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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What I learned on my 4th grade field trip to This is the Place Heritage Park today...

Lesson #1:  If you think you're prepared for a busload of screaming 10 year olds... think again.

Lesson #2:  Promise your group candy at the end of the field trip if they behave perfectly. They will behave like angels! (turns out the candy store was closed, but they didn't know that until AFTER the field trip was over! hee hee)

Lesson #3:  repeat these words in your head about every 20 minutes: "It's only 4 hours... it's only 4 hours... it's only 4 hours". (No, you can't bring a hip flask to "help" you through this mantra, either.)

Lesson #4: some people's kids only seem like brats until you talk with them or if you are really nice to them. Other people's kids really are brats- through, and through. Those are the kids you make be in the teacher's group!

Lesson #5: IT's ok to be the "fun" mom on a field trip. IT really does make the day go better if you have fun along with the kids!

Lesson #6: Be prepared to sink into a catatonic state upon your arrival home. Be sure to have a bag of Doritos, a cold diet coke, and some chocolate within arms reach before collapsing on the bed. You won't be moving off your bed for about 2 hours. (Who knows how those teachers go a whole school year without totally losing it?!)

Lesson#7: Go on as many field trips with your kid as possible. You will be so glad you did, and more importantly you kid will. (when I walked into my son's room today all the kids perked up and said "Oooo... *bleep's* mom is coming! She comes on every field trip we have, and she's awesome!"   Ya... that made my whole day right there!

Monday, May 23, 2011

How did I get so lucky?

I am soooo proud of my little family, I just have to take this tiny moment to brag a bit.

Yesterday we presented the sacrament meeting program in church. I really wanted to teach my little guy how to give a "real" talk this time. He's 10 years old and I knew he could do it. So I sat him down one day with The Friend magazine and told him to pick a story he would base his talk off of. He had already read several of the stories, so he picked his favorite one- about being positive- and went from there. I then had him think of a few personal experiences that went along with the idea of positive thinking and how prayer helps us have a good attitude. He came up with two, and we included them in his talk. We then put in a few scriptures and a quote from a General Authority, and I typed it all up for him.  His talk ended up being almost 4 minutes, and he did such a good job! He spoke clearly, and even looked up from his paper at the audience like we had talked about!

I spoke as well, despite the fact that I had completely lost my voice two days before, and had to forego singing at a funeral of a dear friend the day before. However, I was able to speak yesterday, so I was very glad. I spoke about truly dedicating ourselves to the gospel rather than waiting around for some divine revelation. I felt good about how I did, overall.

My hubby and son then played "Families Can Be Together Forever" on the piano together, and they did a really good job! I was thrilled!

My hubby then spoke about making and keeping covenants with Heavenly Father. His talks are always so much more spiritual than mine, I think. I really admire him for his ability to write a deep talk.

Then, my hubby sang a solo. (I was shocked when he suggest he sing a solo since I couldn't sing a duet with him.)  The organ accompanied him and there was a beautiful violin obligatto part. It was so beautiful, I got the chills!

We came home from that high at church (and relief it was all over, of course~) and began getting ready for my family to come over for our massive May birthday party together. (Me, my sister, and my brother's birthdays are all within a week of eachother. It's like Christmas in May!)  IT was so fun to see everyone, and we managed to squeeze into our tiny house once again. I am always amazed that we can fit everyone- however tightly- into our home. It really helped to be able to bannish the kids to the basement to eat and play! Thank Heaven for that family room and second kitchen! What a sanity saver!!!

I didn't want the fun day to end last night, but I sure have good memories about it all now! I love my family!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wicked fun!

Last week we took a quick little trip up to Boise to see "Wicked".

A few thoughts on this:

#1: I forgot shall I put it.... boring, the landscape is in Idaho.
      Ok, it is beautiful, in a way. But there is just field after field after field after field after field. I remember making the drive through Idaho way back when I was going to Ricks college. The drive to Boise was no different.

#2: I LOVE road trips with my little family!
     My son is soooo amazingly good on road trips. He doesn't complain about how long it's taking, or being cramped or bored! Of course, it helps to have an endless stream of movies available at his fingertips, (how did the pioneers EVER do it without dvd's?) but he doesn't always watch movies. Sometimes I'll see him gazing out the windows and commenting on the beauty of the scenery.  Where did this kid come from? I don't know, but I"ll keep him!
     I always bring a good book along to read aloud to my hubby. It makes the time pass quickly and I just love it! Also, pre-sliced cheese and apples, crackers, beef jerky, banana chips, and M&M peanuts are a MUST!
(Eason in the hotel, dressed up for the show. Wet swimming suit hanging on doorknob!)
#3: Not all performances of "Wicked" are created equal.
      Saw it for the first time in London and it was SPECTACULAR!!!! Saw it again in Salt Lake and it was pretty dang good. Saw it in Boise and it was good. I'm afraid to see it again, actually... at this rate of success. No, it was really fun and my neices LOVED it. They were panting all over Fiyero, of course. And we sang the soundtrack all the way home- seriously, for 5 hours straight!

We stayed in a nice hotel, ate a delicious seafood dinner, (yes, seafood in Boise... I know, but it was good.) had a lot of fun at Wicked, and I think my husbands favorite part was the Peregrine Falcon habitat.

 We saw a sign for it on the freeway when we were just about to go home. Of course, Peregrine Falcons are his absolute favorite birds, so we had to go. It was really neat. And we found out the place also breeds the endangered Condors there! Pretty cool! (this isn't a peregrine, it's a Harrier something.)
(wingspan of a condor. Apparently they are very aggressive and will attack grown men at any given moment! Mommys, too!)

So, Yay road trip! Yay for "Wicked", yay for a VERY obedient kid and a generous husband, and me for packing all the food and reading for 5 hours straight each way.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Pinewood Derby, Part Two: Divine Intervention!

Well. We he made his car and painted it (with a little help, of course), took it to the derby last night, placed it on the track, and.......

We went with NO expectations. I mean NOOOOOO expectations. I nailed in the wheels about 10 minutes before we left for the race, and I don't know what I'm doing! But we went to have fun, right?
Well, after the VERRRRRRYYYYYY long winded track-owner guy gave a 40 minute (no exaggeration here) lecture on how much he paid for the track and how a kid dented one of the lanes and how we will all sign over our first-born children and their children's children if anyone even looks at his track wrong, and the longest description of how the race will work and how scoring will work and how parents need to stay out of his face and kids will forfeit their place on the board if they don't get their car on the right track... blah blah.. you get the idea. We finally began the race. And guess what....

His car finished first.... by a whole car length! I stopped gabbing with my neighbor when I saw, and I KNOW my mouth was open and my face showed the shock I was feeling.  Well, I thought, that's a nice way to start out the race. I'm glad he got to finish at least one race first, that will make him feel good.  Then, he raced again... and came in first! And then again, and again, and again, and again!!! At one point he came up to me and whispered with this dumbfounded look on his face "Mom, did you see that? I can't believe I'm coming in first! Do you think I might win?" Only 1 race did he not come in first, and that was the dented lane that was slowing down all the cars when they'd race in it, and he came in 2nd! He made the final four, obviously, and.... finished 1st in every one!

I think we were all in shock!  People kept coming up to us after and asking to see the car, wanting to know what "tricks" we'd used to make such a fast car. Honestly, we have no clue! To bring it up to weight we drilled three penny-sized holes in the bottom (my idea) to put pennies in. Apparently the planets were alligned just right because we did something right!

Actually, I really think we owe it all to our dear friend Sid. He passed away last week, and he sooo wanted to help our little guy with his car this year. We had arranged to have them work together but his health became so poor he just couldn't do it. I think he was behind the car the whole night pushing it on- what else could it have been? Thank you, Sid. You made a little 10 year old VERY happy last night!

We went out to his favorite restaurant to celebrate after. Training Table burgers make everything better, right?

It is just great to see the "underdog" win once in a while, ya know? We had no chance in *bleep* and we did it! I am so proud of my little guy!
Ladies and Gentlemen...

I give you..... "THE WRATH BRINGER"    (yep. that's the name. And he sure "brought it"!)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh Yeah... it's Pinewood Derby Time, Baby!

Question #1:  Why do people get so "into" this whole pinewood derby thing?

Last year there were something like 40 races total to determine the winner. 40? Really? When I saw that number up on the whiteboard at the gym I thought, this can't be right. We won't really have to watch 40 races right? Wrong. We had to watch more like 50 because all the leaders and parents and on-lookers who had brought their own cars had to have a chance to race them after the cub scouts had finished! Really.

Question #2: Who is this really for?

Last year the parents spent more time rounding up their cub scouts- who were having more fun flipping coins against the wall at the other end of the gym- to come race their car again. "You wanna see if you win, don't you?"  Well, isn't it obvious they don't?

And, as I said before, the parents line up at the end to get a chance to race their own creations. They looked more excited than their children who, after having been drug up to the front for 40 different races,  couldn't care less about their parent's cars and just wanted to go home and eat something other than cheap hotdogs and stale chips. I think it's obvious who this is really for.

Question #3: What parent really lets their kid actually do his entire car himself without "aiding" even a little tiny bit?

I didn't think so.

But, all that aside, we are participating again this year. However, my son seems more interested this time than last time. We'll see though when we actually get there and there are only 32 more races to go before the end where the parents get their 10 races each, and the kids are scooting their heads along the gym floor to see who's hair can stand out the furthest with static electricity and whining occasionally about wanting to go home because they're board.  And we'll be sure to file down those wheel axles and powder those thingamajigs and align the whatchacallits.  Because that's just what you have to do to win, apparently. My poor kid, though. He has two very... shall we say... NON-competetive parents. I couldn't care less about the race, I just want his car to look cool. (And pink, but I couldn't persuade my very masculine son to paint his car pink with white clouds like I wanted. Darn it.)

So, we get to go bask in cub-scout heaven tonight. Wish us luck. And lots of migraine medicine. I'm sure I'll need it.  Yay Pinewood Derby!!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Royal Addiction...

Ok. It could be that I am becoming just a little bit out of control obsessed with the Royal Wedding. I just pre-ordered my own copy of all the wedding music performed during the ceremony. Well? It was beautiful! And having been at Westminster Abbey, I can close my eyes and almost feel like I am there again.

And I will probably watch the whole ceremony again this afternoon as a reward for getting myself to exercise today.

And I will probaby pull up the pictures of the royal wedding cake again. They are gorgeous!

Yes, it is an addiction. But, if obsession with the royal wedding is wrong, I don't wanna be right!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Royal Bliss!

I am a sucker for weddings. I can't deny it. And I cry at every single one! (Except my own. For some reason I was in too much bliss on my own wedding day to get weepy.)

So, you can imagine what a basket case I've been this weekend with the Royal Wedding of William and Kate! My husband and son, however, do not share my sappy nature when it comes to the Royal Wedding. They've spend much of the weekend rolling their eyes. And my son has been ranting every time he sees me watching footage of the wedding, or on the lives of the bride and groom- "Why?! Why do women love this royal wedding stuff so much? Who cares????"   Yes, he is a typical male.

I even got to attend a real wedding ceremony at the beautiful Red Butte Gardens on Saturday, and it was so beautiful. The ceremony took place in their Orangery, a glass enclosed room with the backdrop of thousands of yellow daffodils coated with a thin blanket of fresh snow. And the ceremony itself took place while large, white snowflakes fell quietly in the background.  The food was decadent, the music fantastic, and I held my eternal companion's hand the whole time. And yes, I cried! (and I didn't even know the couple!)

Yes, some may think the Royal Wedding is ridiculous, but, I love it, nonetheless. So I am sitting here on my bed, folding laundry, watching the ceremony- again- and weeping! And I love it!!!!! "Marriage is happy news" as is said in my favorite movie- "Moonstruck".