Sunday, October 16, 2011

Returning to the Blogging World

It's been a long time.  
So long, that I don't know where to begin.  
So, on this first blog after my lengthy abstinence from my online 'journal' of sorts, I will just say what's on my mind.
I am happy that summer is over and that it is Fall.
The end.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Father's Day 2011 - remembering my Dad.

In honor of Father's Day, it seems only fitting that I reflect on what a great Dad I had.
He was the "strong, silent" type, but I never doubted his love for me. 
He just showed it in non-verbal ways. 
He was the best of examples;  of hard work, of getting an education, of honoring the priesthood, of honesty, and of remaining true and faithful to what you believe.
Some of my favorite memories:
 **Seeing his legs sticking out from under the car while he worked on it.
**Giving him a hug from behind and smelling "Old Spice".
**Watching him enjoy my home-made whole-wheat bread by loading it with honey and peanut butter.
**Taking the boat out for a spin - and all the prep it entailed.
**The twinkle in his eye when he was teasing my Mom.
**Cracker-Jacks and treats in his pockets for the grandkids.
**Reminding me to take good care of my car.
**Patting me on the head.
**Letting me lay my head on his shoulder during church.

I still miss him, after all these years, and am so thankful for all he taught me.
My dad and his brothers:  L to R:  Ray, Ivan, Kent, Loren (my dad)
But most of all, I am grateful for his love for me.  
Cuz I wasn't always easy to love! ;-/

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Tailgaters -n- Smokers

So, while I wait for my girls to return from their bike ride so we can go shopping and then to lunch, cuz that's what summer's all about, right?  Spending time together doing the things you can't while school is in session?...

I have a few thoughts...
about Smokers and Tailgaters.
Let me clarify:
Smokers - as in those who insist on smoking in public places, NOT those who like to burn wet firewood.
 Tailgaters - people in a big "gosh darn hurry" to get somewhere - anywhere - and follow you too closely in their car.  NOT to be confused with crazy drunk people hanging out on their truck tailgates at a sporting event.
So, after being tailgated for the umpteenth time yesterday, and going slower and slower just to rile them up, and THEN, gagging on someone's cigarette smoke in the entrance to Costco, I began to notice some similarities between these two groups.
Both 'Public Smokers' and 'Tailgaters':
*think and often insist that they have the "right".  What "right"?
  (The right to make others fear for their lives, I guess.)
*are pushy, pushy, pushy!  In your face or in the rear pushy!
*don't give a "darn" about how uncomfortable they make other people feel.
*get pretty ornery is you challenge them.
*think the rest of us are all 'narrow-minded'.
*listen to terrible music.
*have bad breath and bad hair.
*wear funky golf shoes and polyester pants.
*want to destroy the world.

Okay,okay, maybe not the last 4 items.  I was getting narrow-minded and carried away (probably the lasting effects of inhaling someone's nasty cigarette smoke).
But, seriously, there are definitely some similarities in the mind-set of these 2 groups.

And, you'd better agree, or else I will tail-gate you!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Girls are Back in Town

I Love my girls.  
I ADORE them.
I miss them when they are gone.
But, when they are gone, somehow the counters don't get all cluttered, the dishes get done faster and there's less of them.
And there is a shocking lack of shoes laying around waiting to trip me. 
There ARE some perks when they are gone.
I'm just sayin....

But when they are home,
there are more hugs comin' my way,
there are 'talk fests' on my bed with all 5 of us,
there are "owies" to inspect and thrilling stories to hear,
 and just a whole lot more love floatin' around.
I'm just sayin....

Monday, June 6, 2011

Wish I'd done it Sooner - or - the Best Summer Ever!!

This post is dedicated to all young moms out there!!

As many of you know, I have 6 kids.  
The youngest is now 16, but, I'm going to tell you a secret to a great summer with the kids home.  
This is something I wish someone had told me 27 years ago!  (But, they didn't and I learned the hard way.)
Several years ago, when I still had 4-5 at home and the youngest was about 8, I had a brilliant(for me) idea to make summers more enjoyable for all.
Here it is, in a nutshell:
During the weeks went we weren't traveling, etc., I wanted to have fun, but not let the house and chores go to pot during the summer.  
Plus, I wanted my kids to have goals, to have a sense of accomplishment, and also have fun.  After brainstorming with the kids on things they like to do, here's what we came up with:
Each day, rise before 8am.
Get chores done by 10:00 am (everyone had assigned daily chores)
10:00 - Group project
12:00 - lunch & clean up
Hanging out and being silly
This is where the girls learned to enjoy taking photos and videos of silly stuff!
1:00 - Read or hang out with friends
(They would make a goal of how many pages they wanted to read for the summer)
3:00 - swim or other activity
5:00 - start dinner (help mom cook)
6:30 - free time
We were pretty flexible - that's the secret to happy families I've discovered.  The times and activity weren't set in stone.
Then - the fun part - 
this is what we did during group project or hanging with friends - cuz friends were invited!
Monday - Cooking or sewing lesson
Tuesday - Scrapbooking
Wednesday - Library or a educational field trip
Thursday - craft project (Jewelry making was a hit)
Friday - hike and picnic lunch
Before we knew it, the summer would be over and we'd all be sad to have the fun end! 

Plus, we made some wonderful memories!

Memorial Day Wknd at the Ranch

There are a few places on this earth where I can go and just feel 'right'.
Heaton Ranch is that for me.
  I've been going since I was 12 yrs. old and it feels the same each time I go.  It's like all the jumbled up stuff in my life seems to kind of 'settle down'. 
My perspective changes and I regain my focus.
Even when there are lots of people up there, and some of them are cranky or ornery, if I tune that out, I can still feel that peace.
Waking up to the sun and the birds on a lazy morning, visiting and, yes, gossiping with family, cooking for the army, and taking a walk around the pond are all part of the fare. 
I treasure each moment I'm up there - on invitation from my fabulous cousins.  I savor each "hello, how are you", each hug, each smile, and each shy glance from a toddler long after I've left.
To my youngest girls who love for us to take them there - "I'm glad you do".  

To Jon and Amelia, who came up - rather reluctantly - "Thanks for coming - even tho it turned out to not be a shorter trip the next day due to the sink hole detour". 
To my dear Heaton family, who've adopted me and invited us each work day, THANK YOU a Million Trillion!!

I hope I can keep coming till I'm old(er) and gray(er).

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Graduation Pics

Yay for Jay!!
She did it!  Graduation from High School!
Sitting on the stand as one of the Valedictorian
Fun hats
Jess has a soccer ball on her hat
There she is!!
Funny looking spectators!
Some of her awards and medals
Meli and Jon barely made it!
Proud parents
Samantha, Mary and a bit of Loren
Jess and her goalie coach!
The whole fam plus a picture of Daniel!
Way to go Jess!  What a gal!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Jessica Belle Stone - graduate of PVHS

Disclaimer:  this post if full of bragging about my daughter and how awesome she is!
Jessica graduated from high school this past week.  But it's all her other accomplishments that are so amazing.  I can't believe this girl is my daughter!  She is really awesome.  Really!
A list of her awards for 2010-2011:
Certificate of Recognition in the 2011 Utah Ambassadors of Music
UREA Youth leadership Representative
First Team Region 9 Honoree for Keeper in Girls Soccer
Wendy's High School Heisman award
Region 9 Academic All-Region for Soccer
PVHS Diamond Paw
Outstanding Performance award for French
PVHS Academic Letter
National Scholar/Athlete of the Year Award by US Army
UHSAA Academic All-State for Track & Field
Seminary Centennial Letter
Utah Scholar Award
High Honors at PVHS
PVHS Valedictorian

Wow!  I knew there were alot, but I didn't realize that there were so many. 
Now, a list of scholarships awarded thus far.
Regents Scholarship for $6000 by WCSD
Dixie Escalante Electric for $2000
University of Utah for $1000
Southern Utah University Presidential Scholarship for $4250
SUU Housing for $4000
She's still applying for scholarships as obviously, she won't be able to use all of the above.  She's decided to go to BYU Provo in the fall.  I'm sure going to miss her!
(Next - Graduation pics!!)