Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

It's funny about Halloween now. Both boys go off with their friends, but Dan and I still like to answer our door and see the kids in our neighborhood.  So we spent a very quiet evening talking. It was actually pretty fun. I cooked all the clean treats on my list I'd wanted to make for "treat season": roasted pumpkin seeds, spiced nuts, black bean brownies and apple/date topping

I can't believe I didn't get a photo of Dan and I dressed up together as ref and soccer player from our Halloween party at Sheree's last night!

But here are some others:

Nick as Luigi and Anders as Mario

Nick's Trick-or-Treating and Candy Poker crew.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Halloween Party

Michael and Katie couldn't come for pumpkin carving the previous week, and Dimitrios had just arrived from California and Courtney was home for the game. So Sheree hosted another Halloween Party and this time we dressed up right!

No hands donut contest! Chris won. Monet was a close second!

Bobbing for apples!

Jacob worked and worked until he finally got one! And he did it without his two front teeth!

Action shot of Gavin!

The kids made a fire in the fire pit to roast marshmallows and all played ghost in the graveyard. 
The evening was a perfect temperature so the adults and big kids could sit under the pergola and talk. 
Great Fall Night!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Purple Reign

Look at all that purple!
Courtney came home for the weekend so cheer on UW when they played Utah. Both teams were at the top of their game -- UW is undefeated and Utah has only lost to one team.
Ashlyn and Courtney -- Best friends -- even when cheering against each other!

UW went up 14-0 in the beginning, but Utah came back and even went ahead for a bit. It was too close for comfort but UW ended up with the win and we were so glad to be there cheering them on! (And cheering against the U!)

UW for the Win!!

Our Husky Gear!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Biker Kids

Chris and his date headed to Monster Mash:
Girl's choice -- Seniors girls ask Sophomore boys.
(I would love to know who started this tradition!)
So if he turns out to be a biker dude in real life, he's still going to be pretty cute!

Thursday, October 27, 2016


Ok... This is hilarious. CNN anchor, Lou Dobbs, was bashing on Utah for jumping on the Evan McMullin bandwagon and possibly ruining Trump's chance of getting the electoral votes in Utah (Oh, Happy Day!). He sent out the following tweet, and a few days later, #MormonMafia caught on amongst the Mormons all having a good laugh at ourselves and anyone who thinks there's anything sinister going on behind the scenes.

I couldn't resist coming up with a couple myself and joining in the fun:

Did I want to sing and dance with a bunch of ladies at our ward party? Not really. 
But if you don't say yes... someone might be really disappointed in you.

You're going to learn Respect. Respect for your family. #mormonmafia


Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Looking Over His Shoulder

The day I always look forward to! Waterford's Mother's Day! 
It was so fun to see what Middle School was like.
 I attended Computers and learned more about Scratch, the program Nick uses to create games. It's so simple and so cool and a great way for beginners to learn coding!

Humanities was awesome -- great discussion on The Giver and I loved how the teacher asked questions and started discussions and got the kids thinking and looking for ideas. (Seriously getting our money's worth! 12 kids in each class!!) I would love to take a literature class myself! (Oh wait, I am. But I'm not getting the great discussion out of it since it's an online class -- which I miss.)

Next was Latin which Nick loves. I can see why -- the teacher is super mellow, they work on listening and writing what they hear and then on translating. And then play games to put it all together. It was fun and I did really good on learning the days of the week thanks to Spanish (and hints from the teacher.)

We joined the Christensens for lunch at SmashBurger and then Nick talked me into taking him home and letting him skip Math and Band. Well, when you always do your homework and get your assignments turned in, it's easy to allow a sluff day once in a while. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Carving Out Traditions

We are going to make this a tradition!

Last year Mike, Dads and our family got together to carve pumpkins. 
This year Mom was in town and we went to Sheree's house to carve pumpkins. 
One year we'll get everybody! 
It's fun to be with everyone and have an activity to work on as well. 

If you've got the face already carved, what would the 11-year-old boys be carving on the backside?!

Elise getting instructions from Soren.

Simone's pumpkin was probably as heavy as she is!

Miles' getting started!
Finished Masterpieces!

Monday, October 24, 2016

Root Canal

soft foods today but no pain so far
My tooth with a crown has been killing me. For about 2 years. The first 6 months I blamed it on the crown. Then the next 6 months I wondered if the height wasn't right. I kept waiting for it to feel better. And when it didn't, I tried different solutions at the dentist -- were different teeth too high? Would sensitive teeth toothpast help? Should I just never eat cold, hot or crunchy food again?  Finally I asked the dentist what the next steps could be.

I saw an endodontist today and he immediately pointed out the need for a root canal. And then got out his numbing stuff and gave me one. It was a little unexpected to get it taken care of right then, but I am relieved. Looking forward to the end of this pain. And so hoping I can eat chips, cold fruit, apples and vegetables again. And Kind bars... From time to time I would eat the above things, but ever so delicately. Because as soon as I wasn't thinking about it, YOW, my tooth would zing and the throb for the rest of the day.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Dodgers, Chicago and Pauls

So Dan and Marty speculated on some Dodgers tickets. Thought if they bought Game 6 ahead of time, they could sell them for more by game day. (And if the series doesn't go to Game 6, you don't get charged for the tickets, so it's lower risk than it sounds.) Except that what they learned was: when you're holding tickets for Game 6 and your favorite team makes it that far, it's hard to not want to be at the game. That and ticket prices actually went down from the time they purchased until game day.

So Dan and Chris planned to go to the game. (Marty's holding out for when the Dodgers make it to the World Series.) And then Dan suggested Nick and I go too and hang out with the Pauls for the weekend. Seriously, why didn't I think of that?!?!

The only bad thing about visiting Chicago, (or back east), is I get a little homesick for that part of the country. The trees, the style of homes, the town villages, Michelle's sprawling neighborhood with grassy areas and parks. And the separation of church friends and neighborhood friends.  It seriously is so beautiful!!

It's been 5 years since we last were there -- right after they moved to their new home. So we not only got to see all their updates, but got to meet their new dog, Oakley, too! He was pretty cute and now the kids are REALLY working on us!

We visited the lake where they keep their boat, had the best burgers at Buffalo's and bought pumpkins for Nick and Ethan to carve. We took a morning walk and wore out Oakley, took a night walk to see Ethan & Isaac's fort in the forest down the street, and shopped for Isaac's Halloween dance costume. And we also watched the Utah football game and Dodgers (Cubs!) Baseball game.

I wish we didn't live so far away!! 
Didn't get any photos of Morgan or Oakley! But we loved spending time with them!

Thursday, October 20, 2016


Christopher is always learning new tricks. And he's always excited to show off what he's learned. This week it was a one-handed push-up. The kid may be skinny, but he's strong!

More great videos of Christopher showing off his skillz. 
(Turn down your volume, my voice is WAAAY too loud!)

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Not My Utopia

I'm taking British Lit. It's an online course -- a pre-req for the pre-req's I need to take to apply to the Creative Writing program at BYU. Marty reminded me that I don't need to enroll in school to write. But in the words of 5-year-old Courtney when I tried to teach her how to sound out words, "Mom, I want the professionals to teach me."

The English professor I spoke with said I could probably ask to waive these pre-req classes, but I'm not really sure how I would do in upper level British Lit classes when I've never taken lower level classes. And I really don't know the difference between Early British Lit and Late British Lit.

So I've spent the last few months reading Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Julian of Norwich, Margery Kempe and other Early British Lit classics. I got a B on my last unit test which really ticked me off. Sigh... that's a post for another day. But suffice to say it gave me empathy for my kids who are also working hard in school.

The first book of the new unit is Utopia. And I pretty much hate it. Dan says it sounds like I'm reading an economic text book. Imagine someone telling you all about every custom and rule and regulation in a particular society. And it takes 100 pages of fine print for them to get through the story. And the teller tells it like he thinks its awesome, but not only does it actually sound quite miserable, you also know this society is PRETEND. Like someone telling you all the details of a really long and boring dream and you just want to say, "Do you have any interesting real-life stuff to tell me about?"

(Side-note: I'm also supposed to be dream-tracking for something else I'm doing so it's ironic that I'm not a fan of hearing long drawn out stories of other people's dreams! (Clarifying... night dreams. Day dreams of future ambitions and goals--especially from my kids--I do love!))

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

One Thing I Like About Being Me

Courtney texted me last week because she was filling out her application to work in a research lab this semester and she needed her Hep B shot info. So I went to the file and found her yellow card with the date and sent it to her.  (The date, not the card!)

The very next day, Marty texted while filling out info on the Missionary Portal and needed all his immunization records. So I went to the file and got his yellow card, along with the updated sheet from his shots for Peru last Spring and easily sent him the dates and info.

Way back when Courtney was a baby, I put her yellow card in a file and resolved that I would always know where to find it. And that same pink file folder labeled "Important Stuff" has been added to with three more yellow cards, over 21 years and come with us through 8 moves and I always know where to find it. 

And that's one thing I like about being me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Marty's Mission -- Fukuoka, Japan

Everybody is blogging again and in order for me to check out their posts, I come to my blog to link to theirs. And the photo of all of us in green is a constant reminder that St. Patrick's Day was a long time ago. 

And since we are still on cloud 9 from last week, it's a good time to update news and photos.

Marty got his mission call. I get teary every time I watch this video.

And we found out that Papa Marty spent 18 months in Sosebo, Japan while serving in the US Navy on a submarine during the Korean War.

Marty's call came a week earlier than we expected (because several people told us they don't assign calls the week of Conference. Apparently they do). So we did some last minute shuffling of flights to enjoy and celebrate opening the call and still make our trip to Albuquerque to spend time with Gram and Papa Shaeffer and go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta.

Monday, October 03, 2016

Cornbelly's With Some of Our Favorite People

I love our tradition of going to Cornbelly's. 

It is quite possible the kids are getting a little old for Cornbelly's -- although we do try to go on a "Haunted Night" so they can do the Haunted Maze and "haunted giant creature." But everyone loves being together and we love being with the Rigby's. Eric even got us adults to go and do stuff instead of sit around and talk. So we wandered the corn maze with the kids and went on the non-scary hayride with just the adults. 

Sunday, October 02, 2016

Fall in Utah

We've had some fun family hikes this Fall. It's much easier to convince two children to take a hike on a Sunday afternoon than it is four or even three.  Especially when mine and Dan's birthdays both fell on Sundays or the day after. It's easy to say, "you have to because it's my birthday!"

The other bonus was Nick needed 5 days of 30 minutes of exercise for 4 weeks, 3 times for his Tenderfoot, 2nd class and 1st class requirements. So hiking was a great way to fill this requirement (and biking, swimming, lacrosse and mowing the lawn). I am proud to say we did it! 
(And by we, I generally went with him on hikes and bike rides 
and helped remind him to do it and mark it on his chart.)
Pipeline Trail before Nick started back to school.

KT, the cool mom, pulling out Pokemon Go on the trail!

Dan's birthday hike & picnic at Lake Mary.

Hiking at Snowbird off the Tram.

Betsy and Hazel came with us to Snowbird. Fun to reconnect! Betsy was one of my best friends at Univ. of Chicago!
Picnic at Brighton for my birthday! (Did you know they have a Frisbee Golf course?)

For some reason this doesn't make me nervous. 

Bucket List!

Another week hiking around at Brighton with these three cute boys! (And those colors!)

As we were driving home from Brighton in October, I mentioned that everyone had been seeing moose while out and about. Betsy had seen moose every time she'd been hiking, EXCEPT the time we were together.  And right then, we saw a car pulled over with a camera, I looked right, and there were two moose.  Dan turned around and we were able to get out of the car and see them.