when asked about his golf game, "I knew it was going to be bad when I had lost ten balls by the fourth hole..."

Mark talking to Cassidy about college football (this was before the BYU UTAH fiasco)  "BYU is the best because they are dependant and Utah is the worst because they are in the Bottom 12 conference"

Cassie when I cut open a seeded watermelon, "Wow, so that's what they look like with seeds!" (I must be a lazy fruit buyer)

Mark, when asked if his room was clean so he could go play, "yeah, it's all done, except the bed and the floor"  (the walls must have looked good I guess)

What would we do without our kids to make us smile.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

mission call....

The wait was over and on Friday night the Christensen house was full of family, friends one large map, a middle aged mother who had aged ten years in the last two days, and finally one very anxious college student.  All predictions were noted on a large map and then the envelope was opened...

The Alpine-German Speaking mission.  We all took a minute to figure out just where that was.  It is a recently reorganized mission that comprises Southern Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Liechtenstein.  A little background on Ryan is he is a German fanatic.  He has had German in school the past four years, and is constantly mumbling German phrases around the house that always sound like someone is sneezing or clearing their throat.  He answers questions in German and then gets frustrated when I don't respond.  I tell him that if he wants my attention, he needs to speak in our native tongue.  So to say he was overwhelmed and thrilled is an understatement. Out of five countries in the world that speak German, he is going to four of them.  If you didn't notice in the video, he mentioned he has been reading the Book of  Mormon in German this past year and the night he received his call he was finishing the last chapter.  I got teary when he said that, and to see him a bit choked up didn't help my waterworks one bit!


We were all so grateful to have had so many people over here and also supporting us from a distance.  We had cell phones on speaker, video chat and facebook all going simultaneously.  Ry leaves on January 18th, and I'm glad to have him home after this semester for the holidays.  It's a bit daunting to think of all the things we need to accomplish in the next few months and with him not here at home some things will be a bit of a challenge.  I am excited for this opportunity he will have to travel to a place he already loves, and get to share something he loves even more. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

patience is a virtue???

Really?  I'm in trouble.  By this definition, I am truly not a virtuous person.  I am the one who:

eats the cookie dough because baking the cookies takes too long;

learned how to wrap presents as a child by sneaking under the Christmas tree and unwrapping my gifts early each year.

consistently runs yellow (ok, orange) lights because waiting at the intersection might add two minutes to my day

changes lines multiple times in the grocery store, then watches to see if I actually picked the quicker line (usually I don't)

in a traffic jam, changes lanes multiple times in a futile attempt to find the quicker lane, (do you see a pattern here?)

bites my nails, because waiting for them to grow takes too long

nearly held a hospital hostage when pregnant with Josh because they had cancelled all inductions for the day, ("We'll try to fit you in tomorrow," they said.  As in I have to wait 24 hours?  Do you see this pregnant belly with a nearly ten pound child?  I don't think so!)

So after 41 and a half years of being impatient, the universe decided to have a good laugh at my expense today.  An hour ago, Ryan's mission call came in the mail, and since he is three hours south at college, I have to wait until Friday night to find out where he will be spending the next two years of his life!!  Is this fair?  After totally looking the large envelope over I think the church has made a mom proof envelope.  Can't see through the thing or maneuver anything through the plastic window in the center.  Rude!!  The kids are obviously worried about me  opening it, because they keep trying to get it and hide it somewhere.  Maybe they are running some secret agent mission for Ryan, who knows!  All I know is it's staring at me from  across the room and just daring me to open it.  Please pray for it's safety and protection until Ryan comes home in exactly fifty hours!  Not that I'm counting or anything.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

get out your hard hats....

Today I realized it was probably a good idea to organize some closets around here.  We had a pest control service (a.k.a. the bug guy, as Mark says) come for a routine spraying.  He did a more thorough job inside than usual.  When he came today, I don't think he thought his life would be in danger.  He opened the pantry and got beaned by a broom and a cereal box.  Oops.  He opened the game closet and had a quick save as a board game or two tried to escape.  Great reflexes on this this guy.    Then there was the large costco size package of toilet paper that was compressed and held hostage in the upstairs closet.  Upon it's release, it erupted into the hall and wouldn't allow the door to be shut again.  I think he was worried he'd break the door, I from experience, knew this wouldn't be the case so I just gave it a gentle nudge ( ok a huge shove) and it closed quite nicely.  I caught him before he opened the linen closet;  I had seen the tower of towels the kids had precariously placed in there yesterday and couldn't see that going well.  He did learn something by the time he opened the coat closet and stepped back first.  Amazingly, nothing came flying out of that one. 

Did I mention I did vacuum, dust, scour and clean all the rooms today?  I didn't think the closets would be investigated and truth be told around here we just take protective measures every time we open a door so we don't think too much about it.  :)  Next time I will have hard hats available at the door with a sign that says, "open doors at your own risk."

ryan's ordination

I just realized I didn't post about Ryan's ordination to Elder, which happened about a week before he left for school.  It was a great day, we had a lot of family there to support him.  Unfortunately, the camera didn't make it's way around to everyone.  Mark was off playing with cousins so we couldn't find him for our family picture.  Kelly's dad is in the pictures with us, and it was fun to get some photo's of him, as we don't take the chance nearly often enough. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

happy birthday mark!!!

My baby turned double digits today!  Having him turn a decade old the same week Ry goes to college makes me feel my age and then some!!  We missed having Ry at the party.  We celebrated yesterday because today schedules were crazy and Mark was happy to open presents a day early!  We went out to Brick Oven, Mark's favorite restaurant, and had fun watching him eat all you eat pasta and a chocolate mousse pie for desert.  We then came home and he opened his presents, his favorite being a DS game from his sister and his motor scooter. 

Today I took his class in treats and kidnapped him for lunch and we went to subway.  Lots of fun memories.  Today on the way to lunch we were talking about his negative attitude toward reading and how we needed to read this afternoon.  He said, "If I had a Kindle I would love to read!"  I do not have a Kindle and have no idea how he knew about them.  I asked why a Kindle is better than a book and he said, "cause you can't get paper cuts.."  There must be some story there that perhaps caused some psychological damage resulting in  all our reading grief? 

Happy Birthday Mark!!  I love you so much!  Thanks for always being so generous with your hugs and still letting me tuck you into bed every night. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

emotional forcast....

Cloudy with scattered showers throughout the day.  That describes my tear ducts and mood currently. 

Today Ryan left for college.  As I watched him load the truck and drive away I had flashbacks of him walking into the kindergarten classroom with his backpack and a big smile waving goodbye as the door closed.  I thought that was difficult, but it was just preparation for today.  Maybe today is preparation for a few months from now when he will leave for two years.  Time is such a precious thing and I haven't fully grasped how true that is until today.  I think growing up is harder on parents than anyone else. As things got tough today, I kept reminding myself that clouds and rain don't last forever and eventually the sun comes out. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

signs of summer coming to an end.....

paying school fees

seeing Christmas stuff up in the stores

buying school supplies

craving structure

getting my kitchen back

not hearing, "I'm bored" every five minutes

retiring from being cruise director of summer activities

earlier bedtimes....yeah right

Kelly's insane work to love budget season at Intermountain Healthcare

soccer season

planning the first BYU football party of the year

watching my oldest fill out mission papers and pack for college

realizing that life is changing and there isn't a darn thing I can do about it

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

my sister, the author...

I get the privilege to be related to the most incredible women.  One such woman, is my sister Rachael.   She has talents galore, but the one I want to brag about today, is her writing skills.  Her third book, Minor Adjustments, comes out this month and I encourage all who love a good wholesome book, with great dialogue, story and humor to check it out.  She created a fun book trailer  to to tell more about it.  I tell you, this girl has skills and I'm her sister!!  :)

You can purchase an advance copy of  Minor Adjustments through Amazon now or look for it in book stores later this month. 

Here is her blog if you are interested.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

crochet hats...

When I had use of both hands I made these little hats for my nephew Max.  He is so adorable and a great model for my hats.  Don't you just want to kiss those cheeks! :)

opposable thumbs...

It supposedly separates man from apes and this morning I am discovering why.  I feel very clumsy and apelike today. Yesterday I was hit by a sweet teenage driver who thought she was at a four way stop instead of a two way. She pulled out right in front of me and our cars collided. 

My hand hurt at the scene, where it gripped the steering wheel, but it wasn't any big thing. Throughout the day and evening it got worse and I couldn't grip things or use it much. I went into instacare last night and after xrays they determined it was a sprain. Because of the location of the pain and the chance the bone  could have a hairline fracture they immobilized with a hard half cast.  Thus my thumb and wrist aren"t working independent of each other and have taken on primate characteristics.

I have conked my forehead several times in the last few minutes while trying to brush hair out of my face. I will probably have a cute bruise on my head by the end of the day. The kids enjoy just hanging around to witness that one.  Don't even get me started on fasteners like hooks,buttons,zippers or snaps.  I didn't make any speed records at getting dressed this morning.  I am typing with one hand and developing a strong dislike for capitalization and anything involving the shift and control keys.  Cass put my hair in a ponytail for me today after feeling pity watching my unsuccessful attempts.  I can't crochet or hold a book so hobbies are on hold.  Thank goodness chocolate consumption only requires one hand or else I would be in total despair!  :)

Seriously, I am grateful no one was hurt in the accident and by the end of this experience I will have developed a profound appreciation for thumbs and wrists.  Just don't be surprised if the next time you see me I am making unintelligible sounds, climbing trees,  and eating a banana, albeit a chocolate covered one.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

cassidy is a teenager...

Cassie's new room
This past week was Cassidy's 13th birthday.  We decided to redo her room for her.  Every member of the family was involved.  We had her spend a couple days babysitting and hanging out with her cousins in Springville and the rest of us began the makeover here at home.  It has become a tradition for Kelly to make something for her each year.  This year he made a beautiful bookcase.  Ryan has great talents in the shop also and helped him from the design to completion. 

The day before her birthday Josh and I went to work.  Josh was a HUGE help as he emptied her room, patched the walls, masked and help paint.  He also helped hang things on the walls and set everything up later.  It was fun to see Ryan, Josh and Mark, painting in pink's and purples as they helped get decorations done for their sister's rooms.   Big thanks to Beth and Catherine who came over to help and made the cute fuzzy pillows for the bed. 
Cassie with her friend Aubrey and her cousins Sydney and Ashlyn
Finally the night of Cass's birthday came and she opened a couple presents and then went to see her room.  She loved it and her smile made all the effort worth it.  I love you Cassidy.  Happy Happy Birthday sweet girl. 
The beautiful bookcase made by Kelly and Ry

Beth and Catherine's pillows!

crochet backpacks...

I found a new pattern and adopted it to some drawstring backpacks.  I made one for Cass and two for my little nieces Kennedy and Tacey.  They were a lot of fun to do.  

fun on the water...

June 30-July 2 our family went to Park City. We went with my sister and her family and had a blast. We stayed in a hotel and although we had planned a horseback riding trip the first afternoon, weather caused us to postpone till a later time.  We saw Cars 2, had fun on the water and enjoyed shopping at the outlet stores.  I think our kid's favorite time was hanging out at the hotel swimming and playing pool, ping pong and hanging out with their cousins.

For some strange reason the only pictures we took, was the day spent at Jordanelle Reservoir. We borrowed a boat from another sister and spend a day on the water. It was cold, but as you can tell, the temperature didn't keep the kids out of the water. We have always loved taking vacations with the Grants.  My sister Letha, and I, had our kids about the same time and our families have always been close.  It is hard to see Kailey and Ryan, the oldest, going off to college this fall.  I remember our vacations at Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon over the years and to think how fast time has gone once again astounds me. 

Josh showing off his moves on the knee board

Ry and Cass braving the cold
Mark has got some skills!

Kevin's new dew!
Letha and James

Big thanks to Rach and Jeff for the generous use of their boat and to Josh's friend Kyle who dog sitted for us while we were gone.  Even though it was a quick trip and not far from home the memories will last long into the future.  Thanks Leth and James for helping plan a great trip.

pinewood derby....

I am playing catch up with my postings!!  I have fallen behind, good grief what's the world coming to!  Last month was Mark's first pinewood derby.  After watching Josh and Ryan race over the years, Mark has been counting the days until it was his turn.  Although he has been in cubs for nearly two years, this was his troops first pinewood derby.

From the moment he got his car he was making plans.  He wanted to start that first day (he gets his patience gene from his mom) and everyday reminded Kelly and I that it was time to begin this long sought after project.  I remember one day after dinner Mark announced that they were going to start his car right then.  He went out into the shop area of the garage and cleaned it (which loosely translated meant moving things from one side of the garage to the other).  Next thing we noticed is that he was carting fans out into the garage.  We went to inspect and found he had prepped the area and even thought of ventilation.  Kelly went out and they began work on the car.

The night of the derby it was fun to see how excited Mark was.  He ended up coming up first in his den and second overall. I don't know whose smile was bigger that night Mark or his dad's!