(If pictures are too small, just click to enlarge -if print is too small, you need glasses! ☺)
dear als ice bucket challenge, just when I thought I had escaped this, I was challenged twice within 30 minutes of each other.
My cousin Candi Larson and my friend Jody Briggs Snow both challenged me. I had 24 hours to do it or pay $100. I tried to get Dave on board, but he wanted nothing to do with it. He thinks it's pretty insane and kind of like a pressuring way to get you to do something crazy, like a chain letter of sorts. I totally disagree and think it's for a great cause (though I do wish all this publicity and the donations were going to the CFF charity). I was willing to do it to help spread awareness for ALS and to help with the research for the disease. So, I recruited my boys Bryce and McKay and had them help me with it. Bryce took the video and McKay poured the ice water on my head. I think he enjoyed that! ☺ I didn't want to do it the same way everyone else had and so I decided to color the ice water purple. I am pretty sure I am the only one that has done it that way. hah I did wear a rain jacket because it was really chilly the day I did it and I REALLY-REALLY-REALLY hate cold water! I am that person that when swimming in a lake or river, inches in with a toe, then another toe, then another... instead of just jumping in. I do not like it one bit. It usually takes my breath away and I panic and freak out. So, this WAS a challenge for me! But, I did it and it was kind of fun!I challenged my 10 year old niece Makenzie because she told me she hadn't been challenged and I could tell she wanted to be. No idea why! But she did and she did it! I was proud of her! I also challenged my son Skyler and my brother Jerry, both of whom have yet to step up and be a man and do it! haha
I tried to add the video on here, but for some reason it wouldn't accept it through blogger and so I just posted the link. It may or may not work.
Here are a few of the still shots.
Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....that was cold!!!
dear back to school, I sent my last child off for his first day of school of his last year. This in many ways is harder than when I sent him off to Kindergarten. I honestly can't believe it has come. I have so not wanted this day to come and even more so I don't want graduation day to come! He is my baby! My baby is a senior! I should have had five more! The whole empty nest thing is not looking too appealing to me. By this time next year, he will be off some place in the world serving a mission for our church for two years! Wow! I was told this time would fly by and it was true. I really didn't believe it at the time though. Now here I am with my baby no longer a baby and ready to venture off into the real world without ME! I need some chocolate! STAT!
Here is a picture of him on his first day of Kindergarten! I loved how he wore his backpack in the front! I am going to take a photo of him doing that this year! haha Oh my, that face just makes me smile! He was always such a mama's boy when he was little. Pretty much up until about the age of 12. He even used to still sit on my lap when he 12 once in a while even though his older bros teased him ruthlessly about it. I loved to read him the book LOVE YOU FOREVER..."as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be".
The future... I hope! hehe
I had to include these shots of him when he was a Kindergartner also. He has always been such a cute kid! And most of these boys have stayed buds to this day.
(Parker, McKay, Tanner, Carson - with Cooper on the far top right)
His 5th birthday party was a PIRATE one and we went all out for it. Such fun times! How I miss those days!
(Tanner, McKay, Carson, Cooper - top left)
This year, no sooner had McKay left for school on that first day, that he was back home again! Only this time he dragged three friends along with him. When they came in, he asked me if they could come in and play some video games. I said, "WHAT? It's the first day of school! You guys must think you are seniors or something!" He went on to explain that since he has work release (a two hour class) and he can't actually go to work for the class until next week, their teacher let them go early. I am not sure if that was the case with all four of them, but I told them they could. I had to laugh because it reminded me of my senior year! I had a work release (only I didn't get paid for my work - it was volunteer clerical work at a hospital) but me and my friend Carla would often leave early or go in late and head to the snack bar for a shake or somewhere else like Winchell's Donuts. I guess times have not changed! haha
dear back to school dinner, another last! I got my lunch lady on and prepared the incredibly delicious and most delectable cafeteria style lunch that I used to get in school (complete with those canned peas that we all SO love!) and then also realized that this will be my very last time doing this too! I'll no longer have anyone going "back to school" and so this was my last "back to school" dinner! Waaaaaaa!!! Dave said I can still do it for when they go to college. I have a feeling that just won't happen. Or I could totally change it up and serve Ramen Noodles and No Bake cookies for the menu. But that just wouldn't be the same! I have been doing this tradition for almost 20 years now! 20 YEARS!
Just. Makes. Me. Sad.Now, IF I had some grand-littles THEN I could do it for them! But nooooooooo......... that is not even in the foreseeable future right now! I was glad Bryce was home for it though even though he is out of school.
It was also nice of the principal to stop by for a real quick meal even though he could only stay for 5 minutes since he had a meeting. You know how those principals are....always off to a meeting somewhere! But when he returned he filled his tray again because he so loves those canned peas! They made him a little frisky with the lunch lady though. I almost had to keep him in from recess for that kind of behavior.
How will I keep up on my algebra and trig and chemistry if I no longer have to do THIS? ↓ ☺hah
Even though it was the last time for this very fun tradition, it was still a lot of fun! I'm not sure the principal will let it stop even it's just the lunch lady and the principal. He really loves this tradition. And the food! Go figure! It must be because of what those canned peas do to him! ☺
dear party at colleen's house, it was a sad day when my dear friend Collen moved to Bountiful this past year. We have been good friends for over 20 years. Her little guy Tanner was in those pix of my son's first day of Kindergarten. We have been through a lot of good times and a few not so good times together. She is an incredibly talented and amazing women and I miss her a lot. We got to see her new home and eat a potluck lunch. Several of us carpooled down together and we enjoyed the tour of her home! Lots of purple! We are purple partners in crime! lol
We had a lot of fun together. I have THEE best women in my ward! They are all such amazing and fun women and I learn so much from each of them.
The food was yummy! I tried to steal her DI find (retro glass purple grapes - top middle photo) but she caught me!
When we walked out and was checking out where some certain famous people live on her street, I saw this sign that said WE ARE PURPLE! Whaaaaaaaaaaa? Did someone put that there JUST for us!? My friend Jamie is also a purple fool and so we HAD to have a photo of the three of us by the sign! Crazily, not one of us were even wearing purple! Fun times!
dear football dinner, I had to rush home from Colleen's and hurry and throw together a green salad for 20. No big deal. Luckily Dave had picked me some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers out of the garden that morning and so I was able to throw it together quick! I haven't posted any pix of our garden's amazing harvest this year and so this is as close as it gets for now. I'm sure the players devoured all that food in a flash that us mom's provided! We feed them the night before each home game. It looked so good I wish I could have stayed!
dear delightful surprise, I came home one day to find this scrumptious dessert from my dear friend Audrey! She had my pan for a while and so I guess she figured she had to return it with something in it. I'm not complaining! haha It isn't called Chocolate Ecstasy for nothing! Oh. My! There is nothing like a good friend, except a good friend with chocolate!
dear catch of the week, this is my son's Skyler fish catch for day actually, not the week! He catches some really interesting looking fish. And even more impressive is he actually eats all of them! Bleh!
dear hawaii, HERE I COME! YES! YES! YES! My son Skyler told Dave that he really should bring me to his place for our anniversary and he said okay! Huh? I have been telling him for months and months we need to get over there and visit him before he comes home. He is on the Big Island and has a really nice condo so we won't have to pay for lodging. His roommates all just happen to be gone the week we are going over as well and so things really fell into place! I really can't believe I am going to Hawaii again! I am praying that I can get Ted's Bakery Chocolate Haupia Pie on the Big Island. If not, I just might have to swim to Oahu to get me a piece! I can NOT wait to see that boy! I am a little worried because our flight leaves the morning after the marathon and I know it's not good to fly right after running that far. I bought me some stylin' (not!) compression socks to wear on the flight over hoping that will help. But nothing is going to keep me from paradise!
dear mr. cat, how could I resist taking these photos of you? You look like you are the King of the Jungle. Actually you are. Now if you could just bring that title INDOORS. We found another mouse IN the house! You are slacking in your duties!
dear manic manican, another good laugh or two. This week, the guy was outside and saw me take the photo. He just smiled and waved. I wonder what they think of us "crazies" that take photos of their seriously crazy works of art. Bwhahahah!
dear new cravings, holy these things are good! AND so addicting! Go ahead and try and not eat the entire bag! I dare ya!
And these are a close second! There is something about the texture of these things and the way they crunch, not to mention taste, that is just so irresistable! Mmmm!!!
dear lunch and shopping with mom, I FINALLY got to go to lunch and shopping with my Mom to Farmington Station! She had never been there and so we have been talking about going for a long time. We finally made it! We ate at TWIGS and shared the same thing I had the only other time I was there...the Turkey BLT Wrap. It is so yummy! We sat outside and it was such a beautiful day and we were right by the fountains and got to see the water show choreographed to music.
We hit a few stores...Apple, Charming Charlies, HomeGoods, and of course Sugar Daisy for some peanut butter bars! We had to take this one at Charming Charlies ↓
We found some of the cutest stuff at HomeGoods! Have I mentioned that is my FAVORITE store! Especially around Halloween time! I found some more cute purple Halloween stuff! I was so excited! I am going to have to seriously de-junk some of my current Halloween stuff to make room for the new
Some of this I bought when I went with my friends a few weeks ago....but I'm so excited! Bring on Halloween!
I also found these ↑ at HomeGoods! Oh my, chocolate and orange together are even better than chocolate and peanut butter! And better yet, these puppies are meringue cookies and so they have very few calories! Only 45 per cookie! So light and airy! Now, that is a win-win!
As we were leaving, her husband mentioned he had restored an old Mustang. A Stang?!!! I LOVE STANGS! It is my dream car! So he pulled it out and it was absolutely gorgeous! I told him if he ever sells it to let me know! Owning a convertible Stang is on my bucket list! This one was sooo pretty! So we got in and took some shots. I really wanted to take it for a little spin around the block, but he didn't offer. hah I think it suits me just fine!
dear first home football game, official first home game. Purple and White didn't really count. We played Layton for this one and did great until the end. We got beat 7-0. And I know I shouldn't put the blame on anyone, but let's just say one of the players (instead of running the play the coaches called), decided to run the ball instead of passing (only 2 yards!) and got tackled and so we didn't score - when if he had passed it to either of the TWO wide open receivers we would have scored! Frustrating. Still might have lost, but... Oh well, it IS only a game. I just hope certain players learn some life lessons from this "game" that will help them in the real game of life. Sometimes it's hard to be a parent and only be able to watch when you just want to go in and be the coach. haha Yeah, I bet they would really listen to me! "Boys! Boys! Pay attention!" - "Now here's the play!" - "Get in there and hit somebody!" - "I want body bags!" - "Body bags!!!" - "Did you hear me!" - "BODY BAGS!" - "BOYS!!!" -"Boys???" - "Anyone?"
Here is his poster! Only the seniors get them! I am the one that started this tradition at our school. I asked the coach if we could do it several years ago when Taylor was a senior because other teams had and he told me yes if I could raise the money. Since this was just a new thing, the cheapest I could find for posters this size were almost $200 EACH! So I figured out a less expensive way to go and ended up having them smaller, but still affordable. I also had to do the laminating myself! And they were still almost $40 each! The best part about the ones I did was they were smaller and so we could hang them where they could be seen during the game. Now they are hung outside as you walk in.
They are now much cheaper because of the demand. I'm not sure who ends up paying for them now, because I had to get businesses to donate money to pay for them, but I sure do like them! The best thing is the boys get to keep them after the season is over. I really wish we could have done them like this for Taylor's year. Although Taylor's doesn't take up as much wall space! haha
dear carb-load, after the game even though I wasn't very hungry because I had just eaten almost an entire bag of Pop Chips at the game (yes, seriously almost an ENTIRE bag by myself!), we headed to the Firehouse Pizzeria. Dave had never been there and I needed to carb-load a bit for my long run the next day. We were not that impressed with the food this time. We thought we ordered a pulled pork sandwich to share but it ended up being a pizza like thing. With jalapenos! Ouch! My stomach hurt all night! Bleh!
dear long run, my cute friend Robin asked me if I wanted to join her for her first 20 miler on Saturday. I had to get in 12 and I really didn't want to do it alone and so I said yes. I actually said, "Heck yes!" I do not enjoy long runs alone! Dave drove me up to sardine and I met them on their mile 6 or so and then ran around the dam and through the campground and then down the canyon and then I broke off at my mile 11.5 and ran home (I got in 13 total) and then went and picked them up down west so Robin wouldn't have to run uphill her last couple of miles. She did great! I was very proud of her! We had fun and I enjoyed running with Sheri (one with the pink headband) around the dam because I had to push it. Sheri is not human. Serious! She has never been injured, never been sore (that's unheard of for a runner!), never gets tired, hardly drinks any water and can step out her door on any given day and run a marathon. Sometimes several a week. She is seriously not human. All of us runners are in awe of how her body is like that and how it was born to run. She is also extremely fast. She is fun to run with because she can talk the entire time when just breathing is about all the rest of us can do at times. Anyway, I had fun with them all. I got to meet a new friend Rochelle as well. There is always so much I learn from other runners.
Grant found this for me while he was running before I met them. How sweet was that for him to pick it up and give it to me when I met them!? I was so touched...especially because it was the only one found all day. ☺
dear shooting outing, Saturday afternoon Dave, McKay and I headed with the Parrish's to go shoot some skeets with the guns. We have done this several times with them before and it's always so much fun.
Mont brought up his grill and grilled some hotdogs and that definitely cranked the fun level up a notch or two. Hot dogs ONLY taste good to me if I am outside and they are either cooked over a fire or in the wilderness. I don't mind so much what I am eating on those occasions. haha
SO much fun!
I've decided I really need one of these. ↑ Maybe a bit smaller so I can pack it on my mountain runs in case of a mountain lion encounter! It had no kick and easier in many ways.
Don't mess with a woman with a gun!
Evidence of the massacre. lol Don't worry we picked them all up!
One lone purple shell left by someone before us....
We wanted this ↓ picture because you can see the temple in the background, IF you look really really hard. ☺
dear perks of living by the mountain, after we got home from shooting, McKay left to a pool party and Dave and I heard this screaming outside our door. We opened it to find three of McKay's friends (all girls) freaking out because there was a HUGE spider on our porch and they thought it was fake at first, but soon discovered they were mistaken. We get those things up here all the time. However, they usually wait until around Halloween to show up. I fear seeing one this soon means we are going to have an early winter because they migrate down the mountain for the winter. They ARE creepy, but harmless. Dave was brave and let it crawl on his hand! I will try and add the video on here, but I'm not having much luck with that lately. The girl's came by to answer McKay to the Homecoming Dance and they left an alarm under his bed to wake him up at 3:30 a.m. with a note saying something like, "Don't be alarmed, but I'd love to go with you to the dance!" Taylor had that one done to him once before too. Cute, but I was just hoping I wouldn't hear it go off! Luckily, I didn't! Anyway, back to the spider...
It appears this one just may work. Crossing my fingers... (the fingers in the video are Dave's by the way and he has BIG hands!)
Another perk is when you need a photo for something, you already have the perfect backdrop if the sun is in the right place. For these, we lucked out and it was overcast. I really love my backyard!!!
dear elder wilding (aka taylor), finally you sent us some pictures! Actually, a lot of these I got off of facebook from some of our mutual friends in Brazil. Either way, there is nothing I love more than to see your face and to know it won't be long until I can give you a big tight hug! ONLY 50 days left - as I write this post! But who's counting!!!?
He's lookin' good!
Although he is definitely thinner than before!
He found a tarantula the same week we did! How crazy is that!? Not sure if the Brazilian ones are as harmless as the ones here though!
He is having so much success with baptisms!
Not to mention lots of fun!
This was also sent to me on my birthday on Facebook! The girl in the middle did it for me, but I'm sure it was Taylor's idea. It made my day! But, I forgot to post it on here on my birthday post. I think I will go and add it anyway! What a sweet boy!
Love that boy! Only 50 more days!!!
dear new facebook page, I was challenged this week by my friend Linda to do the Gratitude Challenge. I was happy to do it because I truly believe gratitude is the secret to happiness. I have written a lot about this topic over the years (HERE, HERE, HERE ) and given a lot of talks on it and I really feel so strongly that focusing on what we have instead of what we don't, can bring such peace and comfort and really helps us to get through hard things. I know that in my hardest moments of losing my son Tyson, that gratitude is what pulled me through. It's almost like it has a magical power. I am sure someday there will be scientific proof saying that there is something that happens when we are grateful and it will all make sense, but until then, I don't need science to tell me that it really works. I really enjoyed the challenge, but it only lasted five days and that just isn't long enough. I have many gratitude journals that I have faithfully written in over the years, but I haven't been doing it for a few years. I need to start it up again. But because I feel so strongly about the power of gratitude and how it can change lives, I decided to start a new Facebook page called Got Gratitude? I threw around several names including Gratitude For Gratitude or Gratitude Groupies, but I settled on Got Gratitude? My hope is to post uplifting and inspiring thoughts and quotes on gratitude each day on Facebook to help others in their lives and to help them see how important it really is. I am also thinking of starting a group page where people can go and list what they are grateful for. I am not sure how well that one would work, and so I haven't done it yet, but I am thinking about doing that and calling that one Gratitude Groupies. It would be like a public gratitude journal of sorts. You can go HERE and check out my Got Gratitude page and then LIKE it so you will get daily thoughts on the power of gratitude.
I have also decided that on each Monday Memos post I am going to end the post with what I am thankful for that week. My only fear in doing that is that my list will be so long that I won't ever get this published because I will be worrying I forgot something. So I think I will make it be my top 10 things I am most grateful for each week. I am going to start it today:
dear gratitude, the 10 things I am most grateful for this week are:
- Nitrous oxide at the dentist this week. I really like that stuff! haha
- Getting my Visiting Teaching done even if it was almost the last day of the month!
- Google Search! Wow! Instant knowledge on pretty much any thing. It's a great time in history to live!
- I am grateful that I got to spend some quality time with my Mom this week.
- I am VERY grateful for Tide Sport Laundry Detergent. Two words: Football season!
- I am grateful I am now unemployed as the Tooth Fairy because that was one tough job! I forgot more than I remembered!
- I am grateful for the all the LITTLE things that bring joy to me. Rain, animals, soft blankets, things colored purple, cupcakes, the smell of popcorn in a theater, foot rubs, crossing a finish line, ice cold water (to drink NOT being poured over your head!), heartfelt cards from others, my gas fireplace in the winter, the smell of homemade bread baking, traditions, lighthouses.... this list is a hard one to end, but I will!
- I am grateful for all the BIG things that also bring joy to me. Family, friends, my good health, education, the Savior, my home, traveling to a tropical beach, oh and of course, CHOCOLATE!
- I am grateful that the new BLT salad recipe I tried out for a luncheon, actually turned out! And I am very grateful for a garden full of healthy fresh produce!
- I am grateful for being grateful because I know the power there is in gratitude and how it can help us live happier lives. You can't even Google happiness without gratitude appearing throughout the search. If you want to be happy, be grateful.